Budget 2014: Communications Minister Malcom Turnbull Insists He Supports Coalition Budget Despite 4 Times Pullout from ABC Shows
By Vittorio Hernandez | June 6, 2014 8:18 AM EST
Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull stressed on Thursday in an interview with 2GB radio host Alan Jones that he "support unreservedly and wholeheartedly every element in the Budget."
He said he supports the Medicare co-payment of $7, increase in the fuel excise, reforms to higher education and changes to family payment.
Turnbull has pulled out of four appearances from ABC's current affairs show since the controversial federal budget was unveiled. There are speculations that the pullout is allegedly upon the order of the office of Prime Minister Tony Abbott, reports The Sydney Morning Herald.
However, at the same time, News Corp columnist Andrew Bolt and Jones are critical of Turnbull's failure to sell the despised budget and for allegedly undermining the PM.
He failed to show up on May 16 for ABC's AM show and was replaced by Health Minister Peter Dutton, twice on 7:30 where Immigration Minister Scott Morrison appeared instead on May 26 and Clive Palmer on June 4 and on June 1 in Insiders when Education Minister Christoper Pyne showed up instead.
The daily said that the programme staff claimed responsibility for the final decision on guest line-up based on the hot news of the day and said the communications minister will show up on Thursday night, June 5, at the 7:30 programme.
A spokeswoman from Mr Abbott's office denied the PM had a hand in the non-appearance of Turnbull at four ABC shows.
Turnbull insisted to Jones that he defends Mr Abbott all the time because they are a very united team. He lamented that Bolt and Jones are doing the work of the Labor Party in undermining the Abbott government.
But from Paris, Mr Abbott rejected Turnbull's comment that Bolt and Jones were bomb throwers out to damage the PM. At the same time he insisted that all cabinet members are behind him and the budget and he conceded that all MPs are ambitious, but they are expected to focus on their portfolios and promoting the budget.
He said, quoted by News.com.au, "There is nothing wrong with being ambitious but right at the moment our ambition is for a better country."
Turnbull, in his appearance at 7:30, stressed, "I don't have any plans, any desires, any expectations to be the leader and that's true." But he added that every legislator probably wants to be a leader "in the right circumstances" but emphasised he is "very, very happy" with his portfolio.
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