labor is ready for the 2016 election

Illawarra MPs Sharon Bird and Stephen Jones and Labor’s candidate for Gilmore Fiona Phillips have today said that they stand ready to fight an election campaign on Medicare, education, jobs and fairness.

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This afternoon Malcolm Turnbull visited the Governor-General to launch the federal election. Both houses of Parliament have been dissolved for a double dissolution election, meaning all 150 House of Representatives seats and 76 Senate places are up for grabs.

Sharon Bird said that only one party was prepared for a protracted election campaign that will run until election day on July 2.

“Labor stands ready to fight a long campaign against Malcolm Turnbull and his unfair policies that will entrench disadvantage and leave low and middle income Australians worse off.

“The fact that the Liberals still haven’t selected candidates for Cunningham or Whitlam shows just what they think about the region. They aren’t prepared, they don’t have any ideas.

“But Labor has a plan – we will secure the future of Australian steel, oppose cuts to health and education and make sure we have a tax mix that doesn’t just help out the rich end of town.”

Stephen Jones said that health would be front and centre throughout the entire campaign.

“This will be an election fought on Medicare. The Liberals want to slug patients with a $14 GP Tax every time they see their Doctor and axe bulk billing incentives for blood tests and x rays.

“They have hacked away at child dental benefits for low income families and have plans to privatise Medicare.

“Over the next 55 days I’ll be talking to Doctors, nurses, specialists and patients in the Illawarra and Southern Highlands about how cuts to health have affected them. I’ll be fighting for everyone’s access to a world-class health system that is there for all of us in our time of need.”

Fiona Phillips said that the lengthy campaign provided Gilmore MP Ann Sudmalis with an opportunity to finally stand up for her constituents.

“Ann Sudmalis knows that the Coalition’s cuts to education and health and plans to hit students with $100,000 degrees will be disastrous for the people of Gilmore.

“But she has remained silent. On Friday Ann Sudmalis said that she will work hard to keep her seat, but what she must realise is that this isn’t about her or her own political career.

“It is about having a local MP that actually listens to the concerns of people in the community and opposes policies that will hurt vulnerable people the most.”

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