Last week we saw two visions laid out forS the country. Scott Morrison’s Budget, which is a missed opportunity to support our most vulnerable and drive down inequality, and Anthony Albanese’s Budget Reply, which demonstrated the transformative potential of Labor in government.
I gave a speech in Parliament giving my reaction to the Budget which you can watch here.
Speaking about the missed opportunities in the Budget
The centrepiece of last year’s Budget Reply was Labor’s plan to make childcare cheaper for 97% of families. This year, Labor’s Leader Anthony Albanese released our $10 billion plan for the Housing Australia Future Fund that will build 30,000 homes for low-income workers and our most vulnerable, creating 20,000 jobs each year over 5 years.
Anthony also outlined Labor’s plan for an investment of $100 million in New Energy Apprenticeships. Australia needs a skilled workforce to transition rapidly to renewable energy and this plan will train 10,000 Australians to create the workforce we require to become a renewable energy superpower.
Labor has long been committed to net zero emissions by 2050, and we are doing the work to ensure Australia gets there. The New Energy Apprenticeships plan adds to the Rewiring the Nation policy which invests $20 billion to rebuild and modernise the power grid to ensure it can transmit increasing levels of renewable energy. Labor has also announced the Power to the People plan for 400 community batteries. 1 in 5 Australian households have solar, but only 1 in 60 have battery storage. This $200 million plan will increase storage and also enable households that can’t install solar panels to access solar power. We’ve also announced our plan to make electric vehicles cheaper. These policies are just the beginning of our plan to fight climate change in government.
Housing was the centrepiece of Anthony Albanese's Budget Reply
The Morrison Government’s policies outlined in the Budget were just a fraction of what was called for in the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety. Labor is keeping the pressure on the Morrison Government which refuses to commit to 24/7 Registered Nurses at aged care homes, to raise wages of nurses and carers and to develop a workforce plan to fix the workforce issues which are central to the aged care crisis.
Anthony Albanese also continued his advocacy for workers outlined in the Secure Australian Jobs Plan, making commitments to criminalise wage theft, to put a positive duty on employers to keep their staff safe from sexual harassment, and put the spotlight on the Government’s failure to do something about wage stagnation for Australians.
And once again, Labor restated our commitment to a strong National Integrity Commission that will help to restore trust in democracy and improve government accountability that has eroded under the Morrison Government.
Anthony also reiterated Labor’s commitment to implementing the Uluru Statement From The Heart in full, including holding a referendum to enshrine a Voice to Parliament for First Nations People in the Constitution if we win Government.
It was a strong and inspiring speech and you can watch it here.
If you want to find out more about Labor’s policies, they are available here: https://alp.org.au/policies
Tanya Plibersek, Labor's Shadow Minister for Women also launched Labor's annual Women's Budget Statement which you can read here.
At the launch of the Labor Women's Budget Statement
Outside of the Parliament, Senator Katy Gallagher and I held a Canberra Women’s Forum. Women have had enough of violence and sexism, enough of inequality and enough of the gender pay gap. It was inspiring to hear from Canberrans about what they think should be done to combat these issues. We made a video about the event which you can watch here.
I’ve been continuing to hold regular coffee catchups and mobile offices around the electorate. You can find out more info about future events on my website.
As always, please follow me on social media if you don’t already. It’s a good way to keep up to date with what I’m doing on your behalf. I’m on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and all my speeches are on YouTube
Hosting the Women's Forum with Katy Gallagher, ACT Senator.
Media Contact: Tasman Vaughan - 0435 933 313