Charity Fundraising Reform

The Morrison Government’s latest announcement on charity fundraising reform is welcome news but still cold comfort to Australian charities and not-for-profits doing it tough through the pandemic.While PM Scott Morrison, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and Assistant Minister for Charities Zed Seselja are popping the champagne corks, Australian charities face yet another year with the red-tape nightmare of having to comply with seven different sets of state and territory regulations if they want to raise funds online or across the country.Another year of delay is estimated to cost Australian charities $15 million in unnecessary compliance costs—that’s money generously donated by Australians going down the drain.As my colleague Shadow Assistant Minister for Charities, Andrew Leigh MP, has said:”The shame of watching the charity sector tangled up in unnecessary red tape while trying to support Australians through natural disasters and a national health crisis has finally forced the Coalition to acknowledge it has a responsibility to lead on this issue.”The Morrison Government has the power to fix this problem, and Australia’s charities should not be forced to wait any longer.”

Dementia Friendly Tasmania Community Survey

Dementia Friendly Tasmania Inc. is conducting a community survey to learn about people’s attitudes to, and experiences of, dementia. The survey results will help them to come up with ideas of how they can help our community be more inclusive of people with dementia.11,500 people in Tasmania are living with dementia and this number is expected to increase to 16,000 by 2058. Please support this important project by picking up a survey at my office in Kingston and placing the completed survey in the box provided. Dementia Friendly Tasmania is accepting survey returns until 20 December.

Cashless Debit Card Legislation

I am shocked but, sadly, not surprised that, during the debate on the cashless debit card legislation, Senator Pauline Hanson would make such an ill-informed suggestion that child sexual abuse is only perpetrated by people on drugs and alcohol. Being elected to the Senate is an extraordinary privilege as well as an enormous responsibility. It is incumbent on senators to ensure that our public statements, including those made in the chamber, and the decisions we make are carefully considered and not driven by ignorance and personal prejudice. Senator Hanson’s comments have the potential to spread ignorance and could be hurtful and potentially harmful to survivors of child sexual abuse. She would be well advised to reflect on her remarks and the impact they may have.

Pension Cashless Debit Cards

Jocelyn, a Disability Pensioner in Ceduna, wrote in an online article about the stigma of being on the cashless debit card without needing to be:

“Imagine going out for a coffee with friends and having to use the card. Imagine buying the local paper… and having to use the card. Imagine not having cash for something you really love on the local buy/sell/exchange. Imagine trying to sell some items to get cash to survive. Imagine every time you pull the card out that you are labelled as a loser. Imagine pulling out a card that doesn’t always work! Even if you have a dollar balance on the card, it refuses you at the checkout, with people waiting behind you in the queue at the local supermarket. Imagine going to the chemist and the card will not work for your prescriptions. All of this has happened to me, and others, many times.”

Jocelyn –

As I outlined in my speech on the Government’s bill to make the CDC rollout permanent, there is no evidence that compulsory income management works in tackling drug, alcohol and gambling addiction. For many people like Jocelyn who are forced onto the card with no history of addiction, it creates a sense of stigma and shame, and takes away their financial autonomy.

Sadly, the Government’s bill was passed by the Senate. Labor will continue to urge the Morrison Government to accept the evidence, stop wasting taxpayers’ money on compulsory income management and abandon it in favour of interventions that are proven to work.

International Volunteers Day

I volunteered so much for my local charity, Kingborough Helping Hands, that they asked me to join the committee as well as be their Patron!

Volunteering is not only a great way to help our community – it also helps us develop friendships, keep active and gain a personal sense of achievement.

Despite the daily demands of my job as a senator, I’m still able to find time to volunteer. If you’re not a volunteer too, what’s stopping you?

Visit Volunteering Tasmania’s website to find out what volunteering opportunities are available in your area:…/find-a-role-2/…

Happy International Volunteers’ Day!

Delivery Drivers – Workers Union

Five food delivery riders have been killed on Australian roads recently in the course of their work. Because they are regarded as ‘independent contractors’ they are working in unsafe conditions for low pay, and when they die at work their families have no access to workers’ compensation.

Delivery riders should be engaged as employees’ with full rights to award rates of pay, safe working conditions and compensation if they get killed or seriously injured in the course of their employment.

This is an absolute outrage and the Morrison Government needs to fix it

Transport Workers Union – TWU
Transport Workers Union, Victorian/Tasmanian Branch – TWUVicTas

10 Days Domestic Leave Policy

I was pleased to co-sponsor Jenny McAllister‘s motion, which passed the Senate today, calling on the Morrison Government to adopt Labor’s policy of 10 days’ paid domestic violence leave.

Domestic violence leave helps workers escaping family and domestic violence – the majority of whom are women – to find accommodation, access support services, attend court and make any other arrangements to rebuild their lives. It would greatly increase the success of family and domestic violence victims in escaping from violent and abusive relationships.

Walk4BrainCancer Virtual

Congratulations to Walk4BrainCancer Virtual on raising $1.65 million across Australia for Cure Brain Cancer.These are vital funds to support the Foundation’s advocacy, awareness-raising and research funding to help combat a cancer which has a five-year survival rate of just 22% and kills more Australian children than any other disease.Thank you to everyone who supported my walk including my fellow team members and our sponsors.

If anyone else wants to sponsor me please visit…/catryna-bilyk

Donations of $2 or more are tax deductible.