Monday, 30 May 2016

Bill Shorten, SUBJECTS: Labor’s plan to boost coverage of women’s sport; Labor’s plan to protect Medicare; Tonight’s debate; AMA advertising; Schoolkids Bonus; Labor’s plan for Budget repair that’s fair


SUNDAY, 29 MAY 2016

KATY GALLAGHER, SENATOR FOR THE AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY: Good morning everyone, it's great to be here and to be welcoming the Leader of the Opposition, Bill Shorten and Jason Clare here to the University of Canberra, to my home town, on my patch, to meet some of the young sporting women of the future who are practising here this morning. The under 13's and the under 17's for this very important sports announcement, women in sports announcement from Bill Shorten today. Bill, it's great to have you here, so please, I know the girls are really so pleased and thrilled to have you come and speak with them this morning. And I'll hand over to you.
BILL SHORTEN, LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: Hi, good morning everybody. This is a fantastic backdrop for a press conference, I think. It is a scene being repeated all over Australia. Parents taking their teenage kids, teenage kids to fall in love with sport and potentially become great national heroes for future generations of Australians. But at the very least get the benefits that sport provides you. And that's why a Labor Government, if elected on July the 2nd, will fund an extra 500 hours of live coverage of women's sport on ABC television. We're doing this because we believe that our women athletes deserve comparable coverage to our male athletes. We've got a great sporting story of Australian women athletes. It's a great and wonderful story, but at the moment, what happens is of all the sports coverage on television, only 7 per cent is of our women athletes and yet we've had the Southern Stars, we've had the Matildas, we've had the Diamonds, we've had the Opals, all doing remarkable things. We should never forget that in 2012 our elite Australian women athletes won more medals even than our elite men athletes. And I'm looking forward to great results at Rio in coming months. It is important that our women athletes get equal treatment to our men. It is important generally in Australian society that Australian women get an equal go as compared to Australian men. Now, our very sensible proposal will supplement the developments and coverage of women's sport. It was a real shame that under the Liberals in 2014 women's basketball and women's soccer disappeared from the television. Now, I am pleased that soccer's come back with the Matildas, but still women's Basketball languishes in the too hard basket of Liberal cuts to the ABC. Now, what we want to see is that the ABC is funded to do 500 hours of extra coverage of women's sport across all its platforms. Importantly, our funding will be based on the principle that where a commercial network is bidding for a sport, that's not the focus of this extra money. We're going to use the extra money going to the ABC to complement and supplement what our television networks are already doing. I'd like to personally give a shout out to Channel 9 and their coverage of netball, I think that's a great development, I've been greatly interested in women's netball and the conditions of our elite athletes, and I think that Channel 9 development is really excellent. Our policy is going to make sure that women's sports get a better deal. One of the greatest proponents of giving women's sport a better deal are dads. Dads want to see their daughters getting the sort of coverage that their sons get. And what we want to make sure is that these future stars behind us, when they become heroes in Australian sport, that they can provide role models and mentors, and real inspiration to future generations of Australian women. I know that Australian women are capable of just about any achievement possible on the planet. I think it's important that there's a Government who's willing to support them. I'd like to now get my spokesperson, Jason Clare, to talk further about this really good news for women's sport in Australia.
JASON CLARE, SHADOW MINISTER FOR COMMUNICATIONS: Well, thanks very much Bill and Katy. This is great news, it means we are going to see more women's sport on the telly and more woman's sport online. We all remember the night before the last election when Tony Abbott said there'd be no cuts to health and no cuts to education. He also said there would be no cuts to the ABC, and unfortunately in the aftermath of that election, in the first budget after that election, he cut about $250 million out of the ABC, and in the last budget, only a couple of weeks ago, Malcolm Turnbull cut another 48 or 49 million dollars out of the ABC. Now, after those first cuts we saw the women's basketball national competition and the W league, the soccer, come off the ABC. It's good news that the soccer is back, but the basketball is still not there. And as Bill said, only 7 per cent of the sport we see o n telly at the moment is women's sport, despite the incredible success of female athletes. It's great news that Channel 9 struck a deal with netball to get netball on to telly, it's also great news that Channel 10 have got the women's Big Bash on the telly as well. But we can do more, and that's what this is about. It means 500 extra hours of live women's sport on the telly or online, that will see the women's hockey team, the women's cricket team, the women's basketball team, as well as the WNBL, being the sports that we will be able to see on ABC TV or on iView. This policy provides the opportunity to create a home for elite women's sport on iView as well. To reinforce one point that Bill made, this is not about competing with the commercial networks, this is about giving funds to the ABC to acquire the broadcasting rights for these sports, where Channel 7, Channel 9, Channel 10, or Foxtel decide not to purchase t hose rights. It means more women's sport on TV,  more women's sport online, It's great news for women's sport. Thanks very much.
SHORTEN: Are there any questions on this or on any other matters?
JOURNALIST: Mr Shorten, you've declared yourself a great fan of women's sport. I've got a pop quiz for you this morning. Can you name the captain of the Hockeyroos, the Diamonds and the Southern Stars.
SHORTEN: The Hockeyroos I can't, but  Amanda [Meg] Lanning, Amanda [Meg] Lanning runs the Southern Stars, she's the captain, and Laura Geitz, of course, is the captain of the The Diamonds.
JOURNALIST: Mr Shorten, can I ask, can you explain how spending on Medicare contributes to economic growth?
SHORTEN: Medicare means that when people are sick they can get care quickly, what that means is we keep a healthy workforce. A healthy workforce is a benefit to every employer in Australia. Furthermore, when you look at what the costs of privatised two tier health systems cost, for example, the United States. The American's spent 17 per cent of their GDP on healthcare for fairly inefficient results, certainly for poorer Americans. By contrast in Australia, we spend just on 10 per cent of our GDP on healthcare, and the beautiful sweet spot of the Medicare system is that it means our employers don't have to pay health insurance. If you or I were in America we'd be seeking that our employers top up our health insurance because of the inadequate nature of the existing system. So, what Medicare delivers is a healthy workforce, It delivers greater emphasis on primary care, and it delivers less costs to employe rs. All of this contributes to the bottom line of economic growth.
JOURNALIST: How important is the debate tonight for you, Bill, and are how are you feeling heading into it?
SHORTEN: Well, I'm looking forward to this debate. I didn't ask Mr Turnbull to have an eight week election but I've really been enjoying getting out and talking to real people about Labor's positive plans. And I'm looking forward, again, tonight talking about Labor's positive plans. Our positive plans for jobs, our positive plans to save Medicare, our positive plans to make sure that every child in every postcode gets every opportunity through well-resourced schools. I'm really looking forward to also discussing the difference in my priorities and my united Labor team's priorities with those of Mr Turnbull and his Liberal team. Mr Turnbull's chosen to spend $50 billion in a tax giveaway for big business. I've chosen to spend $49 billion over the next ten years making sure that we've got the best Medicare system in the world and we've got the highest achieving school sy stems in the region.
JOURNALIST: The country’s doctors are launching a ferocious advertising blitz against the Government's stance on the Medicare rebate freeze, you must be happy to have the doctors on your side?
SHORTEN: Well I don't blame the doctors standing up for the patients, that's what doctors always do. The frontline of our healthcare system are our hard working GPs, many of them small businesses. The fact that a Turnbull Government wants to freeze the rebates they receive for six years is basically putting the doctors in the worst of all possible choices. Do they have to absorb increasing costs for six years or do they charge patients more upfront fees? Australia's doctors are committed to the welfare of Australia's patients. Australia's doctors know that if Mr Turnbull is elected after July 2, 14.5 million patients will have to pay more to go and see the doctor. Who can disagree with the doctors when they say that they want to prioritise the nation's health against people's wealth?
