THE HON TANYA PLIBERSEK MP
DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION
SHADOW MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS
AND INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
MEMBER FOR SYDNEY
DR ANNE ALY
LABOR CANDIDATE FOR COWAN
LABOR CANDIDATE FOR STIRLING
THURSDAY, 30 JUNE 2016
SUBJECTS: Labor's positive plans for Western Australia; Liberal's divisive and expensiver plebiscite on marriage equality; personal attacks on Anne Aly
DR ANNE ALY, LABOR CANDIDATE FOR COWAN: Well it's my absolute pleasure to be here today and to welcome the Deputy Leader of the Opposition, Tanya Plibersek. We're here at Sudbury Community House which does some amazing and wonderful work with the residents of Stirling and of Cowan. I'm going to pass over to Tanya to talk about Labor's plan for Western Australia and the positive plans we have in place for Cowan and for Stirling as well. Please, Tanya.
TANYA PLIBERSE, DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: Well thanks very much Anne. It's such a pleasure to be here with Anne Aly, our candidate for Cowan, and Rob Pearson, our candidate for Stirling. This is a terrific community house that we've been visiting this morning, we've been meeting with local residents, with young mums, they’re learning skills for the future, they're making friends, making connections in their local community, they’re preparing to go into TAFE or do further study; all of this activity in this lovely community house behind me. You know one of things that a number of people raised with us here, what have the Liberals done for us here in Western Australia? You've got a Liberal State Government and a Liberal Federal Government and the West Australian economy is stuffed. People are worried about jobs, their worried about the fact that the mining boom, the construction phase of the mining boom has hit a speed bump, that there’s been a real down-turn in employment in Western Australia and a real down-turn in people's feeling of wealth and of being secure in their jobs. Labor is the only party that has a genuine plan for jobs and infrastructure investment here in the West, you all know that we support the MetroNet plan, a billion dollar plan for Perth that means not just better transport for the future, not just fewer cars on the road tackling congestion, but 4,000 jobs during the construction phase. Labor obviously also supports the Wanneroo Road upgrade which will make a critical difference around here as well, again with jobs during construction, with better traffic flow in the area but also, of course the productivity that comes with better investment in urban infrastructure. We also know that Western Australians wanted trade with the rest of Australia and trade with the world and to be able to do that you genuinely need a proper functioning national broadband network. When Malcolm Turnbull was the Communications Minister he had one job and that one job was to get the NBN right. Instead we've seen a project that's doubled in cost, it's blown out by years in terms of delivery and we know that most people will get a second rate system that relies on copper wiring from the previous century to deliver data to their homes. It's just not good enough. If Labor's elected on the 2nd of July, a 130,000 more households will get fibre to the premises in Western Australia under a Labor Government. So if you're after jobs, if you're after investment, if you're after a kick-start for the Western Australia community you need to vote Labor on the weekend. Labor will invest in infrastructure, in the roads, rail and ports that make Western Australia more competitive. Labor will invest in the NBN that means that the West can trade with the rest of Australia and the world. But of course Labor's about a strong economy and a fair society and I'll tell you what the best investment we can make for the future of our kids is to invest in a decent education system. You can't be an innovation nation unless you're an education nation. If people want a fully funded school system based on the Gonski needs based funding model for their kids, they need to vote Labor on the weekend. We know that over the next two years alone, a vote for Labor is a vote for $330 million extra for Western Australian schools. It's also about TAFE, it's about apprenticeships and universities. We want a TAFE funding guarantee to make sure that young Western Australians can undertake an apprenticeship. You know, there have been more than 700 apprenticeships lost from the West in the last two years alone. Labor has a TAFE funding guarantee and a guarantee that one in ten of the jobs that will be created with the big infrastructure projects that we're proposing for the West, one in ten of those jobs will be apprenticeships so that young Western Australians can be trained up for jobs of the future. Universities, we've got three great universities in the West and we don't want Western Australians university students to be faced with $100,000 university degrees. We want a university education that's affordable from kids from all different family backgrounds, kids who want to study hard, who want to work hard, who've got a dream for the future, should be able to go to university based on their application and their brains, not the size of their parents’ wallets. I wanted to also just remind people Colin Barnett's had a really good go at running Western Australia the way he wanted to and what have seen? We've seen job losses, we've seen an economy that's going backwards, we've seen massive insecurity when it comes to peoples’ work, we've seen a future that's not looking too rosy and combined with the Liberals in Canberra who've turned their backs on the West, the future is not as good as it should be for the West. Colin Barnett and Malcolm Turnbull are not interested in giving the security that Western Australians need to invest for the future, to drive jobs and productivity in this state. You've given them a chance, you've given them a chance at a State level and you've given them a chance federally and the only thing that Western Australians have seen is an economy that’s hit the skids, that's going backwards. One of the things that I also wanted to comment on today was the fact that this seat, Cowan and the seat of Stirling are absolutely winnable for Labor, this is going to go down to the wire. So to those people, who are still making up their minds, think hard. If you want to vote for a stronger Medicare, vote Labor. If you want to vote for jobs and investment in Western Australia, vote Labor. If you want to vote for apprenticeships, for TAFE and Universities, vote Labor. If you want to vote for the Gonski school education funding reforms, vote Labor. If you want to vote for a strong investment in our hospitals, vote Labor. Medicare can only be protected with a Labor Federal Government. Thanks, any questions?
