Greens launch Perth Light Rail
Saturday 31 July, 2010
Australian Greens Senators for WA Rachel Siewert and Scott Ludlam will today launch a comprehensive plan for servicing the Perth metropolitan area with light rail.
“Light rail – in other words, modern, electrified trams – is quiet, clean and efficient and carries between 10,000 and 28,000 people per hour,” Greens Senator for WA Rachel Siewert said.
“It reduces congestion and speeds up travel times and is the most practical way of linking up our suburban centres with the existing train system – the Greens are proud to be at the forefront of pushing this agenda in Perth.
“The Greens, through my colleague WA Senator Scott Ludlam, have worked extensively over the past two years with lead government agencies, local governments in Perth, the transport industry, the WA Sustainable Energy Association and community groups to come up with a blueprint for how light rail would work in Perth,” Senator Siewert said.
“We are now calling on the Federal Government to start investing in this sustainable public transport option for Perth to transform this city we all want it to be in the 21st century.
“Studies from around the world show that where you have light rail, public transport use increases and investment and property values go up along the route.
“Today we urge the public and the State and Federal governments to ‘Get On Board’ the plan for Perth Light Rail.”
Senators Ludlam and Siewert have invited people to attend public meetings on light rail that they will address across Perth in the next two weeks.
“Find out the meeting dates by calling 9335 7477 or check the dedicated website at www.perthlightrail.org.au and send in your feedback,” Senator Ludlam said.
“We want to hear from the public about what they think about the routes we have proposed.
“From the 1890s onwards, Perth actually had a successful tram system but this was disbanded in 1958 with advent of cheap cars,” Senator Ludlam said.
“Now, with congestion increasing and future fuel cost increases inevitable, it’s essential that we invest in the public transport infrastructure that will serve us best now and into the future.”
<<Greens Launch Perth Light Rail – MEDIA RELEASE 31072010.pdf>>
Senator Rachel Siewert
Australian Greens Senator for WA
P: (08) 9228 3277 | | www.greensmps.org.au
Archive for July, 2010
TRANSCRIPT OF DOORSTOP INTERVIEW
30 JULY 2010
E & O E – PROOF ONLY
Subjects: National Broadband Network; WA infrastructure; Australian Labor Party; Border protection; Federal Election campaign.
PM: Can I say it is a very great pleasure to be in beautiful sunny Perth today, and particularly in the electorate of Hasluck with our great local member, Sharryn Jackson, who has joined me. I’m also joined here today by our Minister for Communications, Stephen Conroy. And we’re here to talk about the National Broadband Network. And can I say a very big thank you for showing us around and particularly, for showing us the cable that is the backbone of the National Broadband Network.
Now on 21st of August the nation will make a choice. And that choice is between me as Prime Minister and Mr Abbott. As Prime Minister, I will build the National Broadband Network. Mr Abbott will not. And today, I am here with Stephen Conroy, our Minister, and our local member, Sharryn Jackson, to release the maps for the fibre roll-out of the National Broadband Network. To release the maps of where the super fast broadband by fibre will go. And when you see these maps, what they will show you is that from Albany to Kununurra, from Victor Harbour to Darwin, from Melbourne to Mackay, this technology will transform our nation. And what we’re also announcing today is that the objective for the fibre and super fast broadband has now lifted from 90 per cent of Australian households to 93 per cent of Australian households. But every Australian household and business will be better off with the National Broadband Network; will be able to get the fibre; will be able to get the best of wireless technology or coverage by satellite.
Now what does this mean, the National Broadband Network for the future? Well, it’s actually very simple. It means jobs. 25,000 jobs in construction and this nation’s fair share of the jobs of the future. Now, Mr Abbott says don’t build the National Broadband Network. What that would see is it would see places like Singapore and Korea and Japan get an advantage on this country. Not building the National Broadband Network would effectively export jobs of the future from our country to countries in our region. The better economic plan, my economic plan, is to build the National Broadband Network to support jobs now in construction and to get this nation a fair share of the jobs of the future.
And the National Broadband Network, of course, is centrally about jobs and the strength of our economy. And it’s also about giving our kids a world class education. My plan is to continue to roll our Computers in Schools to kids. Mr Abbott says no to computers for kids in schools, and he also says no to the advantage the National Broadband Network would be for children studying around the country. I simply don’t understand why Mr Abbott thinks it’s a wise idea for children in this nation to get an education not at the same standard as children in Singapore. And to make sure that our kids get a world-class education, they need access to the world-class technology of the National Broadband Network, which will be so much a part of how they study and how they work in the future.
And with our health system, the National Broadband Network will make another transformative difference. It means no matter where you live in this country you will able to get the benefit of specialist advice, have a specialist in one part of the country look at your diagnostic tests, work through with you your health care issues and health care complaints. Whether you live in regional Australia, the east coast or the west costs of our nation, you will be able to use the broadband to stay in touch with the best of health professionals. And it will be linked with our electronic health records. Now, Mr Abbott says no to electronic health records, he says no to the national broadband and in saying no to that, he’s saying no to these possibilities of better health care for the future.
Now the National Broadband Network is about the future but it’s happening around us today. We’ve talked to people today about what’s happening here in Western Australia, and whether it’s in Tasmania where we’ve already got customers live on the National Broadband Network, or Brunswick in Melbourne where I live, where construction will start in a few weeks, or Willunga in South Australia or the Illawarra or Armadale, construction in these places is starting in a few weeks’ time. So in saying no to the National Broadband Network, Mr Abbott is saying down tools on that construction, down tools on those jobs, down tools on a strong economy for the future, down tools on world class health and education. Now the 21st of August is all about a choice, and the choice today couldn’t be clearer. I will build the National Broadband Network. Mr Abbott will not. I’ll turn to our minister for some comments as well. Stephen?
CONROY: Thank you very much Prime Minister and good morning everyone. Firstly, I’d like to thank Visionstream for hosting us here today. Visionstream is Nextgen’s construction partner in the roll out of 6,000 kilometres of backbone optical fibre across regional Australia. And you can see from the map just over there where we’ve already started construction and where, ultimately, that backbone network will be completed and will deliver to. There is no doubt that the National Broadband Network has the potential to end the tyranny of distance once and for all. But this is only a possibility if everyone has access to it. For too long, Australians living in regional and remote Australia have put up with expensive and slow broadband speeds. Under the Gillard Labor Government, every Australian, every Australian will be getting access to the National Broadband Network no matter where they live or choose to work.
The NBN will deliver exciting new applications for businesses, for the delivery of education, for the healthcare system, for sustainable population, for sustainable environment, reducing the carbon footprint and, of course, for entertainment. Already, as the Prime Minister has said, we have live customers in Tasmania today. The roll out has been going for 9 months. It’s on time, on budget and delivered exactly when we committed to deliver to live customers – from the first week of July. So today we mark another step in the delivery of the National Broadband Network with the release of the coverage maps. Australia is a vast country but only around nine per cent of our land mass is actually inhabited. 90 per cent, 90 per cent of our population live in 0.2 per cent of the land mass. So the NBN will deliver affordable, high speed broadband to every house, school, business and hospital in the country.
The Labor Government, as the Prime Minister has said and announced, will exceed our original commitment to reach 90 per cent. We will actually now be reaching 93 per cent of homes, businesses with fibre optics. That’s an extra 300,000 homes to receive the fibre to their premise. As the maps show, over 1,000 – 1,000 cities and towns across regional, rural and metropolitan Australia will get optic fibre. Here in Western Australia that means places like Kalgoorlie, Norseman, Kununurra and Tom Price. It means places like Weipa in Queensland, Cooma in NSW, Port Augusta in South Australia. They are going to get fibre to the home. NBN Co will connect all other premises outside of the fibre footprint with the best new technology in wireless and the best new satellite technology that will deliver speeds 20 times faster than they currently get today.
So the Gillard Labor Government is getting on with building the National Broadband Network. We’re also moving ahead with historic microeconomic reforms within the telecommunications sectors. Last month we saw an important milestone for the National Broadband Network, an historic heads of agreement between NBN Co and Telstra. And this agreement has opened the way for a faster, cheaper, more efficient roll out for the National Broadband Network. But more importantly, the agreement paves the way for the structural separation of Telstra. Wholesale, retail, separated finally after 20 years of policy failure across two governments, we have achieved and are delivering on the structural separation: the holy grail of microeconomic reform in this sector. And this fundamental microeconomic reform will ensure that Australia finally has truly competitive retail service offerings in the marketplace. And if you look at what’s happening in Tasmania right now, you’ll begin to get an idea of how competitive the retail market will become as the National Broadband Network is rolled out across Australia.
So, in communications, the contrast between the Gillard Labor Government and the Abbott Opposition couldn’t be more stark. The choice that Australians will make on 21st of August will have far reaching implications for the country, even if there was no other issue at stake in this election. You can’t vote for Tony Abbott because he is going to shut the National Broadband Network down. Australian cannot afford to take the risk of the Tony Abbott Government while he tries to strangle the National Broadband Network at birth. Australia cannot afford the economic setback this would bring. We can’t afford it economically, we can’t afford it socially and we can’t afford to lose the innovation that will spring from the National Broadband Network as we separate out the retail and the wholesale network. So again, thank you very much to Visionstream for being here today. But just to again demonstrate finally the choice – the stark choice – between the Gillard Government and the Abbott Opposition, I have here from the Liberal Party website this morning their regional communications page. And were’ happy to hand it around, you can go online and look at it. There it is. A blank piece of paper. 18 failed broadband plans in government, two and half years, three shadow ministers – still no idea what they’re going to do about regional telecommunications. There it is, live on their site today. Thank you very much.
JOURNALIST: Cheryl Kernot wants to run as an independent. Would you welcome her return to politics?
PM: Look, Cheryl Kernot as I understand it has indicated she will run for a Senate position in NSW. Of course, I’m supporting our Labor team in NSW.
JOURNALIST: Prime Minister, what do you make of Mark Latham’s comments that Kevin Rudd is a serial leaker, a snake, and have you or someone in your campaign asked Mr Rudd to campaign with Queensland MPs and candidates in Queensland to show a unified front?
PM: Well, I am not going to be diverted by political chatter; politicians and former politicians talking about politicians. My focus now and for the 21st of August, my focus as Prime Minister will be on delivering a strong economy with jobs for Australians and jobs for the future. And that’s what we’re here doing today. And the National Broadband Network is a choice about whether or not we will have jobs of the future in this country, or we’ll sit back – as Mr Abbott wants us to do – and we’ll watch them go to Korea and Japan and Singapore. Whether we’ll have a world class education system or we’ll let our kids fall behind the standards of the world. Whether we’ll have world class health or deny Australians the benefits that broadband will bring. That’s my focus, that’s what the 21st of August is all about. Yes?
JOURNALIST: Following up on that question, did you ask Kevin Rudd or have Labor strategists ask Kevin Rudd to campaign outside of his electorate for Labor?
PM: Look, I am respecting Kevin Rudd’s wishes and Kevin Rudd’s wish is to focus on his electorate of Griffiths. He’s always been a passionate local member. He’s campaigning in his local community, campaigning for re-election as the Member for Griffiths.
JOURNALIST: (inaudible) – questions about the Pacific Island Forum. Will Stephen Smith be going next week to represent Australia? What does Australia achieve in the year of leadership of that Forum, and have you been neglecting the region?
PM: The Pacific Island Forum, of course, falls in the caretaker period, so we are making relevant arrangements about attendance at the Pacific Island Forum. I’ll be talking to Stephen Smith, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, today. Obviously in caretaker, Stephen Smith can attend the Forum. When we’ve been in caretaker periods in the past, other Foreign Ministers have attended such forums. On the question of working with the region, of course we’ve been working with the region. Working with the region to provide aid and support.
JOURNALIST: Prime Minister, will you be meeting with executives of small mining companies during your visit Perth?
PM: I met with executives of mining companies last time I was in Perth, and on the question of a mining tax, can I say this. There is a choice here. I entered a breakthrough agreement with Australia’s biggest miners, and I have met personally with representatives of smaller mining companies. And let’s remember – we’re talking about a tax that doesn’t apply unless the mining company earns $50 million a year or more in profits. Now last time I was in Perth I met with representatives of mining companies. There is a clear process here for people to raise their concerns and have any discussions that they want to have. That’s the process we’ve outlined, led by Don Argus.
But the choice here, the choice here is a very clear one, and standing in Western Australia I think we should outline it. The choice is between implementing the Minerals Resource Rent Tax and delivering benefits that would strengthen our economy, or doing what Mr Abbott wants to do, which is not take the tax our biggest miners have agreed to pay. And what this all means, of course, is I if elected on the 21st of August, I will cut company tax. I will deliver infrastructure to this State of Western Australia. I will deliver benefits to small businesses. I will ensure that hard working Australians get the benefit of increased super. Mr Abbott says instead no super. No infrastructure for this state. No benefits to small business. And he wants to put the company tax rate up so every person in this country when they walk into a shop like Coles or Woolworths pays higher prices. Yes?
JOURNALIST: Was it a mistake not having Andrew Forrest at that deal that you did with the big miners?
PM: Well, when I was last here in Western Australia, Fortescue Metals was represented in that discussion. Yes?
JOURNALIST: Prime Minister, have you vetoed plans to have Kevin Rudd campaign (inaudible) in Queensland, and can you win Queensland without his support?
PM: I’ve just said to you I’ve respected Kevin’s wishes to focus on his electorate of Griffith. Yes?
JOURNALIST: There are pictures of you and Tim in the paper this morning arriving at the airport. What is he doing here? Is he just here to spend some private time, are you going to have dinner tonight, or –
PM: You know what? When we’re talking about private time, guess what, I don’t tell you guys. Step number one. Tim is here to spend some time with me on the campaign trail, on the road.
