Memo from Mayo September 17
Another week of Parliament has begun. Here's an overview of a few of the issues Rebekha raised last week.
Live Sheep Export Bill 'dead in the water'
Last week the new Morrison Government scuttled a hard fought for compromise to phase out long-haul live sheep exports.
Mirror legislation of the Private Member's Bill lodged by Sussan Ley, the Member for Farrer, was passed by the Senate and came down to the House of Reps where it was blocked by the Government.
Three Coalition MPs who originally supported a phased-in ban refused to cross the floor - including the Member for Farrer who is now an Assistant Minister.
Rebekha, who is Centre Alliance’s spokesperson for Agriculture and Rural Affairs, and her Senate colleagues are “bitterly disappointed” by the decision and will now look for a way forward to phase out long haul live sheep export.
Community fights to keep bank branches
Rebekha took an opportunity in Federal Parliament to highlight community concern about the ANZ bank's decision to close branches in Lobethal and Goolwa in the coming months.
Lobethal and Goolwa, in particular, have an older population that will feel the impact the most.
Garry Hughes from GE Hughes Construction is running a petition in Lobethal to ask the ANZ to change its mind. The petition can be found in most businesses in the town.
In the meantime, Rebekha has written to the ANZ and is scheduled to meet with representatives after the September sittings.
We need a Federal ICAC
In an era of declining trust in politicians, it should be essential that the parliament support a commission which holds all politicians, their advisers and senior public servants to account.
Last week Rebekha and her crossbench colleagues took the lead during Matters of Public Importance (MPI) and used their time to talk about the need for an ICAC.
The MPI debate followed on from a press conference outside the ACT Magistrates Court where Rebekha stood beside Andrew Wilkie MP and Senator Nick McKim before the first Directions Hearing of whistleblower Witness K and lawyer Bernard Collaery.
Witness K had raised concerns about a covert Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS) operation he ran to bug East Timor's cabinet in 2004 during negotiations about an oil and gas treaty.
Centre Alliance joins Andrew Wilkie and Senator McKim in calling on the Attorney General to the prosecution against Bernard Collaery and to fully investigate the bugging of the East Timorese Cabinet for commercial gain.
Fighting for better mental health services
During the by-election, Rebekha promised to advocate for a shop front 'headspace' service for the Fleurieu Peninsula.
Approaches have been made to the Minister for Health Greg Hunt.
But while waiting for a response, Rebekha took the opportunity to raise the issue when a Coalition MP moved a motion congratulating the Government on its investment in mental health programs.
"Frankly, I think so much more needs to be done in this space and our young people need more than a phone call or email referral," Rebekha said.
Big 'thank you' to our volunteers
In the past fortnight, Rebekha has hosted 'thank you' events for her volunteers on the South Coast and in the Adelaide Hills.
"I wouldn’t have the privilege of being in this role if it wasn’t for my amazing group of volunteers," Rebekha said.
"We don't have the money of the major parties but we have something so much better - people power.
"Thank you to all our volunteers for everything you have done, big or small. It all makes a difference."
This Friday Rebekha heads to Kangaroo Island for a 'thank you' event in Kingscote as well as a number of constituent and stakeholder meetings, the official opening of the KI Sculpture Trail and a visit to the Kingscote Farmers Market.