Subjects: Allegations of Minister Katy Gallagher misleading parliament; Labor’s economic failings costing Australian families.
So that voice you heard, the second last voice was that of Katy Gallagher. ‘No one had any knowledge. How dare you? How dare you?’ Well, I say to Katy Gallagher, how dare you? How dare you use your position as a Senator in the Australian federal Parliament to lie? The Federal Opposition Leader Peter Dutton’s online. Peter, good morning.
Good morning Ray.
I think that’s all self-explanatory, isn’t it?
Well, I think we’re only just seeing the start of what lies behind the scenes here Ray, and I think there are a lot of questions that need to be answered. The Prime Minister obviously has to front up and provide a true factual explanation of what’s going on here, because there are differing accounts.
But what makes this most serious, as you say, is whether people have misled the Parliament or whether there’s been an appropriate process in terms of a multimillion-dollar payout. There’s a lot of questions that need to be answered and the government needs to provide answers to those. There’s differing accounts, as we say, and I think there’s a lot more information yet to come out.
Well, there’s only one or two results of this: either David Sharaz is lying or exaggerating, Brittany Higgins is lying or exaggerating, or the Prime Minister is simply lying, as is Katy Gallagher. That’s the only two options.
Well, until we know the facts, we won’t know the answers to all the questions that need to be answered. The Prime Minister and others have given different statements at different points, and it seems that some of that may be conflicting now. So I think the Prime Minister just needs to be honest and then people can draw their own conclusions.
Mark Dreyfus says he’s absolutely comfortable with the payout, and the hidden settlement to Brittany Higgins. Now, it’s not unusual for a confidentiality agreement to be signed between warring parties.
I think you in your time have been involved in, you know, a mediation with people, as I have in my position as a broadcaster, but it never happens within a matter of hours. It’s invariably a matter of weeks, months or even longer before settlement can be reached and both parties are happy.
Well, that’s right and I think there’s a lot of answers are required here. I mean, that’s the point; we need to establish the facts. It’s clear that some people haven’t been telling the truth and we need to understand what else is behind all of this.
It’s why I think if Katy Gallagher and the Prime Minister can just be honest with their involvement, what’s happened, then the matters will be resolved more quickly, but it just seems, as each day goes by, there are more answers than there are questions…more questions than there are answers and I think that’s creating a lot of suspicion, understandably, in people’s minds as to what actually has taken place here.
Well, I think if a scriptwriter presented a script, some sort of Machiavellian script, about politics and disclosed that text messages between these warring parties and the explanation offered by the Prime Minister and one of his Ministers in the Finance Minister, the person who was producing it, would say look, this is too fanciful. It just couldn’t happen. You need to go back and make it more believable so people don’t think it’s some sort of fantasy we’ve made up.
Well, I think that’s why the Integrity Commission will have an interest in looking at the sequence of events, because if there is a question about the process involved in a payout, or there is a question around the Prime Minister’s own words in relation to this or presentations that have been made, or statements that have been put on Hansard, then you know, they’re very serious allegations.
As I say, I think the Prime Minister should just be honest in relation to his own dealings and the circumstances surrounding this, the conspiring that took place. It just seems to me that on all of the evidence that’s available at the moment, we’ve got very senior figures within the Albanese Government that have a lot of answers to provide.
We’ve got a Treasurer from your hometown who has, you know, a certain, I guess, knowledge of a whole matter of things – I don’t know whether economics is one of them – but he seems to be wanting to, without naming the Governor of the Reserve Bank, blame him for all the problems, the 12 interest rate rises – the latest one which came on Tuesday – and not take any responsibility for his role in what’s happening and the role of others in seeing inflation and wages increase under this government.
Well Ray, you just get the sense that Jim Chalmers is a boy in a, you know, in a man’s job – a child, in an adult’s job. He’s the Treasurer of the country and he has to accept responsibility for his own actions and inactions.
He’s had two budgets now and I mean…be a little bit respectful here, I think this would be good advice for the Treasurer – there are a lot of people who are struggling to pay bills at the moment. The Salvation Army the other day telling me they’re dealing, for the first time in a long time, with people who have jobs, but just can’t find housing or can’t afford rental accommodation, etc. and the government said that they had a plan to bring interest rates down, and they had a plan to reduce your energy prices and it hasn’t happened – and it’s got a lot worse.
A lot of families are struggling at the moment and they’re paying the price for Labor’s mistakes. The Prime Minister refuses to make any mention of the election promises that he made in this regard, and I just don’t think Australians are stupid. I think they understand that at the very best they’ve been misled.
