Events in Thailand

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THE HON TANYA PLIBERSEK MP

DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION

SHADOW MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
MEMBER FOR SYDNEY

MEDIA RELEASE

EVENTS IN THAILAND

FRIDAY, 23 MAY 2014

Labor is extremely concerned by news that the armed forces and police have seized control of Thailand.

Democratic rights and processes should be restored.

We urge a peaceful solution in accordance with Thailand’s constitution and democratic principles.

All Australians should follow the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade's latest travel advice for Thailand - available at www.smartraveller.gov.au.

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Floods in the Balkans

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THE HON TANYA PLIBERSEK MP

DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION

SHADOW MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
MEMBER FOR SYDNEY

 

MEDIA RELEASE

 

FLOODS IN THE BALKANS

 

THURSDAY, 22 MAY 2014 

The Labor Opposition’s thoughts are with the many people affected by the devastating floods in the Balkans.

It is reported more than 50 people have died and around 500,000 people have been displaced.

The scale of the devastation is enormous.  It is understood around 100,000 homes, 230 schools and 3,500 kilometres of road have been destroyed, and landmines remaining from the recent war have been disturbed.

I call on the Government to offer affected countries all assistance possible.  The Labor Opposition stands ready to support.

 

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Abbott to Rip $15 Billion from New South Wales Hospitals

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THE HON TANYA PLIBERSEK MP

DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION

SHADOW MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT

MEMBER FOR SYDNEY

 

THE HON CATHERINE KING MP

SHADOW MINISTER FOR HEALTH

MEMBER FOR BALLARAT

 

MEDIA RELEASE

 

ABBOTT TO RIP $15 BILLION FROM NEW SOUTH WALES HOSPITALS

 

Tony Abbott’s first budget will cut more than $15 billion from New South Wales hospitals.

Tony Abbott lied to Australians before the last election. Tony Abbott promised Australians there would be “no cuts to health”.

(TONY ABBOTT, ABC NEWS, 6 SEPTEMBER 2013)

Instead he plans to cut more than $15 billion from New South Wales hospitals.  This will see wards close and doctors and nurses sacked.

This is on top of Tony Abbott’s plans to tax New South Wales patients more than $285 million a year for visits to GPs.

Labor will stand up to Tony Abbott’s $3.5 billion GP tax based on broken promises and a false claim about over servicing by doctors.

The plan for a GP Tax is lazy policy that will damage Australia’s health system, putting additional pressure on emergency departments that are already struggling because of the state Liberal government’s hospital cuts.

Tony Abbott’s first budget also includes almost $400 million cut from adult dental services across Australia and a $368 million cut to the National Partnership Agreement on Preventive Health.

Medicines will cost Australians an extra $1.3 billion in this budget because Tony Abbott wants to put the price of prescriptions up to $42.70 for most Australians and to $6.90 for concessional patients.  Labor will stand up for Australian families and oppose this measure.

Reports last week show the cuts the Abbott government intends to make to the Medicare Benefits Schedule will cost Australians another $1.7 billion in this budget and see specialist visits cost ordinary Australians $100.

In another blatant lie before the last election Tony Abbott promised “we’re not shutting any Medicare Locals”.

(TONY ABBOTT, LEADERS’ DEBATE, 28 AUGUST 2013)

Instead he plans to shut every single Medicare Local in the country, further jeopardising after hours GP services, cutting frontline services, and abandoning preventive health programs.

These are changes that the Vice President of the Australian Medical Association has warned will ‘set back healthcare in Australia by over 50 years’.

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Tony Abbott’s Budget Lets Down Ethnic Communities

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THE HON TANYA PLIBERSEK MP

DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION

SHADOW MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT

MEMBER FOR SYDNEY

MICHELLE ROWLAND MP

SHADOW MINISTER FOR CITIZENSHIP AND MULTICULTURALISM

SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR COMMUNICATIONS

MEMBER FOR GREENWAY

SENATOR SAM DASTYARI

SENATOR FOR NEW SOUTH WALES

 

MEDIA RELEASE

TONY ABBOTT’S BUDGET LETS DOWN ETHNIC COMMUNITIES

 

Today in Sydney we briefed ethnic organisations about the terrible impact of the Abbott Government’s Budget on culturally and linguistically diverse communities.

