Interview with David Koch, Sunrise

29 Aug 2019
Prime Minister

DAVID KOCH: Prime Minister Scott Morrison joins me from Kirribilli. Prime Minister, thanks for joining us. God, it was a sickening attack, wasn't it? What are you going to do with this bloke's visa? 

PRIME MINISTER: Well, I was sickened, absolutely appalled and sickened. Back when I was Immigration Minister, we introduced a new law that said if you were sentenced to more than 12 months, then your visa would be automatically cancelled, and that is the process we are now going through. Prior to that, he was given a permanent visa. He came here under those shocking years when people were turning up illegally by boat at will. What we did was we shut the door on that and then we shut the door on them being able to stay if they were found guilty of these types of offences. So it is part of the strong border protection regime we’ve been putting in place for years. Peter Dutton is now moving to ensure that that process moves at pace. This bloke has no right being here, he’s abused the generosity of a country that gave him a new start and it is absolutely appalling. 

KOCH: Yep. We should be generous to refugees, but in return, they have to play by the rules. If they abuse a situation, send them back home. I don't think any Australian would disagree with you. But what happens? Does he serve his sentence here and then we deport him? Or do we deport him to go to jail in Iraq?

PRIME MINISTER: No, he serves his sentence here. This is the same thing we’ve been doing with a whole range of  criminals. Once they have actually been released from jail, they go immediately into detention., so they don’t go back into the community, and then we deport them from there. This has happened on about 4,000 cases since we changed this law, changed the law back in 2014.

KOCH: Hang on - 4,000? 4,000 cases? 

PRIME MINISTER: That is right. 

KOCH: Wow.

PRIME MINISTER: We've been kicking them out. If you come here on a visa and you violate our laws, we will boot you out. That's the change we put in place and it will apply to this character and just because you're on a permanent protection visa, it is a warning to anyone. We'll cancel it and we’ll punt you. 

KOCH: Yep, good on you. Moving on, you just returned from the big G7 Summit in France where you met all those world leaders. One of your key issues was Australian jobs and our dependence on trade. How successful were those meetings? 

PRIME MINISTER: Very positive, particularly with the United Kingdom, who obviously are moving to exit from the European Union and we’ll be right there on the starting line to have an agreement will them as soon as they are ready to do so. Also, we’ve been working with the European Union and we’ve started the process for an agreement with them. One in five Australian jobs depends on trade. That’s why these things are so important. Around 70 per cent of our trade now is covered by these agreements. When we first came to government, it was less than 30 per cent. So we’re going to continue to ensure that we get more opportunities for our exporters, because that means jobs. 

KOCH: What did you say to Donald Trump about the China-US trade war? When we talked a couple of weeks ago you said that was the thing that kept you up at night. Did you tell him to put his smartphone away and keep his tweets to himself? 

PRIME MINISTER: Well, what they’ve been able to do is progress to the next stage. China is coming back to the table in response to, I think, the pressure the United States has applied. What we want to see is these issues resolved. When we put this year’s Budget together, it was put together knowing full well that the global economy was facing these challenges. So the tax cuts which have been delivered, the deregulation we’re putting in place, the infrastructure spending, the trade deals, the digitisation of the economy, all of this is designed to keep our economy strong during a difficult global period. I shared all this, obviously, with the President and it is important that they had a good understanding of what all this meant for the global economy. 

KOCH: Just on a lighter note, the group photo that was taken, sort of went around the world, of the Canadian Prime Minister and Melania Trump maybe being a bit friendly there. You were directly behind them. Did you feel a spark between the two? 


PRIME MINISTER: I think it was just one of those moments where the photographers capture a particular moment and put a different spin on it. I mean, people get on very well at these events and you'd expect them to do that. Jenny was actually over there with me and she spent some good time with Melania Trump. So we are looking forward to being there in a few weeks’ time and that relationship couldn’t be better and it is very important to Australia. 

KOCH: Glad you cleared that up for us Prime Minister. Thanks for joining us.


PRIME MINISTER: Good on you David.