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.
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.
A Shorten Labor Government will reverse Scott Morrison’s $323,000 cut to Foodbank. Foodbank is a food relief organisation that puts food on the table for hundreds of thousands of Australians in need – many of them children.
I wanted to make a few remarks about Foodbank, because just last week the CEO of Foodbank got a call informing her that her organisation would have its funding almost halved. $320,000 taken away from this organisation. Now, this is an organisation that every month provides food to more than 700,000 Australians and in the lead up to Christmas, just six weeks before the funding cut is supposed to be enacted, the Government is taking money away.
Grants processes are chaotic under the Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison Government. Delay in grant announcements for emergency relief services are leaving community organisations with unanswered questions over funding leading into the critical Christmas - New Year period.
Labor has moved to establish a Senate Inquiry to examine financial services that were excluded from the terms of reference of the Financial Services Royal Commission.
Labor is committed to tackling child poverty and putting Australia’s children first. A new report shows that 1 in 6 children are living in poverty, reinforcing the need for a concerted, sustained effort to tackle this issue.