Bill's Transcripts

DOORSTOP - CAIRNS - MONDAY, 22 APRIL 2019

E&OE TRANSCRIPT
DOORSTOP
BARRON GORGE NATIONAL PARK, CAIRNS 

MONDAY, 22 APRIL 2019
 
SUBJECTS: Sri Lanka attack, Labor’s plan to protect penalty rates, Labor’s plan for the Great Barrier Reef, Labor’s plan for regional tourism, Murray-Darling scandal, Adani

ELIDA FAITH, LABOR CANDIDATE FOR LEICHHARDT: Welcome everybody to Cairns, it is a beautiful day. My family and myself would like to welcome Bill and Chloe to Cairns and our home. Far North Queensland is very unique, we have two World Heritage Listed areas. We’ve got the Daintree Rainforest and we have the beautiful Great Barrier Reef. Now 2 million tourists come and visit us every year, domestic and international and we have 69,000 jobs that rely on those tourists that come here to see our natural wonders. Now under the LNP Government, we have seen threats to our Great Barrier Reef and we have seen threats to our regional jobs. And I am really proud to say, while I am standing here today that only Labor has a great plan to protect our Great Barrier Reef and only Labor has a plan to grow our regional jobs. Not just for this generation but for my daughter's generation. And I am going to hand over now to Bill, thank you. 
 
BILL SHORTEN, LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: Thanks, that is Elida Faith, Labor’s candidate running in Leichhardt. Before we get onto the exciting new announcements that we are making for tourism and the bush around Australia and protecting the reef I think it is important that my first comments go towards yet again, expressing my and Labor's solidarity with the people of Sri Lanka, my and Labor's solidarity with Sri Lankan Australians. Chloe and I were at church in Brisbane yesterday like many hundreds of thousands of Australians. Like many tens and hundreds of thousands of Sri Lankan worshippers. It is unthinkable that people at prayer should be the subject of this cowardly terror attack. And we stand with Sri Lankan Australians, they're a mighty community, and we stand with Sri Lanka. I had the opportunity to talk to a family down at the ticket box at the start of the Skyrail. They're very proud Sri Lankan Australians, a family with a daughter. They know they live in a great country Australia because it is so safe, but they expressed their sadness, their family are okay back in Colombo. But their sadness, they thought that after 20 years of war, this violence and terror was behind them in Sri Lanka and that tourism was up. Clearly, there are always evil people amongst us who seek to drag people back into shocking violence and our solidarity and sympathy is with the people of Sri Lanka. 
 
Going to a more positive note, I'm here with Elida and Tony Burke and Brendan O'Connor, we're here to announce a number of exciting propositions for regional Australia and the Great Barrier Reef. This is an iconic part of Australia where rainforest meets reef. Labor's very committed to regional tourism. Regional tourism is a jobs driver for Queensland and it's a jobs driver across Australia. 43 cents in every dollar that the Australian tourism industry earns is earned in the regions of Australia. We want to see a greater investment in the regions so that the great Australian story of the regions can be shared around Australia and also with people all around the world. So we're announcing great new initiatives in regional tourism - upgrading airports, upgrading existing tourism venues, creating new tourism experiences and putting more money into marketing the Australian story, the Australian regional tourism story in Australia and beyond our shores. But apart from regional tourism and the $250 million package, which will generate thousands and thousands of new jobs, Tony Burke and I are here today because the Great Barrier Reef is under threat. And this current Government has not done anything to help properly save the reef. So today, we announce that we are going to engage in reef rescue and that starts by taking back most of the money which was given in half an hour to a private trust, and we're going to take that $440 million back and we're going to spend it on Government experts, the CSIRO, working with local communities. The Great Barrier Reef is one of the seven natural wonders of the world. All Australians are so lucky to have the reef working so hard for us. Now it's time that we work hard for the reef. We are going to take that money back, talk to the locals, talk to the science experts and make sure that we genuinely save the reef - not make dodgy decisions giving money to private philanthropic trusts.
 
