TUESDAY, 10 JULY 2018
SUBJECTS: Labor’s $800,000 support for health care training in Braddon, Braddon by-election; Mark Latham; ALP; UK politics
JUSTINE KEAY, LABOR CANDIDATE FOR BRADDON: Welcome everyone here to Meercroft Park Home in Devonport.
It's probably the best real estate you could get here in Devonport, with some wonderful residents here behind me, and of course the wonderful aged care workers here.
Unlike Malcolm Turnbull we don't believe that these people behind us should go and get a better job.
What we need though is to ensure that people that want to come into aged care as a career, have the best training they can possible.
So I'm here with Bill Shorten here at Meercroft to announce that a Shorten Labor Government will put $800,000 into the Devonport TAFE so that those that are training as enrolled nurses and also in disability care will have an interactive mini hospital.
So that people here in Devonport and across the North West of Tasmania can get the best training possible, to look after these wonderful people that we have in our aged care facilities in a place like Meercroft that they call home.
Thank you, Bill, for coming to Devonport.
BILL SHORTEN, LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: Thanks Justine, and good morning everybody. It's great to be here at Meercroft talking with staff and residents.
We're very lucky, Justine and I, we're here on staff appreciation day. And it really does highlight the difference between Labor and Liberal in the current Braddon by-election.
Labor really respects aged care. In fact, we like most Australians know a lot more needs to be done in aged care. We're not here telling the remarkable aged care workforce to get a better job, what we're offering is better training, better funding and better wages for aged care staff.
We're here today talking to residents and I was able to explain to them that Tasmania, the college in Tasmania was the first place ever in Australia where we had a mechanics institute - which was the forerunner of modern TAFE. That was back in 1827.
Now, 191 years later, Labor is saying to Tasmanian TAFE, that you are the home of TAFE and what we're going to do is invest in TAFE in Tasmania.
We want young people to be able to get apprenticeships in Tasmania and not have to go to the mainland. We want more respect for the aged care workforce so we're going to put $800,000 to help provide equipment so we can train both people in disability care and aged care to give them the best possible training, to provide the best possible care for Tasmania's older citizens.
This is a great announcement because what we're doing here is we're saying to Tasmanians, Labor prioritises quality aged care over giving a big tax cut to the big banks.
What we're saying to Tasmanian aged care workers is you don't have to get a better job. We want to make your current job better - by funding, by training, and of course by better wages.
After all, the people who live here have worked their whole lives, they deserve proper care in their older years and that's what Labor is committed to doing - to working to give better aged care and better training for our aged care workforce who are irreplaceable in Tasmania and right through Australia.
We're happy to take any questions people might have.
JOURNALIST: How damaging are the Mark Latham robocalls in the seat of Longman?
SHORTEN: I'm not going to get distracted by that sideshow. The fact of the matter is that when you vote for One Nation you're actually getting Malcolm Turnbull. At the end, Pauline Hanson's One Nation Party has voted 90 per cent of the time with the Liberals.
So when you vote for Pauline Hanson you get Malcolm Turnbull's tax cuts for the big banks - $17 billion.
JOURNALIST: I believe he's been saying that you're a liar - are you?
SHORTEN: No, what I'm not going to do is get distracted. Let's be clear: this is a sideshow. What these people on the sideshows of Australian politics want is for us to get distracted.
What the Australian people want us to do is focus on them, not on ourselves.
The media spend half their life saying politicians talk to much about themselves, and then they want us to talk about ourselves. Well I'm not going to get distracted. Mark Latham used to be someone, he's not anymore. So I'm not going to waste any time and energy on the sideshows.
What you get when you vote for Labor is you’re going to get prioritising aged care over tax cuts for big banks. That's a lot more important.
JOURNALIST: Are you worried that Labor's chances of winning Braddon are slipping away?
SHORTEN: I don't think the voters have voted yet. I don't think the vote has been counted. What I can promise the people in Braddon is in Justine Keay we've got a local champion, mother of three, fierce advocate for her communities.
Justine gets up every day and is determined to do better for working and middle class people in Braddon.
At the end of the day, how do the people here benefit by corporate tax cut to the four big banks, $17 billion? The reality, that Justine's the person who's going to make sure that we put resources into aged care and into apprenticeships and into TAFE. The other fellow is going to put money into big banks and multimillionaire tax cuts.
JOURNALIST: Not all the candidates for the by-elections are filling out the AEC section 44 form, what's the point of this if it's voluntary?
SHORTEN: I think it would be prudential of people to explain that they're eligible to run. We've seen all of the confusion, we've seen the High Court making new decisions, I think for the absence of any doubt people should put forward their documentation, full stop.
JOURNALIST: Just another one on that - will Labor make sure all candidates fill it out and give consent to publish?
SHORTEN: Yes, I expect that is the right way to go. I think all people running for office should do that now.
The rules have changed, they've got a lot clearer, the High Court's made its determinations. I think that people want to just be certain that who they're voting for is eligible to run. I just think it's prudential isn't it? It's common sense of the candidates to remove any doubt. We've seen the law evolve and now I think it's time for everyone to move on, focus on the people, not on themselves.
JOURNALIST: Going back to aged care, are you creating any jobs in the sector?
