THE HON TANYA PLIBERSEK MP
DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION
SHADOW MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS
AND INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
MEMBER FOR SYDNEY
SATURDAY, 2 JULY 2016
SUBJECTS: Election; Labor's positive plans for Australia; Liberals' plans for a $50 billion tax cut for big business.
TANYA PLIBERSEK, DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: Well it's great to be here at Darlinghurst Public School on the 2nd of July, Election Day. We know that this election will be one of the closest in Australia’s history. So I'm asking every Australian to think today about the kind of Australia they want to wake up to tomorrow. If they want an Australia where Medicare is strong, they have to vote Labor. If they want an Australia that invests in our children, so that every child, in every school gets every opportunity with the Gonski School funding reforms, then they have to vote Labor. If they want a strong economy generating decent jobs, well paid, then they have to vote Labor. If they want action on climate change, if they want marriage equality within the first hundred days, then they have to vote Labor.
The only plan that Malcolm Turnbull has taken to the people of Australia this election is a $50 billion tax cut, $30 billion of that goes to foreign shareholders. This is a massive, unfunded tax cut that Australia cannot afford at the moment. We can choose to invest in our kids, to invest in schools, TAFE, universities, Medicare, decent jobs or we can give a big fat tax cut to overseas shareholders and hope that some of that'll trickle down.
Well I don't believe that that's the sort of Australia that most Australians want to wake up to tomorrow. We've got many hours ahead of us today, many hours of convincing those undecided voters that this is their opportunity to send a strong signal. They can have Medicare or they can have Malcolm Turnbull, if they value our health system, vote Labor, if they value a strong education system, decent jobs, vote Labor. Any questions?
JOURNALIST: If we believe the polls it'll be a pretty tough slog for Labor to win today, do you think it's possible?
PLIBERSEK: Well absolutely. Three years ago if you'd asked Australians could Labor win in one term they would've laughed at you. And when Malcolm Turnbull knocked off Tony Abbott, people wrote us off. The very fact that we are absolutely neck and neck is a tribute to Bill Shorten's leadership, to our unity, to our sense of purpose, to the fact that we put out more than a hundred positive policies this election campaign and we've told Australians how we'll pay for them.
It's also an indictment on Malcolm Turnbull, a man that came into Government with so many high hopes from so many Australians. People thought Malcolm Turnbull would act on climate change, he hasn't. They thought he would lead a sensible debate about economic reform, he hasn't. We've seen debt blow out by $100 billion, we've seen the deficit triple under Malcolm Turnbull's watch and his only plan to fix that is a $50 billion unfunded tax giveaway.
So I'm proud of what we've achieved in three years of unity, of hard work, of policy development, of speaking to the Australian people about the sort of vision we have for Australia and I think many, many Australians on the other hand are very disappointed with Malcolm Turnbull and the Liberals.
We went from Tony Abbott who said no cuts to health, no cuts to education, no change to pensions, no cuts to the ABC and SBS and no new taxes, to Malcolm Turnbull who promised a sensible conversation with the Australian people, both leaders disappointed Australians, they pledged one thing and did the exact opposite.
JOURNALIST: How concerned are you by the rise of the independents, lots of people are saying they're sick of voting Labor and Liberal, that they're not listening to them? What will it mean for Parliament if more independents get in?
PLIBERSEK: Well I would say that people should be very careful when they vote for independents because the name on the ballot paper is not the end of the story, it doesn't tell you all you need to know about independent candidates.
I think the Greens political party gets away with a lot of talk but not much action and I think the smaller parties always have the danger, you might like the number one on that Senate ticket, you might be in South Australia and like Nick Xenophon but we don't know anything about his other candidates around the rest of the country and what we do find out in dribs and drabs is not very reassuring.
So be very careful when you're voting in the Senate in particular for independents because their parties are often much less scrutinised than the major parties. If there was a simple answer to some of the questions that face us, those simple answers would have been delivered before now. When people like Clive Palmer promise that they're going to deliver the world, be very cautious.
JOURNALIST: Betting agencies have a pretty good track record of being able to pick the election; I think Labor's paying 8 to 1, $8 at the moment. Are they good odds?
PLIBERSEK: Well luckily I'm not a betting person because…
JOURNALIST: You could make a lot of money.
PLIBERSEK: Look it's very, very close, no-one would have predicted we would be this close, we are as close today as we were before the 1993 election, the one that Paul Keating called the sweetest victory of all. If we happen to win today after all our hard work, after putting out our hundred positive policies to the Australian people it'll be a sweet victory indeed.
JOURNALIST: Win or lose can you promise the rat will survive?
PLIBERSEK: The rat’s doing very well than you very much. He's found a home with three children who love him very much. Thanks everyone, have a great day.