Skip to content Skip to main navigation

News

Get a new bike from $50 per week

Andrew Barr speaks with Steven Bailey exclusively on his first big day

By Steven Bailey 11 December 2014 24

andrew-barr

Yesterday Andrew Barr was elected unopposed as Leader of the Labor Party, and today he will be elected unopposed as Chief Minister. First Ministers have a choice to make: crash or crash through, or to slide along politely with one cheek aloft of each side of an ever encroaching barbed wire fence. Andrew is not crashing or crashing through.

AB Hello Steven.

SB Hi Andrew! Do you mind if I put you on speaker phone so I can type while you speak?

AB No, that’s fine.

(2 mins later, and after a little bit of swearing to myself under my breath)

SB Thanks. Andrew, you’re a cat person aren’t you?

AB Yes, I am. I love dogs too and had dogs growing up, but I have a cat now.

SB Andrew, you recently described yourself as a leader more similar to Katy Gallagher
than Jon Stanhope. What do you like more about Gallagher than Stanhope?

AB Having worked with both, they both brought different strengths to the role. They governed in different times. Jon was elected in 2001 based on a platform to effectively fix the health and education systems. Katy’s time in office was of a different era. Jon enjoyed good economic growth with a rapidly expanding federal government; it was a period where the government had a sustained surplus. After the global financial crisis Katy worked closely with the federal government on stimulus measures to keep the economy growing… investing in housing, schools, and infrastructure. I’ll be governing in a time more like Katy’s in terms of economic challenges. There are generational differences too. Jon is older than my dad! Katy and I are a similar age. Katy is adept with social media…

SB Ha! I’m not sure if Jon knows what Facebook is, nor does he want to know! I’m more similar to Jon in that sense. Sorry, I interrupted.

AB Jon is passionate, intense and driven by policy outcomes. Jon is a bit like Whitlam’s ‘crash or crash through’. Katy is consensus driven. I will find a balance between their approaches.

SB Given that you’ve presided over deficit after deficit, how on earth are you going to balance the budget within the foreseeable future?

AB There won’t be a balanced budget for a couple of years. I’m not suggesting that we will have a balanced budget, but we will be working towards that in the future. I’m confident that we can get there because the impact of Mr Fluffy will run off and, once done, will not be ongoing. The impact to the budget in the short-term will be significant, but in the long-term we will be better-off. Revenues need to grow more than expenditure. [We can get there] through a combination of expenditure constraint such as delays of infrastructure projects and ensuring that revenue is robust. That’s why the tax reform I started a number of years ago is so important.

SB Speaking of infrastructure, if light rail becomes too much of an electoral problem, will you ditch it?

AB We are committed to delivering the light rail project. We have changed our approach to procurement and financing. We have a public/private partnership – the key reason for doing this was to ensure that the ACT is not called upon to make payments until the project is operational. This removes risks associated with the delivery of the project.

SB But will you ditch the project if it means electoral failure?

AB I don’t believe we will lose because of the project. Publicly available research shows that more than half of the ACT supports the project, and that number will increase with further explanation and awareness of the project.

SB But will you ditch it…?

AB I accept that some are opposed and will not change their mind. I acknowledge that some who vote Labor or Green…

SB Or the Sex Party!

AB Yes, I’ll give you that. I accept that some people will be opposed to it. But I’m backing myself and my team to convince the Labor and Greens voters that this is the right project at the right time, and I hope to carry more Liberal voters with me who I know support the project too.
SB Just an historical question for you: did you fear that there was a chance that Canberra would have had a Liberal Government during the two weeks after the election in 2012 when Shane Rattenbury was deciding to whom the gong for Government would be given?

AB I felt that the overwhelming majority of Greens voters and members would have preferred the outcome that has occurred: a Labor Government – just as Labor voters and Labor members would preference the Greens ahead of the Liberals. We have many policy similarities and many areas in common. It would be highly unusual for the Greens to support a Liberal Government – especially an Opposition as conservative as the ACT Liberals. Calling themselves Liberals is a fraud. They are the conservatives. Go anywhere else in the world and call that mob liberal to people and they would be stunned considering the positions they hold on issues.
SB Do you fear the presence of smaller parties in the 2016 election?

AB I respect anyone prepared to put their name forward for public office. From time to time we might disagree on certain views. It’s important in a democratic process that people have a wide range of candidates. The Hare-Clark system in the ACT allows the people to determine more fairly which party, or parties, they want elected. Large numbers of voters within our system choose individual candidates. It’s a strength in our system.

SB Do you think our system would be fairer if you provided for seven-seat electorates instead of five (considering the redistribution from three electorates to five electorates)?

AB It was difficult to get to seven-member electorates within a twenty-five member parliament…

SB Mathematics is a poor excuse for not having fairer representation within a democracy.

AB At some point in the future I suspect the Assembly will increase to thirty-five members which would allow for larger electorates. The advantage for 2016 is a number of communities will have a greater sense of ownership over a specific area instead of sharing those areas. I think this will empower people.
SB Last question: if you’re not a ‘crash or crash through’ type of leader, you wouldn’t see yourself as a Gough Whitlam. If you had to choose, to which Prime Minister would you consider yourself to be most similar?

AB IJoined the Labor party in 1992 just after Paul Keating became prime minister. There’s no way that I have the razor sharp wit like Keating and I wouldn’t compare myself to a PM as inspiring as him. But if I had to pick, I would pick Hawke and Keating on economics, and Gillard on education and social reform.

