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15 February 2022


SUBJECTS: Pressure on Australian families with rising fuel and cost of living expenses; Ukraine readies for Russian incursion; road rage on e-scooter riders in Melbourne; Zali Steggall under fire for campaign donations; Superbowl Halftime Show.

Welcome back, the pressure on our hip pocket and inflation just keeps rising, right? You only have to drive past your local servo this morning to see the evidence. Average weekly prices of unleaded fuel $1.91 per litre in Brisbane. In Melbourne, it's $1.82 and in Sydney, $1.76, it’s on the rise. Add that to the rising cost of your weekly grocery shop and construction costs hitting new highs. It all adds up to a whole lot of pain. Look, the situation with fuel, the situation in Ukraine is not helping with fuel prices either, and that doesn't seem like it's going anywhere given what's been transpiring in the last couple of hours. Let's discuss with Shadow Minister for Government Services Bill Shorten in Canberra, and Triple M’s Gus Worland in Sydney. Bill, the Ukrainian President is now saying an invasion is a real possibility by Wednesday their time. Vlad is now a real threat to world stability.

BILL SHORTEN, MEMBER FOR MARIBYRNONG: Yeah, listen, Vladimir Putin is no friend of Australia. Ever since the shooting down a Malaysian Flight 17, which had 36 Australians and Australian residents, plus a lot of other innocent souls, I don't ever feel he's come clean on that. So, he's he is not a friend of Australia, but the problem of a conflict, whilst it seems a long way away and my I express solidarity with the Ukrainian people in Australia of Ukrainian heritage, if there is a conflict that affects Australia, it affects us by fuel prices, for example. So, you know, this is very serious times and one of the other big problems, of course, with fuel Karl, as you know, is we've been closing refineries in Australia, so we don't have enough domestic capacity to produce oil when the when the trouble’s on.

STEFANOVIC: Gus, at the end of the day, it's a massive squeeze on family budgets, right?

GUS WORLAND, TRIPLE M: Yeah, absolutely. It's the biggest thing that we get spoken about at Triple M, with people finding in saying to us how much pressure that's on all their family bills and now this is just another one. And the other thing, Karl, for the first time ever, mates of mine are now driving past service stations looking for a cheaper deal. And that doesn't happen that often, people are taking photographs now of how expensive everything is. So that's really going to be that that ripple effect all the way down to all our bills now.

STEFANOVIC: I was driving past a survey yesterday and fuel was $2. 20 a litre, $2.20 a litre. Up next, Melbourne’s issues with e-scooters have taken a terrifying twist. Just take a look at this incident captured on CCTV. That is scary. That is a driver repeatedly trying to mow down a group of riders on St Kilda Road. Bill, this is happening in your city right now. Does Melbourne have a problem with these scooters?

SHORTEN: Well, sometimes you think that we have a problem with road rage. Listen. In Victoria, in Melbourne, they're doing a trial of e-scooters, so we're trying to work out how best to regulate them, how best they can be enjoyed. I think e-scooters are fun. I saw a bloke the other day with one rocking a T-shirt not dissimilar to Gus's, except it's got the big Harley Davidson symbol on it. So, I think people enjoy it. But we're going to need some rules around them to make sure they're safe, of course, with petrol prices being what they are who knows, maybe Gus and some of his pals will go e-scooter.

STEFANOVIC: Look, there's plenty of feedback coming in on these scooters’ situations. John Holmes. There's not enough room on our roads as it is now. Now that we have these pests on the road, he's all fired up about it. Colin says maybe the people on the scooter should obey the road rules and stop being pests. Then the car driver wouldn't lose their marbles and try and mow them down. Gus, on scooters. What do you think?

