Bill's Transcripts

Sunshine Interview with David Koch





SUBJECT/S: Rebuilding Labor, Kevin Rudd.

DAVID KOCH: The Opposition Leader joins me live, from Melbourne, Bill Shorten welcome to you, are these reports accurate?

BILL SHORTEN, LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: Today I will be speaking about rebuilding the Labor Party. What I want to do today is outline my vision to show that the Labor Party is changing, that we will be a competitive force at the next election and that we will rebuild.

KOCH: So what about cutting your ties with the union, to be selected to run and represent the Labor Party you’ve got to be a union member, will that say in?

SHORTEN: Well I believe it’s time for us to modernise our relationship with the unions. I’m a union member, I’m proud of that, but what I fundamentally believe is that the Labor Party needs to appeal to candidates from all walks of life, that we need to be a membership based party not a faction based party, that we need to give real power to our members, that we need to make sure that the best possible candidates are encouraged so I no longer believe that is should be compulsory to belong to a union to join the Labor Party. We need to reach out to people from small business from regional towns, from all walks of life.

KOCH: Wow, that is a massive change, what’s the, have you run this past any union leaders, have you run it past the factions, they’re pretty powerful.

SHORTEN: I’ve discussed this over the months since I got elected, since I became elected leader of the Labor Party with a range of people. These are my thoughts. I believe that the Labor Party, to be competitive at the next election needs to reach out and say to people from all parts of the economy, from all parts of our communities we want you.

KOCH: Do you have their support for the changes?

SHORTEN: Well we’ll find that out. I believe that people - over 4 million people voted Labor at the last election, that wasn’t enough but over 4 million people did. We’ve a quarter of a million people on our email list yet our membership is barely 40,000. I want to today announce to people, if you’re interested in politics that joining the Labor Party means you can help change the problems you perceive in our society. You can make this country a better country. We want people, we don't want to put any bars on people coming to the Labor Party.

KOCH: You haven't got the approval of the unions or the factions. It's just your thoughts, you’re throwing it out there?

SHORTEN: I’m the leader of the Labor Party, I believe that as the first leader elected by the broader process that we engaged in after the last election defeat, the broader election, that I do have a mandate for change. Australians, even people who will never vote Labor, but are all Australians, and including the millions who depend upon Labor, want to see Labor change. They want to see Labor be a party which is competitive at the next election. Our homeland, Australia, our democracy works best when you’ve got two competing groups and –

KOCH: Or more.

SHORTEN: No one likes to go to a football game and see a one sided match and I’m saying Labor’s determined to rebuild so we are competitive.

KOCH: Just quickly while we’ve got you, recent reports suggest Kevin Rudd is aiming for the UN secretary general's job, will he be good?

SHORTEN: I'm sure he’d be very good at that. He’d be very accomplished.


KOCH: Okay, all right Bill, thank you for that. Good luck today.

SHORTEN: Good on you Kochie, no problems, see you later.