Browsing articles in "Media Releases"
Apr 18, 2015
Kieran Barns-Jenkins

OPERATION RISING

Victoria Police and the Australian Federal Police have this morning made arrests in Melbourne regarding alleged terrorism-related offences.

 

These allegations are even more heinous as they relate to ANZAC Day, a day that is hugely significant to Australians and our identity.

 

I know Australians will not let these events disrupt the commemoration of the 100 year anniversary of the first ANZAC landing in Gallipoli.

 

Australians should be reassured that our security and police agencies are among the best in the world.

 

We should be reassured by the skill and professionalism of our security agencies and their ability to tackle the threat of terrorism to keep Australians safe.

 

When it comes to the security of our nation and keeping people safe, we are all in this together.

 

Labor supports our national security agencies having the powers they need to keep Australians safe.

 

Labor will continue our bipartisan approach to the most important responsibility of government – ensuring the safety of Australian citizens.

 


SATURDAY, 18 APRIL 2015

MEDIA CONTACT: LEADER’S OFFICE MEDIA UNIT 02 6277 4053

Apr 16, 2015
Kieran Barns-Jenkins

TONY ABBOTT must act on Caterpillar jobs in Burnie

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has written to the Prime Minister calling for immediate action upon reports that Caterpillar is reviewing operations at its Burnie facility in Tasmania.

 

The loss of around 280 jobs would be a disastrous outcome for the North West.

 

Tony Abbott must outline exactly what steps, if any, he has taken to engage with the Caterpillar Corporation parent company in the United States.

 

We must ensure every effort has been made to support Caterpillar’s ongoing operational viability in Tasmania.

 

The Abbott Government’s track record on stopping multinational companies from taking Australian jobs overseas is diabolical.

 

Unemployment in Tasmania’s North West is already at 7.8 per cent.

 

Tasmania’s North West cannot afford to lose these high-skilled, productive jobs without a fight, and without ongoing support from the Australian Government.

 

The absolute priority for the Abbott Government should be finding out what, if anything, can be done at this stage to keep Caterpillar operating in Tasmania.

 

During the 2013 election campaign, Labor committed $10 million to assist Caterpillar to modernise its operations.

 

This was on top of Labor’s $5 million investment in jobs at Caterpillar awarded under the Tasmanian Jobs and Growth plan.

 

This funding was not delivered by the Liberals.

 

Labor has repeatedly sought a bipartisan commitment from the Abbott Government to get behind the North West and revitalise its economy.

 

Labor believes in a strong economy that doesn’t leave people behind, including the families and small businesses of Tasmania’s North West.

 

This Government’s dishonesty and incompetence is hurting Tasmanians – it’s hurting the economy, it’s hurting jobs and it’s hurting the most vulnerable.

 

The Abbott Government has no plan for jobs, growth or economic diversity in North West Tasmania.

 

Labor calls on Tony Abbott to pick up the phone to Caterpillar and fight for the livelihood of hundreds of workers, their families and the survival of the community they live in.

 

THURSDAY, 16 APRIL 2015

 

MEDIA CONTACT: LEADER’S OFFICE MEDIA UNIT – 02 6277 4053

Apr 16, 2015
Kieran Barns-Jenkins

ABBOTT FIDDLES WHILE WA JOBS BURN

More than 25,000 jobs have been lost from WA’s resources sector in the past year as the Abbott Governments sits on its hands and refuses to plan for the state’s future.

 

This week the ABC reported geologists and engineers were among the hardest hit by the mining industry’s shift to the operations phase, with up to 1000 engineers out of work.

 

Last weekend The Sunday Times revealed barely half of new UWA graduates were able to find full-time jobs.

 

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) this week reported that 920 jobs in the renewable energy industry were lost from WA alone since 2011-12.

 

And now the IMF has joined the fray, warning of further job losses in Australia as iron ore demand continues to drop in China.

 

Despite WA’s weak outlook for new jobs creation, the Abbott Government has no jobs plan to ease the pain of the state’s transition from construction to operations in the resources sector.

 

Joe Hockey had failed to confront the problem, and his last economic review (MYEFO) had absurd blue-sky forecasts for growth in WA.

 

The Abbott Government’s dishonesty and incompetence is hurting Western Australia – it’s hurting the economy and it’s hurting jobs.

 

Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey should urgently come to WA and outline their plans to stimulate jobs for WA in this rapidly deteriorating environment.

 

Today, Leader of the Opposition Bill Shorten and Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for WA Alannah MacTiernan will host a forum to discuss the offshoring of engineering jobs and the lack of graduate opportunities with engineers and industry leaders from across WA.

