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Tasmania: Labor's positive policies

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No publication date.Accessed 24 June 2016-Parliamentary Library






A MESSAGE FROM BILL SHORTEN I understand that many Tasmanian families are doing it tough.

That is why Labor has developed a plan for Tasmania that will create opportunity and improve the living standards of Tasmanian families.

I believe that when working and middle class Tasmanians are succeeding, all of Australia will prosper.

Tasmanians deserve a Federal Government that will fight for them.

They deserve a Government that will put their interests ahead of the interests of big business.

And my commitment to Tasmanians this election is that I will do just that. I will put people first.

Over the last 12 months Labor’s Tasmania Taskforce has engaged with local communities in a frank conversation about how best to get Tasmania moving again.

Labor’s positive plan for Tasmania has been developed to reflect the findings of the Tasmanian Taskforce and the thousands of Tasmanians who made submission through this process.

Labor has developed more than 100 positive policies.

Our plan includes protecting Medicare, keeping medicine more affordable and investing in hospitals.

It includes record investment in schools, scrapping the Liberals’ plans for $100,000 degrees and reforming TAFE.

"We’ll invest $44 million in Tasmanian tourism infrastructure, delivering projects across the State.” Labor’s plan includes protecting penalty rates, scrapping the Abbott-Turnbull Government’s harsh and unfair cuts to Paid Parental Leave and Family Tax

Benefits and giving families immediate child care relief.

It also includes building the infrastructure that Tasmania needs to create local jobs and drive local growth for the future.

On July 2, Tasmanians will have a choice between Labor’s positive plan and the Liberals’ plan for another round of harsh and unfair cuts - all so Malcolm Turnbull can give a tax cut to big business.

I believe Labor’s plan is the right one for Tasmania, and for Tasmanians.

I invite you to read more about Labor’s positive policies at

Bill Shorten


First they tried to introduce a GP Tax, then they tried to introduce a GP Tax by stealth by freezing the Medicare Benefits Schedule and now they are trying to privatise Medicare services.

The Liberals are doing everything they can to wreck Medicare and take our healthcare system down the same path as America’s, where it is your credit card and not your Medicare Card that determines the quality of your health care.

By contrast, Labor has a positive plan to protect Medicare and ensure our world class universal healthcare system continues to deliver good health outcomes for Tasmanians into the future.

PROTECTING MEDICARE Labor built Medicare and we will always fight to protect it. Labor will reverse the Government’s freeze on the Medicare Benefits Schedule. This means an average family in Tasmania with two children will be more than $400 better off under Labor. Labor will reverse the Liberals’ plans to privatise Medicare.

SCRAPPING THE MEDICINE PRICE HIKE Labor will scrap the Liberals’ medicine price hike and ensure medicine remains affordable for middle and working class Tasmanian families. Under the Liberals, medicine will go up by as much as $5 per script. This means that under Labor, medicines will be more affordable than under the Liberals.

INVESTING IN HOSPITALS With Labor, hospitals in Tasmania can expect to receive around $40 million more in funding than they would under the Liberals. This will reduce waiting times for elective surgery and in emergency departments.

This will reduce waiting times for elective surgery and in emergency departments at Royal Hobart Hospital, Launceston General Hospital, North West Regional Hospital and Mersey Community Hospital.

INNOVATION IN HEALTH CARE Because of Labor, Australia has one of the best healthcare systems in the world. But Australia’s healthcare system continues to face significant challenges. An ageing population, growing health inequality among many groups, as well as locations of disadvantage, means that Australia requires new approaches to care. If elected, a Shorten Labor Government will provide an additional $100 million over two years to develop, pilot and roll out new models of primary care around Australia.



LIFE SAVING MEDICAL RESEARCH AND CARE Labor will invest in life-saving research and care for those Tasmanians suffering from chronic disease. These commitments include:

$10.6 million to increase the number of prostate cancer nurses.

$8 million for ovarian cancer research.

$7 million to assist women with breast cancer in rural areas and with secondary breast cancer all around Australia.

$1.1 million to assist people managing allergic diseases.

