TUESDAY, 31 JULY 2018
SUBJECT/S: Turnbull’s corporate tax give away; Liberal’s $17 billion cuts to education; Emma Husar; My Health records; National Anti-Corruption Commission; health care in Tasmania.
JUSTINE KEAY, MEMBER-ELECT FOR BRADDON: Thank you everyone for coming here to Burnie, and it's great to have Bill Shorten the Leader of the Opposition here, for I guess the end of the election on Saturday, and the beginning for us to commence the next part of our job, and that's to keep representing the people of Braddon, as I have done for the past two years, and continue that job because it doesn't end when the election is over. It starts again today.
I want to thank the people of Braddon for all their support. We've had tens of thousands of conversations with the electors in the last, well nearly three months, and we'll continue to have those conversations with them over the next few months heading into the general election. As I said on election night, I've been fighting for them for the last two years, I'll keep fighting for them today, and I'll keep fighting for them up until the general election, and for as long as they will have me.
And that's because we heard a very clear message on Saturday night. Not just here in Braddon, but across the country, that the people want to be put first. They want their health care to be put first, they want their schools to be put first, they want their pensions to be put first, not the banks, not multinational corporations, is what Malcolm Turnbull - that's his proposition he put to the people on Saturday. The people here in Braddon refuted that proposition, and said no, we've had enough of that, we want to be looked after for once. So that's what Labor's been saying for a long, long time now, that's what we'll continue to say. That we'll be putting the people of Braddon first before the banks, before multinationals and it's about time that Malcolm Turnbull started to listen.
So thank you Bill, it's great that you're here again. We've been thanking voters since you've been here and we'll keep doing that today, and I'll be doing that for many, many months to come. Thank you.
BILL SHORTEN, LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: Good morning everybody, it's fantastic to be back in Tasmania, and I'm here first of all to congratulate Justine Keay and the great rank and file team of the labour movement, for really putting the political issues out there about how Labor wants to put better hospitals ahead of bigger banks, how we want to see pensioners put before multinationals, how we want to see the cuts to schools reversed before we hand away tax cuts to the top end.
But I just want to not only thank people who voted for Justine in the recent election, but I want to acknowledge those who didn't. I want to say to Tasmanians and indeed all Australians, we hear you loud and clear. We understand that you are over politicians just fighting each other, and what you want is, you want to see you prioritised over us. Well, we've got the message loud and clear. We are going to spend every day between now and the general election rolling out our positive policies which put people ahead of the big banks, which put everyday Australians ahead of the top end of town. We hear you loud and clear. We acknowledge the people who voted for third party candidates, and indeed some people who voted for the Liberals, and we say we hear you, too. We promise to put people ahead of the top end of town, and Justine is just the person to do that for Northern Tasmania.
Happy to take any questions.
JOURNALIST: Would you support Malcolm Turnbull doing a deal to better fund Catholic schools?
SHORTEN: Well we believe, and we've said all along that Malcolm Turnbull has cut $17 billion from schools. We've said that, we've said that he has cut them from government schools, public education, but he has also cut them from low-fee independent and Catholic schools. Every time I've said this for the last 12 months, Mr Turnbull has attacked me and said that I'm making it up, that somehow there is no problem for Catholic schools. Now he has received an electoral smack on the bottom over his cuts to school funding, he is now going to sing a different song. He needs to put back every dollar he has cut out of Catholic schools and public schools. And I put Mr Turnbull on notice. It is a stunning admission that you now acknowledge that Labor has been telling the truth and you have been lying on the funding of Catholic schools, forcing parents' fees up, forcing the potential closure of Catholic schools. But Malcolm, it doesn't stop there. Let's prioritise education over big banks and corporate tax cuts for the top end of town. I will fight for government schools. It is not fair if Mr Turnbull just fixes up his mistakes and cuts to Catholic schools. He needs to fix up his cuts to all schools full stop, and the only way you can put the $17 billion worth of cuts back into schools, isn't by playing favourites between different school systems, it's by dropping your rotten corporate tax cuts and some of the other measures which mean that you are favouring the top end of town.
JOURNALIST: Justine lost to Brett Whiteley on primary votes, is that a reflection of Labor's campaign?
