Doorstop interview, Transport and Tourism Forum Leadership Summit

  • Transcript, E&OE
Subjects: Malcolm Turnbull, Nationals leadership, Pacific Labour Scheme.
08 March 2019

Journalist: What do you make of MalcolmTurnbull's comments overnight?

MinisterPayne: I think fromour perspective we are getting on with the job here and that is making surethat we deliver the policies that Australians expect of us, predicated on astrong economy, and ensure they know the risks of electing a Labor government.

Journalist: Is it helpful though, Minister,those type of comments?

MinisterPayne: Former PrimeMinisters, one and all, are perfectly entitled to make any observations thatthey wish. But form our perspective we are very much focused on getting on withthe job. I was in Cairns yesterday with Ministers from Papua New Guinea workingon our Pacific Step Up, Labour Mobility; the things that will deliver supportto businesses in North Queensland and certainly that is our focus.

Journalist: On that point, why did PNG pull outof the Labour mobility scheme MOU signing yesterday?

MinisterPayne: Nobodypulled out of the MOU signing yesterday. We were finalising the legals and oncethey are done we will be signing.

Journalist: So do they have anyreservations?

MinisterPayne: No.

Journalist: Just finally on the Nationals, doyou think Michael McCormack deserves the support or loyalty of his partners, ofhis colleagues rather?

MinisterPayne: Well I canspeak of Michael McCormack as a cabinet colleague and as Deputy Prime Minister,a person with whom I work enormously closely. I spoke in the room earlier aboutthe naming of the new Western Sydney International (Nancy Bird Walton) Airport,which of course as Minister he is responsible for. In my view he is doingexactly what I said, getting on with job, working hard for Australians with areal focus from his perspective on regional Australia.

Journalist: It wouldn't behelpful though would it, another leadership change within the Coalition?

MinisterPayne: I expect theteam just to get on with the job and I know that is what we are all focused on.

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