24 Jul | '2023

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



20 July 2023

Subjects: The Voice, foreign home ownership, handouts for business


There’s no sooks, no lefties. That’s what we’re about tonight and those perfect examples as the carryover champ, as always on a Thursday night, lovely Bronwyn Bishop, former Speaker of the House, Federal Minister and our mate who knows oh, so much. Lovely to see you. Did you enjoy Albo’s interviews this week?

I enjoyed Albo’s interviews very much because it just proved the point I’ve been making all the time. Nobody ever thought he was a possible leader. Nobody ever discussed him as a leader. What we’ve seen is that in the lead up to the election, he couldn’t get his facts right. He wasn’t on top of everything.

That catastrophe interview with Ben Fordham just showed once more he’s not on top of it. He completely forgets that everything he’s said previously is there for everyone to look up.

Yeah, correct.

I mean, when you are in a leadership role, you have to be on top of everything, and he’s just not great. Even when he was the Minister for Infrastructure, what did he do? Then he kept talking in Opposition about being the Minister of Infrastructure. I mean, it is just going get worse, not better.

I am with you. A big weekend last weekend for the Liberal Party on the Gold Coast in the seat of Fadden and just below it in the seat of Moncrieff is their local MP, Angie Bell, who joins us now. From one of my favourite parts of the country. She’s of course the local MP in and around Southport, in and around Fat Freddy’s, one of my favourite parts of the Gold Coast. I don’t know if you’ve never been there, mate, it’s a lovely little pokey den. How is the beautiful GC tonight?

Absolutely fantastic, as you can see behind me there, Paul. Thanks for having me on your show and hello to Bronwyn, we go way back.

She’s a lovely lady, lovely lady. Of course, you’re there at Broadie, that’s what I was trying to say.

I want to talk about a bloke who wrote in the times in the UK. And basically, it being a Thursday night, being one for the hard cores. It’s a chance for us to talk about some big ideas. Now, people are very excited about the Barbie movie this weekend. In fact, at the conclusion of this program, our entire team is going to see a late night version of it and I have to wear pink, photos available on Instagram soon.

Cool. I’m glad that there are these cultural moments that people get into, but I think too many people are over reading into sort of the shallow end of the pool that is the world of Barbie. However, this bloke wrote in The Times in the UK, our obsession with the trivial is symptomatic of an unhelpful pessimism, a belief that we are no longer a country worth taking seriously or capable or successfully confronting our problems, or regarding government ministers as important people. None of these things is true. Sometimes seriousness is a form of optimism we could do with more often.

So Angie, (inaudible) circuses, distractions. That’s all well and good but are we an unserious people because the serious stuff either depresses us, or we don’t believe anyone will actually solve?

Well, I think the sad truth is Paul that when you put a post on social media, on Instagram, about the best poke bowl locally, you’ll get more engagement from your audience than you will from any kind of political message.

We see that every week in our office, where social media and engagement is not about the serious. I think there needs to be a balance between being serious about policy, but also being able to have a good laugh and a bit of a joke about yourself.

We see Peter Dutton often having a joke about himself. He’s got a fantastic wit, and I think it’s really important in politics to have a bit of a joke, see the funny side of things. To take a joke, I think is also important, as well, when there’s so much criticism that’s flung around.

I mean, again, life is not all serious at times, it should be plenty of relief. I believe that you have more time spent laughing rather than screaming is a good idea, including when you’re even on tele. But what about the point that this bloke’s trying to make, just to basically say that we are we are an unserious society. And that means we’re not engaging with the actual things that need to be dealt with.

I think it was a very engaging piece, and I thought it had a lot of validity about what’s happening to the Western world as a whole. And then you could say instead of having carnivals, we now have conferences and talk about climate change. Instead of having glittering events, we have activists who put themselves on a pole and stop the trains running. This becomes the talking point.

We have to get back to protecting the things that really matter, our freedom of speech, the important issue of owning private property, important issue of equality before the law. Those things underpin western civilization as we know it and every one of them are under attack.

