Panel discussion on ABC Radio Adelaide Breakfast with David Bevan and Ali Clarke

Source: Minister for Trade Tourism and Investment

Topics: Australia-China relationship; potential loss of Collins class submarine sustainment jobs in SA; Christopher Pyne’s EY role

Transcript, E&OE

14 August 2019

David Bevan: Let’s welcome Simon Birmingham, Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, South Australian Senator. Good morning to you.

Simon Birmingham: Good morning, David.

David Bevan: Rebekha Sharkie, Centre Alliance MP for Mayo, good morning to you.

Rebekha Sharkie: Good morning.

David Bevan: And in our studio, Nick Champion, Labor Member for Spence. Good morning to you.

Nick Champion: Good morning.

David Bevan: Simon Birmingham, you’re the Trade Minister. What’s the latest intelligence you’ve received? There are reports of some sort of military action amassing just outside Hong Kong. Is that your understanding?

Simon Birmingham: Well David, I don’t have a firm update in relation to those matters. Obviously, I’ve seen some of the disturbing footage overnight that seems to see further escalation of the situation in relation to Hong Kong and this is deeply concerning. It’s now been a very drawn out, prolonged cycle of protest action and of course, we have consistently urged Hong Kong authorities to show respect for people’s right to peaceful assembly and their right to protest and for constructive engagement to happen that seeks to address the concerns that Hong Kongese citizens have raised in relation to the decisions of government and the issues that are underlying these protests and demonstrations. And as we see this type of escalation occurring, it is more critical than ever that restraint is shown by authorities and that people try to work towards a peaceful resolution of these matters.

David Bevan: It looks like it’s going to end badly, doesn’t it? For the people of Hong Kong?

Simon Birmingham: Well we sincerely hope that’s not the case. Obviously, we have concerns as we always do for the safety and wellbeing of the individuals, particularly of Australians which is why we upgraded travel advisories a little while ago and clearly this is deeply concerning at human level for many people. And yes, as Trade Minister, it’s also concerning. Hong Kong is a key trade partner of ours. We have a separate trade agreement with Hong Kong that reflects and respects the one country, two systems approach that exists in relation to Hong Kong relative to the People’s Republic of China.

And so we maintain different relations, different trade arrangements there and it is a very significant trade and investment partner in its own right, a very significant tourism partner and all of those things, of course, will be impacted by these types of disruptions.

David Bevan: And there’s absolutely nothing that Australia can do about this, is there? I mean, for instance, it would be – surely it would be pointless to offer or somebody in the international community to offer to be a third party broker to what’s going on there because China – the whole point of this is that China sees Hong Kong as part of its own country, two systems but one country and it says that this is what is at risk here and they are going to exert their authority. They’re not going to be looking for anybody else’s interference in what’s going on.

Simon Birmingham: Well these are domestic issues that are the cause of concern. So they are matters for the Hong Kong authorities to resolve with Hong Kong citizens as part of urging respect for that one country, two systems. There are of course commitments that that were made at the time of handover around the rights that Hong Kongese would have and the way in which the government would interact with them. And we urge all of those commitments to be honoured.

David Bevan: Rebekha Sharkie, what’s Australia been doing?

Rebekha Sharkie: Well I think – I think we’ve just been a bystander and have been watching it as – as Simon says, you know, with deep concern. It must be incredibly a very fearful time for Hong Kong citizens at this point. And what I found, I guess, you know, watching on television as everyone is, is that the peaceful protest but also drawing together many generations in the protest. And you know, even elderly citizens coming out, bravely coming out and – and peacefully protesting. It really is an awful time for Hong Kong.

Ali Clarke: Nick Champion?

Nick Champion: Well I think the people of Hong Kong want what we have which is the right to vote in a stable democracy. I think that’s part of the issue here – they’ve issued some demands, some of which relate to the original settlement of one country, two systems. But they’ve made a further demand about universal suffrage and I think that’s something we’ve got to respect and we’ve just got to urge, I guess, China to show restraint, as Simon says, because the last thing we want is for this to end badly. But I do think we should, where we can, speak up for democracy. I think it’s something people around the world want. It’s not a perfect system but it’s the best of, I guess, a series of choices about how you govern yourself and we think that we should stand up for democratic values.

David Bevan: Yesterday, I spoke to Robert Gottliebsen the man’s a legend, he’s a business commentator been commentating on business in Australia and internationally for decades. I spoke to him yesterday about the relationship between China and Australia. Simon Birmingham, he thinks that the previous Liberal government did a pretty lousy job in its relations with China. This is Gottliebsen yesterday on the morning program.


