On the tenth of November 2001, the Australian people re-elected the Government and conferred upon it, for a third time, responsibility for managing the nation's affairs.
The 2001 election took place at a time of great uncertainty in the world. Strong and effective government is needed to safeguard Australia's future prosperity and security. The Government's election commitments were framed against this background and the 2002-03 Budget delivers on these commitments.
This document outlines how the Government has delivered on the commitments made to the Australia people at the 2001 election to:
- Upgrade domestic security and support Australia's contribution to the War Against Terrorism;
- Protect the integrity of Australia's borders in response to the number of people attempting to arrive unauthorised in Australia;
- Provide additional support to Australian families, for example, through the delivery of the Baby Bonus and better health care services;
- Enhance the support provided for aged care;
- Provide greater assistance to carers in our community;
- Strengthen our superannuation system;
- Create jobs and enhance education, for example, through additional funding for Apprenticeships;
- Increase services in rural and regional Australia, through initiatives such as increased access to radiation therapy for cancer patients; and
- Invest further in Australia's industry, infrastructure and resources.
The Government's policies have delivered strong economic growth since March 1996, supported by increases in productivity and the creation of 928,300 new jobs. These economic outcomes have been secured despite the impacts of the Asian financial crisis in 1997 and the international recession of 2001.
To ensure that the Australian economy remains responsive to changing international circumstances, the Government is committed to policies that encourage healthy competition in product and labour markets and continuing economic growth. These commitments will continue to deliver increases in employment, wealth and living standards for all Australians.