Tag: Labor Party

Anthony Albanese: Australia needs a post COVID plan for job creation; slams Tony Abbott’s London views about elderly people as shocking


By Neeraj Nanda

MELBOURNE, 2 Sept 2020: The quarterly dip of seven percent GDP for the June quarter, has pushed Australia officially into recession. This the country’s first recession in 30 years due to the pandemic lockouts and restrictions. Some of the restrictions in Melbourne are likely to be relaxed on Sunday 6 August. This has necessitated thinking about how to overcome the economic downturn in the post COVID period.

Australia needs a plan for jobs in the post-pandemic period, says Anthony Albanese, Leader of the ALP, and member for Gryndler. Anthony was replying to a question by South Asia Times (SAT) as to what are the essential steps needed to revive the Australian economy in the post-pandemic period? The Labor leader was speaking at a Zoom media conference today for CALD media groups.

He said, ” And that can be across a range of traditional areas, but also new areas. The pandemic has identified as someone said to me at one of the forums, a pandemic is like an X-ray, it shows us what’s broken. And there is a range of things that are broken. The fact that we have issues, even if there is a vaccine, do we have enough vials? Are we able to produce them here in Australia?

A whole range of areas where we’ve been shown to be vulnerable, things that should be produced here, there was an issue with ventilators, for example. So we need to look at what areas of manufacturing are required and how the government can support the private sector to undertake work there. There’s also going to be a direct public investment required in areas such as infrastructure bring forwards, both in terms of transport infrastructure, in the traditional way that it’s seen, but in other areas as well, such as social housing. We have a great need that’s on the waiting list for public housing in this country are enormous, people just can’t get in.

Now, during the pandemic, we put homeless people up in hotels because there weren’t housing options available. We think that direct job creation to public housing expansion would as well of course create an asset at the end and that’s why it would be valuable. Other areas as well, we had the New South Wales premier last week say that New South Wales wasn’t very good at making trains or public transport infrastructure.

It’s absurd that that’s the case and regional centers like Maryborough in Queensland, Newcastle historically, and Ballarat in Victoria, in Western Australia the WA Government making sure that they make things here is really important for those communities. When you visit Melbourne and see made in Victoria on the trams, on the side. People are proud of that. So we need to have a concerted job creation program, which we’re not seeing from this government at this point in time.”

Answering another question by the South Asia Times (SAT) to comment about Ex-PM Tony Abbott’s speech in London where he made comments that families would have to make decisions, to let nature take its course and allow elderly people to just die during this in the context of the pandemic, Mr. Albanese said, “Tony Abbott was never known for his compassion, but this is a new low. The idea, he’s not alone, there have been some other commentators have a view that because the pandemic doesn’t exclusively, but older people are more vulnerable to the impact of COVID-19, than people who are younger and fitter, can impact young people as well. But, they’re particularly vulnerable, and we knew that that was the case.

The idea, that as has been said that we just old people are going to die anyway, this just brings it forward. Where that sort of attitude ends up is, I think, in a place, I don’t want Australia to be. The idea that we are essentially complacent, and we essentially see older people as being well, they going to die anyway and therefore we don’t have to do everything we can to keep them in good health and if they do get sick to look after them. This flies in the face of humanity.

I was shocked, frankly, by the heartless nature of the comments. But I was also shocked that Scott Morrison said that 97% of aged care facilities didn’t have COVID-19, as if that was a good outcome. I am concerned that for both those comments for the more than 450 grieving families who have lost a loved one, will be hurt by that. These are real people, with real families. They’re our mums and dads, our grandfathers, our grandmothers, they’re our sisters and brothers. And I just think that Tony Abbott’s comments were regrettable, is the kindest word that I can say.”

The media conference was also attended by Andrew Giles MP, Shadow Minister for Multicultural Affairs & Assisting for Immigration & Senator Kristina Keneally Deputy Leader in the Senate.

The vulnerable should get the COVID-19 vaccine at no charge: Chris Bowen

Chris Bowen

By Neeraj Nanda

MELBOURNE, 17 August 2020: The Shadow Minister for Health, Chris Bowen today said “The vulnerable should get the COVID-19 vaccine at no charge”. Chris said this while answering a question by South Asia Times (SAT) at a Zoom multicultural media conference today if a possible COVID-19 vaccine in Australia will be covered under Medicare or the people have to pay for it.

Answering the SAT question he said, “First the access to the vaccine should be there and how much will be covered we will decide then.”

Answering another question Chris Bowen said nation-wide compulsory mask-wearing is not necessary and each state should decide accordingly.

Kristina Keneally

On a question about the banning of Tik Tok by the US and Australia doing the same, Kristina Keneally Shadow Minister for Home Affairs said the rise of fake news is very real and a danger to democracy. The danger to democracy by disinformation is significant but not just for a particular platform. Labor has set up the Senate inquiry into this issue and it will say more on this issue in the coming months, she said.

About the COVIDSafe app, Chris Bowen, replying to a question said, It is not working and so far it has traced 14 contacts. The app also needs to be updated and not all have done that. On communications to multicultural communities, he said, it needs to be updated and there have been poor translations.

