Bill Shorten Answers The Tough Questions On Q&A
The election campaign hasn't even begun yet, but Labor leader Bill Shorten faced voters alone, as the sole-panelist for ABC's Q&A program on Monday night.
Opposition leader Bill Shorten faced a packed Shedley Theatre in Elizabeth, South Australia, on Monday night, single-handedly taking on the ABC's Q&A audience as he prepares for an upcoming election campaign.
Shorten faced disheartened Elizabeth residents, where, since the closure of the Holden manufacturing factory in October last year, is currently seeing an unemployment rate of 33 percent.
The closure of the Holden Elizabeth factory was a hot topic, but Shorten acknowledge that bringing car manufacturing back to Australia was unlikely.
"So do I say we're going to start rebuilding cars from scratch? No, I think the current vandals in Canberra have wrecked that proposition. What I do say is we can do advanced manufacturing in this country," he said.
Shorten also stated his intent to give workers more rights, as work forces turn to casualised employment.
"The other thing we'll do is for you, if you're working perhaps in another sector, I'm sick and tired of labour hire companies who rely on casualised labour undermining people's conditions. I want to give you more rights," Shorten said.
Labor's blueprint for the nation's youth was outlined when unemployed 22-year-old Maddy questioned Shorten on how he plans on providing a future for the youth of the region, where industry closures and economic restructuring have damaged job prospects.
"So what we've (Labor) proposed is paying the upfront fees for 100,000 apprenticeship courses over the next three years," Shorten said.
"I want to give young people the chance to do apprenticeships. I mentioned universities. We're going to uncap places at universities which will allow universities in the next decade to offer 200,000 extra places."
Questioned about the Adani coal mine, Shorten could not give a definite answer, admitting that while Labor is "absolutely committed" to fighting climate change, the coal mining industry is still relevant.
"What I'm not going to do is say to everyone that coal is not going to be part of our energy mix going forward. Anyone who pretends to you otherwise is kidding you," he said.
"But what we will do is put in policies which see a greater use of gas, and also move towards renewable energy, because I think the future is renewable energy.
"I won't leave behind some of those coal mining communities where they're digging up the coal now, for export or indeed for use in Australia."
The question which received the biggest applause of the night, asked "can you now on national television promise to put an end to indefinite detention of asylum seekers in Australia?"
Shorten said the Labor party would not allow "the boats start again", and he would not "wash his hands" of the issue, and most importantly, there was "no need" for indefinite detention.
"I support a refugee intake," he said.
"I do think the government should take a deal with New Zealand. I thought it was really cheap of the Government to attack Labor for saying there should deal with New Zealand and say they put sugar back on the table for the people smugglers. They're doing a deal with the US which, by the way, I support.
"So, yes, I do not believe indefinite detention should be the case. I believe a Labor government can actually make sure that we don't have to have people in Manus and Nauru because we'll prioritise resettling people."