ANDREW CLENNELL: Joining us now from Melbourne is the Shadow Finance Minister Jane Hume. Jane Hume, thanks for your time. What is your take on the Intergenerational Report and Jim Chalmers sell on it?
JANE HUME: Well, I think the frustration, Andrew, with the Intergenerational Report is it didn't really tell us anything we didn't already know. In fact, it was brought forward two years. And it taught us exactly the same thing as the Intergenerational Report from just two years ago. We know that the pressures are going to be on aged care, on health and on the NDIS but there were really no solutions offered. It does feel a little bit like we're being you know, with the frog being boiled slowly in the pot. If you chuck a frog in a pot of boiling water, it's gonna jump straight out if he says oh, we're gonna do we're gonna up you know, increase your taxes. It jumps straight out, but if you just boil it slowly, if you boil it slowly, we all get used to the idea that higher taxes are inevitable, and it started with the first State of the Nation last year when Jim Chalmers first became the Treasurer and looked at the books. Then it was the October Budget then it was the May Budget, they've all told us the same thing. And yet there doesn't seem to be any solutions on the expenditure side. It just seems to be this inevitability that taxes are going to have to go up.
ANDREW CLENNELL: What taxes?
JANE HUME: Well, this is the question, isn't it? They removed the guardrails on the tax to GDP ratio, which essentially gives them free rein on what taxes they can raise. They came to government saying there'd be no new taxes other than some tweaks to multinational tax avoidance. We're already within the first year we've seen taxes on superannuation. We've seen a change in that heavy vehicle road user charge which goes straight into your grocery bills. We're seeing a tax or you know, a biosecurity levy on farmers that goes straight into your fresh produce bills. So there have been numerous new taxes already warming us up for something more.
ANDREW CLENNELL: Okay. Good luck with that electorally I guess. Will the Coalition support the government's PRRT changes in the Senate?
JANE HUME: Well, there you go again. So the PRRT obviously is very much a new tax and it's going to affect particularly gas producers. This is of concern to us, because the gas producers are already under so much pressure. They originally had price caps put on them which was an unprecedented market intervention. Then they had the additional safeguard mechanism and now they're having the PRRT. Problem is of course that all of this is deterring new investment in gas, which we know is the transition fuel that is going to take us to a netzero future. As we transition to renewables, we need more gas in the system. And it seems that those new investors are being turned away. Now we know industry have said that they accept the changes to the PRRT. But to be honest, this is an industry that is exhausted and is now just looking for a final resolution. It's almost conditional as long as it's the last thing the last thing.
ANDREW CLENNELL: So you will oppose it?
JANE HUME: Well it hasn't been through party room processes. Andrew, it hasn't been through our party room processes yet. So I can't answer that question for you. We do know that industry support it, but it's because this is an exhausted industry. We want to see more investment in the gas industry, more gas fields. Open up Scarborough, Narrabri, Beetaloo, Bass Strait, all of those need to have further investment in them if we're going to get to that net zero future that Labor are so determined to get to using renewables.
ANDREW CLENNELL: Alright. Ken Henry warned about the, his words not, mine 'poor buggers' who will pay more in income tax to service the old, won't be able to afford a house, will have to deal with climate change. Has either major party in politics got an answer for them?
JANE HUME: I think this is actually probably the most pressing question and I've spoken to to my party about this before you know, every generation in Australia, every generation has always said if I work hard, if I study if I start a business, if I save my money, if I do all the right things, then I have the chance of doing well and doing better than the generation before me, except for this generation now. And I think that's a real shame. If we can do anything, if we can do anything in politics, it should be to restore that sense of hope and opportunity in that next generation. And that doesn't seem to be on the cards and particularly this constant negativity about how the future is going to be a disaster is how you know costs are gonna go blow out, how taxes are going to be higher, how it's going to be impossible for people to buy a home. How about we find the solutions to those problems, rather than just simply pointing to the fire without a bucket of water? And that's fundamentally important. That's the first responsibility where this government is failing.
ANDREW CLENNELL: Jane Hume, I'll tell you where the government would point to their IR reforms. I'd say they're better for young workers, but what do you think they'll do to the economy?
