Jun 1, 2018

Transcript of Television Interview – The Today Show – Friday, 1 June 2018

Subjects; Pauline Hanson, company tax cuts, Greg Hunt, Amazon

KARL STEFANOVIC: Welcome back to the program. Well it was an extraordinary TV moment, Pauline Hanson breaking down in tears on live television accusing a One Nation colleague of stabbing her in the back. It’s difficult to watch. Take a look.

PAULINE HANSON: You know, this isn’t the first time Brian’s … Brian’s stabbed me in the back. And that goes back a long time ago. And you think I … This hurts me. It hurts me deeply because … It means so much to me what I’m trying to do.

STEFANOVIC: Joining me now is Anthony Albanese and in Adelaide Christopher Pyne. Good morning guys, thank you for your company this morning.


CHRISTOPHER PYNE: Good morning Karl.

STEFANOVIC: Christopher, to you first of all, One Nation now divided. Can you believe she was betrayed like that?

PYNE: Look it’s never nice to see anybody under so much pressure, obviously feeling it on national television and I’m sorry that Pauline became emotional about what’s obviously hurt her very deeply. But I don’t know what’s going on in One Nation, that’s a matter for the One Nation Senators. I know that some of them obviously want to support the Government’s attempts to help the economy and grow businesses and jobs and have the company tax cuts. Obviously others don’t. They’ll work that out. I hope they also work out their personal relationships because, you know politics is politics, but friendship is more important in many respects.

STEFANOVIC: She made a good point during that, just a short time after that, saying that people are sick of politicians not achieving anything. About going to Canberra and not actually doing anything. I think she’s right.

PYNE: Well we are achieving a lot in the Federal Government. We’ve created over a million jobs in the last four and half years, 415,000 in the last 12 months. In my area of defence industry we are transforming our strategic industrial base with $90 billion of ship building and $200 billion of military capabilities. So, we are achieving a great deal. I know that Pauline really takes her job very seriously and we’ve got big decisions to make between now and the end of June.

STEFANOVIC: Ok. Albo, does it make you a little bit now more nervous now that these company tax cuts have a higher chance of getting through?

ALBANESE: No. The Government is struggling to get through its agenda because it’s not a good one. And if they want to be out there arguing for tax cuts for big business: we’re happy to be out there arguing for funding for education, funding for health, funding for infrastructure and helping people out by having larger tax cuts for low and middle income earners.

STEFANOVIC: When are you going to lead the Labor Party?

ALBANESE: Look, we’re ahead in the polls Karl. We’re ahead. And we’ve been ahead now for 32 Newspolls in a row.

STEFANOVIC: Bill’s not tracking very well at all. When are you going to take over?

ALBANESE: Well one of the things about the Labor Party is that we’re focused on the needs of the Australian people, not focused on our internals …

STEFANOVIC: Come on Anthony.

ALBANESE: … unlike the Government and One Nation.

STEFANOVIC: Anthony grab the bull by the horns.

ALBANESE: Everyone else is melting down. We’re just focused.

STEFANOVIC: Anthony, it’s your time.

ALBANESE: We’re very focused.

PYNE: He gave a very statesman-like speech this week in the Parliament about how we should all be working together and be less partisan, which is not like his boss.

STEFANOVIC: You can smell it can’t you? Christopher, you can smell it, that change of leadership. You’ve seen it before.

PYNE: It’s very much in the air. I’ve seen it before. It’s very much in the air, Karl.

ALBANESE: Well he might be seeing it, because he is looking at his own party at the moment where Malcolm Turnbull is really struggling.

PYNE: No, I don’t think so…

STEFANOVIC: Malcolm is going a bit better.

PYNE: It’s all right; your secret is safe with us.

STEFANOVIC: Okay, Greg Hunt has been grilled in Parliament after it was revealed that he swore at a small town mayor and grandmother telling her to get over herself. Chris, this happened in December. Why has it taken nearly six months for him to apologise?

PYNE: Well he said yesterday that he should have apologised earlier. He has fully fessed up to that. He’s said that it was entirely his responsibility and he did that in the national parliament, which I think most people found a good thing for him to do. Obviously he has said he is sorry. I hope we can all now move on.

STEFANOVIC: Okay, let’s talk about Amazon really quickly. Anthony, they’ve slapped a blockage on Aussie shoppers, which will see them locked out from buying their favourite goods on Amazon’s US and UK platforms. What a massive dummy spit by Amazon.

ALBANESE: Well it is, but it also is an error by the Government.

PYNE: Rubbish.

ALBANESE: It was pointed out at the time that they were getting this wrong.

PYNE: That’s outrageous.

ALBANESE: That they weren’t on top of the detail.

STEFANOVIC: It’s long overdue isn’t it?

ALBANESE: Of course it is. But we need to make sure that we get the policy right so that consumers actually get more choice to drive down prices. What’s happening now is that they’re being locked out of the market.

PYNE: Labor’s got this wrong, Karl.

ALBANESE: Well quite clearly you’ve got it wrong.

PYNE: And they’ve made a bad call. Amazon should pay their tax just like every other company. Aussie retailers should not be disadvantaged in favour of multinationals. Australian taxpayers should expect multinationals to pay their full tax. Labor’s made the wrong call. They should be backing the Government to make sure that Aussie retailers are treated the same.

ALBANESE: Well the Government’s got it wrong. They need to get the detail of policy right.

PYNE: You never got this right. When Bill Shorten was the Minister for Financial Services he did nothing about the GST being charged on internet sales. It’s not fair that you can buy things on the internet from overseas and not pay GST but you can go into a bookstore in Australia and you have to pay it.

ALBANESE: When you look at what’s happening with the internet, you and I both know that what we’ve seen in recent times is an explosion, in terms of the rise that is on and the rise of these companies.

PYNE: You’ve made the wrong call. You should be backing the Government.

STEFANOVIC: You should be backing the Government on this though.

PYNE: And you should be backing Australian consumers and taxpayers.

ALBANESE: We support international companies paying their fair share of tax and we support Australian retailers, but we need to get it right. The Government has got it wrong.

STEFANOVIC: Thank you gentlemen. And just quickly, a quick message for Georgie. It’s her birthday.

ALBANESE: Happy birthday.

PYNE: Happy birthday Georgie. It’s nice turning 30 again.

ALBANESE: You’re my favourite Today presenter.

GEORGIE GARDNER: That’ll get you everywhere Albo.

PYNE: I love you all. I wake up with Today.

GARDNER: Thank you Christopher.

SYLVIA JEFFREYS: Albo does have good taste though, to be fair.

GARDNER: That has made my day, thank you both very much.