20 March 2015
Transcript - #2015056, 2015

Interview, Triple M, Brisbane

PRESENTER:

Good morning to you, Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey.

PRESENTER:

Hello Joe.

TREASURER:

Hello Ed.

PRESENTER:

Thanks for joining us. Good to have you with us.

TREASURER:

Well, thanks for having me in. What a beautiful day in Brisbane.

PRESENTER:

Marto’s got a theory on the weather, which he won’t bore you with…

PRESENTER:

 [Inaudible] What’s more boring: temperature inversion or Budget emergency and Intergenerational Report?

TREASURER:

Come on.

PRESENTER:

Neck and neck. Neck and neck.

PRESENTER:

That’s the stuff Joe loves. He loves it.

TREASURER:

I live for it. I live for it.

PRESENTER:

What were we just talking to him [inaudible] One Direction. I just broke the news that Zayn’s taken a break to…

TREASURER:

I know I’m stunned. I’ve been wondering about Zayn…

PRESENTER:

Are you going to get through the rest of the media commitments you’ve got today after this?

TREASURER:

I don’t know. It’s really thrown my day. I’ve got a 9 o’clock speech on the Gold Coast on tax and I’m going to be thinking about Zayn the whole way through.

PRESENTER:

The whole time.

PRESENTER:

Ed asked me a question before I couldn’t answer about you: were you a tight-head or loose-head prop?

TREASURER:

I was both mate. I know – we didn’t specialise in those days.

PRESENTER:

And then Michelle asked what’s the dif? And I said well, the tight-head works a lot harder than the loose-head. So, I called you a loose-head.

PRESENTER:

That’s an insult. You don’t have to take that from him.

PRESENTER:

How was that? That’s two blows.

PRESENTER:

 [Inaudible]

TREASURER:

I’m about to rip off the microphone and storm out.

PRESENTER:

I’d love that. We’d love that Joe.

TREASURER:

Really? Coming from you mate? Have you ever put your head into a ruck or a maul?

PRESENTER:

In seven a side rugby, mate, seven a side rugby I used to pack a prop and it wasn’t all it was [inaudible]

TREASURER:

Then how did you end up with a face like that if you never put your head in? How did that happen, mate?

PRESENTER:

Cause I made comments like that to people like you.

TREASURER:

About props?

PRESENTER:

All of that work happens for him down at the pub, Joe, that’s when he tends to pack a scrum.

PRESENTER:

Now, speaking of which, [inaudible] talked about this story off-air. For the whole time I’ve known him, Joe, this is an old rugby story that he wants to get either confirmed or denied with your good self. Marto take it away.

PRESENTER:

Alright, alright. Well, this is from Fitzy and Nick Farr-Jones. They used to play with you blokes at Sydney Uni – you and Tony Abbott. I don’t know whether you’ve confirmed or denied publicly. You know, the night at the training…

TREASURER:

It’s like nuclear weapons, mate, we don’t confirm or deny.

PRESENTER:

Tony Abbott was the A-grade prop but he was also scrum coach for second and third grade. You were [inaudible] in one of those two and you kept on giving him a bit of cheek. You’re only a young bloke and he said, ‘no more of that’, and you gave him a bit of cheek after one more scrum and he’s decked ya. True or not true?

TREASURER:

It’s not true. I didn’t give him a bit of cheek. I shoulder-charged his kidneys.

PRESENTER:

Really?

PRESENTER:

So, it was physical rather than verbal?

TREASURER:

Yeah, we’d finished with the words by that stage.

PRESENTER:

And he was a boxing [inaudible]

TREASURER:

Well, I didn’t know that at the time that he’d got a blue from Oxford University for boxing. If they had of told me that before I charged into his kidneys it might have been a different outcome.

PRESENTER:

These guys also want to know how the hell did Tony Abbott with that body…

PRESENTER:

He’s so skinny…

PRESENTER:

Was he a fat bastard at some stage?

TREASURER:

I’m really worried about your stereotype of props. Seriously mate, you’ve got to get over it. You’ve got to let yesterday go; focus on tomorrow.

PRESENTER:

But Tony Abbott was at one stage – he was an A-grade prop. How big was he?

TREASURER:

He was bigger. I mean, he’s one of the only props I know that has actually skinnied down over the years…

PRESENTER:

Yeah, that’s gone the other way for [inaudible]

PRESENTER:

So, where’s the Tony Abbott cook book?

PRESENTER:

Was he Paleo back then? Is that what’s happened? Has he gone Paleo?

TREASURER:

Mate, I don’t think he can cook. I don’t know. I have regular dinners with him but…

PRESENTER:

Has he ever cooked; has he ever cooked you a meal, Joe Hockey?

