SUBJECT/S: UK terrorist attack; childcare reforms; penalty rates
EMDUR: Good morning to you.
MINISTER CASH: Good morning.
GILLIES: Now you are at Parliament House right now, how is the government reacting to the news this morning?
MINISTER CASH: Look Larry and Kylie it’s never the news you want to wake up to, and as the Prime Minister has stated in the first instance we extend our condolences and our sympathies to the people of the United Kingdom, and in particular the families of those who have been affected by today’s terrorist attack.
But again as the Prime Minister has stated we believe in freedom and democracy in Australia. We will never let incidents like this undermine our fundamental commitment to freedom and democracy. But again it is a sad day for the people of the United Kingdom.
GILLIES: What is being done to keep Australians safe?
MINISTER CASH: Yeah look very good question. Can I just say to all Australians your safety, the safety of the Australian people is the number one priority of the government.
We are there to keep you safe.
In doing that, as you have correctly identified, since 2014 our agencies have disrupted 12 planned attacks and we have also seen around 62 people charged with terrorist related offences. We have also taken steps as a government to ensure that our national security agencies and our intelligence agencies have the powers they need to be able to appropriately respond.
Australians also need to know that we do have some of the best national security and intelligence agencies in the world.
Again, the safety of all Australians is the fundamental priority of the government.
EMDUR: Alright now as we know this attack happened right out outside London’s Government House; what changes are you expecting to see there in Canberra if any?
MINISTER CASH: Well look certainly as you know over the last 12 to 18 months we have upgraded security at Parliament House; it is a reality in relation in to the level of threat, that it is set at probable, and Parliament House has taken appropriate steps to ensure we are appropriately protected. As the Prime Minister has again articulated today though, there will be more of an AFP presence at Parliament House.
But again I say to all Australian people, your safety is our number one priority. We have managed to disrupt potential attacks; we are charging people with terrorist related offences and we are ensuring that our agencies, our national security agencies and intelligence agencies, they have the appropriate powers and resources to be able to do the job we need them to do.
GILLIES: Okay, well it's truly sad and shocking news out of London and of course we’ll be continuing to cover that story, but for now we will move onto other political news and let’s talk the childcare reforms, what do these reforms mean for Australian families?
MINISTER CASH: Look they’re really exciting reforms and it’s all about making childcare in Australia more affordable, more flexible and accessible. To me, especially as the Minister for Women, this is about removing a barrier to employment.
I don’t think there is anybody out there who would honestly say to you the childcare system today is fit for purpose. It reflects working reality of days gone by. This is one of the most fundamental reforms in 40 years. Simon Birmingham has been doing an outstanding job in putting this package together, and we estimate that if and when the package goes through today, I think it is around 230,000 families will either return to the workforce or be able to work more hours.
And when you’re a government that is committed to increasing the participation of families in the workforce that is a great thing.
But in short, more accessibility to childcare, more flexibility in the hours you can access childcare, but more importantly, affordability for families and in particular targeted to those families who need it the most.
EMDUR: Alright we are nearly right of time but we have to ask you this one, the penalty rate debate still going on. Bill Shorten has introduced a bill in an attempt to block the proposed changes, your time starts now, go.
MINISTER CASH: Bill Shorten is happy for big business and big unions to do deals to trade away Sunday penalty rates. But, when it comes to small business and the independent Fair Work Commission saying ‘you know we have got to give small business a break we have got to level up the playing field so they are paying the same rate as big business’, he says no.
I am backing small business every single day of the week.
This is all about small business and giving them a go.
Why can big business and big unions do deals endorsed by the Labor party but why won’t they stand up for the in excess of 95 per cent of businesses in this country who employ the majority of Australians.
I know who I am backing.