Interview with Kevin Rudd on ‘Closing the Gap’ on 6 Feb 2013
[PShift Broadcast 8 Feb 2013 4zzz fm 102.1 noon on friday]
Rumours have been flying about this week. Is Kevin Rudd alive or dead? Will Kevin challenge? Would he have a better chance at winning back the crown from Julia if he were in fact dead…? PShift has been told by a reliable source that Forensic scientists have unearthed the body of K Rudd at 630 Wynnum Road Morningside, just near his electoral office. The exhumed body showed signs of stab wounds between the shoulder blades. Amidst speculation Paradigm Shift’s investigative reporter visited the office of Kevin Rudd on Wednesday this week at the invitation of Queensland Police Force Inspector Laurie Sturgess from Morningside. The rumours of Rudd’s demise are premature. I conducted this interview with K Rudd in the presence of police constables Melinda Hull, Andrew Witt and Rosie Nolan. Also in attendance were Kevin Rudd’s advisers, Tracey Hicks, and a man who could only be identified as Angus. He is thought to be K Rudd’s most trusted policy adviser and former Anna Bligh staffer. The pressure is on the member for Griffith. Listen to what he had to say.
PShift: Mr Rudd what is the most important challenge of our time?
Rudd: Closing the gap between indigenous disadvantage and the privileges ordinary Australians enjoy.
PShift: Are you saying that Aborigines are not ordinary?
Rudd: Well of course they are people just like you or me but they do not enjoy the privileges we enjoy like a good family with access to education and employment.
PShift: So aboriginal families are dysfunctional?
Rudd: Not at all. Indigenous people have a different experience than do middle class Australians. By and large indigenous Australians fall into the lower socio-economic strata of society.
PShift: So Kathy Freeman and Jonathan Thurston are not well paid?
Rudd: Of course some indigenous people are well off but, as I said, they are likely to be more highly represented in the lower end of the socio economic ladder.
PShift: So there aren’t many Aborigines in your electorate? Murris are more likely to be found in Craig Emerson’s electorate of Logan?
Rudd: Precisely, and Craig Emerson is doing a great job of representing the people of Logan. Craig is a good Labor man.
PShift: Isn’t Logan city a multi-cultural area with a high proportion of Islanders, Afghanis, Vietnamese, Iraqis, Malaysians, and Indians.
Rudd: You left out Kiwis.
Rudd: There are a lot of people from New Zealand who live in Logan.
PShift: Why do you say that?
Rudd: There is a very large percentage of New Zealanders who are of Maori descent and they tend to find housing in Logan more affordable.
PShift: So you are saying that Logan is very multicultural? Why is that?
Rudd: It was the policy of my government to promote multiculturalism and to have programs in place to make sure communities like Logan had services to deal with any problems that may arise.
PShift: Wasn’t Jonathan Thurston’s uncle brutally bashed and murdered in Logan?
Rudd: Well, that was an isolated incident. Something that the police dealt with in a very professional manner. It is not in my electorate so I am not across the fine detail. If you want to discuss that in any more detail you will have to take it up with Craig Emerson.
PShift: We have and Mr Emerson says that there are not enough small business start-up programs in place in Logan and that the Campbell-Newman government is for the most part responsible for that.
Rudd: Dr Emerson is an economist and has a very good grasp of the kind of economic development required to solve these endemic social issues.
PShift: Do you support the intervention?
Rudd: My government introduced a range of measures to ensure that the Northern Territory closes the gap on Indigenous disadvantage.
PShift: Has it worked?
Rudd: Well there are signs of improvement and the program is on-going with my previous deputy now the minister responsible for those programs.
PShift: Your deputy was on TV last night echoing the ‘rivers of grog flowing into Aboriginal communities’ in the Northern Territory. Do you agree with that?
Rudd: Well there is a lot of alcohol abuse in remote communities.
PShift: What, like child abuse?
Rudd: Unfortunately those figures were exaggerated by the Howard government. There were 739 indigenous men interviewed under Howard’s intervention and only 4 families were shown to be suffering this unfortunate social dysfunction.
PShift: Why did you say ‘Sorry’ exactly 6 years ago today?
Rudd: I apologised to Aborigninal people because in the past their children were taken away and their lives were destroyed. It was time that the Australian government corrected the wrongs of previous generations.
PShift: After your sorry speech 1749 aboriginal kids were in state care and fostered out to strangers. Last year that number had nearly doubled to 3,024. It is still rising.
Rudd: I know these are unfortunate statistics but it is the responsibility of the Campbell Newman Government to address that issue.
PShift: Why has the gap widened? Why are more kids being stolen?
Rudd: We live in difficult times economically and the federal government is facing the worst financial debt crisis since the depression. This is why there is still disadvantage in all groups historically represented at the lower end of the economic ladder.
PShift: So you are saying that the gap was always there?
Rudd: Unfortunately yes.
PShift: You said earlier that closing the gap is the most important issue of our time; I thought you said it is climate change?
Rudd: I know that when I went to Copenhagen for the Climate Change Summit I did say that. But that was in the context of a crying need to do something fast about global warming.
PShift: Yet you didn’t introduce a carbon tax, that was left to your successor, Prime Minister Gillard.
Rudd: It was not possible for me to introduce a carbon tax, my plan was to introduce a carbon emissions trading scheme and that did not have the support of the house of parliament so I was forced to ditch it. There were too many climate change deniers on the other side of politics.
PShift: The leader of the Liberal Party, Malcolm Turnball, supports a carbon emissions trading scheme.
Rudd: Malcolm is no longer leader, Tony Abbott is.
PShift: Who will win the next election?
Rudd: It will be a close run election and anything could happen.
PShift: Isnt it likely that you Labor will lose the election and Gillard is just trying to contain the damage so the government does not suffer the complete rout that happened in Queensland. Are you involved in getting pensioned former members of the state parliament involved in this containment operation in Queensland, you know people like Cameron Dick in Coorparoo. Isnt it just a cynnical excercise because of the crooks in the NSW right of the ALP?
Rudd: This is uncalled for, what station do you work for.
PShift: I am a volunteer at 4ZZZ.
Rudd: I will be ringing your manager about this.
PShift: No reason to get excited, the labor party has done far worse things. I am not accusing you of bullying. The Labor Party steals money from workers, take bribes, protect crooks, destroyed the union movement, one of your leaders in Queensland is a convicted paedophile.
Rudd: You will be reported to the Broadcasting tribunal, my friend, and kicked off the airwaves. Inspector, will you have Mr Curr removed from the premises and have him charged with trespass if he refuses to leave.
Four people from the Aboriginal tent embassy (with the PShift reporter) were arrested and charged with trespass.
Mr Rudd had called for an apology from the people who sat in his office.
There won’t be one.
8 Feb 2013