Today Show, Nine Network
06 April 2018
SUBJECTS: Newspoll; Union Mergers;
KARL STEFANOVIC: Let me tell you they are all kinds of fired up this morning. Come back Costello on the eve of an expected 30th losing Newspoll. Is the former Treasurer preparing for a return to save the Coalition, and is Peter Dutton mounting a leadership spill? It’s all happening, rumours abound indeed. Let’s get straight to the bottom of it with Christopher Pyne and Anthony Albanese in the same room, round of applause for them please.
ANTHONY ALBANESE: That's very nice.
KARL STEFANOVIC: Wasn't real loud though was it. Mr Pyne, is Peter Costello making a comeback?
CHRISTOPHER PYNE: Of course not, Karl…
KARL STEFANOVIC: Do you know?
CHRISTOPHER PYNE: It is one of the more ridiculous stories. Peter Costello is a very good friend of mine, for a long time. The advent of the 30 Newspolls was always going to cause all this nonsensical stories.
KARL STEFANOVIC: Have you spoken to him?
CHRISTOPHER PYNE: No, I haven’t spoken to him for a couple of months.
KARL STEFANOVIC: So you don’t know if it is true.
CHRISTOPHER PYNE: Clearly it is ridiculous.
KARL STEFANOVIC: How would you know?
CHRISTOPHER PYNE: I'm sure he is not the least bit interested in coming back into politics.
KARL STEFANOVIC: You are not sure though.
CHRISTOPHER PYNE: Well, it is a ridiculous story and it is not going to happen.
KARL STEFANOVIC: You don't want Peter Costello to come back, that would be the last thing you need.
ANTHONY ALBANESE: Peter Costello is not a friend of mine, but there is more chance of Elvis Costello becoming Prime Minister than there is of Peter Costello. This is a guy - I do like Elvis Costello, he would be better, too, than Peter Costello as Prime Minister, although he might have a dual citizenship issue.
KARL STEFANOVIC: That is just churlish, he is the chairman of our board and I will not have a bad word said about him this morning.
CHRISTOPHER PYNE: There’s a few Labor people with citizenship issues.
KARL STEFANOVIC: Yes, there are.
KARL STEFANOVIC: Okay, let us talk about John Howard this morning. Is John Howard making a comeback? I'm confused. He is all over the papers this morning.
CHRISTOPHER PYNE: John Howard is also a great man. The Costello-Howard government gave us 11 years of sensational government. Both of them have moved on from politics and are doing very, very well. We have a Prime Minister who is going to stay the Prime Minister and lead us to the next election and he’ll win. He’s going to win the next election because the other choice is Bill Shorten. Could you imagine Bill Shorten as Prime Minister?
KARL STEFANOVIC: John Howard has a point. He says if the Liberals change leadership it’s going to make the Liberal heartland very, very cranky indeed. Are you going to change leaders?
CHRISTOPHER PYNE: It’s not going to happen. Malcolm Turnbull is going lead us to the next election as Prime Minister, he is going to win the election because the economy is going well, the government is going well and the alternative is Bill Shorten and the CFMMEU.
ANTHONY ALBANESE: It says it all about this government's lack of purpose, lack of vision….
CHRISTOPHER PYNE: How is the economy going?
ANTHONY ALBANESE: …Lack of direction, the fact that we are talking about whether John Howard or Peter Costello will make a comeback. This is a government that is out of steam and it is about to fail its own test of 30 Newspolls behind.
CHRISTOPHER PYNE: Nobody cares about the Newspolls.
ANTHONY ALBANESE: Malcolm Turnbull did when he knocked off an elected Prime Minister.
CHRISTOPHER PYNE: People care about jobs, they care about the economy.
KARL STEFANOVIC: To be fair to Anthony.
ANTHONY ALBANESE: For a change
CHRISTOPHER PYNE: Let's not be fair to Anthony, why would we be fair to Anthony now?
KARL STEFANOVIC: The now Prime Minister did care very much about Newspolls last time.
CHRISTOPHER PYNE: Look, it’s just an irrelevancy. Sure there might be a bad Newspoll on Monday, nobody cares.
ANTHONY ALBANESE: It’s his test.
CHRISTOPHER PYNE: On election day…I will remind you of this statistic. Mark Latham, who Anthony Albanese never has nice things to say about, he was leading 54-46 four months before the 2004 election. We won on election day 53-47. We won 84 seats, they won 60.
KARL STEFANOVIC: Can I be completely honest with you?
CHRISTOPHER PYNE: That will be the first time.
KARL STEFANOVIC: You guys are hopeless at the moment.
CHRISTOPHER PYNE: No we’re not.
KARL STEFANOVIC: No you really are.
CHRISTOPHER PYNE: Have you seen the economy lately? We created 420,000 jobs in the last 12 months. That’s hopeless is it?
KARL STEFANOVIC: You would be better off with Peter Dutton running.
CHRISTOPHER PYNE: Rubbish, we have 420,000 news jobs in the last 12 months, the economy is growing because of the Turnbull government.
KARL STEFANOVIC: Is Peter Dutton running for the Prime Ministership?
