TRANSCRIPT: Afternoon Briefing with Patricia Karvelas, 1 December 2021

01 December 2021

SUBJECT/S: Christian Porter’s resignation, NT COVID-19 update, vaccine mandates and rogue coalition MPs


PATRICIA KARVELAS, HOST: Malarndirri McCarthy. It's obviously big news. He was a very senior figure in the Morrison government. And if Greg Hunt goes too, is it just as Jason Falinski says, a natural process of renewal?


MALARNDIRRI MCCARTHY, LABOR SENATOR FOR THE NORTHERN TERRITORY: Well, it's a process that perhaps should have occurred a lot sooner Patricia. Christian Porter has done what Prime Minister Scott Morrison couldn't do, and that was remove himself from the cabinet and the parliament. We saw earlier this year, you know, what was it, nine months ago in February, when Christian Porter faced the media to address the media with what he had to address. And still, we did not really see the leadership from Prime Minister Scott Morrison in terms of reassuring the country, reassuring females, reassuring women in the parliament that it was all being taken seriously. And this week we see the report of Kate Jenkins come down, and it just reaffirms that, you know, this government has handled the whole matter really badly.


KARVELAS: I want to ask a question to both of you in relation to this vaccine mandate motion that Craig Kelly tried to pass but was unsuccessful, but coalition MPs crossed the floor on it. This has now come up again and again in the last couple of weeks. Malarndirri McCarthy obviously, there is a group of MPs that believe that vaccine mandates are an ongoing issue. What are your thoughts?


MCCARTHY: Well, we certainly saw that in the Senate last week PK when the when One Nation was given the opportunity to introduce its bill in private senator's time, we saw national senators cross the floor. But a lot of this is about politics, it really is, this is about Scott Morrison wanting to secure the support of the extreme right, in this case as we head into an election. And I think he thought he had that. But then a lot of other things have happened this week. We've just seen the removal of the voter ID bill this afternoon. The government won't be pursuing that. So, there's a lot of surprises and we've still got another day in parliament to go.


KARVELAS: Malarndirri McCarthy, you revealed that your family had been affected by COVID in the Northern Territory. Can you give us an update on how that's going?


MCCARTHY: Sure PK. Look, my family members who came from Robinson River, which is in the Gulf of Carpentaria, roughly around, you know, over 1200 kilometres southeast of Darwin, were flown into Howard Springs two weeks ago, and I am pleased to be able to say that they are on the mend and hopefully will look like being released quite soon from the Howard Springs facility. We have had perhaps one of the most serious cases with my aunty who was in hospital, and she's now gone back to Howard Springs, so I am pleased to say that it's looking much better for the family members. But more broadly, I commend our health workers, our health surge teams who have gone into the Katherine region, into Lajamanu, into the Gulf in extremely horrendous weather conditions, wearing all that PPE gear and I just commend them for the work they're doing and the families who are working with them.


KARVELAS: Yeah, for sure. Look, we're out of time, thanks to both of you for coming on.