ACOSS Statement following the announcement of a new Prime Minister

ACOSS congratulates the Hon Scott Morrison as the new Prime Minister.

We hope this brings an end to a period of instability in government and politics. The community response to this instability serves as a reminder that our parliamentarians are there to serve the people.

The new Prime Minister must focus the Government on dealing with the many challenges facing millions of people in Australia.

There are still over three quarters of a million people languishing on Newstart and Youth Allowance, and two thirds still looking for stable paid work after more than one year.

We face the prospect of another dry and dangerous summer as a result of climate change with no policies in sight to address the necessary transition to clean energy, the cost of energy bills for people on low incomes, and our commitments to the Paris agreement.

We need a strategy to fuel jobs creation and to strengthen the revenue base to meet the growing cost of essential health and community services we all need.

Our communities are this country’s strength. We urge the new Prime Minister to provide assurances that he will act to bring the country together, and govern in the interests of the many, not the few.

We can overcome great challenges, but only if we all work together – government, community, business and unions.

People want a country that celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and communities as integral to our story as a nation.

People want a country that protects its natural environment.

People want a country that ensures our economic success is shared by everyone, and most importantly by people and communities experiencing poverty and disadvantage.

People want a country that is open and welcoming to people fleeing persecution.

People want a country with a thriving democracy where the voices of people across Australia are heard and valued.

ACOSS urges the new Government to reach out to people in the community, to listen carefully, and to act responsively, ethically, and in consultation and tandem with civil society.

The voices of people and communities disadvantaged by poverty and inequality in Australia must be included in the dialogue, not only over social security and community services but crucially also economic policy, tax reform, energy transition and housing.

ACOSS looks forward to working with the new Ministry as we continue our commitment to the task of building a fairer, most just and sustainable community.