Browsing articles in "Media Releases"
Nov 25, 2015
Kieran Barns-Jenkins


A Shorten Labor Government will make domestic and family violence leave a universal workplace right, to further support those suffering family and domestic violence in our community.


According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics one in six Australian women have experienced physical or sexual violence from a current or former partner.


The trauma of domestic and family violence is often compounded by workplace and financial uncertainty.


Australian of the Year, Rosie Batty, has said


The ability to maintain your employment, keep your job, it helps secure somewhere to live, it helps you to have that ongoing working contact with your colleagues, it’s a really important part of your journey.”


Domestic and family violence leave will benefit both those who have experienced violence as well as business through improved productivity, increased employee retention and reduced absenteeism.


Consider the time required in courts, meeting with lawyers, financial advisers, the school principal, counselling sessions for people who have experienced violence which is required in that pursuit of safety and justice.


Labor acknowledges the many employers that already provide domestic and family violence leave, including Telstra, NAB, Virgin Australia, IKEA and Blundstone Boots for their 1.6 million employees.


These employers have paved the way and helped reduce the stigma that often accompanies domestic violence.


Labor also acknowledges the contribution Australia’s unions have made in advocating for paid domestic and family violence leave.


A Shorten Labor Government will provide for five days paid domestic and family violence leave in the National Employment Standards (NES).


The National Employment Standards provide statutory minima for all employees covered by the national workplace relations system.


Consistent with Labor’s longstanding, cooperative approach to workplace relations, we will work with business, unions and other stakeholders to discuss the specific implementation arrangements for Labor’s plan.


Labor understands that the complexity of family and domestic violence requires a strategic approach by all levels of government, business, and the community.


Domestic and Family Violence leave is listed in Australia’s strategic framework, the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010–2022 as a national priority to reducing the impact of family and domestic violence on women.


Labor calls on the Turnbull Liberal Government to support Labor’s commitment to domestic and family violence leave, which will be a pivotal part of people being able to remain in work as they strive for safety and justice.


For a copy of Labor’s policy please visit:


If you cover this story, or any story regarding violence against women and children, please include the following tagline:

*** If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault or family violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit In an emergency, call 000” ***





ERIN SMITH (O’CONNOR) 0458 950 010



Nov 23, 2015
Kieran Barns-Jenkins


We deplore the brutal terrorist attack in Mali’s capital, Bamako, that has reportedly left at least 27 people dead.


Labor’s thoughts are with the Malian people, especially the family and friends of those who lost their lives.


Together with the international community, we will fight against terror, wherever it occurs.  Our determination is only strengthened by these kind of tragic events.


Australia stands strong with the people of Mali, and all the nations affected by this vicious, indiscriminate act of terror.


We urge Australians in Mali, and those thinking of travelling there, to follow the advice of our Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.


Australians that need help, or are concerned about the safety of their loved ones, can call the Australian Government’s 24 hour emergency consular helpline on 1300 555 135 (within Australia), +61 2 6261 3305 (outside Australia), +61 421 269 080 (by SMS).





DAN DORAN (PLIBERSEK) 0427 464 350

Nov 19, 2015
Kieran Barns-Jenkins


It’s best to start with the straight facts.

Half of the young people in juvenile detention are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. 2% of our population makes up more than a quarter of our prison population. An Aboriginal man leaving school is more likely to go to jail than university.

Nowhere is the story of unfairness and diminished opportunity more clearly defined than in the justice gap between the first Australians and the rest of us.

The appalling rate of incarceration among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, demands we create justice targets under the Closing the Gap framework.

Targets that allow us to focus on community safety, preventing crime and reducing incarceration. Less crime and less punishment. From family violence, to incarceration rates, the numbers are simply shocking.

If you are an Aboriginal man, you are 15 times more likely to be imprisoned than a non-Aboriginal man. Half of all Aboriginal prisoners are under 30.

The re-imprisonment rate for Aboriginal young people is higher than the school retention rate. The numbers are heartbreaking – and getting worse.

Imprisonment rates have more than doubled in the past decade, growing independent from changes in the crime rate.

And for Aboriginal women, the rate of imprisonment is accelerating even faster – a 74% increase in the past 15 years.

Today, Aboriginal women are one-third of our female prisoners.

There are far too many people in prison with poorly-understood disability, particularly cognitive and mental disabilities. We cannot tolerate a system that just processes people, rather than a system that fairly administers justice.

We cannot let it be said of modern Australia that the colour of your skin determines whether or not you end up in jail. It is devastating that jail is seen as a rite of passage for many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, part of the natural order of things.

It is an outrage that there is an attitude that this is normal. This is not normal. We can’t shrug our shoulders and say this is just a “fact of life” in remote Australia.

The injustice is just as shameful across our cities and regional towns.

For individuals, an early stint in jail means you’re more likely to grapple with mental health issues or develop a substance addiction, and less likely to finish school, learn a trade or get a job.

Children with a parent in jail are less likely to go to school and more likely to know the pain of poverty and neglect. More likely to be part of the rapidly-growing number of Aboriginal children placed in out-of-home care, a number that has increased by a staggering 440% since the Bringing them Home report was released in 1997.

Every community pays a price – with higher crime rates, reduced safety, and family violence. And it costs the taxpayer $292 a day to keep someone in prison. It’s time for Australia to face these failures, to demand an end to this grievous national shame.

The first meeting of COAG convened under a Shorten Labor government will work on justice targets. We will work closely with state and local governments, through law enforcement agencies, corrections and community services

And just as importantly, we will be guided by the people who live the reality of the justice gap: community leaders, Elders and Aboriginal representative organisations.

Crime and incarceration affects the safety of the whole community – and the solution belongs to the whole community. Two years ago the town of Bourke in the west of New South Wales, topped the state for six of the eight crime categories, including family violence, sexual assault and robbery.

The people of Bourke said “enough is enough”. The community brought together 18 different organisations: police, magistrates, legal services, mental health experts and community groups to examine the causes of crime – and to work on preventing crime.

This is not about being soft on crime, or giving offenders a free pass. It’s about breaking the vicious cycle of disadvantage, the demoralising treadmill of offending and incarceration.

This has been baptised as a “justice reinvestment” model: prevention, rehabilitation and diversion. An approach owned, championed by local people, informed by local knowledge, local expertise and supported by the NSW government, building the capacity of communities to tackle the underlying causes of crime: substance abuse, disengagement from school and family dislocation.

A Shorten Labor government will provide the resources for a long-term study of justice reinvestment in Bourke, to see what Australia can learn.

And Labor will work with communities who are committed to this approach, and with the states and territories, to select three more launch sites: in a major city, a regional town and a remote community to roll out a local-power model for community safety.

Through Coag, we will create a national coordinating body for collecting data and measuring progress. We can never talk about community safety, without addressing the scourge of family violence.

Violence against Aboriginal women is at the very core of the national shame of family violence in Australia. An Aboriginal woman is 34 times more likely to be hospitalised as a result of family violence and 11 times more likely to die.

Family violence is the number one cause of Aboriginal children being removed from their family and their community, and all the trauma and disruption to the social fabric this entails.

And too many women seeking help from family violence face significant legal, psychological and cultural barriers. Every woman living in fear must have access to safe and culturally appropriate legal support, no matter where they live.

This is why Australia’s 14 Family Violence Prevention Legal Services are so important. These Aboriginal community-controlled organisations work to break down the fear and isolation that affects many victims of family violence.

Many Aboriginal women come to a centre after living in violent situations for many years, trusting the staff to provide support and advice – without judgment.

These centres don’t just provide legal advice for one day in court. They are a bridge to counselling and housing services, as well as leading community education campaigns aimed at boosting resilience and respect.

Disappointingly, Malcolm Turnbull’s recent Family Violence announcement neglected to invest in these services.

A decision that sits alongside $300m of cuts to Legal Aid Commissions, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services and community support services such as emergency relief and financial counselling.

