Bill's Transcripts

Doorstop: Armadale - Save our weekends rally for penalty rates; Canning by-election





SUBJECT/S: Save our weekends rally for penalty rates; Canning by-election; Peter Dutton laughing at climate change; Syrian refugee crisis

MATT KEOGH, LABOR CANDIDATE FOR CANNING: Good morning everyone. It's been great to be down here in Armadale today with the community rally in support of penalty rates. Penalty rates are vitally important to protect the living standards of so many low paid Australians, that of course support our entire economy. No one’s going to have a growing economy if Mr Abbott cuts penalty rates.

So it's been great to be down here with the community in support of penalty rates and I just want to say this: Mr Hastie can't distance himself from what Mr Abbott is putting out there about trying to cut back and claw back penalty rates. A vote for Mr Hastie, Mr Abbott's candidate in this election, is going to be a vote for cutting penalty rates and it's going to be a vote for broken promises. I'll hand over now to Bill Shorten.

BILL SHORTEN, LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: Thanks Matt and it's great to be back in Armadale yet again for my 5th or 6th day in the Canning by-election. Today we see members of the community, many people who go to work and don't earn a lot of money just saying enough is enough Mr Abbott and the Liberals, please stop attacking our penalty rates. The future of Australia doesn't depend upon cutting the wages and conditions of millions of Australians. We can have a bright future in this country if we properly fund our schools and our health care, if we stand up for new jobs and infrastructure, and most importantly if we don't divide the country. Retail wages in this country are not high, hospitality and tourism rates are not high. Many of the people who depend upon penalty rates be they nurses, ambulance officers, people who look after our quality of life, they need these penalty rates. It is long overdue for Mr Abbott and his Liberals to stop this attack on penalty rates in Australia and just remember the customers in the high street, the taxpayers of this nation, the parents of the next generation of Australians going to school, they all need penalty rates. It just doesn't make sense for Mr Abbott to keep trying to say that the only future this country has got is a race to the bottom on wages and conditions. The future for Australia is in high skilled, reasonably paid jobs where we're all working together. It's just the sensible direction. Happy to take any questions.

JOURNALIST: So you believe strong Labor result in this by-election - win it or reduce the margin? You believe (inaudible).

SHORTEN: Well we've already seen the latest outbreak of the Liberal hunger games start. We see the undermining of Mr Abbott and Mr Abbott threatening to get rid of some of his Ministers. The really shameful thing about what's happening in Australia at the moment is that unemployment is up, wages are down, growth isn't where it should be. What we need is more confidence so that we can see people making decisions to spend money and get ahead. But the only thing that's really happening in Australia at the moment is that Mr Abbott and his Liberals are all having a fight over Mr Abbott's job. You know, I stand here today in Canning the leader of a united Labor Party. We're working together, but the problem is that Mr Abbott today will be praying that Matt Keogh doesn't get elected in Canning because that's the only way I suspect he'll stay leader of the Liberal Party. The real problem is that Mr Abbott's own troops are already lining up against him and the election in Canning isn't even over and they're already starting to size up Mr Abbott's job. It's just not good enough, Australia deserves better than infighting amongst the Liberal Party.

JOURNALIST: You mentioned in your response that the electorates around the country would be jealous of the (inaudible) that the Canning voters  will be for next week and is that what you will be focusing on. That message to Canning voters?

SHORTEN:  It's a big bigger than that although that is definitely part of what is happening next Saturday. We're very lucky that Matt Keogh's chosen to be Labor's local representative in the Canning by-election. He's successfully convinced myself and other Labor people that we need to do a lot more on community safety and tackle the scourge of ice. In this campaign as well, he successfully argued along with his colleagues for us to spend $180 million on legitimate road and public transport projects which will see jobs created and the communities in Canning, south of Perth to be liveable communities where people can raise a family. And he's also argued strongly against cuts to the schools and hospitals which Mr Abbott's been carried out. So that's Matt Keogh, he's a local champion already and he's already changing the face of national politics through his advocacy. But it is true that the unspoken person in the Canning by-election, the person whose photo won't be on any the Liberal how-to-vote cards, Mr Abbott, it really is a lot about him and his Liberal team in Canberra. I cannot believe frankly that we've seen this outbreak of undermining of Mr Abbott and all the carry on in Canberra. They're just interested in their own jobs, they're not focused on the jobs of West Australians, whereas Matt Keogh and Labor - we're united, we understand how real people organise their lives. That's what we're about. We're for penalty rates, we're for better funded schools, we're not for cutting pensions, we're for tackling unemployment and for infrastructure projects so that a lot of the people who haven't got work now the mining boom has eased, that they can get another job.

