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Transcript of interview with Karl Stefanovic and Anthony Albanese: 'Week in politics', Today Show, Channel Nine: 6 July 2018: GST; security agreement with Pacific Island nations



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THE HON PETER DUTTON MP MINISTER FOR HOME AFFAIRS MINISTER FOR IMMIGRATION AND BORDER PROTECTION

TRANSCRIPT

INTERVIEW WITH KARL STEFANOVIC AND ANTHONY ALBANESE ‘WEEK IN POLITICS’ TODAY SHOW, CHANNEL NINE

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The Hon Peter Dutton MP. Liberal Party of Australia. Brisbane www.minister.homeaffairs.gov.au

6 July 2018

Subjects: GST; security agreement with Pacific Island nations.

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

KARL STEFANOVIC:

Well the big sell is on after the Government yesterday unveiled its bold plan to redistribute the country's GST takings. It says all states and territories will be better off under the plan, but not everyone agrees.

Anthony Albanese and Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton join us now. Good morning guys.

ANTHONY ALBANESE:

Good to be with you, how are you?

PETER DUTTON:

Good Morning Karl. Morning Albo.

KARL STEFANOVIC:

Now Peter, you are absolutely, categorically, definitively and any other L Y words I can end with, certain that no state will be worse off, right?

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The Hon Peter Dutton MP. Liberal Party of Australia. Brisbane www.minister.homeaffairs.gov.au

PETER DUTTON:

No state's worse off. No doubt Karl. Everyone gets a bit of extra cash and it's a fairer carve up of the GST. Don't forget that WA went down to 29 cents in the dollar and you had Northern Territory I think over $4 given back to them for every dollar they collected in GST. So this brings a floor and it makes it better for the eastern states as well.

KARL STEFANOVIC:

Could you kindly repeat after me; there will be no state worse off under a government I lead?

PETER DUTTON:

Under a government….in our time.

KARL STEFANOVIC:

Can you repeat it for me?

PETER DUTTON:

Is that it?

KARL STEFANOVIC:

Because it's always good come election time those ones.

Queensland, Victoria and New South Wales are a little bit shaky on this deal though - as you would know - and boy oh boy, is it not a high cost to pay for keeping WA happy?

PETER DUTTON:

Well I liked the footage of Paul Keating last night who said: never stand between a bucket of money and a Premier on the march. So it was true then, true now.

But look, it's the case - in my state of Queensland we get half-a-billion-dollars extra, which means more money for health and for education, for roads etc. So at least Albo - I mean surely Albo, you'd give this a tick of approval? I mean, a Shorten-Albanese government would support it, wouldn't they?

KARL STEFANOVIC:

Okay Peter, I don't know if you're new to this, but I'm the one who is asking questions this morning…

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The Hon Peter Dutton MP. Liberal Party of Australia. Brisbane www.minister.homeaffairs.gov.au

PETER DUTTON:

…sorry Karl.

KARL STEFANOVIC:

…but that was a very good question though.

ANTHONY ALBANESE:

He's always trying to take over…

KARL STEFANOVIC:

….he is.

ANTHONY ALBANESE:

…he's trying to take over from Malcolm Turnbull and he's trying to take over the show.

KARL STEFANOVIC:

I like the look of him….I like the look of him. Hey, I like the question too. You'll support this, won't you?

ANTHONY ALBANESE:

Well, what we'll do is look at the full detail, but we do welcome the fact that the Government's adopted Labor's position that we'd already announced and campaigned on of a floor for WA of 70 cents in the dollar. We'd already done that with our fair share for WA. One of the things we are concerned about though Karl, is that where is the $7 billion extra coming from?

KARL STEFANOVIC:

Okay, back to you Pete. Where will it come from?

PETER DUTTON:

Well, it comes from getting 700,000 people off welfare and into work. So instead of taxpayers paying for their dole payments and whatnot, they're now paying tax and contributing themselves. We're cutting back on waste and at the same time, the economy's growing; the economy's doing well and there's more tax revenue coming in. So it helps us to pay off Albo's debt as well mate.

