Interview with Kieran Gilbert – Sky News AM Agenda – Wednesday 4 February 2015






KIERAN GILBERT: Labor frontbencher Jason Clare is with me now. Jason Clare, I’ll put the question to you that I put to Ed Husic – isn’t it a bit rich for Labor to be having a go at dysfunction in the Liberal Party given the recent history we all know about within your party?

JASON CLARE, SHADOW MINISTER FOR COMMUNICATIONS: Kieran, we were punished for it. We were punished for it and this Government will be punished for it as well. People hate this, they hate politicians talking about themselves and they hate politicians fighting amongst themselves. That old refrain from Bob Hawke still rings true, “if you can’t govern your party, you can’t govern the country.”

GILBERT: As I say though, I’ll repeat that to you, given the – actually I’m going to take you live sorry, Jason Clare sorry to interrupt you, we’ve got the Prime Minister speaking with Ray Hadley.

[Video footage of Prime Minister answering Ray Hadley’s questions]

My apologies there, as you can see we were getting the answers not the questions. Not ideal but you saw the Prime Minister’s immediate reaction to the release of that Martin Place siege report. Jason Clare your immediate reaction to that, I guess I know that it’s been bipartisan right from the outset the response to that?

CLARE: It has been and will continue to be. This is a very important report. It provides Government with advice from all the Federal Government agencies about what happened on that day and what measures can be taken to improve our response.

The Opposition looks forward to receiving full details of that report from the Government and going through the report ourselves and hopefully that, accompanied by the work that the New South Wales Coroner will do in this area will help to ensure that as much as we possibly can we avoid something as terrible as that happening again.

GILBERT: And Jason Clare just back to where we were before on the issue of leadership, is it at a time now in Australian politics where the leaders, the cycle is just must quicker, like we saw with the Labor Party, in New South Wales recently, the Liberal Party in New South Wales, in Victoria – Is this just the reality of things? And as we’ve seen with your party Federally in recent years too.

CLARE: Well in part that’s why we changed our policy, so it’s not the Members of Parliament who decide the Labor Party leader it’s the 40,000 members of the Labor Party. Stability is important, that’s why we made that change. People don’t want to see quick rotation in leaders they want good policy implemented.

The real problem here which I think is undermining the Prime Minister’s leadership is bad policy. His own Members of Parliament are now saying publically what we’ve been saying which is, that the GP Tax is a bad idea and they should get rid of that, knights and dames was a stupid idea from the very start, they should get rid of that, and while they are at it they should get rid of their idea for $100,000 university degrees and cuts to the pension. That’s the problem, they should be dumping their bad policies not their leader.

GILBERT: Mr Clare thanks for your time, apologies for the brief chat but thanks for your time, appreciate it.

CLARE: No worries mate and happy New Year.