Byron Fay
November 22, 2023

Parliament highlights from November

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Did you know last week was ‘National Recycling Week’?

A perfect time to clean up politics, which incidentally is the name of Monique Ryan’s campaign to make lobbying more transparent.

Read on to learn more about climate and integrity news from the Federal Parliament last week 👇

Cleaning up politics

‘We need to know who has the ears of our politicians and we need to close and stop that revolving door. Australians deserve to be able to trust their government.’

This was what Independent Member for Kooyong, Dr Monique Ryan, said when introducing her bill to make lobbying more transparent.

This bill would strengthen the Lobbying Code of Conduct, prevent former politicians and staff from becoming lobbyists within three years of leaving Parliament, and make ministers’ diaries public so that we know who they’re meeting with.

You can read more about The Clean Up Politics Act and sign Dr Monique Ryan’s petition to build support.

Stopping the lies

Independent Member for Warringah, Zali Steggall, re-introduced her bill to prevent lies during election campaigns.

‘We have laws to protect consumers from misleading advertising, but it’s perfectly legal to lie in a political advertisement. It’s time we protect voters.’

The Labor Government has indicated plans to legislate on this issue, but has faced pushback from the Coalition. To keep the pressure up Zali is encouraging people to write to their local MPs to show support for reform. Climate 200 also has a petition to help spread the word about truth in political advertising.

Major parties agree to pass Sea Dumping Bill

The government’s bill for sea dumping passed the Senate, with Coalition support. This will allow Australia to export, import and store carbon pollution in Australian waters.

Amendments proposed by Independents to prevent offshore carbon capture and storage were voted down.

The Forest Pledge

Independent Member for Mackellar, Dr Sophie Scamps, called for an end to industrial logging in native forests, noting their critical importance for climate change mitigation and biodiversity.

‘Trees are our most effective carbon capture and storage units. Logging also destroys critical habitat for threatened species.’

Over 100 scientists, environmental organisations and federal and state politicians have signed Dr Scamps’ Forest Pledge. You’re also invited to share the pledge with your networks and your local MP.

Restoring integrity to Community Grants

In her ongoing campaign to depoliticise how community grants are awarded, Independent Member for Indi, Dr Helen Haines, with the support of Bridget Archer, Liberal Member for Bass, moved a motion to urge the government to stamp out pork barrelling and ensure public money is not misused.

‘Both the Labor party and the Coalition are guilty of misusing grants programs to win votes during election campaigns,’ said Haines on Facebook, ‘Taxpayer money should be spent on the needs of communities not the wants of the major parties … Rorting grants programs wastes money and destroys public trust in government processes.’

I hope you’ve enjoyed this update.

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Byron Fay
Executive Director, Climate 200

Executive Director

Byron is a climate strategist, former Paris Agreement negotiator and adviser to the Independent Senator Tim Storer. Byron worked for a Biden-aligned Political Action Committee during the 2020 US presidential election, holds a Masters of Public Policy from the University of Oxford, and is a proud descendant of the Dharug nation.