Vote for a Better Future

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Speeches

Sunday, 1st May 2022

Vote for a Better Future

Australian Labor Party Federal Election Campaign Launch 2022

Thank you, Mark, for that kind introduction, and for all you’ve done to keep WA safe and strong.

I look forward to working with you – and all our state premiers.

Like Peter Malinauskas - who is here today and is already doing a magnificent job as Premier of South Australia.  

But I want to work with all premiers, regardless of which party they are from.

I want to bring all the states together and get things done for the whole country.

My fellow Australians,

In just 20 days time, you can vote for a better future.

You can choose cheaper child care, stronger Medicare, and fixing the crisis in aged care…

…or more of the same: neglect, cuts, and a Health Minister who says Medicare is “unsustainable”.

You can choose a future where Australia makes things here again, a stronger, more diverse, more self-reliant economy…

…or a Government that dared the car industry to leave our country - and they did.

You can vote for more secure work, better pay and meaningful help with your cost-of-living…

…or a Prime Minister who says, “it’s not my job” to try to lift wages.

You can choose a government that seizes the opportunity for Australia to be a renewable energy superpower:

  • Driving new industries
  • Creating hundreds of thousands of jobs in our regions
  • And acting on climate change.

You can choose a government that recognises that national security is above politics, and invests in cyber security, energy security, and real defence capabilities.

You can choose to restore integrity to politics – to end the waste and end the rorts.

And above all – you can choose a government that honours your values and rewards your hard work.

A government that holds no-one back – and leaves no-one behind.

I stand before you today seeking to lead that government…

…and asking for your support to have the honour of serving as Prime Minister of the greatest country on earth.

In the past three years, through the devastation of bushfires and floods and the once-in-a-century shock of a global pandemic, Australians have been simply magnificent.

In the toughest of times people have stepped up – but their Government has let them down.

I know Labor can do better. I know Australians deserve better.

And if you vote for a Labor Government on the 21st of May, the work of building that better future will start the very next day.

Labor Team

My fellow Australians,

As we gather here in the great state of Western Australia, on the lands of Whadjuk people of the Noongar nation, I am proud to promise our Labor Government will work with First Nations people to implement the Uluru Statement from the Heart in full.

We will deliver a constitutionally enshrined Voice to our Parliament.

This will be an uplifting moment of healing and unity for our country, in the same spirit as the National Apology to the Stolen Generations, delivered by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.

I want to acknowledge two great Labor Prime Ministers here today.

Paul Keating and Kevin Rudd.

Two leaders who left lasting legacies. Who changed Australia for the better.

Who never said, “it’s not my job”.

I also acknowledge all the Labor Members and Senators and candidates here – and those campaigning right around the country.

It’s fair to say that being at home in iso wasn’t my ideal way to spend the last week.

But it did give me – and the people of Australia – the chance to watch my brilliant Labor team in action.  

And – I have to confess - it also gave me a moment - just a moment - of sympathy for Scott Morrison. Don’t worry, it passed quickly.

You see, I know I can count on Penny and Richard, Katy and Jim and so many others to make the arguments for Labor.

But who’s he got? Alan Tudge and Peter Dutton. The unspeakable and the unthinkable. And Barnaby Joyce, the inexplicable.

So, to all my colleagues, thank you for your support and your hard work over the last three years.

We are a team with the experience, the intellect, the compassion and most importantly the ambition to shape Australia’s future.

Because at the heart of it, that’s what this election is about: a better future.

At the heart of it, that’s what this election is about: a better future.

The Choice at this Moment

The COVID pandemic has shown us the strength of our community. But it also revealed the vulnerabilities of our economy.

The big question for Australia is - are we going to learn the lessons from this?

Are we going to emerge stronger?

Are we going to tackle rising costs and flat wages?

Are we going to embark on a new era of economic reform with productivity growth at the centre?

Are we going to strengthen our actual defence capability to meet the changing dynamic in our region?

Are we going to strengthen our skills and training and manufacturing capacity to ensure we’re not left isolated at the end of global supply chains?

Are we going to seize this moment?

Are we going to stride forward – or instead are we going to slide back?

