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Transcript of doorstop interview: Devonport: 10 July 2018: Labor's $800,000 support for health care training in Braddon; Braddon by-election; Mark Latham; ALP; UK politics

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SUBJECTS: Labor’s $800,000 support for health care training in Braddon,

Braddon by-election; Mark Latham; ALP; UK politics


here to Meercroft Park Home in Devonport.

It's probably the best real estate you could get here in Devonport, with some

wonderful residents here behind me, and of course the wonderful aged care

workers here.

Unlike Malcolm Turnbull we don't believe that these people behind us should go

and get a better job.

What we need though is to ensure that people that want to come into aged care as

a career, have the best training they can possible.

So I'm here with Bill Shorten here at Meercroft to announce that a Shorten Labor

Government will put $800,000 into the Devonport TAFE so that those that are

training as enrolled nurses and also in disability care will have an interactive mini


So that people here in Devonport and across the North West of Tasmania can get

the best training possible, to look after these wonderful people that we have in our

aged care facilities in a place like Meercroft that they call home.

Thank you, Bill, for coming to Devonport.


morning everybody. It's great to be here at Meercroft talking with staff and


We're very lucky, Justine and I, we're here on staff appreciation day. And it really

does highlight the difference between Labor and Liberal in the current Braddon by-election.

Labor really respects aged care. In fact, we like most Australians know a lot more

needs to be done in aged care. We're not here telling the remarkable aged care

workforce to get a better job, what we're offering is better training, better funding

and better wages for aged care staff.

We're here today talking to residents and I was able to explain to them that

Tasmania, the college in Tasmania was the first place ever in Australia where we

had a mechanics institute - which was the forerunner of modern TAFE. That was

back in 1827.

Now, 191 years later, Labor is saying to Tasmanian TAFE, that you are the home

of TAFE and what we're going to do is invest in TAFE in Tasmania.

We want young people to be able to get apprenticeships in Tasmania and not have

to go to the mainland. We want more respect for the aged care workforce so we're

going to put $800,000 to help provide equipment so we can train both people in

disability care and aged care to give them the best possible training, to provide the

best possible care for Tasmania's older citizens.

This is a great announcement because what we're doing here is we're saying to

Tasmanians, Labor prioritises quality aged care over giving a big tax cut to the big


What we're saying to Tasmanian aged care workers is you don't have to get a

better job. We want to make your current job better - by funding, by training, and of

course by better wages.

After all, the people who live here have worked their whole lives, they deserve

proper care in their older years and that's what Labor is committed to doing - to

working to give better aged care and better training for our aged care workforce

who are irreplaceable in Tasmania and right through Australia.

We're happy to take any questions people might have.

JOURNALIST: How damaging are the Mark Latham robocalls in the seat of


SHORTEN: I'm not going to get distracted by that sideshow. The fact of the matter

is that when you vote for One Nation you're actually getting Malcolm Turnbull. At

the end, Pauline Hanson's One Nation Party has voted 90 per cent of the time with

the Liberals.

So when you vote for Pauline Hanson you get Malcolm Turnbull's tax cuts for the

big banks - $17 billion.

JOURNALIST: I believe he's been saying that you're a liar - are you?

SHORTEN: No, what I'm not going to do is get distracted. Let's be clear: this is a

sideshow. What these people on the sideshows of Australian politics want is for us

to get distracted.

What the Australian people want us to do is focus on them, not on ourselves.

The media spend half their life saying politicians talk to much about themselves,

and then they want us to talk about ourselves. Well I'm not going to get distracted.

Mark Latham used to be someone, he's not anymore. So I'm not going to waste

any time and energy on the sideshows.

What you get when you vote for Labor is you’re going to get prioritising aged care

over tax cuts for big banks. That's a lot more important.

JOURNALIST: Are you worried that Labor's chances of winning Braddon are

slipping away?

SHORTEN: I don't think the voters have voted yet. I don't think the vote has been

counted. What I can promise the people in Braddon is in Justine Keay we've got a

local champion, mother of three, fierce advocate for her communities.

Justine gets up every day and is determined to do better for working and middle

class people in Braddon.

At the end of the day, how do the people here benefit by corporate tax cut to the

four big banks, $17 billion? The reality, that Justine's the person who's going to

make sure that we put resources into aged care and into apprenticeships and into

TAFE. The other fellow is going to put money into big banks and multimillionaire

tax cuts.

JOURNALIST: Not all the candidates for the by-elections are filling out the AEC

section 44 form, what's the point of this if it's voluntary?

SHORTEN: I think it would be prudential of people to explain that they're eligible to

run. We've seen all of the confusion, we've seen the High Court making new

decisions, I think for the absence of any doubt people should put forward their

documentation, full stop.

JOURNALIST: Just another one on that - will Labor make sure all candidates fill it

out and give consent to publish?

SHORTEN: Yes, I expect that is the right way to go. I think all people running for

office should do that now.

The rules have changed, they've got a lot clearer, the High Court's made its

determinations. I think that people want to just be certain that who they're voting for

is eligible to run. I just think it's prudential isn't it? It's common sense of the

candidates to remove any doubt. We've seen the law evolve and now I think it's

time for everyone to move on, focus on the people, not on themselves.

JOURNALIST: Going back to aged care, are you creating any jobs in the sector?

SHORTEN: We will be creating jobs in the sector - I mean, aged care is growing

anyway. We're living longer which is fantastic, but some people, whilst they are

certainly living longer become frailer.

