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Release of ALP 2000 platform.



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Release Of ALP 2000 Platform Kim Beazley, Leader of the Opposition, and Barry Jones, ALP National President

Joint Media Statement - 7 July 2000

The draft Platform to be debated at the ALP's 2000 National Conference is the product of 18 months work by the ALP's five National Platform Committees.

The Platform proposes a confident new direction for Labor and Australia as the party and nation face the challenges of the 21st Century.

The central theme of the new draft Platform is Labor's commitment to ensure that the opportunities and benefits generated by advances in ideas, technology, science and the global economy are shared by all Australians and all Australian communities.

Too many individuals and communities are feeling left behind. Our new platform will commit us to the creation of a high-skill, high-wage "Knowledge Nation" in which everyone can participate and share the benefits.

Labor's new reform agenda for Australia will be underpinned by our traditional values of justice, fairness and equity. We will not allow the benefits of change to be concentrated in fewer and fewer hands or a small number of privileged communities.

Creating this fairer "Knowledge Nation" will require a big role for Australia's national government.

The Platform's highlights include commitments to:

Generate sustainable growth -- growth with purpose -- driven by a sustainable balance between investment, innovation, productivity, net exports and consumption. (Chapter 2)

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Responsible economic policies that control inflation, balance the budget over the course of the economic cycle and keep interest rates low. (p.7) ●

Roll back the GST to make it fairer and simpler, and reduce its impact on education, health, charities, small business and those most disadvantaged. (p170) ●

Maximise economic growth and job creation by harnessing the benefits of increased international trade. (p.34-5) ●

Create a Knowledge Nation by increasing Commonwealth investment in education, training and research. (p.17) ●

Expand resources for university research. (p.16) ●

Oppose the de-regulation of undergraduate university fees and the introduction of vouchers. (p.21, 22) ●

Introduce a national literacy and numeracy plan, including basic skills tests, additional training for teachers and extra resources for disadvantaged schools. (p.16) ●

Raise the level of Business Expenditure on Research and Development (BERD) to the OECD average by 2010. (p.40) ●

Develop measures to allow employees to better balance the increasing demands of work and family life. (p.71) ●

Abolish unfair Australian Workplace Agreements and promote collective bargaining through workplace, enterprise and industry-wide agreements underpinned by a well-resourced independent industrial commission. (p.71)

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Introduce a national scheme to protect workers' entitlements in cases of company insolvency that minimises costs to the taxpayer and small business, while ensuring that employees receive 100 per cent of their legally accrued entitlements. (p.70)

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Encourage the broadening of share ownership across the community.(p.8) ●

Conduct a full review of the Job Network and introduce necessary adjustments. (p.65) ●

Strengthen Medicare to meet the future challenges associated with our ageing population and increased use of medical technology. (p.85) ●

Develop and maintain a high quality, integrated and free public hospital system, with improved public access and reduced delays for treatment and admission, particularly in emergency departments. (p.94-5)

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Develop a Rural Health Plan to address the poorer health outcomes experienced by many rural and regional communities. (p.91) ●

A strong role for the Commonwealth Government in regional development including through improved infrastructure coordination and better service delivery. (p.57) ●

Introduce a Commissioner for the Environment to provide independent advice on and monitor progress towards sustainability. (p.131) ●

Develop a national inland rivers program to address the challenge of salinity, provide adequate ecological flows to inland rivers and provide a sustainable natural asset base for regional communities. (p.134)

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Commit Australia to the introduction of a national greenhouse gas emissions trading system in advance of a global system, the expansion of mandatory energy efficiency standards and an evaluation of the greenhouse impact of the national electricity market. (p.133-4)

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Reaffirm Labor's commitment to an Australian Republic and an Australian Head of State. ●

ALP 42nd National Conference - Registration, documents and enquiries

Authorised by Geoff Walsh, 19 National Circuit, Barton ACT 2600.