A Shorten Labor Government will introduce a new two year National Preschool and Kindy Program, guaranteeing around 700,000 Australian children a year will be able to access subsidised preschool.

This is the biggest ever investment in early childhood education in Australia.

For the first time, every three year old in Australia will be able to access 15 hours of subsidised early childhood education, so they can get the best start to learning.

Labor will also extend the current arrangement for four year olds accessing preschool – creating a quality, two-year program to support the most important years of a child’s development, an investment of an additional $1.75 billion into early education.

90% of a child’s brain development occurs in the first five years of life – an investment in early education is one of the smartest investments our country can make.

Labor’s plan is good for children, good for parents, and good for the economy:

  •       Children – Studies have shown that children who access quality early education achieve better results in tests throughout their schooling. Early education is particularly vital in closing the disadvantage gap before a child starts school. Labor’s plan will see around 340,000 three year olds and a similar number of four year olds able to access preschool every year.
  •        Parents – One of the biggest barriers to accessing early education is finance – expanding access will help with the cost of living, help parents balance work and family and help reduce the child care bill for families with children already in early education.
  •       Economy – evidence shows that the return on investment in early childhood education is significant. A recent study from the EU showed that for every dollar spent on early childhood education for 3 year olds, $4 was returned to the economy.

Labor’s universal access to preschool scheme for four year olds has laid the groundwork for this announcement – since the first agreement was signed by Labor in 2008, preschool enrolment for four year olds has increased from 77% to between 93-97%.
But more needs to be done. Our global competitors have recognised the value of a two-year early childhood education program, and it’s time Australia gets on board, before we fall further behind.

The United Kingdom, New Zealand, France, Ireland and China have all expanded their early childhood education programs to include three year olds.

Currently, Scott Morrison has failed to extend preschool funding for four year olds beyond next school year – after his child care changes cut early education from some of Australia’s most vulnerable children.

The Liberals see education as a cost – that’s why they’ve cut $14 billion from public schools and left preschool funding in limbo. Labor sees it as an investment in our collective future.

Labor will work in partnership with the states and territories to deliver this important reform, including in setting enrolment and attendance targets, particularly for Indigenous and vulnerable children.

We’ve made tough and overdue decisions to rein in unfair tax concessions that predominantly benefit the wealthy – including negative gearing reform and dividend imputation reform – so we can fund the priorities that will make a fairer and more successful nation.

Only Labor will give every child the early education opportunities they need for the best start in life.


The Liberal-National Government’s economic plan and responsible budget management has seen the Final Budget Outcome for the 2017-18 financial year record an underlying cash deficit $19.3 billion better than estimated at the time of the 2017-18 Budget.

At $10.1 billion, just 0.6 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP), the underlying cash deficit is the smallest in ten years – clear evidence that the Liberal-National Government’s plan for a stronger economy, more jobs and to repair the Budget is working.

Stronger economic growth and much stronger employment growth than anticipated at the time of the 2017-18 Budget have driven increases in personal income tax and company tax receipts, with total receipts $13.4 billion higher than expected at the time of the Budget.

Total payments were $6.9 billion lower than forecast at Budget time, including as a result of lower welfare payments with more Australians in paid work. Welfare dependency for working age Australians is now at its lowest level in 25 years and in 2017-18, there were 90,000 fewer working age Australians on welfare.

Net Future Fund earnings were $1.1 billion higher than expected at the time of the 2017-18 Budget (which are excluded from the underlying cash balance).

These outcomes demonstrate that the Liberal-National Government’s economic plan is working and confirm that the Budget is firmly on the path back to balance.

The Australian economy has completed its 27th consecutive year of growth. With more than one million jobs having been created since the Coalition Government was first elected in 2013, today’s outcome reflects the record number of people in jobs and an economy in which businesses are growing.

Real GDP in 2017-18 was stronger than anticipated in the 2017-18 Budget. Nominal GDP grew by 4.7 per cent in 2017‑18, which was significantly stronger than the 2017-18 Budget forecast of 4 per cent. This was the result of stronger‑than-expected real GDP growth and higher-than-assumed prices for key commodities.