Are we going to risk three more wasted years?

Scott Morrison says you don’t have to like him, but it’s better the devil you know.

Well here’s what Australians do know:

They know he failed on bush fires and they know he then failed on floods.

They know he didn’t order enough vaccines and then didn’t order enough rapid antigen tests.

They know it’s harder to see a doctor. It’s harder to buy a home and the cost of everything is going up but their wages aren’t.

They know aged care is in crisis.

…that’s the devil you know.

These problems didn’t happen overnight. This Government has had a decade in office.
 
And in another three years the problems we need to fix will be even bigger.

We can do better.

But this is as good as it gets with this mob.

My fellow Australians,

Through the pandemic, our country enjoyed an extraordinary advantage - we could close our borders and seal ourselves off from the world.

There’s no doubt that was the right call, which is why I supported it.

But let’s be clear – this is not an option for the challenges ahead.

Economic competition doesn’t stop at national borders.

Climate change doesn’t respect lines on a map.

Strategic threats in our region cannot be quarantined.

The foreign policy failure over the Solomon Islands is proof of that.

Australia: If we stand still, we will be left behind. 

If we don’t shape the future, the future will shape us.

Australia: If we stand still, we will be left behind. If we don’t shape the future, the future will shape us.

Because make no mistake - climate change is here now.

Our region is changing now. 

The jobs and skills and infrastructure that will grow our economy are needed now. 

There is a crisis in aged care, right now.

Families need lasting help with rising costs, right now.

Australia does not have 3 more years to waste.

That is why the choice you face is so important, so urgent - and so clear.

Because at this election, only Labor has a plan to seize this moment for Australia.

Only Labor has a plan for a better future.

Today I want to talk about five areas my team and I will focus on as we build a stronger, more productive, more resilient economy.

Energy, Manufacturing, Infrastructure 

The first of these is our Powering Australia plan which will drive investment in cheap, renewable energy.

It will create 604,000 new jobs by 2030, with five out of every six in the regions.

It will put cities like Gladstone in the engine room of a new wave of economic growth.

It will mean cheaper power for homes and businesses.

We will end the climate wars,

And our plan will help us protect our environment – our coasts, our farmland, our reef, our rivers, our forests.

Because Australia’s natural wonders, our unique species and our beautiful home must be left flourishing for future generations.

Powering Australia not just about the environment. It will deliver real benefits to Australian families too.

Today, I announce that Labor will build more electric vehicle charging stations across Australia so we can close the gaps in the network.

That means you’ll be able to drive an electric vehicle across the country.

Adelaide to Perth. Brisbane to Mt Isa.

Together with Labor’s already announced Electric Vehicle Discount, we’ll make it easier and cheaper for your next car to be electric.

Imagine a future where you don’t have to worry about petrol bills.

We can get there, but we need government to build the foundation for it.

Heavy vehicles too are moving towards cleaner energy, with hydrogen-powered freight vehicles in development.

To prepare for them, we’ll partner with the states to create hydrogen-ready highways, matching the investments state governments make.

Secondly, I’m focused on a future made right here in Australia.

We have such an abundance of natural resources in this country.

Our resource exports will continue to provide critical national income for decades to come.

But, where possible, we need to do more than ship them overseas and import them back as finished products.

Today I announce that, as part of our National Reconstruction Fund, Labor will invest $1 billion in developing value-added products from Australian resources.

We’ll take resources like lithium and nickel – essential elements of the batteries that will power the vehicles of the future – and instead of shipping them to another country to make batteries, we’ll have what we need to make them right here.

And we can sell them to the world.

Here in WA and around the country, we’ll invest in local industries that create local jobs.

We’ll bring manufacturing back home.

Yesterday I announced that a Labor Government will partner with Premier McGowan to deliver a new electric vehicle manufacturing facility, more than 130 buses for Perth, and essential upgrades and charging infrastructure.

It’s a great example of how innovation and good planning can hit the sweet spot: creating local jobs and industries and reducing our carbon emissions at the same time.

Contrary to the fiction being peddled by the Liberals and Nationals, tackling climate change and creating a strong local economy go hand in hand.

