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THE HON.

BILL SHORTEN
LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION
MEMBER FOR MARIBYRNONG
E&OE TRANSCRIPT
RADIO INTERVIEW
3AW MORNINGS WITH NEIL MITCHELL
MELBOURNE
MONDAY, 26 JANUARY 2015
SUBJECT/S: Australia Day awards; Australian Knighthood for
Prince Philip; Australians travelling to Iraq and Syria.
NEIL MITCHELL: On the line Opposition Leader Bill Shorten, good
morning.
BILL SHORTEN, LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: Good morning.
MITCHELL: What do you think about the Knighthood the Australian
Knighthood - for Prince Philip?
SHORTEN: Well I agree with what you just said before. Angus Houstonoutstanding, and Prince Philips been very distinguished ever since he
married the young Queen, I mean hes had six decades of public service.
My reservations are not about him, but I just think that he already has a
lot of Knighthoods and awards, I just wonder if they couldnt have picked
someone who is Australian in character and activity. You know, I just, I
dont get the priorities that the Government have by nominating him.
Today we should be focusing on Rosie Batty. Shes a remarkable
Australian. I dont want this Prince Philip and Tony Abbotts Knights and
Dames overshadowing what I think is our national day.
MITCHELL: No I was speaking to Rosie Batty earlier and I certainly agree
with you on that, but is it a symbolism here that youre concerned by?
SHORTEN: Yeah I - we should be taking about the future. Look Prince
Philip is distinguished. The Queen, remarkable person, the Head of our
State. But its a time warp where were giving Knighthoods to English
royalty. I think that on Australia Day, where were talking about Australia,
Australian identity, the Governments managed to find a British royal to

give a medal to, a Knighthood to. Ive just been at citizenship functions,
local breakfasts- some people there wondered whether it was an Australia
Day hoax.
MITCHELL: Really?
SHORTEN: I just think that people think its an unusual priority, its
outside the mainstream of Australian thinking, I think, to have done this.
MITCHELL: Do you have a policy on the Knighthoods? If elected, will the
Knighthoods go?
SHORTEN: Well, Federal Labor since 1918 has had a view about imperial
honours. We dont believe- if we were to be elected I dont think that we
would continue the tradition of Knights and Dames. But that takes nothing
away from Angus Houston or indeed Prince Philip, they wouldnt lose
theirs. But I think when we look at Australia in the 21st Century, its about
who were going to be as a people and I just think giving our top award to
a British royal is anachronistic. To be honest its a bit of a time warp, I
wasnt quite sure it was serious until I realised it was.
MITCHELL: Oh you were that surprised by it yourself?
SHORTEN: Yeah, I really was actually. I guess you shouldnt be- the
Government created Knights and Dames so I shouldnt be surprised at
who they give them to. But Sir Angus Houston, excellent choice. And
Prince Philip is distinguished, its not about him but hes a British royal.
Why would we give him our top Australian honour? Hes already got a lot
of them.
MITCHELL: Well of course last year it was the Governor-General and
Dame Quentin Bryce wasnt it, too?
SHORTEN: Indeed.
MITCHELL: Can I just ask you about something else- are you involved in
this case in the Northern Territory? Matthew Gardiner, a Northern Territory
Labor official who has gone off to Syria to fight ISIS?
SHORTEN: No, I heard about it last night. Whatever the guys
motivations, hes not going to solve anything by going there, and my
thoughts are with his family actually. I think its come out- and his work
colleagues- I think its come out as a bolt out of the blue. Hes served in
the military previously, hes been a union organiser, he obviously feels
very strongly about fighting ISIL but I dont think thats the right way to go
about it, just to up sticks.
MITCHELL: Do you know him personally?

SHORTEN: Oh I will have met him, yes.


MITCHELL: Does it sort of, does this mean he cant- he needs to be
expelled from the Labor Party? I know hes been suspended, but does he
need toSHORTEN: Well I think hes made a mistake. First things first, lets find
out that hes safe and get him home.
MITCHELL: Yeah.
SHORTEN: And his family will be I think going through quite a bit of shock
and confusion so, I dont know whats triggered this even but he needs to
come home.
MITCHELL: Thank you for your time.
SHORTEN: Good morning and happy Australia Day Neil.
MITCHELL: Thank you.
ENDS

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