ABC 730

SUBJECT: Indigenous affairs

LAURA TINGLE: Linda Burney, thanks for joining us.


TINGLE: Bill Shorten and your predecessor in this role, Senator Pat Dodson had big ambitions for Indigenous affairs if Labor won government. To what extent will your first task in this portfolio be about resetting expectations?

BURNEY: I think that's probably a very important point to make. So I think that when you think, Laura, about the bar for referendum change in Australia, it is a very high bar. And we need to as Labor caution slowly. I'm going over the west to see Patrick Dodson hopefully next week, to sit down and really work through where we head now in the Aboriginal affairs portfolio, including where we head in terms of a voice to the parliament. We are clearly still embracing and we'll continue to embrace the Uluru statement. That’s really important.

TINGLE: Is the issue of a voice to parliament able to be separated from the question of Indigenous recognition?

BURNEY: I don't think that it can. The recognition that people spoke about in the Uluru Statement was in fact an entrenched voice to the parliament within the referendum, with an advisory power to the parliament and nothing has changed in that light. But recognition is also about I think truth telling. And I know that that sounds to some people like some airy fairy concept. But when you think about the importance of truth telling to us as a nation, it's absolutely fundamental to recognition and a voice to the parliament.

TINGLE: Well, one of the things that Labor has been pushing or supporting is a Makarrata commission that goes to that point. And Pat Dodson was also arguing for a series of regional assemblies.

BURNEY: That’s correct. Yes.

TINGLE: Are these ideas that you would urge the Government to embrace still?

BURNEY: These are ideas that certainly are part of Labor's present agenda. My goal in going to meet with Patrick and Warren Snowdon and Malarndirri and others is to talk through and then take back to the leader and take back to the First Nations' caucus and the Labor Caucus on what our direction is. We're not to be rushed with it and I think that’s really important. The fundamental principles of recognition of Indigenous people's rights, addressing the social justice issues that I know and heard you speak about so often, and issue of the voice to the parliament are all things that we need to consider carefully. And one of the reasons we have decided to give Patrick as an assistant minister the role of recognition and constitutional reform, is so that people like myself who has the responsibility of Indigenous Australians, can actually focus on those closing the gap targets and those social justice issues. And I think that’s a really wise way to approach this.

TINGLE: Well finally, the Prime Minister's announced a new Indigenous agency as part of his changes last week. What would you be hoping might change in the way Indigenous services are delivered?

BURNEY: How long do you have? Well, I’m going to be asking for a briefing about that agency in the next few days and I know that that will be forthcoming. The key issue is to reset the agenda so that Aboriginal people's voices are loud and clear and listened to and taken heed of. I think that the fact that there is a peak body of Aboriginal organisations now part of the COAG process and whether or not we proceed with the regional assemblies but whatever we end up with, we have to make sure that the Government is listening to people that live the issues, that know the solutions and can help provide them. And that's First Nations' people.

TINGLE: Linda Burney, thanks so much for talking to us tonight.

BURNEY: Thank you.


A Shorten Labor Government will invest $5.2 million in St George Public Hospital to transform surgical and cancer treatment services through the provision of surgical and rehabilitation robotic technologies. 

This election is a choice between better health and hospitals under a united Shorten Labor Government, versus more cuts and chaos under Scott Morrison and the Liberals.  

This investment will fund high level care in urology, gynaecology, general surgery, thoracic, ear, nose and throat surgery leading to improved patient care across a range of areas. 

Robotic surgery is considered best practice for many surgical specialties, but no such services exist in public hospitals in southern Sydney.  

This commitment will enable St George to raise the standard of care for access to surgery across a range of specialties and ensure St George is at the forefront of world class research, education and clinical care.      

Labor member for Barton Linda Burney said that the funding “would deliver best practice surgery options for many specialties at St George Hospital”. 

“I’m thrilled to announce this significant investment which includes $5 million for surgical and rehabilitation robots as well as over $150,000 to go towards lung cancer and failure equipment” said Ms. Burney. 

Chairman of the Medical Staff Council and Director of Rehabilitation Medicine for  
St George Hospital, Dr John Estell said, “The investment into newer technologies will be of benefit to many patients in the southern suburbs of Sydney and help keep St George Hospital at the forefront of surgical, cancer and rehabilitation treatments”. 

