In what was acknowledged as a shocking result by Morrison himself, his party, the Liberal-National Coalition, has won the 2019 Federal Election with 77 seats in the Senate. Mr Morrison even referred to his win as a ‘miracle’. This was despite initial polls showing that Labor would win. It has been revealed that the votes of Queenslanders turned the ballot in favour of the Coalition government early on. Bill Shorten has stepped down from the Labor Party leadership role, leaving a spot for someone else to step up. At this point in time it looks like there will be a challenge between frontbencher Anthony Albanese and Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen.

This was perhaps the first Federal Election to have the issue of climate change at the forefront, with the election being referred to as a ‘climate change election.’ This was a primary concern voiced by younger people, whose main issues this election is the lack of affordable housing and frustration about climate change. Main concerns for other voters were the economy, cost of living, environment and health. As is typical to the Coalition Government, however, their campaigning focus was on the economy. Mr Shorten, on behalf of the Labor party, promised to cut tax breaks for the wealthy and to lower greenhouse gas emissions, but fell short on greater climate change policy.


The Coalition remains in power – what policies will they be implementing?


First, tax offsets for young families with incomes between $48,000 – $90,000, receiving tax cuts up to $1080 every ATO tax return from July next year. Workers making less than that, will still receive tax cuts, but slightly less than what was promised under the Labor government. Those earning over $180,000 will avoid higher taxation which was proposed by Labor. Over the next three years legislated tax cuts will continue. Households with incomes between $48,000 – $90,000 will receive tax refunds of up to $1080. Those earning up to $126,000 will receive smaller tax refunds.


They will be able to retain their ability to receive franking credit cash refunds on Australian share dividends, which Labor was planning to get rid of. Morrison’s Party will get rid of the work test for voluntary super contributions of those aged 65 or 66.


The Government introduced a new $500 million First Home Loan Deposit Scheme to give the chance for first homebuyers to break into the market. This gives 10,000 first homebuyers the opportunity to buy a home with only a 5% deposit, as opposed to the required 20%. Labor matched this before the election.


Mr Morrison’s government made huge pledges before the election including $461 million for a youth mental health and suicide prevention strategy, along with added mental health funding for people affected by natural disasters, and for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The Coalition also matched the Labor party’s pledge to lift the Medicare rebate freeze by 1 July. New drugs are set to be subsidised, and a $496 million medical facilities package has been promised to Victoria.


No major changes are planned for the next three years on climate change policy. A $2 billion climate solution has been outlined, to be rolled out over 15 years. This is a fund with the aim of assisting farmers, small businesses and Indigenous communities to reduce emissions, lower energy costs and improve the natural environment. There is, however, no plan to boost renewable energy sources, and the Prime Minister has committed to a coal upgrade project in NSW. The controversial proposed Adani Coal Mine is getting closer to being approved, after the government approved a groundwater management plan last month.


No changes have been made to the government’s Child Care Subsidy package, from July 2018, and no new policies have been flagged before the election. It is expected that $453 million is guaranteed to fund a year of preschool for four-year-olds.


The Coalition will go ahead with plans by the Turnbull government’s $23.5 billion commitment to schools over 10 years. This was matched by the Labor Party before the election also.


$525 million has been pledged towards boosting 80,000 apprenticeships and vocational education and training. $94 million has also been allocated towards scholarships for students wanting to study at regional universities. VET loan assistance will be made available for those wishing to become commercial pilots.


Dodgy employers who exploit workers will attract criminal penalties and a national registry scheme will be created for shifty labour hire firms.


$1.38 billion has been pledged in equity investments towards the Snowy Hydro 2.0 project, designed to expand the Scheme to meet future energy needs, addressing the changing and increasingly lower emissions economy.


Sadly, no increase in funding has been allocated to the legal sector in several years now. It appears it is not on the government’s agenda, either. No campaign promises were made regarding improvements to resources or changes in procedure. It will be interesting, however, to see what legislation is drafted which is set to criminalise the extreme exploitation of workers by dodgy employers.

It is commendable that the Coalition has made promises to address serious mental health issues that young and Indigenous Australians are facing today. This will hopefully have a positive flow on effect to the criminal justice system; as it is well known that many people suffering from mental health issues do fall prey to the criminal justice system. They may, for example, begin a drug habit to self-medicate, that results in a criminal charge relating to drug offences, which in turn creates worse mental health issues, perpetuating the cycle of criminality.

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