Member discuss policy narrative for federal election
With the next federal election expected by May 2022, Annerley Branch members recently considered policy initiatives already released by Labor as well as the urgent need to communicate a clear policy message to local voters. Already, many members are actively assisting with campaigning activities in the lead-up to the election, through regular doorknocking, street stalls and phone calling.
Based on the growing number of ALP policies already announced, members identified five central themes as to how a federal Labor government would make a real difference for many Australians:
- Addressing Climate Change: Labor has a range of initiatives and a plan to respond to climate change. This includes the ‘New Energy Apprenticeship’ to train 10,000 young people for future energy related jobs, modernising the nation’s energy grid with renewables, introducing an electric car discount to make electric cars cheaper and boost conversion for petrol and gas based vehicles to electric, as well as the installation of 400 community batteries to reduce power bills.
- Managing COVID: Apart from campaigning around the Coalition’s shameful mismanagement of the pandemic, and their attacks on Medicare by stealth, Labor has a plan to properly respond to CCOVID-19. This includes clear targets and better vaccination supply arrangements, dedicated quarantine facilities, an improved and inclusive public information campaign, and manufacturing mRNA vaccines here in Australia. Additionally, Labor will also establish a Centre for Disease Control.
- Restoring integrity in government: Labor has announced it will establish an anti-corruption commission, which will have a broad jurisdiction to investigate and hold to account Commonwealth ministers, public servants, statutory office holders, government agencies, parliamentarians, personal staff of politicians and other Commonwealth public officials.
- A stronger economy for all: In the context of the next campaign, Labor has announced policies aimed at strengthening the economy for all Australians. This includes plans such as A Future Made in Australia, a blueprint for boosting manufacturing jobs, the National Reconstruction Fund, to build new industries and boost existing, and the National Rail Manufacturing Plan, which will build rail and trains within Australia. Also, as part of Labor’s economic plan, and arguably where Labor is stronger than the Liberal-National coalition, are its policies on training and skills. Labor will introduce an Australian Skills Guarantee which will ensure that one in 10 jobs on major federally funded infrastructure projects are given to apprentices, trainees or cadets. Importantly, Labor will also address the gender pay gap and criminalise wage theft, two issues the Coalition refuses to act on.
- An inclusive Australia: In a society where inequality and alienation is growing, Labor has presented a number of policies specifically aimed at young people, women, Indigenous communities, as well as tackling the housing crisis and the rising cost of child care.
In considering the five-part framework, Branch members also noted the failures of the current Morrison Coalition government which are identified as:
- no meaningful action on climate change;
- failure to tackle COVIS with fumbled action on quarantines and vaccination rollouts;
- refusal to implement key recommendations on aged care;
- lack of action on women’s safety;
- undermining of the NDIS;
- lack of support for the education and training sector; and
- refusal to ensure JobSeeker payments went to those really in need.
Current feedback from voters, engaged through local campaign activities, strongly supports a growing perception that Scott Morrison has failed as a leader, bumbling from one crisis to another.
It is expected that more policies will be released by Federal Labor over the course of the next several months.
To find out more about Labor’s announced policies, visit https://www.alp.org.au/policies
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Push for ALP to examine universal basic income scheme
Annerley Labor has called on the Australian Labor Party to investigate the introduction of a Universal Basic Income (UBI) scheme as a way to guarantee a minimum standard of living for all Australians.
The call for an Australian UBI by branch members is based on the acknowledgement that a central role of government is ‘to lift all Australians out of poverty and ensure greater participation in our economy’.
The adopted Branch resolution cites the ongoing global COVID pandemic, which has ‘clearly demonstrated that the resilience of all depends on the resilience of our most vulnerable and requires guaranteeing economic protection and security, such as basic income’.
Branch members acknowledge the recent success of COVID stimulus payments, something advocated by the union movement, as well as previous general stimulus payments of past Labor government’s, which have proven to be ‘extremely effective in the alleviation of poverty, the mitigation of economic crisis, and most notably, in allowing many Australians to live with dignity and in comfort’.
The resolution also recognises the need for a transformation in the face of a ‘changing economy and growing income insecurity’. With a large proportion of Australians already engaged in unpaid labour, Branch members believe that repairing the social safety net is a matter of urgency.
The Branch has written the Shadow Treasurer, Jim Chalmers MP, highlighting the importance of an informed debate within the Party on the issue.
Peoples vote supported on new coal and high GHG emission power plants
The Annerley Branch has called on the State Labor Government to introduce a clear prohibition of new coal and high greenhouse gas emission power plants in Queensland. However, going a significant step further, the Branch has also called for any prohibition to include provisions for a state referendum, if the Federal Coalition Government forces an approval of such facilities.
With current media reports revealing that a coal power plant is being proposed for Queensland by private entities, many across Queensland have voiced concerns about the impact of any decision allowing such a plant to proceed.
Branch members point to many recently conducted surveys that show growing voter support for renewable energy generation as the alternative to new coal-fired power. One survey in particular reported that 62% of Queenslanders agree with plans to gradually transition and generate all electricity from clean sources like solar and wind.
Sending a clear message on this issue, at this time, will cement the state Labor Government’s position on climate change and energy policy. In addition, members feel that utilising a referendum mechanism on the future of energy power in our state would empower our citizens who feel increasingly frustrated by the current lack of an informed climate change debate.