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Chattr’s Handy Guide to the Australian Election

8 minutes to read

It can be pretty tough to work out who to vote for in election. With your average federal election campaign being 90% spin, 8% actual policy discussion and 2% Pauline Hanson, it’s easy to get swept up in the confusion. So, to help you get your sausage sanga a little quicker on Saturday, Chattr has put together a friendly, youth-focused guide on what the major parties stand for this election.

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Health

Liberal Coalition

·Will continue their plan to ‘freeze’ the Medicare rebate until at least 2020. Essentially, this means that while Medicare still pays for every time you visit the doctor, the amount they pay is not increasing with natural inflation. So, at some point in the future the cost of a GP visit will not be entirely covered by the Medicare rebate, meaning doctors will likely have to introduce a co-payment to cover costs

·$2.9 billion hospital funding to state governments over three years

·Medicare to remain public

·Review into shonky private health insurance policies

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Labor

·Medicare to remain public

·Will reinstate bulkbilling incentives for pathology and scans

·Freeze on Medicare rebate will be removed

·$2 billion in hospital funding

·Cuts to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) will be reversed

·Increased focus on mental health care

·Full implementation of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)

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Greens

·Medicare to remain public

·Removal of the private health insurance rebate

·Expand Medicare to cover dental services

·Allow women to more easily access safe, legal pregnancy terminations

·Increased focus on improving the health of indigenous and Torres Strait islander Australians

·More focus on preventative measures and encouragement of healthy choices

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Education

Liberal Coalition

 

·No specific policy on tertiary education but have put plans to deregulate university fees on hold till 2018

·$2 billion in tertiary education cuts slated in the 2016 budget

·Will fund the first four years of the Gonski report (equity-based primary and secondary school funding), and has pledged another $1.2 billion in education funding between 2018 and 2020

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Labor

 

·Oppose university fee deregulation

·Introduce financial incentives for students to complete STEM degrees

·Will place a cap on vocational education loans, saving $6 billion over a decade

·Committed to fully funding the Gonski report (six years of funding)

·Education budget estimated to cost $37 billion over a decade

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Greens

 

·Invest $7 billion into university funding, plus raise the base level of university funding by 10%

·Invest $1.306 billion into university research

·Schools funding should be based on equity and needs

·Oppose university fee deregulation

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Same-sex marriage and LGBTQIA+ rights

Liberal Coalition

·Hold a plebiscite on same-sex marriage by the end of 2016 at a cost of $160 million

·Turnbull has indicated that MPs will still have a free vote on same-sex marriage regardless of the plebiscite result

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Labor

 

·Will introduce a bill to permit same-sex marriage within their first 100 days of taking office

·Oppose a plebiscite

·Will appoint a LGBTQIA+ discrimination commissioner to the Australian Human Rights Commission

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Greens

 

·Immediate call for a free, parliamentary vote on marriage equality

·Oppose a plebiscite

·Expand Safe Schools funding to $32 million over

·Removal of ‘faith-based exemptions’ from the anti-discrimination act. Under current legislation a faith based institution (for example: faith-based hospitals, homeless shelters, schools) may discriminate against a person on the grounds of their sexuality

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Climate Change

Liberal Coalition

 

·Reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 26-28% from 2005 levels by 2030

·Direct Action plan: $2.55 billion paid to businesses to undertake initiatives that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions

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Labor

 

·Reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 45% by 2030, and have zero net emissions by 2050

·Introduce two emission trading schemes, one for the electricity sector and one for big industry. Neither expected to have a significant impact on consumers

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Greens

 

·Create zero net emissions within a generation

·No new coal-fired power stations or coal mines

·Increase use of renewable energy sources

·Increased creation of ‘green’ jobs

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Asylum Seekers and Border Protection

Liberal Coalition

 

·Continue with long-held policy of asylum seeker boat turn-backs  and off-shore detention

·Asylum seekers who arrive by boat will not be resettled in Australia

·Increase Australia’s humanitarian intake to 18,000 over the next couple of years

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Labor

 

·Support policy of boat turn-backs and off-shore detention

·Provide $450 billion in funding to the UNHCR globally and in the south Asia and Pacific regions

·Increase humanitarian intake to 27,000 by 2025

·Has not ruled out New Zealand as a possible resettlement option for asylum seekers detained on Manus Island and Nauru

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Greens

 

·Abolish offshore detention, saving $2.9 billion

·Immediate removal of all children and families from detention on Manus Island and Nauru

·Introduce a 30-day limit on holding people in on-shore detention

·Increase humanitarian intake to 50,000

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Employment

Liberal Coalition

 

·Have based most of their election campaign around their slogan of ‘jobs and growth’

·Want unemployment as low as possible, but no specific target

·Possibility of Sunday penalty rates for hospitality and retail workers cut down to Saturday rates

·Implementation of the PaTH youth employment plan which will see participants paid as low as $4 an hour on top of welfare

·Want to re-introduce the Howard era Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC)

·Tax changes to encourage start-up enterprises

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Labor

 

·Unemployment reduced to 5 per cent (currently at 6 per cent

·Proposes increased penalties for employers who deliberately underpay staff

·Opposes the re-introduction of the ABCC

·Opposes changes to weekend penalty rates

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Greens

 

 

 

 

 

·Focus on creation of jobs in sustainable industries

·Stronger worker protections

·Stronger job security, especially for those in casual, fixed-term and probationary employment

·Equal access to paid work regardless of sex, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability, political or union affiliation

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 Business, NBN and Tax

Liberal Coalition

·Small business tax rate cut to 27.5 per cent. Small businesses redefined as having a turnover of $10 million or less per annum (five time the current definition)

·No changes to current negative gearing legislation

·NBN expected to cost $56 billion (originally estimated to cost $29.5 billion) and is over four years behind schedule

·NBN now expected to be completed ‘as soon as possible’ and is a mix of fibre to the node (FTTN), fibre to the premises (FTTP), satellites, the optus coaxial network, and the existing copper network. Will deliver 25mbps. Experts warn this network will quickly become obsolete and need replacing

·Personal tax cuts to middle income earners

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Labor

 

·No increases to the GST

·Proposes restricting negative gearing to only new homes from 2017

·Supports the tax cut to small businesses

·Support personal tax cuts to middle income earners

·Opposes the redefinition of small businesses as earning $10 million or less per annum

·Will honour all existing contracts for the NBN and cap spending at $57 billion

·NBN will phase out FTTN and re-focus on providing FTTP connections

·Reduce multi-national tax avoidance

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Greens

 

·Supports the redefinition of small businesses as earning $10 million or less per annum

·Oppose company and personal income tax cuts

·Crackdown on corporate tax avoidance

·Opposed to the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP)

·Opposed to current NBN scheme, support refocus on FTTP scheme

·Provide a living wage to artists, and restore funding cuts to the Australia Council