JOURNALIST: Your party submitted 70 odd policies for costing, did you submit a schoolkids bonus policy for costing?
SHORTEN: I don't know, but I would have to go and check with my financial people.
JOURNALIST: Yesterday you said that the Coalition's company tax cuts are useless and hopeless. Why shouldn't every owner or even employee of a business with a turnover more than 2 million conclude that a Shorten government will never give them a tax cut, and if that's wrong, under what conditions are tax cuts for medium and big business useful and hopeful?
SHORTEN: Thanks Tim, there's a couple of points in your question and I'll address each of them individually. In a perfect world, if Mr Turnbull hadn't tripled the deficit, if he hadn't endangered our triple-A credit rating, if they haven't mismanaged the economy, then one could contemplate tax cuts in the corporate world. But the truth of the matter is we've got to deal with the facts as they are, not as the facts that Mr Turnbull would wish they were. Now I did say yesterday that a $50 billion giveaway to the big end of town is absolutely the wrong choice, and I am absolutely committed to that. What happens is that Mr Turnbull's justified his whole economic plan for Australia, I mean, to be fair it's his third plan. First of all he wanted the 15 per cent GST and he's backed off that for the time being. Then he had the thought bubble about increasing - allowing states to levy taxe s, and that went down like a lead balloon. Now he's sort of fastened upon corporate tax cuts as the answers to all the problems of Australia's future. The problem with giving a $50 billion tax cut to corporate Australia is it's exactly the wrong time with the wrong priorities. What Mr Turnbull is saying is that the best case scenario, in the next 10 years because of a $50 billion tax giveaway, all we'll get is 1 per cent in GDP growth in total across 10 years, and that's on the optimistic side of that assessment. The truth of the matter is that giving away $50 billion for very little economic gain at all is precisely the wrong measure that this economy needs at this time. What we need to do is make sure that we've got a skilled workforce, what we've got to do is make sure that our kids are getting an education comparable to the top nations in our region. What we have got to do is make sure that we have a healthcare system which encourages people t o be able to get the healthcare they need when they're sick early on, primary care, not leaving problems until they are too expensive or too late. Mr Turnbull's priorities are all wrong. Giving $50 billion away just to get a 1 per cent growth in the economy is an absolute misallocation of taxpayer resources. The truth of the matter is that this giveaway will mean that our big banks get over $7 billion back to their bottom line. Does anyone seriously think that the banks aren't going to pocket this $7 billion of taxpayer money and just keep it as profit? Mr Turnbull's priorities are all wrong, he is choosing the wrong levers, for the big end of town, when we should be prioritising education, healthcare, the needs of middle-class and working-class families.
JOURNALIST: The government is saying that they will get the budget back into surplus by about 2021. Does Labor - do you think that if you were to be elected that you would also get the budget back into surplus by 2021 or earlier?
SHORTEN: As my shadow treasurer said in his debate against Scott Morrison, what we will do is, closer to the election, we will outline how we intend to bring matters to have a credible pathway to balance. But what we will do, is we will, unlike previous Liberal oppositions, outline our four and 10 year forecasts and outline how we are going to pay for the promises we make. But one thing I can be very clear about here today, is Mr Turnbull's whole economic edifice relies upon the assumption that giving $50 billion away in corporate tax cuts is the answer to all Australia's problems. The truth of the matter is, that a lot of that money that he's giving away will go overseas to foreign shareholders, a lot of that money he's giving away will be absorbed by the big banks in extra profits. When Australians realise that Mr Turnbull's economic plan is to give banks $7 billion plus over the next 10 years, rather than properly fund schools and properly fund bulk billing, I think Australians will be very disappointed with Mr Turnbull's wrong priorities for the nation.
JOURNALIST: You are quite critical of the 1 per cent growth dividend for the company tax cuts --
SHORTEN: Over 10 years, yes.
JOURNALIST: Have you modelled the growth dividend, the GDP growth, that you expect to get back from the health and education spending that you are proposing?
SHORTEN: There is no doubt that educating our workforce is a game changer for this nation--
JOURNALIST: Have you modelled the economic dividend?
SHORTEN: I'm going to answer your question, I'm going to do it the courtesy of giving it a detailed answer, rather than a three-word slogan. Education absolutely is the game changer for the Australian economy. There can be no serious argument put up against the proposition that ensuring a skilled workforce in the future won't lead to making sure that our kids are able to benefit in the race for global jobs in the future. I don't want Australian children just growing up learning to play the apps on computers. I want our people in the future, the Australian people, to be designing the apps, not just to be using machines, but operating, manufacturing, and advanced manufacturing of technology. I have got no doubt that the argument which says that a more educated workforce leads to long-term sustainable economic growth is just incontrovertible, and in terms of healthcare, how on earth can it be good for G DP growth, indeed for the wealth of this nation, if we start creating walls between sick people and going to the doctor? You know, I think the fact that the Royal College of Australian GPs has felt so motivated to engage in the political debate, they are not doing it because they necessarily prefer my personality or Mr Turnbull's personality, it's all about the issues. I think it is the truth that if you increase the cost of going to see the doctor at the early stage, we will become a nation where sick people get sicker, and that will be a drag on economic growth as our hospital wards get fuller, our emergency queues get longer, and the wait for elective surgery becomes even more drastic.
JOURNALIST: With respect, are you saying that you have no idea if your party has submitted a policy for costings on a $4.5 billion scheme?
SHORTEN: You asked about what are all the things that we've submitted for costing. Let me just repeat your question, you said that I - there's 70 issues going for costing, and I said I'll get back to you about which programs and what form we've asked for the costing.
JOURNALIST: I asked specifically whether you had submitted for costing a policy on the schoolkids bonus - $4.5 billion--
SHORTEN: We have made a decision on the schoolkids bonus, and let me just go back to that. Mr Turnbull and his Liberals decided not to keep funding the schoolkids bonus past 2017. You know, in a perfect world, we'd like to be able to keep supporting families who are doing it hard with the costs of sending their kids to school. And what we've indicated though, is that after we've seen the most recent independent budget figures, after we have seen the hash this government has made with tripling the deficit, with adding $5000 net public-sector debt on the head of every man, woman and child in Australia since the Liberals got elected, that we've had to make a hard decision that we can't go on with the schoolkids bonus. But in addition what I can say, just as our shadow treasurer said in the debate in the Press Club on Friday, is that we will provide our 4 year and 10 year analysis of all of our promi ses, of our revenue measures, and our spending measures.
JOURNALIST: Mr Shorten, sorry, but that's not what I asked. What I did ask was whether you had any idea about whether your party has submitted for costing a policy on the $4.5 billion schoolkids bonus?
SHORTEN: Well, frankly, what I'm saying is that we're not going ahead with the schoolkids bonus full stop.
JOURNALIST: Mr Shorten, we saw some pretty ugly scenes in your home town yesterday over race riots. How worrying is this in 2016?
SHORTEN: Well, even though some in Mr Turnbull's party contradicted myself and Mr Turnbull yesterday and said you're not allowed to talk about racism, the truth of the matter is there are still pockets of systemic racism. When we see people having sort of, violent brawls, well that to me just highlights some of the problems we have in our community. But last night at the Long Walk, we did see Australians come together. We saw Australians come together in the recognition, in the recognition that this nation can do better and will do better. And I think if anyone who was there last night, you would have seen thousands and thousands of ordinary people joining together and saying that we're all committed to making sure that all Australians get an equal share of the Australian future. Thank you everybody, see you a bit later at the debate.


