Interview with Peter Stefanovic, Sky News First

Peter Stefanovic
Newspoll results, climate change, China, Gladys Berejiklian

PETER STEFANOVIC: Turning to one of our top stories now, Labor is leading as the favourite among voters to win the next election. That's according to the latest round of newspoll anyway. And joining us live now is Liberal MP Tim Wilson. Tim, good to see you. So, I mean, a few weeks ago, the Prime Minister said that he was or you are the underdogs, do you agree with him? 

TIM WILSON: Well, every election is tough Pete and every election we're got to fight and fight hard because we're fighting for the Australian people and of course, there are a lot of big vested interests - big unions, big corporates - who all want to get their slice of Australian democracy. Trying to buy their way through it. And we're going to back Australian people every step of the way and they're going to back us. I'm very confident of that. 

PETER STEFANOVIC:  Okay well a couple of policies that have been announced in recent days from the opposition, anyway, you've got the big announcement on TAFE yesterday. You've got their much more ambitious climate targets at 43 per cent that was set out on Friday. Are you worried at all about how voters may respond to those, as it's revealed that more people want more action on climate? 

TIM WILSON: We know that people want action on climate change, that's why the Morrison Government was the first government in Australian history to commit to carbon neutrality by 2050. But it didn't just make the statement. It also backed it up with a clear, comprehensive economy-wide plan and the measures to make sure it happens. And the modelling to show that it was viable and how we were going to do it. Labor's done none of that. They've come up with a plan, a target for 2030. And of course, it's heavily backed on the Coalition's approach. But it doesn't actually, they haven't actually outlined how they're going to get to their net zero position by 2050. 

PETER STEFANOVIC: Well, it's supported by the BCA, so that's quite significant. 

TIM WILSON: Well, again, it comes down to, the BCA had their own modelling, which wasn't the same as what Labor's put forward. So we actually want to see the hard evidence from Labor and how they're going to get there, particularly towards 2050. We've done the hard yards, Peter. We've made sure that we have committed to an economy-wide approach to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. We've committed to a target of carbon neutrality, and we've got modelling to show how we're going to get there. Labor doesn't.

PETER STEFANOVIC: Just on the economy. Figures show it is continuing to strengthen. The OECD warning though, the deteriorating trade relationship with China continues to pose a risk to revival. Do you see it that way? 

TIM WILSON: No, I don't, but I think what we need to be clear about is whose side we're on and we're on the side of the people of Australia. Their economic growth, their opportunity to succeed, and of course, their sovereignty. Their capacity for the Australian government and the people of Australia to decide their own destiny. And if it's a choice between being a richer nation or being a sovereign nation, we're going to go with being a sovereign one. Because in the end, that's the basis in which Australians get to live their lives as they see fit. And that's the basis in which we make our decisions. As I said, right from the start, way back Australia. 

PETER STEFANOVIC: They could still hurt us, though. Do you accept that? 

TIM WILSON: Well, there are always tensions or policy decisions that need to be made that have trade-offs. That's the price of being in government. You can always throw stones from the cheap seats in the sidelines. When you're in government, you've got to make weighty decisions about the future of Australia. And that's why the Morrison Government has not shirked for one second about where its priorities lie and who we're backing, and we know exactly whose side we are on.

PETER STEFANOVIC: With respect, what are you doing in Sydney, Tim? 

TIM WILSON: I've got a whole bunch of meetings today. Going and looking at solar installations and the projects that our government has been investing in to get Australia towards carbon neutrality by 2050. So that's what I'm doing here and because we're getting on and getting on with the job. It's easy to talk as Labor does. We're focused on action. 

PETER STEFANOVIC: Are you here to help woo Gladys Berejiklian? 

TIM WILSON: My view on Gladys Berejiklian running for Warringah is completely on the record. It is my idea of a Christmas miracle. She is even the angel on the top of the Christmas tree in the Goldstein electorate office. I mean, I'm of Armenian background, she's of Armenian background, and so it would be a wonderful Christmas present. Not just for me, not just for the Warringah community, but for the nation. 

PETER STEFANOVIC: Are you getting closer to getting her onside? 

TIM WILSON: I haven't been involved in those. I haven't been involved in those conversations. But I can assure you, I can assure you that she knows my views resolutely. 

PETER STEFANOVIC: Ok. Is it going to happen? I think it's going to happen, isn't it? 

TIM WILSON: It's not, it's a decision for Gladys, but I can assure Gladys if she's watching that the whole nation wants her to run. She'd be fantastic. She'd be a great contributor in the Federal Parliament. And of course, she'd be in a situation where she'd not just win, but she'd be able to make a contribution to the whole nation. 

PETER STEFANOVIC: She'd be a target thought. She'd be a target though, given the events of ICAC. 

TIM WILSON: Well, Pete there'll be lots of people who throw stones from the cheap seats. They're throwing them at me at the moment and my response? Bring it on. Let's have a contest because in this fight there's a choice between who you want to elect based on whether they're going to stand up for the best interests of Australians and whether they back Australia and Gladys backs to Australia, I back Australia, Scott Morrison backs Australia and we're very proud to do so. 

PETER STEFANOVIC: Okay Tim Wilson we're out of time. Appreciate your time as always though. Enjoy your time here. We'll talk to you soon. 

TIM WILSON: Thanks Pete.