SB Andrew, it’s been an honour and a privilege to speak with you on what I know would have been a very busy day for you. Congratulations.

AB Look forward to speaking with you again soon.

What’s Your opinion?


Please login to post your comments, or connect with
24 Responses to
Andrew Barr speaks with Steven Bailey exclusively on his first big day
Filter
Showing only Website comments
Order
Newest to Oldest
Oldest to Newst
drfelonious 2:41 pm 16 Dec 14

Oh, I get it now dungfungus, you’re doing the take the p*ss Stephen Colbert thing.

Pretty funny – thanks for the belly laughs!

dungfungus 6:35 pm 15 Dec 14

chewy14 said :

dungfungus said :

chewy14 said :

dungfungus said :

Steven Bailey said :

Quite a nice chap to speak with.

Yes, considering the fact that Andrew Barr polled just over 4% of the vote he has done well.
Every single Liberal MLA from Molonglo polled higher.

Your comment clearly should be prefaced with “on first preferences” and seeing as Katy Gallagher got almost 2quotas on first preference, you might say that she would have massively affected the votes of the other Labor candidates, rendering your comment useless for analysis of anything.

What is there to analyse?
Whatever spin you put on it, the facts are as I presented them.
I am not a expert on politics (like you) but I always understood that primary votes were about popularity This being the case, and Barr getting over the line in 2012 because of Gallaghers preference flows, Barr won’t be re-elected in 2016.
You appear to still in denial the the Liberals received more primary votes that Labor.

In denial about what? I didn’t vote for either the Liberals or Labor in the last election and didn’t really care who won because the choice was between horrible and worse.

The problem is, in your simplistic worldview, you need to grasp on to anything that might be good for your “team”.

If you cannot see that Katy Gallagher’s personal first preference vote would have massively affected the first preference votes of the other Labor candidates in Molonglo then you are beyond help. It is also rather irrelevant seeing as our Hare Clark system is a preferential voting system and if you look at the preference flows, you’ll see that once Katy was elected first, about 90% of her tranferred vote was preferenced to another Labor candidate on second preferences.

I didn’t say you were in denial about voting but if you voted Green it is a bit misleading to infer that you didn’t support Labor.
You are correct about Katy Gallagher’s massive vote and preference flows that got Barr and others over the line. That is exactly my point because at the next election Barr won’t have that luxury of Gallagher’s preferences unless she is replaced by a “marquis” candidate.
No need to be angry about it – especially this time of the year.

chewy14 11:55 am 15 Dec 14

dungfungus said :

chewy14 said :

dungfungus said :

Steven Bailey said :

Quite a nice chap to speak with.

Yes, considering the fact that Andrew Barr polled just over 4% of the vote he has done well.
Every single Liberal MLA from Molonglo polled higher.

Your comment clearly should be prefaced with “on first preferences” and seeing as Katy Gallagher got almost 2quotas on first preference, you might say that she would have massively affected the votes of the other Labor candidates, rendering your comment useless for analysis of anything.

What is there to analyse?
Whatever spin you put on it, the facts are as I presented them.
I am not a expert on politics (like you) but I always understood that primary votes were about popularity This being the case, and Barr getting over the line in 2012 because of Gallaghers preference flows, Barr won’t be re-elected in 2016.
You appear to still in denial the the Liberals received more primary votes that Labor.

In denial about what? I didn’t vote for either the Liberals or Labor in the last election and didn’t really care who won because the choice was between horrible and worse.

The problem is, in your simplistic worldview, you need to grasp on to anything that might be good for your “team”.

If you cannot see that Katy Gallagher’s personal first preference vote would have massively affected the first preference votes of the other Labor candidates in Molonglo then you are beyond help. It is also rather irrelevant seeing as our Hare Clark system is a preferential voting system and if you look at the preference flows, you’ll see that once Katy was elected first, about 90% of her tranferred vote was preferenced to another Labor candidate on second preferences.

dungfungus 10:58 pm 14 Dec 14

Snow_Crash said :

dungfungus said :

drfelonious said :

Yeah sure dungfungus, Barr won’t be re-elected in 2016.

Tony Abbott is so popular that the local Liberals will get back in on the back of Canberra’s overwhelming love for the charisma of Tony 🙂

Whatever conservative poison you are drinking, you might want to very slowly and carefully put it down and maybe mix your drinks with some Reality spritzer this Christmas!

Tony Abbott is very popular in his own electorate – Andrew Barr isn’t in his.

Are we on the same page? I gather you mean this lot, correct me if I’m wrong:

http://www.elections.act.gov.au/elections_and_voting/past_act_legislative_assembly_elections/2012_act_legislative_assembly_election/2012_election_results2/2012_results_for_molonglo_electorate

The link provides half the answers and confirms all elcted Liberals polled more primary votes that Andrew Barr.
In the Federal seat of Warringah in the 2013 election, Tony Abbott received 60.89% of the primary votes. He is just a little bit more popular than Andrew Barr I think.

Related Articles

CBR Tweets

Sign up to our newsletter

Top
Copyright © 2018 Region Group Pty Ltd. All rights reserved.
the-riotact.com | aboutregional.com.au | b2bmagazine.com.au | thisiscanberra.com

Search across the site