Labor Candidate for Banks Chris Gambian said “this funding will provide an incredible boost to specialised surgical treatment options in the St George area. It will ensure St George maintains its reputation as a world leading institution for patient care”. 


THURSDAY, 9 MAY 2019  


Federal Labor Member for Barton Linda Burney has announced a Shorten Labor Government will commit $250,000 for the upgrade of lighting at the Bicentennial Park South football stadium in Rockdale.

This election is a choice between Labor’s plan for better investment in local community infrastructure, or bigger tax loopholes for the top end of town under the Liberals.

The football stadium, located on West Botany Street, Rockdale, is home to the Rockdale City Suns.

The Suns field teams in the National Premier League (NPL), as well as the local St George Football Association competition.

Each week, thousands of local football fans flock to see Football NSW games being played at Bicentennial Park South.

While night games are currently played at the ground, the lighting upgrade will result in enough illumination for games to be televised.

The stadium, built in 2009, has seen several upgrades in recent years, including the installation of a FIFA-accredited synthetic playing surface last year.

The upgrades have formed part of the stadium’s journey to becoming a world-class FIFA-compliant venue, which will foster the sport’s expansion in the southern Sydney region.

“These lighting upgrades mean our games can be broadcast on evening TV. Thousands of people across Australia will now be able to be watch our matches, benefiting the Suns and increasing the interest in and viewership of football across Australia,” said Mr Dennis Loether, President of the Rockdale City Suns.

“For 50 years, the Suns have made an enormous contribution to football in the St George community. Labor is backing them and the stadium with this investment. It is also an important step in fuelling the growth and interest of football in this part of Sydney,” said Ms Burney.

After six years of Liberal cuts and chaos, our united Labor team is ready. 

FRIDAY, 3 MAY 2019



Federal Labor Member for Barton and Shadow Minister for Families and Social Services, Linda Burney visited Fairmont Nursing Home in Bexley where she met with local residents and staff member, Rebecca.  

Rebecca is an Arncliffe resident and employee who was engaged by Fairmont through Job Support, a Disability Employment Service agency. 

Rebecca has worked at the facility for seven years.  

Ms Burney joined Rebecca during her work routine, which includes preparing residents’ sheets.  

“It’s the best job in the world”, said Rebecca. “It’s good, and I like my supervisor.” 

Fairmont Director, Linden Hayler says that Rebecca’s work has not only been important for her personally, but it has been invaluable to Fairmont.  

“Rebecca relates really well with the residents and they enjoy her company,” said Ms Hayler. “She’s a member of the Fairmont family.”  

Ms Burney said this was a great example of workers with disability doing important work in our local communities.  

“It was a wonderful visit, I’m really proud of the work that Fairmont and Job Support are doing here in Bexley,” said Ms. Burney.  

“I hope that this facility can serve as a blueprint for other community organisations to engage people with disability”.    

This election is a choice between greater opportunities for people with disability or bigger tax loopholes for the top end of town under the Liberals.  



Today, Australian pensioners are all asking one big question: will Scott Morrison cut the pension to pay for his multi-billion dollar tax cuts for the top end of town?  
Revelations today that the Liberals need to slash spending by $40 billion a year to fund their tax plans should sound a warning to Australians relying on the pension. 
The Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison Government’s record of unfair and cruel cuts show the Liberals can’t be trusted when it comes to looking after pensioners: 

  • For five years running, the Liberals tried to raise the pension age to 70.  

  • In 2014 the Liberals tried to cut pension indexation – a cut that would have forced pensioners live on $80 a week less within ten years.  

  • In that same 2014 Budget, the Liberals slashed $1 billion from pensioner concessions – support designed to help pensioners with the cost of living.  

  • In 2015, the Liberals did a deal with the Greens to cut the pension to 370,000 pensioners by changing the pension assets test.  

  • For two years, the Liberals planned to scrap the Energy Supplement, cutting payments for 1.5 million pensioners.  

  • The Liberals are still trying to cut the pension to around 80,000 pensioners a year as part of a plan to limit overseas travel for pensioners to six weeks. If Scott Morrison gets his way, he will make it harder for many pensioners to visit family overseas.  

  • The Liberals have also cut and outsourced over 2,500 jobs from Centrelink meaning people have to wait longer when they need help.  

This election is a choice between Labor’s plan to protect the pension versus bigger tax loopholes for the top end of town under the Liberals. 

After six years of Liberal cuts and chaos, our united Labor team is ready. 



