SUBJECT/S: Peter Greste; Abbott Government chaos



KIERAN GILBERT: I’m now joined by Labor frontbencher, Michelle Rowland. Michelle Rowland, obviously a lot of focus on the Liberals, we’ll get to that in a moment, but your response to the release of Peter Greste. Great news this morning to wake up to that. Finally, after more than 400 days Peter Greste is free.


MICHELLE ROWLAND; SHADOW MINISTER FOR CITIZENSHIP AND MULTICULTURALISM: Kieran, I am absolutely delighted. I am so happy for Peter Greste and his family. I had the opportunity to bump into his mum only a couple of months ago in Sydney and I just mentioned to her that all of Australia was behind her family, was behind her son. I’m so pleased. What they would have had to put up with, the effort they have gone to is absolutely phenomenal. We need to remember too, though, that there are two of his colleagues who are in prison. We need to make sure that they are released also, and I think Kieran we need to remember that around the world there are a lot of people in the media, a lot of journalists, who are being jailed for doing their jobs and that is absolutely unacceptable.


GILBERT: And you’d praise Julie Bishop and for that matter the broader foreign affairs apparatus for its consular work and its lobbying, and the Prime Minister as well for the presidential pleas? The Government’s got to get some credit for their efforts, don’t they?


ROWLAND: Kieran, there is no doubt that the Australian Government, and I might mention on a bipartisan level, has been absolutely behind the release of Peter Greste and any measures that could be taken to do that. I am so pleased that this has been the result we all wanted.


GILBERT: Now finally to the issue that has dominated a fair bit of the focus this morning, and that is the opinion polls, the Prime Minister’s speech later in the day, you’d be feeling pretty comfortable wouldn’t you with Bill Shorten at 50 on the preferred Prime Minister rating and the Labor Party well ahead, and if the Queensland result is anything to go by you’re looking good halfway through the term at least.


ROWLAND: Kieran, there is one thing I think you need to remember and that is something that I didn’t hear Wyatt Roy say and I didn’t hear Scott Morrison say on your program earlier: these results we’ve seen in Queensland, in the South Australian by-election, in Victoria as well, demonstrate that Members of Parliament, that governments, need to respect the electorate. I’m not someone who sits back and puts their feet up. I’m in this to develop good policy and to develop a good alternative for the people of Australia. I think at this time it is just so disappointing, and it is actually quite a spectacle to see Members of the Government now just talking openly about this. It’s also disappointing Kieran to come to the reality, I think everyone needs to realise, that everything being said here is not to your viewers - it’s not to your viewers, it’s to the Members of the Liberal/National Party caucus. And that is something that speaks volumes about a Government that says it is listening to people, that says it wants to take people with them. I’m telling you Kieran, they say they want to take people with them, they are already on the bus on the other side of town.


GILBERT: Alright we’ve got to go, Michelle Rowland thanks for your time this morning.