Subjects: Newspoll; Labor's retiree tax; Mark Dreyfus's defence of terrorist Neil Prakash; GetUp!; Independent candidates.
Now every Thursday we try to speak to the Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton. He's on the line right now. I think he's back in hometown Brisbane. G'day Mr Dutton.
Good morning Ray. Yes, I am back in Brisbane. Nice to be home.
Okay. Promising start to the year. No champagne cork has been popped yet for Newspoll, but it's better than it was: 53-47, but a way to go.
Still a way to go, but I think – just speaking to the people in my electorate over the course of the last couple of weeks – I mean people are starting to hear the message now about the retiree tax that Labor propose. In my electorate, in Dickson, about 5,500 people affected by it and in electorates right across the country, I mean people realise they're going to be paying thousands of dollars in Labor's retiree tax.
So the negative gearing abolition; people realise now that that's going to impact on their family home. The value of the family home goes down; if you're a renter, the rent goes up.
So I think these messages are starting to be heard. I think frankly, Ray, particularly toward the end of last year, people had had enough of politics. They'd switched off, but I think over the break, people start to read the papers a bit more, listen to what's going on and there's an awareness now that the election will be held in May and I think people will start to focus on why they're suspicious about Bill Shorten; why he wants these taxes; why they're abolishing Operation Sovereign Borders when people smugglers are saying they'll restart boats under Labor.
So look, it's a slow burn, but we've got 16 weeks still ahead of us. It's a tough fight, but it's a very important one.
On The Today Show this week Georgie asked me what the Opposition Leader should do in the lead up to election. I said book a holiday in either Bali or Fiji, just stay away. The best hope. He should take Chris Bowen with him. It's manna from heaven for you people that he should say to people that are going to be impacted by the franking credits legislation, that he should say to them 'oh well, vote for someone else then, don't vote for us'. I mean in an election campaign you're better off, even if you think it, you shouldn't say it.
Well, you're spot on mate and look, I would normally say to people if Chris Bowen offers you financial advice, do the opposite, but if he's telling them not to vote for him; if he's saying to older Australians 'if you don't like it, suck it up and vote against Labor'; well I actually think people should heed that advice because this is an issue that really impacts.
I see there's a story in The Courier Mail today by Renee Viellaris talking about the Cancer Council saying that they believe that donations will dip because older Australians are generous, they give money to the Asthma Foundation, to cancer, all sorts of good causes, but people have factored in that they would get a benefit of the dividend imputation.
People have worked hard for the money to buy those shares and they're going to have to cut back. Many of the charities believe that Labor's retiree tax will result in people donating less to charity; so it doesn't have just an impact on the life of, particularly senior Australians, but anybody with superannuation.
This is a big blow and on top of people, particularly in New South Wales, Victoria, to a lesser extent Queensland, seeing their house prices come down, under the abolition of the negative gearing – which is effectively a housing tax – the house price does come down whether it's a rental property or owner occupied.
See, you're going to have a treasurer if they win the election, the Labor Party, who's never had a proper job. He became – and this is from his own biography – his life experience started when he joined the Labor Party at 15. He was elected as a 22-year-old in 1995 for the Fairfield City Council as a Labor councillor. He's then been an employee of various Labor politicians before being elevated to Parliament. You're going to have a treasurer who's got…he wouldn't know about franking credits, he wouldn't know about capital gains, he wouldn't know about it because he's never had to really live in the real world. He's been on the public teat basically from 22 to the current day.
Well that's it mate. He's not employed an individual. He's not put his house on the line in a small business to secure an overdraft. He's been paid either by the Labor Party or the union movement from day one and look at his track record; I mean he was responsible for thousands of people, kids included, arriving on boats, going into detention. He was one of the worst Immigration Ministers in Australia's history and as an Assistant Treasurer responsible for Grocery Watch, Fuel Watch and School Halls; all of this garbage that you saw in the Rudd-Gillard years – the people, probably rightly have forgotten about – but all of those days will be relived.
There was another performance yesterday I saw by Mark Dreyfus, who would be the attorney-general in a Shorten government, basically running a protection racket for Neil Prakash, a known terrorist.
Well let's get on to that before we get onto other matters because this happened in Parliament and I don't know what advice you received and I was away on holidays when this all happened with this Prakash, who's in Turkey at the moment facing all sorts of serious charges, he's a terrorist, that's what he is. I wouldn't care if you put him on a Manly ferry and sent him out to the ocean by himself and put a big hole in it. I wouldn't care. I wouldn't care what you did with the likes of Neil Prakash, but the Labor Party seems intent on making sure we offer some sort of support, in some way, shape or form, for a bloke who could come back and blow us all up.
Well this is it Ray. He's in the Middle East, he's a known terrorist, he's a central figure in ISIS and I've just said 'look, I'll do whatever I can to stop him from coming back to our country'. My job is to act in our country's best interests to stop these people from hurting Australians and all I've heard from the Labor Party is excuses as to why he should come back, saying you know the legislation's not working. Well if the legislation's not sufficient, propose amendments that will strengthen it, instead of talking about how it should be watered down. I mean it's just unbelievable.
