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Our Community's Wonderful ANZAC Spirit

If you have ever wondered how independents help to get things done in Canberra, this week offered up a prime example.

Since January, I've been pushing hard for a change to prescription medications that would see six million Australians save hundreds of dollars each year.


In short, the changes I was calling for would have allowed Australians on stable, long-term doses of one of 325 medications prescribed for common chronic illnesses to collect two months' worth of medication when they fill out their script at the pharmacy, instead of the usual one month.  They also would mean you could receive scripts for 12 months, rather than six months, which would save GP's time, save your time by reducing trips to the GP, and save patients up to $180 per medicine per year.


These changes were first recommended by the independent Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee back in 2018, but not previously actioned by the Morrison or Albanese governments. I made some noise in the media, stood up in Parliament, and worked with the experts behind the scenes to ensure we kept the issue on the government's agenda.

This week, that hard work paid off, with the Federal Government announcing one of the largest changes to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme in years. It's wonderful news, and shows how independents can keep governments on track and ensure they are listening to the experts.


That's the power of the independents.

Catching Up In Kooyong

It's certainly been a busy time returning to Kooyong after the last sitting fortnight and I've thoroughly enjoyed being back in the community.


I had a great time listening to your concerns (and checking out the incredible regional produce) at the Boroondara Farmers’ Market, before catching up with more of you at the Balwyn Shopping Centre. 


It was also great to be able to spend time with local constituents who dropped into the office for morning tea and discuss their concerns over refreshments. I’ll be hosting another Tea with Mon on the afternoon of 7 June – RSVP here.

Some of the highlights of the past couple weeks include giving a talk to the Chinese Children's Orchestra at Trinity Grammar School, and handing leadership badges to children at Mont Albert Primary School, as well as welcoming new Australian citizens into our community at the Whitehorse Citizenship Ceremony. It was inspiring to hear so many different stories about people’s hopes as they join our community.

A Wonderful ANZAC Story

When we found out the Hawthorn RSL Branch had lost its choir ahead of their Anzac Day Dawn Service, our wonderful community was more than happy to help out.

My incredible team put a call out for anyone who would be willing to form our own community choir for the service — and we received a remarkable response. Led by Beth from Hummingsong Community Choir, more than 40 people turned up at Hawthorn RSL's dawn service to make sure we did our bit to remember the fallen. It never ceases to amaze me how kind-hearted our community is.

I was honoured to attend the ANZAC Day Dawn Service in Surrey Hills, before joining the Hawthorn and Camberwell RSL services later in the day, with a representative from my office attending the Kew service on my behalf.

ANZAC Day was an opportunity to reflect on the sacrifices of so many to support the values we hold dear as a free and open society, and recognise the historic community sacrifices made. 


Lest we forget.



Protecting Our Beautiful Native Forests

I was fortunate enough to recently tour the Wombat National Forest and see first-hand the significant devastation its endured in recent years. Experts from the Victorian National Parks Association showed me how the native forest had been devastated by extreme weather events and clear-fell logging.

I also visited the Central Highlands Forest with a French documentary film team investigating forest, fire and biodiversity policy and management using the most recent scientific research that’s available.

Back in the office, the Wilderness Society provided me with a briefing on the Nature Repair Market Bill, their desire for an independent Environmental Protection Agency, and increased Commonwealth funding for biodiversity conservation.

Also in the environment space, I met with Greenpeace Australia to discuss fuel efficiency standards. While I welcome the recent announcement that the Federal Government is planning to introduce FES for new cars, there's a lot to do to make electric vehicles cheap enough for all Australians to be able to access one — and to increase supply into the country. 


Keeping An Eye On Healthcare

The wonderful news about cheaper medications for six million Australians isn't the only important work on healthcare I've been focussing on. 

The Parliamentary Health, Aged Care and Sport Committee — of which I am a member — released its report into Long COVID this week. We found that long COVID is more common than generally recognised, is difficult to diagnose and manage, and that our healthcare system is struggling to support people affected by this severe and complex condition. The COVID pandemic is not over, and scientists predict there will be more frequent pandemics in the future. We have to learn from COVID; this report is an important step in the right direction.


You can read my media release issued in response to the report here.

I was also fortunate to recently attend the launch of the world’s first commercially available autonomous wheelchair module for power wheelchairs at Deakin University, released through the Camberwell-based Control Bionics’ DROVE program. The product helps those people who have trouble operating their joystick-enabled wheelchair at home. Here is a short video that explains the technology and its life-changing benefits to disabled users.

While my team gears up for an important six months campaigning for the Voice to Parliament, I met with representatives from community-led First Nations organisation Children's Ground, based in Alice Springs.

Created to close the gap and help First Nations children realise lifelong opportunity, through evidence and practice the organisation is demonstrating critical impact in health, early education and employment as well as maintaining important relationships with local culture and practice.

I've also spent time learning about the important work that The Compassionate Friends of Victoria in Canterbury does in supporting bereaved parents and siblings. This wonderful group is open to helping all people who lose a child, brother or sister — I urge anyone dealing with this sort of loss to reach out to the Compassionate Friends.

Up Next: Budget Week

The next time I'll be in Canberra is for Budget Week, with the Government announcing its budget on Tuesday 8 May.

I have been advocating for the government to do more to reduce fossil fuel emissions as well as easing of cost-of-living pressures. Electrifying our homes will save household thousands of dollars annually as well as reducing Australia’s fossil fuel emissions more rapidly.

The May Budget MUST include measures to fight inflation and support households to reduce their energy bills by electrifying their homes. I will be reporting back to the electorate on the Budget once it is handed down.

Kooyong Says Yes!

You should soon be seeing new leaflets about the Voice to Parliament in your mailbox, thanks to a great team of volunteers hitting the streets over the coming days and weeks.

My team and I will be campaigning hard to help the Voice to Parliament referendum succeed. If you would like to play a part in assisting with the Kooyong Says Yes campaign to support the Voice please sign up here.

What's on with Mon

If you have any issues or concerns please reach out to my office by calling 9326 2900 or email me [email protected]


I hope to see you at upcoming events in the constituency. I'll also be updating you again soon with more news from Kooyong and Canberra after Parliament returns for Budget week.


Stay well,

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