Browsing articles in "Media Releases"
Jan 28, 2015
Kieran Barns-Jenkins

VISIT TO THE MIDDLE EAST

Leader of the Opposition Bill Shorten has thanked Australian Defence Force personnel for their professionalism, courage and commitment during a visit to the Middle East.

 

Mr Shorten was briefed by Australian command and the Head of Mission in Iraq on operations in the region, including efforts to disrupt and degrade Daesh in Iraq.

 

In his first visit to Iraq as Opposition Leader, Mr Shorten commended the unit and the individuals present who received Australia Day honours for their work between 2007 and 2014

 

“In the centenary of the ANZAC, it was humbling to see these men and women continue that proud tradition and an honour to stand with them to belatedly mark our national day,” Mr Shorten said.

 

“It has been my great privilege to visit our troops stationed in the Middle East and to thank them for the outstanding and vital work they do.

 

“I was humbled by the men and women I met at both the Australian Force base in the Middle East Region and in Baghdad; their dedication, skill and sense of purpose.

 

“I conveyed Federal Labor’s bipartisan support for the current mission in Iraq to the personnel on the ground, and our thanks for their service and their sacrifice.

 

“I also assured them that their families were in our thoughts and would always be looked after while they were on deployment.

 

“All Australians should be proud of the work our Defence Force personnel are doing to defeat Daesh and enhance the capabilities of Iraqi Security Forces.

 

“It was heartening to see the constructive, positive role our men and women are playing in this complex and multifaceted battle, and the level of cooperation across our agencies and the coalition.

 

“I thank the Prime Minister for his assistance in arranging this visit.”

 

WEDNESDAY, 28 JANUARY 2015

 

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

Jan 26, 2015
Kieran Barns-Jenkins

2015 AUSTRALIAN OF THE YEAR AWARDS

On behalf of the Australian Labor Party, I have the special privilege of congratulating Rosie Batty on being named the 2015 Australian of the Year.

 

Today we honour the bravery, selflessness and unconquerable sprit of a remarkable woman.

 

Rosie Batty should not have had to become Australian of the Year. That terrible act of violence should never have happened.

 

We all know Rosie and Luke’s story now because Rosie refused to yield to the silence, ambivalence and acceptance that too often shrouds family violence.

 

Australians have marveled at Rosie’s courage, and we have drawn new faith from her strength.

 

Through the worst heartbreak and devastation, Rosie forced all of us to confront family violence as a national, public issue. In doing so, she has become an inspiration for all of us.

 

Rosie is honoured today on behalf of the thousands of women and children who, right now, suffer the scourge of family violence.

 

The existence of family violence in modern Australia is our shared shame, and its total elimination is our shared challenge.

 

As we recognise Rosie’s contribution to our nation, let us also renew our commitment to eliminating family violence from our national life.

 

Tonight we also congratulate Jackie French for being named Senior Australian of the Year, Drisana Levitzke-Gray for being named Young Australian of the Year, and Juliette Wright for being named Australia’s 2015 Local Hero.

 

We also thank Adam Goodes for his service as the 2014 Australian of the Year.

 

In their own endeavours, these exceptional men and women have bettered our nation, and they reflect the best of us.

 

It is our honour to congratulate them on recognition richly deserved.

 

 

SUNDAY, 25 JANUARY 2015

 

MEDIA CONTACT: GERARD RICHARDSON 0427 349 655

 

Jan 19, 2015
Kieran Barns-Jenkins

TONY ABBOTT’S 500 DAYS OF LIES

Today marks 500 days since the last election.

 

500 days since Tony Abbott began breaking his promises.

 

500 days of disappointment, dysfunction and deceit.

 

500 days of more cost of living pressure on Australian families.

 

500 days of savage cuts and twisted priorities.

 

500 days of lies, leaks and lame excuses.

 

On the night before the election, Tony Abbott looked down the barrel of the camera and said:

 

“No cuts to education, no cuts to health, no change to pensions, no change to the GST and no cuts to the ABC or SBS.”

 

(SBS NEWS – 6 SEPTEMBER 2013)

 

Tony Abbott lied, and Australians have spent 500 days paying the price of those lies:

  • An unfair and shambolic GP Tax

 

  • A new Petrol Tax

 

  • $100,000 university degrees

 

  • Cuts to pensions

 

  • $80 billion cut to schools and hospitals

 

  • Cuts to the ABC and SBS

 

Instead of spending his 500th day as Prime Minister in hiding, Tony Abbott should come to Queensland and face the people who have been hurt by his broken promises.

 

Labor will continue to fight the Abbott Government’s unfair policies on behalf of all Australians.

 

Labor will fight to protect living standards, jobs and opportunities of low and middle income Australians to secure our economic future.

 

Labor believes in a strong economy that delivers for all Australians and doesn’t leave people behind.

 

We will never give up on the fair go.

 

 

MONDAY, 19 JANUARY 2015       

 

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

 

Jan 17, 2015
Kieran Barns-Jenkins

MYURAN SUKUMARAN AND ANDREW CHAN

 

Labor opposes the death penalty in all cases.