PM: What a crazy question. You’re obviously referring to media reports today, that yes Tim has had speeding fines. Obviously he has paid the fines, paid the price. Silly thing to do, he acknowledges that.
JOURNALIST: (inaudible) – and how do you respond (inaudible)
PM: This program is being rolled out now, on time, on budget, as the Minister has just said. And this project, the National Broadband Network, will pay for itself over and over and over again in the increased prosperity for this country. I want to see Australians have jobs. I want to see the sons and daughter of Australians have the skills they need and a job in the future. That’s what the National Broadband Network is about. Growing our economy, making sure kids in schools get access to learning like kids overseas. And I don’t understand. I simply don’t understand, why Mr Abbott would be saying to Australians it’s okay for your son, your daughter to get a worse education here than they would in Korea. And it’s okay when they’re old enough to go and get a job that jobs have been exported from this country to places like Singapore that have got better infrastructure because we didn’t build the National Broadband Network. I simply don’t think that’s right. I want Australians to have a fair share of the jobs of the future. I want kids learning in schools today to get a world class education. I will not stand by and see our children get an education that goes out the backdoor and slips below the standards of the world. That’s Mr Abbott’s plan. My plan is to build the National Broadband Network.
JOURNALIST: (inaudible) the mining tax (inaudible) an issue (inaudible) what’s the deal with (inaudible).
PM: My best case scenario, in Western Australia and around the nation, is that on the 21st of August, Australians choose to move Australia forward. That they reject out of hand not building the National Broadband Network, ripping computers away from kids in school. That they reject out of hand, Mr Abbott’s cuts to health, taking away the GP Superclinics, their ability to get a doctor after hours. That they reject out of hand, Mr Abbott’s cutting down our trade training centres and the ability of kids to get skills they will need to get jobs. What i’m going to ask Australians to do, what I’m asking them to do today, what I’ll be asking them to do every other day of this campaign, is on the 21st of August to move this country forward. There could be no clearer example of that than choosing to build the NBN, choosing prosperity, choosing a strong economy rather than choosing to sit back and wait for our competitors to take the jobs of the future away from this country.
JOURNALIST: Have you tracked down the leaker in your Cabinet yet?
PM: Look I’ve obviously dealt with these questions and made it very clear that if i’m elected as Prime Minister on 21st August I will be running a traditional Cabinet system of Government. That means, if you’re in the room, you have your say, full and frank. Then when you’re out of the room, you respect the confidentiality of Cabinet discussions.
JOURNALIST: (inaudible) Tony Abbott (inaudible) disabilities and water today?
PM: What I would say is Mr Abbott’s track record in Government is to cut things. When Minister for Health, he cut health. He’s in this election campaign, saying to Australians, if he is elected Prime Minister he will cut health. In this election campaign, he’s saying if he is elected Prime Minister he will cut education. Of course he’s saying as well, if he is elected Prime Minister, he will increase company tax and prices will go up. There the things Mr Abbott stands for and I think Australians will look back when Mr Abbott wasn’t wandering around making election promises, that he was actually a senior minister of the Howard Government and they’ll say to themselves, ‘what did Mr Abbott do then?’ He was a passionate advocate of WorkChoices. He cut a billion dollars out of health care, he stood by whilst the government did not invest in Australian schools. These are the things that Australia will judge Mr Abbott on.
JOURNALIST: you say that you respect – did you or anyone else ask him to (inaudible) to have a broader campaign in Queensland (inaudible) the ghost on this campaign.
PM: No one from Campaign HQ has done anything other than what I’ve outlined today which is to respect Kevin’s wishes to campaign in the community that he cares passionately about. He wants to be the member for Griffiths. For me, I will not be diverted by a political chatter. My determination, my passion is to see this country move forward and by that I mean delivering the National Broadband Network, insuring we’ve got a strong economy, ensuring Australians have got jobs, ensuring Australians can rely on good schools and decent health care – they’re my objectives.
JOURNALIST: (inaudible) when are these regional communities going to get broadband and secondly (inaudible) broadband providers (inaudible)
PM: Well I’ll turn to Stephen but on the question of delivery, we can point to places around this country where people are already live on the National Broadband Network – Tasmania and of course there are places around this country where construction will be happening in a few weeks’ time. I’ll turn to Stephen for more details.
CONROY: In terms of the stage two announcements we made, 19 new centres around Australia, made that just a few weeks ago, we’re anticipating that the negotiations with the local councils will be taking place over the next few months and construction will start in those next 19 centres including places like Geraldton here in Western Australia in the first half of next year. So we are in a consultation phase with local councils to talk about whether or not we should be on this side of the street, whether there’s a hospital there that we should include, a school there that we should include. So those consultations take place through the rest of this year and then the construction will be in the second half of next year. In terms of my understanding of the tendering process, and I don’t follow it closely, I understand all of the tenders have been let for the stage one projects which will be starting soon and no tenders have been let for the next stage. So the tenders have been decided by NBN Co on the first five mainland roll-out sites. So there’s no tendering I understand at this stage in the second stage of roll-out.
JOURNALIST: What do you make of reports that boats are stopping in international waters so that people smugglers can avoid prosecution?
PM: Well what I would say about people smugglers and prosecution is we have focused and I am focused on making sure that people smugglers do get caught and do get prosecuted. We’ve got more assets patrolling our borders than we have ever had before, more days in the air, more at sea. As Prime Minister, I’ve announced an increase in police resources, Australian Federal Police in our region working with our regional partners to catch and prosecute people smugglers. We’ve got people before the courts right now. We’ve got people who have been successfully prosecuted for this evil trade and what I want to achieve as Prime Minister is we take away from people smugglers the product they sell. Mr Abbott talks about stopping the boats at sea even though he knows and senior Liberals have advised him that implementing his slogan is not possible. I want to stop these boats before they leave foreign shores. That’s what my plan about.
JOURNALIST: Kevin Rudd raises [inaudible]
PM: No I wouldn’t support such a move. We’ve made our decisions on how to tackle smoking and one part of that, one part of it, has been an increase in excise because price does matter. Obviously other parts of our approach is, are about providing people with access to health and advice to get them through the process of quitting smoking.
JOURNALIST: [inaudible] Kevin
PM: No that’s not what I said, not what I meant and completely wrong. What I said was, and let me say it again so we get it second time around, what I said was I am and Campaign HQ is respecting Kevin Rudd’s wishes to campaign for re-election as the Member for Griffith. No other request has been made of him.
JOURNALIST: (inaudible) Is it a little bit indulgent of Mr Rudd? He has the safest seat in Queenslnad. If the Party thinks he can be a help to win seats shouldn’t he get out there and do a bit of doorknocking?
PM: Mr Rudd is passionate about representing his local community and let me tell you, if you’ve ever talked to Kevin Rudd as I have, and I know Stephen and Sharryn would be able to say this as well, if you have ever talked to Kevin Rudd as I have, he’s never taken a vote for Griffith for granted. Not once, not ever, never has, never will. And he won’t be doing that in this campaign either.
JOURNALIST: Your campaign launch is being held in Brisbane. Why is that? Is it because there are so many marginal seats up there you want to hold onto?
PM: Well there are terrific places right around this country. We’re in a terrific place now in the federal electorate of Hasluck, but we do need to have our campaign launch in one place and so we’ve chosen the beautiful city of Brisbane to do that.
PM: Well, we’ve made a decision – Brisbane’s the place.
JOURNALIST: (inaudible) agreement with the WA Government?
PM: We are delivering money for health care in Western Australia. We are directly delivering for health care in Western Australia. More than $300 million. That’s part of our health reforms, part of what we want to see. Standing here in Hasluck, Sharryn Jackson our local member has fought hard, fought hard for investment in the Swan Hospitals. Fought hard for the Super Clinic in midlands and those things are being delivered and that story can be retold right around Western Australia. Of course I want to work with the Premier here, Premier Barnett, to complete our health reform and health investment arrangements. I’ve indicated I am very open to continuing the conversation, but make no mistake, we are investing additional resources in Western Australian healthcare right now.
JOURNALIST: When is the last time you personally spoke to Kevin Rudd?
PM: Look, I’ve answered this question for you before. Obviously I spoke to Kevin Rudd, I’ve spoken to Kevin Rudd about Labor arrangements. He’s now campaigning for election as the member for Griffith.
JOURNALIST: Could you tell us at this stage of the campaign are you surprised at how well Tony Abbott is doing and how well some of his messages are coming through?
PM: Well look I always said that this would be a tough close contest and what we are seeing is a tough close contest and what that reinforces is that there is a real choice here. A real choice and Australian’s have to make it on the 21 August. A real choice as to whether on the 22 August, I am Prime Minister, with my plans for a stronger economy, for the jobs of the future, for better investment in health and education for the continuation of Fair Work or Mr Abbott is Prime Minister, with his plans for increased prices through increased company tax, with his plans to return to the worst aspects of WorkChoices and his cuts to health and education. That’s the choice facing Australians. It’s tough and close and Australians will have to make that. And today, and today we’re talking about a clear aspect of our plan for a strong economy and you just permit me to have one moment on it. When the global financial crisis threatened this country, we made the better economic choice. That was to support Australian jobs. Mr Abbott made the wrong choice. If he’d been Prime Minister, we’d been in recession now with hundreds of thousands of Australians out of work. For the future, we are making the better economic choice. I have the better economic plan, including national broadband and the jobs of the future. Mr Abbott’s economic plan is increase company tax, prices up. Yes?
JOURNALIST: Are you worried though about the continual leaks and Kevin Rudd (inaudible)
PM: Look, I’m not going to be diverted by this but there are things that worry me. What worries me is going back to the worst days of WorkChoices – people losing their penalty rates. That worries me. Mr Abbott’s plan. I’m worried that people who are doing it tough – families, pensioners and others – will go down to the shops and pay increased prices. Mr Abbott’s plan. I am worried that we won’t get a fair share of the jobs of the future because this nation doesn’t build the National Broadband Network. Mr Abbott’s plan. And I’m obviously passionate about making sure every kid, every kid, gets a great education and I am worried by Mr Abbott’s plan to cut back Trades Training Centres so they don’t get a chance at an apprenticeship, to rip computers out of their hands. And I’m worried too that people won’t be able to find a doctor when they need one, won’t have a Super Clinic, won’t have an afterhours hotline. Mr Abbott’s plan. They’re the things that worry me.
JOURNALIST: You have two days in Perth are you going to (inaudible) nut out this health agreement?
PM: Look my understanding is I’ll check this, but I did a little bit earlier in the week see the Deputy Premier of Western Australia over on the east coast, who was acting Premier at the time because Premier Barnett was away on a little spot of leave, so I can’t absolutely verify where the Premier is today but I don’t have a plan to meet with him today. I had the opportunity to talk to him about health care and other matters last time I was here.
COMMUNICATIONS UNIT: Phone: (02) 9384 2220 | Fax: (02) 9264 2213
AUTHORISED N.MARTIN for the ALP, 5, 9 Sydney Ave. Barton ACT.
Guillotine for Gillard: The Green Tweeting Machine http://ht.ly/2iEPp Via Mathaba.net , @news_australia …. Kudos to @Paris_David
PRIME MINISTER – JOINT MEDIA RELEASE – NBN: FIBRE FOR OVER 1,000 AUSTRALIAN CITIES AND TOWNS – 30 JULY 2010
By the time we get NBN nationally about a thousand aussies will have killed themselves, mostly for lack of mental health services.
The Libs are no better, and despite Abbott’s “promise” of over $1b, about 4 THOUSAND aussies died by their own hand during the Howard years.
This NBN is important – but life and death is a little more important – get real, save lives…it’s your job!
minister for broadband and the digital economy
NBN: FIBRE FOR OVER 1,000 AUSTRALIAN CITIES AND TOWNS
Federal Labor today released the network maps showing that every house, school and business in Australia will have access to high speed broadband under the National Broadband Network (NBN).
The NBN is about building a modern economy – without it, Australian businesses won’t be able to compete with those in Japan, Korea or Singapore.
The Government has extended NBN Co’s fibre coverage objective from 90 per cent to 93 per cent of homes, schools and businesses.
That means around 300,000 extra premises will receive optical fibre broadband – which is great news for towns and cities across Australia.
Only Federal Labor will deliver affordable high speed broadband to all Australians, regardless of where they live or work.
The NBN will offer speeds of 100 megabits per second – 100 times faster than many people experience today.
The Gillard Labor Government is moving forward with the technology of the future while Tony Abbott would condemn Australia to the dark ages, destroying jobs and condemning our young people to a chalk and talk education of the last century.
NBN will give students the best educational opportunities, provide access to affordable high-speed internet in the home and bring an end to frustrating delays when downloading information from the web.
The maps reveal the extension of optical fibre to 93 per cent of homes and businesses in more than 1,000 cities and towns across Australia by the end of the rollout, and how communities will be served by next generation wireless and satellite technologies under the NBN.
Today’s announcement confirms that NBN’s fibre coverage plans include places like Weipa, Tennant Creek, Port Augusta, Albany, Cooma, and Warrnambool – all of which will receive fibre broadband.
The NBN Implementation Study indicated that the extension of NBN Co’s fibre coverage objective can be accommodated within the recommended funding requirement which is provided for in the Budget.
The Gillard Labor Government is also announcing that NBN Co will deliver next generation wireless and satellite services with speeds of 12 megabits per second – with average data rates more than 20 times higher than most users experience today.
The maps provide an indicative representation of the fibre and wireless components of the NBN. The information in these maps is based on initial detailed modelling work done by NBN Co which may be subject to change following more detailed planning and design work.
