Statement from Adam Bandt regarding the Labor candidate for Melbourne’s resignation

Greens Adam Bandt MP today said that the decision by the Labor candidate in Melbourne is the right one, and noted that the contest is now one between the Greens and the conservatives.

“Violence against women and sexual violence is unacceptable, in any circumstances. The decision of the Labor candidate to resign is the right one,” Mr Bandt said.

“Melbourne is now a contest between the Greens and the conservatives, so if voters want to change the government and get real action on climate change, they need to vote Greens.”

“I won’t take this seat for granted. I will continue to campaign hard, talking to voters and seeking their support for my re-election right up to 6pm on election day.”

Public place shooting and men charged – Muswellbrook

Two men will appear in court after a public place shooting in the Hunter region earlier this week.

Police attended an address on Wollombi Road, Muswellbrook, shortly before 9pm (Wednesday 1 May 2019), following reports shots were fired into the air.

Officers from Hunter Valley Police District established a crime scene which will be forensically examined.

No one was injured during the incident.

Following inquiries, about 12.10pm yesterday (Friday 3 May 2019), officers executed a search warrant at a home in Muswellbrook and arrested a 19-year-old man.

He was taken to Muswellbrook Police Station and charged with armed with intent to commit an indictable offence and possess or use a prohibited weapon without permit (x2).

He was granted conditional bail to appear at Muswellbrook Local Court on Monday 17 June 2019.

About 1.50pm (Friday 3 May 2019), a 19-year-old man attended Muswellbrook Police Station where he was arrested.

He was charged with stalk intimidate intend fear physical harm (x2), fire firearm in or near public place, use unauthorised firearm, and possess prohibited drug.

He was refused bail to appear at Wyong Local Court today (4 May 2019).

LABOR WILL SUPPORT PEOPLE IN FINANCIAL HARDSHIP IN NEWCASTLE

A Shorten Labor Government will provide $40 million over four years to emergency relief organisations across the country, including over half a million dollars for organisations in Newcastle.

This election is a choice between a Shorten Labor Government supporting people doing it tough, or bigger tax loopholes for the top end of town under the Liberals.

The Morrison Government is cutting the funding for many emergency relief services at the end of the year.

Labor will reverse these cuts and provide a much-needed funding boost to the sector.

In Newcastle this will mean Labor will deliver an extra $491,000 to the Samaritans Foundation for emergency relief services over the next four years.

Labor will also restore the $73,000 that the Liberals cut from emergency relief funding for Muloobinba Aboriginal Corporation.

Without this funding Muloobinba Aboriginal Corporation will no longer be able to provide emergency relief to First Nations families in need.

These services provide support to vulnerable people who have nowhere else to turn by providing food hampers, funding for fuel to attend specialist medical appointments and other financial assistance.

The charities and not-for-profits that do this important work are increasingly stretched and need more resources.

A Shorten Labor Government will also support Australians in financial hardship by:

  • Doubling the number of financial counsellors across the country.
  • Expanding low-cost alternatives to pay day loans for low-income Australians, providing safe and fair credit options when things get tough.
  • Reversing the Morrison Government’s $5.5 million cut to emergency relief organisations across the country and providing a much-needed top up to the emergency relief sector.

Many vulnerable Australians are falling through the cracks. Labor will make sure our charities and not-for-profits have the resources they need to support our fellow Australians.

FEDERAL MEMBER FOR NEWCASTLE SHARON CLAYDON SAID:

“I have met too many families in our community who are in crisis and in need of a helping hand. The Morrison Government’s cruel cuts put services that support vulnerable people at risk.

“The Muloobinba Aboriginal Corporation and the Samaritans Foundation of Newcastle provide essential services to our community. Only Labor can make sure they’re properly funded to keep doing this important work.”

New $10 million Hub to support Indigenous Small Business in Perth

The Morrison Government is partnering with the Wirrpanda Foundation to establish a $10 million Indigenous Business and Jobs Hub in Perth.

Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Nigel Scullion and the Member for Swan, Steve Irons, announced the new facility – to be based in Swan – to assist local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander small businesses take advantage of the Coalition Government’s investments in Western Australia.

“Since the Coalition came to office in 2013, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander small businesses have experienced unprecedented growth with a 30 per cent increase in the number of Indigenous Australians in small business in five years,” Minister Scullion said.

“The Indigenous Procurement Policy (IPP) introduced by the Coalition in July 2015 has supercharged the sector – prior to its introduction there were only 30 Indigenous businesses winning $6.2 million in Commonwealth contracts in 2012-13, in contrast since the IPP there have been 1,470 Indigenous businesses winning 6,880 Commonwealth contracts worth over $1.83 billion.

“To meet this unprecedented demand, the Coalition Government has introduced a range of new financial products to assist existing and emerging Indigenous businesses win more contracts and continue to grow as part of our 2016 election commitment to an Indigenous Business Sector Strategy.

“The new Hubs are about bringing together the myriad of new support services available under the Indigenous Business Sector Strategy into a one-stop shop to help Indigenous businesses take advantage of the new opportunities being created by the IPP.

Member for Swan and Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister, Steve Irons, welcomed this new investment to assist Indigenous small businesses in Swan and across Western Australia.

“The policies of the Morrison Government have led to unprecedented economic growth for the nation – with over a million jobs created, 230,000 new Australian small businesses opening their doors since 2013 and the lowest welfare dependency rate in 30 years,” Mr Irons said.

“Of course, Indigenous Australians have greater barriers to entry into small business for a range of historical reasons and I am very proud of being part of a Government that is focused on ensuring that disadvantaged communities get a fair-go at the opportunities being created for all Australians.

“This new Hub will be the catalyst for Indigenous businesses in Swan and across Western Australia to come together to network, access opportunities and continue its record growth. This new $10 million investment is a fantastic boost for the electorate of Swan and Indigenous small businesses across Western Australia.

The Wirrpanda Foundation which will deliver the new Indigenous Business and Jobs Hub, is a highly successful Indigenous employment provider that will leverage this expertise to deliver a new one-stop shop service.

“The Indigenous Business and Jobs Hub will provide an invaluable opportunity to allow Indigenous Businesses to flourish. It will provide a collaborative entrepreneurial workspace for business, Indigenous businesses and jobseekers to come together,” David Wirrpanda said.

“It is an immense privilege for the Foundation to have a role in the empowerment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses and, in turn, the community.”

Funding for this project is allocated from within existing resources of the $5.2 billion Indigenous Advancement Strategy.

Background

Key initiatives announced as part of the Indigenous Business Sector Strategy include:

 

  • A $27 million Indigenous Entrepreneurs Capital Scheme, to de-risk commercial finance for mature and established Indigenous businesses that cannot access finance. The Government will partner with financial institutions to deliver new Indigenous products which the Indigenous Entrepreneurs Capital Scheme will support a portion of the risk.
  • A refocused $27 million Business Development Assistance Program, delivered by Indigenous Business Australia, to support start-ups and those entrepreneurs that are outside of the banks risk profile but who with one-on-one support and tailored finance can succeed.
  • Doubling the microfinance footprint to support more entrepreneurial activity and economic development and piloting a CDP Business Incubator model to help CDP participants foster self-employment and turn their activities into micro businesses.
  • A new $20 million Performance Bonds Facility has been introduced which Indigenous constructions firms can use to win roads and construction contracts.
  • The $30 million Indigenous Entrepreneurs Fund is investing in plant and equipment to help Indigenous businesses in remote and regional areas win new contracts.

 

Funding Boost to Establish Far North Queensland’s Newest Tourism Icon

Visitors to Far North Queensland will soon be able to walk or cycle a stunning new coastal and hinterland route from Palm Cove to Port Douglas, thanks to an $8 million investment from the Coalition Government.

Federal Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham said the Wangetti Trail, once complete, would become one of the country’s leading adventure-based ecotourism experiences.

He said funding for the project is part of the government’s $50 million National Tourism Icons package announced in this year’s federal budget.

