LABOR candidate for Hasluck Bill Leadbetter has provided Echo News with some answers to questions about his party’s stance on domestic violence, small business and vulnerable job seekers, Medicare and the computer software program Campaign Central.
Mr Leadbetter said Labor Leader Bill Shorten had promised $88 million for a new Safe Housing program to increase transitional housing options for women and children escaping domestic and family violence and to support programs that enabled women to stay safe in their own homes.
“A Shorten Labor Government will also provide funding certainty to the organisations delivering the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children,’’ he said.
“In addition, Labor will invest $8m in perpetrator mapping to look at the interactions across family violence, law enforcement, justice, child protection and related systems to help identify opportunities to prevent violence through information sharing.
“Labor’s commitment of $65 million over six years will ensure 1800 RESPECT, Our WATCh and Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety can continue their critical work in tackling the scourge of family violence.
“We are deeply concerned at significant cuts to front-line legal, community and homelessness services supporting women escaping violence made by the Abbott-Turnbull Government.
“Labor will map the service gaps that have been created by these cuts to understand where services have been most affected, and support the recommendation of the inquiry on domestic violence in Australia by the Senate Finance and Public Administration References Committee that management and cuts of $270 million to community services funding be investigated by the Auditor-General.
“Labor will commission a National Crisis Summit within 100 days of coming to government.
“A national crisis summit on violence against women is required for the Federal Government and the States and Territories to agree to urgently implement coordinated judicial and social services reform within their areas of responsibility to better deal with family violence.
“A National Crisis Summit on violence against women is the best way for stakeholders to openly and transparently lay down the key policy challenges for addressing family violence.
“Labor will work with service providers in Hasluck and across Australia to ensure this investment is properly targeted.’’
Mr Leadbetter said the Liberals had re-introduced and then scrapped Work for the Dole within the space of two years, and failed to pass their unfair plan to make young Australians wait six months before receiving Newstart.
“Their latest plan for jobseekers offers young Australians short-term internships stacking supermarket shelves instead of real work and training opportunities, while their Restart wage subsidy for older Australians has helped just a few thousand over-55 jobseekers find work.
He said getting Australians – especially vulnerable job seekers such as a parent going back to work, a carer or a person aged under 25 or over 55 – back to work, and keeping them there, would be a top priority for a Shorten Labor Government.
“Labor will create the New Jobs Tax Cut to reward small businesses that invest in jobs and provide opportunities for these Australians to get back to into work.
Labor’s New Jobs Tax Cut will help up to 30,000 people each year back into work.
“We do want to see small business grow and all Australians working to their full capacity that is why a Shorten Labor Government is committed to the goal of full employment.’’
He said Malcolm Turnbull and the Liberals were increasing the cost of going to the doctor – and their ultimate aim was to privatise Medicare.
“They’ve already set up a privatisation taskforce,’’ he said.
“If they are elected, they will destroy Medicare, brick by brick.
“Nobody wants an American style health system, but that’s exactly what the Liberals are promising.
“Labor believes access to healthcare should depend on your Medicare card, not your credit card.
“Labor introduced Medicare and we will always protect it – there is a clear choice this election.’’
On the issue of computer software programs used by the both the Labor and Liberal parties he said Mr Shorten had written to the Auditor-General calling for an investigation.
Mr Leadbetter said the ALP did not receive any revenue from Magenta Linas, which owns Campaign Central, and does not generate any profit from the use of the software.
“Federal Labor MPs and Senators pay levies to the ALP for training and software support, and for the ongoing operation of the program,’’ he said.
Mr Leadbetter did not answer a question about whether any Hasluck constituents had expressed concern to him or the Labor Party about Campaign Central during the election campaign especially in relation to privacy.
By Anita McInnes