 

Mr Shorten and Ms MacTiernan will also tour an engineering facility in Bassendean to look at the myriad opportunities for WA in the advanced manufacturing sector.

 

THURSDAY, 16 APRIL, 2015

 

Media contacts:        LEADER’S OFFICE MEDIA UNIT – 02 6277 4053

mARK SCOTT (MacTiernan) – 0413 381 060

Apr 15, 2015
Kieran Barns-Jenkins

LABOR MOVES TO PROTECT ROOF TOP SOLAR, RENEWABLE JOBS

 

Federal Member for Maribyrnong and Leader of the Opposition Bill Shorten has said that Labor will protect the Small Scale Renewable Energy Target Scheme.

More than 4,000 homes in the electorate of Maribyrnong have already gone solar and Labor wants to see that number grow.

“Solar power not only provides clean energy, it reduces power bills and creates jobs.  Creating jobs in manufacturing and servicing, while protecting the environment, is obviously a smart way to go.”

The Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme creates a financial incentive for owners to install eligible small-scale installations such as solar water heaters and solar panel systems

“More and more members of our community are looking to solar power their homes and to feed power into the grid,” said Bill Shorten.

“Unfortunately, the Abbott Government’s dishonesty and incompetence has almost destroyed Australia’s renewable energy industry, putting new jobs and investment at risk.”

“Installing solar should be encouraged not discouraged. Households in Moonee ponds, in St Albans, in Braybrook and surrounding areas have helped to create local jobs, cut carbon pollution and ease their cost of living.”

“Everyone knows Tony Abbott and his team are only climate change deniers. But their disregard and contempt for the renewable energy is doing huge damage. People are losing their jobs.”

More than 2000 clean energy jobs around Australia have been lost since 2011-12 because of the Liberal Government’s broken promise on the Renewable Energy Target.

 

Employment in renewables has slipped 15 per cent since it reached a peak of almost 15,000 full-time workers under Labor when it increased by 44 per cent.

 

The Clean Energy Council has recommended Australia move to a Renewable Energy Target of 33,500 to protect our clean energy future.

Labor has backed the Clean Energy Council and is calling on the Liberal Government to do the same, to protect jobs and investment in this crucial industry.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Apr 14, 2015
Kieran Barns-Jenkins

BERNIE RIPOLL

On behalf of the Federal Parliamentary Labor Party, I thank Bernie Ripoll for his service to the Australian Labor Party and the people of Oxley.

 

Entering the Parliament in 1998, Bernie has always been guided by the true Labor values of fairness and equality.

 

These values were no more evident than in his role as Chair of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services, leading an inquiry into the Future of Financial Advice which reported in 2012.

 

As a Shadow Minister, Bernie has displayed the utmost commitment to his portfolios; from Financial Services and Superannuation, Sport and Small Business.

 

Importantly, Bernie has always been a strong voice for ordinary Australians. In his first speech to the House of Representatives, Bernie illustrated his understanding and profound passion for the people of Oxley:

 

We are not battlers in Oxley. We are pensioners, we are returned service men and women, we are families with sick children, and we are sole parents struggling on low incomes. We are casual and part-time workers desperate to find full-time work, we are people to whom English is not our first language, we are workers threatened with retrenchment, we are school leavers looking for an opportunity, we are disabled, and we are households that dread Christmas for the bills that it brings.

 

We are all this and we are more. We are the parents helping out on school fetes, we are drivers for meals on wheels, and we are the managers of our neighbour’s footy team and the coach of our daughter’s netball team. While others may call us battlers, when you come from where I live, we call each other friends, neighbours, workmates and family.

 

In the wake of the devastating 2011 Queensland floods, Bernie worked closely and tirelessly with the community and his Queensland colleagues to help rebuild the state.

 

Labor congratulates Bernie for his long-standing dedication to our Party and his electorate. We wish him the very best for life after parliamentary politics.
TUESDAY, 14 APRIL 2015 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: LEADER’S OFFICE MEDIA UNIT 02 6277 4053

Apr 14, 2015
Kieran Barns-Jenkins

THOUSANDS OF RENEWABLE JOBS LOST ON TONY ABBOTT’S WATCH

The Abbott Government’s dishonesty and incompetence has almost destroyed Australia’s renewable energy industry, including thousands of jobs according to the Australians Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

 

More than 2000 clean energy jobs have been lost since 2011-12 because of the uncertainty caused by the Liberal Government’s broken promise on the Renewable Energy Target.

