21 May 2019
Transcript - #2019071, 2019

Interview with Eddie McGuire, Luke Darcy & Wil Anderson, The Hot Breakfast, Triple M

Subjects: Election 2019; Budget 2019-20; East West Link; first home buyers; Kooyong; and jobs.

EDDIE MCGUIRE:

Josh, welcome to Triple M's Hot Breakfast, you've been a mainstay on this show right through your political career. How do you feel this morning? Tell me just what you feel in your heart and in your mind.

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

Mate, I just feel, you know, on top of the world to be honest. It's been a few sleepless nights and I'm feeling actually for a few of my colleagues who may have missed out on holding their seats as well. But at a personal level, Kooyong was a real fight and I'm really relieved to be re-elected by the people of Kooyong. But at a national level, we knew we were behind but we also knew we were in it and it wasn't until quite late in the night on Saturday that we actually thought we would win it and so it's come as a great relief to us all.

EDDIE MCGUIRE:

So, when that moment comes, when suddenly, because the words [inaudible] early on the early polling was ALP going well.

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

Yeah.

EDDIE MCGUIRE:

Tony Abbott's gone, right, so it's all going to script at that stage.

WIL ANDERSON:

So, yeah, it's a mixed bag at that stage, isn't it, Josh? You're like, okay, we're behind but Abbott's gone.

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

Hey, I love all my colleagues, mate. Remember that, remember that. They're all God's children, Wil. Come on.

EDDIE MCGUIRE:

At what stage, to use the football vernacular, did someone kick one from the pocket and suddenly you're a sniff?

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

I reckon about the 20-minute mark of the last quarter.

EDDIE MCGUIRE:

Yeah.

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

I mean, that's how it felt. And, you know, we all along, sorry for this, Eddie, but we all along thought we were West Coast. We always thought we were four, five goals behind but we were in the game, we had good players on the field. Scott's message was resonating with the public. But you know, when it actually happens, when you defy the polls like that, I mean, no one will believe the polls going forward. I mean, they missed Brexit, they missed Trump and, now every poll had us losing this election.

EDDIE MCGUIRE:

And the Victorian election as well.

LUKE DARCY:

Well, Josh, sorry for this analogy, but you were Carlton six months ago and that was no one saw any future of you and a chance. Bill Shorten was going to win this in a landslide and when you assumed the Treasurer position, Scott Morrison went on to become the interim Prime Minister. It was about saving the furniture was the term that was used. You look back now, will people go back in history and think of this as one of the great miracles in Federal Election history?

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

Well, Paul Kelly, who I think's the sort of doyen of the press gallery and knows more about politics or has forgotten more about politics than any of us have really known, he said this is the most remarkable election in 70 years since the Second World War. And it's akin, in a way, to what happened in '93 when Hewson lost the unlosable election, but it's even more so than that because basically we've been behind in every poll since 2016 and Bill Shorten, I think, was measuring up the curtains in The Lodge.

EDDIE MCGUIRE:

Except for one and that was preferred Prime Minister.

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

True, absolutely, but Bill Shorten was always behind in preferred Prime Minister.

EDDIE MCGUIRE:

Yeah.

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

But we just went around about explaining to the Australian people what our plan was for the economy as laid out in the Budget and also the dangers from Labor and their higher taxes and the PM has spoken about the quiet Australians, those people who just want to raise a family, run a business, own a home, save for their retirement. They don't go and jump in every major demonstration on Spring Street, they just get about their business and I think they went in to the ballot box in you know, by themselves, no one looking at what they do and they went to tick the boxes and they said, "I feel safe with Scott Morrison".

EDDIE MCGUIRE:

Now, going forward, we're going to get into the Victorian politics in a few moments' time, we'll take a break and do that, but can I just ask you, it's been a remarkable point as Darc mentioned there, when everything happened, when Malcolm Turnbull got knocked over, he also got rid of a lot of people who'd been in the party, a lot of people headed for the exits. I mean, it wasn't just the polls that were saying you were no good because a lot of people said, "Right, we're out, we're done. We're probably going to be gone for three, maybe six years, two terms," and they jumped. But what that gives you now is a whole team and a mandate, if you like, with Scott Morrison as a Liberal hero, you as the man, as the Deputy and the Treasurer, you get a clear run now. Abbott's gone. All the ghosts of the past, all the enmity between him and Turnbull and even Julie Bishop's out of the way now and everyone else gone. How does that make you feel? You've got new people who are going to just throw rose petals in front of you in the Party Room for a while.

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

Well, we've got some great people coming in as well. I mean, take Dr Katie Allen in the seat of Higgins. I mean, she's one of the world-renowned paediatricians and medical professionals and she'll be a great asset and in other seats as well across the country. But Scott and I have got on really well as Leader and Deputy. We talk multiple times a day. He sent me a text message on Friday night, Eddie, you know, saying he believes in miracles. He actually said, "We can win this". So, he had faith all along and we spoke on that Saturday as well as I was moving between booths in my electorate and he never lost faith in our ability to win this and I think that's a credit to him.

