Macnamara, it’s been a big year
As we approach the festive season, I wanted to reflect on some of the work and achievements we have made this year.
One of our first acts in government last year was to legislate our 2030 emissions reductions targets.
But we didn’t stop there.
This year we legislated the reformed Safeguard Mechanism, an essential step towards net zero. These reforms will reduce emissions by 200 million tonnes, the equivalent of taking two thirds of Australia’s cars off the road between now and 2030.
We worked closely with the crossbench, business leaders, climate groups and the community because we know that protecting our environment is above politics.
Ten years of climate inaction and division impacted us all. By taking serious action on climate change, we are also harnessing the economic opportunities which come with the transition to clean energy.
We are reforming our environmental laws to protect our environment, and in the most recent budget we prioritised establishing Environment Protection Australia, an independent national environment protection agency.
We know that housing affordability is impacting families, businesses, and communities. These challenges did not occur overnight and cannot be solved overnight either.
However, we are moving in the right direction, with the single biggest investment to support social and affordable rental housing in more than a decade.
We committed to an ambitious housing reform agenda, which will boost the supply of all housing – more public and social housing, more affordable housing, and more homes to rent, benefitting every Australian, especially our more vulnerable communities.
Four-thousand of these new homes will help support women and children fleeing domestic violence and older women at risk of homelessness.
More housing services will become available to veterans. We also committed funding towards the maintenance and improvements of housing in remote Indigenous communities.
Our plan for gender equality is paying off. In March this year, we passed legislation to publish gender pay gaps of employers with 100 or more workers. Increasing transparency of gender equality in the workplace will ensure that employers are held to account – helping us accelerate action to close the gender pay gap.
One of my personal highlights of the year was watching the entire country get behind the Matildas, witnessing them change the future of Australian sport.
As girls and boys across the country cheered them on, we were committed to ensuring that momentum was not lost.
We announced the $200 million Play Our Way program to promote equal access and participation for women and girls through supporting grassroots initiatives and community clubs.
Last, but certainly not least, we have committed to supporting our creative industries.
Arts, culture, and music is more than a passion or a hobby. So many members of our local community work in the creative industries, and even more Australians benefit daily from their art. At the beginning of this year we launched the national cultural policy “revive” – the first significant framework of its kind in nearly a decade.
Macnamara, and Southbank in particular, is one of our country’s biggest cultural hubs so I was proud to see this game-changing policy launched locally.
It has been a big year. There is much more we have done, and much more we must do.
As we head into 2024, I know we will continue speaking with our incredible community and deliver policies that really make a difference.
It is a privilege to represent the people of Macnamara, and I wish all of you a happy holiday, in all the different ways you celebrate. •
Josh Burns is the Federal MP for the seat of Macnamara.