Browsing articles in "Media Releases"
Feb 5, 2014
Kieran Barns-Jenkins

WORKCHOICES RETURNS AS ABBOTT ATTACKS WORKERS’ PAY AND CONDITIONS

      THE HON BILL SHORTEN MP

LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION
MEMBER FOR MARIBYRNONG

BRENDAN O’CONNOR MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR EMPLOYMENT AND WORKPLACE RELATIONS
MEMBER FOR GORTON

MEDIA RELEASE

WORKCHOICES RETURNS AS ABBOTT ATTACKS WORKERS’ PAY AND CONDITIONS

The Government’s radical intervention in the Fair Work Commission review of workplace awards has lifted the lid on Tony Abbott’s revival of WorkChoices and his plans to slash penalty rates and working conditions for millions of Australians.

 

Before the election, Mr Abbott promised he wouldn’t touch workers’ conditions. He promised he wouldn’t cut penalty rates.

 

But the Government’s alarming proposal to the Fair Work Commission review of awards calls for a review of penalty rates” and proposes workplace awardsprovide only minimum terms and conditions of employment”.

 

Under this radical proposal, millions of Australians will receive less money in their pay packets.

 

The Abbott Government’s agenda is crystal clear – penalty rates are on the chopping block, and a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work is under threat.

 

Families are already struggling with cost of living pressures from this government – like higher health insurance premiums, scrapping the Schoolkids Bonus and flagging a GP Tax.

 

Everything the Prime Minister is doing now shows that WorkChoices was merely sedated, not cremated as the Prime Mininster promised.

 

In just five months the Abbott Government has charted a course to return to WorkChoices, yet has done nothing to stop more than 50,000 full-time jobs being lost across the country.

 

Not only does this government want to drive Australian jobs overseas – like we’ve seen with their disastrous decisions on Holden and SPC – they are hell-bent on attacking the pay and conditions of dedicated workers.

 

He won’t speak its name – but WorkChoices is on its way back under this Prime Minister.

 

Link to Government’s submission to the Fair Work Commission award modernisation process:

http://www.fwc.gov.au/sites/awardsmodernfouryr/submissions/AM20141_sub_AusGov_030214.pdf

 

 

 

WEDNESDAY, 5 FEBRUARY 2014

MEDIA CONTACT:          GLEN ATWELL                                   0428 434 709

LEADERS OFFICE MEDIA UNIT:       02 6277 4053

 

Feb 4, 2014
Kieran Barns-Jenkins

JOIN THE FIGHT TO SAVE MEDICARE

Bill Shorten, Member for Maribyrnong and Leader of the Opposition, today hit the streets of Moonee Ponds encouraging people to sign Labor’s Medicare petition, opposing the Abbott Government’s plan for patients to pay an upfront fee to see a doctor.

On Saturday Labor celebrated Medicare’s 30th birthday with Australians that value our universal healthcare scheme, including those who haven’t known any different.

For 30 years Medicare has been making healthcare affordable and accessible for Australians – this is now under threat from Mr Abbott and his Government.

Speaking outside of the Medicare office on Puckle St, Moonee Ponds Mr Shorten said, “I have heard from many people today of their concerns that the Government is planning to put a tax on going to the doctor, and that healthcare for their family will become unaffordable”.

The Abbott Government has already hit Australians hard, with the biggest increase to private health insurance premiums in a decade.

“Once the GP tax is introduced, I have no doubt the Abbott Government will open the floodgate to annual increases, making it tough for families already struggling with the cost of living.” Mr Shorten said.

“Labor is proud to be the party of Medicare – it was Labor who raised bulk-billing rates to their highest rates ever and it is Labor who will continue to protect Australia’s universal healthcare system” Mr Shorten said.

“I believe that all Australians deserve the healthcare they need, not the care they can afford”.

Media Contact: Kieran Barns-Jenkins 9326 1300 / 04218 838 878

 

Jan 25, 2014
Kieran Barns-Jenkins

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE 2014 AUSTRALIAN OF THE YEAR AWARD WINNERS

 

THE HON BILL SHORTEN MP

LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION

MEMBER FOR MARIBYRNONG

MICHELLE ROWLAND MP

SHADOW MINISTER FOR CITIZENSHIP AND MULTICULTURALISM

MEMBER FOR GREENWAY

 

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE 2014 AUSTRALIAN OF THE YEAR AWARD WINNERS

 

The Federal Opposition congratulates Sydney Swans player Adam Goodes on being named the 2014 Australian of the Year.

