Browsing articles in "Shadow Ministerial Media Release"
Dec 4, 2018

Media Release – Parliament Votes to Support High Speed Rail Authority – Tuesday, 4 December, 2018

Federal Parliament today voted in favour of creating a High Speed Rail Authority to advance plans for a High Speed Rail line from Brisbane to Melbourne via Sydney and Canberra.

I asked Parliament to facilitate debate of my Private Member’s Bill, which would establish a High Speed Rail Authority to advance this visionary project.

My motion was seconded by the Independent MP for Indi, Cathy McGowan.

The House of Representatives supported the motion by 73 votes to 72.

However, because an absolute majority was required, the Government avoided a debate on my Bill.

It is disappointing that the Government fails to understand the potential of High Speed Rail to both revolutionise interstate travel and super charge the regional centres along the proposed route.

At a time of intense population pressure in our nation’s capital cities, we need a genuine decentralisation program that will empower regional centres to absorb some of the pressure of growth.

High Speed Rail would unlock waves of development in communities like the Gold Coast, Casino, Grafton, Coffs Harbour, Port Macquarie, Taree, Newcastle, the Central Coast, the Southern Highlands, Canberra, Wagga Wagga, Albury-Wodonga and Shepparton.

While the former Labor Government completed a positive feasibility study and commenced initial planning for High Speed Rail, the Coalition has run dead on the project for five wasted years.

Based on the support for action expressed in Parliament today, Prime Minister Scott Morrison should think again and act in the national interest.

The proposed High Speed Rail Authority would be tasked with working on detailed planning with the Queensland, NSW, ACT and Victorian governments.

Critically, it would also begin to preserve the corridor for the project to prevent it being built out by urban sprawl.

Creation of the proposed authority was the key recommendation of an independent panel established by the former Labor Government.

The panel included former Deputy Prime Minister Tim Fischer, the Business Council of Australia’s Jennifer Westacott and the late Bryan Nye, who was head of the Australasian Railway Association.

TUESDAY, 4 DECEMBER, 2018

Nov 30, 2018

Media Release – Ending The Rip Off – Labor will Crack Down on Ticket Gouging – Friday, 30 November, 2018

Labor will give Aussie sports and music fans a fair go, cracking down on ticket gouging which locks fans out of major events.

 

Labor will introduce a national ban on the use of ticket-buying bot software, which flood ticket websites to purchase the most tickets possible, causing ordinary consumers to miss out.

 

It is estimated bots account for as much as 30 per cent of the traffic to primary ticketing sites in the moments after a major event goes on sale.

 

We will also introduce a national cap on the resale price of tickets at 110 per cent of the initial face value.

 

This will mean fans will get a fair go on accessing tickets to sporting blockbusters, as well as concerts, musicals and theatres.

 

Ticket scalping is a growing scourge – instead of the sales going to our footy clubs and local businesses, artists and the music industry, fraudsters are building profit models and forcing consumers to pay exorbitant prices for tickets, or missing out completely.

 

Labor will act. A Shorten Labor Government will introduce a cap of 110 per cent of initial face value price for any resold tickets and make sure laws are consistent across all states and territories through federal legislation.

 

This crackdown will aim to cut the business model for websites like ViaGogo, which relies on selling tickets to music and sports fans at exorbitant, inflated prices and can often leave consumers stranded with useless tickets that have been sold multiple times.

 

Labor will also ban the use of ticket-buying bot software, which prevents ordinary consumers from accessing popular concerts and major events.

 

This will ensure genuine fans get fair access to tickets, and won’t have to compete with sophisticated software designed to buy as many tickets as possible when popular events go on sale online.

 

A Labor Government will also boost consumer protection by:

  • Strengthening disclosure requirements for all ticket sellers; and
  • Allowing for the fair resale of tickets, preventing primary ticket sellers cancelling legitimately purchased on-sold tickets
  • A national ban on speculative ticket listing

 

The ACCC will conduct a review of these measures after twelve months of operation, with a view to further strong action if required.

