Memo from Mayo 26 June 2019

Memo from Mayo 26 June 2019

Hello and welcome to my first Memo from Mayo since the 2019 Election.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you once again for placing your trust in me to be your Federal representative.

Please know that I will always put our community first and I will be our independent voice in Canberra because we have so much to achieve together to continue to Make Mayo Matter.

In the past few weeks my team and I have been busy preparing for the first sitting of the 46th Parliament which is officially sworn in next week.

While an official calendar of sitting weeks is yet to be released, we are expecting to work through a busy legislative agenda.

I would like to take this opportunity to state that I and my Centre Alliance colleagues Senator Stirling Griff and Senator Rex Patrick will not support any move by the new Government to repeal the asylum seeker medevac Bill.

This legislation addresses the concerns of national security and insufficient timeframes and it ringfences the legacy caseload of those people left on Manus and Nauru for more than five years.

A long-term solution needs to be found for those left on Manus and Nauru but, in the meantime, Centre Alliance rejects the political scaremongering surrounding this issue.

As pledged during the election campaign, in this Parliament I will be introducing a number of my own Private Member's Bills and Motions on Notice to address issues such as;

Remote tax offset review

Caption: Rebekha on the outskirts of Penneshaw. The cost of the 'water gap' adds significantly to the cost of living on KI.

This week Rebekha welcomed a decision by the Productivity Commission to visit Kangaroo Island as part of its year-long review into concessions for remote Australian communities.

The Island was not listed among the nine community forums scheduled across Australia between March and May until Rebekha wrote to the Commission earlier this month to ask for inclusion.

“The only forum scheduled for South Australia was in Andamooka, which I didn’t think was fair, especially since I felt it was the Island’s petition back in 2017 that kick-started the Commission’s review in the first place,” Rebekha said.

The forum is currently scheduled to be held at the Kangaroo Island Council Chambers on Monday, 8 July, 2-3.30pm.

You can read more about Rebekha's advocacy for the review here.

Freedom of the press

Centre Alliance will introduce legislation into the Senate to propose an amendment to the Australian Constitution to protect freedom of speech and freedom of the press along similar lines to the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, but with an Australian flavour.

The legislation will be introduced by Centre Alliance Senators Rex Patrick and Stirling Griff in the Senate and by Federal Member for Mayo Rebekha Sharkie in the House of Representatives.

"The Australian Federal Police raids on journalists and media organisations provide a salutary warning that freedom of the press, a pillar of our democracy, cannot be taken for granted, and indeed is under significant threat," Rebekha said.  

You can read more here.

NBN tower upgrades

Users of NBN Fixed Wireless technology in parts of the Federal Electorate Mayo may experience some loss of service in the coming week as NBN Co continues its program of tower upgrades across the electorate.

The work is part of a national $800 million schedule of Fixed Wireless Tower maintenance and upgrades to increase cell capacity and ease congestion in peak times. Individual users are only likely to be affected on the day their tower is being upgraded.

“Congestion on certain NBN towers has been an ongoing problem raised not only with my office but in electorates across Australia, so I was pleased to learn that NBN Co is taking steps to address key sites in Mayo,” Rebekha said.

If customers experience ongoing and prolonged disconnections beyond the scheduled works, they need to call their retail service providers in the first instance in case there are other problems that need to be reported.

The following table was provided by NBN Co for publication.

NBN Fixed Wireless Tower Upgrades – Upcoming Works

Towers / Area

Potential Outage Window

Kangarilla, Scott Creek, Cherry Gardens

June 19-21, 2019 & June 24, 2019

Mannum, Harrgoate, Wattle Flat, Brukunga, Tungkillo

June 27, 2019, 7am-8pm

July 5, 2019, 7am-8pm

Goolwa

June 27-29

Cherry Gardens, Kangarilla, Clarendon, Longwood North, Meadows, Mylor, Scott Creek, Crafers West, Echunga South, Echunga North, Littlehampton, Oakbank, Chandlers Hill, Upper Sturt, Scott Creek

June 19-28