29 July 2021


SUBJECTS: Labor’s Candidate for Chisholm; The Federal Election; vaccine rollout.

JESS WALSH, LABOR SENATOR FOR VICTORIA: Well, good morning everyone, I'm Senator Jess Walsh. We're here in Chisholm today and we're ready to introduce our fantastic Candidate for the seat of Chisholm. We have the Deputy Leader of the Labor Party Richard Marles, here today. We’re here today because the people of Chisholm and the people of Victoria have had enough of the Morrison Government. They've had enough of the rorts, they've had enough of the scandals, they've had enough of the favouritism and the incompetence of this government when it comes to dealing with the COVID crisis. And they're ready for a government with integrity. They're ready for a government with heart. They’re ready for a government that would put people at his seat, the people of Victoria, and the people of Australia, right at the heart of the government. So, the people here in Chisholm, and the people of Victoria are ready for an Albanese Labor Government. And I now would like to introduce our Deputy Leader Richard Marles. 

RICHARD MARLES, DEPUTY LEADER OF THE AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY: Thank you, Jess. And it's fantastic to be here with Senator Jess Walsh and Senator Raff Ciccone. And of course, it is an enormous pleasure for me to be here today, to announce Carina Garland as Labor’s Candidate in the electorate of Chisholm, in the next federal election. Carina grew up in Clayton South, Carina went to school in the area, Carina is a graduate of Monash University. It's this part of Melbourne, which has shaped the way that Carina thinks and as a result, she has a fundamental sense of what makes this part of the world tick. Carina knows what the issues are here. And she will give voice to those issues and deal with them in Canberra. Carina’s has been a life of service. She's been an activist in the union movement since she was a teenager, she has worked in the union movement for the last seven years. And in the process of doing that, what her life has been dedicated to is dealing with the issues of working people in their workplace and their families. Dealing with those issues, solving their problems, making sure that the income they earn is enough for them to participate in our fantastic country. And that's a really important experience to bring to the Federal Parliament at this moment in time. Because of people like Carina, through the course of our history, having a job has been a passport to enjoy all the services and the opportunities that Australia has to provide. But increasingly, that's no longer the case. With new forms of employment, such as the gig economy, we're seeing people who are marginalised in the workplace. You're unable to derive from their work, a living wage and Labor is absolutely committed to ensuring that at the next election, we have policies, which enable everyone who is in the workforce to get from it a living wage which in enables them to participate in our country. We will be speaking about that very loudly at the next election. And Carina’s will be one of the leading voices in that debate. The people of Chisholm deserve a voice in Canberra. They deserve a representative who will articulate their issues loudly and forcefully in Canberra. That is what has been missing for the last three years and beyond. Carina will bring an enormous amount of capacity and capability to the federal Labor team. And in the process, she will bring the voice of Chisholm clearly and forcefully to Canberra. And she will be doing it at a time which is profoundly important, in an election which is profoundly important, given this unique moment that we are living through. Because the next election is going to shape our country for decades to come. What we need in this country is a government which has vision. Vision to understand what COVID-19 really is. Vision, to have a pathway to get us as a nation to the other side of COVID-19. Vision to make sure that we have a plan to reconstruct a sense of normality beyond COVID-19. And the vision to take this moment, COVID-19 has revealed for our economy and society to take this moment as the single most important moment to reimagine our country since the end of the Second World War. And to place our economy, to deal with the issues like the fact that we don't make things in Australia anything like the way we used to, to deal with issues like the skills crisis so that we can build an economy and a society which in the middle of this century is delivering the prosperity for our kids and our grandkids that we have enjoyed. That is what Australia needs to see. But right now, we've got a government that has no vision at all. And that is being put on display by the total failure to understand that having a proper vaccination rollout was always the way we would be getting to the other side of COVID-19. It has definitely got a very tired and old government, where the lines have blurred for them between Liberal Party money and public money. Where they are more interested in programs such as sports rorts and car park rorts, which are evidence of this tired old government- which is why we need to have an anti-corruption commission at a federal level and why we are very committed to doing all that. So Labor is absolutely determined to make sure that we present that vision at the next election. That we give Australians at the next election, the choice they so desperately crave. And right here in Chisholm, that choice is Carina Garland. And it is my great pleasure to introduce Carina Garland to you.

