TOPICS: Two seats guaranteed for the NT
KATIE WOOLF, MIX 104.9: We have just had on the deputy Prime Minister. He told me--
MALARNDIRRI MCCARTHY: What did he say?
WOOLF: He has said that he can guarantee we're going to keep these two House of Representatives seats.
MCCARTHY: You beauty, Katie Woolf! Woo hoo!
WOOLF: Well let's hope it bloody well happens, but we've got him on the record.
MCCARTHY: You've got him on the record. Absolutely. That is just wonderful to hear. And, you know, we're going to have to absolutely make sure they follow through. And I'll certainly keep doing that at this end. Great to hear.
WOOLF: Well, you have been fighting very hard for this. You and I have caught up on several occasions and spoken about the absolute importance of keeping those two seats.
MCCARTHY: Absolutely, Katie, and I thank the people of the Northern Territory who've really come behind the petition and all the work that we've been trying to do and also, you know, supporting not only myself, but Warren Snowdon, Luke Gosling and Senator Sam McMahon. I mean, the four of us have really advocated very strongly. And it's a real breakthrough to have the Government come to the table and say that it's looking very likely this is the direction we are now going to go because the Liberal Party were the problem. And if I can just tell your listeners, Katie, that I've certainly had confirmation through the Senate that the Liberal Party saw what happened this week in terms of the push by the House to bring our Northern Territory Bill in and have, you know, hopefully seen the light. But it's been a big road, that's for sure.
WOOLF: It certainly has. I mean, you've had petitions. You've been doing all sorts of things to try to make sure that we keep these two seats. Now, as you said, obviously, it does still have to go through the parliament, as I understand it. And the Senate, correct me if I'm wrong, but I think, you know, for me, it feels like it's a very big step to have the Deputy Prime Minister saying that he will guarantee this happens. I mean, realistically, everyone's going to hold him to that.
MCCARTHY: Totally. And whilst the Deputy Prime Minister, I know was up in Darwin, you know, recently, and I think he had a column in the NT News asserting that he supported it as leader of the Nationals, but we were absent of hearing from the Liberal Party. And I'm just so much more confident by the end of, well today because we've now got Senator Cormann, who's the leader of the Liberals in the Senate. You know, he's been very good in negotiations and has spoken strongly about how the Liberal Party are working now with this and we didn't have that before, Katie, and I think that’s important.
WOOLF: Well, we caught up with Mathias Cormann yesterday as well. And we certainly did our bit to push him and ask more about it. So we've been trying our best in here as well.
MCCARTHY: Good on you. He probably came away from that, because the decision only came through from his office or from him this morning that the government will legislate for the two seats.
WOOLF: Well, you know, to me, it's just really common sense. As I said, you and I have spoken about this on so many occasions. And it's something you've been pushing really hard for, as has Senator Sam McMahon.
WOOLF: You know, every member of the Northern Territory that sits in Canberra, is so passionate about this because, I mean, what we lack when our population fluctuates, we really make up for in so many other ways that we've got to make sure that our voices are heard.
MCCARTHY: Absolutely. So I think, you know, this is a big breakthrough and now we want to see them come to the table. So the next sittings of parliament will be the week after next. And we just have to keep the pressure on Katie and just not, you know, not let up. So thank you and thank the people of the Northern Territory for your support in this.
WOOLF: Absolutely. Well, Senator Malarndirri McCarthy, let's catch up again soon, whenever there is a bit of an update on this. We'll be in contact with you. We really appreciate you taking the time to chat with us today.
MCCARTHY: Thank you.