SUBJECTS: City2Surf run; R UO K? charity; Census.
LUKE GRANT: Good morning to you Bill Shorten, nice to talk to you again. You are, if I can say this Bill with the greatest of respect, becoming almost, with your fitness, Tony Abbott-like. Are you happy with that?
BILL SHORTEN, LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: [laughs] I don’t think that’s entirely fair to Tony Abbott.
GRANT: [laughs] Well I was trying to be kind to you.
SHORTEN: No I appreciate that, and to be fair also, if 80,000 people are doing it, I’m not sure it’s that extraordinary that I should be trying it.
SHORTEN: When you say it like that it’s really nothing too big. But I’m looking forward to it. It’s for a great cause. And I think the atmosphere of such a large run, I’m really looking forward to it. I think it will be a really upbeat atmosphere. I see the weather forecast is positive, so that’s good too, 19 degrees and sunny.
GRANT: And you know what? You’ll be running through much of the electorate of Wentworth, a point I’m sure that’s not lost on you.
SHORTEN: That’s true. Some people know suburbs through distinguishing landmarks, I know them through electorate boundaries.
GRANT: [laughs] Well first off, what convinced you to get fit? And why running? Why not something else?
SHORTEN: Well with running you can do it anywhere, any time. You just have to take a pair of runners, some shorts and a t-shirt. So there’s not a lot of fuss involved. The other thing is, in my job I travel a huge amount, so it’s something you can do, as I said, not only any time, but just about any place. And one of the nice things I find about jogging early in the morning through country towns and different cities or parts of Australia, you get to see the cities and the towns from a different perspective too. So I get a lot out of it. It’s good for your head, thinking time, and good exercise.
GRANT: And given it’s you doing the running, do people give you free advice as you run along?
SHORTEN: Yeah, I’ve got to say, early on when I was running people would just sort of wave, but now I’ve had people change their course of running and start jogging next to me to give me their point of view.
SHORTEN: I’ve received advice on everything from insurance to financial services to the Middle East.
SHORTEN: A little unusual that. But it is a good country. And some people remark to me that in lots of other countries you just wouldn’t see the opposition leader off for a jog on his own, you know, they’d be surrounded by bodyguards and all of the paraphernalia of political office. So I like it, it gets me out and about with people.
GRANT: Have you ever received any advice about cyber security, particularly in the last few days?
SHORTEN: No I don’t think I got as much advice as the government got.
GRANT: [laughs] Have you done your Census yet, out of interest?
SHORTEN: I haven’t finished it, no. We had a go at it, and I thought oh well, we’ll have to come back to it. I’ve got to say to people listening, please do the Census. Don’t let these glitches and delays and mistakes deter us, because it does provide immensely useful information. I don’t know why the government needed to keep people’s names and details for four years, I don’t think that’s been well explained. But when you go through the questions, it just helps us work out – it’s a photo of the nation. We can compare it to five years ago, and it helps us understand where to allocate scarce resources efficiently. It’s like a roadmap.
GRANT: Yeah you’re right, it is important. Now good luck tomorrow. There’ll be a little hill you climb, they call it Heartbreak Hill –
SHORTEN: Yes I’ve heard of this.
GRANT: Don’t go hard there. Remember at the other side of that there’s a big downhill, so you can enjoy that.
SHORTEN: Yeah, like a big truck, I might go down a gear or two as I go up the big hill.
SHORTEN: I am raising money for R U OK?. People can go to my Facebook, all the donations obviously go straight through to the charity. Really, I think – I’ve done these runs in Melbourne a fair bit, but City2Surf is really the most famous, and you know it’s the king of the fun runs, really. So, 80,000 people, it’s mind blowing, I’m really looking forward to it. I think it’s a great social thing to do.
GRANT: Good on you, I wish you well. Thanks for your time Bill, good to talk to you.