WIL ANDERSON:

Can I ask you about this, Josh, because you're doing the media rounds this morning. It seems like the Prime Minister's having a morning off, is he? Is he having a morning in bed?

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

He's back at work today.

WIL ANDERSON:

You're out and about on the media rounds and it's nice to have you in, we appreciate when you come into the studio. I feel like Kochie wasn't excited to have you on Sunrise this morning though.

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

He was pretty good. He was pretty good.

WIL ANDERSON:

Let's just have a listen to some of Kochie's reactions.

[Excerpt]

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

As opposed to national polls to get a good idea where this is wrong.

KOCH:

Yeah.

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

We're moving changes on trust to family businesses, superannuation.

KOCH:

Okay. Yeah, yeah. Yeah, yeah.

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

Including to many Australians in just a matter of weeks.

KOCH:

Yep.

[End of excerpt]

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

Well, Wil, he didn't like me repeating Labor's taxes, that's fair enough.

EDDIE MCGUIRE:

Okay, Josh, we're going to keep going because you are the news, so we'll just push the 8:30 news back a little bit here. Can I put to you the East West Link is going to be a big go, okay?

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

Yep.

EDDIE MCGUIRE:

Can I put to you this is the words of the Premier Dan Andrews, okay.

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

Sure.

EDDIE MCGUIRE:

I asked Dan Andrews last night to give me a proposition to put to you and he says he wants to work with you, and you get on pretty well…

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

And we want to work with him.

EDDIE MCGUIRE:

Okay. So, here we go. If I put this to you. They're going to say, the State Government of Victoria, that the northeast link is the one to finish because it finishes the ring roads, it goes around the city instead of through the middle of it. Northeast link is under way. $16 billion, 10,000 jobs, 10,000 trucks out of the suburban streets and the East West has, he says, the widening of the Eastern choke points in suburbs, six landscapes for 12 et cetera et cetera and they want to not go through the city but around the city for the future. Look, you can argue back and forth on this. My point to you is we need you as the number one Government official…  

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

Yep.

EDDIE MCGUIRE:

…and the Premier of Victoria to sit down and make Victoria great.

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

And I say to you that Daniel Andrews, Scott Morrison and myself and Tim Pallas, we've got to put Victorians first.

EDDIE MCGUIRE:

Yep.

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

And that means coming together, putting politics aside and actually saying how do we get these big infrastructure projects in place. Now, the East West Link was identified by Infrastructure Victoria and Infrastructure Australia as a priority project. It will create 3,700 jobs, it will remove 23 sets of traffic lights, it will reduce the traffic time from 23 minutes down to about 7 minutes and it's going to be really, really important for 100,000 commuters on that road every day. So, we're prepared to say $4 billion bucks, Daniel, just give us the tick off, we're not asking one cent from the Victorian taxpayer through you, but what we do want is the approval to get ahead and go ahead with this project.

EDDIE MCGUIRE:

So, this will be the logjam pardon the pun there is that $4 billion, the roads that are already going, okay, the other thing is we don't have that many more workers to build these things. That's the that is the realistic point of view.

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

Well, Darc can work a third job. He's pulling beers, he's on the blower here. Why doesn't he…

LUKE DARCY:

Correct.

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

…put on a high viz vest as well?

LUKE DARCY:

Put a hard hat on out there, Josh, and do my bit…

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

I'm not sure about Wil, you know, but you know might have to.

WIL ANDERSON:

Hey, don't be like that. I can…

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

Be a lollipop, man, mate.

WIL ANDERSON:

Hey, mate, the victory for you guys is a good for me. I'm a rich white man.

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

Come on.

EDDIE MCGUIRE:

If you sit down would you consider maybe getting somebody like Sir Rod Eddington who wrote that initial paper to sit down now and go, okay that was 10 years ago, now let's have a look where we are in the scheme of things. What's under way, what we've had before, get the best result. Would you do something like that?

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

Well, I'm very happy to talk to Rod. I respect him and get on well with him and he knows a lot about infrastructure.

EDDIE MCGUIRE:

Great, well, that's a fantastic step forward.

LUKE DARCY:

So, you could have an independent commission an infrastructure, potentially, Josh, in Victoria? Would you look at taking it that far?

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

Let's not jump the shark. What I'm saying here is we want to put Victorians first. The infrastructure projects that they need are very clear. East West Link is one of them. We're very much prepared to talk to all the experts but this has already been identified as a priority project and we're putting $4 billion of Federal money to work and we want this to happen. Look, I understand Daniel Andrews hasn't made it a priority project for those people in Melbourne, but we do.

EDDIE MCGUIRE:

$4 billion won't build it though, will it?

