February Newsletter

14 Feb 2024

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Community, News, Parliament

Here are my latest updates from Parliament and around our community!

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I didn’t plan to get kicked out of the chamber in my first week back, but when the Premier dodged my colleague Gabrielle de Vietri’s question and chided her for asking it, we had to make a point.

The Richmond Greens MP asked: “What exactly has the Victorian Labor government agreed to provide for the Israeli defence ministry?” Gabrielle was referring to the Victorian Government’s MOU with the Israeli Defence Ministry.

It was hard for me to hear Gabrielle’s follow-up question over the shouting from Labor and Liberal MPs, but she stood firm and asked the Premier to cancel Labor’s deal with Israel. Gabrielle said she couldn’t believe the Premier was “suggesting that Victorian commerce is more important…than our obligations under international law in the context of a potential genocide.”

The protest resulted in my first suspension from question time and, worse, being subjected to faux outrage from Liberal and Labor career politicians who spend most of their time in parliament hurling partisan abuse at each other (and at us). You can watch the exchange here.

Sometimes, taking a stand requires us to break from convention. We want all Victorians to know that our state currently has some kind of commercial arrangement with Israel’s military. The Victorian Greens are calling for this to end and advocating for an enduring humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza.


It’s heartbreaking that in my fifth year as an MP I was again compelled to ask the Premier the same question after yet another mass overdose event this summer – why won’t the government introduce a drug checking and early warning system?

Tragically, following the deaths of young people from preventable overdoses, four separate Victorian coroners have now recommended a service be established.

Pill testing is not a silver bullet, but the program in the ACT shows it does result in a high proportion of people throwing away their drugs once they find out what’s really in them.

This year, there is finally some hope! In response to my question, Jacinta Allan didn’t rule out pill testing, and promised to look into the evidence from other jurisdictions.   

I think with a bit more public support, the government may shift its position on this issue, so we’ll be dialling up the pressure over the next few months.


Housing density has increased in Brunswick over the last decade, and where this has been most successful is where local councils have supported the new apartment developments by building shared parklands, greenery and playgrounds nearby. For example, Merri-bek City Council converted warehouses to make Bulleke-Bek Park next to the apartment towers around Anstey Station. 

The Minister for Planning recently rejected Yarra City Council’s plan to increase their ‘open space levy’, which would support developments by building parks. So I asked the minister what she’ll do about this – will developers be required to pay more as inner city land gets more expensive? She has a month to respond, so we’ll keep you posted.


Last month, I was stunned to hear that the Victorian Labor Government approved yet another cruel and environmentally destructive duck shooting season.

Labor’s own inquiry recommended that we stop this outdated practice, but Labor decided to ignore the evidence and the majority of Victorians, and cave to the shooting lobby instead.

These are not the actions of a progressive government. This cowardly decision will guarantee the deaths of thousands of waterbirds during an extinction crisis. 

I know so many in the community will be feeling disheartened by this decision, and the Greens and I stand with you. We will continue to fight alongside you until our waterbirds are safe. 


As you can see, it was an eventful first sitting week back. But it’s only the beginning. Here are just a few of the things my Greens colleagues and I will be working on this year:

  • CLIMATE: It won’t be news to you that we need to get our state off coal & gas – and quickly – to help prevent the worst effects of climate change. This year, the Greens and I will be drilling down (sorry) on our campaigns to end new coal & gas, stop seismic blasting, and more. And look out for my blog piece next month, laying out my plan for how we can get Victoria off coal faster.
  • HOUSING: As long as unlimited rent increases are legal, more renters will be pushed into housing stress and homelessness. At the same time, the Labor government is planning to demolish all 44 public housing towers, and they won’t commit to putting new public housing in its place. We’ll be fighting to stop unlimited rent rises and to protect & expand public housing in Victoria. 
  • COST OF LIVING: This is one of the most urgent issues facing most people at the moment, and I’m proud that the Greens have led the way in applying more scrutiny to the supermarket duopoly’s exploitative pricing practices by establishing new inquiries at both state and federal levels. This year, we’re trying to go a step further by classifying supermarkets as providing an ‘essential service’ under Victorian law – this means they’ll have to answer to the Essential Services Commission about how they’re setting their prices. Stay tuned for more on this.
  • AN EVEN BETTER BRUNSWICK: Locally, I’ll continue advocating for safe streets, accessible tram stops, well-funded schools, a healthy Merri Creek, and much more. And remember, you can always get in touch with my office if there’s a local issue you’d like to discuss.

Whew! It’s a massive agenda, and we’ll need all the help we can get. Just reply to this email if you’re keen to get involved in any of the above, and we’ll be in touch. 



Critical Mass has become one of my favourite ways to spend a Friday evening. 

What is Critical Mass, you ask? It’s an important and necessary protest for safe bike infrastructure, yes – but more to the point, it’s a lot of fun. We ride our bikes (or scooters, e-unicycles, you name it) in a large, slow group to create a safe and inclusive critical mass that takes over the road – with killer tunes to boot.

Come see for yourself. Grab your bike and a couple of mates and join me on Friday, 23 February at 5:30pm at the State Library. We’ll do a slow ride over to the Nicholson Street Mall in Footscray, where we’ll hear from some great speakers (and, yes, probably indulge in the local pizza offerings).

RSVP here, and look out for details of the next Critical Mass, happening in March in the CBD.


I had the best time handing out free rainbow ice creams with my fellow Greens MPs and councillors at the Midsumma Pride Street Party in Fitzroy. Amazing to see so many smiling faces, even before we gave them the ice cream!

Such a great way to spend a sundae…


We’re lucky enough to have some spectacular events coming up in our community. I’m looking forward to the second week of the Brunswick Beethoven Festival, 20-24 Feb. And I’m looking forward to discovering new artists at the Brunswick Music Festival, 3-11 March. Never mind the music, I just love the names: Gut Health, Vanessa Worm, and Quality Used Cars, have already got my attention. The festival kicks off with the Sydney Road Street Party on Sunday 3 March – hope to see you there!

If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, you may have noticed that I regularly post events and opportunities that are happening in the Brunswick area. And you can always email me at [email protected] to suggest other events and opportunities you’d like me to share.

Thanks for getting this far! Until next time,


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