Before I hand over to Brendan, go to a third and final proposition for today, which is very important as we're in the middle of the Easter-Anzac Day holiday period. New reports out today show that the cuts to penalty rates in Australia are having a massive impact on the wages of hundreds of thousands of Australian workers. Evidence demonstrates that the penalty rate cuts which have already been implemented, and the ones which are scheduled to be implemented under the LNP, or the Liberals, if they get returned to power, we'll see people losing up to $27,000 in the next three years. Thousands and thousands of dollars are being cut from people's wages. What we see is wage stagnation. I want to be very clear to Australians: I understand what's happening. Everything's going up in cost of living. But not people's wages. Everything's going up but wages. The current Government love to talk about a strong economy, but I have got news for them on behalf of millions of Australians. When you have got cuts to schools and hospitals, when you have the cost of living on everything from childcare to health and energy going up, and massive wage cuts like the penalty rate cuts that we've seen, that does not equal a strong economy. That just means the rich are getting richer under Morrisons Australia. Well Labor is not going to stand for that, not only are we going to reinstate the penalty rates that have been arbitrarily cut, but I'm pleased to announce for the first time today here, that if Labor is elected, we are going to use the full force of the Commonwealth advocacy to make a submission to the national wage case to get wages moving in a modest and meaningful way. I'll gather the Cabinet together straight away if we are elected, we'll work through the issues. We're going to use the full force of Commonwealth advocacy to support a wage improvement, a wage increase, for 2.2 million Australians. We will make the case to the independent umpire. The Government's had six years to demonstrate they're fair dinkum on wages. They're just not. Wages are at a record low. Since the last election when Mr Turnbull was leader of the Liberal Party to now, corporate profits have gone up 39 per cent. But wages have only gone up 5 per cent. The Liberals have had six years to demonstrate they're on the side of millions of wage earners and they failed that test. We won't. We're going to restore the penalty rates, and a Government I lead will make a full-throated, full-bodied submission to the independent umpire where the Commonwealth of Australia, the Government of Australia, elected by the people, is going to back the people and support wage rises for everyday Australians.
 
I'd now like to hand over to Brendan to talk about this and then Tony to talk about the reef and other important matters.
 
BRENDAN O’CONNOR MP, SHADOW MINISTER FOR EMPLOYMENT AND WORKPLACE RELATIONS: Thanks very much, Bill. As Bill made clear, this is an election that's so important for many people in this country. For people that are suffering with stagnant wages. We have a situation where, as a result of the failure of Scott Morrison and the Liberals, to support Bill Shorten's private member's Bill into the Parliament, we are seeing wages being cut in fast food, hospitality, retail, pharmacy. And what the new forecast shows is that if Scott Morrison and the Liberals are re-elected, we're going to see workers in those sectors lose anywhere between $9,000 and $26,000 over the next three years. I mean, the fact is that Scott Morrison is the king of cuts. Cuts to schools, cuts to hospitals, cuts to NDIS, and cuts to penalty rates. And it's not by accident. It is not by accident and we know that because his Finance spokesperson, Mathias Cormann, made that very clear recently in an interview that he gave when he said that low wages is a deliberate design feature of the economic plan. A deliberate design feature to keep wages low. This at a time when wage growth is at the lowest on record, and yet, no redress, no effort by the Government to do anything about that. Well, the Governor of the Reserve Bank said that this is not just a problem for households and workers. It's a problem for our economy. That's why Bill has made an announcement about our submission to the National Wage case. That's why, if elected, a Shorten Labor Government will restore penalty rates as they were on 30 June 2017. That will mean those workers will not suffer thousands and thousands of dollars taken out of their wages over the next three years because if we don't see a change of Government, that's what's going to happen.
 
TONY BURKE MP, SHADOW MINISTER FOR THE ENVIRONMENT AND WATER: Thanks very much. If elected a Shorten Labor Government will act in protection of the Great Barrier Reef. The Great Barrier Reef is the most precious and the most fragile of environmental assets on the planet and we're the custodians of it. That's too important of a job to be outsourced to a small private foundation. Labor will act on climate change and water quality. Labor, a Shorten Labor Government, will engage closely with Traditional Owners in the Great Barrier Reef Marine catchment and a Shorten Labor Government will cooperate with all levels of government. Importantly - if elected, we will use the clause of the contract that allows us to demand the - what is left of the $444 million plus the interest that's been earnt to be returned to the Commonwealth Government so that it can be spent on programs run through Commonwealth agencies, not outsourced to a small private foundation.
 
