ALP Draft National Platform  

The Australian Labor Party (ALP) will hold its 47th National Conference from 17th – 19th August 2023 at the Brisbane Convention Center. 

The ALP’s National Conference is the largest and most democratic policy and rules-making forum of any significant political party in Australia.

It meets every three years and consists of approximately 400 delegates that include: 

  • The President and Vice Presidents of the ALP 
  • The leaders and delegates of the Federal Parliamentary Labor Party
  • State and Territory Premiers, Chief Ministers or Leaders of the Opposition
  • Delegates  appointed by each State and Territory branch of the Party 
  • Young Labor Delegates 
  • Branch and Union Delegates 

This is the first National Conference since the election of the Albanese government. The National Platform will shape the policies that the Labor Party takes to the next Federal election. 

The Draft National Platform Paper has been developed and circulated by the National Policy Committee. 

The National Platform is not designed to be a policy document. The Platform does not constitute final policy commitments.  It is a statement of beliefs and aspirations of the Labor Party that guides Labor’s political representations.

Individual chapters of the Platform are traditionally moved by the relevant Ministers. Chapters are grouped along broad policy themes (ie. the economy, health, the environment and national security).

A high-level summary of the 7 chapters is provided below. 

For more information, please contact Hawker Britton’s Managing Director Simon Banks on +61 419 648 587.

Chapter 1: An Economy That Works For Everyone

Chapter 1 outlines the economic vision for the ALP. It emphasises the importance of creating an economy that works for everyone and ensures no one is left behind. 

Key economic objectives include:

  • A prosperous economy that achieves full employment, providing well-paid and secure jobs for all Australians.
  • A fair workplace relations system that recognises that strong unions are essential to improving worker conditions and reducing welfare dependency.
  • Investment in infrastructure development based on community needs and merit. The Federal Government will prioritise projects that assist First Nations people, transition to net-zero emissions, support gender equality, and create long-term employment pathways.
  • A commitment to providing access to secure jobs with sustainable wage growth for all individuals, regardless of gender, race, age, or ability.
  • Maintaining an independent Reserve Bank
  • Delivering a progressive, sustainable, efficient transparent and equitable tax system
  • Seizing the economic opportunities arising from the climate and energy transition and digitisation. 
  • Supporting funding for research and development to maximise the benefits of new technologies, and promoting entrepreneurship and innovation.
  • Prioritising gender-responsive budgeting, a sustainable tax system, and fair contributions from individuals and corporations to support inclusive and sustainable growth, reduce inequality, and provide opportunities for all Australians.
  • Maintaining public ownership of Australia Post and expanding its services across the country.
  • A commitment to an open economy, expanding exports, and supporting the international education sector. 
  • Unlocking the potential of regional Australia by investing in regional programs and supporting decarbonization and renewable energy industries. 
Chapter 2: Opening the Doors of Opportunity

Chapter 2 emphasises the importance of all Australians having equal opportunities. 

Key policies include:

  • Addressing challenges of new forms of work and modernising the award system
    • Regulating  internships to prevent exploitation
    • Ensuring workplace safety and preventing workplace injuries and diseases
    • Retaining the Fair Work Commission and Fair Work Ombudsman for compliance and dispute resolution
  • Increasing workforce participation by creating long-term employment and removing barriers to work based on gender, age, race, religion, ethnicity, sexuality, class, or disability status
  • Building an effective public sector with fair conditions and job security
  • Fully and fairly funding public schools and implementing a needs-based school funding model
  • Strengthening vocational education and apprenticeships
  • Supporting lifelong learning, university research and advocating for fair employment and conditions for university staff
Chapter 3: Protecting Australia’s Climate, Environment And Energy Security 

Chapter 3 emphasises the importance of implementing climate change and energy policies that are aligned with the Paris Agreement. It also highlights the need for a robust national environmental protection framework that both conserves and restores the natural Australian environment. 

It also seeks to:

  • Strengthen environmental laws to better protect First Nation’s cultural heritage, conserve national biodiversity, and restore the Great Barrier Reef.
  • Reduce pollution by transitioning to a safe circular economy, investing in recycling and waste management, promoting responsible resource use and disposal, and enforcing controls on pollutants and toxins.
  • Water, Rivers, Oceans, and Coasts initiatives focused on responsible water management, delivering the Murray-Darling Basin Plan, protecting the Lake Eyre Basin, and conserving oceans and marine species.
  • Develop clean energy export opportunities and support communities affected by coal power station closures.
  • Modernise Australia’s Energy Systems by decarbonizing energy-intensive industries, building international partnerships for climate action, establishing an independent Climate Change Authority and addressing emissions from the gas industry. 
Chapter 4: A Strong And Healthy Society

Chapter 4 re-affirms the ALP’s commitment to a robust and universal health system. 

