May 2, 2019

Transcript of Radio Interview – FIVEaa, Two Tribes – Wednesday, 1 May 2019

Subjects: Labor preferences; Liberal preferences; sacked candidates.

HOST: Twenty-four minutes to nine. It’s time for Two Tribes. Anthony Albanese’s on the line. Morning to you Albo.

ANTHONY ALBANESE:  Morning from Launceston.

HOST: Launceston. How’s it going down there Albo?

ALBANESE: It’s beautiful – Launceston. It’s a bit chilly, but it is just a beautiful city.

HOST: Yes, it is a lovely part of the world. Hey – we’re still waiting for Chris to get on the line.

ALBANESE: He’s down at the beach. I’ve told you, he has tapped out.

HOST: He’s been texting me, so I’m sure he’s about to join us. But we wanted to kick off with you anyway, because over the last few days the focus for much of…

ALBANESE: Start with quality – always a good idea.

HOST: That’s right. That’s right. There’s been a lot of talk about the relationship between the Coalition and the United Australia Party. Can I get your thoughts though on this speech that the Greens leader Richard Di Natale is going to give today, because as reported on the front page of The Australian, he’s going to say this: “My message to Bill Shorten is that you can’t achieve bipartisanship with the Liberals.” This is on climate policy. Then he says: “So I say to Labor: don’t follow the take it or leave it approach of Kevin Rudd in 2009. But let us work together just like we did with Julia Gillard in 2011 to deliver a climate policy.” Now raising the prospect of a sort of surprise carbon tax-style approach to fixing climate policy, that’s not really what Labor would want to be pursuing in the middle of an election campaign, is it?

ALBANESE: Well that’s why you have here a Greens Party Australian alliance (inaudible) to try and up Richard Di Natale’s profile. The fact is that the Greens Party are really struggling with the election campaign. They are split as under in Victoria and NSW. The NSW Election was only in March, and they’ve already lost… one of their MPs has resigned, because he can’t work with them, because he says that they’re not actually interested in the environment. They’re interested in fringe issues, and Di Natale is obviously looking for some sort of relevance. This isn’t the first time that he has said…

HOST: But the point that should be made, and should be addressed by you though isn’t it: I mean if it’s good enough for Labor to argue, arguably rightly too, that a Coalition Government could end up beholden to the UAP on the basis of preference deals, isn’t there also a risk that Labor, because you are preferencing the Greens, you could end up beholden to them, couldn’t you?

ALBANESE: Not at all. And we’ll put forward our policies that we’re taking to the election. And for him to raise 2009 – I mean, the truth is, that we wouldn’t have had 10 years, a decade of climate policy wars, and uncertainty for investors, had the Greens Party bothered to actually vote for a climate change policy in 2009. And they’ve already said they won’t vote for our policy. They’ve gone out there and tried to differentiate themselves. And at the same time, they’re trying to associate with us with this speech. They can’t make up their minds. What’s clear is that they’re just trying to seek some form of relevance. What is clear in this election is that Scott Morrison has cuddled up to Clive Palmer and to One Nation. I’m here in Tasmania where the Nats are giving preferences to One Nation. They’re doing it across the country. Michael McCormack yesterday said that the Nationals’ policies were pretty much the same as One Nation’s. Well we’re seeing One Nation fall. Usually they wait until after the election before they fall apart. Some candidates – people change their political allegiances. But they haven’t waited that long. And of course, Clive Palmer’s policies are off the scale promising the world with…

HOST: We want to get on to Clive Palmer with Christopher Pyne, who joins us on the line now. Chris, good morning to you.

CHRISTOPHER PYNE: Good morning gentlemen. Sorry I was a bit late.

HOST: No, that’s not a problem. We want to ask you to answer something on behalf of our listeners Christopher. Why is it that those among them that want to vote for Scott Morrison and your Party, why is it in their best interest to preference Clive Palmer, as you are requesting them to – a person whose Party has a stated policy to tear up the Murray-Darling Basin Plan?

