One year of Turnbull means nothing but cuts for the Illawarra

One year of Malcolm Turnbull has meant nothing but cuts for the Illawarra.


Sharon Bird and Stephen Jones today said that the Illawarra has continued to be ignored by the Liberals.

It doesn’t matter which Liberal PM they put up – the results are the same for the Illawarra.  No action on steel, no Maldon-Dombarton Rail Link and a second rate NBN service for many local residents. 


Sharon Bird said that all the Liberals have done is to cut billions from schools, make it harder for people on low and fixed incomes to survive, make it harder for parents looking for childcare and make it harder for people to get the skills they need to find and keep a job.


“The Liberals haven’t put forward one new policy to help TAFE, not one policy to help apprentices, they have tried to implement an American-style user pays higher education system with $100,000 degrees and done nothing on child care other than make it more expensive – leaving local families worse off and making it harder, particularly for women, to participate in the workforce,” Sharon Bird said.


“Malcolm and his Ministers have refused to visit the Illawarra to talk about steel or the Maldon Dombarton Rail Link – he only visited the Illawarra to try and save his mate Ann Sudmalis’ job.  The Liberals don’t care about growing the local economy and generating jobs – the only jobs they care about are their own and their mates in big business who will get a $50 billion tax cut.


Stephen Jones said that the deficit had grown by $2.6 billion in this year’s Pre-Election Economic and Fiscal Outlook from MYEFO in December and net debt had grown by $7 billion in the same period.


“Under the Liberals we have seen the deficit triple, net debt blow out by $100 billion and the AAA credit rating put at risk.


“We have seen the fight for marriage equality go backwards with the country now facing a divisive plebiscite which will waste time and cost millions of dollars.


“The attack on Medicare continues, several GP clinics in the region have been forced to end bulk billing because of the Coalition’s freeze on Medicare rebates.


“Meanwhile the Government’s Mobile Black Spot Programme has been exposed as a pork barrelling fraud. They aren’t delivering on communications infrastructure for communities outside of our major cities.”


Malcolm Turnbull said there’s never been a more exciting time to be an Australian – unless you need health care, an education, child care, a pension or a job:


Malcolm Turnbull on Social Services:


  • One month wait for income support for jobseekers under 25;

  • Increasing the pension age to 70;

  • Cuts to Paid Parental Leave;

  • Abolishing the Pensioner Education Supplement;

  • Abolishing the Education Entry Payment ;

  • Cuts to the amount of time migrant pensioners can spend overseas before their pension is cut; and

  • Cuts to Family Tax Benefits.


Malcolm Turnbull on Health:


  • Extending the freeze on Medicare rebates to six years – an ice age that is already forcing out-of-pocket costs up;

  • Attempting to abolish the Child Dental Benefits Scheme, pushing five million children onto long public dental waiting lists;

  • Ripping another $650 million out of Medicare by slashing bulk billing incentives for diagnostic imaging and pathology;

  • Cutting another $182 million from crucial health programs tackling chronic and communicable diseases, drug and alcohol abuse, and rural health issues; and

  • Gutting crucial health workforce training programmes with a $595 million cut.


Malcolm Turnbull on IR and Employment:


  • Failed to protect workers from exploitation, including the systematic exploitation of workers on temporary work visas at 7-Eleven.

  • Failed to respond to the Productivity Commission’s review into workplace relations that they themselves commissioned, despite promising to do so before the election.

  • Failed to respond to any recommendations from the $60 million Trade Union Royal Commission witch-hunt – exposing it yet again as a political exercise.

  • Failed to pass the Double-Dissolution legislation reintroducing the ABCC.

  • Failed on three occasions to pass the other Double-Dissolution trigger introducing a Registered Organisations Commission.

  • Failed to support young unemployed people through its exploitative youth PaTH program.

  • Failed the long term unemployed, with only 16.1 per cent of the government’s Work for the Dole participants locking down a full time job.  

  • Failed to meet public expectations for job support with a growing number of complaints with its jobactive network.

  • Failed to debate in the Senate the Comcare legislation which proposes significantly adverse changes to the Comcare scheme.

  • Failed to pass their legislation reintroducing individual flexibility agreements and gutting transfer of business protections.