Senator the Hon Mathias Cormann
Minister for Finance
Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate
Senator for Western Australia
Date: Friday, 2 September 2016
JOURNALIST: Michael Keenan has come out and apologised for missing those votes yesterday. Should the other Ministers who missed votes last night do the same?
MATHIAS CORMANN: What happened last night should not have happened. People should have been there for those divisions. Everyone who wasn't understands that and is very embarrassed today. They have learned their lesson, which you would expect. But let me just say that Labor is clearly not interested in the economy. Labor is not interested in making progress, putting Australia on a stronger foundation for the future. Labor is just interested in playing political games and stunts. It is all about Bill Shorten and his political self interest. We have got to be way more on our guard. That is the lesson that has been well and truly learned.
JOURNALIST: And this event in Victoria he would have known that that was happening for quite a while.
MATHIAS CORMANN: Sorry?
JOURNALIST: This event in Victoria that he was going to, he would have known that was happening for quite a while, should he have not gone to that?
MATHIAS CORMANN: I am not going to go into all the ins and outs of all of that. The bottom line is everybody should have been there yesterday. This was a routine procedural vote to adjourn the House of Representatives at 5pm. There is no excuse. People should have been there. We should have expected that Labor is going to run these sorts of political stunts. Bill Shorten will run whatever stunt he perceives will advance his political interests. He will run whatever political game will help him. He clearly is not focused on the interests of our country. He is not focused on the interests of our economy. He is not focused on what needs to be done, to ensure that families around Australia have the best opportunity to get ahead. Bill Shorten is only focused on himself. He is running juvenile political stunts and games. What Bill Shorten needs to start doing is actually focus on the national interest.
JOURNALIST: Does this show though that the Government doesn’t have a workable majority? They didn’t have a workable majority last night.
MATHIAS CORMANN: Self evidently we do have a workable majority. We have got that majority courtesy of the trust and confidence that the Australian people have put into us at the last election. Our job is to deliver good government, to implement the commitments we took to the last election, to implement our plan for a stronger economy and more jobs. Last night was unfortunate, very unfortunate. It should not have happened. The people that missed relevant divisions know that they should have been there. They feel very bad and embarrassed about that. It will never happen again. The point is that the Labor party is clearly just interested in political stunts. They are not focussed on the national interest. They are not focussed on what needs to be done to ensure that families around Australia have the best possible opportunity to get ahead. This is all about Bill Shorten playing political games, pursuing his own political interest.
JOURNALIST: Just on a separate matter on donations. Steven Ciobo has suggested that it should be limited to just natural persons, not companies, not unions. Would you agree?
MATHIAS CORMANN: There are processes in the Parliament after every election to review the conduct of the election that has just taken place. There is a cross party committee, the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters. These sorts of issues are issues that are routinely and appropriately considered by them.