Rural, Regional and Remote Clinical Trial Enabling Infrastructure

The Morrison Government will deliver new treatments and medicines for Australians through a $100 million boost for rural, regional and remote clinical trials across the country.

This funding would help put our researchers and doctors at the forefront of global research and give more patients more treatment options regardless of where they live.

Clinical trials open up a world of hope for patients.

The Liberal and National Government’s new initiative is also set to boost rural, regional and remote economies with direct industry investment in jobs and clinical trials supply chain services.

Australia has a reputation for excellence in clinical trial research, internationally recognised researchers and medical experts, quality infrastructure and high standards of health care. However access and participation in clinical trials is often limited for doctors and patients in rural, regional and remote areas of Australia.

This program will enable and complement the $614 million in funding announced in the 10 year Medical Research Future Fund Investment Plan. It also complements the $7 million in funding we’re delivering states and territories to support activities aimed at achieving national consistency of clinical trial systems.

The Liberal National Government would open a competitive grant round for expressions of interest on 1 October 2019 and close the round on 30 November 2019.

A peer review panel selected by Australian Medical Research Advisory Board and the National Health and Medical Research Council would then consider and rank proposals with successful participants to be announced by 31 March 2020 for commencement after 1 July 2020.

The funding will come from the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) National Critical Infrastructure initiative and will be delivered over five years from 2020-21.

Today’s announcement builds on the Morrison Government’s $550 million Stronger Rural Health Strategy. This is the most comprehensive rural health package in decades and is improving access to doctors, nurses and other health care services for all Australians, especially those in the regions.

The Morrison Government has also outlined its ‘Plan for Strengthening Australia’s World Class Health System’, which will guarantee Medicare, deliver record bulk billing, an additional $31 billion for hospitals over the next five year agreement, $40 billion for new medicines and research backed by our $20 billion Medical Research Future Fund.

The Morrison Government’s ‘Plan for Strengthening Australia’s World Class Health System’ will ensure we continue to deliver:

  • Record funding for Medicare with $6 billion extra funding over the next four years, higher than every year under Labor
  • Record bulk billing rates with nine out of 10 visit to the doctor for free on average, higher than every year under Labor
  • Affordable access to all new medicines on the PBS recommended by the medical experts, with over 2,000 new and amended listings since 2013
  • $6 billion a year on cancer services
  • Record investment in public hospitals, higher than every year under Labor, with an additional $31 billion from 2020-21 to 2024-25
  • Guaranteeing private health insurance and making it simpler and more affordable
  • Recording funding for mental health with over $4.8 billion a year for vital services
  • The largest single investment in medical research through the $20 billion Medical Research Future Fund, including a $500 million Genomics Missions which has the potential find a cure for some of the most devastating conditions.

More information on ‘Our Plan for Strengthening Australia’s World Class Health System’ is available: https://www.liberal.org.au/our-plan-strengthening-australias-world-class-health-system

Strengthening Australia’s World-Class Health System

The Morrison Government will invest $65 million to establish the first dedicated Cystic Fibrosis Specialist Unit, offering world-class care for those affected by the condition and new hope of finding a cure.

The Specialist Unit will provide treatment with state-of-the-art equipment, research and diagnostic facilities as a key part of the Westmead Health and Education Precinct in Sydney.

Cystic Fibrosis is the most common chronic, life-limiting genetic condition affecting young Australians today. Every four days a baby is born with the disease.

Fortunately, with advancements in treatment and medication, patients are living longer, which is why a specific adult centre is required. The number of adults with cystic fibrosis has increased by 1,000 in the past 15 years.

The Cystic Fibrosis unit will be co-located with the hospital’s respiratory unit and contain:

A 16-bed inpatient unit with single rooms, including four isolation rooms

 

  • Specialist research zone
  • New consultation rooms
  • New work spaces for clinical staff
  • An upgraded outpatient service including day stay rooms for procedures and outpatient physiotherapy and respiratory testing.

 

 

This latest investment follows the listing of two medications for Cystic Fibrosis on the PBS over the last two years. Orkambi® in 2018, that otherwise would cost patients $250,000 annually and Kalydeco® in 2017, which would cost patients $300,000 a year. These important medications now cost as little as $6.50 a script.

The Morrison Government’s ‘Plan for Strengthening Australia’s World Class Health System’ will guarantee Medicare, deliver record bulk billing, an additional $31 billion for hospitals over the next five year agreement, $40 billion for new medicines and research backed by our $20 billion Medical Research Future Fund. More information is available:https://www.liberal.org.au/our-plan-strengthening-…

Australian Greens comprehensive LGBTIQ+ policies

ALL LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL, TRANSGENDER, INTERSEX AND QUEER (LGBTIQ+) PEOPLE HAVE THE RIGHT TO BE FREE FROM DISCRIMINATION, HAVE AUTONOMY OVER THEIR BODIES, AND ACCESS TO HOLISTIC AND COMPREHENSIVE HEALTH SERVICES. THE GREENS WILL SUPPORT LGBTIQ+ PEOPLE AND THEIR FAMILIES TO ENSURE THEY ARE TREATED EQUALLY AND FREE FROM DISCRIMINATION.

