23 May 2022




MONDAY, 23 MAY 2022


SUBJECTS: Federal election result


LAURA JAYES, HOST: Joining me now is Labor MP, soon to be on the Government benches in Parliament. Bill Shorten joins me now. Congratulations to you, Mr. Shorten. How does it feel this morning?


BILL SHORTEN, MEMBER FOR MARIBYRNONG: It feels like a weight's taken off my shoulders, but more importantly, it feels like a national sigh of relief. The Morrison Government had run out of puff. Arguably, I would like this to happen three years ago. It wasn't to be, but just for the people I'm representing in the world, say, of the NDIS or Government Services. Just thank goodness there's not another three years of the Morrison Government. It's just a national sigh of relief I think is the mood.


JAYES: And what do you think the difference was between last weekend and 2019?


SHORTEN: Well, plenty of differences, but the biggest one is that we had three years of Scott Morrison. In 2019 he could promise to be just a daggy dad who wouldn't cause much harm. Imagine if in 2019 I had told Australians that he would be slow rolling out vaccines in a pandemic, that he would declare during the bushfires that he didn't hold a hose, that even though he had promised to set up an anti-corruption commission in 2019, he wouldn't do it for three years. You know, you couldn't make some of the stuff up over the last three years. And so that's a big difference. And also, I fully congratulate Anthony Albanese's campaign and the whole team. It was a big effort. It was a remarkable outcome.


JAYES: Look like you might just get to majority, but your primary vote is still on 32%. It's actually lower than it was three years ago. In Queensland, only five of 31 seats are held by Labor. The Greens have certainly increased their representation in Parliament. What does this all say to you about the electorate and is there any lessons there for Labor?


SHORTEN: Well, first of all, I'm not going to allow a narrative which says that Labor hasn't won the election. We have. It's our system of voting. When you look at where people put their second preferences, more Australians wanted Labor to be in charge than Liberal. But I don't walk away from the challenge of wanting to lift Labor's primary vote. I think once we've had three years in government, people will see that we keep our promises and that we work hard every day. You know, politics, sometimes we are wrapped up in a lot of mystery and put it in a black box and make it sound very secret, very sort of special. But it's pretty basic, isn't it? You fight for the people and you fight for the people every day. All people, regardless of how they voted. I don't see teal Australians, or Labor Australians, or Liberal Australians, or Green Australians or National Australians, I just see Aussies. And the trick I think is that now we've been given this remarkable privilege, this very special privilege. What we need to do is just give out 100% of ourselves each day and people don't always expect you to get everything done tomorrow and they don't expect you to win everything, but they do expect you to try your hardest for them.


JAYES: What are the risks now? I mean, I hate to get to the risks straight away because, you know, you are allowed to celebrate your victory.


SHORTEN: That's your job, Laura.


JAYES: Exactly.


SHORTEN: I get it. On Saturday, we won the election. But you're moving on to business. What's next you say.


JAYES: Okay, exactly what's next? And you said in parliament you're going to have a massive crossbench. You have the Greens that have 12 Senate positions, possibly four seats on the crossbench ion the Lower House. You have the teals and they're all claiming a mandate. So how does Anthony Albanese recognise those mandates? Does he recognise those mandates? How do you go forward?


SHORTEN: Well, first of all, we also put our policies out there. So I think, and Anthony will do this, let's just stick to what we said. Sure people will have different views. Politics is the art of compromise, but Labor will stick to its fundamentals. We'll stick to what we said. We want to put nurses back in the nursing homes. We want more affordable child care. We want to see the minimum wage move so that people are not just losing all their wages to inflation. And in my area of the NDIS, want to start fixing up the backlog of unfair cases in the courts where the Government's been taking people with disabilities to court. So I think if we, if we do what we said we're going to do, that's a very good start. But I think that's got to be the plan, isn't it? We just do what is sure and steady and no surprises.


JAYES: Is there a slight disappointment from you this morning at all?


SHORTEN: I'm disappointed that we didn't win in 2019. That doesn't change. But I'm rapt for the outcome on Saturday. I'm rapt for Anthony and I'm rapt for the caucus. I'm disappointed for the people who've lost their seats and for the candidates who weren't successful. I feel for them. At a human level, I can feel for Coalition members of Parliament who lost their seats. It's a very tough day. But most importantly, I'm just pleased for the bulk of Australians who voted for change and for those who voted for a third party and just gave us their second vote, we'll do our very best to turn their second preference into a first preference next time.


JAYES: All right. Look forward to talking in the future and no doubt with that ministerial title. Thanks so much. We'll speak to you soon.


SHORTEN: Good on you, Laura. Cheers, bye.