Bill's Speeches

ADDRESS TO ALP CAMPAIGN LAUNCH - BRISBANE - SUNDAY, 5 MAY 2019

ADDRESS TO ALP CAMPAIGN LAUNCH

BRISBANE

SUNDAY, 5 MAY 2019

My fellow Australians.
 
At this election you have the power to change our country for the better.
 
You have the opportunity to take Australia into a new decade; with new vision, with new purpose and with a new Labor Government.

I make this promise to my fellow Australians that if you vote Labor, we will put the fair go into action:

  • A pay-rise for wage earners
  • Help with the cost of living for families, including cheaper childcare
  • And at long last, dental care for pensioners, covered by our Medicare.

If you vote Labor, we will deliver a better deal for the next generation – real investments in education and real action on climate change.
 
If you vote Labor, you can end the chaos in Canberra - by electing a strong, stable and united team focused on serving the people of Australia.
 
The choice for you, the choice for our country, is clear.
 
It can be more of the same - or a change for the better.
 
Division and drift - or unity and purpose.
 
More cuts to health and education - or better schools and hospitals.
 
Rising cost of living and stagnant wages - or a better deal for working families.
 
The choice is clear. You can have cowardice and chaos on climate change - or courage and action.
 
This is the choice for every citizen of our great nation:
 
Three more years of smug, smirking, unfair complacency under the conservatives…
 
…or a bolder, better and more equal future for Australia under a new Labor Government.
 
Now, friends, before I go any further, I’d just like to thank my darling wife Chloe. I love you.
 
And I am sure that everyone here and across Australia can understand why I am happy to be known as Chloe Shorten’s husband.
 
Thank you, Annastacia for making us welcome and thank you for so many state and territory Labor leaders for joining us today.
 
And to Tanya and Penny, thank you for your friendship, for your counsel, for your strength - thank you for being a constant reminder of the difference it makes when a political party has real commitment to equality for women.
 
And I count myself so fortunate to sit in a Shadow Cabinet with the people on this stage: smart, dedicated, passionate and they have a vision for doing the big things for Australia, thank you very much.
 
Every leader needs a good team – but I’ve got the best one on offer at this election. 
 
I acknowledge also the traditional owners of this land. I pay my respects to elders past, present and emerging.
 
And I pledge that our Labor Government will match these words of respect with action.
 
Earlier today, our Senator Patrick Dodson, the father of Reconciliation - the man I hope will be the next Minister for Indigenous Affairs - launched Labor’s First Nations Policy.
 
Real justice.
 
Good jobs and stronger families.
 
Healthier communities and better housing
 
And a Voice enshrined on our nation’s birth certificate, the Constitution.
 
And friends...
 
On behalf of every true believer, I acknowledge the great P.J. Keating.
 
Now Paul, you might not be aware of this, but a few months ago Peter Dutton said that the big problem with Chris Bowen and with Labor is that we want to deliver “Paul Keating’s unfinished business”.
 
Now he meant it as an insult...
 
We cannot imagine a greater compliment in Labor.
 
Paul, you are a wonderful source of advice to me and my colleagues, a source of great inspiration to every Labor person. I thank you.
 
And of course in my very first week that I served in the Australian parliament, I and all of us had the privilege of hearing Prime Minister Rudd deliver the National Apology to the Stolen Generations.
 
Kevin... that act of leadership, that act of decency, that act of healing wasn’t just a great Labor achievement, it was a great national moment.
 
It proved and you proved that government at its best can speak to the better angels of the Australian nature. Thank you very much, we will never forget it.
 
Now friends, I am a Collingwood supporter, so I’ve been to some pretty big games.
 
But I reckon, I do reckon that the loudest roar that I’ve ever heard in my life, was in the Great Hall of the Australian Parliament last year, when thousands of survivors of child abuse cheered the Labor Prime Minister who called that important Royal Commission: Julia Gillard.
 
Julia, you had the humility to listen, the courage to act, and because of you, justice is no longer denied to thousands of our fellow Australians.
 
