Browsing articles in "Media Releases"
Apr 4, 2014
Kieran Barns-Jenkins

LABOR WELCOMES NEW CHIEF OF THE DEFENCE FORCE

Labor welcomes the announcement that Air Marshal Mark Binskin AC will be the new Chief of the Australian Defence Force.

Air Marshal Binskin will replace General David Hurley AC, who has served as CDF since July 2011.

 

We express our deep gratitude on behalf of the nation to General Hurley, who has served his country with distinction and provided outstanding leadership to the ADF and the wider defence community during his tenure.

 

General Hurley’s contribution to successive governments has been immense.

 

General Hurley graduated from Duntroon in 1975, served in Somalia, for which he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, and has had oversight of a number of operations including Timor-Leste and Afghanistan.

 

Under his leadership, we saw a professionally executed military campaign in Afghanistan followed by an extremely difficult but tremendously successful transition.

 

Labor wishes him all the best for his retirement.

 

We congratulate Air Marshal Mark Binskin on his appointment as Australia’s new Chief of the Defence Force.

 

Air Marshal Binskin is an outstanding officer, who has served in both the Royal Australian Navy and the Royal Australian Air Force, including as Chief of Air Force and Vice Chief of the Defence Force.

Air Marshall Binskin will be leading a very capable team, with Vice-Admiral Ray Griggs AO, CSC, RAN serving as the new Vice-Chief of the Defence Force and Rear-Admiral Tim Barrett AM, CSC, RAN replacing him as the new Chief of Navy.

 

These newly promoted officers join the well-respected Chief of Army Lieutenant-General David Morrison, AO, and Chief of Air Force Air Marshall Geoff Brown, AO, whose terms have been extended by twelve months, to make up the Defence leadership across the services.

 

Labor congratulates the new appointees and has every confidence that they will continue the exceptional work of their predecessors in protecting Australia’s national security interests.

FRIDAY, 4 APRIL 2014

MEDIA CONTACT: LEADER’S OFFICE MEDIA UNIT 02 6277 4053
DEE CAKIR 0434 407 116 (FEENEY)

Apr 3, 2014
Kieran Barns-Jenkins

LABOR SUPPORTS JOBS IN THE HUNTER

Federal Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has spent the day in the Hunter talking to local workers and industry leaders about the future of jobs in the region.

 

Mr Shorten joined local MPs Pat Conroy and Sharon Claydon at the Forgacs Shipyards in Tomago, where hundreds of jobs are under threat because of the Abbott Government’s refusal to bring forward Naval Shipbuilding contracts.

 

“Thousands of jobs will be lost, including hundreds here in the Hunter region, if the Abbott Government doesn’t act soon and bring these defence contracts forward,” Mr Shorten said.

 

“Labor is committed to bridging the ‘valley of death’ by bringing forward work on two supply ships and new patrol boats, as well as consideration of an earlier start date for the future frigate program.

 

“I’m calling on the Prime Minister to bring these contracts forward to the May Budget, and gives these workers the certainty they deserve.

 

“Forgacs is one of a number of shipbuilders facing the valley of death, and they need to know the opportunity will be there to tender for this work.

 

“Time is running out, and local jobs are on the line. It’s time Tony Abbott showed some leadership and fought for jobs in the Hunter.”

 

“The failure to stand up for these workers says a lot about the twisted priorities of the Abbott Government,” Member for Charlton Pat Conroy said.

 

“They have a plan to bring back knights and dames, but no plan to protect jobs in our region.”

 

“Local businesses and industry leaders have told Bill loud and clear today that our region’s number on priority is keeping locals in work,” Member for Newcastle Sharon Claydon said.

 

“Labor understands this, and we’ll keep standing up for local workers. Now the Prime Minister needs to stop sitting on his hands. How many more jobs will be lost before Tony Abbott does something?”

 

Mr Shorten also visited the Group Training Organisation NovaSkill in Broadmeadow today, where he toured the facilities and spoke with young apprentices, before leading a roundtable discussion with local manufacturing industry organisation HunterNet.

