JOURNALIST We have the Foreign Minister Julie Bishop to try to follow that act. She joins us from Canberra.
Wow. Let’s get straight to talk of the new Speaker. Does Tony Smith have to be a lot less biased to calm this House down?
JULIE BISHOP Well Carrie, I can see it now – Question Time, The Musical – all singing, all dancing. I can’t wait! Tony Smith has been elected by the entire House of Representatives. He was elected unopposed. He certainly has the support of the House of Representatives and he’s made a very good start. Of course, no pressure Tony, but Question Time is on tomorrow, so I’m sure he will do well.
JOURNALIST Julie, would you like a copy of my new album? The artwork is all done now, here it is, there you go.
JULIE BISHOP I think I can do without it. If you insist on sending it to me, I’m sure it will end up in a very happy place.
JOURNALIST I do insist.
JOURNALIST Minister, the Government has been beset by the travel rort schemes and all of the claims we now read about. Do you think a simple way to solve this problem would be if politicians don’t fly their children business class? I think that is what is starting to upset the public.
JULIE BISHOP I think that there has to be an appropriate use of travel allowances that meet the requirements of the job and a responsibility to respect taxpayers’ funds. It does come down to a question of the guidelines being clearer and common sense and good judgement. I hope that the review that we’ve announced will provide that guidance and that colleagues will respect the use of taxpayers’ funds.
JOURNALIST There is that review, the promise of a root and branch review, the idea of transparency, all these wonderful ideas, but Fairfax is now reporting that the Finance Committee’s investigation into Bronwyn Bishop’s claims, the results are now not going to be made public. I would have thought right now the public will hear that and say that is simply not good enough.
JULIE BISHOP Well, former Speaker Bronwyn Bishop has apologised. She has repaid the money, she has resigned her position and she is now on the backbench. I think that the review will consider the circumstances in which a number of members find themselves where the guidelines are not clear. As I say, exercising common sense, good judgement, and ensuring that it’s an appropriate use for the requirements of the job, and that’s what I believe the majority of colleagues seek to do.
JOURNALIST Minister, are you sure you don’t want to come and record a single with me, perhaps? I’ve already done some artwork, I’ve done some more artwork. This looks great, straight out of Canberra, featuring J-Bish! What do you say?
JULIE BISHOP Well I was actually hoping I would look more like Charlize Theron in Mad Max Fury Road. I’d like to look like Furiosa.
JOURNALIST We will make it work. We will make it work.
JULIE BISHOP Okay it’s a deal then.
JOURNALIST Appreciate it Minister, thanks for your time.
JULIE BISHOP My pleasure.