Frequently Asked Questions

Click a topic below to read Allegra's position or view core policy details

Power of Independents

Independents have the ability to have a significant impact on the running of government by advocating, drafting legislation and voting. If I am elected, I will use each of these avenues to drive the priorities of the Wentworth community.

Independents can keep issues on the agenda that major parties want to ignore. Issues such as integrity, political donations and long-term tax reform are issues that members of the Wentworth communities raise with me, but which neither party want to take appropriate action on. To date, independents such as Cathy McGowan and Helen Haines have championed major integrity reforms, such as the institution of the Parliamentary Budget Office, and the drafting of a widely-supported legislation on a Federal Integrity Commission. As an independent, I can keep important issues live in Parliament.

Independents can propose important legislation and make amendments to improve our laws. Kerryn Phelps, Wentworth's first independent member of Parliament, drafted and passed the crucial Medevac Bill to get critically ill asylum seekers and refugees off offshore detention. Other independents have drafted the Climate Bill and Federal Integrity Commission Bill which have widespread support across business and the community. As an independent, I will support these two critical bills, and engage in parliamentary processes to improve our laws and propose appropriate actions.

Finally, independents can vote with their communities. If I am elected, I will vote for legislation on its merits, consulting with the Wentworth community, not a party.

Regardless of which party forms government, I will use my powers to work with the government of the day to make legislation better, and bring the priorities of my community to parliament. I will not oppose things for the sake of political points. I have spent the last 12 years running organisations and will bring the constructive attitude I had there into the role. I can be a representative in Parliament who listens and does not just talk. This is a moment to bring our community together rather than push them apart.

Finally, one of the most important roles of independents is as a local member. I will work with members of the community on key issues to them, such as immigration, navigation of government services, applications for grants etc. and I will seek access and engagement from government on issues important to the community. I commit to holding community forums about important issues, setting up community reference groups, and bringing our community to Canberra.

ABC

As our national broadcaster, the ABC plays an essential role in supporting a healthy democracy at home and showcasing the best of Australia abroad. This government has consistently undermined the sustainability and independence of the ABC, cutting its budget by more than half a billion dollars since 2014. As a result, we have lost some of the ABC’s flagship news and current affairs programs, as well as important international programming.

We need to invest in the ABC and the SBS and do more to encourage diversity in our media. This includes restoring the ABC’s budget, investing in its international platform, and protecting its editorial independence.

Arts

The arts industry gives enormous value to our society, enriching our lives and supporting more than 350,000 jobs. But it has been hit hard by COVID-19 and poorly supported by our government. As a result, many people in the sector are suffering.

We need to support our creative industries to bounce back. This includes restoring arms-length funding to the Australia Council to help re-build small and medium-sized organisations; implementing a meaningful quota for Australian screen content across all platforms; and making sure multinational tech giants pay their fair share of tax in Australia. We also need to enhance coordination in arts and cultural policy between different layers of government and look at ways to increase philanthropic funding for the arts in the long-term.

I also want to see our arts and cultural education re-built. This includes developing a National Cultural Strategy, as recommended by the House Committee on creative industries, and redressing the costs of Arts degrees which have been targeted by recent government policy.

More detail here

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander rights

The implementation of the Uluru Statement from the Heart with a First Nations’ Voice to Parliament is a pathway to true and meaningful reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.

Indigenous empowerment should be central to all First Nations policies, across health, housing, education and land management.

More than half of all young people incarcerated in Australia are Indigenous. I support all efforts to raise the age of criminality from ten to fourteen years of age.

Aged Care

Despite numerous inquiries into the embattled Aged Care sector, consecutive federal Governments have failed to protect the dignity, health and wellbeing of our most vulnerable citizens or support the workforce that cares for them.

I support the implementation of the Aged Care Royal Commission’s recommendations with a rights-based approach that integrates aged care with strategies to build safe and healthy communities.

Animal Welfare

We need to modernise our animal welfare laws to end live exports of sheep and cattle and improve the living conditions of farm-raised hens and pigs. This will alleviate the unnecessary suffering of millions of animals and restore Australia's damaged animal welfare reputation. As Wentworth’s representative, I will support the establishment of a national Animal Welfare Commission as recommended by the Productivity Commission to coordinate the development and implementation of national animal welfare standards and to provide independent science-based advice to Government.

Climate Change Action

Climate change is real and its impacts are clear. We need to act now to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions to Net Zero.

Australians deserve a government with the vision to implement a minimum 50% reduction of greenhouse emissions by 2030. That’s overwhelmingly what our science, health, financial and industry bodies want, including the Business Council of Australia.

