Browsing articles in "Media Releases"
Aug 15, 2014
Kieran Barns-Jenkins

INDIAN INDEPENDENCE DAY

Sixty-seven years ago, the saffron, white and green of the Indian tricolour was hoisted above the gates of the Red Fort to mark the historic moment when India kept its ‘tryst with destiny’.

Today, on Indian Independence Day, millions of people will be joined in celebrating all that India has achieved.

There is so much for modern, independent India to be proud of.

In 1947, Prime Minister Nehru spoke of a nation waking to ‘light and freedom’ while the world slept.

In 2014 India is a beacon of democracy, a nation turning economic growth into social progress and freeing its citizens from poverty, while the world watches in admiration.

Today all Australians rejoice in India’s progress, and we give thanks for the contribution that the Indian people have made to our society, to our culture, to our cuisine and to our country.

I wish you all the very best for a joyous celebration.

FRIDAY, 15 AUGUST 2014

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

 

Aug 15, 2014
Kieran Barns-Jenkins

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ROUNDTABLE – MELBOURNE

THE HON. BILL SHORTEN MP

LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION

MEMBER FOR MARIBYRNONG

TIM WATTS MP

MEMBER FOR GELLIBRAND

 

MEDIA RELEASE

 

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ROUNDTABLE – MELBOURNE

 

Leader of the Opposition, Bill Shorten and Labor Member for Gellibrand, Tim Watts held a Roundtable discussion with leading domestic violence advocates in Footscray today.

 

The Roundtable follows the death of Fiona Warzywoda in Sunshine on April 16 and involves leaders from local, state and national organisations.

 

“The biggest risk factor for becoming a victim of sexual assault, domestic violence or family violence is being a woman,” Mr Shorten said.

 

“Our system failed Fiona, our nation failed Fiona – and we fatally fail at least one woman in Australia every week.”

 

“Today’s Roundtable is an opportunity for me to hear directly from the leading advocates, community organisations and academics on this issue.”

 

“We must put domestic violence at the centre of national political debate in order to change these chilling statistics,” said Mr Shorten.

 

Labor Member for Gellibrand, Tim Watts thanked local services for the work they do and for participating in this important forum.

 

“I know how hard the local service providers attending today work to help women and children at risk of family violence. It’s our job – political leaders and the broader community as a whole, to help to ease their load.”

 

“Men’s violence against women is a difficult and confronting issue – but through forums like this we’ll slowly but surely tackle this challenge head on.”

 

Around 20 leading advocates and community organisations are attending the Roundtable in Footscray today including from White Ribbon Australia, No to Violence Campaign, Foundation to Prevent Violence Against Women and Their Children, Women’s Health West, Women’s Legal Services Australia, Relationships Australia (Victoria), Family Violence Prevention Legal Services, Monash University, inTouch Multicultural Centre Against Family Violence, Municipal Association of Victoria, University of Melbourne, Women’s Health Association of Victoria, Footscray Community Legal Centre, Western Family Regional Integration Coordinator, Domestic Violence Resource Centre Victoria and Domestic Violence Victoria.

 

The Leader of the Opposition convened a similar Domestic Violence Roundtable in Sydney in October last year with leading advocates and local organisations.

 

MELBOURNE

FRIDAY, 15 AUGUST 2014

 

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

Aug 15, 2014
Kieran Barns-Jenkins

ST ALBANS ‘BRIGHT SPOT’ LAUNCHED

St Albans Secondary College has been named as one of eight schools participating in Social Ventures Australia (SVA)’s Bright Spots Schools Connection.

Launching the partnership today, Opposition Leader and Member for Maribyrnong Bill Shorten said the College was a deserving choice for selection.

“St Albans Secondary College continues to go from strength to strength. The school’s excellent outcomes reflect the dedication and hard work of staff and students alike,” Mr Shorten said.

“By participating in the Bright Spots program, the College can build on this work by joining a network of high achieving schools, learning from the successes of each other.”