And you’ve got a government now that’s putting upward pressure on interest rates. The Treasurer told us a month before the Budget that interest rate rises were all done and dusted. Well, now, as a result of the budget, we’re seeing interest rates go up again. Many of the analysts are saying that they’ll go up higher.
For families, for small businesses, we’re just up here in Townsville with Phil Thompson, we went to a cafe this morning that the electricity prices there have gone up by 400 per cent. His bill has gone from something like $1,700 dollars a month up to $7,500. I mean how do they pay for that?
He said, ‘you know, I can only put up the price of coffee so much and anymore the people will stop coming’. So people are feeling the real impacts of Jim Chalmers decisions and you can’t run around saying, Oh, well, I don’t know anything about it. It’s all to do with the Reserve Bank Governor.
The Reserve Bank Governor, and the board, respond to the economic conditions, in large part, created by the Treasurer and by the government. What gives it away here, is that the core inflation rate in our country is higher than any other country, or any country in the G7 except for the United Kingdom.
So, this is not inflation that’s coming out of Ukraine or out of Europe – it’s coming out of Canberra. The inflation rate it seems will be sticky and stay higher for longer and I think a lot of businesses are really going to suffer, start putting staff off, and a lot of families are just not able to work out how they’re going to pay the bills.
What’s digging in the craw of a lot of people, is this criticism, this pile on, from Jim Chalmers of the Reserve Bank. We’re talking about people on the board of the Reserve Bank, and the Governor, who would be, I guess, people that are well-versed in matters pertaining to the economy.
The background to Mr Chalmers is one of tutelage by the world’s best Treasurer, apparently, Wayne Swan. Now, I used to say during his time that he would be the worst Treasurer since federation. I think we now need to develop print between Wayne Swan and his protege Jim Chalmers, because they hit the line absolutely locked together when it comes to the world’s worst Treasurer.
Well I mean you can get the trifecta if you want and throw PJ Keating in there, because he of course did his doctorate, Dr Chalmers did his doctorate, on Paul Keating, so he’s had a lot of influences in his life – none of them good it seems – and you’ve got sadly, millions of Australians paying the price for his experiments.
I mean when you hear him out there – don’t forget only six weeks ago or so – he was out there saying that he was in favour of a tax on the family home, an end to negative gearing, an end to capital gains tax and then he was, you know, wound back in pretty quickly by the Prime Minister. But that gave you an insight into what’s going on in his head. More taxes and more spending, that’s what Labor Governments do. They can’t manage money, they can’t manage the economy.
Every government has to deal with, you know, a pilot strike, an avian bird flu, a downturn in the tourism sector, a terrorist strike, conflict in our region, COVID, every government has to deal with those issues, but it’s only the governments with competence that can deal with them to minimise the pressure and the impact on the Australian public, and I just don’t think this government has the ability to do that.
The Prime Minister is spending three quarters of his time jetting around the world, and he’s an expert on every global matter, but he’s forgetting about the priorities here at home and it’s cost-of-living, it’s housing, and families are really paying a big price for his inexperience in economics.
I’ll leave you with this thought. I get to go over to the fish markets a couple of times a week. It’s full of wholesalers and retailers. It’s a potpourri of Australia, all sorts of people from different backgrounds and, you know, different parts of the world, whether it was them or their father, grandfather, great grandfather came here, they’re knockabouts. And, as you’d appreciate, refrigeration plays a very significant role over there, as do power prices.
A bloke walked up to me this morning, and I know him reasonably well, he runs a retail outlet. He said, ‘ay, Ray, come here.’ I said, ‘what?’ He said, ‘are you going to give it to the Treasurer?’ I said ‘what about?’. He said ‘the joint’s falling apart, and his big announcement this week is he’s phasing out chequebooks. Who cares?’
Yeah, yeah. No, no, that’ll keep the lights on and put your mortgage payments down – it’s a distraction – and, as I say, he has to grow up and accept responsibility. He’s the Treasurer of our country and inflation’s high. He has to deal with it and make it better, not worse, and at the moment, all of their decisions are putting upward pressure on inflation.
The energy policy is a disaster in this country, and lots of experts talking about the lights going out, and those cold rooms not working, which would be a devastation for those businesses. And so, you know, blokes like that have nailed it – that’s at the heart of the problem. We’ve got a big debate to have on energy in this country because we need to get it right and start bringing prices down.
Alright, we’ll talk next week, enjoy Townsville.
Thanks Ray. Take care mate.