Thirdly: We will invest in infrastructure to boost productivity and create jobs. 

We’ll improve regional roads and major highways.

We’ll invest in better rail for freight and for commuters.

And Labor will ensure that more Australians have access to high-speed broadband.

A government I lead will also proudly Buy Australian.

We’ll make sure the projects we commission bring benefits to Australian companies, and we’ll help small and medium businesses compete for contracts.

Because we should be using the power of government to back our own people and our own businesses.

That’s why we will mandate that one out of every ten jobs on federally funded worksites will be filled by apprentices or trainees.

My fellow Australians,

The six years I spent as Australia’s first ever Infrastructure Minister were some of the most rewarding in my life.

Because I got to build things that are essential to a strong economy.

Because in building things you can see the power of government in action, making a real difference.

And you know that you’re building to last – that the project you commission today will serve future generations - just like Gateway WA and the Perth City Link.

Under this Government, nation-building has replaced by pork barrelling.

Nowhere is that more disgracefully obvious than the $600 million allocated to commuter carparks that haven’t even been built.

In some places there wasn’t actually a train station. Which is why I call it the Pork-and-Ride scheme.

Just as with submarines, a huge bill with absolutely nothing to show for it.

Labor will put the focus back on nation-building infrastructure using the Infrastructure Australia model I created as Minister.

Jobs, Training, Education

The fourth element of our better future plan is in jobs and training. 

A Labor Government will ensure a fair go at work extends to every Australian.

That means a fair day's wage for a fair day's work – a principle fought for by the trade union movement, which we celebrate today.
 
It means security - not working shift to shift, robbed of the chance to plan for the future.
 
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.

I believe that one of Australia’s greatest untapped resources is the full and respectful economic participation of women.

Under the Liberals, Australia has fallen to 70th in the world for women’s economic participation and opportunity.

Labor has already committed to using all the tools in our power to close the gender pay gap.

Today, I announce Labor will make gender pay equity an objective of the Fair Work Act.

We will set up Expert Panels on pay equity and the care and community sector to help improve pay and conditions for women in those sectors.

It was care workers who kept us alive through the pandemic.

Care workers are the arteries of our nation, our regions, our cities, our suburbs.

We must give them the respect and the investment they deserve.  

Women workers have had a tough two years. And I want to tell you that we see you.

We see the work you have done, both paid and unpaid. We appreciate it, and we value it.

But we need to do more than simply thank and applaud you.

We need to fix the persistent, structural barriers that prevent so many women securing decent jobs and careers, and financial security over the course of your lives.

That will be a key focus of a government that I lead.

Growing up my mum always told me that a good education was my ticket to a better life.

Education remains the most powerful weapon we have against disadvantage and the best investment we can make in the future of our country.

That’s why we’re going to fund more university places and 465,000 fee-free places at public TAFEs.

And we will create a new national authority, Jobs and Skills Australia, to ensure that the needs of the labour market can be met by Australians.

A growing economy with more skilled workers for more good jobs – that’s my vision. 

Child Care, Medicare and Aged Care

The fifth component of Labor’s plan for the future is about care. 

Child Care. Medicare and Aged Care

It’s only ever Labor Governments who do the big reforms, drive the big changes, reshape the economy in the best interests of people.

And we always do it by bringing people together – family businesses and workers, big employers and trade unions, states and the Commonwealth.

Bob Hawke and Paul Keating created Medicare and universal superannuation.

Kevin Rudd created the National Broadband Network.

Julia Gillard built the National Disability Insurance Scheme, with the critical support of Bill Shorten.

These reforms stand as markers of a decent society.

They speak to the best of Australia’s values.

But as the Party of economic reform, Labor understands that these programs are about more than simply doing the right thing by people.

They are also the drivers of a strong economy.

They boost participation and they boost productivity. They take away costs that would otherwise be left to employers and businesses.

Reliable, affordable, universal services are good for the economy because they arm people with the confidence to pursue their aspirations, to fulfil their potential.

That’s why Labor will defend universal superannuation and the right of every Australian to save for a secure retirement.

It’s why we will stop the Liberals’ unfair cuts to the NDIS.

And it is why Labor will always protect Medicare.