Almost 350,000 jobs were created in 2017-18, with employment growing by 2.7 per cent through the year to the June quarter 2018, well above the 1½ per cent growth forecast in the 2017-18 Budget.

Today’s positive Final Budget Outcome builds on the release of the National Accounts earlier this month, which showed that the economy grew 3.4 per cent through the year – the fastest rate of growth since the September quarter 2012 during the height of the mining investment boom and faster than any G7 economy. It also follows last week’s reaffirmation of our AAA credit rating by Standard & Poor’s – Australia being one of only 10 countries with such a rating from all three major ratings agencies.

The Final Budget Outcome for 2017-18 further demonstrates that the Coalition Government’s economic plan is working to create more jobs and ensure that we can afford to deliver the essential services that Australians rely on.

The Final Budget Outcome 2017-18 can be found at


Millions of small and medium sized businesses will pay less tax, sooner – with the Coalition Government delivering its tax relief five years earlier than planned.

This will mean more investment, more jobs and higher wages.

We will introduce legislation during the next session of Parliament, fast-tracking our business tax relief for more than three million businesses that employ nearly seven million Australians.

This means businesses with a turnover below $50 million will face a tax rate of just 25 per cent in 2021-22 rather than from 2026-27 as currently legislated. Similar timing changes will apply to the roll out of the 16 per cent tax discount for unincorporated businesses.

This means that a small business, such as an independent supermarket or a pub, that makes $500,000 profit, will have an additional $7,500 in 2020-21 and $12,500 in 2021-22 to invest back into the business or staff, or help to manage cash flow.

This builds on the first stage of company tax relief that our Government delivered in May 2017, because we believe in a fair go for those who have a go – that’s what our tax plan is all about.

This change will help to ensure Australian businesses are competitive, to protect our economy and jobs.

The legislation that delivers this additional tax relief will be a major test for Bill Shorten – does he support Australian businesses, Australian workers and Australian jobs? Or is Bill Shorten’s only plan for the economy to introduce an extra $200 billion in taxes?

Our economic plan is working and the fast tracking of tax relief for small and medium businesses is an important investment in the future economic growth of our nation.

Corporate 18-19 19-20 20-21 21-22 22-23 23-24 24-25 25-26 26-27
Existing 27.5% 27.5% 27.5% 27.5% 27.5% 27.5% 27% 26% 25%
Fast-tracked 27.5% 27.5% 26% 25% 25% 25% 25% 25% 25%
Unincorporated 18-19 19-20 20-21 21-22 22-23 23-24 24-25 25-26 26-27
Existing 8% 8% 8% 8% 8% 8% 10% 13% 16%
Fast-tracked 8% 8% 13% 16% 16% 16% 16% 16% 16%


Labor will give a voice to the victims sidelined by Scott Morrison’s failure to extend the Banking Royal Commission.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten is today announcing that Shadow Minister for Financial Services Clare O’Neil will travel to cities and towns around Australia that have not been visited by the Royal Commission to hold a series of roundtables with victims.

These roundtables will give victims a crucial opportunity to share their stories and consider options for reform to ensure that the shocking misconduct exposed by the Royal Commission is stamped out.

Labor is committed to working with bank victims the opportunity to be part of this important national conversation.

So far, the Royal Commission has only had time to hear from 27 customers, despite over 9300 customers making written submissions.

All of the hearings of the Commission have been in just three capital cities – regional and rural customers have not had a sufficient chance to have their say in this process.

Misconduct in the financial services sector is a national issue – and Australians across the country deserve their chance to be heard. Unlike the Liberals, Labor will listen to victims.

The Royal Commission’s interim report has highlighted how badly ‘greed’ and ‘the pursuit of short term profit at the expense of basic standards of honesty’ has affected our financial services sector.

Labor now wants victims to have a seat at the table when the Royal Commission considers what reforms are required to clean up this sector.

