23 May 2022




MONDAY, 23 MAY 2022


SUBJECTS: Federal election result, Quad meeting, primary votes, climate policy, cost of living, Liberal leadership


KARL STEFANOVIC. HOST: Well, let's bring in now Labor frontbencher Bill Shorten in Melbourne and Queensland Senator Matt Canavan in Yeppoon for their reaction to the Federal election. Good morning, guys. Nice to see you. Bill, first up, congrats on the election win. Not an easy night for you the other night. Getting needled all night by J. Bish. You okay?


BILL SHORTEN, MEMBER FOR MARIBYRNONG: I'm outstanding thank you. I like Julie Bishop. I was wondering if the Coalition might do a J Bish 2.0, hey. They do need some talent on their frontbench.


STEFANOVIC: Matt Canavan, what do you think about that?


MATT CANAVAN, SENATOR FOR QUEENSLAND: Well mate it's a new day. I'm back at work. Re-elected. We've got a lot to a lot of challenges facing our country, that's what I'm focused on. So not particularly focused on all the personalities, but good luck and congratulations to Anthony Albanese and the Labor Party. It was a disappointing night for us, but as I say, the fight goes on for our nation and there's lots and lots of things to focus on.


STEFANOVIC: I'll come back to you in a sec. But Bill, have you spoken to Albo? How is he? And a lot of work to do obviously. He's on a plane this morning. And do you think you'll govern in your own right?


SHORTEN: Fingers crossed we get to a majority government. Yes, I think we probably will get to a majority government, but there's still a couple of seats to be counted. The seat of Deakin in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne is pretty interesting. I think Michael Sukkarr is on the ropes, but let's see what happens there. The seat of Bennelong, a former Liberal prime ministerial stronghold, Jerome Laxdale from Labor, I think he's pretty close to that. Of course on the south coast of New South Wales, our Fiona Phillips in a tight contest with Andrew Constance. So they're probably the three which I'm watching today. And in terms of Prime Minister Albanese, big day today being sworn in, marvellous story and then off to the Quad, which is a really important security meeting of India and Japan and the United States. So big 24 hours for Anthony.


STEFANOVIC: Big couple of weeks for Richard Marles, too. I mean, effectively in a couple of hours time, he'll be leading the country.


SHORTEN: Yeah, it's great. And Richard's worked hard for this privilege, and so I think he'll do fine, while Anthony and Senator Penny Wong, Australia's incoming Foreign Minister, are overseas. Not bad for a Geelong supporter.


STEFANOVIC: Okay. Your party only really secured a primary vote of 32.9% or thereabouts. That's lower than the than the 33% in 2019. As you know, that result was considered catastrophic. So there's still a lot of work to do isn’t there? What do you put that down to?


SHORTEN: I think there was a vote for change. Two things. I think there was a definite vote for change. Seven in every ten Australians didn't pick the current government. But you're right, we need to reach out to all those Australians who felt that whilst they wanted change, we didn't get their first vote. I do have to say that when you look at it under our preferential voting system, a lot of those votes did come to Labor and we've got 52% of the two party vote. But I'd say to all those third party voters that we want your vote next time and we're going to prove ourselves worthy of the change mandate which you've given Australia.


STEFANOVIC: Okay, Matt, thank God for the Nats if you're in the Coalition.


CANAVAN: Well, it was a bittersweet night, as I said, very disappointing for us. But in the Nationals Party it was a historic night. I mean, there's never been a case where a government or a coalition has lost government and we've held all our seats. We held every one of them. It's a testament to the strong grassroots campaigning that Barnaby Joyce does and what we all do as a team in the Nationals Party. We get out and listen to people. So while there has been this shift against the major parties, somehow the Nationals Party have been somewhat insulated against that. So look, as I say, we've just got to get back to work. That's how we deliver these results. Not too much to be gained from focusing on what happened on Saturday night. Now is the next three years and what we can do for people.


STEFANOVIC: All right. You've got a lot on your plate now. Aren't you partly to blame for turning some of those inner city seats teal?


