Additional Comments from Labor Senators
Labor Senators do not support the Parliamentary Joint Committee on the
Australia Fund Bill 2018.
Labor Senators have previously been on the record expressing concern
about the mechanism that is being used here to establish this Parliamentary
Labor Senators also note that a committee was established in the
previous Parliament, issuing a report in June 2015 titled Joint Select
Committee on the Australia Fund Establishment Report. The committee
held three public hearings and received eighteen submissions.
The intent of the fund, as set out in the explanatory memorandum, is:
...to assist in the support and reconstruction of Australian
rural and manufacturing industries in times of crisis, including natural disasters
(such as drought, floods and bushfires) or in cases of a world financial crisis
or unfair market intervention or manipulation.
These issues are of interest to Labor Senators. Regarding the
agricultural sector, Labor has stood ready to support meaningful drought
assistance and note the current Government's inability to develop a long term
When it comes to manufacturing, Federal Labor has announced its Advanced
Manufacturing Future Fund and has clear energy and climate policies which will
reduce long term pressures on electricity prices for our manufacturers. Only
Labor has a clear, consistent and modernising vision for Australia's energy
future; with cleaner renewable energy, more storage, and a modern transmission
network. The Government in contrast has an incoherent, ad-hoc, chaotic approach
that has more in common with a marketing strategy than a strategy for
affordable, reliable and clean power for Australia.
When it comes to financial crises and unfair market intervention or manipulation,
the contrast between the Government and Labor could not be clearer. The
Government never wanted the Banking Royal Commission to happen. They voted
against it 26 times. The current Prime Minister Scott Morrison fought against
it for 600 days, calling it a 'populist whinge' and a 'reckless distraction'. A
Shorten Labor Government will implement 75 recommendations of the Royal
Commission in full and stand up for Australians affected by banking misconduct.
Labor called for the Royal Commission, Labor fought for the Royal Commission
and only Labor can be trusted to implement its recommendations.
The best way to address the concerns that Senator Burston has raised in
this bill is for the public to elect a Shorten Labor Government.
Senator Chris Ketter Senator
Deputy Chair Senator
for New South Wales
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