SUBJECTS: Funding for Pride Centre; Funding for JOY FM; Victorian election; Brian Owler.

JOSH BURNS, LABOR CANDIDATE FOR MACNAMARA: Thank you very much everyone, what a perfect day here in St Kilda. Welcome to Fitzroy Street. It is a really exciting day and I want to thank everyone for coming, and I especially want to thank Tanya Plibersek the Deputy Leader of the Labor Party and our next Deputy Prime Minister for being here today. It's always so special to have Tanya in the electorate and we're absolutely delighted that she's here today. I also want to acknowledge Martin Foley, the Member for Albert Park and Minister for Equality in the Andrew's Labor Government. Without Martin's support and advocacy and without the contribution from the Andrew's Labor Government, this Centre wouldn't be built. I also want to acknowledge Neil Pharaoh, the candidate for Prahran who has been a great supporter of this centre. And of course The Pride Centre, all of its members, its board and all of the affiliate organisations who are going to make this centre everything it needs to be. This centre is about belonging and it belongs right here in the heart of St Kilda. Each year when people march down the Pride March, they're going to walk with their heads held high as they see a first class facility that celebrates them and those they love. And this centre will be filled with love and policy and advocacy and leadership and we are so pleased to be here today, to be celebrating and to be making announcements to make this vision a reality. It gives me great pleasure to hand you over to the Deputy Leader of the Labor Party, Tanya Plibersek.
TANYA PLIBERSEK, DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: Thanks so very much Josh for that wonderful introduction and I also want to pay tribute to Neil Pharaoh who's the Labor candidate in the state election in the seat of Prahran and particularly to Martin Foley who is not just the local member here and the Minister for Equality but has been a very long term supporter of equality for LGBTIQ communities. It really is wonderful to have you here today, Martin. And, most particularly, to the community activists who have joined us this morning, the board members of The Pride Centre, those who are associated with Joy FM, Minus 18 and health services, a range of other community organisations who've all come together, to work together to build this exciting project. I'm delighted to be able to say that if Labor is elected at the next federal election we'll join with local government, state government and the community organisations who support this marvellous project for St Kilda. Labor's contribution at a federal level would be $10 million which would complete the fundraising efforts for this centre. Now that doesn't mean of course that the work here is done, because we know that a project as large as this will continue to need fundraising efforts to keep going, to keep refurbishing and building on success so I know that the board members of the Pride Centre and all the supporters of The Pride Centre will continue their fundraising efforts as well. But Labor's $10 million contribution will mean that the fundraising effort to build the centre is now complete after years of working with local government that's put in the land contribution, the state government that was very quick to make its commitment and of course, the millions of dollars that have been raised by the local community and the gay and lesbian community right across Australia to build what will be an iconic building and an iconic place to gather. 
I also want to announce today that Labor will also commit $600,000 to help JOY FM move into this new centre but also upgrade its broadcasting facilities. JOY FM celebrating 25 years - the first and only gay and lesbian community radio station in Australia - that continues to have very high numbers of listeners. We saw, particularly during the marriage equality debate, how important it was to have a place for the LGBTIQ communities to come together to have their voices heard; but also to reach out to the broader community and make the case for equality as JOY has been doing for 25 years now. 
All in all, this is a very exciting day and it shows what can happen when you've got someone like Josh Burns, Labor's candidate for Macnamara, who said as soon as he became a candidate that this was top of his list of priorities to get done, to see federal investment in this exciting project. Josh congratulations on your campaigning and your success today in winning this $10 million contribution from federal Labor, well done. It would not have happened without your efforts so thank you Josh. 
And the final point I want to make is: this is what can happen if you've got levels of government prepared to work together. You've got a Daniel Andrews Labor Government here in Victoria that's all about delivery. We see the difference that the Andrews Government has made in the Victorian economy. The Victorian economy's best placed on a number of economic measures of any economy in Australia. Daniel Andrews and his Government have been all about delivering but to really succeed, they need to have a federal partner that's prepared to invest in Victoria. Victoria has been short changed by the federal Liberals and today's an example of what can happen when three levels of government can work together. 
Thanks, any questions?
I've got to say - it's quite unusual to be applauded during a press conference, it's usually more journalists being mean to me. But very nice! I'm going to invite you every time I do a press conference. Any questions?
JOURNALIST: I'll try not to be too mean, Tanya. What did you make of the model there?
PLIBERSEK: Oh it's brilliant. I think the model shows just how much thought and planning and creativity has gone into this proposal and there's spaces there that the community can use for meetings, for choir practices, the health services on site, JOY FM, film screenings - you can see how this will be a fantastic place for the LGBTIQ community to gather, but it’s going to be a fantastic contribution for the people of St Kilda as well. I can see that there will be local community meetings happening here all the time. It will really reinvigorate St Kilda and that's why I notice we've got a lot of local community supporters who are here today, people who live and work in the local area who want to see this revitalisation that this new facility will contribute.
