Today Show - Ashes defeat; Pauline Hanson climbing Uluru; quality of hospital food

26 August 2019

Senator Malarndirri McCarthy speaks to Deb Knight on the Today show

DEB KNIGHT, TODAY: Welcome back. What a disaster, well for Australia at least. We had one hand on the Ashes urn until England batsman Ben Stokes pulled off what is being described as one of the most remarkable innings in cricket history. He's unbeaten 135, levelled the series setting up what is going to be a fourth test thriller in Manchester. And we're joined now by Northern Territory Senator Malarndirri McCarthy and Nine's Tom Rehn in Adelaide. Good morning to you both. Tom I know you're existing here on only about an hour's sleep after watching this last night. Put it into context for us. How unlikely was it that this would be the result?

TOM REHN, CHANNEL NINE: The greatest ever run chase from an England side in a test match let alone an Ashes test match. To do what they did they had no right to win that Test match, it's one of the great innings of all time from that man, Ben Stokes, he was phenomenal. But the Aussies unfortunately youd have to say probably choked, Deb, they had their chances, they burnt a review a couple of overs before, it was clearly not out and then they missed a run out opportunity when they would have won by one run, and then the next ball, it was plum in front, the umpire gave it not out, and they couldn't review the decision so it was a catastrophe of the highest order for the Australians. And for England, unbelievable. Complete respect. They deserve the win. Incredible stuff. and now as you say it all goes to Manchester but it's hard to see how emotionally, mentally, the Australians are now going to recover because that took a lot out of them

KNIGHT: Absolutely. Well credit where it's due, even though it is through gritted teeth. Malarndirri in terms of the heartbreak for Australia, so much pressure now as they do head into Manchester into the next at Old Trafford.

MALARNDIRRI MCCARTHY, NT SENATOR: Absolutely Deb, and unlike Tom, I did go to bed early but I woke up this morning and couldnt help but see the highlights and what an incredible game and seriously cricket lovers whether theyre going for England or Australia, or no one, it was just phenomenal watching Ben last night. And I think too that in terms of Australia, we're a resilient mob, we're going to do well. I know what Tom says it's going to be heartbreak but listen this was phenomenal, it was historic and I think Australia will go back and have a good look and certainly come out fighting.

KNIGHT: Let's hope they do, that is for sure. Now, One Nation Leader Pauline Hanson is back in the headlines. Tonight she'll be seen trying and failing to climb Uluru. She'll be appearing on A Current Affair calling on Indigenous leaders to overturn a decision to ban tourists from climbing the rock. Malarndirri what do you make of Pauline Hanson's stunt here?

MCCARTHY: Certainly it was interesting to note that Pauline Hanson said she was invited to climb the Rock but in actual fact, anyone can climb the Rock. There is no issue around climbing the Rock at the moment, it's actually what happens after October 26, and that's really the important date when the climb closes. I do commend Senator Hanson for actually going to Uluru. I had made that call on your program with you Deb last month, asking Senator Hanson, and said please go to Uluru, listen to the Anangu, be briefed by the people at Voyages and by the Parks Board because this is something they've been planning for years so I'll be interested to see the program.

KNIGHT: But you say Malarndirri so that anyone can climb the Rock but you do advise people not to though.

MCCARTHY: The Anangu have a sign at the bottom of the Rock asking people to respect their wishes Deb, and thats what we've said all along Deb, that the wishes of the Anangu has been culturally in particular, but also for safety reasons, please dont climb the Rock. and they still ask that, and most people have respected that and now the decision to close the climb is coming nearer and no one will be able to climb the rock.

KNIGHT: Tom, it's interesting that fear rather than cultural concerns is what stopped Pauline Hanson on A Current Affair from climbing the rock tonight. What do you make of her argument that closing Uluru to climbers will end up hurting the local economy, and have a damaging impact on Indigenous communities?

REHN: I think there's no question that a lot of people see Australian landmarks as very Australian like Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Opera House, Uluru but I think unless you are an Indigenous Australian and understand the significance of that heritage, you should absolutely respect their wishes, so I'm with the Senator on this one, I think that we have to take the appropriate steps, and if its being outlawed on October 26 then I think we should absolutely abide by that because that significance needs to be respected and as Australians we should all do that.

KNIGHT: It's going to be worth watching A Current Affair tonight anyway to see it all unfold. Now I've got to ask you about this one, the Daily Telegraph have got a very interesting headline a funny one I'd say calling it the Lamb Shank Rebellion a special report claiming the food in our public hospitals is so bad, it's worse than the slops served up to our prisoners in jail. There is a serious issue though underlining this Malarndirri, that patients in every hospital, you've got to be eating good food to get better.

MCCARTHY: Absolutely Deb, I mean you're in there for medical reasons, you want to get better, you want to know that you have nutritious food and healthy food but also for some people there's a need for culturally appropriate food, all sorts of things and I know that some hospitals around the country are trying to look at that, but we want to make sure that our prisoners also have good food so comparing it and knowing that they are, well that's a good thing, but certainly people in our hospitals right across the country, definitely need really healthy food to help them get better.

KNIGHT: And the sad thing is if you compared it to some of the food being served up in nursing homes, you'd probably find it is even further down the scale, but Tom, in terms of the anecdotal evidence, there's plenty of it, that the food that is served up in hospital is just not up to scratch.

REHN: Yeah absolutely I was in hospital recently, Deb, and I tried to avoid it and got people to try to bring me food while I was there, and my condition wasnt serious. For those who have to stay for an extended period of time, I feel sorry for them. It needs an upgrade and I think if it was a choice, clearly you want people that are sick to get better before the prisoners get upgraded but the Senator makes a good point: you want that food to be up to scratch as well. But nursing homes in particular, those that can't fight for themselves so to speak, or can't speak up about it, need to be protected more so.

KNIGHT: And its one thing to say we tick al the boxes in terms of nutrition and all the dietary requirements but Malarndirri you've got to have it appetising too dont you?

MCCARTHY: Totally. Like Tom, I was in hospital recently as well and of course you look for the food that gives you that little bit of extra strength. Some of the photos I've seen in the papers with some of the gross images and pictures of food, it does turn you off and I just think come on guys, if you want your patients to get better, give them good food.

KNIGHT: Yeah good tucker thats what it needs. Good on you Malarndirri and Tom thank you so much. We'll let you go back to bed Tom.

ENDS

TRANSCRIPT -TV INTERVIEWTODAY SHOW MONDAY 26 AUGUST, 2019

SUBJECT: Ashes defeat; Pauline Hanson climbing Uluru; quality of hospital food