Browsing articles in "Shadow Ministerial Media Release"
Dec 28, 2018

Media Release – Labor Will Expand Geebung Train Station Park and Ride – Friday, 28 December 2018

Federal Labor will invest $4 million to expand Park and Ride facilities at Geebung train station to ease parking shortages and encourage more commuters to use public transport.

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

The Queensland State Labor Government is already investing $3 million to double the capacity of the existing Geebung Station car park to 70 spaces.

Federal Labor’s commitment will add up to 70 extra spaces, again doubling capacity.

Across suburban Australia, commuters are struggling to find parking spaces at train stations and are having to park in nearby streets, causing further congestion.

Shadow Infrastructure and Transport Minister Anthony Albanese said Labor’s commitment to improving Park and Ride facilities was a sensible response that would make a real difference for commuters and people living near train stations.

“We’ll not only invest in new public transport services, but also deliver practical measures to help commuters get to work with a minimum of 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.’’

Mr Albanese said the Geebung announcement followed Labor’s previously announced plans for car park upgrades at Mango Hill, Narangba and Northgate train stations.

Labor candidate for Lilley Anika Wells said Federal Labor had already committed to a range of major infrastructure projects in South East Queensland, including the transformative Cross River Rail Project to create a second rail crossing of the Brisbane River in the city’s CBD.

“While the Morrison Government has focused on itself and its internal tensions, we’ve been working with communities to come up with projects that will reduce traffic congestion and make life easier,’’ Ms Wells said.

“Labor has always been the party which in Government has delivered nation-building infrastructure here on the Northside. I hope to be able to deliver the Geebung project for Lilley as a member of a Shorten Labor Government.”

In addition to Cross River Rail, key infrastructure projects that would be funded by a Shorten Labor Government include the Rockhampton Ring Road, the Mackay Ring Road, the M1 Upgrade, Gladstone Port Access Road, Rockhampton-Yeppoon Road Upgrade and the extension of the Bruce Highway to Cairns Airport.

Dec 14, 2018

Media Release – Labor Leading From Opposition on Linkfield Road Overpass – Monday, 14 December 2018

Labor welcomes the Morrison Government’s decision to match our commitment to duplicate the Linkfield Road overpass on the Gympie Arterial Road.

Currently two lanes merge into one just before drivers turn north on to the Gympie Arterial Road, making it a notorious stretch for accidents and traffic congestion.

The bottleneck has been identified by the state’s peak roads body, the RACQ, as a key priority for government action.

In August Federal Labor committed to partner with the Palaszczuk Government to build the overpass as part of our plan to tackle traffic congestion, which acts as a hand brake on productivity and is reducing our quality of life.

The Coalition’s decision to copy our policy is great news for residents of the electorates of Dickson and Petrie because it guarantees this important project will proceed.

This is another example of Labor leading from Opposition.

While Coalition MPs have spent this year attacking each other, we’ve been hard at work on policy development to attack problems that matter to Australians, including traffic congestion.

After five years of cuts to infrastructure investment, it is no surprise that the Coalition is now copying Labor’s common sense plans.

But to make an even bigger impact on traffic congestion in South-East Queensland, Prime Minister Scott Morrison should also adopt Labor’s plan to invest in Brisbane’s Cross River Rail project, which the Coalition foolishly cancelled when it took office in 2013.

Dec 13, 2018

Media Release – Inland Rail start 827 days late – Thursday, 13 December, 2018

Labor welcomes today’s planned sod-turning on the Inland Rail project from Brisbane to Melbourne, but notes the Coalition had promised to commence the project more than two years ago.

Eight hundred and twenty-seven days have passed since the Coalition’s promised start date, which it committed to via a media release during the 2013 election campaign.

The inaction came despite the former Labor Government having invested $600 million to upgrade existing lines that will form part of Inland Rail route and having provided $300 million in the 2013 Budget to take the project forward.

In spite of the time delay, there has still been inadequate consultation with farming communities and there is real concern about the route of the project.

