A Big Australia? Or a sustainable Australia? The current government forecasts say our population will be 35 million by 2050. Kevin Rudd was quite happy with the idea of a big Australia saying more numbers would take our country forward. The Liberal party strongly disagreed. Tony Abbott says a bigger population means less jobs, money, resources, housing, pressure on our environment and less natural resources. The Liberal’s have also promised to cut our immigration levels by almost fifty percent, although they would continue to bring in skilled migrants. Overseas students would must likely have to pay the price. Instead, the Liberals say they want they birth rate to rise. The Greens also want to keep our population to a sustainable level so the environment and our resources are not put under to much pressure. Julia Gillard doesn't want a big Australia, but a sustainable Australia and unlike Kevin Rudd refuses to commit to a number. This is because she knows that voters in marginal seats such as Western Sydney already think that their suburbs are to congested. Julia Gillard has started a policy announcing $200 million to send people to towns not under pressure using money originally meant to help lower rental stress.
Asylum Seekers Our previous PM, Kevin Rudd halted the sending of asylum seekers to other countries to be processed. He also got rid of the temporary visas that the previous government bought in and instead gave permanent residency. Many commented that the Howard government's policies were too harsh on potential refugees. For example temporary protection visas left refugees not knowing there fate as they could be sent back to persecution any time. Julia Gillard still says mandatory detention of asylum seekers is essential to protecting our boarders. Since the Rudd governments has made the changes, almost150 boats have arrived in our waters. The current facility for detaining refugees is over capacity meaning some refugees have had to be bought to the mainland. The current government wants to send asylum seekers to other countries. Julia Gillard has said she wants a processing centre in East Timor but has yet to announce the details. Julia also said refugees should not be a political issue, but still want them to apply for refugee status the “correct” way. “If you want to stop the boats, you have to vote for me.” “I’m tough on people smugglers, not refugees.”
Boarder Control... Tony Abbott on the other hand claims the huge number in boats shows how Labor has “lost control” of our borders. He says the only way for our boarders to be protected if for the Liberal party to get in. Tony Abbott want to bring back the Howard governments of processing off shore and the infamous temporary protection visas. The Liberal party will have the boats towed back out of our waters. No possible asylum seeker's claim would be processed on land and there would be punishments for those who destroy their identification papers. Tony Abbott has talked to the president of Nauru and has claimed that the minute he is elected he would call them and have the Nauru detention centre running again. Tony Abbott has also said he wants mandatory prison sentences for people smugglers and Australians who protect refugees for overstaying on their visas. The Greens party say asylum seekers are no threat to our security. And say asylum seeker should be able to live amongst our communities while they are being processed. The Greens say the issue of refugees should not be used as a political football as the majority are fleeing from persecution.
Enviroment Climate change is absolute crap.
Carbon Pollution The governments previous plan was known as the emissions trading scheme or ETS. It would set a cap on pollution, penalise businesses who broke the limits and reward those who stayed under the limits. Unfortunately, current prices would rise because those charges would be passed on to the consumers. The high-polluters in the industries would be compensated while they committed to a greener future. Julia Gillard originally told the then PM, Kevin Rudd to dump the plan until 2012. Julia Gillard now decided she wants a panel of 150 everyday, ordinary Australians to decide on the future of climate change. Julia Gillard will push for the ETS be talking to the panel but if they dislike it, she will not continue it. She’s also starting a Climate Commission so Australian’s can know what is happening with relation to what is happening overseas with climate change. Businesses who cut carbons emission currently will be rewarded but the Liberal party says Labor are just hiding the ETS. The Greens want action saying the party is an attempt to please both sides and is a waste of time.
Jobs, Jobs, Jobs!
Tony Abbott once said climate change was “absolute crap” but later withdrew the comments.
The Liberals say Australia shouldn’t move forward on climate change as it will cost jobs and increase the cost of everyday living. Tony Abbott says why should we tax businesses in Australia when developing countries have no such restrictions.
Tony Abbott’s policy is to have rewards for cutting carbon emissions but will not introduce any penalties. Tony Abbot says this alone will inspire other to invest for the future in renewable energy.
The Liberal party also want to create a green army of 15,000 people who will plant 20 million trees by 2020. He says unlike Labor he is using real action.
“Real action without more tax.” “Compensating polluters will save jobs for a while.”
The Greens... The Greens say Labor's plan is too kind to big carbon produces in our industry, who would get billions in compensation while they become more green. Bob Brown says the polluters should have known and acted by now to reduce emissions. The Greens say the Liberal’s plan is even worse because businesses will not go green unless they fear penalties. The Greens want big, binding cuts to emissions and for our country to lead into the future to show the rest of the world how to stop emissions. They say all this fuss about damaging the economy will become a smarter and greener economy meaning more jobs for the future. “Only I can save jobs, the planet and your wallet.” “Momentum for climate action, then a new tax..”
