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[Platforms]: Australian Labor Party national platform and constitution 2004

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ALP-A c.2


National Platform

and Constitution


Authorised by Tim Gartrell

ALP National Secretary 19 National Circuit Barton ACT 2600

MARCH 2004

National Platform and Constitution 2004

Australian Labor Party


The National Platform and Constitution was formally adopted by the 43rd ALP . National Conference, held in Sydney from 29 to 31 January 2004.

The Platform is the result of a rigorous and constructive

process of consultation, spanning the nation and including the

cooperation and input of state and territory policy committees,

local branches, unions, state and territory governments, and

individual Party members.

Thank you to the National Policy Committee for their hard work

and to all who took the time to participate in the drafting of

this document by submitting ideas or attending meetings held 3

throughout the country.

The Platform provides the policy foundation from which we

can continue to work towards the election of a federal Labor


Tim Gartrell

National Secretary


nal Platform and Constitution 2004

Australian Labor Party



3 Tim Gartrell, National Secretary

Chapter One '

7 Enduring Labor Values

Chapter Two


A Strong Economy for a Fair Society

Chapter Three


Income, Job and Social Security

Chapter Four


Security and Opportunity for Older Australians

Chapter Five


Personal and Family Well Being

Chapter Six

91 Community Security and Access to Justice

Chapter Seven Human Rights and Equal Opportunity for All



Chapter Eight A Sustainable Environment


Chapter Nine Lifelong Education and Training


Chapter Ten Nation Building


Chapter Eleven Engaging with the Global Economy


Chapter Twelve Developing Australian Industry


Chapter Thirteen Stronger Urban and Regional Communities


Chapter Fourteen


Our Arts, Culture and Heritage

Chapter Fifteen Australia's Place in the World


Chapter Sixteen Delivering Quality Government


Chapter Seventeen Financing Government 277

National Constitution of the ALP


Conference Resolution

relating to the Platform

"That the Conference reconfirm the longstanding resolution relating to the

Platform as follows:

• Conference recognises that the Platform

and Resolutions of the Party represents

short and long term aspirations of the ALP;

• The program for each of the three years of

a Labor Government will continue to be

drawn from the Platform; and

• Therefore the Conference requests that the

FPLP will in preparing the program for the

next three years:

(a) Continue to give priority to economic growth, a fair distribution of the

benefits of economic growth and

improvements in the welfare and standard of living of the Australian

people; and

(b) Implement other platforms and policies according to a time scale to be determined having regard to the

above overall priorities of the Party."




Chapter One

Enduring Labor Values


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Chapter One

Enduring Labor Values

1. Our world is being remade, and Australia is being remade along with it, through

explosive advances in ideas, technology

and science at a pace we have never

before experienced, and in ways we

cannot avoid. Labor's approach to our

changing world will continue to be an

active and creative one. While a Labor

Government will seek to embrace the

beneficial changes of the knowledge revolution, it is central to Labor values that we ensure all of us have equal

access to its opportunities and benefits.

2. In this era of globalisation, Labor's traditional values will remain a constant

on which all Australians can rely. Labor

believes the truest measure of a good

society is the care it provides for those

most in need and the opportunity it

provides for every person to realise his or

her full potential. Labor's commitment to a strong economy is therefore matched by

its commitment to justice, fairness and

equity for all.

3. To ensure justice, and an equal share of opportunity for all, Labor believes in a

strong role for national government—the

one institution all Australians truly own and control through our right to vote.

Narrowing the scope of government only

diminishes our stake in the nation's future. Labor will use our great national

institutions in the task of nation building.

We will not allow the benefits of change to be concentrated in fewer and fewer

hands, or located only in privileged

communities. The benefits must be

shared by all Australians and all our


4. Central to ensuring fairness in an era of change will be to assist families to better

balance the pressures of work, family and

social obligations. Labor believes that the

family is the fundamental group unit of

society, and that its economic security is

of paramount importance. Labor will work

with all involved to help achieve suitable

work arrangements, and access to social

programs to help achieve this balance.

5. Labor was born out of the trade union

movement and its struggle for a secure,

decent and dignified life for working

people. This relationship must be more than merely historic; it must be a constructive partnership that takes the

whole nation forward. The partnership between the two great wings of the labour

movement has been essential to deal with

the consequences of the industrial

revolution, and must continue into the

knowledge revolution of the twenty-first

century. We pledge to ensure opportunity, security and progress for working people

and their families.

6. Fairness. Labor believes that all people are created equal in their entitlement to

dignity and respect, and should have an

equal chance to achieve their potential.

For Labor, government has a critical role

in ensuring fairness by:

—ensuring equal opportunity;

—removing unjustifiable discrimination;


—achieving a more equitable distribution of wealth, income and status.

7. Compassion and Equality. Labor is

committed to protecting and supporting

those who are disadvantaged, oppressed

or simply struggling to cope.

—The Labor tradition has always been to

reach out, embrace, protect and

support those in need.


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—The consequences of a society

characterised by high levels of

inequality include poverty, crime, drug

abuse, greed, envy and insecurity.

Accordingly, Labor believes that all

Australians have an interest in the

creation of a more compassionate and

egalitarian nation.

8. Human Rights. Labor is committed to a

just and tolerant society which fully

protects the rights and freedoms of all

Australians. Labor supports the rights set

out in the Universal Declaration of Human

Rights and other international treaties to

which Australia is a party. This includes the fundamental political and civil rights of

everyone to freedom of conscience,

expression and association, and to due

process of law. It also includes 'economic

rights' such as, for example, access to

tertiary education on the basis of merit,

access to adequate health care and the

right to rest and leisure including

reasonable limitations on working hours

and periodic holidays with pay. Labor

supports the introduction into Australian domestic law of the rights recognised and

protected in the international treaties,

conventions and protocols to which

Australia is a party. In introducing these

rights, Labor will ensure that existing

rights are also protected.

9. Labour Rights. Labor is committed to

protecting and advancing the fundamental

rights of working people to join trade unions, and to organise, collectively

bargain and strike.

10. Responsibility. Labor believes that

rights must be accompanied by

responsibilities to behave honestly,

humanely and fairly. Those responsibilities must be exercised:

—by individuals, toward each other and

the community which supports them;

—by social and economic groups and organisations, toward each other and

the wider community; and

—by governments, toward their own people, other governments and the

wider international community.

11. Democracy. Labor is committed to the

essential democratic principle that every person should have the right to a say, directly or indirectly, in every decision that affects his or her life. That right includes:

—democratic participation in the choice of


—the opportunity for a meaningful voice in decision making in the workplace;


—the opportunity for a voice in planning, the environment, the delivery of public

services and similar matters.

12. Community. Labor believes that the best chance for the future, for Australia

and all Australians, lies in our working

together for the common good.

—Within Australia, Labor is committed to a society in which every person is able to actively and productively participate in the life of the community, and the whole community responds sensitively

to individual needs.

—Labor is committed to a community that embraces cultural diversity and reconciliation, based on mutual respect and acceptance. Genuine reconciliation

with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is crucial to our capacity to face the world as a united,

peaceful and just nation.

—Within the international community, Labor strongly believes that every country's national interests, including our own, are best protected and

advanced by cooperation rather than

confrontation and conflict.

—Labor is committed to the strong role played by community organisations in



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both serving the community generally and in building a sense of community.

—The work of these organisations is an

essential part of combating alienation

for vulnerable Australians.


13. Providing Security. Safety and security are central concerns for our

national government and for the

international community. Labor led older

generations of Australians in successfully

defending Australia as a secure,

courageous and democratic nation.

Terrorism's growing presence in our

region poses new and complex security

challenges. Labor refuses to manipulate fear or racism for political gain in

response to terrorism. Instead Labor will

increase engagement in our region and

cooperation with our neighbours—

measures that are fundamental to the

new security challenges. Labor will

ensure that our defence forces, police and emergency services are equipped to

meet the new challenges. As always,

preserving national security, and the

security of individuals, is a major

Labor priority.

Providing security for Australia and all

Australians includes:

—security of the nation against internal and external threats, including the threat posed by terrorism;

—security at the international level through a strong commitment to international forums, including the United Nations and its agencies, and the International Court, that foster

peace, cooperation and justice;

—job security during our working years;

—income security during both working and retirement years;

—personal security in the event of serious illness, injury or other crisis, or in the case of disability; and

—security and safety in the community living environment.

14. Creating Opportunity. Another Labor

priority is to provide opportunity for all


—to fully realise their individual potential throughout their lifetime;

—to advance their living standards and quality of life;

—to gain access to employment, education, housing, health and welfare services, information technology, culture and recreation, and the legal system; and

—to participate cooperatively in the life of the nation and the communities within it.

15. Environmental Sustainability.

Labor believes that protection of the environment is a key value. Labor

understands that the dynamic complexity

of living organic systems is vital to our social and economic existence and sense

of well being. Protecting the environment will involve developing models for sustainable urban living, along with

protecting wilderness areas. Labor is

committed to bringing regulatory,

economic and educational tools to bear on this important question. Labor will

prioritise sustainable water and land management, recognising the importance

of land and water conservation in enhancing biodiversity, human health, and

economic prosperity.

16. Managing Change to Ensure Security and Opportunity. Labor

has always sought to anticipate and understand the forces of change at

work in the national and international communities—not to resist that

change, but to gain the maximum



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benefit from it while moderating and

smoothing its impact.

—Successful governments are those which understand and communicate the

reality of that change, and manage it in a way that both creates opportunity and

provides security.

17. Labor recognises that the twenty-first century will inevitably be a period of increased globalisation—with dramatically

expanding international competition and

technological development, and ever-growing interdependence.

—Labor believes that this offers Australia unprecedented opportunities to become

a world leader in balancing a dynamic

economy with a fair society.

18. Labor has led the way in recognising the

necessary inter-relationship between economy, society and environment. It is

our fundamental belief that:

—economic progress is not an end in itself but a means to achieve social

goals; and

—economic and social changes can only endure if they are environmentally



APPROACH 19. What makes Labor governments distinctive is our belief in the critical role

of government:

—We believe that strong and active government leadership, with an effective and efficient public sector operating in partnership with a thriving

private sector, best manages change to provide security and opportunity for all


—We believe that government is not an impediment, but rather a crucial force in building and realising the full potential of individuals, the economy and our

whole society.

20. Labor believes that government is critical to the achievement of social justice, in


—sufficient basic income and assets to provide a decent quality of life for all


—universal social rights (including fulfilling employment, quality education

and affordable health care and


—equal rights for those in groups subject

to discrimination; and

—special support for those with particular

needs (including Indigenous Australians, women, people from non-English speaking backgrounds, the long-term unemployed, homeless,

disabled, frail, aged and mentally ill).

21. Labor sees government as a guardian of the common good, not only in achieving social justice but in securing many public

goods which are simply unlikely to be delivered as effectively, if at all, by the

private sector and a free market.

—We see our society as not just a market

but a community with mutual responsibilities. Not all values have

dollar equivalents.

22. Labor has a distinctive vision of how Australia should present itself in the wider

international community. We should be,

and be seen to be:

—a modern, innovative, socially and

economically advanced, united,

multicultural society;

—willing to take a confident and independent position in advancing our

national interests, and doing so

energetically and creatively;

—willing to pursue wider good international citizenship objectives; and

—willing to pursue those interests and objectives by working in cooperation

with others.



Chapter Two

A Strong Economy


for a Fair Society


Labor Par ty

National Platform and Constitution 2004

Chapter Two

encouraging business innovation should, therefore, be considered not just as a

A Strong Economy cost to government but as an investment

for a Fair Society in the nation's future.

C) 2. Australia will not achieve these

Basic Principles fundamental objectives in a sustainable

1. The fundamental objective of economic way without economic policies that control CD policy under a Labor Government is to inflation, balance the budget over the improve the living standards of course of the economic cycle and keep


Australians by maximising employment, interest rates low. Nevertheless, these are o lifting incomes, and enabling the not ends in themselves, but means to the

community to prosper within a secure and achievement of the fundamental '1 0 cohesive society. To these ends, Labor objectives of higher living standards, ^' U3 will develop a nation building agenda to increased equity, and social justice. Good o 0 promote economic growth which lifts the economic policy puts people first,

nO living standards of Australians and builds matching competence and efficiency with ^. o3 a compassionate and caring society. compassion and care.Labor believes in an open and 3. Labor is committed to achieving full competitive Australian economy driven by employment, meaning that anyone who high levels of public investment in wants a job can find one within a14 education, training and research, and reasonable time. Employment security supported by policies which promote, is the key to personal and social well encourage, and support our nation's being, to stable relationships and family industries. Private sector competition is life. Increasingly, this is more than an important contributor to productivity security within a particular job. In the and consumer gains. Likewise, skills and information age, employment security innovation are crucial to national means possessing the skills and having economic growth and living standards. the opportunities to maintain employment We believe in a strong economy for a fair throughout one's working life. It requires society with all Australians having access the national infrastructure and social to a decent standard of living, including support to nurture and develop a personal those unable to provide for themselves, commitment to lifelong learning acrossLabor is committed to the development of society.Australia as a high-wage, high-skill 4. Everyone capable of employment shouldsociety. This is essential for stronger be able to secure a job and education or economic performance and job creation. training. Unemployment is not anIt is the pathway to growth with equity and acceptable option. Labor will alwaysopportunity. Labor rejects policies that pursue full employment as our highestwould condemn Australia to being a priority. This is why we support adivided, low-wage, low-skill society. dynamic, mixed economy, which drivesEducation is as important in the economic growth by encouraginginformation age as coal was in the competition to deliver benefits toindustrial revolution. Fostering a culture of Australian families and which invests ininnovation and lifelong learning is critical our people and their ideas to driveto economic success in the information improved productive performance acrossage. Wise expenditure on education and the


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National Platform and Constitution 2004 Australian Labor Par ty

5. The benefits that flow from economic

growth and wealth creation should be

available to everyone in the community.

Sharing the benefits of growth fairly will increase the community's acceptance of

the need for economic reform. Labor is

committed to providing:

—the opportunity for all Australians to

have a reasonable standard of living sufficient to enable them and their

families to live with dignity;

—a society where no one need live in


—an equitable distribution of the benefits of national economic success, including

a fairer distribution of assets, income and work opportunities;

—opportunities for everyone to be

educated, trained and job ready

throughout their working lives through

the availability of lifelong learning

opportunities that are broad based and

nationally accredited;

—equity in the housing sector,

overcoming Australia's housing

affordability crisis in both the ownership

and rental markets;

—protection of the living standards of

those unable to work; and

—specific programs to promote economic

growth in regional and rural Australia:

6. Economic growth should be sustainable not only economically but socially and

environmentally. Growth and development in all major industry sectors (including the

knowledge-driven manufacturing sector)

and enhancement of the natural and built

environment must be seen as compatible,

not conflicting, objectives.

Strategies for Growth

7. Labor is committed to managing the

economy in the interests of all Australians.

This is why Labor supports a dynamic

economy that balances private sector

competition, strategic government

interventions to address market failure,

and the demands of corporate social

responsibility. Labor believes in

competition and improved productive

performance which promotes greater

market entry, increased real wages and

delivers gains to Australian consumers.

The Liberal and National Parties, by

contrast, believe in business deals and

preferment and have ignored the adverse

socio-economic impacts on some

Australians of their policies. The rigour of

private sector competition, the supportive role of government, and the demands of

corporate social responsibility are the keys

to economic growth, improved productive

performances and competitiveness.

Companies will not upgrade their

technology and expand their markets

without the pressure of competition and

investment in infrastructure, research and

development, and education and training.

Governments and the private sector have

important roles to play in making these

critical investments.

In order to ensure competition, Labor will:

—upgrade the powers and effectiveness

of the Trade Practices Act, with benefits

for small business and consumers;

—guarantee the independence of the

ACCC from big business appointments

and undue influence;

—clearly delineate the power and

authority of the Australian Competition

and Consumer Commission (ACCC)

from that of the Australian Industrial

Relations Commission;

—continually monitor the effectiveness of

the ACCC in assisting to promote

competition; and

—retain the provisions of the Trade

Practices Act which grant immunity

from prosecution for anti-competitive

behaviour that is in the public interest.



Labor Par ty

National Platform and Constitution 2004

8. Previous Labor governments opened up 10. Responsible budgetary policy must have

the Australian economy, with large

regard for economic and social

increases in productive performance and objectives, including its impact on growth

competitiveness. Australia now needs a and employment. It must also consider:

n second generation of productivity and —the need to maintain low inflation and a

growth which is targeted at improved manageable current account position;

living standards and social justice. We —the level of public debt, including CD believe this can be achieved by: ensuring that future generations do not

—increasing research and development, have to pay for present recurrent

0 both in the public and private sectors, expenditure;

D building a culture of continuous —balancing the federal budget over the

d N -n o

improvement and innovation; course of the economic cycle;

0). = —developing a serious agenda for —broadening economic ownership,

o 0 lifelong learning, with an increased

incomes and wealth across the

0 0 national commitment to education community;

3 and training; —the need to smooth the economic cycle,

—an ongoing program of microeconomic-avoiding the rollercoaster of housing

reform and infrastructure investment,

boom and bust;

with the benefits of growth in quality —the delivery of public goods which


employment, economic efficiency and the private sector is unable or unwilling

lower market costs; to provide;

—pursuing internal and external demand —the capacity for public investment in the

policies that are strongly growth

nation's infrastructure to support

Labor's nation building agenda and the

oriented; and

best and most transparent methods of

—reforming the Productivity Commission financing such investment; and to ensure government has access to —the provision of a decent level of independent, rigorous economic advice

support for those with special needs.

from a range of sources.

11. Interest rate (monetary) policy is also

Macroeconomic Policy crucial in ensuring strong and sustainable

9. Australia now has the highest-taxing growth—indirectly influencing consumption

government in its history. The task for and investment while, in the longer term, ensuring that economic growth is

Labor is to eliminate waste and

prolonged by a stable, low-inflation

mismanagement in the federal budget environment. Labor is strongly committed

and reallocate these funds for two

to macroeconomic policies that place

important purposes: improving public downward pressure on interest rates. services and easing the taxation burden

on working Australians. To develop a 12. While respecting and facilitating the

sustainable nation building agenda, Labor independence of the Reserve Bank of

will be fiscally responsible and run a tight Australia (RBA), Labor also expects that budget. To be the Party of better services the RBA will fulfil all its charter objectives.

for the Australian people we must also be That is, maintaining low inflation plus

the Party of fiscal rigour. Better services, maximising employment growth and

fully paid for: this is the Labor way. general economic welfare.


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National Platform and Constitution 2004 Australian Labor Pa rt y

International Competitiveness

13. Growth and job security in Australia depend increasingly on being able to sell to the world, and in pa rticular to the dynamic growth areas in Asia—not only in our traditional commodity areas of comparative advantage, but also in value-

added manufactures and services. Labor will continue to give a high priority to trade and foreign policy strategies designed to achieve be tter access to

these markets, p rincipally through a rules-based multilateral trading regime.

Labor will continue to pursue sensible trade liberalisation through effective

multilateral strategies and negotiations.

The direction Labor pursued in the 1980s and 1990s of internationalising the economy and reducing protection cannot and should not be reversed. These reforms have provided significant national benefits, however, Labor recognises that some Australians and some regions suffered dislocation as a result of economic reform. Labor is committed to addressing these social costs.

14. Labor will vigorously pursue our trade and

financial agenda in international fora. With increased capital flows, the global economy requires greater transparency in financial transactions, effective prudential controls and sound corporate governance.

In government we will actively promote

and participate in further reform of the international financial system.

15. Labor will also pursue structural policies to ensure that Australia can meet the competitive challenge of an increasingly globalised economy. That means, among other things, support for:

—e qual access to a world-class education and training system, incorporating lifelong learning;

—world's best practice in business, entrepreneurship and indust ry development;

—rigorous private sector competition, supported by a strong and effective Trade Practices Act;

—policies designed to overcome regional disadvantage in attracting new jobs and investment;

—appropriate levels of investment in infrastructure by both the public and private sectors;

—reducing business costs and promoting employment opportunities and high-skill high-wage career paths;

—a business tax regime that is equitable and fosters increased investment, job growth and innovation, including greater investment in venture capital, access to patient capital, and research and development;

—promoting productive links between public learning institutions, the community and the private sector, while ensuring the independence of public learning institutions by way of adequate

public funding;

—business regulation only to the extent necessary to protect the public interest

and the interests of employees, shareholders and investors;

—policies that promote environmental enhancement as well as job creation; and

—competition policy that is overseen by a

revitalised Council of Australian Governments (CoAG); serves the public interest through a strengthened and transparent public interest test; and has specific regard for the implications for employment, regional development and the provision of community services.

Corporate Governance

16. Efficient and accessible capital markets are critical to investment and growth in the economy. Labor believes that good corporate governance is fundamental to



Labor Par ty

National Platform and Constitution 2004

capital market efficiency and critical to —the Corporations Act is amended to

ensuring that the rights of shareholders enhance the disclosure and regulation

and workers' entitlements are protected.

of options, termination payments and

Labor is committed to a real and effective equity value protection schemes;

n stakeholder economy, with a broad base —shareholders are empowered to act

7 of economic ownership. It is now a through a non-binding vote on the


responsibility of government to ensure executive remuneration report for

that the rights of shareholders are directors and senior management;

adequately protected. —shareholders are informed about the

o Labor will continue to review the

directors relationships (if any) with the

5.> Corporations Act and related legislation to company and its directors when



ensure that companies follow good

for standing election;

corporate governance practices that —non-recourse loans to directors and

N m empower shareholders and hold company senior management are prohibited;

0 0 officers accountable. Labor recognises —current penalties for serious breaches

CD 0 that disclosure, transparency and of the Corporations Act are doubled;

accountability are at the core of good —companies use their general meetings corporate governance and will ensure: to appropriately communicate with

—that consideration is given to the shareholders;

process of the election of directors of —shareholders and institutional investors 18 listed public companies and the exercise their voting rights appropriately

possible role to be played by the and regularly;

Australian Electoral Commission in

—a charter of corporate rights and

that process;

responsibilities will be developed;

—a limit is placed on the tax deductability —Australian Securities Investment

of excessive golden handshakes for

Commission (ASIC) has sufficient

senior executives;

funding to improve securities

—that there is consideration of the role surveillance procedures and pursue of the remuneration consultancy small to medium companies who fail to

industry in the setting of executive protect employee entitlements;

remuneration; —the regulation of audit and auditors is

—companies fully disclose all information strengthened; relevant to investors, shareholders and —the conflict of interest provisions for the market in a timely and equitable auditors are strengthened;


—the introduction of a national consistent

--companies appoint independent regulatory regime to crack down on

directors to the board of directors; fraudulent property investment

—directors are accountable to schemes; and

shareholders for the level of —the implementation of the HIH Royal

remuneration received by directors and Commission recommendations in senior management; relation to Australian Prudential

—companies fully disclose the Regulation Authority (APRA) is

remuneration of directors and senior monitored to avoid further HIH and

management; OneTel fiascos.

National Platform and Constitution 2004

Australian Labor Pa rty

Corporate Social Responsibility household savings and massively

17. Labor also believes in the need for increased household debt, thereby corporate social responsibility. In recent increasing Australia's vulnerability to times companies have received many economic shocks. Since 1996 Australia's more rights, most notably the rights of foreign debt level has doubled, with a loss n trade liberalisation and international of national sovereignty and economic

investment. With these rights must come security. Labor will implement policies to the responsibilities of good corporate boost national saving through: citizenship. Labor will introduce policies —the growth of the superannuation that encourage: system, sensibly balancing both 0

executive salary restraint and compulsion and incentive; '(1)

responsibility; —new programs and incentives to o

—decent corporate standards for encourage families to save for their _. ^p workplace relations, environmental hild ren s ' ffuture; t c u cn


0 0

protection and social philanthropy; —encouraging broader share ownership 5. Z —active participation by companies in across the community, especially by 3 disadvantaged communities, helping to employees while ensuring that overcome the problems of poverty; and employees are not unnecessarily

exposed to narrow and unsustainable

—economically sound and socially investment portfolios; and responsible partnerships between the 19 public and private sector. —responsible budgetary policy.

20. Labor will also address the current

MANAGING THE CONSTRAINTS account deficit with trade and industry ON GROWTH policies designed to increase exports,

including through government agencies

The Current Account and like Austrade, government export support

National Savings

programs and effective diplomacy winning

18. Australia has long had a current account recognition for Australia's distinctive place deficit, reflecting our reliance on foreign in the region and the world. capital to fund our investment needs. A nation building agenda and greater Inflation and National national saving, both private and public, Competitiveness are necessary to ensure that strong 21. Low inflation and a competitive exchange growth can be sustained for long periods rate help suppo rt economic growth by: without spilling over into an

unmanageable current account position. —providing a more stable environment for

Increased national saving and increased business planning, thus promoting

manufacturing capacity can also increase investment;

levels of Australian ownership and —maintaining and improving the price economic sovereignty, competitiveness of Australia's exports;

19. Labor recognises the importance of increasing national savings through non-inflationary economic growth. Labor rejects the Howard Government's short-sighted policies which have reduced

-encouraging private saving, by ensuring that the value of savings is not eaten away by higher prices; and

—maintaining the real purchasing power of incomes.



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22. Previous Labor governments secured a low-inflation Australian economy. Labor will ensure that this record continues through the following strategies:

—maintaining the independence and transparency of the RBA and its full employment and inflation-targeting policy; —promoting private sector competition as

a way of driving down prices and delivering gains for Australian consumers;

Unemployment, under-employment and widening inequality are the most serious economic and social problems facing Australia. Labor's assault on these problems will involve an integrated strategy drawing

on policies from many different sections of this

Platform. Our strategy can be summarised as follows:

Al Growing the Australian•;economy as fast as we, can; Labor Will use responsible budgetary, monetary and competition policies to achieve the maximum.

possible sustainable growth rate while maintaining low inflation. This can only be achieved by pursuing further improvements in our competitive and productive performance, the easing of skill shortages

through education, training and appropriate immigration programs, and effective management of the current account constraint on growth through export facilitation and sophisticated industry

development programs.

A2 Supporting regional Australia Australia will not maximise its growth potential without strong regional growth.. When regional Australia prospers, more jobs are created and social

cohesion is strengthened. Labor is committed to the empowerment of Australia's regions, enabling them. to better -identify their opportunities and realise them more fully. Labor will seek to remove impediments to

investment in regional Australia.

Large regional disparities exist in employment opportunities in Australia. Through education, training and infrastructure investment policies, Labor

—ensuring that education and labour market programs overcome skill shortages in the economy, thereby reducing inflationary pressures as well

as maximising growth and employment; and —ensuring that inflation targeting policy is

integrated with other policy objectives and is not pursued in isolation from full employment and general welfare goals.

will work for a fairer distribution of employment opportunities across Australia.

A3 Education and skills formation, A good education, and lifelong learning are essential to a person's employability Job security in the information • age:. As the global economy becomes

ever more sophisticated; the jobs of the future will increasingly be high -skill ,high -paying jobs. If .. , Australia Is to secure .a good share of these jobs , governments must invest heavily in education arid

skills formation. Labor will ensure through properly funded education, training and labour: market policies , .I that we have the skills base to meet new demands where and when they arise

A4 Trade and industry..: An efficient, innovative Australian industry' sector can benefit from appropriately targeted industry where market failure occurs. In order; to ensure

optimum economic and employment performance. weaknesses` in the Australian, economy should be addressed by government—especially in the vital areas of industry development, research, venture

capital, infrastructure provision and.educatlon and training.. Labor will pursue proactive indust ry policies which seek to prevent market failure and maximise employment •opportunities. '. ?S

Domestic demand is not enough to create the jobs we need. We also need to implement new export,; import replacement and procurement policies designed to increase Australia's competitiveness

and improve access to world markets, technology

National Platform and Constitution 2004

Australian Labor Party

Even with increased economic: activity many , people, up if there is li ttle or no financial incentive to do so.. °. • particularly older Australians and the low skilled, face Labor will encourage the transition from welfare to • the prospect of. long-term unemployment. work by allowing job seekers to keep more of their Accordingly, Laborwilliwork at federal, State and earnings from work. We will reward work and e ffort

local government levels on regional s trategies to in ou r. society by addressing high marginal tax rates' provide additional public!y funded jobs involving at the intersection between the social securi ty and meaningful and rewarding community based work. tax systems.

C -)

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Chapter Three

Income, Job and


Social Security

Australian Labor Pa

rty National Pl a tform and Constitution 2004

Chapter Three —Labor also recognises that Australia

Income, Job and

has a chronic under-employment problem, which includes a growing

Social Security number of part time and casual workers

n who are forced to survive on low wages

7 Job Security for Australians and minimal hours of work. v r Since the foundation of the Labor Party the —The rapidly growing number of workers

CD I attainment of full employment and the employed on casual, temporary,

improvement of working conditions have been irregular and unpredictable hours is

C D at the core of Labor's philosophy. It is only placing immense financial and

CD through sound economic policies, a highly emotional pressure on Australian


M skilled and an educated workforce that has families. This compels many workers to ;y' 0 access to lifelong learning, coupled with a seek multiple jobs. It also leads to high

commitment from government to embrace employee turnover and a high financial CD c p innovation across the entire economy, that cost to business and the community,

employment for all, with decent working reduced investment in training and

Q conditions, will be achieved, associated loss of skills in the

economy. Labor believes that a strong

1. The most important source of economic and growing economy should produce security and opportunity for working-age quality and secure work and a decent Australians and their families is living standard for all Australians.

24 employment. Labor remains committed to —Labor also notes the growing incidence the achievement of full employment. of some workers being required to work —An unemployment rate sustainably excessively long hours on a regular below five per cent is an important goal basis, without being necessarily paid

for Labor. for those hours that are worked beyond

—Furthermore, a low unemployment rate the standard working week.

should not be achieved by pushing —Labor will ensure that workers facing people out of the labour market. retrenchment receive all possible

Removing barriers to and providing assistance and retraining in finding new

support for participation is essential, employment as well as ensuring that

especially for the groups with low they receive their full legal entitlements.

participation: women, older workers, 2. Labor acknowledges the strong link and people in regional areas. Labor will between an individual's level of education pursue a strong participation rate by and his or her employment prospects. ensuring that there are opportunities Employability is critical to the economic and the right mix of support and security of individuals and families. Labor

incentives for all Australians who are is committed to improving the skills of able to work. those Australians who are unemployed or

—Labor notes with grave concern the at risk of becoming unemployed, because

growth in jobless households, the skills are the key to employability. Skills

increasing number of children growing are critical to both equity and efficiency.

up in families where no one is —Skills regularly updated throughout life

employed and the growth of are important in giving all working-age

unemployment across more than one Australians access to economic and

generation of family members. social opportunity.





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National Platform and Constitution 2004 I

Australian Labor Party

—Investment in skills also helps to

develop the nation's capacity for growth,

and the direction of that growth, and prolong the economic cycle by acting as

an anti-inflation device by better matching supply and demand for skills.

3. There is a clear case for a strong government role in addressing the

education, training and skills needs of

all Australians.

4. The modern labour market is leaving too many people and communities behind.

Rather than reacting to economic change,

Labor's approach to planning for, and investing in, Australia's workforce needs

is based on early intervention to better

prepare our people and places for


5. Labor will seek to improve information

flows in the labour market, so that

individuals, families, communities and governments can plan and prepare for the


6. Labor believes the task of reducing unemployment needs an integrated approach across government, and a new

partnership between the three tiers of government and the private sector as well

as key stakeholders including unions and

the community.

—This partnership will ensure that assistance is provided where it is needed most. It will allow governments

to better identify communities and

individuals most at risk.

—An important part of this partnership is

ensuring that businesses have full

access to, and knowledge of government services and infrastructure.

These services include group training

programs and the pooled use of public


—Labor believes the closer integration of

education and training, employment

services and income support is the

basis for employment and skills

development, which is the best

insurance policy the nation has against

unemployment in the long-term.

—Labor acknowledges the particularly

crucial and effective role played by

group training companies in providing

rotated structured training and other

opportunities for apprentices who work

in smaller companies that have a limited

capacity to train in their own right.

7. Labor's strategy to increase employment

and improve employability includes:

—growing the Australian economy at

the maximum possible sustainable rate

through appropriate macroeconomic


—ensuring that the benefits of economic

growth are shared and translate into

high-wage and high-skill jobs and a

lower unemployment rate;

—improving demand for Australian goods

and services both at home and abroad

through effective economic, trade and

foreign policies;

—ensuring that increased demand

translates into business and job opportunities right across Australia

through carefully crafted industry and

regional development policies;

—ensuring that all Australians, but

particularly those at risk, have the

necessary skills to both create opportunities and take up jobs as they

arise, through a range of education and

training mechanisms;

—making sure that the unemployed and

those at risk of becoming unemployed

have access to specific labour market

assistance that can overcome any

barriers to effective workforce



Australian Labor Pa

rty National Platform and Constitution 2004

—instituting a national skills audit which

will allow those in direct need as well

as at-risk workers to be identified in

advance and appropriate training and

() reskilling to be provided before they

become unemployed;

(D —making sure that the interaction of the tax and welfare systems does not

penalise people moving from welfare I CD to work;


o —utilising opportunities for important


. 0 environmental repair to create

N 3 employment, particularly in regional

0 o

Australia; and

—providing incentives to encourage

Q sustainable industry development,

based on environmental modernisation,

thereby creating real jobs.

8. Labor recognises the challenges 26 presented by a lack of employment

opportunities in depressed regions, be

they urban, regional, rural or remote.

Labor will ensure that national economic policies, including National Competition

Policy and public sector employment

policies, take account of regional effects.

Regional policies will encourage new

opportunities for local industry,

employment and skills development.

—Labor will actively target high

unemployment regional areas with a wide range of available government

services. These will include intensive

assistance for job seekers, wage assistance, training and retraining and,

where appropriate, local community

employment programs.

9. Labor developed the concept of reciprocal

obligation where people in receipt of

benefits were actively assisted by

government to develop their capabilities,

in return for which they were obliged to

search for work and seek to overcome

barriers to their employment.

—Labor believes that mutual obligation

must be a two-way street. Labor rejects

one-sided 'mutual' obligation policies

and believes that mutual obligation

activities should not become another

obstacle to job-seeking activity.

—Labor will ensure that all labour market

programs deliver accredited effective

training, skills development and/or

experience in a mainstream workplace

to participants in matching unemployed

workers to the jobs in the economy.

—Labor will ensure that government

meets its obligations. These obligations involve sustained economic growth that delivers high-wage and high-skill jobs

and ensuring that all Australians share

in the benefits of economic growth.

Governments also have an obligation to

provide quality training and skill

development to the unemployed and

the under-employed. Leaving the

provision of training and employment creation to the free market alone is not

the answer.

10. The Job Network, under contract until July 2006, will be subject to a full review

and adjustments will be made

accordingly. Labor will introduce

transparency and accountability into the

employment services system and ensure

that funding is spent on delivering quality

employment outcomes for the


Through universal, publicly funded active

labour market assistance, Labor will aim

to develop the capabilities of the

unemployed and those at risk of

becoming unemployed.

Labor is committed to the provision of an

employment service framework that

provides and maintains a nationally

accessible job matching data base, and

delivers customised assistance to the

long-term unemployed and those at risk

Platform and Constitution 2004

of long-term unemployment, through job

matching services, case management, opportunities for group participation and 13 targeted access to wage subsidies and community employment schemes.

The employment services framework will include a public provider. This public provider will be required to: —rapidly respond to local, regional and

national structural and economic change; —deliver employment services assistance to industry, regions and the general

workforce in a timely and efficient manner; —provide a range of free, not-for-profit employment services tailored to local

and regional needs; —meet performance benchmarks that deliver high quality employment services; and

—work with the local education, industry, government and community sectors in order to deliver relevant training and skills to the unemployed and to better

match the unemployed with jobs in the local economy.

11. Labor is committed to adequately addressing the needs of the most disadvantaged in the labour market.

Australian Labor

providers, unions and local community


Labor will invest in new programs, more closely integrated with employment services, to assist those sections of society and the labour force facing special -p

disadvantages and multiple barriers to tp workforce participation. In addition to focusing on skills development, Labor will ? target specific barriers including: N

—poorly located housing; low literacy and

numeracy; physical and mental health ^• 0 m problems; English language difficulties; N disability; alcohol and substance abuse; 0 o homelessness; and lack of access to .

social services like child care and Q public transport; —poverty traps that do not provide the unemployed with adequate financial

reward for working which, together with 27 the tapering of benefits, result in high effective marginal tax rates; —cultural barriers and discrimination

facing mature age people, those who have been institutionalised and carers returning to the workforce; —entrenched structural discrimination

against people with disabilities, migrants, and Indigenous Australians; and

12. Labor supports an employment services

sector where funding is based solidly on quality performance, and where providers work in partnership with government. —Labor recognises the need for greater

sharing of information and expertise on what works in employment services, and the responsibility of government to ensure the provision

of adequate employment services in depressed areas. —Labor will encourage a diverse range of providers to take part in the Job

Network, including indigenous

—direct and indirect discrimination against women which results in vertical and horizontal job segregation, sexual harassment, pregnancy and maternity

discrimination and limits women's choices in workforce participation.

14. The type of labour market assistance that Labor provides will be tailored to the particular needs of unemployed individuals and the characteristics of

the local economies in which they participate. Labour market assistance will be regularly refined in the light of success rates and experience.

Australian Labor Pa

rty National Platform and Constitution 2004


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—Labor's initiatives will involve different emphases for workers in different stages of their lives, striking an appropriately targeted balance between skills development, work experience, community employment, and income support.

—Where appropriate, Labor will provide additional publicly funded jobs, involving meaningful and rewarding work, particularly in areas of unmet community demand and which avoid substitution.

Promoting a Fairer Distribution of Work

15. A striking characteristic of the return of structural unemployment since the 1970s has been its concentration in particular areas. There are huge and growing divergences between different areas of Australia in their rates of joblessness.

16. At the same time that we have high unemployment we now also have growing demands and pressures on many of those who do have jobs. One of the main

inequalities in Australia today is between the overworked and the out of work.

17. In generating additional jobs, Labor will pursue innovative measures to promote greater security and a fair distribution of work between regions and individuals in the workforce, focusing on job creation for the most disadvantaged groups, as part of Labor's overall strategy to reduce


18. The net effect of economic growth must be the creation of new jobs and not simply more work in existing jobs.

Labor recognises the significant growth in overwork in many industries and the growing pressure being placed on existing workers, their families and communities.

Labor will foster industrial relations and employment practices that enable workers to balance their employment with family and community responsibilities.

Coping with Under-Employment

19. Under-employment, affecting part time workers who wish to work more hours, and workers who wish to more fully utilise their skills and qualifications, is also a

growing problem.

It particularly strikes women with dependent children working in low-paid jobs and migrants from non-English speaking backgrounds, and is most

widespread outside the major metropolitan areas. Increasingly more and more men are among the growing number of people

who are under-employed.

Clearly, under-employed persons need more hours of work and Labor will take steps with employers, unions and the under-employed to bring about work

practices that allow the under-employed to maximise their hours of employment.

20. To help cope with under-employment, part time workers need to be treated equally in industrial terms, by obtaining portable entitlements on a pro rata basis to those of full time workers as well as having equal access to promotion and new job opportunities.

21. The under-employed particularly require access to training and career opportunities to assist them to move into better-paid jobs or industries, as well as to the traditional employment conditions of full time workers, such as holiday pay, sick pay and long service leave.

National Platform and Constitution 2004

Australian Labor Party


Getting More Out of Life: Work and Family

22. The way families live and work has

changed radically. Women's employment

participation is increasing. Overwork

and casual employment dominate the

labour market.

23. Labor believes that policies to better

balance work and family mean better

economic prosperity and community harmony. It means that employers can get

the best out of their employees and

families can get more out of life.

24. Labor believes that families need more options for developing their own work and

family solution to best suit their needs.

This includes more options for caring for

loved ones—children, aged parents, disabled grandparents or a sick partner.

25. Labor understands that Australian parents

need to be able to choose different solutions at different stages of their working and family lives, depending on

their families' changing needs.

26. Labor is committed to introducing policies which include financial support when the

need is the greatest—around the time that a baby is born—and options that allow parents to better combine work and

family responsibilities.

27. Labor will take steps to encourage employers to provide family friendly


Paid Maternity Leave

28. Australia and the United States are the only developed countries that do not have

a national paid maternity leave scheme.

29. Labor believes that it is economically and socially responsible for governments to

assist mothers with the financial costs associated with the birth of their children.

In particular, mothers need to be able to

spend time with their newborn babies and

have time to recover from childbirth.

30. Labor is committed to introducing a national fourteen week paid maternity

leave scheme, with no cost burden to

small business.

Achieving Better Balance Between Work and Family

31. Labor believes that better work and family

balance will allow employees to be better

family and community members as well as

better workers. Labor is committed to a

work and family package that will help to

ease the pressure on working families. To

give parents more options for balancing

work and family a range of solutions will

be introduced, including the following:

—Labor recognises the importance of women's participation in the labour

market to Australia's productivity and

global compeititivemess and the

importance of work to the independence of women and the

security of their families.

—Labor is committed to a work and

family package, which supports women's participation in the workforce

and provides improved assistance to all

Australian families, especially in areas such as industrial relations, children's

services, taxation and income support.

—Labor recognises that many working

parents balancing work with family/carer responsibilities want quality

part time work, more options for

increased leave without pay and flexibility around hours of work, rosters

and leave arrangements.

—Labor will give parents the option of

returning to comparable part time work,

by legislating to provide workers returning from parental leave with the

right to request part time work.


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Australian Labor Par

ty National Platform a n d Const itut io n 2 00 4

Employers will not be able to Supporting Young People

unreasonably refuse such requests and (15-24 Year Olds) any disagreements about a refusal to 32. Labor recognises that young people who provide part time work will be resolved leave the education system too early are

by the Industrial Relations Commission. at risk of being trapped in a cycle of Reasonableness will take into account unemployment and lifelong disadvantage. the size and nature of the employer. Governments have a responsibility CD

—Labor believes that working families through investment in education to

should have more say and a real equip our young people with the training

(p choice about how to be tter balance and skills they need to get decent and

CD work and family, including improved secure work. N^ o 0 D, o arrangements for both paid and 33. Labor is committed to strengthening and c^ 3 unpaid leave. improving the pathways and increasing—Labor also recognises that although the oppo rtunities for young Australians toC °Q some parents would prefer to stay at move successfully from school into fu rther3 home and care for their children on a education, training and/or employment.full time basis when their children arepre school age, many cannot afford this 34. Labor is committed to all youngoption. Labor will work to ensure that Australians achieving an accreditedsuch parents can afford to raise their post-seconda ry qualification.30 own children. 35. People in this age group require a smooth—Access to affordable quality child care transition from school to work, through ais also critical for parents to balance combination of work experiencetheir work and family lives. Labor is opportunities including:committed to improving access to and —e xpanded opportunities for students to affordability of quality child care. access quality vocational education and—Labor is committed to raising training (VET) while at school, thatawareness amongst the community provides genuine pathways toand business sector about the employment and further education;importance of family friendly —possible TAFE provision of upper- workplaces and initiatives, secondary education to early school--Labor understands that the need to leavers;care for family members can change at —a diverse range of traineeship and different stages of a person's working apprenticeship opportunities; and life and our workplaces should reflectthe changing needs of employers, —targeted case management to moreworkers, families and communities. actively assist those at most risk.—Work and family patterns are constantly 36. Labor will ensure that shorter-termchanging and our working unemployed young people have a varietyarrangements must keep adapting. of pathways to develop skills and/or assistLabor is committed to ongoing research them back into the workforce. For thoseinto work and household trends and who are long-term unemployed, or at riskinto the best work and family solutions of becoming long-term unemployed, casefor Australian families and their management is necessary to overcomeemployers, particular


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Na tional Platform and Constitution 2004 Australian Labor Party

37. Labor recognises that one of the barriers

to the transition from school into work or

further training is the lack of information

that young people may have about the

options available. To assist young

people's transition from school into work,

further training and/or education, Labor

will improve communication and coordination between all levels of government, education sectors, industry,

employment service providers and

community organisations.

38. Labor will support the establishment,

through a case by case approach in the

independent Industrial Commission, of

competency and skill based pay

structures for young workers. The priority

in this process shall be to ensure that

young people are treated fairly.

Supporting 25-44 Year Olds

39. The concept of lifelong learning is now an imperative for working age Australians.

People in work need the opportunity

to repeatedly update their skills

throughout their working lives. Labor will ensure that working Australians,

particularly those at risk of future unemployment, have affordable access to

training that can improve their long-term

labour market prospects.

40. Labor recognises that improving the skills base of Australian workers is in the best

interests of not only workers, but also

employers and the nation.

—Reflecting this, Labor will ensure that the costs of training are appropriately

shared, including by employers.

41. Just as those in work need, to update their skills to maintain employment in the face

of change, those without work need

assistance to overcome the immediate and longer-term barriers to workforce


42. Labor recognises that many people face difficulties in entering the workforce after

long periods of schooling, caring, illness

or child rearing. Labor will assist people in

making these transitions back into the

workforce. This will be done through

school to work programs, pre-work

training, increased assistance for carers

and access to affordable child care.

Supporting Australians Who Are 45 Plus

43. Many Australian workers over 45 have borne the brunt of economic restructuring

and workforce change. They face

particular difficulty in accessing retraining

and reskilling during their working lives.

This makes it difficult to subsequently

adapt to economic change.

44. Labor recognises that people who become unemployed later in life face

difficulty finding new, secure employment.

While encouraging ongoing workforce

participation, Labor will ensure that

obligations placed on unemployed

workers who are 45 plus by mutual

obligation programs and intensive job searching are fair, and respect the dignity

and self esteem of the people concerned.

Labor will develop positive pathways for unemployed Australians who are 45 plus

to get back to work. Labor believes there must be a national strategy for assisting

and retraining older workers, at risk of

unemployment, before they lose their

jobs. This includes improved consultation

before redundancies occur and fast

tracking the employment services and training provided to older workers in order

to minimise the risk of becoming long-term unemployed.

45. Labor believes the fight against unemployment amongst older workers

must involve the whole community,

especially industry, unions, employment service providers, group training bodies,


their ongoing contribution to society

throughout their retirement.

Supporting Other Groups with Particular Needs

Australian Labor Party National Pl at fo rm and Constitution 2004

and all levels of government. In particular

Labor in government will adopt best

practice in its recruitment policies and

processes to ensure that older workers

n are given fair and reasonable

opportunities for employment and will

r+ open up prospects in government for mature age job seekers. Labor is committed to a national public campaign

to promote equal employment practices in

(D the private and non-government sector in o relation to older workers. The

o Commonwealth will seek the cooperation N D of the States and Territory governments to 0 o review the barriers to timely entry to

government supported training for mature

age workers who are unemployed.

46. Labor recognises the wealth of knowledge, experience and skills that older workers bring both to their

32 communities and the national economy

but also appreciates the particular difficulties older workers are currently

experiencing in securing and retaining

employment in the labour market. Labor

is committed to ensuring that mature age

Australians receive assistance to take up

the employment opportunities available.

Labor will develop effective options for

employment in areas such as human services and environmental renewal, and

will develop Australian communities

through mentoring and volunteer work.

47. Furthermore Labor recognises that low labour force participation rates amongst men and women over 45 will become less

and less economically sustainable, with

an ageing population. Labor is committed

to working with industry and unions on

developing strategies designed to retain

and support older employees, including retraining and reskilling.

48. Labor recognises the right of older Australians to retire from the workforce, if

that is their preference, and recognises

49. Labor supports additional assistance to address the particular needs of carers,

people with disabilities, migrants and

Indigenous Australians in accessing the

labour market. Labor will have a

structured means of integrating these

programs with the mainstream labour

market, and will seek to provide people

with sufficient opportunity for advancement.

50. Labor supports the Community Development Employment Program (CDEP) and wage subsidies to allow

Indigenous Australians to better access work opportunities. However, Labor

recognises that CDEP effectively distorts

figures reflecting the unemployment rate

of Indigenous Australians. Further, Labor

recognises the merits of CDEP provided it

does not detract from the responsibility of

government to support the development

of real and meaningful employment

opportunities for Indigenous Australians.

Labor will encourage a training and industrial award framework that applies to

indigenous employment and which

encourages skills development.

51. Labor recognises that people with disabilities represent a valued part of our society and have the potential to make a

significant contribution to Australia's

future. Labor supports programs which address the particular needs of people

with disabilities and, in particular, those

which encourage skill development.

—Labor recognises that people with

disabilities face serious obstacles in

obtaining and holding employment, and

in securing opportunities to access

education and training.




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National Platform and Constitution 2004 j

Australian Labor Party

—Labor is committed to ensuring that people with disabilities have access to

both generic and specialist employment

assistance to meet their employment

support needs and to a social security

safety net. This commitment will aim towards the twin goals of both ensuring

that people with disabilities can earn

award wages and have the opportunity

for participation in the economic fabric

of our society.

—Labor recognises that people with

disabilities employed in supported

employment business services

(previously known as 'sheltered

workshops') and in open employment gain a great deal from their employment

experience including the opportunity to

interact socially and to participate in

society through employment. These

opportunities lead to increased self

confidence and feelings of self worth.

—Labor supports the Supported Wages

Scheme, and the development of new programs for people with disabilities.

Advances in technology supporting workers with disabilities make it increasingly possible to integrate workers with disabilities into the

mainstream labour market.

—Labor will work with employers, unions

and community organisations to increase the employment opportunities

of people with disabilities in a fair


explore innovative funding and service models, which increase the opportunities

for the employment, training, education

and community participation needs for

people with a disability.

52. Labor recognises that barriers exist for full

time parents entering or re-entering the workforce. Labor is committed to

introducing programs for training and

support for parents re-entering the

workforce. Labor will ensure that women

or men who spend time out of the

workforce raising children are not disadvantaged for doing so. This will be

achieved by ensuring that they have

knowledge of and access to the full range

of government services, including

affordable child care. Labor understands that quality part time work is essential in

helping parents who want to re-enter the

workforce. Labor will introduce policies to

improve the balance between work and family and reduce the barriers for parents

entering or re-entering the labour market.

Expanding Choice for Australian Workers

53. Making work financially rewarding is an

important element of a comprehensive

employment policy.


—will examine measures to improve the financial rewards from work, including

earned income tax credits;


—Labor's commitment to increasing

and enhancing the employment opportunities for people with a disability

includes the review of the current legislated cap for the Disability Services

Program and the manner in which it is

applied to disability employment


Labor will work with State and Territory

governments and the service sector to

—will address ways of overcoming other

financial barriers to employment and access to training such as the ongoing costs associated with child care and

transport, or transitional costs such as

funds for work-related clothing; and

—recognises that workplaces that are

cooperative, fair, non-discriminatory and non-exploitative are also important

in making work attractive.



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Australian Labor Pa rty National Platform and Constitution 2004


Labor's Industrial Relations System— Contributing to Income and Employment Security

54. Security of employment is fundamental to

income stability and to all aspects of

personal and family life. Therefore the

industrial relations system should provide

significant protection for the security of

workers' employment and of their wages,

entitlements and working conditions.

55. Industrial relations arrangements should

serve social as well as economic goals.

There must be emphasis on both achieving fair outcomes for workers and contributing to efficient enterprises.

56 The industrial relations framework should encourage cooperation not confrontation.

A well informed and skilled industrial

relations community is essential in producing these best practice outcomes.

Government has a key role in promoting

and fostering these developments.

57 Labor recognises that our industrial

relations system must take account of the

inherently unequal power balance existing

between individual workers and their

employer. This principle has long been

accepted in Australian society and by

virtually all federal governments prior to

the Howard Government.

58. The rights and entitlements of workers,

particularly the most vulnerable such as young workers, workers with disabilities and workers from non-English speaking

backgrounds, need to be supported and

protected as a consequence.

59. This inherent imbalance requires a

collective approach within the industrial

relations system in order to deliver


60. The legitimate role of trade unions and

their rights to organise, to take action on

behalf of their members and on behalf of

workers generally, and to bargain

collectively, should be recognised,

defended and enhanced.

61. A strong and independent Commission is vital to the fair and proper functioning of

our system. The independent Industrial

Commission needs a greater role to be

able to prevent and resolve industrial

disputes and to act in the interests of

fairness and in the national interest.

62. A system of comprehensive,

contemporary and relevant awards is

central to the security of workers, their

wages and working conditions.

63. Workers must be able to participate in and share the benefits of the success of

the enterprise or industry for which they

work and of the economy as a whole.

64. While a system of workplace-based

collective bargaining will be continued,

alternative ways for workers to achieve decent increases in wages and conditions

should be promoted, including through

the award system and industry-based arrangements.

65. Labor recognises that there is a crisis of

low pay in Australia that has come about

in conjunction with growing income

inequality. Labor acknowledges public

disquiet about the increasing difficulty for

low-paid workers and their families to

participate fully and with dignity in Australian society while the explosion in

executive salaries has seen CEOs push their earnings from three times the

average wage in 1976 to over thirty times

the average wage in 2003.

The independent Industrial Commission

has an important role in examining the

means by which the low pay crisis and

specific areas of labour market

exploitation in Australian can be addressed.

66. Labor will require an open process of

reviewing workplace agreements:


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Natio nal Platform and Constitution 2004

Australian Labor Par ty

—to ensure they meet a reasonable no

disadvantage' test;

—to consider the consequences of an agreement for those outside the

particular agreement (for example,

other workers, future workers, the

unemployed); and

—to protect the interests of these groups.

67. Nationally recognised high quality vocational training and skill development

opportunities should be available

throughout the workforce.

68. Non-discrimination will continue to be a central tenet of Labor's industrial relations

policy. This includes a continuing commitment to equal remuneration for

women, not just equal pay.

69. Labor will ensure that Australia's domestic

industrial relations arrangements are consistent with its international obligations.

Labor will restore Australia to a position of

international leadership and pride.

70. Labor will:

—actively participate in and promote the development of international labour


—assist countries in our region and beyond to meet those standards;

—promote free and democratic organisations to represent employees

and employers; and

—actively support community campaigns to educate and mobilise the public on

issues of child labour and forced labour.

71. In addition to reinvigorating our ties with the International Labour Organisation (ILO), Labor will provide funding to the ILO Asian Regional Organisation to assist

its program of training and technical assistance and help with the development of unions in the region. This aid should be used constructively to influence

governments in the Asian region to

ensure that internationally guaranteed trade union rights under the ILO Convention are respected. It is essential that the rights of all workers to join trade

unions and seek improved working conditions are respected and that working

people can do this free from coercion

and violence.

72. Labor recognises the valuable role played

by Australian People for Health, Education and Development Abroad (APHEDA) in providing development

assistance and aid to help build vital services and provide practical training

and support to trade unions in developing

countries. A Labor Government will provide funding to APHEDA to enable it to

meet this important need.

Protecting Employee Entitlements

73. Protection of employee entitlements in circumstances of company insolvency is an increasingly important aspect of income security. Labor's legislation to

protect employee entitlements will be

national and ensure that:

—100 per cent of entitlements of employees are protected;

—payments to employees are timely;

—additional cost burdens placed on employers are minimised;

—employers are not required to make additional payments for benefits already protected by trusts or other appropriate


—small business is protected from any

additional costs;

—corporations law is amended to enable recovery of assets in circumstances where the use of corporate structures has the effect of denying workers their

entitlements; and

—entitlements are deemed to be a debt for the purpose of insolvency, and courts are enabled to recover entitlements from related companies.


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Further, a Labor Government will:

—review the operation of the

Corporations Act to ensure that

directors who are convicted of trading

while insolvent are personally liable for

outstanding employee entitlements;

—review, and strengthen where necessary, ASIC powers to disqualify a

director from holding office where the

director has been convicted of trading

while insolvent;

—ensure that administrators and

liquidators of insolvent companies are independent of creditors;

—ensure that employee entitlements can be recovered from entities related to

the insolvent company;

—upon reasonable request by employees

or unions, require companies to

disclose information as to the

company's ability to meet their

obligations under the law regarding

employee entitlements (by means

which are practicable);

—conduct a review to consider policies


—enhance the early detection and prevention of insolvencies with the

objective of restructuring businesses

in difficulty;

—relate to the treatment of creditors who

are competitors of the insolvent

company and whether such creditors should be able to vote on a proposal to

wind up the company;

—relate to the situation where there is an

objection to the decision of the chairperson (of a meeting of creditors)

to include or exclude any proof of debt

or claim and that decision alters the

outcome of the vote;

—relate to the effectiveness of the

provisions in the Corporations Act relating to directors for trading while

insolvent and the penalties imposed on

directors for breaches of the

Corporations Act in relation to employee entitlements; and

—provide the most effective mechanism

to protect employee entitlements including the ranking of employee

entitlements relative to other creditors.

74. To enhance security of employee entitlements, Labor will ensure the timely

payment of superannuation contributions.

75. Labor will ensure that the superannuation

system provides:

—essential protection for employees and

for the superannuation contributions made by them or on their behalf;

—effective choice, without undermining

successful industry funds;

—representative and balanced trustee

structures; and

—an independent appeal process.

Protecting Employee Entitlements

76. Labor will facilitate schemes that provide

portability of leave entitlements between employers where those entitlements

would otherwise be lost to the employee.

Labor acknowledges that less people are

becoming eligible for long service leave

and will examine ways in which long

service leave can be returned to being a

mainstream entitlement which better

reflects the contemporary labour market.

Contributing to Personal and Family Security

77. The changing lifetime employment pattern of men and women requires the industrial

relations system to increasingly adapt

itself to actively balance work and family

responsibilities. In particular greater

attention needs to be given to the growing

casualisation of the workforce, home-based work, and independent contractors,


nal Platform and Constitution 2004

Australian Labor Party

are already able to work under a contract

determination system that provides for such things as minimum rates of pay, annual leave, sick leave and access to an independent umpire in the NSW C,

Industrial Relations Commission in the event of a dispute. r+


83. Along with the proposals to establish

equality of rights to job security entitlements for casual and part time N

workers, these proposals will make a N 3

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84. It is in the long-term interests of workers, o 0 n industry and the nation that the increasing M reliance in some areas on casualisation of `^ a the workforce be reduced and priority

given to the provision of secure, good quality employment with appropriate training and career prospects. 37

and the increasing demands on Australians in balancing work with personal and family life.

78. The method of engagement of workers should not be a vehicle for denying them access to the independent Industrial Commission or the usual range of

entitlements and rights. Nor should it be designed to undermine their income

or conditions.

79. A change in ownership of a business or similar corporate restructure should not be used as a means of evading pre-existing wages and conditions. Labor

recognises that many workers want pa rt time and casual work and that these forms of employment are integral to many industries. Whilst acknowledging

that all workers have a right to full time secure employment, Labor also suppo rts the rights of workers to have pa rt time work that is regular and secure and to have casual work that a ttracts

appropriate entitlements.

80. Labor also recognises the unique and important position dependent and independent contractors play in the Australian labour market. Comprising

hundreds of thousands of working families, dependent and independent contractors operating across the count ry will not be forgotten by a national Labor


81. Labor believes that, like casual and part time workers, dependent and independent contractors also dese rve the right to have basic industrial rights, entitlements and


82. All NSW contractors currently have access to remedies for harsh, unreasonable and unconscionable contracts under the Unfair Contracts Act.

Owner truck drivers operating as contractors in the NSW transport industry

85. The inability to balance the increasing pressures of work and personal life can result in loss of productivity for firms, increases in stress and related problems for workers and their families, and a

worsening of social problems. Good industrial relations have an important role to play in retaining well qualified and highly motivated workers.

86. Labor will hold an inquiry to examine the growth in contingent and insecure employment and its effects on workers and their families and to recommend

measures which would promote greater employment stability for workers and a better balance of work and family responsibilities. Labor will work with

industry and unions to pursue effective and viable solutions to these important issues.

Australian Labor Pa

rty National Platform and Constitution 2004

A FAIR INDUSTRIAL or employees and consistent with ILO

RELATIONS SYSTEM obligations. Labor will:

The Legal Framework —ensure a reasonable no disadvantage'

87. Labor will introduce new industrial

test is met for agreements provided for


relations legislation to:

under industrial legislation, which

0) includes relevant award or agreement

"a rr —put fairness back into the legislation; rates of pay and conditions and


—give a greater role to the independent protects workers' rights to


Industrial Commission to act in the representation of their choice;

national interest and in the interest of —require employers to bargain in good

CD fairness and equity; faith with a union which has indicated

0 o —ensure that the powers and objects of its desire to negotiate a collective

3 the independent Industrial Commission agreement;



are adequate to deal with any industrial

that lockouts and the

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replacement of employees by

—provide enhanced resources for the employers who are not bargaining in a enforcement of awards and good faith with their employees are not

agreements; a feature of the Australian industrial

—ensure that the independent Industrial relations system;


Commission has the authority and —empower the Commission to make resources to establish comprehensive P binding orders in relation to the and effective award coverage; commencement and continuation of the

—change the emphasis from an approach collective bargaining process to ensure

based on sanctions to one based on that the parties to a bargaining period conciliation and, where necessary, negotiate in good faith. The powers of

arbitration; the Commission should also include the

—ensure that casual, part time and full

capacity, where unions agree, to

time employment are defined to reflect mandate a single bargaining unit

the true nature of these forms of

comprising the appropriate unions

employment; which have initiated a bargaining

period. Where such a single bargaining — reduce excessive legalism and unit has been formed, the employer prohibitive cost barriers to accessing must negotiate in good faith with the rights; and single bargaining unit;—abolish the Office of the Employment —ensure the transparency of the Advocate. agreement review and registration88. Labor will abolish Australian Workplace processes;Agreements (AWAs), which are secretive, —allow any matters agreed between theunreviewable and unfair. There will be no parties to be in a collective agreement;legislative provision for federal statutoryindividual agreements. —provide that the independent Industrial Commission and affected parties are89. Collective bargaining should be promoted aware of and able to participate in thethrough a fair and simple stream of bargaining process, the review ofworkplace, enterprise and industry wide agreements provided for under the Actagreements, negotiated with trade unions and the arbitration of disputes




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legitimate collective bargaining is not


—prohibit discrimination against those who wish to bargain collectively and be represented by a union; and

—provide that workers and their representatives have access to appropriate information from which to make informed decisions.

90. The right of all workers to democratic collective representation by unions will be recognised and protection provided from discrimination against workers based on

trade union membership or activity.

91. The development of representative organisations, which can meet common registration and accountability requirements, should be fostered,

including by necessary training and education. In line with international standards, union and delegate rights should be either legislated or determined

by the independent Industrial Commission.

Such rights would include:

—the formal recognition of the representative role of union delegates in the workplace;

—the absence of discrimination or harassment in employment based on trade union membership or activity;

—the right to reasonable time off to consult with other workers and participate in the affairs of the union; and

—the right to reasonable levels of trade union education and access to appropriate facilities for carrying out their role, inclusive of disseminating

relevant trade union information, including email.

92. A right of entry should be allowed for union officials to workplaces for the purposes of communication, organisation, recruitment, access to time and wages

records and assistance to workers.

93. The protection of the industrial relations system should be extended beyond a narrow definition of employees to include those in employment type relationships.

94. Protection against unfair dismissal should be provided to all workers, irrespective of the size of their employer's business. Employees should have access to a

timely and fair remedy for unfair termination of employment, specifically:

—as a priority, provisions relating to unfair dismissal should be streamlined;

—the Commission should be required by legislation to hear and determine unfair dismissal cases within set timeframes and give the remedy of reinstatement

greater emphasis;

—in circumstances of mass terminations, unions should be given the ability to make a single application to be heard and determined within set timeframes;


—Labor will ensure that filing fees are not a barrier to access to relief from unfair dismissal.

95. Public sector workers should have access to the full range of independent Industrial Commission powers to resolve industrial disputes and promote collective

bargaining, and, where appropriate, have access to paid rates awards. Labor will discontinue the use of individual contracts for members of the Australian Public

Service below the Senior Executive Service level.

96. All industrial matters will be removed from the Trade Practices Act and be regulated by industrial law.

97. Comprehensive programs, including inspections, aimed at achieving compliance with the regulatory regime and proactive approaches aimed at

securing protection of workers' rights and entitlements should be developed and implemented. In this regard a Labor


Australian Labor Pa

rt y National Platfor m a nd Co nst itut io n 2004

Government shall utilise government

procurement in such a way that it only does business with companies that comply with all their legal employment n obligations, and will ensure that its

procurement policies suppo rt collective bargaining and the award system. 0 98. Compatibility of Commonwealth and

State industrial relations systems should tp be sought.


o n Incomes Policy

m 3 99. Incomes policy should be directed to the following social and economic goals: CD 2

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—fair distribution of the benefits of

^' d economic success;

a —job creation and sustained low-

inflationary growth;

—ensuring equal remuneration for women, not just equal pay;


—special attention to the interests of the most vulnerable such as the low paid, young workers, workers with disabilities and workers from non-

English speaking backgrounds;

—reasonable opportunities for workers to protect and enhance their living standards without working excessive hours or enduring excessive stress;

—competitive Australian enterprises based on a well-paid, highly skilled, flexible and motivated workforce;

—the need to address the growing disparity between incomes in Australia; and

—the establishment, through a case by case approach in the independent Industrial Commission, of competency and skill-based pay structures for young workers. The priority in this

process shall be to ensure that young people are treated fairly.

100. Labor will establish cooperative mechanisms with participation from the wider industrial relations community to

consider current issues and future developments in industrial relations. These issues will also be examined in the context of broader industry, employment, education, and social

issues. As part of these mechanisms Labor will support industry level forums to promote discussion and resolution of relevant industrial relations matters.

101. A new basis for a cooperative incomes policy should be established on the following:

—recognition that where workers express a clear preference for a particular type of industrial instrument to cover their wages and conditions, the parties in that matter should have an obligation to negotiate in good faith to successfully conclude such an


—recognition that collective bargaining should remain an important option for workers and employers;

—no worker should be required to enter into an enterprise bargain because the industrial relations system provides no other way to achieve decent wage increases or maintain reasonable working conditions;

—maintenance and enhancement of relevant award standards and wage rates in a manner consistent with overall social and economic objectives, through direct dialogue with unions and employers and through regular national wage cases conducted by the independent

Industrial Commission; and

—recognition that a 'one-size-fits-all' approach to wage determination is neither desirable nor appropriate.

Promoting Safe Workplaces

102. Whilst occupational health and safety remains primarily a State responsibility,

—workplace fatigue;

—stress; and


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the federal government can and should

do more to ensure appropriate standards are applied for Australian workers irrespective of where they work. The following principles should be applied: 105

—increased resources for research, standards setting, information and inspection at the national level, and by grants to State, local and

industry/enterprise level where appropriate;

—uniform minimum standards of compensation and other rights for injured workers; and

—the encouragement of tripartite industry forums on occupational health and safety.

103. Labor will work cooperatively with States to ensure that workers' compensation schemes, social security and Medicare deliver the best possible benefits to

injured workers. Labor will work with the States to achieve appropriate minimum national standards of benefits for injured workers including:

—periods of income support during incapacity for work;

—requirements for rehabilitation/return to work; and

—periods during which medical and like benefits must be met in respect of work-related injuries.

104. Labor will work with the States to achieve a nationally consistent occupational health and safety framework which reflects best safety

practice within Australia, and which is consistent with the best international standards. This framework should be clear and capable of enforcement at the

workplace level. This framework must extend the focus of occupational health and safety practice from symptoms to the major causes of occupational health

and safety hazards including:

—occupational bullying and violence.

Labor will, in consultation with State governments, develop and maintain a uniform national system of occupational health and safety statistics which detail

the incidence of deaths and injury from exposure to hazards in the workplace and is not overly reliant on National Compensation Data.

106. Labor will encourage the States to provide comprehensive rehabilitation programs, and will itself provide such programs within its own areas of


107. Workers must be protected in relation to occupational health and safety with an emphasis on the prevention of disease, injury and accidents. Labor will work

with the States to ensure improved integration between State-based workers' compensation systems, public

liability laws, private and superannuation-based disability insurance on the one hand and the social security and Medicare systems on

the other hand.

Fairer work arrangements

108. Labor recognises that there is a strong connection between deregulation of the labour market and increased inequality in the distribution of work and income.

109. Labor will encourage and promote incentives for implementation by federal, State and local governments and private employers, in consultation with trade

unions and employers, of voluntary schemes such as:

-career break schemes;

—balancing the emphasis on wages/hours/jobs to reflect agreed enterprise or industry priorities;





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—recruitment to new positions based on

shorter hours; —job sharing; and —productivity gains being taken in the

form of shorter hours.

Labor acknowledges that working time arrangements can vary according to the needs of employees and employers in

an industry. Nevertheless, the erosion of full time employment and growth in casual, part time, contracting and insecure forms of employment is

adversely affecting the ability of families to meet their financial, family and social needs and responsibilities.

Labor also believes that long and excessive working hours are placing unfair levels of stress and strain on workers and families.

Labor will encourage the independent Industrial Commission, employers and unions to develop working time arrangements which:

—are consistent with employees' preferences and needs; —reduce excessive working hours; —maximise employment creation; —reflect agreed enterprise or industry

priorities; —emphasise levels of working time that are sufficient and reasonably predictable to provide relevant and

meaningful outcomes for work; and —encourage preference for secure full time and part time employment over casual employment.

111 Labor will consult and work with employers, unions and community organisations to remove obstacles to the employment of people with disabilities in fair and non-exploitative ways.

Promoting Industrial Democracy and Cooperative Workplaces 112. The following principles should be pursued:

—the right of workers to meaningful

participation in decision snaking in the workplace about industrial matters; —the right of workers and their representatives to be consulted before

decisions that will have a significant effect on employment or work generally are implemented; —the extension of industrial democracy and other modern forms of work organisation in major enterprises and workplaces; —encouragement of employee share ownership programs; and —assistance for the development of cooperatives.

SOCIAL SECURITY Past, Present and Future 113. In the post-war era, Labor governments have been responsible for building a

decent social security system which has aimed to:

—support Australian families; —protect Australians' living standards, provide income support for those in need, and income supplements for

families and those with additional costs; —give Australians opportunities to improve their lives, providing support

and incentives to take up work and learn new skills; —demonstrate our compassion for those Australians who, because of age,

disability or their responsibility for the care of another, cannot support themselves; and —deliver flexible assistance in a cost effective way to the taxpayer.


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114. Australia's social security system must

change to meet the nation's emerging

needs and circumstances.

—Our working lives have changed

dramatically. We are now likely to

experience periods without a job; we

are unlikely to have a job for life with

one employer; the hours we work are

increasingly unpredictable; some of us are working more hours than we want

while others work fewer hours than are

needed for a decent life; many of us

will return to training or education at

some stage during our working lives;

and our children are staying at school

and at home longer, and many more

are going on to post-secondary study.

—We are living longer and our

population is ageing.

115. Labor is committed to preventing and

eliminating poverty in Australia, to improving the living standards of all

Australians, and to reducing inequality between Australians, by providing people with a secure income and access

to the services and opportunities they need so that all Australians can live with

decency and dignity.

116. Labor is committed to the development of robust whole of government indicators

to measure national progress in

addressing poverty and improving living

standards, including measures of income, health, educational attainment

and participation through employment

and housing affordability.

117. Labor will ensure that, through an ongoing dialogue with State and Territory governments, initiatives to

tackle poverty and inequality are

coordinated and effective in improving

the living standards of all Australians.

First Principles—Security and Opportunity

118. Labor recognises that at times in their

working lives some Australians may be

unable to support themselves through

work. Labor remains committed to a compassionate and fair social security

system which offers a basic level of

income support to these Australians, in

proportion to their need and according to

their circumstances, and which above all

encourages and supports them to enter

or re-enter the workforce and which

enables them to enjoy a decent

standard of living.

Labor believes that the federal government, on behalf of all Australians,

has a duty to ensure that none of us are 43

left without the means to a decent life

because he or she:

—is retired and does not have an

adequate retirement income;

—is sick or disabled and unable to work, either temporarily or permanently;

—is unlikely to find work because of age

or disability;

—has primary responsibility for the care

of children or other family members;

—has lost the support of a partner through separation, divorce or death;

—is unemployed and seeking work; or

—is in education or training, or a combination of education and training

and looking for work.

120. Labor believes that the social security system also plays a vital role in supplementing income where it is low,

and in providing additional help where

Australians and their families face additional costs—because of the need to provide for children, or to meet the

—Increasingly the benefits of economic growth are not being shared equally 119

and there is a widening gap in opportunities available to people living

in particular communities.


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costs of disability or health care, decent housing, or education. Labor will:

—continue to supplement Australians' incomes to help meet these costs;

—ensure that the system of assistance for families with dependent children, provided through the tax, social securi ty and education systems, is

easy to understand and access, and is designed so that people do not face financial barriers to work and are able to get the help they need when they

need it;

—work to eliminate tax and social security rules that cause families with variations in income to incur large debts and which result in the removal of substantial amounts of additional income earned through ove rtime; and

—pursue innovative ways to deliver assistance to families to reflect changing roles, responsibilities and work practices so that all families

have the oppo rtunity to make free decisions about bringing up their children.

121 Labor believes that the fundamental objectives of government assistance are to support individuals and families through stages of the life cycle or

in particular circumstances where support is needed, and to facilitate and increase people's access to the

opportunities and skills they need to achieve a decent standard of living.

Our welfare system is successful when

it not only alleviates poverty, but when it provides a platform from which people may gain access to education,

training and economic opportunities.

It is in this way that the welfare system can change people's lives.

Helping People Move Forward

122. Labor recognises that, for working age Australians, the best route out of poverty

lies in a job with a decent income. Labor believes the social security system should encourage and assist people to take up the work opportunities which will improve their standard of living, and that it should ensure that those who can combine assistance with work, education or training are always better off than if they did not.

—As a matter of urgency, Labor will

address the poverty traps that see

extra earnings immediately clawed

back in tax and the withdrawal of

social security payments and benefits.

—Labor acknowledges the widening gap

between the skills an unemployed person can offer and the skills employers want and will better integrate the provision of income

support and job assistance with education and quality training

opportunities, particularly in areas of

skill shortages.

—Labor recognises the widening disparity of opportunity in many

communities, particularly in regional and rural Australia and will act to coordinate and better target resources

in these areas.

—Labor will ensure the welfare system takes advantage of the unique

resources and expertise found in

local communities.

—Labor will pursue new ways to break

the cycle of poverty and long-term

benefit receipt by developing strategies that can help families early

and provide linkages to health,

education, child care, and labour market assistance.

The Importance of Creating and Facilitating Opportunities

123. Labor believes in lifelong education and

training and recognises that many Australians combine work with


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education, training and caring

responsibilities, and that families change

the way they balance these tasks over

the course of their lives.

—Labor will ensure that people receiving payments can move flexibly between

caring responsibilities, study or

training and the workforce.

—Labor will build positive incentives into

the system to encourage those receiving payments to take up work

experience, education and training.

124. Labor acknowledges the important role of affordable and quality child care for

parents who wish to access educational

opportunities, re-enter the workforce, or

increase their hours of work.

Providing Incentives

125. Labor will better integrate the income

support and tax systems to:

—minimise the poverty traps where

income tests and taxation combine to

severely reduce the benefit of

earnings; and

—develop new and innovative ways to reward people who find work.

126. Labor recognises that for many disadvantaged job seekers, removal of barriers such as access to affordable

quality child care and quality training and

skills development, are equally important

measures needed to assist the

unemployed find work. Labor is committed to removing the barriers facing

many of the long-term unemployed, especially sole parents, mature aged, the

disabled and indigenous job seekers and

providing incentives in the transition from

welfare into work.

Ensuring Adequacy

127. Labor remains committed to providing adequate income support for those who

need it. Labor will:

—maintain the benchmark of maximum

single adult rates of pension to at least twenty-five per cent of male total

average weekly earnings;

—maintain the current links between pension rates and family payments to ensure increases to pensions flow on

to family payments;

—maintain the current relativities

between single rates and payments

for couples.

—ensure basic rates are indexed twice

a year, in line with movements in the

Consumer Price Index; and

—ensure that those whose only income is provided through the social security system will not have to pay

income tax.

Better Delivery of Welfare Services

128. Labor believes that the social security

system should be based upon recognition of the need to provide adequate and sufficient levels of support to all Australians so that they and their

families can live decently with dignity.

Accordingly, the social security system should be a flexible and simple system,

easy to understand and easy to administer, and will continue to reform

it by:

—moving towards a common means test with uniform rules for all forms of

income support;

—reducing the complexity of the eligibility rules for income support and related payments for those of workforce age so that assistance is

available to meet the needs of all those who, for one reason or another,

are unable to support themselves or

their family;

—ensuring the system is flexible enough to cope with variations in income, so that help is available when

needed; and



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—removing the gaps and anomalies in

the current rules which discriminate

against many Australians, including

older women, migrants, young people

and those who wish to study.

129. A fairer, simpler and more flexible

system will mean that people will be able to more readily understand their

entitlements and staff will be able to

have time to actively assist social

security recipients rather than grapple

with administrative complexity. Further,

the lengthy processes of review and appeal will be reduced. Labor will retain the independent and free review and

appeals process.

130 Under Labor, people will be treated with

courtesy, respect and understanding by

the social security system.

131 Labor will ensure that personal

information is protected and will maintain

individuals' rights under freedom of

information to have access to their

personal files.

132 Labor is committed to maintaining Centrelink in full public ownership and

ensuring it has the resources necessary to carry out its services effectively.

Labor will:

—develop and expand the role of Centrelink in our communities,

particularly as a central resource

linking people to services and opportunities in local areas; and

—enhance Centrelink's ability to offer

personalised service to individuals

who are looking for work.

Involving the Community

133. Labor believes that effective, high quality

welfare services are best guaranteed by

an equal partnership between

government and the community sector.

A Labor Government will:

—develop a compact with the

community sector to guide the

development and delivery of welfare


—maintain a strong role for government

within such a compact, noting that

many alternative models have

insufficient safeguards against

government simply abdicating its

responsibilities and shifting the burden

to the community or other sectors;


—develop flexible and responsive

models of service delivery that are appropriate to the needs of small and

rural communities.


