LABOR’S STATEMENT ON IMPROVING AGED CARE

Only Labor will be in a position to improve aged care and adequately respond to the recommendations from the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety.

By contrast, the Liberals have still not answered what other programs and services they will cut to deliver their promise of at least $77 billion in tax cuts for very high income earners, and that’s before they make further cuts that would be needed to pay for any new aged care spending commitments.

We know the Liberals called the Royal Commission because they failed to drive reform across the aged care sector over the past six years:

  • There are 128,000 older Australians waiting for their approved level of home care package.
  • The Liberals cut almost $2 billion from residential aged care.
  • The Liberals sat on dozens of reports, reviews and inquiries about how to improve aged care but instead called a Royal Commission.

A Shorten Labor Government will work with the sector, including all unions, to improve aged care and respond to the Royal Commission’s recommendations once they are handed down.

To further improve the quality of care and support a future aged care workforce, an elected Shorten Labor Government will:

  • Immediately investigate interventions to ensure older Australians most at need are prioritised for home care.
  • Provide opportunities through TAFE so that up to 20,000 aged care workers can obtain or improve their qualifications.
  • Immediately speed up implementation of the Matter of Care workforce strategy to address inadequate staffing in aged care.
  • Ensure that for residential aged care facilities there is a registered nurse present, on site, 24 hours a day.
  • Publish the skill mix of the workforce employed at every residential aged care facility to ensure the appropriate skills mix of properly trained staff is present at all times.
  • Look at how best to improve access to home care packages and increasing staffing levels and skills.
  • Further address the number of GPs working in aged care to provide proper incentives for GPs to do home visits and provide services in residential aged care.

Consistent with Labor’s commitment to support Australians with dementia and their families and carers, a Shorten Labor Government will:

  • Make improving the care of Australians with dementia a national priority.
  • Remove the complexity of multiple interactions between the Department of Health and Ageing, Centrelink, aged care providers, and the broader health care system for Australians with dementia and their families.
  • Improve the training of aged care staff to improve the workforce’s understanding of dementia, including scholarships for nurses and carers to undertake specialist dementia care training.

Labor also recognises the unique requirements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, culturally and linguistically diverse communities, and LGBTIQ communities, and will prioritise establishing programs that focus on improved support for these groups.

LABOR HITS IT FOR SIX AND WILL REDEVELOP THE WACA

A Shorten Labor Government will invest $30 million towards the redevelopment of the WACA – Western Australia’s oldest and most iconic cricket ground.

This election will be a choice between a united Shorten Labor Government which will build the sporting infrastructure our community needs, or more of the Liberals’ cuts and chaos.

We need real change, because more of the same isn’t good enough.

Following the opening of Optus Stadium, the WACA Ground Improvement Project will allow for the ground to be reshaped as a 10,000 spectator capacity boutique stadium and a community-focussed sport and entertainment hub.

Federal Labor is making this commitment to both the Perth, and wider WA community, because we want to make sure that the WACA is future-proofed, fit-for-purpose, and able to be used by all levels of cricket, in addition to hosting broader sporting, entertainment and hospitality events.

The project includes a 10-lane indoor cricket facility, high performance and administration facilities, a community fitness facility, a new museum honouring the history of the ground and a piazza-style space that can be enjoyed by the community year-round.

Importantly, the project will deliver equitable facilities to accommodate the surging popularity of women’s cricket in Western Australia.

The state-of-the-art training facilities will be accessed by both grassroots community cricketers and professional players from the Western Warriors, Western Fury and Perth Scorchers.

“I want to ensure the future of the WACA for all Western Australians,” said Leader of the Opposition, Bill Shorten.

“My united Federal Labor team and I want real change for Western Australians at the election – and we want to make sure Perth and WA aren’t left behind by Canberra and Liberals,” said Mr Shorten.

Shadow Minister for Sport, Senator Don Farrell, said the redevelopment reinforces Labor’s commitment to sport in Western Australia.

