Kerryn Boogaard Kerryn Boogaard
Beverly Goldsmith Beverly Goldsmith
Zoe Bingley-Pullin Zoe Bingley-Pullin

New Year’s Message from Julia Gillard:

The Prime Minister's message for 2013.
By Julia Gillard
Date: January 01 2013
Editor Rating:

At the start of a New Year, we take stock of our lives and make resolutions for the future.

As a nation, we can confidently do the same.

We live in a wonderful country, the best country on earth.

In the toughest of times, our economy has been resilient.

Unlike the rest of the world, we have a growing economy, low unemployment, low interest rates and strong public finances.

To ensure that our nation's children inherit from us a land of even greater promise and opportunity we have to support families today, modernise our economy, improve our schools and invest in a better system of care and support for Australians with health care needs and disability.

Families are getting on with the hard work of raising children and even in our resilient economy, families can find it hard to make ends meet and to manage the struggle and juggle of modern family life.

Thousands of new mums are now benefiting from paid parental leave every year, and from New Year's Day dads will get two weeks of paid leave just for them, so they can spend more time with their new baby too.

We are also investing more money than ever before in helping families with their childcare costs and because the costs keep coming when children go to school, in 2013, for the first time, families will get the new School Kids Bonus.

A typical family is $720 a year better off than under the old system.

This on top of $4000 in extra payments for teenagers, and tax cuts over the past year which means that no tax is paid by those who earn under $18,000 a year and with interest rates at historic lows, there's an extra $100 a week saved on the average mortgage.

In 2013, we will also be implementing my plan for electricity prices, which will hold bills down by up to $250 a year.

While all this help is welcome, families hit a crisis without the benefit of a job. In an uncertain global economy, currently dominated by talk of the US fiscal cliff, I will always do what is right to support jobs and growth.

That's why we are making the right economic choices to support jobs today, nurturing the mining boom, supporting our manufacturing sector and investing in training so Aussies can look forward to the prospects of a better job or the option to start their own business.

While creating jobs today, we have to also take the right decisions today so that our economy can be a winner tomorrow.

As Asia becomes the biggest consumer market in the world, new opportunities are opening up for the Australian economy and for individual Australians.

We will have to be smart to grab these opportunities.

We can and should be a world leader in school education.

2013 will be the year in which we commit ourselves as a nation to change in every school to give every child the best possible chance.

As we keep working to improve our health care system, with more doctors and nurses and more money in to hospitals and community health care, in 2013 we will start to build the next great change to our system of care and support for each other.

In July, we will launch our National Disability Insurance Scheme, a new system to provide decent support, options and choices for Australians with disability.

This Scheme will take time to build but it will ultimately mean every Australian has the reassurance of knowing that if the worst happens, then help will be at hand.

So let's say Happy New Year to each other in a spirit of confidence and optimism.

We live in a great nation, we have a clear plan for the future and in 2013 we will work together to realise it.

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