Robert Gottliebsen: We have handled China very badly by the way. This is not a criticism of the Morrison Government. This is a criticism of Abbott and Turnbull and particularly Turnbull and Julie Bishop. We didn’t handle it well, we kept criticising China, we kept lecturing them and they hated us. They really- they actually respected America more than they respected us.

[End of excerpt]

David Bevan: What do you say to that Simon Birmingham?

Simon Birmingham: Well look, Robert, like anybody, is entitled to his opinion. I don’t accept the premise of everything that he’s saying there, but certainly Scott, as Prime Minister, Marise Payne, as Foreign Minister, and myself in trade and senior leadership of the Government, seek to make sure that we maintain a very clear policy position that that is about operating in Australia’s national interests and we don’t deviate from that and where there are difficult issues to be addressed, we address them.

But equally and where there are honest conversations to be had with China, we have them but we try to make sure we do that as we would with any other country on the planet. We do it in a calm, respectful way noting that we have a very significant partnership with China as well. This is an economic relationship but has grown dramatically over the years.

David Bevan: But can you explain to our listeners, as the Trade Minister, an example of how the tension between our defence relationship and our cultural relationship with the United States intersects and causes tension with our trade relation with China?

Simon Birmingham: Well I was about to say we have more than an economic relationship with China as well as importantly now we have huge exchange of peoples going in both directions which means there’s a range of other cultural and other relationships that are critical to the centrality of the Australia-China relationship.

I’ve seen many hysterical headlines about impact on trade over recent times. The reality is that Australia’s trade relationship with Australia- Australia’s trade relationship with China remains at record levels in terms of the value and the volume of goods that are being transacted.

David Bevan: So why were you so worried about Andrew Hastie?

Simon Birmingham: The only point I made there, and it’s a point that is a generic one, is that everybody needs to make sure that in making comments around sensitive foreign policy matters we consider whether or not they are entirely necessary to be made publicly, and whether it’s in the national interest to do so. Of course we ought to, within government, be honest about all of the challenges we confront and we are, and we have been. And that is why as a Government we have to address a range of global challenges, strengthened our defence investment, strengthened our national security laws, made a range of decisions in relation to foreign interference legislation.

The government that had been very firm in terms of protecting Australia’s national interests and acted in a forward leaning way to do so. But we do that recognizing that threats and challenges come globally from a range of places and equally we should work to guarantee Australia’s security in the future. But make sure we work also to avoid the worst things being realised by maintaining constructive dialogue and engagement with partners wherever we possibly can so that we actually get the best possible outcomes in terms of positive regional engagement, positive relations that can avert the fears that many have being realised down the track.

Ali Clarke: It’s fourteen minutes to nine. That is the voice of Simon Birmingham, Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment. Rebekha Sharkie, Centre Alliance MP for Mayo is with you, as is Nick Champion, Labor Member for Spence who is here in the ABC Radio Adelaide studios.

Simon Birmingham just back you – Hong Kong and China have come to the fore because of another ABC story, and this is the fact that two main candidates for a crucial seat in the recent federal election have been found to have links to China’s Communist Party via their ties to a Hong Kong based organisation. Now one of them is Liberal Party’s Gladys Liu who beat out Labor’s Jennifer Yang. Have you spoken to her, Gladys Liu?

Simon Birmingham: Well, I’ve spoken to Gladys on a number of occasions.

Ali Clarke: Have you spoken to her about this?

Simon Birmingham: I haven’t spoken to her this morning since this story broke. But I hear from the story and understand that she’s answered in quite a transparent way the questions from the ABC – that she acknowledged that she got involved with this organisation, as did her Labor opponent, because it was seen as a trade and commerce activity just like a local chamber of commerce if you like. That she ceased her involvement a couple of years back, and I think she’s been quite upfront in the way that she’s dealt with that.

David Bevan: Has she ever lobbied you over China?

Simon Birmingham: No.

David Bevan: Do you have any concerns that she might be serving two masters?

Simon Birmingham: No.

David Bevan: Rebekha Sharkie, is this a beat up?

Rebekha Sharkie: Look, I think it possibly is. Look, just going back to the to the trade matters for China I’d just like say my growers – because I have a number of wineries in Mayo as well, I think we have now six wine regions – there has been a very strong push to grow your business into China. But I’d like to make sure, and I’d like to think the Government can do even more to support growers to move into other areas of Asia as well, to strengthen our trade in Japan and South Korea. When I was visiting there last year, there is enormous opportunity for us to grow more widely rather than just looking at China, which obviously is our biggest trading partner. And that’s something certainly that my growers are really keen to do. And I think that we need to make sure we have some insurance policies around our trade.

