Sep 15, 2017

Transcript of television interview – Today Show

Subjects; John Howard, marriage equality, banking Royal Commission, energy prices, media reform 

KARL STEFANOVIC: Welcome to the show again. Malcolm Turnbull is still copping plenty of flack over the postal vote on same sex marriage. The latest attack is coming from former PM, John Howard.

Defence Industry Minister, Christopher Pyne, and Shadow Infrastructure and Transport Minister Anthony Albanese join us now, good morning guys.



STEFANOVIC: To you Christopher, first up. John Howard has ramped up his attack on Malcolm Turnbull. He’s being called the great fraud of the same sex marriage debate. An attack by John Howard. It can be lethal.

PYNE: Well Karl, John Howard’s allowed to campaign as much as anybody else is. He has an opinion. Whether his opinion carries the day is a matter for the Australian public, it’s not a question of John Howard vs Malcolm Turnbull, or anybody else quite frankly. It’s whether people believe that two people who love each other should be able to get married.

STEFANOVIC: It’s a pretty strong attack though; he says how will you protect parental rights, freedom of speech and religious freedom. As he contends, have you washed your hands of responsibility in those matters?

PYNE: Well of course not, and that’s why if there’s a yes vote in the postal plebiscite, and I hope there will be because I think that two people who love each other should be able to get married to each other. Then we will have a bill that will protect the rights of churches not to marry people they don’t want to marry, or anybody else for that matter. Of course we can do that, it’s not beyond the Parliament. We’ve done it many, many times before. That’s how we make laws; we will protect the freedom of speech of people, and of course the rights of people to choose whether they do, or don’t marry couples.

ALBANESE: Well this is a Pyne AND Albo issue, not versus. We’re together on this, as are most Australians. And what’s interesting is that the opponents of marriage equality are raising every issue except for the only one that’s before the Australian people. Whether two people who love each other can give that commitment in front of friends and family, that is all this is about. I’d encourage people who have their ballot papers, who have their survey, to vote today.

STEFANOVIC: Yep, agree with you, yes from me as well. Okay Albo, there are reports this morning that all four of the big banks, plus mid-tier banks, have been used by illegal money laundering syndicates. That wouldn’t be a surprise to you?

ALBANESE: Another argument for a Royal Commission. We need a Banking Royal Commission and I don’t know why the Government is resisting this. It will happen. Let’s get on with it.

STEFANOVIC: Why was that funny Chris?

PYNE: Because if there was a Royal Commission into money laundering by the Mafia through the banks, it would take years and years and years to report and to do anything, the last thing we need is a Royal Commission. We just need the police and the officials who look after fraud to do their job, and I’m sure that’s what they’re going to do. It would be a fiasco. A complete waste of time.

STEFANOVIC: Well they already know some banks are being fleeced.

PYNE: Good, well then the police should prosecute those people who are doing the wrong thing. That’s their job. The Royal Commission’s not going to get to the bottom of that.

ALBANESE: I don’t know why the Government’s determined to defend the banks; people know that we need a Royal Commission. Let’s get to the bottom of this, that’s in the interest frankly of the banks and the whole financial sector as well.

PYNE: Let’s do nothing for five years, Anthony, that’s your position.

STEFANOVIC: Well by the way, Chris’s point on timeframes it would take a long time.

ALBANESE: Oh that’s a nonsense, the evidence before a Royal Commission comes out as the Royal Commission is taking place and you can have Government legislation and action while the Royal Commission is happening.

PYNE: We’re getting on with it Anthony, Labor wants to talk about it.

STEFANOVIC: Albo, Bill Shorten came under fire accused of lying about energy prices. Do you stand by his words? Josh Frydenberg claims that prices have actually decreased.

ALBANESE: Well, let the public out there watching this show judge whether they think prices have decreased or increased. They all know that prices have increased under this Government’s watch. They said they’d fall, they’ve gone up. It just shows the Government’s out of touch.

STEFANOVIC: Was Bill Shorten lying?

ALBANESE: Not at all, the fact is he’s in touch with the Australian people more than the government is.

PYNE: He’s just making things up, Anthony. He made it up. We all know that prices have gone up, we all pay electricity bills, no one said they didn’t.

ALBANESE: Well why did Josh Frydenberg say that prices in Sydney had gone up by one dollar. Everyone watching this in Sydney knows that’s not the case.

PYNE: Malcolm Turnbull said yesterday that we all know that electricity prices have gone up. Bill tried another Mediscare campaign two days ago…

ALBANESE: That’s a nonsense.

PYNE: He made up the figures, and he got caught again, because he can’t be trusted. He’s shifty.

ALBANESE: He knows that prices haven’t gone up.

STEFANOVIC: Finally, a big victory this week for significant media reforms, over a decade passing in Parliament. Gee, it’s taken some time. Chris, how do we know that there’s not going to be too much power in the hands of the few, how can you safeguard that?

PYNE: Well that’s another big win for the Government; we are getting on with our agenda. Now media law reform, we have quite a list now over the last twelve months of significant achievements because we’re working with the Senate. These media reforms will give our Australian businesses the chance to compete with the big things like the Google, and others, who’ve been coming into our market.

STEFANOVIC: How good’s the Google.

ALBANESE: The Google.

PYNE: I love the Google, I’m big on the Google, I quite like the Intertube as well.

STEFANOVIC: I don’t even need to go there.

ALBANESE: Malcolm Turnbull invented the Interweb, actually, according to this mob.

STEFANOVIC: You guys are so onto it. Thank you guys, appreciate your time.

PYNE: Technology is our thing.

ALBANESE: They’re all over this new stuff.