Education Kevin Rudd in his favourite place... As PM...
Education Revolution A huge policy involving the Rudd’s Government’s response to the Global Financial Crisis was to spend $16 billion on building school libraries and other upgrades to school facilities. The money supported construction jobs and those jobs support other jobs and it continues on. The other major benefit is that all schools nation wide have either state of the art brand new or upgraded facilities. Labor also put a policy into motion spending $2 billion to give each student in Australia between year 9 to 11 a laptop. Already more than a quarter of a million laptops have been funded for by the policy bringing students into the future. The Liberal party says the spending spree is further putting our country into debt. “Wasteful, and Julia Gillard is to blame.” “I was responsible for this as education minister.”
MySchool When Julia Gillard was Deputy PM she created the MySchool website to compare the performance of many schools around the nation. People could view a schools academic performance, demographics etc. Labor says parents are better informed and can make informed decisions of where to send their children and see how the school’s their children are currently at are performing. Teachers though bad results would send struggling schools in a negative cycle and previously the teachers unions told teachers around the Australia to boycott and to not administer the NAPLAN tests that would form the basis for how schools would be compared. They did however end up administering the tests. Teachers are also annoyed that Labor will be spending $484m to give principals more say when it comes to hiring and firing teaching staff and spending budgets. The Liberal party says the MySchool website does nothing to improve school our public school standards, and is the governments way of camouflaging its mistakes “Typical Labor: looks like real action, but is really just talk.” “MySchool is a is a powerful tool for parents and teachers.”
Who is the Auditor? The independent auditor this year looked at the governments education revolution releasing a report on it’s findings. The audit found there had been more than $1.5 billion had been spent over budget. The audit also says there was much red tape red tape as schools had to deal with local, state and federal authorities to get the improvements made. There where many positives as the revolution saved many jobs and stimulated the economy, although they couldn’t possibly calculate how many and how much. The audit says that unfortunately inefficiency was unavoidable under the circumstances of an emergency spending response to the Global Financial Crisis and that if it was suspended now, schools would suffer. Although there are valid concerns about waste and mismanagement most lies with state governments (who are all Labor). Julia Gillard said it is only 2% of projects that are having difficulties. Tony Abbot says $8 billion has been thrown away and that he would give principals control of the cash and could spend left over money on whatever facilities they chose.
Health and Mental health Australian of the Year, Professor Patrick McGorry
Mental Health Tony Abbott has announced a policy of $1.5 billion for mental health over the next term. He says it would focus on young Australians who are the most affected by problems mental health underfunding. He also announced another $1 billion for aged care. Most of the $1.5 billion would go towards paying for more care new clinics and early intervention programs. Many have said that the policy would be a huge positive change for the mental health system and will stop the current crisis facing the in mental health system today. Labor says that money needed for other health systems would have to be cut. They say there is no way to pay for it. Labor says it has funded more Doctors, nurses, hotlines and more mental health beds. Since Labor came into power they have been under constant criticism for ignoring mental health. One of the top experts in an Australia resigned from a top government advisory role due to this. Julia Gillard has however promised $277m for mental health services. This includes money for counsellors and added security at suicide hotspots. She says it would be a main issue if she is re-elected as Prime Minister.
Earlier this year, Kevin Rudd said he would take over hospitals from the state governments if they didn’t cut waiting times for beds and unnecessary spending.
Labor’s takeover should start from 2012. Kevin Rudd also planned a national hospitals network which would in turn help local hospital hospitals.
Labor also proposed tougher targets to be met on waiting times and money for GPs to treat patients out of hospital. This means less waiting times and more beds.
People who could no longer afford to wait for a public hospital bed would receive a private hospital bed. Although previously governments rejected the idea, all have agreed with the exception of Western Australia.
Julia Gillard has also promised 3000 more emergency nurses and 27 doctors a year for the next 10 years with $91 million having been set aside. She's also promised about $180 million for early intervention to help children with disabilities and their carers.
Local Control Tony Abbott has released a policy for $3.1 billion. This would give control of hospitals to local boards. It would replace Labor's GP "super clinics" with more GP services. He has also said within 6 months of the election (if he wins), every main public hospital in New South Wales and Queensland would have this put into place. Boards would also include community representatives with business experience, as well as a member of medical staff and the head of nursing. This means hospitals could also raise money for themselves and keep funding. Tony Abbott says GP hotlines are a waste of money and are contributing to our defit. Labor this would be bad for working families at the majority of our children get sick out of hours. They also say if Tony Abbott was really going to make these changes, why didn’t he make them when he was health minister. Abbott has ever come out with the idea to fund GP clinics to expand services and stay open out of hours. “Local control is always better than Canberra control.” “This is not even half a real policy, we demand more detail.”
