Bill's Transcripts

National Press Club Q&A



E&OE TRANSCRIPT
TELEVISION INTERVIEW
NATIONAL PRESS CLUB Q&A
WEDNESDAY, 26 MARCH 2014

SUBJECT /S: MRRT; Tony Abbott’s secret Commission of Audit; Regal honours; Racial Discrimination Act; Immigration; Budget; ICAC; WA Senate by-election; Colin Barnett’s cuts to education; Australian Labor Party; National Disability Insurance Scheme.

JOURNALIST: Mr Shorten, Andrew Probyn from the West Australian. A couple of weeks ago you appeared on Sky News from a visit you were taking to Perth, now despite David Spears' best poke, prod and cajole of you, you couldn't quite elicit or give support to the mining tax. Now despite that fact that yesterday, despite this, your side supported with the Greens to defeat the repeal of the mining tax. So can you clarify for once and all and ahead of the April 5 Senate re-election in WA, what your position is on the mining tax and where you hope to land on this issue by the time of the next federal election with regards to profits-based taxes on resources?

BILL SHORTEN, LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: I'm happy to clarify that. I wish the Government before April 5 would clarify where they stand on the Commission of Audit though. In terms of the mining tax, I have said that we didn't always get, the extent of our dialogue didn't always match the extent of our ambition for reform. But I do support the concept of a profits-based resource tax. We have voted against the repeal of the mining tax.

The proposition why I support a profits-based resource tax, if I can borrow from a very, very clever speech by a democratic Senator in America, Elizabeth Warren, who said on a different topic but I think her words did sum it up; Labor and I have no problems with people being rich, but no one ever got super rich in Australia on their own. It is the people who pay for the roads, it is the people who pay for the schools that educate the workforce, it is the people who pay for our healthcare system which makes this such an enviable and lucky country. It is the people who pay for the police and the emergency services, and the fire services that make us safe. That is why I recognise that it is appropriate that we have the principal of a resources-based tax. It is a profits-based tax.

What I would also say in terms of the last part of your question, the next seven weeks in all fairness, is about the Hockey-Abbott Budget. We will reveal and release our policies in good time before the next election, but for the next seven weeks, it is the Government, as I said in the speech, who have to indicate where their priorities are, what their choices will be, and the signs are not promising.

JOURNALIST: From the ‘Tiser. It’s a much more lightweight question. If you were in power, would you talk to the Queen about revoking the knighthoods and dame-ships that have just been announced?

SHORTEN: It just shows what priorities this Government have, really. On a day where we're debating trying to get a quarter of a million dollars from some government program back to look after 1200 orphans and in some cases double orphans of military veterans who've served overseas, the Government comes out, or the Prime Minister comes out with dames and knights? For the record, Labor has had a policy since 1918, which I don't foresee us changing any time soon, against imperial honours, and I think there's probably questions. Did the Prime Minister talk to his Cabinet about it, and how much is it going to cost? It is anachronistic.

HOST: Phil Coorey.

JOURNALIST: Hi Mr Shorten, Phil Coorey from the Fin Review. Just back to the Budget and the PBO modelling Chris Bowen released today. That trajectory assumes that Labor would adhere to a 2 per cent spending cap that you imposed on yourselves during the Rudd years to reach those numbers. Now Joe Hockey in Parliament yesterday said as a result of Labor pushing stuff into the out years of the Budget to make savings that the spending increases, well it’s the 4th year of his first Budget now, they're going to be way above 2 per cent. Isn't it just a fact if you were to meet those targets as outlined by the PBO today, you too would have to take the axe to health and education and disabilities in the out years?

SHORTEN: Budgets are about making choices. As I said, they’re a window into the soul of a government and a party. When we were in Government we made hard decisions so we could fund overdue reforms like the National Disability Insurance Scheme, like supporting the best educational outcomes for our kids. What was interesting in Question Time yesterday I thought, Phil, is after repeated questioning by both Tanya Plibersek and Chris Bowen, the Government didn't realise that they'd contradicted themselves. On one hand they say they're not going to be able to, they're not going to achieve a 0.5 per cent commitment of [GNI] to foreign aid and they said, "Well, we can't do that..". If that is the case, why in their MYEFO projections, do they say they're going to reach it by 17/18? The reason why they have kept certain numbers in their economic forecasts as opposed to what they're really going to do, is they are conflating a Budget emergency, and then what they will do is they will say, "We're not going to do this or that." The reality is they're creating a straw man Budget emergency, and we're on to it and the Australian public will be on to it.

