Bill's Transcripts

Doorstop: Sunnybank Hills - Queensland election; Liberal campaign to increase the GST;






SUBJECT/S: Queensland election; Liberal campaign to increase the GST; Cost of Living; Tony Abbott’s unfair Budget.




[audio cuts in]

There is real concern that Tony Abbott is talking about putting a GST on fresh food. A family shopping here work hard to make ends meet. There’s plenty of pressure on them with utilities and other power prices, plenty pressure on the cost of living. So when they hear that Tony Abbott and the Federal LNP - Campbell Newman’s political brothers and sisters in Canberra - are talking about putting a GST on fresh food, there is disbelief and concern. That’s why I’m pleased to be here with Annastacia Palaszczuk. The test for any state leader is are they capable of standing up to Tony Abbott on behalf of the citizens of Queensland or any other state, or will they simply be a rubber stamp for Tony Abbott. Campbell Newman may have put Tony Abbott into witness protection, and not have him coming out and meeting ordinary Queenslanders, Queenslanders know that only Annastacia Palaszczuk has the strength to stand up against Tony Abbott’s GST on fresh food and many other essentials of life. Happy to take questions.


JOURNALIST: What will she be able to do though? [Inaudible]..


SHORTEN: We all know that that Campbell Newman will run up the white flag and surrender to Tony Abbott on rolling in the GST. Only a vote for Labor in the state Queensland election can send an unequivocal message- straight message, straight talking to Canberra and Tony Abbott. Tony Abbott, you may hide from Queenslanders, but you can’t hide your GST policies. Tony Abbott has proposed a structured campaign with selective speeches and leaks all across the summer period getting backbenchers, and now Andrew Robb the Federal Minister for Trade, coming out and supporting a GST on fresh food. Tony Abbott and the LNP just don’t get it. Ordinary Queenslanders are battling to make ends meet, they don’t need a new tax, a broken promise, on fresh food.


JOURNALIST: [Inaudible].


SHORTEN: Well I’ve been coming to Queensland ever since I’ve been Opposition Leader. What we see here, is this is a state election - and there will be many state issues here, it’s not just about Tony Abbott and I understand that.  But there is a real convergence between the tough, promise breaking agenda of Tony Abbott, and that of Campbell Newman. Campbell Newman is the man who sacked 24,000 people - 24,000 people lost their jobs under Campbell Newman. We see unemployment in Queensland - once upon a time it used to be below the national average - now it’s unfortunately one of the leaders in the nation. We see cuts to hospitals and schools by Campbell Newman, we see Tony Abbott’s terrible Budget last year, where he has cut billions of dollars from Queensland hospitals and schools. Whenever you scratch the surface of Campbell Newman, you get Tony Abbott.


JOURNALIST: Is this part of a deliberate strategy to muddy the waters between state and federal issues during this campaign?


SHORTEN: Not at all. This is a state election and there will be many state issues, but I think that it will be an act of hope over experience to think that if you're voting for Campbell Newman that Tony Abbott won't have something to say and be rubbing his hands with glee. They are from the same political party.


Campbell Newman cuts jobs, Tony Abbott sees unemployment rise. Campbell Newman cuts hospital and healthcare services, Tony Abbott cuts hospital and healthcare funding. Campbell Newman cuts education funding, Tony Abbott cuts education funding. You can call them different names but they are from the same political party, they share the same extreme views. If Queensland wants a strong person to stand up against Tony Abbott, it's Annastacia Palaszczuk.


JOURNALIST: How can Labor possibly win this election  after such a huge swing [inaudible]?


SHORTEN: You're right, it's a tough battle. When you think about the remarkable job that Annastacia Palaszczuk has done, just over three years ago Labor was given 10 per cent of the Queensland Parliament by the people of Queensland. The fact that Annastacia Palaszczuk and her team are doing so well shows that Queenslanders understand that they need someone who understands the lives of ordinary Queenslanders, people battling to make ends meet. You are right, it's a very steep mountain that Annastacia Palaszczuk has to climb, but for goodness sake, if you hand Campbell Newman the same whopping majority then you're going to get three or four more years of the terrible cuts, the high unemployment and cuts to quality of life of Queensland.


