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Byron Shire
May 28, 2024

MP Elliot looks back at a year in government

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Labor MP Justine Elliot says the floods are still a major issue. Photo Tree Faerie.

While parliament takes a break, many politicians don’t get the same opportunity. 

While PM Albo was at Woodford, he was still ‘on duty’, and though local MP, Justine Elliot, was at home with family, she still managed to take a call on New Year’s Eve to talk to The Echo.

Looking back at 2022, she says that, without a doubt, the floods are still a major issue. 

‘People are still struggling. I see stories around Lismore getting a lot of national attention, which is good.’

And as all good pollies will do, there was a quick jab at the other team: ‘Hopefully, the state [Liberal-Nationals] government can get organised with their different structures and organisations they have, because those people are just really struggling.’

Federal ICAC 

One of the big promises of the May election was the legislation for a Federal ICAC (now known as The National Anti-Corruption Commission – NACC). The bill to establish the commission became law recently, after it passed through both the Australian House of Representatives and the Senate. 

Mrs Elliot is pleased that promise has been fulfilled. 

‘It was our commitment to get it through this year. There have been many incredible moments in parliament, but to speak on that, vote for that, to say finally “we got there” after all the years of fighting – that was really incredible.’

DV law reform 

Apart from being the local federal representative, Ms Elliot is also the Assistant Minister for Social Services and the Assistant Minister for the Prevention of Family Violence. 

She says, ‘There are a lot of the things that we’ve been doing, particularly around our National Plan to End Violence Against Women and Children. That’s a huge plan that we worked on with the states – it’s something that we’ve all got to work together to get the outcome, and part of that is our election commitment’. 

‘We’re delivering on the 500 more community sector workers across the country, we’ve set up the Family, Domestic and Sexual Violence Commission, and we have a Commissioner, so it gives it national attention – and we have the ten days paid domestic violence leave.’

Cashless debit card abolished

Another promise that was made before the election was abolishing the cashless debit card. 

She says, ‘To have that achieved has made a huge difference for so many people who were really suffering across the country on the cashless debit card.’

One area that many Labor voters are disappointed in is what they see as the party’s failure to rein in the big fossil fuel companies, whose $40 billion of subsidies have remained intact, in spite of Labor promising to do better for the environment. 

Yet, Mrs Elliot says she feels Labor are doing well, and she reeled off a well-worn list of positive things, in spite of what climate science is telling us. 

She says, ‘What people are saying to me is, they’re really pleased to have a government that’s actually acting on climate change, having a plan that will reduce emissions by 43 per cent by 2030, a plan to create 600,000 new jobs, a plan that reduces power prices [and to]get us to net zero by 2050. That’s really important.’

As for renewable energy, Ms Elliot says Labor has made an ‘absolute commitment’. 

‘It’s about getting the balance right. We have to do that in a way that is effective and that keeps the lights on and keeps people in jobs, while also delivering much more renewable energy throughout the country.’

Local outcomes

Locally, Elliot is pleased with the completion of the Lennox Head upgrade, the social enterprise, commercial laundry in Bangalow, the million dollars for the Tweed animal pound in Murwillumbah and the Veterans Hub. 

Mrs Elliot says while it’s been such a challenging year for the entire community, she hopes we’ll all go into 2023 with a strong commitment to working together. 

‘It has been a very long and difficult year for people on the North Coast, and we’ll come back – we will come back better and stronger, and that’s just the nature of the people that are in our community.’

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    • So a yawn for a government that has achieved more in 6 months than a decade of the coalition. So Jimie likes a government doing nothing but wedging and a pm who didn’t trust his ministers. You know what jimie the yawn is good as it shows their is no crisis or scandal happening. Yep bring on responsible and reasonable government.

  1. We on the North Coast are so very lucky that we have such a highly competent, dedicated MP in Justine, she has held this marginal electorate since 2004 and easily saw off all challengers ever since. We can also be thankful she is part of a Labor Govt that eventually removed the scourge of a decade of an ultra conservative, dangerous Govt. We now have a progressive majority Labor Govt that is acting on and is in the process of fulfilling all of its election promises, and reversing over a decade of climate change denial and inaction. Go Justine, we’re just getting started.

      • I’m not a Tory, Comrade.

        However, I expect a local Member to be effective, certainly when she has been there for 18 years.

        So Rod & Keith, if that is the best that you can do ,you must be ALP supporters!

        • No Jimie, we can do a lot better than that, but in this case it’s not warranted; and what a brilliant deduction from you that we are ALP supporters, that must have been a huge effort, how on earth did you manage that?

          • The response was to Rod, easily detected if you look.

            How on Earth did you manage that?

            His use of the word “Tory” is a giveaway plus only dedicated ALP believers could support her.

  2. “Only dedicated ALP supporters support Justine Elliott” what a load of crap, last election when the Coalition was smashed, Justine Elliott received 58.2% of the 2PP vote and received the most primary votes with the Nationals candidate running third behind Labor and the Greens. If you do have a serious problem you would like to discuss with her I can put you in touch with her office, or are you just conducting your usual whingeathon?, she also advertises when she does come to Ballina to meet and listen, that’s of course if you are even interested, she doesn’t just come down here to hold serial whinger’s hands.


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