5 December 2015
Transcript - #2015078, 2015

In the role of: Minister for Small Business and Assistant Treasurer [21 September 2015 - 18 July 2016]

Interview with David “Macca” McCarthy and Dean Beck, Joy FM, Saturday Magazine

SUBJECTS: Superannuation governance and transparency; 2016 Election; the Liberal Party; Higgins.

DAVID “MACCA” MCCARTHY:

Welcome Kelly. How are you?

MINISTER O’DWYER:

I’m very well how are you Macca?

MACCA:

Good. Welcome back, welcome back.

MINISTER O’DWYER:

Great to be back.

MACCA:

You’re looking very well with all the responsibilities you’ve got as a Minister, as a mum, Member for Higgins, you’re looking better than you did last time – and I can say that because I’m a gay man.

MINISTER O’DWYER:

Oh you’re very nice to say that. I’ve actually been pretty crook this week up in Canberra…

MACCA:

Have you?

MINISTER O’DWYER:

Yeah – makeup is a wonderful, glorious thing. Which of course you’re listeners can’t see at all because the magic of radio is such that we can’t do that.

MACCA:

Ahh it is. We were just saying that, sorry Dean you said that was it the last by-election…

DEAN BECK:

The by-election where you were elected…

MINISTER O’DWYER:

In 2009 actually so six years ago today.

BECK:

Today?

MINISTER O’DWYER:

Today.

MACCA:

Really.

BECK:

Wow, well happy anniversary.

MINISTER O’DWYER:

Thank you.

BECK:

Am I right in saying that the Labor Party didn’t stand a candidate?

MINISTER O’DWYER:

That’s right so the main candidate was actually a Greens candidate…

BECK:

That’s right.

MINISTER O’DWYER:

And something pretty similar is happening in North Sydney at the moment.

BECK:

Today?

MACCA:

Oh yes, of course.

MINISTER O’DWYER:

Today.

BECK:

Today?

MINISTER O’DWYER:

I did say to Trent Zimmerman, who is in fact a gay man…

MACCA:

He is.

MINISTER O’DWYER:

I said to him it is a very auspicious day for him because Paul Fletcher and I both were elected in a by-election on this particular date and we look forward to you joining our very exclusive little club.

BECK:

I think it’s a done deal.

MACCA:

Now here’s a little bit of trivia. It was one step removed but when I worked at Optus I knew Paul.

MINISTER O’DWYER:

Oh did you?

MACCA:

So there you go.

MINISTER O’DWYER:

And he’s a good man.

MACCA:

Couple of things, we will touch on Higgins a little bit in a minute. I’m sure you’ve read Adele Ferguson’s article today about the Super, about the board law changes, and Dean and I were talking about this before the show and I said look I’m firm with Kelly on this, I think that the boards of super funds whether they’re industry funds or…

MINISTER O’DWYER:

Corporate funds.

MACCA:

Corporate funds…

MINISTER O’DWYER:

Public, retail…

MACCA:

Whatever, there’s got to be some independence and what’s always concerned me about all super funds is the board make-up and you introduced some legislation to get some greater independence.

MINISTER O’DWYER:

Yep, that’s right.

MACCA:

And the unrepresentative swill as I call them in the Senate, oh sorry Paul Keating first said that, but they opposed it so you didn’t get the numbers.

MINISTER O’DWYER:

I’ll tell you where we got up to because you’re absolutely right. This is actually a critical issue because there is around about $2 trillion that is currently looked after by superannuation funds at the moment and these are the retirement savings of Australians…

MACCA:

Yeah.

MINISTER O’DWYER:

And that amount is going up to about $9 million by 2040…

BECK:

It’s a big responsibility isn’t it?

MINISTER O’DWYER:

So we’re not talking about a small amount of money here and that is from a base of a couple of hundred million dollars all those years ago. Now all those years ago there was an equal representation model that was set up. So the employer and employee were equally represented in these funds and there were historical reasons for that because there was usually just one employer and it made sense that everyone was represented there. Now of course things have changed pretty radically and the makeup of those funds now is very different. There is a huge diversity of membership for a lot of these public funds and it is really important that all members’ interests are taken into account and that there is real transparency in those superannuation funds.

