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About Alicia Payne
I’m Alicia Payne, the Federal Member for Canberra.
I grew up in Canberra and I’ve seen it grow and diversify. I love our unique and progressive city and couldn’t think of a better place to raise my children.
Like most Canberrans, I believe we have an obligation to address disadvantage and solve the problems of inequality. I understand the importance of good public education, health care and a strong social safety net to ensure that all Canberrans have the opportunity to live healthy and fulfilled lives.
Also like most Canberrans, I believe that we must do more to protect the environment and want to see Australia taking the necessary action to protect our planet.
I want to see Australia looking to the future and ensuring our economy adapts and generates strong and reliable employment.
I’m an economist and have pursued a career in social policy. I’ve always seen these issues as key to achieving a fairer society and I want to contribute to this. I began as a researcher at NATSEM publishing on issues such as poverty and the impact of policy on families. I worked at Treasury, and understand first hand the importance of a properly-resourced public service to a well functioning democracy. Most recently I worked as part of the Federal Labor Opposition team as a senior policy adviser on social policy, fighting the Liberals’ cuts to our social safety net.
I’ve volunteered in the community sector for many years, with people facing the issues of unemployment, homelessness, addiction and isolation. I served on the Board of Belconnen Community Service, including as President for three years, working with people meeting a broad range of community needs including in disability support, mental health and early childhood education and care. I’ve spent a lot of time listening to Canberrans about the issues they face and the things that are important to them.
Through my work and community involvement, I have seen the real difference Labor Governments and progressive policy can make in people’s lives and i’m proud to be a part of an Albanese Government committed to this. I will always strive to be Canberra’s voice for our community, and for fairness, in our Parliament.
I’d love to hear from you about the issues that are important to you.
In the 46th Parliament, Alicia served as:
- Member of the Joint Standing Committee on the National Disability Insurance Scheme.
- Member of the Joint Committee on Public Accounts and Audit.
- Secretary of the Parliamentary Labor Party First Nations Caucus Committee.
In the 47th Parliament, Alicia currently serves as:
- Chair of the Joint Standing Committee on the National Capital and External Territories.
- Member of the Joint Standing Committee on the National Disability Insurance Scheme.
- Member of the House Standing Committee on Economics.
- Member of the House Standing Committee on Privileges and Members’ Interests.
- Deputy Chair of the Parliamentary Labor Party Social Policy Caucus Committee.
who is Alicia Emma
Alicia Emma Payne, born on 24 July 1982, is an Australian politician currently serving as a member of the House of Representatives since the 2019 federal election. She belongs to the Australian Labor Party (ALP) and represents the Division of Canberra in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT).
Born and raised in Canberra, Payne completed her education at Kambah High School and pursued her studies in economics at the University of Sydney. Prior to her political career, she worked at the National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling (NATSEM) and the Department of the Treasury.
Payne joined the Australian Labor Party in 2006 and went on to serve as a political staffer for various Labor MPs, including Lindsay Tanner, Bill Shorten, and Jenny Macklin, holding positions such as senior adviser and chief of staff. In September 2018, she won the ALP preselection for the Division of Canberra, succeeding the retiring MP Gai Brodtmann. Before her preselection, she also held the position of vice-president of the Australian Labor Party (Australian Capital Territory Branch). Payne successfully retained Canberra for her party in the 2019 federal election. Notably, she is known for being factionally unaligned in her political affiliations.
Labor is restoring territory rights
It’s hard to believe that in 2022 citizens of territories are denied the same democratic rights as other Australians by the federal parliament.
The Australian Constitution allows the federal parliament to legislate to prevent territories from making particular laws. In 1996, Liberal MP Kevin Andrews introduced a bill to prevent the territories legislating on voluntary assisted dying (VAD), in response to the NT passing a law to allow it.
This has become known as the “Andrews’ Legislation” and to this day prevents the territories from debating the issue of VAD, although all of the states now have.
It is well past time that we had the right to debate and make our own laws on this issue as other Australians have.
The Albanese Labor Government has already begun an ambitious legislative agenda. And restoring territory rights is part of that.
Labor Member for Canberra, Alicia Payne and Luke Gosling, the Labor Member for Solomon (NT), have introduced a private member’s bill to repeal the Andrews’ Legislation to restore territory rights.
