Canberra was buzzing with activity during the last sitting fortnight. Just when we thought the chaos of the Government had reached its heights, the Prime Minister sought to double down in the lead up to the Wentworth by-election. From gaffes to developing foreign policy on the run – the Coalition proved they aren’t up to the task of governing. The people of Wentworth agreed and sent the Government into minority. Meanwhile, in the senate we were quizzing the Government in Budget Estimates. It has been a busy couple of weeks - here are the highlights.
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.
I really think that their big problem on the Liberal side is that they've got a bunch of policies that nobody likes. They've got a legacy of cutting services that people really care about like health and education over their last five years.
Labor is saddened by the most recent comments by the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits commissioner Gary Johns. The revelations have come last night in evidence before Senate Estimates where the Commissioner publicly confirmed he still holds troubling views about charities, welfare recipients and indigenous mothers.
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.
t’s an honour to be appointed as the Shadow Assistant Minister for Families and Communities. I am excited to be taking up Labor’s fight in this portfolio with my friend and colleague Linda Burney. I thank Bill Shorten for this opportunity.