Rudd’s Reddit Q&A: View the answers

August 29, 2013 by  
Filed under Solar Energy Tips

Labor will open another 10 Headspace centres and expand the service’s online presence in a $34 million boost to youth mental health services.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd revealed the promise during an “ask me anything” session on the social media service Reddit on the popular ‘Reddit’ website, famous for its ‘Ask Me Anything’ question and answer sessions.

“I was going to announce this in the next couple of days, but since you’ve asked I’ll tell you now,” he said in response to a question about more funding for mental health services.

The $34 million pledge would bring the total number of Headspace centres up to 100 around the country.

The centres offer specialised help for young people. “Headspace centres are working – 90 per cent of young people who have used the service reported mental health improvements – and with this expansion, we’d be able to help 80,000 young people every year,” Mr Rudd said.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd  also answered questions on Syria, asylum seekers and climate — as well as his favourite beer. Take a look at some of the questions and how they were answered by the Labor leader.

Question: Hey Kevin – why do you believe that “BOAT PEOPLE” are such a big issue in this country? We’re the only country that really cares about this, and it saddens and confuses me.

Answer: The thing that worries me most is the number of drowning. That’s not the fault of boat people, that’s the fault of people smugglers. Australia continues to welcome 20,000 refugees a year through our official humanitarian program from refugee camps around the world. KRudd

Question: How do you see the relationship between Australia and China (both economically and culturally) changing as we go into the future? Also I’m currently studying Mandarin as a second language. Do you have any tips? :)

Answer: Getting closer and closer, which is good. As for the language, perseverance and singing in the shower, helps with the tones. KRudd.

Question: How do you feel about military intervention in Syria?

Answer: We can’t let a chemical weapons attack on innocent civilians go unanswered. Needs a robust response. Precise contents still to be determined. KRudd

Question: Rudd dog. What’s the deal with the media outlets jumping in bed with the opposition and the amount of smeary ads they have put out about you? Love your work and the NBN so keep it up, i have a need for speed and Australia as whole has a need for infrastructure.
Answer: Back at ya j3za dog…

The media have their view – it’s been out there, and people will I think see it for what it is.
As for the NBN, that’s a crucial issue for Australia, our economy, tapping the potential of our creative people, and for, of course, all people on Reddit who also like gaming, videos and so on. If you haven’t already seen it, take a look at KRudd dog

Question: Hi Kevin. What is your policy on more funding for mental health services

Answer: Thank you for asking about this. It’s an important topic for people across Australia, and we don’t get many chances to discuss it. Issues like depression, self-harm, stress, alcoholism – these are all issues that blight lives and stop people from reaching their potential. The impact on families is also acute.

We’ve taken this area very seriously. We invested in “headspace” centres where young people can get help. It’s vital because mental health issues affect one in every four young Australians in any given year.
I was going to announce this in the next couple of days, but since you’ve asked I’ll tell you now. If we’re re-elected, a government I lead will put in a $34 million investment to open another 10 headspace centres so that we have 100 across the country. We’ll also be expanding e-headspace so people can get access to advice online too. That’s an important investment – money we want to put in so that we have services that can help.
Headspace centres are working – 90% of young people who have used the service reported mental health improvements – and with this expansion, we’d be able to help 80,000 young people every year.

Question: As an American, I would like to know what is your favorite thing about Australia?? I would love to visit some time it looks awesome

Answer: Dropbears. Dropwombats. KRudd

Question: What is your position on Australia’s response to climate change?
What is your position on Australia’s response to climate change?

Answer: First thing I did as PM was ratify the Kyoto Protocol. Second thing I did was increase our Mandatory Renewable Energy Target to 20% by 2020. Third thing is, we have a price on carbon, which will be a floating price from next July. As a result, our greenhouse gas emissions from electricity generation are down 7%. KRudd

Question: As a fellow Australian and Queenslander, I need to know, What is your favourite beer?

Answer: You’re not a queenslander if you don’t drink xxxx KRudd

Question: Mr Rudd, I have been quite shocked by the Murdoch press’ treatment of Labor – and by how they have misused their power as a giant part of the press landscape. I know that media reform is hard to achieve – but if you are returned to Government, are there any policy directions that you think may be worth pursuing to stop this type of behaviour, and help prevent the rise of a “Fox News” situation in Australia?

Answer: Australia has freedom of the press. The truth is Mr Murdoch owns 70% of the print media in Australia. This includes the Courier-Mail, The Sunday Mail in Brisbane (which is a one newspaper town); The Adelaide Advertiser and the Sunday Times in Adelaide (which is also a one newspaper town); the Hobart Mercury; The Daily Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph in Sydney, and the Herald-Sun and Sunday Herald-Sun in Melbourne.
Mr Murdoch has made plain he wants to see Mr Abbott installed as Prime Minister.
Mr Murdoch’s views are also reflected virtually every day on the front pages of the above newspapers. The Australian people will decide whether they think this is fair and balanced reporting. It’s worth having a look at Media Watch and in the meantime that’s why it is so important for all you guys out there in the social media space to express your own views and opinions on what’s important to you in this election campaign. KRudd

Question: When will you be seriously looking at drug law reforms? The war on drugs is an utter failure and a waste of tax payers money.

