SENATOR THE HON PENNY WONG

LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION IN THE SENATE

SHADOW MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS

LABOR SENATOR FOR SOUTH AUSTRALIA

THE HON MARK BUTLER MP

SHADOW MINISTER FOR CLIMATE CHANGE AND ENERGY

MEMBER FOR PORT ADELAIDE

TRANSCRIPT

10 May 2017

DOORSTOP – CANBERRA

TOPICS: 2017 BUDGET, PORT AUGUSTA SOLAR THERMAL PLANT, SOUTH AUSTRALIA

E&OE - PROOF ONLY

SENATOR PENNY WONG, LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION IN THE SENATE: I’m here with South Australian Labor Members and Senators and we want to make very clear that this is a Budget which duds South Australia.

We know that there’s money flowing to other states for infrastructure but zero dollars for new projects in South Australia. And it demonstrates again the Liberals’ and the Coalition’s disregard for the state of South Australia.

We will never forget in South Australia Joe Hockey standing up on the floor of the House of Representatives and goading Holdens to leave. We will never forget that. We will never forget the disrespect and disregard that showed to South Australian families who relied on the auto industry for jobs. And we all know the consequence of that.

We also won’t forget that the only reason that the submarines are being built in Adelaide, the only reason, is because Labor stood up and ran a campaign to bring them to South Australia. Let’s remember the Government, the Coalition Government didn’t want them there, it was very clear. We all remember the former Liberal Defence Minister in the Senate saying that the ASC couldn’t build a canoe. And now what do we have? We have a Budget which allocates zero dollars to South Australia for new infrastructure projects.

And now, I think today, Steven Marshall has confirmed what we all know, when he has told us that what South Australia needs is a hard working Labor Government. And I’d say this, in his heart of hearts even Steven Marshall knows, if you’re going to get a good deal for South Australia you need a Labor Government federally, and a Labor Government in the state.

JOURNALIST: Senator, isn’t it appropriate that the Government shares the love, given you did get the subs?

WONG: Let’s share the love.

JOURNALIST: You did get the subs.

WONG: You’re from Adelaide!

JOURNALIST: Put that aside.

WONG: Yes, we should share the love but what we see is no dollars for new infrastructure projects in South Australia, but dollars for infrastructure projects elsewhere. What’s being funded is projects that Labor announced. They’re not proceeding with projects that the former Prime Minister announced and you’ve even seen business in South Australia come out and have a go at them about it.

JOURNALIST: They have confirmed the money for the Solar Thermal Plant though, isn’t that good news?

SHADOW MINISTER FOR CLIMATE CHANGE AND ENERGY, MARK BUTLER: ENERGY: Well of course we took to the election a clearly funded plan to build the Solar Thermal Project at Port Augusta. Greg Hunt gave some sort of indication during the last election that the Government would also find some money some way to also support that project.

It’s still unclear how they are going to fund this. It’s no clearer after yesterday’s Budget or the deal that was done with Nick Xenophon. But be clear this was a project that was won by the Port August community, a project that was backed in by Labor at the last federal election and a project that was actually promised at the last election by Malcolm Turnbull and Greg Hunt, so nothing new there.

JOURNALIST: You mentioned the South Australian car industry. There is some money in the Budget for specialist mentoring for apprentices and retrenched workers. Will that help the car industry at all?

WONG: I think if you ask any of the workers in South Australia what would they have preferred, a specialist mentor or a good paying secure job, I reckon you know what the answer is.

JOURNALIST: Senator, just in relation to another issue, the man who threw the pie in Alan Joyce’s face, it turns out that he did it because of Peter Dutton’s comments about Alan Joyce’s comments about Marriage Equality. Do you think Peter Dutton should claim some responsibility for inciting an incident like this?

WONG: I wasn’t aware of that until you asked the question. I think when it comes to the Marriage Equality debate we should all conduct that civilly and respectfully, recognising that people have different views on this issue and dealing with people appropriately. And I don’t think anything justifies chucking a pie at someone and he’s responsible for his actions. I also didn’t agree with Mr Dutton’s comments.