Bill's Transcripts

Doorstop: Melbourne - Run for the Kids; Glen Lazarus;






SUBJECT/S: Run for the Kids; Glen Lazarus; Abbott Government holding science funding to ransom; $100,000 degrees; East West Link; New South Wales Election


BILL SHORTEN, LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: It’s really inspirational to be here this morning at the Royal Children’s Hospital with my friend and colleague the State Minister for Health, Jill Hennessy.


We've both just toured Koala Ward where we see really special children and their amazing parents getting the life-saving care that they deserve from a great professional staff.


We're here today to help promote the 10th  anniversary of the Run for the Kids. The Run for the Kids, which will be held Sunday week, is all about raising much-need funds to help the Royal Children's Hospital do its fantastic work even better. It's the 10th anniversary, the Run for the Kids has raised over $10 million. I'll be running along with tens of thousands of other Victorians because we know that the best thing we can do on Sunday morning two Sundays away, is help join together to help the Royal Children's Hospital help Australia's children. I'm happy to take any questions and my colleague Jill is happy to take any state matters which you may be curious about.


JOURNALIST: Glenn Lazarus has resigned from the Palmer United Party. What's your reaction to that?


SHORTEN: Well, what Senator Lazarus does is up to Senator Lazarus. I respect him greatly and I look forward to working with him as an independent Senator but what really matters is that in the Senate we've got the current Liberal Government proposing unfair cuts to health care, unfair cuts to the pension, unfair cuts to childcare and of course pushing relentlessly ahead with $100,000 degrees for uni students. It is really wrong that next week in Canberra the Abbott Government's taking science and research funding hostage in Australia, threatening the Senators and Australia that if we don't vote for their unfair changes to higher education we will see hundreds of millions of dollars cut from our badly needed science budget.


JOURNALIST: Would you be willing to negotiate with Glenn Lazarus as an independent on senate matters?


SHORTEN: Labor will stick to its guns. We think that this coming week in parliament higher education is a fierce area where Labor is determined to prevent $100,000 degrees. I think it is really wrong of the Abbott Liberal Government in Canberra to be threatening and holding hostage hundreds of millions of dollars of science funding merely because we won't agree to the unfair changes to higher education. Labor will work with Senator Lazarus and the rest of the cross bench because the future of Australia and higher education and science is at stake.


JOURNALIST: How do you think that's going to affect the dynamic in the Senate?


SHORTEN: What would make the Senate work better is if the Abbott Government kept its election promises. What the Abbott Government needs to do is take its hands off the pension, its hands off forcing kids to pay $100,000 university degrees, its hands off $6,000 family payment cuts. The Abbott Government should stop trying to wreck Australia with its unfair Budget, work with the Opposition, work with the cross bench for a better future for Australia, not just cutting the incomes of the most vulnerable and making it harder for Australian families to get ahead.


JOURNALIST: Tony Abbott wrote to the Premier Daniel Andrews, calling for him to think about bringing back the East West Link. What's your reaction to him making those sort of calls?


SHORTEN: Tony Abbott should stop trying to bully Victorians in terms of the East West Link. Daniel Andrews went to the election with a clear platform. What we need in Victoria - and I say this as a life-long Victorian - is we need well-funded public transport and of course we need well-funded roads. The Abbott Government approach of trying to blame the Victorian Government for ill thought-out measures, to me is not the right way to go. Tony Abbott should stop trying to have an argument with everyone and start working with people rather than fighting with everyone.


That's why in particular this week coming up I ask the Prime Minister of Australia please do not hold hostage science research in this country just so you can perpetuate your unfair agenda of $100,000 university degrees.


JOURNALIST: You're a Melbourne man, Mike Baird has said he wants to take off the Grand Prix from Melbourne. How would you see it, would you be sad to see it go?


SHORTEN: I think Mike Baird’s showing increasing desperation in terms of the New South Wales State Election. Labor's leader Luke Foley, in New South Wales, is offering a clear agenda to properly fund hospitals, put nurses into hospitals, into emergency departments with nurse ratios, to properly fund schools and not to sell off New South Wales’ public assets. I think the proposition from the Liberals in New South Wales having an argument with Victoria about a Grand Prix is a desperate distraction to take away from the real issues in New South Wales.


JOURNALIST: What do you make of it, Jill? As a state government minister, it is a State Government issue, I guess.


JILL HENNESSY, VICTORIAN HEALTH MINISTER: I know that competition between Victoria and New South Wales is often the subject of fierce debate but Mr Baird has no hope of taking this really important major event away from Victoria. Earlier this week our Premier, Daniel Andrews made an announcement we were going to conduct a review to in fact attract more major events to Victoria, not less. I understand why Sydney would be jealous but I don't think they've got any hope of taking this really important event away from Victoria.


SHORTEN: Any other questions? Thanks very much.