SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australia’s political parties are in the final stages of campaigning ahead of a general election on Saturday.
Polls indicate a close result, with the opposition Labor party slightly ahead of the ruling conservative Liberal-National coalition.
Below are comparisons of key policies taken mainly from campaign programs and pre-election announcements.
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* Allow first-home buyers to withdraw up to 40% of their superannuation balance, up to a maximum of A $ 50,000 ($ 35,000), for a mortgage deposit. They must return the amount withdrawn, plus or minus any capital gain or loss, when they sell the property.
* Equity contribution of up to 40% of the cost of a new home, and 30% for an existing home. Qualification based on income and caps on property value based on location. Homeowners can buy out government contribution over time.
FEDERAL INTEGRITY COMMISSION
* Promised a federal integrity body at 2019 election, drafted but did not introduce legislation to parliament.
* Prime Minister Scott Morrison has said he will not revisit the plan because it was rejected, dismisses existing state integrity bodies as “kangaroo courts” designed to shame.
* Committed to setting up an independent National Anti-Corruption Commission by the end of 2022.
* Would have powers to investigate allegations of corruption at all levels by federal employees and agencies; would ultimately make recommendations to law enforcement bodies rather than findings of criminal liability.
* Says it will stand up for Australia in relationship with China; seeks to diversify trade flows.
* Acquisition of nuclear-powered submarines under AUKUS security partnership with US and Britain.
* Work with “like-minded partners” in the region through Quad (US, Japan, India), ASEAN and Pacific family.
* Alliance with United States, regional partnerships and multilateral groups (including support for AUKUS, Quad) are the three pillars of foreign policy. Increased climate change focus.
* Consistency with current China policy.
* Enhanced diplomacy in Pacific islands region to include leadership on climate change, soft power outreach using national broadcaster, as well as defense and security cooperation.
WOMEN’S SAFETY AND RIGHTS
* A $ 2.5 billion in funding over the first five years of the next national plan to end violence against women and children.
* Enhance paid parental leave, to continue to drive down the gender pay gap and drive up women’s workforce participation.
* A $ 1.6 billion to build 4,000 new homes mostly for women and children fleeing domestic violence.
* Legislate 10 days of paid family and domestic violence leave; establish a new family, domestic and sexual violence commissioner.
* Plans to establish grassroot support for indigenous representation in parliament through legislation, does not plan a referendum to constitutionally enshrine an indigenous voice to parliament.
* Committed A $ 1 billion in targeted investment this year as part of ‘Closing the Gap’ plans.
* Committed to implement the Uluru Statement in full, including holding a referendum to constitutionally enshrine an Indigenous ‘Voice to Parliament’ in the first term.
* Plans to improve housing in remote Indigenous communities, and to invest in First Nations management of land and waters.
($ 1 = 1,4292 Australian dollars)
(Reporting by Australian Bureau; Editing by Lincoln Feast.)
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