October 01, 2018








SUBJECT/S: GST, “miserable ghosts”, banking Royal Commission.


LAURA JAYES, HOST: Anne Aly thanks so much for your time. It seems that Western Australia is the centre of the political universe today, the Coalition paying plenty of attention to your State. This idea to legislate this GST change, is it something you think is a good idea, will Labor get on board?

ANNE ALY, MEMBER FOR COWAN: Well it’s about time the Coalition paid some attention to WA, after all we did win the Grand Final over the weekend Laura. But, look, we’ve been calling for this legislation to happen for a while now. Just only in July, Scott Morrison said that there was no need for it so I think he needs to explain why he’s changed his mind now. But it is good to see that the Coalition government is listening to Labor on this. We’ve led the charge for a fair share for WA in terms of GST distribution, and it’s good to see that the government is finally listening to us.

HOST: Well you are right that Bill Shorten said this is something he’d like to legislate within 100 days if he did become the Prime Minister, but I think people probably want to put politics aside here then and you’re keen to point out the history in this, but when it comes down to it: will Labor support this legislation on the floor of the house?

ALY: Let’s see if they put it through Laura. I mean, I’d like to see this happen before the next election--

HOST: --well the government says it’s going to happen in this next sitting week, so in principle will Labor support?

ALY: I wouldn’t see any reason why we wouldn’t support it Laura, it’s something we’ve been calling for and it’s good to see that the government is taking the lead from Labor and doing this.

HOST: Okay, what do you make of the politics in all of this as well? I’ve seen polling that shows that Labor is running pretty well in the State of Western Australia, and you do stand to pick up a number of seats. I know Bill Shorten’s been over there to Western Australia campaigning a fair few times the last couple of months, indeed years. How many seats do you think you’ll pick up?

ALY: Laura, I’ve learnt not to have a crystal ball when it comes to politics because you never, ever know. But what I do know is that we’re working hard here in Western Australia and, indeed, Bill has been here several times, I think it’s close to almost 20 times over the past 2 and a half years. Whereas Malcolm Turnbull for example only managed to get here twice and on one of those times it was as he was passing through on his way to Europe. So I think that that really shows that there is a commitment to Western Australia, there’s an interest in Western Australia. It’s something that we do notice quite a bit in Federal politics. That WA gets left off a lot of the discussions. A lot of the discussions around things like housing affordability, we kind of get left out and our unique position or our unique situation in a whole range of issues kind of gets left out. So it’s good to see that Labor has an interest in WA.

HOST: Like the rest of the country Anne Aly, you’ve seen a number of Prime Ministers comes and go now on both sides of politics, Malcolm Turnbull overnight – it wouldn’t have escaped your attention – in some leaked audio has described both Kevin Rudd and Today Abbott as “miserable ghosts”. Do you agree or disagree with him

ALY: I don’t know that I would use that term, but I do think that it’s disappointing to a lot of Australians when you see this kind of white-anting from people within their own parties. And if you have a look at what recently happened with the demise of Malcolm Turnbull and Scott Morrison coming in, it wasn’t just Tony Abbott. It seems to be much bigger than Tony Abbott, there seems to be quite a cohort within the Coalition government that is being disruptive and that caused the recent spill, so yeah I kinda agree with Malcolm Turnbull. I think he’s probably got a bit more experience in politics than I have, so I think, you know, him pointing it out is correct. The fact is that Tony Abbott has been fairly disruptive, but it’s not just him, there are deep schisms within the Coalition.

HOST: Can I ask you about ASIC now and the banking Royal Commission? I spoke to Josh Frydenberg this morning and he says that he wants to see ASIC litigate rather than negotiate with the banks when they do do something wrong. But he’s also spoken about the banking Royal Commission. He has no problem at all giving the Commissioner more time if necessary, but the Commissioner hasn’t asked for it. Are you concerned, if this Royal Commission drags on too long, it could do some damage to the economy?

ALY: Well look, Labor has called on the government to extend the Royal Commission because we believe this is an opportunity for real reform. The interim report doesn’t make any recommendations, but it does speak quite scathingly of a culture of greed within the banks. In order to have real reform and effective reform, it’s necessary – we believe – to give the Commission that’s done a wonderful job so far, but give them more time to craft recommendations, to consult, and to ensure that those recommendations are going to achieve the kind of reform that’s going to address those issues such as this culture of greed. I don’t think the timing is something that should be of primary concern. I think what I lot of Australians want and what their primary concern is that this be addressed in a proper fashion and I believe, and Labor believes, that that means that the Royal Commission is going to need more time to ensure that the recommendations they craft are done with consultation and are crafted and implemented in ways that are going to be effective.

HOST: Anne Aly from Perth, on a very early Perth morning, we appreciate your time today.

ALY: Thanks Laura, have a great day.