JOURNALIST: Mr Shorten, Karen Middleton from SBS. If the Attorney-General succeeds with his proposed changes to the racial discrimination act, what would a Labor Government do? Would you seek to amend or repeal those changes? And both you and the Prime Minister spoke on Monday night at the migration and settlement awards, and in his speech Mr Abbott said that he believes that Australians have sometimes been frightened of or scared of the number of migrants, and confessed that he himself had had hesitations about that in the past. Have you ever had hesitations or concerns about the number of migrants coming into Australia, and how do you think Australians feel about the level of migration now?

SHORTEN: Plenty in that but first of all, again it goes back to my concern about this current government. What are their twisted priorities? I do not recall the issue about watering down anti-hate speech, anti-racism laws as being the key issue of the last election. Yet why on earth is the Government expending so much political time on that?

Where's their plan for jobs? I find it amazing that they can give impassioned speeches in the Senate about the right to be a bigot, that in itself was amazing, but that they can't give the same level of passion to where you help people from Alcoa, where you help people from the car industry, where you help people at Gove up in the northeast of Arnhem Land, where you people from Electrolux in Orange transition to new jobs.

So first of all this is a Government with wrong priorities. And in terms of immigration, I am the child of an immigrant. Other than the first Australians, the secret's out, we're all immigrants. And I have to say that one of my ancestors, John O'Shea, I think he arrived in the port of Melbourne in about 1853, he jumped ship. He was illegal. He went to the goldfields, he lacked the entrepreneurial spirit of many others and I think one of the ancestors set up a butcher shop, it's still there, it didn't expand. So immigration though, other than John O'Shea's contributions, immigration has been, if you could view, the subsequent Shortens are alright. But you know, I'll just stop there.

[laughter]

SHORTEN: Immigration delivers much more than it takes from this country. Migrants are the people who do the night shift jobs, who do the work which others perhaps turn their nose up. They've set up the corner stores, the market gardens, the accounting practices. They deepen our cultural knowledge. You look at any Year 12 leaving school list, and you look at the high performers, there's always an immigrant's surname in the top three. More often than not two of the top three. So I've never been phased by immigration. I believe it is a positive for Australia. Of course we need to make sure that our infrastructure keeps up, we need to make sure that the resources are there so we're not crowding our cities. But that is not an argument against immigration, it is an argument in favour of making sure we are putting the resources into the suburbs of Australia, so that the middle class of Australia can have prospects of doing better not worse.

JOURNALIST: And what will you do with 18C?

SHORTEN: First of all let's see if the Government get their changes through. Sometimes in life you get yourselves in political fights. Sometimes in life you're just going to lose the political argument. The question is how long it takes, that gap of time between realising you're going to lose and when you decide to surrender. That is a question for the Abbott Government.

JOURNALIST: Thank you. G’day Mr Shorten, David Crowe from the Australian. Just on the Budget again, in your speech you put Tony Abbott on notice on a couple of fronts in where you'll stand on Budget changes. And in that speech it includes if the Budget seeks to make middle-class Australians who already do the heavy lifting carry a bigger burden. Now I wonder, with a deficit of $47 billion, are you suggesting that there is no scope at all for middle Australians to carry any extra burden? And related to that, are you in fact denying the extent of the $47 billion deficit?

SHORTEN: Let's go back to what I said in the speech. This is a matter of choices for the Government. A Budget is a window on the soul of what the Government creates as its values and believes that are its values. We haven't seen what the Budget is, so to an extent I can't give you a chapter and verse answer on everything they may or may not do. What we are doing as a constructive Opposition is spelling out what we think the priorities should be. If they cut our science budget, if they want to sack more CSIRO scientists, how does that help? If they want to say that they can't find a quarter of a million dollars for veterans' orphans, yet we can have four dames and knights every year? That's a joke. So the challenge is on the Government. We will look at their measures and we will take them very seriously. We understand the constant need for Government to be evaluating the efficiency of what it does. But if the Government is asking for a blank cheque, where it can undermine, where it can make healthcare in this country depend upon your credit card not your Medicare card, we're not up for that. Never have been, never will.

HOST: And the veracity of the Budget deficit?

