Subjects: Guns for votes controversy.
KARL STEFANOVIC: Christopher Pyne and Anthony Albanese join us now. Good morning guys.
ANTHONY ALBANESE: Good morning.
CHRISTOPHER PYNE: Good morning Karl.
STEFANOVIC: OK, forget about Clinton Trump – Clinton and Trump yesterday. Abbott and Turnbull – that was the biggest show in town. How was it for you to sit ringside with that show yesterday Christopher?
PYNE: Well no one is at odds in the Government about gun laws at all Karl. That is a complete distraction from the Labor Party …
ALBANESE: Nothing to see here.
PYNE: .. from the fact that they will not support the Australian Building and Construction commission coming back. Malcolm Turnbull and Tony Abbott are both saying that we never supported the watering down of the Howard gun laws. In fact, because of the actions of both governments the gun laws have been strengthened by putting a temporary ban on bringing in lever action shot guns. So it’s quite the opposite to the way the Labor Party have been trying to portray it. This is another run of the Mediscare campaign.
STEFANOVIC: Well, you did a pretty decent job of portraying it in your own way yesterday. Tony Abbott said there was no deal, the PM says there was. Who’s lying?
PYNE: There wasn’t a deal of any kind, and everyone knows that is the case, to water down John Howard’s gun laws. In fact, John Howard’s gun laws were strengthened by the actions that the Abbott Government took, then re-supported by the Turnbull Government. If neither of those governments had taken action, under John Howard’s gun laws the lever action shotgun would have come into Australia. So Labor is trying to do here is what they did with the Mediscare campaign, which is to say black is white and make people believe it.
STEFANOVIC: OK, hang on. Just to clarify, there was no deal there was no deal done, right?
PYNE: No, there was no deal to water down John Howard’s’ gun laws.
STEFANOVIC: So what was the deal about then?
PYNE: There was certainly a deal to put a sunset clause on the temporary ban because we wanted to make sure that the states and territories visited this subject and classified this particular weapon.
STEFANOVIC: And Tony Abbott didn’t know about it?
PYNE: Well it’s quite clear that the Government knew about it because Michael Keenan and Peter Dutton made the arrangement to ensure that this matter didn’t just sit there for ever on the books, but that the states and territories had to return to the subject of the classification of the lever action shot gun, which is the right thing to do.
STEFANOVIC: Do you accept that Tony Abbott didn’t know about it?
PYNE: Look, I don’t to know what was in his mind or not at the time. Look, I’m not in the Prime Minister’s office. But I can tell you one thing – there is no fissure between Malcolm Turnbull and Tony Abbott over the fact that we will not water down John Howard’s gun laws. In fact, what we are doing is strengthening those and we want the states and territories to take the action they need to take to classify this particular weapon. That’s why the temporary ban was put in place the sunset clause was put in place to make sure the subject was revisited as any sensible government would do, rather than just allow it to go on into the future.
STEFANOVIC: Christopher, Tony Abbott and Malcolm Turnbull despise each other.
PYNE: Not true.
STEFANOVIC: Are you serious?
PYNE: Absolutely serious. They are very old friends. Of course, they have a difference of opinion about who the Prime Minster should be. That’s been played out in public. We know that and Malcolm Turnbull is the Prime Minster.
STEFANOVIC: He effectively called Tony Abbott a liar in Parliament yesterday.
PYNE: Rubbish. And Tony Abbott said on the 7:30 report on Wednesday night that he wanted the Turnbull Government to have an emphatic win at the next election. So he is 100% behind supporting the Turnbull Government.
STEFANOVIC: Malcolm Turnbull effectively called Tony Abbott a liar in Parliament yesterday.
PYNE: Not true.
STEFANOVIC: All right. So he says: “I am satisfied the Minister for Justice acted in full knowledge of the PM’s office at the time.’’ At best that is a contradiction at worst it is a lie.
PYNE: And Tony Abbott at the end of Question Time stood up and made it perfectly clear …
STEFANOVIC: That he didn’t like it.
PYNE: … that there was never, no, that there was never any attempt to water down the Howard Government’s gun laws. In fact we strengthened them and Malcolm Turnbull has said exactly the same thing. Both Malcolm Turnbull and Tony Abbott are on the same page on this issue and no attempt by the Labor Party to create a distraction will deny the fact that they don’t want a bring the CFMEU to heel, they are still running a protection racket for the CFMEU.
ALBANESE: When you are in a hole, stop digging, Christopher. Stop digging.
PYNE: I am being asked the questions. No-one is interested in your views this morning apparently.
ALBANESE: That’s because …
STEFANOVIC: You are under the pump.
PYNE: I’m not under the pump.
ALBANESE: That is because the whole show is about the Government. I mean, if they had any entrepreneurs in the modern Liberal Party they would be selling popcorn outside the House of Reps chamber because what we see is that this mob are so divided they can’t even agree on how to rewrite history. Yesterday you had Malcolm Turnbull essentially call Tony Abbott a liar in Parliament and then you had Tony Abbott return serve and stand up in an extraordinary contribution and essentially call Malcolm Turnbull out. I mean, this was a cage fight on national television on the floor of the House of Representatives. This is a divided Government without an agenda, without a sense of purpose. It’s just about whether Malcolm Turnbull can survive or not. And Tony Abbott – now it’s on. It’s on out there for all to see and it is all of Malcolm Turnbull’s own making because he was incapable of giving an answer to a pretty clear question on Tuesday about the guns for votes deal.
STEFANOVIC: That’s all you get time for today.
PYNE: But there has never been any such deal and everyone agrees that there has never been any such deal.
ALBANESE: There was. You just said there was.
PYNE: This is just exactly …
ALBANESE: You just said there was with Micheal Keenan.
STEFANOVIC: You said there was a sunset clause.
PYNE: How can there be?
ALBANESE: You said there was with Keenan and Dutton.
PYNE: Rubbish. How can there be a gun for votes deal …
ALBANESE: You just confirmed that there was.
PYNE: … when in fact the guns were stopped from coming into the country?
ALBANESE: You just confirmed that there was and Malcolm Turnbull this week left it open …
PYNE: Stop running your Mediscare campaign on guns.
ALBANESE: … as well, left it open over industrial relations laws.
STEFANOVIC: This is so tense today.
PYNE: The guns were stopped. The guns were blocked from coming into the country.
ALBANESE: And you’ve got a meeting today and the Government hasn’t been able to say what its position is.
STEFANOVIC: Christopher Pyne, can you just cool your jets for a second. You are getting very animated and I don’t like it.
PYNE: It’s just not true. What Anthony is saying is not true.
ALBANESE: You would be better off Christopher to just say less. Less is more.
STEFANOVIC: You guys, can you hurry it up?
PYNE: When are going to challenge Bill Shorten?
ALBANESE: Less is more, less is more.
PYNE: When are you going to challenge Bill Shorten?
STEFANOVIC: Bill’s going all right.
ALBANESE: That’s right. Because the issues are us, just keeping telling yourself that Christopher.
PYNE: We all know you want Bill Shorten’s job.
STEFANOVIC: OK. See you next week you two.
PYNE: And you’d bet better at it. You would be better at it.
PYNE: You are a much nicer person.
STEFANOVIC: He’s still going, keep going, you guys, keep going, Lisa over to you.
Leader of the Australian Labor Party, MP for Grayndler, Rabbitohs Life Member. Authorised by Anthony Albanese, ALP, Canberra.