The Hon Bill Shorte2

THE HON BILL SHORTEN LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION MEMBER FOR MARIBYRNONG E&OE TRANSCRIPT DOORSTOP INTERVIEW CANBERRA SATURDAY, 25 OCTOBER 2014 Subject/s: ACL speech, Tony Abbott’s unfair Budget, Cost of living, Ebola, NAPLAN, National Security, Cabinet disunity.
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  THE HON BILL SHORTENLEADER OF THE OPPOSITIONMEMBER FOR MARIBYRNONG E&OE TRANSCRIPTDOORSTOP INTERVIEWCANBERRASATURDAY, 25 OCTOBER 2014  Subject/s: ACL speech, Tony Abbott’s unfair Budget, Cost of living, bola, !A LA!, !ational Security, Cabinet disunity# BILL SHORTEN, LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: Good afternoon everyone. I’ve been at the ACL this morning, talking about some of my values and the vision which I have for Australia in the next ve to ! years. I discussed marriage e#uality under the law, I discussed the im$ortant international role that Australia has to su$$ort refugees and thevulnerable. I also discussed and s$oke about the im$ortance of linking economic growth to e#uality, and that both growth and e#uality are not mutually exclusive but they are twins, and that Australia needs to $rioritise both. %here was a lot of discussion about also what we do in terms of &bola and the need for Australia to take more action. It was a useful exchange of views, and whilst we didn’t agree on everything, I agree that the $olitical debate was advanced this morning in Australia. I also 'ust think it’s worth noting that in Australia, we can have disagreements and we can conduct them in a civil nature, and I am grateful to all of those involved today.(a$$y to take #uestions. REPORTER: )hy did you choose a s$eech to the Australian Christian Lobby to make $lan your views on marriage e#uality, and in $articular faith and the use of faith in some ways to se$arate society and gay $eo$lefrom society* SHORTEN: I think I’m like most Australians, we don’t tend to talk about our faith $ublicly. %he Australian Christian Lobby asked me to s$eak to them, so it was $erha$s an unusual o$$ortunity to talk about one’s own $ersonal values and views. %alking about religion is not something I’m  going to make a habit of doing. +ut it was an o$$ortunity to exchange views. I think it’s im$ortant in life to be straight with $eo$le about what you think, and whilst the Australian Christian Lobby and I obviously didn’t have a com$lete agreement in terms of marriage e#uality, I’ve voted for itin the $ast.I think fundamentally in Australia we’re very lucky to be tolerant and to bediverse. I do fundamentally believe that Australian families come in all sha$es and sies. I don’t believe it’s good when $eo$le cite some sort of moral authority to criticise blended families, or say that relationshi$s in Australia should 'ust be constructed and su$$orted legally limited to heterosexual relationshi$s and nuclear families. %here are mums and dads, there are cou$les, there are individuals who are raising their children to the best of their e-orts, and I think it is im$ortant to s$eak u$ for all of Australia, not 'ust a $articular subset of Australia. REPORTER: )ere you being $rovocative* SHORTEN: /o. REPORTER: )here would you like to see the debate on marriage e#ualitygo from here, and do you think more su$$orters within the Government for marriage e#uality should be s$eaking $ublically about their $osition* SHORTEN: I think %ony Abbott $robably needs to allow a conscience vote,I don’t think it’s going to $rogress far without that. )hilst the Liberal 0artyinsists that everyone in the Liberal 0arty has one view, I don’t see that marriage e#uality will advance much further. I think the challenge here is to recognise that $eo$le of good will can have di-erent views on this #uestion, but what is im$ortant is that not every matter should be $arty $olitical 1 this is a matter of conscience. REPORTER: Cory +ernardi has tweeted this morning that 2nobody takes advice on marriage or morality’ from yourself, what do you make of that statement* SHORTEN: I don’t rate it very seriously at all. REPORTER: 3o you think that that is an unnecessarily rude thing to say* SHORTEN: I have ceased thinking too hard about what Cory +ernardi saida fair while ago. REPORTER: 4r 5horten in terms of the carbon tax, is it time for the Government to acknowledge that the re$eal of the carbon tax hasn’t resulted in Australians having an extra 677 in their $ocket* SHORTEN: Australians have learnt the di-erence between %ony Abbott before an election and after an election. (e’s broken his $romises to Australians on everything from $ensions, to cuts to education, to cuts to health care, to cuts to the treatment of veterans. 