Minister Ruston interview – Sky News Across Australia

E&OE

PETER GLEESON:

Well Australian wine makers are being warned to prepare for another blow as China threatens to extend its heavy handed tariffs on wine by up to nine months. South Australian Senator Anne Ruston says wine makers will be confronting Beijing on the matter, working on a submission to the Ministry of Commerce.

MINISTER RUSTON:

We’re a country that believes in the rules based order, so we will go through the proper processes to try and convince China that the accusations of the Australian wine industry dumping wine in China can’t be validated. The wine industry is actually at this very moment going through putting in the submission to the Chinese Ministry of Commerce to put their case as to why the Chinese Government should not continue with their countervailing actions that they’re threatening at the moment and we hope that they’ll see common sense because we absolutely stand by the Australian wine industry, that they have always acted in an appropriate way in terms of the rules around, you know, world trading rules and that they have not been dumping wine into China and so we hope that through that process we will see China reconsider their position.

PETER GLEESON:

Anne, you’re a member of the Morrison Cabinet. What did you think when you saw that Tweet that was put out earlier in the week that has attracted so much controversy?

MINISTER RUSTON:

Like everybody in Australia, we were horrified. I mean it is just the respect that we have always operated and the world has always operated in terms of the respect of other countries and it just was disrespectful.

PETER GLEESON:

The Cashless Debit Card has been rolled out in places like Hervey Bay and Bundaberg and other parts of the country. What’s its future?

MINISTER RUSTON:

Well, we’re hoping that next week that the Senate will see the wisdom and the value and the benefit of the card by allowing legislation to pass. That does two things, two main things. One will be to make those four trial sites around Australia, trial sites that the communities have asked for the card to be in their communities, to become permanent measures. But also to allow a technology upgrade if you like for the Northern Territory and Cape York that are currently on a different kind of income management where they have a Basics Card. And the name couldn’t be more appropriate, it’s a really basic card and so we’re seeking for them to be able to get access and use the Cashless Debit Card as well because the functionality of it is really not much different to your credit or debit card that everybody’s got in their wallet. It just doesn’t allow you to be able to buy alcohol or gambling products. That’s what we’re hoping that the Senate will see the wisdom of next week and we’ll be able to move forward.

PETER GLEESON:

Another one of your passions, of course, is the National Redress Scheme, in particular pushing charities to come forward. Where are you at with relation to that? Because last time we spoke, there were some issues that you had, particularly with a number of charities.

MINISTER RUSTON:

We have introduced legislation into the Parliament that will now enable us to be able to deregister charities who do not engage with the Redress Scheme when they’ve either been named in an application or they were named by the royal commission. It means that one of the four organisations that was named in July this year, hopefully within about three months, will have their charitable status removed and that’s the Jehovah’s Witnesses. But it’s also a very timely reminder for all of those organisations that need to sign on between now and 31 December. About half of them have charitable status and that charitable status will be removed from them if they do not sign up to the scheme because we just cannot understand why an institution who has been named does not give the victim or the survivor the opportunity to get the redress they so justly deserve. Because by denying to join the scheme, you deny the survivor the opportunity for that institution to actually acknowledge the fact that that abuse took place in the first place.

PETER GLEESON:

And just finally, Senator Ruston, obviously as a representative of South Australia, you would have seen today’s front page of The Advertiser where there’s a very strong push to ease some of the restrictions that exists, particularly for small businesses, and restaurants, and cafes, and pubs. Do you think it’s time the Marshall Government look closely at that?

MINISTER RUSTON:

Well I mean obviously they have to work on the health advice that they’re being provided and I would never suggest that they should act outside of that. But you know clearly coming into Christmas we want to make sure that we get our economy open as soon as possible, so of course wherever possible where restrictions can be eased we should encourage that but you can never ever compromise the health outcome.