SPEECH: Opening of Australian Young Labor Conference, Saturday 4 February 2017

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THE HON TANYA PLIBERSEK MP
DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION
SHADOW MINISTER FOR EDUCATION
SHADOW MINISTER FOR WOMEN
MEMBER FOR SYDNEY

 

OPENING OF THE AUSTRALIAN YOUNG LABOR CONFERENCE 


CANBERRA

4 FEBRUARY 2017 

CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY

 

I acknowledge the Ngunnawal people who are the traditional custodians of the land on which we are meeting and pay respects to the elders of the Ngunnawal Nation both past and present.

I extend this respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in attendance today.

It is with great pleasure that I stand before you to open the 2017 Australian Young Labor National Conference.

I congratulate all of you on being elected as delegates from your states or territories to this national conference.

Try and have some fun over the next couple of days.

You should enjoy this chance to test yourself:

- to argue

- to debate 

- and even to socialise.

We in Labor are never afraid of a healthy debate.

If you doubt that for a moment I urge you to come along to Sydney Town Hall and watch the NSW annual conference in full flight.

In Labor, we accept that good people can disagree on matters close to their hearts.

It will be a better conference if you:

- engage genuinely, 

- wrestle intellectually,

- listen closely, 

- encourage the shy ones to speak up, and

- behave with honour and kindness to each other.

Come with open minds.

I know that factions are important to the running of this conference but do not dismiss an idea or thought out of hand because it comes out of the mouth of someone from the other side of the room.

I urge you to take the time now, to look around you at your fellow delegates.

The women and men in this room may go on to great things in our Party.

In this room are future union leaders and Ministers, potential Premiers and even Prime Ministers.

And, of course, the ballast of our party – the true believers, who never hold office, but sustain us in easy times and hard ones.

The fate of our Party and our country will one day lie in your hands.

We need Young Labor to work, now more than ever, as the task before us is a great one.

For we are subject to that ancient - and probably apocryphal - Chinese curse, memorably captured by Robert F. Kennedy in a speech given to the National Union of South African Students in 1966…

…we live in interesting times.

Two fundamental events mean the political certainties that have carried us through recent decades no longer hold.

The first was the invasion of Iraq by a US-led and Australian supported military coalition in 2003…

…a move opposed by Labor at the time.

The fallout from this ill-judged act continues.

The second world-changing event, of course, was the Great Recession of 2008.

This event - and its ongoing repercussions –fundamentally shook the blind belief in unfettered markets which had become orthodoxy for so many.

It is probably too early to say what the events of 2003 and 2008 mean in the long term for our Party, our country and our world.

For example, it would not have been believable had I opened your 2015 conference with a prediction that by the time of your 2017 conference Donald Trump would be in the White House.

While it's becoming harder than ever to predict the future, there are a few trends I wanted to examine with you today:

These are:

- first, the decline in the fortunes of social democratic parties, 

- second, an increase in economic uncertainty and inequality, and 

- third, an increasing changeability in the Australian electorate.

The first trend is particular relevant to our Party. 

It has brought many sister parties of the ALP to their knees.

These parties are our fellow members of the International Progressive Alliance – a global network of labour, social democratic and socialist parties.

Their fate is instructive.

I’ll start in Greece.

The Greek political party PASOK ruled Greece from 1981 through to 2012 interrupted by only two short separate terms in opposition.

As recently as 2009 it won an election with around 44 per cent of the vote.

By 2015 its share of the vote had dropped to five per cent with most of its traditional supporters transferring their allegiance to the left wing Syriza Party.

Spain provides another example.

As does the  decline of the French Socialists and the Social Democratic Party of Germany.

In the UK, the British Labour Party saw a backlash that first benefitted the Liberal Democrats…

…and then saw Labour’s wipe out in Scotland by the anti-austerity SNP…

…followed by a hostile take-over of the Party by Jeremy Corbyn.

In the US, of course, we’ve seen a Democrat administration that rebuilt the US after the GFC, and introduced life changing health reforms, defeated by a candidate who no credible commentator initially thought could even win the Republican primary.

