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DAN TEHAN MP
FEDERAL MEMBER FOR WANNON
SHADOW MINISTER FOR IMMIGRATION AND CITIZENSHIP
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2GB | HOME OWNERSHIP | WITH LUKE GRANT

April 3, 2023

SUBJECT | Home ownership | 3 April 2023

Luke Grant: How are you, Dan?

Tehan: I'm very well, Luke. How are you?

Grant: I'm well. Lovely to talk to you again. Unrelated to the Liberal Party's woes, because there are some serious news issues, of course, we're reading today a shortage of properties all around Australia, is this down to an uncontrolled, or overly rapid surge, in immigration? And are we getting value from those people coming to the country, filling these so-called skilled jobs? We have a shortage of skilled workers, apparently.

Tehan: No. This is Labor’s Big Australia policy with no plan. We're not seeing the workforce shortages addressed. We're seeing congestion growing, especially in Melbourne, Sydney, again, it's back to how it was pre-pandemic. We've got a housing crisis, we've got a rental crisis, and their Big Australia plan, which isn't a plan at all, is going to see net overseas migration increase by 600,000 over the next two years. We are going to be short at least 100,000 houses each year to even try and manage with that. It's just another area where Labor have no plan, no clue, and we're already seeing the harm that it's causing and this is why you can be rest assured that we will be putting compelling policies to the Australian people next election and why <inaudible> win.

Grant: Wow, you just dropped out for a moment. Did you say you're confident you can win the next election?

Tehan: I am, if we stick true to our values; If we develop policies which are true to our values, we can put a compelling case to the Australian people. We are the best political movement in this nation. We've demonstrated that since the Second World War. Our record hasn't been surpassed by any other political party. We've got to stick true to our values: hard work, reward for effort, smaller government, lower taxes, freedom of expression. We do that and we develop the policies consistent with that then we can win the next election.

Grant: I can tell you from the feedback I get that the Big Australia policy, supported by many in the political class, I have to say, not by the Coalition, it would appear, that’s got warts all over it. People don't like it. They’d like to be able to find a place in a hospital. We don't have massive expectation in infrastructure builds, I think the former New South Wales Government did a good job with roads and probably in some areas with hospitals, but you just want- it has to have an impact on quality of life if you go the big population route and it drives me nuts that we waste the human resource, you know, you get to a number and that's it your time here is done. There are plenty of people in their sixties and beyond who want to keep working and ageism is rife, we know that, in workplaces around the country. If you can frame policy in those terms, giving people the option to work longer if they want to, encourage them through that and valuing human experience and, you know, parlaying that into a smaller population, I mean, it does need some growth, but this is way over the top. I think people from the feedback I get Dan people want to hear that kind of stuff.

Tehan: Absolutely. I mean, one of the biggest concerns that families have now is how are they going to make sure that their children own in their own home? Well, if we've got a shortage of homes being built, net overseas migration about to hit 600,000 over the next two years that's going to make that situation worse. And once again, we're just seeing no plan from the Labor Party. The people that are coming in aren't addressing the skill shortages and all we’re seeing is the negative externalities of migration coming to the fore. We're not getting the proper returns from it and this is something that needs to be addressed and people are right to be concerned. I mean, at the moment rents are soaring and it doesn't seem to be any response from the Albanese Labor Government as to how families, how young people are going to deal with this. This is the work that we're doing at this very moment on the immigration side to make sure that we get a better Australia from migration, not simply an unplanned, bigger Australia that we've seen from the Labor Party. And we're doing this work in other areas and we've just got to stick to our values, do the hard work. I mean <inaudible> we have to practice it ourselves, the Liberal Party. If we to do that, we'll be right in it come the next election.

Grant: Why is it that Victoria has fallen out of love with Liberals federally and certainly at a state at a state level? I mean, at one time, many years ago, I think Victoria was, you know, almost considered a blue state. It probably was a blue state but gee in recent times has gone pear shaped, hasn’t it?

Tehan: Well, you're right. We used to be referred to as the jewel in the crown. And sadly, we've lost that and at the state level in particular, we've been dominated by the Labor Party. That's sadly starting now to reflect federally as well. And once again, we've just got to get back and do the fundamentals right. We've just appointed a new state director. I think he's the best young state director on the Liberal Party side in the country, so he'll start in about three or four weeks. We've got to make sure our administrative committee works well with him and our secretariat. We've got to make sure that our parliamentarians work well with the volunteers’ side and with our state director and his team. We've got to get the foundations right again. Get out there, listen, understand, know what the people of Victoria are looking for federally. And I think we can begin to repair things but it's like everything, it's hard work, it's long hours, a lot of it is not sexy. But if we do it and do it properly, I think we can turn things around. Dan Andrews dictatorial, he’s arrogant and if we make a compelling case and are united in doing that, I think the Victorian people are starting to get a bit sick of his approach and we've just got to make sure we make the case strongly as to why there's a better way to govern than the way he's governing.

Grant: Is there a connection between the Coalition parties and local community, you know, local councillors or business people that actually know the electorate, live there, experience what's good, experience what’s bad, and can make representation to whoever's in government to improve a lot of their people. It seems to me, Dan, I don't want to be unfair, but it seems too often someone gets parachuted in, who might be a very, very good candidate but might not have the knowledge of the local seat. You've got to get branch members on polling day to hand out how to vote and and do all those tough jobs. And if if there's no point being a local member, because your say about who should represent you is of no consequence, it makes it hard to grow membership and it makes it hard to present people who'll be good seats. Are you still? Because I sense you’re not connected to community as you once were.

Tehan: So there’s two really <inaudible> on both. One is we’ve got to make sure that as a grassroots movement that our membership is community based and it has to be those doctors, the lawyers, the small business people, the people who are involved in running the football and netball clubs and the soccer clubs and the surf clubs, and they're the sort of people you need as your grassroots membership. And then they can be feed what the community is thinking in. And the second thing is we do have to have pre-selections where we pick our candidates where we look to the membership to decide who is the best candidate. I mean, the sad reality was with Aston, obviously for personal reasons, Alan Tudge said he just had to retire and retire quickly. The Labor Party just appointed their candidate and it really left us with no choice but to go and have an administrative committee pre-selection. Now I think we got the best candidate, we had an outstanding candidate, but, you know, where you can you need to let your grassroots membership make that choice. What we should be saying to all our MPs is when you retire you need to give us enough notice to enable us to have a proper grassroots preselection from our local membership. And I actually think that is one thing that all of us as MPs, when we do decide to retire, have to keep in mind. You have a responsibility to the party that’s looked after you to make sure that they can have a proper process to pre-select who's going to replace you?

Grant: Yep. Dan, I've run out of time.

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