SHORTEN: Well, we are concerned that this is a Government who has added a large, if you look at the next four years, they've added about more than half of what their projected deficit is, is by decisions they've made since. Don't forget the payment to the RBA, don't forget the fact that they're changing some benchmarks and measures, don't forget the fact that they're saying there's a big Budget deficit on foreign aid when they have no intention of reaching that by 17/18. This is a Government who is addicted to spin. What this country needs is measures which help people keep and find good jobs. Skills, healthcare, infrastructure, productivity. That's the game in town.

JOURNALIST: Mark Riley of the Seven Network, Mr Shorten. I just want to ask about your aspiration to more than double the membership of the Labor Party to 100,000. Isn't it reasonable people will be looking at Labor at the moment, reading about the ICAC in NSW, looking at Craig Thomson being slotted in Victoria, the controversies around the CFMEU, the HSU, yadda yadda yadda, and thinking "This isn't a mob I want to be a member of" and then they look at you and say, "Wasn't that the bloke working the two phones in the Chinese restaurant who killed a Prime Minister that night?"

What will you do now to further reform the party to reduce union influence if it needs to be done and to reduce the influence of factional leaders if it needs to be done, to make it an organisation that people want to join?

SHORTEN: Mark, there’s many things in what you say but some of your language there I don't accept. The leadership changes were incredibly difficult. I said that at the time and they were. But at every stage the Labor Party has to be about making sure that we are a viable Government or a viable Opposition because that's what millions of Australians expect us to do. In terms of the Labor Party, also I don't accept the proposition, the vast bulk of trade unionists are engaged in that sort of terrible conduct which you quite rightly identify. That is not the labour movement which I believe most people are active in. Having said that, we do need to modernise our structures, there's no debate about that. As I said in the speech, we have to set our goals high. We need to be an outward focused organisation, not an introspective organisation. The leadership ballot was a very good start in terms of giving people a say in the direction of this country through involvement in the choice of leader of one of the two parties. I do not expect Tony Abbott to be copying this any time soon. So, yes, I do think that the state leaders of political parties, of the Labor Party, there should be an element of direct election.

I do think we need to open up our policy processes. I do think we need to modernise our relationship with the unions and I'll have more to say about that in coming weeks and months. But we need to appeal to people who traditionally have not seen themselves as spoken to by the Labor Party. We do need to make sure that people are a member of the Labor Party first, not a member of a faction first. And I think that we have an opportunity to really make the Labor Party as confident, as broad-based, as democratic and as outward looking as we want this nation to be, but we do have to do it.

JOURNALIST: Mark Kenny, Mr Shorten from the Age and Sydney Morning Herald. Ken Henry, the former Treasury boss, recently observed that the tax to GDP proportion has in fact gone down over the last decade by about 3 per cent and that, had this proportion been maintained, it would pretty much account for the deficit that we have going now. I notice that you've listed as one of your four tests for the forthcoming Budget that tax as a proportion of GDP must not increase. Now I assume you've done that on the basis that it's a commitment by the Abbott Opposition, now government. But is it in the best interests of Australia that both sides of politics continue with this folly of basically building in a politically constructed structural deficit?

SHORTEN: You're right to observe at the start of your question that there was a very dishonest debate for the last few years in Australian politics. The Opposition I think were successful, if somewhat dishonest, in saying that Australia is a very high tax nation. We are simply not by OECD standards. And you're quite right to observe that if we had had the tax to GDP ratio in the 5 and a bit years that we were in Government that the Howard Government had, if we had what the Howard Government had the 5 years previously to the five years of what we have now, we wouldn't have had the deficit for some of those years. So you're quite right.

But what we also recognise as Labor is we intend to hold this Government to account. They set the standard. We will make sure they are consistent. They are the ones who fed this story that the debt and deficit is the issue. We want to see that having constructed this issue, that they having constructed this issue, we will hold them to account on it, because they weren't honest then. We want to see what they do now and certainly, as I said, elections and politics are all about choices, they’re all about priorities. We can choose to be a country which cuts and slashes and says that, adopts a shoulder slug shrugging fatalism about the inevitability of unemployment, or we can be a country who says the way ahead is to build productive infrastructure. Let's face it, this current mob haven't started a lot of new projects. They're pretty good at turning up at the ribbon cutting of Labor projects. They haven't done a lot. Let's face it, education, how you have a view which says that cutting funding to schools in the future is somehow going to create a greater, more powerful, more successful nation. It's a fiction.

