Memo from Mayo - 30 June 2021
Welcome to my latest Memo from Mayo. The Nationals' decision to install Barnaby Joyce as their new Leader and their efforts to attack the integrity of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan with amendments in the Senate and the House of Representatives dominated the attention of Federal Parliament in the last sitting week before the winter break.
It's not often that I can put out an urgent call to all my parliamentary colleagues in South Australia to attend a hastily arranged press conference, and I can count on MPs and Senators from all sides of politics to turn up. But so it was last week. The fate of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan is a uniting issue for us all. I would like to thank those Members who were able to take time from their busy schedules to attend my press conference, including Liberal Member for Sturt James Stevens, Independent Senator Rex Patrick, Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young, Labor Senators Don Farrell and Marielle Smith, and Liberal Senator Andrew McLachlan.
Nationals MP Keith Pitt retains the Water and Resources Ministry but he has been demoted to the outer Ministry. This means water and the Murray will not have a voice at the Cabinet table. This is deeply disturbing. I continue to maintain that the fate of the Murray should be taken out of the hands of the Nationals. The Basin Plan must be delivered in full and on time and Centre Alliance will continue to fight for the sustainable future of the Murray.
You can watch some of the press conference on YouTube here and you can read more on Rebekha's website here. You can also watch Rebekha's speech addressing the Nationals' attempt in the House of Representatives to amend the Basin Plan on YouTube here.
Rebekha also raised the delivery of 450GL of environmental water to the Murray River during Question Time the previous week. You can access the link on her website.
Positive Ageing Forums
If the current COVID-19 restrictions in South Australia ease (as planned) on Monday, Rebekha's Positive Ageing Forums on July 15 and 16 will continue to go ahead.
Unfortunately, quarantine rules will mean Dementia Australia Ambassador Ita Buttrose will be unable to travel to South Australia for the event. Rebekha is working with Dementia Australia to organise another keynote speaker.
Other guest speakers who remain confirmed include South Australian icon Maggie Beer, who will be talking about nutrition at every stage and age; Ian Henschke, National Seniors Australia Chief Advocate; Carolanne Barkla, Chief Executive of Aged Rights Advocacy Service and Ian Yates, Chief Executive of Councils on the Ageing (COTA).
"After a year of global change and as we face new changes in the delivery of our aged care services, I would like to invite you to one of my positive ageing forums to share information, resources and ideas to celebrate positive ageing. This is a time to bring our community together," Rebekha said.
More details below. Bookings are essential.
Adelaide Hills Positive Ageing Forum - Cornerstone College, Mount Barker
Thursday, July 15, 9am-12pm
Guest speakers include Ian Henschke, National Seniors Australia Chief Advocate; Carolanne Barkla, Chief Executive of Aged Rights Advocacy Service; and Dementia Australia spokesperson (TBA).
South Coast Positive Ageing Forum - Investigator College, Victor Harbor
Friday, July 16, 9am-12pm
Guest speakers include Ian Henschke, National Seniors Australia Chief Advocate; Maggie Beer, Aged Care Nutrition Advocate; Ambassador; and Ian Yates, Chief Executive of COTA
Renewables in the Regions
Helen Haines MP, Federal Member for Indi, will be the special guest speaker at a renewable energy event being hosted by Rebekha at the Stirling RSL Sub-Branch on Thursday, July 8, 7-8.30pm.
Helen will be giving a presentation on Indi’s community energy journey and their ‘Local Power Plan’. You can read more about the Local Power Plan here.
Rebekha and Helen are both Co-Chairs of the Parliamentary Friends for Climate Action.
Registration is essential and can be made here. The event is subject to COVID-19 restrictions.
Transport Issues in the Hills
Rebekha has been invited to be one of the guest speakers at a Hills Transport Forum being held on Tuesday, July 6, in Cinema One at Wallis Cinemas Mount Barker.
The forum starts at 7pm and is being organised by the South Australian Transport Action Group Inc. and co-sponsored by the Mount Barker District Council.
The Forum will have a range of guest speakers who will discuss long-term strategies to fix traffic problems including safety and congestion on the South East Freeway; passenger rail to the Hills; a Hills rail bypass; Mallee rail lines and congestion in the Eastern suburbs.
For more information log onto the Mount Barker District Council website.
The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Amendment (Standards and Assurance) Bill 2021 went to a vote in the House of Representatives last week, with Rebekha voting against the legislation.
"Centre Alliance is not opposed to the reform of our national environmental laws. We think it is necessary and long overdue, and so does Professor Samuel's review of our existing legislation," Rebekha said.
"But any reform needs to be done right, and that's not what the parliament has been presented with. I voted against the streamlining approvals bill and late yesterday I voted against the standards bill.
You can read Rebekha's speech here.
Channel 44 to Stay On-Air
South Australia’s community television station Channel 44 will remain on-air until 2024 thanks to Rebekha's advocacy.
With the station staring down another June 30 deadline to being switched off, Rebekha worked with the Federal Government and her crossbench colleagues in the Senate to secure free-to-air broadcasting access for the Adelaide channel and Channel 31 in Melbourne and Geelong until 2024.
“I am delighted that Channel 44 will remain on air until 30 June 2024,” Rebekha said.
“This is team South Australia working for South Australians to allow this valued creative service to continue."
Sports Rorts Petition
Rebekha recently tabled a petition in Federal Parliament on behalf of the Goolwa District Pony Club.
The petition called on the Government to fund, in full, all the highly ranked projects that missed out on community sporting infrastructure program funding as a result of the sports rorts scandal.
The pony club missed out on funding and so did the highly ranked Cherry Gardens Ironbank Recreation Ground, Coromandel Valley Ramblers Cricket Club, Echunga Netball Club, McLaren Vale Football Club, Adelaide Hills Hawks Football Club, Lobethal Tennis Club.
Queen's Birthday Honours
A total of 15 Mayo residents received Queen's Birthday Honours in June.
Rebekha recently gave a speech congratulating all the Mayo recipients, including Anthony Phillips, Maxine Weber, Christopher Bastian, Angela Weeks, Richard Willing, Sonya Ryan, Kevin Curran, John Vander Veeken, Geoffrey Wark, Robert Finn, Joan Playford, Kevin Kleemann, Michael Bohrnsen, Sgt Jarrad Mildrum and Maxine McSherry.
You can watch her speech on YouTube here.