I know in some conservative quarters it’s fashionable to say money won’t solve the problem on its own.

Far from the front page and the nightly news, cuts like these rarely receive the media condemnation they deserve. But these cuts put pressure on every community legal centre, ramping up demand on facilities already under strain, many running on their own tight budgets and absorbing cuts themselves.

This is why the first funding commitment I gave as Labor leader was to restore $50m in legal service funding – including $4.5m specifically allocated to Aboriginal Family Violence Prevention Legal Services.

I know every dollar of this money is desperately needed – and I know it will be well spent – particularly when the presence of accessible, culturally-appropriate support can be the difference between Aboriginal women seeking help and suffering in silence.

I know in some conservative quarters it’s fashionable to say money won’t solve the problem on its own. But cutting funding won’t rescue family violence survivors.

So, the next time you hear someone talk about the cost of preventing family violence, tell them by 2021, the cost of not preventing family violence among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people alone will be $2.2bn a year.

Above all, eliminating family violence from our national life, depends upon delivering equality for Australian women. We cannot close the justice gap, the family violence gap, without closing the gender gap for Aboriginal women and girls.

Better education for girls and young women is our best hope of promoting better health and nutrition, reducing infant and maternal mortality rates – and boosting productivity and employment.

Right now, less than six in 10 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander female students complete secondary school and over 50% of Aboriginal mothers have their first child while they are still teenagers.

We must engage young people at school and beyond. A Labor government will partner with Stars Foundation, to build on their existing programs in schools in the Northern Territory, to engage many more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander girls and young women across Australia.

The Stars program adopts an approach similar to the successful Clontarf model, but designed specifically for female Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.

Providing full-time mentors and using extra-curricular activities, including sport, to improve school attendance and Year 12 attainment, as well as addressing health issues and social and emotional wellbeing.

A Shorten Labor government will invest $8.4m to create 7,155 new places in the Stars Program for girls across Australia.

The foundation will work with other organisations delivering school-based mentoring to girls and young women to engage and support students.

On issues like these, no-one has all the answers. Instead we need to recognise that the best plans and policies depend upon fundamental respect for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, understanding the best outcomes occur when people are empowered to make decisions about their own lives.

The injustice dealt to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is a stain on our whole nation, and it is a challenge to our whole nation.

If we set new co-operative justice targets, if we listen and invest in what works, if we work together, I believe we can succeed where others have failed. We can close the justice gap. We can, we must, we will.

This opinion piece was first published on The Guardian on Thursday, 19 November 2015


Nov 12, 2015
Kieran Barns-Jenkins


Building new investment alliances with the superannuation sector to support Australian startups and early stage innovation will be the focus of a new initiative launched by Opposition Leader Bill Shorten today.


Called the Innovation Investment Partnership, the Federal Opposition has today brought together peak organisations from the superannuation, venture capital and startup sectors in an effort to identify barriers holding back investment in Australian-based venture capital funds and early-stage enterprises.


The Federal Opposition was represented by Opposition Leader Bill Shorten and his Parliamentary Secretary (Assisting with Digital Innovation and Startups) Ed Husic, Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen, Shadow Communications Minister Jason Clare, Shadow Industry and Innovation Minister Senator Kim Carr and Shadow Financial Services Minister Jim Chalmers.


The Innovation Investment Partnership was announced in late September 2015 as part of Labor’s second wave of policy initiatives designed to promote the growth of startups in Australia.


Besides tackling skills shortages, regulatory and procurement reform, Labor believes more needs to be done to improve capital flows to support Australia’s startups.


At the meeting, participants confirmed that poor access to capital has been identified as one of the reasons behind Australia’s low rate of startup formation.


During widespread industry consultations, the Federal Opposition was told by venture capital and startup groups that they were keen to explore ways to tap into Australia’s $2 trillion savings pool and spur on innovation and job growth.