Scott Morrison doesn’t want to give bank victims a voice. He always has been, and always will be, on the side of the big banks.

He spent 600 days fighting against the Royal Commission, labelling it a ‘populist whinge’ and a ‘reckless distraction’. He voted against the Royal Commission 26 times. And he spent years trying to reward the big banks with a $17 billion tax cut. Now, he’s refusing to extend the Royal Commission – all but guaranteeing victims won’t get a say in responding to the Commission’s recommendations for reform.

Labor called for this Royal Commission, Labor fought for this Royal Commission, Labor will allow victims to have their say, and Labor will work day and night to protect Australian businesses and consumers from this appalling misconduct.


347,000 Australian children are facing a $440 million cut to preschool funding as a result of Scott Morrison’s cuts to preschool, with the program only funded for one more school year.

Unless this cut is reversed, every child now under the age of two will miss out on preschool funding in the year before school. This would be a disaster for Australian children and for our economy.

Scott Morrison’s cuts amount to the equivalent of $1,200 per child every year – a cut that will leave parents out of pocket or force states and community kindies to cut back hours.

In 2009, Federal Labor introduced Universal Access to Preschool for all four year olds, so Australian children could access 15 hours per week of quality preschool education in the year before school.

This was in recognition of the importance of early education – 90% of a child’s brain development occurs before they are five, and children who access preschool have been shown to achieve better school results in later years.

Unfortunately the Liberals continue to treat early education as a political football – leaving parents with uncertainty about whether they will be left out of pocket or whether their child will miss out.

Since the first agreement was signed by Labor in 2008, preschool enrolment has increased from 77% to up to 97% in some states.

However, this is all in jeopardy if Morrison doesn’t reverse his cuts and extend funding for preschool in his next Budget update – less than two months away.
When a student starts behind, they are unlikely to catch up – it’s likely they will not meet minimum NAPLAN standards in Years 3, 5 and 7.

For a country like Australia, this is just not good enough. By refusing to commit to ongoing funding for preschool, Mr Morrison is putting our children’s futures at risk.

He is also making it extremely difficult for providers to plan ahead and build a solid workforce.

This funding cut comes on the back of Morrison’s $14 billion cuts to public schools, his cuts to Universities and cuts to TAFE. These cuts show he just doesn’t understand the importance of education.

He’s spent years arguing for a tax cut for the banks, but Morrison is happy to leave funding for our youngest minds in jeopardy.

Labor will fight for early education and we will fight for better schools because unlike the Liberals, we know that education is an investment in a better future for our kids and our nation’s economy.

NSW 102,000 $128 million
VIC 98,000 $123 million
QLD 68,000 $88 million
SA 22,000 $28 million
WA 37,000 $47 million
TAS 7,000 $9 million
NT 3,800 $4.8 million
ACT 7,000 $9 million
TOTAL 347,000 $440 MILLION

Greens Say Coal Must Go

Yesterday, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a ‘Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5 C’.

The report contained a very clear message: if we don’t quit coal, we are screwed.

So with a coal-loving Prime Minister and a coal-conflicted Labor leader, it’s time to mobilise for a war against coal and a war against climate change. The Greens are the only party taking this threat seriously.

Yesterday, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a ‘Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5 C’.

The report contained a very clear message: if we don’t quit coal, we are screwed.

So with a coal-loving Prime Minister and a coal-conflicted Labor leader, it’s time to mobilise for a war against coal and a war against climate change. The Greens are the only party taking this threat seriously.

2030 is the new deadline. According to the report, we may hit 1.5 degrees as early as 2030, which could trigger multi-metre sea-level rises.

We don’t just need to make the next election about climate change–we need to make every moment about climate change. We need to hit the emergency button.

Global emissions need to peak in 2020. But a few weeks ago, we found out that Australia’s pollution is STILL rising. Business as usual under Liberal and Labor is a death sentence.

We need to make every moment about climate change. Our leaders need to be held to account. The evidence is overwhelming, but the action has been underwhelming.

Liberal and Labor are paralysed by their reliance on the donations of fossil fuel companies.