18 Jun | '2024

Angie Bell MP
Shadow Minister for Early Childhood Education
Shadow Minister for Youth
Federal Member for Moncrieff





18 June 2024

Subjects: Climate 200


Well, how much do you think about politics in your day to day life? Do you only think about it when an election is called? Or are you starting to get a bit more interested as we all feel the effects of this cost of living crisis?

Well, the political lobbying group Climate 200 has announced that it will target nine seats across the country to support independent candidates in next year’s election. And two of those seats they’re targeting are on the Gold Coast. Now the seat of McPherson and the central Gold Coast seat of Moncrieff are currently safe Liberal seats.

Moncrieff is held by Angie Bell,. and Angie Bell is with me now. Angie, what’s your response to Climate 200 choosing to back an independent movement in your electorate?

Well, good morning, Kirsten. Thanks for having me on. Look, the question is, to be asked is if these candidates and these organisations really are independent, why do they only run against Liberal and National Party seats? And secondly, why did they vote overwhelmingly with the Greens and Labor in our nation’s Parliament?

I think these questions should be asked by Gold Coast constituents when they’re listening to the people from Climate 200 that had been on the radio this morning. Remembering that they are funded by Simon Holmes à Court, so how could they possibly be community independents when they’re funded by him. They are Teals, but do what he says and vote for Labor overwhelmingly in our Parliament.

Angie you hold the seat by a margin of more than 11 per cent, which is it’s quite a stronghold isn’t it on here on the Gold Coast, but there was a swing away from you at the last election. Climate 200 say their polling suggests that the swing away from major parties may continue. What is your polling saying?

I haven’t done polling in the seat. I’m out in the community all the time. I’m with the Gold Coast Community Cabinet that I put together for Moncrieff. I’m with Rotary Clubs and we have sporting clubs. I know how the community feels about the Liberal National Party and they’re very supportive.

At the moment what I would like to, just to have a bit of a right of reply on, is some of the rhetoric around the funding that’s been thrown around on the radio this morning. I’d just like to outline that since 2019 I’ve delivered $367 million of funding into Moncrieff alone, and I’d just like to remind your listeners as well, that the Coalition Government delivered $1 billion for the M1 upgrades to the M1 South in McPherson. $1.07 billion for the Coomera Connector, which goes from Fadden into Moncrieff. And not to forget when we look out the window from the ABC studios there, the light rail stage three, which was $269 million.

All of this has added up to a huge investment on the Gold Coast when the Coalition was in government. In Moncrieff, $7.5 million under the Coalition out into the community. Under Labor in the last two years, a staggering $281,450 has been delivered into our community. So that just lets you know how much the Coalition Government does support the Gold Coast when we are in government.

Well, this Labor government though is continuing to support big projects like the light rail, like the upgrade to the M1, so you can’t say that they’re not, that you put all that money in during your term and then the Labor government is not doing the same. They are still funding those major projects.

I just outlined what the community funding looks like under Labor. So, they’ve pulled the Stronger Communities funding, they’ve pulled the Safer Communities funding. So, they have pulled funding back from our community that the Coalition, in fact, put in place. They’ve also bailed out the state Labor government when it comes to the Coomera Connector cost blowouts as well. I think that’s around $350 million.

Don’t forget that the light rail stage three from Broadbeach severely blew out by some $500 million under Labor. So, they can’t manage the economy and they can’t manage infrastructure funding. We have a proud track record of what we’ve delivered for Gold Coast when it comes to infrastructure, community funding. Plus, don’t forget we had COVID in the middle, and that of course supported 9,500 small businesses across Moncrieff alone with JobKeeper, and similar numbers in Fadden and McPherson, and the Roads to Recovery funding that went to the council as well.

I could go on for a long time about the funding that we have delivered. But I would have these questions to ask the Teals, and that is what will they do to support families and small businesses in particular? What will they do on immigration and housing and what will they do on national security? And most interestingly, is what will they do in the case of a hung parliament? Will they vote with Labor or will they vote with the Coalition? And these are questions they can’t answer. They won’t answer. They don’t have policy answers for those questions.

Well, Climate 200 is a very much a climate driven lobbying group. They are concerned about policies regarding the future of the environment here on the Gold Coast. Mr. Dutton last week said the Coalition won’t set a 2030 climate target before the next election. So do your voters now have a clear decision whether they go for somebody who the independent is yet to be announced, someone who cares about the environment, or the Liberal candidate who maybe isn’t putting their force behind climate policy?

Sure, climate is absolutely important. It’s an important thing to be looking at and to be legislating on. However, what Peter Dutton has said over the last week is that Labor are simply not reaching their own targets that they have legislated.

Now under Scott Morrison, we agreed through the Paris Accord to the commitment to net zero by 2050 and the Coalition from Opposition won’t be legislating any targets. That is an impossible undertaking at the moment in Opposition, but in due course, if we were to come to government, then we would review that. We have, we are sticking to our net zero by 2050. Part of the way we’re proposing to do that is through zero emissions nuclear technology and that should be considered part of the mix. It should certainly be discussed as part of the mix on how we’re going to get there.

Now, Labor’s legislation basically outlines that they need to have 82 per cent renewables by 2030. Now, that’s only a few years away, especially for us who are a little bit older, those years go very, very quickly. And Labor are only at 40 per cent of that target. It looks to us like they’re not going to actually meet their own targets, and it’s at the cost to Australians who are in a cost of living crisis under this government. And this government has caused that cost of living crisis, there is no doubt about that. Inflation has been higher for longer under them, and they don’t have the answers. They’re not helping Australians.

You’re listening to Angie Bell, who is the Liberal Member for Moncrief and Climate 200 have announced that they will target nine seats across the country and Moncrieff being one of them to support an independent candidate. Angie Bell, are you worried at all that an independent might come in and sort of stir up the political landscape on the Gold Coast?

I’m focused on being the Federal Member for Moncrieff and the Shadow Minister for Youth, I’ll also outline that just in the last couple of weeks, I delivered the Impact Gold Coast Youth Summit for the second time in two years. I’ve been engaging with over 500 young people across the Gold Coast and delivering opportunities for them. I’m out in the community listening all the time to what the community has to say, and their concerns. People are hurting under this Labor Government and this is the primary focus that the community has and that is paying their bills, sending their children to school, sporting clubs who can’t pay their electricity bills. This is a cost of living crisis that has been caused by this Labor Government. And it’s only the Coalition that actually has a plan to deal with it.

But the independents would say that by becoming that third option in your seat, they are offering an alternative to the Labor government that you have been so damning about just now. So, would this change your campaign style, if there is a an independent that has some force behind them? Will that be changing your campaign style rather than just focusing on the Labor government and their record?

Well, Kirsten I think it’s important that Australians and Gold Coasters understand that we have a two-party preferred system, and that means that the government can either be a Labor government or a Coalition government. Basically, it depends upon how their preferences flow, and Anthony Albanese will, if he goes into minority government, he will use the Greens in a coalition to form government or he will go to some Teals to form government. The Teals will not run the government as a governing party. That is not actually possible under our constitution. So, we are a two-party preferred system and it is up to the party that wins the most seats and in coalition to run the country.

Okay, Angie Bell, she is the Member for Moncrieff. And as we said Climate 200 has announced that it will target nine seats across the country. Thanks so much for your time, Angie Bell.


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