“The Wangetti Trail will be a one-of-a-kind experience, attracting hikers and cyclists from across Australia and the globe,” Minister Birmingham said.

“Having a dedicated trail will also help protect the natural landscape in the region whilst at the same deliver an iconic tourism product to help drive visitor growth.

“It will help lure thousands of extra visitors into the region’s hotels, shops and restaurants and will also help support the variety of ecotourism and indigenous experiences on offer.

“In a six-day walk or a two-day ride, visitors will be able to take in the extraordinary scenery of the regions rainforests and coastline, learn about the rich local indigenous culture, and sample local hospitality at pubs and restaurants along the trail.

“One in thirteen Australian jobs rely on our tourism industry.

“That is why the Coalition Government is maintaining our record investment in tourism infrastructure and marketing as part of our plan to generate another 1.25 million jobs across Australia.”

Federal Leichardt Warren Entsch MP said the Wangetti Trail would create around 150 local jobs and be a significant boost to tourism and the local economy.

He said this investment in local tourism was about listening, acting and delivering for the community.

“This incredible new nature-based experience, once up and running, will be a major tourism drawcard to our region,” Mr Entsch said.

“Our $8 million funding boost will go towards building the second stage of the Wangetti Trail from the Mowbray River through to Palm Cove.

“It will include trail construction, upgrades to bridges, campsites and associated infrastructure.

“It will also include $350,000 to advance Indigenous tourism partnerships on the Wangetti Trail.”

Mr Entsch said the trail has the potential to attract an extra 28,000 visitors to the region each year, making a significant contribution to the local visitor economy.

“The Wangetti Trail is expected to generate $18.3 million in additional spending in the local economy of which at least $10.4 million is expected to be from new visitors coming specifically for the trail.”

A Cleaner Environment For All Australians

A re-elected Morrison Government will invest $203 million to increase recycling and reduce waste, protect Australia’s unique threatened species and restore our waterways and coasts.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he wanted to ensure Australia’s environment was protected for future generations.

“We have the best beaches, parks and rivers in the world and these measures support practical and meaningful activities that protect our environment and gets results,” Mr Morrison said.

“We will increase Australia’s recycling rates, tackle plastic waste and litter, accelerate work on new recycling schemes and continue action to halve food waste by 2030.”

This new national waste and recycling initiative includes:

  • $100 million Australian Recycling Investment Fund through the Clean Energy Finance Corporation to support manufacturing of lower emissions and energy-efficient recycled content products, such as recycled content plastics and paper/pulp.
  • $20 million for a new Product Stewardship Investment Fund to accelerate work on new industry-led recycling schemes, including for batteries, electrical and electronic products, photovoltaic systems and plastic oil containers.
  • $20 million to find new and innovative solutions to plastic recycling and waste through the Cooperative Research Centres Projects grants program.
  • $16 million to support the Pacific Ocean Litter Project, working with our Pacific neighbours to reduce plastics and other waste in our oceans.
  • Up to $5.8 million for a range of initiatives through the Environment Restoration Fund to support the great work of Clean Up Australia, Keep Australia Beautiful, the Australian Council of Recycling, Planet Ark, the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation and OzHarvest.
  • Up to $5 million through the Environment Restoration Fund for Conservation Volunteers Australia to coordinate community campaigns to clean up plastic waste in our beaches and rivers.
  • Continuing to work with state, territory and local governments on opportunities to get more recycled content into road construction, building on the funding provided to the Australian Road Research Board in the 2019-Budget.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said the projects announced today directly improve the quality of the environment for the benefit of all Australians.

“At the same time as meeting our emissions targets without harming the economy, we are reducing physical waste, cleaning up our environment and ensuring it is protected for generations to come.”

“Notably, our urban waterways and coastal areas will receive funding of over $15 million through the Environment Restoration Fund. This will go towards cleaning up important systems, including up to $2 million to clean up Melbourne’s iconic Yarra River and improve the environmental health of both the Yarra and Port Phillip Bay.”