Media Release

Mark Butler MP.

Shadow Minister for Environment

 Climate Change and Water

Date:  30 May 2016
A Shorten Labor Government will act to protect the Great Barrier Reef, and the 70,000 jobs it supports, from the disastrous effects of climate change and other threats.
Labor will implement an action plan to address the issues facing Australia’s greatest natural asset by boosting Reef management resources, ramping up scientific monitoring and research and new investment in improving water quality and land management.
The Great Barrier Reef is the largest coral reef ecosystem on earth and one of the best known marine areas in the world.
The reef attracts more than two million visitors each year, contributes $5.7 billion to the economy, and supports approximately 70,000 jobs.
All of this is at risk if serious action is not taken to protect it.
The Great Barrier Reef is an environmental treasure Australia holds on trust for the world.
A Labor Government will make protecting the Reef one of our highest priorities.
Since 1985, there has been a 50 per cent loss in hard coral cover across the Reef.
The Reef is under pressure from climate change, poor water quality (nutrients, sediments and pesticides), coastal development, extreme weather events, including freshwater inundation, ocean acidification and outbreaks of Crown of Thorns Starfish.
Australia needs real leadership to address these issues.
That is why Labor will implement our Great Barrier Reef Plan - a long-term, coordinated and resourced strategy.
It will be supported by a fund of $500 million over five years, including $377 million of new investment.
This is a down payment on Labor’s commitment to protect this great national treasure and the jobs it supports.
Labor will work with the Queensland Government and stakeholders to implement the recommendations of the Great Barrier Reef Water Science Taskforce report.
Our plan will be implemented in close consultation with the Queensland Government and all other stakeholders, with the Environment Minister taking a direct leadership role in its implementation.
Our plan to protect this delicate ecosystem has three pillars covering research, management, investment and preservation:
  • Science and Research: Improve science and research and monitoring of Reef issues to ensure the protection and sustainability of the Reef is based on the latest, specialised science. This includes directing the CSIRO Marine to conduct Reef-specific science, including climate research, supported by a $50 million targeted funding boost.
  • Direct Environmental Investment: Integrated direct investment to improve, water quality, land management, agricultural and environmental impacts.
  • Reef Management: Improve Reef management architecture and incentives to fix the fragmented and uncoordinated approach that has for too long characterised Reef management and conservation.
It is unacceptable that the Liberals have stuck their heads in the sand when it comes to protecting the Reef.
Malcolm Turnbull used to say he believed in climate change, but he has sold Australians out and let our country down.
A party without a credible plan to take action on climate change is a party without a plan for the future.
Only last week, it was revealed that the Turnbull Government intervened to censor Australia being mentioned in the report on the impact of global warming on World Heritage Areas.
The best way to help the Reef and to boost tourism and economic growth is to take serious action on climate change, to face the challenge and show leadership.
Labor’s investment in the Reef goes beyond conservation – it is an investment in the tourism and agricultural industries of our coastal communities.
Labor’s plan will protect jobs, local industries and tourism, and ensure that our natural wonder of the world is strengthened for future generations to enjoy.

For more information about Labor’s Great Barrier Reef Plan, please visit:

Homeowners kept in dark about climate change risk to houses, says report

Extract from The Guardian

Climate Institute says risk data held by regulators, state and local governments, insurers and banks, but homebuyers and developers do not have access to it

