Subjects: the Voice, portfolio matters, AG’s failure to send AFP to Alice Springs
PETE STEFANOVIC: Let’s go to the Gold Coast. Now, joining us live is the Shadow Home Affairs minister, Karen Andrews. Karen, good to see you. Thanks for your time as always, you’ve got a hole in your team at the moment, Karen, with Dutton in the Alice, who do you hope is the new Indigenous spokesperson?
KAREN ANDREWS: Well, I think there’s a multiple, group of people who could potentially take on that particular role. It’s ultimately a decision for Peter Dutton to take, and I know that he’ll give that very careful consideration. So, I guess along with you, I’ll get to wait and see.
PETE STEFANOVIC: Sure. There is a strong push for Jacinta Price, though. Should the fact that she is with the country liberal party stop her from taking the role?
KAREN ANDREWS: Well, I think if you look at making sure that we have the best possible team going into the next election, that we need to look at how we put that together. And I would hate to see there being some issues taken into account that don’t give us the best possible team that we have going forward.
PETE STEFANOVIC: Would you give her the tick of approval?
KAREN ANDREWS: Well, I thought you might keep going with that, Pete, cause that was a very wordy answer that I just gave you.
PETE STEFANOVIC: Come on, gimme something, Karen.
KAREN ANDREWS: Look, okay. Alright. I will, I think Jacinta Price is an excellent Senator. I think she’s well across all of the issues and if she is chosen to be put in as the next shadow Indigenous Minister, she would have my support 100 per cent.
PETE STEFANOVIC: Okay. The other name that has been tossed about at the moment too is Senator Kerryn Liddle. Would she be a good option?
KAREN ANDREWS: Yeah. Absolutely, and to be honest, I’ve spent more time with Senator Liddle than I have with Senator Price. I think Kerryn Liddle is excellent. I think she understands the issues in the Northern Territory. She’s a Senator for South Australia. She would absolutely be fantastic in the job. And she of course would have my 100 per cent support as well, too. So I think the Coalition is in a great position that we have two very obvious choices, but of course there are others who may well step into that role. And I’m very confident that Peter Dutton, with the support of David Littleproud, will make sure that we have the best possible team going forward.
PETE STEFANOVIC: Are you willing to endorse one this morning?
KAREN ANDREWS: No because I’m not across where those discussions might be at this point in time, I have an enormous amount of respect for both Jacinta and Kerryn, and also there are many others in the team that could well step up into that role.
PETE STEFANOVIC: Fair enough. Fair enough.
KAREN ANDREWS: I’m sure there’ll be a good, good response.
PETE STEFANOVIC: Worth a try anyway. Now, Queensland is swinging more towards the no side of things according to the latest polls. Karen, will the loss of Julian Leeser be a blow or a benefit to your campaign?
KAREN ANDREWS: Well, the loss of Julian Leeser from the shadow front bench is a loss clearly to the Coalition, he was certainly a very valued member of our shadow team, but he will continue to work with us all from the back bench. And he’s made that very clear. He’s also made it clear that he’s going to continue to prosecute from the back bench alternate model. But I think the more that I talk to people, the greater is their concern about what is being put forward by Mr. Albanese. And let me be really clear, I am extremely disappointed that the Prime Minister has decided that he will follow a course of action and not listen to alternate views that are being put, which may well result in the referendum going down. This is a bloody minded approach by the Prime Minister to a very significant issue here in Australia. And quite frankly, if he’s not prepared to talk and listen to his parliamentary colleagues, I think that does not indicate a very positive response should the voice be established. So I think it’s appalling conduct by the Prime Minister.
PETE STEFANOVIC: And you would back as Peter Dutton has done, the AFP being sent into the Alice?
KAREN ANDREWS: Absolutely. I’ve raised this before and I think really the Attorney General needs to step up and explain why he has not sent the AFP into support the Northern Territory Police in Alice Springs. This should have been done months ago, but he’s sat on his hands. He’s done absolutely diddly squat to support policing in the Northern Territory, and it’s time for him to step up and take a bit of responsibility.
PETE STEFANOVIC: Karen Andrews, we’ll leave it there. Appreciate it.