PRESENTER:

Prime Minister, thanks for joining us on Summer Saturday.

PRIME MINISTER:

Great to be with you all.

PRESENTER:

Firstly, Merry Christmas to you and the family, how will you be spending the day tomorrow?

PRIME MINISTER:

I’ll be spending time with the family. We’ve got the grandchildren, opening presents, some lunch, just a very warm, friendly, family Christmas.

PRESENTER:

PRIME MINISTER:

Lucy and I are delighted to welcome the Australian and Pakistani Cricket Teams here today and the families, this is very much a family day.

I know a slight touch of rain is interrupting play for the moment, but as we have just seen with the Melbourne Test – that doesn’t prevent you from having a very exciting contest. So hopefully rolling down the hill will resume and cricket will resume in the garden very shortly.

I want to welcome especially the Pakistani team to Sydney and to Australia.

PRIME MINISTER:

Christmas is a time of love.

The embrace of our family, old friendships refound, the delight of children, the mystery and joy of the divine - surely this is a wondrous time of year.

Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus - and his message of unconditional love and sacrifice.

Whether we are of any faith, or of none, it is love - forgiving, generous, never judging, unconditional, that brings us closest to the very best we can be.

PRIME MINISTER:

This Christmas, I thank you, the men and women of the ADF, for your service and your families for the love and support that makes it possible.

Earlier this year I visited some of you serving in Iraq and Afghanistan - I was so proud of you - your courage, your professionalism and your good humour in a very tough and dangerous environment.

This Christmas many of you will be far from family and home, but you will be closest of all in our thoughts and in our hearts.

I welcome President Joko Widodo’s comments today regarding the bilateral relationship between Australia and Indonesia and his desire to resolve quickly current issues impacting on elements of defence cooperation.

The President and I share a firm commitment to continue to build on the close relationship between our countries, based on common interests and mutual respect.

Today I have asked the Secretary of my Department of Prime Minister & Cabinet for advice in relation to the Statement of Ministerial Standards relating to travel claims made by the Minister for Health, Aged Care and Sport, the Hon Sussan Ley MP.

The Secretary will thoroughly investigate the travel claims and the Minister has assured me that she will promptly provide all information and assistance sought by the Secretary for the purpose of this investigation.

I was saddened to learn today of the death of my friend and former colleague, Russell Trood.

Russell was a good friend, a generous mentor and a wise counsel. He was one of Australia's finest foreign policy minds, respected and admired by all sides of politics. He served Australia as a scholar, as a diplomat and as a Senator.

He was an optimistic, dedicated and above all unfailingly decent man.

I will host Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan for a working meeting in Sydney on 14 January.

This will be an excellent opportunity to discuss our countries’ close trade, defence and people-to-people links. I also look forward to building on my personal friendship with the Prime Minister.

Japan has been an important friend to Australia for many decades. We are united as friends and partners by our common values. A strong Australia-Japan relationship delivers tangible benefits to the people of both nations.

PRIME MINISTER: Good afternoon.

Today I have received notice from the Honourable Sussan Ley, of her intention to resign as the Minister Health, Ageing and Sport. I want to thank her for her service to the Government as a Minister and as a member of the Executive over many years.

I will make a further announcement about ministerial arrangements next week. In the meantime, the Cabinet Secretary, Senator Sinodinos, will continue to act as Minister for Health, Aged Care and Sport.

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