Scorecard

Valid as of 16/05/2022

PHAA is a non-partisan, non-governmental organisation. This scorecard reports on the alignment of each party’s policies with the PHAA Federal Election Campaign seven key focus areas.

A survey was sent to the three major parties asking for their policy positions on the PHAA seven focus areas.

PHAA has received written responses from the Liberal National Coalition, Labor, and the Greens.

If any party or reader believes that PHAA have misrepresented a party’s position, please contact us at policy@phaa.net.au

PHAA CEO, Adjunct Prof Terry Slevin, explains the scorecard of the major parties’ positions across our seven key areas of action.

2022 Federal Election Scorecard

Focus AreaCoalitionLaborGreens

Aboriginal and
Torres Strait Islander health
orange dot

Invest in preventive health
orange dotorange dot

Invest in the national public health workforce
red dotred dotred dot

Establish a Centre for Disease Control & Prevention
red dotgreen dotgreen dot

Protect against unhealthy products
red dotred dotorange dot

Climate and health
red dotgreen dotgreen dot

Healthy democracy and public policy-making
red dotgreen dotgreen dot

Key:

green dot

Party policies align with PHAA focus area actions.

orange dot

Party policies partially align with PHAA focus area actions.

red dot

Party either has policies that conflict with PHAA focus area actions, or, to our knowledge, has no policy position on the PHAA focus area.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health
Scorecard explained

The Coalition states on their election platform that they will:

  • Invest $13.9 million towards the Puggy Hunter Memorial Scholarship Scheme, supporting 300 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander undergraduate students in health-related disciplines – with full-time scholarships of up to $15,000 per year and part-time scholarships of up to $7,500.
  • Invest $8.6 million to establish the National Closing the Gap Policy Partnership on Social and Emotional Wellbeing and help reduce the devastating impact of mental ill-health and suicide on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
  • Invest $5.9 million to catch up on missed health screenings for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and multicultural communities.
  • Invest $2.4 million to deliver culturally appropriate, locally-designed mental health services to Indigenous communities impacted by the 2022 floods.

In their letter to PHAA, the Coalition states that:

  • The Morrison Government is working closely with the Coalition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peak Organisations (Coalition of Peaks), and other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander partners, to deliver on the Commonwealth’s Closing the Gap Implementation Plan.

In regard to the Uluru Statement from the Heart, the Coalition Government has supported continuing dialogue on the design of a Voice to Parliament.

In their letter to PHAA, the Coalition states that:

  • The Morrison Government remains committed to working with Indigenous Australians to deliver an Indigenous Voice, and, for the Indigenous Voice to work, it must have a strong foundation from the ground up. That is why the Morrison Government is taking the next step and starting with the Local and Regional Voice, as set out in the Final Co-Design Report. … The Final Report makes it clear that Local and Regional Voices need to work with all levels of government to be effective.
  • On Constitutional Recognition, the Morrison Government has consistently said that it will go to a referendum once a consensus is reached and at a time it has the best chance of success. The Morrison Government is committed to recognising Indigenous Australians in the Constitution and has backed this commitment with $160 million for a referendum. Progressing change to the Constitution is a challenge and our Government is committed to getting it right.

However, the latter comment relates only to unspecified “recognition”; the Prime Minister has stated during the campaign that the Government does not support holding a referendum to constitutionally enshrine a Voice to Parliament.

Labor policy manifesto stated that the party will:

  • Implement the Uluru Statement in full – Voice, Treaty and Truth. 

Labor’s response to PHAA further states that:

  • An Albanese Labor Government would implement the Uluru Statement from the Heart in full, and renew our national commitment to Reconciliation and work in genuine partnership with First Nations people for better outcomes. We recognise that First Nations peoples hold the solutions and must lead the way on policies, legislation and practices that affect them.
  • That principle underlies our commitment to the Uluru Statement, including working with First Nations people towards a referendum to constitutionally enshrine a First Nations Voice to Parliament in the Constitution in our first term. We believe Australia is ready for that conversation, that referendum, and an Albanese Labor Government would get on with it.

