TRANSCRIPT: Doorstop, Townsville, Tuesday 17 May




TUESDAY, 17 MAY 2016

SUBJECTS: Labor funding for Townsville Super Stadium; Labor's plans for Townsville; Labor's positive plans for education; Liberal Party's division and dysfunction; Labor's united team; Labor's 100 positive policies

KATHY O’TOOLE, CANDIDATE FOR HERBERT: Labor truly cares about the North and Labor truly cares about Herbert and can I say today we have proven beyond doubt in the Townsville Bulletin that federal governments do fund stadiums. And our $100 million commitment to the stadium will match that of the State Government and when I am elected on 2 July, all going well, we will have our stadium, but I would now like to hand over to Tanya Plibersek.

TANYA PLIBERSEK, DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: Well, thanks so much, Kathy. It's so great to be in Herbert with you and all of the campaign team. I can see you've got a great number of volunteers out here happy to celebrate the launch of your campaign. We're so proud to have Kathy O'Toole as our Labor candidate for Herbert because even before being elected to parliament, Kathy has delivered for this community. She's already got a commitment from Labor for $100 million towards the Townsville Stadium. We are committed to that stadium because we know that there is immediate growth and jobs from the construction, but that this stadium will make a big difference to the future of Townsville over the long-term, too. Kathy has also been working on water policy and secured a $4 million investment for a better plan for water. I've seen myself how dry things are around here, much drier than last time I wa s in town, and Kathy has been working hard with Labor on that $4 million commitment for a water plant. But of course the thing that we've been working very hard on right across the country is investment in education. If Labor is elected on 2 July, schools in Herbert are better off to the tune of $48 million over the first two years alone. The two years of Gonski funding means a $48 million difference for schools in Herbert. Now, it's really exciting to be here, we've got a lot of people waiting to launch this campaign, so I might just take two very quick questions.

JOURNALIST: First of all, Peter Dutton has suggested that Labor candidates are giving messages of hope to asylum seekers because they are publicly showing they are unhappy with Labor's boat turn back policy. Does your party have a problem with discipline, Tanya Plibersek?

PLIBERSEK: Well not at all. We've got a very clear policy. And if you're interested in discipline, you've got Sophie Mirabella, the candidate for Indi, today saying that Liberal Party headquarters is leaking against her. You've got Tony Abbott, the former prime minister who is running a presidential-style campaign, haunting Malcolm Turnbull. You've got today's backflip on the backpacker tax, a 6-month delay. You've got a Prime Minister who says we need a backpacker tax, a Treasurer who says we need a backpacker tax, a Deputy Prime Minister who says we don't and an Assistant Treasurer who says we will delay it for six months. They are absolutely all over the place on a policy that was in their budget just two weeks ago. You've got breakouts all over the place of the Liberal Party on climate change; you've got climate change deniers. You've got candidates that are so em barrassing for Malcolm Turnbull that he won't even stand up with them. He wouldn't stand up with the candidate for Fremantle a couple of days ago, and last week he cancelled a shopping centre walk with one of his Western Sydney MPs because she wouldn't back him as Prime Minister. And it is extraordinary. Two and a half years of division and dysfunction from the Liberals and the Nationals in Canberra and they are trying to point the finger at us? I don't think so. We're a strong and united team with 100 clear and positive policies for the future, all of them laid out for people to have a look at, all of them costed.

JOURNALIST: If Labor is elected on July 2nd, will you be lobbying your state counterparts to add more money to the super stadium commitment. Townsville Enterprise has says said the state does need to contribute more money than they already have to get this project off the ground?

PLIBERSEK: Well look, it is certainly a project that we believe needs to go ahead. Our commitment is for $100 million, and that's a very substantial commitment from the Federal Government. It is, of course, up to the State Government and to other interests to make sure that the stadium can go ahead. I heard Ewan Jones today saying that Federal Governments don't invest in stadiums and so it should be all up to the State Government. We don't think that at all. We think this needs to be a joint project, but it needs to be delivered for the people of Townsville.

JOURNALIST: Aren't you concerned about the $50 million funding gap though for just the stadium alone?

PLIBERSEK: I'm sure this project will go ahead, with a commitment from the State Government, a commitment from the Federal Government for the bulk of the funding, I'm sure we'll find a way to make sure this stadium gets built. Now thanks very much, we've got a party to go to.