 

Goodesy is a truly remarkable Australian whether he’s running on for the Swans or working at the Go Foundation, which he helped establish with Michael O’Loughlin, to empower the next generation of Indigenous role models.

 

His formidable presence and an almost unparalleled skill on the field is matched only by his passion and determination off the field to help young people and fight the scourge of racism.

 

He is a tremendous role model for young Australians – both Indigenous and non-Indigenous – and his award today is recognition of the hugely positive contribution he has made to our nation.

 

We also recognise and congratulate Fred Chaney AO for being named Senior Australian of the Year, Paralympic champion Jacqueline Freney for being named Young Australian of the Year and Tim Conolan for being named Australia’s 2014 Local Hero.

Fred Chaney AO has a long history of public service and a strong belief in the inherent equality of all people. Mr Chaney is an inspiration to others, working to overcome the barriers that can impact on the ability of seniors to fully participate in Australian society.

 

Jacqueline Freney became Australia’s most successful Paralympian at a single event when she won eight gold medals at the London 2012 Paralympic Games. Ms Freney’s most inspiring endeavour occurs out of the pool where she works with Swimming Australia as a motivational speaker to support people with disability reach their full potential.

 

Tim Conolan is the deserved winner of the 2014 Local Hero award for his truly awesome work with sick children and their families.  Mr Conolan established the charity TLC for Kids to make a difference to children in hospital undergoing treatment.  TLC for Kids has now helped more than four million children and their families.

 

These exceptional men and women epitomise what it means to be Australian and their awards tonight are very well deserved.

 

SATURDAY, 25 JANUARY 2014

 

MEDIA CONTACT: RYAN LIDDELL 0427 225 763

Jan 23, 2014
Kieran Barns-Jenkins

LABOR SUPPORTS NATIONAL SUMMIT TO TACKLE ALCOHOL-FUELLED VIOLENCE

LABOR SUPPORTS NATIONAL SUMMIT TO TACKLE ALCOHOL-FUELLED VIOLENCE

 

Federal Labor fully supports the Australian Medical Association’s call for a national summit to address alcohol misuse and harms.

 

This is a positive and constructive move by the AMA. As a community, we must stand up against violence in all its forms and do what we can to prevent it.

 

We also owe it to innocent people like Daniel Christie and their families and friends to face up to this, together.

 

Street violence, alcohol-fuelled violence and violence in the home should never be tolerated – and it will take all of our efforts to tackle it.

 

This isn’t just a problem in one small pocket of Sydney. It isn’t just a challenge for local and state governments. This is a national issue that demands national attention.

 

Federal Labor will support efforts of the community and any government – federal, state or local – that helps stop this insidious scourge.

 

The AMA’s leadership in calling for industry, public health experts and others to engage in constructive discussions to look at how we can reduce alcohol related harm is to be commended.

 

A national summit is the most appropriate way to bring these groups together and Labor would welcome the opportunity to work in partnership with the Government on this issue.

 

The Opposition recently wrote to the Prime Minister calling on him to provide funding for boxer Danny Green’s remarkably powerful ‘One Punch’ advertisement. It’s these kinds of measures that send a very clear message that violence is unacceptable.

 

In government Labor introduced the National Binge Drinking Strategy to address binge drinking, particularly among young people.

 

As part of this Strategy, Labor worked with community organisations and local and national sport organisations to communicate the short and long-term harms of drinking at risky levels.

 

 

THURSDAY, 23 JANUARY 2014

 

MEDIA CONTACT:          LEADERS OFFICE MEDIA UNIT 02 6277 4053

ALEX WHITE 02 6277 4407

Jan 14, 2014
Kieran Barns-Jenkins

TIGHTER ELIGIBILITY FOR PERTH BUSHFIRE ASSISTANCE SHOULD BE REVERSED

Perth hills residents devastated by bushfires must have access to the same disaster assistance that was provided to victims of previous bushfires, including the 2011 Perth fires.

Yesterday, Attorney-General George Brandis announced $1,000 disaster payments for residents in impacted by fires in Mundaring LGA.

The Opposition welcomes the announcement of assistance but is extremely concerned that the Abbott Government has tightened the eligibility criteria for these payments.

These new rules mean hundreds of families – including many who had to be evacuated – will miss out on assistance.

For previous disasters, such as the 2011 Perth Fires, people in these categories were eligible for the $1,000 disaster payment:

  • A person has been unable to return to their principal place of residence for a period of 24 hours or more as a direct result of the major disaster, or
  • There has been no access to the principal place of residence for a period of at least 24 hours, or
  • An individual or family has been stranded in their residence for a period of at least 24 hours, or
  • A place of residence was without a particular utility service (electricity, water, gas, sewage services or another essential service) for a continuous period of 48 hours.

