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Back to Parliament 2023

I’m writing to you after the end of the first sitting week of Parliament for 2023. 

And what a week it was with important – and controversial – legislation coming to the House of Representatives this week.  

As your MP, I had the honour of raising the Kooyong's concerns on a range of issues that matter to you including climate action, integrity in government, asylum seekers and health care.  

Here is a small taste of the action in Parliament this past week.

Meeting with Behrouz Boochani who asked us to be brave and generous, and to put an end to off shore detention of refugee


Climate Action

I promised Kooyong that I would oppose new fossil fuel developments in Australia, consistent with the need to increase the ambition and urgency of our actions to reduce emissions. In Question Time, I thanked Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek for using her legislative powers to block Clive Palmer’s new coal mine, but I also asked her to go further and to invoke the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Act to halt the Middle Arm project in the Northern Territory.  You can see my question and her response here.

I also spoke in favour of a Greens motion to ban new fossil fuel projects, which are a crucial step to achieving our emissions reductions targets in a way that is consistent with the recommendations of the International Panel on Climate Change.  You can see my speech here.



I was very pleased to speak in support of the government’s legislation to prevent future Prime Ministers from secretly appointing themselves to other cabinet positions. This legislation – an outcome of the Inquiry led by former High Court Justice Virginia Bell – provides for greater transparency in cabinet appointments. Kooyong constituents have consistently told me that they value deeply our democratic practice of responsible government, in which Ministers are responsible to the Parliament, and Parliament is responsible to the people. This tradition was egregiously breached by the former Prime Minister, who secretly appointed himself to five ministries.  My speech in support of the legislation, which talked about the fundamental importance of our constitutional conventions of responsible government, can be found here.  


Asylum Seekers

Unfortunately, it was not all good news in Parliament.  On Tuesday 7 March, the government introduced a motion that effectively extended the use of Nauru for the offshore processing of asylum seekers. This was an urgent motion introduced with no prior notice, and the government gagged debate to prevent Parliament from having a detailed discussion about Australia’s controversial offshore processing system.  Along with many other members of the crossbench, I voted against the motion that would retain our cruel and inhumane system of the offshore detention of asylum seekers.  My speech, which called on the government to dismantle offshore detention and to manage the claims of asylum seekers in Australia, can be found here. Unfortunately, the government and the opposition joined together to support this legislation and so, our shameful record of offshore detention continues.


Health Care

I spoke in the House on Thursday about doctors’ frustration with the lack of a clear action plan in the government's recent Strengthening Medicare Taskforce Report. We need more GPs in rural and regional centres, more incentives for GPs to bulk bill, and consideration of innovative solutions like socioeconomic-based funding of GP clinics. I’ll continue to work on Medicare reform via the Parliamentary Health committee and other avenues. 


In Kooyong

Last week, I hosted a Town Hall meeting to report back on the results of our community survey.

On a cold rainy night, 400 constituents came together to participate in politics done differently – to hear about the results of our community survey and to be briefed on our policy priorities for 2023. Together, we discussed the importance of ongoing climate action- this year, I’ll be especially targeting EV availability and affordability, native forest logging and the Middle Arm project at a federal level, while working on EV readiness, home electrification and active transport locally. We also talked about ways to improve transparency and accountability in government, specific pieces of legislation we’ve passed or will be debating this year, and an approach to ongoing community engagement.


It’s been great to see lots of people out and about in recent weeks. I look forward to bringing you more news from Canberra and Kooyong later this month, in person or via this email update. In the meantime, stay well - and please follow me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to stay in touch with daily news.


What's on with Mon

  • Sunday February 12th 11:30am: Meet Mon. We need volunteers! RSVP here and head down to the corner of Whitehorse Road and Yerrin Street in Balwyn to meet Monique, discuss any concerns and talk about your hopes for the future. 
  • Sunday February 19th 4pm: Politics in the Pub at Nevermind Bar. 
  • Tuesday February 28th 6:30-8pm: Kooyong’s Community Refugee Sponsorship Australia Forum. Register here to attend.
  • Thursday March 2nd 6:30pm: Indigenous Voice to Parliament - Kooyong info night at the Hawthorn Arts Centre. Register here . further details to come in next few weeks. 
  • Friday March 24th 6:30 - 8pm: Electric Vehicle Forum (Malvern Town Hall) in partnership with Dr Michelle Ananda-Rajah (Member for Higgins): further details to come.  
  • Saturday April 1st Relay for Life - Register here to join Team Mon

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