David Bevan: Nick Champion, Labor Member for Spence – should people be worried about the Gladys Lius and the Jennifer Yangs of the world? That is candidates – and in this case a successful candidate – who have ties to- the organisation is called the World Trade United Foundation. The organisation is a non-profit body dedicated to promoting free trade, but China experts say it’s part of the Chinese Communist Party’s United Front work activities.

Nick Champion: Well I think we have to have a sophisticated understanding of China and I don’t think we or our public debate always reflects that. So I think that’s the first- I think there’s a number of academics who have said we should enhance our understanding and study of China and that includes the way its government operates and the way its society operates and their sense of history which I think is a very important thing.

So I think we need to put all these things in context. There are very few formal organisations in China which are not connected to the government in some way. And so, this has always been the dilemma I think is that we want to engage with China, we want them to rise peacefully, we want them to be economically prosperous, we want them to have- you know, they have the right to choose their own government. But obviously if you have economic growth normally you get civil rights and political rights as part of that. That’s been the growth trajectory of many nations.

So we have a sophisticated understanding of China but people have to have their eyes wide open. And I think Richard McGregor and other academics have helped us do that. And so it’s- you might participate in these organisations but you do need to be careful I think of knowing what they are and their connections to the government of China.

David Bevan: At nine minutes to nine. Before you all leave us, two sets of jobs: the big jobs- the many jobs at the subs, we’re going to lose those to WA aren’t we? These are the maintenance jobs for the Collins class submarines.

Nick Champion: Well we don’t need to. Sustainment jobs are very important. This is as big as Holden and I know the impact that that had. The problem is that we’ve got a state government that’s asleep at the wheel.

David Bevan: Well, it’s not as big as Holden. This is 700 jobs we’re talking about.

Nick Champion: I mean, mate, in terms of its economic impact, at least as big as Holden. And the problem we’ve got is we’ve got the West Australian Premier running around with a study he’s commissioned saying you can just simply pick up these sustainment jobs and shift them to WA. Now, we’ve done a lot of work on Collins class sustainment. We will probably face something of a submarine gap, I think, in in the future so we’re going to have to keep the Collins in the water longer. The last thing we want to do is muck up something that is currently working very well, and the South Australian Premier should commission his own study – should have done it before now – should be out there, in the in the Federal Government’s ear. And we all know that- I’m sure Simon will be fighting for South Australian jobs, but we need the South Australian Liberals to get motivated because if they’re not, I can tell you the West Australians are very motivated.

Ali Clarke: Well here’s some of the rhetoric coming from West Australian Premier McGowan.


Mark McGowan: I mean fair to say the South Australian Premier, I think, wouldn’t know the difference between a submarine and a limousine. He wouldn’t know the difference between a periscope and stethoscope, Mr Speaker.

[End of excerpt]

Ali Clarke: So, Simon Birmingham, what are you doing to try to counter that and to shore up these jobs for us here in South Australia?

Simon Birmingham: Well, I hadn’t heard that- those rather ridiculous comments from the Labor Premier of WA, Mark McGowan. Steven Marshall and I have spoken about this issue, and I know Steven has spoken with the Prime Minister and the Defence Minister, and that he is working very hard in terms of making sure the case is made for SA. My position is very clear, as I said yesterday, that this issue is only on the agenda because questions were raised about the capacity of the Osborne shipyards to be able to build all of the new submarines, build all the new frigates, and maintain all of the sustainment work. But my view is that they’re doing a brilliant job on the sustainment work down there and as long as those capacity issues, in terms of the space, the facilities, and the workforce can all be addressed, then there’s no reason why the work ought not continue there at Osborne.

David Bevan: Rebehka Sharkie, let’s finish on one man’s job. That is Christopher Pyne. He used to be the Defence Minister and Defence Industries Minister. He’s gone on to get a job for Ernst & Young. It’s now called EY, the business consultancy. ABC reports that EY has given a statement to Parliament. The statement of ministerial standards bans former ministers from taking jobs in their areas of ministerial expertise for 18 months after leaving office. But EY partner Mark Stewart has made a submission saying that on 8 April 2019, I met with Mr Pyne to discuss his retirement from politics. At this meeting, we discussed Mr Pyne’s post retirement plans and his interest in utilising his experience as a politician and minister to assist a professional services firm grow their private sector defence industry business. Is that good enough?

