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Text adapted from: Interview with Michael Rowland and, ABC News Breakfast Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison.” Liberal.org.au May 20, 2022.
Some elements of this text to consider:
- The full text was available on the Liberal Party’s party website but has now disappeared – presumably as a result of the Prime Minister’s election loss.
- The timing of the interview is important – the day before the election.
- The interview starts and ends with a polite / cordial tone but there are points in the interview where there is tension.
- Take note of how the PM reacts to the more difficult questions about his lack of popularity.
MICHAEL ROWLAND: Final day of the election campaign. We can bring in now the Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who joins us from Perth. PM, very good morning to you. Thanks for joining us.
PRIME MINISTER: G’day, Michael.
ROWLAND: Now, there’s a lot of confusion this morning about this situation where people who have tested positive to COVID before 6:00 on Tuesday night are potentially disenfranchised. We had Karla, a voter from Dickson in Queensland on the show earlier. She is angry about this situation. It could affect hundreds of thousands of people. Can you offer Australians any clarity on the situation?
PRIME MINISTER: Well, sure. And the Australian Electoral Commissioner I’m sure, will make further comment. But as we know, we have an independent election process in Australia. And what that means is that the laws that were agreed by all parties going into this election about how COVID would be managed have given those authorities to the Electoral, Electoral Commissioner. This morning he’s looking at these these issues very closely, and we’ve certainly asked him to do that. And any recommendations that he makes in order to manage this issue, which, you know, running an election still with COVID, is not an easy thing. And we want to make sure Australians have as much opportunity as they should in a democracy to vote. And any recommendations that the Electoral Commissioner provides to us and then certainly will act on whether that means changing regulations or anything of that nature. So we’ll take his advice. I mean, it’s not something for politicians to interfere in, as I’m sure you’d appreciate, we have an independent election process, but we’re ensuring that the Commissioner has every support to ensure that he can conduct the election in the best possible way.
ROWLAND: Okay. We wait to see what the Australia Electoral Commision says today. So, Prime Minister, we’ve got this Ipsos poll in the Financial Review today showing a jump in the primary vote for the Coalition, a fall in Labor’s primary vote. But Anthony Albanese is ahead of you as preferred Prime Minister. Is your biggest fear that while voters in some parts of the country might want to re-elect the Coalition, they simply cannot stomach another three years of you?
PRIME MINISTER: The figure that I frankly was most interested over the last 24 hours was 94,500 more full-time jobs and unemployment falling to a 48 year low of 3.9 per cent. I mean, this is an extraordinary achievement by Australians and particularly those businesses who’ve been employing those Australians. And this means that our economic plan is working, because I know Australians are working. And this is the big issue at this election. This election is about who can best manage our economy and manage finances because if you can’t manage money, then you can’t deliver on issues like Medicare, on the National Disability Insurance Scheme, on aged care. If you can’t do – manage money, as we saw yesterday from Labor, they released their costings. I know why they didn’t release them for all those weeks, because it means $60 billion in more debt, $8.5 billion in higher deficits. And we know when Labor can’t manage money, they always come after yours in higher taxes. Now, this will only put further pressure on inflation, further pressure on interest rates by reckless spending, which will see Australians suffer as a result of Labor’s inability to manage money.
ROWLAND: The jobless rate, unmistakeably, great news, but Prime Minister, I’ll ask the question again. Do you worry that you personally are a huge drag on the Coalition’s vote?
PRIME MINISTER: Well, what I’ve done over the last three years is show the leadership necessary to get Australia through the worst financial, economic and health crisis we’ve seen in 100 years.
ROWLAND: But voters according to the polls simply aren’t listening to that.
PRIME MINISTER: And that has required strength.
ROWLAND: That they hear, that they don’t decide elections. They’re not buying what you’re selling.
PRIME MINISTER: Polls don’t determine elections and neither do politicians and neither do journalists. Australians, the many quiet ones out there, working hard every day to ensure that they can get through each and every day’s challenges. And they’re looking to plan for their future with confidence. And they can do that with a Government that has been able to demonstrate its economic competence over the course of this campaign. We’ve seen that Mr. Albanese just doesn’t understand the economy. Yesterday, he didn’t even know the borders were open. Now this is the sort of stuff Prime Ministers need to know and we’ve seen that he’s not up to that job and it’s bigger than him. And what I’ve demonstrated over these last three years – not everybody’s agreed with me, Michael, and not everybody likes me – but that’s not the point. The point is, who can manage the nation’s finances to keep downward pressure on rising interest rates, downward pressure on cost of living? And what we saw yesterday from Labor was higher debt, higher deficit, which can only lead to more pressure on inflation and interest rates and higher taxes, which is what we know Labor always do when they can’t manage money. They come after yours.
ROWLAND: Prime Minister, thanks for your time this morning.
PRIME MINISTER: Thanks a lot, Michael.