“The WACA has been the scene of some great moments in Australian sporting history but the elite training facilities are outdated.

“Labor’s investment help ensure the WACA’s rich cricket history is preserved and that the iconic ground can serve the needs of cricket into the future, both as a dedicated first-class venue and a modern, year-round elite training facility,” Senator Farrell said.

Shadow Minister Anthony Albanese said the WACA was an Australian cricketing institution and was well-loved by generations of fans.

“This investment will ensure the WACA continues to be a part of Australian cricket along with the new multi-purpose stadium,” said Mr Albanese.

“The WACA holds a very special place in Western Australia’s heart and now has an exciting future as a community hub in East Perth, helping to activate the area, thanks to Federal Labor,” Patrick Gorman, Member for Perth, said.

Across Western Australia, the WACA drives participation to a community footprint of over 200,000 participants, 55 junior and senior cricket association, 447 junior and senior cricket clubs and over 4,000 volunteers across the state – all from its headquarters at the WACA Ground.

Labor is committed to supporting improved sporting facilities to give all Australians a fair go at sport, whether they dream of playing for Australian or just want to enjoy the health and social benefits of grassroots sport.

Our investments in projects like the WACA redevelopment help build capacity in our communities to meet the welcome growth in female sport participation, provide facilities for player development pathways and support more Australians to live active, healthy lifestyles.

Labor can invest in a fair go for all Australians because we’ve made the tough budget decisions to make multinationals pay their fair share of tax and we won’t give the big banks a tax cut.

If you want a fair go for all Australians – vote Labor.

Funding for this commitment has been included in Labor’s Fair Go Budget Plan, available at  http://www.alp.org.au/labors_fiscal_plan.

Approval of King Island oil and gas exploration is madness

Tasmanian Greens Senators Peter Whish-Wilson and Nick McKim have expressed dismay at NOPSEMA’s approval of oil and gas exploration in the Otway Basin.

NOPSEMA this week approved 3D Oil’s application to undertake seismic testing 18km west of King Island (Tas) and 56km south of Cape Otway (Vic).

Senator Whish-Wilson said, “This decision means we are one step closer to seeing oil rigs off Tasmania’s coast.

“This is madness. King Island has some of the most pristine waters in the world.

“Tasmania’s entire tourism and fishing industries depend on our clean and green reputation. Yet the major parties, who take millions in donations from multinational oil and gas companies, are prepared to open up a whole new area for drilling and risk oil spills across the entire coastline.

“Seismic testing is also a threat to the health of our oceans. It has been shown to kill plankton and shellfish. But just how much harm it does to other marine life, including dolphins and whales, is unknown.

“The Greens will stand up for fishers and coastal communities in Tasmania and around the country. That’s why we have drafted a Private Members’ Bill to ban all new offshore oil and gas exploration and extraction to be introduced in the new parliament.”

Senator Nick McKim said, “In the face of a climate emergency we must say no to all new oil and gas.

“A report released last month by international NGO Global Witness found that the opening up of any new oil and gas fields is incompatible with the Paris climate agreement.

“Without a commitment to no new coal, oil or gas, no government can be taken seriously on climate action.

“The approval of oil and gas exploration off King Island should serve as a reminder to Australian voters on Saturday that both major parties are not serious about climate change or our precious environment, and that the big oil and gas donors call the shots in our parliament.

“The Greens want Tasmania and Australia to be leaders on tackling the climate emergency and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”

Man charged with drugs and prohibited weapons offences – Newcastle

A man has been charged following a three-month investigation into drug supply in the Newcastle area.

In February 2019, detectives from Newcastle City Police District established Strike Force Toocooya to investigate the supply of heroin in the Newcastle area.

Following inquiries by Strike Force detectives, about 1.30pm on Monday 13 May 2019, a 38-year-old man was stopped by police while he was driving a hire car on Llewelyn Street, Merewether.

A search of the vehicle allegedly uncovered a prohibited drug believed to be heroin, and cash.

