DANICA DE GIORGIO: Jane, thank you so much for joining us this morning. Let's begin with ASIO's warning of the potential for opportunistic violence in Australia, following Hamas's terrorist attack on Israel. The terror threat has not yet been raised here. How concerned are you though that violence could materialise here?
JANE HUME: Certainly ASIO's warning should be taken very seriously indeed and we know that there are members of the Jewish community both here in Melbourne and in Sydney that have already said that they feel unsafe, that there are indications that violence potentially could be inflicted upon them at any time. There has been threats in the streets. This morning I heard of stories of a threat written on the concrete, just in South Melbourne towards the Jewish community there. These are of concern and certainly with more protests expected on the weekend, police and security forces should be on high alert to make sure that those protests occur peacefully. Of course, the Coalition utterly condemns not just the protests themselves, but the activists that are taking part in them, particularly those that would be spreading words of hate, of racial vilification, of menace and of violence. We would urge those people to rethink any plans that they might have to come out on the streets of either Melbourne or Sydney this weekend.
DANICA DE GIORGIO: You just mentioned they are an example of some of the anti-Jewish rhetoric that's occurring in Melbourne and we've seen some similar examples also in Sydney. How confident are you that nothing is being done to protect the Jewish community in Australia right now?
JANE HUME: Well, certainly, it's not just about making sure that the Jewish community is protected, but that they feel safe as well as are safe. That's why it's going to be so important that these protests that are on the weekend are well managed by local police, AFP and security forces as well. And that the warning that Peter Dutton made should be heated. Should any of those protesters be found to be spruiking racial vilification or menace or hate, and they are not citizens, well, they should be immediately deported. France has certainly made sure that that is the case in their country. I can't understand why Australia wouldn't follow suit in this case. There is no room in this country for people that spread words of hate violence, particularly to a community like the Jewish community in Australia around 43,000 or so, Australian Jewish people who deserve not only to to be safe, but to feel safe at all times, particularly at a time that is so traumatic for so many of them with family and friends overseas.
DANICA DE GIORGIO: Just on that, Mike Burgess from ASIO. He made a point and he said that in this debate, words matter. Now, Peter Dutton has certainly been criticised for some of the language that he has used over the last few days. Has some of his dialogue been inflammatory?
JANE HUME: My understanding is that Mike Burgess has already spoken to Peter Dutton to say that those words were not directed at him, as Penny Wong and Anthony Albanese may have implied. Quite frankly, at a time when the government, the Labor government is about to lose a referendum has a war in the Middle East, has a strange stuck in a conflict zone is facing a cost of living crisis and hasn't got an economic plan to deal with it, I would imagine that the government should be focusing on their job rather than what Peter Dutton is saying and trying to imply that ASIO's warnings have been directed to the Opposition Leader. I think that's a cheap shot. How about they just do their job.
DANICA DE GIORGIO: But you don't think that his dialogue has been inflammatory?
JANE HUME: I think his dialogue has been strong and so it should be. Australians have the right to feel safe in their own home, and Australians have the right to feel safe in their own country. Jewish Australians in particular, are feeling threatened right now. They don't just have a right to be safe. They have a right to feel safe. We need to make sure that we do everything to protect this community, particularly at a time when they are so traumatised, when they do have family and friends that are in a conflict zone that they are worried not just for their safety, but for their own safety too. You should feel safe in this country no matter what.
DANICA DE GIORGIO: The New South Wales Police Minister Yasmin Catley has been accused of misleading parliament and offending the Jewish community. Does she need to go after what's been labeled offensive comments?
JANE HUME: Well, there is no room for that in our political dialogue. In fact, one of the things that I think has been most disappointing in the last week is that so many of those in government have been slow to condemn the actions of those protesters. Slow to protect those that need protection in the Jewish community. And you know, there are a lot of vigils out there now. I think there's been a number of peaceful vigils in support of the Jewish community. I know that Peter Dutton was mentioning one yesterday there's one in Melbourne tonight, I would hope that the Jewish community, take heart from those vigils, make sure that they feel safe at those vigils and feel supported because I know that the Coalition stands in solidarity with the Jewish community in Australia and with Israel.
DANICA DE GIORGIO: All right, I just want to end on the Voice. Of course, it's the final day of campaigning. There's more polls again today and they say the same thing, that an overwhelming number of Australians will vote no. How do you think the campaign has gone so far?
JANE HUME: I've been so disappointed by this campaign. It's been such a divisive debate entirely unnecessary. I think inevitably, the Voice will fail. The referendum will fail on the weekend. And on Sunday morning, I hope Anthony Albanese wakes up and takes responsibility for putting Australians through such an unnecessarily divisive and destructive campaign, and decides that he can now veer back onto the path of bipartisanship, which he was the one that stepped away from that path. And veer back to the path of bipartisanship and work out a way with the Coalition that we can recognise Indigenous Australians in the Constitution in a way that unites all Australians rather than divides us. I think that every Australian is going to wake up on Sunday morning and say thank heavens that's over. But now where to from here, and that will fall squarely at Anthony Albanese's feet because he was the one that put us through this.
DANICA DE GIORGIO: So if not the Voice then, if the No vote gets up, what actually changes? What is going to close the gap in Australia?
JANE HUME: Well, obviously there needs to be focus more on what is being delivered on the ground. That's what Jacinta Price has been talking about, that's what Warren Mundine has been talking about. There is no shortage of resources or goodwill that is directed towards Aboriginal Australians, Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander Australians. We want to close the gap. We want to make a difference. We want to see genuine changes to outcomes. Unfortunately, the Voice to Parliament is not the way to get there. There are other ways to do it and it starts with those individual communities. Those local and regional voices. That's where the Coalition has said that they'll focus. That's where we'd like to see Anthony Albanese step up and step in on Sunday morning, to work with the Coalition to find a solution to make genuine change rather than symbolic.
DANICA DE GIORGIO: A big day ahead tomorrow. Jane Hume, appreciate your time. Thank you for joining us.