By Julie Owens MP

26 October 2021

Raising the voices of youth                       

In 2018, a young woman called Ruby Bisson came to me with an idea to raise the voices of local young people in our nation’s parliament.

I made a commitment to read a speech written by a young person from Parramatta during each sitting of the Parliament that year.

I’m proud to say that in 2021, this great idea that started in Parramatta has blossomed into Youth Voice in Parliament Week, with MPs from around Australia reading speeches from young people in their communities.

This Youth Voice in Parliament week I read a speech by local high school student Reya, age 15. Reya said twenty years from now, she wanted to “see an Australia that is not afraid to battle climate change at its core...that is not starting the process of using renewable resources but one that has been for years. One that understands that to secure the future we have to start now.”

Now more than ever, the voices of our young people need to be heard. I want to thank Raise Our Voice Australia, Ruby and all our young speechwriters for making this possible.

Morrison votes down corruption probe                        

Last week the Morrison Government voted against a Privileges Committee investigation into potential contempt of the Parliament by Christian Porter, recommended by the Speaker of the House Tony Smith.

This is the first time this has happened in the 120 year history of the Australian Parliament and signals to Morrison Government MPs that they are free to hide their financial interests behind so-called “blind trusts” - like the one Christian Poter used to accept an undisclosed amount up to $1 million dollars from secret benefactors with unknown motives to fund his personal legal action against the ABC.

It’s been more than 1000 days since, under intense pressure from Labor, Mr Morrison promised to set up a federal anti-corruption body. Instead of delivering on his promise, he’s showing us he has no interest in exposing corruption. He just wants it covered up.

Only a Labor Government will deliver a National Anti-Corruption Commission with the power to hold Federal MPs to account.

Local seniors locked out of aged care                             

The Royal Commission into Aged Care recommended urgent action to clear home care package waiting lists, which were stuck at 100,000 for years.

But the Morrison Government has only committed to fund 40,000 new places a year for two years, meaning thousands of seniors could be left waiting for care they urgently need.

Seniors from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds in Parramatta need to overcome extra hurdles to access aged care services and all too often end up with services that don’t meet their language or cultural needs and rely on family to deliver meals they can eat, or communicate with carers.

Around half of Parramatta’s seniors speak a language other than English - nation-wide its around one in four – but the Morrison Government is not doing enough to make sure they can get the care they need in their old age. If this is affecting you or your loved ones, please contact my office.