Newschat Panel with Jane Caro, The Today Show
26 January 2023
SARAH ABO: Inflation which has reached its highest peak in 30 years and could now force the RBA to deliver an additional three rate hikes and risk recession. For more we're joined by Liberal Senator Jane Hume and commentator Jane Caro, are both with me live now. The two Janes, lucky me. So good to see you both. Now I will go to you, Senator, first, I think that will be the distinction. Previously the treasurer has placed blame on the Coalition for the economy’s state. Is that a fair assessment?
JANE HUME: Do you know before the election Sarah, the Labor government so that they had all the answers to the cost of living crisis facing Australians and we know that that's what they're gonna be talking about around the barbecues today, but in fact, they haven't had any solutions. They've got no plan, inflation is running out of control, and they're not helping Australians deal with it. It doesn't matter whether it's at the bowser, at the grocery checkout, whether they're paying their mortgage, when they're paying their rent, when they're paying their child care. This needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency, Jim Chalmers made a promise before the election, and it simply hasn't come good.
SARAH ABO: It is really tricky. You know, it's so hard for so many families out there at the moment, Jane, how do you see it? Why do you think it's gotten so bad?
JANE CARO: Well, it seems to be getting the spread all over the world. So I don't think it's an isolated problem just for Australia. We know that inflation has started come down in America now but it's been at record levels, and New Zealand also and most of the rest of the world. Well, I think it's a combination of the COVID pandemic and the huge disruption that walk who economic economics economy everywhere supply chains, the forbid also the Ukraine war has had its effect, and we're facing climate change and unprecedented costs attached to that to the effects of climate change which has been neglected particularly in Australia for far too long. It's a perfect storm really, but I don't think it's an alien only problem. And yes, we should do what we can here to make, you know, bearable as possible, but it's probably not solvable. Just in this country alone.
SARAH ABO: Yeah, we're all trying to navigate through it. Hey, how about this one in South Australia? The government there is trying to ban mobile phones in schools. It's a move it's been criticized by the opposition. They're saying it'll be ineffective since staff will have no lawful authority to confiscate them. I'm all for it. Senator. What do you think? I reckon kick the phones out of schools.
JANE HUME: But it does sound to me Sarah, a little bit like the policies undercooked. It's a great idea and to hope that parents have been consulted on this. But the most important thing is that there is the infrastructure and the enforcement mechanism to maintain it. Because while we want to make sure that our kids aren't distracted, we don't want to impose something on teachers that they simply can't implement.
SARAH ABO: Jane, I reckon it's easy though don't you? You can take your phone to school and you can get it back after school just dump it somewhere in the meantime.
JANE CARO: Most schools already have these kinds of provisions in place anyway. You've got to remember, it's not even legal to enforce uniforms in public schools. You know, they cannot enforce it.
SARAH ABO: It’s crazy.
JANE CARO: No, it's not crazy-
SARAH ABO: About the phones I mean.
JANE CARO: because some parents can't afford the uniform. So it's not crazy. We understand why it is, but it's not a problem. And so it won't be a problem for the phones either. I think this is somebody trying to come up with something that sounds like it's bad, but it isn't really and teachers are pretty good at dealing with kids using phones in their classroom and they certainly pay a penalty for that.
SARAH ABO: Yeah, I just find it so distracting though. If they’ve got the phone there, they’re so tempted to check it.
JANE CARO: Well that’s why the teacher takes it like they do already.
SARAH ABO: Yeah, I suppose. And there's all those extra layers when it comes to social media and everything. Anyway, I digress. We are here on Australia Day. And of course, throughout the show, we've been celebrating the great Australian language. Senator, what is your favorite Aussie word?
JANE HUME: Well can I just say before we do that I'm at a citizenship ceremony today. And now I'm not going to be teaching my great Australian slang to the new citizens of Australia, all hundred of them downstairs, from about 42 different countries. But my favorite is Sir Les Patterson, who is the least politically correct politician that ever fictionally existed in Australia. He said that he met a bloke with a face like a dropped pie.
SARAH ABO: We heard that one on the show earlier actually it's a goodie. I like it. What about you Jane?
JANE CARO: Well there are so many that are wonderful. I like things like he's a flash Nick From Jindavick. You know that kind of old fashioned Aussie slang, but my favorite Aussie slang word and I use it all the time, and I love using on Twitter to Americans because they have no idea what I'm talking about is nong, he's a nong. As in ‘Donald Trump is a nong’.
SARAH ABO: That's a good one. I like it. Hey, that's a perfect place to end. Thank you both so much for your time.