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Happy Long Weekend!

Happy Labour Day long weekend! I hope you’re grabbing some early autumn air somewhere restful.  I’m back in Kooyong after a sitting week in Canberra. Here’s a quick recap of the last couple of weeks…. 

Indigenous Affairs and the Voice to Parliament

Last Thursday evening I held a launch event of the Kooyong Voice to Parliament campaign at the Hawthorn Arts Centre. The event was attended by more than 350 people. We were honoured to open the session with a Yidaki performance from Bart Willoughby, and heard during the evening from Marcus Stewart and Thomas Mayo. The session was live-streamed and can be viewed here.

We followed up over the weekend with our first Voice doorknock in Kooyong, and had some great conversations about the upcoming referendum. If you’d like to get involved in future campaigning for the Voice, please sign up here.


Out and about this week in Kooyong (and surrounds)

Last weekend I also got out and about with the Australian Conservation Foundation for Clean Up Australia Day, and caught up with many of you at the Glenferrie Festival. Topics of conversation included the government’s planned reform of superannuation and franking credits, the Safeguard Mechanism (which is currently under discussion in Parliament), the National Reconstruction Fund and the cost of living pressures Australians are currently experiencing.   

Then, back to Canberra!….  During the week I met with a group of year 12 politics students from Scotch College, which was a highlight. The rest of my week was busy with briefings, debating legislation, attending committee meetings and a few social events. 


Health Care

I spoke in Parliament again this week about funding for the Australian Bone Marrow Donor Registry - this issue was first brought to my attention by a constituent, and it has attracted a lot of support at a national level.
We’ve already been successful in securing some additional funding for the registry; I’ll continue to work to secure permanent support for this lifesaving initiative. 

I also used an opportunity in Question Time to ask the Minister for Health, Mark Butler, whether the Government would commit to reducing pharmacy dispensing fees for medicines. This is especially important in light of the cost of living pressures so many Australians are experiencing. In coming weeks I will be pursuing this important issue further - there are a number of issues with the PBS which I’ll be drawing attention to in the leadup to the May Budget.


On Wednesday 8 March I spoke at a function of Rare Voices Australia to draw attention to the 2 million Australians living with a rare disease (there are more than 7000 of them!). “Rare Disease Day” is a global movement focused on advancing equity in healthcare for people with rare diseases. Wednesday’s function was an opportunity to raise awareness and inform parliamentarians and policymakers about the issues faced by the Australian rare disease community. I’m co-chair of the Parliamentary Friends of Rare Disease group, and am really keen to support advances in this area. 


Integrity / Human Rights

Also this week I spoke in an online forum on Julian Assange- you can see it here - and met with Jana Favero and Ogy Simic from the ASRC to discuss the “Evacuation to Safety” Bill, which was debated in the Senate this week. Unfortunately the Bill was not passed, meaning refugees and people seeking asylum in PNG will not receive further assistance from our government in the short term- but we’ll keep trying.  



Let’s talk about methane! Methane traps 80 times more heat in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide- and its concentration in our atmosphere has more than doubled in the past two centuries. This week I called on our government in Parliament to use the Safeguard Mechanism to provide clear incentives for companies to take mitigation action to reduce and repurpose methane. I’ll be circling back to the Safeguard Mechanism in a couple of weeks.   

I also had great meetings with representatives from CANA including Farmers for Climate Action, Solutions for Climate Australia, and Doctors for the Environment Australia.  We’re already seeing the effects of climate change events on air quality, water supplies and the location and severity of infectious diseases- not to mention the mental health effects of extreme weather events and their aftermath. The health effects of climate change are a really important area and one where I know I can make a difference- I’ll be working with these teams in the months to come. 



A final note for this week. As you might know, a former employee, Sally Rugg, recently engaged in legal action against the Commonwealth and against me. There’s been significant media coverage of the case, and Sally has indicated that she may launch further legal action. I’m sad that Sally’s employment ended as it did, and I wish her the best, but I’m relieved that my team and I now have clarity and unity in our shared work in Kooyong.  

My first priority in representing you will always be community engagement - being out in the electorate, reaching out to constituents to gauge their views and understand how best to represent them, and working with you all on the issues which matter to us. 

Thank you to all who have offered support in what has been a challenging time.  

I look forward to seeing you soon in Kooyong. In the meanwhile, stay well.


What's on with Mon

  • Friday 17 March 4:30 - 5:30pm Youth4Voice If you're under the age of 26, come to Monique's Electorate Office to discuss the Voice to Parliament campaign in Kooyong. Together, we'll discuss the impact of the Voice, the importance of youth engagement, and how you can contribute to making the Voice to Parliament referendum a success.

  • Saturday 18 March 1:00-3:00pm Politics in the Park - Beckett Park, Balwyn
    Together, we'll discuss the issues we're facing in the community, Monique's work in parliament and our hopes for the future of Kooyong. Bring friends, picnic blankets, children and pets!

  • Friday 24 March 6:30 - 8pm: Electric Vehicle Forum - Malvern Town Hall. 
    Join me for the Higgins/Kooyong EV forum, featuring some of the world's leading electric vehicle manufacturers, including BMW, Polestar, Hyundai, Nissan & BYD.  I will be co-presenting the event with my colleague Dr Michelle Ananda-Rajah, the Member for Higgins, and we’ll be joined by Behyad Jafari, CEO of the EV Council.

  • Saturday 1 April Relay for Life - Register to join or donate to Team Mon. Last year we won the day- together, we’ll make a difference again for people and families impacted by cancer. 

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