Morrison Government in disarray | Stillbirth inquiry report tabled | More action needed on road safety | Labor will reverse the Liberals' cuts to schools | IMAS research on rock lobsters | Labor's plan for cheaper, cleaner energy | Helping Hands make for a brighter Christmas | In brief
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Senator Catryna Bilyk eBulletin #53

Friday, 14 December 2018

As we head into the Festive Season I would like to wish you and your loved ones a merry Christmas and a safe and happy New Year. My office will be closing on Friday 21 December 2018 and reopening on Monday 14 January 2019. If you are in need of urgent assistance you can contact Daniel Hulme on 0447 000 867.

A Federal election is just around the corner, and I, my staff and my Labor colleagues are preparing for an extra busy year and will be working hard for the election of a Shorten Labor Government.

Morrison Government in disarray

The final sitting week of Parliament descended into farce. While Labor supported legislation that would help facilitate medical transfers for refugees in regional processing facilities, the Morrison Government tried every trick in the book to delay the bill. The argument that giving sick children the medical treatment they need, where they need it, is going to undermine border security quite frankly beggars belief!

The Government  have scheduled only seven sitting days in the House of Representatives over the next four months leading up to the Budget. Scott Morrison and the Liberals have lost control of the Parliament and they clearly no longer want to be there. They have given up on governing and everyday Australians are paying the price for their chaos, dysfunction and division.

Stillbirth inquiry report tabled

After an eight-month inquiry the Senate Select Committee on Stillbirth Research and Education report was tabled in the Senate making recommendations for reducing the rate of stillbirth in Australia, better co-ordinating research, and providing improved support for affected families. It was an emotional event as I and Senator Kristina Keneally reflected on our own painful experiences with stillbirth. Committee Chair Senator Malarndirri McCarthy’s speech was also very moving.
A video of my speech is available by clicking the image below, or you can read the Hansard transcript here.

On Tuesday, 18 December I will be joining Senator Keneally, the Committee’s Chair Senator Malarndirri McCarthy, and representatives of the Stillbirth Foundation for a public discussion about the inquiry’s findings and recommendations at an Australian Labor Party National Conference Fringe Program event.
Further information about this event is available here.
More action needed on road safety

I am disappointed by recent news that Tasmania’s road toll for the 12 months ending September 2018 had increased 20% on the previous 12 month period.
I delivered a Senators’ Statements speech last week about the need for action on road safety. The Government’s own inquiry into the National Road Safety Strategy found that there has been a lack of co-ordinated action between the three levels of Government on implementing the strategy, leading to a failure to reduce Australia’s road toll.
As I mentioned in my speech, a co-ordinated approach requires Federal leadership and this starts with a dedicated road safety portfolio in the Federal Ministry. Labor has led the way by appointing Senator Glenn Sterle as Shadow Assistant Minister for Road Safety. I also pointed out in the speech that the Liberal Government has undermined road safety through their abolition of the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal.
Labor will reverse the Liberals’ cuts to schools

Last week I spoke on the Matter of Public Importance debate about the Liberals’ $17 billion cuts to schools. Public schools educate the majority of disadvantaged children—including socioeconomically disadvantaged children, Indigenous children, and children with disability—yet 80% of the Government’s school funding cuts are to public schools.
Labor will restore every dollar of the $17 billion in Federal funding the Liberals have cut from Australian schools. This funding will overwhelmingly benefit the schools—and the students—who need it the most.
IMAS research on rock lobsters

On Monday I visited the Taroona facility of the Institute of Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS) with Senator Carol Brown and Federal Labor candidate for Clark, Ben McGregor.
While it has historically been difficult to raise lobsters from eggs in commercial hatcheries, the ARC Research Hub for Commercial Development of Rock Lobster Culture Systems have brought scientists and industry together for cutting edge research that may one day make the sustainable farming of lobsters a reality.

Visiting IMAS’s Taroona facility with Senator Carol Brown, and Federal Labor candidate for Clark, Ben McGregor where we met Associate Professor Greg Smith.
Labor’s plan for cheaper, cleaner energy

Last month Labor released its energy policy which presents a plan for more energy sector jobs, more renewables, cheaper power and less pollution.
While our preference has been to achieve bipartisanship on energy policy the Morrison Government are too divided and out of touch to deliver an energy policy that will achieve lower prices, deliver more renewables and tackle dangerous climate change.
Labor’s policy will:
  • Help households to install batteries so they can store power and save on their power bills;
  • Support workers and communities affected by the closure of ageing coal-fired power stations; and
  • Use a range of measures to deliver 50% of power from renewables by 2030.
You can read further detail on Labor’s plan for more renewables and cheaper power here.

Helping Hands make for a brighter Christmas

Several years ago I had the honour of being appointed Patron of a local organisation called Kingborough Helping Hands Inc. (KHH). This charity supports people in need in the Kingborough community and is particularly active around Christmas time.
KHH prepares over 200 Christmas hampers each year, valued at around $100 each, containing Christmas gifts, non-perishable food and other essential household items. These are distributed to people who are doing it tough and may not have the enjoyable Christmas that the rest of us take for granted. The efforts in collecting money and donated goods are assisted by the KHH Sharing Tree, which is situated at two Kingston shopping centres throughout December.
Since 2013 my office has assisted in KHH’s Christmas relief by being a collection point for donated gifts. While many of us are familiar with the work of Tasmania’s larger community service organisations we should acknowledge and support smaller charities like KHH and the excellent work they do in their local communities.

Making a donation to the Kingborough Helping Hands Sharing Tree
The Kingborough Helping Hands Christmas luncheon fundraiser was a huge success
In brief

Labor’s National Conference

The Australian Labor Party’s 48th National Conference will be held next week in Adelaide. The 2018 National Conference will likely be setting the agenda for a Shorten Labor Government.

For more information about the Conference, and to download or read Labor’s Draft National Platform, visit the 2018 National Conference website.

Free legal advice for older Tasmanians

COTA and Legal Aid Tasmania have teamed up to offer free legal advice for older Tasmanians on the first Wednesday of each month (excluding January) from 10am until 12 noon.

The first clinic for 2019 will be on Wednesday 6 February. Appointments can be made at COTA’s Hobart office or over the phone by calling 6231 3265 or emailing Appointments are essential.

No-one deserves a serve

The union for retail, fast food and warehousing workers, the SDA, is running online, TV and radio advertisements as part of their ‘No-one deserves a serve’ campaign to remind the public that abusive behaviour towards fast food workers is unacceptable.

A survey of 1,000 fast food workers found that 87% have experienced verbal abuse or aggressive behaviour and 28% have experienced physical abuse.

Visit this website for further information about the SDA’s campaign including their latest TV advertisement.

Places of Pride

The Australian War Memorial’s Places of Pride project aims to record the location and gather images of every publicly accessible memorial in Australia.

If you wish to make a contribution to this project by adding a memorial and/or uploading a photo, or if you would like to find a memorial, you can do so through this website.

Eco Holiday Hacks

As the Festive Season and summer holidays approach our waste footprint tends to increase. Australians spent more than $11 billion last year over the holidays which means the potential for a lot of food, packaging and other materials going to waste.

Planet Ark has published a series of holiday hacks for living large with a small footprint. These are practical tips for having fun over the holidays without it costing the planet.



Authorised by C. Bilyk, 3/20 Channel Highway, Kingston, Tasmania.

For more information about what I have been doing to help my Tasmanian constituents, please contact my office on (03) 6229 4444 or visit

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Senator Catryna Bilyk · Shop 3, Kingston Plaza · 20 Channel Highway · Kingston, TAS 7050 · Australia

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