134. Labor recognises the disadvantaged

position of outworkers in the textile,

clothing and footwear (TCF) sector when

compared with the rest of the labour

force. Outworkers require specific

regulatory protection in order to control

the exploitative conditions under which

they are employed.

135. Labor is committed to introducing

complementary federal and state

legislation that aims to ensure

outworkers are employed under secure,

safe and fair systems of work.

136. Labor will implement a package of reforms including parallel federal

legislation modelled upon the Victorian

Outworkers (Improved Protection) Act

2003 and the NSW Industrial Relations

(Ethical Clothing Trades) Act 2001.

137. Labor will work cooperatively with the

State governments to achieve these goals, including enactment of legislation

designed to ensure the following:

—that no outworker in any Australian

jurisdiction will have fewer rights to

legal redress and protection than are


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offered by any other Australian


—the entire chain of clothing production and sale will be rendered transparent to scrutiny, so that each party in that chain will become identifiable and

accountable for ensuring payment of monies sufficient to meet local labour standards for the production

of clothing;

—provision of sufficient resources to ensure effective compliance with

Government Procurement and Industrial Relations Standards

A Labor Government will review all procurement policies and practices to ensure the following

Relations Principles

—That preference in awarding contracts is given to those companies that are prepared to work within the Labor Government's industrial relations framework; that is, which have a positive

approach towards the rights of trade unions and their members, respect the right of employees to become members of the appropriate union and which do not

promote, or implement- individual employment contracts as a mechanism to undermine collective bargaining and the Award system.

—That a Labor Government will only do . business with companies that abide by all employment and employment related laws, including awards, enterprise agreements,

superannuation, workers' compensation, health and safety and taxation obligations.

—To introduce mechanisms, systems and practices within government departments and authorities which are capable of implementing and policing the above. This

includes ensuring that all government•

these legislative protections at each step in the chain of production and sale;

—implementation of policies which require governments to ethically source their TCF supplies; and

—an end to the artificial distinction between so-called 'employee' outworkers and 'contract' outworkers by deeming all outworkers to be


contracts contain clauses which provide the necessary power to cancel or suspend the contract or to impose financial penalties on any companies which breach

these laws and policies. Further, a Labor Government will ensure that there is a willingness by government departments to exercise this power.

—Where a Labor. Government intends to change or issue "tenders for any major service contract it shall ensure that no new contract is entered into that disadvantages

employees of the out-going contractor, with respect to employment including, continuity of employment and entitlements, wages and conditions,- and maintenance of labour

levels. In this regard there must be consultation before any contract is awarded with the employees and unions affected.

Codes of Practices

A Labor Government will review, with the appropriate unions, any current Codes of Practice or regulations with a view to ensuring that the practices and policies

contained in this resolution are embodied into those codes and regulations.


A Labor Government will ensure that any company that supplies goods and/or services , will make available to unions all. information



Labor Party National Platform and Constitution 2004


about the location of work including all Conference recognises that casual subcontractors and their locations of work so employment can have a valid role in C) i that government departments and trade <, providing fob opportunities and a ready unions can play an appropriate role in workforce in peak seasonal times, and when

ensuring compliance', work is truly irregular. CD I

The Supply Chain However, Conference is concerned that the A Labor Government shall not enter into any employment of casuals on a regular basis is cp being: used to avoid. basic working conditions contract with a supplier ,(or service provider) cn 3 -unless the contract ensures that all work to such as sick pay; holiday pay; overtime. n loadings and job security. a, o be performed under the contract complies with the standards set out in this "resolution Casuals find it very difficult to obtain

regardless of whether that work is performed mortgages and other bank loans. ° Q ( by the suppliers themselves or is further_. d in he casu

outsourced (by way of subcontracting or workforcer Of Austral9a s 2 2 mldlliontcasualsal Q- otherwise In this regard no subcontracting 1.2 million are women and of the 1.32 million { of work shall be allowed without the regular casuals, over 700,000 are women. { . permission' of the government departmentthat has, issued the contract. Employers have little incentive to invest in 48 training casual workers, since turnover is Monitoring high as casuals look for more secure jobs. A Labor Government will establish anWhen, in the 21st Century, the income- • ongoing 'monitoring mechanism involving the earning prospects and job security of working ACTU and relevant unions to ensure that the f " . Australians depend so crucially upon their ( principles contained ir' thiis resolution are{ complied with. skills, the de-skilling of the Australian 1 ' workforce through the misuse of casual• Casual Employment . employment is not. in the nation's interest.Conference expresses its grave concern Conference calls for casual, part-time and full • about the excessive growth of casual time employment to be more clearly defined, • employment under the Howard Government: for such definitions to provide the basis f casual employment has grown 30 per cent, for regular: casuals to convert to permanent compared with just 10 per cent growth in employment if that is their choice. -full time jobs. { This approach would have no effect on Australia has -one :of the fastest rates of casual employees Who genuinely want to growth in insecure employment in theremain casuals and retain their casual western world.Of Australia's 2.2 million casuals, CO per cent Conference isalso concerned about other or more. than "1.3 million casuals are forms of insecure employment, such as employed on a regular basis. labour hire and the misuse of contractor !.It is projected :that ".by 2010 around one in .arrangements and calls for a broad inquirythree Australian jobs will be casual into the growth of insecure employment._



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Building and Construction Industry

National Conference expresses its opposition to the Building and Construction Industry Improvement Bill 2003.

The Bill arose from a Royal Commission set up by the Government for purely political purposes—to gain electoral advantage, to unfairly target trade unions and to advance the Government's ideological anti-union


The $60 million Royal Commission spent 90 per cent of its time on anti-union topics and refused to investigate employer malpractice.

The Government's Bill, recently introduced into Parliament, continues that one-sided attack on unions. If passed, the Bill would destroy hard-won award conditions,

effectively outlaw protected industrial action, force workers to work in unsafe conditions and deny any effective union right of entry. The Bill would also create an industry-

specific police implementing a political agenda and possessing wide coercive powers to monitor and prosecute building workers.

The Bill also undermines the function of the Australian Industrial Relations Commission and fundamentally attacks the legitimate role of unions.

National Conference rejects these proposed laws, which are designed to provide an inferior set of industrial rights for workers in the building and construction industry.

Conference condemns such legislation for being contrary to international law and for• eroding the system of conciliation and arbitration enshrined in Australian law.

Conference calls for the withdrawal of the Bill and expresses its commitment to adopt a policy framework that is"fair for workers and employers, and addresses the real

issues and problems in the building and construction industry.

Industrial Relations Conference re affirms the strong bonds between the trade union movement and the parliamentary Labor Parties of Australia.

The Federal and State Labor Parties were formed by the organised labour movement to give effective parliamentary: representation to the working men and women of Australia

and their families.

The parliamentary Labor Parties are committed to the fundamental Labor philosophy of a fair go for all.

Conference notes that there are 1.8 million proud trade union members in Australia in a legislative and political environment that is hostile to trade unions..

When the Howard Government talks about choice and flexibility it means choice and flexibility only for employers. " 7

In John Howard's Australia: —low and middle income earners have missed out on most of the rewards of Australia's recent economic growth. The

incomes of the top five perr cent of earners grew by31.7 per cent over the six years to 2001 compared with just 6.8 per cent for middle income-earners; —CEOs have enjoyed massive increases in

earnings from three times the average wage in the, mid-I970s to more than 30 times the average wage in 2003; —the weekly incomes of the bottom 20 per

cent of income'. earners have risen by just .. $3 per week under the Howard" I

Government —employees have been locked out for 17 weeks or mor e,. and instructed to sign ". non-negotiable individual contracts if they

want to keep their jobs



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—employment on a casual basis. is being used as away of avoiding basic working conditions like sick pay, holiday pay and overtime loadings More than 1`.3 million of y

Australia's 2.2.million casuals work on a long-term. and regular basis;. but most have no right to seek a'conversion to full time or part time employment` if that is their preference; and

-the balance between . work and family life is badly out of kilter.

Conference condemns the Howard Government for creating an. unfair Australia.

and, in particular for

-seriously weakening the right. of Australians to bargain collectively; — introducing AWAs; ---restricting; the capacity of the Australian

Industrial. Relations Commission (AIRC) to settle disputes;

overturning.. the accepted practice of making: appointments to the AIRC on the basis of balancing background and gender;

—removing any obligation on the parties to bargain in good faith with a'consequent escalation in. employer .lock-outs; — attempting: to take- over. State unfair

dismissal systems and replacing them with a weak federal system;,

--its empty rhetoric but total inaction on improving the balance between work and family life

--promoting the abuse of casual employment to erode the pay and working conditions of working Australians; and

—failing to' skills formation in the Australian workforce.

Conference rejects the :Howard Government's.low-road to low skills and low wages. Vulnerable Australians should never have been entered into this race to the bottom, competing on wage costs against the countries of East Asia.

Labor will take working Australians along the high road .to high skills and high wages.

Taking the high road requires a commitment to investing in. schooling, vocational education, higher education, on-the-job training,and lifelong learning.

Labor seeks productive, fair and harmonious workplaces.


—supports the right of all working Australians to bargain collectively;•

—rejects the use of Australian Workplace Agreements (AWAs) or any other federal statutory individual agreement to erode the pay and working conditions of employees;

—rejects the role of the Office of the Employment Advocate and supports its abolition;

—recognises the vital role of trade unions in ensuring fair and effective collective bargaining; supports the right of trade unions to recruit and represent their members;

—supports an independent Industrial Relations Commission that is required to ensure. that bargaining is underpinned by a system of awards providing for fair, relevant and secure wages and conditions of employment and is empowered to resolve disputes when the parties cannot reach agreement;

—considers there is an obligation on the parties to bargain in good faith and condemns the use of lock-outs in industrial disputes;

—is committed to improving job security, by protecting 100 per cent of employee entitlements and preventing the misuse of casual employment and other forms of insecure employment as a means of

• eroding pay and working conditions;


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— is committed to ensuring that Australians

are protected from .disease, injury and . . accidents in their workplaces; —supports initiativesthat assist mature-age Australians to, participate. in the workforce; —supports the right of all working Australians

to protection against being dismissed unfairly; and.. —supports family-friendly workplaces that allow working Australians to balance work

and family life.

Taking the high road to high skills and high wages will contribute to Labor's Vision of prosperous, fair,. tolerant and compassionate Australia.

Industrial Manslaughter Legislation Conference congratulates the ACT unions and Government for the timely introduction of

industrial manslaughter legislation. Recent tragic workplace fatalities have highlighted the need for this legislation. Conference recognises the duty of company owners and

managers in enforcing OH&S. in their. enterprises. Where this duty is neglected there are currently inadequateilsanctions.' Conference urges all State,and Territory

governments to rectify this lack of ' L accountability.

Discrimination by Australia Post towards.injured workers Australia Post workers who have a non-work related injury/illness are beingmanaged in

accordance with the Australia Post non-work related injury/illness policy.

Under the Australia Post non-work related injury/illness policy; employees who have a non-work related injury or illness are directed' home on to sick leave (Oftenunpaid) and

ultimately have their employment terminated. Employees who are able to perform the . inherent requirements of the job with

reasonable adjustments for example,"_ provision of a chair at retail counters, have been directed Onto sick leave and have had`". their employment terminated._

Australia-Post is"a very large national business capable of accommodating injured or sick workers through flexible and modified workplace arrangements and/or reasonable

adjustments to the workplace:..

It is therefore the view of the Conference that the policy unfairly discriminates against workers who have non-work related injuries. and/or illness The policy is . particularly harsh

and unfair given that many of the workers, who are managed under the policy have medical restrictions, which stem from earlier work related -injury,forwhich Australia Post

has ceased to accept liability. Further, it is the view of the Conference that the Australia Post non work related injury/illness policy conflicts with Australia .Post. obligations .under

the Disability Discrimination Act.

Australia Post must provide reasonable adjustments to workplaces; :. or retraining and redeployment, for employees who suffer

short or long ` term medical restrictions

Australia Post must cease the practice of sending employees to facility nominated doctors for the purpose of directing -. employees; home on to sick leave under its'.

non work related-.injury /illness policy. Australia' Post rhust.'withdraw its non work related. injury/illness policy:

The National ALP Secretary is directed to communicate this Conference's opposition to the Australia Post non work related injury/illness policy; to Australia Post.

The National ALP Conference calls upon the Shadow Minister for Comcare to seek advice from Comcare as to the possible adverse effects the Australia Post policy has on its

employees with disability. Following the







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advice from Comcare.: the .Shadow: Minister is

to communicate with relevant ALP National Committees and the Communication Electrical, Plumbing Union .(CEPU.).as to the outcome of the'Comcare facility.

This Conference calls upon` the Shadow Minister for Communications/Industrial Relations to express concern to the Federal Government and Australia Post in relation to its policy.

Free and Democratic Trade Unionism

Labor is committed to the suppo rt and advancement of free and democratic trade unions in our region. Labor `supports the principle of all workers in our region to be able to form, join and be active in trade

unions. Labor is concerned that in some countries in our region and elsewhere in the world these rights do not exist. Labor condemns. the recent assassination of Cambodian trade union leader Chea Vichea and suppo rts the protest lodged by the

ICFTU with the Cambodian Government.


Chapter Four


Security and Opportunity

for Older Australians


Labor Party National Platfor m and Constitution 2004

Chapter Four compensation, commemoration, income

Security and Opportunity for support, health care, aged care and

Older Australians

housing assistance.

8. Labor believes that research into ageing

Basic Principles (and in particular dementia) and aged

-p 1. Labor recognises the vital contribution of service care delivery is essential to

rP CD older Australians to our community and ensure that current and future needs of

-n will encourage and support them to live older Australians are met.

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full, active and independent lives.

9. Labor will work towards the development

1 cn 2. Labor will continue to encourage and of culturally sensitive aged care programs


support older Australians to play an active to ensure that older Australians can p. r • role in the community and to contribute to maintain optimum health security, self

the development and implementation of P P respect and dignity. P 9 Y D M p. the policies that affect their quality of life. 10. Labor will develop high quality care -0 3. Labor believes that a secure, adequate standards for aged care providers so that

M o income and access to good quality, they deliver high quality outcomes.

appropriate health and aged care

services when they are needed are Opportunity for Older Australians essential to older Australians' peace 11. Labor recognises that most older 54 of mind. Australians remain healthy and continue

4. Labor is committed to providing a to lead full, active and independent lives

guaranteed, universal and integrated well into their 70s and 80s. Older retirement incomes system that is secure, Australians make a crucial contribution to stable, simple and fair. the Australian community.

Labor recognises that the maintenance 12. Labor rejects any suggestion that older and expansion of the industry Australians are a burden on our society.

superannuation system is fundamental to

the achievement of income security for 13. Labor's policies will recognise and value

older Australians. older Australians in their many roles as:

Labor will initiate measures necessary to —experienced and committed workers; ensure that workers, including those who —active volunteers in many have had interrupted working lives, have organisations; income security in retirement.

—carers of children and other family

5. Labor believes that Australians' access to members;

aged care services should be on the —investors;

basis of their need for that care and not

on their ability to pay or where they live. —teachers and students;

6. Labor recognises the invaluable work —advisers, guides and mentors to the

undertaken by older Australians as

next generations; and

volunteers in the community and will —builders of our sense of community.

encourage and facilitate such activity. 14. Labor's policies will encourage and

7. Labor will continue to honour Australia's support older Australians to live full, active

debt to veterans through programs of and independent lives.



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—Labor will enact comprehensive age

discrimination legislation and will

ensure that its policies do not

discriminate against older Australians

—Labor supports programs which provide

lifelong learning opportunities for older

Australians. Labor will encourage older

Australians who wish to expand their

learning horizons to take up educational

opportunities, particularly through adult

and community education, universities

of the Third Age and emerging

technologies. Labor will ensure that

programs are in place which will enable

the formal recognition of acquired skills

of older working Australians.

—Labor supports health promotion

initiatives which improve the quality of

life for older Australians, such as those

that encourage older Australians to

remain physically active and provide

information to prevent injury.

—Labor will explore ways of encouraging

and supporting more older Australians

to engage in community service activities, including through financial

support for organisations administering

volunteer programs.

—Labor will support educational and

other programs which encourage older

Australians to pursue a healthy lifestyle.

—Labor will encourage and support older

Australians to contribute to the

development and implementation of the

policies which affect their lives.

15. Labor supports programs which ensure

that older Australians who wish to remain

in the workforce are not discriminated

against. Labor will encourage industry to

provide continued educational opportunities and adapt work organisation

to enable older Australians to continue in

the workforce.

16. Labor is committed to increasing employment opportunities for older

Australians and addressing negative

stereotypes and debunking myths about older workers' suitability and ability

to work.

Labor will actively promote employment of

older workers in the public service.

Labor will actively campaign to remove all

forms of discrimination against older workers in the workplace and barriers to

their employment.

17. Labor will ensure that the needs of older Australians in the workforce are taken into

consideration when developing occupational health and safety policy.

This will ensure that older Australians in the workforce are safe and their specific

needs are addressed.

A Secure Income for Older Australians

18. The growing number and proportion of older Australians requires a comprehensive retirement incomes policy which ensures a

guaranteed decent minimum retirement income for all Australians.

19. In government, Labor, together with the trade union movement, employers and superannuation providers, established a comprehensive three pillars retirement

incomes system, based on:

—government guaranteed age pensions

with appropriate means testing;

—compulsory superannuation coverage

for all employees; and

—incentives to encourage voluntary superannuation contributions.

20. Labor will continue to strengthen these

three pillars to provide a retirement incomes system which:

—is universal;

—guarantees all Australians a decent minimum retirement income;

Australian Labor Pa

rty Nationa l P lat fo rm a nd Constitution 2004

—bett er protects retirement investments;

—is simple and cost effective to administer; and

—is fair and equitable in its operation. n 21. Australia currently has a retirement income system based on three pillars; the

I basic government pension, compulso ry -n superannuation and volunta ry

C superannuation.Labor will continue to

o N promote and develop this system to


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provide all Australians with a higher

Q retirement income. To achieve this Labor

will set clear goals for levels of retirement > a income, in particular levels of compulsory 0 d ^


75. 0 22. Labor supports a universal retirement N A incomes system which:

—e nsures that no Australian is le ft without an adequate retirement income; and 56 —involves greater integration and coordination of the pensions and

superannuation systems, to reduce complexity and enhance stability.

23. Labor supports a guaranteed minimum retirement income:

—based on an income support payment which is at least twenty-five per cent of male total average weekly earnings, and indexed twice a year in line with

increases in the Consumer Price Index; and

—supplemented by superannuation


24. Labor supports a retirement incomes system with better security and protection which:

—provides protection and compensation in the event of theft or fraud for both pre-retirement and post-retirement income products;

—ensures fees and charges are monitored and capped where appropriate; and

—maximises returns through a competitive environment balanced by the safe, stable, and long term approach to be delivered by

superannuation investment providers.

25. Labor supports a simpler retirement incomes system which:

—is streamlined to improve efficiency and minimise administrative costs; —allows superannuation funds to include death and disability insurance in their

investment products;

—provides some access to lump sum benefits; and —allows people to make informed choices about their retirement

investment strategies through ongoing education campaigns for the community and superannuation providers.

26. Labor supports a fair and equitable retirement incomes system which:

—provides taxation treatment of retirement income investments that is fair, equitable and administratively


—prevents gender discrimination;

—provides equitable treatment to same-sex couples including for superannuation;

—ensures equity and fairness in the division of benefits in the event of the ending of a relationship; and

—is regularly reviewed to ensure that older Australians' share in the growth and prosperity of the country.

27. Labor recognises that women's work patterns mean that many retire with small superannuation investments. Labor

supports a retirement incomes system for

women which:

—ensures that the work choices women

make over the course of their lives do

not jeopardise the adequacy of their retirement income;



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—promotes the benefits of

superannuation for women through a targeted education campaign which assists women to make informed decisions about their retirement income

choices; and —encourages and fosters the involvement of women in all aspects of the superannuation indust ry.

28. Labor will ensure that workers, especially women, employed for a small number of hours per week in pa rt time or casual jobs, shall continue to receive compulso ry

superannuation coverage with full vesting

from day one, in order to maximise their retirement income.

29. Labor suppo rts maintaining the existing links between superannuation and the industrial relations system to provide essential protection for employees through a representative and balanced

trustee structure and an independent appeals process.

Caring For Older Australians 30. Labor believes that the Commonwealth should continue to play a central role in aged care se rvices.

31. Labor will ensure that access to residential aged care is determined by medical need, not financial means.

32. To make sure that older Australians have access to the se rvices they need, Labor will ensure that the planning ratio for the allocation of aged care services reflects

the needs of the population.

33. Labor will maintain an appropriate balance between community-based and residential aged care services, to ensure that older Australians can access the kind

of care they choose, and the kind of care they need.

34. Labor has a commitment to provide the highest quality aged care services

possible. Labor believes that older Australians who need residential care should be provided with the highest quality nursing and personal care, in safe

and comfortable surroundings. To ensure high quality service standards are adopted and maintained, Labor supports a rigorous accreditation process. Labor will tighten the monitoring of aged care

facilities, especially for those that do not provide an appropriate level of care, to ensure that all aged care facilities provide high quality care and services to older Australians.

35. Labor supports an effective complaints resolution process to ensure that residents of aged care facilities and their families are able to resolve their concerns


36. Labor recognises the difficult work conditions and pressures faced by the aged care workforce. Labor in government will introduce minimum

staffing levels into residential aged care facilities.

37. There is a critical shortage of aged care nurses and a major wage disparity between nurses and personal care staff in the aged care sector and the acute care

sector. Labor will develop strategies to improve the recruitment and retention of aged care nurses with a focus on: —addressing the wage disparity; —improving working conditions; —reducing the paperwork burden; and

—improving opportunities for further education and training.

Labor will develop strategies to improve recruitment, retention, training, working conditions and remuneration of other aged care workers.

38. Labor supports initiatives which ensure that the aged care workforce has an appropriate mix of professionals including


Australian Labor Party

National Platform and Constitution 2004

nurses, geriatricians, psychogeriatricians, —Labor will promote new ways of

personal carers, and allied health delivering community based services to

professionals, meet the emerging needs of older


39. Labor will ensure that the rights of frail older people are respected and protected. —Labor will support innovative ways to

Labor believes that aged care recipients facilitate, encourage and enhance the

and their representatives should be

ability of people to care for older

I empowered to play a central role in Australians in their community.

0 determining the nature of their care and 42. Labor will ensure that older Australians in

I ensuring that quality standards are being rural and regional areas have

o CD met. comprehensive access to aged care

I.-,' C services appropriate to their needs.

p, M. 40. Labor recognises the need for all services 1 0) and programs for older Australians to be 43. Labor understands the need to provide

C Q person focused and designed to meet culturally appropriate aged care services

0 their specific and individual needs. Labor for older Indigenous Australians and older

• - will promote equity and access to all

people from diverse cultural and linguistic

N programs and service for older backgrounds, and will promote the

Australians. delivery of such services.

41. Labor recognises that older Australians 44. Labor will support the people who care 58 prefer to stay within their own for older Australians at home, and

neighbourhoods or communities. This promote new ways to support carers in

could be within their own home or the their vital work.

home of relatives. 45. Labor will simplify and streamline rules

—Labor supports the vital services which concerning residents' contributions to their

allow older Australians to remain at care costs to ensure equity and fairness

home, such as personal care, and protect older Australians from the

housekeeping, home maintenance, forced sale of their homes.

community transport, meals services, 46. Labor will improve the links between and allied health care. acute and primary health care, aged care

—Labor supports quality assurance and other services so that older processes within the community care Australians have continuity of care, and

sector to ensure that high quality can access the care they need without

service standards are adopted and having to deal with multiple programs and

maintained, multiple levels of government.


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Labor recognises that it is estimated that there will be half a million Australians with a diagnosis of dementia by 2040, and that by 2016 dementia will be the leading cause of

disability burden in Australia. Labor.will work closely with the State/Territory governments to ensure that there is a nationally coordinated approach to-this vital:issue. ,..

Within a public health framework, Labor will seek to promote dementia research, early diagnosis of dementia, carer support and best practice management in dementia care.

Labor believes that dementia should be a priority for all governments, and supports policies which will address the needs of people with dementia and their carers.

The Third Age Conference notes that the distinction made in the literature on changes in age distribution between people described as being in the Third. Age, that is people outside the paid

labour force who maintain independence and continue contribution to the community and their own families, and the Fourth°Age, people who are in increasing levels of dependence.

About 2.3 million Australians: are in the Third Age and 400,000 in the Fourth, a difference of 6:1. . -.

The health of the Third Age largely depends on modest levels of public health expenditure while the Fourth Age depends on high levels of expenditure on therapeutic medicine.

A Labor Government will need to review this proportionality if it wishes to keep people in the Third Age active, independent and outside institutions as long as possible. tabor should

try to avoid an automatic linking of terms such as "Aged" with "Care" or "Disability",.as revolutionary changes in life expectancy make them increasingly inappropriate.

Indigenous people Labor recognises .the ,shameful situation that the life expectancy of indigenous people is 20 years less than that of`bther Australians.

In some parts of Australia;. including, southern Australia, life expectancy is as low as 33 years Labor commits : itself to bringing

about an end to this unacceptable situation. by looking at mainstream and specific programs that are aimed at increasing the life`expectancy

rof ihdigenous people.

Aged Care inquiry :..

Conference -notes the cur rent crisis in aged care standards and services due to the Howard

Government's failure to maintain' appropriate` regulatory standards on ,minimum staffing .levels, training and prudentialmanagement in residential aged

care facilities, -notes the continuing failure'` of- the Aged Care Standards and Accreditation Agency to properly assess and enforce`'

accreditation standards, thus jeopardising the care, health and safety of residents and staff in aged care facilities;_ and —notes that the failure by the . Howard

Government to properly monitor and expand the availability of aged care facilities has resulted in increased'. numbers of elderly Australians remaining

in acute care .

Conference 'therefore ,calls on the. Senate to .

conduct an inquiry into aged care, particularly:

—the effectiveness of the current' regulatory framework' in ensuring the adequacy of staffing levels training and proper. standards care; and the performance of the Aged Care

Standards and Accreditation Agency.



Chapter Five

Personal and Family 61

Well Being


n Labor Pa rty

National Platform and Constitution 2004

Chapter Five

—ensure that the health workforce is sufficient to meet the growing need for

Personal and Family health services;

Well Being —reform the health system to end blame

and cost shifting, to remove the sharp 0 7 edges between primary, acute and

0) A HEALTH SYSTEM THAT aged care and to ensure different levels


DELIVERS of government work together to fund

-n Strengthening Medicare

and deliver integrated health services;

(p 1. Medicare is the cornerstone of Australia's —tackle the historic injustice that Indigenous Australians face accessing


high quality health system. Medicare is a health services and improve life

0 universal system of health insurance expectancies for Indigenous W z ^, d funded through a combination of general Australians; taxation and a Medicare levy based on --encourage the integration of services to a ability to pay. Since 1984, it has ensured get the best outcomes for people; -n that all Australians have been entitled to3 free hospital care, bulk billed or rebated — ut new emphasis on the quality and P Pmedical services, and subsidised timeliness of treatment;essential medicines. Before Medicare, —promote the adoption of new healthAustralians had to rely on private health technologies that meet real needs;insurance or pay their own medical bills. —target priority areas which have been 62 under-resourced, including dental 2. Labor believes that Medicare should be services and services for people with defended, retained and strengthened. mental health and drug problems; Labor is opposed to allowing individualsto opt out of Medicare and is opposed to —work to ensure that resources are allocated on the basis of health need the direct or indirect means testing of so that people are not excluded from Medicare and bulk billing. Medicare necessary services because of their should remain a universal system for all financial circumstances or where they Australians. Labor is opposed to the live; and creation of a two-tiered health system in —support a private health sector that which Medicare is confined to being a complements the services available to second class 'safety net'. all Australians under Medicare.3. Labor will strengthen Medicare to meet 4. Labor believes that all Australians are future challenges, including those entitled to lead full, healthy, productiveassociated with our ageing population and satisfying lives with dignity andand increased use of health technology. independence. To achieve be tter healthTo ensure all Australians have access to outcomes, Labor will:the health care they need, Labor will: —place a greater focus on healthy living—restore bulk billing for all Australians and illness prevention;and their families, not just those who —ensure that appropriate, affordablemeet a means test; primary health care is accessible to—in conjunction with the States, work to everyone;ensure that Australians who need —make use of new informationessential elective surgery are able to technologies that improve health andaccess it in a timely fashion; empower health consumers;



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—provide more resources to deliver quality health care for the acutely ill;

—improve the quality of life for those with

chronic illness; and

—improve palliative care services and ensure people can die with dignity.

bodies, community organisations, the public and private health sectors and consumers in the planning and delivery of health services. Labor will work in partnership with all parties to improve the

quality of our health services.


Harnessing New Technology

Improving the Quality of Health Services 10. Labor sees major opportunities for new

5. Labor is committed to improving the

technology to make health services more

quality of health services. Labor will

effective, more accessible and more

measure the quality of health services consumer friendly. Technological change

provided against six quality principles:

needs to be carefully managed with close

access, efficiency, effectiveness,

attention to the social and ethical

appropriateness, safety and consumer implications and the need for privacy for


personal health records. Labor will ensure that commercial interests do not subvert

6. Labor will invest in and promote intended health outcomes and that

knowledge management to: decisions are made on the basis of

—improve the flow of information through clinical and cost effectiveness determined the health care system; by the best available research evidence.

—reduce the variation in the use and 11. Labor will, in collaboration with State and outcomes of health services; and Territory governments, build information —ensure the efficient implementation of technology and communication evidence based health care. infrastructure and systems that improve

the decisions made by consumers,

7. Labor will develop benchmarks for health clinicians and health service managers

service performance and standard of

about care, service delivery and policy.

treatment and encourage the use of this The purpose of this investment will be to:

information by consumers to help choose their preferred health service, and inform —build accessible knowledge bases from managers and health care providers so quality data systems, libraries of that the quality of health services is research evidence and the experience

improved, of consumers and professionals;

8. Labor believes the funders, managers, —enhance online communication

providers, and consumers of our health between consumers and professionals,

services have a role to play in improving and primary and acute care settings,

the quality of health services. Labor will regardless of location, to improve

identify and promote mechanisms that

health outcomes and service quality;

assist stakeholders to take an active role and

in improving the quality of health services --create data management systems that and to ensure that they are held monitor population health and the

accountable for their performance within safety, quality and efficiency of health the health system. services.

9. Quality health service delivery depends 12. Labor will ensure that appropriate training on cooperative working relationships is undertaken by health professionals to between governments, professional develop and maintain the skills necessary


Australian Lab

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National Platform and Constitution 2004

to use these knowledge bases, health —the use of secure electronic networks to

records and communication systems. give clinicians and pharmacists access to high quality drug information

Managing Health Information sources; and

13. Labor believes the development and —the use of electronic prescriptions to

v implementation of health knowledge up speed and reduce errors in communications between clinicians

r management systems that include and pharmacists.

I electronic health records and decision _n support systems for evidence-based 16.

Labor will give the Health Insurance

CD practice are central to improving the Commission greater powers to analyse

safety and quality of health services data to examine variations in practices to m f D , provided. However, these new tools enable the promotion of professional 00 cannot be widely used until satisfactory practice based on the best available


- arrangements are in place to ensure evidence from research. Clinicians will be

security and privacy are protected. supported in their evidence-based through the development of practice

-r 0)

14. Labor will ensure every Australian has a appropriate, accessible clinical guidelines

_ personal electronic health record that and pathways of care.

1 incorporates high levels of security to

protect consumer privacy. Labor will Delivering Health Information develop a strong privacy regime built to Consumers 64 around a unique patient identifier based 17. Labor recognises that the Australian on the Medicare card. Legislation will public wants and needs understandable

prevent this number being used for any and relevant information about their other purpose and access will depend on health care. Many Australians feel authorisation from both the patient and under-informed about their health the doctor. A range of other safeguards care and this lack of information can

will be incorporated in legislation, which cause unnecessary anxiety about will be developed after a public inquiry appropriate treatments. into all the issues. 18. Labor believes that all health service 15. It is critical that health providers can users have the right to:

communicate effectively with each other —receive information about their while maintaining patient confidentiality. condition, treatment options and risks Labor will provide leadership in and give informed consent before development of national, secure health receiving health services;

data standards and will establish a —give informed financial consent, before

common framework for health record receiving health services, which

systems. The delay in establishing this involves the ability to obtain estimated

infrastructure is inhibiting the delivery of costs of proposed procedures; quality health services in Australia and —expect privacy for their health records consequently contributing to unnecessaryadverse events. Specifically Labor will and other information relating to their health and use of health services; ensure: —obtain access to their health records; —the use of tele-health to give rural and clinicians direct access to city basedspecialists and the resources of major —indicate, ahead of time, theirteaching hospitals; unwillingness to have their

National Platform and Constitution 2004

Australian Labor Party

prolonged by artificial means should expenditure will continue to increase as

they at some stage suffer from a the population grows and ages and terminal illness, technological advances allow new options

19. Labor believes that better informed for treatment. This increase in health care consumers will participate expenditure can be met within a growing n more actively in the health decision economy and it will be to the advantage making process which will lead to a of the Australian community as our health r+ reduction in the incidence of adverse improves. events, foster a greater partnership26. The financing arrangements for approach between consumers and Australia's health system need to be 0

providers and increase consumer simplified. Labor will: CD cD satisfaction with the care provided. = cn

—resolve confusion over multiple funding po 0

20. Labor will promote consumers' access tosources and disputes between the timely, accurate and relevant health Commonwealth, States and Territories information through support for public over who is responsible for delivering internet sites which provide independent,particular services; evidence-based sources of information for -

people to research their health problems. —ensure the public and private sectors 1 work to complement each other;

21. Labor will encourage the development of —carefully manage factors which educational materials about treatment influence demand and supply for health 65 options, medicines and proceduresassociated with a variety of clinical services; andconditions, for consumers. —maintain pressure to ensure Medicare buys health services wisely, particularly 22. A strong and independent complaints in high technology areas such as system is essential to ensuring patients'rights are respected and should also playpathology and radiology.a constructive role in reform. Cooperation Between GovernmentsHealth Financing23. International experience demonstratesthat public purchasing of health services,as occurs under Medicare, is the mosteffective system for controlling costs andachieving fair access to services.24. Labor will ensure that health resourcesare used efficiently and that priorities areset on the basis of the needs of patientsand achieving the best outcomes. Inrecent years Commonwealth funding forMedicare and the Australian Health CareAgreements has been inadequate andservice standards have fallen because ofunder funding.25. Labor's policies are based on theexpectation that Australia's health 27. An effective health system depends upon

cooperation between federal, State, Territory and local governments in planning, funding, monitoring and delivering health services.

—The federal government must play a national leadership role, particularly in public health, indigenous health and health promotion.

—The federal government has primary responsibility for national health policy and health insurance, both Medicare and private health insurance.

—State and Territory governments have primary responsibility for service delivery and administration and an important priority setting role.



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National Platform and Constitution 2004


—Local governments have responsibilities for developing and

maintaining the physical and social

environments of local communities, and

in service delivery.

28. Australia's health system needs reform aimed at developing a long-term primary

health care strategy, specifying mechanisms to close the gaps between primary care, acute care, rehabilitative care and aged care, improving quality and

quality assurance, defining the best way for the private sector and the public

system to complement each other, embracing preventative health care and the promotion of healthier lifestyles, and of course, implementing strategies for

addressing critical health workforce shortages. Reform is also needed to clarify the funding and delivery roles played by federal, State, Territory and

local governments to ensure efficiency, quality and integration of services.

29. Labor will establish a national health reform commission to drive reform of the health system. The commission will bring together all the major players, including the Commonwealth, all State and Territory

governments, local government, the heads of major statutory authorities, a representative group of managers from

major public hospitals and health services, consumers, doctors, nurses, and other health professionals, health unions, and the private health sector to

develop an action agenda for the reform

of the health system.


COMMUNITY Promoting Health and Well Being

30. Labor believes a fundamental pillar of our

health system must be health maintenance, health promotion and preventing people becoming ill. National

responsibility for setting priorities and

providing funding rests with the federal government. However, substantial change

in personal behaviour and reducing the

risk profile of the community can only be achieved and sustained with the active

participation of the non-government sector of community groups working with

health professionals to promote good

health and illness prevention.

31. To promote good health and well being,

Labor will:

—pursue national strategies for ten national priority areas: mental health, cancer, sexually transmitted and blood-borne diseases, cardiovascular

disease, asthma, injuries, suicide,

diabetes, arthritis and obesity;

—support research into the causes of

other preventable health problems in order to develop new effective health

promotion programs;

—reduce the risk of communicable diseases through the vigorous promotion of universal childhood immunisation and improving the

Communicable Diseases Network in a cooperative program with the State health departments and infectious

diseases specialists;

—reduce the harm caused by misuse of


—develop programs that tackle the environmental causes of ill health and

issues of occupational health and

safety; and

• —seek to further integrate health promotion and preventive health activities with Medicare and general


32. Labor will actively pursue national strategies to combat transmissible blood

diseases including HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C. These strategies will include targeted prevention campaigns, continued

access to treatments through the


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Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme and

health programs for people living with HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C.

33. Labor will undertake new health education programs to increase awareness of health risks, promote a healthier lifestyle and

reduce the toll of preventable ill health.

Public health messages will be appropriately targeted to different groups within the community including Indigenous Australians and those from non-English speaking backgrounds.

Care in the Community

34. Primary health care. Labor recognises the importance of high-quality primary health care services and the need for general practitioners, nurses, community pharmacists and a wide range of allied health professionals to work together in providing these services.

35. Labor is committed to the improvement of

primary health care through:

—reducing financial barriers which prevent people from accessing primary health care services provided by general practitioners by increasing the value of the rebate for bulk billed services and providing financial

incentives for GPs to bulk bill more of their patients;

—addressing workforce shortages by making more GPs and other primary care professionals available, particularly in rural, regional and outer metropolitan areas of need;

—strengthening the link between patients and their GPs and pharmacists to improve the management of chronic illness and to encourage GPs to act as advocates for their patients when they require hospital treatment;

—promoting Divisions of General

Practice, as the basis for the

development of innovative approaches to primary care and the building of

better links between GPs and other health and medical professionals;

—ensuring that a primary health care team approach is a prime consideration

in any new GP services;

—providing new funding for high quality

general practices to deliver services for

which fee-for-service payment is

inappropriate, especially health

promotion and illness prevention, and

supporting general practice with better

resources and a reduction in 'red tape';


—maintaining opposition to compulsory co-payments.

36. Continuity and coordination of care.

Labor recognises that improving the

continuity and coordination of care,

especially for Australians with complex and ongoing care needs, is a high priority

in health care reform, and will require a

concerted effort at all levels, including

cooperation among Commonwealth, State

and Territory governments and local

government. Labor does not support US

style managed care programs driven by

financial rather than clinical outcomes

37. Community health. Labor will put an

emphasis on community health programs

to ensure all groups in the community

have information and access to services

appropriate to their health needs. These

programs will be delivered by health

professionals, and through the general

media and community health centres.

38. Pharmaceuticals. Labor will ensure all

Australians have affordable access to

their essential medicines through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).

In particular Labor will:

—ensure thorough and timely evaluation

of new medicines and therapeutic

devices before their approval for use in Australia;



ian Labor Party

National Platform and Constitution 2004

—work to reduce the harm caused by the these areas is recognised and also to

misuse of pharmaceuticals, through

ensure that consumers are well informed

inadvertent misuse of prescription

and protected from physical or mental

drugs or fraudulent abuse of the PBS; harm or financial exploitation.

C —support the continuing growth of the National Drugs Strategy

p) Australian pharmaceutical industry and 41. Labor recognises the serious health and recognise its potential to generate jobs social impact that problematic alcohol,I and e x ports for Australia; legal and illegal drug use has on the-n —maintain the ban on direct advertising Australian community. Tobacco useCD of prescription medicines; continues to cause harm to the individualC —prevent the illegal sale of registered and the community. Other legal drugs= (J ' and non-registered pharmaceuticals such as alcohol can cause damage if not 0W through the internet; and used in moderation and are a major factor—ensure that international trade in domestic violence and road accidents.C - agreements and other treaties do not Greater efforts are needed to prevent and -I, compromise the effectiveness of the address the significant health and social3 problems caused by illegal drugs. PBS—Labor believes that a sustainable Labor is committed to developingPBS is essential to the success of innovative integrated strategies toMedicare, and that the PBS must improve the outcomes of alcohol and68 be managed responsibly having drug interventions provided by specialistregard to the ageing of the Australian alcohol and drug services, general andpopulation and improvements in mental health services, youth and familymedical technology, services, disability services, housing services, law enforcement and criminal39. Community pharmacies. Labor is justice system, policy and researchcommitted to maintenance of a services and indigenous services.competitive community pharmacy sector Labor will ensure that the in Australia to deliver high quality health Commonwealth, State and Territory products and information at a community governments work together to develop level. Labor supports an expansion of models that coordinate the alcohol and the range of services to be provided drug interventions provided by all relevant through community pharmacies including services to maximise positive outcomes the delivery of basic health services for the community. such as methadone, wound management,and asthma and diabetes management Labor recognises the need to improve theprograms. coordination of care across a range of40. Complementary medicine. Laborservices. Labor will work towards enhancing cross-sector complex case recognises and understands that many management between services andAustralians value alternative health health professionals. treatments and products. Labor willreview the current regulatory regime to 42. Central to Labor's drug strategy is theensure that it is both robust and effective, principle of harm minimisation for allLabor will work to establish appropriate drugs. In particular Labor will, inregistration and accreditation for consultation with expert bodies, drug andpractitioners and their products to ensure alcohol agencies, community groups andthat the beneficial work of practitioners in peak





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National Platform and Constitution 2004 Australian Labor Par ty

—curb the supply of illegal drugs through

effective law enforcement;

—tackle the underlying causes of both legal and illegal drug problems in order to reduce demand;

—reduce the demand for illegal drugs through targeted adve rtising and public health education campaigns;

—increase the oppo rtunities for treatment and harm reduction for people with drug problems; and

—e nsure supply and consumption rates are monitored and reduced where needed to minimize alcohol harm.

43. Tobacco. Labor will focus on the prevention and reduction of the harm caused by tobacco by further tightening restrictions on tobacco advertising, conducting aggressive anti-smoking campaigns, and developing national clean air standards to address passive smoking.

A new focus will be placed on harm minimisation strategies and promotion of nicotine replacement therapies to reach

those people not influenced by cu rrent Quit programs. Labor believes that more investigation is needed into manufacturing and marketing practices that target younger Australians. Manufacturers of tobacco should be held to account for any

unlawful activity in relation to the suppression or destruction of evidence about the health risks associated with smoking and passive smoking.

44. Alcohol. Labor will promote awareness of safer pa tterns of alcohol use, encouraging reduced consumption at hazardous and harmful levels. With targeted advertising and public education campaigns, strengthened treatment services and appropriate regulation, including taxation, public intoxication, under-aged drinking, and alcohol-related illness and social problems can be reduced.

45. Petrol sniffing and chroming. Labor recognises that the practices of petrol

sniffing and chroming are seriously damaging to health. Young people are particularly at risk of harm from the misuse of legally available volatile substances. Labor's priority is to focus on prevention and also to protect the health and welfare of those who misuse volatile substances or are at risk of misusing them. Adequately funded community

based approaches supported by adequate government services including

children's services, correctional services and policing are needed to minimize the harm caused by these practices.

46. Illicit drugs. Labor will develop and implement a comprehensive framework of strategies to address the diverse problems cause by illicit drugs. These strategies will include:

—developing and implementing comprehensive community and education strategies targeted to those most in need of information. These groups include the young, families, migrants, refugees and indigenous Australians and the strategies should

be designed to encourage drug free lifestyles;

—additional funding for treatment, prima ry health care, rehabilitation and diversion services run by government and non-government agencies;

—support for harm prevention and harm minimisation strategies to prevent the onset of drug use and also deal with drug abuse in cooperation with State, Territory and local governments, including targeted advertising and public education campaigns, strengthened treatment for services and clean needle and needle exchange programs;

—research based trials of alternative pathways to treat and manage drug dependence;

—specialised early intervention support

services, including counselling and



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National Platform and Constitution 2004


—support for consultation with service users and peak professional bodies

in alcohol and drug service planning 50

and delivery;

social support, for families and friends

of problematic drug users;

—culturally appropriate services for young

people, Indigenous Australians and migrants. These services to work with

mainstream drug and alcohol services;

—support for community self-help organisations and recognition of the role they play in community support and the reintegration of service users

back into the community; and

—provision of advocacy services for treatment recipients of drug and

alcohol services.

Food and Therapeutic Products

48. Food labelling. To enjoy healthy lifestyles, Australians and their families need to know what is in the food they are eating and what processes are being

used to make food. Labor supports giving consumers essential information to enable them to make an informed choice when purchasing food products.

To make certain consumers have access to effective product labelling Labor will

ensure that:

—genetically modified food is labelled;


—consumers are better informed of the

nutritional quality of packaged food through improved nutritional panels.

49. Food standards. Labor is committed to working with State governments and the New Zealand Government to improve the current system of food safety standards.

There is a need for greater transparency in the development of standards and more dialogue between consumers, trade

unions and industry on technical issues.

Australia should bring its standards in line

with world's best practice while allowing

sufficient flexibility for State-based


These standards need to be backed by

quality implementation, ongoing

monitoring and enforcement where necessary. Labor will work with all

stakeholders to spread the burden of

cost to protect small business and

local councils.

51. Genetically modified food. Labor recognises community concern about genetically modified food. To ensure our food is of a high quality and safe,

Labor will:

—maintain consumer and environmental

safety through strict enforcement of national standards as the principal

policy consideration;

—build public confidence by providing

appropriate and balanced public


—ensure all issues pertaining to import, export, production, distribution and use of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) are overseen by a strong

national body that is independent,

scientifically based and whose processes are transparent;

—establish a meaningful labelling regime

that enables consumers to make informed choices about what they

are buying;

—undertake continued research on the use of foods containing GMOs to better

understand health, safety and environmental risks and benefits; and

—put in place a rigorous and transparent process based on environmental and safety considerations, for assessing

47. Road, sea and air trauma. Labor will support a comprehensive approach to 70 reduce the incidence of road, sea and air

accidents attributable to fatigue, speeding, or alcohol or other drugs.


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National Platform and Constitution 2004 Australian Labor Party

and approving or rejecting research

proposals which require the release of GMOs outside the laboratory.

52. Food and therapeutic products regulation. Labor recognises that the ongoing introduction of new technologies

has revealed overlaps in the current responsibilities of food, therapeutic products and import/export regulatory


53. Australia needs a more effective and open regulatory system for setting standards for foods and therapeutic products produced in Australia and

imported from other markets. Labor will introduce a comprehensive food and therapeutic products regulatory model to address overlap and gap issues and place responsibility for consumer health and safety protection within an integrated structure.


Better Delivery of Health Services

54. Labor is committed to addressing the poorer health status of Australians living in rural and remote areas and improving their access to vital health care services.

55. Labor will develop a comprehensive Rural Health Plan that recognises that the health status of rural communities is directly related to the economic prosperity of each community. Depressed economic conditions lead to poorer health and in turn place greater strain on the rural

heath services provided. Labor's Rural Health Plan is, therefore, one element of a wider regional and rural policy that aims to restore the economic health of rural,

regional and remote Australia.

56. A concerted and sustained commitment by all levels of government towards working cooperatively and committing

increased resources to rural health is a necessary first step. Labor's Rural Health Plan will foster a collaborative environment between service providers and will increase resources to rural health

services. Labor will:

—negotiate agreements with State

governments and regional and local authorities that enable pooling of health and aged care funds at the regional and community level so that the delivery of services is not impeded by artificial funding barriers;

—create flexible funding arrangements that respond to a community's needs

and accommodate the different models of health services available; and

—promote greater collaboration and cooperation between public and private health services to enable the sharing of resources and maximise access to health expertise in rural and regional centres.

Ensuring the Availability of Health


57. Rural health care providers are facing increasing financial, social and professional pressures in their efforts to provide health care for rural Australians.

Labor's Rural Health Plan will recognise the special demands of rural health care and will:

—address workforce shortages in rural, regional and remote areas by increasing the number of medical places bonded to areas of workforce shortage and making GP training places more available;

—provide greater education and professional support to rural doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other health professionals to reduce the pressure they are currently experiencing;

—adopt a new approach to rural workforce education and training which



Labor Par ty

National Platform and Constitution 2004

acknowledges that the models of health efforts will also be directed at reducing

care delivery in rural and remote areas the number of youth suicides in rural are often quite different from communities, especially of young males. metropolitan health services; 60. Tele-health. Labor will significantly —support programs that improve access expand access and improve decision 0

to locum services for rural doctors, making processes for patients and health nurses, pharmacists and other health professionals through the encouragement r+ I professionals; of new technologies. The potential

T —support incentive packages that are applications for tele-health in rural areas <* (D encouraging in effective doctors , are significant, particularly as a means

nurses, pharmacists and other crucial of reducing the level of professional

= heath professionals to relocate and

isolation experienced by rural and


00 remain in rural and remote

remote health workers.

01 communities; 61. Labor's Rural Health Plan will provide

a. —promote cross-cultural training resources to significantly expand tele-

programs for rural health care workers health services. These new technologies to ensure Indigenous Australians are will be used to complement the delivery of `z appropriately cared for in mainstream face-to-face services in rural areas rather health services; and than replace them.

—in rural and regional communities, Health of Indigenous Australians

72 where public hospital facilities are

either inadequate or non-existent, 62. Labor is greatly concerned that ensure equitable access to health Indigenous Australians have unacceptably services through the provision of public poor health. They suffer a high burden of facilities in community health, aged illness and die at a younger age than

care and multi-purpose services. non-Indigenous Australians, and too often do not have access to adequate

58. Rural Australians suffer from asthma, health services. diabetes, suicide, road accidents, injuries and coronary heart disease at 63. Labor recognises that addressing the significantly higher rates than their health status of Indigenous Australians

metropolitan counterparts. To address this requires a comprehensive approach inequity and to encourage greater looking beyond a focus on health services emphasis on prevention, Labor's Rural to include cultural well being and Health Plan will include specific rural connection to the land, education,

health promotion campaigns that target environmental health and employment these preventable health problems. and training opportunities. Labor recognises as essential the need for 59. Access to mental health services is the Commonwealth government to work

difficult for rural and remote Australians. with State and Territory and local Labor is committed to developing governments to address environmental innovative strategies to improve mental health issues including housing, water, health treatment in rural communities, in sewerage and roads.

particular Labor will work with State governments to develop and implement 64. Labor recognises the critical importance strategies that will improve the availability of community control and direct of mental health professionals in the involvement in planning and delivery of

public mental health system. Specific services to the success of health services



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National Platform and Constitution 2004 Australi a n Labo r Party

for Indigenous Australians. It is critical

that we train indigenous health workers and vastly increase the number of indigenous health professionals.

65. Labor is committed to reducing the burden of premature death and disease on Australia's indigenous communities, aiming for equity in health status and life expectancy. This will require:

—a financial commitment;

—a commitment to changing the way health services are delivered; and

—most importantly, an overall approach to raise the employment, education and social circumstances that lie at the root of indigenous health problems.

66. Labor supports the Council of Australian Governments driving new approaches to regional service delivery for indigenous communities, free from the usual constraints imposed by the involvement of

different levels of government and different portfolios. Such new approaches need to be developed in partnership with indigenous communities. In particular, federal Labor will adhere to the principle

of providing Medicare Capitation Grants to State and Territority health departments and indigenous controlled health services

as agreed by the State and Territory Indigenous Health Planning Forums to pay for comprehensive primary health

care services for indigenous people. The capitation grants should be based on national per capita average Medicare

usage and adjusted to reflect actual indigenous health needs, with loadings for factors including morbidity rates, remoteness and cultural needs.

To improve health outcomes, it will be necessary to increase health spending,

with an emphasis on provision of primary health care and early intervention in remote, rural and urban communities.

Special programs that are integrated into the primary health care planning

and service delivery are needed to tackle particular problems such as renal failure, low birth weights and eye and skin diseases. Labor believes that

primary health care programs must be properly funded and developed in consultation with indigenous communities

Labor recognises the pivotal role played by indigenous health workers and supports achieving a national system of skills recognition and the creation of

career paths.

Targeting Those in Need

67. There is strong evidence that the overall level of community health will be improved, and the total cost of the health system minimised, if we focus more on preventive health measures and early intervention with those most at risk of developing an illness. Labor has therefore developed specific policy objectives to ensure that the special needs of various groups in the community are taken into account.

68. Mental Health is a major health issue and mental disorders are one of the leading causes of disability in the Australian community. According to the National Survey of Health and Well Being, 17 per

cent of Australians will experience a mental health problem at some stage of their life. Three to four per cent will experience a severe mental disorder.

Failure to address these problems will lead to a growing social and economic cost to the Australian community.

Labor is committed to ensuring that Australians have access to

comprehensive mental health care when and where this is needed. Labor affirms

the key role of the Commonwealth in leading and promoting reform of Australia's mental health service system.

Under Labor, the Commonwealth government will work in partnership with States and Territories to:



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National Platform and Constitution 2004

—re-invigorate the National Mental Health —ensure that culturally appropriate

reform agenda, including ensuring the mental health services are available to

availability in all states of community-indigenous Australians and to migrants

oriented mental health care, provided

and refugees, especially within the first

through comprehensive local mental

two years of settlement; and

3 health services and improving access —e nsure the promotion of mental health

-p to public mental health services by is given priority within health promotion

(DD targeting programs that provide early campaigns aimed at the general

T intervention, housing, improved mental community.

health responses in emergency

69. Dental health. The high cost of private

departments and assistance for young dental services makes access to N people with drug and alcohol and adequate dental care extremely difficult 3 mental health problems; for many Australians. There is a need for

z — —ensure that Australians with mental federal government involvement to ensure


health problems and their families can fair and affordable access to essential _n access disability support, housing, dental services. Labor is committed to


income security and employment restoring access to dental services for

programs and are treated fairly in the Australians on low incomes by:

justice system and that these and all —re-establishing a Commonwealth dental relevant government services recognise scheme; the episodic nature of mental illness —working with the States to reduce 74 and associated disabilities; waiting lists and implement preventive

—recognise the particular importance dental health programs; and of employment programs for people —working with dentists and health funds with mental illness and ensure new

to curb the rapid growth in dental fees

programs that work collaboratively

and keep treatment affordable.

with the public mental health system are developed to meet their 70. People with disabilities. Labor

particular needs; recognises that preventive health

—improve public access to private

measures and early intervention programs can improve the level of ability

psychiatry by providing incentives to of, and quality of life for, many people

private psychiatrists willing to work in with disabilities. Services for people with

collaboration with public mental health disabilities are provided by various levels

services; of government often leading to confusion,

—review how Medicare could enable difficulty in accessing services and gaps better access by general practitioners in services for families and individuals. to specialist psychiatric consultation Labor supports the trialling of innovative and treatment for their patients; approaches to the financing and delivery

—pilot in areas of high need, improved of services and aids for people with access to psychology and allied health disabilities and their carers.

services under Medicare; 71. Labor recognises that people with

—support the expanded provision of disabilities have limited housing options primary mental health care, including and that many young people live in aged counselling and social support, in care facilities due to the lack of more

recognition of the increasing number of appropriate accommodation options.

Australians with depression and anxiety; Labor recognises that many young people

National Platform and Constitution 2004

Australian Labor Par ty

with disabilities who are living in nursing —enforce a ban on the cloning of

homes are at risk of social isolation, human beings. depression and in some cases 76. Maternal and child health services. compromised care and could be more Labor will work with State and Territory

appropriately cared for elsewhere. Labor governments to improve the delivery of 5 will develop strategies to ensure that maternal and child health services. In p) people with disabilities can enjoy particular it will: rt

opportunities for appropriate, accessible —improve the promotion and provision of (D C

and affordable housing.

pre-natal services;


72. Women's health. Labor will develop a —improve the information available to CD national policy on women's health that will mothers about the options available CD encourage specific health services for for childbirth; = N women and will actively promote 00 0 participation of women in health decision censure that benchmarks for the 5. d

making and management. appropriate use of caesarean section co e^ and ultrasound are professionally a

73. Labor will extend the national screening developed and used to improve programs for breast cancer and cervical service delivery; 3

cancer to achieve improved access for —increase the accessibility of birthing

those groups not using these screening centres;

programs, especially those in rural areas, and non-English speaking and indigenous—redirect resources into post birth health women. care services, which are currently 75


74. Men's health. Labor will put resources —ensure continuity of care is available into a national education program to raise men's awareness of a range of after a baby is born; preventable health problems that —implement special programs for disproportionately affect men and which indigenous mothers and babies, to result in generally poorer health outcomes reduce mortality rates and improve for Australian men. These include heart health; disease, suicide, lung cancer, prostate —research the health and well being of cancer and road accidents. children to monitor and improve 75. Reproductive health. Labor will: outcomes for children;

—provide universal access to fertility —develop a new policy framework to advice and control programs and better integrate research and programs advice on the safe use of to meet the social and health needs of

contraceptives; younger children; and

—fund research into the prevention of —support and encourage breastfeeding infertility and fertility control and ensure by supporting initiatives like the that access to assisted reproductive Australian Breastfeeding Association's technology programs is not determined 24 hour phone line and lactation

by economic circumstances; specialists visiting new mothers in —ensure that a broadly representative hospital and breastfeeding workshops body exists to advise governments and for new mothers who have left hospital. the community on monitoring, 77. Young Australians. Labor recognises the

regulation and legislation related to necessity of specifically addressing the reproductive technology, including health needs of young Australians, cloning; and including:


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National Platform and Constitution 2004


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—childhood obesity, body image and

eating disorders;

—suicide prevention;

—drug and alcohol education;

—sexuality and safe sex practices;

—promotion of healthy lifestyles;

—long-term nursing home type care required as a result of accident or

illness; and

—family support and/or appropriate alternative social networks to help

children in difficulty.

78. Labor recognises the importance of providing appropriate and accessible health services to young people while ensuring confidentiality. Labor supports the issue of Medicare cards to all young Australians to facilitate their access to

health services.

79. Migrant health. Labor recognises that language and cultural differences need to be addressed to ensure fair and equal access to health services for all Australians. In particular, Labor

recognises the need for interpreter services, culturally appropriate health services and health education messages in languages other than English.

80. Palliative care. Labor believes that every person should have access to quality palliative care when dying.

People should be able to decide where they wish to die and to choose the extent of active treatment they want to prolong life as a terminal illness progresses.

People have a right to relief of pain and suffering, but there is a need for legal guidelines and safeguards to prevent abuse or wrongful actions.

81. Labor supports legislative measures to give each person a right to determine in advance the sort of medical treatment he or she wishes to receive, or not receive,

in the event that he or she is ever in a condition that prevents them from

expressing that wish.


Public Hospitals

82. Labor is committed to giving the highest priority to maintaining and improving a

high quality, integrated, free public hospital system accessible to all Australians on the basis of clinical need.

83. Labor believes that governments at Commonwealth, State and Territory level

must substantially increase their efforts to

overcome difficulties with access to public

hospitals, and to provide for increasing demand due to the ageing of the population and new medical technologies.

84. Emergency departments. There is a strong community demand to end the long queues in emergency departments and the practice of leaving people on

trolleys. Labor will work with the States

and Territories to integrate low-level emergency treatment services with primary care services available through Medicare and to develop standards for

substantial reductions in delays for treatment and admission. Labor will take the pressure off emergency departments by improving access to bulk billed GP

services and providing co-located primary

health care facilities.


85. Labor opposes the privatisation of public hospitals on the grounds that Australian and overseas experience has shown that


—does not lead to increased efficiency or effectiveness in the delivery of health


—opens the way for private operators to allow financial incentives to influence admission, treatment and hospital

discharge patterns;

—results in a loss of flexibility in the delivery of services and thereby





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National Platform and Constitution 2004 Australian Labor Party

increases the potential for additional


—results in governments relinquishing traditional democratic measures of accountability and replacing those measures with contractual


—can lead to a reduction of services offered and selective treatment of patients;

—reduces government control over the quality of services, leading to poorer quality of patient care; and

—involves a number of inherent risks associated with the contract, including non-performance of contractual requirements, a change in operator ownership, insolvency, and litigation between the government and the operator.

The Private Sector

86. The private sector plays an important role in Australia to deliver services paid for through Medicare and to supplement this with other services that are paid for

privately or covered by private health insurance. Labor recognises the role the private health sector can play to complement Medicare and remains committed to a balanced health system making best use of both public and private services.

87. However, Labor opposes growth in the private sector at the expense of the public system. The focus should be on ensuring a better regional integration of services delivered by private sector and public health providers.

88. Labor will assist private hospitals run by both not-for-profit and commercial organisations to provide services that complement Medicare. Where there are waiting lists at public hospitals for elective surgery within the capability of private

hospitals, Labor will examine tendering out this treatment.

Private Health Insurance

89. Medibank Private. Labor believes Medibank Private plays an important role as a market leader to hold down premiums and keep the private health insurance market competitive and consumer oriented. Medibank Private will therefore be retained in public ownership.

90. The private health insurance industry offers commercial products to those who want additional services to those offered by Medicare. Labor believes the

industry needs to be well regulated in the interests of contributors. To achieve this, Labor believes that the private health insurance industry needs to be reviewed,

including the operation of the private health insurance rebate. Issues to be addressed include:

—tackling the huge disincentive of gap payments;

—curbing the rapid rise in premiums by controlling costs;

—offering simpler products with more value for consumers; and

—reforming the industry structure to make it more efficient.

91. Labor will:

—urge funds to increase the proportion of policies that eliminate gap charges without increasing premiums. Doctors and other health professionals who charge gap fees will be required to disclose their additional charges prior to treatment;

—reform the reinsurance pool to remove the disincentives for funds to operate more efficiently and for the industry to restructure; and

—provide consumers with access to independent information and require funds to disclose rises in premiums.

Funds will be required to simplify their products and produce a common features statement so that people can compare what policies offer.



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I National Platform and Constitution 2004

92. The Private Health Insurance

—ensuring that a full range of supervised

Ombudsman will be given additional

training opportunities are available to

powers and resources to investigate

graduate doctors and that graduate

policy issues and to develop a Consumer doctors are not used to fill roles they

Charter for the industry, setting minimum are not trained for; and —establishing programs to ensure all

0 )


health workers remain up to date with

r t the latest health advances and


Health Workforce

Health and Medical Research

93. Labor will work to ensure an appropriate 96. Labor will encourage innovative health

CCD supply and distribution of doctors, nurses, and bio-medical research to improve the C"o pharmacists and other health workers health of all Australians, and will maintain ^. v with particular emphasis on: Australia's reputation as a world leader in —improving the supply of all health high quality, innovative, cost effectiveprofessionals in rural Australia; p research. In particular Labor will: T 0) ^ —developing strate ies to improve 9 P —increase the Commonwealthk z recruitment and retention of nurses and government's contribution to theother health professionals; research effo rt and ensure that other—supporting evolving new professional funding sources maintain or increaseroles in health care professions that their effort during this period; 78 better meet the health needs of —establish a new career structure andAustralians; pay scale for Australian medical researchers to encourage retention of —ensuring the numbers of medical our best researchers and to be specialists meet Australia's health internationally competitive; needs; and —give priority to emerging international —increasing the numbers of Indigenous industries of the future such as Australians at all levels of the health biotechnology and genetic research;workforce. —encourage private industry to increase94. Labor will recognise the particular its investment in Australian-basedproblems experienced by the mental research and development; andhealth workforce and: —work with stakeholders to establish—support the reform of nursing education comprehensive ethical guidelinesto provide for undergraduate psychiatric developed specifically for public and private general medical research and nursing courses; biotechnology/genetic research. —improve the mental health content ofallied health undergraduate courses;97. Labor recognises the pa rticular. problems experienced by the mental health and workforce in relation to undergraduate —work towards an increase and a better education and will: geographical distribution of private —support the reform of undergraduate psychiatrists. nursing education to provide for95. Labor will also address workforce issues competent beginning level psychiatric related to safety and quality including: nurses; and—ending the practice of excessive —improve mental health content of alliedworking hours for young doctors; health undergraduate




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Health Industry

98. Labor recognises that demand for

health services both in Australia and throughout the world will continue to grow This growth, particularly in the Asia Pacific region offers Australia, a technologically advanced country with a

reputation for high quality medicine, an opportunity to develop health care as a major export industry.

Labor recognises that sport is an intrinsic part of our culture and way .of" life . It builds social cohesion that binds. families, .communities, whole regions and indeed the nation. Most

important of allthe principles of fairness, accessibility and.`opportunity; .Labor is committed to ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to participate, in sport,^recreation and/or physical activity.

Labor believes that the roles of government in sport and recreation are to:.

increase participation in physical ;and " recreational activities to promote physical and mental health; —improve outcomes for public health through

encouragement facilitation and support for healthy lifestyle. choices,. including regular physical activity and other recreational pursuits; — develop, and support, participation in grass

roots community sport "and recreation activities; and develop and support high` performance athletes through the provision of

infrastructure, resources and leadership.

Labor will, through the Australian Spo rts Commission; and in consultation with Australia's spo rt and recreation communi ty, establish. appropriate criteria for the delivery of funding to:

—provide appropriate policies and programs to better deliver sporting and recreational oppo rtunities for all Australians; —develop and enhance community based

sporting organisations across all regions of 'Australia in recognition of the important role

99. Labor will develop a whole of government, coordinated health industry plan to promote Australian researched, developed and produced pharmaceuticals, bio-pharmaceuticals, diagnostics, medical technology and health services to both domestic and export markets. This industry offers scope for substantial skilled employment growth.

• such organisations play in creating social cohesion; develop and enhance programs and facilities for the Australian Institute of Sport that appropriately reflect our spo rting abilities and aspirations; —create pathways for the development of high

performance athletes that are fair and accessible across all regions of Australia; and —assist highly talented athletes to pursue sporting excellence and gain international


A4. Labor will examine alternative public and

private sector funding options to supplement budgetary initiatives.

A5. In consultation with State and local governments and relevant spo rting bodies, Labor will develop a model for Commonwealth government involvement in the provision and access of .community sporting and recreation facilities, especially in rural and regional Australia where it is particularly challenging to establish and maintain facilities.

A6. Labor recognises that the enhanced teamwork, communication skills, health benefits and interdependence that arise from sport are vital to young people's development. Labor

will provide coordinated funding for community development resources in sport and recreation that address the needs of young people of all ages.

Al. Participation in sport and recreation provides public health benefits. Poor diet and lack of fitness are closely associated with major health problems. Labor recognises that physical activity through spo rt and recreation enhances




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National Platform and Constitution 2004


physical well being, including improvements in mental health and self esteem.

A8. Labor is committed to integrating the development of sport and recreation with its health policy and programs. Labor will develop mechanisms that direct resources into

preventive strategies that improve the overall physical health standard of the community by encouraging greater exercise and relaxation.

A9. Labor is committed to promoting sport and recreation for older Australians. As well as enjoying obvious personal benefits, older and veteran participants contribute greatly by volunteering and passing on their experience

and skills as players; administrators and officials to the younger members of their sporting clubs and organisations.

Al0. Labor recognises and values the essential contribution by volunteers of all ages to sport and recreation in Australia. Labor notes the declining levels of volunteers and will work with communities to develop strategies to

increase opportunities for participation in administration, officiating, coaching and other forms of volunteer support.

A11. Labor is committed to ongoing recognition and support of disability sport and supports the integration of athletes with disabilities into mainstream sport. Labor will pursue funding options to ensure that appropriate programs,

resources and facilities exist for Paralympic and disability sport. ._

Al2. Labor is committed to ongoing-recognition and support of indigenous sport and. recreation, programs and will ensure 'there is appropriate support, resources and facilities for Aboriginal

and Torres Strait Islander peoples.,

A13. Labor is strongly committed to raising the profile of women's sport. Labor will restore the Prime Ministerial Women in Sport Award, , increase the profile of women's sport, and . . ,.

undertake efforts to improve the coverage and portrayal of women's sport and the accessibility of the media by women's sporting, organisations.

Al 4. Labor will provide ', support for the promotion of

codes of sporting behaviour, ethics and developnient.of workplace health and safety standards through consultation with other .levels of government Australia's sporting,,,

community and relevant organisations.

A15 Through adequate support for the Australian Sports Drug Agency and- education. programs,' Labor will continue to work towards the abolition of all . performance enhancing drugs in


A16. Labor will ensure that all Australians have access to free-to-air television coverage of sport consistent with standards laid down in broadcasting legislation.

A17. Labor will work with stakeholders to ensure sporting venues and events are as accessible as possible for all Australians.


Labor's National Housing Strategy

100. Labor believes that all Australians have the right to secure, affordable and appropriate housing throughout their lifetime. Labor is committed to policies

which make housing affordable:

—by economic policies designed to maintain low interest rates and a competitive housing finance sector; and

—by assisting those on lower incomes to meet the cost of home ownership or public, community or private rental accommodation.

101. Labor's national housing strategy will:

—expand the range and supply of secure, affordable and appropriate housing choices;

—deliver more efficient and effective housing provision and land development;





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National Platform and Constitution 2004 Australian Labor Party

—better integrate housing and other —monitoring the effectiveness of rent

services, to provide neighbourhoods assistance in addressing housing that are safe to live in, and close to affordability;

employment opportunities; —evaluating the contribution of relevant

—maintain the first homebuyers grant, housing assistance and taxation but with tighter eligibility criterion; policies in improving housing

—develop environmental standards for outcomes for low income consumers; housing and promote housing options —developing Commonwealth State that minimise adverse environmental Housing Agreements (CSHAs) which impacts; and ensure funds are available to increase

—expand the role of institutional social housing stock and upgrade

investment in the provision of social housing which has fallen below

affordable housing. acceptable standards, through direct

funds for construction and for rental

102. Labor supports the continued existence subsidies to ensure housing is

of the Commonwealth State Housing

affordable for low income private and

Agreement (CSHA). Through the CSHA, social housing;

Labor's national housing strategy will be

advanced by:

—introducing national tenancy standards that will provide for security of tenure

—setting targets, in cooperation with

and consumer safeguards for tenants

State , Territory and local

including caravan park residents and

governments, for growth in public and boarders and lodgers. As a condition

community housing, based on a

of funding under the CSHA, State and

national assessment of need;

Territory governments will be required

—the establishment of a National to comply with national tenancy

Housing Assistance Advisory standards designed to protect tenants'

Committee, which will involve peak rights. These standards will ensure representative bodies in program that tenants' rights are protected in

development; relation to matters such as eviction,

—ensuring that peak bodies are properly unfair rents, repairs and maintenance,

resourced to perform such functions; quality of rental accommodation,

—setting housing affordability

appeals and bond security;

benchmarks for public and private —developing a National Rental Housing tenants; Standards Code in consultation with

—ensuring no public housing tenant

non-government tenancy

pays more than twenty-five per cent of organisations;

his or her income in rent, unless there —ensuring that all States and Territories is an agreement between the tenant have independent review mechanisms and the Housing Authority to charge a for resolving tenancy disputes with the

higher rate for the provision of a power to overturn evictions and unfair

further range of services for the tenant; rents, determine bond or rental

—setting rent subsidies for private disputes and refer matters for

tenants to the level of subsidy for prosecution where necessary;

public tenants, to reduce housing- —supporting the regulation of tenant related poverty in the private rental databases though stronger privacy market; protection including independent



monitoring of compliance and access

to affordable dispute resolution processes; —supporting programs which ensure that people are made aware of and can

access the various forms of housing assistance which are available; r+ I —ensuring consumer rights are

_n protected and satisfactory standards Z (D are maintained for all low income

:5 - 0 housing consumers through adequate ^? N funding to housing consumer services; —in cooperation with all levels of government, industry and unions,

a developing a plan for the housing

T industry to increase its capacity to

3 deliver a quality and cost effective

product; —seeking ways of providing assistance to low and middle income households to buy their own homes; 82

—establishing frameworks that enable

long-term headleasing;

—developing and implementing strategies that ensure a housing mix, such as community housing models 104 and the encouragement of joint

ventures with the private sector;

Nati onal Platform and Constitut ion 2 00 4

—facilitating employment opportunities

for tenants in public housing estates through TAFE training, maintenance

work and management;

—integrating community family services programs into public housing policies;

—developing and implementing a national indigenous housing strategy, recognising the special needs of indigenous housing policy, taking into

account employment needs and the need for cultural compatibility; and

—developing and implementing strategies to increase the number of apprentices in the housing indust ry.

103. Labor supports:

—a program of urban renewal of old public housing estates, to provide a

greater range of housing choices,

better integration with services such as public transport and an increase in private investment and employment opportunities;

—developing mechanisms to encourage increased institutional investment in the provision of lower income housing, in partnership with social housing


—the development of appropriate community housing which links housing with other support and encourages residents' participation in

housing management;

—improving the quality of the accommodation services provided in boarding houses;

—continuing and expanding crisis and emergency accommodation programs; and

—continuing and expanding high-security refuges for women and children escaping from family violence.

Labor supports the development of flexible housing strategies which recognise regional differences and the changing nature of rural areas.


105. Labor recognises the growing problem of homelessness, and particularly youth homelessness, and that other problems, such as poverty, drug and alcohol

abuse, psychiatric or other health problems, deinstitutionalisation, unemployment, family breakdown, or domestic violence, can contribute to or

precipitate homelessness.

106. Labor acknowledges the responsibility of governments to ensure that all Australians have access to adequate housing and that homeless people, and

those at risk of homelessness, should receive particular attention in housing and broader social programs.



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National Platform and Constitution 2004 Australian Labor Par ty

107. Labor is committed to developing a

national homelessness strategy in conjunction with State and Territory governments. Labor supports a three

point approach to homelessness, the success of which depends on the participation and cooperation of all stakeholders:


—assistance to people once they become homeless; and

—support for homeless people in their transition from crisis accommodation to more stable housing.

108. Labor is committed to the continuation of the Supported Accommodation Assistance Program (SAAP) and its capital arm, the Crisis Accommodation

Program (CAP). Labor will support diverse SAAP program service models and the trialling of other innovative approaches to early intervention and assistance for homeless people, both while they are in crisis and in their transition to stable housing.

Labor supports a cooperative approach to the development of programs to assist people at risk of homelessness,

involving service providers, all levels of government, and the organisations and institutions best placed to identify

individuals at risk and to assist them.

109. In order to provide pathways for homeless people to move out of SAAP accommodation and into more permanent housing, Labor will ensure that:

—housing programs have clear and planned links with the SAAP;

—housing programs provide for long-term housing support requirements in both public and private rental housing; and

—housing programs have the flexibility to offer a range of housing options suited to those at imminent and/or chronic risk of homelessness.

110. Labor supports programs which ensure that people know about and can access the various forms . of housing assistance available, and will ensure that consumer

rights are protected and satisfactory standards maintained in services targeted to homeless people.

Labor will establish targets to reduce homelessness over time as part of its strategy to address poverty in the community.

Youth Housing

111. Labor recognises that youth homelessness is a growing problem within the Australian community. To this end Labor supports the implementation

of a National Youth Housing Strategy, similar to that commissioned under the previous federal Labor Government. The National Youth Housing Strategy will:

--detail strategies to address the pathways into homelessness for young people (for example, abuse, family breakdown, poverty,

unemployment, discriminatory social policy);

—detail strategies to provide pathways out of homelessness for young people;

—investigate how community housing can better assist young people to leave the SAAP and move into a more stable environment that will allow them to continue or resume education and/or participate in the labour market;

—develop best practice models of community housing for young people needing to exit SAAP accommodation; and

—consider ways to encourage young people into home ownership.

112. Labor recognises that the current Rent Assistance Program discriminates against young people because they receive lower rates of payment, despite

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National Platform and Constitution 2004

facing similar rental costs to other adult ensuring that all Australian families are


able to live decently with dignity, and to providing the requisite levels of

Labor will: economic and infrastructure support

—review the allocation of Rent necessary to achieve this outcome. n young Assis payments to people Assistance 3 in receipt of the Youth Allowance, as —A strong, growing economy, secure "a r* part of its commitment to improving jobs which provide a decent income, a CD rental subsidies for young people. safe environment, and quality T housing, health, education and(p Boarding Houses, Mobile Homes and community services are theManufactured Home Parks foundations of families' security. m - 113. Labor notes that over 160,000 —An investment in early assistanceAustralians live in boarding houses, services for families with youngmobile homes and manufactured home children improves their life chancesp. parks. These people are often retirees and reduces the incidence of T or those who cannot afford other educational, health and labour market a) accommodation. Refuge services disadvantage and poverty.also use caravan parks to provideemergency accommodation. Labor in 116. Labor recognises that Australia'sgovernment will: families do not all fit one pattern, and that the ways families are structured, 84 —examine ways to restore equity and organise their lives, changes over between the private rental market and time. Labor's policies will be flexible permanent residents of caravan parks, enough to meet the needs of different boarding houses and manufactured families at different times in their lives. home parks including discriminatoryapplications of taxation; and —Labor recognises rapidly changing—develop a National Boarding House, economic and social circumstancesMobile Homes and Manufactured place families under great stress, andHome Parks Accommodation will focus on polices aimed atStandards Code in consultation with balancing work with the vital task ofappropriate bodies, including peak raising children.advocacy and consumer groups. 117. Labor will provide Australian familiesSecurity for Australian Families with the range of services and income support they need to live a decent life114. For most Australians, our families are and balance their various our first and best source of care and responsibilities. In particular, Labor will: support—the most important providersof housing, education, health, personal —support work practices anddevelopment and well being. They help arrangements which recognise theus reach our potential, and nurture our needs of families and promoteindividual and collective aspirations. families' capacities to combine work and family life; 115. Labor believes that government has aduty to support and assist families in —ensure that families are well informedthese tasks, as an essential part of about the services and paymentsmaintaining a caring Australian available for them and that the helpcommunity. Labor is committed to available is easy to access;

care as a framework for taking forward

the early years debate in the education and care areas.

120. Labor will work with the States and Territories in setting a national research agenda for early childhood education

and care. rt

N 3

121. Labor is committed to supporting -n

families in the different choices they

make about how they balance gaining an income sufficient for their needs and a N aspirations, with caring for children. pp 0

—Labor's first concern is to ensure that 2. M

children grow up in caring, stable and Q

safe environments.

