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Peter Dutton's Legacy

In this newsletter, a look at what the Voice result means for the country. Plus, an update on what's been happening around Kooyong since the referendum.

The dust has now settled on the Voice referendum.

I want to once again thank the more than 700 volunteers who made sure that we were one of the electorates which led the nation. In the end, Kooyong had one of the highest Yes votes in the country— but Victoria, and Australia, voted no.

I’m sorry to First Nations Australians who offered the Voice to Australia, only for us to say no. It will take time for them to properly grieve the result.

I believe the referendum was lost because Peter Dutton condemned it to failure by declining to offer it bipartisan support. Sitting in the House, it was apparent his decision was based on a political calculation — not his values or beliefs. His decision has harmed our country.

The No campaign’s disinformation, aided and abetted by Peter Dutton, has sowed division and caused harm. As a nation, we have to work towards greater truth in our public discourse. I’m already working with my crossbench colleagues on legislation to enforce truth in political advertising in this country.

My team and I — and you, our community — will continue to work towards a more generous and inclusive Australia. The Voice is only one part of the invitation made in the Uluru Statement from the Heart. The others are Truth, and Treaty. We can still work towards reconciliation. Conversations on how best to do that have already started in Canberra. I’ll report back to you often on progress there and I look forward to hearing your thoughts as well.

In this newsletter: an update on the conflict in Israel and Gaza, some exciting news for Burwood Cricket Club, a young constituent’s beautiful artwork, and a look back at the magnificent Electrify Boroondara Expo.

Israel And Gaza

The attack by Hamas forces earlier in the month - which I have condemned absolutely - and the response from Israel have resulted in the death of thousands of innocent civilians. I mourn all of those lives. Violence and war are never a solution to our conflicts; they are not a path to peace.

Now, more than ever, we must press all governments to find peace in this time of terrible violence.

I spoke to this publicly in Parliament last week.

I support the joint statement released by the governments of the US, UK, Canada, France, Germany, also supported by the Australian government, calling for “the immediate release of hostages and adherence to international humanitarian law, including the protection of civilians”.

I also support the statement released by Foreign Minister Penny Wong, which called for “humanitarian pauses on hostilities so that food, water, medicines and other essential assistance can reach people in desperate need, and so civilians can reach safety.”

Back home, I have appreciated listening to our local Jewish and Muslim communities, many of whom have personal connections to the conflict. All are united in their belief that we must have zero tolerance for anti-Semitism and Islamophobia.

One of Israel’s first citizens — when it declared independence in 1948 — is a 97-year-old Holocaust survivor named Sarah Saaroni. Ms Saaroni now lives in Kooyong. She spoke to The Age last week:

“Who is really the victim in all of this?” She said. “It is the innocent people on both sides. The children, the families. It is the innocent who always lose the most.”

If any Israeli, Palestinian, Jewish or Muslim members of our community need support from me or my team, please get in touch.

Exciting News For Burwood Cricket Club

Burwood Cricket Club has a new player — and there’s a story behind how she got there.

Mode is a professional cricket player — she has played for Zimbabwe — but was struggling to get her visa approved so she could come to Australia.

As one of Burwood Cricket Club’s coaches and batswomen, she’s an important part of the team — so when the Club found out about the visa issues, it got in touch with my team and we went to work.

We managed to get Mode’s visa approved within weeks and she arrived in Kooyong earlier in the month.

It was wonderful meeting Mode and the rest of the team; they’re absolutely thrilled to have her there (I think Mode’s very respectable 80* on Sunday helped with that…)

Congratulations, Mode, and best of luck to Burwood Cricket Club for the rest of the season.

Ethan’s Beautiful Artwork

Ethan, 10, is one of the 25 students in Kooyong who have submitted an artwork for the 2023 Wild At Art competition, run by the Australian Conservation Foundation to raise awareness about threatened native animals and plants.

The artworks were all wonderful — I’ve long maintained that Kooyong is a thoroughly creative electorate.

Ethan’s was one of them — he painted this beautiful Manta Ray. Congratulations on your fine work, Ethan, and best of luck in the Wild At Art competition.

Separate to the ACF’s competition, my office did its own call out to schools asking for entries for our upcoming seasonal holiday cards, and received hundreds of responses. Thanks to everyone who submitted artwork — you’ve made the task of selecting the winners very difficult.

The Magnificent Electrify Boroondara Expo

My team is still winding up after the recent Electrify Boroondara Expo, which was a remarkable success.

Over a thousand people streamed into the Hawthorn Arts Centre to learn how they could save on their power bills or switch to an electric vehicle. Congratulations and thanks to the core team who delivered a really great day, and to the many volunteers who helped out before or on the day.

I followed up with a crossbench proposal to decrease the cost of the energy transition for landlords and renters, and will continue to work on policy pieces to help all Australians decarbonise our homes and transport options.

What’s On With Mon

The best part of this job is getting out into the community and hearing your thoughts, concerns, and ideas.

Come find me at Camberwell Station on Tuesday 31 October at 7:30am. No need to RSVP.

The best part of this job is getting out into the community and hearing your thoughts, concerns, and ideas.

Come find me at Hawthorn Station on Friday 3 November at 7:30am. No need to RSVP.

When you elected me last year, I promised politics done differently.

Town Halls like these are a key part of that commitment — be sure to RSVP to my next one, which is coming up on Thursday 9 November from 7:00-8:30pm at Hawthorn Arts Centre.

I’m speaking at the ACF’s upcoming community forum, ‘Nature’s Voice in Action’.

RSVP for your seat at the Friday 10 November event, starting at 6:45pm at Hawthorn Arts Centre.

As always, my team and I are always here to help where we can.

Have a great weekend,


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