It’s why a Labor Government will invest in Urgent Care Clinics across the country, taking pressure off emergency departments and making it easier to see a doctor.

The Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme is another of the great Australian institutions established by Labor.

It saves lives.

And its tangible proof of our unwavering commitment to universal healthcare.

Today, I announce that Labor will make medicines cheaper for millions of Australians.

We will reduce the cost of medication on the PBS by $12.50 making it cheaper for general patients.

This means the maximum price for PBS medicines will be $30.

The price of medications has gone up under the Morrison Government - just like the cost to see a doctor has gone up.

Medicare will always be stronger under Labor.

And – if you vote Labor on 21st May – we will bring the principles of universal, affordable and quality service to Child Care and to Aged Care.

For too long, our youngest Australians and our oldest Australians – and their families – have lived with broken systems.

The costs of child care are simply unaffordable.

The neglect in aged care is just unconscionable.

We can do better than this.

I will make it the Labor Government’s mission to fix this.

Our plan for cheaper child care will make child care more affordable for 96 per cent of families.

Meaningful, ongoing help with the cost of living for families – not one-off hand-outs votes are counted.

And our plan to restore quality and humanity to aged care.

Older Australians built this country.

You deserve dignity and respect in your later years, not neglect – the one word title of this Government’s own interim Royal Commission Report.

More carers with more time to care.

A pay-rise for aged care workers.

Tastier, more nutritious meals for residents – drawing on the skills of the legendary Maggie Beer.

New accountability and reporting measures, so every dollar that we invest goes to better care, not bigger profits.

And importantly, putting nurses back into nursing homes, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

In our debate the other night, Scott Morrison mocked this plan saying “nurses won’t fall out of the sky”.

Think about that for a moment.

This is a man whose own Royal Commission which he reluctantly called – detailed page by page, line by line thousands of heartbreaking accounts of misery, loneliness, abuse, and neglect.

A workforce at breaking point. A system in crisis.

And he thinks it’s somehow clever to say he’s not even going to try to fix it.

That’s his way. Whenever Australia needs a solution, he offers only smirk and mirrors.

We can do better than this. So much better than this.

We will look after the young, we will look after the sick, we will look after our older Australians.

No one held back. No one left behind.

Help to Buy

My fellow Australians,

This is my vision for a stronger economy, with greater opportunity…

…with new investments in Australian skills and jobs and manufacturing and energy…

…with a new commitment to higher wages and more secure work…

…with new support for better education and training…

…and new plans for cheaper child care and decent aged care.

This is the economy I want to grow and build for our country.

An economy that makes it possible for more hard-working Australians to live in the security of a home that they own.

I’m so proud of the housing policies we’ve announced so far.

Our Housing Australia Future Fund will build 20,000 new social housing units and 10,000 affordable homes in the next 5 years - as well new housing for homeless veterans.

We will provide $100 million for crisis and transitional housing for women and children at risk of violence…

…because too many women are being turned away by under-resourced shelters with no room, forcing women and kids to sleep in their cars, on couches or worse, return to dangerous situations.

And today, I am proud to announce a new policy that will reward the hard work and support the aspirations of more Australians.

A plan to help more working families realise the dream of owning their own home.

A plan that invests in Australia’s greatest asset: our people.

That helps put more Australians on the path to the life they dream about.

For too long, Australians who have worked hard have been locked out of the housing market by flat wages and rising prices…

…unable to even get a foot in the door let alone their own roof over their heads.

We can do better than this.

A Labor Government will create a new Help to Buy program…

…a national shared equity scheme that will provide an equity contribution from the Commonwealth Government for 10,000 aspiring homeowners on low and middle incomes, every year.

If you have saved two per cent of your deposit, we will contribute up to 40 per cent of the purchase price of a new home or 30 per cent for an existing home.

Help to Buy will assist Australians to buy a home with a smaller deposit, a smaller mortgage and smaller mortgage repayments.

An Australian Labor Government will help you achieve the great Australian dream of home ownership.

It’s a plan to put government to work backing up and investing in everyday people.

Because that’s what good government should do.

I know what a difference a secure roof over your head can make. A place to call home.

