SUBJECTS: Bush Summit; ALP National Conference 2023.
JOURNALIST: I wanted to ask you about these farmers, hundreds of them, apparently going to be protesting at the Bush Summit today, apparently stirred up by Barnaby Joyce. They're not happy with solar and wind farms.
JASON CLARE, MINISTER FOR EDUCATION: No, I can't believe it. Barnaby Joyce stirring people up? Look, we're a democracy. As long as people protest and make their point peacefully, that's a good thing to do. I just hope Barnaby's being honest with Australian farmers and tells them that it's the National Party's plan to roll out nuclear power stations right across the country.
JOURNALIST: Are you looking forward to Labor Conference next week, or do you think Labor's hardened stance on Israel-Palestine will be enough to appease the left?
CLARE: We are the biggest and most open political party in the country. Conference is something that you'll get to see as all Australians will get a chance to see. It's broadcast for everyone to see as we develop the platform for the next few years. The policies obviously are developed by the Cabinet.
JOURNALIST: Just back on the protest, I've heard that if it's true or not, but Barnaby's not happy that Transgrid might be putting lines across his property as well. So, he's got a vested interest in this, by the sounds of it.
CLARE: I don't know about that. That's something that Barnaby would answer for.
JOURNALIST: What are the fights you're expecting next week at Conference?
CLARE: I think “fights” is the wrong word. This is a constructive exercise in developing the platform for the Labor Party. The chapter that I'll lead is about opening the doors of opportunity. It's about education and it's skills. It's what we do to help more young Australians get their high school certificate, get to TAFE, get to university. That gives them the chances in life that we all want. You hear me talk about this ad nauseam. I want us to be a country where your chances in life don't depend on who your parents are, where you live or the colour of your skin. But we are today. If you're a young person growing up in a poor family or in the bush, if you're a young Indigenous person, you're three times more likely to fall behind at school, less likely to finish school, less likely to go on to university. At a time where more and more jobs require you to finish school and go on to TAFE or university, we need to fix that. And I'll have an opportunity at the Conference to talk about that and the sorts of policies we need to develop to fix that.
JOURNALIST: The Prime Minister going to Washington for that state visit mid-October, does that mean the 14th October is when we're going to have the Voice referendum?
CLARE: You'll have to wait for the Prime Minister to announce that date.