Memo from Mayo 11 September 2020
Welcome to my latest Memo from Mayo. I'm back home in Mayo after two busy weeks in Canberra where Federal Parliament extended an amended JobSeeker program and the Government forced higher education reforms and changes to the EPBC Act through the Lower House. I also met with Melissa Price, the Minister for Defence Industry, who informed me about a $1million grant for Mount Barker business Team Zenith, and I was pleased to help my Crossbench colleague Zali Steggall MP relaunch her Climate Change Bill campaign. I have been keeping close to home and taking the mandated COVID-19 tests (all negative). Late in September, I am hosting mobile electorate offices in the Aldinga, Willunga and McLaren Vale area before heading back to Canberra for Budget Week. I hope you enjoy reading about my work in the Parliament and the community.
River Win For Mayo
After long advocating for the Murray-Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) to have a permanent presence in the Lower Lakes and Coorong region, Rebekha has welcomed the recent announcement of a 'Goolwa Region Regional Co-ordination Officer'.
The Commonwealth-funded position was announced last week by the Federal Water Minister Keith Pitt and South Australian Senator Anne Ruston.
“I have been advocating for a Regional Engagement Officer to be based at Goolwa for more than two years now following the Government’s successful pilot trial of the officer program across the Basin,” Rebekha said.
Rebekha said the officer role was critical for the region but the Government now needed to take the next step and set up a Murray River Research Institute in Goolwa.
You can read more in her press release here:
EPBC Bill Vote
Rebekha and her Centre Alliance colleague Senator Stirling Griff have signalled that they will not even consider supporting changes to the EPBC Act without an inquiry and enforceable national standards.
Last week the Government used its numbers to gag debate in the Lower House and ram through The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Amendment (Streamlining Environmental Approvals) Bill 2020.
"The actions of the Government in the final hour of sitting for the fortnight sets a dangerous precedent and diminishes our democracy," Rebekha said.
“We owe it to future generations to get this right. The legislation as it stands today puts the cart before the horse."
You can read more in Rebekha's media release here.
$1M grant for Team Zenith
Team Zenith, a defence industry business based in Mount Barker, has secured a $1 million grant under the Federal Government’s Sovereign Industrial Capability Priority Program.
The company, which operates under the banner of Zenith Custom Creations, has been awarded the grant to expand its manufacturing capability to produce and repair deployable planning facilities for the Australian Defence Force.
“Melissa Price, the Minister for Defence Industry, informed me of the successful allocation during a meeting in Parliament last week,” Federal Member for Mayo Rebekha said.
You can read more in Rebekha's media release here:
Bushfires Interim Report
Rebekha has welcomed the Interim observations released by the Bushfire Royal Commission last week.
“Mayo experienced enormous losses in the Black Summer Bushfires in both the Adelaide Hills and on Kangaroo Island. The bushfires burnt through more than 300,000 hectares, around 185 homes were destroyed, and three people lost their lives,” Rebekha said.
“Many of the observations in the interim report echo the feedback I have received from the landholders, government stakeholders, emergency services and recovery agencies.”
You can read more about the report here:
Rebekha and her Centre Alliance colleague Senator Stirling Griff both supported the passage of the legislation extending the JobKeeper scheme through their respective Houses of Parliament.
The Coronavirus Economic Response Package (JobKeeper Payments) Amendment Bill 2020 was a key piece of legislation debated by the Parliament in the last sitting fortnight.
“The economy in Mayo is recovering slowly but there are some sectors that still need support and some businesses just starting to turn a profit that really need some workplace flexibility. JobKeeper 2.0 will enable that recovery to continue,” Rebekha said.
“In Mayo 4,604 businesses registered for JobKeeper in the first month, it was available. That's close to half of the approximately 11,000 businesses in Mayo.”
You can read more here:
Climate Change Bill Relaunch
Rebekha joined Zali Steggall MP as the Member for Warringah relaunched her Climate Change Bill campaign on August 31.
COVID-19 restrictions had delayed the introduction of Zali's Climate Change (National Framework for Adaptation and Mitigation) Bill 2020. The bill has now been updated following consultation with business groups, environmental organisations, law experts and federal MPs.
The Bill will be seconded by Rebekha and is expected to be tabled in November.
You can read more about the Bill on Rebekha's website here:
Mobile Electorate Offices
Rebekha has scheduled mobile electorate offices at Aldinga, Willunga and McLaren Vale between September 22 and September 25.
Flyers were posted to households and appointments are filling up fast. Bookings are essential. Ring Rebekha's office on 8398 5566.
You can view the flyer here:
Speeches in Parliament
Rebekha spoke on a range of issues in Parliament on the last sitting fortnight. You can listen to some of them on her Youtube channel.