House debates

Thursday, 18 February 2021

Constituency Statements

Child Care, Manufacturing

10:24 am

Photo of Peta MurphyPeta Murphy (Dunkley, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

Australian working families are struggling under some of the highest childcare costs in the world. In fact, under this Liberal government childcare costs have gone up more than 35 per cent. That's on top of the economic impacts of COVID-19 and the recession. Working families are really struggling right now, and an expensive and difficult-to-navigate childcare system is just making it worse.

That's why federal Labor is committed to reducing the cost of child care. Under federal Labor's plan, 97 per cent of families would be better off and no family would be worse off. With the way the current system works, many women actually lose money if they go back to work more than three days a week. It's not right for women, it's not right for men, it's not right for their children and it's not right for the economy. We need to fix Australia's broken childcare system, and Labor and I are committed to doing that.

There are 100,000 or more families locked out of child care because they can't afford it, yet we know how important child care is to the early education of our children and the future of Australia. Structural barriers are removed under Labor's cheaper childcare policy, and that will help second income earners, mostly women, to get back to work. More affordable early education and child care is an economic reform that will supercharge Australia's economy. It is good for the economy, it is good for families and it is good for women. We need an Albanese Labor government to get this achieved.

When we talk about a future made in Australia, we're talking about jobs, livelihoods and our shared wealth. Many of us are old enough to remember when Australia was really proud because of so many things we made right here in our manufacturing industry. But, over decades, we have seen that industry fade away. Federal Labor has a policy, A Future Made in Australia—a blueprint to rebuild local manufacturing and create good, secure jobs for Australians. An Australian skills guarantee and a national industry strategy are just the start of this policy.

This policy would mean more local jobs in Dunkley. We have an amazing Carrum Downs industrial precinct, and it will be able to thrive under a federal Labor government. We should always be a country that makes things. Australia's workers, our local workers in Dunkley, are second to none, and we can deliver high-quality products incorporating the best technology. We need to bring industry expertise back onshore, back into our country, and we need to supercharge national productivity. All we need is vision and leadership. Made in Australia, more Australian manufacturing jobs, vision and leadership is what you will get under a federal Labor government.