10 August 2017
Transcript - #2017152, 2017

Interview with David Koch, Sunrise

SUBJECTS: Same sex marriage

DAVID KOCH:

The man responsible for our Budget, Treasurer Scott Morrison, joins me now. Scott, how can you honestly justify spending this much money on a non-binding, non-compulsory opinion poll?

TREASURER:

We promised at the last election that we would give all Australians a say on this…

KOCH:

Don’t give me that. You break election promises all the time.

TREASURER:

David, I will give you that…

KOCH:

You’ve never broken an election promise?

TREASURER:

Well, David, which promises has this Government broken after the last election? Name me one.

KOCH:

Ok.

TREASURER:

This is my point, David. We took this promise to the people to say that everyone would get their say on this. We were upfront about the cost and we’re keeping that commitment to the Australian people and that’s what you’d expect governments to do, when they make a promise, to follow it through.

KOCH:

Ok, but then you lecture us about having to be fiscally responsible, that we have a problem with the Budget. Why don't you – this is a non-binding, non-compulsory postal vote that’s going to cost $122 million. It is not going to force you to do anything whatsoever. Why don't you go out and hire Galaxy or Newspoll just to do a poll?

TREASURER:

Again, David, how we said we’d do this is by giving everyone a say and that’s what will happen through the postal arrangements which are being put in place. That will give them that opportunity and as a result of that, if the plebiscite is carried, then there will be a bill that will come forward and it will be debated and dealt with by the House of Representatives and the Senate, and I would expect if it were carried at that plebiscite then I would expect any subsequent bill would be passed.

KOCH:

So why do you need our vote to make a decision?

TREASURER:

Because, David, this is a big change and we believe everyone should have a say, not just me, your view on this is as important as my view and every single one of my electors in my electorate of Cook, all of them deserve to have a say about this and it is important that they get that opportunity…

KOCH:

So this will set a trend for the future. Every big decision you will send it to a non-compulsory postal vote for us.

TREASURER:

No.

KOCH:

Why then?

TREASURER:

What we will do is that when we put something to the Australian people that we think is significant and we think there needs be a say for all Australians then that’s what we’ll do. We will be upfront about it before an election like we were.

KOCH:

When was the last time we did something like this?

TREASURER:

Last time we had an arrangement like this was back when we dealt with the national anthem. That was done and the national anthem was changed.

KOCH:

Right, ok, so all of the other major decisions in the meantime, you’ve just decided to make that decision yourself rather than go to a postal vote?

TREASURER:

Well, David, we had this debate at the last election and we were returned at that election based on the promises we made at that election and now we’re following through on our commitments…

KOCH:

Hang on, you were voted in based on a whole lot of other considerations, not just this one.

TREASURER:

Well, David, you put forward your platform at an election and it included this and we were returned and now we’re doing what we said we would do. Before the 2013 election, I said we’d stop the boats and together as a Government, we did that and we did that in the way we said we would do it. So we’re keeping our promises, David.

KOCH:

Why did we not have a postal vote on that?

TREASURER:

We had an election, David.

KOCH:

No, no, a postal vote.

TREASURER:

We had an election on the policy…

KOCH:

No, no, that was wrapped up in a whole bunch of other policies though. You can't just cherry pick one or the other. I’ll have a postal vote on that, but not on this.

TREASURER:

David, we had a debate on this at the last election, the Government was returned on the basis of many things – our strong economic management…

KOCH:

You look me in the eye and say that you think this is $122 million well spent.

TREASURER:

Is keeping your promises money well spent? Yes.

KOCH:

Ok, Treasurer, thank you for that.