Subjects: Clean energy jobs announcement, climate change policy, electric vehicles, childcare, early educators’ wages, Coalition’s Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme policy, Liberal candidate for Lyons, Morrison’s record of chaos and cuts, Morrison’s missing plan for the future.

JUSTINE KEAY, MEMBER FOR BRADDON: Hi everyone, welcome to Burnie and thank you for having us here at Direct Edge manufacturing. It's great to have Bill Shorten here again he knows the roads of Braddon very very well, Tanya Pilbersek and Mark Butler here in the beautiful northwest.  We're sorry about the weather, it's normally quite more beautiful than this. This announcement today is extraordinarily important to me, it's very very personal. The reason I got into politics and wanted to represent my community was because of my children, to make sure that they had opportunities for great training and education here. For working opportunities as well. What we're announcing today is really harnessing what we have so much of and that's our natural renewable energy resource to create numerous jobs. Thousands of direct and indirect jobs here in the north west coast. Really boosting the local economy here, not just for this region but for the whole state. So I'm very excited by about this announcement. I've been working with a number of proponents around renewable energy here in the north west and this is the vision that we so desperately need here from the north west coast for the future of my children and the future other children and people's grandchildren here in this beautiful part of the world. So I'll pass over to Bill.
BILL SHORTEN, LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: Thanks very much Justine. Good morning everybody. Australia needs a change of government. This country can't keep going along as we are without taking real action on climate change. We see the power prices going up and up. We're missing out on renewable jobs of the future and we're squibbing the hard decisions to give a better environment to our kids. So today's announcement is all about further investment by Labor into real action on climate change and we want to prepare for the workforce of the future. We're going to invest in more renewable energy jobs with the skills. As I walked around this very clever workshop seeing the bespoke work which is being done here, answering manufacturing challenges here and also exporting to other countries. Courageous companies like this and hard working workforces and families in north and north west Tassie need a government as innovative, as bold and as focused on the future. This company is getting ahead because it's thinking about the future not the past. But this company deserves a government in Canberra who's thinking about the future not the past. Climate change is one of the big issues in this election. We've got to get our power prices down. We've got to start training our young people and not so young people to grab the job opportunities of the future that renewable energy provides. And for goodness sakes, the future generations aren't going to forgive the current crop of politicians if we don't take real action on climate change right now. I'd like to hand over to Mark Butler to talk a little bit more about a couple of our announcements, then let's talk some more.

MARK BUTLER, SHADOW MINISTER FOR CLIMATE CHANGE AND ENERGY: Thank you Bill. Thank you Justine. Justine has been such a fantastic advocate of renewable energy policies in our caucus because she understands that the north west of Tasmania has some of the best wind energy resources on the face of the planet and will benefit so greatly from Labor's ambitious 50 per cent renewable energy target. We've announced that the first renewable energy zone under a Shorten Labor government would be the north west of Tasmania. We've also announced today a $5 million down payment on the project Renewable Future which will see an extraordinary ecosystem around renewable energy built in this part of Tasmania, tapping into the hydrogen industry potential of this state as well as more traditional wind energy. Also as Justine said we've got a plan to train young people for future jobs in renewable energy with the announcement of 10,000 funded apprenticeship places today to train our budding electricians of the future into renewable energy. But I want to make a very clear point about Scott Morrison's alternative. Because there are two very exciting projects in Tasmania that tap into the renewable energy future. The first is project Marinus, a second interconnector to the mainland and the second is the Battery of the Nation project, expanding Tasmania's extraordinary pumped hydro resources. But those two projects, it's been made very clear in the feasibility studies, only stack up in what the feasibility studies describe as a high emissions reduction scenario which is consistent with Labor's 50 per cent renewable energy target. Scott Morrison has to stop lying to the people of Tasmania. These projects will not go ahead under his policy of building new coal fired power stations let alone his budding coalition partner Clive Palmer's policies of building nuclear power stations which was announced this morning. The only way Tasmania has a really significant part in the energy future of Australia is under an ambitious renewable energy target policy like the one Bill Shorten is putting to the people in this election campaign.
JOURNALIST: Mr Shorten on today's announcement Brian Fisher has modelled the economic cost of your climate change policy. Between $260 and $540 billion. If you say that's wrong why don't you provide your own costings then?
SHORTEN: Will you know this fellow and his report remind me of the doctors that the big tobacco companies used to roll out in the 70s and 80s to say that smoking was healthy for you. We will file this report under P for propaganda. It's full of wrong assumptions. But there's a deeper issue here and I'll get Mark to supplement in a moment. When are we finally going to put the genie of the scare campaign back in the bottle on climate change? Australian politics is broken because we haven't actually dealt with climate change properly. Carbon pollution is increasing under this government. The report itself - and I haven't read it but I've seen the initial observations of it - it actually says they haven't modelled the impact of climate change and not doing anything. This is such a flagrantly dishonest debate at the moment. We are very committed to taking real action on climate change. We don't believe the scary numbers. We think they're just rubbish. And also who paid for this report? I don't know if you’ve found out, but who actually paid for this report? Was it right wing think tank the Menzies Research Centre who has current Liberal MPs on the board, former Liberal MPs on the board, former heads of the Business Council and the Mining Council and mining interests? What Sydney businessmen have helped contribute to pay for this report? When you get a report like this you've always got to ask yourself who paid for it? And is this for politics or is it about climate change? I might get Mark to talk a bit further.