The Greens will:

  1. Establish a $70mil grants scheme for LGBTIQ+ community organisations to self organise and advocate

  2. Provide funding for research and data collection.

  3. Ensure adequate and appropriate training for departmental staff so they are equipped to appropriately assess applications from LGBTIQ+ people seeking asylum.

  4. Ensure the needs of diverse families are met in Family Violence primary prevention.

  5. Invest in community organisations and fight for reforms that benefit transgender and gender diverse, intersex and bi+ people and their families

  6. Take action to end HIV/AIDS

 

ESTABLISH A $70MIL GRANTS SCHEME FOR LGBTIQ+  COMMUNITY ORGANISATIONS TO SELF ORGANISE AND ADVOCATE

Community organisations do vital work investing in the the wellbeing of LGBTIQ+ people and their families, celebrating  LGBTIQ+ culture and advocating for LGBTIQ+ rights. The Greens will establish a grants scheme that would enable funding of community organisations. There will be dedicated funding available to intersex organisations; LGBTIQ+ Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations; organisations working to fill the current gaps in data collection and research into LGBTIQ+ communities; advocacy organisations; organisations supporting rainbow families, and organisations supporting the resettlement of LGBTIQ+ refugees in Australia.

 

FUND DATA COLLECTION AND RESEARCH INTO LGBTIQ+ COMMUNITIES.

Although we know that LGBTIQ+ Australians lead diverse lives, come from a range of backgrounds and experience unique social and health challenges, currently there is a distinct lack of research into LGBTIQ+ communities and their families. Current and accurate data is necessary in order to ensure services are meeting the needs of these diverse populations. The Greens will ensure that organisations working to fill current gaps in research, evaluation and data collection have access to funding through the $70mil LGBTIQ+ grants scheme.

 

ENSURE ADEQUATE AND APPROPRIATE TRAINING FOR DEPARTMENTAL STAFF SO THEY ARE EQUIPPED TO APPROPRIATELY ASSESS APPLICATIONS FROM LGBTIQ+ PEOPLE SEEKING ASYLUM

There are many reports of applications for people seeking asylum  based on LGBTIQ+ persecution being rejected because decision-makers don’t believe the applicant. There are cases of rejection on the grounds that applicants didn’t look or act in line with stereotypes associated with their sexuality; they couldn’t name western gay ‘icons’; they had been married or had children; or they didn’t frequent gay clubs.

False assumptions of how an LGBTIQ+ person ‘should’ behave or the knowledge an applicant ‘should’ have about western LGBTIQ+ culture should have no influence over an applicants success. The Greens will ensure adequate and appropriate training for departmental staff so they are equipped to appropriately assess applications from LGBTIQ+ people seeking asylum. The Greens will also ensure adequate training and guidelines for the refugee review tribunal.

 

ENSURE THE NEEDS OF DIVERSE FAMILIES ARE MET IN FAMILY VIOLENCE PRIMARY PREVENTION.

The Greens plan to prevent family violence includes funding for crisis and temporary housing services, and would also be responsive to the particular needs of LGBTIQ+ people. The Greens’ plan would provide dedicated, secure, long-term funding for specialist family and domestic violence services across the country to deliver outreach, crisis response, crisis accommodation, legal support, advocacy and post-crisis support to people who need it.

 

 

Transgender and Gender Diverse

PROVIDE FUNDING FOR TRANSGENDER AND GENDER DIVERSE PEER SUPPORT PROGRAMS

We recognise the importance and benefits of peer support for transgender, gender diverse and non-binary people and their families. Through the $70mil LGBTIQ+ grants program, the Greens will invest in trans-led peer support organisations to run in-person and online peer support programs so that no transgender or gender diverse person or their families need to feel like they are alone.

ESTABLISH A TRANS ADVISORY BOARD TO THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH

It is vital that the government engage with and better understand the needs of transgender and gender diverse people. In addition to ensuring transgender representation on the LGBTIQ ministerial advisory board to the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, the Greens will establish a transgender advisory board to the Department of Health.  This board will advise on best practice and work with the Department to ensure that Australia’s health system maintains the human rights and dignity of all transgender and gender diverse people.

 

ESTABLISH A $3M GRANTS PROGRAM FOR TRANS-SPECIFIC MENTAL HEALTH PROGRAMS

Transgender and gender diverse Australians experience higher levels of anxiety, depression and self harm compared to the general population. This is especially present in young trans and gender diverse people.  In one study, 60.1% of trans young people surveyed stated they have experienced feeling isolated from medical and mental health services, and 42.1% of participants have reached out to a service provider who did not understand, respect or have previous experience with gender diverse people. The Greens will establish a $3mil grants program for organisations working on trans-specific mental health, to create services where they don’t currently exist, and expand services that are unable to meet current demand.