A Shorten Labor Government will invest in the NDIS workforce and get the scheme back on track by investing $40 million in local NDIS workforce trials and urgently developing a national NDIS workforce strategy.
Scott Morrison and the Liberals have short-changed the NDIS and the people who rely on it, delaying the rollout and capping staff in a bid to deliver a surplus.
The $1.6 billion underspend the Liberals booked in their budget is a direct result of their failure to deliver the NDIS as promised.
77,000 people with a disability and their families are going without vital services because of the delayed rollout.
And on average people are only using just 50 per cent of their first NDIS plan, largely because of a lack of access to services.
That’s not good enough and only Labor will get the NDIS back on track by properly investing in the workforce so quality services are delivered to people with disability.
As many as 90,000 extra NDIS workers will be needed over the next five years to meet the needs of the 460,000 Australians who will get access to the NDIS.
A Shorten Labor Government will establish two-year local NDIS workforce trials in 2020 and 2021 to establish the best way to sustainably grow and maintain a skilled NDIS workforce.
The trials will be flexible and place-based and will be a partnership between people with disability, providers, TAFE, government and workers. 
The NDIS workforce trial will have three components:

  1. Ensuring NDIS workers have the foundation skills they need, with up to 3000 training support payments of $2,000 for induction training;

  2. Supporting NDIS workers to get Certificate III qualifications, with up to 2000 training support payments of $4,000; and

  3. Providing a portable professional development entitlement for NDIS workers, with up to 5000 training support payments of $750 per year, so people can take time off work to specialise and upgrade their skills.

Labor will also scrap up-front TAFE fees for 20,000 students studying to get skills for the NDIS and aged care.
The trials will establish the best flexible local solutions to skills shortages, gaps in the training curriculum and course availability, and barriers to getting the right people working in the NDIS.
The initial trial sites will be:

  • Canberra – where the NDIS is creating between 1000 and 1200 new jobs.

  • Townsville – where the NDIS is creating between 800 and 950 new jobs.

  • Joondalup – where the NDIS roll-out is just beginning and hundreds of new workers will be needed.

A Shorten Labor Government will work with state and territory governments to expand the workforce trial to other locations.
Labor will also develop a comprehensive national NDIS workforce strategy, in partnership with people with disability, families and advocates; service providers; state and territory governments; TAFE; and workers.
Only Labor can be trusted to properly fund, deliver and support the NDIS so that people with disability, their families and loved ones get the support they desperately need and deserve.


Authorised by Noah Carroll, ALP, Canberra.


People with disability are waiting months to get essential equipment – such as a new wheelchair – approved. 

  • People with disability are waiting an average of four months, just to get a plan – with many people waiting much longer. [Senate Estimates, Community Affairs, 4 April 2019

  • People with disability are missing out on the services and support they need – with people using just half their first NDIS plan, on average. 

  • Around 77,000 Australians are missing out on the NDIS, because of delays in the rollout. [NDIS 2018-19 Second Quarterly Report]  

These are the real life consequences of the Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison Government’s botched rollout of the NDIS. 

The Government has capped NDIA staff, starved the NDIS of money and deliberately caused delays.  

The consequence is a $1.6 billion NDIS underspend – which Scott Morrison is shamefully using to prop up his flimsy budget surplus.  

FRIDAY, 12 APRIL 2019 


Federal Member for Barton, Linda Burney visited Chinese Australian Services Society (CASS) today to view a new garden, built as a result of $9,400 in Federal funding.

The CASS Child Care Centre at 48 Queens Road, Hurstville hosts a garden built with funding secured under the Federal Government’s Stronger Communities Programme. With many families from the area now living in high-rise apartments, children often lack access to the natural environment. The new garden provides families with the opportunity for their children to connect with nature, and learn about the benefits of growing and harvesting their own plants and vegetables.

Ms. Burney also had a chance to visit the newly refurbished learning environment which includes a creative art studio. Children at the centre greeted Ms. Burney enthusiastically, demonstrating their new and innovative teaching tools. The children were eager to showcase the food that is cooked and baked as part of the Centre’s interactive cooking classes.

The Member for Barton, Linda Burney said:

“The new garden is a fantastic way to educate young children about the benefits of recycling and composting, promote better nutrition, and provide them with the opportunity to cook with food they’ve grown and harvested themselves!