 

THURSDAY, 3 APRIL 2014

 

MEDIA CONTACT: LEADER’S OFFICE MEDIA UNIT 6277 4053

Apr 1, 2014
Kieran Barns-Jenkins

LABOR DEMANDS ABBOTT GOVERNMENT RELEASE REVIEW OF AUTO

MEDIA RELEASE

LABOR DEMANDS ABBOTT GOVERNMENT RELEASE REVIEW OF AUTO

 

The Abbott Government’s Productivity Commission Inquiry into the automotive industry has been a farce from start to finish.

 

Sadly the final report, received by the Government yesterday, can be nothing more than a post-mortem.

 

This was never anything other than a cynical ploy by the Abbott Government as cover while the car industry left Australia.

 

Having succeeded in sending auto manufacturing jobs overseas, the Abbott Government is now refusing to say how it will help these hard working Australians to find new work.

 

The economic reviews of Victoria and South Australia we were promised at the end of February still haven’t materialised.

 

Months after learning they would be out of a job, employees at GM Holden and Toyota are still waiting to hear from the Abbott Government.

 

These hard working Australians aren’t asking for a hand-out, they just want to be able to provide for their family through the dignity and independence of a secure job.

 

The Abbott Government understands the price of everything and the value of nothing.

 

This silence from Tony Abbott shows he has a plan for knights and dames but no plan for Australian jobs.

 

Australians deserve better from their government than these twisted priorities.

 

Mr Abbott should release the Productivity Commission report immediately, along with the Commission of Audit report his government remains so desperate to hide from voters in WA.

 

Another delay to get past another election. Australians want quality jobs and expect their government to invest in the future.

 

TUESDAY, 1 APRIL 2014

 

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

          Fiona Scott   0407 294 620   (CARR)

JAMES PEIKERT 0419 844 390 (ZAPPIA)

Mar 28, 2014
Kieran Barns-Jenkins

GOVERNOR GENERAL SWEARING-IN

GOVERNOR GENERAL SWEARING-IN

FRIDAY, 28 MARCH 2014

I would like to acknowledge the traditional owners of the land upon which we meet and pay my respects to their elders both past and present.
Your Excellency, on behalf of the Opposition and indeed all Australians, I congratulate you on your appointment as our 26th Governor-General.

 

Another great commander who became a statesman, Arthur Wellesley, the Duke of Wellington, famously said of his first Cabinet meeting:

 

‘It was an extraordinary affair. I gave them their orders and they wanted to stay and discuss them.’

 

Your Excellency, rest assured, when a Governor-General speaks, Australia will listen.

 

We look to you to as a guardian of our Constitution and a representative of the values and love of country that we all share.

 

A responsibility you will fulfil with distinction.

 

On the day your appointment was announced, you spoke of your wish to travel widely and engage with Australians everywhere, particularly Indigenous Australians in our remote communities.

 

This is an admirable ambition – proof that, like your immediate predecessor, you will be a Governor-General for all Australians.

 

Your Excellency, you bring to this role a magnificent record of service to our nation.

 

Decorated for courage in action in Vietnam, commanding in East Timor, acclaimed appropriately for the compassion of the work in cyclone-struck Queensland and honoured as Australian of the Year.

 

Australians have long associated the name of General Peter Cosgrove with leadership, with strength, with decency, with compassion.

 

We have always admired you – and our nation now has the fortunate chance to get to know you even better.

 

I look forward to more Australians discovering your empathy, your sense of humour, your booming warmth.

 

You will have a particularly central role to play during the coming years as we commemorate the centenary of the First World War.

 

I can think of no better person more fitting to salute the courage and sacrifice of Australian ANZACs.

 

Today all Australians also welcome your wife Lynne to her new place in public life.

 

And I wish to place on record my appreciation, not only to Lynne, but the entire Cosgrove family for lending us your Peter and your Lynne to the whole of Australia for the next number of coming years. It is a great gift.

 

All of us in public office depend on the love and support of our families – the person to whom we are always more than a title or a role.

 

Your Excellency, all Australians welcome you to our highest office, we wish you well in the years ahead.

 

We know that you will serve our country with honour, with compassion and with humility – you always have.

ENDS

MEDIA CONTACT: LEADER’S OFFICE MEDIA UNIT 6277 4053

Mar 27, 2014
Kieran Barns-Jenkins

ABBOTT GOVERNMENT VOTES TO CUT SCHOOLS FUNDING

 

Tony Abbott has once again betrayed Australian students and displayed his twisted priorities with the Government voting against a move that would guarantee education funding could not be cut.