Labor released (24 April 2022) more detailed commitments stating that they will:

  • Work with the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO), community-controlled and other health services to close the gap in First Nations health outcomes.
  • Invest $52.9 million for a First Nations Health Worker Traineeship Program. The Program will support up to 500 First Nations trainees to do Certificate III or IV accredited training as Aboriginal health workers or practitioners. Trainees will receive on the job experience and mentoring in local Aboriginal Community-Controlled Health Services (ACCHOs). Traineeships will commence following a co-design process with NACCHO, ACCHOs and community-controlled registered training organisations (ACCRTOs). Traineeships will be rolled out over four years, with 100 new trainees starting in the first two years of the program, increasing to 150 in the later two years.
  • The ALP’s response to PHAA further states that: An Albanese Labor Government will train 500 additional First Nations Health Workers and invest in life-saving dialysis and rheumatic heart disease treatments to help close the gap in First Nations health outcomes.
  • Invest $45 million for better renal services in the city and bush. This will include:
    • Invest $30 million for up to 30 four-chair dialysis units in urban and remote locations across the country. 
    • Invest $15 million for small-scale water infrastructure projects that improve access to clean water critical for dialysis.
  • Invest $13.5 million to help eradicate rheumatic heart disease. Labor will invest $12 million to double current federal funding to combat rheumatic heart disease, allowing more at-risk communities to access prevention and treatment programs. Labor will also invest $1.5 million to fund portable echo-cardio machines and screening efforts. 
  • Work with NACCHO, communities and health experts to deliver these commitments, as a down-payment on our measures to improve First Nations heath. 
  • Invest in long overdue capital upgrades in Aboriginal community-controlled health services, including the Yadu Health Aboriginal Corporation in Ceduna, Kambu Health in Ipswich and the Central Australian Aboriginal Congress clinics at Lytyentye Apurte (Santa Teresa) and Mutitjulu.

Labor’s response to PHAA further states that:

  • An Albanese Labor Government will also work with the Coalition of Peaks and all levels of government to raise ambitions and ensure sustained progress on the current National Agreement on Closing the Gap. Labor has already announced several policies that will deliver greater national leadership on the Closing the Gap. This includes our landmark commitment to justice reinvestment as a means of supporting communities and families to turn the tide on over-incarceration.

The Greens‘ response to PHAA’s survey states that they commit to:

  • Provide $371m to community-led health organisations to boost their capacity to care for First Nations people and their communities and will increase the First Nations health workforce. This will include specialist services to address intersectional health needs, such as those of First Nations LGBTIQA+ people and those with disabilities and early access to culturally safe preventative programs, like community-led health promotion, vaccines, early health screening, accessible and culturally safe primary care, maternal and child health services, suicide prevention, early mental health care and traditional healing practices.
  • Provide $1.07b to build a network of First Nations-owned and led healing places as well as $5.06b to expand access to the Gold Card to First Nations Elders aged 60 and above. The Gold Card provides people with the treatment they need for all medical conditions as well as providing access to a range of services and support.

The Greens also:

  • Support the Uluru statement’s elements Truth, Treaty, and Voice
  • Call for: agreement making to be the second part of the Uluru Statement to be implemented, and for negotiating an agreement or a Treaty (or Treaties)
  • And support: constitutional recognition discussed as part of a national Truth and Treaty process

Back to scorecard

Invest in preventive health
Scorecard explained

Coalition: The National Preventive Health Strategy 2021-2030, published by the current Coalition Government in December 2021, commits to the following statement:

  • Investment in preventive health will rise to be 5% of total health expenditure across Commonwealth, state and territory governments by 2030.