JANE HUME: Well, would they really be I mean, let's face it, you know, if you wouldn't be you know, it's not just us saying that productivity is one of the most important things to a growing economy to a successful prosperous growing economy. Philip Lowe said that you can't have wage rises without a company in productivity. How do you get productivity? Well you get productivity through things like having flexible industrial relations system, like having more supply of energy, cheaper, lower cost energy, and of course, by cutting red tape as well, again, we see seems to see the government saying one thing and doing another holding a review or doing nothing with their review, except conducting another review in response. So we would actually like to see some action on products with genuine action on productivity, rather than just lip service.
ANDREW CLENNELL: On the voice we finally get a date for this week. It's October 14. That's not a secret. Do you think the vote will fail? What will that mean for Indigenous people? Do you think a lot of Australians just want this over with?
JANE HUME: I think this has been such a tough time for all Australians, because let's face it, we all want to see a constitutional recognition of Aboriginal Australians. We've been talking about that for decades, starting with John Howard, right through Tony Abbott and Prime Minister's subsequently, and Coalition leaders subsequently. We all want that and we were working towards that. Unfortunately, Anthony Albanese politicised the Voice and decided he could move away from finding a consensus solution to recognition of Indigenous Australians in the Constitution, and he's gone the way of the Voice. And can I tell you there are lots of people like me and my party whose heart said we could get here. But unfortunately, the question that's been put before us, my head and my gut says, We cannot support this. If we can't understand it. If you don't know how it's going to work. How can you support it? If you don't know how it's going to work? You can't change it, and it risks what we have, which is a constitution that has underpinned the most functional, successful liberal democracy in the world. Well, how can you risk that? So this is a missed opportunity, and it's on Anthony Albanese, I don't think the voice referendum will succeed. That is an opportunity lost and it's on him.
ANDREW CLENNELL: All right, should a cross be a no on the voting ballot?
JANE HUME: Well, I know that this is really a common sense issue. And I think it's really important to point it out. It does seem to be an inconsistency. I know that it's occurred in the past, but, you know, let's face it, I think we want to make sure that integrity is central to the Voice referendum. That was certainly what we were fighting for. When we were doing the Referendum Machinery Bill. We wanted to make sure that we saw the pamphlet restored a yes or no case explicitly stated, which was something that the government didn't want, but it was something that Coalition pushed for. We wanted to make sure that both the yes and the no case we've got equal treatment in terms of you know their tax situation that they all both got DGR status the yes campaign already had DGR status the no campaign have only recently got that these are all integrity measures. We wanted to see official Yes or No organisations that were sanctioned by governments so we could put the right integrity measures around them around donations, foreign donations, foreign interference. Unfortunately, that's something that the government didn't pursue. This is essentially just another integrity measures that would give people comfort that the result at the end of the day is as clean and neat as possible.
ANDREW CLENNELL: We're nearly out of time. Just a couple of brief things. Were you looking to challenge James Paterson for the number one spot in the Senate?
JANE HUME: Andrew, I don't talk about other people's pre-selections. I'm certainly not going to talk about my own and and look at what I have said, I think in the past is that James and I are very good friends. We work very closely together. I am absolutely certain that we will both be returned to the Senate and that will we both be a part of a Coalition Government led by Peter Dutton for I don't think that's an any doubt and just briefly can I be very clear pre-selections are up to party members. They're up to party members. They're not up to us.
ANDREW CLENNELL: All right, just very briefly, the by-election result overnight. Obviously it wasn't against Labor at the state level was against the Greens. What did you make of it?
JANE HUME: I'm so thrilled about this of course, I was out there at the Warrandyte by-election yesterday. Nicole Werner is just an excellent candidate. She has really worked incredibly hard. She is the future of the Liberal Party. You know, she's young, she's she's a she's lived her values every day of her life. She's from a migrant family. She's articulate, she's engaging. She's so good with constituents. I am so excited for her and and so should the Liberal team have been Victoria I do feel that this the tide turned at those ballot boxes yesterday in those lines as people queued up to cast their vote. We heard a resounding a resounding support for not just for Nicole, but also against Dan Andrews and this corrupt and tired government that we have here in Victoria.
ANDREW CLENNELL: Jane Hume, thanks for your time this morning.