The coronavirus pandemic has created a “once in a political lifetime” opportunity for Australia to reshape its economy, Anthony Albanese will declare on Monday.
The Opposition Leader will use a major speech to the caucus to argue that the economy must not ‘snap back’ to normal once the crisis is over and $200 billion worth of support is turned off.
“Let’s not snap back to insecure work, to jobseekers stuck in poverty, to scientists being ignored,” Mr Albanese will say.
His vision statement comes as a new report from Deloitte Access Economics predicts a huge budget deficit of $142.1 billion for the 2019/20 financial year.
The Morrison government is being warned that raising taxes or cutting spending would risk further damaging the economy and the employment outlook.
Mr Albanese will urge Scott Morrison to not ignore the “inconvenient truth” which COVID-19 has exposed, admitting “maybe our economy isn’t as resilient as we like to think”.
His speech includes calls to revitalise manufacturing using cheap, clean energy and build big infrastructure projects such as the high-speed rail.
We must move forward to having not just survived the pandemic, but having learned from it.’’
Another plan Labor is pushing is for government to work with the private sector and superannuation funds to build more social and affordable housing.
Mr Albanese says this will drive continued construction work in a dwindling sector and help low-paid, essential workers find affordable rental homes close to their work.
Restrictions ease across Australia
Meanwhile, restrictions across Australia will continue to ease from Monday.
- Want to see mates? Wondering whether to send the kids to school? We’ve broken down the new rules for each state. Click here
Victoria’s premier is expected to make announcements on Monday about the plans for his state to loosen some of the shutdown requirements.
Warning issued as conspiracy theorists defy lockdown
Australia could see a second wave of coronavirus infections if people continue to crowd into public places such as shopping centres, Chief Medical Officer Brendan Murphy has warned.
Containing the virus remains a matter of personal responsibility, he said on Sunday.
“That second wave that we’ve talked about, none of us want to get it, but it is not as much about the rules and regulations as it is about personal responsibility.”
His warning came as about a hundred people gathered at the steps of Victoria’s state parliament on Sunday to protest against 5G, vaccinations, lockdown restrictions and what they called the “coronavirus conspiracy”.
The crowd has broken into chants of "arrest Bill Gates" at the anti-lockdown protest at Parliament House in Melbourne @theage. The crowd has grown considerably since midday. pic.twitter.com/T13u3s7Ld7
— Rachael Dexter (@rachael_dexter) May 10, 2020
Footage on social media shows protesters clashing with Victorian police who have since confirmed that 10 people, including two of the event’s organisers, were arrested.
A police officer was taken to hospital for what is believed to be a rib injury.
The majority of those arrested were fined for failing to comply with the lockdown laws and will likely face a $1600 fine each while three offenders are expected to be charged with assaulting a police officer.
Another protester is also expected to be charged for allegedly throwing a bottle at police.
All offenders were released pending summons.