Labor believes that a great education, from early learning and schools right through to universities and TAFEs, is the ticket to a lifetime of opportunity.
Early childhood education
A good start in life means a strong early childhood education system. Child care has become too expensive, and too complicated. Labor will make childcare cheaper for families, and we’ll remove the barriers that are holding second income earners – mostly women – back from work. It's a win-win.
Helping our school kids bounce back after COVID
Under the Morrison Government, Australia has recorded our worst ever results in reading, science and maths. Australia is being left behind in the global education race. We need a Labor Government to stop the slide in student results
Labor will put every school on a path to its full and fair level of funding. As a starting point we have to make sure our kids can bounce back after COVID. Labor will deliver $440 million to schools for better ventilation, building upgrades, and mental health support.
We’ll make sure our schools are safe for learning with a Schools Upgrade Fund to improve air quality, build more outdoor classrooms, buy air purifiers and replace boarded-up windows and doors.
The Schools Upgrade Fund will mean that in 2023, public school systems will receive the same amount funding from the Commonwealth for new buildings and world-class facilities as private schools do.
Every Australian school will benefit from Labor’s Student Wellbeing Boost, which will mean more school counsellors and psychologists, and extra funding for camps, excursions, as well as sporting and social activities that improve kids’ wellbeing. The average school will be $20,000 better off this year.
Rebuilding skills and training
Under the Morrison Government there are 70,000 fewer apprenticeships and traineeships compared to when the Liberals came to office, and thousands of Australians are being turned away from university - the worst it’s been in many years.
This is happening at the same time we have around one and a half million workers looking for a job or more hours, and 17% of businesses reporting that they did not have sufficient employees for their operations.
Labor will guarantee that one in 10 workers on federally-funded projects will be an apprentice, trainee or cadet, and we’ll offer more university places because if you get the marks, you should be able to go to uni.
Fee Free TAFE
Hundreds of thousands of Australians will be able to earn a qualification or upskill with Labor’s fee free TAFE plan. Labor’s 465,000 fee free TAFE places – including 45,000 new places – will help people find decent jobs and help businesses find employees, by making fee free places available to students studying for industries with skills shortages.
Labor will make sure at least 70% of all public funding for vocational education goes to TAFE to strengthen our public education system. And we’ll deliver $50 million to boost technology on campuses, creating world-leading TAFE training centers.
This will help fix areas of skills shortages and fill future skills needs by training Australians in jobs including engineering, nursing, tech, and teaching.
A stronger university system
An Albanese Labor Government will invest $481.7 million to deliver up to 20,000 extra university places over 2022 and 2023, making it easier for Australians to find a spot at university and get a job.
Under the Morrison Government, it’s getting harder and more expensive to go to uni. The proportion of applicants who get offered a place at university has fallen every year since the Liberal Government slashed university funding in 2017.
Labor will aim to prioritise the new funding for universities which are able to offer additional courses in national priority areas like clean energy, advanced manufacturing, health and education, or where there are skills shortages.
Labor will also establish an Australian Universities Accord to drive lasting reform at our universities. The Accord will help deliver accessibility, affordability, quality, certainty, sustainability and prosperity to the higher education sector and the country.
Australian Skills Guarantee
Labor will train thousands of workers by ensuring one in ten workers on major government projects is an apprentice, trainee or cadet.
Jobs and Skills Australia
Labor will establish Jobs and Skills Australia as an independent body to bring together the business community, states and territories, unions, education providers and regional organisations to match skills training with the evolving demands of industry and strengthen workforce planning.
New Energy Apprenticeships
Labor will invest $100 million to support 10,000 New Energy Apprenticeships. Our investment will encourage apprentices to train in the new energy jobs of the future and provide them the support they need to complete their training.
Labor will also invest $10 million in a New Energy Skills Program to tailor skills training to meet the needs of new energy industries. The New Energy Skills Program will work with the states, industry and unions to ensure workers have access to training pathways that are fit-for-purpose.
Labor will introduce a Startup Year that has the potential to create up to 2,000 new firms and provide a platform for future job growth and economic opportunity. Under this program, Labor will offer income contingent loans to 2,000 final year students and recent graduates to support their participation in accelerator programs, helping them start a new business.
An Albanese Labor Government will establish a powerful, transparent and independent National Anti-Corruption Commission.
Anti-corruption commissions serve the public by uncovering corruption and ensuring that members of a government, including politicians, are held to account if they engage in corrupt conduct.
Every Australian State and Territory has now established its own anti-corruption commission. But, despite overwhelming public support, there is still no anti-corruption commission at the federal level.
In December 2018 the Morrison Government was finally dragged, kicking and screaming, to commit to establishing what it called a “Commonwealth Integrity Commission”. However, three years later, they have failed to honour that commitment.
The Morrison Government’s ever-increasing list of scandals and cover-ups has reinforced the urgent need for a powerful, transparent and independent National Anti-Corruption Commission.