Mr Shorten said that as part of the Bright Spots program, the College would also receive assistance to further integrate technologies and ensure that St Albans students were ready to meet the challenges of the next digital age.

“The outcomes of this program mirror Labor’s firm belief that a young person’s postcode should not determine their future,” he said.

“And thanks to the vision of its school leaders, the future of St Albans Secondary College and its students looks very bright indeed.”

ENDS

Aug 14, 2014
Kieran Barns-Jenkins

ABBOTT GOVERNMENT TO CUT $471 MILLION FROM UNIVERSITIES IN WA

 

Leader of the Opposition, Bill Shorten will join Shadow Assistant Minister for Higher Education, Amanda Rishworth and Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Western Australia and Member for Perth, Alannah MacTiernan in Perth today to demand the Abbott Government scrap plans to cut $471 million from WA universities.

 

The Abbott Government must abandon its plans to Americanise universities by introducing $100,000 degrees in Australia.

 

“A degree shouldn’t be a debt sentence in this country,” said Mr Shorten.

 

“The Abbott Government has broken its promise not to cut education funding, and students in Western Australia will be forced to pay more as a result.

 

“$100,000 will push a university degree out of reach for many young Western Australians and their families, and that’s the wrong direction for the nation.”

 

Labor will meet with students at four Western Australia universities today to hear their concerns about the Abbott Government’s unfair higher education changes, which will burden past, present and future university students with a debt sentence.

 

Western Australian universities are set to lose a massive $471.3 million in funding over four years because of the Abbott Government’s savage cuts, and it will be students who foot the bill when universities are forced to increase the cost of degrees.

 

Amanda Rishworth said young people were upset and angry about the prospect of deregulated university fees and savage cuts to funding, which may lead to some degrees costing students over $100,000.

“Students in Western Australia are very concerned about the Abbott Government’s plans to impose real interest rates on students HECS/HELP debt,” Amanda Rishworth said.

 

“Soaring university fees and huge debts will prevent many students from being able to afford to go to university, and those who do make it to university will be burdened with debt that will take decades to pay off.

“This is not what the Australian people voted for.”

 

Tony Abbott and Christopher Pyne lied to Australians when they promised there would be “no cuts to education” [Tony Abbott, Insiders, 1 September 2013] and “we’re not going to raise fees” [Christopher Pyne, Sky News, 17 November 2013].

 

Alannah MacTiernan said “Many young Western Australians are now being frightened off higher education by the size of the debt they may face.”

 

“It is already hard for young people working and saving to buy a house in Perth – they know starting with a $100,000 HECS debt will make the opportunity of home ownership even more remote.”

 

“Furthermore, with the Abbot Government’s anti-jobs policies, they question whether their education will lead to a job,” Alannah MacTiernan said.

 

Labor’s petition to fight the Abbott Government’s radical and short-sighted changes is available at www.alp.org.au/debtsentence

 

PERTH

 

THURSDAY, 14 AUGUST 2014

 

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

(RISHWORTH) BEK HUPPATZ 0422 687 199

(MACTIERNAN) REWI LYALL 0434 874 329

 

 

The Abbott Government’s changes to higher education include:

  • Cutting $5.8 billion from universities, including slashing funding for undergraduate places by up to 37 per cent;
  • Deregulating fee levels, allowing universities to charge what they like so students may face degrees costing over $100,000;
  • Charging up to $3,900 per year for Higher Research Degrees, such as a PhD and Masters programs; and
  • Introducing a compounding real interest rate for all HECS-HELP debts – both future and existing. HECS-HELP debts will now be indexed by the 10-year government bond rate, capped at 6 per cent, rather than the consumer price index (CPI).

 

 

Source: NTEU Briefing Paper Higher Education Changes 2014-15 Federal Budget

 

Aug 13, 2014
Kieran Barns-Jenkins

LOCAL FAMILIES STILL WAITING

Local families have been left in the lurch, with the Abbott Government still refusing to commit to ongoing kindergarten funding.

