Federal Election 2016: ‘He’s killin’ it’ – Bill Shorten nails Q&A appearance
The leader could have gone down in flames with a solo appearance, but he didn’t.
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten impressed one of the nation’s toughest audiences on Monday evening by fielding questions on housing prices, Aboriginal rights and rising university prices.
Social media love flowed in for the Labor leader’s performance, which was described on Twitter as “genuinely impressive” and “a game changer”.
Host Tony Jones was tough on Mr Shorten from the get-go, asking him to speed up long-winded answers and bringing him back to the crux of audience questions a number of times.
But as the show wore on it was clear the Labor leader would have no “gotcha” moment, as Twitter users praised Mr Shorten for at times speaking with a transparency often missing in the current election campaign.
‘I’ve done all the things asked of me’
If the Opposition Leader ever looked like being skewered, it was by an impassioned young business owner who demanded to know what he planned to do about mammoth house prices in major cities.
But Mr Shorten seemed to win the audience over with his spiel on Labor’s plan to limit negative gearing.
‘I don’t want to mortgage myself’
Tessa Hitchens, a year 10 Sydney high school student, asked the Labor leader to “assure” her a massive HECS debt would not ruin her financial future.
While Mr Shorten would not guarantee a cap on university fees, he argued providing guaranteed funding to every university would act as a cap by preventing a “race to the bottom” in escalating uni fees.
Mr Shorten further impressed the audience with a surprise pledge to stop the secrecy surrounding offshore detention centres and allow journalists onto Manus and Christmas Island.
“Yeah,” replied Mr Shorten.