Bill's Transcripts

Doorstop: Martin Place - Tony Abbott’s royal commission; Tony Abbott’s government in chaos

E&OE TRANSCRIPT

DOORSTOP INTERVIEW

MARTIN PLACE, SYDNEY

MONDAY, 31 AUGUST 2015

 

SUBJECT/S: Tony Abbott’s royal commission; Tony Abbott’s government in chaos.

 

JOURNALIST: (inaudible)

 

BILL SHORTEN, LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: Labor has always believed that Tony Abbott’s royal commission was designed to smear his political opponents. It has been shambolic - it shouldn’t have got to this question today whether the royal commissioner has to recuse himself. Mr Abbott should have sorted this matter out sometime himself some time ago.

 

JOURNALIST: Is there any impropriety surrounding your acceptance of $5,000 to your leadership campaign from a union slushfund?

 

SHORTEN: Not at all. This matter was covered by the royal commission over nine months ago and it was disclosed by the Labor Party.

 

JOURNALIST: What is your reaction to news that Joe Hockey maybe on the way out if Cabinet Ministers leaking to the press are to be believed.

 

SHORTEN: Poor old Joe Hockey. Everyone knows he is struggling as Treasurer but it is a bit disloyal of his parliamentary colleagues to be backgrounding against him. I don’t think all the problems can simply be sheeted home to Joe Hockey. Unemployment is up, the deficit is up, growth is down. It has been a team effort by Mr. Abbott and his Liberals and it is a bit unfair of Mr Abbott’s Liberals to be hanging Joe Hockey out to dry all on his own. This has been a Cabinet mess that they have made for the past two years.

 

JOURNALIST: Would Scott Morrison make a better Treasurer?

 

SHORTEN: I think they need to change their policies. The issue isn’t which Liberal personality is going for which job. The problem for Australia at the moment is that Mr Abbott and his Liberals are focusing on can Mr Abbott keep his job? Or can Mr Morrison have Mr Hockey’s job? Can Mr Turnbull have Mr Abbott’s job? The problem is that there are 800,000 Australians without any jobs and we need Mr Abbott and Mr Hockey focussing on the jobs of Australians not their own job.

 

JOURNALIST: What do you make of Arthur Sinodinos publicly berating his colleagues?

 

SHORTEN: The wheels are coming off the Liberal car, aren’t they? You had Senator Sinodinos come out and attack his colleagues. Australians want a government that is focused on Australians. As we speak, our economy is wallowing in mediocrity – there are 800,000 Australians unemployed. The deficit has been doubled. We see growth is doing very poorly. Real wages for ordinary Australians are at their lowest level of increase in a very low time. We’ve got real challenges in this country and in the meantime, we’ve got Senator Sinodinos, Malcolm Turnbull, Julie Bishop, Scott Morrison, Joe Hockey and Tony Abbott all worrying about each other. This is not good for the direction of our country.

 

Thanks everyone.

 

ENDS

 

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