Houses at risk from climate change.
Houses in some areas of Australia are likely to become uninsurable, dilapidated and uninhabitable due to climate change, says the Climate Institute. Photograph: Chris Hyde/Getty Images
The risk that houses in some areas of Australia are likely to become uninsurable, dilapidated and uninhabitable due to climate change is kept hidden from those building and buying property along Australia’s coasts and in bushfire zones, a Climate Institute report says.
The report says there is untapped and unshared data held by regulators, state and local governments, insurers and banks on the level of risk, but that most homebuyers and developers are not told about the data and do not have access to it.
“Even when public authorities, financial institutions and other stakeholders possess information about current and future risk levels, they are sometimes unwilling, and sometimes unable, to share it with all affected parties,” the report released on Monday says.
“Thus, foreseeable risks are allowed to perpetuate, and even to grow via new housing builds. The full scale of the risk may only be recognised either through disaster or damage, or when insurance premiums become unaffordable. Any of these events can in turn affect housing values.”
The economic costs are high and could ultimately represent a real risk to the financial sector itself, the report says. While insurers, regulators and governments have started to recognise this risk, banks who approve the mortgages for at-risk properties have not yet begun working towards a solution.
For example, the report says, banks could integrate the impact of climate into their risk assessment processes, work with other stakeholders in the public, private and civil society sectors to research and develop ways to minimise climate impact risk to housing, and address losses that will occur in an equitable way.
It also says that state, federal and local governments could do more to protect buyers, by including climate risk in planning, development and approval processes, mandating the disclosure of all available hazard mapping, and requiring that all dwellings be built or renovated as fit-for-purpose for the maximum projected impacts of climate change.
Extreme weather and climate change risks associated with a property should also be disclosed at the point of sale.
“Even if these ‘uninsurable’ and ‘unadaptable’ properties are only a tiny minority of the total housing stock, the eventual devaluation could be financially devastating to individuals,” the report says.
“It could also be damaging to banks, other financial companies and public balance sheets at all levels of government.
An author of the report and the manager of investment and governance at the Climate Institute, Kate Mackenzie, said the sector had to be proactive before houses became damaged, otherwise there could be a costly and messy battle over who bore responsibility.
For example, she said, councils could be liable for not providing flood data and for permitting a vulnerable development to go ahead, the developer for building it, the home owners for not realising the risk, the building code authority, the banks for financing the development and the mortgages, or the insurers.
“There’s definitely a big need for governments to show leadership on this,” she said.
“There have been a few very good recommendations made in the past by public policy reviews which really haven’t been followed up at the federal level or at the state level or through Coag, which would provide a mechanism for a national adaptation strategy.”
These included the reports from an Australian Treasury taskforce, the natural disaster insurance review, and two Productivity Commission inquiries, she said.
Her report concludes: “A sense of exasperation is evident among those who have spent any length of time seeking to address the economic and policy challenges posed by extreme weather.”
Some researchers are already taking the matter into their own hands and developing products to help buyers manage risk. Last month, the website Coastal Risk Australia was launched. It combines Google maps with detailed tide and elevation data, as well as future sea-level rise projections, to help people see whether their house or suburb is likely to be inundated.

Saturday, 28 May 2016

Boot Strike July 6, 1895.


Boot Trade Dispute.

Several of the men now out on strike, employe's of Neddy Neighbour (who is a trustee for the property of some near relatives) have had the bailiffs put in. Rumours that evictions were coming off had been floating round for some time. Still it was an unpleasant surprise to find the bailiffs in on Tuesday. The tenants for the past two years have paid more than the usual rent to live in the houses from which they have been evicted because they believed it insured a man more constant work, so they submitted to a high rent. Not having money, on account of the strike, to pay the rent Landlordism steps in to force the payment or to sell up the homes and turn into the streets women and children. Fortunately this was prevented, as some friends came to the rescue, paid the amount due, and helped the men to remove. The bailiffs were shown by the professed radical what houses were to be taken possession of. The professor seemed rather pleased at being able to assist at such a dirty job.
If public sympathy could win a strike the bootmakers would be assured of victory. The men have the sympathy of all classes, who admire their determined stand and believe in the justice of their cause. The employers cannot be complimented for prolonging the struggle, and it's about time compulsory arbitration became law. The employers actually admit defeat, but are hanging on in the belief that the men must eventually give in. We would again urge upon the manufacturers the necessity of meeting the men in conference and settle the dispute in a rational manner. The union has all along been willing, and, although smarting under the discourteous treatment it has received, it is still prepared to arrange a satisfactory settlement.
It may be a surprise to most people how the bootmakers manage to hold out so well. It was not till after the public meeting that the help of the public was solicited, and the appeal for help has been generously responded to, enabling the executive of the union to meet all the cases of distress that come under their notice. No strike pay is given. An order on the grocer, butcher, and baker enables the men to take tucker home to the wife and little ones, so starvation has been averted, and the “pinching of bellies” which was going to make the men submit has not taken place. The Dunedin bootmakers cabled £30 to assist their mates in Brisbane. Adelaide came to the rescue with a second donation this week, and kindred societies in Brisbane, despite hard times, have given freely.
The concert and dance in aid of the strike fund again attracted hundreds to the Centennial Hall on Monday night. The negro entertainment by the St. Crispin Minstrals went off very well, and altogether a very enjoyable evening was provided. It is anticipated that between £40 and £50 will result. The troupe are considering whether a tour of the provinces would not prove profitable. An original joke was got off by one of the corner men: “Why are the Brisbane bootmakers like porous plasters?” “Because when they get heated they are regular stickers.” The joker is still alive.
The Barrabool arrived on Thursday from Sydney with one solitary scab on board. It was long after midnight when the boat arrived. Seven of the employers and six policemen were down on the
wharf, so the reception committee to meet one scab was pretty strong. The scab was driven away in an employer's buggy, amid the derisive laughter of the union men, who always turn up to meet the boats from the South.
A Brisbane baker has offered to supply to the men on strike 100 loaves of bread daily for one month, and the union has accepted the offer with thanks.
The men out on strike roll up to the daily general meeting in the Trades hall every morning. It would do the employers good to attend and listen to the intelligent discussions. They would be convinced of the solidarity of the men. If nothing else results from the strike, one thing is certain, the boot trade will start in business, and a co-operative factory will boom very shortly. A committee has been appointed to make all arrangements. Co-operation is being taken up very earnestly, and the following resolution was passed at a full meeting of the men on Monday morning: “That believing the present system (wagedom) to be detrimental to the best interests of humanity, and that under the inexorable laws of individualism the workers as a class are little better than slaves; that the only solution is State and Municipal Socialism, where the workers, through the State and the municipalities become joint holders of the means of production and exchange; and to relieve our present helplessness, we, the members of the Boot Trade Union determine to start as soon as possible a Co-operative Factory.” There is no reason why the bootmakers should not be as successful in running a business as some of the employers they are now fighting against. They will be sure of the support of the workers, and the bushmen will hail with delight the chance to purchase boots made under a system of co-operation. As the thing grows it will wipe out of existence some of the present factories which started with next to nothing but have managed to thrive and are prepared to grow still richer at the expense of their unfortunate employe's.
Charles Adams, one of the Brisbane bootmakers on strike, was locked up by an over-officious policeman on a trumped-up charge of disorderly conduct. Adams was accused of trying to induce customers to abstain from dealing with J. Hunter and Co. After hearing the evidence for the prosecution, the police magistrate stated he was willing to impose a small fine or discharge the defendant. The latter's counsel would not agree to accept any conviction unless evidence for the defence was heard, stating that he would fight the case on the grounds that strikes being lawful it was lawful for strikes to solicit sympathy for their cause by distributing handbills, or by any other legitimate means. When evidence for the defence was heard the magistrate dismissed the case.
The circular issued by the boot manufacturers, appealing to customers for indulgence until the strike is over, is signed by
Alcock, Bell and Co. E. T. Neighbour
Christensen and Fennell Palmers and Harris
T. C. Dixon G. H. Rose
H. T. Field and Co. L. F. Scboeaheimer
John Hunter

Union men in the country towns should make inquiries from whence the storekeepers obtain their boots. The WORKER hopes to be able to announce shortly that a co-operative boot factory has been started for the purpose of supplying clients in the country.