 

INVEST IN TRANS-SPECIFIC HEALTH INITIATIVES

We acknowledge the diverse healthcare needs of transgender and gender diverse people. The Greens will invest $1.7 million in the LGBTI Health Alliance and its partner organisations to facilitate health programs and initiatives that will benefit trans and gender diverse people in Australia. These programs will include training for medical professionals, so they can offer improved care pathways to trans and gender diverse patients.

We acknowledge the importance of accessing client-centred, high standards of healthcare regardless of whether you live in an urban centre or a regional town. We will ensure that these programs have a regional focus and will invest a further $600,000 in funding for programs that prioritise First Nations transgender and gender diverse people.

 

ESTABLISH A COMPLAINTS BODY FOR MEDICAL DECISIONS

Transgender and gender diverse people are best placed to determine their own transition pathways, which may include gender-affirming medical treatments such as hormones and surgical interventions. Under the current healthcare model, gender-affirming treatments are approved at the discretion of medical professionals which can lead to transgender, gender diverse and intersex people being unfairly denied the right to access these treatments.

The Greens will provide a way to appeal these determinations by ensuring that all people can access a dedicated complaints body to review medical decisions regarding gender-affirming treatments and surgeries.

 

LEGISLATE FOR ALL-GENDER TOILETS IN THE  WORKPLACE

Everyone should have access to a bathroom that aligns with their gender identity, and no transgender or gender diverse person should be forced to put up with the gender dysphoria, discomfort or risks to safety that can occur because of lack of access. We will introduce legislation to ensure Australian workplaces provide a minimum number of all-gender toilets for their employees. This legislation will ensure that trans and gender diverse people can access safe and inclusive bathrooms.

 

Intersex

 

ENSURE THE RIGHT TO BODILY INTEGRITY IS PROTECTED IN LAW

No one’s body should be stigmatised, and the rights of people with variations of sex characteristics must be upheld. Intersex people have the right to bodily integrity, including personal consent to medical or surgical interventions.

The Greens will ensure that the rights of intersex people are protected in law by requiring fully informed personal consent before any deferrable medical interventions that alter sex characteristics can be performed.

 

FUND VITAL PEER SUPPORT PROGRAMS

We recognise the importance and benefits of affirmative peer support for people born with variations of sex characteristics and their families. Through the $76mil LGBTIQ+ grants program, the Greens will invest in intersex-led peer support organisations to run in-person and online peer support programs so that no intersex person or their families need to feel like they are alone.

 

APPOINT INTERSEX ADSVISORY BOARDS TO THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND THE ATTORNEY GENERAL’S DEPARTMENT

It is vital that the government engage with and better understand the needs of people with variations of sex characteristics. In addition to ensuring intersex representation on the LGBTIQ ministerial advisory board to the department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, The Greens will establish intersex advisory boards to the Department of Health and the Attorney General’s’ department.  These advisory boards will advise on best practice and work with the departments to ensure that Australia’s health system is reformed and that the human rights and dignity of all intersex people is upheld.

These boards will consist of ethicists, human rights experts, specialist clinicians, and intersex community members with lived experience.

 

SUPPORT SUSTAINABLE ADVOCACY

The Greens understand the importance of systemic advocacy and recognise the vital work of Intersex Human Rights Australia (IHRA). Through the $70mil LGBTIQ+ grants scheme, The Greens will provide dedicated funding to intersex organisations to ensure the sustainability of their work advocating for the human rights of intersex people, improving policy, educating the public and private sector and providing legal support to people with intersex variations and their families.

 

FORMALLY APOLOGISE TO PEOPLE WHO HAVE UNDERGONE FORCED OR COERCIVE MEDICAL PRACTICES

The Greens recognise the lifelong trauma caused to intersex people who have undergone forced or coercive medical interventions, in particular those inflicted on intersex infants, children and adolescents. These so-called ‘normalising’ procedures are a violation of human rights and have devastating and lasting physical and psychological impacts on the lives of intersex people. In addition to ensuring the rights of intersex people are protected in law, the Greens will ensure that those people born with variations in sex characteristics who have been subjected to non-emergency invasive and irreversible medical interventions are formally apologised to. We will consult with the intersex community to ensure that an apology is meaningful and specific to those affected.

 

ESTABLISH A NATIONAL REDRESS SCHEME FOR PEOPLE WHO HAVE UNDERGONE FORCED OR COERCIVE MEDICAL PRACTICES

In addition to formally apologising to individuals who have undergone forced or coercive medical practices, the Greens will establish a national redress scheme to provide access to restorative justice and compensation. Compensation measures may include monetary compensation as well as vital access to medical, psychological and reparative treatments and services. We will consider current redress schemes and fund evidence-based research to determine the scope of an appropriate redress model. We will also work with the intersex community to ensure that a redress scheme appropriately meets the needs of those intersex individuals affected.
 

