Browsing articles in "Ministerial Media Releases"
Nov 23, 2018

Media Release – Labor’s Renewable Energy Plan to Turbo Charge Inner West Sustainability – Friday, 23 November, 2018

A Shorten Labor Government will deliver a major expansion of renewable energy helping to produce the clean energy transformation that people in the Inner West and across Australia have been calling for.

Labor’s policy includes a $15 billion investment in renewable energy and will allow Inner West residents to play their part in the clean energy revolution, through a new target that can see 1 million household batteries being installed by 2025.

Our plan includes a commitment to 50 per cent of electricity coming from renewables and a 45 per cent reduction in carbon emissions by 2030.

In Government we established the enormously successful Clean Energy Finance Corporation and if elected again will turbo charge the CEFC with an additional $10 billion investment,  to drive the shift to renewable energy.

With the Morrison Government having completely abandoned energy and climate change policy, the hopes of Australians who want a clean energy future depend on changing the Government at the upcoming election.

People in the Inner West know that we need a Labor Government to get our nation’s climate change and energy policies back on track.

Through Labor’s plan residents in Grayndler will have assistance to slash their power bills and help in the national effort to reduce emissions, by installing household batteries in their homes.

Our Household Battery Program will provide a $2,000 rebate for 100,000 households on incomes of less than $180,000 per year to purchase and install battery systems, as well as low-cost loans for households.

Our target of 1 million new batteries to be installed by 2025 would triple the number of battery systems in Australian households compared to today.

Labor’s plan for more renewable energy and cheaper power also includes:

  • Establishing a $5 billion Energy Security and Modernisation Fund to future-proof our energy network by building and upgrading Australia’s energy transmission and distribution systems.
  • Continuing to pursue a National Energy Guarantee which was abandoned by the Morrison Government under pressure from the hard right of the Liberal Party.

The former Labor Government took the number of households with rooftop solar from 7000 to 2 million and delivered the Renewable Energy Target of 20 per cent by 2020.

FRIDAY, 23 NOVEMBER, 2018

Nov 23, 2018

Media Release – Labor will Expand Campbelltown Commuter Parking – Friday, 23 November, 2018

A Shorten Federal Labor Government will partner with a Daley NSW Labor Government to build more than 450 additional car parking spots at Campbelltown Train Station.

The Federal funding is part of Labor’s $300 million National Park and Ride Fund for new or expanded car parks at public transport hubs.

Campbelltown Train Station’s existing car park is too small to meet growing demand and in August this year the NSW Coalition Government reneged on a 2015 promise to add 450 spaces.

Labor would deliver this much needed expansion.

Federal Labor will provide $4 million while NSW Labor will kick in a further $14 million.

This announcement follows Federal and NSW Labor’s commitment earlier this week to invest $16 million to expand car parking at Leppington Train Station.

Shadow Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Anthony Albanese said Labor understood the way in which population growth was placing increased pressure on the public transport system.

“We’ll invest in better public transport across the country, but also in expanding parking facilities so commuters can catch their trains and get to work with a minimum of fuss,” Mr Albanese said.

“This is as practical measure that will make a real difference to the lives of commuters.”

Federal Labor MP for Macarthur Dr Mike Freelander said it was critical that governments invest in this vital public transport infrastructure.

“I am regularly contacted by constituents who are frustrated about the lack of access to adequate public transport infrastructure in Macarthur, and indeed across South West Sydney,” said Dr Freelander.

“The current level of commuter car parking at Campbelltown Station is simply inadequate. Demand is only going to increase as our region’s population continues to grow, which is why this investment is so vital.

“I am pleased to have secured this $4 million commitment from Federal Labor.  It builds on our earlier commitment to Leppington Station.

“Currently most car spaces at Campbelltown are gone by around 7am, forcing many commuters to travel to other local stations, which in turn is placing pressure on their finite resources. This commitment will go a long way to addressing this situation.

“I am looking forward to being part of a Shorten Labor Government championing policies such as this, which will make life easier for Macarthur families.”

Federal Member for Werriwa Anne Stanley said today’s announcement confirmed Labor’s genuine commitment to South West Sydney.

“The last thing that commuters rushing to get to trains need is a long search every day to find a car parking space,’’ Ms Stanley said.

