THE HON TANYA PLIBERSEK MP
DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION
SHADOW MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS
AND INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
MEMBER FOR SYDNEY
SENATOR THE HON PENNY WONG
LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION IN THE SENATE
SHADOW MINISTER FOR TRADE AND INVESTMENT
SENATOR FOR SOUTH AUSTRALIA
SENATOR ANNE MCEWEN
CHIEF OPPOSITION WHIP IN THE SENATE
SENATOR FOR SOUTH AUSTRALIA
TUESDAY, 28 JUNE 2016
SUBJECTS: Labor's plan to tackle family violence; Liberals' plan to privatise Medicare; Labor's positive plans for South Australia; Xenophon and penalty rates; division and chaos in the Liberal Party.
ANNE MCEWEN, SENATOR FOR SOUTH AUSTRALIA: Thanks everybody for coming along today. We're here at the Central Domestic Violence Service and along with Tanya Plibersek, of course, the Deputy Opposition Leader, and Senator Penny Wong, and Sandra Dunn from the Service itself. I'm really pleased to have such great women from the Labor Party supporting domestic violence services and I'll hand over to Sandra to welcome us.
SANDRA DUNN, CENTRAL DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CENTRE: I'd just like to welcome you all here today to the Central Domestic Violence Service. It's fantastic to have you all here to have a look at the Service and look at the work we do in supporting the most vulnerable women in our community - so thank you very much for coming.
TANYA PLIBERSEK, DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: Thanks very much Sandra. Thanks to Anne and Penny for being here today as well. It's really a pleasure to be able to come here today and thank the fantastic staff of this service. It's a service that has provided absolutely vital help to thousands of women and their children every year. We know that domestic violence continues to be an enormous problem in the Australian community and the work of Rosie Batty in recent times, and others, has highlighted what a huge impact this is having on so many Australian families. The work that happens here really helps South Australian women and their children rebuild their lives at a time of enormous vulnerability and by getting their lives back together, by being able to get jobs, get the kids back into school and move on, the workers here really help people piece together shattered lives - so it's wonderful to be able to say thank you.
I also want to say that it's important that we see investment and support from our governments to help the marvellous workers here do what they do best which is support families to put their lives back together. Labor has announced that we would have a family violence crisis summit within 100 days of our election. We've announced around $130 million of extra funding for domestic violence services. Things like restoring the cuts that have been made by the Turnbull Government to legal services to ensure that women are properly represented in court proceedings when there is family violence. We've said that we would support organisations like the 1800-RESPECT phone line and ANROWS and other organisations that really help drive better domestic violence policy and research. We can't reduce the rates of domestic violence in this country until we truly understand what works, so investing in that research is very important to tackling domestic violence and family violence. We know too that accommodation such as this is absolutely vital. We have committed to extra funding for safe at home programs for women that are able to stay home, and for extra support for transitional housing as well. This is a problem that all parts of our Australian community face at different times and it's important that all parts of our Australian community work together to beat domestic violence.
I also wanted to talk a little bit about some broader issues here in South Australia. It's a real pleasure to be here, and I'll be campaigning with some of our other candidates later today, to talk about the three big issues that South Australians will be faced with on Saturday. Do they want a strong education system - extra investment in our schools? We know that the Liberals will cut $2 billion from our schools over the next ten years. Do they want decent investment in TAFE? Do they want apprenticeships? Do they want $100,000 university degrees or do they want Labor's proper investment in higher education? South Australians will be deciding about their health system. Do they want to see a privatised Medicare where you're putting your hand in your pocket every time you go and see a doctor? South Australians know that if the Liberals continue with their Medicare freeze that doctors will be forced to cut bulk billing. Sout h Australians know that the Liberals want to put up the price of medicines by $5 for every prescription. South Australians know that the Liberals have cut funding from the South Australian hospital system. South Australians know that for x-rays, for blood tests, for diagnostic imaging, the Liberals are trying to get rid of the bulk billing incentive which means that patients will have to, in some cases, fork out hundreds of dollars for basic tests that they can now get through Medicare. So if South Australians want a strong education system they should vote Labor on Saturday. If they want a strong health system, they should vote Labor on Saturday.
