4BC Drive with Scott Emerson - 26 October 2021

SUBJECTS: Brisbane River; Net Zero Emissions by 2050; Latest Newspoll.  

 Every week I'm joined by the Member for Oxley and also the former ALP State Secretary Milton Dick. How are you Milton?

MILTON DICK, MEMBER FOR OXLEY: Not bad down here in Canberra.

EMERSON: Now I was talking about the Brisbane River there. I remember reading my history about the Brisbane River, that people used to go have little beaches under the Walter Taylor bridge there and go swimming. It's been a while since it's been in that condition.

DICK: Well in the Oxley Creek out in our neck of the woods, you used to be able to do fishing and a whole bunch of things. Now you wouldn't put a toe in the water at the moment. But I think there's a lot of merit in terms of cleaning up the Brisbane River. I mean, it all started with Jim Soorley when he stopped the dredging and all of those things that happen, but I think there's a lot more to be done and I really hope both levels of Government can get together. I think that would be a jewel in our crown. And if we could give it a bit of a shine up before 2032, that would be a perfect Olympic, kind of, icon. You know, come and see Brisbane, come and see one of the cleanest rivers in the world.

EMERSON: Look I think it'd be wonderful to do, I think one of the issues is of course a bit of a run off from some of the farming properties and grazing properties a bit further up the river, that is one of the issues, that's why it's so brown, still I just don't know what you can quite do about that. But it would be wonderful to have the river back to some sort of state of, well we go back a couple of 100 years I guess.

DICK: And we used to be called the river city for a long time, that sort of, we still are. Well I hope so, but you know we don't, I think, showcase that river as much as I think it should be and could be. So I'm all for what Adrian Schrinner's saying, getting the Governments to work together so that we can, you know, have a jewel in our crown, and that Brisbane can shine a little bit brighter.

EMERSON: Let's talk about net zero emissions. Now Scott Morrison came up with the plan today that was after he got the Nats across the line. Well, the Nats and Barnaby Joyce across the line there. So at this point in time, both Labor and the Coalition have the same policy in terms of net zero emissions by 2050. Isn't that the case?

DICK: Yeah, look, I mean we've been asking Scott Morrison about this, about matching Labor's policy and he does seem to finally got the Nats over - well not all the Nats. If you read some of the commentary today, you've still got Barnaby Joyce who is supposed to be signing up to this plan - he came out against it in the party room. You know, you can only believe that Scott Morrison is feeling the pressure in the community. But Scott best spent nine years campaigning against Net Zero, they've been at war with each other, but I think as we've said before, on your show - normally the voters are a bit ahead of where the politicians are at the moment, so we'll keep pushing Scott Morrison because he was going to- he's going to Glasgow and I think it will have been in high [unintelligible] to be one of the few countries in the world not signing up to this.

EMERSON: But at the moment Milton Dick, he'll will be going to Glasgow and saying look, look in to Australia. My Government is saying it is going to be committed to net zero emissions by 2050. And that's exactly what the Labor Party is saying as well, no difference on that matter. What are you guys going to do now in the lead up to the election? We've still heard nothing about 2030 and what your commitment will be for that.

DICK: Well, we're going to look at what comes out of Glasgow obviously and, you know, we'll be having more to say about climate change, but one thing your listeners can be guaranteed, is that a future Labor Government will always deliver real action on climate change. Look, Scott Morrison and the National Party, they are at war with each other, they don't actually believe this, we've been talking about passing laws and enshrining to make sure that we actually have a genuine commitment. 

