Doorstop: Seven News – 15 September 2015

E&OE……………

Topics: Liberal Party Leadership; Getting on with governing.

QUESTION

Minister, you must be disappointed?

MINISTER ANDREWS

The Party Room made a decision. That’s the fact and Malcolm is now the Prime Minister. In my offering to be the Deputy, I was saying to Malcolm that I’m prepared to work with him, to be part of that broad church which he spoke about last night.

QUESTION

And you’ve indicated that you’d like to stay on as Defence Minister?

MINISTER ANDREWS

This is a very significant time for Defence. We’re just in the midst and about to release a White Paper, we’re in the process of deciding on future submarines and replacing the naval fleet over the next decade or so. So this is a very significant time and I’d be happy to stay on in that role.

QUESTION

There’s been, I guess, criticism in the past about the constant changing of Minster for Defence. Do you think for the sake of the Portfolio and for the men and women of the Defence Force it would be a good idea to have some stability?

MINISTER ANDREWS

Look, for the good of the country, for the good of the defences forces, for ensuring the safety and stability of this Nation, it is very important we have stability in significant roles. But ultimately this is matter for the Prime Minister. I’ve said to him that I’m prepared to work with him and that’s why I made the gesture last night of saying that I’m prepared to be the Deputy Leader.

QUESTION

Do you think many of your current frontbench colleagues will be happy to stay on?

MINISTER ANDREWS

I haven’t spoken to colleagues – it’s still relatively early this morning. So it’ll be up to them to make their decision.

QUESTION

Have you spoken to Mr Abbott?

MINISTER ANDREWS

I spoke to him last night. He was in a reflective and stoic mood. Tony is a man of decency and integrity; he always has been and always will be.

QUESTION

What do you think his Prime Ministership will be remembered for?

MINISTER ANDREWS

Well look, he did a very significant thing in getting us back into Government. He came to a draw in one election and won an election after that. We got back into government within a very relatively short period of time. Then we had very difficult circumstances where we don’t control the Senate and he’s done a very god job over that period of time. I think he’ll be remembered as a good Prime Minister.

QUESTION

In the past leadership spills with the Labor Party, we often saw Ministers being on one side or the other. Do you think it’s going to go that way or do you think, like yourself, it will be possible for people to be friends with them?

MINISTER ANDREWS

I’m saying on my part and as a mark of leadership, if you like, for the Party that the only way in which we can succeed is if we are unified; if we are that broad church, which Malcolm spoke about.

QUESTION

[inaudible]

MINISTER ANDREWS

Ultimately these things will be sorted out. What we share in common is much greater than what might divide us from time to time. I’m sure that Warren Truss and Malcolm Turnbull will be able to sit down and work this out.

QUESTION

[inaudible]

MINISTER ANDREWS

Look I don’t know what Tony wants to do. He’s had very senior roles within Government including obviously as Prime Minister. I think it would be appropriate if he was to continue as a Minister that he continue to do that because he’s still got a lot to offer the people of this country.

QUESTION

We’re possibly a year into an election. How are you going to convince those who….

MINISTER ANDREWS

…Well we have to be united and that’s through words and actions. That’s why my action last night I thought was so significant.

QUESTION

Do you expect the Party to now run the Government under Mr Turnbull?

MINISTER ANDREWS

We have to.

ENDS.