EMERITUS PROFESSOR ALAN MACKAY-SIM

It is with particular pleasure that I add my congratulations to Emeritus Professor Alan Mackay-Sim on being named the Australian of the Year for 2017. 

Professor Mackay-Sim has spent his career in service of others, using his talents to give hope and to bring radical improvements to people afflicted with a wide range of conditions.

His achievements constitute a powerful reminder of the value of fundamental research - and the diverse and often unexpected applications that come from it.

 

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NEW INDUSTRY MINISTER MORE LIKE INDUSTRIAL GRIM REAPER

Comments from the new Minister Arthur Sinodinos today are an appalling indictment on the Turnbull Liberal Government’s callous disregard for the livelihoods of thousands of everyday Australians. 

In remarks reported by the Australian Financial Review, Senator Sinodinos callously warned Australians not to become nostalgic about dying industries, like car manufacturing, saying that “nothing is forever.” 

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WELCOME RELIEF FOR VICTORIAN MANUFACTURING JOBS

Labor welcomes today’s announcement that the Andrews Victorian Labor Government has secured a package that will sustain Alcoa’s Portland smelter and the jobs of thousands of Victorians.

The crisis at the Portland smelter has caused a lot of anxiety in the community over the Christmas period and people have rightly been concerned about their jobs.

Following the power outage on 1 December 2016 that threatened the future of the smelter, the Victorian Government has been working with Alcoa, AGL and with the Commonwealth to reach a resolution.

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NEW MINISTER NEEDS A PLAN FOR JOBS

Labor congratulates Senator Sinodinos on his appointment as the new Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science.

Senator Sinodinos is the fourth Liberal Minister to take on this important portfolio in less than four years.

If the Turnbull Liberals can ever drag their attention away from their own jobs, they need to get down to devising a real plan for real jobs for Australian workers. 

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VALE DR CAROLYN ALLPORT

It is with sadness that I received news last evening of the passing on Monday of Dr Carolyn Allport, foundation President of the National Tertiary Education Union from 1994 to 2010.

On behalf of Federal Labor, I acknowledge the enormous contribution made by Dr Allport to the labour movement, to higher education and vocational education and training, and to promoting life-changing opportunities for the most marginalised in our society.

Dr Allport was a passionate and effective advocate for women, indigenous Australians and those accessing tertiary education from disadvantaged backgrounds. She also championed the rights of casual academic staff and of non-academic professional staff.

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CHEAP DUMPED STEEL THREATENING AUSTRALIAN JOBS - TURNBULL LIBERALS MISSING IN ACTION

Today’s revelations that Arrium workers' hours are being slashed are a condemnation of the Turnbull Government's unwillingness to back Australian steel production.

Arrium has been facing unprecedented pressure as a result of steel being dumped in the Australian market at artificially low prices. 

Labor has been calling on the Turnbull Government to take action to support Australian steel manufacturing for well over a year, with Bill Shorten writing to Malcolm Turnbull first in October 2015 and then again in February 2016. 

 

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JOYCE MUST GET SERIOUS ABOUT AUSTRALIA'S BIOSECURITY

Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce must get serious about keeping Australia safe from current and emerging pests and diseases.

Over the Christmas period prawn farmers were dealing with failings in Australia’s biosecurity system and forced to destroy thousands of prawns claiming that “"It is a big wake-up call to Australia. We have a wonderful country free of most exotic disease and it is such a hardship when it falls on farmers in particular because our livelihoods are in jeopardy."

Sadly, rather than seriously bolstering Australia’s biosecurity, yesterday Barnaby Joyce announced that the Turnbull Government will fund 10 projects through a grant program. 

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LIBERALS HAVE NO PLAN FOR JOBS WHEN HOLDEN CLOSES

GM Holden announced that 20 October 2017 will be the final day of production for motor vehicles in Australia.

While this news was not unexpected, it is still devastating.

Devastating for the workers at Holden, their families and their communities. Devastating for supply chain companies nationwide and the tens of thousands of people they employ who rely on Australian motor vehicle production for their livelihoods. 

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LIBERALS’ EDUCATION, SCIENCE AND RESEARCH INFRASTRUCTURE CUTS CANNOT BYPASS THE PARLIAMENT

The Turnbull Liberals have today admitted that they will need to pass legislation through the parliament in order to pillage the $3.7 billion Education Investment Fund (EIF) which is meant to fund Australian universities, vocational education, and agencies like the CSIRO.

Investment in science and research infrastructure leads to new discoveries, new technologies and new jobs. 

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SCOTT MORRISON SHOULD USE PC INQUIRY TO PROMOTE MANUFACTURING, INSTEAD OF TALKING IT DOWN

Reports today about the Productivity Commission’s inquiry on the transition of Australia’s regions through the decline of the resources investment boom must not overlook the importance of manufacturing for jobs in regional communities. 

Scott Morrison issued a press release about the inquiry just before Christmas that did not even mention the word ‘manufacturing’, despite the importantance of manufacturing to regional economies. 

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