—Labor is committed to providing high 3_

quality, affordable and accessible formal child care, and to supporting families who choose to care for their children at home. 85

—Labor is committed to ensuring that funding of quality child care supports choice for families in the type of service they can access.

122. Labor believes that the federal government should continue to play a

central role in child care through planning and funding to ensure that:

—the supply of places matches demand, including demand for places for babies and children at risk, for children with disabilities, and in outside-school-hours and vacation care services;

—emerging needs for child care places are met, in line with changes in the way families balance their working and family lives;

—location and family incomes are not a barrier to accessing appropriate child care; and

—the child care sector provides a continuing stable environment for children in communities.

National Platform and Constitution 2004 Australian Labor Party

—supplement family income where it is

low and provide additional help where Australians and their families need it to meet additional costs in providing for children, and in meeting education,

housing, health care and related


—ensure that the cash assistance that families with dependent children receive through the tax, social security and education systems provides families with the help they need, when they need it;

—better integrate the income support and tax systems for families, to ensure that income tests and taxation do not combine to severely reduce the benefit of earnings;

—deliver quality early assistance services to families with young children that address their educational, health and welfare needs and that aim to prevent or ease the difficulties families can face. Labor will support families' access to family and parenting education, early childhood services and family mediation services. Labor will provide couples entering relationships with access to counselling and marriage education programs;

—encourage and assist families and local communities to develop their own strategies and responses to local and individual needs; and

—support research on families issues to improve our understanding of how families are changing, the issues they face and the support they need.

Children's Services for all Australians

118. Labor believes that the intrinsic value of our children should be the focus of children's services.

119. Labor will develop a long-term, strategic national plan for investing in our children. This will include a plan for child


Labor Pa rt y

National Platform and Constitution 2004

123. Labor will adequately fund the costs of adequate and appropriate funding,

child care, to ensure that quality child including local government services. care is affordable for the families who Labor will encourage and support the choose to use it, and sufficient for child development of innovative models of care providers to operate a viable quality child care which link to the provision of 7 service. Labor will better target other services.


assistance to overcome income and

126. Labor's child care policies will

CD location disadvantage in the accessing encourage all formal child care providers ^? of child care. to involve parents in the management of

CD Provision of Children's Services child care services, and will support parents' involvement in the development N 124. The provision of children's services is and implementation childhood early of increasingly mixed between private and care and education policies. 5' °—' community and other not-for-profit

a providers. In relation to the mix between 127. Labor will work with the States and

private and community and other not-for- Territories to develop an integrated profit providers, Labor will: system of child care and early childhood 3 education, to ensure that all Australian

—target support so as to maintain an children under school age have access appropriate balance between private to early childhood education and other and community and other not-for-profit appropriate developmental and social 86 children's services and so as to activities, provided in a safe

ensure that the needs and choices of environment. Recognising the Australian families are satisfied; contribution early childhood education —ensure that federal government and care services make to children's funding provided to private and development, parent support and early

community and other not-for-profit identification of children at risk, Labor will children's services is directed towards develop an integrated national system of improving the quality of those local networks linking services such as services; and pre-school, child care, playgroups,

—support an effective complaints maternal and children's health, early

resolution process to ensure that intervention and parental education. concerns of parents and workers of128. Labor will establish a national education, children's services facilities are able to care and development curriculum for be resolved satisfactorily, children aged 0-5 years as a guide to

125. Labor recognises that parents need parents and able to be used in any type of early education and care facility.

flexible child care which matches their Recognising the importance of early many needs, and that families' needs for childhood education to successful child care can vary. transition to school, Labor will work withLabor will encourage the development of all State and Territory governments toan appropriate mix of centre-based care, reduce the cost of and increasefamily day care, work-based care, participation in pre-school educationoutside school hours and vacation care programs.and occasional care. 129. Labor will continue to support child careLabor will support and maintain a viable for children with special needs andcommunity-based sector through children at


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130. Labor supports quality assurance processes within the children's services sector to ensure that high quality service standards are adopted and maintained.

Labor supports policies which will ensure that funding provided by the government to children's services

operators will be directed towards providing high quality services, maintaining the standards of care and providing greater access to the services,

in particular:

—improving standards monitoring, including a more effective system of inspections by the accreditation agency to ensure that accreditation standards are being met;

—greater monitoring of compliance with licensing regulations;

—auditing Commonwealth funding to ensure that all funding is appropriately allocated in all children's services facilities; and

—addressing the development and retention of workforce skills.

131. Labor will extend the national child care accreditation system to encourage the provision of high quality care and appropriate professional standards in all formal child care services.

—Labor will ensure that only users of accredited services are eligible for child care assistance.

—Labor will work with State and Territory governments to ensure a consistent national framework for the regulation of child care providers.

Children's Services Workforce

132. Labor will ensure that care and education are provided by appropriately trained and caring staff whose wages and conditions reflect their training and their responsibilities. Labor recognises that there is a growing body of evidence to show that the first five years in a

child's life are critical to their educational and social development and that dedicated children's services workers are fundamental to this development.

133. Labor recognises that there is a critical shortage of qualified and experienced children's services workers. Labor will develop strategies to improve the

retention and recruitment of qualified children's services workers.

Labor recognises that children's services workers are often underpaid and undervalued for the important work they do with Australian children in their vital early years.

Labor also recognises that the wages and conditions of children's services workers often do not reflect their training

and qualifications.

Labor will seek improvements in the wages and conditions of children's services workers.

Labor will develop strategies to improve the retention and recruitment of qualified children's services workers.

To this end, Labor will:

—support wage and pay equity cases in State and federal industrial tribunals;


—help establish a new career structure

and pay scale for children's services


Labor will also ensure that there are

adequate funding arrangements to:

—meet the necessary improvements in wages and conditions for existing workers and to assist in the recruitment of new qualified workers;

—encourage qualified workers to rural and remote areas;

—meet the cost of further education and training for children's services

workers; and


Australian Lab

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I National Platform and Constitution 2004

—address occupational health and safety concerns including immunisation and first aid courses for s National Housing • Strategy children's services workers. Labor's national housing strategy will be


advanced by

} Child Support When Parents Separate =, (a) establishing a committee of inquiry to s.> -0 134. Labor believes that child support policy recommend measures to overcome c(D must put the interests of children first, the problems

: in financing the supply of

-I, aiming to reduce child poverty, ensure affordable housing in the home

that both parents contribute to their ownership private rental public and children's well being and encourage community housing sectors. Through c2 (D both parents to maintain an ongoing role consultation with a range of financial ^p o in their children's lives institutions including superannuation`

c^ 3

135. Labor supports a flexible national Child funds,,the committee of inquiry will

Support Scheme which recognises explore innovative funding

°- in earnings and new family mechanisms directly aimed at

3 _

variations responsibilities, and which is

expanding the supply; of affordable

% Z administered by an appropriately housing;

IA(b) holding a housing affordability summit Agency. resourced Child Support . involving all levels of levels w

136. Labor believes the best arrangements industry; unions, housing consumers,

88 for providing for the children of voluntary and community based

separated parents are those agreed organisations

between parents, and will encourage

those who establish a good payment (c) . developing a whole-of-government record to opt out of the Scheme by national homelessness strategy to agreement, where this is consistent with

ensure that those most at risk can

reasonable maintenance action

access housing and broader socia

137. Labor will strengthen enforcement and and (d) expanding the number quality and . <.

compliance measures to ensure that duration apprenticeships and parents paying and receiving child trarneeships in all housing sectors. 'L support cannot structure their financial iaffairs to avoid their obligations. Community Wellbeing138. Labor will regularly evaluate the Child Labor believes in investing in the long-term ion an Support Scheme's operation people=of this nation and in health of the , ..continue to improve the Scheme so it is investing in the development of localeasily understood, and provides parents communitieswith the support required to establish In the first concertedJeder •al effort to child support arrangements, including improve the general health and wellbeing mediation services. of all Australians Labor will invest $25million over four years to promotecommunity ,well being and reduce. theincidence of obesity particularly: in childrenLabor's policy Tackling Obesity andPromoting :Community Wellbeing: Labor'splan for ahealthier and more active



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National Platform and Constitution 2004 Aust ra lia n La bor Par ty

Australia;: has two main :elements:

establishing a new fund to promote community. wellbeing, and implementing a national strategy to reduce childhood obesity.

1. A $1.5 million Community Well'Being Fund will provide the .opportunity for community groups to,engage with specialists, such as doctors health

professionals and community workers and to coordinate and organise physical activities and events in their

local area

This fund will help Australians ,get involved in sport and recreation activities at the community level, and will improve dietary habits through broad scale :education and health promotion. It will .build on the work already being

undertaken by State and Territory governments:

2. $10.million will also be invested to develop and implement a National Strategy to Reduce Childhood which will include;

-$2.5 million for a National Nutrition Education Framework;

--$2 million for a Schools Physical Activity National Taskforce;,

—$2 million to develop and implement national school canteen food guidelines;

—$2.5 million for..a national active life media. campaign;

$500,000 to implement pilot student well being programs for school students in disadvantaged .communities;.

— $500,000 . to establish an Obesity Action Alliance; and

—working with the Australian. Association of National' Advertisers and Children's Television Standards to ensure that media advertising of food

and drink products specifically targeted at children reflects community standards and expectations.

Child care

Conference recognises that child care provides a crucial foundation during the early years of children's learning development, and that quality child care requires continuity of care fromprofessional child care workers.

Conference is concerned about the current shortage of qualified child care workers in centres in Australia and recognises that fair and decent wages are an essential part of the solution to this crisis in child care.

Conference endorses the action of the trade union movement in seeking improvements to the wages and conditions of children's services workers in State and Federal

industrial tribunals throughout Australia.

Conference calls on all State Labor Governments to actively support the current wage cases for child care workers.

Conference also calls on a Federal Labor Government to adequately fund child care to ensure wage increases which result from these cases, do not increase the burden of fees on parents.''

To this end, Labor will support measures to assist providers in meeting any increased operating costs that flow from decisions by industrial. tribunals to improve the .wages of low paid child care workers.

Labor is committed to the maintenance of a strong and viable community based sector.

In relation. to corporate and for-profit services, while Labor is committed to the policy of equity across the sector for families who use these services and for workers employed by them, Labor will ensure that current federal funding is appropriately applied to meet service delivery needs and costs before

committing to any. increased .funding.



Chapter Six

Community Security and 91

Access to Justice

Australian Labor Pa

rty National Platform and Constitution 2004

Chapter Six 4. Labor's response to the tragedy of drug

Community Security and

abuse and related crime will be

Access to Justice

comprehensive. Labor is committed to a strategy for dealing with illicit drugs that

C) aims to improve safety in the community

7 Community Safety and by reducing the level of drug-related

-a3 Criminal Justice crime; to reduce the spread of illness;

1 1. Labor believes that a fundamental to keep people alive; and to find new (1) objective of government is to work with ways to reduce the use of illicit drugs in X the community to provide greater security our community. 0 Dn 0

for all Australians and their families. To Labor re a lises that an effective illicit drugs

CD N 3

achieve this, the objectives of the criminal strategy must address all areas of drug N c law should be to: use and have harm minimisation as its `^ —prevent crime; central element. Labor's illicit drugs C N (. (P —protect the personal safety and strategy will support and promote:CD l; property of all Australians; —harm reduction through programs—support, counsel and compensate the designed to tackle the health and social a victims of crime, their families and problems caused by drug use;dependents; and —national coordination and cooperation92 —rehabilitate offenders. between governments; 2. Labor believes that the well being and —State government initiatives, such as safety of the community is a fundamental supervised injecting places, aimed at responsibility of government. An integral reducing the costs to the community of element of community safety is criminal illicit drug use and which will provide justice. Labor is dedicated to providing access to counselling and rehabilitation the community with an effective criminal and facilitate scientific and medical justice system, at all levels of research; government. Labor will ensure that theCommonwealth's investigation, —the development of programs andprosecution, defence and judicial strategies based on expert advice, theprocesses are separate, independent , adoption of performance objectives and adequately resourced and appropriately a coordinated approach to research;accountable. Labor will also pursue —purposeful law enforcement strategies,cooperation between the Commonwealth, including the development of specialistStates and Territories in developing drug courts and diversionary programs,uniform and coordinated approaches to designed to get drug users out of thecriminal justice and community safety. traditional criminal justice system and3. Labor will provide adequate resources to into a comprehensive range ofthe Australian Federal Police (AFP), the treatment, rehabilitation and supportAustralian Crime Commission (ACC) and programs;the Australian Securities and Investments —adequate funding of law enforcementCommission (ASIC) to enable them to agencies such as the Australianinvestigate Commonwealth offences, in Federal Police, which aim to breakparticular corporate crime and fraud drug smuggling and other crimeagainst the Commonwealth. organisations;


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Natio nal Platform and Constitution 2004

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—effective criminal and civil law reform

aimed at deterring and punishing the professional criminal elements of the

illicit drug trade;

—demand reduction directed at reducing the number of people taking up illicit

drug use through targeted education programs for young people and users,

and a strengthening of community and family involvement in programs

across Australia;

—tackling the social dimension with programs to give young Australians

hope and opportunity through employment, education and training

and real life options, and which encourage greater support among

family, friends and community

networks; and

—improving law enforcement at our borders and on the streets, increasing

liaison and coordination with overseas law enforcement agencies, and reducing the profitability of the

drug trade.

For these strategies to work, all need to be effectively funded and supported by government. They must also be properly

evaluated and researched.

5. Labor will continue to value the Australian

Federal Police as the foremost Commonwealth law enforcement agency.

Labor will support initiatives and strategies which ensure that the crime fighting and investigation practices of the

Australian Federal Police are modern, strategic and effective in combating criminal threats in the twenty-first century, including high technology crime, identity

fraud and money laundering.

6. Labor acknowledges that the Australian Federal Police and the Australian Crime Commission must be effectively resourced

in order to carry out the range of responsibilities required of Commonwealth

law enforcement agencies.

7. Labor supports measures that remove the

profit which organised crime can make

from illegal activities. Labor believes that

where the appropriate authority can

demonstrate, on the balance of

probabilities, that assets are the result of

criminal activity the onus should be on the

owner of the assets to prove, on the

balance of probabilities, that the assets

were lawfully obtained.

8. Labor supports law reform aimed at giving

Commonwealth law enforcement agencies greater ability to investigate and

apprehend persons involved in terrorism,

drug trafficking, gun running and organised crime. Labor will maintain the

Australian Crime Commission Act under

review, and amend it as necessary so as

to further this aim.

9. Labor supports the establishment of independent anti-corruption authorities to

oversee the investigative, prosecutorial

and judicial processes. Labor will ensure

that the Australian Crime Commission and the Australian Federal Police have

appropriate independent complaints

handling procedures.

10. Labor supports the creation of national uniform criminal laws. These should


—a criminal code;

—a code of custody, sentencing and

parole, with a specific section on


—evidence laws;

—laws controlling the power of arrest and

bail, in particular to strictly define the

power to arrest without warrant and

simplify the laws governing bail;

—laws providing strict controls on the use

of firearms and offensive weapons;

—drug laws;

—national standards for dealing with

spent convictions;


Australian Labor Pa

rt y National Platfor m a nd C o nstitution 2004

—national standards for dealing with the safety of the community. Labor

victims of crime; and recognises that the regulation of this

—national standards for indigenous sector is controlled through various Acts prisoners which respect, as far as at the State and Territory level. Labor 0 possible, customary law. supports common minimum standards of

regulation of the industry and calls upon

-p 11. Labor will maintain and develop State and Territory governments to (D mechanisms designed to coordinate and establish a working group to facilitate N enhance the efforts of federal, State and those standards. X' Territory authorities engaged in the fight C) against crime. To this end, Labor will 15. Labor is committed to reducing the over-CO 3 establish a joint parliamentary committee

representation of Indigenous Australians

for the oversight of all national law in the criminal justice system. A national

o ^- Y• enforcement agencies.

whole-of-government social justice approach, in cooperation with State and


12. Labor, while maintaining the principle of Territory governments, is required to


merit selection, will encourage the tackle to complex underlying causes of Australian Federal Police to recruit from a such over-representation. These causes 0) broad cross section of the Australian include poverty, lack of educational and a. community, particularly Aboriginal and employment opportunities, homelessness,

Torres Strait Islander peoples, women substance abuse and family violence.


and people from non-English speaking backgrounds, as a means of achievingVictims of Crime non-discriminatory and more effective 16. Labor will develop national model policing practices. legislation and program delivery

13. Labor will ensure that the training of standards for victims of crime, including:

members of the investigative, prosecution —a charter of rights for the victims of and judicial authorities, and those crime which builds upon the United otherwise involved in the administration of Nations Charter of Victims Rights the law, encourages the development of (Basic Principles of Justice for Victims

non-discriminatory and non-violent of Crime and Abuse of Power 1985); attitudes in the administration of the law. —laws governing the compensation of Labor supports the establishment of victims of crime; consultative mechanisms between —coordination across States and investigating authorities and groups Territories of research and evaluation suffering from discrimination, programs, the collection of data on

14. Recognising that crimes such as drug victimisation rates, demographics, and

importation, corporate crime, cybercrime, victim needs, and the dissemination of identity fraud and money laundering are information; increasingly interwoven with globalised —standards for the provision of support, commerce and terrorism, Labor will counselling and rehabilitation services support enhanced mechanisms for for the victims of crime; international cooperation including mutual —laws providing for victim impact assistance with overseas agencies and statements, the provision of witness regulators. Labor recognises the contract support and information, and standards security industry as an integral part of for the treatment of victims by the ensuring Australians have confidence in criminal justice system;


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Australian Labor Party

—initiatives for reducing repeated

victimisation including video


—particular emphasis on the needs of

children and victims of sexual assault;


—promotion of alternative dispute

resolution and restorative justice

processes aimed at improving outcomes for both victims and offenders

and reducing prospects of recidivism.

17. Labor will aim to minimise the trauma to victims of crime, and in particular the

victims of sexual or family violence and

abuse, during both the investigation of the

crime and its prosecution. Labor will

support programs and initiatives that are

directed towards people from non-English

speaking backgrounds, children, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, women, and the disadvantaged.

Rights of the Accused

18. As part of its commitment to the development of national uniform laws,

Labor will work with the States and Territories to ensure that Australia is a

civil and just society so that:

—persons accused of a criminal offence are not compelled to incriminate


—persons charged are given a fair and

speedy trial;

—persons charged with serious criminal

offences are provided with legal representation if they are unable to afford legal representation of their own;

—persons charged have a right to legal

representation during questioning by

investigating authorities and that such

questioning is video taped; and

—evidence obtained illegally or by

improper investigative practice is generally inadmissible.

Custody and Sentencing

19. Labor supports the development of a national uniform code of custody, sentencing, and parole to optimise the

rehabilitation of offenders and to ensure the just treatment of all prisoners in public

and private prisons. The code will:

—ensure consistent, just and humane

treatment of offenders and accused, and will support the appropriate use of

non-custodial sentencing options;

—prohibit the imposition of the death


—conform with Australia's international

human rights obligations;

—prohibit mandatory detention regimes for juveniles and the adults who commit

minor offences without limiting the

capacity of courts to direct offenders to

appropriate non-custodial programs;

—adopt special measures to protect

young people held in custody;

—adopt special measures to prevent

deaths in custody, particularly amongst Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander


—ensure training of police and prison

officers in understanding indigenous culture and the indigenous social


—provide innovative and stronger sentencing options to penalise corporate offenders with penalties designed to redress the harm caused to

individuals and the community as a result of offences and to deter future


—remove imprisonment for the non-payment of fines except in cases of

wilful default;

—adopt international treaties allowing the repatriation of Australians in overseas

prisons; and

—develop consistency in sentences so

that the judiciary retain a sufficient




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Australian Labor Pa rty National Platfor m a n d Co n s titution 2004


degree of appropriate discretion so as

to enable sentences to be tailored to the

circumstances of each individual case.

21. Labor will continue to oppose mandatory

detention when applied to juvenile

offenders and to adults who commit

minor offences, as it is discriminatory in

practice and ineffective in reducing crime

or criminality.

The Causes of Crime and Crime Prevention

22. Restorative justice seeks to build a sense of community spirit and responsibility in the offender and aims to restore the

victim and the community to their pre-offence state of security. Labor will

promote the principles of restorative

justice as a just and effective way to be

tough on crime. Labor will support the

introduction of programs that are

consistent with victims' rights, based upon

restorative justice.

23. Labor will support ongoing research into,

and consult with the Australian community

in relation to, the causes of crime, the

most effective ways of preventing crime,

and methods of rehabilitating criminals

and reducing recidivism.

24. Labor will inform Australians about the

• level and effect of crime so that Australians can acquire a better

understanding of the causes of crime,

its impact and the measures needed to address it, and to reduce any fears

that Australians may hold about crime in

our society.

Access to Justice

25. Access to justice requires reducing the cost of legal services and the removal of

artificial barriers to justice. Labor will also

seek to provide all Australians suffering

from disadvantage, disability or

discrimination with reasonable assistance

and specialist services to enable them to

have access to justice.

Labor will explore alternative and

innovative models of justice

administration and delivery to provide ease of access to regional, rural and

remote Australians.

27. Labor will reassume a national leadership

role with regard to legal aid in order to recreate an independent, adequately resourced national uniform system of

legal aid, which makes no distinction

between Commonwealth and non-Commonwealth matters.

28. Labor will continue to support general and

specialist community-based legal

services, recognise their advocacy role

and further develop collaborative clinical

legal education schemes with universities

to the mutual advantage of both students

and the community.

29. Labor acknowledges the many social and cultural dimensions of the Australian community, and the impact which this has

upon understanding of and access to

justice. Labor will ensure that Australians from all cultural and. ethnic backgrounds

are given access to information about

their rights and responsibilities under the

law, including court interpreter services,

and the ways in which these rights and responsibilities can be fulfilled.

30. Labor will ensure the effective and efficient operation of the courts and tribunals by:

—requiring mediation to be undertaken in

all federal matters unless that

mediation would be traumatic or

impractical as a result of issues of abuse or power imbalance;

20. Labor supports the introduction of sentencing regimes that are purposeful

and aim to divert juveniles away from the

criminal justice system. 26.


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Natio nal Platform and Constitution 2004

Australian Labor Party

—supporting the removal of unnecessary

procedural impediments to prompt

dispute resolution and to minimise 32

litigation costs;

—providing adequate resources to the

courts to allow the efficient, effective

and timely resolution of disputes;

—working with the States and Territories

to overcome jurisdictional barriers to

the delivery of effective and efficient


—ensuring access to small claims

tribunals/courts for the resolution of

appropriate disputes;

—maintaining and enhancing the right to

bring representative and group

proceedings in federal courts and


—rejecting the application of the user

pays principle to court fees;

—reviewing and monitoring court fees

with a view to imposing court fees that

do not act as a barrier to justice; and

-ensuring provision of interpreter services.

31. In order to enhance the accessibility of

justice, Labor will, without reducing the

quality of access to the justice system:

—encourage the continued development

of other affordable and simple primary

dispute resolution mechanisms;

—encourage the development of a

community approach to dispute


—encourage parties to conciliate or

arbitrate disputes, where that is


—encourage the continued development

of other cheap and simple primary

dispute resolution mechanisms;

—provide just and equitable taxation

treatment of legal expenses;

—promote the use of appropriate and

transparent contingency fee

arrangements; and

—promote access to legal expense

insurance schemes.

Recognising the importance of public

duties owed by government to all Australians, Labor will provide relevant

public interest advocacy groups with

increased standing to enforce public


33. Labor will establish and adequately resource an independent body to advise

government on access to justice issues.

The body will include representatives

from the legal profession, the judiciary,

other legal and related service providers,

State and Territory governments and


Children and the Law

34. Labor supports the protection of the

rights of children whilst respecting the

proper role of parents and other persons responsible for their welfare.

Labor supports the use of programs to help Australians to become better

parents and to enhance the life

opportunities of their children.

Where appropriate, Labor will ensure that

children have adequate and independent

separate representation before the courts.

35. Labor supports the development of a national approach to children and the law,

which will include:

—recognising the best interests of the

child as a primary consideration;

—a sentencing regime based primarily

upon the principles of restorative


—standards for court procedures where

children are involved as witnesses,

victims or offenders;


Australian Labor Par

ty National Platform and Constitution 2004

—standards for suppo rt, counselling and —consolidated in a form which is

rehabilitation services for child victims accessible to both the profession and and offenders within the criminal justice the public at a reasonable price and in system; and an appropriate format; and

—suppo rt for research into causes of —regularly reviewed, simplified and if Qi juvenile crime, necessa ry, repealed.

36. Labor will work with foreign governments, 40. Labor believes that substantive rights (n international agencies, the States and should be enshrined in legislation. X Territories, and relevant community Delegated legislation and other legislative o groups, to establish and maintain an

instruments will be confined exclusively to

CO 3 integrated and effective response to administrative ma tters and should not be c^' n = paedophilia, child abuse and family used to limit an individual's rights to o violence, access the cou rts. All legislative

instruments should be subject to

CD 37. Labor recognises that the way in which parliamentary scrutiny. 0 c the criminal justice system treats juvenile offenders greatly influences whether they 41. Labor will establish a mechanism for the will commit further crime. Labor believes development of uniform national laws in

a that the incarceration of juveniles should the Attorney-General's and Justice be a last resort, and that all efforts should portfolios. Labor will further work with the 98 be made to divert children from long-term States and Territories on a long-term involvement in the criminal justice system.solution to ensure that the federal and

To this end, Labor suppo rts a review of State governments can put in place joint the current Commonwealth, State and legislation to address issues of national Territory sentencing practices with respectimportance for which neither the federal to juveniles. nor State governments have complete


38. Labor will work with the States and Territories to develop a uniform national The Courts and the Judiciary system for adoption. 42. Labor believes in the maximum possible uniformity in the structure and operation The Government and Legislation of the courts system throughout Australia.

39. Government must play an active role in Labor will work to ensure adequate court increasing awareness of, simplifying, and services around the nation, including in reducing the cost of compliance with the rural, regional and remote Australia. law. Labor will take appropriate steps to 43. The independence of the judiciary is ensure that legislation and legislative fundamental to the maintenance of both instruments are accessible to all the rule of law and our democratic Australians. In particular, Labor will socie ty. Labor will: ensure that all legislation and legislative

instruments are: —consult widely in appointing judicial or

quasi-judicial office holders on the basis

—drafted in clear, simple and non- of merit, from among those with the discriminatory language; highest personal and professional —readily available to the public at the qualities. Labor's appointment process time of proclamation, including in will be transparent and as far as

printed form and via the internet; practicable will seek to reflect the


nal Platform and Constitution 2004

Australian Labor Party

diversity of Australian society by

—abolish the distinction between

including meritorious appointments barristers and solicitors;

from traditionally unrepresented groups —develop and maintain independent

such as women, people from non- complaint mechanisms through which

English speaking backgrounds and the interests of consumers and the 3

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community are represented; peoples; —abolish any anti-competitive practices rP

—encourage the judiciary to participate in engaged in by the legal profession

appropriate professional development except where those practices are in the X•

programs including programs on

public interest; 0 n

gender, race and other relevant issues; —remove restrictions which prevent legal 0 3 CD


practitioners from incorporating, 3

providing complementary non-legal 0

—support the dismissal of judges only services and advertising their services, N

for proven misconduct or incapacity, or non-legal corporate entities from CDby developing a protocol for dealing offering legal resources by employing 0 2with serious complaints of misconduct qualified practitioners, subject to theor incapacity against federal judicial protection of the interests of consumers 3 officers. and the community; C'44. Labor believes that the courts should be —establish uniform and mutuallyaccountable and managed efficiently, and recognisable qualifications for entry to 99will work with the judiciary to develop the profession;means to ensure that the judicial system —abolish the practice of some judges andis efficient, accessible and accountable, members of the legal profession ofincluding the use of benchmarking to wearing wig and gown; andevaluate and improve the delivery of —abolish the title of King's or Queen'sservices by courts to the public. Counsel.45. Labor will resume the traditional 47. Labor will work with the legal professionresponsibility of attorneys-general of to promote equality of opportunity and todefending the courts from inappropriate seek to eliminate discrimination within theattacks and threats to their independence. profession.48. Labor will work with the legal profession,The Legal Profession the judiciary and the States and46. The legal profession plays a fundamental Territories to:role in the provision of access to justice. —review and simplify all fee scales toTo this end, Labor supports the creation ensure that they reflect the true valueof a modern, efficient and accountable of work performed by the legalnational legal services market. In profession;particular, Labor will work with the legal —establish fee scales as benchmarksprofession, the judiciary and the States above which lawyers may not chargeand Territories to: without the express written agreement—create an independent, national, unified of their client; andlegal profession, regulated by an —gather and disseminate information toindependent body so as to be fully consumers about the reasonable costaccountable; of legal

Australian Labor Party

National Platfor m and Constitution 2004

49. Labor will work with the judiciary and the unless approved by judicial warrant or

legal profession to ensure that effective subject to appropriate administrative mechanisms are in place to minimise the review;

level of abuse of the legal process. —provide that evidence obtained by 0 illegal invasion of privacy is generally

KEY ISSUES IN LAW inadmissible; and


AND JUSTICE —examine the privacy implications of

Law Reform emerging technologies.

N X 50. Law reform is essential to ensure that the 54. Labor will ensure that all Australians have law reflects the traditions, values and reasonable access to their personal o CO 3 aspirations of all Australians. Law reform records and the right to correct false or

vC also ensures that our laws meet the misleading information contained therein.

0 needs of our modern democratic society.

55. All Australians enjoy the right to freedom


51. Labor will seek to engage as many of speech. However, this freedom must

0 2 Australians as possible in issues of law be exercised in a manner that respects

reform so that our laws and legal system the individual and collective rights reflect the traditions, values and enjoyed by other Australians.

p, aspirations of all Australians.

56. In this regard, Labor believes it is

52. Labor will provide adequate support and appropriate to protect the reputation of 100 resources to law reform bodies, including others through uniform national

the Australian Law Reform Commission, defamation laws that ensure a proper to enable them to provide independent balance between freedom of expression, and comprehensive advice on all aspects public debate and the protection of the of law reform and to consult as widely as reputation of others.

possible with the Australian people. 57. Labor believes that adults should be

Privacy and Free Speech entitled to read, hear and see what they

53. Labor believes in the protection of the wish in private and in public, subject to individual's right to privacy. In particular, adequate protection against persons Labor will: being exposed to unsolicited material

offensive to them and preventing conduct

—legislate to extend the operation of

exploiting, or detrimental to the rights of

privacy protection to cover both the public and private sectors in others, particularly women and children. accordance with international privacy 58. Labor is particularly concerned about the

principles and the best international portrayal of violence on television and in standards; films, videos, the internet and video

—work with the States and Territories to games. Labor will ensure that appropriate develop appropriate frameworks for the controls are in place to protect all protection of privacy in the workplace; Australians and will conduct research into

—maintain regulation of the use, the impact of the portrayal of violence on

collection and dissemination of our society.

information about individuals by private 59. Labor will work to ensure that Australia's and public organisations; security organisations are properly

—prohibit the use of telecommunications equipped and resourced to protect interception and listening devices Australians from the threat of terrorist


nal Platform and Constitution 2004

Australian Labor Party

activities, and that the law strikes an

—the particular needs, customs and

appropriate balance between the

practices of the diverse cultures which

protection of Australians and the

constitute Australian society are

democratic freedoms and values that are appropriately respected;

part of the Australian way of life. The —family law disputes are resolved in a activities of all security organisations timely, effective and affordable way; should be subject to an appropriate and `D CD

complaints mechanism and independent —the Family Court and Federal

N external review. Magistrates Service are accountable to X

Family Law

the people who use them and are 00

60. Labor believes that the family is the

affected by them.

(" 3

fundamental unit of society. Labor will 64. Labor believes that family law should (* 3 0

provide support to Australians to help apply in a consistent and uniform way to N

them to have happy, secure an

de facto relationships. , CD

family lives.

65. Labor supports the continuation of

61. Labor believes that community-based independent sources of advice to, and d

services aimed at preventing marital and research for, government on family Q.

family breakdown, such as relationship matters.

education, family skills training, marriage

preparation and marriage counselling and 101

adolescent and family mediation, should Family Violence and Abuse

be a priority and readily available. 66. Labor recognises that family violence is

62. Labor believes that the resolution of the cause of numerous social ills

family disputes should focus on

including: homelessness; suicide;

counselling and mediation with litigation homicide; drug misuse; mental illness;

as a last resort. The resolution of disputes and community dislocation. It causes

should focus on keeping families together, often irreparable damage to its survivors,

where it is appropriate. Labor will provide particularly children. Labor recognises the

affordable Family Court-based counselling need to firstly acknowledge the incidence

and mediation services,

and prevalence of family violence in all

sectors of the Australian community, and

63. Labor will continue to develop and to accurately name and define family

implement measures to ease the anxiety violence in all aspects of Labor Party and stress of marital and family policy making. Labor recognises that

breakdown. In particular, Labor will there is a gross over representation of the ensure that: incidents of family violence and abuse in

—the rights of children are paramount, in indigenous communities which is crippling particular their right to support from and the development, leadership and capacity contact with both parents and contact of communities to become sustainable. with members of their extended family; This intolerable situation must be —there is a just and equitable division of addressed through a re-invigoration of a

matrimonial property; national partnership approach with

—appropriate protections are in place in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander

cases of actual or apprehended family communities and the three tiers of

violence or abuse; government.



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Labor is committed to meeting Australia's

international human rights obligations by

closing these loopholes and Labor will

review investigatory resources to ensure

that any such perpetrators found in

Australia can be brought to justice.

Administrative Law

Labor will ensure that government is

accountable through appropriate

freedom of information legislation and

by providing mechanisms for all

government decisions to be subject to

independent administrative review or judicial challenge. Labor will ensure that

the law of standing does not inhibit

access to justice through effective and accessible administrative review.

Labor will ensure that the provision of public services by the private sector does

not diminish the rights of Australians to

freedom of information and administrative

review or judicial challenge.

Labor will seek to establish a uniform

national administrative law system that

complies with the highest standards of


Australian Labor Pa rty National Platform and Constitution 2004



67. All Australians are entitled to live safe

from family violence and physical and

emotional abuse. Labor will:

—provide a uniform national mechanism

to help protect Australians against family violence and abuse;

—support the establishment of a national database to record and advise authorities of family violence and 69.

abuse orders;

—ensure access to legal assistance and

community services for people

escaping family violence and abuse;

—conduct research and education to counteract the effects of family violence

and abuse;

—ensure women and children are protected from family violence in the family home or through access to high- 70 security refuges with skilled staff to

support them; .

—support the establishment of

specialised State domestic violence court services to ensure the speedy and appropriate handling of complaints; 71


—offer continued support to successful

programs already established to combat domestic and family violence, such as the National Domestic and Family Violence Clearinghouse. Ensure that funding gives organisations some

ability to plan long-term.

72. Labor will continue to maintain an adequately resourced independent body

to provide advice to government on the

effectiveness of Australia's administrative

law system.

War Crimes

68. Labor recalls the key role played by Ben Chifley's Government in developing the Geneva Convention on Genocide and reaffirms Labor's commitment to international treaties that aim to punish those who commit crimes against

humanity, war crimes and other major

human rights violations. There are major

gaps in Australia's domestic laws that

allow such accused criminals to live here without fear of prosecution.

Business Law

73. Labor supports the maintenance of

national companies and securities legislation regulating companies,

company takeovers, the futures industry

and the securities industry to ensure a

rational framework for business, its public

accountability, the protection of

consumers, workers, investors and

shareholders and the prevention of anti-competitive practices.



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Nationa l Platform and Constitution 2004

Australian Labor Party

74. Labor will continue to simplify corporate

laws in order to reduce unnecessary

costs to business and the community

while maintaining protection for consumers, workers, investors and


75. Labor will continue to review the Corporations Act and related legislation to

ensure that companies follow good

corporate governance practices that

empower shareholders and hold company

officers accountable.

76. Labor will work with the States and

Territories, the business community and consumer representatives to develop a

national business and commercial law to

underpin the development of our national

economy and to increase the international

competitiveness of Australian business.

The national law will seek to establish

uniform national laws for commercial

transactions and the incorporation of non-corporate business structures, while

ensuring international best practice consumer protection laws and such other

matters as are agreed. Consistent with Australia's close economic relationship with New Zealand, Labor will work with

that country if it wishes to participate in

Australia's uniform national scheme. If necessary, Labor supports constitutional

reform to bring about this objective.

77. Labor will strengthen remedies and penalties to help prevent the practice of

establishing phoenix companies to avoid the payment of debts to employees, trade

creditors, and tax authorities.

78. Labor believes that bankruptcy laws should provide an inexpensive and quick

determination of the rights and obligations

of bankrupts. Labor will ensure:

—maximum possible returns to creditors;

—that bankruptcy trustees can effectively

recover property disposed of by

bankrupts in an attempt to defeat

creditors; and

—that small debtors have access to negotiated voluntary alternatives to


79. Labor will work with the States and Territories to maintain and improve

Australia's national uniform Corporations

Act on a secure long-term footing by

bringing all matters falling within the scope

of the Commonwealth's constitutional

power to legislate in respect of

corporations within a federal government

enactment and where appropriate

securing a reference of State powers.

80. Labor will explore appropriate constitutional reforms to facilitate federal

and State cooperative schemes including

the ability of officers of the Commonwealth to exercise powers conferred by State legislation, the ability

of officers of States to exercise powers bestowed by federal legislation and the

ability of federal courts to adjudicate in

respect to matters arising under co-operative schemes.

Fraud Control Policy

81. Labor will be vigilant in efforts to eradicate fraud against the Commonwealth,

particularly in light of the increased opportunities for fraudulent activity which

have arisen from outsourcing and

technological changes.

82. Labor supports the development of a fraud control policy which:

—is applicable to modern public service conditions and technological changes;

—has a comprehensive, all of

government application;

—focuses on developing public sector expertise in preventing and combating


—involves the private sector; and


Australian Labor Pa

rty National Platform and Constitution 2004

—acknowledges the primary role of the redress mechanisms throughout Australia.

Australian Federal Police in conducting 90. Labor is committed to effective product

fraud investigations.

labelling to ensure consumers can make

83. Labor supports a review of the criminal informed choices. Food should be C-) and civil laws relating to fraud, the range labelled to ensure consumers know both

of civil penalties available, and possible the ingredients and processes used.

N reforms to the complexity and length of Labor will maintain food standards that


the trial process. guarantee minimum compositional

X requirements for popular foodstuffs such

> n Legal Services in the Global Market as ice cream and meat pies. Labor also

00 CO 3 84. Labor will work with the States and supports the comprehensive labelling of

N 3 Territories, the courts and the profession genetically modified food. co to export Australian legal services to the Labor will strengthen country of originC N world. In particular Labor will, through labelling laws to ensure that products0 multilateral and bilateral negotiations, labelled 'Made in Australia' areC seek to reduce and eliminate predominantly manufactured in Australia,inappropriate trade barriers to the export and that the 'Product of Australia' label isa of the legal services of Australian firms. only used on products which are wholly85. Labor will work with our universities to made in Australia.104 promote our high standards of legal 91. Financial markets offer many new education to overseas students. opportunities for consumers but are alsobecoming increasingly complex. So that Empowering Consumers consumers can make informed financial86. Labor is committed to consumer decisions Labor supports:sovereignty. Consumer sovereignty is —the full and transparent disclosure of enhanced by competitive and fully all fees, charges, interest rates, risks informed markets, balanced by effective and returns; regulation to protect consumers fromunsound or unsafe goods, services or —the introduction of truth in lending lawspractices. to provide consumers with effective interest rates;87. Labor will work with States and Territories —advice about all available professional to develop uniform personal property evaluations; security laws and a national register ofpersonal property securities, to reduce —an end to unconscionable fees andthe cost and uncertainty of transactions charges; andfor consumers and small businesses. —up front display of transaction fees at88. Labor is committed to effective lifetime ATMs.consumer education starting at school. It 92. Labor will work with State and Territoryis through education that all Australians governments to ensure that financialcan be empowered as consumers. literacy is a prominent part of theeducation curriculum. 89. Labor is committed to effective consumerprotection measures at the national and 93. Labor will work with State and Territoryinternational level. Labor supports unified, governments to ensure comprehensiveconsistent, simplified consumer laws and regulation by ASIC of mortgage


7 N

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>0 n 3 CDCoc Lno c CD-,a

Narinnal Platform and Constitution 2004

Australian Labor Party

and property investment schemes.

94. Consumers are entering a new economic

era where goods and services are

increasingly available in highly deregulated and complex markets. Labor

will conduct an urgent audit of our

existing regulatory structures to ensure that consumers are adequately protected

in this new environment. The audit will

include consultation and input from

relevant industry and community organisations, including the relevant trade

unions, and whether:

—the existing regulatory structures need

to be redesigned to better protect

consumers in the new economy;

—voluntary industry codes of conduct offer adequate protection to consumer

interests in the new economy; and

—the Commonwealth's Trade Practices

Act needs further amendment to outlaw

unfair consumer contracts.

95. Labor will ensure that the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission

is adequately resourced to protect the interests of consumers, in areas such as

price exploitation, price monitoring, industry codes and pursuit of legal action

against organisations in breach of

consumer legislation.

96. Labor supports a strong consumer voice in government and will ensure that consumers are properly represented in

policy processes and that all consumer

advocates on government bodies are genuine representatives of Australian


97. Services such as mobile phones and the internet are increasingly essential to full

participation in the economy. To protect

consumers in these new growth areas,

Labor supports the implementation of:

—cooling off periods in consumer internet

and mobile phone contracts;

—an end to unconscionable fees and

charges in consumer internet and

mobile phone contracts; and

—strict standards to protect consumers

engaging in electronic commerce

consistent with international best

practice standards.

98. Labor believes that every individual has

a right to a clean and sustainable environment and that government has a

responsibility to protect the environment.

99. The environment is a national asset.

Labor recognises that environmental

issues cross State boundaries and

require national leadership and will:

—work with the States and Territories

to achieve best outcomes in the

national interest;

—assess the environmental and social

impacts of all legislation and agreements entered into by the

government; and

—establish an independent commissioner for the environment.

National Security

100. One of the primary obligations of government is to secure and defend its

territory, people and economic and

political interests. Military defence is a

fundamental basis of any country's

national security. However, effective

national security relies on much more

than military defence alone. Foreign policy, customs services, international

crime detection, immigration policies,

trade and economic policies all combine

to contribute to a nation's security. In

addition, maintaining critical

infrastructure systems such as telecommunications and transport and

ensuring the integrity of key information

systems are vital to the nation's security.


Australian Labor Pa

rty National Platform and Constitution 2004

101. Labor will establish an Office of National Protecting Our Coastline

Security under the Prime Minister's Australian Coast Guard portfolio to be headed by a National 107. The front line of Australia's national Security Advisor at permanent head security in peacetime is our maritime level. This Office will develop jurisdiction and coastal borders. The Australia's first fully integrated national increased prevalence of transnational C+ security policy, organised crime, drug running, gun

running and illegal fishing operations

N Department of Homeland Security and Australia's environmental > n 102. Labor is committed to an effective and responsibility have created substantial c o comprehensive plan for domestic new challenges to Australia's national N3 security,


103. Labor will provide a secure environment 108. Labor believes that the most effective N in Australia to enable all to live, work way to combat these threats to c^ 0 and raise families in safety. Australia's security is through a C professional, disciplined, well resourced 104. Labor believes greater efforts must be maritime law enforcement organisation. made to ensure that Australia is as aeffective as possible in the coordination 109. Labor will establish an Australian Coastof its homeland security, particularly in Guard. The Coast Guard will bring106 the aftermath of the terrorist attacks in together in an effective and betterthe United States on 11 September coordinated way the marine surveillance2001 and closer to home, in Bali on 12 and enforcement roles of allOctober 2002. Commonwealth agencies.105. Labor will establish a new Department, 110. The Australian Coast Guard will bethe Department of Homeland Security, to responsible for the detection of andbe responsible for security functions as response to all incursions into Australianwell as certain non-security and waters; for the enforcement of alladministrative functions. The new Commonwealth laws as they relate toDepartment will achieve better the maritime jurisdiction; for carrying outcoordination between law enforcement, coastal surveillance and intelligenceintelligence and security agencies as gathering operations; for coordinatingwell as civil authorities and the Defence maritime safety and search and rescueOrganisation. operations; and for coastal surveillanceand protection against incursions in 106. The Homeland Security portfolio will times of declared emergency and cover agencies such as the Australian conflict. Federal Police, the Australian SecurityIntelligence Organisation, the Australian 111. In times of peace, the Coast Guard willProtective Service and the Protective be a civil law enforcement agency withinSecurity Coordination Centre. Labor the Homeland Security portfolio. It willbelieves the creation of a cabinet level be appropriately armed. It will coordinateHomeland Security ministry will provide its intelligence and surveillance worka more efficient and effective way to closely with the Australian Defencecoordinate and integrate domestic Force (ADF) and in times of war orsecurity operations in Australia. declared emergency the Coast



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Nat io nal Platform and Constitution 2004

Australian Labor Party

will come under the direct command of

the Defence Force.

112. The Coast Guard will also have a volunteer and entirely civil reserve component to provide a localized search and rescue service. This component will

not transfer to the ADF in times of war or emergency.

>C) 00 C CD

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Family Law

The rate of divorce in Australia is such that it affects many members of the community and has far reaching economic, emotional and social effects on those immediately:;

involved and the community generally.

Labor shall review the application of the family law process to develop a system that is less litigious. This shall focus on settlement as a first resort by

introducing mediation, save in cases where domestic violence or sexual abuse is a factor in the relationship; capping of legal fees to the court scale and a case

management process.




Chapter Seven Human Rights and Equal 109

Opportunity for All


ra lian Labor Party

[National Platform and Constitution 2004

Chapter Seven

—the International Convention on the

HumanRightsand EQUB^

Rights of the Child; —the International Convention on the

Opportunity for All Elimination of all Forms of Racial


KEY ISSUES IN HUMAN RIGHTS 6. Labor will continue to suppo rt a properly

CD Basic Principles funded Human Rights and Equal

N 1.

Respect and support for internationally Opportunity Commission (HREOC) as an CD recognised human rights is fundamental independent body advising on, and CD to an equal, just, democratic, inclusive inquiring into, the protection and

and tolerant society, and inherent to the advancement of human rights in Australia. 0 = a C 3

dignity of each and every Australian. 7. Labor will cooperate with the States and o 2. Human rights are enjoyed not only by Territories to ensure that comprehensive

individuals, but collectively by all and consistent human rights protection Australians. Respect for the individual and enforcement mechanisms are ow and collective rights of others is essential available to all Australians.

D Q to the protection and promotion of 8. Labor supports both the promotion of

^m human rights, human rights internationally and the

C _ 3. Human rights are essential for the development of international standards maintenance and enhancement of

and mechanisms for the protection and


democracy and peace. Labor wants

enforcement of these rights.

Australia to reassert its role as world Labor will adhere to Australia's leader in the promotion and protection of international human rights obligations fundamental human rights both and will seek to have them incorporated

domestically and internationally, into the domestic law of Australia and

4. Labor believes that all Australians have a taken into account in administrative

right to equality before the law, to the due decision making.

process of the law, to protection against 9. Labor recognises the fundamental rights discrimination, to freedom of thought, and entitlements of Aboriginal and Torres conscience, speech, association, Strait Islander Australians as the original including the right to join a union, and owners of this land.

religion and peaceful assembly. 10. An awareness and understanding of the 5. Labor is committed to supporting the human rights enjoyed by all Australians is international human rights instruments to essential to their maintenance and which Australia is a signatory including: protection. Labor will promote an

—the Universal Declaration of Human awareness and understanding of human rights that should be enjoyed by all


Australians and provide education to all

—the International Convention on Civil Australians about the significance of, and and Political Rights; the need to respect, human rights.

—the International Convention on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; Constitutional Recognition

—the International Convention on the 11. As a means of building community Elimination of All Forms of Discrimation confidence in the constitutional against Women; recognition of the rights enjoyed by all

National Platform and Constitution 2004

Australian Labor Pa rty

Australians, Labor will introduce a 19. Labor believes that people are entitled to

legislative Charter of Citizenship and respect, dignity and the ability to

Aspirations. participate in society and receive the

protection of the law regardless of their

12. Labor supports constitutional reform to sexuality or gender identity. Labor () 7

achieve a comprehensive recognition of supports the enactment of legislation

the rights enjoyed by all Australians.

prohibiting discrimination on the grounds rt

These inalienable rights also carry with of a person's sexuality or gender identity

them a responsibility to respect the

and will audit Commonwealth legislation

N (p

individual and collective rights enjoyed by to amend provisions that unfairly


others and the need to protect and

discriminate against any person on the

promote institutions and practices

grounds of sexuality or gender identity.

0 _

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fundamental to an equal, just, democratic a 3

and tolerant society. 20. Labor recognises the right of those

people living in rural, regional and remote Z

Discrimination communities to receive adequate levels of

13. Labor supports legislative and

essential services in areas such as ° v'

administrative action by all Australian

access to justice, health, education, D _ a

governments to eliminate discrimination, housing, employment and technological M

including systemic discrimination, on the and physical infrastructure. grounds of race, colour, sex, religion,

sexuality, gender identity, disability, WOMEN: MAKING EQUALITY 111

genetic makeup, political or other opinion, REAL national or social origin, property, birth or 21. Labor is concerned that women remain other status. concentrated in lower-paid and lower-

skilled jobs. Women are more likely to

14. Where necessary, Labor will take special work part time, more likely to experience measures designed to achieve equality periods out of the labour force, and more and eliminate the effects of both historic likely to require support to balance work and contemporary discrimination, and family responsibilities throughout their 15. Labor recognises the right of all people to lifetimes. To address these issues, Labor

live and work in an environment free from will implement measures to:

vilification or harassment, and will provide —further reduce and ultimately eliminate

an accessible and effective means for all the earnings gap between male and

people to protect themselves from such female workers;

behaviour. —further reduce occupational

16. Labor supports the enactment of


comprehensive age discrimination —ensure that women receive equal

legislation, access to educational and training

opportunities and ensure that women

17. Labor supports the protection of the rights are encouraged and assisted to take up of children whilst respecting the proper these opportunities;

role of parents and other persons

responsible for their welfare.

—ensure women equal access to

opportunities within the workplace,

18. Labor supports the appropriate protection specifically to promotions and career

of the religious freedom of all people. development;


tralian Labor Pa rty

National Platform and Constitution 2004

—ensure that women have access to

—recognise the particular issues faced by

women of non-English speaking backgrounds and ensure government

policies and programs are accessible

and appropriate to their needs;

—recognise the particular issues faced

by indigenous women and ensure that government policies and programs

are accessible and appropriate to

their needs;

—ensure appropriate measurement of the value of unpaid work to the economy;


—eliminate the exploitation, including

sexual exploitation, of women and children, either in Australia or overseas.

22. Labor will:

—strengthen and improve the Sex

Discrimination Act and the powers of

the Commissioner to protect women

against discrimination on the basis of

gender and family and carer


—ensure the unfair taxation system

introduced by the Coalition is made

fairer for women;

—invest in lifelong learning so that

women are provided with equal

opportunities to improve their skills and

their life opportunities by getting a

better education; and

—provide Australian women with a new

avenue to seek redress of their

fundamental human rights where

domestic avenues have been

exhausted, by signing and pursuing

ratification, through domestic treaty-making processes, of the Optional

Protocol to the UN Convention on the

Elimination of All Forms of

Discrimination Against Women.

Labor will provide the necessary support

services which enable women to balance

work and family responsibilities so that they can participate fully in the life of the


24. As women are the major users of health

and community services, Labor will:

—ensure that health, housing, child care,

aged care, and family and other

community services are of high quality

and affordable;

—support the rights of women to determine their own reproductive lives,

particularly the right to choose

appropriate fertility control and abortion;

—ensure that women have a choice

regarding their reproductive lives on the

basis of sound social and medical


—strengthen programs that assist women

escaping family violence;

adequate retirement income, with a

particular focus on increasing women's

superannuation contributions;

—recognise and value women's unpaid

work, particularly caring and volunteer

fD work;

N —develop specific programs to assist women to better balance work and

family responsibilities, in particular high

0 = quality, flexible and affordable child

= care and before and after school care;


—promote changes to both the industrial

M X relations system and labour market

programs that improve women's access V' to employment and to their conditions

D Q of employment;

m —provide strong mechanisms to remove sexual harassment and discrimination

from the workplace;


—recognise the particular issues faced by

women in rural, regional and remote

areas and seek to address inequalities 23.

of access to communication services,

transport, training and employment;

National Platform and Constitution 2004

Australian Labor Pa rty

—provide assistance to carers, including leave, quality part time work including

carers in the workforce; and the opportunity to move between full

—support the development of local and and part time work, and family facilities; accessible justice, health, education —improve the affordability and

and training and family and community accessibility of quality child care, and

service programs tailored to meet the before and after school care,

needs of women living in rural, regional particularly at or near workplaces;

and remote Australia. —provide greater support for pregnant

25. Labor will pay particular attention to and breastfeeding women in the

keeping women and families out of workplace; CD

poverty, acknowledging that women of all —encourage greater flexibility in the 0 =

ages and their dependent children delivery of social security payments so a 3

comprise the majority of Australians who that families, if they so choose, can '" M

live below the poverty line, as well as the afford to have one parent stay at home a

majority of social security beneficiaries, in the early years in a child's life; o

Labor will continue to help families lift —promote greater acceptance that their living standards by: women and men will temporarily D Q

—providing income support and health interrupt their careers for parenting M

and community services to reduce the duties and reduce the indirect costs E v

number of women and their children such as loss of benefits and uncertain living in poverty; or reduced employment status 11 3

—linking the provision of these services associated with these breaks; and

more directly to employment, education —target social and economic policies to

and training opportunities so that the different needs of families as they

women can improve their living pass through each life stage.

standards over their lifetime;

—reducing the tax and social security

penalties that apply when many

women return to work or increase their

hours at work;

—ensuring that labour market programs

of proven benefit to women are

maintained and extended; and

—providing and promoting reskilling and re-education programs for women re-entering the workforce.

A Better Balance Between Work and Family

26. Labor will implement measures to:

—encourage employers to provide more family friendly workplaces, including the

provision of paid family leave, extended unpaid parental leave, family friendly

rostering provisions, paid maternity

A Better Deal for Women from Federal Government

27. To improve the quality of government

decision making as it relates to women, Labor will:

—introduce annual audits by an

independent agency of the impact of

specific Labor Government policies on women. These audits will be conducted

in partnership with the Office of the

Status of Women and will be made publicly available.

28. Labor will support and encourage women to contribute to the development and implementation of policies that affect their lives, and will fund organisations to advocate on behalf of and for women.

29. Labor will strengthen the Office of the Status of Women.

Australian L

abor Pa rty

National Platform and Constit ution [UU4

30. Labor will increase the representation of values the strengths, contributions and

women in parliament, and will continue

resources of all young people.

efforts to increase the number of women 36. Young people are a diverse group with at senior levels in both the public and different needs, concerns and aspirations.

private sectors. Labor is committed to the development of

policies that support and service the

CHILDREN AND YOUNG different needs, concerns and aspirations

CDPEOPLE of all young people including those who

CD 31. Lab o r believes that all portfolios must suffer from socio-economic disadvantage, CD reflect the intrinsic value of children and neglect and abuse, shifts in education,

young people in their policies and employment and training patterns and

-0 = programs. technological change.

0 W Labor 32. will establish a specialised 37. Labor is committed to ensuring successful M government Office for Children and Youngtransitions for young people leaving People. The Office will have the school to pursue employment, educationo N responsibility for developing a and training. Labor will ensure that D ^ coordinated strategy between, and appropriate support services are available _ am analysing policies arising from, different to young people so that their transition portfolios for impacts on children and from school to further education and young people. employment is as effective as possible.11 4 33. Labor will also establish a National 38. Labor's education and training strategies Commissioner for Children and Young will ensure that young have Australians People in order to promote their interests high levels of literacy and numeracy, and as participants in our community and to the confidence, flexibility and maturity to promote investing in children and young contribute to, and participate in, our people. nation's economic, social, cultural and34. The National Commissioner for Children technological development. and Young People will establish a nationalcode to protect children and young people 39. Given structural changes in the economyfrom abuse. The national code will be and the greater flexibility which isdeveloped in consultation with the States demanded of the workforce, aand Territories and will ensure that all commitment of both government andorganisations have adequate procedures individuals to lifelong education andto prevent abuse and handle any training is required to ensure that youngcomplaints. The code will include a workers can shift effectively into growthnational working with children check. sectors of the economy.Unless young people are given greater Young Australians: Consultation certainty about their post-seconda ryand Inclusion pathways, they will inevitably lower their35. Labor is commi tted to real consultation ambitions, and Australia will become a with children and young people about much weaker nation for this loss of issues affecting them as well as including ambition among its young citizens.parents, communities, community 40. The role of education and training in organisations and advocacy groups.Labor will pursue a positive and preparing young people for theintegrated agenda which recognises and employment market, including

National Platform and Constitution 2004 Australian Labor Pa rty

exploration of career paths, development

of job interview skills, workplace responsibilities and the rights of the

employee, cannot be overstated.

41. Labor is committed to enhancing

pathways that will effect young people achieving employment and job security. In

particular, the 15-19 age group requires

relevant school to work transition programs, expanded work experience

opportunities and work-orientated careers education in secondary schools. It is also the primary target group for

apprenticeships and traineeships.

42. Labor will provide the support and

assistance needed by young people at

risk of not successfully making the

transition to economic independence.

Labor will invest in programs to assist

young people who face barriers to

participation and will integrate employment development for young people into its

regional job creation programs.

43. Labor recognises the need to specifically address the health needs of young Australians, including physical and/or mental health issues, drug and alcohol

education and the promotion of a healthy

lifestyle. Labor will adopt an integrated

health-based approach to youth suicide that works with existing community

structures. Part of this approach will

include strategies to address contributing factors such as depression, neglect, abuse, drug and alcohol problems,

access to firearms and discrimination.

44. Labor will address the whole problem of

youth homelessness, recognising the interconnection of employment and

education opportunities and the need for

a voice in the community for young

people. Labor recognises the higher incidence of physical and sexual assault among young people and the need for

this to form a central element of service


Labor recognises the need for the reinstatement of a peak youth

representative body in order to facilitate a direct voice to government for youth

service organisations, and to coordinate a

national network of autonomous youth

services. In addition to this, Labor will

examine ways of improving the access of young people to make recommendations

to government across all portfolio areas.

46. Labor will review the current citizenship rights extended to youth, including

suffrage, discrimination and representation in the policy making process, and seek to extend these rights where they respond

inadequately to young people's needs and

legitimate aspirations.



Basic Objectives

47. Labor believes that Indigenous

Australians must be able to:

—exercise and enjoy the fundamental human rights to which all Australians

are entitled;

-exercise and enjoy the distinct rights

which attach to Indigenous Australians

as a group, as the original owners of this continent;

—share in and contribute to the economic and social advantages

available to all Australians as citizens

of a first world nation;

—exercise their right to self determination

within the Australian nation;

—exercise and enjoy their unique

cultures; and

Such job-focused education should be

available through a wide range of outlets

including schools, community groups and 45 other convenient and youth accessible

mediums such as the internet.


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D^ =amC 115


ra lian Labor Pa rty

National Platform and Constitution 2004

—share with other Australians the real, peoples are on an equal footing in land

practical benefit of reconciliation ownership/native title negotiations and

between Indigenous and non- legal process.

Indigenous Australians. 52. Economic development is a key to


48. Reconciliation is fundamentally important achieving improved social and economic

to Australia's capacity to face the future outcomes and self determination for

CD as a united, peaceful, proud and just Indigenous Australians as a lasting reality.

I Ci) nation. Labor will continue to pursue 53. Labor will pursue a partnership

CD reconciliation with the aim of achieving a arrangement with indigenous peoples in a lasting settlement between indigenous whole of government approach to

p = peoples and other Australians. Labor Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander

recognises that reconciliation is a mutual g affairs. Labor will pursue new agreements process which requires national involving indigenous peoples, federal,

leadership and involves all Australians. State and local governments in relation to

3 the delivery of both mainstream and

Guiding Principles indigenous specific programs. Labor will

D a 49. A federal Labor Government will work empower indigenous leaders to work in

Ti, with the States and Territories to reduce partnership for such programs and

the gap in living standards between


Indigenous and non-Indigenous 54. The design of policy and the delivery of 116 Australians and provide the strongest services must be developed in

framework for advancing the rights and consultation with indigenous peoples at responsibilities of Indigenous Australians. the local, regional and national levels and

based on obj needs of assessment ective

50. Labor is committed to the spirit of the and focused on targets and time frames. 1967 constitutional amendment that Labor will set targets and time frames for gave the federal parliament the power to

the achievement of outcomes as the

make laws for the benefit of Indigenous basis for measuring the progress of

Australians. The position of indigenous government policy.

peoples must be seen as a national

commitment. 55. Labor will work towards negotiated,

comprehensive regional agreements that

51. Labor will support the indigenous address a range of areas including land

community's commitment to good issues, heritage protection, economic governance of its institutions and the development, cultural support and service developing role of Native Title delivery. Programs and services must be

Representative Bodies, Native Title delivered in a culturally appropriate Bodies Corporate and emerging regional manner. To the greatest extent possible, authorities. Improved governance is indigenous peoples must have control aimed at ensuring indigenous peoples are over the initiation, development and

in the best position to negotiate the delivery of policy, programs and services. enjoyment of their rights and self This control must be exercised from the

determination arrangements. These local community level in conformity with arrangements must be based upon the principle of self determination. support for capacity building and leadership development and must be 56. Labor will work to overcome the

adequately resourced so that indigenous misunderstanding in the broader



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National Platform and Constitution 2004 Australian Labor Party

community as to the root causes of

Indigenous Australians' disadvantage.

That misunderstanding presents one of

the most critical obstacles to the achievement of the primary objectives of

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander


57. Accountability must apply with equal

rigour to all agencies expending public

funds in this area. Accountability requirements will be designed to assist

indigenous-controlled organisations to

achieve target outcomes. State, Territory

and local governments will be held accountable for outcomes in areas for

which they are responsible, and for

programs using Commonwealth-sourced


Land Rights

58. Dispossession is critically related to the

contemporary circumstances of

Indigenous Australians. Land holds a unique spiritual and cultural significance

for Indigenous Australians.

59. Access to land and security of title are

essential to enable Indigenous Australians

to fully exercise their economic, social

and cultural rights.

60. Wherever possible, land use and

ownership issues will be resolved through

negotiations directed towards achieving

workable, lasting coexistence.

constructive and lasting resolution of land issues arising from the Mabo Decision. It

recognises that both practical

considerations and further court decisions

in this emerging area of legal

understanding will necessitate refinement

of this legislation in the future. Labor remains committed to the ongoing

development and delivery of the Social

Justice Package promised to indigenous representatives as part of the negotiated

package in 1993. Labor will negotiate the

details and timeframes for implementing

this package in the first term of the next

Labor Government.

63. Labor will encourage the negotiation of

regional agreements between non-indigenous land users, governments and

indigenous land claimants. Under the

regional agreements framework, native title will be the catalyst for lasting,

integrated solutions to the economic and

social challenges faced by regional


64. Education for all Australians about the

significance and value of native title is

essential to realising the benefits of native

title for all Australians. Labor

Governments will therefore implement substantial public education campaigns to

enhance understanding in the wider

community about indigenous history, land

claims and native title generally.

61. Native title is a property right recognised 65. Statutory land rights regimes have

by the common law of Australia. Native provided the foundations for economic,

titleholders are entitled to the full social and cultural development in many

protection of the law in exercising their indigenous communities throughout

rights. Australia. Labor will build upon that


62. Labor believes that many of the 1998

amendments to the Native Title Act are unjust, unworkable and open to legal

challenge. Labor will defend, preserve

and build upon the mechanism embodied

in the Native Title Act of 1993 for the

66. Labor reaffirms, as the basis for the Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern

Territory) Act, the principles of the Aboriginal Land Rights Commission

(Woodward Report), which include:

Australian Labor Pa

rty National Platform and Constitution 2004

—the rights of traditional owners in 71. Labor recognises the concern many

relation to access and development on indigenous communities have regarding their land; particular health problems, notably

—protection of sacred sites; and domestic violence, substance abuse,

0 sexual assault and suicide. Labor is

—the existence of adequately resourced committed to working with indigenous land councils with statutory communities on a regional level to CD responsibilities for the representation address the fundamental causes of N and protection of Aboriginal interests in particular health problems these 0< lti t land relation to land. re communities have. Labor believes CD problems such as these must be seen in 0 Health a health context as well as being law and c^ oc 67. Labor acknowledges the wide disparityorder problems. By addressing the between the health status of Indigenous causes with remedies supported by and Australians and the general Australian involving the local communities, Labor o r community. Labor recognises that believes the incidence of these problems within the indigenous population healthcan be reduced. D a needs vary depending on a number ofm factors including geographical location, HousingCgender, age and experience of health72. Indigenous Australians are entitled to service provision, adequate and appropriate housing. Labor 118 68. Labor recognises the problems will set objective national benchmarks forindigenous people face in accessing adequate and appropriate housing, andhealth services. Programs will best serve time frames for meeting those targets.the health needs of Indigenous 73. Labor is aware of the current poor Australians if they are included in the housing experienced by many Indigenous formulation, establishment and ongoingAustralians. Labor will work with local delivery of such programs. Culturally land councils, housing service deliverers sensitive and appropriate health programs and government agencies on a State and will be more accessible and effective for regional basis to ensure that funds Indigenous Australians. designated for housing are appropriately69. Health services formulation directed and used. Labor is committed to housing delivered with a regional focus, that takes that meets the unique needs of localinto account intra-community differences indigenous communities and isand variance of age, gender, and health culturally appropriate.provision experience, will best tackle thediverse health problems within indigenous Educationcommunities. 74. Labor recognises the key role of education in the economic empowerment, 70. There is a fundamental link between health and employment prospects of the health status of Indigenous Indigenous Australians. Labor further Australians and all other aspects of recognises the potential for appropriate their disadvantage. Labor is committededucation to preserve and enrich to a continually monitored reduction of indigenous peoples' cultures. mortality and morbidity indicators tolevels comparable with the general 75. Education policy must respond to theAustralian community. appalling reality of current outcomes


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National Platform and Constitution 2004 Australian Labor Pa rty

the disparity between outcomes for

indigenous and non-indigenous people

Labor is committed to indigenous

specific programs, such as ABSTUDY,

which have made a significant

contribution to improving indigenous

education outcomes.

76. While recognising that education and

training are primarily State and Territory

responsibilities, Labor recognises that the

federal government has a particular

obligation to ensure that indigenous

people have fair access to appropriate

education to meet their needs and aspirations, including improved education

and training outcomes. Labor is committed to improving indigenous

participation in tertiary education across

all disciplines and levels of study, and will encourage the recognition and valuing of

indigenous knowledge within higher

education institutions.

77. Labor is committed to working with

indigenous communities to maintain

and extend access to bilingual education

where it is supported by those communities to facilitate better

education for Indigenous Australians,

while preserving and enriching

indigenous culture.

78. Subject to the need for significantly

enhanced outcomes, Labor recognises

the variety of educational needs and

aspirations across indigenous

communities. Labor is committed to

education programs that are regionally focused and that recognise these

differences in their content and delivery.

The involvement of indigenous people in

the preparation and ongoing delivery of

educational services is vital to the

success of such programs.

Economic Development and Employment

79. Employment programs must reflect the reality that unemployment amongst

Indigenous Australians is chronic and is projected to increase dramatically in the

next decade.

80. Program design and delivery must

respond to specific regional, gender and

age variations. Programs to address

indigenous unemployment must identify,

harness and develop labour markets with

genuine potential for sustainable

employment. A sustainable land base and access to resources for community development initiatives will be integrated

into programs to combat indigenous unemployment through economic


81. Labor will improve the operation of the

Aboriginal Councils and Associations Act

as a means to greater economic

development in indigenous communities.

Regional Development

82. Indigenous communities are an integral

part of regional Australia. Indigenous

programs often provide much needed

funding and development to small

isolated communities. Labor recognises

the important role such programs play in

both indigenous and non-indigenous life in these regional communities and is

committed to their continuation and enhancement.

83. Labor acknowledges the disadvantage indigenous and non-indigenous people face in regional areas. Labor is committed to the inclusion of indigenous representatives in the formulation, introduction and ongoing supervision of programs that seek to revitalise regional

areas with significant indigenous populations. Through meaningful inclusion, Labor will ensure all regional

Australian Labor Pa

rty National Platform and Constitution 2004

residents have a share in the economic

and cultural benefits these programs may deliver.

84. Regional agreements, based on the mutual recognition of converging interests between all people living in regional areas, will be an important part of

N achieving

respect for, and inclusion of, indigenous peoples in regional CD development. This will involve legally binding undertakings by governments in c relation to the delivery and management o 0, of both indigenous specific and C mainstream programs and services. ^'cn

N Protecting the Cultural Heritage o

85. Labor supports strengthened heritage = o - protection legislation to deliver improved m economic, social and cultural outcomes, with a continuing role for the

Commonwealth in upholding its 1 20 constitutional responsibilities to Indigenous Australians.

86. Labor recognises the need for balance between ensuring that indigenous peoples possess the power to protect their own culture, both past and present, and the right to economic development for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. Non-adversarial processes that include indigenous peoples in the

protection of their heritage, cultural and intellectual property will ensure greater certainty for development.

87. Labor is committed to promoting respect for the heritage and living cultures of indigenous peoples by promoting policies that: —support the preservation and recording

of indigenous cultural heritage; —facilitate and promote appropriate means for sustaining and transmitting the living cultures of Australia's

indigenous peoples; —support the repatriation of indigenous artefacts and human remains removed

without indigenous consent and reposited in overseas collections; —guarantee indigenous involvement in decisions on the location, care and

rules of access to cultural artefacts in Australian public collections; —protect the culture and heritage of Indigenous Australians from

expropriation, exploitation and desecration; and —protect, preserve and revitalise indigenous languages . The urgency of

this is underscored by the possibility of most languages disappearing over the next generation.

Conserving the Natural Environment

88. Labor recognises the special connection many Indigenous Australians maintain with the land and the primary role of the natural environment in indigenous culture

and tradition. In accordance with this special relationship, Labor is committed to the involvement of indigenous peoples in the management structures overseeing the maintenance of parks, waterways and

other public spaces with which local indigenous people have affinity.

89. Labor is committed to fostering an understanding and respect for the traditional native title rights of local indigenous people on such lands. This will be achieved in part through the

involvement of local indigenous people in the management of parks and other public areas with which there is indigenous affinity.

90. Labor recognises that Indigenous Australians' knowledge and experience of the land is a beneficial asset in the management and use of our environment.

Labor will ensure that Indigenous Australians are involved in the formulation, implementation and ongoing

delivery of environmental programs.





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Deaths in Custody

91. The problem of deaths in custody is

inseparable from the broader disadvantage experienced by Indigenous


92. Labor will seek to overcome the underlying causes of high imprisonment

rates among Indigenous Australians, through effective action in all other areas

of indigenous affairs.

Labor will consult with indigenous

communities about creating establishments where youth and young

adults, caught up in the court system, can

be dealt with by their respective Elders using traditional methods (provided the

traditional method would not constitute a

crime under Australian law).

Labor will continue to oppose mandatory

detention when applied to juvenile offenders and to adults, as it is

discriminatory in practice and ineffective

in reducing crime or criminality.

93. Labor recognises that the Royal

Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in

Custody recommendations and the

Commonwealth, State and Territory

responses to the Royal Commission, provide a specific and targeted agenda for governments to tackle Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander disadvantage and aspirations, and will continue to suppo rt the implementation of its detailed

recommendations by all levels of government.

The Stolen Generations

94. Labor recognises that past government policies which separated indigenous children from their families continue to have economic, social and cultural effects among indigenous communities in Australia. The legacies of these past policies are a fundamental source of indigenous disadvantage today.

95. Labor recognises the importance of the National Inquiry into the Separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children from their Families (the Bringing Them Home Report) in initiating the debate on, and widening understanding

of, past government policies separating indigenous children from their families.

These policies continue to have lasting economic, social and cultural effects among indigenous communities in

Australia. The legacies of these past policies are a fundamental source of indigenous disadvantage today.

96. The Howard Government's continuing inadequate response to the B ringing Them Home Report has only compounded the problems experienced by members of the Stolen Generations. The unwillingness to extend a formal apology on behalf of the Commonwealth to members of the Stolen Generations, and the refusal to contemplate the issue of compensation on a compassionate level has forced claimants into the adversarial court system, creating further hardship on those who have already suffered.

97. Labor will implement a comprehensive response to the recommendations of the Bringing Them Home Report. A Labor Government will formally apologise on behalf of the Commonwealth for the

deficient past policies and practices

identified in the Inquiry's report.

Migrant Australians: Responding To Particular Needs

98. Australia is a multicultural society. Labor

recognises that it is part of the

Commonwealth government's

responsibility to assist all Australians to

live together productively and have an

equal sense of opportuni ty and belonging

to the nation.



tralian Labor Par ty

National Platform and Constitution 2004

99. Labor will positively promote the

—recognise and promote the worth and

strength that Australia gains from

dignity, and improve the quality of life,

recognising and valuing our diversity

of people with disabilities, and which

and will combat prejudice and

encourage and support their

C) discrimination aimed at any migrant participation in the community;

community through community —improve access for people with

education programs and anti- disabilities to open employment at CD N discrimination legislation. decent wages, to other appropriate

N 0

day activities, to the full range of

CD Labor will maintain effective and accommodation options, to transport

independent processes for resolving

and the built environment, to health,



complaints about prejudice and

rehabilitation and community services,


discrimination. to recreational activities, and to the

100. Labor also recognises that some education and training opportunities

migrants will have particular needs and available to other Australians;

o may require settlement assistance. —provide specific redress against

D a 101. Labor will ensure that Australia's

discrimination on the basis of

m international obligations towards asylum disability;


seekers and refugees are met, and —improve community awareness and Labor will positively promote the rights understanding of physical, intellectual,

122 of refugees and asylum seekers. and psychiatric disability; and

Refugees, including those who arrive as —recognise the critical importance of asylum seekers, and persons admitted carers and support them in assisting under humanitarian programs, some of people with disabilities to maintain whom have suffered torture and trauma their independence in the community.

before arriving in Australia, will receive

appropriate support, including

Labor recognises that the life cycle

counselling for trauma.

requirements for people with disabilities

from early childhood to the aged years

102. Labor will support a network of Migrant will require appropriate long-term Resource Centres, provide adequate national planning together with the English language programs to new States and Territories.

arrivals and maintain adequate

104. Labor recognises the need for the

interpreter and translation services, and Commonwealth State/Territory Disability

fund needs-based settlement services.

Agreement (CSTDA) to provide national leadership and coordination of services

Australians With Disabilities:

for people with disability throughout

Closing The Access Gap

Australia. Labor recognises the vital

103. People with disability in Australia importance of a standard approach to

have the same rights as other the assessment of need and delivery of

Australians and form a valuable part of services to people with disabilities. our inclusive society where individual Labor will pursue through the CSTDA difference is valued. the adoption of a national approach to t Labor is committed to policies and disability policy that seeks to deliver a

programs for people with disabilities consistent approach to the delivery of

which: services. People with disabilities and



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National Platform and Constitution 2004 Aust ra lia n La b o r Party

their families want to achieve a level of services and develop and encourage

security in their living arrangements and innovative funding and service models

a sense of certainty that basic life needs across jurisdictions to better suit the will be taken care of. Many families diverse needs of people with disability.

are desperately concerned that their —increased resources to continue the children or relatives will not have twenty year program of implementing

support into the future. the access standards under the

Labor supports: Disability Discrimination Act, with

—a national approach to disability policy, priority given to public transport,

continuing to provide services for

education and access to premises;

people with disabilities through —the trialling of innovative approaches

mainstream programs where to the financing and delivery of

appropriate and through disability- services and aids for people with

specific programs where they are disabilities and their carers;

necessary; —strengthening advocacy services, user

—equitable access to services for rights, complaints, and advisory

people with physical, intellectual and mechanisms for people with

psychiatric disability; disabilities; and

—cooperation between the —the development and funding of

Commonwealth and State/Territories services which are flexible enough to

to reassess the CSTDA to ensure respond to the specific needs and

cooperation and strategic planning aspirations of different individuals with

between governments; disabilities and their families.

