4BC Drive with Scott Emerson - 9 November 2021


SUBJECTS: Fines for leaving cars unlocked, Electric Vehicles, the cost of coffee.

SCOTT EMERSON, HOST:  Every week we are joined by Milton Dick, he's not just the Member for Oxley but also former ALP State Secretary here in Queensland. Now Milton, do you reckon it is fair that there's a crime for leaving your car unlocked in Queensland?

MILTON DICK, FEDERAL MEMBER FOR OXLEY:  Look, I think, I haven't heard of that law to be honest with you.

EMERSON:  You're not alone brother. I can tell you that. I think a few people out there aren’t sure about that one.

DICK:  But I think common sense you know, when I talk to the police, whether it be leaving your keys in in a visible place at home, people, ladies leaving their handbags in the car unlocked, all of those things I've heard what the police have said. Whether you should be fined for- I think it would make a bit more sense, probably, for the police to knock on your door and say, hey, your car's unlocked, we've had an increase of crime theft in the area, maybe you should lock your car. Maybe more awareness is needed to remind everyone that they need to lock their cars? This is just the world that we live in.

EMERSON:  I don't think you should be fined. So, give the example you just talked about. I know the police will tell you at home, put your keys somewhere safe. Don't just leave them on the on the kitchen table there. But if you take this to the dead extreme, well, the police say your car got stolen because they broke into your house, they saw the keys on the table -we're going to fine you for leaving your keys in an obvious place.

DICK:  I don't think that that's reasonable at all. I just think we need a bit of common sense when it comes to home security. I deal with this all the time and it breaks my heart when you see particularly older people, victims of crime as well. We want to crack down on these hooligans attacking people but we just got to make sure the police have the right tools at their disposal and I'm not sure if fining people for locking their cars is the way to go. I'd rather people just do the right thing and lock their cars in the first place.

EMERSON:  Fair enough, I think I agree the fine for leaving your own car unlocked if it gets stolen, well that's your problem. If it's paid, that's the punishment.

DICK:  Don't complain about it.

EMERSON:  Don't complain about it, true. Now, I was on the Today program this morning with Bill Shorten, and I reckon that the camera was struggling to catch the entire smile of Bill Shorten this morning because we were talking about electric vehicles. Now, the Federal Government's come out today with its new policy, $250 million going into charging stations and other things for electric vehicles. And of course Bill Shorten wants to remind everyone about the last federal election which Bill lost, but he did have an electric vehicle policy that Scott Morrison has bagged out, claiming that Bill Shorten was going to end weekends for people because he was pushing forward for electric vehicles. Now today, of course, we've seen Angus Taylor, Energy Minister, Scott Morrison, I spoke to Simon Birmingham, the Finance Minister a little bit earlier on the show, pushing their policy on electric vehicles.

DICK:  Yeah, I did watch Today this morning and I saw your smiling face on telly, Scott. That's one of the things you can do in quarantine, watch lots of morning television, but I guess on a serious note, it is pretty humiliating for the Prime Minister. The Government seems to be running this argument that even though they were opposed to electric vehicles and all the grabs of the PM saying ending the weekend and the wriggle language he's trying to use. Obviously his polling has shown that this is now a popular policy and everything that Scott Morrison seems to do is always guided by what's popular, not exactly what's in the best nation's interests. And they seem to be running this argument Scott that, well, the technology wasn't there three years ago, but then their whole action on climate policy now is, well we want technology that's not invented yet for the future. So it doesn't really ring true. I think what's happened here is that the cost of vehicles has, I guess, prohibited- and I listened to what the industry said today regarding the Prime Minister's announcement. He can flip all he wants but the Government's policies they've announced today won't actually make vehicles cheaper. Yes, it goes to help with the infrastructure, which we were arguing years ago and there's always the same thing with this Government. We're always behind, we're never leading, and just once I'd like Scott Morrison to say, 'I've got it wrong. I wasn't on the same page as the rest of the world and we're paying the price now, but you know what? I got a policy in deal with it.' Instead, we see the normal trickery language that we get with him. 'I didn't say it, I didn't say it,' when the whole of Australia knows that he's just changed his mind and he won't admit to it.

EMERSON:  But wasn't there a difference also? I think it's interesting to see the policy of came out today given how strongly Scott Morrison bagged Labor's policy going back to 2019, but wasn't there an element of mandating in Labor's policy 2019? That's not in this policy. And that is a significant difference between Labor's policy three years ago, and what the coalition is announced today.

DICK:  There was no formal mandate. So it was targets that we were trying to reach. But putting the last election aside, you know, the people of Australia had their say on the show, we took a policy on electric vehicles. And, you know, we've obviously announced already for the next campaign that we want to lower the cost of EVs to make it affordable for working Australians. Now the Prime Minister and the Government aren't interested in that. And I think what we've seen today is really just more of the same. It's just spin and just a pamphlet announced, not actually a lot of information or detail. And as I come back to my earlier remarks, this guy can't be trusted, Scott, he says one thing on one day and says the other. There's a reason that this Government's sliding in the polls, and Scott Morrison is slipping in the Australian people's eyes, because he doesn't tell the truth. And the fact that journalists today simply asked him, "do you stand by your comments," and they played it back actually, it's on transcripts. We've all seen it on news clips, and he said I never said that. Now, that's Scott Morrison's problem at the moment. He never levels with the Australian people and he's not upfront and honest with them.

EMERSON:  I think today's policy was- it's challenging for Scott Morrison to have been given, again as I said, the strong language he used about electric vehicles three years ago, it was very difficult. Now this finally, Milton Dick, today I was speaking to Wes Lambert a little bit earlier from Restaurant Catering Australia, with forecasts that the price of a coffee is going to go up because of a shortage of staff. So Milton Dick is stuck in home quarantine in the moment. You're not gonna be able to get to your local cafe at all. But tell me, what do you reckon is a fair price for a coffee at a cafe? How much would you be willing to pay?

DICK:  Look, I will pay good, good money for a coffee but I'll also pay bad money if I'm desperate for a coffee, so I'm not a coffee snob, so to speak. I do need - I do drink a lot of coffee. I reckon if I can get a good cup for $3.50 you know - obviously these businesses are trying to make-

EMERSON:  You're dreaming - where are you getting these coffees from? [Inaudible] But how much was the most you'd pay for it then?

DICK:  If I was getting a small cup of tea , no, I reckon $4.50 would max me out. As I said, there's some good coffee shops - I'll give a shout out to Simple Bliss at Forest Lake on the lake there. They do a great coffee in the morning. They're very reasonable. But at the end of the day, this is a serious issue because, you know, a lot of our cafes are rebuilding at the moment. The fact that the cost of coffee, because of shortages of labour, the shortages of manufacturing. You know, this is going to have an impact not just on individual's coffee habits and that's limiting what they can and can't buy, but also the impact on the local businesses. We want as many people back in those cafes and particularly with the announcements today, when everything opening up that little bit more. We want businesses to thrive and I certainly hope we can get the cost of coffee down because the more people in those coffee shops, the more they're spending perhaps on a piece of cake or in my case, something else to eat then, we just need to need to have, you know, and then you know how much I love my coffee, Scott. But if we can get this right, businesses can continue to grow and I wouldn't have thought that the pandemic would have such an impact on coffee, the price of coffee-

EMERSON:  Sounds like in your electorate at the moment a lot of businesses are struggling while you're in quarantine and not able to keep them going! Alright Milton Dick -

DICK:  I will be out on Friday!

EMERSON:  We'll catch you again next week Milton Dick.

DICK:  See you then.