It’s so much more than an aspiration to get on the property ladder, it’s a sense of security and confidence, it brings hope and pride and belonging.

I want to build a better future – and I want to help more Australians own a stake in it.

Help to Buy is exactly what I mean when I talk about an economy that works for people, rather than people just working for an economy.

But I know full well that housing affordability and security are not problems that can be solved by the Commonwealth Government alone.

We need to work in partnership with government at all levels.

Local councils, state governments and the Commonwealth coming together - and working with the private sector – to put all the tools at our disposal to work.

That’s why I’m announcing that Labor will establish a National Housing Supply and Affordability Council.

Fixing land supply and planning will improve housing affordability and boost economic growth.

The Council will bring together, state, territory and local governments to encourage land release and cut red tape.

We Know Scott Morrison

My fellow Australians,

This is our comprehensive and targeted plan for a stronger economy and a better society.

Because we can do better than this.

Labor has real, lasting plans for

  • Cheaper electricity
  • Cheaper child care
  • Cheaper mortgages
  • Cheaper medicines and Medicare
  • Better pay

We can do better than three more years of the Government that’s brought us skyrocketing costs of living, and falling real wages.

We have the worst inflation rate in two decades. Families are struggling, worried about the future.

Yet Scott Morrison just keeps on scrambling from one photo op to another, boasting that the Australian people “know who he is”.

Well, he’s got that right.

They don’t think, they know.

People know Scott Morrison goes missing when the going gets tough.

People know Scott Morrison’s response to the bushfire crisis was a dismissive, “I don’t hold a hose, mate”.

People know he said, “it isn’t a race” to bring vaccines to Australia.

People know he said that if you can’t afford your rent, just buy a house.

I reckon people know all about Scott Morrison.

They’ve worked him out.

Australians understand we can’t bet our future on three more years of a Prime Minister who looks at every challenge facing our country and says: ‘That’s not my job’.

For a decade now, the Liberals and Nationals have treated governing as an inconvenience and public money as a political slush fund.

If you vote Labor, we will change this.

A Labor Government will restore trust and accountability to politics, with a National Anti-Corruption Commission.

And – as your Prime Minister – I won’t run from responsibility.

I won’t treat every crisis as a chance to blame someone else.

I will show up, I will step up, I will bring people together.

I will lead with integrity and treat you with respect.

I will show up, I will step up, I will bring people together.

Conclusion

My fellow Australians,

The decision you have to make at this election is not just a choice between Labor and Liberal.

It is a choice between shaping the future – or being shaped by it.

I know we have been through tough times.

I know the sacrifices so many of you have made.

You have earned a better future.

On 21st of May, I am asking you to vote for it.

Vote for universal health care through Medicare.

Vote for cheaper child care and cheaper energy bills.

Vote for secure jobs and higher wages.

Vote for strengthening our universities and TAFEs.

Vote for action on climate change.

Vote for dignity and respect for older Australians.

Vote for an Australia that makes things here and stands on our own two feet.

Vote to keep our nation secure.

Vote for an Australia confident and respected in the world.

Vote for an Australia that recognises the privilege of sharing our vast continent with the oldest continuous culture on earth.

Vote for a country that celebrates our success as a multicultural nation.

Vote for an Australia that believes the doors of opportunity should be open to every Australian, no matter where you live, who you pray to or who you love.

Vote for hope and optimism over fear and division.

Vote Labor, so together, we can build a better future…

…. A better future for all Australians.

Thank you.

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Electorate Office

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Marrickville NSW 2204

Phone: 02 9564 3588

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Electorate Office

334a Marrickville Rd
Marrickville NSW 2204

Phone: 02 9564 3588

Parliament House Office

Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600

Phone: 02 6277 7700

Phone: (02) 9564 3588
Fax: (02) 9564 1734
Email: A.Albanese.MP@aph.gov.au

We acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which our offices stand and we pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging. We acknowledge the sorrow of the Stolen Generations and the impacts of colonisation on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. We also recognise the resilience, strength and pride of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Authorised by Anthony Albanese. 334a Marrickville Rd, Marrickville NSW 2204.