TRANSCRIPT - DOORSTOP INTERVIEW - PARLIAMENT HOUSE, CANBERRA - WEDNESDAY, 28 FEBRUARY 2018

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E&OE TRANSCRIPT

DOORSTOP

PARLIAMENT HOUSE CANBERRA

WEDNESDAY, 28 FEBRUARY 2018

SUBJECT/S: Takata airbag recall; Adani 

SHADOW MINISTER FOR CONSUMER AFFAIRS TIM HAMMOND: You’ll see this morning, finally, the Government is taking some steps to protect hundreds and thousands of Australian motorists on the road in relation to a compulsory recall for Takata airbags.

The sad thing about this of course is this has been waiting in the wings for months and months and months. It is Labor that has called for the compulsory recall back in August last year. The ACCC made it very clear back in August last year that the deadly Takata airbags posed a real risk to safety of hundreds and thousands of Australian motorists on the road – with the Alpha Takata airbags having a failure rate of one in two.

Now, it is an indictment, quite frankly, on this Government that they have taken so long to pull the trigger on a compulsory recall. There is a provision of the Competition and Consumer Act that allows the responsible minister to pull the trigger on a compulsory recall if an imminent safety threat arises.

It was very clear that this was on the cards in August last year and this Government has dithered and done nothing.

Labor welcomes the compulsory recall, we welcome any step that makes Australian families safer, but this is long overdue, and it is an indictment on this Government – who quite frankly at this moment doesn’t even have a minister responsible for consumer affairs.

Consumer affairs dropped off the radar for Malcolm Turnbull in the reshuffle before the end of last year and it has not appeared since. And quite frankly it shows. It shows in how long the Government has dragged its heals in relation to a compulsory recall of deadly Takata airbags.

It shows because the Government has done nothing in relation to protecting vulnerable Australians from the scourge of payday lenders because there is no minister for consumer affairs, there is no one in Malcolm Turnbull’s Government who is seriously interested in sticking up for Australian consumers and it is not on.

Happy to take questions. 

JOURNALIST: Bill Shorten reportedly told businessman Jeff Cousins last month that a future Labor government would revoke Adani’s mining license. Is that something you agree with?

HAMMOND: Look, I’m not ever in the habit of engaging in hearsay in relation to other people’s conversations and our position on Adani has been entirely clear.

We have made it very clear that if the Adani mine does not stack up environmentally or commercially it is not a project worthy of support. Now, it is very clear at the moment that Adani is besieged with all sorts of problems and any enterprise like that which requires a government to prop it up is one that we need to be incredibly concerned about.

So, in my opinion Labor’s position on this has been entirely clear – we don’t engage in sovereign risk exercises, but we are also not in the business of propping up organisations that can’t stand on their own two feet.  

JOURNALIST: These recalls; are they based on European finding or Australian findings…?

HAMMOND: The evidence has been in the public domain for months, if not years, in relation to the safety risk and this is entirely the point. Any step to preserve the safety of families on Australian roads should be welcome but this information has been in the hands of the government for months and months.

We have called for this recall for more than six months and this Government has done nothing.

Thank you very much – have a great day.

ENDS.