Media Release

Mark Butler MP

Shadow Minister for Environment

 Climate Change and Water

Date:  27 May 2016
UNESCO has released a report on climate change and world heritage sites and there is one glaring omission – Australia.
Malcolm Turnbull is trying to bury the existence of climate change by getting the Environment Department to stop Australia being mentioned in the report on the impact of global warming on World Heritage Areas.
Report after report, expert after expert, tells us that the biggest threat to the Great Barrier Reef is climate change.
How could UNESCO miss this? They didn’t. The Government made sure it was left out.
The Great Barrier Reef needs strong leadership and strong action on climate change.
This is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World and we have a responsibility to act to restore its health and resilience.
What we don’t need is a government that won’t act on climate change and won’t allocate any new funds to protect the reef.
The best way to help the reef and to boost tourism and economic growth is to take serious action on climate change, to face the challenge and show leadership.
Hiding from the problem will do nothing but damage the reef further.
Malcom Turnbull needs to front up and tell us exactly what he has done to hide the truth and why.

Labor has a serious plan for tackling climate change. Under the last Labor Government emissions fell, but they are up under the Liberals’ useless, expensive Direct Action policy.

Friday, 27 May 2016

Labor's negative gearing changes would help stabilise housing market: McKell Institute

Extract from The Guardian

Thinktank’s report says policies wouldn’t deliver shock to property market but cause prices to rise more slowly

Chris Bowen
The negative gearing report is timed to coincide with the debate between the shadow treasurer, Chris Bowen, and the treasurer, Scott Morrison, at the National Press Club. Photograph: Stefan Postles/Getty Images
House prices will continue to rise if negative gearing is restricted, according to the research centre that proposed much of what has become Labor policy.
The McKell Institute, which first suggested the negative gearing policies that have been largely adopted by the ALP, says if negative gearing were restricted to new homes the property market would become more stable.
It has released a new report, Switching Gears: Addendum II, to coincide with the debate between the treasurer, Scott Morrison, and the shadow treasurer, Chris Bowen, at the National Press Club on Friday.
It finds that house prices across Australia’s eight capital cities would rise by an average of 2.6% a year over 10 years if negative gearing changes were adopted, compared with a rise of 3.09% without the changes.
“The proposal will not result in a shock to the housing market but slightly lower growth over the next decade, resulting in more affordable housing for all Australians,” the report says.
“These findings demonstrate that the proposed changes will have a positive effect on housing affordability, while ensuring current investors in the housing market still see a long-term increase in the value of their existing investments in a de-risked and more stable investment environment.”
The McKell Institute commissioned the economist Adrian Lee, from the school of business at the University of Technology, Sydney, to do the modelling.
He was asked to model the effects of Labor’s two main proposals, to restrict negative gearing to new dwellings with grandfathering arrangements and to cut the capital gains tax from 50% to 25%.
Labor’s policy is designed to save the budget $32bn over 10 years. Morrison has severely criticised Labor’s policy.
The report says the government should restrict negative gearing to new dwellings but grandfather current allowances for those who are negatively gearing on established properties.
It says this would improve housing affordability and would bolster investment in new property development, helping to increase supply.
The Coalition has increased its economic attack on Labor this week, claiming the opposition had a $67bn spending gap over four years.

Australia scrubbed from UN climate change report after government intervention

Extract from The Guardian

Exclusive: All mentions of Australia were removed from the final version of a Unesco report on climate change and world heritage sites after the Australian government objected on the grounds it could impact tourism 

Great Barrier Reef
The Great Barrier Reef is in the midst of its worst crisis in recorded history. Unusually warm water has caused 93% of the reefs along the 2,300km site to experience bleaching. Photograph: XL Catlin Seaview Survey/AFP/Getty Images
Every reference to Australia was scrubbed from the final version of a major UN report on climate change after the Australian government intervened, objecting that the information could harm tourism.
Guardian Australia can reveal the report “World Heritage and Tourism in a Changing Climate”, which Unesco jointly published with UNEP and the Union of Concerned Scientists on Friday, initially had a key chapter on the Great Barrier Reef, as well as small sections on Kakadu and the Tasmanian forests.
But when the Australian Department of Environment saw a draft of the report, it objected, and every mention of Australia was removed by Unesco.
No sections about any other country were removed from the report. The removals left Australia as the only inhabited continent on the planet with no mentions.
Explaining the decision to object to the report, a spokesperson for the environment department told Guardian Australia: “Recent experience in Australia had shown that negative commentary about the status of world heritage properties impacted on tourism.”
As a result of climate change combined with weather phenomena, the Great Barrier Reef is in the midst of the worst crisis in recorded history. Unusually warm water has caused 93% of the reefs along the 2,300km site to experience bleaching. In the northern most pristine part, scientists think half the coral might have died.
The omission was “frankly astounding,” said Will Steffen, who was one of the scientific reviewers of the axed section on the Great Barrier Reef.
Steffen is an emeritus professor at the Australian National University and head of Australia’s Climate Council. He was previously executive director of the International Geosphere Biosphere Programme, where he worked with 50 countries on global change science.
“I’ve spent a lot of my career working internationally,” Steffen said. “And it’s very rare that I would see something like this happening. Perhaps in the old Soviet Union you would see this sort of thing happening, where governments would quash information because they didn’t like it. But not in western democracies. I haven’t seen it happen before.”
The news comes less than a year after the Australian government successfully lobbied UNESCO to not list the Great Barrier Reef in its list of “World Heritage Sites in Danger”.
The removals occurred in early 2016, during a period when there was significant pressure on the Australian government in relation to both climate change and world heritage sites.
At the time, news of the government’s science research agency CSIRO sacking 100 climate scientists due to government budget cuts had just emerged; parts of the Tasmanian world heritage forests were on fire for the first time in recorded history; and a global coral bleaching event was beginning to hit the Great Barrier Reef – another event driven by global warming.
The environment department spokesperson told Guardian Australia : “The department was concerned that the framing of the report confused two issues – the world heritage status of the sites and risks arising from climate change and tourism.”
The report said the case studies were chosen partly because of their geographic representation, their importance for tourism and the robustness of evidence around the impact of climate change on them.