In the first sitting week of the 47th Parliament, the bill passed through the House by 99 votes to 37. The bill now heads to the Senate.
Standing up for the democratic rights of Canberrans has long been core business for ACT Labor.
Senator Katy Gallagher advocated for territory rights when she was Chief Minister from 2011-14. During their time in the federal parliament, both Katy and Andrew Leigh have sponsored bills to restore territory rights.
Since their election in 2019, David Smith and Alicia Payne have both spoken in parliament calling for ACT citizens to have equal democratic rights.
Chief Minister Andrew Barr, Minister for Human Rights, Tara Cheyne, and the ACT Labor team have championed the cause and worked incredibly hard to raise awareness and progress the issue.
Whether in the Assembly or in federal parliament, for years your Labor representatives have been fighting to have your democratic rights restored.
In total, eight bills seeking to repeal the Andrews’ act of 1997 have been moved in parliament. Most of these bills lapsed or were not brought on by the previous government. Just one of these bills was brought to a vote in the Senate in 2018, and was narrowly and excruciatingly defeated by just two votes, one of which was former ACT Liberal senator Zed Seselja.
Luke and Alicia’s Bill does not legislate voluntary assisted dying in the territories. But it would allow the legislative assemblies of the ACT and NT to debate the matter and decide for themselves.
This is an issue of territory rights. While all states have now passed laws allowing voluntary assisted dying, the 25-year-old law prohibits the territories from even considering similar laws.
This has been a long fight for our ACT Labor team, and with the election of Senator Pocock, now all ACT federal representatives support equal rights for Canberrans.
Labor made a promise to Australians that we would take better care of their loved ones. We have delivered on this promise. In the first sitting fortnight of the 47th Parliament, the Albanese Labor Government passed the Aged Care and Other Legislation Amendment (Royal Commission Response) Bill 2022 - delivering on commitments to reform aged care.
The bill was passed in the Senate on Tuesday 2 August 2022, enabling major improvements to aged care in line with the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety.
The Labor Government made a promise to restore dignity, humanity and security for older Australians and this Bill is a critical first step in improving aged care.
This legislation will:
- Replace the outdated Aged Care Funding Instrument with a new aged care subsidy funding model from 1 October 2022. The new AN-ACC model offers a more equitable approach, with funding that better matches the provider’s costs of meeting the care needs of residents.
- Enable the publication of the star ratings for all residential aged care services by the end of 2022.This Star Ratings system will put a spotlight on the sector, allowing older Australians and their families to compare quality and safety performance of different services and providers.
- Include measures to extend the Serious Incident Response Scheme (SIRS) to all in home care providers, commencing from 1 December 2022.
- Introduce a new Code of Conduct for approved providers, aged care workers and governing persons from 1 December 2022.
After nine years of neglect, reform in aged care has finally begun. This task will take years, but this bill passing is a critical first step to ensure our most vulnerable people are treated with the dignity they deserve.
As a working mum with two young kids, I’m fully aware of how hard it can be to strike the right balance between working toward a career and extremely expensive childcare fees. Australia’s system is set up in a way that means many parents will actually lose money if they work more than 3 days per week.
This disproportionately impacts women and has long term consequences. Women are still predominantly the primary caregivers and as such take much more time off work. This means that when it comes to retirement, the average Australian women has 20.5% less in their superannuation accounts than the average man.
Working parents should have the choice, flexibility and opportunity to access affordable childcare when they need to. That’s why Labor will introduce changes to the system which will make childcare cheaper for 97% of families. Our plan will remove the annual cap on the childcare subsidy and increase the maximum subsidy to 90%.
Accessible, affordable childcare will benefit millions of working families. I’m proud to be a member of a party that recognises this and will work hard to make it a reality.
The NDIS, a cornerstone of Australian Labor policy akin to Medicare and Superannuation, has been severely undermined by a decade of mismanagement, chaos, and cuts under the Liberal Government. The Albanese Labor Government is committed to safeguarding the NDIS and restoring it to its intended purpose of providing support to people with disability, their families, carers, service providers, and workers.