$4 million to improve care and support for people suffering from Motor Neurone Disease.

Almost $1 million to deliver Youthbeat Mission

Australia safety and early intervention program in North-west Tasmania.

$3 million to build a 10 bed hospice at the Allambi facility in Northern Tasmania.


Tasmania’s future prosperity depends more than ever on the quality of its education system.

Australia cannot be an innovation nation without a world class education system. Labor will make the targeted, needs-based investments we need to give every Tasmanian student the chance to reach their potential and get ahead in the knowledge economy and job market.

IMPROVING TASMANIAN SCHOOLS - YOUR CHILD. OUR FUTURE Labor’s Your Child. Our Future plan aims to put Tasmania’s schools among the very best in the world. Every student in every school will be supported to achieve their best through investment in:

- More one-on-one support.

- Better remedial literacy and numeracy programs - and more extension options.

- Early intervention programs in every school.

- Improved Year 12 retention - supported by more vocational pathways.

- Better access to allied health support - like speech and occupational therapists.

Labor’s investment is targeted to improve the results of those students who need it


including students with disability, Indigenous students, students in regional and rural areas, and students from low socio-economic backgrounds.

Labor’s policy is a $36 billion investment in our nation’s schools over the next decade, including $60 million more in targeted, needs-based funding for Tasmanian schools in 2018 and 2019 alone, compared to the Liberals.

SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, ENGINEERING AND MATHS Labor will also make sure all Tasmanian students have the opportunity to learn coding - an essential skill for the future workforce.

Seventy-five per cent of the fastest growing occupations will require skills in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Nationally, Labor will provide 25,000 teaching scholarships for recent STEM graduates and support 25,000 existing teachers to up-skill. This will mean new and up-skilled STEM teachers for Tasmanian schools. Labor will also provide 100,000 STEM Award Degrees - meaning students who graduate from certain STEM courses will do so without a HECS debt.

KEEPING OUR UNIVERSITIES OPEN TO ALL Tasmania won’t have a strong economy if students are forced to pay for $100,000 degrees. Under the Liberals, many students will be priced out of university - no matter how bright they are.

Labor will deliver a Student Funding Guarantee - removing the need for higher fees. With Labor, students will be able to study at the University of Tasmania without a $100,000 debt sentence.



UTAS EXPANSION Labor will invest $150 million so the University of Tasmania can construct two new campuses at Inveresk in Launceston and West Park in Burnie. The projects will create 3,110 jobs, including 265 additional academic and professional jobs, and support 12,000 new students in North and North-West Tasmania.

PROTECTING TAFE, STRENGTHENING VOCATIONAL EDUCATION Labor knows that every student does not want to go to university. Labor will protect TAFE by introducing a TAFE Funding Guarantee that will ensure a minimum proportion of vocational education funding stays with TAFE.

Labor will also undertake a comprehensive National Vocational Education and Training Sector Review to make sure the system is meeting the needs of students and employers, weed out dodgy providers and enforce strong standards.



Labor is investing in the job-creating infrastructure that will create local jobs and drive Tasmania’s economy for the next generation.

BUILDING THE INFRASTRUCTURE TASMANIA NEEDS Labor is investing in the infrastructure that Tasmania needs, including:

Shared pathway between Latrobe and Devonport.

Develop rest of the Kentish Trails Masterplan.

The Hobart Airport Roundabout Upgrade.

The Circular Head Pool.

Former Kingston High Site Revitalization.

The Derwent Valley Sporting Precinct.

The Northern Midlands Fitness and Sports Centre.

The Okines Community Garden Facilities Extension.

The York Cove Precinct Plan.

The George Town Economic Development Prospectus.

The Silt Management Initiatives in York Cove.

Stage Two of the Wivenhoe Recreation Ground Lighting Project.

Upgrade of the Burnie Tennis Centre.

Delivering the Wynyard Foreshore Masterplan.

Delivering the NBN to Tasmania’s west coast communities.

Prospect Sports Complex.

Labor will establish a framework requiring a proportion of the jobs on major federally funded projects to be delivered as apprenticeships - so young Tasmanians can learn the skills they need for the jobs of the future.



