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Ensuring the Government gives a fair go to all citizens

Over the last thirty years, inequality in our cities and towns in New South Wales has increased dramatically. Developers build more and more high-rise housing, while more young people, the poor, the elderly and others without a voice in public affairs are locked out of decent housing and homelessness increases.

I will propose that Parliament appoints a committee to consider and report on a recent Canadian initiative, that has halted the purchase of housing by non-citizens for the next two years, as a means to bring down the increasing cost of housing; and that the committee tables its report by late 2023.

I will argue in Parliament that the Government act by investing 1% of the New South Wales budget in quality public housing in local, regional and metropolitan centres, and by requiring 20% of affordable housing in all new developments.

I will seek evidence from Ministers and Department Heads at Estimate Committee hearings that their budgets, policies and programs ensure a fair go for New South Wales citizens.

I will ask the Minister for Education why, over twelve years, our school students’ ability to read dropped from 4th to 6th place among Australian States, and their maths and understanding of science both dropped from 3rd to 5th; and what is being done in 2023 to reverse this trend.

I will ask the Minister for Health why, in 2002, half of those presenting with the highest category of emergency to hospital Emergency Departments did not have their treatment started on time; and what is being done to improve this situation in 2023.

Ensuring respect and a fair go within New South Wales Parliament

The Premier has failed in a search for more Liberal women candidates for the election.

A policy he announced recently for the women of New South Wales was to purchase an extra 200 electronic ankle bracelets for $20 million to monitor the movement of domestic violence offenders.

As the leader of Parliament, the Premier has failed to address or prosecute the evidence of criminal behaviour in Parliament itself. A damning report by former Sex Discrimination Commissioner, Elizabeth Broderick, tabled in Parliament on 13 August 2022, found evidence of sexual assault, harassment and bullying in New South Wales parliamentary workplaces, including the Parliamentary Precinct around Macquarie Street and ninety-eight electorate offices, many perpetrated by MPs.

Both men and women reported experiences of actual or attempted sexual assault. The report found that sexual harassment and everyday sexism occurred at unacceptable rates and that bullying was a significant issue across parliamentary workplaces.

Two days before the report was tabled, the two houses of the Parliament jointly appointed an internal Complaints Officer. Under the terms of the appointment, the Officer is expected to keep a low profile and to resolve complaints expeditiously and in confidence, though no complaint alleged to have occurred prior to March 2022 is to be considered. The Complaints Officer will provide quarterly reports to the Privileges Committee of each House and meet with them annually.

In my view, this important and challenging position needs greater transparency, commitment and support. I will apply to serve on the Privileges Committee and vigorously pursue these outcomes in Parliament.

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