Payne's Parliamentary Proceedings - June 2023

06 July 2023

This week marks the beginning of the new financial year and left many of us, including myself, wondering how half of 2023 has already gone!

But July also marks a transformative step forward for the nation, with a number of important changes to improve the lives of Australians and shape a brighter future taking effect.

These changes include;

  • Cheaper childcare – to help 30,400 ACT families access more affordable early childhood education and care.
  • Extended Paid Parental Leave - to give families more support in parenthood.
  • National Anti-Corruption Commission - to promote accountability and tackle corruption.
  • Safeguard Mechanism reforms to reduce emissions.
  • Net Zero Authority - to steer the transition to a net-zero economy.
  • Aged care reforms - including nurses on site 24/7 and the Inspector General of Aged-Care
  • Aged care workers will receive a well-deserved pay rise.
  • National Housing and Finance Investment Corporation will be expanded.
  • Home Guarantee Scheme eligibility will be broadened to help more Aussies own a home.

I look forward to talking with Canberrans in the coming weeks and months about what these changes will mean for them.

June marked the first hearings of the Joint Standing Committee on the National Capital and External Territories inquiry into fostering and promoting the significance of Australia’s National Capital.

The committee, which I chair, heard from the National Rugby League and Cricket ACT about the potential to build the role of sport in Canberra’s national significance and the benefits for our city and region.

The hearings will continue in the coming months and I look forward to keeping you up to date with its progress.

Labor continued to pursue important reforms in Parliament in June, including legislation for the Voice and our nature positive plan.

The referendum bill for the Voice to Parliament officially passed the Senate, clearing the way for Australians to head to the polls later this year to recognise First Nations Australians in the Constitution.

Governments make better decisions and achieve better outcomes when they listen to people on the ground and consult with locals.

The Voice is a once-in-a-generation chance to improve outcomes for First Nations communities. You can see my speech on the legislation here.

I also spoke in Parliament in support of the establishment of the nature repair market - a voluntary national market that delivers improved biodiversity for our world famous unique Australian flora and fauna.

This is an important part of our Government’s Nature Positive Plan.

After a decade of neglect and environmental decline, Labor is working to leave nature in better shape than previous generations. You can watch my speech here.

I spoke on a number of other topics, all of which you can see on my YouTube Channel here.

I had the pleasure of joining Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and his partner Jodie Haydon - who is a patron of the National Portrait Gallery – at the gallery for the awarding of the National Photographic Portrait Prize and opening of the exhibition of finalists.

It is a magnificent exhibition and I highly recommend getting out to see it!

Congratulations to winner Shea Kirk and all the finalists.

Canberra is an amazing city full of clever and innovative people.

I was lucky enough meet the CSIRO’s first intake of graduates as part of their new Indigenous Graduate Program.

I’m always so in awe of Australia’s scientific community and their constant work to make the Australia and the world a better a place.

Minister Ed Husic MP and I are looking forward to seeing what these amazing minds produce in the future.

I also joined Climate Change Minister Chris Bowen and ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr to announce how Labor is making it easier for those living in apartments to access the huge savings of solar power.

Renewable energy is transforming how Australians get their electricity and rooftop solar has been a huge part of that.

This jointly funded Commonwealth and ACT government scheme will mean up to 2100 Canberra households living in units will benefit from a 35% reduction in their power bills.

Volunteers with St John’s Cbr night crews do important work keeping night-time revellers safe in Civic safe every weekend.

I had the privilege of meeting the team on a Friday and hear about what a typical night out looks like for them.

Thank you so much to all the volunteers for welcoming me and for the work you do for our community.

A giant of the Labor movement and Australian politics, Simon Crean, sadly passed in June.

Simon’s Labor values always shone through - never more so than through his principled leadership opposing the commitment of Australian troops to the Iraq War in 2003.

Vale Simon.

On Sunday, Canberrans got together to show their support for the upcoming referendum on constitutional recognition for First Nations People through a Voice to Parliament.

Hundreds joined in Haig Park to learn more about the campaign and how they can walk forwards together for a better future, towards reconciliation, and towards a successful Yes vote. 

If you'd like to get involved, you can sign up here.

I’ve been busy out and about holding mobile offices and coffee catch ups around Canberra, talking to Canberrans about the important work of the government. If you see me around, please come and say hello!

Thank you for reading. If there is anything I can do to help you, please get in contact with my office at [email protected] or (02) 6247 8475.