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Monday, August 15, 2022

Aged care reform high on the Govt agenda as new parliament kicks off

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Aged care reform, climate change and domestic violence leave will mark the start of the new parliament, along with the traditional ceremonial fanfare.

Australia’s 47th parliament comes to life today as 151 lower house members and 76 senators descend on Canberra’s Capital Hill. 

A welcome to country in the Great Hall of Parliament House will kick off the first day of mostly ceremonial matters.

All parliamentarians will need to be sworn in, including 35 new lower house MPs elected on May 21.

A new Speaker of the House will need to be elected to replace Liberal MP Andrew Wallace.

Queensland Labor MP Milton Dick is expected to have the support of his colleagues to ascend to the Speaker’s chair.

Before his election to federal parliament in 2016, Dick was a Brisbane City councillor and Queensland Labor state secretary.

His brother Cameron is treasurer in the Queensland Labor government.

Governor-General David Hurley will address all members of parliament, outlining the priorities of the new government in the next three years. 

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said the governor-general’s speech will outline his government’s ambition. 

“A government which sees it has a responsibility to break Australia out of the inertia that the former government was stuck in,” he told his party room on Monday.

“We often came to the (last) parliament without much to do in terms of an agenda. This Labor government will not be like that and we’ve hit the ground running already.”

Tackling the aged care, labour, climate and domestic violence crises are on the prime minister’s initial legislative agenda. 

Proposed aged care reforms include putting nurses into nursing homes, stopping high administration and management fees and improving the integrity and accountability of residential facilities.

Labor intends to enshrine a 43 per cent emissions-reduction target by 2030 into a law that will also require the climate minister to report annually to parliament on Australia’s progress.

A proposal to introduce 10 days of paid family and domestic violence leave will be unveiled.

In the jobs and skills sector, the Government will propose a new statutory body to provide independent advice on workforce needs and help tackle Australia’s labour crisis.

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