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Labor's election campaign launch

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SUNDAY, 19 JUNE 2016


Well, thank you Emma.

What a fantastic champion for the people of Lindsay Emma is. She’s down to earth and she’s a fighter. What a great member of Parliament Emma will make.

Emma’s spoken about the aspirations of the people of her community. Here in Western Sydney and in the suburbs, regions and towns right across Australia, people know that with a Government more in touch with their needs and hopes, their future and the future of our country will be so much more assured.

Emma understands, Bill Shorten understands, I and the entire Labor team understand the aspirations of people who had hope in this government, but have seen that hope dashed by three years of infighting, false-steps and miss-starts.

But we provide a real alternative in this election.

A real choice.

A remedy, not a replica.

A Shorten Labor Government will be focused not on itself but on implementing a plan for our country which has improving growth and opportunity at its core.

A long time ago, we decided to make this campaign a battle of ideas, not of insults. Bill Shorten and Labor are happy to fight this election based on our ideas, our policies. Like our plan for schools.

We, in the Labor Party, understand that when you under invest in the education of any Australian child, it hurts not only that child, but it hurts our nation.

We understand that when an Australian child doesn’t get to grow to their full potential, because they didn’t have enough invested in them, then they lose out, and we all lose out.

And we understand that the most important aspiration of every parent right across Australia is to have their child to have every opportunity to grow to be everything he or she can be. Nothing more, nothing less.

And so this election is about choices. Mr Turnbull and Mr Morrison choose a $50 billion big business tax cut. Labor chooses a $37 billion investment in our schools.

Australia can’t afford to do both. We choose schools. And as Shadow Treasurer I am very proud of our investment in schools. It’s worth every single dollar.

And there are other big issues in this election as well, clear choices.

For years, politicians have talked about housing affordability. Mr Turnbull’s talked about it. Then again, he talks a lot about a lot of things.

But Labor is prepared to act.

Earlier this year, I went to South Penrith with Emma Husar. We met Rita Kaula, a single Mum who has been renting for years and is desperate to share in the great Australian dream.

But all too often when turning up with hope to an auction, Rita continually gets out bid by investors. Friends, we are fast becoming a nation cannot house its own children.

Now there’s nothing wrong with investing in property, and investing in property will continue to be an attractive proposition with or without changes to negative gearing, but Governments have to make choices.

The fact is that first-home ownership is at record low levels. And investors have been entering the market at record high rates

The Liberals choose to give more support to someone buying their 10 th house than someone buying

their first home.

We choose to put first home buyers and investors on a level playing field by reforming negative gearing. Keeping it, but putting it to work, increasing housing supply by limiting it to new properties.

Whether it be schools, housing affordability, Medicare, jobs - Bill Shorten and Labor have done the hard policy work, and developed the plans Australia needs.

We’ve developed more than 100 positive policies, because we want a mandate to change our country.

To make Australia an even fairer place, which puts investment in our greatest resource, our young people, first.

Our opponents have a three word slogan and a one point plan.

A $50 billion on big business tax cuts on the wing and a prayer and the hope that it pays off to justify its very large cost.

But even on their own figures, their plan will make our economy just 1% bigger, in twenty years time. You’d need a microscope to find the growth that comes about because of the Liberals’ plan.

And remember this is the team that brought you an attempt to increase the GST as plan A and Plan B, announced by Malcolm Turnbull here in Penrith with great fanfare, state income taxes and Canberra funding private schools but completely abandoning public schools on Australia.

And they want us to believe that the team that brought you plan A and plan B have finally got it right with Plan C.

But we haven’t needed back up plans, we’ve got the right plan. Friends, let’s be frank with each other.

In 2013 most people wouldn’t have given Labor much of a chance to be back in the ballgame as a viable alternative government three years later.

And the pundits were quick to write us off last September, when in an act of political desperation, the Liberals did something they said they would never do, and dismissed a Prime Minister. But Labor is back in the game as a competitive and viable alternative.

Part of the reason is that we have led the debate, with detailed and courageous policies. Part of the reason has been our unity of our great team, unity of purpose. As we watched Tony Abbott narrowly beat a leadership challenge by an empty chair and then observed Malcolm Turnbull hop in the chair and beat him, we remained unified and focussed on our task: serving the Australian people by providing a better alternative.

And part of the reason is the quality of Labor’s team.

Person for person, right through our alternative Cabinet, I’ll back the judgement, commitment and values of every Labor Shadow Minister over their opposite number every single time. Let me give you just one example.

Plibersek versus Joyce.

On those occasions when the Prime Minister is representing us overseas, wouldn’t it be good to know that there is a calm, steady, considered hand at the helm.

Tanya Plibersek is a woman of immense intelligence and impeccable values.

She’s a Mum of three and a fine policy mind.

It’d be good to have a Deputy Prime Minister who makes us proud.

Wouldn’t we all be proud to see Tanya as Deputy Prime Minister?

We can make it happen, please Join me in welcoming the next Deputy Prime Minister of Australia, Tanya Plibersek.