And today I am proud to announce that we will double the number of caseworkers working in the National Redress Agency to speed up the processing and delivery of long overdue compensation.
 
Everyone in the Labor family would like to leave a legacy; your legacy is one which is truly splendid.
 
And finally, I’d like to address a bloke who cannot be here today, but I know that he and Blanche are watching on television, the one and only Bob Hawke.
 
Bob, we love you, and in the next 13 days, we’re going to do this for you. Thank you Bob.
 
Friends, today we sharpen the argument.
 
Today we make the choice clear.
 
Today I present the case for change.
Our great country needs real change - because more of the same is simply not good enough for Australians.
 
And nowhere is this more clear or more urgent, than the economy.
 
Our economy is not working in the interests of working people.
 
After six years of Liberal-National cuts and trickle-down economics:

  • Wages growth is at record lows.
  • One million of our fellow Australians want more hours of work but cannot find them.
  • One million of our fellow Australians are doing two jobs at least, just to make ends meet.
  • And our economy is running on empty... the fumes of zero per cent inflation last quarter.

But none of this is by accident.
 
The Minister for Finance said so himself: low wages are a ‘deliberate feature’ he said, of the Liberals’ economic plan.
 
The Liberals are the architects of low wages growth - and they’re proud of it. And after six years, these are the consequences:

  • People with less job security
  • People with less money to spend
  • People paying more for everything
  • Living standards flatlining.

And we all know what’s coming next, if the Liberals and Nationals get another three years.
 
They want to give $77 billion dollars - the number the Prime Minister refuses to say out aloud - they want to give $77 billion dollars of taxpayer money, to the highest tier of income earners in this country.
 
And you just know - in your bones - that if the Liberals get back in, the Prime Minister’s personal passion project, his $80 billion giveaway to big banks and big business, will be back on the table.
 
Now I do not know the details of any secret deal that my opponent has done with Clive Palmer to lock-in his preferences…
But I tell you what, no-one gets something for nothing from Clive Palmer - and I bet that big tax giveaways for big business will be right in the mix. 
 
And, friends, here’s the thing - whether you give $77 billion to the richest Australians or whether you give $80 billion to the biggest companies, this money has to come from somewhere and from someone else.
 
If you take out these tens of billions of dollars, it means more cuts to schools. more cuts to hospitals.
 
And - as we’ve already seen in the most recent budget - it means cuts to the National Disability Insurance Scheme.
 
Now my opponent keeps saying this is no time to turn back. I say that this is not the way forward for Australia.
 
If you want to stop the next round of cuts to your school and your hospital and your community, then on May 18, vote Labor.
 
Now if we win this election, our priority is not making the very rich even richer… it is getting wages moving again for working people.
 
Starting with laws to restore Sunday penalty rates in our first 100 days. 
 
A new push for equal pay for women. 
 
A better deal for casuals. 
 
Cracking down on the abuse of 457-style visas.
 
Cleaning up labour hire. 
 
And, for the lowest-paid Australians, converting the minimum wage into a living wage, because no Australian adult who works full time should be trapped in poverty.
 
Labor rejects an American-style wages system, where working people have to rely on tips just to make ends meet. 
 
Now of course we will consult, we will work with the independent umpire, we will respect the capacity of business and the economy to pay. 
 
But I know I can deliver a better deal for working people through negotiation and co-operation - I know, because I have been doing it for 30 years.
I know, you know, and we know, that this country works best when we work together, when we strive for a win-win outcome. 
 
Indeed, for business, that’s what Labor’s Australian Investment Guarantee is all about. 
 
New analysis out today shows that our extra 20 per cent tax deduction for employers who invest more than $20,000 in new machinery and greater productivity and better equipment…
 
This tax deduction for business, this reward for businesses to invest, will create up to 77,000 new jobs.
 
And--win-win--deliver an increase in average wages by up to $1500.
 
That's what I am talking about. 
 
A win for business, a win for workers, and a win for the economy as a whole, because more money in the pockets of wage-earners, means more trade for shops in the high street and more confidence across the board. That is what we call a win-win, good for business, good for workers, and good for Australia.  
 
