It has been said numerous times already this past week, but the federal election result really is a massive shift in our nation’s politics.
While some will attempt to downplay and minimise the result, we can be sure that voters want change. This was not just a city or urban phenomenon. Right across the country, there were significant swings against the Liberal National coalition.
Clearly, Victorians, and Australians more broadly, want action on climate change, they want action on gender equality, an integrity commission and they want our politics to be less divisive and more cooperative.
We also know that the election result provides opportunities to reset the nation’s priorities.
Having a new Labor government provides an opportunity to have a more coordinated and collaborative approach to dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic; while making sure our healthcare system is able to cope with future pandemics.
It will also mean a change in our approach to dealing with climate change and the health impacts of an already changing climate. It’s not just about making sure that Australia ends its reliance on fossil fuels, which will make a significant contribution to improving the health of Australians, but also about how the healthcare sector can better respond to the growing health impacts of climate change.
Importantly, the new Labor government provides an opportunity to reset the industrial relations landscape.
It provides us an opportunity to address national workplace manslaughter laws, the very real problem of wage theft and gendered violence in our workplace. We should expect to see the Labor government move to fully implement the recommendations from the Human Rights Commission’s Respect @ Work report on sexual harassment.
Just as importantly, we will hopefully see a fundamental reset of the enterprise bargaining provisions of the Act to restore balance and allow Unions to negotiate real wage increases and improve conditions.
It also means we can start tackling the growing levels of insecure, precarious work which was actively pursued and supported by the Morrison government.
The new Labor government has a lot of issues to deal with and only time will tell how they go about resetting the nation’s priorities. However, all Unions will be actively working to ensure that the new Labor government addresses these pressing issues.