22 May 2021




SUBJECTS: Labor’s candidate for Brisbane, Madonna Jarrett; Evict Andrew Laming; Andrew Laming’s $23,000 a year Committee Chairman’s position; Scott Morrison’s quarantine failure; Queensland’s proposal for Toowoomba quarantine centre; Peter Dutton; UK Free Trade Agreement; Scott Morrison’s failure to bring stranded Australians home.
MADONNA JARRETT, LABOR CANDIDATE FOR BRISBANE: Okay, good morning. I'm Madonna Jarrett, Labor's candidate for the federal seat of Brisbane. I'm here today with Senator Kristina Keneally, and we're here to listen to our community. It's what Labor does. We care about people, and we want to know what the issues are that are important to them.
And I'm running for this seat because I'm deeply concerned that the uncaring policies that Morrison and the LNP are pursuing - policies that do nothing to provide security, and protection to our millions of casual workers -many, who are our true COVID heroes. Policies that are doing nothing to ensure that the elderly people in our aged facilities are getting a nutritious meal, and policies that really are doing nothing to really support, I believe, addressing our climate change challenge. Okay. 
I believe we need leaders in Canberra who care about people and we have the people at the heart of the decision making. What does this mean? It means leaders who actually understand how important it is to have a safe roof over your head. And that means the Government should be prepared to build 20,000 houses [inaudible].
It means leaders who are prepared to put women at the heart of decision making - who are prepared to move women from the back of the room, to the front of the room. 
And it means leaders who are prepared to restore integrity to Canberra.  And I genuinely believe that it's only Labor that shares those values - Kristina and Albo -and I would be honoured to be on their team and be on the side of people. And with that, over to you, Kristina.
SENATOR KRISTINA KENEALLY, SHADOW MINISTER FOR GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY: Thank you so much, Madonna. It is fantastic to be here with Madonna Jarrett, Labor's candidate for Brisbane. She's a local through and through. She stands up for her community and she stands up for women, which is incredibly important.
She also stands up for people to have good jobs with fair pay and conditions. And, we know, here in Queensland, that the end of JobKeeper has been devastating for tens of thousands of families.
Since JobKeeper came to an end in March, some 30,600 jobs have been lost across Australia. This is a terrible tragedy for those workers and their families. And it is evidence that Scott Morrison and Josh Frydenberg - that when they cut off JobKeeper, they left Australian workers behind. 
Now it is great to be here with a woman who is standing up to fight for her community, as  Madonna is doing and I'm really pleased that whether it is here in Brisbane or in the seat of Bowman - where Donisha Duff, another great strong Labor woman is standing up to fight for her community. Labor, truly making sure that the diversity of our community, and women's voices are being recognised in our community, and in our Parliament. 
And that's why I'm here today - with a message for Scott Morrison - a message about Andrew Laming.
Because come Monday, we'll be back in Parliament alongside Andrew Laming. Andrew Laming's behaviour is unacceptable.
This is a man who up-skirts photos of women. Taking photos of women from behind, without their permission. Make no mistake, no amount of empathy training denies the fact that [inaudible].
This is a man who stalks women in his electorate online. 
Here's my message. Here's my message to the women of Australia: Evict Andrew Laming. 
Come on Prime Minister: Evict Andrew Laming.
You said he would be off his committee chairmanships. The Employment, Education and Training Committee. He's not. It's time to evict Andrew Laming. [inaudible]
Andrew Laming's committee chairmanship earns him an extra $23,000 a year.  $23,000 a year. That's about about the amount [inaudible].
This is $23,000 of taxpayers' money.
This is the Liberal party treating taxpayer money like it is Liberal party money. 
There's always one rule for Scott Morrison and his mates, and another rule for everybody else. 
So, come Monday, this is a test for the Prime Minister, evict Andrew Laming, from your party room, from your committee chairmanship, and ultimately, from the Parliament.
While I'm here, I've got another message for Scott Morrison.  And that is. You've got one job Scott, that's to lead.  And part of that job, that crucial leadership job, Prime Minister, is to do two things, right now.
You're only supposed to be doing two things right now: rolling out a vaccine and setting national quarantine.
These are the two most fundamental things ensuring our economic recovery and our community safety.
I've seen the Prime Minister out campaigning - back in Tasmania. The Prime Minister can run around the country and do all the campaigning that he likes, but it doesn't hide the fact that he's failing on this two primary jobs: rolling out a vaccine and setting up national quarantine.
Now, here we are in Queensland, the Prime Minister is arrogantly dismissing Premier Palaszczuk for a national quarantine facility at Toowoomba.
The Prime Minister, in fact, said that Toowoomba is in the middle of the desert. He said it didn't have a hospital. He said there wasn't a proper airport.
