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Mark Latham and Labor: Opportunity for All: 43rd National Conference, Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre, Darling Harbour.

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Authorised by Tim Gartrell. 19 National Circuit. Barton ACT 2600

CHAPTER 1: Enduring Labor Values:

(Opening address—Mark Latham, Leader of the Federal Parliamentary Labor Party

CHAPTER 6: Community Security and Access to Justice

CHAPTER 8: A Sustainable Environment

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CHAPTER 16: Delivering Quality Government

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Opportunity for All: Opening Speech To The ALP National Conference

Mark Latham - Leader of the Opposition


Transcript - ALP National Conference, Sydney - 29 January 2004

Check Against Delivery

When I became the Leader of our great Party two months ago I said that I wanted to be positive. I said that I didn't believe in opposition for opposition's sake

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said those things because I meant them. I've always believed in the Labor Party as the great positive force in Australian politics.

The Party that gave us Medibank and then Medicare The Party that expanded the education system and dared to dream of opportunity for all.

The Party that built the modern Australian economy and made us internationally competitive.

The Party that made us relevant in Asia and proudly told the rest of the world that we believe in Aboriginal reconciliation. And we believe in Australian independence — an Australian Republic.

We are the nation builders of Australian politics. The Party that does more than talk about problems. We solve them.

That's the Labor Party I've always believed in. That's the Labor Party I lead today — a positive party.

You know, delegates, it's a funny thing politics. I've been watching the Howard Government a fair bit lately.

Mr Howard and his Ministers are always talking about the things we can't de as a country.

We can't do this, we can't do that.

Labors values, priorities and approach more 5/02/2004

Mark Latham - Opportunity for All: Opening Speech To The ALP National Conference Page 2 of 14

They are always talking about the things that can go wrong for Australia, never the things that can go right.

believe in something different_ I want to talk about the things we can do together, as Australians

You ask me the big difference in Australian politics? The Howard Government campaigns on fear. We campaign on opportunity.

I want to talk to you about the future, not the past.

About hope, not fear,

That's the difference


Delegates, the Australia I believe in is a big country. Big in size, big in spirit, big in character.

And that's our task: to be bigger than the Howard Government.

E3ig enough to invest in the education and health care of our children.

Big enough to provide public housing for the poor and care for the aged and disabled.

Big enough to protect the environment and ratify the Kyoto Protocol.

Big enough to protect our great natural assets — to save the Murray Darling and the Great Barrier Reef.

Big enough to care for our regions and — once and for all — stop the full sale of Telstra.

Delegates, we can be so much bigger than the Howard Government.

Big enough to help the working poor and put some decency back into the industrial relations system.

The Tories say it's a sin to represent working people. I say it's a virtue.

Like you, I'm proud of where I come from. I'm proud to be Labor.

That's why my government will abolish AWAs and restore the role of the Industrial Relations Commission.

don't believe in a dog-eat-dog industrial relations system.

I want cooperation arid productivity in Australian workplaces.

And as we work together as a nation, we need a better balance between work and family. 5/02/2004

Mark Latham - Opportunity for All: Opening Speech To The ALP National Conference Page 3 of 14

I don't want Australians having to make a choice — a false choice — between being a good parent and a good employee.

That's why a Labor Government will introduce Paid Maternity Leave and improve the rights of working parents.


Delegates, I see Australia as a big country but also a prosperous country.

Labor built the modern Australian economy and we should always be proud of that achievement.

Competition and productivity are Labor words. They don't belong to the Tories. They belong to us.

Not as goals in their own right. But as the best way of producing jobs and investment for the Australian people.

We are a prosperous nation but surely, delegates, we can make better use of our prosperity.

Surely in a prosperous country we shouldn't have 370,000 Australians long-term unemployed.

Surely in a prosperous country we shouldn't have 500,000 Australians, most of them elderly, waiting to get their teeth fixed.

Surely in a prosperous country we shouldn't be losing bulk-billing doctors and child care workers.

Surely in a prosperous country we shouldn't have tens of thousands of students who miss out on a university place every year.

That's the problem with the Howard Government. It's a waiting list government that's turned us into a waiting list nation.

It's wasting our prosperity instead of turning it into opportunity for all.

That's what I want for Australia: prosperity with a purpose — all Australians climbing the ladder of opportunity.