Bi+

PROVIDE FUNDING FOR BI+ PEER SUPPORT PROGRAMS

We recognise the importance and benefits of peer support for bisexual and pansexual people. Through the $70mil LGBTIQ+ grants program, the Greens will invest in bi+ peer support organisations to run in-person and online peer support programs and community events to help bi+ Australians navigate their experiences individually and as a community.

 

ESTABLISH STRONG BI+ REPRESENTATION IN THE LGBTIQ+ MINISTERIAL ADVISORY GROUP

It is vital that the government engage with and better understand the needs of bi+ people. The Greens will ensure strong bi+ representation in the LGBTIQ+ Ministerial Advisory Group. This group will advise on best practice and work with departments to ensure that decisions affecting LGBTIQ+ communities are inclusive of bi+ people.

 

INVEST $3MIL IN FUNDING FOR BISEXUAL-SPECIFIC MENTAL HEALTH PROGRAMS AND SERVICES

Bi+ people have consistently been found to experience poor mental health and psychological distress at rates that are disproportionate to the general population. The Greens recognise that the mental health issues facing bi+ people are distinct from those facing LGTIQ+ communities.

The Greens will establish a $3mil grants program for organisations working on bi+ mental health, to create services where they don’t currently exist, and to improve the quality of existing services across the country.

 

INVEST IN A PUBLIC AWARENESS CAMPAIGN TO REDUCE BIPHOBIA IN THE COMMUNITY

We recognise that there is a critical lack of  understanding of bisexuality in Australia and that Bi+ people face unique challenges and stigma. Urgent funding is needed to eliminate harmful stereotypes and biphobia wherever it exists, including in schools, workplaces, LGBTIQ+ organisations, in the health system, and in the media.

The Greens will invest $500,000 a year in a public education campaign to raise awareness of bisexuality and to promote greater understanding, acceptance and celebration of bi+ Australians in both mainstream and LGBTIQ+ communities.

IMPROVE ACCESS TO FAMILY AND INTIMATE PARTNER VIOLENCE SERVICES FOR BI+ PEOPLE

We recognise that Bi+ people, especially Bi+ women, experience high rates of family violence and  intimate partner violence, but are less likely to find support services that meet their specific needs.

The Greens plan to prevent family violence includes funding for crisis and temporary housing  services, and would also be responsive to the particular needs of LGBTIQ+ people. The Greens’ plan would provide dedicated, secure, long-term funding for specialist family and domestic violence services across the country to deliver outreach, crisis response, crisis accommodation, legal support, advocacy and post-crisis support to people who need it.

 

FUND RESEARCH INTO THE BI+ COMMUNITY

Although we know that bi+ Australians lead diverse lives, come from a range of backgrounds and experience unique social and health challenges, limited research exists into the bi+ community. The Greens will ensure that organisations working to fill current gaps in research, evaluation and data collection have access to funding through the $70mil LGBTIQ+ grants scheme.

 

Eradicating HIV/AIDS

 

IMPLEMENT THE NATIONAL STRATEGIES AND STRENGTHEN AUSTRALIA’S RESPONSE TO HIV

While there are current strategies on HIV, STIs, Hepatitis B and C and specific strategies for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Blood-borne viruses and STI strategies, these policies have not been followed through or implemented. The Australian Greens will work to ensure that these are implemented and funded.

The Greens fully support the enduring principles of partnership, harm reduction and non-partisanship. In addition, the Greens believe in a strong and effective civil society, and recognise that the community based and peer-led work of AFAO, NAPHWA and their partners is crucial in ensuring the fight to eliminate HIV maintains momentum and focus.

We need a national response to eradicating HIV, and specialist organisations must be well funded to do the work. The Greens will invest $10m a year into organisations that work on prevention, testing and treatment campaigns, peer support, education and community outreach, planning and service re-development.

The Greens know that particular populations are at risk of being left behind, including people with unsuspected HIV, late HIV presenters and those who are not being treated. Because these groups are unlikely to be receptive to awareness and media campaigns that are targeted at more engaged populations, we will commit $3 million per year to develop these campaigns.

 

WORK TO ENSURE ALL AUSTRALIANS HAVE ACCESS TO TREATMENT

Recently released national data highlighted a 33% increase in new HIV diagnosis rates among First Nations peoples. In the same period, newly diagnosed HIV rates among Australian-born non-Indigenous people decreased by 22%. The Greens will work to ensure that we have a plan to implement and sustain a response to HIV and STIs among this population in response to these alarming rates.

The Greens will invest $15m a year to help close this health gap and ensure the needs of all First Nations peoples, including brotherboys, sistergirls and gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex people are met in public health prevention efforts and service provision. We will include requirements in this funding allocation to ensure that this funding is culturally appropriate for and community controlled by First Nations peoples.

The Greens will also commit $1.75 million per year to develop evidence-informed and long-term community-led campaigns to reduce the incidence of STIs.

The Greens recognise the importance of rapid HIV testing and note the recent development of effective tests in this area. While we strongly support the independence of the Medical Services Advisory Committee (MSAC) process, we would in principle support MBS listing of self testing if recommended by MSAC.