CHRISTOPHER PYNE: Of course he isn't. He ruled it out yesterday.
KARL STEFANOVIC: When was the last time you spoke to Peter Dutton?
CHRISTOPHER PYNE: Yesterday.
KARL STEFANOVIC: Did you ask him about it?
CHRISTOPHER PYNE: No, of course I didn’t ask him about it. It is ridiculous.
KARL STEFANOVIC: There’s all sorts of rumours about who is going to be running.
CHRISTOPHER PYNE: They’re all nonsense, we have a leader, he is supported by the party room, he is going to lead us to the next election, we’re going to will win the next election. The alternative is Bill Shorten, we all know that. We are getting with our job, we are creating jobs, we’re growing the economy, we’re fixing the defence industry.
ANTHONY ALBANESE: You have your talking points but no-one out there believes it.
CHRISTOPHER PYNE: They do actually, because they know it is true, they are better off.
ANTHONY ALBANESE: Because they thought they were getting one Malcolm Turnbull and they got someone else.
CHRISTOPHER PYNE: It’s an old line.
ANTHONY ALBANESE: He hasn't even stood up for his own convictions in so many areas.
CHRISTOPHER PYNE: What about marriage equality? What about creating jobs?
ANTHONY ALBANESE: He is hamstrung by his own backbench and trying to hang on to power. He is just there for the sake of it.
KARL STEFANOVIC: The good thing is the Labor Party never knocked off one of its leaders.
ANTHONY ALBANESE: No, it was a mistake when we knocked off an elected Prime Minister in their first term.
KARL STEFANOVIC: The former Prime Minister does make a point this morning about the creation of what is perceived as a super union, this is an interesting story. They do need to put the merger test to the electorate don’t they, to the public?
ANTHONY ALBANESE: They have put the test to the people who are the members themselves. This isn’t something that has been imposed, this is something where the members get a say.
KARL STEFANOVIC: Do the unions have too much power is what is being attested.
ANTHONY ALBANESE: This is just anti-union rhetoric from an anti-union government based upon ideology. And what we have here is that members decide what unions they join to. And in this case they have determined...
KARL STEFANOVIC: So you are happy with the set-up at the moment?
ANTHONY ALBANESE: It is not up to me, I'm not a member of that union. It is up to the members of a trade union to determine what union they want to join.
CHRISTOPHER PYNE: We passed legislation last year in the House of Representatives to have a public interest test on the mergers of these super unions and the Senate has blocked that legislation.
KARL STEFANOVIC: Okay, we have got a big Newspoll coming out on Monday.
CHRISTOPHER PYNE: We have already dealt with the subject.
KARL STEFANOVIC: No, well I’m just going to finish with it.
ANTHONY ALBANESE: It is the big elephant in the room my friend.
KARL STEFANOVIC: It is huge elephant in the room, in act you can see the trunk wondering in.
CHRISTOPHER PYNE: It is not, only inside the bubble.
ANTHONY ALBANESE: It is about to squish the government.
KARL STEFANOVIC: You are obviously in the studio now, John Howard has been vocal at the moment. By the way, doesn't it make us pine for real leaders?
CHRISTOPHER PYNE: Are you using my name deliberately?
ANTHONY ALBANESE: You heard it first here on Nine.
CHRISTOPHER PYNE: The sun will come up on Monday and then again on Tuesday and life will go on, and the only people who will care about the Newspoll are people inside the beltway. Not one person stops me at the supermarket and says ‘by the way, my number one issue is the Newspoll’. They stop me to talk about jobs, they talk about the economy, they talk about defence industry, transport, education, health, never the Newspoll.
KARL STEFANOVIC: Who was the last person to talk to you about all that?
CHRISTOPHER PYNE: You talking about the Newspoll right now. What about all the other issues?
ANTHONY ALBANESE: Every time he talks to a Caucus member.
CHRISTOPHER PYNE: I go out in the electorate constantly, I'm big out there, you have got no idea.
ANTHONY ALBANESE: Have a crack, Christopher. There is a job vacant sign on the Prime Minister's chair…
CHRISTOPHER PYNE: There is not, there is not a job vacant sign anywhere. There is less and less job vacancies, we are filling the jobs.
ANTHONY ALBANESE: And if you check it’s got Christopher Pyne’s name on it. It’s time for Pyne.
CHRISTOPHER PYNE: We’re filling the jobs, 420,000…
KARL STEFANOVIC: I can see the slogan. "Christopher Pyne, I'm big out there."
CHRISTOPHER PYNE: We are very happy with the leadership of the Liberal Party.
KARL STEFANOVIC: Okay, goodo, well reiterated.
CHRISTOPHER PYNE: We are sticking with it.
KARL STEFANOVIC: Thank you gentleman, it’s good to see you both in the studio.
CHRISTOPHER PYNE: It’s nice to be here.
ANTHONY ALBANESE: I'm with Pyne. I think by this time next week - will you commit to coming on if you are Prime Minister this time next week?
KARL STEFANOVIC: You will be everywhere.
CHRISTOPHER PYNE: I won't be Prime Minister this time next week, never going to happen.
KARL STEFANOVIC: You guys keep talking among yourselves, over to you Georgie.