However, minimal actions have so far been announced and funded, and the Coalition’s election policies on preventive health (see Item 11) and letter to the PHAA do not refer to the target of 5%. The policy statement and letter do refer to initiatives announced in the 2022 Budget, including that a Coalition government will:

  • Encourage Australians to catch up on regular health checks, diagnostic screening and other preventive health activities. This $55.7 million investment includes:
    • $9.7 million for mammogram surge capacity at BreastScreen Australia.
    • $10.2 million for a triage nurse pilot to help improve colonoscopy access.
    • $20 million for cervical cancer screening, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
  • Continue core activities under the five National Blood Borne Viruses and Sexually Transmissible Infections Strategies 2018–2022, aiming to eliminate HIV, viral hepatitis and STIs as public health threats by 2030.
  • Develop a whole-of-government National Nutrition Policy Framework to identify, prioritise, drive and monitor healthy eating in Australia and support a feasibility study examining unhealthy food and drink advertising to children.
  • Establish a culturally and linguistically diverse Health Advisory Group. The $10.6 million investment will help all Australians understand the importance of preventive health and access to health services.
  • Invest more than $830 million to deliver alcohol and other drug treatment services and programs over the next four years. This includes our National Ice Action Strategy.
  • Expand the national Take Home Naloxone (THN) program through a $19.6 million investment. Our nationwide goal is to make this life-saving, overdose-reversal medication available at no cost and without a prescription.

Labor’s response to PHAA states that:

  • An Albanese Labor Government would support the implementation of the National Preventative Health Strategy.

This makes the NPHS – released by the current government in December 2021 – a bipartisan policy, which is a welcome development. The NPHS includes a national target of 5% of health expenditure being dedicated to preventive health by no later than 2030, and commitments to many other measures to reduce chronic diseases.

The Greens‘ response to PHAA’s survey states that they:

  • Support the target set in the National Preventive Health Strategy. The Greens will invest $275 million to establish a National Preventative Health Commission to support research into prevention and roll out evidence-based prevention programs.

The Greens have also released a Prioritising Prevention policy statement which includes commitments that the Greens will:

  • Invest $275 million to establish a National Preventative Health Commission to support research into prevention and roll out evidence-based prevention programs. Examples of these programs could include combating obesity and tackling the harms of alcohol and tobacco. Social, economic and cultural factors have a big impact on people’s health outcomes. The National Preventative Health Commission will tailor prevention programs to different groups in the community who experience higher risks of preventable diseases.
  • Dedicate funding to tackle the impact of climate change on health by dedicating funding to implement a national plan based on the National Strategy on Climate, Health and Wellbeing.

Back to scorecard

Invest in the national public health workforce
Scorecard explained

Coalition: In their survey response letter to PHAA, the Coalition notes that:

  • “In the most recent Budget, the Morrison Government invested $306.1 million to ensure we have a skilled and professional health and care workforce, to deliver Australia’s Long Term National Health Plan. The Morrison Government’s investments in the 2022-23 Budget will improve the quality, distribution and planning of the health workforce to better meet the needs of the community including in the key priority areas of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health, aged care, mental health and suicide prevention, and rural and regional health.”

However, the investments in health workforce, while welcome, relate to the general health workforce, not the public health workforce which PHAA is highlighting.

Labor: In their survey response to PHAA, Labor notes that the party has made policy commitments to university places and workforce growth in the general health and aged care workforce. However Labor did not specifically identify public health as a workforce needing growth.

The Greens’ response to PHAA’s survey states that they propose:

  • Wiping existing student debt and making school, university and TAFE free for all those wanting to attend. This will allow more people to enter the health workforce to meet the demands posed by chronic diseases and other conditions.
  • A CPI + 0.5% lift in wages each year for ten years for public health workers employed under national awards.

Back to scorecard

Establish a Centre for Disease Control and Prevention
Scorecard explained

On Coalition policy, outgoing Health Minister Greg Hunt MP responded in a letter to PHAA (27 March 2022) that the Government did not support establishing a CDC, stating that:

  • A national CDC would not add to Australia’s proven expertise and capacity to effectively respond to national communicable disease outbreaks. Additional structures could risk overlap and duplication with existing communicable disease control functions.

