Australians should be proud that we have a strong welfare system that protects equality. It means we have the ability to help out those in a tough spot and need a hand up, or can’t work because of a disability, or have lost their super or home through no fault of their own. 

So when it’s hard to get access to the money that you need to live because of long wait times on the phone or in a Centrelink office, I understand it can be frustrating and demoralising. It’s not okay to be repeatedly demonised by Malcolm Turnbull and his Government for debt you don’t owe, or for just needing help getting through a tough time, which is nothing to be ashamed of. 

In fact, despite being labelled as a scandal and facing widespread condemnation, the inhuman ‘robo-debt’ scheme was expanded to target pensioners, after driving some of Australia’s most vulnerable people to the brink. This shows callous disregard for the lives of our pensioners by the Minister for Human Services, Alan Tudge and by extension, the government which supports him.

Job-seekers also deserve to be able to find a job where they live, and to make a living wage. That’s why I took up my position as head of the national Jobs Taskforce, so I can ensure Longman has a say in what’s done to fix the unemployment crisis gripping communities like ours around the country.

Without penalty rates, it’ll make it even harder to establish yourself without the extra cash in your pocket. So myself and Labor are continuing to fight these unfair attacks at every opportunity.