CANAVAN: Well, I'd like to think I have that much power, Karl. Not so sure that my sentiments moved tens of thousands of votes. My view very firmly is that when we as a party adopt effectively Labor Party positions on energy, on climate, well people go for the real deal and they'll go vote for the Greens or the Labor Party. Our pathway back to success has to be to rediscover our shared principles and values of lower taxes, lower regulation, support for enterprise, support for the family, putting Australia and this country first. That's the way back for us now. We departed from that in the last few years and we paid the price.


STEFANOVIC: Okay, you might be alright, but it's cost the Coalition in those city areas. You wanted net zero, you said net zero was dead and the teals want a reduction by 50% by 2030. It's hardly dead.


CANAVAN: Well, I lost the debate last year, Karl, on that internally. And the victors of that and the ones that effectively wrote our policy platform have to take responsibility for the result. When we when we fought against radical climate action in 2019 and other elections in the last decade, we've won. When we rolled over in surrendered to this radical environmental agenda, we’ve lost. The evidence is clear.


STEFANOVIC: The point is, though, that it doesn't marry at all with the Coalition and moderate coalitions.


CANAVAN: Well, as I say Karl, moderate coalition or moderate Liberal just seems to me another word for the left. And if we're going to be, if we're going to be a party that stands for higher regulation, higher government control, we will not win. We will not win, because people do not want that. I mean, I heard stories, Karl, on the weekend that we couldn't man our booths in many marginal seats in Sydney. And that is testament to the fact that a lot of our core supporters, we're not buying what we were selling in this election. We need to rediscover those principles and values and give faith to people who want to support a small government, Liberal and National Party.


STEFANOVIC: Bill, I saw you shaking your head a lot during what Matt was saying then. Are you prepared to concede that you may have to go even more aggressive climate change policy because of the teals?


SHORTEN: No listen, we've got a strong policy on climate. But I was listening to Matt. It's like Saturday night never happened. He reminds me of that Japanese soldier they found in the Philippines in the 1970s. He still thought the war was on. The fact of the matter is -


CANAVAN: I'm going to keep fighting Bill.


SHORTEN: I’m sure for you Matt it still is. I salute you, no good on you. Good on you. I'm sure there's a tent in the Philippines with a World War Two circa rifle for you. But the point about is on climate -


CANAVAN: Well, let's just see what energy prices do Bill. Let's just see what electricity prices do to the Australian people and how long your commitment to climate action lasts. The electricity market is blowing up right now.


SHORTEN: Matty. Great mate, so the election never happened. That's what you're saying. If you want to look at energy prices, have a look at petrol prices right now.


CANAVAN: No well I’m focused on people's cost of living Bill, I'm not focused on the election.


SHORTEN: [inaudible] $2. You might have a look at that. Guys, guys.


CANAVAN: Yeah. And that's a consequence of this Green agenda.


SHROTEN: Matt, barking at the moon will not change the result.


STEFANOVIC: Okay, you two. This is like Saturday night, Saturday Night Fever, all over again on a Monday morning. And we do have a result. We do have a result in this election. I look forward to getting you two on at the same time every week for the next three years. It should be interesting. Look, it has been it has been a long campaign. Matt, are you happy with Peter Dutton being the leader?


CANAVAN: Look, that's a matter for the Liberal Party Karl. I think Peter's been a great leader for the party and the result in Queensland is another historic result where we've yeah, we've held two thirds of the seats of Queensland while losing government. So I think that is testament to the leadership and direction that Peter Dutton provides in Queensland. It's a matter for the Liberal Party, but I think he'll make a great Opposition Leader if he gets that.


STEFANOVIC: Alright, and Bill, finally to you. It has been a long road, hasn't it? There's plenty of work to be done and you face enormous obstacles. The honeymoon won't be long.


SHORTEN: Well, if we do everything we said we're going to do, then that's what people want to see. They just want to see the politicians keep their promises. I thank my electorate in Maribyrnong for increasing my vote. And as for the work, we're very keen to get on and do it. We've got a new team. There's a change. The nation, in my opinion, at least a lot of us other than Matt, feel a sense of relief that now Mr. Morrison is gone and I think it's up to us to prove ourselves worthy over the next three years. And that's our job description. Just get on with the job. That's what people want.


STEFANOVIC: Well, I think both of your families have to put up with a lot with both of you being in Parliament. Well done on both of you securing a place in Parliament. Both of you work hard for your electorates. Congratulations. Appreciate it.