Interview: Peta Credlin, Sky News





Topics: Unsafe interaction with PLA–Air Force, Labor’s immigration detention shambles and border security failures, Willetton stabbing attack.


PETA CREDLIN: I'm joined now by Shadow Minister for Defence, Andrew Hastie. Well, Andrew, this is no doubt a serious military incident but no ministerial contact at all, no contact leader-to-leader either. Instead, this government has just sent off an official to do our bidding, much like Andrew Giles sent off or delegated to an official, those decisions over detainees and bail. Surely our Defence personnel deserve better than this?


ANDREW HASTIE: They sure do, Peta, because this is weak leadership from the Albanese Government. This is the second incident that the Chinese have caused over the last six to eight months – we had the divers last year who experienced a sonar attack from a Chinese destroyer and now we've had a Royal Australian Navy Seahawk have flares fired at it by a Chinese fighter. I would have thought that this, if not last time, was the point at which the Prime Minister, or the defence minister, or the foreign minister escalate this to their counterparts. The Prime Minister said it had been raised at all levels, well, we found out today it hasn't. He's shown himself to be weak and dishonest. He should pick up the phone to President Xi, and he should raise this directly for the sake of the uniformed personnel who do dangerous work on behalf of our country because they need to know the Prime Minister has their back. I think the failure to raise this with President Xi, the failure of Richard Marles to raise this with his defence counterpart, demonstrates that we're weak and this will in fact, incentivise the Chinese to normalise this sort of behaviour.


PETA CREDLIN: Andrew, people say that this could likely result in the death of personnel if we do not call China out, if we do not force them to stop this behaviour. You've got a lot more operational experience than almost anyone else I know in politics. I mean, how likely is it? How risky is this that it could cost the life of one of our ADF?


ANDREW HASTIE: Well, the fact that they've launched a sonar attack against our divers, and now they're fired flares, on the face of it, this is risky behaviour, but you don't know what could go wrong. You don't know how a pilot might react or how someone on the water might react to a sonar attack. So this is extremely risky behaviour by the Chinese military and that's why I've called it dangerous, reckless and foolish, because it could result in the loss of life. That's why we need to put a boundary in place. This is basic schoolyard stuff here – if you're getting pushed around by a bully, you've got to push back and you've got to draw a line in the sand. That's why it's so important the Prime Minister leads in this moment and picks up the phone to President Xi.


PETA CREDLIN: Ninette Simons, Andrew, allegedly bashed, as we know, by a former immigration detainee during a home invasion. She says, I think quite rightly, she felt let down by her government. She's had a call with Andrew Giles, the PM was in Western Australia today, he said he's got no plans to meet her – he was pushed pretty hard by journalists on this. I made the point of a moment ago, I bet you he's got a fundraiser or a Labor Party event in Perth, but he can't find time for Ninette. Do you think he should have found time to meet with her?


ANDREW HASTIE: Absolutely, because that's what leaders do. Leaders, when things go wrong, go out to the person affected and they make sure they're okay. That's what the Prime Minister should have done because it happened on his government's watch. The Albanese Government failed to keep Mrs Simons safe. They failed across a number of fronts. They shouldn't have let this alleged offender out on bail, and they should have insisted that he wore an ankle bracelet – they did neither of those two things and so the Albanese Government is responsible. I would have thought the Prime Minister, traveling all the way out to Perth, should have made this a priority. I know Peter Dutton is a leader and I know he would have done so had he been the prime minister, although I doubt this would have happened under his watch.


PETA CREDLIN: I think you're right. I don't think he delegates away tough decisions; I think Peter Dutton takes them himself. I need to ask you about this radicalised teen shot dead in Perth over the weekend. Allegedly, we're told, this was because he was concerned about the government's support for Israel. But the PM's was response today was again to deflect, to blame social media. Have a listen.



PETA CREDLIN: He mentions the Muslim community there but here's a comment from one of WA's most senior Imams, saying that they shouldn't have to condemn this.




PETA CREDLIN: I agree, most Muslims have nothing to do with this, but community leaders, Andrew, they really do need to stand tall and condemn Islamists in the strongest possible terms, don't they?


ANDREW HASTIE: They certainly do. I think one of the most confronting things about the weekend was that the young man who was shot after being radicalised, he was I think of Anglo-Saxon background. So it's not about ethnicity, Peta, this is about the contest of ideas and in order to prevail in the contest of ideas, we need strong political leadership and we need strong local leadership, particularly from the communities that are affected. So I would expect the Prime Minister, and I would expect Muslim leaders, to condemn this sort of behaviour and these sorts of ideas because they have no place in modern Australia, especially if we're going to live together in a democracy where we have differences, but we can still tolerate those differences.


PETA CREDLIN: What about this footage we've seen today to, Andrew, five men believed to be from West Africa detained by Australian Border Force at the very tip of the Torres Strait, on an island just a few kilometres from mainland PNG. This comes of course, yet again, on the back of declining aerial surveillance thanks to budget cuts from Labor. I suspect you want to see these cuts reversed in next week's Budget, wouldn't you?


ANDREW HASTIE: I'd hope so. Labor is terrible at national security. We've seen what they've done to Defence – Richard Marles is all over the place, he can't articulate threats, can't articulate a strategy, can't articulate how he's going to resource his strategy. And on border security, we've seen Temporary Protection Visas abolished, we've seen almost half a billion dollars stripped out of the border security budget, we've seen surveillance hours reduced and of course, all that does is incentivise people to come through our borders. We've had 13 vessels and more than 300 people arrive illegally on our shores and the Albanese Government is responsible for that happening – they are solely responsible for it.


PETA CREDLIN: You're not wrong. We'll both be looking at the same Budget papers next week to check out that Budget line on aerial surveillance. Andrew Hastie, thank you as always.


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  • Andrew Hastie
    published this page in Latest News 2024-05-09 08:19:24 +0800