Ok, this is NOT an actual transcript, but who needs an actual transcript when you’ve got common sense…
If you want to compare it the actual interview just click this:
Anyway, it went something like this, as best as I can remember:
LEIGH SALES, PRESENTER: This afternoon the Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull joined 7.30 from Adelaide.
Prime Minister, thank you for coming in.
MALCOLM TURNBULL, PRIME MINISTER: Good evening.
LEIGH SALES: Won’t it cost more to build the subs in Australia and isn’t this economic social welfare at odds with your free market ideology and how you treated the car industry?
MALCOLM TURNBULL: Well, let me say this to you, Leigh, it is absolutely critical that as far as possible, every dollar that we spend on Defence procurement is spent here in Australia because it’s an election year and we have several marginal seats in South Australia where people understand that spending money saves jobs… In particular, the jobs of Liberal politicians.
LEIGH SALES: I take your point regarding the spin-off benefits, but how much extra is it costing to do the work here in Australia rather than having it all down in France and then exported here?
MALCOLM TURNBULL: Well, you – can I just say to you, the – all three bidders nominated the cost – an order of magnitude, what’s called a rough order of magnitude between building overseas and building in Australia. Such premium as there is is very manageable and …if you’ll allow me to be a little more condescending and explain things to you using concepts and words that most people won’t understand then I’ll sound like I know what I’m talking about and you’ll all feel inadequate and not push on with questions about actual dollar figures.
LEIGH SALES: And what was it exactly in dollar figures?
MALCOLM TURNBULL: I can’t go into that with you at this stage, Leigh, because, not only haven’t I been briefed but it’s a lot more than Gonski and it’d give those bloody people who think that poor people deserve an education to point out the inconsistency, but let me just say this to you: you’ve got to remember that these are very complex pieces of machinery. And, when I say innovation, I’m sure you get just as excited as I do, so let me say it again, Leigh, I_N_N_O_V_A_T_I_O_N. There’s never been a more exciting time to say it.
LEIGH SALES: How much of each submarine will be actually built in South Australia?
MALCOLM TURNBULL: Well the – the submarines will be built in South Australia and the bulk of it – the bulk of the components, the elements in the submarine, will be built in South Australia and elsewhere in Australia.
LEIGH SALES: And when you say the majority, do you mean, you know, 55 per cent of them will be built in Australia or 95 per cent of them? Is it substantially – you know, is it basically the whole thing or is it, you know, about half?
MALCOLM TURNBULL: Leigh, let me restate what my objective is. I am committed to Australia having the sort of government that’s strong and if takes the majority of the subs being built in Australia to achieve that, then I’m prepared to be committed to it.
LEIGH SALES: And to test – sorry to interrupt, but to test the veracity of what you’re saying, what I’m asking is: how much of these submarines will be built in Australia? Is it 90 per cent? Is it 50 per cent?
MALCOLM TURNBULL: Well, Leigh, the submarine has not yet been designed, but in spite of that I can tell you that the majority of it will be built in Australia.
LEIGH SALES: Just one quick question before we move off this. Have you spoken personally to the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe about this?
MALCOLM TURNBULL: Yes, I have.
LEIGH SALES: And what did the – what was the content of the conversation, broadly?
MALCOLM TURNBULL: Well, can I say to you that we – the – in all of my discussions with Prime Minister Abe, including the most recent one, each of us shared our unwavering commitment to our strong, special strategic partnership with Japan, and I assured him that we’re deeply sorry for any commitments that Tony made during a piss-up, but we intend to give France the contract.
LEIGH SALES: Nonetheless, Japan’s put out a statement to say this is deeply regrettable.
MALCOLM TURNBULL: … Sorry, I’m going to move on and ignore that.
LEIGH SALES: The Japanese have put out a statement to say that this decision’s deeply regrettable.
MALCOLM TURNBULL: Well it is – we can clearly understand their disappointment at not being successful in the competitive evaluation process.
