Interview with Sabra Lane, AM Program

  • Transcript, E&OE
Topics: 2019 Federal Election.

Sabra Lane Trade Minister Simon Birmingham joined me earlier from Adelaide. Simon Birmingham, welcome back to AM.

Simon Birmingham Hello Sabra, great to be with you.


Sabra Lane Can you move beyond the culture wars and many voters are pretty sick of the energy wars, will they end in this Parliament?

Simon Birmingham I am confident that the government will deliver on our energy policy settings to drive down power prices but also our commitment to meet the Paris targets. And we need to make sure that those Australians who doubt our commitment in relation to meeting climate change targets are convinced that they do see that we meet and exceed in this term of Parliament, the 2020 commitments that were made and that we can point to the real progress in implementing our $3.5 billion climate solutions fund so that they can see that our 2030 targets are also on track, and they have confidence in us to act there, regardless of some of the doubts they may have had in the past.

Sabra Lane How much of a problem is that given that you've pointed out that many people doubt the sincerity of the government in tackling this and given that many people also remember Scott Morrison carrying that on coal into parliament?

Simon Birmingham There are lessons out of any election result and of course the vast majority of lessons sit on the Labor side where there's been a clear rejection of their policy approach that they took to the last election and the fact that Australians, the quiet Australians as Scott Morrison dubbed them, rejected the pundits in the polls and the commentators and the expectations that Labor would just be elected they instead voted for smaller government lower taxes for backing themselves in terms of their opportunity to get ahead. But there are lessons for us as well Sabra and those are lessons that I think we need to learn and to make sure that in areas where the electorate had its doubts that we worked doubly hard to address them. We have the policies to make sure and the commitments to make sure that on climate change we act and we just need to make sure that Australians believe us in terms of seeing the outcomes of those actions and seeing that we're genuine about those outcomes.

Sabra Lane Just quickly on you and you happy to stay as Trade Minister and will there be a leadership change in the Senate?

Simon Birmingham Look I fully expected that I'll be continuing to work with Mathias in the Senate leadership and equally in terms of my portfolio. Trade is critically important to Australia's future. Of course I'll serve as the Prime Minister determines as we all will. But it's a portfolio that I love and there's still much to do in terms of growing Australia's exports even further into the future.

Sabra Lane Simon Birmingham thanks for joining AM.

Simon Birmingham My pleasure Sabra.

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