MEDIA CONTACT: LEON PUN - 0410 544 763



A Shorten Labor Government will deliver a $350,000 upgrade for Marrickville Golf Club to improve function facilities to accommodate a growing community.

The much loved Marrickville Golf Course is already under fire with plans by the Greens to cut the size of the course.

But speaking at a Save Marrickville Golf Course Rally on Sunday, Labor Member for Barton Linda Burney will announce that “a Labor Government will provide funds to support the growth of this wonderful community organisation.”

The Club and its facilities is a favourite spot for local residents. However, it is finding it increasingly difficult to keep up with the growing community.

The long awaited upgrades will include a new veranda and function space that will help the club cater for more functions and events, as well as additional sporting and community programs.

The investment will also support 20 jobs in the construction phase. The Club holds a special place in Linda Burney’s heart, having held a party for her supporters there in 2003.

The Member for Barton, Linda Burney said:

“The Club and course goes to the very heart and soul of the character of Marrickville, and Labor will ensure it remains usable and accessible to our growing community.

“This investment is integral to supporting the health and wellbeing of our local community.”

The Member for Grayndler, Anthony Albanese, said:

“Marrickville Golf Club is a community institution that has operated since the 1940s. It's where people have birthdays and celebrations, where people walk, many with their dogs along the Cooks River waterfront to enjoy the open space which is so limited in the Inner West. I am proud that Federal Labor is working to support this community facility that people have enjoyed for generations.”


MEDIA RELEASE: Government's unfair budget unravelled during Treasurer's speech

The Morrison Government’s unfair budget unravelled as the Treasurer delivered his budget speech on Tuesday night
It was revealed at Senate estimates yesterday that Social Services staff were instructed to cost the Government’s embarrassing Energy Assistance backflip, right as the Treasurer was on his feet in the chamber. 
The Government – backed into a corner by Labor over the exclusion of Newstart recipients, students, carers, parents and veterans from the one-off payment – awkwardly retreated the very next morning. 
Testimony from Senate estimates revealing how the Veep-like debacle played out behind the scenes: 
DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: So on Budget night we received a request from Minister Fletcher’s office to commence preparing for legislative and costing changes should a decision be taken.
MCALLISTER: Right, and what time was that?
DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: It was around the time of the budget speech.
MCALLISTER: Before or after the budget speech, Mr Williamson?
DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: My recollection is it was during it.
Senator Mitch Fifield was also unable to confirm whether the Minister for Social Services was even present at the Government’s high-level backflip workshop which involved the Prime Minister, Treasurer and Finance Minister. 
On Wednesday, we weren’t sure whether the budget would last longer than Lateline to lunch time. But it turns out the Government was in trouble even before the Treasurer left the despatch box. 
The Government can chop and change all it wants, but Australians won’t forget the six years of chaos, cuts and demonization of people in need of income support. 


We acknowledge the Prime Minister’s announcement of the Royal Commission into violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation of people with disability – a critically important step for Australia.
People will now – finally – be listened to and believed.
It will be a difficult and traumatic process for many people – and it will be shocking and confronting for us all.
The mistreatment of Australians with disability is a national shame and this Royal Commission must be a turning point for our country.
It must lead to deep and lasting changes, not just in the way governments and services work – but in the way people with disability are regarded and included by society.
Labor is very disappointed that the terms of reference for the Royal Commission do not make any reference of the investigation of redress. This must be investigated as part of a process of justice and healing.
If Labor is successful at the next election, we will amend the Terms of Reference for the Inquiry to include redress.
People with disability, their families and advocates have long been campaigning for a Royal Commission. It is overdue.
Labor committed to a Royal Commission years ago – and a future Labor Government will make sure people have the support they need to fully participate in the inquiry.
We will also work urgently – alongside the Royal Commission – to get the NDIS back on track and improve support, accessibility and inclusion for people with disability. 
Australians with disability deserve full and equal citizenship. That means equal opportunities in all parts of life, including education, employment, health, justice and civil society.
We have a long, long way to go before we can claim Australia is a genuinely inclusive and accessible place. And this Royal Commission will play a critical role in leading the change people with disability, their families and carers have long deserved.



For the sixth year in a row, the Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison Budget is cutting the pension.

Plans to cut the Pension Supplement after six weeks overseas, and extending the residency period for migrant pensioners from 10 to 15 years are still in the Budget.

