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Federal election 2019

Parliament House - Australia

Between now and the federal election on Saturday, 18 May 2019, the AASW is preparing briefings and resources on key election issues that you can use to advocate for social justice with your local MP.

See our tips on meeting your local MP.

Federal Election 2019: Policy Platform

This election, we will principally be advocating for social justice in the following policy areas.

See our complete Federal Election Policy Platform 2019.

Guarantee of workforce quality

Australia is the only English-speaking country which does not require social workers to be registered to ensure public protection. The AASW's a for the statutory regulation of social workers. This will protect the public by ensuring that people working as social workers have completed an accredited social work degree, that they have the required competencies and that they maintain their level of skill.

AASW Position Paper: Child wellbeing and protection - November 2013

AASW Media Release: AASW calls for registration of all social workers, leading up to SA state election - 28 February 2018

Medicare, mental health and social workers’ role

The Mental Health Reference Group of the Medicare Benefits Schedule Review Taskforce was formed in June 2018. The AASW supports Better Access as a mechanism to meet the mental health needs of many people.

AASW Position Paper: Social work and mental health position paper - September 2012

AASW Submission to Medicare Benefits Schedule Review Re: Mental Health Items - July 2018

AASW Media Release: AMHSWs are experts in complexity, new report published today says - 19 March 2019

Reconciliation

Our platform:

  • That the next government establish a Voice to Parliament as described in the Uluru Statement from The Heart
  • That the next federal government immediately start work on the action plans required under Closing the Gap Refresh, detailing how they conform with the implementation principles
  • That the next federal government initiate measures through COAG to make states accountable for their achievements against the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Placement Principle.

AASW Statement: ‘Recognise’ - March 2015

AASW Media Release: Close the Gap Day 2018: AASW renews its call for a greater focus on social justice and reconciliation - 15 March 2018

AASW Media Release: International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples 2018 - 9 August 2018

AASW Podcast: International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples - 9 August 2018

AASW Media Release: Local adoption report published: A time to recommit to the best interests and cultural rights of Indigenous children - 27 November 2018

Refugees and people seeking asylum

Our platform:

  • That the next government introduce procedures and services for people seeking asylum and refugees which meet our international obligations on human rights, protect and promote the human rights of people seeking asylum and refugees; and which ensure humane, effective care while they await a decision.

AASW Position Paper: Asylum Seekers and Refugees - February 2012

AASW Media Release: AASW calls on Government to end its human rights abuses in Australia, as it takes its seat on the UN Human Rights Council - 1 March 2018

AASW Media Release: Treatment of asylum seekers must be an election issue, says AASW - 19 June 2018

Mental health

Our platform:

  • That the next government commit to implementing the recommendations of the PHN Advisory Panel on Mental Health, with a focus on the social determinants of mental health
  • That the next government commit to implementing the recommendations of the current Productivity inquiry into The Social and Economic Benefits of Improving Mental Health without interfering with other reforms which are currently underway
  • That the next government set a priority to guarantee reliable telephone and internet connections to all rural and remote communities to facilitate mental health service delivery
  • That the next government legislate to ban so-called ‘conversion therapy’.

AASW Position Paper: Social work and mental health - August 2012

AASW Submission to Medicare Benefits Schedule Review Re: Mental Health Items - July 2018

AASW Media Release: AMHSWs are experts in complexity, new report published today says - 19 March 2019

AASW Media Release: Social workers urge Australians to challenge assumptions and stereotypes on World Mental Health Day - 10 October 2018

AASW Media Release: Australian social workers welcome the Victorian Government’s plan to ban ‘conversion therapy’ - 7 February 2019

People living with disability and the NDIS

Our platform:

  • That the next government commit to a national strategy to address long-term workforce capacity issues in the NDIS
  • That the next government address the system interface issues faced by people with psycho-social disability and the mental health system, the drug and alcohol service sector
  • That the next government commit to implementing the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Violence, Neglect and Abuse of People in the Disability Care Sector.

AASW Submission to the Productivity Commission Re: National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Costs - March 2017

Income support

Our platform:

  • That the next government immediately increase the rate at which allowances for people of working age are paid to equal the amounts specified in the Minimum Income for Healthy Living
  • That the next government abolish compulsory income management and replace it with voluntary drug and alcohol services, services for people with gambling addictions and community-based investment incentive instruments
  • That the next government scrap the system of automated digital compliance in the new model and base the assistance for people to get new skills and find a job on a humane, respectful, strengths-based service.
  • That the new government abolish the Community Development Program and ParentsNext and instigate respectful strengths-based job search assistance and effective job creation programs.

JCU and AASW: National Study of Social Work Students: Briefing Paper - Important emerging findings - June 2016

AASW Media Release: Tuesday night’s Budget prioritised hip pocket savings over real help for Australia’s most disadvantaged - 11 May 2018

AASW Media Release: Increasing income support would have made a better Budget than tax cuts, say Australian social workers - 3 April 2019

Housing

Our platform:

  • That the next government implements a plan to end homelessness, paying particular attention to women and children needing to escape from family violence, and older single women.
  • That the next government reforms laws around rent rises and evictions to increase security for renters.
  • That the next government increases Commonwealth rent assistance to low income people.

AASW Media Release: Australian social workers recognise National Homelessness Week 2018 - 6 August 2018

AASW Media Release: Immediate action needed to address increasing homelessness, says AASW on World Homeless Day - 10 October 2018

AASW Position Statement: Housing Affordability - August 2015

AASW Position Statement: Homelessness - October 2008

Aged care

Our platform:

  • That the next government create and implement a national strategy to prevent elder abuse
  • That the next government commit to implementing the forthcoming Recommendations from the Royal Commission into the Aged Care quality and Safety
  • That the next government introduce a budget measure and policy change to ensure equitable access to mental health services for residents of aged care facilities.

AASW Position Paper: Ageing in Australia - April 2013

AASW Media Release: Australian social workers welcome the Royal Commission into aged care - 19 September 2018

AASW Media Release: AASW strongly supports national strategy to stop elder abuse - 22 February 2018

AASW Media Release: Elder abuse takes many forms and requires a community response, says AASW on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day - 15 June 2018

Redress

Our platform:

  • That the next government commit to reform the Redress Scheme so that it conforms with the recommendations of the Royal Commission
  • That the next government legislate to extend the availability of the personal statement and apology to family members, regardless of whether the person who was abused is still alive.

AASW Media Release: AASW urges a strengthening of the proposed redress scheme for survivors of institutional sexual abuse - 15 February 2018

AASW Media Release: Child Protection Week 2018: AASW renews its call for greater investment in early intervention and workforce regulation - 31 August 2018

Family violence

Our platform:

  • That the next federal government commit to implementing the recommendations of the Senate report on: “A Better Family Law System to Support and Protect Those Affected by Family Violence”, and the Australian Law Reform Commission’s First Comprehensive Review of the Family Law Act
  • That the next government commit to using the recommendations of the Victorian Royal Commission into Family Violence as a blueprint for national systemic reforms.

AASW Position Paper: Domestic and Family Violence - July 2011

AASW Submission to Parliamentary inquiry into a better family law system to support and protect those affected by family violence - May 2017

Sustainability

Our platform:

  • That the next government provide regular indicator-based assessments to parliament tracking Australia's performance against the Sustainable Development Goals
  • That the next government adopt a climate change policy which ensures that the costs associated with a changing climate are distributed equitably.
AASW - Australian Association of Social Workers