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Victoria Election 2022: Dan Andrew’s secret plan to change Victoria forever

 

Dan Andrews has lifted the lid on a plan to make Victoria a progressive paradise if he’s re-elected as premier on November 26 – but his secret agenda goes even further.

Labor revealed their official manifesto at the campaign launch on Sunday with billions being thrown at voters to buy back their trust after the state’s devastating Covid lockdowns.

It includes reviving the State Electricity Commission to generate power from renewables, slashing power bills by $250 for at least one million Victorians and a massively expanded free childcare programme.

But Labor’s draft policies – which didn’t make the final cut – reveal just how far the Andrews government are prepared to push to the left if they get the chance.

They included a plan for a four-day working week – with no loss of income – which could cripple many small and medium-sized businesses. 

Labor also planned to add more paid public holidays to the calendar and even to reduce the number of car park spaces available to shoppers. 

Labor revealed their official manifesto at the campaign launch on Sunday with billions being thrown at voters to buy back their trust after the state’s devastating Covid lockdowns

They also wanted to bring in free universal dental care, and block the export of some of the state’s lucrative gas production to keep it back for local use.

Even Victoria’s unions were outraged over Labor’s policy process after they were given just days to respond to the ambitious proposals which were later shelved.

Labor and the unions normally work collaboratively to draft manifesto policies but for this election, Dan Andrews’ office and his ministers took charge instead, with unions only given sight of the draft policies at the last moment.

The draft manifesto which was leaked to the media in September also reportedly included plans to make Christmas Eve a public holiday after 6pm and bringing back the Workers Family Picnic Day.

The policy plan also included a scheme to keep one in seven car park spaces set aside and made free exclusively for retail and fast food workers across the state. 

There was also massive infrastructure spending pencilled in for the Outer Metropolitan Ring Road and Rail Corridor to improve train freight links and connect the Metropolitan Ring Road, Hume, Calder, Western and Princes Freeways.

The proposal to invest in the massive new Outer Metropolitan Ring Road and Rail Corridor project was set to inflame climate change activists who bitterly oppose new freeways

The proposal to invest in the massive new Outer Metropolitan Ring Road and Rail Corridor project was set to inflame climate change activists who bitterly oppose new freeways

The proposal to invest in the huge new freeway project was set to inflame climate change activists who bitterly oppose new roads.

Victorian Labor also wanted to demand Anthony Albanese’s federal government work with them to revive and expand social housing on a national sale, boosting work for construction union members.

But unions and rank and file members were given just 10 days in September to consider the proposed manifesto, angering union bosses and both the right and left factions of the party.

Some unions – including the United Firefighters Union – weren’t even given a copy of the draft, even although they pay affiliation fees to the Labor Party to be included in the policy process, reported The Age.

And the Transport Workers Union was incensed by the new policy production system brought in by Premier Andrews and his team.

Unions and rank and file members were given just 10 days in September to consider the proposed manifesto, angering union bosses and both the right and left factions of the party

Unions and rank and file members were given just 10 days in September to consider the proposed manifesto, angering union bosses and both the right and left factions of the party

‘The Labor Party is the democratic sum of its membership and its affiliated unions,’ Mem Suleyman, assistant branch secretary, wrote to party chiefs.

‘Its policy platform should not be written by faceless advisers who clearly have little regard for union members.’

The union also railed against the removal from the draft of a specific policy to establish a transport safety tribunal and forced it back onto the final manifesto.

The final manifesto which was unveiled officially on Sunday instead focused on buying back votes after Melbourne endured the world’s longest Covid lockdowns.

The central promise is reviving the State Electricity Commission which will see Victoria splash $1billion on publicly owned renewable electricity, including offshore wind farms.

Labor policies which did make the cut and were announced by Premier Dan Andrews (pictured with wife Cath) on Sunday included the return of the State Electricity Commission

Labor policies which did make the cut and were announced by Premier Dan Andrews (pictured with wife Cath) on Sunday included the return of the State Electricity Commission

Labor claims it will create 59,000 jobs, including 6,000 apprentices. Apprentices statewide will also now qualify for free rego on their cars. 

A further 10,000 schoolkids will also be given the chance of work experience with the SEC, promised the premier.

He insisted the new body would lead to lower prices for Victorian households – but refused to say how much cheaper or when.

He snapped back: ‘Everyone knows if something is abundant, it will cost less. If something is very, very scarce, it will always cost more.

‘We are replacing offshore profits with offshore wind renewable megawatts – and it’ll drive down the cost of power for Victoria and families.’

Residents will also be able to claim $250 off their power bills if they use the Victorian Energy Compare website to find a better deal than their current power provider.

Another key centrepiece for Labor’s election campaign is their previously announced $9billion expansion of free childcare with two years of kindergarten, and doubling the number of included hours in the second year from 15 to 30 hours a week.

Labor also planned to add even more paid public holidays to the calendar and even to reduce the number of car park spaces available to shoppers

Labor also planned to add even more paid public holidays to the calendar and even to reduce the number of car park spaces available to shoppers 

In a further step towards making life easier for working parents, Labor has also committed to building new kindergartens at the same site as all new Victorian schools to minimise drop-offs, plus upgrading existing childcare facilities in a $1.68 billion overhaul.

Labor believes the move will free up another 26,000 women to return to the workforce, boosting family incomes. 

Labor also promised to hand out free tampons at 1500 dispensers at locations across the state including train stations, courts and hospitals.

They also vowed to expand the 50 free TAFE courses program in ‘high priority areas’ to also be open to students who already have a degree to allow them to re-skill as teachers.

Specialist schools will also get a $207million upgrade plus a range of programs to help people with disabilities, including therapy animals and aqua therapy.

Mr Andrews also committed to funding 1,000 scholarships for disability workers, occupational therapists and speech pathologists.

Early voting began in the election on Monday with Labor clear favourites to win, but the margin may be tighter than initially believed.

A poll for the Australian Financial Review found Dan Andrews (right) was the preferred leader over Victorian Liberal's Matthew Guy (left) by 40 percent to 28 per cent

A poll for the Australian Financial Review found Dan Andrews (right) was the preferred leader over Victorian Liberal’s Matthew Guy (left) by 40 percent to 28 per cent

The latest polls put Dan Andrews’ Labor ahead on 54.5 per cent to the Coalition’s 46.5 per cent on a two-party preferred basis.

But a new poll in the Herald Sun claimed on Monday that both sides were locked on 38 per cent once undecided votes were redistributed.

However a poll for the Australian Financial Review found Dan Andrews was the preferred leader over Victorian Liberal’s Matthew Guy by 40 percent to 28 per cent. 

Daily Mail Australia has contacted Victorian Labor for comment. 

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