In their survey response letter to PHAA, the Coalition does not address the proposal to create a CDC.

Labor has stated that if elected, it would:

  • Improve pandemic preparedness and response by establishing an Australian CDC. The CDC will:
    • Ensure ongoing pandemic preparedness;
    • Lead the federal response to future infectious disease outbreaks; and
    • Work to prevent non-communicable (chronic) as well as communicable (infectious) diseases.

The Greens have stated in their election platform that they would:

  • Establish a National Centre for Disease Control with $246 million of funding to lead a unified, apolitical health approach across the entire country and ensure we can deal with the threat of new emerging diseases.

The Greens’ response to PHAA’s survey further states that they will:

  • Establish a National Center for Disease Control with $246 million of funding. The CDC would be responsible for overseeing infectious disease policy and coordinating rapid responses to outbreaks like Covid-19. It would also be established as a fully independent body at arm’s length from the government, ensuring our future responses to pandemics are based on science – not politics.

Back to scorecard

Protect against unhealthy products
Scorecard explained

Coalition:

In their survey response letter to PHAA, the Coalition notes that:

  • On 4 March 2022, the Morrison Government launched Australia’s first National Obesity Strategy, an ambitious 10-year framework for action to prevent and reduce overweight and obesity in Australia. The strategy has two ambitious goals – to halt the rise and reverse the trend in the prevalence of obesity in adults and to reduce overweight and obesity in children and adolescents by at least five per cent by 2030.
  • Consistent with the Morrison Government’s National Preventive Health Strategy 2021-2030, no single action will be enough to prevent and reduce obesity, instead, a systems-based approach that tackles the environmental influences and empowers individuals will be critical.
  • The Morrison Government is working with industry to increase the uptake of the front-of-pack Health Star Rating system, which 23% of Australian consumers report helps them choose healthier packaged and processed food and drinks.
  • Consistent with these supply-side measures, the National Obesity Strategy aims to reduce exposure of consumers to unhealthy food and drink marketing, promotion, and sponsorship especially for children. For example, the Strategy aims to reduce unhealthy food and drink advertising, branding and sponsorship in places visited by large numbers of people, especially children (like vending machines, supermarket checkouts and aisles, entertainment, and sporting venues).
  • These measures will reinforce industry self-regulation under the Australian Association of National Advertisers (AANA) Food & Beverages Advertising Code, which was re-launched in November 2021 with a range of new measures to respond to evolving community expectations, especially around marketing to children.

On the issue of volumetric equalising of alcohol tax, which PHAA calls for, the Coalition survey response states that:

  • The Morrison Government has committed to a ‘Lower Tax Guarantee’ as well as providing an iron clad guarantee that the Government will deliver the planned tax cuts and provide Australian workers with $100 billion in tax relief over the next four years. The guarantee covers no new taxes on Australian workers, retirees, and small businesses.
  • Incremental changes to Australia’s alcohol taxation regime over successive governments has led to a complex volumetric taxation system with different excise rates for beer, spirits, and ready-to-drink beverages. Current industry proposals continue to pull in different directions and, if all implemented, would add to complexity, and entrench differences in the taxation of different alcoholic products.
  • Post-election, the Morrison Government is committed to continuing to work with industry with a view to reduce complexity.

On the issue of a levy on sugar-sweetened products, which PHAA calls for, the Coalition survey response states that:

  • The Morrison Government will not impose a tax on sugar-sweetened products. A strategy which involves educating Australians as well as appropriately regulating sugar-sweetened products is the preferred approach to ensure the responsible consumption of these products.

Labor: In their response to PHAA, Labor writes that:

  • Labor has a proven track record of acting on harmful products including increasing the tax on Alcopops in 2008, in an effort to reduce binge drinking and it was Labor who introduce plain packaging for cigarettes in 2012.
  • If elected, an Albanese Labor Government would consider any additional regulatory protections on unhealthy products on their merit.

