MONDAY, 26 NOVEMBER 2018
SUBJECTS: Victorian State Election; national security; National Integrity Commission; Labor’s Fair Go Action plan.
JOURNALIST: Is it hard to wipe the smile off your face this morning, Mr Shorten?
BILL SHORTEN, LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: It's Monday, we're back in Parliament. I congratulate Dan Andrews and his team. Saturday's result is very much to their credit as a result of their hard work, and wherever I travelled in Victoria on Saturday and indeed during the campaign, I think that the strategy of backing in better hospitals and better schools, rather than more cuts, chaos and division worked very well with the public. And wherever I went people were saying don't focus on the personalities, focus on us and policies. So that's a good formula.
JOURNALIST: Security agencies are meeting with members of that relevant committee today. If they recommend - if they say they want a fast tracking of the encryption bill, would you support that?
SHORTEN: I'll be guided by the best evidence when it comes to national security. I've got a cracking team on the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Intelligence and Security, I'll wait to hear what they tell us. What I won't do is do national security via press conference.
JOURNALIST: What about the idea of splitting the Bill so the most important encryption part of it can get passed before Christmas. Could that be a way forward?
SHORTEN: The Government certainly said there is a major rush to resolve these matters, they could be right, I'll wait until the detail. But what I want to say to Australians who hear the Government talk about national security, and they look at the division and chaos in Parliament - I want to reassure them when it comes to national security, Labor and Liberal are in this together. I worked very effectively with Tony Abbott; I worked very effectively with Malcolm Turnbull; I'll work very effectively with the new fellow, no problems. But what we'll do is that - there's been 15 times that the Government has said we urgently, or we need to change the laws, 15 occasions they found that they needed to update things they hadn't seen before. We've worked with them on 15 occasions successfully, we've made 300 improvements. So I just want to reassure Australians there's a process, we'll get it right, we'll work together, because when it comes to keeping Australians safe we're all in this together.
JOURNALIST: What are the lessons that Scott Morrison must heed from the Victorian result, and will he be able to ease the nerves of his colleagues that he's meeting with this morning?
SHORTEN: I won't give the Liberals advice about what lessons they should learn from this election. I want to say to Australians, the lessons I've learned from the Victorian election is that people want better hospitals and better schools. They're sick of the division. They can't believe the constant leadership changes and the back biting. People think the politicians in Canberra are just worried about themselves and not everyday people. That's why we will pursue lower energy prices through reviving Malcolm Turnbull's proposition of a National Energy Guarantee. We will work with the Coalition, but we're not going to wait for them. I think another measure which would redeem the image of national politics would be to back in a national anti-corruption commission this week. Let's get the ball rolling, Australians don't understand why the Government and the Prime Minister have never publicly come out and said it's a good idea. Let's just get on with it. I think that as we approach Christmas, the best thing we could do for the reputation of Australian politics - focus on lower energy prices, let's work together. Let's work together when it comes to a national anti-corruption commission. Thanks everybody -
JOURNALIST: You must be pretty confident you'll get the keys to the Lodge when the election is finally held?
SHORTEN: No, I take nothing for granted, nor does Labor. It's not about us, it's not about the Liberals, what we need to do is have a competition of ideas. Labor is proposing a fair go all around. We want to see cleaner, cheaper energy. We want to tackle cost of living by making sure that we can keep private health insurance premiums down, and lower energy bills. We want to see wages moving again in this country. When corporate profits are increasing at a far greater rate than the wages of everyday Australians who are now dipping into their family savings to pay the bills, where they're putting more of the week to week expenses on the credit card, where people have got waiting lists for elective surgery like arthroscopies or knee surgeries, that's what really worries us. We want to make sure that parents can think that they can send their kids to uni by uncapping university places. We want to provide free upfront fees for apprenticeships so people can go to TAFE and get a trade. Or indeed, making sure that the schools are properly funded. That's what we're about, thanks everybody.