I should also let you know given it's been running over the last couple of days over the public holidays with respect to the Murray Darling Basin. I have written today to the Secretary of the Department that's responsible, the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, that is responsible for buybacks. The Department on Saturday issued an extraordinary media release during the caretaker period. In that media release, they listed in defence of water buybacks that have taken place when Barnaby Joyce was Minister, a series of due diligence documents that they obtained. Many of those documents have not been released publicly and if they had been released, they're heavily redacted. In the letter to the Secretary of the Department, I have asked that by close of business tomorrow, those documents be made public. On the face of it, it looks like for flood water that only exists in very rare circumstances that effectively they have paid top dollar for it. You don't pay Versace prices for water that you get from the Reject Shop and that looks like what Barnaby Joyce has done. So we need that information to be made public. There are also questions that I put out on Thursday night that I asked for Scott Morrison to answer by close of business today. There’s a series of questions there that go to the integrity of this entire process, some of them have matched the documents that I asked the Department to release. We need to make sure that the implementation of the plan happens according to the law of the plan and in the spirit of the plan. We know that Barnaby Joyce tried to undermine it at every turn and we need to get to the bottom of that. The questions that we’ve asked Scott Morrison to answer by the end of the day and the information we have asked for the Department to release by the end of tomorrow, hopefully will provide the answers that are currently lacking.
 
JOURNALIST: So are you questioning the credibility of the Department, considering they said it was a fair market price that was paid?
 
BURKE: The information that the Department has put out, if everything that they have put is accurate, then they should have no trouble in releasing publicly all the documents that refer to them. But I think it's reasonable during an election campaign that when a Department makes an extraordinary media release in the middle of a series of public holidays that goes to allegations that had been made against the Minister, not against the Department, that it is completely reasonable for us to demand that all those documents be made public. If in making those documents public it turns out that everything the Department has asserted stacks up entirely, then that's that. But it is quite reasonable, given the controversy that has surrounded Barnaby Joyce, for us to demand for those documents to be made public and the Department should be doing that by close of business tomorrow.
 
JOURNALIST: Mr Shorten, campaign headquarters dodged questions yesterday about whether you would review Federal Environmental approvals for the Adani coalmine if you become Prime Minister. Tanya Plibersek has also dodged those questions on the weekend. Can we get a clear answer - will you review them and the process involved as well as the approvals themselves?
 
SHORTEN: I don't accept the characterisation that Tanya did what you said she did. With Adani our position is the same as it has been for the last two years and these are our principles: We will be guided by the best science, we will not use any taxpayer money, we will not engage in any sovereign risk, we will adhere to the law of the land.
 
JOURNALIST: Will you review the approval, the approval that, just two days before the election from Melissa Price, will you have another look at them?
 
SHORTEN: We have no plans, but the point about it is this Adani has become a political football. I think everyone, that's probably the only thing that the stop Adani people agree on. If I’m Prime Minister I'm going to be governed by the law, I’m not going to be governed by either a mining company or an environmental activist. That’s what I think people of North Queensland deserve, that's what I think all Australians would expect. The final thing I would make on that, Labor is not putting all its eggs in the Adani basket. If that stacks up it stacks up in the manner in which I have already outlined. Labor is outlining $6 billion worth of infrastructure projects which will create 24,000 jobs right across Queensland. Today's latest announcement about investment in regional tourism, today's latest announcement about prioritising the best science to govern the rescue of the reef is again our commitment not only to create new jobs in North Queensland, but to protect the existing jobs.
 
JOURNALIST: If you win the election, how much of an increase to the minimum wage will Labor support this year?
 
SHORTEN: Well, first of all, we'll let the independent umpire decide that, but we aren't going to go missing like this Government has for the last six years. What we're going to do is make a full-bodied submission. I’ll have talked to my Cabinet colleagues. We'll take the soundings from industry, we’ll hear all the points of view, but I think that Australians need a wage rise. We got wages stagnation, productivity growth in Australia is four times what wages are. You got to ask yourself - what sort of country we'll have if the current Government get returned? The penalty rates will remain cut and new cuts have been phased in. Now, this is a Government who loves to talk about a strong economy, but they're only interested in a strong economy for the top end of town. Once you add up what's happening to millions of Australian wage earners, penalty rates cut, wages stagnation, energy bills going up and up and up, out-of-pockets to see the doctor going up and child care, middle-class Australia is getting done over with a lack of interest by this Government in cost of living and wages stagnation.
 
JOURNALIST: If we can go back to the Murray Darling. This isn't the first issue around that system and there is the suggestion particularly from the Greens that Labor needs to commit to a Royal Commission. Is that something you'll commit to or is Labor leaving the door open to a Royal Commission into the Murray Darling.
 
