At the end of the first full calendar year of my term as your MP for Ryan, I’ve been reflecting on the work our Greens team has been doing in Federal Parliament. Unfortunately, the major parties’ agenda often means Parliament is disconnected from everyday people’s needs and issues.
However, this year the Greens were able to force positive concessions from the government, including putting a hard cap on Australia’s emissions, and securing $3 billion for public and community housing. By withholding our support and ensuring the government doesn’t take our votes for granted, we’ve been able to use our leverage to improve legislation.
In particular, our fight for better outcomes on housing saw hundreds of volunteers hitting the streets across Australia to listen to other everyday people about the housing crisis. We heard them, and we pushed the government to immediately put more direct investment into public and community housing than we’ve seen in a very long time.
It’s important that the issues I’m raising in Parliament are the issues that matter to the people of Ryan. If you have ideas, questions or suggestions, please get in touch or come along to have a chat at one of my regular pop-up offices around the area.
Here are some of my top moments in Parliament this year
Responding to the cost-of-living crisis
The cost of living crisis has only worsened this year, and we’ve been pushing for the government to take on some simple, common-sense proposals to ease pressures for people.
With rents and mortgages skyrocketing, and Labor doing everything they could to resist the Greens’ negotiations on improving their housing plan, housing came up frequently this year. To pick just one, I’m proud of this speech about public housing, calling on the government to just build homes!
Labor’s budget priorities: more for billionaires, less for ordinary Australians
The government has delivered budgets with the guise of “restraint”, but in reality by continuing with the Stage 3 Tax Cuts, tax breaks for property moguls, and spending billions on nuclear submarines, Labor has proved to be content to go on a spending spree for the very wealthy, the big corporations, and weapons manufacturers. I spoke on the Treasurer’s “budgetary restraint” here, and on the government’s failure to address poverty in the budget.
Among others, the government rolled out the red carpet for billionaires with a bill that would give tax cuts for billionaires’ superyachts – watch the speech I made on that here.
The government’s signature climate legislation was the deeply flawed “Safeguard Mechanism” – which we were able to secure some positive concessions on before it was passed. Here was my speech on the bill.
While we secured a hard cap on emissions, making it harder to approve some fossil fuel projects, Labor has continued to approve them. We had some interesting lessons in dodging the question from the Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek, who ignored points of order on relevance as she refused to justify why the government is approving new coal and gas projects.
I also spoke about heatwave preparedness and the need for a nationally coordinated plan – a highly relevant topic as we move into another hot, dry summer, fuelled by worsening climate change.