It is so important that we train and support our aged care workforce. I frankly, was

quite surprised at how out of touch the current Prime Minister is when he said -

when I asked him a question in parliament, I said 'why is it that an aged care

worker is only getting a $10 a week tax cut when a banker would be getting $7000

a year?' And he said 'people should aspire to get a better job'.

What makes this an out of touch comment is I actually think aged care is a good

job. I actually know when you look at people who have to move into residential

accommodation that they want quality care. I don't want aged care workers leaving

the industry, I just want them to get a better deal.

Only Labor wants to give the aged care workforce a better deal. There's no doubt

though the numbers of people working in aged care is going to increase as the

population gets older.

JOURNALIST: This is the fifth day you've spent in Braddon in the past week, is

that a sign of how concerned you are about winning this seat?

SHORTEN: It's a sign there's a by-election on but I also have to say that I've spent

a lot of time in Braddon full stop. That doesn't always get the same media interest

when there's not a by-election but Justine and I, we've done public forums in

Queenstown, we've been to Latrobe, we came here during the floods, we've gone

there since the floods to make sure that we repair the damage and make sure that

the floods can't cause that damage again.

We've traveled from Circular Head right through to Burnie a number of times, not

that it perhaps got the interest because it's not a massive media story, but I did run

in the Burnie 10,000 and recorded a creditable 50 minutes for 10k.

JOURNALIST: Just on Mark Latham again, you said it was a - he's become a bit

of a sideshow or the issue has become the sideshow. Chris Bowen this

morning has said, has described him as one of the great Labor rats in history, do

you agree with that?

SHORTEN: Well again, I think a lot of people in the Labor Party have got a very

strong view about Mark Latham but what these people want is they want me to get

distracted and start talking about them. Doesn't matter if it's Pauline Hanson, Mark

Latham or Malcolm Turnbull, they have an obsession with personal tirades about

me. I'm not going to play that game, they can play on that pitch all on their own.

What I'm going to do is focus on what Australians want and a little bit of advice

to Mr Turnbull, he should perhaps copy my tactics of focusing on the people and

talking less about the politicians.

JOURNALIST: Just back to Braddon, do you think with all the visits you've been

making here do you think you're at risk of over campaigning?

SHORTEN: Well which way do you guys want it? You either don't visit a seat or

you do visit a seat. The fact of the matter is I'm a people person I like to get out

and about. I find the most satisfying part of my job when I'm in communities

listening to people.

You know different people have got different styles, my opposite number he thinks

the best work he can do is give a $17 billion tax cut to the big banks. I don't want to

do that. I think the best work that I and Justine and Labor can do is talk to the

residents here and when I was moving around talking to residents I didn't spend a

lot of time sledging my opponents. What I do is I want to hear their stories,

there is centuries of Tasmanian knowledge here in this room.

There are people here who have been teachers, there are people here who have

worked as receptionists in law offices, there are people here who have grown up in

these communities. I am interested in how they can enjoy this life with as much

comfort and dignity as possible.

I far more enjoy talking to an aged care worker than talking to Mr Turnbull's top

end of town mates in the banks. The fact of the matter is I think the aged care staff

here are remarkable. I don't think they're paid enough. I don't think aged care

funding is good enough. I don't think they get the respect they deserve from the

powerful people in our parliament but we're going to do it differently. I would rather

spend every day of my life hanging out and talking to real workers and real people,

than some of the people that Mr Turnbull thinks are most important with his

policies: the top end of town.

JOURNALIST: Polling shows that the Liberals are still ahead of Justine Keay, what

are you doing to do you've got three weeks to turn those around, what are you

going to do?

SHORTEN: I tell you what we've got the best policies and the best candidate. The

fact of the matter is it's tight. Braddon is always a tight seat and you can look at

how the electoral fortunes of the different parties have changed over plenty of

previous elections.

So let's be clear what the choice is: if you want to make sure that the hospitals in

the district are properly funded, you vote for Justine. If you want to make sure that

parents and kids don't have to go to the mainland to get the specialist treatment

that people on the mainland take for granted in health care, vote for Justine. If you

want to make sure the schools are properly funded, if you want to make sure that

aged care is properly funded, if you want to make sure that aged care workers are

treated with respect and the prospect of better training, better funding and better

wages, you vote for Justine.

Now of course if you want to give $17 billion away to the big banks, vote for the

Liberals. If you want to make sure that multimillionaires are getting a tax cut but

ordinary workers are getting $10 a week, vote for the Liberals. The choices are

very clear. We choose everyday people and that's why I am optimistic that Justine

and our policies are the best on offer for Braddon.

JOURNALIST: Will you support a push for the national executive to take control of

the preselection process in Victoria?

SHORTEN: I'm going to leave the Victorian preselections to the Victorian Labor

Party and the Labor Party officials. One thing I will make clear though and I make

clear both internally and externally, I back my sitting Members. If I have got sitting

Members who want to keep contributing, I want them on the frontline. What I will

offer is a period of stability for my MPs, I won't let my MPs be ignored and I will

make sure I protect my sitting MPs.

JOURNALIST: Just on an international note what's your reaction to Boris

Johnson's resignation as UK Foreign Secretary?

SHORTEN: That's a matter for British politics. Thanks everybody.



Authorised by Noah Carroll, ALP, Canberra.