Transcript - Mix 104.9 FM - 2022 Federal Election

16 December 2021

DARWIN - 16 December 2021

KATIE WOOLF, HOST: Joining me live in the studio is Labor's Member for Solomon, Luke Gosling, the federal member. Good morning.




WOOLF: Good to see you. I know it's been an incredibly busy year. Obviously, federal parliament has ended for the year, but goodness knows what's going to happen next year.


GOSLING: Who knows what's going to happen next year? We're supposed to go back on about the 8th of February for about three days. And then there's some Senate estimates and House of Reps the following week and then kind of a big break. There's a couple of windows when the election might be in March. [Scott Morrison] could call it after Australia Day, or it could be as late as May. So we don't know. Today's the MYEFO, which is the budget update, there may be another budget in late March if it's a May election. But yeah, I've just been continuing to talk to all the shadow ministers and ministers about some of the things we need up here in the Territory, so we'll get some good commitments.


WOOLF: What's your pick? When do you reckon this election is going to be called? I know you're on the opposing team, but what do you reckon?


GOSLING: Well, it's almost unbackable, some of the dates in May, like $1.05, $1.10 or something. Which makes me think March. But anyway, I just think perhaps it's not going to get better. Without getting too political, Katie, the more people hear about the Prime Minister maybe being a bit loose with the truth and how much money's been going into government seats, then I think people will start to have another look at him next time around. Particularly when there's so much money that's gone out of the of the federal coffers because of this slow vaccine rollout and because of the quarantine issues. And people might just think, well, they've been in for nearly a decade now—


WOOLF: Yeah, and look, and I think it's going to be an interesting one. I really do, because I know that we've seen around the nation with a lot of the other local elections, people have gone for that real stability. So it will be interesting, but let's wait and see whether it gets called come March. Hey, Luke, one of the other things I wanted to ask you about is a big issue that's really had the Territory talking over the last week or so. And that was these border changes: December 20, we were all expecting that things were going to open freely. Then the Chief Minister made the announcement that he'd made last Thursday, which really scared a lot of people and upset plenty. We now know that that common sense HAs really prevailed, we see Deputy Chief Minister making the announcement yesterday that people would be able to travel and there will still be those communities that they can't travel into that have the low vaccination rates. What's been the reaction from the people you're talking to? No doubt pleased that they're going to be able to see their families come Christmas.


GOSLING: Yeah, very pleased that they'll be able to see their families. And obviously, you know, it's no secret that there was a lot of concern about the effect that the arrangements were going to have both on businesses and families. So yeah, well done to the NT Government for taking that feedback on board and working out a way that we can keep people, particularly in low-vaccinated remote communities, safe. But at the same time, have everyone be able to reunite with family in a safe way.

WOOLF: Hey, one of the groups that I did catch up with earlier in the week was Sue Shearer from COTA and was talking about the impact that it was having on some of our more senior Territorians not being able to maybe see their family. So no doubt they'll be quite pleased. But with our seniors and pensioners, I know that you've actually got some seniors and pensioners kits, and they've actually got some info in there about the different supports that are available to them. Can you tell me what they are exactly?


GOSLING: Yeah. So this is an updated version, any seniors that are listening, they've probably seen it from my office in the past. It's not a political document at all. But what it is, is a booklet that gives you all the government services and all the assets test information, the pension information and other payments and assistance like carers payments, My Aged Care and grandparent carers in particular, some information for them. So it's like a one-stop shop. Have a look at this booklet and there'll probably be the answer in there without waiting in a queue at Centrelink or on My Aged Care. And if there's not the answers in the book, you can just contact my office. But yeah, it's an updated edition for this year and it'll be coming around to people's letter boxes for seniors. But if they want, they can pop in our office in Casuarina and pick up a copy.


WOOLF: Good stuff. Got a big Christmas planned? A quiet Christmas for you ahead of a busy year next year?


GOSLING: The tree’s up, the presents are starting to trickle in under the tree. There is some that've come from family interstate, and there's some that we're starting to put there from Santa, who’s sent them to mum and dad early just to put it under the tree. So yeah, there's a bit of excitement in the household because it's the last day of school.

WOOLF: Oh mate, it was craziness at our place this morning. Same at yours?


GOSLING: Yeah, there's lots of excitement about that. But it's going to be a great Christmas, and I just wish everyone a great Christmas, to you and your team here, Katie, and to all the listeners. It's been a tough year. Territorians have done the right thing and as a result we've been pretty lucky. But yeah, we can't be complacent because it's unsure what's going to happen next, so we're just going to be as prepared as we can. And if you start to feel a bit unwell, just get a test, get checked out, and everyone will enjoy themselves over Christmas and well into 2022.


WOOLF: It's going to be a busy one. I can sense it.


GOSLING: It's going to be a massive one. But I reckon the Territory is going to do really well next year, and I think some of our projects are going to come online, we're going to have some funding come in for projects. Our focus is going to be really on jobs and training, more uni places, more VET places, and that'll be good for our kids.


WOOLF: Well, Luke Gosling, always good to catch up with you. Thanks so much for, you know, for all the input throughout the year as well. We really appreciate it. I hope that you and your wife Kate and your kids have a wonderful Christmas.


GOSLING: Thanks very much, Katie. Same to you and your listeners.