AM Radio National with Kim Landers > Mitch Fifield, Liberal Senator for Victoria

CONTACT SENATOR FIFIELD

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Electorate Office
42 Florence Street
MENTONE VIC 3194

Phone: 03 9584 2455
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Parliament House
CANBERRA ACT 2600
Phone: 02 6277 7480




22-August-2018

AM with Kim Landers
ABC Radio National
22 August 2018
7.10am




E & OE


KIM LANDERS:

Mitch Fifield is the Communications Minister. He voted for Malcolm Turnbull and he joins me now. Minister, good morning.


FIFIELD:

Good morning, Kim.


LANDERS:

Are Malcolm Turnbull’s days as Prime Minister numbered?


FIFIELD:

Kim, the Party Room as a collective on Tuesday, determined that they would reindorse Malcolm Turnbull as Prime Minister. So, our focus now is doing what we’ve been doing every day since the last election. And that is ensuring that Bill Shorten does not become the next Prime Minister of this country. Because we do not want to have a government that wants to increase taxes on Australians. We do not want a government that wants to reduce the liberty of Australians. We’ve got a great track record. And that’s what we’re putting forward, every day, to Australian people.


LANDERS:

Since that ballot, there have been nine attempted ministerial resignations, isn’t that a blunt warning to the Prime Minister that support for Peter Dutton is growing?

FIFIELD:

Kim, my practice in ballots has always been to be open about what I’ve done. And I think it’s to the credit of those colleagues that they have been candid about what they have done. Now, you’re right. A number of them have offered their resignations. And it will be a matter between themselves and the Prime Minister as to whether those are proceeded with. But I certainly hope that those ministerial colleagues will continue to have the opportunity to contribute.

LANDERS:

Malcolm Turnbull has lost the support though of colleagues in Queensland, in New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania, WA; do you think he should just walk away for the good of the Party?


FIFIELD:

The Party Room decided on Tuesday that Malcolm Turnbull is the person who should lead us. Kim, I just need to point to our track record. Since we’ve been in government, we have systematically ticked off pretty much every item on our legislative agenda. On our freedom agenda, they said that we would never be able to legislate the re-establishment of the ABCC or establish a Registered Organisations Commission, or outlaw corrupting benefit payments between unions and business. Or, that we would be able to put in place protections for CFA workers. Or that we would be able to reform the processes of the Human Rights Commission. On our social policy agenda, they said we would never be able to reform the childcare system, or put in place a new school funding system. In my own area of communications, they said that we would never be able to legislate reform of the media sector. And with our economic agenda, they said you’ll never have a hope of legislating personal tax cuts. We did. They said you’ll never legislate the first tranche of company tax cuts. And we have.


LANDERS:

But despite all of that, a big chunk of your colleagues have said that they don’t Malcolm Turnbull should be Prime Minister, any more.


FIFIELD:

Kim, we had a Party Room ballot on Tuesday. Our political culture is robust in the Liberal Party. We have in Australian politics people who have a range of different perspectives. And the forums where those are resolved are the House of Representatives, the Senate, and the Party Room of the Coalition and the ALP caucus. That’s why we have those forums so that we can reconcile different perspectives…


LANDERS:

You’ve been closely involved in these matters you were closely involved when Malcolm Turnbull did take on Tony Abbott and became the Prime Minister, don’t you know in your gut that another challenge is coming.


FIFIELD: 

Kim, we are governed by our Party Room. Our Party Room, as a collective, took a decision not but a day ago.


LANDERS:

They took a decision and Peter Dutton pointedly did not rule out a challenge don’t you think another one is coming?


FIFIELD:

Kim, he said that he respected the decision of the Party Room. And that is what all colleagues do, is respect the decision of the Party Room. What we are going to do is to continue to prosecute our agenda. We have company tax cuts still being debated in the Senate today. And I’ve got to give great credit to Mathias Cormann who has been at the forefront of securing so many of our victories in the Senate…


LANDERS:

While he’s trying to do that, let’s remember Labor’s leadership instability was once a very potent political weapon for you side of the politics. Now the Coalition is up to the same tricks so why do you deserve to be re-elected.


FIFIELD:

We deserve to be re-elected because as I say we have put in place our freedom agenda, significant reform in industrial relations. Our economic agenda, we have delivered personal income tax cuts for the Australian people. Letting them keep more of their own money in their pocket. We think Australians are in the best position to know how to spend their money. We have reformed the childcare system. We’ve got the budget back on a path to balance. We have the NBN more than halfway completed. It’s going to be done and dusted by 2020. It was a failed project when we came into office. So portfolio by portfolio, we have succeeded. And I’d be remiss not to talk about the Home Affairs portfolio and our border protection policies, where we have stopped people dying at sea and that’s to the great credit of both Peter Dutton and Scott Morrison.


LANDERS:

Minister thank you very much for joining AM.


FIFIELD: 

Good to be with you, Kim.



[ends]




Authorised by Senator the Hon Mitch Fifield, Liberal Party of Australia, Parliament House, Canberra.