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HomeNewsPoliticsTanya Plibersek (Labor) - Sydney electorate candidates 2016

Tanya Plibersek (Labor) – Sydney electorate candidates 2016


Investment in public infrastructure is critical for Australia now and into the future. A Shorten Labor government is committed to investment to achieve liveable cities – cities with safe, sustainable and accessible transport connecting people to education, employment and housing while protecting our natural environment.

Labor in government launched the Sustainable Population Strategy that established a National Sustainability Council, measures aimed at creating jobs in outer suburbs of major cities, support for proper planning of housing and growth in our regions, and new sustainability indicators to support decision-making.

Infrastructure investment is key to Labor’s plan to promote jobs growth, to increase sustainability through planning and to support our local communities. That is why we have already announced our $10 billion financing facility.

Climate Change

Labor accepts the overwhelming scientific consensus on climate change. Climate change affects all Australians whether they reside in metropolitan, suburban, regional or rural locations. Sydney residents also care about the grave risk of climate change to some of the world’s poorest people in developing countries – some of which are in our region.

Labor’s Climate Change Action Plan provides a pathway for an orderly transition to a low pollution economy through six key elements:

  • 50 per cent renewable energy by 2030;
  • Cleaner power generation;
  • Maximise job opportunities from clean energy and clean technology;
  • Reduce pollution through an Emissions Trading Scheme;
  • Capture carbon on the land through the Carbon Farming Initiative and action on broad scale land clearing;
  • Increased Energy Efficiency.


My position on WestConnex is clear: as it stands, the project should not proceed. The poor process and impact of the NSW Liberal state government project has caused enormous concern in our community.

Under the former Labor government, not one dollar of federal funding was spent on the construction of WestConnex. Labor has not provided for the allocation of any additional money beyond that provided by the Liberal government.

In response to a request from Labor’s Shadow Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Anthony Albanese, the Auditor-General has decided to conduct a performance audit of WestConnex to determine whether there was appropriate and thorough advice before the approval of WestConnex.

Only Labor can be trusted to invest in public transport. A Shorten Labor government will kick-start new investment in transport projects.

In government, Labor invested $13.6 billion in public transport – more than all previous federal governments combined. As part of this, we will require consideration of cycling and walking tracks as part of all new transport projects.

Malcolm Turnbull talks a lot about public transport but has done little. I am proud of our record and excited about our plans to make Australia’s major cities the most liveable in the world.

Affordable Housing

Housing affordability is a critical issue. Labor will reform negative gearing and capital gains tax to ensure Australians are not locked out of home ownership.

Labor has a consistent record of strong polices on housing affordability, public housing and reducing homelessness. When I was Housing Minister, Labor made the largest investment in social housing in Australian history, delivering 21,600 new homes; made a direct financial contribution to one in every 20 new homes built between 2008 and 2013; and provided $1.1 billion in federal funding to states and territories.

A Shorten Labor government will build on our record and show national leadership, to tackle housing affordability and reduce homelessness.

Constitutional Recognition of Australia’s First Peoples

Labor is the party of national native title legislation, the Apology to the Stolen Generations and acting on Closing the Gap.

Labor is committed to meaningful change to the Constitution to recognise the important place of our First Peoples, unite the nation and reflect the hopes and aspirations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

​Labor was instrumental in establishing, with the Government, the Referendum Council on constitutional recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The national consultation process will be in genuine partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples​.

We acknowledge reconciliation is a long journey and we have further to go. Discussions about treaties will no doubt be considered and debated as part of the process.

Aged Care

I do not believe that any Waterloo resident should be forced to leave the area as part of the re-development project.

Labor believes older Australians are an asset not a burden. Labor’s ageing policy will ensure we get the benefits of positive ageing and that we support increasing active ageing and aged care needs.

In government, Labor established a 10-year, $3.7 billion program to build a fair and sustainable aged care system. Labor also instituted the Advisory Panel for Positive Ageing to lead dialogue on ageing issues and improve coordination of policy on ageing across the federal government. The Abbott-Turnbull government cut funding to their work.

Labor will have more to say on aged care during the campaign.

Asylum Seekers

Our position is always the harder one to explain because it is not a three word slogan like “stop the boats” or “end offshore processing”.

Labor will double Australia’s humanitarian intake to 27,000 because we think Australia should be more humane and more compassionate.

It is unacceptable that Nauru and Manus Island have become places of indefinite detention. Bill Shorten has committed that one of his first acts as prime minister will be to re-engage the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) in identifying resettlement countries for around 2,000 asylum seekers who have been held on Manus and Nauru.

Labor would restore the UN Convention into our domestic legislation and we would support the UNHCR with $450 million of extra funding so that we can safely resettle people in our region and support them in countries of first asylum.


Australia is one of the world’s most successful multicultural nations. This must be protected. A Shorten Labor Government will renew investment in Australian multiculturalism, with $28.3 million of new funding to support social cohesion and economic inclusion.

Labor has listened to settlement and multicultural organisations and will work with them in making plans to ensure our future citizens are given the support they need.

The Abbott-Turnbull government slashed the Building Multicultural Communities program.  After letters of successful grants had been received by many organisations, funding for projects was snatched away.

Instead of asking settlement and multicultural organisations to do more with less, a Labor government will invest to help new humanitarian migrants succeed.


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