Delegates, you hear some funny things in politics. When I became Leader, some in the media were asking: where did he get that expression the ladder of opportunity'?

Well, I didn't have to look too far. It comes from a place called Green Valley. It comes from who I am and where I've been.

When I was young, my mum used to tell me there were two types of people in our street — the slackers

http://wwv, , . au/med ia/0104/20006772. him I 5/02/2004

Mark Latham - Opportunity for

Opening Speech To The ALP National Conference Page 4 of 14

and the hard worKers.

We had our troubles at home, sure, but we were hard workers.

If I wanted to get to university, I had to study hard. So I did.

If we wanted to buy our first family home, we had to work hard and save hard. So we did.

If I wanted to get into politics, I had to be a good servant of the local community and get stuck into local government. So I did.

That's where the ladder of opportunity conies from. I believe in it because I've lived it.

I believe in ambition and aspiration.

I believe in the powerful combination of hard work, good family and the civilising role of government services.

I say that economic aspiration is good and social mobility is even better — all Australians climbing the ladder of opportunity.

The problem is that the Howard Government has been taking out the rungs. I want to put them back in.

More rungs in early childhood development: child care and preschool places, qualified teachers in our child care system, and a national reading program for our children.

That's the first rung on the ladder of opportunity. The next is school education.

In my life, I've been fortunate with good family and good schooling.

I know of no more powerful institution in our society than a good government school.

And today I feel honoured that one of my school teachers from Ashcroft Primary — all those years ago in the 1970s — is here at the Conference.

He's sitting right there, next to Janine.

Neville Smith has been teaching in public schools in Liverpool and Campbelltown for 35 years. He's a friend and mentor, for me and hundreds like me in our community.

So let me say thank you, Neville. Thanks for caring and thanks for teaching us about good citizenship and community service.

And if Mr Howard wants a debate about values in education, I say: come and talk to Neville Smith. And the thousands of teachers like him, right around Australia. 1 5/02/2004

Mark Latham - Opportunity for All: Opening Speech To The ALP National Conference Page 5 of 14

And delegates, I promise you this: as Prime Minister, I won't be sitting on the sidelines — a negative, whinging, carping commentator — taking potshots at government school&

If there's a problem in our schools — public or private — I'll be getting stuck in to fix it. The education of our young people is too important for political potshots.

I want every school in this country to be a high-achieving school — good teachers, parents and students working together.

That's why Labor will introduce a needs-based funding system: all schools — government and non-government — reaching a strong national standard for resources and results.

We won't be setting sector against sector, school against school, public against private.

We'll be bringing all schools up to a decent national standard. Our funding system will be good for needy government and non-government schools.

Delegates, I want more expertise and resources in struggling schools. That's my top priority.

And I am willing to pay more and reward the teachers who achieve better results in those schools.

Quality teaching is a passport out of poverty. It must be available to every student in our society.

The third rung on the ladder of opportunity is post-secondary education.

When they leave high school, I don't want any young Australian to have to pause for a moment about whether or not they can afford a higher education.

As a nation we can't afford to waste our talent. And as a parent and a parliamentarian, I refuse to waste the potential of young Australian lives.

The best way to increase our productivity and economic growth is through investment in education.

Internationally, we stand or fall on the skills and insights of our people.

That's why Labor will create 20,000 extra university places and 20,000 extra TAPE places, without the need for heavy student debt.

It's why we will reverse the Government's 25 percent increase in HECS and abolish its full-fee system.

The health care of our nation — it's the fourth rung on the ladder of opportunity.

Medicare is a universal system of health care. It can never be means tested. It can never be a two-tiered 5/02/2004

Mark Latham - Opportunity for All: Opening Speech To The ALP National Conference Page 6 of 14

system. If its not universal, its not Medicare,

Mr Howard talks about a safety net. But, you don't need a safety net unless you're turning Medicare into a highwire act, and families are in danger of falling off.

In government, we won't be spending money on a so-called safety net. We'll be investing in bulk-billing, returning the rate to where it used to be — to 80 percent:

• Increasing the patient rebate for every bulk-billed consultation.

• Providing incentive payments for doctors who meet bulk billing targets.

• And making more doctors and nurses available in regional Australia.