Friends, today as we make the case for change I am proud to put youth unemployment on this election agenda.
 
Because young people, youth unemployment is more than double the national average - it is much higher in many communities. 
 
And what a waste. 
 
What a waste of hope and human potential and alongside youth unemployment, I want to put age discrimination on the national political agenda, we want to stand up for older unemployed workers. 
 
There is a battle that nearly 100,000 older Australians face, when they are in longer periods of unemployment, when they are looking for work. 
 
A battle which some older Australians have just surrendered in, been forced to give up.
 
You know who I am talking about. 
 
The older workers who have copped the rough end of economic change and cannot get themselves back in the game.
Not for lack of effort, but the lack of a chance. I see it at every one of the town hall meetings I have been at. 
 
There is always very well-dressed, quiet, older people, often clutching, in a plastic sleeve, their CV.
 
They do not speak up in the middle of a meeting, they come up to me at the end of the meeting. 
 
You can see it in their eyes -There is a sting of rejection. There is a sense of injustice.
 
This recurring question: why won’t someone give them a chance? 
 
How did Australia come to be a country where once you are 55 and 60, you are just wiped? 
 
Why is this disinterested job service providers simply shuffling them off to one unsuitable interview after another? 
 
This is Labor.
 
We believe that young or old, city or bush, every Australian regardless of their age, regardless of their post code, has the right to the dignity of work. 
 
That is why today I am proud to announce that Labor will create a New Jobs Tax Cut.
 
We’re going to make it easier for small businesses to create new jobs for people who have been looking for work for more than three months. 
 
Companies with a turnover of under $10 million dollars, who take on a new person under the age of 25, or over the age of 55, or a parent or carer just trying to get their foot back into workplace. 
 
Under a Labor government, small businesses up to $10 million dollars, will be able to claim an additional 30 per cent tax deduction on the salary, for up to five employees.
 
We are going to keep faith. 
 
Our New Jobs Tax Cut is an investment in the potential of our young. It is an investment in the experience of older Australians. It is an investment in participation for parents and carers.
 
I will keep the promise I have given to 80 town hall meetings to those older workers, to the young people in rural Australia, Labor has got your back.
 
This is a fair go economics at its very finest. 
 
When Labor understands that when we extend opportunity to any Australian, the benefits are shared by every Australian. 
 
So whether it’s secure jobs or decent wages, if you want a better deal at work:
 
Do not vote for more of the same.
 
Do not vote for a Prime Minister who voted eight times to cut your penalty rates. 
 
Vote instead for the Labor party that’s spent 125 years championing fair pay for working people in this country. 
 
And if youth unemployment or discrimination against older Australians means something to you, or has touched someone in your world…
 
Then vote for the only party with a plan to help. 
 
And if you’re sick of the uncertainty of living shift-to-shift, payday to payday, waiting for a text message each night to see if you’re working the next morning. 
 
If you want more security than that, more dignity than that, more respect than that, more opportunity than that - vote Labor on May 18.
 
Changing Australia for the better means helping families with their cost of living.
 
Private health insurance is becoming a luxury - so we’re going to cap premium increases at no greater than 2 per cent for each of our first two years, while we make the system fairer. 
 
Electricity bills, well they are out of control - so we’re going to fill the void and the thirteen energy policies of failure of this government and we are going to get more renewables into the mix, to get prices down. 
 
And for so many families, paying child care is now a full-time job.
 
If we want to be a fair and productive and modern nation, then we can’t continue with this ridiculous situation where women in particular, are spending their whole salary on the very child care that enables them to go to work. 
Our plan will deliver better subsidies and cheaper childcare for every family who earns under $174,000.
 
A million families - a million families. 
 
Families who earn more than that, they will not be worse off. 
 
Nearly 1 million families will be up to $2,100 better off per year, per child. 
 
And if your household income is under $70,000 your child care will be as good as free. 
 
