SUBJECTS: PM’s U.S. trip; Drought Envoy.
NATALIE BARR: Nationals MP, Barnaby Joyce, and the ALP’s, Joel Fitzgibbon. Good morning gents. Barnaby…
BARNABY JOYCE: Good morning, Sam. Good morning, Nat.
BARR: How do you rate the PM’s performance so far over the last few days? What’s been the most interesting part of the U.S. tour?
JOYCE: Well, I’d rate it in how he’s been received by people in the White House administration, especially the President. So, I’d rate it very, very well and that’s very, very important to Australia. Very, very important that our, an ally has the same views on the liberties and rights of the individual is also strong. We’re strong with them because in this world where we live, democracy is actually getting less, not more, so we have to hold fast to those virtues of a democratic, rule-based society because if we’re not strong together, we’ll be very weak apart, and for Australia – excessively vulnerable.
SAM ARMYTAGE: Joel, there’s a very healthy bromance going on between these two conservative leaders – what does that mean for our alliance?
JOEL FITZGIBBON: Good morning, team. Look, these trips to Washington are always important no matter who is our Prime Minister, and who is in Government, but you know, when everyone’s stopped drinking the cool-aid they’ll come back to reality and remember that here in Australia our economy is anaemic, our farmers are facing a calamity, our towns are running out of water and they’re asking the question, “Well, what about us?”
And while I believe we can chew gum and walk too, many in rural communities will be asking, “Why are we investing in money to send a rocket to Mars, when we desperately need money here in rural Australia?” These are Scott Morrison’s forgotten people, and they grow more angry by the day.
BARR: Well, one of the reasons why the Prime Minister says we’re doing that is to create jobs. That’s *inaudible.* The PM has pledged this $150 million towards NASA’s mission to the moon and Mars over the next five years. Not all the reviews are positive, though.
Our viewers have hit Facebook over the weekend, Dot said, “What about Australia? Time to start taking care of our country.” Chantel says, “Imagine what $150 million could do for struggling farmers. The mind boggles that someone could be so frivolous.” Theresa wrote on Facebook, “What an epic waste of money. Take ScoMo to Mars and leave him there.” Barnaby, what do you think of this criticism of the spending? ScomMo says it’s to get jobs into this country, it’s a long-term approach.
JOYCE: Well, I can hear Joel giggling in the background. Joel, you can’t say it’s great to go to the United States. Just…
FITZGIBBON: Well, Barnaby…
JOYCE: Just, just let me finish, mate. You always spoil – speak too much on these shows, and then go and say, “Well, you shouldn’t have gone.” You can’t do both Joel. You’re either in one camp, or the other. Now, why is it important? If you think of the benefit we got from the Apollo mission – solar panels, computers, micro-processors, even the fireman’s suit – for all these things, and these advancements that have gone on, nano-technology, and although the trip obviously costs an incredible amount of money – and I understand, and hear the concerns that people have about $150 million – if we get the benefits of the technology, and how we can apply that into the future for our nation, we make an immense benefit to this country.
I imagine – though I was not privy to the Cabinet discussions – that is what is driving this issue, because we know that the incredible boom to America that came not from putting a man on the moon, but came from the technology that they had to discover to put a man on the moon. Well, that will be by a factor of gosh knows what – ten, a hundred – to put someone, you know, basically onto the, onto the earth of Mars – onto the ground at Mars – and we want to be part of that, and we want to bring some of that wealth and those jobs that come from that back to this nation.
AMRYTAGE: Yes, Joel – is there anything, anything good you can see here about the $150 million to NASA? We, I mean, there are great Australian businesses out there creating some great technology who could get involved here.
FITZGIBBON: And we’re celebrating Anthony Pratt’s investment in the United States today, or at least Scott Morrison is, but while that’s always a welcomed thing I think that investment, or much of it, could have been happening here in Australia if the Government had a decent industry plan.
But look, I don’t think that people in rural Australia would mind $150 million being spent on a space mission if the Government here in Australia was taking their problems seriously, and putting substantial amounts of money into their plight as well. Instead, we’re having an argument about Barnaby, you know, putting the case “the dog ate his homework,” you know, coordinators, drought envoys and all of this…
JOYCE: Joel, where do you come up with this?
FITZGIBBON: People are just looking for some action, and the absence of that action – and in the absence of that action, they’re questioning an investment…
JOYCE: That sounds like you… *inaudible*
FITZGIBBON: Which would have ordinarily been welcomed.
FITZGIBBON: Tell us about your hard work, Barnaby. The dog ate it, didn’t it? Isn’t that what – isn’t that what happened?
JOYCE: Sometimes I wonder – sometimes I wonder, other times I’m certain. You go from kind of sensible, to absolutely out there on the edge, but anyway. We are putting billions of dollars into drought and that is incredibly important…
FITZGIBBON: “I would’ve written a report, but the Prime Minister sacked me.”
JOYCE: Joel, look, go back to your pal and your dog eating your homework lines, they’re failing terribly. Just stick with them. So, we are putting billions of dollars…
FITZGIBBON: Where’s the report, Barnaby?
JOYCE: And it’s so important, so important that we do, and I actually heaps of reports to the Prime Minister by the way – by the way – and actually, that’s another thing that you got wrong, wrong. So, so, we have got to make sure…
FITZGIBBON: Always telling fibs, Barnaby.
JOYCE: That we do – we do walk and chew gum. Joel…
JOYCE: Honestly, did you get sleep last night? Hooley dooley.
ARMYTAGE: Gentlemen, can I interrupt because we have to go, but Barnaby can we get you one when we’ve got more time another day because I really want to talk about, there are plenty of towns in New South Wales about to run out of water and it’s a really serious issue…
JOYCE: Absolutely. Some have.
ARMYTAGE: And we keep getting side-tracked by NASA. Yes, I think Dubbo is about to run out, Tamworth…
JOYCE: Some have. *Inaudible.* Tamworth, Dubbo, Tenterfield, Armidale.
ARMYTAGE: Yes. So, we need a serious discussion about what’s – so can you come back another day when we’ve got more time this week and we’ll chat?
JOYCE: Absolutely. I would love to. Just leave the, with his dog…
FITZGIBBON: Can I just say…
JOYCE: You can’t Joel. You can’t Joel. Just go away.
FITZGIBBON: Why are you going to talk to the guy who has done nothing for six years? It’s a waste of time
JOYCE: Because you bring up rubbish such as the dog ate your homework rubbish.
FITZGIBBON: Talk to someone who knows what they’re doing, and is committed to rural Australia.
JOYCE: Dog ate the homework. Joel go back to sleep.
FITZGIBBON: Six years Barnaby.
ARMYTAGE: We need to talk to someone in Government to see what’s going to happen. Alright gentlemen…
FITZGIBBON: Well, good luck with that.
JOYCE: Go back to sleep. Wake up. Try it again.
ARMYTAGE: Thank you for your time, we’ve got to go. Thank you though