Memo from Mayo December 21
Merry Christmas and welcome to my last Memo from Mayo for 2018.
It's been a huge year for the electorate - but I believe we have achieved a great deal for our community.
The following items are just some of the more recent highlights.
Please note that our Mount Barker Electorate Office will be closed from 25 December 2018 and will reopen on 2 January 2019 while our new South Coast satellite office will be closed from 20 December 2018 and will reopen on 2 January 2019.
My team and I look forward to working with you in 2019.
Permanent South Coast office
Rebekha now has a permanent presence on the South Coast, opening an office at Victor Harbor.
The satellite electorate office is located at 22 Hindmarsh Road, McCracken, and will be open on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 9am to 5pm.
“I have always believed that Mayo constituents needed a more accessible office on the Fleurieu,” Rebekha said.
“Unfortunately the Australian Electoral Commission ruled that Mayo wasn’t large enough geographically to warrant two full-time electorate offices but we have sourced sufficient funds within our budget to fund a permanent satellite office three days a week.
“Given it is so close to Christmas, it was a low-key opening on December 10 but I will host a celebratory sausage sizzle for the community in late January."
Appointments with staff at the South Coast can be booked on scheduled opening days between 9am and 4.30pm by calling (08) 8398 5566.
Mental health funding boost
Rebekha, centre, attended a youth mental health forum in Victor Harbor during the recent by-election. During that forum, she discussed her campaign to bring a 'shop front' headspace mental health service to the Fleurieu with Eastern Fleurieu School Strathalbyn student Ebony Brackstone, left, Victor Harbor High School students Matthew Pajer and Jorja Hann-Barke and Investigator College students Isabella and Gabby Cook.
The Federal Government’s $3 million funding injection into ‘headspace’ mental health services at Mt Barker and Victor Harbor over the next four years is just what the doctor ordered for the young people of Mayo.
After many years of advocacy by Rebekha to improve mental health services for young people in the electorate, Health Minister Greg Hunt has now announced that $800,000 will be shared between the two regional centres this financial year to expand and set up satellite services with ongoing funding of $760,000 per annum for a further three years.
“This announcement means more young people will get the support they need, it means the expanded Mount Barker ‘headspace’ is better able to meet the ever-growing demand for its services and young people on the South Coast have much better access to youth-specific services than they ever had in the past," Rebekha said.
You can read more in Rebekha's press release here.
You can also watch Rebekha talking about the issue in Question Time back in October here.
Aged Care Bill update
A parliamentary committee has recommended the adoption of Rebekha's Private Member’s Bill to require the publication of staffing ratios in aged care facilities.
The Standing Committee on Health, Aged Care and Sport released its recommendation earlier this month saying there was a pressing need to increase transparency in the aged care system and the Aged Care Amendment (Staffing Ratio Disclosure) Bill 2018 was a “first step”.
You can read more about the announcement here.
Freeway slip lane
Rebekha has welcomed an announcement by the Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack that work on a third lane on the freeway between Stirling and Crafers will be finished in 2019.
Mr McCormack, the Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, was responding to Rebekha during Question Time when the Member for Mayo asked when the long-promised freeway upgrade would be completed.
Heritage listing bid for the Bight
Rebekha has introduced a Private Member’s Bill into the Parliament to grant National Heritage Status to the Great Australian Bight to protect this pristine environment from risky mining activities.
The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Amendment (Heritage Listing for the Bight) Bill 2018 was tabled in early December.
“I believe that my Bill strikes the right balance between sovereign risk and social, economic and environmental protection,” Rebekha said.
“In recognition of that balance, whilst my Bill does not outright ban oil drilling in the Bight, it does set a significantly higher environmental impact threshold when the regulator, the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA), assesses offshore oil and gas activities in this biodiversity hotspot and major fisheries resource.”
Live sheep export update
The Federal Parliament has missed the chance to phase out long-haul live sheep exports in a 'measured' way with the House of Representatives recently voting down a Senate motion instigated by Centre Alliance Senator Rex Patrick.
