25 July 2010
Labor Government can stand on its record
Nothing could be further from the truth.
Labor is indeed very proud of its record in government. Over the past three years, the Labor Government has embarked on a number of significant reforms, all within the context of the Global Financial Crisis.
The most significant achievement of the federal Labor Government was to ensure that, unlike most developed countries, our economy stayed afloat. Whilst most of the OECD implemented their own fiscal stimulus policies to stem the tide of the world-wide economic downturn, Australia was one of few countries to avoid massive unemployment and deep recession. Currently, with many economies suffering from unemployment rates of ten to twenty percent, our unemployment rate is just over five! In fact, the federal Government's fiscal stimulus has also ensured that we now have important infrastructure for a rapidly growing population.
Another important reform was in the area of industrial relations. Labor abolished WorkChoices, thereby protecting the minimum wage and our rights in the workplace, whilst also restoring dignity and fairness.
In the area of education, our Labor Government has introduced a framework for a truly national curriculum, which will help build a world class system for our kids, and future generations. Added to this is the Building the Education Revolution which ensured that schools right across Australia have new facilities, like science and music centres, and sports halls that will help bring communities together.
Labor promised that health would feature prominently and indeed with the National Health and Hospitals Network, funding has been increased by 50%. The Federal Government has also doubled the number of training places for doctors and increased such places for nurses. Currently, more Australians are receiving their elective surgery on time!
On the environment front, Labor ratified the Kyoto Protocol and invested record spending on renewable energy. Our new energy target will also mean that by 2020 at least 20% of Australia's energy production must come from a renewable source.
These are but a few of the main achievements of Labor in government. Anyone who voted Labor in 2007 should be proud of what our Government has done, even more so given the incredibly difficult economic climate. To say Labor has no record, or is ashamed of it, is reckless and misleading.
Rod Beisel is secretary of the Annerley Branch of the Australian Labor Party and a delegate to State Conference.