Interview with Kieran Gilbert – Sky News AM Agenda – Wednesday 10 September 2014






SUBJECT/S: National Security; Royal Commission; Tony Abbott’s broken promise on submarines.

KIERAN GILBERT: Now we are joined by the Shadow Communications Minister, Jason Clare. Mr Clare thanks for your time.


GILBERT: You were a former security minister when in government, the Home Affairs Minister of course. What did you make of David Irvine, ASIO Director General’s comments last night?

CLARE: David Irvine is a very experienced man, he is respected by both sides of politics. I’ve had the privilege of working with him as a Minister as well and as you would expect we take everything that David says very seriously. The Government and the Opposition will work closely, together, to make sure our national security agencies have the right powers and the resources that they need to keep Australian’s safe.

GILBERT: Inevitably, if this does increase to a high level it will create a fair bit of fear and anxiety won’t it, in the broader community?

CLARE: I think Australian’s are aware of what’s happening overseas and the potential impact that might have in Australia. Australian’s should be reassured that we have very good men and women in professional organisations who know what they are doing. Over the course of the last decade or so ASIO and our other national security and law enforcement agencies have helped to foil four attempted terrorist plots. So these are people who are very good at the work they do and that’s why we take their advice very seriously.

GILBERT: Let’s look at some other issues now. Julia Gillard today is going to be appearing not far from where you are there in the Sydney CBD at the Royal Commission into union corruption. She has maintained her innocence and that she’s done nothing wrong for many years, today a chance to do that under oath.

CLARE: Julia Gillard’s answered these questions very strongly, very clearly and at length before. I remember that press conference Kieran a couple of years ago where she answered all the questions all the journalists in the press gallery could ask until they ran out of questions and I expect Julia Gillard will do exactly the same thing today.

GILBERT: Let’s finish if we can on this story around the submarines which I discussed with Jamie Briggs. As you heard there from the Assistant Infrastructure Minister, he is sure that there are going to be more jobs in Adelaide regardless of whether those submarines, the next 12 submarines are built in their entirety or at least finished in Adelaide that there will be work there to be done. What do you say in response to that?

CLARE: Kieran I’d make three points. First, the Government before the election promised that they would build 12 submarines in Adelaide. So if they walk away from that, that’s another broken promise that comes on top of a raft of broken promises. This Government has broken more promises than most people have had hot dinners.

The second point I would make is that this is not just about building 12 submarines. When you build the twelfth submarine you have to replace the first submarine and so what you are creating here is an industry that could last decades and decades and decades and that means more skills for Australian workers, not just for this industry but right across the board.

The final point I’d make is that Australia can’t do this on our own, it will require the help and support of countries, our ally in the United States but also other partners who are very good at this work. Because of the nature of what a submarine is and what a submarine does, because it’s so important as a national security asset, it’s important that Australia has the ability to assemble it, that Australia has the ability to upgrade it and integrate it and maintain it in Australia.

GILBERT: Jason Clare thanks for your time this morning, appreciate it.

CLARE: Thank Kieran.