Leader of the Opposition and Member for Maribyrnong, Bill Shorten said the Abbott Government was refusing to fund Universal Access kindergarten hours from next year.

“Moonee Valley, Brimbank and Maribyrnong families have been left waiting, with the Abbott Government still refusing to provide any certainty about whether they will fund these hours or not,” he said.

“With the funding due to expire in just months, local families and kindergarten need to know what to expect.”

“Without this Federal money kindergarten hours will be slashed, fees will rise and some services could be forced to close their doors.”

“This is yet another shocking example of this Budget putting more pressure on the cost of living, not less.”

Mr Shorten said the current funding ensured that all four-year-olds had access to 15 hours of education in the year before school.

“We know that attending kindergarten helps ensure our kids get the best start in life,” he said.

“But if the Abbott Government refuses to provide this support, kindergarten hours will be slashed from 15 to just 10.”

Established under Labor in 2008, Universal Access funding aims to ensure that over time, every Australian child has access to 15 hours of quality education in the year before school.

ENDS

Aug 9, 2014
Kieran Barns-Jenkins

Death of Peter Sculthorpe

 

The death of Peter Sculthorpe is a great loss to Australian music and to the nation.

 

He was one of Australia’s most distinguished composers, who wrote music inspired by our unique landscapes.

 

We mourn his passing, but are grateful for his legacy.

 

His music is distinctively Australian.

 

Irkanda, Kakadu, Memento Mori, Rites of Passage and Requiem are great works which reflect the sounds of our ancient land.

 

Peter Sculthorpe’s music helps us understand what it means to be Australian.

 

It includes Indigenous and Asian influences, and the vast and open landscape.

 

His generous assistance to students and young composers will be long remembered.

 

His music has enriched us all.

 

SATURDAY, 9 AUGUST 2014

 

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

ANNIE WILLIAMS – 0428 040 522

 

Aug 9, 2014
Kieran Barns-Jenkins

THE CONFLICT IN ISRAEL AND THE PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES

 

Labor calls on all parties to agree to a continuation of the 72-hour ceasefire in Gaza, which is scheduled to end at 3:00pm AEST on Friday 8 August.

 

With reports of almost 1900 dead, including hundreds of children, we urge the parties to agree to an extension of the ceasefire and work to achieve a permanent end to the conflict.

 

Labor has been especially concerned that even when taking shelter in UN run facilities, residents of Gaza have not been safe.

 

Labor deplores the abuse of civilian facilities for military purposes, including reportedly to hide rockets.

 

Australia needs to work with the international community to facilitate lasting peace and an end to this terrible conflict – including through our position on the United Nations Security Council.

 

Labor supports an Australian contribution to the huge humanitarian task in Gaza. Gaza has faced enormous social and economic difficulties due to the blockade, even before the recent fighting.

 

Labor welcomes the $5 million the Australian Government has recently contributed to humanitarian efforts, but notes that this follows an earlier decision by the Government to cut $4.5 million in Australian aid funding this year to the Palestinian Territories.

 

While the conflict in Gaza has been distressing it is important that debate is kept within civil bounds. Labor utterly condemns any racist, bigoted or sectarian attacks directed at members of our own community or the communities in the Middle East.

 

THURSDAY, 8 AUGUST 2014

 

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

 

Aug 9, 2014
Kieran Barns-Jenkins

Special Olympics Inter-regional Athletics Games

Opposition Leader and Member for Maribyrnong, Bill Shorten has congratulated local members of the Victorian Special Olympics Team before the National Games in October.

Meeting athletes and coaches at the Inter-regional Athletics Games in Moonee Ponds, Mr Shorten presented ribbons to the participants and wished them luck for the months ahead.

“This is a fantastic achievement for these athletes, their families and their support networks,” Mr Shorten said.