PYNE: Well our preferences don’t get distributed. So therefore, it’s completely, really a moot point. And the only preferences that get distributed are the ones that come third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth. Not the people who come first or second. So Labor and Liberal preferences very, very rarely ever get distributed. Now what Anthony has just tried to do of course, is distract everybody from the fact that Labor always does a deal with the Greens in the end to form Government, as they did when Julia Gillard was the Prime Minister. And that makes them a very dangerous choice. But our preferences won’t be distributed. But we’re not going to preference the Greens, because they want death taxes. They want to phase out all coal in the way that’ll destroy…

HOST: What about in the Upper House?

PYNE: Well in the Upper House…

ALBANESE: That’s where it matters.

HOST: Yes.

PYNE: Well, they’re preferencing the Greens in the Upper House.

ALBANESE: And you’re preferencing Clive Palmer.

HOST: You’re preferencing Clive Palmer, and it puts him in a position to potentially have some influence and say about the future of something like the Murray-Darling Basin Authority.

PYNE: Well, with preferences in the Senate, it’s often a choice between the devil and the deep blue sea. Now Labor’s chosen to choose the Greens, because they like the Greens. Now Anthony personally has always attacked the Greens in his own seat particularly in Grayndler, because they’re a big threat to him. But Labor always cuddles up with the Greens, and that means higher unemployment, lower economic growth, mad policies that will damage our national security, tearing up the US alliance…

HOST: Is tearing up the Murray-Darling Basin Plan a mad policy?

PYNE: Well of course not. Of course we’re not going to tear up the Murray-Darling Basin policy.

HOST: But is it a mad policy?

PYNE: Well that’s Clive Palmer’s policy apparently, but we support the Murray-Darling Basin Plan. We’ve implemented it, and it’s the best plan possible for South Australia, and we have to hold fast to it. Now just because Clive Palmer has that view, number one, he’s not elected yet by the way. He doesn’t have any representatives in the Parliament. The Greens have got eight Senators …

ALBANESE: You’re doing your best to get him there.

PYNE: They have eight senators and they’ve got a member in the Lower House. Now Labor is always happy to do an alliance with the Greens, because they know that they’ll support their policies. And the issues around Clive Palmer are really all hypothetical, because he hasn’t elected anybody yet.

HOST: Hey Chris, can we just get your thoughts on a breaking story this morning, which is that the Liberal Party has had to scrap the candidacy of one of its aspiring MPs in the Victorian seat of Isaacs, after he published a whole bunch of pretty torrid anti-Islamic remarks on social media. Are you happy to see the back of this man?

PYNE: Well I don’t know what the remarks were, but I would say in general, this happens unfortunately in campaigns. Labor had to scrap their candidate in the Northern Territory for the Senate, because of his anti-Semitic statements on social media just in this campaign. Of course, Pauline Hanson’s had to scrap her Senate candidate in Queensland, because of the video and the remarks he was making in a strip club in Washington.  And now if that’s what’s happened, and I’m not aware of it, but if that’s what happened, well if people do the crime they have to do the time, and that means he had to go as a candidate. But I’m not aware of the details about that. But in democracies these things happen and you’ve got to act quickly, and if that’s what’s happened, the Party has done the right thing.

HOST: Chris Pyne, Anthony Albanese, that’s our third Two Tribes of the campaign; two to go, as we get down to the business end as Australia Decides 2019.

PYNE: What happens then? What happens to us after that?

HOST: I don’t know.

HOST: What does happen to you after that Christopher? That’s what we’re wondering.

PYNE: We’re going to get boned. We’re going to be boned.

ALBANESE: I’m not going to be. I’ll still be here. Then it’ll be One Tribe.

PYNE: They’ve been trying to get rid of you for bloody years.

ALBANESE: I can argue with myself.

HOST: We’ll take that offline. We’ll take that offline fellas.

HOST: Good question though, good question for us.

HOST: Yes, have to resolve post-election. Chris Pyne, Anthony Albanese – always fun on a Wednesday morning for Two Tribes.