Leader of The Nationals – Transcript – Interview with Allison Langdon, Today Show
The Hon David Littleproud MP
Leader of The Nationals
Tuesday 16 August 2022
Transcript – Interview with Allison Langdon, Today Show – Topics: Scott Morrison, La Niña, NRL
So we’ve been told that Scott Morrison secretly took control of three portfolios so health, finance and resources during the pandemic. I mean, it’s so bizarre, David I think why is the question we all want the answer to and did you know about it?
No, it didn’t and I think it does warrant an explanation. Our government and the executive arm of it reflects around the cabinet and the collective wisdom of that cabinet in drawing on it, in making decisions rather than unilateral decisions.
So it’s important, out of respect to that institution, that the former prime minister gives an explanation. I think it’s quite ordinary that he took these steps without actually letting other members of that cabinet know that step had been taken.
That’s the the collegiate way in which Cabinet normally operates. It should have been made aware to all Cabinet ministers at the time that that was the reasoning and therefore there wouldn’t be this conjecture. So I think it’s important now that Scott Morrison comes forward, give us an explanation.
But it is disappointing that the institution of Cabinet hasn’t been respected in the way that I would have thought it would have been, the way in which I’ve respected it and respect the Office of Prime Minister.
Are you angry at him this morning?
Well, I want to see the explanation. I think it’s important, but on the face of it looks pretty ordinary. And I think that’s why it’s important to rebuild trust and faith within the institutions that our parliament and our nation, our democracy is built on.
It’s important that the former prime minister gives an explanation. I think that these are the institutions that have have served us well over many generations, and it’s important that that trust is put back into them. I think Scott Morrison can do that very quickly if he comes forward.
Well, this is the issue, isn’t it? And Gareth Scott Morrison’s response to this story breaking is he’s not involved in day to day politics anymore. But I mean, he is a sitting MP and we are still paying his wage.
Yeah, it’s pretty outrageous. Last I checked, he was still being paid $211,000 a year as a backbencher, so that just doesn’t cut it at all. I think that you can make a case to say that there were extraordinary things happening in March of 2020 and swearing yourself in as health and finance minister might have been justified.
That doesn’t explain why it was never announced or revealed. And the certainly the situation was different by 2021, when he apparently swore himself in as Minister for Resources to try and roll this gas project off the coast of New South Wales.
That’s just totally bizarre and improper and any swearing in or should have been publicised, they should have been gazetted. The public should have known about them. I don’t really understand the Governor-General’s explanation either, that these are sort of ordinary things that happen from time to time.
I mean, it is true that ministers go on leave and other ministers cover for their portfolios, but those things are published in the Government Gazette and everyone knows who the Acting Minister is. So I totally agree with David Littleproud. I’m not surprised that he is upset at his former colleague, the Prime Minister, around the cabinet table. And we do need to get an explanation from Scott Morrison as to what on earth was going on here.
I think it sits very uncomfortably with all of us when things like these are kept secret. But I’m sure we’ll hear more of this over the coming days and weeks. Now, look, here’s something that no one, certainly if you’re in Queensland, wants to hear. Another La Nina event is on its way, bringing with it six more months of rain, David, I mean, after everything the Queensland has copped with floods, it is the last thing you want to hear.
Yeah. Look, we’ve had drought, and now it’s just gone. The pendulum has gone right the other way is important, but that every body on the East Coast actually has a plan as we go into disaster season and make sure that they’re ready to enact, they’re putting not only their lives at risk if they don’t have one, but those men and women that are prepared to come and save us. And also, you just got to spare a moment for those people, particularly in Lismore and those areas that have been traumatised in Brisbane by floods.
I mean this is something that they’re obviously waking up to today and they’re thinking here we go again. So we just need to be mindful of them and make sure that we work with them to be prepared and understand that the Bureau doesn’t always get it right. But this is something that obviously we’re seeing a cycle in terms of a La Nina and hopefully we can get through it without too much damage.
Yeah, you just have to look at that cyclone and Gareth at the moment. All the stories coming out of the Northern Hemisphere across Europe and America is that they’re facing one of the worst droughts they’ve ever faced. And here we are. Beautiful WA. You’re copping it at the moment, too.
Yeah well, wet this week in. It’s been a slightly wetter than average winter, though not substantially so. But boy, the rainfall, it just seems to be absolutely battering New South Wales and Queensland and it’s been a really tough sort of several seasons in a row.
If you think back to bushfires and then floods and now potentially more rainfall, you just feel for people who just want to catch a breather and just get themselves on an even keel again.
Yeah. Hey, look at the boss of the NRL is furious this morning. He’s made it clear that no agreement has been made yet with the New South Wales Government on stadiums and the location of the Grand Final still in limbo. So I mean, David here it sounds like someone within the New South Wales Government is leaking. Peter V’landys isn’t happy. What do we think? Where’s it going to end up?
Well, look, it’s all pretty messy. And I think as we get closer to the final, someone needs to make a decision. And I think some common sense is going to have to prevail. Obviously, we’re always ready to carry the load here in Queensland doing the heavy lifting. We carried the nation through COVID and everything else poor old Queenslanders. So look, if we have to, we’ll take it again. But we’d like to give something this year.
Oh, gee, thanks. Gareth, what do you think?
I know. Maybe it should head back to Perth again. Simple solution where we hosted the AFL Grand Final last year at Australia’s best stadium. Good job team. And everyone agrees it was a magnificent spectacle. So we’re happy to do it for the NRL as well. Give us a call, Pete.