And when it comes to South Australian jobs obviously the better choice is Labor: we've talked about our steel industry plan, we've talked about our plans for advanced manufacturing, we've talked about the importance of Australian made, we've announced investment in big projects like Adelink that will require Australian steel to really roll out over coming years. We've invested in other big infrastructure projects as well, including the NBN, a proper NBN that will connect many thousands of extra homes to a first-rate NBN. An NBN that will allow Australian businesses to trade right around Australia and trade globally. We know that since the Liberals came to government, South Australia's lost 9,000 apprenticeships and 9,000 full time jobs so it is absolutely vital that if people want decent quality jobs for South Australia working on our big infrastructure projects, working on shipbuilding, working in steel, advanced manufacturing and medical technologies, food and wine - all of those growing industries - they need to vote Labor on Saturday.
Because while the Liberals have turned their back on Australian jobs, while they've turned their back on the car industry and goaded it to leave South Australia, while they had to be dragged kicking and screaming into doing what they'd said they'd do which is building 12 submarines in Adelaide, Labor has always backed South Australian industry. And I know that some South Australians are wondering whether a choice or a vote for the Nick Xenophon team would be okay on Saturday - and here is a very strong word of caution. We know that Nick Xenophon doesn't back penalty rates. All of his work in the Parliament has been against penalty rates. He's on the record many, many times, saying that people working on the weekend don't deserve extra pay for those anti-social hours that take them away from their friends and family. And just, in the last couple of days, we've seen the number two on Nick Xenophon’s s enate ticket, Stirling Griff, again confirm that he doesn't support penalty rates. Now if Nick Xenophon wants to be taken seriously as not backing penalty rates, he would dis-endorse his number two, who is out there already again spruiking the cutting of penalty rates.
PENNY WONG, OPPOSITION LEADER IN THE SENATE: I can just reiterate what Tanya has said. Nick Xenophon's out there telling people he's now a supporter of penalty rates, despite what he's said over years, despite moving a bill in the Parliament to cut them. Just last week, as Tanya said, his number two candidate said that he'd have to support, he'd have to consider supporting a bill to cut penalty rates. Well, Nick Xenophon - if you want to be taken seriously on penalty rates, well, you should dis-endorse Stirling Griff.
JOURNALIST: Would you like to see more centres or establishments like this one?
WONG: We know, if we're serious, all of us, about tackling family violence we have to continue to support frontline services. We know that great work's being done by Rosie Batty and other advocates in elevating this but as Labor has been saying, and as many politicians have been saying, we have to put money into frontline services. Tanya's outlined $130 million we're putting into services which includes safe housing, better funding for community legal centres and other frontline services wherever they're needed.
JOURNALIST: How crucial are they for people who are fleeing domestic violence?
WONG: They're critical, they're critical. People who are dealing with the actuality and the threat of family violence need our support and government should be making the sorts of investments that Labor is committing to, to provide the best support we are able, for front line services.
PLIBERSEK: We saw this morning, Peta Credlin, making it clear that Malcolm Turnbull doesn't control his party on marriage equality, that he can't even guarantee getting a plebiscite bill through the Parliament. This is division and chaos on a grand scale on marriage equality from Malcolm Turnbull's Liberals. This adds to the division and chaos we've seen about climate change, the division and chaos we've seen on superannuation - are their measures retrospective, are they not. The division and chaos we've seen on the backpacker tax with the Nationals campaigning against the Liberals on the backpacker tax. The division and chaos we've seen on the health budget with the Health Minister saying she was rolled by the Treasurer on cutting the health budget. Malcolm Turnbull has no plan to deliver marriage equality in Australia. If people want marriage equality, they need to vote Labor on Saturda y.