Oct 12, 2018

Transcript of Television Interview – The Today Show – Friday, 12 October 2018

Subjects; Alex Turnbull comments on Wentworth by-election, Peter Costello comments on Liberal economic narrative, Labor’s education plan, Governor General.

KARL STEFANOVIC: Malcolm Turnbull’s son has blasted the Federal Government and called on people not to vote for the Liberals in the Wentworth by-election. This is Alex Turnbull – Malcolm 2.0.

ALEX TURNBULL: If you want to send a signal as to which way the Liberal Party is going and your displeasure with where it is going, then this is your opportunity. Don’t vote for the Liberal Party in the Wentworth by-election. If you want to pull the Liberal Party back from the brink, it’s the one clear signal you can send.

STEFANOVIC: Well for more on that I’m joined by Anthony Albanese and Christopher Pyne. Good morning guys. Nice to see you.


CHRISTOPHER PYNE: Good morning. Nice to be with you.

STEFANOVIC: Who needs enemies, Chris?

PYNE: Look it’s a democracy, Karl, and if Alex Turnbull wants to campaign against the Liberal Party – a vote for Kerryn Phelps is a vote for the Labor Party effectively. It would remove our one seat majority and cast the country into deep instability in the Parliament.

STEFANOVIC: Is it damaging?

PYNE: Well obviously if we lose Wentworth to Kerryn Phelps then we’ve lost it to the Labor Party. And that means that the country will be more unstable than it is and we need stability to grow our economy, to create jobs, to settle the country.

STEFANOVIC: What’s he got on his liver then?

PYNE: Well you’d have to ask Alex. I mean I know Alex, he’s a great bloke. But unfortunately on this occasion he has chosen to campaign against the Liberal Party, which means a campaign for instability and we don’t need instability right now. We need stability. And Labor is backing Kerryn Phelps, they’re peopling her campaign with staff. And that is a vote for Labor if you vote for Kerryn Phelps.

STEFANOVIC: It sounds like to me Alex Turnbull’s going to have a tilt at some point in politics and it may well be that seat down the track sometime. But he might be going for your party Anthony?

ALBANESE: No. We’ve got a candidate and he’s very good – Tim Murray.


ALBANESE: But I do laugh at Christopher Pyne having the gall to come on national TV and say: ‘What we need is an end to instability’. I mean this is a mob that knocked off Alex Turnbull’s dad just a month ago and no one can say why it happened. That’s why they’ve got a problem in Wentworth. That’s why they’ve got a problem right around the country. Peter Costello was out spearing them yesterday – the former Treasurer. So they’re taking a lot of hits from within and we’ll wait and see what happens next week. Could be another spill.

PYNE: It’s a mystery as to why your bloke isn’t there for the preferred Prime Minister, Anthony, isn’t it?

ALBANESE: Well we could see another spill on your side next week. You are at war with yourselves.

PYNE: So when are you going to have a go at the top job finally?

STEFANOVIC: That’s a fair enough question.

ALBANESE: What I want is an election so I can be a Minister in a Shorten Labor Government.

STEFANOVIC: A Prime Minister.

ALBANESE: A Minister.

PYNE: Nobody believes you.

STEFANOVIC: Chris, as was mentioned by your colleague, the world’s best Treasurer, Peter Costello, has unleashed describing how your party lost your economic narrative, saying if you can’t deliver it this term what about in three terms time, it’s a parallel universe what they are going through, if anybody believes it you’re just silly. I hate to break it to you, Peter Costello is 100% right.

PYNE: No he’s not actually. The truth is that our economic narrative is working. We have the highest growth of any country amongst the G7 nations. We’ve created over a million jobs in the last five years, including a record over 400,000 in the last 12 months. We’re getting back to a surplus budget earlier than anticipated because of growth.

STEFANOVIC: Now you’re back on track. You were consumed by your own internals, this is what happened. You just went off the rails didn’t you? I mean this is the narrative we needed to hear maybe two months ago. Malcolm would still be Prime Minister.

PYNE: There are jobs coming. We are getting back to a surplus budget. We are reducing taxes. We announced yesterday bringing forward the tax cuts for small business, which Labor opposes. So at the next election you have a very clear choice – lower taxes under the Liberal Party and the National Party or higher taxes under Bill Shorten.

STEFANOVIC: Are you going to tick off Scott Morrison’s small business tax changes?

ALBANESE: Well what we’ll do is examine it in the normal fashion.

STEFANOVIC: You have to know. Yay or nay?

ALBANESE: Well we’ll look at the detail of what they’ve announced because they announce new policies – they’ll have a different position tomorrow. We support small business but we also want to make sure we can deliver on education, we can deliver on health, we can deliver…

PYNE: They want higher tax for small business.

ALBANESE: This week we’ve had preschool for three and four year olds. We’ve had another $14 billion for public schools.

PYNE: All requires more taxes.

STEFANOVIC: Really quickly before we go – so finally Sir Angus Houston – is he the next Governor General? Can you announce that this morning Chris?

PYNE: Well there will be an announcement about the new Governor General next year I assume. There’s no particular hurry. Sir Angus Houston’s a tremendous guy. I’ve worked with him very closely in defence and defence industry. I’m sure there are a number of good candidates and it’s not my call.

STEFANOVIC: Julie Bishop?

PYNE: I think she’s great. I’ve said before I think she’s tremendous.

ALBANESE: That’s why she’s sitting up the back.

STEFANOVIC: She’s causing trouble.

ALBANESE: Sir Angus Houston is a great Australian.

STEFANOVIC: Alright good stuff. Thank you guys. Have a great weekend. Appreciate it.