15 September 2015
Transcript - #2015050, 2015

In the role of: Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer [23 December 2014 - 20 September 2015]

Interview with Linda Mottram, Mornings with Linda Mottram, 702 ABC Sydney

SUBJECTS: Liberal Party Leader

MOTTRAM:

Up now a member of the outer ministry who has been a supporter of Malcolm Turnbull is Victorian Liberal Kelly O'Dwyer. She's the Member for Higgins, formerly Peter Costello's seat of course. And until last night, well I guess still, Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer. Kelly joins me now. Good morning Kelly.

O'DWYER:

Good morning Linda.

MOTTRAM:

Last night, was it the right decision to change leader?

O'DWYER:

The colleagues made a very clear decision and I think it is the right decision for the nation. And it the right decision to have, in Malcolm Turnbull, someone who I think will be a very unifying figure for the nation and for our Party Room. He is someone who has a very clear vision for our country and over the coming days, weeks and months ahead he will be outlining that. Central to his vision is that we need to have a strong economy and we need to prepare for the challenges that face our economy and the opportunities that are ahead of us as a nation.

MOTTRAM:

The Treasurer Joe Hockey was very sharp in his criticism of Malcolm Turnbull yesterday in the lead up to the vote saying that Malcolm had never raised the kind of concerns about messaging and building confidence. He'd never raised those things in the Cabinet. What's your reaction to that?

O'DWYER:

Well look obviously I'm not a member of the Cabinet and I cannot give you any insights into personal discussions. I can say though from person experience, I have enormous regard for Joe Hockey. I have had in recent times the opportunity to work closely with him and I have enormous personal regard for him. I'm very confident though that as a result of the decision that was made last night that we have a unified team and that we are all working hard for the betterment of Australians. We are working hard in our electorates and we are working hard in the nation's Parliament and that is the key thing. This was not done because factional bosses asked members to do this. This was not done because union leaders demanded it. Every member of that Coalition Party Room has gone in with their vote and made a decision. They have listened to their electorates, they've listened to the people who've been talking to them about the need for our Government to represent the aspirations of all Australians.

MOTTRAM:

But there are divisions there aren't there? I mean there will be some bitterness as a result of this. There are very strong Abbott supporters who have been rebuffed here and may well be brushed aside from the Ministry. Plus there is the whole question of the relationship with the National Party. There is a lot of healing to go on.

O'DWYER:

Everything I've heard this morning Linda has been very positive. I think everybody understands that it's the appropriate forum for the Party Room to make these decisions and these decisions are not made lightly. I think those people who are unhappy with the change obviously got to have their vote yesterday but the truth is we are unified now. A decision's been made by the Party and we'll go forward and focus on what we're meant to be focused on which is making sure our economy is strong, making sure we create the right policy environment to grow jobs in Australia.

MOTTRAM:

Kelly O'Dwyer is with me, the Member for Higgins in Victoria and Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer. More women on the bench, this is a point Tony Abbott faced criticism about. Are you hopeful that things will be different under Malcolm Turnbull?

O'DWYER:

The makeup of the Cabinet and the Ministry is obviously a matter for the Leader. He's already said he is going to reflect upon this. He's not going to make rash decision. Everybody is going to serve in their portfolios until the end of the parliamentary sitting week and he'll take counsel over the weekend before making a final decision. I think that process is an eminently sensible one, it is a measured response and it will be up to him to determine who the best team is for him to bring forward. Once that decision is made we will all unite behind that team and make sure that we do the very best job that we can do to represent our electorates and to represent the nation.

MOTTRAM:

Kelly O'Dwyer thank you for your time today.

O'DWYER:

Thanks very much Linda.

MOTTRAM:

Kelly O'Dwyer is the Member for Higgins and Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer.