17 May 2019




NADIA CLANCY, LABOR CANDIDATE FOR BOOTHBY: I’m Nadia Clancy, Labor’s candidate for the federal seat of Boothby. We are now at election eve, it has been quite an incredible eight months of doorknocking, making phone calls, standing at shopping centres and speaking with people. Over these next few hours I am going to continue to fight for every single last vote to ensure the people of Boothby can have an incredibly strong advocate for them in parliament. I’m going to keep sharing Labor’s really positive message so we can form a Labor government tomorrow.

SENATOR PENNY WONG, LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION IN THE SENATE: Hear, hear; well said. Thanks very much Nadia. Nadia is a fantastic candidate for Boothby and I hope that the people of Boothby, for the first time in 70 years, can put a Labor person into the parliament. Because if there is someone who will stand up for that community and reflect its values, it’s Nadia Clancy. I’m here with my federal and state colleagues. In addition to Nadia, I particularly want to acknowledge my friend Steve Georganas, the federal candidate for Adelaide; and of course Peter Malinauskas, the State Leader of the Parliamentary Labor Party.

Can I start first with some comments about Bob Hawke. I open with a statement of sadness, condolences and great sympathy to Blanche and his family. I want to make a few comments about Bob. Bob was a man of imagination and heart. He thought big and he changed Australia. He was a man who believed in fairness; and all of us carry in our wallets or our purses, a green and gold card which is a testament to his commitment to fairness in this country. He believed in opportunity – more Australian children finished school because of Bob Hawke. He was a man of hope and optimism. Labor governments change Australia; none more than his. In his joint letter with Paul Keating supporting Bill Shorten, which was released publicly just this week, he talked about the need to have bravery, honesty and vision if you wanted to aspire to govern this country. I hope the Labor Opposition through these last six years, but most importantly in this campaign, has demonstrated vision, honesty and bravery; and have put forward our platform to the Australian people.

As Nadia said, this is election eve and it has been a long campaign. I know many Australians might be a little bit sick of seeing all of us on television. But elections do matter, they’re about what sort of country we are. I want to say we have put forward, as a Labor Party, positive policies. We’ve put forward a vision for the future. So, people can wake up on Sunday morning with more of the same – more of the same chaos, more of the same denial and division on climate change, a Morrison-Hanson-Palmer government – or you can wake up with a Labor government. You can have voted for better schools and hospitals, voted for action on climate change, investment in renewables, voted to get wages moving and voted for the only team that is offering unity and stability in this election.

So I say to Australians – it is your choice. We ask you to vote for the future and vote for a Labor government. I’m now going to turn over to Peter Malinauskas.

PETER MALINAUSKAS, SA LABOR LEADER: Thanks very much Penny, well spoken. It is a great pleasure to be here with you of course this morning and of course Nadia and Steve as well. I too just want to pass on some reflections regarding Bob Hawke as Leader of the South Australian Parliamentary Labor Party. I think Australia has at its core an ideology of fairness and what Bob Hawke was able to do under his prime ministership was take that ideology and turn it into practical policy that the nation embraced. Whether it be the massive investment in public education, Medicare, the social wage through the accord, it set a fine example of how to make this country a fairer place. For one, I can say that Bob Hawke inspired a younger crop of Labor leaders in this country to understand that the labour movement does have an essential role to play in ensuring that this is a fairer country. That this is a country that does deserve to have optimism and hope at the centre of the way government operates. Bob’s incredibly infectious optimism, pride and buoyancy about our country was something that set a fine example. But none more so than his consensus style of leadership. Unions working with business, business working with unions to achieve outcomes to see extraordinary economic reform, is a style of leadership that I don’t just aspire to but I think our whole nation should aspire to.

