Budget Sees 1.5 Million Families Better Off (08/05/2012)

I’m writing to give you a quick summary of the Australian Federal Budget which was handed down by Treasurer Wayne Swan tonight. The key thing about this budget is it supports core Labor policies. It’s about spreading the wealth to all corners of our country by delivering much-needed new financial relief to families, older Australians and businesses under pressure. I’m very pleased that $1billion has been set aside to launch the National Disability Insurance Scheme along with another $3.7 billion for crucial aged care reform. Continue reading

Launching The NDIS (30/04/2012)

Prime Minister Julia Gillard - Sydney It’s a great day to join everybody here. And everybody here is someone with a powerful story. A powerful story about what it’s like to live a life with a disability. A powerful story about the lives of their family and their friends. The lives of disability care workers and service providers. Continue reading

The Price Of Political Fear (30/04/2012)

Samuel Taylor Coleridge remarked, some two centuries ago, on the tendency for politics that begin in fear to end in either folly, or failure. And today we find ourselves in the midst of a political climate increasingly dominated by fear. Not fear of an external enemy, but a fear felt by many in our political class of an open contest of ideas. Continue reading

We Remember Our Local Diggers (26/04/2012)

Yesterday Australians came together to commemorate Anzac Day. It was a day of thanks and quiet reflection on what a wonderful, lucky nation we live in. It was a time to reflect on Australia’s commitment to continue to contribute to peace in other parts of the world. More importantly, it was a day where we all stood together to remember and honour the service and the sacrifice of ordinary Australians during wartime, especially those who enlisted in Australia’s forces during the First World War. Although there are no living WWI diggers anymore, it is important that we keep their memory alive.  Continue reading

More Choice, Easier Access And Better Care For Older Australians (20/04/2012)

The Gillard Government believes that every Australian, no matter where they live and what their financial means, deserves high quality aged care. That’s why today we introduced Australia’s biggest reform to aged care in 15 years. Under current arrangements, older people are often forced to quickly sell the family home to pay a bond – up to $2.6 million – to get a place in a residential aged care facility. Older people with different assets and income are also paying the same amount for care, and the quality of aged care varies amongst providers. Continue reading

Wayne Swan: The Rising Influence Of Vested Interests

A decade ago, as I waited for my order outside a Maroochydore fish and chip shop, a tall, barefoot young man strolled past wearing a T-shirt that read: ‘Greed is good. Trample the weak. Hurdle the dead.’ Those brutal lines seemed to encapsulate what was then a growing sense of unease in Australia. The world of my Queensland childhood, governed by its implicit assumptions of equality and mutual care, was being driven from sight by a combination of ruthless individualism and unquestioning materialism. Looking out for number one was not only tolerated but encouraged by a government whose agenda, particularly in industrial relations, seemed very far from the social contract, based on a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work with a decent social safety net for the vulnerable, that had served our nation so well for so long. Continue reading

“In your guts you know he’s nuts” (09/02/2012)

ANTHONY ALBANESE SPEECH: MOTION TO SUSPEND STANDING ORDERS This is the 37th failed suspension from the Opposition in the 43rd Parliament.  Of those, 22 have been to suspend standing orders to allow a motion critical of the Prime Minister to be moved.  Up until this week, 20 out of 20 of them had been moved by the Leader of the Opposition [Tony Abbott].  But today, just like earlier this week, this is based on such a flimsy approach that he has not had the ticker to move it himself.  He has had the Manager of Opposition Business [Christopher Pyne] stand up and do it for him – and then they have the gall to say, “Where's the Prime Minister?” Continue reading

Facing the future with confidence (21/10/2011)

Prime Minister Julia Gillard's speech to the Third Illawarra Regional Leaders' Summit, Wollongong. Continue reading

Labor will stand by the Illawarra (18/10/2011)

The Federal Labor Government is proud to stand by the Illawarra, writes Prime Minister Julia Gillard. THE ILLAWARRA is a great region that stands at a turning point in its proud history. The impact of Asia’s rise on manufacturing is being felt in regions right across the Western world, as well as here at home in places like the Illawarra, Adelaide and Geelong. At the same time, Australia is beginning one of its most important economic and environmental reforms as we position ourselves to compete in a world that will favour those nations that move to cleaner energy technologies. Continue reading

Growing pains (13/10/2011)

The mining boom is not all good news, especially for other sectors of the economy such as manfacturing, writes CFMEU's Tony Maher. THE AUSTRALIAN ECONOMY is in danger of being torn apart by the resources boom. The high prices being paid for our minerals, the unprecedented foreign investment to dig up those minerals and the rising value of the dollar are already reshaping our economy.  This is only the beginning. Continue reading