 

Employment in renewables has slipped 15 per cent since it reached a peak of almost 15,000 full-time workers under Labor when it increased by 44 per cent.

 

According to the ABS, over 12,500 Australians worked at wind farms, solar panel manufacturers and hydropower plants last year with the bulk of those renewables’ jobs were in NSW (22 per cent).

 

The biggest fall in clean energy jobs was in Queensland, which has lost 1300 jobs (34 per cent) since 2011-12.

The ABS warns there more job losses can be expected while the Government stubbornly refuses to accept Labor and the industry’s compromised Renewable Energy Target (RET) position of 33,500GWh.

 

The Business Council of Australia, Australian Industry Group, Clean Energy Council, Labor, unions and the finance sector all want an end to the uncertainty.

 

Since Tony Abbott was elected, investment in Australia’s renewable energy industry has fallen 88 per cent, while around the world investment rose by 16 per cent.

 

Labor has always been guided by the science when it comes to tackling climate change, which why we established Australia’s Renewable Energy Target to drive investment in clean energy alternatives.

 

We know that every day this matter drags on, more jobs are lost and every day the uncertainty continues, projects are shelved and future jobs are lost.

 

Tony Abbott seems more than happy to watch this industry and tens of thousands of jobs leave Australian shores.

 

Labor won’t stand by and let Tony Abbott drive another industry from Australia.

 

Labor believes renewable energy must continue to grow as part of Australia’s energy mix.

 

It’s an economically and environmentally sensible approach to reducing pollution and creating the next generation of Australian jobs.

 

Labor’s vision of a smart modern 21st century Australia has renewable energy at its centre.

 

TUESDAY, 14 APRIL 2015

 

MEDIA CONTACT: LEADER’S OFFICE MEDIA UNIT – 02 6277 4053

JO MEEHAN – 0408 803 428

Apr 12, 2015
Kieran Barns-Jenkins

LABOR WILL WORK WITH GOVERNMENT TO INCREASE IMMUNISATION RATES

 

Labor will work with the Government to increase immunisation rates so all Australian children have the best chance at growing up strong and healthy.

In Government, Labor made important changes to family payments to lift immunisation rates; including linking the Family Tax Benefit end of year supplement to immunisation.

Ahead of the 2013 election, Labor committed to further tighten immunisation requirements within the family payment system and today we welcome the Government’s support for Labor’s approach.

Bill Shorten recently wrote to Tony Abbott urging reform in this important area and offering bi-partisan support to work through these issues with a view to increasing immunisation rates across Australia.

Labor believes that parents should have the final say in making health decisions about their child. But when it comes to immunisation there is a strong public interest in ensuring children are immunised. Unless a parent has a deeply-held religious view, there should be no exemptions to the community expectation that children are immunised.

Labor will work with the Government to ensure changes are implemented in a way that increases immunisation rates among vulnerable children – we need to work with the child care sector to ensure these children are not inadvertently excluded from early education and care.

Labor also recognises the work Medicare locals were doing to increase immunisation rates in local communities was important and we hope the new Primary Health Network will continue this work.

SUNDAY, 12 APRIL 2015

MEDIA CONTACT: LEADER’S OFFICE MEDIA UNIT – 02 6277 4053

                             ALICE KEMBLE (MACKLIN) –  0438 683 898

                             STEPHEN SPENCER (KING) – 0423 596 573

Apr 10, 2015
Kieran Barns-Jenkins

PETER WALSH

Labor salutes the life of Peter Walsh, a distinguished son of the West and a dedicated servant of our nation.

 

Peter Walsh came to politics from wheat farming, determined to make Labor better at serving Australians on the land.  Like so many Australians who know the hard work and hardships of farming, Walsh was a straight-shooter with a strong grasp of the vernacular and a healthy dose of common sense.

 

Walsh was in only his first Senate term during the Dismissal, a moment, he later reflected: ‘kindled fire in the belly and put steel in the spine’, and awoke a political passion he had not known since his participation in the anti-conscription movement, the decade before.

 

Between 1984 and 1990, Walsh served as Finance Minister in the Hawke Government, a time he described as ‘the most satisfying and significant period’ of his life.

 

As a leading economic minister in that great reforming era, he was rightly proud of the remarkable contribution he made to the opening-up of the Australian economy, laying the foundation for the decades of prosperity our nation has enjoyed.

 

Labor gives thanks for Peter Walsh’s life of service and we offer our heartfelt condolences to his family and friends.
May he rest in peace.