I think your listeners would understand Scott Morrison is really good at making these announcements, but terrible at actually delivering. Whether it be vaccine rollout, whether it be promises that he's made. He's simply can't be trusted on this issue of climate change. We've announced a lot of good policies around fixing the energy grid, making sure that we've got EVs, which are more affordable, reducing the tax on those. There is plenty more to say about climate change, but the one thing I saw from the so-called plan from the Prime Minister - which really is a glossy booklet - it's not costed, there's no modelling done. And in the document itself Scott, it says there's no new policies, it's actually written in the document. There's no talk about where those jobs are now. I'm a supporter of action on climate change because I see it as an opportunity for building jobs in Queensland, looking at where those jobs are, looking at their manufacturing jobs, how we can improve our technology to get those jobs on the ground and that's one thing Scott Morrison never talks about. So I don't actually trust him on this issue at all. They've had nine years, 23 policies on energy, not following through on any of them. And now what, on the eve of the election, we're supposed to believe this guy? I just don't think it's credible. 

EMERSON: But isn't that the issue also is made of Labor, we can't necessarily believe what Labor is going to tell us at the moment? My impression is that Anthony Albanese is doing a small target strategy. He hasn't said what he's going to do in 2030, it's all going to be happening after Glasgow, before the election, I haven't heard anything from him at this stage. I mean, Labor is not putting policies out there at the moment because they got hit last time with Bill Shorten at the last election. Isn't that what Labor's doing at the moment, just playing it safe as a small target?

DICK: Yeah look I mean I disagree with that, I think if you look at the policies around climate change that we have announced, and what we will continue with Scott, we're not in Government. Our job is to hold the Government to account and why would we announce everything before we even go to see what the world is doing, you know, we want to make sure that we've got those settings correct, we want to make sure that we've got those jobs, locked in. Into the future there will be plenty more policy from Labor, but, you know, we understand that the Australian people want to know what net zero means, what are those jobs of the future. Scott Morrison has been trashing around or thrashing around all this week, you're seeing the National Party violence on the Liberal Party, National Party violence on National Party. It is completely dysfunctional and chaotic, and then you see people like Matt Canavan from Queensland saying he's never going to support it and that after the election, they're going to wind it back. I mean that's what he said. So, you cannot trust the Government in any way shape or form. You can trust Labor and Anthony Albanese because you look at our record of what we did in Government. But nine years, we've wasted this entire- you had nine years of opportunities, and nine years of now waste, waste of job opportunities under Scott Morrison.

EMERSON: In terms of the Newspoll, well maybe what you're saying is right because I did see the numbers again, the latest Newspoll published in the Australian, Labor is again ahead, 54/46. Going up, even slightly even more than last time, you’re, you know, in an election winning position at the moment, do you think that is due to the infighting between Liberals and the Nationals?

DICK: Look, I think you have to say, yes it is. When you see parties being completely divided and dysfunctional and focusing on themselves. You've got to remember the only deal that we've seen out of the Nats signing up to this is Keith Pitt getting a pay rise by going back into the Australian cabinet. That was what the National Party got, not jobs in regional Queensland or regional Australia but one job for themselves. So do you think you're seeing a fairly growing cynicism under Scott Morrison, always promising and under delivering. But you know Scott, we've had this chat before, you know, we saw all the polls before the last election, I know it's a cliche and you're probably gonna roll your eyes Brisbane, when I say this, but there is only one poll that counts and that's Election Day, and we've got a huge job ahead of us to win those seats in Queensland, you know those margins, you know how big they are. But I think when they hear about our policies, we're making things in Australia, improving the lives of working families, dealing with secure work, all of those things rolled out on childcare and aged care. I think you're seeing people realizing that Labor is ready for Government, and with a lot of hard work and a lot of discipline and demonstrating to the Australian people that we've heard the message of the last election, Anthony Albanese will deliver a Government on people's side. But it's still a big climb for us and, you know, make no mistake, this is going to be a really tough fight. Scott Morrison's a very wily politician, you know he's ducked and waved all over the place on climate change. He doesn't really believe in action. So we've got to hold him to account and that's what we've been doing down here and we're doing that every single day right up until the election.

EMERSON: I appreciate you being on for 4BC drive this afternoon. See you next week.