Doorstop Interview, London

04 Jun 2019
Prime Minister

QUESTION:​ Prime Minister, what are your thoughts on the raid this morning?

PRIME MINISTER: It’s an ongoing matter for the AFP, they’re the best to comment on that matter.

QUESTION:​ ​Is the Australian Signals Directorate story about how it’s going to be spying on Australians actually going ahead do you actually support that plan?

PRIME MINISTER:​ Look, I don’t make comments on security matters.

QUESTION:​ ​Mr Morrison with respect I understand it is an operational matter but the New York Times is reporting on this, CNN is talking about this, about an issue of Australian freedom of press, democracy, you know freedom and democracy is a thing you touched on today?

PRIME MINISTER: ​I believe in them very strongly and the AFP conducting the investigations that they do on their own initiative and they are the ones that should be commenting on their investigation not me.

QUESTION:​ ​Why did this happen after Mr Dutton was appointed as the Home Affairs Ministers again?

PRIME MINISTER: Again, no. These are matters for the AFP and not the government.

QUESTION:​ Do you believe that Australian journalists have the right to report on national security issues?

PRIME MINISTER: Australia believes strongly in the freedom of the press and we have clear rules and protections for the freedom of the press. There are also clear rules protecting Australia’s national security and everybody should operate in accordance with all of those laws passed by our parliament.

QUESTION:​ [INAUDIBLE] powers Mr Morrison?

PRIME MINISTER: I support the powers that the agencies have under our laws.

QUESTION:​ ​​Does it bother you the look of police raiding journalists homes?​

PRIME MINISTER: ​It never troubles me that our laws are being upheld.

QUESTION:​ ​The journalist’s underwear draw was raided as well and there were cook books looked at is that too far?

PRIME MINISTER: I couldn’t comment on that, that’s what you are putting to me. But these are maters for the Australian Federal Police and you should direct those questions to them.

QUESTION:​ ​Many companies have been asking for years for journalists to be exempt from some of these laws. What is the Government’s view on that?

PRIME MINISTER: We have no plans to make any changes to existing laws.

QUESTION:​ ​On Huawei Prime Minister, would it be the correct move for all Five-Eyes countries to adopt a consistent approach to blocking Huawei’s involvement in 5G?

PRIME MINISTER: The matter when we considered it was done in accordance with Australia’s national interest and based on our own considerations. It is a sovereign matter for each and every government to make decisions in relation to its own national security and that would be the case for any one of the members of that group or any other nation.

QUESTION:​ We obviously made the decision for a reason though, if another one of our Five-Eyes partners allowed this company to be involved with a 5G network would that threaten potential intelligence sharing?

PRIME MINISTER: ​It matters for other sovereign governments, it is not a matter for Australia to be providing that advice. It is a matter for them to make their sovereign judgements about their sovereign interests.

QUESTION:​ The way we share information though they would get access to our information, if Huawei is a risk with our 5G network wouldn’t it be a risk if a partner had it in their network?

PRIME MINISTER: There is a lot of what you said that is argumentative and I would simply say that these are matters for the decisions of national sovereign governments in accordance with their own interests.

QUESTION:​ ​​You have concerns about Five-Eyes arrangements though?


QUESTION:​ You have warned about the risks of this increasing trade war between China and the US. Would you be calling on the US to call off the tariffs?​

PRIME MINISTER: What I have stated is that it is in the interests, not only for Australia, but many, if not all, the independent sovereign nations, particularly from the part of the world we are from in the Indo-Pacific and more broadly that these issues are resolved and they are resolved well and positively has always been my hope as an optimistic Australian that is what can be achieved.

QUESTION:​ Will you be telling President Trump to basically back off when you see him possibly in the next day or two?

PRIME MINISTER: ​I will simply make the same comments which I have always made. Which is - I think that it is in everybody’s interest for these matters to be resolved. But they are matters to be resolved between those two countries.

QUESTION:​ Do you have any indication of who hacked the Australian National University?

PRIME MINISTER: You would have to talk to the ANU about that.

QUESTION:​ ​​But are you aware of any concerning reporting?

PRIME MINISTER: No, you would have to talk to the ANU – it is am matter that related to their cyber security.

QUESTION:​ Just on boats. There is a story today about a boat rescue coming from Sri Lanka, there have been a couple of instances in the last month, what is the reason for that uptick?

PRIME MINISTER:​ Well all I would say is that Australia’s borders are always secure under the government I lead.