Police arrested the man and he was taken to Newcastle Police Station.

A subsequent search warrant of two properties in Berner Street, Merewether, and Park Avenue, Kotara, allegedly uncovered $11,000 in cash, a range of prohibited weapons including knuckle dusters, ballistic vests, a replica Glock pistol, tasers, flick knives, batons and drug paraphernalia.

Police will also allege they found prohibited drugs including heroin, cocaine, MDMA and cannabis.

The 38-year-old man was charged with more than 300 offences, including ongoing drug supply as well as firearm and weapon offences.

He was refused bail at Newcastle Local Court on Tuesday 14 May to reappear at the same court on Wednesday 22 May 2019.

Investigations under Strike Force Toocooya continue.

Vale Bob Hawke

It is with a heavy heart that I write to you about the passing of Bob Hawke, Australia’s 23rd Prime Minister.

The Australian people loved Bob because they knew Bob loved them, this was true to the very end.

With his passing, the labour movement salutes our greatest son, the Labor Party gives thanks for the life of our longest-serving Prime Minister and Australians everywhere remember and honour a man who gave so much to the country and people he cared for so deeply.

In coming days and weeks our nation will give its tribute to a leader and statesman who inspired such profound affection and admiration, such loyalty and love among so many.

We will remember and revisit the images we know so well.

Bob with microphone or megaphone in one hand, the other moving in time with his words, rallying, inspiring and delighting a crowd.

Bob with head cocked, one hand grasping his earlobe, listening respectfully to an Aboriginal elder, a captain of industry, laughing with an American President or charming a local parent out doing their shopping.

Maybe in the stands, eyes fixed on the track, creased and folded form guide in hand, ticking off another winner.

Or in that iconic jacket, mouth open with laughter, dodging the beer and champagne, giving his Prime Ministerial blessing to a national sickie.

Those images will always be with us, the words to accompany them will pour in from across the country and around the world.

But the most powerful and enduring tributes to Bob Hawke are not words or pictures, they are found all around us.

World-class universities, where places are earned on merit not purchased by privilege.

Children from working-class families who finish school. Less than 3 in 10 kids did that when Bob came to office, 8 in 10 when he left.

A modern, outward-looking, competitive economy, built around the principle that working and middle class people must be fairly rewarded for their efforts.

A system dedicated to the idea that growth is stronger when it is shared, when wages and living standards rise and a generous safety net catches those who fall on hard times.

A country where tourists and locals alike share the wonders of the Daintree, or ride the rapids of the Franklin.

An Australia at home in Asia, a voice heard and respected in the councils of the world.

A country that steps up and plays its part, keeping peace in the Middle East, keeping Antarctica safe for science.

Every Australian carries a monument to Bob Hawke with them, their Medicare card. A green-and-gold promise that the health of any one of us, matters to all of us.

As President of the ACTU, Bob was the champion of unpopular causes:

The right of unions to organise and bargain.
Opposing French nuclear testing in the Pacific.
Opposing the war in Vietnam.
Opposing Apartheid and defending Nelson Mandela, when conservatives were branding him a terrorist.
He was a leader of conviction – and a builder of consensus. But for Bob, consensus and co-operation never meant pursuing the lowest common denominator.

Bringing the country together never meant presenting people with the soft option, or taking the nation down the low road or the lazy path of least resistance.

Bob and the brilliant cabinet he chaired so assuredly didn’t demand consensus or capitulate to it, they built it: through leadership, through persuasion, through Bob’s special connection with the Australian people that he nurtured and treasured.

After he left politics, Bob’s innate appreciation for Australians’ aspirations made him a wonderful source of advice and inspiration for his successors.

He was always generous with his time, and well into his ninth decade, remained a star performer at every Labor gathering he attended. No night was complete without his rendition of “Solidarity Forever”.

In Australian history, in Australian politics, there will always be B.H. and A.H: Before Hawke and After Hawke.

After Hawke, we were a different country.