JOURNALIST: Just clarifying what you said before. So with the $10 million that Labor is promising, that is enough to get the centre built?
PLIBERSEK: Absolutely. That's enough now to see the centre really take off, and that's not the end of it. I'm sure if you asked the board members of the Pride Centre, they've got big plans for the future too and we'll all be here at fundraisers supporting the work of the Pride Centre in the future no doubt. But this is enough for this contribution to well and truly take the final steps towards construction.
JOURNALIST: We're not too far away from a state election here. Can we expect to see you and other federal colleagues doing the rounds in Victoria over the next few weeks?
PLIBERSEK: I don't think my Victorian colleagues need my help. I think they're doing a brilliant job themselves at making the case for the re-election of an Andrews Government. They've got some of the best economic indicators in Australia as I said earlier but they're also a government that is completely focused on social justice. They've been rebuilding the chaos of the conservative years, rebuilding a strong health and education system, making some very strong inroads on other issues including issues around equality, Martin's area, and the environment. So they don't need my help but anything I can do to help I would be very happy to do.
JOURNALIST: And can I just ask a question on a federal level, the announcement of Brian Owler today for the seat of Bennelong. What does he offer?
PLIBERSEK: I'm delighted to say that Brian Owler, one of Australia's best brain surgeons, has decided to put his hand up for Labor in the seat of Bennelong. Bennelong is a very difficult seat for Labor. We had a fanatic candidate at the last general election, Lyndal Howison did a wonderful job. We had Kristina Keneally, a former Premier of New South Wales stand in the by-election and we didn't manage to win with either of those terrific candidates. So Brian is really taking a big step to put his hand up for the seat of Bennelong. It's a tough seat for Labor, but as one of Australia's best brain surgeons, we know that Brian has insights into what's happened to our health system under the Liberals that he wants to share with the Australian community. I am very pleased that he has put his hand up and I am very pleased I'll be campaigning with him.
JOURNALIST: You've said it's a tough seat, is it winnable?
PLIBERSEK: Well we never write anything off. We are optimists. We live in hope and I can tell you Brian will be working very hard to make the case for the election of a Labor Government so that we can restore our health system here in Australia, and he'll be working with the Labor team to focus on education, the environment, and the other issues that are important to him. Thanks.
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MARTIN FOLEY, VICTORIAN MINISTER FOR EQUALITY: ….in terms of the contribution that Tanya on behalf of federal Labor has now announced and on the advocacy that Josh Burns as the Labor candidate for MacNamara has been able to achieve. The work that the Pride Centre board has set for this site has been ambitious, it’s been bold and it fits the kind of vision that we see for Victoria and St Kilda and this $10 million capital contribution would round off that important goal that the Pride Centre board has set, and we thank you very much Tanya, we thank you very much Josh for the advocacy that you have delivered in this space. This will mean that the Pride Centre is not just a reality - it will meet all of the goals that the community and the Pride Centre board has set. This is a major achievement and a major milestone. And of course Tanya you are welcome anytime, not just in St Kilda but Victoria, and we look forward to, not just your contribution as the next Prime Minister of Australia - the next Deputy Prime Minister of Australia - the contribution that you can make as an advocate for decency and equality right across our nation including here in St Kilda. This contribution here today will not just be a Victorian Pride Centre, it will now have national residence as well. It will be an icon here in the rejuvenation of Fitzroy Street in St Kilda. This is a major milestone for this community, our LGBTI community and our national community who are all committed to equality. This in a seat in which 82 per cent of this population voted for marriage equality and this demonstrates a commitment to that outcome, a decent outcome for all Australians and a commitment that state Labor and federal Labor can work together and deliver these kind of projects. So it’s a major achievement and I really welcome it and I might just ask, to round things off, Stuart on behalf of the Pride Centre board to make a few comments.
STUART KOLLMORGEN, DEPUTY CHAIR, PRIDE CENTRE: On behalf of the Victorian Pride Centre board, I am so thrilled to be here today to respond to federal Labor's commitment of $10 million. It will make an enormous difference to our fundraising. We will have annual operational costs that we will need to appropriately fundraise, however they are now going to be achievable, so that is a big sigh of relief from us on the board. The work that federal Labor will be doing there builds on the wonderful work that Martin Foley and the Daniel Andrews' Victorian Government have done for us. Also Councillor Bernadine Goss and her fellow councillors for the City of Port Phillip, have done an enormous amount of work to support us. So what are we building here? Well, it’s our vision for Australia's first Pride Centre. Here in iconic St Kilda there will be a building that brings together all of our resident organisations, our wonderful community in particular Thorne Harbour Health and JOY FM and a range of other supporters. So thank you very much to all the levels of government. We have set ourselves up to be apolitical and independent and we have been supported by now federal Labor on top of the State Government and the City of Port Phillip so thank you very much.