THURSDAY, 3 NOVEMBER 2016
SUBJECT/S: Chaos in the Senate; Hazelwood power station
SOPHIE COTSIS, STATE LABOR CANDIDATE FOR CANTERBURY: My name is Sophie Cotsis and I am Labor's candidate for the state by-election next Saturday, 12 November. It's been fantastic here today where we have had Labor leader, Bill Shorten and also my very good friend, Tony Burke, the Member for Watson.
I am standing up for our local hospital. I was born in Canterbury, I was born in Canterbury Hospital and I am fighting very hard to make sure our hospital remains in public hands. Labor will invest $9 million for the emergency department, maternity and aged care.
Thank you very much. Thank you to Bill for coming out today to support me and thanks to Tony. So I will hand over to Bill Shorten.
BILL SHORTEN, LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: Thanks Sophie. Good afternoon, everybody. It's great to be here with Sophie Cotsis, part of the Luke Foley team, Labor's candidate in the by-election, Saturday week. She is an outstanding candidate and she will do a great job representing this local community if given the privileged by the voters. I am also here with the Leader of Opposition Business in the House of Representatives and local member, Tony Burke.
As we've been talking to small business and locals about the cost of living, about the challenges of red-tape and small business, about the need to prioritise jobs and of course, the fundamental importance of defending Medicare against ruthless cuts by the Turnbull Government, we see Malcolm Turnbull and his colleagues triggering stuff up after stuff up.
This is a Government which is racked by dodgy deals, incompetence and chaos. Now today Mr Turnbull's been out and about, laughing and saying there is no chaos to be seen here. Well I've got a straight, non-chaos question for Mr Turnbull: if there is no chaos at the heart of the Turnbull Government, why are they not presenting their anti-worker, anti-union, anti-fairness industrial relations laws to be debated and voted on in the Senate. It is most important, Mr Turnbull thinks that there is no chaos to be seen, he needs to explain why he had an eight week election with all of the urgency, taken away the industrial relations bills from debate in the Senate.
This is a Government for whom chaos is a hallmark of the way they operate. We've got a Senate in disarray. Mr Turnbull needs to start focusing on the important issues, but he can't even run his Government competently.
JOURNALIST: Mr Shorten, just want to ask about what's happening at the moment, is the Government's legislative program in chaos?
SHORTEN: The Government's legislative program is in chaos pure and simple. They brought an eight week election campaign to Australians, the longest election in 50 plus years, on the basis of the urgent need to put through industrial relations laws which Labor characterised as unfair, anti-worker and anti-union. But now Mr Turnbull, who said that we urgently had to have an eight week election, some four months later can't even be bothered presenting these proposed laws to the Senate because he's lost control of the Government.
This is a government divided on the inside and divided in the Senate. They are in a total state of chaos. Mr Turnbull thinks that this isn't chaos, heaven help us for what Mr Turnbull thinks is chaos.
JOURNALIST: Will they be able to get anything through with the two Senate seats that are in question?
SHORTEN: Well I think the Government should put forward their plans and they should just debate them in the Senate. I can't believe that we've got this set of circumstances where, basically, Malcolm Turnbull has given up governing. There are some weeks when he obviously thinks it's too hard to come to work, too hard to do his day job.
What we're seeing is division in the Government. We're seeing chaos in the Senate. We're seeing dodgy deals. This Government is out of control. Thanks everybody.
I did want to just make a comment about Hazelwood Power station.
Labor wishes to express its sympathy and thoughts with nearly a thousand workers and their families at the Hazelwood power station who've learnt the devastating news that this power station in Victoria's Latrobe Valley is to close.
I'm calling upon the Federal Government to do more than what they're doing. They must have realised this closure was on the cards. They should be supporting those workers at Hazelwood who want to work in the other power stations in the Latrobe Valley, get the opportunity to work at those power stations. And in turn, the Federal Government should support a process of voluntary redundancy for older workers in the other power stations who no longer wish to work and instead wish to retire.
The Federal Government should support workers at existing power stations having a scheme of voluntary redundancy, so those Hazelwood workers who want to keep working in the power industry get the chance to keep working in the power industry.
Active redeployment and a just transition for blue collar workers displaced by economic change should be a priority for the Turnbull Government and would be a priority of a Shorten Labor Government if we get elected. Thanks everybody.
THURSDAY, 3 NOVEMBER 2016