A kinder, better, bigger and bolder country.

His brilliant, incomparable partnership with Paul Keating transformed our economy.

His deep friendship and co-operation with Bill Kelty gave us the national Accord and the social wage.

In our region, conscientiously, sensitively and with deep humility, he engaged the leaders and people of Asia.

He knew that Australia’s future depended on making peace with our past, through true and lasting Reconciliation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

And he understood the duty we all have to preserve our natural heritage, to protect the environmental treasures we hold on trust for future generations.

Of course, to honour Bob is to pay tribute to Blanche, his chronicler, companion, confidante and champion. Their love for each other shone through everything.

Blanche is in our hearts today, so too are Bob’s children, Sue, Stephen, Rosslyn, his stepson Louis and his grandchildren.

At our Labor launch I told Bob we loved him, I promised we would win for him. I said the same to him the next day at his home, when I visited.

It was Monday 6 May, the Sydney sun was out, that famous silver mane, now snow-white. Cigar in hand, strawberry milkshake on the table, the hefty bulk of his dictionary holding down the day’s cryptic crossword.

I gave the man who inspired me to go into politics a gentle hug, I tried to tell him what he meant to me, what he meant to all of us.

I couldn’t quite find the right words, few of us can, when we’re face-to-face with our heroes.

But Bob knew.

He knew what he meant to Australia, he knew what he had achieved for the country.

He knew he was loved, right to the end.

We honour him.

We will remember him.

In solidarity, forever.

May he rest in peace.

– Bill Shorten

Off-duty officers assist in arrest of man accused of robbery offences – Newcastle

A man has been charged in relation to two separate alleged robbery offences earlier this month.

About 8.15pm on Saturday 4 May 2019, a male employee was in a business on Nelson St, Wallsend, when a man and a woman entered the shop.

Police will allege a 26-year-old man threatened the employee with an unknown object before taking a sum of cash and fleeing the scene.

Officers from Newcastle City Police District were called a short time later and established a crime scene.

About 10.30pm that same night, a 20-year-old female was at a university campus at Callaghan, when police allege the same man and woman approached her.

She was allegedly assaulted by the female, while the man stole her laptop before the pair fled the scene.

The 20-year-old contacted university security who then contacted police.

Following extensive inquiries, about midday yesterday (Wednesday 15 May 2019), a 26-year-old man was spotted by a group of off-duty officers at a shopping centre in Waratah.

They alerted police from the Newcastle Target Action Group who arrived and arrested the man.

He was taken to Waratah Police Station and charged with robbery armed with offensive weapon and robbery in company.

He was refused bail at Newcastle Local Court today, to face the same court on Thursday 11 July 2019.

Newcastle City Police District Crime Manager Detective Chief Inspector Scott Parker has praised the work of both on and off-duty officers.

“These off-duty officers were spending time with their families, but the role of a police officer never switches off. This shows the great level of teamwork within the Newcastle City Police District throughout all units.”

Inquiries continue.

LABOR FUNDING TO OPEN UP UNIVERSITY OPTIONS FOR KIDS IN OUT OF HOME CARE

A Shorten Labor Government will invest $120,000 for the University of Newcastle to deliver a pilot project to open up the world of higher education to kids in out of home care.

This election will be a choice between a united Shorten Labor Government which will reverse the Liberals’ education cuts and properly fund our universities, or more of the Liberals’ cuts and chaos.

Federal Member for Newcastle Sharon Claydon said the program would initially target participants in the Hunter, Newcastle and Central Coast regions.

“With about 10 per cent of young people in out of home care living in the Hunter, Newcastle and Central Coast regions, there is a dire need for greater support,” Ms Claydon said.

“Labor understands education is best way to help young people escape cycles of disadvantage and achieve their potential, and that’s exactly what this funding is about.”

Ms Claydon said 1,200 young people, case workers and carers were expected to engage with the program and its resources during a three-year pilot.

