Local media releases - Terri Butler MP, Labor for Griffith

Butler Urges Passage of Abortion Law Reform

Terri Butler MP has commended the Palaszczuk government for today's decision to accept the Queensland Law Reform Commission's report on abortion decriminalisation.

"It is well past time that these 19th century laws, criminalising abortion, be removed from the statute books," Terri Butler said.

"I urge each member of the Queensland parliament to favourably consider the Law Reform Commission's report, and to support the Palaszczuk's proposed legislation," she said.

MONDAY, 16 JULY 2018

Butler Wishes All Aboriginal People and Torres Strait Islanders, and All Southsiders, a Happy NAIDOC Week

Terri Butler wishes all Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islanders, along with all Southsiders, a happy NAIDOC Week.

“I acknowledge the Jagera people and Turrbal people, along with all local First Nations communities, as the traditional owners of the land,” Ms Butler said.

“NAIDOC Week is a time for us to celebrate the achievements and contributions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

“This year’s theme - Because of Her, We Can – invites reflection on, and celebration of, the active and significant role of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women.

“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women have always been involved in cultural, social, and political life. From first contact, to the front line of the Aboriginal Tent Embassy in 1972, and the Uluru First Nations Constitutional Convention,” she said.

Terri Butler will attend today’s NAIDOC week community day at Musgrave Park from 1.30 pm today.

FRIDAY, 13 JULY 2018

Butler Supports Rally to Save the ABC

Time and time again, Mr Turnbull and the Liberals have shown contempt for the Australian people and the ABC services on which they rely.

”The Liberals are cutting funding to the ABC, and their conference voted to privatise it,” Terri Butler said.

“Labor believes the ABC is one of Australia’s most important public institutions, which is why we have committed to reversing Malcolm Turnbull’s unfair $83.7 million cut and have guaranteed stable funding.”

“Southsiders are fed up with the government’s constant attacks on the ABC – be it slashing funding or attacking the ABC’s independence,” she said.

Terri Butler will attend today’s rally to save the ABC at 11.30 outside the ABC offices at South Bank.


Who is Right, Minister Tehan or the Department?

Despite the government claiming that there have been remediation works done at the Bulimba Barracks site, the Defence Department has now said no remediation work has been done.

“Since 2015 I have been seeking information about contamination at the Bulimba Barracks site and what is being done to remediate the site,” Terri Butler said.

“The then Minister, Minister Tehan, told me, in writing, twice, that some remediation works had been done at the site, in response to contamination found in 2015,” she said.

But, on 23 May 2018, the Defence Department stated, in answer to a Question on Notice from February 2018:

“Defence has not undertaken any remediation works at Bulimba. In 2015, a Preliminary Site Investigation and Radiological Assessment were carried out at the site at a cost of $75,000.00. Defence does not intend to undertake further remediation on the site.”

“The government must come clean and say who is correct about whether remediation has occurred. Was the Minister correct, or is the Department correct?” Terri Butler said. 

“Locals living near the Bulimba Barracks site deserve answers,” she said.

MONDAY, 28 MAY 2018

Post-Budget Politics in the Pub

Terri Butler MP will be hosting a post-Budget Politics in the Pub next Friday evening for locals to hear what the Budget will mean for them.

“Scott Morrison has handed down a Budget that could only come from a government that’s completely out of touch” Ms Butler said.

“Mr Turnbull has steadfastly refused to reverse his $2.2 billion cuts to university funding, his $17 billion cuts to schools funding, or his $80 billion tax cuts for multinationals and millionaires.

“This government isn’t working well for Queenslanders, and continues to pursue policies that harm young people, families, and communities.

“That’s why I’m hosting a Politics in the Pub next Friday night – so Southsiders can hear what this Budget will mean for them.

“I am pleased that Sam Pidgeon, Vice President of the Queensland Teachers’ Union, and Mark Pace, President of the National Union of Students, have agreed to join me for this event.

“Sam and Mark are both committed activists who are passionate about eliminating inequality and ensuring that all Australians have access to quality services,” Terri Butler said.

The Politics in the Pub will be at the Stones Corner Hotel, 346 Logan Rd, Stones Corner, at 6pm on Friday 18 May.


A Budget of missed opportunity for the Southside

This was Budget afforded the Turnbull government with a chance to bring back fairness, and reverse some of the damage done since 2014, Terri Butler said.

"The Turnbull government missed an opportunity to bring fairness back tonight," she said.

"It was a Budget of missed opportunity for the nation and for the Southside.

