After eight long weeks we are nearly there. Seven sleeps until
election national sausage sizzle day, when the fate of our nation is decided. The final ‘anything you can do, I can do better’ pitches are in full swing.
All the pundits and polls are reporting a very close race but for the tired and weary parents out there, it’s probably sounding much the same as the white noise app.
So what political news do you need to know for this week?
Sugar tax to tackle childhood obesity.
The Greens announced a policy for the introduction of a 20% tax on high sugar drinks, citing Australia’s high rates of childhood obesity and rising levels of chronic disease.
Green’s Leader Richard Di Natale announced the consumption tax, saying that 30% of all added sugar consumed by kids came from soft drinks. The proposed sugar tax is estimated to generate $500 million per year in revenue, which the Greens say would be channelled into preventative health initiatives. It would add around 12 cents to the cost of a can of soft drink.
I have to confess that since pregnancy I can’t be trusted to go to the supermarket because I come home with a boot full of ice cream. Please, political overlords, don’t introduce an ice magic tax. Could get expensive for me.
Fears of bigotry over same-sex marriage vote.
Removing discrimination from the Marriage Act is a matter that can be dealt with by the Parliament, however, Malcolm Turnbull is sticking with Tony Abbott’s plan to hold a national plebiscite on marriage equality after the election (yes, if the Liberal Party win you get to vote again).
South Australian Labor Senator Penny Wong outlined her concerns with the plebiscite in a candid speech, stating that she opposed a plebiscite not because she doubted ‘the common sense of Australians’, but because she didn’t want the gay and lesbian community to be subjected to homophobic slurs.
“I oppose a plebiscite because I don’t want my relationship – my family – to be the subject of inquiry, of censure, of condemnation, by others.” Image supplied.
Senator Wong spoke about her relationship with her partner, parenting their two daughters and her fears of a divisive campaign if the public vote proceeds.
“I oppose a plebiscite because I don’t want my relationship – my family – to be the subject of inquiry, of censure, of condemnation, by others.”
Treasurer Scott Morrison (who is opposed to same-sex marriage) caused controversy when he weighed in, claiming he could empathise with Senator Wong, because he had experienced hatred and bigotry at the other end of the spectrum - for holding conservative views.
If Scott Morrison, arguably the second most powerful man in Australia, feels the impact of hateful commentary for his views, its worth reflecting on how vulnerable people in the LGTBI community might fare during a plebiscite campaign - particularly at-risk young people.
Is Medicare on fire?
Now that we are finally at the business end of the election campaign, the negative advertising will be on high rotation until the advertising blackout starts at midnight next Wednesday.
The blackout applies to radio and television only - so your Facebook feed will still be riddled with political advertising.
Labor has been focussing on the risk of Liberals privatising Medicare, highlighting (now abandoned) plans by the Turnbull Government to outsource the Medicare payments system.