What a lot happens in a month ... the National Anti-Corruption Commission bills introduced to Parliament, catastrophic floods, escalating energy prices, the Optus cyber-attack, the government’s first budget due, the Queen’s death, and much more. Throughout this time, Independents have been active in keeping the government accountable, questioning and seeking amendments to legislation, and keeping crucial matters at the top of government agenda.

On a national level, the floods affecting Tasmania, Victoria and NSW are devastating and my heart goes out to those who are dealing with the uncertainty and destruction. We will need to continue building our resilience capabilities as climate change makes weather related catastrophes more frequent and more severe.

My very best wishes to those who are sitting HSC exams or have someone in their family who is. I have been supporting my daughter through her HSC and I appreciate what a stressful time of life this is for all … but it will end!

Strategic vacancies

There are four roles open for volunteers to lead key activities for fundraising, social media, community engagement, and communications. Check the News & Views on my website or use this direct link.

Dates for your diary

  • Politics in the Pub on Thursday 27 October from 7.30pm at the Greengate Hotel. We aim to gather outside on the Pacific Highway side. Unfortunately, I can't be there this time but Team Nic volunteers will be and so will members of Voices of Bradfield. 
  • Supporters' event on Thursday 1 Dec from 6pm - details to be confirmed later.

I look forward to hearing from you as we continue the discussion of nationally important matters.

Nic

Smiling woman in hot pink top


Nic's news

Electrifying Australia

I have secured an advisory role as 'Expert Adviser, Electrification of Everything' with the Smart Energy Council and am helping them on the ‘electrification of everything with renewables.’ This will include ways to accelerate the rollout of renewable energy, energy management technology and storage at all scales.

Experts say that the decisions we make in the next three years will determine the direction of our economy until the end of the century. I’m pleased to provide my expertise from my career in clean energy, climate policy and finance alongside my skills in making policies and providing sector-wide, multi-stakeholder solutions.

People everywhere want to ease cost-of-living pressures and to be part of the climate solution. Smarter energy management:

  • Helps lower energy bills and tackle the cost-of-living pressures
  • Makes it cheaper to provide renewable supply capacity
  • Increases economic productivity and enhances energy security

Speaking engagements

  • CPA Australia’s CSR Group on the role of accountants on addressing climate and carbon accounting.
  • A2EP's Innovation X-Change (Australian Alliance for Energy Productivity) - I outlined the public policy and finance obstacles that need to be tackled to deliver decarbonization and the opportunity of new decarbonized industries for export.

The Big Teal

Simon Holmes à Court's book tells the origin of the community independent movement. I was humbled and gratified to hear Simon emphasise Climate 200 support for our Bradfield campaign, when he launched 'The Big Teal' at Gleebooks.



Team Nic operations

Office of the Shadow Representative for Bradfield

We’ve received overwhelming support for Nic to stand again as a Community Independent in the next federal election and this time be elected as Bradfield’s MP. Between now and then, we're creating a new model of doing politics – one where the people of Bradfield, not party members, come first.

The Office of Nicolette Boele, Shadow Representative for Bradfield in Gordon, forms part of that model – a place where constituents can gain information, get connected and make their voice heard. We also plan to use this space for community get togethers, democracy training and hosting Bradfield Issues Groups - fora for exploring the advocacy of key issues that matter to the people of Bradfield like integrity in politics, climate action, a sustainable and dignified aged care system, and youth mental health. For now, Mr Paul Fletcher is Bradfield’s MP and constituents are encouraged to seek his representation for matters such as visas, passports, citizenship etc.

Nicolette remains committed to ‘Integrity in decision making' and describes the role of Shadow Representative as connecting and collaborating to amplify peoples’ voice from all corners of modern Bradfield. Done well, we want the Office of Nicolette Boele to enable:

  • Nic to listen to and learn from the community
  • The community to know there’s a viable alternative to the two-party political system
  • Team Nic supporters and others to connect, be informed and acquire skills for being an empowered and effective citizen.

Volunteer survey

Thank you to those who’ve told us their skills and interests. Knowing who has which skills makes it easier to invite people to contribute to specific tasks. 

Small teams of people have already started working on fundraising projects, social media and a community engagement plan. I am very excited to be working with volunteers on these activities.

It’s not too late to reply to the volunteer survey and I would love to hear from you.

I have added a box on the survey that you can tick if you don’t want to be involved now but would like to be contacted when an election becomes imminent.  

Silent auction

I'd like to thank our generous supporters who offered their properties and to everyone who bid for one of the seven getaways. We hope the winners enjoy their breaks, as much as MC, who won a stay at Bryon Bay in the April auction:

The boys and I are having a fabulous time. The place has so much space with the doors opening onto the deck. Off for the Lighthouse Loop walk now. 

This money will enable us to redesign the office as a welcoming space. A graphic designer is working on a new look and feel to accompany Nic's role as Shadow Representative. One of our supporters is an architect and is helping us with the office layout.

We know you are right behind Nic and thank you for your generosity. Our fundraising team is creating other events so watch this space for more fun ways to get involved.

Data security

The Optus data breach has impacted an estimated one in three Australians.

