Panel with Karl Stefanovic and Tom Tate, Today Show
31 August 2023
KARL STEFANOVIC: It's taken a while but Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has finally confirmed the date for the Indigenous Voice to Parliament referendum declaring it will be held on Saturday October 14. Joining us to discuss today's headlines is Labor Senator Jane Hume and we're still waiting for Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate. He's climbing out of the surf with his buddies on so any moment now he'll pop up. But to you first up Jane, it's getting ugly this campaign now. Do you take any responsibility for that?
JANE HUME: But let me first correct you, Karl. It's Liberal Senator not Labor Senator before we launch into it.
KARL STEFANOVIC: You know what, do you know what I just thought I'd mix you up and see how on your toes you were this morning.
JANE HUME: Oh mate I'm on my toes on that one.
KARL STEFANOVIC: Because there's a full moon I don't know what's going on in the world. Do you want to go to Labor?
JANE HUME: No, no, absolutely not. This is a debate that doesn't need to get ugly. It should be a very respectful debate. The reason why I'm voting no, is not because of any of the reasons that Anthony Albanese wants to point to. It's because this is a really bad law. It's a bad law that can't be explained. If you don't know what it is you're voting for, how can you possibly vote for it? And if you don't know what you're voting for, and you can't reverse it, and it risks what we already have? Well, of course, people are going to vote no. That doesn't mean they're bad people it means that this isn't an adequately explained proposition that risks what we have, which is the most stable liberal democracy in the world.
KARL STEFANOVIC: So I suppose you're approaching this a little bit like an election. You'll be looking at the states and how it all works. Queensland will be tough to get a yes up, WA tough to get a yes up. How do you think it will play out in the other states?
JANE HUME: Well, I think my home state of Victoria is probably the one where the yes vote is the strongest but that is certainly not a resounding yes. We know that the yes campaign is very well resourced, that there is a lot of money behind it from corporates as well as from individuals, and that will be ramping up. I don't think that the no campaign can take anything for granted in these last few weeks. But I do think it's important that Australians look to their referendum brochure, the one that the Coalition got restored. Labor didn't want to have a brochure on the referendum that would explain yes and no, have a look at that. It's turning up in their mailboxes just this week and that describes both the yes and the no case. They can make up their own minds. Personally, I wouldn't risk it.
KARL STEFANOVIC: All right, moving on. According to the Daily Telegraph this morning, contrary to what Qantas has said about returns to pre-COVID capacity. flights to Europe through the Middle East are down 27% on pre-COVID levels, and airfares are up by as much as 50%. Do the numbers speak for yourselves and will there be any resolution here? I mean, former treasurer and nine Chairman Peter Costello says it's hard to fathom why Qatar Airways was blocked from bringing more flights to Australia.
JANE HUME: Yeah it is hard to fathom. I mean, we've now seen two former heads of the ACCC, the consumer watchdog come out and say that this decision by the Labor Government to deny Qatar Airways additional routes is costing Australians more. The CEO of Flight Center and Virgin have come out and said as you just said that air fares are now somewhere between 20% and 50% higher than they were pre-COVID and higher than they need to be. No one's really adequately explained why the government has made this decision. What we want to see is Anthony Albanese come out today explain what his involvement in the decision was. Why his government is making Australians pay more for airfares than they need to and if he can't answer those questions today, well quite frankly he'll have to answer them in Parliament next week.
KARL STEFANOVIC: I have a feeling there's gonna be movement on that story very soon. Well, the Queensland Premier is under fire this morning for being on a luxury European holiday while victims of crime advocates wait on a response from the Palaszczuk Government. The Courier Mail report, one in four comments on the Premier's Facebook post had negative things to say. But this morning, we're struggling to find any that kind of magically disappeared. Jane the Premier says she has a right to privacy on holidays as Tommy Tate appears. But she has a right to holidays she says But can anyone in the public eye really demand it?
JANE HUME: Well, I think everybody has a right to privacy when they're on holidays. But problem is if you spend more time on holidays than you do in Parliament, of course people are going to ask questions. I think when she gets off that plane she's going to find she's met with torches and pitchforks and not just from an angry public. I think probably for some people on her own side too.
KARL STEFANOVIC: I think that's definitely happening. Tommy, nice to see you my man. Thanks for joining us. So you're with Labor Senator Jane Hume.
JANE HUME: Ouch.
KARL STEFANOVIC: Labor's never looked so good Jane. Tommy, the wolves are circling. Why don't you just go statewide?
TOM TATE: Karl, you gobsmack me. I love the Gold Coast and there's plenty of stirring to be done here. So you know, there's a lot of news coming out here. I'm loving it. And, you know-
KARL STEFANOVIC: That's not a no.
TOM TATE: You know, what Clint Eastwood says a man's got to know his limitations.
KARL STEFANOVIC: Do you think she's in trouble?
TOM TATE: Well mate it appears that there's an itchy knives going on in the background and politics mate, you know if you're not in charge, before you know it there's a tap on the shoulder and you go what does that mean? It means you're out the door. So I think they're looking at it.
KARL STEFANOVIC: You've had a busy couple of weeks with the Comm Games inquiry as well that I know who could run the state. Maybe Gina Rinehart, I don't know, she's a can-do woman and she can make the Comm games happen on the Gold Coast. Is there anything going on behind the scenes that we should know about?
TOM TATE: Yeah, there is plenty going on behind the scenes. Basically, the number of support from businesses, I'm talking about high profile business, and it just is yesterday Bond University says they would shut the campus down and make sure all accommodation their swimming pool, all facilities available for swimming athletes. So tick that box. So that's unsolicited. So of course, Gina makes up her own mind and that's a big tick, and the list goes on. So my view is that Australians want us to make good the contract we signed for the Commonwealth Games. It's as simple as that.
KARL STEFANOVIC: Good to see you. Better late than never Tommy, lovely to see you. And Jane, lovely to see you too. It's great to have a Liberal Senator on the panel.