By Tanya Plibersek

06 May 2024








NATALIE BARR: Welcome back to Sunrise. Crisis talks have been held in Perth overnight following the fatal shooting of a teen who authorities say had been radicalised online. The 16-year-old stabbed a man in a Bunnings carpark before lunching at police. Officers then fired their tasers twice before shooting him. The teen was known to police and had been involved in a deradicalisation program for several years. It’s understood he converted to Islam and to become radicalised online prior to the attack.

Joining us for more, Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek and Nationals MP Barnaby Joyce. Good morning to both of you. Tanya, we’ve seen a number of incidents in recent weeks from a radicalised teen allegedly stabbing a Western Sydney bishop to a man stabbing multiple people at a shopping centre. As leaders of our country, do we have enough of a focus on keeping control of this, do you think?

TANYA PLIBERSEK, MINISTER FOR THE ENVIRONMENT AND WATER: Well, Nat, I think in the case in Perth we need to let the authorities have a look at really what’s gone wrong here. This guy obviously had been drawn to the attention of authorities. He was involved in this program. There had been concerns raised with the school. I think it’s important to allow time for an investigation to see what more could have been done to prevent this tragedy.

It does, again, remind us that, yes, of course we need to invest in mental health support services, and we did increase funding in the last budget by around $580 million. And we also need to, of course, hold the social media giants to account for this stuff. Once again, we hear of this incredibly disturbing behaviour that has been at least made worse by what’s happening online.

One of the things that has come to light from this story is that it was, in fact, the Islamic community in Perth that drew the attention of the authorities to the concerning behaviour of this young man. And I think that shows what good strong community policing can do.

BARR: Exactly. It was the Islamic community. It sounds like it was also parents at Rossmoyne Senior High School raising the alarm.


BARR: Everyone was raising the alarm. This kid, it seems like it was in this deradicalisation program, Barnaby. It feels like we don’t hear much about this kind of stuff, and then had happens in a cluster. What’s the answer?

BARNABY JOYCE: Yeah, well, I’m pretty much on a unity ticket with Tanya on this one – to the person in hospital who was stabbed, our thoughts are with you. To those in the Rossmoyne high school community, our thoughts are with you. You must be scratching your heads this morning and the last day saying what on earth is going on. Obviously the families involved, and also commending those who had reached out to police and the Islamic community and others to say, look, something’s not quite right here.

Now, we’ve all got to sort of ask ourselves why? Why would you want to hurt innocent people? What is that about? What offence have they created. What has got inside your head to believe that, you know, god would want that? You know, it’s just – anyway. It’s – I’ll leave it up to the police. They’re vastly more competent than I am or anybody else is to try and get to the bottom of think.

BARR: I know. Most of us, as you say, just shake our heads at this radicalisation stuff, don’t we? Moving on, former Reserve Bank governor Philip Lowe has warned further interest rate hikes could be on the cards in the coming months. Dr Lowe says the fight against inflation isn’t done. The RBA will meet tomorrow and announce its next move. Tanya, so many households across this country struggling right now. How devastating would another rate rise be?

MINISTER PLIBERSEK: Yeah, well, we know that families are under a lot of pressure, and that’s why we’ve worked so hard to get inflation down. In fact, the inflation has just about halved since we came to government. That’s really important. The next budget is designed to put further – you know, make sure that we’re not putting additional pressure on inflation. And we’re also doing everything we can to help people with the cost of living. So we already have seen wages going up, tax cuts will mean people keep more of their higher wages. Yesterday we announced $3 billion of HECS forgiveness, extra support for students, more rent assistance, cheaper child care, cheaper electricity. All of these things are designed to take the pressure off households. We know that people are doing it tough, and that’s why our whole focus in the budget and whole focus in all of our policies is to keep the pressure off inflation and help households more.

BARR: Barnaby, it’s tough, isn’t it? Because people want help, but we’ve got an economist saying this morning any cost of living help in the budget will likely add to the immediate inflation problem for every $7 billion spent it means rates will have to hike a quarter. What would you do if you were the government?

JOYCE: Well, the first thing I would do is stop this incessant and cultish attachment to renewables because one of the fundamental things that drives up inflation is the price of power. And if you keep on thinking that you’re going to have this sort of belief that we’ll change the temperature of the globe from the room in Canberra by basically crashing our grid into the ground, then of course you’re going to inflation.

I look at what’s driving inflation, and you’ve got power. Power. Power, the big one. Power. And things like bread and milk, the fundamentals of life. So when people go to pay for their groceries they lose the dignity of being able to buy what they want and have no cash left over. And that really drives people’s anger. And the talking points – it’s come straight from the Prime Minister’s office and Tanya gave them splendidly just then – well, that’s because they know that it’s out there that it’s concerning people. But you’re not going to fix anything unless you start having a reality check on the sort of background policies.

And what Chris Richardson said – that would be the economist you’re referring to – is dead right: keep throwing money out into the economy and you’re going to drive up inflation, and we all pay for that.

BARR: Okay. Well, look, thank you very much. We’ve got –

MINISTER PLIBERSEK: Well, you tell us what you’ll cut, then. Barnaby should tell us what he’s going to cut.

JOYCE: Well, I’m tell you what –

MINISTER PLIBERSEK: And Peter Dutton will have a chance in the budget reply.

BARR: Okay, really –

JOYCE: I would cut the mad policy of renewables. I could cut trying to drive the world on windmills. I would have a reality check and understand that you need baseload power. That’s what I would cut.

MINISTER PLIBERSEK: Tell us how much nuclear is going to cost, Barnaby. How much is nuclear going to cost.

BARR: So you asked –

JOYCE: Tell me which seat you want a swindle factory in? That you want solar panels in.

BARR: Okay –

JOYCE: That you want transmission lines in.

BARR: We could keep going, tos and fros on both sides, but, look, we’ve got to go. We’ve got the news coming and other stuff. We’ve got the RBA board meeting this week. We’ve got the budget next week. And good to see both of you. And you’ve got a smile on your faces. That’s got to be good. Thank you. See you next week. Here’s Shirvo.