JOURNALIST: Will you be here this Saturday, on the day of the by-election?

SHORTEN: I don't know if I'll be here on the Saturday but I'll be back here again in Canning before the election is concluded.

JOURNALIST: That would have been 5 times during the campaign? It shows you the importance of the by-election though doesn't it. I mean you would have been here 4 times today, Tony Abbott's on his in way today so that's going to be 3 for him. It shows you how important this election is, it is far bigger than Canning isn't it?

SHORTEN: Well I think you'll find my trips are of slightly longer duration than Mr Abbott's and I think I do less staged events and more just talking to real people because that's how you find out what's going on in the nation. I think the real issue though as you say is that there's a local set of issues around community safety, around the cuts that Mr Abbott and his Liberal team and of course jobs. But there is a bigger picture too. The people in Canning can send a message to Mr Abbott and his Liberal team that they don't like the way Australia's going. Western Australia is not the same state it was 2 years ago before Mr Abbott got elected. The mining boom's eased unemployment - there's an extra 30,000 West Australians unemployed. We've got too many young people unemployed, that's up, real wages growth has slumped, there's a real crisis of confidence in the high street which affects small business. We need a government in Canberra who's got a plan. Labor has a jobs and infrastructure plan. We're going to oppose $100,000 university degrees and make sure that young people get a chance to go to uni. We'll restore funding in TAFE and we'll make sure that our health care system's properly funded. I and Matt Keogh and Labor believe that the quality of health care you should get in Canning or anywhere else in Australia should depend upon your Medicare card not your credit card. So yes, there are big national issues. I don't think there's been a by-election like this in 50 years which could influence the fate of who the Prime Minster of Australia is.

JOURNALIST: Should the Prime Minister apologise over Peter Dutton's comments yesterday?

SHORTEN: Absolutely. You know, when you go and replay that amazing footage of the semi-public remarks made by Mr Dutton and smirking laughter of Mr Abbott, it really is astounding. See what I think is that Mr Dutton is somebody who would say these things; it's just that he's somebody who doesn't get caught saying them until yesterday. What I also think, is that Mr Abbott needs to make a choice. See I think it's unacceptable that Mr Dutton, he's a Minister, he's a Cabinet Minister, he's not some bloke in the outer at the footy, he's a Cabinet Minister of the Australian Government. We depend upon his skills to present Australia in the right light. The fact that we have a minister and a prime minister who thinks climate change is a joke shows that we don't have leaders in this country at the moment, in the Government. So I think Mr Dutton, it's not good enough that he says it was a private conversation, now that really isn't good enough. Mr Dutton has to say he's been caught - does he actually think these things? Is he sorry? Was he jet lagged? Did he speak in haste? Mr Dutton it is not good enough for you to say no I’ve got nothing further to say. But I think unfortunately because Mr Dutton hasn't apologised over the last 24 hours it's now become an issue of the captain as well, Mr Abbott. Mr Abbott needs to make clear whose side he's on. Does he support Peter Dutton, does he really think it's okay, and that climate change is a joke, talking about “Cape York time” is a joke? Or does he actually think that he's on the side of the Australian people - see Mr Abbott now has to make a choice - are those sort of views the views you want of Cabinet Ministers in this country ? Does he chose Mr Dutton or does he choose the Australian people. You can't choose both. Final question thanks.

JOURNALIST: A women who was reportedly on the same boat as the Syrian boy who was found washed up on the Turkish beach claims that his father is a people smuggler. What's your reaction to that?

SHORTEN: I've read some of those comments in the media this morning. I can't add any more than what's already been there. What I do know is it's a tragedy. What I do know is this person's child drowned at sea. I think the whole thing is a complete tragedy. To me I’m not going to get into the blame game of a particular boat, what I believe is that Labor did the right thing on Monday this week by calling for a significant increase in refugees, and I congratulate the Government for backing that in and indeed picking the number of 12,000. I do also think though that it's important that we provide support to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees because of course money spent there in those first line neighbouring nations will help relieve the pressure internationally. So I think the drowning is a complete tragedy, I think what Australian leaders can do is show leadership and I think that has happened this week. Thanks everyone.