We will make child care cheaper for families but we are also going to deliver an overdue professional pay rise for our early childhood educators. 
 
We are not going to leave it to the invisible hand of the market, or pass the cost on to parents. 
 
It is time our country gave more respect and fair reward, to those early educators, to whom entrust out children to give them the best start in life. 
 
And what we are going to make sure is that any opportunistic providers who try and raise their fees on the back of this good news. 
 
Well, we have got some advice for them: a Labor Government will look at every option to keep the costs of child care rises down - including price control. 
 
So the choice for working families is crystal clear: if you want cheaper child care, if you want real help with your cost of living -
 
vote for a Labor Government on May 18th. 
 
Friends... Our opponents want to enter Australians in a race to the bottom in pay and conditions. But many of us know that there is nothing for our country on the low road of low-skilled work for low wages. 
 
There is no dignity or hope or security for our people down that path and there is no marvellous economic opportunity either. 
 
There will always be countries with bigger populations, prepared to pay people less to make stuff cheaply. 
 
We cannot win that race nor should we be in it. 
 
The future I see for Australia is the high road: high-skill jobs, high productivity, 
growing the economy by investing in people and building our nation.
 
Here are some numbers to think about: 
 
150,000 apprenticeships and training places have been lost under the Liberals in the last six years. We are going to bring them back for Australians of all ages.
 
We are going to have new carers for the National Disability Insurance Scheme, new knowledge for the digital economy and new skilled workers in the clean energy technology industries of the future.
 
Our exciting plan for 50 per cent renewables means less pollution and lower power prices but will also bring tens of thousands of high-quality new jobs here to Australia.
 
We are going to build new infrastructure from:

  • The beef roads of Western Queensland, to
  • The Cross-River Rail in Brisbane, to
  • Basslink Two in Tassie
  • Metronet in Perth
  • The Melbourne Metro
  • The South Road in South Australia
  • Upgrading the Bruce and the M1 and the Ipswich motorway, and
  • The tourism road in Kakadu.

So many more projects and tens of thousands of new, affordable social houses for our people.
 
We are going to invest in new industries: hydrogen in Gladstone, battery manufacturing across the nation, ship building for our defence and merchant marine.
 
We will back things that Australia does best in the world - from farming and mining to advanced manufacturing, science and tourism.
 
And we will deliver strong budget surpluses to pay down the debt that these delinquent Liberals have doubled since they have been in office.
 
We can achieve this plan for growth, this investment in people and infrastructure because we’ve made the responsible reform decisions for the long term.
 
We will end the intergenerational unfairness in our tax system that puts property investors ahead of first home buyers.
 
We are not going to keep sending tax cheques worth $6 billion a year to people who are not paying income tax.
 
And the days of Australia being treated as a doormat by tax-avoiding multinationals ends on May 18 if we are elected.
 
Today, I announce a new reform that will prevent big corporations using dodgy royalties to avoid paying tax in Australia, returning over $2 billion to the bottom line of the Australian balance sheet.
 
Our economic plan is not about hand-outs for the top end and everyone else going back.
 
Our plan is about building and growing and diversifying the economy from the ground up, from to the regions to the cities, making it work in the interests of everyone.
 
And, of course, for any Labor Government our vision always begins with education.
 
The world and the region that we live in is changing more rapidly than any time in human history. So much is different, so much is uncertain, but one truth is guaranteed.
 
The best investment that we can make is in the potential of individuals. And the future of our economy is education.
 
Now, my Mum was teacher. She was raised in a Labor house, she knew the Whitlam words.
 
"Liberate the talents" and "uplift the horizons" of the Australian people.
 
That is what education does: "Liberate the talents" and "uplift the horizons" of the Australian people.
 
And this great national mission begins in the early years. 90 per cent of a child’s brain develops by the age of five. Every expert, every smart country, every parent knows this.
 
This is why, for 15 hours a week, 40 weeks a year, a Labor Government will deliver universal pre-school and kindergarten for every three year old and every four year old in Australia.
 