Tony Abbott and the Liberal-National Coalition have said that if elected they will shut down the NBN.
This represents a risk to Australia’s economic future and for all those communities across the country, including in rural and regional Australia, which are crying out for better broadband after 12 years and 18 failed broadband plans from the former Coalition government.
To download National or State maps go to http://www.alp.org.au/agenda/nbn/.
COMMUNICATIONS UNIT: Phone: (02) 9384 2220 | Fax: (02) 9264 2213
AUTHORISED N.MARTIN for the ALP, 5/9 Sydney Ave. Barton ACT.
West Australia – STATE GOVERNMENT RENEGES ON PROMISE TO ASSIST FORMER KIMBERLEY AGRICULTURE PROTECTION BOARD (APB) WORKERS
ROBIN CHAPPLE MLC
MEMBER FOR THE MINING AND PASTORAL REGIO
30 July 2010
STATE GOVERNMENT RENEGES ON PROMISE TO ASSIST FORMER KIMBERLEY AGRICULTURE PROTECTION BOARD (APB) WORKERS
Greens MLC Robin Chapple has roundly criticised the State Government for backing away from a promise to provide assistance to former Kimberley Agriculture Protection Board (APB) workers who were poisoned by illegal herbicides in the course of their employment in the 1970s and 1980s.
“These people are in a desperate situation. Many are ill and unable to work. Many others have died, leaving families behind to manage without them,” Mr Chapple said.
“I am appalled at the treatment of the former workers, who have been let down by successive governments.
“This is not a political issue. It is very clearly an occupational health and safety matter and as such concerns each and every one of us.
“The Greens have campaigned long and hard to win justice for affected workers and we will continue to do so. We need the major parties to show compassion and act on the matter,” Mr Chapple said.
The promise to establish a $1million fund to provide proper access to justice to people with illnesses other than cancer was made by Hon. Norman Moore MLC in the lead up to the State election in 2005.
It was reiterated a few years later by the Premier Colin Barnett. Soon after winning office in 2008 Mr Barnett acknowledged the workers’ 30-year battle for compensation as a ‘tragedy’, and promised to have a ‘fresh and open look’ at the matter.
“When in opposition, Norman Moore promised to provide powerful advocacy for the former APB workers,” Mr Chapple said.
“Since then, people have continued to suffer, many more people have died and still nothing has happened to address this appalling situation.”
All the best
Robin Chapple MLC
Member for the Mining and Pastoral Region
PO Box 94, West Perth WA 6872
41 Havelock Street, West Perth. WA 6005
Phone: (08) 9486 8255 | Email: Robin.Chapple | Freecall: 1800 138 610
What Weeks Of Real Usage Tells About New iPhone | Walt Mossberg | Personal Technology | AllThingsD http://ht.ly/2ilQC #iPhone4
West Australia Social policy, news, jobs, coming events, training via WACOSS eNews – Thursday 29th July
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TRANSCRIPT OF JOINT DOORSTOP INTERVIEW
29 JULY 2010
E & O E – PROOF ONLY
Subjects: National Disabilities Strategy; Disability Support and Reform; Australian Labor Party; Polls; Border Protection; Schapelle Corby; Knife Crime; Budget Savings; Climate Change
PM: I’m very pleased to be here. I’m in the federal electorate of Deakin and we’re joined by our member, Mike Symon, who’s been a very, very feisty advocate for this community and continues to raise its needs. I’m also joined by Jenny Macklin, the Minister for Families and Community Services, and by Parliamentary Secretary, Bill Shorten, who’s – as you have already seen demonstrated today – has been doing such good work in the disability area and raising the question of disability policy. And it’s on disability policy that I want to speak today. 1.5 million Australians are affected by a high level of disability. 1.5 million Australians. That’s a very significant number. And as a government, we have worked with people with disabilities, with their carers, with their families and friends, with the vital services that support them to improve opportunities for people with disabilities.
As Prime Minister, I want to see Australians with disabilities having the same opportunities as other Australians. To a great quality education. To getting a job for those with a disability who want to work and are capable of work, and we know that that’s so many. To have the same ability to do really practical things like go to the local pool run by the local council, go to the local library, be in buildings where they can move around. This work has been led by Bill Shorten and I’m pleased today that we were able to launch the National Disabilities Strategy that comes from that work. And in addition today, I’m pleased I’m able to announce some new measures that will be implemented if the Government is re-elected to make a difference to Australians with disabilities.
First and foremost, we understand that early intervention makes a difference. I’ve been here today talking to mothers and carers about early intervention and the difference it makes for children with hearing impairments. We have run a successful program of early intervention for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. If re-elected, we want to make benefits available to children with other impairments who need assistance. In particular, we want to extend these benefits to children who are diagnosed with sight and hearing impairments, with cerebral palsy, with Down syndrome or with Fragile X syndrome. The Government, if re-elected, will make available a package of support of $12,000 for our youngest children so that their parents can get access to the services that they need – to assist with their care, to make a difference for their future. Take an example of a child we’ve met today. If they’re diagnosed early, if it’s known that they’ve got a hearing impairment early then they can access some of the technology that can make a difference, like implants. They can access support through a speech therapist so that they develop speech. A package of care that will make a difference. Now I’m pleased we’re able to make this investment – $12,000 of support – to be used for services that children need.
And then for children who are in the next age range, so for children who are a bit older and need services, I’m pleased today that we are going to extend Medicare rebating to assistance with allied health services, both in diagnosis and in treatment and support. So our aim here for our youngest kids – for kids being diagnosed under six – is to get them access to early intervention services; for older children, to be able to support diagnosis and treatment through the Medicare system and get access to the allied health services they need. And then if we think about the life journey of someone with a profound disability, one of the key questions often becomes, as they get older and their parents and carers get a little bit older, that dreadful question starts to present to carers: what will happen when I’m no longer here to care for my child? There would be many mothers and fathers in their 60s and 70s that care for a person with profound disabilities who will be asking themselves that question every day – what’s going to happen to my son or daughter when I’m no longer here?
As a Government, we’ve worked to provide supported accommodation to help meet these needs and we are working to provide 300 places. Today we are announcing an additional investment and we will work to provide up to 150 more. And in providing these new places, we want to work with the great community organisations around the country whose passion and enthusiasm I’ve seen on display today, and certainly Bill Shorten and Jenny Macklin and Mike Symon and all of our Labor members see on display each and every day. So we will be looking to work with community organisations, looking at innovative applications for developing this new capital and these new supported accommodation places. I think it is important that we should mark the moment that in a national election campaign, as we continue the run in the election campaign to 21st August, that we are here talking about this important area of policy, disability policy and support. I’m going to turn now to our Minister Jenny Macklin for some comments and then to Bill Shorten.
MACKLIN: Thanks, thanks very much Julia. Bill Shorten and I are very, very pleased to be here today to announce further improvements to disability services and to support for carers. When we first came to government, we understood just how important it was to get a new National Disability Agreement. And we did. It was one of the first things that we did. And that has seen an expansion of disability services for people with disability and their carers right across Australia. We also knew that it was important to provide improved income support for people with disability and their carers. And that’s why it was a Labor Government that decided to increase the Disability Support Pension and the Carer Payment and to put in place an annual Carer Supplement for our carers. In previous governments, carers had had to rely on the goodwill of the government of the time.
We also knew how important it was to provide early intervention services for children with autism and we’ve delivered to those children with autism. Looking forward, we want to make sure that we can continue this very, very important work. We know how critical early intervention is for little children. We know how important it is that parents are able to put together the sort of care and support they need and want for their children. That’s why we’ve decided to provide $12,000 to parents to make sure that they can get the services they need for their little children.
But we do also know just how critical it is to support carers and, particularly, older carers. A lot of people want the chance to get supported accommodation for their adult sons or daughters. And this initiative today will not only provide additional funding for more supported accommodation places, it will provide an opportunity for community groups, for parents and carers, to bring their great ideas forward about the best way to provide that supportive accommodation. So I do join with Bill Shorten today in thanking the Prime Minister very, very much for her dedication to this critical area of social policy. This will make a difference to the lives of thousands of Australians with disability, their families and their carers. Bill.
SHORTEN: Good morning everyone. I think this morning is very significant because we’re seeing disability being placed as one of the first row issues in this election campaign. This morning the Prime Minister has announced an early intervention package which will specifically assist children who are born blind or significantly vision impaired. Children who are born deaf or who are significantly hearing impaired. Children who have a diagnosis of cerebral palsy or Down syndrome or Fragile X syndrome. What this means, we estimate, is that up to 7,800 little children up to school age will be able to access much needed support. The way it will work is that they will have, parents will have up to $6,000 a year for two years to be able to access necessary services from approved service providers, and the service provider will send a bill into the Government. So it will be a rebate system. What in addition will happen is that we’re going to see, we estimate, nearly 20,000 children up to those early teens being able to, their parents being able to access through Medicare support in the allied health professional areas. Just because a child is born with cerebral palsy or Down syndrome or is deaf or blind doesn’t mean they can’t learn. What we’ve learnt in our first term, working with children with autism, is that an impairment isn’t the end of the matter. It doesn’t make you silly or stupid. In fact, children can learn regardless of their impairment. The fantastic opportunity that this morning represents, both at this facility here and at facilities like this all across Australia, is that a lot of parents who are doing it tough with cost of living – and disability adds additionally to the burden of cost of living – are going to be able to provide those extra hours which mean their children get the best possible launch in life, heading towards school.
I think most of us are also aware of ageing carers and parents in their 70s and 80s and even 90s, who can’t sleep at midnight because they worry constantly: will they pre-decease their adult child? And they worry about secure accommodation. What is significant about the development today is that the Labor Government, led by Julia Gillard, is making it clear to families and to service organisations, if you have a good solution, if you have an idea which can provide independent supported accommodation towards these adult children of ageing carers, we’re interested in your propositions. And we’re interested in your propositions no matter where you live or whatever your circumstances. To me, this sends a strong message of hope.
Our Prime Minister today said that the status quo in disability cannot remain so, that we need to go forward and we need to put disability on the map. Disability is an invisible issue in Australian politics but it affects far more people, either directly or people who they know are carers, people who are caught up in the trauma of car injury, right through those early onset diseases which affect people as they get older. What has happened today, and I’ve already started to receive calls from many carers and many parents and many people with disabilities, is that Labor, under Julia Gillard, has said disability is an important issue which can no longer be ignored in the national political debate.
PM: Thanks very much. I’m happy to take questions.
JOURNALIST: How much does the package cost and where will the money come from?
PM: Right, the package costs for the Better Start for Children with Disabilities, that’s $122 million, for the new supported accommodation places that’s $60 million so it’s a package of $182 million in total. This is new money and it will be subject to our rules that across this election campaign we won’t add a cent to the Budget bottom line. We are going to bring the Budget to surplus in 2013 and so offsetting savings are going to be announced during the election campaign.
JOURNALIST: Will the committee briefs you are proposing to involve in this have to put in their own money, and will they have the capacity to do that?
PM: Well I will turn that question to Bill because we are wanting to work with people and also see if that can leverage additional resources. Bill.
SHORTEN: In terms of the early intervention we’re not asking anyone else to spend anything else. There is no doubt that we need more people trained professionals in the allied health professional space. That’s why some of the initiatives that have been announced in health by Labor to train more GPs and to train more nurses. That’ll help relieve some of the pressure. What we are seeing in the early intervention space is centres like this or the See and Hear Centre in Brisbane or the Shepherd Centre in Sydney, or the Cora Barclay Centre in Adelaide, those centres have been working on the smell of an oily rag. What we are going to do is provide parents as consumers the ability to choose services. We see this as an infusion of new money which will generate greater economic activity because it will make it more attractive and more feasible for allied health professionals to work in this area. We hope that it will also attract consortiums of services. We’ve seen it happen in autism, we have some runs on the board and we know that it does create critical mass if the parents of children with disabilities have that little bit extra wealth. The challenge with disability is that it just makes you poor and that’s why this money will bring people in. At the other end in terms of accommodation and housing I think what we’ve called this as an innovation fund, we’ve been informed by some of the cleverest people who have been working on this idea who are careers at the MS Centre, the Nerve Centre who have had good ideas but, you know they’ve got apply through the State Government, they’ve got to fit templates. What we’re interested in is trusting the love and capacity of families and non-for-profit organisations that come up with innovative solutions for small congregative accommodation, three and four people together, to build houses which people can live in, which are designed for them and they can grow old in. We want to look at, we’re interested in ideas which see that people live in age appropriate accommodation, we’re already doing a fair bit about moving young people out of nursing homes but more needs to be done there. So nothing is ruled in and nothing is ruled out in terms of ideas coming forward but the message to family groups, the message to services, and I’ve met so many of them in the last 33 months, is that your good ideas now have another avenue to be explored to see if they’re possible.
PM: Ok, we’ll just go one at a time in our normal seemly fashion…
JOURNALIST: Prime Minister, a really big reform in this area would be a National Disability Insurance Scheme; Bill likes the idea, what about you? Are you sympathetic to it?
PM: Bill has certainly spoken about this idea and obviously Jenny Macklin was one of our, and I’m happy to certainly spruce it again. I do genuinely believe the Jenny is one of Australia’s leading social policy thinkers, they have raised with me and the Government has considered a national insurance scheme for disabilities. We are asking the Productivity Commission to investigate that. It would be a very, very major shift to how we think about getting the services to people with disabilities so we’re asking the Productivity Commission to look at it but as I’ve said in my speech a little bit earlier today, the status quo can’t stay. We have to move forward and getting the Productivity Commission to investigate a National Disability Insurance Scheme is part of that.
JOURNALIST: Mr Shorten, you’re support was very important to Julia Gillard in becoming Prime Minister do you think that Kevin Rudd should leave politics and do you think he’s the leaker?
