RADIO INTERVIEW – 2UE
LINDT CAFÉ, SYDNEY
FRIDAY, 20 MARCH 2015
SUBJECT/S: Re-opening of Lindt café; Passing of Prime Minister Fraser.
JUSTIN SMITH, HOST: The Leader of the Opposition, Bill Shorten joins us. Good afternoon Bill.
BILL SHORTEN, LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: Great to be here today.
SMITH: The smiling faces in there to see - I was just speaking to Steven Loane, CEO of Lindt Australia - to see those faces, to see them with some spirit is magnificent, isn’t it?
SHORTEN: I am always proud to be Australian, but I have to say just seeing the range of people coming into the Lindt store on the day it has opened, not just from Sydney but all over Australia, just ordinary people saying that nothing is going to stop them from getting on with their lives. It gives you goosebumps and when you talk to some of the regular customers who say the shop is as it was basically before the terrible event just makes you very proud to be Australian today.
SMITH: I said to the CEO before, to Steven, that there seemed to be a little fist-pump around Australia when we found out that it was going to be a café again. It was a real act of defiance – well defiance is probably too much and it sounds like we are in a battle here but it was just, as I keep saying a celebration of normal. Do you feel that way?
SHORTEN: Yeah, it doesn’t matter how many times the idiots and bad people try and knock you down, you just get back up again. Talking to the staff, talking to the customers, this is ordinary people – this isn’t about parades or waving the flag - I was talking to people in the queue and this is about ordinary people saying ‘do you know what, I am going to go to this café, I’m not going to let this act of evil get us down’. And you could just see a whole lot of ordinary people, they watch on the news every night, they see violence or they see dreadful things happening and what I think in there, and these are modest people in there – the thousands of people that go through there, this is their 5, 10, 15 minutes of standing up and saying ‘Yeah, we are better than these people’.
SMITH: Yeah, Absolutely. I see a box there with ‘Happy Easter’ written on it. Can you talk me through this purchase please?
SHORTEN: The kids love Easter -
SMITH: Oh there is a shock (laughter).
SHORTEN: There are a few treats in there -
SMITH: There will be a few less in there after this interview.
SHORTEN: No, you seem to employ starving looking staff so I am happy to leave the odd Easter egg with them. But I will take the box home to the kids because I am away so often so this is nice – Lindt, it is a European brand but I suspect it is an Australian brand.
SMITH: Absolutely, well said. Bill, it is good to see you. Malcolm Fraser just very quickly.
SHORTEN: A great Australian. 6 decades of service, international statesmen – I understand he had his argument with the Labor party but really when you look at the sum of the man’s life, it is a remarkable contribution. He lead the push against Apartheid in South Africa. His leadership gave a signal to the nation that we welcome Vietnamese-Australian boat people. That is the role of leadership – it is to send the signal to be our better selves. And of course, he got very involved in human rights and indeed, in his most recent years, he would ring me and say ‘Bill, Labor has to do this or that’. And I know his wife Tamie, our thoughts are with her and I have spoken with her this morning and conveyed Chloe, my wife and my condolences. He is a significant Australian – Some people disagreed with what he did, Labor certainly did on somethings -
SMITH: Well you said he picked a fight with Labor, he picked a fight with everyone towards the end – he didn’t miss any body.
SHORTEN: I read a journalist made a comment that he was a true liberal in that small ‘l’ sense of the Liberal Party. He made a significant contribution and he continued to make a significant contribution for the whole of his life and you can’t ask much more of people than that can you?
SMITH: Absolutely. Mr Shorten, Thank you.
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