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31 May 2022




TUESDAY 31 MAY, 2022


SUBJECTS: Labor secures majority government; Peter Dutton and David Littleproud elected as leaders of the Liberal and National Parties; Labor’s plans for the next term of government


ALLY LANGDON, HOST: Well, I tell you what, it has been a long wait. But Labor has finally limped over the finishing line, clinching the elusive 76 seats needed for a majority in Parliament and across the benches they'll be facing an opposition reborn, Peter Dutton leading the Liberals and David Littleproud ousting Barnaby Joyce to take control of the Nationals. Plenty to climb into with Labor's Bill Shorten and 2GB's Jim Wilson. Nice to see you both. Bill, you just got there.


BILL SHORTEN, MEMBER FOR MARIBYRNONG: But we're there. Congratulations to Josh Burns in McNamara too, the rest of us who had a slightly better week. Josh has been there counting so he's the - but he's there he's the been re-elected now a second time, super news.


LANGDON: Look I mean you could also clinch, you could get 77, depending on how Gilmore goes. You're ahead there just by a couple of hundred votes. I mean, just looking at the situation you're in, Bill, I mean, the irony is you've got a larger share of the popular vote back in 2019. But the Senate will be a problem for you. You're going to need the support of the Greens. That's going to come with much higher emission, you know, ambitions from them. It's going to be tricky.


SHORTEN: Well, it hasn't been many times in the last three decades where either government has controlled the Senate. You'll have to negotiate, but Labor will stick to its guns. And I'm confident that at long last we'll see some action on climate. I mean, even after the election defeat, it appears that the new leader of the National Party seems to be signing up to taking action on climate. And I can't quite work out where Peter Dutton stands on it yet, but hopefully there's a consensus. Aussies are sick of us fighting over this stuff when the rest of the world is getting on with it.


LANGDON: Yeah, I think we've all of a sudden got consensus on climate change.


JIM WILSON, 2GB: Well, yeah, we do. I think it has been divided. I think the Coalition has been divided, let alone, you know, Labor, Liberal. I mean, I think across the board we need a sensible approach. Now we need to see that action by Peter Dutton, he said all the right things yesterday as the new Liberal leader. But I think across the board the message from the Australian people is that, to both major political parties, yes, Labor will govern in the majority, which I think is a good thing as far as a majority government goes. But I think the message to both political parties with their primary votes both down, is that climate, it's not left, it's not woke. It's a real issue across the board and it needs to be actioned. So, I think I think Bill's right. No more division and let's be committed to this. And as far as the viewpoint of people like Matt Canavan, that net zero is dead. Well, come on, let's get with the program, because it certainly is it is a major issue. And we saw that at the election.


LANGDON: Yeah. Look, I think climate change is a big thing for many people. It's not the only issue. Obviously, cost of living pressures, that's a big one you're going to have to deal with, Bill. How do you think Anthony Albanese is going to go delivering on his many promises he's made with this wafer-thin majority and the fact that the budgets in the state that it is?


SHORTEN: Well, I think Anthony will have a laser like focus on keeping our promises. We've got some pretty exciting stuff coming in childcare with Amanda Rishworth, so you know, watch that area for some really good progress and that's good assistance with cost of living. Jim Chalmers has hit the ground running in terms of the Treasury and seeing what the books look like. It is fair to say that the current or the outgoing government has left us with one trillion dollars’ worth of debt. I mean, Mr. Dutton yesterday said that he wanted to talk to the forgotten Australians. I think he's actually looking for the forgetful Australians because he wants them to forget that under the Liberals, we've got one trillion dollars of debt, inflation is on the climb and everything from aged care to NDIS is a mess under their watch. So, I think he's hoping people forget that they were ever there.


WILSON: But isn't it true, Bill, that you are going to spend more than the Coalition?


SHORTEN: 7.6 billion over four years, but I'm also optimistic that when you get competent managers that we'll do our very best to try and make sure that there's less waste.


WILSON: But if you spend more, but if you spend more, the deficit's going to blow out, isn't it?


SHORTEN: Yeah, but if you save money and not waste money, then it's less, isn't it?


WILSON: So, when you save money, does that mean taxes go up?


SHORTEN: No, but I think there is waste. I know in my own area of the NDIS there's some horrible waste going on. Did you know, Jim, that there's 5000 Aussies in court right now just sorting out government packages for the disabled with fighting the government in court? Like there is - I think we're going to see some real examples of waste in this government. But of course, you can't absolutely know that until you get into your office, and you can look under the bonnet and see what they've really been doing.


LANGDON: All right. Well, I mean, the microscope is going to be on you guys. We'll see how long the honeymoon period lasts for. But if we just then look at this new combination that the coalition has come up with, we've got Peter Dutton, we've got David Littleproud, Jim, do you reckon they can fix the perceived problem or just straight problem they have with female voters?


WILSON: Well, Sussan Ley, the new Liberal deputy, said that that is a major, major issue because they've lost women, women voters. So, I mean, again, we've got to give the new government an opportunity here, Ally, and the new Prime Minister. And again, I think it'll give the Liberal, the new look leadership team for the Libs and the Nats a chance. I think Peter Dutton was their only option, I think once Josh Frydenberg lost Kooyong, I think that the cupboard was pretty bare as far as leadership options. I think Peter Dutton I think was a very good Defence Minister. He's held some very, very tough portfolios over the years. He's battled hard. He's an attack dog and I mean Anthony Albanese should -


LANGDON: Hey, hey, hey, hey. No, it’s the new soft, cuddly version of Peter Dutton. I mean, he's going to be a force to be reckoned with, Bill, isn't he?


SHORTEN: It's not easy being Opposition Leader, there's this invisible line. On one side of the line is you're really nice and constructive and then you're called too weak. And then on the other side of this invisible line is you criticise the government and you're too negative. So, I think he'll find that a hard road to walk. Let's see how he goes. The nation needs not just a strong government, but a functioning opposition. We'll see how he goes. I just think, though, they bring a lot of baggage from the last nine or ten years. That's part of their challenge. Can he wave a wand and make people forget? I don't know. We'll see.


LANGDON: You know, my only problem having, you know, I sit next to a proud Queenslander every morning and gee he rabbits on about it, to have now the Nats and the Liberal leader both Queenslanders. I mean, I'm sitting next to one here. Jim Muir one as well know you're taking over, it’s - no.


WILSON: No, no. I'm very proud of our listeners on 2BG in Sydney. So, I'm very, you know, I've got a foot in both camps. Hey, come origin time, come origin time, I'm born – I’m from north of the Tweed River, so Queenslander runs through the veins. And I know Bill's a Victorian, but I know Bill's on the Queensland Maroons bandwagon aren't you, Bill?


SHORTEN: Well, my wife's a Queenslander and her family, so as Victorians you know we, we pay interest in state of origin like we do in other sports, you know, like darts or you know, it's interesting.


WILSON: Oh, turn it up Bill!


SHORTEN: No, it's good. We like a good game of footy. It's a great game.


LANGDON: Great game. Well, look, I just hope you're all prepared to lose my friends. Nice to talk to you. I know that the new cabinet's being announced today, Bill.




LANGDON: Going to tell us what you're - any surprises?


SHORTEN: Why don't we wait and see what surprises there are?


LANGDON: Okay, sounds good. Talk to you both soon.


WILSON: Thanks, Ally. Thanks, Bill.