Bill's Transcripts

The Project: Malcolm Turnbull; Polls






SUBJECT/S: Malcolm Turnbull; Polls; Kelly O’Dwyer and breastfeeding; Tony Abbott


CARRIE BICKMORE, HOST: Opposition Leader, Bill Shorten is in Canberra and he joins us now. Now Bill, It's certainly been a big week. The latest polls show even amongst Labor voters, Turnbull is more popular than you. That's obviously not what you want to hear. Are you the best person to lead Labor into the next election?


BILL SHORTEN, LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: Absolutely. But first of all, dealing with the dumping of Prime Minister Abbott by Prime Minister Turnbull, I think anyone who replaced Tony Abbott was going to get a sugar hit. I was at one stage, worried that Pete Helliar might nominate and might have got the poll swing.


PETER HELLIAR, HOST: It was close, Bill. It was close.


SHORTEN: I know, I know. I'm was thinking you, Malcolm Turnbull. I think I’ll take the one they've given us, thanks. But in terms of Labor and leading to the next election, hopefully now we've turned a corner in Australia on personality politics and we can get on to talk about who has got the best ideas for the future and all the other things that matter to people, not the personality and the name calling.


WALEED ALY, HOST: You have outlined some policies and yet you are struggling. Isn't it a fair indictment of your leadership so far that even amongst those who are minded to agree with you politically, they would rather have Malcolm Turnbull as their Prime Minister?


SHORTEN: Well, as I said before Waleed, I believe that anyone who replaced Tony Abbott was going to get a big round of applause. Unfortunately Malcolm Turnbull got there before I did. So now what we can do is in the next 12 months talk about the future. So we will keep talking about our policies and hopefully the debate, the political debate in Australia gets a bit more substantial and less superficial.


ALY: But Bill, you said you've been talking about this. You've already spoken about them. It's clearly not resonating. What have you done wrong when you clearly haven't capitalised on someone who was an unpopular Prime Minister?


SHORTEN: First of all, there isn't an election today. So let's have the discussion about who's done right and wrong at the next election. As we both know Waleed, Tony Abbott was viewed very poorly by a lot of people. Now we can have a chance to talk about the future. Who's got the best policies on climate change? What are we going to do to make sure women get treated equally in our society? Will Malcolm Turnbull stick to the views he espoused when he wasn't Prime Minister on climate change, on marriage equality, on renewable energy, or will he have to sell out what he believes in in order to keep this job? I hope not.


BICKMORE: Well, you talk about women being treated fairly. What about women in Parliament? What did you make of Liberal MP Kelly O'Dwyer being told to express more milk so that she wasn't missing votes breastfeeding?


SHORTEN: I couldn't believe it when I heard it. The Liberals have got 93 or 94 votes in Parliament. Whether or not Kelly O'Dwyer misses a vote, the Government isn’t going to fall. This seems to me some bloke trying to tell a woman colleague what to do and when to do it and how to do it. I just think it's ridiculous.


HELLIAR: Bill, I heard you on Alan Jones this morning. You sounded heartfelt and emotional. This is what you had to say?


SHORTEN (ON 2GB – WEDNESDAY, 17 SEPTEMBER): I know his family, I know his staff and I know him. You can't argue that he didn't believe in what he was doing at all times. He did.


HELLIAR: Bill, I almost teared up. Do you miss Tony already?


SHORTEN: Well, I think you can distinguish. I didn't agree with just about all his policies. We did exchange harsh words in Parliament over the last two years. I think one time I said that to him – I said listen Tony, you drive me crazy, I don't agree with your policies, then you do something nice personally and that was at the time my mum passed away, and he was empathetic and he smiled and said I'm sure I will frustrate you again. He did.


BICKMORE: Thanks for your time, Bill. Good to talk.


SHORTEN: See you guys, thanks.