April 11, 2019

SUBJECTS: Election 2019, Hindmarsh electorate, Labor’s vision for Australia. 

DAVID BEVAN: Mark Butler the candidate for Hindmarsh, former member, well current member for Port Adelaide but that seat has been abolished. South Australia’s relevance seems to be declining, and that shows up in the number of seats that we’ve lost. We’re now down to, I think, it’s 10. Good morning Mark Butler. 




BEVAN: Mark Butler, just picking up on Allan’s point – didn’t I hear Bill Shorten yesterday say that he would like electric cars made in this country. Is that a false promise?  


BUTLER: Well, we’re already participating in a whole range of areas with the global shift to electrification of transport, at General Motors and at Toyota in Melbourne, unfortunately not in Adelaide, but in Melbourne, their plants are tapping into the engineering expertise that we developed over decades of car manufacturing industry in Australia to be a part of hydrogen fuel cell development and also electric car development. We also already manufacture a range of other vehicles, buffers and so forth that are electric. So, it’s not beyond the realms of imagination to see us playing a role again. It’s obviously very difficult given that the Abbott government really pushed the car manufacturing industry offshore, but we’ll hopefully have some more to say about that through the campaign through Kim Carr, our Industry Shadow Minister. 


ALI CLARKE: Mark Butler where do you think this will be won for Hindmarsh? What are the big issues that you think people need to know about in your seat? 


BUTLER: I think really they’re the same issues people are talking about all across Australia. Particularly that wages and pensions are flat but the cost of pretty much everything else is going up. People really are finding it hard to make ends meet; energy costs are going up. We need energy policy – this Government’s had 12 since the last election, and we need strong wages growth. The wages growth we’ve experienced over the last five years has been the lowest ever on record. So, dealing with those hip pocket issues for household budgets is going to be critically important. I think Australians, in my portfolio area of climate change, Australians are also looking to the future in a way that I haven’t experienced since the 2007 election. Climate change is going to be an issue for the coming election, I have no doubt about that. So it’s going to be a very interesting election, there’s very much a focus on the here and now for households that are struggling while wages and pensions are flat and costs are going up, but people also want some vision for the country. They want a party that’s united and has laid out a detailed plan for the future of the country. We think the Labor Party has done the hard work on both of those things. 


BEVAN: Labor has been in front on Newspoll for what is it, three years now? And yet the Coalition took some encouragement from the poll that came out a week ago. Do you think it’s tightened or do you think there hasn’t been any change in that mood? 


BUTLER: You could argue if you really want to gaze into the tea leaves of those polls that the movement was within the margin of error, but I think it’s always true that things tighten up during an election campaign. I think it’s always true that polls during a period of government tend to give a sense about how people feel in a more abstract sense about how the government’s going- 


BEVAN: When you’re out, and you spend a lot of time talking to people Mark Butler, do you get a sense of they know what they want and they can’t wait to get in there and cast their ballot? Or do you get a sense of uncertainty? 


BUTLER: Well I get a sense that there’s a great deal of disappointment in this Government. The chopping and changing of leaders – and I have some experience of that. We had this in 2012/13. So there is a great deal of disappointment in this Government and a real thirst for a bit of vision, a bit of unity from a party of government. But things will tighten up during a campaign, they always do.  


BEVAN: But do you get a sense that people know what they want? Or is it you just get a sense of something negative? 


BUTLER: As I said there’s a feeling of disappointment in this Government that I’m picking up not just in the electorate I’m campaigning in, but all around the country. But equally people want a bit of vision – they want a sense of stability and unity, they want some truth from their political parties not scare campaigns. But they want some vision along with dealing with some of the day-to-day challenges that households and businesses are facing around the cost of living. So this is going to be a really complex campaign, and I have no doubt it will tighten up as a result  of this, in spite of the poll results you’ve mentioned over the past few years, the result of this is still going to be very tight I think. 


CLARKE: Mark Butler, Labor candidate for Hindmarsh, formerly member for Port Adelaide, thanks for your time. 


BUTLER: Thank you very much.