Election 2022: Pressure groups quick to declare their agendas

By Tom Ravlic

April 11, 2022

parliament house, canberra
All the technological advancements in the world won’t solve this crisis unless we adapt our mindsets. (Randal/Adobe)

Various professional associations and pressure groups have taken the opportunity to exploit the election date announcement to push a range of policy agendas.

The Australian Council of Social Services has stressed that all political parties and their candidates should remember the lessons learned during the height of the coronavirus pandemic when “Australia reduced poverty, saved jobs, and ensured people living on the street were housed”.

“This Federal Election must be about putting those with the least at the centre of addressing the challenges we face – not just over the next three years but the next decade and beyond,” the council said.

“Australia is far from finished with this pandemic and our future challenges are significant. We are facing surging housing costs, increasing poverty, persistent inequality, including gender inequality and unprecedented extreme weather events being made worse by climate change. And now, conflict in Ukraine presents a further challenge to international peace and stability.” 

The Australian College of Nursing pushed out its message urging the parties to prioritise issues impacting nursing professionals.

“I constantly hear stories from my colleagues sharing the exhausting toll of COVID-19 on their physical and mental health as they care for the sick and vulnerable as well as the need to better invest the health care dollar to optimise Australia’s largest and most geographically accessible workforce. This federal election, all political parties must place long-term and tangible solutions to address the crisis facing the nursing workforce,” said CEO Kylie Ward.

“Registered nurses are central to leading reform in our health and aged care systems and improving the health of all Australians, particularly our most vulnerable. However, there needs to be investments on multiple fronts to ensure our workforce is sustainable and optimally utilised for generations to come.”

The Australian Information Industry Association has called for the next government to appoint a cabinet level government services and digital economy minister, to oversee the growth and regulation of the growing sector.

The minister would be responsible for ensuring Australia became a leading digital government and economy, take initiative on tech regulation, and lead strategic domestic procurement policies and critical technologies.

Christian Schools Australia has expressed disappointment that legislation dealing with religious discrimination tanked during the 46th Parliament and that Australians still wanted protection for religious values.

“Both the government and opposition have talked of the fundamental importance of protections against discrimination for people of faith, and the need to ensure that religious bodies can protect their ethos, but more than talk is needed,” Mark Spencer, the director of public policy at Christian Schools Australia, said.

“It is clear from the 2019 election that Australians want their values protected, and the right to choose schools that reflect those values protected’, he said, ‘everyone acknowledges that people of faith had a significant impact on the outcome in 2019.”

Spencer said candidates need to make clear to their electorates where they stood on the issue of religious protection.

“If candidates seek to duck this issue, or simply refer questions to campaign headquarters people will see through that and vote accordingly,” Spencer said.


Religious discrimination bill scratched for now

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