BUTLER: Well thanks Bill. This is a campaign to hijack a reasonable debate about climate change being led by people like Mr Fisher. This is a complete crock of rubbish, this modelling, by a fellow who has spent 20 years building a career fighting every single climate policy, including indeed the climate policy proposed by John Howard. John Howard was too much of a pinko leftie for this fellow, Brian Fisher. We're seeing assumption after assumption completely discredited in this modelling. For example, his costs of carbon abatement are 2,000 per cent higher than the cost Scott Morrison's own government is paying now. The costs of energy storage are 400 per cent higher than the cost Snowy Hydro has achieved in a very big tender very recently - costs which everyone in the industry says are going to come down in the future. He models increases in the electricity price but the electricity sector is not even covered by this policy. Look this guy has form. He has never met a climate policy he didn't want to tear down because he simply doesn't believe in climate action. It's a discredited piece of rubbish. It shouldn't be paid any attention to and instead more serious pieces of analysis like Citibank's which says that even for the 250 businesses covered by this policy the costs will be immaterial and manageable. The macroeconomic impacts modelled by Warwick McKibbin. They're the sorts of pieces of analysis that should guide this debate. And we should then talk about the things that 10 million households want to talk about. Cutting their energy bills through the National Energy Guarantee by $550. Cutting their energy bills by 60 to 80 per cent if they can tap into Labor's household batteries program. Cutting their bills at the bowser by more than $500 according to Scott Morrison's own modelling if we just get a more efficient fleet of light vehicles. That's the debate people in Australia want to have. How are we going to discharge our responsibilities for our children while also cutting household bills.

JOURNALIST: Whether you believe the figures that are in the report or not doesn't it show that the numbers can still be crunched and it's not actually impossible to get a figure?
SHORTEN: It shows that if you write a fairy tale you'll get a report for this Government on climate change and I just don't believe it. We've got to call out the scare campaigns. We've got to call out - ask yourself, and I say to Australians who hear the scary numbers coming from private vested interest commissioned reports, why do these people want you not to take action on climate change? What are they so scared of? You know you want to hear some real modelling, come with me to Sun Metal in Townsville where they've got a solar farm which is helping provide cheap energy, which keeps the refinery going. Come with me to Whyalla and see the solar farm there which is powering 3,000 houses. If you want to see the real lived experience taking action on climate change, next time you'll land in a plane over the suburbs of Australia have a look and count the number of houses where you see solar panels on the roof. People, we've got to call out the superstition. We've got to call out the fear. The problem is that this government after six years is incapable of lowering your energy prices and incapable of doing anything on climate change. They're split down the middle. We see the tendrils of influence of the right wing extremists within the Liberal Party and the National Party. For whatever reason they've got them stuck in the cul de sac of history. They don't want to move on climate change. But it wouldn't matter except they're the Government of Australia. The reason why families are paying more in electricity prices right now because this government can't move forward on energy policy. The reason why we're handing on a more polluted environment to our kids is because this government can't change its ways. We need real change in Australia. We need to get the energy prices down. We need to unlock the potential of this company and 10,000 companies like it to export to the rest of the world. We need to do more on climate change. Here's a prediction and I think it makes pretty good sense. Three more years of this government like the last six, it'll be even more expensive to fix up the damage of climate change in three years if we don't start now.

