The 47th Parliament Opens

The 47th Australian Parliament opened on 26 July 2022.

The day commenced with the Governor General’s speech, which sets out the agenda of the Government over the course of the next three years, as well as a summary of the important actions of the Government prior to the commencement of Parliament.

The important outcomes achieved by the Government prior to Parliament convening were listed as:

  • Met with Quad Leaders’ meeting in Tokyo and the Indonesian Government.
  • Made a submission to the Fair Work Commission, to prevent Australia’s lowest-paid workers from going backward — resulting in a 5.2 per cent wage increase.
  • Submitted a new, more ambitious 2030 Nationally Determined Contribution to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
  • Committed to reduce emissions to 43 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030, with a view of achieving net zero by 2050.
  • Took measures to ‘shore up Australia’s energy market, protect aged care residents and provide assistance to Australians affected by the recent floods.’

These were the commitments made in the speech:

Statement from the Heart


  • Enshrine a Voice to Parliament in the constitution via a national referendum in this term, which is promised to be ‘like the ’67 Referendum, like Mabo, like the National Apology — a defining moment for our nation’.
  • Abolish the Community Development Program, compulsory income management and the Cashless Debit Card.
  • Invest in First Nations management of lands and waters.
  • Expand the community-led model of justice reinvestment
  • Commit to new Indigenous employment targets for the public service and for Australia’s 200 largest companies.



  • Make targeted investments that expand the capacity of the economy and reduce debt as a share of GDP over time.
  • Invest in ‘cleaner and cheaper energy, better training of our workforce, cheaper child care, and an upgraded NBN.’
  • Ensuring multinational companies ‘pay their fair share of tax’.

Child care


  • Instruct the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission to design a price regulation mechanism to drive down out-of-pocket costs.
  • Require the Productivity Commission to undertake a comprehensive review of the childcare sector with the aim of implementing a universal subsidy for all families.
  • Develop a whole-of-government Early Years Strategy, focused on the wellbeing, education and development of Australia’s children.



  • Develop a new National Strategy to Achieve Gender Equality geared at closing the gender pay gap and improving women’s economic equality, health and wellbeing.
  • Create an independent Women’s Economic Security Taskforce to deliver gender responsive budgeting and embedding gender analysis in the policy development process.
  • Strengthen the ability of the Fair Work Commission to support wage growth in female-dominated industries, such as Aged Care.
  • Implement Respect@Workreport will be implemented including a positive duty on employers to create safe workplaces for women, free from harassment.
  • Finalise National Action Plan to End Violence Against Women and Children 2022-32.
  • Establish ten days paid Family and Domestic Violence Leave, increase the supply of emergency housing for women and children fleeing family violence and invest in more case workers to assist women leaving violent situations.

Industrial Relations


  • Make ‘secure work’ an objective in the Fair Work Act.
  • Legislate to make wage theft a crime.



  • Legislate to establish Jobs and Skills Australia
  • Require one in 10 workers on major government projects is an apprentice, trainee or cadet.
  • Return public TAFE to the centre of Australia’s training system.
  • Support fee-free TAFE places for Australian students, focused on those studying in industries with a skills shortage.
  • Offer up to 20,000 more university places, with priority going to universities offering places in priority areas like clean energy, advanced manufacturing, health, and education.
  • Reduce the number of on-hand visa applications to address skills shortages in the short term.
  • Hold an Australian Jobs and Skills Summit on the 1 and 2 September 2022 to inform the development of an Employment White Paper.

Industry policy


  • Establish a $15 billion National Reconstruction Fund, focusing on renewables and low-emission technologies; medical science; transport; value-add in agriculture, forestry and fisheries; value-add in resources; and, finally, defence and enabling capabilities.
  • Implement a Buy Australian Plan.
  • Aim for a goal of 1.2 million Australian tech-related jobs by 2030.
  • Invest in the Australian rail industry


  • Begin work on High Speed Rail and an Australian-flagged strategic fleet.
  • Review Infrastructure Australia.
  • Get the Inland Rail project ‘back on track’.
  • Work with truck drivers and the wider industry to upgrade rest areas on national roads.