Rebekha Sharkie: Well timing is everything, isn’t it David. Look, I think in the interest of transparency, Christopher Pyne should front the committee. Look, it’s understandable that if you are leaving politics, you would be obviously looking to your future, looking to your employment future. But really my thinking is that those meetings should have been held after he left the job, so perhaps he should come and front the committee and explain.

David Bevan: Simon Birmingham, does Christopher Pyne have some explaining to do?

Simon Birmingham: Well these issues were looked at by the head of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, who assessed them against the ministerial code. He independently found that there was no breach of the code. Now, yes, there’s a Parliamentary committee running its course and run its course. I’ve got no doubt it will do and this is obviously part of that committee’s work.

Ali Clarke: Nick Champion, the final word?

Nick Champion: Well, this is really an issue for the prime minister.

David Bevan: Oh, come on. You think it would pass the pub test?

Nick Champion: Well I guess the Prime Minister’s got to work out whether it passes a pub test or any other test. I mean it’s his ministerial code and he’s got an obligation to fulfil it. Obviously there’s a Parliamentary inquiry. I’ve always found that it’s best- if you’re asked to come before a Parliamentary inquiry, it’s probably best to show up and say your piece.

Ali Clarke: All right. And after all that bring the lime ice-cream perhaps. Thank you very much.

David Bevan: Splice.

Ali Clarke: Splice for you. Nick Champion, thank you very much. Rebehka Sharkie and Simon Birmingham, thank you very much.

Media enquiries

  • Minister’s office: (02) 6277 7420
  • DFAT Media Liaison: (02) 6261 1555

Round 2 of Australian Aid: Friendship Grants is now open! Eligible organisations take a look at the program and apply for a grant today: Media release:

Source: Australian Minister for Regional Communications



Paul Fletcher MP is the Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts in the Australian Government and the Member for Bradfield in the Australian Parliament.

He entered Parliament in December 2009 and became a Minister in 2015, serving in the infrastructure portfolio for three years. In 2018 he entered Cabinet as Minister for Families and Social Services and was appointed to his present role in May 2019.

Paul’s communications sector experience includes working as an adviser and ultimately chief of staff to then Minister for Communications and the Arts Richard Alston from 1996 to 2000; working as Director of Corporate and Regulatory Affairs at Optus from 2000 to 2008; and serving as Parliamentary Secretary to then Minister for Communications Malcolm Turnbull from 2013 to 2015. He has written extensively about communications policy issues, including his 2009 book about broadband, Wired Brown Land.

Paul has dual first class honours degrees in law and economics from The University of Sydney and an MBA from Columbia University in New York where he was a Fulbright Scholar.

Paul joined the Liberal Party at age 16 and was active in student politics. He was a champion university debater, twice reaching the finals of the World Universities Debating Championship.

‘Meeting your obligations’ workshop Perth

Source: Australian Department of Health

Navigating the regulatory maze can be a challenge, especially if you’re new to regulation.

SME Assist presents Meeting Your Obligations: a free workshop aimed at beginners who are unfamiliar with therapeutic goods regulation. This may include:

  • small to medium enterprises (SMEs)
  • start-ups
  • researchers

If you are making therapeutic claims about a product or have a product that is likely to be considered a therapeutic good, this workshop will help you understand your responsibilities at different stages of the regulation process.

What will be covered

Basics of regulation – An overview of therapeutic goods regulation, TGA’s role and sponsor responsibilities when supplying therapeutic goods in Australia.

Case studies – Explaining the general principles of market authorisation, manufacturing, advertising and post market vigilance as they relate to therapeutic goods.

Q&A with TGA staff – Opportunity to ask general questions.

Product focus (subject to demand) – Various breakout sessions will be held focusing on specific products. Please nominate your area of interest when you register:

  1. Medical devices (e.g. surgical instruments, bandages)
  2. Complementary medicines (e.g. vitamins, nutritional supplements)
  3. Prescription medicines (e.g. antibiotics, monoclonal antibodies)*
  4. Biologicals (e.g. tissue-based products, stem cells)*
  5. Over the counter medicines (e.g. paracetamol, lozenges)*

*Note these are likely to be in a combined breakout session.

