Standing up for Canberra

How do we get smarter, so we don’t get poorer?

How do we ensure opportunity is shared by all?

What will Australia look like in 20 or 50 years’ time?

What skills will we need to take us there?

Last week, in his Budget Reply speech, Bill Shorten outlined how Labor would address these issues in government and our plan for the future and the decades to come.

He outlined a plan that builds beyond the mining boom to capitalise on the imagination and adaptability of our people.

He outlined a plan that places infrastructure, education, small business, science and technology, innovation and start-ups at the centre of its vision.

A plan that cultivates and attracts the best minds, supports our great institutions and encourages home our talented expatriates.

In his speech, Bill Shorten outlined what Labor sees as the skills needed by our future leaders – science, technology, engineering and mathematics – which represent the fastest growing occupations in Australia.

And he outlined the investment a Labor Government would make in:

• digital technologies, computer science and coding in every primary and secondary school in Australia

• writing off the HECS debt of 100,000 science, technology, engineering and maths students

• encouraging more women to study, teach and work in STEM fields.

Labor promised 2015 would be the year of ideas.

Bill Shorten’s Budget Reply speech had plenty of them and showcased our vision for an Australia writ large, where opportunity is shared by all.