A better future.
Next year, you can deliver it.
In 2022 Australians can vote to go forward under a Labor Government with ambition, with vision, and with a plan for economic recovery that draws on our country’s values:
Creating opportunity. Rewarding hard work. Holding no-one back. Leaving no-one behind.
A plan that builds on that great truth that the pandemic made so clear to us: that we are stronger together.
We are more resilient together.
We are better together.
Australia is built on the foundations of that truth.
It’s a truth that guides me as Labor leader.
Since Federation, we have been a united continent.
However, we are not immune to the forces of division, whether they are driven by ideology or political opportunism.
That is the cynical space in which Scott Morrison operates.
He chooses to divide. He chooses to play politics. He chooses to pit people against each other. To pit state against state.
These last two years have been tough, but Scott Morrison has only made the burden greater.
Australians have been simply magnificent. You have rolled up your sleeves and done your part.
Because in Australia, in tough times, every one of us has to “hold a hose”.
Now we all want to put the past two years behind us.
To do that, we need to put this Government behind us.
And I want to help Australians do just that. I want to bring the nation together.
Because what guides me is knowing that we have to work together if we are to move forward as one.
I want to unite the country with my vision and plans for a better future.
One in which unions and business work together for the common interest.
One in which equality for women is advanced and benefits our whole society.
One in which we have secure work and everything that makes possible.
Australians can choose a Labor government alive to the opportunities of this moment – and ready with a plan to seize them.
Our plan to embrace a better future as:
- A renewable energy superpower
- A manufacturing powerhouse
- The skills and education capital of Asia
- A society that guarantees secure work, cheaper child care, and stronger Medicare.
Or … Australians can vote for another three years of division and inaction.
To enter a second decade of stagnant wages that don’t keep up with rising bills.
A second decade of vandalism inflicted on Medicare and the NDIS.
A second decade of rorts, waste and dishonesty.
A second decade of Australia falling behind the world on everything from education and equality for women, to renewable energy and infrastructure.
A government with nothing left but scare campaigns.
All this is on the line in 2022.
A fresh start for Australia with Labor.
A new team with a forward-looking plan for a stronger, fairer and broader economic recovery, taking in every part of the nation.
Or a Morrison-Joyce government that is out of step with modern Australia, out-of-touch with working families and out of ideas for the future.
A government that is simply spent, and a Prime Minister whose tank is on empty.
Cutting deals with One Nation and cuddling-up to anti-vaxers.
Giving comfort to extremists but making life more difficult for everyone else.
Divided among themselves, and attempting to divide you.
Saying anything. Not doing much. A leader whose words have become meaningless.
A Prime Minister who has no regard for what he said yesterday, so you should have no regard for what he says today.
Having already shown Australians and the Premiers and the media and his colleagues and the parliament and France and the United States that he can’t be trusted…
…Scott Morrison has now reached a point where he can’t even trust himself.
We deserve so much better than this.
And that’s what today is all about – Labor’s plan for a better future.
At the end of the first term of a Labor Government, when we reflect on what we have built, we’ll see this:
- One: an economy that makes more things here at home, powered by cheap renewable energy.
- Two: booming new industries employing Australians who were trained and educated because of our investments in TAFE and university.
- Three: more Australians with real job security.
- Four: working families that are better off, with cheaper childcare and stronger Medicare.
- And five: a nation that had the courage to take up the Uluru Statement from the Heart and its gracious, patient call for Voice, Treaty, and Truth.
These achievements will be driven by our values, and by what we learned from this pandemic.
Lessons From COVID
These last two years have been unlike any time we’ve lived through.
Through difficult days and months, Australians stood tall.
We pulled together, and we made sacrifices for each other. We showed the strength of our society.
But COVID also shone a cold, unflinching light on some hard truths about our economy and its vulnerabilities.
I’m determined to learn from this experience and use its lessons to fuel my plan to build back stronger.
A plan built around the lessons from these last two years.
That our working families, the backbone of our country, need and deserve a better life. One where the basics like power bills, childcare and health care don’t break the bank.
That Australians deserve secure, well-paid jobs. Because when COVID hit, those in the most insecure work – like casuals – paid a heavy price when their jobs disappeared without warning.
