Home Visits

Labor values the important role that after hours home visits play in our health care system. Home visits improve access to primary care outside 9-to-5, and can help to prevent unnecessary and expensive hospital visits.

As you may be aware, the Government’s Medicare Benefits Schedule Review Taskforce is reviewing after hours home visits in response to concerns about the quality and cost of some home visit services.

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Complimentary Medicines

Labor understands that many Australians use natural therapies and products. However, in a difficult budget environment we also believe that public subsidies need to be based on the best available evidence.

A review released by the current Government found no evidence that homeopathy and a number of other natural therapies are clinically effective. 

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Students and unis will suffer under Turnbull's cuts to higher education

Universities in Queensland will have their funding cut, in total, by more than $400 million.  Griffith University in my electorate will have its funding cut by more than $85 million; the University of Queensland, just across the river, will have its funding cut by more than $96 million; and the Queensland University of Technology will have its funding cut by more than $89 million.

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Public Education Day

Today is Public Education Day, a day when we celebrate the values, traditions and achievements of public education in Australia.

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Picture: I caught up with some Qld teachers and principals for a breakfast in Parliament House this morning.

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Penalty Rates

Prime Minister Turnbull and his coalition colleagues have long supported, and now will enforce, a cut in penalty rates for Australia’s lowest paid workers. Sadly Prime Minister Turnbull will do this without any economic modelling or any idea how many jobs may be created as a result.

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Housing Affordability

Labor has announced its next tranche of housing affordability reforms that will improve housing affordability, create jobs, increase financial stability and reduce homelessness.

Building on Labor’s existing policies, the new proposals will see the construction of over 55,000 new homes in Australia over three years and boost employment by 25,000 new jobs per year.

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Community Legal Centre Funding

At the eleventh hour the Federal Attorney-General, George Brandis, reversed his planned cuts to Community Legal Centres (CLCs) and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services (ATSILS).

This is a very welcome backflip by the Government. It only only came after years of lobbying by the CLCs themselves, peak legal bodies such as the Queensland Law Society, the Australian Bar Association and the Law Council of Australia, alongside Labor with Shadow Attorney-General, Mark Dreyfus QC MP, leading the charge.

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Save Kindy Funding

The federal government provides funding for universal access to kindy. This funding helps ensure that children have access to at least 15 hours of kindy per week for 40 weeks a year.

Labor introduced this funding when we were in government. We committed $955 million over five years.

Unfortunately, since the Coalition came to power, they have only extended the funding for one or two years at a time.

Surprisingly, federal funding for kindy is due to run out at the end of 2017.

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Penalty Rates - Labor Introduces a Bill

This week in parliament, Labor acted to protect the take-home pay of Australian workers.

On Monday, Labor tabled a Bill to stop cuts handed down by the Fair Work Commission.

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Marriage Equality

Hopefully we are standing at the threshold of a respectful debate about whether to amend the Marriage Act.  It is timely then to take a look at how uniform marriage laws have evolved since first introduced to the Commonwealth Parliament in 1961.

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