We're going to send teams of GPs and nurses to communities where bulk billing has collapsed, to give families the service they deserve. They're entitled to bulk billing. They've paid for it through their taxes and the Medicare levy.

Delegates, Labor founded Medibank and then Medicare and only Labor will save it.

That's our mighty crusade, every day between now and the next election.

Reward for effort — it's another rung on the ladder of opportunity. I want more incentive, more reward for the hard workers in our society.

Under the Howard Government, nearly one million Australian families face Effective Marginal Tax Rates of at least 60 percent,

For some low income earners the rate is 102 percent.

That is, for every additional $100 they earn, the Government takes $102 off them in taxes and the withdrawal of social security payments.

I know it's hard to believe, but it's true. For working hard and having a go, they are $2 worse off in net terms.

That's a shocking disincentive — one that no nation should tolerate.

As a society, we need to reward the hard workers, not punish them.

We need to make the tax system fairer and put some incentive back into the Australian economy.

There are other rungs on the ladder of opportunity: home ownership, aged care, regional employment. Each of them big concerns for Labor and this Conference.

Delegates, we will do many good things in government 5/02/2004

Mark Latham - Opportunity for All: Opening Speech To The ALP National Conference Page 7 of 14

- increasing opportunity, fighting poverty and protecting the environment. Good Labor policies, good Labor values.

But we need to do them a new way

I believe in the public sector. I believe in social investment.

And the government I lead will invest more in the essential services of the nation.

But we won't be doing it the old way.

The services we deliver must be responsive and flexible, working with communities, not against them.

Our services will provide new opportunities for people, but they must also demand responsibility in return.

We can provide all the services in the world, but unless people are willing to work hard and respond the right way, we won't get the results we need for


Responsibility from all, opportunity for all: that's what I call a good society.

That's what I want for Australia.


Delegates, a strong community requires more than high incomes and government services. It needs strong, healthy relationships between people.

This is the paradox of our time. The economy has become more prosperous yet people feel more powerless. Record rates of GDP have been matched by record rates of depression, loneliness and isolation.

None of us can live by financial capital alone. We need to rebuild social capital: the trust and cooperation between people.

This is where I want a new Labor agenda_

Government doesn't have all the answers. It doesn't have a monopoly on solutions in our society.

We need to rebuild community and work with the voluntary sector.

This is why I have decided to appoint Lindsay Tanner as the Shadow Minister for Community Relationships, in addition to his existing responsibilities. No one in the Parliament has written more or thought more about

these issues.

I have asked him to turn his ideas into Labor policy -new solutions to the problems of loneliness, work stress and community breakdown.

His first task is to develop a national mentoring 5/02/2004

Mark Latham - Opportunity for All: Opening Speech To The ALP National Conference Page 8 of 14

program to give more support to our young people.

In Australia today there are more than 600,000 children living with one parent only.

For boys without men in their lives this is a real issue: a lack of male mentors and role models teaching them the difference between right and wrong.

I see this in my own community: boys who have gone off the rails. And lost touch with a thing called society.

I want a Labor Government to find new answers to this problem, building bridges between people — across generations and across cultures.

I want a strong society as well as a prosperous economy.


In government, delegates, we will invest more in basic services and invest more in the Australian community. But for every dollar we invest, we have to cut a dollar from the existing budget.

That's our approach for the next campaign: better services, fully paid for

Delegates, the Howard Government is the highest taxing government in Australia's history. There is no shortage of funds pouring into Canberra.

Our task is to make better use of this money: to cut waste and mismanagement, to give the taxpayers value for money.

Peter Costello went to the last election promising a surplus, only to deliver a deficit — because he and Mr Howard spent $20 billion in political handouts getting themselves elected.

And now they're at it again, with false promises on Medicare and the Job Network.

It's bad policy because it throws money at problems without actually solving them.

I have a different approach: social spending based on budget savings_

Already, since the last election, we have identified over $5 billion in savings — with more to come.

I want to save at the centre of government and send services and assistance to communities on the edge.

I want to cut waste and mismanagement and invest more in the health and education of the Australian people.


Delegates, protecting Australia's national security is 5/02/2004

Mark Latham - Opportunity for All: Opening Speech

To The ALP National Conference Page 9 of 14

the first and final responsibility of an Australian Government

And in this country, it's always been a Labor responsibility.

