Bill's Transcripts

Doorstop - Fitzroy - Victorian Disability Bowls Team, election




7 JUNE 2013



SUBJECT/S: Victorian Disability Bowls Team, election

 BILL SHORTEN: It’s great to be at the Fitzroy Bowling Club with Labor’s candidate for Melbourne Cath Bowtell. We’re just sending off and wishing well the Victorian Bowling Team – these are people with disability that will be competing with other people with disability at the National Championships.

 Today is all about recognising that people with disability shouldn’t be defined by their disability. What we have here is elite champion bowlers who compete at the national level and it’s great news that people with disability will be able to bowl at the next Commonwealth Games. Today is all about recognising that Victoria has got some superb lawn bowlers who also happen to have a disability. It’s all about sport; it’s all about high performance. It’s all about recognising that people with disability are the same as everyone else and deserve all the same chances which is why our national disability insurance scheme under Labor is such a good idea and will change the lives of hundreds of thousands of people.

 Happy to take any questions.

 REPORTER: Minister, what’s harder, winning the next election or bowls?

 BILL SHORTEN: I think when you look at the level of accomplishment of these bowlers I’m not even going to try to link politics to that. They’re high performing, we’ve got champions there, women who’ve beaten men in open competitions, we’ve got people who’ve had a few knocks in their life and haven’t let it keep them down and now they’ve emerged as national champions. It’s always important to remember that disability, being impaired, is just one attribute to a person’s personality and the rest of us should not define people in wheelchairs or people with other impairments solely by their impairment but by the fact that they’re top athletes, great people, people who deserve the same go in life.

 REPORTER: Can I just pick up the one thing you said there. Women beating men in open competition, what’s so extraordinary about that?

 BILL SHORTEN: Nothing. Which makes you wonder why in many of our sports, we have such divisions. The point about it for me is that it just goes to show, you should never rely on stereotypes. In my experience, women are the equal of men and in the case of the next election there is a clear choice and I think Julia Gillard is the best choice for this country compared to Tony Abbott.

 REPORTER: Are you happy to see Kevin Rudd in Geelong?

 BILL SHORTEN: Sure, I am happy to see all the Labor team campaigning for Labor. The election will be very close and the point about it is there will be choices for people to make. And when you think about Geelong and some of the economic news they’ve had recently, it’s only Labor who is supporting new jobs in Geelong at the Carbon Fibre Centre.  It’s Labor standing alongside aluminium workers at Alcoa making sure we can make aluminium product in Australia. It’s Labor who stands up for the automotive industry. There’s a lot of small component manufacturers whose jobs will be at risk, whose business profitability will be at risk if the Coalition was successful at the next election. There are real issues at stake in this election. None more important than jobs.

 REPORTER: So is Kevin Rudd misbehaving by stepping out in Geelong?

 BILL SHORTEN: Not at all. Listen, all of the Labor team should be out campaigning. I am very pleased to see everyone out campaigning, that’s what it’s about. The issue here is about a choice for the future. It is Labor that wants to make sure that every school, be it in Geelong, be it in Melbourne, be it in East Keilor, Avondale Heights, Moonee Ponds where I live, we want to make sure kids get more funding in their schools. I cannot understand why the Coalition would play politics over kids’ education. The best thing that Australia can do is provide the best start in life for our kids, for the future. Why on earth are the Coalition against extra resources, extra teachers, extra classes, extra support so our kids get the best chance for the best jobs in the future.

 REPORTER: Some Labor MPs aren’t out campaigning though. They’re packing up their offices. Why do you think that is?

 BILL SHORTEN: Oh I am not going to beat-ups. The issue here is education at the next election. Labor has got a tangible proposition. Every parent in Victoria, in Australia - in Geelong, in Moonee Ponds – we say, a vote for Labor is a vote for literally thousands of extra dollars over the next six years to make sure your kids get the education they deserve. This next election is a choice about jobs. We will stand by the automotive industry, we will stand by the aluminium industry, we will stand by manufacturing in Australia. This next election is a choice about retirement income. We want to lift superannuation so people don’t retire poor. So there you have it; jobs, education, superannuation, the National Broadband Network. There are…

 REPORTER: They’re packing up their offices, they obviously don’t think that’s enough to win the next election, wouldn’t you agree?

 BILL SHORTEN: No. What I believe is that all Labor MPs, and in fact most Australians, as the election gets closer know there is a choice between the extreme policies of the Conservatives where they will take away the safety net, where they’ll put individual contracts back at the centre of industrial relations. Why on earth does the Coalition want to vote against better schools and better education for our kids? Why on earth do they want to stop people having more income in retirement? Why do they want to put a big new tax on low paid workers’ superannuation? Imagine this, imagine 1.5 times GST, 15 per cent being put on the incomes of every person who earns less than $37,000. This is an election where there are real choices. The Liberal cuts to the bone or our better schools, better retirement income and fairer workplaces.

 REPORTER: Do you have to compare the chances of Labor winning the next election to the chances of Melbourne Football Club winning the flag? What’s more likely?

 BILL SHORTEN: I’ll tell you for me, what’s important. It’s making sure our kids get the best start in life. It’s making sure Australia’s employees don’t get ripped off by a Liberal government. It’s making sure that people in the 40s, 50s and 60s have enough money to retire on. I’ll tell you what’s important, not having a 15 per cent tax put on the superannuation contributions of mums returning to part-time work. There are a lot of choices – there is the Liberal cuts to the bone, the instability and cutting of manufacturing or the Labor way which is better education, better retirement income, fairer workplaces and no new taxes on superannuation.

 REPORTER: But by packing up their offices, aren’t you seeing your MPs saying that they don’t believe that this will all come to fruition?

 BILL SHORTEN: I know that every Labor MP knows there is a real risk that if Tony Abbott and the conservative Coalition are elected, we’ll go backwards with our superannuation. Tony Abbott cannot keep his hands off compulsory superannuation. That our schools will go backwards. That we won’t have the same support for our jobs in automotive and manufacturing industry. Every Labor MP knows that the Coalition and Mr Abbott are a dangerous risk to our job security, to our retirement incomes, to fair workplaces and to our superannuation. Open and shut case. Thank you.