Welcome to the latest update on our #LetsDoBetter campaign for Warringah.
In the last three weeks, our campaign team and volunteers have continued to engage with the community, share the sense and soundness of Labor’s priorities and policies, and learn about the national and local issues that matter most to the people of Warringah.
As the weeks slip past and I meet and listen to more and more people across the electorate, I become increasingly energised by our community’s concerns about the big challenges facing our nation, and the widespread desire for a federal government with the vision, unity, and consistency to make the right decisions and get the job done.
Keep reading to find out what’s been happening and what’s coming up.
A Shorten Labor Government will end the climate wars
Almost a decade — that’s how long the climate wars have been going on. They started in 2009 when Malcolm Turnbull, the federal opposition leader at the time, was negotiating the details of a bipartisan energy and climate change policy with Kevin Rudd, the prime minister.
Unfortunately for Australia, it was too much for Tony Abbott and the other climate-change deniers sitting on the opposition benches, so they banded together and destroyed a sensible energy and climate change policy. Sound familiar? Of course, nine years later, in August 2018, the policy that was destroyed was a new policy with a new name (the National Energy Guarantee), and the small group of self-serving policy-smashers had a few new members and were in government. But one thing remained constant: Tony Abbott’s destructive influence.
When the Opposition Leader, Bill Shorten, announced federal Labor’s energy policy last Thursday, he could not have been clearer and more resolute. A Labor government will put the National Energy Guarantee designed by the Turnbull Government back on the negotiating table. Although the Morrison Government has written off the NEG as “dead”, NEG’s market-based solution for achieving the energy trilemma of affordability, reliability, and emissions-reduction makes it businesses, industry’s and federal Labor’s preferred energy policy.
Regardless of whether a bipartisan agreement can be reached on the NEG, a Shorten Labor Government will start implementing a comprehensive energy plan that will expedite our transition to a low-carbon economy. It will also be vastly superior to the ad hoc, heavy-handed, and irresponsible approach of the Morrison Government that seeks to entrench coal-fired power.
Federal Labor’s energy plan is designed to:
- Reduce 2005 emissions by 45% by 2030
- Increase renewable energy to 50% of the energy mix by 2030
- Ensure reliable, low-cost energy
- Help Australian families lower their power bills.
Key elements of the plan include:
- A new national target of one million household battery installations by 2025
- $2,000 rebates to 100,000 households who earn less than $180,000 a year and install household storage batteries
- $10 billion for large-scale renewable-energy generation and storage projects
- $5 billion to modernise the transmission and distribution networks
- The creation of up to 70,000 new jobs.
Last Thursday’s energy policy announcement demonstrates federal Labor’s determination to transition the nation to reliable, affordable, low-emissions energy. Further elements of Labor’s energy and climate change policy will be announced over the coming weeks. In the meantime, brace yourself for the Coalition’s inevitable scare campaign.
Leaders lunch with the Shadow Treasurer
Chris Bowen’s focus on economic growth is to be expected for the Shadow Treasurer. Treasurers of all political persuasions know that without sufficient growth, creating jobs for all Australians is not possible. But what does distinguish one Treasurer from another is the policy mix they rely on to drive economic growth, and the other values they bring to its design.
The Abbott/Turnbull/Morrison policy mix for driving growth is tax cuts. According to the Coalition, that’s all we need to do to create jobs for all Australians now and into the future.
Chris Bowen and Labor believe Australia needs more than a single-lever growth strategy. We believe a strong economy needs multiple drivers to create not only growth and jobs but prosperity for all and a healthy and resilient society.
At the lunch I hosted for community and business leaders on the 8th of November, the Shadow Treasurer talked about some of the growth drivers a Shorten Labor Government will rely on. Here are some highlights of what he had to say:
- Australia’s economic prosperity as a nation depends on the prosperity of all Australians. When middle and working-class families and small businesses prosper, the social mobility and social cohesion that arise from their prosperity fuel more growth and greater economic opportunity for all.
- To equip every school leaver with the skills, confidence, and resilience to participate in productive work over their lifetime, we need to invest heavily in our schools so that every school is a strong and vibrant place of teaching excellence and student-focused learning.
- To tackle traffic congestion and create the attractive, dynamic, liveable cities essential to lifting productivity and maintaining our international competitiveness, we need to make public transport the centrepiece of a comprehensive plan for infrastructure development.
