By Tanya Plibersek

29 January 2024




NATALIE BARR: There are fresh calls this morning for tougher laws against Neo‑Nazis after a series of gatherings in Sydney. There were three separate incidents over the long weekend involving groups of balaclava-wearing men dressed in black, including yesterday when about 20 of them headed to a park in the city's north which is usually used for families. New South Wales Premier Chris Minns has vowed to expose the identities of the group. For more we're joined by Education Minister [sic] Tanya Plibersek and Nationals MP Barnaby Joyce. Good morning to both of you.


BARR: Tanya, do hate speech laws need to be tougher to stop white supremacist groups like this?

MINISTER PLIBERSEK: Well at the Commonwealth level obviously we have introduced stronger laws to ban the Nazi absolute and ban Nazi symbols. I think a number of States are proposing to toughen their own approaches as well. The security agencies have made clear to us that this rise in right-wing extremism is a very serious threat in Australia. So whatever we can do at a Commonwealth or a State level we should be doing.


This sort of ideology has no place in Australia, and I think it's particularly horrific that it is this weekend that these groups have chosen between Australia Day and Holocaust Remembrance Day. I was at the Jewish Museum just yesterday where we were hearing from the survivors of the Holocaust about the horrors that they endured. It is particularly abhorrent that these groups are peddling their hateful ideology at a time like this.

BARR: Yeah, it's quite chilling, isn't it? And I thought the New South Wales Premier summed it by saying, "Normal people don't hang around with balaclavas on their heads".  Barnaby, do you think naming and shaming them will make a difference? None of them obviously have their faces shown, they don't care.

BARNABY JOYCE:  Some of them are proud of it, Nat. And look, they're disgusting. Look at the history of Australia. There are so many in my own family and your listeners and your viewers' families who offered their lives or went out and fought against fascism. Yeah, they always look so ‑ they look ridiculous, don't they?

BARR: M'mm.

JOYCE:  They always look ridiculous at the start until they become dangerous, and in Australia we've got to be really careful. Obviously this disgusting sort of neo‑fascism rubbish and anybody who wants to replicate it in any other form and decide that their political views sit above the views of the Australian people in general, we're the most egalitarian nation on earth, we want to stay that way and people who think it's their right to change our nation into something completely abhorrent, like Tanya and I ‑ we might blue politically, but on these sort of issues, no way. We live and love our egalitarian nation.

BARR: Yep, exactly. Hear, hear. Moving on. It's been revealed there is support within the Albanese Government to revisit Labor's negative gearing policies in a future term. It's understood the policy has broad support in caucus with a number of MPs older generations unfairly benefit under the current laws. Tanya, are you one of the Labor MPs pushing for negative gearing policies to be revisited?

MINISTER PLIBERSEK: Well we've had no discussions about this. The tax change we're focussed on is the one that we're taking to the Parliament where every single Australian taxpayer will get a tax cut and millions will get a larger tax cut than they would have under the previous proposal that Barnaby's mob put.


We're focused on cost of living. That's why we've got cheaper childcare, it's why we've got free TAFE, it's why we've got more Medicare, it's why we've got cheaper medicines, it's why we've increased rent assistance, it's why we've put up pensions and benefits, it's why we support a pay rise for working Australians. We want Australians to earn more, we want them to keep more of what they earn. That's what we're focussed on.

BARR: Yeah, and you might be focussed on it and that's pretty obvious in the last week, but would be in favour of re‑looking at negative gearing?

MINISTER PLIBERSEK: Well we're just not looking at it. We're looking at tax cuts for ordinary wage earners.

BARR: But would you be?

MINISTER PLIBERSEK: We've got the petroleum resource rent tax, we've got the multinational tax changes, superannuation tax changes. That's what we're focused on, Nat. That's what we're focussed on. Nobody's talking about negative gearing. Nobody's talking about it.

BARR: But would you like to talk about it? Do you think you should be?

