27 May 2022 The Ararat Advocate

On Saturday Australians had a choice between a tired Liberal-National government that was out of puff and out of ideas, or a Federal Labor government with a clear plan for a better future for our nation.

Labor’s plan is about more jobs, greater job security, higher wages, more opportunities, and better services for families.

The Coalition offered more of the same: a deliberate policy of low wage growth, a crisis in aged care and the collapse in skills training.

We can do better.

An Albanese Labor government will cut the cost of medicines, strengthen Medicare and improve access to the NDIS.

We will make it easier to see a doctor, regardless of where people live or how much they earn.

We will fix the Coalition’s national broadband mess and back new businesses in areas such as value-adding manufacturing through our National Reconstruction Fund.

The fund will support businesses to develop new industries, creating jobs and strengthening our national supply chain.

Importantly, $500 million of the fund will be reserved for agriculture, forestry, fisheries, food and fibre.

Natural disasters disproportionately impact regional areas. While the Coalition has failed to invest in disaster mitigation, Labor’s Disaster Ready Fund will provide up to $200 million for mitigation projects such as evacuation centres, fire breaks and flood levees.

After a decade, the previous government’s legacy in agriculture is a severe workforce shortage, an under-resourced biosecurity system and a timber shortage. It has also failed to act on climate change.

Labor will bolster Australia’s biosecurity system, address the serious agriculture workforce shortage and give the sector access to up to $500 million for innovation through the National Reconstruction Fund.

We also continue to support the National Farmers’ Federation’s ambitious goal to grow the value of Australia’s agriculture industry to $100 billion by 2030.

We’ll support our hard-working producers to prosper by backing regional trade events including Casino Beef Week, LambEx, Beef Week, horticultural conferences and agritech industry events.

To meet timber demand for housing materials and other needs, Labor has committed funding to deliver the one billion trees goal by 2030. The government has managed to meet just over 1 per cent of this target so far.

Labor’s plans are practical and achievable. They will make a difference and build a better future for all Australians.