I’m proud to be in a party that looks after people, promotes equality and fights for healthcare, education, and secure work. We know how tough the last few years have been. We’re a party of government and that’s why we have comprehensive policies we’re ready to implement

As a nurse and unionist who has spent years talking to the people of Cooper, I know what matters to our community and I’m fighting to make sure you’re heard.

Secure jobs with decent pay

Every day I hear from people who are struggling through insecure work and stagnant wages. For many, this has only been made worse by the impacts of the pandemic and the Morrison Government’s lack of action.

Prices are going up: groceries, petrol, electricity - and at the same time jobs have become less secure and more fragmented. People are working harder but wages aren’t increasing. And with many people having trouble paying rent, the dream of owning a home feels well and truly out of reach.

I’ve spent my career fighting for better pay and conditions for workers – first as head of the Nurses’ Union and then as President of the ACTU. I know that when we stand up for working people, we stand up for a fairer, more equitable and more prosperous Australia.

That’s why I’m proud Labor has a Secure Jobs Plan to tackle the scourge of secure work and casualisation, and to get wage growth back on track. Working people need a government that’s on their side – and that’s exactly what a Labor government will be.

The big shift to renewables

Labor has an ambitious plan to address the climate emergency, reduce emissions and cut power prices – the Powering Australia Plan. Climate change is the number one issue for people in our community. I’ve spent much of my life fighting for strong climate action, and I’m proud that a Labor Government will take the real action needed to reach net zero by 2050 and rapidly transition to renewables. Our plan will:

- Reduce emissions by 43% by 2030;

- Reach 82% renewable energy by 2030;

- Cut power bills by $275 a year for the average home;

- Create 600,000 jobs by investing in renewables and future industries;

- Introduce an electric vehicle discount;

- Build 85 solar banks and 400 community batteries across Australia; and

- Bring accountability back to climate action, restoring the role of the Climate Change Authority.

Australia can be a renewables superpower and a global leader in climate action – our plan will get us there. Right here in Cooper a Labor Government will build a community battery in Alphington. This will mean access to cheaper, cleaner energy for residents in the area, and will get the ball rolling on community-backed renewable energy. We’ve seen just how much Labor governments can do on climate action here in Victoria – and if elected to Government, we’ll finish the job in Canberra.

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 revealed by the Aged Care Royal Commission were truly horrifying. Since the report, the Liberals under Scott Morrison have failed to secure enough covid tests, failed to retain staff (who have endured strenuous conditions), and failed to save lives.

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.

As the Shadow Assistant Minister for Health and Ageing, I’ve listened to the stories of aged care residents, their loved ones, carers and workers in the system. I know the system is broken and that we need change now.

Labor has said enough is enough. We need to implement the Royal Commissions findings with a considered approach. Wages need to be raised through the Fair Work Commission. And we’ll ensure transparency and accountability of funding, supporting high quality care, not the back pockets of providers. 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.

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 and now at the Park Hotel. Alongside wonderful advocates, we are pushing to have these refugees released and shown the respect they deserve.

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. Read more on Labor’s plan to close the gap and deliver treaty and truth.