Our first Memo from Mayo
Welcome to our first Memo from Mayo!
Memo from Mayo is my new online newsletter offering regular but brief updates of my work in the electorate and in Federal Parliament.
What a difference a fortnight makes
Much has happened in the first fortnight of Federal Parliament since the July 28 by-election.
Rebekha was officially sworn in as the Federal Member for Mayo on Monday, August 13, walking in with her chosen sponsors - Cathy McGowan, the Independent Member for Indi, and Andrew Wilkie, the Independent Member for Denison.
(During the campaign Rebekha filmed a video with Andrew Wilkie where they discuss the benefits of voting independent. You can watch the video here.)
A week later the Liberal Party imploded. Following leadership ballots, Australia's Treasurer and the NSW Member for Cook, the Hon. Scott Morrison was announced as the new Prime Minister with the Victorian Member for Kooyong, the Hon Josh Frydenberg, announced as the Liberals' Deputy Leader.
In 2016 Rebekha gave a verbal assurance to former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull that she would support him on issues of confidence and supply.
Supply is no longer an issue but Rebekha is reserving her decision on the issue of confidence pending feedback from the community.
"The Government still has a majority and I am not aware when Malcolm Turnbull will resign from Parliament," Rebekha said.
"I believe strongly in good governance and will be seeking feedback from my community regarding the issue of confidence for the new Prime Minister.
"I thank Malcolm Turnbull for his leadership and service to our nation and extend my best wishes."
Welcome to Mayo!
It's official. South Australia’s representation in Federal Parliament has dropped from 11 to 10 seats and Mayo now has nearly 14,000 new voters from neighbouring electorates.
The change was gazetted last month but the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) tabled its final report on the state’s redistribution in the Senate last week.
The map below shows the areas that have moved to other electorates (shaded red) and the areas that are now part of Mayo (shaded green).
Prompted by South Australia’s falling population, the redistribution of electorates began in early September 2017 with the AEC eventually resolving to abolish the seat of Port Adelaide.
There was speculation that Mayo that might be the seat to be axed but that scenario was averted after 195 residents in the electorate made submissions to the AEC to keep the electorate intact.
The AEC report is available here.
Keeping promises: Aged Care staffing ratios
Rebekha has fulfilled her by-election promise to introduce a Private Member’s Bill to mandate the publication of staff-to-resident ratios by job description on the Federal Government’s My Aged Care website.
The Aged Care Amendment (Staffing Ratio Disclosure) Bill 2018 was introduced during her first week back. It aims to provide greater transparency for families moving loved ones into residential care so they can make more informed choices about the facilities they consider.
“I have the oldest electorate in South Australia and the eighth oldest in the country so aged care is an important issue for my community, and they are deeply concerned that many facilities do not have enough staff with the right qualifications to care for residents,” Rebekha said.
“When I have an elderly man in tears in my office because his wife nearly choked to death in a residential care facility because he couldn’t find a staff member to help, then there is something wrong with the current system."
The Bill will now progress to an inquiry to examine this matter more closely.
Fund Our ABC
Rebekha honoured another by-election commitment by lodging a motion calling on the Government to reverse nearly $340 million in funding cuts to the ABC.
She also tabled a petition signed by nearly 700 people from Mayo calling for a return to pre-2014 funding for the national broadcaster and an end to speculation that the Government would privatise the ABC.
Karma Kegs helping our farmers
The drought gripping the Eastern States has touched all Australians.
Rebekha spoke in Parliament about Corinna and Frank from the Prancing Pony Brewery at Littlehampton who have provided 70 'Karma Kegs' to venues to raise money for Drought Angels.
You can join the No Grain. No Food. No Beer campaign by buying a pint of pilsner at local pubs including The Barker Hotel, The Haus, Normanville Hotel and The Duck Inn (and the Prancing Pony!).
There are 31 venues across Australia taking part in the campaign, which ends in early September, with all proceeds going to the charity Drought Angels.