Straight from the Senate - Issue 39

4.37pm | July 06, 2018



1. Last weekend I moved at the NSW Labor annual conference that the next Labor Government take concrete and specific actions to improve women’s economic security in retirement, including paying super on parental leave and investigating options to ‘top up’ low balance accounts. The superannuation system must work for both men and women. 

2. This week I met with Grandmothers against Detention of Refugee Children. The Coalition Government has shown no interest in finding resettlement options for children in detention. A Labor Government will work to improve the lives of those seeking refuge and asylum. We’ll end the secrecy on Manus and Nauru, double Australia’s annual refugee intake to 27,000 by 2025, create an independent children's advocate for children whose claims are being assessed, work to safely resettle refugees, and provide financial support to the UNHCR. You can read more about our policies here:



On 1 July the Coalition slashed the penalty rates of 700,000 Australian workers. Labor wholeheartedly opposes these cuts. Those that work unsociable hours give up valuable time with their friends and families and deserve to be remunerated accordingly. A Labor Government will reverse cuts to penalty rates.   


The Senate review I chaired into digital delivery of Government services delivered its report last week.

The inquiry looked into many recent failures of the Government including the 2016 Census, the ATO website crashes, delayed upgrades for the Child Support Agency, the abandonment of online NAPLAN examinations and the abandonment of the $20 million IT system to manage apprentices. The report makes eight key recommendations, setting out the challenges and the priority areas for renewal.

Digital technology offers us a unique chance to renew the public sector, building on a long tradition of thoughtful, world leading policy interventions in the Australian Public Service. However, it will take leadership, creativity and a commitment to public sector excellence – all of which have been lacking in the Turnbull government.

In Labor,

Jenny McAllister

Authorised by Senator Jenny McAllister, Australian Labor Party, Canberra.