The Today Show – 15 September 2015

E&OE……………

Topics: Liberal Party leadership; Getting on with governing

QUESTION

Tough night last night?

MINISTER ANDREWS

It’s one of those nights in politics, but what a beautiful spring morning in Canberra.

QUESTION

We’re all alive! Politically, Tony Abbott is dead though, how was he last night?

MINISTER ANDREWS

Tony was in a reflective mood. He’s been around for a long time. He’s seen the ups and downs of politics as we all have.

QUESTION

How did he confront the vote afterwards when they read out the votes. Did you talk to him afterwards?

MINISTER ANDREWS

Yes I did. He stood up in the Party room and he made some reflections on the situation, he thanked people who had supported him over the years. He said that he believed that we had been a good Government in difficult circumstances and I think there was a wide deal of respect for him.

QUESTION

Was he aggrieved at what had happened?

MINISTER ANDREWS

Look, you’ll have to ask Tony about that. I’m not sure what his feelings are, I suspect there’s always a bunch of emotions in circumstances like this.

QUESTION

Have you spoken to Malcolm yet?

MINISTER ANDREWS

Only very briefly in the corridor, that’s all.

QUESTION

What happens today?

MINISTER ANDREWS

Well that’s now up to Malcolm. The reality is that Malcolm has been elected Leader, we’ve got to get on with the job and it’s up to him now to start to take the Government forward.

QUESTION

What changes will happen?

MINISTER ANDREWS

This is the question. The Liberal Party is a broad church. As you know I stood for Deputy Leader. I did that to indicate that I can work with Malcolm and the fact that I commanded almost a third of the votes in the circumstances where Malcolm had already been elected Leader, indicates that this broad church and that broad church needs to be respected. Because if we don’t it won’t be for the good of the country, what we need to do is to reflect that broad church, as Malcolm said himself, for the good of the country; for the good of the people; and the good of the Party.

QUESTION

You might say it’s a broad church – it could very well be described as a divided church.

MINISTER ANDREWS

Well, that’s the real test now. Malcolm said last night in his remarks that it’s a broad church and he wanted it to be a broad church. So the question is, for someone like me who’s reached out to Malcolm and said, representing at least a third of the votes in the Party, when that came along. Will that become a reality? I’ve said that I’m prepared to work with him and we’ll see what happens.

QUESTION

You must know that the Party this morning – yes it’s a beautiful day but your Party is very divided this morning?

MINISTER ANDREWS

Look we’ve been through circumstances like this before. The real question now is whether or not people can get together and re-build and that will be determined by the decisions that are taken over the next few days.

QUESTION

Are you confident of that or not really?

MINISTER ANDREWS

I’m an optimist Karl.

QUESTION

But you’re not sure?

MINISTER ANDREWS

I’m an optimist and I’m here ready to work with Malcolm and I know that other people who represent that part of the spectrum of the Party, that I represent, are prepared to do that. So let’s see what happens in the next few days.

QUESTION

How do you think yesterday treated the Australian public?

MINISTER ANDREWS

I do think the Australian public have a view that the Prime Minister is someone that they elect. We saw this with the Labor Party and this was frankly part of my concern about changing Leaders at this stage but the decisions been made now. Malcolm is Leader, that’s the fact, and we’ve got to get on with it.

QUESTION

Will he lead the Party to the next election?

MINISTER ANDREWS

I would expect so.

QUESTION

You don’t know now though do you?

MINISTER ANDREWS

No, no. Don’t play gotcha with me, Karl, not this time of the morning.

QUESTION

The reality is you don’t know now…

MINISTER ANDREWS

The reality is that he’s the Leader. What I’m saying is that we need to get together. We need to bring this Party together and that can be done if it’s inclusive. That will be for the good of the country; the good of the people of this Nation and the good of the Party itself.

QUESTION

Big test, thanks for being with us this morning.

MINISTER ANDREWS

Thank you Karl.

Ends.