  1. How and why TGA monitors safety, efficacy and quality of therapeutic goods, and what ‘conditions of approval’ means and how this applies in practice
  2. What data and information you need to collect, hold and provide to meet your obligations as a sponsor, and how this can vary according to the type of good you are the sponsor for
  3. What other processes and requirements you need to meet, particularly with respect to:
    1. monitoring and reporting to the TGA, such as post-market monitoring requirements, manufacturing quality issues or other obligations associated with your product
    2. any changes in circumstances or other issues associated with you, the manufacture of your product (such as how they relate to licensing and Good Manufacturing Practice) and/or the product itself
    3. advertising, and/or any claims you may make with respect to your product
    4. the role of TGA, including your obligations (and our requirements) around product recalls
  4. Your legal and financial responsibilities, including:
    1. fees and charges; for example, application and evaluation fees or fees for inspections
    2. annual charges for all entries on the ARTG and annual licence charges, including how and where these apply
    3. other legal requirements; for example, those pertaining to product labelling
  5. The variations between sponsor requirements depending on the type of therapeutic good, such as for complementary medicines or different classes of medical devices

Event details

Morning tea will be provided. Due to limited spaces, invitations are open to one or two representatives per organisation. Please note that registration is tentative. Places will be confirmed by email closer to the date.

Register your interest

Great to visit the Gold Coast Home of the Arts @hotagc with Moncrieff MP Angie Bell plus CEO Creina Gehrke & board member Tracey Woodbry, & learn about their new Gallery due to open in 2021

Source: Australian Minister for Regional Communications



Paul Fletcher MP is the Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts in the Australian Government and the Member for Bradfield in the Australian Parliament.

He entered Parliament in December 2009 and became a Minister in 2015, serving in the infrastructure portfolio for three years. In 2018 he entered Cabinet as Minister for Families and Social Services and was appointed to his present role in May 2019.

Paul’s communications sector experience includes working as an adviser and ultimately chief of staff to then Minister for Communications and the Arts Richard Alston from 1996 to 2000; working as Director of Corporate and Regulatory Affairs at Optus from 2000 to 2008; and serving as Parliamentary Secretary to then Minister for Communications Malcolm Turnbull from 2013 to 2015. He has written extensively about communications policy issues, including his 2009 book about broadband, Wired Brown Land.

Paul has dual first class honours degrees in law and economics from The University of Sydney and an MBA from Columbia University in New York where he was a Fulbright Scholar.

Paul joined the Liberal Party at age 16 and was active in student politics. He was a champion university debater, twice reaching the finals of the World Universities Debating Championship.

Interview – ABC Sydney Breakfast with Wendy Harmer and Robbie Buck

Source: Ministers for the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science

14 August 2019


Wendy Harmer and Robbie Buck

Subject: Science Week, women in STEM careers, STEM education in schools


Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews was interviewed on ABC Sydney Breakfast by Wendy Harmer and Robbie Buck.

Robbie Buck: Well, this Science Week, the Federal Science Minister is using the week to encourage parents to do more to help and to encourage your kids to give science and tech subjects a go. Karen Andrews is the MP for the southern Queensland seat of McPherson. She entered politics in 2010 after graduating from mechanical engineering, and she’s a passionate advocate for science. Good morning to you.

Karen Andrews: Good morning.

Robbie Buck: Now, engineering, my brother studied engineering. Did you go to UQ?

Karen Andrews: No, I went to QUT.

Robbie Buck: Okay. But same deal. It would have been a bit before your time, but he did engineering back in the sort of very early 90’s. And I think there were about two or three women in the entire course- the entire year that he was in, in his course. Hardly any.

Karen Andrews: Yep. Look, it’s a terrible statistic for women in engineering, and it’s one that we really have to address. So when I went through mechanical engineering, there was myself and another girl in the class, coincidentally also called Karen. So it was two Karens from mechanical engineering.

Robbie Buck: Good grief.

Karen Andrews: Yes. And look, you know, many years later that statistic hasn’t changed significantly, and it needs to change.

Wendy Harmer: So how did you get into engineering? What happened in your background, Minister?

Karen Andrews: Well, I always wanted to fix things. So I was sort of fairly hands on with things growing up, but when it got to, I guess year 12, because back in those days, career counselling was pretty limited and really didn’t happen until you were close to leaving school. There was myself and two other boys that had similar marks, and the two boys were encouraged to do engineering and I was encouraged to be a maths teacher. So, you know, a whole range of issues.

Robbie Buck: That’s a red rag to a bull, that is.

Karen Andrews: Yeah. So anyway, look, what that did to me was encourage me to find out what engineering was all about. And I did, and I thought, oh that sounds really interesting. I could do that. So actually the three of us went on to do engineering, so two mechanical and one electronics engineer came out of that group of three. And I loved it.

Wendy Harmer: And tell us about your working career in mechanical engineering.