“The extra parking at Campbelltown and Leppington stations comes in addition to our multi-billion commitment to build the Western Sydney Rail, which will ensure that residents of our region will be able to access the high-value jobs associated with the new Western Sydney Airport.”

FRIDAY, 23 NOVEMBER, 2018

Nov 21, 2018

Media Release – Gareth Evans to Deliver 2018 Tom Uren Memorial Lecture – Wednesday, 21 November, 2018

Former Foreign Minister Gareth Evans will deliver the annual Tom Uren AC Lecture next month to commemorate the life of the former Australian politician, prisoner of war and peace activist.

Mr Uren, who served as a minister in the Whitlam and Hawke Governments, and as Deputy Labor Leader, died on Australia Day, 2015, after an extraordinary life of progressive activism.

The annual Tom Uren AC Memorial Lecture was established by Labor Party branches in my electorate of Grayndler to build upon Tom’s intellectual legacy and lifelong commitment to peace and justice.

This year’s address will take place at 2pm on Sunday, December 2, at the Petersham Town Hall. The date is also the 46th anniversary of the election of the Whitlam Labor Government.

As one of Labor’s most distinguished former foreign ministers, Professor Evans is the perfect choice to deliver this year’s Tom Uren Lecture.

Professor Evans, who is Chancellor of the Australian National University, has a long and proud record of promoting peace, disarmament and justice, both in Government and as an individual.

His topic will be: Australia in the World: It’s Time to Punch Our Weight.

Last year’s inaugural Tom Uren AC Lecture was delivered by the Nobel laureate and former President of Timor-Leste, Jose Ramos-Horta.

Having someone with Professor Evans’ experience and gravitas as this year’s speaker will cement the Uren Lecture as a significant annual contribution to the Australian political and intellectual calendar.
WEDNESDAY, 21 NOVEMBER, 2018

Nov 19, 2018

Media Release – Labor Will Expand Leppington Commuter Car Parking – Monday, 19 November, 2018

LABOR WILL EXPAND LEPPINGTON COMMUTER CAR PARKING

A Shorten Federal Labor Government will partner with a Daley State Labor Government to invest $16 million to build an additional 300 car parking spots at Leppington Train Station.

The Federal funding is part of Labor’s $300 million National Park and Ride Fund for new or expanded car parks at public transport hubs.

Leppington Train Station’s existing 850-space car park is too small to meet growing demand, forcing commuters to park on surrounding roads as far a kilometre away and then walk to catch their trains.

Federal and State Labor will each contribute $8 million to deliver the 300 additional car parking spaces.

Shadow Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Anthony Albanese said Labor understood the way in which population growth was placing increased pressure on the public transport system.

“We’ll invest in better public transport across the country, but also in expanding parking facilities so commuters can catch their trains and get to work with a minimum of fuss,” Mr Albanese said.

“This is as practical measure that will make a real difference to the lives of commuters.”

NSW Labor leader Michael Daley said that services must keep up with growing South West Sydney.

“Whether it’s free public transport for children, fare refunds for late trains or a new commuter car park at Leppington, Labor will make your commute just that little bit easier.”

“Instead of circling for a car park, you should be home with your family.”

Federal Member for Macarthur Dr Mike Freelander said car parking was raised with him every time he held one of his regular mobile office meetings at Leppington.

“Above all else – this is a safety concern,” Dr Freelander said.

“Many local commuters are made to walk along the side of the road back to their cars of an evening, with no footpaths and no lighting, hoping that they do not get hit by a car. There simply is not enough existing parking to meet present and certainly not future demand.

“The fact that commuters are made to park along the side of the road is also a concern for the local school. I often speak to mums and dads who are frightened an accident will happen each time they drop off and pick up their kids from school.”

Federal Member for Werriwa Anne Stanley said Labor recognised the rapid development of Sydney’s South West made it critical that infrastructure investment kept pace with demand.

“We know because we have listened to our community that it is essential that commuters are able to access parking to make their journey to work as stress free as possible,’’ Ms Stanley said.

“Improving parking at Leppington Station will also ease the pressure on parking at other stations like Edmondson Park and Glenfield and will shorten travel times and allow people to have more time to enjoy their families, exercise, study and other interests.”

