Bill's Transcripts


TUESDAY, 14 JUNE 2016 

SUBJECTS: Labor’s positive plans for Western Australian schools and NBN

BILL SHORTEN, LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: During this campaign I've had the opportunity to be inspired by what Australians are doing and today is no exception to that. Today, I got to meet a range of our future leaders, future entrepreneurs. Studying committing themselves, working hard and in the process making this country a far better place. Today, I got to see an Indigenous program which brings in bright children from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander backgrounds from all around this massive state of Western Australia, that are getting this opportunity to study at Saint Catherine's. They’re pursuing their interests and their passions. I have no doubt this program, which currently engages 60 very bright young Aboriginal men and women has only got a marvellous future in the way it expands.

We also had the opportunity on our tour to be reminded again of the entrepreneurial capacity which exists in so many of our young Australians. I was able to say to these people that a Labor Government will make sure that we keep downward pressure on the price of going to university. That regardless of your background, regardless of your circumstances, your parents circumstances, regardless of if you live in the regions of Western Australia or in the suburbs of Perth, that every Australian, every West Australian deserves to get the best chance of being able to afford to go to university if that's what they want to do. And I know that when we spoke about our higher education policies, which assure a fair go all round for young people, young people are responding very well. Also talking to the young entrepreneurs you see that our young people are often underestimated in the national political debate. We heard from 20-year olds and 21-ye ar olds who are devising solutions to existing problems from farm management, to education, to indeed that way we exercise and participate in our democracy. These young people inspire me and they deserve a government in Canberra who's as optimistic and as bold and as positive about the future as they are, that's why they know that they need to make sure they've got world class national broadband. They want to know that they've got a government in Canberra who's committed to ensuring that we keep downward pressure on the cost of the fees. But for young people who want to study science, technology, engineering and mathematics they could have the opportunity to complete these degrees and at the end of a successful completion not have to pay an onerous HECS debt. They certainly don't want the Liberals’ $100,000 degrees. They certainly want to see real action on a range of issues and a number of them who've spoken to me about the ability to enter the housing market on a level playing field, again reinforces my conviction that Labor's fair and prospective policies for first home buying and reforming negative gearing and capital gains tax discount concession are on the right track. I'd now like to ask my Shadow Minister for NBN to further talk about how our policies for a National Broadband Network will give the future entrepreneurs and students of Australia the best start in life.

JASON CLARE, SHADOW MINISTER FOR COMMUNICATIONS: Thanks very much, Bill. I think today we saw where the future of Australia is being made. Most of the jobs that are being created in Australia over the next two decades or so will be created in businesses that don't exist today or are being spawned in incubators like the ones we have seen today. Those businesses are being created by young entrepreneurs, smart young people. They're not being created by governments, they're being created in the private sector by smart young people. But governments can play a role. We can play a role by making sure we have the best educated workforce that we can have. So a big part of Labor's plan for Australia's future is making sure we've got more young people with a science, technology, engineering and mathematics skills to make sure we are set up for the future. We haven't done enough in the past. We have to do much more there if we are going to be competitive in the future. And the other part is making sure we have the infrastructure of the 21st century. These sorts of businesses rely on super-fast broadband. Malcolm Turnbull is relegating Australia to a second-class broadband network. We are not a second-class country, we are not a second-class people, we are a first-class country and we need the best possible broadband. As I said yesterday, we have gone from 30th in the world for internet speeds to 60th in the world for internet speeds. We're behind most of Asia, behind most of Europe, behind America, behind Canada, even behind New Zealand, behind Russia, Poland and Slovakia. We have gone backwards under Malcolm Turnbull, we can't keep going backwards. We need to make sure we are rolling out the technology of the 21st century, that's fibre-to-the-home. That's why we will roll out fibre-to-the-home to up to 2 million more Australian premises and businesses to mak e sure we set ourselves up for the future. Thank you very much.

SHORTEN: Thank you everybody.


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