Bill's Transcripts

Doorstop: Carlton - Tony Abbott’s unfair Budget; Tony Abbott’s broken promise on the ABC; Climate Change;

E&OE TRANSCRIPT

DOORSTOP

FRIDAY, 21 NOVEMBER 2014
CARLTON


 

SUBJECT/S: Tony Abbott’s unfair Budget; Tony Abbott’s broken promise on the ABC; Climate Change; Victorian Election; Palmer United Party.

 

BILL SHORTEN, LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: It’s great to be here at the Carlton housing estate with Labor’s hardworking member for Melbourne, Jennifer Kanis. Also with us is Labor’s hardworking member for Richmond, Richard Wynne. I’ve had a great opportunity to talk to Victorians who are doing their absolute best to give their kids a better start in life than the one they’ve had. That's why in this state election, if we don't want to have more Abbott cuts in Victoria, if we want to see a better deal for our hospitals and our schools, for our TAFE and the training needs of our young people, Daniel Andrews is the only choice Saturday week.

 

Everyone knows that Tony Abbott is in witness protection when it comes to visiting Victoria. The reason why Tony Abbott is maintaining a profile lower than a submarine in terms of the Victorian State election is that a lot of his policies are hurting a lot of the Victorians I just met. And the big difference for a Victorian Premier is there's one test for a Victorian Premier and it's a test which applies to Liberal or Labor. Does the Victorian Premier have the courage to put aside party loyalties to the Government in Canberra and stand up for Victoria? Denis Napthine has had nearly 15 months to stand up for Victoria against Tony Abbott and we haven't heard much more than a whimper out of him. Daniel Andrews will make sure that we have better schools in Victoria, better TAFE, better hospitals and he will stand up against the Abbott cuts to the fairness of Victoria.

 

And before I just take any questions, I'd also  like just to make a couple of comments. Tony Abbott, his people are starting to spin that in mid-November they're going to take the barnacles off the Government's Budget to get it sailing more smoothly. But yet, back in August, they said they were going to reboot the Budget, back in August they said they were going to take the barnacles off then. They said the same thing in October. This Budget has had more reboots and more barnacle removals than the Titanic. The problem is, the problem is it's not the barnacles on the Budget on this unfair Budget which are impeding it, it's that this unfair Budget has sunk without trace. Tony Abbott should stop worrying about spin. He should start his Budget again. It's not a question of rebooting the Prime Minister, I think it's now come to the point of booting the Prime Minister out and him taking his unpopular Budget with him.

 

Happy to take questions.

 

JOURNALIST: How about other policies though other than the Budget? Would you welcome them rebooting or re-energising their strategy?

 

SHORTEN: Well the, after the Government's complete failure at convincing Australians about the merits of their unfair Budget, we've seen the Government this week lose their attack on watering down consumer laws to protect people against financial consumers, unfair financial planners. But most recently, we've seen the Government announce multiple hundred million dollars’ worth of dollars to the ABC. Tony Abbott should take his hands off the ABC. Tony Abbott's cuts to the ABC are a broken promise and a clear lie from before the last election. Tony Abbott said on the night before the last election no cuts to the ABC, no cuts to SBS, yet he's clearly broken his promise and now they're denying that they ever made a promise but these cuts to the ABC are more than just about broken promises. Tony Abbott is laying waste to the moral basis of our public democracy by attacking the independent broadcaster, and he is buying a much bigger fight than I think he realises, with millions of ordinary Australians who don't want Tony Abbott to wreck the ABC.

 

JOURNALIST: Will the PUP split in the Senate, is this going to make your job harder?

 

SHORTEN: What is hard for the Australian people is an unfair Budget. This is a government who has no domestic strategy. You can see the fingernail marks in the concrete in Canberra as the Abbott Government is being dragged back to deal with the domestic issues of Australian politics. The Abbott Government does not want to talk about their unfair because they know that no amount of rebooting can make an unfair Budget anything other than what it is.

 

JOURNALIST: This is about Labor in the Senate and PUP, will the split make it harder for Labor?

 

SHORTEN: I understood your question but what I'm explaining is that long before we have a debate about political manoeuvrings in this Senate, there's a debate in this country about what direction we should be in and right and wrong. Labor has taken a strong position for our hospitals, our schools and our fairness. Now what we see the Government is struggling to get any of its legislation through the Senate. I hope that Senators vote with their conscience and aren’t bullied by the Federal Government, because there's no amount of make-up can make this Budget a fair Budget.

 

JOURNALIST: Are we going to be seeing more of you on State election campaign trail?

 

SHORTEN: This is the ninth seat that I've visited during the State election. When I turned up and helped Daniel Andrews with his launch, I'd already done more on the State election than Tony Abbott will do. I noticed that Denis Napthine said that Tony Abbott visiting Tullamarine airport constituted help in the election. I think what Denis Napthine was really saying is the help was when he got on his plane and left 45 minutes later. I look forward to campaigning in Melbourne and Richmond. If you want to have good Government and a good Labor Government in this State you have to vote for the Labor candidate, no other minor party if you want to make sure your community has a real say in the direction of this State. I will certainly be campaigning in marginal seats, safe Liberal seats and Labor seats because the message about the future of Victoria is one that we need a champion against Tony Abbott. That is not Denis Napthine. Only Daniel Andrews will stand up to Tony Abbott.

 

JOURNALIST: What do you think about Julie Bishop's comments in regards to Barack Obama's speech at the G20 summit. Is she really just sticking up for Australians?

 

SHORTEN: No. What we see about the G20 debacle is that when you've got world leaders in the room, the Abbott Government are pussycats. As soon as the world leaders leave Australia, then they turn into lions. I just wish that if Julie Bishop felt this strongly about what President Obama said on climate change, she could've said it to him, not waited till Air Force One had taken off. The reality is that this Government was embarrassed because we are now trailing the world in terms of action on climate change. Tony Abbott did not see Obama going in a different direction to Australia when the rest of the world is determined to act on climate change. Tony Abbott tried to gag any discussion of climate change. And what he realised is when he went to talk about the big issues with the rest of the world the rest of the world weren't going to accept his flat-earth climate change denying unscientific views. So I’d just say, I wish the government ministers would stop giving lectures to world leaders who are thousands of kilometres away. They had the chance to discuss it when they were all in the same room and the Abbott Government, including Foreign Minister Bishop, squibbed the challenge.

 

JOURNALIST: A question for Ms Kanis. Worried about the Greens?

 

JENNIFER KANIS, LABOR FOR MELBOURNE: Melbourne is the seat that we have to work for every vote and I've been doing that for the last 2.5 years. I'm confident that we will prevail in Melbourne.

 

JOURNALIST: Is your profile high enough to withstand this Greens assault?

 

KANIS: I'm the sitting member. I think people do know who I am and what I stand for.

 

JOURNALIST: What is your latest polling suggesting?

 

KANIS: The only latest polling I have is what I read in the paper. As it says, the poll that counts is the poll on election day.

 

SHORTEN: I just want to say something about our candidate for Melbourne. She's got a distinguished career in public service. Working at the council level, working as a lawyer and now as the Member for Melbourne. What the residents of the Melbourne electorate need, is someone who can make sure their voice gets heard in Government. No minor party can form a government in Victoria, only Liberal or Labor can. Jennifer Kanis is the best chance for this community to be on the inside of a Government getting things done. When it comes to fighting Tony Abbott, minor parties can throw their rocks but if you really want to get rid of Tony Abbott you have to vote Labor.

 

Thanks everyone. Have a lovely day.

 

ENDS

 

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