Jonesy and Amanda, WSFM 101.7 radio interview

  • Transcript, E&OE
01 March 2018

AMANDA: Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, hello.

JULIE BISHOP: Good morning Jonesy and Amanda. It's great to be on your show.

JONESY: Welcome! How has it been all these years? We've been doing this for a thousand years and we've never spoken – how is that?

JULIE BISHOP: And I've been a politician for a thousand years - how did our paths never cross?

AMANDA: How have we not met in the middle?

JULIE BISHOP: We'll rectify that immediately and I'm happy to come on your show to talk about foreign policy. You just give me a call and I'll be there.

AMANDA: Excellent.

JONESY: I could talk about foreign policy all day.

JULIE BISHOP: And I'm sure your listeners will tune in every morning to hear a foreign policy update from the Foreign Minister.

AMANDA: Samoa, discuss.

JONESY: How's things going in Batavia?

AMANDA: Now, I know that you're launching a new campaign today, and we'll get to that shortly, but, well, it's been in all of the papers that you've claimed $32,000 in taxpayer funded family travel for your long term partner but he doesn't have to register his interests because you say he's not your spouse or your de facto. Have you put him in the friend zone? How is he feeling about this, Julie?

JULIE BISHOP: It doesn't work that way. Every Member of Parliament is able to nominate a person, any person. They don't have to be in a relationship with them. It can be your brother, sister, friend - anyone you like you can nominate for the purposes of domestic travel. I've done that so I'm 100 per cent compliant with the rules. There's no question of overseas travel or anything like that that a de facto or spouse would be entitled to. I don't claim that. That's not the point. I am 100 per cent compliant with the rules.

AMANDA: And he doesn't say: 'Please, I'm your partner. Say it publically and out loud?'

JULIE BISHOP: He is my partner. That's not the point. I have a provision where you can nominate a person for domestic travel and you can nominate a brother, sister, friend, a staffer. It's up to the discretion of the Member.

JONESY: It's like Amanda claims for this guy called Mustafa all the time.

AMANDA: My staffer. Do you mind? It's not Mustafa.

JONESY: Oh, is that who it is? I thought it was like, some middle-eastern guy you worked with. You run a lot. I just love that picture of you and Boris Johnson running together, and to me it looks like you are doing it very easily. Boris on the other hand, has got that look of 'jeez, I'm going to die'.

JULIE BISHOP: Well, I did a lot of the talking, I have to admit, on that run. Boris did a lot of listening, but it was a great opportunity for us to catch up before a formal meeting which we had later that day. We ran around St James Park, around Buckingham Palace and then back to the Foreign Minister's residence that they have in London, for a quick cup of tea. It was a good start to a later, very formal, meeting where we discussed a whole range of issues affecting Australia-UK relations.

AMANDA: Michaelia Cash yesterday, I don't think, did women any favours. What kind of fallout do you think this will have?

JULIE BISHOP: Senator Cash has withdrawn the comments. The Senate Estimate hearings get pretty heated from time to time, and it's quite appropriate that she withdraw that comment, and she has.

AMANDA: Now, you're launching something called the 'Smart Volunteering Campaign'. As I understand it, when Australians like to travel overseas, a lot of them want to do good work and maybe want to work in orphanages but they're not always picking the right ones or the right way to do it?

JULIE BISHOP: Amanda, this is a concern. We are warning young Australians through this Smart Volunteering Campaign, particularly school and university students, who travel overseas to volunteer. There is actually a racket going on, particularly in South-East Asia. It's called 'orphanage tourism'. What's happening, according to research, is that Australian volunteers are paying money, in some instances up to $2,000 a week to work, to volunteer in so-called orphanages but in fact, these institutions are shams.

Our young people are unwittingly contributing to what amounts to human trafficking or child exploitation. We know this because the number of orphanages is increasing, that is, the institutions are growing in number but the number of genuine orphans is decreasing. These scams are going on to grow the number of orphanages to meet the demand from volunteers, tourists, who want to work in orphanages. For example, children are being taken from families, some have been kidnapped, some have been sold into what is becoming an orphanage industry, and it's grown to some $2.5 billion each year around the world.

Our message is - if you want to be a volunteer and we certainly encourage people to be volunteers, it's good, it's to be encouraged, but our advice for Australians planning to volunteer overseas is to: Be informed and to avoid these short-term, unskilled volunteering in orphanages because research shows that they are in fact part of this orphanage industry.

Be a child safe volunteer - that is, avoid any activity where children are being promoted as tourist attractions, and: Be a prepared volunteer - do your homework to ensure you're making a positive impact in the local community.

Let me give you an example, in Cambodia the number of residential care institutions for children rose by about 75 per cent over 5 years. UNICEF finds that most children living in this kind of residential care in Cambodia are not orphans, they're not abandoned - it is all part of this industry.

We want to avoid children being exploited to attract funding or donations from tourists, from volunteers. Even where children are genuine orphans, we want to ensure that this constant flow of strangers on short-term visits, doesn't harm that child's social, or physical, or intellectual development.

AMANDA: That's extraordinary.

JULIE BISHOP: Yes, it is a concern. That's why we have started this campaign, the Smart Volunteering Campaign. I'm working with the Minister for Education, Simon Birmingham, who is writing to state and territory ministers for education and universities, to draw their attention to the issue, and the risks for children, and to ensure that Australian volunteers aren't unwittingly, unknowingly contributing to this growing orphanage industry, this orphanage tourism.

JONESY: Thank you for keeping us up to speed. I look forward to the Foreign Minister's report. I want to hear all about Latvia next week, okay? Can you do that – a dossier on Latvia?

JULIE BISHOP: I can tell you about Slovenia?

JONESY: Slovenia?

JULIE BISHOP: Slovenia. I was there last week, and I'm the first Australian Foreign Minister to visit Slovenia. It's a very beautiful country. Here's a fun fact - one in 200 people in Slovenia are beekeepers.

AMANDA: Really?

JONESY: No? One in 200?

JULIE BISHOP: Yes, that's right. I just thought I'd pass that on.

JONESY: Really?!

AMANDA: The things that we learn from you!

JONESY: One in 200 people are beekeepers! Good Lord.

AMANDA: You can share that with Boris on your next jog!

JONESY: When Boris is out of breath -

AMANDA: Here's a fun fact Boris!

JONESY: Here's a fun fact Boris, while you're clutching your heart. Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop. Thank you for joining us.

JULIE BISHOP: My pleasure. Thank you.

- Ends -

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