When Fisher established the Australian Navy. When Curtin brought the AIF home from the Middle East and created the American Alliance. When Whitlam ended our involvement in Vietnam and recognised China. When Hawke and Keating took us further into Asia — security in our region.

That's Labor's foreign policy. Always putting Australia first.

Our policy has three pillars. Our membership of the United Nations; our alliance with the United States; and comprehensive engagement with Asia.

But delegates, Labor's three pillars rest on a rock. And the rock is an independent, self-reliant Australia.

When I have to make a decision on Australia's national security, I'll only ask one question: what is in Australia's national interest?

It's true, delegates. I haven't been to as many international summits as Mr Howard. And I haven't stayed in that many posh hotels.

But I'll tell you one thing: your travel budget doesn't teach you how to stand up for Australia. Your love of this country does.

It's in your heart, not your itinerary.

And delegates, I can assure you: you will never hear me call Australia a Deputy Sheriff.

I know who we are — strong, proud and independent. We're nobody's deputy.

I believe in the American Alliance, but with Australia as an equal partner, not a deputy.

I believe in ANZUS, but not as a rubber stamp_

I haven't got it in me to bite my tongue and stay silent if Australia's interests are on the line. I couldn't on Iraq. I haven't on the Free Trade Agreement. I won't when it matters.

[ will always stand up for Australia.

And delegates I give you this pledge: a Labor Government will never send young Australians to war in search of weapons that don't exist, for a purpose

that's not true.

I believe in the defence of Australia, first and foremost.

We need to make our country more self-reliant in the war against terror. ,u/media/0104/20006772.html 5/02/2004

Mark Latham - Opportunity for All: Opening Speech To The ALP National Confer... Page 10 of 14

Because, delegates, the Howard Government has been neglecting the home front.

We are the world's largest island with 37,000 km of coastline.

That's why we need a Coastguard — to keep Australia safe from the people smugglers, the gun runners and the drug merchants.

We have regional airports in this country with 100,000 passenger movements a year — but no screening facilities for passengers or their luggage.

I don't want the Son of Star Wars. I want screening devices at Australian airports, for the safety of the Australian people.

I also want a Department of Homeland Security — a single Commonwealth agency to do the practical work with the States and Territories on national security.

Delegates, Labor will never neglect the home front.

There is one central idea which will drive our policy. to keep our island home safe and secure. Always, Australia first.


VVhether it's international affairs or domestic issues, there's one thing about Mr Howard: he has trouble with the truth.

There's always a missing piece to the puzzle.

There's always something he doesn't tell the Australian people.

This is one of the reasons why people are so cynical about politics.

There are too many excuses and not enough openness.

Delegates, modern politics is broken and we need to fix it. And I want this Conference to show the way forward.

This is the most democratic National Conference ever convened by the ALP.

Last year our rank-and-file members were empowered to elect their President and Vice-Presidents — and I congratulate Carmen Lawrence, Barry Jones and Warren Mundine on their success, especially Carmen — our first female President.

Delegates, I believe in grassroots democracy_ Its the new type of politics the Australian people are calling for.

I don't want people campaigning for better community services. I want them running them — getting involved 5/02/2004

Mark Latham - Opportunity for All: Opening Speech To The ALP National Confer... Page 11 of 14

in their local community and having their say.

When I first got interested in politics 30 years ago, it was an honoured profession. This was the noble ideal of public life — a life lived in the service of others.

But let's be frank. The Australian people no longer see it this way. After years of broken promises and broken programs, they no longer trust the political system.

They see a system that looks after the powerful, not the people

They see election campaigns with too much spin-doctoring and stage management.

They see political entitlements with too many rods and too much featherbedding.

So I commit myself here today to this great national purpose: reinventing and revitalising our democracy, opening up greater public participation, cleaning out the excesses of the political system, governing for the

people, not the powerful.

Let me give some examples of what I mean

Last month I raised the Republican issue — not just to give Australia constitutional independence, not just for a Head of State who is one of us, but as a way of broadening our democracy.

I don't want this to be a politicians' Republic. It must be the people's Republic. That's why Labor will hold a series of plebiscites: direct voting to involve the Australian people at every stage of the process.