—ongoing collaboration between the 105. Labor will retain the Disability government and people with Discrimination Act and Commissioner

disabilities, their families, carers, within the Human Rights and Equal service providers and key Opportunity Commission.

stakeholders to ensure that the CSTDA is indeed a national plan to

address their support needs efficiently I M M I G RAT I O N

and effectively; A Link to Australia's Future Growth

—initiatives that make information about 106. Labor will ensure immigration levels are

disability services more streamlined set within the framework of a population and accessible; policy fashioned in Australia's interest

—a collaborative and cooperative and consistent with international and approach between the Commonwealth humanitarian commitments. The system

and State/Territory governments and of setting immigration targets year by

service providers to reduce the year without any underlying rationale or

administrative complexity of the long-term policy framework has

disability service sector; contributed to declining public

—a collaborative and cooperative

confidence in the program. Moving to

approach between the Commonwealth long-term planning will achieve greater

and State/Territories to address the

stability and confidence.

crisis of unmet need and demand in 107. Labor is committed to maintaining a non-housing, accommodation and respite discriminatory immigration policy. Labor


ian Labor Pa rty National Platform and Constitution 2004

recognises the economic and social system function effectively over the

contribution that has been made by long-term, including encouraging -immigrants and refugees throughout our countries in our region to become nation's history. Labor regards Australia's signatories to the existing Refugee n diversity as a source of national strength Convention; 0) and nation building and will consistently —that a Labor Government should

oppose those who seek to poison develop further multilateral solutions, CD Australia's social cohesion by fostering recognising the importance of regional

(D extremism, hatred or ethnic division, neighbours, with the aim of (D 108. Labor will ensure that the current system eradicating people smuggling, and criteria for granting visitor visas is

deterring secondary movement


addressed and that a more equitable, and enabling genuine refugees to

flexible, fair and non-discriminatory access processing and appropriate

3 system is implemented while at all times settlement outcomes;

maintaining the integrity of our —that Australia should seek to eradicate O N immigration program. people smuggling, which is an

D a 109. Labor will administer a fair and flexible organised criminal activity that costs lives, by effective law enforcement as m refugee and humanitarian program. well as relevant international 0 While acknowledging that Australia hasone of the world's most generous agreements; 124 humanitarian programs, Labor will —that, as a matter of fairness, Australiaensure that unforeseen world events should seek to assist the world's mostthat necessitate special responses can vulnerable whether those personsbe accommodated. Labor will examine are within or beyond our immediateimmigration intake consistent with a line of sight;population policy for nation building and —that Australia should take its fair sharewill work with regions seeking population of refugees for resettlement andgrowth to find options to assist additional contribute a fair share to internationalimmigration. Labor will ensure that aid efforts and to UNHCR to alleviateAustralia's non-refoulement obligations the pressing humanitarian needs ofunder international law are met. displaced persons;110. Labor's refugee and asylum seeker —that asylum claims made in Australiapolicy will be in accordance with the should be assessed in a manner whichfollowing principles: is both fast and affords procedural—that Australia should comply with the fairness, with those found to haveletter and the spirit of the obligations genuine claims and not able to beAustralia has voluntarily assumed by resettled in other Refugee Conventionsigning the Refugee Convention and signatory countries provided withother relevant international appropriate settlement outcomes andinstruments; services, while those without genuine—that a Labor Government should seek refugee or humanitarian claims areto lead world debate on the new quickly returned;agreements and understandings —that mandatory detention be used forrequired to ensure that the Convention the proper administrative purposes ofand the international protection ensuring the health, identity






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National Platform and Constitution 2004 Australian Labor Party

security checking of all unauthorised

arrivals, enabling the expediting of

processing and ensuring that those

whose claims have failed are

locatable and available for removal

from Australia;

—that the conditions of detention be humane and appropriate to the needs

of asylum seekers, with appropriate

arrangements made to meet the needs of unaccompanied children and

family groups; and

111. Labor will administer a fairer and more

balanced immigration program. While the current ratio of skilled to family

migration will remain largely unchanged,

sub-categories such as the parents

stream will be expanded to better reflect

the value of family reunion and the

family unit within Australian society.

112. Labor will review the current asylum

seekers' appeal mechanism to ensure

that its decision making and operation is both cost efficient, fair and consistent.

While the rights of asylum seekers to

seek judicial review must be maintained,

it is i mportant that a streamlined and

more formal system of appeal is

instituted to provide a better filter and

alleviate the higher courts' immigration

caseload burden.

113. Labor recognises that the Refugee Convention has always envisaged that the protection of the Convention might

not be required on an ongoing basis.

Convention, if ongoing protection is

still required, permanent protection will

be provided.

Labor will ensure that in addition to

existing services, TPV holders have

access to English language training and

employment assistance. Labor will also

ensure appropriate settlement support

and alleviate the financial and

organisational burden borne by the

States, Territories, welfare and volunteer


Labor will review the system of temporary entry visas and act to prevent

the establishment in Australia of a semi-permanent group of 'guest workers' on

short-term but renewable visas. Labor

will maintain a cap on the size of the working holiday scheme and prevent it

becoming a de facto labour market

program. Labor will institute research

into the labour market impact of the

working holiday visa scheme.

115. Labor will ensure that adequate resources are allocated to Australia's

overseas immigration posts to liaise and

maintain relationships with local

authorities in order to prevent or minimise illegal immigration and in

particular to highlight the dangers facing

people undertaking this dangerous

activity and ensure information is

available on Australia's refugee


Labor will also ensure that close political and diplomatic relations are maintained

with all those countries where known people smuggling operations exist and where there is a high incidence of illegal


Labor will ensure that the highest level

of service and coordination is restored

and adequate resources are provided to

organisations that assist in the

—that the length and conditions of 114

detention be subject to review and that detention centres be managed by

the public sector.

Accordingly, Labor will maintain a

Temporary Protection Visa (TPV) system 116

for unauthorised arrivals. Labor will

introduce a one-off TPV period of two

years, after which, consistent with the


n Labor Party National Platform and Constitution 2004

settlement and counselling of newly

arrived migrants and refugees, recognising the value of volunteer Multiculturalism contribution in these areas whilst not Labor recognises the reality that Australia-n exploiting their goodwill. I is and will remain -a.truly multicultural

society, consisting of people from .a rich

117. A Labor Government will examine the variety of cultural, ethnic, ,linguistic and CD provision of incentives to newly arrived religious backgrounds The. va lues_of migrants to settle in regional areas. multiculturalism are direct y relevant to°our Such incentives, along with a program of continuing desire to be ,a tolerant :.fair and

ethno-specific infrastructure united nation,

0 =

development, will ensure that regional , c migration will provide long-term benefits Labor's multicultural: agenda seeks to both the newly migrants mi rants and

capitalise on the opportunities presented

for the original community

y our diversity and to manage the

y I challenges that can arise from it

o N 118. Labor's initiatives will include fostering a to conducive environment Labor recognises that migrants and secure their children are entitled to retain their

D Q companies planning ahead to meet I customs, beliefs and traditions, as are M future skill needs. The identification of long established groups and our emerging skill shortages is crucial to l indigenous peoples: ensure that as far as possible skilled 126

vacancies are filled by unemployed Nevertheless issues of identity are 1

Australians who have gained

complex and rarely static and

qualifications from training programs in multiculturalism must relate to the lived .

this country. The intake of skilled daily experience of these Australians

migrants should always be determined 1 'Labor regards our. cultural diversity as an in the context of local employment ; asset . that enhances Australia's ability to policy. j compete in the international marketplace

a real make to and and worthwhile ;.

119. To this end Labor supports the further contribution;to nternational.affairs: We will development of closer consultation seek to identify andovercome attitudinal between the employment and I barriers that work against .these aims and immigration departments in determining ( will expand information?programs that

intakes of skilled migrants. ; detail: the cultural; " linguistic and religious:

120. Labor also supports the further ! backgrounds of our peoples

development and effective i Labor believes that multiculturalism entails implementation of employer sponsorship j obligations as well as rights These include schemes and labour agreements. These respect for our parliamentary democracy,. seek to ensure that employers wishing the rule of law freedom of speech and to bring in skilled migrants to fill religion, respect for the rights and, liberties °â€¢ '

particular vacancies must consult with of others, equality of the sexes and English the employment department and I as the national • language;. relevant trade unions, provide I Labor will ;work to. isolate: and overcome. justification for that admission, and i those who •seek to poison our social ,

agree to provide appropriate training to cohesion by fostering exfremisrn; hatred°or. local people in the area of skills sought ethnic division and will ensure that appropriate social support services are



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provided to prevent groups in our society

feeling marginalised.. or neglected.:

Labor recognises that there is a pressing need to develop a proper research capacity on questions of citizenship; and multicultural affairs independent of government


Labor reconfirms its commitment to. appropriate, anti-discrimination legislation and to providing effective and independent processes for resolving complaints about

discrimination and vilification..-Labor will restructure the Living in Harmony program to deliver more effective education programs and community =based ::projects to

combat racism and intollerance. These programs'will.include. measures to encourage greater dialogue and cooperation between different religious faiths and national ethnic organisations.

Labor will institute on appropriate community relations strategy-to deal with threats to community' harmony, , including- tensions arising from international events. Under this strategy, government and community leaders will be encouraged to again speak up for tolerance, moderation and respect.

Labor recognises that community relations efforts sometimes need . to focus on specific geographical areas' and, will seek to work with appropriate State and local government agencies, and community organisations, to achieve positive outcomes.

Access and Equity Labor will develop a clear access and equity strategy as part of its broader commitment to social justice. This strategy will seek to ensure that policy and program development by government; agencies is responsive to the cultural, ethnic, . linguistic and : religious diversity of the community.

Labor recognises that access to employment, proper labour market programs and income

support has deteriorated under the Coalition. Labor's access and equity strategy will include measures to improve the availability of these vital supports to migrants and humanitarian arrivals.

Labor will. also require agency heads to put in place workplace measures to make best use of the diversity available in the workforce and the wider community, and to overcome discrimination.

Labor believes that access and equity issues .. are best dealt with by the prime minister's department on a whole of government basis, with community input through an appropriate

advisory. committee.

Citizenshi Labor believes that citizenship is the common bond that unites us all in a mutual commitment to Australia. It is the key that

can open the door to the full participation of migrants in our society.

Labor will retain the current citizenship residence, language, and character requirements; which are welcoming by international standards.

Labor believes that we must redouble our efforts to encourage the : increased take up of citizenship by eligible permanent residents

and to ensure that applicants properly understand the responsibilities and privileges of citizenship.

Labor will streamline the citizenship resumption arrangements for those who lost citizenship as a result of previous provisions regarding' dual citizenship in Australian and

Maltese law.

Labor will reactivate the Australian Citizenship Council to monitor current legislation and practice and improve the availability of data on citizenship trends and decisions.

Labor recognises that growing numbers of Australians now live overseas on an extended


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Australian Labor Pa rty

National Platform and Constitution 2004

basis and will ensure that Commonwealth

agencies improve their understanding of the needs of overseas Australians and better. communicate with them.

Migrant Settlement Services Labor recognises that the migration process raises frequent adjustment challenges for individuals and families. It is in our national interest to ensure that

migrants and humanitarian arrivals, receive targeted high quality assistance " with the. settlement process.

Labor will improve the availability' and integration of Commonwealth-funded migrant settlement services,- focusing on the newly arrived and those in greatest need.

Labor will increase coordination.and cooperation with the States and Territories on settlement issues" and will seek to work. in partnership with local councils and

community organisations.

Labor will ensure that those currently holding Temporary Protection Visas do not remain in limbo in the community for extended periods, without access to appropriate settlement

services such as English language classes.

Labor recognises that the availability of English classes under the Adult Migrant Education Program is the

settlement process and will ensure that contracted service providers deliver high quality and cost effective tuition.`

Labor will restructure current settlement services for new humanitarian arrivals'to improve service integration, case management and"the provision of

accommodation-related assistance.

Labor will continue the provision of interpreting and translating services to eligible clients and will work with the States `° and Territories to address issues facing the interpreting workforce.

Labor will ensure that ongoing core funding is provided for the maintenance of a network

of community-controlled Migrant Resource Centres in high settlement regions. These'g. centres will provide information advice and referral services, foster the development of

specific services,. promote greater awareness of the needs of migrants and refugees; and '°-provide a base for other sessional services and community functions:`

Labor will continue project funding to community organisations and councils to deliver appropriate settlement services, promote client needs to mainstream service

providers and promote community. capacity.. building amongst specific groups or in specific locations. Labor will give priority consideration to the more recently arrived and economically -, disadvantaged groups but rejects the notion.. that the need for settlement services ceases

at some arbitrarily defined. point.

The Implementation of Labor's Refugee and. Asylum Seeker, Policy in Government.

Labor, believes in , an orderly immigration . . system, a system based on the rule of law, a system of integrity the Australian people will have confidence and trust.

For the Australian, people; to have, confidence" in the administration. of, our immigration system; it must be built upon rigorous procedures and processes, 'which -protect our national: interest and our national . borders.

We must also treat- individuals fairly and with dignity.. ,.- To treat individuals ,fairly requires that they are dealt with in a speedy and efficient manner where decisions are based on fair,

procedures and subject to, appropriate review.

Protecting our national interest and our national borders requires 'zero tolerance, for people smugglers who will be subject to harsher penalties to deter their activities and

stop unauthorised boat arrivals,

It is also in our national interest to conduct ourselves as a good, international. citizen, to


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National Platform and Constitution 2004 Australian Labor Pa rty

do our fair share for those who are subject to

persecution and who need protection.

Labor in Government will ensure that our borders are secure and that the processing and detention of asylum seekers is fair.

In Government;. Labor will.

•. Protecting our borders —Create ;an:Australian Coastguard;

• —Implement harsh penalties for people • smugglers, including life sentences for the worst of the people smugglers;.

-Effect strong :international `and .regional arrangements to deter secondary movements of asylum seekers; Continue the excision of Christmas Island, Cocos (Keeling)' Islands and Ashmore Reef from 'Austral'ia's migration zone; and r.. — introduce a Foreign Worker ID Card to

crack down on illegal workers and protect Australian jobs , and' conditions; with tough new penalties for employers who knowingly hire illegal foreign workers.

Mandatory Detention., -Maintain mandatory detention as an essential part of Labor's. approach; Provide open hostel style:. supervised

accommodation for' those with prima. facie claims who are not a health, security or • absconding risk; — Remove . children from:. detention centres

. ` and care for unaccompanied children through foster or community . arrangements, with children and their .family Members (subject to. health and

security risks) in open hostel style supervised accommodation; —Return detention centres to the public sector, with centres rnanaged by

Commonwealth Officers; --Provide access to detention centres for the media and independent medical

professionals; and'

--Create an independent Inspector General of' Detention ;to monitor detention conditions -and to deal with complaints.

Better Processing..

-End the so called "Pacific Solution", with its huge cost to Australian taxpayers;. .

—Determine 90% of claims within 90 days; —Provide an independent review of those claims not determined in 90 days, with a goal of processing all claims within

twelve months, — Process claims quickly through a new Refugee Determination Tribunal, with

appeals to Federal Magistrates; and — Provide a.processing and detention facility on Christmas Island.

Temporary: Protection Visas —Maintain a Temporary Protection :Visa (TPV) system for unauthorised arrivals with a one-off TPV period of two years, after

which, if ongoing protection is still required, provide permanent protection; -Immediately upon . coming to office conduct a review of the . circumstances of

each existin . g TPV holder of two years or more duration, giving priority to those who have been on a TPV for the longest period. Where ., 6. TPV.holder has been in the community longer than two years, if ongoing protection, is required, provide permanent protection.

If ongoing protection is no longer required, offer permanent residence to a TPV holder who passes a rigorous ,public interest test where it is found the person is the sort of person who Australia would otherwise select fora migration program-someone who has made, and cancontinue to make,

economic, social, community and family contributions beneficial to the Australian community,, particularly within rural or 'regional Australia.


v I,r+CD0(DCD0=o Q0(1'=a nC Australian Labor Par ty

National Platform and Constitution 2004

—Enable TPV holders to access English

language training and employment assistance in addition to existing services; and —Ensure asylum seekers and refugees in

the Australian community have, either through Commonwealth, State or community based services, appropriate health, income and settlement support, as

well as alleviate the financial and organisational burden currently borne by the States, Territories, welfare and volunteer organisations.

Labor's Minister for Immigration will report to the first National Conference after the election of a Labor Government on the progress of the implementation of Labor's

refugee and asylum seeker policy.

130 I Stolen Generations This conference notes that a Labor Government will formally apologise to the Stolen Generations. Conference also notes the special responsibility that the

Commonwealth had in relation to the Northern Territory Aboriginal Community with regard to this past policy. For this reason the apology will reflect the different historical roles played by the Commonwealth in

respect of the Northern Territory on the one hand and the rest of Australia on the other.

Indigenous Community Consultation Labor firmly believes that comprehensive consultation and negotiation with a wide range of indigenous community stakeholders is

essential for sound indigenous policy development and commits itself to this course.

Labor will continue to foster the development of ATSIC as a self determining indigenous organisation.

Reconciliation This Conference reaffirms Labor's commitment to reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.


—Commits to extending a national apology to Indigenous Australians for the lasting economic, social and cultural legacy of dispossession, including-the forced

separation of Indigenous Australian children from their families.

—Recognises the right of Indigenous Australians to exercise self-determination within the Australian nation and resolves to work with indigenous communities to

strengthen their sense of responsibility.

—Apologises for our Party's role in the development, administration and promotion of past practices and policies that caused profound grief, loss and damage to,,

Indigenous Australians. . .

—Condemns the Howard Governmentfor denying the consequences of dispossession, failing to deliver its self-defined and limiting "practical

reconciliation" agenda and abandoning genuine reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.

—Commits to work towards the elimination of the discrimination and disadvantage experienced by Indigenous Australians.

—Celebrates and values the enduring contribution of Indigenous Australian culture; society and spirituality to our nation; and

—Commits to providing national leadership on reconciliation and adopt the six recommendations°contained in the Final Report of the Council for Aboriginal





Chapter Eight A Sustainable Environment 131


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Australian Labor Party National Platform and Constitution 2004

Chapter Eight

A Sustainable Environment

Basic Principles 1. Labor recognises that a high standard of

living and a healthy and sustainable economy rely on a healthy and

sustainable environment. Long-term

economic growth depends on the ability to conserve, repair and maintain our

natural resource base.

clean and sustainable global environment

is in Australia's national interest and

Australia has a responsibility to future

generations and the international community to repair, maintain and

protect it.

10. Labor believes the Commonwealth government must play a leadership role in

environmental matters, with an integrated,

whole of government approach to

environmental protection.

2. The natural environment is our greatest 11. Labor is committed to accountability,

asset, sustaining our economy and

shared responsibility and transparency in

society and providing the context in which addressing environmental issues at all

they develop,

levels of government and society.

3. Biodiversity is at the core of the natural Vision environment, with a web of plants and 12. Labor believes that Australia is in a strong animals that sustain and rejuvenate our position to prepare for an environmentally

natural systems. sustainable future.

132 4. All Australians deserve to live in a healthy 13

environment with clean air, clean water,

safe food, healthy wildlife and plenty of

green space for our children to play in.

5. With vision and leadership, Australians do not have to choose between a healthy 14

environment and a strong economy—we

can have both.

6. Australia can and should be an environmental showcase. The quality of

our air, our water, our beaches, and our

wildlife is second to none.

7. We have both the opportunity and the responsibility to safeguard and protect our

environment, on behalf of the whole world, for our children and their children.

8. More than 200 years of non-indigenous settlement in Australia has had a profound impact on our continent's uniquely fragile and complex range of


Australian scientists, researchers and

developers are among those leading the

world in understanding the environmental

challenges we face and developing

solutions to them.

Where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage to the environment, and available scientific information is inconclusive, Labor supports a cautious

approach with appropriate environmental


A healthy and sustainable environment

will improve living standards, create jobs

and encourage growth of sustainable


Ecologically sustainable development represents a future for regional Australia,

with regional delivery of natural resource management, sustainable agricultural

practices and opportunities for new


9. Without concerted international effort, 15. The international community increasingly

serious and irreversible environmental recognises the need for sustainable

damage will continue to occur. A safe, development. Labor believes that early


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National Platform and Constitution 2004 Australian Labor Party


16. Sustainable use of water resources is

Australia's biggest environmental challenge. Australia is the world's driest inhabited continent, yet we are amongst

its highest per capita users of water. We have been too profligate in our use of water, both in rural and in urban areas.

17. Water sustains all human and biological communities on our planet, yet our current lifestyle places significant pressure on our oceans, inland river systems and groundwater. Stormwater, sewage and industrial and agricultural waste water contaminate our waterways

resulting in the immediate prospect of

ecological crisis. Unsustainable levels of extraction, and major alterations to the seasonal flow patterns of our rivers by

dams and weirs have disturbed the natural balance in many river systems.

Increasingly, algal blooms, pest species

and salinity impact on our waterways.

Without continued and concerted national

effort, there is a real prospect of the economic as well as ecological collapse of major systems such as the Murray-Darling Basin. Labor will introduce

mechanisms to encourage projects which

address these issues.

Labor is committed to a national rivers program, in cooperation with State and

local governments, industry and

communities, that provides adequate environmental flows to rivers, addresses

encroaching salinity and enables the

restoration of river systems currently in

crisis. Australia's approach to rivers in the

past has been to take as much water as

we possibly could and leave the rest. Our

approach in the future must be to

determine and provide the level of environmental flows necessary to maintain

a healthy river system and make better use of thewater we can safely extract.

21. Labor is committed to supporting initiatives, including the Murray-Darling

River Bank and community education, to reduce residential, industrial and

agricultural water consumption and to minimise the release of waste water and

pollutants into our aquatic environment.

22. Labor encourages the adoption of water efficiency technologies and urban

planning measures that improve the quality and integration of urban water,

sewerage and drainage, and the adoption

of whole of catchment approaches.

23. Labor is committed to ensuring the highest possible economic returns from

the water we use.

24. Labor supports the reuse of waste water

and is committed to the development and

promotion of waste water utilisation.

environmental action will position 20.

Australia to take advantage of growing global markets for sustainable products and services and deliver improved

quality of life.


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18. Labor is committed to providing science- 25 based environmental flows to save the Murray River and repair the Murray-Darling Basin and other rivers which are facing similar degradation.

19. Labor recognises the responsibility of all governments to provide safe and adequate drinking water to communities

and to maintain the ecological health of river systems.

Labor is committed to the sustainable use

of groundwater. Labor acknowledges that

personal and domestic water is an

essential service and must be available to all citizens and ensure that all citizens

have non-profit driven access to water for

the essentials of life. To further this Labor will work with State governments,

Territories and local governments to

achieve access for all.


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Aus tralian Labor Pa rty

National Platform and Constitution 2004


3 V) < 0"

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Land Clearing

26. Land clearing is the single biggest cause

of dryland salinity; it is the single greatest

threat to endangered species of birds,

plants and animals; and it is a significant

contributor to greenhouse gas emissions.

27. Labor is opposed to broadscale and

unregulated land clearing.

28. Labor would put an end to the year in,

year out decline in our native vegetation


30. Labor supports the introduction of national standards to strictly regulate

approvals for land clearing.

31. Labor will prevent the clearing of endangered and vulnerable threatened

ecological communities and critical

habitats for threatened species, and work

with private landholders to deliver threatened species and ecological community recovery measures.

Biodiversity and Endangered Species

32. Australia is blessed as one of the few megadiverse nations. We have one of the

most diverse collection of species,

habitats and ecosystems of any developed nation on earth. This national asset remains under threat from human

activities such as land clearing for urban development and agriculture, the loss of

native forests, the introduction of exotic

species and the inadequacy of our

system and funding of national parks

and reserves.

33. The extinction of plant and animal species over the past 200 years has

been dramatic and human impact is


34. No generation has the right to appropriate biodiversity for its exclusive use and no

government should accept species

decline as inevitable.

35. Labor is committed to a national approach to the protection of rare, vulnerable and

endangered species and ecological

communities, through the development,

resourcing and implementation, in

cooperation with State and Territory

governments, of threat abatement and

recovery plans.

A Labor Government will ensure that the

schedules of nationally threatened species and ecological communities are

kept up to date, ensuring State and

Territory listings are considered promptly

for national EPBCA listing.

37. The health of breeding bird populations is a visible and reliable measure of

ecosystem health. Labor would introduce

regular monitoring of the health of

breeding bird populations as one indicator

of ecosystem health.

38. Labor acknowledges the contributions made by zoological parks through their

research and development into captive


Invasive Species and Weeds

39. Introduced weeds and feral animals,

whether it is cane toads in Kakadu or foxes in Tasmania, have the capacity to

wreak havoc with our environment.

40. Labor will promote research into invasive

species and weeds with a view to finding

environmentally responsible means of

dealing with these problems.

41. Labor will fund measures to ensure that both public land and private land are managed so as to effectively control

invasive species and weeds.

29. A Labor Government will insist that 36

funding of State, Territory and landholder

projects is conditional upon the States,

Territories and local governments introducing appropriate clearing controls.

National Platform and Constitution 2004

Australian Labor Party

Sustainable Agriculture and Nature communities outside our nature reserve

Conservation on Private Land system through partnerships with

42. Labor recognises the critical role of the landholders. Significant proportions of rural community in the ongoing Australia's and and rangeland ecosystems

stewardship of our land. Labor is are suffering from serious degradation and

committed to working with rural are in need of urgent government

communities and landholders in the attention to ensure their conservation

adoption of sustainable agricultural values are restored and maintained. CD .,

practices and whole farm planning 48. Labor is committed to halting the loss of m

consistent with bio-regional strategies. vegetation, reducing soil erosion and 43. Labor recognises that the good work rehabilitating degraded land, particularly m >

of private landholders and volunteers those lands affected by soil salinity. o. N

in programs such as Landcare has 49. Labor supports the adoption of integrated been damaged by uncertainty, and catchment management plans, property CD a)

short-termism associated with funding management plans, voluntary ' CD

through vehicles such as the National conservation agreements, community Heritage Trust. based revegetation programs and

44. Labor is committed to building on the appropriate regulatory and fiscal policies

achievements of Landcare, encouraging to promote the conservation ethic.

the uptake of sustainable farming 135

practices and maintaining support for the Wetlands

repair of our rural landscapes. 50. Australia's wetlands are critical to the

ongoing health of Australia's rivers,

45. Genetically Modified (GM) crops are not estuaries and coastal waters. These vital to be released unless they are safe to environments are under increasing threat health and safe to the environment and from human settlement, jeopardising the beneficial to the economy. Safe and

habitat and survival of many species of

beneficial standards must be established fish and crustaceans that use wetlands as

beyond reasonable doubt. Standards

a nursery ground, and migratory birds that

must be met to the satisfaction of the

depend on wetlands as feeding and

government and also of the scientific

resting areas.

community, the consumer community and

in the case of GM crops they must also 51. Labor is committed to ensuring proper

be established to the satisfaction of the management and protection of our

farming community. Accurate information wetlands and will promote and honour

on GE products must be provided to Australia's obligations under the Ramsar consumers and the community. The onus Convention.

of proof that a product is 'safe and beneficial' lies with its developers. Forests

46. Labor will explore models which provide 52. Labor is committed to the establishment

suitable financial recognition for land-and maintenance of a comprehensive,

holders who have engaged in good

adequate and representative reserve

environmental practice.

system that is consistent with the agreed

Janis criteria and aims to protect at least

47. Labor is committed to conservation and 60 per cent of existing old growth forest

regeneration of our native plant (increasing to 100 per cent for rare and


stralian Labor Pa rty

National Platform and Constitution 2004

depleted old growth), and 90 per cent or

more of high quality wilderness, as part of

a broad objective of preserving 15 per

cent of pre-1750 distribution of each

forest ecosystem.

0) This goal will be achieved through the

r Regional Forest Agreement (RFA)

I process. RFA outcomes will vary from

m region to region in response to variations in community expectations and r+ m D

environmental concerns.

a 53. Labor is committed to the ongoing 3 d monitoring of compliance with RFA outcomes and full implementation of the

National Forests Policy Statement, the

Wood and Paper Industry Strategy and

Plantation 2020 Vision.

54. Labor recognises the potential for development of plantations and integrated


farm forestry, particularly on existing

cleared agricultural land and the additional benefit in addressing dryland

salinity and greenhouse emission


55. Labor recognises that large-scale plantations need to be managed to minimise possible adverse effects and

supports research and development,

particularly in relation to improved technology and processes, tree breeding,

species selection and land capability


56. Much of our remaining native vegetation is fragmented, leaving it vulnerable to

further decline and limiting its habitat

values. Labor will build and promote

corridors to link native vegetation where appropriate, including enhancing roadside

remnant vegetation, to better enable

wildlife species to survive.

World Heritage Areas and National Parks

57. While in government, Labor earned an international reputation for providing a high standard of properly funded protection, management, monitoring and

presentation of World Heritage Areas.

A Labor Government will continue this standard of protection, and will support the investigation of areas identified as

suitable for future listing.

58. Labor strongly opposes any moves to reduce protection of World Heritage Areas, the listing of which protects areas

of outstanding universal value.

59. Labor recognises the fragile and diverse nature of Australia's natural environment

and its unique array of species and

habitats, wilderness areas, old growth forests, rivers, native grasslands, coastlines, and oceans. Labor is committed to the protection of Australia's

biological diversity through the establishment of a national system of comprehensive, adequate and representative national parks and

reserves (including a representative range of terrestrial and marine ecosystems), while continuing to promote ecologically sustainable use of all our natural resources.

60. Labor will ensure that the Commonwealth will retain responsibility for the protection of forests located in listed world heritage areas. Labor will progress further World

Heritage nominations in accordance with Regional Forest Agreement objectives and other cooperative agreements with

the States.

61. Labor does not support mining or other resource extraction in national parks and

world heritage areas.

62. Labor will ban oil and gas exploration and mining both on and near to the Great Barrier Reef, in order to ensure that the reef is not threatened by oil spills.

National Platform and Constitution 2004

Australian Labor Party

Northern Australia 69. A Labor Government will work to mitigate

63. Northern Australia contains some of the noise pollution in the marine environment, most outstanding environmental assets in and sonar and seismic activities harmful the world. The Great Barrier Reef, to cetaceans and other vulnerable Daintree, Cape York Peninsula, Kakadu marine species. and the Kimberley are regions which are 70. Planning imperatives include the need to

known the world over. The tropical address unsuitable coastal development F' CD rainforests and tropical savannah are including all future canal developments, I com comparable in quality with just about any P q tY J Y agricultural practices, pollution of estuary m E other region on earth, and being located and coastal water, ship transport in a politically stable country are not regulation, rig and pipeline developments rn >

under immediate threat. and industry accountability for pollution. 5. _ o

64. Labor's approach to northern Australia will 71. A Labor Government will promote thed focus on sustainability, protecting heritage efficient and sustainable use of Australia's CD o

rivers, focusing on ecotourism as a marine resources and will address CD source of wealth for the north, and a unsustainable fishing practices. vigorous attack on invasive species of 72• Labor supports the creation of marine weeds and feral animals. national parks and 'no take' or 'green Marine Environment Protection zones' in the Great Barrier Reef to sustain

ecosystem health and sustain fish stocks. 1 37

65. Labor is committed to promoting the conservation and sustainable use of our 73. Labor will promote the conservation of marine and coastal environment. Laborkey ecosystem health indicator species will work with State, Territory and local such as whales, dugong and turtles both authorities and agencies to ensure in Australian waters and across the Australia's biologically diverse and fragile world's oceans.

marine environment is monitored and 74. A Labor Government will support sustainably managed. technological advances in fisheries to 66. The Commonwealth government should minimise bycatch of non-target species in provide leadership, policies and resources fisheries and ensure this serious threat to

to ensure integrated regional ecosystem- a number of marine threatened species is based management across jurisdictions eliminated. and maintain marine biodiversity. 75. A Labor Government will develop 67. Labor supports a comprehensive strategies to mitigate the impact of marine

assessment of offshore ecosystems to debris in our coasts and oceans that inform policy development and poses a threat to many marine species. management of marine resources. 76. A Labor Government will work through international forums to address 68. A Labor Government will work towardsunsustainable fishing practices worldwide. the reduction of the serious threat to

water quality from coastal shipping 77. A Labor Government will work with practices, sewage and stormwater indigenous communities and recreational disposal and thermal pollution, nutrientfishermen to ensure hunting of marine sedimentation, and introduction of exotic animals is sustainable and humane and

pests and diseases via ship ballast water. threatened species are protected.

Australian Labor Pa


National Platform and Constitution 2004

78. A Labor Government will pursue a 85. Biodiversity loss in turn weakens our

permanent end to all commercial and ecosystems' capacity to absorb and scientific whaling and the establishment adjust to climate change. This is why of a global whale sanctuary. addressing the biodiversity loss is so important in the face of likely climate 0 79. A Labor Government will pursue high change over the coming century. 0) seas marine protected areas to protect86. It is in Australia's national interest to rt biodiversity and work to address the mitigate the effects of climate change. I increasing problem of unregulated , m unreported and illegal fishing through all 87. Labor believes that significant emission? appropriate legal instruments, reductions can and should be achievedrn > with a net positive effect on Australia's<, Climate Change economy and our international: cn 80. Labor considers human-induced climate competitiveness. By delaying effective action, Australia will miss out on growing C change a serious and unpredictable global markets for sustainable goods global climate experiment with potentially CD serious consequences. Climate change is and services.the most serious global environmental88. Labor believes a proactive response tochallenge facing the world today. climate change creates opportunities for Australian business to provide 81. Australia, with its long coastline and environmentally sustainable products to138 unique wildlife, is particularly vulnerable developing countries who will account for to the impacts of climate change. an increasing proportion of emissions.82. Labor recognises that the CSIRO has 89. Labor believes Australia must act as aestimated that international greenhouse responsible member of the worldgas emissions would need to be cut by community and commit to greenhouse60-80 per cent of 1990 levels to stabilise gas targets.greenhouse gas concentrations in the 90. Labor will ratify the Kyoto Protocol on atmosphere. Climate Change, which will enable83. Climate change is already happening, Australian business to take advantage ofand the scientific evidence suggests that new international trading arrangements,it will deliver more serious and more and avoid discrimination against ourextreme weather events, such as exports.droughts, floods, bushfires and cyclones, 91. Labor strongly endorses the notion of if action is not taken to address it, with all internationally applicable compulsory that implies for insurance, agriculture, the targets and the implementation of a future of the Great Barrier Reef, the loss national emissions trading system inof snow-cover from the alps, and advance of a global system.increased risk of tropical diseases. 92. Labor supports activities undertaken in84. Climate change threatens Australian Australia that offset emissions elsewherebiodiversity. While some species will be (for example Liquid Natural Gasable to adapt to changing climate, for production and export that displaces coalothers change will be too rapid and will fired generation). Labor supports thecombine with other stresses such as loss introduction of international flexibilityof habitat to threaten their ongoing mechanisms that ensure that suchexistence. projects are not


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National Platform and Constitution 2004 Australian Labor Pa rt y

93. Labor believes that adequate funding of

research into the science of climate change, emission reduction technologies

and adaptation management is vital if

Australia is to meet the challenge of

climate change.

94. Labor will fund research into renewable

energy and support research,

development and demonstration aimed

at technologies to reduce emissions from fossil fuels, including cleaner coal

and technologies to capture and store carbon dioxide to prevent its release to

the atmosphere.

95. Labor will implement regulatory, fiscal

and voluntary measures that lead to

greenhouse gas emission reductions

and efficiency improvements in all

sectors of the economy. Labor supports

a critical assessment of appropriate subsidies and taxes to ensure the most

efficient use of our resources.

96. Labor supports the promotion of demand

management and end use efficiency

throughout the national electricity and gas systems, with programs targeting

both domestic and industrial energy use.

A Labor Government will ensure the

national electricity market delivers environmental outcomes by promoting

renewable energy and cleaner fuels and

removing barriers to sound demand

management and cogeneration


97. Labor supports the promotion of

renewable power solutions that provide reliable supply to rural communities and

minimise greenhouse gas emissions.

98. Labor is committed to the development

of the sustainable energy industry.

beyond current targets (a minimum of 5 per cent) and in line with international

best practice.

100. Labor is committed to taking a

leadership role in the efficient use of

energy and will ensure that all

government departments and agencies

adopt best practice energy efficiency.

101. Labor supports the introduction of measures to promote consumer uptake

of energy efficient technologies and


102. Labor is committed over time to expansion of national, mandatory energy

efficiency design and performance standards, including those for domestic

appliances, industrial equipment,

residential and non-residential buildings

and motor vehicles.

104. Labor recognises that the utilisation of

waste methane from landfill and coal seam methane present opportunities for emission reduction and power generation.

105. Labor will promote more sustainable management of Australia's vegetation cover and an end to broad-scale clearing. Labor is committed to cooperation between States, Territories and landholders to achieve net expansion of vegetation cover and reduction in emissions related to land use change.

Sustainable Industries and Cleaner Production

103. Labor supports the promotion of less 139

greenhouse intensive forms of transport, including cycling, walking and public transport.

99. Labor recognises that it is both possible 106. Modern clean industries that minimise and desirable to introduce measures to resource consumption, waste and increase the contribution of renewable pollution generation, together with new energy to the national energy market agricultural techniques that reduce land

Australian Labor Pa

rty National Platform and Constitution 2004

and water degradation, are the key to a enable Australia to keep pace with the

sustainable economy. Labor will work rest of the world and be better positioned

with State and Territory governments to for a carbon constrained future.

consider extended producer 112. Labor will promote research and responsibility schemes for priority waste. development into sustainable energy Labor recognises that schemes to and cleaner products processes

manage white goods, televisions, including technologies to increase computers, tyres and mobile phones efficiencies and reduce emissions from

M (including advanced deposit and refund fossil fuel power generation.

schemes) at the end of the lifecycle 3 r * have been highly successful overseas Chemicals, Toxins and Pollutants ZN and will consider their suitability to 113. Labor recognises the important role of o' C Australia's unique economic and chemicals in both industrial processes


environmental conditions. and every day life. However, many

W pollutants are produced as a result of

107. Labor is committed to the modernisation the use of chemicals and it is the of existing industry to ensure sustainable responsibility of the government to patterns of production and consumption.

ensure that the production, release and

Labor is committed to helping industry disposal of these substances is

adjust and identify associated value- adequately managed to ensure that adding opportunities. individuals and the environment are not


108. A Labor Government will promote more exposed to harmful concentrations. P

efficient and cleaner production 114. Labor is committed to the strict control practices and the 'reduce, reuse, recycle of pollutants and toxins in the and recover' approach to waste environment, including the minimisation

management through the adoption of of the production, import and use of voluntary economic, fiscal and harmful substances, the development

regulatory measures. of alternative technologies and, where

possible, the elimination of harmful

109. Labor will encourage the adoption of life substances.

cycle analysis, green purchasing arrangements and voluntary corporate 115. Labor believes that nations have a

environmental reporting. responsibility for appropriate disposal of

hazardous wastes generated within their

110. New global markets are developing as boundaries. Labor is committed to the the demand for sustainable goods and aims of the Basle Convention and to services grows. New industries are fulfilling Australia's obligations in the emerging with new jobs and both control of transboundary movements of

domestic and export opportunities. hazardous waste.

These opportunities range across 116. Labor remains strongly opposed to the

industry sectors and geographic areas. importation and storage of nuclear

Labor is committed to supporting the

waste in Australia that is sourced from

development of these new industries.

overseas. Labor does, however,

111. Labor supports a Mandatory Renewable acknowledge that Australia has a Energy Target which will promote the responsibility to manage nuclear growth of renewable energy industries waste material that has been produced such as wind power and solar power and in Australia.

National Platform and Constitution 2004

Australian Labor Party

Clean Air

117. Urban Australians rate the quality of the

air they breathe as their most serious

environmental concern. Labor is committed to improving air quality and

averting the serious health risks that air

pollution represents.

119. Labor will introduce national air quality standards commensurate with

international standards.

120. Labor will recognise the environmental and health impacts of vehicle emissions

and will seek to strengthen emission

regulations. Labor recognises the need

to promote greater transport choice and

a Labor Government will pursue

strategies to encourage alternative

modes of transport, alternative fuels, greater fuel efficiency and lower average

vehicle age.

121. Labor believes careful and integrated

urban planning offers a powerful tool for

reducing transport demand.

Built and Cultural Heritage

122. Thousands of years of indigenous settlement and more recent waves of

migration have left Australia with a rich

and diverse heritage. This heritage is a

link between the past and present and is

both a national asset and a source of

national pride.

123. Labor is committed to the identification,

preservation, restoration and promotion

of significant and representative built and cultural heritage, whether material

or not. Labor recognises the imminent

threat of the loss of indigenous

knowledge systems and will promise

funding for the recording of indigenous

oral histories, stories and languages.

Labor recognises that indigenous Knowledge is a critical part of the knowledge capital of Australia and is a

key to the environmentally and socially

sustainable Australia.

It is important that we preserve what is

best of our history, tradition and

heritage. Where culturally appropriate,

Labor is committed to the promotion of

and access to our built and cultural

heritage, both indigenous and non-indigenous.

125. The identification and listing of

properties of heritage significance

should be carried out by an independent

expert body.

126. Labor believes that the Commonwealth

government has a responsibility to 141

provide adequate heritage protection for

Commonwealth properties of heritage


127. Labor would pay special attention to

ensuring that the heritage significance of existing defence properties is properly

ascertained, protected and conserved.

Human Settlement and Population

128. Patterns of human settlement and the size and rate of growth of the population

are crucial determinants of our ongoing

impact on our ancient and fragile environment. Labor believes that

Australian cities must be ecologically

sustainable and incorporate a sound understanding of environmental principles

in their planning. Labor recognises that

the Commonwealth government has a

role in long-term strategic planning for

demographic change and local government priority setting.

129. The daily lives of most Australians are spent in and around urban areas.

118. A comprehensive system of monitoring 124

and reporting of air pollution will be an

integral part of Labor's air quality

initiatives, including dissemination of

information regarding health risks.


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Labor Party National Platform and Constitution 2004

Our quality of life and our physical and consequences of all legislation and

mental health is increasingly at risk from regulation.

degradation of urban environments. 133. Labor recognises the essential role Labor is committed to appropriate played by local government in

0 demographic policies and to ensure environmental protection and repair and

that any population increase is natural resource management. Labor is

sustainable and does not come at the committed to involving local government cost of the environment. As our fully in environmental protection and

M population increases, it is essential that repair efforts and making use of its

our collective 'ecological footprint' is substantial capacity to deliver outcomes r+ contained. and promote change for the better.


130. Labor is committed to protecting and 134. Labor is committed to a social and C 0 enhancing our urban environment environmental impact assessment of all

3 ' through long-term integrated urban legislation and agreements entered into

CD M tT planning for all major cities, major by the government.

fD industries and rural communities. 135. Labor supports the development of a

Planning must be supported by the

genuine progress or sustainability

provision of information, the indicator which recognises social and

development and implementation of environmental capital and complements practical solutions, and the right policy monitoring of economic indicators such 142 framework to ensure our cities are as Gross Domestic Product.

healthy and sustainable. We should

seek to contain the area of our cities 136. Labor supports the incorporation of

and guard against urban sprawl. environmental reporting into the budget

process through the development of a

131. For any planned increase in the federal Green Budget. A Green Budget

population of a particular urban area, will enable progress on environmental Labor supports infrastructure investment performance to be tracked and (especially transport investment) that is achievement against milestones to evaluated on the basis of its contribution be monitored. to improvements in that urban

137. Labor supports the establishment of a

environment, including air and water

Commissioner for the Environment to

quality. It is important that remnant

provide objective, independent analysis

vegetation and catchment health is

and recommendations on environment

protected from urban encroachment.

and sustainable development issues;

Greening our Institutions

monitor and report on progress towards sustainable development; consider

132. A Labor Government will lead by

public complaints; and assist the auditor

example. In order to achieve national

general on matters related to

leadership on environmental matters

environment and sustainable

with an integrated, whole of government development issues.

approach, Labor supports the incorporation of environmental values 138. Labor is committed to ensuring that into all areas of government decision community, industry, unions and

making, both in terms of the government decision makers are fully

government's direct environmental informed of the environmental impacts of impacts and the environmental their actions.



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146. Labor will ensure that specific

environmental programs will be targeted at nations in the region that are also recognised global biodiversity hotspot regions. 143

National Nuclear Waste dump

Conference condemns the federal Government's stated intention to compulsorily acquire :land..for a national radioactive waste repository against the `express" wishes of the people of South

Australia and their government.

National Platform and Constitution 2004 Australian Labor Party

139. Labor is committed to open and transparent environmental decision making and effective monitoring, assessment and reporting of environmental performance. This will be achieved through a combination of state of the environment reporting, environmental audits and impact assessments, and initiatives such as the

National Pollutant Inventory and corporate environmental reporting.

140 Labor is committed to post-approval monitoring of major projects to ensure that measures and targets agreed during environmental impact assessment

processes do in fact achieve the desired environmental outcomes.

141 Labor supports a life cycle approach to the evaluation of environmental impacts of goods and services. Where there is a significant variation in environmental

impact between comparable products, Labor supports eco-labelling to provide the consumer with the necessary information to make informed purchasing and lifestyle decisions.

142 A Labor Government will encourage the adoption of internationally recognised forest certification systems that are transparent and appropriate to Australia's conditions, developed in consultation with all stakeholders.

143. A Labor Government will wherever possible implement environmental best practice to government operations.

144. Labor recognises that existing international environmental protection regimes need to be strengthened and new arrangements developed to address emerging issues. A Labor Government will take a leadership role in multilateral forums that consider issues of environmental protection and sustainable development, including the

United Nations Conference on Environment and Development process, the Convention for the Conservation of Biological Diversity, the Convention on

International Trade in Endangered Species, the Convention for the Conservation of Migratory Species, and the International Whaling Commission.

145. A Labor Government will assess all trade agreements to ensure that they are consistent with the principles of sustainable development, and will work to prevent any conflict arising between trade agreements and multilateral environmental agreements and domestic

legislation to protect the environment.

Accordingly, Conference resolves that a future federal Labor Government:

— will abandon plans for a new national • nuclear waste dump in South Australia;

-exclude. South Australia from any future sites for a national -radioactive waste store or repository; and

—transfer back any land, if it should be compulsorily acquired by the federal • Government, to South Australia.


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Australian Labor Pa rt y

National Platform and Constitution 2004


Urban development

Labor will coordinate research involving local, State and Federal Governments to identify best practice transport models in urban transport and city planning with a view to a secure sustainable utilisation of

resources to minimise adverse social, environmental and greenhouse impacts of urban development.

Jabiluka Conference recognises that the environmental arid .cultural :values of

Kakadu National Park have led to this, area being listed on the World Heritage List.

Conference notes:

—that the Jabiluka site is an area physically surrounded by the World Heritage listed area of the Park and holds particular cultural importance to the. Mirrar traditional

owners; and

—the domestic and international concern and opposition that continues to exist over the issue and has seen development of Jabiluka halted since September 1999.

Conference deplores the Howard Government's decision to support mining , at Jabiluka and its lack of commitment to adequate supervision and monitoring of

mining activities in the region. Conference further notes and welcomes that there have been significant recent developments on this issue including:

—the support by the Martin Northern Territory Labor Government of a company application to rehabilitate much of the Jabiluka mine site

—the completion of major rehabilitation works by mining company Energy Resources of Australia (ERA), and

—the stated commitment by ERA's majority owner Rio Tinto to ERA entering into a formal agreement with the M.irrar traditional owners that there will future work at

the site without . the explicit written consent of the Mirrar .

Labor remains committed to working for the ultimate resolution of this long standing issue and a future Labor Government will implement an action plan in order to reflect

community and indigenous concerns and respect the area's World Heritage_ values by

continued opposition to the proposed mine at Jabiluka and any application for the export of`ore from the' mine; ,

seeking a, permanent outcomefor the Jabiluka mineral lease which protects the outstanding natural and cultural values of both the lease area and the. surrounding

national park;' and

-reviewing the joint management structures and processes for the park.



Chapter Nine

Lifelong Education and



Australian Labor Pa

rty National Platform and Constitution 2004

Chapter Nine

to, and in anticipation of, technological

Lifelong Education and

and structural changes in the economy and in the workplace, and to provide

Training opportunities for people to develop and

renew the knowledge and skills they will

7 Investing in Australia need at various stages of their lives.


-0 1. Education and training is an investment in Labor recognises the need to provide

CD developing the capability of all Australians lifelong learning opportunities for new and


to contribute to a prosperous, democratic, existing workers, as the demands of the just and open society. That investment workplace change and opportunities for CD takes in the full range of economic, social new careers emerge.


and personal benefits.

3. Labor recognises the right of all

—A good education system is essential to Australians to a quality education, not

an active democracy, where all citizens an because of the impact that it has on are confident that they can make a earning capacity and the ability to provide


contribution to society. An informed, for families. Given the importance of

critical and creative citizenry is able to lifelong learning in our society, it is more

build on the strengths of cultural

important than ever to ensure education

diversity, to sustain and develop

is delivered as a core function of the

Australia's democratic principles and public sector. The great bulk of education



services must be funded by the public

—Education offers Australians sector, rather than through user charges.

opportunities to gain the depth and Labor opposes the introduction of range of knowledge and skills they vouchers in education and training. need for the jobs of the future. It

provides the foundations for sustained 4. Labor will put in place a comprehensive

economic investment, productivity, platform for the renewal of education and growth and employment. Education is training in Australia, based on the

one of the key means for building the following priorities:

capacity of governments, industry and —all Australians are entitled to gain the community to improve the access to quality education and

prospects of Australians. training, throughout their lives;

—Individuals derive intrinsic benefits from —this commitment starts with access to

an education system that broadens

early childhood education, including

their horizons through extending their

pre-school and the first stages of

intellectual, creative and practical skills. primary school;

They also enjoy extrinsic benefits,

including the economic rewards —Labor will guarantee access by all

resulting from the application of those young Australians to schooling to Year skills in the workforce and in the 12 or its vocational equivalent at an

economy more generally. accredited training institution;

2. Labor understands that education is now,

more than ever, a lifelong commitment,

the responsibility for which is shared by

governments, industry and individuals.

This commitment is needed in response

—Labor will provide public funding so that all Australians who are eligible to

participate in further education and training have access to an affordable

place in a public university or TAFE;

National Platform and Constitution 2004

Australian Labo r P a rty

—Labor will also ensure that publicly

funded programs are in place that

enable the formal recognition of skills

acquired by means other than formal

education or training;

—governments also need to provide incentives and opportunities for ongoing

education and training throughout life;

—Australians must have confidence in

the quality of the teaching and learning

they receive in our education and

training systems. This will require

investment in the development of

knowledge and skills through research, and the integration of that research into

teaching and learning programs that meet quality standards set by government. Labor will ensure that

processes are in place which are designed to maximise quality outcomes

from all accredited vocational education

and training programs; and

—education and training must also

provide clear learning outcomes,

including real and valued pathways to

employment and to further education

and training.

5. Federal Labor will work in partnership

with State and Territory governments

and, where appropriate, with non-government authorities, to achieve these

priorities. All governments have a

responsibility to ensure the quality of

education through funding, planning and

regulation, and to give priority in the

allocation of public funds to eliminating barriers to education for students and

families from disadvantaged backgrounds. A federal Labor

Government will substantially increase

investment by the national government in

education, training and research.

6. Labor will work constructively with professional, trade union, community,

non-government and industry groups,

including trade unions, and will establish

representative advisory structures to

provide independent and strategic advice to government on all aspects of

education, training and research policy.

7. Labor will ensure that Australia takes

advantage of opportunities for the export of education and training, including

increased support for teaching and

research, promotion of education services,

and the development of open and rigorous

quality assurance regimes to improve

Australia's reputation for providing quality

education and training programs.

Indigenous Education

8. Labor believes that education and training

is fundamental to reducing indigenous disadvantage and enabling greater

indigenous self governance, determination and responsibility in the

future. Labor accepts that national

government should play a particular role in supporting and promoting education

and training rights and opportunities for

indigenous people. Labor will work to reduce the appalling gap between

indigenous and non-indigenous education

and training attendance, access and standards. This will mean addressing the

needs and requirements of indigenous

people and families as they relate to both

mainstream and indigenous-specific

education and training opportunities.

Labor will develop goals specific to the different needs of urban, regional and

remote areas. In particular, Labor is

committed to working in partnership with

indigenous communities, families and

people of all ages in order to develop and

implement these education and training

goals and opportunities.

9. Central to indigenous education policy is

the valuing of the diversity of cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and their contribution to


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Australia's social, economic, cultural and 13. These general principles about

environmental development. Indigenous indigenous education policy will need to

people and their communities must shape be complemented by policies that are

and influence decisions about educational specific to the different sectors of priorities and strategies. Labor will develop education, as set out below.

alternative education structures that Q -O acknowledge the community, cultural and Educating Our Children

c rP D educational needs of indigenous students. 14. All children have the right to high quality

Z 10. The content of what is learnt in Australia's education so that they can live fulfilling education systems, whether school or and rewarding lives. It is the responsibility

d r university curricula or vocational training

of governments to protect that right.

a packages, should be inclusive of 15. This responsibility entails investment in o indigenous cultures and perspectives. raising standards at all levels ofn This is as important for non-indigenous education. It includes guaranteeing that= Australians as it is for Aboriginal and all Australians have access to the full9 . Torres Strait Islander peoples. range of learning outcomes so that 0 11. Labor supports a mandatory Aboriginal students and trainees can fully developStudies component as part of all teachers' their capabilities, as well as thepre-service training. This will prepare intellectual and social skills to gain theteachers to be able to: fullest benefit from citizenship.148 —work effectively in Aboriginal 16. Governments also have a responsibility to communities and teach Aboriginal ensure that there is fairness in thechildren; and allocation of education resources to—competently and confidently teach monitor educational outcomes to identifyAboriginal studies and incorporate where action may be needed to improveAboriginal perspectives to all children. opportunities for particular student12. Labor understands the important role that populations and to guard againstAboriginal and Torres Strait Islander unjustifiable forms of inequality andeducation workers and teachers play in discrimination. Equity principles will guideachieving successful education outcomes Labor's priorities for the funding, planningfor students. This includes, in particular, and delivery of education for all ourthe need to increase indigenous children and young people.enrolments in education and training and 17. Much more needs to be done to improve employment opportunities. Labor will work participation and retention of indigenouswith State and Territory governments to children in education at all levels. This develop effective incentives, support and must involve: strategies for indigenous educationworker enrolments, recruitment, —focusing on literacy and numeracy inremuneration, career pathways and indigenous education;professional development strategies. As —working with communities to lift schoolwell, Labor will work with teacher attendance rates;educators and with the teaching —involving indigenous families in schools profession to ensure that all teachers and decision making processes; enter the profession with a goodunderstanding of indigenous education —employing more indigenous teachersissues and perspectives, and other education workers;



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National Platform and Constitution 2004 Australian Labor P a rty

—encouraging greater pa rticipation by

indigenous children in pre-schooling; and

—providing culturally appropriate and

relevant learning experiences, including indigenous languages.

18. Good teaching is at the heart of successful learning. Governments have a clear responsibility to ensure that all students, including apprentices and trainees, have access to quali ty teaching.

Labor will give priority to this imperative across all education and training sectors in collaboration with State and Te rritory governments, education authorities and

the teaching profession.

19. Education systems need support so that they can meet the challenges and opportunities of the twen ty-first century. Labor will support the strategic

development of information and communication technologies for the benefit of all, to avoid our education systems contributing to widening of the gap between the information rich and the information poor. Labor will develop a national strategy in cooperation with the States and Territories and with non-government authorities to ensure that all children and young people have access to information and communications technologies. We will also work with

education professionals to develop effective and innovative strategies for the use of those technologies in education and training.

Early Childhood, Pre-School and Primary Learning

20. Nowhere is the right of children to a high quality education more significant than in the pre-school and primary school years, which have a crucial influence on the life opportunities and directions of young Australians and on their opportunities for

realising the full benefits of citizenship. No child should be left behind because of inadequacies in the provision of se rvices in their early years. This means

that pre-school and early primary school years must be at the core of the education, health and child care policies of government.

21. Labor will work with the States and Territories to develop an integrated and nationally consistent system of child care and early childhood education to ensure that all Australian children under school age have access to early childhood

education and other appropriate developmental and social activities, provided in a safe environment. Priority will be given to extending access in those

communities where children are currently under-participating in early learning, including in particular indigenous families and communities in remote areas of Australia; and to supplying the resources for the provision of quality teaching in early childhood education.

22. Labor will establish a national education, care and development curriculum for children aged 0-5 years that is suitable for use in all aspects of early education and care and that provides a useful guide to parents.


23. Labor believes that governments should ensure that every Australian school student has access to the learning programs required to achieve the full range of learning outcomes set out in the National Goals of Schooling for the Twenty-First Century. Access to the teaching and learning resources that support the achievement of those goals should not depend on the financial capacities of individual school communities.

24. Labor accepts the principle that all children and young people have an equal


Australian Labor Pa


National Platform and Constitution 2004

entitlement to the resources needed for a cohesive society and the effective use

high quality education, without regard to of public funds.

differences in family background,

26. Labor will negotiate a national compact

educational or financial status. Such a with State and Territory governments and

principle is consistent with the need for with non-government school authorities to

governments to uphold the dignity of each achieve these principles on behalf of all

child as a learner, and with the aspiration students in all Australian schools. This

(DD for an education system that contributes I to our becoming a more, rather than a compact will have respect for the


less, open and just j ,

distinctive and the shared purposes of

(p schools in both the public and non-

>v r 25. In developing its policy directions for government sectors. It will also promote

Q. CD schools, Labor endorses the framework of cooperation between the sectors and a o principles for the funding of schools that complementary rather than competitive a m have been endorsed by State and relationship between them.

.a Q.

Territory Labor governments through the

n Ministerial Council on Education, 27. Labor recognises that all governments


Employment, Training and Youth Affairs have a primary obligation for the provision (MCEETYA). These principles are: of high quality public schooling that is

—the total level of resources available for accessible to all children and young people. Public schooling must continue to

schooling is adequate so that

be free and secular, to shape and be

150 achievement of the National Goals of shaped by Australian society and culture,

Schooling is a realistic objective for

to keep pace with the times, to strive for

all students;

educational and intellectual excellence, to

—public funding across different schools contribute to the development of the and sectors is distributed fairly and shared values that sustain democratic life equitably through a consistent approach and to foster innovation, critical to assessing student needs and through awareness, creativity and optimism

having regard to the total level of towards a shared future. Consistent with resources available for students; the MCEETYA principles set out above,

—the total level of funding for Labor will give priority for public schools

government schooling is adequate to through enhanced Commonwealth

ensure access to high quality programs for schools.

government schooling for all, and all 28. Labor continues to respect the right of

governments' funding policies

parents to choose a non-government

recognise this as a national priority;

school for their children and, on the basis

—resourcing for all students is adequate of educational and financial need, for for meeting the National Goals, these schools to receive public funding

notwithstanding the school or sector consistent with the MCEETYA principles they attend; and outlined above. Labor rejects the Howard

—public funding for schooling supports Government's unfair and divisive funding the right of families to choose non- arrangements for schools, which have government schooling and supports delivered the largest increases in

non-government schools on the Commonwealth funding to some of the basis of need, within the context of best-resourced schools in Australia. Labor

promoting a socially and culturally will adopt new funding arrangements for






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National Platform and Constitution 2004 Aust ra lia n Labo r P a rty

non-government schools that reflect the

following principles:

—Commonwealth and State and Territory

funding policies and arrangements will

be aligned to provide a coherent

national approach to funding conditions,

mechanisms and accountabilities;

—the resources available to non-government schools, including income

from private sources, will be considered

when assessing financial need; and

—public funding should be subject to

non-government schools meeting

quality standards for curriculum and teaching, planning arrangements that

promote the economic use of public

resources and accountability and reporting conditions that are consistent

with those required by governments for

schools in the public sector.

29. Labor supports the right of parents and

the community to be involved in schools

and will ensure that schools reflect

genuine community needs. Labor

believes that all schools should have guidelines that give parents and staff the

opportunity to make a contribution and

which ensure the best interests of schools, parents, staff and the community.

30. Labor also recognises the role of schools

as sites for community building and for

the development of partnerships and

sharing of experience and expertise

across different social and interest

groups, strengthening the social fabric and enhancing the context in which

schools work.

31. Labor supports national consistency in

school curriculum in such core areas of

learning as English, mathematics, science

and information technologies, while

recognising the value of local and

regional perspectives in the delivery of

curriculum in schools and classrooms.

National consistency and collaboration

have the potential to provide efficiency

and effectiveness in the development of

curriculum and related learning materials,

in areas of national responsibility such as

Australian history, indigenous cultures

and histories, and the study of languages

and cultures across all communities in Australia and in the Asia Pacific region. It

should also be a vehicle for teaching young Australians their civic rights and

responsibilities, including learning about

our Australian Constitution and the role of

national, State and local governments.

32. Labor also supports the further development of a national approach to

the assessment and reporting of student

achievements in an educationally responsible way. This should include both

minimum benchmarks for literacy, numeracy and technological capabilities

and the assessment of learning outcomes

across the full range of student abilities

and achievements. National reporting

should inform parents and students of

students' progress against national benchmarks and contribute to student

learning and school improvement.

33. Labor recognises the importance of the

middle school years and the need for

specific encouragement, support and

inspiration for young adolescents at


34. The Commonwealth government has a

particular responsibility to promote the

quality of teaching and educational

leadership in Australian schools. A Labor

Government will work with the profession

and the States and Territories to develop

a national approach to improving the

quality of teaching and the status of

teachers, including issues of national

concern such as remuneration levels,

national consistency and portability of

teachers' qualifications and teacher




Australian Labor Party

National Platform and Constitution 2004

—Meeting this responsibility will require many low income families need

national strategies for the supply of specialised support for teachers, student quality teachers in all schools. This counselling and community liaison, and begins with the Commonwealth's additional resources to provide that responsibilities for an adequate supply support. Labor will establish an innovative

of undergraduate and postgraduate system of targeted resource provision to Q) places for teachers in the higher schools with concentrations of students CD education sector. The large numbers of from disadvantaged backgrounds to

z teachers who are approaching improve their participation in schooling

n retirement age makes it critical to and their educational outcomes.


d r

prepare for renewal of the teaching 37. Labor recognises the entitlement of a (D profession and to avoid decline and the students with disabilities to maximise need for crisis management. opportunities to pa rticipate in schooling. 2 . m —The Commonwealth's strategic role in Where students with disabilities require ^D c developing nationally consistent special support, and consistent with


standards for professional teaching needs-based funding principles that apply

o practice and school leadership to all schools, governments should share

professional renewal is critical. Such the responsibility to provide these standards should inform the directions additional resources to build the capacity and priorities for the Commonwealth's for schools and teachers to accommodate

152 ongoing support for professional

students with disabilities.


Labor is commi tted to working with State

—Labor recognises the important role and Territo ry governments to enable played by non-teaching staff such as schools to conform with agreed disability Education Assistants and Abo riginal standards under the Disability Islander Education Officers and other Discrimination Act, which clarify the rights support staff in building a positive of students with disabilities and the

learning environment at all levels of the obligations of education providers. education system. Labor will ensure that these areas are adequately funded. 38. Labor also recognises the difficulties of providing access to quality teaching

35. Labor will continue to give priority to and learning programs and resources equity in schooling, for students and in rural and remote areas of Australia, groups of students who are currently not and will support the further development participating fully in schooling or who of targeted programs for schools in

require additional support to reach their these areas. potential. This can only be achieved through a comprehensive approach to the School to Work Transition planning and funding of schools, where

39. Strong educational foundations are more

targeted initiatives complement the base important than ever to Australia's of adequate and appropriate resources economic future and social well being. needed in all schools. Labor recognises that Australia's

36. Poverty remains the greatest indicator of economic success depends on the disadvantage and the single most education, skills and labour market important barrier to educational success. participation of all our young people. Schools that serve communities with Those young people who leave the formal



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National Platform and Constitution 2004 Australian Labor Party

education and training system without

recognised skills are vulnerable to long-term unemployment.

40. Labor's commitment to all young people

and their families is to guarantee access

to valued learning to Year 12 of schooling

or its equivalent in other areas of

education and training.

41 While for most young people this will

mean completing their secondary

education at school, Labor recognises

that this is not the best way or the only

way for all. Guidance and support needs

to be there when it counts. This will require effective policies to encourage

young people to stay at school, to

develop alternative learning options within

and alongside schools and to support

students in the world outside school in a highly competitive labour market if they

choose to leave.

42 Labor will work with States and Territories to deliver a national strategy to provide

our young people with the foundation for

lifelong learning, consisting of the

following elements:

—to achieve Year 12 or equivalent

qualification in school or through TAFE,

Adult and Community Education or an

apprenticeship or traineeship.

—to re-engage early school leavers to

achieve a Year 12 or equivalent

qualification, in school or TAFE.

—to provide tailored and informed advice

and support to help students make a

successful transition from school to

employment and further education

and training.

—to support coordinated community

partnerships, to maximise the use of

existing resources.

—to provide targeted labour market

assistance, through employer

subsidies, job creation and related

training, for those young people

remaining outside the formal education

and training system.

43. Labor will support the further

development of opportunities for students

to participate in quality vocational

education and training programs while they are at school, which provide real

pathways to employment and to further

education and training.

Vocational Education and Training

44. The primary objective of training is to help

Australians develop skills to obtain secure and satisfying employment. Labor's policies in vocational education and

training should be directed to the

following aims:

—to develop portable and nationally

consistent vocational qualifications;

—to equip Australians with relevant and

valued skills;

—to meet the needs of people from

educationally and vocationally

disadvantaged backgrounds in gaining

employable skills, including those who

would benefit from second chance

opportunities for education and training;


—to maximise training and reskilling

opportunities to raise skill levels

generally and to prevent workers being

forced into low-skilled and precarious


45. Labor supports the development of a

genuinely national system of vocational

education and training, with increased

resources from government and employers for growth and for improved

quality. This will include strategies to

improve and modernise vocational

education and training to provide

contemporary programs that meet the

changing needs of students and industry.


Australian Labor Pa

rty National Platform and Constitution 2004

46. The development of a national system of key barrier to this is the cost of identifying

vocational education and training, skills and knowledge workers have including related national indust ry already acquired through previous work standards must be based on the expe rt expe rience and training and identifying advice from indust ry. Labor will suppo rt future skill needs. Labor will suppo rt

an indust ry training adviso ry network, pa rtnerships between indust ry, unions

where employer associations and unions and training providers to achieve this CD are equally represented. outcome pa rt icularly when it results in

investment and further training by

47. Labor understands the importance of indust ry. Labor will also support initiatives 3 (D structured and accredited on-the-job that educate and empower workers aboutM Q training, which gives many working the benefits of lifelong learning and^ o Australians the opportunity to access structured training in existing workplaces. further education and training and Labor will enable employees, though their ^• Q provide greater job security through properly elected union representatives, to ongoing skill development. be actively involved in increasing accesso• 48. Labor recognises that a more effective to structured learning and training in theirindustry training advisory network led by workplaces.employer organisations and unions is 51. In developing policies and programs for critical to increasing the uptake of vocational education and training, Labor154 structured industry training and the will give particular a tt ention to its critical ongoing success of the national training role in providing training and employment system. opportunities for indigenous students and49. Labor supports the continuation and their communities. Labor will developadequate resourcing of a national training vocational education and training modelsauthority to maintain and further develop that acknowledge the community, culturala high quality national vocational and educational needs of indigenouseducation and training system with people, including in and for isolatednationally agreed objectives, strategies communities.and planning processes. The qualitystandards will seek to equip the workforce 52. Labor recognises the centrally importantwith the skills and knowledge for the role played by TAFE as the publicfuture of technological change and the provider of quality training to assist theknowledge based economy and society. government in achieving its policy goalsThe authority will have a key role in for economic development and socialstrengthening a quality national training justice, and in meeting the technical andsystem and national qualifications further education needs of the Australianframework and more effective national community.processes for recognition and audit of 53. Access to vocational education and education and training providers. This will training is critical for many Australians. be supported by a more effective industry Labor will support increased public training advisory network led by employer provision through high quality TAFE organisations and unions. systems where costs are not a barrier to50. Labor is committed to increasing access participation by students from low incomeof existing workers to national vocational backgrounds, and to which employerseducation and training qualifications. A should make a funding contribution.



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National Platform and Constitution 2004 Australian Labor Par ty

will support TAFE in its dual roles of

training provider and key access point for

community education.

54. Labor acknowledges the contribution made by the TAFE workforce in

developing the knowledge and skills of

Australians. In cooperation with unions,

industry and State and Territory

governments, federal Labor will take a

national approach to improving the

professional skills and status of TAFE

teachers, including through development

of their contemporary and industry-relevant skills. Labor will also support the professional development of other

TAFE staff.

55. As well as training programs delivered

through TAFE institutions, Labor believes

that private sector employers have a responsibility to provide opportunities for

comprehensive post-school vocational

training for Australia's young people.

56. While recognising the unique character of

vocational education and training, Labor

will facilitate maximum cooperation between the senior secondary years,

TAFE and university sectors, especially in the establishment of course credits,

articulation and, where appropriate, dual

and co-located institutions. This

recognises the substantial overlap

emerging between some university and

TAFE courses and the growing number of students moving each way between these

institutions to obtain their qualifications.

57. One of the most important pathways for

young people is from school to vocational

education and training. Labor is

committed to improving the links between

school systems and TAFE, and to

providing better pathways through

educational education and training for

young people generally and early school

leavers in particular.

58. Labor recognises the role played by the

private sector in the vocational education and training system. It also acknowledges the value of on-the-job training where such training is part of a structured and

accredited training program. The

diversification of the training market,

however, must not be allowed to damage

quality. Australia's current and future

workforce must be provided with sound, transferable skills, and our international

reputation for quality education and

training provision must be protected.

Labor will work with the States and Territories to ensure that all providers of vocational education and training are subject to an efficient, comprehensive system of quality assurance including a

system of independent auditing. Private sector involvement in workforce skills development should be fully integrated

within national education and training

goals and national quality and recognition processes. With the primary focus on public education, the Labor Party will

investigate the wasteful duplication from

the application of the competitive training

market in the Vocational Education and

Training (VET) sector with a view to giving priority in government funding to

the public sector.

Apprenticeships and Traineeships

59. Labor will provide adequate resources for

the expansion of apprenticeships and traineeships to ensure that structured

entry level training and work experience opportunities are available to those

seeking these skills. Labor will foster

cooperative efforts between employers and unions to maximise and continually

increase the take-up of apprenticeships

and traineeships, especially in areas of

skill shortage and in emerging industries

and with a focus on the development of

both generic and industry-specific skills.

Both government and industry have a


Australian Labor Pa


National Platform and Constitution 2004

responsibility to contribute to investment

in workplace education and training.

60. Labor supports continuing review of the form, structure and duration of apprenticeships and traineeships to reflect the changing structure of work and r * the needs of industry, including the need I for on- and off-the-job training. Labor will

Z protect the rights of young workers and 3 CD other participants in structured training programs to fair wages and conditions

-^ o and to real on- and off-the-job quality training experiences that produce lasting ?. m and portable skills. All training contracts c or agreements will have to meet minimum

n R standards for the protection of

apprentices and trainees, which will be properly monitored. Labor will provide support for TAFE teachers involved in on-______ the job training due to the increased

156 workload and responsibilities arising from that form of training.

61. Labor will focus on quality apprenticeship and traineeship programs and on higher skill levels. Public funding should be more directly linked to the level of training

effort, to the completion of quality outcomes and to the development of future skill needs. All apprenticeship and traineeship programs should be

consistent with the national qualifications framework.

62. Labor will ensure that there is sufficient funding made available for on- and off-the-job training for apprentices, especially in rural and regional Australia.

63. Labor recognises that training programs must take into account the different needs of those entering the workforce for the first time and those of existing workers, which may require separate programs. Training for existing workers should

extend career pathways and be focused on developing the skills and qualifications of those who are affected by, or likely to

be affected by, industry restructuring. Labor endorses the principle of recognising prior learning and will ensure

that an affordable and accessible system is put in place to enable all workers to have their acquired skills recognised and credited.

64. Labor acknowledges the particularly crucial and effective role of group training companies in providing rotated structured training and other opportunities for

apprentices who work in smaller companies that have a limited capacity to train in their own right. Labor will suppo rt group training companies' involvement

with a wider range of small companies, and the formation of vocationally based employment pools based on similar principles. In addition to support for group training, Labor will examine ways to

encourage public and private employers including contract maintenance, employers, labour hire and industry schemes, to directly employ more apprentices and trainees.

65. There is a close link between building a modern competitive economy, particularly through the application of advances in science, engineering and information and

communications technology, and Labor's policies on education, training and employment. Labor is commi tted to increasing investment by governments

and employers in research and development and in vocational education and training.

Adapting to New Jobs

66. As well as direct job creation for older workers and unemployed people, governments also have a responsibility to invest in the retraining of workers to

provide them with new skills in tune, where possible, with national qualifications so that they can adapt to changing demands in the labour force.


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National Platform and Constitution 2004 Australian Labor Party

Labor will invest in a range of new job —access to a university education

preparation programs, including specially should be open to all, available on the targeted labour adjustment programs for basis of merit and equity rather than mature age workers displaced by indust ry wealth and privilege. Universities have

restructuring, aimed at ge tting these a range of public purposes, both

workers back into paid jobs. These intellectual and vocational, and public

programs may include specifically access to these oppo rtunities should be

targeted mature age apprenticeships. as broad as possible;

—Labor will ensure that the Higher

Adult and Community Education Education Contribution Scheme

67. Adult and community education is an (HECS) does not act as a financial

integral component of lifelong learning in barrier to Australians seeking to study Australia. Labor is commi tted to extending in a public university in Australia; learning opportunities through adult and —Labor opposes the deregulation of

community education that is affordable, HECS and full fees for Australian flexible and community-based, and that undergraduate students in our public can adapt to the learning needs of both universities. Deregulation of fees would younger and older adults. reduce opportunities for students from

68. Labor acknowledges the significant

low and middle income families to

contribution to the education of new

attend university and would undermine

arrivals to Australia by the Adult Migration the viability of regional and rural

Education Service (AMES) and will direct campuses. Labor will increase public

appropriate public funding for their

investment in our universities and

ongoing work.

phase out fee-paying places for Australian undergraduate students;

Management Skills —Australia's system of higher education

69. Labor is committed to raising the skills should be strengthened. This means

and standards of managers in Australia at building on the individual strengths of

all levels, as well as workers, through

Australia's universities and encouraging

innovative new programs on leadership collaboration to lead to greater public

and management skills, and continuing and international confidence in the

review of the pe rformance of Australia's quality and integrity of all our

corporate managers.


—universities in Australia should be

Universities suppo rted to reap the benefits of global

developments in knowledge, research

70. Labor's polices will support the

and teaching; and to shape and

advancement of the highest standards of respond to the challenges of the future.

research and teaching in Australian

Labor will encourage universities to

universities, where intellectual rigour and play a leadership role in the

excellence are the cornerstones of successful higher education and are the internationalisation of higher education,

outcomes of the link between teaching

including through new forms of digital

and research.

technologies and through the development of global networks and by

71. Labor will do so against the following promoting capacity building in host principles: countries within our region; and


Australian Labor Pa

rty National Platform and Constitution 2004

—priority in public funding will be given to funding and staffing arrangements are

public universities in Australia. But the consistent with this important principle.

quality of all public and private Labor will reverse the policy of the current

providers of higher education in Government by ensuring that funding

Australia is critical, for the protection of arrangements remain free of punitive

the interests of students in those threats such as the linking of funding

institutions as well as for the nation's levels to the imposition of individual CD economic and social well being. Labor contracts.

z will work with the States and Territories,

75. Labor recognises that despite the efforts

with higher education institutions and of many dedicated staff the quality of

with staff and students to ensure that all university teaching and research has been

higher education providers meet quality undermined by Howard Government


standards that are consistent with

policy. The quality of university staff and

(D national protocols endorsed by remuneration are matters of national

cn c Q


governments through ministerial

interest, and therefore the national

0 councils. Those standards should be

government must take some responsibility


assured through independent

for ensuring that Australian universities are

assessment processes, and lead to

able to attract, retain and develop high

consistency in establishment and

quality staff. Labor will reverse the policies

accreditation criteria and procedures of the current Government by investing in

across Australia and to offshore

a national staff development scheme for 15 delivery of higher education. university staff, thereby assisting staff to

72. Commitment to free inquiry is a core achieve the goal of improving the quality element of university accreditation. It is and global competitiveness of Australian essential that institutions of higher higher education.

education provide independent advice to

students and to the broader community. 76. Labor supports the right of staff and Labor also supports accreditation students to participate in the governance requirements for universities to undertake of higher education institutions, in

teaching and research and to offer a recognition of the knowledge, experience

broad range of courses. and commitment they bring to this.

73. Labor's commitment to a strong system of 77. Labor recognises the need to protect the public universities will govern its policy value of the resources provided by public

responses to new learning opportunities funding of universities, through

generated by advances in technology and appropriate indexation arrangements.

an increasing number of private

78. Labor will take action to reverse the brain

providers. Labor notes the developing drain of talented Australian researchers

role of universities as commercial

and academics overseas. At the same

suppliers of education and training

time, Labor will provide incentives for

services tailored to the needs of corporate postgraduate research and coursework

clients. Labor will ensure that there are studies, especially in such priority areas

proper accounting and auditing processes as science, health, teaching and nursing.

to prevent the inappropriate transfer of

public funds for commercial purposes. 79. Labor understands that financial

74. Labor is committed to the autonomy of pressures on students are forcing many public universities and will ensure that to seek part time employment to meet

National Platform and Constitution 2004

Australian Labor Pa rt y

their living expenses, which is drawing on

the time they have for study and that some students are either excluded from study or forced to discontinue their studies due to lack of financial support.

Labor will identify ways of better meeting students' needs, including in particular the special needs of indigenous students.

Labor will also reduce the age at which students can receive income support at the independent rate and we will ensure

adequate support for students below the age of independence.

Labor is also concerned about the increasing prevalence of professional associations requiring post graduate qualifications for accreditation and the impact that it is having on students who need to work to support their studies. Labor will seek to ensure that the lack of financial assistance does not create social inequities within professions.

80. The Howard Government has compounded the effects of its policies of increasing student debt by lowering the income at which students start repaying their HECS debt. Labor will raise this threshold to a level that is consistent with the average graduate starting . salary.

81. As in other areas of education and training, students from disadvantaged backgrounds are under-represented in higher education. Labor will develop policies and strategies to improve their participation and success, including indigenous students, students with disabilities, students from low income communities and students from rural and regional areas.

82. Labor supports universal membership of student representative organisations. These organisations play a strong representative role and provide a wide range of sporting, catering, legal, health, employment and other services,

sometimes after normal commercial hours of operation and often in circumstances that would not be viable if membership was voluntary. Labor will oppose government interference in the decisions n

of students and independent university institutions about the membership of student guilds, associations and unions. Z Research


83. Labor will implement a comprehensive,

long-term national research policy. Such a a long-term national research strategy is essential if Australia is to deliver quality ^: m research outcomes and to capitalise on Q

public and private investment in research. 0 Such an approach is necessary because o' our economy and population are small compared to other developed nations, and consequently the effective use of limited resources assumes a greater



84. Within such a strategy Labor will ensure that the current 'competition at all costs' ethos will be replaced by an environment in which the research strengths of both

public research agencies and private research programs are recognised and set in a cooperative framework with a strong focus on promoting collaboration through networking and clustering. Wasteful trends towards duplication will be reduced while the debilitating effects of the short-term research horizon promoted by current models can be reversed.

