The Glenn Lazarus Team has already developed a number of policies however as our party grows, we will continue to develop further policies through consulting with our members and supporters. We are dictated by people policy, not party policy and our policies will reflect the will and needs of the people of Australia.
Australia’s aging population is growing and it is essential that we have support systems, funding measures and infrastructure in place to enable our people to age and retire with dignity, confidence and financial security. While we do not support an increase in the pension age, we do believe that more needs to be done to assist older Australians to continue to work and contribute to the country and their communities in a manner which values, supports, rewards, financially compensates and celebrates their contributions
- Ensuring the family home is never included in the pension assets test
- Pension assets tests support the lifelong commitment older Australians have contributed to the development of our great nation
- Australian Government programs to assist older Australians to live comfortable and enjoyable lives in retirement
- Support for women to assist them to prepare for retirement in light of continuing ‘male vs female wage gaps’ and time taken out of the work force to raise families and care for family members
- Construction and development and aged care industry incentives to facilitate the build, delivery and maintenance of retirement and aged care accommodation which is more accessible, affordable and comfortable for older Australians
- A national insurance scheme for community service volunteers
Australia is in an ideal position to become the food bowl of the world. Approximately 53% of Australia’s total land area is used for agriculture. On a state basis, 81% of Queensland’s land area is used for agriculture. Due to the drought and difficult business conditions, farmers are suffering. Foreign countries and companies are circling our farmers like hawks buying up our land at rock bottom prices. Australia needs to increase support of farmers and improve water infrastructure and stop the sell-off of Australia.
- Establishment of a detailed register to track and manage ownership of Australian land which is made available to the public for viewing
- Legislation and harmonisation across all states and territories to stop the sale of Australian agricultural land to foreign buyers and establish a leasehold system only for foreign investors with rigid conditions and requirements
- The review of all agricultural land sales/leaseholds to foreign buyers against national interest priorities
- Banning the sale/lease of key assets to foreign buyers including ports, transport systems, energy facilities and other infrastructure
- Implementation of legislation to require Australian superannuation funds to invest a percentage of their wealth in Australia
- Development of a national strategy to facilitate growth of Australia’s agricultural sector
- Reduction of 457 visas in businesses in rural and regional Australia to facilitate increased employment for Australian workers in Australian jobs
Australia is revered globally for our attention to quality and capacity to innovate. We must strive to support Australian jobs for Australian workers and to protect and grow our own industries, businesses and jobs. Clear labelling will enable Australian and global consumers of Australian products to purchase our products with confidence and ease.
- A complete overhaul of labelling in Australia
- Clear and specific product content and packaging information to identify and promote Australia made products
- The creation of a new labelling system to facilitate this
- Labelling requirements for seafood sold/and or served at restaurants, takeaways and other food outlets to promote Australian seafood
- A national requirement for grocery stores to stock minimum levels of Australian produce/foods
- Federally funded national campaigns to promote Australian produce/foods both nationally and internationally
Australian Maritime and Shipping
As an island nation surrounded by water, we need a strong, sustainable and expanding maritime and shipping industry to move our goods around our coastline and overseas. This means we need Australian owned ships, staffed by Australian people. We rely on sea transport for 99 per cent of our exports. A large portion of our domestic freight also depends on coastal shipping.
- Legislation to protect Australia’s maritime and shipping industry similar to the United States of America Merchant Marine Act of 1920 (Jones Act)
- Employment of Australian seafarers on Australian ships as well as overseas ships operating in Australian waters
- Tax concessions for Australian shipping businesses to employ Australian seafarers
- Funding and facilitation of major projects to build a new generation of Australian ships
- Establishment of shipbuilding grants
- Australian ports being owned and managed by Australian agencies/or companies
Coal Seam Gas (CSG) mining is considered to be one of the most dangerous and invasive forms of unconventional gas mining. There are significant risks and problems identified with CSG mining. These include: erosion of good farming and agricultural land, disruption of other land uses and industries, rampant clearing of bushland, air pollution, contamination and depletion of ground and surface water, pollution of waterways, health impacts on animals, gas field workers, residents and nearby communities, and damage to the environment and biodiversity. Further Governments have removed the rights of landholders to say no to CSG mining taking place on their land.
