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Victoria: Labor's positive policies

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No publication date - accessed by Parl Library 22 June 2016





A MESSAGE FROM BILL SHORTEN This election, my commitment to the people of Victoria is that I will always put people first. Labor has a clear plan to grow the economy in a way that protects jobs and improves living standards. Labor will protect Medicare, keep the price of medicine affordable and invest in Victoria’s hospitals.

We will properly fund schools, reform TAFE and scrap the Liberals’ plans for $100,000 degrees.

"We will build the infrastructure that Victorians need to create well-paying jobs and drive long-term growth across the state."

As the automotive industry declines, we will work with Victorian parts makers to open new markets for advanced manufacturing, here in Australia and overseas. We will protect penalty rates and scrap the Liberals’ harsh and unfair cuts to Paid Parental Leave and Family Tax Benefits. Labor’s plan also includes giving families immediate child care relief, tackling child care waiting lists and increasing access to outside school hours’ care. I believe Labor’s positive plan is the right one for my home state, Victoria. That’s why I will work every day to deliver for middle and working class families in Victoria.

Australians deserve a Federal Government with a clear plan - not just a slogan.

On July 2, Victorians will have a choice between Labor’s positive plan and the Liberals’ next round of harsh and unfair cuts - all so that Malcolm Turnbull can give a $50 billion tax cut to big business. Labor has developed more than 100 positive policies to build a fairer Australia - I invite you to read more about them at

Bill Shorten



Labor is investing in the job-creating infrastructure that will create jobs and drive the Victorian economy for the next generation. Labor is committed to ensuring every Victorian has the opportunity to work to their full capacity. Our initiatives will create more than 5,000 real jobs for Victorians. BUILDING THE INFRASTRUCTURE VICTORIA NEEDS A Shorten Labor Government will build the infrastructure that Victoria needs. Labor will invest:

$380 million to support the Melbourne Metro project.

$356 million to complete the upgrade of the M80 Ring Road, completing the final three sections of the 38 km corridor.

$510 million to upgrade the efficiency of the Monash Freeway, one of Australia’s busiest.

$120 million to boost park-and-ride capacity at high use train stations.

$220 million for the Murray Basin Rail project, upgrading Victoria’s rail freight network.


BACKING SMALL BUSINESS TO CREATE LOCAL JOBS A Shorten Labor Government will reward small businesses that are creating jobs and getting Australian jobseekers back to work. Labor’s New Jobs Tax Cut will allow small businesses to claim a deduction of up to $20,000 to offset the wages of up to five new employees.

The jobs tax cut will be available to businesses who employ young people, carers returning back to work or older Australians. Businesses supporting job seekers will be able to claim an additional deduction of up to $100,000 a year for hiring new staff.

ADVANCED MANUFACTURING Labor will work with the Victorian Government to deliver new jobs in the regions worst affected by motor vehicle production closures. A Shorten Labor Government will commit $59 million to the Manufacturing Transition Boost to ensure regions across the nation - including Geelong - continue to have strong workforces and local jobs.

This jobs package will provide pathways to new jobs for skilled workers by attracting new business investment in advanced manufacturing. Firms will be given new incentives to diversify into new products and markets and employ automotive workers who have lost their jobs.

LOCAL JOBS FOR LOCAL PEOPLE A Shorten Labor Government will invest $68.6 million over the next four years to deliver our Local Jobs for Local People program. This will connect people in disadvantaged communities with jobs and training opportunities, while also tackling the complex social and local issues that can keep Australians from finding work.

Local Jobs for Local People will operate in up to 20 communities across Australia in areas of high employment or entrenched disadvantage.

$350 million for a Victorian Regional Roads package.

$90 million to upgrade Bridge Inn Road, to serve the growing community around Mernda.

$85 million to upgrade Thompsons Road, opening up industrial areas in Melbourne’s southeast.

$67 million to build the O’Herns Road upgrade, improving freight movements through industrial areas.

$22 million for an extension to the number 11 tram route, improving access to services and reducing congestion.

$20 million for the first stage of the duplication of Craigieburn Road.

$50 million to establish a High Speed Rail Planning Authority.


WORKING FUTURES Labor will get more young people into work and keep them there by delivering real skills and real opportunities through our Working Futures program. We will support 20,000 people per year aged between 15 and 24 through a comprehensive work and training program, setting them on the right path to ongoing high-quality jobs.

Working Futures will offer real training for real jobs. This is in stark contrast to the Liberals’ exploitative Youth PaTH program, which subsidises employers to place jobseekers on internships without sufficient workplace protections.

REAL SKILLS GOOD JOBS Labor will help more young people into apprenticeships by creating 10,000 new Apprentice Ready places, offering a 20-week, industry endorsed pre-apprenticeship course for trades on the National Skills Needs List.