SHORTEN: Oh, just to begin with, this question has been answered many times by our Prime Minster and I support her position completely about the role for the former Prime Minister. What I will say further though, is that for this election while I’ve been concentrating up on is the important area of disabilities. I have to make it very clear that whilst there are many issues being debated in this national election, I can see a few which are any more important than disability. All my work indicates to me that a majority of the population have their lives touched by disability and I think that what we’re seeing today, would from early intervention to aging carers heading towards the twilight years of their lives and are concerned, for me, that’s the most important issue that I have in this election.
JOURNALIST: Mr Shorten, nice segue, I’d like to now segue way back to talk about early intervention what about Kevin Rudd: do you think it would be best to try and get out there and campaign with him in Griffith or somewhere around on the campaign trail to put that issue to bed as whether or not Kevin Rudd can work with you and your Government and do you think he’s an honourable man?
PM: Look Kevin Rudd is out campaigning as a local Member of Parliament in his federal electorate of Griffith. He’s working hard, he’s always worked hard for his community. I’ve worked alongside Kevin Rudd, I lead the Labor team of which he’s a part. If we’re elected, and once again it’s going to be a photo finish, it’s a tight contest, but if we’re elected I will want to see Kevin Rudd working with me as a senior member of Labor’s team. Kevin Rudd is an honourable person, he’s working hard now for his local community.
JOURNALIST: But Prime Minister will you campaign with him before the election’s over?
PM: I’m available to campaign around the country where I’m needed as we draw through to the 21st of August.
JOURNALIST: [inaudible]…perhaps to put the issue to bed?
PM: Well the…let’s just get frank here, I mean, Kevin Rudd has said he is campaigning for the re-election of the Gillard Government. I as the Leader am campaigning for the re-election of my Government. Kevin is campaigning to be the Member for Griffith. I am campaigning as Prime Minister around the Country…..ok, we’ll just go, you were very polite, so we’ll go….
JOURNALIST: [inaudible]…you said that Kevin Rudd will have a senior leadership role in your government if you’re re-elected. Shouldn’t he therefore be playing a senior role in your campaign?
PM: Well, Kevin has said that he’s seeking re-election as the Member for Griffith and he is campaigning for re-election there, if we’re re-elected. If we’re re-elected on the 21st August. My eyes are on our re-election. Election day is on the 21st August, then of course I’ll be talking to Kevin Rudd about playing a senior role in the team in a Gillard Government. But you know, can we just take one step back here, we are campaigning in what is a tough and close contest on the issues that matter to the Australian community, campaigning today, talking about the very, very important question of disability and broadly in the campaign talking about questions of real importance to Australians: having a job; educations and health services you relay on; the cost of living – Mr Abbotts plan to put taxes up so you pay more for everything that you buy in the supermarket. These are the issues that Australians are focused on, they’re the issues in campaign.
JOURNALIST: Prime Minister, Wayne Swan says you ‘can’t stop the leaks’. Is that your view and also how badly is this damaging your campaign? I mean the latest betting markets this morning have Labor lengthening to Tony Abbott coming in to win the election.
PM: Well, I’ll leave the question of betting markets to others, what I’m definitely going to say is this: if the Government is re-elected, then I will as Prime Minister, have a proper system of Cabinet Government and what that means is when you are in the Cabinet room you should have free and frank discussions. What it also means is when you leave the Cabinet room, you keep those discussions confidential. If there is anybody in my Government, if we are re-elected, that does not respect the confidentiality of Cabinet then they will no longer be a Cabinet Minister.
JOURNALIST: In the meantime though, Wayne Swan’s right, isn’t he, when he says you can’t control the leaks? And secondly, how relived are you that Belinda Neal won’t be contesting?
PM: Well our candidate obviously is Deb O’Neill and I think she will make a terrific representative. She is a very, very strong advocate of the interests of her local community. She’s campaigning hard in Robertson. Yes?
JOURNALIST: The Morgan Poll that’s out today, was taken this week and it shows that Tony Abbot…[inaudible]…why do you think that is? Is your campaign going badly?
PM: Look I’ve always said that this is going to be a tough, close campaign. I’ve always said, it’s going to be photo finish. This is a judgement that is really on a knife edge and I will keep campaigning between now and 21st August raising all of those issues that are so important to the future of this country. And you know, I think the contrast is clear. We supported jobs during the Global Financial Crisis, it’s so important to people to have the benefits of work. Mr Abbott would of seen hundreds of thousands of people unemployed. I want to keep investing in health and education services, computers, trade training centres, GP Superclinics and After Hours Hotline. Mr Abbott wants to stop all of that. I want to make sure that we are focused on cost of living questions, I understand it’s tough for families and Australians when they go to the shops and buy the things they need. Mr Abbott wants to put those prices up through his increase in company tax.
JOURNALIST: The Catholic Archbishop of Perth wrote today, he has suggested today that Christian voters may be a bit concerned by your atheism, it could threaten things like Government funding for church schools and the tax free status of churches. I’m just wondering what your response is to that?
PM: Well of course, I am someone who very much respects the religious views of others and in terms of the work that the Catholic Church does, that other churches and religious groups do in our society, I am a big respecter and my history has been to be a big supporter. So if, for example we look at Catholic schools around the country, during the period that I was Minister for Education, we have delivered historically unheard of levels of capital investment in Catholic schools. We’ve made sure that they can benefit through Building the Education Revolution, trades training centres in schools, computers in schools, we’ve made sure they can benefit from our national partnerships for disadvantaged schools for improving teaching for literacy and numeracy. I’ve worked well and respectfully with the representatives of Catholic schools around the country. I’ve held up one in my electorate as a terrific example of school that is transforming lives for some disadvantaged kids and, that’s definitely, that’s the approach I will continue to take as Prime Minister.
PM: Well the reason is, as I have outlined, that in terms of my plan for a regional framework and a regional processing centre, we want to deal with the countries that are signatory to the refugee convention. Nauru is not. I’ve also said before that if Nauru takes the decision to sign the Refugee Convention and they need any technical assistance or support in going through the process then I’ll make officials available to give then that technical assistance and support. So if the Nauruan Government wants to approach my Government on those matters, then obviously I’ll respond to that approach.
PM: Well the Nauruan Government is in caretaker, their Parliament is deadlocked and I think it is right to point to the fact that with a Government in that state, it obviously makes it very very difficult for them to make active decisions. But well, what I’m saying to you and I’ve said this – there’s nothing new about this – I’ve said this before, I’ve said it very clearly – If the Nauruan Government makes the decision, the Nauruan Government, Nauruan Parliament, notwithstanding their recent difficulties, makes the decision to sign the Refugee Convention, if they want technical advice or assistance, I’ll make officials available.
JOURNALIST: (inaudible).. Will you be making any overtures to the President of Indonesia about… (inaudible)…. Schapelle Corby?
PM: Look, I support, the Australian Government supports her plea for clemency. We obviously do want that plea for clemency to be heard and to get sympathetic consideration. I’m very concerned about her personal circumstances and I do support her plea.
JOURNALIST: (Inaudible)… We’ve got another boat today, another 80 people we think who have arrived off Ashmore reef. Are the people smugglers not getting the message, or all the tough rhetoric? Given that we are in an election campaign and this is a big issue, what is your best estimate, what is the Australian authority’s best estimate of the number of people that we can expect to arrive by boat by the end of the year?
PM: What I can say about this question is, I’ve said honestly to the Australian community, there’s no quick fix here. Anybody who’s peddling a quick fix to you isn’t telling you the truth. I know Mr Abbott is peddling a slogan to people. Long serving Minister for Immigration Phillip Ruddock, his own colleague has basically said that the slogan won’t work. So I know Mr Abbott’s peddling a slogan, but anybody who says that there’s a quick fix here is simply not telling the truth. What I have said is I want strong border protection and we’ve moved to strengthen our border protection. We’ve got more assets patrolling our borders than we’ve ever had before. More days at sea, more days in the air.
I as Prime Minister have provided more assistance to Indonesia for their own policing efforts against people smugglers. I believe that the solution here is to take out of the hands of people smugglers, the very product that they sell. Don’t want to stop boats at sea, I want to stop them leaving shore and setting sail in the first place. That’s why I outlined my plans for a regional processing centre and why we commenced the dialogue with Nauru (sic). Now in terms of the scale of this problem, Julian Burnside is right to say at current rates, it would take twenty years to fill the MCG, we’re in Melbourne today, to fill the MCG. But I understand Australians are concerned about this. I’m concerned about it. I don’t want to see people smugglers profiting, I don’t want to see people risking their lives at sea, I don’t want to see boats arriving here unauthorised. I want to stop the boats before they leave foreign shores to get here.
JOURNALIST: To the candidate – Your union the ETU which spent a lot of money getting you elected last time, last week disaffiliated from the Labor party by a popular vote of members. They apparently believe that Labor is, no longer represents the interests of workers. Do you agree with your union? And what are your thoughts on the Government’s retention of the ABCC?
SYMON: The ETU Victorian branch has disaffiliated from the ALP as I understand and that’s their decision. They have views differing to what the Labor Party do in some areas and I of course agree with the Labor party view. The ABCC, the Government in this term, did actually try and change some of the operation of the ABCC as Julia, as Minister at the time commissioned the Wilcox report. That did not make it through the Senate, I understand we are going to try and get that back through the Senate next time.
JOURNALIST: On gang crime, Tony Abbott says that we need a national violence gangs database and a national gang squad, made up of federal officers which is going to cost around $180 m over four years, do we need to do more on gang violence?
PM: Well my colleague Brendan O’Connor the Minister for Justice and Customs has announced an increased effort from the Government. We want to crack down on knife crime. We want to crack down on people carrying things like knuckle dusters that obviously people are only carrying because they’re contemplating acts of violence. He has announced that we will crack down on the importation of these items and we will work with Police around the country. Knife crime worries people. It worries people understandably. There’s no excuse in the world for wondering around with a knife in your pocket for no proper purpose carrying a flick knife as you go through the streets of Melbourne and we, if re-elected, will be working with police authorities around the country to crack down on that problem.
JOURNALIST: PM, you say that off-setting savings will be announced before election day, can we narrow that down? Is there a guarantee the spending cuts are not going to be say, announced the night before the election?
PM: We have been announcing savings periodically during this campaign and we will continue to do so. It will be absolutely transparent to every Australian before election day, that during this campaign, we have not added a cent to the budget bottom line, that the budget will come back to surplus in 2013, three years earlier than predicted and before any other major advanced economy in the world.
JOURNALIST: (inaudible) … shows that warming is confirmed, shows that Australia is the hottest year on record was 2009, 2010 was even warmer.. do we really have time to wait for consensus on this issue? And what is the Citizen’s assembly… (inaudible)?
PM: Well look I accept climate change is real. I accept the science and of course we’ve got a new report with further information on the science. I think it’s going to be a little bit interesting Tony Abbott’s reaction to that report given his dismissal of climate change science in such colourful terms because he doesn’t believe that climate change is real. As a Government, we are going to tackle climate change. I don’t want people to be afraid of the future. I believe Australians do want to embrace change. I will lead the national debate on that change and we will be assisted by Australians through the Citizen’s Assembly.
But we’re not going to wait. We’re not going to wait. I’ve already announced that we will act to make sure there are no new dirty coal fired power stations built. That we will act to invest a billion dollars to bring the clean energy of the future from the remote parts of the country where it is generated to Australian homes. That we will act to assist Australians to get rid of their old clunkers that are spewing out pollution and get into greener vehicles. That we will act on buildings, working with building owners who want to make their buildings greener, that we will also be rewarding those who move early on climate change in making sure that they are rewarded. These are significant measure and they come on top of us making record investments in solar and renewable technologies so Australians have access to the energy of the future.
PM: Look affiliation matters for unions are matters for unions. I think my public war of words with the ETU from time to time as Workplace Relations Minister is well known. I didn’t share their perspective on what’s the right shape of industrial laws in this country. I don’t share their perspective now. The Fair Work system has got the balance right. The pivotal thing about that, the pivotal thing in this election campaign is the choices between the Fair Work laws of the return of the worst aspects of WorkChoices, including loss of basic benefits like penalty rates. And I do know from time to time in this campaign, Mr Abbott’s says it’s about cost of living pressures, well his plan for the worst aspects of WorkChoices would take money out of people’s pay packets and his plan for increased company tax would put prices up in the shops.
Thanks very much.
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Australian issues, video, research, jobs,commentary etc.. from Australian Policy Online APO Weekly Briefing – 29 July 2010
Help us plan APO’s future
Thanks to everyone who has contributed their thoughts so far on APO’s development. Our strategy meeting is still a week away on 6 August and we would be happy to receive more ideas, thoughts, examples of how you use APO and what else we could be doing in the policy/research space. Comments posted directly to our blog are very welcome, as are your emails.
23 July, 2010 | Crikey’s health policy blog, Croakey, asked a range of policy specialists
29 July, 2010 | It’s a federal election, but most of the issues in South East Queensland are local, writes Jane Goodall in Inside Story
29 July, 2010 | An analysis of the tweets for the first full week of the campaign points to some interesting patterns writes Axel Bruns
27 July, 2010 | Preference deals are as old as the preferential system itself, writes John Warhurst in Eureka Street
29 July, 2010 | Victorian legislation will help avoid the scramble to enrol, writes Rob Hoffman in the National Times
23 July, 2010 | Murray Goot and Ian Watson look at the data in Inside Story
Mary Allan, Mick Grimley | Australasian Journal of Educational Technology Vol 26, No. 5, 2010
26 July, 2010 | Whilst prior research has identified children as avid users of new technologies, insufficient studies have explored their patterns of use. This paper investigates how New Zealand pre-teens use technology out of school.
