Subjects; Malcolm Turnbull’s audio recording, Labor’s policy to extend preschool access to 3 year olds, Pyne in Afghanistan, Theresa May
KARL STEFANOVIC: Well “miserable ghosts”, that what former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull called Kevin Rudd and Tony Abbott in a leaked audio clip this week on Nine News. For more I’m joined by Anthony Albanese and Christopher Pyne from Adelaide. Good morning to you both.
CHRISTOPHER PYNE: Good morning.
ANTHONY ALBANESE: Good morning.
STEFANOVIC: Albo, you miserable ghost.
ALBANESE: I don’t think anymore was referring to me.
PYNE: No, he’s no miserable ghost. He’s still there.
STEFANOVIC: Aren’t you here?
PYNE: He’s very much in the flesh. Probably too much flesh quite frankly.
STEFANOVIC: That’s a bit rough on a Friday morning.
ALBANESE: He’s mean.
STEFANOVIC: How worried are you about Scott Morrison at the moment, Albo?
ALBANESE: Well, we’re not worried at all. We’re getting on with the job of leading from opposition once again this week – the preschool for three and four year olds. An exciting program; 700,000 people will benefit.
STEFANOVIC: I’ll get onto that in just a sec. But how worried are you about Scott Morrison?
ALBANESE: We’re not worried about the Government because the Government has given up governing. So what we’re doing is leading from opposition with policies, getting ready for the election and we’ll put those policies to the electorate, and we’ll compare them with the rabble and the mess that is the Government.
STEFANOVIC: Why don’t people like Bill?
ALBANESE: Well the fact is that they are liking Labor. People I meet like Bill. I like Bill, and we’re out there campaigning as a Labor team on policy.
STEFANOVIC: Okay Chris, Labor is promising to subsidies 600 hours of preschool for 700,000 children. That is good policy, isn’t it?
PYNE: Well unfortunately as usual with Labor they announce a policy and then the detail goes haywire. So first of all they said it would cost $1.75 billion over four years, then it was over two years, and then they said the states and territories would pay for it. They have absolutely no idea whether the states or territories would pay for it. They’ve got no plans for infrastructure. It reminds me of when they were in government last time, and they had cash-for-clunkers, or they had the laptops in schools program, or overpriced school halls.
STEFANOVIC: It is good policy; this will go down well in middle Australia.
PYNE: Well we are already spending over $440 million a year getting more children into preschool, if that’s where they want to be, if that’s where their parents want them. So what Labor is trying to do is come up with unfunded policies that someone else is going to pay for. It reminds me exactly of the Rudd-Gillard Government, which was a complete shambles. Every one of their policies was massively overpriced, and completely under-delivered, and I can’t believe that Anthony couldn’t even say that with a straight face that he likes Bill.
ALBANESE: The fact is this is good policy. The fact is that when they talk about they’re currently educating some 4 year olds, that’s our policy, that’s due to run out, and we are extending that and extending it to 3 year olds.
PYNE: Who’s paying for it?
ALBANESE: It’s fully paid for.
PYNE: Oh really. You changed the numbers yesterday.
ALBANESE: That is not true. And today…
PYNE: It was $1.75 billion, and then it was $3.5 billion.
ALBANESE: You can yell Christopher to try and hide the fact that you don’t have any policies. Today we will be announcing in addition that 10,000 of the 100,000 places we said would be fee free in TAFE would be allocated for early childhood educators because we want to make sure we get people there.
PYNE: That’s a policy you dumped in 2012.
STEFANOVIC: Okay, you’re also – Bill Shorten earlier this week saying that negative gearing tax incentives would be used – abolishing those – to pay for it. Is that true?
ALBANESE: Sorry, I was busy listening to him yelling in my ear.
STEFANOVIC: The negative gearing tax incentives?
ALBANESE: Well all of the changes that we’ve made – what we’ve done is made some hard decisions. Those hard decisions including changes to negative gearing, changes to various tax arrangements.
STEFANOVIC: How will that affect the housing market?
ALBANESE: Well the negative gearing measures won’t impact on the housing market in terms of any bad affects. What it will do is do what negative gearing was designed to do, which is to encourage new supply because negative gearing will still be available for new housing, and also, of course, it’s grandfathered so it won’t impact anyone’s current investment.