- The reinstatement of landholder’s rights to say no to CSG mining taking place on their land
- The establishment of a Royal Commission into the human impact of CSG mining
- The right for third parties to object to resource projects on the basis of social, environmental, health and community concerns
- A ban on future CSG mining approvals
- A ban on the approval and conduct of resource projects on or near agricultural and farming land, residential areas and fragile environmental areas
- The establishment of a Resources Ombudsman to provide Australians with an independent advocate to address and resolve issues and concerns raised by people affected by resource project activities
- The establishment of a Resources Support Service to provide landholders affected by CSG mining with appropriate legal, medical, mental health, financial and other support services
- The establishment of a CSG Mining Commissioner, chartered to work in collaboration with all states and territories, to: review and overhaul all legislation relating to CSG mining/unconventional gas mining; develop a national approach to the conduct and management of CSG mining/unconventional gas mining activities; and manage the behaviour, actions, conduct and compliance activities of CSG mining/unconventional gas mining companies
The full report is available here
Glenn Lazarus has also called for the Queensland State Government to refer George’s death to the Queensland Police Service for investigation. Chinchilla farmer George Bender was bullied to death. All other issues of bullying and harassment by resource companies should be referred to the Queensland Police Service.
Military service is one of the highest forms of commitment to our country. Accordingly, it is essential we support our military and peace keeping personnel during service and in retirement. Our defence policy must ensure our country is equipped to protect our borders and maintain regional stability.
- Our military and peace keeping personnel must be maintained at minimum levels
- Appropriate support needs to be provided to military and peace keeping personnel both during service and in retirement to ensure they are given the acknowledgement, respect and assistance they deserve
- Defence procurement must ensure all equipment, machinery, products, vessels, vehicles and other items are designed and manufactured in Australia. National security must never be compromised by the opportunity to secure cheaper items overseas
- Banning the sell off or privatisation of Defence Housing and other Australian Government services in the defence sector
- Decisions regarding Australia’s involvement in war must be considered by the Parliament of Australia
Early Learning and Childcare
Early learning is one of the most important sectors of our community. Early learning centres care for our children and prepare them for the rest of their lives including entry into school years.
- Increased funding for families to meet the rising cost of childcare
- The review and implementation of a new range of pay and conditions for early learning educators to increase and improve wages, conditions, career pathways, training and development and support mechanisms
- Revised child to early learning educators ratios to strengthen the care and support provided to children and to improve work place conditions for early learning educators
- A national approach to the management of the early learning sector
The greatest investment a nation can make is in its people. Nations that invest in their people through education create social cohesion, innovation, positive communities and strong forward thinking economies. We believe education should be available to all. We believe the Australian Government has an important role to play in supporting the delivery of a world class higher education system which encourages participation and enables fair access by all.
- Australian Government funding of schools and the higher education system, including the Gonksi reforms, stopping cuts to TAFE and standing against the deregulation of university fees
- A national approach to Australia’s educational curriculum
- A curriculum which enriches our people while celebrating and advancing our great nation and
- The delivery of additional assistance to regional and rural Australia and other priority areas
Glenn Lazarus supported the call for a Senate Inquiry into School Funding Investment and heard from many community groups that ordinary Australian families are being disadvantaged by the lack of funding to our schools. If all families are to have a fair go and to have their students supported, we need an equitable education system that doesn’t prioritise the wealthiest families.
Emergency services operate at the front line of disasters and emergency situations on a daily basis. For this reason, it is essential that we support the sector to ensure all those involved are professionally recognised, appropriately remunerated, and properly taken care of.
- The creation of a national register for paramedics to recognise the profession, national standards of accreditation and enable career advancement and mobility in a seamless manner across the nation regardless of state borders
- Increased wages, conditions and other benefits for paramedics
- Improved professional recognition for the emergency sector on a national basis
Environment and Climate Change
Australia is going backwards in the renewable sector. Thanks to the Coalition Government under both Abbott and Turnbull, Australia is the first country in the world to reduce a renewable energy target. Investment in the renewable energy sector has declined significantly. Much work needs to be done to restore confidence and investment in the sector. We believe climate change is real and Australia must play a role in reducing our country’s carbon footprint on the planet.