Now this was not a proposal put forward by the Government. Jeremy Cooper who was put forward and handpicked by the Labor Government to do a superannuation review in 2010 said that he felt that there needed to be a one third minimum of independent directors on these funds because of the change in the way that super funds were now set up and because of the importance of having transparency around the table. Because of the huge size of these funds now, that was followed up by David Murray who said in fact he would go further, he would make it an absolute majority, he would have an independent chair as well. So we put forward some legislation that said look, a minimum one third and an independent chair and the Senate got to the point where we got to a second reading speech, we had seven out of the eight cross benchers, we got to a second reading speech and then a couple of the cross benchers said they weren’t sure they would support the legislation the whole way through. So it wasn’t brought on for a vote which means that we can actually vote on it next year and we’ve got more time to persuade some of those cross bench Senators and we will also have some discussions with not only the cross bench but also the Greens and you know, we would hope with the Labor Party but sadly they haven’t…

BECK:

Is there any evidence to suggest that the boards of these super funds are being stacked with union representatives.

MINISTER O’DWYER:

Well this is the thing, it is not actually an ideological agenda here. The whole point is that it applies across funds, not just industry funds but retail funds, corporate funds, public sector funds as well. So it is not specific just to industry funds which is why it strikes me as so odd that the industry funds have taken such…

BECK:

umbrage.

MINISTER O’DWYER:

umbrage and it does make me query why it is that they don’t want independents on their boards with this increased transparency. We know that there have been a number of scandals with industry funds, we have seen just recently with Cbus. There were the two women who have been charged just this week because they had received people’s information contrary with what they were required to do. Now look, that’s not true of all funds, most funds operate in a pretty sensible manner but you can always benefit from the highest governance standards and that is what I want as a member of a superannuation fund, I want the best governance standards in place for my money because at the end of the day, some people voluntarily contribute to their super but, everybody is forced to contribute to their super and they should know it is protected.

MACCA:

So you’re not giving up on getting the changes through.

MINISTER O’DWYER:

No I’m not giving up on it.

MACCA:

So they’ll be revisited next year. Can you tell us the cross benchers that, which didn’t support it, that way we can work out…

MINISTER O’DWYER:

So the ones that made a statement about some of their concerns about the legislation we had, Senator Madigan, we had Senator Lambie, we had Senator Lazarus and Senator Xenophon, so the other four Senators were keen to see the legislation supported. Now look, we’ll take another run at this, we’ll have a look at what amendments could potentially satisfy the concerns of people here but I don’t think it’s controversial to have minimum governance standards for super funds…

MACCA:

No.

MINISTER O’DWYER:

And I think the fact that some people are arguing against I just find it really extraordinary.

MACCA:

We’ll its extraordinary because also we’ve seen a lot of activity. Adele and congratulations to Adele Ferguson because Adele has led the charge in a lot of the reporting around financial disclosures and financial advice now…

BECK:

It’s been a challenged area.

MINISTER O’DWYER:

It has been.

MACCA:

And there have been some outrageous activities that have gone on there. Some people have said there should be a Royal Commission into this. Royal Commissions are that wonderful yes Minister; never call one unless you know what the outcome is going to be. But what is the plan with financial advisers to make sure there is transparency and that you know, if I go and I pay someone for financial advice, I want to know that there is not money slipping around into their back pocket. The whole trailing commission idea troubles me…

MINISTER O’DWYER:

Yep.

BECK:

Or if it is does that you at least aware of it that you are going to pay for it.

MINISTER O’DWYER:

Yeah, transparency.

MACCA:

I mean, you know, there’s a number of organisations, and I actually used to be – have some funds with IOOF, I don’t any more. I’m troubled about this because it’s just a serious an issue about superannuation so Kelly, what…

MINISTER O’DWYER:

What are we doing about it?