LEIGH SALES: Let’s move on to negative gearing. On the weekend, you said that Labor’s negative gearing and capital gains policies would take a sledgehammer to property prices. Have you done any modelling?
MALCOLM TURNBULL: Well, Leigh, I was quite a dashing beauty in my younger days, but I was busy and I never had time although I’m sure that I could have probably managed to look pretty good in any photo…
LEIGH SALES: I meant economic modelling.
MALCOLM TURNBULL: But let me – Leigh, let me just – think for a moment, because when you put it like that, I realise it seems a wee bit arrogant to dismiss economic modelling when one hasn’t done any, but I’d like to add that this is a matter of common sense. Around a third of the buyers for residential property currently are investors. What Labor is proposing will take all or almost all of them out of the market. Now if you take – if the market – the residential property market is soft now and it is declining in many cities and in Perth, for example, it’s been declining for several years. If you take a third of the buyers out of the market, prices, values will fall. That’s common sense.
LEIGH SALES: But you’re saying that all the investors will leave the markets and rents will then go up, but in terms of common sense, with the difference between what you pay in rent and what you pay in housing loan repayments so little at the moment, wouldn’t even a slight shift mean that more people would want to buy, either as a home owner or an investor.
MALCOLM TURNBULL: Well, that’s not – that’s not actually constitent with the scare campaign I’d like to run …
LEIGH SALES: Well actually, the statistics are that the top 10 per cent of income earners receiving three quarters of taxable – sorry, it’s the top 10 per cent of income earners who are receiving three quarters of taxable capital gains.
MALCOLM TURNBULL: Well Leigh, that is – that’s beside the point. Of course – of course people on the highest incomes will make the highest gains because they tend to have more property. But Leigh, …
LEIGH SALES: So therefore these policies – the policies favour most people who are on the highest incomes.
MALCOLM TURNBULL: I’m sorry, Leigh, I couldn’t hear that question.
LEIGH SALES: Are you saying that your negative gearing policy favours the rich?
MALCOLM TURNBULL: Not at all, you’re saying that.
LEIGH SALES: Does it or not?
MALCOLM TURNBULL: Well, it does in the sense that the rich have more money and consequently own most of the property, but it’s not just the rich. Why I was sharing a cognac with someone at my club and he only has an income of $37 a year and yet negative gearing has enabled him to purchase 93 properties…
LEIGH SALES: On housing affordability…
MALCOLM TURNBULL: Well exactly Leigh, you know, your viewers tonight understand the laws of supply and demand. If you take a third of the buyers out of a market, prices will come down and that’ll make houses affordable even for people who don’t deserve them.
LEIGH SALES: But what I’m asking is how do you know you’re taking out a third?
MALCOLM TURNBULL: Pardon?
LEIGH SALES: Where’s your modelling for the fact that you’re taking out a third?
MALCOLM TURNBULL: Well – well Leigh, again, it’s a fact we know …
LEIGH SALES: But you’ve said a third. That’s very specific. what are you relying on for that?
MALCOLM TURNBULL: Well, if you’ll – if you’ll let me finish, I’ll give you the answer. We know from the statistics, the banking statistics and the ATO statistics, that around a third of the people who borrow – who borrow money to invest in property are investors and most of them will be negative gearing, and, I might say, even if they were positively geared, even if the rent of the property they were buying was higher than their interest, if – under Labor’s plan, they would run the risk if for whatever reason they incurred a net rental loss – perhaps the tenant stopped paying rent or the property was vacant or it needed expensive repairs – if for whatever reason they suffered a net rental loss, they’d have to cover it out of their after-tax income. So that is a very big risk. And if there’s one thing the Liberal Party will not countenance it’s people who invest making a loss. That’s why we have to subsidise the coal industry.
LEIGH SALES: Prime Minister, thank you very much for joining us this evening.
MALCOLM TURNBULL: Yeah, thanks so much, Leigh.