“In a unique model, current university students who have experience of out of home care will use their personal insights to help to design materials for young people currently in out of home care, their caseworkers and carers,” Ms Claydon said.

“These students will then be trained and paid to deliver training to children currently in care. This will have the dual benefit of giving them an income to support their studies and giving kids in care a mentor who understands the challenges they face.”

Ms Claydon said out of home care caseworkers and carers would also take part in training, so they are able to understand and communicate the options to young people.

“Around 84 per cent of out of home care students participating in an existing University of Newcastle program said that, while in out of home care, they couldn’t remember one person speaking to them about university as an option after care,” Ms Claydon said.

“Similar numbers said how helpful it would have been if their caseworkers and carers spoke to them about these options and the experiences of young people in care who have moved on to higher education.”

University of Newcastle Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Darrell Evans, said the program underlines the University’s commitment to creating equal educational opportunity for all.

“It’s vital that we provide as many people as possible the support they need to access a university education, and all the benefits that can bring,” Professor Evans said.

“Our University has a proud history of enabling access to education for people from diverse backgrounds and circumstances, and this innovative pilot program will build on that. By drawing on the real experiences of students who have received out-of-home care, we can provide meaningful, tailored support that will create lasting opportunities.”

A Shorten Labor Government will also uncap university places and invest $3.2 billion into TAFE, university and skills training.

This election is a choice between Labor’s plan for increased investment in education or bigger tax loopholes for the top end of town under the Liberals.

If you want real investment in education, not more chaos – vote Labor.

LABOR TO FUND UNIVERSITY OF NEWCASTLE PARENTS’ ROOMS

Federal Member for Newcastle Sharon Claydon and Member for Dobell Emma McBride today announced that, if elected, a Shorten Labor Government will invest $50,000 to build two parents’ rooms at the University of Newcastle.

This election is a choice between Labor’s plan for increased investment in education or bigger tax loopholes for the top end of town under the Liberals.

Ms Claydon said the funding would install parents’ room in the libraries of both Ourimbah and Callaghan campuses of the University.

“These rooms will provide a welcoming environment with toys for children to play with and a comfortable place to study,” Ms Claydon said.

“Some parents avoid going into a library environment for fear of disturbing others, so it’s great to be able to provide a space where they can feel at home.”

Ms McBride said Labor provided the funding to give parents the best opportunity to engage fully in higher education and attain their goals.

“Labor is fully committed to giving every Australian the opportunity to achieve their potential,” Ms McBride said.

“It’s hard enough to take on higher education with parenting responsibilities, so everything that we can do to make it easier for students with children is a worthwhile investment.”

This $50,000 investment is funded through Labor’s $300 million University Future Fund.

A Shorten Labor Government will also uncap university places and invest in TAFE, university and skills training.

If you want real investment in education, not more chaos – vote Labor.

Community welcome to learn about fenced dog park plan

City of Newcastle invites the community to an information session at the site of the City’s first fenced dog park on Saturday to view plans and hear about its benefits.

The 8,760 square metre fenced area will be built at the Acacia Avenue Reserve, North Lambton, as part of the City’s Dogs in Open Space Plan. There are currently 44,300 registered dogs in the Newcastle local government area.

The session will be held Saturday from 10am to 12 noon. Non-dog owners are also welcome to attend and learn about the works taking place.

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Deputy Lord Mayor Declan Clausen said the North Lambton site will be the first in a series of future improvements to off-leash dog parks across Newcastle.

“This site in North Lambton marks the start of improvements to dog infrastructure across the City of Newcastle,” the Deputy Lord Mayor said.

“This project responds to consistent requests from our community. Half of all Novocastrian households own at least one dog.

“The project will deliver two separate fenced areas at Acacia Avenue Reserve, catering for both big and smaller dog breeds, and include additional tree plantings, shelter and seating, and drinking water stations for our four-legged friends.”

Rangers will be onsite Saturday offering free microchipping and responsible pet ownership bags containing pamphlets and brochures about responsible dog ownership and care.