What all these parties have in common is that they are social democratic parties who have faced their own mortality in the face of increasing uncertainty and inequality.

Sometimes the threat has been from the left, sometimes from the right…

….sometimes internal, sometimes external.

But the trend is undeniable and sobering.

And it leads to the second development I wish to explore: increasing economic uncertainty and inequality.

Their impact is different in Australia than in the countries I just mentioned.

We suffered less from the GFC – largely due to the actions of the Labor government – and in particular my good friend Wayne Swan.

And while inequality has grown it has not grown to the extent of some other nations.

But people feel insecure. 

They are worried about their jobs, and what kind of jobs their kids will do. 

The global economy remains in a state of high volatility and technology is disrupting our labour market and the way we work.

Were another economic shock to occur we no longer have the weapons in the arsenal we used in 2008 – either in Australia or abroad - with interest rates in most countries either near zero or negative and public debt significantly higher.

The Turnbull Government has no credible economic plan to deal with any of these issues.

Indeed under their stewardship:

- the economy contracted by half a per cent in the September quarter, 

- there are 35,000 fewer full time jobs, 

- wages growth is at historic lows, 

- underemployment is at historic highs, 

- the deficit has triple, and 

- $100 billion has been added to net debt. 

Inflation is well below a healthy rate and the RBA’s target range.

The AAA rating that Labor won from the three major credit agencies for the first time in history is now at risk….

…threatening to push up borrowing costs, including mortgage repayments.

And inequality is at 75 year highs.

Labor has supported increases to the minimum wage, while the Coalition has argued against those increases and right now many of its members are on record supporting a cut to the penalty rates that low paid workers rely on.

We also delivered the biggest pension increases in Australian history while the Liberals cut income support.

Inequality may not yet be as acute as in the US, for example, but it's growing. 

And that's bad for us all.

The third trend regards the Australian electorate.

We are witnessing a detachment of voters from traditional political allegiances.

Analysis of voting intention and behaviour carried out by the Whitlam Institute in 2013 found that the modern electorate was not so much swinging as fluid. 

By this they meant that Party loyalties have broken down and that votes of large groups may switch rapidly from one party to another based on major incidents or political moments.

This was particularly true of younger voters who form about a third of the electorate and - in the Whitlam Institute’s view – had determined the outcomes of most recent elections.

So what does all this mean for our Party?

I believe a few lessons can be drawn.

First, while we have to be alive to the risk of right wing populism we should not overstate its appeal in this country and we should not for a moment cosy up to this ideology.

We will not win support by going quiet on the things we disagree with.

We must resolutely confront the racism, sexism and religious intolerance of the right.

Pauline Hanson and One Nation do not yet enjoy the same level of support in Australia as say Brexit in the UK or Trump in the US.

We should not conflate her with those phenomena as it affords her a legitimacy that she does not deserve.

Over 95 per cent of Australians did not vote for One Nation at the last election, while about half of all American and British voters selected Donald Trump and Brexit respectively.

Of course, for us to win in the upcoming WA and Queensland state elections, fighting One Nation as well as the Coalition parties will be vital. 

Malcolm Turnbull has gone weak on One Nation preferences. 

We never will.

This leads me to my second point which is that, for the Labor Party, the threat from the extreme left is as real as the threat from the extreme right.

Recent weeks have shown us the Greens political Party are a rabble…

…riven by a factionalism which they refuse to acknowledge and are incapable of resolving.

The threat from the Greens is not that they will form government, but that they fracture the progressive vote and prevent Labor forming government.

Their real threat is to just a few inner city seats and maybe one or two regional seats….

…just enough to keep us out of government in close parliaments like the one we have at the moment.

So my third observation is that we must be prepared to meet the challenge from the left by embracing a sensible progressive agenda.

Again, not by being dragged here or there by others…

… but by defending our progressive record and values.

The fourth lesson is that we have to be up for the tough stuff, but we have to be able to demonstrate the benefits for all.

Labor has always been up for the tough economic reforms. 

We want a strong economy, because a strong economy drives the creation of good jobs. 

