Panel on Paul Murray Live, Sky News
15 February 2023
PAUL MURRAY: So Jane, let's talk here. Bob Katter tells a story about a person, a teacher who's living on a veranda. Cost of Living. The Reserve Bank Governor was getting turned inside out like a pair of socks. We know all the pressures that are on people. Prime Minister today, show of hands, hands up, hands down, Hands up, hands down.
JANE HUME: Yeah, that was pretty undignified wasn't it? But you know, hey, you elect a clown, expect a circus. But what's really important to Australians is what's going on at home when they get their electricity bills, when they're going to the grocery shop and, you know, getting the final tally as they empty the trolley and putting things back on the line. When they’re going to the bowser and filling up there. And most importantly, as we discussed today, with the Governor of the Reserve Bank, when they're paying their mortgages, you know that's what's important to Australians right now. That's why we set up the Cost of Living Committee. As part of that, the Senate committee that's traveling right around the country, talking about what the real issues are that are affecting Australians today, and the solutions to deal with it that won't necessarily be inflationary. That are implementable and that are practical because, you know, let's face it, Labor had all the solutions to the cost of living crisis in April last year before the election. They've come into government and done exactly the opposite to what they said. They haven't given any relief to electricity bills. They haven't brought down grocery prices, they haven't improved the lives of people. What did they say? They said before the election, Tony Burke said, you will feel a change of government in your bank account. Well, you are certainly but for all the wrong reasons. And that's why we've set up this committee because Australia expected an economic plan to deal with the cost of living crisis. But the lack of a plan has meant that Labor has essentially planned to fail. They're talking about everything else other than this very important issue. They're full of slogans. They've got no solutions at all and Australians are crying out for their government to help them.
PAUL MURRAY: Correct. Next time you talk to a pollster feel free to give a different answer than you had been giving for the past seven months because they think it's their basic keep jogging on. But Joe again, as you saw me talk about this decision in Victoria to close a paper mill. The reason is because it's been starved and what they need to make the paper and now we are literally not made CFMEU and the workers themselves we will now import friggin copy paper.
JOE HILDEBRAND: Yeah, that sounds insane to me. I'm all of the view that as long as other people are making stuff, even if it's viewed as bad or dirty or mean or whatever it is, that we should be doing and competing with them.
PAUL MURRAY: They were in QT today banging on about it and my mate Ed Husic he's out there fighting about it. And he's hands up and hands down on the very day this was happening.
JOE HILDEBRAND: Yeah, look, I think in terms of the cost of living stuff the problem is there's not a great deal they could do. I'm hoping there is something.
PAUL MURRAY: Where was that before the election?
JANE HUME: That’s nonsense Joe!
JOE HILDEBRAND: There's not much they can do that doesn't run the risk of being inflationary in itself. So if you give money to people to pay off their power bills or you put money directly into consumers pockets that has a psychological effect, where they may then go out and spend that money and therefore you don't get that inflation figured down. So I do accept that that sort of rock and a hard place, which is why when they've intervened in the energy market, for example, they've intervened in the wholesale supply to power generators. And again, I think they should keep going and keep producing power as long as other people-
PAUL MURRAY: How do you think the Labor Party would have reacted if Tony Abbott had spent months and months and months saying stop the boats, stop the boats, stop the boats and then after nine months, boats, it increased?
JOE HILDEBRAND: Well, I've always thought you should actually, and I've always been a straight shooter and I did not blame the previous government for inflation and cost of living because there wasn't much they could do and I'm not blaming this government for it.
PAUL MURRAY: Don’t make me google your articles.
JOE HILDEBRAND: You can have a look at it. You can have a look at it. You can have a look at it old all the way
PAUL MURRAY: Cory again, we also got a warning today, don't you love you know when when it was a former Liberal government person it would be sort of the lead story in the ABC because they were talking out about a government policy, Jenny George as hardcore as Labor as they get right, former ACTU boss, former Labor MP for the best part of 10 years, wrote a great opinion piece in the Australian today, which is about how bad the planning is to the power system where as we've talked about before, the reality is they have knocked over a system and they have not replaced like for like and we're going to end up with problems in the next few years. Jenny George says there's no excuse for planning failures when authorities are advised in at least three years in advance about closures. There are domestic issues that have nothing to do with the invasion of Ukraine.