We urge clemency for anyone facing it, whoever and wherever they may be. That includes two members of the Bali Nine, Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan.

Consistent with the long standing bi-partisan opposition to the death penalty, both Labor and Liberal governments have made representations to a number of countries on behalf of Australian citizens who face the death penalty. That work has Labor’s full support.

Jan 15, 2015
Kieran Barns-Jenkins

ABBOTT GOVERNMENT’S HEALTH POLICY SHAMBLES

The Abbott Government’s health policy is now a complete shambles, with new minister Sussan Ley announcing the second major change to the GP Tax policy in a month.

 

Despite backing down on their savage cut to the Medicare rebate, the Government has recommitted to its GP Tax.

 

This latest shambles shows Tony Abbott cannot be trusted with Medicare.

 

The only way to defeat the GP Tax is to defeat the Abbott Government.

 

Just one month ago Minister Ley’s failed predecessor replaced his ‘to be legislated’ GP Tax with a GP Tax through the backdoor, before fleeing the portfolio.

 

And only yesterday Tony Abbott was insisting the new GP Tax by stealth would not be abandoned.

 

Today’s embarrassing backflip is a big win for patients, and a victory for all those who support Labor in standing up for our universal health system.

 

But it’s clear, yet again, that the Abbott Government is only acting because it has been forced to by Labor’s refusal to bend in our defence of Medicare.

 

Labor believes all Australians should get the health care they need, not just what they can afford.

 

We believe the health care of any one of us should matter to all of us.

 

Only Labor will protect Medicare.

 

Labor built Medicare we won’t let Tony Abbott destroy it.

 

Only Labor will protect ordinary Australian families from Tony Abbott’s attempt to wreck Medicare and push up health costs for people already under financial pressure.

 

THURSDAY, 15 JANUARY 2015       

 

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

STEPHEN SPENCER 0423 596 573

Jan 15, 2015
Kieran Barns-Jenkins

LABOR TO DISALLOW ABBOTT’S MEDICARE CUTS

Labor rejects Tony Abbott’s attempt to destroy Medicare through his back door GP Tax and will seek to disallow his sneaky changes in the Senate.

 

Tony Abbott has never believed in Medicare. Tony Abbott believes Australians should pay a tax every time they visit the doctor.

 

Having failed to win support in the Senate for his GP Tax through legislation, Tony Abbott is now seeking to destroy Medicare via the back door.

 

By slashing Medicare rebates, Tony Abbott is forcing doctors to hike fees and end bulk-billing.

 

Labor will always stand up for Medicare and Australian families and at the first opportunity we will seek to disallow:

 

  • The cut in the Medicare rebate from $37.05 to $16.95 which comes into effect on January 19 for patients who see their GPs for 10 minutes or less.
  • The $5 across the board Medicare rebate cut for non-concessional patients due to come into effect from July 1.

 

Not one cent of Tony Abbott’s cuts to health is being returned to Medicare.

 

Forcing the sick and vulnerable to pay every time they see a doctor is not reform.

 

Tony Abbott may have changed his Health Minister, but he hasn’t changed his GP Tax or his determination to end bulk billing and destroy Medicare.

 

It’s still a tax, it’s still a broken promise and it will only ever rise as long as Tony Abbott remains in power.

 

Labor believes Australians should get the health care they need, not just what they can afford.

 

Only Labor will protect Medicare.

 

Labor built Medicare we won’t let Tony Abbott destroy it.

 

Only Labor will protect ordinary Australian families from Tony Abbott’s attempt to wreck Medicare and push up health costs for people already under financial pressure.

 

 

THURSDAY, 15 JANUARY 2015   

 

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

ALEXANDER WHITE 0488 134 359

 

 

Jan 8, 2015
Kieran Barns-Jenkins

PARIS ATTACK

 

Labor condemns the senseless and horrific act of terrorism in Paris overnight.

 

Australians stand in solidarity with the people of France as they come to terms with this brutal attack.

 

Our hearts go out to families and colleagues of those who lost their lives and those who are injured.

 

There is no place in any democratic society for extremism that threatens our liberties.

 

Such attacks emphasise the need for close international cooperation to confront the global threat of terrorism.

 

As the Prime Minister has said, Australians should remain vigilant and report anything suspicious to the National Security Hotline on 1800 123 400.

 

Today, our thoughts and prayers are with the people of France.

MEDIA CONTACT: RYAN LIDDELL 0427 225 763

Jan 1, 2015
Kieran Barns-Jenkins

NEW YEAR MESSAGE  

 

On behalf of Federal Labor, I wish all Australians a happy, safe and successful new year.

 

Wherever you are and however you are celebrating, I hope you get a chance to spend some time with the people you love.

 

This is a time to look back at what we’ve achieved in 2014, and look ahead to the challenges in 2015.

 

Too often in 2014, tragedy touched our lives, and the resolve of the Australian people was tested.

 

In times of horror, shock and grief, we came together.