Scott Morrison has spent the last five years – including three as Treasurer – trying to cut the pension and increase the pension age to 70.
This includes cutting $1 billion from pensioner concessions, which were designed to help with the cost of living.

The Liberals and Nationals also tried to cut pension indexation, which would have left pensioners $80 per week worse off.
The Government also did a deal with the Greens political party to change the assets test, cutting the pension by up to $12,000 for 370,000 Australians.

As Treasurer, Scott Morrison tried for years to cut the energy supplement for 1.5 million new pensioners.

This would have cost a single pensioner $14.10 per fortnight or around $365 a year, and cut $21.20 a fortnight or around $550 a year from couple pensioners.
This wasn’t a plan for a one-off cut. It was a cut every fortnight, every year.
Labor opposed this cut and committed to reversing it.

Six weeks out from an election, a one-off payment of $75 can’t undo six years of cuts.

Pensioners won’t forget, and they won’t be fooled.

They will see through Scott Morrison’s desperate and cynical pre-election politics.

No matter who their leader is – pension cuts are in the Liberal-National DNA.

Labor has fought cuts to pensions at every turn. Pensioners will always be better off with a Labor government.




The Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison Government has shamefully built almost a quarter of their projected budget surplus on underspends in the NDIS.

Next year, Scott Morrison has counted a $1.6 billion underspend towards the budget bottom line.

This is a disgrace, not an achievement.

It’s $1.6 billion in services and support that people with disability will miss out on because the Government has botched the NDIS rollout at every turn.

It comes on top of a shocking $3.4 billion underspend in the 2018-19 financial year, and over $6 billion to date.

This is a direct result of delays in the NDIS rollout – with over 77,000 people missing out on the NDIS this year alone.

And it is a consequence of people being unable to use their plans because services and support are simply not available.

The NDIS has fallen into crisis under this Government.

People are getting poor quality plans; they are not being treated with respect; services are being pushed to the brink; and waiting times are completely unacceptable.

After six year of neglect, the Government’s knee-jerk announcement on NDIS prices – six weeks out from an election – is too little, too late.

The bottom line is, Australians with disability are the ones paying so Scott Morrison can bolster his books.




Scott Morrison needs to come clean on using cruel tricks to boost his budget bottom line, instead of properly delivering the NDIS.

This is a disgraceful tactic and an insult to people with disability.

Reports today indicate the Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison Government will use funding designated for support for people with disability to prop up its pre-election budget next week.

Already, $6 billion from the NDIS has been returned unspent to the budget, including over $2.5 billion in 2017-18 alone.

The is the culmination of years of neglect of the NDIS.

The Government’s bottom line is being bolstered because of delays in the NDIS roll-out and because too many people are unable to access all the services and supports in their NDIS Plans.

We already know that next week’s budget will be a fantasy document filled with promises to get them through the next six weeks and attempt to wipe away the last six years – and this is more proof of that.

If the Liberals’ projected surpluses are built on massive underspends in the NDIS, they can’t exactly claim its because of good economic management.

If their projected surpluses come at the expense of Australians with a disability, it would tell you all you need to know about this Government.

These are services and supports people with disability have been assessed as needing – but they are missing out.

This underspend is not an achievement. It is evidence that the Government has dropped the ball on the rollout of the NDIS.

The underspends are the culmination of thousands of people with disability waiting to enter the scheme or waiting months for their plans; their plans being underutilised because they are unable to receive the support they need; and cost pressures being placed on service providers.

The equivalent of over 77,000 people are missing out, with the latest quarterly report showing that the scheme has only reached 76% of the projected number of participants.

On top of this, almost a third of participant plans was not spent, with an underutilisation rate of 31% in the 2017-18 fiscal year, meaning that participants are simply not receiving all of the support that they need. 

It will be difficult and it will take time to get the scheme back on track. But Labor is determined to ensure the scheme, services and support are made available to eligible participants, no matter where they live.

Labor will abolish the Liberal’s arbitrary staffing cap on the National Disability Insurance Agency, which will free the agency to address the backlog in plans and create a more interactive planning process which more comprehensively considers the unique and individual needs of participants and their families.


