The Federal Election can be a very confusing time—especially if you’re not really sure what to do, who to vote for, or what the major parties are even saying. It can be pretty overwhelming—particularly researching what it is you want to find. Here’s a guide on what the major parties are saying to help you decide:
- Stronger animal welfare standards and legislation with tougher penalties.
- Ending unnecessary use of animals for testing and education.
- Clear definitions of “free range eggs”.
- Abolish animals in circuses.
- Ban the slaughter of whales, greyhound racing, recreational shooting, selective breeding, race jumping and shark culling.
- Stop the importation and exportation of zoo animals unless it will assist the continuation of the species.
- Establishment of a national animal welfare body.
- More power given to RSPCA and animal cruelty investigations.
- Plans for habitat management, species loss, and protecting native plants and animals.
- Ratify international environmental law.
- End broad-scale clearing.
- Increase educational resources.
- Cleaner oceans and protect costal zones.
- Ban dumping and creation of new coal mines.
- Detailed emission targets each year until 2050.
- Net zero or net negative emissions within a generation.
- 100% stationary electricity to be sustainable as soon as possible.
- Renewable energy implementation and research.
- Aim for a nuclear-free world.
- Cease uranium mining and exportation.
- Eliminate nuclear weapons.
- Banks to make greater contribution to public purse through taxes and levies.
- Minimise ATM fees.
- Programs introduced to improve Australian financial literacy.
- Tax and superannuation reforms to benefit low-income earners.
- Reduce excessive executive salaries.
- Housing affordability and availability.
- Stronger protection of worker’s rights.
- Protection for casual and fixed-term probationary workers.
- Childcare incentives.
- Paid parental leave scheme.
- Minimum of 5 weeks leave for all employees.
- Shorter standard working hours.
- Expenditure increase of 3% to support science and technology research.
- End criminalisation of consensual sex work.
- Protection of journalism sources and regional independent media.
- Ratify international human rights legislation.
- Global disbarment strategies and promotion of non-violence.
- Close foreign defence bases within Australia.
- Stronger support for the International Criminal Court and the International Court of Justice.
- Reform restrictive “counter-terrorism” legislation.
- End global death penalty.
- More funding for schools based on equity.
- More infrastructure and specialised teachers.
- Free university education
- 16 and 17-year-olds can vote.
Health and mental health:
- Universal publically-funded Medicare
- Universal access to public dental care
- Funding for mental health services.
- Anti-vilification disability laws.
- Ban of junk food advertisements on children’s television.
- Decriminalise abortion.
- Legalise the right to die.
- Allow same-sex marriage.
- Equal access to adoption, fostering and assisted reproduction regardless of sex, sexual orientation or marital status.
- Transgender rights.
- Remove religious exemption for anti-discrimination laws.
- Create commissioner for sexuality, gender and intersex rights with the Australian Human Rights Commission.
- More funding to domestic violence and women’s shelters.
- End the gender wage gap.
Workplace and tourism:
- $20 million in funding to protect vulnerable workers.
- Tax cuts for small businesses.
- Tax incentives for innovative start-ups.
- $23 million investment for small businesses.
- Trans-pacific trade agreement and free trade with Indonesia, the European Union and Pacific Islands.
- $20 million investment for infrastructure for tourist regions.
- Planting 20 million new trees by 2020.
- $70 million investment for green spaces.
- $30 million to support local parks.
- Emissions reduction fund.
- $15,000 to community groups for renewable resources.
- $5 million to a threatened species recovery fund.
- $3 billion to invest in the Great Barrier Reef and clean water over 10years.
- $100 million aim per year for Smart Cities program.
- Additional $60 million in funding for sport programs.
- STEM funding of $73.6 billion over 4 years.
- $4.6 million for alternate education pathways.
Technology and science:
- A further $60 million to upgrade or create 499 new telephone bases to tackle an additional 3,000 mobile phone service black spots.
- $50 million to the MyGov website.
- $7 billion in funding for clinical trials.
- $650 million in 4 years for medical funding, including $20 million for childhood cancers.
- $1.1 billion for the National Innovation and Science Agenda.
- $2.5 billion boost to law enforcement and security.
- $1 billion to strengthen borders.
- $40 million Safer Communities Fund,
- $37.3 billion investment for education.
- Girls Into Code initiative with $4.5 million in grants.
- Safer Schools program of $6 million over 3 years.
- Increase in child care benefits for low-income earners.
- $50 million to support family day care systems.
- $31 million funding for tertiary education.
- Additional funding for undergraduates.
- Restore medicare benefits.
- Legalise medical cannabis.
- Give citizens the right to die.
- $72 million funding for mental health.
- $7 million for breast cancer, $10.6 million for prostate cancer.
- $25 million for dementia research.
Climate Change and Environment:
- $500 million to the Great Barrier Reef.
- 50% renewable energy by 2030.
- Net zero pollution by 2050.
- $17.4 million in funding for Climate Change Authority.
- Ban cosmetic testing.
- More investigations and sanctions to breaches.
- Establishment of animal welfare body.
- NBN to premises.
- $400 million Western Sydney rail package.
- $1.2 million National Cycling Strategy.
- High-speed rail between Brisbane and Melbourne via Sydney and Canberra.
- Protect weekend penalty rates.
- $4.5 million for Fair Work Commission.
- No baby bonus.
- Paid parental scheme leave.
- Tax reductions for small businesses.
- Crack down on multinationals.
- More jobs and courses available.
- Creative Australia Policy.
- Building 12 submarines in South Australia.
Gender and sexuality:
- Marriage equality.
- $70 billion to family violence services.
- $8.4 million investment for indigenous girls.
- Paid parental violence leave of 5 days.
- More coverage for women’s sport with $21 million in funding to the ABC.
Despite all of these lovely promises, there’s no promises they will be put into place. I would encourage each and every one of you to think for yourselves–and to do your research: because your vote matters.
The Australian Senate approved a motion to launch an inquiry into gender inequality of the superannuation system. The motion, approved on Monday, was backed by Labor Senator Jenny McAllister, Liberal Senator Sean Edwards and Greens Senator Larissa Waters, spurred by recent ANZ study, which revealed that women are, on average, retiring on half as much as men.
The 2015 ANZ Women’s Report indicated numerous alarming figures regarding gender inequality within the workforce. For instance, despite the fact that 42% of women aged 25-29 hold a university degree, compared to 31% of men, women are still paid, on average, 18.8% less. Women who work full-time, therefore, earn on average $295 per week less than their male counterparts—simply due to gender. In a year, this amounts to a $15,000 difference, and in a lifetime, $700,000.
ANZ CEO Joyce Phillips said globally, women earn up to 36% less than their male counterparts; this report merely confirms the financial disadvantage all women face.
“This research also confirms what’s really restricting the financial future of women is the inherent structural bias in the way the workplace, education, social and legal systems are established,” she said.
Industry Super deputy chief executive Robbie Campo welcomes the review.
“Industry super Australia’s modelling shows that even with super, pension payments and other savings combined, 63% of single women will still not be retiring comfortably by 2055 unless we act now to restructure our retirement income system,” she said.
The Greens Senator Larissa Walters attributes the growing homelessness of older women to this inequality.
“It’s timely for the Senate to examine the structural inequalities which are seeing women retire in poverty.”
“We hope the tri-partisan nature of this inquiry will lead to real outcomes to address the alarming gender retirement income gap.”