Australian Federal Election 2013 – My View on - Infrastructure & Health

In this week’s blog, two of the hottest topics that people are concerned with are:
  •     Infrastructure    
  •     Health
I will be tackling each of the main parties’ views on these topics. Further, I will put my views on each topic and if I believe either of the main parties and their views.

Delivering more affordable broadband – rolling it out fasterfor the first time do a fully transparent cost-benefit analysis of the National Broadband Network, to find out the quickest and most cost- efficient way to upgrade broadband to all areas where services are now unavailable or sub- standard.

Roll out super-fast broadband using whichever is the most effective and cost efficient technology and we will use existing infrastructure where we can.

Roll it out faster to high priority areas

End billions of dollars of wasteful spending on the NBN and deliver more of the modern infrastructure

Broadband is basic infrastructure – Australian businesses need it. It’s become an essential utility, just like electricity or water.

That's why Labor is delivering the National Broadband Network: high-speed, reliable, affordable broadband to every home and business in Australia.

The rollout of the NBN is ramping up quickly. High speed broadband to homes and businesses in cities and the bush is being rolled out right across Australia. By June this year construction will have commenced or be complete for more than 1.2 million homes and businesses.

The benefits of the NBN for business are clear: lower phone and internet bills, unprecedented opportunities to expand and reach new markets, the ability to use video conferencing, reach customers no matter where they are, digitise supply chains, and offer new, more convenient products and services. 

The reliability and affordability of the NBN is going to dramatically improve access to technology, like cloud computing, that will allow businesses, particularly SMEs, to reduce costs and increase productivity. 
15-year rolling plan for national infrastructure(Commonwealth and State government plan and will be revised every five years)

Strengthen the role of Infrastructure Australia, improve its governance and make it more transparent and accountable, as well as a more effective adviser

Require all Commonwealth-funded projects worth more than $100 million to undergo a cost-benefit analysis by Infrastructure Australia to ensure the best use of available taxpayer monies.

Require Infrastructure Australia to publish justifications for all its project recommendations.

Prioritise projects based on a proper cost-benefit analysis.

Within 12 months of election we will announce infrastructure priorities and construction timetables in consultation with the States.

Encouraging more private investment in
infrastructure projects

We will work with the States and the private sector to accelerate the delivery of a major roads and highways programme that reduces bottlenecks
Committed to the Perth Gateway project and will make further road infrastructure commitments in South Australia before the next election

Contribute $1.5 billion to get the M4 East (WestConnex Project) underway in Sydney

Contribute $1.5 billion to get the East- West Link road tunnel underway in Melbourne & improve the Geelong Princes Highway

Contribute $1 billion towards the upgrade of the Gateway Motorway in Brisbane and we will develop the Toowoomba Range crossing

Contribute $5.6 billion to complete the duplication of the Pacific Highway from Newcastle to the Queensland border

Contribute $400 million and get the duplication of the Midland Highway between Hobart and Launceston done in Tasmania.


Perth Will Be Home to Global Oil and Gas Innovation

A Plan for Northern Australia




The South Road extension is logical because it also creates efficiencies. As the work concludes on the Superway later this year, work will commence on the next stage of construction here on South Road. South Australia – or Adelaide – certainly their most important road.

 The Tonsley project is a vital piece of infrastructure. It’s vital to the residents in the western suburbs. It’s vital for a non-stop north south corridor. $63 million jointly funded between the Commonwealth and the State to make sure that this work behind us can continue to duplicate the Tonsley Rail Line and to make sure that it’s brought forward.

Building more dams – providing water security
detailed planning necessary to build new dams

Coalition’s Dams Taskforce is looking at potential investments in dam capacity across Australia.

Moving to an ETS, Australian households will benefit from a reduction in the cost-of-living worth around $380 to an average household next financial year.

We have established the Australian Renewable Energy Agency and Clean Energy Finance Corporation which are already hard at work developing, commercialising and investing in new renewable energy technologies. 

After decades of mismanagement and disagreement on how to manage the Murray Darling Basin, Labor has locked in a plan that restores the rivers to health.

Reconnecting the Australian landscape through a network of national parks and reserves across Australia is becoming a reality. A network of wildlife corridors is being established across Australia that will benefit our native animals and environment meaning our grandkids can enjoy the same beautiful places we grew up with. 

Investing in the Reef Rescue program to improve the Reef’s overall health, working with communities along the length of the Reef to improve water quality and increase its resilience.

Added Ningaloo Reef and Koongarra within Kakadu to the World Heritage list and has recommended an expansion of Tasmania’s World Heritage Area,

This week both of the candidates put forth more funding for infrastructure. The story can be found here.

