Interview with Samantha Armytage, Sunrise

 

SAMANTHA ARMYTAGE:

Malcolm Turnbull. Good morning and welcome.

PRIME MINISTER:

Good morning, great to be with you.

SAMANTHA ARMYTAGE:

Okay. Let's start with the 20 per cent of voters who are still making up their minds the day before the election. We have a clock here. We are going to give you 60 seconds uninterrupted to convince voters why their vote should go to the Coalition. Your time starts now.

PRIME MINISTER:

It's a very clear choice. We present a stable majority Coalition Government. The only vote that will support the stability of a Coalition Government, a majority Government is a vote for Liberal and National candidates. Votes for Labor, the Greens, or independents, run the risk of a hung parliament, all of the instability and uncertainty of an alliance between Labor, the Greens and independents. We have seen that film before. It's not a pretty one. Right now, Australia needs strong majority Government, a clear national economic plan. That's the economic leadership only the Coalition can deliver.

SAMANTHA ARMYTAGE:

Okay. Mr Turnbull you still have 15 seconds up your sleeve. That's all you need. Forty five seconds there you go. Now News Corp their election eve Galaxy poll has the Coalition ahead 51-49. You are being endorsed in all the editorials in all the papers today. Are you home and hosed?

PRIME MINISTER:

It's a very close election. All of those polls, everything indicates it's a close election Sam. That is why it is critical that Australians treat their vote as though that vote, that one vote is going to decide the next government. It really is a very clear-cut choice as I said. The stable Coalition majority Government which I lead with a national economic plan that is building jobs, driving economic growth, enlarging the opportunities of all Australians, you know, mums who want to get another job, work more days, kids have gone to school, more opportunities.

Last year Sam we saw 300,000 new jobs created in Australia. Most of them were taken up by women. There is the big beneficiary of strong economic growth, there are more opportunities for everyone. Now we have a plan that has delivered that, is delivering that and we need three more years to continue doing so. Only a stable Coalition majority Government can do it. The alternative is the chaos, the uncertainty, the dysfunction, higher deficits, higher debt, higher taxes, less investment, less jobs. That's what Labor and the Greens and independents are offering. And that's why the right vote, the safest vote, the vote for stability and leadership is a vote for a Liberal or National candidate.

SAMANTHA ARMYTAGE:

How can a leader who deposed a first term prime minister in a bitterly fought campaign, promise stability and how can you keep the right wing of your party in check?

PRIME MINISTER:

As you can see the Coalition is united. We came together on your show in fact right after the Budget. I sat down with you and Kochie and I said this is our national economic plan. There it is. All set out, all brought together. This is what we are going to take to the Australian people because we know it will deliver the leadership and the opportunities for all Australians. For every age right across the country, the diversity of growth, the diversity of employment and opportunities in these exciting, but uncertain times in the global economy, this is where you need a clear economic plan and strong majority Government.

SAMANTHA ARMYTAGE:

We would beg to say you weren't united, Tony Abbott has said you’re not focusing on the big issues.

PRIME MINISTER:

The big issue in this election Sam – and I have been all around the country for eight weeks as you know - the big issue is the economy. The big issue is, where are the jobs going to be in the future? How can I get a better job? I am working part-time now, the kids are off to school, I want to work more days, I want to work full-time. I am sick of working for somebody else - I want to start my own business. Will there be enough confidence in the economy to support my new business? All of these questions depend on a strong economy. We are guaranteeing funding for Medicare, for health, for schools, for roads. We can only do that with the strong tax base that comes from a strong economy. You see that's the difference. We have an economic plan, our opponents do not. They have a list of complaints, a list of scares and a list of lies. They do not have the strong economic plan that we need. They cannot provide the majority Government, the stable majority Government that only the Coalition can deliver.

SAMANTHA ARMYTAGE:

Okay. Well let's talk about this so-called Medicare scare campaign. The Opposition has gone hard on this. You have promised repeatedly no changes. You have however committed to a freeze on the GP rebate. Can you guarantee our viewers will pay - will not pay more to see the doctor due to this freeze?

PRIME MINISTER:

Sam absolutely and bulk billing is at its all-time high. The freeze in the Medicare indexation to the Medicare rebate was started by Labor in 2013. We have continued it in order to ensure that we have more money to put into other areas of health like bringing drugs like Herceptin onto the PBS, lifesaving drugs. Like being able to spend nearly $200 million on new frontline services like Headspace and suicide prevention trials in order to address the huge challenges of mental illness. What we are doing is managing Australians health dollar as efficiently as we can. If indexation was restored today, it would add less than 60 cents to the amount that a doctor would receive for a consultation. You know, this is not - we are not talking about dramatic changes here per consultation. What we are talking about is an absolute iron-clad guarantee to continue our support for Medicare. We spend more on Medicare every year. What Bill Shorten has said about Medicare is a disgraceful lie. He has been called out for it as you know. He has been mocked about it in the media. But they keep on doing it and they have had unionists ringing up older Australians, late at night and frightening them about Medicare and health services. Can I tell you Medicare is guaranteed, absolutely guaranteed.

SAMANTHA ARMYTAGE:

All right. Okay. We'll put that in the library and keep that on file Mr Turnbull. Now should you win tomorrow you will have been elected by the people of course. You are governing in your own right. You will then be free of the deals you made to take over the leadership last September. Will we see the real Malcolm?

PRIME MINISTER:

Here I am Sam. I have been around for a long time. I came into politics at the age of 50 after a lifetime in business. I am not one of these lifetime politicians like Mr Shorten for example. He has spent all his life in the union movement or in Parliament. I spent my life with Lucy working in business, starting businesses, creating jobs. I understand what makes the economy hum. What I bring to this role, this leadership role is a commitment to ensuring that we back the enterprising Australians, back the businesses, the small and medium family businesses because we know with the support we are giving them - the support which Labor denies them - with the support that we are giving them, we will see more growth and more jobs and more opportunities. That's the future. We are securing the future of Australia. If we get this right the future will be better than ever but we need to continue to deliver our national economic plan.

SAMANTHA ARMYTAGE:

Okay. Malcolm Turnbull, we thank you for your time today.

PRIME MINISTER:

Thank you so much Sam.