8 February 2019
SUBJECTS: Banking Royal Commission Recommendations; Nauru legislation
CHRISTOPHER PYNE: Good morning Deb.
DEBORAH KNIGHT: Now, Commissioner Ken Henry, Christopher, pulled absolutely no punches when he singled out these two bosses for criticism, are you thinking its welcome news that they’ve gone?
CHRISTOPHER PYNE: I think most people will welcome the NAB taking that action, and look, I have no particular inside knowledge of what might happen at other banks, but I doubt that will be the last of the departures from some of the big banks. Obviously, the evidence in the Royal Commission was damning, and the NAB has been one of the first to move. It was particularly damning about the NAB of course, so that’s probably why, but I think most people will welcome it, and I think a lot of people are welcoming the Government’s response to the Royal Commission, the fact that we’re putting consumers front and centre, but also not trying to smash credit in Australia, which would cause a recession.
DEBORAH KNIGHT: Why won’t you bring on more sitting days to actually enforce the recommendations?
CHRISTOPHER PYNE: Well you don’t want to rush a response to a Royal Commission. You don’t want to rush the legislation, it’s very complicated legislation, and I think it’s very important the Parliament takes the appropriate amount of time to get legislation right. We’ve seen rushed legislation of past Governments in the financial system which has had to be changed and there’s legislation in the Senate right now that the Labor Party could vote for to reform the superannuation industry, but they simply won’t because all they want to do is play politics rather than actually fix problems for consumers. Right now they could pass legislation next week to reform superannuation.
DEBORAH KNIGHT: Albo?
ANTHONY ALBANESE: You’ve got to admire Christopher’s capacity to say black is white. I mean, they resisted this Royal Commission on 26 separate occasions. What we’ve seen now is that they’re still defending the banks and the top end of town by not having the Parliament respond to the recommendations to the Royal Commission. Christopher is the Leader of the House. It’s a good position I used to hold it. You get to decide when Parliament sits. We’re sitting for two weeks, we should keep sitting until we deal with these recommendations.
DEBORAH KNIGHT: And Christopher, you’re not going to escape this criticism from Labor that you did reject this call for the Royal Commission 26 times, why can’t you as a Government simply just admit it, and say “look, okay we got it wrong here, we made a mistake.” Voters are screaming out for honesty from their politicians, why can’t you guys just do that?
CHRISTOPHER PYNE: Well we’ve already done it, Deb. Malcolm Turnbull, when he was Prime Minister –
DEBORAH KNIGHT: We haven’t had Scott Morrison saying that publicly at all, outside of Parliament.
CHRISTOPHER PYNE: he has. Yeah he has actually-
ANTHONY ALBANESE: He was the Treasurer who resisted it. He was the Treasurer who tried to stop the Royal Commission, and now –
CHRISTOPHER PYNE: The facts are – the question was to me, Albo.
ANTHONY ALBANESE: You went on for ten minutes before defending the banks. The fact is that your record on this is –
CHRISTOPHER PYNE: The question was to me.
DEBORAH KNIGHT: So you would admit you got it wrong.
CHRISTOPHER PYNE: The question was to me. Both Malcolm Turnbull and Scott Morrison have both said that they regretted not bringing on the Royal Commission earlier. They both said that. So it’s not true that we haven’t admitted it.
ANTHONY ALBANESE: He hasn’t said sorry-
CHRISTOPHER PYNE: He’s obviously been told by the Shorten office to toughen up on the Today Show, he’s not letting me answer the questions.
ANTHONY ALBANESE: Just say sorry, Christopher.
CHRISTOPHER PYNE: We’ve said that we regretted it, and we’re responding to it and getting on with it. We’re doing it sensibly, whereas Labor wants to smash mortgage brokers. I think that’s the big story. Labor actually wants to put 16,000 mortgage brokers out of business, which helps the banks –
ANTHONY ALBANESE: You’re talking about the Royal Commission recommendations, Christopher.
CHRISTOPHER PYNE: That’s right!
DEBORAH KNIGHT: What’s your response to the mortgage brokers issue, because a lot of them are saying that we’re being fronted the bus here.
ANTHONY ALBANESE: Well look, the Royal Commission has come up with recommendations. We support all of those recommendations in principle. We’ll look at the detail and consult, including with mortgage brokers. But the fact is that the Royal Commission was established to make recommendations to Government. It’s extraordinary that the Government’s walked away from the recommendations on day one.
CHRISTOPHER PYNE: That’s not true. That’s absolutely untrue.
ANTHONY ALBANESE: You just criticised the Royal Commission recommendations.
CHRISTOPHER PYNE: We’re responding sensibly to the recommendations, you want to [inaudible] free kick by getting rid –
DEBORAH KNIGHT: Listen to you lot, you’re fired up this morning.
