Bill's Transcripts

Doorstop: Frankston - Labor’s ‘Your child. Our future’ plan for Australian education; Malcolm Turnbull’s Liberals’ 15 per cent GST on everything

E&OE TRANSCRIPT
DOORSTOP
FRANKSTON
FRIDAY, 5 FEBRUARY 2016


SUBJECT/S: Labor’s ‘Your child. Our future’ plan for Australian education; Malcolm Turnbull’s Liberals’ 15 per cent GST on everything; leaked national security documents; salmonella outbreak

PETA MURPHY, LABOR CANDIDATE FOR DUNKLEY: Well it's my great delight and pleasure to have Bill here today at Frankston East Primary School, I'm Peta Murphy, I'm the candidate for Dunkley. This school is a terrific example of a school that's already benefitted from the Gonski funding that the former Labor Government with Bill brought in and the terrific new policy that's been announced last week by Bill, generation changing investment into education means that this school will be able to have teachers aids for the kids that need it, invest in kids with disabilities to make sure they can stay in school and take kids from families that are really struggling to be able to keep their kids in school; take them in school and provide them with all the support they need.

So it was terrific to have Brian and our amazing school captains here take us around and Dunkley will benefit. Every child and every school will benefit from the fabulous investment that Labor wants to make. Thanks Bill.

BILL SHORTEN, LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: Thanks Peta. It's great to be here at Frankston East Primary meeting the kids, talking to the teachers and parents. It's also good to do my first event with Peta Murphy, Labor's candidate for Dunkley. Peta's got a distinguished legal career, she's a local resident and she will be, I think, if elected, she will make quite an impression, not only in Dunkley but in the national Parliament so people should watch more of Peta in the future. She's definitely one of Labor's up and coming candidates at the next election.

But one thing Peta is going to be able to do for the citizens of Dunkley that the unknown Liberal candidate is going to do is that Peta will be able to say to the people in Dunkley that a vote for Labor is a vote for better school education and a vote for the future of Australia.

The kids we met today, be it the grade sixers who are the school captains or the preppies starting their school adventure. They deserve to have adults in their life who are as brave and optimistic and keen about the future as the kids are. 'Your Child. Our Future', Labor's education plan, lives up to the trust that children should have in government, that parents should have in government and that teachers and people who care about education should have in government.

Labor will introduce a fully funded schools education policy which will be a once in two generation’s permanent improvement to the way we organise our schools. Unlike the Liberals, we can be trusted on education, we've explained how we fully fund our policies but what we are doing, particularly our policies, is we're focussing on every child and every school to have every opportunity.

Malcolm Turnbull disparages spending extra money in schools as a waste of money. But the truth is that in the last 15 years, Australia's been falling behind the rest of the world in academic rankings in terms of educational outcomes for children. That's not good enough.

A Shorten Labor Government will aim to have 95 per cent of year 12 students completing year 12 by 2020. By 2025 we want Australia to be in the top five nations in the world in terms of outcomes for reading, maths and science. The best thing anyone can do for a child is give them a good education so they can compete for the jobs of the future. Malcolm Turnbull loves to talk about innovation, but innovation without education is just talk. Labor's committed to making sure that our kids get the best start in life, by making sure they've got the resources. Our policy is sector neutral, government and non-government. We're focussed on the needs of every child. So Labor will keep pursuing school education along with our great policies to restore TAFE and to keep down ward pressure on the fees of going to university and of course the early childhood education years. Labor's the party who's got education right at the heart of what we do. Happy to take questions.

JOURNALIST: Mr Shorten, the Prime Minister has suggested that the tax changes will become clear in the May Budget, when will Labor's tax plans be announced?

 

SHORTEN: Well I tell you one tax plan we can announce right now and I've been announcing it every day since Malcolm Turnbull replaced Tony Abbott. If you don't want an increase in the GST vote Labor at the next election. If you don't want to pay a 15 per cent price, a tax on everything, vote Labor at the next election. We've already explained, for instance, how we can pay for our schools package. Mr Turnbull is not interested in making sure that every school gets proper funding. We've explained that we would crackdown on multinationals and make them pay their fair share of tax. I'm like a lot of Australians, I think it's appalling that McDonald's can halve their taxable income or the tax they pay in Australia by parking money and paying money to Singapore. That doesn't sound right. At the end of last year, 579 Australian companies, big companies, revealed they paid no tax in Australia. Why should a newsagent in Frankston or a small business in Moonee Ponds or anywhere else in Australia, have to pay their tax as they should, yet they see the big companies, the big end of town, Malcolm Turnbull's friends, not pay any tax?

 

So there's a tax policy and another thing we can do, is it's not just about taxes, it's about reducing spending. We don't see the need for our wasteful unsustainable tax concessions for people who are high net wealth individuals. We don't think that Malcolm Turnbull should be wasting money on a plebiscite on marriage equality. There's $160 million you could save straight away. We don't think Malcolm Turnbull should be wasting taxpayers' money implementing Tony Abbott's climate sceptic policies by paying large polluters more money to discourage them from polluting. So there's a lot of meat in what I've just said. Malcolm Turnbull though, we've just had 144 days of his Government. He promised new economic leadership when he demolished Tony Abbott but he won't come clean and tell Australians his intentions on a 15 per cent GST.