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

It's probably going to cost about $6.8 billion, what an earlier expense was, and that's where we partner with the private sector, but $4 billion is the bulk of it.

EDDIE MCGUIRE:

Okay, then let's work it through. That's something for you guys to sit down with and get the right people in and do it the right way. Question from Scott Pape, the Barefoot Investor.

SCOTT PAPE:

Treasurer, it's the Barefoot Investor here. I want to know how do you justify encouraging young first home buyers to go it into a house with a 5 per cent deposit versus a 20 per cent deposit, how is this responsible from the Government?

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

Well, Scott, obviously the normal health checks will take place, the credit checks on anyone who's going to be taking up this scheme but what we've heard from many people across the community is how difficult it is for first home buyers to get the 20 per cent deposit and if they don't get the 20 per cent deposit and they get a low amount they're asked to pay what is called lender's mortgage insurance. That's a $10,000 hit for them. So, what we're saying is you can get your first home with a 5% deposit. We will stand behind you for that difference. We're not the lender. It's still normal the banks that are making the loan, but this could get 10,000 first home buyers into the market every year additional to what is already in place and we're putting half a billion dollars of Commonwealth money to work for this.

LUKE DARCY:

Have you capped it at 10,000 a year?

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

Well, what the PM said during the campaign, Luke, is let's see how it goes, 10,000 would obviously be the target number. If it's being taken up and a great success, as it has been in New Zealand, then it could be more.

WIL ANDERSON:

Now, one final one from me. You haven't celebrated your election victory by setting some One Nation trucks on fire, have you?

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

Mate, we celebrated at the Grace Park Tennis Club and yesterday at the Auburn Bowls Club trying to pour a few beers for them.

LUKE DARCY:

Nice bowl too. Very good.

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

And, Luke, we didn't even practise that.

LUKE DARCY:

How'd you go pouring a beer, Josh, because you can get caught out if you're not familiar with that.

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

Yeah, they got me holding the glass on the angle and pulling it pretty quick.

EDDIE MCGUIRE:

Final question. You always bring up the Blues…

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

Oh, mate, mate.

EDDIE MCGUIRE:

But have a look.

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

We were going well till then.

EDDIE MCGUIRE:

Yeah, what's your thoughts because they've had some good times and some bad times. In a young side that happens.

LUKE DARCY:

Eddie was trying to find a new coach a couple of weeks ago.

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

Look, I mean, we've got with Walsh and Cripps and Curnows, I mean, we've got some good players, I mean great players actually, and everyone who knows more about the game than I do say that, you know, within one or two years we'll be knocking on the door of the top six hopefully so let's keep it going.

EDDIE MCGUIRE:

You've had one miracle. If you can get Carlton up, that's your second one.

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

Cronulla Sharks are doing a bit better for  

EDDIE MCGUIRE:

You jumped on with…

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

No, mate, I'm a Victorian. My loyalty's here.

EDDIE MCGUIRE:

Should say Melbourne Storm, mate.

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

That's true, Melbourne Storm. That is true.

EDDIE MCGUIRE:

Last 30 seconds, OK. Before you were promising things, now are the man.

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

Sure.

EDDIE MCGUIRE:

What is the major thing you want to deliver, particularly to Victorians but for Australia in general? What is the thing that when you wanted to become the Treasurer, and now you're it, what do you to deliver?

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

Bottom line is jobs, to be honest. We set our self a goal of creating more than a million new jobs and we've done that and we've got a record number of women in jobs, we've got a record number of young people getting into jobs and we've said, OK, from here on, next five years, Eddie, one and a quarter million new jobs because when people are in work, they feel good about themselves, they can provide for their families and they can back their own small businesses, so it's all for us about jobs.

EDDIE MCGUIRE:

Not to mention the social interaction that happens with jobs. Jobs is essential. Well done. Can I just say to you, mate, you have been wonderful coming into our show and we appreciate that, but I've seen the work you and your wonderful wife and your two little kids and the sacrifice that you've made over the journey. It's a big job that you're doing. You could be making a lot more money in the private enterprise if you went into private business, but you have dedicated yourself to the cause of service in Australia, which sometimes we forget that our politicians, particularly the ones up the pointy end, not the lunatics on the outsides, so congratulations…

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

Thanks, Ed.

EDDIE MCGUIRE:

…and it's a big responsibility you have, and we wish you the strength and the courage to go forward with what you're doing because it is so important to our country and all of us.

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

Well, thanks, Wil, thanks, Luke, thanks, Eddie for having me on. I'm looking forward to that continuing but, more importantly, it's not about me or about Scott or about the Liberal Party, it's actually about the people of Australia, the people who are listening to your show today. I'm in this for one reason, it's to make their lives better.

LUKE DARCY:

Little bit about you today, Josh. You can celebrate for one day. Congratulations, the Federal Treasurer joining us, Josh.

WIL ANDERSON:

He did a good job not to really smile when we said Tony Abbott was gone.