Joining me now is Immigration Minister Peter Dutton. If Labor can gain the support of the Greens and the independents, that could signal the end for Dyson Heydon, couldn't it?
PETER DUTTON: Morning, Kochie.
I hope they don't pull this political stunt, the work that the Royal Commission is doing is very important.
I was speaking to a construction manager on the weekend, he was saying that the new EBA and the new arrangements that the CFMEU are hoisting upon people, can mean that people can end up paying 20 and 30 per cent more for their house and land package. There is a lot of reasons why we want to clean up the corruption with the CMFEU.
JOURNALIST: …but he was due to speak at a Liberal Party fundraiser wasn’t he.
PETER DUTTON: He has gone through all of that Kochie.
He is a former High Court Judge, he was appointed at one point by Labor, appointed by the Howard Government and he is a man of incredible integrity. He has made a judgment about it.
I think now we need to concentrate on what the Commission’s about and that is rooting out this corruption, because I don't think anyone wants to see their union bosses pocketing money. Ultimately it costs consumers more so let's get it tidied up and get the industry back on track.
JOURNALIST: Alright. Let's move on to something a bit closer to you.
In the wake of the fiasco, surrounding Operation Fortitude, there are reports this morning that Australian Border Force will have up to 6,000 officers, most of them will be trained in the use of force.
Can you confirm the build-up of staff and that they will know how to use force?
PETER DUTTON: Many of them already have use of force. So they will execute warrants now to try and detect people who may be working in illegal brothels, people who are trading in sexual servitude, people are who setting up illegally with illegal workforce on farms. Those sort of activities, they already undertake.
But increasingly, obviously, they are involved in counter-terrorism measures. They have Counter Terrorism Unit officers at each of the eight international airports. I think it just reflects that threat.
The fact is we have about 35 million people who move over our borders each year and it grows to 50 million by 2020 and I think we’re just reflecting reality, Kochie, with the threat they face.
JOURNALIST: So you can confirm those numbers. What their role be? Will we be seeing border force officers out on the streets?
PETER DUTTON: No, they don't have any role out on the street.
The operation in Melbourne that was planned for last week, the Victorian Police were going to crackdown on taxi drivers, they were going to look at the road worthiness of vehicles and they were going to check licences.
They were worried about some of the drivers being on visas where they didn't have work rights.
So the unions would scream out, why are these people working taking Aussie jobs?
Now what happened there was if the Victorian Police found somebody that they believed wasn't here on a valid visa, they would refer that person to the border force officer who would conduct the checks so see if it was a valid visa or whether they had overstayed.
That was the essence of the operation. That's what they have done for a long time.
JOURNALIST: Okay so not on the streets but they will target work places?
PETER DUTTON: Well, they will target places where they think there is visa fraud taking place.
I think that everybody wants to see integrity in our visa system. We have a lot of visitors who come each year and people who overstay and people who are working when they don't have that condition on their visas.
That's their law enforcement obligation, as I say, and also the counter terrorism aspect which is really important.
JOURNALIST: Yep all right. Another day, another day of headlines of leaks about your party and out of the Cabinet.
Are you a supporter of Joe Hockey? Or are you among the fringe whingers unhappy with the way he sold the budget? Joe has come under attack. If you had problems in Canning, should he go?
PETER DUTTON: No, I have big wraps for Joe Hockey. I think he is doing a great job. He has a got a tough job as Peter Costello did.
We inherited this enormous amount of debt from Labor. We had had to make tough decisions to try to cut back so that our country didn’t end up with generations of debt.
So it's never easy, as a parent, Kochie, it's never easy telling kids or saying to the household, we are only earning $1,000 this week, we are spending $1500 and we need to cut back.
Look he has a tough job and he is doing well.
JOURNALIST: Will he be Treasurer going into the next election?
PETER DUTTON: Of course he will and I think in Canning we can do well.
But Don Randall had a very big personal following in that seat. Andrew Hastings is a great candidate and I think he will do well but…
JOURNALIST: …do you know who is leaking?
PETER DUTTON: I think people can have a fair idea who is leaking…
JOURNALIST: …should they be sacked?
PETER DUTTON: If you can discover who the person is, of course they should be.
We should be talking about the things the Government has achieved in stopping the boats, talking about paying the debt down…
JOURNALIST: …but we are not because of these leakers who are leaking like a sieve at the moment.
PETER DUTTON: Well it can only be for their own ambition - it can't be for the best interests of our country or our party.
It’s not in the best interest of our country to have Bill Shorten who has dominated and completely owned by the union movement to be the next Prime Minister. The country would grind to a halt.
JOURNALIST: So who is leaking?
PETER DUTTON: Well, I guess those people you know, would have to answer that question themselves.
JOURNALIST: Why don't you tell us? Flush them out?
PETER DUTTON: [laughs] you’re the investigative journalist, we are not conducting some witchhunt. I just think people need to…
JOURNALIST: Maybe you should.
PETER DUTTON: …they need to reflect on their own actions.
In the end, we have to make sure we can keep this country growing strong. We want jobs, we want a safe community.
We can't allow the CFMEU to be in control of this country with Bill Shorten at the next election. That would be a disaster.
JOURNALIST: OK, Peter Dutton, thank you for joining us.
PETER DUTTON: Thanks Kochie.