SUNDAY, 7 OCTOBER 2018
SUBJECT/S: Labor’s Fair Go Action Plan; bipartisan approach to immigration policy; daylight savings
MARK RILEY, HOST: Opposition Leader Bill Shorten will today launch an action plan for Labor, designed to set him apart from Scott Morrison, with a set of key values that he'll take to the election, due next year.
MONIQUE WRIGHT, HOST: And the Opposition Leader joins us live now from Melbourne. Good morning to you, Bill Shorten. Thanks for being with us. Just give us in a nutshell what you're going to be telling Australia later today? What is in your manifesto?
BILL SHORTEN, LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: Good morning, well a lot of people are coming up to me at the moment and saying, Labor has to do nothing and just watch the Liberals implode, but I actually think people want more from politics than just the business as usual. So what we're going to do today is launch a positive, Fair Go Action Plan for Australia.
It has got five features; we want to fix up our schools and hospitals, we want to stand up for workers, we want to ease the pressure on family budgets, we want to make sure that
the economy is strong and works for everyone and we want to invest in cleaner energy - cleaner and cheaper energy. We think that this is the bones of a really positive plan that take Australia into the next decade.
RILEY: Mr Shorten, on that third point, standing up for workers. Sally McManus and the ACTU is launching a campaign today about - a new union campaign about sector-wide bargaining. Where does parliamentary Labor, where does your party stand on that?
SHORTEN: We haven't finalised our position, but I think that the unions and indeed a lot of people from the Reserve Bank onwards, are all saying that everything is going up in Australia except wages. The system is not working in that what is happening is that corporate profits are going up, some people are doing very well thank you very much. But
for millions of everyday Aussies, they have not had a wage rise in absolute ages, since the Coalition Government has been elected.
RILEY: Yeah, that's the big issue out there but can you legislate? Can you use the Parliament to ensure wages go up?
SHORTEN: I think there are some things that we can do -
RILEY: Like what?
SHORTEN: We can legislate to restore the penalty rates on Sundays and public holidays that have been cut. We can also put in place measures which will encourage closing the gender pay gap. You know of course Mark, that women in Australia earn on average 15 to 17 per cent less than men and I think there are measures we can do to help improve the deal. And indeed this week, on Thursday, we unveiled our early childhood learning plans which will see universal access for all three and four year olds. Part of that will provide a better deal for early childhood educators who are underpaid at the moment in Australia.
WRIGHT: Yes ok, you were announcing that during the week. Listen Labor is managing to stay ahead in the opinion polls Bill, yet you are less popular than Scott Morrison. What do you think? Is it style or substance that is the problem?
SHORTEN: Well I actually think that people want to look beyond the next opinion poll to what are we going to do for them and their families. The reason why I want to be Prime Minister Monique, is I want Australia to hand on a better deal to the next generation than the one we received from our parents. This to me, is at the essence of the fair go. The fair go is the best way to hand on a better deal to future generations. I think that when we look at the ideas and policies, the Liberals have been in now for five years, they have run out of ideas. Labor has a view which says, a fair go to everyone and that will hand on a better deal to future generations. That's what we're in it for.
RILEY: You have got your five-point plan today, Scott Morrison is going to release a four-point 'blueprint' - so you are one point up, to tackle population policy on Tuesday. You have called for a bipartisan approach to immigration yet I don't see any consensus in your Caucus, I don't see any in the Government party room. How do you get bipartisanship between the parties in the Parliament on immigration and population policy?
SHORTEN: Well I think that successive governments over the decades have tried to tackle this issue of big cities being overcrowded. How do we get immigrants to go to the bush? Now, what I have said to Scott Morrison is, let's take this issue out of the political colosseum, the political bear-pit, let's work together. That is what people stop me in the street and say to me, there are big issues, Bill - issues for the next decade and beyond, when will you guys just work together? So I am absolutely prepared to be constructive with the current Prime Minister. I mean, I was willing to work with Tony Abbott and then I was willing to work with Malcolm Turnbull, so I am happy to try the new fellow too, but I think we need to get on and put the politics aside, don't we, Mark.
WRIGHT: Alright. Just before we let you go, Australia has woken up to five different time zones this morning. Is it time for the daylight saving chaos to end in this country?
SHORTEN: Well, let's sort out population, cost of living, workers’ rights, build a strong economy to make it work in the interest of everyone -
WRIGHT: Bill, come on! We know our own Simon Reeve is beside himself about daylight savings, living in Queensland -
SHORTEN: Listen, I think some of our time zone differences are absolutely crazy, but I also know that every state has got very long held views on this issue. So let's start with immigration and cost of living and wages, then when we have done all of that, let's get on to daylight savings.
WRIGHT: Alright, Bill. Well you're looking alright for one hour less sleep overnight. Thank you very much for being with us.
SHORTEN: Thanks guys.
RILEY: Good on you. Thanks, Mr Shorten.
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