15 September 2015
Transcript - #2015051, 2015

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

Interview with Jon Faine, Mornings with Jon Faine, ABC 774 Melbourne

SUBJECTS: Liberal Party Leader

FAINE:

First up, the Member for Higgins. Kelly O'Dwyer has been in the Parliament long enough to be a Minister in many peoples' views however, until now she's been overlooked except for junior positions and is likely to be one of the big beneficiaries in particular of the change to Malcolm Turnbull as leader. Kelly O'Dwyer, good morning to you.

O'DWYER:

Good morning Jon.

FAINE:

What deals have been done for you?

O'DWYER:

No deals. I've had no conversations and I have no expectations. There have been no deals done.

FAINE:

Which way did you vote?

O'DWYER:

I make it a policy on not commenting on how I vote but let me say this; I think that the Liberal Party Room last night made the very decisive decision that we need to, as a Party, unite behind our leader in Malcolm Turnbull. He will make a fantastic Prime Minister. He is someone who believes very strongly in the Liberal ideals of freedom and opportunity. He is someone who wants what all Australians want – which is to live our best possible lives so that they can live in a secure economic environment and I think that he will, through his consultative style, make a wonderful Prime Minister. He will be a centrist Prime Minister…

FAINE:

So the flirtation with Tea Party politics is over?

O'DWYER:

Well certainly I think Malcolm Turnbull is someone from the centre of politics. He understands and respects that the Liberal Party is a broad church, it is made up of two traditions, the liberal tradition and the conservative tradition as John Howard rightly explained it many years ago, and I think that he will represent both of those traditions incredibly well.

FAINE:

So what policy changes are you and others calling for other than a difference of style, what are the differences of substance Kelly O'Dwyer?

O'DWYER:

I think what we'll see from Malcom Turnbull is a leader who will outline a vision for the nation. He will articulate where it is that our nation needs to go and he will…

FAINE:

…Well I'm sorry but that is stating the bleeding obvious. What changes of substance are you expecting?

O'DWYER:

I'm happy to finish my answer there. He will explain the importance of the challenges we will face as a nation and some of the reforms that we need to embark upon.

FAINE:

What sort of things?

O'DWYER:

Well I think he is going to clearly make some statements around economic policy…

FAINE:

What sort…

O'DWYER:

…We will be having discussions…

FAINE:

Tax reform…

O'DWYER:

…We will be…

FAINE:

…GST at 15 per cent company tax cut?

O'DWYER:

We will have discussions. I'm not going to pre-empt the discussions we are going to have as a party room.

FAINE:

Discussions you've already had.

O'DWYER:

There are processes in place to ensure that the Ministry, the Cabinet and the Party Room will be involved in all policy discussions. We need to have a very consultative Government. Malcolm Turnbull has said he will be a consultative leader. He will be a very consultative leader. We must not lose touch with the Australian people and I know that through that consultation, because every Member of Parliament represents their electorate, through that consultation, those aspirations will be realised.

FAINE:

Climate change policy, same sex marriage policies…

O'DWYER:

Well I think Malcolm has already made some statements in relation to both of those policies. He said that if we are ever to review those policies that it would be through a thorough consultative process, but what he has also said, is that the current policy around our targets, around climate change, are ones that he is very comfortable with. Greg Hunt has done a very good job as Environment Minister, he will be going off to Paris with our targets, and we will obviously after that period of time have a discussion about that policy following on from those discussions.

FAINE:

The idea you're all going to sit down, have a group hug, sing Kumbaya and be happy campers is preposterous Kelly O'Dwyer, clearly it's not going to happen.

O'DWYER:

Well, no, Jon, I think we have seen that the Liberal Party does unify. We're not the Labor Party here, we've not been directed by union leaders, we've not been directed by factional bosses, every Member of Parliament represents their electorate, they're in touch with their electorate and they vote according to their own conscience and according to what they think is going to be right for the nation. Malcolm Turnbull will make a fantastic Prime Minister and he will be a very consultative Prime Minister and I think Victorians particularly are going to welcome him as the leader of the nation.

FAINE:

And what was it about Victoria that Tony Abbott never quite got, Kelly O'Dwyer?

O'DWYER:

Well, look, I think that in Victoria on the whole we are economically pretty literate, socially a bit more progressive. Now that's a big broad generalisation, but we have a different political culture to that of other states and I think that an inclusive leader like Malcolm Turnbull intuitively understands that. And I think that the aspirations of Victorians are going to be well represented by him.

FAINE:

It's going to be fascinating to see. Is there a portfolio you in particular are expressing an interest in?

O'DWYER:

I have not had any conversations about any such things at all, Jon.

FAINE:

You're serious?

O'DWYER:

Yes absolutely serious.

FAINE:

Not with anyone? Haven't dropped a hint? Haven't said "Oh, I've always wanted to be…"

O'DWYER:

No. No. Absolutely not.

FAINE:

Alright. Look we've got lots of other people waiting to speak. I'm going to have to move on. I could keep chewing the fat with you for ages Kelly O'Dwyer, it's so fascinating, but I've got to move on. I thank you for taking my call.

O'DWYER:

Thanks Jon.

FAINE:

The Member for Higgins, centred around Malvern and Toorak those leafy parts of the suburbs, Kelly O'Dwyer.