The Hon Patrick Gorman MP Doorstop interview – Parliament House

Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister, Assistant Minister for the Public Service

PATRICK GORMAN, ASSISTANT MINISTER TO THE PRIME MINISTER AND ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR THE PUBLIC SERVICE: Today, we are hoping that the Parliament will pass laws to further strengthen our migration system in the national interest. The laws that are currently in front of the Senate will make sure that we have the strong migration system that Australians expect. That indeed, that the Albanese Government is seeking to continue to build after a decade of neglect, as we’ve seen in recent reports. When it comes to what we’ve seen in recent times; we’ve seen people refusing to cooperate with legal directions to leave this country. Instead, they’ve just been sitting around in immigration detention. It’s got to stop.

And that’s why our laws – that we are hoping that this parliament will pass today – will strengthen our migration system. Making sure that it is clearly a crime not to cooperate with a direction to leave Australia. And further, these laws will ensure that the Australian Government has the power not to issue visas from countries who are refusing to accept return of their citizens. So what we believe is that these laws should pass today. It’s about strengthening our migration system. It’s about making sure that we deliver the sort of migration system that Australians expect, which is one where if you do not cooperate, it is clear that that should be a crime. And that is the law that we’ve put forward into the Parliament yesterday, and we’re hoping will be passed by the Senate today.

Because today, is indeed the last sitting day before the Budget. And what we’ve seen this week, again, is a strong contrast between the Opposition led by Peter Dutton, and the Government led by Prime Minister Anthony Albanese. This week, we came here saying, ‘we want to get the minimum wage up further, we want to lift the minimum wage.’ And we have put that submission in. And instead, what we had from Mr. Dutton was concern about whether or not people on the minimum wage should be paid more. At the same time, he’s saying that it’s completely fine to find billions of phantom dollars to build his nuclear power plant obsession.

Now, I really thought that after all of the talk we heard about Mr. Dutton’s nuclear power plant obsession, we would see some of – just some of – the detail. Maybe where he’s going to put them. Maybe how much they would cost. Maybe where he would store the waste. And maybe what time on which he would build them and where that workforce would come from. But we have not seen any detail. And indeed, we’ve seen people across the Liberal Party try and fill in the gaps. We saw Rick Wilson, the Member for O’Connor put his hand up in Parliament this week, saying he wants a nuclear power plant in Collie. We saw a former Liberal Premier Colin Barnett, saying he expects that Mr. Dutton will build a nuclear power plant in the Pilbara. Now again, all of this speculation because Mr. Dutton – on his one policy idea – can’t release a single piece of detail.

But, to go from zero detail to the transition to net zero. Today, I will introduce the Net Zero Economy Authority Bill. Making sure that we have that clear plan to help our workers, our communities and our economy transition to net zero. This is the greatest economic opportunity for Australia. But we also need to make sure that we look after everyone on the way through. No one held back, no one left behind. And with that, what we are doing today with the Net Zero Economy Authority Bill, is to ensure that we have a process that supports workers, supports economies, supports communities, and supports our climate. And that’s what we seek to do by making sure we’ve got that Authority that can do the coordination work for coal communities, but also grab those big opportunities of renewable transition.

I mentioned before, this is the final sitting week before the Budget. And there’s one thing that’s happening today that’s exciting for West Australians like myself. That exciting thing is that the Premier of Western Australia is coming here to open the WA Hub. For decades and decades, Western Australia has had representation in Western Australia. We’ve had the Tax Office, we’ve had Services Australia, we’ve had customs, we’ve had members of the Federal Parliament in Western Australia, we’ve had the Commonwealth Parliament Offices. But after 123 years of Federation, finally there will be a WA Hub here in Canberra. I’m looking forward to joining WA business leaders, Premier Roger Cook and my parliamentary colleagues for the opening of the Hub. It’ll be a good opportunity to talk about how we are stronger when we work together. States and the Commonwealth working together to get things done for the people of Australia.

And after today, the next time we’re here will be for Budget. A budget that will deliver for Middle Australia. A budget that will ensure that we fund the tax cuts that we’ve legislated for 13.6 million Australians – 84% of whom will get a bigger tax cut. A budget that will deliver superannuation on the Government’s Paid Parental Leave scheme. And a budget that will continue our work for Australia. To make sure that we help families with the cost of living, invest in Medicare, build a future made in Australia, and ensure Australians are safe at home and secure in the world.

And if I could just conclude on one item, which is obviously many of us have woken this morning, to see that really tragic footage of what’s happened in Baltimore, with the Francis Scott Key Bridge. It is a tragic accident from what we’ve seen. And I just want to think of all of those emergency services workers who are still working to hopefully rescue some of those who have been caught in this tragedy. And also just to note, it’s a reminder for all of us in this place, that the incredibly important occupations which a country like Australia relies upon. For an island nation like us – seafaring is a dangerous job, and we recognise that. Construction is a dangerous job. And every worker wherever they are, deserves to come home safely from a day’s work. Unfortunately, that hasn’t happened in this circumstance. And just on behalf of Australian Government, we extend our thoughts to the people of the United States as they deal with this very tragic accident. Thank you.

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