MACCA:

  What are you going to do please, tell us.

MINISTER O’DWYER:

Look, you are spot on to say that there have been a number of very serious scandals and misuse of people’s money because they’ve received either poor advice or they’ve received really…

MACCA:

lies, lies.

MINISTER O’DWYER:

They’ve received advice where it has been incredibly conflicted because of the amount that that financial adviser’s being paid through the back pocket because you know the incentive structure that’s been put in place there. This week we actually released some draft legislation to improve the standards for financial advisers. This is a basic minimum standard so that every single financial adviser who’s put out their shingle, needs to sit a basic competency exam, but not only that, it’s not just good enough to pass an exam you need to be able to have continuous education and they’re the requirements of any other profession whether you are a lawyer or an accountant you have continuous education that is required every year that you need to have a degree or an equivalent education and that you need to abide by a code of ethics. So there are some of the changes…

MACCA:

What a fantastic concept.

MINISTER O’DWYER:

Well I know, believe it or not…

BECK:

Are there penalties involved if they don’t?

MINISTER O’DWYER:

Well here’s the thing. You won’t be able to hang out your shingle as a financial adviser. We’ve already got some penalties in place, ASIC can ban financial advisers if they haven’t performed and if they’ve given fraudulent advice or if they’ve given conflicted advice. We need to also increase the transparency as you’ve pointed out Dean, around what is being paid to a financial adviser so that you know exactly what’s being paid. We have actually banned for the most part any upfront commissions. The one area where that hadn’t been banned was in life insurance.

MACCA:

Yes.

BECK:

Outrageous.

MINISTER O’DWYER:

The response that the Government gave to the Murray Inquiry for the Financial System Inquiry was that we were going to negotiate with industry for some change. I managed to land that this year. So financial advisers who are receiving upfront payments of 120 per cent on the premium and then churning through policies each year when they got a new upfront payment we have put an end to that. It has been halved and we have said that it needs to be better disclosed and if the problems in the industry that ASIC had identified haven’t been fixed within the three year period that we’ve spoken about we will go to level commissions which is a more serious measure.

BECK:

I don’t think anyone is against paying for the service but to put out free financial advice…

MACCA:

Well it is free.

BECK:

Well it’s not really, someone is paying for it somewhere and we have saved…

MINISTER O’DWYER:

And there are trailing commissions as well.

MACCA:

The trailing commissions are outrageous. We’ve actually had a listener that’s messaged in here, I don’t know if you’re aware of this Kelly but France, and I was, has a 90:10 rule where investing super where 10 per cent has to be invested in social impact projects like not-for-profits and sometimes for infrastructure. A lot of, you know we always have demands on infrastructure and it is difficult sometimes for super to do that, even though it should be taking a long term view. Do you have a view on that that super funds, and I’m only talking about….

BECK:

Imagine the difference two per cent would make.

MACCA:

Yes ten per cent that you know to, with a guaranteed return. The Federal and the State Governments could really work together on this and it would actually - it wouldn’t hurt the balance sheet in the Budget either just quietly.

MINISTER O’DWYER:

I think one thing that we have to be careful about though is what is the purpose, the objective behind superannuation and I think it is very clear it’s for individuals’ retirement income…

MACCA:

It’s not wealth creation.

MINISTER O’DWYER:

And it’s for their retirement income, it is to make sure, you know, for a number of people that they’re not reliant on the age pension, or even the part pension. But the whole purpose is to make sure that they’ve got retirement income. It’s not for investments in particular ideas that are a particular fascination of one government vs another. It’s there for their retirement income so the fund itself has to make the decisions around the investment that are going to be in the best interest of many investors and provide them with the best returns. That is only priority. Now I think you’ve got to be very careful about this idea that you’ve got different priorities, you know, investing in infrastructure or social impact bonds and things like that. I think you’ve got to be very, very careful because the primary objective is around retirement income.

MACCA:

And it’s got to be secure.