5o there is little sur$rise  to me that Australians are sce$tical about his election $romises around cost of living because his +udget, his unfair +udget, is seeing a family whowould earn 1 bring in 687, a year is losing u$ to 68 in su$$ort, so there is no doubt in my mind that when $eo$le are asking about cost of living and do they think %ony Abbott’s hel$ing to reduce it, broken election$romises have conrmed in Australians minds that they can’t trust %ony Abbott with cost of living. REPORTER: Christine 4ilne says that the Greens are considering a com$romise with the Government su$$orting 3irect Action if it meant thatthe 9enewable &nergy %arget would remain as it is. 3oes that take you outof the climate change debate in the 5enate* SHORTEN: It’s u$ to the Greens if they want to do a deal with %ony Abbott. :ne thing I’d 'ust say to su$$orters of the Greens is that anyone who trusts %ony Abbott to be fair dinkum in terms of climate change is kidding themselves. REPORTER:  %he A4A have said that Australia’s been far too slow to act inthe case of &bola. 3o you think that we should be sending teams and we should be sending them there* SHORTEN: I don’t believe that %ony Abbott has done enough to deal with this growing crisis. It’s not a matter of com$elling $eo$le to go to )est Africa, but logic dictates that you’re better o- dealing with the outbreak of a deadly and serious contagion closer to the source, than waiting til it comes to Australia or comes to 0a$ua /ew Guinea. If you want to deal with a contagion, and a disease which is deadly and s$reads very ra$idly, you’re better of dealing with it early. +ecause the #uestions in several months’ time if we don’t act now will be 2why didn’t we act’ now* REPORTER: 5hould Australia be setting u$ a facility in )est Africa to dealwith Australians who may contract this virus* )e haven’t heard the Government talk about that at all. SHORTEN: A number of other countries are working out solutions to ensure that their nationals who go and hel$ here are safe and secure. It’s not beyond the wit and wisdom of the Australian Government to $ick u$ the tele$hone, to talk to leaders of other countries and the ;nited 5tates and the ;nited <ingdom and to do our bit. %here are $lenty of $eo$le in Australia who want to do the right thing and hel$. I think that most Australians recognise that if you don’t deal with &bola in )est Africa and if you wait til it came to somewhere much closer to Australia, then that will have a lot more deadly conse#uences. 5o in terms of the technical solutions, Australia should be working with other countries. :ther countries are ca$able of coming u$ with answers tothe #uestions that you’re asking, I don’t see why Australia can’t work with them.  REPORTER:  %here is of course an outbreak in /ew =ork, another health worker seems to have contracted the virus and then returned home. Is there a concern though that Australia, being as isolated as it is, is that’s the way that &bola will get into our country* SHORTEN:  4y concern is that if you don’t deal with a $roblem at its source, if you $ut o- to dealing with this $roblem until next week, next month or next year, it will be far worse, far more deadly, far more costly. REPORTER: 4r 5horten, there are re$orts that our security agencies werehaving to investigate some of the 7 $eo$le or so who went to 4ecca last month. Is this the [inaudible] * SHORTEN: I haven’t received any brieng from the Government about this matter and until I do I won’t’ make any comment. REPORTER: 4r 5horten, what are your thoughts on the /A0LA/ testing going online in > !8* SHORTEN: I think that /A0LA/ is a net $ositive develo$ment. =ou’re always looking at ways of rening the system. In terms of making it online, there are some clear advantages to that. /A0LA/, on balance, gives $arents a chance to be able to identify what’s ha$$ening with their children’s educational develo$ment. +ut it’s always im$ortant to take the advice of ex$erts and continue to im$rove it. Last #uestion thanks. REPORTER: )hat do you make of the Cabinet reshu?e rumours* SHORTEN: Clearly there’s trouble on the frontbench of the Liberal 0arty. 9umours don’t 'ust kee$ coming out like this unless there is a genuine concern, I sus$ect, by some Government 4inisters about @oe (ockey’s $erformance. Clearly there’s a bit of titfortat and backgrounding within the Government against each other. or me the real issue though is there are leaks from the /ational 5ecurity Council 1 it is im$ortant that %ony Abbott gets his ambitious or egotistical 4inisters into line. I want the Government, in a time of national security tension, to be doing their day 'ob, not to be arguing about which chair someone sits in. It’s too im$ortant to lead to this disunity. %ony Abbott needs to $ut a line under it and get his 4inisters focused on national security, not leaking to the media. %hanks everyone. !$S
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