People who are ineligible to access Medicare face a wide range of challenges to accessing healthcare in Australia. This is particularly problematic for people who are unable to access HIV treatment and PrEP, because of the risks to both themselves and the broader population who are placed at risk through people not being protected. The Greens would support the development and implementation of a sustainable model of access to HIV treatment and PrEP for people in this situation.

Another barrier for accessing HIV treatment for Australians is the number of clinicians who are able to prescribe HIV treatment and a paucity of clinical training and support in this area. The Australian Greens would work to overcome this problem by working with the medical and health sector to understand what the unmet needs in this area are and to ensure they are adequately supported for this.

Ensure that researchers are able to continue to progress the knowledge base around HIV and other blood borne viruses, including community surveillance

It is clear that the rise in infectious diseases, including HIV and blood-borne viruses in Australia and around the world warrants prioritisation by Australia’s medical research bodies. The Greens would ensure these infections are prioritised by the NHMRC and MRFF.

We would also work with the research community and the Department of Health to ensure that appropriately de-identified PBS data is made available to enable comprehensive observation of PrEP initiation and patterns of use across Australia. To ensure that the community sector has adequate support to undertake high quality and timely HIV surveillance across the nation, we would provide $400 000 per annum to the community sector.

 

CHALLENGE STIGMA AND DISCRIMINATION

The Greens will commit an additional $1m a year into specific communications and campaigns that break down stigma and discrimination, encourage safer sex and encourage early testing.

Regulatory and legal changes are also required to ensure that there is uniformity across states and territories, and to ensure best practice science in regulation and practice. We would pursue these objectives through:

Directing the Australian Law Reform Commission to report on options to increase uniformity between state and territory laws on HIV, given developments in HIV prevention science

Implementing the Australian Red Cross Blood Service’s recommendations to reduce the sexual activity deferral period. The Greens believe that the recommendation of the Australian Red Cross Blood Service to reduce the period of deferral for men who have had recent sex with another man (MSM) from 12 to six months should be adopted by the TGA. The Greens believe the maintenance of this restriction contravenes the available evidence and represents unnecessary discrimination.

 

ENSURE OTHER COUNTRIES IN OUR REGION ARE ABLE TO TAKE ACTION TO FIGHT AIDS AND OTHER KEY ILLNESSES AND THAT LGBTIQ+ ORGANISATIONS ARE SUPPORTED

The Greens recognise Australia’s role in our region in providing support and funding to regional responses to HIV and for maintaining strong and effective partnerships between community organisations in Australia and amongst our neighbours. The Greens would restore the funding to these crucial programs to ensure that the fight to eliminate HIV can continue in the region.

The Greens understand the role of Australia in sending a clear message to the world and our region that funding to eliminate HIV should be prioritised, through contributing to the Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria. And we recognise that Australia’s contribution to the Global Fund is critical, with the Fund providing US$15 for every US dollar committed by Australia, totalling US$2.9 billion from 2014- 2016. The Greens will commit $300 million over the next three years from Australia’s development budget to set a strong example and ensure the Fund can continue its work in a sustainable and consistent way. We would allocate $15 million of this over three years specifically for strengthened community responses to HIV in Asia and the Pacific.

As a world leader in the HIV/AIDS prevention space, Australia has an important role to play in global leadership on this issue. The Australian Greens will commit to Australia playing a leading role in the 2021 United Nations General Assembly’s High-Level Meeting on HIV and AIDS, including support for participation by people living with HIV/AIDS and civil society in the meeting, and in the negotiation of an updated UN Declaration of Commitment to Ending HIV.

To practically support this commitment, we will also support the establishment of a network of LGBTIQ+ organisations, development agencies, human rights organisations, philanthropy and academia to promote and protect the rights of LGBTIQ+ people regionally and across the globe through an investment of $200 000 per annum.

$3.7 Million to Protect South Australia’s Environment

A re-elected Morrison Government will invest up to $3.7 million to improve the health of the Torrens River and help the South Australian Government establish the new Glenthorne National Park.

Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Simon Birmingham said a $2 million investment would drive further Torrens River Recovery initiatives with the Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges NRM Board, including the reconstruction of wetlands, management of pollutants, the removal of invasive weeds and revegetation initiatives.

“All of these activities contribute to minimising polluted inflows into Gulf St. Vincent which in turn minimises the loss of sea grass, reduces beach and coastal dune erosion and reduces habitat loss for species such as migratory shorebirds,” Minister Birmingham said.

Minister for the Environment Melissa Price said a further $1.7 million investment would support the South Australian Government’s Glenthorne National Park initiative, a plan to establish a 1500-hectare network of reserve land from the Adelaide foothills to the coast.

“Restoring native vegetation in this biodiversity hotspot will create a new wildlife corridor and preserve habitat for threatened species in the region, including the black chinned honey eater and native eucalypt species,” Minister Price said.