Karen Andrews: I spent most of my time in maintenance. So, loved maintenance engineering because I like to fix things, and once I fixed them, I wanted to do what I could to make sure that they didn’t break again. I loved maintenance, so I spent my time in coal-fired power stations and in petrochemical plants. So yes, I was a power station engineer.

Robbie Buck: Yeah right. There’s a lot to fix in those.

Wendy Harmer: You got around in your overalls and your high-vis vest. Were you in charge of a fleet of workers, or working alone?

Karen Andrews: I was when I worked in the oil industry, and that actually led to a career change because I was supervising fitters and electricians, and I thought that if you had the skills and training to do the job, you should go out and do it. That was the view of the oil industry at the time. So I had to learn very quickly about industrial relations, and I did, and I loved it. So I moved into a role in industrial relations starting in the metals and engineering industry.

Robbie Buck: Wow, okay. Well look, tell us about where you are as a Science Minister and how you see the role. Here we are in Science Week, it should be said that in the last 5 or 10 years there have been a good few years where there hasn’t been a Science Minister, which I know for the science community has been a bit disappointing.

Karen Andrews: Yes. Look, I love being the Science Minister. I mean, what a great job. I was the Assistant Minister for Science a couple of years ago and went from science into vocational education. So I’ve been in this portfolio area for quite a few years now. But I also set up Parliamentary Friends of Science, along with Richard Marles. So we’ve actually run that for about eight or nine years. So I’ve had a long involvement in science and working to get my colleagues engaged.

Robbie Buck: Good.

Karen Andrews: I think it’s very important.

Robbie Buck: Well I have to say that there probably are some politicians who are a bit averse to science, or perhaps don’t accept science in ways that they could.

Karen Andrews: Look, I’m up for a challenge.

Robbie Buck: Yeah good.

Wendy Harmer: Now let’s get back to your central message here. By the way, Peter’s just sent me a text on the text line here, Minister, and he says – well it could be that women just aren’t interested in engineering. Let’s answer Peter first. So what would you say to Peter who’s listening?

Karen Andrews: That’s entirely true, but what I would also say is maybe they don’t understand what engineering is about, and to be honest, maybe some boys don’t understand what engineering is about, but they’re guided into that area because they are male and because they are good at maths and science. So what are we going to do to encourage girls to look at a whole range of career options so that they can make well-informed choices.

Wendy Harmer: Okay. Now he’s hit back. He says, I’m not interested in hairdressing, but I don’t blame women for that. Oh Peter, keep your wig on this morning, is what I would say, Peter.

Karen Andrews: We’ll I’m not blaming…

Wendy Harmer: No, of course I know we aren’t. Hey, as I say, Peter’s got a bit of a hair trigger. Now, the point that you’re making, I think this is an interesting one. Well, I wonder if this is applicable in your case. You say, if a kid comes home – and say they’re in science, they’re in a difficult subject – a kid comes home and says, oh it’s all a bit hard. You would like parents to step up on this. Tell us about why you have decided to champion this particular cause here.

Karen Andrews: For a couple of reasons. Firstly, we need more kids to be studying maths and science at school, because we know- I mean, the stats are 75 per cent of the jobs of the future are going to require those skills. So they need to have those skills, whether they go into work as a scientist, or whether they are, for example, working as a hairdresser where they have to work out the ratios of the chemicals they’re putting on people’s heads. They still need to understand the basics of science and maths. So it’s really important that we get them to be studying the science and maths. But also, I think that it’s very easy for some parents to say to their kids if they’re struggling a little bit with maths and science at school, don’t worry about it, I wasn’t really good at that and I turned out okay, giving them an easy option out. Whereas with just a bit more encouragement, to say well actually, you can do it. How do I help you? How do I get you the support that you need? Can I help you? Can I find an answer on Google?

Wendy Harmer: Yep. Alright, then. If things get rough, you know, step in there and encourage them. That’s what you’re saying.

Karen Andrews: Yes, exactly.

Wendy Harmer: Yeah. Good on you. Well it’s very nice to talk to you and make your acquaintance, I must say Minister.

Karen Andrews: Yes. Lovely to chat too.

Robbie Buck: And happy National Science Week.

Karen Andrews: And the same to you.

Robbie Buck: Thank you very much.

Wendy Harmer: Thanks. Bye-bye. That’s Karen Andrews, she is the Minister for Industry, Science and Technology.


Queensland Police Service leads major operation to bust international organised crime syndicate

Source: Government of Queensland Regions


The Minister said it was a complex investigation that led to police seizing 766kg of MDMA powder in one of Queensland’s and Australia’s most significant drug seizures.

“I have been informed the MDMA powder is the highest purity recorded in Queensland.

