Bill's Transcripts

Doorstop: Melbourne





SUBJECT/S: Fair pay deal for Victorian paramedics; Abbott Government’s unfair Budget; Immigration; Addressing claims; Ted Baillieu   

Well, as Victoria’s long-running ambulance dispute enters its second year, this is a crazy dispute. Dennis Napthine needs to sort out his arguments with Victoria’s much-loved paramedics. To put a pay offer on the table which is below CPI, which is thousands and thousands of dollars below the same people with the same skills get interstate, and to allow a dispute to run on for two years, is just poor. It is important in industrial disputes, there’s always two sides to the position, but it should not be beyond the wit and wisdom of a Liberal Government to be able to resolve a negotiation with highly skilled professionals who everyday put themselves on the line.

The ambulance officers that we saw here, they’re not radicals, they’re not overpaid, they’re hard working, they go to dark and dangerous parts every day and every night, they work long hours and I, as I said in the rally, like most Australians have never worked in the ambulance service, but like every Australian, especially every Australian parent, we know what good work ambos do. It’s time for this dispute to get fixed.

I might just make a brief comment about the Budget. I note today the remarkable intervention by the Secretary of the Treasury Department, Martin Parkinson, who now concedes that perhaps the Budget is going the wrong way and it hasn’t been properly dealt with. Joe Hockey now has a real problem; he’s got his former Treasurer Peter Costello saying it’s been stuffed up. He’s got the Australian people saying it’s wrong. He’s got his colleagues privately saying it’s been stuffed up. But now his own senior public servant says it’s not going the right way. It is time for Joe Hockey and Tony Abbott to give up on this unfair Budget, listen to the people and indeed instead of cutting pensions, putting a GP tax on, increasing petrol taxes, breaking election promises, telling lies before the election, it’s time for this unfair Budget to be put in the bin and the Government should start again. Happy to take questions.

JOURNALIST: You said yesterday you were cleared by police but they said there was only, they were only not proceeding with the charges because there wasn’t a reasonable prospect of conviction, is there a difference in your view?

SHORTEN: Yesterday I said in my statement all that I intend to say on this matter. I meant that. I do not intend to comment any further.


JOURNALIST: Do you expect the Prime Minister to counsel any MPs who bring it up in Parliament?


SHORTEN: Again, I have said all that I'm going to say on this matter. In all fairness, the police have concluded their work, they've made their decisions, and now I think it's appropriate to draw a line under the matter and that's what I'm going to do.


JOURNALIST: Did you have any indication that the woman who made the claims was going to go public?


SHORTEN: What is important here is to recognise that I mean what I say. I made my comments yesterday and I've said that I will not be speaking any further, and I issued a statement and I will keep to that.
JOURNALIST: Daniel Andrews said he would have a Royal Commission into violence against women if he’s elected, do you think that they should look at this issue?

SHORTEN: I’ve said all I’m going to say on the matter and again, I think the police have done their job and now I intend to draw a line under the matter.


JOURNALIST: Would Labor support all children being released from detention?


SHORTEN: Labor believes in the importance of ensuring that children are safe. It's important where we can to get children out of detention. That has been Labor's position and we did that in 2010. I think it's about time that Minister Scott Morrison started engaging in transparency and less secretiveness about this fundamental question.


JOURNALIST: Do you think all children should be released?


SHORTEN: Labor does believe in releasing children from detention but we also recognise that it's important that children have the opportunity to be with their parents.


JOURNALIST: The Government says offshore processing only works if it applies to all. Do you think there should be some leeway for children?


SHORTEN: Well Labor has engaged in terms of this matter by, in 2010, releasing hundreds of children from detention. I think that the Government needs to answer questions about their intentions. We find the Government secretive on matters to do with immigration. We find that the Minister's happy to be photographed on patrol boats offshore, but on the hard issues he goes missing.

JOURNALIST: Former Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu has announced he’s going to step down, quit state politics in November, what do you make of this news?

SHORTEN: Well, Ted Baillieu has risen to be Premier of Victoria; this is a remarkable accomplishment accorded to very few people. I recognise and pay respect to his public service and to achieving the office of Premier of Victoria. I think the Liberal Party are probably wondering if they did the right thing in terms of replacing him. But today I say to Ted Baillieu, congratulations on your service and now your family get you to come back to them. No other questions? Thanks very much, see you.