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Transcript of interview with Lisa Wilkinson & Karl Stefanovic: Today Show, Channel Nine: 23 August 2013: Kevin Rudd's manner with make-up artist; car industry jobs; costings



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Transcript

The Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP Shadow Minister for Communications and Broadband

Friday 23 August 2013

Interview with Lisa Wilkinson & Karl Stefanovic Today Show, Channel Nine

Subjects: Kevin Rudd’s manner with make-up artist; car industry jobs; costings

EO&E...........................................................................................................................................

KARL STEFANOVIC:

Well that was Kevin Rudd’s response to claims he was rude to a TV make-up artist on the 7pm Project last night. It is still the 7pm Project, right?

LISA WILKINSON:

The Project, I think it is.

STEFANOVIC:

Oh yeah, that’s right. But right now it’s time for In the House, and fresh from make-up we have Health Minister, Tanya Plibersek and Opposition Communications Minister, Malcolm Turnbull.

TANYA PLIBERSEK:

Good morning.

MALCOLM TURNBULL:

Good morning.

STEFANOVIC:

What did you think of that last night?

PLIBERSEK:

Well I was on a plane coming home from Darwin.

STEFANOVIC:

What did you think of it just then?

PLIBERSEK:

[Laughs] Oh look, I think everyone has minutes when they’re distracted. I think it’s - the difficulty with our job is that you meet a lot of people - but you only meet them once and very briefly. And so they form an instant judgement of you. So if you’re on a good day and you’re having a good day, that’s great. If you’re having a minute when you’re not on your best behaviour, that’s it forever.

WILKINSON:

But he does have form on this. And the make-up artists here at Nine all give us their assessment of you guys, but not in an out-of-the-zone way. It’s often, we get told, how nice the pollies are who come on. And they do get to see you guys in a real moment. This make-up artist obviously saw Kevin Rudd in a real moment and was seriously unimpressed - particularly compared to Tony Abbott.

PLIBERSEK:

Oh look I think it’s just over-interpreting a couple of minutes in someone’s day at a very busy time in their life.

STEFANOVIC:

You do say hello though to people, don’t you?

PLIBERSEK:

Oh yeah, pretty much.

STEFANOVIC:

You don’t think he’s got that element about him?

PLIBERSEK:

No. I think he’s charming. I spend a lot of time with him. This week I spent a lot of time with him making our terrific announcement about extra cancer nurses and stroke care coordinators and out there defending Medicare Locals which the Liberals are out to get rid of. It’s a lot of pressure and it’s a tough time and he hasn’t been anything but charming.

STEFANOVIC:

Malcolm Turnbull, have you ever not said hello to a make-up artist?

TURNBULL:

I always say hello. You could imagine the consequences if you were rude to a make-up artist.

STEFANOVIC:

Hell hath no fury.

TURNBULL:

That’s right. And suddenly you discover you’ve got a boozer’s nose and you didn’t think you had one. Or your boozer’s nose has not been covered up. But you know what’s really interesting about this is what social media’s done to democratise the media. If you go to a pre-social media era: So Kevin’s rude to the make-up artist. She’s grumpy. What does she do? She tells her boyfriend, or her husband or her kids or something - she tells her friends. Nothing happens. Maybe it finds its way to a newspaper but it’s very hard to run a story because Kevin would say, oh no that’s not true - she’s biased. And it would never hit the deck. But social media gives her her own little megaphone and she can express herself in a way that before Facebook and Twitter and so on, she was absolutely voiceless. It’s this powerful, democratising effect of social media.

WILKINSON:

As Kevin Rudd himself has found out with his 1.3 - whatever it is - million followers.

TURNBULL:

Yes, well we’re having a discussion about this in the Clovelly Hotel - you should come - next Thursday, the 29th. Has social media turned us all into one big selfie? What is the future of politics? Is social media cutting the level of politics, Tanya?

PLIBERSEK:

We are doing a twitter debate with our local papers this afternoon which is another example of how people use it. But on the flip side of, yes she has her own megaphone, haven’t you sometimes wished you hadn’t said that thing? I mean, I don’t know how this woman feels about it. But sometimes you want to say something in the heat of the moment and if you reflect for an hour, you think, of well maybe I over-reacted. Maybe I was in a bit of a bad mood myself. Sometimes it’s better to take a little moment before you tweet.

WILKINSON:

But the pressure is on Kevin Rudd at the moment. The polls are looking pretty bad. Queensland, which he was supposed to bring forward to the election and have all the winning votes - that’s in real trouble. Western Sydney, where you are - you are in the inner0city - that’s looking bad. He could even lose his own seat.

PLIBERSEK:

Well it’s a tough campaign.

TURNBULL:

Can I just say, it’s a very eastern suburbs view of Sydney if you think Tanya’s got a western Sydney seat.

WILKINSON:

Well she’s in the inner-city.

TURNBULL:

I don’t think Pyrmont’s in the western suburbs.

