TANYA PLIBERSEK MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR EDUCATION
SHADOW MINISTER FOR WOMEN
MEMBER FOR SYDNEY
RADIO 4BC DRIVE WITH SCOTT EMERSON
WEDNESDAY, 24 NOVEMBER 2021
SUBJECTS: Scott Morrison’s lies; Federal parliament; Andrew Wallace.
SCOTT EMERSON, HOST: The federal Shadow Minister for Education and Shadow Minister for Women Tanya Plibersek and her introductory song, of course, is the Hilltop Hoods with Cosby Sweater there. Tanya, what do you reckon is the hottest song of all time?
TANYA PLIBERSEK, SHADOW MINISTER FOR EDUCATION, SHADOW MINISTER FOR WOMEN: Well, I do love the Hilltop Hoods, but I reckon, given I'm talking to you today Emmo, can I say the Go-Betweens? Pretty much anything by the Go-Betweens?
EMERSON: Very well done.
PLIBERSEK: Very old favourite band of mine. Also, actually truly my all-time favourite song is Wide Open Road by The Triffids, which is another great Australian band, they're from Western Australi.
EMERSON: There's an ad on the TV at the moment with Lindy Morrison, the drummer from the Go-Betweens, an insurance ad.
PLIBERSEK: I saw that.
EMERSON: It’s great to see her out there drumming along there. Well done, Tanya, picking a good Queensland band there, of course, and we've obviously got the bridge here named after the Go-Betweens. That's how much we love the Go-Betweens, indeed. Well look, let's talk about federal politics. Unfortunately, rather than staying with the music, we do have to talk about that. I know you're in Canberra at the moment and I did see a story pop up just a short time ago about some of the questions you've been asking in federal parliament today. And clearly there is this line, a strategy I guess from Labor, to try to highlight what they believe is a sense of lack of truthfulness. Well, you've called, or the Labor Party has called, Scott Morrison a liar. Is this all part of a strategy leading up to the federal election next year?
PLIBERSEK: Well, I think it is important that Australians have trust in their Prime Minister and we've got a Prime Minister who routinely says things that aren't true and then pretends he didn't say them. He said, electric vehicles will wreck the weekend, they can't pull your trailer. He said that the big prawn and the big banana were worth more than the big battery and pretended he didn't say that. He said that, when he went off to Hawaii during bushfire season, he told people that he told Anthony Albanese he was going off to Hawaii - he didn't do that, he had to correct the record yesterday in Parliament. And I think it is important for our national leaders to be truthful.
EMERSON: I did seen in that news poll, when they did the break down, some of those figures, that while Scott Morrison is still preferred leader and preferred Prime Minister to Anthony Albanese that he had fallen in terms of standing, in terms of truthfulness, and likability in that polling there. But again, I make the point there that he's still preferred as Prime Minister compared to your Labor leader, Anthony Albanese.
PLIBERSEK: Well, he is the Prime Minister and he's got the opportunity of talking to the Australian people every day. I think it would be better if he, instead of the sort of nonsense we've seen in the Parliament in the last few days, we were focused on the issues that really matter to people. We've had a really chaotic time in Parliament this week with the new speaker, and instead of all of that what we ought to be talking about is what kind of leader is our Prime Minister? Does he tell the truth? And what does it mean for people's lives? We've seen real wages in Australia actually go backwards over the last year, we've seen real wages drop by $700 while petrol prices have gone up by $900, while childcare prices have gone up by $390, groceries are going up, cost of so many of the things that we rely on every day, our rents are going through the roof. Really they’re the sort of issues that I'd like our Prime Minister to be focusing on and we haven't seen much of that this week.
EMERSON: You mentioned the new speaker, Andrew Wallace, he is a Queensland based Liberal MP obviously replacing Tony Smith, which I think was widely regarded as one of the best speakers the Federal Parliament has had. How is Andrew Wallace going? You said the chaos involving the new speaker. Do you think he's giving Labor a fair go in parliament?
PLIBERSEK: I think so far he's been more Bronwyn Bishop than Tony Smith. If people remember speaker Bronwyn Bishop, she made a lot of controversial calls. And so far, Andrew Wallace has been more in her style than Tony Smith, who I agree with you has been one of the, possibly even the best speaker that I recall during my time in the parliament. He has thrown me out a few times, but I deserved it every single time that he did it. I deserved it. He's been overwhelmingly fair.
EMERSON: Well, Bronwyn Bishop, you say that Andrew Wallace is more Bronwyn Bishop than Tony Smith. Bronwyn Bishop, many times she was questioned and well criticised for her rulings. Do you think Andrew Wallace is being unfair to Labor so far?
PLIBERSEK: I think he's letting the Government get away with a lot of answers that are really quite irrelevant. And that's what I mean, we've had a week of the Prime Minister sledging Labor, you'd really think that instead the Prime Minister of our nation, especially as we're coming out of COVID, would be trying to tell people how he's going to get their wages to go up instead of going backwards, how he's going to keep petrol prices lower instead of seeing them go through the roof. What he's going to do about the fact that our cities are increasingly unaffordable to live in, about child care prices going up. About all of the cost of living pressures on Australian families. We want life to be easier for people, not harder. People have been through a really tough two years, what are we doing to make life easier instead of harder for ordinary Australians? I have not heard the Prime Minister address this once this week.
EMERSON: All right, Tanya Plibersek always good to have you on the show. We'll catch you again next week.
PLIBERSEK: Always a pleasure.