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Rob's Record

Since entering Parliament in 2021 I've advocated for progressive values and South Australian communities. Here are some of the outcomes I've achieved:

Safeguarding Our Public Assets

In February 2024 my bill to safeguard key public assets from privatisation passed both Houses of Parliament and became law. Key assets covered by the bill include the South Australian Water Corporation, SA Pathology, HomeStart Finance, the Motor Accident Commission, the South Australian Forestry Corporation and the Return to Work Corporation. Now, State Governments will no longer be able to sell major public assets unless the proposal has been considered by a committee, all the details of the sale have been put on the public record, and the process is approved by both Houses of Parliament.

BYO Containers

I introduced a bill to amend the Civil Liabilities Act to protect businesses that allow customers to bring their own takeaway containers from liability if the consumer fails to properly sterilise the container. In July 2022, the bill passed both houses of Parliament and became law, providing certainty and protection to businesses that wanted to encourage their customers to reduce their waste. This was a great example of the Parliament working collaboratively to deliver positive outcomes for our environment.

A Fair Go for Renters

In 2023, the State Parliament passed a bill for the biggest reforms to renting in a generation, which were negotiated between the Greens and the Government. The bill included:

  • Ending no-cause evictions by introducing prescribed grounds to terminate or not renew a tenancy.
  • Extending the notice period to end a tenancy from 28 days to 60 days.
  • Limits on inspections to 4 times per year.
  • Making it easier to rent with pets.
  • Ensuring rental properties comply with minimum housing standards.
  • Making it easier for victims of domestic violence to break a lease.
  • A new independent tenant’s advocacy service that will stand up for tenant’s rights and represent the interests of tenants.

You can watch my speech on the rental reform bill here and read more about my ongoing work to address the housing crisis here.

Protecting Our Heritage Buildings

In March 2024 the Greens secured important reforms to protect SA’s heritage places by negotiating with the Government to pass my bill to crack down on the practice of demolition by neglect. My Private Members Bill which expected to pass the Parliament in coming months increases penalties for violations of the Heritage Places Act 1993 and strengthens heritage protection by enabling governments to occupy or make use of a state heritage place where a heritage agreement is in place. Watch my speech introducing the bill here.

This is a big win in the campaign to protect SA's cultural heritage. Now, big developers will no longer be able to purchase a heritage building, leave it to rot, knock it down and make a profit.

Stop Supermarket Price Gouging

In February 2024 the Greens secured a State Parliamentary inquiry into supermarket price gouging and the impact of high grocery prices on consumers after the Upper House backed my motion. This was a huge win for the people of South Australia battling soaring grocery prices during the cost-of-living crisis and the inquiry will shine a light on price gouging practices that are dudding consumers, farmers, and local producers.

 

Protecting Our Park Lands

My bill to add the Park Lands to the State Heritage List in recognition of their cultural, historic, and environmental heritage passed the Upper House in 2022, bringing us one step closer to safeguarding them from development. In 2023 we achieved another huge win in the fight to safeguard the Adelaide Park Lands from development when the Upper House backed my bills to strip the Police Minister of their power to seize Park Lands for any new SAPOL barracks and prevent the Government from rezoning the Parklands without the approval of both Houses of Parliament.

The Greens are continuing to urge the Government to pass both bills in the Lower House so that our Park Lands finally receive the protection they deserve.

More Public and Active Transport

In 2022 the Greens secured a parliamentary inquiry into the availability and quality of public transport, and the role of government in encouraging cycling and walking and the future of e-scooters. The Committee heard overwhelming evidence that SA's public and active transport infrastructure has been neglected, particularly in the regions. Some of the key recommendations of the Committee included:

  • an increase the frequency of buses in metropolitan Adelaide and in regional centres
  • a trial of passenger train services from Mount Barker to Adelaide;
  • enabling privately owned e-scooters and other personal mobility devices in public spaces
  • developing a state-wide integrated separating cycling network.

You can watch my speech on the findings of the Committee here and read the full report here.

Cracking Down on Junk Food Advertising

In 2023 I brought forward a bill to ban junk food advertising within 500 metres of SA schools, on bus stops and railway stations and other public property in the Upper House. The bill was opposed by all parties, but in response to the pressure the State Government established a working group to consider banning junk food advertising on public transport infrastructure.

This is a step in the right direction, and I will continue to push for legislative reform to protect children from this advertising near schools and on other public infrastructure.

Banning Corflutes

The community has long complained about corflutes clogging up our public streets and polluting our environment. The Greens led the charge to ban them in February 2024, and we were pleased to see the Government finally listen to the community and ban corflutes on public property, bringing SA into line with other states. You can read more here.

Regional Banks

In recent years, major banks have been closing regional bank branches, forcing residents to drive hundreds of kilometres or even interstate to access banking services. At a time when banks are making enormous profits off the back of soaring interest rates, it’s a slap in the face to South Australians doing it tough to be denied this basic community service. In 2023, my motion calling on the Malinauskas Government to take the banks to task and fight to keep branches open in the regions passed the Upper House, sending a strong message to the banking sector that their disrespect for regional communities won’t be tolerated. You can read more here.

COVID Committee

In 2022 I successfully negotiated the creation of the COVID-19 Direction Accountability and Oversight Committee. This is an important transparency and accountability measure that allows for the parliament to consider and carefully scrutinise COVID directions relating to close contacts and COVID-19 positive people, safeguarding individual rights in our fight against the pandemic. Importantly, it’s legislated that this committee isn’t controlled by the Government, ensuring genuinely independent oversight. You can watch my speech here.

Supporting Our Healthcare Workers

In 2022 the Greens secured an important win by working with the Government to pass a bill to provide of heavily discounted car parking and free public transport for hospital workers. You can read more here.

Ministerial Diaries

The community hates the idea of Government Ministers having secret meetings behind closed doors. Sunlight is the best disinfectant, and the public has a right to know who Ministers are meeting with and why. In 2022, my bill to bring South Australia into line with the ACT, Queensland, and NSW in requiring State Ministers to publicly disclose all meetings, events and functions which relate to their professional responsibility passed the Upper House. I’m continuing to urge the Government to support the bill in the Lower House so that it can become law.

Donations Reform

In 2021 the Parliament backed my move to require candidates standing in Council elections to disclose donations received before the voting period. Now, electors will now get this information before they vote - allowing them to make an informed choice and know whether or not candidates standing for office are bankrolled by vested interests.

University Merger

In 2023 I successfully pushed to refer the Government’s proposed merger of UniSA and the University of Adelaide to an inquiry, despite their attempt to rush it through Parliament at break-neck speed. You can read more here.