MINISTER O’DWYER:

And it’s got to be secure.

MACCA:

It’s got to be secure.

MINISTER O’DWYER:

Absolutely.

BECK:

It must be very tempting to see all of this money and just go ‘wow, imagine what we could do with that.’

MINISTER O’DWYER:

I think a lot of people like that idea which is why, as the custodian of superannuation in this country, I am very conscience of the responsibility to make sure that we protect peoples’ retirement incomes.

MACCA:

I’m going to throw you a little curve ball before we go to a break. We have an employer contribution which will go up over the next few years. I believe that employees should also be mandated to make a contribution.

MINISTER O’DWYER:

This is an increase contribution to their own superannuation?

MACCA:

Yes. So that your employer funds it…

MINISTER O’DWYER:

They’re currently mandated.

MACCA:

Yeah, it’s nine and a half per cent.

MINISTER O’DWYER:

That’s right.

MACCA:

I believe employees should be mandated, let’s start off at two and a half per cent.

MINISTER O’DWYER:

But they’re already being mandated – nine and a half per cent.

MACCA:

No, no, no but as an employee you should contribute as well as what your employer contributes on your behalf.

MINISTER O’DWYER:

But what they’re contributing on your behalf is money you otherwise wouldn’t take home in wages.

MACCA:

I know but you see, people don’t…

MINISTER O’DWYER:

So they are contributing.

MACCA:

But they don’t pay attention. People don’t understand, they don’t take interest in what the investments are. If they were talking money out of their own wallet, because it doesn’t actually get to their wallet…

MINISTER O’DWYER:

But it is their money. A lot of people don’t realise this. This is nine and a half per cent of their income.

BECK:

But you can’t opt out and take it as cash.

MINISTER O’DWYER:

No you can’t but the point I’m making is that it’s nine and a half per cent of their, it is their money…

MACCA:

Yeah.

MINISTER O’DWYER:

And they need to know that it’s in essence coming out of their wages and the point you make about choice is absolutely critical and maybe when we come back from the break I can talk to you a little bit about what we’re going to be doing around superannuation and choice.

MACCA:

Do you contribute?

MINISTER O’DWYER:

Do I contribute additionally to my superannuation? Not at this point because the money is worth more to me here and now in my pocket.

MACCA:

I know.

BECK:

You do have a young family.

MACCA:

Yes. You are on Sat Mag on Joy 94.9 Assistant Treasurer Kelly O’Dwyer is with us. If you have a question, @satmagjoy949 on Twitter or on air at Joy.org.au when we come back there’ll be more.

MACCA:

You are on Sat Mag on Joy 949 Macca and Dean Beck and Kelly O’Dwyer. Says, message here, “Go Kelly nice to see moderate liberals in the Federal Government”. Now you’re not going to join the Nationals are you?

MINISTER O’DWYER:

Not today Macca. No.

MACCA:

No?

MINISTER O’DWYER:

Not today.

BECK:

[singing] It’s not gonna happen…

MACCA:

You know the Nationals, you can love the sheep but not the shepherd. In terms does Kelly contribute herself directly to super, says she doesn’t need to Macca our politicians are the highest paid in the world. Actually wrong, Members of the European Parliament are paid the most and they sit the least and they’re elected in a colligate system and I think it’s, you know, you could make a comedy show about that. But anyway, look, there’s a question that I wanted to ask you last time and, how do I put it, in Higgins there has been a fundraising vehicle called Higgins 200. And when I was doing some research on this, in one of the things, and it was an article that was a while ago, Royce Miller, but Peter Costello, who was your predecessor, says the foundation was dedicated to the Liberals but also to non-political aims including the advancement of religion. Is that still the case?

MINISTER O’DWYER:

I think what you’re referring to is the standard template document when you set up these sorts of foundations. And in order to set them up, that’s the template you abide by, so there’s nothing you should read into that other than the fact that it’s a template document.

MACCA:

‘Cos it’s to fund campaigns in Higgins.

MINISTER O’DWYER:

That’s correct.