And it means we can afford the great social reforms like the NDIS.

But economic reform has to have at its heart the intention to provide a better standard of living for all, not just higher profits for a few.

That means, for example, an approach to privatisation based on merit, efficiency and public benefit - not on ideology.

That means standing up for organised labour.

That means maintaining and enhancing a social safety net and investing in health and education as essentials.

Understanding that these investments are not just for the benefit of individuals, but critical investments in the productivity and future wealth of our nation.

It means taking action on climate change.

These are all steps Labor has taken under the leadership of Bill Shorten.

We took 100 positive policies to the last election, including some that the commentators thought were suicidal:

- a reduction in the capital gains discount on housing and restricting negative gearing to new homes,

- a full commitment to needs based funding in education and implementation of the Gonski model,

- marriage equality for LGBTI Australians, and 

- support for penalty rates.

And we argued – and continued to argue – for a 50 per cent renewable energy target and the introduction of an Emissions Trading Scheme.

We do so because we recognise that action on climate change is urgent and necessary.

In contrast, the Coalition think a $50 billion tax giveaway to multinational companies is reform.

They must be the last adherents of trickle-down economics. 

Like those soldiers lost in the jungle 50 years after the war has ended – no one told them the battle is lost.

So we have already set out a progressive agenda which we took to the last election….

….but we won't rest. 

We will continue to refine our thinking and our arguments over coming years and at our next Party conference.

By 2019 - at the latest - Bill Shorten will be our Prime Minister and Labor will be the Party of government.

We have a Labor platform we can be proud of:

- ambitious and financially sustainable, and

- deliverable through our parliamentary system.

The final thought I want to leave you with today, is that we must examine our structures and processes to ensure that they are truly reflective of the spirt of the times in which we live.

We have to embrace democracy. 

We have to continue to offer a place to people who are frustrated by politics. 

The left wing challengers to social democratic parties I talked about earlier had their genesis in grassroots organising and networked individuals.

We have to reach out to those people and learn from their ability to mobilise - just look at the recent Women’s Marches that shook the globe on Donald Trump’s inauguration.

We must convince the fluid or disaffected voter – the activist angry at the injustice and inequality of their world - that their place is in the Labor Party where they can drive real change, rather than just shout into the void.

This push will need to come from a younger generation of Labor members and supporters - including you in this room.

So – with that – I urge you to embrace the spirit of debate and discussion that is core to our culture.

Be open to new ideas and ways of thinking.

Be prepared to push yourselves and others – to challenge conventions and hierarchies.

In one final plug can I remind you that we’re continuing our campaign to put pressure on the government with our “100% Against $100,000 Degrees” campaign on campus.

As new students arrive on campus it’s a chance to remind them that the Liberals want to saddle students with $100,000 of debt and Labor will fight to stop them. 

It is with great pleasure that I now invite you to commence the 2017 Australian Young Labor national conference. 

ENDS

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TRANSCRIPT: KOFM Newcastle, Wednesday 1 February 2017

THE HON TANYA PLIBERSEK MP

DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION

SHADOW MINISTER FOR EDUCATION

SHADOW MINISTER FOR WOMEN

MEMBER FOR SYDNEY

 

 

E&OE TRANSCRIPT

RADIO INTERVIEW

KOFM NEWCASTLE

WEDNESDAY, 1 FEBRUARY 2016

 

SUBJECTS: The Liberals’ $30 billion cuts hurting Australian schools; US immigration ban.

TANYA WILKS, PRESENTER: Tanya Plibersek is in the region today and we just want to have a quick chat to her before we go, to find out what she's doing. Good morning, Tanya. 

TANYA PLIBERSEK, DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: Good morning, Tanya! Hi Steve. 

STEVE G, PRESENTER: You'll never get enough, Tanya, I'm telling you. Now, why the visit?

