Minister Ruston interview - Sky News

E&OE…


DANICA DE GIORGIO:

To discuss today’s top stories I’m now joined by Minister for Families and Social Services, Anne Ruston. Minister,  good morning. Thank you for joining me. You’re in Sydney today launching domestic violence training for the drinks and hospitality industry. Can you tell us, what does this training entail?

MINISTER RUSTON:

Well, the Endeavour Group provide training for their 28,000 staff across Australia, to make sure they have an understanding of how to identify domestic violence in the many different forms that it takes, but also have the skills, and the confidence, and the tools to be able to assist people who they find may be in that situation. So you know, it’s fantastic to be here, and I congratulate Endeavour for taking the initiative to make sure that their staff are part of the solution.

DANICA DE GIORGIO:

And will the Federal Government look at doing similar with other industries?

MINISTER RUSTON:

Well, we’re certainly very keen to look at what Endeavour are doing and a number of other Australian businesses who’ve shown leadership in this area to make sure that we are able to provide the tools to every Australian business, because we believe that every business taking responsibility to support Australians in making sure we address this issue is something very important. So, we’re very keen to work with the Australian business community to make sure that we all play our role in ending violence against women and their children.

DANICA DE GIORGIO:

One million dollars will be allocated in next month’s budget to establish a new Indigenous advisory group on domestic violence. Is that enough to create long-term change?

MINISTER RUSTON:

The million dollars that we announced is to go towards the supporting of that Council so that they can inform the next National Plan to End Violence Against Women and their Children, but specifically to inform the Indigenous-specific initiatives that we need to take. Because we recognise that there are many issues that Indigenous women face with domestic violence. We also recognise the higher incidence of domestic violence in Indigenous communities, as opposed to non-Indigenous Australian communities. So we’re very keen to work with the Indigenous people, particularly those people in community to understand the unique challenges that they face, so we can address those.

DANICA DE GIORGIO:

Let’s move on, Minister. I want to ask you about National Cabinet today, resetting Australia’s vaccine will be the key focus of the meeting. What outcomes are we likely to see do you think to get the roll out back on track?

MINISTER RUSTON:

Obviously I'm not going to pre-empt what's likely to happen in National Cabinet today. But I do know that both the Federal Government and all of the state and territory governments have agreed to come together to make sure that we can get the vaccine rollout moving more quickly. We accept that we have had some challenges with supply, and obviously the changing medical advice over recent days and months. And so what I think the Cabinet will seek to do today is work out how we can best move forward with the vaccine rollout, but at the same time ensuring that the medical advice is adhered to so that every Australian can be confident that when they get a jab in the arm, it will be safe.

DANICA DE GIORGIO:

And how do you restore public confidence in Australia's vaccine rollout?

MINISTER RUSTON:

I think the one thing that we have always done is to make sure that we respond to the medical advice. And we had some medical advice recently that has led us to change the approach for the rollout. But I want to assure every Australian that first and foremost the medical advice and the safety of the vaccine, and therefore the safety of Australians, has been the number one priority in this vaccine rollout.

DANICA DE GIORGIO:

One of the topics today, Minister, will be the prospect of potential home quarantine for vaccinated Australians. Given, in the past, the states have failed to come up with a consensus, for example, on hot spot definitions, do you think it will be difficult for states to come to an agreement on home quarantine?

MINISTER RUSTON:

Look, I think we need to put on the table all options to make sure that we can map a pathway back to normal, whatever the new normal might look like for Australia. And I think the goodwill that exists around the National Cabinet table to work towards making sure that we can move Australia back into a position of normality, but at the same time making sure that the safety of Australians is absolutely the prime responsibility and priority of all governments, whether it be the Commonwealth Government or the state and territory governments.

DANICA DE GIORGIO:

Just finally, today of course, we've seen the Australia New Zealand travel bubble open for the first time, many coming to Australia and to New Zealand. Will the Federal Government now look at other options elsewhere in the world?

MINISTER RUSTON:

Well, obviously, like everything that we're doing at the moment, is we're making sure that we base everything we do on the medical advice. Of course, when it is appropriate for us to be able to open the borders we would like to do so. But right now, we're very, very much focussed on making sure that we have a plan to enable the protection and the safety of Australians going forward as we map our way to whatever the new normal for Australia might look like.

DANICA DE GIORGIO:

Minister Anne Ruston, thank you for joining me.

MINISTER RUSTON:

Thanks.


ENDS