Radio interview with Clairsy, Matt and Kymba – Mix 94.5, Perth

Transcript
16 Nov 2017
Prime Minister
Same-sex marriage
E&OE

DEAN CLAIRS:

Good morning, Malcolm Turnbull.

PRIME MINISTER:

Good morning, wasn’t it a great day and isn’t it a great day today to know that the Australian people have spoken. 80 per cent of them took the opportunity to have their say and just under 62 per cent said ‘yes’.

DEAN CLAIRS:

Yeah.

PRIME MINISTER:

So this is a great exercise in democracy, in respect, in support for marriage equality.

KYMBA CAHILL:

Well yes Prime Minister, I mean it is a really great result. But it did of course cost the taxpayers $122 million to basically give us the result and the numbers that were polled or already predicted months ago. In hindsight shouldn’t the government have just got it done in the first place?

PRIME MINISTER:

Oh Kymba look, this is such an enormous affirmation and by the way, I’m not suggesting it wasn’t expensive, but it cost less than $100 million so there was some saving there. But you know, democracy has a cost and look, what an amazing affirmation. You know, for same-sex couples who have felt they have not been respected, they have not had equal respect, to have an affirmation not just from Parliament but from their fellow Australians and in such huge numbers, in their millions. This is an enormous exercise in respect, in love, in commitment.

I think this is, you know what? This is Australians standing up for a fair go. That’s what it is, it’s very Australian.

MATT DYKTYNSKI:

Absolutely Prime Minister and I’m sure it was “going off”, as the young people say, in your electorate of Wentworth last night.

[Laughter]

PRIME MINISTER:

It was, over 80 per cent voted ‘yes’ in my electorate.

MATT DYKTYNSKI:

I had a feeling they might.

PRIME MINISTER:

And every electorate in Western Australia voted ‘yes’ too by the way.

DEAN CLAIRS:

Oh, yeah.

MATT DYKTYNSKI:

We’re more progressive than you might think over here, PM.

PRIME MINISTER:

I’ve never doubted it.

[Laughter]

MATT DYKTYNSKI:

Now, Prime Minister, I’m sure you’ll be diplomatic. We know that you’re in a very broad church within your party and there is a lot of points of view you have to negotiate with, but does this give you the confidence that the Australian people are ready for more progressive ideas? You know, citing this and perhaps the environment as examples?

PRIME MINISTER:

Well, I think what it demonstrates is that if you trust the Australian people and respect them as I do and if you ask them for their view on an issue, they will discuss it and debate it respectfully.

You know, look at the opposition that there was for this survey to go ahead. I mean it was opposed vehemently by the Labor Party. It was opposed by a few people on my own side too. It was opposed vehemently by many people on the crossbench. People in the media said: “Oh, this will be terrible, there will be dreadful abuse, it will be horrible.”

And you know what? There were a few intemperate things said but overall it was very respectful. It went through peacefully and you got a massive participation. You know, this 80 percent in a voluntary postal survey is really remarkable. Do you know, in a federal election when you’re determining the Government of Australia - and it’s compulsory and you get fined 100 bucks if you don’t turn up - it’s only about a 90 per cent participation rate. So this is amazing. This shows you Australians really wanted to have their say. It vindicated my insistence that they have their say and that I fulfil the promise I made at the election and an overwhelming majority voted ‘yes’.

So this is a great day for democracy and a great day for respecting the will of the people. What they’ve said to us is, get on with it and get it done and that’s what Parliament is going to do.

DEAN CLAIRS:

I had those words written down next Mr Prime Minister. Malcolm Turnbull is with us and same-sex couples are planning wedding dates for 2018. Is that dangerous or are you just going to go and get it done now?

PRIME MINISTER:

No, I’m very confident it’ll get done before Christmas. It is a free vote and people will speak and some of them will speak at length. They’ll move amendments and some of them will be accepted and it’s being debated now in the Senate, right now. So you know, we’re cracking on with it, but I don’t think anyone wants to be debating this on Christmas Eve. So you can be pretty confident. Well, not pretty, very confident it’ll get done before Christmas.

KYMBA CAHILL:

Well Bill Shorten was very confident with us yesterday that it would be done by December 7, which is, you know, a lot before Christmas. So hopefully, can’t see any major obstacles getting in the way of that?

PRIME MINISTER:

Well we’ll see. It won’t get to, the Senate won’t finish it until the end of the week of the 27th. So it can’t get to the House until the following week. I think we’ll see how long the debate takes, again, you’ve got to show respect. People want to speak on this, that’s what they’re here to do. There will be amendments that will be moved, they’ll need to be considered and decided on, but I am very confident it’ll be dealt with before Christmas.

DEAN CLAIRS:

Malcolm Turnbull, thanks very much for your time this morning, a historic day for Australia.

PRIME MINISTER:

Thank you very much.

[ENDS]