Today’s roundtable:


  • Identified access to capital as a major barrier to innovation in Australia


  • Said there was need for policy consistency to give confidence and certainty to invest


  • Listed regulatory and market barriers that hindered the ability of super funds and self-managed super funds to invest in venture capital funds


  • Proposed pursuing improved means of supporting translation funding to assist with the commercialisation of Australia’s world-leading research


  • Targeted ways to minimise VC management fees, which super funds identified as a significant deterrent to investment


  • Called for an examination of options for the Medical Research Future Fund to invest a small proportion of its portfolio towards research commercialisation and the establishment of medical research-specific venture capital


  • Strongly argued for maintaining the Research and Development Tax Incentive, which the Turnbull Liberal Government has already cut back – and is trying to cut further.


The meeting also heard wide support for the Innovation Investment Fund that Labor maintained in Government, which co-invested with private sector investors in venture capital funds to grow early-stage companies to commercialise Australian research.


While the Abbott-Turnbull Government abolished the fund, Labor has committed to reinstating a similar concept through a $500 million Smart Investment Fund, which we will further develop in consultation with the sector.


The Innovation Investment Partnership is just one of a range of policy initiatives forming Labor’s plan to get Australia started, including:


  • Give every child in Australia the opportunity to learn coding and computational thinking in school;


  • Establish a National Coding in Schools centre (NCIS) where business and industry can connect with teachers;


  • Establish a STEM teacher training fund to support 25,000 primary and secondary school teachers over five years to undertake professional development in STEM disciplines;


  • Encourage STEM graduates to teach, by offering 25,000 Teach STEM scholarships over five years, to address the shortage of qualified teachers. Recipients will get $5,000 when they commence a teaching degree and $10,000 when they complete their first year of teaching;


  • Provide 100,000 STEM Award Degrees – 20,000 a year for five years – which will provide a financial incentive for students to enrol in and complete a STEM undergraduate degree, in recognition of the significant public benefit of growing Australia’s STEM capacity. STEM Award Degree recipients will have their HECS debt written off upon graduation;


  • Offer a Startup Year at university to young Australians looking to start their own enterprise;


  • Through visa reform, attract the best entrepreneurial talent from around the world and help build Australia’s growing startup economy through two new visa categories;


More information about Labor’s plan to support startups and create the jobs of the future is available at




Nov 12, 2015
Kieran Barns-Jenkins


A Shorten Labor Government will reinstate the Commonwealth Cleaning Services Guidelines, which were callously and heartlessly abolished by the Abbott-Turnbull Government.


The Guidelines will ensure better wages and conditions for cleaners working in Commonwealth buildings by requiring those companies who tender for Commonwealth cleaning contracts to pay cleaners modestly above the award wage.


We want to lift Australians up not talk them down, we want to improve their standard of living not add to the cost of living with a 15 per cent GST on everything. We want to better their wages not cut them, we to want better their skills not degrade them.


Labor wants to advance Australia by ensuring Australians have a decent job.


A decent job provides a fair income and good conditions, is secure, safe and free from discrimination.
Despite the former Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, personally promising that abolishing the Guidelines would not affect cleaners’ pay –


“I want to make it absolutely crystal clear that no cleaner’s pay is reduced. No cleaner’s pay is reduced.”




– cleaners across Commonwealth buildings are having their pay cut by up to $6,000 annually.


Labor has continually called on the Abbott-Turnbull Government to reinstate the Guidelines, they have failed to so it’s time for Labor to mop up Malcolm Turnbull’s mess.


The decision to abolish the Guidelines is just one of a string of Abbott-Turnbull Government attacks on low paid workers, including a plan to put a 15 per cent GST on everything, a cowardly raid on the retirement savings of 3.6 million low income earners by scrapping Labor’s Low Income Super Contribution, delaying the rise in super from 9 to 12 per cent and slashing penalty rates.


In view of the history of underpayment, exploitation and unsafe work practices in the cleaning industry, the former Labor Government identified this sector as requiring special attention to promote fairness, bargaining, freedom of association and other workplace rights. Our view has not changed.

Cleaners do a fantastic job, and they deserve respect and fair wages and conditions. They’ll get them under a Shorten Labor Government.



