Browsing articles in "Media Releases"
Apr 8, 2015
Kieran Barns-Jenkins

SENATOR JAN MCLUCAS

After almost 18 years proudly serving the people of Queensland in the Australian Senate, Jan McLucas will not be contesting the next election.

 

Senator Jan McLucas was first elected to represent Queensland in 1998, the only woman among seven new Senators.

 

Since her election Senator McLucas has worked tirelessly for the people of Queensland, especially those in regional Queensland.

 

A primary school teacher who trained and worked in North Queensland, Senator McLucas has been a committed campaigner for better education in regional and remote areas.

 

Senator McLucas has been a passionate and dedicated advocate of people with disabilities for more than a decade, including through her work on the establishment of the historic National Disability Insurance Scheme.

 

Senator McLucas has been an outstanding member of the Labor team, both in Government and Opposition. Her work in the portfolios of Ageing, Disabilities and Carers, in Health, and as Minister for Human Services always had the people it affected at its centre.

 

The Federal Parliamentary Labor Party will forever be grateful for Senator McLucas’ service, and we sincerely thank her family for their contribution too.

 

Senator McLucas has agreed to continue in her role as Shadow Minister for Mental Health, and Shadow Minister for Housing and Homelessness for the duration of her term.

 

SUNDAY, 5 APRIL 2015

 

MEDIA CONTACT: KIMBERLEY GARDINER 0427 230 685

Apr 6, 2015
Kieran Barns-Jenkins

MR CHAN AND MR SUKUMARAN – LOSS OF LATEST APPEAL

This is obviously not the outcome we had hoped for.

 

Labor understands lawyers for Mr Chan and Mr Sukumaran are considering other legal avenues.  Of course, all legal processes should be allowed to run their course.

 

Once again, we plead with Indonesia to grant these two young men clemency.

 

While there’s life, there’s hope. We will not give up.

 

We continue to offer every support to the Australian Government in relation to this matter.

 

Labor opposes the death penalty in every circumstance, in every country.

 

MONDAY, 6 APRIL 2015

 

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

DAN DORAN – 0427 464 350

Apr 4, 2015
Kieran Barns-Jenkins

EASTER MESSAGE

I wish all Australians a happy and safe Easter with the people you love.

 

Whether it’s a family road trip, a long lunch with old friends or a backyard egg hunt, all of us celebrate Easter in our own way.

 

Whatever faith we belong to, this is a time we can give thanks for the blessings of family and friends.

 

At a time when many of us are enjoying a relaxing break, we think especially of all the Australians who will be working through the long weekend.

 

Our thoughts are with the men and women of the Australian Defence Force keeping us safe, our emergency workers ready to help and everyday people putting in the extra hours to make ends meet.

 

All the very best for a wonderful Easter, take care on the roads and take care of each other.

 

SATURDAY, 4 APRIL 2015

 

MEDIA CONTACT: KIMBERLEY GARDINER 0427 230 685

Apr 3, 2015
Kieran Barns-Jenkins

ATTACK IN KENYA

Labor is shocked by the horrific attack at Garissa University College in Kenya, which has reportedly left at least 147 people killed and 79 wounded. We condemn it in the strongest possible terms.

It is reported terrorist group Al Shabaab has claimed responsibility for the attack.

 

Terror has no place in our world. That this attack occurred at a place of learning is especially abhorrent.  Everyone deserves an education free from fear and violence.  It is a fundamental human right.

 

At this difficult time, our thoughts are with the loved ones of those killed, and with the Kenyan people.  We are also thinking of the many wounded, and hope for full, speedy recoveries.

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

FRIDAY, 3 APRIL 2015

 

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

 

Mar 30, 2015
Kieran Barns-Jenkins

LABOR SUBMISSION NATIONAL MINIMUM WAGE REVIEW

Labor has made a submission to the Fair Work Commission’s Annual Wage Review, calling for a fair and economically responsible increase to the national minimum wage.

 

Labor believes in a strong economy that doesn’t leave people behind – such as those Australians relying on the minimum wage.

 

Labor’s priority is to protect living standards, jobs and ensure a strong economic future by supporting growth and a strong safety net.

 

In the first submission by a Federal Opposition to the Annual Wage Review, Labor has outlined our support for an appropriate increase in the national minimum wage that takes account of the rising cost of living and the broader economic environment.