A journalist asked me: would Labor need another constitutional convention? I said No, the Australian people will be our convention. They will decide the best model for Australia, not a bunch of powerful people sitting around in Old Parliament House, Canberra.

That's my approach: if in doubt, let's have more democracy, more direct voting, more public participation.

We also need to make Australian politics more ethical in the funding of election campaigns.

I'm not comfortable, delegates, taking campaign donations from tobacco companies.

There is no such thing as responsible smoking and our health policies — Federal and State — are aimed at minimising the harm caused by tobacco.

This is something that you. Madam President, have campaigned on — and you are right.

I'll be moving an amendment to our fundraising code at this Conference to ensure that the Federal ALP no longer accepts money from tobacco companies, 5/02/2004


Mark Latham - Opportunity for All: Opening Speech To The ALP National Confer... Page 12 of 14

So delegates, I'm not just talking about a new politics. I'm putting it into practise.

If I believe in something, I'll say it and I'll put it straight to the Australian people. I don't believe in beating around the bush or dancing around the issue.

In the lead up to this Conference, I've had lots of advice. Things I should say, things I shouldn't. Some people said, 'whatever you do, don't mention asylum seekers. Ifs not popular.'

Well, I believe in our policy. I'm proud of our asylum seeker policy and I'm going to talk about it.

Not because it's popular. But because it's right. Right for Australia.

And I've come to this conference wanting endorsement of the policy of the Federal Parliamentary Labor Party.

Delegates, I believe in strong border protection — an Australian Coastguard, tougher penalties for people smugglers and a Photo ID Card for Foreign Workers.

If Mr Howard was fair dinkum about protecting our migration system, he would do something about the 30,000 illegal migrants working in Australia — taking jobs off Australians and undermining our working

conditions. He'd adopt our Photo ID Card and tough new penalties for employers who knowingly hire illegal migrants.

I believe in strong border protection, but I also believe in the fair treatment of refugees.

We can be stronger but also fairer and more compassionate than the Howard Government.

Labor will close down the so-called Pacific Solution and its half-a-billion-dollar cost to the Australian taxpayer, We will also return the detention centres to public sector management.

And delegates, let's get the children out of detention. Mr Howard talks a lot about family values and Peter Costello says he believes in tolerance. But that's all it is — it's just talk. If the Government truly cared about

children it wouldn't have them growing up behind barbed wire.

Only Labor will get them out.


Delegates, I want to win the election to give Australia a Labor Government. But that's not an end in its own right.

We only exist as a Party — our policy, our platform, our National Conference only exist to serve this country.

The cause of Labor is the cause of the Australian

Mark Latham - Opportunity for All: Opening Speech To The ALP National Confer... Page 13 of 14


These are the people we worry about.

The four-year-old child who can't gain access to preschool or child care

The hard working school student who has got the results but not the finances to pay uni fees and a higher HECS debt.

The small business owner bogged down in GST red tape, worried about the power of big business.

The young families who are working hard to get ahead, but the harder they work, the more the government takes off them.

The workers worried about individual contracts and the casualisation of their jobs.

The families living in long term unemployment and poverty — forgotten by a government that never really knew them in the first place.

The elderly who can't find a bulk-billing doctor or a nursing home place.

Their worries are Labor's worries.

They must guide our policies and shape our solutions.

Delegates, I'm absolutely convinced that most Australians want to move beyond the old politics. the fear-mongering, the negativity, the needless division and deceit — Howard, Abbott and Costello-style.

We need to give this country a government every bit as good and caring as the AustralIan people themselves.

We need to give this country a government that ;Ives up to our national values — an Australia forever young and forever fair.

So, delegates, in every way, there's a big challenge ahead of us as we enter the campaign for 2004.

Let's keep up our new momentum at this Conference.

Let's show the renewed determination of our Party and our movement — to work together, to give Australia a Government as big as the Party we serve.

As big as the country we love — an Australian Labor Government


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National President's opening address to the 43rd ALP National Conference

Carmen Lawrence

Speech - ALP National President

Transcript - ALP National Conference, Sydney - 29 January 2004

Check Against Delivery

Welcome, delegates, to our forty -third National Conference.

I'm honoured to address you today as the first National President directly elected by the party's members and the first woman National President of a major political party.