ERIN SMITH – 0458 950 010

Nov 11, 2015
Kieran Barns-Jenkins


Today, November 11, 2015 marks the 97th anniversary of the Armistice which ended the First World War.

Each year on this day Australians observe one minute’s silence at 11 am.

We pay our respects to the honoured memory of all those who have served in our country’s defence force.

Young men who lost their lives, 100 years ago, in a desperate scramble through heavy enemy fire, up impossibly steep cliffs in a part of the world most had never even heard of.

We remember the thousands interred beneath white crosses amid red poppies in the foreign fields of the Western Front, those buried at sea in the Pacific, Indian and Atlantic Oceans and the North Sea.

We acknowledge every generation of service,  through swirling sand and unforgiving mud.  In the skies over Europe and in the jungle dark of Malaya, New Guinea and Vietnam.

In the biting winter of Korea and the baking sun of Afghanistan and in the cause of peace in Africa, the Middle East and the Asia-Pacific.

On Remembrance Day, Australians of all ages will join in saying the words of a promise at the very heart of who we are:

At the going down of the sun, and in the morning.

We will remember them.

Remembrance Day marks with historic precision the end of a dreadful conflict. But for those who come home, having served our country in war, there is never such a neat demarcation.

The return to life in Australia, the journey from battlefield to towns and suburbs, can be a difficult one. For those who serve and for the people who love and care for them.

This is why our words of gratitude for service must always be matched by deeds of practical resolve and meaningful support.

Australia must keep our promises, including to a new generation of Diggers, returning to civilian life after Australia’s longest war.

We encourage all Australians to attend a commemoration ceremony in their local community, and to pause for a minute of silence to remember those who have served in our Defence Force and made the ultimate sacrifice.

Remembrance Day plays an important part this year, for the Centenary of Anzac.

More information on commemoration events and services can be found at




KATE HANNS 0423 974 363

Nov 11, 2015
Kieran Barns-Jenkins


Prince Charles is always welcome in Australia, but I hope when he next visits, he will be greeted by an Australian head of state.


It has been 15 years since John Howard – as the now Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull put it – “broke the nation’s heart” in defeating the republic referendum. Since that moment, those who support an Australian republic have been waiting for another opportunity to vote for an overdue change in our national identity.


I believe that chance has now come.


Australia has leaders on both sides of politics who believe Australia is confident and imaginative enough to restart this stalled national project. I have made clear that if Labor is elected at the next election, we will aim to make the next decade Australia’s first with a head of state who is one of us.


But both Malcolm Turnbull and I both support a republic, so why wait?


With the republic there will always be people who say this is an idea that can wait for a better time, at a later date. It’s not a new argument – or a strong one.


Some people said the National Disability Insurance Scheme could wait.


Some people said an apology would just be empty symbolism.


Some people called universal super a “con-job”; Medicare, unworkable; the minimum wage, unaffordable.


They were wrong then, they are still wrong.


Constitutional change is not beyond modern Australia. Our courts can interpret it, our parliament can offer it. But only we can make our constitution truly Australian, truly ours.


To be fair, Malcolm Turnbull has already listened to Labor’s call to abolish Tony Abbott’s cultural cringe on knights and dames, but he’s been missing in action on the republic debate.


It is not too long before Australians will have the opportunity to make right a two-century-old wrong and extend constitutional recognition to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. This will be an uplifting moment for all Australians. And also a moment of contemplation of our place as a vibrant, modern, prosperous, multicultural society living in the most economically dynamic time and place in human history.


Our constitution should mirror these qualities. It should exist not as a passive, archaic, formality but a reflection and projection of who we are as Australians.


In the 21st century we no longer hide behind the walls of fortress Australia, seeing ourselves as an outpost of empire, fearfully perched on the edge of Asia. We no longer take a narrow, race-based notion of citizenship. We celebrate diversity, we are grateful to count people from every nation, culture, tradition and faith as our own.


We should go to our region and the world proudly independent – declaring that we are no longer going to borrow a monarch from another country on the other side of the world.