“I am advised that police believe the powder was destined for production into pill and capsule form to be sold across Australia.

“This is the Queensland Police Service at its best, protecting the public from potentially lethal substances and keeping the community safe.

“Police believe the drug would have been diluted with other agents and had the potential to make between six and 12 million capsules.

“It’s estimated the seizure had a conservative value of $90 million.

“Police have made a number of arrests and I am informed that members of the syndicate face Queensland’s serious and organised crime mandatory sentencing laws.

“It demonstrates once again that the Palaszczuk Government’s strong laws are backing the exemplary work of Queensland’s world class police service.

“Queensland Police led the operation which included the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission, New South Wales Police Force, Australian Federal Police, New Zealand Police National Organised Crime Group, Australian Border Force, the Department of Home Affairs Intelligence Division and the UK National Crime Agency.

“On behalf of all Queenslanders I offer my heartfelt thanks to the outstanding members of the Queensland Police Service who relentlessly track down those who would do harm to our community,” Minister Ryan said.


Media contacts 

Minister Ryan’s Office: Ph: (07) 3035 8300



Palaszczuk Government creates 30,000 Queensland tourism jobs

Source: Government of Queensland Regions

.5 per cent – to 236,000 jobs state-wide.

Tourism Industry Development Minister Kate Jones said Tourism Research Australia’s 2017-2018 State Tourism Satellite Accounts data reinforced the importance of tourism to Queensland’s economy.

“By investing in our tourism industry, we can support jobs growth throughout Queensland,” she said.

“Today’s data shows our strategy to grow our tourism industry and create jobs is working.

“These figures highlight tourism as a major pillar of Queensland’s economy, which is now worth more than $27 billion – an increase of almost twenty per cent since we formed government in 2015.”

Queensland data for 2017-18 also exceeds the annual growth rate of the state’s major competitors – New South Wales and Victoria – for jobs and Gross State Product, an increase of 6.2 per cent and 7.2 per cent respectively.

“The 2017-18 results include the economic benefit of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games. We’ll continue to see that benefit in years to come,” she said.

“We’ve also doubled the value of our events calendar since forming government – now worth $800 million to our economy.”

On top of the government’s Australian-first tourism infrastructure fund, Ms Jones said through Tourism and Events Queensland, the State Government had boosted funding for marketing campaigns aimed at catching the world’s attention.

“We’re investing more in tourism than any government in Queensland’s history. That investment is paying off in jobs for Queenslanders,” she said.

“We’ve announced millions of dollars’ worth of new tourism attractions. We’ve also launched a series of campaigns including the world’s first rideshare submarine – scUber – showcasing the beauty of the Great Barrier Reef in a new and different way,” she said.

“We’ve put the global spotlight on Queensland’s world-class food offering through our recently launched Taste the State content series. And for the first time ever Masterchef filmed a week’s worth of shows in Queensland, which will now be aired in more than 120 countries.

“Tourism in Queensland now employs a larger share of people than any other state – one in ten Queenslanders. That’s more people than the mining and agriculture, forestry and fishing industries combined.

“We’re working towards further growth in the industry, creating more jobs and boosting the state’s economy through our iconic tourism experiences.”


Media contact: Jack Harbour 0419 620 447

14/08:37 WST Cancellation Severe Thunderstorm Warning for Lower West, South West, Great Southern and Central Wheat Belt districts.

Source: Australia Bureau of Meteorology

Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology


Cancellation Severe Thunderstorm Warning

For people in Lower West, South West, Great Southern and Central Wheat Belt districts.

Issued at 8:37 am Wednesday, 14 August 2019.

Severe thunderstorms over southwestern WA have temporarily eased.

Weather Situation:
An area of heavy showers and thunderstorms over southwestern WA has temporarily eased.

The immediate threat of severe thunderstorms has passed. However, thunderstorm activity will continue today over the South West Land Division, the Goldfields and the southern Gascoyne. The situation will continue to be monitored, and if any further severe thunderstorms are expected then a Severe Thunderstorm Warning will be re-issued.

The Department of Fire and Emergency Services advises that people should:
* Keep away from flooded drains, rivers, streams and waterways.
* Be careful of fallen trees, damaged buildings and debris.
* Be careful of fallen power lines. They are dangerous and should always be treated as live.
* Assess your home, car and property for damage.
* If damage has occurred take photos and contact your insurance company to organise permanent repairs.
* If your home or property has significant damage, like a badly damaged roof or flooding, call the SES on 132 500.

