Raise Our Voice Submissions
07 October 2021
This year, I'm taking part in the Raise Our Voice Australia campaign, giving young people the chance to speak up in Parliament. I asked young people across the Coast to write a short speech about what they want Australia to look like in 20 years and I received some fantastic responses.
Sarah Baric, 20
I would like to see equal rights being upheld for Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander Peoples in 20 years. The Indigenous Youth suicide rate is more then double the rate of non-Indigenous Youth, Indigenous Australians are more likely to be incarcerated and Our First Nations People’s are experiencing higher rates of mental health concerns. These are just a few things to help paint the picture of the inequality our Indigenous Population experience. I would like to see the government change this. While vital steps are being taken to change this picture, there is not enough focus. We need more Indigenous voices in parliament. In the picture of Australia in 20 years, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People’s will have equality.
Jayden Delbridge, 16
Mr Speaker in 20 years, we have new world leaders, new values, new beliefs, but one of the biggest changes is our shift in respect for those who we leave, who become the generation of tomorrow.
In 2040, we live in a world we have more information at our fingertips than ever before. We live in a world where technology has become one of the biggest components of our life. What does this mean?
It means, finally, we value the opinions of our future generations; the generations that will inhabit the earth when we move on. The generation that world leaders now respect and seek advice from. The generation of tomorrow are listened to, respected, appreciated. Their unique insights prove invaluable to shaping our tomorrow. Our future generation reminds us why we serve in this place.
Whilst in 20 years, many of us will say our last goodbyes, we leave our society, our nation, our world in a better place for those who say their first hellos.
A Roof Over Your Head
26 May 2021
The Government has had eight long years to fix the problems of housing affordability on the Coast and it’s just gotten worse.
It’s harder to rent than ever before, it’s harder to buy than ever before and there are more and more people couch surfing or living in their cars.
That’s why I invited Jason Clare MP, Shadow Minister for Housing and Homelessness back to the Coast in March to hear first-hand from locals about the growing housing crisis.
Vacancy rates are as low as 0.1 per cent in parts on the Coast and rents have climbed by over $100 a week in just the last few months. In some cases, tenants are paying $430 a week for a small studio apartment.
And, homelessness on the Coast is a growing but often hidden problem as women, families and young people couch surf or live in their cars. Last year 10,000 women and children across Australia were turned away from refuges because there wasn’t a bed.
Finding a safe place to live is even harder for the most vulnerable, including older women given the shortfall of 3,500 homes leading to an average wait time of ten years for social housing.
To fix these growing problems won’t be easy and it will require leadership from the federal government.
In this year’s budget, the Government missed a once in a generation opportunity to help renters and buyers and those living in housing stress or insecure housing on the Coast.
A future Labor Government will create the Housing Australia Future Fund to build affordable housing now and into the future in places like the Central Coast.
This will change lives and create jobs.
Over the first five years, the Housing Australia Future Fund will build 30,000 new social housing properties, including homes for women and children fleeing domestic and family violence and older women on low incomes who are at risk of homelessness.
The fund will build affordable homes for the heroes of the pandemic – frontline workers like police, nurses and cleaners that kept us safe.
Our housing plan is good for jobs too.
This plan will create over 21,500 full-time jobs each year.
And one in 10 construction jobs created will be for apprentices.
A plan that helps more Aussies buy a home, helps Australians who rent and helps put a roof over the head of more homeless Australians.
This is a Future Fund that will give more Australians a better future.
Home Care Packages
25 May 2021
This crisis, as others have said, is largely of the government’s own doing. The Prime Minister was Treasurer when the government cut $1.7 billion from aged care. Now there are close to 97,000 older Australians waiting for a home-care package during COVID, when many people and families are afraid of entering residential care. Those needing more support while waiting for level 4 packages are often waiting more than a year for the help that they and their families and carers so desperately need. Over 28,000 older Australians have died while waiting for a home-care package. They’re not a rate, Minister; they’re not a percentage to compare to the wider population. These are people; these are mums and dads and grandparents; these are people who matter. And you have reduced them to a rate or a percentage; that is a disgrace. In my community, on the Central Coast of New South Wales, one in five people are aged over 65 and there are currently 1,109 people waiting for a home-care package—people like Enid, who, at 96, was told she would have to wait 12 months for a level 4 home-care package. It’s not good enough.
Growing old is not easy. As the interim report observed—and I think it is important that this be read onto the record—’we avoid thinking and talking about it, leading to an apparent indifference where, left out of sight and out of mind, these important services are left floundering’. I know of people, some living with dementia, who, after a fall or a hospital stay, have ended up in residential care after their families and carers have become exhausted trying to keep them at home. I was with my Dad when, after an exhausting battery of tests, he was finally diagnosed with younger onset Alzheimer’s dementia. He said to me: ‘You will never leave me dribbling in a nursing home.’ This is a very real fear for many people living with dementia, and I am determined to keep my promise to my mum, Barbie, that it will be better for other families. But kind words and good intentions won’t help people like my dad’s friend Steve, who was moved into residential care during COVID. It has to be better; it’s urgent. What the government have done so far suggests that they don’t care and don’t know that it matters.