PLIBERSEK: Well, a couple of reasons. This morning I'm visiting St Mary's Catholic College at Gateshead and that's really to see the great work that they're doing at the school. Pat Conroy, my colleague, their local Member, has told me it's a wonderful school and he wanted me to see what they're doing. And that's an opportunity for me not just to see their great work, but to remind people that over the next two years alone, the Central Coast and Newcastle region will lose $140 million from schools unless the Federal Government commits to fully funding schools and properly funding schools. So we'll be campaigning on school funding as well. And then this afternoon I'm going to Wyong because it's Medicare's 33rd birthday and my colleagues Sharon Claydon, Mike Freelander and Emma McBride will be talking all day to people about their experiences with Medicare - the fact that bulk billing rates are falling, the fact that some GPs and pharmacists are saying that the changes the Government has made is putting Medicare under a great deal of pressure. So we're celebrating Medicare's birthday and also saying we need to protect Medicare for the future.

WILKS: We've been curious ourselves with this whole Donald Trump thing going on, Tanya. How do you feel about Malcolm Turnbull's, I guess lack of chat about it?

STEVE G: Fence sitting, almost?

WILKS: Yeah it feels like that. Would you approach it differently? Would you be more outspoken? Or do you think he's playing it coolly and cleverly because there's a few deals on the table?

PLIBERSEK: Look I think it's really important to say that our friendship with the United States, the American alliance, is very important to Australia's foreign policy. But that doesn't mean we have to be silent if our friend does things that we don't like. And we've seen the German Chancellor, we've seen France, Canada, and the UK all say, for example, that this visa ban on some countries is unacceptable - it's a discriminatory sort of policy that they're very critical of. I think it would be well in-line for Australia to say, "you know, America: great friend, but we don't think you're doing the right thing in this instance". Good friendship allows for that sort of criticism. It's not a counterproductive thing to do, it's a very important thing to do.

STEVE G: Is there a course, Tanya, where politicians can go and learn the line, "I don't need to run a commentary on that"? Is there an actual course where, "here's one you can say and that means you don't have to say anything"?

PLIBERSEK: We practice in the mirror every morning.

WILKS: Look it's great. We would have loved more time with you, but we know you've got to get to St Mary's, so thank you so much for your time, and hopefully we'll see you again in our region soon.

PLIBERSEK: Looking forward to it, thanks very much.

STEVE G: And thanks for coming - haven't seen Malcolm since the election.

ENDS

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TRANSCRIPT: Doorstop, Canberra, Monday 28 November 2016

commonwealthcoatofarms_4_.png 

THE HON TANYA PLIBERSEK MP
DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION
SHADOW MINISTER FOR EDUCATION
SHADOW MINISTER FOR WOMEN
MEMBER FOR SYDNEY

E&OE TRANSCRIPT
DOORSTOP INTERVIEW
CANBERRA
MONDAY, 28 NOVEMBER 2016

SUBJECTS: Schools' funding

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TRANSCRIPT: RN Breakfast, Wednesday 23 November 2016

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THE HON TANYA PLIBERSEK MP
DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION
SHADOW MINISTER FOR EDUCATION
SHADOW MINISTER FOR WOMEN
MEMBER FOR SYDNEY

 

E&OE TRANSCRIPT
RADIO INTERVIEW
ABC RN BREAKFAST
WEDNESDAY 23 NOVEMBER, 2016

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SPEECH: Australian Financial Review Higher Education Conference, Wednesday 16 November 2016

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THE HON TANYA PLIBERSEK MP
DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION
SHADOW MINISTER FOR EDUCATION
SHADOW MINISTER FOR WOMEN
MEMBER FOR SYDNEY

 

AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL REVIEW HIGHER EDUCATION CONFERENCE

MELBOURNE

 

16 NOVEMBER 2016

 

***CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY***

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SPEECH: Plebiscite (Same Sex Marriage) Bill 2016 Debate, Tuesday 11 October 1016

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THE HON TANYA PLIBERSEK MP
DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION
SHADOW MINISTER FOR EDUCATION
SHADOW MINISTER FOR WOMEN

MEMBER FOR SYDNEY  



PLEBISCITE (SAME-SEX MARRIAGE) BILL 2016 DEBATE

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, CANBERRA

TUESDAY, 11 OCTOBER 2016

*** CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY ***

 

In 2004, I received a letter from a man called John Challis.