WORLAND: Yeah, I mean, all big cities in the world have scooters, have cycles. It's the way it is. And Melbourne and Sydney and all big cities in Australia should have them as well. But we've got to respect them. I mean, the thing that I see everywhere in last time I was down in Melbourne is they’re just discarded at the end of the night after a few people have done whatever they want with them and they're there in the Yarra, they're just chucked around. People just don't care about them. So, we've got to come up with a better solution, but it shouldn't mean that we shouldn't have them because tourists in particular, when they get back to Australia, love them.

STEFANOVIC: Okay, let's talk about Zali Steggall before we talk about what else is in the Yarra -I mean, the mind boggles doesn’t it, what's in the Yarra. Zali Steggall, interesting story the climate crusading MP as we know who has pushed strongly for political donations, reform and the need for greater transparency is facing some very uncomfortable questions after failing to declare a six-figure political donation. Now when she was elected in 2019, she said quote We can't let coal companies and lobbyists buy their way into our government. The donation for one hundred thousand dollars was from a trust fund owned by a multi-millionaire coal investor. Bill, government defending the donation. She is defending the donation. She in the clear, do you think?

SHORTEN: I think she's made a rookie mistake, but and I think that we've got to try and stamp money out of our election system, the big private donors. But while she's in a different sort of political point of view to mine, anyone who says that she's compromised any of her views on climate hasn't listened to her speak in the parliament. So, I think she will be face-palming a great deal about this, faceplanting. But having said that, I don't think her views are at all compromised. She is a climate change activist and MP, and I think she's a net plus for the parliament in terms of what she's trying to do to get the government focused on climate.

STEFANOVIC: Do you reckon that's alright, that's a good look for her, the optics of taking the nation from a coal investor?

SHORTEN: There's no doubt the optics don't look good, but I'd just say to people, you know, next time we're setting up a lynch mob to go after someone, her actions in the parliament certainly don't in any fashion seem to have been compromised in any practical sense.


WORLAND: It's a terrible look, and the simple fact is that whether it's a hundred grand first up or you divvy it up to make it underneath, so you don't have to talk about it, that system is wrong and any anyone saying it is and is not right, it just it just fails the pub test simple as that. So that system's got to be brought into play. And you know, most people walking around the streets would say, that's ridiculous.

STEFANOVIC: Fails the pub test? Well, now it's been called the greatest halftime entertainment show in the history of Super Bowl. Check it out. [VIDEO] Billy. It was a Super Bowl super dad moment, wasn't it? Did you dig it?

SHORTEN: No, I just had a look at it before I came on the show, but it was great. You know, Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg and 50 Cent hanging upside down. The Americans can put on - when they want to, when they want to put on a big, showy party. Yeah, no one better than the Americans.

STEFANOVIC: Billy, I just wonder if it took me back to the clubs with 50 Cent there. Did it get you?

SHORTEN: Yeah, my rap days are over.

STEFANOVIC: Come on. Come on, Billy.

WORLAND: Do it, Billy. Come on, baby. 

STEFANOVIC: Take one for the team, Billy. 

SHORTEN: Yeah, we'll do it next week.

STEFANOVIC: Come on, Billy. 

SHORTEN: Maybe. Next week. 

STEFANOVIC: It's not a ukulele.

SHORTEN: It's not a harmonica, ukulele. I'll get the school recorder on.

WORLAND: It wasn't that embarrassing for Billy, sorry for ScoMo, because his poor kid’s sitting there saying please, dad stop. Don't do it. No more!

STEFANOVIC: Look at Gussy, moving his shoulders, though. Come on. 

SHORTEN: Look at Gussy go.

STEFANOVIC: Ally, just imagine it's Gussy and I coming in at the club

SHORTEN: Yeah, there's things you can't unsee.

ALLISON LANGDON, HOST: Come on, Bill, don't be a spoiler. [SHORTEN DANCES, ALL CHEER]

SHORTEN: Stop. No, no, that's it. That's it. 

STEFANOVIC: Let it go, Billy.

WORLAND: Take the tie off, Billy.

STEFANOVIC: Thank you, guys. Great newschat. See you next week.