Australian election 2016 cheat sheet

Malcolm Turnbull and Bill Shorten shake hands as they arrived for a debate in Canberra during the election campaign in late May. Photo / AP
Malcolm Turnbull and Bill Shorten shake hands as they arrived for a debate in Canberra during the election campaign in late May. Photo / AP

Most people would prefer the dentist's chair over sitting down to hear politicians ramble on about negative gearing or tax rebates.

Granted, these are important issues, but it can be hard to switch on when even the politician selling them doesn't really seem to know what they are talking about.

With Federal Election voting underway and parties keener than ever to give you an ear bashing, Daily Mail Australia has sifted through pages of sleep-inducing policy and boiled it down so you don't have to.


Childcare costs the average family at least $90 a day in Australia and both parties have proposed to shake up the system if elected.

With $3billion packages set aside to help families it's the slight variations that could make a world of difference for your children.


The Coalition has promised to help Australian families 'get ahead' by offering those with incomes between $65,000 and $170,000 around $30 a week for childcare - or $15,000 annually.

In addition, the current yearly cap on subsidies of $7,500, will be removed and families earning more than $185,000 could claim up to $10,000 a year.

The $3billion Jobs for Families child care package involves a major shakeup of the system and is hoped to be introduced by July 2018.


Labor plans to increase the childcare rebate by 15 per cent, leaving some families up to $31 better off per week.

The childcare rebate cap would also move from $7,500 to $10,000 from January 2017 - a year earlier than the current government's plan.

A further $160million to increase childcare and after-school care will also be provided for areas of high demand.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and wife Lucy cast their votes. Photo / AP
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and wife Lucy cast their votes. Photo / AP



Gonski funding was started in 2014 to ensure that all schools were resourced according to their needs.

The Coalition has said it will fund the next two years of the Gonski programme and has committed another $1.2bn towards it from 2018 to 2020.

To justify where the funding is needed, young students will be tested on reading on maths to find out those who need the most help.

The Coalition has also budgeted to cut $2bn of funding from universities and will hold a consultation before these are identified.


Labor has differentiated itself from the Coaliation by making substantial funding commitments for education.

The Gonski programme will receive $4.5bn from 2018 to 2020 and total education funding will reach $37bn in the next 10 years.

To help pay for this in part, polytech students at private colleges will be restricted to $8,000 per year - saving $6bn over the next decade.



The Coalition will keep a lid on the value of Medicare rebates paid to doctors until at least 2020.

Medical experts have warned this could make it more expensive to go to the doctor - with patient charges rising to $25 a visit by some estimates.

A cash injection of $2.9bn has been put aside to fund public hospitals.


Labor will not freeze Medicare rebates in an effort to keep the cost of a doctor's visit down.

They also plan to get rid of additional payments for pathology services and price increases for some medicines.

Public hospitals will also receive a funding boost under Labor, to the tune of around $5bn in the next four years.

Australia's opposition Labor Party leader Bill Shorten speaks about Medicare. Photo / AP
Australia's opposition Labor Party leader Bill Shorten speaks about Medicare. Photo / AP



The Liberals have promised to keep their hard-line positions on immigration and border protection.

Australia's humanitarian intake will stick at 13,750 and the 'stop the boats' pledge will remain,

The Liberals also oppose relocating Manus Island and Nauru refugees permanently relocated to Australia.


Labor has pledged to lift Australia's refugee intake from 13,750 to 27,000 - but will do so over the next 10 years.

Similar to the Liberals, they will keep a tough anti-asylum seeker stance.

They will look to relocate Manus and Nauru detainees to other United Nations countries.



The Coalition has ruled out any changes to negative gearing, saying it is used by more than a million Australians, two thirds of whom have taxable incomes below $80,000.

It instead wants to help first home buyers and others get into the market by increasing the number of houses on the market, and through other policy areas like tax cuts and job creation.

There is also a plan to crack down on work stoppages by construction unions, which it claims force up building costs, particularly on apartments, by bringing back the Australian Building and Construction Commission.


Labor has pledged to tackle housing affordability head-on by taking a blowtorch to negative gearing, which is widely held responsible for ballooning house prices.

The party would limit negative gearing to new properties.

The idea is to both reduce house prices by making investment properties less attractive, and increase housing stock by encouraging investors to build new ones.

However, it has been criticised on the grounds that it would cut house prices, by up to five per cent, making current homeowners worse off.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull greets supporters as he leaves a polling station. Photo / AP
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull greets supporters as he leaves a polling station. Photo / AP

Marriage equality


The Coalition has promised to hold a $158 million plebiscite for the Australian public to vote on whether people of the same sex should be able to legally marry.

A plebiscite is not legally binding and so the government would be able to ignore its results, however Turnbull has pledged to honour the results.


Labor has pledged to hold a free vote in parliament and considers the national vote 'unnecessary' as polls show Australian's favour marriage equality and the matter could be dealt with straight away.

The Liberal's plebiscite has also been criticised over suggestions the ensuing public debate would be toxic for the LGBTQI community.

Climate change


The Turnbull government aims for more than 23 per cent of Australian electricity to come from renewable energy by 2020. $1billion has been pledged to fund large-scale solar projects.

The Coalition plans to reduce emissions by 28 per cent by 2030 and have invested $2.55billion to incentivise businesses to reduce their emissions.

The government also introduced the 'Green Army' to plant trees across the country.


Labor says the right policies will drive jobs creation and put downward pressure on power prices.

The party plans for 50 per cent of electricity to be sourced from renewable energy by 2030 and has pledged to support solar investment.

Australian Labor Party leader Bill Shorten. Photo / AP
Australian Labor Party leader Bill Shorten. Photo / AP



The Coalition is promising $50 billion in infrastructure funding to improve road and rail links around the country. Much of this was in the Budget.

It has put a lot of stock in its City Deals, which are coordinated development plans for metro centres from Townsville to Perth, including major road upgrades and projects like the Western Sydney airport.

One of the key aims is to slash travel times around major cities so you can get anywhere within 30 minutes.

It will also help fund a slate of projects state governments are already working on or proposing, such as WestConnex in Sydney, Midland Highway upgrade in Tasmania, and upgrading 1,000km of freight rail in regional Victoria.


The centrepiece of Labor's plan is giving Infrastructure Australia $10 billion a year to loosen private sector purse strings for building projects through loans, loan guarantees and equity investments.

But there's a catch - projects will have to prove they are sustainable and have used new technology to get the most out of the new road or rail, such as using flexible lane allocations on arterial roads.

It also wants to coax people out of their cars onto public transport, or get them cycling or walking instead to ease pressure on gridlocked roads. Projects will have to show they tried this and new projects are necessary.

- Daily Mail

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