Freedom Boy Tim Wilson has made a lengthy appearance on Melbourne community radio station Joy FM, reiterating his views on section 18C of the Racial Vilification Act but refusing to say whether the Safe Schools Program should be funded by the federal government past the current funding commitment of $8 million. In an interview with Ben Grubb on the station’s new news and current affairs program The Informer, Wilson also went to great effort to correctly pronounce the name of his soon-to-be electorate. According to Wilson, it’s not “goldsteen” but “goldstine” pronounced like the beer vessel in a German pub. Wilson spoke candidly about his time as Human Rights Commissioner, saying it made him “more rounded” as a candidate. Asked if the role was just a stepping stone into politics, Wilson said it “actually hurt” his chances” as the travel involved in the role took him away from local preselectors.
On the topic of further funding for Safe Schools, Wilson hedged, saying: “I have complex views on it. When it comes down to it, I think there’s a role for programs around bullying and harassment in schools if they are proven to be effective, but I think it has to be about taking the whole community with you and I’m not convinced the current people who are running it, and I’m not trying to be unnecessarily critical, have been the best custodians of that.”
He also said that he gets along well with conservative Senator Cory Bernardi, who was one of the major campaigners against the Safe Schools program. “He has been a strong supporter of mine in the past,” Wilson said. “He’s actually a friendly and respectful person when you’re talking to him”.
Asked whether Malcolm Turnbull had been avoiding making hard decisions, he said: “I think we’ll find out in the budget and that’s where the hardest decisions are made.”
He also had a gentle dig at current MPs: “There’s a lot of beige in politics today, there’s a lot of people who seem to want to compromise too much, now there’s a role for compromise, but I don’t believe in compromising on principles, I do believe in compromising on policy to get outcomes.”
The whole interview is here.