South Australian Minister for Environment and Water David Speirs said the Glenthorne initiative was a unique opportunity to simultaneously connect South Australians to nature and restore an urban environment.

“We welcome the Federal Government’s support for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to establish a new national park in Adelaide and create an amazing environmental legacy,” Minister Speirs said,

Funding for the projects will be provided from the Morrison Government’s $100 million Environment Restoration Fund announced in the 2019-20 Budget. The Environment Restoration Fund has three key priority areas: protecting threatened and migratory species and their habitats; improving Australia’s coasts, oceans and waterways; and increasing recycling of waste.

The Fund builds on The Coalition’s $1 billion investment through the National Landcare Program and complements the Communities Environment Program.

The 2019-20 Budget includes $3.8 billion in funding for a better environment, including a $3.5 billion Climate Solutions Package.

Funding Boost to Celebrate 50 Years of Excellence at Sovereign Hill

Sovereign Hill, one of Australia’s most iconic tourist attractions, is set for a major makeover, with the Morrison Government providing $10.1 million to help enhance the outdoor museum’s exhibitions and facilities acknowledging its 50th anniversary next year.

Federal Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Simon Birmingham said the funding boost for Sovereign Hill would help enhance the visitor experience at one of Australia’s famous historical and cultural tourist attractions.

“For almost 50 years Sovereign Hill has educated and wooed tens of millions of visitors from around Australia and the world, and this funding boost will help ensure its rich history continues to be shared with future generations,” Minister Birmingham said.

“It brings to life Australia’s gold rush era through its famous main street, costumed characters and stunning sound-and-light show, and we want to further enhance the visitor experience.

“Sovereign Hill is a major tourism drawcard to regional Victoria with the museum attracting over 760 000 visitors last year and this investment will help drive continued visitation to the region, creating more jobs and supporting the local economy.

“It’s expected this additional funding will be used to develop a master plan and then deliver phase one which may include opportunities to redevelop the Gold Museum, upgrade the entrance building, improve signage as well as enhance the popular ‘digging area’.

“The region’s historical significance also sees thousands of school children visit Sovereign Hill each year which is why funding has been allocated towards upgrading the museum’s education facilities.

“Tourism is a major contributor to the Victorian economy with domestic and international visitors spending a whopping $23 billion last year, injecting millions into regional areas and that’s why the Liberal-National Government is backing the state through investment in vital tourism infrastructure.”

This funding will be delivered through the Sovereign Hill Museums Association, and may be used for projects as:

 

  • redevelopment of the Gold Museum
  • the revitalisation of the museum diggings area
  • education area enhancements
  • entrance building upgrades
  • a centre of excellence for rare trades

 

This funding is part of the Liberal-National Government’s $50 million National Tourism Icons package announced in the Budget for vital tourism infrastructure and upgrades at iconic destinations across Australia.

Domestic Tourism Continues to Skyrocket

More Aussies than ever before are choosing to holiday at home and are spending record amounts across the country, according to the latest National Visitor Survey.

The results show visitor spending by Australians skyrocketed to a record $72.7 billion, an increase of 13 per cent, while Australians took a record 105.6 million domestic overnight trips during 2018, an increase of nine per cent.

Federal Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Simon Birmingham said these results showed Australia’s tourism industry continued to go from strength-to-strength.

“Tourism is booming across Australia with every state seeing strong increases in domestic visitor numbers as well as record spending,” Minister Birmingham said.

“The boom in domestic tourism is another vote of confidence in the Australian economy and has been accompanied by thriving international visitation of 8.5 million visitors to Australia last year.

“More Aussies holidaying at home teamed with more international visitors and record spending is a great boost for Australian businesses, helping to create more jobs and contributing to a stronger economy.

“Our Liberal National Government plan to create a further 1.25 million jobs is underpinned by investment in strategic areas of economic growth, such as our tourism industry that we are supporting with record investment in infrastructure and marketing.

“Australians are continuing to head off the beaten track, preferring to turn to nature and the great outdoors for their holidays. Trips involving nature-based activities and visits to national parks continued to grow at a faster rate than visits to the beach.

“Eco-tourism is on the rise in Australia, and it’s not surprising given our world-class national parks, unique wildlife and diversity of nature-based experiences on offer.”

Minister Birmingham said these results coincided with the release of a new Tourism Australia video to help attract more working holiday makers to Australia.

“Working holiday makers have a tendency to holiday in regional areas and inject over $3 billion into our economy each year,” Minister Birmingham said.

“The more working holiday makers we can attract to Australia, the more we can support our farmers and boost regional tourism.

“They help fill short-term workforce shortages and they basically spend every dollar they earn while in Australia, plus the savings they brought here, boosting regional economies and creating more jobs for Australians.

“This new campaign video launched today will run through the United Kingdom, France and Germany and will help promote Australia as a top destination for working holiday makers.

“We’re experiencing a real purple patch when it comes to tourism and that’s why the Liberal-National Government continues to deliver record funding to Tourism Australia for cutting-edge campaigns such as this one so we can continue growing this booming industry.”