We inhabit the sunniest, windiest nation on earth, which holds abundant clean energy mineral resources. With a strong legislative framework, we can unleash a nationwide clean energy transformation that will see the rapid expansion of renewables to decarbonise our electricity and the uptake of electric vehicles to cut our transport emissions.

I back the Climate Change Bill put forward by the Member of Warringah, Zali Steggall, setting strong science-based goals that will help Australia seize the economic opportunities, create the clean export industries of the future and become a clean energy superpower.

Childcare

Childcare should be made cheaper to enable more women to do more paid work, provide Australian women with enhanced life choices, and help boost the economy. The Federal Government should raise the subsidy rate from 85-95% gradually tapering for households with income around $70,000. The boost to workforce participation would equate to an $11 billion-a-year economic opportunity – worth $150,000 in higher lifetime earnings for the typical Australian mother.

The Federal Government should also encourage sharing of parental leave by mandating that a proportion of the leave, for example 6 weeks, is only available to the second partner in a family.

Cost-of-Living Crisis

Australian families are watching prices rise faster than their wages. And to make things even tougher, interest rates are now going up. This is partly due to shocks in global supply chains, but it’s also the result of failed government policy over many years that continues today.

Accelerating our green transition will make a big difference here. We need to introduce proper emissions standards to support our electric vehicle market and decrease our vulnerability to the rising cost of foreign oil. We also need to support families to transition to cheaper renewable energy which will protect them from rising wholesale electricity prices caused by costly and unreliable coal-fired plants.

In the short-term, we also need to increase migration to ease labour shortages and provide proper targeted support to those that need help the most. We also need to focus on solving Australia’s long-term productivity problems to address the issue of wage stagnation and take action now to make housing more affordable.

COVID-19 Vaccines

Vaccines have helped protect Australians from Covid-19, particularly vulnerable citizens in high-risk settings such as Aged Care homes and hospitals. I support Government-mandated vaccinations for teachers, health care and aged care workers, except for those with valid medical exemptions.

I endorse NSW Health Department advice, encouraging full vaccination for everyone over the age of five years.

Economy

We’ve worked hard just to get through the pandemic. We need to kickstart our economy, with a plan for long term prosperity. Accountable and transparent Government spending should unlock productivity, drive inclusive growth and innovation, and reduce our trillion-dollar debt. We’ll grow a future-fit economy through affordable childcare so more women can work, by reforming our uncompetitive tax regime and by investing in skills and R&D to unleash innovation.

I’ll lobby to end the annual $11.6 BN in fossil fuel subsidies and I’ll fight for policies that accelerate our transformation to a low carbon economy by attracting the investment we need to become a clean energy superpower.

Electric Vehicles

Electric vehicles are cheaper in the long run, healthier, and better for the environment.

Running an EV costs less than one-third the equivalent petrol car, with much lower fuel costs and service costs. The problem is that EVs are so expensive to buy in Australia now, if you can find one, all due to government policies that can be fixed.

The first thing we have to do is do what almost every other developed country does - introduce proper emission standards, so that it is harder to sell old heavy-emitting vehicles. The UK, Europe, even the US does this. Because we don’t, car makers keep selling their old technology cars here, while new low-emission models are sold into Europe and North America. That’s why Europe has a choice of almost 200 EV models, while we have just 31, less than half of which are below $65,000.

We need the emissions standards to give Australian families and businesses the same choice, availability and affordability of EVs that the rest of the world enjoys. Investing in physical charging infrastructure will also help, particularly on major highways and in shopping centre and work carparks, so that drivers can go wherever they need to go. And we should consider supporting State government initiatives to reduce the upfront price of EVs, by exempting them from duties and taxes.

60% of Wentworth residents live in strata dwellings - for us, changing building regulations to allow the building of chargers is essential. A lot of us just don't have driveways or garages. The federal, state and local governments should work closely to make sure those regulations are keeping up with consumer demand for electric vehicles.

Environment

As citizens of a beautiful, bio-diverse nation, we care deeply for our natural assets and unique environments. But today much of our environment - including the Great Barrier Reef and the Murray Darling Basin - is under stress from land clearing, development and climate change. Australia leads the world in species extinction and there are many more animals, plants and ecosystems that are in decline or are endangered.

A major Government review has urged immediate strengthening of a range of Commonwealth environment laws and called for Indigenous Australians to be given a bigger role in preserving and restoring land and water systems. I support the full implementation of the Samuel Review’s recommendations.

As your local member, I’ll advocate for the protection and enhancement of Wentworth’s parks, beaches and bushlands.

