Alan Jones tells Malcolm Turnbull to ‘wipe out’ Safe Schools program
9 News, May 25, 2016
Malcolm Turnbull has broken his two-year boycott of Alan Jones’ 2GB breakfast program, with the influential conservative broadcaster pressing the prime minister to “wipe out” the Safe Schools program.
Alan Jones started the interview saying those who were expecting another “brawl” would be disappointed.
Jones allowed Mr Turnbull to spruik his election campaign rhetoric mostly uninterrupted, and did not bring up Tony Abbott or last year’s leadership spill.
At one point Mr Turnbull praised Jones for making a point about superannuation “very eloquently, as always.”
“Thank you,” Jones replied, with a chuckle.
As the interview drew to a close, Jones asked the prime minister how he would feel about one of his daughters participating in the “role plays” as set out in the Safe Schools anti-bullying program.
Citing an example of a roleplay involving 15-year-old bisexual girl who already had “15 sexual partners”, Jones asked why it was not “wiped out of the curriculum”.
“What we have done is make some changes, based on independent, professional advice, and what they are is involving parental involvement and consent,” Mr Turnbull said.
“Speaking for the Coalition, parents should be (involved), and these are the changes we’ve made.
“There is no substitute for active, involved, and engaged parental consent.”
Mr Turnbull last appeared on the influential conservative broadcaster’s program in June 2014, when the pair squared off over Mr Turnbull’s loyalty to then-Prime Minister Tony Abbott.
“Can I begin by asking you if you could say this after me: ‘As a senior member of the Abbott Government, I want to say here I am totally supportive of the Abbott-Hockey strategy for Budget repair’,” Mr Jones said.
“Alan, I am not going to take dictation from you,” Mr Turnbull replied.
Later in the interview Mr Turnbull accused Jones and fellow commentator Andrew Bolt of being “bomb throwers” for the Labor Party by speculating about Mr Turnbull’s leadership ambitions.
“This is the most united, cohesive government we’ve had in this country for a long time and I think it is just very sad that you and Bolt are doing the work of the Labor Party in undermining the Abbott Government,” he said.
Mr Turnbull confirmed on Saturday he had lunch with Jones and the pair had patched up their differences.
“I’ve known Alan for many years, for decades, longer than perhaps we’d care to recall,” he said.
“I had a very good discussion with him.”
Jones has routinely dominated the Sydney breakfast radio market, with a 16 percent audience share as of March this year.
Peta Credlin, Tony Abbott’s former chief of staff, told Sky News on Monday Mr Turnbull’s decision to be interviewed by Jones was overdue.
“You cannot expect to go to an election and win if you don’t talk to the base and you must talk to Alan Jones and you must talk to Andrew Bolt,” she said.
Mr Turnbull is slated to again appear on Jones’ program next week.