TREASURER:

No, he hasn’t but – no, I actually I lie, I have been around to his house and he did cook the meat.

PRESENTER:

What was it?

TREASURER:

It was steak and three veg. He’s a steak and three veg [inaudible]

PRESENTER:

Three veg? He’s gone gourmet?

PRESENTER:

Alright, Joe Hockey, stay there.

TREASURER:

It’s always the broccoli that makes the difference.

PRESENTER:

It’s the broccoli. That’s where the greens are. It’s 7.13. Joe Hockey, stay there because we do want to talk a little bit of politics in a moment.

PRESENTER:

Do we?

PRESENTER:

One of your colleagues – one of your frontbench colleagues, I don’t think he’s doing you guys any favours in the way he comes across. I want to get your thoughts on it in a moment if we can. Joe Hockey, Federal Treasurer, is our guest; Triple M.

[AD BREAK]

PRESENTER:

Treasurer Joe Hockey is our guest in the studio. Joe, good to have you with us. Marto.

PRESENTER:

Well, we haven’t talked any politics but Joe I love what you’re doing. You’ve got Australia’s most loved smart guys helping to sell your message. If anyone hasn’t heard it, Dr Karl:

Which country do you think was responsible for these important inventions: Wi-Fi, spray-on skin, google maps? They were all in some way born here. So, can our Aussie knack for innovation help fuel new economic growth?

PRESENTER:

Righto, what inspired that? Why Dr Karl?

TREASURER:

You know, Dr Karl is a wonderful communicator. He can reach out to audiences that we’re not very good at being able to make contact with.

PRESENTER:

Great collection of shirts!

PRESENTER:

Yeah, he’s big on his shirts. But he’s talking about the future – about what we can do as a nation and if you google ‘Challenge of Change’, you’ll see that Dr Karl’s got a 17 minute TED Talk about what’s happening with the generations; the fact we’re living longer. By the middle of this century, life expectancy will be around 100, which is pretty remarkable given 100 years ago it was about late 50s.

PRESENTER:

Well, Marto’s 98. So, he’s [inaudible]

TREASURER:

And he’s in great shape [inaudible]

PRESENTER:

[Inaudible]

PRESENTER:

On that though, so, big part of, look, Dr Karl works at a university. He works out of the university that I went to, I think you went to as well – one in Sydney, and higher education is a big deal at the moment and this is what I wanted to ask you because the reforms, I reckon, about the cost of going to [inaudible] we have debates here and we speak to our listeners as well about the difference between getting a trade and going to university and all of those choices are valid. We all know that. This is your colleague, Christopher Pyne. Now, what’s he like when you’re just hanging around Parliament House trying to avoid Clive Palmer? What is Christopher like?

TREASURER:

Christopher’s the funniest guy I’ve ever met in my life. He is…

PRESENTER:

Now, that is a huge statement.

PRESENTER:

Well, it’s true. He’s self-deprecating. You know, he takes the micky out of himself and the whole ‘fixer’ thing this week was a bit like that…

PRESENTER:

I’m going to play you that because…

TREASURER:

…but I mean, he was taking the micky out of himself.

PRESENTER:

But it doesn’t sound like that Joe.

TREASURER:

If you’re having a dinner party with the 10 most entertaining people in history, I’d have him there.

PRESENTER:

Who else would you have?

TREASURER:

Who else would I have? Groucho Marx – I’d have Groucho Marx there.

PRESENTER:

He’s fantastic, yeah, yeah.

PRESENTER:

Who else?

TREASURER:

Well, it depends…

PRESENTER:

Who else would you like to have at your 10 best? Obviously Marto, so that’s another one.

PRESENTER:

Name another two.

PRESENTER:

Just give us another two.

TREASURER:

I would have Buddy Holly…

PRESENTER:

Buddy Holly. Anyone from vaguely around this century – anyone newish?

TREASURER:

Zayn, so I [inaudible]

PRESENTER:

Well, he is available. He is available.

PRESENTER:

Let me give you some Christopher Pyne – because it’s really interesting to hear you say that because that’s not how he comes across. I’ve got to play you this…

TREASURER:

But this is the challenge, right? Who you are in private and who you are publicly and the perceptions of you in the media – I mean, they can be different.

PRESENTER:

They can be different but when it’s something – so when you guys are pushing so many important things, which is your job in Government; when he was in Opposition and he was setting records for points of order, and I’m one of the sad people who watches Parliament in Question Time…

TREASURER:

That says a lot, doesn’t it.

