Monday, 22 May 2023
Private Members' Business
That this House:
(1) notes that Sunday, 21 May 2023 marks 12 months since the election of the current Government;
(2) acknowledges that after a decade of mismanagement, chaos and neglect by the former Government, this Government is delivering on its election promises and continues to deliver and build on our plan for a better future;
(3) further acknowledges that this Government's second budget handed down during the last sitting week:
(a) provides responsible cost of living relief;
(b) creates more opportunities for Australians; and
(c) builds a more secure economy into the future; and
(4) further notes that this Government is delivering on our plan for a better future in the face of relentless negative opposition from the Liberal-National coalition.
Today I acknowledge the first anniversary of the election of the Albanese Labor government. We've spent the first 12 months of this government cleaning up the mess we inherited and working hard to deliver stronger foundations for a better future for all Australians. Twelve months ago Australia turned away from the coalition's mess and mismanagement and instead chose a government with a positive plan to grow the economy, create new jobs, boost renewable energy and invest in skills and training. It was also on this day that I was elected to represent my local community as the member for Cunningham. Every day since I have been proud to be a member of this Labor government, which governs for all Australians, not just its mates.
There is much more to do. Australia faces many challenges, and our government has been upfront in discussing those with the public. Meanwhile the government has used its first year to address many of these challenges by—and this is a very long list—reviving Medicare and making medicines cheaper; making child care more affordable; acting to reduce carbon emissions and make energy cheaper; driving the transformation to renewable power; funding 20,000 new university places, as well as 180,000 fee-free TAFE places; having a 15 per cent pay rise for workers in the aged-care sector; establishing the $15 billion National Reconstruction Fund to ensure that Australia is a country that makes things; taking the sting out of energy prices and ensuring bill relief of up to $500 for eligible families and $650 for small businesses; supporting an increase in the minimum wage; allocating over $16 billion in renewable energy infrastructure through Rewiring the Nation; investing $200 million in 400 community batteries across the country, including in Warrawong in my electorate; strengthening our international relationships; and restoring the federal budget. Each of those initiatives points to a better future for Australia, and all were needed after nearly 10 lost years of coalition government.
Our Illawarra community and economy will benefit from our government's initiatives. Of particular importance to me is the way in which the Illawarra will benefit from the Albanese government's determination to rebuild and grow Australia's manufacturing base. Alongside growing sectors of our local economy, such as services, education, tourism and renewables, our manufacturers have a strong future. That future is based on recognised strengths in steel, mining and heavy industry, combined with our deepwater port, great education and training facilities, skilled workers, and large and small businesses. All of these attributes are also feeding our thriving renewable energy industry, whether that be battery technology, green and cheap hydrogen production or planning for offshore wind. In the Illawarra we have firms like Sicona Battery Technologies, Green Gravity, EcoJoule and Hysata all working to make the Illawarra a renewable energy powerhouse. At the national level is Labor's $15 billion National Reconstruction Fund, which will drive economic development in our regions and outer suburbs, boost our sovereign capability, diversify the economy and help create secure jobs.
During its first year, the Albanese government has invested in the Illawarra to ensure we have the right skills to support future sustainable local economic growth. The University of Wollongong has received funding for 936 new places to train more teachers, nurses and engineers, as well as $10 million for its Energy Futures Skills Centre. Wollongong TAFE has received $2.5 million for its Renewable Energy Training facility. We all know that renewable energy has a major role in our futures. That is why the federal government has invested in local hydrogen related projects, such as $9 million to support Hysata to develop new facilities to deliver low-cost hydrogen in Port Kembla, and $800,000 for an ATCO Australia feasibility study on hydrogen technologies and storage. And let's not forget the $1.6 billion energy savings plan for households and businesses to access energy upgrades to improve their energy use and save on costs, which includes specific support for social housing. In Cunningham we are lucky to have great Australians like Saul Griffith and his amazing Rewiring Australia team working on the ground in our community and with government to make electrification a reality regardless of income or postcode.
The election of the Albanese Labor government one year ago was a turning point for Australia, a turning point towards a positive community and a sustainable economic future.