 

Labor’s submission highlights the current threat to living standards and the growing inequality in Australia as evidence supporting an increase in the national minimum wage.

 

Labor also urges the Panel to consider the prospect of further budget cuts proposed but not yet legislated by the Abbott Government in its determination.

 

With inequality at a 75-year high, and following the most unfair Budget in living memory, we believe the minimum wage cannot be allowed to erode further.

 

While the minimum wage has been increasing in real terms, it has been decreasing relative to median and average wages. Twenty years ago the minimum wage was 63 per cent of the median wage. Now it is 54 per cent.

 

Labor has not nominated a quantum by which the minimum wage increase but has provided evidence supporting an increase to the independent Fair Work Commission Minimum Wage Panel for its consideration.

 

Labor supports the minimum wage being determined by the independent Fair Work Commission Minimum Wage Panel taking into account each element of the Modern Awards Objective.

 

It is critical the Fair Work Commission takes into consideration the effect of the economy, employment and the effect on individuals to ensure Australian workers receive a fair and economically responsible increase in the minimum wage.

 

A strong minimum wage doesn’t just help our lowest paid, it is the foundation for the determination of award wages which in turn supporting middle class families and stimulate economic growth.

 

Labor believes in a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work and a decent national minimum wage is fundamental to achieving that.

 

MONDAY, 30 MARCH 2015

 

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

Mar 30, 2015
Kieran Barns-Jenkins

NEW SOUTH WALES ELECTION

On behalf of Labor, I congratulate Luke Foley and his team on a strong campaign in the NSW election.

 

Luke has restored NSW Labor’s fortunes – he will be a very tough Opposition Leader.

 

While final counting hasn’t been completed, a swing of almost nine per cent and winning an additional dozen or so seats is a remarkable achievement.

 

Labor’s heartland has returned – there were strong wins in Western Sydney and the Central Coast.

 

Labor received half a million more votes this time than at the last NSW election.

 

I congratulate Premier Mike Baird on his win last night.

 

I hope Premier Baird will use this weekend’s result to fight for a better deal for NSW from his Liberal colleagues in Canberra.

 

I hope to work with Premier Baird to stop Tony Abbott’s plans to rip $25 billion from NSW schools and hospitals.

 

SUNDAY, 29 MARCH 2015

 

MEDIA CONTACT: RYAN LIDDELL 0427 225 763

Mar 30, 2015
Kieran Barns-Jenkins

ABBOTT GOVERNMENT BEGINS BACKDOWN ON ASIAN INFRASTRUCTURE INVESTMENT BANK

ABBOTT GOVERNMENT BEGINS BACKDOWN ON ASIAN INFRASTRUCTURE INVESTMENT BANK

 

Today, after months of dithering and in-fighting, the Abbott Government has begun backing down on its opposition to the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.

 

As many of our friends like the UK, New Zealand, South Korea, Germany, France, Italy, India, and Singapore have already thrown their support behind the bank, the Abbott Government is now trying to play catch up.

 

The Bank has the potential to boost infrastructure investment in our region by around $100 billion.  Labor believes that’s a good thing.

 

We have been saying for months now that Australia should announce support for the Bank.

 

By contrast, all Abbott Government Ministers have done is leak against each other from Cabinet and the National Security Committee, as they continued to mishandle this important matter.

 

The Opposition Leader is currently in China attending the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference before visiting Beijing for meetings with business leaders and senior members of the Chinese Government.

 

SUNDAY, 29 MARCH 2015

 

MEDIA CONTACTS:        RYAN LIDDELL (SHORTEN) 0427 225 763

DAN DORAN (PLIBERSEK) 0427 464 350

JAMES CULLEN (BOWEN) 0409 719 879

Mar 26, 2015
Kieran Barns-Jenkins

BRANDIS’ DEVASTATING CUTS TO CONTINUE

 

Labor calls on Senator Brandis to fully reverse his cruel cuts to legal assistance funding.

 

Senator Brandis may have restored some of the funding increase Labor gave to Community Legal Centres in 2013, but he has not backed away from the $6 million cut in the last Budget.

 

His half-hearted announcement today confirms that the Government has still ripped more than $20 million from Community Legal Centres, Legal Aid, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services and Family Violence Prevention Legal Centres.