A Shorten Labor Government will help retrenched workers gain formal recognition of their skills through an accelerated apprenticeship program to help them find their next job. A National Skills Recognition Entitlement program will help 5,000 mature-aged, retrenched workers turn their extensive work experience into formal qualifications.

PROTECTING PENALTY RATES 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. Labor will intervene in proceedings in the Fair Work Commission to protect weekend penalty rates.

DRIVING INNOVATION IN OUR CITIES AND OUR REGIONS Labor has a comprehensive plan to drive innovation in our cities and our regions. This includes:

1. Supporting great ideas by co-investing in early stage and high potential companies

through the $500 million Smart Investment Fund.

2. Bringing together the superannuation, venture capital and startup sectors in an Innovation

Investment Partnership to identify barriers holding back investment in Australian-based venture capital funds and early-stage enterprises.

3. Improving access to finance for startups and micro-businesses through a partial

guarantee scheme, Startup Finance.

4. Getting startups to help solve government problems through Challenge Platforms and

support startups to compete in government tenders.

5. Accelerating innovation in our regions through Regional Innovation Hubs.

6. Reforming the innovation architecture through Innovate Australia.

7. Improving the flow of capital to startups through Startup Capital.

8. Backing our best and brightest overseas with Landing Pad hubs for Australian innovators.

COMPLETING THE NBN A Shorten Labor Government will fix Malcolm Turnbull’s mess and build the national broadband network Australia needs to create the jobs of the future. We will scale up the rollout of fibre-to-the-premises and phase out the rollout of fibre-to-the-node.

This will deliver fibre-to-the-premises to up to two million homes and businesses across the country that would otherwise get Malcolm Turnbull’s second-rate copper version, including hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses in Victoria. For example, Mernda, Doreen, North Bendigo, Geelong, Belgrave and Upwey will all be fibre-to-the-premises.



LABOR WILL STOP THE PRIVATISATION OF MEDICARE First they tried to introduce a GP Tax, then the Liberals tried to introduce a GP Tax by stealth by freezing the Medicare Benefits Schedule. The Liberals are doing all they can to destroy Medicare. In contrast, Labor has a positive plan to protect Medicare and ensure our world class universal health care system continues to deliver good health outcomes for every Australian into the future. PROTECTING MEDICARE Labor built Medicare and we will always fight to protect it. Labor will reverse the Liberal Government’s freeze on the Medicare Benefits Schedule. This means that under Labor an average family in Victoria with two children will be more than $400 better off. We will prevent the Liberals from privatising Medicare. SCRAPPING THE MEDICINE PRICE HIKE Labor will scrap the Liberals’ medicine price hike and ensure medicine remains affordable for middle and working class Victorian families. Under the Liberals, medicine will go up by as much as $5 per script. Under Labor, medicines will be more affordable. INVESTING IN HOSPITALS A Shorten Labor Government will increase funding for Victorian hospitals over the next four years. This will reduce waiting times for elective surgery and in emergency departments. Under Labor, Victorian hospitals will receive $500 million more than they would under the Liberals. This means that Goulburn Valley Health, Alfred Hospital, the Royal Women’s Hospital and all public hospitals in Victoria will be better resourced under Labor. REVERSING CUTS TO PATHOLOGY AND IMAGING SERVICES A Shorten Labor Government will reverse Malcolm Turnbull’s cuts to bulk billing incentives for pathology and diagnostic imaging. Labor’s measures give pathologists and radiologists a specific incentive to bulk bill. Without it, bulk billing will fall, co-payments will rise, and patients will be forced to pay more for tests and scans - or to skip them altogether.


PREVENTATIVE HEALTH PACKAGE Chronic diseases are the leading cause of illness, disability and death in Australia. Many of these diseases are due to preventable risk factors such as physical inactivity, poor nutrition, smoking and harmful use of alcohol. Labor has developed a five-point plan to combat chronic disease:

1. Investing in 50 Healthy Communities nationwide, to help communities at the greatest

risk of chronic disease to stay well.

2. Tackling obesity through Australia’s first National Physical Activity Strategy and a

National Nutrition Framework.

3. Expanding the successful Better Health Channel into a nationwide platform for

health information.

4. Continuing the push to reduce smoking rates, particularly in at-risk communities.

5. Addressing harmful use of alcohol through a National Alcohol Strategy.

A NATIONAL APPROACH TO SUICIDE PREVENTION A Shorten Labor Government will target a 50 per cent reduction in suicides over the next 10 years. Our National Suicide Strategy will provide a strong national commitment to reduce the suicide toll, and coordinate a focused effort across Australia. Labor will commission Australia’s first national data-set of suicide deaths and invest $72 million over three years for 12 regional suicide pilot projects.

INNOVATION IN HEALTH CARE Because of Labor, Australia has one of the best health care systems in the world. But Australia’s health care 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 and innovative approaches to care.

