At last night’s Leaders’ Debate, Mr Turnbull said the Government must seek “the right outcomes for our children because they are our future.” But which children was he talking about?
The ones in our public education system?
[Gonski not fully funded beyond 2017, with the Coalition to maintain an inequitable funding model that is not needs based.]
The ones trying to escape domestic violence?
[Dramatic cuts to community services have caused refuges for victims of domestic violence to close.]
The ones whose parents can’t afford the co-payment at the doctor when they’re sick?
[Many GPs already charge a co-payment, with reports over the weekend that the continuing freeze on rebates will force a large number to start charging to meet the costs of running clinics.]
The ones who need help with mental health issues to avoid self-harm and worse?
[Headspace, an initiative to combat growing youth mental illness has had funding cut by the Coalition Government.]
The ones who’d love to go to uni but don’t have parents who can afford to support them during those years?
[With Youth Allowance at dismal levels and jobs for young people scarce, the limited hours they are able to work around study mean penalty rate cuts will hit them hard, and then there’s the prospect of $100K uni degrees to pay off.]
The ones who want to work and get on, but can only access slave wages on your internships?
[The Coalition has decided to deal with youth unemployment by dangling slave wage internships in front of them, whilst cutting real avenues for getting job-ready like TAFE, access to apprenticeships, etc.]
The ones who dream of owning a home but don’t have relatives with $20K plus to spare to chip in?
[Mr Turnbull’s solution for housing unaffordability was to urge families to hand over cash to their kids to get them started – how do you do that when your parents are paying off a mortgage or renting because they can’t afford a home themselves?]
The ones sleeping rough or in the family car with their destitute parents?
[Services for the homeless have also been dramatically cut by the Coalition Government, so breaking out of the cycle of poverty has gotten harder, not easier.]
The ones who got into a bit of trouble with the law but can’t access legal aid?
[Kids with access to the family lawyer do alright when they get into some strife, but the other kids, the ones living in areas where legal aid is no longer available or the service is too overstretched to help them, well justice is a long way off for those kids.]
The ones who could be great artists but George Brandis doesn’t like their style?
[That doyen of style and taste, Minister Brandis, controls federal arts funding and he’s made his preferences very clear. Without the assistance of Government, art and culture suffer and our Australian identity gets swallowed up by stereotypes and the cultural values of other nations.]
The best future for Australia will be achieved when we regard ALL our children as deserving the quality education and support that starts a positive momentum for them. No child is a lost cause, but Malcolm Turnbull’s Government is if it continues to promise to treat some of them as such.