Bill's Transcripts

Radio: K-Rock - Visit to Geelong; Abbott Government’s unfair pension cuts





SUBJECT/S: Visit to Geelong; Abbott Government’s unfair pension cuts; immunisation; Footy tipping


HOST: Good morning to you Bill.




HOST: Now, first question off the rank, you are coming to Geelong today, can you explain to us why?


SHORTEN: Yeah, I’m meeting with Richard Marles, he’s the Federal Labor Member of Parliament for Corio which is most Geelong central then Libby Coker who’s Labor’s new candidate for Corangamite which is surf coast and parts of Geelong. And we’ll be meeting with pensioners because pensioners are up in arms that the Abbott Liberal government’s trying to cut their pension.


HOST: Now Bill, it’s Victoria from the newsroom here, you were saying you’re here obviously to meet with Libby Coker as well who’s the new candidate for Corangamite for Labor. Now the current sitting member for Corangamite Sarah Henderson has recently launched a campaign to get the East-West Link built which is essentially a state issue and so I was just wondering your thoughts on the sitting federal politician spending so much time on state issues?


SHORTEN: Well when you’re not going well in your own federal issues why not talk about state issues? I think, what I’d like to see the federal Liberal MP do is stand up for pensioners in Geelong and the surrounding areas. What the Government said before the last election is they wouldn’t cut pensions. Then in the Budget of last year they have reduced the indexation rate which means pensions won’t increase the way they used to and a full aged pension is barely $20,000, it’s not as if full-aged pensioners are living the high life and so we would like federal Liberal MPs to stand up for pensioners rather than necessarily plunge into the rabbit hole of every state issue.


HOST: Bill a question I have, and surrounding a bit of a hot talking point at the moment, parents who don’t immunise their kids will be ineligible for rebates. Mate the problem I have with this is, and I know a few families that have gone through this, the first initial injections that a child has after they’re born, there’s been a couple of cases in Australia where that has resulted in a long term illness or disease. What do you have to say to that?


SHORTEN: Well those families, I’m not going to tell them their own views are all wrong, but the balance of scientific and medical opinion is that parents should be following medical advice and getting their children vaccinated –


HOST: But what right do you have to say hey, we’re going to make this, you know, we’re actually going to make your mind up for you?


SHORTEN: Well if parents has a deeply held religiously view or has medical grounds to exempt they wouldn’t be affected by what’s being proposed. But what right do some parents have to not vaccinate their children and expose everyone else’s child exposed to whooping cough or other, you know, childhood diseases. I think at the end of the day I’ve got to be guided by the science and what the best medical evidence is. You know there’s all sorts of theories out there about vaccinations but a lot of them, you know, are sort of fiercely held but they’re held on the internet. I’m more interested in what doctors and the experts are saying.


HOST: Bill, Tom Lonergan here from the Geelong Cats. We have to thank the Labor State Government for giving Simmons Stadium the next stage funding so I’d like to thank the Labor Government for that, but are you a Cats supporter or an AFL supporter in general mate?


SHORTEN: Collingwood.


HOST: Alright, we’ll end this phone call now there Bill, I’m a Crows man and we just pulled your pants down on the weekend so it’s unfortunate.


SHORTEN: Yeah, you certainly did. You pulled my tipping down on the weekend too, but I also, Tommy, I did also tip Geelong this weekend.


HOST: Yeah, I know, sorry about that mate.




HOST: We’re not peaking too early, that’s the thing.


SHORTEN: It is only April, that’s what we’re telling [inaudible].


HOST: Yeah, that’s right.


SHORTEN: We won one game, Collingwood.


HOST: It’s Victoria from the newsroom again, you were saying obviously you’re going to be speaking to people, particularly pensioners and things like that. If people want to talk to you today what areas of Geelong are you going to be in around what times?


SHORTEN: Well they should contact Richard Marles’ office. I’m going to be in Belmont to begin with and then, yeah, I’m going to be in Belmont at the Belmont Library.


HOST: Alright, beautiful.


SHORTEN: And then I’ll be catching up with Richard Marles again in Geelong proper, the CBD.


HOST: Alright, we’ve got to get to news, Bill Shorten, it’s been a pleasure to have you on the show mate. Thanks for taking your time out of your morning to join us on the B-Team and look forward to your visit to Geelong.


SHORTEN: Yeah, I love Geelong and I’m going to keep tipping them, I think.


HOST: There you go Tom.


HOST: Good on you Bill. We’ll get going next week Bill, don’t worry about that.


SHORTEN: And I’m only a Collingwood supporter.