FRIDAY, 2 DECEMBER 2016
SUBJECT/S: Government Chaos; Clock ticking on George Brandis; Labor’s positive plans.
BILL SHORTEN, LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: Good morning everybody, it's good that the Parliamentary year is finished and we can go catch up with our families. You couldn’t write the chaotic mess story which Malcolm Turnbull's done this week. Labor offered a deal to fix up his mess, the chaos of the backpacker tax but the Prime Minister is so bent on politics and hates Labor so much that he rushed over and did a deal with the Greens political party. He bought the Greens for $100 million on one of their projects which meant that the taxpayer has to pay more to get this backpacker tax fixed. So this is a dud deal where there are higher taxes and the budget is in a worse position, this is chaos, pure and simple.
The other thing which I fully don't expect is that George Brandis will be back as Attorney-General. Malcolm Turnbull's proven to be very weak on the whole WA kickbacks scandal, where the Attorney-General of Australia has clearly got a lot of questions to answer. I predict for Christmas no more George Brandis as Senator in terms of Attorney-General. I just hope that Malcolm Turnbull doesn't promote incompetence by rewarding him with a fat cat job in London or as a judge. That would just be a terrible mistake.
SHORTEN: Well, we didn't win the election but Labor has finished the year stronger, there's more of us in the Parliament, we really worked on our policies. For me, next year will be more progress on our policies. What we want to do next year, is develop a platform for the social and economic improvement of Australia. For the next election we're a united team, the Liberals clearly aren't. Our focus will be how do we build Australian, buy Australian and employ Australian. How do we make sure there are jobs? Enough is enough, 2016 should teach Mr Turnbull and indeed all politicians that we shouldn’t concentrate on niche obsessions in Canberra. What families this Christmas want to know is that there are members of Parliament who are focused on jobs, quality Medicare, making sure their kids get a quality education, making sure that their children get apprenticeships, making sure that older Australians can retire with some safety and dignity and income. Thank you, Merry Christmas.