New PM must stand up for our families, our health and our community

The country’s largest health union, the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF) has congratulated Malcolm Turnbull on his elevation to Prime Minister and is now calling on him to remain, unlike his predecessor, true to his promises and to lead a Government that is committed to advocacy not slogans.

“Advocacy is a large part of the role of nurses and midwives. We understand what it means and how important it is, so we welcome the new PM’s promise that his Government will genuinely advocate for all Australians. And we’re asking him to start by standing up for our families, for our health and especially for our vulnerable and elderly,” ANMF Federal Secretary, Lee Thomas, said today.

“Yesterday, the Community Affairs Legislation Committee’s tabled its report on the Inquiry into the Fairer Paid Parental Leave Amendment Bill 2015. Disappointingly, the Government report, despite all the evidence presented on the negative effects of the Bill and two dissenting reports from both the Opposition and the Australian Greens, recommends proceeding with the Bill.

”Nurses and midwives are asking the new PM, as his first demonstration of advocacy for Australians, to reject the Bill and to protect and improve paid parental leave (PPL). Mr Turnbull says he is focused on growing the economy, so he must also realise that PPL delivers a great number of benefits, including increased workforce participation by women, improved retention, increased productivity, profitability and employee morale, as well as bringing positive changes in long term wages for both men and women.

“Next, and critically for nurses and midwives, we are asking the new PM to advocate for the health of all Australians. To become a more productive Australia we need to be a healthier Australia and we can only ensure this by delivering quality health care for all. We are asking the new PM to protect universal health care, to restore health funding to state and territory health systems and to re-invest in preventive and primary health care so nurses and midwives can do their jobs properly and help build a healthier Australia.

“Standing up for our families and our health would be a sign of genuine advocacy for our community. Nurses and midwives will be watching to see whether the new PM’s advocacy meets their expectations and understanding of advocacy, for the sake of all Australians.”

The ANMF, with over 240,000 members, is the professional and industrial voice for nurses, midwives and assistants in nursing in Australia.

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