SUNDAY, 23 OCTOBER 2016
SUBJECT/S: Malcolm Turnbull’s unfair cuts to paid parental leave; Gillian Triggs; Liberal’s taking Tasmanians for granted; ABCC.
JUSTINE KEAY, MEMBER FOR BRADDON: Welcome everyone to Burnie for this year’s Burnie Ten. It’s great to have Bill Shorten here today in Burnie where the weather is absolutely spectacular for this year’s event. I won’t be taking part, I’m apparently Bill’s skills coach so we’ve been psyching him up to run a really good race today, hopefully going to get a personal best this year, fingers crossed. But it’s great to have everyone out here, there’s over 3000 competitors here today running on what would have to be one of the most spectacular courses in the country and I’ll hand over to Bill and hopefully he’ll be able to give people some more race tips. Thanks.
BILL SHORTEN, LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: Good morning everybody, it’s fantastic to be in sunny Burnie especially after wet and waterlogged Melbourne. This is the first time I’ve run in the Burnie Ten so I’m confidant of making a personal best at this time. But that’s on a happy note. On a less happy note we've seen that the Turnbull Government continues to be out of touch with the lives of everyday Australians. I'm specifically referring to Mr Turnbull's new measures to punish new mums by decreasing the income support for 80,000 new mums. Labor will never vote for this measure. It is typical of the out-of-touch Turnbull Government, that on one hand, they're taking a few thousand dollars off new mums who can't afford that, but on the other hand, they want to give tens of thousands of dollars in tax cuts to millionaires and millions and millions of dollars in tax cuts to multinationals.
Labor will never vote to punish ordinary people and we call upon Mr Turnbull to reverse his billion-dollar tax cuts for multinationals and his tens of thousands of dollars of tax cuts for millionaires and instead stop attacking the conditions of new mums. Happy to take questions on that and other matters.
JOURNALIST: Do you believe that a woman is entitled to receive paid parental leave from both their employer and the Government, say if they're receiving $150,000 a year?
SHORTEN: The paid parental leave which expectant mums receive from their employers has been negotiated to offset wage rises they would have otherwise got. The paid parental leave scheme of the Government is a minimum standard. Why should nurses, or shop assistants or other people who have foregone pay rises in lieu of getting a paid parental benefit now be slugged because they've negotiated these conditions and not get the minimum paid parental leave? Is this Government really saying that the only way they can sort out the economic mess which they've taken Australia into is, on one hand slugging the working conditions of 80,000 working mums, or instead, they say at the same time, they've got enough money to give millionaires tax cuts and to give multinationals and the big banks massive tax cuts. This Government's priorities are all wrong. They are hopelessly out of touch.
JOURNALIST: Christopher Pyne says Labor is trying to obscure the fact that Anthony Albanese wants your job. What's your response?
SHORTEN: I think everyone has just seen the most remarkable week in Federal politics. We've seen Malcolm Turnbull openly attack his predecessor on the floor of Parliament and then we saw Tony Abbott openly attack Malcolm Turnbull on the floor of Parliament. Yesterday, they were fighting at the New South Wales Liberal conference. Their measures they've introduced are a band aid over the bitterness and the division which wracks the Liberal Party. If the Liberal Party can't govern itself, how on earth can they govern the country? We are seeing an impossible situation develop, where you see the Turnbull and Abbott forces at war with each other and the Government of Australia and the people of Australia are missing out as a result of this division and bitterness.
JOURNALIST: Mr Shorten, Christopher Pyne has accused the Human Rights Commissioner, Gillian Triggs, of politicising her office. Should she stay out of politics?
SHORTEN: There they go again, the Liberal Party, attacking the messenger, attacking statutory office-holders. Who haven't the Liberals attacked? Which experts haven't they brought a fight on with? You've got the Solicitor-General being undermined by the Attorney-General. You've got the climate scientists being ignored in favour of the flat-earthers and now you see Gillian Triggs who's corrected the record at the earliest possible moment, she's now being attacked by this Government, keen to distract from what they haven't done this week. What we saw this week is a shocking guns-for-votes swap and now we see the finger-pointing continuing on between the Liberals and within the Liberals the division and disunity is the problem in this country. Thanks, everyone - one more question?
JOURNALIST: Sorry Bill, I was going to ask you, beautiful day in Burnie. Can you understand why the Liberal Senate team can't arrange to have a Senator look after this electorate?
SHORTEN: I do not know why, when you've got four Liberal senators or three Liberal senators why they can't find some of their resources to be based in Burnie. Labor takes Burnie and the north-west very seriously. Justine Keay is working very hard. The Liberals have lost touch with Tasmania. There's not a single Liberal on the frontbench of Mr Turnbull's team. Labor has three Labor people on the frontbench. What Labor will do is we will stand up for the Medicare benefits of Tasmanians. We'll make sure that Tasmanian schools get properly funded. We'll make sure that people have penalty rates and that they get the support that they need and the other thing we're not going to do, is we're not going to stand by as the Turnbull Government wrecks the Backpacker Tax; and what they’re also doing is they're fighting for votes for guns. What they're doing here is swapping votes in the Senate to attack workers conditions in return for weakening down John Howard's gun laws.
JOURNALIST: What's your PB, Mr Shorten, for the 10K?
SHORTEN: To be fair, any time I run here would be a PB because I've never run here before. I'd like to do it in about 55 minutes. We’ll see how we go.
JOURNALIST: Just one more, sorry, Malcolm Roberts came out saying that One Nation will vote with the Liberals regarding the ABCC. Is that a blow for Labor?
SHORTEN: Well, if the crossbenchers want to be puppets of the Liberal Party, that's up to them. What we say is that we don't need a second regulator and the laws, we think, can be improved, without creating a second industrial bureaucracy. What we also say very clearly here is this government's got to listen to the result of the last election. They've got to stop cutting Medicare. They shouldn't be going after the paid parental leave conditions of working parents. They need to prioritise proper funding of our schools and our TAFE. These are the things which give working-class families the best chance of getting ahead.
Thanks, everybody. See you on the run.