SUBJECTS: Invictus Games, Australian Sports Medals; Maeve’s Law.
JIM WILSON, HOST: I thought I’d invite a good friend of this program, Deputy Labor Leader Richard Marles, who’s dropped into our Parliament House studio for a chat. Richard, nice to actually have a chat face-to-face!
RICHARD MARLES, DEPUTY LEADER OF THE AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY: It’s great to be here. It’s nice to see you in Canberra, what brings you to Canberra?
WILSON: Well, I was at the Australian War Memorial this morning for a very special ceremony for our Invictus Games athletes and our veterans who’ve been waiting years and years. I must say this, the bipartisan support from the House has been extraordinary, people like Marise Payne has been very big, big supporter. But also this morning Bill Shorten was at the ceremony at the Australian War Memorial and he was singled out by Sgt Peter Rudland about his contribution and his passion and commitment to our veterans. So I say, you know, well done to people like Marise Payne and I also say well done to both sides of the aisle and in particular Bill Shorten for backing this in, because I’ll tell you what mate, they’ve been waiting for years for these Australian Sports Medals, and finally, they’ve got them.
MARLES: Well the War Memorial is a very special place. I mean, Parliament’s a special place but probably the most sacred place in the country, really, is the Australian War Memorial. And it’s always very meaningful when we get the opportunity to go there.
I can remember the Australian Sports Medal being talked about in Parliament for those participating in the Invictus Games. I remember Bill raising it, but it was very much supported in a bipartisan way, so it’s good to hear about that this morning. I attended the Invictus Games, they were a really remarkable event.
MARLES: Do you remember the wheelchair tennis?
WILSON: Yeah, yeah.
MARLES: It was just unbelievable. And there was the- I think it was a UK soldier who was getting PTSD because of, I think, a helicopter. And his opponent came over and there was just this incredible scene of them actually embracing, and it spoke for those Games.
WILSON: Now how are we going here, because you’re looking up here at the House of Representatives – have we got a bit of…
MARLES: I’m going to have to run. I’m really sorry to do this…
WILSON: You’ve got to get back in. So just explain to our listeners quickly why you have to leave, you know, hastily.
MARLES: So we’ve got Maeve’s Law, which is the Mitochondrial Donation Law Reform Bill, which is a conscience vote. So this is a very rare event, we only get these every few years. But this is going to make a big difference for a lot of people with mitochondrial disease.
WILSON: OK well it’s very important! I’ll let you get back into the House. We’ll get you back on the program shortly because I want to actually ask you a number of things, in particular about small business. So we’ll get you back on the show. You’d better get going!
So there you go! There’s never a dull moment. And especially I mean, as Michael Pachi, our national political editor made a very good point – this is what happens in the last week of Parliament sitting. So Richard Marles is now bolting back to the House of Reps. And, so yes, we do appreciate his time but obviously he’s pressing, he has to get back in there to the House of Representatives.