By NISHANT KULKARNI
More than $1 billion will be set aside to tackle environment problems if Labor wins the election this weekend, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said at the party's campaign launch on Sunday.
It was among a range of promises likely to appeal to young voters, after a surge of 70,000 late enrolments led to a record of more than 88 per cent of Australians aged 18-24 enrolled.
Mr Shorten said the $1 billion fund would be used to tackle a crisis in species extinction, cut single-use plastics, protect the beaches from pollution, clean up the rivers, and protect the Great Barrier Reef.
Despite Labor’s promise on the Great Barrier Reef, they have been accused of supporting the Adani coal mine as they have not publicly said they would not support it.
According to Triple J’s What’s Up in Your World survey, conducted in 2018, only 7 per cent of young Australians think politicians are working in their best interests.
The survey also said that 88 per cent of millennials felt negative about the future of the environment.
The Labor Party has pledged to work towards reducing these statistics.
The Opposition has also pledged to protect patients and families affected by alcohol abuse by regulating for-profit drug and alcohol treatment providers.
Mr Shorten said a Labor government would “ensure that Australians who need and seek help for addiction get that help, unlike the Liberals”.
Labor would improve housing affordability by reforming negative gearing and capital gains tax arrangements.
“Australia currently has the most generous property tax concessions in the world which lets first-time buyers compete with a person that could have five or six properties,” Mr Shorten said.
“Lowering these taxes which give a fair opportunity to university students that are going to invest in their first home.
“The party has also promised a more accessible university system where everyone will get a fair chance.”
Two hundred thousand Australians from rural areas will be given a chance to go to university at the cost of $74 million.
This investment will come on top of Labor's commitment to abolish the Coalition's cap on university placements.
“Scott Morrison says he can’t find the money to fund unis properly, but he can find billions to give away to the top end of town. His priorities are all wrong,” Mr Shorten said.
The 2019 Australian federal election will take place this Saturday, May 18.