WEDNESDAY, 15 AUGUST 2018
SUBJECT: Fraser Anning’s first speech to Parliament, National Energy Guarantee
JOURNALIST: Your response to Senator Anning's comments last night, Mr Shorten?
BILL SHORTEN, LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: There is no place in the Parliament for these outdated and racist views. This nation works best when we work together.
When I see some people advocating for picking on minorities, who contribute to this country, it's repugnant and disgraceful. No doubt Senator Anning and some of the few people who share his views say it's political correctness to stand up for minorities. It's not. It's just good manners.
The idea in this country that someone's faith makes you a first or second-class Australian is rubbish.
I'm heading down to the War Memorial soon, a simple survey of the sacrifices made in both the first and second war show that Muslim citizens of their countries stood up and fought alongside all other citizens in the Great War and the Second World War.
I just want to say to people of faiths which are not the majority in this country, you pay your taxes, you're good parents, you're good neighbours, I respect you, and most Australians do not want to see us going back to 1958.
Any other questions?
JOURNALIST: He's advocated for a return to <inaudible> immigration policy but insists it's not race or religion based. But is that not the White Australia policy?
SHORTEN: When you say that you don't want people of a certain religion in this country, you can pretend it's whatever it is, it's just racism.
We are not being swamped by Muslims in this country. Let's just say it as it is. All people who come to this country should adhere to our laws and to Australian values. But I do not like seeing majorities pick on minorities. That is not the Australian way, and it's certainly a view which has no place in our society and in our Parliament.
Jono, last question.
JOURNALIST: Will you back the NEG? You talked about a bipartisan approach to energy policy - will you support Malcolm Turnbull's National Energy Guarantee? Would you support those add ons, breaking up eventually the electricity companies if they don't reduce prices, or some sort of other effort to make sure the prices do come down?
SHORTEN: What we will do now is carefully consider what the Government is proposing. The nation's had to wait to see how the Coalition even begin to work out their own agreements.
I mean, my opposite number wants a medal merely because he got a majority of his own people to support him. It's almost like you think he'd climbed Mount Everest.
That's not the issue. It's not about the internal warfare of the Liberal Party. What matters to me is lower prices for Australian families and Australian businesses. What matters to me, is reducing our pollution emissions. What matters to me is creating more Australian jobs in renewable energy.
So what we will do is we will consider whatever the Government deals have been done to keep their own people momentarily happy, or not in an open state of rebellion.
What matters to me is more renewable energy in the system because that leads to lower prices and that is the basis upon which we will scrutinise the Government's propositions.
Thank you, everybody.