 

We understand that consumers need the ability to easily on-sell tickets if they need to, and others may want to purchase tickets at the last minute. These reforms won’t prevent that – they will simply mean that ticket sellers can’t significantly profit from desperate fans.

 

The Liberals have been too paralysed by their own instability to take action on this issue, only introducing disclosure requirements for resellers last month and failing to act on ticket gouging at all.

 

Labor will prioritise Australian sports and music fans to make sure consumers get an overdue fair go.


FRIDAY, 30 NOVEMBER 2018

Nov 30, 2018

Media Release – Labor will Turn the Volume Up on Australian Music – Friday, 30 November, 2018

LABOR WILL TURN THE VOLUME UP ON AUSTRALIAN MUSIC

A Shorten Labor Government will introduce the most comprehensive contemporary music policy by an Australian government.

From encouraging more Australian children to learn and play music, to assisting young bands reach overseas markets, to more support for live music and ensuring fans aren’t being ripped off when they buy tickets – Labor wants to see more Australians making music, listening to music, and seeing music live.

 

The music industry contributes nearly $6 billion to the Australian economy each year. According to ARIA, the Australian music industry will be worth $100 billion globally within a decade. Live music alone supports around 64,000 jobs in Australia. More Australians attend live music than sport.

Labor wants to make sure the live music industry continues to grow, and to see more Australians with stable jobs in a thriving local industry.

 

Labor’s music policy all comes back to one single objective: We want to inspire the next generation of Australian artists and to see more international success stories.
Labor wants to make sure Australian kids have the chance to learn music, regardless of where they live. While many Australian kids are lucky enough to have parents who encourage them to learn an instrument at a young age, more and more kids now rely on their school to learn to play an instrument. To help schools facilitate learning, a Shorten Labor Government will provide $7 million in extra support for music education and music teachers. The funding will go towards expanding school programs such as SongMakers which brings musicians into schools, and Song Room, dedicated to providing music and art lessons to disadvantaged kids.

One of the biggest barriers for younger musicians is having a space to practice together. Labor will provide $5 million in grant funding to establish and grow music hubs around the country. This funding will provide support to councils, schools, neighborhood centres or community spaces to set up a music hub where students and musicians in the local area can come, learn, collaborate and practice. Funding could be used for soundproofing, equipment, instruments, acoustic assessments or refurbishments.

Labor wants more emerging artists to have the opportunity to record an album for public release and to play at live music venues. Labor will commit over $10m to the “new Sounds Australia” to deliver the functions of the office of live music to help them work with local governments to remove barriers for live music venues around the country. This means more places for young musicians to play, but also more venues for music lovers to see live performances locally. Labor will also double the funding to the New Recordings program to help a further ten new Australian artists record an EP. The current program allows for ten albums to be recorded a year, and has helped artists such Courtney Barnett and Alex the Astronaut gain an audience.

One of the key foundations of Sounds Australia is to showcase Australian music overseas. Labor’s commitment to the new Sounds Australia will expand its reach and build on the 1500 Australian groups that have been showcased at international events in over 23 countries. This means more musicians have a pathway to staying in the industry and more Australian music is heard here and around the world. Part of showcasing our music overseas will be small grants that are made available to help promote emerging Australian bands around the world, particularly in new markets such as Asia. Sounds Australia and the Association of Artists Managers will work together and, when needed, provide modest grants to assist with practical measures to help bands get a foothold including costs of airfares, local management and connections and assistance with booking venues. These grants could mean the difference between a new band making it in a new market or not.

 

Labor’s music policy will also include measures such as:

 

  • cracking down on ticket scalping websites such as Viagogo
  • increased funding for music and mental health programs.

 

The policies we are announcing today are aimed at boosting every aspect of Australian music. We want Australian music to be heard, Australian artists to stay in the industry and the next generation to be inspired. And we want to make it easier for music fans to buy tickets to the bands they love.