- The establishment of a national strategy to increase investment in and growth of, the clean energy sector
- Reversal of the cut to the Renewable Energy Target (RET) and implementation of progressively higher targets
- A reduction in the billions of dollars donated to multinational resource companies in the form of Fossil Fuel subsidies
- The development of a national ‘feed in’ tariff to support roof top solar adoption and ongoing solar usage
- The development of a national incentive scheme to assist businesses and property owners to adopt solar and other forms of renewable energy generation
- Increased investment in Australia’s key tourism zones to protect the Beautiful North including the Great Barrier Reef
- Increased investment in programs to address and eliminate invasive species
Our health care system is considered one of the best in the world and access to high-quality affordable medical care should be considered a basic right for all citizens. It is imperative that we continue our national history of innovation in medical science for the benefit of all Australians, with a strong focus on cost-effective, evidence-based treatment strategies in both preventative and corrective medicine.
- Absolutely FREE essential health care for all Australians – no GP co-payments!
- Continued funding support for diagnostic services such as pathology to ensure there are NO GAP FEES what so ever
- The urgent expansion of tailored measures to address health care issues that disproportionately affect First Australians
- Close ongoing consultation between Government and leading figures in both medical practice and research science to create health care policy in the clear long-term interests of our ageing population
- Ongoing funding of medical research to eradicate issues such as cancer, dementia, and other degenerative conditions
- The right of Australians to privately manage their own health care and consideration of the reintroduction of the private health insurance rebate
- Regulation of private health care fees to stop gauging and unfair price hikes
- Reducing waste in the delivery and management of health service through regular systematic reviews of administrative practices to ensure the quality of health care delivered to a patient is given a higher priority than mere maximisation of consultation hours
Australia must have a comprehensive immigration policy that supports our country to grow and prosper while meeting our international obligations as a member of the global community. It is also imperative, given we are an island nation, that we have a strong border protection policy in place to ensure the ongoing safety and security of our nation.
- An immigration policy which supports the welcome of people with strengths, skills and experience in areas where our country has identified skills shortages and or growth opportunities
- A comprehensive consideration process for asylum-seekers to ensure we are not exposing ourselves to unnecessary risks by accepting people whose personal, societal or religious values conflict with the national interest
- Special measures to expedite the processing of families with children
- Greater transparency in the operation of detention centres
- Deterring arrivals by sea to ensure the appropriate management of our borders and prevention of deaths at sea
Australia is one of the last western nations in the world to embrace marriage equality and address the issue of human rights for all. It is time for our nation to join an increasing number of countries and extend the legal institution of marriage to same sex couples. Over 80 per cent of Australians want to see marriage equality enshrined in Federal law which will only take a small ‘one line’ change to the Australian Marriage Act of 1961. We believe a person’s gender or sexuality should not affect their legal rights and responsibilities under Australian marriage law. The NRL was one of the first national sporting bodies to support marriage equality. The NRL has a strong culture of inclusiveness and we support this approach. Sport plays a vital role in providing leadership in our community.
- A full conscience vote on marriage equality in both houses of Parliament
- Ditching the idea of a Plebiscite. Glenn Lazarus headed a Senate Inquiry into the feasibility of a Plebiscite and the community involved in the inquiry along with the Senate recommended against the conduct of a Plebiscite. The Senate Committee found the Plebiscite would be expensive to taxpayers (around $160 million) and extremely divisive
Regional and Rural Australia
Regional and rural Australia is the backbone of our great nation. Responsible for many industries including beef, dairy, grains, sugar cane, aquaculture and many more, much of rural and regional Australia is suffering. Challenges are being faced due to drought, natural disasters, difficult economic circumstances, anti-competitive and the harsh buying behaviours of multi-national, aging infrastructure and centralisation of communities into urban areas. More needs to be done to assist rural and regional Australia.