MACCA:

Good. Now, I’m going to put you on the spot here.

MINISTER O’DWYER:

Yes, please.

MACCA:

There’s a bit of money there. You’re a supporter of marriage equality.

MINISTER O’DWYER:

Mmm.

MACCA:

How about Higgins 200 makes a donation to the marriage equality campaign?

MINISTER O’DWYER:

Well, as you know I am a supporter…

MACCA:

Yep.

MINISTER O’DWYER:

…and I’ve been very vocal and I now happily sit around the Cabinet table and I can be particularly vocal about this issue and lots of other issues. I’m personally very happy to make a contribution, I’ve made contributions personally in the past…

MACCA:

Yep.

MINISTER O’DWYER:

…and I’m personally very happy to make a contribution but I can’t, if people donate to me to fund an election campaign, I can’t then use their funds for something else. That would be improper.

MACCA:

But if it’s your election campaign and you’re a supporter…

MINISTER O’DWYER:

Yeah. I still think that I can’t misuse their money in that way because that’s not what they’ve donated their money to. But I’m personally happy to make a contribution and I think when people have given you their trust and their money for a particular purpose you have to honour that.

MACCA:

Ok. Who controls Higgins 200? Do you have a say?

MINISTER O’DWYER:

It’s not me.

MACCA:

It’s not a slush fund, that’s good!

MINISTER O’DWYER:

It’s not me, no there are a number of people who are on the board of that it’s all able to be looked up on the ASIC websites and all the rest of it.

MACCA:

I love ASIC, they’re such a diligent organisation.

BECK:

Now Kelly, the Liberal Party in Victoria, had a bit of a scandal with some money going missing.

MACCA:

Oh yes.

MINISTER O’DWYER:

A bit of a scandal, I mean it…

BECK:

A bit of a scandal.

MINISTER O’DWYER:

It’s appalling.

BECK:

$1.5 million?

MINISTER O’DWYER:

That’s the reported figure, I obviously don’t know the exact figure but it’s a shocking scandal and it’s very clear that governance standards at the headquarters of the Liberal Party actually need to change.

BECK:

And the coffers have been emptied shall we say so the seat of Goldstein has put in $100,000, Kooyong has put in $100,000 – to top up the slush fund, I mean the Liberal Party’s fund.

MINISTER O’DWYER:

And we put in $50,000.

MACCA:

Why only 50?

MINISTER O’DWYER:

Why only 50?

MACCA:

Yeah. Do you want to be outbid by Goldstein?

MINISTER O’DWYER:

No, well just so you know we actually were one of the largest contributors before the last Federal Campaign and until the governance standards change at 104, I’m not going to be committing party money until I know that the governance standards are improved and in place.

BECK:

Wow. Are you suggesting the Liberal Party’s governance isn’t A1 already? Clearly not.

MINISTER O’DWYER:

It clearly isn’t. It clearly isn’t which is why it needs to change.

BECK:

Fair enough.

MACCA:

I was amazed when I saw that and I mean Goldstein 100 grand, Kooyong 100 grand. I’m surprised you’re outbid by Josh though. You know.

MINISTER O’DWYER:

Well I’m happy to be outbid by Josh. I mean Josh has been raising money here, there and everywhere and I think, you know, good luck to him. I think that’s terrific.

MACCA:

It is around this whole issue of funding election campaigns and…

BECK:

It isn’t cheap.

MACCA:

It isn’t cheap and again, you know, in some countries in Europe and I think even in the US you can nominate on your tax return to allocate a portion of the tax you’re paying to fund election campaigns…

BECK:

Oh Macca…

MACCA:

No, no, no, no, we have compulsory voting in this country and I think the best way, and I think the current system works well in terms of funding, I’d like to actually see that opened up in terms of a discussion, that if we want good quality candidates and we want people there and we don’t want candidates to potentially be compromised through funding, public finding – why don’t, let’s take it to the next step.

BECK:

This is not what they mean by tax reform Macca.