Our constitution came into being as an act of the British parliament – 114 years later, our nation has changed, our place in the world has changed, and our constitution should change with it.


The republic debate is a chance for all of us to bring our constitution home, to vote our national birth certificate into existence as an Australian document, for our times.


An expression of the sovereign will of all Australians, where, unlike in 1901, the voices of women and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people will be heard.


What a day it will be when all of us, confident in our Australian identity, are  able to declare to the world we are running the place ourselves.


An Australian republic, with an Australian head of state. That’s what I hope greets Charles Windsor’s first visit to Australia as king.


This opinion piece was first published on the Age’s website on Tuesday, 10 November 2015



Nov 10, 2015
Kieran Barns-Jenkins

Kelvin Thomson  

Today, I pay tribute to Kelvin Thomson and his record of service to the Labor Party and the people of Wills.


Kelvin is a long serving and widely-respected member of Labor’s caucus, having won his seat 19 years ago in 1996.


But his service to our party extends for much longer, having first been elected as a Labor representative to the Coburg Council nearly 35 years ago


He’s known in Victoria as a formidable campaigner and a fierce advocate for the rights and conditions of working people.


A passionate advocate of renewable energy, of action on climate change and protecting the environment.


He has campaigned hard to protect skilled visa workers and international students from exploitation and has never been far from debates about our population.


It says a lot about the strength of Kelvin that he can suffer a serious heart attack, undergo double bypass surgery and be back in the Parliament within a matter of weeks.


Sometimes politics can change people – but not Kelvin.


He has remained his own man, true to the ideals and values that called him to public life more than three decades ago.


Kelvin Thomson leaves the Parliament as he served it: on his terms and with his head held high.


We wish him and his family all the very best for the future.





Nov 10, 2015
Kieran Barns-Jenkins


Labor will oppose the Liberal Government’s unfair cuts to low and middle income families and fight its plans to introduce a new $1,000 baby bonus.


In particular, our position will protect grandparent carers and single parent families from the Government’s harsh cuts.


It’s both fair and fiscally responsible.


In Parliament, Labor will fight to protect:


  • Grandparents carers and single parents with children aged 13 years and over, who are facing cuts to their Family Tax Benefit Part B of around $1700 a year;
  • Grandparent carers and single parents who face their FTB-B being cut when their children turn 16; and
  • 5 million families on low and middle incomes who are facing the abolition of their Family Tax Benefit supplements, including 500,000 families on incomes of less than $50,000.


Malcolm Turnbull says fairness means the burden should be “borne by the best able to pay it.”


But these harsh cuts fail that fairness test – they will hurt millions of low and middle income families and should be rejected.


At a time when the Government wants to jack up the GST, these harsh cuts will be a ‘double whammy’ hit on families on low and middle incomes.


Malcolm Turnbull’s cuts will hurt single parents and grandparent carers, some of whom will be $4,700 a year worse off after 1 July 2016.


More than 130,000 single parents will be affected by changes to FTB-B and over 600,000 single parents will be impacted by cuts to end-of-year supplements.


Malcolm Turnbull’s cuts will also hurt millions of low-income families.


1.5 million families will lose their end of year supplements – around 500,000 of these families are on family incomes of less than $50,000 a year.


Labor will also oppose Malcolm Turnbull’s $1,000 FTB-B payment for families with a child under one, saving the Budget $380 million.


This new baby bonus was all about Malcolm Turnbull buying off the National Party to get the top job.  Australians shouldn’t have to pay the price for this Liberal/National deal.


If ever there was a demonstration of how out of touch Malcolm Turnbull and the Liberals are with the lives of Australian families, this is it.


Labor has demonstrated that we are not opposed to fair and reasonable changes to family payments – but it should not be at the expense of families who can least afford it.


In Government, Labor means tested and then abolished the Baby Bonus. We have already supported approximately $2 billion in savings from the family payments system since the 2013 election.


We will not oppose the Liberal’s changes to Family Tax Benefit B for couple families, a saving of more than $500 million.