SHORTEN: Not at all. I think any Liberals who try to spin the defeat of their candidate in Braddon lives on another planet. But can I say actually, I'm not going to spend all my time bagging the Liberal campaign and the Liberal candidate and all of that. What - the message I got from all voters, Liberal, third party and of course Labor voters, is they want to see the politicians talk about them. The overwhelming messages I got from the Braddon voters is they want to see policies which prioritise a person's family and their health care. If you've got your family sorted out and if you've got your health care working for you, then you can start dealing with everything else. The other message I got from Braddon loud and clear, is that everything is going up in Braddon except peoples wages and we'll have more to say about that.
JOURNALIST: Will Labor do anything differently in the next campaign, it seems people didn't put Justine as their number one vote.
SHORTEN: Justine won the seat. Yes, we intend to try and get more votes, but we're going to get more votes not by just running down the government, but by putting people first, by having better hospitals rather than bigger banks.
JOURNALIST: (Inaudible) with the investigation into Emma Husar, the allegations made into Emma Husar. Why can't you commit to releasing the inquiry publically?
SHORTEN: First of all, I haven't even seen the inquiry. People who've got concerns have got a right to have their matter heard in confidence if they seek. I think it would be wrong of me just to commit the people who might have had private observations or evidence, that somehow even though they've gone into a process of that confidentiality, for me just to use them to say we'll put it out publicly. We'll wait till we get the report.
JOURNALIST: Unions and members of your own party will pressure you at the ALP National Conference to reject the government's policy of turning back boats, will you be sticking with it?
JOURNALIST: Just going back to the Husar allegations, she was a sitting Member of the Parliament. These allegations are of when she was an MP. Don't you think the public deserves to know what happened?
SHORTEN: We've got an independent process, I'll leave that to the New South Wales branch. But I'll tell you what the public do have a right to know, since we're going to that area. They've got a right to know if the My Health records are going to be properly administered. It wasn't the biggest issue in the election but it's one which certainly, as every day went on, more concern was expressed to me and our Labor candidates. The government has got to protect the privacy of Australians. I support digitising health records, the principle of it. This government is really bungling it. The government's got to respect the privacy concerns. It's very powerful information when you put people's private health insurance and private health information, people don't want it accessed.
I mean we're seeing an issue right now in Tasmania, where a woman employee of Cricket Australia has expressed a public opinion about the need to prioritise health care resources for women in Tasmania, and we're not sure now if the Tasmanian Liberal Government has leaked that information. It just shows you the Liberals need to really smarten their act up on privacy. We're not going to make this a political football, peoples private health records, but nor should the government. And the government's got to stop treating - the Liberal government has got to stop treating Australians as mugs by pretending there's not a problem here about how you properly protect people from having their information hacked.
JOURNALIST: Should Cricket Australia have sacked Angela Williamson over her tweets?
SHORTEN: She's now making a legal process, and I'm sure all the issues will be forensically examined. But it does show a couple of basic issues here I think, which go beyond this lady in question. One, women in Tasmania do not have access to the same medical resources that women on the mainland have. This is wrong. It just shows you the Liberal Party don't get health care. There's a couple of other issues here. If there is political interference from the Tasmanian Government, where they're trying to blacklist and get a woman sacked because she has a different concern, and a concern for the health of Tasmanian women and the Tasmania Liberal Government, if they have released private health information, or if they have sought to have this woman blacklisted that shows you why we need a National Anti-Corruption Commission in Australia. I mean how many times do we need to see problems with the Federal Government or Liberal Government’s that we don't have a National Anti-Corruption Commission. I think the other point which needs to be made clear here, is again, going back to that My Health record information. If we have got concerns in the community, people are raising them, about the protection of people's data, this story in Tasmania won't help anything.
JOURNALIST: The Liberals say they're not cutting funding for health but you say that they are. What evidence do you have of that in Tasmania?
SHORTEN: The Liberals promised when they got elected that they would pay 50 per cent of hospital funding in Tasmania, they're paying 45 per cent. A cut is a cut, is a cut, is a cut. You can't trust Malcolm Turnbull or the government on health care.
For us it's a number one issue and we can afford to pay for our fantastic health promises - reducing waiting lists, doing all the things that need to be done because we're not going to give big corporate tax cuts to big banks.
Thanks everybody, I think the weather is -
JOURNALIST: Does Labor back the Australia/Japan/US regional infrastructure fund announcement this morning?
SHORTEN: Everyone knows that Australia has gone backwards in the Pacific under this government. Long overdue to do something.
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