MACCA: Yeah but you know, you’re talking about a relatively small amount of money.

MINISTER O’DWYER:

Well look, I think there have been a number of Senate reports that have actually looked into this particular question over quiet a period of time and I know that when Tony Smith, who is the current Speaker, when he actually headed up the electoral matter’s committee that they looked at this question of public funding and whether there ought to be more public funding of election campaigns. The truth is, I think most people feel that they contribute enough money directly to politics and that those people who would like to contribute more can do that voluntarily and that exists under the current system. You’re quiet right to point out that there needs to be good strong and stringent rules about it so that there is no question that there’s something untoward.

MACCA:

I can tell you where you can take the money from.

MINISTER O’DWYER:

Yeah.

MACCA:

Really simply. Organisations that the Federal Government funds that discriminate against our community and that get Federal funds. Don’t give them money.

MINISTER O’DWYER:

Which organisations?

MACCA:

Oh there are some churches, there are some vocational institutions that discriminate against our community…

BECK:

You could get more money by taxing the churches too.

MACCA:

No, no, they get federal funding. My money goes to fund organisations that discriminate against me. True. So I’d be very happy if my two cents came out of there and went to fund freer election campaigns.

MINISTER O’DWYER:

Well I will note that, I’ll take it on board.

MACCA:

I know it’s a difficult issue. Let’s touch on Higgins.

MINISTER O’DWYER:

We’re not going to talk about superannuation choice?

MACCA:

Ok. Please. Superannuation choice is really important. Choice of fund.

MINISTER O’DWYER:

Choice of fund.

MACCA:

Choice of fund. We’ve touched on the director’s choice of fund and how this can so much impact. One of the questions with this Kelly is how can the people really make an informed choice if they really want to change their fund?

MINISTER O’DWYER:

Well actually, more threshold question actually is I think Macca, is that a lot of people don’t even have the capacity to make a choice at the moment. Around two million Australians right now…

MACCA:

So they’re in default funds?

MINISTER O’DWYER:

Well no. It is actually because of a workplace determination or an Enterprise Bargaining Agreement, they actually don’t have any capacity to choose their fund and you can have the preposterous situation such as the one where this fellow wrote into me and he said look, I’m a part-time tutor. He said I, as a part-time tutor am forced to pay my money into the university’s fund that they’ve chosen for me. He said, I also work at one of the big national retailers and he said I’m on the cash register there and he said I’m forced to put my money into a separate, different fund. So I have two sets of fees. Two insurances. And he said I can’t combine these funds at the moment and he said look, my money is being wasted because of this. And we agree. You should have the right, it shouldn’t be traded away, you should have the right to choose your own fund. You need to be able to, as you say Macca, you need to have a very clear set of: ok what should be expected from a fund? How can you compare them? At the moment we are about to look at creating a particular dashboard where people can compare superannuation funds so that they…

BECK:

That’s desperately needed.

MINISTER O’DWYER:

It is desperately needed. So that people have a lot more transparency around the funds that are out there and what returns they get. How their governance structure actually works, you know making sure that people can compare like with like and that they can make an informed decision.

MACCA:

It’s important. Who’s opposing that?

MINISTER O’DWYER:

Well…

MACCA:

Give us their names.

MINISTER O’DWYER:

The Labor Party certainly doesn’t support superannuation choice.

MACCA:

Of course they don’t because the funds, a lot of the funds from – a lot of revenue comes through those funds into the unions.

MINISTER O’DWYER:

Frankly, I think though you need to say what is in the members’ interests. You know people can talk…

MACCA:

Yeah, depoliticise it. I agree.

MINISTER O’DWYER:

And it shouldn’t be a political issue. This is something that is about ultimately people’s retirement income and the fact that these funds are entrusted for a very long period of time with peoples’ money and not only entrusted, it’s forced. So we force people to have their money saved in this way so we need to make sure that it is put to the best possible use. We’ve got the highest possible standards of governance and people can choose ultimately where it goes.

