JIM CHALMERS MP
MEMBER FOR RANKIN
MONDAY, 4 OCTOBER 2021
SUBJECTS: NRL Grand Final; Nuclear-powered submarines; Support for locked-down businesses and workers; NSW Liberal leadership; Brian To’o NRL proposal.
KARL STEFANOVIC, HOST: Let's join Shadow Treasurer Jim Chalmers who's in Brisbane for the mop-up, and in Sydney Triple M's Gus Worland for the mop-up.
STEFANOVIC: Jim, good morning to you. First of all, it was an incredible occasion wasn't it? have to be honest, sitting here with a little bit of COVID PTSD worried about going outside let alone going to a crowd of any kind. It didn't look that safe but does anyone care?
JIM CHALMERS, SHADOW TREASURER: Good morning, Karl. I hope we put on a good show for people who are doing it tough around Australia but particularly in Sydney. Ideally there would have been a few more masks in the crowd, I think that's true, but it was a really great event, a really great night, at the best rugby league ground in the world. And congratulations to the Penrith Panthers who deserved it, not just getting over Souths in the GF, but also Melbourne the week before. So they deserve it. Well done to them.
STEFANOVIC: It was a great show everyone in Queensland deserved it too, it's been a long season. Gus how did you see it? Do you recall how you saw it?
GUS WORLAND, TRIPLE M: Yeah, I had some beer goggles on, I gotta be honest mate.
WORLAND: I wasn't worried at all about COVID or anything. I just thought how good is it just to see the footy happening. Suncorp Stadium is a fantastic rugby league ground, there's no doubt about. It's a pity it's not big enough like the ANZ Stadium here in Sydney, but that's okay. It was fantastic, obviously, to watch the Panthers get up. They've been the best team the last couple of years, they totally deserved it. I loved the father and son moment there at the end, it's not a player there it's his son and they've worked so hard and sacrificed so much. And of course my old mate MG from Triple M, he was there in '91 when they won their first and I talked to him last night and, you know, tears, tears from the big fella, which is great.
STEFANOVIC: Look there has been a couple of disturbing reports from police this morning, a search party has been just announced to try and find Gus' eyes.
WORLAND: Come on! I need to lift! I need to lift!
STEFANOVIC: Did you leave them in an uber?
WORLAND: I'm doing my best, brother!
STEFANOVIC: Jim, a poll in today's Australian reveals a majority of voters support the deal to build our own fleet of nuclear-powered submarines - bit like Gus this morning, nuclear-powered.
STEFANOVIC: We've also got this poll where Albo's still lagging behind as most popular PM, big worry for you guys isn't it, Albo that far behind?
CHALMERS: I wouldn't have thought so, I would have thought that there's lots of encouragement in that poll today. But the way to think about polls Karl, is if they couldn't pick the outcome a few days out from the last election, it's not going to pick the outcome a few months out from this election. We are really competitive and that's because we're focused on what people care about, which is working families, and secure jobs with good pay, and a future made in Australia. And that's why we'll be competitive at the next election. It will be like the Grand Final - it'll be close, but we will be incredibly competitive and we're confident that we can win it.
STEFANOVIC: Are you expecting the coalition to campaign for nuclear, more nuclear?
CHALMERS: I think they were hoping that there would be some politics to be played here, but overall we think that these sorts of decisions should be taken not on the basis of opinion polls but on the basis of what's good for the country and that's why we've come to the position that we've come to. And that poll didn't ask people whether they supported the billions of dollars that the Government wasted on the last submarine deal which hit the fence in order to make these new arrangements, billions of dollars wasted as part of a $90 billion subs program that didn't build any subs. And so that's another issue as well that people need to think about.
STEFANOVIC: Gus, in terms of the nuclear side of things, do you support that?
WORLAND: Look, at the end of the day, the Shadow Minister's right there, wasted so much money on that French deal. I think if we had our time over we should have spoken to the French before we made the deal with the UK and the US, but at the end of the day it's a much better deal for us moving forward. What a shame though that we need to spend so much money on subs, that we need to worry about our safety and people coming to take us over, that money can be spend in so many better areas. It's just a shame of the world that we live in, but at the end of the day we've now got the right deal, but it was a shocker wasn't it with the French, and billions wasted. And yeah we shouldn't forget that and we wanna make sure we never do it again.
STEFANOVIC: Jim, in terms of Melbourne, $700 million it's costing a week now. Is it time to cut off that support to Melbourne businesses given we're in this for another three weeks at least for Melbourne people?
CHALMERS: Of course not Karl, what we want to see is the economic support match what's actually going on in the economy. That national economy's bleeding billions of dollars a week as a consequence of the Government not getting vaccines, and quarantine, and economic support right. And so we want to make sure that businesses - small businesses in particular - and workers, are helped through what is still an incredibly difficult time. The Government's in much more of a rush to cut support than they were to do the right thing on vaccines and quarantine and the like. And that's why I think a lot of people in Australia, not just in Victoria, are really worried about what the future brings when Scott Morrison and Josh Frydenberg pull the rug out from underneath them.
STEFANOVIC: It looks like New South Wales Treasurer Dominic Perrottet is going to take the top job in New South Wales, apparently Labor's getting an arsenal of ads going up against him. What's going to be the campaign against Dominic Perrottet, do you like him Jim?
CHALMERS: Oh, he hasn't had a good record as Treasurer and I think that some of the things that people liked about Gladys Berejiklian, he doesn't have that. I think most worryingly, he's been the key cheerleader for the let it rip brigade, which is very dangerous for the people of New South Wales. So I think while they spend all this time sorting out who gets to sit in the big chair and who gets to sit in a slightly smaller chair, I think the people of New South Wales aren't getting a look-in. We want to make sure that they are well supported and that the new government, whoever leads it after tomorrow, does the right thing by the people.
STEFANOVIC: Gus, did the let it rip campaign mean something entirely different when you were a kid?
WORLAND: Yep, it certainly did. I'm still trying to work it all out now!
WORLAND: To be honest with you, how sad is it. I don't know what Gladys did but it seems really harsh that she's gone. I can't believe someone who led us so well over the last 18 months in particular is out of a job at the moment. I see there's some online petitions at the moment, they've got tens-of-thousands of signatures saying bring back Gladys. I don't know if that can happen, but it seems really harsh and really poor timing by ICAC to actually bring it out when we're so close to freedom day, when she's done such a great job. That's way above my pay grade, but it's disappointing that she's not leading us because I think she's the best person to do it.
STEFANOVIC: Okay, she's got some big things to answer at ICAC, we'll see what unfolds there and see where she pops up next. Let's get back to the Grand Final because this was a beautiful moment too. What about this.
(REPLAYS NRL PROPOSAL)
STEFANOVIC: Brian To'o, on the knee-o. Wow! It was a nice moment, Gussy!
WORLAND: It was fantastic, obviously built on emotion. I hope he doesn't regret it this morning.
WORLAND: I really hope he doesn’t wakes up, and did I really do that? No, he's an absolute champion, they've been together for a very long time. And what a beautiful moment, they'll never forget that moment. And there were certainly tears at my place, my wife reminding me that I asked him to marry her on a dance floor at four in the morning, not quite up to that romantic stage that he had last night.
STEFANOVIC: And I’m just hearing from your wife, she said you were doing the same thing this morning at 4 AM.
STEFANOVIC: At least you're punching, Gussy! You gotta keep going to work! Keep going to work! Good on you Jim, thanks to you and Gus, appreciate it.
CHALMERS: See you, guys.