SUBJECTS: Victorian Restrictions; Tax Cuts; Childcare.
TOM CONNELL, HOST: Let’s go to my next guest in the program, from the Labor party Peta Murphy, thanks very much for your time. I want to begin with the situation, or course, in Victoria, Melbourne in particular, a warning from a senior epidemiologist – this is just the latest in Victoria’s target here of five average cases per day is just too high a bar, lot’s of experts weighing in on this now that it’s not achievable, that seems to be playing out right now as well, that it’s not achievable.
PETA MURPHY, MEMBER FOR DUNKLEY: Look, it’s really hard isn’t it? And we have seen today reports of more positive results. I would like to take this opportunity to say, I just saw before I came on some footage of people in Shepparton, lined up for blocks and blocks, to get tested. Which is just such a great image, isn’t it? Of people doing what they need to do to try to make sure that the positive tests are limited as much as possible. It is clear that the restrictions aren’t going to be lifted in quite the way we were hoping on Sunday but I have seen the Premier saying there will be some lifting of restrictions and we are all hoping that we can get those numbers down as fast as possible.

CONNELL: This is the point right, that this cooperation you spoke about that’s not going to last, this is essentially the longest lockdown in the world, cases are very low right now, they’re not at this five number. New South Wales is managing life like this, I mean, there needs to be a shift in change doesn’t there pretty soon from the Andrews Government?
MURPHY: I think the Premier has indicated in the press conferences this week his willingness to change when circumstances change but I don’t accept Tom that the cooperation wont last. I mean, the naysayers and scaremongering in the Victorian State Opposition have been saying that for months now and yet this morning we are seeing outstanding cooperation from the people of Shepparton.
CONNELL: But Shepparton aren’t under this full lockdown.
CONNELL: The point about it lasting is, people are not going to live this way forever
MURPHY: That’s true
CONNELL: That’s self-evident. And even for months longer, I mean, if this were to go on until we actually got to five and it took another two months, do you not think we’d see people just completely disobeying the rules?
MURPHY: I think people have been magnificent in the way they have followed the rules, particularly in my community and I think that there still is significant buy in to the need to control this virus. We only have to look at what’s happening around the world, in the UK, in Israel, in America to see that that’s not where we want to be and I know the Premier is making an announcement on Sunday about the roadmap, what it’s going to look like and what restrictions will be lifted on Sunday. And I like everyone else in my community is very much looking forward to hearing what that will be.
CONNELL: We’ll see where it is and perhaps talk about it again down the track.
CONNELL: A couple of other quick things. Income tax cuts, so Anthony Albanese flagging this week, likely to oppose at least parts, or the structure perhaps, of stage three, he points to $80 billion going to the really high end, in his words. Some in the party though are worried about opposing any tax cuts given the lessons learnt previously. What are your views on this?
MURPHY: Look, we’ve always been really cautious about those high end tax cuts, my views are we have to have the right measures to both stimulate the economy now, get people spending and we know that low and middle income earners are more likely to spend disposable income, but also to invest in the sort of really important economic and social reform which will build us for the future, like childcare, like rewiring the nation, social housing – good for the economy, good for jobs and good for people. So, I’m one hundred percent behind that approach because this is a once in a generation, once in a generation opportunity really to look at the devastation that is happening, to fix it but also to build a better future. And that’s what I want to see happen.
CONNELL: So, on childcare, I mean you’ve made this announcement, from Labor, a pledge of more money, there is some detail to come seemingly, does this need to be a well fleshed out plan before the next election so people know exactly what they’re going to get?
MURPHY: Oh yes, and there’s, who knows how long there is between now and the next election, you know, the speculation is there’s about 12 months.
CONNELL: Maybe not that long
MURPHY: Maybe not that long, but you can be guaranteed that Labor will go into an election, as we do every time, with policies which are costed and which are detailed. And there is a lot of detail out there already about our plans for affordable childcare for everyone. And our plan’s to make sure that women can get back into the workforce and not be penalised financially for wanting to work. Female participation is so important for building the economy and for economic growth and it’s so important, as you know, for women’s equality. So, we will absolutely be putting out more detail as we go.
CONNELL: Peta Murphy, talk soon. Let’s hope there are some good announcements on Sunday.