“Their hard work and dedication has paid off and I’m pleased to be here to acknowledge their efforts.”

Mr Shorten said that the Melbourne West athletes had made a substantial contribution to the state team, with six competitors in track and field, six in swimming and two participating in equestrian events.

“Not only are these athletes representing our state, they are representing our community too and I am sure they will do us proud,” he said.

ENDS

 

Aug 8, 2014
Kieran Barns-Jenkins

HUMANITARIAN SITUATION IN IRAQ

HUMANITARIAN SITUATION IN IRAQ

 

The humanitarian need in Iraq is significant, urgent and increasing.

 

We note that President Obama has authorised airstrikes in Iraq as a response to the US assessment that strikes may be necessary to prevent massacres of civilians.

Labor has been extremely concerned about reports of civilian deaths, and most recently, the targeting of tens of thousands of Yazidis trapped on a mountain without food and water.

The reports emerging from Iraq about the persecution by ISIS of any religion other than Sunni Islam are deeply troubling and we understand that strong action may be necessary to protect civilians.

In addition to the authorisation of air strikes should they become necessary, the United States has made airdrops of food and water to besieged civilians.

Australia must also offer humanitarian assistance to the people of Iraq.

I note that Australian government assistance to Iraq last year was $7.7 million. In the May budget that was cut to $0.

The leaders of Iraq should resolve immediately to form an inclusive government and settle the Presidency so that a united front can be presented against ISIS, a violent, extremist organisation.

If Australia is asked to provide military assistance, we would expect detailed briefings from the Government before making an assessment.

 

I will be meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry in Sydney next week and will raise the situation with him then.

 

FRIDAY, 8 AUGUST 2014

 

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

MICHAEL VAUGHAN (PLIBERSEK) 0413 473 773

 

 

Aug 8, 2014
Kieran Barns-Jenkins

ABBOTT’S WORK FOR THE DOLE DISASTER TO COST SMALL BUSINESS $700M A YEAR

MEDIA RELEASE

 

ABBOTT’S WORK FOR THE DOLE DISASTER TO COST SMALL BUSINESS $700M A YEAR

 

The Abbott Government’s policy to force job seekers to apply for 40 jobs a month could result in a $700 million hit on small businesses across Australia, according to the Government’s own Business Cost Calculator.

 

Despite the Prime Minister promising again and again to cut red tape, he is actually wrapping thousands of small businesses up in more red tape – which will cost time, money and jobs.

 

Forcing job seekers to submit 40 job applications a month to qualify for their payment shows the Government has no understanding of small business.

 

Using the Government’s own Business Cost Calculator, Labor has calculated the massive cost Tony Abbott’s ill-informed policy wreak on small businesses.

 

Assuming that small businesses spend just one additional hour a fortnight processing the increased number of job applications, this policy will have an economic cost of nearly $700 million per year.

 

This means a $2.1 billion hit to small business over the three years of the program.

 

For the sake of a couple of tough-talking tabloid headlines, the Government is prepared to unleash a tsunami of unsolicited and underprepared resumes on the small businesses of Australia.

 

Instead of freeing up small businesses to do what they do best, Tony Abbott is turning them into desk clerks for his unfair and ineffective policy.

 

With this single decision, the Abbott Government has wiped out their claimed savings from the increasingly discredited “repeal day” – and obliterated the Abbott Government’s promise to be “open for business”.

 

The Abbott Government may be open for a few multinational corporations – but they are making it harder and harder for thousands of small businesses to get ahead.

 

This stupid policy is on top of Tony Abbott’s attempt to repeal Labor’s smart and fair tax breaks for thousands of small businesses.

 

The Abbott Government can’t be trusted to support Australia’s small businesses.

 

FRIDAY, 8 AUGUST 2014

 

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

JAMES CULLEN (BOWEN) 0409 719 879

Pages:«1234567...71»

» Stay in touch