Today on Saturday, Panel with Belinda Russell and Rick Morton
26 November 2022
BELINDA RUSSELL: It is D-day, and to discuss, we're joined by today's talkers Shadow Finance Minister and Victorian Senator Jane Hume, and Rick Morton. Jane, thanks for taking some time out today for us. So Daniel Andrews is leading the polls, has that got you nervous?
JANE HUME: Not nervous at all Belinda. In fact, we think that the swing is going to be much bigger than anybody thinks it's going to be. I don't think that my allegiances today any surprise to anybody at all. Look 18 seats is going to be a very big ask for Matthew Guy. But this has been a really bad government, this Labor government. I mean the health system here is in crisis. If you ring triple O, if you're ill or if you’ve had an injury, people don't answer the phone and you can't get an ambulance. The debt is higher than it is in Queensland, New South Wales and Tasmania combined, combined. And there is a stench of corruption coming out of Spring Street, Australians. Victorians I should say are having a genuinely visceral response to Dan injuries on the pre-poll booths where I've been working for the last few days. And I do think that there is going to be quite a shock in Labor party ranks today.
BELINDA RUSSELL: Rick, Dan Andrews is polarizing. There are a lot of angry Victorian’s after going through the world's longest lockdown. How do you see this playing out?
RICK MORTON: Yeah, I mean, I think it will be tight. And obviously Dan Andrews has been in government now for a couple of terms, three terms and you know, if the opposition was stronger and less filled with crazy people, I think this might be-
JANE HUME: What did you just call me Rick?
RICK MORTON: No not you, the State Opposition people. There's something going on in Victorian Liberals. Can you explain it to me, because there's been a few bizarre candidates fielded this election?
JANE HUME: Well it’s certainly a broad church. We make sure that the Liberal Party is a party for everybody, not just sectional interests, not just unions, not just you know, people that have come through the ranks. We want to make sure that we get everybody: small business people, policemen, nurses. Everybody's welcome in the Liberal party.
BELINDA RUSSELL: Yeah, well Victorians will have their say today that is for sure. In other news, the former Lindt Cafe which was the site of that deadly siege in 2014, has been given the green light to transform into a premium Dan Murphy's. Rick, the safe liquor and gaming authority approved this move despite concerns from police that the area had become, you know, a place of reflection, a sensitive area. Is this the right decision? It doesn't sit well with me.
RICK MORTON: And look I kind of, I wanted to interrogate that because it didn't sit right with me, was my first instinct. But then I was like, why does anyone care? Like this, it's got to be a place one way or the other. But I think if you're one of the families who lost someone that day, or it was involved in any way, then it just doesn't feel good.
BELINDA RUSSELL: Yeah, Jane. I mean they’ve got to use it for something. So what do you think?
JANE HUME: Well, I think consulting the family would have been an appropriate way to go about it. And potentially erecting a plaque so that there is somewhere that people can acknowledge such a terrible day, and it happened less than 10 years ago. But at the same time, it is a commercial space. It has to be used for something. If it's done in a tasteful way, and I'm sure that the council have interrogated it. If it's done in a tasteful way, well, I suppose we do have to move on at some stage. Certainly other sites, whether it be Russell Street bombing site here in Victoria or the Hilton Hotel in Sydney that they've moved on from their moments.
BELINDA RUSSELL: I think you're right, it’s not too late for a plaque maybe, that's a great idea. Jane, and Rick, thank you for your time and good luck today, Jane.