It is also the case that the line doesn’t go to the Port of Brisbane, stopping 38km short at Acacia Ridge.

The Nationals have used this project to seek political support, but have let down regional Australia by failing to put in the hard work needed to drive its delivery.

Dec 11, 2018

Media Release – IA Report Exposes Government’s abysmal record on Infrastructure – Tuesday, 11 December, 2018

The Planning Liveable Cities report, which was released today by Infrastructure Australia, echoes Federal Labor’s concern that the Coalition Government has failed to ensure investment in vital infrastructure keeps pace with the growth of our cities.

The report tells us that “our largest cities are playing catch-up in delivering infrastructure to support population growth” and it calls on government to act now to better sequence infrastructure to meet the needs of urban communities.

Exacerbating this challenge is the fact that under the Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison Government, Federal infrastructure grant funding will fall off a cliff over the next four years, from $8 billion in 2017-18 to $4.5 billion in 2021-22.

Research by the independent Parliamentary Budget Office shows that under the current Coalition Government, Federal grants will halve over the next four years from 0.4 per cent of the national GDP, to 0.2 per cent.

The truth is that this ATM Government’s failure to invest in infrastructure is threatening the liveability of our cities.

The Infrastructure Australia report also calls on more collaborative governance structures across the three tiers of government, meaningful community engagement and evidence-based decision making to guide investment in cities.

These principles underpin Labor’s City Partnerships policy, which was announced in July this year and would replace the ATM Government’s weak, politicised City Deals.

Labor’s City Partnerships program would ensure a bottom-up model, acknowledging that local communities and their elected representatives need to be central players in decision-making about their local priorities and strategic vision.

Currently, there are no clear guidelines about how City Deals work and no mechanism for independent oversight to evaluate their effectiveness.

Labor would 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.

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 in areas like sustainability and smart technology.

Labor would also establish an expert panel to update strategic planning guidelines for cities and, in consultation with the Minister, develop guidelines for City Partnerships including a focus on benefits to the economy.

Federal Labor is serious about ensuring our cities are productive, sustainable and liveable places for everyone and is committed to collaborating with communities and the three tiers of government to deliver this.


Dec 11, 2018

Media Release – Coalition Plays Catch-Up on Mackay Ring Road – Tuesday, 11 December, 2018

The Coalition’s re-announcement of investment for the Mackay Ring Road is evidence it is prepared to delay actual investment in infrastructure to suit his political needs.

The project, which the Government “announced’’ today, was actually funded in the 2018 Budget in May when Malcolm Turnbull was Prime Minister.

But rather than get on with the work when the money was available, Prime Minister Scott Morrison deliberately chose to delay releasing the funding until closer to the upcoming federal election, along with a range of other projects including the Rockhampton Ring Road.

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

Shadow Infrastructure Minister Anthony Albanese said that while the Coalition had been consumed by its internal brawling, Labor had 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,’’ Mr Albanese said.

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

“That is absurd at a time when our nation is under population pressure, our capital cities are clogged by traffic congestion and our regions need infrastructure investment to boost productivity and drive jobs growth.’’

Labor candidate for Dawson Belinda Hassan said the Mackay Ring Road would make a huge difference to her community by opening up more export opportunities for local commerce and industry, getting the trucks off our local roads, and of course, creating more construction jobs for our region.

“I’m proud that Labor understands that we need to just get on with this project. I haven’t needed to resort to silly stunts or spending taxpayer dollars on full-page ads in the paper.’’ Ms Hassan said.

“While the Coalition has been sitting on its hands, one thing is certain – a Shorten Labor Government would work with Queensland Labor Government to get this project off the drawing board as soon as possible.’’

Dec 5, 2018

Media Release – Senate to Examine Airport Fire Safety – Wednesday, 5 December, 2018

Labor has successfully moved to establish a Senate inquiry into the adequacy of specialist Aviation Rescue and Fire Fighting Services (ARFFS) at the nation’s airports.

