PATRICK GORMAN, ASSISTANT MINISTER TO THE PRIME MINISTER: This week caps off a year of achievement for the Albanese Government, which for us has only been six months. And, in that six months we’ve done more than, I would say, the Morrison Government were able to achieve in the entire time he was Prime Minister.
We have been able to make childcare cheaper, we’ve been able to act on the recommendations of the Aged Care Royal Commission, including putting nurses in aged care facilities 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We’ve been able to act on making paid parental leave longer and available for more families. We’ve been able to act when it comes to climate change, legislating a tough net zero by 2050 and making sure we reduce Australia’s emissions by 43 per cent by 2030. We’ve been able to make sure that we support our veterans and older workers by being able to work more and retain their Centrelink benefits – something that starts today.
We have ensured that we’ve raised the standards of the Parliament. We’ve raised the standards by ensuring that we don’t accept that it was completely okay for Scott Morrison to have five secret ministries. We have the Parliament asserting its authority yesterday by censuring the former Prime Minister. And, we’ve raised the standard by legislating a tough, powerful anti-corruption commission, something the Australian people have been promised for years and years. And, in just six months the Albanese Government has been able to deliver it. And I think what we saw yesterday was a sort of continuation of the refusal, from some in this Parliament to act on matters of integrity and to act on matters of corruption and to act on matters of appropriate conduct in government. We saw the bulk of the Liberal Party with two exceptions, the entirety of the National Party in the House of Representatives vote against the censure motion, even though they had been privately outraged by the actions of former Prime Minister Morrison in swearing himself into five secret portfolios. But, it’s a choice that people make. And I think it just shows you, again, people who were sitting around the cabinet table before the election, were people who didn’t want to act on integrity, did not want to act on raising the standard. But we have done that. But there is so much more to do.
And the thing that we are so excited about doing today is that we will introduce the referendum machinery provisions to enable the vote on The Voice to happen. This is a really important piece of legislation. It will enable our vote on The Voice to be like the elections that we know. It will mean that Australians can focus on these big national questions about building that Voice to Parliament and enshrining it in our Constitution.
And, if I just end on a note, yesterday we saw a great West Australian Ken Wyatt saying that he encourages all Australians and especially every Parliamentarian who works in this building, encourages them to read the final report of the Indigenous Voice to Parliament co-design process, in particular pages 16 to 19. And, I was really pleased to read in The West Australian today, Ken Wyatt’s commitment to campaign across Australia to make a constitutionally enshrined Voice to Parliament a reality. Now I really welcome that. I know many in this building too and I too look forward to campaigning to make The Voice a reality.