Even on something like the National Disability Insurance Scheme, I know that many, not all the Coalition backbenchers to be fair, but I know that people like Joe Hockey were dragged kicking and screaming to support the NDIS and I always knew that once they got into power, they'd start to move away from it. And what they don't understand is they view that the National Disability Insurance Scheme, they know the price of it, they don't know the value of it. The idea that carers, 70, 80 year old carers can be freed of a midnight anxiety of who loves their child, their adult child who is precious and special after they are gone, the idea that a nation would want to relieve people of that pressure, that is not a cost, that's a great idea. So this is a Government, who whilst they bang on about issues, let’s see how they go, and I look forward to seeing what they do.

JOURNALIST: Anna Henderson, ABC News. Mr Shorten, you say that the Commission of Audit needs to be released before the WA Senate election. Why shouldn't voters also have a chance to understand what kind of resource tax you envisage before they go to the polls?

SHORTEN: Well we've voted. We voted this week. We could have played smart and delayed the vote in some way until after the April 5 election. We didn't. We voted. Now it's the turn of the Government to show their cards. Does anyone seriously think that if there wasn't an April 5 election they'd be so nervous about revealing it? Does anyone, like I love their definitions. They've got a report in early February. Quick, you could just see them slapping each around the head and the red lights were going off in Liberal HQ spin central. What do we do? This report is a smoking gun. And what do? They say right it's an interim report. Good move. Interim. Interim means we don't have to release it.

What they should do is why should, if Tony Abbott doesn't trust Western Australian voters, why should Western Australian voters trust Tony Abbott? It's his political call not to release it. Does anyone really think that a lot of the stuff in the report won't actually be the report? Does anyone think they're engaged in rewriting it? The whole 900 pages? I don't think serious people think that this report is going to be greatly different whenever they release it. The reason why they don't release it is they don't trust Western Australian voters, so why on earth should Western Australian voters trust them?

JOURNALIST: Paul Osborne from Australian Associated Press, thank you for your speech Mr Shorten. Given Labor’s critique of the Prime Minister not doing due diligence on Arthur Sinodinos, I was just wondering whether you have eye-balled all of your frontbench, particularly given the ICAC has a lot of ongoing hearings and that the Royal Commission into unions may see a few of them giving evidence over time.

And just on a related matter where is the line drawn for you on MP ethics? Is it, would you sack someone or stand someone aside when there's a media reported averse to them, whether they appear in court, whether there's an adverse report? What is the line for you?

SHORTEN: I think, I mean obviously this question is given immediacy by what's happened with Senator Sinodinos. I think a number of things, but I think Australians are pretty confident of two basic points. One is that Arthur Sinodinos is entitled to the presumption of innocence. But I think Australians also have a second point. What did the Prime Minister know and when did he know it and why won't he tell people? It isn't good enough for the Prime Minister to say, "well you know that's a matter for ICAC." Actually what the Prime Minister knows is not a matter for ICAC. That's not the subject of ICAC's investigation. But it is a subject for the Parliament of Australia to know. So what Labor also said, and let's be really clear about Arthur Sinodinos because that underpins the whole assumption of the question, is that he gave a statement last year. He was asked by the Labor Senators to correct the record and make a statement in the Parliament. He chose not to. He chose to stand aside. That's his choice. Labor asked him to make a statement. He didn't want to.

And also I think that what we have here is that you've got a Minister, as much as I wish that we were the Government and the other team were the Opposition, that is not so. So I think that when you're a Minister and you're handling matters to do with directorial responsibility, I think that is a tough place for Arthur to be in. In terms of how we handle matters, we'll cooperate with the Royal Commission. You know I get that there's a political agenda with the Royal Commission but let me be really clear, we will cooperate, full stop.

JOURNALIST: Your own line on ethics in this? I mean do you have you got parameters? Can you define those in any way?

SHORTEN: I believe I can. One thing I know, if someone gives you $20 million for doing a job, that's remarkable. That's never happened to me.

[laughter]

SHORTEN: But no, just to also be fair, you never use union members' money for some of the expenses we've seen Craig Thomson do. Not only is it wrong and besmirch the reputation of a whole lot of people working hard every day, but I just don't get how you think in any fashion that that's legitimate. It's just not.

JOURNALIST: Lane Calcutt from Nine News, Mr Shorten, or Sir William, and just going back to –

[laughter]

SHORTEN: They're not hereditary. I would still be against it.