85. Labor supports the prioritisation of research funding. Prioritisation will be based on indices that encourage innovation in industry, job creation and the maintenance of a culturally aware society in which community needs are

recognised and addressed. As a consequence, Labor advocates a research policy addressing the big issues facing Australian society. Labor is committed to developing priorities based

Australian Labor Par

ty [National

Platform and Constitution 2004

on thematic areas of research rather than between such agencies, universities,

simply discipline-based models. TAFE and the private sector. Additionally, a national research strategy 88. Labor believes it incumbent on will ensure that our national capacity to government to ensure a policy framework 0 maintain, and increase, "blue sky" that is conducive to industry and the 3 research is recognised as a continuing private sector undertaking research.

rP priority. Labor supports active industry policies

1 86. A ground breaking new policy for that encourage private sector z research and innovation is central to development in research and M Australia's ability to surmount the big development (R&D) and, further, that d ^_ issues confronting Australia, including: promote more effective linkages between Q. CD


— and environmental Australian industry and our public

2.0 sustainability; research infrastructure. Labor will review

?. M a degradation; land and —salinity and the effectiveness of the current R&D tax c concession regime, will target grants to 0 d

—Australia's place in a global economy industry in priority areas and consider 0 and an unstable world. options such as standardised reporting on

To deal with these challenges intellectual capital and intangible assets successfully, Australia needs new ideas and customised courses to develop skills and new know-how. Reliance on our in research-derived commercial 160 natural resources is no longer enough. negotiation, intellectual property (IP)

We have to lift our performance in all protection and strategic marketing. areas of endeavour. Labor believes that 89. As a key component of a national research and development is a key driver

research policy Labor will develop a

of productivity improvement and national strategy for IP protection, economic growth. We need to ensure that there is a balance between the creation ofcommercialisation and research new knowledge and its application to

management. Such a strategy is

create high skilled, high wage jobs. designed to achieve a sustainable balance between academic and

87. Labor supports increased public innovative activity. Key features include a investment in research. Universities national framework for commercialisation represent the foundation on which any of publicly funded research, together with successful long-term research strategy uniform definitions of ownership and

must be based, and the current financial moral rights of all parties to IP and a crisis in universities acts as an research and commercialisation code for impediment to fully effective research both researchers and agencies. This programs. Labor will address this strategy would be underpinned by a

deficiency and maintain the role of commitment to the promotion of open and universities as institutions undertaking free dissemination of knowledge by basic and applied research across a publicly funded research agencies. range of disciplines. Labor will also

reverse the current trend to under funding 90. Labor recognises that there exists an and marginalisation of national research urgent need for better coordination of agencies, will develop a Charter to protectCommonwealth research activities. To the scientific integrity of the CSIRO and facilitate this core objective, Labor will will encourage enhanced collaboration establish a bureau of science and

research, including humanities

Cooperative Research Centres and access to funding for cultural institutions.

91. Labor believes that it is essential for a national research strategy to encourage partnerships across national borders and build links with our national aid program. Labor will develop measures that encourage research in areas of assistance to other societies or economies, together with funding to assist

in research training and with continuing research overseas.

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National Platform and Constitution 2004 Australian Labor Party

research policy within DEST, with

responsibility for monitoring, reporting and ensuring Commonwealth research targets are met; complete the partial transfer of science research agencies into DEST and rework the Prime Minister's Innovation Council to include advocates of the

humanities and social sciences. Within the context of increased support for,the tertiary education sector, reflecting a holistic approach to research and

innovation, the policy will also include an expanded range of opportunities and funding for humanities and social science

Nuclear Facilities.

Given. continuing Labor,: : opposition to:a new reactor at Lucas Heights ., Conference notes that the Coalition Government is proceeding with. a :replacement reactor at Lucas Heights in southern Sydney despite unresolved environmental and health concerns within both the local and wider. community.

Labor notes that the construction of the new reactor is advanced and that much of the specialist equipment has been purchased. Accordingly, in government Labor will refer the following issues to an independent public inquiry before the new reactor at Lucas Heights , is:: operational: —the legal and financial obligations, beyond

those relating to the work already undertaken, effective under the current secret contract signed by the Howard Government; -a review of the licensing processes and

conditions applied to the reactor;

—security issues relating to the reactor site; —whether or;not medical isotopes can be produced from alternative sources and whether this. can be achieved before the

current facility has expired;;

—the economic and industry impact of importing medical : isotopes; —whether or not it is necessary for research funding to be allocated to the development

of alternative sources for radiopharmaceutical production;

—the impact on jobs and Australian nuclear• research of not proceeding with the replacement reactor;

—whether an effective solution to the problem of the final management of nuclear waste has been identified;'

—emergency management and response implications of the new facility; and.

—whether there has been adequate consultation with the community, local government and the NSW Government.

Labor will promote and assist the development of the remaining facilities at Lucas Heights into a centre for medical, scientific and technological research.

Labor will implement a national management plan for radioactive waste and ensure that Lucas Heights does not become a de facto or permanent facility for storage ofnuclear waste.



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Australian Labor Pa rt y National Platform and Constitution 2004


Vocational Education and Training Labor recognises the impo rtant role that vocational education and training has in providing opportunities for all Australians to

get the training and skills they need for secure and satisfying employment.

Australian indust ry is suffering from severe skill shortages, which can only be addressed by increasing access to quality vocational education and training.,

Labor believes there is an important role for the State and .Territo ry governments to work with the Federal Government to assure the

quality and integrity of vocational education and training.

Under the Howard Government around 15,000 young Australians are turned away from a TAFE course eve ry year..

Labor is commi tted to increase participation in vocational education and training by Australians of all ages.

A Latham Labor Government will create places for an additional 20,000 Australians to start a TAFE course every year.

Schools Funding That the National Conference condemns the Howard Government for its unfair and divisive funding policies for schools. These

policies have provided the largest increases in Federal funding to some of the best-resourced non-government schools in

Australia,, while ignoring the needs of the great majority of government and non-government schools.

National Conference calls on a Labor Government to endorse the framework of principles that have been approved by State and Territory Labor governments on the

• funding of schools, noting that these principles include:

—the total level of resources for all schools are adequate to achieve the National Goals of Schooling; and —all governments recognise that funding of

high quality government schooling is a


University. Fees That the National Conference of the. Australian Labor, Part y . condemns the Howard Government for its unfair university

charges which will increase university fees by 25 per cent and allow universities, to fill 35 per cent of places with students paying full fees.

Labor further condemns the Government for

-increasing HECS fees since .1996 for a standard degree from $7,300 in 1996 to $15,700 today and further pushing the cost up over $.20,000; —allowing one in three students to jump the

queue .and .buy .their way into university :... ahead of people with be tter marks; —allowing universities to offer Australian undergraduates full tee degrees that can

cost up to$100,00b -—failing to.create 20;000 extra universi ty places so that qualified students are not

turned 'away from our universities;

—attacking the independence of our universities and failing to safeguard universities from ministerial interference in what they teach students; —failing to ensure universities receive proper

indexation; —making Australian students pay some of the highest university fees in the world, only Japan; Korea and the United States

have higher fees; -° — ignoring .important research from the .. National Centre for Social • and Economic Modelling (NATSEM) which shows


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National Platform and Constitution 2004 Aus tra lia n Labor Party

Australian university graduates are already

delaying starting a family and buying a home because of their; university debts;

—failing-to improve student financial `. assistance,,:'^

- -introducing 'a 7 year learning limit; and

—placing ideological industrial relations conditions on millions of dollars of desperately.. needed- funding:. ".

Labor will reverse the 25 per cent HECS increases; :prevent Australian students from .-buying their way into :a university place by paying full fees and abolish the Howard

Government's unfair .7.. year learning limit.

Labor will create 20, 000 new places` for Australians to sta rt a university course every year, in addition, to properly funding the 25,000'over-enrolled place s created under the Howard Government's : failed policy.

Labor will properly index university operating grants by providing an additional $312.7 million over and above existing increases to

reduce class sizes and support high quality :....... .:. university. education.

Labor recognises the positive impact that participation in higher education has for the advancement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and will work with

indigenous communities to increase indigenous participation both as staff and students in our universities. Labor recognises that the accurate academic representation of indigenous peoples and cultures is impo rtant for both :non-indigenous and indigenous students in our universities.

As part of the:commitment to opportunity for all,,Labor supports wide, access to high quality and affordable higher education. Labor recognises that higher education is critical to Australia's prosperity, drives our economic growt h and gives our citizens the knowledge and skill they need for a good job and .a bright:future. Labor also recognises that participation in education contributes to the ability of citizens to actively participate in our democratic, social and cultural





Chapter Ten

Nation Building


Australian Labor Par

ty Nationa l Pl at form and Constitution 2004

Chapter Ten —our modest population size, its uneven

Nation Building

distribution and its relatively high level of growth; and

Australia's Investment Needs —the highly capital intensive nature of


1. A high and sustainable level of capital

many of our principal economic

investment is central to Labor's goals of a activities such as agriculture, minerals

rr CD better economy and society, contributing and, increasingly, sophisticated manufactures and some key tradeable

directly to:


—stronger economic growth;

z 4. Labor believes that government has a

fl; —more new jobs and a reduction in

vital role to play in fostering capital

unemployment; investment to meet these requirements,

W —increased job security and higher both in:

Q. incomes for those already in —achieving higher rates of overall

0 employment; investment in the Australian economy;

—increased technological innovation and and

technological modernisation in the —achieving a broader spread of economy; and investment, in terms of its regional,

—environmental sustainability. sectoral and labour market impact

166 2. Labor recognises that a high and

across the nation.

sustainable level of capital investment 5. Without government involvement,

delivers both short-term and long-term unfettered market forces cannot be

benefits to the Australian economy. guaranteed to supply adequate levels of

Creating buildings, plant and machinery, capital to all regions and sectors of the

and transport, communications and economy.

energy systems means: 6. Accordingly, Labor will pursue balanced

—increased short-term economic activity economic policy measures which promote

in its own right; and the highest sustainable level of productive

—an increase in the long-term productive investment, improve the productivity of

capacity of the economy to sustain

existing investments, and increase the

availability of national savings to fund

higher levels of economic activity than such investments. Specific measures will

would otherwise be possible.

range across the areas of:

3. Beyond the general .requirement to lift —monetary policy (especially through the capital investment, which is faced by all maintenance of low inflation, which growing economies, Australia faces a provides a more stable environment for particular requirement for higher levels of business planning and investment); capital investment than would be normally

—taxation policy;

required in an economy of comparable

GDP size and population, as a

—competition and regulation policy;

consequence of: —industry policy;

—the size of our land mass; —regional policy;

—Australia's unique environmental assets —infrastructure policy; and

and problems; —enterprise productivity.

National Platform and Constitution 2004

Australian Labor Party

7. Labor recognises that the maintenance of well functioning infrastructure is fundamental to maximising sustainable growth in the economy. This involves both

the maintenance and upgrading of existing infrastructure as well as developing the future infrastructure to meet the needs of the nation. Consistent with the objective of

maximising growth and living standards, governments have a responsibility to develop, in partnership with the

community and business, strategies to identify, prioritise, and satisfy the long term infrastructure needs of the nation.

Public, Private and Foreign Investment

8. Throughout Australia's economic history, Labor governments—at both Commonwealth and State levels—have worked to accelerate and broaden

national economic development through a balance of public and private investment strategies, involving direct public investment in infrastructure and

commercial enterprises, and creating a positive climate for private investment.

9. Public investment has been an important means of meeting community needs, and Labor believes that it should continue to be provided to meet community service

obligations and ensure the provision of services.

10. Labor will explore all financing options, including opportunities for superannuation funds, infrastructure and/or savings bonds and public private partnerships. Before

effecting any private sector financing options, Labor will ensure they all genuinely serve the public interest.

National policy making should focus particularly on identifying regional and sectoral priorities for infrastructure investment.

11. Labor recognises the contribution made by foreign investors to the development of the Australian economy, supplying capital, technology and other skills. It is also the

case that our comparatively low rate of


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Al Australia has long relied on foreign capital to fund a significant part of our investment needs. Strong economic growth has historically seen a spillover into higher levels of current account

deficit. Greater national saving, both private and public, is necessary to ensure that strong economic and investment growth can be sustained for long periods without

unmanageable current account problems. arising.

A2 Greater national saving is also necessary to increase the Australian community's capacity to own and control national economic assets.

'Buying back the farm' will remain an unrealisable dream unless there is a significant increase in our national saving rate.

A3 Labor is strongly committed to strategies to increase private saving, in particular through the

continued growth and spread of superannuation to encourage broader share ownership across the community; and through pursuing higher growth and lower unemployment.

— which, means

higher private incomes and hence greater, resources available for boosting private , saving:

A4 Labor accepts that public saving is a significant component of national saving, and that ongoing effort in budget, management is an important economic priority But Labor also recognises that

policies which simply: boost public saving in the short-term at the expense of`long-term sustainable,growth, employment, national competitiveness and private saving are likely to

diminish rather than enhance our overall national saving performance..

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national saving has meant that Australian

economic growth has depended significantly on the continued flow of foreign investment.

n 12. Labor also recognises that: v —there is broad concern within the ((D Australian community about the degree

of foreign ownership, and control of the 3 economy and of Australian enterprises;

—Australia has historically been a net o' importer of capital;

M W —foreign investment in the Australian C Q economy should be undertaken in such

a way that its benefits outweigh its costs; and

Australian Labor Party National Platform and Constitution 200 4

—the benefits of foreign investment are

likely to be maximised where ownership and control is shared between foreign and Australian investors.

13. Labor will, accordingly:

—seek to maximise Australian ownership and control of resources and. enterprises;

—encourage foreign investment to the extent that it introduces beneficial and new technology and expertise, increases employment, expands government revenue and provides other clear benefits to the Australian community; and

B1 Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) generate. 168

a significant proportion. of Australia's national income and employment, and the access of these firms to capital sufficient to finance their enterprises is vital to Australia's economic development and well ,being ::;

B2. Despite efficient and well functioning debt and 'equity. markets in Australia Labor recognises that there are some areas where those markets are not completely efficient and where government assistance can be used to

enhance their operations. This problem relates mainly to equity markets for SMEs. Some SMEs find it difficult to attract sufficient equity to fund their ..needs—particularly

'investment-ready';. — many SMEs and their advisers are not well aware of how the private equity markets work and where: the providers are

,-some SMEs can grow to become successful businesses but are not yet at the stage to • deliver the high.rates of return required by the investor market; and

-some SMEs are located in geographical regions which are outside the networks of the providers.

B3 Labor in government will pursue a balanced combination of policies designed to ensure that market failures affecting SMEs' access to capital are addressed, principally by:

-support for innovation, through targeted • assistance; -the establishment of industry development mechanisms-in partnership with business

where appropriate—focused on the venture and patient capital needs of SMEs; —modifying, where appropriate, finance industry regulatory restrictions; —providing appropriate taxation incentives; —providing other appropriate SME industry

support measures such as information -exchanges; and -measures to ensure that access to capital by SMEs in regional Australia is appropriate.

National Platform and Constitution 2004

Australian Labor Party

—maintain the capacity to limit or control transparent and objective criteria for

foreign ownership where this is investment, equality of modal treatment

demanded by the national interest,

in regulatory and financial issues, and

policy integration with environmental,

Building Australia's Infrastructure energy and land use objectives;

14. Labor recognises that a strongly —broaden representation on national

performing economy is dependent on transport regulatory reform

adequate and efficient national organisations to include union

infrastructure, particularly in the critical representation;

sectors of transport, communications and —work with industry participants on

utilities. Renewal and enhancement of strategies to redress skill shortages and

this infrastructure is necessary to reduce develop a highly skilled transport

business costs, improve accessibility and workforce;

social justice, improve the environment, —support strategies to develop urban and contribute to the community's well being regional infrastructure and intelligent by reducing traffic congestion and transport systems;

increasing mobility, and expand —ensure that Australians have access to

opportunities for economic development adequate transport services by in regional Australia. providing appropriate financial

—Labor will establish a National assistance to State governments to

Infrastructure Advisory Council to improve and extend public transport coordinate a national strategy for systems in urban and regional Australia

infrastructure provision and for employment, environmental,

maintenance, according to strict, education and training, social justice

transparent and objective criteria, and economic reasons and to help

alleviate congestion;

Building Transport Capacity —focus infrastructure development

15. For transport infrastructure development strategies on the creation of efficient generally, Labor will: intermodal connections, particularly at

—develop a national transport planning ports and airports;

strategy aimed at implementing a world —foster the use of public transport by

class national transport network, with exploring the tax treatment of public

consistent performance benchmarks transport to remove the disincentives across rail and road, to ensure Australia compared to the concessional tax

has a coherent land transport system; treatment of company cars;

—ensure that the national transport —encourage the promotion and funding

strategy funding model takes account of environmentally friendly transport

of the particular financial capacities of including cycle ways; and

different State and Territory —consider strategies to promote the

governments to meet infrastructure development of energy efficient, demands, so as to guarantee the alternative fuel vehicles including the

development of a coherent national purchase of such vehicles by

transport plan; government. Action on this front is

--develop integrated transport planning important given the state of our processes which provide for fair environment and the fact that oil is a

competition between modes, non renewable fuel source.

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16. For aviation, Labor will:

—maintain Qantas as Australia's international carrier, delivering high levels of service and providing a


substantial proportion of Australia's international aviation needs; —foster the development of the general aviation sector and develop the (D potential of the aviation industry as an z important export industry;

d o —encourage the growth of air freight 3 through upgraded airport facilities,

increased competition in cargo terminal operations and improvements in the cn logistics chain;

—ensure that privatised airports maintain competitive pricing regimes, high quality services and strict environmental and safety requirements,

170 and facilitate local ownership and operation of regional airports; —ensure regional communities have proper access to safety services; and —develop an integrated Sydney

Transport Plan that provides for Sydney's future airport needs, including a preferred second Sydney airport site outside the Sydney basin. Labor will maintain the cap and curfew at Kingsford Smith Airport and implement the long-term operating plan maximising takeoffs over water.

17. For maritime transport, Labor will:

—ensure that Australian domestic shipping is crewed by workers operating under Australian award conditions under established cabotage arrangements; —develop a national register/database of

all maritime employees—including seafarers, port and stevedore workers—to record that the appropriate

levels of security induction and qualifications are held;

—encourage growth in the Australian coastal shipping industry—and in doing so ensure that Australian shipowners continue to employ Australian crews and receive support comparable with international standards; —encourage the expansion of Australian

participation in Australia's international shipping task; —pursue individual port productivity improvement strategies with the direct

involvement of port authorities, stevedoring companies, unions and port users through initiatives such as

increased competition, productivity targets in terminal leases, increased investment and enterprise bargaining;

and —ensure that where Australia shares economic zones with East Timor and Indonesia that preference of

employment is given to the participating nations and that the actual conditions of employment, safety and maritime legislation are no less than those payable in the Australian Offshore Oil and Gas Industry.

18. For rail transport, Labor will:

—work with State and Territory governments to develop an integrated national rail network and tracks of national significance to the operation of the economy, including efficient inter-

modal connections, particularly at ports and airports; —retain the designated interstate mainline from Perth to Brisbane and

explore in cooperation with State governments designating extensions of the interstate rail mainline. Labor will also maintain the Australian Rail Track Corporation in full public ownership; —having regard to the recommendations

of the Tracking Australia report, revitalise investment to attain high

National Platform and Constitution 2004

Australian Labor Party

speed freight standards giving priority

to removing speed restrictions and modifying extension of the network to include critical freight lines;

—provide assistance to major privately funded extensions to the rail network where there is demonstrable public benefit; and

—work with State and Territory governments to reinvigorate Australia's long-haul passenger railways, including assessment of the likely costs and

benefits of private high-speed train projects, linked to airports where practicable, and establishment of uniform national Very Fast Train (VFT) standards.

19. For road transport, Labor will:

—seek to restore road funding to previous Labor government levels and ensure that road projects are funded according to strict, transparent and

objective criteria;

—seek to expand the national highway network to include critical freight routes—such as port access roads and urban ring roads; and

—improve road safety by providing greater access to well equipped rest stops for both passenger vehicles and heavy vehicles on the national highway.

20. For urban public transport, Labor will:

—recognise the importance of cities and regional urban communities to the national economy and a role for Commonwealth government in urban development;

—recognise a role for Commonwealth involvement in delivering urban public transport infrastructure, with particular focus on the needs of poor regions in

outer urban and regional areas; and

—assist State and local governments to integrate land use and transport planning.

Protecting Travellers

21. In relation to aviation safety, Labor will:

22. In relation to maritime safety, Labor will:

—ensure that the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) and equivalent State organisations maintain strict maritime safety regimes; and

—protect the marine environment by adequately resourcing AMSA to combat 'ships of shame', and to maintain strict regulatory regimes governing pilotage,

discharges at sea and other matters critical to marine environmental protection.

23. In relation to rail safety, Labor will:

—consult with rail operators, users and unions with the aim of upgrading Australia's rail safety efforts in order to accommodate the proliferation of

—ensure that security at Australian airports and in planes flying in Australia 0 is maintained at the highest possible

standards; 'o

—ensure that the Australian Transport Safety Bureau has access to adequate CD resources to continue its efficient and

effective, independent role in accident z and incident investigation across o'

transport modes;

—ensure the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) is appropriately resourced and continue the review of regulations and internal CASA reforms

designed to streamline procedures, ensure public accountability, concentrate resources on the safety enforcement task and ensure the strict 171 enforcement of safety regulations; and

—retain Airservices Australia as an efficient public aviation service provider of air traffic services, aviation fire service and national airways

maintenance and installation services.

Australian Labor Party

National Platfor m a n d Co n s ti t ution 2004

operators arising from privatisation BUILDING COMMUNICATIONS•

and/or vertical separation; CAPACITY

—enhance the role and functions of the Equitable Access to Modern Rail Safety Unit in the Australian Communication Services C) Transport Safety Bureau to recommend

25. Labor regards telecommunications

lv strategies to improve the safety of the

services as essential services that should


national rail network; and

be accessible and affordable for all

—work with State governments to Australians. Labor believes that access to develop a modern national regulatory fundamental telecommunications services Z and enforcement regime. should be provided through a universal

24. In relation to road safety, Labor will: service obligation, funded by the industry in accordance with market share.

—continue the process of developing uniform national road transport 26. Labor is committed to ensuring that all regulations, and ensure that the 9 Australians will be able to enjoy access to J Y regulations regarding driving hours an affordable broadband and loads protect the health and safety telecommunications service.

of drivers, including concerns about

driver fatigue and the interests of the 27. Labor recognises that access to broadband in regional Australia is crucial

general public;

to the future economic development of

172 —continue to develop e-transport regional communities. Broadband

strategies and actions to improve road facilitates the location of small and safety, reduce emissions and traffic medium sized businesses outside the delays and to make our transport major urban centres.

systems more sustainable and user

friendly; 28. Labor will ensure that adequate

—develop strategies to reward road

safeguards are in place to protect

transport operators and drivers who

consumers in communications markets.

fully comply with regulatory and health Labor will ensure that these safeguards

and safety requirements, and penalise are properly enforced, and that

operators and drivers for regulatory and communications companies deliver high

health and safety breaches; and

standards of service to consumers.

—improve the collection of data on road A More Competitive and Consumer-fatalities and injuries to ensure a more Focused Regulatory Regime strategic approach to road safety initiatives, make more use of Australian

29. Labor is committed to establishing a

Design Rules to improve safety

communications regulatory regime that

standards in new vehicles, require

ensures more genuine competition and

manufacturers to release crash test

better protection for consumers.

data and improve public road safety 30. Labor supports fair third party access education. arrangements for communications

infrastructure. Labor will ensure that

Telstra's wholesale and retail functions

are clearly distinct within the company, to ensure the openness and transparency

needed for fair access regulation. Labor


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Na tional Platform and Constitution 2004

Australian Labor Party

will strengthen the telecommunications 37

competition regime to ensure genuine openness and transparency in Australian


31. Genuine competition and consumer protection in communications requires

appropriate resourcing and regulatory

powers for bodies such as the Australian

Communications Authority (ACA) and the

Australian Competition and Consumer

Commission (ACCC).

32. Labor will retain the telecommunications price control regime and ensure that there

are no further unfair increases in

telephone line rental fees.


33. A publicly owned Telstra provides a

guarantee of universal telecommunications access for all

Australians. Labor opposes the further sale of Telstra, either in part or in whole,

and will not sell any more shares in the

company. Labor recognises that Telstra,

as the only carrier with a nation-wide fixed network, will remain central to the achievement of telecommunications equity for all Australians. Telstra delivers

essential public services in a market

which retains pervasive monopoly characteristics. These services are changing and broadening because of

technological change.

34. Labor will ensure that Telstra intensifies its focus on fulfilling its telecommunications

responsibilities to the Australian community, and that these responsibilities

take precedence over Telstra's foreign

ventures and media investments.

35. Labor will ensure that Telstra is committed to the provision of affordable broadband

access for all Australians.

36. Labor will maintain the power of the minister to direct Telstra in the national


Telstra's neglect of its telecommunications

responsibilities has led to massive job losses, particularly in regional Australia.

Labor supports adequate permanent staffing arrangements to enable Telstra to

fulfil its responsibilities to communities

throughout Australia.

38. Labor supports Telstra maintaining its

significant contribution to communications

research and development. Labor will

encourage communications technology

research and development generally, to

help ensure that Australia remains at the

forefront of the international

communications sector.

Australia Post

39. Labor will maintain Australia Post in full public ownership.

40. Labor will maintain Australia Post as the sole carrier of the standard size letter service and the sole issuer of postage

stamps. Cross-subsidy arrangements

between metropolitan and regional

Australia will remain to ensure an

equitable flat rate postal charging arrangement for the standard letter.

41. Labor will encourage the growth of Australia Post's services and extend

the scope of Australia Post's community service obligations, where appropriate, to ensure equitable access

to a full range of postal services for all

Australians, including financial and bill

paying services.

42. Labor will ensure that Australia Post continues to maintain appropriate

coverage of post office and post box

outlets throughout Australia.

43. Labor will encourage Australia Post to

continue to use its network to provide public access to new communications

options and essential community



Australian Labor Par

ty National Platform and Constitution 2004

44. Labor envisages Australia Post playing a

key role as a platform for the delivery of digital services, particularly to regional Australia.

0 3 Building Energy Capacity a) 45. Among Australia's greatest economic

strengths is the extent and diversity of its natural energy resources, energy infrastructure and energy technology.

Z Australia is both an important producer of

o established sources of energy, including

M coal, gas, oil and condensate, and a

00 world class player in the development of o. renewable and sustainable energy


47. Increasingly, more efficient and clean energy supplies and use will enhance Australia's capacity for the downstream processing of minerals and other natural resources, and more competitive manufacturing generally, thus providing employment benefits.

48. The continued development and application of new technology to improve the economic and environmental efficiency of energy production and consumption is vital to Australia's long term international competitiveness.

49. To improve our national energy capacity, Labor will:

—facilitate a process of co-operation and development involving State

Governments, Industry representatives, including peak Industry Associations and the Trade Union Movement to

ensure that Australia builds the necessary Electricity Industry Transmission, Distribution and Generation electricity facilities to

meet Australia's electricity demands and ensure supply for the future for all Australians;

—encourage investment in an intensive national oil and gas exploration effort;

—encourage continued development and investment in energy infrastructure and technologies, particularly gas and renewable energy sources;

—facilitate free and fair competition between energy sources;

—facilitate free and fair interstate trade in gas;

—facilitate a national electricity market;

—encourage co-generation;

—encourage the use of gas in conjunction with coal for power generation;

-encourage research and commercial development of new and renewable

energy sources and technology; and

—take into account the relative environmental impact of these energy sources.

50. Labor will encourage greater efficiency in the production, transmission and use of existing energy sources, in particular by acting to:

—ensure a concerted and ongoing effort to encourage the pattern of Australia's domestic, transportation and industrial

energy consumption to greater use of clean and renewable energy sources through demand management strategies and government

procurement policies;

—encourage greater energy efficiency and consumer purchase of energy

efficient products through consumer education programs, innovative financing mechanisms, product

46. Australia's energy supply and use must be economically efficient, internationally competitive and sustainable in the long term. Such national energy capability is essential for Australia's sustained 174

economic growth. Labor recognises that the long-term challenge of global environmental issues must be built in from the start in planning the future of the Australian energy industry.

Labor recognises the importance of

Australia's critical infrastructure and the need to adequately plan, maintain and C safeguard it. Critical infrastructure includes systems of telecommunication;

banking and financial operations; power-+ generation; air, land, sea and water tp transportation systems and operations; water purification; and sewerage and d waste water treatment. o 3

Infrastructure protection is integral to cc Australia's national security. It underpins a our economy. Our quality of life depends ^p on it. Labor is commi tted to ensuring that

Australia can manage and contain demonstrated and emerging threats to our infrastructure, especially those that relate to the information or cyber

elements that increasingly control the 175 operation of physical infrastructure.

Nationa l Platform and Constitution 2004

Australian Labor Party

standards and energy efficiency Safeguarding Australia's

labelling schemes; and Infrastructure

—encourage energy audits for the 54 industrial, commercial, transpo rtation and residential sectors to inform users of their relative energy efficiency and

how this can be improved.

51. Labor recognises that major opportunities are emerging in new and renewable energy technologies within the global energy market. Accordingly Labor will:

—support research and development in innovative energy technologies that are cleaner and more efficient;

—encourage domestic markets in renewable energy technologies;

—encourage Australian development, manufacture and commercialisation of renewable energy technologies for both domestic and export markets;

—encourage local and foreign investment to increase Australia's renewable energy technology manufacturing capability; and —maximise employment creation within

the renewable energy sector to offset possible long-term job losses in fossil fuel dependent sectors of the energy indust ry.

52. Labor will institute a national energy indust ry policy to integrate the need for improving energy efficiency, abating greenhouse emissions and encouraging the development and commercialisation

of new Australian energy industries, including renewable and sustainable energy technology.

53. Labor will ensure that consumers are protected in the new national energy environment, and will ensure access by consumers to competitively priced energy,

proper regulation of the national energy market and viable dispute resolution mechanisms.


A New Approach to Population Policy

55. The achievement of Australia's economic and social goals, and our international objectives, requires government to consult widely to develop an integrated

population policy commanding widespread community support.

—Labor recognises the need to plan for a sustainable population and in government will develop a formal national population policy.

56. A population policy will allow Australia to decide as a community the long-term sustainable population we want rather than allowing population issues to be an

incidental by-product of ad hoc, political decisions about annual immigration levels.

—Labor will focus on population policy as a whole, rather than just immigration,

Australian Labor Pa rt

y National Platform and Constitution 2004

enabling the community to think in a implemented through a series of

long-term and constructive way about strategies agreed between State and

issues which otherwise stand to federal government to:

divide us. —address the age imbalance that is

57. The development of a population policy emerging as the post war generation

will involve consideration not just of approaches retirement;

r immigration, but also of elements as —relieve the pressure on families and

diverse as desirable rates of economic restore incentives to raise children in growth; resource constraints; our community;


environmental management; internal

—ensure population growth is drawn to

migration; urban form; industry and

the regions and the attraction of new

M regional development policy; and the g p p y ' skills results in regional development

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fertility and mortality of Australia's current opportunities;

a population. This will involve drawing in all

stakeholders, including the States, local —adopt planning strategies which will

government, farmers, ethnic communities, curb urban sprawl and provide for p p industry, environmentalists, Indigenous liveable cities in the future;

Australians and the tourism industry. —implement a national approach to

58. A national population policy need not

infrastructure planning to provide for

specify a precise fixed numerical outcome the needs of a growing population;

176 for a projected date in the future. At a —plan for growth that is environmentally

minimum, however, it will identify a range sustainable by reducing per capita use

within which year to year policy making of water, energy and other natural will operate, and a process for updating resources and ecosystems; and and modifying planning objectives as new —strengthen our economy in a demographic, environmental and social sustainable fashion by encouraging

factors are identified. young migrants to choose this country

—Labor will establish, as a matter of as a place to settle.

priority, a new Office of Population to 60. To address these issues, Australia needs

advise on a range of desirable

to review the size and make up of its

population options, and ways of

migration program whilst recognising that

achieving them.

some areas are more capable of

59. The National Population Policy will be absorbing an increase in population adopted by CoAG and will be than others.

National Platform and Constitution 2004

Australian Labor Par ty

National Conference notes the need in

Australia for increased ,investment in public

infrastructure following years of neglect by the Howard Government. Conference further notes the political, academic and media' debate about the best method of accelerating

the availability of, or providing additional, community goods and I services in a cost effective, efficient and timely manner.

Conference therefore welcomes the decision of the Federal Parliamentary Labor Party to establish an inquiry into Australia's physical

and social infrastructure needs and how best to finance them. The commi ttee will comprise both parliamentary and non-parliamentary members and report no laterthan 30 June

2005. The inqui ry will -investigate:

—the scope for governments to invest directly in public infrastructure;'

—the scope and conditions for private sector involvement in`the provision of public infrastructure including through"appropriate

—the most equitable, cost effective and fair methods of finance; — ways to maximise effective public ownership, management and maintenance

of public infrastructure

accountability and transparency

—the most effective method of reducing financial risk to government and minimising the level of, fees, and charges;,

—ways to ensure that. financing is compatible with Labor's agenda on skills development and quality employment; r w. —whether current risk transfer arrangements

are appropriate;

—the potential role of the superannuation industry in financing public infrastructure;

—any other relevant matters.

National Conference°calls on interested parties including.,members,-g0yemments, unions and the business community, and members of the public to participate in

the inquiry.

Shipping Given Australia's coastal freight task the number of ports around our enormous coastline, the distance. to our foreign markets

by sea and our historic maritime. traditions, Australia is truly a shipping nation

The ,Howard .Government's attitude toward this vital indust ry however has resulted in the lowest participation of Australian owned, operated and crewed ships in our

nation's history.,

The wholesale abuse of the single and continuous voyage permit system under the Howard Government has laid our coastline open^to the ravages of flag of

convenience shipping

These abuses have led to job losses In the shipping indust ry devastating theAmaritirne rskills base in our ,country ."a-. Contrived unavailability of Australian ,.tonnage • ".

has unfairly favoured cheap foreign crews and flag of convenience shipping in the Australian domestic transports trade at the

expense of Australian investment.

Foreign shipping, engaged in the domestic trade poses threats to our nation's security, environment and employment opportunities.

The Howard Government, has allowed ..: . bilateral trade deals such as China gas and East Timor, oil and gas to be signed off

without any a ttempt to negotiate a shipping component to the detriment` of Australian shipping and, employment.

Without any Australian participation in the international trade, Australian shippers are at


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Australian Labor Pa rty

National Platform and Constitution 2004

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the mercy of international conference lines. During the second half of 2003 conference lines more than doubled their freight rates. The conference lines are operating to suit their profits' rather than Australia's needs as a trading nation..

—The ALP recognises the importance of a strong and viable shipping industry using Australian, seafarers. working. under the Australian flag and conditions...

-The ALP . renews its commitment to the retention of cabotage.and. commits to a full review of the Permit system and the conditions under which single and continuous voyage permits. are issued. This review will include application of the

Maritime Transport Security Act to foreign vessels to' ensure a level playing field. — The ALP commits to , encouraging .long-term investment to rebuild the Australian

maritime :industries, protect our vast coastline and marine environment and to re-establish our defence self sufficiency. — The ALP also recognises the competitive

nature of the international shipping industry and will ensure that Australian- seafarers working. in .international trades are not disadvantaged compared to other seafarers in international trades. Further, the ALP will give consideration to the

introduction of ..a tonnage' tax regime similar to the schemes introduced by. the UK and other OECD nations:

—The ALP recognises that the efficient provision of salvage. services under the Navigation Act 191,2: is important not only for saving lives,. but also protecting the environment: Given the unpredictability of salvage work and that no vessels are engaged exclusively in salvaging services,

Labor recognises that salvage capability will continue to be provided by harbour towage services and a range of other

vessels depending on the nature of the salvage task. Governments at all level a responsibility to provide salvage infrastructure and to work with the private sector towage companies to guarantee the

reliability of towage services around the Australian coastline.

The ALP recognises the work of the International Transport Workers Federation, in the protection of international seafarers visiting our ports. We support seafarer's

human and industrial rights progressed by welfare organisations and maritime unions. Further the ALP endorses the call for a

genuine link between all ships and their flag state to exist as a. means to combating abuses under the.flag of convenience system.

Urban Transport

Conference notes:

—Australia's urban transport systems are under increasing demand pressures relative to their capacity. The costs of traffic congestion and road accidents are

increasing. The costs have important consequences for Australia's well-being, the environment, Australia's efficiency and workers' standard of living. These issues include transport efficiency and effects on economic growth, pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, health and social amenity;

—Australia's transport greenhouse emissions are per capita the third, highest in the world and it is estimated that by 2010, total greenhouse emissions will be 47 per cent higher than 1990 levels;

—urban transport congestion cost $12.8 billion in 1995 and"is estimated to increase to $29.7 billion in 2015;

—Australia's major cities have clear transport rich' and 'transport poor' regions because of the creation of new suburbs without strong public transport

National Platform and Constitution 2004

Australian Labor Pa rty

infrastructure. 16 per cent of the average

household budget is spent on cars—the same is spent on housing and food;

—Australia is the only developed count ry without a national policy covering urban

issues, despite the need for innovative sustainable urban development programs. OECD research concluded that urban travel and land use problems are not just

urban issues—their economic, social and environmental impacts are national;

—there has been a significant shift globally in the way, transport problems are framed and solutions, implemented. There is a convergence of views, analysis and

approaches around the world on how to deal with transpo rt problems and transport investment;

—the Howard Government's national land transport policy is focused on freight to the total exclusion of urban public transpo rt;

—in Australia there is a ve ry strong case for a complete reorientation of national transport policy based on fairness, equity and transparency. it must deal with all

modes in the same way and introduce

public benefittcosts-tests incorporating social, economic planning environmental objectives.

Conference resolves that the next federal Labor Government will: — provide appropriate financial assistance to State governments to improve and extend

public transport systems in urban and

regional Australia for employment, education and training, health, social justice and economic reasons;, —achieve greater use of all forms of public transport, thereby contributing to

reductions in emissions and 'congestion, such as that being pursued through the Growing Victoria Together strategy, which seeks to increase the number of t rips on

public transport from 9 per cent to 20 per cent by.^2010;

—integrate transport; land use and environmental, objectives,

—ensure public transport, is available to new suburbs and developments -improve integration of various public ° transport modes,through `development ,.of'W5'

inter modal = nterchanges;\and

—propose ways to reduce dependency on, cars, including reform of the inequitable tax treatment of public transpo rt as against employer -provided 'car transport, and thus encourage public transport use for

commuting to and from work:

Nation Building °r

'Conference recognises that the equitable '= provision of both existing an d newly emerging communication services remains one of the key policy challenges facing Labor. .

The Besley and Estens inquiries, designed by the Howard Government to pave the way for full privatisation ofTelstra, have highlighted the difficulties rural and regional Australians face in gaining access to such services.

At the same time the Senates inquiry into the condition of the Australian '.

> telecommunications network has revealed' ,. nation-wide impediments to the development of broadband capabilities in the Telstra fixed network.

The governments strategy of targe tted infrastructure spending,.. tie d. to the partial privatisation, of Telstra,,,'cannot provide a comprehensive or lasting solution to these problems

Labor is committed to developing a. ``

sustainable strategy for the fundingand delivery of affordable

services on a national basis. Such a

strategy would




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Australian Labor Pa

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--encourage efficient and timely upgrades of :-no large jet traffic to be permitted at

the national communications infrastructure, .. Bankstown Airport and explore options to n `including provision of broadband reduce the impact of training operations;

capabilities —determine the ongoing method of operation

:—provide certainty to consumers; and of Camden Airport; and '- !

censure that arrangements for the delivery -determine the future use of Richmond and funding of uneconomic services are Airport-in consultation with the local Z competitively neutral. community and the RAAF.

o ,• . • . Conference notes that changes in

Second Sydney Airport Conference supports the building of a second circumstances mean that Badgery's. Creek is no longer a viable option for Sydney's 2nd

a. j. airport for Sydney. This is important for the Airport.: Labor will not build an airport at economic future of Sydney, New South Badgery's' Creek... .Wales and the nation. It is also necessar y toalleviate the impact aircraft noise is having Upon coming to Government Labor willon the quality of life of residents living in the immediately conduct -:a new comprehensivemost densely populated area of Australia. EIS into preferred sites south of the NepeanThe ALP rejects the Sydney Airport River through the ,Southern 'Highlands. Labor 180 will work with the NSW Government and Masterplan with its projections of a tripling ofi . passenger numbers and a doubling of draw upon their best advice to identifymovements through Kingsford Smith Airport specific sites within the identified 2020. We :call upon the Government to The EIS will be directed at ensuring there isbring .forward -its 2005 review of Sydney's minimal impact from the construction andAirport needs. operations of a new airport, if the EIS'Labor is: approves its development.—committed to the legislated cap and curfew Labor will develop this integrated Transportat Sydney Airport; Plan in consultation with the New South! . -committed to implementing the long-term Wales Government and local government.Operating Plan• m i" e —committed Efficient and Saf Land to ensuring all those eligible for.noise amelioration measures receive it, T and n a ransport Networkand will consider the particular needs of This Conference condemns the Howardschools and the unique circumstances of Government for their seven years of neglectSydenham,;and of Australia's transport infrastructure.-committed to support slot allocation The Auslink plan is the first Howard priorities that preserve access for regional Government attempt to deliver an integrated airlines. while giving preference to larger land transport plan, but it fails on many aircraft. counts because it:Labor will develop an Airport ..Masterplan for —was motivated to shift costs to States,Sydney's. General Aviation Airports to include: Territory and Local Governments, not to-the determination of the future of Hoxton deliver an efficient, integrated and modernPark; transport network;

National Platform and Constitution 2004

Australian Labor Party

has not moved beyond the Green Paper

stage after almost- two years :leaving it big on restating the problems and short on solutions and action plans;

—fails to identify an . ongoing, sustainable source of additional ongoing funding for transport infrastructure;

—only considers the movement of freight,:

not people;

—ignores the capacity of sea and aviation to carry a bigger. load in our domestic:. freight ;... task that is set to double by 2020

jeopardises the Commonwealth's., responsibility to construct and maintain our national highway system and

—fails to halt and reverse the decline in land transport infrastructure funding particularly. in railways...

The Conference calls: on the next federal Labor Government to lead Australian governments in. the >joint .development of a'. national, modern, efficient transport network to meet our nation's burgeoning.. freight and

passenger transport task by:.

—developing a national land and transport plan that includes all modes of transport in . a co-ordinated way ,'which.integrates transport, environmental, energy and land

use policy across State and Territory ) boundaries;

—establishing a national infrastructure }.: advisory council and processes that will (.. provide for fair "competition between modes and transparent and objective

criteria for public and private infrastructure investment decisions;

s: -ensuring the NationalTransport Commission is equipped and supported to develop and implement nationally consistent transport regulatory reforms . to

improve the efficiency of our national road and rail networks;.

—working with States to develop an integrated : national transport network . I and corridors of significance to the

operation of the •national economy,: including efficient inter-modal connections at ports and airports; —strengthening the Commonwealth'

commitment to the construction and maintenance of the national highway system;,; -retaining full Commonwealth ownership of

the Australian ;Rail.s Track'.Corporation .:ands

ensuring it has sufficient funds to develop and maintain our interstate rail infrastructure to world class: standards, such as transit -times, axle loads and double stacking containers;

committing. to invest In Australia's transport -. network to ensure our infrastructure can accommodate; the increasing . freight and 'urban passenger task in a sustainable; and

efficient way and financing options may include superannuation funds, infrastructure :and /or savings .bonds; —improving rail and road safety: standards

for the national transport network: by . enhancing the role .-of : the :Australian Transport Safety :Bureau: and ensuring

more proactive leadership from the Commonwealth Department of Transport:t• reduce accidentsand fatalities.

—improving the security of our transport networks through more clearly: defined responsibilities and accountabilities .. ,; .. between Commonwealth Government agencies; and =developing.a modern, integrated regulatory

and enforcement regime.

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Chapter Eleven

Engaging with the


Global Economy

Australian Labor Pa

rty National Platform and Constitution 2004

Chapter Eleven

reducing protection cannot and should not

Engaging with the

be reversed.

Global Economy

4. Australia's economic future lies principally with the Asia Pacific region. Over half of

C) our trade is with nations in the Asia

: Creating Better Jobs Through Trade Pacific. Labor is committed to enhancing 1. Labor is committed to ensuring that the our economic relationship with those I benefits of global economic growth are countries in Australia's immediate M shared—both within Australia and neighbourhood. D between countries. We support free trade D as a means of generating the growth 5. Australia also needs to recognise the

necessary for enhancing the living continuing integration of Europe and the C) m o^ standards of everyday Australians. size and importance of the Economic interests. 2 .o Australia has directly benefited from trade

Union (EU) to Australia's trading

liberalisation, but the distributional effects Australia needs to make a strong

o * 3 cannot Reducing ignored. be trade commitment to winning new markets in barriers boosts our economic growth, the emerging economies within Europe 3 3 creates more competitive industries, and the Americas. 0 provides benefits to consumers andbuilds stronger relationships with our Opening Marketstrading partners. Trade is an important 6. Labor recognises the importance of 184 way of creating more fulfilling, well paying maximising trade and investmentjobs for Australians. opportunities for Australia in a rapidly changing world. The role of the Minister 2. Labor will ensure that the benefits of and the Department of Foreign Affairs and global economic growth are available to Trade must remain sufficiently flexible to all Australians through better education meet our future needs. Labor does not and training programs, industry assume that the current policy machinery development policies, fostering new will necessarily be appropriate to the knowledge intensive enterprises and a modern economy. Labor will integrate particular focus on those industries and innovation, industry and trade policies to regions which are adversely affected by take Australia along the road of high skills trade liberalisation. Whilst the rapid and high wages. Labor will adopt development of new technologies will be administrative arrangements within the encouraged, Labor will introduce policies Commonwealth Public Service that to make access to technology more facilitate this integration. equitable. Labor is committed not only toproviding an adequate safety net, but also 7. Labor remains firmly committed togiving everyone, wherever in Australia realising our free trade objectives,they live, the opportunity to prosper in the through negotiations at the World Trademodern economy. Organisation (WTO) and the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, 3. Labor will continue to pursue sensible regional free trade agreements and trade liberalisation through effective bilateral market opening. multilateral strategies reinforced bybilateral negotiations. The direction Labor 8. The WTO's objective, to reduce tradepursued in the 1980s and 1990s of barriers worldwide, will help Australiainternationalising the economy and maximise economic growth and


13 rt CD1mNCD3 g) rno 3 Q^ 01m^0oCD

National Platform and Constitution 2004 Australian Labor Pa rt y

creation. Labor endorses the full

implementation of the WTO's Uruguay Round agreements and the work of the Cairns Group (established by Labor in 1986) to reduce world ag ricultural

protection. Labor suppo rts the timely and successful completion of the WTO's Doha Round. The Doha Round must achieve a substantial lowering of industrial tariffs

and improved market access for services. It must also achieve a comprehensive outcome on agriculture including substantial improvements in market access, reductions in, with a view to phasing out all forms of export subsidies, and substantial reductions in trade distorting domestic suppo rt. The Doha

Round must offer major benefits to Australia and to developing countries that face world trading rules denying them access to major markets.

9. Labor will play an active role to ensure that the activities of the WTO respect core International Labour Organisation (ILO) labour standards and multilateral

environment agreements. Labor recognises that economic growth and prosperity arising from increased international trade brings with it the responsibility to promote higher labour

and environment standards for Australia and internationally.

10. WTO rules presently allow all nations to determine for themselves the appropriate public/private mix in their health, education, water and welfare sectors, and to determine the distribution of

government funding within these sectors. WTO rules also permit countries to protect their cultural industries. Labor supports these positions. We will vigorously oppose any WTO rules,

interpretations or proposals that would require Australia to privatise its health, education and welfare sectors, reduce government rights to determine the distribution of government funding within

these sectors, or which would require us to remove protection of our cultural industries.

11. Labor is commi tted to the peaceful resolution of trade disputes in the WTO, through a system of transparent, fair and enforceable rules. We support efforts to

make the WTO dispute resolution process as fair, prompt and open as possible.

Labor will make sufficient resources available to ensure that Australia can properly prosecute and defend those cases in which it is involved.

12. APEC (established on Labor's initiative in 1989) is pivotal to increasing trade in our region. Labor will promote APEC's Bogor Declaration goals of regional free trade by 2010 for developed nations and 2020 for developing nations. APEC can also serve a valuable function by mobilising support for a further round of WTO negotiations, facilitating trade between APEC members and widening dialogue in the region on the issue of core labour standards.

13. Labor acknowledges the positive role our Closer Economic Relations agreement with New Zealand has played in improving the economies on both sides of the Tasman. In government, Labor will seek an agreement with New Zealand to jointly examine whatever other possibilities exist to further strengthen the relationship.

14. Labor supports efforts, first begun in 1994, to join the ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA) and the Australia New Zealand Closer Economic Relations agreement into a single free trade agreement.

15. Where appropriate, Labor will pursue a vigorous agenda of bilateral market access initiatives. Bilateral initiatives must contribute to, and not detract from,

multilateral trade liberalisation.

16. Bilateral trade initiatives agreed by Australia must not impact on the


Australian Labor Pa

rty National

Platform and Constitution 2004

government's capacity to provide public settlement etc) in order to promote

services such as health, education, water openness and transparency and ensure

or post. In particular, trade initiatives must consistency of trade negotiations and

not undermine Australia's Pharmaceutical agreements with respect for core labour

n Benefits Scheme. standards within the work of the WTO.

18. Labor believes a rules based system

rt CD Inclusive Trade Policies underpinned by core labour standards

CD 1 17. Labor believes that there is an obligation provides a framework for fairness and m in all trade arrangements to respect core equity and is the most effective means to

labour standards. Consequently, and ensure governments do not resort to CD consistent with the Singapore Declaration, unsustainable protectionism. Labor is of G) we support the establishment of a formal the view that there is a need to analyse

o permanent WTO working group or similar the strengths and weaknesses of the

M ='

body with the following terms of reference: ow WTO, ILO, International Monetary Fund o —it would be part of the WTO's follow-up (IMF), international framework with a view

o 3 to the Singapore Declaration to introducing a reform agenda. Reflecting

= commitment on labour standards this, Labor will work towards the

CD and would therefore report back to development of a global trading system

the WTO General Council with for the 21st Century which is underpinned

proposed recommendations by equity and transparency.

186 concerning WTO procedures,

mechanisms and regulations; 19. In this context, Labor will support calls for

—it should be a standing or permanent a meeting between the WTO, ILO, World

body working on an ongoing basis;

Bank, IMF and other relevant bodies, as

may be decided, for the purpose of

—it should provide for the participation of launching an on-going dialogue and the ILO, which must be given formal action on the subjects of development consultative status at the WTO; and labour standards.

—it must have a defined work programme

including, inter alia: 20.

Labor notes that the WTO (through its

preamble) and APEC (through successive

—a mandate to undertake analysis and to Leaders' Statements) are committed to

propose procedures and instruments furthering the goal of sustainable

for the treatment of core labour

development. A Labor Government will

standards in the international trading play an active role in WTO and APEC


negotiations to promote sustainable

—the examination of how to associate development. In particular, Labor will work trade with respect for core labour towards the removal of environmentally standards, including positive incentives damaging subsidies, and promote and assistance; mechanisms which can reconcile the

—the consideration of measures to be interests of environmental protection and

taken where trade liberalisation was trade liberalisation. A Labor Government associated with violations of core will also ensure that all major trade

labour standards; and agreements into which Australia enters,

—review of the mechanisms of the WTO bilateral and multilateral, are assessed to

(trade policy reviews, dispute ensure that they are consistent with the


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National Platform and Constitution 2004 Australian Labor Par ty

principles of sustainable development and

environmental protection for all distinct

regions of Australia.

21. Labor recognises that free trade is a

necessary, but not sufficient, condition to

promote economic growth in developing

countries. We will work to ensure that

nations and their communities in our

region and throughout the world benefit

from open markets and share in global

growth. We will promote policies to achieve this in the WTO, World Bank,

IMF, ILO and other international forums.

Labor acknowledges the virtuous circle created by equitable economic growth in

developing countries. Through the

creation of jobs, it can free people from hunger and poverty, and by providing

access to economic independence for the

individual, make meaningful basic human

rights. At the same time economic growth

in developing countries creates new markets for Australian exporters thus

contributing to creating jobs in our country

and strengthening our economy.

22. Developing countries must be properly

resourced if they are to fully benefit from

WTO negotiations. Labor will work to

ensure that international funds are made

available for capacity building and

technical assistance, so that poorer

countries can effectively participate in

WTO negotiations.

23. Governments have a responsibility to make trade policy making as transparent

and publicly accessible as possible. A free

flow of information is important for its own

sake, as well as to build accountability and public confidence in the multilateral trading

system. Labor will encourage this by:

—ensuring that the positions that a Labor Government takes at the WTO and

developments within the WTO are

regularly reported to the parliament,

including to a Joint Parliamentary

Committee established to scrutinise

WTO affairs;

—ensuring that all Australian submissions

and relevant materials to the WTO are

made public unless there are genuine

commercial-in-confidence reasons, or

disclosure will damage our national


—reviewing all existing government

consultative mechanisms and

reconstituting them to ensure they are

representative of business, unions, environmental and community interests;

—reviewing the composition of governmental delegations to WTO

ministerial meetings, so that they include appropriate representation from

business (including small business),

unions and non-governmental

organisations; and

—advancing rule changes within the WTO

to ensure immediate publication of

dispute settlement decisions, together

with a short, plain language explanation

of the decision.

More Democracy and Transparency

24. Labor recognises that bilateral free trade

agreements offer an avenue for opening

new markets for Australia's export

community to complement market access

gains derived from regional and multilateral trade negotiations. Labor

considers that bilateral trade initiatives should only proceed on the basis of full

community consultation. In the interests

of openness and accountability a new

mechanism should be established to

enhance parliamentary scrutiny of free

trade agreements.

Labor proposes that:

—Prior to commencing negotiations for bilateral or regional free trade agreements, a Labor Government shall table in both Houses of Parliament a


Australian Labor Pa

rty National Platform and Constitution 2004

document setting out its priorities and to small and medium sized businesses in

objectives, including independent Australia. To help optimise e-commerce assessments of the costs and benefits opportunities for Australian companies, of any proposals that may be Labor will:


negotiated. This assessment should —encourage Austrade to promote consider the economic, regional, social, competency in e-commerce as a key cultural, regulatory and environmental function of their work; ^p impacts which are expected to arise. —support in APEC, and all other trade

M —Once the negotiation proposal is agreements, the promotion of electronic

CD complete, the government shall table in clearance and other cross border

CD parliament a package including the regulation; and


proposed treaty together with any

—promote programs to help exporters to

o legislation required to implement the

lift their take-up rate of new technology

treaty domestically.

and be e-commerce ready.

m^ o Export Promotion 28. The Export Finance Insurance

25. Labor maintains its commitment to the Corporation (EFIC) should operate on

promotion of Australian exports. Austrade commercial lines. In so doing, however, it should be structured so that it can must carefully assess the environmental Y respond promptly to the needs of and social implications of projects to

individual firms, as well as developing ensure that they are sustainable in the 188 particular export markets. This may also long term. EFIC should retain the ability

involve forming consortia, holding to refer non-commercial projects issues to conferences and educating Australians the Minister for support, where those about the contribution that trade and projects are in the national interest.

investment make to our living standards. 29. Labor will investigate the feasibility of Austrade should focus particularly on instituting a mixed credit scheme, as part knowledge intensive industries and the of the role of the Department of Foreign service economy. The Export Market Affairs and Trade (DFAT) should play in

Development Grants scheme provides linking our initiatives to the needs of grants to small and medium enterprises Australian companies. Such a program (SMEs) to assist their export promotion should support Australia's development

activities. In accordance with the assistance objectives, but would not be legislated timetable, Labor will assess the counted as part of Australia's overseas operation of the scheme to ensure that it aid budget.

is efficient and effective.

26. Labor recognises that the multicultural Anti-dumping nature of our society and the many 30. Labor supports the maintenance of anti-languages spoken by Australians is one dumping measures. Anti-dumping of our great strengths as a trading nation. legislation ensures that overseas

Labor will facilitate trade networking and exporters do not hurt our industry by trade promotional activities in cooperation selling their products in Australia at a with major ethnic organisations both lower price than they charge in their domestically and overseas. home markets. Where there is an

27. Labor recognises the significant allegation of dumping, it should be

opportunities the world wide growth of independently and urgently investigated electronic commerce brings, particularly by the Australian Customs Service.


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National Platform and Constitution 2004 Australian Labor Pa rty

Independent Government:' Meat


Labor recognises that an efficient meat inspection service is vital in guaranteeing

the quality of Austr'aliari meat products on the .export `and domestic markets::

Labor r6 . 6oghis6s - the :importance of.;; independent government employed meat

inspectors in, ensuring the quality of product in Australian export meat establishments.

Labor rejects the attempts both. in Australia and internationally to abolish the .role of government meat: inspectors and in the interests of . promoting .food safety and

protecting our export meat industry Labor commits to maintaining the role of government meat inspectors ; in licensed export establishments:

Labor will investigate.: current meat inspection practices and procedures in domestic establishments, especially those domestic establishments whic h export, to determine • if they adequately: safeguard community health in Australia: and abroad.



Chapter Twelve

Developing Australian



Australian Labor Pa

rty National Pl at fo rm and Constitution 2004

Chapter Twelve lifting to fifty per cent the proportion of

Developing Australian

manufacturers who export;


—an environment conducive to the achievement of significant levels of

0 Industry Development: An investment from both Australia and

0) Integrated Approach overseas; and

CD 1. Industry policy is central to Labor's —growth in the economic value and

economic development strategy that is contribution of science and technology based on growing the Australian economy based industries, education and other CD and translating Australian ideas and professional services.

CD innovations and the overall level of 6. Labor will employ the full range of

a. CD

economic demand into business and job industry development policy instruments

CD opportunities for Australians. The essence necessary to achieve its goals, whether 0 of Labor's approach is to create the they be industry specific, region specific 5 ' co potential for Australia to enjoy a high- or generic measures such as support for = wage, high-skill future. innovation. The five key elements of a2. Australia must have a coherent and modern industry development policy°—' visionary industry development policy will be:which lasts beyond the term of any one =support for innovation and skill192 government, setting out where Australia formation including diffusion ofshould be in 2015 and beyond and what technology;we need to do to get there. —strategic intervention;3. Such an industry development policy -government procurement; should encourage wealth generation inAustralia, in particular in value-added —support for innovation and facilitationactivities, and seek to ensure that this is of opportunities for commercialisationequitably distributed, particularly across of these;the regions of Australia. —skill formation and diffusion of4. Labor believes the government must be technology;involved in developing and pursuing such —cost competitiveness; andan industry development policy. It is an —market access and export promotion. abrogation of national responsibility for agovernment to leave industry Innovation and Skill Formationdevelopment to market forces alone. 7. In the twenty-first century, the key drivers5. Labor will put in place economic policies of economic success in any modernto achieve: western economy will be the extent and—sustainable economic growth sufficient success of investment in innovation, skillto achieve a continuous reduction in development and skill formation.unemployment levels, with job growth 8. Labor recognises the fundamentalin the manufacturing, mining, changes that have occurred in the globalagriculture, services and emerging economy and in Australian society. As theindustries; translation of science, technology and—significant expansion of export income, innovation into the productive economywith the particular long-term goal of proceeds at a rapid pace, we





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National Platform and Constitution 2004

Australian Labor Party

enhance this process through strategic

public and private investment.

9. Labor is committed to ensuring organisations and individuals have the

knowledge, skills and incentives to

stimulate investment in innovation. Labor

will foster an economic climate which

supports private investment in research

and development, including through tax

incentives, and the effective and

innovative use of technology by firms

and organisations.

10. Australia must achieve at least the OECD average for general expenditure

on research and development by 2015 if

we hope to succeed in the twenty-first


11. Labor will maximise the benefits of

innovation by encouraging the local

commercialisation of Australian inventions

and the development of export markets

for new technologies and knowledge-based service industries. As well as

commercialising Australian inventions,

Australia must lead the world in adopting and using technology including advanced

production technology and information and communications technology (ICT)


12. National science agencies, such as the CSIRO, will be given clear strategic direction and funded at levels which allow

them to pursue basic research as well as

working with industry to transfer technology and nurture innovation. Labor will further expand and encourage links

between the Defence Science and Technology Organisation and the domestic

defence industry. Technology transfer to

Australian industry will be encouraged.

13. Labor will ensure that the financial and cultural benefits of technological change

are available to all members of society,

including those in regional and rural

Australia. Labor will address the potential

social and financial costs of technological

change and questions of equitable access

to information and services increasingly

delivered in electronic form.

14. An emphasis on innovation and skills is

fundamental not only to the creation of

new industries but to the modernisation

and transformation of traditional

industries. A Labor Government will:

—establish effective incentives to

encourage research, development and


—seek to encourage greater collaboration

between Australia's private and public

research effort;

—promote linkages between industry and

research bodies so that they share

knowledge and expertise;

—nurture clustering and networking of

industries so that they share knowledge

and expertise; and

—seek to strengthen industry supply


Strategic Intervention

15. Labor will put in place an active industry

policy involving strategic intervention where such intervention adds value to

Australia's workforce, its national

resources or its ideas and increases our

global competitiveness, leading to more exports and investment, or where the cost

of not intervening would severely impact on particular industries or regions. The focus will be on building jobs in the new

and existing industries.

Emphasis will also be given to sustainable industry development, based

on environmental modernisation, with the

aim of 'cleaning and greening' existing

industries and developing new and

emerging environmental technologies

and industries.



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Australian Labor Pa rty National Platform and Constitution 2004

16. A Labor Government will be prepared to

intervene as appropriate to advance

broader economic, social or regional


17. Labor will work with particular industries to achieve national goals. The sectoral

approach adopted in the 1980s and

1990s was highly effective in boosting

exports and cushioning the impact of

reduced protection. The industry policy

requirements of the next decade will not

be the same as those of the past.

18. In particular, Labor believes that industry policy measures must be developed and

implemented on the basis of mutual

obligation. Assistance provided to industries will therefore be on the basis of

agreements between government and industry whereby industry agrees, for

example, to specific job, export and investment targets, in exchange for governments providing the best possible

environment to achieve those targets.

Measures designed to attract significant

new investment, from both Australia and

overseas, will be an important element of

this approach. Such measures will

encourage a national approach to investment promotion and seek to

minimise the detrimental effects of bidding wars between the States to attract new


19. Individual projects or companies which receive federal government assistance

under investment attraction schemes will need to enter into activity agreements

with a Labor Government that ensure

commitments to priority issues such as employment and local content strategies.

20. Accordingly, Labor's policy approach is not about propping up poor performers,

nor is it a 'dead hand of government' approach. While Labor urges a greater emphasis on intervention, it is intervention with a focus on building the competitiveness and export orientation of

Australian industries.

Labor's approach involves working with business, workers and their unions and

with the regions to support and encourage industries and firms that are

committed to best practice and improving their international competitiveness.

—assist in articulating government's

strategic priorities;

—coordinate economic, social and environmental agendas;

—coordinate policy across governments;

undertake research and policy development; and

—ensure that the machinery of government is working towards the

achievement of the government's strategic objectives.

Cost Competitiveness

22. Labor is committed to pursuing, though

cooperative and consultative processes, a range of measures to improve the efficiency and productive performance of industry. Labor will:

—continue to promote microeconomic

reform and competition policy in ways which not only contribute to a

competitive business environment,

but embrace social welfare and equity concerns, benefit consumers and are consistent with industrial relations

best practice;

—ensure that business regulation measures are reviewed for their impact on competitive efficiency, are in the

Labor will put in place industry-based 21. Labor will seek to coordinate these assistance measures that meet the needs strategic interventions as part of a broad of the new century. nation building agenda. An office will be

established to:

National Platform and Constitution 2004

Australian Labor Party

public interest and are not used by

either the public sector or the private sector to unfairly restrict business


—ensure that Australia's taxation system

is sensitive to business needs; and

—continue to emphasise best practice in

industrial relations, and the

improvement of management systems to improve the efficiency and productive

performance of industry.

23. Industrial relations arrangements must contribute both to competitiveness and to

achieving fair outcomes. The emphasis

should be on the development of

productive and cooperative enterprise

relations based on a well paid, highly

skilled, effective and motivated workforce

which contributes to building a

competitive business environment.

24. Productive workplaces require attention to opportunities for employees to participate

in and contribute to the efficient

development of the enterprise and to

have the opportunity to share in the benefits of its success. Labor will also

develop cooperative tripartite mechanisms to consider industrial

relations in the context of wider industry

26. Labor will put in place an aggressive local industry participation policy, consistent

with our World Trade Organisation (WTO)

obligations and our commitment to purchasing the product with lowest 'whole

of product life' cost. This policy will

ensure: that all government departments

see their purchasing activities as a key

element in industry development; that

significant outlays of Commonwealth

funds conform with the policy; and that

government agencies will be required to

purchase from Australian and New

Zealand suppliers who are price and quality, competitive. The policy will provide

a price reference advantage for Australian

suppliers of 20 per cent with an additional

5 per cent for those companies in regional Australia and will ensure that all

goods are ethically sourced and the

process ensures that the aims of the

policy can be adequately implemented

subject to international commitments

and/or obligations.

The Future for Agriculture

27. Australia's agricultural and fisheries industries will continue to play an

essential role in the Australian economy as a major source of exports and as the

economic base for most of rural and


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development issues.

Government Procurement

25. Labor recognises that in the

manufacturing, service and information industries, government has a crucial role

as a purchaser of goods and services.

This is especially so for emerging

industries or companies. A Labor Government will work with industry

and State and Territory governments

to use ethically sourced public procurement as an industry policy tool

in ways that are compatible with efficiency and cost effectiveness and

local industry development.

regional Australia.

28. Strong primary industries are crucial for creating wealth, income and jobs in rural

and regional Australia.

29. Labor is committed to positive strategic intervention to ensure that all export development and import replacement

opportunities are fully explored.

30. The key components of Labor strategy for agriculture and fisheries are:

—increasing agricultural productivity;

—maximising agricultural employment;

—investment in innovative agriculture;

Australian Labor Pa

rty National Platform and Constitution 2004

—access to markets; encouraging the further processing of

—workplace safety on farms; agricultural products close to the source

—women in agriculture;

of production as a means of creating wealth and jobs in country towns.

—farm assistance programs;

7 —intergenerational transfer of farms; Labor will:

—science and best practice; —assist Australian agriculture to identify

( rt D —food safety and quality assurance; new products, new market opportunities

and areas where agricultural product

—agriculture and the natural environment; imports may feasibly be replaced;


—recognise the important role played by

< (D

and aquaculture. —fisheries

off-farm income sources to the survival


0. CD Increasing Agricultural Productivity

of the family farm, and see the

N < restoration of regional services as an

31. Labor acknowledges that the long-term important vehicle for the creation of survival of agriculture in a global employment opportunities for farm

environment will depend on continuing family members; and Cl) innovation and productivity improvement —facilitate the further development

in the sector. Continuous productivity

and growth of integrated farming and

^• improvement will be achieved by:

small-scale manufacturing and

—rebuilding agriculture's research and processing businesses. 196 development capacity to improve on

farm productivity and enhance producer Investment in Innovative Agriculture competitiveness; 33. Labor will examine and develop policies —specific skilling of farmers and rural which will encourage new forms of

workers to enable the sector to keep ownership and investment by Australian pace with new production, technology capital in Australian primary industries. and marketing advances; 34. Labor recognises there is a potential —improving the nation's transport

partnership between the long-term

infrastructure and produce handling investment needs of agriculture and the

facilities to enable Australia's

growing pool of patient capital represented

agricultural produce to reach overseas by Australian superannuation funds. Labor

markets quickly and at a competitive

seek develop specific incentives to will

price to maximise returns, recognising and structures that will encourage these

the important role of air freight and

fi in cant role significant to funds a

intermodal linkages in that task; and contributing to the capital base required in

—ensuring access by farm businesses the agricultural industry. to quality information technology and communication infrastructure 35. Labor will assist in the development of to provide farmers with instant alternative farm ownership models (eg

access to production, marketing and leasing and cooperative ownership) that financial data. may make it more attractive for

institutional investors to contribute to the

Maximising Agricultural Employment capital costs required to improve returns.

32. Labor acknowledges the capacity of 36. Labor will support the ongoing agriculture to generate new jobs in development of organic farming and regional areas and is committed to sustainable agricultural practices.


3 0)






National Platform and Constitution 2004 Australian Labor Party

Access to Markets

37. Labor will maximise access to international markets for Australian

agriculture and fisheries. This will be

coupled with effective communication

links between new markets and local producers to take advantage of new

market opportunities.

38. In pursuit of new domestic and international marketing opportunities,

Labor will:

—ensure that Australian representatives

at international agriculture and trade

forums are adequately prepared to

vigorously pursue the interests of

Australian agriculture;

—work with producer organisations to

develop programs to keep farmers

better informed about changing trends

in market and consumer requirements;

—support the development of structures

which facilitate appropriate producer

involvement at each step of the

marketing chain;

—examine existing marketing structures to ensure that they maximise returns to

producers and the nation; and

—develop programs which will assist regions and individual farm businesses

to attract a premium price for their

products through the use of 'clean and

green' production methods.

Workplace Safety on Farms

39. Labor recognises the importance of workplace safety for farmers and farm

workers and will work with State governments to ensure that best practice

farm safety education programs are

available throughout Australia.

40. Labor will work with farm organisations and unions representing rural workers to

develop codes of practice for workplace

safety on farms. Where codes fail to

make the farm workplace safe, Labor will

work with State governments to introduce

legally enforceable codes.

Women in Agriculture

41. Labor acknowledges the role played by

women in the operation and management

of farm businesses. Labor will:

—work with rural women to enhance the

awareness and appreciation of their

important role and will develop programs to upgrade the skills and

expand the opportunities of women in

the sector; and

—maintain and expand services,

including childcare, which support

women in the agricultural workforce.

Farm Assistance Programs

42. With primary industries particularly

exposed to changing natural, environmental, economic and social

conditions, there is a need to:

—further develop flexibility, innovation

and adjustment to change as core skills in Australian primary industry; and

—develop specific national responses to

better provide for the ever present short-term crises such as disease outbreaks and climate problems.

Labor will:

—maintain flexible crossovers between

family or household support programs

in other portfolios to ensure that

primary producers are not excluded from mainstream safety net assistance

simply through ownership of the

primary asset;

—maintain funding for exit programs

which make it possible to exit with

dignity as deemed appropriate;

—explore with farmers, farm organisations and other groups,

Australian Labor Pa

rty National Platform and Constitution 2004

conservation stewardship arrangements 48. Labor will establish and enforce a

as alternatives to exit programs; and comprehensive model of national food

—assist farmers to assess ongoing safety and quality assurance, which will viability of their enterprises in the light include: n of changing production, marketing and —the adoption of international best environmental conditions and provide practice at all levels of the chain; r programs to assist farmers to adjust to —requiring an understanding of food

'' these changing circumstances. safety and quality assurance concepts for persons performing tasks along the

Intergenerational Transfer of Farms pathway from producer to end user;

43. Labor recognises the importance to the —labelling of food products containing a C farm sector and the national economy of genetically modified material; and Ln n m enabling younger generations of farmers —development of a national label of -o to take over family farm businesses accreditation as a universally

without leaving the older generation in recognised symbol of Australian quality > financially difficult circumstances. and environmental sustainability. N 1 44. In partnership with farm organisations,

Agriculture and the Natural

0) Labor will seek to develop new ways of Environment facilitating the intergenerational transfer of 198 farm assets. 49. Labor sees an expanded role for the

agriculture sector in meeting major environmental challenges such as soil

Science and Best Practice degradation, salinity, chemical use, water 45. Labor is committed to confirming science conservation, greenhouse and climate as an accepted arbiter in questions change, river rehabilitation, feral and related to sustainability, environmental noxious weed control, and the loss of

assessment, hazards and quarantine. biodiversity. Labor will:

46. Standards of international best practice —encourage the development of and science will be developed and innovative production systems and continuously reviewed and updated, in farming practices, new research and particular to support a fully resourced infrastructure developments that national quarantine system which will address these major challenges; and accept a proactive responsibility for —acknowledge the particular implications representing Australian quarantine for Australian agriculture of long-term interests at all levels and ensuring climate change, direct scientific effort to appropriate levels of protection for all identifying areas at risk from such distinct regions of Australia. change, and develop long-term

strategies for regions required to

Food Safety and Quality Assurance change the nature of their farming

47. Australia's producers must be able to activity.

satisfy the consumer need for complete 50. Labor recognises the critical role of the assurance on matters of food safety and rural community in the ongoing quality. Labor draws no distinction stewardship of our land. Labor is between domestic and international committed to working with rural consumers in this regard. communities and land holders in the





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National Platform and Constitution 2004 Australian Labor Par ty

adoption of sustainable agricultural

practices and whole farm planning

consistent with regional strategies.

Labor is committed to building on the achievements of Landcare, encouraging

the uptake of sustainable farming

practices and the continuing support for

the repair of our rural landscapes.

Fisheries and Aquaculture

51. Labor recognises the importance of the

commercial and recreational fishing

industries, and the aquaculture industry,

in generating employment and export

income for many regions.

52. Labor understands the crucial role research and development plays in

ensuring that fish stocks remain at a level

that can support both commercial and

recreational fishing.

53. Labor supports the further development of

aquaculture industries.

The Future for Minerals, Resources and Energy

54. Australia's minerals, resources and energy industries are vital to our economy. They are a major source of

exports and a direct and indirect employer; provide an economic base for

regional Australia; and make a substantial

contribution to the well being of the whole


55. Enormous potential for long-term economic and employment growth exists

in the further development of these industries. The greatest potential for this growth exists in downstream processing

of Australia's natural resources and the

export of minerals-related services and


56. The potential for economic and employment growth in these industries,

combined with the globalisation of the

economy, the emergence of new

international competitors in the global

resources market, and the

internationalisation of a number of

Australia's larger companies, means that

the international competitiveness of

Australia's minerals, resources and

energy industries is a crucial issue for


57. Australia's natural advantages in

downstream minerals processing for

domestic and export markets can be

further enhanced by a more efficient,

nationally oriented energy industry.

58. The extraction and use of mineral

resources has both natural resource and

economic implications. Government and

industry should seek to ensure that

development of mineral resources occurs

in a way which maximises the economic

worth of existing resources.

Labor will improve the efficiency of

the use of minerals, resources and

energy so that the depletion of finite

resources is minimised by the use of

renewable resources.

59. To maximise the minerals, resources and

energy industries' social and economic

contribution to Australia, Labor will:

—encourage, in conjunction with the

States, an intensified national minerals,

oil and gas exploration effort, and the

development of new exploration

science and technology;

—facilitate the continued development of

a national gas distribution network;

—promote the sound development of

Australia's coal resources, with

particular regard to domestic

requirements, the development of

Australia's coal exports, and the need

for a stable and profitable coal industry;



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Australian Labor Pa rty National Platform and Constitution 2004

—encourage downstream processing of

minerals, resources and energy

products, and, through public and

private avenues, the infrastructure

necessary to achieve this;

—bolster research, development and

technology efforts to ensure the

international competitiveness of the

minerals, resources and energy

industries, including technology and

services derived from those industries;

—make a national effort to maximise our

energy capacity and efficiency and to

bring down the cost of energy for

Australian industry and consumers.

60. Labor will maximise local content in the

manufacture, construction and maintenance of facilities and equipment

for production and processing in Australia's minerals, resources and

energy industries, including by promoting

specific facilities and infrastructure which can build and service major offshore and

onshore hydrocarbon projects.

61. Labor recognises that the development of

Australia's natural resources requires that

the benefits are shared equitably between

producers and the Australian community,

and will foster a full return to the community from the development of

common resources and maximise the benefits of Australian ownership and

control of our natural resources. Labor

supports the use of the tax regime to help

achieve this objective.

62. Labor will ensure that the ultimate

responsibility for the administration of

offshore mining and petroleum production

resides with the Commonwealth, and

facilitate the efficient production of crude oil from new and existing fields including

through regular release of exploration areas and an efficiently administered

resource rent tax.

63. Labor will ensure that mineral development on indigenous land

proceeds consistently with Labor's land

rights and native title policy, and

maximises indigenous employment


Labor acknowledges that mining

operations may have an impact on indigenous communities and traditional

land owners. Labor is committed to working with these communities and

mining operators to identify and minimise

any adverse impact.

65. Labor will adopt integrated long-term

plans to ensure the economic and

environmental health of the nation's water



66. Labor recognises that the production of

uranium and its use in the nuclear fuel cycle present unique and unprecedented

hazards and risks, including:

—threats to human health and the local

environment in the mining and milling

of uranium, which demand the

enforcement of very strict safety


—the generation of products which are

useable as the raw materials for nuclear weapons manufacture, which

demands the enforcement of effective

controls against diversion; and

—the generation of highly toxic

radioactive waste by-products, which

demands permanently safe disposal

methods not currently available.

67. Labor, accordingly, will not allow the

mining and export of uranium except in

—harness the scientific, technological, 64.

research and development and engineering ingenuity of our minerals and resources industries in a nationally

coordinated way; and


mited circumstances, and under the

most stringent conditions, as described


68. In relation to mining and milling,

Labor will:

National Platform and Constitution 2004

Australian Labor Party

—reserve the right to withhold supplies of

uranium permanently, indefinitely or for

a specified period from any country

which ceases to observe the non-proliferation safeguards and security n

conditions which are applied to

Australian uranium exports to that

country, or which adopts nuclear

practices or policies inimical to further

advance in the cause of nuclear non- (p

proliferation; and <


—support the maintenance and 3 0

enhancement of international and =

Australian safeguards to ensure that o

uranium mined in Australia, and nuclear 3,

products derived from it, is used only

for civil purposes by approved instrumentalities in approved countries

which are signatories to the NPT and d

with whom Australia has safeguard 3

arrangements. 201

—prevent, on return to government, the

development of any new uranium


—ensure that the first consideration for

workers in the uranium industry is the

protection of their health, and

constantly check health protection

standards to ensure that they are

adequate and properly enforced;

—establish a mechanism for ensuring as

a matter of course the application of

world best practice standards in Australian uranium mining and milling,

based on extensive continuing research

on environmental matters and on the

health and safety of employees and

affected communities;

—ensure through public accountability

mechanisms that the Australian public

is informed about the quality of the environmental performance of uranium

mines; and

—foster a constructive relationship between mining companies and indigenous communities affected by

uranium mining.