I'd also like to congratulate Barry Jones, one of Labors great advocates, and Warren Mundine, our first indigenous National President, on their election.

I look forward to working with them.

This presidential election has been a significant step forward for our Party, more proof that we aspire to be a progressive, inclusive and fundamentally democratic organisation.

This desire is reflected in the increase in the number of Conference delegates to 400 and the involvement of hundreds of proxies, and thousands of observers

from all over Australia.

Since the last time we met, the Conference has doubled in size, we've added a fringe program to foster debate, and we've moved to Australia's biggest city.

This means more rank and file members can participate — and I welcome all of you to Darling Harbour today.

[Long pause.]

Chifloy ResearO Centre (CRC) visit 5/02/2004

Calmer). Lawrence - National Presidentl's opening address to the 43rd ALP National C... Page 2 of 5

Delegates, we meet here with a golden opportunity to set the course for Government.

And we meet as a Labor family, carrying the responsibility of representing the Party's many thousands of members and millions of loyal Labor voters.

With a new, young and energetic leader, progressive policies based firmly on Labor values, and a renewed sense of purpose comes the very real prospect that

we are only months away from victory.

It's an election year, and the enthusiasm and optimism coursing through this room are palpable.

No one here needs reminding that eight years of Coalition Government is eight years too many.

So, let's commit ourselves this week, and every day until polling day, to putting an end to the inequities and division of the Howard years.

Let's use the opportunity to provide the framework for decent public policy.

As Labor activists, let us show that improving our society is both necessary and possible.

That as a Party committed to democracy we value public debate, and even disagreement, about how we can improve our society.

Indeed, that without such debate, we would be denying our fellow citizens an opportunity to hear the arguments and the evidence they need to help them decide how to vote.

This conference is a perfect opportunity to show that we embrace vigorous discussion driven by good ideas, by progressive, humane values, by concern and passion; that such debate is not a sign of weakness or

uncertainty, but rather of our optimism that we can again be a fair and just society.

It's a time for us to show that we are ready to work to improve the lives of millions of Australians.

People expect that of us

No one ever complains about the stale and barren state of ideas at a Liberal Party conference — they expect it.

Left to us is the responsibility to tell the great stories, to depict the sort of Australia we can be, to spell out how people's lives can be improved

As a start, we have to do what we can to dispel the current atmosphere of foreboding and fearfulness.

As someone said to me the other day, "fear stops people thinking clearly." At least, that's what Howard hopes. 5/02/2004

Carmen Lawrence - National PresidentVs opening address to the 43rd ALP National C... Page 3 of 5

The Howard government has cynically exploited people's insecurity for political advantage, rather than dealing with the very real challenges of protecting our country and promoting world peace.

Security is not achieved by whipping up fear in the community or by demonising refugees or by clinging abjectly to the coat tails of George Bush.

From Labor's point of view, security is about recognising and addressing specific threats; it's about co-operating with the international community to reduce armed conflict and the roots of terrorism.

At home, it's about protecting our borders from real threats, but treating those seeking asylum with decency and humanity.

Labor believes the best of Australians; in giving people a fair go rather than promoting selfishness and exclusion.

As Australians we have always taken pride in our generosity; we regard our commitment to a "fair go" as our greatest virtue.

But we know that this commitment is being eroded; that the Howard government has been steadily reducing the life choices of many Australians; that ours

is a more unequal society now than at any time since Federation.

We need to reassert our central egalitarian claim — that each person has equal worth; that any limitations on their achievement and their ability to share in what our country has to offer should be systematically

broken down.

The conservatives fail to understand that promoting equal opportunity actually requires action to reduce disadvantage; so that the accident of your birth does not cripple your future.

Labor built the government programs that helped people achieve their potential and build decent lives for themselves and their children.

Labor governments gave us Medibank and Medicare to make sure that your income didn't determine your access to health services_

Past Liberal governments destroyed Medibank and Howard is hell bent on trashing Medicare.

Labor governments expanded opportunities for those who wanted to go to university; now there are thousands who can't get a place even though they are good enough.

Once we could boast that no matter where you came from or how much your parents earned you could get a top quality education. That's getting harder and


Howard is a reverse Robin Hood — pouring money into the richest schools at the expense of those who really need help.

http://www.alp, 5/02/2004

Carmen Lawrence - National Presidentl's opening address to the 43rd ALP National C... Page 4 of 5

Such inequality undermines our society; it concentrates more and more wealth and power in the hands of a few; it threatens our ability to provide for the weak, the poor and the old; and it leads to a poorer community, in every sense.

