Bill's Transcripts

Doorstop: Canberra - Liberal chaos; Abbott Government’s unfair Budget






SUBJECT/S: Liberal chaos; Abbott Government’s unfair Budget.


JOURNALIST: Is Joe Hockey’s job on the line now, does he need to be ditched because the sales job has failed?


BILL SHORTEN, LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: The Liberal Party of Australia need to stop worrying about which of their captains they throw overboard and just throw their unfair Budget overboard. It’s not about which Liberal is in charge of this mess, it’s about cutting pensions, it’s about a GP Tax, it’s about $100,000 degrees for university students. The Government’s values are wrong, their unfair Budget is wrong. It’s broken promises and lies, it’s not the particular salesperson.

JOURNALIST: What do you think about the report that nine Liberals lied to the Prime Minster and voted against him and apparently six frontbenchers. Can he trust anyone?


SHORTEN: Well it’s not so much can he trust anyone, clearly 39 of his colleagues at least have decided they’ve had enough of Tony Abbott. The real question is, can Australia trust the Liberal Party? The Liberal Party are divided, that’s clear. They can’t govern themselves so how can they govern the nation? The real question here is, can anyone trust Tony Abbott or his team, who for a year and half have stolen 521 days of Australia’s time to waste it on an unfair Budget which is going nowhere fast.


JOURNALIST: But you don’t want Tony Abbott to go anywhere do you? You don’t want to have to fight Malcolm Turnbull in an election?


SHORTEN: I want a better Budget out of this Government. I want to see pensioners not being worried about having their rate of increase done over. I want university students and prospective students from the bush and from working class Australia to not be discouraged from studying at university. I want the young, unemployed and long term unemployed to get jobs. I want to make sure that sick people don’t have to pay a tax to go to the doctor. I want to see our defence forces paid properly, I want to see navy submarines bought in Australia. I’d like to see us be a modern nation where we will promote the republic as opposed to borrowing the monarch of another country. This country needs new directions and I see no signs of it coming from anyone in the Liberal Party.


JOURNALIST: But it would be fair for members of the public to make parallels between what we saw yesterday and what we saw under Labor, I mean why are you attempting to take the high road here?


SHORTEN: Because Labor’s learnt its lesson. You’re an astute observer of Canberra and you follow political parties. We have new rules which means that the circus that we saw yesterday from the Liberals can’t happen, and you’d acknowledge that. Futhermore, the Liberal Party has broken so many promises since they came to office. Politics isn’t that hard in Australia, it’s about a covenant of trust between the voters and the people they vote for and the Abbott Government, all of them, have smashed it with their broken promises and lies. Perhaps the biggest broken promise of all was that they said 521 days ago they would be a government of adults, they would be stable, they would be sensible. Well that is clearly not the case.


JOURNALIST: Bill can I just ask you on Peta Credlin, she’s no longer appointing ministerial staff for ministers, do you think that’s, I mean I know you’re on the other side, but how toxic is Peta Credlin in Tony Abbott’s office? 


SHORTEN: I’ve got respect for Peta Credlin, I don’t think, I think it’s cowardly of the Liberal Party and their politicians to be blaming staff for their problems. It is the elected members of Parliament who determine the direction of a government. I think Peta Credlin’s professional, I don’t think she is the source of all the Government’s woes and I think that for Liberal MPs to be anonymously backgrounding and attacking staff just shows you that they refuse to deal with the real issues. Broken promises and lies, $100,000 university degrees, cuts to pensions, a GP Tax. This Government is lost at sea, they’re floundering and they’re lashing out at all and everyone.


JOURNALIST: What do you think the Government Party room in going to be like this morning?


SHORTEN: Well I think that they’ve got a great source of soul searching to do. They’re clearly, there’s a divorce under way in there and there’s a lot of unhappiness. I hope for the nation’s sake good policy can make its way through the snakes and ladders board game which is the Liberal Party caucus room. Last question thanks.


JOURNALIST: Is the Prime Minister a dead man walking? Does he have until after the Budget and if he doesn’t improve he’ll be gone. What’s your take on it?


SHORTEN: I just want the Budget to be gone. I want the unfairness at the core of the Liberal Party world view to disappear. I want to see this country debate the future, not the past. I want to see us focusing on what sort of country we’re going to be in 10, 20 years time. With better higher education, better infrastructure, focus on the regions. Health and education properly funded, a social justice safety net which means that the poor don’t get done over. But whatever this government does, people can count on the Labor Party to stand up for the poor and to make sure that the middle class of Australia, who are getting increasingly marginalised by this government, that we defend them


Thanks everyone, see you a bit later.