26 July, 2010 | The Pacific heritage arts research project provides a broad overview of the health of heritage arts amongst the seven main Pacific communities in New Zealand.
Ziggy Switkowski | University of Melbourne
23 July, 2010 | This discussion paper sets out options for the Faculty of the VCA and Music and the future of higher arts education in Melbourne.
International Journal of Emerging Techologies and Society
26 July, 2010 | Attracted by the prospective opportunities offered by the Internet for market and communication diversification, small and medium enterprises in Botswana, like elsewhere, adopt ICTs, hoping to better their performances.
Christopher Madden | International Federation of Arts Councils and Culture Agencies (IFACCA)
26 July, 2010 | This report provides a platform for the exchange of information and ideas about arts advocacy by exploring a range of campaigns currently being undertaken or planned by national arts funding agencies.
Sol Encel | Social Policy Research Centre
26 July, 2010 | Despite recent policy trends to keep older people in the workforce beyond 60, it appears that age discrimination continues to handicap or even prevent older workers from continuing in employment.
Stephen Grenville | Agenda: A Journal of Policy Analysis and Reform (Vol 17, Issue 1)
22 July, 2010 | If we accept that the market price for currency exchange does not always gravitate towards an equilibrium rate, as assumed by free market adherents, this paper asks what level of intervention is needed.
Abdullahi D. Ahmed, George Messinis | Centre for Strategic Economic Studies
23 July, 2010 | This paper develops a new index of human capital that measures cognitive skills employed by the adult population in 70 nations during 1970-2003 and suggests that public policy pay more attention to the employability of skills.
Anne Chesher | Curriculum Leadership
26 July, 2010 | This article briefly provides a context for the ABC series, The Making Of Modern Australia, and outlines its key features.
Claire Wyatt-Smith, Kay Kimber | Australasian Journal of Educational Technology
26 July, 2010 | Drawing on diverse literature sources and an Australian research study (2003-2008) into secondary students’ curricular digital literacies, this article presents conceptual advances in understandings about how to recognise, talk about and value signs of quality learning in student-created multimodal products.
26 July, 2010 | This report demonstrates that protecting and sequestering carbon in the Australian outback provides cheap options to help Australia make deep and early cuts to the nation’s projected emissions.
Victorian Council of Social Service (VCOSS)
26 July, 2010 | This report compiles the findings of a VCOSS survey of the standard of properties for rent in Melbourne and Geelong that found that more than one in ten properties was uninhabitable.
Richard Denniss, David Richardson, Cameron Eren | The Australia Institute
22 July, 2010 | What are green jobs? What policies can create green jobs? And is the term ‘green jobs’ meaningful in itself or is it just a politically attractive phrase? This paper seeks to answer these questions.
Teresa Hinton | Social Action and Research Centre
23 July, 2010 | This research outlines some lessons from UK experiences of the promotion of consumer engagement in drug and alcohol treatment services for Australia and particularly in Tasmania.
Mental Health Council of Australia
26 July, 2010 | This paper seeks to clarify points of overlap and difference between primary health care and community mental health and identifies how their linkages could be strengthened.
Catherine Caruana, Clare Witnish | Family Relationships Quarterly No.16
23 July, 2010 | The following article provides an overview of court protocols relating to the management of client mental health problems, including insights from one of the architects of the strategy from the Family Court of Australia.
Finding the right help: pathways for culturally diverse clients with cannabis use and mental health issues
Drug and Alcohol Multicultural Education Centre and the National Cannabis Prevention and Information Centre
27 July, 2010 | This qualitative study examines the experiences of those with co-existing issues engaging with mental health or alcohol and other drug services.
Indigenous Law Bulletin
27 July, 2010 | This article examines Indigenous land rights reform as it has been unfolding around Australia.
Indigenous Art Code Limited 2010
26 July, 2010 | The purpose of this code is to regulate the conduct of art dealers in the Indigenous art industry to ensure fair and ethical trade with artists; transparency in the process of promotion and sale of artwork; and a fair and equitable dispute resolution system.
Claire Berlyn, Leah Bromfield | National Child Protection Clearinghouse
22 July, 2010 | This resource presents and discusses a snapshot of data describing the rates of involvement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in child protection and out of home care.
Peter Leahy | Lowy Institute for International Policy
29 July, 2010 | Former Australian Chief of Army Peter Leahy argues that Australia needs greater civilian engagement if it is to have a chance of prevailing in counter-insurgency warfare.
Leah Bromfield, Prue Holzer, Alister Lamont | National Child Protection Clearinghouse
22 July, 2010 | This resource examines expenditure related to child abuse and neglect that is made by departments responsible for child protection services in Australia.
Lance Smith, Erin Louis | Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC)
23 July, 2010 | Using data from the AIC’s National Armed Robbery Monitoring Program, this paper examines the nature of cash in transit armed robberies in Australia, the health impacts on victims and explores crime prevention strategies.
Lorana Bartels | Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC)
23 July, 2010 | The power of the state to confiscate assets derived from criminal acts is well-accepted in criminal justice. This paper considers the scope and impact of laws concerned with unexplained wealth in Australia.
Kym Dossetor, Brent Davis | Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC)
30 July, 2010 | This study reinforces earlier research into perceptions of crime; that there are substantial misperceptions of crime among the general public, both in terms of the number of incidents and in perceptions of trends in crime.
Lance Smith, Erin Louis | Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC)
23 July, 2010 | Building on previous analyses, this report provides an overview of the 6,086 armed robbery incidents and 7,133 victims of armed robbery in 2007 and the factors, including locations, that made them vulnerable to victimisation.
Steve O’Neill | Parliamentary Library and Research Service
29 July, 2010 | This background note traces the genesis and development of the Rudd / Gillard Government’s Fair Work policy and legislation.
Paul Nelson | Parliamentary Library and Research Service
29 July, 2010 | While it is possible to compare electoral divisions on individual census data items, it is often more useful to compare divisions on the basis of a summary of related social and economic data items.
Australian Council of Social Service
23 July, 2010 | The new job seeker compliance system is more flexible than the old ‘three strikes and you’re out’ system but there’s still too much punishment and too little help for unemployed people, especially young people and Indigenous people, according to this submission.
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare
26 July, 2010 | This report provides information about the level of unmet demand for Supported accommodation assistance program (SAAP) acommodation, including how the estimates are calculated.
Robyn Edwards | Social Policy Research Centre
26 July, 2010 | For some young people, leaving statutory out of home care once they turn 18 can mean a sudden move from childhood to independence and adulthood, with little community support.
Victorian Council of Social Service (VCOSS)
26 July, 2010 | This 2009 study provides a snapshot of how households accessing emergency relief services experience and manage utilities hardship in Victoria and looks at ways for households to maintain access to these essential services.
Victorian Auditor-General’s Office
29 July, 2010 | This audit critically examines the effectiveness of the Victorian Government’s strategy Taking action on problem gambling in reducing problem gambling and gambling-related harm.
Kylie Morphett, Christine Gibson | Australian Centre for Child Protection
26 July, 2010 | Respondents to this 2009 survey of staff at specialist homelessness services reported that the needs of children there related to their physical and emotional health, their education, and their material wellbeing.
29 July, 2010 | This conversation analyses Special Minister of State Joe Ludwig discussion paper calling for new measures to ensure that lobbyist don’t exert undue influence over our politicians.
CSIRO 26 July, 2010 |
Do you have high-level analytical skills & a strong publications record? This is your opportunity to design & lead research projects on sustainability Join CSIRO – Australian Science, Australia’s Future
AusAid 26 July, 2010 | The role is responsible for research and reference services within Thematic Knowledge Services (TKS). IN addition, other key requirements include education and marketing of the full suite of information and library services provided by TKS within AusAID.
CSIRO 26 July, 2010 |
Do you have high-level analytical skills & a strong publications record? This is your opportunity to design & lead research projects on sustainability Join CSIRO – Australian Science, Australia’s Future
Volunteering Australia 26 July, 2010 |
Volunteering Australia, the national peak body for volunteering, is seeking a full-time policy and research officer to assess emerging critical issues affecting the volunteer sector and develop appropriate responses and advice for government and the volunteer sector.
HOUSING NSW DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES 26 July, 2010 |
The Principal Policy Officer is a senior member of the Centre for Affordable Housing (CAH) that progresses significant state and national affordable housing initiatives, policies and programs.
|LOCATION:||Bradley Forum, UniSA City West campus, Hawke Building level 5 50-55 North Terrace, Adelaide|
|ORGANISED BY:||The Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre|
04 August, 2010 | With Professor Terry Lovat, Pro Vice Chancellor, Education and Arts, The University of Newcastle
|LOCATION:||Bradley Forum, UniSA City West campus, Hawke Building level 5 50-55 North Terrace, Adelaide|
|ORGANISED BY:||The Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre|
05 August, 2010 | From religion and citizenship to medical ethics and questions of embodiment, this event will tackle the big questions facing us now.
|LOCATION:||Palladium C, Level 1, Crown Towers, 8 Whiteman Street, Southbank|
|ORGANISED BY:||Institute for Social Research|
10 August, 2010 | Effective leadership and resolution of public interest issues is foremost in the minds of Australians in the 2010 election, and in almost every field of endeavour Deeper understanding and more effective delivery of leadership is a challenge for those in government, business, media, education, sport, religion and community. This challenge underpins a major new Swinburne University initiative, The Centre for Leadership and Public Interest, to be launched by The Hon. Lindsay Tanner, Minister for Finance on the topic: "Leadership and Public Interest: A Personal Reflection"
|LOCATION:||Room EN 201, Swinburne University, Hawthorn Campus|
|ORGANISED BY:||Institute for Social Research|
11 August, 2010 | The seminar will present research on urban agriculture which relates to the three dimensions of sustainability: social, economic and environmental.
|LOCATION:||The Glasshouse Z2, Level 4, Creative Industries Precinct, Queensland University of Technology, Kelvin Grove|
|ORGANISED BY:||ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation|
18 August, 2010 | CCI is delighted to invite you to a seminar with Professor Tony Bennett (UWS) Professor Gay Hawkins (UNSW) Dr Jason Potts (QUT/UQ) Distinguished Professor John Hartley (QUT)
|LOCATION:||Wheeler Centre for Books, Writing and Ideas,|
|ORGANISED BY:||Melbourne Writers Festival and the Public Interest Journalism Foundation|
02 September, 2010 |
This conference will be about collaboration and creation, and about building new and creative relationships between newsmakers and audiences. This is an optimistic conference. It will go beyond tired old debates about bloggers versus journalists to embrace and bring together all those who are using new technologies to communicate and access news.
|LOCATION:||6 Queens Road, Albert Park, Melbourne|
|ORGANISED BY:||The Action Learning Action Research Association and Borderlands|
06 September, 2010 | Are you interested in using Action Research and/or Action Learning in your work or studies?The eighth ALARA World Congress is a unique opportunity to meet with others using and developing these approaches to social and organisational transformation. We have attracted contributions from 22 countries and all over Australia, focusing on practical applications as well as conceptual developments that the practices can reach towards in response to the complex and challenging issues that Action Research and Action Learning approaches are used to address.
|LOCATION:||Pavilion on Northbourne|
|ORGANISED BY:||Criterion Conferences|
03 November, 2010 | Building stronger partnerships for robust, sustainable, evidence-based policy
29 July, 2010 | The two volumes of this book seek to explain and analyse this global shift in the way we manage public sector information.
29 July, 2010 | Doing youth work in Australia is a three-volume series edited by Rob White and published for the youth work field by ACYS Publishing.
26 July, 2010 | The Council to Homeless Persons in collaboration with the Office of the Child Safety Commissioner, Salvation Army Eastcare and leading researchers Dr Philip Mendes and Dr Guy Johnson have organised a homelessness sector forum to discuss the issues of young people leaving care into homelessness and to develop recommendations to improve policy and program responses.The Forum will take place at the Fitzroy Town Hall on Tuesday August 24th.To register visit www.chpevents.org.au
29 July, 2010 | Election leaflets are one of the main weapons in the fight for votes in Australia. This site invites people to scan and send in political brochures from around Australia to reveal the targetted local messages being sent out by political parties.
29 July, 2010 | My Politician enables users to search the profiles of all the federal Australian politicians, including what and how well they are communicating via social media.
Follow APO on Twitter http://twitter.com/ozpolicyonline or join our Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/pages/Australian-Policy-Online/96048456165
MEDIA RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SCHOOLAID AND JETSTAR JOIN FORCES FOR THE KIDS HELPING KIDS AWARDS
In an Australian first, nonprofit SCHOOLAID and Australian low fares airline JETSTAR have joined forces to collaborate on the inaugural KIDS HELPING KIDS AWARDS, established to recognise and reward schools-based philanthropy. Jetstar General Manager Marketing and PR, David May said SchoolAid was a terrific way to align Jetstar’s already established World Vision ‘StarKids’ program with SchoolAid’s work to benefit children in the disadvantaged Asian communities they service.
‘Jetstar is very proud to partner with SchoolAid in this unique Awards program, fostering positive change in school communities both here and abroad,’ Mr May said. ‘We see our alignment with SchoolAid as an extension of our commitment to our World Vision StarKids partnership that supports projects for communities in the poorer Asian destinations we fly to. It’s a great way to highlight the needs of children of these poorer areas of the world and encourage Australian kids to lend their support. ‘We’re certain that through specific SchoolAid projects and through our support of the KIDS HELPING KIDS AWARDS, we’ll be able to significantly benefit these StarKids communities for many years to come,’ he said.