Work Julia Gillard tears apart Work Choices
What exactly are WorkChoices? Labor and the unions started a massive war against WorkChoices in 2007. It included emotional and scare campaign TV ads . The result was industrial relations was a major factor in bringing down the Howard government. With Labor’s win last election they teared apart the laws. They bought back unfair dismissal protection for staff in small businesses and restored working conditions lost. After Kevin Rudd was ousted by the party, it was Julia Gillard took the credit for destroying WorkChoices. Julia Gillard showed she had got policies through and that people should once again trust Labor to do the right thing. However some of the WorkChoices changes remain in place. The Liberal party was forced to abandon WorkChoices after its contributed to their thrashing at the 2007 election. Tony Abbott has promised not to change Labor's IR laws for at least the first term. Although he later admitted he could not guarantee that he would never bring back any part of WorkChoices. WorkChoices still haunts Tony Abbott as he had previously been said he wanted a return of some of the changes such as those on unfair dismissal. He has said keeping the no-worse-off test for all agreements will protect workers. Julia Gillard says Tony Abbott will bring WorkChoices back, just under a different name.
Super, Super Labor plans to make employers pay you a superannuation contribution of 12 per cent, up from the current 9 per cent. It will start in 2012, and will have been phased in by 2022 Labor also wants to make super simpler, lowering fees by up to 40 per cent,. Labor wanted to drop company tax from 30 per cent to 28 per cent, but as part of Julia Gillard new deal with the miners, company tax would now only drop to 29 per cent. Some businesses are unhappy they've lost out in the talks with the big miners who have the big dollars. Tony Abbott wants company tax rates cut too, although he’d lower the rate to 28.5 per cent it wouldn’t come into place 2013. This means that although Liberal party is normally for small businesses Labor would actually tax lower. Tony Abbott’s policy will cost$2.5 billion over the next term, but he says he can pay for it through cuts in other areas. “Labor is making it up as it goes along.” “Balance for the whole economy.”
Economy Reserve rates up? Or Down?
Great, Big Mining Tax Even though Australia had escaped a recession, there was now a new problem. Debt. So Wayne Swan and Kevin Rudd went and educated themselves. Their plan to get Australia out of deficit was a new tax on mining “super” profits. Unfortunately it was a bad gamble. The government had decided to take on a massive industry. The mining industry said they already paid enough tax and it was mining that saved us from a recession. The miners wanted to know why they had to be punished for what had happened over in America. After Tony Abbott sided with the miners, Labor took a hit in the polls. The result was the Labor party ousted Kevin Rudd. Julia Gillard our new PM managed to cut a deal with the mining industries leaders. The tax became the Mineral Resources Rent Tax. Unluckily for Labor the changes cut $1.5 billion from Labor's budget. The differences are that the tax rate was cut from 40 per cent to 30 per cent and the threshold at which it applies has been doubled. “If I’m elected I’ll axe this tax on day one.” “The mining tax shows I can get things done.”
Interest Rates When the Great Financial Crisis hit panic levels, the Reserve Bank started cutting slashing interest rates. In a short period of time, just 2 months! The Reserve Bank cut them from more than 7 per cent down to 3 per cent. Previously it hadn’t been this low in almost 50 years. The Reserve Bank was even cutting rates by a full 1 percentage point, while it normally cuts it by around 0.25 percentage points. But as our economy slowly comes back, rates will rise. As the situation improves, consumers spend too much and prices go up too fast and the economy overheats. So if you're paying more on your mortgage, you'll have less to spend elsewhere. Although the Government is not responsible for rates, it can still win or lose votes. For example extra cash was given to first home buyers to help them get into market. “Labor’s economic record is making us pay more.” “Interest rates are rising slowly.”
Stimulus In late 2008, the Global Financial Crisis sent everyone at Wall Street into a flap. Could it be the start of another Great Depression? Labor however had a plan. They bought out $42 billion in handouts, including those $900 payments that most of parents used to buy us nice new presents. Labor also spent up on the education revolution. Although we may have been saved from the recession we were sent into a deficit. All the Howards government savings had gone from a $20 billion surplus to more than $50 billion deficit. However our unemployment rate was spared. Australia joins a small handful of nations that did not go into recession or currently have massive unemployment rates, luckily the government gets to take all the credit. In Kevin Rudd’s emotional farewell speech he claimed saving Australia as one of his proudest moments. Tony Abbott has claimed it was all waste. He has promised to cut billions of government spending to get us out of deficit while still ditching the proposed mining tax. “A lot of that cash was wasted.” “Stimulus spending saved your job.”
