My main priorities on HCC have been homelessness and housing, access, health, equality and human rights.
Some of the work I've done that I'm most proud of is:
- I put a motion to distribute free tampons in accessible and gender-neutral toilets in council maintained toilets (passed- now at 2 locations, waiting on a report back for expansion).
- I got up a motion that HCC recognises we are in a homelessness and housing crisis, hosts a roundtable between all levels of government, NGOs, service providers and people with lived experience; this subsequently established the Greater Hobart Homelessness Alliance.
- I worked with Andrew Wilkie and Jacqui Lambie to have Tasmania’s federal housing debt removed- something the federal housing minister at the time said would be impossible. Lambie and Wilkie were not aware of this matter as a blockage to more public and social housing developments for Tasmania, and Lambie did a deal with the federal government to secure the removal of Tasmania’s historic public housing debt, freeing up millions to be spent on new developments. Peak housing providers credit the additional $5M in funding to housing and homelessness services in that year directly to this advocacy.
- I put up a motion that we limit short stay accommodation conversions of whole homes in Hobart local government area, and that we get an amendment up on the planning scheme that enables us to do this (passed).
- Put up a motion that we get an amendment to the Heritage code, allowing staff more flexibility for development applications (DA) specifically to do with access. This was triggered by a motion for a DA for an inner city heritage property that was recommended for refusal on heritage grounds, because the proponent wanted to make the property which was only accessible via stairs, accessible (passed).
- I put a motion to put up trans-inclusive signage in council-maintained bathrooms, and that council make bathrooms that are being upgraded or built, gender-neutral/inclusive where possible (passed).
- I put a motion to block trans/exclusionary groups from occupying and using council owned facilities (failed. That sucked for the community). So, I put a motion to establish an agreement for groups and individuals booking public (council) owned facilities, that they be required to abide by all relevant legislation (Anti-Discrimination Act, most notably), and HCC's strategic plans (passed-- this means no more TERF events in council facilities) (passed).
- Got a motion up that HCC supports pill testing at events and venues across our local government area, in-principle support to run a trial at a major event, and that we lobby the State Government for policy change.
- I've called out conflicts of interest at meetings, as well as racism and sexism. In the least surprising turn of events, this crap is rife in government.
I've made a lot of mistakes over the last four years. I didn't understand planning legislation or heritage codes, or even how to speak at meetings. I haven't always had all the right knowledge or information, and I haven't always gone about things the right way. But I have got the community at my heart, and my values haven't changed. I've learned a lot, delivered on a lot of my priorities; and I know the experience I've had being on council will make HCC Round 2 bigger and better.