SchoolAid’s inaugural Kids Helping Kids Awards is open for entry until 15 September, with entries streaming in from schools in each and every state and territory in Australia. Interest in the Awards and the work of SchoolAid delivers an overwhelming message from educators that this long overdue program provides much needed acknowledgement of the estimated $11 million* generated for charities and kids in need by schools-based giving in Australia each year.
In addition, the Awards recently received the endorsement and support from Australia’s new Prime Minister The Hon Julia Gillard MP, who welcomed Australia’s first national awards program established to recognise the enormous impact of philanthropic activity in Australian schools.
The Awards will recognise and reward the outstanding fundraising achievements of Australian schoolkids, as well as the tireless work of the teachers and principals helping to develop the next generation of philanthropists. In addition to the Jetstar partnership providing travel for the Awards Ambassadors to visit winnings schools and the provision of a prize for the overall winning school, other partners, Microsoft and Cartoon Network are providing an incredible range of technology and entertainment prizes to recognise and reward these achievements, whilst the Tim Fairfax Family Foundation is a primary supporter of the Awards.
Registrations for the Kids Helping Kids Awards are open now. Visit www.schoolaid.org.au to download the registration form
|Kids Helping Kids Awards Ambassadors
Andrew Daddo – media commentator and children’s author
Anne Sargeant OAM – former captain of the World Champion Australian Netball team, netball coach and sports commentator
David Wirrpanda – former professional AFL player and now Director of the David Wirrpanda Foundation
Sara Haghdoosti - student activist and high profile member of Australia’s Iranian Community
Steve Crombie – activist and adventurer
Stone Parade – award winning Aussie band who recently performed in the Rock the Schools tour
|Kids Helping Kids Awards Judges
Jane Mackarell - Microsoft’s National Academic Programs Manager
Mark Sparvell -Microsoft’s Worldwide Innovative Teacher 2009 and Principal from Kadina Primary School
Professor Rosemary Ross Johnston – Director of the UTS Centre for Children and Youth: Culture and Wellbeing
Sara Haghdoosti – youth activist and high profile member of Australia’s Iranian community
Sean Gordon – SchoolAid Founderand former school principal
Zoe Eaton - Cartoon Network’s Associate Director of Marketing
Karen Loblay - Philanthropist and founder of the Matana Foundation
Note to media – SchoolAid founder Sean Gordon and CEO Julie Urquhart are both available for interviews.
Interviews with Awards Ambassadors and Judges can be arranged on request.
SchoolAid is a non-profit organisation which provides resources to principals and teachers to support them in creating philanthropic, caring students. SchoolAid provides children with the means to engage with children around the world – kids helping kids – and turn their compassion into action.
Kids Helping Kids Awards Partners
The 2010 Kids Helping Kids Awards is supported by:
· Jetstar Airways
· Tim Fairfax Family Foundation
· Microsoft through its Partners in Learning Initiative
· Cartoon Network
For further information, please contact:
Project Manager, Kids Helping Kids Awards
02 8904 0566
0407 616 984
02 8904 0566
0404 159 763
*This figure is a SchoolAid estimate based on the average sum raised by each school for a SchoolAid appeal and then multiplied by an average number of fundraising events schools conduct in a year.
TRANSCRIPT OF DOORSTOP INTERVIEW
28 JULY 2010
E & O E – PROOF ONLY
Subjects: Stormwater harvesting announcement; Company Tax; Murray Darling Basin; Inflation; Australian Women’s Weekly
PM: It’s great to be here in Adelaide in my hometown, and we are in the federal electorate of Sturt and I’m joined by Labor’s candidate, Rick Sarre, who is with me. I’m also joined by my ministerial colleague Penny Wong, our Minister for Water, and here in that capacity today. By Kate Ellis, our Member for Adelaide and one of my ministerial colleagues. By Tony Zappia and by Robert Bria from the local council, who’s joined us for this special announcement.
And I’m here today with my colleagues to talk about reusing storm water in Adelaide. Now I grew up here in South Australia. I’ve heard every joke anybody can make about Adelaide water. I don’t need anybody retelling them to me. And when I grew up here, there were concerns about our water supply. The quality of our water, the need for periodic water restrictions. Now, in the modern age, those concerns are greater as Adelaide has grown and as we have learned about climate change and seen the developments in the Murray Darling Basin. The Minister for Water, Penny Wong, has been leading our efforts to deal with water policy. And there would be no city in this country that cares more about water policy than the city we are standing in right now, in Adelaide.
We have already as a Government invested in projects which enable us to reuse stormwater. We’ve already invested in projects that bring this water into greening parks and gardens like the one we’re standing in. Now this obviously makes sense because if you can use this water for purposes like greening parks and gardens, it means you aren’t using precious drinking water to do that. Today with my colleagues, I’m announcing that we will make available $100 million for further projects that focus on stormwater and water reuse. And today I can announce that we will invest $10 million right here in a project that has been worked through by the eastern councils in Adelaide; a project that will mean because there is stormwater being caught there is more water to use. And we were talking about it just before – and at the moment, local councils here have to make difficult choices. Which of the parks and playing fields will they irrigate? Which will they leave unattended and allow to die off and go brown? Having more storm water, and water that is able to be reused available, means councils will be able to keep more of these vital facilities in the kind of shape that people want to see and people want to see in their local communities. So this is good news, good news for this local area, good news here in the federal electorate of Sturt and beyond. So with those comments I’ll turn to Penny Wong for some supplementary statements
WONG: Thank you very much Prime Minister, well we can’t let our precious water go to waste. When it rains we can’t simply let that water run out to sea and that’s why we’ve got to invest in projects such as these. It’s why this Federal Government has invested so significantly in water here in Adelaide, funding some 31 projects including 30 stormwater harvest and reuse projects. We’re funding projects which will deliver some three quarters of Adelaide’s water supply in a year. This is all about diversifying Adelaide’s water supply, making sure we have a range of sources of water, working with local government to deliver these outcomes and ensuring we secure Adelaide’s water supply. So we are very pleased to be supportive of this project. We funded projects as you would know in the north, in the south, in the western suburbs and now here in the eastern suburbs of Adelaide – a project which is about recognising we have to preserve our precious drinking water, we can’t simply let that go to waste. Thanks very much.
PM: This better not be a joke about Adelaide water or my colleagues here, you know, Rick and Kate, Penny and Tony – they’re ready, they’re ready.
JOURNALIST: Prime Minister Tony Abbott has today announced company tax cuts to 28.5 per cent by 2013 I think. What is your reaction to that? Will you match the cuts? Has the Coalition trumped you on tax?
PM: Oh dear me. Look I understand that Tony Abbott’s made some statements today about company tax so as I understand Mr Abbott’s position now, he’s going to put company tax up and he’s going to put it down. That’s what Mr Abbott’s saying. If he was Prime Minister, he’s going to put company tax up and he’s going to put company tax down. Well I think this is further proof that Peter Costello was right about Tony Abbott. He’s clearly bored by economics and he’s not understanding any of the details. There would be a lot of kids that I’ve met in my travels around the country that would be able to explain, if you asked them, that you can’t be putting tax up and tax down at the same time. Now all of this is about trying to camouflage Mr Abbott’s plan to increase company tax on Coles and Woolworths and have that feed through into the prices that people pay for everyday goods. And Peter Costello I think got it right when he thought Tony Abbott wasn’t up to dealing with the economic plans that this country needs.
JOURNALIST: Prime Minister I asked you this morning and you said you would answer it this afternoon-
PM: Yes, thank you for your patience.
JOURNALIST: The Murray Darling Basin Authority has produced a report on the future of the River Murray and the Darling Basin but they’re refusing to release it until after the election. Is that really fair on electors that they’re having to vote on future policies without knowing what is going to happen as far as the Murray Darling Basin is concerned?
PM: Look I’ll turn to the Minister for a comment too. But the simple fact here is that the Authority is independent and I think that is a good thing, that the Authority is independent. As a Government of course we are very happy to be judged on our efforts in dealing with water and Penny has led substantial efforts, substantial efforts including dealing with water purchasing so that we can see more water flow. And this is in real contrast to what Mr Abbott is saying. His team refers to water purchasing as ‘theft’ and we know what that means for the health of the Murray. But I’ll turn to Penny…
JOURNALIST: But can’t you (inaudible) the Authority to release the report?
WONG: Well look, on this Greg, one of the things we all wanted was the Murray-Darling run by an independent authority free from political interference. We think that’s in the best interests of South Australia and of all communities in the Basin. So obviously if it is an independent authority, it’s got to be an independent authority now as as in the future. I think the real question in this campaign is where is Tony Abbott’s water policy? Does he back the position of Barnaby Joyce, that water purchase is theft? Because what that means is that he’s saying to South Australians, we are not going to purchase water for the environment and for the Lower Lakes. And if that’s his policy, he should come out and say it.
JOURNALIST: The Basin plan’s been delayed twice now. It was due out in early June. Do you have confidence in the way the Authority is doing its work, given it has had to delay twice?
WONG: Well look, the Authority is doing something under this Government that has never before been done in the nation’s history. We have never managed the Murray Darling Basin as a single Basin. It’s unsurprising it’s challenging, it’s unsurprising it’s tough, but they are working through what is a very substantial challenge. They’ve made clear the process forward. We’d encourage people to consult, but as I said again. One of the things that we all wanted, when we all argued for water reform was an independent authority free from political interference. And that is what we have to preserve in terms of the authority.
JOURNALIST: Did you breathe a sigh of relief today when you saw those inflation figures?
PM: Well look the inflation figures are obviously below market expectations. My colleague the Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer Wayne Swan will be making some, I think he already has in fact made further comments on the inflation figures. So they are below market expectations and obviously I think that is good news. Now clearly I suspect your question is leading to a question about interest rates and all I’m going to say is that the Reserve Bank sets interest rates independently.
JOURNALIST: Have you had a look at a copy of the Women’s Weekly yet today and what did you think of the cover girl? Can I also ask the Ministers their reaction to that?
PM: I have picked up a copy of the Women’s Weekly, I think I’ll let others judge what they think of it. Obviously a combination of make-up and lighting that does you a lot of good.
JOURNALIST: Can I ask Kate Ellis and Penny Wong what they thought of it?
ELLIS: I’ll have to confess at this point, I haven’t made it to the newsagency to pick up my copy of the Women’s Weekly just yet, but I’m certainly looking forward to doing that and have had a couple of other priorities this morning.
WONG: I had a very quick look and I thought the photos were fabulous, but that’s all I can say.
JOURNALIST: Will you be making another visit to South Australia during this campaign?
PM: I try and get to South Australia as frequently as I can, so obviously I’m always very happy to visit here. We’ll be making campaign arrangements and diary arrangements during the campaign as we go and I can’t reveal all of those today, but I always love getting back to my home town, back to South Australia.
I like getting to Melbourne too, because it’s where my house in Altona is. I mean this is where I grew up, this is where my family still lives. I’ve got that sense of homecoming about it, obviously for all of my adult life really I’ve lived in Melbourne, and Melbourne my Altona home where Tim is, is very precious to me.
JOURNALIST: You have a background in refugee law, do you feel comfortable with the policy Labor is pursuing on asylum seekers and particularly the offshore processing of refugees?
SARRE: Can I say this morning’s focus is on sustainability and as I doorknock the area, I hear about people talking not about a big Australia, but about a sustainable Australia. They’re concerned about the environment, they’re concerned about our natural resources. Our great natural resource of water is under threat and this program this morning of $10 million dollars to waterproofing eastern Adelaide is a fantastic process and a fantastic outcome for the people of Adelaide, eastern Adelaide and in particular, the electors of Sturt.
PM: Thanks very much.
28 JULY 2010
COMMUNICATIONS UNIT: Phone: (02) 9384 2220 | Fax: (02) 9264 2213
AUTHORISED N.MARTIN for the ALP, 5, 9 Sydney Ave. Barton ACT.
To discuss any information in this email please contact (02) 9384 2220 at ALP Campaign Headquarters
Over and Over Again http://ht.ly/2h7RA pls RT, share
ABC 24 TV now streaming via free iPhone App – thanks to your team @abcmarkscott – aunty’s really in my iPhone now
Mental Health in Australia – Greens welcome Small steps on suicide. Much more still to do in a broken system – Senator Rachel Siewert
Small steps on suicide welcomed, much more still outstanding- Greens
The Australian Greens say the Government’s response to the Senate Community Affairs Inquiry on Suicide and Suicide Prevention chaired by Senator Rachel Siewert is to be welcomed, but note there are many more recommendations in the Senate Standing
Committee’s report which have not been supported.
“The Hidden Toll report found significant investment in suicide prevention and mental heal services was needed, and it’s disappointing that many of these recommendations aren’t being addressed,” Senator Rachel Siewert, said today.
“This package of measures increases spending on suicide prevention efforts from around $20m per annum to over $70m per annum over the forward estimates. It is well short of the recommended investment from the all-party Senate Report,” said Senator Siewert.
“We’ve spoken with mental health experts like John Mendoza and they tell us it is a grab bag of modest investments in a number of worth initiatives, but it is not reform.
“These announcements are patches hastily attached to a broken system. They will not change the access to care or the outcomes for the millions of Australians missing out on quality mental health services.
“According to the experts these announcements are too small to make a difference. The increased psychiatry services ($22m over 4 years) represents less than 2% of the current expenditure on Medicare psych services.
“The $60m for support services represents just $15m per annum in an area where the Federal Government already spends some $160m per annum and the states and territories nearly double this.
“The announcement represents less than 10% of the Federal Government commitment and just 3% of current national spending. The $9m for the suicide hotspots will only build facilities at 3 or 4 hotspots like the Gap in Sydney. It is simply not the significant funding that we know is needed for mental health reform,” said Senator Siewert.