Burnt alpine vegetation at the Lake Mackenzie fire in Tasmania
Burnt alpine vegetation at the Lake Mackenzie fire in Tasmania. Photograph: Rob Blakers for the Guardian

recent study found the conditions that cause the current bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef was made at least 175 times more likely by climate change and, on the current trajectory, would become the average conditions within 20 years. 
Without mentioning the Great Barrier Reef, the report notes: “Research suggests that preserving more than 10% of the world’s corals would require limiting warming to 1.5C or less, and protecting 50% would mean halting warming at 1.2C (Frieler et al. 2012).”
The full statement from the environment department s copied below.
The World Heritage Centre initiated contact with the Department of the Environment in early 2016 for our views on aspects of this report.
The department expressed concern that giving the report the title “Destinations at risk” had the potential to cause considerable confusion. In particular, the world heritage committee had only six months earlier decided not to include the Great Barrier Reef on the in-danger list and commended Australia for the Reef 2050 Plan.
The department was concerned that the framing of the report confused two issues – the world heritage status of the sites and risks arising from climate change and tourism. It is the world heritage committee, not its secretariat (the World Heritage Centre), which is properly charged with examining the status of world heritage sites.
Recent experience in Australia had shown that negative commentary about the status of world heritage properties impacted on tourism.
The department indicated it did not support any of Australia’s world heritage properties being included in such a publication for the reasons outlined above.
The Department of the Environment conveyed these concerns through Australia’s ambassador to UNESCO.
The department did not brief the minister on this issue.

Thursday, 26 May 2016

Mr Asset Sales refuses to rule out sell-off… Again

Coat of Arms
Media Release

Treasurer, Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships and Minister for Sport
The Honourable Curtis Pitt

Opposition Leader Tim Nicholls has again failed to rule out asset sales after opening the door yesterday to a fire sale.
“Yesterday he refused to answer journalists, today he’s refused to answer questions in Parliament and I doubt Queenslanders are going to see any honesty from Tim Nicholls tomorrow,” Mr Pitt said.
“Tim Nicholls had three minutes on the floor of Parliament to rule out asset sales today, yet couldn’t bring himself to be honest enough with Queenslanders to tell them what they already know.
“Under the LNP Queensland’s assets will be auctioned off in a fire sale.
“He’s become a goldfish circling a bowl – constantly forgetting and then remembering his love of asset sales.
“Queenslanders spoke loud and clear at the January 2015 election – they didn’t want their assets sold.
“But the ghost of Campbell Newman continues to haunt the Queensland Parliament in the form of Tim Nicholls.
“Tim Nicholls was the architect of the LNP’s Strong Choices Program and even set up the Costello Commission of Audit which cost Queenslanders $2.2 million in a lame attempt to try justifying asset sales.
“Then he spent $100 million on his ‘Strong Choices’ program while simultaneously telling taxpayers to tighten their belts.
“Even Campbell Newman himself has admitted that was a mistake saying he was “never, ever comfortable” with asset sales.
“But Tim Nicholls was comfortable with asset sales and still is.
“If Tim Nicholls isn’t planning an outright fire sale, then you can bet it will be some form of Frankenstein-like creation that looks, smells, and sounds like asset sales.
“Tim Nicholls should come clean and outline what his plans are and explain why he has chosen to ignore Queenslanders and leave the doors wide open to selling Queensland’s assets.”

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Bill Shorten, Subjects: Labor’s plans to protect Medicare; Labor’s plan for inclusive growth; A desperate Prime Minister; Senator Nova Peris; Asylum seekers; Mr Turnbull’s NBN mess; Religious exemption from anti-discrimination laws; Liberal lies about Labor’s policies


