Inequality in Australia is worsening and I am passionate about halting this trend. Every one of us deserves the opportunity to meet our potential and contribute to our community. Removing barriers to participation is essential if we are to build a just society.
My analysis for what it's worth would be this. That the real problem for the Liberals at the moment is a total division about who they are and what they stand for. This is a deep ideological division. We see it every day in our Chamber. We see it in the public reporting of comments from people like Kelly O'Dwyer where she's concerned obviously that the Liberals are perceived as a party of homophobes, climate deniers, people who don't understand or promote women.
Well through the evidence that’s been presented to us it has become very clear that in the current form the bill is not able to be supported. Now that’s not unusual we’ve had plenty of pieces of legislation where people have presented problems to us and we have been able to work through those in a bipartisan way through the committee process. That was so under Mr Abbott when he was Prime Minister and it was so under Mr Turnbull, but under Mr Morrison the approach is very different and whilst we did think we were making progress within the committee it’s just today the Government has indicated they are just not willing to keep working through the process.
I wanted to make a few remarks about Mr Fletcher and his administration of the Department of Social Services Grants. The Minister has completely bungled this process and it is becoming clearer every day that he is entirely out of his depth. Yesterday, he confirmed a fifth backflip in just a fortnight.
The Government has backflipped on yet another of its decisions in the rollout of Financial Capability and Wellbeing grants. Reports yesterday that Minister Fletcher has further extended existing Financial Counselling grants from three to twelve months to organisations who recently had their funding cut add to a fortnight of chaos. In an incredible display – the Minister has backflipped on his own backflip after realising that his initial extension was rebuked by the sector.
I am glad to have the opportunity to speak with you in my relatively new capacity as Shadow Assistant Minister for Families and Communities. That is a lot of words, but amongst other things it means I’m responsible on the Labor side for thinking about the work done by the part of the community sector that are funded by the Department of Social Services.
The Government has bungled the rollout of yet another of its Financial Capability and Wellbeing grant decisions. Reports today that Minister Fletcher has extended existing Financial Counselling grants for an additional three months to organisations who recently had their funding cut add to a week of chaos. This time, Mr Fletcher had no intention of announcing this to the public and instead tried to hide it on the DSS website in the dead of night.
The Government has back flipped on yet another of its Financial Capability and Wellbeing grant decisions. The announcement today to extend funding to emergency relief services is further indication that the Minister has bungled the roll out of community services grants. Mr Fletcher is clearly out of his depth and has spent the last seven days plugging holes of his own making.
The Government has back flipped on another of its uncaring and illogical funding decisions. Reports of the Government’s backflip on National Debt Helpline funding have exposed its chaotic management of social services. The National Debt Helpline provides free financial counselling to Australians who are facing financial hardship. This is a vital service particularly at a time where trust in financial institutions is so low.
After decades of enforced silence, business in our parliament was suspended last month to publicly acknowledge and apologise for the pain that was caused by institutional child sexual abuse.
The Senate has passed a private senator’s bill that requires the Productivity Commission to consider inequality in its work. Introduced by Senator Jenny McAllister, the bill directs the Productivity Commission to regularly report on how we are tracking as a nation in improving equality and social mobility.