THURSDAY, 16 NOVEMBER 2017
SUBJECT: AUSTRALIA SAYS ‘YES’ TO MARRIAGE EQUALITY
SAMANTHA ARMYTAGE: Bill Shorten good morning and welcome. Now a lovely result for the country but we’ve got a little bit of a problem for the Labor Party in this scenario for yesterday. The biggest resounding ‘no’ vote in the country was Western Sydney, from my count that’s nine Labor electorates. How is your party going to respond to this issue and the people in your party who are governing these electorates? What are they going to do from here?
SHORTEN: I have always respected that there are some Australians who don’t support marriage equality. But that won’t deter me from ensuring that we legislate for marriage equality before Parliament rises at the end of 7 December this year. Some people do not like it or they’re not used to it or it’s very unfamiliar. I am really confident that once we make the changes a whole lot of Australians will say “what was the fuss? Why did we wait so long?”
DAVID KOCH: Okay obviously your message is not getting through, Bennelong had 52.2 per cent vote no.
SHORTEN: I don't know if you think your coffee cup in front of you is half empty or half full, but I’m a half full kind of person. The fact of the matter is 61.6 per cent of the survey participants said yes. I've never seen any issue where 100 per cent of the people always agree, but what I do know it that Australia is ready. We were ready before this survey. The survey that we got the result on yesterday is the same survey that the media outlets have been telling us was the general attitude of the community for quite a while. I think it is time for marriage equality and I want Australians turning on their TV this morning watching Sunrise to realise that the Parliament and I have got the message: do it now and do it quickly.
ARMYTAGE: What will you do in the seats, particularly in Western Sydney in the lead up to the next election which are governed by Labor, to stop the Cory Bernardis and the Pauline Hansons getting into those seats? Because it seems that there’s quite a conservative movement out there.
SHORTEN: First of all there have always been plenty of people of religious conviction who have supported Labor. The thing about Australia is marriage equality is not the only issue. I thank there will be quite a lot of viewers this morning who would also say “maybe I like the idea or maybe I don’t, maybe I just wish you would all get on with it and do it.” There are plenty of other issues in Australia at the moment: power prices, housing prices, will your kids be able to get a job, what’s the price of going to university or TAFE.
I think that Labor’s prescription of looking after the everyday person, we’re on the money with the needs of everyday Australians on the things that matter in the economy and the hip pocket.
KOCH: What’s your challenge to Malcolm Turnbull this morning in pushing this through? What’s the timetable you are demanding?
SHORTEN: Well, I think the people of Australia, many whom thought that the survey itself was a big expense of money - $120 million- they just want us to get on with it. I am offering Malcolm Turnbull my cooperation, my united Labor team is committed to voting for this. I think we can do this within the last two weeks of Parliament. For those that don’t watch the calendar of Parliament, we start sitting again in the House of Representatives on 27 November, we are scheduled to finish on 7 December.
I think, 7 December we can have this done and dusted, all ready to go.
ARMYTAGE: Let's hope so. Bill Shorten thanks for your time this morning we appreciate you standing in the rain there.
SHORTEN: Thanks for your interest in marriage equality. You guys have been very good.