PYNE: Every time Labor opens their mouth Karl, they’re taking more of your money. That’s the bottom line. More taxes, higher taxes…
ALBANESE: What we’re doing is investing in kids, and if you think this bad policy…
STEFANOVIC: Gentlemen, gentlemen.
ALBANESE: If you think it’s bad policy get rid of the policy that we put in place for 4 year olds that you’re currently… Just get rid of it now.
PYNE: Karl, the last time they announced this policy about teachers…
STEFANOVIC: Gee you are in a very grump mood this morning Christopher Pyne, You can’t keep talking over everyone.
PYNE: I’m just telling you the facts.
STEFANOVIC: It’s just not very nice.
PYNE: Anthony will talk forever unless someone interrupts him, that’s the bottom line. The last time Labor had this policy on preschool teaching…
ALBANESE: I think you’ve had a pretty fair go Christopher.
PYNE: They scrapped it themselves in Government because it didn’t work.
ALBANESE: One thing about this noise Karl, they can’t put forward any policies of their own.
PYNE: You’ve been saying that for five years. It’s a very boring line.
ALBANESE: You’re not putting anything forward. This is Labor leading from opposition and it’s leading in a very important policy area.
STEFANOVIC: On a policy of this magnitude, you must have consulted with the states?
ALBANESE: Well of course we’ve consulted widely. Look everyone knows Karl, let me tell you who we’ve consulted with primarily, every single parent knows that early childhood education, that investment in the early years pays off.
STEFANOVIC: But the states will have to support it, the states will have to run this. So have you spoken to the state governments about it?
ALBANESE: Well of course the states run all services, that’s the truth in terms of education and hospitals. That’s the federal structure that we have. But already yesterday we had Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews showing leadership, coming on board, providing the funding that will be there for Victoria and we’re confident that all of the states and territories will come on board because this is good policy.
PYNE: They haven’t consulted with the states and territories and they’re writing cheques the bank won’t cash. It’s unbelievable, bad policy.
STEFANOVIC: Christopher I know why you’re so feisty today.
PYNE: Tell me.
STEFANOVIC: Because you’ve been stroppy, one might say a little bit peaked. You’ve been in Afghanistan haven’t you?
PYNE: Yes I was, I was in Kabul last week visiting our troops there in Kabul in Camp Qargha. They’re doing a marvellous job in Afghanistan it must be said. Just one example, 17 years ago there were 800 000 kids in school in Afghanistan, today there are 8 million and 40 per cent of them are girls so what we’re doing there is working but we’ve got a long way to go.
ALBANESE: They are doing a great job. I’ve got to say to Christopher though that I was worried on the Today Show last week when I turned up and Peter Dutton had taken his place. I thought ‘finally Peter Dutton has had a successful coup’.
STEFANOVIC: He’s alright, he’s back.
STEFANOVIC: That’s nasty.
ALBANESE: Finally, but once again it couldn’t last a week.
STEFANOVIC: I want to end on a brighter note because you two have been at loggerheads. Theresa May is leading way on the international stage. Have you seen during the week what she was up to?
PYNE: I have, I have.
ALBANESE: Don’t do it.
STEFANOVIC: This is her, Theresa May…
ALBANESE: Viewers, go and get a cup of coffee.
STEFANOVIC: Have we got Theresa?
Footage of Theresa May dancing on stage.
STEFANOVIC: That’s what I want to see from you guys. I want to see some dancing on a Friday.
PYNE: I like the fact that she’s embracing that story, from her dancing in Africa. Good luck to her.
STEFANOVIC: Are you going to do a little bit of dancing for us?
ALBANESE: Ah, no.
PYNE: Everyone knows that Anthony’s a shocking dancer.
ALBANESE: I’m still in a bit of shock at that footage.
PYNE: He’s a good DJ.
ALBANESE: You have to come to one of my DJ sessions Christopher.
PYNE: I would love to actually.
STFANOVIC: Well there you go, it’s a date. We got some resolution. We achieved something finally today.
PYNE: He’s not so bad after all.
STFANOVIC: There you go.
ALBANESE: He’s better than Peter Dutton.
PYNE: I’m a great fan of Peter Dutton’s.
STFANOVIC: Careful. Over to you guys.
Leader of the Australian Labor Party, MP for Grayndler, Rabbitohs Life Member. Authorised by Anthony Albanese, ALP, Canberra.