Coalition’s Climate Change Agenda

We need to have a serious conversation about the dangers of arbitrary emissions reduction targets that are pulled from thin air. I believe that the views of scientists that actually understand emissions reduction technologies should hold more weight than the opinions of bureaucrats and politicians.

Soaring Gas Prices

The Government can't afford to continue in demonising gas companies as they did for the nine years the were in Opposition. Coal and gas are our main sources of energy, and the more that supply falls the more our energy bills will continue to rise.

Ineffective Teal “Independents”

I think that voters in the teal "independent" seats may start to review what their vote has done once they see how ineffective these teal members will be in the new Parliament.

New Liberal Leadership & Indigenous Representation

Discussing the election of new Liberal Party Leader Peter Dutton and the reality of whether an Indigenous voice to Parliament will adequately address the very pressing issues faced by First Nation Australians.

National Autism Strategy

A re-elected Morrison Government will commit $1 million to develop the National Autism Strategy that I recommended as Chair of the Autism Inquiry. The strategy would have clear reporting mechanisms and focus on educating the wider public about autism.

Autism in the Leader’s Debate

To just focus on this one word used by the Prime Minister is entirely missing the point of the substantive issues faced by the autistic community.

Powering Community Groups in Shortland

The Morrison Government is supporting community groups in Shortland through the Powering Communities Program to enable not-for-profit groups to cut their power bills and carbon emissions and provide support to jobs in the Region.

Faster Broadband in Shortland

Households and businesses in towns like Cardiff South, Charlestown, and Macquarie Hills will be able to access NBN Co’s fastest internet plans of up to 1 gigabit per second on-demand by 2023.

Black Summer Grants for Shortland Projects

There were 524 projects funded under the Black Summer Bushfire Recovery Grants program, and I’m delighted to announce two very important projects in my Patron Seat of Shortland.

Hunter Jobs Fair

With skills shortages in key industries across the Hunter Region, this is a great time to be looking for work. These job fairs are a fantastic way of meeting employers face-to-face and getting a foot in the door.

Labor’s Federal Budget Reply

The policies that Labor proposed during the pandemic would have amounted to an additional $81 billion blowout in the Budget’s bottom line. The Labor Party’s addiction to spending means a higher national debt and higher taxes for working Australians.

Labor & Greens Power Sharing Arrangement

Labor and the Greens getting into bed together means that at least 80,000 jobs across the nation are put at risk and half a trillion dollars worth of local community investments will be abandoned. We cannot risk the threat that a Labor-Greens alliance poses to our nation.

Establishing a National Autism Strategy for Australia

After over two years of community consultation, the Select Committee on Autism has now released our landmark Report on services, support, and life outcomes for autistic Australians - providing us with a roadmap for a National Autism Strategy and how we can improve the delivery of cross-jurisdictional supports.

Newcastle Art Gallery Expansion

The expansion of the Newcastle Art Gallery will be great for locals as well as a timely boost for the tourism sector. This funding is further recognition of the Federal Government’s commitment to working with our state counterparts to deliver for our regions.

Major Airfield Works – A Boost For Hunter Region Economy

The Morrison Government has awarded a leading engineering company a $164.9 million contract with Downer EDI Works Pty Limited to support Australia’s air power capabilities and deliver a major boost to the Hunter region and the wider NSW economy.

Pathetic Leadership from the Greens

The Leader of the Greens Party has exhibited a shameful display of hypocrisy by refusing to accept any responsibility to call out Senator Thorpe's foul remarks while simultaneously demanding that very assumption of responsibility from the Prime Minister.

Bullying in the Senate Chamber

The Senate often sees robust debate and I am often an active participant. But at all times we focus on policy and what we think is the right thing to do with regards to legislation. We should not bring peoples family into the debate as a form of slur.

Panic & Misinformation from the Left

On Chris Smith Tonight, discussing the fact that the development of new strains of COVID-19 are inevitable and there is no need to panic. We also discussed the misinformation put forward by the left on Government spending in marginal seats. The ALP have criticised the fact that the Coalition invests in regional and rural seats, which is exactly why people in these seats won't vote Labor.

Omicron & Online Safety

We must not overreact to the new Omicron COVID variant. Australian businesses and families have suffered enough. No more lockdowns. No more restrictions. Let’s just get on with it.

Religious Discrimination Bill & ABC Senate Inquiry

Talking with Chris Kenny on Sky News Australia about Attorney-General Michaelia Cash's incredible navigation through a very complex Bill during the pandemonium that is the final two sitting weeks of Parliament.