 


FRIDAY, 10 APRIL 2015

 

MEDIA CONTACT: LEADER’S OFFICE MEDIA UNIT 02 6277 4053

Apr 10, 2015
Kieran Barns-Jenkins

  RICHIE BENAUD  

Today Australian Cricket has lost a legend, Australia has lost an icon and Australians have lost a dear friend.

 

The most decent of men and the voice of all our summers has left us.

 

Richie Benaud was a captain his whole life: a leader on the field, a cool head in the tumult of World Series Cricket and the doyen of the commentary box.

 

Generations of Australian cricket lovers owe their passion for the game to Richie Benaud’s eloquence, his dry wit, his brilliant mind and his seemingly limitless store of anecdotes and remembrances.

 

In a profession that can lend itself to hyperbole and histrionics, Richie was always an island of calm understatement. When he spoke, we listened. For millions of Australians, Richie Benaud was cricket – the personification of our noble game.

 

Long before he spoke to us in our lounge rooms, Richie was already an icon. A dashing all-rounder, striking boundaries and bowling leg-breaks with his hair slicked back and shirt unbuttoned.

 

From young tyro, Richie became a courageous captain whose daring and sportsmanship helped revive and enrich test match cricket.

 

Age never diminished Richie, it strengthened him. Sadly now it has taken him from us.

 

Richie will be mourned by millions, not just in Australia but right around the world.

 

No-one will miss him more than the wife and family he adored so deeply, our hearts go out to them today.

 

All Australians give thanks for the life of Richie Benaud.

 

Our nation will not see his like again, but he will live forever in our treasured memory.

 

As the great man said so many times: marvellous innings, that.

 


FRIDAY, 10 APRIL 2015

 

MEDIA CONTACT: LEADER’S OFFICE MEDIA UNIT 02 6277 4053

Apr 8, 2015
Kieran Barns-Jenkins

LABOR WILL PROTECT THE FUTURE OF RENEWABLE ENERGY IN AUSTRALIA

Labor will protect the future of Australia’s renewable energy sector by backing the Clean Energy Council’s compromise position on the Renewable Energy Target.

 

Labor is acting on the advice of the renewable energy industry, the CEC and the experts in reaching this decision.

 

Every day this matter drags on, more jobs are lost and every day the uncertainty continues, projects are shelved and future jobs are lost.

 

Labor is working with the renewable energy sector to stop any more damage.

 

Tony Abbott must end the uncertainly and accept the renewable energy industry’s compromise position today.

 

The Abbott Government’s dishonesty and incompetence has almost destroyed Australia’s renewable energy industry.

 

Since Tony Abbott was elected, investment in Australia’s renewable energy industry has fallen 88 per cent, while around the world investment rose by 16 per cent.

 

Labor has always been guided by the science when it comes to tackling climate change, which why we established Australia’s Renewable Energy Target to drive investment in clean energy alternatives.

 

It’s an economically and environmentally sensible approach to reducing pollution and creating the next generation of Australian jobs.

 

Under Labor, wind power tripled, jobs in the renewable energy sector tripled, homes with rooftop solar panels soared and pollution levels started to reduce.

 

By 2013, Australia was rated one of the four most attractive places to invest in renewable energy, alongside China, the US and Germany.  Under Tony Abbott, it has now dropped to tenth.

 

Labor will accept the Clean Energy Council’s position of 33,500 GwH by 2020 to stop the loss of further jobs and investment.

 

Labor will use this target as a floor and if elected, acting on the advice of the sector, will increase the RET out to 2020 to bolster investment, specifically in large scale solar.

 

Labor’s support is contingent on the small-scale solar rooftop scheme remaining unchanged.

 

In addition, Emissions Intensive Trade Exposed industries must be exempt, as Labor has consistently called for.

 

New investment in renewable energy will be good for jobs and good for the Australian economy.

 

We will be continuing to consult with the experts and announcing our goals for the industry beyond 2020 to continue Labor’s strong record in renewable energy.

 

Labor established the Australian Renewable Energy Agency and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation and we will fight Tony Abbott’s efforts to abolish these agencies.

 

Labor believes renewable energy must continue to grow as part of Australia’s energy mix.

 

Labor’s vision of a smart modern 21st century Australia has renewable energy at its centre.

 

WEDNESDAY, 8 APRIL 2015

 

MEDIA CONTACT:          LEADER’S OFFICE MEDIA UNIT 02 6277 4053

JO MEEHAN (BUTLER) 0408 803 428

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