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

BUILDING OUR FUTURE SUBMARINES IN AUSTRALIA

 

Australia’s Future Submarines will be built, maintained and sustained in Australia under Labor’s policy announced today in Adelaide.

 

The decision of Australia’s Future Submarines is central to the national security interests of Australia until at least 2050 – well beyond the life of any Government.

 

That’s why it is critical the bipartisanship that existed before the election on where Australia’s Future Submarines are built is restored.

 

Building and delivering Australia’s new submarine fleet is an inter-generational decision.  Future Prime Ministers, from both sides of politics, will have to live with the decision that is taken.

 

This is the most significant procurement decision of our time, with construction and maintenance costs going beyond many billions of dollars over the life of the project – it is vital that we get it right.

 

For strategic defence reasons, it is critical that Australia retains an independent capability to build, sustain and maintain our next fleet of submarines.

 

It is simply too important for flawed selection processes and partisan politics, certainly too important to be used as a bargaining chip in a leadership contest.

 

Before the last election, the future construction of Australia’s submarine fleet was bipartisan, with both Liberal and Labor declaring the next generation of submarines will be built here.  Today’s policy announcement aims to restore that.

 

To achieve bi-partisan consensus on the selection process for Australia’s Future Submarines, Labor proposes that a Competitive Tender Process, including a Funded Definition Study, is undertaken.

 

This includes:

 

  • Request for Proposals (RFP): An RFP process would include the most prominent relevant submarine builders from Germany, France, Japan, and Sweden. The Commonwealth and the Royal Australian Navy would provide high-level submarine capability requirements, including range, endurance and stealth, to the four builders involved. Each participant would be provided $7 million from the Commonwealth for this process, similar to what is already provided by the Government.
  • Request for Tender (RFT): Following the RFP, two contenders would be chosen to deliver full submarine concept and fixed priced contract bids to the government. These competitors would receive an additional $8 million each for the RFT, similar to current arrangements. The final bids would include full design concepts, fixed-prices, build schedules (including through life support), guaranteed performance, and Australian access to all intellectual property.

 

The final selection for the Future Submarine Project would be made by the end of 2016, ensuring there will be no capability gap.

As part of this selection process, Labor would make it a condition that the successful tenderer build Australia’s Future Submarines in Australia.

 

This rigorous procurement process will ensure Australia secures a future submarine fleet that meets Australia’s defence requirements at the most competitive price for taxpayers.

 

Labor will also review the organisational structures required to best deliver that outcome.

 

Labor’s process would include Sweden, which the Government bizarrely excluded from its so called Competitive Evaluation Process without adequate explanation.

 

If the Government signs up to this process, including the condition of having the submarines built and maintained in Australia, Labor will provide bipartisan support.

 

WEDNESDAY, 25 MARCH 2015

 

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

   ADAM SIMS (CONROY) 0408 258 457

   KATE HANNS (FEENEY) 0423 974 363

Mar 25, 2015
Kieran Barns-Jenkins

GERMANWINGS FLIGHT 9525

Labor expresses its deep sadness at the news that Germanwings flight 9525 crashed over Southern France, with 150 passengers and crew on board.

 

We are particularly saddened to learn that two Australians, a mother and her adult son from Victoria were on board flight 9525.

Our thoughts are with the family and friends of all of those on board, as well as with the people of Germany, Spain, and France.

 

We have asked the Australian Government for more detailed information.

 

Labor offers its full support for any help Australia may be able to provide in investigating this terrible tragedy.

 

WEDNESDAY, 25 MARCH 2015

 

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

   DAN DORAN (PLIBERSEK) 0427 464 350

Mar 24, 2015
Kieran Barns-Jenkins

LABOR LAUNCHES NEW PENSION CAMPAIGN

Labor today launched a new campaign calling on Tony Abbott to drop his planned pension cuts.

 

Australians can now visit www.dontpocketourpension.com.au to tell Tony Abbott to drop these cuts.

 

Before the election, Tony Abbott lied to each and every Australian pensioner telling them there would be no cuts to their pension – cuts he since announced in his chaotic first budget.

 

Tony Abbott now has a clear choice: abandon these cuts, or Labor will take this fight right across Australia between now and the next election.

 

We will remind Australia’s 3.7 million pensioners that Tony Abbott wants to leave them as much as $80 a week worse off within a decade.

 

And what’s worse – every Liberal and National Member has already voted for this cut.

 

They voted for the highest retirement age in the world.

 

And they voted to slash the deeming thresholds for part pensioners.

 

Labor wants to ensure that they don’t get away with it a second time.

 

Tony Abbott should drop his cuts immediately.

 

He should take them out of the Parliament.

 

And out of the budget.

 

And he should do so forever.

 


TUESDAY, 24 MARCH 2015

 

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

                               LACHLAN POULTER (MACKLIN) 0423 937 655

Mar 23, 2015
Kieran Barns-Jenkins

PASSING OF LEE KUAN YEW

STATEMENT

 

PASSING OF LEE KUAN YEW

 

Labor is saddened to learn that Singapore’s first Prime Minister, Lee Kuan Yew, has died.

