12 October 2020


TOPICS: Melbourne lockdowns easing; Queensland election; Collingwood loss to Richmond

ALLY LANGDON, TODAY SHOW: Thanks for joining us this Monday morning. There is some relief for Melburnians stuck in lockdown this morning as more than half a million children return to the classroom. But not such good news for shops, cafes and restaurants. As Daniel Andrews warns, the road map out will be delayed even as Treasurer Josh Frydenberg warns him not to delay. To discuss, I'm joined by Northern Territory Senator Malarndirri McCarthy. Malarndirri, what are your thoughts on this one? Is the Premier right to hold firm on how quickly it all happens?

MALARNDIRRI MCCARTHY: Well, I can certainly say it must be a massive relief for those families, Ally, who are going to be able to send their kids to school this week. But clearly, there's obviously worries for the businesses. But this is going to have a profound impact once the kids go back to school in a positive way anyway.

LANGDON: Oh, can you imagine how those parents and those kids are feeling right now, pretty much 7 months out of the classroom!

MCCARTHY: Absolutely. And imagine, you know, you've got kids. I've got kids, you know, staying at home, having to teach for that long, work with your children, try and get them out of the house. You know, parents must be just doing cartwheels, really happy to be able to see their kids. And also the kids themselves are obviously needing to interact and socialise again, obviously safely, but, yeah.

LANGDON: We heard from the Treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, yesterday. He was quite critical of Daniel Andrews saying: just hurry up, just reopen. We know when he announced his Budget last week that a lot of the figures that we heard are based on Victoria opening October 19. Is he right to get involved here? And should Daniel Andrews be listening?

MCCARTHY: Oh, look, you know, there's no doubt Premier Andrews would probably be the first person who'd want to do all those things, Ally. But unlike the rest of us, he's got the responsibility of all Victorians and he's the one who's got to try and get it right. So, I think it certainly doesn't help. And I think I've said this throughout the pandemic. It doesn't help that the commentary from the sidelines. But I do understand that things are getting quite critical in terms of making sure the Australian economy as a whole starts to really chug up again and get moving.

LANGDON: So, look, maybe he doesn't listen to the Treasurer on this one, sure. But shouldn't he be listening to his own businesses? They are fed up. He's got class actions, they're pending. It's getting really nasty.

MCCARTHY: Look, he is listening. Premier Andrews is listening to as many people as he can. But ultimately, the decisions that he makes is based on the advice that he's receiving that none of us are receiving. So I think we have to trust that he's nearly got that state right through this.

LANGDON: OK, we're joined now by Eddie McGuire, who's just joined the conversation. We're talking about your home city of Melbourne. How do you think they're all faring? And is Daniel Andrews right to delay reopening on October 19?

EDDIE MCGUIRE, CHANNEL NINE: G'day Ally, well it depends who you ask about whether it's right to delay or not. That's for sure. Look, I'm speaking every day, obviously, to my family back in Melbourne. I'm up here on the Gold Coast at the Star and covering the football and everything else that's been going on. I had to bring the shows up here, like Hotseat, to be able to get them going. But my son goes back to school today. He's doing Year 12. It's been a really tough year for all the kids at school, but particularly the Year 12s who've missed such a pivotal year basically, having to stay at home and do things. It's been really hard. Everyone understands that. I suppose the good news is, speaking to some high level people yesterday, is that they are going to start opening up a little bit. Even though the numbers aren't going to get to where they wanted them to be. But they've got to be close enough. And I think everybody is looking now to New South Wales and saying, well, they are sort of managing it, even though the numbers have kicked a little bit. How do you do that? But the whole world's asking that question. They're shutting down Paris again. My friends in New York are saying it looks like they're heading to close down again there. The schools are being shut and they're heading into winter. It's going to be terrible situation. So I don't think anyone's got the answer. I mean, today in Harvard University, three eminent professors have commented lockdowns not the way to go. I don't think anyone really knows, but it probably is the right way to go to suppress it because they won't open the borders. I know what it's like up here in Queensland. They still look at Victoria, look at those numbers and say: "Until told those numbers get down, we're not opening up". And we need as a country for the internal borders to open because other than maybe a bubble with Japan and New Zealand in the next 12 months, we're not gonna see much else are we?

LANGDON: Well, that is why Scott Morrison is up in Queensland at the moment. He wants those borders to reopen now. We saw, of course, those pictures of him yesterday on board a tank as he joined the campaign trail. But his arrival in the Sunshine State has stirred up a bit of a political firestorm. Deputy Premier Steven Miles has accused him of taking a week off to campaign and the PM's response? "Grow up." Malarndirri, given the COVID crisis is happening, what do you think? Should the PM stay out of it? Don't PM's always get involved in state elections?

