Date posted: 17/05/2019

Education, environment & employment: The three important E’s you need to know | Federal Election 2019

With the upcoming 2019 federal election this Saturday and 10 per cent of millennials expected to vote, are you aware of how your education, environment and employment policies affect you?

In Brief

  • Employment is considered the most important issue in this election by 6 per cent of Australians aged 18-34
  • The climate crisis is at the top of each party’s agenda in alignment with the concerns of millennial voters

Your vote in this Saturday’s federal election will help shape Australia, but are you aware of how your education prospects might be affected by the outcome?

According to the 2019 ABC Vote Compass survey of 119,516 Australians, 29 per cent of Australians are concerned about the environment, 6 per cent about employment issues and 5 per cent about education policies1.

There are significant differences in a whole range of policies and budget allocations of the major parties2 which may impact you as a student.

Here's a breakdown of the key points you should read up on before you cast your vote.


The Liberal Party aims to address the lack in funding for regional students with an allocated $94 million scholarship program3. They also announced a $200 million Indigenous Youth Education Package to fund additional scholarship placements, providing support and mentoring to Indigenous students4.

Likewise, the Labor Party is prioritising $10 million for the creation of 1,300 new scholarships for Indigenous people to study at TAFE if they live outside the big cities5. In a more strategic shift, the Labor Party is proposing the return of a demand-driven university system, lifting limits on the funding of bachelor degree students at public universities so more students could benefit from higher education6.

The Coalition want to set aside $525 million to improve the vocational education and training sector, with the aim of supporting up to 80,000 new apprenticeships7. The party proposes a new "apprentice advocate" position to look after both universities and vocational education and training8.

The Labor Party has announced a $1 billion investment into reviving the TAFE sector and encouraging uptake of apprenticeships9. This involves "$334 million to incentivise an additional 150,000 apprentices, $200m to rebuild and upgrade TAFE campuses across the country, and a waiver of upfront TAFE fees for up to 100,000 people"10.


Employment is considered the most important issue in this election by 6 per cent of Australians aged 18-3411.

The Coalition has vowed to invest more than $58 million to establish 10 regional industry training hubs to create more jobs for young people in Grafton, Gosford, Alice Springs, Maryborough (Qld), Townsville, Port Pirie, Burnie, Shepparton, Wanneroo and Armadale. This investment is set to include 400 Vocational Education and Training (VET) scholarships.

The Labor Party has announced fair and just employment as part of its "same job, same pay" policy13. The introduction of the National Labour Hire Licensing Scheme will protect workers at risk of exploitation. Attention is being paid to regional areas, one example being a $10 million funding boost to revitalise TAFE in Whyalla14. With an unemployment rate more than double the national average, there is a focus on building new skills in old-industry locations15.


The climate crisis is at the top of each party's agenda in alignment with the concerns of millennial voters. Statistics show that 40 per cent of Labor voters and 44 per cent of Coalition voters aged 18-34 view the environment as one of the most important issues, if not the most important issue in this election16.

The Coalition has announced a $3.5 billion climate solutions package to be spent over 15 years, with a stated goal of reducing Australia's emissions by 26 per cent by 203017. Approximately $1.38 billion would be spent on the Snowy Hydro expansion18. Approximately $2 billion would be spent on a climate solutions fund, an extension of the current emissions reduction fund17.

In separate policy announcements the Coalition has also pledged to fund a feasibility study into a "high-efficiency, low-emissions" coal plant in north Queensland19, and has backed Queensland's Adani coal mine20.

Labor's emissions reduction goal is 45 per cent by 2030. They plan to adopt the National Energy Guarantee. If the Coalition were to block the measure in Parliament, Labor would "accelerate the uptake of renewables" via an additional $10 billion for the Clean Energy Finance Corporation and $5 billion to upgrade transmission infrastructure21.

Labor has also pledged $200 million in rebates to subsidise 100,000 batteries in homes and businesses and an investment of $1.14 billion in a national hydrogen plan22.

The effectiveness and future of recycling have been highlighted by China shutting down its market for Australia's recycling. Both major parties have developed policies to achieve a united vision for 100 per cent of Australia's packaging being reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025 at the latest23.

The Coalition is allocating a portion of its budget to tackling recycling management - $100 million for a recycling investment fund, $20 million to accelerate recycling non-biodegradable material and $20 million for research and development into tackling plastic waste24.

The Labor party is proposing a series of policies to ban single-use plastic bags and micro-beads by 2021, to create a national (rather than state-based) container deposit scheme that would pay people for recycling drink vessels, and a $60 million national recycling fund25.

Australian Federal Election 2019

Want to learn more? Check out our detailed summary of the Australian Labor Party (Labor), Liberal Party of Australia (Liberal) and the Australian Greens' tax and superannuation policies ahead of the election

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