"It was a Budget that is affected by this government's propensity to fight culture wars. Cutting the ABC is nothing more than a further attempt to pander to Pauline Hanson and One Nation.  

"Worse, it's a Budget that still seeks to spend $80 billion on corporate tax cuts, while finding ways to make pensioners, families, and students pay.

"The Budget has confirmed that Mr Turnbull is cutting the energy supplement, costing pensioners $14 a fortnight, and forcing people to keep working until they are 70. 

"The Turnbull government is also still cutting $17 billion from schools, and has $270 million in new cuts to TAFE.

"The latter is particularly outrageous after last year's Budget cuts to vocational education. 

"In tonight's Budget, there's a freeze on the rebate for specialists. That will be passed on to patients. Out-of-pocket costs are already excessive. 

"The electorate of Griffith has Queensland's fourth-highest out-of-pocket costs for specialist visits, at 
$79.16 on average. People need relief, not a further imposition.

"Funding just 14,000 new in-home aged care packages over four years is another failure. Funding is being cut from residential aged care to pay for this measure. There are still 100,000 people on the Turnbull government’s waiting list for in-home care.  

"A Shorten Labor Government will make different budgetary choices. 

"We will improve schools, fix hospitals and save Medicare. We will make university more accessible, guarantee the future of TAFE and put local jobs first. We will deliver genuine tax relief for working Australians, protect pensioners and improve the budget bottom line," she said.

TUESDAY, 8 May 2018

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Labor will Axe the "Tampon Tax"

A Shorten Labor Government will end Australia’s unfair and discriminatory “tampon tax”, partnering with the states and territories to remove the GST on women’s sanitary products.

This is a tax on women in Griffith.

Member for Griffith, Terri Butler, said it was time the unfair tax was ended.

“Australian women are hit with the 10 per cent GST on these products– around $30 million a year in tax – because they are not considered necessities. 

“The tax shouldn’t have been applied in the first place – there is no question that sanitary products aren’t a luxury item. They are necessary for reproductive health and hygiene.

“At the same time, products such as incontinence pads, sunscreen and nicotine patches – even Viagra – are exempt from the tax. 

“That’s why Labor is leading the way to abolish this tax on sanitary items.”

Terri Butler said that Malcolm Turnbull should announce plans in next month’s Budget to scrap the tampon tax.

“Labor is offering a solution to end this tax - there is no reason for Malcolm Turnbull to refuse it.

“If Mr Turnbull fails to adopt Labor’s policy, a Shorten Labor Government will work with state and territory governments to scrap the tax urgently upon coming to office.” 

To offset the loss of revenue to the states from GST on sanitary items, GST will be applied consistently to 12 natural therapies that are sometimes GST free, such as herbalism and naturopathy.

Ensuring the GST is applied to these therapies will bring their GST treatment into line with bipartisan policy to remove the private health insurance rebate from them.

These natural therapies are not supported by clinical evidence, as the Commonwealth’s Chief Medical Officer and the National Health and Medical Research Council found in a review in 2015.

At a time when government budgets are tight, the GST health exemption should only cover items with proven clinical effectiveness.

“Scrapping the tampon tax will make sanitary products more affordable – but just as importantly, it will be an important step forward in gender equity,” Terri Butler said.


Labor will Protect Griffith from Mr Turnbull's Private Health Hike

87 606 people in Griffith will receive relief from rising private health insurance premiums with a Shorten Labor Government to cap the price increases of private health insurers at 2% for two years.

This will save 11 054 families in Griffith an average $340.

Labor knows every dollar counts – and that the status quo in private health insurance cannot continue.

With the ten-year average annual premium increases at 5.5 per cent, Labor’s move to enforce a two percent premium cap will see savings across the board:

Single currently paying average $1975 in 2018 – will save $143

Young couple with no kids paying average $3993 in 2018 – will save $290

Single parent currently paying average $3641 in 2018 – will save $264

Family currently paying average $4731 – will save $344

Older couple paying $4771 – will save $347


Member for Griffith, Terri Butler said that only Labor has a plan to shift the balance back in the interests of families, rather than the big health insurance companies. 


“I know our community needs action on private health insurance - prices are up, profits are up – but quality and value are way down,” Terri Butler said.


“Families are paying an average of more than $1,000 every year for private health than they were when the Liberals came to power in 2013.


“Wage growth is at an all-time low. But the profits of private health insurers are at an all-time high.


“That’s why we have made this unprecedented decision to shift the balance back to consumers – helping 11 054 families access the health care they need while taking pressure off the weekly budget.”