ANTHONY ALBANESE: It’s Commissioner Hayne he’s criticising there.
DEBORAH KNIGHT: You guys must be fired up because Parliament is about to resume.
CHRISTOPHER PYNE: He gets very excited when Parliament resumes.
DEBORAH KNIGHT: Well you’ll be back on Tuesday.
ANTHONY ALBANESE: It’s such an infrequent thing there.
CHRISTOPHER PYNE: You can’t wait to see me.
ANTHONY ALBANESE: Ten days in eight months we’re sitting. If this was any other workplace in the country, we’d get fired for it.
CHRISTOPHER PYNE: I’ve missed you Albo. I can’t wait to see you.
ANTHONY ALBANESE: I wish I could say the same.
DEBORAH KNIGHT: We will have big issues looked at when Parliament does resume next week, not least of course, this humiliating defeat the Government is facing on the issue of allowing medical transfers of refugees from Manus and Nauru. Albo, is Labor still going to support this bill being put by Dr Kerryn Phelps?
ANTHONY ALBANESE: Look, we’re supporting the legislation. We’ll see what happens in Parliament.
DEBORAH KNIGHT: Will you be reviewing the idea of having an independent medical board?
ANTHONY ALBANESE: We’ll have a – what we want to ensure is that legislation is carried so that people who need health care can get it. We have a responsibility –
DEBORAH KNIGHT: So you’ll back this bill from Kerryn Phelps?
ANTHONY ALBANESE: We’ll look at everything that is put forward.
DEBORAH KNIGHT: It sounds like you’re backing away.
ANTHONY ALBANESE: No we’re not backing away at all. We’ve said in principle, our position is, that people on Manus and Nauru who need medical assistance should get it, and we should listen to the advice of medical experts and as well though, we’ve supported and made it clear from day one, that we also support, at the end of the day, Ministerial discretion is very important, that there be political responsibility for that outcome.
DEBORAH KNIGHT: And Christopher will you be investigating this leak of this very much confidential information we saw your Home Affairs Minister really talking openly about, that was leaked? Are you going to be opening up every single rock, trying to find who leaked this information?
CHRISTOPHER PYNE: You mean the story in The Australian about ASIO saying that the Kerryn Phelps bill will dismantle our border protection policies? Is that the one you’re talking about?
ANTHONY ALBANESE: The one that’s supposed to be secret and confidential.
CHRISTOPHER PYNE: I don’t know where that story came from, but I can assure you that Labor and Kerryn Phelps’ bill would dismantle our border protection policies, and would give people like the Greens leader Richard Di Natale the say over whether people left Nauru. Of course there’s no one in detention in Manus Island, that detention centre closed some time ago, so that’s a red herring.
DEBORAH KNIGHT: There’s no suggestion that he’d be the doctor, that the Greens leader would be going in there.
CHRISTOPHER PYNE: He could be. He could easily be.
DEBORAH KNIGHT: There’s no element of scaremongering going around here?
CHRISTOPHER PYNE: Well what’s important is we don’t give the green light to people smugglers to start their evil trade again. Now Labor wants to play politics with this, because all they want to do is disrupt the Parliament, and disrupt the country.
ANTHONY ALBANESE: We had national security advice from H1.
CHRISTOPHER PYNE: The Howard Government stopped the boats. This Government is stopping the boats. If Labor is re-elected, the boats will start again, because the people smugglers will be given the welcome mat –
CHRISTOPHER PYNE: -- just like they were under Rudd and Gillard.
DEBORAH KNIGHT: I can’t get a word in with you two.
ANTHONY ALBANESE: They’re not governing.
DEBORAH KNIGHT: Let’s have a musical interlude, shall we? We saw Clive Palmer copping all sorts of grief for ripping off his twisted system with his annoying TV ads. We thought this morning we would ask for you. You’re the DJ here Albo. If you could adopt a song for the other party, what would it be?
ANTHONY ALBANESE: Well I thought about having Help by The Beatles, but I’m going to go with Won’t get Fooled Again by The Who.
DEBORAH KNIGHT: Okay, a bit of a theme there. And for you Christopher? What would you pick for Labor?
CHRISTOPHER PYNE: Well given the next election’s about a $200 billion tax hike by Labor, we’ve picked the Tax Man, by The Beatles.
DEBORAH KNIGHT: All right, a musical theme. We thought just as a general thing for all politicians we could all adopt, Would I lie to you?
CHRISTOPHER PYNE: Albo and I wouldn’t.
ANTHONY ALBANESE: No, no. We’re the good guys.
DEBORAH KNIGHT: You’re fired up with love and Parliament will be next week, and it’s good to have you on board for us this morning.