NBN Upgrades Across the Hunter Region

Residents in the electorates of Hunter (Bonnells Bay and Muswellbrook), Paterson (Anna Bay), Shortland (Buff Point, Caves Beach, and San Remo), and Newcastle (Merewether) will benefit from being able to access ultrafast broadband.
Department of Infrastructure

Support for the Live Music Industry

The Shoal Bay Country Club has received $32,000 and the Criterion Hotel in Weston has received $26,340 through the Live Music Australia program to help grow a local, sustainable live music culture in the Paterson electorate.

20210920 – Hydrogen Hub in the Hunter

Today, the Morrison Government announced a $464 million grant program to stimulate the development of hydrogen hubs right across Australia. I am working to make the Hunter Region a major player in this sweeping transformation of Australia’s energy and export sector. This is a technology-driven and industry-led plan to invest and develop low emissions industries that create Australian jobs, particularly in our regions, as well as cheaper energy for all Australians.

20210919 – Trial by Media & the AUKUS Nuclear Sub Deal – Chris Smith Tonight – Sky News

Speaking on Sky News about the consequences of the concerning trend of the media becoming judge, jury, and executioner when it comes to unproven allegations. The panel also discussed the fact that many countries in the Indo-Pacific region are feeling more secure since the Prime Minister's announcement that Australia will be procuring nuclear-powered submarines through the AUKUS alliance.

Driver Reviver & Safety Boost for Paterson

$118,000 in Federal Government funding will be granted to upgrade the Medowie Road Driver Reviver site in Paterson to deliver Driver Reviver mass action sign upgrades. This forms part of the $7.2 million our Government is providing to upgrade 71 sites across the country to keep people safe on our roads.

$1 M Grant for Whale Tracking Business in Newcastle

Newcastle-based company Industrial Monitoring & Control Pty Ltd received $1 million in funding from the Federal Government for its innovative proposal of automating the detection of whales at sea through thermal imaging. Their proposal has the potential to enhance regulatory compliance and protect our natural environment for future generations.

20210916 – National Research Centre Opens to Secure Minerals for Future – The National Tribune

Read about the official launch the Australian Research Council's Centre of Excellence for Enabling Eco-Efficient Beneficiation of Minerals (COEMinerals) in the National Tribune. This Centre will consist of a collaboration between the University of Newcastle and 7 other Australian universities with links to the CSIRO and several major industry partners including FLSmidth, Amira Global and Jord International.

20210916 – ARC COE for Enabling Eco-Efficient Beneficiation of Minerals – Official Launch Recording

I was honoured to officially launch the Australian Research Council's Centre of Excellence for Enabling Eco-Efficient Beneficiation of Minerals (COEMinerals). The Australian Government has provided $35 million of funding over 7 years through the Australian Research Council. The Centre will not only work take advantage of the new employment and exporting opportunities in sustainable mining technologies, but also promote sustainability in terms of energy and water use, pollution mitigation, and long-term environmental governance.

20210909 – Funding for Hunter Councils – Port Stephens News of the Area

Local governments have been a crucial delivery partner to the Federal Government when it comes to the implementation of the economic stimulus packages that have been created in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Read here about the Financial Assistance Grant programs that have been awarded to local councils in the Hunter Region.

20210908 – Protecting Australia’s Interests & the Women’s Summit – Paul Murray Later – Sky News

I spoke with Paul Murray and Jenna Clarke on Sky News about the potential need for increased trade diversification in Australia and how the Morrison Government will continue to prioritise our national interests. We also discussed the National Women’s Summit and how those on the left have continued to attack and denigrate both conservative women and men in this debate, thereby stifling collaboration and progress when it comes to countering violence and disrespectful behaviour against women.

20210907 – Australian Arts and Entertainment Industry Funding – Tracy McKelligott – Newcastle Live

Tracy McKelligott was speaking with Jo Smith this week on Newcastle Live about how Regal Cinema Building Ltd. has received a Federal Government Grant of $180,491 as part of the Morrison Government’s $200 million Restart Investment to Sustain and Expand Fund to assist the arts and entertainment sector. More than 23,000 employment opportunities are expected to be created across the nation from the latest $20 million funding round alone.

Restarting the Arts Sector in the Hunter Region

Regal Cinema in Birmingham Gardens, Newcastle has received full funding of their grant request as part of the Morrison Government's $200 million Restart Investment to Sustain and Expand (RISE) Fund to assist the Australian arts and entertainment sector.

20210905 – Chasm Between Opposition Leader and His Shadow Cabinet – Chris Smith Tonight – Sky News

Speaking on Chris Smith Tonight about about the widespread criticism (including from Senior Labor Shadow Ministers in the Federal Parliament) of the scaremongering that is being perpetuated by the state leaders in Queensland and Western Australia. The Opposition Leader has shamefully backed these state leaders in their undermining of the Australian vaccination rollout and the National Plan to get Australia up and running again.

