Secure jobs with decent pay

Every day I hear from people who are struggling to make ends meet, who are working harder but are not being fairly rewarded for their efforts. Jobs have become less secure and more fragmented.

Inequality is on the rise in Australia. Workers and small to medium business owners deserve their fair share of the wealth Australia generates.

We know that rising numbers of Australians are currently unemployed or underemployed. The Liberals have no plan to create jobs and no plan to fight the scourge of insecure work and casualisation.

I’ve spent my career fighting for better pay and conditions for workers. I know that when we stand up for working people, we stand up for a fairer, more equitable and more prosperous Australia.

 

Well-funded early education, schools, higher education that deliver for all kids

We know that a good quality education means a great start to life for our kids.

My kids went to school right here in Cooper, and I know what our schools can deliver when they're given the funding and resources they need.

As Shadow Assistant Minister for Skills, I’m working hard to put TAFE at the centre of our skills training industry.

Under the Coalition our skills training sector has been left to crumble – Labor is committed to revitalising skills training in Australia and to holding the Coalition to account on their mismanagement of this vital sector.

 

An aged care sector not driven by profit but one that places dignity for our elders at its core

The stories and evidence of shocking neglect and appalling standards of care from the Aged Care Royal Commission have been truly horrifying.

As a former nurse and head of the Nurses’ Union, I’ve spent a large part of my career fighting for a better aged care system. I’ve been saying for decades that we need regulated staffing levels, proper skill mix of professionals and better pay and training for staff. We need to make aged care providers accountable for the government funding they receive so we know it is being spent on quality care and not maximising profits.

Labor has said enough is enough. We've announced a plan for aged care which includes minimum staffing levels in residential aged care, reducing the home care package waiting list and ensuring transparency and accountability of funding to support high quality care.

Meanwhile, the Morrison government continues to fail aged care residents and their families.

 

A humane refugee policy

Australia can do so much more in providing a safe haven for people fleeing persecution and war.

I have been a vocal presence in the Parliament and the Labor Party for policies which have at their core dignity and respect for refugees and asylum seekers.

The Labor platform commits us to ending indefinite detention, increasing our refugee intake, ensuring safe homes for all those on Manus and Nauru, ending TPVs/SHEVS and reducing assessment times to a 90-day window.

In 2018, I worked hard on the Medevac Legislation which saw hundreds of people seeking asylum come to Australia for much needed healthcare.

However, the Morrison government continues its cruel approach to this community, including detaining refugees at the Mantra in Cooper. Alongside wonderful advocates, we are pushing to have these refugees released and shown the respect they deserve.

 

The big shift to renewables

Since entering Parliament, I have been an outspoken advocate for action on climate change. I, along with my colleagues in the Labor Party, understand that we are faced with a climate emergency – one that demands strong, urgent action to reduce our emissions and to protect and restore our environment for generations to come.

Labor has, as a policy, declared a climate emergency. We have committed to invest significantly in emerging and renewable technologies. We have been clear that Australia must reach net zero emissions by 2050, and that in meeting the targets Australia has agreed to under the Paris agreement, that we will not utilise Kyoto credits or accounting tricks. We will continue to push the Government address climate change with meaningful policy that reduces Australia’s emissions, protects and restores our environment, ensures Australia meets its global obligations in addressing the climate emergency and respects the deep cultural connection and knowledge of our First Nations peoples.

The inaction of the Government in regards to climate change and the consequences of this inaction have made plain the political reality of climate action in Australia – if we want to see a reduction in emissions and genuine tackling of the climate emergency then we must have a change in Government.  Unless we can get a Labor Government into power, meaningful action on climate change will be shut down time and time again.

 

Solidarity with First Nations peoples in speaking the truth

Our electorate has undergone a name change, from Batman to Cooper - in recognition of William Cooper, a leader in the fight for rights for First Nations people.

The electorate of Cooper lies on the lands of the Wurundjeri People of the Kulin Nations. Cooper has a long history as a hub for First Nations activism, and I am lucky to be able to listen and learn from such an incredible, powerful community.

It is clear to me that any policy that affects First Nations People should be informed by First Nations voices. I am lucky enough to be in the party of Senators Pat Dodson and Malarndirri McCarthy and Linda Burney MP who have established a First Nations caucus of which I am a proud member.

Labor is committed to a referendum to enshrine a First Nations’ Voice to Parliament in the Constitution, in line with the Uluru Statement from the Heart and forging a pathway to truth telling and treaty. You can find Labor's Reconcilitation Action Plan here.