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(generated from captions) game two. They led for most of the match with winger Dane Gagai scoring a hat-trick of tries. With just over a week until polling day, marginal seats around the country will continue to draw the attention of the major parties, as July 2 approaches, we'll check in with as many key electorates and we can. Today, it's the Saturday of Hasluck in Western Australia, which has been held by Liberal MP Ken Wyatt since 2010. Mr Wyatt spoke to political reporter Julie Doyle about the issues at play in his area.Thanks for joining me. Let's start with your electorate of Hasluck, with a margin of 6%. How do you rate your chances so far? Look, I think one of the benefits I have is being the incumbent member, so, on that basis, I'll get over the line, but I think it will be extremely close. It is not as clear-cut as the 6%, because there are many issues that impact during many
an election campaign. There are many candidates who raise issues and people do listen, even though they tell me they switch off, it's interesting how informed they are on matters and the discussions I've had.When you say that they are listening to things, what issues are they raising with you?Well, they're raising, certainly, border protection, or the alternative to that is the need to be compassionate in our interactions with people who want to come here. Through to their concern about Medicare, and being reaffirmed with the Prime Minister's statement that we will not change Medicare, through to local issues, as well - hoons, law and order, safety. So they range on a continuum of concerns that are both national and predominate.
state, but the national issues predominate.Let's start, then, with a couple of those ones that you raised - border protection. Now, we saw yesterday the Prime Minister and the Immigration Minister releasing details about an operation recently - what did you make of that strategy? Were you comfortable with that strategy? Look, I think we need to remind Australians that we still have people who want to come by boat and releasing that information just highlights the fact that our borders still need to be protected and the release of that information is probably a timely reminder that if we open any opportunity to the smugglers of people, they will take advantage of it. So, in that sense, I do not have any concern with what the Prime Minister and the Minister have released.You did mention there in your first answer that people are also talking about the difficult
need for more compassion. Is this a difficult issue in your electorate? No, not really, but people are saying, when we take refugees come
they're quite happy for people to come from other countries and I've made the point that we do have processes that we helped establish with the United Nations and we do have UNHCR avenues that people can come, where they have the full documentation, we know their skills and what they can contribute to Australia, because people keep raising with me the fact that they want people to become part of our community, to contribute to it, and to be productive.Now, one of the other areas you talked about there was Medicare. The Opposition has been running a relentless campaign about this. Has it been starting to bite? Has the government's efforts to counter the attack - have they been good enough?Look, I think when you run a scare campaign around people's health, their access to health services, then you start to create uncertainty and fear, and fearmongering in campaigns on issues that are extremely important to people's wellbeing do bite. But the worst part of it is that when you fearmonger, you lie and when the Prime Minister said there will be no changes to Medicare, then I've had people who have come up to me and said, "Thank you for reassuring and that
us that you are not going to change and that the access we have to doctors, to the hospitals and to healthcare, is still going to be there for us to be using as we need them".What about dissatisfaction locally with the State Liberal Government, how is that playing out?I think there are elements that people are entwined between state and federal. But when it comes to issues they are hearing from both leaders of the government and the Opposition, then they do discern but there are people who make comments about local issues, and ask if we can fix them, but they also realise that there are responsibilities that are kind
exclusively that of the state.What kind of things are they asking? Well, they're talking about issues like land increases, public transport, certainly access to upgrades in schools, law and order issues
issues - so they're all state issues and we, as federal members, work very closely with our state colleagues on addressing these issues and so we're able to work in unison to address those concerns that are being expressed by constituents within Hasluck and I certainly enjoy the privilege of working with at least five state members of the Barnett Government, who have been extremely helpful in resolving some of the matters that people raise with me.Now, just another issue that Bill Shorten raised earlier in the campaign, where he raised the prospect of a future Labor Government putting a treaty with Indigenous Australians think
back on the table - what did you think of that?I was disappointed that he did that, because we had a bipartisan - or actual tripartisan agreement to actually focusing on constitution.
recognition within the constitution. When you murky the waters with another concept that nobody has had the opportunity to debate nor outline what a treaty will mean or what it will have as an impact on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, then that starts to diminish the focus on recognition and, to that end, I was disappointed with the Leader of the Opposition, because I thought that he had given a strong commitment to a bipartisan approach.Do you think this would damage the push for recognition in the constitution? Look, I'm optimistic that it won't, but let's not murky the waters, because we address concerns of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in both the expert panel's report and in the subsequent report that I tabled, because we had the issue of treaty and sovereignty raised with us and, in talking with constitutional lawyers in the process of our work, they assured us that recognition would not impede aspirations for treaties or sovereignty in the future, but those are two elements that require further debate and certainly more clarity amongst Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, because we heard differing thoughts on what a treaty was and what sovereignty was.So is a treaty something you would be happy to work towards further down the track, once the constitutional issues are resolved?I think those matters will arise and they do, because of the Victorian Government's own statement - that's the State Government that's wanting to engage in treaty. I don't think we're ready for that in the context of the work that has been done in respect to recognition. I'd rather see us settle on one issue, have it understood clearly in Australian society, and then for us to hold a referendum on that matter alone. But then address the issues of treaty and sovereignty as they arise and in the context of what they mean and we've also got to are
consider what are the benefits that are derived, because I look at treaties that have been signed overseas and then I look at the comparative outcomes and they're very similar to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. So we've got to go to the crux of the question - what difference will it make to the quality of life and