SUBJECTS: National Disability Insurance Scheme; One Nation

LINDA BURNEY, SHADOW MINISTER FOR FAMILIES AND SOCIAL SERVICES, SHADOW MINISTER FOR PREVENTING FAMILY VIOLENCE, MEMBER FOR BARTON: Reports today, that the Government is going to use the underspend on NDIS to prop up their budget is a disgrace and it’s disgusting. We know that there has been $6 billion not spent on people with disability by this Government and reports in the media today that there’s going to be a $2.5 billion extra amount to prop up the budget is nothing short of neglect. This Government has dropped the ball on the rollout of the NDIS. Five ministers in five years and the fact that they are going to use this underspend to prop up the budget saying that they’ve got a surplus budget is just a disgrace. It is a disgrace for every Australian, but it is especially a disgrace for people with disability.

How can this Government possibly say that they are going to, and how can this Government possibly use an underspend in the NDIS to crow that they’ve got a budget surplus?

It is not a budget surplus. It is taking away from the most vulnerable people in our community. There have been five ministers in five years. Five years of absolute neglect. People who should be getting a service have not been not getting a service and the Government is cynical enough to use this underspend to prop up the bottom line of a so called budget surplus. There are people in remote communities that cannot get any services. They are not using the full allocation of their NDIS plan.

It is a cynical move by this Government. It is neglect in the first order. It is neglect of the worst kind and to use an underspend of at least $2.5 this year and $6 billion over the five years to prop up a budget surplus is cynical, and it is not appropriate, and people will see through this government for what it stands for: neglecting people with a disability to say that they’ve got a budget surplus is unacceptable to Labor and it’s unacceptable to people with disability, and it should be unacceptable to everyone.

JOURNALIST: [inaudible] – still any preference deal between One Nation and the Liberal Party?

BURNEY: Well the lines that Scott Morrison has finally seen the light and has come out in the last hour or two to say that he’ll put One Nation behind Labor and last is nothing short of cynical politics. It is not because Scott Morrison believes that this is the right thing to do. It is because Scott Morrison has been embarrassed into putting One Nation last. And not only that, he squibbed it in terms of not pulling his Queensland National Party colleagues into line because they will still be able to do whatever they want to do in terms of preference spots.

This is not leadership by Scott Morrison. This is an embarrassing turn-around by Scott Morrison because he had no choice. If he truly believed that One Nation should be last, why didn’t he say it several days ago? Why did it have to be today, and still giving the Nationals in Queensland a leave pass to do what they want? Cynical, unacceptable, political politics. That’s what we’ve seen here today from Scott Morrison.

Thank you.



Today we recognise Stephanie Gotlib’s incredible dedication and service to the disability community, as she prepares to step down as the CEO of Children and Young People with Disability Australia (CYDA).

For more than 10 years at CYDA, Stephanie has been a fierce and consistent advocate for children and young people.

She campaigned for the creation of the NDIS – and along with thousands of parents and children across the country, has continued to work just as hard to get the Scheme back on track.

Whether it is fighting against unfair changes to child care, or arguing the case for better funding and support for school students with disability, Stephanie has contributed intelligently, passionately and honestly to the policy debate.

She calls it as she sees it – always putting children and young people with disability first.

Stephanie has changed minds and hearts on the importance of inclusive education and the right of every child to be treated as a learner.

She has also exposed terrible injustices and highlighted to the whole community just how much more Australia needs to do – in our schools and more broadly – in order to be a genuinely inclusive country.

For years, Stephanie has argued for the establishment of a Royal Commission into the abuse, neglect and violence perpetrated against people with a disability.

It is a testament to her persistence and determination – in partnership with others – that this important inquiry is now supported across the Parliament.

Stephanie is a genuine leader who is respected by people across the sector and in government.

Thank you Stephanie. And all the best in your next endeavour, we know you will continue to make a difference.



Federal and WA Labor met in Perth today to discuss combined plans to improve front line services for women and children who have experienced family violence.
Preventing and responding to family violence is a shared Federal and State responsibility – and it is critical both levels of government work together.
Western Australia has the second highest rate of violence against women and their children in the country, costing the state economy an estimated $2.8 billion annually.
We all have a role to play in turning this around, and government has a responsibility to show leadership and invest in change.
This is why Labor is committed to ensuring that people experiencing family violence have access to the necessary support and services to get safe and to rebuild their lives.
WA Labor is delivering important reforms, including: 

  • Investing in more women’s refuges in Perth;

  • Reforming residential tenancy legislation to allow women to remain in safe and secure accommodation;

  • Introducing paid domestic violence leave in the WA public service;

  • Delivering education and prevention strategies to support victim safety and perpetrator accountability;

  • Expanding residential men’s behavioural change programs.

