SUBJECT/S: Shadow Ministry.
HOST: Let’s bring this morning’s political panel, Shadow Minister for Agriculture and Resources, Joel Fitzgibbon, who is in Melbourne, and former Nationals’ leader and Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce in Armidale. Good morning to you both gentlemen.
JOEL FITZGIBBON SHADOW MINISTER FOR AGRICULTURE AND RESOURCES: Good morning team.
HOST: Joel, let’s go to you first, your new look ministry has received mixed reactions, was it the right call do you think to put Bill Shorten on the Shadow front bench and Kristina Keneally, that’s a bit controversial?
FITZGIBBON: Can I just first point out that Barnaby Joyce is a Queensland supporter and we will keep that in mind.
HOST: We will get to that in a minute.
FITZGIBBON: And I congratulate you, Barnaby on the arrival -
JOYCE: And [inaudible] on Queensland time.
FITZGIBBON: And congratulations Barnaby, father again.
JOYCE: Thank you Joel.
FITZGIBBON: Well done –
JOYCE: I appreciate that mate, good on you.
FITZGIBBON: It is an outstanding front bench team, we have an embarrassment of riches in our caucus and it’s going to be doing a very fine job over the next short while, while we review all of our policies. I think it is right to have Bill Shorten there. The guy, you know, was set to become Prime Minister. You don’t achieve that without having a lot of talent, a lot of capacity, and a lot of commitment to the job. And of course Kristina Keneally is a rising star in the Party, she is a former Premier of the country’s largest state, she is savvy, she is smart, she is committed, and I think she will do an outstanding job.
HOST: Joel Bill Shorten blamed everyone else though, is it a good idea to have him up there front and centre after that?
FITZGIBBON: I believe Bill’s reflections on the election will be lost to our memory in a pretty short time. The important thing is how he performs into the future, again I think he is a talented individual with a lot to contribute, he is only young, about 51 I think, so he has plenty of time left in politics and, I have no doubt, a very large contribution to make.
HOST: All right, Barnaby Joyce you are a young fella too. Peter Dutton came out swinging on the weekend against Kristina Keneally as his opposite on Home Affairs. What do you guys, you guys and girls on your side of the table make of these appointments?
JOYCE: Well I’d say that I agree with Joel that um Bill’s a young fellow and Albo would probably say a little bit too young considering that Albo will now be watching out of the corner of his eye. Kristina Kenneally has been a bad luck charm all the way through, we’ve seen the worst, worst result in New South Wales and now it’s going to be following her through into federal politics. She has clearly said that she doesn’t believe in our border protection policy, she doesn’t believe in the boat turnbacks, she doesn’t believe in our mechanisms that we use to make sure that we don’t get the economic migrants coming to our nation. This is going to be completely at odds with the people who have concerns about the Labor Party, we saw that during the Federal Election, that she won’t have the resolve to and the steel to say I’ve got to make some hard decisions, it mightn’t be decisions I like, but I’ve got to make some hard decisions and the biggest one of course is Mr Albanese himself. This is the man who had a photo of him with Jeremy Corbyn, he was lauding Jeremy Corbin as a great leader, the most socialist guy in probably Europe at the moment. This is the guy from the seat of Grayndler who has to reconnect with the coal miners of Central Queensland and the Hunter Valley might I say Joel Fitzgibbon. How’s that gonna happen, how does he have this epiphany and arrive back saying oh actually I’m not a pro-Green inner suburban lefty, I’m now a pro-blue collar worker Hunter Valley miner, that’s just not gonna work, it’s not gonna wash. And ah so Chalmers, well he’s new, I read the book, I read Mr Rudd’s book and he had a lot to say about Mr Chalmers, I’d have to read it again, advise you all to have a read of it if you’ve never read Mr Rudd’s book, just go to the part about Mr Chalmers. Interesting reading. And Mr Bowen well, what happened to him? They’ve kept him there as sort of a you know, an honorarium, I don’t quite he’s doing, he had a disastrous campaign, he had a disastrous line up of policies. They’ll take some time to get their stuff together, I think they will be in formidable in probably about a year and a half.
HOST: Joel, has Barnaby got a point you know, so many of your people have to do a 360 on a lot of what they believe to get the public back on side now don’t they?
FITZGIBBON: Well can I say to Barnaby, this is why people are sick of the major parties and politicians. He’s straight out of the corner there, throwing punches wildly, character assassinations on just about everyone on our team, Now you and I, you and I agree.
JOYCE: I left you alone Joel, I left you alone Joel.
FITZGIBBON: Yeah no I appreciate that Barnaby, very generous of you. But you and I agree on a lot of things.
JOYCE: Thank you.
FITZGIBBON: and you know what people want to hear from us or see from us is an attempt at least to work together in a bipartisan way. He’s sure to disagree on the things on which we can’t agree.
JOYCE: Oh Joel, what a healthy, what a healthy thing you did with our votes last year? You know it would have helped if that’s how you would have acted in the Parliament. Tell us you’ll pass the budget. There’s a good start Joel, I’ll take you up, good point. Pass the budget.
FITZGIBBON: People don’t want to see this combat, I’m just giving you a bit of friendly advice, remember when Joe Hockey and Kevin Rudd were on this program, they often laughed together and agreed on major issues.
HOST: Oh there was a fair bit of combat Joel, you’re not here for a haircut, come on.
JOYCE: Oh come on Joel. Joel it’s like I’m having an interview with Mother Theresa of Calcutta God rest her soul [inaudible] in front of your television set.
HOST: Alright, listen we have to go gents, but before we let you go Barnaby congratulations, as Joel said, you and Vicki welcomed a second son Tom on the weekend.
JOYCE: Thank you.
HOST: Are you getting any sleep?
JOYCE: Thomas Michael Timothy.
HOST: How is he?
JOYCE: Well he is still in the hospital and I’ve got Seb here. Seb was a very good alarm clock this morning, started kicking the crap out of me at around about 6.30 so I could get up and do you guys.
HOST: You’re going have two under two and Canberra on your plate, how are you going? Is it going be tough?
JOYCE: Oh yeah it will work, it will be like this place, look at it, it’s totally and utterly, it’s gonna freeze here, we’re gonna have snow, here it comes.
HOST: Yeah it will be like this place, a little bit foggy. Alright Joel and Barnaby, thank you, great chat we’ll talk to you soon.
FITZGIBBON: A great pleasure.