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Transcript of interview with Mandy Coolen and Akmal Saleh: 2GO: 5 September 2018: Labor's plan to help Australians study at uni



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THE HON TANYA PLIBERSEK MP

DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION

SHADOW MINISTER FOR EDUCATION AND TRAINING

SHADOW MINISTER FOR WOMEN

MEMBER FOR SYDNEY

E&OE TRANSCRIPT

RADIO INTERVIEW

2GO BREAKFAST WITH MANDY AND AKMAL

WEDNESDAY 5 SEPTEMBER 2018

SUBJECTS: Labor’s plan to help Australians study at uni.

MANDY COOLEN, PRESENTER: Exactly, and we're both very impressed with

this woman and very pleased to have her joining us on the show, she is here on

the Coast today, Deputy Leader of the Labor Party, Tanya Plibersek, hello!

TANYA PLIBERSEK, DEPUTY LEADER OF THE LABOR PARTY: Hello, Mandy,

how are you?

COOLEN: I'm well.

AKMAL SALEH, PRESENTER: Hi, I'm good too. I'm Akmal. Remember I met you

once, I was a little guy.

PLIBERSEK:We were on Q&A together, I remember but what you don't know,

Akmal is that I went to one of your shows once and there I was in the audience

hoping for a shout out and nothing. Nothing.

SALEH: Which show did you go to? Was it a good one?

PLIBERSEK: Yeah, they're all good, aren't they?

SALEH: No, no, some of them are terrible.

COOLEN: Now he's paranoid, Tanya.

SALEH:Yeah, no, I would have been very intimidated if you were in the audience

there because I would have been thinking about that. You know, because you're

the honourable Tanya Plibersek, right? And all politicians are called honourable. I

don't think that it should just be given.

PLIBERSEK: Yeah, there's funny rules about that - if you're in the Federal

Parliament, you have to have been a Minister before you're 'honourable' but in the

State Parliament, I think if you're in the NSW Upper House you're automatically

'honourable'.

SALEH: Well, I think the title should reflect your personality - like what about 'the

disgraceful Peter Dutton', or 'the ridiculous Pauline Hanson', or 'the reptilian Tony

Abbott'? Signed, the reptilian Tony Abbott.

COOLEN: What do you think, Tanya?

PLIBERSEK: That's what we call people in secret, we just don't do that in public.

COOLEN: Nice.

SALEH: Not anymore.

COOLEN:Now listen, we will get to the reason why you're on the Coast today and I

actually personally love this because I have a daughter at university, Tanya and

she has to travel into Sydney to go to university; and I didn't realise that people on

the Central Coast are quite disadvantaged when it comes to finishing university

degrees.

PLIBERSEK: Yeah, look we know that brains are distributed pretty equally right

across the Australian community but the opportunity to go to university certainly

isn't. So, around about a fifth of young people on the Central Coast have a

university degree but if you go to somewhere like the north shore of Sydney, that's

63 per cent. So, we know that kids on the Central Coast are missing out and we

also know that more and more jobs that are going to be created in the future need

either a university degree or a TAFE qualification to get the job. We know that the

economy is changing so more people will need to retrain to do the jobs of the

future, so we want to make sure that right across the Australian community, people

who are prepared to work hard can get themselves a university degree.

So, there's two things that we're doing: we're uncapping places at university - that

was the policy when we were last in government, the Liberals put an unfair cap

back on university places, we're going to uncap those places again. So if you're

prepared to work hard to get into uni, there'll be a place for you there. And

secondly, we've got another program that we're announcing, it's $174 million to

really target communities and groups where there's an under-representation of

university achievement. So, when we were, again, when we were last in

government, we introduced programs like this that really targeted people from

disadvantaged backgrounds and we saw a lot of success and the University of

Newcastle is doing a fantastic job in this area. They've got a really good proportion

of their students who are the first in their family to go to university, they're coming

in through Pathways programs so they're getting a lot of support in their first

months and years at uni so they don't drop out and they're particularly targeting

groups like kids who've been in out-of-home care to give them the chance of a

university education which of course just makes such a difference to their life

chances.

COOLEN: Absolutely, this is fantastic, we're really grateful to hear this news and

especially as families, like my daughter going to university in Sydney. We know

how hard it is for kids to get through those degrees and to finish up which is

fantastic. Now, just going to change the subject though, just quickly, Tanya

because we know you're very busy this morning. You know what, I'd really like to

see another female Prime Minister of this country and given that we change every

other week, when are you going to put your hand up to be PM, we think you're

fabulous.

SALEH: Yeah definitely, I think Bill Shorten would be very nervous right now.

COOLEN: Wise, he'd be wise to put you forward.

SALEH: Yeah.

PLIBERSEK: You know what, it's really sweet of you to say that but one of the

reasons that we have been successful, I think, in the last five years is because

we've been really united and really disciplined and we haven't been focused on

competing with each other for the top job, we've actually been focused on great

policies like the one we're announcing today.

SALEH: Would you agree like, Bill Shorten's a little bit, sort of dull, maybe?

PLIBERSEK: No, no that's too far.

COOLEN: Stop it, no you can't ask her that. But I'll tell you what you can tell him

Tanya. He says 'with' wrong. He says 'wiff' instead of 'with'.

SALEH: He says 'wiff'.

COOLEN We can't have a Prime Minister who can't say 'with'. So if you want to go

back and give him a little bit of feedback.

SALEH: I think I heard him so 'aksed' once.

PLIBERSEK: You know what, I'll put him on to you, you can have him on your

show and you can give him all the advice in the world, how's that?

COOLEN: All right, perfect, tell him he's welcome on our show any time. Any time.

HOST: Well Tanya Plibersek, thank you so much for joining us on the show today.

SALEH: Can I ask Tanya one more question? Which show did you see? Because

I'm a bit nervous.

COOLEN: He's paranoid, now he's paranoid, Tanya.

PLIBERSEK: I think it was at the Enmore Theatre.

SALEH: Oh yeah, that was okay.

HOST: Tanya thank you so much for joining us on the show today.

SALEH: Thanks, Tanya,

COOLEN: Great to talk to you, Tanya, see you.

PLIBERSEK: Thank you.

ENDS

MEDIA CONTACT: DAN DORAN 0427 464 350

Authorised by Noah Carroll, ALP, Canberra.