 Medicare and the NDIS

  • Deliver a $750 million Strengthening Medicare Fund, with investment priorities
  • Cut the cost of medicines on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme from $42.50 to $30.
  • Reinstate the 50 per cent loading for telehealth psychiatric consultations under the Medicare Benefit.
  • Create wider access to the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card.
  • Allow GPs to access grants to modernise their practices.
  • Develop a National Autism Strategy and oversee the National Disability Data Asset.



Extend the National Partnership on COVID-19 Response for a further three months to 31 December 2022.

Establish a Centre for Disease Control.

Aged Care


  • Place a registered nurse on site in every Aged Care facility, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • Mandate for every Australian in Aged Care to receive 215 minutes of care per day, ensuring more care for every resident.
  • Cap fees that can be charged for administration and management of their home care package.
  • Back calls for a real pay rise for Aged Care workers at the Fair Work Commission.

The Climate change and energy


  • Implement the Powering Australia Plan.
  • Invest in accelerating the decarbonisation of Australia’s electricity grid.
  • Support manufacturing of renewables and low-emission technologies and invest in community batteries and solar banks.
  • Establish a National Electric Vehicle Strategy.
  • Invest in vehicle charging and hydrogen refuelling infrastructure.
  • Establish a New Energy Skills Program
  • Restore the role of the Climate Change Authority.
  • Seek Pacific nations’ views on co-hosting a future UN Climate Conference of the Parties a COP meeting).

Environment and water


  • Protect the Great Barrier Reef.
  • Clean up urban rivers and catchments.
  • Double the number of rangers in the Indigenous Rangers Program, bringing the total number of rangers to 3,800 by 2030.
  • Boost funding for the management of Indigenous Protected Areas — critical for maintaining cultural sites, biodiversity conservation and restoration.
  • Respond to the Samuel Review of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act.
  • Establish a National Water Commission.
  • Deliver on water commitments under the Murray Darling Basin Plan, including 450 gigalitres for South Australia.

Disaster readiness


  • Continue implementation of the recommendations of the Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements.
  • Establish the Disaster Ready Fund.

Foreign Affairs


Deepen cooperation through ASEAN, strengthen our bilateral relationships, and further our shared goals through the Quad.

Provide a greater focus on the Pacific.

Bolster the rules-based multilateral trading system.



  • Spend 2 per cent of Australia’s GDP on defence, including enhancing the Australian Defence Force with capabilities outlined in the 2020 Defence Strategic Update.
  • Support AUKUS.
  • Conduct a Defence Force Posture Review.
  • Bolster Australian cyber security expertise.
  • Maintain Operation Sovereign Borders.
  • Support a strong humanitarian migration programme.
  • Speed DVA claims and payments.



  • Create a National Housing Supply and Affordability Council and launch a National Housing and Homelessness Plan.
  • Establish a Help to Buy Scheme and a Regional First Home Buyer Support Scheme.



  • Work with schools across jurisdictions to address teacher workforce challenges.
  • Spend $200 million investment in mental health and wellbeing support, as a result of COVID-19.
  • Boost investment in public TAFE and apprenticeships.
  • Develop an Australian Universities Accord

The arts


  • Release of a national cultural policy — the first in almost a decade.
  • Fund the ABC and SBS over five years.



  • Legislate for a National Anti-Corruption Commission.
  • Establish a Royal Commission into the scheme commonly known as Robodebt.

The public service


  • Removal of the Average Staffing Level cap,
  • Limit fixed-term contracts.

A busy Parliament coming up.

By | 2022-08-01T11:37:37+10:00 August 1st, 2022|Australian Labor Party, Parliament|0 Comments