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If elected, a Federal Labor Government has promised to unleash a renewable energy revolution.

Opposition leader, Bill Shorten, said that by 2030 a Labor government will deliver 50 per cent renewable energy and cut pollution by 45 per cent.

“Climate change is real: it’s a threat to our economy and our environment,” he said.

“Ignoring it, or fighting about it, won’t make it go away.

“There are school children who can’t understand why it’s so hard for the so-called adults in government to recognise that climate change is real and the need to do something urgent.”

Speaking at the ALP's national conference in Adelaide, he said that back in 2007 only 7,000 homes had a solar panel on their roof.

“Today it’s over two million,” Shorten said promising to provide a $2,000 subsidy for 100,000 households to install their own battery storage system.

“But I don't believe that Australia should be installing just more batteries alone. We should be making them here.

“We already produce every metal needed to make a lithium battery in this country.”

Shorten also announced a new Environment Act and the creation of a new Commonwealth Environmental Protection Authority to preserve oceans, rivers, coasts and bushland and to protect the native species that call Australia home.

Moving onto workplace issues, Shorten said the ALP set a target of 50 per cent women in the federal parliamentary party by 2025.

“I’m particularly proud to say if we win the next election, our Labor Government will be the first in Australian history with 50 per cent women in the parliamentary ranks,” he said.

Shorten pledged a strong economy with a skilled workforce, and a 25 per cent tax rate for 99 per cent of all businesses.

He said families are loading-up the credit card at the end of every fortnight to pay bills while at the same time are being ripped off by power companies.

“They are being driven out of private health insurance by private health insurers increasing premiums,” Shorten said.

“Our Labor mission is not just to win-back government, it is to rebuild trust in our very democracy, to restore meaning to the fair go.

“This is why we are committed to a real National Integrity Commission, with proper powers, to rebuild trust in our Commonwealth institutions.”

Shorten said in the next four years, nine out of every 10 new jobs will need either a university degree or a TAFE qualification.

“As a result Labor will uncap university places, meaning that in the next decade alone, another 200,000 children and adults from the regions and the suburbs can become the first in their family to get a degree,” he said.

“I am really proud to declare that when it comes to vocational education, Labor is backing public TAFE all the way.

“In our first year in government, we are going to launch a great national program of renovating, upgrading and modernising TAFE campuses, starting in our regional centres and the outer suburbs.

“In our first three years, a Labor Government will eliminate the upfront fees for 100,000 TAFE places in high priority courses.

“And we'll come down like a ton of bricks on companies using and abusing 457-style work visas to merely avoid employing local workers and paying fair wages," he warned.

“That is why, in our first 100 days, we are going to restore Sunday and public holiday penalty rates for 700,000 workers.”

Shorten also promised to crack down on the overuse and abuse of labour hire casuals.

“Because it’s pretty simple really: if you wear the same uniform, in the same workplace, perform the same tasks at the same classification, you deserve the same wages and conditions,” he said.

“We are going to stop sham contracting and introduce a new, stronger test for the definition of casual employment.

“Many Australians are sick and tired of being classified as ‘casual’ for years, just because their boss doesn't want to pay holiday pay or sick pay. It's not good enough.”

 

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