Labor’s Plan to tackle corruption in the Federal Government
Labor believes the time is long past for a National Anti-Corruption Commission to be established, and an Albanese Labor Government will give priority to introducing legislation to establish such a body.
The National Anti-Corruption Commission established by Labor will operate with all the independence, resources and powers of a standing Royal Commission into serious and systemic corruption in the federal government.
Labor has been working with Australia’s preeminent legal and integrity experts to develop design principles that will ensure the Commission is the most effective anti-corruption watchdog in the country.
Under these design principles, the Commission will:
- have broad jurisdiction to investigate Commonwealth ministers, public servants, statutory office holders, government agencies, parliamentarians, and personal staff of politicians;
- carry out its functions independently of government, with discretion to commence inquiries into serious and systemic corruption on its own initiative or in response to referrals, including from whistleblowers and complaints from the public. To ensure the Commission’s independence, the Commissioner and any Deputy Commissioner would serve for a single fixed term and have security of tenure comparable to that of a federal judge;
- be overseen by a statutory bipartisan Joint Standing Committee of the Parliament, empowered to require the Commission to provide information about its work. To ensure bipartisan support for the Commission’s work, that Committee would be responsible for confirming the Commissioners nominated by the Government;
- have the power to investigate allegations of serious and systemic corruption that occurred before or after its establishment;
- have the power to hold public hearings where the Commission determines it is in the public interest to do so;
- be empowered to make findings of fact, including a finding of corrupt conduct, but not to make determinations of criminal liability. Findings that could constitute criminal conduct would be referred to the Australian Federal Police or the Commonwealth Department of Public Prosecutions for further consideration; and
- operate with procedural fairness and its findings would be subject to judicial review.
The difference between Labor and the Liberals is clear
Labor’s policy to establish a National Anti-Corruption Commission will make a permanent and much needed change to standards of integrity and accountability in the federal government. It stands in stark contrast to the universally condemned model for an integrity commission put forward by the Morrison Government.
Mr Morrison’s proposed integrity commission is so weak that it would be unable to commence its own independent inquiries into Government corruption, prevented from holding public hearings into politicians or public servants, and banned from investigating any of the multiple past scandals of the Morrison Government. It has been described by legal experts as a body designed not to stamp out corruption, but to help cover it up.
Corruption in the federal government has been growing over recent years and the Liberals have failed to take any action to tackle it, leaving the Commonwealth the only Australian government without a body dedicated to uncovering and stamping out corruption by public officials.
An Albanese Labor Government will put an end to the Morrison Government’s shameful tolerance for corruption and help restore the Australian people’s trust in their government by establishing a powerful, transparent and independent National Anti-Corruption Commission.
Older Australians helped build this country. They worked hard, paid their taxes and raised their families.
They rightly expected that the Federal Government would support them in their frailer years. That’s what they deserve, that’s what they’ve earned, after a life contributing to their communities and to Australia.
But the Morrison Government has neglected older Australians and the aged care system for the best part of a decade – it's a national disgrace.
If we want to change aged care in this country for the better, then we need to start by changing the government.
An Albanese Labor Government will take practical measures to ensure older Australians receive the aged care they deserve:
- Registered nurses on site 24/7: Under a Labor Government, every aged care facility will be required to have a registered, qualified nurse on site, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This will save thousands of stressful, expensive and ultimately unnecessary trips to hospital Emergency Departments, for issues a nurse could solve on the spot.
- More carers with more time to care: Labor will raise the standard of aged care across the board – by ensuring there are more carers, who have more time to care. We will mandate that every Australian living in aged care receives an average of 215 minutes of care per day, as recommended by the Royal Commission. That means more care for every resident, every day. Not just for essential medical treatment – but basic, important things like helping people take a shower, get dressed or eat a meal.
- A pay rise for aged care workers: Labor will back a real pay rise for aged care workers. Labor will support workers’ calls for better pay at the Fair Work Commission. And a Labor Government will fund the outcome of this case. Because if we want higher standards of care – we need to support higher wages for our carers.
- Better food for residents: Labor will ensure that there is better food for residents of aged care homes. A Labor Government will work with the sector to develop and implement mandatory nutrition standards for aged care homes to ensure every resident gets good food.
- Dollars going to care: Labor will make residential care providers report – in public and in detail – what they are spending money on. And we will give the Aged Care Safety Commissioner new powers to ensure there is accountability and integrity.
Labor has a plan to put security, dignity, quality and humanity back into aged care.
Only an Albanese Labor Government will treat aged care residents with the respect they deserve.
National Reconstruction Fund
An Albanese Labor Government will establish a National Reconstruction Fund, to create secure jobs for Australian workers, drive regional economic development, boost our sovereign capability and diversify the nation’s economy.
The COVID pandemic has exposed serious deficiencies in Australia’s economy, in particular our ability to manufacture products and be globally competitive when it comes to innovation and technology.
