Nov 17, 2017

Transcript of television interview – Today Show

Subjects; Twitter; marriage equality; Cory Bernardi

KARL STEFANOVIC: Welcome back to the show. It’s certainly been a huge week in politics, and it continues to be. Christopher Pyne and Anthony Albanese join me now, good morning guys.


CHRISTOPHER PYNE: Good morning Karl, good morning Anthony.

STEFANOVIC: Okay, Christopher, good morning to you first of all, and for the record, did you like the gay porn?

PYNE: Karl, obviously it’s very annoying that my Twitter account was hacked on Thursday morning at 2:00am.

As I said I was very fast asleep at 2:00am on Thursday morning, and we’ve taken the necessary steps that you would take in these situations. It’s a private Twitter account, it’s not a Defence or a government or a parliamentary account. We’ve changed the passwords, we’ve obviously deleted the material. Changed our approach in the office to social media, and informed Twitter, which is the same precedent that we followed that Julie Bishop and Scott Morrison went through, when they had the same thing happen to them in 2016 and 2014. It’s one of those very unfortunate hazards of social media, and it’s a good reminder to us all, quite frankly, that we need to keep changing our passwords and be aware that not everybody out there wishes us goodwill unfortunately.

STEFANOVIC: This must have been embarrassing for you; did it have a personal effect on you?

PYNE: Look, it’s annoying, it’s very annoying, but somebody tried to also hack our Facebook account on Wednesday and Facebook alerted us to that, so it was obviously a bit of a campaign. It all happened I guess, in the time of the yes vote being successful and I guess people thought they were being – probably not funny, trying to be unhelpful. These things happen.

STEFANOVIC: It’s not funny. Did it hurt?

PYNE: Karl. I don’t know whether it was designed to hurt, I think it was designed to be embarrassing and obviously the people who were responsible probably did quite well out of it. 2:00am in the morning, you weren’t expecting these things to happen, and we’ve taken the necessary action as you would expect us to do.

STEFANOVIC: I think it’s awful on you, to be honest, I think it’s awful on you. Anthony, for you?

ALBANESE: I spoke to Bill Shorten last night and we’re satisfied that this is a public Twitter account. There is no connection between the Twitter account and Christopher’s defence portfolio. He has taken action to deal with it, so as far as we’re concerned, it’s over. We certainly won’t be supporting Cory Bernardi’s resolution before the Senate, and the sort of 1980s school boy humour that he has tried on this issue. So as far as we’re concerned, let’s get on with the real issues facing the country.

STEFANOVIC: What’s wrong with Cory Bernardi?

ALBANESE: That’s a question far above my pay grade Karl. I can’t possibly answer that. But no doubt, Cory has had a bad week. He was a strident opponent of marriage equality and Australians voted for marriage equality, and he will try to keep the issue going but the truth is. This time next year – I will make a prediction, every Friday, myself and Christopher we will be on here, we will never be asked about marriage equality because the world will just move on.

STEFANOVIC: Do you want to come on this time next year? It’s a new series’ next year, it would be good to have you on. Christopher, in terms of national security let’s just put that to rest right now. It is embarrassing that your Twitter account was hacked, and I suppose these things are pretty easy if you know what you are doing. But is national security an issue here, yes or no?

PYNE: No it isn’t. There are no defence or national security implications as Anthony said, it is a private Twitter account, it has no connections at all to government parliamentary or defence accounts. Nothing else has been compromised, and as Anthony said – look it’s an embarrassing or an annoying eventuality. People are trying to make something of it, I think there are more important things to get on with and I think the AFP have more important things to do.

STEFANOVIC: Agreed. Well said Christopher and well supported Anthony. This is all going to happen – the marriage equality legislation by Christmas, make it happen?

PYNE: We certainly are, the Senate has started debating the legislation, Wednesday afternoon, so the same day as the yes vote was achieved. Yesterday morning many of the second reading speeches were given, then the Senate went off talking about notices of motion for a while. But I think they will get back onto this when they sit again on the 27th and they should finish it by the end of that week.

STEFANOVIC: Anthony, quickly?

ALBANESE: It will all be dealt with and Australia will be a better country for it, we’re finally caught up with the rest of the world. And won’t it be good as well, next year, for the economy.


PYNE: It will be!

ALBANESE: There will be some good parties.

STEFANOVIC: Just finally and quickly, back to Cory Bernardi, because I know you guys like to talk about him. He was on the show earlier in the week, and we tried to get, to find the lightness in this story. It was a very heavy week. Here is how he responded to this question: You won’t be going to any gay marriages?

CORY BERNARDI: It’s a pretty safe bet that, mate. You know they say in politics, only death and taxes are certain, well what’s certain is, I won’t be voting for gay marriage.

STEFANOVIC: Can I improve your mood with a song perhaps?

‘I Will Survive’ by Gloria Gaynor plays

BERNARDI: What have you got mate?

STEFANOVIC: (Singing) Thinking I could never live without you by my side. Well, he wouldn’t sing along to it. What about you chaps today? Can we get a little bit of …

‘I Will Survive’ by Gloria Gaynor plays

ALBANESE: You don’t want to see us sing, we can sort of groove along to it.

STEAFNOVIC: There you go!

PYNE: I think it’s a good day for me to keep a low profile, Karl.

STEFANOVIC: You’re a good man Christopher Pyne, you are, and Anthony, thank you very much for that.