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Stage 1 of the project is expected to commence this Monday and be completed by July.

When completed, the park will include.

  • 1.5 metre high mesh fencing to create separate small and large dog areas
  • Two shade shelters with seating
  • 450 metres of new accessible pathway
  • Two dog bubblers and dog dispenser bags
  • Signage and waste bins
  • Tree planting and landscaped gardens
  • Informal gravel carpark

The existing off-leash area at the Reserve’s lower level will be retained as an additional unfenced dog exercise facility.

The City plans to deliver further fenced off-leash areas as funding becomes available in future financial years, with consideration being given to further sites including O’Connell Reserve, Lambton Park, the Carrington Foreshore, Maryland Drive Reserve, and Stevenson Park.

$81.5 million for New Cancer, Mental Health, and Heart Failure Services in Western Australia

The Morrison Government will provide $81.5 million to support Western Australians with cancer, mental health issues and chronic heart failure

These new initiatives will improve the lives of Western Australians in need, providing much needed support and hope.

Our strong economic management means we can provide record investment in these initiatives, Medicare, public hospitals and medicines, delivering more doctors, more nurses and more services to West Australians.

$44 million for West Australian cancer strategies

$25.1 million is being invested to help implement a cancer care strategy across rural WA.

This includes $9 million for new radiation oncology treatment services at Geraldton, WA.

The WA Country Health Service (WACHS) Cancer Strategy will be the first WA-wide coordinated approach to providing specialist cancer services in rural communities.

It is aimed at overcoming the inequity of access for country cancer patients in WA, increasing survival and improving the quality of life for country people diagnosed with cancer.

In addition, $19 million will be allocated for state wide genomic testing that will take the treatment of WA cancer patients to a new level.

This testing will benefit all WA patients diagnosed with cancer by using the patients DNA to personalise their cancer treatment plan.

It will enable earlier, more informed clinical decision-making, aligning patients with the best treatment for their disease from the start.

This funding is in addition to the Liberal National Governments $50 million investment in the Australian Genomics Cancer Medicine Program and the landmark $500 million Medical Research Future Fund Genomics Health Futures Mission.

$33.5 million for better mental health in Western Australia

The Morrison Government will invest $33.5 million in three new initiatives to support the mental health of Western Australians.

North Perth will be the location of a $14 million walk-in adult community mental health centre funded through the Morrison Government’s record-breaking $736 million mental health Budget measure.

This new centre, will provide much needed mental health support services particularly in times of crisis.

People will be able to walk in without a prior appointment and have access to treatment, advice, and support provided by a range of mental health professionals at any time of the day or night.

This is part of a $114.5 million trial of eight walk-in community centres around the country.

The Morrison Government is also providing an investment of $4.8 million to establish a new behavioural assessment unit at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital Wanneroo to provide better support for people frequently presenting to the hospital’s emergency department with mental illness and drug and alcohol issues.

The funding will also support new comprehensive primary care hubs across existing general practices in the Wanneroo area.

Young West Australians with mental health issues will also get improved care and support in a new, dedicated 10-bed forensic mental health ward, through an investment of $14.8 million from the Morrison Government.

This new service will address a critical gap in mental health services in Western Australia – the need to ensure children and young people who are in trouble with the law and referred through the court system can get the mental health support they need.

The Liberal National Government was the first to designate mental health as one of the four key pillars of the health care system and is prioritising better mental health for all Australians by investing a record $4.8 billion in mental health this financial year alone and an expected $5.3 billion next year.

$3.8 million for new support for chronic heart failure patients

West Australians living with chronic heart failure will get improved support under a Morrison Government-funded trial of a new multidisciplinary care approach to this chronic disease.

The Morrison Government is providing $3.8 million to develop and implement models of multidisciplinary care for patients in two WA locations – one metropolitan, one country.

All of these initiatives are part of our plan to strengthen Australia’s world class health system.

We can deliver this record investment in health without raising taxes for hard-working West Australians.