Nov 27, 2015

Transcript of radio interview – Today Show

KARL STEFANOVIC: Folks, if you need a laugh, here’s a reminder of the great Bill Shorten. Dancing Dad.

Anyway, the environment does look like taking centre stage as well as his dancing at the next election with Bill Shorten desperate to shore up our future as well as his own.

To discuss, we’re joined by Christopher Pyne and Anthony Albanese. Gentlemen, good morning to you.

CHRISTOPHER PYNE: Good morning Karl, good morning Anthony.


STEFANOVIC: The next election will be a green battleground. Bill Shorten will take double the emissions cuts to the next election. Did you know about this, Anthony?

ALBANESE: Yes. We’ve had discussions and what we’ll do is have discussions with industry, with the sector and it’s based upon the Climate Change Authority’s recommendations of what cut will be required.

We want to consult between now and March and obviously, what happens at Paris will have an impact as well.

But they’ve recommended a target of a minimum of 45 per cent by 2030. So we’ll be out there using that as a baseline for discussion and moving forward.

STEFANOVIC: You’re not going to get great rates of response from business though, are you?

ALBANESE: Actually, business has recognised that it is in their interests to move sooner rather than later to a carbon constrained economy. The sooner you move, the cheaper that transition is.

STEFANOVIC: As long as it doesn’t cost, though, that’s going to be their big problem.

ALBANESE: It needs to be managed.

STEFANOVIC: But when the economy is treading water a little bit.

ALBANESE: Absolutely. The economy, of course, is centre stage here. But what we need to do is make sure that we move sooner rather than later.

All the economic analysis shows that the sooner you transition the economy, the cheaper it is.

So this is about good economic policy as well, which is why we’ll be consulting between today and next March, before we finalise our targets.

STEFANOVIC: Chris, Bill Shorten says your policy is pathetic that you take to Paris.

PYNE: Well Karl, Bill Shorten’s policy, his thought bubble, 45 per cent reduction, would require him to introduce or reintroduce a carbon tax at double the rate of the carbon tax before. He wants to smash household budgets and smash the economy.

So for the next election, he wants people to think that he’s Mr Green but actually he’d have to introduce a carbon tax at twice the last rate and smashing household budget costs and costing jobs and growth. It’s a mad policy.

STEFANOVIC: Will there be a carbon tax?

ALBANESE: No, there won’t be.

PYNE: It has to be. There’s no other way of achieving it.

ALBANESE: There is. We believe in a market based mechanism. This is the recommendation of the Climate Change Authority.

This is based upon the science. That sort of scare campaign…[Pyne interjecting].

This is a government that promised new politics but what we’re getting is old rhetoric.

PYNE: Well how are you going to do it?

STEFANOVIC: Alright, Christopher. It’s hard with this link to Adelaide; it’s sort of on delay.

But I’ll get that question because it is important. How are you going to do it then? What mechanism are you going to use?

ALBANESE: We’ve said very clearly that at the centre of our strategy on climate change is using a market based mechanism, working with business, so that business works out the cheapest way.

STEFANOVIC: What’s that mechanism then?

ALBANESE: An emissions trading scheme is what we’ve said very clearly. That’s the sort of scheme that Malcolm Turnbull not only supported and voted for, he actually crossed the floor to vote for an emissions trading scheme after he lost the Leader of the Opposition position last time, so very clearly, something that Malcolm Turnbull understands, which is why he’s doing this code.

He’s kept all of Tony Abbott’s policies but he’s saying they’ll all be reassessed come 2017.

PYNE: A market based mechanism is another phrase for carbon tax. That’s what they going to be bringing back.

ALBANESE: Greg Hunt this week has said that your policy is a market mechanism as well.

STEFANOVIC: Now, what’s going on with Tony Abbott? Is he white-anting the PM? He’s dangerous, isn’t he?

PYNE: No, of course he’s not. What’s really important is that one of the most important responsibilities of any government is to protect its citizens. To do that you’ve got to have clear eyes and a cool head, and that is what Malcolm Turnbull and the government is providing.