JOURNALIST: If the Liberals win on Saturday would you vote against legislation to enable a plebiscite on marriage equality?
PLIBERSEK: Well we haven't even seen the legislation for a plebiscite so we'll have a look at the legislation. But I'll tell you this; I am opposed to a plebiscite because there’s a $160 million of taxpayer’s money that will be wasted. The Liberals have already said that they're going to ignore the results of the plebiscite. Why would you spend $160 million on an opinion poll that Liberals are already saying they'll ignore. Your own Western Australian Liberal MPs are saying the same. Julie Bishop was asked whether she would back in the results of the plebiscite and she refused to say. Truly, what is the point of spending $160 million of taxpayers money for a divisive plebiscite and then to be told that the Government won't even abide by the results if they don't like the results anyway. I think it's interesting that the plebiscite will cost about $160 million to run but Malcolm Turnbull's also confirmed that he'll fund the Yes case and the No case so who knows how much more money we'll be spending for a plebiscite and the Liberals will just go and ignore it anyway.
JOURNALIST: So what's changed since 2013 when Bill Shorten said he wasn't worried about holding the plebiscite?
PLIBERSEK: Well we've seen a lot more division and disunity in our community and in communities around the world, like Ireland that had to go through this process, but more to the point what's changed since last year when Malcolm Turnbull said that he backed marriage equality and he backed a vote in our national parliament? Just a year ago Malcolm Turnbull was out there saying that Liberal MPs should be allowed a conscience vote and that this issue should be determined by our Parliament. He turned his back on the wasteful $160 million plebiscite. I'll tell you what's changed - the right-wing of the Liberal party are holding Malcolm Turnbull to ransom, they've got the real Malcolm Turnbull locked in a basement somewhere and they've sent out this body double to repeat all of the right-wing Liberal ideas that Malcolm Turnbull used to rail against. Malcolm Turnbull used to be in favour of marriage equality and against a plebiscite. Well he's dumped those policies. He used to be in favour of strong action on climate change. He's dumped that policy as well. He used to be against retrospective changes to superannuation. He's dumped that policy too. This is a man who has dumped every conviction of his long life to this point in order to get the leadership of the Liberal Party and you've got to ask yourself what is the point? What is the point of fighting for issues like climate change and investment in education, becoming the leader and then dumping your adherence to those very policies?
JOURNALIST: If you were to lose the election, I know you say you're in it to win it, but if you were to lose, should Bill Shorten stay on as leader?
PLIBERSEK: We're in it to win it and that's all I'm going to say. We're working hard every minute of every day to convince people that if they want a strong Medicare, they need to vote Labor. If they want investment in infrastructure, creating jobs, they need to vote Labor. If they want a decent education for their kids and for themselves, they need to vote Labor. If they want strong action on climate change, if they want marriage equality within the first hundred days, they need to vote Labor.
JOURNALIST: Should Anthony Albanese stand if you do lose?
PLIBERSEK: We're not going to go into any of that. We are fighting every minute, of every day to make this a win, an unequivocal win, not just for Labor but for the Australian people who deserve a Government that will deliver a strong economy, strong economic growth and a fair society. I think the real question is will Malcolm Turnbull survive if he loses seats to the Labor Party? Here’s a man whose one policy this election was a $50 billion tax cut for big business, $30 billion of it goes straight overseas to foreign shareholders. That's his one big policy and he's realised it's such a stinker that he's not even talking about it in the last week of the campaign. His one big job as Communications Minister, the NBN, he's done such a terrible job that he didn't even mention it at his campaign launch.
JOURNALIST: Just bringing back to the local seat of Cowan, what are your thoughts about the attacks on Ms Anne Aly in recent weeks?
PLIBERSEK: Well I just think this shows how absolutely desperate and unprincipled the Liberals are. Anne Aly is a nationally recognised expert in counter terrorism and moving people away from violent extremism. The fact that she's nationally recognised as an expert is proven by the fact that the Federal Government funds her work, she's an internationally recognised expert, she's been invited by President Obama to the Whitehouse to talk about countering violent extremism. It shows how desperate the Liberals are that they are prepared to launch such a pathetic last minute attack and I'll say this as well - Anne Aly is on the kill lists of violent extremist organisations. I don't see how anybody could for a moment try and besmirch her character in the way the Liberals have done. It is beneath contempt that they have launched this attack, beneath contempt and you know what I'd say, I'd say put her record up against the bloke whose in this seat. The bloke who's actually in this seat is so unmemorable, the only impact he's had in the Federal Parliament, the only time he's claimed any attention was when he launched the first leadership challenge against Tony Abbott. He was one of those people behind the empty chair challenging Malcolm Turnbull and this bloke, he voted for the empty chair, that's the only claim to fame he has of his time in Canberra. You look around the seat of Cowan - are people happy that their kids’ education is being properly supported and funded, no they’re not. Are they worried about the health system for the future, for people in Cowan, yes they are. Are they concerned about the poor delivery of the NBN, are they worried about jobs locally? None of these concerns have been addressed by the Liberals, all of these concerns will be addressed by Anne Aly.
JOURNALIST: John Howard was campaigning in Perth this week and he said that Labor and in particular, Anne Aly, didn't support stronger border protection, what are your thoughts on that?
PLIBERSEK: It's beneath contempt and people remember the untruths that John Howard told when he was Prime Minister. He's just added to that list. Thanks.