That our next government must ensure we make more things right here.
A better life for working families. Secure Australian Jobs. A Future Made in Australia.
These are the forces that will drive a Labor Government I lead
Making Things Here
Australians need a government that believes in them - that is as optimistic and determined as they are. A government that supports their skills and invests in their potential.
A government that backs Australian industry.
This is why we’ve already announced:
Our Buy Australian plan, to use the purchasing power of government to back Australian businesses and workers.
Our National Reconstruction Fund to support businesses in both traditional and new industries.
We possess the minerals and materials needed to build a lithium battery, like the ones that power electric vehicles. We should have a homegrown battery industry - and this Fund will back it.
Our National Rail Manufacturing Plan. We should build trains here. Full stop.
For Australia to make our way in the world – we need to be a country that makes things here.
Australian firms, Australian workers and Australian skills.
And one of the keys to a Future Made in Australia is the cheap, renewable energy that we have in such abundance.
On Friday I launched Powering Australia, Labor’s plan to create jobs, cut power bills and reduce emissions by boosting renewable energy.
Our Powering Australia plan will create over 600,000 jobs, with five out of six of them in the regions.
Labor’s plan will boost renewables to 82 per cent of the grid by 2030.
Cheap, renewable power will mean household bills drop by an average of $275 by 2025.
Powering Australia will reduce Australia’s emissions by 43 per cent by 2030 – which will become Australia’s target, keeping us on track for net zero by 2050.
We are backing this with the most extensive independent modelling ever carried out for any policy by an Opposition.
Our plan has already been backed by the Business Council of Australia, the Australian Industry Group, the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the ACTU and a range of community organizations.
It’s a practical example of how I will bring Australians together so we can move forward together.
We can put the climate wars behind us.
We can unite around a common vision.
We can become a renewable energy superpower.
Over the last decade the Coalition has announced over 20 energy policies and not landed a single one.
Business has missed out on certainty, and Australians have missed out on jobs.
Labor has announced exactly one energy policy and it is the one we will implement in government.
The opportunity for the country to move forward is right in front of us. Labor will seize it.
We will make more things here, powered by cheap renewable energy produced by Australian workers.
Australians trained here working in good, secure jobs.
Labor will invest in their skills and their potential.
Today, I’m proud to announce Labor’s Future Made in Australia Skills Plan.
This ambitious plan starts with the heart of our skills sector: public TAFE.
We will invest in 465,000 free TAFE places and create up to 20,000 new university places to address Australia’s demand for skilled workers.
Our plan will prepare a new generation of mechanics, construction workers and engineers.
It will train people in resources, digital and cyber security, and advanced manufacturing.
And our plan will get Australians in on the ground floor for the new jobs created by renewable energy.
We will invest in a new generation of early childhood educators, registered nurses, teachers, and aged care and disability care professionals.
The pandemic has reminded us how important the care economy is.
The work of care is often done by women, operating in full sight but without due recognition.
We should be treating care workers as the national assets they are and investing in their education and training.
Instead of driving wages down Labor will train people up.
We will revive a university sector that this government has wilfully and wantonly smashed with savage cuts and costly, cynical culture wars.
This isn’t just about closing a gap for today, it’s about setting us up for tomorrow - so we can live up to the promise we make to our children that their lives will be better than ours.
Make no mistake. When it comes to skills and knowledge – it is a race.
A race for the jobs and prosperity and security of the future.
This race can be won - but only if the government steps up and does its part.
That is how we will create jobs.
But not just any jobs. I want those jobs to be as good as the people who do the work.
That means a safe workplace. It means protection from exploitation, abuse and harassment.
It means a fair day's wage for a fair day's work.
And friends, it means security - not working shift to shift, robbed of the chance to plan for the future.
Australia can’t afford 3 more years of this government suppressing your wages, undermining your job security, cutting your penalty rates, and attacking trade unions.
We can’t continue to see permanent jobs replaced by insecure casual ones
Your bills aren’t casual. People who want secure work need to be able to find it again.
Insecure work and wage suppression are squeezing household budgets.
And a massive cost-of-living pressure for families is child care.
That’s why the first major policy I announced as Leader was Labor’s Plan for Cheaper Child Care.
Cheaper child care is an economic reform.
