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Transcript of doorstop interview: Canberra: 2 February 2016: polls; chaos and division in Turnbull Liberals; Liberals' trade union royal commission



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THE HON. BILL SHORTEN LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION MEMBER FOR MARIBYRNONG

E&OE TRANSCRIPT DOORSTOP CANBERRA TUESDAY, 2 FEBRUARY 2016

SUBJECT/S: Polls; Chaos and division in Turnbull Liberals; Liberals’ trade union royal commission

BILL SHORTEN, LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: Good morning.

JOURNALIST: Labor powerbrokers have told Seven News that you have 2-3 months to turn polls around or things might change to quote them. What's your response to that and when can you turn the polls around?

SHORTEN: What really matters in this country is are we going to have a GST of 15 per cent on everything. The Labor Party I lead is determined to stand up for ordinary families and their cost of living. Last week we announced the most significant investment in our schools education in two generations. We are determined also to stand up for people's penalty rates and entitlements. So this year, for me and for the Labor Party I am privileged to lead, we are squarely focused on the future for Australian families. It is all about jobs, education, healthcare, stopping a rotten 15 per cent GST and making sure we have real action on climate change.

JOURNALIST: How do you interpret the leaking of talking points sent to MPs from the Prime Minister's office?

SHORTEN: It is disappointing to see the Prime Minister and his office engaging in negativity. Last week, we were preparing talking points about the future of schools in Australia and how we make sure every child in every school gets every opportunity.

Meanwhile it would seem that Mr Turnbull is just copying Mr Abbott and going the low road in negativity.

JOURNALIST: Does it show that there is frustration within the Coalition ranks since Mr Turnbull took the leadership?

SHORTEN: Clearly there is great division within the Liberal Party. That is matter for the Liberal Party but Australians knows that a party which can't govern itself can't govern the nation. They're focused on fighting each other, we're focused on making sure that our kids get the best start in the future. We're focused on exposing the flaws of putting a 15 per cent price on everything. We're focused on standing up for penalty rates and stopping the attack on worker's entitlements. We're focused on opposing the terrible cuts to Medicare which we see with the cuts to imaging and pathology. We're focused on the main game in Labor.

JOURNALIST: Do you welcome the fact you'll be able to access the 6th volume of the trade union royal commission report? And will that change your view, your party's view, about the ABCC?

SHORTEN: What a circus the Government has been about this volume and confidential volumes of the royal commission. I said when I came back from our summer break that the royal commission did reveal unacceptable examples of thievery and taking from workers. But the way this Government is playing these reforms - it smells more of politics than policy. The royal commissioner himself said these confidential volumes should be just that - they should be confidential but the Government playing politics has said that some people can see it and others can't. Now they have said that a Labor person can see it and others can't. Really, the Government should start thinking what does it want in Australia's workplaces. How does it build cooperative relations. We are up for any serious reforms, but the Government it's been a circus in the way it's played this and I think most people agree.

JOURNALIST: Polling today is much the same as it was in the last week of sitting last year. Have you and your party failed to capitalise on the number of scandals and mishaps that the Government had over summer?

SHORTEN: You're quite right the Government has lost two ministers over summer and they have also really failed to engage in the debate about taxation. What matters to me is what matters to Australian families and working people. We will keep campaigning against a 15 per cent GST. People can go to the election confident that if they vote Labor, there will be no 15 per cent GST and if they vote Liberal there will be a tax increase on everything.

I look forward to seeing you all in Parliament today, thanks very much.

ENDS

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