The letter was about superannuation.

It called on the then Howard Government to give same-sex couples the same legal rights to inherit superannuation as married and de-facto heterosexual couples.

John was concerned that if he died his partner Arthur wouldn’t be able to inherit his superannuation.

John and I lobbied the Howard Government for years for a change. Of course, our calls fell largely on deaf ears.

It wasn’t until 2007 when Labor was elected that changes around superannuation, taxation, family law, Medicare, pharmaceuticals, immigration, a whole range of other – more than 80 pieces of discriminatory legislation were changed for same-sex couples and their children.

A couple of weeks ago in Sydney, I caught up with John for a coffee.

John is now 88 years old.

His partner, Arthur, is 84.

They have been together for 49 years.

More than a decade after John first wrote to me about equal rights for him and for his partner Arthur, we talked about this campaign for one last, great change. One piece of unfinished business: marriage equality.

But while John and Arthur have already waited nearly half a century to have their relationship properly recognised by the community they’ve given so much to, they said that they could not support a plebiscite.

They are so concerned about the harm that a divisive debate would do to the gay and lesbian community, to same-sex couples, to same-sex parents and their children that they were prepared to wait.

They were also deeply concerned about how a plebiscite subverts our usual democratic processes.

Frankly, it tells you all you need to know about how serious the damage a plebiscite on marriage equality would be that a same-sex couple in their 80s, that have waited almost half a century, are saying that they would rather wait than take this path.

For John, for Arthur, I will not, and Labor will not support a plebiscite.

For the same-sex couples who would hear their relationships are second-rate, I will not, and Labor will not support a plebiscite.

For the children of same-sex couples who hear there’s something wrong with their family, I will not, and Labor will not support this plebiscite.

For young gay and lesbian people, who might be struggling with their sexuality, or are just thinking about coming out, I will not, and Labor will not support a plebiscite.

And that is why I am proud to have seconded the Leader of the Opposition’s amendment today that this Bill be withdrawn and redrafted to legislate now, today, in this Parliament for marriage equality. That would see a free vote. That would see this Parliament do its job.

For 14 months (August 2015), since Tony Abbott and the right wing of the Liberal party first proposed the plebiscite as a way of indefinitely delaying marriage equality – we have been debating this proposal.

To be fair, we haven’t been debating the legislation – we’ve only just seen that.

But the more closely we have examined the proposal, the worse it has looked.

I have received literally thousands of emails and letters about marriage equality, and I have spoken to many, many people who are deeply concerned about the plebiscite.

  • Leighton, who was deeply affected by homophobic hate speech as a young person, and who turned to substance abuse and self-harm.
    • He says that “children struggling with their identity…need to be protected and spared the hateful debate that this plebiscite will incite”.
  • Roberta, who fears for her 19 year old gay granddaughter and the impact that a publicly financed “No” campaign will have on her.
  • Damien who asks why the LGBTIQ community needs to have this unprecedented approach: it’s “as if we must reach a certain quota of suffering as a community before we are granted this fundamental right ….one last humiliating hurdle.”
  • Shauna, who is heterosexual but who finds the “concept of my ‘giving permission’ for equal access to the law to be disgusting”.

 

Last week the Leader of the Opposition and I met with marriage equality advocates in Sydney. The Leader of the Opposition has been doing a terrific job of consulting on this, as has the Shadow Attorney General, as has the Member for Griffith, as has the Member for Franklin who has been working very hard with mental health organisations, as have all of the Members on this side. And we have heard again and again from advocates saying “not this way”.

Geoff Thomas from PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) told the Leader of the Opposition and I, as a Vietnam veteran, who fought for democracy because his country asked him to, he could not understand why his son should not expect the same legal rights and obligations as any other Australian.

“That’s not the democracy and freedom I fought for”  he said.

That’s the question at the heart of this debate:   Why should some Australians face discrimination, or even vilification, because of who they are and who they love?