My View on Infrastructure

As you can see, they are doing a bit of the same type of funding commitments. However, what they are actually doing with the money is different. Broadband - the Liberals are going to give it to you, but they are going to try and use the existing equipment as much as possible. Labor, on the other hand, is putting new equipment in. My view? Labor's ideas are the better of the two because in order to getting the higher speeds the existing equipment just won't cut it. It seems that the Liberals haven't learned from the ADSL connections at all - yes, you might be able to get the service, but if it actually connects, with somewhat of a decent speed, then they can tick the box and to me, that's just not good enough. You can tell they never have been out of Australia, to say the USA, where we are envious of the speeds whenever we go over there to visit.

The next area is national infrastructure. The Liberals are talking about having an infrastructure role that has more responsibility - with costings, accountability, and justification.Then Tony Abott says that he's going to cut down on red tape? Umm this is all going to ADD TO IT as it has in my old position in the state government. I do like the idea of the rolling plan of 15 years though because it shows that they are actually going to look into the future which we just don't see enough of. Labor, on the other hand, is going to do this by looking at new jobs and where they can get people jobs in the new job areas. Sounds good...but the detail? There is none. Both parties say great things, but there just is no detail whatsoever. In my view, they both would not get my vote in this area.

As for the truth?
This is an interesting question for this one. Why? Because Tony Abbott's been saying since the start of the run up to the election, that he will cut red tape and this will cut money needed. Well him saying that and his parties website say something different. I can honestly say - he lied. Kevin Rudd, on the other hand, has put the job idea out there in public and this matches what his website says. Although, its short on details, at least he didn't lie.

Improving the performance of public hospitals at the local level 

We will work with the States to ensure their hospitals are managed by local hospital boards so that communities get better health services and better value for their money.

 We will put local communities and experts, not unaccountable bureaucrats, in charge of improving the performance of public hospitals – by creating community-controlled hospital boards to appoint the CEO and manage hospital budgets, by instilling a ‘patient care first’ culture amongst staff and ensuring the delivery of better health outcomes at the local hospital level.
Under Labor there are more doctors and more nurses. There are also a record number of GPs and nurses being trained. And it's easier to get your visit to the GP bulk billed under Labor, too.

 Different communities have different health needs, and local communities deserve a say in how their health care is run. Labor has established Medicare Locals to deliver better health services local communities. Medicare Locals are the newest part of Australia’s universal health system and are delivering things like GP after hours, immunization programs, mental health services, and much more.
Improving mental health services
We will deliver better mental health services and provide better employment services for people with a mental health issue.

We will take real action and support better mental health services with Early Psychosis Prevention and Intervention Centres (EPPICs); boosting of basic and applied research into mental health; new headspace sites; better employment opportunities to those with serious mental health problems, boosting outside services that job agencies can provide to clients with mental health issues and a Mental Health Workforce Training Institute.
There's now a strong focus on the mental health of Australians, with Labor investing in the nation's biggest ever mental health package.

One in four young Australians suffer mental health issues every year. In response, Labor has invested in prevention and youth mental health, with 50 additional Headspace mental health services being rolled out in rural, regional and metropolitan areas. With Labor, Headspace will expand to 90 sites across the country helping more than 70,000 young people every year. We've also built a free 'virtual clinic' accessible to every Australian,, and have increased suicide prevention funding by more than six times the 2007 funding levels.
We will restore transparency, certainty and confidence to the process by which medicines are listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) – ensuring medicines are listed on the basis of advice from the independent Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee, not on the whim of the government.
Labor is the party of Medicare and the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, and prides itself on its record of delivering policies that help Australians when they need it most, regardless of income or background
We will strengthen Medicare and take pressure off the public hospital system by restoring the Private Health Insurance Rebate as soon as we responsibly can. This will encourage more Australians to take up private health insurance.
The private health rebate is now fairer, with low and middle-income earners no longer subsidising the private health cover of high-income earners. This will free up $100 billion to be reinvested into better health services over the coming years.

We aspire to improve and restore dental services through Medicare as soon as we responsibly can.
A person's dental health is often an indicator of their general health, and better dental care is a priority for Labor.

Labor's dental care package will mean it will be as easy to see a dentist as it is a doctor for 3.4 million kids. We are also improving public dental services for pensioners and low income earners. Under Labor's teen dental plan, more than 1.5 million dental check-ups have been provided. 
We will provide $35 million to help find a cure for type 1 diabetes. This will assist the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation’s Clinical Research Network to fund a significant number of additional patient trials locally and internationally and take a co- ordinated nationwide approach to diabetes research.
Disability care and support is underfunded and unfair for those who rely on it. That’s why we're introducing DisabilityCare Australia, the national disability insurance scheme, to completely transform the disability care and support system in this country by taking a tailored, life-long approach to providing care and support for local people with disability.

DisabilityCare Australia will work with people with disability, their families and carers to identify their plans and goals for the future. This will ensure they receive individualised care and support packages, are assisted by local coordinators to help manage and deliver their support, and are linked to mainstream and community services.

DisabilityCare Australia will mean more choice and control, more independence, and more opportunities for people with disability to be involved in school, work and community life. Importantly, it gives all Australians peace of mind that if they or a loved one are born with or acquires a disability, they will get the care support they need.

Labor has invested $1 billion to deliver the first stage of DisabilityCare Australia, beginning from July 2013. The first stage will benefit more than 25,000 people in five locations across the country and a historic agreement has been reached between the federal and NSW state governments to roll out DisabilityCare Australia across the state by 2018-2019.

My View on Health

As for the hospitals and GP's, both parties are equal in what they are going to do. However, it has been mentioned by both Rudd and Abbott that Abbott will cut jobs in this area. Rudd mentions it on the campaign's website and Abbott mentioned it at this past week's debate that was televised but it was at the very end, during Abbott's closing, about the jobs. In regards for medicines, they each have their own plan, but it seems alike except for some minor differences. It wouldn't matter much for me in either case.

In the issue of Mental Health, Rudd, or Labor, is concentrating on children or teens by the way the describe it. Abbott does that at the start of the explanation but then later says the package is for everyone. As I have mental health issues within my family, but not here in Australia, this is important to me. However, I don't believe either party would do anything for my family if they lived here.

We have private health insurance. Each party has different ideals to go forward, but they don't seem to matter much to us. Why don't they try and get the costs of the private health insurance to go down, because all it seems to have done in the last 2 years is go up, up, and up! We're getting to be very over that, but we don't dare get rid of it because if something happens and we need to get to a specialist, we will need it then unless we wait over 6 months to get in to see one.

Dental is another area that is covered but the Liberals is for all and it seems that Labor is only for children again. This we get through our private health insurance, so this won't really affect us at all.

Diabetics research in Liberals has this scheme, but it is only at Type 1 which is typically only found in children. Does it matter? Yes, to some people it would, but in our house something to do with Type 2, would have much more of an influence to us.

On the other side, Labor has the Disability Care scheme. This is aimed at all age ranges. However, unless you know someone which has been born with or is unfortunate enough to have an accident, you will never use this. The NDSS was to help everyone from people who have Type 2 diabetes right down to these same people. However, the Labor government has changed the whole scheme, and it will now only focus on those either born with or had an accident and acquired a brain injury. In my view, this is not good enough. Type 2 is a growing problem and some support in some areas need to be had. This is what the government could be spending money on or making decisions about - as well as these other areas.

Would this area affect my vote? Yes, because I hate liars and just because Abbott has been lying or not completely telling it like it is, I would vote against him. Rudd, at least at the moment, seems to be telling it like it is and giving mostly specifics. That being said, it was MUCH harder to find information on the Labor's website to compare it with the Liberals.

As for the truth?

I think both parties mean well with these promises, but I don't think they understand what its like to have a mental illness. Because of this, they both seem like hollow promises. With the hospitals, what we don't need is people loosing their jobs at the state of the economy at the moment. If this happens, the economy will be forced into an even bigger downturn which is not a good idea. I don't like the idea that Tony Abbott tried and get away with not recognizing what he will do with the jobs if he gets in. He tried to hide it the whole way including when he then acknowledged it he jammed it in at the very end when everyone was concentrating on other things. Again, sneaky, slimy, little guy. At least Rudd's trying to keep him honest in that area. The rest seem to be on par with each other...depending on what influences you, but they seem to be pretty equal.

What's your thoughts? Think I got it right or was I off the mark? Let me know by leaving a comment.

 Future Blogs

For the next few weeks – until the election on 7 September- I’ll be covering each of these topics I have mentioned in the 11 August 2013 blog.

Next week’s topics to be covered will be next week Australian Federal Election 2013 – My View on- Immigration, so come back then when I tackle this topic.

My View on Education
Have I covered all the important sections? Or is there something else you want to see? Let me know before the next post and I'll include it! 
  •          Education
  •          Economy management
I will be tackling each of the main parties’ views on these topics. Further, I will put my views on each topic and if I believe either of the main parties and their views. - See more at:
In this week’s blog, two of the hottest topics that people are concerned with are:
  •          Education
  •          Economy management
I will be tackling each of the main parties’ views on these topics. Further, I will put my views on each topic and if I believe either of the main parties and their views. - See more at:

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