Sky News First Edition – Kimberly Kitching, Renewable Energy, Angus Taylor, Gas



Subjects: Kimberley Kitching; renewable energy

PETER STEFANOVIC, HOST: We’re going to go live now to Labor MP Peter Khalil. Peter, good morning to you. Kimberley Kitching’s husband, Andrew, lashed out at a so-called cantankerous cabal within Labor at the funeral of Kimberley Kitching yesterday. Does that cabal exist in your view?

PETER KHALIL, MEMBER FOR WILLS: Well first of all, Peter, Kimberley was not just a colleague of mine but a friend, and we are still grieving Kimba. She was a remarkable woman and Andrew’s eulogy was beautiful. It was touching, it was quite long. I know the media is wanting their headlines and so on but here’s what he said about Kimba; that she was not just charming and someone who loved him regardless of his flaws – it was raw in the way that he talked about her. But she was someone who had principles, she was a political warrior and a champion of freedom and democracy and human rights. She actually delivered through policies like the Magnitsky laws that she shepherded through the parliament and worked so hard to deliver, which are actually, by the way, now being used to sanction the puppets of Vladimir Putin and the oligarchs. So, she has a considerable legacy in this space, and Andrew did touch on the fact that politics was a tough game and that there were people that, inside and outside politics – I think you refer to that phrase – now refers to a much broader view of people that went against that. And he said that, actually, when someone stands up like that on principle you always get people attacking you and resisting you or disagreeing with you. So, I thought Andrew’s eulogy was really beautiful and touching and from the heart, very heartfelt.

STEFANOVIC: Can Labor, though, end the factional fighting before the election?

KHALIL: Look, we are grieving as a party. Many people who worked and were friends with Kimberley are feeling a lot of pain and raw emotion. But the answer to that is yes, we are all focused – you heard all the eulogies yesterday and Andrew himself talk about the importance of us winning because that is what Kimberley would want. She was a true believer, she wanted Labor to win because she knew that we could deliver for the Australian people, and eulogies in a political funeral tend to be a bit political and there was a fair bit of talk about how important a Labor government was for reformation, and for Australia’s future.

STEFANOVIC: Just a final one here, Angus Taylor – and this relates to energy and national security for that matter – he wants to accelerate the development of seven gas infrastructure projects to guarantee supply. Do you support that? Does Labor support that?

KHALIL: Oh, mate, you know what? This is another five-minute-to-midnight spin from the Federal Government. They’ve been in office for nine years, we’ve had two years of spin about a fake, so-called gas-led recovery that hasn’t created a single job. They promised last election a grid reliability fund, Peter – they haven’t delivered it, they haven’t legislated that. They haven’t actually, in their underwriting of the New Generation Investments program, which you’re talking about, invested in one project, not one since the last election. Now gas is necessary for firming and peaking, Peter, as you know, but these guys have not planned. These guys haven’t done the work necessary to actually provide the infrastructure on the grid, and Federal Labor’s got a Powering Australia Plan which will bring down prices, which will cut power prices, which we’ll invest in the electricity grid. And as you know, renewable energy is one of the cheapest forms going around, of energy – get that infrastructure in place, and make sure. So, absolutely there’s support the gas. They haven’t done anything. They have not done anything and they’re doing it just before the election. Where have they been for the last two years? For the last nine years?

STEFANOVIC: Okay, we’re squeezed for time today, Pete, but thank you for your time. We’ll talk to you soon. Peter Khalil, speaking to us.