Key themes include:

  • Ensuring that healthcare remains affordable and accessible by:
    • strengthening Medicare and the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme to provide better coverage. 
    • Improving transparency and accountability in the health sector
  • Reforming funding arrangements to focus on value-based healthcare and promote transparency in the allocation of health funding. 
  • Establishing a national Australian Centre for Disease Control 
  • Integrating trauma support with health care systems. 
  • Making mental health a national priority
  • Further support for sexual and reproductive health services.
  • Increasing the focus on placing the patient at the centre of care. 
  • Better utilising technology to achieve better health outcomes, and supporting health and medical research
  • Developing a national health workforce plan that both ensures the availability of secure and fairly remunerated jobs in the health sector and prioritises the health and safety of the health workforce.
  • Taking active steps to address the overrepresentation of First Nations children in the child protection system. 
  • Implementing the Early Years Strategy and the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuse
  • Further supporting grandparents raising grandchildren
  • Addressing Barriers and age discrimination in the Workforce. 
  • Combating elder abuse and neglect.
  • Improving the accessibility of high-quality aged care:
    • A sustainable funding model based on needs 
    • Recognition and support for the aged care workforce
    • Efforts to provide culturally appropriate aged care and support for diverse groups.
  • Supporting Australians with a disability:
    • Removing barriers and promoting participation. 
    • Implementation of a person-centred disability policy 
    • Establishing an effective and sustainable NDIS 
Chapter 5: Bringing People Together 
  • Advocating for human rights, equality, and dignity for all Australians.
  • Supporting reconciliation, truth-telling, and empowerment for First Nations peoples.
  • Standing up for the human rights, equality, and safety of LGBTIQ+ Australians.
  • Promoting multiculturalism, inclusivity, and a zero-tolerance approach towards racism.
  • Encouraging permanent residency and streamlined citizenship processes, prioritising family unity.
  • Youth empowerment through education, health, employment, and community participation 
  • Addressing intersectional discrimination and supporting the Australian Human Rights Commission.
Chapter 6: Strengthening Australian Democracy

Chapter 6 highlights the importance of safeguarding and enhancing Australia’s democratic foundations. 

Key policies include:

  • Establishing a National Anti-Corruption Commission and improving whistleblower protections and freedom of information laws.
  •  Allocating adequate resources for the Australian National Audit Office and enforcing a Code of Conduct for ministers and staff.
  • Support the implementation of the Uluru Statement from the Heart and work towards establishing an Australian republic.
  • Working in partnership with local government
  • Strengthening the integrity of Australia’s electoral system and supporting public funding for elections.
  • Implementing truth in political advertising laws and protecting electoral processes from interference.
  • Continuing to support diversity and independence in the media sector while addressing misinformation and disinformation concerns
  •  Protecting freedom of speech while respecting individual and collective rights.
  • Ensuring a fair, simple, affordable, and accessible justice system and adequately resourcing legal assistance services.
  • Tackling recidivism and providing fair and equitable justice for vulnerable Australians.
Chapter 7: Australia’s Place In A Changing World

Chapter 7 covers various aspects of foreign policy, national security, international cooperation, and humanitarian efforts. 

The draft policies recommend that the Federal Labor Party:

  • Strengthens Australia’s capabilities to combat cybersecurity threats and implements flexible laws to respond to evolving challenges.
  • Condemns Russia’s war against Ukraine and its impact on the global crisis.
  • Acknowledges the changing global order and the reshaping of the Indo-Pacific region, with competitive power relationships undermining peace, security, and international law.
  • Highlights territorial disputes, pre-emptive claims, military build-up, and extremism as threats to Australia’s security.
  • Commits to defence spending reflecting strategic circumstances and the two per cent of GDP benchmark.
  • Collaborates with neighbours, international allies, and institutions to address terrorism, cyber-attacks, economic coercion, and foreign interference.
  • Works towards strengthening partnerships with diverse nations, maintaining the United States as the closest security ally through the ANZUS Treaty, and values friendship and partnership with India and Japan.
  • Recognises China’s importance and aims to engage in cooperation while asserting interests, values, and safeguarding sovereignty.
  • Strengthens ties with regional partners, including New Zealand, Japan, Korea, and India, and deepens relationships with Indonesia, ASEAN, and Pacific Island countries.
  • Defence policy should be based on Australian self-reliance, ensuring armed forces can defend against threats independently.
  • Supports strong borders, robust border security measures, and a strong humanitarian immigration program that treats people seeking protection with dignity and compassion while combating people smuggling, trafficking, and exploitation.

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