Keep yourself safe online:

  • Use unique passwords for each site
  • Store your passwords safely and securely – I use Keeper (one of many commercially available password managers) and I love its Family Plan.
  • Install software updates on all your devices when prompted, including your mobile phone
  • Back up your data – keep a copy in case you get malicious software on your computer.

People are understandably nervous about clicking on embedded links in emails. Our communications often include a link to more information or to RSVP to an event. We are exploring how we can eliminate clickable links. In the meantime, you can always email me direct on [email protected]

For everyone’s protection, we conducted an IT audit to prevent malware installation and hacking and have now further strengthened our data security for the website and our database.  

Carey Francis – Chief of Staff


The Nation

During the election campaign, there were a lot of misgivings and questions raised about how an independent could effectively represent their electorate in the absence of a party machine. Over the past three months, the new independents have proved that belonging to a party is not necessary – indeed, it is a hindrance. 

Independents are free to act and vote in accordance with their election promises and to represent their electorate. The Australian Financial Review placed Teal independents no. 4 in its list of most influential political people. The AFR states that this group, along with David Pocock in the Senate, 'already forms a critical pressure point for Labor and has wiped out the next generation of Liberal moderates'.

You will notice that we prefer not to use the word ‘teal’ when referring to independents. This is because:

A teal tile alongside multi-colour dots
Independents contribute to the national debate and are an effective opposition. They also respond to their communities' concerns and get involved locally. This is what a true representative looks like. Take for example Dr Monique Ryan’s advocacy demanding scientific back up to repealing the Covid precautions. 

Party representatives are bound by the party line and cannot effectively represent their constituents if the party line is at odds with their constituents’ views. 

As Bradfield's Shadow Representive, Nic aims to be actively involved in the national debate and to be engaged in the Bradfield community. The current independents are proving that this model works. In committing to the role of Shadow Representative, Nic will be well placed to seek election when the time comes.

On integrity

Integrity was one of the two top issues for Bradfield (the other being climate). Voters want accountability and transparency. 

On 28 September, the bills to establish the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) were introduced to Parliament. A overview can be found here

This is an important step in enhancing integrity in Federal politics. However, there is a major flaw – public hearings are limited to cases involving exceptional circumstances. This onus must be reversed. As Geoffrey Watson SC of the Centre for Public Integrity explains, “public hearings bring new information forward that can be key to investigations. Importantly they increase public trust and expose corruption”.

Congratulations to Dr Helen Haines MP who has been appointed Deputy Chair of the Joint Committee on the NACC legislation. Dr Haines has been campaigning for a strong, independent integrity watchdog since being elected in 2019. It is rare to have an independent appointed as a deputy chair. Her appointment and centrality to the development of a national commission is an example of how an independent can get difficult things done.

Stage 3 tax cuts

The Stage 3 tax cuts were enacted by the 46 Parliament to come into effect in July 2024. Since being elected the Albanese Government has restated it will honour their election promise not to reverse the Stage 3 tax cuts.

What do you think?

Complete this short survey so we can learn your views.

Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters

This federal parliamentary committee is examining potential electoral reforms as part of its inquiry into the 2022 federal election. Matters for consideration will include changes to political donation laws, funding of elections, and 'truth in political advertising'.

We have made a submission to this Joint Standing Committee. Our submission hasn’t been placed on the website yet (as at 26 October) so we won’t discuss it now!

Here is the website if you would like to keep an eye out for it. There are many submissions and they make for interesting reading. Professor George Williams AO’s submission is particularly insightful – he calls for better regulation of electoral lies, expanding the franchise, holistic reform to federal campaign finance law and reform of section 44 of the Constitution.

Queen Elizabeth II

Many in Bradfield will view the passing of the late Queen Elizabeth with sadness, and appreciate the grace and dedication she brought to a difficult role. Others will reflect on the complicated legacy that the British royal family represents. However, it does seem safe to say that King Charles' lifelong commitment to sustainability is welcome.


Out and about in Bradfield

I love where I live! I have been exploring our beautiful waters along Cowan Creek, one of the tributaries to the Hawkesbury River. Why not hire a boat and get out on the water yourself?

I am deeply concerned about the state of the arts (part of our current member’s former portfolio) and try to support gigs and events around Bradfield. Clayton Doley’s Bayou Billabong – a 10-piece band played an awesome set at Roseville RSL the other night.

Voices of Bradfield executive team has been meeting to discuss how best to ensure Bradfield is heard and represented. I enjoyed catching up with them for a kitchen table conversation recently. 

The Good Car Company hosted an EV Show and Shine event in Randwick on Saturday 22 October 12pm-4pm. It was a day for anyone, not just the Randwick and Eastern Suburbs community, to come and learn about EVs, ask questions, go for test rides and participate in the EV Bulk Buy which is running in partnership with Randwick City Council. The aim is to get more people involved in the conversation about EV transition, plant seeds for people to help them with decision making around when they can transition their transport and to offer access to more affordable EVs with further discounts through the Bulk Buy. More details at https://www.goodcar.co/randwick

Hats off to Ku-ring-gai Council for a fabulous afternoon reducing waste from the fashion and apparel sectors via the Clothing Exchange at St Ives Showground. I really encourage these local sustainability initiatives.

Two smiling women holding clothes