The need for action is urgent. The Morrison Government’s reckless cuts to NDIS plans, sometimes as much as 90%, have left people with disability without the necessary support for their daily lives. Funding for autistic children has been slashed, denying them access to the scheme. Families have been forced to give up their children due to lack of support at home.
The mismanagement of the NDIS by the former Government has resulted in tragic consequences, including the deaths of at least five NDIS participants, such as Adelaide woman Anne Marie Smith. Fraudulent service providers have siphoned off up to 10% of the scheme’s funding, while unworkable pricing models have plagued other areas of the NDIS market. There is also a severe shortage of 83,000 workers in the sector, with nearly one-third of them considering leaving their jobs within the next year.
To address these challenges, the Albanese Labor Government has a comprehensive plan for a better future for the NDIS. This includes putting people with disability back at the center of the scheme by identifying and solving problems in its design and operation through evidence-based, co-designed solutions with the input of people with disability, their families, carers, service providers, and workers. Transparency and accountability will be prioritized through publishing data, monitoring, evaluation, and sharing governance with stakeholders. Waste in the system will be addressed by lifting the staffing cap at the NDIA, reducing service provider fraud, and cutting spending on external lawyers and consultants.
Labor also aims to streamline the planning pathway and appeals process to make NDIS decision-making more efficient, fair, and focused on investment. The disability services sector will be strengthened through a review of NDIS pricing, markets, compliance, and the development of a comprehensive workforce strategy. Access to services in remote areas and other underserved areas will be improved through the appointment of a senior officer within the NDIA to tackle service delivery barriers. The current changes to Supported Independent Living (SIL) initiated by the Morrison Government without proper consultation will be paused for review, and the $500 million Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) underspend will be investigated to ensure access to appropriate housing. The NDIA Call Centre operation will also be examined to ensure participants and their families receive the best possible service.
To guide these reforms, Labor will conduct a review of the NDIS design, operation, and sustainability, with input from all available evidence and stakeholder consultations. The review findings will inform the priority areas for reform under the leadership of the Albanese Labor Government, as it works towards restoring the NDIS to its original vision of providing a robust safety net for people with disability and their families.
After years of denial and inaction, Australia finally has a Federal Government that is stepping up to tackle climate change head-on.
With our comprehensive Powering Australia policy, we are committed to driving down emissions by:
Legislating ambitious emissions reduction targets of 43% by 2030 and achieving net-zero emissions by 2050, in line with global climate goals.
Creating tens of thousands of new jobs and apprenticeships in the renewable energy sector, boosting economic growth and supporting local communities.
Connecting regional renewable energy projects to the national grid, expanding access to clean and affordable energy across the country.
Making electric vehicles more affordable for Australian consumers, promoting clean and sustainable transportation options.
Building 400 community batteries and 85 solar banks, empowering more households to generate their own renewable energy and reduce their carbon footprint.
Ensuring the Australian Public Service (APS) leads by example and achieves net-zero emissions by 2030, setting a strong precedent for other sectors.
Using the Safeguard Mechanism to hold the biggest polluters accountable and drive down emissions from high-emitting industries.
Investing in agricultural solutions and carbon farming, harnessing the potential of our land and farming sectors to contribute to emissions reduction efforts.
Establishing a real-world vehicle fuel testing program to provide consumers with accurate information to make informed choices about their vehicles and reduce emissions.
Under Labor’s Powering Australia plan, we will see a decrease in power prices, the creation of 600,000 new jobs, and a significant reduction in emissions. Our vision is to make Australia a renewable energy superpower, leading the world in clean and sustainable solutions for a better future.
First Nations People and Closing the Gap
As a representative in the Federal Parliament, I am honored to acknowledge that I am on the lands of the Ngunnawal and Ngambri people.
I pay my deepest respects to their elders, both past and present, and express my gratitude for the immense contributions they have made to our city and region for countless generations.
I also recognize the next generations of First Nations Australians, who will continue to carry forward the rich diversity of culture and language of the world’s oldest continuous civilization into the future.
It is my sincere hope that our shared future, including the future of First Nations peoples, is one that is defined by successful reconciliation, closing the gap in health, education, and social outcomes, and fully implementing the Uluru Statement from the Heart. This includes a constitutionally enshrined voice to the parliament, the signing of treaty and treaties, and the vital process of truth-telling.