Health

Australians value their world class health care system. But the Covid-19 pandemic has revealed failings in care for our most vulnerable, while climate change impacts have underscored the need to build physical and mental resilience.

A focus on preventive health to fight chronic illness will help keep Australians healthy and out of hospital, reducing costs and improving our overall quality of life.

We need an affordable and accessible health system that integrates primary care, manages costs and embraces new technology to diagnose and manage illness, and to better coordinate services.

Housing

Housing affordability is a real challenge for Wentworth and for the country as a whole. There are no easy answers – and we need to be conscious that Wentworth already has some of the most densely populated suburbs in Australia.

Despite what the Prime Minister says, this is not an issue that can be quickly solved by renters just choosing to buy a house. It’s also not an issue that can be solved by loading more and more debt onto people when interest rates are rising.

Many decisions regarding housing policy are State issues, but I believe that the Federal government has a leadership role to play. In the short term, I support investigating the benefits of shared equity arrangements, which can make it easier for people to buy their first home. We should also consider whether the current level of Commonwealth Rental Assistance is appropriate for those most in need.

In the long term, I support looking at housing supply, including how the Federal government could support the construction of more social housing and more affordable housing in the private sector.

 

Integrity

Trust in government is an essential part of a healthy democracy, but it’s at an all time low. We need change to deliver honesty, transparency and accountability.

The Commonwealth is the only jurisdiction without an independent, anti-corruption agency. I support the Integrity Commission model put forward by the Member for Indi, Helen Haines, which has the power to hold public hearings, hear referrals from the public, examine past cases of alleged corrupt conduct and establish a code of conduct for parliamentarians.

I support further measures, including tighter controls on political donations and lobbying, greater transparency around tax-payer funded programs and creating a culture of integrity through more independence for the public service and holding ministerial advisers to account.

Inclusive Society

Valuing diversity is the cornerstone of a successful, prosperous and inclusive multicultural nation. That means respecting LGBTQI people, supporting the social and economic empowerment of our First Nations citizens and welcoming migrants and refugees.

Working with the National Disability Support Scheme (NDIS) to achieve positive outcomes and sustainability, I will help ensure Australians living with disability are fully included in the social and economic fabric of our society.

Jewish Community - Israel

I stand with Israel in its right to self defence and I believe any resolution to conflict in the region must include a secure Jewish state.

The two-state solution envisages a state of Israel alongside a Palestinian state. While I acknowledge this is a complex and difficult process, I believe concerted diplomatic effort towards the establishment of two states is essential to the long-term goal of peace and security.

I oppose the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement and condemn the recent boycott of the Sydney Festival. Australia and Israel have strong ties and I’ll work to make them stronger, particularly in the innovation economy.

Jewish Community - Security and Antisemitism

All members of our community need to feel safe and to be able to practice their faith in freedom. This is of particular concern for Wentworth’s Jewish community, with rising anti-semitism here and across the world. Strengthening security for schools, pre-schools and synagogues in Wentworth increases our community’s sense of safety. I endorse all current Federal Government funding for community security. As Wentworth’s federal member I will advocate to broaden the scope of Government support, so the community can invest in areas of greatest priority.

I reject all forms of hate speech and I’m committed to fighting antisemitism in Australia. I wholeheartedly support and admire the essential work of Holocaust Remembrance museums in their teachings of the terrible consequences of prejudice, intolerance and hate.

Mental Health

I am very concerned about the mental health of Australians. The number of people seeking help has risen over the past two years, an increasing demand that poses significant challenges to our current services.

Younger Australians are among the hardest hit. Almost 19% of people aged 15 to 24 suffered anxiety and 14% had depression in 2020-21, according to the most recent National Health Survey.

While funding for mental health is growing, we need better coordination between governments and private/public providers to improve access and affordability. We also need to address the shortfall in training capacity for the next generation of clinical psychologists.

I support calls for more efficient local networks to provide better transparency around waiting times. If elected, I would support trialling a digital local network of mental health services in Wentworth to improve transparency and access to mental health services.

Migration

Migrants bring talent and enthusiasm to their new Australian lives, helping drive our country’s economy.

Closing our international borders helped keep us safe during the pandemic, but businesses are now suffering from severe labour shortages, pushing up prices for consumers and hindering our economic recovery.

We need solutions - including tailored working visas - to increase net migration so that we bounce back quickly with a future-fit workforce. And we need a fast, effective pathway to ensure the best and brightest young people migrate to Australia and put down long term roots here.