The motion called on the Government to legislate a ban on long-haul live sheep exports.
“The Australian Livestock Exporters' Council’s recent self-imposed three-month moratorium on shipments during the Northern Hemisphere summer is just delaying the inevitable transition away from long-haul sheep exports to the Middle East," Rebekha said.
“In the last week of Parliament for 2018 we had a chance to debate the issue, the opportunity to have a vote on my Private Member’s Bill to resolve this issue, but the Government chose to kick the can down the road and put it off until next year."
UN Youth Representative
Photo: Federal Member for Mayo Rebekha Sharkie, right, hosted Amos Washington, Australia’s Youth Representative to the United Nations, pictured centre, as he presented his 2018 Youth Representative Consultation Report in Canberra. The launch was attended by Parliamentarians and staff including Michael Cornish, pictured left.
In the last week of Parliament Rebekha hosted Amos Washington, Australia’s Youth Representative to the United Nations, as he presented his 2018 Youth Representative Consultation Report.
The report follows Amos' representation to the UN General Assembly in New York last month and summarises the findings of a six-month consultative ‘Listening Tour’ of young people around Australia.
Rebekha also tabled the report to the Parliament and spoke about Amos’s findings in the House of Representatives.
Fighting for road funding
In the last weeks of Parliament Rebekha called on the Government to continue Supplementary Road Funding so councils have the resources they need to upgrade local roads.
Centre Alliance negotiated $40 million for SA for the past two financial years to provide a stop gap for funding slashed in 2014 but more investment is needed.
"Road safety is everyone’s responsibility but we need to keep investing in the condition of our roads," Rebekha said.
You can read Rebekha's recent speech in Parliament here.
And you can watch part of her speech here.
Mayo service awards
Photo: Rebekha presents a Mayo Community Service Award to Ciel Schmarr from Mount Barker Waldorf School.
Mayo Community Service Awards have been presented to 18 senior students across the electorate by Rebekha and her team.
The award is conferred to a senior student who has demonstrated a keen interest in social justice and shown great community leadership potential.
"This is about hearts and minds coming together and I congratulate all recipients," Rebekha said.
"My congratulations also go out to all of our young community leaders in Mayo, and I'd also like to congratulate all of the students who are graduating from year 12 this year."
You can read more about the recipients here.
Local Sporting Champions
Photo: Trampoline gymnast Charlotte McAvaney was a recipient of a Local Sporting Champion grant in a previous round.
Rebekha is pleased to announce that the Mayo’s Local Sporting Champions for Round 2, 2018-19 have been approved by the Australian Sports Commission.
The Local Sporting Champions program is an Australian Government initiative which provides funding assistance to young sportsmen and women who are participating in a state, national or international sporting competition.
"I congratulate all of our recipients on their sporting achievements thus far. I am a strong believer in the value of sport to communities, and I wish all our Local Sporting Champions all the best in their competitive endeavours," Rebekha said.
You can read more about the recipients and how to apply for the next Local Sporting Champions round here.
Baring all for cancer support
Photo: Rebekha with the calendar girls Kathleen Moyle, front left, Judy Vallance, Pam Graham, Jan Moon, back left, Nola Ward, Kaye Steele, Janet Morgan, Marian Blewett, June Tuohy, Helen Miller and Bronwyn Herraman.
Rebekha attended the Riverside Retirement Village annual Christmas party at the South Lakes Golf Club at Goolwa where she met the lovely Riverside ladies who donned their birthday suits for a calendar to raise money to support those touched by cancer.
All funds from the calendars (which also include recipes!) will go to the Fleurieu Cancer Support Foundation, a group of dedicated volunteers providing services and support to members of the Fleurieu community affected by cancer.
The calendars are being sold for $12 and are available from the Riverside Retirement Village and Rebekha Sharkie’s offices at Victor Harbor and Mount Barker.