Aug 18, 2017

Transcript of television interview – Today Show

Subjects; Barcelona attacks; Pauline Hanson stunt; Fiona Nash

KARL STEFANOVIC: Christopher Pyne and Anthony Albanese join us now. Christopher to you first of all, your response? How is the Australian Government responding?

CHRISTOPHER PYNE: Well obviously Karl, we’re very worried because Barcelona is a favourite destination for Australian tourists travelling to Europe.

At any one time, there are many Australians in Barcelona, and of course there is a festival I think in Barcelona right now that Australians tend to go to.

So we are concerned that Australians may be involved and the embassy there in Madrid and the consulates that are available are searching for the Australians in Barcelona.

There is a number that people can call if they’re concerned, a consular number which we’ve given to your producers which is 1300 555 135.

Obviously there are Facebook sites in which people can identify that they are safe and we would ask all Australians who are in Barcelona to indicate through Facebook or by contacting relatives or the consul that they are actually safe so that we can make sure that Australians aren’t involved.

STEFANOVIC: Okay, let’s move on from that. Pauline Hanson yesterday Albo, what did you make of it?

ANTHONY ALBANESE: It was a stunt that doesn’t have any place in the Australian Parliament, or in the Senate. I think that George Brandis’ response was correct, courageous and spot on.

STEFANOVIC: Christopher, in terms of your reaction, to what you saw yesterday, did she go too far?

PYNE: Well I’m not sure what Pauline Hanson’s point was, quite frankly. Now I’m told it was about security. Well, once Pauline Hanson is inside the entrances of Parliament House and has been through security, quite frankly what she wears in Question Time has no bearing on security whatsoever.

I think Pauline Hanson has to remember that she is a leader in the community. She’s a leader in Australia and to ensure that our country is cohesive we actually need to work with all the communities in it to protect each other.

STEFANOVIC: She has support though. We put a poll on Facebook last night. 58 per cent of people agreed with her stunt. 42 per cent of people were against it, and that was pretty much what it was all about yesterday, her shoring up her own support, right?

PYNE: Well, it was obviously about trying to make a political point but the point that I would make is that we have a responsibility as Members of Parliament, as members of the government to ensure that Australians are working together to defeat terrorism not trying to frighten Australians against other Australians.

I mean, the fear of the other¬†breeds the kind of violence that we’re seeing around the world and Senator Hanson needs to work with communities, not divide communities.

STEFANOVIC: Okay, what’s happening with Fiona Nash?

PYNE: Well, unfortunately, Fiona Nash has discovered that she has a father with Scottish, British citizenship.

STEFANOVIC: How did she not do it earlier?

PYNE: Well, as soon as she was aware of the Barnaby Joyce situation she made…

STEFANOVIC: Well, that’s too little too late, right?

PYNE: She made her own enquiries, the Solicitor-General believes that she will not be found to be disqualified from the Senate and therefore she’s referred herself to the High Court. These matters will be cleared up by the High Court.

ALBANESE: The Nationals have become The Multinationals. We’ve seen absolute chaos on their side…

PYNE: Not a bad line, Anthony, I’ll pay you that.

ALBANESE: … on their side of the House. And what’s extraordinary is that Senator Nash knew about this on Monday night. Parliament sat Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. She waited until the very last minute to actually inform the Senate.

This is a week where they lost votes on the floor of the Parliament, we had Julie Bishop just about declaring war on New Zealand blaming Labor for a conspiracy over Barnaby Joyce. They are just a mess.

STEFANOVIC: Okay, that’s all we’ve got time for gentleman. Thank you very much for that.