SUBJECTS: Israel Folau; asylum seeker transferred to Australia
SAMANTHA ARMYTAGE, HOST: Rugby Union star, Israel Folau, has linked the bushfires and drought devastating Australia to the legislation of abortion and same-sex marriage. Folau’s comments have come during a sermon to a Sydney church.
*Audio of Israel Folau*
DAVID KOCH, HOST: The footballer warned there is worse to come if the laws are not reversed. For more, we are joined by Nationals MP, Barnaby Joyce, and Labor MP, Joel Fitzgibbon – morning gents. Barnaby, is that a stretch to link the fires and drought to same-sex marriage and abortion laws?
BARNABY JOYCE, MEMBER FOR NEW ENGLAND: Yeah, of course it is. But what happens now, Kochie, is he throws rocks at us so he feels good, we throw rocks back at him so we feel, you throw rocks at both of us so you feel good, and not one of those actions is making a sandwich for a person fighting the fires, or doing back burning. Not one of those actions is actually in a firetruck trying to stop these fires. Israel can concentrate on what he wants to say, and I don’t really care, and we will concentrate on the fire.
ARMYTAGE: Yeah, look it does suck up the media cycle doesn’t it? Joel, I’m all for freedom of speech, but he is a high profile sports star, we listen to our sports stars and he knows these sorts of comments are going to go viral and consume days and days of media; should he stay silent?
JOEL FITZGIBBON, MEMBER FOR HUNTER: You’ve just made a good point Sam. It bewilders me – Israel is a good footballer, no one can question or challenge that, but it bewilders me why the media pays so much attention to what he has to say, and if they didn’t it wouldn’t be sucking up so much of the media. But he’s had a few good coaches over course of the last week. I find it somewhat amusing what Barnaby had to say. Barnaby was out there last week talking about the voting habits of those who tragically lost their lives in the bushfires. We got Senator Jordan Steele-John screaming arsonist at people. The Deputy Prime Minister, no less, screaming at people calling them lunatics – the list goes on. And so, Israel is in the sense…
JOYCE: I’d like to have a reply to that.
FITZGIBBON: … in the same boat as the rest of them, and they are all attention seekers and that’s the truth of it and we shouldn’t *inaudible*.
JOYCE: Joel, I just think I should get a right of reply…
FITZGIBBON: Hang on Barnaby, I didn’t interrupt you. No I didn’t interrupt you…
JOYCE: It’s just that you talk forever.
FITZGIBBON: You are as Israel; you’ve done the same thing as has the Deputy Prime Minister.
JOYCE: Oh for god’s sake, that is ridiculous. First of all, that is ridiculous and I will interrupt you on that one. First and foremost, what I was doing, the statements were clumsy, I apologised for it, it was to precisely try and take away from the invective group of people. If you look at the transcript, and I presume you haven’t, I said quite clearly you cannot blame one group of people or another group of people. It is about fires and it’s about trying to make sure that we basically work together as a group. Prior to that, there was an assertion it’s all about the people who vote for the Greens and I said that was ridiculous. A person’s political voting pattern does not make a bushfire. What we have to do is have a conversation in the future about policies that could better help us fight these fires. But what you’ve done Joel – but what you’ve done Joel just then is precisely what you said you weren’t going to do is to create the invective and throw fuel on the fire.
FITZGIBBON: Nice try Barnaby, but you chased a headline. You got the wrong headline, you apologised, yes, but the damage was done and people like Israel are now following your example.
JOYCE: You just said that I’m that same as Israel Folau. That is incredible, Joel. Sometimes you are just so …
FITZGIBBON: You don’t play football anywhere near as well – I’ve seen you.
ARMYTAGE: I want to get your thoughts on this gentlemen; let’s change topic because this interesting this one. An asylum seeker who botched a DIY penis enlargement by injective himself with palm oil has been transferred to Australia under controversial Medevac laws for reconstructive surgery. Barnaby, what do you make of this scenario?
JOYCE: Well it sounds like this individual had a pretty checkered past. He had also been up for assault against one of the guards and so this person seems to be someone who is creating real problems. For whatever reason he is now in Australia. I suppose it does bring into focus the Medevac laws and why would we be bringing someone who is basically self-harmed, created an assault, and is now in Australia – why is that?
KOCH: And, Joel, he threw boiling water on a security guard and this surgery is going to cost taxpayers $10,000.
FITZGIBBON: Yeah I think it is a bit early on a Monday morning to be talking about do-it-yourself penis enlargement, but Barnaby is just wrong there. The Medevac laws have made no change to this situation. Peter Dutton would have brought this person back to Australia pre-Medevac laws because despite the ridiculous nature of the events that led to it, he would have already always been brought to Australia if he self-harmed and faced such serious injuries. So, the Medevac laws have nothing to do with it. The problem here, of course, is that we still have people stuck on Manus after all of these years in terrible conditions, and we need to be working together to fix this stupid problem and it is stupid. And that’s all about third party – third country processing and settlement, something we should have been doing many years ago but Barnaby and his people voted against the Malaysia solution. It’s about time we all came back to the table fix this problem and get these people off this island.
BARNABY: Well, we had to fix up the problem that had *inaudible* 50,000 people came into Australia under your watch and the borders were completely under control under the Labor Party. Nobody has forgotten that. I don’t think you guys have reconciled how you are going to deal with that into the future even to this day.
KOCH: Alright, ok gents, thank you for that. Have a good week we will catch you next Monday.