Jul 31, 2015

Transcript of television interview – Today Show, Nine network

Subjects: Bronwyn Bishop, Parliament, Reclink charity football match, Christopher Pyne’s book

DAVID CAMPBELL: It is not quite Bye Bye Bronwyn just yet. The Speaker still clinging to her job after eating quite a lot of humble pie this week, with a side of humble pie, over taxpayer funded trips. The next test – surviving a no-confidence motion led by Mr Palmer the singing sensation when Parliament returns. In a moment, we are going to thrash it out with Education Minister Christopher Pyne and Shadow Transport Minister Anthony Albanese. But first, let’s listen to the apology.

BRONWYN BISHOP, SPEAKER: I was profoundly sorry. I’m so sorry, so apologetic to the Australian people. I love this country very much. And it does sadden me that I feel I’ve let them down. This is a genuine apology.

CAMPBELL: We are Christopher, three weeks later, we have had Choppergate, we’ve had several weddings, today the Oaks has come out. Is this really an apology or is this like: I’m sorry I got caught?

PYNE: Look, I think Bronwyn has apologised to the Australian public. She is doing a great job as speaker. There are so much more important issues to deal with in Australia than this particular one and I think the matter is closed. Now, Labor at the moment have a policy to cripple the Australian economy by rejecting the China free trade agreement, by having an emissions trading reduction scheme target.

CAMPBELL: That is all stay very well and good but I want to I stay on this. The Australian people, I don’t think, are convinced by this apology. They think has this come is from the Prime Minister’s office? Is this a genuine apology? Because we are hearing about horse races this morning. It keeps coming up.

PYNE: Well, Parliament will sit again on August the 10th. We obviously have important issues to deal with out of a national conference of the Labor Party. They had a 50% by reduction in emissions in Australia by 2030 which would cripple the Australian economy and cost jobs.

ALBANESE: Look over is there. Look over there, David.

CAMPBELL: It’s my first time doing this. It’s extraordinary – the deflection.

PYNE: The Bronwyn Bishop issue has been going on for several weeks. But she has apologised. She has paid back the money. And it is time that we moved on and dealt with the big issues. Now, the big issue in Australia is jobs, it is national security. We had the MH370 issue raise its head again yesterday because of the washing up of debris from the plane. We all have to get on with the job of governing Australia.

CAMPBELL: We do, but the Speaker is a very important job when you’re talking about Parliament and when it comes back in, will she be sitting in that chair?

PYNE: Of course she will. She is doing a great job as Speaker, a great jobs as Speaker. Now Labor will do anything to distract as people from Bill Shorten’s failure as leader, from the Plibersek-Albanese punch-up at the national conference over policy issues …

ALBANESE: Hang on.

PYNE: … whether it was same-sex marriage, whether it was emissions target reductions target. Bill has a very bad national conference. This is all a massive distraction.

CAMPBELL: Anthony I want to bring you in on this. Do you think the speaker should be sitting in the in chair when Parliament rolls back in?

ALBANESE: An apology that has got out with a crowbar is not taken seriously. What we see is like a very bad movie. This is four weddings and a political funeral. This is the case that Bronwyn Bishop was the wrong person for the job. I don’t mind Bronwyn. She is a political warrior for her team. I respect that. But that does not the make you a good Speaker. And from the functions and fund raisers in the Speaker’s office, to her appearing on TV as a partisan person attacking Gillian Triggs, to the way that she has presided over the Parliament to this, it is in the government’s interests for her to move on.

CAMPBELL: Look, there are senior government figures, including Julie Bishop, Scott Morrison. Joe Hockey last night refused to back the Speaker, he refused to comment. How can, when Parliament comes back in, she doesn’t have the support? It’s got to be over.

ALBANESE: It is over Christopher. It is over. Move on.

PYNE: I’m the Leader of the House and I’m backing Bronwyn very strongly. The Prime Minister and I are 100% behind Bronwyn Bishop. We are from certainly not going to take advice, David, from the Labor Party about functionality or dysfunctionality.

CAMPBELL: What about Joe Hockey, who wouldn’t comment last night, Julie Bishop?

PYNE: Well, he has got to make his own decisions. But the Labor Party is the party of Craig Thomson, Peter Slipper, Kevin Rudd, Julia Gillard – revolving door prime ministerships. There were six education ministers in six years under the Labor Party.

ALBANESE: I tell you what, you are in your first term, you are in your first term and you have just stopped governing the country. It is in your interests …

PYNE: You had six years of not governing the country.

ALBANESE: For this to move on.

PYNE: I but know you manfully tried to govern the country as a cabinet minister. But you had six Education Ministers in six years. You had two prime ministers, three changes…

ALBANESE: You talk about anything other than Bronwyn Bishop. She is the issue.

PYNE: We are not going to take advice on the Labor Party about how to govern the about Liberal Party or the country.

CAMPBELL: What about from the polls? The public are not happy with Bronwyn Bishop.

ALBANESE: What about the mob?

PYNE: The polls come and go. Issues come and go. The fundamental here is that we getting on with the job of governing the nation and that means repairing the economy, paying back Labor’s debt, creating jobs. These are all the things that people want us to be talking about.

CAMPBELL: Look, we are nearly out of time. I want to get on to …

PYNE: You must talk about my book at some point.

CAMPBELL: I’m going to talk about why you’ve come dressed like you’re very cold.

ALBANESE: Because this is a Western Walers scarf. This Sunday at Henson Park, I’m playing in a charity game for Reclink – the Community Cup – and it is a good day, raising money for people who do work with hits disadvantaged young people.

CAMPBELL: And DJ Albo hits the decks again tonight?

ALBANESE: And tonight I’m at the Newtown Social Club at 8 o’clock raising money for the same good cause. So if you like 80s or 90s Indy music, come along.

CAMPBELL: Indy music. What are we dropping here? What are we talking the about? Some Chumbawamba?

ALBANESE: No, stuff like The Jam and a bit of Iggy Pop.

CAMPBELL: That is the 70s.

ALBANESE: No, it is not. It is the 80s.

CAMPBELL: Let’s quickly get on to the book and because it’s a really great read Christopher. It’s a really personal story from you about Christopher.

PYNE: Yes, it’s a story primarily about my father and about me, but primarily it is about the inherent good of public service, about serving other people. It is being launched this week by Annabel Crabb on Wednesday and I hope people find it a good read.

CAMPBELL: I think they will too. Both of you, for thank you for coming on. Thank you for being gentle.

ALBANESE: A bit of bipartisanship – it’s a good book. People should give it some support, I think. Talking about good public service is a good thing.

PYNE: It is called A Letter to my Children.

CAMPBELL: Lisa, We are very united on the book and they were very gentle for my first time.

ALBANESE: I think you are pro the footy charity as well.

PYNE: You hardly got a word in. The Western Walers is a very good cause for disadvantaged youth.

LISA WILKINSON: Sshh now you lot! We have got to get on.