 

JOURNALIST: The Prime Minister has also said that the Government has no plans to stop the scheduled rise in compulsory super, are you comforted to hear that?

 

SHORTEN: Listen, you don't trust Liberals when it comes to superannuation improvements for workers. Before the last election, Labor said that we wanted superannuation to go up in regular increments to 12 per cent. Before the last election, the Liberals said no worries, they would just do what Labor did. But since the election, they have twice frozen and delayed increases in superannuation beyond 9.5 per cent. In plain terms, this Government's decisions have cost a 25-year-old now about $100,000 off the amount they would of had in superannuation by the time they retire. I do not trust this Government when it comes to improving the conditions of working people in this country. They're addicted to talking about reducing penalty rates, they've frozen superannuation increases not once but twice and they want to put a 15 per cent GST on everything so they can give tax cuts to wealthy companies. This Government is not good for working people.

 

JOURNALIST: Now that we're in the so called 'age of innovation' [Inaudible] ... slash jobs in the CSIRO?

 

SHORTEN: I'm appalled that Malcolm Turnbull, he talks about innovation but he does something else, he says one thing and he does something else. Cutting scientists at the CSIRO is like burning books for literacy – it just doesn't make sense. We need to be a nation which employs more scientists and more researchers. How on earth can Australia compete with in the future for jobs, for innovation with the rest of the world when we're cutting back on scientists? I really feel for a lot of science graduates right now, they're working hard, they're doing their best, they're not getting paid very much money. But what Malcolm Turnbull's decision with the CSIRO means, is that how can any young person hope to plan a long-term career in science with no job security? The idea that we're going to wave goodbye to 350 science and researchers and affiliated jobs at the flagship science institute of Australia, the CSIRO, and then still think we're going to do anything on innovation beggars belief. Malcolm Turnbull's problem is he says one thing and does another.

 

JOURNALIST: Would Labor support the planned changes to the humanitarian resettlement program as has been outlined in the leaked Cabinet document?

 

SHORTEN: I think this is a most disturbing development; that national security documents are being leaked by people within the Turnbull Government to embarrass the Turnbull Government. National security should be above day-to-day politics. Under my leadership the Labor Party has extended an unheard of amount of bipartisanship, but the real problem here is that we've got national security documents being leaked as part of an internal war within the Turnbull Government.

 

Clearly the Government is divided on GST, the 15 per cent GST, with some Liberal backbenchers worried their job security so they're opposed to it and the others just want to press on with a 15 per cent GST. So they're divided on GST, we've seen leaks on superannuation and now we're seeing leaks on national security.

 

Listen, Tony Abbott had many flaws but no-one could doubt he was sincere about national security. Malcolm Turnbull must take national security as seriously as I do and Tony Abbott did. The real issue here is that the Turnbull Government is suffering from the aftermath of the demolition by Malcolm Turnbull of Tony Abbott and that poison is now the central thinking in all internal decision making in the Turnbull Government. They are definitely fraying at the edges.

 

JOURNALIST: Are you [inaudible] to get traction on that issue though about the way the Turnbull Government is going given there's such a wide gap in the polls?

 

SHORTEN: Let's see what happens at election day. But in the meantime, I and the Labor Party are going to stand up for millions of Australians for whom the Turnbull Government is not a voice. Malcolm Turnbull laughed at Labor when we said we would oppose the 15 per cent GST. He's not laughing now. We're standing up for Australians and we don't want them to pay 15 per cent more on their education costs, their healthcare costs or indeed fresh food at the supermarket. We want to make sure that superannuation increases that were promised happen on time and we certainly, we certainly will not support the cutting of penalty rates or workers' entitlements. Instead I'm offering a positive view, and Malcolm Turnbull can pick up our ideas tomorrow. I want the children of Australia and their parents to see that the children are getting the best possible education, the best in the world. For me, if we are the best in the world at literacy, at maths and science, that's only just good enough. But I'm willing to back up my views and my values, making it a core plank of a Shorten Labor Government.

 

JOURNALIST: Speaking of fresh food at the supermarket, will the Shorten household be throwing out any packets of lettuce?

 

SHORTEN: I like lettuce. I like dark stem lettuce. I don't like lettuce with 15 per cent GST. I'm sure Coles and Woolworths will get on top of this outbreak of food poisoning but I don't think people should give up on lettuce because of a salmonella outbreak.

 

JOURNALIST: It is something that's really affecting Victorians in your electorate and that sort of thing and families and parents as well, what would be your advice to them?

SHORTEN: Well, it's up to the companies to make sure that they're selling safe food. What I can do for parents about fresh food in the supermarket is I make sure you don't pay a 15 per cent GST. Thanks, everyone.

 

ENDS

 

MEDIA CONTACT: LEADER’S OFFICE MEDIA UNIT – 02 6277 4053