Apr 28, 2017

Transcript of television interview – The Today Show

Subjects: Australians arrested in Lebanon, Malcolm Turnbull, gas

LISA WILKINSON: Time now to have our weekly chat with Shadow Infrastructure and Transport Minister Anthony Albanese here in the studio and Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne joining us from Adelaide this morning. Gentlemen, good morning.


CHRISTOPHER PYNE: Good morning, Lisa.

WILKINSON: We will get to your thoughts on our re-branded Prime Minister in just a moment but first Christopher, can I ask you for your response to the arrest in Lebanon of three dual national jihadists who have been accused of fighting for Islamic State? If they’re found guilty Christopher, will their Australian citizenship be revoked?

PYNE: Well, Lisa there is a process of course through which the Minister for Immigration and the government considers the citizenship of dual citizens who have been found guilty of crimes that we regard as serious enough to take away their citizenship. That’s something we have done and of course we’ll do it again if we think it is warranted.

Of course, it’s very serious for Australians to be fighting overseas in areas that are designated as no-go zones so we’ll look very carefully at what those three have been doing and of course give them a very fair hearing but we will take action if necessary to protect Australians from potential terrorists.

WILKINSON: Alright, well let’s move on. As I mentioned a huge week for Malcolm Turnbull, first announcing a crackdown on foreign workers and tightening of citizenship rules, then taking on the big power companies, ordering them to put Australian consumers ahead of foreign buyers. Anthony, I’ll start with you. You can’t deny these are pretty popular policies that the Prime Minister’s jumping on.

ALBANESE: What we need isn’t popular policies. What we need is policies of substance that last more than just a couple of hours. Yesterday morning Malcolm Turnbull said that gas prices would be halved. That didn’t last ’til the afternoon. What we need is a long term┬ánational interest test for gas so that Australians do get first use of that gas where it’s appropriate.

The second thing we need to deal with our energy security is a national emissions intensity scheme. That’s what all the experts say and it’s about time that Malcolm Turnbull got away from this 24 hour cycle and actually had policies in place that were of substance and that lasted.

WILKINSON: Christopher, your response?

PYNE: He knows as well as we do that what we announced yesterday, the Australian Domestic Gas Security Mechanism, will ensure that gas companies can’t send gas overseas in exports unless the supply is guaranteed here in Australia, because it’s our gas, and we expect to have domestic supplies at prices that we can afford and that businesses can afford and the government is taking the necessary action to secure those supplies, and those prices for businesses and for consumers. It is another good step in the right direction from the Turnbull Government and Labor should welcome it rather than being churlish about it.

ALBANESE: It’s a step that we’ve called for. We went to the last election calling for a permanent national interest test. But we also called for an emissions intensity scheme. Unless you have both mechanisms, then you won’t get the long term solution that’s required.

PYNE: Seconds ago it was a bad idea because it was our idea and now apparently it’s your idea.

ALBANESE: Our idea was for a permanent national interest test. That isn’t what you’ve done. It’s what you should do as well as having an emissions intensity scheme.

PYNE: Labor just wants to push up the prices of electricity as usual, as they did when they were in government last time.

ALBANESE: You said you’d fix it all when you got rid of the carbon price, the carbon price went, and prices –

PYNE: When we got rid of the carbon tax it was the biggest drop in electricity prices in recorded history.

WILKINSON: Well they’ve certainly been jacked up since then, Christopher.

ALBANESE: They’ve gone up. They’ve gone through the roof on your watch, Christopher.

PYNE: It was worse under you.

WILKINSON: We’re going to have to leave it there but there’s a moment that I cannot resist here. It is very quick. I just want to show the fashion elegance of one Anthony Albanese. Please note the orange tie, but he’s wearing high-vis in his heart. Look at that.

ALBANESE: Matching, Christopher.

WILKINSON: There you go.

PYNE: I’m not sure that that is fashion.

ALBANESE: It’s been very popular in the studio this morning. Karl is very jealous.


PYNE: Adelaide people are a bit more conservative.

WILKINSON: Gentlemen, thank you.