The Greens‘ response to PHAA’s survey states that they:

  • Are committed to the promotion of healthy choices, including a ban on the advertising of junk food and other ultra-processed foods, on media platforms and content aimed at children.
  • Support all alcoholic beverages being taxed based on alcohol content rather than value.
  • While we support a tax on sugar-sweetened products, it is not a policy that we are taking to this election. One of the recommendations from the Senate Inquiry into the Obesity Epidemic in Australia established by the Greens is the introduction of a health levy on sugar-sweetened beverages.

Back to scorecard

Climate and health
Scorecard explained

Note relevant to all parties: To assist readers in making assessments of the three parties, we refer to the Climate and Health Alliance, which has examined policies in more depth and provided a more detailed scoring of the policies of major parties on climate and health issues here.

The Coalition has stated commitments that it will:

  • Invest more than $22 billion in low emissions technologies, driving over $88 billion of total investment to reduce emissions while growing the economy and creating jobs across Australia.

The same policy states that the Government is:

  • Investing in big projects including Snowy 2.0 (one of the largest pumped hydro projects in the southern hemisphere) and Tasmania’s Battery of the Nation pumped-hydro.
  • Supporting [through the existing “green bank”] more than 23,500 emission reduction and energy efficiency projects across Australia.
  • Making carefully considered and targeted investments in transmission projects to support new renewables coming online – including investing a further $84 million in microgrids for remote communities.

The Coalition, which has been in government since 2013, also states that the Government’s existing “technology-driven Long Term Emissions Reduction Plan sets out a credible pathway to net zero by 2050”, and that existing policy is “on track to reach net zero emissions by 2050 and we have a clear plan to achieve it, focused on technologies and not taxes.”

In their response to PHAA, Labor states that:

  • Labor will deliver the first National Climate Health Strategy and make Climate Health a National Health Priority.

Labor has further released stated policies to bring about emissions reductions including:

  • Upgrade the electricity grid to fix energy transmission and drive down power prices.
  • Make electric vehicles cheaper with an electric car discount and Australia’s first National Electric Vehicle Strategy.
  • Adopt the Business Council of Australia’s recommendation for facilities already covered by the Government’s Safeguard Mechanism that emissions be reduced gradually and predictably over time, to support international competitiveness and economic growth – consistent with industry’s own commitment to net zero by 2050.
  • Protect the competitiveness of Emissions Intensive Trade Exposed industries by ensuring they will not face a greater constraint than their competitors.
  • Allocate up to $3 billion from Labor’s National Reconstruction Fund to invest in green metals (steel, alumina and aluminium); clean energy component manufacturing; hydrogen electrolysers and fuel switching; agricultural methane reduction and waste reduction.
  • Provide direct financial support for measures that improve energy efficiency within existing industries and develop new industries in Regional Australia through a new Powering the Regions Fund.
  • Roll out 85 solar banks around Australia to ensure more households can benefit from rooftop solar.
  • Install 400 community batteries across the country.
  • Demonstrate Commonwealth leadership by reducing the Australian Public Service’s own emissions to net zero by 2030.
  • Invest in 10,000 New Energy Apprentices and a New Energy Skills Program.
  • Establish a real-world vehicle fuel testing program to inform consumer choice.
  • Work with large businesses to provide greater transparency on their climate related risks and opportunities.
  • Re-establish leadership by restoring the role of the Climate Change Authority, while keeping decision-making and accountability with Government and introducing new annual Parliamentary reporting by the Minister.

The Greens‘ response to PHAA’s survey states that they:

  • Are committed to an emissions reduction target of 75% by 2030 and net zero by 2035. To achieve this, the Greens will immediately ban the construction of new coal, oil and gas infrastructure, and phase out the mining, burning and export of thermal coal by 2030.
  • [Their] plan also includes Large-scale public investment in renewable energy and storage so we can transition to 100% renewable energy.

