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Transcript of doorstop interview: Canberra: 11 September 2018: Liberal Party's division and chaos; representation of women in Parliament



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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

DOORSTOP INTERVIEW

CANBERRA

TUESDAY 11 SEPTEMBER 2018

SUBJECTS: Liberal Party’s division and chaos; Representation of women in

Parliament.

TANYA PLIBERSEK, DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: Yesterday, we

asked Scott Morrison again and again, why are you Prime Minister? And Mr

Morrison couldn't answer that question. In the two weeks since Malcolm Turnbull

was rolled, no one's been able to answer the question, why was he rolled? Why is

Scott Morrison Prime Minister? Bridget McKenzie, the Deputy Leader of the

Nationals, was asked the same question on Q and A last night. She couldn't

answer why Scott Morrison is Prime Minister. Yesterday, Christopher Pyne couldn't

keep a straight face when he said the Government was getting on with the

business of governing. Peter Dutton, the Home Affairs Minister, is too busy doing

favours for mates to keep Australians safe. The Liberals and Nationals are at each

other's throats, in NSW and all over the country. And day after day there is leak

after leak, you see the pay-pack for the deposition of the Prime Minister, Malcolm

Turnbull, where his supporters, Peter Dutton's supporters, Tony Abbott's

supporters, Scott Morrison's supporters, are all leaking against each other, trying

to rewrite history. In this environment, it is impossible for Scott Morrison to do what

he says he has set out to do, which is make the economy stronger, keep

Australians safe and keep Australians together.

Scott Morrison's got nothing to be smug about when it comes to the Australian

economy. He is the Treasurer who doubled the debt, doubled the deficit, presided

over 1.8 million Australians either unemployed or looking for more work. He is the

Treasurer that voted in favour of penalty rate cuts when wages are at historic low

levels of growth. When it comes to keeping Australians safe, it is very difficult to

see how when you've got the Defence Minister laughing, he tries to keep a straight

face when he says the Government's getting on with the business of governing

and the Home Affairs Minister is preoccupied answering questions about favours

that he's done for mates, it's hard to see how you can keep Australians safe. And

when it comes to keeping Australians together, you've got a man who is Prime

Minister who, as Treasurer, cut health, cut education, tried to cut the pension, all in

order to give the big banks a $17 billion tax cut. At the same, the now-Prime

Minister, then-Treasurer, argued that the National Energy Guarantee would bring

down power prices, he's given up on that already.

This is a government that is unstable, divided, focused only on itself and only on

infighting. In contast, Bill Shorten leads a united team, ready to govern, focused on

what matters to the Australian people. A good job with decent pay and conditions,

good schools for their kids to go to, a hospital when they need it, an energy policy

that delivers lower prices and lower pollution. That's what we're focused on, and

that's why we're ready to govern.

Any questions?

JOURNALIST: Minister Dutton keeps saying that Mr Quaedvlieg is working with

Labor. Has anyone from Labor been in touch with Mr Quaedvlieg?

PLIBERSEK: I certainly don't know of any contact that's been made. I think it's

very interesting that Peter Dutton tries to dismiss these very serious, very serious

questions raised by Mr Quaedvlieg by just saying he's a disgruntled former

employee. I mean, these are serious questions and reading what's in Fairfax

papers today, it seems like there are multiple sources raising questions about jobs

in Border Force that Peter Dutton tried to get for mates.

JOURNALIST: And in the seat of Wentworth, Andrew Bragg's dropped out to

make way for a woman. What do you make of that? Do you think there's change

going on in the Liberals to get more women in the party?

PLIBERSEK: Look, almost 50 per cent of Labor representatives are women. For

the Coalition, that's about 1 in 5. So of course we welcome anything that makes it

more likely that the Coalition looks more like the community it represents, that's 50-50 men and women. I think it's a little bit sad that it's only in times like this, times of

desperation that this becomes an issue for them, when they're looking for electoral

advantage rather than actually just trying to do the right thing and increase their

representation of women so that their ranks looks more like the community they

represent.

ENDS

MEDIA CONTACT: DAN DORAN 0427 464 350

Authorised by Noah Carroll, ALP, Canberra.