CARINA GARLAND, LABOR CANDIDATE FOR CHISHOLM: Thanks so much, Richard and thanks Raff and Jess for being here too. And I'm really excited about standing for Chisholm because I really care about this community. And I've been so fortunate to have some pretty incredible opportunities in my life. And our stand here though, due to the struggles and sacrifices of those who have come before me in my family, who were supported by good Labor Governments and good Labor policies to build lives of opportunity so that they could pursue their ambitions. So, my grandfather was an Italian migrant, and he worked a lot of tough, low paid jobs in Australia, when he first arrived, and it was a pretty difficult existence. And then when Gough Whitlam became Prime Minister, he offered the opportunity for people like my grandfather, to pursue a different life for themselves. So, he decided to enrol here in what was Burwood Teachers’ College, now Deakin University, and he became a teacher. And he worked here in the and electorate at Emmaus College as a senior teacher for many, many years. And it's because of his sacrifice, supported by the opportunities of Labor that I've been able to enjoy the kind of life that I've had. I think to my parents, who ran their own business and worked so hard day and night, so that my brother, my sister, and I could have the opportunities which we were able to enjoy, like music lessons, my sister went on to study cello at Monash University, where she got an Honours degree, and herself is now a teacher. To extracurricular language work, my brother completed a PhD in a language, and also became a teacher, and went to not too far from here teaching history and language to students. You know, I think of what would happen today though, if my grandparents came to Australia, and if my parents had school aged children and were running a business. And would their kids be able to have the same opportunities that I, my brother and my sister were able to enjoy. I don’t think that would be the case because we see how much money and support have been ripped away from universities across the country, but indeed, also in this electorate from Monash and Deakin Universities. And I don’t know if my brother, sister and I would be able to go to university and get the quality education that has set us up really well for life. I don't know as well, if we decided, for instance, if we wanted to go into a trade, that we'd be given the opportunity to do so, given there is really no plan from this federal government for a quality vocational education and skills system. And I also think that it would be just so difficult entering the workforce right now, where we see almost 40 per cent of people in insecure work, we see wage stagnation, we see how hard it is for people to pursue a life, to have ambitions for themselves and their families and to be supported by a government to pursue them. I want us to do better than that as a country and I think the people of Chisholm deserve so much better. 

I want everyone to have the opportunity to pursue the life that is good for them and their family. And I believe only Labor is able to help them do so. And that is why I am so excited to be here, working with Richard, with Jess, with Raff, and so many others to change this government and make sure people have a real opportunity in life. 

JOURNALIST: Carina, this is one of the most multicultural parts of Melbourne, some say Gladys Liu gives a voice to those people. What do you offer the community?

GARLAND: Look, I really understand and appreciate that this is a very multicultural part of the world. I grew up in Clayton South, as Richard said, which is itself part of a very multicultural community. I have worked with migrant communities throughout my entire working life really, in the union movement and also in higher education. So, I intend on keeping relationships alive that I already have, and developing new ones, because I appreciate how important it is for multicultural communities to have a voice in Canberra. Australia is a country comprised of multicultural communities and it is something to be celebrated, respected and supported from government. 

JOURNALIST: And the race for Chisholm was quite tight at the last election, how confident are you in getting the seat back for Labor?

GARLAND: I think this is- as you say, it’s a marginal seat. It is going to be hard work, but I intend on talking to lots of people about the values that I hold dear, and I think our community holds dear. And I think it's going to be through those conversations, through showing people that we can hope for something- both as a nation and in this community that will really persuade people. I am ambitious for Chisholm. I'm ambitious for Australia. And I think that, right now as people are experiencing a really difficult time, a time where it's so easy to feel down, I think, you know, our job as candidate, as the Labor Party is to show people that there is something to hope for, and that through the Labor Party things can get better.

