Trust is a hot topic in Australian politics at the moment and I jumped at the chance to be on the panel of ABC's Q + A to discuss it.
Here's some of what I had to say in case you don't have time to watch the video.
I don’t trust a lot of them either, I have to be honest with you. So, that’s not helping. You know what? Trust comes with leadership, and in this country, we’re lacking leadership. And I don’t agree with you. Leadership has got to come... You’ve got to lead by example from the very top, and that starts with the politicians and the institutions, and we’re not getting that. And I’m grateful that you asked a question, because it’s nice to see that 14-year-olds are still slightly engaged in politics, and I’m very grateful for that. But they’re not...they’re not engaged at the best possible level.
I don’t know how you teach your children to have trust when my generation and the generation below does not trust those people in high office. And this is becoming a massive problem. If you make a mistake, come out and be honest. Tell people why...why you’ve made that mistake, and go back and fix it. Don’t say, “There’s nothing to see here,” when millions of Australians can quite clearly see there is something to see here.
On sports rorts
Well, I think, you know, you’ve only got to look at the sports rorts that have just happened, when you’ve got them up there saying, “Nothing to see here.” We’ve got a report that they won’t release, but there’s nothing to see here. Now, if there’s nothing...there’s nothing wrong with that report and there’s nothing to see here, then release it out. It makes no common sense. There’s millions of Australians going, “We don’t trust you because you haven’t earnt any trust.” And this is the problem. And the trust in parliament is getting worse by the day. It’s nearly hit ground zero, and I don’t really know what else to say. And until we get some decent leadership up there and in those institutions right across the board, whether it be politics, whether it be defence, we’re not going to go anywhere. But this not communicating with...with Australians and being brutally honest with them... Whether they like it or not, have the guts to stand up and tell them the truth. Yeah, people aren’t going to like it, some people, but you know what, at least you’re being honest. They’ll at least respect you for that.
Is there something different now, though? Because, to be fair, trust has been an issue for a long time.
Yeah, I think the difference is now you do have some...you have some micros and some independents up there actually calling them out. We’re not perfect either, but we’ll tell you if we make a mistake, we’ll tell you if we’ve got it wrong, and we’ll try and lead by example. So, you know, if the major parties can actually shift a little bit and give a little bit, that’d be great. Right now, what it’s missing up there is police on the beat, and this is why we’re are calling for an integrity commission to sit on top of it. Why should we have to be begging for an integrity commission on our own parliament in this country? Because we don’t trust them anymore and don’t believe a word that’s coming out of their mouth. And you know what? They’ve brought that on themselves.
Yeah, so, the problem here is they’ve had this little cosy relationship going on between the both of them for many, many years, Liberal and Labor, and now you’ve got the small amount of crossbenchers and independents up there now starting to call them out.
You can’t tell me when we ask for an inquiry on Crown, that gives hundreds of thousands of dollars to both sides, and this is over...allegations of money laundering, of visas, of people coming in not even having their visas checked. Neither of these guys would let us have an inquiry on that. You can’t tell me that the pokie lobbyists out there that have chucked millions over the years into both – into both – and they’re both sitting on the same policy, yet we know...we know how much harm and how many billions of dollars it costs this country, because it’s attacking the most vulnerable people in our society. These guys say, “No, they’re fine. Nothing to see here. Leave them out there.” I tell you where they belong – back in those bloody casinos, and get them out of those clubs and pubs. And that’s what we’ve had for a long time. That’s buying. That’s buying, and that’s exactly what’s going on. There’s plenty of buying power.