SHORTEN: We will be creating jobs in the sector - I mean, aged care is growing anyway. We're living longer which is fantastic, but some people, whilst they are certainly living longer become frailer.
It is so important that we train and support our aged care workforce. I frankly, was quite surprised at how out of touch the current Prime Minister is when he said - when I asked him a question in parliament, I said 'why is it that an aged care worker is only getting a $10 a week tax cut when a banker would be getting $7000 a year?' And he said 'people should aspire to get a better job'.
What makes this an out of touch comment is I actually think aged care is a good job. I actually know when you look at people who have to move into residential accommodation that they want quality care. I don't want aged care workers leaving the industry, I just want them to get a better deal.
Only Labor wants to give the aged care workforce a better deal. There's no doubt though the numbers of people working in aged care is going to increase as the population gets older.
JOURNALIST: This is the fifth day you've spent in Braddon in the past week, is that a sign of how concerned you are about winning this seat?
SHORTEN: It's a sign there's a by-election on but I also have to say that I've spent a lot of time in Braddon full stop. That doesn't always get the same media interest when there's not a by-election but Justine and I, we've done public forums in Queenstown, we've been to Latrobe, we came here during the floods, we've gone there since the floods to make sure that we repair the damage and make sure that the floods can't cause that damage again.
We've traveled from Circular Head right through to Burnie a number of times, not that it perhaps got the interest because it's not a massive media story, but I did run in the Burnie 10,000 and recorded a creditable 50 minutes for 10k.
JOURNALIST: Just on Mark Latham again, you said it was a - he's become a bit of a sideshow or the issue has become the sideshow. Chris Bowen this morning has said, has described him as one of the great Labor rats in history, do you agree with that?
SHORTEN: Well again, I think a lot of people in the Labor Party have got a very strong view about Mark Latham but what these people want is they want me to get distracted and start talking about them. Doesn't matter if it's Pauline Hanson, Mark Latham or Malcolm Turnbull, they have an obsession with personal tirades about me. I'm not going to play that game, they can play on that pitch all on their own.
What I'm going to do is focus on what Australians want and a little bit of advice to Mr Turnbull, he should perhaps copy my tactics of focusing on the people and talking less about the politicians.
JOURNALIST: Just back to Braddon, do you think with all the visits you've been making here do you think you're at risk of over campaigning?
SHORTEN: Well which way do you guys want it? You either don't visit a seat or you do visit a seat. The fact of the matter is I'm a people person I like to get out and about. I find the most satisfying part of my job when I'm in communities listening to people.
You know different people have got different styles, my opposite number he thinks the best work he can do is give a $17 billion tax cut to the big banks. I don't want to do that. I think the best work that I and Justine and Labor can do is talk to the residents here and when I was moving around talking to residents I didn't spend a lot of time sledging my opponents. What I do is I want to hear their stories, there is centuries of Tasmanian knowledge here in this room.
There are people here who have been teachers, there are people here who have worked as receptionists in law offices, there are people here who have grown up in these communities. I am interested in how they can enjoy this life with as much comfort and dignity as possible.
I far more enjoy talking to an aged care worker than talking to Mr Turnbull's top end of town mates in the banks. The fact of the matter is I think the aged care staff here are remarkable. I don't think they're paid enough. I don't think aged care funding is good enough. I don't think they get the respect they deserve from the powerful people in our parliament but we're going to do it differently. I would rather spend every day of my life hanging out and talking to real workers and real people, than some of the people that Mr Turnbull thinks are most important with his policies: the top end of town.
JOURNALIST: Polling shows that the Liberals are still ahead of Justine Keay, what are you doing to do you've got three weeks to turn those around, what are you going to do?
SHORTEN: I tell you what we've got the best policies and the best candidate. The fact of the matter is it's tight. Braddon is always a tight seat and you can look at how the electoral fortunes of the different parties have changed over plenty of previous elections.
So let's be clear what the choice is: if you want to make sure that the hospitals in the district are properly funded, you vote for Justine. If you want to make sure that parents and kids don't have to go to the mainland to get the specialist treatment that people on the mainland take for granted in health care, vote for Justine. If you want to make sure the schools are properly funded, if you want to make sure that aged care is properly funded, if you want to make sure that aged care workers are treated with respect and the prospect of better training, better funding and better wages, you vote for Justine.
Now of course if you want to give $17 billion away to the big banks, vote for the Liberals. If you want to make sure that multimillionaires are getting a tax cut but ordinary workers are getting $10 a week, vote for the Liberals. The choices are very clear. We choose everyday people and that's why I am optimistic that Justine and our policies are the best on offer for Braddon.
JOURNALIST: Will you support a push for the national executive to take control of the preselection process in Victoria?
SHORTEN: I'm going to leave the Victorian preselections to the Victorian Labor Party and the Labor Party officials. One thing I will make clear though and I make clear both internally and externally, I back my sitting Members. If I have got sitting Members who want to keep contributing, I want them on the frontline. What I will offer is a period of stability for my MPs, I won't let my MPs be ignored and I will make sure I protect my sitting MPs.
JOURNALIST: Just on an international note what's your reaction to Boris Johnson's resignation as UK Foreign Secretary?
SHORTEN: That's a matter for British politics. Thanks everybody.