 

Today Labor moved to introduce legislation into the Parliament that would guarantee schools funding could not be cut. Labor’s legislation meant that to secure Commonwealth education funding, state governments had to agree not to slash their own education budgets.

 

The Abbott Government voted to block Labor’s legislation – they wouldn’t even debate it, and Tony Abbott didn’t even show up.

 

Before the election the Prime Minister pledged:

 

“…we will honour the agreements that Labor has entered into. We will match the offers that Labor has made. We will make sure that no school is worse off.”

 

The Prime Minister told parents, students and teachers that he was on an:

 

absolute unity ticket when it comes to school funding.”

 

Today, the Prime Minister had an opportunity to reverse his broken promise on schools funding and support Labor’s legislation. Instead, he and his colleagues walked away from the Gonski reforms, and cemented his betrayal of every parent, teacher and school community in Australia.

 

Today’s vote by the Government is a display of Tony Abbott’s twisted priorities.

 

The Prime Minister will give bigots the right to hate-speech, but he won’t give our students the best possible chance of success.

 

The Prime Minister will bring backs knights and dames, but he won’t support our teachers in the classroom.

 

The Prime Minister can find $5.5 billion so wealthy people can get $75,000 to have a baby, but he’ll let state governments slash their education budgets.

 

Labor’s Gonski reforms would have delivered $14.65 billion in additional funding for schools over six years, including over $10 billion in federal funding. In contrast, Tony Abbott is offering just $2.8 billion over four years.

 

Today’s vote will mean more cuts for Australian schools and will mean every school will be worse off.

 

The Prime Minister might not remember the promise he gave on school funding before the election, but every parent and teacher in Australia will never forget it.

 

 

THURSDAY, 27 MARCH 2014

 

MEDIA CONTACT:          LEADER’S OFFICE MEDIA UNIT 6277 4053

HANNAH MACLEOD (KATE ELLIS) 0437 526 210

Mar 26, 2014
Kieran Barns-Jenkins

LABOR SAVES INCOME SUPPORT BONUS FOR WAR VETERANS’ CHILDREN AND ORPHANS

 

Labor has successfully put a hold on the Government’s cruel cuts to the children and orphans of war veterans who have been killed or injured.

 

Two disallowance motions in the Senate have stopped the Government scrapping the Income Support Bonus payments to veterans’ children under the Veterans’ Children Education Scheme (VCES) and Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act Education and Training Scheme 2004 (MRCAETS) programs.

 

The success of Labor’s disallowance motions in the Senate will ensure these payments stay in place – recipients are receiving half their payment ($107.80) this fortnight.

 

Tony Abbott must now rule out once and for all re-introducing his heartless cuts to payments for 1,200 children and orphans of war veterans.

 

Shamefully, Coalition politicians in both houses voted against retaining support for the children of war veterans by backing the legislation to cut the $215.60 annual payment.

 

Coalition MPs and Senators should be standing up to the Prime Minister on behalf for the children of war veterans, not voting to cut their payments.

 

What sort of priorities does this Prime Minister have if he can find an extra $75,000 for a high-income earner to have baby but is cutting $215.60 from the children of war veterans?

 

Payments to these children are now protected even if the government passes its MRRT Repeal legislation in its current form.

 

To cut these payments, the Government will have to go out of its way to target the children of war veterans which is surely a callous step too far – even for the Abbott Government.

 

It would be beyond brutal if the Government again sought to callously reintroduce specific measures to again target these payments to veterans’ children.

 

WEDNESDAY, 26 MARCH 2014


MEDIA CONTACT: JOAN ATKINSON 0422 916 496 

Mar 25, 2014
Kieran Barns-Jenkins

WILL COALITION MPs BACK CHILDREN OF WAR VETERANS OR TONY ABBOTT?

Coalition MPs and Senators will today have to decide whether they will support children of ADF veterans or back Tony Abbott’s callous cuts to their assistance.

 

Labor will today bring on debate in the House of Representatives and the Senate on the Abbott Government’s cuts to the payments of children of ADF veterans who have been killed or injured.

