TRANSCRIPT – 91.7 ABC GOLD COAST
Nicole Dyer: Liberals from Victoria meeting the Prime Minister and Treasurer in Canberra today to discuss the stunning defeat, as Federal parliament enters its final sitting fortnight of the year. Joining you now is the Minister for Industry, Science and Technology, Local Coast MP and
member for McPherson Karen Andrews. Karen, Good Morning.
Minister Andrews: Good morning Nicole.
Nicole Dyer: Karen, this is the second election the Libs have lost – the first being the by-election in Wentworth and then of course the Victorian State Election. How much of a role did the leadership change play in this in your opinion?
Minister Andrews: Well in Victoria we were clearly hoping for a better result and without a doubt there would have been some people that would have voted in accordance with their views of Federal politics, however, there was a significant swing to Labor in Victoria and the size of that swing would indicate that there were a number of issues that were part of it, so we’re not walking away at all –
Nicole Dyer: – getting back to my original question, would you say that the leadership change within the Federal Government, the ousting of Turnbull in August, played a role in this?
Minister Andrews: Look certainly for some people they would have voted because they were unhappy with the change in the leadership at the Federal level but I think the point is, that given the extent of the swing there were a lot of issues that people voted on and it’s quite clear that some of the issues in Victoria – the spend on infrastructure was significant and people voted accordingly for what was being proposed. Now, historically Victoria has been a Labor state much the same as Queensland, the lessons for us federally is to make sure that we concentrate on the issues that are important to people throughout Queensland and of course nationally. I’m very focused on the Coast on the infrastructure, we’ve delivered the M1 that’s on the way to being upgraded through to the border. Now there’s movement on the Light Rail, with Stage Three A. So we’re focused on infrastructuring Queenslanders as well, so we’ve got maybe five, six months to make sure that we are delivering what people are looking for.
Nicole Dyer: With a Federal election looming and two election losses to the Liberals, is the party out of sync with mainstream Australia? Does there need to be some big changes, perhaps the Conservative Right has too much say within the party, and Australians are saying we don’t like that. What’s your take on that?
Minister Andrews: Well I think that we need to be careful about comparing Victorian results to what may happen in Queensland, because the issues in Victoria are quite different to the issues in Queensland and you can actually split Queensland effectively into two parts – the issues in South East Queensland where you do have a lot of congestion, are quite different to what your experiencing around Townsville where jobs in particular are a big issue.
Nicole Dyer: Are you worried that there is going to be a swing against the Liberal party come the Federal election in Queensland, in particular here on the Gold Coast?
Minister Andrews: I’m going to be doing absolutely everything I can to listen to the people in McPherson and broadly on the Gold Coast and to make sure that I’m strongly advocating for them and in my view the Liberal party, the Liberal-National party in Queensland, has the most to offer.
Nicole Dyer: So you’re not concerned at all of being collateral damage post Malcolm Turnbull’s ousting come the Federal election early next year?
Minister Andrews: It’s not in my nature, Nicole, to not be concerned about a range of things that could impact on my electorate because I want to do the absolute best for the people on the Gold Coast. So I’m going to be listening, I’m going to be taking on board what they’re saying and am going be doing my absolute best to represent them.
Nicole Dyer: You don’t think there needs to be major changes within the Liberal party?
Minister Andrews: The most important thing for us to be doing at the moment is spending as much time as we can in our electorates, listening to people and a wide range of people, not just people who are already supporting our views, but listening to the young people on the Gold Coast, listening to the older Australians and what their concerns are going to be and making sure
that we are doing the best that we can to represent them.
Nicole Dyer: Scott Morrison is still ahead of Bill Shorten as preferred Prime Minister. Does that help you sleep at night?
Minister Andrews: Well I’ve got a lot of time for Scott Morrison, I think he’s terrific and I think he’s resonating well in Queensland. He’s a decent person, he’s likeable, what you see is what you get with Scott and the more that we get him out there and get him to meet more people, the more they’re going to like Scott Morrison.
Nicole Dyer: So just to be absolutely clear, Karen Andrews as a Gold Coast Liberal MP, you are feeling very confident that what happened in Victoria in no way is indicative of what possibly could happen here in Queensland come Federal election time?
Minister Andrews: We’ve got work to do, without a doubt. So I’m not dismissing the result in either Wentworth or in Victoria but there are some key differences. My focus is to make sure that I’m properly representing the people in McPherson, the people of the Gold Coast and the people of Queensland.
Nicole Dyer: ABC election analysts made an interesting point at the weekend, Antony Green, he said that we place too much importance on polls, with polling showing that the Victorian election should have been much closer than it was. What do you make of that?
Minister Andrews: I think that there’s been a number of polls that have been less than accurate in the past and I think that yes you should have a look at the polls, but it’s very true that the poll that counts is the one that happens on election day. Now no one should take anything for granted at
all and I think what Antony Green said was absolutely spot on. The result in Victoria was not as predicted, it was predicted to be much closer, so no one who’s in the public eye, no politician can take the polls as they are. You’ve actually got to be out there, doing your best, talking about the messages but definitely listening to people.
Nicole Dyer: Just finally, it is the final sitting fortnight of the year and certainly Labor is going to be pushing every Scott Morrison button. He’s facing parliament for the first time as a minority party. What areyou expecting in the next 14 days?
Minister Andrews: Look, the last two sitting weeks of any year are always interesting because there’s going to be a lot of twists and turns. The Opposition will play its own games. What you’ll see from the Government is that we are very united. We are working well together, we’re absolutely backing in Scott Morrison, and so we will be out there demonstrating we are a strong and stable Government.
Nicole Dyer: Local MP, Member for McPherson Karen Andrews, thank you very much.
Minister Andrews: Ok. Thank you.