SHORTEN: I’ve got Tony here, so I will get him to supplement this, he's our point man on this. This Murray Darling scandal in my opinion highlights this is a Government not interested in the bush and not interested in climate change, not interested in handing on a better environment to our kids. This summer just passed, December, January, with the massive fish kills, unprecedented, shows there's a crisis. It's not good enough for the Morrison Government to say this is Labor's fault from 2012 or 2013. Mr Morrison and his team have been in power for over 2000 days, and the situation in the Murray Darling is going from bad to worse. In terms of a Royal Commission, let's see what the Department provides in the next 24 hours, but I might get Tony to talk further about the scandal in the Murray Darling Basin and how it is damaging our future. 
 
BURKE: Everything that happened from the moment that Barnaby Joyce took on the water portfolio amounted to chaos. The Murray Darling basin plan was meant to provide a bipartisan way forward, and an orderly way forward. And yet what we've seen is chaos from the Government. Right at this moment there are questions that we are asking the Prime Minister to answer, and questions that we are asking the Department to answer. The reason there are so many questions floating around at the moment is the chaos that has occurred here. We will wait until we see what those answers come back as before we're able to give a definitive answer on what you've referred to there, but be in no doubt: it matters whether or not this was value for money, it matters that it wasn't done through a tender process. Even the Department's release has said that the Government chose a multinational company based in the Cayman Islands rather than family farmers who otherwise might have wanted to transact with the Government. This is chaos, it is extraordinary, we'll wait until we see what happens when these questions are answered, presuming that they are.
 
JOURNALIST: What about Labor's record, though, Mr. Burke, the Prime Minister has just said that EAA was a company that the previous Labor Government has dealt with and this arrangement was dwarfed by the amounts committed under the previous Government?
 
BURKE: The water that I purchased was through public tenders. All the water that was purchased from the time the plan was put in place was through public tenders. This was not through a public tender. And that's why so many questions are being asked. Previously, when water - and some water was purchased right at the start not through public tenders, but that was before we had a plan in place. Once you have a plan in place, you have capped the total amount of water that is going to be acquired for the environment. Having done that, what Barnaby Joyce appears to have done is to go off and got the lowest quality water he could, that will only be around once every ten years. Now there may be an explanation for this. So far the Government haven't offered it, the Department haven't offered it, and we need those answers. 
 
JOURNALIST: Just to be clear, with the Adani groundwater decisions that were made just before the election was called, is Labor ruling out reviewing those decisions, and if you're not ruling it out, in what circumstances would you see those decisions being reviewed?
 
SHORTEN: The process is not concluded with the Queensland Government, that's the first point to make. So the ball is really in the Queensland Government's court. The second point I'll make is, we'll back the science, we'll adhere to the law, we're not going to use taxpayer money, we're not going to engage in sovereign risk. What I'll also need to just briefly make the point here is - what's the Government doing? The Federal Government, if they're so fair dinkum, why have they taken so long, and why are they keeping Melissa Price in witness protection?
 
JOURNALIST: Can you rule out the review, Mr Shorten? Secondly, you continue to say you'll wait to see if Adani stacks up, do you want it to stack up? 
 
SHORTEN: Well, first of all, it's not what I want that's going to make a difference, if I'm Prime Minister…
 
JOURNALIST: Voters want to know.
 
SHORTEN: Sure. What I'll do as Prime Minister is adhere to the law. I'm not going to be a cheer squad for one or the other, I'm not in that caravan coming from the south, and I'm not in the cheer squad which says that don't worry about the science. If I'm the Prime Minister I'll adhere to the best science and the best law. In terms of the review, I'll just adhere to the law, that's why we have laws in this country. And another point I made earlier which deserves a little more emphasis. I'm not going to engage in sovereign risk - and I understand that people want to litigate one way or the other, and let's also talk about the bigger picture here, which is coal. Coal will be part of our energy mix going forward, but we're going to have more renewables. This cannot be an excuse for a debate by the Government into what they're not doing on climate change, that's why we're here announcing a rescue for the reef. 
 
JOURNALIST: Mr. Shorten you've accused Coalition Members of bullying Mrs. Price over that decision she made just before the election, doesn't that suggest that there was a problem with that process and therefore why wouldn't there be a review?
 
SHORTEN: Well, I'm just going off what I've read in the newspapers. It certainly seemed to be a ramshackle process, but we're just going to adhere to the law. What investors in this country want to know is, does the rule of law apply? What people who care about the environment want to know is, is there going to be respect for the environment and more action on climate change? Only Labor offers that alternative. On the environmental activist side, they say sometimes ignore the law, can't do that, won't do that. And some of the boosters for this particular project, say, oh don't worry about if it all stacks up, just get on and do it. Life's not that simple actually, what we need in this country is stability. The fact of the matter is, that this is a divided Government, the fact of the matter is they had all these arguments, even as, on the eve of the election and that's just not the way laws or investment or the environment should be looked after. 
 