 

Coalition MPs should be standing up to Tony Abbott on behalf for the children of war veterans, not voting to cut their payments.

 

Under the Abbott Government, veteran’s children who receive assistance under the Veterans’ Children Education Scheme (VCES) and Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act Education and Training Scheme 2004 (MRCAETS) will have an annual payment of $215.60 cut under the Government’s legislation to remove the Income Support Bonus.

 

Only around 1,200 children of veterans receive this modest assistance under these programs.

 

Tony Abbott says the Government can’t afford the $250,000 it would cost to ensure the children of war veterans receive this modest assistance, despite the fact that the cost of this payment is less than providing his PPL scheme to just four high income earners.

Veterans’ representatives have slammed the Prime Minister’s cuts –

The NSW President of the RSL, Don Rowe, said he was “absolutely disgusted” with the government’s “mean-spirited” decision.

Legacy Australia said:

 

Legacy would be disappointed if any of the welfare payments are cut to the families of deceased or incapacitated veterans.

It is time for Tony Abbott to get his priorities right, swallow his pride and stop these cruel and callous cuts.

Why is the Abbott Government happy to proceed with a $5.5 billion paid parental leave scheme for high income earners but can’t find $250,000 for the kids of war veterans?

 

The families of our veterans deserve better than this – it’s time the Abbott Government dropped its plans to cut their support.

 

Labor opposes the Abbott Government’s cuts to the Income Support Bonus, which helps 1 million people on a low income struggling to make ends meet.

TUESDAY, 25 MARCH 2014

MEDIA CONTACT: LEADER’S OFFICE MEDIA UNIT 02 6277 4053
                             JOAN ATKINSON 0422 916 496 

Mar 24, 2014
Kieran Barns-Jenkins

AUSTRALIAN MIGRATION AND SETTLEMENT AWARDS 2014

MEDIA RELEASE

 

AUSTRALIAN MIGRATION AND SETTLEMENT AWARDS 2014

 

Federal Labor congratulates all winners and finalists at the Australian Migration and Settlement Awards for 2014 and praises their commitment to assisting new migrants and refugees settle in Australia.

 

The Australian Migration and Settlement Awards is a Migration Council of Australia initiative which recognises the outstanding contribution of individuals and organisations that offer assistance to new Australians and promote innovative ideas in the settlement space.

 

All award winners and finalists have demonstrated a steadfast commitment to help build and maintain cohesive and socially inclusive communities and their work is of great benefit to Australia’s multicultural landscape.

 

The winners were selected by an eminent, independent judging panel which included Dr Hass Dellal, Air Chief Marshall Angus Houston, Jane Kennedy, Naomi Milgrom and Andrew O’Keefe.

 

Federal Labor congratulates all award winners and thanks the Migration Council of Australia for their work in enhancing Australia’s migration and humanitarian program.

 

 

Full list of award categories and winners

 

Settlement Innovation Award

  • Welcome to Australia for Walk Together program. A program that saw 12,000 people attending walks in 15 cities and regional centres, aiming to change community attitudes and mobilise a spirit of welcome to our country.

 

Case Worker of the Year Award

  • Sarah Boyle for her extensive work with the Safe House for Trafficked Persons, The Salvation Army. For continuously ensuring that professional and ethical social work principles and practices are at the cornerstone of their service delivery approach.

 

Business Inclusion Award

  • ACCOR Hotels for their self-initiated program to recruit and train 400 refugees over a 12 month period.

 

Sports Leadership Award

  • Netball in Australia for implementing a whole-of-sport approach, to create fair, safe and inclusive environments catering for the needs of culturally and linguistically diverse communities.

 

Journalism Excellence Award

  • Leanne Edmistone for her journalistic approach to giving the multicultural members of the community a voice that can be heard.

 

Diversity and the Law Award

  • Family Court of Australia and Federal Circuit Court for the Multicultural Action Plan which enables courts to engage with new and emerging communities, to build partnerships and to learn from each other.

 

Lifetime Achievement Award

  • Joseph Assaf AM for his lifetime of work helping those in multicultural communities prosper.