TUESDAY, 24 MAY 2016

BILL SHORTEN, LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: I’m really pleased to be here in Gosnells today to announce that, if Labor is elected on July 2, we will legislate a Medicare guarantee to protect Medicare for future generations. Specifically, as part of our guarantee, one, we will abolish Malcolm Turnbull's GP tax by stealth. Two, we will scrap the price hikes to prescription medicine which will mean that for an average family with two healthy children they will save up to $400 a year. And, three, we will enact a special act of Parliament which will prohibit the privatisation of Medicare into the future. Anyone who travels overseas, any Australian who travels overseas, knows how good our national health care system is, our Medicare system. Yet Mr Turnbull constantly says that we can't afford to defend Medicare or invest in Medicare. But when parents have got sick children or there's an older relative who needs t o see the doctor, the last thing Aussies want to hear is Mr Turnbull saying that we cannot invest in Medicare. That is why, if Labor is elected on July 2, within 100 days we will pass a special act of Parliament to enshrine Medicare and protect it from privatisation. Our act will codify the importance of keeping Medicare in public hands. Now, this is the first time this has been proposed in 41 years. But never before have we seen such sustained attacks upon parts of the Medicare system. I will, if elected, immediately disband a $5 million taskforce in the Department of Health, whose sole purpose is to line up parts of Medicare to be sold off. Australians love their Medicare and we have made a clear choice in this election. We have chosen not to give $50 billion in corporate tax cuts. Instead we have chosen to protect and defend Medicare with $12 billion over 10 years to ensure GPs can keep providing bulk-billing and the quality care which we are so fortunate to receive. It&# 39;s why we have chosen not to give $50 billion in tax cuts and instead we have chosen to keep downward pressure on the price of pharmaceuticals. In this election, the Liberals are carrying out a great big fat lie. What they are saying is we cannot afford to invest in Medicare. The truth is that Mr Turnbull has chosen to spend $50 billion of taxpayer money giving corporate tax cuts. Labor chooses instead to give money to defend Medicare and bulk-billing and keep downward pressure on prescriptions. Mr Turnbull's spending people's money. He is just not spending it on Australians. Happy to take questions.
JOURNALIST: Mr Turnbull says you lack an economic plan for growth. What is your plan for growth and also he's labelled you Billion Dollar Bill, what would you call him?
SHORTEN: First of all, Labor's plan for economic growth is jobs, education, Medicare, renewable energy, fair taxation, access for first home buyers into the housing market. Our economic plan is all about fairness. We don't think that economic growth can be guaranteed or sustained by giving multi-millionaires tax cuts. I don't think the solution for Australia’s economic growth is giving large foreign multinationals and large banks business tax cuts that this nation can't afford. I think economic growth comes from fairness; treating women equally in the workplace, making sure we have affordable childcare, make sure our kids get the best education possible, make sure that adults who want to retrain after they have been displaced after losing one job can do so through strong properly funded public TAFE. An economic growth plan which puts people at the centre of our decisions and a viable Medicare system , a well-funded Medicare system is actually excellent for economic growth. Look at the comparative system in the United States. In America they spend 17 per cent of their GDP on a two-tier health system which is notorious for not delivering for people who don't have a lot of money. The truth of is matter is our Medicare system is very efficient. Having Medicare in public hands with one system of payments is actually not just good in term of fairness, but it's good in terms of economic efficiency. Imagine going down the American path where employers have to pay for the health insurance of their employees. No-one in Australia wants that. They would rather see an economically efficient and fair medical system. What Mr Turnbull doesn't get is there are two economic growth plans on trial at this election - Mr Turnbull's trickledown economics, where you look after the top one and  two per cent and hope everyone else gets something on the way through, or Labor& #39;s plan to look after working class and middle class families, good education, good health, good jobs, that is, I think, the most sustainable way to generate economic growth in the long-term.
JOURNALIST: He called you Billion Dollar Bill.
JOURNALIST: What would you call him?
SHORTEN: What Mr Turnbull calls me - sorry, you did ask that second part of the question. What Mr Turnbull calls me doesn't worry me in the slightest. What a desperate fellow this Mr Turnbull is becoming when he is resorting to the negative big lie of this election. Let's call Mr Turnbull's actions in the last few days for what they are. A great big fat lie. We know in this country that there are two clearly competing stories put before the Australian people on July 2. You can vote Liberal and mandate a $50 billion tax cut for large corporations. You can vote Labor and make sure that we have Medicare and well-funded schools for all Australians. Mr Turnbull loves to talk about spending but what he won't ever do is talk about their own plans they announced the week before the election. $50 billion in corporate tax cuts. $17 billion in cuts for high income earners to get back literally tens of thousands of d ollars. And then there's the $32 billion that Mr Turnbull wants to keep feeding the property spectators and parts of the real estate industry through his defense of negative gearing and capital gains tax deductions system. That’s $100 billion. But we know why Mr Turnbull never wants to talk about that economic plan because he knows that is not the economic plan which Australians want to hear. Mr Turnbull since he's become Prime Minister has shrunk into his job. He promised a new form of politics, remember, but in fact what he has done is just gone to the Tony Abbott play book of desperate smear and lie about Labor.
By contrast, we do have positive plans. I couldn't be prouder of the fact that Labor's fighting this election as a referendum on Medicare. What Labor will do is talk about the needs of everyday Australians. If mum can get in to see the doctor with her kids who are sick, that means she has to have less worry about her financial bills and everything else she has to do. If someone is a self-funded retiree who has measured their income right down to the margins they don't need the extra pressure of paying more for prescription medicine in Mr Turnbull's Australia. Defending Medicare, opposing the privatisation of Medicare, this is a strategy for economic growth in Australia and it’s a strategy for fairness and Mr Turnbull can call me all the names under the sun. I know that when I'm on the side of everyday people, working and middle class families, I think that is the right path for Australia's future.
JOURNALIST: You’ve just lost a Senator during an election campaign and you are someone who has advocated for Indigenous representation. Is this an indictment on your leadership and what did you say to try to convince her to stay?
SHORTEN: First of all, the news has just come out publicly. Senator Peris has just issued a statement that she will not be renominating for the Senate. Let me just here right now record my appreciation for her service to this country. She is a trailblazer. She is a trailblazer on the athletics track and she has been a trailblazer in the Senate. She's a distinguished Territorian, she is a distinguished Indigenous Australian. I am very grateful for the time that she has served the Labor Party and the people of the Northern Territory. She departs with my absolute best wishes. In terms of my championing having Indigenous candidates, there are now a record six Indigenous Australians running for the Labor Party and I think that is a long overdue development. But certainly we are very committed to improving the political voice of all Indigenous Australians.
JOURNALIST: Mr Scullion has this morning said she was a captain's pick by Julia Gillard and a captain's flick by you. Was Nova Peris sacked and who will replace her?
SHORTEN: That is just complete rubbish. Don't you love these Liberals, they even lie about the small things as well as the big things. That is complete rubbish and Senator Scullion should not be focusing on trying to say that Nova Peris has been anything other than made a choice which she sees as in her own interest and the best wishes of her family. I expect better from Senator Scullion. The second part of the question, I wasn't going to let Nigel Scullion get away with some silly cheap politics on an important day for Senator Peris. The Labor Party in the Territory will no doubt have a range of candidates and the party will go through its process in the coming days.
JOURNALIST: You were outraged this week when the AFP raided your offices in Melbourne. That was done under a 100-year-old law that doesn’t give any public interest defence to the leak of public information. If you are so angry about that, why not commit if you form government to reforming laws to allow some public interest defence in leaking information?
SHORTEN: We’ll make that commitment. I said at press conference last week when one of your colleague journalists asked me a general question about whistle-blower protection. I do think this is a matter which deserves attention. I am scandalised that the Government is going to such efforts to cover up their poor performance in the National Broadband Network and the fact that under Mr Turnbull internet speeds in Australia have dropped from 30th to 60th. The fact he promised before the last election it would cost $29 billion and now it's at $56 billion and climbing. This is the biggest Commonwealth infrastructure project we have ever done. It is the only real thing that Mr Turnbull has been in charge of in public life, other than being Prime Minister, and the extent the Government will go to suppress Mr Turnbull's embarrassment and exposure over his incompetence is staggering. So the point you say about whistl e-blower protection, Labor is absolutely in the market to start strengthening whistle-blower protection in this country full stop.
JOURNALIST: Canada has resettled 27,000 Syrian refugees since last November. Do you think that they have done enough heavy lifting in the humanitarian refugee crisis or do you agree with Anthony Albanese that Canada would be a good destination to send asylum seekers that Australia has locked up in offshore detention camps?
SHORTEN: In terms of evaluating Canada's handling of 27,000 Syrian refugees, it certainly does make our Government's efforts not look in any fashion heroic compared to that. I think the broader question though is about our policies in terms of people smugglers and refugees. Again, let me be 100 per cent crystal clear. Labor will not support seeing the people smugglers back in business. The criminal syndicates in South-East Asia, who sell expensive tickets to vulnerable people on unsafe vessels which see people drown at sea, is not a policy, is not a policy or an action which they will ever, ever, ever support. What we also have to recognise is that the indefinite detention or the semi-indefinite detention of people in Australia's care is unacceptable. Labor, if elected, and it's hard to negotiate, we obviously can't negotiate with other countries from Opposition, one of the first things l will do is p ut Richard Marles, the immigration spokesman, hopefully minister, on a plane to talk to the United Nations High Commissioner for refugees. It is disgraceful that we haven't had that sort of high level dialogue to have regional resettlement. In terms of Canada, it’s an excellent settlement country and we would certainly make it a priority through the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, and other nations in our region, the timely resettlement of people on Manus and Nauru. Two more questions, thanks.
JOURNALIST: If you become Prime Minister, will you keep the exemptions for religious institutions that currently exist in Australia's anti-discrimination framework? Can you give a commitment that those exemption will remain given the Greens are campaigning against them?
SHORTEN: At this point in time let me be really clear about that. We are not interested in telling religious organisations how to run their faith-based organisations. We haven't seen the case made to make change. But also let's be straight up here. It is a massive waste of money, $160 million being spent on a plebiscite on marriage equality. Why should some people's relationships have to undergo the gauntlet of public opinion and taxpayer funded hate campaigns? On this issue, Malcolm Turnbull should return to the old Malcolm Turnbull. He knows and you know he knows, we all know he knows, that his heart is not in this plebiscite, so why on earth is he subjecting Australia to a process and a $160 million of taxpayer expenditure when he knows that it isn't the right thing to do? It is long overdue for Malcolm Turnbull to start showing leadership. Last question. Excuse me, two questions. Jason?
JOURNALIST: You've spoken a lot about ensuring that people are able to get to their GPs in a timely fashion. We have had a number of media events that have displaced patients and again we spent an hour in a major medical centre, do you think it's appropriate to be displacing patients while arguing that we should be making it easier for people to access GPs?
SHORTEN: Of course not. That's why I'm going to answer that question as quickly as we did. Last question.
JOURNALIST: Do you accept that Labor has committed to $200 billion worth of spending over the next decade and if not, which of the Coalition figures do you specifically not agree with?
SHORTEN: It's a big lie by the Government. Let's be straight here. They're trying to pretend that any decision they made before the calling of the election isn't a spend. They're spending $50 billion on corporate tax cuts, $32 billion in maintaining taxpayer subsidies for negative gearing and capital gains tax deductions. They're spending $17 billion by handing back income tax cuts to people who don't really need the money at this point in time. No I don't accept the big lie of the Liberal Party. Let's be really clear - Mr Turnbull's choosing to invest $50 billion of Australian's money in corporate tax cuts, Labor chooses to invest $49 billion in funding schools and Medicare. Mr Turnbull is spending Australian's money, he's just not spending it on them. Thank you everybody, I did say last question.


