MONDAY, 4 JUNE 2018
JUSTINE KEAY, LABOR CANDIDATE FOR BRADDON: I hear that Tony Abbott has been in the electorate today with my opponent, re-announcing a re-announcement of the Freight Equalisation Scheme extension, which has always received bi-partisan support.
It’s great that both sides of the house in Parliament can actually get behind our exporters to make sure that we can get into international markets, support our farmers, and support businesses that support that industry directly and indirectly.
The question for Brett Whiteley is – how can he justify supporting Malcolm Turnbull’s tax cuts of $17 billion to the big banks at the expense of hospitals and schools?
Let’s not forget Brett Whiteley supported Tony Abbott on things like the GP Tax – for all the people of Braddon to pay more to see the GP.
Tony Abbott went to the 2013 election promising no cuts to health, education, to the ABC and of course to pensions.
What they did after that was exactly cut all those things. Brett Whiteley is complicit in all the attacks on pensioners. He would still go back into the Parliament and support the abolition of the energy supplement for pensioners. He needs to justify to the people of Braddon why he supports Malcolm Turnbull’s tax cuts to the banks at the expense of cuts to hospitals and schools.
JOURNALIST: It sounds like you think Tony Abbott’s just come over here today to have a few vegetables?
KEAY: Well yes, I would have been happy to serve him an onion today, but I think it’s like waving a red flag to the bull when he comes to Braddon.
People here have long memories. They know that Tony Abbott attacked pensioners every single day he was Prime Minister.
His Government, with Malcolm Turnbull and Brett Whiteley, continue to do so.
JOURNALIST: Given the Coalition is able to make funding announcements given that they’re in government, do you feel that that puts you at a bit of a disadvantage when it comes to things like funding commitments, pork barrelling and the like?
KEAY: Well Opposition parties always are developing policies and announcing policies a year out from elections.
I’ve been making funding commitments for a Shorten Labor Government for at least two years now.
It’s about being in touch with the community, finding out what communities need, what will grow our economy and grow jobs, and support people in our community.
If I’m not making those announcements or contributing to policy people will think “well what is she doing?”
I’ve been doing that for a long time and I’m here to make sure that at the next general election there will be a Shorten Labor Government to deliver on those promises that I have made.
JOURNALIST: Tony Abbott was saying this morning that Braddon businesses will be worse off under Labor. What’s your response to that?
KEAY: Well, under a Turnbull Government we have this trickle-down economics that is absolutely false. It doesn’t work. Their investment for businesses in Australia is based on a premise that a company tax cut will boost actually wages and grow jobs. We know it doesn’t work, it hasn’t worked anywhere else. It’s based on a wing and a prayer.
What Labor will do is have the investment guarantee actually rewarding businesses for their investment.
What we will also do is have a bigger and better income tax cut for people. There’s about 39,000 personal income taxpayers in Braddon who will benefit from Labor’s personal income tax cuts.
That will actually inject $30 million straight into the local economy, supporting those businesses and jobs – something that Malcolm Turnbull cannot deliver.
JOURNALIST: What do you make of the Cradle Mountain plan going out for expressions of interest internationally, not just for Tasmanian and Australian businesses?
KEAY: Well certainly I think in Australia and in Tasmania we have the expertise to deliver on these projects. That to me just signals that this government is prepared to ship off taxpayer funds internationally. I think they are pretty much just condemning what we can actually do here in Australia and in Tasmania to deliver world class projects. We know that we can do it, and the government should allow us to demonstrate that.
JOURNALIST: Are you worried by the ReachTEL/SkyNews poll, and the numbers that came out showing Brett Whiteley could be ahead of you?
KEAY: Certainly, on the doors and on the phones, and we’re making hundreds and thousands of contacts with Braddon electors every week, that poll is not reflective of what people are telling me. They are very, very angry with Malcolm Turnbull’s tax cuts to the big banks – especially considering their behaviour in the Royal Commission into banks. Something that Brett Whiteley, a former banker, voted 6 times against establishing. What the people of Braddon are telling me is they would much rather those funds going into our hospitals. We have a health crisis here in Tasmania. Reducing our elective surgery waiting times, creating jobs, helping our young people get apprenticeships and supporting TAFE. They’re not supporting Malcolm Turnbull’s tax cuts at all, or his government.
JOURNALIST: Bill Shorten’s here tonight. What do you expect – what’s he doing tonight?
KEAY: Well tonight we have a town hall with Bill Shorten in Burnie. It gives the community a fantastic opportunity to really ask tough questions of Bill. He takes it in his stride. It’s a fantastic way for them to get to know who Bill is, what he stands for, what the Labor Party stands for, and who the people of Braddon can see as the alternative government to represent them at the next general election.