Labor’s plan will save more than one million families thousands of dollars a year.
And it will deliver a massive productivity and participation boost for Australian workplaces.
Our plan will make so many families’ lives better. It will give parents more choices – women in particular.
It will work alongside our other measures to promote equality - like closing the gender pay gap, and backing higher wages and better conditions in female-dominated industries, like aged care.
Our policies to improve women’s lives at work are underpinned by our ongoing commitment to stamp-out sexual harassment in the workplace.
These actions derive from a simple truth, a truth I'm reminded of every time I look around our Caucus Room, or the Shadow Cabinet table…
…Australia’s economy will be stronger and our country will be so much closer to what it should be when women enjoy true equality – not just on paper but in lived experience, in respect, in pay and in positions of power.
That is how we can shape Australia’s future in the interest of all.
As Prime Minister
I’ve spoken today about the values and vision of the Labor Government I want to lead.
I also want to share with you the kind of Prime Minister I will be.
To serve as Prime Minister of Australia is a rare privilege - but it is also a great responsibility.
And that’s what I am determined to restore to our politics – a sense of responsibility, decency, and integrity.
Of course, I can’t stand here today and promise you that I’ll get everything right.
But I can promise you if I get something wrong – I’ll own up to it.
I may not always be the smoothest talker – but I can promise you I’ll always tell it straight.
I won’t run and hide from responsibility.
I won’t go missing when the going gets tough.
I think leadership is about facing up to problems and looking for solutions.
Actually, I don’t think. I know.
For Scott Morrison leadership is about hiding from accountability – and pinning the blame on someone else.
Friends - I didn’t grow up with a sense of destiny.
I was raised in a council house not far from here, by a single Mum on the disability pension. Our dreams were modest.
I learned the value of a dollar.
All Mum ever wanted for me was a better life than the one that she’d known.
I’ve never forgotten the sacrifices she made to make that happen.
I’ve never forgotten where I came from. I’m proud of it.
And I’ve never felt the need to pretend to be anything other than who I am. With me what you see is what you get.
I know good government has the power to change lives through skills and education, through secure jobs, through decent health care and affordable housing.
I know it. I’ve lived it.
And that’s what I will bring to the job of Prime Minister.
Experience. Compassion. The knowledge that people sometimes do need help to fulfil their potential, to grasp new opportunities, to climb out of disadvantage. To aspire and then achieve a better life for themselves and their families.
My ambition is for government to do better for Australia:
Government as a force for good.
And leadership that unifies.
At the next election, my team and I are asking Australians to choose a new direction for this country.
But we are seeking renewal – not revolution.
Not a rejection of everything that has gone before but building on the enduring values which have helped make this such a great country.
I will lead a government that rewards people’s hard work and repays their trust.
A government worthy of the Australian people – their generosity and their bravery.
A government that will hold ourselves to a higher standard and finally establish a powerful, transparent and independent National Anti-Corruption Commission.
A national government that reforms our broken Federation and works with State and Territory leaders from across the political spectrum.
I know Labor has the right plans and policies and people for this moment.
Our agenda is ambitious – but just as importantly, it is affordable and it is achievable.
But I also understand that everything we want to achieve for this nation, everything we hope to deliver for Australians, everything we see as central to the future success of this nation…
…depends on us winning the next election.
So, this summer, the next time someone tells you they still haven’t decided who they’re voting for…and they don’t think it will make a difference anyway…
Ask them this: do you really think this government led by Scott Morrison and Barnaby Joyce will get better in its fourth term?
Is this as good as it gets? Do you believe, as I do, that Australia can be better? That we can aim higher?
Then take a minute to explain what a new Labor Government will mean for them:
A better life for working families: stronger Medicare; cheaper child care; better aged care.
Secure jobs: better pay; fair conditions; investment in skills and education.
A future made in Australia: renewable energy; manufacturing and a proper National Broadband Network.
And a country at home with our identity: celebrating music and the arts; cherishing the ABC and SBS.
One which makes good on the Uluru Statement from the Heart.
This is my vision for our country’s future.
A country where no-one is held back – and no-one is left behind.
This is what I’m asking the people of Australia to vote for at the next election.
A Labor Government, and a better future.