MCCARTHY: Well, the PM didn't get involved in the Northern Territory election, but the Deputy Prime Minister certainly did come up here, Ally. Look, it's not unusual, obviously, for federal members of parliament and particularly the Prime Minister to try and encourage people to look to his party. But I do think it's a bit of an unnecessary blow in terms of saying: "Grow up". I mean, if he's going to make a comment just on that, and I think was a fair comment by the Deputy Premier of Queensland to make, but I think what we need to hear is some consistency. We saw some really sexist remarks by other parties over the weekend in Queensland. Is the Prime Minister going to step into that and urge people to grow up in that instance? I'd be interested to hear if he does.

LANGDON: I'll tell you what, though. He could potentially swing this election because Deb Frecklington has got no airtime at all during the COVID crisis. So, you know, he can only help, I would assume.

MCCARTHY: I'm not too sure. I think, you know, we've, we've really hit hard on the fact that the Budget missed out for women, Ally. And I think the commentary, especially if you look again at social media and the commentary used, is that Deb Frecklington is just standing in the background and the Prime Minister's doing all the talking. And I'm not quite sure if that's actually going to work out well for her in the long run. But we'll see what happens.

LANGDON: Eddie, I want to talk to you about your beloved Collingwood. I tell you what, it was a tough one over the weekend. It was hard to watch. It was a disastrous loss to Geelong. And I know that there was, there was a tweet we saw of you online that someone took, which was and you couldn't have looked more unhappy. And who can blame you? What happened?

MCGUIRE: Look, it was, it wasn't so much unhappy, I was just sad to be honest. It was a really tough year. And you know what I'm so proud of our guys. I was in the rooms after. I haven't seen them all year in the flesh. And I was talking to our skipper, Scott Pendlebury and the coach, Nathan Buckley. And basically, you know, what you want from your team is to leave nothing behind. And they didn't. They had a real go and that was left behind in Perth. It was done, they were cooked. They came back. They convinced themselves they were right to go. I watched the warm up. Geelong were really sharp. I thought geez they’re on. I looked at our guys, I thought no we're ok here. Then Geelong came out and played amazing football. We're on our heels all the time. We couldn't get forward. And, you know what, it was one of those things, as disappointed as I was, they had nothing more to give. And when I looked into their eyes after the game Ally and looked at these guys who have given everything and they just had nothing left. And the four best teams in the competition are through to the preliminary final. And we fell short. And that's what you want to do in sport. You want to measure yourself against the best and give it everything you've got. And if there's just no harm in in in defeat in that situation, as Theodore Roosevelt said, “so that you're not with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat”. So we knew defeat but we knew victory the week before. We've got something to build upon, ok. And that's what sport and life is all about. It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog!

LANGDON: I just want to stand up!

MCGUIRE: So stand up ok! Don't drop your head! Stand up!

LANGDON: Well said there Eddie.

MCGUIRE: Have a go! And 2021, beware the wounded magpie!

LANGDON: He's on fire!

MCCARTHY: Commiserations, Eddie. But I must say I was really happy to see Richmond do well in it and we're still hoping that they'll get in, but can I just say, Ally, just on the AFL more broadly and Eddie. You know, I just think it's been fantastic that you guys have been able to relocate and play. You know, life across Australia has been difficult for everyone. But to be able to see our sporting teams still give it a go so you know, hats off to every single player and their families for being able to support the rest of us country being out to see it.

LANGDON: Hear, hear. Well said. And Eddie, good luck. I know, Millionaire Hot Seat tonight, the first episode filmed in Queensland goes to air. All good?

MCGUIRE: Yeah, absolutely. It's gonna be fantastic. And the Queenslanders were, did very well, they've taken a fair bit of money out so ah, you and Karl might be up for a pay cut because there's not much money to go around.

STEFANOVIC: Another one.

MCGUIRE: It is sensational. Sorry Karl. How many haircuts can you have?

LANGDON: That's that kind of, you know, laughter that you don't quite mean laughter that I'm hearing from this side. That's funny, not.

MCGUIRE: Karl, you might have to move to Melbourne, mate. You can't get a haircut in Melbourne.

LANGDON: Guys, thanks for joining us this morning.

MCGUIRE: Just. Yeah. Yeah. You guys, all right. Still, I was gonna say. I reckon at the end of the year-- I'm fired up. I've got to go again! I reckon at the end of the year when the Queen's Birthday or the New Year's honours come out that Peter V'Landys Gillon McLachlan should be getting an Order of Australia for what rugby league and what Australian Rules football has been able to give to this country in tough times. And they're living proof of adaptability on how you can go about really turning things around, turning a negative into a positive. So there you go. Have a great morning, everybody.

LANGDON: Unreal. Thanks, guys. Appreciate it.