A survey conducted by Triple J found that 44% of Australian young people believe that there is no difference between the two major parties.
Another study from the University of Adelaide found that young people, between 18 and 24, are the most likely to vote informally, i.e. waste their vote. So let’s change this with a quick analysis of the Liberal, Labor and Green views on five major issues.
- 2014 Federal Budget proposed full university fee deregulation to allow universities to set their own fees, this was met with strong opposition but the idea of partial deregulation is currently under discussion within the Coalition.
- 2016 Federal Budget proposed a ‘small increase’ in student contributions towards degrees or cutting government contributions to higher education by 20%, but this has been delayed until 2018.
- Oppose fee deregulation and have promised minimum funding amounts per student to ensure funding cuts aren’t passed on to students.
- 20,000 free STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) degrees per year for five years to encourage students into those areas.
- $430 million allocated to establish ten Commonwealth institutes, offering diplomas and associate degrees for 10,000 students over four years.
- Proposed cap on student loans for vocational education.
- Support free tertiary education, but don’t have specific policies for this.
- 10% increase in funding per student and $4.8 billion to reverse funding cuts enacted by the Coalition.
- Shorten has announced that amending the Marriage ACT to recognise same-sex couples would be his first piece of legislation as Prime Minister.
- Fully support the legalisation of same-sex marriage and do not support a plebiscite.
- Have pledged to cut emissions 26% by 2030 but experts doubt whether this is possible.
- Also aim for 23% of energy to be from renewable sources by 2020.
- Want 50% of energy to be generated by renewable sources by 2030.
- Have proposed two emissions trading schemes, one for industrial polluters and one electricity industry model to essentially punish polluting power stations and reward clean ones.
- Want 90% renewable energy by 2030 and to increase clean energy financing to $30 billion over 10 years.
- Will not change the current negative gearing policies or the capital gains tax discount but will target zoning and land release laws to increase housing supply and in turn housing affordability.
- Limit negative gearing to only new housing while allowing losses from some investments to be used to offset investment income tax liabilities.
- Want to halve the capital gains tax discount, which according to them will increase the budget by $32.1 billion over ten years.
- Want to abolish negative gearing and the capital gains tax discount which they say will save $119.5 billion over ten years.
- Claim they have ‘stopped the boats’ bringing asylum seekers mainly by detaining refugees on Manus Island and Nauru, and turning back boats attempting reach Australia.
- Concerns have been raised about both the conditions in detention centres as well as the safety of refugees returned to the countries they fled and Amnesty International have ruled that Australia’s detaining of refugees on Manus Island breaches international law.
- Maintain asylum seeker intake at 13,750.
- Effectively support current government policy including boat tow-backs and ‘regional processing’ of asylum seekers but don’t want it to ‘degenerate into indefinite detention.’
- Increase humanitarian intake to 27,000 by 2025.
- Want to increase annual refugee intake to 50,000 and shut the detention centres on Manus Island and Nauru.
There you have it, major differences between major parties. If you’re still unsure, take two minutes to fill out Vote Compass or I Side With, which will tell you the party your views align with. The youth vote could determine who wins this election. So please, this weekend, make an informed decision.