MINISTER PLIBERSEK: No. I want to focus on the tax cuts for ordinary working Australians that we're taking to the Parliament, and I hope Barnaby will support them. We want millions of Australians to get a bigger tax cut to take home more of the pay that they're earning.

BARR: Okay. Barnaby, this is being reported in newspapers across the country this morning. What are you hearing? You've got ears to the ground in Canberra, haven't you?

JOYCE:  What I'm hearing, and we all heard, you can't trust the Labor Party with any promise they make. They voted for stage 3 tax cuts, just like they voted for stage 1 and stage 2. It's a whole tranche of three. Now they're justifying that, "Oh, this lie's all right". 


Actually, it's also reported in the paper that Dr Jim Chalmers, sneaky Jim, said, "No, look, breaking one promise is all we should do a term".  Tanya are the papers lying? The paper's making it up? No. There's the discussion, they named back benchers who are talking about it. And you've got to realise, ladies and gentlemen, when the Labor Party says something it means nothing, cause they don't keep promises. It doesn't matter how you justify it later on. If you're fair dinkum upfront, you tell people at the start before the election what you intend to do.

BARR: Is that what the Coalition has always done, Barnaby?

JOYCE:  Very much like The Voice, where they were going to bring the legislation in after it. Just like The Voice where they were going to be putting the legislation in after The Voice. It's just ‑ it's just unfathomable and now ‑‑

BARR: Barnaby, has the ‑‑

JOYCE:  Now, Tanya, I'm earnestly telling you ‑‑

MINISTER PLIBERSEK: But Barnaby promised ‑‑

JOYCE:  ‑‑ it's not the truth.

BARR: Yes, Tanya.

MINISTER PLIBERSEK: Barnaby promised a surplus. Barnaby promised a surplus in his first year in government and every year after that. They never delivered a single surplus. We're about giving bigger tax cuts to more Australians.

JOYCE:  What about your power cuts? What about your electricity cuts?

MINISTER PLIBERSEK: Bigger tax cuts.

JOYCE:  What about your power cuts?

MINISTER PLIBERSEK: To more Australians.

JOYCE:  Power prices are going to go down. Power prices are going to go down, they've gone up by 12 per cent.

MINISTER PLIBERSEK: You voted against energy bill relief, Barnaby.

JOYCE:  One of the groups out there this morning, it's outrageous.

MINISTER PLIBERSEK: You voted against energy bill relief.

BARR: Okay.

JOYCE:  You voted for stage 3 tax cuts. You voted for it, Tanya. You did.

MINISTER PLIBERSEK: And we've got a better way now for more people to get a bigger tax cut.

BARR: Okay. Let's see what you ‑‑

JOYCE:  You didn't tell us about it.

BARR: I think you've both had your say on that one. Let's see what you think about this one. The Australian Open has this morning seen the Prime Minister cop it, booed on Centre Court last night over the men's final. Have a look.


SPEAKER: The Australian Prime Minister the Honourable Anthony Albanese.




The Deputy Victorian Premier the Honourable Ben Carroll.

[End of excerpt]

BARR: Tanya, what's your response?

MINISTER PLIBERSEK: Oh look, I think there's a fine Australian tradition of giving a hard time to politicians. Barnaby and I are both used to it.

BARR: Is it a fine tradition, Barnaby, or should we not be doing that? Or is that our right?

JOYCE:  It's a good tradition for Jim Chalmers, Tanya Plibersek and Bill Shorten. I'm sure they were behind the television set going, "Oh, that's terrible Albo, that's terrible. Let's get ready".

BARR: When they did it to ScoMo what was that like?

JOYCE:  "Warm up our ambitions. Warm up the ambitions". 

MINISTER PLIBERSEK: I wonder what sort of reception you'd get, Barnaby, out on Centre Court.

BARR: Hoo hoo.


JOYCE: I doubt ‑ ooh, meow. I don't think I'd get a reception quite like that, but I bet there was a little, deep down in your heart you were going, "Oh, that's terrible". 

BARR: Okay, I think we'll leave it there. That's a good spot, isn't it? Welcome back, everybody. It's a New Year. See you next week.