Interview with Brian Carlton - Tasmania Talks, 7AD

  • Transcript, E&OE
13 July 2018

BRIAN CARLTON: It gives me pleasure to bring Julie Bishop into the program, she'son the way to Burnie today and of course Julie Bishop is the Foreign Minister.Morning Julie Bishop, how are you going? Welcome to Tas!

JULIE BISHOP: Good morning Brian, what a delight it is tobe here and thanks for having me on your show.

BRIAN CARLTON: It's a complete pleasure, it's a cracker of day no doubt as youprobably gleaned, a bit cool, but nonetheless glorious. Why are you here otherthan to support the Braddon candidate, Brett Whiteley?

JULIE BISHOP: Well first, Brian, I know what a beautifulday it is because I went for a run in Launceston at about 6am this morning - crispbut beautiful.

BRIAN CARLTON: That's not bad, minus 2! Not bad at all. I'll pay that!

JULIE BISHOP: Yes, I know. It was a little better thanCanberra though I can tell you.

BRIAN CARLTON: Yes, that's true.

JULIE BISHOP: Brian, as the deputy leader of the Liberal PartyI visit electorates across the country and I'm a regular visitor to Tasmaniaand I'm here with Brett Whiteley the Liberal candidate for the upcomingby-election in Braddon. We are specifically visiting Direct Edge Manufacturingin Burnie because this great Tasmanian business has now been pre-qualified, andI can announce this and confirm, it has now been pre-qualified by BAE Systemsto potentially be part of its Australian supply chain for our Navy's new HunterClass Frigates that were announced the other day. So I am going down there tomeet with Diane Edgerton, the CEO of Direct Edge Manufacturing. She's done afantastic job building up this company through hard work, and innovation, andinvesting in her employees, so I'm going to see what more opportunities thereare for Direct Edge. They are already partnering with Rheinmetall as part ofits Australian supply chain to build the Army's new Combat Reconnaissance Vehicleso it's a great news story for Tasmania.

BRIAN CARLTON: Wow that is indeed a news story - some breaking news there. That'sactually been signed off on by BAE systems has it?

JULIE BISHOP: They have signed off on them beingpre-qualified, which means that they are now one of the potential suppliers. Youhave to go through a vetting process, they have got through that process. Sonot only are they doing work for the Army's new Combat Reconnaissance Vehiclebut they are now in the running to be part of the supply chain for the newHunter Class Frigates that are going to be built inside Australia - greatopportunities for advance manufacturing in Tasmania and also for jobs, youngpeople in particular who have got the skills to be involved in advancedmanufacturing can stay here in Tasmania and get world-class experience.

BRIAN CARLTON: This is extraordinary, and of course a part of the Government'scouple of hundred billion dollar spends over ten odd years on Defence relatedmatters. Just while I've got you, Foreign Minister, on the Defence relatedmatters, Donald Trump's insistence to the NATO partners that they startstumping up a little more for their own defence and obviously therefore contributingcollectively to NATO - does he have a point?

JULIE BISHOP: Yes he does have a point, and while his message is somewhatunorthodox it's well known that President Trump wants all US allies to spendmore on defence. We do make a major contribution to the security of the regionand of course our own security because by 2020-2021 financial year Australiawill be allocating 2 per cent of GDP to defence. And of course you know thatthe Government has made and announcement that $200 billion investment indefence capability over the next decade, so we will be pulling our weight. Whatthe President is calling for is something he has asked for for a long time andthat's for individual NATO countries to increase their defence spending to thisstandard of 2 per cent of GDP. Now some of the NATO countries are - Poland,Estonia and others - but notably Germany is way below 2 per cent, so he'sbasically said we have got to share the burden of defending the Europeancontinent and the defence of the individual NATO members.

BRIAN CARLTON: It's interesting isn't it that a nation like Germany which has somany defence related contractors, defence related companies is underspending ontheir own defence. Look, on a somewhat lighter matter Minister, and I know yourtime is short, mine is too, the Ulverstone Judo Club approached RussianPresident Vladimir Putin about four years ago to become their patron, and theclub has actually received a signed photograph back from Vladimir Putin. Is thiskind of thing that is normal?

JULIE BISHOP: Well, I don't know too many Australian clubsthat would ask Putin to be a sponsor of them.

BRIAN CARLTON: Well they wanted him to be a patron apparently because he is apassionate supporter of the Russian Judo-ist - if that is the correct term,probably not - but they asked him 4 years ago and they have finally got anacknowledgment back by way of a signed photograph, which I just thought wascute.

JULIE BISHOP: Well its unusual, I'll give it that, but I amin a different frame of mind when it comes to President Putin because next weekis the 4th anniversary of bringing down of Malaysian Airlines MH17on the 17th July, so I'm locked in battle with Russia because Ibelieve they should be held to account for the role it played in the bringingdown of that plane which killed 38 Australians. So I hate to put a dampener onit but I'm afraid President Putin has a lot to answer for, not only in relationto MH17, but for bad behaviour more generally. So good luck to the club but Ihope they find an Australian patron that would perhaps better reflect thenational interest.

BRIAN CARLTON: Given your interest in matters fitness perhaps you could do it.

JULIE BISHOP: Why not? I don't know that I would be inPutin's league when it comes to martial arts but nevertheless I'm certainlyvery keen to keep running, keep fit and try and be as healthy as possible.

BRIAN CARLTON: Will there be any shirtfronting?

JULIE BISHOP: That's a diplomatic term I understand –

BRIAN CARLTON: It is now Minister, yes absolutely!

JULIE BISHOP: I would prefer to say that I would buttonholesomeone rather that shirtfront, but, anyway, what we do is use every form ofdiplomacy to get outcomes that are in our national interest without doubt.

BRIAN CARLTON: Minister I very much appreciate your time today. Thank you. Wewill have a chat with the company next week and get the low down on what exactrole they can play in these big defence contracts but it is very good news, nodoubt about that. Appreciate your time today, thanks.

JULIE BISHOP: Thanks Brian.

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