- To make the investments we need to make in education, infrastructure and healthcare for an ageing population, without jeopardising the strong budget position that underpins investor confidence, we need to rein in the tax subsidies and concessions that are, in effect, welfare handouts through the tax system to big multinational conglomerates and high-income earners. For example, we need to:
- tighten the debt-deduction loopholes used by multinationals
- halve the capital gains tax discount
- limit the negative gearing tax concession to newly constructed housing
- reign in overly generous cash rebates for tax paid by someone else to entities who have no taxable income
Frydenberg’s desperate tactics
As for Treasurer Frydenberg’s recent attempts to scare voters into believing that Labor’s negative gearing policy will cause property prices to tumble and rents to surge, we need to see his desperate tactics for what they are (desperate tactics) and keep in mind a number of facts:
- Labor’s negative gearing reforms will not apply to existing property investments. This means that Australians who own negatively geared investment properties when Labor’s policy comes into effect will continue to receive tax concessions.
- Limiting negative gearing tax concessions to newly constructed housing will encourage construction and increase the supply of housing. As a result, finding an affordable home will be easier for many first-home buyers — a “growth plus” outcome that matters greatly to the shadow treasurer.
- The annual cost of negative gearing to the Australian taxpayer is not known, but estimates place it within the vicinity of $5.5 billion and rising. Australia’s opportunities and challenges have changed since negative gearing was introduced. Isn’t it time to change our fiscal priorities too?
IMPACT100 Sydney North celebrates grants
On 15 November, I attended the IMPACT100 Sydney North Grants Celebration. IMPACT100 Sydney North is part of a worldwide collective-giving movement to support sustainable solutions for people lacking access to basic needs such as healthcare, shelter, education, and job training. Since it started in 2001, the IMPACT100 model has expanded to over 50 chapters in the US and Australia and given away over $55 million. There are seven IMPACT100 groups in Australia.
Congratulations to the following IMPACT100 Sydney North grant recipients:
- SHINE for Kids — $100,000
- Dandelion Support Network — $10,000
- SISTER2Sister — $10,000
- The Pyjama Foundation — $10,000.
Northern Beaches Domestic Violence Network White Ribbon Breakfast
Last Friday, I attended the Northern Beaches Domestic Violence Network White Ribbon Breakfast. Domestic Violence, a serious social issue for the Northern Beaches and Australia generally, is estimated to cost the economy $22 billion every year. We can, and we must do better.
Maria-Elena was named Northern Beaches Council Citizen of the Year for her work supporting survivors of domestic violence locally. Jen Armstrong for Miranda founded The Beauty Bank initiative and is also the star NSW Labor candidate for Miranda!
Listening to Warringah
Meeting the good people of Allambie Heights and Forestville out and about these past two Saturday mornings and the commuters and shoppers at Warringah bus interchange last Thursday morning demonstrates our commitment to genuine one-on-one listening and learning. These three public listening stalls follow our stalls at Neutral Bay, Manly, Cremorne Point, and Freshwater. I couldn’t do this vitally important campaign activity without the continued support of our #LetsDoBetter volunteers. So a big “thank you” to everyone who gave their time and enthusiasm to our public listening stalls.
ALP National Conference
The 2018 ALP National Conference will be held at the Adelaide Convention Centre from Sunday 16 to Tuesday 18 December. The conference program highlights Labor’s priorities and demonstrates that we are ready for government. Conference chapters include:
- tackling climate change, securing our energy future, and addressing our environmental challenges
- new opportunities for an ageing Australia
- a world-class education for all
- Australia’s place in a disrupted world.
More Listening Stalls
Our next public listening stall will be at the Many Wharf on Thursday morning, the 29th of November from 7:30 am. If you’d like to get involved or be informed about upcoming activities and events, join our volunteer team or sign up to our mailing list.
Campaign Christmas Party
Given the remarkable year 2018 has been politically and with an election year just ahead, I thought an end-of-year Christmas party would be a great way to bring together everyone who has helped get our #LetsDoBetter campaign underway. So please bring your partners, family, and friends for a relaxed evening of chatting about the year that’s almost over and the year that’s almost here.
Where: Harbord Beach Hotel, 29 Moore Road, Freshwater
When: 7.00pm Tuesday 11 December
What: Finger food will be provided. Drinks can be purchased from the bar
Who: All #LetsDoBetter supporters, partners, family, and friends
Cost: $10 per person (to cover the cost of food)
RSVP: By 7th of December by emailing email@example.com