69. In relation to exports, Labor will:

—allow the export of uranium only from those mines existing on Labor's return

to government, and only to those

countries which observe the Nuclear

Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT),

maintain strict safeguards and security

controls over their nuclear power industries, are committed to non-proliferation policies and have ratified the international and bilateral nuclear

safeguards agreements necessary to

support these controls and policies;

70. In addition, Labor will:

—vigorously oppose the ocean dumping

of radioactive waste;

—prohibit the establishment in Australia

of nuclear power plants and all other stages of the nuclear fuel cycle;

—fully meet all our obligations as a party

to the NPT; and

—remain strongly opposed to the importation and storage of nuclear waste that is sourced from overseas

in Australia.


71. Australia's forest and forest products industry has high economic and employment value. Labor recognises the importance of the forest and the forest

products industry to the Australian economy and the need for forests to continue to be based on ecologically sustainable development principles.

Future development of the forest and forest products industry must take place

Australian Labor Pa

rty Nat io n a l Pl at fo rm and Constitution 2004

on an ecologically and economically particularly in high quality service

sustainable basis, by ensuring the full sector jobs;

implementation of the National Forest —e xports of manufactures, particularly Policy Statement, the Wood and Paper elaborately transformed manufactures, n Industry Strategy, the Regional Forest have experienced rapid growth over the

7 p)

Agreements process and the Plantation past two decades. Service enhanced

'O 2020 Vision. manufacturing will be the engine of


72. The forest and forest products industry growth in world trade and it is essential

provides a source of employment for that Australia realises its full potential; CD regional communities and contributes to and

< CD

economic growth and employment —investment in heavy manufacturing

0 through increasing downstream industries, including the resource sector



processing of resources taken from public must be planned within a cooperative and private forests. framework, with medium to long-term

Labor will: value adding propensity for local and

y —pursue a forest and forest products

export markets.


industry strategy that balances 74. Manufacturing provides Australia with

d employment, economic and social some of its most significant economic

considerations consistent with Labor's opportunities. Within the manufacturing environmental policy and in consultation sector, the industries with the fastest 202 with industry, unions, the community export growth over the past decade were

and the conservation movement; those that had some level of government

—closely monitor the implementation of assistance, including pharmaceuticals, Regional Forest Agreements (RFAs) to computer and telecommunications ensure that agreed milestones and equipment, assembled new motor outcomes are achieved and that vehicles, ships, food processing, and appropriate security is provided to both textiles, clothing and footwear.

the timber industry and the reserve 75. Labor will secure and expand our

system; and

manufacturing sector, and through it

—establish an effective and properly develop our high growth and knowledge resourced Independent Wood and intensive industries. Labor sees the key Paper Industry Council to focus on elements to develop in relation to these creating employment and development industries as being: in the forest and forest products

—research and development and

industry, and encourage a move away from reliance on the export of innovation; woodchips and unprocessed wood, by —quality products and services;

promoting greater value adding and —a more skilled workforce, including downstream processing. management; and


The Future for Manufacturing Industries 76. Labor will develop or review existing

73. Labor is committed to supporting a strong strategic action plans fora range of

manufacturing sector, on the basis that: industries including:

—a strong manufacturing sector can be —food processing; the engine for significant job growth, —pharmaceuticals;


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National Platform and Constitution 2004 Australian Labor Party


—medical and scientific instruments;

—information technology, including



—metal production and fabrication;


—advanced manufacturing technology;


—resource processing;

—sustainably managed forest and forest


—environmental technology;

—plastics and chemicals;


—energy, including renewable energy;


—textiles, clothing and footwear.

77. Development of these strategic action

plans will involve industry employers,

unions and government identifying the

opportunities, the barriers to realising

these opportunities and the solutions to overcoming the barriers. In addition to the broad array of our industry policy initiatives, Labor will look to establish a

partnership with each relevant industry,

involving a commitment from each industry to targets in investment, jobs, net

exports and research and development, in return for strategic assistance.

78. Labor will continue to support the established manufacturing industries as well as new and emerging industries. The

industries which have been undergoing major structural change such as the automotive and textiles, clothing and footwear industries, have the capacity to

be transformed into successful world class industries providing quality jobs with

decent wages and working conditions.

79. Continuing emphasis will be placed on the effort to ensure that our trading

partners honour their trade liberalisation

obligations and that the established time

frame is adhered to by all.

80. Where these industries continue to

receive special support, Labor will seek

firm commitments to securing existing

employment levels, adherence to core labour standards including relevant award

and legislative protections, new jobs, new

investment and increased exports and a

commitment to skills development,

research and high quality design

performed in Australia. For its part, Labor

will seek to ensure that future tariff

reductions are matched by our

competitors and that programs are in

place which encourage continued growth

in net value-added exports.

81. Textile, clothing and footwear tariffs will

be held at current levels pending a review

to be undertaken by a new Labor

Government. In addition, the

government's Textile, Clothing, Footwear

(TCF) legislation to be introduced by the government prior to the next election

which further reduces tariffs will be opposed by the Labor Party. Labor's TCF

review will not be undertaken by the Productivity Commission, but instead by a

review panel established by the Industry

Minister and including both employer and

union representatives. This review must

take into account the tariff and non-tariff

barriers practised by our trading partners

and likely social impact of further tariff

reductions on TCF workers, regional

Australia and the broader community.

If our trading partners have not made sufficient adjustments at all levels to bring

them into line with their international obligations or the negative social impact

is too severe, the tariff freeze is to be

maintained until such time as those key

issues are addressed. Importantly, a

Labour Adjustment Program that was

Australian Labor Party

National Platform and Constitut io n 2 00 4

abolished by the Howard Government for

the TCF sector will be reinstituted with an

—implement federal legislation to

complement State legislation that aims to end the exploitation of outworkers

and ensure they are employed under secure, safe and fair systems of work

with enforceable rights and conditions

of employment.

82. Labor will put in place anti-dumping measures to ensure that Australian industry is not disadvantaged by unfairly

priced imports.


83. Labor recognises that Australia has a strong record in biotechnology research

and its application to medical, pharmaceutical, agricultural and industrial uses. A Labor Government will promote a national approach to promoting the biotechnology sector, in conjunction with States and Territories and will give strong support for local

industry to take advantage of

biotechnology research through:

—access to government research and development assistance;

—a range of venture capital initiatives and

other forms of encouragement to enable Australian companies to fully

exploit the products of Australian research;

—creating conditions for partnerships ad co-operative projects with international

partners that enable Australia to

participate in commercialisation

activities; and

—assurance that intellectual property

rights will be protected.

The Future for Service Industries

84. Labor recognises that our service industries already provide a significant proportion of Australia's employment and national income. Labor also recognises

that, beyond our traditional strengths in primary industries and manufacturing, the service industries sector has grown in importance in recent years as a vital contributor to our export performance, job growth and ability to sustain economic

growth. This trend, as well as the significant growth in service enhanced

manufacturing, will strengthen in the future as the long-term shift in the

structure of the economy continues.

85. The businesses which provide the many services which are critical to the way we

lead our lives as consumers in a modern industrial society—such as financial, transport, communications, information

technology (IT), data management, legal, medical, scientific, engineering,

construction, education, tourism and leisure services—are also becoming more crucial to our national prosperity, due to

their increasing capacity to:

—improve our ability to compete on the international stage by making export

appropriate level of funding. This non-means tested program will assist TCF

workers in improving their English and

language skills, in vocational training and

in finding new employment.


In Government, Labor will:

—pursue improved market access arrangements for Australian TCF CD exporters;


continue funding of the Strategic

gn (D Investment Program for the TCF sector

'< at current levels and will review the

co scheduled reductions from 2009 with a

> view to reversing the government's

planned reductions, and link funding to

employment of Australian workers;

—establish an effective and resourced


Australian TCF Industry Council to focus on creating employment and

development in the TCF sector focussing on high value exports; and


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National Platform and Constitution 2004 Australian Labor Party

initiatives in other sectors more


—penetrate services export markets in

their own right; and

—compete with imported services on cost

and quality.

86. Accordingly, Labor recognises that service and information industries must

be embraced by the broader approach to

national industry policy outlined in this

Platform. In particular, Labor will develop

and implement industry policy measures

which assist the different industries which

comprise the sector to:

—build export markets;

—generate new jobs;

—attract new investment;

—improve the productive performance of

the nation's businesses to

internationally competitive levels;

—collaborate, where appropriate, with

international partners in export


—gain access to capital, where this is warranted because of financial market

failures; and

—pursue innovation.

87. Labor recognises the particular importance of a number of key industries

in this sector and will develop focused

industry strategies in these areas.

The Future for Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Industries

88. The shift to an information age culture has transformed our world, creating

opportunities and challenges and presenting advances that affect almost every aspect of daily life. Labor sees the

ICT industry as an important source of

economic activity, providing sustainable high-skill and high-wage jobs into the

future. Labor recognises the significant

positive contribution that the adoption of

ICT has made to Australia's economic


89. Labor is committed to putting in place

industry development measures which

help position Australia as a quality

supplier of ICT products and services,

building on the synergies to be achieved

between developing the nation's ICT

infrastructure and manufacturing capacity.

In particular, Labor will seek to:

—attract investment into this sector;

—reduce foreign barriers to exports through active market access efforts

and export promotion programs;

—lift the nation's educational emphasis

on, and jobs skills in, ICT;

—encourage collaborative relationships

between local business, educational

institutions and government, building on

the concept of Cooperative Research

Centres (CRCs) and geographical

Centres of Excellence;

—support a range of Information Technology (IT) investment initiatives, research and development programs and IT traineeships across a range of

significant portfolios;

—facilitate exports, consistent with our international obligations and


—continue to grow Australia's strength as a quality exporter of information

industry and technology education


—continue to grow Australia's strength

as a quality exporter of information

industry and technology education

services; and

—use the purchasing power of government to create opportunities for

the local ICT industry.

90. Labor is committed to improving the access of all Australians, including those

Australian Labor Pa

rty National Platform and Constitut io n 2004

living in regional and rural areas, to the 93. Digital content in all of its forms

benefits of broadband connectivity, entertainment, education, marketing, Compelling content, affordable pricing presentation of information, applications and effective competition will drive and databases—is the interface between

consumer take-up of broadband services, what Australia has to offer and the global 3 and the ongoing development of national economy. Strategies to achieve excellence v and international network infrastructures serve a dual purpose, providing both a will improve community access to a wide source of export revenues and an range of emerging content and opportunity to showcase Australian talent

broadband-enabled applications, and culture. An industry development


focus on the production of digital content


91. The public sector must be at the leading should assist in the rapid expansion of our

0 edge of online information provision and capability in this area.

transaction processing. Labor will utilise

^' 0 o the digital environment to improve access 94. Labor will implement principles governing `< -0 to government services without personal privacy. Action will include:

compromising service delive ry. —using international privacy principles as

92. Labor recognises that, in the information a minimum standard in a digital

age, the key to fostering sustained growth environment; is the protection and careful management —the regulation of information sharing in

of intellectual proper ty. Online commerce a corporate environment where

206 and communication will only flourish if mergers occur and particularly where

data is secure, ownership identified with databases are a core asset;

certainty and privacy guaranteed. —the independent regulation of data Investment in technology and information matching and its possible inclusion as a based industries requires the role for the privacy commissioner;

development and enforcement of

—the standardisation of metadata with

domestic law, supported by international respect to publicly held information

treaties and agreements, for the

about private individuals; and

protection of intellectual proper ty and the regulation of electronic commerce. —measures to reduce junk email or Understanding the importance of

spam', and the invasion of privacy that

information security and data protection, it represents.

Labor will seek to: Labor believes Australians should have

—encourage the widespread uptake of the knowledge and the tools necessary to unique digital identities through protect themselves from exposure to mechanisms such as digital signatures; internet material that they consider

—support the use of encryption


technologies to secure ICT services; 95. Labor will establish a national framework

—develop a framework to deal with to provide academic, industry and information security issues such as community input into IT policy

information wa rfare, computer crime development.

and cyber-terrorism; and 96. Labor will encourage the application of

—develop a strategy for the protection of new information and communications Australia's national information technologies to established industries to infrastructure and its quick recovery in enable their successful transformation

the event it is compromised. into world class industries.



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National Platform and Constitution 2004 Australian Labor Pa

rt y

97. Enhanced measures to facilitate and

encourage employee share ownership

will be an important part of a successful

information industry development


98. Labor recognises the importance of

protecting the security and privacy of

publicly held information.


99. Labor acknowledges that tourism is the

fastest growing employment sector in

Australia, particularly for young people.

It is one of Australia's highest export

earners and generates immense

goodwill for Australia with overseas


100. Labor acknowledges the importance of strategic coordination between all tiers

of government in the development of

promotional and marketing activities,

infrastructure and new job opportunities.

101. Labor recognises the opportunities which tourism can provide to regional

Australia and supports strategic intervention by all levels of government

to maximise these opportunities.

102. Labor recognises that there are many varied sectors within the tourism industry

ranging from small businesses to

international corporations, all of which

cater for people with diverse needs and


103. Accordingly, Labor will seek to:

—improve industry workplace relations

by introducing measures to enhance efficiency and productive performance

in a cooperative manner;

—ensure that taxation arrangements are

conducive to the industry's growth;

—ensure that environmental

sustainability is central to tourism


—ensure that regulation and compliance

costs faced by the industry are


—improve the price competitiveness of

Australian tourist destinations;

—develop further the job skills of

tourism workers and improve the

standards and options available for

training and education in tourism and

related areas;

—address the significant infrastructure

needs of the sector, particularly in

transport, encompassing aviation, rail,

road and cruise shipping, and


—ensure that the benefits of tourism are spread throughout regional Australia, through targeted assistance to encourage job creation and economic


—develop tourism strategies and

policies which recognise that the

sector is predominantly operated by

small businesses;

—develop tourism projects to enhance

the employment prospects of Indigenous Australians in areas in

which they live and work in conjunction with the appropriate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander

representative bodies;

—appropriately resource the marketing

and promotion of the domestic tourism


—develop adequate tourist forecasting and research services; and

—maintain adequate resources for marketing and promotional activities, particularly generic efforts related to

Australia as a tourist destination,

through the Australian Tourist


104. Labor recognises ecotourism and heritage tourism as areas of significant





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Australian Labor Pa rty National Plat form and Constitution 2004

growth in Australia and an effective

catalyst for encouraging the tourism

industry to be ecologically sustainable

and responsive to our cultural heritage.

Labor is committed to protecting

Australia's unique natural environment

and heritage as well as to the development of strategies designed to

maximise the benefits and sustainability of both eco tourism and heritage tourism.

105. Increasingly, international visitors are

seeking an opportunity to experience

Australia's Aboriginal and Torres Strait

Islander cultures. Labor will work with Indigenous Australians, their

organisations and communities to facilitate growth in indigenous tourism, that respects their culture, and assists

them to become more involved in this

aspect of tourism.


106. Labor recognises that transport is a

service industry in its own right, and not

just an infrastructure network. For transport services, Labor will seek to

reduce foreign barriers to transport

exports through active market access efforts and export promotion programs,

and assist the growth of aviation and

maritime transport as important export


Education Services

107. Labor will assist the education services

industry to build upon the successes in

the 1980s and the first half of the 1990s and position itself as a supplier and a

destination of choice in the booming

international education market.

Financial and Professional Services

108. Labor acknowledges that the financial

services industry has become

increasingly outward looking since the

early 1980s. Labor believes that, subject

to the maintenance of quality and cost

effective banking and financial services

for Australian consumers, this trend

should be facilitated by government. In

particular, Labor will seek to reduce

foreign barriers to financial services

exports through active market access efforts and export promotion programs.

109. Labor supports the increasingly outward orientation of Australian professional

services, such as health, legal,

accounting, engineering and surveying

services. Labor will seek to:

—reduce foreign regulatory barriers to

entry through active bilateral, regional and multilateral trade diplomacy; and

—develop export strategies designed to

win a greater share of the burgeoning

international market for these services, particularly in East Asia, in

partnership with the industries


The Future for the Arts Industry

110. Labor recognises the economic significance of the arts industry in

Australia and its contribution to the

nation's cultural capital. Since the 1960s

the number of artists and arts workers in

Australia has tripled and there are four

times as many arts companies. Seven per cent of Australia's workforce now earns some of its income from arts work.

The arts give us a sense of pride and

improve the quality of our daily lives.

Labor recognises the contribution of the

arts to our intellectual and cultural life, to

our leisure time, and to our economy

through employment, tourism, taxes and

export dollars. By nurturing arts

industries, Labor acknowledges a

significant investment in the future,

ensuring a vibrant culture for the generations to come.

National Platform and Constitution 2004

Australian Labor Party

Small Business: Creating Jobs Government and Small Business

and Wealth 114. Labor acknowledges that there are

111. Labor recognises that small business significant government compliance

plays a central role in the Australian

costs associated with running a

economy. Through individual effort,

commercial operation. Small businesses 7

small business owners provide are not as well equipped as larger 0)

employment for themselves and many businesses to cope with this burden. CD

thousands of employees. The dynamism

Labor will constantly audit compliance

of be cannot business small

measures and work towards minimising

and should be

those costs. C

encouraged. Its potential to further


invigorate the Australian economy must

Employment C p

be explored through active assistance 115. Labor acknowledges that the capacity of = from government, small business to generate increased o

employment is sensitive to overall

economic conditions. Labor will

Government Regulation

implement policy in such a way as to C

112. To maximise the economic dynamism provide small firms with opportunities to y

that flows from the personal enterprise generate secure jobs that complement d'

of small business operators, the sector the objective of small businesses to

must be free from unnecessary operate in their markets profitably and 209

government regulation and interference, efficiently.

provided that firms meet their social and

industrial relations obligations by Small Business and Enterprise implementing fair and cooperative Development

relationships with workers and their 116. Labor acknowledges that small business representatives, has not had adequate access to

successful government programs aimed

Fair Trading at enhancing the productive

performance of firms. Despite the

113. Market economies sometimes produce success of a range of reform programs market failures. Small firms struggle to carried out in large firms, those compete with larger firms and programs cannot be relied upon to be

government has a role to play in the principal source of job creation in the

ensuring larger players do not misuse future. Therefore, government must do

their market power to the detriment of more to facilitate the participation of smaller firms. Small business must be small firms in programs that: appropriately protected from unfair

business conduct, particularly in areas —enable small businesses to operate

such as franchising and retail tenancy

with well integrated management,

leasing. Labor will utilise mechanisms,

production and service delivery

including legislation, to ensure that a fair functions;

trading environment exists within —enable small businesses to implement

Australia and that smaller firms are sophisticated strategies that enhance protected from any unconscionable the quality of their products, customer

conduct on the part of larger firms, service, response time, product

lessors and franchisers. development and marketing; and

Australian Labor Pa

rty National Platform and Constitution 2004

—encourage the development of small women often face barriers not

business networks that provide encountered by their male counterparts.

access to otherwise largely Labor will initiate mentor programs for

inaccessible specialist activities such women entering or contemplating

as research, product development and entering the small business sector and

: finance. Labor will develop programs fund the development of short training

that assist enterprises within cluster courses on small business management,

arrangements to maximise their ability delivered face to face and electronically, to share highly skilled employees who, targeted specifically at women.

0 in isolation, they would not be in a

position to employ. Information Technology

121. Labor recognises the critical importance

Q C Finance of IT, and particularly e-commerce, in

N 117. Small firms need affordable access to ensuring the competitiveness and

both equity and debt finance to prosper survival of small firms. As new

cp and reach their full potential. Small firms technologies evolve, Labor in

> are often required to pay a higher government will provide ongoing support

premium for finance than the rest of the for small business to assist them in

°—' community. To assist small business, maintaining best practice business

Labor will ensure that a more techniques.


competitive environment, particularly in Labor will work to maximise the benefits

lending arrangements and bank fees

for small firms that flow from the

and charges, exists within the finance outsourcing of government contracts by:

sector, and appropriate dispute resolution mechanisms are available. —ensuring that government procurement policies allow small to

Education medium enterprises to effectively

118. Small firms, particularly new entrants, compete with multinationals for

would benefit greatly from education and government contracts; and

training options specifically designed to —providing support and assistance to

assist them to operate their businesses small to medium enterprises to help more efficiently. Labor will provide small them gain access to potential markets.

business with such options.

Labor recognises that e-commerce is

Access to Justice

the practical facilitator in a global economy, and will work towards

119. Small business faces considerable

ensuring that small firms are not left

difficulty in seeking redress through

behind by initiating strategies to:

existing mechanisms because of the prohibitive cost involved. Labor will seek —communicate to small firms the

to provide small business with an potential benefits of broadband

effective low cost dispute resolution internet as a tool of commerce and

system. the use of e-commerce as a source of

choice, competitiveness and ease;

Women in Small Business —assist the development of access for

120. Labor recognises the growing and small enterprises to national and

important role women play in the small international business opportunities; business sector. Labor also recognises and



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National Platform and Constitution 2004 Australian Labor Party

—ensure the safeguarding of

transactions for those small businesses involved in electronic transactions through the further development of frameworks relating to

e-commerce, privacy and digital authentication.

122. Labor acknowledges the important contributions of community organisations and the not for profit' sector to the Australian economy and to Australians'

quality of life.

There are 700,000 non-profit organisations in Australia employing in excess of 600,000 people and contributing billions of dollars to the Australian economy.

Labor, in consultation with the sector, and State governments will encourage the development of a national regulatory

framework for 'not for profit' organisations that is fair, consistent and clear that:

—stimulates the establishment or further development of a broad range of community or 'not for profit' organisations;

—does not attempt to inhibit the public advocate role of the sector;

—encourages donor confidence;

—sets a reasonable standard for public disclosure; and

—establishes appropriate oversight of the sector.

IT and Call Centres

National Conference expresses its concern

at the recent trend in outsourcing information technology and call centre functions to off-shore providers.

Labor will ensure that government and government business enterprises shall not outsource their existing functions to off-shore providers '(either directly or indirectly)

where those services can be efficiently and effectively provided within Australia.

Government. Procurement and Australian . Jobs The key elements in any successful government industry. policy must be based

on a fully integrated, whole , of government approach, which includes government` procurement policy. In this regard, a Labor Government will

-use its purchasing power to promote and use Australian manufactured goods and services: wherever possible;

—avoid doing business with those companies that do not support the principtes,of, a civil: society and core labour standards;

-not purchase imported goods until the social impact of such a decision has first been assessed,.. in particular, the impact of such a :decision upon Australian jobs, • industry development, technology

transfer. and skills development In this '-regard no contract- will be entered into for the supply of overseas goods if the assessment , show's, an overall negative

impact. In the absence of such an assessment, a Labor Government should only. purchase:' Australian made goods and services wherever goods and

services of the required quality are locally available;








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Australian Labor Pa rty National Pl atform and Constitution 2004

=-establish a: minimum 'set of ILO core

labour standards (as agreed between • government and unions) which overseas manufacturers or service providers: must

comply with in order business with departments:

• — provide that all Australian manufacturers • who provide goods to government } demonstrate ..a willingness to engage apprentices and trainees and have a

training regime in place which promotes skill development;

—ensure that federally`: owned.: corporations participate in the government procurement policy;: and

— establish a monitoring/compliance program involving industry, unions and government to ensure; continued compliance with the standards referred: to above.

An Agenda for Trade and Industry and Policy In translating Labor's industry development platform into policies and action .plans, a Labor Government will establish the mechanisms and consultative process necessary to implement its trade and industry policy agenda; with the following initiatives:

-establishing an Australian Manufacturing Council with an appropriately staffed and funded secretariat;

• —establishing closer links between the trade and industry portfolios; -recruiting and promoting the be. t qualified and committed people within Australia and

overseas with a demonstrated track record in developing and implementing a sophisticated, interventionist indust ry and trade policy agenda; and

—providing. funding at a level that ensures effective promotion of Australia's industry development, export promotion, investment attraction .and innovation support.

In developing strategies for. Australian industry to realise more opportunities in the domestic and export markets, Labor will

develop action plans in key industry sectors, in consultation with industry and union representatives, which involve firm commitments from industry to export,

investment,. job and research & development.- growth targets in exchange for assistance provided by,the government; —provide a long term commitment to the

Export Market Development Grants Program; — release an action plan and progress report on initiatives required to meet the long

term goal of 50 per cent of manufacturing firms exporting; —maintain a strong anti-dumping scheme to ensure Australian industry is not

disadvantaged by unfairly priced imports; an a local industry participation policy that, consistent: with our WTO: obligations, will require: government agencies to purchase from Australian suppliers who are price competitive. 'The, key elements of this policy will be

a National Procurement Strategy coordinated by a dedicated unit within, government. with the objective of

maximising the. participation of Australian companies in the provision of goods and services to government:,



Chapter Thirteen

Stronger Urban and


Regional Communities

Australian Labor Pa

rty National Platfor m a nd Constitution 2004

Chapter Thirteen —Successful nations today have active

Stronger Urban and

strategies to take advantage of their untapped potential and to regenerate

Regional Communities their regions and integrate them into

0 the national and international economy.

People and Places: Developing -p Our Regions 4. Labor recognises that globalisation and

rt CD 1. The sustainable development of our technological change bring both opportunities and threats. Through —I urban and country regions, and a fair strategic and targeted intervention,


sharing of opportunity between regions, is government has a responsibility to ensure


critical to Australia's long-term

that the benefits of change are achieved

I environmental, social and economic well and equitably shared.

being. Labor recognises that:

co o —Labor recognises that there is role for

o M —an inclusive approach to regional all three levels of government in

development will encompass rural,

developing Australia's regions.

C) C remote, regional and urban Australia; 3 —a collaborative approach to regional 5. Labor accepts that government

c0) development involving all spheres of involvement is critical to improving nation

E Government, the private sector and building outcomes in the areas of:

CD N communities, in partnership, will —infrastructure and service provision;

214 provide local ownership of issues and —building stronger communities;

solutions; and

—economic development;

—a strategic approach will facilitate the —education, training and skills

delivery of customised and targeted


attention to specific issues, locations and people. —employment and social services; and

—restoration and management of the

2. Labor recognises that there is an

built and natural environment.

increasing economic disparity between different regions in Australia. This inequity 6. Labor recognises that an integrated undermines social cohesion and limits cross-portfolio approach to urban and opportunities for many Australians. regional development is necessary to

Markets alone will not deliver fairness and realise our environmental, social and equality of opportunity to regional economic goals. Labor will consider the Australia. Government has a impacts of policies on not only our

responsibility to act as both catalyst and economy, but also on our communities partner to meet the challenges and natural environment.

confronting our regions and to ensure —Labor is committed to ensuring all equitable economic and social outcomes. government decisions are assessed in 3. Labor recognises that there is a role for terms of their impact on Australia's the Commonwealth government in both regions.

urban and regional development. 7. Federal government has both the —Abrogation of Commonwealth capacity and the responsibility, in responsibility and massive cuts to consultation with States and local urban and regional development and government, to plan for the long-term with

service delivery is regressive, respect to industry and workforce




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National Platform and Constitution 2004 Australian Labor Party

development, the provision and

maintenance of infrastructure and

services, and environmental sustainability.

8. Labor acknowledges the diversity of our

regions and the challenges they face.

Labor respects the capacity of regions

and communities to determine their own

futures, and will support each region in assessing its own potential, identifying its

own priorities, devising its own solutions

and driving its own agenda.

9. Labor recognises that successful urban and regional development must capitalise

on the knowledge and commitment of the

local community and extend opportunities

for the involvement of all stakeholders.

Furthermore, regional economic development must proceed by embedding

new and existing economic activities,

rather than relying solely on large subsidies or other inducements to attract

often footloose activities. This is best

done by developing appropriate infrastructure for skills development,

innovation and technology transfer and

diffusion in the region concerned, together with ensuring affordable access to finance

for investment.

Reforming Urban and Regional Structures And Processes

10. National leadership is required to ensure

that regional structures and processes are effectively developed and utilised.

Regional planning and decision making allows for coordination between local

communities, based on geographic proximity and commonality of interest,

while maintaining the ability to take into

account regional differences.

—As the level of government closest to

the community, Labor recognises the potential role local government can play

in regional planning and decision making and will ensure its participation.

11. Labor's urban and regional development structures will build on existing regional

and sub-regional networks.

12. Communities themselves need to be the main drivers in the development and

implementation of local and regional development strategies. This will require

greater collaboration between all levels of

government, the private sector and


—Labor will identify and develop community leadership, including youth

leadership, and will provide opportunities for community input to

ensure that people have an effective

voice in policy development and


—Labor sees local leadership, entrepreneurship, innovation and

fostering of social capital as critical to

urban and regional development. To

this end, Labor will encourage the

expansion of economic and social networks within and between regions.

13. Labor recognises that Australians

respond to challenges when given opportunity, resources and support.

Community empowerment will be at the

core of Labor's approach, with the

devolution of opportunity and responsibility that this implies.

—Regions will be assisted to develop proposals that are clearly articulated,

have the support of all relevant stakeholders, leverage private sector

funding, and have transparent

monitoring arrangements.

—Where these conditions are met,

government must be prepared to

support community initiative.

Strategies for Urban and Regional Development

14. Labor's urban and regional development agenda involves the development of

Australian Labor Pa

rty National Platform and Constitution 2004

sustainable communities, and requires 20. Labor recognises that up to date

action across the broad spectrum of communications infrastructure and

policy, facilities are essential and will establish a

15. Labor acknowledges the potential of national broadband strategy to ensure up

n approaches that bring together resources to date communications infrastructure and

in key policy areas to allow identification facilities that enable residents and

of priorities and improved policy

business to participate in, and take



advantage of, the opportunities offered by

— I developments in communications

16. Labor will examine mechanisms for the technology and services.

CD consolidation and integration of

CD infrastructure and service delivery Regional Services

between the public, private and 21. Labor recognises that many urban and


0 community sectors. country communities have difficulty in

C —Labor will pursue an expanded role for accessing a range of basic services.


the Council of Australian Governments —Empowering these communities to (CoAG), incorporating Commonwealth, identify priorities and work with 3 State and local governments, to government on developing solutions

a coordinate and integrate infrastructure is central to Labor's approach to


utilisation and service provision regional services.

between different levels of government, 216 and the private and community sectors. 22. Labor believes that all regions should

have reasonable and affordable access to

Urban and Regional Infrastructure services including:

17. Labor recognises that a successful —transport and infrastructure; economy depends on the provision and —basic utilities such as water supply, maintenance of adequate infrastructure, sewerage and energy; including transport, water, energy, —personal, family and social services, education, health and information and including housing;

communications technology.

—financial services;

18. Labor will establish a National Infrastructure Advisory Council to

coordinate a national strategy for infrastructure provision and maintenance.

—Labor will develop a regional infrastructure fund, to leverage private

sector financing for infrastructure programs in areas of identified priority.

—Labor acknowledges the important role of local government in terms of the

provision and maintenance of


—health and aged care;

—quality education and training


—employment services;

—information on government programs

and policies;

—universal and affordable broadband communications facilities, particularly in

remote areas; and

—environmental health services,

including land and water usage.

19. Labor will establish a national transport 23. Labor will build and expand on existing

planning strategy to enable integrated public networks, where appropriate, to

planning and to help achieve our provide urban and regional Australia with

environmental, social and economic goals. this range of basic,services.





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National Platform and Constitution 2004 Australian Labor Party

24. Labor recognises the importance of opportunities for environmental, social,

innovation in service delivery, and the cultural and economic development and potential of coordination to improve the lead to improved health, education and effectiveness of over-the-counter, employment outcomes.

telephone and online services. 30. Labor is committed to community —Under Labor, all levels of government building, which is about developing will play a role in the development and partnerships between local people, devolution of services to Australia's government, businesses, higher

regions. education and research institutions and

25. Labor recognises the particular difficulties other agencies to improve the places in

faced by small regional communities in which people live. Community building accessing a range of basic services. aims to find local solutions to local Labor is committed to developing a problems, increase social participation flexible, long-term solution to the service and develop networks within and across

difficulties facing small regional communities. communities. 31. Labor recognises that 80 per cent of the

26. Labor will develop a comprehensive Australian population lives on 1 per cent national disaster strategy, in partnership of the land mass, the coastal fringe. This with State and Territory emergency trend continues in the context of an services and local governments. ageing population. Many towns in

regional Australia have very high

27. Labor will work with State and Territory indigenous populations where 40 per cent governments to implement a national is under the age of 15. This situation has bushfire strategy aimed at ameliorating major economic and infrastructure the adverse environmental, social and implications, a point that must be economic impacts of bushfires. understood and factored in to planning —Measures will include appropriate and policy development.

resourcing and coordination of a national aerial firefighting effort, 32. Labor recognises that community building research capacity, community requires that government is willing to education, protection of volunteers and move from program-focused policy to

adoption of new firefighting and people—and place-based policies, communications technologies, provide coordination across departments and between levels of government, and is Building Stronger Communities committed to long-term strategies rather 28. Community building strategies are a

than one-off projects.

response to growing geographic, economic and social inequities acrossUrban and Regional Economic and Australia. Many rural and remote Business Development

communities and some urban areas 33. Labor recognises that adequate have been adversely affected by the infrastructure, the ability to attract capital, process of globalisation and the an innovative business culture and a resultant transformation of local skilled workforce are critical to developing

employment and industry, and diversifying local economies.

29. Labor recognises that communities that 34. Labor recognises the increasing are confident and participatory create importance of broadband communications

skilled and educated population creates

not only economic oppo rtunities, but vibrant and diverse communities.

—The education sector has great potential as a source of ideas and leadership to assist in addressing local economic and social challenges.

40. Labor will examine initiatives to retain and attract a diversity of highly skilled workers and businesses to the regions, through both internal migration and the immigration program.

Australian Labor Party National Platfor m and Constitution 2004

infrastructure in achieving business

development and growth in regional economies.

35. Labor recognises that economic and n business development will be enhanced in regions that have a high quality of life. r* Labor is commi tted to suppo rting and

promoting oppo rtunities for cultural 3 expression and cultural experiences for r+ all Australians whatever their backgrounds and wherever they live.

) 36. Labor recognises that retaining, creating ^, 0 and expanding business and indust ry is critical to providing opportunity and n c security for the future, and will encourage


a innovation and business growth. Labor is

3 committed to overcoming the practical difficulties facing regional and outer urban 5' a business, particularly small business, in `A accessing information and expertise. 218 —Labor will improve the effectiveness of

business networks, including online networks, in disseminating best practice information and new technologies to regional and outer urban businesses.

37. Labor will encourage strategic alliances between indust ry, universities, research centres, business service providers and customers.

—Labor will assist regions to develop business networks that can allow them to identify and develop closer links with other regions, industries and sectors.

38. Labor recognises the difficulties faced by regional businesses in accessing capital, information and advice, and will develop initiatives to improve information flows between financial institutions and regional entrepreneurs.

Urban and Regional Education, Training and Skills Development 39. Labor recognises that knowledge and learning are critical to the long term future

of urban and regional economies. A

41. Labor is committed to working in partnership with the community to develop local employment and training initiatives to improve skills of people at all levels.

—Labor recognises that skills relevant to local industry are critical to employment prospects in regional areas.

—Labor is committed to maximising the opportunities for young people to pursue education and employment in their own regions.

42. Labor recognises the importance of all sectors of education and training, and will seek to improve coordination between these sectors at a regional level.

—Labor recognises the potential of both improved transport and distance learning in expanding access to education and training.

43. Labor also recognises that affordable, reliable broadband is an essential pre-requisite to quality distance education.

Urban and Regional Employment Assistance and Social Services 44. Labor recognises the debilitating effect of social exclusion on the lives of

individuals, families, communities and the nation. An active approach to opportuni ty and responsibility at the community level, with an emphasis on employability and social participation, is critical to improving outcomes.


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National Platform and Constitution 2004 Australian Labor Party

45. Labor believes that people in depressed

regions should be able to access a diverse range of family and community support services.

46. Labor recognises that people in depressed areas often suffer from multiple disadvantages. They need customised assistance that delivers opportunities for employment and

participation and that can improve employability, self esteem and community well being.

48. Labor acknowledges the potential for employment opportunities in areas such as human services, tourism, alternative energy development and environmental

renewal, and the application of information technologies, and will develop frameworks that can identify and take advantage of these opportunities.

Better Management of Our Built and Natural Environment

49. Labor recognises the way we manage our cities and towns will determine our success in achieving many of our environmental, social and ecomonic goals

and is critical to improving the liveability of our communities.

50. Labor is committed to planning and developing Australia's cities and towns as high quality living environments with access to housing, jobs and services and to facilitate growth in accord with national

environmental, social and economic goals.

sustainability, is a key factor in helping the nation to continue to achieve economic growth.

52. Labor is committed to maintaining and protecting the environmental quality of urban areas so that they remain attractive for people to live and work in, for

investment and tourism.

53. Labor will develop, in partnership with all three tiers of government and the community, a national urban development strategy.

Labor recognises that the federal government must play a leadership role in environmental management, to ensure

sustainability at a regional, national and global level.

55. Labor views environmental concerns as integral to policy debates, and will therefore consider the environmental impact of all policy decisions made by government.

56. Labor will encourage the development of regional environmental strategies, encouraging effective land and water usage strategies and the expansion of

industries such as alternative energy development and environmental renewal.

57. Labor will facilitate a grass-roots approach to local and regional environmental management, recognising that this is often more effective in obtaining public commitment.

—Labor acknowledges the important role local government can play in environmental management, planning and service delivery.

Strategies for Specific Regions

47. Labor will develop coordinated options for 54 work, work experience, reskilling, volunteering, mentoring and other forms of community service for older Australians.

51. Labor recognises that, in an 58. Each Australian region has a unique

internationally competitive economic configuration of geographic, economic environment, the management of our and social characteristics and requires cities and towns to achieve high quality the development of a specific strategy for

environments, efficiency of operation and that region. Recognising there are

Australian Labor Pa

rt y National Platform and Constitution 2004

regional disparities, Labor will establish education, health, housing and

benchmarks that recognise differences community support services, improved and help identify what is necessary to transport links and the involvement of overcome them. local stakeholders.

3 59. Labor will focus assistance on regions of 63. Labor will continue to develop integrated greatest disadvantage and on reducingstrategies for particular regions, in N CD the gap between these regions and more partnership with regional communities. advantaged areas. These regions will be Labor recognises that the problems of 7 given priority access to Commonwealthurban and regional development and their

funding in key policy areas. solutions will differ throughout Australia. In CD CD 60. Labor recognises that in the uneven the cases of South Australia, Tasmania

pattern of economic development, five and northern Australia, due to their lower M o types of regions face particular difficulties: populations, isolated locations and unique o ^p economic circumstances, Labor will

c (D —rural communities and towns with develop specific regional packages. O C declining populations; Nevertheless, Labor recognises that

—old industrial centres affected by isolation and low density population is not , industry restructuring; constrained by State boundaries and that M a o- —new coastal conurbations with growing regions of all States are affected by the CD N populations, increasing unemployment challenge of the provision of greater220 and limited service provision; development opportunities and services.—outer metropolitan regions poorly64. A federal Labor Governnment will served by infrastructure and services;review the role of the National Capital and Authority (NCA) to ensure that it operates—remote and isolated areas that are in harmony with the planning goals of thedeficient in or devoid of infrastructure,ACT and economic andemployment opportunities. Local Government61. Labor will develop a suite of support 65. Labor will support the necessaryitems and brokered services for urban legislation for a referendum to amend theand regional development, from which Australian Constitution to recognise thecommunities can select items that are autonomous role of local government. Insuited to their circumstances. This will addition Labor recognises:require regions to prioritise their —the increased role played by localopportunities and constraints, government in the Australian federal system and potential benefits to the 62. Labor's regeneration strategies will seeknation of enhancing that role; to reinvigorate regions bearing the costsof economic restructuring. Labor will —local government will play adevelop strategies involving all levels of participative role in the decision makinggovernment aimed at improving the process of CoAG;physical, social and economic —the important role played by localenvironment in these areas. government representatives in their—These strategies will involve the communities:development of local industry and —the value of democratic, accountableemployment opportunities, access to and efficient local government as


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National Platform and Constitution 2004 Australian Labor Party

vehicle for local democratic decision 71. Labor recognises that State and federal

making, responsible to local governments have shifted costs to local

communities; government without adequately

—the importance of effective partnerships resourcing councils. Accordingly an

between local government and the

incoming Labor government will examine

Commonwealth in the efficient delivery ways to redress the funding shortfall

of services that impact directly on the suffered by local government.

living standards of Australians; and In addition Labor will work with local

—that efficient, effective and responsive government to improve and protect the

local government is vital to creating and provision of infrastructure and services to

maintaining equity between the regions. local communities and to achieve best practice in the development, management

66. Labor is committed to working with local and maintenance of infrastructure. government to develop and implement

strategies to increase participation by This will include:

women in all aspects of local government. —Increasing efforts to stimulate and

67. Labor will work with local government on support infrastructure investment in the issue of urban reform and partnership with State and federal

development through further measures to governments; and

improve the efficiency and quality of local —Preparing infrastructure development planning and approvals processes. plans as part of local and regional

68. Labor recognises the role of local

development objectives.

government in environmental 72. Through a whole of government

management, including the areas of approach, Labor will work towards clearer coastal management, reduction of definitions of the roles and responsibilities greenhouse gas emissions, improved of local government and other levels of waste management, energy efficiency, government and the elimination of and improved catchment and water unnecessary duplication between spheres

resources management and will promote of government, and to improve linkages its active involvement in the achievement between Commonwealth, State and local of national environmental objectives. government in the delivery of services

—Labor will promote consideration of a and programs, particularly across rural broad range of national environmental and regional areas.

strategies in the core business of local —This process will involve the government. development of national benchmarking

69. Labor acknowledges the need for greater and performance indicators for specific

local government involvement in pursuing services and functions, and will include employment and training opportunities, in consultation with all stakeholders, the

partnership with other spheres of community and appropriate unions.

government, business, unions and 73. Labor will implement a process to regional organisations. provide for a serious discussion on

70. Labor is committed to working with local the future funding arrangements for government on the formulation and local government, involving federal implementation of regional development government, state government,

strategies. local government, and that industry

Australian Labor Pa

rty National Platform and Constitution 2004

unions be asked to contribute to this

important discussion.

External Territories

n 74. Labor is committed to ensuring that our external territories maintain their unique

rt social and historical structure. Labor believes the potential of our external territories is best realised when the people of the territories:

fD —have self determination; and

—take responsibility for actively promoting their cultural and social U3 uniqueness.


n C 75. To this end, Labor will ensure that the


people of the external territories of 3 3 Australia are provided with:

c o^ M Q —the support to allow them to participate FF V)

fully in decisions relating to both the

day to day administration, as well as


the long-term future of their communities;

—support in their efforts to develop regional autonomy; and

—the financial support needed to encourage the future economic and ecological sustainability of their communities.

Banking and Financial Services

Labor: recognises that access to basic banking,:. insurance and financial services is essential for full participation as a member of the community and for the community: to realise its full economic and social capacity:.

Government has an obligation to intervene where the market fails to look after the needs of our community in providing this :access.,

Labor condemns the inaction of the Howard Government, while more than 1600 of Australia's bank branches were

closed in the five years from 1998 to 2002.

Labor is concerned at the concentration of economic power, the likely further reduction of access to services for some of our ^ communities and the significant job losses

that would result from bank mergers.

Given the above, in government, Labor will

—act to, maintain prohibitions of mergers and takeovers among the big four banks (ANZ;. CBA, NAB and Westpac);

—restrict mergers and acquisitions across the banking sector where they significantly diminish competition or where social and employment impacts• • warrant, and will consult the community { and the relevant trade unions prior to

any approval;. and

--regulate Approved Deposit Institutions to • the extent necessary should they fail to meet appropriate voluntary community service obligations.


Chapter Fourteen

Our Arts, Culture


and Heritage

Australian Labor Pa

rty National Platfo r m and Co n st itut ion 2 00 4

Chapter Fourteen being, and help to promote tolerance and

Our Arts, Culture


and Heritage 5. Labor will strive to ensure that the

Australian cultural sector will not be

Towards a National Cultural Policy diminished as a result of any free trade

1. Labor recognises that culture embodies agreements. Labor is committed to rP CD the energy and the spirit of our nation ensuring Australian culture remains

-n through the creative expression of ideas unique and diversified. It is fundamental

0 and imagination. Labor is committed to that our news and entertainment reflect

r+ supporting and promoting opportunities the values and priorities of our culture,


for cultural expression and cultural both for our vision of ourselves and for3 experiences. Labor has a proud history of the vision of Australia overseas. Labor will 0 0 nurturing cultural expression and cultural commit to promotion of local content= D opportunities for all Australians whatever development and availability, and any free CD u their backgrounds and wherever they live, trade agreement must not undermine theC) Labor will ensure that support for all capacity of future Australian governmentscultural activities remains one of its to regulate any future mediums for the Chighest priorities, delivery of content.2. In a democracy, a necessary part of 6. Labor will consult and involve the224 effective participation is equitable access community in developing strategies which to diverse sources of information and embrace, include and respect individualopinion. This continues to be a core and ethnic-related differences.priority of Labor.3. Labor will encourage the development ofcreative talent and imagination throughcontinued support to the culturalindustries and groups and individualswithin them.4. In a fair society, there needs to be abalance between government support forthe development of excellence and givingeveryone a chance to participate.Labor will ensure all forms of art andculture are accessible to all Australians.Labor is aware of the contribution thatcan be made by the arts and artists toimproving Australia's quality of life, andthe progress of tolerance, justice andpeace in the world. Labor acknowledgesthat artists and the arts contribute toimproving the quality of life for allAustralians. The talents of our artists giveus unique opportunities to strengthen ourintellectual, social and economic well Government Support for the Arts

7. Labor recognises that, while there are many changes occurring in contemporary

society, artistic creativity and innovation

are important factors in preserving our social identity and building national pride.

8. Labor acknowledges that artists and the arts contribute to improving the quality of

life for all Australians. The talents of our

artists give us unique opportunities to

strengthen our intellectual, social and

economic well being, and help to promote

tolerance and understanding.

9. Labor will continue to support the

Australia Council to provide an

independent voice in policy development.

Priority will continue to be given to the principles of merit-based funding and

peer assessment for the arts. Labor will ensure that funding granted by the Australia Council will be allocated in a


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Na tional Platform and Constitution 2004

Australian Labor Party

way that provides the maximum benefit

for the artist and be distributed equitably

amongst the States and Territories.

10. A fundamental role for the Commonwealth must be the maintenance and development of the great national

collecting institutions. Australians in all

regions must be able to access quality

works, traditional and contemporary, of

both local and international artists.

National institutions should be encouraged to tour their collections to

ensure access by all Australians.

11. The role of the Commonwealth is to develop and support professional arts.

Labor recognises the importance of fostering all forms of amateur art, and will

encourage an increased role for

professionals in providing advice to emerging artists involved in local and

regional arts activity.

12. In recognition of the important role that the Australian film industry plays in our

cultural sector, Labor commits to supporting and financing the film industry,

training future talent, and assisting market development through Australian local

content requirements on free-to-air and

pay television.

13. Labor recognises the role of strong local markets in supporting the development of the Australian music industry, particularly

at the research and development stage phase. Labor asserts that Commonwealth Governments should ensure that access

to local markets is maintained and


14. Commonwealth, State and local governments should cooperate to ensure

that regional and local libraries can provide effective and equitable access to

literature and information, including through modern technology.

15. Labor recognises that Australians are showing an increased interest in the arts

sector, with higher enrolment in arts

courses. Labor will continue to support

high quality art, drama and music education programs, and will nurture our

vibrant, expanding arts sector.

16. Technological change such as the internet

brings new media and art forms and new

industries associated with it. The

Australian government should continue

initiatives which encourage Australian talent, create Australian jobs and ensure

that Australian consumers have access to

such material.

17. Labor recognises that the internet and the

world wide web complement traditional

ways of presenting our culture and art

and will pursue opportunities to enrich their presentation in digital media

including the internet and multimedia.

18. Labor supports policies aimed at educating and empowering parents and

citizens with the knowledge and the tools to enable them to protect their children

and families from being exposed to

inappropriate violent and pornographic material on the internet. Labor therefore supports the development of appropriate

internet filtering technology for this purpose. Labor does not support government policies which seek to

prohibit Australians from viewing internet content which is legal in other mediums, or which mandates the use of internet

filtering technology.

19. Labor will seek to restore priority to the provision of arts works in major public

buildings as part of a public works


20. In addition to financial support, government needs to play a role in encouraging and coordinating the development of private and corporate

patronage and sponsorship of arts and culture to maximise the social resources

provided to this sector.


Australian Labor Par

ty National Platform and Constitution 2004

21. As society and the economy change and Labor will support workers in the arts

develop, the economic and employment industry and protect and advance their

significance of the arts and culture industrial rights, employment conditions

industries must be recognised. Labor and entitlements.

n commits to developing industry and

27. The legal framework of copyright is a

export assistance programs in ways

necessary part of a program to ensure

r+ which are appropriate for these industries. that the income generated by arts, culture 0 T Support for Artists

and heritage is fairly distributed between

0 the creators and the institutions and


22. Government funding in arts and culture entrepreneurs who make it available. CD must include priority for the development Labor will support the introduction of

CD of excellence. It must also maximise the legislation to protect artists' rights and

p opportunities for Australians to fully recognise copyright in performance.

a -' develop their talent and to display it to Labor is committed to implementing a

CD > other Australians and the world. resale royalty scheme for visual art works

0) n 23. Labor recognises the need to support in order to provide fairer income

CD experienced artists and develop distribution for artists.


strategies which make it more attractive 28. The tax and welfare systems need to

for artists to live and work in Australia, be responsive to the needs of students rather than overseas. Retaining talented and workers in, and the products of, 226 and experienced artists is crucial for the arts and culture. In particular, they

ongoing development of Australia's should reflect the varied nature of artists' cultural and artistic life. income generation within years and over

24. A fundamental part of industry different years.

development and equitable access is

policy to maximise employment in culture, Equity and Access arts and heritage, training for employment 29. To balance the emphasis on excellence, it

in these areas and support which enables is fundamental for Labor that priority be talent to be developed into a career. given to maximisation of, and equity of

Labor will support the transition from access to, participation in arts, culture

education and training to work. Labor will and heritage activities.

also support programs for mentoring 30. Any policy of equity and access must

emerging artists.

place great emphasis on the development

25. Training and retraining options for artists of arts in regional Australia and in the and arts workers in mid-career should outlying suburbs of our cities. Labor

also be a high priority. Emphasis needs to supports regional arts organisations and

be given to programs to facilitate the the touring of arts to cities in regional development of, and access to, such Australia. This requires a role for

training programs and to special project government in assisting regional touring

support for artists who have an and the development of regional facilities.

established career.

31. Emphasis on access must include the

26. Labor recognises that artists and development of effective opportunities for artworkers earn their living through a Australians with disabilities and

range of mechanisms in any year, from Australians from disadvantaged groups to casual work to entrepreneurial activity, participate in the arts.

National Platform and Constitution 2004

Australian Labor Par ty

32. Labor encourages women to seek

available to Australians wherever they

careers in the arts and to hold positions at live. This requires institutional and

the highest level, individual activities at a local and national

level, assistance to private owners of

33. There is a need for special emphasis on heritage properties and skills 0

the participation of young people in the development and training. arts and the development of arts of

interest to young Australians. Labor 40. Labor will give special a ttention to the r+ tp

believes governments have a key role in preservation of the heritage properties I facilitating this. owned by the Commonwealth. 0

34. The arts must reflect the reality of our 41. Labor will ensure the identification and 1 r

cultural diversi ty and give voice to all preservation of our industrial, built, 3 Australians including the long se ttled environmental and cultural he ritage, and , 0 Anglo-Celtic communities, Aboriginal and look for opportunities to promote worldQ. Torres Strait Islander peoples, the post- heritage recognition of such sites. = D co

war migrant groups and more recen 42. Labor will ensure that the National Trust ^' m n arrivals. Multicultural arts will receive and other government and community(D Labor's support and recognition. organisations are supported to identify35. Labor is committed to developing and priority projects for heritage protection.promoting the indigenous arts sectorto its full social, cultural and economicCommunications and Electronic Media 227potential. 43. The media, particularly broadcasting, are36. Labor will ensure that provision is made undergoing a process of major change,for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander driven by digitisation, convergence ofpeoples to participate in all aspects of technology and the globalisation ofthe planning, decision making and broadcasting, communications andimplementation of policies and information technologies.programs for Aboriginal and Torres 44. Labor remains strongly committed to Strait Islander a rts. longstanding national and public interest37. Labor recognises that it is important to objectives, including:improve access and participation in —high quality and informative mediacultural activities and experiences, which contributes to the advancementThrough arts education programs young of Australian society;Australians gain access to the ideas, —genuine diversity of sources of values and beliefs of others, and nurture information, opinion, education and their own imaginations. entertainment;Heritage —diversity of ownership, operation and38. In placing emphasis on developing the control of Australia's mediabest and newest, it is ve ry important not —greater choice and accessibility forto lose sight of the priority of preserving consumers;what's best of our histo ry, tradition and —the development and reflection of aheritage. distinctly Australian national identity;39. It is not only important that this material is —a vibrant competitive indust ry ofpreserved but that it is made effectively international standard;

Australian Labor Pa

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—the development of, and equitable Public Broadcasting

access to, new technologies. 50. The ABC and SBS are two of Australia's

Labor will also strengthen legislation most important community institutions.

to meet the challenges of adult and Labor is committed to ensuring adequate ? other materials being made available funding and support for Australia's public

to children and young people on broadcasters, to enable them to continue

mobile phones. to provide Australians with high quality CD broadcasting services free from political 0 0 Diversity and Content interference.


45. Labor will retain cross-media ownership 51. Labor will provide adequate funding on a CD CD laws as necessary to ensure that triennial basis to the ABC and SBS to

O Australians have access to a diverse ensure they can deliver quality public


a a ran of information and opinion in range p broadcasting services.

= > Australia's media.

52. The ABC is a cultural institution which

CD v i i 46. Labor is committed to maintaining . reflects our national identity. Without

= appropriate Australian content quotas in committing the range of programs and CD the broadcasting sector. services the ABC provides, Labor will CD 47. Labor will ensure that television and radio ensure the ABC delivers high levels ofadvertising are properly regulated and local content and has the capacity to:228 that community standards are reflected in —cater to the needs of regional and the regulatory approach. rural Australia, providing coverage of48. Labor will ensure that Australians will local news, current affairs andcontinue to enjoy coverage of premium community activities;sporting events on free-to-air television. —provide programs and services relevant49. Labor is committed to adequately to young Australians;resourced, strong regulatory institutions —work with indigenous people to providesuch as the Australian Broadcasting services and programs relevant to themAuthority to ensure the maintenance of and their communities; andappropriate community standards in —provide comprehensive coverage of a broadcasting material. Labor believes that broad range of sporting and artistic classification guidelines should be activities. strengthened to stop the sexualisation ofadvertisements and sexually explicit and 53. Labor will end political interferenceadult material being put to air during in the ABC by reforming the ABCtimes when children and young people Board appointment television, including music videos Candidates will be considered by aand current affairs, advertising and panel established at arm's length frompromotional materials. Such strengthened the minister who will appoint Boardguidelines should aim to stop the members from a shortlist prepared bysexualisation of advertisements, the panel. SBS Board appointmentsparticularly that which is aired at times will be dealt with in the same way.children may be exposed to it. Labor will examine other options forfurther increasing the transparancyand democratic accountability of theABC and SBS


tional Platform and Constitution 2004

Australian Labor Party

54. Labor will ensure that the ban on ABC

advertising and sponsorship remains in place.

55. Labor is committed to increasing access to public broadcasting services to those Australians in regional and rural areas who currently do not access

particular services.

56 Labor recognises that the SBS provides a unique national broadcasting service that promotes a multicultural Australia, providing services to Australians from

non-English speaking backgrounds which are not delivered by the ABC or the commercial broadcasting sector.

57 Labor recognises the need for Australia to maintain external broadcasting through Radio Australia and ABC Asia Pacific International Television Service, to explain Australian values to the world and encourage closer ties with our Asian and

South Pacific neighbours, as well as serving the needs of Australians abroad.

Community Broadcasting

58 Labor regards community radio and community television as an essential component of Australian broadcasting, and will continue to encourage its growth.

Community broadcasting provides important services to local communities, particularly in rural, regional and remote areas. Labor supports diversity in

community broadcasting recognising that stations meet the needs of many communities, including Aboriginal, ethnic, and print handicapped broadcasters.

59 Labor will seek to improve the capacity of community broadcasters to serve their communities by providing appropriate staff training support. Labor believes that

adequate public funding must be provided to the community broadcasting sector for it to be able to perform its functions properly. Labor seeks to improve the

capacity of community stations to serve their communities by providing support to the sector for improving skills, technical equipment and program development.

Labor accepts that appropriate public funding must be provided to the community broadcasting sector.


ScreenSound Australia

The Howard Government in December 2002 announced a review of the National Cultural' Institutions which Labor believes is the blueprint for the Howard Government's war, on culture. This report

is secret, and the Government refuses to release it to the public.. Labor believes that this report must be made public and will continue to call for the release of this


The war on culture-has been evidenced in the following ways:

—The blatant politicisation of the National Museum and the controversial sacking by the Howard Government of its Director, Dawn :Casey, and controversial political appointments to the Museum


-The decrease in funding of our national institutions totalling nearly $8 million ($900,000 in 2003-04,.

with further cuts of $6.9 million over the coming four years) and the abolition of dozens of positions from within the National Museum, the National Gallery,

the National Archives and the National Library' ; — A systematic stacking of the boards of the national cultural institutions with

conservative appointments, who seek to impress upon the institutions' collecting • and exhibition policies a conservative

agenda and view of Australia's history

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and culture-this is in the context of an increasing politicisation of arts advice going; to government from the Department of Communications;'

Information Technology and the Arts; and

—As. a. result of the merger between ScreenSound Australia and the Australian Film' Commission an attempt was made by the Howard Government and the Australian:. Film Commission

(AFC) in. December 2003, to abolish and or relocate. several key functions of ScreenSound Australia `out of the

Nation's Capital to'Sydney and Melbourne. This was announced after commitments were made at the announcement` of the merger. (2003-04 Budget) that the integrity ,of':. ScreenSound Australia would be protected as would it's functions and that no job losses would result: The Howard Government and the AFC has once again given this commitment; but Labor must ensure that the'Howard' Government does not back down from . this undertaking

Labor is committed. to'protecting the 'integrity of ScreenSound Australia as a world class facility charged with

responsibility of 'collection, preserving, exhibiting and restoring our :nation's history in film and sound which rightfully belongs in the Nation's Capital:

• SPAM >. Owing

The Howard government has failed Australians by not tidying, up SPAM--rts approach is weak and ineffectual.

Labor shall, using international precedents, and with international cooperation, better reduce the proliferation and dissemination of SPAM:

News Services A Labor Government will amend the

Broadcasting.ServicesAct to place a licence condition on commercial radio stations to ensure that they maintain a radio news, service independent from services. maintained by other commercial

radio licence holders in the-same market.


Chapter Fifteen

Australia's Place


in the World

Australian Labor Pa

rty National Platfor m and Constitution 2004

Chapter Fifteen Labor's Foreign Policy Framework

Australia's Place 4. For most of the post-war period,

in the World

Australian national security policy under successive Labor governments has been

C) constructed on the basis of three

7 National Security and Foreign

fundamental pillars:

-1 p Policy Objectives rS 1. The fundamental objective of Labor's —our membership of the United Nations; 1 m approach to international affairs is the —our alliance with the United States; and

promotion of our tradition of a strong and -our policy of comprehensive (D independent foreign policy. This means engagement with Asia.

acting to:

V) —preserve and enhance Australia's 5. This framework has served both the Party

security in the region and in the world; and successive Labor governments well.

* ^, It was Labor under Curtin that initiated

cn —foster our economic growth, jobs and our alliance with the United States fully a

standard of living; decade before the ANZUS Treaty—

CD —protect and improve our quality of life; although for Labor the alliance has never

—safeguard the world environment; and meant compliance. It was Labor under Chifley (and Foreign Minister Evatt) that

—foster mutual respect, cooperation and helped form the United Nations as the

232 greater economic interdependence core of the post-war international order. It

between nations. was also Labor under Whitlam, Hawke

Labor has a proud tradition of a strong, and Keating that initiated and advanced independent foreign policy. Over a Australia's policy of comprehensive succession of Labor governments, this engagement with Asia. approach has underwritten our nation's

6. Labor has a proud tradition of activism in

ability to provide a leading, progressive international affairs. We are determined to

role in international relations.

bring to Australia's foreign policy the

2. Labor also believes foreign policy must conviction and commitment which saw advance more than self interest. previous Labor governments play critical Australia's international relations must roles in world events, including the reflect our nation's core values; in formation of the United Nations, the

particular, our commitment to peace and proclamation of the Universal Declaration cooperation among nations founded on of Human Rights, establishment of the international justice, our concern for South Pacific Nuclear Free Zone, the universal human rights and democratic banning of chemical weapons, and in the processes and our concern to see the development of Australia's vital eradication of global poverty, engagement with the Asia Pacific region.

3. Foreign policy must therefore advance the 7. Labor's clarity of vision, effective national interest. It must also project our advocacy and appropriately resourced national values. A foreign policy that does and targeted diplomacy will ensure not incorporate and give active expression Australia plays a significant role in to these universal values will fail to win regional and global developments in respect at home or abroad and undermine favour of our own interests and the our long-term national interests, common good. Labor will pursue

National Platform and Constitution 2004

Australian Labor Party

Australia's national security, economic 11

and human rights interests with vigour

and determination at all levels in the

international system: globally, regionally

and in our bilateral relations with other


Australia's Changing Strategic



8. While Labor's national security policy and foreign policy objectives and

values remain constant, the global

and regional environment in which we

must now operate has been subjected

to rapid and recent change. This in turn

has created new and significant

challenges for Labor policy.

9. Principal among these challenges is the impact of terrorism on Australia's national

security. The emergence of al Qaeda,

Jemaah Islamiah and related terrorist

organisations has profoundly reshaped

Australia's strategic environment. The

attacks of 11 September 2001 in the United States caused the deaths of some

3000 people of 92 nationalities. It resulted

in the invocation for the first time since its inception of the ANZUS Treaty because

11 September constituted an attack on

the metropolitan territory of an ally. As a result, Australia became engaged in

military conflict in Afghanistan, under the

authorisation of a UN Security Council Resolution, against al Qaeda and the

Taliban regime that had provided their

operating base.

10. The Bali bombings on 12 October 2002 by Jemaah Islamiah (itself directly

associated with al Qaeda) brought terrorism to Australia's doorstep and

shattered the lives of many Australians.

Terrorism continues to represent a

significant threat to Australians abroad, particularly, but not exclusively, in South

East Asia where al Qaeda and Jemaah

Islamiah remain active.

Terrorism therefore represents a major

new factor in Australia's strategic

environment which requires a

comprehensive policy response at home,

in the region through cooperative efforts

with regional partners, as well as globally.

Labor led older generations of Australians

in successfully defending Australia as a

secure, courageous and democratic

nation. Terrorism is nothing new. But its

growing presence in our region poses

new and complex security challenges.

Labor refuses to manipulate fear or

racism for political gain in response to

terrorism. Labor will increase engagement

in our region and cooperation with our

neighbours—measures that are fundamental to meeting the new security

challenges. Labor will ensure that our

defence forces, police and emergency

services are equipped to meet the new

challenges. As always preserving national

security, and the security of individuals, is

a major Labor priority.

13. Labor has supported the Solomon Islands request for assistance in restoring law and order to the islands. The Solomons

intervention was authorised by the Solomons government and the UN Secretary General and supported by the

Pacific Islands Forum and a majority of

the people of the Solomons. Labor will work closely with governments in the

South Pacific and will continue to

consider any further requests for

assistance on their merit.

14. Elsewhere in our broader region unresolved tensions between India and

Pakistan and on the Korean Peninsula (arising from North Korea's decision in 2002 to withdraw from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and the expulsion of

International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors) present additional instabilities

and policy challenges. Labor is committed

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develop Australia's first fully integrated

national security policy.

18. Labor believes that the particular

Australian Labor Pa rty National P lat fo rm a nd Constitution 2004

to using its good offices to try and assist

in building improved relations on the Korean Peninsula.

15. Against these developments in Australia's immediate strategic environment, the war in Iraq has created fundamental r * fD challenges to the future international I order. Labor did not support this warbecause military action was not authorisedby the United Nations Security Counciland because a credible case could not be5 > made that the Iraq war represented alegitimate response to the terrorist attacksby al Qaeda on 11 September under theQ_ v; terms of Article 51 of the UN Charter.There are of course other continuing0 international policy challenges facing Labor and Australia. These include theongoing impact of economic globalisation,underdevelopment, human rights, global234 warming and transnational communicabledisease.16. All these factors impact on our currentnational security and foreign policyenvironments. Labor's challenge today, asin previous decades, is to apply Labor'scontinuing policy objectives, values andframework to the new demands of theemerging environment.Challenge of Terrorism17. Labor believes that the challenge ofterrorism, together with the changingnature of the threat spectrum requires areorganisation of Australia's nationalsecurity policy. In the past, Australia hasnot had a properly integrated nationalsecurity policy that addresses the breadthand depth of the new threat spectrum—including terrorism, internationalorganised crime and the narcotics trade.To this end, Labor will establish an Office

challenge of terrorism in South East Asia needs to be addressed by a Regional Summit on Terrorism that would bring

together heads of government from South East Asia on a regular basis. This would build on Labor's previous proposal for a Regional Summit on People Smuggling— and recognises the fundamental reality that terrorism can only be dealt with on a cooperative basis between regional governments. This involves intelligence sharing, joint policing and better

resourcing whenever possible, to combat what is a major challenge for the whole region.

19. Labor believes that an effective strategy for combating terrorism must also confront those factors that make it easier for terrorist organisations to recruit within the region. This raises the question of economic, employment and educational opportunities available to young people across the region—particularly Indonesia and the Philippines. Labor believes this

requires an integrated, comprehensive strategy for dealing with a range of the causative factors involved in the terrorism challenge.

20. Finally, Labor believes that the global nature and reach of various terrorist organisations will mean that Australia will rely on global intelligence exchange—as well as support for an expanding range of

UN multilateral measures designed to combat terrorist financing and explicitly to outlaw defined terrorist organisations.

United Nations (UN) Multilateral System

of National Security under the Prime 21. Labor's approach to international relations Minister's portfolio to be headed for the is based on a clear recognition of the first time by a National Security Advisor at fundamental interdependence of the world permanent head level. This Office will community. Global economic and social

National Platform and Constitution 2004

Australian Labor Par ty

development, human rights,

environmental protection and international security can best be achieved through multilateral diplomacy. Through international organisations we can

promote the agreements necessa ry to build a secure twen ty-first century based on economic justice and development, respect for human rights, environmental

sustainability and peaceful means of resolving conflict.

22. The United Nations is the key forum for cooperation on many issues that affect Australia's interests, including our national security, trade and sustainable

development, and our humanitarian concerns for welfare and human rights.

Agreements reached under the auspices of the UN and its agencies touch on almost all aspects of our national life.

Australia must contribute actively and constructively to shape global changes and events through the work of the UN.

23. A Labor Government will be commi tted to working closely with like-minded countries to reform and improve the administrative efficiency, democratic operation and

effectiveness of the UN. This should be directed to enhancing the role and standing of the UN as the primary forum for global cooperation and understanding.

Labor will devote pa rticular attention to strengthening and improving the UN's human rights machinery and processes

and its peacekeeping activities, sta rting with suppo rt for the expansion of the UN's Depa rtment of Peacekeeping Operations. A Labor Government would also look

critically at options to expand the membership of the United Nations Security Council to reflect the new global order. Recognising the significant threats to international security that arise both from longstanding and new conflicts

between and within states, Labor supports strengthening the UN's capacity

in the fields of preventive diplomacy and peace building, peace making, peace keeping and peace enforcement.

24. Consistent with our strong commitment to the peaceful resolution of disputes in accordance with international law and justice, Labor considers Australia duty

bound to assist with the resolution of disputes and conflicts wherever we can play a positive role consistent with our national interests.

25. As a middle power with significant experience in peace keeping operations, most recently in East Timor, Australia must play an active role in pursuing

reform of UN peace keeping policy and operations. Australia must be prepared to accept peace keeping responsibilities

consistent with our national, regional and global security interests.

26. The UN multilateral system is currently under great strain because of the events associated with the Iraq war—as well as post-war stabilisation, economic

reconstruction and humanitarian assistance. This has led to great debate about the very future of the UN multilateral system. Labor believes the

future is best achieved by strengthening, democratising and reforming the UN, not replacing the UN.

27. Labor further believes that this reform agenda is best achieved by a review of the membership and voting arrangements of the Security Council; a review of the

particular problems that terrorists as non-state actors present to the operation of the UN Charter; and a formal review by

the Security Council and all member states, including Australia, of the emerging doctrine of international humanitarian intervention.

28. Labor argues that this la tter review is best based on the report 'The Responsibility to Protect' of 2001 prepared by the


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National P lat f o rm a nd Co nst itut io n 200 4

International Commission on Intervention Comprehensive Engagement in the

and State Sovereignty (ICISS) at the Asia Pacific Region request of the government of Canada. 32. The third pillar of Australia's framework The ICISS Report contains the most for national security policy and foreign authoritative draft definitions of the policy is comprehensive regional threshold questions to be resolved by the engagement. This policy pillar is based on

international community if the UN is to be the logic that if you have good relations CD better able to deal with the type of grim with your neighbours, it is good for your

-n realities that Rwanda, Bosnia, Somalia security and if you have bad relations with


and Kosovo presented in the recent past. your neighbours, it is bad for your

CD This question has also been posed security. This is particularly critical given

^• D directly by the UN Secretary General Kofi Y Y rY the current challenges to our security


Annan for the world to resolve as a matter from terrorism. C of great humanitarian urgency.

o^, 33. Labor also believes that comprehensive

= " The United States engagement with Asia rests on the logic

that if you have good relations with your

0 CD

29. The United States remains our closest neighbours it is good for the economy,

security ally and a vital global partner. exports and jobs.

Labor is firmly committed to maintain and strengthen Australia's close 34. Labor considers that active engagement

236 relationship with the United States, a with Asia is fundamental to our national

relationship founded on our people's security and to furthering our national common democratic values and their interest. Australia is intimately linked with commitment to fostering international Asia. We contribute to both the prosperity peace and security, and security of the region, just as the

region profoundly contributes to

30. Labor believes in the centrality of the Australia's prosperity and security. Labor

alliance to Australia's national security is committed to our nation's future with

requirements in critical areas such as

Asia. Australia's greatest international

intelligence on terrorism, defence

challenges and opportunities arise from

equipment and broader strategic

rapid economic change in East Asia and

stabilization in East Asia, where great the evolving security environment of the

power tensions between other regional Asia Pacific region. Economic growth in

states remain problematic.

East Asia is again presenting Australia

31. Labor does not, however, believe that the with critical opportunities to advance our alliance equals the totality of Australia's prosperity and security. Resumed national security requirements as these economic growth will be accompanied by must also be met in the other two pillars increasing regional confidence and of Labor's approach—the UN multilateral assertiveness. As a consequence system and our policy of comprehensive Australia will have to make greater efforts engagement in Asia. Labor continues to and work with imagination to maintain and support the United Nations process and enhance our relative influence in our opposes policies by governments that region and beyond. undermine the integrity and effectiveness

35. We are determined to broaden and

of the United Nations.

deepen our links at all levels in the Asia Pacific region and will seek to secure full

National Platform and Constitution 2004

Australian Labor Par ty

pa rt icipation in significant regional forums

and processes.

—Labor will continue to consolidate Australia's economic engagement in the Asia Pacific region, especially with the economies of East Asia, including

working through the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum and other cooperative arrangements to produce concrete benefits in terms of economic growth, jobs and our standard of living.

—Labor is similarly committ ed to actively contribute through the ASEAN Regional Forum to region-wide cooperation on security, specifically the development of capacity and confidence building

measures, mechanisms and practices of preventive diplomacy and peaceful dispute resolution.

—Labor will actively encourage the further broadening of regional dialogue and cooperation to include problems of sustainable economic and social

development and environmental protection with the aim of enhancing human security throughout our region.

At the bilateral level, Labor will work with

vigour in building productive relationships

which advance shared political and

economic interests. Labor strongly

supports enhancing people-to-people contacts between Australia and our East Asian neighbours and will actively pursue the further development of social, cultural

and educational ties. Labor will support the National Asian Languages and Studies in Australian Schools strategy.

36. Labor strongly supports engaging and integrating China with the emerging Asia Pacific security community. The rise of China is the single biggest geopolitical force in the ongoing transformation of our

region. Australia's interests are best se rv ed by China's positive involvement in

the international political and economic community. It is imperative that Australia seek to work cooperatively with China, bilaterally and regionally, and in global forums in the context of an international

rules-based order.

37. Australia and Japan have a long standing and mature relationship. Japan is a vital economic partner and our political and strategic relationship is of fundamental

importance to Australia's regional and international aspirations. Labor looks forward to the further development of Australian-Japanese ties, especially

people-to-people contacts and greater understanding of each other's society and culture.

38. Indonesia, the world's fourth most populous count ry and Australia's nearest Asian neighbour, is of vital importance.

Labor is committed to building a new relationship with a new democratic Indonesia. Australia and Indonesia have strong, shared interests in regional security cooperation and in relation to

many international issues. Labor looks forward to the development of a close, mature and multi dimensional relationship in which no one dimension dominates.

Labor will seek to maximise our cooperation in regional and global forums.

39. Labor considers that support for universal human rights and democratic processes should be an integral part of Australia's engagement with Indonesia. In the context

of a broadly based and multifaceted relationship, Australia should maintain contact with all elements of the political process in Indonesia and our dialogue should give expression to the Australian

people's fundamental concern with human rights and democratic freedoms.

40. Labor will give priori ty to further developing our bilateral economic relationship with Indonesia, providing




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Australian Labor Pa

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appropriate humanitarian assistance, policy priority, Labor is firmly committed to

supporting sustainable development, and strengthening and broadening our links increasing people-to-people and with other countries and regions.

institutional exchanges, especially in 44. Australia must embrace India, a country = fields such as the media, education, the of immense potential, an important

arts, health and language training, participant in global and regional forums, 41. Labor warmly welcomes the progress and a trading partner of growing I achieved by East Timor in working to significance. Australia has long neglected

build the foundations for a viable, self- India in our foreign relations. Labor will

CD sustaining, independent and sovereign work energetically to remedy this

CD state. Labor considers that Australia deficiency and enhance our ties with the

> should continue to assist East Timor in

world's second most populous nation.

building an independent future. Australia Labor recognises the increasing CD should be comprehensively engaged in importance of the Indian Ocean Rim as a

oy- supporting sustainable development in region for achieving the long-term

- East Timor and the creation of democratic objectives of our foreign and economic

0 institutions, effective law enforcement and policies. Labor will build our relationships CD modern defence forces. Labor strongly with the Indian Ocean Rim and the

supports the further development of a emerging economies of Southern Africa. wide range of institutional and people-to- 45. Labor will give high priority to the further 238 people ties between Australia and East development of Australia's strong and

Timor. Labor recognises that the people mutually beneficial relationship with New of East Timor have the right to secure, Zealand, both in respect of bilateral internationally recognised borders with all economic and political ties and through neighbouring countries. A future Labor cooperation in multilateral forums. We Government will negotiate in good faith should jointly review existing mechanisms

with the Government of East Timor, in full for cooperation and coordination and accordance with international law and all explore further opportunities for closer its applications, including the United integration.

Nations Convention on the Law of the 46. Papua New Guinea (PNG) remains a Sea. In Government, Labor will do all country of great importance to Australia. things reasonably practicable to achieve a Labor will work closely with PNG in negotiated settlement within 3-5 years. dealing with the very substantial The conclusion of the maritime boundary challenges of economic and social should be based on the joint aspirations development in the context of great of both countries, cultural and political diversity. Labor will

42. Australia's greatest international maintain Australia's strong support for the challenges and opportunities arise from Bougainville peace process. Labor will rapid economic change in East Asia and continue to provide substantial support to the evolving security environment of the

PNG, focusing particularly on basic

Asia Pacific region. Economic growth in education and health services, including

East Asia is again presenting Australia programs to address the spread of

with critical opportunities to advance joint HIV/AIDS, and district and community level employment creation and income

prosperity and security.

generation; and support efforts to improve

43. While pursuing closer engagement with resource management and conservation East Asia as Australia's highest foreign in the areas of fisheries and forestry.

National Platform and Constitution 2004

Australian Labor Party

47. Security, stability and peace in the nations

of the Pacific is important to regional security and Australia's national defence.

Labor is committed to increasing Australia's efforts to engage in supporting sustainable development in partnership

with the nations of the Pacific through the

creation of democratic institutions, effective law enforcement and modern defence forces. Labor will encourage the further development of a wide range of

institutional and cultural links between Australians and the people of the Pacific nations. Labor will also promote .

economically and environmentally sustainable and equitable development; strengthen regional cooperation in areas

including natural disaster planning, response and relief, fisheries research and protection; and work to ensure that impacts on the peoples and nations of the

Pacific are fully considered in the negotiation of solutions to global


Other Important Bilateral and Regional Relationships

48. Labor supports the development of a strong political, economic and cultural

partnership with Europe. Europe has a combined GDP as significant as that of

the United States. Furthermore, the European Union (EU) has become a

significant political voice globally and

within our own region.

