02 August 2020

SUBJECT: The Morrison Government’s support for Clive Palmer’s challenge to WA’s borders.



SUBJECT: The Morrison Government’s support for Clive Palmer’s challenge to WA’s borders.

MICHAEL GENOVESE, HOST: Madeleine, thanks for your time this morning.

MADELEINE KING, SHADOW MINISTER FOR TRADE: A pleasure Michael, Hi Carmen. How are you?

GENOVESE: The Federal Member for Brand, and the Shadow Minister for Trade, what do you make of the Prime Minister’s apparent backflip?

KING: I'm standing here, like most Western Australians, just shaking my head. You can hardly believe this backflip. It’s welcome, I'm glad they pulled out of the case to try and open the borders that Mark McGowan’s government has put in place. But this is too little too late. We called upon them to do this a week ago, they've gone through the hearings. It's only the Federal Attorney-General, Christian Porter, and his lawyers that have put in arguments against our hard border, and now they're pulling out. This should have happened weeks ago, they should never have got involved. They haven't read the depth of feeling among Western Australians on the hard border and the support for it. No-one wants to do this, either. People forget that it’s not like Mark McGowan wakes up every morning and says, this is all I’ve ever wanted to do, to close off the state.

GENOVESE: [Laughter}. Well …

KING: I mean, you know, he's got family over east, so have I. We all have friends and family on the east coast. It’s not what we want to do but it's what we need to do, and you have a Federal Government that didn’t want us to do it because of their own little power grab, or big power grab.

GENOVESE: They would argue, Madeleine, that the facts have changed, the situation in Victoria has changed, and in the past week as well. Things are moving pretty quick.

KING: Well, that's true, the situation has changed in Victoria. It’s even been a bit more than a week where cases have been this high and the hearings were only last week. They could have pulled out at the start of the week. This was not impossible to do. And we had just yesterday Mathias Cormann on the airwaves defending what they're doing and saying this is a major constitutional problem for the future of all Australians. They make up different reasons for this challenge every other day, and now today they’ve pulled the pin. But it is too late – they have made the argument. It’s going to affect the ultimate High Court decision because they’ve mounted the case where they didn't have to and no-one wanted them to, but they did it anyway.

BRAIDWOOD: So an empty political stunt in your eyes Madeleine?

KING: Today? Absolutely. They’ve read the tea leaves - people in Western Australia are furious. I've not had a single person defend the action when I meet with people in the community here in Rockingham or Kwinana, or on social media. People just want the Premier to be left to do what he’s doing, which is a great job in keeping the borders closed, keeping economic activity going in Western Australia without the threat of a big bully like Clive Palmer throwing his weight around and his money around to try and get into the state without having to follow the rules.

GENOVESE: Madeleine King, thanks for your time this morning.

KING: Thanks, have a lovely Sunday everyone.