MATT KEOGH MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR DEFENCE INDUSTRY

SHADOW MINISTER ASSISTING FOR SMALL BUSINESS
MEMBER FOR BURT
 
ZANETA MASCARENHAS
LABOR CANDIDATE FOR SWAN

 
E&OE TRANSCRIPT
DOORSTOP INTERVIEW 
PERTH
TUESDAY, 15 MARCH 2022

SUBJECTS: Scott Morrison’s visit to WA; Dry Dock Defence Announcement; ALP and Greens; Clive Palmer. 
 
ZANETA MASCARENHAS, LABOR CANDIDATE FOR SWAN: Hi everyone my name is Zaneta Mascarenhas, I'm Labor's candidate for Swan. Thank you so much for coming down here to stunning South Perth. It's great to be here in Swan and thank you to Matt Keogh, Shadow Minister for Defence Industry for being here. I'm so grateful to be bringing up my family here in Swan. I'm an engineer that works in the resource sector. I recognise how hard West Australians have worked during the pandemic, to keep the economy going. And you know what? This is something that Scott Morrison does not appreciate. Western Australians have worked so hard and the truth is he wanted to put people's livelihoods and the economy at risk, which is pretty scary. And the truth is Scott Morrison does not want to stand up for WA. Federal Labor wants to do that. Now I’ll hand over to Matt Keogh.
 
MATT KEOGH, SHADOW MINISTER FOR DEFENCE INDUSTRY: Thank you very much Zaneta. It's great to be here with Zaneta Mascarenhas here in Swan. She's a great Labor Candidate for Swan raising her family here. Zaneta and I have been down here on the foreshore just been up having a chat to some people. And what's clear is that Western Australians know that they can't trust Scott Morrison's Liberals. Scott Morrison has been fighting against Western Australia for years now. Whilst Western Australia has been doing the heavy lifting when it comes to the national economy. We've had Scott Morrison's Liberals waste a million dollars of taxpayers money joining with Clive Palmer's challenge to Western Australia in the High Court. We've had Scott Morrison champion New South Wales’ “gold standard” whilst calling Western Australians “cave people” and he's been fighting against Mark McGowan's approach to fighting the COVID pandemic. Western Australians need someone who is responsible. Western Australians need a Prime Minister that will show up and take responsibility, that will stand up and do what's required. And instead, what we've got is just under a year since he's been away from Western Australia, Scott Morrison's flown in, he's come and done a press conference and he hasn't even bothered to apologise to Western Australians for the way that he has treated us. Western Australians need a strong partner in Canberra. They need someone that will take responsibility, do what is required, and that will stand up for WA. 
 
In response to the announcement that was made earlier today, Labor of course supports anything that gives greater capability to our Australian Defence Force and supports our local defence industry. That's really important. But what we've had in today's announcement doesn't deliver a plan for shipbuilding to support our shipbuilders and their workers. The announcement today doesn't provide a pipeline. What we know from the government's own numbers is that we will lose 300 shipbuilding workers, we will see that loss because there hasn't been a commitment to shipbuilding. The Morrison Government, instead of building a Pacific Support Vessel here in Western Australia decided to go and pick one directly off the shelf from overseas. They were supposed to announce a shipbuilding plan last year and we still don't have that. Our ship builders, our shipbuilding workforce here in Western Australia have projects that will be wrapping up in just a few years time. And yet, we don't have a commitment for any future shipbuilding work here in Western Australia until the end of the decade. If at all. Western Australians deserve better. Our shipbuilding industry deserves better, Western Australia needs people that will stand up for WA, stand up for defence industry, stand up for shipbuilders and actually deliver on what we need here instead of announcements that will be years and years away.
 
JOURNALIST: (inaudible) this dry dock is years away (inaudible)
 
KEOGH: Well, the interesting thing is we've been asking for the Government to do this for some time. This is actually delayed. Their own Force Structure report from 2020 said this was required and they haven't provided the detail or any commitment until now. It’s a facility that won't be ready until 2028, actually it won’t be finalized 2030, it doesn't help cover that gap from shipbuilding projects that will wrap up in the mid 2020s. And we won't have anything new starting until the end of the 2020s. That's a gap that's going to result in a loss of jobs, a loss of work and removal of skills from a critical industry here in WA. 
 
JOURNALIST: Do you think this is consolation prize for missing out on Full Cycle Docking? 
 
KEOGH: I think Scott Morrison has been scrambling here in Western Australia. Western Australians know that Scott Morrison's Liberals can't be trusted. He says one thing, does another. He's certainly not been delivering the things that Western Australians need. He hasn't been showing leadership. He hasn't taken responsibility. He shows up now to try and throw some money around on projects that are badly needed that are actually now long overdue and it doesn't make up for the mismanagement under Scott Morrison. 
 
JOURNALIST: What do you say he needs to apologise for? 
 
KEOGH: I think Western Australians are very clear that over the last two years of the COVID pandemic, they have seen Scott Morrison try to bring down the border that Mark McGowan had to keep us safe. They saw Scott Morrison side with Clive Palmer, wasting a million dollars of taxpayers dollars, then he tried to deny that that ever happen. And then he came out and called us cave people. This is supposed to be a Prime Minister for Australia, not just a Prime Minister for New South Wales.
 
JOURNALIST: You’re definitely keen to continue the association with Clive Palmer and the Prime Minister, likewise he’s keen to associate Labor with the Greens. What’s your thoughts on climate change and the Greens for the keys to the lodge and balance of power? 
 
KEOGH: Labor's outlined it’s policy when it comes to renewable energy and the environment and that is our policy and that's what will be taken forward to this election and what Labor will do if in Government. The Greens can rabbit on about whatever they want to talk about, but Labor is very committed to what we are going to do, because we are a party of government, not a party of protest. 
 
JOURNALIST: It’s been a while between visits for the Prime Minister to the West, to be fair, none of that was in his control was it? 
 
KEOGH: Obviously, people have not been able to visit WA for some time, but the critical thing and what Western Australians have seen over that time, is that they've been under attack from the Prime Minister. Instead of supporting Mark McGowan's approach, instead of supporting Western Australia, we saw attack after attack from Scott Morrison's Liberals. 
 
JOURNALIST: He’s trying to side with Mark McGowan almost, is that a bit of a mirage? 
 
KEOGH: I think it's pretty clear that in the eve of an election, we're about to go into an election and suddenly Scott Morrison has decided he wants to be friends with Mark McGowan and Western Australians, and I think Western Australians are a bit more perceptive than that.
 
JOURNALIST: He’s had a focus on the so called makeover of Mr Albanese, what do you say to that? He talked about new glasses. 
 
KEOGH: I think it's pretty interesting that we've seen Scott Morrison pretend to be a hairdresser, pretend to be a welder, what Western Australians and Australians want to see is am Prime Minister that is actually doing the job of Prime Minister. And it's also a bit rich to go onto national television and complain about people changing their glasses as he did last night when just before the last federal election, Scott Morrison changed his glasses. 
 
JOURNALIST: (inaudible) what do you think of that, in the last week we’ve seen the Premier Mark McGowan talking about big fat liars in terms of Clive Palmer, now we’ve seen this Prime Minister talking about someone’s weight loss. Do you think the public give a toss about that? 
 
KEOGH: I think what's clear is that if Scott Morrison is talking about somebody else's appearance, it’s because Scott Morrison doesn't have anything to deliver for Australians. 
 
JOURNALIST: Would you call Scott Morrison a big fat liar? 
 
KEOGH: I think it's pretty clear that world leaders have called Scott Morrison a liar and I’ll leave it at that. 
 
ENDS
 
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