JOURNALIST: Mr Shorten you implore Australians to accept the outcome of experts with regard to whether the Adani mine should go ahead or not. You now have an expert giving a mixed finding on your climate plan and you tipping a bucket on them from a great height. Why shouldn't Australians conclude you're cherry picking you experts?

SHORTEN: No. No, no, no Tim, wrong. First of all,  I'll tell you who's on our side of the ledger. Just about every scientist in the world. APRA, the RBA, Citibank. Citibank is not a nest of communists although the way this government's going they probably will call them that soon. They have to write a note for the market, for their clients. It has to be up to an ASX level of compliance. Citibank doesn't have any skin in the game whether Liberal or Labor win the next election. It's not a biased, you know opinion for rent that we're seeing in this latest report. They're just telling it straight. And again let me return to the lived experience of Australians. What we've seen in the last six years under the Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison-Palmer-Hanson Government is we're seeing power prices have gone up. That's just a fact. You don't need an expert. Just go and ask anyone who pays electricity in this country. Now it would be the triumph of hope over experience to give these climate denying cave dwellers another three years in business when they clearly failed in the last six years. Labor's got a real choice for change. When people go and vote between now and the election on May the 18th, there is a real choice. If you're happy that your power bills are going up, if you're happy that nothing's happening on climate change except more carbon is being polluted, if you're happy to miss out on renewable energy jobs then you probably like more of the same. But if you think that politics is broken, if you think the climate deniers need a good kick up the back pants, just a good kick up the backside to just get on and do something, vote Labor at the next election.

JOURNALIST: Mr Shorten I spoke to a couple of the audience members after the debate on Monday. They were undecided over the costs of your climate policies. So by not releasing your own modelling are you willing to lose voters over it?

SHORTEN: No, I don't think we will actually. I think more people - and I was at the debate too - I think more people actually were unhappy that the government is not advocating anything serious on climate change. Now I get that in the election - and this is why you in the media play such an important role interpreting what you hear, reporting what you hear - I get that the government is trying to, is doing a cyclonic scare campaign on climate change. But I actually think the people of Australia are a bit over being told to be scared of the future. If this government finds the future too hard they should get out of the way and have a government who is not scared of the future. The reality is the single greatest reason why energy prices have gone up in Australia is there's just a lack of energy policy. And anyone who thinks this government after 13 energy policies is miraculously going to fix their internal chaos and division, you know they're dreaming as they say.

JOURNALIST: Mr Butler said this morning there will probably be a limit on the number or proportion of international credits that will be allowed to reduce emissions in Australia under your scheme. What will that limit be? Will it be more than 50 per cent, more than 75 per cent? Should voters have a right to know approximately a ballpark figure about what that would be? Because it will have an influence on the overall cost.

SHORTEN: Well Mark is here and he can speak for himself. But remember, international permits, we've heard the scare campaign from the government. They think it's a bad idea. They just forgot to check with the Business Council and all the other employer groups that say it's a good idea. We believe in least cost abatement, but Mark can explain what he said.

