THE HON TANYA PLIBERSEK MP
DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION
SHADOW MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS
AND INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
MEMBER FOR SYDNEY
THE PROJECT, CHANNEL TEN
MONDAY 3 AUGUST, 2015
SUBJECTS: Bronwyn Bishop
WALEED ALY, PRESENTER: Tanya Plibersek is the Deputy Leader of the Labor Party and she joins us now from Sydney. Tanya, you finally got your wish, Bronwyn Bishop has resigned. Surely now we can all move on?
TANYA PLIBERSEK, DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: Well, I think it is about time that Bronwyn Bishop took responsibility for her behaviour, and it is well past time that the Prime Minister showed some leadership on this issue. I think it is very important that the Parliament is able to concentrate on the business of Parliament, rather than be distracted by the carry-on that we've seen in recent weeks.
STEVE PRICE: I reckon what really annoyed the public at the weekend, Tanya, and probably ended up doing her in, was this idea that she would catch BMW limousines rather than use COMCARs because they could use the bus lanes on Sydney roads. Now, surely you have never done that. I mean you would use COMCARs, you wouldn't hire a limo and a driver, would you?
PLIBERSEK: No. Well, I would use COMCARs sometimes and I use taxis when it's cheaper to do so and it's just ridiculous to think that this excellent service that we're very fortunate to be provided as Members of Parliament isn't good enough for Bronwyn Bishop.
ALY: And Malcolm Turnbull uses trains and he really wants you to know that, by the way! But on the issue of the rules -
PLIBERSEK: Yeah. Well, and I love catching Sydney buses, too, and I've got my Opal card and it is terrific.
ALY: The rules, though, you say you are open to the rules being clarified. I wonder, though, how genuine politicians are when they say that, because there have been reviews in the past. Every time they come back with a recommendation that says, you need to tighten up the rules because the definitions mean you can drive a truck through it and then nothing actually happens.
PLIBERSEK: Well, no, I mean, there have been reviews in the past and they have meant, for example, when we were in government, that all of this information is published. I think it's really important to have the level of transparency and accountability that we've now got. The fact that the information is made public -
ALY: But, Tanya, it's not just about transparency, it's about the rules and all you ever need to do is say it's parliamentary business. But then anything can be called parliamentary business.
PRICE: You mentioned trucks there, Waleed, that's the only thing Bronwyn didn't use, a truck!
ALY: But the rules themselves need to be tightened. It's not just about transparency and no-one has done it.
PLIBERSEK: Well, Waleed, I don't know that anything can be called parliamentary business. I just don't think attending a colleague's wedding is parliamentary business. I think that's clearly a social function.
PETER HELLIAR: So, Tanya, who would you like to see as the next Speaker? I want to throw Clive Palmer in an as an idea, your thoughts?
PLIBERSEK: Oh, yeah, not sure about that one! Bruce Scott is the Deputy Speaker, he’s been a very good Deputy Speaker so he would be a very natural suggestion, I think, to take over.
ALY: He is a National, so the Libs, I don't know if they would like that suggestion. We'll see what they choose in the end. In the meantime, Tanya, thank you very much for speaking to us.
PLIBERSEK: Thank you, Waleed.