A nation’s success is not measured by the wealth of a few, but by the prosperity of all. At times, the leaders of all Australian political parties have echoed values of ‘mateship’ and ‘a fair go’. These values speak to a culture of inclusion, support and equality. For too many Australians, these values are hope rather than reality. Despite our many national successes, protecting the dignity of every Australian is not among them.
The 2019 Federal Election will provide an opportunity for an incoming government to implement policies that deliver prosperity to all Australians, especially those who continue to be left behind by an economy of exclusion. It is also an opportunity to deliver a Parliament that will use the dignity of all as a measure to hold that government to account.
In the coming weeks, the challenge for every political party is to offer the Australian nation a vision of social and economic inclusion where the inherent dignity and potential of each person can be realised.
Maintaining the inherent dignity of individuals and families must be the bedrock of our social and economic policies and of the highest policy priority for the government.
Catholic Social Services Australia (CSSA) urges citizens to use their vote to create a mandate for politicians who are committed to equitable and just social and economic policies that will improve the lives of the vulnerable and protect the dignity of all Australians.
CSSA is calling on the Parliament and the incoming government to commit to:
- Providing low-income and vulnerable families access to adequate income and social services when and where they need them;
- A full employment economy through the establishment of a Job Guarantee Program;
- Supporting the empowerment and self-determination of our First Nation peoples by working collaboratively and in genuine, formal partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in progressing constitutional recognition;
- Resettling all remaining refugees on Manus Island and Nauru in Australia; and
- Establishing a Charter for the Common Good to enhance cooperation between government, business and civil society in delivering a more inclusive economy and society.
Readers can access the full statement here