Subjects: Liberal chaos, Parliamentary sitting calendar, female representation, International Reggae Day.
KARL STEFANOVIC: Welcome to the show. It’s good to have your company. The Liberal Party has plunged deeper into chaos this week following the resignation of MP Julia Banks, sending the Morrison Government further into a minority and bracing for more defections. For more I’m joined by Anthony Albanese and Christopher Pyne from Adelaide. Morning guys, how are you?
CHRISTOPHER PYNE: Good morning. It’s nice to be with you.
ANTHONY ALBANESE: Good morning.
STEFANOVIC: Christopher do you ever feel like you’re pushing (bleep) up a hill?
PYNE: Look politics is an exciting business Karl and I’ve been doing it for a quarter of a century, as has Anthony, and I’ve been in politics when we’ve been in much worse positions than this. In 2001 we were 58-42 in the polls and we were written off and eight months later we won the election and let’s not forget next year in April we’re going to release a surplus Budget – the first surplus Budget since the Howard-Costello era.
STEFANOVIC: It doesn’t really matter, it’s all white noise. They’re not going to vote for you.
PYNE: Look I don’t agree with that at all. I mean we’ve got six months to go before the election. Anybody who decides the election is over – I know Labor has – Labor is absolutely overconfident. But let’s not forget John Hewson was going to be the Prime Minister of Australia, Karl. The media and the political commentariat had completely written the Keating Government off and they won in March 1993. So it’s a lot to go between now and the next election.
STEFANOVIC: Well him not knowing the price of bread with the GST probably had something to do it – or a cake or whatever it was. Listen just in terms of what you’re promising ahead of this election you’re also talking, I think in the Adelaide Advertiser today, about possible tax cuts. Is that what you’re going to do? And what bracket will they be? And when will they come into play?
PYNE: Well we would welcome a contest with Labor over tax because Labor has a $200 billion wrecking ball of taxes they want to put through the economy – really hurting older people, pensioners and retirees, renters, homeowners, people who want to invest in the property market. They’re going to reduce house prices and of course tax us more. So we’ll welcome a contest with Labor on tax.
STEFANOVIC: No but when are you going to introduce your tax cuts for the working class?
PYNE: Well we did that in this year’s Budget. We’ve done it in previous Budgets. We’re always open to more tax reform because we believe in giving people back their own money whereas Labor regards it as the Government’s money.
STEFANOVIC: Albo, your response?
ALBANESE: Well the Government’s getting increasingly hysterical as they get more and more desperate. What we saw this week was they lost the Member for Wentworth as a Government Member on Monday. They lost the Member for Chisholm as a Government Member on Tuesday. They’re going to lose the Member for Hughes – Craig Kelly’s going to go to the Crossbenches as well. This is a Government that has decided it is so bad they’re not going to allow Parliament to sit next year and it will sit – from next Thursday Parliament will sit for a grand total of 10 days in eight months.
PYNE: That’s a lie actually. That’s a complete lie.
ALBANESE: It’s absolutely true.
PYNE: The schedule between now and June next year –
ALBANESE: And he knows it. And he interrupts –
PYNE: We have nine sitting weeks, actually 10 sitting weeks because of next week as well. So that’s an absolute bald faced lie.
ALBANESE: You know Christopher’s in trouble when he interrupts. He got the first three questions and he interrupts when he’s desperate.
PYNE: Don’t tell lies.
STEFANOVIC: So if it’s not 10, it’s 15 or 16? That’s still not a lot.
PYNE: It’s 10 sitting weeks between now and June next year.
ALBANESE: The election will be in May.
ALBANESE: The election’s in May –
PYNE: You want us to cancel the election?
ALBANESE: It will be called in April.
PYNE: Do you want us to the cancel the election?
ALBANESE: No you’ll be cancelling Parliament.
PYNE: Is that what you want to do? I don’t think so.
ALBANESE: The more he yells, the more he’s in trouble.
PYNE: You’re not telling the truth Anthony. As much as I love you, you’re not telling the truth.
STEFANOVIC: Bit of love in the morning. Albo, for you, your party looks like it’s going to win this next election but there are still serious issues with Bill Shorten. He hasn’t got a pulse in terms of ratings?
ALBANESE: Well the fact is we’re ahead and today we’re putting –
STEFANOVIC: How does he not measure up against Scott Morrison?
ALBANESE: Well what we’re doing is putting out policies each and every day. And today we have a contemporary music policy. It’ll make a huge difference – making a real difference to people who want to go to musical or sporting events, stopping the bots getting onto sites and taking up to 30 per cent of tickets, putting a limit on new ticket sales or resales of 110 per cent of a sale price. They’re the sort of policies that will make a real difference. We are a Government in waiting, preparing for government. They’re acting like an Opposition in exile sitting on the Government benches.
STEFANOVIC: Christopher, one thing that came up this week again, reared its head again is: ‘I am woman hear me roar, in numbers too little to ignore’. When are you going to have equal representation in Parliament?
PYNE: Well we’re preselecting a lot more women across Australia. We have women leading –
STEFANOVIC: When will you have equal representation?
PYNE: Well Karl, can I actually answer the question or are you just going to interrupt?
STEFANOVIC: Well if you answer it and don’t waffle on.
PYNE: Well I’m not waffling on actually, I’m answering your question. We have women leading the Senate ticket in Western Australia, in South Australia, in New South Wales. We preselected a new woman for the Senate ticket in Queensland, two in Tasmania on the Senate ticket, two women in the Northern Territory seats – both of them are winnable. We’re preselecting women all across Australia in winnable seats. We ironically preselected a woman in Chisholm to replace Julia Banks. So we are setting about, on merit, choosing women for the next election and women’s representation will spike after the election when those women get elected in the Senate and across the country.
STEFANOVIC: Why don’t you just save us all a lot of heartache and let Julie Bishop run the show?
PYNE: Well we have a Leader, Karl –
ALBANESE: Because she might be successful. She’s popular.
PYNE: It’s Scott Morrison and we’re not changing the Leader again.
STEFANOVIC: Are you sure?
PYNE: I am.
ALBANESE: One of things we woke up to this week, isn’t that they’re worried about Parliament sitting because of what we do, they’re worried about Parliament sitting because their party room at the same time.
PYNE: Labor’s very cocky.
ALBANESE: Every time the party room meets it’s chaos and dysfunction.
PYNE: Labor already has the election in their grasp apparently.
STEFANOVIC: On a much lighter note Christopher, I promised to ask this in light of the fact that it’s I think, International Reggae Day today. What is your favourite reggae song? I mean you don’t come across as a Rasta to me, but what is your favourite reggae song, Christopher Pyne?
PYNE: Well I like all kinds of music actually, Karl, and I do like reggae. I like Buffalo Soldier and I like I Shot the Sheriff.
STEFANOVIC: But did you shoot the Deputy?
PYNE: Boom boom.
ALBANESE: They did. They did in fact. That’s why Julie Bishop’s on the back bench.
PYNE: Boom boom Karl. Boom tish.
STEFANOVIC: Just loosen the shoulders up a little bit. Thank you guys. Have a great weekend.
PYNE: Thank you.
ALBANESE: Good to be with you.
FRIDAY, 30 NOVEMBER, 2018
Leader of the Australian Labor Party, MP for Grayndler, Rabbitohs Life Member. Authorised by Anthony Albanese, ALP, Canberra.