Second Public High School for Wentworth

This is one of the most important local issues in Wentworth and it is now long overdue. If elected, I would draw on my extensive business experience to develop and maintain strong lines of communication with local State and Federal members (of all parties) in conjunction with the Wentworth community, to ensure this project is prioritised and delivered. I will also work to ensure that the committed funds for upgrades to Randwick Boys and Randwick Girls are spent.

Refugees

Australia benefits enormously from the energy and commitment that refugees bring to their new home.

As the belated agreement for 450 refugees to resettle in New Zealand is implemented, refugees held on Nauru should be brought back to Australia and those detained on the mainland should be released. Humane solutions must be found for the hundreds of genuine refugees not part of the agreement, so they can lead meaningful, productive lives.

According to the United Nations, there are more than 84 million displaced people across the globe. As a compassionate, developed nation, we should raise our annual humanitarian refugee intake to at least 18,000 and offer additional visas to families fleeing from Afghanistan and from war in Ukraine.

I support the settlement of the Murugappan family in Biloela. They should be granted permanent protection in Australia. If elected, I will pursue this position with the relevant ministers.

More detail here

NDIS

NDIS was a world-leading system when it was created and provides life-changing support for many Australians. However, we can’t pretend there are not serious problems - there are too many rogue suppliers; too many cases of participants seeing their support unjustly cut; and too much money being wasted by the NDIS.

We need a kind and compassionate system, shaped around the voices and needs of Australians with disabilities. We need more consistent decision-making, a less adversarial appeals process, and a reduction in red tape. I want to see full implementation of the ANAO’s recommendations on NDIS and a rapid review in the next parliament on how the current shortcomings can be quickly addressed.

National Security and Defence

Australia faces an increasingly complex strategic environment and I take our defence and national security very seriously. I fully support Australia's strong commitment to effective global cooperation, unity of intent and action in security and foreign relations with our international allies. I support the rules-based world order and the need to properly resource our defence forces to protect Australia and deter potential aggressors. I support developing Australia’s international relationships and agreements including ANZUS, AUKUS, and our participation in The Quad.

If elected, I would be a “critical friend” to the government, taking an evidence-based approach to policy decisions. As an independent, I would consult extensively with defence, security and geo-political experts to support policies that are in the national interest and challenge those where legitimate questions arise. For example, I support reviewing our approach to diplomacy, soft power, foreign aid and foreign relations to ensure we are operating in a fully informed, considered and sophisticated way, alongside our allies.

We also need to heed the warnings of some of our formerly most senior defence personnel and take climate change seriously. This government’s policy has cost us in the Pacific, it makes us dependent on foreign fuel, and it is diminishing our place on the world stage.

National Security - Solomon Islands

China’s pact with the Solomon Islands is a serious foreign policy failure by the Australian government. It should give us cause to reflect on our approach.

We need to re-focus on diplomacy, soft power, and foreign aid. We need to take climate change seriously. And we need to dial-down the unhelpful and aggressive rhetoric that too often comes from this Prime Minister.

Tax

Australia’s taxation system is complex and inefficient and not set up to deliver the productivity gains our future prosperity depends on. Stamp duty puts a brake on productivity, and Australia has some of the highest business and personal tax rates in the OECD.

We need a wide-ranging parliamentary tax review, engaging business and community groups in its design, to create an efficient, simple, transparent system that encourages investment while providing high quality public services and support to our most vulnerable.

Transgender Women in Sport

I am a firm supporter of the LGBTQI community and I value diversity as the cornerstone of a successful, prosperous and inclusive multicultural nation. Vilification of trans people has no place in our society. I will always stand up against transphobia.

Transgender women should be included in sports and legislation already exists to support sporting bodies in ensuring fair competition. I believe these bodies should continue to work constructively and respectfully with the community.

Katherine Deves, Scott Morrison’s captain’s pick for Warringah, is hostile to the LGBTQI+ community and insulting to the Jewish community. People in Wentworth tell me they don’t want politicians who try to incite division. They are seeking representatives who bring the best of our community value to parliament, and who champion them openly whenever they are threatened. I will always stand up for Wentworth’s values.

Women

It’s time to improve the respect, safety and equality of all women and girls in Australia.

We need better access to work for women which will boost the Australian economy and accelerate progress on gender equity. As your representative, I will focus on making childcare more affordable, expanding paid parental leave to incentivise men to share the parenting load, and fully implementing the recommendations of the [email protected] report including the positive duty on employers to prevent discrimination, sexual harassment and victimisation in the workplace.

Along with stronger, consistent child sexual assault laws, we need more effective national leadership and co-ordination of funding and support for existing domestic violence initiatives with evidence-based methods to prevent gendered violence before it starts.

 

If you have further policy questions, we want to hear from you!  Please email us at [email protected]