The Government decision to seek clarification on the Australian Citizenship Amendment (Allegiance to Australia) was an important decision. Cathy has concerns over the constitutional viability of the Bill, as well as the retrospectivity provision. The Government is clearly listening to the Independents in Parliament and has taken steps to ensure the legislation is of the highest standard. Read Cathy's acknowledgement of the decision online.
Mental health reforms welcomed
Cathy congratulated the Government and Minister for Health, Sussan Ley, for announcing major mental health reforms on November 26 in the Government Response – Review of Mental health Programmes and Services.
Mental health, particularly youth mental health, was a major 2013 election commitment for Cathy. Since then she has made ongoing representations to Government, lobbied for mental health reforms, established a youth mental health group, and moved a Motion calling on the Government to make Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mental health a national priority. Cathy welcomed more help for young people suffering mental health issues and a greater focus on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mental health and thanked the Government for listening to her concerns.
Cathy will be ensuring people in regional Australia get equitable services to major centres. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2014 figures show people in rural and regional Australia were underfunded and under serviced. Cathy’s next action will be to meet with service providers and families to discuss the Government Response.