The key concerns raised at the briefing included cuts to funding for multicultural programs, the SBS, health and education, as well as changes to the pension.

In his Budget, Mr Abbott cut $33 million from ethnic community organisations.  These groups work hard to help build a cohesive and inclusive Australia, often on very modest budgets.

The Abbott Government’s cuts have created great uncertainty in the sector, putting many critical programs and services at risk.

Some organisations that were awarded funding by the previous Labor Government have had it ripped from their hands.

Before the election, Tony Abbott promised no cuts to the SBS.

“…no cuts to the ABC or SBS”

Tony Abbott - SBS News – 6 September 2013

But he’s broken that promise by ripping $8 million out of the SBS in his Budget.

This will seriously affect ethnic communities in Australia as many migrant communities rely heavily on specialist news and language services that are only provided by SBS.

Before the election Tony Abbott also promised he wouldn’t cut health, education, or change the pension.

“…no cuts to health, no cuts to education, no changes to pensions…”

Tony Abbott - ABC News – 6 September 2013

But, in his Budget, he broke every single one of those promises.

Mr Abbott’s Budget cuts $80 billion from hospitals and schools – the biggest in Australian history.

Tony Abbott’s broken promise on changes to pensions is an unprecedented attack on Australia’s pension system, and the millions of people who rely on it.

Tony Abbott will slash the current fair indexation system – which makes sure the pension keeps pace with the cost of living.

Had Tony Abbott’s new indexation system been in place for the last four years, a single pensioner on the maximum rate would be over $1,500 a year worse off than they are today.

The Budget will also increase the pension age to 70 by 2035.

Australians will have to work longer, and their pension will be significantly reduced when they finally do retire.

Australia’s 3.2 million pensioners – already living on a very modest pension of around $20,000 – are going to have their pensions cut, while millionaires will get up to $50,000 to have a baby.

On top of this, all pensioners and state seniors card holders are set to lose valuable concessions for public transport and utilities with the abolition of the National Partnership on Certain Concessions for Pensioners Concession Card and Seniors Card Holders.   

In attendance today were members of the Chinese, Sub-Continent, Vietnamese, Greek, and African communities, all interested in hearing about the effects of the Abbott Government’s Budget of broken promises.

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Schools to Feel Effects of $30 Billion Cut Immediately

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TANYA PLIBERSEK MP

DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION

SHADOW MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
MEMBER FOR SYDNEY

 

KATE ELLIS MP

SHADOW MINISTER FOR EDUCATION

SHADOW MINISTER FOR EARLY CHILDHOOD

MEMBER FOR ADELAIDE

 

MEDIA RELEASE 

SCHOOLS TO FEEL EFFECTS OF $30 BILLION CUT IMMEDIATELY

 

TUESDAY, 20 MAY 2014

Teachers, parents, students and schools are bracing themselves for the worst after Tony Abbott announced a $30 billion cut to education in last week’s Budget.

 

Today Deputy Leader of the Opposition, Tanya Plibersek, and Shadow Minister for Education, Kate Ellis, visited Sturt St Community School in Adelaide to talk to students.

“These young students are the ones that will be hit hard by the Abbott Government’s biggest ever cut to education,” Tanya Plibersek said.

“Tony Abbott and his ministers have tried to play down the effects of the cut, saying it won’t hit schools until 2017, but this is simply wrong”.

“Schools need certainty in their funding for planning, for investing in teachers and for growing their school community.”

State Premiers met on Sunday with the same demand Australian schools have – reverse this $30 billion cut.

“Premiers know our schools won’t be able to sustain this massive cut, that it will absolutely devastate them,” Kate Ellis said.