MACCA:

Of course, it’s their money.

MINISTER O’DWYER:

It’s their money.

MACCA:

So really briefly, now Higgins. It is going to be a tough, look every campaign is tough…

MINISTER O’DWYER:

Yep, that’s right.

MACCA:

And really glad you’re back here and, you know, because Higgins is a seat…

BECK:

Full of us!

MACCA:

…full of us, that’s right but it’s a seat that is going to be a challenge. Marriage equality, we touched last time on a plebiscite. I just wanted to ask you, how is it going in Higgins? Are you getting any sought of feedback around this issue? You know, obviously our community is pretty passionate about it. What are other people saying to you about marriage equality for example?

MINISTER O’DWYER:

Look, it’s interesting I haven’t had a lot of recent feedback on this particular issue. I think a lot of people know my views on this. I’ve had a few people who’ve taken issue with the views I’ve expressed, which is obviously in support of marriage equality, and support of a change…

MACCA:

Better than your predecessor’s, let me tell you.

MINISTER O’DWYER:

Who are much better?

MACCA:

These views. Peter.

BECK:

Your views.

MINISTER O’DWYER:

Oh right. Look I respect the former Member and he’s a good friend of mine but we disagree on this particular issue and this is the thing, in a political party, you can actually have differences of views, valid differences of views…

BECK:

A plebiscite is going to see a lot of hatred against our community come to the surface. It’s going to do damage to people who are young and are, you know, struggling with their sexuality, that’s all going to be dragged up again.

MINISTER O’DWYER:

So Dean, I hear that. I hear what you’ve said there but what I would say to you is look at the Ireland example and ask yourself did that divide a country or did that unite a country? And I think there is an opportunity…

BECK:

It is a country destroyed by what is exposed to by the Catholic Church. Right, they’d given up on that and what they did see was a shining light that it could grab onto. That…

MINISTER O’DWYER:

I actually think, I think that this has the capacity to unite our country.

BECK:

I hope so.

MINISTER O’DWYER:

I think, and those of us who are charged with the responsibility to represent views in the nation’s Parliament, have a responsibility to speak out on it, and I…

BECK:

And as representatives elected by us, you should be able to ensure that it is put into legislation without going through dragging the muck up.

MINISTER O’DWYER:

There’s no question that I don’t want to see a hateful debate, I want to see a respectful debate. I want to see…

BECK:

We’ve been having that debate for ten years.

MINISTER O’DWYER:

And this is why we need to conclude it and why we actually need to come to a resolution. Look, you know the view I expressed before and in the Party Room around the fact that I felt that the Parliament could really make a decision on this and everyone should be able to vote according to their conscience. The Party Room determined that it should go to a public vote, I can live with that because it means that everybody can have a say and I will be very prominent in the views that I express on this issue. I know that these views are different in my Party Room and that’s the fact that we’ve got a diverse Party Room and I frankly think that this will be a complete non-issue within the space of just a couple of years. Everyone will go, gosh what was all the fuss about?

MACCA:

Now, who do I contact at Higgins 200 to get a donation for marriage equality? Who is it? Who do I contact?

MINISTER O’DWYER:

You can actually contact marriage equality to give them your donation.

MACCA:

Oh but I do.

MINISTER O’DWYER:

Yeah.

MACCA:

But I see there is all this money there…

BECK:

Just a little.

MACCA:

But you can’t…

BECK:

Hey Macca we’ve got to wrap it up.

MACCA:

Just a little bit. Ok. Thank you so much Kelly, some personal issues, some electorate issues and superannuation which is a really important issue.

MINISTER O’DWYER:

It’s a really critical issue.

MACCA:

Stay the course, it’s really important. You know these changes are very important for all of us…

MINISTER O’DWYER:

They are.

MACCA:

…and I like what you’re doing.

MINISTER O’DWYER:

Terrific. Thanks Macca, thanks Dean. Thanks for having me on.

MACCA:

And thanks for coming in and making the time. I know you’ve got a very full schedule.