20210822 – HSC Exams & Australian Soldiers in the Middle East

On Chris Smith Tonight discussing the men and women of the Australian Defence Force and how proud Australians are of what they have achieved. We also discussed how the continued uncertainty and persistent moving of the goalposts has damaged the mental health of our young Australians.

Extension to NBN Co’s Business Fibre Zone Initiative

2,347 businesses in the Paterson Electorate are set to benefit from the establishment of the Business Fibre Zone at Nelson Bay. This is one of the 44 zones that are being developed. These new zones will allow local businesses to access fibre with speeds of up to 1 Gigabit per second. NBN Co's business fibre investments have a forecasted productivity benefit of up to 12% for businesses.

20210811 – Childcare Australia – Coalition Senators Split Over Government’s Childcare Bill – Paul Karp – The Guardian

Whilst internal debate, a diversity of opinion, and robust discussion may be foreign concepts to some - they are not notions lost on the Coalition. Childcare subsidies are an area in which such discussion arose. In this exchange of ideas, I made my view clear that if Australian parents make the choice to return to work, they should be empowered to make that choice through targeted government support.

Newcastle to Benefit from $24 M Recycling Infrastructure Fund

Newcastle Council will receive $5 million in both Federal and State funding to build a materials recycling facility at the Summerhill Waste Management Centre. This centre in Wallsend will be playing a key role in increasing the Hunter’s waste diversity and recycling capacity. It will ease pressure on our environment, and create both jobs and economic investment.

20210729 – Tomago Clean Energy Business Gets Funded – Marian Sampson – Port Stephens News of the Area

The Morrison Government has committed to assisting Energy Renaissance in accelerating their research and development so that they may create a domestically developed lithium-ion battery energy storage system for critical energy storage infrastructures in Tomago, NSW. This will be the first battery manufacturing facility of its kind and will not only provide vast exporting opportunities for Australia, but also new local jobs for the Hunter Region.

20210724 – Tomago Firm to get $4.5 Million – Newcastle Herald

Congratulations to Batt Mobile Equipment on securing $4.5 million to build heavy battery electric vehicles for underground hard rock mines under the Morrison Government’s Modern Manufacturing Initiative. This will create enormous opportunities for the Hunter Region’s local economy.

20210708 – Australian Government, Canberra – Disability Gateway

The Disability Gateway is able to assist with a range of supports, from locating advocacy services, finding a sporting team that meets the needs of a person’s disability or identifying local disability-related events. It is available at www.disabilitygateway.gov.au or by calling 1800 643 787 Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm AEST. People with disability who need support in another language can also contact the Gateway on 1800 643 787 and ask for an interpreter.

Veteran Health and Wellbeing Supported in Shortland

Programs and activities supporting the health and wellbeing of our veteran community in Shortland will receive a share of more than $2.4 million worth of funding under the Veteran and Community Grants Program, announced today.

20210624 – Senator Hollie Hughes – Barnaby Joyce

When the media ask me questions such as these, I would like to remind them of the democratic values that each and every Australian should and do hold dear to their hearts. The people of New England have elected Barnaby with increasingly consistent majorities and the Nationals Party Room have made the decision to make him their leader, as is their right. I must respect each and every party in Parliament's right to choose their own leader, a respect that I would hope they would afford my own party.

20210624 – Senator Hollie Hughes – Q&A – NDIS (Independent Assessments)

We need to change the conversation surrounding the NDIS from that of a discussion of deficits to that of how participants can achieve their goals. In order to ensure that this scheme is delivering what it was put in place to do, the focus cannot merely be on how to survive, but how to thrive within the community.

20210624 – Senator Hollie Hughes – Q&A – Labor Scaremongering

Given their monumental death rates, it is insulting to hold the UK and the US as the golden bastion of COVID management and claim that our government should look to them as an example. Labor needs to stop the politicisation of this issue and to stop the scaremongering.

20210616 – Senator Hollie Hughes – Senate – EIBI

It has been heartwarming to hear from so many parents and autistic adults over the past few weeks, thanking me for being in their corner. Surely we can all agree that evidence and research-based best practice intervention is at the very least reasonable and necessary!

As a mother, senator challenges NDIS reforms

The independent assessment trial had caused anguish to participants and focused on people’s deficits rather than their goals. The problem with this proposal is a tick-a-box functionality assessment at the moment, there is absolutely nothing that aligns with people’s goals. The concerns that I held regarding the NDIS independent assessment proposals compelled me to make the very difficult decision of opposing my own government's policy and fighting for these proposals to be rejected. I am incredibly grateful to the Prime Minister Scott Morrison for supporting me in opposing the reforms once I had aired my grave concerns.