Warnings are also available through TV and Radio broadcasts, the Bureau’s website at or call 1300 659 210. The Bureau and Department of Fire and Emergency Services would appreciate warnings being broadcast regularly.

Delivering a fair and competitive car retailing sector

Source: Ministers for the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science

14 August 2019

Joint media release with the Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business, Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash

The Morrison Government will reform the new car retailing sector, to make the system fairer for consumers, dealers and manufacturers.

Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews said a range of reforms to automotive franchising arrangements will be considered, after a recent public consultation.

“We have heard the concerns of those within the sector and are committed to creating a level playing field. It’s about ensuring everyone gets a fair go, including our small and family car dealers,” Minister Andrews said. 

“Most players in the sector are already doing the right thing but when the few don’t, the consequences can be significant.”

The Morrison Government’s reforms will provide for more transparent and cooperative end of term and capital expenditure arrangements. These changes will strike an appropriate balance between the concerns raised by new car dealers and the flexibility car manufacturers require to manage their dealership networks.

The Morrison Government has also established an inter-agency Franchising Taskforce to carefully consider the Parliamentary Joint Committee’s Fairness in Franchising report. The Committee considered broader reforms across the franchising sector.

Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business, Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash, said the Morrison Government is committed to helping Australian small and family businesses, including those in the franchising sector, to grow and prosper.

“The franchise sector has been a powerhouse, helping to drive economic growth in this country for many years. We know when they are supported, more jobs are created for hardworking Australians,” Minister Cash said.

“There are over 1,300 franchisors operating in Australia and around 97,000 franchisees, which are predominantly made up of small and family businesses. They make a significant contribution to the economy, with revenue in excess of $182 billion dollars and employ over 594,000 people.”

The Morrison Government will consult industry on draft automotive regulations in the coming months.

Media contacts:

Minister Andrews’ office 02 6277 7070

Minister Cash’s office 02 6277 7610

QPS and QFES members of the Darling Downs recognised at combined honours and awards ceremony

Source: Government of Queensland Regions


The ceremony saw more than 20 QPS officers accepting awards in recognition of their commitment to diligently serving the Queensland community.

Acting Deputy Commissioner John Bolger of Queensland Fire and Emergency Services was also in attendance to congratulate the many Queensland Fire Emergency Service members also recognised in the ceremony.

Acting Assistant Commissioner Brady said it was fantastic to recognise those within the Darling Downs District for their commitment to their roles in the community.

“We all know that these officers, staff members and QFES members all go above and beyond to serve the people of Queensland in their duties, every day,” Acting Assistant Commissioner Brady said.

“After a ceremony like today’s though, the importance of formally recognising these people is reinforced.

“The diligence and commitment to their respective roles is admirable, and they and their loved ones deserve an opportunity such as this to reflect and be proud of what they have done.

“I give my sincere congratulations to all who were awarded today.”

Police Minister Mark Ryan said the ceremony was another terrific example of the amazing work those from both the Queensland Police Service and Queensland Fire and Emergency Services do every day for the state of Queensland.

“These recipients are a credit to their respective organisations and the Darling Downs community they serve.

““It was an honour to assist with today’s ceremony and to join with friends, family and colleagues in congratulating these hard-working award recipients,” the Minister said.

Minister Ryan assisted both Acting Assistant Commissioner Brady and Queensland Fire Emergency Service Acting Deputy Commissioner Bolger in presenting awards to deserving recipients.

Sergeant Jeremy Sheldrick, Officer in Charge of Drayton Police Station was awarded the Exemplary Conduct Medal with Community Clasp for showing the greatest level of commitment to his duties and improving the reputation of the QPS through his significant professionalism and service to the communities that he has worked in.

National Police Service Medals and National Medals were awarded to Senior Constable Alex Singleton of Toowoomba Police Station and Detective Senior Constable Sophie Neal of Laidley Child Protection and Investigation Unit for their roles in protecting the community and for having at least 15 years of service.

Former Senior Constable Gerald Williams was also awarded the National Medal for long and diligent service.

Clasps to the National Medal were also awarded, recognising officers for their extended years of service.

Queensland Police Service Medals (QPSM) were awarded to Senior Constable Duncan Miller, Senior Constable Garth Emes and Senior Constable Samantha Tribe.

The QPSM is awarded to those who have displayed diligent and ethical service.

The 15 Year Clasp to the QPSM was likewise awarded to four officers in the Darling Downs District.

A variety of special awards were also given to a total of four officers for individual exemplary efforts and conduct.

Media contacts 

Minister Ryan’s Office: Ph: (07) 3035 8300

Police Media: Ph: (07) 3015 2444