However, the Abbott Government has ruled that families who fall into these categories will not qualify for assistance for these bushfires.

The Abbott Government must restore the same disaster payment criteria used for previous natural disasters.

These fires have caused significant hardship for many families in the Perth hills and its critical they have access to appropriate support.

Acting Prime Minister Warren Truss must intervene to ensure this decision is urgently reversed and assistance is provided where it’s needed.

TUESDAY, 14 JANUARY 2014

MEDIA CONTACTS: LEADERS OFFICE MEDIA UNIT 02 6277 4053 (SHORTEN)
ANNIE WILLIAMS 0428 040 522 (DREYFUS)
MICHAEL HYDE 0417 175 220 (PRATT)

Jan 6, 2014
Kieran Barns-Jenkins

TOMORROW LAST TIME FAMILIES WILL RECEIVE BACK TO SCHOOL HELP

THE HON. BILL SHORTEN MP

LEADER OF THE FEDERAL OPPOSITION

MEMBER FOR MARIBYRNONG

 

THE HON. SENATOR JAN MCLUCAS

ACTING SHADOW MINISTER FOR FAMILIES AND PAYMENTS

SENATOR FOR QUEENSLAND

 

MEDIA RELEASE

TOMORROW LAST TIME FAMILIES WILL RECEIVE BACK TO SCHOOL HELP

 

Tony Abbott wants this Schoolkids Bonus to be the last, and has introduced legislation to repeal the payment.

 

As parents start getting their kids ready for school over the next few weeks, they’ll know how helpful the Schoolkids Bonus has been and they’ll be asking the PM why he wants to rip it away.

 

Thanks to Labor’s actions, families will receive $410 for each primary school child and $820 for each secondary school child.

 

1.3 million Australian families will begin receiving Labor’s Schoolkids Bonus payment tomorrow, to help them meet the cost of getting their kids ready for the new school year.

This will help families pay for things like school uniforms, shoes, books and stationery, as well as other costs like school excursions, music lessons and sports registration fees.

At a time when family budgets can be tight, this is much needed relief for families as they got their kids ready to go back to school.

And it comes on top of the Abbott Government’s plans for a GP tax, as well as the Private Health Insurance premium hike announcement made two days before Christmas.

This assistance is targeted at families who need it to help make ends meet.

 

Every one of these families will be worse off if Tony Abbott gets his way.

 

Scrapping the Schoolkids Bonus means the average Australian family with two kids will be $1,230 worse off every year and $15,000 worse off over the life of their child’s education.

 

This is a savage cut from a government that clearly doesn’t care about cost of living pressures or our kids’ education. Tony Abbott’s priorities are all wrong.

 

MONDAY, 6 JANUARY 2014

 

MEDIA CONTACT:          LEADERS OFFICE MEDIA UNIT 02 6277 4053

ALISTAIR WEBSTER 0413 779 348

Jan 6, 2014
Kieran Barns-Jenkins

TOMORROW LAST TIME FAMILIES WILL RECEIVE BACK TO SCHOOL HELP

TOMORROW LAST TIME FAMILIES WILL RECEIVE BACK TO SCHOOL HELP

 

Tony Abbott wants this Schoolkids Bonus to be the last, and has introduced legislation to repeal the payment.

 

As parents start getting their kids ready for school over the next few weeks, they’ll know how helpful the Schoolkids Bonus has been and they’ll be asking the PM why he wants to rip it away.

 

Thanks to Labor’s actions, families will receive $410 for each primary school child and $820 for each secondary school child.

 

1.3 million Australian families will begin receiving Labor’s Schoolkids Bonus payment tomorrow, to help them meet the cost of getting their kids ready for the new school year.

This will help families pay for things like school uniforms, shoes, books and stationery, as well as other costs like school excursions, music lessons and sports registration fees.

At a time when family budgets can be tight, this is much needed relief for families as they got their kids ready to go back to school.

And it comes on top of the Abbott Government’s plans for a GP tax, as well as the Private Health Insurance premium hike announcement made two days before Christmas.

This assistance is targeted at families who need it to help make ends meet.

 

Every one of these families will be worse off if Tony Abbott gets his way.

 

Scrapping the Schoolkids Bonus means the average Australian family with two kids will be $1,230 worse off every year and $15,000 worse off over the life of their child’s education.

 

This is a savage cut from a government that clearly doesn’t care about cost of living pressures or our kids’ education. Tony Abbott’s priorities are all wrong.

