Transcript by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Paid Parental Leave, DisabilityCare Australia

E & OE – Proof only

JENNY MACKLIN: Thanks everyone for joining us here today. Labor is very pleased that our Paid Parental Leave scheme has delivered improvements and access to Paid Parental Leave for around 300,000 Australian families.

And we’ve done this in a responsible way, making sure that leave is paid to families at the Federal minimum wage for eighteen weeks. By contrast Tony Abbott wants to pay the wealthiest mothers in Australia $75,000 to have a baby and he wants to put a new tax on business to pay for it, a tax that businesses will pass on to their customers.

JOURNALIST: Um, so, you know what use will the Government be making of this analysis, will they be running ads on it?

JENNY MACKLIN: What I’m doing today is demonstrating just how unfair Tony Abbott’s Paid Parental Leave proposal is. Tony Abbott wants to put a new tax on business to pay for his Paid Parental Leave scheme which would cost $4.5 billion a year. This tax on business would be passed on to consumers. Consumers everywhere around Australia, whether they’re at the checkout, whether they’re customers at banks, would pay increased prices because Tony Abbott is going to put a new tax on business to pay for his very expensive Paid Parental Leave scheme.

JOURNALIST: Mr Rudd says he’s not interested in class warfare. Is this strategy at odds with the sort of campaign that he wants to run?

JENNY MACKLIN: These are just the facts. These are the facts of what Tony Abbott intends to do. Tony Abbott wants to put a new tax on business that each and every Australian will pay when they go to the supermarket, that each and every Australian will pay as a result of increased bank fees, and Tony Abbott wants to pay wealthy women $75,000 to have a baby. These are the facts.

JOURNALIST: Are there marginal seats where you think this is sure to make a real difference?

JENNY MACKLIN: I’m just demonstrating the facts of Tony Abbott’s scheme. Labor has a responsible Paid Parental Leave scheme that’s delivering improvements now to around 300,000 Australian families. It’s an affordable scheme that has already shown its benefits. By contrast Tony Abbott wants to put a new tax on business that all Australians will pay at the checkout and pay wealthy Australian mothers $75,000 to have a baby.

JOURNALIST: Disability advocates say ongoing support for parents with disabilities has been removed from DisabilityCare rules. Is that the case?


JOURNALIST: Minister why was the ACT NDIS launch delayed until July 2014 and why didn’t it go in July 2013 as was originally announced?

JENNY MACKLIN: We’ve been discussing with each of the States and Territories the introduction of Australia’s first National Disability Insurance Scheme, DisabilityCare Australia. We’ve seen the launch now start in four locations around Australia. We have been discussing these matters with the Australian Capital Territory for some time. Because it’s going to be the introduction of DisabilityCare right across the Australian Capital Territory, it was thought it would be better to do all the preliminary work, get that right, and start it next year.

JOURNALIST: It was originally announced as July 2013, did the Federal…..

JENNY MACKLIN: And I’ve just given you, I’ve just given you the reason why we’ve….

JOURNALIST: But did the Federal Government intervene and tell the ACT Government that they had to delay ….

JENNY MACKLIN: It’s been done in a very cooperative way working with the ACT.

JOURNALIST: But there was no concern from (inaudible)

JENNY MACKLIN: It’s been working, we’ve been working very cooperatively with the ACT Government.

JOURNALIST: What ongoing support does DisabilityCare offer parents with disabilities?

JENNY MACKLIN: Just to give you one example from Geelong. We’re already seeing the introduction of DisabilityCare Australia in many locations around the country. Just to give you this one example from Geelong of a mother I met just a week or so ago. She has a twenty-nine year old severely disabled son who’s been living with her up until recently. She feels she’s not able to manage any more. She has been able to secure the increased care and support for him in supported accommodation, care and support that up until now was not able to be funded by the Victorian Government. It will now be funded. She will now get the support for her son that he needs.

JOURNALIST: Minister are you aware that people are complaining that the ads for the NDIS are still running in Western Australia given that Western Australia hasn’t signed up (inaudible)

JENNY MACKLIN: Well it’s time that Mr Barnett, the Premier of Western Australia signed up. I was in Perth just last week calling on the Western Australia Government to sign up, to join the National Disability Insurance Scheme, DisabilityCare Australia. We want Western Australians in the scheme. Western Australians need to know that this scheme is now law right around Australia. All the other jurisdictions have agreed to be part of it and we want Western Australians to be in it.

JOURNALIST: So you’ve asked for a (inaudible)

JENNY MACKLIN: I beg your pardon.

JOURNALIST: Are you saying it’s a political message then, that the advertisement is for political purpose, trying to corral people into lobbying their (inaudible)?

JENNY MACKLIN: Not at all. This is about making sure that people in Western Australia understand what DisabilityCare Australia is all about. Making sure that they understand what’s on offer. Making sure that people know where they can get further information. Thank you.