MONDAY, 19 NOVEMBER, 2018

Nov 5, 2018

Media Release – Gold Coast Light Rail Investment Needlessly Delayed – Monday, 5 November, 2018

Scott Morrison’s re-announcement of his plan to invest in Stage III of the Gold Coast Light Rail project is a monument to time-wasting and needless politics.

This stage of the project, which the Prime Minister “announced’’ on the Gold Coast today, was actually funded in the 2018 Budget in May when Malcolm Turnbull was Prime Minister. The news was leaked to the Herald Sun newspaper.

But the Coalition deliberately chose to delay releasing the funding as they waited for a political campaigning opportunity like Mr Morrison’s current bus tour of Queensland.

In the same way, as Mr Morrison heads north through Queensland this week, he is likely to “announce’’ other already funded projects like the Rockhampton Ring Road and the Mackay Ring Road (Stage II), which Labor has already committed to funding.

If the Coalition had released the funding for these important projects at Budget time, work could already be under way, creating jobs and economic activity across Queensland.

Infrastructure investment should be treated as a key plank of economic policy, but for Mr Morrison it’s all about campaign opportunities.

Despite its attempts to claim credit for Gold Coast Light Rail, the Coalition is no friend of the project.

In 2009, when the former Labor Government provided $365 million for Stage I of the project as part of our economic stimulus package, the Coalition opposed the investment at the state and federal level.

Five years later, when Stage I opened, shameless Gold Coast Coalition MPs including Defence Industry Minister Steven Ciobo fell over each other to pose for media photographs seeking to claim credit for the project they had campaigned against.

If it had been left to them, Gold Coast Light Rail would never have been ready for this year’s successful Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

After five years of infrastructure cuts the Coalition is now trying to play catch-up to Labor, which has led from Opposition by developing sensible plans for rail and road investment around the nation.

Whatever Mr Morrison claims he is doing on infrastructure, the independent Parliamentary Budget Office exposed the truth earlier this year in a report warning that over the next four years, Federal infrastructure grants to the states as a percentage of GDP will halve to 0.2 per cent.

MONDAY, 5 NOVEMBER, 2018

Oct 27, 2018

Media Release – Labor will Expand Commuter Parking at Tarneit Train Station – Saturday, 27 October, 2018

Federal Labor and the Andrews State Labor Government will jointly fund a $15 million expansion of car parking facilities at Tarneit train station to ease shortages and encourage more commuters to use public transport.

Federal Labor’s $7.5 million contribution will come from its $300 million National Park and Ride Fund for new or expanded car parks at public transport hubs.

The Tarneit station is part of the Regional Rail Link, which opened in June 2015.

Extremely strong population growth, triggered in part by the completion of Regional Rail, means the 1000-space carpark is now full by 7.30am each weekday.

Commuters rushing to catch their trains to work are forced to park in surrounding streets and walk to the station, causing more congestion and inconvenience to nearby residents.

A Federal Labor Government would partner with the Victorian State Government to deliver up to 400 extra parking spaces.

Across Australia, traffic congestion is acting as a hand brake on productivity and economic growth and is eroding our quality of life.

The problem has worsened during the five years of the Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison Government, which has cut funding for public transport projects and provided no policy leadership to other levels of government on the productivity, sustainability and liveability of cities.

Shadow Infrastructure and Transport Minister Anthony Albanese said the Tarneit expansion would make a real, practical difference for commuters while also reducing congestion for local residents.
“We’ll not only invest in new public transport services, but also deliver practical measures to help commuters get to work with minimum fuss, including through our new Park and Ride Fund,’’ Mr Albanese said.

“Public transport isn’t just about the train line or bus route itself. It’s also about the surrounding infrastructure that makes it work for local residents.’’

Labor Member for Lalor Joanne Ryan said that while the Federal Coalition Government was consumed by chaos, Labor was focused on positive plans to address issues of practical concern to Australians.

“I know how important the issue of car parking is to locals in my community,’’ Ms Ryan said.

“People want to catch the train to work. Governments need to work together to make that easier.’’

“When last in government, Labor built the Regional Rail Link, demonstrating that people want to use public transport in Melbourne’s outer western suburbs.”

“If elected, Labor will again look after the residents of Melbourne’s outer western suburbs by making sure that they have access to public transport.”

