Dec 5, 2018

Transcript of Radio Interview – 5AA Two Tribes – Wednesday, 5 December, 2018

Subjects: Liberal leadership; climate change; encryption.

HOST: I remember the good old days when Two Tribes were just that little bit more tribal. We could toss out leaders easily. Now it’s all so, need consensus, it’s all too difficult. You guys have sanitised this whole thing. Good morning to you Albo and Christopher Pyne.



HOST: So Chris walk us through the logic behind the meeting on Monday night. Obviously you guys are trying to draw a line under the leadership merry go round.

PYNE: Well I think that’s what the Australian public want us to do. And Labor did it a few years ago by introducing rules that made it very hard to remove the leader in a Parliament. And we adopted ourselves on Monday night a rule that would require effectively a two-thirds majority of the party room to change the rules that the Prime Minister once elected can serve an entire term without facing a challenge.

So I think that gives a lot more certainty to the public that they could vote for Scott Morrison and when he’s elected Prime Minister he would remain in that role for at least the term that he’d been elected to. And I think that’s what the Australian people are crying out for. We’ve changed the Prime Minister every Parliament for the last four Parliaments. I’ve been in nine Parliaments, that’s almost half of them and Labor and Liberal have both done it. It’s time to put an end to it.

HOST: What’s your assessment of it from the Opposition benches Albo? You were actually sort of part of the new rules on the Labor side when you were the members’ choice as Leader. But the caucus vote held sway and Bill Shorten got the job. What do you think of what the Libs have done?

ALBANESE: Well I seconded the proposition to change our rules in the Caucus to provide some certainty and to ensure that there was more stability and that was what it was aimed at. That is what it has achieved. The problem for the Government, is that they have their fourth choice as leader as the current Prime Minister. I mean a majority actually supported Malcolm Turnbull. Peter Dutton was the second choice. Julie Bishop was the third choice and Scott Morrison was the fourth option. And the problem that they have made is that …

PYNE: That’s made up quite frankly.

ALBANESE: Well it’s not. Julie Bishop ran and people like you engaged in a WhatsApp exercise of putting moderate voters who supported Julie Bishop on to Scott Morrison so she would be eliminated and Morrison would be elected. So, we have a disaster in the Coalition. The problem they’ve got is that whoever leads them, they’re voting for a rabble of a team who we’ve seen this week — former Prime Minister Turnbull out there saying what a majority think which is that they should be taking action on climate change. They should be supporting their policy of a National Energy Guarantee …

PYNE: We are.

ALBANESE: And they’re just a joke at the moment, frankly.

HOST: Let’s give Minister Pyne a chance to respond to that.

PYNE: Well we are taking action on climate change because it’s absolutely vital that we do so. And that’s why we’ll reach the Kyoto targets, the Paris targets by 2020-21. By 2030 the extra target, the 26 per cent cut in our emissions. We are doing the right thing. We have reduced our emissions per head by 50 per cent since we began the measures that the Government has instituted to reduce our carbon. It is the right thing to do.

Labor would have us believe there’d been nothing happening at all on climate change in 10 years. It’s completely false. It’s just one of the myths that Labor puts around. It’s not true. And I and most of my colleagues are very actively engaged in supporting policy that will reduce electricity prices like the Big Stick Legislation that we’ll be introducing today, that will allow us to make energy companies divest assets if they don’t do the right thing. They’ve had a great run, the energy companies, for a long time. The consumer has been a loser from that. We are taking the action to allow us to divest the assets and Labor should support it. If they did it, we could do it. We could pass it this week. But Labor is not supporting it. And that is why it’s not passing this week. If Labor changes their mind,  the energy prices could be coming down even further than they already have.

HOST: Minister Pyne, the Labor Party has moved on encryption law and it looks like an agreement’s been struck there. Can you explain to our listeners what the laws regarding encrypted communications will mean you can do in the future that you can’t do now?

PYNE: Well, it means that the Government legal agencies will have the power to obtain warrants issued by either the Attorney General or by myself, depending on the agencies involved, to effectively intercept encrypted messages that they have not been able to do before because of the technologies that are used to protect those messages. And that means that we will be able to catch would-be terrorists, paedophile rings that use WhatsApp or Telegram or other encrypted messages to communicate with each other, organised criminals. So the technology has changed but the laws allowing our legal agencies to pursue them have not changed and we’re updating them. And I’m glad Labor’s supporting that finally.

HOST: What was your issue with them Albo? And why have you swung around to back the Government?

ALBANESE: Well, the issue was protections. Under the law as it was drafted there weren’t enough protections in there. You could have had mine or your messages  — information intercepted by any of, for example any of the ICAC-type agencies that are there around the state, and you wouldn’t even know about it. So what has happened as a result of some mature negotiations by the Attorney General and the Shadow Attorney General to get an outcome, is an oversight by a Judge, a former Judge and a technological expert, a step in-between so that it’s not just a free-for-all. What we want to do is to target, of course, terrorists or people who would do us harm or are engaged in the sort of activity that Christopher spoke about, paedophiles, et cetera, whilst at the same time not destroying the freedom of people to engage in everyday activities. So we wanted to ensure that there were protections built in. Labor’s now satisfied that has occurred. So we’ll be supporting the legislation as amended.

HOST: Good stuff. Rare outbreak of consensus in what’s been a fairly divided couple of weeks in Canberra.

ALBANESE: The divisions are all on their side. We’re just watching with popcorn. We got the popcorn out.

PYNE: [Inaudible].

HOST: It is Christmas time.

PYNE: Christmas cheer Anthony.

ALBANESE: Maybe we could sing next week for being the…

HOST: Last one for the year. Maybe you can play your favourite carols and you can do a rendition.

ALBANESE: That would be terrific. We’ll go and practice after Question Time.

HOST: Do a duet.

PYNE: We’ll practice in the courtyard, they’ll by trying to shut us down.

ALBANESE: And the clicks you’ll hear all over Adelaide will be radios being turned off.

HOST: Chris Pyne, Anthony Albanese, Two Tribes. The last one coming up next Wednesday.

HOST: That’s right.

HOST: The carol edition. Yes the Two Tribes edition you didn’t know you had to have.

HOST: They can’t do Baby it’s Cold Outside though, because that’s been banned and more importantly, it would just be weird.