[laughter]

JOURNALIST: Just going back to Tory's theme and running the risk of inciting a family feud, do you believe your mother-in-law deserves to be a dame, and if not, why not?

SHORTEN: I have made a practice of not commenting on the Governor-General, but I do think it's fair and I did say publicly last night, she is a remarkable Australian. I was standing at the Fairbairn airbase today with the Prime Minister, standing with my wife Chloe, I realise, I care to believe that she goes with the good will of Australians. Some people have talked about her fashion, it's excellent. But I liked what Katherine Murphy said today. People look at her fashion, in fact what Katherine Murphy sees is that she's formidable. Now in terms of though, this anachronistic debate about dames and knights, I think it is ridiculous. I am sure that people didn't evaluate whether or not the Governor-General or the departing Governor-General or the new Governor-General are worthy people. I think everyone thinks they are. I just think people thought, "Are we in a time warp?" Like, John Howard wouldn't do it.

[laughter and applause]

JOURNALIST: Michelle Grattan from The Conversation. Mr Shorten, could I take you back to Mark Riley's question about party reform and ask you to directly address the issue of whether the proportion of representation that the trade unions have at Labor Party conferences, the 50-50 proportion, should be reduced, and whether you think that Labor has a disproportionately large number of candidates and MPs from the union movement? And perhaps also what you think of the situation in WA where you have one person from a union going out, another from the same union coming in to that Senate spot. How do you justify that?

SHORTEN: Well, there's three questions there. Let me just –

JOURNALIST: I’ve broken the rules, I know.

SHORTEN: Pardon? Michelle, you've got your own spot. You can ask me whatever you like.

[laughter]

SHORTEN: On Western Australia, our candidates are good people and they're strong representatives. Our number one candidate in the Senate, Joe Bullock, has spent 35 years standing up for low paid workers. That's a good qualification to be a Senator. We will have a strong team. What Western Australian doesn't need is a rubber stamp. The last thing this nation needs is a Senate which simply waves through Tony Abbott's cruel agenda of cuts so in Western Australian when you vote the Labor team, and Louise Pratt’s highly capable, so is Shane Hill, so isKlara Andric, our number 4, but we probably won't get to that. But they're all very talented, strong people.

What you get when you vote the Labor ticket is you will get strong representation in the Senate which will not simply agree with Tony Abbott. Tony Abbott is the one who said he wants to model himself on Colin Barnett. Obviously no one told him the Western Australians aren't happy with Colin Barnett’s cuts. Did you know that Colin Barnett cut 350 teachers, 350 teachers assistants, $183 million out of the education budget? What’s going on? So I think our candidates are good and they are strong.

Going to your first two points, when it comes to modernising our relationship with the unions, we have to. Let there be no one under any doubt. I think we have to. We have to appeal to people who might think they that don't want to be in a union but they'd like to be involved with the Labor Party. We need to appeal to people who are professional, say professional women. There are a bundle of great potential candidates working in corporate Australia who we've got to reach out to and say, you know, this process isn't quite as black box as you think it is, and we can involve you and join you up. We need to reach out to small business. As I showed today, I no longer will allow the Liberal Party to lazily claim the province of small business without a contest. Small business just need people to tell who them the truth, who talk the concrete changes, not more rhetoric. We will no longer let the Tax Act of Australia define who votes for what party. It's on.

In terms of the point of union representation, do we have too many? I make no apologies for being a union rep in my working life. That is what has taught me the power of consensus. Opposition's hard because by nature I am a pragmatist, I am not ideologue. I have learned in the real economy of the world how people make their money, the pressures external businesses are under. If we were to say that we shouldn't have trade unionists in Parliament or in public life, you wouldn't have got John Curtin, you wouldn't have Ben Chifley, you wouldn't have Bob Hawke or Paul Keating, you wouldn't have even had Ronald Regan, or you wouldn’t have had Lech Wałęsa, you wouldn’t have the Leader of the Opposition in Zimbabwe. Being a unionist is okay. Of course it's not the only thing. and what we need to do is broaden our depth. But thank you for those questions, Michelle.

JOURNALIST: Steven Scott from the Courier Mail. Do you regret that Paul Howes was not able to find a spot in the Senate or Labor wasn't able to find a spot in the Senate for Paul Howes? Would you like to see him have a career in Parliament in the future? And you talked about wanting to re-energise the Labor Party, attract more people. What is Labor doing wrong if it's losing people like Paul Howes or in recent times, Greg Combet?

