Browsing articles in "Media Releases"
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

Aug 7, 2014
Kieran Barns-Jenkins

LIBERALS TO CUT $680 MILLION FROM TASMANIAN SCHOOLS

One year to the day since Prime Minister Tony Abbott claimed the Liberals were on a ‘unity ticket’ with Labor on schools funding, new figures have revealed the Liberal Government plans to cut more than $682 million from Tasmanian schools over the next decade.

 

At a time when we should be investing in the future of Tasmania children, Tony Abbott’s Budget contains the biggest ever cut to schools funding Tasmania has ever seen.  On average, each student will receive $1,000 less support, per year.

 

This broken promise will hurt each and every Tasmanian school and each and every Tasmanian student.

 

The average school nationally will lose around $3.2 million as part of the Abbott Government’s $30 billion cut to schools – equivalent to sacking one in seven teachers.

 

Tony Abbott must explain why he thinks Tasmanian families should suffer from his pre-election lie that there would be no cuts to schools under his Government.

 

And Tasmanian Premier Will Hodgman must tell parents why he’s happy to stand idly by while schools have millions of dollars cut.

 

Our teachers want to be working to improve our schools, not spending their time and energy planning for how they will cope with these cuts.

 

On 5 August last year, Tony Abbott promised:

 

We are on a unity ticket and we’ll fund schools in exactly the same way that Labor will fund them.

[TONY ABBOTT, 5 AUGUST 2013, TODAY SHOW WITH KARL STEFANOVIC]

 

One year on, Australians can see this for the lie that it was.   On schools, on hospitals, on pensions and on taxes, Tony Abbott promised one thing before the election and did the complete opposite after the election.

 

Labor won’t let the Prime Minister get away with his broken promises. His lies are hurting too many people.

 

Labor will fight for Medicare, for schools and for vulnerable people.

 

Tasmanians shouldn’t have to pay the price for the Prime Minister’s lies.

 

Schools funding cuts in Tasmania by Federal Electorate:

 

Bass

$154m

Braddon

$142m

Denison

$179m

Lyons

$91m

Franklin

$117m

 

Source: Based on 2012 student enrolments provided by the Department of Education and published by the Parliamentary Library.
TUESDAY, 5 AUGUST 2014

MEDIA CONTACT:          LEADER’S OFFICE MEDIA UNIT 02 6277 4053
                                        HANNAH MACLEOD 0437 526 210 (ELLIS)

 

 

Aug 6, 2014
Kieran Barns-Jenkins

LABOR CELEBRATES 40 YEARS OF UNIVERSAL HEALTHCARE

 

 

40 years ago Labor successfully fought to introduce decent affordable healthcare for all Australians through Medibank.

 

It took a historic joint sitting of Parliament on this day in 1974 to introduce universal healthcare. The Liberal and National Party fought tooth and nail to oppose it and 40 years later the Abbott Government is again trying to deny all Australians this basic right.

 

It was a Liberal Government and a Liberal Prime Minister that tore down Medibank, and it took another Labor Government and another Labor Prime Minister to rebuild it in 1984 as Medicare.

 

Every Coalition Government over the last 40 years has attacked Medicare and sought to dismantle universal healthcare. The Abbott Government is no exception.

 

Tony Abbott’s GP Tax and $50 billion in hospital cuts are nothing less than a savage assault on Medicare. The Liberals won’t be satisfied until Medicare is destroyed.

 

Just as we have for 40 years, Labor will fight to protect universal healthcare in this country.

 

Labor believes it should be your Medicare card, not your credit card, that determines what kind of healthcare you receive.

 

Only Labor believes all Australians have a basic right to a decent health system where your access to a hospital bed doesn’t depend on your capacity to pay.

 

Labor built Medicare. Labor will protect Medicare.

 

WEDNESDAY, 6 AUGUST 2014

 

MEDIA CONTACT: LEADERS OFFICE MEDIA UNIT 02 6277 4053

                             STEPHEN SPENCER (KING) 0423 596 573

Aug 6, 2014
Kieran Barns-Jenkins

Flags Available for Community Groups

Community groups, sporting clubs and schools are encouraged to replace their tired or torn flags, Opposition Leader and Member for Maribyrnong Bill Shorten said today.

“If any local community associations, sporting clubs, schools or churches are in need of a new flag, I encourage them to contact my office,” he said.

Mr Shorten said that his office was able to provide eligible local community groups with Australian, Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander flags under the Constituents Request Program.

“As we approach a number of key calendar events, it’s an opportunity for us to reflect upon our shared values and vision for our community.”

ENDS

Aug 4, 2014
Kieran Barns-Jenkins

Centenary of the Outbreak of World War I

STATEMENT

 

Centenary of the Outbreak of World War I

 

Today we commemorate the outbreak of the deadliest conflict in Australia’s history and one that caused utter devastation and massive loss of life in Europe. World War I was not only a tragedy over the course of the four years during which it was prosecuted, it also set the foundations for the even greater conflagration and monstrosity that was World War II.

