Congratulations to the six re-elected and newly elected Senators for Queensland – particularly my Liberal National Party colleagues Matt Canavan and James McGrath.
Serving in the Australian Parliament is an immense privilege. It is an opportunity to help shape the future of our country, and to make a real difference in the lives of Australians.
It is a privilege I have never taken for granted. While it is disappointing to not be returning to the Senate, I am grateful to have had the opportunity to serve my fellow Australians, not just as a senator, but as chair Senate’s Legal and Constitutional Affairs committee, as a member of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security, and as the Assistant Minister to the Attorney General, Assistant Minister for Industrial Relations, and Assistant Minister for Women.
I ran for parliament to fight for the liberal and conservative values that have made Australia free and prosperous, to defend our institutions, and to ensure our sovereignty is protected. I ran to make a difference, and I am proud of what I was able to achieve over the past four years.
- Saving the jobs of 1,400 pub workers by ensuring JobKeeper was changed to take account of a quirk of Queensland’s liquor licensing laws;
- Joining with a small group of colleagues from both major parties to highlight the growing threat to Australia’s institutions and sovereignty posed by China.
- Using senate estimates to highlight how Australian universities were failing to uphold freedom of speech. This led to the commissioning of the French Review and legislation requiring universities to better protect free speech and academic freedom;
- Securing the future of the National Archives of Australia and providing an additional $67.7 million to preserve key at-risk records and address the Archives’ immediate needs;
- Helping reform the Federal and Family Court of Australia, so that Australians spend less time waiting or their cases to be heard;
- Ensuring North Queensland had committed locals on the bench to help decide family law cases;
- Delivering safer workplaces for women by implementing the government’s response to the [email protected] Report;
- Strengthening domestic and family violence support services through organisations like StandbyU Foundation.
- Securing $500,000 in funding for a trial of safety smartwatches that help protect women from domestic and partner violence.
- Improving transparency in Native Title organisation;
- Successfully advocating for regulations to be changed so that regional and rural firms had access to commonwealth work;
- Highlighting the unnecessary red tape suffocating many small financial advisory businesses, which led to FASEA being shut down in December 2020.
- Strengthening protections against child exploitation, including through a new law criminalising child sex dolls;
- Securing $3.5 million in funding for a Holocaust Museum and Education Centre in Queensland;
- Ensuring continuous glucose monitoring would be available for adults who suffer from type 1 diabetes.
These achievements have come at the cost of many weeks spent away from my husband Adam and my three wonderful young girls – it is their support that made my public service possible. I look forward to spending more of my time with them.