Every day it becomes more apparent that this plebiscite is a delaying tactic – a tactic designed by the opponents of marriage equality, in the hope they can take the majority support for marriage equality which unquestionably exists in the Australian community - as the previous speaker said - and twist and obfuscate this issue in the same way they did when it came to the Republic debate, and frighten people off voting for it.

There is a simple way to settle this:  The Marriage Act could be changed by the Parliament this week.

The Liberals are advancing this simplistic argument that somehow it is more democratic to have a plebiscite than for the Parliament to vote.

And yet Michael Kirby, a very distinguished jurist, has pointed out that three Prime Ministers – Menzies, Whitlam and Howard - who loved and respected this parliament and its processes, they didn’t choose to settle difficult social questions by using plebiscites.

Kirby recalls that Gough Whitlam always upheld the idea that Parliament itself should be the great institution of equality. 

Whitlam said “Parliament has been our great liberating force.  There is no freedom without equality.  To redistribute and equalise liberty has been one of the principal functions of Parliament”. 

John Howard didn’t have a plebiscite when he last changed the Marriage Act last time, nor, incidentally, when he overturned the NT Voluntary Euthanasia legislation, to my mind a more controversial proposition than the one that is before us. It is our day job – it is what we do in this Parliament – it’s what we’re paid to do.

Unless it is constitutionally required, these matters should be resolved through the usual channels of responsible parliamentary democracy. Particularly when the High Court has already said it’s the job of this Parliament to legislate

Now the member for Goldstein was in here earlier and as a former Human Rights Commissioner, he provided exactly this evidence to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Committee in 2015.

In his advice he said that a plebiscite is not an appropriate method of addressing matters related to marriage, and will do nothing to resolve in a substantive way this issue.

And in fact, Solicitor General Justin Gleeson probably could have told the Government that for free if they has bothered to ask him.

No doubt he would have some very instructive views about the novelty of such an approach.

It’s also why Aboriginal leaders are advising Malcolm Turnbull to abandon the plebiscite, convinced that an ugly campaign will actually set back the real referendum before us at the moment: the proper updating of our constitution to recognise our First Australians.

Marcia Langton has said that a divisive campaign against marriage equality could "unleash the dogs" on Aboriginal Australia.

We will have a referendum on Indigenous constitutional recognition because the constitution requires us to update it in this proper way, not because Cory Bernardi tells Malcolm Turnbull, “your job depends on it”.

We know that this pointless plebiscite will be fantastically expensive.  $200 million by the Government’s own estimate. You would really think that the people who said we had a debt and deficit disaster would worry about that.

When we had a projected deficit of $4.7 billion for the 2015-16 year, that was a “debt and deficit disaster”. That has blown out under this mob eight-fold; it’s almost $40 billion, but they can’t think of something better to do with $200 million. Maybe pay down debt? Maybe properly fund our schools? Maybe properly fund our hospitals? Maybe build some transport infrastructure?

Do the Liberals really think that running this plebiscite is more important, and more valuable, than properly funding aged care? Or properly funding childcare? Yes, apparently they do.

But the most compelling argument is the harm the debate will do to the LGBTI community, their families and supporters.

Mental health experts including Professor Patrick McGorry, Frank Quinlan, suicide prevention expert Dr Jo Robinson, they’ve all said that the potential for harm here is real - we know that it will happen.

Two weeks ago I visited Twenty 10, a gay and lesbian youth counselling service in my electorate – they have already noticed an increase in demand on their counselling line.

Gay and Lesbian rights advocates have told me about physical confrontations that they have already experienced, even death threats, because they have been speaking out in favour of marriage equality.

Rainbow Families – again visiting our Parliament today talking about how difficult it is to tell their children that there are people they have never met who think there is something wrong with their family.

These families will not be “created” by marriage equality, despite what some of the most pernicious propaganda is already suggesting. These families exist now. They always have existed. And they have a right to the same protections and responsibilities that other families enjoy.

Why should the children of these families be told by complete strangers that their parents’ relationship is second rate and that is does not deserve the recognition that we accord other relationships?

The Liberals have said that our concerns are unwarranted – that we are somehow suggesting that Australians can’t have a civilized debate. There is nothing further from the truth.