JOURNALIST: Your letter to Martin Parkinson about the latest politicisation of the bureaucracy, will there be a night of the long knives under a Shorten Government to hack off the heads of these Department Secretaries?
 
SHORTEN: Colourful analogy, but no. 
 
JOURNALIST: Will you keep Martin Parkinson at Prime Minister and Cabinet?
 
SHORTEN: Guys we haven't even won the election yet, so I think if I started saying, X has got a job and Y hasn't, you'd accuse us of arrogance, I do know there's one thing that Martin Parkinson has said, he is the Prime Minister's number one public servant adviser. The principal guy, the one who, you know, the Government go to to check their things. I noticed that he has warned, in a letter to us, that people shouldn't use modelling for misleading purposes, and he's cautioned against anyone thinking that his Department has modelled Labor's policies. What we need in Australia at the moment is less scare campaign and more facts. What we need is a plan for the future. What Labor is offering is real action on climate change, real action on wages, real action on cost of living. These are the things which Australians are talking to me on the campaign trail, and we're focused.
 
JOURNALIST: So Phil Gaetjens for example, would be Treasury Secretary under a Shorten Government?
 
SHORTEN: Again, I'm not getting into who's in and who's out, because that would imply, that somehow I thought we had won the election, that'll be the judgement of the Australian people. But I'll tell you one thing we can put to the judgement of the Australian people, if you want to save the Barrier Reef, vote Labor. If you want to back in regional tourism, vote Labor, and if you want to get your wages moving, for goodness sakes, vote Labor. 
 
JOURNALIST: Scott Morrison is spending a lot of time in Victoria. How confident are you that you will pick up seats there?
 
SHORTEN: Well I'm a Victorian, spent quite a lot of years in Victoria. Listen I think Labor has a good story in Victoria but we've got a good story across Australia, but certainly one thing has been the case for Victorians under this Federal Government, they have not received their fair share of infrastructure investment. This Government hasn't invested in public transport in Melbourne suburbs, they haven't invested in the roads of the South-East. I think voters and it doesn't just go for Victoria should ask themselves a serious question about the Government, what is it they expect the Liberal’s to do now that they haven't done the past six years? And on wages that's a classic example. If you're sick of penalty rates being cut, if you're sick of low wages growth then why don't we get a Government in who has a wages policy, who will sit down with all the parties, sit down with the point of view of business, listen to the workers. But we've got to get wages moving again in this country and today's announcement I'll give you fair notice won't be the only announcement we're making this week about a coherent and sensible wages policy because most Australians are sick of everything going up except wages. 
 
JOURNALIST: Mr Shorten just on wages you've promised within 100 days if you win power to legislate overturning that Fair Work Commission if what's required to get Senate support for that measure is to legislate a ban on unions trading away penalty's, is that something you're willing to explore?
 
SHORTEN:  Listen I've seen the Greens talk about this stuff. The tail doesn't wag the dog let’s be clear here. We use the word mandate a lot in politics, now I'm going to be very clear though, if we get elected we've got a mandate to change the penalty rates, put them back in in the way the way that Labor has said and indeed we got the vote through the Senate in the current Parliament. The people who are a road block to people getting a reasonable wage rise, helping deal with the cost of living are the Liberals and the Nationals in Canberra. 
 
JOURNALIST:  Would this then lead to small businesses then cutting peoples hours and cutting staff because they can't afford to because they can't afford to pay those extra penalty rates which they've said time and time again that they can't do?
 
SHORTEN: I've got Brendan here so he'll supplement, but we've now had the laboratory of extreme right wing thinking in the real world, it’s no longer just a theory. This Government got the penalty rate cuts that they wanted. They voted eight time against increasing penalty rates back to where they were but let’s have a look at what's happened on Sundays and the public holidays. Under Mr Morrison's theory and Senator Cormann’s architecture of low wages it was going to be a brave new day, a brave new dawn of extra jobs on Sundays and public holidays, that has not happened, that has not happened. The University of Wollongong’s done a study. All that's happened under the Liberals is not that a lot more workers get employed on the days that you had the penalty rates get cut, all that happens is that people suffer wages cuts. I'll just get Brendan to supplement. 
 