When Tony Abbott promised to be on an “absolute unity ticket” with Labor on school funding, he told schools his change of mind was to “end the uncertainty”.

“All we’ve seen from this Government when it comes to education is lies, backflips and cuts – this is hardly the certainty promised to schools,” Kate Ellis said.

Queensland Premier Campbell Newman said there’s no such thing as a cut in three years. He said the ratings agencies will be asking State Premiers where the funding will come from now, and they don’t have an answer.

“The only answer is for Tony Abbott to reverse this cut and resolve the huge problem he has caused with his deceit,” Tanya Plibersek said.

 

 

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Tony Abbott's Health Cuts Hurt South Australians

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THE HON TANYA PLIBERSEK MP

DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION

SHADOW MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT

MEMBER FOR SYDNEY

 

THE HON AMANDA RISHWORTH MP

SHADOW PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY FOR HEALTH

MEMBER FOR KINGSTON

 

MEDIA RELEASE

TONY ABBOTT’S HEALTH CUTS HURT SOUTH AUSTRALIANS

TUESDAY, 20 MAY 2014

Tony Abbott’s more than $50 billion Budget cut to health will have a devastating impact on services for South Australians.

As a start, Mr Abbott’s Budget has ripped $600 million from the South Australian health system over the next four years.  Because of the Abbott Government, at the end of those four years, South Australia will be the equivalent of 600 hospital beds worse off.

Tony Abbott’s Budget also cut Medicare Locals, slashing services like after hours GPs, counselling, immunisation, and Aboriginal health.  That’s put more than 3000 frontline health jobs at risk.

Today we are visiting staff at the Southern Adelaide-Fleurieu-Kangaroo Island Medicare Local to hear their concerns about the Abbott Government’s cuts.

The Southern Adelaide-Fleurieu-Kangaroo Island Medicare Local has been making a real difference to the health of the local community.  For example, its childhood immunisation program has boosted rates from 88% to above 91%.

Tony Abbott lied to South Australians when he said he wouldn’t cut health.

         Before the election:

“no cuts health”

Tony Abbott, ABC News, 6 September 2013

 

After the election:

More than $50 billion cut to health.

Tony Abbott’s Budget, 13 May 2014

 

Tony Abbott lied to South Australians when he said he wouldn’t cut Medicare Locals.

Before the election:

         “We are not shutting any Medicare Locals”

         Tony Abbott, Leaders’ Debate, 28 August 2013

 

After the election:

Every Medicare Local to close.

Tony Abbott’s Budget, 13 May 2014

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Indian Election

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THE HON TANYA PLIBERSEK MP

DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION

SHADOW MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT

MEMBER FOR SYDNEY

STATEMENT

INDIAN ELECTION

 

MONDAY, 19 MAY 2014

The Federal Opposition congratulates Prime Minister-elect Narendra Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party on their success in the Indian general election.

India is the largest democracy in the world and an important partner of Australia.

India is now Australia’s largest source of permanent migration. Our countries share very special bonds forged through strong economic ties and people-to-people links.

The Federal Opposition looks forward to working with Prime Minister-elect Modi into the future.

 

 

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Abbott Cuts $560,000 from Services for the Disadvantaged

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THE HON TANYA PLIBERSEK MP

DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION

SHADOW MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT

MEMBER FOR SYDNEY

 

THE HON MICHAEL DANBY MP

SHADOW PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY TO THE LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION

SHADOW PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY FOR THE ARTS

MEMBER FOR MELBOURNE PORTS

 

MEDIA RELEASE

ABBOTT CUTS $560,000 FROM SERVICES FOR THE DISADVANTAGED

 

MONDAY, 19 MAY 2014

Tony Abbott's savage Budget has hit South Melbourne hard, with all $560,000 of federal government funding cut from Reclink Australia, an organisation providing sporting and cultural activities for the disadvantaged.

