13 October 2016
Transcript - #2016062, 2016

Doorstop interview, Canberra

SUBJECTS: Red Nose; multinational tax avoidance; Parliamentary procedure

KELLY O’DWYER:

So I’m here supporting Red Nose Saving Little Lives today because this is an organisation that, over the past 40 years, has been supporting bereaved parents, parents who have suffer the loss of a child, and provided important information out there into the local community about how you can safely sleep your child. Today they are here in Parliament because what they are doing is providing even more resources for bereaved parents. They’re providing them with an opportunity to get access to even more information. I want to commend them for their incredible work and for the incredible sensitivity in which they deal with such a very, very difficult topic. As a mother myself, I certainly am someone who has benefited very, very greatly from the work that they do in terms of how to safely sleep your child and we heard today from mothers and parents about the impact that the organisation has had on their families.

JOURNALIST:

More on that, there were calls for more government assistance for SIDS or for Red Nose, is that likely to come?

KELLY O’DWYER:

Well the Government has actually supported the bereavement tool that is now available to people online to be able to provide access to the counselling services that parents need. There is a 24-hour hotline, it is incredible work. The Government does in fact support important research through the Medical Health and Research Foundation and the NHMRC will continue to do that. But I think this is an extraordinary organisation borne out of the vision of one woman, who 40 years ago, suffered a terrible loss of a child. They have received a lot of community support to do the work that they’re doing. Certainly I, for one, am a great supporter of theirs. If they come to me asking for assistance I, for one, would give them all the support that they need.

JOURNALIST:

If we pivot away, has Christopher Pyne spoken to you after the dramas of last night?

KELLY O’DWYER:

Labor has continued to play in this Parliament a lot of adolescent games. There was a procedural mistake last night but it had no impact on the passing of the Bill and it’s very, very clear that Labor wants to focus on game playing rather than focusing on their record and on a positive message. The Government has taken very significant action on multinational tax avoidance. The Government, in fact, passed at the end of last year the most significant reform on multinational tax avoidance in the past 30 years. When Labor had the opportunity to support that reform, when they had the opportunity to vote for it, they didn’t. They stood in the way and I think their actions there speak louder than real words.

JOURNALIST:

Minister, it’s a stuff-up though, isn’t it?

KELLY O’DWYER:

Well as I said, these adolescent games keep getting played by Labor in the Parliament. There was a procedural mistake, it had no impact on the passing of the Bill. It’s important to note that when Labor had an opportunity to take real action on important issues like multinational companies and shifting profits offshore, when they have an opportunity to vote for important legislation, the most ground-breaking legislation over the past 30 years, they don’t. They vote it down. So their actions, I think, on this, speak much louder than their words and I think people see stunts for what they are.

JOURNALIST:

[inaudible]

KELLY O’DWYER:

As I said, there was a procedural mistake, it does happen in Parliament from time to time, but it had no impact on the passing of the legislation, it was corrected very quickly in the Parliament and my job and my focus as a Minister is actually getting on with real initiatives that make a different to the lives of the Australian people, making sure that we have integrity in our tax system, making sure that everyone is paying the right amount of tax, and that includes multinationals. And the Labor record on this is very weak. The Labor record is very weak indeed and I think we should look to their actions and not the silly stunts that they continue to play.

JOURNALIST:

So you won’t take responsibility for what happened?

KELLY O’DWYER:

Absolutely, it is important to note that there was a procedural mistake in the Parliament, there’s no question about that, it had no impact on the passing of the Bill and it was corrected very quickly in the Parliament. Christopher Pyne has made a statement on this and I’ll refer you to that.

JOURNALIST:

Would you say you’ve learned from this incident and that it won’t happen again?

KELLY O’DWYER:

I think it’s incumbent on all MPs in parliament to be very, very conscious of all of the procedures. I’m very well aware of those and I can certainly say from my own personal experience that while there was a procedural mistake made in the House, it didn’t have an impact on the passing of the Bill and most certainly, the Government is getting on with the job of actually taking real action. Taking real action on tax reform, taking real action on superannuation reform, taking real action on financial services reform, and that is my 100% focus.

JOURNALIST:

But this is twice now, is the Government [inaudible] Lower House?

KELLY O’DWYER:

I would refer you to Christopher Pyne’s statement as Leader of the House and frankly, I think the Labor Party should explain why it is that they’re so focused on these adolescent games in the Parliament, why they’re so focused on these things that actually don’t affect the legislation, rather than focusing on the point of the legislation that is in fact before the House.

JOURNALIST:

Minister will this happen again and have you spoken to Christopher Pyne, has Christopher Pyne spoken to you about this?

KELLY O’DWYER:

I speak with Christopher Pyne every single day, I speak with him every single day, we certainly spoke about what happened in the House last night. As I said to you, there was a procedural mistake, Labor was playing adolescent games, it had no impact on the passing of the Bill, no impact whatsoever. And it was corrected in the House very, very quickly. My job as a Minister is 100% to focus on delivering actions for the Australian people. That’s what the Turnbull Government is focused on while Labor are playing games.