Fair societies do better. Inequality makes us sicker and sadder, fuels crime and corrodes trust in each other and in democracy. Greater equality makes us happier, healthier, safer and more secure.
As a TAFE and university teacher, I know education’s transformative power. Education is a foundational building block in every person’s life, and in a fair society. The Greens will increase funding for our public schools and TAFE, childcare and kindergartens. We will ensure funding is transparent and needs based, and get politics out of our school funding so kids don’t have to wait for a election for the funding they need.
Our health system is under pressure, from hospitals to community health centres and mental health services, with negative impacts on dedicated health professionals. The Greens will invest in hospitals, community health, mental health and preventative health. We’ll ban junk food advertising on children’s tv, make medical abortions more accessible and address the scourge of problem housing.
Men’s violence against women and children
There have been huge improvements in government responses to men’s violence against women and children in the recent years. But sexual assaults, sexual harassment, family violence and other violence continue with debilitating and at times deadly results. All my life, I’ve worked against men’s violence, and I’ll continue to do that as an MP. I’ll push for a new approach to sexual harassment and other violence against women, fair compensation for survivors of institutional child abuse, equal wages for women and fair funding for women-dominated industries and an end to demeaning portrayals of women and girls in advertising.
The invasion of Aboriginal land is the founding injustice of this state, and a scarring piece of unfinished business. I acknowledge the tenacity and strength of culture that has allowed Aboriginal people in Victoria to survive despite the violence and injustice they face. The Greens are proud that our parliamentary team includes Lidia Thorpe MP, the first Aboriginal woman in the Victorian parliament, and with her, we will work for Clan-based treaty conversations in Victoria.
Australia and Melbourne are home to the oldest continuing culture of all time. Since 1788 and European colonisation, we’ve seen the racism of the dispossession of Aboriginal people and the white Australia policy.
Our history as a nation is also built on the stories of immigrants from across the globe. Our strength is in our diversity. Now the proud achievements of Australian multiculturalism are under attack. Melbourne is lucky to be one of the most diverse places in Australia, and we will continue to make our city a place of respect, acceptance and welcome. I’ll work for an end to discriminatory policing and imprisonment, strong implementation of anti-discrimination policies, job creating for communities facing employment discrimination and stand with communities against the revival of the racist right.
At a time when crime rates are going down, bloating prisons are a sign of inequality. Prisoners are overwhelming the product of violence, discrimination and injustice, and Indigenous people. For example, more than10% of the abuse survivors interviewed in private sessions by Child Abuse Royal Commision were in prison – experiencing childhood violence is a path to prison for thousands.
Prisons steal money that should be going to schools and hospitals and tackling injustice, which would in turn bring down crime rates.
The Greens will invest in genuine crime prevention and justice rather than allow scapegoating of Aboriginal and Muslim people, the poor and the young. We will bring prisons back in to public hands, invest in real rehabilitation, stop young people being sent to adult prisons and strengthen human rights protections in prisons.