That's why it is imperative for Labor to reverse this course; that's why the theme of this conference is "Opportunity for All."

So let's have the debates, the competition of ideas, and leave here as a Party committed to common ideals, to decency and equality, to a renewed sense of

purpose and a common goal of defeating one of the worst governments in the history of the Australian federation.

A united and reinvigorated Labor Party, with a vision for this country and its people, will warm the hearts of every Labor supporter, and all Australians who are crying out for change.

As I open this forty-third National Conference I feel confident in our prospects for victory and equally confident that the policies we decide on here will form the basis for a progressive, reformist Government of which we can all be proud.

[Long pause.]

Now, having officially opened the Conference, it gives me great pleasure to introduce Mark Latham, leader of the Labor Party

But before Mark addresses Conference and formally moves Chapter One — Enduring Labor Values, I'd like to pay tribute to the man who will lead us back to government.

A government that provides opportunity for all_

It's often said that being Leader of a Labor Opposition is the toughest job in Australian politics.

But in his short time in the job Mark seems to have quickly won the electorate's respect.

Many will see him as we do — as a straight talking leader with a vision for this country.

And he will lead us in the best traditions of our Party.

We know this because Mark is a man who never forgets where he came from.

What's more 'Labor' than a kid from a public housing estate, who worked hard, studied hard, looked after his family, and went on to represent working people?

So we also know that 'Opportunity for All' is more than just the theme for this Conference, it is the theme of Mark's life.

Delegates, observers and guests, lt is my honour and privilege to introduce the leader of the Federal Parliamentary Labor Party, the next Prime Minister of

http ://www.alp .org . au/medi a/0104/20006773 .htni I 5/02/2004


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• 2004 Conference Events

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Conference Events

Fringe Program 43rd National Conference Dinner Registration for the Conference Dinner have closed. Labor Women's Network Event Aiming Higher at National Conference - Chifigy Research Centre

Fringe Program

To complement the formal Conference, the ALP is holding a Fringe program of debates, speeches and seminars. The aim is to encourage an alternative and vigorous debate over political and social issues parallel to the Conference.

The ALP's Fringe emulates the British Labour Party's fringe which invariably rates as one of the highpoints of their conference. The ALP has decided to follow our British counterparts, and inject into the Conference period a forum for broader debate and discussion over a wide range of social and political issues.

On the Fringe program are sessions on topics such as national security, education, the plight of young persons in nursing homes, global warming and many more. The sessions have been designed to be entertaining, informative and thought-provoking.

All Conference participants (delegates and observers) and rank and file ALP members are encouraged to attend, although note some sessions have RSVP requests and in one case a modest cover charge applies some cases a modest cover charge applies.

Fringe Program Schedule

• Thursday 29 January 2004 • Friday 30 January 2004 • Saturday 31 January 2004 7034803/ 17/05/2005

2004 Conference Events

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Thursday 29 January 2004


Trade in the Global Economy - Winners and Losers 7.45am - 9.00am Ground Floor, Labor Council Building, 377 Sussex Street Organisers - APHEDA, AFTINET & Oxfam CAA


Snakes and Ladders - Mental Health Services ... a game of Snakes and Ladders 1.00pin - 2.00pm Forecourt, Sydney Convention & Exhibition Centre Organisers - Sane Australia Workshop on National Security

12.45pm - 2.15pm National Maritime Museum, Darling Habour Organisers - Australia Defence Association and Police Federation of Australia Defeating poverty jobs

1.00pm - 2.00prn National Maritime Museum, Darling Harbour Organisers - LHMU


• Dealing with drugs 5.45pm Forecourt, Sydney Convention & Exhibition Centre Organisers - Family Drug Support (FDS)

• Australian foreign policy 6.15pm - 730pm Quality Hotel, cnr Goulbum & Elizabeth Streets, Sydney Organisers - Evati Foundation & Oxfam CAA

• Education: investing in Australia's future 6.30pm Glasgow Arms Hotel, 527 Harris Street, Ultimo Organisers - National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU), Australian Education Union (AEU), National Union of Students (NUS) and Independent Education Union (1EU)