Subcontinent Friends of Labor and the Council of Australian Postgraduate Associations welcome Victoria’s $45 million Corona crisis package for international students

Davendra Singh & Manoj Kumar. (Photo taken before the COVID-19 crisis)

MELBOURNE, 4 May 2020: The Council of Australian Postgraduate Associations (CAPA) and the Subcontinent Friends of Labor Victoria (SCFOL Vic), has welcomed the $45 million International Students Emergency Relief Fund announced recently by the Hon. Daniel Andrews Labor government in Victoria.

Like other support groups, the SCFOL Vic and the CAPA International Officer Devendra Singh have been strongly advocating the government to look after the wellbeing of international students affected by the COVID-19 crisis.

Kaushaliya Vaghela MP visited RMIT international students during their orientation day. (The photo was taken before the COVID-19 crisis).

The SCFOL Victoria Chairperson Mr. Manoj Kumar has thanked the Victorian Government for supporting international students during these tough times. Mr. Kumar also thanked Victorian MP Kaushaliya Vaghela for her direct advocacy for this cause to the Victorian government. On 23 April, addressing the Victorian Parliament gave her ‘Members Statement ’, highlighting her views about the sufferings of the international students due to the current pandemic.

Devendra Singh says the recent Victorian government announcement is a step towards the betterment of international students in the current situation. International students are an integral part of the multicultural community and international education is an important export industry in Victoria.

“It is the responsibility of the government to look after the well-being of the individuals who have trusted them and made Victoria their second home. This crucial step by the government is beneficial for the students and the state alike, both socially and economically. It will go a long way in enriching and cultivating the ever-growing culture of Victoria,” Mr. Singh says.

Jill Hennessey opens state of the art Eastern Health’s Breast & Cancer Centre

By SAT News Desk

MELBOURNE, 21 MAY: A big boost to health services in Melbourne’s east took place on today with the official opening of the Eastern Health’s new Breast and Cancer Centre.

Based at Maroondah Hospital in Ringwood East, the building was officially opened by Victorian Minister for Health and Ambulance Services the Hon Jill Hennessey MP at a special event on Monday.A large number of people including patients and Mr. Manoj Kumar Labor candidate for Forest Hill were also present.

The Minster in her address said, ” I am delighted women’s health being treated as a mainstream health issue.”

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Eastern Health Executive Director of Clinical Operations Matt Sharp said the opening of the Centre was an important occasion for the eastern region.

“The centre will provide a range of services including breast screening, breast cancer treatment, and supportive care services from the one building. For our patients, it will mean less time travelling between sites to have tests or receive treatment. At the same time, they will continue to receive the outstanding care we provide.”

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Mr. Sharp said the new center provided a positive environment for patients and staff.
“The center is spacious, warm and welcoming. It also gives our patients access to state of the art technology to ensure they can receive quality care.”

Highlights of the new center include:
 Two ultrasound rooms that will be able to conduct guided biopsies
 Four medical imaging reading rooms
 Mammography screening rooms
 Allied health rooms
 Consulting rooms
 A Breast Nurse consulting room
 A wellness lounge where patients can consider their care in a home-like environment

Mr. Sharp thanked the State Government and partners BreastScreen for their ongoing support.

“The State Government and BreastScreen have been right behind this project from the beginning. We can’t thank them enough for helping us make this project a reality. It is only by working together are we able to provide enhanced care for our community,” Mr. Sharp said.

Vic budget allocation for Hallam Rd, Evans Rd & S. Gippsland Hwy intersection


By SAT Community reporter

Melbourne, 27 April: The Victorian Budget presented yesterday in the Parliament has allocated $38.4 million for the duplication of Hallam Road between Ormond Road and the South Gippsland Highway as well as a major upgrade to the intersection of Hallam Road, Evens Road and South Gippsland Highway.

Labor activist and ex-federal candidate of Menzies, Manoj Kumar along with local residents had raised the issue for fixing the dangerous intersection of Hallam Rd, Evans Road and South Gippsland Highway at Hampton Park by introducing a Traffic management System.

The petition signed by residents in the Casey and surrounding areas were drawn to the attention of Luke Donnellan (then Shadow Roads Safety Minister) and local Cranbourne MP Hon. Jude Perera as a matter of urgency.

The petition also mentioned that during peak times of travel, motorists were finding it difficult to turn onto South Gippsland Highway. Local residents and devotees who visited the Lynbrook Sikh Temple found it difficult to pass through the junction.

The petitioners had requested the state government either to introduce traffic lights or the establishment of a roundabout at the intersection to alleviate this problem. Local MP Hon. Jude Perera pledged to take up this issue further after the Sikh Temple officials handed over a petition to him.

The petition was handed over to local MP Hon. Jude Perera by Temple officials in the presence of devotees, local residents, Shadow minister of Road Safety Hon. Luke Donnellan MP and Mr. Manoj Kumar local labor activist.

Later Mr. Manoj Kumar followed up the issue with Minister Hon.Luke Donnellan and MP and Hon. Jude Perera to get approval of funding for this project.

Talking to South Asia Times (SAT), Mr. Manoj Kumar expressed his happiness and gave credit for this achievement to the local residents, the Roads Safety minister Hon.Luke Donnellan MP and Hon. Jude Perera MP.

Mr.Kumar has urged the Casey Council to change the name of Evans Road to Nanaksar Road from the intersection till it meets Thomson Rd. to respect the 1st Sikh Guru ‘Guru Nanak Dev Ji’. The signature campaign for the same is already in progress.

- SAT News Service.