Tourism Australia’s new campaign video can be downloaded at here and the National Visitor Survey results are available from https://www.tra.gov.au/Domestic/domestic-tourism-r…

Protection for Hooded Plover Chicks

A re-elected Morrison Government will invest up to $100,000 in recovery programs for the Hooded Plover.

Minister for the Environment Melissa Price said the funding will build on existing work to protect Plover nests and increase the rate of chick survival.

“The Hooded Plover is one of 20 priority bird species under the Threatened Species Strategy and working through Birdlife Australia, this funding will build on nest protection, monitoring and other recovery actions,” she said.

“Activities will take place across the full nesting range of the Hooded Plover in Victoria and South Australia.”

The funding will be provided from the Morrison Government’s $100 million Environment Restoration Fund, announced in the 2019-20 Budget.

The Environment Restoration Fund will have three key priority areas: protecting threatened and migratory species and their habitats; improving Australia’s coasts, oceans and waterways; and increasing recycling of waste.

“This Fund will invest in protecting threatened and migratory species and their habitats, making a difference to save species from extinction by restoring habitat, reducing threats like feral species, supporting captive-breeding programs, and creating safe havens for species at risk,” Minister Price said.

The Environment Restoration Fund builds on our $1 billion investment through the National Landcare Program and complements the Communities Environment Program.

The 2019-20 Budget includes a $3.8 billion investment in a better environment, including a $3.5 billion Climate Solutions Package.

On Country Camps to Help Heal the Hurt of WA’s Stolen Generations

The Morrison Government will provide $150,000 for Back to Country Cultural Healing Bush Camps, part of a significant project to support members of the Stolen Generations and their families in Western Australia.

The funding will enable the Sister Kate’s Home Kids Aboriginal Corporation to conduct three camps – for men, women and families – to improve mental and social wellbeing and help counter intergenerational trauma and feelings of disempowerment.

“The road that hundreds of Sister Kate’s ‘Homees’ and thousands of their fellow Stolen Generations have travelled has been challenging and often painful,” said Indigenous Health Minister Ken Wyatt AM.

“However, this project represents an exciting opportunity to walk and work together to reinforce our identity, to heal and to share our cultural strength with the broader community.

“While the camps will be conducted at a variety of locations, the main focus will be on a special Place of Healing, a pristine bush block within Perth’s metropolitan area.”

Minister Wyatt said renewing connections with country and totems and sharing traditions was fundamental to the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

“It is important to celebrate the power of knowledge and wisdom and the strength and resilience of our people, by handing on stories and harnessing the spirit within and around us,” he said.

“Noongar country, where the camps will be held, is famous for its wildflowers and these play a special role in traditional cultural healing practices.”

Sister Kate’s Home Kids Aboriginal Corporation Chair Glenn Pearson said the organisation had worked for ten years on the healing project.

“It will be wonderful to hold several cultural healing bush camps on the land we are going to build our Place of Healing on,” Mr Pearson said.

“The site played a major role in the lives of the Sister Kate’s Home Kids in their younger years and to be able to walk in the footsteps of childhood brings a sense of place, of belonging and of wellbeing.”

Sister Kate’s Homee Cheryl Phillips said: “We just loved being able to get away from the restrictive life that we lived at the Home, by running across the road to the bush block.

“Now, as adults, we have an opportunity to make something doubly meaningful, by building the Place of Healing on the land that will provide healing for everyone.”

To ensure the messages from the camps and Place of Healing reach a wider audience, a documentary is being made to share people’s experiences and encourage other community members to participate in future cultural healing camps.

The Morrison Government is committed to continuing to work with families, communities, local organisations and government groups to improve Indigenous people’s health and to build ever stronger families and communities.

The Morrison Government has committed $4.1 billion over four years to work together with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to improve health.

Sister Kate’s was a Stolen Generations children’s institution that originated in 1934.

Keeping Australians Safe on our Roads

Keeping all drivers safe on our roads will continue to be a key priority of a re-elected Morrison Government, with a new $12 million package providing extra road safety measures.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said nothing was more important than keeping Australians safe.

“Easter is a busy time on our roads with many Australians taking the opportunity to spend time with loved ones. But I urge everyone to slow down, obey road rules and get to their destination safely,” Mr Morrison said.

“Any life lost on our roads is one too many. Too many of us have had to deal with the loss of a family member or friend at some stage and it is a harrowing experience.

“Our $12 million package will upgrade 175 popular Driver Reviver sites across Australia, increase assistance for learner drivers and their parents and roll out a new programme to educate caravan and campervan drivers.”

Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack said while the Liberal and Nationals’ record investment in safer roads was seeing dividends, there is more to do at a local level.

“Our record investment into safer roads has saved lives, but there are more blackspots to be fixed, bridges to be upgraded and roads to be sealed,” Mr McCormack said.

“We want to tackle the road toll at a local level, town by town.

“A plan of this magnitude can only be achieved through the Liberal and Nationals’ strong economic management.”