The Greens’ online policy also states that their plan includes:

  • Large-scale public investment in renewable energy and storage, to replace every coal-fired power plant in the country by 2030, ensuring we deal with the climate emergency in time
  • Upgrading the electricity transmission and distribution grid, integrating more wind and solar energy while ensuring we keep the lights on 
  • The creation of a publicly owned non-profit power retailer, to push power prices down and end price gouging by the big energy companies

The Greens’ response to PHAA’s survey further states that they would:

  • Support households and small businesses to get off gas and move to electric alternatives, that are better for our health and the environment through, grants of up to $25k and loans up to $100k
  • Kickstart a household battery boom, with grants of up to $10k and loans up to $50k

Back to scorecard

Healthy democracy and public policy-making
Scorecard explained

The Coalition had, in 2018, announced a commitment to establishing a Commonwealth Integrity Commission to fight corruption during the 2019-22 Parliament. However, this was not implemented. The Coalition has released a draft version of legislation and states that it will seek support for it from Parliament in the next term.

In their survey response letter to PHAA, the Coalition notes the existing obligations of ministers in dealing with lobbyists, and regarding disclosure of political donations, but the Coalition does not propose any new policies. The response does not indicate any support for PHAA’s call for banning of political donations from unhealthy industry sectors, such as tobacco, alcohol, sugar, gambling, and fossil fuels.

In their response to PHAA, Labor states that:

  • An Albanese Labor Government will establish a powerful, transparent and independent National Anti-Corruption Commission. Labor is also committed to amend the Commonwealth Electoral Act to require that political donations above $1,000 are disclosed within 7 days.

Labor has previously supported in Parliament important reforms to political finance – such as stronger disclosure threshold and timing rules. Their Platform (p 70-71) states that Labor will:

  • Strengthen and enhance the integrity of Australia’s electoral system through overdue campaign financing reform.
  • Minimise the disproportionate influence of vested interests in the democratic process by supporting an effective and practical public funding system of elections and limiting the level of federal campaign expenditure, through the introduction of spending caps.

The Labor survey response does not indicate any specific proposals to reform regulation of lobbying, and does not indicate any support PHAA’s call for banning of political donations from unhealthy industry sectors, such as tobacco, alcohol, sugar, gambling, and fossil fuels.

Labor has also expressed a commitment to a National Anti-Corruption Commission, as stated on their website:

  • An Albanese Labor Government will establish a powerful, transparent and independent National Anti-Corruption Commission.

The Greens‘ response to PHAA’s survey states that they will:

  • Strengthen the Lobbying Code of Conduct, ensure that in-house lobbyists are regulated, and publish Ministerial diaries so the public can see who has been meeting with Ministers and influencing policy decisions. We will also prevent Ministers and assistant Ministers from taking on industry lobbying roles within 5 years of leaving parliament.
  • Ban all political donations from the tobacco, alcohol, gambling and fossil fuel industries. While our current policy would not explicitly ban donations from the sugar industry, it would limit any donation to $1,000 per year and require it to be immediately disclosed

The Greens’ online policies also state the following:

  • The Greens will ban all political donations from the mining, development, tobacco, alcohol, gambling, banking, defence and pharmaceutical industries, and cap all other donations at $1,000 per year to ensure that governments work for the people, not the highest bidder.
  • Stop Ministers taking cushy industry jobs in industries they used to regulate within 5 years of leaving parliament

The policy also lists the following actions:

  • Shine a light on corruption and unethical behaviour through a strong Federal integrity commission where corrupt politicians are held accountable
  • Lift parliamentary standards with an enforceable Code of Conduct. Introduce truth in political advertising laws, and ensure public money is not being used to promote political party interests.
  • Fund the Australian National Audit Office to audit all government programs and stop the rorting of public funds  

Back to scorecard

Revision

  • Parties have been asked to respond to a survey by Thursday 5 May so that material can be published in time for the commencement of early voting on Monday 9 May.
  • Updates will appear as new information becomes available or new policies are released
  • If parties wish to see new material included, or seek changes to our presentation, please email policy@phaa.net.au.

%d bloggers like this: