11 April 2019




SENATOR PENNY WONG, LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION IN THE SENATE: It’s great to be here in beautiful Adelaide, down at Glenelg with Nadia Clancy our candidate for Boothby, on the day the Federal Election has been called.

I want to say this to South Australians: there is a choice this election. It is a choice between better schools and hospitals, or the cuts and chaos you’ve seen from the Coalition over the last six years.

It’s a choice between a fair go for Australians and the sort of tax loopholes that you see the Coalition defending.

It’s a choice between a party that’s prepared to act on climate change; that wants to back renewable energy; that wants to work for lower power prices; and a Liberal Party that has been at war with itself for a decade on climate change; and is so at war it is paralysed to act.

And it is a choice on the River Murray: between the party that wants to deliver the water that South Australia has been promised, the party that wants to make the Murray-Darling Basin Plan work; and a Coalition which has allowed Barnaby Joyce to try to wreck the Plan for six years. That’s the choice people are facing.

So we are looking forward to these next days of the campaign. We are looking forward to campaigning around a positive vision for Australia. Campaigning as part of a Labor team that is united, that’s stable, and experienced and looking forward to talking to Australians and South Australians about things that matter to the future of this country – schools, hospitals, climate change and the River Murray.

JOURNALIST: Senator, just how important is taking Boothby off the Coalition for Labor’s chances of winning government?

WONG: Look, this is a very tough election for us. I know that the Coalition is suggesting that we think we’ve got it in the bag. We don’t. We know how hard it is to win government. We understand how we are going to be faced – Australians are going to get a lot of fear campaigning from Scott Morrison.

You see he can’t campaign on his record because his record is cuts and chaos. He can’t campaign on stability because he hasn’t got any. The only thing that he can campaign on is fear. Whether it’s the latest fear campaign on electric vehicles – which was odd because they were very committed to it – or anything else, we know this Government will campaign very hard.

Boothby is critical to Labor. It is critical to South Australia. We have got a great candidate in Nadia, Nadia Clancy. We know we are facing a woman who was prepared to install Peter Dutton as Prime Minister and I think that demonstrates that the Liberal Member for Boothby, Ms Nicolle Flint, does not have values which are shared with the majority of the community here in South Australia and in her seat; that she wanted Prime Minister Peter Dutton as Prime Minister says it all.

JOURNALIST: What electorates do you think Labor can win in South Australia?

WONG: We’re going to be campaigning in all seats. There’s obviously been a redistribution, we’ve got new candidates in new seats, or candidates in new seats with different boundaries. We’ll be campaigning in the seat of Sturt, we’ll be campaigning in the seat of Mayo, but this is a critical seat for Labor. We know that and you’ll see Nadia with the Labor team out and about because we want to deliver a Labor Government for Australia. We want to deliver a Labor Government that does the right thing by the Australian people on schools, hospitals, the River Murray and climate change. And to do that we have to elect Nadia Clancy to the House of Representatives.

JOURNALIST: What about those seats where candidates have been forced to move like Hindmarsh and Adelaide?

WONG: Well as I said, they’re all seats we have to win. I mean elections are hard fought and we know this is going to be a hard fought election. It’s going to be an election where you’re going to see a lot of fear campaigning from Scott Morrison because that’s all that he’s got. And whether it’s South Australia or the rest of the country, you’ll see the Labor team focused on talking about our Fair Go for Australia.

JOURNALIST: Nadia, if we could just ask you quickly – what do you think you’ve got ahead of you, how tough is this campaign going to be?

NADIA CLANCY, LABOR CANDIDATE FOR BOOTHBY: This is going to be a really tough campaign but for months I’ve been getting up at the crack of dawn; standing at train stations, standing at tram stops, doorknocking, standing at school gates and just talking to people and listening to people in Boothby. And I’m just going to continue to do that over the next few weeks.

JOURNALIST: Nadia, Labor hasn’t held Boothby since 1949…

CLANCY: I know, the year my mother was born.

JOURNALIST: Why are you the candidate to win it for Labor?

WONG: Because she’s great! Because she’s great!

CLANCY: I’m the candidate to win it for Boothby because as Penny says, I’m great.

WONG: (Laughs).

CLANCY: And also I am working so hard. The boundaries have changed as well, which does mean that we have a lot more people here who are keen for a change. I’m also up against someone who doesn’t reflect the values of people in this electorate the same way I do. People who want stability, people who want action on climate change and who want our schools and hospitals properly funded.


WONG: Thanks very much.

Authorised by Noah Carroll, ALP, Canberra.