Other waterways supported will include River Torrens, Swan-Canning River, Brisbane River and the Hawkesbury and Nepean Rivers.

A re-elected Morrison Government will also invest $10 million through the Environment Restoration Fund in an important program to establish feral predator-free ‘safe havens’ for Australia’s threatened native species.

The safe havens will secure the future of many of our threatened mammals and birds, including species such as the Eastern Quoll, Mountain Pygmy Possum, the Long-nosed Potoroo and Black-footed rockwallaby.

Environment Minister Melissa Price said achieving tangible improvements for the environment through practical initiatives has been a priority.

“These projects will play a significant role in protecting our natural assets.”

“From reducing the amount of plastic that occupies our coastal waters; improving the quality of local waterways; to ensuring the protection of some of our most iconic and vulnerable species; today’s announcement targets all of these challenges.”

$6 million will also be provided to protect the koalas of South-East Queensland and Northern NSW, with funding for hospital and research facilities at Australia Zoo, the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary and the Queensland RSPCA, as well as protection and restoration of important habitat across the region.

A further $6 million will be invested to protect other threatened species including WA’s Black Cockatoos, Bruny Island’s Eastern Quolls and Kangaroo Island’s endangered Dunnart.

The Morrison Government is only able to make these investments because of a strong economy.

Our cleaner environment plan is backed by a strong record of delivery, including:

  • Meeting our international climate targets with a $3.5 billion Climate Solutions Plan
  • Delivery of the Reef 2050 Plan and a record $1.2 billion investment in the Great Barrier Reef, including our Great Barrier Reef Partnership Program
  • $1 billion for the second phase of the National Landcare Program
  • $425 million already invested in the protection of threatened species and appointment of the country’s first Threatened Species Commissioner
  • Up to $216 million to improve facilities in Kakadu National Park
  • $100 million Environment Restoration Fund
  • Over $22 million to support local environment projects through the Communities Environment Program
  • Establishment of the world’s second largest network of marine parks
  • $21.4 million for infrastructure upgrades at important defence heritage sites around Sydney Harbour
  • Record $2.8 billion investment in Antarctic science, infrastructure and operations

Coalition Delivering Defence Infrastructure in the Northern Territory

In an uncertain world, Australia’s prosperity depends on our security. To protect Australia and our national interests, we are building a stronger Defence Force, restoring Defence funding to 2 per cent of GDP by 2020-21 and investing over $200 billion in military capability over the decade

The Liberal and Nationals Government‘s 2016 Defence White Paper sets out a comprehensive strategy to deal with our security challenges. Included in this comprehensive strategy is a commitment to invest in Defence infrastructure in the Northern Territory as part of the Integrated Investment Program.

The Assistant Minister for Defence, David Fawcett said that the Northern Territory has a vital role to play as a partner with Defence and that timely investment in Defence infrastructure was important to ensure that local businesses remain viable into the future to provide support to our military and allies.

“The Morrison Government will therefore direct Defence to bring forward the start date on approved infrastructure work packages for commencement before the end of 2019”, Assistant Minister Fawcett said.

“Our decision will bring real money into the Territory and Top End businesses more quickly than was otherwise planned”

“The successful Local Industry Capability Plan initiative has been based on feedback from regional businesses and means that work packages will be tendered that are suitable for local companies to bid for and win, delivering both value for money and local benefit”.

Minister Fawcett thanked Country Liberal candidates Jacinta Price (Lingiari), Cathy Ganley (Solomon) and Dr Sam McMahon (Senate) for their advocacy to ensure that work continued to flow to local companies from the $20 billion Defence infrastructure package for the Northern Territory.

“Total work funded in 2018/19 will be $335 million, growing to over $400 million in 2019/20. Defence is currently investing in projects across the NT including Larrakeyah, Robertson Barracks, and RAAF Tindal.”

LABOR REELS IT IN FOR ANGLERS

A Shorten Labor Government will ramp up support for the recreational fishing industry with a $55.5 million investment to renew ageing infrastructure, replenish native fish stocks in our rivers and create the first ever Prime Ministerial Roundtable on Recreational Fishing.