 

From an Australian population in 1914 of fewer than five million, 416,809 men and women enlisted, of which over 60,000 were killed and 156,000 wounded, gassed, or taken prisoner. This was a brutal price to pay for a young nation and in the decades since, we have been left to try to comprehend the long term cost we have paid.

 

Australians fought from New Guinea to the wide oceans of the globe, from the sands of the Middle East to the brutal slopes of Gallipoli and to the murderous clawing mud and skies of Flanders. They went to war from a myriad small towns where plaintive memorials are now a ubiquitous feature of our physical and social landscape.

 

Small towns that could ill-afford to lose so many, in some cases virtually an entire generation.  The little town of Union Jack near Tumbarumba is one poignant example among many. Union Jack lost almost all its fighting age men and as a consequence a town that was thousands of kilometres from Europe and the Middle East was destroyed and ceased to exist, save for the memorial at the side of the road that bears witness to the loss.

 

They also went to war from the cities where whole sporting clubs and organisations would enlist together, because “you had to be in it”, in a land that was anxious to show its worth, from a people that had long before embraced adventure.

 

From this day, for the next four years, we pause to mark the way points of the conflict that brought waves of devastating news and eternal grief to families across our nation. Names burned in our collective memory, such as Gallipoli, Fromelles, Passchendaele, Beersheva, Hamel will resonate again. At each remembering we will honour the values we hold so dear, the values of courage, duty, honour, mateship and sacrifice. Values that have inspired us in all we do and that have secured our freedom down the years.

 

We will also reflect on the folly of war and in particular on the stumbling drift towards its outbreak on this day 100 years ago, when national leaders failed their people in preventing this most preventable of wars. Perhaps this is the most important service the commemoration will serve in our own times where there are all too many circumstances that could germinate similar sequences of escalation.

 

Ultimately though our commemoration will centre on the individuals whose lives were lost or shattered and we will wonder at their example. In drawing something positive from such pain we should constantly ask ourselves are we worthy of their sacrifice? Have we made the most of the freedom and opportunities they gave us? If we can answer these questions well we cannot help to make ourselves, our country and our world a better place.

 

We will never forget the sacrifice of so many.

 

Lest we forget.

 

MONDAY, 4 AUGUST 2014

 

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

Aug 4, 2014
Kieran Barns-Jenkins

LOCAL STUDENTS URGED TO MAKE THEIR VOICES HEARD

Local senior secondary students with a vision for Australia’s future are urged to make their voices heard as part of the annual My First Speech Competition, Opposition Leader and Member for Maribyrnong Bill Shorten said today.

Mr Shorten said the nationwide competition was open to secondary students in years 10 to 12, with entrants asked to imagine themselves as a newly elected Member of Parliament and present a three minute speech on an issue they are passionate about.

“The My First Speech Competition is an opportunity for young local residents to speak about the issues that matter to them. The judges will then select three winners to present their speech live at Parliament House,” Mr Shorten said.

“Students are asked to write as if it was their first speech to the House of Representatives, reflecting their views and vision for Australia.”

“In my own first speech, I spoke about a fairer industrial relations system, adequate support for people with a disability and the need for every Australian to get access to quality healthcare.”

“Local students from Moonee Valley now also have the opportunity to express their vision for our community and our nation.”

House of Representatives Education Committee Chair Ewen Jones and Deputy Chair Alannah MacTiernan will be judging the entries, along with Seven News political editor Mark Riley.

 

Aug 1, 2014
Kieran Barns-Jenkins

LAST DAY FOR ALCOA WORKERS AT POINT HENRY

 

Today, Alcoa workers at the Point Henry site near Geelong will leave work for the last time.

 

Alcoa announced in February that it would close the plant that has been in continuous operation for over 50 years.

 

Leader of the Opposition, Bill Shorten and Local Federal Member, Richard Marles joined workers to show Labor’s support for future opportunities.

 

In total, the closure of the Point Henry plant today will see 500 workers out of a job.

 

The majority of those workers are aged between 40 and 50 years of age.

 

Around 4 in 5 of those workers have an uncertain future.

 

Labor is calling on the Abbott Government to urgently step up and support these hard working Australians, their families in the Geelong and Yennora communities at this difficult time of transition.

 

Geelong and its region have been hit devastatingly hard by job losses and have heard nothing from the Abbott Government.

 

No one is asking for a hand out.

 

But these highly-skilled, productive workers deserve better than silence from the Prime Minister.

 

With the right support, Alcoa employees can continue to contribute to their family’s financial security, their community’s prosperity and our nation’s productivity.

 

Securing their future should be the Government’s priority.

 

Alcoa has been a part of the Geelong landscape for more than half a century and this is a very sad day for the entire community.

 

Our economy is changing and the Abbott Government has a responsibility to support these highly skilled workers into new opportunities.

 

The Abbott Government has abandoned the people of Geelong and the region at a time when they need support the most.

