To the first major political interview of the day, and Opposition Leader Peter Dutton has conducted a sit-down interview with ABC News Breakfast.
The first question was about tomorrow’s jobs and skills summit. ABC presenters Michael Rowland and Lisa Millar wanted to know: is the Liberal leadership preventing MPs from influencing major industrial relations reform due to the party’s boycott of the two-day summit?
As regular readers of this blog will know, Nationals leader David Littleproud will be in attendance alongside business leaders and the union movement. But Liberals such as Dutton and his deputy Sussan Ley have branded the jobs summit a “talkfest”.
Here’s what Dutton had to say:
If I were a union leader, I would be well received and probably listened to in a way that business leaders aren’t going to be. Union coverage in the private sector is less than 10 per cent [on average]. At this summit we have [about] 33 [union] leaders out of [100 or so] attendees. They’re the elected government. That’s fine. But I don’t think, for small business people, the hopes are very high as to what can be achieved.
And as for the additional legal inquiry into Scott Morrison’s secret portfolios:
If it turns into a show trial, then I think it’s a politically motivated stunt. It will be treated as such. The solicitor-general found there was no illegality [in relation to the industry portfolio].
I’ve had conversations with Scott over a period of time [about his future in parliament]. This is not something I’m going into, in terms of private conversations. [But], yes, I am [happy for him to remain a backbencher].