01 July 2024


SUBJECTS: Cost of living paid parental leave, energy bill relief, July tax cuts.

FEDERAL MEMBER FOR MACQUARIE, SUSAN TEMPLEMAN MP: Good morning, I’m Susan Templeman the Member for Macquarie. Now there are a lot of women who are my age celebrating that it’s July 1 because it means that our kids, who are about to become parents, are going to get an extra 2 weeks of paid parental leave - that’s 22 weeks to have time at home to look after a new baby, it’s nearly 5 months. And, for people like me who had not a day of paid parental leave, I can just see how transformative this is for how mums, dads, and partners feel as they start this really challenging journey of those first few months of having a baby. Now this is one of our changes that kicks in from today. I was out in my community of the Hawkesbury yesterday, and talked to a mum who told me her baby is due in three weeks and she’s delighted that this means she’s eligible for those extra two weeks of paid parental leave.

These are the sorts of changes that the Albanese Labor government is making. These are changes that are not just for the moment, but are long lasting, and they will change people's lives. I’m very proud to be part of a government that has that vision and is thinking ahead.

And of course, we know that from today, Australian workers will earn more, and they’ll keep more of what they earn. For people in the Hawkesbury and Blue Mountains, it means about 84% of people will be better off under our Albanese tax cuts then they were under the previous government. What it means is they’ve got more money in their pocket and of course minimum wage earners will see an increase today, an increase that we supported and will flow through to other awards. All these things will help with cost of living pressures, including our cheaper childcare, our freeze on Medicare benefits, when you go to the chemist to pay for your script, that cost is going to be frozen now. If you’re a pensioner or concession card holder, that freeze is going to last for the next five years so you’ve got certainty about what your cost will be when you go to the pharmacy. For the rest of us, it’s going to be frozen for the year, and that again gives us certainty as people are looking at how they can really alleviate the cost of living.

And of course, the really big benefit that they’re going to get from today is the energy bill relief. $300 will come through for every family this year, and for small businesses that will be $325. Now, these are small changes for a lot of people, millions of people, and this is how we keep our economy strong; we keep people able to get out there enjoying their lives, but also knowing that we are there doing everything we can to alleviate cost of living pressures.

It is a good day, July 1, we’ve been waiting for this. And I really urge people to look at what your last pay check was, and then after today look at your next one, and take note of the cut that you’ll feel. As I’ve said, in the Hawkesbury and Blue Mountains, what this is going to mean is that everyone is going to get a tax cut. For 85% of people, it is a sizeable increase compared to what the previous government was going to give, and what’s more important is that for many people in my community, there would have been no tax cut under the previous government. So, I’m very proud to be a part of the Albanese Labor Government that is making change, long term change, for better.