 

This announcement happened nearly six months ago and the Prime Minister is nowhere to be seen.

 

Either the Prime Minister has forgotten Alcoa workers or he just doesn’t care.

 

When will Tony Abbott and his Government start fighting for Australian jobs?

 

Now is the time for Prime Minister to deliver a plan for jobs in Geelong and a plan for jobs across Australia.

 

A further 300 workers will lose their jobs when Alcoa closes its rolling mill in December.

 

FRIDAY, 1 AUGUST 2014

 

MEDIA CONTACT: LEADER’S OFFICE MEDIA UNIT 02 6277 40

Jul 31, 2014
Kieran Barns-Jenkins

THE CONFLICT IN ISRAEL AND THE PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES

The Australian Government must use its position on the United Nations Security Council to push for an immediate ceasefire in Israel and the Palestinian Territories.

 

With reports of more than 1300 dead, including many children, the fighting must end now.

 

Labor is appalled by the recent shelling of a UN school in a Gaza refugee camp, and attacks on similar facilities.

 

Labor deplores the abuse of civilian facilities for military purposes, including a Gaza school that was used to hide rockets.

 

Hamas must stop firing rockets into Israel – more than 2600 so far, and Israel must restrain its response, which has cost far too many civilian lives.

 

The scale of human suffering has shocked the world.

 

Australia needs to work urgently with the international community to bring this terrible conflict to an end.

 

THURSDAY, 31 JULY 2014

 

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

DAN DORAN 0427 464 350 (PLIBERSEK)

Jul 30, 2014
Kieran Barns-Jenkins

$3 BILLION HIT TO WESTERN SYDNEY SCHOOLS IN ABBOTT BUDGET

Students in Western Sydney will be amongst the hardest hit by Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s decision to cut education funding, with schools across the region to lose $3.1 billion over the next decade.

 

These cuts are equivalent to sacking one in seven teachers and will mean a cut to the average school of $3.2 million.

 

This is the biggest ever cut to schools funding in NSW.

 

Kids all over Australia deserve the best possible education, not to be sent to the back of the class by the Abbott Government.

 

The impact of these cuts are very real – every student in Western Sydney will get $1,000 less support, every year.

 

More than one tenth of the Abbott Government’s national cut to schools of $30 billion will fall on Western Sydney schools. Nearly one third of the NSW-wide cut of $9.5 billion will hit Western Sydney schools.

 

Schools in Mount Druitt are amongst the worst off, losing $270 million over the next decade, while schools in Parramatta will lose more than $230 million.

 

Our teachers want to be working to improve our schools, not spending their time and energy planning for how they will cope with these cuts.

 

Tony Abbott must explain why he thinks families in the Western Suburbs should bear the brunt of his pre-election lie that there would be no cuts to schools under his Government.

 

Labor is calling on principals, teachers, parents and students across Queensland to get involved in National Gonski Week this week, and stand up against school cuts.

 

Schools funding cuts in Western and South Western Sydney:

 

Electorate                 Funding lost over the next ten years
Parramatta $231m
Blaxland $211m
Greenway $220m
Chifley $270m
Lindsay $241m
McMahon $228m
Fowler $237m
Werriwa $239m
Hughes $251m
Mitchell $235m
Reid $211m
Banks $155m
Watson $193m
Macquarie $192m
Western Sydney Total $3.1 billion

 

Source: Based on 2012 student enrolments provided by the Department of Education and published by the Parliamentary Library.

 

THURSDAY, 31 JULY 2014

MEDIA CONTACT:          LEADER’S OFFICE MEDIA UNIT 02 6277 4053
                                       HANNAH MACLEOD 0437 526 210 (ELLIS)

Jul 29, 2014
Kieran Barns-Jenkins

AGED CARE PROVIDER HURT BY CUT TO DEMENTIA SUPPLEMENT

 

Opposition Leader and Member for Maribyrnong Bill Shorten today visited Doutta Galla Aged Services in Avondale Heights to speak with staff and patients about the Abbott Government’s cut to the Dementia and Severe Behaviours Supplement.

 

Mr Shorten said that following the sudden axing of the funding, local aged care providers would struggle to maintain the same level of care for dementia patients.

 

“The Avondale Heights facility receives the $16 a day supplement for 35 residents,” Mr Shorten said.

 

“It’s not a king’s ransom, but for these providers, it’s a cut that will mean less for services, less for infrastructure and less for ensuring dementia patients get the quality of care they deserve.”

 

“It’s a cut that will just make life harder for local people living with the dementia, their families and staff.”

 

Mr Shorten said the sudden end to the Dementia Supplement came on top of cuts to the indexation of pensions and the removal of the Aged Care Payroll Tax Supplement.

 

“Yet again, the Abbott Government is attacking the most vulnerable in our community,” he said.

 

“Just when you thought Tony Abbott’s unfair budget couldn’t get any worse, dementia patients and their families are now being hit.”

 

ENDS

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