PRESENTER:

And his whole thing was to try and stop it – sorry, but I mean, it was to try and pause the process and to have – he set a record for points of order…

PRESENTER:

That’s alright when you’re in Opposition…

PRESENTER:

Which is pointless in itself, which is ironic. So, this is him when he’s talking about being a fixer in Parliament:

I found the money, why Madam Speaker? Because I’m a fixer, so I fixed it.

PRESENTER:

Now, the Labor Party’s laughing but they’re doing their fake laugh cause they laugh at everything that the Government says, that’s just their job, but then you’re laughing now when you hear it but can you see that from our point of view and from my point of view as well when I see him, he doesn’t come across that way at all. He comes across…

TREASURER:

You know what, Ed, look…

PRESENTER:

He’s losing the issue because…

PRESENTER:

In the Sky interview where he said pretty much the same thing, he was wearing the biggest grin…

TREASURER:

That’s it, you see the thing is, it’s a bit like watching a highlight reel from the footy, right?

PRESENTER:

No, I watch enough [inaudible]

TREASURER:

And you can watch a footy game, which will go for nearly an hour and a half and what they show on the nightly news is going to be the big hit. They might have three seconds of total visuals out of an hour and a half. Parliament goes for, you know, 10 hours a day, whatever the case might be, they will have one word on the nightly news, which is often taken out of context, and that will be the impression that is left on [inaudible]

PRESENTER:

I know how to fix this, reality TV show.

TREASURER:

There you go.

PRESENTER:

 [Inaudible]

TREASURER:

I’ve got the Bachelor being filmed down the road from my house…

PRESENTER:

Are you kidding me?

PRESENTER:

[Inaudible] Bachelor near your house?

TREASURER:

Down the road and I tell you [inaudible]

PRESENTER:

That’s fantastic. So anyway, but look, my point is, I know that – well, you know that’s the cause though. You know [inaudible] we all know that that’s how it works. It’s a hugely important issue and you as a man who is talking about the future, understands that. I honestly think that he has not realised how he comes across and I watch enough, and I listen…

TREASURER:

I’ll pass it onto him. I’ll pass it onto him.

PRESENTER:

No, but don’t you think it’s important? Don’t you think that that’s an important – if someone is being…

PRESENTER:

 [Inaudible]

PRESENTER:

… a bit arrogant about this thing, which is so important, because that’s not part of what you – what’s different about you I think anyway, and the Foreign Minister and Malcolm Turnbull, is that you don’t spend a lot of your time pushing, pushing, pushing, like in interviews like this. You listen, you come back like that. People, unfortunately, like the Prime Minster and Christopher Pyne, when they get in this mode, where they seem defensive and they’re pushing the message so hard, you lose people and that has been what’s been happening.

TREASURER:

Look, Ed, it is difficult in the modern age. Look, I have been in this business 20 years right? It is much harder in politics these days than it was 10 years ago or 20 years ago. The world’s moving much faster. Social media has changed everything. That’s the way it is. Now, you know, those people that have been around for a while need to change and adapt. One person is up one day but they’re brought down the next and you see it in sport, you see it in everything in life. It is easy to bring things down. It’s hard to build things up. [Inaudible]

PRESENTER:

[Inaudible] you should try and understand that the more positive and inclusive that you can be – if there’s one thing social media and also things you’ve brought up have taught us, is that that is the way forward…

TREASURER:

Yeah, yeah, no I think that’s a fair point…

PRESENTER:

And if they don’t learn, I’m sorry, if they don’t learn it. Anyway, we’ll let you go.

TREASURER:

Anyway, we’ll get Christopher Pyne on…

PRESENTER:

I would love, I would love, to speak to Christopher Pyne.

TREASURER:

Okay, I will raise it with him and try and get him to come in – go your hardest.

PRESENTER:

Not my hardest.

PRESENTER:

 [Inaudible]

PRESENTER:

Joe, you’re real. We love you.

PRESENTER:

We appreciate you coming in. You’re fair dinkum.

TREASURER:

Thanks Marto.

PRESENTER:

 [Inaudible] Brotherly love there, Joe, how you going [inaudible]

TREASURER:

 [Inaudible]

PRESENTER:

He’s a prop. All backs realise that they do the work that provides us with the ball.

PRESENTER:

Are you going to do that scrum thing when you get outside?

PRESENTER:

Perhaps.

PRESENTER:

I knew it. I knew it.

TREASURER:

[Inaudible]

PRESENTER:

There you go. Challenge – google ‘Challenge of Change’ to see what you need to know about what’s coming up in the future. Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey, thank you for your time.

TREASURER:

Thanks guys, great to be with you.