This election is a really important one. From a South Australian context, it’s actually crucial. Ever since we saw dramatic cuts to public hospitals and public schools, South Australia has been feeling the brunt of that. Our public hospital system is under extraordinary strain and only a Labor government appears to have a plan to do something about it. Whether it be the Medicare Cancer Plan or dramatic investment in public hospitals. If South Australia is going to continue to evolve in an economic way, we’ve got to make sure we invest in every young child’s potential. Only Labor has got a plan to invest dramatically more in the muscle between our children’s ears. Then there’s climate change – climate change matters as much in South Australia as anywhere else because we do have an abundance of natural resources that should be exploited in terms of renewable energy. Only Labor’s got a plan to do something about that. Then of course there’s the economy – South Australians are sick of seeing some workers being left behind and Labor has a plan to do something about real wages growth to ensure that we have an economy that grows for everybody rather than just the few. So I sincerely hope that Nadia, Steve and all of South Australia’s Labor candidates are able to get elected tomorrow because this is an important fork in the road moment for a fair Australia.

WONG: Okay, any questions?

JOURNALIST: Maybe for Nadia. Going into tomorrow, how confident are you of taking out that seat after all these years?

CLANCY: It feels absolutely neck and neck, which I’m really excited about. I’m glad that it’s competitive and I’m just going to keep fighting for every last vote over the next few hours until 6 o’clock tomorrow night.

JOURNALIST: How will you approach tomorrow morning, I mean, there could be a few nerves, but how will you go about your day tomorrow?

CLANCY: I will be woken up by a two-year-old and that will get me going for the rest of the day; and hopefully somebody will remind me to eat at some point. I’ll mostly be talking to as many people as possible, voting at my old primary school and then just kicking on until 6 o’clock.

JOURNALIST: What would it mean for yourself and for Labor if you are to take out that seat; it’s been a very long time?

CLANCY: It would be an incredible privilege to be able to represent a community I care so deeply about, and I grew up in and I live in. I just really want to be a strong representative for people, and listen to people and actually make a difference in their lives.

JOURNALIST: Nadia, you’ve had the state team behind you on the privatisation of trains and trams, how is that relevant in the federal campaign?

CLANCY: Because it’s important for people to understand that this is what Liberal governments do. They cut services, they privatise, they make things harder for people, they don’t look at the bigger picture and they’re not about providing better services for people. This is an opportunity for people to send a message to the federal Liberals that they don’t want any of that and they want a strong, united team that actually wants to deliver for Australians and make things fairer, not harder.

JOURNALIST: How will that then impact – because that is federal and state. How is that going to help the people here with things like privatising train and tram services?

CLANCY: Sorry?

JOURNALIST: That’s the federal government, but you know with a state issue like the trains and trams being privatised…

CLANCY: How will a federal Labor government help?

JOURNALIST: Well yeah, how is that going to help people locally?

CLANCY: So I will just be a really fierce advocate if I’m the federal Member for Boothby; to advocate to the state Liberal government, and keep pushing and pushing, and saying that this isn’t what our community wants and hope to get them to change their minds and actually keep our services public.

WONG: Let’s remember also, just on privatisation, that in fact it was a Coalition government that put in incentives to privatise assets as part of their previous budget. So we obviously have a very different view about infrastructure.

MALINAUSKAS: Just on the privatisation question. This is the same old neoliberal agenda that we see play out at federal politics as much as we do in state politics. There’s a real clear opportunity for the people of Boothby, and everywhere else around South Australia tomorrow, to cast a ballot in favour of public services versus cutting them or putting them in the interests of profit rather than people. This is a neoliberal agenda that is time to dispense with. We’re a nation that believes in fairness. We’re a nation that believes in access to public services being based on people, not on profit.

JOURNALIST: Just for Nadia or Penny. Is the race tightening, is it getting closer do you think?

CLANCY: It’s felt tight for a while now. I know there was a poll earlier in the week but that does not reflect at all what I’m feeling on the ground. When I’m knocking on doors, when I’m making phone calls and when I’m standing at pre-poll, it feels 50/50. I think no one can really guess what is going to happen tomorrow night. I just really hope we can get over the line.

WONG: Anything more? Thank you very much for coming out, cheers.

Authorised by Noah Carroll, ALP, Canberra.