ARFFS, run by Airservices Australia, provide trained specialists who rescue people and property from aircraft crashes and other emergency incidents at airports. In 2017-18 they responded to about 6900 incidents.

The Rural, Regional Affairs and Transport committee inquiry will focus on whether current safety standards at airports, including provision of ARFFS,  are adequate to maintain the safety of both the travelling public and emergency personnel.

The committee will also consider whether regulators including the Civil Aviation Safety Authority and Airservices Australia are enforcing internationally agreed safety standards at Australian airports.

The inquiry follows the current Government’s failed 2016 attempt to remove ARFFS from a number of regional airports including Ballina, Gladstone, Hamilton Island, Ayers Rock, Karratha and Port Hedland.

Australia has an enviable record of aviation safety. It is important that the Parliament plays is role in maintaining that record.

The inquiry will examine:

The provision of rescue, firefighting and emergency response at Australian airports with particular reference to:

  1. Current standards applicable to the provision of aerodrome rescue and firefighting services relating to community safety and the emergency personnel safety;
  2. The standards for the provision of emergency response at Australian airports including emergency medical response and response to structure fires and other incidents;
  3. Comparison of safe systems of emergency response standards and systems of work for firefighting and rescue operations for structure fires, aircraft rescue, emergency medical response and other emergency incidents;
  4. Consideration of best practice including relevant international standards;
  5. The mechanisms and criteria for the review of the provisions of safety standards for the provision of rescue and firefighting services, if any;
  6. A review of Airservices Australia policy and administration of aviation rescue and firefighting services;
  7. The effectiveness and independence of the regulator the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) to uphold Aviation rescue and firefighting safety standards;
  8. The impact on Australia’s national and international reputation and aviation safety record as a result of any lowering of aviation rescue and firefighting services;
  9. Any other related matters.


Dec 5, 2018

Media Release – Labor Pushes for Bipartisanship on Shipping Policy – Wednesday, 5 December, 2018

Labor has successfully moved to establish a Senate inquiry into Australian shipping to build bipartisan support to reverse the ongoing decline of our nation’s maritime industry.

Over the past 30 years, the number of Australian-flagged vessels operating domestically and internationally has fallen from about 100 to 14, with resulting job losses and a decline in our national skills base.

In July 2012, following extensive consultation with industry and unions, the former Labor Government attempted to revive shipping with a reform package including tax concessions and training assistance.

But in 2013 the incoming Coalition Government took a new approach, proposing changes that would have destroyed the domestic shipping industry by allowing foreign vessels paying crews third world wages to compete with Australian vessels paying their crews Australian-level wages.

Since the Senate rejected that legislation in 2015, the Government has allowed the industry to drift.

As an island nation which relies on shipping to move 99 percent of its imports and exports, it is in Australia’s economic, environmental and national security interests to maintain a vibrant maritime industry.

It is time for all political parties to work with industry and employee representatives to end the policy inertia and collaborate to find an approach that will secure the future of Australian shipping.

The inquiry by the Senate’s Rural Regional Affairs and Transport References Committee offers a genuine opportunity for the Parliament to put the national interest ahead of political considerations and find a way forward.

The inquiry will examine:

The policy, regulatory, taxation, administrative and funding priorities for Australian shipping, with particular reference to:

  1. New investment in Australian ships and building a maritime cluster in Australia;
  2. Establishment of an efficient and commercially oriented coastal ship licensing system and foreign crew visa system;
  3. Interaction with other modes of freight transport, non-freight shipping and government shipping;
  4. Maritime security, including fuel security and foreign ship and crew standards;
  5. Environmental sustainability;
  6. Workforce development and the seafarer training system;
  7. Port infrastructure, port services and port fees and charges; and
  8. Any related matters.


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.


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.


Nov 30, 2018

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


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.



Contact Anthony

(02) 9564 3588 Electorate Office

Email: [email protected]

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