Minister Shorten Interview on the Today Show with Karl Stefanovic.


SUBJECTS: Matilda’s advance in FIFA Women’s World Cup, deal struck for Victorian firefighters; meteor sighting in Melbourne; AFL Grand Final entertainment

KARL STEFANOVIC, HOST: How are you feeling, Australia? Good. The green and gold celebrations continue this morning, but which major city did it better? First up, Sydney. All right, all right. Not bad. What about Melbourne? All right. The nation is coming together as one. Bill Shorten joins us, and Nine Melbourne's Heidi Murphy. Nice to see you guys this morning. We've got a glow this morning. What a win. Bill, A tea for the Tilly women. Look what I did there?

BILL SHORTEN, MINISTER FOR THE NDIS AND GOVERNMENT SERVICES: Yeah, it was very good. Karl, you're a poet.

STEFANOVIC: Thank you mate.

SHORTEN: You're the people's poet.

STEFANOVIC: Cat Stevens for you.

SHORTEN: Hey no, the Matilda's were fantastic last night. And wasn't it great to see Sam Kerr come on as well towards the end. But it's a whole team effort. Yeah. Those young women just make you proud to be Australian, don't they? It was just outstanding.

STEFANOVIC: Heidi, it feels like it's not just a World Cup. It feels like a movement. I mean, who won the world?

HEIDI MURPHY, NINE NEWS: It really does feel like a movement. I mean, I echo Bill's comments that it was great to see Sam Kerr out there, but hasn't she been just a phenomenal creature as a glorified mascot, really, for all this time? We didn't need her, I think she said after the game and yeah, great that we didn't need her. Great that she's there to boost things as she has and great as she's there as a tactical tool to keep in the back pocket to keep other coaches off their guard. I think it's fantastic.

STEFANOVIC: Yeah, it's awesome. I'm not sure how she'll go being described as a mascot until this point.

MURPHY: Well, unofficial mascot. I mean –

STEFANOVIC: I know what you're saying.

MURPHY: You know what I mean.

STEFANOVIC: They've done terrific, haven’t they?

SHORTEN: You're coming from a good place, Heidi.

MURPHY: It is certainly from a good place for sure.

STEFANOVIC: I'm moving on. Victorian firefighters have been given a 12% pay rise and thousands of dollars in cash bonuses under a new wage deal bill. That's a heck of a pay rise.

SHORTEN: Yeah, congratulations to the union and the firefighters and the Victorian Government. Well done.

STEFANOVIC: This seems to be really heated in Victoria. I mean, I don't have any objection to emergency services getting a pay rise if they can get it. Heidi, you?

MURPHY: Well, Karl, the issue is the union was going for 26%, so I guess 12% feels like a much smaller amount and much more in keeping with where the public sector wage cap is at. But there's a $7,000 sign on bonus, that's been repeated several times. There's been $5,000 sign on bonuses every time we've done deals with the Fire Services Union over the last couple of EBA negotiations. There's also a $2,000 a year as a cash bonus for doing your job. And there's talk of wanting to share in the efficiencies, any efficiencies and savings made inside the fire service, not banking them against the budget, the union members want to be able to share in those savings.


SHORTEN: Let’s get the little green monsters off our shoulders, let’s let the jealousy go. First of all, a cash bonus, a cash bonus is less inflationary than baking it into the base rate of pay. So, it's not a bad industrial relations solution. You get an improvement in remuneration for the workforce, but it's not baked into the base rate. And also, if the employees are delivering productivity bonuses to the business, why shouldn't they get a share in it?

STEFANOVIC: Okay, Bill, I'm just going to say one thing if I can. Bill. Okay. Wage rises can catch like wildfire, right? And they are inflationary. You'd have to concede that. Is this too big?

SHORTEN: Well, it's below the, it's below the inflation rate. So, how is something below the inflation rate can be accused of increasing the inflation rate, I'm not sure. But let's have the discussion in Australia. You know, some of the media and some people, you know, they froth at the mouth and say, oh, look, here's a worker getting a pay rise. What about the big corporate bonuses at the top end of town? What about the fact the big banks are making record profits at a time when mortgage holders are crying?

MURPHY: But what about the everyday taxpayers Bill, who feel like they're being treated like ATMs for things like this?

