SENATOR KRISTINA KENEALLY
DEPUTY LABOR LEADER IN THE SENATE
SHADOW MINISTER FOR HOME AFFAIRS
SHADOW MINISTER FOR IMMIGRATION AND CITIZENSHIP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY
LABOR SENATOR FOR NEW SOUTH WALES
THE WIRE / COMMUNITY RADIO 2GLF- SYDNEY
TUESDAY, 21 SEPTEMBER 2021
SUBJECT/S: Fowler; Diversity in the Parliament; Scott Morrison urging the NSW Premier not to lockdown Sydney; the Federal and State Liberals letting South Western Sydney down; Christian Porter.
RODERICK CHAMBERS, HOST: There’s been quite a lot of push back from within the Fowler branch of the ALP with the backers of local lawyer Tu Le upset with Senator Kristina Keneally being parachuted into the seat, following a deal done for Senator Deb O’Neill to get preselection in the number one Senate spot for the next election.
This would have put Senator Keneally further down the ticket.
Speaking with Senator Keneally earlier, I asked her whether she thought she may have some difficulty quelling opposition to her preselection in Fowler.
KRISTINA KENEALLY, DEPUTY LABOR LEADER IN THE SENATE, SHADOW MINISTER FOR GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY: I want to make three points about the observations there. You know, one; I really welcome at a national level we are having a conversation about diversity in our parliament. You know, for a long time I've been part of the discussions about women, and it's taken some 30 years before we've even started to approach parity for men and women in our Parliament, at least on the Labor side. And of course, as the first female Premier in New South Wales, you know, we didn't have one until 2009 in this state.
I just think that you know, we're really fortunate in the Labor Party, to have so many active, engaged local people part of our movement and I think that there are opportunities there in the future for all of them.
But I will say, I'm really grateful for the local support I've received. The state and the Liberal governments have really let South Western Sydney down. Let them down in terms of issues like housing affordability, you know, the fact that wages aren't going up, that jobs are getting less secure, but during COVID they've really been let down. And that's what I'm offering them, an opportunity for Fowler, which has been left behind by the Libs for so long, to be represented at the highest levels of an Albanese Labor government.
CHAMBERS: You tried to get a Lower House seat before. You pretty chuffed at finally getting one?
KENEALLY: You know, before you mentioned the campaign in Bennelong, a seat that Labor has only held once in the entire history of the country and you know, that that was an effort I put in, on behalf of the Labor Party, in really tough circumstances because I felt that we needed to take up the fight to a dreadful Liberal government.
CHAMBERS: Well, I think some of your new constituents will be pleased today to be getting some freedoms from lockdowns they've been experiencing. Do you think there's been a bit of a Sydney divide going on here?
KENEALLY: Oh, Absolutely. You know, the idea that, Gladys Berejiklian so stubbornly refused, with Scott Morrison's urging, not to shut down Sydney when this, this third wave broke out in Bondi, but yet then to turn around and impose the harshest of restrictions on South Western Sydney, grossly unfair. It really sent a message that we're not all in this together.
On Friday I was in Canley Vale, helping a small community group there that delivers some 200 food parcels over the weekend, each weekend. How have we gotten to a stage where the response to this crisis is one that has to be picked up by local residents in their front yards?
I am, I am flabbergasted that there are still citizens in South Western Sydney that would not be receiving food and other supports they need, except for the goodwill of their local neighbours and community. And in that sense, I do think, that this, this state Liberal government, in particular, has just so dreadfully let people down in South Western Sydney, and I pay great tribute to the people of South Western Sydney, who've come forward to get vaccinated and come forward to look out for one another, and they deserve the opportunity now that they are getting vaccinated to have the same freedoms, limited though they are, that the rest of Sydney is enjoying.
CHAMBERS: Over the weekend Christian Porter resigned from the Ministry following revelations that his legal costs were being covered by money from a blind trust. A blind trust doesn't, nobody knows where the money is coming from, but we know where it went, which is one end of the transaction. But is that going to be enough, him resigning from the ministry, do you think?
KENEALLY: No, it's not enough. To say that Christian Porter can simply just assert that, well I'm getting the million dollars and it's okay, I don't know where it came from. That's absurd. Did it come from criminals? Did it come from a foreign government? Did it come from Clive Palmer?
He's got now, in my view, a decision to make. He either needs to pay the money back. He needs to disclose where it came from, or he needs to resign from parliament.
CHAMBERS: Senator Kristina Keneally, candidate for the seat of Fowler, speaking with me there.