To help with safer driving options and to combat driver fatigue, a re-elected Liberal and Nationals Government will invest:

 

  • $8 million in capped grants to help upgrade the 175 existing Driver Reviver locations nationwide to improve existing sites and support the establishment of new sites;
  • $1.2 million over four years to support the Driver Reviver programme to improve awareness of sites and for the engagement of volunteers;
  • $1 million over four years to partner with industry to develop and promote programmes to better educate caravan, campervan and motorhome drivers on safety awareness;
  • Develop a nationally consistent approach to new and improved pullover bays with a focus on single lane highways, popular tourist routes and off-network roads; and
  • $1.8 million to support a one-year pilot of the Australian Safety Foundation’s Digital Road Safety Passport for Schools for Year 9 students, which will cover the foundations of road safety, including getting to and from school safely.

 

Under the Liberal and Nationals Government, record funding will continue to be invested into road infrastructure to support new and upgraded major highways, as well as critical maintenance on local roads.

Complementing these investments will be a range of support measures to address driver fatigue as part of the Coalition’s plan for road safety.

These new initiatives follow recent road safety announcements made in the 2019-20 Budget including:

 

  • An additional $1.1 billion for the Roads to Recovery programme;
  • An additional $550 million for the Black Spot Program;
  • An additional $275 million for the Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program
  • An additional $275 million for the Bridges Renewal Program;
  • $12 million for a Road Safety Innovation Fund to support road safety research and the development of new road safety technologies and products;
  • An additional $6 million for the Heavy Vehicle Safety Initiative to fund projects that identify opportunities to improve heavy vehicle safety;
  • $5.9 million for the establishment of the Office of Road Safety to facilitate a greater coordination and leadership role for the Government in road safety;
  • An additional $8 million to secure the Keys2Drive program for the next four years;
  • $4 million to support road safety awareness, education and collaborative initiatives with nationally focused road organisations that promote road safety; and
  • $2.6 million for the Australian Road Research Board (ARRB) to assist local governments to assess their road asset management and maintenance requirements with a focus on regional areas.

 

We can make these critically important investments without raises taxes, because we have a plan for a stronger economy.

In contrast, Labor have a plan for $387 billion in new taxes that will only weaken our economy.

Only the Liberal and Nationals have a plan for a stronger economy, which will create jobs and guarantee the essential infrastructure and services that Australians need and rely on.

Shorten Short on Detail

Yesterday, Bill Shorten’s repeated failure to come clean on the cost of Labor’s economy-wrecking emissions target was finally explained.

Bill Shorten and Labor have resorted to relying on four-year old modelling done by Professor Warwick McKibbin to detail the cost of their policy, including claiming that there will be “no additional cost” to meet Labor’s 45% target relative to the Coalition’s 26% target.

This is despite Labor needing 1.33 billion tonnes of abatement – nearly four times the 328 million tonnes needed under Coalition policy. As Professor McKibbin himself said, “raising the target reduction from 28 per cent to 45 per cent would almost double the cost to the economy…by 2030, you’re well and truly worse off. It is twice as costly for twice the target.” The Australian, 11 July 2017

Bill Shorten and his energy and climate spokesperson Mark Butler are trying to pull an outrageous con job on the Australian people.

Patricia Karvelas: When will we see your full modelling for how it will effect the economy?

Mark Butler: I don’t understand why it’s inappropriate for us to rely upon [Professor McKibbin’s] modelling that the Australian Government commissioned.

ABC, 17 April 2019

Well, here are a few reasons Mr Butler, for a start:

1. Professor McKibbin himself has said his modelling, done in 2015, “did not model Labor’s policy”. Twitter, 19 March 2019

2. Professor McKibbin’s modelling did not cover the entire economy, excluding around 30% of Australia’s emissions including fugitives from manufacturing, mining and oil and gas production. These are the sectors that will be hit hardest by Labor’s new carbon tax.

3. Bill Shorten himself has previously dismissed Professor McKibbin’s modelling as “just complete rubbish” and implied the modelling results were made up. ABC Lateline, 1 December 2015

4. Professor McKibbin’s modelling assumes a carbon price of US$5 per tonne, rising to US$10 in 2030, much lower than current international prices of around US$30 per tonne and far below forecast prices for 2030. Professor McKibbin: “If the price of offsets in the world is higher than we assume, that effect is gone. We don’t know what the price of offsets will be in 2030. These numbers are not precise in any sense.” The Australian, 18 April 2019

The Labor Party’s desperate insistence on relying solely on modelling from 2015 proves the terrifying truth: if elected, Labor is committing this country to an economy-wrecking emissions target and no one in the Labor Party has done the numbers on what the consequences are.

The Coalition has stepped through – to the last megatonne and the last dollar – how we are going to meet our international obligations.

Bill Shorten isn’t telling us the truth about how much Labor’s reckless target will cost – because he actually has no idea.

If Bill Shorten can’t tell you the truth about his policies, how can Australians trust him?