 

MONDAY, 24 MARCH 2014

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: LEADERS OFFICE MEDIA UNIT 02 6277 4053

NICK TRAINOR (ROWLAND) 0407 078 138

Mar 23, 2014
Kieran Barns-Jenkins

LABOR FORMS GOVERNMENT IN SOUTH AUSTRALIA

 

Today, Labor has formed Government in South Australia.

 

I congratulate Premier Jay Weatherill and the Labor team in South Australia on this remarkable achievement.

 

Many had written off Labor in South Australia – Jay proved them wrong with an outstanding campaign fought on jobs, health and education.

 

Jay has a strong vision for South Australia – building on twelve years of Labor that has seen the South Australian economy nearly double in size.

 

I know that Jay will stand up for South Australians against Tony Abbott’s cuts just like Federal Labor will stand up for all Australians.

 

Tony Abbott must share responsibility for the Liberal Party’s failure in South Australia.

 

His last-ditch visit to Adelaide a few days before the election hindered – rather than helped – Steven Marshall’s campaign.

 

South Australians saw the man who shrugged his shoulders when Holden announced it was sending their jobs overseas.

 

South Australians saw Tony Abbott’s refusal to release the Commission of Audit before the election for what it was – sneaky, cynical politics.

 

He must not make the same mistake again.  Tony Abbott must release his Commission of Audit report before the WA Senate Election so Western Australians know what his Government has in store for them.

 

The Liberal Party took South Australians for granted, openly boasting that a Liberal Government in SA was inevitable.

 

This election proved that there is no such thing as an unwinnable or an unlosable election.

 

This is a shock defeat for the Liberal Party.
SUNDAY, 23 MARCH 2014

MEDIA CONTACT: LEADERS OFFICE MEDIA UNIT 02 6277 4053

Mar 20, 2014
Kieran Barns-Jenkins

NEW HOPE FOR CHILDREN OF WAR VETERANS

MEDIA RELEASE

NEW HOPE FOR CHILDREN OF WAR VETERANS

Prime Minister Tony Abbott may be forced to reverse his callous cuts to the payments of children of ADF veterans who have been killed or injured with Labor and minor parties uniting to oppose the changes.

It is time for Tony Abbott to swallow his pride and stop these cruel and callous cuts. Providing this modest assistance should not be too much for this Prime Minister.

The Government is now reportedly negotiating with Clive Palmer who has vowed to oppose MRRT repeal legislation in the Senate if the children of war veterans have their payments cut.

Veterans’ representatives have slammed the Prime Minister’s cuts –

The NSW President of the RSL, Don Rowe, said he was “absolutely disgusted” with the government’s “mean-spirited” decision.

Legacy Australia said:

 

Legacy would be disappointed if any of the welfare payments are cut to the families of deceased or incapacitated veterans.

 

Dave Spillman, President of the Kwinana Branch of the RSL in WA said:

 

We’re shocked the Prime Minister would cut something that helps the kids of RSL members like this. 

 

When Western Australians fight for Australia, get injured for Australia and die for Australia, we don’t think it’s too much to ask for their kids to get a helping hand. 

 

The armed services are important in Western Australia and the Prime Minister should remember that. 

 

We call on Prime Minister Abbott to reverse this decision. 

 

Under the Abbott Government, veteran’s children who receive assistance under the Veterans’ Children Education Scheme (VCES) and Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act Education and Training Scheme 2004 (MRCAETS) will have an annual payment of $211.20 cut under the Government’s legislation to remove the Income Support Bonus.

 

Only around 1,200 children of veterans receive this modest assistance under these programs.

 

Tony Abbott says the Government can’t afford the $250,000 it would cost to ensure the children of war veterans receive this modest assistance.

 

The cost of providing his PPL scheme to just four high income earners is greater than the cost of restoring this support to 1,200 children of war veterans.

 

Where is this Government’s priorities?

 

The families of our veterans deserve respect and gratitude.  Taking away their modest payments is incredibly insulting.

 

Labor opposes the Abbott Government’s cuts to the Income Support Bonus, which helps 1 million people on a low income struggling to make ends meet.


THURSDAY, 20 MARCH 2014

MEDICA CONTACT: LEADERS OFFICE MEDIA UNIT 02 6277 4053

JOAN ATKINSON 0422 916 496

Pages:1234567...60»

» Stay in touch