Subjects: Attribution of cyber-attack to Russia; LNP candidate in Lilley; light rail on the Gold Coast; Anthony Albanese’s inability to pronounce ‘Melbournians’
NEIL BREEN: I’ll bring in the Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews, she joins me every Wednesday. Good Morning to you Minister.
KAREN ANDREWS: Good morning Neil, how are you?
BREEN: I’m well thanks. People think ‘oh well, cyber-attacks – they’re trying to hack someone’s computer’. But what they’re actually doing is disrupting emergency services and energy supply, like turning the power off, transport systems, communication networks – they’re actually messing with the life of an everyday person. Not the computers of some big company.
ANDREWS: Absolutely, and that’s why the Morrison Government – the Coalition – has moved to put in place important protections for our critical infrastructure here in Australia; so that does include our energy networks, our health systems, water systems – amongst others. We understand that cyber-attacks happen – we’ve had this attribution overnight in regards to Russia’s activity – but cyber-attacks can take many forms and we want to be in a position to make sure we are protecting Australians and we are protecting our critical infrastructure.
BREEN: 100%. You know, I listened to Putin and his ‘victory day’ thing – I dead-set thought I was watching a movie about Adolf Hitler, like the way they were all chanting… the guy’s about to turn 70, I truly believe he wants to do something radical before he dies to leave his mark on the world and I don’t think it’s going to be good.
ANDREWS: Well we’ve just got to look at what has been happening in Ukraine – I’m so very impressed and proud of the Ukrainian Government and Ukrainians for what they’ve been able to do to fight back in the circumstances they’ve found themselves in. But yes, the activities of Russia and clearly Mr Putin are bringing an extraordinary spotlight on what is happening over there, and none of it is good.
BREEN: This Sunday, the official launch – I always find that weird, I’m going to call it a rally – because you’re five weeks into the campaign! The launch of the campaign by your party will be in Brisbane this Sunday, we know why – 23 seats, six to Labor, one to an Independent, it’s very, very important. Why was Brisbane chosen?
ANDREWS: Well we’ve put our headquarters for the campaign in Queensland again; we’ve done that previously. Queensland is very important to the Coalition, I’m certainly delighted that the launch is going to be here – Queenslanders are important, they’ve always been important to the Coalition Government, so I’m delighted that we are having the campaign launch here.
BREEN: There’s been lots of dramas interstate – with various candidates; Warringah… Josh Frydenberg’s up against teal candidates – all these things. Queensland’s been very quiet, with one exception, it’s the candidate for Lilley by the LNP – Vivian Lobo – who’s under investigation by the Federal Police. Apparently he, his wife, and his parents-in-law changed their address to a dilapidated joint at Everton Park they clearly don’t live at. Why hasn’t the Party just dis-endorsed him?
ANDREWS: Well I can’t comment on party matters as such – that will need to be dealt with by the Liberal National Party – and of course, as I have responsibility for the Australian Federal Police, it’s now an active investigation, I can’t comment on any of those proceedings. However I have a lot of confidence in the AFP, they are very professional, they’ll take their responsibilities very seriously in this matter as they do with everything else. And of course the Morrison Government has increased the funding to the AFP so that they are well-equipped and well-resourced for all of the activities they need to undertake. But unfortunately, sorry Neil, there’s no more I can add to that one.
BREEN: Well I hope that the Federal Police resources are properly thrown at it. I’ll comment on it – he’s blown the seat of Lilley for you. He cannot win it, it was a marginal seat, it was winnable, and unfortunately, this guy’s mislead everyone and blown it for you. Hey yesterday, you were in a bingle with Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate over light rail – the extension of it all the way down from Burleigh Heads to Coolangatta. You don’t want it to go down the Pacific Highway? You wanted it diverted? He said it was treachery. Why don’t you like light rail all the way to Coolangatta on the highway?
ANDREWS: My issue has been – for a very, very long time – that the view of the residents who are impacted, has to be listened to. I don’t believe that has happened – and I don’t believe any level of Government – Federal, State, or Local – should just steamroll over the views of people who are going to be affected by this. I have been working to get proper consultation done, and I know there are views out there that consultation has happened – if you stand in Palm Beach and you talk to the people down there, they don’t want the light rail down the Gold Coast Highway. I’ve said that there needs to be proper consultation, we need to be listening to the views of the people who are going to be impacted by this – that is actually my job as a Federal Member of Parliament – to listen to what people are saying and to act on their views – there needs to be proper consultation. Stage 3 has had significant cost blowouts, it is well behind where it was supposed to be in terms of completion dates, any further stages of the light rail have to be done much better. No one that I have spoken to has said ‘reducing the Gold Coast Highway to one lane is a good idea’.
BREEN: Is that what would happen?
ANDREWS: Yes! Absolutely. In parts the Gold Coast Highway would become one lane…
BREEN: You can’t get down it as it is!
ANDREWS: Exactly! And that’s what locals are saying.
BREEN: 20,000 people a day use that light rail, and they’re saying that’s good – I don’t know if that’s that great. Hey Karen Andrews, you know I don’t like gotcha questions but I got to ask you a question this morning – you know how if you come from Brisbane you’re a Brisbaneite?
BREEN: Can you answer this question for me? If you come from Melbourne what are you?
ANDREWS: I would say a Melbournian.
BREEN: Well this is what Anthony Albanese says they are and people from Melbourne are said to be very upset, because he hasn’t pronounced Melbournian as you have. It’s making big play on TV News, here’s Albo:
ALBANESE: This project will transform the way that Melbornians can get around this city.
[End of excerpt]
ANDREWS: Oh dear, well add that to the increasing list of things Albo can’t get right.
BREEN: I’m sorry I threw a question without notice but you answered it correctly! Of course they’re Melbournians. Karen Andrews, we’ll talk to you next week, good luck at the launch of the weekend.
ANDREWS: Thank you, take care.