Sep 21, 2018

Transcript of Television Interview – The Today Show – Friday, 21 September, 2018

Subjects: Scott Morrison; education; Peter Dutton; aged care; Rabbitohs; Redlegs; Roosters.

KARL STEFANOVIC: Welcome back to the program, good to have your company. Scott Morrison has announced an extra $4.3 billion for private schools over the next 10 years in a bid to finally end the funding war. For more I’m joined by Anthony Albanese and Christopher Pyne from Canberra. Good morning guys.


CHRISTOPHER PYNE: Good morning, Karl.

STEFANOVIC: Let me start with this – Albo, isn’t Scott Morrison doing a good job?

ALBANESE: In whose world? This is a Government that’s in chaos.

STEFANOVIC: He’s getting stuff done.

ALBANESE: Well what he’s done according to the New South Wales Liberal Government, is recreate the education wars. Here we have this massive injection of cash but only to Catholic and independent schools. Public schools, where most kids go in Australia, are missing out. It’s changing again, moving away from the formula. And he should look after all children, not just some.

STEFANOVIC: So you would take away this funding?

ALBANESE: No. What we would do is give additional funding to public school students as well. Every kid deserves the best opportunity in life, not just some.

STEFANOVIC: Okay, Christopher. In terms of the NSW Government, so they’re not going to tick this off. So what are you going to do about that? That ends it doesn’t it?

PYNE: Well Anthony of course has the Labor money tree. His solution to everything is to give money to as many people as ask for it. The truth is, that we did have a announcement of an education reform about half a year ago. We then relooked at the formula because the Catholic and small independent Christian schools said that the formula wasn’t working. In fact we were told that the formula could be improved. The $4.3 billion of extra funding is because of that change to the formula. It’s a very good outcome and of course funding for public schools or state schools – which are the responsibility of the state governments by the way, goes up every year for the next four years, and into the future, by billions and billions of dollars. So there’s a lot more money and what we should have to focus on of course, is outcomes. Not just the money, but the outcomes for students which Labor never focuses on.

STEFANOVIC: So essentially you’re looking after – or Scott Morrison is looking after, kids in Catholic schools like his own?

PYNE: No. His children don’t go to a Catholic school, Karl. They go to the local Baptist school. No that’s not what’s happening. We had a formula. The formula was improved. The outcome of the formula is fair funding based on income.

ALBANESE: There was a formula and you threw it out!

STEFANOVIC: Are public schools going to get any more, or is it going to stay the same? Because if they don’t you are pitting private against public.

PYNE: Not at all. Because the funding for public schools was enormously increased in the reforms introduced by the Turnbull Government and what we’ve done of course is take our share of the funding of state schools to a set 20 per cent. It was actually well below that under Labor. Because of that the funding to state schools has massively increased, but the formula that was developed was hurting the Catholic and small independent Christian schools, that’s been fixed and we can move on, stop arguing about the money and focus on the outcomes …

ALBANESE: But you can’t move on, that’s the point.

PYNE: Outcomes have slipped. And the NSW Government should focus on outcomes, rather than cash.

ALBANESE: They are focused on outcomes, that’s the point.

STEFANOVIC: The problem is, Chris, they have said no, they have said no to this. So that effectively kills this boost doesn’t it?

PYNE: No it doesn’t. Not at all. I’ve heard state governments say no to this and that – I’ve never seen them say no to extra money.

ALBANESE: Well they’re not getting extra money, that’s the point here.

PYNE: But they will be because those schools are in their states.

ALBANESE: As part of this formula, there’s a $1.2 billion fund that no one seems to know how it’s going to be allocated or what it’s for …

PYNE: You’re just disappointed that we’ve fixed the problem.

ALBANESE: It’s been described as a slush fund.

PYNE: You’re just sorry that we’ve fixed it. That’s what you’re disappointed about.

ALBANESE: What we’ve got here – we had a formula with all schools getting a level of funding. Seventeen billion dollars was cut from that. What they’ve done is put some of it back to private and Catholic and independent schools. But they haven’t put the money back for public schools and that’s where most disadvantaged kids are.

STEFANOVIC: So how much more would you put into public schools?

ALBANESE: We would put the total of $17 billion back.

STEFANOVIC: Where would you find that?

ALBANESE: Well we’ve made the funding announcements, we’ve made …

PYNE: Where is the money coming from?

ALBANESE: We have made a whole range of financial statements, which will put us ahead of you …

PYNE: Just funny money, empty promises.

ALBANESE: You can’t have it both ways. You can’t say we’re increasing taxes and changing revenue …

PYNE: Funny money, empty promises …

ALBANESE: And then say it’s not real. You can’t have both arguments.

PYNE: Nobody trusts your bloke to deliver.

STEFANOVIC: Hang on a second. What’s funny money?

ALBANESE: I have no idea what he’s talking about. He’s lost it.

