The Alan Missen Award – THE HON JUDI MOYLAN
The Hon. Judi Moylan has been a member of the House of Representatives for 20 years holding successively in and between 1996 and 1998 2 portfolios – Minister for Family Services and Minister for the Status of Women.
In the 43rd Parliament, as a member of the Opposition she served as Deputy Chair of the Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal affairs in the course of which, among other matters, she joined in one of its most important Reports affecting the government integrity system, the 2013 Report recommending amendments to salvage the whistleblower protection legislation and supported them in the Parliament. She also supported the Committee’s proposed amendments to the Sex Discrimination Act. In addition she raised concerns about the lack of time being given to parliamentary committees to consider matters referred to them and proposed an audit of the powers of the intelligence and law enforcement agencies before legislating on their powers.
In the 43rd Parliament, she also sought to hold the government to account and to change policies both government and opposition in a number of areas. In particular, she continued her attempts to de-politicise and change the policies of the Government and the Opposition in relation to asylum seekers. She co-led an informal working group of more than 30 members of Parliament comprising independents and members of parties seeking alternatives on issues of concern particularly off-shore processing, the conditions under which asylum seekers are kept, and the release of women and children into the community. In doing so she continued her strong advocacy of the rights and welfare of children generally.
She also addressed the “welfare to work” proposals, crossing the floor twice to vote against her own party as well as the government. In addition, she questioned the effectiveness of government spending on indigenous housing and questioned a government proposal to empower a Cabinet committee to review, with a power of veto, recommendations to list medicines by the PBA Committee. She also challenged the proposal agreed to by her party and the government to marginally improve the transparency of political donations while increasing public funding of political parties.
The Hon Judi Moylan played an active role in contributing to the deliberations of Parliament and its committees. In particular, she continued to chair the Parliamentary Diabetes Support Group and drew attention to a wide range of other issues including matters affecting people with disabilities including the special disability trust. She called for the implementation of the 2008 report on Disability Trusts and sought and obtained budget changes to assist such Trusts. She also raised a range of health issues including investigation of the issue of health effects of wind farms, noise amelioration at airports, food standards and labeling.
In the 43rd Parliament, at the end of a long and challenging political career, she continued to act with honesty, civility, independence and courage in demonstrating her outstanding commitment to the public interest as a member of the Parliament.