Bill's Transcripts

Radio: Triple M Adelaide - Tony Abbott’s broken promise on submarines threatens thousands of South Australian jobs.



Tony Abbott’s broken promise on submarines threatens thousands of South Australian jobs.


PRESENTER: The Leader of the Opposition Bill Shorten is flying in to town today and heading straight to Osborne, down to the ASC and the joins us now, Mr Shorten good morning.




PRESENTER: What is the main task of your trip?


SHORTEN: It’s to draw attention to the fact that we should be building these submarines in Australia, put a bit of last minute pressure on the Government not to break its election promise, not to make a decision which see’s thousands of jobs go and not to give another economic headache to South Australia.


PRESENTER: Are we doing a good job of it Bill? How are we going building the submarines and are we any good at it?


SHORTEN: Yeah we are good at building the submarines. Our submarines have got long range capacity, I understand that the Japanese submarines don’t have anywhere near the range of the Aussie submarines. Australia is an island and we should be able to be self-sufficient in our ship building and submarine building.


PRESENTER: I agree totally, no doubt about that, but is it too expensive? That seems to be the question.


SHORTEN: Well, I love this government - when it comes to national security you’d have thought that they would have focused on the outcome as opposed to just going to the home brand. But in this case though, no I think you could get the costs down anyway.


PRESENTER: Yeah well - sorry, go on.


SHORTEN: This country should be smart enough to be able to build things of this nature. I mean this is billions of dollars of infrastructure. I mean, I would say this being the Labor leader, but when Tony Abbott got in he said he wanted to create a million new jobs, I just never realised he meant a million new jobs overseas.


PRESENTER: Do you obviously disagree with the hard line approach Tony Abbott’s taken to the car manufacturing, SPC, a number of companies where he’s saying look the Government aren’t going to be able to support you here, you need to stand on your own two feet, you’re dead against that?


SHORTEN: Well, I get that the world changes and you can’t just hand out money to people to make things, but this Government simplifies everything into goodies and baddies. The issue here is that when you’ve got a car industry, you generate apprentices, you generate small business, you generate research. They know the price of everything, but they don’t know the value of anything. And the other thing is if you’re going to have change- and this is the difference if I was to be elected as opposed to the current bloke; if there was going to be an industry go under and jobs lost, I’d have a plan to put people into new jobs. Whereas these guys, they just sort of say you’re on your own, it’s law of the jungle.


PRESENTER: How can we become more competitive? How can we actually stop losing all these industries and actually become more competitive with the rest of the world so we don’t lose these jobs?


SHORTEN: Science, innovation, technology. I mean what we can do is we can do things smart. Look at the wine industry. You know 50, 60 years ago the wine industry didn’t exist. Now they’ve got a value chain, it’s not just growing the grapes. it’s the bottling, it’s the labelling, it’s, you know, seals, it’s the whole brand and export. So we’re capable of doing things if this nation invests in research and being smart. I mean if you build things that only compete on cost, well we’ve always got as problem. But if you build things that people want to buy, then you can do better. I mean, do ask yourself -  Denmark, Denmark’s a small country just to the north of Germany, far smaller population than us, doesn’t have our mineral resources. They can produce insulin, they can even produce Lego. Look at Switzerland; people go and buy Swiss watches because of the strength of the brand and our country needs to decide that we want to get it up the value chain. But we’ve got to put more money into science, science is the answer.


PRESENTER: Bill without getting into a massive economic argument, not everyone in the world can buy Swiss watches, as you know they tend to be brands like Rolex and so on, they’re actually quite expensive, and that would be the argument here right now. Now you have a union background, are we too expensive? Have unions over time forced wages up and up and up and up so that it now- when we look at Holden, when we look at submarines and ships, it is too expensive?


SHORTEN: No I think we’re a first world- I know we’re a first world country. We’re never going to be able to compete with lowering wages, and I often find the people who complain most about high wages are the top one per cent of Australia who would never imagine taking a discount themselves in their pay packet. No I don’t think- manufacturing, the average wage for manufacturing is below the average wage in Australia. So, the other thing is, it’s called our standard of living, it’s called the middle class. I mean you guys, distinguished football careers, you know one of the debates is can people can afford to go to the football. One things for sure, if we had a lower wages system, people wouldn’t be able to have the recreational choices they have on weekends.


PRESENTER: Yep, no doubt about that. Alright Bill thanks for joining us, and good luck with your trip here in Adelaide, and I guess on behalf of a lot of South Australians we thank you for coming here and drawing attention to it.


SHORTEN: We can win these arguments, we don’t have to be a mine or a quarry or just a tourist resort, we can make things here. But thanks fellas.


PRESENTER: Alright, good luck Bill. Leader of the Federal Opposition, Bill Shorten.