TRANSCRIPT: TV INTERVIEW - SKY NEWS AM AGENDA - THURSDAY, 31 MAY 2018
THURSDAY, 31 MAY 2018
KIEREN GILBERT: Tony Burke, Manager of Opposition Business, thanks for your time. A lot of focus on Michaelia Cash yesterday, was it all trying to distract from the real question as to whether Bill Shorten got the appropriate authority to give $100,000 of union money to GetUp?
TONY BURKE, MANAGER OF OPPOSITION BUSINESS: There was already a focus on Michaelia Cash before she was subpoenaed. She hadn’t turned up to work. You had Senate estimates on where normally the senior Minister is there at the table answering questions all day, it's a gruelling time for them but it's part of the job. So already question marks running as to why Michaelia Cash hadn't turned up to do her job. Then we find out she's been subpoenaed by the Federal Court to give evidence under oath and then shortly before Question Time we find out that she's going to fight it and refuse to give evidence under oath.
GILBERT: But that’s fine isn’t it? People are allowed to request that subpoenas be set aside if they believe that they are not a party to the case and that’s her view.
BURKE: Yes and let’s not forget with this that she initially gave false information to the Parliament. She initially gave false information when she was being questioned in the Parliament.
GILBERT: She said her staff member mislead her, that’s why. And she corrected it as soon as she could.
BURKE: Let’s go back to how she handled that. She didn’t just give false information, she attacked the Labor questioners - ‘how dare you ask something of that nature at all.’ A full on attack that is always someone else’s fault is exactly how this Minister operates. Not turning up yesterday to do her job in Senate estimates and now we find the first time, after her evidence has been unreliable before Parliamentary committees, the moment she is asked to give evidence under oath, where there is a real penalty if you don't tell the truth, she wants to fight it.
GILBERT: So it’s not about look over here, look at the drama here and don't focus on the main question. Which is whether or not with appropriate authority from Bill Shorten, back in 2006, when his union gave $100,000 of union money to GetUp. That’s the question.
BURKE: The time of the Work Choices campaign. When you say ‘the real question here’…
GILBERT: Isn’t that the real question? That's the question that's being asked.
BURKE: The other question that is being asked is only recently we had an Australian Federal Police raid where the media turned up before the police did and that was done because of the actions of Michaelia Cash and her office. Now under the Westminster system I'm not sure how many people have ever got away with the argument that it was nothing to do with the Minister because the staff did it. And certainly if you listen to the Government in question time that's not even an argument that they’ll apply to Labor shadow ministers. So the principle here - is a minister responsible for the actions of their office? Michaelia Cash is meant to be managing the entire industrial relations system and we're meant to believe she's incapable of even managing her office here in Parliament House?
GILBERT: Let’s look at the other big story of the day. This is a glimmer of hope for the Government as the Hanson team are again all over the shop on this issue. It means that there is a glimmer of hope for the Government in terms of getting this company tax cut though with Brian Burston saying that he will be good to his word, with the handshake that he gave Mathias Cormann the Finance Minister.
BURKE: My view is One Nation these days and the Liberal Party are almost continually in lockstep. This is not like the days when John Howard would campaign and say ‘put One Nation last’. Malcolm Turnbull refuses to put One Nation last. Pauline Hanson made an announcement in the lead up to a Queensland by-election that they are now opposed to a company tax cut. They’ve got a secret deal with the Liberal Party.
GILBERT: He was blindsided by it at first, Burston. He didn’t even know about it before that announcement was made. Its quite extraordinary.
BURKE: And now he is the one honouring it. Ultimately Pauline Hanson will support the tax cuts for the big end of town. She’s got a secret agreement, her party started to move back there, she’s playing a game to try and boost the One Nation vote during the by-election. Nothing more, nothing less. You look at the voting pattern of One Nation, they are in lockstep with the Liberal Party and Malcolm Turnbull is unwilling to stand up to One Nation the way that John Howard did.
GILBERT: Mr Burke I appreciate your time as always. Thanks.
BURKE: Great to be back.