2019 Australian Federal Election: What You Should Know

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With the 2019 Australian federal election just days away, we at Ashford’s thought it’d be worthwhile putting together a blog post outlining how each major political party is addressing the various hot-button issues from a policy standpoint.

Taxation

  • Widely seen as one of the most crucial dividing lines between the two main parties.
  • Clear tax policy differences affecting low- and middle-income earners, housing investors, and retirees.
  • The centrepiece of the Coalition’s election campaign has been a six-year plan to cut income taxes and streamline tax brackets.

“You should keep more of what you earn, because your money is better off in your hands than the government’s. We believe, as Liberals and Nationals, that you know what is right for you, your family and your business.” – Scott Morrison (Leader, Liberal Party of Australia)

Industrial relations

  • Most policy debate has centered around the minimum wage and other union priorities.
  • Less attention has been devoted to Australia’s increasingly casualised workforce and the fast-growing gig economy.

Climate change

  • Australia’s energy future – in particular, the role coal will play moving forward – is at stake.
  • The Coalition’s destructive record on climate change policy looms as a vital issue in many electorates across Australia.
  • Labor says it will try to implement the national energy guarantee abandoned by the Coalition, with a higher emissions reduction target – 45% by 2030 – as well as a national electric vehicle target of 50% new car sales by 2030.
  • As for the Coalition, they plan to reduce emissions by 26% in line with its Paris commitments, largely through re-booting established programs.

“This has got to be a climate change election because we’re running out of time.” – Richard Di Natale (Leader, Australian Greens)

Education

  • Any prospect of a bipartisan, long-term approach to school funding has disintegrated.
  • Parties are instead competing on ad hoc agreements for public, Catholic and independent schools.

Health

  • A significant focus of Labor’s election campaign has been on providing greater funding for the healthcare sector.
  • Labor’s promise of $2.3 billion invested into cancer treatments has overshadowed all other policy offerings, according to many political commentators.

“This election is about you, the Australian people, it’s about you, your family, your health.”– Bill Shorten (Leader, Australian Labor Party)

Immigration

  • Despite all the rhetoric and media coverage, the concrete differences between the two major parties on asylum are not vast.
  • As part of the Coalition’s new national population plan, the permanent migration cap could be cut from 190,000 to 160,000 for the next four years.
  • Only the Greens have an unambiguous plan to end offshore detention.

Water

  • Water policy will be highly relevant in some rural and regional seats, but mostly where independents, rather than Labor or the Greens, are challenging the Coalition.
  • Concerns over water and other agricultural policies are a significant reason why minor parties and independent have managed to gain traction in rural electorates.

The 2019 Australian federal election will be held on May 18th. Elected parliamentary members will constitute the 46th Parliament of Australia. For more information, please visit the website of the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC).

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