And if you look at this country, you’ve got the Prime Minister who seems absolutely consumed to talk about the Voice, when people are suffering because of their policies. It is their policies on closing down coal fired power stations and destroying our natural environment, putting up these monstrous great turbines and acres and acres of glass and aluminium to destroy, productive earth or productive agricultural land. And they all have this in the name of I’ve got to go to another conference and be admitted to the great club of those people committed to net zero by 2050. Unless we get back to those important things, our standard of living will continue to drop and our freedom as a nation will disappear.

Part of why I decided to lead with that tonight was because it leads into the second thing here, which is when you are an unserious people then it is easy to dismiss people who have serious points of view about why what you might be doing is wrong. For example, racist sexist misogyny, all of that is just an easy label to get something off their desk.

A perfect example of that, is the ABC type, Kerry O’Brien who has decided to speak to the Guardian about the Voice. Jeez, imagine how off brand their take on is that compared to the one that you’re going to be expecting here this evening.

Kerry O’Brien says when I heard Peter Dutton accusing the Prime Minister of r- radicalising Australia, it was the pot calling the kettle black. Because obviously Liberals are all racist you see. I said not Kerry. The truth is precisely that kind of terminology that has been, I think part of the process of inviting the racists amongst us to come out and be heard.

Now Angie, I don’t know what your position is on the Voice is and we don’t really need to argue about whether the yes or the no here. It’s all connected back to that first point. Not that I don’t care about your position, I’m just saying, we can go around and around again for 25 minutes about the Voice, but this way of dismissing something and pretending that racists are amongst the no campaign without giving any examples. They don’t turn around and say well, this article, this interview this, this moment in time, this mainstream moment, because of course if any of those things were produced plenty of people who may have the same view on the Voice will disown those people as being too extreme.

Isn’t this another example to connect where we were at the start, which is as long as you can label the person who you disagree with as racist, sexist, misogynist, then you don’t actually have to engage with their idea.

That’s exactly right Paul. I absolutely reject that Australians who are considering voting no, or who are going to vote no and have already made their minds up, are racist in any way.

You will always have racism in your society. In every society there is racism, but to say that those who want to vote no are racist is absolutely an affront to your listeners, I’m sure across the whole nation tonight. It is wrong and I reject it, that that is the case. This is typical of Labor and of the left and what they do in terms of cancel culture and dismissing our points of view. Those of us who do have a good argument against changing the constitution in this way. This is just what they do. It’s their strategy Paul, 101.

But again, you know, I for my sins listen to this podcast, no examples just literally sit here. I think it’s part of the process. of inviting racists amongst us to come out and be heard. Where?

This is the whole point, that the yes case is so pathetically weak, that they come back to this racism argument, and it just shows the poverty of the intellectual argument. They’ve lost the intellectual argument, they’re trying to besmirch anyone who doesn’t agree with them. And I am terrified that they’re going to get this legislation through before the referendum, which says that if you don’t agree with the government, you’ll be pulled off social media.

Yeah the misinformation stuff. Basically giving ACMA the power they have over TV and radio of social.

This will be part of their plan. And so we really have to be very much aware of the fact that once again, because of the intellectual argument having been lost, and the fact that the Prime Minister is so obsessed with it, thinking it was going to be an easy thing and just go through and hit every space in history, without examining what was really meant by it.

And as I’ve said before, it’s handing over the sovereignty of the Parliament to the High Court and nobody that nobody can tell you what the High Court is going to say in the future. So it is important that we do not allow those tags to be applied and call it out for what it is. It’s the argument of poverty. There is no intellectual rigor. There is nothing and it’s not worthy of Kerry O’Brien.

He is a serious guy and I know he believes in this, but to me, it was just sort of laying it over the trail. He’s welcome to join us at any time. You versus him. We’ll sit back and watch that for an hour anytime.

I’ve done that previously.

I know you have. Now Angie I want to talk about an interesting report that ran today, another opinion suggesting that the amount of government handouts to business in part, is holding back a competitive economy, and that in and of itself starts to feed into things like cost of living. Let me read a quote from this today in the Sydney Morning Herald. Australians living standards have been risked by governments rushing to protect local businesses and post-COVID supply chains, while using taxpayers’ money to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

What role do you think the government has in protecting industry and therefore jobs?

