Australia has a "once-in-a-generation" chance to rebuild the economy, to reset and renew, but the government's budget has left people behind, Labor leader Anthony Albanese said on Thursday night.
Mr Albanese used the budget reply speech to hit a sore spot for the government, which did not announce new funding for the sector, and has been criticised for aiming stimulus measures squarely at male dominated industries.
"Women have suffered most during the pandemic, but are reduced to a footnote," Mr Albanese said.
"The most the government can offer is they can drive on a road."
Labor would remove the annual cap on the childcare subsidy and increase the maximum subsidy to 90 per cent if it were to win government, Mr Albanese said.
Many women can't afford to work more than three days a week due to childcare costs, Mr Albanese said, and investing in childcare would increase female participation in the workforce and drive productivity.
The plan for childcare reform would save 97 per cent of families between $600 and $2900 a year, Labor says.
The party would also commission a Productivity Commission review into the sector to get a 90 per cent subsidy for childcare for all families.
Labor would also spend $20 billion on upgrading Australia's electricity transmission system and create a government corporation to take charge of "rewiring the nation".
Drawing on a plan by the Australian Energy Market Operator for an integrated system plan for the national electricity market, it would mean building new and upgrading existing electricity infrastructure to better integrate renewables in the grid.
"Australia's electricity network was designed for a different country," Mr Albanese said.
"For a time when solar panels ran pocket calculators, not the one-in-four households which have rooftop solar."
Mr Albanese also announced Labor's manufacturing plan, which includes a national rail manufacturing plan to ensure new trains are built in Australia.
It also includes rules to ensure a local involvement in the $270 billion of defence spending planned in coming decades.
Continuing his criticism that the government is not delivering on its announcements, Mr Albanese told the story of Zoey Salucci, the young woman who refused to shake Prime Minister Scott Morrison's hand after bushfires hit Cobargo in January.
Many people affected by fires are still living in temporary accommodation, he said.
"That's why the true test of this budget isn't this week's headlines, it's not the rhetoric or the promises," he said.
"It's whether the money reaches people who need it."
While not attacking the government for the level of debt, which is set to reach more than a trillion dollars, Mr Albanese said the budget didn't solve issues which were worsened by the pandemic, like insecure work, and the aged care system.