Labor will also task the Productivity Commission with the most significant review of the private health system in 20 years to improve the value, quality and affordability of private health insurance for every Australian. 


Terri Butler said that the Turnbull Government is failing to help Australians with the affordability of private health insurance, and as a result, people are walking away from private health altogether.


“Labor is choosing to put 11 054 families in Griffith first, instead of the interests of the multi-billion dollar private health industry.


“Only Labor understands that Australians are struggling with the cost of living under Turnbull. We understand the importance of protecting our world-class health system – Labor built Medicare and we will always fight for Medicare.


“And we know more needs to be done to help people access the health care they need through private health insurance – and that’s why we are backing Australians, not private health insurance giants.”



  • In 2016-17, Australians paid $4 billion more in private health insurance premiums than they got back in benefits, and the private health insurance industry made pre-tax profits of $1.8 billion.
  • At the same time, premiums increased by almost 2.5 times the consumer price index – an average $200 increase for families.
  • Premiums have increased by 27% since the Liberals were elected in 2013 – including the rise due in April. This includes the two highest premium increases since 2005.
  • Australians are paying a lot more for their health insurance policies and getting a lot less.  Ten years ago, only 8.6 per cent of health insurance policies contained exclusion, now it’s 40 per cent.
  • Last year, the private health insurance industry raked in $1.8 billion in profit before tax. Most publicly companies get a return on equity of about 8 per cent. The banks average in excess of 10 per cent.  Some of the biggest health insurance providers pocket a return of over 20 per cent.

Southside Families to be Hit Hard by Child Care Changes

Southside families are going to be hit hard by Mr Turnbull’s changes to childcare funding, Terri Butler said.

“Over 2000 families in Griffith are going to be worse off under the new subsidy model,” Terri Butler said.

“Under the Government’s package, families will have to satisfy a complex set of rules to qualify for government assistance – with a work test and a means test set to hit vulnerable families the worst. The work test will require families to satisfy minimum levels of ‘approved activities’ each fortnight – which will knock thousands of low income families out of the system.

“On top of that, every single family that accesses child care is going to be hit with a hidden five per cent tax

“This is the latest in a long line of changes that Mr Turnbull and the Liberals have tried to hide from Australian families.

“Amongst the chaos of this complicated new package, families are being asked to apply to Centrelink to have their payments processed.

“This will add a further, unnecessary, layer of bureaucracy, as well as putting more pressure on the already overwhelmed Centrelink.

“Griffith parents deserve better than these unfair changes,” Ms Butler said.


ANZAC Day in Griffith community

Today’s Anzac Day marks 103 years since our ANZACs first landed on the beaches at Gallipoli in the First World War.

This year also marks the final Anzac Day of the Anzac Centenary commemorations in which we remember the original Anzacs and why they fought.

This year on Anzac Day we also commemorate the Centenary of the Battle of Villers-Bretonneux.

Throughout April of 1918 Australian and British forces fought tirelessly on the Western Front to recapture the town of Villers-Bretonneux, successfully doing so exactly 3 years after our diggers first stormed the beaches at Gallipoli. This ongoing battle was costly with more than a thousand lives lost during throughout the month.

This year we also commemorate the Centenary of the Battle of Hamel, Centenary of the Battle of Amiens and the Centenary of the First World War Armistice on 11 November.

On Anzac Day we remember all Australians who served and died in all conflicts, wars and operational service.

This year we also remember significant World War II anniversaries, in particular the 75th Anniversary of the Battle of the Atlantic and the 75th Anniversary of the Hellfire Pass and the Thai Burma Railway.

This year also marks 65 years since the Korean War Armistice in which more than 17,000 Australian Diggers served, with 340 killed and more than 1,200 wounded.

The 50th Anniversary of the Battles of Fire Support Bases Coral and Balmoral will also be remembered in May for their significance during the Vietnam War.

We reflect on these conflicts and are reminded of the impacts of war - the depth of our gratitude remains unchanged.

This morning I attended the Bulimba District RSL Sub Branch dawn service at Morningside, the Greenslopes Private Hospital dawn service, the Bulimba march and service, and the Camp Hill State School service, to pay respect to all of our men and women who paid the ultimate sacrifice. At noon I will attend the Bulimba Memorial Bowls service.

Each town across the country has its own story and connection of war and today we honour and renew that personal connection.

We are reminded of the spirit of Anzac, with its qualities of courage, mateship, endurance and sacrifice, which continue to beat in the hearts of all Australians today.

Lest we forget.


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