- Increased Australian Government investment in rural and regional infrastructure
- A complete review of Australian Government procurement processes to include the ability for regional and rural businesses to tender for provision of locally based goods and services
- Decentralisation of Australian Government agencies throughout rural and regional areas to support communities, grow jobs and extend local service reach
- The establishment of economic, taxation and priority zones to bolster and grow rural and regional economies through increased trade and other benefits
More Australians are employed by small businesses than by any other sector of our economy. Australia’s prosperity depends on small business owners and Government should nurture the entrepreneurial spirit that drives our economy, playing to our emerging strengths in technology, health care, tourism, and education wherever possible.
- A federally consistent payroll tax threshold, with exemptions for businesses in high-wage industries that exceed the threshold with a small number of employees
- Expansion of federal grant programs for start-ups and businesses looking to develop export markets for their products
- More transparent and efficient delivery of Government support services for growing businesses
- Fair tax incentives for fledgling enterprises, especially during their critical first few years of operation
Sport and Recreation
Australia is one of the fattest nations in the world. We are facing a diabetes pandemic. Australians are facing significant obesity related illnesses on a daily basis. To assist our nation to prosper and reduce the burden on our health system, we need to develop and implement programs which educate, change behaviour and support the community financially to embrace sport and recreation.
- The delivery of national preventative health and awareness programs
- The implementation of tax incentives to reduce the cost of recreational and sporting equipment, club membership fees and insurance costs – for families
- Increased funding for the redevelopment and development of sporting and recreational facilities across Australia, including regional areas, to increase access to and involvement in, sport and recreation
Subcontractors and Workers Pay Guarantee
There are hundreds of thousands of registered subcontractors across Australia. 85,000 of these are located in Queensland. Subcontractors are an important part of Australia’s small business community. With so many subcontractors and workers being decimated by unethical trading practices in the building and construction sector, something needs to be urgently done to protect businesses and workers. Increasingly we are seeing building and construction companies going under without paying subcontractors leaving them out of pocket and often out of business. While subcontractors and workers are left broke, many construction companies simply re-open a few weeks later in the form of phoenix businesses and trade under different names.
The Glenn Lazarus Team supports the findings of the Senate Inquiry into Insolvency in the Australian Construction Industry; the best way to guarantee payments for subcontractors is to require building and construction companies to set up trust funds and put money aside for subcontractors.
- The implementation of uniform national legislation for a security of payment regime and a rapid adjudication process in the commercial construction industry to ensure subcontractors and workers are paid no matter what
- Putting in place secure construction trust funds, operated by an independent third party, (legislating) for all Government and private sector projects
- Creating a national Code of Conduct for the management of commercial relationships between businesses in the building and construction industry which covers a range of issues including fair payment terms
- Harmonisation of laws regulating the construction industry across the country
- Review and amendment of Bankruptcy and Insolvency legislation to ensure subcontractors and workers are prioritised and paid and not disadvantaged
- Make it a criminal offence for contracting parties to divert funds paid for a particular project
Australia is one of the driest countries in the world. Much of Australia is in drought. Farmers are being devastated by drought. Landholders across rural and regional Australia have lost access to clean water due to the impact of CSG mining. Water is one of our most precious assets and yet despite this Australia does not have a national water plan. We believe Australia needs a national approach to the management of water.
- The creation of a national body chartered with the responsibility of managing water across the nation
- The conduct of a national water audit to establish Australia’s current and future projected water resources
- Annual water audits to manage Australia’s water resources on an ongoing basis
- Development of a national water management plan
- Establishment of compliance requirements for the management and use of water
- National pricing arrangements to reduce the cost of water and encourage fair use and improved distribution
Our returned service men and women, especially those who have seen active combat, face a host of health and welfare issues that are poorly dealt with by this Government. We are strongly committed to standing up for our ex-military personnel and ensuring their sacrifices are honoured with the provision of the proper services required to deal with the unique issues suffered by many of them that are too often ignored. We are also very concerned by homelessness in the veteran community, by insufficient mental health support, and by attacks on benefits to veterans.
- The conduct of a Royal Commission into the Veterans Affairs system to address the systemic issues failing our veterans and their families
- Increased investment by the Australian Government into the treatment of conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression, and alcohol and substance abuse for current and past Australian Defence Force staff
- Alignment of Australian Defence Force annual salary increases with the political remuneration system which ensures our military receive annual increases no less than those received by politicians
- Acknowledgement of our military and their families at all major sporting events