49. Similarly, Labor supports expanded relations with the Americas, including

Canada, Central America and South

America. Latin America is also important

in Australia's capacity to increase its multilateral leverage both on trade and

other broader UN candidacies.

50. Labor will rectify the emerging pattern of Australian disengagement from the African continent. Africa lies front and

centre in the international community's

global development challenge. Australia

must re-engage with Africa and to this

end Labor will establish an Africa-Australia Council as a vehicle for

deepening this country's commitment to

some of the poorest countries on the

planet. Africa also presents significant

opportunities for Australian business—as

well as enhancing Australia's multilateral

leverage through the UN system.

Australia's Role in Arms Control and Disarmament

51. The proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), nuclear, chemical and

biological, is widely recognised as one of.

the most serious international security

issues facing the world community. The

international environment in the immediate

aftermath of the Cold War allowed

52. Labor considers that Australia also has a strong interest in preventing the spread

of WMD. This interest has both a humanitarian and a strategic aspect.

Labor has an interest in helping to ensure

that no one should experience the horrors

of nuclear, chemical or biological warfare.

Labor also believes that Australia has a

strategic interest in minimising the risk

that WMD might one day be used or

threatened against Australians and

Australian interests. Effective global non-proliferation regimes are vital to limit the spread of WMD in our region.

Disarmament and non-proliferation measures are vital to ensure long-term international security and to channel

resources into sustainable and just

development. Australia has a direct

national security interest in ensuring our

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important gains in nuclear arms control 239

and disarmament. In more recent years,

however, progress in nuclear disarmament

has faltered with adverse implications for

efforts to halt weapons proliferation.

Australian Labor Pa

rt y National Platform and Constitution 2004

immediate region remains free of such states into the disarmament process. In

weapons and that their presence does notthis regard, Labor considers it ve ry lead to instability and conflict elsewhere. impo rtant to protect fully the integrity of

53. Australia has made significant the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty.

3 contributions to impo rtant multilateral 57. In the longer-term, achievement and disarmament and arms control maintenance of a nuclear weapon free rP CD

negotiations, notably the South Pacific world will require an enduring legal I Nuclear Free Zone, the Chemical framework, linked to the Charter of the rt Weapons Convention and the United Nations. Labor supports CD CD Comprehensive Test Ban Trea ty. Labor exploration of potential legal frameworks "I will ensure Australia is at the forefront of for the abolition of nuclear weapons,3 > international efforts to advance including negotiation of a Nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. Weapons Convention that would bano c,' 54. With regard to nuclear disarmament and nuclear weapons and provide a global .. ^ non-proliferation, Labor will energetically framework for the elimination of existing support and pursue appropriate initiatives, arsenals.CD such as those recommended by the 58. Efforts to reduce and eliminate nuclear Canberra Commission on the Elimination arms must be accompanied by further of Nuclear Weapons, the Tokyo Forum for progress in eliminating other WMD.240 Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Labor will continue Australia's strong Disarmament, and the New Agenda support for the Chemical Weapons Coalition, to achieve further significant Convention and pursue the earliest reductions in nuclear armament and possible completion of negotiations for a strengthen non-proliferation regimes as robust and effective verification protocol steps toward the ultimate objective of a for the Biological Weapons Convention. nuclear weapon free world. We are committed to continue support for55. Labor will continue to give strong support the Missile Technology Control Regimeto the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, to and explore the possibilities of negotiatingstrengthening safeguards against further more effective multilateral constraints onhorizontal proliferation, to negotiating a ballistic missiles.convention banning the production offissile material for use in nuclear weapons, 59. In response to the global humanitarianand to the earliest possible entry into force crisis produced by anti-personnelof the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban landmines, Labor will campaign toTreaty. Labor will continue support for encourage universal adherence to thenuclear weapon free zones in the South Ottawa Convention and continue supportPacific, Africa, Latin America, the Middle for negotiation of a global ban on theEast and South East Asia and explore the transfer of landmines. Labor will alsopossibilities of links between those zones continue to give high priority in Australia'sto consolidate a southern hemisphere free overseas aid programs to de-miningof nuclear weapons. activities and assistance to landminevictims in afflicted countries.56. Labor will actively encourage the pursuitof further substantial reductions of nuclear 60. Labor strongly supports internationalarsenals and the development of efforts to address the proliferation andprocesses for bringing all nuclear weapon misuse of small arms and light

National Platform and Constitution 2004

Australian Labor Party

across the globe, and particularly in the rights. Equally, respect for civil and

South Pacific. We are committed to work political rights is critical to advancing

in both global and regional forums to stop economic and other rights. Each group of

illegal trafficking and limit destabilising rights underpins the other.

accumulations and transfers of small

63. Labor considers all states have a duty to n

arms. Labor will sign and ratify the protect and promote universal human

Protocol against the Illicit Manufacturing rights. This obligation is grounded in the r* CD

of and Trafficking in Firearms, Their Parts principles contained within the United T

and Components and Ammunition, Nations Charter, the Universal Declarationsupplementing the United Nations on Human Rights and other international CD CDConvention against Transnationa covenants. It is an obligation also based 3Organized Crime. on the consistency of experience acrossdiverse cultures and societies in whichHuman Rights in Internationa ideals of popular sovereignty, equality of °L 0• Relations treatment, fairness and freedom are -' N -61. Labor considers the promotion o enduring themes. E universal human rights to be a coreforeign policy objective that cannot be 64. Labor considers human rights to be a0 fDtraded off against other diplomatic and subject of legitimate international concerneconomic goals. Support for an active and rejects attempts to portray thisand consistent pro-human rights stand is concern as interference in the internal 241firmly grounded in Australian values, affairs of other states.The Australian people expect our nation'sdiplomacy to be both principled andeffective. A foreign policy thatincorporates and reflects the core humanrights values of our society will enjoymore respect overseas and greatersupport within Australia.Respect for human rights brings benefitsin higher standards of internationalbehaviour. Domestic peace and stability,which stems from respect for humanrights, contributes to international security.Effective human rights diplomacysupports international and regionalsecurity, and therefore Australia's nationalinterests.62. Labor considers all human rights to beuniversal, equal and indivisible. There isno hierarchy of human rights. The basichuman rights to food, shelter, health care,economic security and education arepreconditions for human survival, dignityand the enjoyment of civil and political International dialogue on universal human

rights issues must be based on the concept of mutual respect. Australia must

respect the political, economic, social, religious and cultural differences between

other countries and ourselves. At the same time, Australian diplomacy must

never lose sight of our core national

values as a country with proud democratic traditions of openness and

rigorous debate.

Labor will be forthright in raising concerns

over human rights violations with relevant

governments in our region and beyond.

Similarly we expect and welcome the prospect of international scrutiny of Australia's domestic human rights record.

65. Labor is determined to further strengthen

international mechanisms and processes for monitoring human rights violations,

especially those monitored under the

auspices of the United Nations, and encourage the development of regional

Australian Labor Pa rty

National P lat fo rm a n d Constitution 2004

dialogue on human rights issues in the

Asia Pacific region.

68. Labor will actively campaign to focus world attention on governments that persist with forms of repression against the development of free trade unionism.

Labor reaffirms that issues of core labour standards relate to fundamental human rights and will pursue, as appropriate, through international treaties, guaranteed respect for those rights. Labor deplores cuts to Australia's participation in the

International Labour Organisation (ILO) and reaffirms its support for programs designed to address abuse of labour rights in the Asia Pacific region. Labor will

restore and strengthen Australia's pa rticipation and support for these vital activities. Labor will also give high priority to supporting international efforts to eradicate the exploitation of child labour.

69. Labor will play an active role in encouraging Australian companies operating overseas to adopt public codes which commit them to observe

international human rights standards, including core labour standards, and ensure that their operations do not directly or indirectly violate human rights, or inflict unacceptable impacts on local communities and the environment.

70. Labor abhors the increasing levels of repression against women in some countries. Labor will vigorously support international campaigns to end:

—sexual exploitation of women and children, including child sex tourism;

—prohibitions on education and paid employment for women;

—the denial to women of equal proper ty rights; —the unequal standing of women in judicial systems;

—the persecution of rape victims; and

—the systematic use of rape and sexual torture in war.

71. Labor believes the current Australian Government policy of constructive engagement with Burma must be abandoned in favour of targeted sanctions against the milita ry regime. The gross abuse of human rights against the

Burmese democratic opposition led by Aung San Soo Kyi is intolerable.

72. The establishment of an International Criminal Court is an important step in efforts to deter the perpetrators of crimes against humanity, and to ensure justice is done when atrocities have been committed. Labor will actively encourage

66. Cooperation between national human rights institutions is an important 0 foundation for regional understandings

-0 p and arrangements to advance human rights in our region. Labor will work to

I further develop the Asia Pacific Forum of National Human Rights Institutions. Labor

N will give high priority to supporting 3 institutions, such as Indonesia's National 5, > Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) and the Australia-China Human

°^• Rights Dialogue, that face major new °_ N challenges and opportunities to advance iv respect for human rights.

n CD

67. Labor strongly supports the development

of bilateral human rights dialogues as an integral element of Australia's relations

242 with our neighbours in the Asia Pacific region and beyond. These should supplement but not replace multilateral monitoring mechanisms and processes and not constrain Australia's ability to speak out strongly against violations of

human rights. Where appropriate, Labor suppo rts the imposition of targeted 'sma rt' sanctions against governments that violate fundamental human rights. Such sanctions will not be to the detriment of the general population.

National Platform and Constitution 2004

Australian Labor Pa rty

ratification by other countries to broaden

the Court's jurisdiction to punish crimes

against humanity. Labor believes the negotiation of bilateral agreements to grant immunity to citizens of particular countries from the jurisdiction of the Court

undermines the operation of the International Criminal Court and should

not be supported.

Environmental Diplomacy

73. Labor considers the protection of the global environment a vital diplomatic


74. International environmental concerns have become ever more acute. Many of the most serious environmental problems

extend far beyond the boundaries of

nation states. Climate change, ozone

depletion, over-population, over-consumption, deforestation and loss of biodiversity threaten the future of the

planet and its inhabitants. Environmental degradation contributes to social and

political conflict. It undermines regional and international security. Protecting the environment will support Australia's national interests and security.

75. Major advances have been made in international environmental cooperation on, and regulation of, global commons.

Although multilateral agreements have proven powerful tools for addressing environmental problems, international environmental stewardship lags behind

rapid economic and social change. Gains from new technology and environmentally

sensitive policies are being overtaken by the pace and scale of population growth and economic development. Concerted

global action is required.

77. Labor is committed to the United Nations Conference on Environment and

Development process as the framework

for our international environmental policies, and to Agenda 21 as an action

plan to promote sustainable development

on a worldwide basis.

Labor welcomes the strong reaffirmation

of the Agenda 21 goals, the Programme

for Further Implementation of Agenda 21

and the Commitments to the Rio

principles, recorded at the World Summit on Sustainable Development

(WSSD) in Johannesburg, South Africa in September 2002.

78. Labor strongly supports the work of the United Nations Environment Program

(UNEP) and will pursue reform aimed at

enhancing the UNEP's advocacy of global

environmental concerns.

79. Labor will give priority to environmental cooperation in the Asia Pacific region

where rapid economic growth is accompanied by increasing environmental

pressures and damage. Labor supports regional cooperation on environmental issues through APEC and in cooperation

with ASEAN. We will seek to upgrade

consultation with Japan, the United States, Canada and New Zealand. We

will further seek to establish new and

substantive dialogues with major developing countries, especially China,

Indonesia and India.

80. Labor will work to enhance the role of the Valdivia Group of Temperate Southern Hemisphere Countries in giving voice to

southern hemisphere interests in

international environment meetings.


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76. Leadership on these issues can and must 81. Australia's Pacific Island neighbours face be taken by middle powers such as increasing environmental challenges Australia. Labor is determined to rebuild arising from global warming, population Australia's reputation as a world leader on growth and rapid increases in exploitation

international environmental issues. of land, forests and fisheries. Increased

Australian Labor Pa

rty National Platfor m a nd Constitution 2004

Australian support for the South Pacific 84. To that end, Labor believes the

Regional Environment Program, Millennium Development Goals (MDG)

sustainable management of fisheries and should constitute the new framework for

other bilateral environmental assistance global overseas development assistance

to Pacific Island countries will be key (ODA) and Australia's national 7 v elements of Australia's engagement with contribution. Labor argues for a rt the Pacific under Labor. deepening in the world's commitment to

CD this MDG framework. Specifically, this

82. As a major Antarctic claimant state, involves commitments to:

Australia has a special responsibility to —eradicate extreme poverty and hunger; CD CD protect the Antarctic's near pristine

environment. Labor will work to further —achieve universal primary education; • > strengthen the Antarctic Treaty System —promote gender equality and empower

with particular emphasis on enhancing women;

d -• c, environmental protection. Labor supports —reduce child mortality; _ N negotiation of a stringent agreement on


liability for damage to the Antarctic

—improve maternal health;

environment. Priority will also be given to —combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other

developing effective arrangements for diseases;

management of tourism and other non- —ensure environmental sustainability; government activities that may impact on and

244 the Antarctic environment. Labor will —develop a global partnership for

energetically seek to combat development.

unsustainable, illegal and unregulated

fishing in the Southern Ocean. 85. Labor believes that Australia's

commitment to the MDGs should also be

Development Assistance

reflected in appropriate levels of senior


ministerial representation at relevant UN

review conferences. The fact that

83. Eliminating the disparities between the Australia has failed consistently to do so world's rich and poor is one of the critical in recent years unnecessarily undermines international challenges of our time. A Australia's international standing in a world is not just if one in five of its people critical area of corporate global

live in abject poverty and are denied responsibility.

basic rights to health, shelter, education,

clean water and sanitation. Global poverty 86. Consistent with our commitment to the

is also a leading source of international ideals of equality and social justice, Labor

insecurity with high levels of poverty

accepts the challenge of working towards

linked to political and economic instability, these goals as an urgent priority. This

human rights abuse, unrest and war,

objective fully supports Australia's long-

uncontrolled migration and population term security and economic interests.

growth, and environmental degradation. While the provision of development assistance may also support our foreign

Both altruism and self interest require that policy objectives, the pursuit of short-term

we actively assist the economic and diplomatic and trade advantage can

social advancement of people in easily compromise the effectiveness of

developing countries, especially the our aid program and should not determine

poorest countries and communities, development assistance priorities.

National Platform and Constitution 2004

Australian Labor Party

87. A focus on the MDGs is also consistent

with our determination to employ

Australia's overseas development assistance to advance respect for human

rights. Labor considers efforts to advance

the full range of human rights, economic,

social, cultural, civil and political, must be

integral to Australia's overseas aid, while

acknowledging the sovereign right of

developing nations to control the form and

nature of their development.

88. In promoting the MDGs, Australia's overseas aid program should involve a

cooperative partnership with developing

countries and peoples to:

—support broadly based, equitably

distributed and sustainable economic

growth by encouraging sound national

economic policies, including helping to

develop efficient, accountable and equitable government administration;

—work to increase access to basic human requirements such as health,

education, housing and sanitation,

where possible building upon existing

infrastructure, knowledge and resources of local communities;

—increase the productivity of the poor by

facilitating access to productive assets, including support for microcredit

programs, and access to vocational training and appropriate agricultural


—break down barriers to the participation

of the poor in economic and social

development, and especially support

activities which enable women to

contribute to and benefit from


—establish a human rights framework for Australia's overseas aid programs and

include human rights issues and respect for indigenous rights and

culture, in our development assistance

policy dialogue with recipient countries.

This should be done bearing in mind

the pitfalls of imposing donor values

and structures on developing countries

through development assistance:

—support environmentally sustainable development work directed towards

environmental protection and


—address HIV/AIDS and other

communicable diseases; and

—support population activities, including

voluntary family planning, as part of

wider efforts to improve the health and

education of women.

89. Labor strongly supports further international action to provide effective

debt relief for Heavily Indebted Poor

Countries. Debt relief should be closely

linked to social and economic development and poverty alleviation.

Australia must be prepared to contribute

its fair share of the cost of debt


90. Labor will pursue reforms to ensure the International Monetary Fund, World Bank and Asian Development Bank are held

more accountable for their programs in terms of poverty reduction and sustainable

development, as well as their impacts on

vulnerable groups and communities.

91. Labor accepts the internationally agreed aid volume target of 0.7 per cent of GNP

for overseas development assistance. A

Labor Government will ensure that

Australia's overseas aid as a percentage

of GNP is not further reduced and as a first step will seek to restore development assistance to Labor's 1995/96 ratio of

0.32 per cent of GNP as quickly as

circumstances permit.

92. Labor acknowledges the faltering effectiveness of much development

assistance in recent years, evidenced by

the poor state of the Solomon Islands and


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Australian Labor Pa

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other Pacific nations and therefore commits to new and innovative approaches in aid delive ry which aim to maximize aid effectiveness through:

—developing the distinction between sho rt-term foreign policy and long-term development policy and ensuring one doesn't undercut the other;

—discouraging corruption and other destructive disto rtions in recipient countries nu rtured by ineffective development assistance;

—maximizing recipient-driven policies and minimizing donor-driven policies in recipient countries;

—e mpowering and se rving individuals in developing countries more effectively and directly through decentralized aid delivery; and

—supporting grass roots, local ownership of institutions of governance.

Such measures will enable Labor to improve the effectiveness of development assistance and encourage greater commitment to development assistance in wealthy countries, and in so doing be tter fulfil its commitment to the Millennium

Development Goals.

93. The geographical scope of Australia's aid programs should reflect our primary regional focus on East Asia and the South Pacific. This should not preclude significant development assistance activities in other areas, especially South Asia and Africa where many of the world's

poorest communities are located. Labor also suppo rts the continuation of special development assistance programs of global significance such as Australia's aid contributions in suppo rt of the Middle East

peace process.

94. Labor is committed to ensuring that Australia's overseas development assistance is delivered professionally in a

cost effective manner and that over time it contributes to development. Labor strongly supports the role of non-government organisations in the development and delivery of Australia's overseas aid program. Labor will further enhance the role of Australian and

international non-government organisations as channels for Australia's development assistance, subject to rigorous standards of effectiveness and


Australia's International Image

95. Labor believes in the importance of public electronic media in enhancing Australia's interests and standing in our immediate region. Labor will rebuild

Radio Australia as the pre-eminent broadcaster in the region.

96. Labor notes that other countries have increased their short-wave and television penetration of Asia—while in Australia's case it has declined.

Institutional Foundations of Foreign Policy

97. Australia's diplomatic service is a national asset that is critical to maximising our international influence and securing

outcomes that advance the interests of Australia and Australians. Australia needs effective diplomacy to make us heard and help shape the course of international and

regional events.

98. Australian governments must be provided with timely and high quality analysis of international developments. Similarly our overseas representation must enable us to pursue our objectives in a cost effective way and to exploit emerging opportunities to enhance our security, economic and other interests.

99. Australia's diplomatic service has suffered significant cutbacks that impair its ability

—strengthen the capacity of the

Department of Foreign Affairs and

Trade (DFAT) and other relevant

agencies to assess and assist in

shaping global and regional patterns of

strategic and economic change, and

their implications for Australia,

especially in the longer term;

—ensure that the Foreign Affairs and

Trade portfolio retains and develops

relevant policy expertise;

—review the capacity and focus of

Australia's overseas representation to

ensure that our network of diplomatic

posts is resourced to meet the challenges of the increasingly complex

international agenda and the growing needs of government, business and the

Australian people;

—review and strengthen Australia's public diplomacy programs to project abroad

an image of a modern, culturally

diverse, tolerant and sophisticated Australia, in support of our key foreign

and trade policy objectives; and

—ensure that DFAT maintains 'critical mass' in its cadre of linguistic and area

specialisations consistent with Australia's regional interests. Australia must maintain in its diplomatic service

(inter alia) continuing high levels of

expertise in Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Bahasa Indonesia and Bahasa

Malay, Thai, Tagalog, and Vietnamese.

In the case of the languages of South East Asia in particular, the impact of regional terrorism makes the retention

of these language and area specialisations within DFAT even more

critical than in the past.

National Platform and Constitution 2004 Australian Labor Party

Labor will ensure that high priority is

given to assisting all Australian travellers

and Australians overseas through

effective and accessible consular services. In the aftermath of the Bali bombings, Labor will overhaul every

aspect of the DFAT travel advisory

system to ensure there is no avoidable

mismatch between intelligence and what

the travelling public are told.

101. Labor recognises the important

contribution made to advancing Australia's national interests by

Australia's intelligence collection and

assessment agencies and the necessity

for effective management, scrutiny and

accountability of those organisations.

Labor is committed to:

—ensuring that our intelligence agencies

are able to assess effectively and

respond to national security challenges, including threats arising

from the proliferation of weapons of

mass destruction and international

terrorism; and

—maintaining appropriate and effective oversight of Australia's intelligence

agencies, including placing all such

organisations on an appropriate

legislative basis and under effective

parliamentary scrutiny.

102. Labor is committed to ensuring continued effective parliamentary and

public scrutiny of international treaties

prior to final treaty action by government. Labor will continue

arrangements for review of treaties

including the Treaties Council, the

Parliamentary Joint Standing Committee

on Treaties, and the requirement that treaties together with National Interest

Analyses be tabled in the Commonwealth Parliament for at least

fifteen sitting days before final treaty action is taken. Labor is committed to

to pursue our national interests. Targeted 100

reinvestment in our international relations

effort is required to meet the challenges

of the next two decades and beyond.

Labor will: n

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Australian Labor Pa

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further enhance consultation with State 107. Labor believes that the ADF needs to

and Territory governments and increase possess the capability to make opportunities for public and contributions to international operations

parliamentary scrutiny prior to the led by the United Nations and Australia's 0 conclusion of treaty negotiations. key allies in the pursuit of broader

Di national strategic objectives. Those

contingents will be drawn from the


forces and capabilities that are


developed for the defence of Australia


and for operations in our region.

CD 3

Australia's Defence Capabilities 108. Labor will ensure that ADF capability

103. Foundations of defence policy. Labor development is directly related to believes that the main responsibility of Australia's strategic interests, and that CD d the Australian Defence Force (ADF) is to appropriately regular strategic reviews

oN- defend Australian territory and other key are undertaken with public reports

a D Australian strategic interests from any published. Where necessary, Labor will


credible threat. respond to changes in Australia's

104. The foundation of Labor's defence policy strategic circumstances by providing a

is the principle of Australian self

clear explanation of any implications for

reliance. Labor considers that Australia's defence.

248 armed forces need to be able to defend 109. Maintaining a viable defence

Australia without relying on the combat capability. Labor is committed to forces of other countries. Labor believes maintaining a strong and efficiently that the principle of self reliance reflects, managed defence organisation that fundamentally, Australia's sense of itself possesses the equipment, personnel

as an independent nation. and skills that are needed to meet the

demands placed upon it by the

105. Notwithstanding its commitment to a self-reliant defence policy, Labor Australian government.

recognises the importance of strong 110. Labor believes that armed conflict bilateral and multilateral defence should be a last resort, and that every

relationships in providing for Australia's effort should be made to prevent it. defence. Where appropriate, Labor will Nevertheless, a strong and both strengthen existing defence ties technologically advanced defence through the United Nations, with our key capability must be maintained and be so allies, and by building new relationships effective as to demonstrate, if within the Asia Pacific region. necessary, Australia's intention and

ability to defend itself and its vital

106. Australia's strategic interests. Labor interests.

considers that the best way for Australia to discharge its global responsibilities, 111. Labor considers that all Australians and to protect its national security within Australian territory are entitled to

interests at the same time, lies first in the full protection of the ADF. No defending our nation, and then in concentration of defence effort in

fostering peace, stability and security particular areas shall in any way within our South Pacific neighbourhood compromise the security of other parts and the broader Asia Pacific region. of Australia's national territory.


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Na tional Platform and Constitution 2004

Australian Labor Party

112. Terrorism. Labor believes that

Australia's national interest dictates a

committed and determined effort to

prevent the spread of terrorism. Labor is

strongly committed to working with its

neighbours, allies, and through the United Nations, to eliminate this serious


113. While primary responsibility for counter-terrorism rests with Australia's intelligence, law enforcement and

emergency management agencies, the

ADF also has a critical role. Labor's new

Department of Home Affairs will work

closely with Defence to ensure that Australia develops a coordinated, whole

of government response to the ongoing

threat of terrorism.

114. Labor is committed to ensuring that the ADF, in particular the Special Forces, is

equipped with the highest level of

counter-terrorist capabilities available.

115. The Australian Coast Guard. Labor recognises the importance of ensuring

that the ADF maintains a focus on its core function of providing for the military

defence of Australia. Labor will transfer the maritime policing role currently

performed by the Navy to a single,

dedicated agency, the Australian

Coast Guard.

116. In times of war or national emergency

the Australian Coast Guard will come under the command, and act as a fourth

arm of, the ADF. In times of peace the ADF and Coast Guard will maintain high levels of cooperation and assistance in

the pursuit of national security.

117. Labor remains committed to the ADF's

important maritime surveillance and interdiction roles, such as that performed

by the Navy's fleet of patrol boats. The

creation of a Coast Guard reflects

Labor's belief that border protection

should be performed on a full time basis

by a single, dedicated, specialist agency.

International and Regional Defence Relationships

118. International defence relationships.

Labor recognises the importance of both

bilateral and multilateral defence relationships in achieving security for

Australia and creating and maintaining

stability in Australia's strategic environment. Defence cooperation with

Australia's neighbours is important for

building regional security.

119. Labor will ensure that Defence cooperation does not contribute to any

suppression or violation of human rights

or democratic freedoms. Labor will closely monitor the human rights performance of foreign military forces with which Australia engages in defence

cooperation. If necessary, Australia will

work with regional military forces to increase respect for human rights and

democratic processes.

120. The US alliance. Labor considers the alliance relationship with the United States to be fundamentally important to

Australia's national security. Labor believes that the ANZUS Treaty, which is

central to the alliance relationship, is one of Australia's great national assets.

Labor endorsed the invoking of the ANZUS Treaty following the terrorist

attacks in the United States on 11

September 2001.

121. Labor will continue to build on this excellent relationship developed over many years. We will revitalise the consultative mechanisms to facilitate a

strong relationship into the future.

122. Labor will continue to promote joint

defence exercises and improved

interoperability with United States

military forces, within the context of Australia's national defence objectives.


Australian Labor Pa

rt y National Plat form and Constitution 2004

123. Pine Gap. The Pine Gap Joint Facility Labor supports the development of

makes an important contribution to this capability for in-theatre defence of ADF alliance as well as to the deterrence and personnel and key strategic interests avoidance of conflict. Labor will require from ballistic missile attack.

n that this facility continue to be managed

and operated on a joint basis and only 127. Defence relationships in the Asia Pacific with the Australian Government's full region. Labor is committed to Australia r+ CD knowledge of and concurrence with the comprehensively engaging with other

-n facility's activities. Labor will ensure the nations in the Asia Pacific region, as part

5+ operations of the Joint Facility are of its efforts to foster and preserve

C CD consistent with Australia's national peace, stability and security in this security, disarmament and non- region. Labor recognises that these

proliferation objectives. Furthermore the efforts are increasingly fundamental to CD Joint Facility will only operate to support Australia's own national security.

oc^; the use of armed forces with the specific

128. Australia's artici ation in the Five p p a .. prior agreement of the Australian

Power Defence Arrangements (FPDA)

c^ 0


will remain an important aspect of


124. Ballistic missile defence. Labor

regional policy under Labor. The FPDA

considers that the proliferation of provides a unique multinational forum in weapons of mass destruction and which the ADF can exercise with other

250 ballistic missile delivery systems is one countries of the region. Labor will work

of the most serious international security to maintain the FPDA as a cooperative issues confronting the world today. treaty with benefit for all participants. Labor considers effective efforts to 129. The continued development of combat these developments require

Indonesia's democracy, and joint

sustained multilateral, diplomatic and cooperation against terrorism, is

defence cooperation and action.

allowing Australia to build on the

125. Labor is concerned that as a unilateral strength of its relationship with that response to the problem of ballistic country. Labor will ensure that any missile proliferation, national missile defence relationship between Australia defence is disproportionate, technically and Indonesia will be as equal partners, questionable, costly and likely to be to the benefit of both countries and that counterproductive. It also has the of our broader region, while ensuring

potential to undermine non-proliferation that Labor's commitment to liberal and derail world progress towards democratic and human rights values is nuclear disarmament. Labor also notes not compromised.

that national missile defence would impact on the security situation in the 130. Australia's historical and close ties with

Asia Pacific region, and that this could New Zealand are the basis of an

have serious consequences for

ongoing partnership. Labor will promote

Australia's strategic circumstances and regular joint military exercises with New

national security.

Zealand and seek to improve the operational capability of potential joint

126. Labor is committed to ensuring that all deployments and foster the synergies efforts are made to protect ADF that can be created with our different

personnel deployed on operations. defence capabilities.

National Platform and Constitution 2004

Australian Labor Party

131. Australia has a special role and

deemed necessary by the relevant

responsibility in its relations with Australian authorities are complied

Papua New Guinea. Labor in with by the vessels concerned; and

government will assist Papua New —appropriate environmental safeguards Guinea to develop an effective an are in place.


disciplined defence force, while

encouraging non-military solutions to Defence Personnel CD

problems of internal security and order. 134. Looking after ADF personnel. Labor m

132. Security of the Pacific nations is recognises that the ADF's most valuable rt

essential for regional security and asset is its people. Labor is committed CD

Australia's own defence. Labor will to an ADF which is made up of highly


increase Australia's efforts to engage motivated, skilled, well trained and well

in supporting sustainable development equipped personnel who volunteer for C

of the Pacific nations through the service. The ADF must be able to

creation of democratic institutions, compete with the private sector to recruit a Q -0

effective law enforcement and modern and retain the best and brightest d

defence forces. personnel. In order for the ADF to be an CD

attractive and competitive employer

133. Allied use of Australian facilities. Labor will develop an integrated long-

Labor will support the use of facilities in term personnel policy that addresses the Australia by the armed forces of friendly special nature of military service and the 251

countries for combined exercises, needs of service families.

training and goodwill visits, provided that

in times of peace: 135. Labor will ensure that ADF pay and

—use of Australian ports by foreign

conditions continue to be fixed in a fair

warships does not extend to the

and transparent manner by an

home porting of any of those vessels independent tribunal. Labor believes that ADF personnel have the right to form,

in Australia;

and be members of, associations in

—the staging of military aircraft through respect of their pay and conditions. Australian airfields or airspace shall Labor will allow associations that can only be for such purposes as may be demonstrate a substantial membership agreed beforehand by the Australian to have the right to appear before the

Government; independent tribunal to present the

—no nuclear, biological or chemical views of serving members.

weapons may be stored or stationed 136. Occupational health and safety, and in Australia; workers' compensation. Labor is

—nuclear powered vessels visit only strongly committed to improved

those ports which, after assessment occupational health and safety and

by the Australian Nuclear Science and workers' compensation arrangements for

Technology Organisation (ANSTO), ADF personnel. Labor believes that have been determined by the Visiting these arrangements should reflect the

Ships Panel (Nuclear) as being unique risks involved in military service

suitable for those vessels, and and give appropriate emphasis to

provided also that all other safety treatment, rehabilitation, return to work

precautions and conditions that are and income maintenance measures.

Australian Labor Pa

rty National Platform and Constitution 2004

137. Labor will ensure that all ADF personnel that of the broader Australian

receive quality information about community.

occupational health and safety, and 142. Independent investigation of

compensation provisions, and increased incidents involving ADF personnel.

assistance to claim compensation when Labor strongly believes that affected

they sustain a work-related injury or

ADF personnel and their families are


entitled to the highest standards of

1 138. Labor believes that before ADF justice and procedural fairness in military

personnel are deployed on operations investigations. Labor will ensure that the

CD they should, at any early stage, receive military justice system provides

I full details about any inoculation impartial, rigorous and fair outcomes for

5 • > requirements, and the nature of any all affected parties. Labor is committed

4 health risks associated with the to the introduction of a strict

° vaccines. Labor will also ensure accountability system to improve the

; personnel receive comprehensive transparency and public accountability of

a medical checks and support upon their all military justice investigations.

d CD

return from operations.

143. Defence Reserves. Labor believes that

139. Female personnel in combat roles. the Reserves are a critical component of Labor will review the extent to which the Australia's defence capability that needs

remaining prohibitions on women to be able to contribute to any sort of


serving in combat positions serve any operation in which Australia might

useful military purpose. The experience participate. Labor is committed to of overseas defence forces will be integrating full time ADF and Reserve

considered as part of this process. elements in a total force structure where the different role of all components is

140. Sexual harassment in the ADF. properly understood, valued and utilised Labor is strongly committed to effectively. Labor will also: eliminating sexual harassment in the

ADF. Labor will establish a single point —abolish the Common Induction

of complaint and a specialist

Training for the Army, and review it for

investigative unit, separate from the

the Navy and Air Force;

chain of command and accountable —assess the adequacy of equipment directly to the Chief of the Defence available for the purpose of Reserves

Force, to investigate all allegations of training, in light of evidence that some

sexual harassment. Labor will ensure units are suffering shortages of that all allegations of sexual assault weapons and ammunition; and

involving members of the ADF are —be vigilant in ensuring that the rights

referred to the civilian police for and protections accorded to

investigation. Reservists are observed, including

141. Composition of the ADF. Labor

through the reintroduction of defence

believes it is important that the nation's

leave as an allowable award matter.

defence force be representative of the 144. Labor is concerned that the current

community it serves. Labor will shortfall of Reserve recruits is preventing

reconsider Defence's recruitment the Reserves from fully performing the

policies to ensure that the ethnic functions envisaged in the 2000 Defence

composition of the ADF better reflects White Paper. Labor will work with

National Platform and Constitution 2004

Australian Labor Par ty

145. Community recognition of ADF

service. Labor will work with nations

that enforce conscription against

Australians who have dual citizenship

with the purpose of ensuring that Australians are able to visit their country

of origin without being forced into conscription. We will seek to develop

civilian and military alternatives in

Australia for those who choose to

undertake such alternatives and wish to

embark on extended visits.

146. Labor is committed to commemorating the sacrifice of those Australian men and

women who have served in war and

overseas conflicts on behalf of Australia

and who have participated in United

Nations peace keeping operations.

Labor will ensure that Australia particularly remembers the individual

sacrifice of those who have given their

lives in the service of our country.

147. Labor will assist the Australian community to learn about and remember

the nation's experiences of war, and to

appreciate both the personal contribution of those who served and the social, economic and political impact on

the wider community.

Labor is committed to reforming defence

acquisition policy to ensure that the defence procurement process delivers better outcomes for the ADF, the Australian government, and the

Australian community.

151. Labor will ensure that the Department of Defence is more accountable for the

timely and cost effective delivery of all major defence acquisition projects.

Labor will undertake annual evaluations, strengthen parliamentary oversight, and

publish regular reviews of all major defence projects to ensure that important new equipment is delivered on

time, within agreed budgets, and with the required level of capability.

152. Defence indust ry. Australia's defence industry sector is an integral part of the defence of Australia. Labor is committed to fostering a strong and viable long-term domestic defence industry and will

ensure that government policy reflects

that commitment.

153. Labor is concerned by the Australian National Audit Office criticism of defence's ability to deliver Australian industry involvement in major acquisition

projects. Labor will undertake annual reports on Australian industry involvement in defence acquisition and procurement projects, to ensure that the economic and employment benefits of such involvement are achieved.

Reserve commanders to determine why 150.

Australians are not joining the Reserves,

and develop strategies to improve the

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148. Labor will review the range of policies on 154 the issuing of medals and benefits for

operational service, with a view to

addressing any outstanding anomalies.

Defence Industry and Procurement

149. Defence acquisitions. Labor believes that the failure to deliver major defence

equipment projects on time, within budget and with the required level of capability is undermining Australia's

overall defence efforts.

Labor recognises that defence acquisition plays a significant role in the modernisation of Australian industry and the development of a skills base. Labor will give preference to Australian based

companies, with special consideration for local suppliers being desirable


—the supplier is commercially competitive;

—the supplier is operating in an area of

high strategic value;

Australian Labor Party

National Platform and Constitution 2004




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—c ompetitors are likely to be subject to political and intelligence pressures from foreign powers and are consequently unreliable; and

—local production is required to establish a new capaci ty capable of future development.

156. Labor believes that the sectoral plans represent a more strategic approach to defence indust ry policy that will enable Australia to sustain key indust ry capabilities necessary to meet our long-term national security needs. This also

helps to provide be tt er guidance for industry, introduce be tter business practices within defence and establish bett er relationships between industry and defence.

157. Labor supports a defence shipbuilding sector plan that maintains a viable defence shipbuilding capability in Australia.

158. Australian Submarine Corporation. Labor believes that the Australian Submarine Corporation (ASC) is a strategic national asset. Labor is committed to maintaining a viable ASC to ensure that the economic benefit from Australia's investment in submarines is

maintained, employment in the sector is continued and is consistent with the long-term strategic requirement to

maintain a strong submarine industry in Australia.

defence to maximise the outcome of its capital expenditure by utilising the project management skills of the private sector. Labor will develop guidelines to

ensure that a PFI cost-benefit analysis option for every major defence acquisition project is undertaken to ensure that the maximum value for

money outcome is achieved on every major defence project.

Defence Capability Plan. Labor is committed to the regular publication of a Defence Capability Plan (DCP) to

ensure that the defence industry sector remains informed about future acquisition projects, particularly the proposed timing, cost and level of capability associated with such projects.

161. Consistent with its approach to regular strategic reviews, Labor will review and, as necessary, update the DCP on a regular basis to ensure that public information about defence equipment projects remains current and relevant to the needs of the ADF, the defence

industry sector and the Australian community.

162 Defence science and technology. Labor believes that the Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO) has an impressive record of research and development of defence-related technologies. Labor will fu rt her expand and encourage the links between DSTO and the Australian defence industry,

including technology transfer to Australian industry. This will ensure maximum benefit from Australian defence research and development and enhance domestic development opportunities for new technologies and products.

As far as possible, Labor will foster the retention of intellectual property ownership in Australia, including where

155. Defence indust ry sectoral plans. Labor suppo rts the development of defence indust ry sectoral plans for shipbuilding, aerospace, electronics, and


land and weapons.

159. Private Finance Initiatives and Private-Public Pa rtnerships. Labor supports the use of the Private Finance 163 Initiatives (PFI) and Private-Public Partnerships (PPP), which can enable

National Platform and Constitution 2004

Australian Labor Party

appropriate ownership of intellectual

property by defence.

164. The role of defence in urban and regional development. Consistent with Labor's urban and regional development

and transport policies, we will develop

ports, airfields, railways and roads which

will contribute to the mobility of, and

infrastructure support for, the ADF as well as to the material development of

the nation and growth in the defence

industrial base. Labor will also ensure that the Defence Forces activities that

provide important transport links and

economic infrastructure for rural and

regional centres are maintained.

165. Defence exports. Labor will ensure government control over the manufacture and export of arms,

munitions and military goods and


166. Labor supports the export of Australian defence equipment within strict

guidelines. Labor will not permit

defence exports to countries where

those exports would:

—have an adverse impact on Australia's

security interests;

—contravene United Nations embargos;


—pose a clear, identifiable risk of being

used for the major suppression or

violation of human rights or

fundamental freedoms.

167. Defence exports are important in maintaining local industry support for the

ADF and in contributing to Australia's own Defence capability. Accordingly,

Labor will review the Defence export facilitation program in consultation with

industry to ensure maximum opportunities for Australian defence

industry, within the strict guidelines

required for defence exports.

Defence Corporate Performance

168. Defence financial and corporate management. Defence continues to face significant corporate management

challenges. Labor will ensure that

Defence establishes the highest level of

financial discipline, because improved

financial management is critical in

ensuring that value for money outcomes

are delivered to the government, the

ADF and the Australian community.

169. Labor will undertake a comprehensive audit of Defence financial management

to ensure that the corporate performance of the organisation meets

best practice standards. Labor will

ensure and demand greater accountability and transparency in

defence financial and asset


170. Defence property disposal. Labor recognises the cultural, heritage and

environmental significance of many

surplus defence properties around Australia. Labor will review the future of all sites identified as being surplus to defence needs, before deciding whether

to sell or transfer these properties to the community. Labor will ensure that

defence consults with all affected parties, including local communities,

local and State government agencies,

and private interests before determining

the future of individual sites.

171. Defence outsourcing. Labor will review all outsourcing initiatives proposed by

defence to determine the financial viability of proceeding with these programs. Labor will ensure that future

outsourcing only occurs in areas where real long-term savings can be generated without compromising the operational

capability of the ADF.

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CARE AND HONOUR FOR 177. Labor also recognises however, that

AUSTRALIA'S VETERANS many inconsistencies resulting from

different judgements and perceptions in

The Tradition of Care

the past cannot be remedied without

n 172. Australia' military activity since considerable cost, and the risk of

Federation has seen many deployments creating further inconsistencies.

abroad in the defence of our national 178. Consistent with the philosophy of

I interests. This service has traditionally benefits being relevant to contemporary

'1 been treated with special status by needs, and with the principles of

Australian society, recognising the fairness, equity and transparency, CD 3 disruption to life, hardships of separation

Labor will continue to review policies.

. from family, and the wide range of risk to Labor will fully consider the

3 life and limb. Repatriation therefore has recommendations of all recent reviews

C had a special significance, with unique of policy, including those of the Clarke

oN, and separate acknowledgement of that Review of Veterans' Entitlements

p, - 0 service through special programs of completed in February 2003.

support, care and commemoration at CD public cost. 179. Labor will give early priority to those

recommendations of Clarke relating to

173. Labor respects the tradition of special those affected by radiation from service care for Australia's service men and in Japan and during the atomic tests 256 women who serve overseas, within the in Australia.

modern context. Labor will continue to

care for and honour veterans for their Veterans' Needs

service to the maintenance of world 180. With the passing of most World War

peace and domestic security through veterans, the veteran community can be

dedicated programs of support, care, categorised three ways for the purposes

and commemoration. of reviewing and developing flexible and

responsive programs:

174. Moreover, Labor will not tolerate any —Veterans who served in World War II,

further erosion of the traditional

Korea and subsequent deployments in

distinction accorded those with warlike

South East Asia who are largely

(qualifying) service as appropriate in a

retired. For this group the issues are

modern service context.

now predominantly ones of health and

175. However, Labor also notes that these aged care.

traditional policies and programs have —Veterans who served in the Vietnam

evolved slowly over almost a century, War with its unique characteristics

and that in some instances may no including the presence of many

longer be consistent with the needs conscripted men, and divided

of veterans and their families in a community support. For this group the

modem society. more immediate needs are those of

income security for their future

176. Labor in its approach to veterans and retirement, support for the raising of

war widows' entitlements recognises families, and programs of support for there are many inconsistencies, but in families suffering from the effects of addressing these, need will always have substance abuse, gambling and acts first priority, of violence.

National Platform and Constitution 2004

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—Those who have served since in programs to assist these families to

peace keeping missions, and meet the pressures and demands of deployments such as the Gulf, East modern society. Timor, Afghanistan, Iraq and the 185. As first priority Labor will ensure the Solomon Islands—most of whom are adequacy of programs focused on 3 yet to become veterans, but whose alleviating the effects of substance needs at present seem likely to abuse, gambling, and domestic violence emulate those of the Vietnam as experienced by partners and children. I generation. m rt 186. Labor will also undertake health studies,0 181. Labor's policy for veterans will therefore into the health and welfare of children ofCD be structured to respond to the differing younger veterans, to better establish the r" c needs of veterans according to their possibility of inter-generational health- stage of life, with flexible programs effects flowing from their service. CD d based on meeting contemporary needs. * ^,187. To assist families of veterans in need, M_ NVeterans' Families Labor will review the adequacy of the182. Traditionally programs of support and program of bursaries for talented 0care for veterans extend to immediate children accepted at the tertiary levelfamily, recognising that injury and the including living away from homestresses of service can often affect allowances, complementary with thethose for whom the veteran is Veterans' Children Education Scheme. 257responsible. Those programs alsorecognise the care extended to the Programs of Income Supportveteran within the family, especially by 188. Consistent with general policies whichpartners, as a lifelong commitment. They have seen the provision of safety netsalso recognise the right to public support for those disadvantaged in society andin times of need and for children not to unable to take their place in thebe disadvantaged by their parents' workforce due to disability or age,service and any subsequent outcomes special provision has always been madeaffecting their health and well being, and for veterans and their dependants. Thistheir future development as individuals, uniquely includes the effects of service which impact on veterans' employability 183. Labor is committed to the care and within the labour market. welfare of veterans' partners andfamilies who may have suffered as a 189. These policies which have their originsresult of the veterans' service, in the immediate post World Warparticularly from the ill health of a society, while consistent with generalveteran, as part of a policy of lifelong social welfare policies, are separate andcare for those injured or affected by form part of service conditions rathertheir service, than general social welfare policy. Labor will honour that distinction. 184. Labor will work to address the healthand welfare needs of younger veterans' 190. Recognising the principles offamilies, particularly those of Vietnam entitlements based on need, andveterans, but also those of former peace consistent with the current principleskeepers, and subsequent deployments, governing the provision of incomeLabor will ensure there are adequate support, Labor will continue to

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programs of income support for development of a new single scheme for

veterans, their partners and widows, all ADF serving people in the future,

whereby as the result of service in the provided that hard-fought benefits, and

Australian Defence Forces, they have the traditional values on which they are

n been unable to provide for themselves based, are not diminished.

and their families due to loss of work 196. Labor will continue to support the BEST

rt capacity, death, or age. and TIP programs which are of immense CD T Disability Compensation value in assisting ex-service r t organisations prepare compensation

0 191. Injuries and illness resulting from claims for their members.

CD veterans' service overseas have

5 > traditionally been compensated in a War Widows

separate scheme in recognition of the 197. Australians have always cared and

different circumstances and status of

provided for those whose partners were

o that service. This is reflected in some lost in action or who died as the result of

circumstances by a more generous

their war-caused injuries or illness.

standard of proof, the lack of any onus Labor recognises that the traditional

CD of proof, and a longstanding programs of support for war widows as commitment to the benefit of the doubt provided for in the Veterans' Entitlement operating in the veterans' favour. Act may no longer be relevant, and that258 192. Labor will honour these commitments there are strong perceptions in theand the values on which they are based. community of unfairness with respectto eligibility. 193. Labor will seek to ensure the operationof income and assets tests applied 198. Labor also clearly recognises thereto veterans other than under the are some widows in need of greaterVeterans' Entitlements Act apply fairly support, especially those rentingand take account of veterans' service privately, and younger widows withoutto our nation. children whose entitlements have beenreduced in the past. 194. Labor also recognises the claims of theTotally and Permanently Incapacitated Health Carecommunity with respect to the erosion ofthat part of their pension compensating 199. Health care policy for veterans has fromfor their inability to earn a living , the time of Federation, provided for free particularly those younger veterans with treatment of all service related injury andcontinuing family responsibilities. Labor illness. This is now denoted bywill consider further measures to possession of a White Card.restructure benefits for T&PI's 200. In more recent times free private healthconsultatively with the T&PI community. care for all conditions has been provided195. Labor recognises too, that much of the by the Gold Card to a range of veteransunfairness and inconsistency within and widows. Eligibility is automatic forveterans' disability compensation law some classes of veterans and widows,derives from two separate acts of but generally requires warlikeparliament and the incompatibility of (qualifying) service and an age of 70.different entitlements from this dual 201. Assistance in the home, aimed ateligibility. Labor supports the keeping ageing veterans and

National Platform and Constitution 2004

Australian Labor Party

out of costly institutionalised care is also

provided under the Homecare Program,

consistent with the Home and

Community Care (HACC) program available to the community at large. This

forms part of the traditional approach of

lifelong care to those who served

Australia abroad.

202. Labor will retain the current programs of health care for veterans and honour the

historic commitment to free treatment for

all service-related injuries and disease.

The Gold, White and Orange cards will

be retained with existing entitlements.

203. Labor will expedite the current program of mortality and health studies and

research into past deployments, as well

as ensuring that the current processes

for future deployments properly deal with

health risks in advance, and after return

to Australia—particularly with respect to

record keeping.


204. Commemoration of veterans, their commitment and sacrifice has historically been restricted to the

observance of Anzac Day and

Remembrance Day by the public, and with little government involvement.

Labor introduced the current program of

commemoration in 1992 and has

continued to support that effort, despite

its capture by the Howard Government

for political promotion.

205. Labor will restore a bipartisan approach to commemorative activity, with a

concentration on educative programs under the aegis of the Australian War

Memorial. Anzac Day will continue to be

the central focus of commemorative

commitments, but additionally will

introduce a new day of commemoration

to be known as the 'Battle for Australia

Day' in September each year,

recognising the special significance of

the World War II campaigns in Papua

New Guinea, the Pacific and South East

Asia in the defence of Australia.

206. Labor will implement education and information campaigns to ensure all

Australians, especially the young,

develop a full appreciation of the

sacrifice and service of our veterans and

current service men and women.


207. Currently administration of veterans' and ex-service personnel matters are concentrated within the Department of

Veterans' Affairs, recognising the need

for better continuity of specialised client

service around Australia. Recognising

that the administration of veterans' policy and ex-service personnel matters will continue to merge in the future as

the nature of defence service evolves, and the older veteran cohort diminishes

in number, Labor will continue with a

dedicated agency for veterans within the

defence portfolio.

208. As part of this continuing commitment, Labor will consult widely and regularly

with the veteran community at State and

federal level.





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Anti Vehicle Mines

In recognition of the fact that anti-vehicle mines kill and maim innocent civilians, Labor supports a ban on all anti-vehicle mines that are fitted with anti handling . devices. Labor will support international efforts to regulate

and further restrict the useof anti-vehicle mines in general and continue to promote Australia's work in mine clearance programs.

Republic of Cyprus Labor deplores the fact that for nearly 30 years Cyprus remains artificially divided, and recognises the humanitarian and economic costs this continued division imposes on the communities of the island.

Labor reaffirms its longstanding and

Labor welcomes the improvement in relations between Greece and Turkey and especially the overtures by the new Erdogan Government and hopes that this will facilitate progress toward resolution of the Cyprus issue.

Labor commends the UN Secretary-General for his current initiative and regrets the failure of The Hague Summit in March 2003.

Accordingly, Labor:

—reaffirms its strong support for the role of the• UN Secretary-General, commends his continuing efforts to facilitate negotiations to secure a solution to the Cyprus problem, and expresses its deep concern at the continuing deadlock in

intercommunal talks;


unequivocal support for the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of the —reaffirms its support for the approach Republic of Cyprus. adopted in the relevant UN: Security

Council resolutions that require Cyprus to

Labor expresses its strong belief that the be one State, with a single sovereignty, status quo on Cyprus is unacceptable and single international personality and single our deep concern that negotiations are still citizenship based on a bizonal; yet to secure a just and lasting resolution of bicommunal federation; the Cyprus issue.

Labor calls once more upon all parties to respect the sovereignty ,independence and territorial integrity of-the Republic of Cyprus. Labor reaffirms the policy of non-recognition of the secessionist Turkish Republic of

Northern Cyprus.

Labor reiterates its strong concern at the absence of progress towards any significant reduction in the number of foreign troops on the island. The presence of foreign troops on

Cyprus fuels tensions both on the island and in the eastern Mediterranean and complicates efforts to negotiate an overall political settlement. Labor welcomes the accession. of Cyprus . into the European Union which presents a new context and opportunities for the resolution of the Cyprus conflict.

—welcomes the efforts of the UN and others concerned--including those in Australia— to promote the holding of bicommunal events so as to build cooperation, trust and mutual respect .between the two communities;

—welcomes the mobilisation of Turkish Cypriot public.opinion in favour of the UN proposal, the peace process and accession to the EU, as well as the change in theTurkish Cypriot leadership, expressing the hope that this would herald a new conciliatory policy towards the reunification process;

—welcomes the partial lifting of restriction of movement by the Turkish side between the north and the south but reiterates that this does not constitute a substitution for a comprehensive settlement;


National Platform and Constitution 2004

Australian Labor Party

—applauds the efforts of the UN

Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus, especially officers of the Australian Federal Policy who continue to make a vital contribution

to its operations;

—calls upon the parties to work towards resolution of the Cyprus problem in a way which guarantees to all Cypriot people the three freedoms of movement, settlement

and ownership, and ensures the right of all refugees to return in safety;

—calls upon all involved parties to undertake urgent and comprehensive investigations into the fate and whereabouts of all missing persons;

—calls on the Federal Government to use all its influence to help facilitate a just and lasting settlement of the Cyprus problem, consistent with United Nations resolutions and based upon the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of

Cyprus; and

—further calls on the Federal Government to encourage, assist and support all efforts and contacts which maintain and enhance relations between the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities, especially those in Australia.

Labor in government will maintain the position of an Australian Special Envoy for Cyprus and will commit Australia's good offices in active support of international

efforts to resolve . the Cyprus problem. Labor will strengthen Australia's diplomatic presence in Nicosia which has been reduced to an unacceptably low level.

Labor views positively Cyprus' accession to the European Union with major potential benefits for the economic development and

security of the whole island and the opportunity to bring the communities in Cyprus closer together.

Labor calls on the international community to reinvigorate efforts to advance negotiations to restore justice for Cyprus and to bring about a long term resolution of

the Cyprus issue.

Western Sahara

Labor notes that the United Nations has been trying to organise a referendum for self-determination in Western Sahara since 1991.

Labor further notes that the referendum has been delayed because of obstructions by Morocco, which has illegally occupied Western Sahara since 1975.

Labor expresses its deep concern for the deterioration of the human rights situation in the occupied areas of Western, Sahara.

Labor supports the right of the Saharawi people to self-determination and deplores the long delays, which have so far prevented them from exercising their inalienable right to self-determination through a UN conducted


Labor urges the UN and the intemational community to press Morocco to accept and implement the latest UN peace plan for self-determination of the people of Western

Sahara without further delay.

Labor urges the Australian Government to extend all due assistance to the UN in its.

efforts to organise a free and fair referendum for the people of Western Sahara, and to establish and maintain an appropriate dialogue with the Polisario Front.

Missile Defence

Labor expresses its opposition to the decision by the Howard Government to commit Australia to joining the United States National Missile Defence (US NMD) program.

Labor notes that the Howard Government has not released any detail about Australian



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participation in the. US NMD program nor has it committed any financial resources to funding this participation Any financial contribution to the $US120 billion NMD program can only come at the expense of other important domestic priorities such as screening facilities in . Australia 's regional

airports and the provision of be tter health, education and social welfare outcomes for Australian families.

NMD will increase tension in our region, encourage proliferation. of ballistic missiles and make the world less. rather than, more secure >`

Instead of committing Australia to joining the US NMD program', Labor in government will

-redouble Australia's efforts .as.part of international moves to combat the proliferation of ballistic missiles through

strengthening international disarmament treaties,. and

-supporting multilateral mechanisms aimed at preventing weaponisation of, and ensuring the peaceful. use; of ., space.

Middle. East Peace Process

Labor.. strongly .supports the negotiation of a justenduring and comprehensive peace settlement in. the Middle East based on

United Nations Security Council Resolutions 242; 338, the Middle East Road Map to Peace and the Oslo Declaration of Principles

agreed: between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organisation, representing the Palestinian people, in 1993: `Labor considers it to be a matter of great regret that Israel and the Palestinian Authority, were unable to reach agreement on permanent status issues at the Summit held under the auspices of US President Clinton at Camp David between

11 and 24 July 2000.

Labor urges the commitmen t from both sides to continue their efforts to conclude an

agreement on all permanent status issues as soon as possible, thereby seeking to put an end to decades of conflict and achieve a just andlasting peace. Labor further urges both sides of avoiding unilateral action that prejudge the outcome of negotiations.

Labor urges both Israel and the Palestinian Authority to resume substantive negotiations to achieve a permanent status agreement as quickly as possible.

Labor continues to suppo rt the right of Israel to exist in peace and security within secure and recognized borders. At the same time Labor supports the right of self determination for the Palestinian people, including their

right to their own independent state.

Labor welcomes Israel's recognition of the Palestinian people's right to self determination.' Labor acknowledges that the implementation of Palestinian self determination and the ultimate shape of the

Palestinian entity is subject to the permanent status negotiations.

Labor recognizes the Palestinian Authority as the basis for a potential Palestinian state and believes that consideration should be given tothe-upgrading of bilateral contacts with a view to the extension of diplomatic

recognition, as and when appropriate, to a representative of the Palestinian Authority in Australia.

Labor condemns all acts of terrorism, including Palestinian suicide bombing and urges all parties to the peace process to exercise maximum restraint and deprive the enemies of peace the opportunity they seek through violence to disrupt negotiations.

Labor does not believe the current dividing barrier being constructed by the Israeli government will assist in bringing about a lasting peace settlement with the Palestinian people.

National Platform and Constitution 2004

Australian Labor Party

Labor urges Israel and the Palestinian

Authority to cooperate wholeheartedly in taking all appropriate measures to combat terrorist activity and calls on all groups to refrain from and actively discourage all

hostile propaganda and vilification that may incite violence and impede progress toward peace and reconciliation.

Labor urges the Federal Government to lend every support to the peace process,, in particular through the United Nations and through the active participation of the parties

in the Road Map to Peace negotiations process.

Labor further urges the Federal Government to provide maximum possible targeted development assistance to the Palestinian Authority to assist the Palestinian Authority

address ongoing problems associated with poverty levels exceeding 60 per cent and unemployment- in excess of 30 per cent.

Labor expresses its hope that further progress in negotiations between :Israel and the Palestinians will be accompanied by advances in negotiations between Israel

and Syria towards Israeli withdrawal from the Golan Heights and the normalization of relations.

Labor welcomes the withdrawal of Israeli military forces from Lebanon in accordance UN Security Council Resolution-425.

Labor calls on the Federal Government to assist in the full restoration of Lebanese sovereignty and the protection of the rights

of all citizens of Lebanon; in particular by calling for the immediate withdrawal of remaining foreign forces, dismantling of foreign sponsored militias, cessation of foreign interference in internal Lebanese

affairs, and encouraging free democratic elections and full respect for human rights in Lebanon.

Labor also notes that under the terms of the 1989 Taif Agreement; Syria should have withdrawn all military from Lebanon by 1992. Labor notes Syria's , withdrawal

of some military forces. from Lebanon through 2003.

Recognising the threat to peace and security in the Middle East posed by the proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, Labor opposed the war on Iraq because the

reasons advanced by the Howard Government for going to war were insufficient and incompatible • with the UN- Charter.

Labor calls for the- immediate return of UN weapons inspectors -to produce a final and comprehensive report verifying whether or not Iraq possessed: stockpiles of chemical . and biological weapons; at the time of the ...

Iraq war was initiated as claimed by the Howard Government.

Labor calls for the immediate return of International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors to` produce .a final and.... comprehensive report 'verifying `whether or not Iraq was reconstructing its nuclear weapons program at the time of the Iraq war was initiated as claimed by the Howard


Labor recognizes now that Australia's foremost responsibility is to assist in the rebuilding of Iraq for the benefit of the Iraqi

people. Labor believes that this must be done through a consistent and concerted' humanitarian assistance and economic reconstruction effort in which Australia.: must

be an active participant.,

Labor also believes this process can be advanced through appropriate Australian technical . assistance (through the Australian. Electoral Commission) withthe

development of an Iraqi electoral system and conduct of Iraqi elections in order to

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bring about the earliest return of full sovereignty to the Iraqi people

Labor welcomes the increasing.' openness in Iranian society and notes; the'Khatami Government's trend toward: greater: openness toward the international community. IT therefore regrets the 2003 decision: of the

Iranian Council of Guardians toprevent a large number of candidates for and existing Members; of Parliament from contesting the

next Iranian. elections:. Labor further welcomes the resumption of negotiations between the Iranian Government and the International Atomic Energy Agency to

inspect Iran's nuclear. facilities: Labor remains deeply concerned however, by abuses of human rights and religious freedoms. in Iran.

Australia; should make it clear to the Iranian Government that persecution of people as a consequence of their religious or political beliefs can only damage Iran international .:....:....:..... standing and further delay normalisation of

Iran's relations with much of the world.

Labor extends its condolences to the Iranian people for the-.tragic loss of life that occurred during. the.Bam earthquake on 28 December 2003. Labor calls on the Government to

provide;.additional ': humanitarian :relief assistance to` ensure :that the basic needs of survivors are adequately: met.

Timor Leste Labor: warmly. welcomes :. Ti mor Leste into the community of nations and :welcomes. the progress achieved: by the East:`... Timorese .people and government in working to build a viable, self sustaining,

independent and sovereign state. Timor Leste's status as an independent nation amongst all others is a.tnbute to the resolve of the East Timorese people..

Timor Leste continues to face significant economic and social challenges in its nation

building including there-establishing of essential social services, revitalising the economy, generatinglemployment and

achieving food self. sufficiency.

Labor considers that Australia should generously ,assist .the ;East Timorese people as they work towards an independent future. Australia should be comprehensively engaged in supporting sustainable development in Timor Leste, including through the provision of comprehensive technical advice. Labor strongly advocates the further development of a wide range of

institutional and people to people ties between Australia and Timor Leste, including. local government, friendship relationships.

Labor expresses its: concern that incursions by militia forces from Indonesian West Timor have continued and notes that despite commitments to action by. the Indonesian military; •little appears to have been done to disarm or disband the, militia groups. These groups, must be terminated without delay and those responsible for violating Timor Leste's territorial integrity. must. be identified and held to account for their actions-. Labor believes that United Nations peace keepers should

remain in Timor Leste until such time as that country's security can be assured.

Labor supports in principle the ratification of the unitisation agreement between Australia and Timor. Leste, and notes that Australian government support for the commencement of the Sunrise project as soon as possible would provide impetus to the projects success.


Labor condemns the Mugabe regime for the manipulating the 2002 general election to ensure its re-election. Labor further condemns the stance taken by the Mugabe regime with its land redistribution campaign

National Platform and Constitution 2004

Australian Labor Party

and notes that as a result of this campaign,

thousands of farmers and workers in Zimbabwe have been displaced, the Zimbabwe economy has been crippled ,.

and there are now widespread shortages of basic commodities. ^-Labor notes that opposition and union groups in Zimbabwe have actively pursued pro-

democracy reforms, including seeking the early retirement of President Mugabe.

Labor condemns the periodic harassment of Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, including his a rrest and detention, and the

suppression of independent media by the Mugabe regime.

Labor stands side by side with the Zimbabwean people in their pursuit for democratic reform and free and fair elections.

Labor supports efforts by the MDC opposition to enter into a dialogue with the regime, and calls on the Mugabe regime to

enter into genuine political dialogue with the Opposition with a view to restoring democracy and rebuilding international confidence in the count ry.

Labor calls on the Federal Government to explore options through the United Nations of bringing international pressure to the Mugabe

regime to ensure that democracy is restored in Zimbabwe.

Global Fund for HIV/AIDS

Labor notes that there are approximately 40 million people worldwide; estimated as currently infected by HIV/AIDS, and that this is causing a significant fall in life expectancy,

a rapid growth in the number of orphans and a decline in national productivity in much of sub-Saharan A frica.

Labor further notes that the significant rise in parts of South and South East Asia, and in

Papua New Guinea,, means that the Asia Pacific region also threatens to b e .

significantly affected by HIV/AIDS.

Labor affirms; its commitment to supportin g. international efforts to limit the spread and impact of the HIV/AIDS epidemic.. Labor

welcomes the creation of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, formally established ` at; the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on

HIV/AIDS in June 2001. Labor notes that the Fund enables recipient , to maintain

their own autonomy in deciding the best strategies for tackling diseases, as well as facilitating and scaling-up and strengthening existing responses to epidemics.

Labor notes that in its first two rounds of funding the Global Fund approved AUD$2.4billion over two years for more than 154 programs in 93 of the worst affected

countries. Labor further notes that this funding is only a fraction of the AU^D$11-16 billion UN Secretary General Kofi:Annan called from the international community

annually to respond to HIV/AIDS. Labor notes that the Global Fund today faces a significant shortfall of funding and that this jeopardises its ability to distribute funds to

those countries already. with program

Labor calls on the Government to review the way resources are allocated for combating HIV/AIDS through Australia's aid budget, with a view to committing financial support to the

Fund.' Labor believes that support for the Fund would be an important contribution to the global fight to eradicate HIV/AIDS.


Labor reaffirms its longstanding condemnation of gross. violations of human rights in Burma, including the draconian

suppression of political freedoms, torture, rape, disappearances, extrajudicial killings,

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oppression ,of-ethnic and religious minorities and.the use of forced labour:

Labor. further ,condemns the 'continued refusal of the State Peace and Development Council to accept the political verdict of the

people. of Burma freely expressed at the democratic .elections of 1990.

Labor expresses its deep concern at the continuing repression of public political ,activity,. the arbitrary.. detention; imprisonment and systematic surveillance of those in

Burma seeking to exercise their rights to freedom of expression, assembly and association: ` ...

Labor calls on the Government to cease its constructive engagement policy with the Burmese regime; including its human rights training course. for Burmese officials. This has been a demonstrable' failure in

bringing about any improvement regarding the State Peace and Development Council's approach to addressing human rights concerns in Burma:

Labor notes that the Australian Government's approach stands in stark contrast to the majority of international- opinion: ;Both the European Union and the United States have put in place a range of targeted sanctions against individuals in the SPDC regime.

Labor believes that for its part the Australian Government should also consider a range of targeted sanctions against the:SPDC regime. Targeted sanctions against::. individual

members of the regime would not cause

undue hardship on the citizens of Burma. Sanctions that should be considered include those that deal with the international financial transactions of members of the regime, including a freeze on assets overseas, their

personal international travel, and that of their families.

Labor.also calls on the Australian Government to do all it can to maximise international pressure on the Burmese

military regime to respect human rights and democratic freedoms.

Labor calls on the State Peace and Development Council to cease its repressive attempts to suppress political freedom in Burma and to release all prisoners detained

for their political views and beliefs.

Labor considers the only long-term solution to the situation in Burma is a negotiated settlement based firmly on a fundamental

respect for human rights. Labor calls on the State Peace. and Development Council to open a genuine political dialogue with Daw Aung SanSuu Kyi, representatives of the National League for Democracy, and ethnic minorities.

Labor further calls on the State Peace and Development Council to fully and unconditionally cooperate with the United Nations Secretary General's Special Representative and to cooperate unreservedly with the international community in efforts to suppress trafficking in narcotics.


Chapter Sixteen

Delivering Quality



Australian Labor Pa

rt y National Platfor m a nd Constitution 2004

Chapter Sixteen should reflect the diversity of our

Delivering Quality

society through their representatives, appointments and decisions.


5. Accountable and accessible

3 Making Government Responsive, government. With the growing


Accountable and Efficient

perception that decisions affecting the

& lives of citizens are increasingly being

CD1. The process of globalisation has set in taken beyond national borders, it is train developments that are affecting the imperative that people should have r image and authority of states everywhere:access to and confidence in their national CD CD there is widespread disillusionment with governments. Labor believes this can

government and a lack of confidence in only be achieved if: ocu ^. the capacity of governments to solve —governments are truly accountable to C problems. Labor rejects these views, parliament and the electorate; 3 ^' cn remaining committed to the belief that —citizens' rights to independent review governments, which are truly '* p representative and accountable, have an of administrative decisions are guaranteed; essential role to play in protecting andenhancing the lives of citizens. —transparency of government decision making is facilitated by effective 2. If people are to be persuaded of the measures such as freedom of 268 legitimacy and worth of government, then information.the standards, practices and services ofgovernments must be of the highest 6. Efficient and effective government.quality. In particular, government must be Labor has always believed that its goals are best achieved if government responsive and representative , services are delivered in the most accountable and accessible, efficient efficient manner possible. and effective. —Because of the universal difficulty in3. Responsive and representative matching government revenue raising government. Government must respond capacity to required outlays theto the higher level of social wants premium on efficiency is greatercharacteristic of modern, technologically than societies and to the economic 7. Labor recognises that community support insecurities citizens are experiencing, for an active role for government in the Labor reaffirms its commitment to: achievement of social and economic—the idea and practice of government goals requires that government programsintervention to promote social deliver the expected results.democratic goals and to ameliorate theconsequences of market failure; andRespect for the Constitution—remaining responsive to community 8. The Constitution is the fundamentalopinion, with a continuing emphasis on compact between the Australian peopleconsultative processes of government. and their government. The Constitution and the powers it vests in the three arms4. Government must be truly representative of government—the parliament, theif it is to realise the aspirations of all executive and the judiciary—all drawAustralians. Labor believes governments authority from the Australian

National Platform and Constitution 2004

Australian Labor Party

9. A healthy and open democracy in which Constitution in context, rather than

government is held to account by the relying on any expression of original people is dependent upon a participative intent made at the time of Federation. and active population. Our democracy's 13. The Constitution should: ability to respond properly to the priorities —reflect Australia's status as an 7 of people is diminished if people feel they independent nation and as a federal v -p are not part of that society or that it has parliamentary democracy; CD nothing to offer them. —use simple language and reflect actualI NLabor is committed to addressing issue practices and conventions of our X such as economic deprivation, geographic system of government, including that CDor cultural isolation and language barriers the head of state should act on thethat contribute to people's perceptions of advice of the government enjoying the osocial exclusion, confidence of the House of—Through citizenship education and Representatives; 3 Mlifelong learning, Labor is committed to —provide the most suitable framework for C empowering Australians to understand the economic, environmental, social C dthe operation of our system of and political development of Australia Egovernment, and to the need for as a federation;ongoing constitutional reform to ensure —recognise an appropriate division ofthat our legislatures are properly responsibilities between all levels of 269 equipped to meet the challenges of the government to facilitate nationaltwenty-first century. planning and the effective delivery of10. To continue to meet the increasingly public services;complex economic, environmental, —protect the independence of thepolitical and social needs and aspirations judiciary; andof the Australian people, Labor believes —ensure that our individual, collectivethat the Constitution must be flexible and and civic rights are guaranteed, withreadily capable of alteration. constitutional reform to entrench these11. Australians have only rarely amended the rights. Labor recognises that these inalienable rights carry with them a Constitution. History shows that referenda responsibility to respect the individual are only likely to succeed when they and collective rights enjoyed by others, receive broad support across the and the need to protect and promote political spectrum. institutions and practices fundamental—Accordingly, Labor will seek to build a to an equal, just, democratic andbroad consensus for constitutional tolerant society.reform both with other political parties 14. Labor supports the inclusion of a new and among the Australian people as preamble to the Constitution which a whole. recognises Indigenous Australians and12. The Constitution was not set in stone at the core elements of Australia's historythe time of Federation. It must be and democracy and appropriatelyadaptable and acquire meaning from the expresses the values, aspirations andneeds of the day. ideals of the Australian people.—Labor acknowledges that it is the role 15. Australians must be entitled to participateof the High Court to interpret the equally in the democratic process and



Australian Labor Pa rt y National Plat for m a n d Constitution 2004



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public life and administration. Labor supports constitutional reform to entrench the principle of one vote, one value for all elections, to ensure equal participation for

all regardless of place of residence.

Labor supports simultaneous, fixed four year terms for the House of Representatives and the Senate.

Labor supports repealing subsection 394(1) of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918, which would then not prevent the States and Territories from moving their electoral systems into line with the Commonwealth should the

Commonwealth establish fixed four year terms.

18. Labor supports constitutional reform to prevent the Senate rejecting, deferring or blocking appropriation bills.

19. Labor supports constitutional reform at the Commonwealth, State and Territory level to remove the barrier on election to parliament of a person holding an office of

profit under the Crown, provided that office is relinquished on election.

20. Labor supports constitutional reform to allow all Australian citizens to contest Commonwealth elections.

21. Labor supports the removal from the Constitution of provisions no longer having any effect.

22. Labor will seek to remove racially discriminatory provisions from the Constitution, in particular to delete section 25 of the Constitution and to amend placitum 51(xxvi) to ensure it cannot be used to discriminate against

Indigenous Australians.

Respect for the Parliament

23. Parliament is the central institution in our system of government and respect for parliament is an essential element of a healthy democracy. In Labor's view this respect is dependent on the extent to which parliament reflects the will of the

people; the credibility, appropriateness and effectiveness of the institutions of parliament; and the standard, dignity and transparency of parliamentary proceedings.


Labor believes that the monarchy no longer

reflects either the fundamental democratic principles that underlie the Australian nation or its diversity.; Labor . believes that our head of state should be an Australian who embodies and represents the traditions, values and aspirations of all Australians

A2 Labor recognises , the difficulty of advancing constitutional reform if the Australian people are not fully involved "in'.the process and unless bipartisan support is :obtained..

A3 Labor is committed to consulting with the Australian people, other political. parties, the States and the Territories as to the form that the

Republic should take. Labor will promote community debate about the advantages and disadvantages of the various republican models.

A4 Labor will conduct plebiscites to establish support for an Australian head of state and the preference for different forms of a Republic. When a preference has emerged Labor will initiate an appropriate referendum under section

128 of the Constitution.

A5 Labor believes that every Australian citizen should-be eligible to be our head of state.

A6 Labor supports Australia's continued membership of the Commonwealth of Nations.


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National Platform and Constitution 2004 Australian Labor Party

24. Labor reaffirms its belief in the primacy of

the people's House (the House of

Representatives) and believes that a

government enjoying the confidence of

that House should be able to govern

without obstruction by the House of

review (the Senate).

25. Labor acknowledges the need for ongoing reform to ensure parliament is able to

meet the changing needs of government

and society.

26. Parliamentary question time should be an opportunity for calling the government to

account. Labor believes that all ministers

should be in attendance and that there

should be procedures to ensure that

questions are adequately answered.

27. Labor will support measures designed to enhance the independence of the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

28. Labor regards the parliamentary committee system as an important means

for enabling parliament to exercise its

responsibility to review draft legislation

and oversee the implementation of laws,

policies and programs.

expenditure of travel and other allowances annually and will establish an

independent auditor of parliamentary

allowances and entitlements with appropriate powers of investigation.

32. Labor will ensure that ministerial advisers are accountable to government, the

parliament and the public.

33. Recognising that every citizen should have a stake in the political process and

that political parties need to be broadly representative, Labor endorses the maintenance of compulsory voting and


34. In order to guarantee effective representation of the community in the

national parliament, limitations on the

opportunities for Australian citizens to

offer themselves for election to the parliament should be minimal. Labor will

work towards removing unnecessary barriers, and in particular will support reforms to terminate the constitutional ban on election to parliament of a person

holding an office of profit under the

Crown, provided that office is relinquished on election.


29. Labor believes that those holding public 35 office should fully disclose their financial

interests and any other interest that may conflict, or be perceived to conflict, with

their public duty.

30. Labor ministers will be required to adhere to a formal code of conduct which sets out the action to be taken when conflicts of

interest, or perceived conflicts of interest,

arise and which prohibits behaviour likely

to bring discredit to the government.

Former ministers will be required to adhere to a twelve month waiting period before they can take up employment in their most recent area of responsibility.

31. In order to enhance the accountability of parliamentarians for their expenditure of allowances, Labor will table details of

Labor believes that the cost of participation in the political process should be shared between the wider electorate and political organisations and their supporters. To achieve this Labor

believes public funding is central to ensuring an open and participatory


—all fundraising bodies and trusts assisting political parties, politicians

or candidates fully and promptly disclose their accounts and the source

of their income;

36. Labor supports public transparency of

political donations. Labor believes all original sources of political donations

should be disclosed. Labor will introduce

measures to ensure:

Australian Labor Par

ty National Platfor m a n d Constitution 2004

—the definition of 'associated entity' in 41. Labor will promote transparency and

the Commonwealth Electoral Act more open government through effective accurately reflects the activities of freedom of information legislation,

political parties; including mandatory release of internal

C) —political party annual returns are working documents where this is not

p hi accompanied by a report from an contrary to the public interest, and the

accredited auditor; and regular tabling in parliament of reports on


—the Australian Electoral Commission the operation of government and


has the power and resources to ensure government-funded agencies.


compliance with disclosure laws, 42. Freedom of information provisions should CD including the power to fully audit be available to all. Labor will ensure that

M 0 organisations or people it suspects the costs involved in using freedom of

0 have not disclosed gifts or other information procedures do not put them

CD resources given to political parties, out of reach of the community.

3 5 politicians or candidates.

m 43. Labor will ensure that considerations

37. Labor will abolish the tax-deductibility of relating to outsourcing, privatisation, political donations. notions of commercial confidentiality and

corporatisation are not used as excuses

Integrity and Openness in

to allow government and government-

Government Administration

funded agencies to escape the

272 38. In government Labor will aim for the requirements of open government and

highest standards of integrity, accountability. The rights of clients and

transparency in decision making, other recipients of such services,

openness and accountability, including rights to access to information,

39. Labor will seek to encourage and lead privacy, correction of inaccurate public debate on important public policy information and, where necessary, issues by publishing appropriate, redress, will be maintained.

taxpayer-funded research.

44. Labor recognises the responsibility of

40. Labor will not support the use of government to provide the necessary

government advertising for political regulatory frameworks to ensure people, purposes. Labor will introduce legislation particularly clients and other recipients of to ensure: services, are protected.

—government advertising campaigns only 45. Labor recognises that where the

occur after government policy has been government acknowledges responsibility

legislated for by parliament;

to provide a service, it must guarantee

—all government advertising and delivery standards. This will require that information campaigns provide the performance of service providers, objective, factual and explanatory whether they be public or private sector, information, free from partisan be subject to examination by the Auditor

promotion of government policy and General. Labor remains committed to a political argument, and in an unbiased strong, independent and well resourced and objective language; and national audit office capable of providing

—the cost of government advertising is objective and balanced audit advice and minimised by the targeted use of media assurance to the parliament, government other than television advertising, and public sector entities.


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National Platform and Constitution 2004

Australian Labor Pa rt y

49. Labor suppo rts public pa rticipation in

government decision making through consultative processes such as adviso ry bodies, that are representative of 53

community views.

46. Labor believes that all government and administrative decisions should be subject to administrative review or judicial challenge, including through the continued

effective operation of the Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act.

