Sunrise with Matt Shirvington

20 December 2023


Matt Shirvington: For more we're joined by a shadow finance minister Jane Hume and Assistant Trade Minister Tim Ayres. Good morning to you both.



Matt Shirvington: It's true the Victorian Supreme Court Judge Elizabeth Hollingworth, Tim, did say that he was she was critical of Mark Dreyfus for his failure to meet the court's deadlines for this case. Could the government have done more? Could Mark Dreyfus have done more?


Senator Ayres: Well, take the predictable partisan politics out of this for a second. This is an order that's been issued with 30 stringent conditions as a result of the government's application here. The government's acted on the advice, not just the legal advice, but the advice of our security and intelligence agencies to put in place the strongest possible set of set of conditions. Now, it is true that there was some that there was some criticism in the court proceedings of the previous administration. Some sharp criticism of the previous home affairs and immigration minister who withheld evidence from the from the court in previous in previous applications. It was not possible on the basis of the evidence and the advice to apply for a continuing detention order. That's been borne out by what the court has done here. What we are focused on is not the politics, not the partisanship, not the point scoring, but keeping Australians safe and acting within the law. That’s what the government's done, and we’ll continue to be very focused on Mr. Benbrika’s case, and along with all of the other national security priorities that are in front of the government.



Matt Shirvington: Tim, my biggest concern with this is that Michele Bullock, the boss of the RBA, on November 28, said that Aussie household balance sheets are in pretty good, they're looking alright. Then, the release of these minutes on December 5, the board acknowledged that it was a painful squeeze felt by many households. Which way is it going here? I mean, does the government need to step in and start to think, okay, we need to do something more to bring down the cost of living?


Senator Ayres: Well, it is a painful squeeze for many households. Nobody wants to see inflation, unemployment go up. But we we've we do have inflation here with a three in front of it. It is it is at 3.9%. 650,000 jobs created since the Albanese government was elected. That is a record number of jobs created by any government and we're only halfway through the term now our focus is on making sure that we do what the government can do through fiscal policy to make sure we're putting downward pressure on inflation. That's what we've been doing – $50 billion in cost savings, just under $50 billion over the course of this government. 92% of surplus returned to paying off debt. We are we are putting downward pressure on inflation, supporting Australian households in what is a very challenging time for many households as cost of living has been going up.


Matt Shirvington: There is some very good news, I've gotta say, that petrol prices are pretty low compared to other times of the year, just ahead of the Christmas holidays. So that's good news for motorists at least getting out and about during Christmas. Jane, Tim, thank you, Merry Christmas to you. Hope you have a nice and safe one as well.

Senator Ayres: Merry Christmas.