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Tuesday, 3 May 2016
Page: 4193

Mr GILES (Scullin) (13:45): Our Prime Minister likes to tell us that we live in the most exciting time to be an Australian, but on this side of the House and across the Australian community we ask this question: most exciting for whom? Australia today is the most unequal it has been since the Great Depression. We are concerned about this; we do not find it exciting. We are particularly concerned about the generational distribution of this inequality, which is impacting particularly on young people. It is at the core of Labor's position that we are taking to this election. It is also a matter of concern to my friend, the member for Bennelong, who has made a helpful contribution in this regard in recent days.

It is also something that is concerning in the world of work. Changes in the world of work are impacting particularly on young workers. That is why I was pleased to visit in Carlton the Young Workers Centre, which is managed by a very impressive young woman, Keelia Fitzpatrick, who works with educators, organisers, researchers and lawyers to facilitate education programs, events and campaigns to empower young people across Victoria to gain more of an understanding about their rights at work, including safety at work.

We hear much talk about the sharing economy, but we on this side understand that young people are often not getting their fair share. It is a critical challenge that government must grapple with, but which this government is ignoring. On the other hand, Labor, in conjunction with unions and community organisations like the Young Workers Centre, are concerned to build a fairer future and a more equal society, in particular for young workers.