Well, look, I think it’s important Australians know that around about 12 million Australians are employed by (sic) small, medium and large businesses, so it’s important that we keep taxes low for those businesses, absolutely, 100 per cent. However, using taxpayers’ money to get to net zero by 2050 and subsidising that doesn’t seem right to me, when we’re in a cost-of-living crisis and families are screaming out for their mortgage payments, for relief at the bowser, for relief at the supermarket.

It’s just not fair on families and the Government’s not listening. They’re off on this other agenda, to you know, to save the world when Australians are paying for it and it’s wrong.

Well, and remember they’re the ones that made the decision. I talked about it every night. 10 million people, 1,500 bucks, that they were getting in their tax returns, that disappeared and don’t you love, don’t you love, Bronwyn, God love the people who were slow to this here but all these other media organisations that are discovering people (inaudible) when $1,500 that they impart rely upon, simply disappears.

But again, to that point, about how much assistance, how much help, should there be for the world of business, and is there a form of protectionism that exists when we artificially fund things to exist that otherwise wouldn’t be able to exist?

Yes, I mean the argument that was put forward by the Productivity Commission is that we’ve simply transferred tariff barriers, which are applied prior to the goods coming in to behind the barrier, and they made the case very well, I think about the amount of money that is being spent on fighting climate change by the enormous expenditure that they are paying by way of subsidy to wind and solar.

And my point always has been there is a place for wind and solar. But let the market decide. Do not give it subsidy, let it compete with other forms of supply. And at the end of the day, there is no getting away from the truth, if we need coal or nuclear, as baseload, don’t fall for the big battery trick, that is simply a whole lot of small batteries put together, which will give a limited number of people.

Don’t fall for the trick that says all this new grid will be absolutely fine. First, there are enormous problems concerned behind the theory of how that new grid is going to operate. In the meantime, it’s destroying farms, it’s destroying livelihoods. How is that good for the nation? How is that good for the people?

While we add how many more people to the back end of everything here. As we told you about last night, there’s polls suggesting the majority of Australians, yet again say that immigration is too high, not because they’re a bunch of racists, but because they see the problems of housing affordability, cost of living, the number of people that are on the road whenever you’re trying to get anywhere, let alone when you’re trying to get anywhere near a hospital.

How extraordinary that Queensland case where the member of the public who has to drive the ambulance because the ambo is too busy in the back taking care of people.

But Pauline Hanson says one of the solutions here is no foreign investment, or at least for a little while. This did happen in New Zealand for a while. Angie, what do you think about the idea that, well full Australian passport, full Australian residency to purchase property? What would that do to the market on the GC?

Well, look at the moment we don’t have enough houses to house our own Australians. This is a problem, has anybody noticed we’re in a housing crisis? On the Gold Coast is probably one of the worst areas across the country. Where are we going to put even foreign students that are coming over, it is a major problem.

The government needs to be focusing on housing our own citizens, on more public housing. The State Government has absolutely failed over the last 27 years out of 32, that it’s been in power by not delivering social and affordable housing that the Commonwealth has paid it to do.

We need to be looking at how we get more Australians into the great Australian dream of owning their own home. In the last three years in power, the Coalition Government delivered 30,000 Australians into new homes and that’s what we need to be focused on. That’s what the government needs to be focused on at both levels, at all levels in fact.

I’m with you. Bronwyn?

Well, I think Angie has made some good points there, but I think Pauline Hanson also made some very good points. She pointed out that there are restrictions on foreigners buying property here. It’s got to be new. but a lot of what will happen is they’ll buy an old one and knock it down and then you build new ones so they comply.

But the point she was making strongly, and I think it’s right, is there’s no follow up, that the existing restrictions aren’t working, and I think we do have to look at putting some sort of stricter barriers to people investing here who are not citizens, and particularly from China because of the exchange rate…interrupted.

I’m with you. I’ve got to go because we’ve got David Rubenstein standing by in the United States. Thank you, Bronwyn, thank you, Angie. We’ll talk to you all again next week.



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