SUBJECTS: China Olympics; RBA; Energy Policy. 
TOM CONNELL, HOST: Joining me live now is my political panel, we’ve got Liberal MP Tim Wilson and from the Labor party Peta Murphy. Thanks very much for your time. 
CONNELL: So, Tim Wilson, you’re part of this group, do you agree with the call to either strip China of the Olympics or boycott the Olympics?
WILSON: Well, it’s not something that I have been involved with, it’s not something that I’m pushing for at this time. I share some of the concerns that Mr Sharma has outlined and as you know, at this time I don’t see it as (Inaudible) and that’s the basis for my decision.
CONNELL: So, is there a concern though, I imagine Australian journalists being sent over there, indeed anyone from the Olympic team might have concerns given what’s happening lately. Can the Australian Government really say don’t worry you can go there, you’ll be fine?
WILSON: Well, as you know, I have had long upheld concerns, not months, not even years but decades of concern about some of the activities of the Chinese Communist Party before recent events. Those views remain intact, we’ve seen events which are concerning, whether it’s actions in Hong Kong with national security laws, whether it’s around (Inaudible) the western part of China, of course issues around foreign journalists and all of those concerns are serious and I’m quite sure that we would be expecting that there would be a high degree of confidence that the security of our athletes, if they go to any Olympics, no matter which country they’re in, but this is something I’m not pushing for at this time.
CONNELL: Peta, we’ve also got reports now that China is pushing Tibetans into forced labour camps on the back of the persecution of Muslims. Why would it be a bad idea, or would it be a good idea, to boycott the Olympics? I mean this would send a pretty strong message to China.
MURPHY: Yeah, I mean like everyone else, I’m really concerned about these reports. But this is an occasion when Tim and I agree. I think that there is an opportunity here to put pressure on China in the lead up to the Olympics in terms of it’s human rights record and in particular freedom of the media, which we’ve seen has be a significant issue. And, as with Tim, I would expect the IOC to put that pressure on China and also to ensure that athletes are safe and able to compete.
CONNELL: Does it send a mixed message though? That the world say oh we’re concerned about human rights and what China’s doing and yet, everyone’s too afraid to wither boycott or take the event off China given how much prestige the Olympics comes with?
MURPHY: Well Tom, I don’t think it’s a matter of anyone being afraid. I think it’s a matter of ensuring that things are handled properly and diplomatically and outcomes that are positive are reached. And some of the comments that Dave Sharma has made I think are entirely sensible about the way in which we can use the lead up to the Olympic games as an opportunity to highlight some of the things that are occurring in China. And to leverage this in some ways for positive outcomes.
CONNELL: Ok, I want to move on. And, Tim Wilson, interesting comments from the Reserve Bank Deputy Governor, hints perhaps, I’m not sure what you made of this, of another rate cut?
WILSON: Well, I’m really cautious about another rate cut. Now of course, this is a decision which can be made independently of the Reserve Bank but I’ve consistently highlighted that every time interest rate cuts come along, it inflates house prices and increases the price of assets, which is good if you’re established or you’re a well off Australian, but comes at the expense of young Australians being able to afford to get into the property market and buy their own home. And so, we have to look at the full consequences of the decisions that are going to be made, we have to be very mindful of the very real risk that we can see asset price inflation as a consequence of short term measures, when we already have low interest rates, it’s unlikely to do much to (Inaudible) investment. The cost of capital is not the barrier at the moment, there’s plenty of cash in the economy and the much bigger challenge, and the RBA itself has outlined, has been the challenges of structural reform and of course the budget will be part of that discussion in the coming weeks and no doubt next year as well in the May budget 2021.
CONNELL: Peta, what do you make of this hint from the RBA and the policy setting here?
MURPHY: We’ll see what the RBA does. And of course, one of the issues with Australia’s economy more broadly is there were real structural problems before COVID and before the recession. And we had significant problems with stagnant wages and cost of living, so there is a huge amount of work that this government has to do in this budget and looking into the future to be able to support Australians to get through regardless of what the RBA does. We’re looking for the government to provide significant support to businesses and Australians through Job Keeper and JobSeeker which as you know, are about to be cut significantly. 
CONNELL: Alright, and just finally, energy plan being detailed the technology roadmap as it’s called, Tim Wilson, a hint from the Minister a new target coming in 2035 in the next couple of years, are you hoping that this is really quite ambitious one?
WILSON: (Inaudible) Ambitious targets and I’m sure we’ll continue to compound on them. Because what this government is doing is stewarding a transition of the economy through the energy sector and other parts of the economy. I think this is one of the most critical parts of the coalition’s climate action plan is that it’s targeting energy, yes, but it’s also targeting things like transport fuels, like agriculture, like land use. We’re seeking to transition the whole economy while taking Australians with us and not penalising those who are less well off or those on lower incomes as a consequence of the decisions we’re making. We’re setting a clear and ambitious agenda that takes the whole of the country forward together towards a more economically and environmentally sustainable path.
CONNELL: And Peta, Labor has it’s 2050 target, a bit of internal debate about whether it will have a 2030 or 2035 target. What do you think? Just fall in line with the government’s short term one and keep 2050 or keep being ambitious in the short term?
MURPHY: I think that the government has got a lot of nice words there and a lot of nice announcements but no actual delivery. And, we’ve got a roadmap to nowhere at the moment, we have the 22nd energy plan coming out, we’ve got a complete failure to commit to net zero emissions by 2050. So we’ll wait and see, wont we, whether this government does or does not have any ambitious for 2035 or indeed any target. And hopefully at some point the government will talk about renewables because that’s the absolute thing that’s been missing from everything that’s been said this week from the government, what about renewables?
WILSON: That was actually included in the energy roadmap.
CONNELL: We’ll see if Labor has that target, as Tim said, the 2035 target for the coalition, we’ll see what labor, where it moves on this. But we’re out of time, Peta Murphy, Tim Wilson talk again soon, thank you.



Authorised by Paul Erickson, ALP, Canberra.