 

We refused to give in to adversity, or surrender to ignorance and intolerance.

 

We responded to division with unity; to fear with strength.

 

In our darkest moments, Australians displayed the best of the human spirit.

 

In 2015, Labor will continue to stand up for ordinary people and fight for a fairer Australia.

 

We’ll keep fighting for good jobs, accessible healthcare and affordable education.

 

We’ll keeping fighting the Government’s cost of living increases through cuts to child care, cuts to pensions and unfair taxes.

 

We’ll keep supporting the march of Australian women through the institutions of power, and we’ll keep providing a strong voice for our regions.

 

We will keep talking to Australians about our vision for their future. And most importantly, we will keep listening.

 

I’m also determined to use this new year to finally resolve a process to recognise our first Australians in the Constitution.

 

This is the challenge of our generation, and one we cannot abdicate.

 

And in a few months, all Australians will pause to commemorate the centenary of the Anzac landing at Gallipoli.

 

We will honour the thousands who fell on those fatal shores, and the thousands more who have since paid the ultimate sacrifice in service to their country.

 

And we’ll be reminded that Australia’s best hope has always been its people.

 

Best wishes to you and your family for 2015.

 

 

WEDNESDAY 31 DECEMBER 2014

 

MEDIA CONTACT: GERARD RICHARDSON 0427 349 655

Dec 24, 2014
Kieran Barns-Jenkins

CHRISTMAS MESSAGE

At the end of a big year, I want to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

I hope you get the chance to celebrate with your friends and loved ones over a delicious meal.

Personally, I’m looking forward to some relaxing time with my family – and a whole new supply of jokes and zingers from the Christmas crackers.

At this time of year, we should think of all those Australians who won’t get the chance to spend Christmas with the people that they love.

The men and women in our Defence Force, stationed around the world and in conflict zones.

Our emergency services personnel, our ambos, our fireys, our nurses and our police, working through the days and nights of the holiday season to keep us all safe.

And then there’s heroes who don’t wear a uniform – Australians working unsociable hours to make ends meet and to make our community a better place.

And finally, as we give thanks for how lucky we are, let’s just remember all those in Australia who will go without this Christmas, who will struggle to make ends meet.

Let’s think of the people who are doing it tough – both here in Australia and around the world.

And perhaps we could all try and do something to bring a little bit of Christmas cheer into their lives, to dedicate ourselves to making their 2015 better than 2014.

Merry Christmas everyone and have a happy and safe New Year.

WEDNESDAY 24 DECEMBER 2014

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

 

Dec 18, 2014
Kieran Barns-Jenkins

CLEAN ENERGY COUNCIL BACKS LABOR ON RENEWABLE ENERGY

 

Labor welcomes the Clean Energy Council’s endorsement of Labor’s position on the Renewable Energy Target, which will secure certainty for the sector and protect thousands of jobs.

 

Labor’s position, now supported by the CEC, is that there is a pathway that secures a growing renewable energy sector and supports jobs in the aluminium and other emissions intensive, trade exposed sectors.  Labor will do everything possible to protect jobs today and secure new jobs for the future.

 

Labor believes there is a way forward within our stated parameters:

  1. No changes to the Small-Scale Renewable Energy Scheme;
  2. Consider providing full exemption to EITE sectors from the LRET;
  3. Minimal changes to the LRET in the interest of restoring bipartisanship;
  4. Any changes must ensure sustainable investment; and
  5. Any agreement must be endorsed by both leaders of both major parties in the interest of ensuring long term certainty for the renewable energy industry.

 

Before the election, Tony Abbott promised not to touch the Renewable Energy Target. After the election, he destroyed bipartisan support for the RET.

 

Investor confidence has been smashed by Tony Abbott’s decision to walk away from his previous support for renewable energy – investment in renewables has plummeted by 70 per cent since he became Prime Minister.

 

Labor has always been prepared to work with the Government to return certainty to the sector and protect jobs.

 

However, like the Clean Energy Council, Labor completely rejects the Abbott Government’s position of a 40 per cent cut to the RET, which would decimate jobs and put our secure economic future at risk.

 

Greg Hunt’s statement that negotiations on the RET will involve “no preconditions”, and Julie Bishop’s support for the existing scheme in Lima last week, demonstrates a considerable back down from the Government’s previous stated position of a 40 per cent cut.

 

The Clean Energy Council’s position on the RET shows the Abbott Government is all alone with its ideological and backward views on renewable energy.

 

Labor remains committed to a strong and sustainable renewable energy sector, and we remain open to further discussions with the Government.

 

But we will not be party to any policy that cripples the renewable energy industry. The onus is on the Government to show its willing to support this industry and the 24,000 people it employs.

 

The ball is in Tony Abbott’s court. He can take this seriously, or he can keep putting billions of dollars of investment and thousands of jobs in the renewable energy sector at risk.

 

THURSDAY, 18 DECEMBER 2014

 

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

SAMANTHA REGIONE (BUTLER) 0412 642 38

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