PARLIAMENT HOUSE, CANBERRA
THURSDAY, 27 AUGUST 2020
SUBJECTS: WA Border; Aged Care; Gladys Berejiklian’s comments on rail manufacturing; Labor Policy.
MATT KEOGH MP: As Premier Mark McGowan said yesterday – another day, another lawsuit from Clive Palmer, and frankly Western Australians are sick of it. They’re also sick of the fact they were burnt by the Morrison Government when it came to the WA Border. The Morrison Government seemed to be more interested in cosying up to Clive Palmer than looking after the health of Western Australians. The Government tried to wash their hands of that, but it didn’t work. It’s pretty clear from the judgement we saw from the Federal Court just the other day, and I want to read what the Judge said because it’s pretty important; “The prejudice to Western Australia has not been caused by the withdrawal, but by the Commonwealth having intervened in support of the Palmer party case in the first place.” Now the judge ruled that the consequence of pulling down the WA Border could be catastrophic, and part of that will come down to the Morrison Government. Western Australians will not forget. If the High Court ends up ruling against the WA border, that the Morrison Government was involved in bringing about this case and supporting Clive Palmer, putting the health of all Western Australians at risk. Western Australians will not forget that.
And when it comes to health, we need to look at what the Morrison Government is doing because it’s pretty obvious they do not have a plan when it comes to protecting the elderly in aged care. If there’s one area right now that the Commonwealth Government needs to be focused on in terms of a health response, it’s a plan for aged care. When Labor is in Government we step up to the plate, we make sure we take on our responsibilities. Anthony Albanese has developed a plan, because Labor understands we need a Federal Government plan for Aged care. He’ll be outlining that today at the National Press Club, it’ll be an 8 point plan, but the critical part of this plan is making sure aged care has the resources it needs, the staff that it needs and those working there have the equipment they need and that they have the training they need. You would think these are all pretty obvious things that need to be part of an Aged care response to COVID-19 but they’re things the Federal Government has completely missed and that’s because Scott Morrison does not have a plan for aged care.
The other thing I want to draw on when it comes to failures affecting Western Australia – I saw the other day that the Premier of New South Wales insulted the workers of Western Australia. She went out and claimed we can’t build trains in Australia. Well I have a message for the New South Wales Premier – we do build trains in Australia, we build them in Western Australia we also used to build them in New South Wales, and we build them in Victoria. This is a symptom, of a Liberal Party – whether it’s a State Government or the Federal Morrison Government that don’t believe in the manufacturing industry or the manufacturing jobs of Australia. We need to be investing in our manufacturing sector, we need to be and supporting jobs in the manufacturing sector. I can tell you that across our defence industries they’ve been completely let down by the Morrison Government in not requiring enforceable, contractual requirements for Australian industry capability as part of our defence industry contracts. They have completely abandoned defence industry here in Australia and it is a shame on them. At a time when our economy needs more support they should be investing in more of these things. We should be investing in more industry and the comments of the New South Wales Premier yesterday trying to claim we can’t build trains in Australia is an insult to all our manifesting workers across the country.
JOURNALIST: Is it time for Clive Palmer to butt out of Federal Politics?
KEOGH: I think it’s time for Clive Palmer to butt out altogether. Western Australians are sick of this. Every day there’s another lawsuit from Clive Palmer, and for what benefit? I think Western Australians saw what happens when Clive Palmer does deals with the Liberal Party last state election, we saw what happened in the Federal Election, with deals with the Liberal Party. The Liberal Party clearly want to be pretty close to Clive Palmer. But I think what Western Australians have learnt is that in no way is the best interests of Western Australians anywhere close to the heart of Clive Palmer. Clive Palmer is only interested in himself and it’s an absolute shame that the Morrison Government decided to sidled up to him to support his case against the state of Western Australia and against the health of Western Australians.
JOURNALIST: Your colleague Ed Husic said this week that Labor needs a rethink on election strategy from the last couple of elections, he said that the 100 positive policies framework has been done a few times - didn’t work, maybe you should start looking at smaller targets. I know in the middle of pandemic there is bigger things to think about than the next election but what is your thoughts there – does Labor need a rethink on how you run elections to avoid another terminal position?
KEOGH: The key focus of the Labor Party right now is on the failures of the Morrison Government to properly respond to the COVID-19 crisis. Issues like the lack of plan for Aged care, the way they’ve attacked the health of Western Australians. Anthony Albanese was pretty clear after the last election that we were going to have a complete relook on everything the Labor party was doing and all our policies were on the table. Ed’s comments reflect the fact we were going to take a new approach under a new leader. I don’t think there’s anything strange in Ed’s comments there, but the key focus of the Labor Party right now is holding the Morrison Government to account on it’s lack of plan for aged care, and that’s why Labor and Anthony Albanese are outlining our own plan for aged care, because right now the Federal Government is not delivering.