SHORTEN: You know, do you know what? I tell you who feels like they’re treated like an ATM, mortgage holders by the big banks. And by the way, next time your kid gets caught in a car or your house catches on fire or you need rescuing, maybe we could just say thanks to them. I mean, these people rush into danger.

MURPHY: No, we do say thanks to them. And they are remunerated very, very effectively, very, very well so far.

SHORTEN: And they're going to be slightly -

MURPHY: Why $7,000 more upfront, $3,000 every year from here on in?

SHORTEN: Because I actually think they earn it. And good luck to them. Good luck to them.

STEFANOVIC: I just want to -

SHORTEN: Why shouldn't the workers share in the benefits?

STEFANOVIC: As we backtrack just a little bit where you were absolutely smashing the big banks, Bill. Off you go.

SHORTEN: Well, why is it, why is it that, you know, we all get outraged about a firefighter who does day and night rosters, who's highly trained, who puts their life on the line, and yet we get upset if they get a few thousand dollars in an annual bonus, a one-off bonus. Yet we've got the people who are at the top end of town, they're making millions. They're not necessarily helping save lives. And you've got the banks making record profits as mortgage holders are crying tears of blood.

STEFANOVIC: All right.

SHORTEN: So really…

STEFANOVIC: Let's move on. Look up in the sky. Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Or is it Collingwood season burning up in the atmosphere?

SHORTEN: Ohhhhhh….


STEFANOVIC: Dozens of people in Melbourne say they saw what appears to be a meteor around midnight moments before feeling the ground shake and a loud bang. Heidi. Did you see it?

MURPHY: No, I slept through it.


MURPHY: Last earthquake, this one. I've slept through it all lately.

SHORTEN: No, no. No, I'm in Canberra this week. The most dangerous thing I saw was some, unfortunately, driving here to the studio this morning there were at least three dead kangaroos. Some of these big buggers, though. It must have been a truck who took them out. Maybe they got hit by the meteor.

MURPHY: I think. I think it's space junk. I think we've decided it's space junk. Particularly dense bit of big space junk slowly burning, coming through the atmosphere.

STEFANOVIC: Billy, it could also be the Voice burning up in the atmosphere.

SHORTEN: Oh, man, you've got a cliche for every second of the show, Karlos. No, I reckon Collingwood, you've talked about Collingwood. We've had a little form slump the last couple of rounds, but we're back. We'll be back. We’re doing very well.

MURPHY: You’re used to it at this time of year, aren't you?

SHORTEN: Oh no, it’s four more - let’s see how we go against Geelong on Friday. Who do you follow, Heidi? I should know that.

MURPHY: North Melbourne. It's not been a great time.

SHORTEN: Oh, okay. You're used to it every Saturday!

STEFANOVIC: Okay and speaking of the AFL. Speaking of the AFL -

SHORTEN: You’re used to it every Saturday!

STEFANOVIC: The Grand Final -

MURPHY: I know, I know I'm agreeing with you.

SHORTEN: No, here's a tip. Turn your TV, buy a black and white TV and pretend Collingwood's North Melbourne.

STEFANOVIC: Righto. What about this? The grand final? We were going to hear this [CROWDED HOUSE PLAYS] the great passionate song at the end of the Blue Light discos. But instead, we're going to be hearing this. [KISS PLAYS]. Maybe KISS is going to take the place at the Grand Final. Billy, how do you feel about that?

SHORTEN: Yeah, good. I think KISS first came out to Australia when I was 11. I heard them playing at Waverley Park from my house in Oakleigh.

STEFANOVIC: Wow. All right. Heidi, you?

MURPHY: Well, it's going to take a lot to top Robbie Williams last year. I think that's the big challenge for the AFL. One, finding an act, but two, finding one that can top Robbie last year. Phenomenal. I don't quite know if KISS in daytime in the afternoon at the MCG is going to quite deliver all of this magic.

STEFANOVIC: A lot of makeup.

MURPHY: But we'll take, maybe we'll take anyone. I don't know.

SHORTEN: It'll go off. It'll be fantastic.

STEFANOVIC: Thank you, guys. Good sparring.

SHORTEN: Good morning. Have a nice day. Bye.