Okay. Look I exposed this…
…I'm speaking through my flu Ray I'm sorry.
No that's alright mate.
I exposed this week GetUp! volunteers, there's a cheat sheet I've been sent and it's about Warringah door knocking and I've talked about it all week, I don't know whether you've caught up with it, but it basically is a document to remove Tony Abbott. I mean you may as well say Warringah door knocking, line one that, line two we've got to get rid of Abbott at any cost and it talks about what you do, 'hi my name is such and such I volunteer'. If you support Abbott then you go to another part, if you don't support Abbott you go and then the bottom one is objection handling.
If the objection is: 'I don't want to vote for Labor or the Greens or there isn't a good Independent' – this has all come about after Zali Steggall threw her hat into the ring – their response is: 'we know there are a number of Independent candidates who will eventually run. If you think it's time for a change then you'll be able to make that happen by voting for whoever you prefer above Tony Abbott' so that's Tony Abbott gone.
'If you don't want to help a Labor government to be elected, if that's your objection as a voter based on current polling' – this is the best one – 'the Federal Government is extremely unlikely to be elected. One Abbott losing Warringah won't matter, it's more important to get rid of him, he's a wrecker.'
People need to understand who GetUp! is Ray. I think there are lot of people who donate a few dollars to GetUp! because they think they're a party or an organisation interested in environmental causes or save the whales all that sort of stuff. The reality is they're an extreme left wing organisation.
It was set up originally by people, including Bill Shorten. The AWU gave $100,000, the CFMEU in the last couple of years has given well over a million dollars. They support only Green and Labor candidates, they've never supported a Liberal or National candidate. They are a left wing extremist group and they are affiliated with the Greens; and some members of the ALP now, work for GetUp! They are not an independent organisation.
So if GetUp! knocks on your door, wherever you are in the country, ask them about the CFMEU donation; ask them about the money that's come from the United States, from environmental groups and extreme groups and individuals to fund GetUp! Ask them about the way in which they're involved in their campaigns, all left wing.
They hate me because of the work that we've done in securing borders in Operation Sovereign Borders and that's fine, but let them express what they truly believe in because at the moment I think they're fooling people into making donations, thinking that somehow they're a middle of the road sensible organisation that's just, you know, speaking out for common sense. They're not. They're a left wing extremist group and so are the individuals at the senior leadership involved in it.
You're confronting a person named Ali France, the Labor candidate for the seat of Dickson. Now I'm going to buy her a GPS; not because she's gone through the Harbour Tunnel in an over height truck, she's having a $120 a head fundraiser on Friday night; she's sitting for the seat of Dickson, but she's having the fundraiser in Melbourne.
All again organised by GetUp! and others. This is a left wing group of lawyers I think that is coming together to provide funding for it. Look, Ms France had a bit of trouble locally. The local Labor Party wanted to elect Linda Lavarch who's the long-time local, former wife of Michael Lavarch to be the Dickson candidate for the Labor Party. They were overridden by the left-wing of the party here in Queensland and Ms France became the candidate so there's not a lot of support from the Labor Party on the ground for Ali France.
The other issue that Ali France has got, of course, is that she lives in Ashgrove – doesn't even live in Dickson – which is what Sheryl Kernot tried to get away with for years, but people called that out.
So look, all of that speaks for itself and it's a tough contest in my electorate – as it is in a number of others – but we were out yesterday talking to people; Meals on Wheels at Petrie do wonderful work, announcing $11 million for about 300 car parks at Ferny Grove Train Station and I think doing things locally, that interest people and that make a positive difference in people's lives.
I know we've got Mr Palmer and 'Make Australia Great', but we've got a new party you may not be aware of it's the ILMT Party; that's the I Love Malcolm Turnbull Party. We've already got one person standing who loves Malcolm Turnbull against Tony Abbott and now we have Julia Banks running for the seat of Flinders as a so-called independent when in fact she's a member of the ILMT Party.
She screamed from the roof tops she'd been bullied by men within the Party, hasn't named anyone. Is there a concerted effort by the former Prime Minister to rally troops just to be a burr under the saddle of your team?
Well Ray, Greg Hunt's known to a lot of us and to most Australians he'd be known as, I think, the best Health Minister the Liberal Party's ever had. I mean if you look at the medicines, the lifesaving medicines that he's listing, the way in which he's handled the portfolio; bulk billing rates have gone up, we've spent record amounts of money – not just on the PBS – but also on the MBS as well; so more money going to doctors, record amounts into hospitals.
Not only that, but he's a great local member. I mean he's involved in all sorts of causes. I had him up at my electorate just before Christmas to meet with parents and the kids who had Type 1 diabetes and I saw him interact there with those people. He's a thoroughly decent guy and there's been lots of speculation about this, but in the end people support good strong local members and Greg is that Member. He's genuine, he's sincere, he lives there and he's involved in the community; I think he'll do very well.
Okay thanks for that we'll talk next Thursday.
Thanks Ray, take care mate.