Newsletters 2024

Week 89: A strong and united Sydney is more important than ever

Kylea launching a report about the potential of environmental Merits Review Rights with Han Aulby and Professor Kim Rubenstein.

Before the last election, Labor committed to addressing the dire state of our environment by implementing a package of reforms in full, within this term. Disappointingly, this week’s announcement only advances parts of its promised package, raising concerns that the rest of the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act reform will be delayed.

As we heard at our "The Future of Our Environment" panel discussion earlier this month, Australians have already waited too long for the government to act on recommendations of the 2019 Samuel Review. At this critical juncture for our climate, we cannot allow this once-in-a-generation reform to be watered down.

Research shows that there are simple and effective ways to strengthen our environmental laws, including by expanding Merits Review Rights. These rights allow communities to appeal the decisions that affect us, and already exist through the Administrative Review Tribunal for matters such as child support, Centrelink payments, taxation, and visa-related decisions.

According to a new report that I was proud to launch this week with Lock the Gate and the University of Canberra's Professor Kim Rubenstein, the Government could vastly improve the integrity of its decision-making process, as well as the declining levels of public trust in government, by providing these rights in national environmental laws.

I will continue to push for improvements like these, and for the Albanese Government to deliver the full package of EPBC Act reforms as promised.
Our community has also made some progress on the education front. Last year, after hearing from concerned constituents, I met with Education Minister Jason Clare to call for change in how our HECS/HELP scheme operates.

Tertiary education is more than a cost; it is an investment in our future. But under our current HECS/HELP system, young Australians are struggling because indexation is currently applied to HECS debt on 1 June each year, but loan repayments aren’t processed until tax returns are lodged. This means the indexation is added to part of the debt that has already been paid off – the system simply isn’t working.

The Albanese Government is now planning to overhaul the HECS/HELP system, and I will continue to push for better, fairer outcomes for our students whilst also exploring opportunities to advocate for at least some debt to be forgiven. Watch this space for more news on that. You can help by signing Independent MP Dr Monique Ryan's community petition to change the way HECS debts are indexed here.

Finally, thank you to all who wrote to my Electorate Office this week. It has been a heartbreaking week for our Sydney community, but we remain strong and united. Now more than ever, its crucial that we stay calm, be aware and practice kindness. Please remember that free, confidential support is available for those who need it: see a list of community resources here.

- KT

 


COME AND MEET KYLEA

ARTARMON STREET MEET

TUE 30 APRIL
10:00AM-11:00AM

ARTARMON ROAD SHOPS

Kylea will be catching up with residents and local businesses near the Artarmon train station. If you’re in the area stop by and say hi! She will be around the Hampden 86 Cafe.


SOLAR MADE SIMPLE WEBINAR

TUE 30 APRIL
6:00PM-7:30PM

ONLINE

Join Kylea and volunteers from Zero Emissions Solutions for a free community webinar to find out everything you need to get started with rooftop solar and batteries.

Register

AGEING WELL SEMINAR:
SCAMS & FINANCIAL SECURITY

WED 1 MAY
10:00AM-12:00PM

DOUGHERTY COMMUNITY CENTRE, CHATSWOOD

Learn to identify scams, what to do if targeted, and counselling services that can help

Register

WHAT'S ON IN NORTH SYDNEY

SAT 20 APR


EARTH DAY SWAP & SAVE EVENT (TOYS, BOOKS, CLOTHES AND MORE!)

WHERE:
Sub Base Platypus, North Sydney

WHEN:
11:00AM-3:00PM


SAT 20 APR


CHECK IN AND TUNE UP YOUR BICYCLE AT NORTHSIDE PRODUCE MARKET

WHERE:
Ted Mack Civic Park, North Sydney

WHEN:
8:00AM-12:00PM


WED 24 APR


MULTICULTURAL SOCIAL LUNCH CLUB - AT HOME WITH WILLOUGHBY


WHERE:

Dougherty Community Centre, Chatswood

WHEN:
12:30PM-2:00PM


ANZAC DAY SERVICES

The following services will be taking place in our electorate:

IN THE NEWS

Australia’s mental health system 30 years outdated says MP - Sky News, 19 April. Kylea says Australia’s mental health system is based on ideas and approaches established 30 years ago, as she calls on the government to do more. “I can’t help but feel, like many in our country at the moment – that [the people behind recent knife attacks] fell through the cracks, and the cracks are getting wider, and wider."

‘Simpler and fairer’: Albanese flags HECS changes in budget relief - Sydney Morning Herald, 18 April. The Albanese government is expected to change the rate and timing of HECS indexation in the federal budget, following pressure from Kylea and others on the crossbench to consider wiping student debts and move the date of indexation.

Improving aged care - The Weekly Times, 17 April. Kylea writes about the need to improve not only aged care, but also public trust in the system, and shares what her team is doing to support seniors in our community with her volunteer Ageing Well Working Group.

Change of national enviro law put off, as Dutton warns of 'death of mining' - Canberra Times, 16 April. The Albanese government's long-awaited response to the Samuel Review has been criticised from two sides, with Peter Dutton saying it will be the "death of mining" while others, including Kylea, are urging Labor to go further and faster to protect nature.

Few avenues for appeal as polluting projects go ahead - The West Australian, 16 April. Merits review rights could give communities a chance to challenge large, destructive projects like Whitehaven Coal's Vickery Extension Project. This is an opportunity for the federal government to do better, Kylea says.

New Environmental Protection Agency ineffective without stronger laws - SBS News, 16 April. The Federal Government has announced plans to establish Australia's first independent Environmental Protection Agency, but "without national environmental protection laws in place, having an EPA is the equivalent of having a chassis of a car without the engine," Kylea says. "It might look good, but it's not going to get us anywhere."

Environmental merits reviews would not mean 'green lawfare' - Canberra Times, 16 April. Kylea says the legal system that governs Australia's environmental decision-making lacks integrity, and the public wants it to change.

More media mentions here.

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