SATURDAY, 27 OCTOBER, 2018

MEDIA INQUIRIES

Oct 14, 2018

Media Release – Getting Melbourne’s Suburban Rail Loop on a Faster Track – Sunday, 14 October, 2018

A Shorten Labor Government will invest $300 million in the Suburban Rail Loop – getting the project going faster and creating jobs sooner.

Labor’s investment will support the development of a business case and get the planning work done quicker, enabling the construction to commence in 2022. The project will provide a major boost to the economy, creating 20,000 jobs in the construction phase alone and employing 2000 apprentices.

This is the sort of vision Melbourne needs – to keep up with the demands of Australia’s fastest growing capital city, investment in world-class, modern transport network is critical.

Melbourne is a great place to live and work. But between now and 2046, the city’s population is projected to grow to 7.3 million residents. Without proper planning and investment in the city’s roads and public transport infrastructure, the annual cost of traffic congestion will more than triple to $9 billion by 2030.

Labor understands how important it is to invest in decent public transport that will take the pressure off our cities, ease traffic congestion, and connect the suburbs and the regions – bringing jobs and apprenticeships along the way.

On completion, the Suburban Rail Loop will comprise of a 90 kilometre rail line through Melbourne’s northern and eastern suburbs via the airport, linking all of the city’s major train lines. It will connect the suburbs directly to major employment hubs, universities, TAFE and hospitals outside the city, making it much easier for Victorians to get around for work and recreation.

Labor’s investment will help finalise exact station locations, route alignments, rolling stock and staging, and get construction underway faster.

Expected to be used by 400,000 passengers a day, the project will take pressure off existing lines, as well as an estimated 200,000 cars off the city’s road network. Fewer cars on the road mean less congestion and shorter travel times.

Federal Labor’s investment follows expert analysis showing the project will slash travel times across the city. When complete, commuters will be able to travel from Box Hill to the airport in 25 minutes and to Monash Clayton in around 15 minutes. Travel from Broadmeadows to Deakin Burwood will be less than 25 minutes – connecting Victorians to education and work opportunities quicker and easier.

This commitment to the Suburban Rail Loop builds on Labor’s strong track record of delivering job-creating infrastructure that eases congestion for Victorians, and will match the funding commitment announced by the Andrews Labor Government in August this year.

Labor has made hard budget decisions to ensure our priorities are fully paid for – we will make multinationals pay their fair share and close unsustainable tax loopholes, because we want to build the cities and society that will give the next generation a better deal.

SUNDAY, 14 OCTOBER 2018

Nov 27, 2017

Coalition Must Hear the People and Invest in Cross River Rail

Malcolm Turnbull must heed the clear message from the Queensland election result and end his irrational refusal to invest in Brisbane’s much needed Cross River Rail project.

During the Queensland election campaign the Liberal-National Party rejected Cross River Rail, which would provide a second rail crossing of the Brisbane River in the city’s CBD and boost productivity right across south-east Queensland, including on the Gold and Sunshine coasts.

Mr Turnbull has also refused to invest in the project, despite it having been endorsed by the independent Infrastructure Australia in 2012.

The LNP’s flogging at the hands of voters on Saturday, particularly in Queensland’s south-east, sounds a clear message to Mr Turnbull that Queenslanders understand the importance of infrastructure investment to economic and employment growth.

Mr Turnbull should listen.

The former Federal Labor Government and Queensland’s former Newman LNP Government reached a deal to deliver Cross River Rail in 2013, only to see the project scrapped months later by the incoming Abbott Federal Government.

Since Mr Turnbull ousted Tony Abbott, he has expressed rhetorical support for public transport projects.

But he has maintained the Coalition’s refusal to invest in Cross River Rail, leaving the Palaszczuk Government to go it alone on this important project.

Mr Turnbull should also lift his game more generally with regard to infrastructure delivery, with Budget documents showing his Government has not only cut infrastructure investment, but also failed to deliver its reduced budgets.

In its first three Budgets, the Coalition invested $3.9 billion less on infrastructure across the nation than it promised.

This included a cut of $700 million in Queensland.

