Annerley Branch News – October 2020

Queensland election reaches home stretch

The election to determine who will govern Queensland over the next fours years is now in its final phase. With just a few days until voting wraps up on Saturday 31 October, Queenslanders have been given a stark contrast between Labor’s strong record of delivering jobs and services versus an Opposition that still cant see beyond its mistakes when last in office.

Mark Bailey MP on the hustings

Locally, the message from voters has been consistent and clear. People want stability. They want a government that will continue to deliver much needed services and infrastucture whilst planning for economic recovery, addressing climate change and managing the worst pandemic in 100 years.

Whilst the LNP has called for the opening up of state borders, effectively undermining any serious plan to address COVID-19, the Palasczcuk Labor Government has steered a steady ship, ensuring expert advice is heeded and providing support for those most affected by the pandemic. To date, only Labor has released a detailed plan for economic recovery, whilst the LNP has refused to outline its costings.

For more information about voting, visit https://voteearlyqld.com.au/

New innovation policy supported

The Annerley Branch has adopted a formal position urging Federal Labor to improve funding and streamline processes and resources to assist Australian scientists, researchers and inventors in bringing their ideas to market. The suggested policy, which the Branch wants to see as part of the new ALP national platform, also recommends the creation of an agency to oversee its implementation.

Currently, there is a confusing maze of services, programs and organisations involved in assisting budding entrepreneuers which is seen as inefficient and discouraging for those wanting to develop new technologies and products here in Australia.

Part of the rationale for a new approach to innovation is the increasing incidence where the fruits of domestic research ends up overseas, with Australia becoming the importer, rather than the exporter.

Aged care needs urgent fix

Annerley Branch members have voiced their support for a union campaign to fix Australia’s broken aged care system, which includes protecting sector workers and providing better quality care to all older Australians.

The core reforms the unions are calling for are:

  • Mandated minimum staffing levels and required mix of skills and qualifications in every residential facility, over every shift.
  • Transparency and accountability for Government funding.
  • Mandated training requirements (including infection control and ongoing professional development) accessible to all staff and paid by employer.
  • Increased government funding linked to the provision of care and the direct employment of permanent staff with decent pay and sufficient hours to live on.

Unions have expressed concern that many aged care providers need to urgently increase their staffing levels and skills mix to deliver safe quality care for vulnerable residents and clients.

It is suggested that higher levels of staffing and better skills mix with greater numbers of registered nurses and enrolled nurses will provide better infection control and health care as well as greater support to nurses, care workers, and other essential staff across the sector. In addition, unions have warned that workloads in aged care are often unmanageable and have been intensified by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Australian Labor Party have also launched a petition in support of the issue, which can be accessed at https://www.alp.org.au/petitions/its-time-to-act-now-on-aged-care/.

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