PM’s stark admission over Dan Andrews
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has addressed his relationship with Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews saying the pair "certainly disagree on some things" but he believes they "understand each other".
"We obviously come from different sides of the political fence," Mr Morrison said in an interview with Paul Murray on Sky News on Thursday night.
"Team Red and Team Blue as you often refer to it. But we both understand, I believe, each other's responsibility.
"There's stuff we've got to get done and it's our jobs to work together to make it happen. Whether one likes each other or not? Well, it helps. And I've got to say there's been a great civility in how we've worked together.
"We've never had a difficulty in working through some issues," he said.
But Mr Morrison acknowledged the two do butt heads on occasion, saying the Federal government's new move to block deals between foreign and local or state governments had caused he and Mr Andrews to "disagree".
"We certainly disagree on some things, and this is one but you know, we'll just get back at it tomorrow.
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"Whether it's working together on health issues or the pandemic or anything like that or indeed other opportunities in mental health. One of the things he and I actually have spent a lot of time talking about is mental health and how there's a Royal Commission on mental health in Victoria and we've got a lot of stuff we'd like to do there."
Mr Morrison said the pair had also talked a lot about skills training.
"We have slightly different views about how that can be best done, but we both agree that getting more Australians skilled for jobs that will be there, with the skills that they need to do those jobs, and that businesses need."
"I tend to focus on the things you can agree on, that's how you get on."
Mr Morrison also urged politicians to come together to find solutions for the COVID-19 crisis, saying normal people "couldn't care less" about whether states or territories are behind decisions.
"The states have responsibilities, federal governments have responsibilities and people frankly couldn't care less," the Prime Minister said. "Is it your job or is it their job? They couldn't care less, and I get that, and when it's not sorted out, people get really cranky. And I get that too. And they'll direct that at me, they'll direct that at Premiers. They'll direct that at the local mayor. They'll direct it at the dog on a bad afternoon on a Friday if they're particularly cranky.
"And I get that and I understand that. And that's why it's important to me and the other Premiers to as much as possible try and work together - because outside of the room no one cares if its my job or their job. They just want the thing fixed.
"And when we take that attitude we do get a lot more done. But … people write to me, they say, why can't you come in and do that?
"At the end of the day there's a huge problem in Victoria with the pandemic and we need to fix it and it's gonna get fixed a lot quicker if people are working together, not arguing."
The Prime Minister also addressed new powers giving the Federal government power to block deals between foreign governments and state governments.
Commenting on the controversial Victorian Belt and Road deal in Victoria, the Prime Minister said it was his job to secure Australian borders and interests.
"I wouldn't put the laws in if I wasn't concerned," Mr Morrison said. But he rejected the idea the laws would affect foreign trade.
"Trade has been one of our greatest successes and when we strike those deals all the states and territories benefit," Mr Morrison said.
"The argument that this stops people trading with China is nonsense. Or any other country for that matter.
"Our trade, particularly with China, our biggest trading partner, has never been more valuable."
Originally published as PM's stark admission over Dan Andrews