We believe in what our songwriters, musicians, performers and music industry do. We think it matters. Our Australian soundtrack matters. Let’s turn up the volume.

 

More information on Labor’s policy can be found here.

FRIDAY, 30 NOVEMBER 2018

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.

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 16, 2018

Media Release – Darwin City Deal Welcome but Long Overdue – Friday, 16 November, 2018

A Shorten Labor Government would honour the Darwin City Deal, announced today after 18 months of needless delay by the chaotic Morrison Government.

However, a Labor Government would build upon the deal, transforming it into a City Partnership based on more genuine collaboration between the three levels of government.

The Turnbull Government first announced its intention to create a City Deal on April 18, 2017. But its internal disunity and policy inertia have needlessly delayed delivery of the arrangement.

Labor supports the principle of greater co-operation between the Commonwealth, states and territories and councils to improve the productivity, sustainability and liveability of Australian cities.

However, the Coalition’s City Deals model is a top-down process which treats local councils as casual stakeholders, rather than genuine partners in urban policy, and also does not include adequate engagement with the private sector.

Labor’s City Partnerships program, announced in July, is a bottom-up model, acknowledging that local communities and their elected councils need to be central players in decision-making concerning the priorities for their own communities.

Shadow Cities Minister Anthony Albanese said there were no clear guidelines about how City Deals work and no mechanism for independent oversight as to whether they achieve the desired outcomes.

“A Shorten Labor Government will address this deficiency by re-establishing the Major Cities Unit within the independent Infrastructure Australia and requiring it to use transparent measures to both recommend and assess the progress of City Partnerships,’’ Mr Albanese said.

“The Major Cities Unit will also refresh the National Urban Policy that Labor released when last in government to ensure City Partnerships align with its objectives, for example, in areas like sustainability and smart technology.’’

Labor will also establish an expert panel to update strategic planning guidelines for cities as well as the development of guidelines for City Partnerships, in consultation with the Minister, which include benefits to the economy.

Member for Solomon Luke Gosling said the Northern Territory had waited long enough for the Coalition to sign the Darwin City Deal.

“Now that the deal has been signed, funds must start flowing as soon as possible,” Mr Gosling said.

“The $100 Million in Federal funding is welcome, but it will arrive too late to save many businesses in the Territory.”

FRIDAY, 16 NOVEMBER, 2018

Nov 7, 2018

Media Release – Rockhampton Ring Road Investment Needlessly Delayed – Wednesday, 7 November 2018

Scott Morrison’s re-announcement of planned investment for the Rockhampton Ring Road is further evidence the Prime Minister is prepared to delay actual investment in infrastructure to suit his political needs.

The project, which the Prime Minister “announced’’ on 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 Mr Morrison deliberately chose to delay releasing the funding as he awaited a political campaigning opportunity like his farcical “bus tour’’ of Queensland, in which he is actually shadowing the journey of a bus aboard a taxpayer-funded jet.

Instead of delaying projects to suit his political campaigning plans, Mr Morrison should just get on with the job.

Federal Labor has already committed funding for the Rockhampton Ring Road.

While the Coalition has been consumed by its internal brawling, we’ve been leading from Opposition by developing a plan to tackle traffic congestion right across the country.

By contrast, Mr Morrison has been cutting infrastructure investment.

The independent Parliamentary Budget Office has warned that over the next four years, Federal infrastructure grants to the states as a percentage of GDP will halve to 0.2 per cent.

On Monday, Mr Morrison re-announced funding for Gold Coast Light Rail Stage III, which was also included in the May Budget but needlessly delayed.

If he stays true to form, Australians should expect he will soon re-announce funding for the Mackay Ring Road (Stage II), which was also funded in May and is already the subject of a Labor funding commitment.

WEDNESDAY, 7 NOVEMBER, 2018

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