Interview with Kieran Gilbert – Sky News – Wednesday, 6 September 2017



KIERAN GILBERT: Front bencher Jason Clare now. Mr Clare thanks for your time. You saw Andy Vesey’s tweet yesterday, as I said it seemed to contradict what the Prime Minister had said. Josh Frydenberg pointed out to me this morning that Mr Vesey hadn’t even read the AEMO report before making that intervention.

JASON CLARE, SHADOW MINISTER FOR TRADE AND INVESTMENT, SHADOW MINISTER FOR RESOURCES AND NORTHERN AUSTRALIA: Well I guess part of the problem here is Malcolm Turnbull is so desperate to create the impression that he is doing something about electricity prices that he is making mistakes. He created the impression yesterday in the Parliament that AGL would continue to operate the Liddell power station beyond 2022. That required AGL to respond and reject that with twitter.

I wouldn’t be surprised, Kieran,  if AGL has to issue a statement to the stock exchange this morning before the market opens to explain what their intentions are. He seems to be desperate to create the impression of action, getting on helicopters and calling people in for meetings. But not willing to make the big hard decisions here that are going to provide the real energy security that we need for the long term.

GILBERT: Well this would be a hard decision though, wouldn’t it, in the sense of saying to this operator that we need to keep this power station running for longer? If someone had made that decision say, when Labor was in office about Hazelwood, well we mightn’t be in such a dire situation right now.

CLARE: Kieran, yesterday I met with another major energy company, not AGL, and I asked them about this, I said what are the big decisions that we need to make here?, and they said the most important thing that we need to do here is provide them with the certainty to invest in energy generation. What the industry is looking for is for the Labor Party and the Liberal Party to come together and develop a policy this year, a Clean Energy Target that’s going to give industry the certainty they need to invest. That’s the biggest most important thing that we need to do. I think this report says that, certainly the companies that I am talking to are saying the same thing.

We don’t think the policy that’s been put forward by the Chief Scientist is a perfect solution, but it’s possible. It’s the sort of thing that potentially can get through this parliament. After ten years of fighting about this, I think the Australian people are desperate for the two major parties to come together here, because they‘re sick of the argument, they’re seeing it in their power bills. If Malcolm Turnbull can corral his party to get together and work with us on this, then I think a big part of this problem can be fixed.

GILBERT: Let’s wrap up on something that I want to ask you, something close to your heart. It relates to prostate cancer, the most commonly diagnosed cancer in men. The Big Aussie Barbeque today hosted by the prostate cancer foundation. Is enough being done in terms of, not just governments and research, but from individuals themselves? Are they getting the tests necessary to try and bring down the numbers of this insidious disease?

CLARE: The short answer to that is no. Blokes like us are really bad at going to the doctor and we’re bad at getting blood tests. The good thing about this is the way to find out if you’ve got prostate cancer is a simple blood test and you can include it in all of the tests you do with your doctor. So we’re encouraging blokes who’ve got a history in their family of prostate cancer, that are over 40, to get to the doctor and have a simple blood test. If you’re over 50, and there is no family history of prostate cancer, then incorporate it into your blood test, get a blood test.

Politicians don’t like sharp metal instruments inserted into them, but today that’s exactly what we’re doing. There’s blood tests going on in here in Parliament, and we’re trying to promote it as far and wide as we can. To middle-aged blokes out there, go and get a blood test. For the women that are watching tell your husband, tell your boyfriend, tell your Dad, tell your kids to go out and get a blood test because it might just save their life.

GILBERT: Indeed, good call, and I know that you’re being supported in that by Warren Entsch, so it’s a cross party initiative, good on you for doing it. Thanks Jason Clare.