O'CONNOR:  Thanks Bill, that's exactly right there is no evidence that there has been a commence or an increase in employment in areas where penalty rates have been cut-
 
JOURNALIST: But do you know if it will lead to people in the industry reinstated?
 
O'CONNOR: Well the University of Wollongong studies show that there's no evidence that there has been a commensurate increase in employment or hours as a result of cutting penalty rates. What's happened instead and that's why we've had the Reserve Bank Governor make very clear his concern about low wage growth. 60 per cent of our economy is made up of household consumption and household consumption is in fact impacted adversely because of stagnant wages and that's feeding into low consumer confidence and low business confidence and in fact the idea that we should race to the bottom on wages to help our economy is completely discredited. We just recently had one hundreds experts, economists across Australia write a letter, a public letter saying we need to lift wages. We've got the Reserve Bank Governor in workers corner, we've got Labor in workers corner, we don't have Scott Morrison in workers corner. He is not supporting, he's supporting $11,000 tax cuts for millionaires as he wants to see increased cuts to workers on low wages in so far as cutting penalty rates. Whether it be fast food workers or retail hospitality workers, those who work in pharmacies, those who are working on days where others get to have leisure time with their family and friends, and what do we do? Do we reward them for that? No. This Government, Scott Morrison, seeks to punish them. Now we've given him an opportunity by introducing a private members bill and on eight occasions he voted against restoring penalty rates. That says everything about Scott Morrison, he wants to cut everything. 
 
JOURNALIST: Does today's announcement mean that you will not seek to legislate changes to the Fair Work Act to increase the minimum wage or will you will just rely on submissions?
 
O'CONNOR: Well what we've made very clear, we recently made an announcement about ensuring that when the Commission considers factors of lifting the minimum wage we're going to make sure we elevate cost of living as a priority that's an important thing but what Bill Shorten announced today is that we're going to make and use the full weight of the Commonwealth to make a submission for a real wage increase. Now why that's important is in the last six years whenever Scott Morrison or all of his predecessors, Tony Abbott and Malcolm Turnbull have made submissions they have never called for a real wage increase. They've either called for no wage increase or an increase with conditions and never a real wage increase. That's one of the reasons in our view, given the weight of the Commonwealth when making submissions. Yes to an independent body but the weight of the Commonwealth has standing and in fact it shows, if you have a Government that actually supports workers and make those statements they are considered very seriously by the Commission and that's what Bill Shorten's declaration and commitment is today, it’s completely different to what we've seen over the last six years. A Government that has said there economic plan includes a deliberate design feature to keep wages low. I mean you can't really get out of that issue. You can't spin yourself out of that line. That is the Finance Minister of this country since the election of a Government in 2013 saying they have put in place a deliberate design feature to keep wages low and one of the ways to do that is to then oppose our legislation to restore penalty rates. Well only a Labor Government, only a Shorten Labor Government, will restore those penalty rates so that those workers do not suffer more and indeed we restore the rate that it was on the 30 June 2017.
 
SHORTEN: I feel that we are reaching the end of this, perhaps I take one more question. I guarantee you on wages we are going to be talking all this week and the rest of the election, because when it comes to what’s happening millions of forgotten middle class Australians, the cost of living is going up, their wages aren’t growing and of course there are cuts to schools and hospitals. 
 
JOURNALIST: On that subject who do you talk about meaningful wage rises, Brendan O'Connor has just talked about a real wage increase which is something above inflation I guess. This is central to your pitch to Australian people, don't they need to know what that actually means in dollar terms, how much of an increase do you want to give an average worker under a Shorten Government? 
 
SHORTEN: We've got several specific proposals and then some of the proposals by nature have to reflect evidence which we will subsequently get from business and from various points of view. But here's some specific numbers. For people who have had their penalty rates cut if we get in you're not going to lose $27,000 if you're a pharmacist over the next three years. If you're a restaurant or accommodation worker you're not going to lose nearly 20,000 plus over the next three years. So if you are asking specific, there's real numbers. What we've seen and over this holiday break all the way from Easter through to Anzac Day, over that ten days, people are losing between $220 - $370 so we're going to fix that straight away. In terms of the living wage and ensuring that we get the wages moving again, I can't give you the specific number because frankly I've got to listen to business, I've got to listen to the evidence from the unions and we've got to have the independent umpire involved in it. But one thing is for sure, the current minimum wage is not enough. But the rate of wage growth for millions of our fellow Australians is not enough, that is why for example we are going to crack down labour hire and start treating people better. 
 
We have got so much to do today, I will see you at the next venue. 
 
ENDS


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