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November News about the NACC!

The week starting 19 Nov was busy with NDIS hearings –

Perth on Monday, Geelong on Thursday and Melbourne on Friday!

We heard from lots of service providers and NDIS participants about their experiences within the scheme. Common themes were that it has become adversarial and that reviews are in many cases too frequent, with there being too little transparency about the scheme's processes. I've also met with the chair and CEO of the NDIA this week. All members of the committee and the NDIA executive share a real commitment to the scheme.  We appreciate its importance and we want it to be better. We will work towards that in the months and years to come.

Last week I also attended the launch of Smart Epilepsy, held a round table with members of the Indian-Australian Community and met with a number of constituents. Common issues arising in those discussions include difficulty accessing GPs, mental health professionals, some medical therapies and aged care support. I'll work on those issues in Kooyong and in Canberra.
I returned to Canberra early on Sunday morning to join colleagues on the "Bloody Long Walk". We didn't walk all that far but did raise much-needed funds for research into treatments for mitochondrial disease. You can still donate here .

News from Canberra

It's been another huge week in Canberra, starting with celebrating six months since the 2022 Federal election. 


I started the day with breakfast with the Parliamentary Friends of General Practice discussing the crisis in GP numbers and funding. The Medicare system needs major structural reform. I'll be advocating for this next year.


Later Monday morning I supported Andrew Wilkie, Member for Clarke when he revealed a whistleblower report about rorting in the coal industry. We need to improve our whistleblower protections in Australia and to ensure that our emissions reporting is accurate. 


I then supported the Member for Higgins Dr Michelle Ananda-Rajah in speaking to the importance of narrowing the gender pay gap and improving childcare availability.  

Reflecting on the meeting I had with constituents last week I took the opportunity to speak on the India Trade bill. This was an important bill which will improve the India-Australia trade relationship and make it easier for students to undertake educational exchanges between the two countries and for Indian students to spend longer in Australia for their tertiary studies. 

During Question Time I asked Minister Giles about the 31,000 people who arrived in Australia by boat between 2012-2014 and remain on TPVs and SHEVs. We are hoping for action in this space in the very near future and I will continue to advocate for refugees and people seeking asylum.



The day started with a Parliamentary Friends of Organ Donation breakfast after which I met with MPs from across the parliament for the launch of the Community Resettlement Integration Program (CRISP). This program will help members of the public group together to welcome refugee families to their communities. I know that people in Kooyong will be eager to hear more information about how we can work together to bring refugee families stranded overseas to our wonderful community so I've invited CRISP to come to Kooyong to share more information with the community - stay tuned!

It was great to meet kids from Mont Albert Primary School before dashing through Parliament to be interviewed by one of my childhood heroes (and a former constituent of Kooyong),  Michelle Grattan. 


The highlight of this week was debating the bill on the National Anti Corruption Commission. This was one of the major reasons for which Kooyong sent me to Canberra.  We want integrity and transparency from our government, an end to rorts and pork-barreling, and the return of faith in our government and public institutions. I moved an amendment to the NACC, aimed at protecting funding allocations  to the commission, and took the opportunity in that speech to highlight the importance of this bill to Kooyong.


I finished the afternoon with a chat with Raf Epstein on ABC Drive.



Wednesday started with an e-bike ride with Parliamentary Friends of Cycling with Osher Gunsberg and several colleagues, before a press conference about the the Protecting Australia’s Whistleblowers Report.


This calls for the urgent establishment of a Whistleblower Protection Authority – an important step towards defending and enhancing our democracy. I commend this work of Transparency International, the Human Rights Law Centre and Griffith University.  Our existing whistleblower protections are inadequate and need urgent attention. 

I then attended a briefing on the UN State of the World population report, focusing on freedom of reproductive choice in underdeveloped countries. 

Later that day I tabled the Otway Climate Emergency Action Network's petition to stop seismic testing in Australian waters. Seismic testing enables oil and gas companies to map potential reserves below the seabed by blasting the seafloor with high-powered airguns, measuring the echoes to map offshore oil and gas reserves. These blasts disturb, injure and kill marine wildlife.


In the Consideration-in-Detail debate on the October budget I asked the Minister for Infrastructure a question about the Middle Arm project in Darwin Harbour. I remain really concerned about the environmental implications of this development and will continue to push for appropriate environmental assessments.


I finished the day with a meeting with Our Watch, an organisation aimed at ending violence against women and children.



Early morning health committee meeting with COVID vaccine providers; later in the day the health committee had a second meeting with ATAGI. 


Most of the morning was spent in the House debating the NACC bill. For the first time I jumped to my feet and spoke spontaneously in the House- I was moved by frustration that the government had removed most of its protection against pork-barrelling! There's more to be done on that in the Senate.


I had the opportunity to meet with Julianne Finney to hear her concerns about the Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide, and with a delegation of Uyghurs who told me about the human rights abuses that they have experienced in China. 


I was proud to have to have the opportunity to raise the voice of a young constituent of Kooyong. 9 year old Meabh had written about the poor pay and work conditions of people like her mum who are employed in our caring professions.


It was great to meet the Grade Six students visiting from Hartwell Primary. These school visits are a highlight of my days in Canberra so please make sure you let me know if your school is coming!


My week in Canberra finished with attending the launch of a senate inquiry into the Missing and Murdered First Nations Women and Children, hosted by Senator Darina Cox.



It was great to be back in Kooyong on Friday to host an Electorate Office afternoon tea with constituents. I gave them an update on how these first six months in office have been and received some great feedback and suggestions.


I'm counting down the days until we can gather and celebrate together for the Christmas and End of Year Party! Please make sure you register your attendance.

No-one should be alone at Christmas. You're  invited to support Kooyong locals at risk of homelessness with Servants Community Housing. For 36 years, Servants has been providing locals in need with a safe place to call home and a community which loves them. Servants needs your help this Christmas to support the growing number of people struggling to find suitable accommodation. 

By donating to Servants this Christmas, you’ll be supporting 95 people at risk of homelessness in safe, stable accommodation – and growing capacity to ensure more people have the same opportunity. 


It’s been a big year for elections! The state election today will no doubt see some changes. I’ll be out supporting Sophie Torney in Kew, and Melissa Lowe in Hawthorn, because they - like me- have committed to action on climate change and integrity in government. I hope to see you on the streets of  Kooyong. In the meanwhile, look after yourselves (and wear your masks!) 

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