JOURNALIST: [Inaudible].


SHORTEN: Well first of all, if you want to see a leader of a major political party in Australia, this is pretty much what you’re going to get. Tony Abbott is in witness protection. Now, I understand that coming here, some people will say well, Labor's not going to win, Bill, why are you coming here if even the experts say it's a hard battle for Labor. True leaders do not run when the going gets hard. That's why I think Tony Abbott needs to demonstrate that he's got the courage of his convictions to come out and tell Queenslanders before the election what his plans are on the GST. He needs to front up. He doesn't need to go to carefully scripted invitation only events where no real people can ever get to talk to Tony Abbott, he needs to come out of witness protection, talk to real Queenslanders about the real problems they are confronting - unemployment, no new taxes, he needs to talk about education cuts and hospital cuts.


JOURNALIST: What is he going to give evidence about?


SHORTEN: Well, Tony Abbott actually made explicit promises before the election. Let's not forget that Tony Abbott, in chasing the votes of Queenslanders said to people: “no new taxes, no increased taxes, no cuts to the pension, no cuts to health, no cuts to education and no cuts to the ABC or SBS”. Every one of those promises he’s broken. We all know, and you're all experienced political journalists on the campaign trail, this is a state election with many state issues at play, but it is fair to say that the fact that Campbell Newman doesn't want the Prime Minister of Australia out there campaigning with him, speaks volumes about the level of the concern within the LNP about the brand and plans of Tony Abbott for Queensland.


JOURNALIST: [Inaudible].


PALASZCZUK: What I need to say to [inaudible] if you do not want three more years of Campbell Newman and the arrogant LNP, you must vote Labor. Today I am very pleased to be on the campaign trail with Bill Shorten, our Federal Labor leader. Bill and I have been out here today speaking to the families, to the mums and dads, talking to them about the real issues impacting on their lives. And as they go about their shopping they are so concerned about the real prospect of Tony Abbott putting a GST on fresh fruit and vegetables. A 10 per cent GST would have a huge impact on families' grocery bills. Already families are struggling with the cost of living, already families are struggling with the 24,000 job cuts, only Labor can stand up to Tony Abbott's GST, and that's why I'm proud to be campaigning side by side with Bill Shorten. I have already asked Bill Shorten to accompany me to regional Queensland. We will be on the campaign hustings together, my challenge is bring Tony Abbott to Queensland and explain your policies.


JOURNALIST: [Inaudible].


PALASZCZUK: I am focused on winning this election. Only a vote for Labor will stop the LNP cuts and will stop the job losses. Only Labor, only Labor will stop the damage that has been done to Queensland.


JOURNALIST: On day one you spoke of a Government of consensus though, does that mean you are willing at least to consider the possibility?


PALASZCZUK: Queenslanders have a real choice - they need to decide whether they want to vote for three more years of Campbell Newman or whether they want to vote for Labor under my leadership, where we will unite Queensland and not divide Queensland. We do not want a GST on fresh fruit and vegetables. We do not want the cuts that Tony Abbott wants to inflict on Queensland. Today my message to Queenslanders is stand up to Tony Abbott, stand up to Campbell Newman, and send them a message at this election.


JOURNALIST: Have you talked with the Palmer party at all [inaudible]?


PALASZCZUK: I have had no discussions. My focus is on Queenslanders sending Campbell Newman and Tony Abbott a message and voting Labor.


JOURNALIST: [Inaudible].


PALASZCZUK: I am focused on winning Government for Labor full stop. Full stop, focused on winning Government for Labor, and the people of Queensland.


SHORTEN: Thanks, everyone. Any last questions? OK thanks, we’ll see you around Queensland and we hope we see Tony Abbott at some point.