Bill's Transcripts

Doorstop: Press Gallery - Malcolm Turnbull continues the attack on Medicare; Stuart Robert






SUBJECT/S: Malcolm Turnbull continues the attack on Medicare; Stuart Robert.


JOURNALIST: Mr Shorten, what do you make of reports this morning that the Government plans privatise Medicare, the PBS and aged-care as a centrepiece of the Budget?


BILL SHORTEN, LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: There they go again. The Liberal Government for 40 years has fought national health insurance. In their DNA, they are anti-Medicare being a universal health provider. You can't trust Malcolm Turnbull and his Liberals not to create a two-tier healthcare system in this country. My message to Malcolm Turnbull and the Liberals is hands off Medicare. The Australian people love their Medicare and you've got no right to trash it.


JOURNALIST: The proposal would save billions of dollars - is there another option that you could suggest if this one isn't the right one?


SHORTEN: I do not accept the proposition that Medicare in Australia is in a state of crisis. The Liberals are always running around attacking Medicare. They did it in the 2014 Budget, they did it 2015 Budget and it looks like Malcolm Turnbull is no different to Tony Abbott - they just want to flog off Medicare and privatise services and there is no explanation of the problem they are trying to solve. There is no examination of the consequences and denying ordinary Australians access to universal health. If Malcolm Turnbull wants to make the 2016 Federal election a fight about Medicare, Labor will stand up for Medicare for all Australians.


JOURNALIST: Would privatising Medicare stop at being universal though?


SHORTEN: We need to see the detail of their proposal but it is as sure as night follows day; when the Liberals start dabbling with Medicare, it means the cost medicine gets more expensive for sick people.


JOURNALIST: Malcolm Turnbull has referred Stuart Robert to Martin Parkinson in his department. Is that enough and and has he handled this the right way?


SHORTEN: Malcolm Turnbull is outsourcing leadership of Australia to his Department. He has a clear problem with his ministers and division. The Stuart Robert scandal is going to become a test of Malcolm Turnbull's judgment. The writing is on the wall about Stuart Robert. Clearly the media and Australia are dissatisfied by the information they have so far. Malcolm Turnbull has lost more ministers than he's released tax policies for Australia. He needs to get his act together, make some decisions and show the economic leadership which was the basis of him rolling Tony Abbott.


Thanks everyone, see you later.