Australia: Prime Minister's office accidentally leaks talking points for MPs to journalists - - PressFrom - Australia
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Australia Prime Minister's office accidentally leaks talking points for MPs to journalists

04:20  14 october  2019
04:20  14 october  2019 Source:   abc.net.au

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Prime Minister Scott Morrison' s office inadvertently sent its talking points to the media on Monday. The Prime Minister ' s Office issued the talking points early on Monday with a series of assertions about border protection policy after days of Labor attacks over the growth in arrivals by air.

Prime Minister ' s office who started their working week by accidentally sending the government' s talking points to the entire press gallery. These emails are standard practice in politics. How could all those MPs possibly know what to say to reporters, unless they were spoon fed the answers?

The Monday morning mix-up was delivered straight to journalists. (ABC News: Ben Nelson)© Provided by Australian Broadcasting Corporation The Monday morning mix-up was delivered straight to journalists. (ABC News: Ben Nelson)

The Prime Minister's office has accidentally leaked its own internal talking points for MPs to journalists across Australia, revealing the key issues the Coalition will focus on this week.

The 15-page document has key lines for MPs to use in interviews, covering everything from the budget to welfare, energy prices, drought, Julian Assange and the medevac bill.

It includes the main talking points on each topic as well as lines to use if asked about specific details.

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But Resources Minister Josh Frydenberg says the leaking of talking points doesn't reflect a broader sense of disunity. "Malcolm Turnbull has the confidence of the Mr Frydenberg was responding to the leaking of talking points prepared by the Prime Minister ' s Office for coalition MPs and senators.

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The document's existence is nothing unusual, but the lines are usually kept in-house rather than being distributed direct to journalists in an email at 7:11am on a Monday.

As you watch the news today, keep an ear open for some of these lines:

  • "It's about certainty versus uncertainty. Stability and predictability versus chaos and confusion."
  • "Labor just doesn't seem to know what it stands for or whose side they are on, which means you won't know what you get from one week to the next."

News Breakfast had a live interview with Treasurer Josh Frydenberg this morning, with presenter Michael Rowland canvassing the main issues of the day.

The interview covered Mr Frydenberg announcing the competition watchdog would investigate banks not passing on the full Reserve Bank rate cuts.

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Prepared by the Prime Minister ’ s office and sent out last night, they cover canvassed topics such as jobs and growth, innovation, school funding and the "There have been leaked talking points from both sides of politics over the years, it' s not uncommon," he told ABC 24 this morning. "I just think the

Julian Assange was also back in the news, amid calls for the Government to try to halt his potential extradition from the UK to the United States on espionage charges.

And drought is an ongoing topic, with Scott Morrison yesterday announcing a billion-dollar package to upgrade or build new dams in drought-afflicted NSW regions.

Mr Frydenberg's responses covered a lot of ground, and it's likely his department contributed to the briefing notes, so how closely did his interview stick to the mandated mantra?

On the drought

TALKING POINTS: "As the Prime Minister has said, supporting drought affected communities remains our Government's most urgent priority."

MR FRYDENBERG: "When it comes to the drought, as the Prime Minister has said, Michael, it is the first call on the budget."

On the ACCC interest rate inquiry

TALKING POINTS: "The big four banks will be a key focus of this inquiry, given they hold around 75 per cent of residential mortgage debt."

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MR FRYDENBERG: "The big four banks have locked up about 80 per cent of that market and we need the ACCC to use its particular powers to compel documentation, to lift the hood and get on the bottom of this issue."

TALKING POINTS: "The Government is committed to increasing competition in banking and promoting good consumer outcomes in the mortgage market to ensure that consumers can get a better deal."

MR FRYDENBERG: "They're defending their patch and we'll continue to get the best possible deal for the consumer."

On the economy

TALKING POINTS: "As a result of our Government's economic plan and responsible budget management the Budget has returned to balance for the first time in 11 years."

MR FRYDENBERG: "We delivered the first balanced budget in 11 years, and that's through targeting spending but more importantly getting people off welfare into work."

On Julian Assange

TALKING POINTS: "Mr Assange will be entitled to due process, including legal representation, in those processes."

MR FRYDENBERG: "We'll provide the normal consular assistance as you would expect the Australian diplomatic service to do for Australian citizens."

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