Doorstop Interview – Parliament House 23 March

Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister

PATRICK GORMAN, ASSISTANT MINISTER TO THE PRIME MINISTER: It is quarter time of the sitting fortnight. It’s 100 days to cheaper childcare. And because of the vote in the Senate last night, we now know we will have a referendum for a constitutionally enshrined voice to Parliament later this year. What we saw in the Senate last night was people working together to make sure that we can have the sort of referendum that Australians expect, one where it looks a bit like a federal election, and I commend everyone who’s worked for that outcome, it is a good thing, it will mean that we can have that fair vote to make sure that, hopefully, we can get constitutional recognition for the first peoples of Australia in our Constitution.

But there is another big question in front of the Senate this week and next week. And that question is, what is going to happen with the safeguard mechanism. We’ve already seen the no-alition decide that they don’t even want to be part of the negotiations, they don’t even want to talk about acting on climate change. This is the safeguard mechanism, let’s remember, it is a mechanism that came from the Coalition party room. And we’re just trying to make sure that it can actually do the job that it needs to do, which is to bring down carbon emissions. But there are others who want the climate wars to continue. And we saw climate warlord Bob Brown out there saying that he wants to kick on the climate wars for another decade. Australians don’t want that. Australians want us to get this done. It should not be a difficult question for the Greens political party. Do you want lower emissions or higher emissions? That is the question in front of them, I say thank you to those who are negotiating in good faith, to make sure that we can take the next step on the journey towards 43% emissions reduction by 2030. And a good sensible path to net zero by 2050. That’s what we want to get done this week and next week.

Like I said, we’re at quarter time of the sitting fortnight, we’ve continued on our work in terms of delivering that cheaper childcare, which starts in 100 days, we’ll continue our work on making sure we revive Australian manufacturing, we’ll continue our work on making sure we build the skills and training system that Australians need for the future to grab those clean energy jobs and those smart, high quality manufacturing jobs of the future. And we’ll continue doing our work. I just call on those and other parties, including the Coalition and the Greens, to respect the mandate and respect the voice of the Australian people who said that they want action on climate change. And again, the plan that was put forward is the one we took to the election.

Speaking of elections, on a final note, I’m from Western Australia, but even from Western Australia you can tell that New South Wales needs a fresh start. It needs a Chris Minns Labor government. For all those who are handing out for the Labor party on Saturday and every Labor candidate across the great state of New South Wales, I wish the absolute best. The people of New South Wales need a fresh start, and they need a New South Wales Labor Government.

Thank you.

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