Imagine. Imagine the benefit. Every three year old, every four year old: the best start in life for the next generation.
 
That is what makes every parent get up in the morning and work as hard as they do and every government should work as hard as every parent to develop the best for their children. That is why we will put back every single one of the $14 billion dollars that the Liberals have cut from our Australian public schools.
 
We know individual attention from great teachers is not a luxury, it is a necessity.
 
Proper help for kids with special needs, it is a national responsibility, not to be left to parents to feel isolated and just to get attention for the child they love.
 
We know that languages and art and drama, music and sport and camps should not depend upon the personal generosity or the fundraising ability of parents and teachers and cake stalls. A cake stall is not an education strategy. Putting $14 billion back, my word, that is a plan for education.
 
We are going to put free back into free education in this country.
 
And when you think about the importance of change in education and proper funding, it is not only important, my word it’s urgent.
 
Nine out of ten new jobs created in the next five years will require either a university degree or a TAFE qualification.
 
So, instead of pushing up the price of degrees, Labor will uncap places and open the doors of university to another 200,000 more Australians from the bush, the suburbs and the working-class families.
 
And I say to those working in our great public TAFE system, help is on the way on May 18, after years of cuts, years of neglect, we are going to rebuild public TAFE in every sense of the word.
 
$200 million to upgrade the TAFEs and 100,000 places where we pay the upfront fees.
 
TAFE is in our Labor DNA, and it is at the heart of our plans for Australia’s future. I want your kids to be able to get an apprenticeship and if you want to retrain, I want you to get that chance at a public TAFE.
 
This is the compelling case for change on May 18th.  If you want opportunities instead of cuts, if you want investment instead of neglect, if you want an education system that liberates the talents of every Australian and uplifts our horizons, there is a very straightforward way you can make this happen: vote Labor on May 18.
 
Friends, I think it is fair to say sometimes that we can overcomplicate politics because in the end what matters most to Australian families is straightforward.
 
If your family’s okay and your health’s okay, then everything else flows from that.
 
But if that is in jeopardy, everything else is difficult. So, when you look at this election, one of the biggest differences and the sharpest contrasts is in health, is in hospitals, is in Medicare.
 
Anyone who’s rushed their child to hospital in the middle of the night knows Australia has some of the best healthcare workers in the world.
 
But years of Liberal cuts, not keeping their promises, forcing public hospitals to do more and more with less and less, they take their toll.
 
Put bluntly our Emergency Departments, despite the best efforts of the staff, are over-crowded and under-funded. They are not as safe as they should be.
 
One in three patients with an urgent condition doesn’t get seen within the recommended time.
 
Now, there is no complicated problem here, it is a simple question of dollars and resources.
 
The Federal Government has cut the money to the states and is starving the system of resources.
 
So, today I announce, as part of our $2.8 billion Better Hospitals Fund, that we will put in $500 million to upgrade Emergency Departments and to bring down waiting times, right across Australia.
 
Now, when we talk of medical emergencies, we think of the wailing sirens and urgent operations. 
 
But there is also a medical emergency, an epidemic, tearing through suburbs and the bush.
 
It’s parents giving eulogies for their children.
 
It’s young schoolmates going to the funerals of their friends who they had no idea that they were doing it tough.
 
It’s communities hollowed out by grief.
 
Now, we’ve made progress in shrugging off the stigma of mental health in this community but the system is still too fragmented, it is still too hard to access, too many young people are still falling through the cracks.
 
Australia has to change this.
 
So, to start our investment in the next wave of mental health support, and I acknowledge the presence of Australian of the Year, Professor Pat McGorry here, Labor will put in $197 million to trial four new Headspace Plus centres, meaning more resources and more community-based health care for young people in Brisbane and Sydney and Melbourne and Tassie and as those trials work we will roll them out further.
 
Now, if you managed to watch the Sky debate the other, on Friday night, there was, one lady asked a question there, she was asking about the need of diversity for service providers. I told her I was listening to her then, and can I just say to her now, I get it. Labor gets it.
 