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The Hon Peter Dutton MP. Liberal Party of Australia. Brisbane www.minister.homeaffairs.gov.au

ANTHONY ALBANESE:

You can't keep spending the same dollars. You can't have income tax cuts, big business tax including for the big banks, $17 billion, an additional $7 billion here. Our concern is that what the Government will do if they get back in, is say whoops, we've got to do something about the debt…

KARL STEFANOVIC:

…but you won't wind this back?

ANTHONY ALBANESE:

…and have a massive cut like we did…

PETER DUTTON:

…hey Albo if…

ANTHONY ALBANESE:

…in 2014 to education and health.

KARL STEFANOVIC:

But you won't wind it back if you come into power so…

ANTHONY ALBANESE:

….we're looking at the detail Karl. What we're saying is the Government needs to say where the $7 billion is coming from.

KARL STEFANOVIC:

Okay Pete, let's move on quickly. Today a big deal is being done with the Pacific Island nations on security. Is it about security or wedging China, or both, do you think?

PETER DUTTON:

Well it's a continuation of an existing agreement and it's important for us that the good relations continue with our near neighbours. We want to make sure that from a security perspective, economic perspective, aid and development perspective; we've got a continuing good relationship and that's what it's about.

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The Hon Peter Dutton MP. Liberal Party of Australia. Brisbane www.minister.homeaffairs.gov.au

KARL STEFANOVIC:

Yeah but the problem is Pete, you know full and well that they are having their beaches paved in gold some of these island nations. The aid money from China is huge. How do you combat that? It's a big influence.

PETER DUTTON:

Well obviously China's reaching out across the world, including into our region and we have a very good relationship with China; they're a good partner, economic partner with us, we have good relationships in relation to my portfolio for example and we want all of that to continue, but in our neighbourhood we have responsibility to work with our neighbours and we're doing that and that will continue.

KARL STEFANOVIC:

Okay.

ANTHONY ALBANESE:

Well the lesson here is that foreign aid does play a role in international relations and it's why we shouldn't be cutting back on our foreign aid. We should continue to play a leadership role in the Pacific. We don't want to see a militarisation in the Pacific, a military presence from China or Russia. We want to be the leaders, as we have been, for many decades.

KARL STEFANOVIC:

Albo, you've had a very quiet week. I was worried…

ANTHONY ALBANESE:

…I don't know about that. I've been in Mackay, I've been in Cairns.

KARL STEFANOVIC:

You weren't going around counting numbers, were you, or anything…

ANTHONY ALBANESE:

I've been out there campaigning for the Labor Party against Peter and his mob.

KARL STEFANOVIC:

Pete?

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The Hon Peter Dutton MP. Liberal Party of Australia. Brisbane www.minister.homeaffairs.gov.au

PETER DUTTON:

He's been counting numbers mate. He's been absent for five days because to get to 12 it takes Albo a little longer than the average bear….

KARL STEFANOVIC:

…aww...

PETER DUTTON:

…so one thing I'd say is don't trust Albo with the numbers. He's just told you he can’t find savings and then he spent money on aid in the next answer. So Albo, you would be a true traditional Labor leader, you'd spend and tax like crazy mate.

ANTHONY ALBANESE:

You're the bloke promising tax cuts for business, for individuals, for even the big banks and you're going to spend it by giving more money to the states as well.

KARL STEFANOVIC:

Alright guys, have yourself a great weekend.

PETER DUTTON:

Thanks Karlos. See ya Albo.

ANTHONY ALBANESE:

…what's he done to Christopher Pyne?

KARL STEFANOVIC:

Wouldn't you like to know?

ANTHONY ALBANESE:

He's probably locked him up somewhere.

PETER DUTTON:

He'll be back, don't go there, don't go there Albo.

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The Hon Peter Dutton MP. Liberal Party of Australia. Brisbane www.minister.homeaffairs.gov.au

ANTHONY ALBANESE:

That's his specialty.

PETER DUTTON:

Don't go there.

KARL STEFANOVIC:

I wouldn't mind seeing where Christopher Pyne is actually. It might be interesting. Over to you Georgie.

[ends]