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Transcript of interview with Eddie McGuire: Triple M's Hot Breakfast: 19 July 2017: National security; US shooting



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THE HON. MALCOLM TURNBULL MP PRIME MINISTER

TRANSCRIPT

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Interview with Eddie McGuire - Triple M’s Hot Breakfast, Melbourne

SUBJECTS: National Security; US Shooting

E&OE…

EDDIE McGUIRE:

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull good morning.

PRIME MINISTER:

Good morning, great to be with you.

EDDIE McGUIRE:

Malcolm can you tell us, why have you decided to go with this as a super-sized Home Affairs portfolio? I like the look for it personally. There’s a few things we’d like to hear from you as to why you’re doing it. It was promulgated by Tony Abbott previously and didn’t get up. But this, what’s the timing and why have you gone with it?

PRIME MINISTER:

Well this is long overdue, Eddie. What we need to do is ensure that our security agencies, which are the best in the world, can be even better. They have to work closely together and ensuring that you have ASIO, the Australian Federal Police, Border Force, working together in one portfolio ensures that they will work more closely together and they will do an even better job at keeping Australians safe.

The model that we’re adopting is identical to that which has operated in the United Kingdom, in the Home Office there for many years, for decades. It has been very successful. You integrate those agencies whose job it is to work together and keep 24 million Australians safe at home. That’s my focus.

I don’t need a crisis to cause me to act. What I’m always doing is seeking every day to improve the way in which we keep Australians safe. That’s my only focus.

EDDIE McGUIRE:

Prime Minister, what has, you know, maybe what has piqued your interest rather than, as you’ve said, you’re not motivated for anything other than making the country safe, but has it been the continued growth of ISIS and terrorism around the world? Or you’ve just come back from seeing Donald Trump and everything that’s going on with America and even the thoughts that the Russians could have, might have, maybe been involved in their election?

PRIME MINISTER:

Eddie, this plan to make this change we’ve been looking at, working on, for a long time. As you said, previous Prime Ministers have looked at it too. In fact it was proposed quite a long time ago - in fact, at one point by Kevin Rudd. So it has a logic about it.

I mean if you were starting from scratch, you would not have your domestic security agencies spread between three portfolios.

EDDIE MCGUIRE:

Yeah makes sense doesn’t it.

PRIME MINISTER:

You’d have them in one - clearly you’d have them in one ministry. So you know, institutions grow up over time for various reasons but this is an opportunity to have a logic and a consistency that will deliver greater cooperation.

Obviously, I have discussed structures of agencies like this with our close partners, security partners, particularly the UK where of course they do have the Home Office and have had that operating with a Home Secretary for many years, as I said.

LUKE DARCY:

Prime Minister, we haven’t got a lot of your time this morning, but a lot of Australians are thinking about the 40-year-old Sydney woman Justine Damond who was shot by police in the US. Have you got any more information for us on that this morning?

PRIME MINISTER:

No, I don’t have any more information. Our Consul-General in Chicago, Michael Wood is pressing for answers and the Minneapolis Mayor I know is demanding answers.

Justine, we understand, she went out at night to speak to officers in a car. She was in her pyjamas, she was clearly no threat to them and how it came about that a police officer shot her - it’s inexplicable - but there will be an explanation.

So our love, our condolences, our sympathy go out to her family who have suffered this terrible loss.

But we are demanding answers from the American authorities and of course, that’s what our Consul-General will be doing right now in the United States. But it seems an extraordinary, extraordinary tragedy and it’s hard to imagine how it could have happened.

EDDIE McGUIRE:

Prime Minister thank you for your time this morning, I know you’re busy and you’ve got things to do. We’ve got Peter Dutton on tomorrow so will drill into the actual portfolio with him live in the studio.

PRIME MINISTER:

Thanks very much.

EDDIE McGUIRE:

But thanks for coming on to let us know about what the motivation is behind all this.

PRIME MINISTER:

Keeping Australians safe, that’s my motivation every day, every day.

EDDIE McGUIRE:

Thanks very much.

[ENDS]