Federal Labor is today releasing a new agenda for tackling inequality in Australia.
Growing Together examines some of the key economic and social challenges facing Australia today, and outlines a new policy agenda to tackle inequality by delivering full employment and investing in the capabilities of our people.
Our long period of economic growth has made Australia a prosperous country, but many Australians are not benefiting from this prosperity.
Inequality is at a 75-year high, 2.5 million Australians live in poverty, and hundreds of thousands of people are unemployed.
More than one million Australians are underemployed, and many more are in insecure work.
Australia is also experiencing rapid and far-reaching social and economic changes which bring new opportunities as well as risks.
Perhaps for the first time in our history, we cannot be confident that the next generation of Australians will be better off than we are.
In these uncertain times, Australians rightly expect a plan from their government to help manage the risks and grasp the opportunities of change.
Australia needs big ideas, and it is clear that the Turnbull Liberal Government does not have a plan to help Australians prepare for the future with confidence.
Growing Together puts tackling inequality, inclusive growth and social investment at the heart of our agenda for government.
It identifies seven policy pillars for creating a stronger and fairer Australia:
Putting jobs first;
Investing in the early years;
Quality education across life;
Balancing work, care and family;
Building stronger communities; and
Modernising policy development and governance.
Growing Together is the result of extensive consultation with more than 100 of Australia’s leading thinkers. Labor has worked with academics, economists, community sector leaders, business and union representatives to tackle the big issues facing Australian society today.
This report is not election manifesto. Its vision stretches beyond election cycles and across governments.
Nor does Growing Together cover every policy priority, or provide all of the answers.
Rather, Growing Together aims to begin a new, positive discussion about the kind of Australia we want for the future, and how we are going to build it.
Growing Together is based on a simple maxim: if you work hard, you will be rewarded. If you fall behind, you’ll be helped back onto your feet. In Australia, you are responsible for your own success, but you are never on your own.
By adopting the principles and directions outlined in this report, we can reduce inequality, secure inclusive and job-creating growth, and better prepare Australians for the future.
We can make sure Australia is a fair society where we are all growing together.
You can download a copy of Growing Together at www.alp.org.au/growing_together
WEDNESDAY, 16 MARCH 2016