Draft Motions on Jobs and the Economy

Here are series of potential policy motions that Branches and SECs could put forward to conference if they so choose. Please amend them at your discretion. If you disagree with them, you could change them to ‘NSW Labor will NOT…’ etc. Or you could just ignore them! Overall, I strongly encourage your branch/SEC to propose some motions to Conference before the May deadlines.
Rule changes and Policy Platform Changes to be considered at Annual Conference must be received by the Party Office by 12noon Friday 2 May 2014.
All other Annual Conference agenda items must also be received by the Party Office by 12noon Friday 9 May 2014.
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General Preamble:
NSW Labor’s economic policies will be an expression of Australian and Labor values of equality and fairness. Labor in Government will build essential infrastructure that the private sector cannot or will not build. We will use the State’s spending power to facilitate better outcomes for local small and regional businesses. Regulation will be geared toward ensuring fairness at work and fairness between smaller and larger businesses. Above all, Labor will reverse the 30-year trend toward a more unequal society.
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Motions:

1. NSW Labor will set explicit yearly economic equality targets, and report on these at every State Budget, and include NSW equality figures in the State Budget papers, using internationally accepted measures of inequality.
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2. NSW Labor will adopt a process where all major legislation will include an equality impact statement, whereby the Parliamentary Budget Office or Treasury will assess the new Bill’s likely impact on economic equality.
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3. NSW Labor will increase the overall tax revenues of the State in order to make up the shortfall in services and the infrastructure deficit experienced by NSW residents. Any increase in taxation revenue will be progressive in nature, levied on those individuals and entities that can afford to pay.
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4. NSW Labor will reform State taxes to set the State Budget on a sustainable footing, including moving away from Stamp Duty towards a broad based progressive land tax, cutting insurance and fire levies by lowering the threshold for payroll tax, and investigating a Sydney vehicle congestion charge to cut vehicle taxes and charges.
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5. NSW Labor will increase State borrowings from a per-capita rate of around $2000 per person to a figure closer to that in other major Australian States. This money will be used for vital social and economic infrastructure, with public transport the highest priority. With assets of $320b and liabilities of $156b, the State can afford to borrow more to fix serious social, environmental and economic infrastructure deficits. Maintenance of credit ratings will no longer determine NSW Government budgetary policy.
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6. NSW Labor will launch a new phase of investment in public transport. At the centre of this will be a plan to increase the capacity of Sydney’s public transport network. Sydney is the economic heart of NSW, and if Sydney has major constraints on growth, such as the transport infrastructure deficit it faces, then the whole State suffers. As such, investment is urgently needed in Sydney transport infrastructure.
By the end of Labor’s first term work will have begun on a second Sydney Harbour rail crossing. Within a decade Labor will build the Parramatta to Epping rail link, with or without Federal support. Very fast rail services will run to the city from western and south western Sydney. Necessary upgrades on suburban lines to ensure regular and comfortable services will be made. Support will be ongoing for the South West and North West rail links, with a view to linking the lines up at a new hub in western Sydney, possibly at a new airport, depending on Federal Government decisions on that project. Light rail in Sydney CBD and South East will be completed, and light rail projects rolled out in Parramatta and other western Sydney hubs as needed. NSW Labor will support plans for a Federally funded very fast train, with a stop located in western Sydney. Until substantial improvements are made to Sydney’s rail network, Labor will freeze all public transport fare increases, with no fare increases guaranteed for Labor’s first term.
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7. The previous Labor Government instituted a program to replace demountable classrooms in our education system with permanent buildings that better enabled students to learn in comfort with appropriate facilities. This program was halted under the O’Farrell Liberal National Government. NSW Labor will invest $2.2b over four years to replace 4000 demountable classrooms in NSW public schools. Priority will be given to those demountables that have been in use the longest.
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8. NSW Labor recognises the absolutely vital role that Technical and Further Education plays in giving NSW citizens pathways to better jobs and more secure lives. NSW Labor will reverse the O’Farrell Liberal National Government’s TAFE fee increases and cuts to courses such as fine arts at Hornsby and Brookvale TAFE.
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9. NSW Labor will invest in a major upgrade of existing public housing stock and in a new round of public housing construction, to make up for the estimated 66% ‘unmet need’ in public housing. The recommendations of the NSW Auditor General’s report ‘Making the best use of public housing’ will be implemented in order to address housing affordability at the most acute end of the housing market.
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10. NSW Labor will conduct a commission of audit into the comparative effectiveness of taxpayer money spent on early intervention and education versus that spent on corrections and juvenile justice and justice reinvestment programs, with a view to moving the focus of state expenditures from punitive and corrections expenditure to early intervention and justice reinvestment strategies.
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11. NSW Labor, recognising the success of such programs in places such as the United Kingdom and Finland, in its first term, will begin the rollout of a program for universal and free access to early childhood education services for all children aged 3 and above, with the ultimate aim of providing, by the year 2025, free and universal childhood education of 15 hours per week for all children over 3 until they reach school age. The initial rollout of this program will focus on indigenous communities and areas of high social disadvantage, including rural and regional areas.
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12. NSW Labor will restore funding to the Office of Industrial Relations to ensure employers are meeting their lawful obligations in terms of industrial instruments, workplace safety and workers compensation. NSW Labor will ensure NSW agencies work closely with Federal agencies to ensure compliance with taxation and superannuation legislation. NSW Labor will ensure that all workers are paid the legal rate of pay, whether they are employed under Federal or State industrial instruments. NSW Labor will facilitate access to up to date information on correct rates of pay to assist small businesses pay the right wages.
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13. NSW Labor will support small business by ensuring that corporations that receive State contracts pay small business contractors within a reasonable time frame, and by regulating for and investing in rapid dispute resolution processes for small businesses that are seeking payment from larger entities. NSW Labor will ensure that local governments give small contractors a fair go at receiving work at the local level.
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14. NSW will establish more small business incubators, particularly in areas of high social and economic disadvantage, to facilitate entrepreneurship and self-employment.
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15. NSW Labor will support rural and regional businesses and globally exposed businesses through a variety of measures, including implementing Labor’s current platform on procurement policy. Labor will seek out opportunities for directly investing in regional tertiary education and research and development relevant to regional industries, such as agriculture, enviro-tourism and sustainable energy. The formation and extension of regional development corporations and committees will be encouraged, especially where gaps exist between current regional committees, such as in the Shoalhaven.
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16. NSW Labor will not pursue further major asset sales or long term leases.
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About lukewhito

Politics, history, cricket, rugby league, bodysurfing. Kids and family. Love it all.
This entry was posted in Debt, Education, Labor Policy and Party reform, NSW Labor Policy Forum, Transport and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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