Bill's Transcripts



SUBJECT/S: Tasmanian floods

BILL SHORTEN, LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: ...But even more importantly, to thank the emergency personnel and to get an appreciation from local government and authorities about the scale of support which will be required when the current emergency passes and all the repairs have to be taken.

LEON COMPTON, HOST: There is an arrangement called the Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangement that has some prescribed conditions for it to be activated and then sees federal funding flow for significant amounts of recovery area in communities like ours in Tasmania. Do you believe that those arrangements have been meet and this money should be activated from the feds?

SHORTEN: I have to say, from what I have seen, the answer is yes. I worked as a government junior minister on bushfire reconstruction in Victoria after Black Saturday, so I have seen the federal arrangements that kick into place when you have these sorts of disasters. I have got no doubt that in the RRA or the name of the program, is designed to for such an event we are seeing here in Northern Tasmania.

COMPTON: So you believe it should be, these criteria have been met, it should be activated?

SHORTEN: Yeah, I do think that's the case.

COMPTON: This is a national disaster from Tasmania's perspective. Have you and the Prime Minister spoken about it yet today or over the last 48 hours?

SHORTEN: Not today but we have spoken a couple of times in the last 48 hours. I think this is important for listeners to recognise that there is an election on, both of us are offering our political vision for the country but a matter like this, you put the partisanship aside, it's about people, it's about dealing with the emergency and the events and, it is a good think about our democracy, I believe, that we do talk.

COMPTON: Who have you meet with so far in your time in Tasmania? What stories have you heard?

SHORTEN: I have just landed now. We have had briefings overnight from people but we are going to see first hand, right now once I conclude this interview. We will be going to the fire service, the SES, we will be visiting residents who have been flooded. In fact, a former Labor MP, Sid Sidebottom’s house was flooded along with a range of houses where he lives in Forth. We will be inspecting that damage, I'll also be meeting with Latrobe City Council, just visiting the recovery centre, flood impacted sites. I have got my shadow spokesperson for these emergency matters, Mark Dreyfus is accompanying me.

COMPTON: Thanks for talking with us this morning.

SHORTEN: No worries and just rest assured that on matters like this, politics takes a back-seat. It's all about helping people, the Government, the roads, the rail and farmers.

COMPTON: Bill Shorten, Federal Opposition Leader on Mornings around Tasmania.


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