Before the last election, one of the things that I heard most from Tasmanians was that they wanted a grown-up government back in charge.
After almost a decade of inaction, chaos and dysfunction from the former Liberal government, it’s easy to understand why this was the simple wish of so many voters.
This weekend just passed marked the one-year anniversary of the Albanese Labor government.
And one year on from that election, I’m proud to be part of a team that is delivering the grown-up government that Tasmanians voted for when they went to polls last year.
Our government’s responsible approach is helping Tasmanians with the challenges we face today, but laying the right foundations for a better future.
We are delivering on the commitments that we made one year ago and it is already making a big difference, especially for the cost-of-living pressures that Tasmanians are facing.
Whether it’s cheaper child care, which starts in just over a month and will benefit more than 22,000 Tassie families; fee-free TAFE which is already helping thousands of Tasmanians; or cheaper medicines and new bulk-billing incentives in the Budget.
I know in my own role as the Minister for Housing and Homelessness the difference it makes to deliver, in Tasmania and across the country.
When I took on this job a year ago, I knew the enormity of the task I was facing.
I knew why the Albanese government had to get it right.
We came to office after a decade of inaction on housing from the former Liberal government, and we’ve been working hard to turn that around.
Over the past 12 months, we’ve helped more than 50,000 Australians into home ownership.
We’ve got construction under way on affordable rental homes across the country, and concrete plans on building tens of thousands more.
I’ve had the pleasure of announcing new social and affordable rental projects across Tasmania to deliver new homes to those who need them most.
While this immediate action is important, we’re also doing the work to fix this issue over the long-term.
Most importantly, we’re helping those who need it most.
We’re delivering the largest increase in rent assistance in more than 30 years, as well as a $1.6bn one-year extension of the National Housing and Homelessness Agreement with States and Territories.
We’re bringing together all levels of government to tackle housing issues from planning to rental reforms, and making sure housing and homelessness services providers are listened to, as we plan for the future.
There’s more to be done on housing.
Right now, the Liberals and Greens are refusing to support 30,000 new social and affordable homes through the $10bn Housing Australia Future Fund, including 4000 homes for women and children fleeing domestic and family violence and older women at risk of homelessness, and 10,000 affordable homes for frontline workers like police, nurses and cleaners.
Everyone deserves a roof over their head – this will continue to be my priority and a priority for the Albanese government.
As the Minister for Small Business, it has been a pleasure getting to meet small business owners right across Tasmania, and around the country,
I’ve spent the past 12 months travelling to all corners of the state and across Australia, learning about the challenges that small businesses are facing and how the federal government could help.
We’ve listened, and we’ve acted.
The government has moved quickly to deliver a better deal for small businesses and small business owners.
I’m focused on delivering practical measures to support Australian small businesses and to help set them up to prosper.
I’ve also been meeting with the state and territory Small Business Ministers, most recently on Friday, to ensure we’re all working together towards a better Australia for our small businesses.
I’ll continue listening to our incredible small businesses and ensure the Albanese government is responding.
This has been our approach across government – listening and responding to the concerns of Tasmanians.
I’m proud of what the Albanese government has been able to achieve over the past year.
But I also know we will need to keep working hard every day to responsibly address the challenges facing Tasmanians.
This is what we’ll keep doing as a government – providing responsible leadership to ensure a better future for all Tasmanians.