Chesters Outlines Priorities for 2021 as Parliament Resumes

Federal Member for Bendigo, Lisa Chesters is getting set to head back to Canberra for the first time this year, with a big agenda for the electorate.

“Parliament resumes on Tuesday and there’s a number of key things I’m planning to raise,” Chesters said.


Instead of a plan to get Australians back into work, Scott Morrison is leaving people behind to go it alone.

There are still a number of industries across Central Victoria, including the events, tourism and travel sectors, struggling to make ends meet as a result of COVID-19.

The Government should be considering options to provide targeted support beyond March for the workers, small businesses, industries and areas of Australia which are doing it especially tough. 

Both JobKeeper and JobSeeker are set to end in March, that means local businesses will be left on their own to pay wages and people on support payments will be back to the old NewStart rate, which we know led to poverty.

It is too early to be reducing the rate of the Coronavirus Supplement, which is helping families keep their heads above water.

The Government should also commit to a permanent increase in the base rate of unemployment benefits.

Regional Infrastructure

The lack of funding for regional infrastructure needs to be addressed.

Investment in large projects is a practical way to support jobs, tourism and the economy as we recover from the pandemic.

Key projects I’d like to the federal government invest in include the Bendigo Airport Terminal Expansion and an ongoing Sporting Infrastructure Upgrade and Maintenance fund.

Child Care

The Morrison Government do not have a plan to fix child care and support families get back to work. 

Australians pay some of the highest child care costs in the world and under the Liberal Government fees have increased by more than 35%.

Before COVID, fees across Bendigo had skyrocketed by 4.2% in 12 months.

Women should be able to return to work to earn money, not just to be able to afford child care.

A Labor Government will introduce the Cheaper Child Care for Working Families plan to cut child care fees, scrap the subsidy cap and put more money into the pockets of working families, straight away.

Aged Care

Australia’s aged care system has been broken for years and the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted how desperately the sector needs serious reform

The federal government regulates and funds aged care, if the system is not working, it is the government’s fault and action needs to be taken.

The Morrison Government should immediately act on aged care and implement Labor’s eight-point plan, which was recently supported by Bendigo locals in the findings of my local Aged Care Report.

“It is an honour to represent the people of Bendigo in Federal Parliament and I will do my best this year to ensure all voices are heard,” Chesters said.

“As our region continues to recover from the pandemic, it is my mission to make sure no one is left behind.”