It is clear that the Liberals want to see weekend penalty rates reduced. Labor does not want some of our lowest paid workers to be forced to take a pay cut. A Shorten Labor Government will intervene in proceedings in the Fair Work Commission to make a further submission in favour of retaining penalty rates.

COMPLETING THE NATIONAL BROADBAND NETWORK Labor will fix Malcolm Turnbull’s NBN mess and build the NBN Tasmania needs to create the jobs of the future. Under Labor, up to 2 million more homes and businesses across the country will get first-rate fibre-to-the-premises than they will under the Liberals, including the West Coast of Tasmania.

DRIVING INNOVATION IN TASMANIA’S REGIONS Labor will create a Regional Innovation Fund, which will kick-start a range of initiatives to expand the role of Tasmania’s regions in the national innovation and jobs effort. Labor will fund the establishment of up to 20 new accelerators in universities or TAFEs in regions around the country, including in Tasmania. This means students that live in Tasmania’s regions will get access to resources often limited to people living in the big cities.

TASMANIA TOURISM FUND Labor’s Tasmania Tourism Infrastructure Fund will deliver a $44 million boost to tourism infrastructure investment in Tasmania. Initial commitments include:

The remaining $13.7 million in funding will be subject to further announcements.

$1.3 million for the Burnie Waterfront Masterplan.

$4 million for the Three Capes Walk in south-eastern Tasmania. $10 million to sink the ex-HMAS Tobruk off Tasmania’s north-east coast as a dive wreck. Tasmania is the only

state without a modern naval vessel wreck. $15 million for Cradle Mountain amenities upgrades.



Tasmanians know that the only way their state will receive the infrastructure funding it needs to support jobs and growth is with Labor.

Labor will give back the $100 million the Liberals stole from the Midland Highway upgrades and deliver the full $600 million State and Federal commitment that Tasmanians were promised.

RENEWABLE ENERGY Labor believes Tasmania can become the renewable energy powerhouse of Australia - and we have a plan to make it happen.

Labor will provide $5 million to fast-track the development of a business case for a second Bass Strait interconnector, delivering greater energy security and more job opportunities for Tasmanians.

Subject to a positive business case and an assessment by Infrastructure Australia, up to $500 million will be made available through our Infrastructure Financing Facility for the construction of the second cable. The project will be funded and delivered in partnership with the Tasmanian Government and the private sector.

BASSLINK Labor will fix Malcolm Turnbull’s NBN mess and build the NBN Tasmania needs to create the jobs of the future. Under Labor, up to 2 million more homes and businesses across the country will get first-rate fibre-to-the-premises than they will under the Liberals, including the West Coast of Tasmania.

TASMANIA TASKFORCE - DELIVERING FOR TASMANIA For over a year, Labor’s Tasmania Taskforce has been engaging with Tasmanians in a frank conversation about how best to get our state moving again. The Tasmania Taskforce has looked at where we are today, and more importantly where we want to be tomorrow. Specifically, the Taskforce has focussed on:

Labor’s positive plan for Tasmania has been developed to reflect the findings of the Tasmanian Taskforce.

Economic Development - supporting Tasmania’s transition to growing industries, including renewable energy, boutique food production, aquaculture and eco and cultural tourism.

Employment - creating the jobs of today and the jobs of the future with particular focus on working with businesses and the community to improve opportunities in areas of high youth unemployment.

Education - expanding the skills base, knowledge and resilience of students and increasing Year 12 attainment rates to ensure the next generation are equipped to drive the new economy, as well as to provide retraining and upskilling opportunities for experienced workers.

Growth - building on the clean, green, safe lifestyle of our state and the premium reputation of Tasmanian goods and services.



Labor believes that when middle and working class Tasmanian families are succeeding, Australia prospers.

That is why Labor has a plan to protect the living standards of middle and working class families.

With Labor, budget repair will be fair. Unlike the Liberals we will not be fixing Mr Turnbull’s budget mess by attacking the family budget.