BUTLER: Well I'd invite you to point to a business organisation that wants us to set the limit before the election because I don't think you'll find one. Every business organisation I've talked to over the last 12 or 18 months, and I engage exhaustively with them, are clear that the that the scale of access to international trading will ultimately depend on the relative costs between the international market and domestic market. The purpose of this is not to get to a particular proportion of international permits versus domestic permits. The purpose of this is to get the lowest cost abatement and that will move according to the different prices. So the overwhelming policy objective though is to give access to the most liquid market possible. That's why it's so inexplicable why the Abbott Government, Turnbull Government and Morrison Government have opposed the view of every single business organisation in this country, which is to allow businesses to trade in robust international carbon trading markets in the way they're able to trade in every other international market. So that is, consistent with the wishes of every business organisation I've engaged with, something that we would finalise after engagement with them in government.
JOURNALIST: On electrical car policy you've got no policy that actually ... the 50 per cent target except for rolling out chargers ... So would you be willing to intervene in the market for subsidies if it turns out that [inaudible] or is it just going to be a let's wait and see thing. And is your renewables target similarly aspirational just like your electric car targets? 
SHORTEN: Mark's champing at the bit to answer this. I'll just go first though. First of all in your question you recognise the lie that the government have been saying. Because the government said - I think they let poor old Michaela Cash loose out of witness protection for a moment, then they realised that mistake and put her back under watch. But I think she said we're going to take your utes off people. The Australian newspaper has now confirmed that we're not going to mandatorily take people's utes off them, so I thank you for clearing that up. So let's go to the bigger issue. But in all seriousness we saw the government run that scare campaign remember? That you know you're going to lose your ute. I mean what rubbish - rubbish, rubbish, rubbish. Now in terms of EVs we have said that we want to put in charger stations so people in the bush can also access new technology. We've also said that in government purchasing that we would like to start orienting the purchase of the car fleet to electric vehicles. But I might get Mark to further answer this.
BUTLER: Thanks Greg. I'd invite you to have another look at our electric vehicle policy because there's a range of different levers we are seeking to pull other than just the infrastructure charging lever. I noted that Angus Taylor was out this morning rubbishing the idea that state governments would be looking at ways in which new commercial and large residential developments would be future-proofed by fitting electric vehicle chargers to them. He obviously didn't go and talk to Gladys Berejiklian because that is a central part of the NSW Liberal Government's policy that they took to the last election. This is just common sense to future proof new building stock, not individual houses, but large apartment buildings and commercial buildings with electric vehicle chargers to recognise that over the coming decade there is going to be a wave of electric vehicles coming to the market. Now other elements of our policy are these. We've provided that the Australian Investment Guarantee, which will provide accelerated depreciation of an additional 20 per cent in the first year's purchase of new capital, will apply to electric vehicles. That will be an enormous boost to fleets, which constitute 50 per cent of the new purchase market in Australia, moving to electric vehicles. What that will do is start to create a liquid market here, driving a second hand market for private purchases but also creating the critical mass that means that automotive companies start for the first time sending their affordable electric vehicle models to Australia. And as to the ute scare campaign that Michaelia Cash so famously started I noted, I think maybe reported in your paper Greg this morning, that General Motors is the latest company of many, many companies to announce that they will be launching an electric ute over the next three years. So this is just about making sure that Australian motorists have access to a global revolution in the car industry that every other country has access to. We currently have the lowest uptake of electric vehicles in the OECD. We want to change that. 
JOURNALIST: If you're not getting to that target though, would you be prepared intervene with subsidies.
BUTLER: Well, obviously a government at that point is going to have to think about this, but over the last few days we have seen reports from the Academy of Technology and Engineering, from Bloomberg New Energy Finance, reports from Transurban and a range of other groups that I can't even remember over the last few days, all confirming that the ticket price of an electric vehicle will drop below the petrol and diesel equivalent by about 2025. And frankly after that happens you are going to have a boom in new purchase of electric vehicles and I think in retrospect the 50 per cent target of new sales, if that estimate by everyone in the industry is right, we'll be seen as modest in retrospect. 
JOURNALIST: Childcare, Mr Shorten. Will your pay rise, will people need to be on an EA to get that pay rise and will they need to be a member of the union?
SHORTEN: No. Listen, no, the short answer - no. The longer answer is this. Our early childhood educators are underpaid. They are the first adults to which we entrust our kids outside the family unit. Did you know that out of 96 occupations childcare workers childhood, early childhood educators, their pay level comes in at 92? That's hopeless. Another fact which I'm going to keep banging on about is that 96 per cent of the industry are women. If it was an industry which is 96 per cent men it wouldn't be as low paid. So what we have looked at is what are the options to give these important people a better go. Ask any parent. Some of you or maybe some of you have got family who are early childhood educators, there is plenty of them in Australia. We know they're underpaid, so what's the solution? You either just let them be underpaid. Well that's intolerable isn't it? Why should we rely on a bunch of workers to sacrifice themselves just so the rest of us can have, not pay these people what they're meant to. The second option is, of course, you could ask parents to pay a lot more. But under this government childcare has been such a debacle, hasn't it? Childcare costs have gone up and up and up. So that's not an option to ask parents to pay more. You could ask all of the not for profit and for profit providers just to miraculously find the money in the system, but it's not there. So we've come up with the best option. Which is we will help contribute to the wages of early childhood educators. It won't be allocated based on their industrial instruments or enterprise agreements or union membership. So that's another Government scare campaign we can put in the bin along with the utes and the rest of the stuff they come up with. But it really comes down to this and this is really what I want to address my remarks to the Australian people. Child care is important. A lot of two income families a lot of women returning to work are caught in a vicious cycle where they've got to go to work to pay for the childcare. But the childcare is so expensive that really they're working for nothing. So what we've come up with is I think a pretty neat solution which gives a fair go to a million Australian households. Specifically, if you earn up to $68,000 in your household we'll pay for 100 per cent of the childcare. If you earn between $68,000 and $100,000 we'll pay up to 85 per cent. If you earn between $100,000 and $174,000 as total household income we'll contribute between 85 and 60 per cent subsidy. What this means practically, and when people go to make a choice to vote between now and the election, what it means is that if you've got two kids in childcare, say your household incomes around 100K or maybe just a bit north of it, what you'll be getting is in excess of $3,000 childcare fee relief. When you add that on top of what we're doing with lowering people's taxes, about 5K extra a year. This is how we get a strong economy working for middle and working class people. And I don't think anyone seriously thinks we shouldn't give early childhood educators a better deal. It's all about priorities isn't it. This government wants to give $77 billion to the top three per cent of income earners. I'd just like to give a better pay rise to 100,000 childcare workers.

JOURNALIST: Mr Shorten, Scott Morrison today has announced a couple of hundred million dollars towards the PBS threshold to give patients that need medication free sooner, is that a good policy and will you match it? 

SHORTEN: Yeah, I will. I think it's a good policy and we can match it. We can also match it because frankly we're making the reform decisions about winding back unsustainable subsidies at the top end. This is the way politics should be. I'm not a hater. This government will only ever have bad things to say about Labor. I adopt a different view. It's not about me, Mr Morrison, Labor or Liberal exclusively. It's about what I'm going to do for you, Australian families, Australian voters, Australians who need to use our health care system. So yep, tick. But what I would like Mr Morrison to do is match me on pension and dental care. What we're going to do is provide 2.6 million pensioners, who always get forgotten in elections, nearly 400,000 Commonwealth seniors health card holders - so 3 million people in all, we're going to provide for the first time, nationally across the board a voucher under Medicare $1,000 dollars bulk billed to contribute towards their dental care every two years. See the difference is I can afford to match a good health idea from the government because health's my number one priority. But he can't match my good ideas for pensioners and health because he's too busy defending properties, you know subsidies for the people buying their fifth and sixth property and being a soft touch on multinationals.

JOURNALIST: Mr Shorten, Can I just ask also on childcare, just following up on from Chris. Do you know you know the annual cost or the ongoing annual cost of your childcare policy? After this initial eight year period the government has costed it as and it's in today's Herald and Age at about $1.6 billion. Is that accurate?

SHORTEN: No, I don't think that is accurate. I haven't seen their costings. We'll release all our costings before the election. But as I understand in the first four years in terms of the help we're going to give early childhood educators it's about $550 million and in terms of what we're doing for childcare relief for Australian families that's about $4 billion. Again, you know when this government says we can't afford to look after childcare subsidies what they're saying to a million Australian families is you don't deserve it. When this government says we can't afford to look after early childhood educators and pay them properly, what they're saying to them is you don't deserve it. This is a government who for the last three years could find $80 billion to give away to big business. This is a government who could find $77 billion dollars - even they haven't told us how they're going to pay for it, the tricky little roosters - in terms of tax cuts for the top end. But when it comes to early childhood educators, "Oh, we don't have the money." When it comes to better subsidies for childcare for a million Aussie households, "Don't bother us, we don't have the money." Why is it this government says to millions of everyday people, to the pensioners with dental care, we can't afford that. What they're really saying is you don't deserve it.

JOURNALIST: Just putting aside the Fisher report for a moment do you accept as a basic principle that your more ambitious emission reduction total will come with a higher cost to the economy. 