MONDAY, 27 NOVEMBER, 2017

 

Nov 24, 2017

Labor’s Infrastructure Legacy Continues to benefit Australia

Today marks the 10th anniversary of the election of the Rudd Labor Government, only the third time Federal Labor had been elected to government from opposition since the Second World War.

And when it came to nation building infrastructure, the far-reaching reforms we implemented and the unprecedented capital works program we initiated have made a real and substantial difference.

Between 2007 and 2013, under the leadership of Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard, Labor:

  • Delivered national leadership through the appointment of Australia’s first ever Federal Infrastructure Minister and the creation of a Federal Infrastructure Department.
  • Established Infrastructure Australia to overhaul and drive lasting improvements to the way our nation assesses, plans, finances, builds and uses the infrastructure that will drive growth and productivity in the 21st century, including:
    • Completing the first ever infrastructure audit;
    • Creating a National Priority List to guide investment into nationally-significant projects offering the highest economic, social and environmental returns – and we had committed funding to all those identified as ‘ready-to-proceed’;
    • Developing national Public Private Partnership (PPP) guidelines to make it easier and cheaper for private investors to partner with government to build new public infrastructure;
    • Publishing long term blueprints for a truly national, integrated and multimodal transport system capable of moving goods around as well as into and out of Australia quickly, reliably and efficiently: the National Ports Strategy and the National Land Freight Strategy.
  • Ended the Commonwealth’s self-imposed exile from our cities and re-engaged with the states, territories and local government to help build productive, sustainable and liveable communities.  In particular, Labor:
    • Created the Major Cities Unit;
    • Established the National Planning Taskforce;
    • Published an annual State of the Cities Report;
    • Produced a comprehensive National Urban Policy: Our Cities, Our Future;
    • Committed more funding to urban public transport infrastructure than all our predecessors since Federation combined ($13.6 billion);
    • Established the Australian Council of Local Government to give local communities a voice in national policy making process;
    • Funded the Australian Centre of Excellence for Local Government whose mandate was to strengthen skills and professionalism within local government, and showcase innovation and best practice.
  • Slashed the number of state, territory and Federal bodies regulating heavy vehicles, rail safety and maritime safety from 23 to 3, freeing up the movement of interstate trade and boosting national income by $30 billion over the next 20 years.
  • Created Regional Development Australia to provide strategic input into national programs and improve the coordination of regional development initiatives.
  • Set up the Office of Northern Australia to attract and drive economic development opportunities across the country’s vast north.

We backed up these sweeping institutional reforms with record investment.

As part of our Nation Building Program, Labor:

  • Doubled the roads budget; built and upgraded 7,500 kilometres of road including completing the duplication of the Hume Highway, accelerating the upgrade of the Pacific Highway to dual carriageway and rebuilding hundreds of kilometres of the Bruce Highway.
  • Increased investment in rail more than ten-fold; rebuilt a third of the Interstate Rail Network, 4,000 kilometres of track.
  • Established the Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program, the first ever Federal program dedicated to building new and improving the existing roadside facilities used by truck drivers such as rest stops.
  • Used innovative financing arrangements such as value capture, equity injections and public-private partnerships to attract greater private investment in public infrastructure.  For example, we employed such arrangements to deliver Northconnex and the Moorebank Intermodal Terminal in Sydney, as well as Legacy Way in Brisbane and the Gold Coast Light Rail.

In addition to investing in the nation’s transport infrastructure, Labor also:

  • Made the biggest ever Federal investment in the renewal of the nation’s community infrastructure, delivering 5,500 small and larger scale projects including new and upgraded public libraries, sporting facilities, parks, playgrounds and child care centres;
  • Began rolling out high speed broadband to the nation’s homes and workplaces, replacing the existing out-dated copper wire network with fibre optic cable;
  • Built 20,000 new affordable homes for low income individuals and families;
  • Completed the largest ever school modernisation program, including building and refurbishing 5,000 classrooms, 3,100 libraries, 2,800 multi-purpose halls and 530 science centres.
  • Established a Health and Hospitals Fund to finance investment in health infrastructure such as the renewal and refurbishment of hospitals, medical technology equipment, and major medical research facilities and projects.

As a result of these budget measures Australia went from 20th to 1st on the international league table that ranks countries on the scale of the investment they are making in their infrastructure.