Building new industries and boosting our existing industries represents an opportunity for Australia to recover from the COVID pandemic with a stronger economy. After 8 long years of policy drift presided over by consecutive Liberal leaders, this country needs a government with a vision to put the country back on a road to prosperity.
Labor’s plan for a National Reconstruction Fund will allocate $15 billion to partner with the private sector, including superannuation funds to support investments which demonstrate they will grow the economy and increase employment.
From commercialising our historic capacity in science and innovation to boosting the development of medical devices and pharmaceuticals, through to reviving our capability to make cars, trains and ships, today’s announcement will support the businesses in these industries to secure the capital and investment to grow and prosper.
Australia must be a country that makes things, to have our own industrial and manufacturing capabilities.
If there is anything that COVID has taught us, it is the need for Australia to be a place which makes things – to have our own industrial and manufacturing capabilities – our own sovereign capabilities.
This will build on Labor’s Future Made in Australia agenda to invest in Australia and Australian workers.
The Fund will be legislated and be governed by an independent Board using the successful model which Labor created through the Clean Energy Finance Corporation.
It will provide $15 billion of investment through a combination of loans, equity, co-investment and guarantees. The Fund will be administered on the basis that it will achieve a return to cover borrowing costs, with an expected positive underlying cash impact.
Labor’s plan to unlock investment opportunities is the first part of our comprehensive plan of our national reconstruction agenda.
Australians deserve a government that is on their side.
The National Reconstruction Fund is the first step in Labor’s plan to rebuild Australia’s industrial base.
Australia has suffered nearly a decade of policy drift since the Liberal’s goaded the car industry to leave. We rank dead last in the OECD when it comes to manufacturing self-sufficiency.
We need to revive our ability to make world-class products and, in the process, create secure well-paid jobs for Australians.
The National Reconstruction Fund provides a crucial financing vehicle to specifically drive investment in projects that will build prosperity across the country, broadening our industrial base and boosting regional economic development.
The $15 billion in capital provided through the National Reconstruction Fund will support projects that create secure well-paid jobs, drive regional development, and invest in our national sovereign capability, broadening and diversifying Australia’s economy.
Through the National Reconstruction Fund, Labor will partner with businesses to unlock further potential private investment of more than $30 billion1. Like the CEFC, the Fund would operate in a way that is expected to make a return to the budget bottom line.
This investment will play to our strengths supporting new and emerging industries, transitioning existing industries to net zero emissions and by making it easier for people to commercialise innovation and technology.
The National Reconstruction Fund will be legislated to demonstrate our commitment to delivering a $15 billion capital injection into Australia’s prosperity giving business certainty for the life of projects.
The mission of the National Reconstruction Fund is to:
- create secure well-paid jobs
- build on our national strengths
- diversify Australia’s industrial base
- develop our national sovereign capability
- drive regional economic diversification and development
The National Reconstruction Fund would be administered by an independent board with government setting its mandate to drive investment in key sectors focusing on value adding and capability development to leverage Australia’s natural and competitive strengths including:
- Value add in resources. Expand our mining science technology, ensure a greater share of the raw materials we extract are processed here, for example, high purity alumina from red mud in bauxite processing or lithium processing for batteries.
- Value add in the agriculture, forestry and fisheries sectors. Ensure we unlock potential and value add to our raw materials in sectors like food processing, and textiles, clothing and footwear manufacturing.
- Transport. Develop our capabilities in car, train and shipbuilding supply chains.
- Medical science. Fulfil our potential, given our world leading research, in providing essential supplies such as medical devices, and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), medicines and vaccines.
- Renewables and low emission technologies. Pursue commercial opportunities from; components for wind turbines; production of batteries and solar panels; new livestock feed to reducing methane emissions modernising steel and aluminium; hydrogen electrolysers, and innovative packaging solutions for waste reduction.
- Defence capability. maximise our requirements being sourced from Australian suppliers employing Australian workers, whether they be technology, infrastructure or skills, complimenting Labor’s Defence Industry Development Strategy.
- Enabling capabilities. Supporting key enabling capabilities across engineering, data science, software development including FinTech, EdTech, AI and robotics.
National reconstruction must include a focus on regional development. Ensuring our regions are able to sustain secure well-paid jobs and building are broader industrial base in key areas is a focus of the National Reconstruction Fund.
Labor’s national reconstruction agenda will include wide-ranging consultation with communities, businesses and unions on how we build a more prosperous Australia.
Projects eligible for the National Reconstruction Fund will also benefit from Labor’s National Rail Manufacturing Plan, the Defence Industry Development Strategy and Rewiring the Nation which prioritise domestic procurement.
In accordance with Labor’s Secure Australian Jobs Plan, the Fund will only enter into financial arrangements with businesses and organisations that are providers of secure jobs.
1. The CEFC has been able to leverage its funds to drive 2.5 times the investment. Similar results could see the Fund unlock over $30 billion of investment.