SHORTEN: No. What I say actually is that if we leave the problem of climate change any longer it's going to cost more to fix it. But I'll let Mark have the last word because he's been doing such a good job on our policy.

BUTLER: Thanks Bill. Well the authoritative modelling on the impact of the economy is Warwick McKibbin's. It was commissioned by Tony Abbott, authoritative modelling to compare the 26 per cent target and the 45 per cent target before Paris. Warwick McKibbin found that the impact on the economy of the two targets would be exactly the same given that Labor has a different position around international trading than the government has. So exactly the same. Now that's back in 2015. But over the last couple of weeks Warwick McKibbin has written in the Financial Review that he stands by that modelling. But if anything the cost of emissions reduction over the last four years have come down because of the extraordinary technology improvements we've seen, particularly in renewable energy. So I don't accept the premise of your question. What I do reaffirm though is what Bill has said which is the costs of inaction on climate change are dramatic. Over the last few weeks we've seen the Reserve Bank warn of them. Over the last few days we've seen APRA, the Prudential Regulation Authority, warn the costs of inaction on climate change pose a very serious risk to the stability of the financial system and that's what Scott Morrison won't talk about. 

TANYA PLIBERSEK, DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: I actually just wanted to say a few words because I'm a little surprised that we're here in northern Tasmania and no one's asked us about the candidate for Lyons and those extraordinarily racist comments. What really confuses me is you've got a Prime Minister who is prepared to take action when it's a candidate for Isaacs but not prepared to take action on the candidate for Lyons. Racism is racism is racism. And when you've got two candidates saying very similar things I think it's absolutely vital that the Prime Minister shows some leadership and makes sure that the candidate for Lyons is disendorsed as the candidate for Isaacs was disendorsed. I think this is a really key difference between Bill Shorten and Scott Morrison in this election. You've got Bill Shorten who's out there with a united, disciplined team. You've got Scott Morrison who's leading a coalition of chaos and cuts. You've got Bill Shorten who's focused on positive policies for our future, whether it's more affordable childcare, whether it's real action that brings down power prices and pollution, whether it's better Medicare including Medicare dental for pensioners. You've got Bill focused on positive policies for our futures and you've got Scott Morrison who's got nothing so he's gone negative. There is a real difference here because Scott Morrison can't run on unity and discipline. We can. Scott Morrison can't run on his record because his record is chaos and cuts. And he can't run on his plan for the future because he's got no plan to lift wages. He's got no plan to lower pollution. He's got no plan to lower power prices. He's got no plan to make childcare more affordable. He's got no plan to improve Medicare. He's got no plan for this country and we do.

JOURNALIST: Tanya can I just ask do you as an MP in Sydney do you feel any sympathy for Tony Abbott having faced the defacing of his ... clearly not.
PLIBERSEK: No no. Sorry I'll listen to the detail of your question.

JOURNALIST: There's not much left except to say do you feel sympathy for Tony Abbott given his posters have been defaced in the way that they've been defaced.

PLIBERSEK: Look I don't like it when my posters are defaced. None of us do. All of us face it as candidates in election on occasion. I don't ever agree that posters should be defaced. In fact one of Clive Palmer's has been defaced just down the road from my place. I pass it every day. One of his big billboards. It is not something that I would ever encourage others to do, to tolerate. But do I have sympathy for Tony Abbott more generally? No I don't. I mean here is a man who is so profoundly out of touch with his electorate on climate change, on marriage equality, on a whole range of issues that people who have voted Liberal all their lives are saying no more, not now, not anymore. And the problem for Scott Morrison is that his policies are the same as Tony Abbott's. Scott Morrison is in denial about climate change. Scott Morrison opposes more renewable energy for Australia. Scott Morrison wants to spend billions of dollars of taxpayers money to see pollution continue to rise. Scott Morrison has no plan for wages to increase. Like Mathias Cormann he believes that keeping wages low is part of the economic strategy of this government. In fact, Scott Morrison's got just two plans for the future. The first is bigger tax giveaways to very wealthy people. And the second is to run for the rest of this campaign on lies and scare campaigns about Labor's positive vision.

SHORTEN: Guys the factory is going to need to get back to work but it's been good fun. Thank you.