Save Parramatta Park!
13 October 2021
Despite strong community objections, the NSW Government is pushing ahead with its plan to end independent management of Parramatta Park and other important parklands.
The government has released an exposure draft of the Bill that will replace local trusts including the Parramatta Park Trust with a centralised agency, Greater Sydney Parklands.
This Bill will erode protections and undermine funding of our heritage parklands. It also opens up these lands for further commercialisation. You can read the draft Bill here.
These lands are too precious to be left for successive governments to slice off bit by bit. You can register your opposition by sending a message to the NSW Government here.
Dine & Discover program extended
The Dine & Discover program has been extended until 31 August and 'Dine' vouchers can be used to order food for takeaway or delivery during lockdown.
You can now claim your vouchers over the phone on 13 77 88 as well as online using two forms of ID - one from list A and one from list B:
A: NSW driver's licence; Australian passport; Australian birth certificate; Australian citizenship certificate; ImmiCard
B: Medicare card; pension card; Commonwealth Seniors Health Card; Veteran Gold Card
You can also claim your vouchers in person at a Service NSW centre, where they accept other forms of ID, including the NSW photo card.
If you want to use your Dine vouchers to order food for takeaway or delivery, you need to order directly from the restaurant - you can't use the vouchers on third party apps. If you order takeaway, you also need to check in when you pick up your order.
I've heard from many people who've had trouble claiming or using the vouchers because the scheme is less accessible for older people, people with disability and those who've had to self-isolate during COVID. If this is a problem for you or one of your loved ones, please get in touch with my office.
Locals fighting to make Parramatta a better place to live
One of the best parts of my job is seeing the fantastic work that people are doing to make our community stronger, and to make Parramatta a better place to live.
Save Willow Grove
The grassroots campaign to save this valuable heritage site and build a world class museum elsewhere in Parramatta has won overwhelming community support. The CFMEU has also placed a Green Ban on Willow Grove.
The NSW Government has started removing trees and demolishing outbuildings but the fight to save Willow Grove continues. You can find out more about how you can support the campaign here.
Westmead Push for Palliative Care
Despite being one of the biggest hospital precincts in Australia, Westmead Hospital has not had a dedicated palliative care ward for many years.
The Westmead Push for Palliative Care is fighting to change this - follow them on Facebook to find out how you can help.
Don't forget to enrol to vote!
We don’t know when the next election is going to be called, so be sure to enrol to vote or update your details so you can have you say.
You may also be eligible to register as a general postal voter. You can find more info here.
The Morrison Government is sneaking through changes to almost 1,000 Medicare rebates under the cover of COVID, effective 1 July 2021.
The changes were the outcome of a review of the Medicare Benefits Schedule. While the Australian Medical Association supported this review, they’ve raised serious concerns about the changes, which will radically alter the cost of hundreds of orthopaedic, cardiac and general surgery items.
In particular, the rushed implementation of these changes, with limited information provided to medical practitioners and insurers, means patients may be forced to choose between cancelling life-changing surgeries or be hit with huge bills they were never told about.
The Grattan Institute, health funds, the Consumers Health Forum, and the Australian Orthopaedic Association, have all warned the cuts and changes will lead to an increase in out of pocket costs for patients.
I want to make sure the community is fully aware of these changes and has a chance to have their say, so I’ve added a petition to my website. If you care about this, please sign and share it with your friends and family.
I’m afraid the first time many people will hear about them is when they’re hit with a bill for surgery they thought was covered.
If you need help during lockdown
I've posted a list of useful contacts and local emergency relief providers on my website. This includes local supermarkets that are taking orders by phone and accepting cash on delivery for people who are self-isolating, but can't order groceries online.
While you will not be able to visit my office in person until at least 9 July, we are open and will continue to assist you by phone or email. If you have any questions, or if you need help at this difficult time, please call 9689 1455 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you develop COVID symptoms, please get tested immediately and follow the latest advice. You can find more information on symptoms and where to get tested here.
And please stay safe by washing your hands, covering coughs and sneezes, keeping your distances and staying home as much as possible.
We will get through this together.
Please get in touch if you're concerned about, or you've been directly affected by any of the issues I talked about today - or any other federal issues.