SATURDAY, 11 MARCH 2017
SUBJECT/S: WA Election; Liberal party deal with One Nation; GST; infrastructure funding; Liberal Party text messages.
BILL SHORTEN, LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: Good morning everybody. It's a great privilege for me to be in Western Australia listening to West Australians talk about what they want to see for the future of their state. And it is a great privilege to be standing next to Mark McGowan.
Mark McGowan is not arrogant; he is not smug about this result; he works hard, is dedicated and he has spent the last number of years in opposition preparing to lead a very good government if he gets the privilege this afternoon and this evening.
Mark McGowan deserves a victory today in Western Australia. He has worked hard everyday as Opposition Leader. He has got policies which speak to Western Australians. He knows that Western Australia needs a change.
I am not going to predict the result; we will find out what that result is soon enough in coming hours. But I know that West Australians need something better than what they have had, and in Mark McGowan they're going to get that outcome if they vote for him today.
Largely it is state-issues, it's time for change. Labor's policies about prioritising jobs for West Australians, opposing the privatisation of Western Power. Now I have to say though, I haven't seen my opposite number Mr Turnbull anywhere today in Western Australia. In fact, I can't find any of his senior Coalition ministers anywhere putting their heads up too often. I am sure that Mr Turnbull will be sitting somewhere tonight watching the results come in from Western Australia, watching the result with a very nervous eye.
If there is a change of government tonight I hope that Mr Turnbull, when he wakes up tomorrow morning decides to change his policies supporting a penalty rate cut. Tomorrow morning Malcolm Turnbull should hear what people are saying in Western Australia, and he should decide to completely change his policies. He should oppose a penalty rate cut and he should work with Labor otherwise he is not hearing one of the messages of this election.
MARK MCGOWAN, WEST AUSTRALIAN OPPOSITION LEADER: Thanks everyone. As you know, I have spoken to you already today but I would just say thanks to Bill for coming over for today's event and thanks to Bill for coming over twice during the course of the campaign. So that's three occasions Bill has been over during the course of the campaign.
I am very grateful for the support of my federal colleagues. A range of my federal colleagues have been out there campaigning for WA Labor candidates. That's been a terrific contribution over the course of the campaign.
I hope Western Australia votes for change today. We need a fresh start, we need a team with plans and ideas for the future of Western Australia. I have put out a whole range of policies to make Western Australia stronger and fairer. This is a great state; we all love it but clearly we need a change. Our unemployment rate is too high, our hospital waiting lists are too long, our methamphetamine crisis is too big.
It's time for a change and a team with a fresh start and a fresh approach. I have a great group of candidates - we've got Simon Millman here with me here today, our candidate for Mount Lawley. A local person, local family man, local lawyer; he would be a great member for Mount Lawley and I certainly that hope tonight, Simon Millman is elected as the local MP for this excellent area.
Thanks very much.
JOURNALIST: Mr McGowan, can I just asks a quick one - one of your Labor campaign workers apparently (inaudible) pushed over Chris Tan, a Liberal Candidate in a scuffle over signage.
MCGOWAN: Pushed over who, sorry?
JOURNALIST: Chris Tan, a Liberal candidate at (inaudible) Primary School. There was a scuffle over signage and a Liberal candidate was pushed over. What do you think of this?
MCGOWAN: I don't know anything about it. I know there has been a lot of allegations made during the course of the campaign. All I would say to people on polling booths is behave respectfully towards the public and towards each other. I think that's what Australians want.
I always make a point of being respectful to Liberal Party campaign workers, Greens workers, Nationals workers, whoever they might be because we are all Australians first and we need to make sure we treat each other well. I don't know what has happened there. I will try and get to the bottom of it and if we do, we will get you any further information.
JOURNALIST: Mr McGowan, you may have been asked about this already but I received this in my letter box today and it is a notice purporting to be a council development application for a Mosque in Beaufort Street which is fake - (inaudible) has confirmed it is fake. How do you think people would react to that and what do you think this is designed to do?
MCGOWAN: Does it specify a vote for someone in particular?
JOURNALIST: No, it's pretending to be a council notice.
