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Is Australia Fair?

Speeches in Parliament
Rachel Siewert 24 Aug 2006

The idea of a fair go is fundamental to the vision that many Australians hold of what is important to the life of our nation.

But is today's Australia really fair?

Right now there are two million Australians who do not have an acceptable standard of living and go without the bare necessities: housing, work, education, health care and community services.

In recent years there have been many calls from different sectors of the community that our nation is becoming less fair, that the divide between the haves and the have-nots is widening rapidly, and that the voices of those who wish to speak up for those who are being left behind are being silenced.

ACOSS (the Australian Council of Social Services) are launching a campaign to bring back the idea of a fair go for all Australians.

The Australian Greens have been working closely with the social services and not-for-profit sector in recent months in response to the latest wave of changes to our workplace an welfare laws (Welfare to Work and Work Choices). We welcome this initiative from ACOSS and will be doing all we can to support and promote it.

Right now ACOSS are asking you for your Top 10 Points to Make Australia Fair
Please take the time to go to the ACOSS website, download the Australia Fair information pack and contribute your top 10 points.

http://www.acoss.org.au/

[Look at the 'have your say' box on the bottom right]

Please talk with your colleagues, family and friends about fairness and encourage them to get involved.

We're hoping this will become a big issue for the coming Federal election.

Some thoughts on how to make Australia Fair:

  • Everyone should be entitled to a decent life based on a reasonable living wage and adequate income support
  • Recognition of our first people's rights to self determination and to their land
  • The right to live in a just, peaceful society
  • Freedom of speech, expression and association (including religion and sexuality)
  • Equal access to a decent health system
  • A safe, clean environment - clean air & water, safe food
  • No one should be living in poverty
  • Entitled to have a say in the decisions that impact on our lives
  • Access to a fair and transparent justice system
  • A caring society that looks after people in need
  • Adequate accessible, secure housing
  • Free education including university or technical college
  • Recognition of voluntary work and support for voluntarism
  • Recognition and acceptance of diversity
  • Equality of opportunities and outcomes (health, education, housing, work) for Aboriginal Australians
  • Reasonable access to a low cost public transportation services
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