Media Release


Date:  25 May 2016
The Great Barrier Reef Water Science Task Force has delivered its final report to the Queensland Government - with a stinging reminder that the greatest threat to the Reef is climate change.
While water quality issues pose a very significant threat to reef health, everyone but Malcolm Turnbull acknowledges that the greatest threat to the Reef is climate change.
Malcolm Turnbull used to say he believed in climate change, but now it isn’t even on his radar.
In clear contrast, Labor has positive policies to act on climate change.
Labor’s Climate Change Action Plan will get Australia’s pollution levels back under control which will be one crucial step towards saving the Reef.
We’ll set a goal of net zero pollution by 2050 and drastically increase our investment in renewable energies like solar. We’ll cut pollution with an emissions trading scheme, generate cleaner power, increase energy efficiency and capture carbon on the land.
The latest Ipsos poll shows two thirds of voters believe that Malcolm Turnbull is doing ‘not very much’ or ‘nothing’ to combat climate change. [SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, 25/5/16, P7]
These voters are right. Mr Turnbull and his team of climate change deniers have no serious plan to reduce pollution or grow our renewable energy industry.
The Great Barrier Reef Water Science Task Force has provided 10 recommendations including strategies for improving water quality and structural improvements to governance and management practice.
Labor will consider these recommendations and the broader detail of the report.


Media Release


Date:  25 May 2016
Greg Hunt has today achieved the pinnacle of ineffectiveness – he has confirmed the Liberals climate “safeguard mechanism” will do absolutely nothing to reduce emissions.
Mr Hunt has confirmed that emissions baselines for companies captured in the safeguard mechanism would not decline from 2017, and he quashed any hope eligible companies had of being able to sell emissions permits they did not use.
How does the Turnbull Government expect to reduce emissions if its scheme is designed to do nothing?
How does the Turnbull Government expect to reach Australia's international commitment of keeping global warming well below two degrees if its scheme is designed to do nothing?
Mr Hunt can spin it any way he likes, but the facts are clear. Under Labor, emissions were reduced by 8 per cent, but they are rising under the Liberals.
Last year emissions went up for the first time in a decade.
If the Turnbull Government is re-elected, emissions will increase by 6 per cent between now and 2020 according to the Government’s own projections. So by 2020, emissions would be 6 per cent above 2000 levels, rather than 5 per cent below.
Direct Action is nothing but a dressed up slush fund, wasting billions of taxpayers’ dollars while achieving no meaningful reduction in Australia’s pollution levels.
The so-called “safeguard mechanism” is so farcical it has set baselines to ensure no business is ever likely to exceed them.
Expert after expert has been clear that the required cut to Australia’s emissions cannot be achieved without much tougher safeguard rules.

The only thing Greg Hunt’s safeguard mechanism is actually safeguarding is the dodgy deal Malcolm Turnbull has done with his party’s climate deniers.


Media Release



Date: 24 May 2016

Labor recognises the importance of, and the community concern about the extraction of gas from shales and tight formations. That’s why a Shorten Labor Government will extend the current Water Trigger to include shale and tight formation gas projects.
There are many parts of Australia that are being explored for new unconventional gas extraction. In recent years, there has been growing concern by environmentalists, farmers and communities about the possible impacts of coal seam gas (CSG) projects and increasingly about shale and tight formation gas projects.
When in government, Labor added a Water Trigger to the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act to cover CSG and large coal mining developments. This ensures that if these projects impact water resources, then they are rigorously assessed under the EPBC Act.
Labor’s policy will extend the protection provided by the Water Trigger to ensure that any shale or tight formation gas developments that impact water resources will also be subject to a full assessment under the EPBC Act and approval from the Minister for Environment; including an assessment by the Independent Expert Scientific Committee.
Through this process projects will be required to put in place systems to protect the environment if required and the concerns of communities in vulnerable regions can be addressed.
Labor wholeheartedly believes it is the responsibility of the Federal Government to protect Australia’s most precious environmental assets. Malcolm Turnbull on the other, hand has such little regard for Australia’s environmental values he’s throwing away this responsibility through his policy to delegate matters of national environmental significance to State and local governments.
Labor will ensure the gas industry operates to the highest environmental standards and will ensure full assessment and management of environmental and other impacts, including on water reserves and co-existence with other agricultural activities.
Labor is the only Party that will take action to ensure new shale and tight formation gas projects are environmentally safe and sustainable with rigorous science-based assessments. That is the only way we can manage environmental impacts and ensure sustainable local economic development.