Federal Labor will deliver funding announced for the Fourth Action Plan, and in addition to this a Shorten Labor Government has already made commitments to:

  • Legislating for 10 days paid domestic violence leave in the National Employment Standards.

  • Delivering around 20,000 Flexible Support Packages to provide practical support to people escaping family violence, at a cost of $60 million.

  • Investing $88 million into the Safe Housing fund, to deliver more emergency housing, including for women and their children escaping family violence. 

  • Building 250,000 new affordable homes, many of which will benefit people rebuilding their lives after leaving violent relationships.

  • Immediately beginning work on a new National Plan and make preventing family violence a Council of Australian Governments priority.

  • Reinstating a National Advisory Group, which the Liberals axed, to guide the development of a new National Plan.

Federal Labor will continue to work with WA Labor as we finalise our election policies for the prevention of family violence.

Together, a Shorten Federal Labor Government and a McGowan WA Labor Government will deliver significant and lasting change in preventing family violence.



Federal Labor MP Linda Burney has committed $1.085 million for the renewal of the St George District Netball Courts if Labor forms government at the next federal election.

This is in addition to NSW Labor’s pledge of $250,000 for improvements to the netball courts which was announced by Labor Member for Rockdale Steve Kamper and Labor candidate for Oatley Lucy Mannering, should Labor win the state election on 23 March.

“The election of both Federal and State Labor governments will result in $1.335 million being injected into the local economy for an upgrade to sporting facilities for a sport predominately played by women and girls”, said Ms Burney.

The netball courts, located on West Botany Street in Rockdale, are home to the St George District Netball Association.

The Association supports 11 clubs, with members of all ages hailing from the Bayside and Georges River Council Areas.

The association’s facilities comprise of 15 asphalt and 17 grass courts.

Labor’s commitment will renew the courts’ surfaces as well as upgrade ancillary equipment and infrastructure, including goal posts, seating, bins, fencing and the car park.

The facilities are on the verge of reaching the end of their useful life.

“Upgrades to our facilities have been a long time coming and this commitment will enable us to vastly improve the playing experience of our over 1,600 members,” said Mr Peter Crawford, President of the St George District Netball Association.

Mr Bill Saravinovski, Mayor of Bayside City Council said that the project, which will be managed by the Council, will support 22 jobs.

The association, which is about to embark on its 2019 competition, provides a major weekly fixture which brings the community together both during the season as well as the off-season.

“The election of Federal and State Labor Governments will mean rejuvenated and upgraded netball facilities for our community”, said Ms Burney.



Labor is pleased the government will fully fund the Royal Commission into the Violence, Abuse and Neglect of People with Disability – this is a positive step.
Labor has been calling for this Royal Commission since May 2017, and committed to a model which is funded by the Commonwealth; broad-based in its scope; and done with proper consultation with people with disability.
As always, the government has made a mess of this process.
Just this morning, the Minister for Families and Social Services Paul Fletcher said he was unsure about how the royal commission would be funded by the Commonwealth.
"As yet, funding issues have not been resolved between the Commonwealth and the states and territories”
[Paul Fletcher, Minister for Families and Social Services]
And yet, an hour later the Prime Minister said the Commonwealth would fully fund the royal commission.
The Government opposed the banking royal commission; it did its utmost to obstruct the royal commission for people with disability; and refused to fully fund the royal commission until now, causing significant uncertainty.
We have concerns about the time allocated for consultation. People with disability need to be properly consulted.
It shouldn’t have been this hard for the government to do the right thing.


