13 June 2019





SUBJECTS: Labors support for education and training; John Setka; South-East Queensland bid for the 2032 Summer Olympic Games.

MURRAY BRANCH, PRINCIPAL: I'd like to welcome Tanya Plibersek to Watson Road State School and Graham Perrett to Watson Road State School. Thank you very much for coming and you're most welcome to come back any time. Thank you.

GRAHAM PERRETT MP, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR EDUCATION AND TRAINING: Thanks very much Murray and thank you for making us feel so welcome, Tanya and I. Tanya's portfolio is obviously particularly focused on schools that are doing well and Watson Road State School is a school I have had a long association with and have seen great things, particularly with that migrant population, that transformation from kids that are having troubles with the English language and the like, and then being boosted, supported and really transforming their educational journey, so thank you for the great work that you do Murray and all of the staff and the support staff here at Watson Road State School.

That's why I was very, very pleased to be able to bring Tanya Plibersek, who is now my boss as the Shadow Minister for Education, in my new role as Shadow Assistant Minister for Education and Training. I look forward to the very first place being Watson Road State School and to our long journey to making sure that education, that great, transformational process, can be a big part of Labor's commitment to transforming Australia. Please welcome Tanya Plibersek.

TANYA PLIBERSEK MP, SHADOW MINISTER FOR EDUCATION AND TRAINING: Well, thank you very much Graham and thank you also to Murray for welcoming us to the school. It's been such a delight to meet with the students here and the very dedicated teaching staff. We know Australia does best when we have got a strong economy and a fair society. When we have businesses doing well, employing Australians and sharing some of their prosperity and some of their success with their hard-working workforce, and when we have the services that people rely on - health, public transport and of course, education. We need a world-class education system in Australia for our kids, for their future but also for the prosperity of our nation. We know that Australia is competing with countries around the globe that are investing in their education systems and sadly, in Australia, the Liberals and Nationals are letting Australian kids down. We've seen in recent years the decline in entry standards for teaching degrees. We've seen the ripping of funds out of our public schools. We see cuts to funding to TAFE and universities. In fact, just days ago, we found that Australia now has 150,000 fewer apprentices and trainees than when the Liberals came to office. We know that for the sake of every child, the best investment that a parent can make is in that child's future, in their education and the same is true for our nation. The best investment we can make in our future prosperity, in this changing world, is to invest in our education system, something that the LNP has patently failed to do.

Any questions?

JOURNALIST: So just a few questions about Mr. Setka. Christy Cain, the Maritime Union boss has come out backing Mr Setka, saying the comments were taken out of context. He's now said that Mr Albanese should consider resigning. Is there any chance that Mr Albanese acted on misinformation?

PLIBERSEK:Well we've made it very clear from the Labor Party's perspective, that any attitudes that suggest disrespect for women are unacceptable in the Labor Party. I know that the head of the ACTU, Sally McManus, will be making further comments about the union's position on this later today, so I'll let her comment on the union's views.

JOURNALIST:And how concerned are you by the tensions created between the Labor Party and it's relationship with the Maritime Union and the CFMEU?

PLIBERSEK:Look I think it's very important that - whether it's the union movement, whether it's the Labor Party, whether it's the broader Australian community, whether it's the business community- we stand together as one nation to say that comments that minimise violence against women are not acceptable to anyone. Not acceptable to anyone in Australia.

JOURNALIST:And are you comfortable with Labor maintaining its affiliation with the CFMEU given that they haven't moved to dump Mr Setka?

PLIBERSEK:Look, I think it's very important that we send a message that, of course, comments that minimise the importance of acting on violence against women are completely unacceptable in the Labor Party. And they're unacceptable to the broader Australian community. The typical unionist today is a women working in health or education, a nurse or a teacher. And I think it's important that we recognise that the Australian union movement is leading the world in campaigning for 10 days paid domestic violence leave. The union movement as a whole has a very strong position that violence against women is unacceptable, and comments that seek to minimise violence against women are completely unacceptable.

JOURNALIST: And lastly do you have any comments about the Olympic bid for south east Queensland?

PLIBERSEK:Do I ever! I mean, look I was a resident of Sydney during the Sydney Olympics. The Sydney Olympics were fantastic for Sydney, of course you have to make sure that you've got the sporting infrastructure ready and available. You have to upgrade your public transport infrastructure, and you have to make sure that local residents are not negatively impacted by increasing rents or other sorts of impacts like that.But can I say that the Sydney Olympics were so great for Sydney, advertising our beautiful city to the world and I am sure that Brisbane, and the surrounding area, south east corner of Queensland, is absolutely every bit as ready to host an Olympics and would benefit from the jobs created in construction, the jobs that are created by increased tourism interest. I think it would be wonderful and I hope all three levels of government are able to agree to pursue this opportunity, because just as the Sydney Olympics was wonderful for Sydney, I'd love to see that same opportunity for south east Queensland.