5RM Breakfast with Anthony Milich
THURSDAY, 14 September 2023
SUBJECTS: Voice referendum.
ANTHONY MILICH, HOST: Just a bit of fun where I get to role play one of my dream jobs. I’ve reached out to a very special guest to give me a hand to put this together this morning. It’s none other than the Honourable Richard Marles, Deputy Prime Minister of Australia. Good morning, Deputy big dog. How are you?
RICHARD MARLES, DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER: Good, how are you Anthony? What is your dream job?
MILICH: Well, Speaker of the House.
MARLES: Do you know what actually happens with the Speaker of the House?
MILICH: Well, I’ve got a little bit of an idea, because I’ve sort of been following it. I’m just amazed that this is the guy that is pretty much the most powerful guy in the Parliament, in a way.
MARLES: In a way that’s true. I think Speaker of the House is like, if you imagine an unruly kind of grade six classroom and you’ve got a teacher who is desperately trying to keep them in control, and largely failing, that right there is the Speaker of the House.
MILICH: Well, as we get into it this morning, Deputy Prime Minister, I will be playing the role of Speaker of the House. You will be playing the role of – well, you won’t be playing it because you are the Deputy Prime Minister of Australia, so you just be you.
MARLES: Okay, I’ll do my best.
MILICH: Well, look, we’re going to get into it. And right up front, I do remind the House they are under general warning. I will have no hesitation to object members under Standing Order 94A –
MARLES: Oh well done.
MILICH: Or name them should their actions justify. Standing Order –
MARLES: You’ve done your homework.
MILICH: I told you I was into it. Standing order 99. It is time for question time. I call on the Minister for local news, sport and 80s music at lunchtime. The Minister Lachie Winnall.
LACHIE WINNALL, HOST: I ask the Honourable Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles what the referendum means for the Riverland and Mallee.
MILICH: I give the call to the Deputy Prime Minister.
MARLES: Okay, I will take the call and answer the question, but the Ministers are the ones answering questions, not asking them.
WINNALL: I needed to be a member there, Anthony, I reckon.
MILICH: Could I just remind you 94A.
MARLES: Yeah, sorry, you’re absolutely right.
MILICH: Don’t back chat the Speaker, buddy.
MARLES: Yes, Speaker. Absolutely. I apologise. I withdraw, I completely withdraw. Well, the answer to that question is our founding document needs to be complete, – our founding document being the Constitution. And it right now doesn’t recognise the fact that the custodians of the continent on which we all live, which very much includes Renmark, were our First Nations people for 65,000 years. So, the first point here is that we should be recognising that fact in the Constitution, so that the Constitution is complete in understanding that. But the second thing is that we have spoken to First Nations people about how they want to be recognised in the Constitution, and in 2017, through the Uluru Statement from the Heart, which was a long process involving thousands of meetings which was actually begun under the Abbott Government. They said they wanted to be recognised in a practical way, where they could be heard around questions which particularly affected them through a Voice to Parliament. And really what’s in mind there is that the gap of social disadvantage between Indigenous and non Indigenous Australians is stubbornly persistent. Indigenous Australians live shorter lives, are poorer, less healthy, receive less education. And so by listening to them around the programs that particularly affect them, hopefully we can change that and that will very much help the First Nations people around the country, including in Renmark. And so it’s really as simple as that. We went to the election saying we would put this question to the Australian people in this term, and that’s what we’re doing on the 14 October. And I think if the referendum passes, it will be a very uplifting moment for the country.
MILICH: I think that covered your question.
MARLES: Did I do that within three minutes?
WINNALL: I thank the Deputy Prime Minister.
MILICH: It’s clear that one of the three of us have had a bit of experience doing this.
WINNALL: Yes, absolutely. Deputy Prime Minister, member for local news, sport, weather and 80s lunch, Lachie Winnall here. We do, from time to time, do tune into a bit of Question Time in the afternoon because we do breakfast hours. So, in the afternoon, Question Time sometimes does get a bit of a run and it can be a bit of a laugh.
MARLES: I got to say, if you are watching Question Time in the afternoon, in your time off, my only thing I can say to you is you need to get a life.
MILICH: Well under standing Order 99, that’s the end of serious Question Time. And look we’ve got another couple of quick ones here because we don’t like to be too serious. Deputy Prime Minister –
MARLES: Of course.
MILICH: And it is the end of Question Time in the House this morning. So, I’ve got a couple of questions for you. Now, old mate Prime Minister, he’s putting on a shindig, all right, he’s got the barbecue fired up, the salads are on the go. There’s Furphy’s on ice. No doubt at you would enjoy a Furphy coming from down Geelong way.
MARLES: I do enjoy a Furphy, but that’s not what’s on ice with the Prime Minister, it’s only Albo’s. My story with the Prime Minister is, a long time ago, I caught up with him in his electorate for a beer at a local pub. He takes me to the bar where they have Albo on tap, gets me a pint of his own beer, sits down. Every two minutes we are interrupted by people wanting to get a photo with him. And at the end of that session, I came away thinking I am a pretty ordinary local member because there is no pub in my electorate with a beer named after me and no one’s coming up and getting selfies of me. So it says something about the boss.
MILICH: Well, Furphy might put out a sub-brand. So, this party is going to be huge. Everyone’s trying to get in, everyone’s trying to get an invite. You’ve scored an invite. However, Deputy Prime Minister, it’s a Village People themed party and you need to go in fancy dress. Which one of the Village People are you going as?
MARLES: Oh, my God.
MILICH: Now remember we posed this question to the Prime Minister and he said he wouldn’t accept the invitation, that it would be a dud party, so he’s had a big turnaround.
MARLES: Is that – he didn’t offer an option?
WINNALL: No, he said it sounds like a crap party, I think was the line.
MILICH: Flatly refused to go to the Village People party.
MARLES: Oh, I think that’s a bit unfair. Well, I think I’m the policeman.
MILICH: Okay. Who’s your favourite Beatle?
MARLES: Who’s my favourite Beatle?
MARLES: I think that’s John Lennon.
MILICH: Oh, well there you go. You’ve got that in common with the PM. And one final question. Honourable Richard Marles, Deputy Prime Minister of Australia. Who’s your favourite MMA fighter?
MARLES: Well, I don’t know if you know my history, but the answer to that question is a young Marles, Sam Males. My son has become a professional MMA fighter, believe it or not.
MILICH: I believe it. I know it’s fact.
MARLES: I mean, as I’m sitting there at his professional debut in the front row, I just sort of contemplated that life is genuinely amazing and you have absolutely no influence over what your kids are going to do. But he did really well and I feel very proud of him. I am a Sam Marles fan.
MILICH: Of course you are. You ever thought of marching him into the gallery for Question Time, just to sort of sit up there and look over what’s going on?
MARLES: Well, I think when he and I stand next to each other, it’s pretty clear that he’s a chip off the old block. So I think him around me is always a good look.
MILICH: All right, thank you very much your time this morning, Deputy Prime Minister of Australia, Richard Marles. Thanks for giving us an insight into the Voice referendum. You have a great day and we’ll catch up soon down the track.
MARLES: Thanks, Anthony, thanks Lachie.