Since 1990 Reclink Australia has supported people suffering from mental health problems, homelessness, substance abuse, disability, language barriers and financial difficulties. Reclink is best known for its fantastically successful Choir of Hard Knocks program. Today we met with Reclink staff and participants attending the Salvo Hawks Training Session at the Peanut Farm Reserve in St Kilda.

The Salvo Hawks were one of the first teams established to play Reclink footy.  The team has had many success stories including helping players find a pathway away from addiction.

Reclink staff spoke about their disappointment with the Budget and their concerns about the future of their services and the people who rely on them.

The Chairman of Reclink Australia told us that unless the organisation can find another $500,000, they were going to have to make some very hard decisions about where programs can continue.

Reclink Australia provides over 100,000 art and sport programs a year, both locally and across the nation.

The programs help the neediest in our community by fostering self-confidence, fighting isolation, developing skills, and establishing connections and friendships.

Reclink Australia makes a huge difference to so many lives. Its vital work deserves long-term support.  The fact it has been completely abandoned by the Government shows how little Mr Abbott cares for the most disadvantaged in our society.

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Cutting the Australia Network is a Broken Promise

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THE HON TANYA PLIBERSEK MP

DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION

SHADOW MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
MEMBER FOR SYDNEY

 

THE HON JASON CLARE MP

SHADOW MINISTER FOR COMMUNICATIONS
MEMBER FOR BLAXLAND

MEDIA RELEASE

CUTTING THE AUSTRALIA NETWORK IS A BROKEN PROMISE

 

WEDNESDAY, 14 MAY 2014

Tony Abbott’s $200 million Budget cut to the ABC’s Australia Network is a clear broken promise.

The ABC was funded to run the Australia Network.

So a cut to the Australia Network is a cut to the ABC.

Before the election Tony Abbott promised hand on heart there would be no cuts to the ABC.

He said on SBS News the night before the election:

“No cuts to education, no cuts to health, no change to pensions, no change to the GST, and no cuts to the ABC or SBS.”

The Australia Network is a vital public diplomacy tool that reaches up to 167 million households, giving Asia and the world an insight into Australian life and values.

Yesterday, Tony Abbott ripped the ABC contract to shreds and abolished the network.

Tony Abbott said there would be no cuts to the ABC.  Last night he cut the ABC showing the Australian people that they can’t believe anything he says.

 

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Abbott Government’s $16 billion broken promise on overseas aid hits world’s poor

 

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The Hon Tanya Plibersek MP

Deputy Leader of the Opposition

Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Development

 

MEDIA RELEASE

 

Abbott Government’s $16 billion broken promise on overseas aid hits world’s poor

 

WEDNESDAY, 14 MAY 2014

The Abbott Government’s $16 billion in cuts to overseas aid is a broken promise that will hurt the world’s poor.

In yesterday’s Budget, Mr Abbott cut $7.6 billion from overseas aid, breaking his election promise to increase aid by the Consumer Price Index.

That is on top of a further $8.4 billion Mr Abbott has cut from overseas aid by walking away from funding he promised as late as December last year.*

This $16 billion broken promise puts many excellent overseas aid programs at serious risk.  But the Budget says nothing about exactly where the axe will fall.

Mr Abbott needs to come clean about exactly which countries and programs will miss out because of his $16 billion in broken promises.

Sixteen billion dollars in overseas aid can make a world of difference to some of the poorest countries and people on earth.  For example, it could:

  • teach 53 million people to read and write;
  • provide 3.2 billion lifesaving Malaria treatments;
  • deliver antiretroviral treatment  for 20 million people with HIV/AIDS; or
  • train 6.4 million new midwives in developing countries.

Mr Abbott’s $16 billion broken promise follows his Government’s decision to abandon poverty reduction as the focus of Australia’s aid program.

The Abbott Government said it would provide certainty on overseas aid, but all it has delivered is chaos, cuts, and broken promises.

This is a Budget of broken promises. It will seriously undermine our international standing and influence.

In contrast, the former Labor Government nearly doubled the aid budget.

* 2013-14 Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook, p21.

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