PYNE: They’re making up figures, Karl – $17 billion apparently.

ALBANESE: It’s been a long week for Christopher.

PYNE: Anthony’s got $17 billion to spend.

ALBANESE: The Government have been busy trying to defend Peter Dutton. He shouldn’t even be in the Parliament, let alone be a Minister. They’ve had this crisis …

STEFANOVIC: You tried your best but you didn’t kill him off.

ALBANESE: Well, Christopher tried to kill him off too – a couple of weeks ago in the leadership ballot.

PYNE: Labor has had two poor weeks, Karl.

ALBANESE: So it’s been around a while. This is a Government yet again – another week, another member has said that they’re going to resign because of bullying from their own party, this time the Member for Gilmore, Ann Sudmalis. This is chaos.

PYNE: But if you’re right and your conversations about inside the bubble are true, how come your bloke is behind Scott Morrison as the preferred Prime Minister? All you do in Labor is talk about what’s inside the bubble.

ALBANESE: Well, you’re way behind when it comes to the vote …

STEFANOVIC: Just in relation – back to my original point …

ALBANESE: I reckon …


ALBANESE: I reckon that the people who live in Nowra …


ALBANESE: It isn’t inside the bubble, the fact that their local member after two terms isn’t going to run again because they’ve been bullied out of the job.

STEFANOVIC: Can I say this, though. Scott Morrison, he is much more of a threat isn’t he, to you?

ALBANESE: I think Malcolm Turnbull, frankly, was the most effective person the Liberals could have had.

STEFANOVIC: Scott Morrison is a better retail politician than Malcolm Turnbull. He’s much more of a threat to you and he’s getting stuff done. Are you concerned about that?

ALBANESE: I don’t think that’s right, at all. I think Scott Morrison leads a rabble and we see that in Parliament. All week we see people pulling out of the team.

STEFANOVIC: He’s going so bad, but he’s still beating Bill Shorten in the polls.

PYNE: We’ve had two weeks focusing on aged care, on strawberries and small businesses and family businesses, on reducing income taxes, increasing jobs …

ALBANESE: Aged care? We called for a Royal Commission before you …

PYNE: All you’ve done is ask one question after another …

ALBANESE: Education, we said that they shouldn’t have cut funding.

STEFANOVIC: You two are just talking all over each other today.

PYNE: You know he’s talked over me all morning, Karl. I have not had a go all morning, Anthony has talked constantly.

ALBANESE: Poor Christopher.

PYNE: Because he is under pressure.

STEFANOVIC: Is Bill worried about Scott Morrison? More than Malcolm Turnbull?

ALBANESE: Not at all. What we’re doing is putting forward policies. This week again we had a policy to give women a fairer go when it comes to their superannuation.

STEFANOVIC: Scott Morrison might just give you another chance, Albo.

ALBANESE: No. The fact is that what I want to be is a minister and we’re on track to achieve that. We’re ready for government. We’re setting the agenda. And when you look at announcements like the …

PYNE: What agenda? What agenda are you setting?

ALBANESE:  The Aged Care Royal Commission, who called for that?

PYNE: That was months and months ago. You haven’t done anything lately.

ALBANESE: That’s right – it takes you months to catch up.

PYNE: What have you done lately, nothing.

STEFANOVIC: All right gentleman.

ALBANESE: Women in super, this week.

PYNE: Nope, all you do is talk about inside the bubble.

ALBANESE: It’s a $400 million announcement.

STEFANOVIC: Have a great weekend and good luck to your respective footy teams.

ALBANESE: Go the Rabbitohs.

PYNE: Go the Redlegs on Sunday in the SANFL final.


PYNE: That’s my team.

STEFANOVIC: Good to see them back, the Redlegs.

PYNE: Norwood.

ALBANESE: The Redlegs?


STEFANOVIC: We talked about this last week.

ALBANESE: What sort of a name is the Redlegs?

STEFANOVIC: Well, it’s after he’s been on the beach, you know.

PYNE: They’re 140 years old so don’t be rude.

ALBANESE: Oh, well, good on them.

STEFANOVIC: Yeah. Don’t be rude, Albo.

ALBANESE: Who are they playing?

PYNE: They’re playing North Adelaide, but that’s been a controversy of its own.

STEFANOVIC: It has been a controversy.

PYNE: Because they had 19 players on the field at one point.

STEFANOVIC: Yeah, that was ridiculous. That shouldn’t have been allowed.

ALBANESE: I’ll go for your mob Christopher, just for old times’ sake.

PYNE: Go the Rabbitohs.

STEFANOVIC: Finally we’ve got peace in the world.

ALBANESE: Old times’ sake.

STEFANOVIC: Thank you guys.

ALBANESE: He’s on board the Rabbitohs.

PYNE: I am, because of you.

STEFANOVIC: And peace broke out across the land.

ALBANESE: We’re having chicken tomorrow night.