The Australian Greens mental health package calls for:
· $100m per year incentives at the primary care level to target those in need, the vulnerable and long-term clientele working within the community and NGO sector;
· $150m per year for early intervention mental health programs including Headspace and early psychosis prevention services;
· $100m per year for alternatives to emergency department treatment such as multi-disciplinary community-based sub-acute services that supports ‘stepped’ (two-staged) prevention and recovery care.
“A much more comprehensive and joined-up approach to mental health services and suicide prevention is urgently needed if we are to make a serious dent in this growing toll,” concluded Senator Siewert
Media Contact: Chris Redman 0418 401 180
Senator Siewert Chaired the Senate Community Affairs Inquiry on Suicide and Suicide Prevention, which recently released The Hidden Toll : Suicide In Australia http://www.aph.gov.au/senate/committee/clac_ctte/suicide/report/index.htm
<<Small steps on suicide welcomed, much more still outstanding- Greens – MEDIA RELEASE 27072010.pdf>>
Senator Rachel Siewert
Australian Greens Senator for WA
P: (08) 9228 3277 | www.greensmps.org.au
No plan to deal with big oil spill off Western Australia http://ht.ly/2gDwJ
“Federal cabinet has agreed to a climate-change policy based on a series of measures — including a commitment to set an interim carbon price…to reduce carbon emissions over the next two years.” – Australian Financial Review, 15 July 2010
Julia Gillard has called an election before announcing her climate policy, but the Australian Financial Review (AFR) is reporting an extraordinary outcome from last week’s Cabinet meeting: a commitment to set an interim carbon price and reduce carbon emissions over the next two years.
That would be a historic victory, if it were true. Although ‘ministerial sources’ are quoted, this hasn’t been confirmed or announced. This report has all the hallmarks of a trial balloon–a leak politicians use to gauge the public reaction before committing to a position.
So as Cabinet meets again today, let’s give them a very big reaction–of overwhelming support. They say you catch more flies with honey, so let’s pour it on! Can you call the Labor candidate in your crucial marginal seat and express your support for a climate plan that includes charging big polluters for their carbon pollution?
So often we contact our politicians to criticise or complain. Imagine how it will feel when your Labor candidate picks up the phone and is met with your support for their possible policy announcement of putting a price on carbon within the next term of office.
They won’t want to disappoint you. Your phone call can be really simple. All we’re asking you to do is to ask your local candidate to call their colleagues in Cabinet, including Julia Gillard and their branch of the ALP, to confirm if the AFR report is true and to tell party leaders about all the positive responses they’ve received–and all the votes it will mean in their marginal seat if the Government commits to a price on carbon within their next term.
Now is the most powerful time to influence the Labor Party’s decision to deliver a robust policy to reduce our rising carbon pollution and you live in one of the most powerful places to do it. In your area there’s a chance that either side of politics will win. That means your vote really matters!
The election has been announced and Cabinet is meeting today. Can you help us get a price on carbon pollution by calling your local Labor candidate and telling them there are votes in strong climate action?
With your help, Labor party leaders will be flooded with calls from their marginal seat candidates across the country–showing overwhelming support for strong climate leadership, if only Julia Gillard would show it.
Help turn yesterday’s headline into tomorrow’s reality by making the call.
Thank you for standing with us on climate,
The GetUp Team
PS – The two major commitments announced in the AFR article are strikingly similar to the two asks in the latest climate TV ad funded by GetUp members. It means they’re listening to what we say. So, pick up the phone and drive the message home, so they follow through with the announcement we’ve been waiting to here.
Australian Greens challenge Coles over cheap tobacco: Greens: Action to stop cheap cigarette imports
Greens: Action to stop cheap cigarette imports
The Australian Greens today said they would move amendments to set a floor price on cigarettes to stop Coles and any other retailers flooding the Australian markets with cheap and harmful products.
"Coles’ action in bringing in cheaper cigarettes is irresponsible," said Senator Siewert, Australian Green health spokesperson today.
"The cigarette tax was increased in an effort to reduce the terrible health toll that smoking has in Australia. Importing cheaper cigarettes into Australia undermines the impact of these public health measures"
"Several months ago Coles was chastised by the Senate for selling cheap alcohol in Alice Springs, undermining community efforts to address excessive alcohol consumption," Senator Siewert said.
"I have to question Coles’ commitment to responsible retailing."
"The Greens have long been advocates to a minimum drink price for alcohol and the same approach should be applied to cigarettes" concluded Senator Siewert.
Media contact: Peter Stahel
Animoto – EDAC self advocacy for disabled http://ht.ly/2cZbW short vid for tomorrow’s presentation on new media for activists at EDAC Perth
Australian Election announcement from the PRIME MINISTER – TRANSCRIPT – OPENING STATEMENT AT PRESS CONFERENCE – CANBERRA – 17 JULY 2010
OPENING STATEMENT AT PRESS CONFERENCE
PARLIAMENT HOUSE, CANBERRA
17 JULY 2010
E & OE proof only
Good afternoon Australians one and all.
Can I say good afternoon to members of the Canberra press gallery and at least say to them they’ll be relieved to know their days of standing on street corners waiting for the election to be called are over.
And can I say to Australians on the 24th of June I had the very great honour of becoming Prime Minister of this country, the greatest country of all.
And on that day I acknowledged that I had not been elected by the Australian people. And I said then to the Australian people that I would ensure, that in the near future, they would to able to exercise their birthright, their vote, to select their Government and their Prime Minister.
Today I honour that pledge, and today I seek a mandate from the Australian people to move Australia forward.
This morning I asked Her Excellency, the Governor-General, to dissolve the House of Representatives so that elections can occur for the House and half of the Senate on Saturday, August 21.
This election, I believe, presents Australians with a very clear choice: this election is about the choice as to whether we move Australia forward or go back.
Our great nation, our very great nation, has been built by generations of men and women who had the courage to move forward.
Moving forward, of course, requires conviction, it requires confidence, it requires a willingness to embrace new ways of thinking, accept new challenges, to listen and to learn and to embrace new solutions.
Moving forward with confidence also requires a strong set of convictions and a clear set of values.
All of my adult life I have been driven by a very clear set of values and over the last few weeks I’ve had the opportunity to share those values with the nation.
I believe in hard work, I believe in the benefits and dignity of work, I believe in what comes as an individual when you do your best and you earn your keep.
I believe fundamentally in the importance of respect and valuing other people, something that can be shown from simple courtesy to making sure that we give each other a helping hand in times of need and times of distress.
Overall, and most importantly, I believe in the transformative power of a high quality education, the kind of high quality education that with rigour and discipline enables a child to get the skills and the character that they will need for the rest of their life.
Now I learned these values in my family home, from my father and my mother who migrated to this country and, like millions of other Australians, worked unbelievably hard so that their children could have opportunities that they could never have dreamed for themselves.
Throughout my adult life I have learned to face the future with confidence; I believe our nation too can face the future with confidence.
I believe absolutely, I believe to my core, that the best days of this nation are in front of it not behind it, and there’s no challenge too big, no challenge too tough, that we can’t conquer it if we work together.
And so in this, the forthcoming election campaign, I’ll be asking the Australian people for their trust.
I will be asking Australians for their trust so that we can move forward together.
And moving forward means moving forward with plans to build a sustainable Australia – not a big Australia.
Moving forward means making record investments in solar power and other renewable energies to help us combat climate change and protect our quality of life.
Moving forward means moving forward with budget surpluses and a stronger economy that can offer Australians the opportunity to get a job, keep a job, learn new skills, get a better job and start their own business.
A stronger economy that offers Australian families security, opportunity and fairness at work. A stronger economy that builds on what we’ve achieved by working together, employers and employees alike, in the face of the Global Financial Crisis and global economic uncertainty.
And of course that uncertainty is not behind us yet and economic challenges are still very much with us, and hard-working Australian families, who are doing it tough, can attest to that.
Moving forward of course means bringing the Budget to surplus by 2013 – three years ahead of schedule, a surplus that I will protect in this election campaign by not going on an election spend-a-thon, by making sure that any promise we make to spend money is offset by a promise to save money.
By making sure that the Budget bottom line doesn’t change by one cent during the election campaign.
Moving forward also means moving forward with stronger protection of our borders and a strong plan, a real plan, that takes away from people smugglers the product that they sell.
Moving forward means first-rate services for hard-working Australians.
In health, it means increasing our expenditure on hospitals by 50%, it means training 3,000 nurses and 1,300 General Practitioners over the next three years, all the while as we expand our GP Superclinics and implement our health reforms.
And moving forward above all in our schools means putting at the centre of our agenda getting every child, every child, a quality education. I believe so passionately in this because a high quality education has been the centrepiece of my life.
I have worked hard to increase information and choices for parents through the My School website, and we will build on it, and we will deliver our new national curriculum with its focus on the basics of reading and writing and mathematics.
We will move forward with our plans to deliver better quality teaching, computers in schools, Trade Training Centres so that we can train students and apprentices. I want to move forward so that young people in this country have real skills for real jobs.
And so this is my commitment to Australia:
Under my leadership we will move forward, we’ll move forward together with a sustainable Australia; a stronger economy; budgets in surplus and world-class health and education services and other essential services that hard working Australians and their families rely on.
Now my commitment to this country stands in stark contrast to the commitment of the Opposition. Their gaze is fixed in the rear view mirror rather than on the road ahead.
The Coalition proposes to take this country backwards, backwards to the days when people somehow believed you improved education and health by cutting funding to them.
Mr Abbott, who of course cut $1 billion from our public hospitals – enough to rip away 1,000 hospital beds, has a track record in cutting health.
He’s now calling for that same backwards looking approach to other services that hard working Australians need. Instead of creating GP Superclinics, he would eliminate them. Instead of expanding Trades Training Centres, he would end them. Instead of providing computers to children in schools, he would see none of that.
The Opposition’s economics approach is also backwards.
When the Global Financial Crisis hit, they opposed the stimulus package, they would have sent our economy downwards into a spiral of lower incomes, lost jobs, and reduced services. Now that’s a spiral that they would have recommended for this country but the wrong thing for Australians, it would have taken us backwards.
And now, Mr Abbott, whatever words he tried to camouflage it in, remains committed to bringing back the worst aspects of WorkChoices.
In terms of the words he seeks to disguise his intent with, we’ve heard all of that before.
Mr Abbott is also trying to hold Australians back by making them afraid of the future.
Instead of moving forward to tackle climate change, Mr Abbott is in climate change denial. Instead of building a national broadband network – the electronic infrastructure we need to modernise our economy and help regional communities grow – Mr Abbott would down tools.
Instead of supporting computers in schools and e-health, he would abandon all of it.
Mr Abbott would even deny hard working Australians increased superannuation, he would even deny regional communities new infrastructure, he even wants to stop small businesses getting the tax relief my Government will provide.
Now at this moment there is clearly an opportunity for us to look forward in this nation. Australia needs many changes, this is not a moment to turn back. We’ve come too far as a country and we’ve evolved too much as a society to risk that kind of backwards-looking leadership.
Instead, I believe this is a moment for all of us to strengthen, to innovate, to learn – in short, to move forwards, not backwards.
This choice is very, very clear, and I look forward to presenting our case for judgment to the Australian people over the weeks ahead.
Thank you very much.
COMMUNICATIONS UNIT: Phone: (02) 9384 2220 | Fax: (02) 9264 2213
AUTHORISED N.MARTIN for the ALP, 5/9 Sydney Ave. Barton ACT.
(ED: I hope the campaign coverage and considerations include a serious upgrade to efforts in mental health. It’s not a sexy subject, but it is life or death for many – time to act )
Polling day will be August 21 — and that leaves until just 8pm Monday for new enrolments and until Wednesday to update details like your address!
1 in 10 eligible voters, and an incredible 50% of 18 year olds, aren’t enrolled to vote and even more are yet to update their details. While you may already be enrolled to vote, you probably know several people who are not.
Do you know anyone who turned 18 in the last year? Have any of your friends moved house, got married and changed their name, become an Australian citizen or moved overseas?
If you know anyone who fits into the above category — and let’s face it, you probably do — then our democracy is relying on you today.
Then, make sure all your friends, family and colleagues do the same — before 8pm Monday night.
If the people you’re thinking of right now are not enrolled by 8pm Monday night, then they won’t be able to vote in this year’s historic election. Not only could they be fined over $100 for not being on the electoral roll, they’ll miss out on a once in a 3 year chance to have their say about the issues that matter to them.
It may take 2 minutes of your time today to forward this email to everyone you know – but it will have an impact every day for the next 3 years.
National Director, GetUp.
PS — While we’ve got 34 more days to influence the issues on which this election is fought, we’ve got just 2 days to get ourselves and friends on the roll. Please forward this email on to your friends, family, and colleagues and make sure they are enrolled to vote today.
West Australian Youth Awards 2010 winners video and reaction to a protest by a finalist against mining companies
It’s my 10th year as a Judge in the Media and Charmaine Dragun Memorial Commendation categories – what a great night it was for these amazing young west aussies.
The future’s in good hands
Young Person of the Year Announcement and acceptance by Jeremiah Wordsworth.
Australian of the Year Professor Patrick McGorry speaks to Youth Minister Donna Farragher, clearly chuffed at the protest during the environment category.
Winner of the Charmaine Dragun Memorial media prize is Nicholas Sas – Albany Advertiser
Live tweets from the night, last tweet first
Exciting opportunity for film-makers from; X|Media|Lab “Film X-tended” at Melbourne International Film Festival
Looking fwd to joining @thewest_com_au ‘s Tiffany Fox for the news panel from 8.15pm to 9 on Graham Maybury’s show 6pr.com.au
MOVING FORWARD to a Stronger AND FAIRER Economy
NATIONAL PRESS CLUB, CANBERRA
15 JULY 2010
I’m delighted to be at the National Press Club, my third appearance this year and my first as Prime Minister, and today I come with a clear message about what I believe and what is driving me as Prime Minister.