PATRICIA KARVELAS: Linda Burney is the Shadow Minister for Community Services, welcome back to RN Drive.
KARVELAS: Can you walk me through how this fund will assist a woman who is looking to leave a violent relationship?
BURNEY: Yes I can. So as you said in your introduction, the money will come from the Banking Fairness Fund which is something like $640 million. We’re talking about $60 million and that will fund 20,000 packages across the country over the next four years, so that means 20,000 women and their children will be able to leave violent situations with support.
Now as you know Patricia, when a woman makes the decision to leave it could be after a long time, there are often children involved and quite often a woman will stay in a difficult domestic violence relationship if there are no financial resources.
Women often leave with $12 in the bank and the shirt on their back so this fund will be administered through the services that already exist to look after domestic violence and it will be available to all people who are finding themselves in these situations.
It will be up to $10,000 but the experience of Victoria which is where we’ve taken the model from is that most packages are about $3,000 and it will be for really practical things. The bond on your new place if you need it. Fixing up your car if that’s necessary. Getting your kids new school clothes if they’re changing schools. Having your pet boarded if the pet’s the reason you’re staying. Quite often domestic violence perpetrators will threaten to harm the pets so often the woman will stay in the relationship because she doesn’t want that to happen. It can mean things like utility bills, it can mean white goods. It can mean whatever is absolutely necessary for that woman financially to be able to leave that situation safely with her children.
KARVELAS: How will the level of need be determined? Would there be an application process? And how long would it take ‘til they can access the money?
BURNEY: So we – we spoke to people from Victoria over the course of developing this and we spoke again to organisations in Victoria that are administering the fund here. And if it’s really urgent it can happen on the same day. There is an application process obviously. And there is enormous accountability. But the really important thing about this fund is that there is no requirement for the person that’s made the huge decision to leave to actually refund the money. And people have said to me, what if women exploit the fund? Well our experience will ask for exactly what they need, no more, and think about other women who are in need as well.
KARVELAS: Would someone in Victoria who has access to services in Victoria by the Victorian Government still be able to access the federal fund?
BURNEY: I wouldn’t imagine so. We haven’t actually addressed that question, but it’s a very good question, but my view would be if that fund has already been accessed in Victoria – what we’re talking about these 20,000 packages are additional to what’s in place now. That means that women right across the country will have access.
KARVELAS: This is being paid out of this Banking Fairness Fund, why are the banks paying for this? Are they just an easy target at the moment?
BURNEY: No I don’t think they’re an easy target. But you know the – I think you would agree and people listening to us would agree that the banks have some community obligations to make up – particularly with the way which many of them have conducted themselves. And we see banks are never going – this is the four big banks – are not going to fall over and the fund that we’re talking about, the money that we’re talking about provided to – being provided to women in their hour of need will in fact enhance the banks anyhow. We believe the banks have a responsibility to give to back to the community and what an important issue in our community to give back to.
KARVELAS: If you’re just tuning in, Linda Burney is my guest, she’s a Labor frontbencher. 0418 226 576 is our text line.
A special report by Guardian Australia has mapped known massacres of Indigenous people and makes the point that the history of the frontier wars is something we still don’t spend a lot of time examining. Is that a fair point?
BURNEY: Look, I’m so glad you’re talking about this. It is an absolutely a fair point, but the really big question I think is that we need to know our story. We need to know our truth and that will make us a better country knowing where we’ve come from and where we’re going to.
KARVELAS: There has been a lot of discussion around the idea of truth-telling as part of the Uluru Statement from the Heart. Is there a role for the Federal Government here?
BURNEY: There is an absolute role for the federal government. As, uh, you would be aware, Labor has adopted, uh, accepted the Uluru statement. And a part of that was a national process of truth-telling. Of course, the reconciliation process in the 90s and early 2000s and a lot of that. I remember, Patricia, going out to the first commemoration of the Myall Creek Massacre and the commemoration ceremony included people that had - relatives of people that had been massacred, and those that did the massacring. It was just the most powerful experience.
I remember speaking a few years ago to a teacher in the Northern Territory – whose father was a boy was in the Coniston massacre. He was one of the only survivors. You know, he’s about my age. This is not ancient history.
KARVELAS: It certainly isn’t ancient history. And as you say, a lot of people like you have it running in their hearts and in their minds. There was a Royal Commission in the 1920s.  But would you support something like a truth and reconciliation to examine indigenous massacres?
BURNEY: Well, the Uluru Statement recommended a Makarata commission. And of course, that was about agreement and treaty making. We haven’t nutted out exactly how Labor is going to go forward – apart from the fact that we have agreed of course to a Referendum to enshrine an Aboriginal voice into the constitution. We have agreed to the truth-telling process and a Makarata commission. It would seem to me that those two processes could very well go together.
But really, the truth-telling – Patricia - needs to happen at the local level. Be it the local council, be it a group from the historical society, be it a whole community working together – like they’ve done for the Myall Creek massacre site. Like they’ve done it up at Appin – [inaudible] – it commemorates every year, an amazing ceremony of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people remembering the Appin massacre. It is happening, but we’d like to see across the country and be it fairly organic.
KARVELAS: Thank you so much for your time Linda.