Either the Prime Minister is lying, or he doesn't know what's what in Queensland.
Of course Toowoomba has proper airport, it's an international freight Airport. The Prime Minister's own plane has landed there. Of course, it has a hospital. Of course, it's not in the middle of a desert.
The Prime Minister is arrogantly treating Queenslanders like they don't matter.
The Prime Minister is quite happy to play footsie with Victoria on the quarantine facility but meanwhile kick Queenslanders in the shin.
Come on Prime Minister, we need a national quarantine plan, and right here in Queensland you have the opportunity to set up something that Queenslanders support, which is a quarantine facility in Toowoomba.
Why is Scott Morrison leaving Australians - leaving Queenslanders behind?
Happy to take questions.
JOURNALIST: The ADF [Inaudible]
KENEALLY: The Australian Defence Force personnel are drawn from the Australian community which is diverse. And one of the great things about Australia is we celebrate our multiculturalism and our diversity. And I applaud the ADF for doing that.
I will say this, Peter Dutton is a warmonger. And whether it comes to picking fights with countries in our region, or picking culture war fights, Peter Dutton likes to be a warmonger.
And frankly he's the wrong person for the Defence Minister portfolio, some of our best Defence Ministers, think of Kim Beazley, think of Brendan Nelson, have understood, being Defence Minister isn't about starting wars, it's about finding the peace.
JOURNALIST: Do you think he makes the argument that they should be battle ready?
KENEALLY: Well, of course the same Australian Defence Force personnel should be battle ready. But as I just said, our best Defence Ministers, people Kim Beazley, people like Brendan Nelson underscore that the key role of the Defence Minister is not to start the war, but to find the peace.
JOURNALIST: [Inaudible]
KENEALLY: Absolutely. The Australian Defence Force is drawn from the Australian community, we are a multicultural, diverse community. I salute the Australian Defence Force for celebrating diversity in our armed forces. It’s a damn shame that the minister doesn’t celebrate that diversity and respect it as well.
JOURNALIST: Do you believe Australia’s relation with China [Inaudible]
KENEALLY: Let me say Labor’s thoughts are with Dr Yang and his family at this difficult time. And we are frustrated that the Chinese Government has failed to provide information and transparency when it comes to the charges against Dr Yang. We do support the Government's efforts to provide consular and other assistance to Dr Yang.
China and Australia have agreements that should facilitate consular access to Dr Yang, and he’s allowed consular officials to be present at his trial. Given the sensitivities of the case, I won't be commenting any further than that, except to say that we really do think of Dr Yang and his family at this time and we do support the government’s effort.
JOURNALIST: Do you believe [inaudible] Australia’s relation with China will impact on the trial.
KENEALLY:  I'm not going to add to answer I've already given.
JOURNALIST: [Inaudible]
KENEALLY: There was a reshuffle, Peter Dutton came in, made the comments that he has, and suddenly this decision has been taken.
JOURNALIST: [Inaudible] There are reports from the UK that the Australian agricultural producers will have to  wait 15 years to access under the proposed free trade agreement. So do you think we are being sold a [inaudible]?
KENEALLY:  This is the Morison Government, always about the headline never about the delivery and leaving Australians behind. Really, the Morrison Government needs to explain what they are doing here, and I’m here in Queensland, which has a significant agriculture component to its economy. We know that the Morison Government has left the Australian farmers behind in terms of securing the supply of labour during the pandemic while the borders have been closed. This is just another example of the Morison Government failing to plan or failing to deliver for Australian farmers.
As for the particulars, I’ll best leave that to my colleague Julie Collins, Shadow Minister for Agriculture. However, really, can you believe Scott Morrison on anything? He is always about he announcement, never about the delivery.
JOURNALIST: Are you satisfied [Inaudible]?
KENEALLY:  No, but I will give you a longer answer.
The Morrison Government promised before Christmas that they'd be sending out some 20 repatriation flights. I think only about eight or nine went.
The plan to bring Indian Australians home after the ban, that controversial ban was lifted, in fact saw a net reduction in flights. They decreased the amount of flights going to bring standard Australians home from India.
Let me just make one observation here. There are 173 Australian children in India right now separated from their parents, stranded in the care of extended family members or others. The Morrison Government has done nothing to bring these children home.
What kind of government, what kind of country leaves its own children behind during a global pandemic, during a humanitarian crisis.
Let's understand this, the only thing holding the Morrison Government back from bringing stranded Australians home is a lack of leadership from the Morrison Government, a lack of a national quarantine plan, lack of a vaccine rollout and a lack of will to bring our fellow Australians home.
These are our mates, these are our fellow citizens and they are being left behind by Scott Morrison and his Government.
Thank you.