explainer

PM Anthony Albanese and everything you need to know about the new government of Australia.

Australia officially has a new leader

Scott Morrison has conceded and Anthony Albanese will be installed as our 31st Australian Prime Minister. Labor's Albanese has pledged to bring Australians together after defeating the nine-year-old Liberal-National coalition government.

In his speech, he said: "Together we begin the work of building a better future... for all Australians. I want Australia to continue to be a country that - no matter where you live, who you worship, who you love or what your last name is - places no restrictions on your journey in life."

So while Labor celebrates their victory, we thought it wise to unpack everything you need to know about the new government of Australia, their election promises, policy agendas and more.

Watch: Anthony Albanese on childcare. Post continues below.


Video via ABC's 7:30.

Childcare.

With the cost-of-living rising, childcare remains a major issue affecting Aussie families right now. 

Not only are parents reaching further into their pockets than ever before, but childcare costs are getting in the way of women's participation in the workforce. According to our Mamamia Votes Survey around 14 per cent of the over 5,000 people surveyed said childcare was one of the main issues affecting their decision at the polls.

What Labor has promised is further addressing how to get more women in the workforce. 

Speaking to ABC's 7.30 report, Anthony Albanese said Labor's childcare policy - which will see a $5.4 billion investment in making childcare cheaper - will help grow the economy and boost women's participation in the workforce.

"If you remove the distortion which is there that stops women working a fourth or a fifth day, what you'll get is a growth in workforce participation. You'll also get a growth in productivity and a growth in the economy as a direct result of that, which is why businesses are crying out for this area of reform," Albanese said.

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Here's a better look at some of their policies:

  • Labor will lift the maximum child care subsidy rate to 90 per cent for families for the first child in care and keep higher subsidy rates for the second and additional children in care.
  • They will increase child care subsidy rates for every family with one child in care earning less than $530,000 in household income.
  • Labor will extend the increased subsidy to outside school hours care.
  • Labor will develop and implement a whole of government Early Years Strategy.
  • The party will have the ACCC design a price regulation mechanism to reduce out-of-pocket costs.
  • The Productivity Commission will conduct a review of the sector, with the aim of implementing a 90 per cent subsidy for all families.

Image: Canva.

Domestic violence.

This is without a doubt one of the most serious issues that needs to be addressed by the new government. Amongst our audience alone, 32.6 per cent nominated action on family and domestic violence as one of their top five issues.

Over the years, the statistics of violence against women have barely budged. One woman a week is still killed by a former or current partner according to Our Watch. 

Here is what Labor is promising in this space:

  • 500 new community sector workers, half of which will be in rural and regional communities.
  • Establish a new Family, Domestic and Sexual Violence Commissioner to act as a strong voice for victim-survivors.  
  • $100 million towards crisis accommodation.
  • $1.6 billion building 4000 new social housing properties specifically allocated for women and children fleeing domestic and family violence.   
  • Legislate for ten days of paid domestic violence leave.
  • Work with states and territories on a national definition of domestic violence that includes coercive control.
  • $79 million for justice reinvestment for First Nations communities to reduce incarceration rates, including early intervention to reduce family violence.  
  • Investing $77 million to help make sure all Australian school students are able to access high-quality, age-appropriate consent and respectful relationships education. 
  • All of the recommendations from the [email protected] Report.

Image: Canva.

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Healthcare.

Healthcare was one of the major issues that Labor focused on in this election. 

Over the past three years, the COVID-19 pandemic has placed an exorbitant amount of stress on our country's healthcare and aged care sector. Workers were pushed to the brink, patients had their elective surgeries postponed and many of us struggled with our mental health. Over half (52.4 percent) of the 5,000 people surveyed in our Mamamia Votes Survey said health and hospital funding would decide how they voted in the polls. 

With this in mind, aged care and Medicare are two key issues that Labor has touted. 

When it comes to Medicare, Labor will spend $135 million to deliver at least 50 Medicare Urgent Care Clinics.

Mark Butler, Shadow Minister for Health and Ageing, told The Quicky this will help take unnecessary pressure off emergency departments. 

"What we'll do is develop services in the [regional] community where people can go seven days a week, until 10pm at night, and get a fully bulk billed service by properly trained doctors and nurses for urgent care," he said.

Here's a look at some of the other policies they are promising in healthcare: 

  • Labor will cut $12.50 off the cost of medicines on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.
  • They will establish an Australian Centre for Disease Control to improve pandemic preparedness.
  • Labor will back a real pay rise for aged care workers, ensure there is better food for residents, give the Aged Care Safety Commissioner new powers to ensure there is accountability, and mandate that everyone living in aged care receives an average of 215 minutes of care per day, as recommended by the Royal Commission. 
  • They have promised $31 million to boost regional mental health.
  • The party will set up a National Nurse and Midwife Health Service to provide free, confidential and independent support, delivered by nurses for nurses.
  • They have promised better care for children with hearing loss and will work with states and territories to deliver a better national newborn screening program.
  • Labor will stop cuts to individual NDIS plans with an Expert Review and review the NDIS design, operation and sustainability to ensure that the scheme gets back on track.
  • They will train 500 new First Nations healthcare workers.
  • In addition, 50,000 older Australians will be eligible for a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card from 1 July 2022.  

Image: Canva.

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First Nations issues.