• The Labor approach to the environment, with Bob Carr 530pm for 6.00pm Function Room, Pyrmont Bridge Hotel, 96 Union Street, Pyrmont Organisers - Labor Environment Activists Network

Friday 30 January 2004


• Medicare and the health challenge 8.00am - 9.00arn Darling Harbour Room, Novotel Century Hotel, 17 Little Pier St, Sydney Organisers - HSU, ANF and LI1MU

• Labor for refugees forum 7.30am - 9.00am (light breakfast provided) /web/20040417034803/ 17/05/2005

2004 Conference Events

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Grand Criterion Room, Radisson Hotel, 72 Liverpool St, Darling Harbour Organisers - Labor for ReIngees


Moving beyond practical reconciliation 12:45pm - 14:15pm Cockle Bay Hotel Organisers - ANTAR Tackling the ICT Trade Deficit

12.00pm - 2.00pm Terrace Room, National Maritime Museum Organisers - A coalition of interested parties from the ICT sector


What would they do without us! A debate on political journalism in Australia 7.00pm - 8.00pm South Steyne Floating Restaurant, Harbourside Jetty, Darling Harbour Organisers - IVIEAA, Press Gallery and Labor politicians A home of our own - Young people in nursing homes 6.00prn - 7.00pm South Steyne Floating Restaurant, Harbourside Jetty, Darling Harbour Organisers - Young people in nursing homes

Saturday 31 January 2004


• Unhealthy workers cost you more 7.00 - 9am (light breakfast provided) Four Points Sheraton Darling Harbour, 161 Sussex Street Sydney NSW 2000 Speakers - Dan Hook, Chief Executive Officer, Australian Health Management Group. Australian Health Management Group


The impact of climate change on the community 1.00pm - 2.00pm Cockle Bay Bar, SCEC, Darling Harbour Organisers - Insurance Australia Group Moving forward together

12.45pm - 2.00pm Campbell House, Campbell Street, Surry Hills (a bus will provide transport from the Convention Centre) Organisers - Wayne Swan, Steve Hutchins and Anthony Albanese

Download the Fringe_ Program Schedule (pdf farmat,Size - 352 01

Download the Fringe Program Session Advertisements (pafformat, Size -__2,12(1)1

43rd National Conference Dinner

Registration for the 43rd National Conference Dinner have now closed. w _ 17/05/2005

2004 Conference Events

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National Labor Women's Network Event

The NLWN invites all women members of the ALP to an information session and general meeting of the National Labor Women's Network

Thursday, 29 January, 2004 12:45 - 1:45 pm Banquet Hall, Level 1, Sydney Convention Centre, Darling Harbour, Sydney NSW

Key Note Speaker: Linda Burney MP Member for Canterbury Prior to the New South Wales 2003 elections, Linda Burney, was one of the state's senior Aboriginal bureaucrats as the director-general of the Department of Aboriginal Affairs. At the March 2003 election she made history to become the first Aboriginal person elected to the NSW parliament standing as an ALP candidate for the western

Sydney seat of Canterbury.

RSVP's by Monday 26 January 2004 to or phone 02 4822 8155 RSVP's essential to ensure security access to the venue.

Aiming Higher at National Conference

Two Australian teenagers will have the opportunity to talk directly to delegates at the National Conference when the winners of the Aim Higher competition are announced.

Jointly sponsored by the Chitley Research Centre and Woodside Australian Energy, the competition invited young people around the country to tell Australia's leaders how they feel about making the transition from school to work, TAFE or university.

On the second day of conference, Friday 30 January, the two winners will get their chance to take centre stage and will also receive $2000 each towards their continuing education.

More than 70 entries were received including essays, songs videos poems, artwork and short stories. The presentation of the awards will be held at 12.45 pm in the Banquet -Hall on Level 1, Sydney Convention Centre.

The Presentation ceremony will take place on Friday 30 January at 12.45pm in the Bayside Banquet Hall, Level 1, Sydney Convention Centre.

Download details of the presentation Ai.min er at National Conference (pdffirmat, Size - 353kb)

Conference Home I About Conference I Conference Agenda I 200L National Platform I Conference News and Speeches I Conference Events Images of Conference

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