 

Mr Lee was the father of modern Singapore.

 

He led his nation to independence and through its evolution into an economic powerhouse.

 

Singapore is now Australia’s fifth largest trading partner, and a leader in our region.

 

Mr Lee’s leadership was well respected on the international stage.  We have all learned much from his example.

 

His achievements in helping to build great education and healthcare systems are recognised around the world.

 

Labor’s thoughts are with Mr Lee’s family, friends, and the people of Singapore.

 

 

MONDAY, 23 MARCH 2015

 

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

DAN DORAN – 0427 464 350

Mar 21, 2015
Kieran Barns-Jenkins

NATIONAL COMMEMORATION FOR OPERATION SLIPPER

STATEMENT

 

NATIONAL COMMEMORATION FOR OPERATION SLIPPER

 

Federal Labor has today joined Australians across the country in commemorating the end of Operation Slipper.

 

Operation Slipper involved more than 34,500 Australian personnel, encompassing Australia’s contribution to the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) mission in Afghanistan, and the International Coalition against Terrorism mission across Afghanistan and the Middle East.

Operation Slipper is the longest military commitment in Australian history, commencing in October 2001 and concluding in December 2014. It involved the Australian Defence Force, the Australian Federal Police, and many Australian Public Service staff.

 

Labor honours and is proud of all Australians who were involved in this vital mission.

 

Although far from home, their contribution has made our country more secure.

 

Today is also a day to remember the dedication, courage and sacrifice of our service men and women, especially the families of the 41 Australian soldiers killed during Operation Slipper.

 

The ADF can be rightly proud of the role they have played in defeating the Taliban and creating a more stable and secure environment to allow the Afghan Government to establish itself.

Commemoration events have been held in every capital city, and Townsville.

 

SATURDAY, 21 MARCH 2015

 

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

   ADAM SIMS (CONROY) 0408 258 457

   KATE HANNS (FEENEY) 0423 974 363

   MADELEINE FIRTH (BRODTMANN) 0422 664 772

Mar 20, 2015
Kieran Barns-Jenkins

THE RT HON MALCOLM FRASER AC, CH,GCL

THE RT HON MALCOLM FRASER AC, CH,GCL

 

Labor salutes the life of former Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser, who passed peacefully today at the age of 84.

 

As the Member for Wannon, a Minister, Prime Minister and elder statesmen, Malcolm Fraser gave six decades of tireless service to our nation.

 

As Prime Minister, Malcolm Fraser showed international leadership of great integrity in condemning the evil of Apartheid.

 

He immeasurably enriched Australia’s multicultural society, offering refuge to tens of thousands of vulnerable people driven from Vietnam by the horror of war.

 

He maintained the Whitlam Government’s commitment to the cause of reconciliation and recognising the land rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

 

In the long third act of his public life, Malcolm won many new admirers as a powerful voice for human rights and reconciliation and a deep thinker regarding Australia’s place in the world.

 

Famously, he and Gough made their peace in these later days too.

 

The friendship that grew between these two titans was more than just an act of personal forgiveness, it was a symbol of national healing.

 

The sight of Fraser and Whitlam campaigning together for a Republic and standing together at the National Apology warmed our hearts and showed how far we had all travelled since the torrid acrimony of the Dismissal.

 

We offer Malcolm’s family our deepest sympathies and we respect their call for privacy in their grief.

 

May he rest in eternal peace.

 

FRIDAY, 20 MARCH 2015

 

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

Mar 19, 2015
Kieran Barns-Jenkins

SENATE SETS MINIMUM PAY STANDARD FOR ADF PERSONNEL

Today Labor has voted to ensure that increases in pay for Australian Defence Force personnel can never fall below inflation.

 

The Defence Amendment (Fair Pay for Members of the ADF) Bill 2014 links, as a minimum, ADF pay to the higher percentage increase of either the Consumer Price Index or politicians pay.

 

This puts in place a floor below which ADF pay can’t fall.

 

Through this Bill, ADF personnel know that their pay will – at the very least – always keep up with the cost of living.

 

Nothing in this Bill stops the Government of the day providing a higher increase.

 

What it will prevent is the Abbott Government trying once again to cut the pay of our servicemen and women.

 

This government simply can’t be trusted to do the right thing when it comes to the pay and conditions of ADF personnel.

 

The only party that has cut the pay and conditions of our defence force personnel is the Liberal Party.

 

The Bill has a three-year sunset clause and ensures that if inflation moves above the Government’s recent pay increase, then the ADF won’t be worse off.

 

The process for the determination of ADF pay must be effective and transparent and properly take into account the unique nature of military service. This should be done in close consultation with Defence advocacy groups.

