Memo from Mayo February 11
Welcome to my first Memo from Mayo for 2019. It's been a busy few weeks following the Christmas break with a well-attended barbecue for supporters, a visit from the Minister for Veterans' Affairs Darren Chester and the official opening of our South Coast office.
I am also helping to facilitate a public meeting in Lobethal later this month to investigate a Community Bank® for the district and I extend a personal invitation to you to attend one (or more!) of the 21 community forums we have been busy organising for the month of March.
2019 Community Forums
Rebekha's 2019 Community Forums follow on from the first round of forums the local MP hosted across the region in 2017. These events and the thousands of community surveys returned by residents across the electorate resulted in the production of Rebekha's Community Forum and First Year Report.
Now, due to the Australian Electoral Commission redistribution in South Australia, Mayo is a much larger seat.
This round of community forums welcomes the input of more than 14,000 new electors and encourages all residents to contribute to an action plan going into a new election cycle.
We’ll be talking about the things that matter to you, including affordable and accessible health care, a secure retirement, improved aged care services, better education, nurturing our environment, taking action on climate and energy policy and supporting Australian jobs.
To find out more details and to RSVP please head to www.rebekhasharkie.com.au/forums
Mt Barker Hospital ED petition
CAPTION: Rebekha has launched a petition calling on the State Government to invest $15 million of Federal health funding into an urgent upgrade of the Mount Barker Hospital Emergency Department.
This week Rebekha has kick-started her campaign for an urgent upgrade of Mount Barker Hospital's Emergency Department (ED) which has outgrown its current home.
"We know the Federal Government has set aside an extra $1.3 billion for regional health services," Rebekha said.
"Our State Government needs to ask for our share for the Mount Barker Hospital so our medical professionals can work in a modern ED to meet the growing demands of the growing community it serves.
"Today I have launched a petition calling on the State Health Minister, Stephen Wade, to invest the $15 million needed to make the Mount Barker Hospital ED the type of facility our region deserves."
To sign the petition click here.
Medicare Customer Service Centre for South Coast
CAPTION: The new Medicare Customer Service Centre and Victor Harbor Centrelink office is located at 90 Victoria Street, Victor Harbor, and is open Monday to Friday from 8.30am to 4.30pm.
Rebekha is excited to announce that thanks to her direct advocacy a Medicare Customer Service Centre is now located within the Centrelink office in Victor Harbor to assist residents with all of their Medicare needs, including claims and rebates, or updating bank account details and other personal information.
Rebekha said the new Medicare Customer Service Centre would make life easier for everyone living on the South Coast.
“The Victor Harbor/Goolwa region is home to more than 25,000 people and is one of the fastest growing urban areas in South Australia so the population warrants the services of a major urban centre,” Rebekha said.
“However, it is also the oldest area in the State and I have advocated for this service because I believe our community needs special consideration.
“The more senior residents in my community tell me they need face-to-face service with government agencies, particularly when they are going through difficult life changes such as the death of a partner or a partner moving into an aged care facility."
The new Medicare Customer Service Centre and Victor Harbor Centrelink office is located at 90 Victoria Street, Victor Harbor, and is open Monday to Friday from 8.30am to 4.30pm.
You can read a copy of the letter sent to Rebekha from the Prime Minister in December 2018 confirming the centre agreement here.
Minister for Veterans' Affairs visits
CAPTION: Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Darren Chester with Rebekha at a roundtable at the Strathalbyn RSL.
Mental health services for younger veterans, cuts to advocacy funding and improving disability access at veteran facilities were some of the key issues raised by community leaders and veteran groups when the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Darren Chester, accepted an invitation from Rebekha to visit the electorate.
Rebekha organised a roundtable discussion on veteran support services for stakeholders at the Strathalbyn RSL followed by a morning tea for local RSL and veteran group representatives at the Macclesfield RSL.
“The Minister was extremely generous with his time and I know he appreciated the welcome he received from our veteran community as much as they appreciated the opportunity to raise their concerns directly with him,” Rebekha said.
You can read more in Rebekha's press release here.
Pre-poll voting centre for KI
CAPTION: Rebekha with some KI supporters at a thank you barbecue. The AEC did not provide pre-polling facilities during the 2018 by-election, prompting some complaints.
Thanks to persistent advocacy from Rebekha, the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) has agreed to set up a pre-poll voter facility on Kangaroo Island during the 2019 Federal Election.
The centre will be based in Kingscote in the same facility that will be selected for use on election day.
“This is fantastic news for the Island and I’m glad I continued to push the AEC to revisit the issue when, after the 2018 by-election, they initially rebuffed the possibility of a pre-poll voting centre based on KI’s voter population,” Rebekha said.
“I wrote back and pointed out that Thursday Island in the Torres Strait, which has a similar voter population, was provided with pre-poll voting in the last Federal Election as was Phillip Island in Victoria, which has a bridge to the mainland."
You can read the letter from the Electoral Commission in Rebekha's press release here.
South Coast office officially opened
CAPTION: Rebekha with volunteer JP Rod Lovell at the official opening of the South Coast satellite office last Friday.
Several hundred people turned up last Friday for the official opening of Rebekha Sharkie satellite office on the South Coast.
The satellite electorate office is located at 26 Hindmarsh Road, McCracken, and is open on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 9am to 5pm. A Justice of the Peace is available at the office on Monday mornings from 9am to 12pm.
“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."
Lobethal bank meeting
CAPTION: Late last year members of the Lobethal community organised a petition protesting the closure of the ANZ branch.
Rebekha, local community leaders and representatives from the Bendigo Bank are hosting a public meeting in Lobethal on Tuesday February 26 to explore the option of a Community Bank® model opening in Lobethal.
This option follows the recent closure of the ANZ Bank branch in Lobethal which prompted local residents (pictured) to sign a petition and lobby their local Federal MP.