SHORTEN: Greg's had a distinguished career in public life. Paul is 32. The Labor Party hasn't lost him. He's still there. He's still a member. He's just doing a different, he'll do a different job to the one he's been doing. I do get the point that we need to appeal to more people and I've been at pains to say that’s part of what I want to do as the new leader of the Labor Party. In terms though of what the Labor Party does, we need to reach out to more members. I buy that logic.

What I also recognise is that if we want to talk about where this country's going, it is a two horse race. I want to know what the Government is going to do in the Budget. I know people are interested in Labor because we're the oldest continuous party. Our story in part is the Australian story. The Australian settlement, be it Medicare, be it the minimum wage, be it universal superannuation, be it in a more contemporary fashion, the National Disability Insurance Scheme, the Australian settlement is the Labor story. We are the ones who push these changes and we will continue to do so. So I am optimistic about Labor. I know we need to change. I also know that we need to be a good Opposition and hold this Government to account. That is why we have set the test for the Government.

Choices and priorities are what define Governments. We have seen this Government choose to raise the debate about a GP tax, we didn't ask them to. We've seen this Government walk away from the fifth and sixth year of funding for our schools. We have seen them start to talk about maybe we need to slow down the NDIS roll-out which will harm and damage the hopes and aspirations of 460,000 families in this country. Their choices are not sound. We get that industry’s close. I'm interested in what this country looks like in 2020. Will our communications be more dynamic, small business will be going strong, the march of women through the institutions of power be greater. I get these changes. I get that the world doesn't stand still.

Does anyone realise that in 1993, if you have a look at Telstra's annual report, didn't refer to mobile phones or the Internet. The world is changing fast. We get that. But the reason why we felt concerned about the abandonment of jobs, I get there will be no car industry in 2020, but what frustrates me is the faces in the street who get left behind. Do I think a Government Minister’s been down to front the car workers? Not a chance. Do I think they've been down to Alcoa to see how they're going? Not a chance. Do I think they've been to Gove to talk to the Rio refinery workers losing their jobs? Not a chance. They shrug their shoulders and say the world is too hard. We don't. We get the world changes we just believe that the change should be for the benefit of the many, not just the few.

And I'm sure that Paul will make a contribution in the future. I picked him to replace me at the AWU and I certainly believe he'll make a further contribution down the track.

JOURNALIST: Matt Moran from network Ten. Mr Shorten, what priority should Joe Hockey give to returning the budget to surplus?

SHORTEN: It is one of the criteria that he needs to stand by, but you've also got to make sure that when you create growth in this country, the economy's an instrument to building growth. The economy's an instrument to building a fair and just society. What we need to do is in all the decisions we make, if we're in Government or the Liberals are in Government, how does this help build our future to 2020? So yes, the surplus is a relevant issue but what I also recognise is that if we are to have better jobs in the future for our young people, if we are to have a more secure retirement for our elderly, if we're to make sure that people can get the healthcare they need, not the healthcare they can afford, these are all relevant to the sort of country we want to be.

For me the test is not whether or not I've read some right-wing economic text book or some left-wing economic text book, for me the test is what will this country look like in 2020 and are we taking the high road to get there or the low road? We can either get smarter or we can get poorer. We can either have change for the some or the many. These are choices and a Government is in power and this is their choice to make in this Budget.

HOST: We have a group of senior school students from Radford College in Canberra here in the room with us today. A question now from one of their number, Rachel Lester.

STUDENT: I was wondering what effect you think the current investigations into corruption in New South Wales and Federal Parliament has had on younger individuals thinking of going into politics?

SHORTEN: I think all people are disturbed by reports they see. But I would say to young people interested in politics and parliament you can make a difference. Here's a personal test I set for myself and the Labor Party. There are many Australians, young and not so young, who don't see the value of getting involved in politics because they don't think that they can change anything to do with their lives through politics. The truth is you can change what happens in your world and your community through being involved in politics.

So I would say that there’s always going to be tough stories out there, what I would also say is that when you look at university education, when you look at a minimum wage, when you look at better funding for schools, when you look at acting on climate change, when you look at looking after people with disabilities and carers, when you look at some of your number, in 10 years will be doing jobs that haven’t even been invented today. What I also know is there a lot more reasons to be positive about politics than negative and if any of your number are interested in joining, we’re keen to talk to you.

[laughter]

ENDS

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