16 November 2018
Transcript - #2018073, 2018

Interview with Eddie McGuire, Luke Darcy and Wil Anderson, Hot Breakfast, Triple M Melbourne

Subjects: Funding boost for Commonwealth Director Public Prosecutions, small business red-tape reduction, social media, Banking Royal Commission

EDDIE MCGUIRE:

Josh Frydenberg is the Treasurer of the Federal Government of Australia, he is the local Member for Kooyong and he joins us on the line this morning. G’day, Josh.

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

Good morning Eddie.

EDDIE MCGUIRE:

Nice tennis weather at the moment, mate. How’s the backhand?

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

I wish I had more time. I’m waiting for Christmas, between turkeys, I’ll be out on the court.

EDDIE MCGUIRE:

Good man. Now, tell us what you’re doing this morning. A $41.6 million funding top up for the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions over eight years to go after the Banking Royal Commission fall out, is that pretty much it in a nutshell?

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

That’s right. What we have seen from the Banking Royal Commission so far are examples of financial misconduct. We want to make sure that our agencies have all the resources available to ensure that consumers get a better deal. But importantly, those people who have engaged in the misconduct face the full force of the law. So that’s one of the announcements that we’re making today. The other one is to help small businesses. Your listeners know that small businesses are the engine room of the economy, we have more than three million of them in Australia and they employ around 70 per cent of all private sector employees. What we want to do is cut red tape, so that they’re pay less money to their lawyers and their accountants and they can employ more people with that money that otherwise would have gone to them.

LUKE DARCY:

Hey Josh, you’d be aware that the fallout from the Global Financial Crisis back in 2007, I think one person was charged out of a disaster that brought the world to its knees. We’ve now had an enormous amount of money put behind the Royal Commission. Are you expecting there will be individuals held to account in the finance industry here in Australia?

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

Look, Darce, that will be a decision for not just the Royal Commissioner but also for the relevant prosecutorial agencies and I would obviously be reluctant to go into specific cases. But we’ve already seem heads roll; we’ve seen people lose their jobs and be publicly named for examples of misconduct that shouldn’t have occurred.

EDDIE MCGUIRE:

Yeah, but if I go into one of their banks with a slingshot, they put me in jail.

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

Well, you’re absolutely right, that people who steal from the customer, whether they’re behind the glass…

EDDIE MCGUIRE:

Whether the customer be dead or alive, yeah all that.

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

They’ve got to face the full force of the law. One of the criticisms of the Royal Commissioner was that ASIC in particular preferred to negotiate rather than to litigate. But I think from now on you’ll see them be a lot more aggressive with their prosecution.

EDDIE MCGUIRE:

Josh, far be it for me to offer you a suggestion, but maybe when you do this, if they are found guilty, the bank pays the prosecution funds as well, that way you have a nice little nest egg to continue going after people.

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

As you know, in a lot of these cases, banks and other defendants have costs awarded against them, depending on the type of case. That’s a matter for the courts. You should be under no misapprehension; we are going after the people who have engaged in this financial misconduct. We want higher standard of care in the financial services sector. There are a lot of good people working in these institutions, but there are also some bad ones who have created a bad name for a lot of the people.

LUKE DARCY:

Hey Josh, we’re going to be brave enough and offer you a second suggestion, if you don’t mind. We are speaking to the Federal Treasurer, but ah, we do work in the television industry, Josh, and we’ve seen a couple of videos coming out of your office…

EDDIE MCGUIRE:

And ScoMo’s

LUKE DARCY:

And the Prime Minister’s office. I tell you what, you need a bit of work on your walk and talk Josh. Will Anderson follows this like a savant, how can you help him? He’s a champion tennis player, Josh; it looked like you couldn’t walk up the street.

EDDIE MCGUIRE:

Mate, don’t do it on an incline, that’s the first step, because you’re leaning forward too far, you’re tripping over yourself. Did you have an autocue?

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

No, I didn’t.

EDDIE MCGUIRE:

Get one, get one mate. You can put one on an iPad these days, it’s just easy to do. Don’t make it a memory test, because it looks like you’re searching for the words. Just give the delivery. I tell you what, for Christmas, right now, I’ll give you a couple of free ones, down at McGuire Media, ok?

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

Eddie, sounds good, let’s go, let’s improve the quality of the videos. I have to say, people are watching them.

EDDIE MCGUIRE:

Exactly.

LUKE DARCY:

But we’re p***ing ourselves laughing, mate.

EDDIE MCGUIRE:

You don’t’ want to be on Funniest Home Videos, mate.

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

Well, you’ve got to be able to laugh at yourself as well, and that’s what I’ve done, I’ve taken it on the chin. But the message is still there, and those videos were about the impact on the housing market from negative gearing, and I think that’s an important one to get across. So maybe I need a few tutorials.

EDDIE MCGUIRE:

Good on you, mate. Just before you go, quickly, use Cricket Australia as a template on what you’re going to do with the banks, mate. The players got rubbed out, but now we’ve gone to the cause, the root cause, and everyone is being held accountable. So, don’t forget the people who were pushing the people down the chain to go for the extra money and really putting that on their performance indicators, ok. You might be able to get somebody for doing something, but let’s fix this once and for all. And, secondly, one word answer, how big is the business that’s going to qualify for your refunds?

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

In terms of the red-tape, it’s businesses under $50 million will no longer have to do these reports.

EDDIE MCGUIRE:

Ok, go to Josh’s website for all the details. If you’ve got a business, a small business, turning over under $50 million Josh’s website is the place to go to find out what’s there for you.

LUKE DARCY:

Thank you Josh.

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

Thanks guys.