I was thinking the other day about what Australia really needs from its Government, to replace the current broken down corrupt and incompetent LNP Government, so I wrote Albo’s victory speech for him:
“Ladies and Gentlemen, friends, fellow Australians. Thank you all for that welcome. Tonight, after nine long years of conservative Government, is a great night for Australia and for the Labor Party. Tonight we can start to rebuild Australia as a fairer, more equitable, more inclusive and more successful society.
We can begin to rebuild our international reputation as a leader on human rights, on climate and much else. As a country that pioneered initiatives such as the eight hour day and the secret ballot but which has recently sadly fallen behind in our commitment to human rights and equality.
As a country which has always attempted to punch above its weight in international relations and which has sought to be a peacemaker rather than a divider, we must return to those goals. We must restore our reputation as a country that has sought to welcome those less fortunate rather than to punish them.
The challenges of the coming years will not be easy. We live in a time that is uncomfortable, full of difficult and divisive issues. Climate change, war, inequality, a pandemic, disinformation. But each one of those challenges also offers an opportunity.
It is very easy as the Prime Minister elect of this country to say that I intend to govern for all Australians and not just for those who voted for the Labor Party. That is a cliche advanced by most Presidents and Prime Ministers.
But I can honestly say that, while there will be policies put forward by this Government that some will not like, at the end of our term of Government, Australia will be fairer, healthier, more sustainable and more dynamic. Things that will benefit everyone regardless of political viewpoint.
We will put in place tax policies that will make Australia a more equal society. Some wealthy people will pay more tax but, in the end, all will benefit because all economists know that a more equal society is also one that is stronger economically.
We will address climate change on many fronts. We intend to move to an economy built on one hundred percent renewable energy and storage, where the surplus energy will go to power a resurgent economy based on wind, solar, storage and large quantities of green hydrogen.
Green hydrogen that will replace the coal and gas industry and will drive an industrial renaissance based on the cheapest, greenest, energy in the world. One that does not destroy our planet but provides not just jobs, but a cleaner environment for our children and our childrens’ children. But our obligation, on climate, is not just to Australians to but our Pacific and Asian neighbours and we will increase our support for our friends in the Pacific and Asia.
We need to support electric vehicles and we will do that with subsidies to encourage uptake and emissions standards to ensure supply, In the process, we will support the renewal of our own domestic electric vehicle production, ensuring cleaner, quieter, safer cities and yet more jobs. But we also need to support public transport by building faster, more frequent rail services.
But it is not enough just to reduce emissions and build a renewable economy. We must protect everyone against the ravages of climate change. That means re-designing our cities, changing where we build and how we build and making sure we have the emergency services and fire fighting facilities to protect ourselves from a future that will be hotter and wetter.
We will protect our iconic and endangered native species with a multi-billion dollar program to eradicate pests, build sanctuaries and protect habitat.
The challenges of climate change and a damaged environment also mean we will face health challenges, including the current and future pandemics. We need to face this with a world class health system. We need more health prevention, more nurses and more doctors as well as better facilities.
We need to ensure that all Australians can afford better health. That means more funding for Medicare, including dental services and closing the gap for our Aboriginal citizens. And we must address specific shortcomings such as aged care and quarantine facilities.
In order to do all of these things we will need a better educated, better trained workforce. This means free education and a fairer distribution of education resources based on Gonski. This includes ensuring that disadvantaged and disabled people are not left behind. We need to support the trades that power much of our economy and small business.
Importantly we must ensure justice for those who keep getting forgotten. That means our First Nation’s citizens. It means addressing equality for women and, especially, violence against women. It means funding NDIS adequately and ensuring equal access for disabled people. It means a fairer go for the unemployed and the elderly. We cannot have a society with ten per cent living below the poverty line and tens of thousands of homeless. And, especially important, it means a treaty with Aboriginal and Torres Straits Islanders.
There is much to be done and I cannot cover all our plans here. Nor can we do all these things instantly. We will require the cooperation of Parliament and, in that context we have much work to be done. Parliamentary and electoral reform. Truth in politics. Donation reform. An end to corruption and rorts and a strong, independent and effective ICAC.
What about security you ask? All of these things will make Australia more secure, stronger, wealthier – and not just in financial terms but environmentally, culturally, including a stronger arts sector, and economically. And rather than creating confrontation in our region we will seek partnerships from a position of strength.
We also need more honesty in public life. But to achieve this we need a media which holds public figures to account. Accountability requires diversity and independence, so we will address the concentration of the media and the failure of bodies which hold the media to account for its honesty and accuracy.
All these things will cost money. That money will come from a fairer distribution of taxation, from a stronger economy, from an end to rorts and waste, from a more resilient environment, from ensuring that we get a fair share for our resources.
Thank you all. I look forward to ensuring that your Government, not my Government, works for the benefit of us all.