The former Federal Labor Government’s nation building agenda of greater investment and long term reform extended to the transport industries linking Australia to the global economy; shipping and aviation.

In the area of aviation, Labor:

  • Published Australia’s first ever Aviation White Paper to guide the industry’s future growth, with measures to address skill shortages, a lack of investment in new facilities, unstable world oil prices, global terrorism, inadequate long term planning and poor community relations.
  • Negotiated international agreements that gave Australian airlines greater access to major markets, including China and the United States.
  • Oversaw a $900 million investment by Airservices Australia in new and upgraded air traffic management technology, and aerodrome rescue and firefighting services.
  • Acted to secure more jobs, higher economic growth and Sydney’s status as a global city by progressing planning on the Western Sydney Airport.
  • Amended the Airports Act to give local communities a greater voice and better information about development at the nation’s major airports including on the environmental impact of airport operations.
  • Injected over $260 million into regional and remote aviation infrastructure, including new and upgraded airport facilities – more than five times what the Howard government spent.

In maritime, Labor’s agenda was equally ambitious.  We:

  • Began rebuilding the domestic shipping industry with reforms designed to reduce the costs faced by Australian shippers and level the playing field with their international competitors.  The package included a zero tax rate, creation of an International Shipping Register and new tax incentives to employ Australian seafarers.
  • Enacted the first major rewrite of the nation’s maritime laws since the Navigation Act 1912 was adopted a century earlier.

Lastly, the former Federal Labor Government put High Speed Rail on the national agenda. Not only did we publish a landmark Implementation Study, but we also allocated more than $50 million to establish a High Speed Rail Authority to advance the planning and begin securing the corridor.

From the outset the central task of the former Federal Labor Government was to reverse the neglect we inherited and invest in the modern, well-planned infrastructure that would make people’s lives easier, our businesses more competitive and the national economy stronger.

By that measure, Labor has much to be proud of.

Under Labor we made the right decisions for the nation’s future, and across the length and breadth of the country built the infrastructure which will stand the test of time.

FRIDAY, 24 NOVEMBER 2017

Nov 24, 2017

Coalition Cuts $355 Million from Promised SA Infrastructure

The Abbott-Turnbull Government has failed to deliver $355 million that it promised to invest on railways and roads in South Australia over the past three years.

Budget papers show the Government undertook to invest $1.44 billion in the State’s infrastructure in its first three Budgets (2014/15 to 2016-17).

But Final Budget Outcome documents reveal it actually invested $1.08 billion.

The $355 million shortfall indicates the Government has failed to deliver on even its own minimal commitments by failing to roll out projects as promised.

The cuts include $233 million from investment in major rail projects and $11.1 million from the program established to fix and upgrade existing bridges.

The Government also cut $3.6 million from the important Black Spots road safety program, which upgrades safety at the locations of fatal or serious accidents.

Based on the cost of the average Black Spot upgrade, the Government could have upgraded more than 20 dangerous Black Spots if only it had invested what it promised.

It also cut $6.2 million from promised investment in the Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program, which improves safety by providing rest stops and parking areas for trucks.

If the money had been delivered as promised it could have been used to deliver the next stage of the North-South corridor project between Pym Street and Regency Road.

Completing this missing link will deliver substantial benefits, creating a non-stop 47km corridor from the River Torrens to Gawler, saving up to eight minutes in peak hour traffic.

A detailed economic assessment underpinning the project proposal report shows a huge cost-benefit ratio of 7.4:1, and that the project will support 250 South Australian jobs a year until 2022.

SA needs increased Federal infrastructure investment to provide jobs and economic activity in the short and medium term, while lifting productivity and road safety standards over the long term.

But the Federal Coalition Government has failed to deliver.

It makes big-spending promises every Budget, when South Australians are focused on the Treasurer’s Budget speech, but then fails to follow through, apparently hoping no-one will notice.

And it gets worse, with Budget Forward Estimates showing Federal infrastructure grants to SA will fall off a cliff in the next four years, from $759 million in 2017-18, to just $95 million in 2020-21.

Federal Labor has a record of delivery when it comes to SA infrastructure investment.

Over six years the former Labor Federal Government more than doubled per capita infrastructure from $109 per South Australian to $272.

FRIDAY, 24 NOVEMBER, 2017

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Email: [email protected]

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