I believe a strong economy is the foundation of everything else that I as Prime Minister want for Australia. It’s the foundation because I believe that lives are given shape and purpose by the benefits and dignity of work.
For Australians and their families, work gives economic security and enables life time choices. For individuals, work that is appreciated and respected gives personal dignity.
So, for me as Prime Minister, I will make my economic judgements based on what gives Australians the best opportunity for access to work.
Getting a job, holding a job, developing skills and experience, getting the next, better job or starting your own business is what propels an individual’s life forward and gives families security and choices.
For the nation, supporting jobs today as we embrace the changes needed to build for the jobs of tomorrow, is what propels the nation forward to increased prosperity and fairness.
For both individuals and the nation, going forward requires hard work, determination and smart choices. It tests you, and in the last few years this nation has been tested by the global financial crisis and global recession.
The good news is that together we passed the test and we kept Australians in work. Australia’s economy has come through the global financial crisis in better shape than any major advanced economy. In 2009 the Australian economy grew by 1.3 per cent. In contrast, the world’s advanced economies contracted by 3.2 per cent.
When the global crisis struck, the Government did what we had to do, and Australia avoided the recession that hit most advanced economies.
Australia has come through that global recession with an unemployment rate lower than any of the world’s major advanced economies – yet we are still being tested.
We live in a challenging time for many Australian families, who are still doing it tough. Cost of living pressures, the cost of housing, job security, worries about affording education and retirement – these are all on the minds of many hard-working Australians.
Today, guided by my values, I want to share with you how I intend to move Australia forward to a stronger economy, with sustainable growth that delivers for hard-working Australians.
I believe that prudent and disciplined economic management is the foundation of good government. The good-quality, essential services that Australians expect can only be sustained by a Government when our public finances are sound.
That’s why I believe in strong budget surpluses.
The Government I lead will return the budget to surplus in just three years’ time. As the Treasurer announced yesterday, we are now on track for a surplus of more than 3 billion dollars in 2013.
This means Australia will be in surplus before every single major advanced economy in the world, and throughout the coming election campaign, the Government will sustain the discipline that has brought the budget back to surplus.
Those expecting an old-style, spend-up-big campaign can forget it. Any commitments made in the upcoming campaign will not add a single cent – not a cent – to the budget bottom line. Any and all commitments we make will be fully costed and funded.
Yes, the upcoming campaign will have strong elements of ‘clean’ and ‘green’ but above all else it will be very lean. There will be hard choices and some unpopular cutbacks but I am determined to offset new spending and ensure our return to surplus in 2013, and all our policies will be submitted to Treasury and Finance for independent costing under the Charter of Budget Honesty – and I challenge Mr Abbott to do the same.
I also believe that to maximise jobs today and tomorrow, governments must be a force for confidence and certainty in the economy. That is why I moved immediately to end the uncertainty in the mining industry and mining communities across Australia, and that’s why I can say with confidence that a re-elected Gillard Government will cut company tax, give small business an extra helping hand, invest in infrastructure and increase national savings and retirement incomes for hardworking Australians through our support for increased superannuation – more balanced economic development that is good for jobs right around the country and good for national savings.
Remarkably, my opponent would deny Australians these benefits because he is refusing to accept the tax that our biggest mining companies have agreed to pay.
Not only is he spurning the mining tax arrangements around which I have sought to build consensus, but he actually wants to increase company tax. He wants to deny small businesses the early start in reducing company tax and the instant tax write down on assets which the Government has committed to give them.
I want to take Australia forward. Mr Abbott wants to take it back.
Today, I say to Australians let’s talk about the challenges and complexities; let’s move on from yesterday’s debates to the debates of tomorrow; let’s move forward together.
Today, I want talk Australians about my approach to economic management and to economic reform.
We are living through a time of heightened global uncertainty. The global financial crisis severely dented confidence in economies across the world, and left many of them with years of work ahead to restore jobs and confidence.
There remains a brisk trade in doomsday scenarios across the globe. Faith in global institutions and global markets was shaken, and now, debt burdens are weighing heavily on Europe. Recovery shows promise but is still tentative in the United States. Some nations are threatened by the prospect of high unemployment and budget cuts reversing years of economic and social progress.
In such a fragile environment, I say to the Australian people: now is not the time to take risks with the Australian economy – it is a time for prudent and careful economic management; not a time to take risks with a Liberal Party that got it wrong on the global financial crisis, that opposed action to support Australian jobs and that would have allowed hundreds of thousands of jobs to be destroyed.
Australia today is a great beneficiary of the economic growth in China and the demand for our mineral resources in our region, as we know, but if anyone thinks that gives us a free ticket to easy prosperity, they are mistaken.
We must reject the temptation to sit back and simply hope for the revenues from the next phase of the mining boom to wash over us – as the Howard Government did in the first phase of the boom.
Australia cannot expect the resources sector to shoulder the whole burden of building our future prosperity, and we do not want to create an Australia that has is an economic patchwork with some parts of the country booming and other parts going backwards. An economic patchwork that will have some regions crying out for skilled labour while in other regions Australians live aimless lives without skills, work or hope.
We must do the hard work of building an economy with higher productivity growth and higher workforce participation – the long-term drivers of future prosperity.
Australia has experienced a long-term decline in productivity growth since the 1990s, and turning that around is essential for Australia’s long-term prosperity. Equally important is the need to maximise participation in the workforce.
A high-participation economy will sustain stronger growth, stronger public finances, and will better support the pressures on services caused by an ageing population. A high-participation economy will sustain hope and purpose in individual Australians and gives security and choices to their families.
I will make education central to my economic agenda because of the role it plays in developing the skills that lead to rewarding and satisfying work – and that can build a high-productivity, high-participation economy.
It is difficult to think of any investment that will generate returns as enduring as our investment in a child’s education.
Consider this: a child who is 5 years old today is likely to still be in the workforce through to the 2070s. That means that what we invest today to expand opportunity for Australian children will be paying dividends for most of the century ahead through higher participation, stronger productivity and increased economic growth, and that is why I bring to my role as Prime Minister a passionate commitment to better schools and better educational opportunities for all Australians.
My approach to economic management begins with a commitment to macroeconomic stability, within frameworks that have served Australia well through 18 years of economic growth under the governments of Prime Ministers Keating, Howard and Rudd.
For monetary policy, that means an independent Reserve Bank that has responsibility for setting interest rates, with an inflation target of an average of 2-3 per cent over the course of the economic cycle.
For fiscal policy, that today means a commitment to achieve budget surpluses on average over the medium term, to keep taxation as a share of GDP, on average, below the level for 2007‑08; and to improve the Government’s net financial worth over the medium term.
As I’ve said, we are bringing the budget to surplus by 2013 – in three years’ time, ahead of every major advanced economy. This requires ongoing economic discipline by holding real growth in spending to 2 per cent a year once the economy is growing above trend and allowing the level of tax receipts to recover naturally as the economy improves.
Once the Budget returns to surplus, we will still maintain spending restraint, until we deliver strong surpluses of 1 per cent of GDP. This is the responsible approach to macroeconomic management. It forces us to focus our effort on high-quality, effective services.
It sets clear parameters for all our policy decisions, and for the election campaign ahead.
A strong and stable macroeconomic framework is essential for the Australian economy, but there is more to responsible economic management.
In the 1980s and 1990s, Labor Governments led economic reform by recognising that in changing global conditions, only an open, market-driven economy could prosper. That meant floating the dollar, reducing tariffs, ensuring wage restraint and implementing sweeping competition policy reforms.
But as conditions change again, we need more than economic stability to ensure future prosperity. We need active reforms to improve Australia’s ability to compete, to make sure that all our assets are utilised productively, and to make the most of our value-adding capacity.
That is what micro-economic reform does for an economy – helping to sustain stronger growth over the longer term and ensure that Australian firms and workers are able to adapt successfully to changing conditions.
Economic reform should benefit families, boost national prosperity, enable more Australians to enjoy the dignity of work and deliver a more competitive and sustainable economy. Over time, there should be a virtuous cycle between investment in human capital and resilient communities and economic growth, but this demands a different mix of policy approaches from the ones applied in the 1980s and 1990s.
Since I became Education, Employment and Workplace Relations Minister in 2007, I have argued for an approach to microeconomic reform which focuses on market design.
The sectors which may need renewal and reform are often those that were relatively untouched by the Hawke-Keating reforms – sectors like health and education that meet essential public needs, delivered largely within the domestic economy. Hospitals, aged care facilities, childcare centres, schools, and employment services – all services with a diverse range of providers from the public, private and non-government sectors, and services where competition and value is often held back by jurisdictional red tape and the lack of seamless national markets.
As far as I am concerned, there is no inherent superiority in a public sector or a private sector provider – certainly not on ideological grounds. The challenge is not whether to combine public and private resources in these essential sectors, but how best to do it.
Simply applying the extreme free-market medicine of liberalisation and privatisation without thought or care is not a solution. Maintaining an instinctive hostility towards the public sector and all it provides is equally wrong.
What matters is the hard work of understanding each sector, looking at the needs it must serve, and then methodically working to create the conditions in which markets serve the public interest through vigorous competition, transparent information, the freedom to make choices and a responsiveness to the needs of service users.
For this to occur we need strong, confident institutions at national, state and local level – institutions like innovative businesses, community-focused hospitals and great schools that create lasting value for the public.
But we also need sustained and sometimes bold action to unblock the market failures, open up new opportunities, and make sure that the interests of users and taxpayers are put first.
A modern, productive economy requires national consistency and better standards, and not a mish-mash of conflicting State and Territory schemes. This is the kind of reform that I have delivered for Australians in the areas where I have had direct portfolio responsibility. It is also the kind of reform that I will pursue as Prime Minister.
My record includes big changes such as the introduction of uniform Occupational Health and Safety laws across the nation, a change that policy makers have been pursuing for a generation and which will create billions of dollars in benefit for Australian firms; big changes like the introduction of the Fair Work regime, which has brought a national Workplace Relations system for the private sector, reduced the number of industry awards from more than 4,000 to just 122; and big changes like the My School website and the national Australian school curriculum.
For the first time, accurate and consistent information about the performance and the circumstances of every school in the country is now available to the public, whatever kind of school we are talking about. From next year, we will begin to implement a shared national curriculum, allowing every student to access the highest possible curriculum standards and eliminating a problem for those families who move from one state to another, as so many now do: national quality improvement and consistency in early childhood; national regulation and quality standards in vocational and higher education.
I have also focused on performance-based pay for teachers and performance incentives for universities, vocational education providers and for states that lift school retention rates, because I believe in rewarding hard work and making governments and public institutions more accountable to the public, and in driving reform that focuses on quality and performance, I have also overseen the massive renewal of educational infrastructure across our schools, universities and TAFE.
These programs have invested in the technology and infrastructure that these sectors need for tomorrow.
At the heart of many of the reforms I have championed, and many of the changes for the decade ahead is this: the microeconomic challenges of the future are not a simplistic choice between the market and the state, but the more sophisticated challenges of market design so that we bring public and private resources together to deliver better services and increased productivity.
My priorities are very different to those of the former government in which Mr Abbott served, which subsidised the growth of private providers and encouraged private consumption seemingly for their own sake, without much regard for the overall performance of their sector in service, innovation or cost-effectiveness.
As Prime Minister, I intend to advance an agenda that moves Australia forward to a more productive, modern Australian economy, – one whose dividend to Australians is better quality services, better quality jobs, more competitive firms, a better quality of life and greater financial security for the future.
I say this to my fellow Australians: my vision for Australia’s economic future is not about the success of one sector against another, or one or two regions against the rest, because as Australians, we all have a shared stake in our prosperity and resilience.
Whether you’re in mining up in the northern parts of Australia, or in manufacturing in one of the southern states; whether you’re in the food industries of the Riverina and inland plains or in financial services or the creative industries in one of our big cities; no matter which industry, which region or which job – each of us has a stake in the success of all.
We need to build a dynamic, diverse economy with new businesses that can compete and succeed not just in Australia but also on the global stage;
An economy with a new generation of Australian entrepreneurs, researchers and inventors, an economy that moves forward to prepare our kids for the high-quality jobs of tomorrow – not one that goes backwards, with a Liberal Party that will again cut funding for education and put its energy into playing politics not reform;
An economy that moves forward to deliver good quality services to families – not one that goes backwards, with Mr Abbott once again cutting funding to our public hospitals;
An economy that moves forward and gives working people their fair share of our prosperity – not one that goes backwards, with Mr Abbott’s return to the worst aspects of Work Choices and individual contracts that undermine the safety net;
An economy that moves forward with confidence, with an agenda for the future – not one that goes that goes backwards with a Liberal government that would have taken Australia into recession and put Australians on dole queues.
I am committed to moving Australia forward by providing the responsible, far-sighted economic management we need to expand work and life opportunities for all Australians today and tomorrow.
This is my commitment to my fellow Australians.
Israel made tragic tactical & intel errors in Gaza fleet, but only the Turks’ intent was deadly http://bit.ly/dr7p4W #uncomfortabletruth
ABC News 24 – to start broadcasting on Thursday 22nd July at 7.30pm. On TV, online and on mobile RT of @abcmarkscott: #australia #media #TV
Still waiting for response from @telstra @bigpond to TIO complaint – took 4 days to call, then guy said he’s not the right 1! 6months now
Att: artists, photographers, painters, sculptors, etc!
It may be a great way to get exposure for your work (and money (-:).