She asked about Kids Helpline. As a first step, we will invest $6 million in Kids Helpline to ensure young people can call a counsellor for help - 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
 
Now all of us who have participated in elections often hear from the pensioners - the mighty army of 2.6 million age pensioners, the people on the Commonwealth Health Seniors’ Card- and they sometimes feel forgotten.
 
As their fixed income is being undermined by the cost of health care going up and up, quite often when the ads stop rolling and the polls close, it’s the pensioners of Australia who are left asking “what about us?”
 
Well not this time, friends. This time Labor hears you loud and clearly. This time we are offering a generational change in Medicare, for the pensioners.
 
We are going to provide, we are going to make sure that three million Australian pensioners and seniors can get overdue help looking after their teeth, for the rest of their life. Pensioner dental.
 
No more waiting in queues, no more putting off your teeth health because you can’t afford it, the help you need, when you need it.
 
The legendary Bill Hayden is here today, a founding father of universal healthcare in our country. He knows better than anyone - it was the current generation of pensioners who were the workers of Australia 35 years ago who gave up wage-rises to help create Medicare.
 
So this dental care for pensioners, the next step, because of the reforms we are making, is a small way of repaying the great debt we owe that proud generation who gave us Medicare to begin with.
 
And - friends - no matter where you live, no matter what you earn, we are going to make sure Medicare is there for you when you most need it.
 
It is a shocking statistic that 1 in 2 Australians will be diagnosed with cancer across their lifetime. The odds are that if it is not us, it is someone we love.
 
And the more shocking number is that the most reliable predictor of whether or not you will die from cancer is not actually your general health. It is not even your family history. It is your income.
 
Now we have a special guest here. Kristen Larsen is here, she is a star. Diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer at 21. She has been battling it for six years, with the help of her fabulous sister and family, and helping others along the way. She knows the financial burden of cancer treatment.
 
In those oncology day wards you get to talk to a lot of people, and she knows people who have not been able to afford to pay for treatment.
 
Kristen summed it up for me, at the day oncology ward at the Royal Brisbane Hospital. She said: “When you’re fighting for your life, money is the last thing you should have to worry about.” Kristen, you being here reminds me of what is important. You remind all of us what is at stake, why we do this, why we seek office. You and your fight and your family matters to us.
 
Every one of 145,000 people diagnosed with cancer this year matters to us.
 
Every one of nearly half a million people having treatment for cancer matters to Labor.
 
So if we form a government on May the 18th, we will make sure there is an additional six million cancer scans and tests and three million more appointments with specialists and oncologists all covered by Medicare.
 
Cancer makes you sick - but in a rich country like ours - it should not make you poor.
 
And that’s what we’re going to change in this country on May the 18th.
 
Now, I know that politics is a contested business, I understand neither side wants to give the other an inch at election time. But I was a bit surprised and disappointed even by this government’s standards that when I announced our Cancer Plan, I deliberately left the door open for bipartisan support.
 
The Prime Minister didn’t even pretend to give it 10 minutes thought, before he sneered that on one hand it was not necessary because the treatments people need were already free and on the other hand, he argued our plan would cost more than we said.
 
This is what is sick about the political debate in Australia, this is what is broken inside the government.
 
Whenever this current, business-as-usual, threadbare policy mob are confronted with a new idea, a good policy, a clear plan…they always look for an excuse to say: No.
 
How often throughout this campaign have you heard the Liberals and Nationals say about Labor’s plans, our initiatives for everyday Australians, they say “Australia can’t afford that”.
 
They say it while they give multinationals a free ride.
 
They say that while they subsidise property investors to make a loss on their sixth house.
 
They say that while they send tax refund cheques to people who did not pay income tax..
 
And they say it while working behind the scenes to spend tens of billions of dollars on tax cuts for the top end of town.
 
You can only not afford a plan to help people with cancer treatment if you are spending it on other matters.
 
This election is about choices. So please before you vote, understand this: every time you hear the Liberals say “Australia cannot afford it” what they really mean is “you don’t deserve it”.
 
