While Australians are being forced to be 1.5 metres apart, in so many ways we have never been closer together. And this is how we will come through this — together.
Together with our fellow Australians and the values that make us who we are.
It’s a spirit we saw embodied so powerfully by our regional communities during the recent bushfire crisis as neighbour helped neighbour and friend helped friend.
We remember what it means to be an Australian – not least the principle of the fair go, which is the heart of what it means to be an Australian.
A part of that fair go is making sure we get the stimulus measures right during this challenging time. We cannot let anyone slip through the many cracks that are opening up all around us.
Labor approaches the Government’s proposals with open hearts and open minds, but we owe it to all Australians to keep our eyes open, too. We have been constructive, and we have been bipartisan. But bipartisanship implies neither unilateralism nor silence. Like most Australians, Labor isn’t quiet.
That’s why for many weeks we called on the Government to introduce a wage subsidy, to protect people in the present and to help strengthen the future for all of us.
It was good that the Government eventually took up our proposal. They haven’t been as receptive to all our suggestions, but we will never let the perfect be the enemy of the good. We will be constructive, but ultimately, we will be supportive.
One day the COVID-19 pandemic will be a Wikipedia entry with a start date and an end date. We will need to recover as a society and economy. But we will also have a rare chance to change things for the better – for all of us.
As the true party of nation-building, Labor is ready.
Federal Labor Leader