Children Tony Abbott kisses ANOTHER baby
Baby Bonus Currently under Tony Abbott’s parental leave plan parents will get their current wage for 26 weeks, up to $75,000. Parents can also still claim the baby bonus and have their employer be paid their super. Mother’s can give leave to fathers, but they will still be paid the mothers wage. Labor's scheme is also transferable, but you can only receive it at the minimum wage. Parents also won't get the bonus or family tax benefits. Tony Abbott announced changes including the levy being cut to 1.5 per cent instead of the 1.7 And it won't start until 2012, so until then Labor's plan will have to do. Tony Abbott is quoted as saying a government-funded paid parental leave scheme would only happen “over my dead body”,. He claims he changed his position after hearing from friends how hard they were finding it to make ends meet without one. He has also said his daughters' generation should not have to struggle with work and family choices like their mothers did. “I’ve got the better deal for parents and bosses.” “Just because he's promising it, doesn't mean he'll do it.”
Childcare Labor changed the childcare rebate to be paid every 3 months. This means instead of having to wait until the endof every year, parents of cash on their hands sooner. Payments will be made every 2 weeks and directly to the providers, if parents prefer. Wayne Swan raised the childcare rebate, in 2008 but cut it 2 year later. The rebate was frozen at $7500 for four years. The changes cost many working families about $280 a year. Tony Abbott has pledged to restore indexation of the rebate, costing $89 million otherwise giving about $300 a year more per child to families. While Labor says that will only really help a small number of working families. Last election Labor promised to build 260 more childcare centres, but later got rid of the plan with only about 30 finished. Kevin Rudd said there’s no longer such a demand for places and existing centres can meet the need. Kevin Rudd came under fire from Tony Abbot saying they were just more broken promises. “I can ease childcare costs pressure.” “Labor's helped family finances in other ways.”
The Internet Censordyne – letting the government decide what we do online
Internet Filter The goverment says, there are things on the internet that the government should decide that we are able to see. So it is going to make sure no one can. Labor wants to force internet providers such as Telstra and Optus to block access to a secret list of banned web pages. Labor had said the list would include material such as child pornography and instructions in how to commit crimes. However it later admitted anyone who knew how to use proxy websites could easily get around the block. Labor has currently announced it will be put on hold until 2012, with the likely chance it will never be back in the same form. The Labor party is the only party currently that would back the internet filter so it is unlikely it will get through the Lower house. Joe Hockey has said it was "flawed" policy and that instead the Liberal party will help families block content from their children. The Greens say secret censorship plans are never good and there are better ways to combat the problem. They would combine with the Coalition to vote down the filter in the Senate. “If I’m elected I’ll axe this tax on day one.” “I’m waiting for detail.” “Books and films are banned, so why not the web?”
National Broadband Network Unfortunately our private sector including Telstra and Optus couldn't provide us with superfast broadband unlike most other developed nations, so the government decided to implement it’s own scheme. The national broadband network will see fibre-optic cables laid out to almost every building in the country, giving us internet speeds 100 times faster than what we've got now. During the campaign, Labor announced the network would be expanded to reach 93 per cent of the country - up from the original 90 per cent. Labor said that would mean an extra 300,000 homes and businesses. But it comes with a price tag. A $43 billion price tag. Labor says the NBN will pay for itself many times over. It will also help to make the communications sector more competitive by breaking Telstra's monopoly on infrastructure. Telstra's participation in the network will make it cheaper if their recent truce with Labor holds. The Coalition says it's irresponsible to spend so much of our money and there are other ways to get faster broadband. An announcement on policy details is promised in the "not too distant future".
Leadership And introducing Bob Brown!
Julia Gillard Julia Gillard ousted Kevin Rudd to take over as Prime Minister. Now she has to fight to win an election in her own right. Her first act as PM was a deal on the mining tax, but her plan for asylum seekers has been viewed as unfair. Her plan for a Citizens' Assembly on climate policy was broadly ridiculed. References to her red hair, marital status and atheism are common.
Tony Abbott The Liberal party was a hideous mess before Tony Abbott took over from Malcolm Turnbull over the party's stance on the environment. . Tony Abbott painted himself as an direction action man and fitness mad man when he thought he’d be facing Kevin Rudd, with his infamous budgie smugglers. Tony Abbott said he had to "save Australia from the worst government in its history".
Bob Brown The Greens, and leader Bob Brown, rose in popularity when former PM Kevin Rudd announced Labor's plan to fight climate change had been shelved for years. It could also pick up support from voters who dislike the big parties' stand on asylum seekers. The party looks set in most polls to hold the balance of power in the Senate after the election. And it might even manage to win a lower house seat as well.