Labor has always believed in means testing, and we will continue to investigate fair ways of ensuring our Family Tax Benefits system remains targeted to those who need it most.


But we will not be supporting these unfair cuts to low income families, single parents and grandparent carers; these are the very people the system is designed to support.


Labor will not compromise when it comes to fairness – we will keep fighting for Australian families.








Cease FTB-B for couple families with children 13 years or over Support
Reduce FTB-B to $1000 per year for single parent and grandparent carers with children 13 years or over and cease FTB-B for single parents with children over 16 Oppose
Increase rate of FTB-B by $1000 for families with children under 1 Oppose
Increase FTB-A, Youth Allowance and DSP Child allowances for under 18s living at home by $10 per fortnight Oppose
Phase out FTB Supplements Oppose





Sole parent with and two children in high school


They gain: They lose:
·         $525 from the fortnightly increase to FTB-A


·         $1,712 in SchoolKids Bonus

·         $1,806 in FTB-A and B end of year supplements

·         $1,785 in FTB-B (as their base payment is reduced to $1,000 per year)

In total they are more than $4,700 worse off per year.


Couple, both working, combined income of $80,000, 2 high school age children


They gain: They lose:
·         $525 from the fortnightly increase to FTB-A


·         $1,712 in SchoolKids Bonus

·         $1,452 in FTB-A end of year supplements

In total they are worse off by around $2,639 per year.




Nov 4, 2015
Kieran Barns-Jenkins



A Shorten Labor Government will provide $100 million to build a new Townsville Stadium in partnership with the Queensland Labor Government.

Construction of the project is expected to support over 700 jobs in the region, and make a significant boost to the local economy.

For too long, football fans have been watching their Rugby League and other sport at sub-standard facilities compared to football stadiums in southern Queensland and New South Wales.

Labor will change this.

North Queensland and the City of Townsville need a first class sports stadium so that it can compete on the national stage.

Townsville continues to grow as a key northern Australia hub, critical to the economy of Far North Queensland.

Modern community infrastructure is critical to local economics, particularly in regional centres, helping to drive economic growth and local jobs.

North Queensland is proud Rugby League territory, and the North Queensland Cowboys’ success in winning the 2015 National Rugby League Premiership demonstrates its sporting strength.

A world class footy team deserves world class facilities.

The 1300SMILES Stadium has undergone improvements over the last 20 years to meet minimum standards to host the North Queensland Cowboys in the NRL – but the bare minimum is not good enough.

There’s no doubt the stadium is ageing, with very poor roof coverage, and will be reaching the end of its useful life within the next decade.

There is a need for either substantial re-development of the current stadium, rebuilding on the current site or re-locating a new stadium to closer to the city.

Labor supports a new stadium in Townsville CBD, which has a number of benefits:

  • Close proximity to transport and hospitality facilities
  • Expanded capacity above the current 26,500
  • First class sporting facilities
  • Construction can run concurrently to the operation of the current stadium, ensuring no home games are lost and fixtures can continue to be played at 1300SMILES Stadium.
  • The surrounding grounds of the stadium would facilitate a precinct approach for both event and non-event days, creating an exciting new space in Townsville.
  • The new Northern Stand of the stadium would have a permanent lower bowl and that would allow for a possible expansion of the facility to a 30,000 seats stadium in the future.


Townsville Enterprise, a group comprising the Council, local businesses and stakeholders has been actively seeking funding commitments from both the State and Federal Governments and Opposition to replace the ageing stadium.

Labor expects stadium construction to commence by early 2018, with the ground complete for the 2020 NRL season.

This project will be an important boost to the local community, and Labor will work with the Queensland Labor Government and the Council to encourage as much of the work is sourced locally as possible.

Labor’s commitment of $100 million is dollar for dollar with the Queensland Government’s commitment, to ensure that this important project gets off the ground.

This government funding is expected to attract a further $50 million from the Council and the National Rugby League.

Our commitment is contingent on the business case for the project being endorsed and agreed by all relevant parties.

Only a Shorten Labor Government will deliver the Townsville stadium that Townsville deserves.




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