They say Australia cannot afford it, they mean you do not deserve it.
 
By contrast, my goodness I am proud to lead a team that believes Australians deserve the best: the best in everything from defence and national security, to our social safety net.
 
And when it comes to health, if you want shorter waiting times in emergency and for surgery, more hospital beds and more nurses, dental for pensioners and new help in the fight against cancer.
 
If these things make sense to you, if they matter more to you than protecting loopholes for the rich, and taxpayer-funded welfare for the wealthy, if you think that your family’s health is more important than a multinational company’s tax avoidance strategies, then your decision on May 18 is very easy indeed: vote for a Labor Government to put the health of Australians ahead of the tax rorts at the top end of town.
 
Let me cast your mind back to the 2016 election.
 
Malcolm Turnbull- a name you will only hear at a Labor event- promised the country ‘stable government’ - but he was taken hostage by the right wing of the party, his party.
 
At this election, Scott Morrison cannot promise you stable government - because he’s already taken himself hostage by Pauline Hanson and Clive Palmer. And three more years of this Coalition of Chaos would mean more years of delay and denial on climate change.
 
At Friday night’s debate, the other fellow, having spent his every day in the job arguing that pollution was going down, the Prime Minister was finally forced to admit that under the Liberals pollution is going up.
 
And yet he still has no plan to do anything about it.
 
A decade of broken politics proves that half the Liberal and National Party simply don’t believe climate change is real…and the other half just don’t care when push comes to shove.
 
I don’t know which is worse - but I do know Australia deserves better.
 
In the next 13 days, our opponents and their vested interests will throw everything at us on this issue, find every excuse not to act on climate change.
 
But I promise Australians, and I promise all of those Australians who want action on climate change, and I promise the young people in particular, all Australians: Labor will stand its ground.
No retreat on real action on climate change. We will stand our ground. We will fight hard, we will defy the pseudo-science and the scare campaigns.
 
If we have the privilege to serve as the next government of Australia, I will not bring lumps of coal to parliament for a laugh, while temperatures soar, bushfires rage and flood and drought batter our land.
 
We will not tell our children that the politics was too difficult or the future was too hard. We will not say that we knew what needed to be done but we lacked the courage and the conviction to do it.
 
We will build a renewable energy future for this country.
 
We will cut pollution, we will help industry modernise, we will empower our farmers, we will rescue our rivers, we will save the Reef and protect our precious environment.
 
We will not run nor hide from the problem - we will get on and do something about it.
 
And on this issue - perhaps above all others - the contrast and the case for change is night-and-day, black-and-white. If you want to see real action on climate change, you need to vote for a Labor Government.
 
Friends in our time in Opposition, we have united around a bold and comprehensive vision for the nation.
 
And our case for change rests on the great things we are determined to do and achieve for our country’s future.
 
Everything from equality for women, to getting the NDIS back on track - our agenda is ambitious.
 
It aims high. It aims as high as the people of Australia aim high for themselves.
 
We are choosing hope over fear.
 
We are choosing the future over the past.
 
We are choosing a real plan over petulant name-calling and empty scare campaigns because we won’t accept second-best for Australia.
 
We will not impose second-rate options on this nation.
 
We do not want second prize for the Australian people.
 
And in the 13 days remaining the choice for our country and our message to the people is as vital and simple as this: if you want better hospitals and schools, not more cuts - vote Labor.
 
If you want unity and stability, not three more years of chaos - vote Labor.
 
If you want to tackle the cost of living and get wages moving, not more tax loopholes for the well-off and the wealthy - vote Labor.
 
If you want real action on climate change, not more chaos and denial - vote Labor.
 
So today this is our case for change.
 
We say proudly to all Australians: end the chaos.
 
Vote Labor.
 
Vote for real change.
 
Vote Labor.
 
Vote for your family’s interests.
 
Vote Labor.
 
Vote for your future.
 
Vote Labor.
 
For a Fair Go for all Australians, wherever they live or however much they have: vote Labor.
 
Thank you very much.
 
ENDS


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