Answer: Australia has been a world leader for many years in pursuing a harm minimisation approach to illicit drugs and their use, especially amongst young people. We believe this is the best way to tackle this issue.
We have a National Drug Strategy here in Australia that is based on harm minimisation, rather than a ‘war on drugs’ as you’d see in some other places around the world.
When we talk about harm minimisation we’re talking about three key pillars: reducing demand for illicit and harmful drugs, reducing supply, and effectively and non-judgementally treating those who suffer the health effects of drugs and drug addiction.
Labor is committed to that approach, but we do need to continue to work with young people and experts especially, to make sure we’re communicating effectively and minimising drug related harm. We’re providing more than $600m over four years in health funding to tackle illicit drug use and provide effective early intervention and treatment. KRudd

Question: Hello Kevin, Thank you for doing this AMA. I’m a university student studying Chemistry. This will also be the first time I’ve voted in a federal election, I want to ask: What will the labor party do to promote scientific research in Australia and where do you think Australia should be heading (research wise)?

Answer: Science and technology are the foundations of Australia’s future. The government has made an unprecendented investment in science and research. We are putting in $8.6billion into science research this year and we have increased this since we came to government by 73%. I was really pleased to announce $125million for a new Medical Research Innovation Fund last week that would support further biotech research.
Thanks for your question. KRudd

Question: Hi Kevin, In the debate surrounding the NBN how come download speeds are often quoted (by both sides of politics) when the most startling gap is that of uploads?

Answer: I am passionate about the NBN. If you value our NBN then you’ve got to get people to vote for it. Because Mr Abbott is going to disconnect it. Here are the basic differences between our fibre-optic plan for the 21st century and Mr Abbott’s clapped out copper wire plan from the previous century. And you’re right, upload speeds are the key to the future. Which is why the NBN isn’t optional, it’s mandatory. KRudd

Question: Mr Rudd, Can you please explain why both sides of politics are intent on returning the budget to surplus when basic economic theory suggests that we should be doing the exact opposite as we head into an economic downturn?

Answer: Global economic circumstances are uncertain. During the GFC, we deliberately stimulated the economy by public investment once the private economy started contracting rapidly. That’s largely why we managed to stay out of recession which would have put hundreds of thousands of people out of work and smashed small businesses across the country. In our present circumstances, we are bringing the budget back to surplus over time so that we don’t trigger a recession. The big difference with Mr Abbott is that his $70 billion of cuts risk triggering a recession now. This is a risk and danger I believe Australians can not afford at this time.
If you want to see what really lights up the lights of the alternative Treasurer of Australia then have a look at this one.

Question: How fast can you down a pint?
Answer: Still not as fast as Hawkie. KRudd

Question: Hi Kevin, As a 30 something, I am trying to provide a home for my family. However prices for homes are currently astronomical being 9 times the average wage compared 3 times the average wage 20 to 30 years ago. I strongly believe that there are government policies (in particular negative gearing) is turning our country into a nation of renters instead of a nation of owners and is draining the monetary resources of all aspiring home owners which means they don’t spend the money in the general economy.
And the evidence shows that negative gearing does not address any supply issues ( 7% of negatively geared properties are existing stock instead of new houses/apartments).
Why have you (or the opposition) not noticed this (and the effect it has had on the general community) and changed the tax policy so that everyone gets the chance at home ownership and not just the rich or the ones who bought before the 10 year boom that started in 2000?
It doesn’t have to be all in straight away, instead just phase it in.

Answer: To address housing supply the first thing we have done is to bring in the national rental affordability scheme that is designed to provide 50,000 units worth of affordable rental housing across the country. The second thing is to reduce the cost of land developments for new housing for co-investing with developers. The third is that we have added another 20,000 units of social housing across the country and repaired 80,000.
On top of that we now have interest rates at the lowest they have been in 60 years. That means on a $300,000 mortgage you are now paying $6000 a year less. Still I agree there is much more to be done.

Question: Mr Rudd, why a conscience vote for marriage equality, if you get elected surely you have a mandate to implement it?

Answer: My personal belief is that the time for marriage equality has come.
I’ve also said that within 100 days of the government being re-elected, Parliament would consider legislation. The way to get such legislation passed is for Mr Abbott to allow a conscience vote for his party just like we allow for ours. In any debate on these sorts of questions, Australia of the 21st century should not tolerate any element of homophobia. KRudd


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