 

THURSDAY, 19 MARCH 2015

 

MEDIA CONTACTS:        LEADER’S OFFICE MEDIA UNIT 02 6277 4053
ADAM SIMS (CONROY) 0408 258 457
MADELEINE FIRTH (BRODTMANN) 0422 664 772

Mar 19, 2015
Kieran Barns-Jenkins

ATTACK IN TUNISIA

Labor condemns the disgraceful, senseless attack at a museum in Tunisia, in which 22 people have reportedly been killed.  We are extremely concerned at reports an Australian may have been killed in this tragedy and we are seeking an urgent briefing from the Government.

 

Our thoughts are with the people of Tunisia, and the families and friends of those who have lost their lives.

 

This kind of terror has no place in our world and it emphasises the need for close international cooperation to defeat this menace.

 

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

 

THURSDAY, 19 MARCH 2015

 

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

DAN DORAN – 0427 464 350

Mar 19, 2015
Kieran Barns-Jenkins

PARLIAMENT MUST REDOUBLE ITS EFFORTS TO CLOSE THE GAP

 

Today Labor marks the seventh anniversary of the signing of the Closing the Gap health equality statement and calls on the Parliament to recommit to this foundational goal in Australia’s efforts to close the gap.

 

The health equality statement commits the Australian Parliament and the Australian people to offer our First Peoples the most fundamental right of all – the right to grow old.

 

While it is right for the Parliament to recognise this anniversary, the work of improving health outcomes and life expectancy for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples  requires genuine and ongoing engagement.

 

Labor believes there is need to commit to meaningful bipartisanship, which is why the Leader of the Opposition recently wrote to the Prime Minister urging him to bring together a gathering of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders with political leaders and policy experts to advance the next step in achieving Constitutional Recognition of our First Peoples as well as meaningful engagement on the impediments to achieving the Closing the Gap targets.

 

As part of Close the Gap Day, more than 200,000 Australians gathered at events across the country today to take a stand and support health equality for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians.

 

Labor congratulates these Australians committed to change, and also recognises the ongoing campaign of the Close the Gap Steering Committee led by co-Chairs Kirstie Parker and Mick Gooda, in bringing these important events together.

 

Closing the Gap on health and life expectancy is the foundation of all the other Closing the Gap targets. Ill health holds people back from finding and keeping a job; ill health means children miss school.

 

Whilst words are important – be they well-meaning or unhelpful – the real test of Parliament’s commitment to Closing the Gap across all the target areas is action.

 

Labor calls on the Government to reverse their half a billion dollars of cuts from frontline services including community legal services, children and family centres and vital preventative health programs.

 

The Government needs to address the chaotic Indigenous Advancement Strategy, which has left communities and service providers confused and anxious.

 

Co-operation and bipartisanship on the Closing the Gap framework must be matched by properly targeted resources delivered in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities if the Parliament is to achieve these vital goals.

 

THURSDAY, 19 MARCH 2015

 

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

STEPHEN SPENCER (KING) 0423 596 573

MADONNA OLIVER (NEUMANN)    0416 199 808

WARREN SNOWDON – 0419 626 601

JOHN RONAN (JONES) 0408 542 547

Mar 18, 2015
Kieran Barns-Jenkins

PARLIAMENT AND PEOPLE REJECT PYNE PLAN FOR $100,000 DEGREES

 

Tonight the Senate once again rejected Tony Abbott and Christopher Pyne’s unfair plan for $100,000 degrees.

 

Because of Labor’s resolve, young Australians and their families, as well as our universities have been protected from the devastating impact of the Liberals cuts and the burden of $100,000 degrees.

 

From day one, Labor has stood by one principle: that hard work and good marks, not the ability to pay, should determine if a young person gets the opportunity of a higher education.

 

Australians know the Liberals remain committed to $100,000 degrees and the Americanisation of Australia’s world-class university system.

 

Their deeply unfair policy will see Australians from ordinary working families locked out of getting a higher education.

 

And that will be a disaster for the nation.

 

Tonight’s vote is yet another humiliating failure for Christopher Pyne, who has lost all credibility with the Australian people as a result of his so-called negotiations, which were based entirely on bullying and blackmail.

 

When asked about his plans for higher education on Saturday, 14 March, Tony Abbott said he was “very committed – very, very committed” to his plan for $100,000 degrees and “it’s a reform that will come up again.”

 

Tony Abbott – Sky News – 14 March 2015

 

Deregulated fees would see the cost of a university degrees double and treble, saddling students with a crippling debt sentence.

 

Over the past ten months, the evidence in support of Labor’s principled position has only mounted.

 

It is time for Christopher Pyne to accept that he introduced a bad policy and got a bad result for the Government.

 

Even spending $15 million of taxpayers’ money on a slick but misleading advertising campaign did nothing to help him win public support for trashing the fair go.

 

Labor has been resolute in resisting the Liberals’ changes, and we will never accept their plan for $100,000 degrees.

 

Unlike the Liberals, Labor understands that Australia’s future prosperity depends upon the knowledge and skills of our people.

 

Labor will continue to fight the Americanisation of our university system, and we will prevail.

 

TUESDAY, 17 MARCH 2015

 

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

THOMAS MOORHEAD (CARR) 0427 126 355

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