As a member of a Government that is committed to this vision, I am proud to be part of the effort to right the wrongs of the past and work towards a more just and inclusive future for all Australians.
The Labor Government is taking concrete steps to make it easier for Australians to access healthcare when they need it most. We are committed to delivering at least 50 Medicare Urgent Care Clinics across the country, including one in Canberra, to alleviate pressure on emergency departments.
These clinics will provide bulk billed services delivered by doctors and nurses, and will be located in existing GP clinics and Community Health Centres in every state and territory. This means that Australian families can see a doctor or nurse without incurring any out-of-pocket costs for urgent, but not life-threatening, care. Services will include treatment for sprains, broken bones, cuts requiring stitches or glue, wound care, insect bites, minor ear and eye problems, and minor burns – all important and time-critical treatments that do not require a hospital emergency department.
In addition to the Medicare Urgent Care Clinics, the Albanese Government will also make it easier for regional and outer metro communities to recruit doctors of their choice, both locally and from overseas. We will expand the newborn screening program to cover more conditions, from around 25 to 80, and establish an Australian Centre for Disease Control to enhance pandemic preparedness and response.
Labor has a strong history of supporting Medicare, and we will continue to prioritize the health of our people by cutting the cost of medications. Under our government, millions of Australians will save $12.50 on medical scripts as we reduce the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) co-payment from the current maximum of $42.50 per script to a maximum of $30 per script. We understand that the rising costs of living have put strain on many Australians, and we are committed to easing some of the cost-of-living pressures by keeping the costs of medications affordable.
With Labor, Australians can trust that we will continue to prioritize accessible healthcare and take meaningful action to make it easier for everyone to access the care they need, when they need it.
- Building a Better Future with the Housing Australia Future Fund
The Albanese Labor Government is committed to addressing the housing affordability crisis in Australia. To this end, we will establish the $10 billion Housing Australia Future Fund, which will deliver 30,000 new social and affordable housing properties within the first five years, creating thousands of jobs in the process. Our vision is to provide safe and secure housing options for all Australians, whether through social housing, affordable homes for frontline workers, or support for home ownership.
Over the first five years, the Housing Australia Future Fund will invest in:
20,000 social housing properties, with 4,000 of them specifically allocated for women and children escaping domestic and family violence, as well as older women on low incomes at risk of homelessness.
10,000 affordable homes for frontline workers, such as police, nurses, and cleaners, who have played a crucial role in keeping our communities safe during the pandemic. This will enable them to live closer to their workplaces and improve services for all Australians.
- Helping Australians Achieve Home Ownership Sooner
The Albanese Government will also introduce Help to Buy, a program aimed at making home ownership more accessible by reducing costs by up to 40 percent.
Help to Buy will enable 10,000 Australians each financial year to enter the housing market with a smaller deposit, resulting in a smaller mortgage and more affordable mortgage repayments. Eligible home buyers will need a minimum deposit of 2 percent, with an equity contribution from the Federal Government of up to a maximum of 40 percent of the purchase price for a new home, or up to a maximum of 30 percent of the purchase price for an existing home.
- Establishing a National Housing Supply and Affordability Council
To ensure that the Commonwealth takes a leadership role in increasing housing supply and improving affordability, the Labor Government will establish a National Housing Supply and Affordability Council.
This Council will be comprised of experts from various fields including finance, economics, urban development, residential construction, urban planning, and social housing sectors. The Council will have the following responsibilities:
- Setting targets for land supply in consultation with State and Territory Governments.
Collecting and publicly sharing nationally consistent data on housing supply, demand, and affordability. This will include information on land volume and price, material costs, labor availability, training schemes, enabling infrastructure, and planning and development processes.
Providing advice on improving land use planning and land supply to boost national productivity and housing affordability.
- Reporting on the release of government-owned land.
- Reporting on rental affordability and homelessness.
- Reporting on the number of new social and affordable homes being built annually, and advising on ways to increase the construction of social and affordable housing.
- Providing advice on appropriate housing measures to be included in current and future City and Regional Deals.
While there is no one-size-fits-all solution to the housing affordability issue, the Albanese Labor Government is committed to planning for the future and taking steps to make the dream of owning a home a reality for more Australians.