PLIBERSEK:

Well it’s a tough campaign, we know it’s a tough campaign. We started out behind. The Liberal Party’s been spending an awful lot on advertising. But the Prime Minister’s a real fighter, he’ll fight every minute of every day. He’s been up at 5.30 at the markets in western Sydney today. He’s got a string of things all day in western Sydney. He’s a very good campaigner.

STEFANOVIC:

But potentially though, in reality - and it’s very hard to know what the polls are saying, or if what the polls are saying is going to eventuate on election day - but in western Sydney you’re going to be pulverised. You’re going to lose Gough Whitlam’s seat which you’ve held since 1934. Potentially -

PLIBERSEK:

Let’s not catastrophise just yet.

STEFANOVIC:

But that’s how bad it is. They’re saying 10-15 you’ll lose if he has a good couple of weeks. He’ll lose 20 if he doesn’t. He’s going to have a massacre.

PLIBERSEK:

I think we’ve got two weeks to go. There are a variety of polls out there. Some are much worse than others. Some have us neck and neck. Our internal polling is a little different to the published polling as well.

STEFANOVIC:

It’s still bad though.

PLIBERSEK:

Well it’s neck and neck. And it means that people really have to spend the next two weeks focussing on what $70 billion worth of cuts means to the services they value - to health, to education -

TURNBULL:

Hang on, but what about the jobs of the workers at Ford? What about -

PLIBERSEK:

What would your car plan do? You take $500 million out of the car industry. 26,000, 36,000 jobs in Victoria alone.

TURNBULL:

Tanya, Tanya, you’ve smashed the Australia car industry with the FBT changes.

PLIBERSEK:

That’s absolutely untrue. The FBT changes Malcolm -

TURNBULL:

You say that’s untrue. Ford is laying off workers, putting people on part-time work -

PLIBERSEK:

And what’s going to happen when you take away car industry support?

TURNBULL:

This is why people are turning off the Government, because you had a policy and you changed -

PLIBERSEK:

Because of me?

TURNBULL:

[Laughs] No because you changed the law, Kevin changed the law on FBT which has made it much less attractive to buy Australian cars - Fords and Holdens. And the consequence is men and women are losing their jobs.

PLIBERSEK:

The law is you have to use your car for work. You have to keep a record -

TURNBULL:

They are losing their jobs because of a decision you guys took.

PLIBERSEK:

You have to keep a record for 12 weeks every five years.

TURNBULL:

Okay well you can continue to talk over the top of me.

STEFANOVIC:

I want to get one in for Malcolm today. The top economist in The Age - it ran yesterday online - it said that he’s done the costings and it looks like there’s $30 billion, there’s probably not going to be $70 billion, but there’s $30 billion you’re probably going to have to find. Are you going to be able to cover that?

TURNBULL:

Yeah, as Joe’s been saying day in, day out, this has all been costed by the Parliamentary Budget Office and the costings will be revealed in full when the policies -

WILKINSON:

When?

PLIBERSEK:

At midnight the night before the election -

WILKINSON:

When Malcolm?

TURNBULL:

Well that’s what you guys did last time.

PLIBERSEK:

Oh what nonsense.

TURNBULL:

Well you did.

WILKINSON:

But you are going to be better than that so when are you going to do it?

TURNBULL:

Well I’m not going to be doing it, Joe Hockey will -

WILKINSON:

Well when will Joe Hockey do it?

TURNBULL:

He will do it in the last week and I would expect early in that last week so people have got time -

PLIBERSEK:

Friday -

WILKINSON:

But pre-polling has begun. People are out there voting already.

STEFANOVIC:

Well he doesn’t have to do anything. They’re doing alright.

TURNBULL:

Well Lisa I tell you what the problem is -

STEFANOVIC:

Does he have to do anything?

TURNBULL:

Hang on - Lisa’s made a very good point because pre-poll has begun, it began this week. And so people are voting. But the difficulty is in a political campaign, you’ve got to have something to say every day. And

you’ve got to roll out your policies one after the other, and both sides do that. And you can’t release the costings on policies that haven’t been revealed. Because if you --

WILKINSON:

You could always go early.

PLIBERSEK:

You could publish the costings on the policies that have been revealed and you haven’t done that.

TURNBULL:

We have done that.

PLIBERSEK:

No you haven’t.

TURNBULL:

We have done that - on the health policy yesterday.

PLIBERSEK:

Oh it was one line. This will cost $340 million. Not where that $340 million will come from. Not where the $3 billion you need to replace the private health insurance -

TURNBULL:

Well we will never satisfy you Tanya.

PLIBERSEK:

Well that’s probably true.

TURNBULL:

The only way that those guys at Ford don’t lose their jobs is if you guys don’t get re-elected.

PLIBERSEK:

Oh that is the absolute reverse of true -

TURNBULL:

Oh really?

PLIBERSEK:

Because you will be taking $500 million out of the car industry.

WILKINSON:

Okay you guys might have to take this one out the back -

STEFANOVIC:

You just keep debating during the break - we like that.

PLIBERSEK:

36,000 jobs in Victoria alone.

STEFANOVIC:

Alright we’ve got to go.

[ENDS]

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