 

MONDAY, 6 JANUARY 2014

 

MEDIA CONTACT:          LEADERS OFFICE MEDIA UNIT 02 6277 4053

ALISTAIR WEBSTER 0413 779 348

Jan 1, 2014
Kieran Barns-Jenkins

NEW YEAR MESSAGE

On behalf of the Federal Labor Party, I wish all Australians a very happy new year.

 

This is a great time to celebrate what was achieved in 2013, as well as look toward 2014 and beyond.

 

For all of us, the new year presents an renewed opportunity to  focus on the things that really matter – our families, our community and our nation’s future.

 

Keeping Australians in work will be one of the biggest challenges we face in 2014.

 

The kind of job losses that occurred towards the end of 2013 can’t be allowed to happen again this year.

 

To confront the challenges of the future, our resolve must be durable and unwavering.

 

We must continue to fight for the fair go and ensure every Australian has the opportunity to reach their full potential – through education, proper health care or a hand when they need it most.

 

No matter what is ahead of us, I know our nation will continue to be rewarded by the resilience, hard work and creativity of its people.

 

Best wishes for 2014.

1 JANUARY 2014

 

MEDIA CONTACT: gerard richardson 0427 349 655   

Dec 17, 2013
Kieran Barns-Jenkins

TONY ABBOTT’S BROKEN PROMISE ON HOSPITALS, SCHOOLS AND DEFENCE

Before the election, Tony Abbott promised Australians there would be no cuts to health, education or defence if he became Prime Minister.

 

The Coalition’s election policy costings document says:

 

“There are no cuts to education, health, defence or medical research.”

 

[Coalition Final Update on Federal Coalition Election Policy Commitments – 5 September 2013]

 

In Tony Abbott’s National Press Club speech a week before the election, he said:

 

“There are no cuts to health. No cuts to education. Pensions don’t change. The GST doesn’t change.”

 

[Tony Abbott – Speech to the National Press Club – 2 September 2013]

 

The Abbott Government broke that promise today when Treasurer Joe Hockey said all areas of expenditure will now be assessed for cuts:

 

“All options are on the table”

 

[Joe Hockey – National Press Club – 17 December 2013]

 

Now schools, hospitals and defence are facing the same cuts that families, pensioners, superannuation holders, childcare workers and aged care workers are being targeted for.

 

Tony Abbott must urgently overrule his Treasurer and keep his promise not to cut funding to hospitals, health or defence.

 

If he doesn’t, this is yet another broken promise from Tony Abbott.

 

This is a government that has spent its first 100 days breaking promises on schools, the NBN, support for the car industry, debt and maintaining Medicare Locals.

 

Tony Abbott told the Australian people one thing before the election and is doing the complete opposite in power.

TUESDAY, 17 DECEMBER 2013

MEDIA CONTACT: LEADERS OFFICE MEDIA UNIT 02 6277 4053

Dec 17, 2013
Kieran Barns-Jenkins

MYEFO TODAY MUST INCLUDE HOLDEN SUPPORT PACKAGE

MYEFO TODAY MUST INCLUDE HOLDEN SUPPORT PACKAGE

 

If the Abbott Government’s support package for Holden workers and the car industry isn’t announced as part of today’s MYEFO, it isn’t funded and will continue to leave thousands of Australian workers and businesses in the lurch.

 

The Prime Minister must immediately announce a fully-funded, comprehensive support package, which recognises the effects on the supply chain and the communities around Holden’s two plants.

 

If this urgently needed package is not delivered today, it will be yet another blow to workers and their families from the Abbott Government.

 

The Prime Minister must not walk away from his responsibility to support Australians in need, and give them their best chance of contributing to the economy and the community in the future.

 

Holden workers, their families and communities, car components manufacturers and Toyota have waited long enough for the Government’s response.

 

Holden is leaving Australia after 65 years and responsibility sits squarely with Mr Abbott and his government which dared Holden to leave Australia.

 

The Abbott Government is ripping away at least $500 million in support for the car industry.

 

Federal Labor is calling on the Abbott Government to act swiftly and decisively to mitigate the damaging economic and social consequences of the closure of Holden’s manufacturing operations in Australia.

 

A reannouncement of Labor’s infrastructure plans simply doesn’t cut the mustard.

 

A full and comprehensive package must be part of today’s MYEFO and it must be implemented immediately to give workers and suppliers adequate time to retool, retrain and seek alternative employment.

 

TUESDAY, 17 DECEMBER 2013

MEDIA CONTACT: LEADER’S OFFICE MEDIA UNIT 02 6277 5043

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