E&OE - PROOF ONLY
TIM MURRAY; LABOR CANDIDATE FOR WENTWORTH: Good afternoon. I am very excited to have Penny Wong visit the electorate of Wentworth to support my campaign today.
This is an exciting campaign and it’s great to be able to have the opportunity to represent the people of Wentworth on key things that they care about, on climate change, on education and on housing affordability.
This is a very progressive electorate. It voted 80 per cent Yes in the Marriage Equality campaign. The Liberal Party has left them. It is no longer the party of progressive people, that represents progressive people and that is why I want to stand here in the seat of Wentworth.
Thanks very much Penny, thanks for coming
SENATOR PENNY WONG, LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION IN THE SENATE: Thanks very much Tim, it’s fantastic to be here in the seat of Wentworth and what I want to say is this: Wentworth’s values are not Scott Morrison’s values. We’ve seen that over these last weeks of the campaign.
Whether it’s climate change and the IPCC report, the report that was handed down by the world’s scientists earlier this week which gave such a grave and serious warning to governments all over the world to people all over the world. Again dismissed by Scott Morrison. That doesn’t represent the interests and the values of the people of Wentworth.
Whether it is the ABC and the attack on the independence of the ABC that we have seen from this Government. That doesn’t represent the values of the people of Wentworth.
And most recently the leaked report, the leaked Ruddock report, which this Government is still hiding, which suggests that Scott Morrison would really make it a priority to enable a school to expel a 14 year old gay kid. Have a think about that for a moment. Somebody, a young person, discovers who they are, comes out, and is expelled from school. Is that really a priority of the Morrison Government? Well, apparently according to Alex Hawke, who is Mr Morrison’s right-hand man, it is. What I would say to you is that doesn’t represent the values of this community.
So, I am very proud and very happy to be here with Tim. He is an outstanding candidate and I would say to everybody in this seat; vote for Tim, he represents your values, and put the Liberals last.
JOURNALIST: Would you like to see efforts made to amend or abolish the ability of religious schools to exclude or expel gay students?
WONG: I certainly don’t support, and I think Tanya and Bill have made this very clear, new laws which expand those exemptions. It’s pretty extraordinary that the government is even suggesting that, as would appear to be the case.
JOURNALIST: But you don’t think the existing laws should be changed?
WONG: People know my personal views about equality, and I think people have seen over the years I have been in Parliament the ways in which I have fought to lessen discrimination LGBTIQ people. That is my personal view. However, I accept that there is existing law in states.
My position has been demonstrated by the fact that in government, apart from the range of laws we amended, a very important law we amended was to insert a protection against discrimination on the basis of sexuality and sexual identity.
JOURNALIST: But does it concern you that the ability exclude of expel gay students was formalised under legislation introduced by Labor?
WONG: Well I don’t know which legislation to which you’re referring. I referenced state legislation. What I would say is it is very important that we don’t extend this. I don’t think it reflects the values of where, certainly this community is, or the Australian community.
JOURNALIST: It was the amendments to the Sex Discrimination Act in 2013 that allowed those religious exemptions.
WONG: Well, hang on. There is existing state law. My view, my personal view has always been that over time the community seeks less discrimination and more equality and I think that’s been the way in which Labor’s dealt with this issue over many years.
JOURNALIST: But why not use the federal government’s power to override states who discriminate?
WONG: You should be asking these questions of Scott Morrison. It’s interesting isn’t it? We’ve got a situation where the Prime Minister of the country is actually countenancing extending the right to discriminate so that a 14-year-old can get expelled for being gay. I just think, why won’t you disclose the report Scott?
JOURNALIST: Do you think that will be an issue that voters take into account in Wentworth.
WONG: I think the issue of values does matter and I think that this electorate it is a modern electorate, it is a progressive electorate. It’s an electorate that is international in its focus and all of those things are not reflected in the Morrison Government.
JOURNALIST: What do you make of the AFP raiding the offices of the Department of Home Affairs in Canberra today?
WONG: Look, I’ve seen those reports obviously before Tim and I started walking through the electorate today. There’s an inquiry underway or a raid underway. It’s a matter for the police to do their job.
But I will say this, isn’t it interesting how quickly the Morrison Government moves against those who expose wrongdoing but are so slow to give answers when wrongdoing is there to be seen. Whether it’s the Senate inquiry, whether it’s questions in Parliament, whether it’s Senate Estimates, whether it’s the media or Freedom of Information requests, what we know is that Peter Dutton, and his department and this Government have fought the disclosures and answers around this au pair issue every step of the way. And that stands in stark contrast to the way in which alleged leaks by public servants are investigated. But ultimately it’s a matter for the police.
JOURNALIST: Kerryn Phelps has said she’s directing preferences to the Liberals. What would you say to people who were involved in Marriage Equality campaigning who really regard her. What would you say to them about what they should do with their preferences?
WONG: Well maybe I should get Tim to answer this. I’d say this, it’s disappointing that she’s choosing to preference a party that doesn’t reflect the values of the electorate and I’d be encouraging everyone to vote Labor and vote for Tim Murray.
JOURNALIST: Just on climate change briefly. Dave Sharma was asked yesterday if he believed the Liberal Government was doing enough on that front. He said he thought they were. What do you make of that?
WONG: Well they’re not. If Dave Sharma thinks that the Morrison Government is doing enough on climate change he really does demonstrate yet again how out of touch with this community he is. I know he’s not a local but it also demonstrates just how out of touch he is with this community because we know that this Government has no plan on climate change. And why doesn’t it have a plan on climate change? Because they are at war with each other when it comes to the issue of climate change. We don’t have time, Australia doesn’t have time, the world doesn’t have time, but Australia certainly doesn’t have time to be held back on action for climate change because Scott Morrison doesn’t have a plan.
JOURNALIST: Can we just ask Tim, to what extent are people raising this issue of religious freedoms and the possibility of extended discrimination against kids?
MURRAY: Yesterday I was out in the electorate, I was down at Rose Bay, up in Paddington and then over in Waverley and it was raised within every single location. It was the topic of day and people are not happy about it. Remember, this is the electorate that voted 80 per cent Yes in Marriage Equality, number three in the country.
JOURNALIST: Just on the anger over Malcolm Turnbull’s turfing. Is that subsiding or do you think that’s still bubbling away. And if so, where is that anger (inaudible).
MURRAY: I thought that as the campaign was a very long campaign that the anger would not be maintained through to election day. But just this morning I was standing at pre-poll and people continue to be angry. The majority of people going in to cast a vote at pre-poll were angry with the Liberal Party and expressed it to Dave Sharma at the pre-poll.
WONG: Thanks everybody, thank you.
Authorised by Noah Carroll, ALP, Canberra.