Alex's Update Issue 172
Monday 6 June 2016
Diminishing the National Estate
Only nine per cent of NSW is protected national park and few additions have been made in recent years. While I accept some revocations are necessary, such as to reflect a native title decision, included in the government’s recent repeal of 350 hectares of protected land is the revocation of a part of the Ku-ring-Gai Chase National Park to expand a pistol club facility. So-called ‘compensation’ for the loss will be kilometres away in Heathcote, in land that should be reserved regardless. I told Parliament national park declarations are meant to be in perpetuity and expanded, not repealed for private land grabs.
My speech is HERE.
Join me US ‘Freedom to Marry’ leader Evan Wolfson, Irish ‘Yes Equality’ Political Director Tiernan Brady and AME’s Shirleene Robinson at a panel debate on the Australian marriage equality campaign and the lessons we can learn from overseas. Lessons from the US and Ireland is 3-5pm Saturday 11 June at Pitt Street Uniting Church 264 Pitt St, Sydney. RSVP HERE.
Parents and Friends of Gays and Lesbians (PFLAG) NSW has Susan Cottrell, founder of FreedHearts www.freedhearts.org running three workshops for LGBTQ+ people, allies and parents focused on faith and sexuality.
Working for Inclusion in the Conservative Church: Saturday 18 June, 9am-12.30pm at St James Hall, Level 1, 169 Phillip Street Sydney. RSVP HERE.
Mending Family, Church and Community Wounds: Saturday 18 June 1.30-5pm at St James Hall, Level 1, 169 Phillip Street Sydney. RSVP HERE.
Loving your LGBTQ Children and Strengthening your Faith: Sunday 19 June 2-5pm at Pilgrim House 262 Pitt Street Sydney. RSVP HERE.
HIV Testing Week
In response to my question in Parliament, the Minister for Health reported half a million HIV tests in 2016, as 77 per cent increase over the previous year. Testing and early treatment are vital to the campaign to end the transmission of HIV by 2020. There are real advances in rapid testing and treatment that means 92 per cent of people with HIV are getting treatment. The government’s extended approval of pre-exposure prophylaxis for HIV negative people at high risk of becoming infected is welcome.
Congratulations to all those involved in this work, which leads the world and is a great example of bipartisan commitment to public health and real partnership with service providers and affected communities. My question and the Minister's response is HERE. This is HIV Testing Week and you get free HIV tests at many locations, find the one nearest you HERE.
Voluntary Euthanasia Forum
I’m attending the forum on Voluntary Assisted Dying on Thursday in Parliament, moderated by Jane Caro, with panellists Shayne Higson, Andrew Denton, Sarah Edelman, Marshall Perron and Liz McCall.
I am a member of the NSW Parliament Assisted Dying Working Group with members across a number of parties and we are looking closely at potential reforms in this state.