We have the second largest contribution to the international coalition in the Middle East. We have boots on the ground there, of course.

The Iraqi army and the Peshmergas, who are the Kurds, as well as of course the Syrian forces that are trying to defeat ISIS, and we are supporting them.

We also have, of course, six F/A-18s, about 300 trainers and 90 Special Forces protecting them and working with them, as well as the air force personnel who are servicing those.

STEFANOVIC: There are no concerns about that. Are you concerned inside Parliament though, that Tony Abbott is gathering numbers, gathering a storm against Malcolm Turnbull.

PYNE: That simply is not happening.

ALBANESE: He’s doing it in the office next to Chris’s. They have, every Tuesday, they have a little gathering in the office next to Chris’s, there’s a Monkey Pod Room, it’s called, named after the type of timber that’s in the table.

It’s attached to Chris’s office. Chris is outside with glasses and a false moustache on taking names.

PYNE: I’ve got Groucho Marx’s disguise on.

ALBANESE: He’s taking names of who’s going in there and they’re all there. Kevin Andrews, Eric Abetz, Tony Abbott. They’re all there, and they were so happy yesterday that Mal Brough is in such trouble. I mean Mal Brough, thanks to the 60 Minutes interview, is in big trouble and no one is more happy about that than Tony Abbott.

STEFANOVIC: Alright, so you’re not concerned about Tony Abbott in any way, shape or form?

PYNE: Absolutely not. I’m a good friend of Tony Abbott’s.

ALBANESE: He doesn’t speak highly of you, Christopher.

STEFANOVIC: How good friends are you with Tony Abbott?

PYNE: Could you stop interrupting, Anthony? You haven’t stopped talking since you got on the television. You must have had too much coffee this morning on your way to work.

STEFANOVIC: How good friends are you with Tony Abbott? How often do you speak?

PYNE: I’ve been a very good friend of Tony Abbott’s for over two decades. I regard him as a good friend and I’m not in the least bit concerned about any role that’s he’s playing.

STEFANOVIC: How often do you speak?

PYNE: Not as much as we used to, that’s for sure.

ALBANESE: When they speak, there’s exclamation marks at the end of every sentence.

STEFANOVIC: Why don’t you speak to him anymore?

PYNE: It’s not that I don’t speak to him. It’s just that I think he’s still going through a process following the change of leadership.

STEFANOVIC: Because you white-anted him.

PYNE: No, I certainly didn’t, Karl, and you know that’s not true.

STEFANOVIC: Righto. Let’s move on to other stuff. There’s a very important thing happening, obviously the bush fires have been significant, and also it’ll be great today, I think hopefully to come together at the Adelaide Oval for the test match.

Christopher, on a much lighter note, what do you think of the pink ball today?

PYNE: I’m not sure that the pink balls will necessarily take off.

There’s a bit of concern about the change of teams in the evening and whether the team that’s coming in is as fairly treated as the team that’s started with the pink balls but we’ll see. It’s a great historic event for Adelaide.

The first day/night test in the history of the game but before that on a more sober note I’m heading out to Angaston with the Premier and the Leader of the Opposition here in South Australia to view the fire devastation which is terribly sad for the residents in that part of the world and also for the whole of the state.

So that’s the first responsibility. And the cricket, if I get the chance, I might get to the cricket later on.

STEFANOVIC: Alright, it’s a very important day for you to do that and also to get to the cricket as well and take a close up look at these pink balls. It’s very interesting stuff to see how that’s going to shape up.

ALBANESE: I’m old school. Tests should be done during the day and it should be with a red ball.

PYNE: You don’t know anything about cricket.


ALBANESE: Yeah, when people think about sport, they think Christopher Pyne.

PYNE: You haven’t got the faintest clue.

LISA WILKINSON: If Christopher had bothered to turn out this morning, I’d have told him to take it outside.