It's still been five years since the Uluru Statement from the Heart was delivered. And it's still yet to be enacted. 

Throughout the election campaign, the authors of the statement called on Aussies to make constitutional change an election issue. A new campaign was launched, calling for whoever wins the election to commit to a referendum on Indigenous constitutional recognition and a Voice to Parliament, which is proposed in the Uluru Statement from the Heart. 

And from the looks of things, Albanese has committed to better address key issues impacting First Nations communities.

Listen to The Quicky. Post continues after audio.


Labor supports the Uluru Statement from the Heart in full, including Voice, Treaty and Truth. On their party website, Labor recognises the statement as a "generous offer of a genuine partnership, and a real chance for us to create a reconciled Australia." Labor says they will progress a referendum to enshrine a Voice to Parliament in the Constitution "as a matter of priority". They will also establish a Makarrata Commission to work with the Voice to Parliament on a national process for Treaty and Truth-telling.  

As for the timeline, Albanese previously told reporters that he would "sit down with Indigenous people and, if we’re successful, it would be my intention to hold a referendum in our first term".

Here's a look at what other policies Labor are promising to support First Nations people:

  • Labor will work toward Closing the Gap after establishing its first framework in 2008.
  • They will scrap the controversial and "punitive" Community Development Program and replace it with a new program with "real jobs, proper wages and decent conditions, developed in partnership with First Nations people". 
  • They will address incarceration and deaths in custody through justice reinvestment funding. This will allow up to 30 communities to establish locally tailored justice reinvestment initiatives and provide funding to legal services to represent families in coronial inquests.   
  • Labor will fund housing improvements, maintenance and repairs in remote indigenous communities. 
  • They will invest in First Nations' conservation of land and waters by doubling the Indigenous Rangers program, boosting funding for Indigenous Protected Areas by $10 million a year and deliver cultural water in the Murray-Darling Basin.
  • Labor will strengthen First Nations' economic and job opportunities. 
  • They will get rid of the privatised Cashless Debit Card.

Image: Canva/Uluru Statement.

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Climate change.

Given what's occurred across our country over the past few years, climate change policies are crucial. 

Ultimately, Greens was promising the most comprehensive action, but Labor was still promising more compared to the Liberal government. 

According to our recent Mamamia Votes Survey, it's the number one issue that decided how most Australian women would vote in the federal election. In fact, out of over 5,000 people surveyed, a whopping 68.7 percent said climate change will influence them at the polls. 

And just last month, the Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change (IPCC) warned that there are some governments around the world who have vested interest in keeping the fossil fuel industry alive and are holding back on transitioning to renewables, which they found to be the cheapest and most impactful way of cutting global emissions. Australia was one of those governments called out for being heavily influenced by lobbying from fossil fuel industries. 

Albanese pledged to "end the climate wars" through a number of policies, including his Powering Australia plan to drive investment in cheap, renewable energy.

Here's what Labor are promising: 

  • Labor are planning to cut emissions by 43 percent by 2030 should they win the May election. Just like the Coalition, they have a plan of reaching net zero by 2050. 
  • Allocate up to $3 billion to invest in green metals (steel, alumina and aluminum), clean energy component manufacturing, hydrogen electrolysers and fuel switching.
  • Roll out 85 solar banks around Australia to ensure more households can benefit from rooftop solar.
  • Invest in 10,000 New Energy Apprentices and a New Energy Skills Program.
  • Install 400 community batteries across the country.
  • Re-establish leadership by restoring the role of the Climate Change Authority.
  • $85 million to scale up ‘shovel-ready’ work for Great Barrier Reef resilience and land restoration projects.
  • $200 million program to help protect and improve urban rivers and catchments. 
  • Double the number of Rangers by the end of the decade to 3,800.

Image: Canva.

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Cost of living.

Last but certainly not least, we have cost of living

The pandemic and impact of the war in Ukraine have seen the cost-of-living surge over the past year, and Aussies are feeling it at the checkouts and the petrol pumps.    

According to the Mamamia Votes Survey, 50.6 percent of the 5000 people surveyed said it was an issue in deciding how they would vote in the polls.  

The cost of living was a focus in Labor's budget reply.

"The truth is if you want real, permanent, meaningful help with the cost of living, you need a plan to get wages growing again. And you need a Labor Government to do it," Albanese said at the time.

Here's what the Labor party promised: 

  • Tax relief for more than nine million Aussies through tax cuts that benefit everyone with incomes above $45,000. They will also increase the low-and-middle-income tax offset by $420 this year.
  • Labor says they will take job insecurity and low wages 'head on'.
  • When it comes to health, Labor will spend $135 million to deliver at least 50 Medicare Urgent Care Clinics which will take pressure off our emergency departments. They have also promised better care for children with hearing loss and Medicare support for regional patients.
  • Access to 'Fee Free TAFE' by offering 465,000 fee-free TAFE places for Aussie students studying in industries with a skills shortage, including 45,000 new places. They will also deliver up to 20,000 extra university places over 2022 and 2023.
  • They will invest approximately $5.4 billion to make child care cheaper from July 2023.
  • A $10 billion Housing Australia Future Fund which will build 30,000 new social and affordable housing properties within five years and create thousands of jobs. 

Image: Canva.

Feature Image: Canva/Mamamia/Instagram @albomp.

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