There are some striking similarities between Angus Taylor and Bob Hawke.
That’s true even allowing for Hawke being Labor royalty while the federal member for Hume flies the Liberal Party flag in Canberra.
Both Angus Taylor and Bob Hawke were successful in their respective fields before entering politics.
They entered politics at about the same age: Hawke was 48, while Taylor was 47 when he was first elected in 2013.
Each also won a Rhodes Scholarship to study at Oxford.
Everyone knows a young Bob Hawke achieved notoriety while at Oxford by drinking a yard of beer quicker than anyone else.
Not many people though know that a couple of decades later another young Aussie Rhodes Scholar indulged in a little beer drinking of his own over in the UK.
As part of his Rhodes Scholarship at Oxford, Taylor did a thesis on the interaction between pubs and brewers in the UK economy.
So when Taylor agreed to a request for an interview with the Voice in Macarthur, we couldn’t resist asking him about it.
Did you emulate a former Australian Prime Minister and break any beer drinking records as part of your research for the thesis, we asked Mr Taylor.
“Pubs in England are really special places and many of them stock lovely boutique beers,’’ he explained.
Hawkie went on to become Prime Minister in 1983, so we asked the member for Hume if he also aspired to the top job in the country.
“I had 20 years in business before getting into politics and you don’t get into politics unless you want to contribute,’’ he replied.
“I want to contribute and at the moment I am pretty happy with where things are.’’
Things indeed are looking good so far for the 51 year old father of four.
In February 2016 he was made assistant minister to the Prime Minister on Cities.
Last December, Taylor was appointed Minister for Law Enforcement and Cybersecurity as part of Peter Dutton’s super portfolio of Home Affairs.
“I love my new job, I am really excited,’’ Taylor says.
“Cyber crime is on the increase – we all know someone’s who’s had their details stolen – and I want to ensure that we are one step ahead of these people.
“Working with the federal police and state police forces we’ve already had some successes in this field, but there’s a lot more to come.’’
Taylor’s electorate of Hume is half the size it once was, but it’s still a very big seat to represent adequately.
“I’m here in Camden [where we are interviewing him] just about every week, and on weekend.
“There are two offices, one in Goulburn and one here in Camden, and that’s really helped to have that different focus.
“But surprisingly there’s a lot of overlap – Camden has rural heritage with a lot of growth and Goulburn, as a result of Canberra’s growth, is seeing a lot of the same thing.
“So there are a lot of parallels in the two parts of the electorate.
“And for me, having lots of issues makes the job more interesting anyway – I treat it as a blessing.’’
Taylor has some strong views on the rapid urbanisation of Camden, which some people are worried will swamp its rural heritage and lifestyle.
“Getting the balance right between rural heritage and growth is the big challenge,’’ says Taylor.
“I think it is really important that we maintain Camden’s rural character as a green buffer within the Macarthur region.’’
The upside of growth of course is a healthy economy and lots of job opportunities, and Taylor is proud of the role being played by the Turnbull Government.
“It is wonderful that Hume has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country,’’ he says.
“We are in the top 10 regions in the entire country with low jobless rates, across Goulburn and Camden.
“And Northern Road is the biggest road project nationally, it’s a $2 billion project, and most of it is federal money.’’
But he says the real circuit breaker for large scale local employment in Macarthur and Western Sydney will come when the first planes start landing and taking off at Badgerys Creek.
“Once the airport comes it will be a huge generator of local jobs, as has been shown in new airports overseas,’’ he says.
“Creating jobs is really important and we have been doing that, 1,000 a day since we were elected in 2016.’’