ABC 720 PERTH MORNINGS
THURSDAY, 24 AUGUST 2017
GEOFF HUTCHINSON: Tim Hammond is the Member for Perth; I spoke to him a short time ago. Good Morning.
SHADOW MINISTER FOR CONSUMER AFFAIRS TIM HAMMOND: Good morning Geoff, great to be with you.
HUTCHINSON: You know Western Australians are tired of platitudes and statements of understanding from politicians on the GST. Are we going to hear anything different from Bill Shorten this weekend?
HAMMOND: I think Bill has demonstrated over the course of his leadership much more than platitudes, Geoff, to be honest. I think his conduct has demonstrated an enormous appetite to want to wrestle this issue to the ground and do something about it.
HUTCHINSON: Describe that appetite - what has he done?
HAMMOND: I think his physical presence over here in WA speaks for itself. When Bill arrives for State Conference he would have been here 10 times since the State election. He is constantly engaged by way of town halls with the community, with business leaders, and with State politicians as well as his Federal counterparts, getting a sense of the magnitude of the GST issue in terms of the disparity and also the need to do something about it, which is simply not happening right now under this current Federal Government.
HUTCHINSON: The thing we want to hear though is what is the solution. If we just restate the need to do something about it, it's just like Malcolm Turnbull being here a few months ago and saying "yes it fails the pub test". They just sound like platitudes, so when we talk about the need to do something about it what will we hear from Bill Shorten?
HAMMOND: Bill will come over, like he always has, and have a very frank conversation about a pathway forward for Western Australia. It's a consistent approach that hes' shown up until now and I'm expecting to see more from Bill in terms of a determination to actually lay out an alternative vision. Bill understands, like we all do in Federal Labor, in order to be taken seriously as a credible alternative Government we need to lay out that pathway and I'm entirely confident that is the approach he will take.
HUTCHINSON: So you think he will come here with some solution to the GST problem?
HAMMOND: I'm not here to pre-empt what it is Bill will say or won't say on the weekend. What I am here to say is he's demonstrated consistently time and time again a willingness to lean into the issue and do something about the disparity that WA currently faces.
HUTCHINSON: I think this is where you are going to have one of your challenges because you also must know that a lot of people have stopped listening to this type of conversation. This is what they expect, and you know this, they expect a change to the calculation, they want an establishment of a floor they want recognition of the national wealth that gets created here. The question is will that expectation be met, do you believe it will be?
HAMMOND: I think what you're articulating is a pretty strong community sentiment of what I hear every day. Our Federal Labor team has relayed the same thing up to Bill and the team in Canberra every day of the week. What Western Australians want and what they are not getting right now from Malcolm Turnbull is a pathway to a fair share. I've got every confidence that Bill Shorten and the Federal Labor team is aiming for that very mark.
HUTCHINSON: If you are unable to solve the acknowledged unfairness of this how are you going to convince voters Federal Labor is any different to the Libs?
HAMMOND: Like I've just said, I'm backing ourselves to lay out a meaningful pathway for Western Australia. I think we will see in Bill Shorten and Federal Labor, a plan which does something about addressing the disparity in relation to our GST shortfall. So this is really about just making sure Western Australia has a fair share. That's what this is about. And what you have seen time and time again is a willingness on behalf of Bill to stand there shoulder-to-shoulder with Mark McGowan and say we want to get this fixed.
HUTCHINSON: Have you said to Bill Shorten if you get this policy right WA delivers you a heap of seats, you're guaranteed Government, high profile Liberal Ministers Porter and Keenan are probably thrown out of office - there is opportunity here. But what if Bill Shorten says, yes I know Tim but this is a complicated business and if I give WA more that might mean South Australia and Tasmania lose out and there are seats to win there?
HAMMOND: Geoff, I've spent my entire working life fighting against inequality or fighting against injustice or what I see as a disparity. This isn't a conversation about lines on a map, this is about making sure that our community has every opportunity to thrive and prosper. What that means is reinvigorating the Western Australian community with some consumer confidence, which quite frankly, has been lacking. It is about making sure we do the right thing by Western Australia. That's what people expect us to do as their elected Federal leaders in this State. What has been a real shame in what I have seen so far is the real absence of that sort of advocacy on our Federal scene. Now that will be what it will be at any particular ballot box at any particular day. What we can't lose focus on is this is about delivering an outcome for our community that can actually instil some consumer confidence back into the place.
HUTCHINSON: Do you expect to be judged harshly if Mr Shorten is seemed to fall short on a determination about the GST.
HAMMOND: I don't worry too much about what other people think of me. What I worry about is actually making sure I do every single thing I possibly can to ensure that we can land the best possible outcome in WA. That will be what it will be. What I need to measure myself on is making sure I exert every ounce of influence I can every day of the week to land that outcome. That is the focus for me and will continue to be the focus for me.
HUTCHINSON: Do you agree though the worst possible scenario here is that someone listens to this interview or Bill Shorten over the weekend and comes to the conclusion they're all the same?
HAMMOND: We've got to make our case time and time again to the community to say that parking their vote with us is going to be worth it. That means talking to the community, not just as a one off conference or this conversation, it’s a constant conversation with Mums and Dads in WA about our pathway, and that is not only about the GST. It is about doing something about negative gearing, it's about doing something about capital gains tax, it's about doing something in relation to the 1.1 million Australians across the country who are underemployed. It is all part of the conversation to say we have a road map as the Federal Labor party to tackle inequality we currently see and that starts at home, it starts at WA.
HUTCHINSON: Thank you for talking to me this morning.
HAMMOND: Great to be with you
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