Shorten: ‘I don’t think I’ll be facing PM Turnbull at the next election’

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In an interview with 7.30, Mr Shorten said he personally liked Mr Turnbull but felt the Prime Minister "can't run the Liberal Party" and would most likely be replaced by Tony Abbott or Julie Bishop. After revealing in Parliament yesterday that he and Mr Turnbull got on quite well behind closed doors, Mr Shorten told 7.30: "Do I like him personally? Yes. "But I'm watching him shrink into his job, sell out positions he's always thought were really important just to keep his party happy. "There's great division and dysfunction in the Liberal Party. The problem for Australia is that when Malcolm Turnbull's always got to look over his shoulder, he can't see where he's going. Asked who he expected to face at the election, Mr Shorten said there were two likely candidates. "We all know that Tony Abbott laid out a job interview, the Sunday before the last week of Parliament for an hour. I've got no doubt that Julie Bishop might think she served three different leaders as deputy, it might be her turn."

Tax deal will discourage backpackers

Mr Shorten also criticised the Government's last minute-deal with the Greens to support the 15 per cent backpacker tax. In exchange for the Greens' support, the Government agreed to scrap its plan to tax 95 per cent of backpackers' superannuation. Instead, that rate will be set at 65 per cent. The Coalition will also chip in an extra $100 million in Landcare funding under the deal. Labor refused to budge higher than 13 per cent on the backpacker tax. "The problem is the Greens, on the way, got bought off with $100 million of extra funding and in the meantime, what this Government's done is got a higher headline rate of tax, which will discourage backpackers coming here and they've had to pay out more money from the budget bottom line," Mr Shorten said. Last night on 7.30 Mr Turnbull accused Labor of being "vindictive" by refusing to meet the Government at 15 per cent. "Unless the Senate is prepared to support the 15 per cent tax rate then the rate will be 32.5 percent," Mr Turnbull said. "Is Bill Shorten really going to impose this additional burden on all of those growers, all of those businesses in Australia that need backpacker labour, particularly during the season, is he going to impose it on them simply to show, make some vindictive point because he is so bitterly disappointed that our reforms to hold union bosses to account have got through the Senate?"

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