JOURNALIST: Richard, the Prime Minister is urging people to get the AstraZeneca vaccine. Is your message the same? Or do you think people under 60 should wait for Pfizer?

MARLES: Our message is that people should follow the medical advice. And if the advice is there for people to get AstraZeneca, then that is what they should do. I mean, it's really important that AstraZeneca is allowed to play the part that it has in the vaccine rollout. Now I'm listening to, you know, the government make its various accusations in relation to Labor; this is pathetic. I mean, this is a pathetic attempt on the part of the government to distract from its failure to properly rollout vaccines in Australia. Let me be really clear; yesterday I got my second shot of AstraZeneca. You can go to my social media, and you will see me standing there urging people to go and get their jab. And if that's AstraZeneca, then that's the jab they should get. But let's also be clear that this time last year, the government bet the house on AstraZeneca being able to do the whole job. And given the medical advice that's played out, what has been laid bare is that the failure of the government last year to properly put us in multiple queues of the various vaccine projects that were going on around the world, has now put us in a position where we do not have the bulk of the vaccine available to get the full vaccination of Australia done in a timely manner which is why on this day, we only have 13 per cent of the public fully vaccinated, which has us coming dead last within the OECD in terms of our vaccination rates. That is the fact that the government is seeking to distract from in their pathetic to have a crack at Labor right now. Scott Morrison promised we would be at the front of the queue. Instead, we are at the bottom of the ladder. And that is because Scott Morrison said this wasn’t a race when it was always a race. It's a race against this virus. 

JOURNALIST: The government says eventually there will be restrictions on people who don’t get the COVID vaccine. Do you agree with that approach?

MARLES: Look, I think all of that needs to be worked through, in terms of how we operate, as we got a significant number of Australians vaccinated. I think there is going to be very important conversations around that, and we've seen that conversation play out in countries around the world. But right now, the task at hand is to get people vaccinated. I mean, that that is not a conversation that is really able to be had when only 13 per cent of the Australian population are fully vaccinated. So sure, we definitely need to have that conversation as a nation. But first things first, we need to get vaccinated- and that's Scott Morrison's job. And that's the job that he has so patently failed to do because in the midst of his self-congratulation last year, this government was utterly complacent in terms of doing what it needed to do, to make sure that Australia had the supply to get us properly vaccinated in a timely way. 

JOURNALIST: And some companies are making it a requirement for their staff to be vaccinated. Would you support that?

MARLES: Well, again, I think we are going to see those sorts of conversations being had in various companies and in various places around the country. We understand, for example, the importance of those working in aged care to be vaccinated. So, I think this is the world that we are going to be experiencing. And it's really important that we are having those conversations. But the first step is actually getting the vaccine out there, so that the people who want to get vaccinated can be vaccinated. Because right now for a whole lot of Australians who would willingly go and get vaccinated tomorrow, the supply is not there. 

JOURNALIST: And as I mentioned to Carina, it was a very tight race at the last election. How confident are you of Labor’s chances this time?

MARLES: Firstly, we take nothing for granted. Ultimately, who represents Chisholm is a matter of the electors of Chisholm. And ours as a job of winning their confidence to see Carina Garland be returned as the Member for Chisholm. But what I know is that, in Carina Garland we have a candidate who absolutely gives us the best opportunity to do that. And what I also know is that in the policies that are being put forward by Anthony Albanese, and Labor, we will be presenting an alternative vision, at this election which gives the people of Chisholm the choice that they desperately crave for. And that'll be a choice to elect a government, which actually has a vision for this future, which has a vision to take this moment to reimagine Australia, which has a vision to fix the problems we've got in this country, and to build a modern economy, which we've seen going backwards over the last eight years. And, Carina Garland absolutely has the opportunity to play that part, here in Chisholm.