Around 3.4 million Australians engage in recreational fishing each year, directly contributing an estimated $1.8 billion to the economy and supporting around 90,000 Australian jobs.

Labor will provide a $45 million boost to improve recreational fishing infrastructure all across Australia. This new investment builds on our previously announced $10 million commitment.

We will focus on upgrading existing and building new boat ramps, pontoons and jetties to help improve safety and amenity for people launching their vessels.

Many existing boat ramps are in bad need of an upgrade – they are often single lane, resulting in long queues and often dangerous competition for spots on the launches.

Labor will invest $10 million into native fish breeding and stocking across Australia, replenishing 10 million native fish a year into Australia’s rivers.

We will work closely with similar state programs and in consultation with recreational fishing groups to determine which species and breeds should be priorities.

A further $500,000 grant will be provided to the Give Back to Habitat campaign to support on the ground efforts to protect and restore fish habitats. Recreational fishers are some of Australia’s most committed conservationists, and Labor wants to offer practical help.

In addition to this funding, a Shorten Labor Government will establish the first Prime Ministerial Roundtable on Recreational Fishing.

Industry leaders and recreational fishing groups will be invited to meet annually and discuss issues with the prime minister, and minister responsible for fisheries.

The annual roundtable will be held in regional Australia – for example North West Tasmania, the North Coast of New South Wales, or Central or North Queensland: areas in Australia where recreational fishing is a major pastime. For the first time, recreational fishing groups will be able to take issues directly to the prime minister.

A Shorten Labor Government will also:

  • Ensure the small pelagic fishery is protected from large-capacity factory freezer trawlers, preventing the use of super trawlers
  • Continue to support the national Recreational Fishing Council and give our recreational fishers a seat at the decision-making table

This election is a choice between Labor’s plan to invest in communities around Australia, or bigger tax loopholes for the top end of town under the Liberals.

After six years of Liberal cuts and chaos, our united Labor team is ready.

Statement from Adam Bandt regarding the Labor candidate for Melbourne’s resignation

Greens Adam Bandt MP today said that the decision by the Labor candidate in Melbourne is the right one, and noted that the contest is now one between the Greens and the conservatives.

“Violence against women and sexual violence is unacceptable, in any circumstances. The decision of the Labor candidate to resign is the right one,” Mr Bandt said.

“Melbourne is now a contest between the Greens and the conservatives, so if voters want to change the government and get real action on climate change, they need to vote Greens.”

“I won’t take this seat for granted. I will continue to campaign hard, talking to voters and seeking their support for my re-election right up to 6pm on election day.”

Liberals’ empty environment promises

The Liberal Party’s piecemeal promises on the environment will not undo the damage their billions of dollars in fossil fuel subsidies have done to our natural world, the Greens say.

“This is way too little, way too late from the Liberal Government. Today’s offering is a drop in the ocean to try and appease voters in Victoria rather than properly investing in environmental restoration and tackling dangerous climate change,” Greens environment and water spokesperson Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said.

“Melissa Price has been Australia’s worst Environment Minister. She’s overseen cuts to her department and ticked off on shonky approvals for her mining mates on the eve of the election.  Today’s she was kept away from Prime Minister’s key environment announcement, keeping her from stuffing up another interview.

“It’s clear the Liberals will never do right by the environment. When they’re handing $20 billion out in subsidies for fossil fuels, they are funding the destruction of our environment.

“Under the Greens plan for the environment, the big polluters would pay for the restoration of the environment and protecting our native species.

“With Adani facing another setback because of its inadequate plan for the black-throated finch, voters are faced with a clear choice this election. A vote for the Liberals is a vote for the big miners over the environment.

“Under our plan projects like drilling in the Great Australia Bight would never go ahead, and the animals that depend on the Bight – like the Australian sea lion – would be fully protected.

“Australians have a clear choice. If they want real action on climate change, the protection, and restoration of our environment, and a plan to save our threatened species, they have to vote Green on May 18.”