I absolutely know that the vast majority of Australians first of all support marriage equality, and secondly that the vast majority of Australians can and will engage in this debate in a civilized way – if they engage at all.

But such a debate will undoubtedly hand the megaphone to the extremists in any discussion. And in this instance the government proposes to subsidies this to the tune of $15 million.

Of course, I’ve also met with constituents who oppose marriage equality, including representatives of the Greek Orthodox community and Catholic churches and a range of people across the community.

I truly want to reassure them once again that there is nothing in what Labor proposes that would require their churches to solemnize any relationship between a same-sex couple. There is nothing in this proposition that suggests that.  

They are completely entitled to live their lives and worship as they choose.  

But the simple fact is that we live in a society that separates church and state.

For many people marriage is a religious sacrament. But not for everyone. For others, however, it is still an important legal and social recognition of deep love and commitment – and that is something that really, most of us want in our lives.

I’d like to say to my colleagues in this place: none of us should assume that because someone has deeply held religious views that they are automatically opposed to marriage equality.

Indeed, there are many people of deep faith who make a strong Christian case in favour of marriage equality. Great leaders and compassionate leaders like the Reverend Dr Keith Mascord, who I have known for decades now.

I am surely not the only person in this place who comes from a devout family whose motto may as well be, “judge not lest ye be judged”, or my personal favourite, “take the splinter out of your own eye before you reach for the speck in your brother’s eye”

When I asked my Mum about this years ago, she said to me – just so simple - “there’s not enough love in the world – why would we want to deny it to anyone who has found it?”.

I want to finish with this –

One of my favourite poems is a love poem by W H Auden from 1937 – it’s called Lullaby.

A poem written by a gay man in a time, and from a country where being gay was illegal. It speaks of “universal love and hope”.

Marriage equality is a fundamental recognition of the universal character of love - that the way each of us love is not so very different. Our hopes and dreams for ourselves, for our families, and for our children are not so very different.

And our laws should not discriminate.

ENDS

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TRANSCRIPT: Doorstop, Tuesday 11 October 2016

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THE HON TANYA PLIBERSEK MP
DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION
SHADOW MINISTER FOR EDUCATION
SHADOW MINISTER FOR WOMEN
MEMBER FOR SYDNEY

 

E&OE TRANSCRIPT
DOORSTOP INTERVIEW
PARLIAMENT HOUSE
TUESDAY, 11 OCTOBER 2016

SUBJECTS: Marriage equality

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TRANSCRIPT: ABC News Breakfast, Tuesday 11 October 2016

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THE HON TANYA PLIBERSEK MP
DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION
SHADOW MINISTER FOR EDUCATION
SHADOW MINISTER FOR WOMEN
MEMBER FOR SYDNEY

 

E&OE TRANSCRIPT
TELEVISION INTERVIEW
ABC NEWS BREAKFAST
TUESDAY, 11 OCTOBER 2016

SUBJECTS: The marriage equality plebiscite, South China Sea

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TRANSCRIPT: ABC 7:30, Thursday 22 September 2016

commonwealthcoatofarms_4_.png

THE HON TANYA PLIBERSEK MP
DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION
SHADOW MINISTER FOR EDUCATION
SHADOW MINISTER FOR WOMEN
MEMBER FOR SYDNEY

 

E&OE TRANSCRIPT
TELEVISION INTERVIEW
ABC 7:30
THURSDAY 22 SEPTEMBER 2016

SUBJECTS: Gonski needs based school funding, Essential poll on Muslim immigration, marriage equality plebiscite

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TRANSCRIPT: ABC RN Thursday 22 September 2016

commonwealthcoatofarms_4_.png 

THE HON TANYA PLIBERSEK MP
DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION
SHADOW MINISTER FOR EDUCATION
SHADOW MINISTER FOR WOMEN
MEMBER FOR SYDNEY

 

 

E&OE TRANSCRIPT
RADIO INTERVIEW
ABC RN
THURSDAY, 22 SEPTEMBER 2016

SUBJECTS: Gonski needs based school funding; Essential poll on Muslim immigration

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