THE HON TANYA PLIBERSEK MP
DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION
SHADOW MINISTER FOR EDUCATION AND TRAINING
SHADOW MINISTER FOR WOMEN
MEMBER FOR SYDNEY
THE HON CATHERINE KING MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR HEALTH AND MEDICARE
MEMBER FOR BALLARAT
MONDAY 22 OCTOBER 2018
SUBJECTS: Ovarian cancer research funding announcement; Wentworth by-election; Chaos and dysfunction in the Liberal Party.
CATHERINE KING, SHADOW MINISTER FOR HEALTH AND MEDICARE: Look, it’s terrific to be here with Tanya Plibersek, Deputy Leader of the Opposition supporting the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation. We've just made a terrific announcement that we're going to match the Silver Lining riders' fundraising efforts - $150,000. Labor, a future Labor Government will match the $150,000. We know that we've got to do much, much better about the survival rates for women with ovarian cancer. This is a cancer that affects 1,500 women every single year and their survival rates are 43 per cent compared with 90 per cent when it comes to breast cancer. We've had massive efforts in this country to deal with issues around research for breast cancer and I'm very pleased to be here today with Tanya to pledge the money to try and actually finally beat the scourge of this terrible, terrible cancer.
TANYA PLIBERSEK, DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: Thanks very much Catherine. I'm so pleased that you've made this announcement today of matching the fundraising efforts of the Silver Lining Ride, with a $150,000 commitment from a Shorten Labor Government to more ovarian cancer research. Of course it comes on off top of the $12.5 million that you have already committed to doing better for women who are diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Today we saw these people who've taken tragedy in their own lives, the loss of someone close to them with ovarian cancer and turned it into something good for others and that really does talk about the spirit of Australians when we see that sort of fundraising effort.
JOURNALIST: Can I just ask you on another issue? What do you think the main lesson is for the Government to take away from the Wentworth result?
PLIBERSEK: Well the main lesson for the Government surely, is when you continually capitulate to the extreme right of the Liberal Party you are completely out of step with mainstream Australian values and even Liberal Party heartland will reject that sort of extremism. What we've seen from the Morrison Government is chaos, division, dysfunction. A desperate and reckless week last week, where they were prepared to back a white supremacist language in a motion in the Senate, where the Environment Minister was insulting the whole of the Pacific, where the Prime Minister was making a Captain's call on overturning 70 years of bipartisan foreign policy and following Donald Trump's foreign policy instead. It's chaos.
JOURNALIST: Is Labor now a shoo-in to win the next election?
PLIBERSEK: No, there are no certainties in politics. We have to work every day to show the people of Australia that we are ready, that we are able to focus on what matters to them. A good job with decent pay and conditions. Rebuilding the health and education systems that the Liberals have destroyed. Real action on climate change. Bringing down power prices and bringing down pollution.
JOUNRALIST: Some Government MPs have expressed anger at Malcolm Turnbull for not endorsing Dave Sharma. Is that unfair of them, do you think?
PLIBERSEK: I think there's plenty of blame to go around really, isn't there? I mean, there will be other people in the Liberal Party who say the way the Malcolm Turnbull was executed is the reason for the loss. There’ll be others who say that Tony Abbott's constant carping from the sidelines is responsible. There’d be still others who say that Peter Dutton's ill-judged, ill-timed attack is the thing that's caused this stunningly bad by-election result. I think there's more a policy questions here. The voters of Wentworth, they don't feel like Scott Morrison represents them. The voters of Wentworth care about climate change. Scott Morrison's the guy who brought a lump of coal into the Parliament. The voters of Wentworth voted overwhelmingly in favour of marriage equality. Scott Morrison voted against it. The voters of Wentworth love their ABC and want to see it protected. Scott Morrison is cutting its funding. I mean, this is a Government that is not just out of step with Labor electorates, Labor parts of the country. They are out of step with Liberal heartland because they've moved so far to the right.
JOURNALIST: And how difficult will it be for the Government to have control of the Parliament if it is a minority government?
PLIBERSEK: Well they haven't had Malcolm Turnbull in the Parliament for a few weeks now. It has been chaotic, of course it has been, but I'm not sure that it will be any more or less chaotic if Kerryn Phelps finally prevails. This is a Government that is so busy fighting itself. I mean, the numbers on the floor of the Chamber are one issue. The fact that they can't agree on the most basic issues is a bigger challenge for the Liberal Party. They've got the extreme right, a rump of the extreme right, trying to take over the party. That is not mainstream Australia.
JOURNALIST: Julia Gillard did manage to govern in minority quite successfully?
PLIBERSEK: We passed more than 500 pieces of legislation when we were a minority government. It takes very good negotiating skills which means being in touch with middle Australia. It means being able not to be pulled to the extreme left or the extreme right. I don't know whether the Liberal Party of Australia is capable of that today.