 

As his own Liberal Party colleagues have warned, the Abbott Government’s savage cuts are endangering the most vulnerable Australians, including women and children affected by domestic violence and Indigenous Australians.

 

The uncertainty created by these cuts means Community Legal Centres across Australia have already lost experienced staff and reduced the services they provide.

 

For more than a year Senator Brandis has maintained his cuts were aimed “policy reform advocacy” and would not affect frontline services.

 

Now in the face of public pressure over the clear effect of his cuts he has finally seen sense.

 

This is an admission that the Abbott Government’s cuts were affecting the most vulnerable Australians.

 

Labor has called on the Prime Minister to hold a National Crisis Summit on Family Violence and announced a $70 million interim package of measures to make sure women get the legal support they need and can access critical services.

 

This includes:

  • Almost $50 million to legal services, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services to ensure women suffering from family violence have appropriate legal support;
  • Initial investment of $15 million in Safe at Home grants to help people affected by family violence stay safe in their own home; and
  • An investment of $8 million to improve perpetrator accountability, tracking and diversion strategies to prevent violence.

 

Labor will continue to fight the Abbott Government’s attacks on legal assistance funding.

 

THURSDAY, 26 MACRH 2015

 

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

                                 ANNIE WILLIAMS (DREYFUS)    0428 040 522
MEREDITH HORNE (MOORE)     0408599800

Mar 26, 2015
Kieran Barns-Jenkins

DEFENCE FORCE SERVICE CHIEF APPOINTMENTS

 

Federal Labor has today welcomed the appointment of the new Chief of the Air Force, Air Marshal Gavin Davies AO, CSC and the Chief of the Army, Lieutenant General Angus Campbell DSC, AM.

 

We also acknowledge and thank the outgoing service chiefs, Air Marshall Geoff Brown and Lieutenant General David Morrison.

 

Both have served our country with distinction and provided outstanding leadership to the Air Force and Army respectively.

 

Air Marshall Brown has prepared the Air Force for the acquisition of the Joint Strike Fighters, as well as overseeing the arrival of other essential Air Force capabilities.

 

Under his leadership, the Air Force has made a vital contribution to many varied operations around the globe, including relief and disaster responses and the very testing Middle East Area of Operations.

 

Lieutenant General Morrison leaves behind an Australian Army that has been transformed by his leadership and has made his mark on the wider culture of the Defence Force.

 

He has overseen the implementation of the army’s biggest reorganisation since World War II. He has set Army on the road to dealing with the complexities of contemporary operations with the establishment of multi-role brigades and the integration of new capabilities and systems.

 

Federal Labor welcomes the new appointees and we are confident they will continue the exceptional work of their predecessors in protecting Australia’s national security interests.

 

THURSDAY, 26 MARCH 2015

 

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

Mar 26, 2015
Kieran Barns-Jenkins

VISIT TO CHINA

 

This evening, I travel to China to attend the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference.

 

The Boao Forum has emerged as our region’s premier meeting of business leaders, policy makers and academia, all working to secure better economic integration across the dynamic and growing Asian region.

 

I will be meeting with Chinese and global leaders to talk about the big questions facing Australia’s region: economic development, climate change, regional cooperation, infrastructure and digital disruption.

 

I will also join discussions on the future of skilled manufacturing in the digital age and how Australia can harness the jobs and opportunities which will come from the rise of Asia and an interconnected global economy.

 

As well as participating in the Conference, I will be meeting with business leaders and academics including Jiang Jianqing (Chairman, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China), Professor Jeffrey Sachs (Columbia University), Hans-Paul Bürkner (BCG) and Andrew Forrest (Fortescue Metals Group).

 

On the conclusion of the Boao Conference I will travel to Beijing, where I will meet with senior members of the Chinese Government.

 

I will also be meeting with representatives of Australian businesses working in China, along with members of China’s business, education, health, civil society and arts communities.

 

This will be my first visit to China as Opposition Leader, following my previous visits representing workers, as a Parliamentary Secretary, and as a Minister.

 

On each visit, I join the rest of the world in marvelling at the transition underway in China as it embraces its responsibility as a world power, with energy, confidence and a clear eye on the future.

 

Tanya Plibersek will be Acting Opposition Leader while I am overseas.

 

THURSDAY, 26 MARCH 2015

 

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

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