It has been a very busy but very productive past month in the Parliament. The McGowan Government has passed some substantial legislation that will create some much improved outcomes for our community.
As part of our response to the COVID-19 crisis, we passed the Planning and Development Amendment Bill 2020. This legislation will help fast-track major projects to stimulate the economy and create jobs, but just as importantly it will make it easier for you to make some small changes to thing like patios and sheds at home.
One of the principles that was very important to me when we debated the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill last year was that of ensure people were able to experience a “good death”. That is to say individuals and their families are supported in their choices when facing the end of life. I was, therefore, very pleased to see the Parliament last month establish the Joint Select Committee on Palliative Care in Western Australia. This committee will undertake some very important work to develop a series of recommendations that will improve the end of live choices available to people in our community.
We also passed the Fines, Penalties and Infringement Notices Enforcement Amendment Bill 2019. This law will see the end to an average of 100 Western Australian every going to jail because of unpaid fines.
From now on, only a Magistrate can jail a person for the non-payment of fines and only in the most extreme of cases. People experiencing hardship will not be jailed but other arrangements like the garnishing of wages of payment will be put in place to ensure the fines are recouped in a way that is manageable. This is a piece of legislation that improves fairness and ensures people fullfil their obligation and I am very proud to have been a part of passing it through the Parliament.
I have had a number of chances to speak in the Parliament this month and to talk up Bunbury. On 20 May I gave a speech about how innovative Bunbury businesses have been in adapting to the COVID environment. It was a great opportunity to recognise the resilience of a number of small local businesses and to spruik the Buy Local message.
I also delivered a grievance to the Minister for Community Services, Hon. Simone McGurk about homelessness in our community. The result was the Minister’s visit to Bunbury and the convening of the round-table meeting as described above which was great outcome.
Finally, I had the opportunity to deliver a tribute to South West woman Shirley Hayward who passed away earlier this year. Shirley and her husband Norm made an amazing contribution to children services in the region, particularly within the Noongar community, and while the circumstances were very sad it was fitting for her contribution to be recognised in the State Parliament.