4KQ BRISBANE – LAUREL, GARY & MARK
TUESDAY, 21 JANUARY 2014
SUBJECT/S: Griffith by-election; Jobs; Health services.
LAUREL: Bill Shorten is on the phone this morning. Good morning Bill.
BILL SHORTEN, LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: Good morning.
LAUREL: Bill, now you’ve got two people in this room who are in that electorate of Griffith. What are you going to be talking about today?
SHORTEN: Terri Butler is Labor’s quality candidate in the seat of Griffith. She’s a working mum who lives locally. She and I will both be talking about making sure that we maintain our standard of living, in particular making sure that we defend our healthcare, our quality healthcare system we have in Queensland and in Australia from further cuts.
HOST: Kevin Rudd was obviously the last sitting member. Preferences did a lot to get him over the line last time. Is it going to be a tight election?
SHORTEN: I think it will be very close. The Abbott Government would have to go in as slight favourites, I have to say, because it’s very close to the general election. However I think even in the last 3 to 4 months people are becoming concerned that the Abbott Government seems to be breaking promises; that they were one thing before the election and another afterwards.
LAUREL: You’re talking about creating jobs, the Labor Party. It’s always fascinating to me, how does a government just say ‘we are going to create jobs’? I mean, you can put people on in the public service, but then of course it’s usually public servants who are first to go when government does budget and wants to cut some money.
SHORTEN: There’s over 8 million people have full-time jobs right now as we talk. There’s another 3 and a half million Australians who have part-time jobs. So one objective of government is to support people in existing jobs. That’s why we’re so disappointed to see the government not even trying to keep the Holden car company in Australia. There’s a cloud over QANTAS, there’s a cloud over the SPC cannery. Partly what a government can do is help have industry policy settings which encourage companies to keep employing existing people.
The other thing when you’re talking about creating new jobs is that confidence is important and so if you’ve got a government who is going to start cutting thousands of jobs from the public service – well, you know, public sector workers live in our community, they do good work. They’re always the whipping boy whenever conservative governments say ‘well, we’ve got to tidy things up’. But these public servants are nurses, they’re orderlies in hospitals, they’re the people who provide our frontline services so that the rest of us can have a very good quality of care.
HOST: Well speaking of jobs, you’ve had yours for 100 days. Bill Shorten, how do you reckon you’ve gone?
SHORTEN: Well, we’ve got a long way to go. We’re not so much looking in the rear-vision mirror at the last 100 days, but to the next 2 and a half years. What I am pleased about is that the Labor party has stopped attacking itself. I think the biggest challenge in the first 100 days has been what has changed since the election. And I think there is a real storm over whether or not the government would keep their promises before the election to now about our funding in schools.
So I think that part of what we’ve done is try and keep the Abbott Government on track, and try wherever they break promises to call them out and make sure they reconsider their decision to break promises.
LAUREL: Well I can tell you, Bill, that I grew up in Bulimba, do you want me to take you to maybe Cinema café today in Oxford Street, or Pancho’s Pizza? It’s very nice.
SHORTEN: If you have the time, that would be nice.
HOST: Bill, everyone will be asking her for an autograph, not you.
SHORTEN: That’s alright, you know, reflected glory.
LAUREL: Well we welcome you to town, and good luck today. It’s going to be a big day for you. Bill Shorten, thanks for chatting to us.
SHORTEN: You all have a lovely morning too, cheerio.
LAUREL: He’s a nice bloke.
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