MCGOWAN: Yeah, look I don't think that sort of thing is appropriate, trying to stir up hatred towards other people is not the Australian way. It is certainly not the West Australian way and I hope we get to the bottom of whoever did it and I condemn it absolutely.
JOURNALIST: Mr Shorten, what do you think of the preference deal between the WA Liberals and Pauline Hanson's One Nation?
SHORTEN: The Liberal deal with One Nation has been the ultimate exploding cigar of this election. It just clearly shows that a vote for One Nation is a vote for Colin Barnett and the Liberal Party. And I have to say, I think Malcolm Turnbull has been too weak in not stopping it. We've made it clear both Mark at the state level and myself at the national; nowhere, anywhere will Labor preference One Nation and we think that Malcolm Turnbull's let himself down here. He's been caught playing in the traffic trying to have the benefit of One Nation preferences, pretending it's not a matter which he can deal with and I think people who are looking to protest against Colin Barnett - the real test is that the best way if you want to change this state isn't to vote for One Nation and your vote goes back to the Liberals, it's to vote for Mark McGowan and the Labor candidates across Western Australia.
JOURNALIST: Have you given Mr McGowan a firm commitment on the GST distribution? Would you institute a floor on WA's share? Or what is your solution?
SHORTEN: There are a whole lot of financial issues in Western Australia which Colin Barnett has neglected. Mark McGowan is the best chance that Western Australia has to lift their share of the GST. We're going to listen very carefully what Mark McGowan says and when it comes to standing up for Western Australia getting it's fair share, we would not oppose Mark McGowan if he wants to redirect the funds from freight link, the road going nowhere into METRO rail. We want to support Mark McGowan's propositions. Mark McGowan is the best chance for Western Australia to get a square deal on infrastructure, schools, GST and Medicare funding.
JOURNALIST: What's your commitment to the GST?
SHORTEN: Our commitment is to see a better deal for Western Australia and I'll tell you what, the chances of Western Australia getting a better deal (inaudible), vote for Mark McGowan today.
JOURNALIST: How would you do that when all the states have to agree?
SHORTEN: Well clearly you've got to work through it with all the states but let's not make any mistake here, under Colin Barnett the GST picture for Western Australia has gone down and down and down. I think any fair minded person recognises that some of the rules are unfair to Western Australia from the remote definition. You've got the whole issue around gambling and why would a state be forced to have to start taxing and going and expanding gambling. Mark McGowan's the guy who is going to do the right thing, absolutely.
JOURNALIST: Roe 8 and the Federal Government has said that it will withhold, won’t redirect the money that it's putting in for Roe 8 and Roe 9 so that the state can use it in a way that it wants if a Labor Government wins. Is that blackmail on the Australian voter, on the West Australian voter?
SHORTEN: Not only is it blackmailing West Australian voters - Mark McGowan if he is successful has a mandate from the people of Western Australia to invest in infrastructure according to his sensible policies. If Malcom Turnbull persists with trying to punish West Australians for voting for Mark McGowan, it'll rebound in Malcolm Turnbull's face. If there is any likely hood that Malcolm Turnbull punishes Western Australians for voting for Mark McGowan and not supporting Mark McGowan's infrastructure propositions which include better public transport to ease congestion and improve productivity, then what will happen is that what we see today will be repeated at the next federal election. I think it would be really negligent of Malcolm Turnbull to punish Western Australians merely because they didn't pick Colin Barnett, and I think Malcolm Turnbull needs to listen to Mark McGowan.
JOURNALIST: You must have been (inaudible) to see text messages today apparently from the Liberal Party warning that household bills will go up under a Labor Government; Mark McGowan is not worth the risk, considering the Prime Minister's anger on election night?
SHORTEN: I wonder if Malcolm Turnbull will have a tantrum tonight about these text messages. Just goes to show the Liberal Party, they don't like it when we belled the cat on Medicare but they're not above using the very tactics they criticised Labor for. It's just - anyway I look forward to seeing Malcolm Turnbull have a hissy fit tonight on that matter.
But I do say tonight, if the result goes strongly to Labor in Western Australia, Malcolm Turnbull needs to change his tune on penalty rates and he needs to immediately rule out doing any further deals with One Nation. Thank you everybody, cheers.