Albanese commits to making pay equity a goal of the Fair Work Act

Anthony Albanese has promised that a Labor government will make gender pay equity a goal of the Fair Work Act and strengthen the powers of the Fair Work Commission to order wage increases for workers in low-income industries. wages dominated by women.

The gender equity pledge was one of five initiatives in the Opposition Leader’s policy speech, delivered to an audience of Labor loyalists in Perth on Sunday.

Paying tribute to the efforts of caregivers in the pandemic, Albanese said they were the “arteries of our nation” and should be given “the respect and investment they deserve”.

A Labor government would set up a care and community sector expert group and a pay equity expert group to improve expertise within the commission.

Two former Prime Ministers, Paul Keating and Kevin Rudd, were present at the launch, and Albanese was introduced by Western Australian Prime Minister Mark McGowan. Newly elected South Australian Prime Minister Peter Malinauskas was also in the audience.

Education spokeswoman Tanya Plibersek, a hugely popular Labor figure, was absent from the launch, amid comments in recent days that she has not been prominent during the campaign. Albanese said earlier in the weekend that Plibersek would be absent because she represented him at Sunday’s May Day rally in Sydney.

Albanese – who has just come out of a bout of COVID – told his audience that as prime minister he would like to “work with all prime ministers regardless of party. I want to bring all states together and make get things done for the whole country.”

In other announcements, Albanese said the Labor Party would build more electric vehicle charging stations across Australia, reduce pharmaceutical costs, make it easier for the government to buy homes by taking a partial stake in them. ci and would invest $1 billion in a value-added fund. to resources.

He said building more electric vehicle charging stations would close the gaps in the network.

“It means you can drive an electric vehicle across the country. Adelaide to Perth, Brisbane to Mount Isa.

“With the electric vehicle discount already announced by Labour, we will make your next electric car easier and cheaper.

“Imagine a future where you no longer have to worry about gas bills.”

On pharmaceuticals, Albanese said the work would reduce the cost of drugs on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) by $12.50, making it cheaper for general patients. This would mean that the maximum people paid for a PBS script would be $30, a reduction of 29%.

Someone taking one drug per month would save $150 per year. Labor’s changes to PBS would begin on January 1 next year.

The government has also just announced a reduction in the cost of medical scripts – by $10 per script.

Under Labour’s “Help to Buy” housing initiative, the Federal Government would provide a capital contribution to 10,000 aspiring homeowners each year. The scheme would be available to low- and middle-income people.

“If you’ve saved 2% of your down payment, we’ll contribute up to 40% of the purchase price for a new home or 30% for an existing home,” Albanese said.

He said the plan “will help Australians buy a home with a smaller deposit, a smaller mortgage and smaller mortgage repayments.

“An Australian Labor Government will help you achieve the great Australian dream of home ownership.”

Albanese also announced that under the Labor Party’s proposed National Reconstruction Fund, it would invest $1 billion in the development of value-added products from the country’s resources.

“We will take resources like lithium and nickel – essential building blocks for the batteries that will power the vehicles of the future – and instead of shipping them to another country to make batteries, we will have what we need to make them here. same”.

“We will bring manufacturing home”.

Urging Australians to “vote for a better future”, Albanese said: “As Prime Minister, I will not shy away from my responsibilities. I will not treat every crisis as a chance to blame someone else.

“I will introduce myself, I will show myself, I will bring people together. I will lead with integrity and treat you with respect”

Author: Michelle Grattan – Professorial Fellow, University of Canberra The conversation

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