If elected, a Shorten Labor Government will provide an additional $100 million over two years to develop 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 Victorians suffering from chronic disease. These commitments include, nationally:

$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.

$84 million to improve access to lifesaving technologies for Australians with type 1 diabetes.


Australia cannot be an innovation nation without a world class education system. Improving education is the key to opportunity, to innovation and to the future economic and social prosperity of our nation.

Labor will make the targeted, needs-based investments we need to give every Victorian child the chance to reach their potential and get ahead in the knowledge economy.

IMPROVING VICTORIAN SCHOOLS - YOUR CHILD. OUR FUTURE Labor’s Your Child. Our Future plan will put Australia’s schools back where they belong 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 most, 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. This includes $815 million more in targeted, needs-based funding for Victorian schools in 2018 and 2019 compared to the Liberals. Whether your child is studying at Ballarat High School or at Strathmore Secondary College, they will get more targeted, needs-based investments under Labor.

KEEPING OUR UNIVERSITIES OPEN TO ALL Victoria will not 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 La Trobe or Monash University based on good marks and hard work, not their bank balance.



PROTECTING TAFE - STRENGTHENING VOCATIONAL EDUCATION 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.

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

Seventy-five per cent of the fastest growing occupations will require skills in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM). Nationally, Labor will provide 25,000 teaching scholarships for recent STEM graduates and support a further 25,000 existing teachers to up-skill. This will mean around 6,500 new or up-skilled STEM teachers for Victorian 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.


Labor believes that when middle and working class families are succeeding, Australia succeeds. That is why Labor has a plan to protect the living standards of middle and working class families.

Labor believes in budget repair, but we will not be fixing the Liberals’ budget mess by attacking the family budget.

CHILD CARE Every one of the 139,580 families in Victoria that rely on the Child Care Benefit 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.

Many of the 185,770 families in Victoria that rely on the Child Care Rebate will be up to $2,500 better off per child per year with Labor’s plan to increase the Child Care Rebate cap from $7,500 to $10,000 from 1 January 2017.

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 oppose the Government’s harsh cuts to Family Tax Benefits. Under Labor, families earning less than $100,000 will maintain their FTB at current rates. Families earning over $100,000 will see a modest reduction in their FTB-A end of year supplement.

Under 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.



LOCAL COMMUNITY PROJECTS A Shorten Labor Government will invest in a range of community projects to improve quality of life for the people of Victoria. These include:

$5 million to deliver the Colac Early Years Children’s Centre, providing primary and tertiary health and wellbeing services to young children and their families.

$5 million to fund a major upgrade to the Ballarat Sports and Event Centre project.

$2 million to upgrade car parking at Maroondah Hospital, building more than 300 new spaces to ease chronic congestion.

$6 million for the Wheatsheaf Community Hub in Glenroy - this facility will include a children’s centre, a modern local library, multipurpose community meeting rooms and a Neighbourhood House.

$2 million to redevelop the Bendigo Tennis Centre and support the cultivation of future tennis stars in regional Victoria.

$1.4 million to expand the capacity of the Gisborne Oaks Residential Aged Care Facility to address urgent demand for dementia care in Macedon Ranges region.


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

Victorians can’t afford another three years of cuts and chaos.

YOUTH UNEMPLOYMENT Under the Liberals the youth unemployment rate in Victoria has remained above 12 per cent, more than double the national unemployment rate. The number of young people in job training across the country has plummeted, and there are now an astonishing 30,000 fewer apprentices in Victoria than there were in 2013. Labor is committed to ensuring one in ten jobs on our priority projects will be filled by new apprentices, so young people from all across Victoria can learn the skills they need for the jobs of the future.

CUTS TO SCHOOLS The Liberals have cut more than $7.1 billion from Victorian schools. This means larger classes, less personal attention and fewer resources for students in Victoria. 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 Since 2013, the Liberals have ripped nearly $1.5 billion from Victorian universities. If the Liberals get their way, students in Victoria would be facing fees of up to $100,000 for their university degrees.

CUTS TO HOSPITALS The Liberals have cut billions from Victorian hospitals. This will put further pressure on already stretched public hospitals and push up waiting times for elective surgery and emergency department care.

CUTS TO FAMILIES More than 379,000 families in Victoria 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 308,000 single parents and single income families in Victoria 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 Victoria’s more than one million pensioners. If the Liberals are re-elected, pensioners in Victoria who are trying to study will lose $1,600 because of the abolition of the Pensioner Education Supplement and $208 from the abolition of the Education Entry Payment.

Age Pensioners who were born overseas and want to spend more time overseas when they retire will have their pension reduced after six weeks under the Liberals.

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 Kosdown Printing 10 Rocklea Dr, Port Melbourne VIC 3207