47. Labor will defend the integrity of the office of the Commonwealth Ombudsman and ensure that it is adequately funded.

48. It is essential for the integri ty of the review process that tribunals and other bodies should maintain their independence from the agencies under review.

50. Labor recognises that whistleblowing is a legitimate form of action in a democracy and will support legislation to provide effective protection for whistleblowers in the public sector.

51. Labor is opposed to relinquishing control of the nation's public se rvices, including health and education se rvices, in the General Agreement on Trade in Se rvices

negotiations and negotiations on bilateral free trade agreements. Labor will not support changes that undermine affordable access to public services or

ongoing government rights to regulate services in the public interest. Nor will Labor support changes that require the privatisation of public assets.

Efficiency in Government Service Delivery

52. The Australian Public Service (APS) and the public sector generally plays a crucial

nation building role, promoting our economic and social objectives. Labor will revive the concept of a career in the public service by making the APS a

model employer, a place where

Australians want to work, and by limiting and reducing non-ongoing employment in the APS. We are also determined to revive skills in the public sector and

reaffirm the historic role of the public sector in national affairs. Conference believes that a Labor Party Government should be commi tted to working with the

community and the trade union movement in order to develop quality public services for all communities throughout Australia, which are balanced

across a range of issues, including re-investing in the community, services generated for service rather than profit, commitment to growth in service, and

meeting the communi ty's expectations.

Labor will boost the powers of the Public Service Commission and its Commissioner. This would provide for greater coordination in whole-of-service

issues, such as workforce planning, recruitment, and greater in-service training. The Commission will take responsibility for core industrial relations

matters, including a framework agreement.

54. Given the rapid ageing of the APS workforce, and the shrinking number of young people joining the service, Labor will place particular emphasis on the

recruitment of young people to the APS workforce, and will ensure that older Australians who wish to remain in the APS are able to do so.

55. Labor supports the maintenance of a strong, unified, apolitical public service as a repository of knowledge and expertise in the development of government policy

and the delivery of essential services to the Australian community.

56. Labor believes there are characteristics, which are unique to the public sector, such as multiplicity of objectives, the need for higher standards of accountability and


Australian Labor Pa rt y

National Platform and Constitution 2004



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the need to respond to the changing requirements of governments and that there are limits to the extent to which private sector practices can and should

be applied to the public sector.

57. Under Labor, the focus of government will be on achieving benefits for the Australian community as a whole. While cost effectiveness will be an important consideration, equity, social cohesion and the provision of opportunities for all Australians will be of prime importance.

—Labor is committed to achieving best practice in the provision of government services.

59. Labor believes public ownership of national assets will continue to play an important role in helping to foster a strong economy and a more equal society. Any consideration of outsourcing or privatisation of government assets or services, including through the application of National Competition Policy, will only occur where it is demonstrably in the public interest. Such public interest tests will include:

—accountability to and scrutiny by the public, including access to contracts;

—affordability and value of public services are maintained and genuine cost savings, not at the expense of quality of service or access to services, nor through cuts to jobs, employment

conditions or rights of workers, are identified;

—no negative effect on the environment or industry development;

—assessment of impacts on regional, rural and remote Australian communities;

—costs and benefits for the public are clearly identified through a direct, fair comparison along with the balance of risk and profit between the government and any private provider; and

—privacy of consumer information.

Labor believes that the purchasing power of the Commonwealth and other levels of government should be used to provide expanded opportunities for local industry and to achieve savings in the purchase of goods and services for the public sector.

62. Labor recognises that for government programs to meet their stated objectives necessary tools and resources must be in place. Programs should be regularly monitored to ensure that they have the capacity to achieve their stated objectives.

63. Labor is committed to improving transactions between the public sector and the wider community. It will strengthen the consultation between government agencies and consumers and will ensure that service delivery is simplified and better directed through the

use of appropriate technology. It will favour changes to program design that enable recipients to exercise greater choice and control in their utilisation of basic government services.

64. Labor recognises that despite the potential for increased efficiencies offered by new technologies, access to personal service and expert advice locally will still

be of great value in many circumstances, particularly in the delivery of services to regional areas.

60. As part of the process for improving the performance of public sector trading enterprises, Labor will ensure that they are provided with an adequate capital structure, including an adequate

equity base.

58. Labor recognises that in the drive to make Australia more competitive, there is 61 a need for continuous improvement in the efficiency and effectiveness of government service delivery.


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National Platform and Constitution 2004

Australian Labor Party

65. Labor will undertake audits of the

provision of government services,

including to regional, rural and remote

Australia, and develop a strategy to

ensure adequate service provision.

Access and Equity in Government


66. Labor is committed to a single, integrated,

merit-based and non-discriminatory

career public service that is able to

respond to the changing needs of

government and society.

67. Selection and promotion in the public sector will be on the basis of merit. At the

same time Labor reaffirms its commitment

to ensure a rapid increase of representation, including at senior levels,

of sections of the workforce who have

been discriminated against, or who have special needs, namely: women, Aboriginal

and Torres Strait Islander people, migrants

and people with disabilities. Labor also

recognises the important role of the public

sector in providing employment, training and career opportunities for young people.

68. Women now make up over fifty per cent of the Australian public service workforce, but are still significantly under-represented at senior and middle management levels.

Labor is committed to the rapid elimination

of this gender gap.

69. Labor reaffirms its commitment to the principles of participatory decision making and industrial democracy in the

public sector.

70. Labor supports collective bargaining within the public service and the role of

relevant unions in bargaining processes.

71. Labor is committed to ensuring that public

servants are adequately represented in respect of workplace matters and will

encourage union membership within the

public service.

72. Labor will encourage mobility between and within departments, particularly for

the Senior Executive Service, and

between the public service and other

appropriate areas of employment.

73. Labor recognises that the job insecurity faced by agency heads and department

secretaries is a matter of serious concern

and that it can lead to politicisation of the

APS. Labor will revisit the matter with the

aim to enhance job security.

74. Labor recognises that:

—Australians want a career public service

without partisanship;

—public service employment must be fair

and equitable;

—there is necessarily a limit on, and need

for public scrutiny of, top public service


—there must be an ethos of public

service; and

—outcomes are funded by public money.

75. These special elements should be

reflected in public service industrial relations arrangements by:

—ensuring secure, comprehensive,

service-wide standards and


—ensuring secure superannuation


—emphasising training and career


—enabling public servants to balance work and family responsibilities;

censuring appeal and review rights;

—ensuring that contracting-out is not

used as a vehicle to cut wages and working conditions for public sector

employees; and

—establishing staffing levels commensurate with work loads, not

arbitrary financial targets.

Australian Labor Pa

rty National Platfor m a nd Constitution 2004

76. Labor recognises that government

appointments to board and statutory positions should be conducted in a manner that is designed to foster n transparency, accountability and public confidence. In government Labor will r+ adopt principles and procedures that I ensure such appointments are (.1) underpinned by a system based on merit, x equality of opportunity, public scrutiny (D and independence.

pC Constitutional Reform i (D Labor is committed to engaging the public in a 3 ^' process of ongoing constitutional reform to p remove outdated and inappropriate provisions

C from the Australian Constitution, to modernise our democratic structures and to make public administration more efficient and effective by facilitating cooperative schemes between 276 federal and State governments.


Chapter Seventeen

Financing Government


Australian Labor Pa

rty National Pl at fo rm a nd Constitution 2004

Chapter Seventeen —reduce the burden of taxation on lower

Financing Government

and middle income Australians; and —investigate ways of financing

Basic Principles government that promote

C) environmental goals in keeping with the

1. High quality public services provided by above principles.

-p government to meet the needs of the

rP CD community are essential in any civilised Revenue society. They must be sustainably

4. Labor believes that the operation of the

financed in a way that is as fair and

taxation system should be consistent with CD economically efficient as possible. the criteria of fairness, economic r+CD CD 2. The management of Australia's public efficiency, environmental sustainability,finances must meet broad economic and adequacy, simplicity, transparency,G)27 3 social objectives, ensuring a sustainable comprehensiveness and administrativeCD approach to: efficiency.3 —managing the economic cycle and 5. Fairness. Labor is committed to a fair and CD promoting productivity growth; progressive tax system characterised by:—balancing public and private savings; —vertical equity, meaning that those with—investing in nation building priorities differing capacities to pay tax should278 including public infrastructure and the face differing burdens, with a greaterenvironment; contribution from those with the greatercapacity to pay; and —maintaining Australia's internationalcompetitiveness and export —horizontal equity, meaning that thoseperformance; with equivalent capacities to pay taxshould face similar burdens. —providing essential services andpromoting social justice for those 6. Labor will ensure that the taxation systemin need; is fair by, in particular:—re-establishing a fair and just Australia;—targeting support to the unemployed;and—maintaining independent nationalfinancial policies while managing thedemands of increased globalisation.3. Labor will:—finance government in ways whichrecognise not only the role of fiscalpolicy in ensuring sustained economicand jobs growth, but also theimportance of low levels of taxation andpublic debt;—investigate alternative funding options,including Government InfrastructureBonds, for much needed infrastructure;—recognising the costs faced by familiesin raising children;—ensuring that the interaction of tax andwelfare does not act as a barrier forpeople to move from welfare to work;—providing appropriate resources torevenue authorities to ensure a highlevel of compliance with, and minimalavoidance of, existing taxation laws;—taking measures to ensure that highwealth individuals are not able, throughfamily trusts and other income splittingarrangements, to avoid paying their fairshare of taxation;—ensuring that the tax system does notsubsidise excessive executive remuneration;

National Platform and Constitution 2004

Australian Labor Party

—ensuring the integrity of the ABN 10. Simplicity. Labor will ensure that the

registration system; and taxation law is as simple to apply as is practicable and consistent with the

—addressing erosion of the PAYE tax achievement of fairness and other

base through incorporation and objectives. Taxpayers should be able to (^ contrived independent contracting. determine their liability inexpensively and0)7. Economic efficiency. The design and with reasonable ce rtainty, and thestructure of taxes can have a significant authorities should be able to calculateeffect on the economic viability of and collect revenue equally readily. N Nparticular industries, regions or indeed the 11. Transparency. Labor will ensure that the< CD whole nation. To maximise economic taxation system is as transparent as efficiency in the tax system, Labor will possible, with decision-making discretions CD CD seek to ensure that it: reduced as much as possible and a T—encourages economic growth and comprehensive system of rulings 0 Memployment; maintained to keep taxpayers fully CD—encourages saving; informed of the practice of the revenue3 CD—encourages new investment, and authorities. 1+research and development; In addition, Labor will ensure that bracket—assists the location of headqua rters of creep is returned to Australians eitherinternational businesses in Australia; through reductions in tax or improved 279—facilitates the establishment of Australia a major regional financial centre; 12. Comprehensiveness. Labor will ensureand that the tax base is as comprehensive as possible, consistent with the achievement —maintains the integrity of taxation bases of other objectives, in a way that ensures that are currently threatened. that all sections of the community pay8. Environmental sustainability. Labor will their fair share and no one isensure that taxation leads to increased disproportionately burdened. Laborenvironmental sustainability and avoid believes that tax avoidance schemestaxation that leads to increased used by wealthy individuals must beenvironmental degradation, stamped out. Labor in Government will require the budget papers to include an 9. Adequacy. Labor will ensure a level of independent report from the Taxation revenue adequate for the rebuilding and Commissioner and the Secreta ry to the improvement of the public services we Treasu ry, identifying material threats to are commi tted to providing by: the tax base.—achieving sufficient economic growth to 13. Administrative efficiency. Labor generate revenue; recognises that administrative efficiency is —ensuring that the integ rity of the tax particularly desirable in the taxation base is maintained; and system, in that it minimises the negative—ensuring that all taxpayers are effects of taxation on the economy;contributing fairly, by appropriately reduces the costs of collecting revenue,designed tax measures and effective thereby providing more net revenue forlegislative and administrative action to government services; and improvesminimise tax avoidance, voluntary compliance by

Such public interest tests will include:

—privacy of consumer information;

—accountability to and scrutiny by, the public, including unions and other stakeholders;

—detriment to quality of service or access to service, cuts to jobs or employment conditions;

Australian Labor Par ty National Platform and Constitutio n 200 4

—Labor will ensure that the taxation

system minimises compliance and collection costs. Maximum use will be made of information technology to n minimise the time and cost burden

faced by taxpayers, in particular small businesses, in complying with their

CD taxation obligations.



The Management of Assets and CD Non-tax Revenue

CD 14. Labor believes that the management of public assets should reflect their 0 M contribution to the community beyond

0) their financial worth. To this end Labor is

CD D committed to the management of public CDt assets to ensure that: It —consultation occurs when the use of

public assets, including land, require upgrading or review and that this involves the consideration of impacts

280 on the environment, community

amenity and access, transport, and regional or urban development;

—interest and dividends are used to meet

broad social and economic objectives; and

—the services provided by the assets are

reviewed, and if required, safeguarded by legislation.

Therefore, Labor is committed to the maintenance of, and investment in, public assets, services and infrastructure to ensure their long-term competitive viability.

Any consideration of privatisation of assets, infrastructure or services, including through the application of national competition policy, will only occur where, after a period of genuine public consultation, it is demonstrably in the public interest.

—detrimental effect on the environment or industry development (including regional industry clusters and supply


—assessment of impacts on regional, rural and remote Australian communities;

—detrimental impact on skills development; and

—detrimental impact on maintenance, safety and productivity of associated industries services and infrastructure.


16 In addition to maintaining a taxation system which provides the primary source of revenue for meeting the needs of the Australian community, Labor recognises that the public expects government to

continually review and assess public spending, so that value for money in

public expenditure is achieved and additional resources can be directed to high priority objectives.

Labor recognises that this can only be achieved by way of a rigorous and disciplined budget process and financial

management system. Accordingly, Labor will implement a system which:

—establishes clear priorities and intended outcomes for spending, in line with announced policies;

—seeks wherever possible to offset new recurrent expenditure with efficiencies in existing programs;

—maintains world's best practice and continuous improvement in the efficient

15. Labor believes public ownership of assets, services and infrastructure will continue to play a vital role in supporting and promoting a strong economy and a 17 more equal society.

National Platform and Constitution 2004

Australian Labor Party

delivery of high quality public services,

and encourages innovative ways to

achieve policy objectives at lower cost;

—maintains accrual accounting, but

makes it more transparent and


—evaluates rigorously all spending and

tax expenditure programs to ensure

that programs are efficiently and effectively achieving their objectives;

—ensures the prudent financial management and accountability of public monies through a framework of strong fraud control measures, efficient

cash management, optimal buying practices by government agencies and

active asset management; and

—maintains the role of the Auditor General as the sole auditor of budget

funded bodies; ensures adequate resources for the Australian National

Audit Office; and provides comprehensive financial information

throughout the budgetary cycle.

Labor will do this while maintaining its commitment to a socially just Australia where all people can have a standard of

living sufficient to enable them to live decently with dignity.

Commonwealth-State Financial


18. Australia's federal system creates a number of financial challenges in the delivery of public services to Australia's

citizens. Labor recognises the key role of sensible and balanced intergovernmental

financial relations in ensuring the delivery of public services, and ensuring fair access to those services. The best public

policy outcomes arise from whole of government approaches to policy which

are coordinated across all levels of government. Only Labor is committed to such an approach in conjunction with a

meaningful regional focus.

19. Accordingly, Labor will:

—maintain a system of funding to the

States and Territories which provides

adequate funding for their needs until

the flow of GST revenue makes this

budget balancing assistance


—maintain a comprehensive system of

horizontal fiscal equalisation based

upon the per capita relativity

recommendations of the Commonwealth Grants Commission;

—maintain a system of general purpose

funding to local governments which

provides adequate funding for their


—continue to support specific purpose

payments to States and Territories

where these are appropriate to meet

national objectives or ensure national

standards, and ensure that those payments are used for the purpose for

which they have been allocated; and

—ensure that State, Territory and local governments and their authorities are

able to maintain and steadily improve their economic and social infrastructure.

20. Labor will also:

—seek to eliminate inappropriate duplication between Commonwealth,

State and Territory, and local government functions and activities;

—support arrangements to voluntarily harmonise revenue bases and tax

administration between the Commonwealth, States and Territories;


—support arrangements to voluntarily

integrate the administration of Commonwealth and State and Territory

taxes and charges, where this has the potential to lead to economic benefits such as lower compliance costs for



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rt CD CD

o 3

CD M 30 3 CD to


Australian Labor Party

National P lat fo rm a n d Constitution 2004

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Financing Government" Conference condemns. the Howard Government for its attempted -profiteering at the expense of the,.general community in regard,. t o the high: value heritage land at

Point Nepean, •Victoria : The Government completely ignored important environmental and community. access considerations in its ham-fisted focus on maximising commercial returns from:.-the... Commonwealth land :'atPoint Nepean.

Unlike the the;Liberal ..and'National ,parties , who determine: the future of public land only on' financial short term- criteria,. this Labor Conference recognises that social and community values are important in

public land use considerations.

Conference resolves that the true value of public land is to be recognised through consideration of community, `heritage and biodiver'sity values of public land as well as economic. values.


National Constitution of the ALP 283

As amended at the 43rd ALP National Conference 2004

D. Resolutions to Implement National

Principles of Organisation

1. General Membership System

2. Party Communications

3. Responsibilities of National Executive

4. Review of Campaign Techniques

5. National Organisation-Ongoing Review

6. Preselections

7. Internal Party Relationships

8. Basic Principles

9. Preselections

10. National Public Office Training Program

E. Register of Conference Decisions

1. Members Initiating Legal Proceedings

2. Union Elections

3. Grievance Procedures

4. Affirmative Action

5. Abortion

6. Conduct of Ballots

7. ALP Code of Conduct for Fundraising

8. National Conference Decisions

F. National Conference Standing Orders

1. Chair of Conference

2. Credentials

3. Session Times

4. Order of Business

5. Motions and Amendments to Be Moved and Seconded

6. Members to Address Chair

7. Conduct of Debate

8. Amendments

9. Members to Speak Once Only

10. Procedural Motions

11. Effect of the Closure

12. Time Limit for Debate

13. Reconsideration of Decisions

14. Speakers For and Against to Alternate

15. Interpretation of Policy

16. Consideration of Business Not on Agenda

17. Dissent in Chair







































Australian Labor Party National Platform and Constitut ion 2 00 4

National Constitution Contents

A. Objectives And Principles 285

1. Origins 285

2&3. Objectives 285

z 4. Principles of Action 286

rt -7. Membership and Organisation 286

0 B. Rules 287

0) 1. Name 287

() 2. Objectives 287

0 3

3. Head Office 287

4. Composition 287

r + 5. Structure of Party Organisation 287

rt. 6. National Conference 288

7. National Executive 289

o 8. National Executive Committee 290

r+ 9. National President and National Vice-Presidents 291 3 N 10. Affirmative Action 291

D 11. National Labor Women's Network 292

12. Finance 293

13. National Policy Committee 294

14. Federal Parliamentary Labor Party 294

284 15. Membership Recruitment 294

16. National Life Membership 296

17. Australian Labor Advisory Council 296

18. National Appeals Tribunal 296

19. National Constitution Not Enforceable in Law 297

C. National Principles of Organisation 298

1. Determination of Policy and Binding Effect 298

2. Decisions of Caucus Binding 298

3. PLP to Elect Leaders and Ministry 298

4. Election of Delegates to National Conference 298

5. Composition of State Conferences 298

6. Membership 298

7. Affiliation of Unions 298

8. Union Representation in State and Territory Branches 299

9. Union Delegations 299

10. State and Territory Labor Advisory Councils 299

11. Dialogue with Local Union Activists 299

12. Members' Rights 299

13. Organisation and Training 299

14. State and Territory Policy Committees 300

15. Preselections 301

16. Australian Young Labor 301

17. Indigenous Labor Network 301

18. Implementation of National Principles of Organisation 301

19&20. State and Territory Branch Rule Changes 301

Part A


Origins 1. The Australian Labor Party had its origins in: —the aspirations of the Australian people for a decent, secure, dignified and constructive

way of life;

—the recognition by the trade union movement of the necessity for a political voice to take forward the struggle of the working class against the excesses, injustices and

inequalities of capitalism; and

—the commitment by the Australian people to the creation of an independent, free and enlightened Australia.


2. The Australian Labor Party is a democratic socialist party and has the objective of the democratic socialisation of industry, production, distribution and exchange, to the extent .

necessary to eliminate exploitation and other anti-social features in these fields.

To achieve the political and social values of equality, democracy, liberty and social cooperation inherent in this objective, the

Australian Labor Party stands for:

(a) redistribution of political and economic power so that all members of society have the opportunity to participate in the shaping and control of the institutions and

relationships which determine their lives;

(b) establishment and development of public enterprises, based upon federal, State and other forms of social ownership, in appropriate sectors of the economy;

(c) democratic control and strategic social ownership of Australian natural resources for the benefit of all Australians;

(d) maintenance of and support for a competitive non-monopolistic private sector, including small business and farming, controlled and owned by Australians, operating within clear social

guidelines and objectives;

(e) the right to own private property;


N rr. rt C r_+ 0






National Platform and Constitution 2004 Australian Labor Party

(f) recognition and encouragement of the right of labour to organise for the protection and advancement of its interests;

(g) the application of democracy in industry to increase the opportunities for people to z

work in satisfying, healthy and humane conditions; and to participate in and to r*.

increase their control over the decision 0 7

making processes affecting them;

(h) the promotion of socially appropriate technology and the monitoring of its introduction to ensure that the needs and interests of labour, as well as the

requirements of competitive industry and consumer demand, are taken into consideration;

(i) the restoration and maintenance of full employment;

(j) the abolition of poverty, and the achievement of greater equality in the distribution of income, wealth and opportunity;

(k) social justice and equality for individuals, the family and all social units, and the elimination of exploitation in the home;

(I) equal access and rights to employment, education, information, technology, housing, health and welfare services, cultural and leisure activities and the law;

(m) reform of the Australian Constitution and other political institutions to ensure that they reflect the will of the majority of Australian citizens and the existence of Australia as an independent republic;

(n) recognition and protection of fundamental political and civil rights, including freedom of expression, the press, assembly, association, conscience and religion; the right to privacy; the protection of the

individual from oppression by the state; and democratic reform of the Australian legal system;

(o) the development of a democratic communications system, as an integral part of a free society, to which all citizens have opportunities for free access;

(p) elimination of discrimination and exploitation on the grounds of class, race, sex, sexuality, religion, political affiliation, national origin, citizenship, age, disability, regional location, economic or

household status;

Principles of Action

4. The Australian Labor Party believes that the task of building democratic socialism is a cooperative process that requires:

—constitutional action through the federal and State Parliaments, municipal and other statutory authorities;

—union action; and

—ongoing action by organised community groups.

Membership and Organisation

5. Membership of the Australian Labor Party is open to all residents of Australia who are prepared to accept its objectives and who have associations with no other political party.

6. Australian Labor Party policy is made by National Conferences comprising the federal and State parliamentary leadership of the Party, together with elected delegates from all States, the Australian Capital Territory, the

Northern Territory and Australian Young Labor.

7. Party policy within the States and Territories is framed by conferences of delegates elected by constituent branches and affiliated unions.

Policy within the Australian Labor Party is not made by directives from the leadership, but by resolutions originating from branches, affiliated unions and individual Party members.

Australian Labor Pa rty National Platfo rm a nd Constitution 2004

(q) recognition of the prior ownership of Australian land by Aborigines and Islanders; recognition of their special and essential relationship with the land as the

basis of their culture; and a commitment to the return of established traditional lands to the ownership of Aboriginal and Islander


(r) recognition and encouragement of diversity of cultural expression and lifestyle within the Australian community;

(s) the use, conservation and enhancement of Australia's natural resources and environment so that the community's total quality of life, both now and into the future,

is maintained and improved;

(t) recognition of the need to work towards achieving ecologically sustainable development;

(u) maintenance of world peace; an independent Australian position in world affairs; the recognition of the right of all nations to self determination and independence; regional and international agreement for arms control and disarmament; the provision of economic and social aid to developing nations; a commitment to resolve international conflicts through the UN; and a recognition of the inalienable right of all people to liberty, equality, democracy and social justice;

(v) commitment to and participation in the international democratic socialist movement as represented by the Socialist International; and

(w) recognition of the right of citizens to work for progressive changes consistent with the broad principles of democratic socialism.

National Platform and Constitution 2004

Australian Labor Party

Part B

attitude of the Parliamentary Party to any question or matter in the Federal


Parliament, subject to: (i) at all times taking such action which

Name may be possible to implement the z

1. The name of the Party shall be "The Australian

Party's Platform and Conference pt

Labor Party".


(ii) on questions or matters which are not

Objectives subject to National Platform or

— n

2. The objectives of the Party are set out in the Conference or Executive decisions, O

Basic Principles as determined by the National

the majority decision of Caucus being N

Conference. To achieve these objectives the binding upon all members in the r+

ALP will act in accordance with the Principles

and parliament; r+ C

of Action and Progressive Reforms set out in (iii) no attitude being expressed which is 0

the Party Platform from time to time. contrary to the provisions of the Party 3

Platform or any other decision of 0

Head Office National Conference or National rr

3. The Head Office of the Party shall be known as Executive.


the National Secretariat and shall be (e) Australian Young Labor shall function in

established in Centenary House, Barton, ACT accordance with the rules that may be -D

or any other place determined by the National approved from time to time by the Executive from time to time. National Executive and subject to its

control and jurisdiction. 287

Composition (f) The National Labor Women's Network

4. The Party shall consist of branches in each shall function in accordance with the rules State, the Northern Territory and the Australian that may be approved from time to time by Capital Territory (hereinafter referred to as the National Executive and subject to its State Branches). control and jurisdiction.

(g) That a National Indigenous Labor Network

Structure of Party Organisation be formed from the State Networks with

5. (a) The Party shall function upon the appropriate support from the National

following basis: Office. The Network's goals will be to:

(i) National Conference, (i) attract and support Indigenous ALP

(ii) National Executive, members;

(iii) Federal Parliamentary Labor Party (ii) increase the involvement of

(FPLP), and Indigenous people at all levels of the

(iv) Australian Young Labor. ALP;

(b) The National Conference shall be the (iii) provide a focus for the identification,

supreme governing authority of the Party training and support of Indigenous

and its decisions shall be binding upon candidates;

every member and every section of (iv) increase awareness of Indigenous

the Party. issues throughout the ALP;

(c) The National Executive shall be the chief (v) increase commitment of Party administrative authority of the Party, members to greater representation of

subject only to the National Conference. Indigenous people throughout the

(d) The Federal Parliamentary Labor Party

Party; and

shall have authority in properly constituted (vi) encourage the employment of Caucus meetings to make decisions Indigenous people in staff and Party

directed towards establishing the collective positions.

Australian Labor Pa

rty National Platform and Constitution 2004


National Conference 6. (a) National Conference shall consist of 400 delegates, comprising:

(i) three delegates being the National President and National Vice-Presidents elected under rule 9(a);

(ii) four delegates being the Leader and Deputy Leader of the Federal Parliamentary Labor Party and the Leader and Deputy Leader of the Party in the Senate;

(iii) six delegates elected from and by the Federal Parliamentary Labor Party;

(iv) delegations from each State consisting of:

a. the State Parliamentary Leader,

b. a base component of 12 persons, and c. a supplementary component of a number of persons equal to twice

the number of House of Representatives electorates in that State as at the previous 31 December;

(v) delegations from each Territory consisting of:

a. the Territory Parliamentary Leader, b. a base component of 2 persons, and

c. a supplementary component of a number of persons equal to twice the number of House of Representatives electorates in that Territory as at the previous 31 December; and

(vi) three delegates from Australian Young Labor.

(b) State Secretaries and members of the Federal Parliamentary Labor Party who are not delegates to National Conference shall be able to attend National Conference with the rights of delegates except that of voting.

(c) All members of the State or Territory Branch shall be eligible to be elected as delegates from that State or Territory.

Proxy Delegates

(d) (i) Each State shall be entitled to a minimum of two proxies up to a

maximum equal to half the State's delegation.

(ii) The credentials for State Branch proxies shall be circulated in advance and accepted at the commencement of the Conference and no other proxies may be admitted.

(iii) It is the responsibility of each State delegation to ensure that the Chair is advised of all changes of delegation during the Conference. No proxy shall

participate in the debate of a report in which the delegate he/she is replacing has participated.

(iv) State and federal Leaders may each nominate one proxy subject to paragraph (ii) above. Such proxies must be a member of the relevant parliamentary party.

(e) All delegates must be elected by a system of proportional representation in a single ballot with affirmative action in accordance with rule 10.

(f) Delegates shall be elected within 12 months prior to the date of National Conference.

(g) State Branches cannot bind delegates with regard to their vote on any issue before the National Conference.

(h) National Conference shall be held every three years in a location determined by the National Executive which shall have the responsibility for determining the time of the National Conference.

(i) Special National Conferences may be held for specially stated purposes and shall be called in the manner prescribed by these Rules.

Q) (i) The National President and National Vice-Presidents need not be delegates to National Conference, but have the full rights of a delegate except that of voting.

(ii) The National Secretary shall not be a delegate to National Conference, but shall have the full rights of a delegate except that of voting.

(k) The National Secretary, after receiving instructions from the convening authority, shall observe the following procedure

National Platform and Constitution 2004

Australian Labor Pa rty

for the purpose of establishing the (vi) delegates shall be entitled to

Conference agenda: nominate their proxy for any meeting

(i) give the following bodies three months or part of a meeting for which they

notice to send items to the National are unable to attend. Policy Committee: State Branches, (b) (i) The terms of all those elected by thez Australian Young Labor, and Federal National Conference shall commence 0 Electorate Councils, and trade unions at the conclusion of the National 0 whose State branches are affiliated Conference at which they are elected. with the Party in a majority of States They shall be subject to re-election at 0)

in which they operate, all of which each Conference except the National(^ shall have the right to submit items to Secretary who shall be subject to re-0 the National Policy Committee. Bodies election at every second Conference.rt

so submitting items to the National (ii) Casual vacancies will be filled by ther+ C Policy Committee shall be notified in National Executive in accordance with ^_*

writing of the Committee's views on the principles of proportional 0 3 such items; and representation. 0

(ii) send to State Branches and other (iii) Casual vacancies for the positions of bodies represented at National National President, National Vice- 7 Conference, agenda and any other Presidents and National Secretary D documents related thereto at least one shall be filled by a ballot of the month before Conference meets. National Executive and the National

Executive Committee shall institute

National Executive procedures to hold a ballot. 289

7. (a) The National Executive of the Party, which Powers and Duties of the shall be the chief administrative authority National Executive subject only to National Conference, shall (c) Decisions of the National Executive shall be constituted in the following manner: be binding upon all sections and members (i) the National President and National of the ALP subject only to appeal to Vice-Presidents, who are directly National Conference. Pending the hearing elected by Party members in of any appeal, the decision of the National accordance with rule 9(a), have the Executive shall operate. The National full rights of a delegate except that of Executive shall: voting, unless elected as a delegate in (i) be the administrative authority their own right; carrying out the decisions of National(ii) 20 executive members elected by the Conference, and in the interpretationNational Conference; of any Conference decision, the(iii) the National Secretary, who shall be National Platform and the Constitutionelected by the National Conference, and Rules of the Party, and theshall not be a delegate but shall have direction of federal members;the full rights of a delegate except that (ii) convene National Conferences inof voting; accordance with these Rules;(iv) the Leader of the Federal (iii) convene Special NationalParliamentary Labor Party or proxy Conferences when requested by anominated by the Leader. Such proxy majority of State Branches for specialmust be a member of the Federal purpose(s), providing that suchParliamentary Party; purpose(s) is/are national in character.(v) State Secretaries who are not The National Executive may also, ondelegates to the National Executive its own motion, convene suchshall be able to attend National Conferences;Executive meetings with the rights of (iv) elect a National Executive Committeedelegates except that of voting; and and such other committees,

opinion of an absolute majority of

members of the Executive, affect the general welfare of the Labor Movement, provided that no decision

of National Conference shall be abrogated under this rule;

(xii) in the case of any State Executive, State Branch or section of the ALP acting or having acted in a manner deemed by the National Executive to be contrary to the National Constitution, Platform and Policy of the Party as interpreted by the

National Executive, the National Executive may overrule such State Executive, State Branch or section and/or may declare that same no longer exists, and shall set up in place thereof an organisation competent to carry out the National Constitution,

Platform and Policy of the ALP. Pending the hearing of any appeal, the decision of the National Executive shall operate. In the event of the National Executive taking any action under this paragraph, the National Executive shall be the body to approve any selection which otherwise would have been made by the body affected by the National Executive decision; and

(xiii) the National Executive, in part, combined with the parliamentary leadership and Caucus representatives would be combined to form a revamped Political Coordination Committee. Such a committee is to meet regularly to discuss key strategic issues facing the Parliamentary Party.

National Executive Committee

8. (a) The National Executive Committee (NEC) shall consist of the National Secretary and such other members of the National Executive as may be elected by the National Executive.

(b) The National Executive Committee shall be responsible for the administration of the Party between meetings of the National Executive.

Australian Labor Pa rty National Platform and Constitution 2004


the National Policy Committee, as it may determine from time to time;

(v) meet at least three times a year, and at such other times as the Executive may determine, for the purpose of considering and determining all

matters that are properly before it. Subject to these Rules only State Branches, Australian Young Labor, the Federal Parliamentary Labor Party and trade unions whose State

branches are affiliated with the Party in a majority of States in which they operate shall be competent to send matters to the National Executive;

(vi) initiate discussions of any question of a national nature if a majority of the Executive so decides;

(vii) determine the time and place of all meetings. However, special meetings of the National Executive may be convened with the agreement of a majority of delegates or by unanimous decision of the National Officers;

(viii) be competent to hear and decide appeals from any affiliated organisation or individual member against the decision of any State Conference or State Executive alleged to be inconsistent with any national decision or matter;

(ix) where any member or affiliated organisation desires to appeal to the National Executive on a question which does not involve any national decision or matter, leave to appeal

must first be obtained from the State Branch concerned;

(x) hear and decide an appeal from any person seeking to be a candidate for federal elections against a decision of any State Conference or State

Executive affecting his/her preselection or endorsement, providing that leave to appeal is granted by the National Executive.

Such leave to appeal is not to be granted except by a decision in which 11 members vote affirmatively;

(xi) have plenary powers to deal with and decide any matters which, in the

National Platform and Constitution 2004

Australian Labor Party

(c) They shall meet at least once between (c) The National President, when available, will each two meetings of the National chair National Conference and meetings of Executive for the purpose of preparing the the National Executive, and conduct such agenda and making recommendations to meetings in accordance with the National

expedite the business of the National Conference Standing Orders. The National z

Executive. President will car ry out any other duties 0)

referred by the National Executive. ^*

(d) Other than in urgent situations which


preclude either a special meeting of the (d) The National Vice-Presidents in order of 0)

National Executive or a postal vote of seniority will take the Chair in the absence Executive members, the NEC shall not of the National President, and car ry out C)


have the power to make decisions on any other duties referred by the National y 3 behalf of the National Executive. Executive. r*

(e) Any actions taken by the NEC between Affirmative Action C

Executive meetings shall be reported to 10. The ALP is committed to men and women in p'

the next meeting of the Executive for

the Party working in equal partnership. It is our O


objective to have equal numbers of men and

The non -parliamentary members of the (f) P ry women at all levels in the Party organisation, rP

NEC shall also be members of the and in public office positions the Party holds. O

companies John Curtin House Limited and To achieve this the Party adopts a D r

ALP Legacies and Gifts. comprehensive affirmative action model of

40:40:20, as set out below, whereby a

National President and minimum of 40% of relevant positions shall be

National Vice-Presidents held by either gender. 291

9. (a) The National President and 2 National Party Positions Vice-Presidents must be directly elected (a) All elections, other than public office from and by Party members in the

preselections conducted by national and

12 months before each triennial National

State level Party units for three or more

Conference in a single ballot by positions, shall comply with the affirmative

proportional representation with affirmative action model. Not less than 40% of such

action in accordance with rule 10. positions shall be held by women, and not

(b) (i) The candidate first elected holds office less than 40% by men, provided that in turn as National President, National sufficient candidates of the relevant gender Junior Vice-President and National nominate ("the basic entitlement"). If the Senior Vice-President. calculation to determine the basic

(ii) The candidate second elected holds entitlement results in a fraction of one half office in turn as National Senior Vice- or more then the basic entitlement shall be President, National President and the next higher whole number, and where National Junior Vice-President.

it results in a fraction of less than one half it shall be the next lower number.

(iii) The candidate third elected holds office in turn as National Junior Vice- Union Delegations President, National Senior Vice- (b) Union delegations to Party conferences President and National President. and forums shall comply with the

(iv) The term of office in each position is affirmative action model. Not less than 12 months, beginning at the 40% of a union's delegation shall be

commencement of National women, and not less than 40% shall be

Conference or on the anniversary of men ("the minimum representation").

that date, except that the term of Provided that if the level of male or female

office in the third position ends at the membership of a union is less than 40%, commencement of the next triennial the minimum representation shall be set at National Conference. that level.

Australian Labor Party

Nationa l Plat fo rm a nd Constitution 2004


Public Office Preselection (c) Preselections for public office positions at a State and federal level shall comply with the affirmative action model in this

rule 10(c).


(i) The intention of this rule is to produce an outcome where not less than 40% of seats held by Labor will be filled by women, and not less than 40% by

men ("the minimum target").

(ii) This minimum target shall apply to any preselection round taking place after 1 January 2012.

(iii) The remaining 20% of the seats held by Labor may be filled by candidates of either gender.


(iv) State and Territory Branches shall be required to amend their rules so as to achieve the minimum target by applying these principles to the relevant seats.

(v) For the purposes of paragraph (iv), the relevant seats shall include:

a. in relation to lower houses, those seats needed to form government, or those seats held by Labor, whichever is the greater; and b. in relation to upper houses, at

least 50% of seats in the upper house, or those seats held by Labor, whichever is the greater.

(d) The National Executive shall have the responsibility and the power to enforce rules 10(a)-(c) generally and specifically to determine the outcome in any public office preselection progressively between now and the year 2012 in order to ensure that this rule is complied with.

(e) Each State and Territory Branch must no later than 1 November each year provide a report to its Administrative Committee or State Executive and to the National

Executive on the implementation of rules 10(a)-(c).

(f) Each State and Territory Branch must ensure that its rules are consistent with this rule, and are submitted to the National Executive for approval by

1 November 2003.

Transitional Provisions —Former Rule 12 to Continue to Apply

(g) Any preselection round held after this rule is adopted by National Conference, but prior to 1 January 2012, shall comply with the provisions of rule 12 as it was

immediately prior to the adoption of this rule ("the former rule"), except that the reference in the former rule 12(d) to the year 2002 shall be read as a reference to the year 2011 so that it is clear that the

National Executive continues to have the power to enforce the requirement of a 35 per cent target in relation to all preselection rounds held between the adoption of this rule and 2011.

National Labor Women's Network


11. (a) (i) There will be a National Labor Women's Network.

(ii) Every woman member of the Party is automatically a member of the National Labor Women's Network.

(iii) There will be no membership fee at the national level.

Role of the NLWN

(b) The role of the National Labor Women's Network is:

(i) to encourage women to join and participate in the Australian Labor Party;

(ii) to increase the numbers of women in the Party;

(iii) to maintain and expand e-communication between Labor women;

(iv) to devise and promote training programs to improve the skills, confidence and participation of Labor women throughout the ALP;

(v) to sponsor and expand the NLWN political work experience program;

(vi) to develop and promote women within branches and other structures of the ALP as well as to elected office;

(vii) to organise, in conjunction with the host State or Territory, the National Labor Women's Conferences;


Iv r+ 0 3


0 3 N r+ rt C r ► . 0 00 hr+CDr 0293

National Platform and Constitution 2004 Australian Labor Party

(viii) to administer travel subsidy to the National Labor Women's Conferences;

(ix) to promote contact between the ALP and women's organisations in the community;

(x) to assist in the development of policy and ensure women participate in policy making; and

(xi) to nominate representatives to women's forums, including international women's forums.

National Executive

(c) (i) The NLWN Executive will consist of 15 women members of the ALP, representing all States and Territories.

(ii) The members of the NLWN Executive will elect a Convenor, Secretary and Communications Officer.

(iii) The NLWN Executive will be elected by the National Conference.

(iv) Women members of the ALP National Executive and the Federal Minister or Shadow Minister for the Status of Women shall be ex-officio members of the NLWN Executive.

(v) Nominees for the NLWN Executive do not have to be delegates to the National Conference at which they are elected.

(vi) Members of the NLWN Executive shall be able to nominate their proxy for NLWN Executive meetings.

(vii) The NLWN Executive will provide an annual report of its activities to the National Executive, State and Territory Branches and State and Territory women's organisations.

(viii) The NLWN Executive will meet monthly by telephone and twice a year, face to face, with travel funded through the National Secretariat.

(ix) Accounts and financing will be run through the National Secretariat, within an annual budget, allocated by the National Executive.

State Women 's Groups and Interaction

(d) (i) The NLWN will co-ordinate contact with State and Territory branches of the Labor Women's Network , other Labor women's organisations and women's contact officers.

(ii) The NLWN will regularly meet with State and Territory representatives of the LWN by telephone conference.

(iii) The structure of State and Territory Labor Women's Networks will be determined by each State and Territory although uniformity is


(iv) The NLWN will continue to develop materials, share programs and information to assist and support State LWNs.


12. (a) To meet the general expenses of the Party, each State Branch shall pay each year, to the National Executive through the National Secretary, a sum representing a rate per thousand adult members, and a rate per

thousand pensioner and student/junior members. The total due shall be paid in four quarterly instalments on 1 January, 1 April, 1 July and 1 October. The National

Executive shall have the power to fix sustentation fees.

(b) In the event of a State Branch being six months in arrears in its contributions to the Party, the National Executive may decide that such Branch shall not be entitled to be represented at any meeting of the National

Executive or National Conference, or be consulted on any question that may be subject to a ballot of State Branches, until such arrears are paid.

(c) Upon request, State and Territory Branches shall report financial information to the National Secretary in a standard format determined by the National


(d) The National Executive shall determine an annual budget for travel costs and administer an equalisation pool for such costs associated with National

Conferences and the National Executive.

(e) The National Executive shall meet the expenses of the National President attending National Conference and the expenses of any officers associated with

Australian Labor Pa

rty National Platform and Constitution 2004


any duty being carried out on behalf of the National Executive.

(f) Each Branch shall pay to the National Executive not later than 31 December of each year the appropriate fee, to be determined by the National Executive, for international affiliations or activities associated therewith.

(g) The National Executive shall authorise the National Secretary to negotiate banking facilities on behalf of the National Executive of the Party and determine the

manner in which the Party's accounts shall be operated including the signatories to the Party's bank accounts.

(h) Fundraising by the Labor Party at State, Territory and national levels and by the Labor Party candidates for public office shall be governed by the ALP Code of

Conduct for Fundraising as approved by the National Executive.

(i) All accounts conducted for candidates whether at Commonwealth, State or municipal elections shall include the Australian Labor Party in their title.

Furthermore, they shall be controlled by that level of Party organisation with the identical relevant signatories, be audited at the July meeting of such Party organisations and such annual accounts shall be forwarded to the Party State

Branch for inclusion in the Party's annual account reporting process to the Australian Electoral Commission.

National Policy Committee

13. (a) At its first meeting after each triennial National Conference, the National Executive must appoint a National Policy Committee consisting of a Chair, Deputy Chair and seven other members, all of whom have considerable experience in

policy development.

(b) The Committee will be responsible for:

(i) coordinating development of the Party Platform;

(ii) conducting ongoing reviews of the Platform;

(iii) preparing the draft Platform for consideration by National Conference;

(iv) actively participating in the formulation of policy at National Conference;

(v) taking into account all policy resolutions passed by State and Territory Conferences;

(vi) considering all policy resolutions sent to it by State and Territory Policy Committees and other constituent units; and

(vii) in conjunction with State and Territory Policy Committees, conducting regular policy forums in which rank and file participation is encouraged.

(c) The Committee has power to co-opt non-voting members with particular expertise to the Committee when examining specific policy areas.

(d) The Committee will work closely with the convenors of the State and Territory Policy Committees, and will be resourced by the National Secretariat.

Federal Parliamentary Labor Party

14. (a) No State Branch may direct or discipline members of the FPLP in regard to matters affecting the National Platform or policy or upon legislation before the parliament or any matters the subject of consideration by the FPLP.

(b) The power of direction, advice and/or guidance is reserved for the National Conference and between Conferences, the National Executive.

Membership Recruitment

15. (a) It is an abuse of Party rules for an individual or group/s to fund Party membership for other individuals or groups of individuals who would otherwise be unwilling to pay their own subscriptions.

(b) It is an abuse of Party rules for an individual or group/s to encourage reduced-rate membership to people that may not be eligible for that category of membership.

National Platform and Constitution 2004

Australian Labor Party

(c) It is an abuse of Party rules for an individual or group/s to recruit members who do not live at the claimed addresses in an attempt to gain advantage at local

Party meetings or the outcome of Party ballots.

(d) It is a requirement of Party rules for members, where eligible, to join or transfer to the branch or sub-branch which has geographical coverage, in accordance with State or Territory Branch rules, of the address at which the member is enrolled to vote. Members must, at the time of joining or transferring to the branch or

sub-branch, either be correctly enrolled with the Australian Electoral Commission to vote in a federal election at their stated address or not be so entitled because they

are under 18 years of age or not an Australian citizen.

(e) It is a requirement of the Party rules for members to personally apply for membership and renew membership by signing their own membership application or renewal form and either:

(i) organising to post the form back to State Branch office with an appropriate fee;

(ii) by personally attending the State Branch office or arranging a person to attend on their behalf and paying their membership fees (identification shall

be necessary); or

(iii) subject to the rules of a State Branch, by personally attending their local branch meeting and paying their fees to the Secretary during the meeting. In this regard, the money shall be

receipted to the member and the member's attendance recorded in any attendance book. The Secretary shall

forward such moneys to the State Branch office along with the signed membership renewal forms.

(f) A Party member may also renew their membership by phone or the internet using their personal credit card or by signing a standing authority for the renewal of

membership via their personal credit card or bank account.

(g) Notwithstanding the above, a Party member's membership may also be renewed by a family member resident in the same household.

(h) All records associated with the payment of membership fees shall be available to any full-time officer of the State Branch upon request.

(i) In order to prevent the "bulk renewal" of other members, the National Executive must prescribe membership application and renewal forms for use by all State and Territory Branches that:

(i) require the signature of the applicant or member authorising the application or renewal; and

(ii) contain a declaration by any applicant or member paying a reduced-rate subscription that they are entitled to that reduced rate. The declaration

must also indicate the basis on which the member is claiming this entitlement. State or Territory Branches may also set standard

requirements of evidence to be met by members claiming this entitlement.

(j) All State and Territory Branches must implement an appropriate cap or limitation/review procedure relating to the number of members that may validly apply to join the ALP at a local branch or sub-

branch meeting. Members who seek to transfer into a branch or sub-branch shall be included/counted for the purposes of

determining the number of members to which the cap or limitation applies.

(k) Involvement in such abuses will be considered as behaviour likely to bring the Party into disrepute and will result in disciplinary action which may include

expulsion under the rules of the Party.

(I) All State and Territory Branch rules must, where necessary, establish a tribunal to effectively resolve disputes concerning membership. All State dispute tribunals will

operate according to due process and according to the national membership principles and rules.

(m) All State and Territory Branch rules must contain a procedure that permits a decision to admit a person as a Party

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member to be reviewed, where there is an allegation that the person was ineligible to become a Party member.

(n) All State and Territory Branch rules must permit 50 members or 25% of the members in a federal electorate, whichever is the lesser, to petition the Administrative Committee or State

Executive to investigate any allegations of breaches of this rule in that electorate.

(o) In order to ensure that these rules are given effect, the State and Territory Branches of ALP be required to amend, where necessary, their rules to reflect these National Rules. Such amended rules will be presented to the National Executive

no later than 1 November 2003.

(p) The National Executive must continue:

(i) to monitor and enforce compliance with this rule; and

(ii) to review the operation of this rule to ensure the integrity of the Party's membership processes.

(q) All States and Territory Branches must provide to the National Executive a complete current Branch membership list by no later than 31 July of each year.

National Life Membership

16. (a) The National Executive can award national life membership of the Australian Labor Party.

(b) Nominees for national life membership must be longstanding members of the Party and have provided distinguished service to the Party at a national level.

(c) Only the National Executive, State Branches, federal electorate bodies and nationally affiliated unions can make nominations for national life membership. Nominations should describe the background and history of service of the nominee particularly their contribution at a national level.

(d) Nominations for national life membership must be forwarded to the National Secretary at least one month prior to a meeting of the National Executive.

(e) National life membership shall only be awarded with the unanimous support of the National Executive.

Australian Labor Advisory Council

17. (a) There will be an Australian Labor Advisory Council (ALAC), consisting of the Leader and senior members of the Federal Parliamentary Labor Party, the National

President and National Secretary or their nominees, and representatives of the Australian Council of Trade Unions.

(b) The role of ALAC will be to provide a formal consultative mechanism between the Party and the union movement.

(c) The National Policy Committee must consult with ALAC in relation to Party policy relevant to ALAC's role, and resolutions of ALAC relevant to Party

policy must be considered by the National Policy Committee.

(d) ALAC must meet at least twice each year, the meetings to be resourced by the National Secretariat.

National Appeals Tribunal

18. (a) The National Executive must:

(i) at its first meeting after each triennial National Conference; and

(ii) whenever there is a vacancy in a position;

by a three-quarters majority of all voting members appoint three persons to form the panel for the National Appeals Tribunal.

(b) A member of the panel may only be removed by a three-quarters majority of all voting members of the National Executive.

(c) In respect of each appeal, the Tribunal is constituted by a member of the panel determined by lot under the supervision of the National Secretary.

(d) The Tribunal is responsible on behalf of the National Executive for hearing all appeals by members, affiliated unions and constituent units of the Party that relate to:

(i) compliance with the National Constitution; or

(ii) enforcement of the rights and obligations of members, affiliated unions and constituent units under the National Constitution;

and making recommendations to the National Executive in relation to those appeals.

National Platform and Constitution 2004

Australian Labor Party

(e) No appeal may be heard by the Tribunal until all practicable avenues of appeal have been exhausted under the rules of the relevant State or Territory Branch.

(f) The Tribunal must:

(i) comply with the rules of procedural fairness in conducting hearings;

(ii) (subject to paragraph (i)) conduct its hearings as expeditiously as possible; and

(iii) give the National Executive and all parties to the appeal written reasons for its recommendations.

(g) The National Executive:

(i) must promptly consider all recommendations of the Tribunal; and

(ii) may make any decision in relation to the appeal it thinks fit.

(h) The Tribunal:

(i) must prescribe guidelines for the conduct of appeals, including the granting of leave by the Tribunal to hear appeals; and

(ii) may otherwise regulate its own procedure;

subject to these Rules and any direction of the National Executive.

(i) In this rule "National Constitution" has the same meaning as in rule 19.

(j) The powers of the National Executive under this rule are in addition to, and not in derogation from, those contained in rule 7(c).

National Constitution Not Enforceable in Law

19. (a) In this rule "National Constitution" means all national constituent instruments of the Party, and includes the national Objectives and Principles, the national Rules, the

National Principles of Organisation, and all resolutions of National Conference and the National Executive relating to the structure and organisation of the Party.

(b) It is intended that the National Constitution and everything done in connection with it, all arrangements relating to it (whether express or implied) and any agreement or

business entered into or payment made or under the National Constitution, will not bring about any legal relationship, rights, duties or outcome of any kind, or be enforceable by law, or be the subject of legal proceedings. Instead all arrangements, agreements and business are only binding in honour.

(c) Without limiting rule 19(b), it is further expressly intended that all disputes within the Party, or between one member and another that relate to the Party be resolved

in accordance with the National Constitution and the rules of the State and Territory Branches and not through legal proceedings.

(d) By joining the Party and remaining members, all members of the Party consent to be bound by this rule.

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Party National Platform and Constitution 2004


Part C


1. Policy at the national, State and Territory level shall be determined by the national, State and Territory conferences respectively. Such decisions shall be binding on every member

and every section of the Party, or of the relevant State or Territory Branch.

2. On matters that are not subject to National Platform or Conference or Executive decisions, or their State and Territory equivalents, the majority decision of the relevant Parliamentary

Labor Party shall be binding upon all members of the parliament.

3. In all parliaments, the parliamentary leadership, the Ministry and Shadow Ministry shall be elected by the Parliamentary Labor Party.

Election of Delegates to National Conference

4. State and Territory Branch delegates to National Conference (including proxy delegates) must be elected in accordance with the rules of that State or Territory Branch, subject to rule 6.

Composition of State Conferences

5. (a) In all States the State Conference shall comprise 50 percent union representatives and 50 percent constituency Party representatives. (This shall not bind Territory Branches until the proportion of

unions affiliated is equivalent to that in the States. This principle shall apply to all State level Party units comprised of direct representatives of unions and constituency units.)

(b) State Branches should increase or maintain the size of State Conferences, which should have greater rank and file involvement.


6. (a) Membership of the ALP is open to all residents of Australia who are prepared to accept its objectives and who have

associations with no other political party or proscribed organisation. This right to join shall not be impaired other than in circumstances in which it can be

demonstrated clearly that an individual cannot meet the requirement outlined above.

(b) Members of the Party are encouraged to be members of a union or to employ union labour. State and Territory Branch rules should require members of the Party to be members of a union or to employ

union labour to the maximum extent permitted by law.

(c) To further encourage union members to join the Party, State and Territory Branches should offer discounts in membership subscriptions for members of affiliated unions.

Affiliation of Unions

7. (a) All bona fide unions shall have the right to affiliate to the ALP. This right to affiliate shall not be impaired unless it can be demonstrated clearly that the relevant organisation is not a bona fide union or that the organisation has engaged in conduct that renders it unsuitable to be affiliated.

(b) For the purposes of calculating union delegation sizes and affiliation fees, the number of members of each affiliated union must be determined each year by an independent audit by a registered auditor of:

(i) the number of members eligible to vote in a ballot for an office in that union at 30 June as conducted by the appropriate Electoral Commission/s, and

(ii) the number of members identified in paragraph (i) above for whom the union received an amount of dues in relation to the period between 1 April and 30 June inclusive for that year.

(c) Each affiliated union must by 4.00 p.m. on the last Friday in February each year provide to the State or Territory Branch in a sealed envelope:

(i) the independent audit report for the previous year, and

National Platform and Constitution 2004

Australian Labor Party

(ii) advice on the number of members that union will affiliate on for the current year,

and all such sealed envelopes must be opened at the same time in the presence of scrutineers appointed by affiliated unions.

(d) Union delegation sizes must be based on the three year rolling average of that union's affiliation for the current and two preceding years (except that affiliation figures before 2002 must not be used to

determine a union's rolling average).

(e) Each State and Territory Branch (other than the Queensland Branch) must amend its rules to implement clauses 7(b)—(d) above in accordance with the model adopted by the National Executive for the Queensland Branch on 12 April 2002.

8. Each State and Territory Branch should develop an equitable basis of determining union entitlement for representation at relevant State level Party units. This shall not

prevent State Branches making reasonable special arrangements for the representation of small unions.

Union Delegations

9. Subject to rule 10(b), it shall be the right of each union to determine the criteria and procedures for selection of its delegates, subject to those delegates being members of that union and financial members of the Party.

State and Territory Labor Advisory Councils

10. (a) Labor Advisory Council (LAC), consisting of the Leader and senior members of the State or Territory Parliamentary Labor Party, the State or Territory President

and Secretary or their nominees, and representatives of the Trades and Labour Council or equivalent body in that State or Territory.

(b) The role of the LAC will be to provide a formal consultative mechanism between the Party and the union movement in that State or Territory.

Dialogue with Local Union Activists 11, All Labor MPs must establish dialogue with local union activists in their electorates,

including frequent meetings with those union activists who work in their area. Senators and MLCs must be invited to attend such meetings.

Members' Rights 12. The following are to be established as minimum standards:

(a) The process of joining the Party shall be simplified and all unnecessary impediments to that process shall be removed from State and Territory Branch rules.

(b) Subject to any attendance requirements in the State or Territory, full membership rights in all States and Territories shall begin to accrue in accordance with the

relevant State or Territory requirements and those rights shall accumulate, to a maximum, following two years consecutive membership. These rights include: being

eligible for preselection; standing and voting for or standing on, the various Party bodies and executives.

(c) Each State and Territory Branch must adopt rules that establish an appeals process in relation to compliance with and enforcement of Branch Rules by members,

affiliated unions and constituent units of the Branch, such rules to be submitted to the National Executive for approval by 1 November 2003. The appeals process

must include compliance with the rules of procedural fairness, expedited hearings and written reasons for decision.

Organisation and Training 13. (a) In addition to geographically based local branches within State and federal electorates, State and Territory Branches

should consider different forms of rank and file organisation, such as:

(i) occupation, workplace and employment related branches,

(ii) university and TAFE campus branches, and

(iii) policy forums (including online forums).

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However, any attendance requirements in

State and Territory Branch rules will continue only to be met through attendance at geographically based

local branches.

(b) The number of local branches in metropolitan areas should be consolidated to provide for larger meetings and better branch organisation.

(c) Branches should be involved in local community activities, and should provide regular updates and suggestions of events in which members might participate.

(d) Local branches and MPs should institute, and participate in, regular joint community consultation processes in their electorates to raise the profile of the ALP and provide feedback on policy and Party initiatives.

(e) MPs and State and Territory Branches should respond to branch correspondence promptly so that branch members know their contribution has been considered.

(f) State and Territory Branches should ask branches to nominate either a women's officer or contact person to assist the development of equitable participation for women in the Party.

(g) State and Territory Branch rules should provide for a forum of all members within each federal electorate to be held at least once each year.

(h) The Federal Electorate Council (FEC), or combinations thereof, shall be encouraged to appoint a Women's Contact Officer, Community Activities Officer and a Policy

Development Officer when electing or appointing its executive.

(i) The Community Activities Officer and Women's Contact Officer shall assist the local branches to identify the major issues within the community, within which they should be active and assist in the development of either endorsed or unendorsed (depending on the State

Branches) candidates for local government or other community bodies.

(j) The State Branches shall assume within their organisational structure the responsibilities of coordinating the

Women's Contact Officers, Community Activities Officers and the Policy Development Officers.

(k) The Policy Development Officer at a State Office level and at State and federal electorate level shall be responsible for coordinating policy input on local, State or federal matters, as appropriate, and work within a defined relationship between those electorate based Policy Committees and State and Territory Policy Committees and/or the National Policy Committee.

(I) Each State Branch shall develop training programs for Branch executives, candidates and activists, as well as introductory programs for new Party members and mentoring and development programs targeting women. The National Secretariat shall assist in the development of such programs.

(m) State and Territory Branches should form supporters clubs, and explore the possibility of the creation of an associate class of membership as a way of

broadening involvement in the Party.

State and Territory Policy Committees

14. (a) State and Territory Branches should

expand and improve the system of State and Territory Policy Committees, which should be linked to any policy forums that have been established.

(b) All Party members should be eligible to attend State and Territory Policy Committee meetings to contribute specialised knowledge and expertise on policy issues. However, final decisions on policy documents should continue to be taken by elected Committee members.

Committees should, where feasible, conduct forums and consultations in regional centres.

(c) Resolutions passed by Party units should be circulated to the relevant Ministers and Shadow Ministers, State and Territory Policy Committees and the National Policy Committee for consideration and response.

National Platform and Constitution 2004

Australian Labor Party

Preselections 15. (a) Any member who meets the membership eligibility requirements shall be entitled to participate in voting for a candidate in any

preselection covered by the applicable boundaries within which they reside, subject to clause 15(c).

(b) The only residential boundaries that can affect that right are those devised by either federal, State or municipal electoral commissions. That is, the entitlement is

guaranteed by the publicly known and independently drawn boundaries of respective electoral commissions.

Therefore, if you live within the respective electorate and meet other criteria within the rules you are eligible to vote in the preselection.

(c) To ensure the integrity of preselection ballots, no member shall receive a vote in any preselection unless that member is correctly enrolled with the Australian

Electoral Commission to vote in a federal election. The member's address for the purposes of preselection will be their

enrolled address.

(d) In order to ensure that MPs are fulfilling local responsibilities, State and Territory Branches must:

(i) introduce a system of compulsory candidate forums during preselection processes; and

(ii) develop a system of reporting to federal electorate bodies the activities of their MP.

Australian Young Labor

16. Every State and Territory Administrative Committee or State Executive should consider co-opting a non-voting member or members of Young Labor.

Indigenous Labor Network

17. That each State and Territory Branch form an Indigenous Labor Network. Membership should be open to all Indigenous people who are members of the ALP. Non-Indigenous ALP members can nominate to be

associate members.

Implementation of National Principles of Organisation 18. The National Executive will monitor the implementation of these National Principles of

Organisation in consultation with the State and Territory Branches. These Principles will apply equally to all State and Territory Branches unless otherwise stated.

State and Territory Branch Rule Changes 19. All State and Territory Branch rules must be revised in accordance with these National

Principles of Organisation as amended at the Special Rules National Conference held in October 2002, and be submitted to the National Executive for endorsement no later than 1 November 2003.

20. That, pursuant to rule 7(c)(i), the National Executive be empowered to amend the rules of any State Branch as required to implement the National Principles of Organisation.

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Part D


General Membership System 1. (a) Each State should adopt a system to allow applications to be processed and accepted by the head office thus allowing

potential expansion of a general membership system.

(b) A general member initially has only the right to take up at their initiative the process of becoming a full member through the Branch membership system. The general members are to be encouraged to contribute to the Party in whatever way they can and they are bound to assume the responsibilities of supporting the Party both privately and publicly.

(c) Any general member of five years or more standing could be considered for preselection provided the majority request of all Party members in their respective electorate was made and/or the majority request of that State Branch Administrative Committee or Executive was made.

(for guidance to the State Branches)

Party Communications

2. The National Secretary shall be requested to prepare an annual budget for internal Party communications, to include methods of financing, as well as expenditure. The National

Executive shall liaise with the State and Territory Branches with the objective of improving internal Party communications.

(for direction to the National Secretariat)

Responsibilities of National Executive 3. That the responsibilities of National Executive be clarified to ensure appropriate powers to

manage the Party's:

(a) finances,

(b) education and training for memberships,

(c) liaison with the trade union movement,

(d) liaison with community organisations,

(e) campaign technique development for Party members and constituent units, and

(f) Party communication;

and to organise the Manning Clark Labor History Memorial Lecture at each National Conference of the Party.

Review of Campaign Techniques

4. That National Conference instructs the National Executive and State Administrative Committees to undertake a review of campaign techniques to ensure continued electoral success. The following principles are central to such a review:

(a) the need for redevelopment of campaign skills within safe Labor seats;

(b) the need for continuous workplace campaigns to be developed in consultation with the trade union movement;

(c) improved liaison with community organisations; and

(d) continued development of ministerial involvement at the local level.

National Organisation— Ongoing Review 5. (a) That the National Executive take responsibility for an ongoing process of

organisational review. The National Executive should establish a Standing Committee to initiate proposals, or receive submissions from members and affiliates, on the Party's rules, structures and political effectiveness.

(b) That an ongoing National Organisational Review Committee (ORC) be established with appropriate delegated powers under the guidance of the National Executive to continue the process of improving the effectiveness, participation and accountability of the Party's organisation..

(c) That the ORC undergo a consultative process with State Branches, union affiliates, Party units and members on strategies to achieve the following objectives:

(i) strategies to increase the level of ALP branch membership;

National Platform and Constitution 2004

Australian Labor Party

(ii) strategies to encourage more trade unions to affiliate to the ALP and to involve unions more effectively in the Party's decision-making processes;

(iii) strategies the ALP should consider in order to defeat coalition party proposals to undermine the existing arrangements for trade union affiliation; and

(iv) strategies to increase the participation of women at all levels within the ALP.

(d) That the National Secretariat provide adequate resources for the Committee to meet its objectives.


6. That the matter of preselections be referred to the ongoing organisational review process.

Internal Party Relationships

7. (a) The National Secretariat shall coordinate a regular program of ministerial visits to FEC meetings, coordinated through the State Branch offices, to report on the work of the Government and then receive views of

Party members. Such FEC meetings to be open to all Party members.

(b) That a representative delegation from the State Administrative Committee shall combine with the parliamentary leadership and Caucus representatives to form a State political coordination committee.

Such a committee shall meet regularly, to discuss key strategic issues facing the Parliamentary Party.

(for guidance to the National Secretariat and State Branches)

Basic Principles

8. (a) The National Executive establish a Committee for the purpose of revising the Basic Principles of the Party including its objectives.

(b) The Committee, in conducting its revision, should invite submissions from any interested Party member or interested unit and conduct appropriate seminars on the subject, prior to finalising any

recommendations on changes.


9. State and Territory Campaign Directors should consult the Leader and the National Campaign Director before the selection of candidates in both target and safe Labor seats to discuss

quality potential candidates. This process should begin at least 18 months prior to the next election. It is the responsibility and obligation of Party officers and other influential

figures within the Party to ensure that quality candidates are preselected in all seats. The Party must also actively identify and encourage candidates from a wide range of occupations and life experiences.

National Public Office Training Program 10. The National Secretariat, in conjunction with State and Territory Secretaries, should

conduct a pilot National Public Office Training Program and report to the National Executive by 1 July 2003. The NPOTP would involve

former Labor leaders and ministers and would be responsible for: running training schools for candidates, those who aspire to be candidates, and younger Party members; overseeing

mentoring programs; and running skills workshops. Better training and professional development should also be examined for elected members.

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National P lat fo rm and Constitution 2004


Part E

REGISTER OF CONFERENCE DECISIONS (These decisions of previous National Conferences remain in force.)

Members Initiating Legal Proceedings (decision of the 1955 Conference) 1. This Conference resolves that as a general

principle it cannot concede the right of any member of the Party to initiate legal proceedings for the purpose of establishing the constitutional behaviour of the Labor Movement. We emphasise that, with a few isolated exceptions, the history of our Party discloses we have functioned on a basis of complete determination in accordance with our own rules and our own interpretation of them. We insist we must continue to create our own procedures, taking care of our own business without the introduction of lawyers and law courts.

Union Elections

(decision of the 1963 Conference) 2. Conference believes that industrial legislation should provide for trade unions to properly determine their own internal policies in

accordance with their rules and constitutions and deplores interference in trade unions activities by any government, outside individuals or organisations. Conference

accordingly calls upon all trade unionists to refrain from interference in the internal affairs of another trade union.

Grievance Procedures

(decision of the 1979 Conference) 3. That Conference believes that the procedures of the Party at State and national level provide adequate opportunity for people who are

dissatisfied to seek redress of grievance and calls upon all members of the Party in respect of matters in dispute to refrain from making comment outside the Party.

Affirmative Action

(decision of the 1981 Conference) 4. (a) That Conference:

(i) asserts its support for affirmative action to ensure greater representation of women in the Party structures and amongst its representatives at all

levels of government;

(ii) endorses the Guidelines for Implementation of an Affirmative Action Programme in the ALP, June 1981, produced by the Working Party on Affirmative Action, drawn from the State Women's Groups and requests each State and Territory Branch to

implement an affirmative action programme in keeping with these guidelines; and

(iii) requests the National Executive to monitor regularly progress in each State Branch and to report to each National Conference.

(b) That all Party publications and Party ballot papers be given an indication of sex by use of given names.

(c) That it be the policy of the ALP to investigate, instigate, and fund the provision of child care facilities at all conferences and large assembly meetings of the Party.

(d) That it be the policy of the ALP that all Party literature and publications should be free of sexist terms and sexist overtones; similarly all Party conferences, meetings etc. should be free of sexist comments, terms and overtones of any kind and all officers, MPs and members of the Party should be advised accordingly.


(decision of the 1984 Conference) 5. Conference resolves that the matter of abortion can be freely debated at any State or federal forum of the Australian Labor Party, but any

decision reached is not binding on any member of the Party.

National Platform and Constitution 2004

Australian Labor Party

Conduct of Ballots

Organisation of Fundraising

(decision of the 1994 Conference) n

The Party's National Director of Fundraising

6. Procedures for conduct of ballots if required: is the National Secretary. State and Territory Directors of Fundraising are the relevant

(a) that ballots for multiple vacancies be State or Territory Secretary.

conducted in accordance with the rules of • Each State and Territory Branch and the z rt

the Victorian Branch;

National Secretariat raise funds 0'

(b) that ballots for single vacancies be cooperatively but separately. 3

conducted under the optional preferential • Each State and Territory Branch and the 0)

system; and

National Secretariat has a Finance

0 0

(c) that ballots for multiple vacancies be Committee and a Fundraising Director. 3

N conducted in accordance with rule 10(a). These individuals and their committees r',

and/or donation collectors have sole C

ALP Code of Conduct for responsibility for fund raising for their rt O

Fundraising respective Branches. Each Branch

(decision of the 1994 and 2004 Conferences) organises its efforts independently and 0

according to its own methods. rt

7. Preamble Australia's political and economic stability is • State and Territory Finance Committees, all (p

dependent on the strength of our democracy. of whose members act in a voluntary D

The Labor Party believes that democracy in capacity, collect funds from individual unions Australia will be strengthened by moderate and and corporations. Such funds supplement equal financial contributions from corporate the Party's income from normal membership

Australia to both sides of politics, dues and affiliation fees. 305

• This code of conduct establishes the conditions that govern fundraising by the Labor Party at State, Territory and National levels. It is binding on all Labor

Party branches, units and candidates for public office.

• Funds are raised by the Organisational wing of the Labor Party to assist candidates for public office to gain and/or maintain office.

• Funds are needed for policy development, Party administration and, most importantly, campaigning. All these political tasks must be carried out Federally and in each State and Territory.

• Each State, Territory and National Secretary of the Labor Party has a responsibility to raise funds.

• Campaign responsibilities can overshadow the need for adequate funds to support a strong and effective party organisation. Lack of funding for party maintenance and administration not only drains the Party's

ability to develop policy and membership, but also undermines Labor's ability to campaign effectively and therefore undermines the stability of Australia's

political system.

• The National Secretariat collects funds for national campaigning, maintenance of the National Secretariat and the support of various State Branches. These funds support the National Secretariat's role of

national policy development, assistance to the Federal Parliamentary Party and maintenance of the Party's professional and

voluntary organisation throughout Australia.

• State, Territory and National offices shall operate systems of "centralised banking".

• All local campaign and other party accounts will be held under the relevant State or Territory central banking system with the relevant Tax File Number.

Conditions • The Labor Party observes a fundraising code of conduct. This code is fundamental to the integrity of the Party and its

organisational and Parliamentary members.

—Parliamentarians can, and should, voice the Party's needs for funds or services and on occasions sign appeal letters.

—on reasonable request, Parliamentarians can, and should, speak or appear at Labor Party fundraising events.

Australian Labor Pa

rty National Platfor m a nd Constitution 2004

National Conference Decisions

8. That decisions of National Conference are equally binding on all members of the Party whether determined as Platform or as a decision of Conference. However, decisions

of Conference which relate to matters of policy lapse if they are not reaffirmed by the subsequent Conference. Decisions of Conference which relate to organisational, administrative or rules matters continue in force until a subsequent Conference otherwise determines.


—Members of the Parliament or candidates should not accept money or services on the Party's or their own behalf, above the amount of $3000 from any one source.

Donations that are accepted must be held in appropriate Labor Party central banking accounts styled in the form: Australian

Labor Party Campaign Account.

—Any funds held in accounts, or otherwise not under a State or Territory central banking system with the relevant Tax File Number, will be regarded by the Australian Labor Party and any other

interested party as "personal accounts".

—Cheques should be made payable to the Australian Labor Party named account, not individuals.

—It is the legitimate responsibility of the relevant Fundraising Director, Finance Committee members and/or collectors to accept money on behalf of the Party.

—On the written authority of the relevant State, Territory or National Secretary, Parliamentarians or Candidates may act as fundraising agents for the Labor Party.

—Members of parliamentary executives may not be asked to act as fundraising agents or collectors.

—The detail of donations shall be publicly disclosed as per the requirements of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918.

—The Labor Party does not accept funds that are subject to conditions of any kind.

—Under no circumstances will the Labor Party accept funds which, even if only by inference, are intended to obtain the Party's support for specific actions, attitudes or public statements.

—Donors have a right to put views to the Party—but a right to no more than that.

—The Labor Party never raises funds on behalf of any other Party or Organisation.

—Under no circumstances will the Labor Party or any of its endorsed candidates accept donations from the tobacco industry.

—Candidates for public office who act outside these guidelines will be liable to sanctions by the relevant Labor Party Caucus or State or Territory Administrative Committee or other interested parties.

Part F


Chair of Conference 1. The National President shall preside over Conference. In the President's absence the senior officer present shall preside. If no

officers are present a delegate shall be appointed by Conference to preside.


2. (a) Each body represented at National Conference or National Executive shall lodge with the National Secretary the names and addresses of its delegates as early as practicable before the meeting. These names and addresses shall be sent

by the National Secretary to all members of the National Executive and other bodies represented at the National Conference as

soon as possible.

(b) Any body or delegate may challenge the credentials of any delegate by lodging with the National Secretary the grounds of objection in writing within 14 days of being

notified of the nomination of that delegate.

(c) The grounds of the objection shall be conveyed to the delegate challenged and to the body nominating the delegate by the quickest possible means. The National

Executive shall hear and determine the challenge. An appeal shall lie to the National Conference. Pending the

outcome of any such appeal, the decision of the National Executive shall stand.

Session Times 3. Conference shall meet each day from 9.30 a.m. to 12.45 p.m., and 2.15 p.m. to 5.30 p.m., subject to Conference at any time, determining

on motion or amendment without debate, and without rescission of any previous decisions as to meeting times, to meet at any other times.

National Platform and Constitution 2004 Australian Labor


Order of Business 4. The agenda of the National Conference shall be as distributed by the National Executive pursuant to rule 6(j)(ii). The order of business

shall be as determined by Conference from time to time.

5. No discussion shall be allowed except on motion or amendment duly proposed and seconded.

6. Any member desiring to propose a motion or amendment, or to discuss any matter under consideration, must address the Chair. No member shall address the Conference unless called by the Chair of Conference.

7. All questions shall be determined in the following manner:

(a) the mover of the motion shall have seven minutes to present argument in support of the motion and five minutes to reply;

(b) the seconder of such motion, and all other speakers, shall be limited to five minutes;

(c) the movers and seconders of motions and 307 amendments must exercise the right to speak at the time of moving and not subsequently, subject to the right of reply

by the mover of the motion;

(d) Conference on motion without debate may extend the time of any speaker; such extension of time shall not exceed five minutes. Conference may agree to further

extensions on the same basis;

(e) the Chair shall call attention to the time of all speakers one minute before such time expires. Motions for extensions may be made when the Chair so calls, but no later;

(f) after the motion has been moved and seconded, and no speaker rises to oppose or move an amendment, the Chair shall proceed to put such motion to a vote of


(g) all votes of Conference shall be subject to the following procedure:

(i) the Chair shall call upon those who support the question to say "Aye" and those who are opposed to say "No"; and

(ii) the Chair shall then declare the question carried or lost;

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(h) any delegate not satisfied with the Chair's

(i) when any question voted upon by Conference results in equal numbers for and against, the Chair shall declare such question lost; and

(j) any motion or amendment affecting the Pledge, Platform or Constitution of the Party shall be declared lost if less than a majority of delegates credentialled to the Conference vote for it.

8. (a) At any time during debate on any motion it shall be competent for any delegate to move an amendment. All amendments must be seconded. Motions may be amended by adding words, by deleting words, or by deleting words and inserting others in their place, providing that the effect of any proposed amendment is not to establish a direct negative to the

question contained in the motion.

(b) Any number of amendments may be proposed and discussed simultaneously with the original motion, notwithstanding standing order 14. At the close of debate amendments shall be put in the order they have been moved.

9. No member shall speak more than once to any question before the Chair, unless by way of personal explanation or with the consent of the Conference. Such consent shall not be given

unless by a majority of those present.

10. At any time during debate on any question it shall be competent for the Chair to accept a motion "that the question be adjourned," "that the question be put", or "that the next business

be proceeded with", provided at least two speakers have spoken for and against.

A member having spoken to the question shall not be competent so to move. Such motions shall be immediately put without debate, provided that in the event of Conference agreeing "that the question be now put" the

mover of the original motion shall have the right of reply.

11. On Conference agreeing that the question be now put" it shall mean not only the question contained in the motion, but in any and all amendments.

12. No question shall be debated for a longer period than one and a half hours, subject to Conference agreeing on motion or amendment put without debate to extend such time. A two-thirds majority of those present shall be

required to approve any such extension.

13. Motions directed towards the re-consideration of any decision reached by Conference shall fail unless carried by a three-fourths majority of the delegates credentialled to Conference.

14. Not more than two delegates in succession shall speak for or against any question.

15. All questions involving an interpretation of policy on any section of the Platform or the direction of members of the parliament in accordance with the principles and methods of the Party, shall be subject to decision by

Conference on the basis of these Standing Orders and not by ruling of the President.

16. Questions other than those contained on the Agenda shall not be discussed unless agreed to by two-thirds of the delegates credentialled to Conference, and no delegate shall canvass

the subject matter of the proposed new business when seeking Conference approval for discussion of same.

17. Rulings given by the Chair on any question shall be subject to a motion calling upon Conference to disagree with any ruling. In the event of such motion, the mover shall be

permitted not more than five minutes to support the motion and the Chair shall be permitted not more than five minutes to defend the Chair's ruling. There shall be no other speakers. The

Vice-President or any other delegate appointed by Conference shall occupy the Chair during the currency of such motion.

decision may, by standing in their place, call for a show of hands. The Chair shall proceed to determine the question by calling upon those who support the motion z to raise their hands, and those opposed to

r_ Q* act similarly. The Chair shall appoint two

O tellers to take the count and they shall be 3 representative of the opposing viewpoints. 0 When the tellers are agreed upon their

0 count the Chair shall declare the result by

N quoting the figures for and against;