EARLY EDUCATION AND CARE There are 11,800 families in Tasmania that rely on the Child Care Benefit who will be better off under Labor. From 1 January 2017 Labor will increase the Child Care Benefit by 15 per cent. This is an increase of up to $31 per child per week, or up to $1,627 per child per year.

Labor’s plan to increase the Child Care Rebate cap from $7,500 to $10,000 from 1 January 2017 will also mean that many of the 14,400 families in Tasmania that rely on the Child Care Rebate will be up to $2,500 better off per child per year.

PAID PARENTAL LEAVE Labor will scrap the Liberals’ plan to cut Paid Parental Leave to around 80,000 new mums each year. Under Labor, parents will be as much as $11,800 better off when they have a baby.

FAMILY TAX BENEFITS Labor will not support the Abbott-Turnbull Government’s cuts to Family Tax Benefits (FTB). With Labor, families earning less than $100,000 will maintain their FTB at current rates. For families earning over $100,000 there will be a modest reduction of 50 per cent of their FTB-A end of year supplement.

With Labor, a couple with a single income of $85,000 and two children in primary school will be around $1,300 better off each year. A sole parent with income of $65,000 and two children in high school will be around $3,000 better off each year under Labor.

With Labor, Family Tax Benefits will be targeted to the Tasmanian families that need them most.



Under the Liberals, Tasmanians have been through three years of harsh cuts, chaos and broken promises. Cuts to schools and universities, cuts to Medicare, cuts to families and cuts to pensions. This is the legacy of the Abbott-Turnbull Government.

Tasmanians cannot afford another three years of cuts that hurt Tasmanian families and the economy.

CUTS TO SCHOOLS The Liberals have cut $640 million from Tasmanian schools over the next 10 years. This means larger classes, less personal attention and fewer resources for students in Tasmania and fewer jobs for Tasmanian workers. It also means Indigenous students, students with disability or additional learning needs and students from low socio-economic backgrounds will miss out on the support they need to achieve their best.

CUTS TO UNIVERSITIES The Liberals will rip $168 million from the University of Tasmania over the next five years. If the Liberals get re-elected, students in Tasmania will be facing fees of up to $100,000 for a university degree.

CUTS TO HOSPITALS The Liberals have made massive cuts to Tasmanian hospitals. This will put further pressure on already stretched public hospitals and push up waiting times for elective surgery and emergency department care and put the health of Tasmanians at risk.

CUTS TO FAMILIES More than 40,000 families in Tasmania will lose their full Family Tax Benefit A Supplement if the Liberals are re-elected. That’s a cut of $726 per child, per year. More than 33,000 single parents and single income families in Tasmania will lose their Family Tax Benefit B Supplement if the Liberals are re-elected - a cut of $354 per family per year.

CUTS TO PENSIONS In 2014, the Liberals tried to cut the indexation arrangement for every one of Tasmania’s 106,000 pensioners. If the Liberals are re-elected, many pensioners in Tasmania will lose up to $1,600 because of the abolition of the Pensioner Education Supplement and $208 from the abolition of the Education Entry Payment.

Under the Liberals, age pensioners who were born overseas and want to spend more time overseas when they retire will also have their pension reduced after six weeks.

CUTS TO VULNERABLE AUSTRALIANS In their 2014 Budget, the Liberals tried to leave young jobseekers with nothing to live on for six months. In 2015 they tried to leave them with nothing for a month. The Liberals also tried to cut $2,500 from jobseekers under 25 by changing the eligibility age for Newstart and Youth Allowance. These measures would have pushed young people into poverty.



A UNITED LABOR TEAM WILL PUT PEOPLE FIRST From the day Bill Shorten became Leader, Labor’s team has remained united, with a single-minded commitment to deliver those policies that put people first. A healthcare system underpinned by Medicare. An education system that gives every child in every school more individual attention - Public, Catholic or Independent. University and TAFE that is accessible for all.



Authorised by G. Wright, Australian Labor Party, 5/9 Sydney Avenue, Barton ACT 2600. Printed by Focal Printing, 32 Strahan St, North Hobart TAS 7000.