CORY BERNARDI: Paul, I can't explain to you just how frustrated I am when the politicians ex-politicians that I speak to the former bosses and chiefs of staff and the bureaucrats when they leave and they start talking about things that they don't reflect anything they've said in the parliamentary time or in their time in authority, and they go oh, now I can say what I really think, well, this is what is selling Australia short. You've got politicians that go up there, toeing the party line. You've got bureaucrats who have lived in a parallel universe, right? They've got the highest incomes anywhere in Australia, the highest median wealth in Canberra, almost anywhere in Australia, they are completely removed from reality. And if I can pick up on what Joe said, governments are not allies of the people anymore. They're the enemy of the people and throwing money at people of course they're going to spend it because they have to. If governments tax less, if they threw less stupid policies at people, if councils didn't double rights overnight, if they didn't interfere in markets, we would all be better off. Let us keep more of our own money, spend it on the stuff we want. If they stop mucking around with the electricity system just as Jenny George said we would have the cheapest, most reliable power anywhere in the world. And would still be greener, and cleaner than China and a whole bunch of other places. We'd be doing our bit. But no the brains trust in Canberra got it all wrong.
PAUL MURRAY: Jane I mean, look, we're acutely aware of what happened in the last election. We certainly know the shifting demographics and we certainly know the importance that some people have on you know the greenification of everything right. But to transition from the four wheel petrol car to an electric car means the electric car has to have four wheels. We're going from the coal fire power system that used to have four wheels, and we were being told that the three wheel electric car will put will provide just as much traction on the road. It doesn't, it won't.
JANE HUME: That's a complicated analogy, but I know exactly what you mean. This is the problem with Liddell, isn't it? This is the problem with Liddell, you know it's closing down. It's 50 years old. I understand how it feels. I'm 50 too and then you know, you get tired. The problem is it’s closing down, it’s closing down early. And we said that we extended its life. And then we said that we're going to invest in Kurri Kurri because that's the gas transformation. That's how we transition to a net zero future. We all want a greener future. There's no doubt about that. But it's about the transition. But then Labor came in and said that unless it goes straight to hydrogen, we're not supporting this. So they want to hydrogen by 2030. But now they're actually bringing it back. The technology isn't there to be able to do that to Kurri Kurri. So essentially we've been left with this giant black hole and a huge proportion of New South Wales’ energy is just it's going to disappear into the nether nether, into the ether for want of a better expression. But it's you know, this is the biggest problem it's this it's this planning the transition that's the problem and and just hoping and praying for a greener future isn't going to cut it. There has to be a plan for an energy transition. And it has to involve supply. More supply, bringing more supply into the system. Because without supply prices are simply going to increase its basic economics. It's really not that difficult. The more you block supply with you know, with things like you know, gas in Bass Strait or Beetaloo Basin. Well of course prices are gonna go up, not just in the long term but in the short term too because it sends a signal to the market. So we say invest in supply, that’s how you lower energy prices.
JOE HILDEBRAND: This is a gas story not a coal story. This is the problem. The problem is not the closure of the coal fired power stations. The problem is that you don't have gas as a transitional energy source which plenty of experts have said is the only viable and it makes perfect sense way to actually get from coal to renewable and unfortunately you do have idiots who are ideologues and extremists who say no gas is just as bad as coal. One of them is Adam Bandt from the Greens. The real reason the Kurri Kurri has been tied up has nothing to do with the Federal Labor Party. It's all to do with the state Liberal Party.
PAUL MURRAY: Which today turned around and stated no offshore-
JOE HILDEBRAND: Yeah, but after they've kept it tied up in tape and had a gas moratorium for almost a decade. And Labor’s backing Kurri Kurri so-
PAUL MURRAY: Thank you one and all. Let's get to Adam Walters because I want to get more information to people about what's happening when it comes to this mine collapse.