‘Don’t put words in my mouth’: ScoMo

 

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has butted heads with a journalist at a press conference in Sydney where the PM was outlining a new billion-dollar package for transport projects in NSW.

Sky News political editor Andrew Clennell questioned Mr Morrison about the potential need for a tax reform on the back of the coronavirus crisis. He asked whether the government would consider either an increase in the GST, or a broadening of its base to get rid of other taxes.

"Or is that something you'll rule out?" Clennell asked.

The Prime Minister quickly deflected the question and instead said the government was focused on the decisions it had to make around the longevity of the Jobkeeper and Jobseeker payments.

Clennell tried to prod him again on the tax reform, querying whether it might be something he would consider down the track, but Mr Morrison wasn't have a bar of it.

"No Andrew, I'm not going to let you put words in my mouth," the Prime Minister said.

"We are focused on the questions that Australians are most interested in at the moment and that is frankly the next phase beyond Jobseeker and Jobkeeper."

Prime Minister Scott Morrison wasn’t having a bar of ABC political editor Andrew Probyn at today’s press conference.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison wasn’t having a bar of ABC political editor Andrew Probyn at today’s press conference.


The veteran reporter tried his luck one more time but was met with an impatient Prime Minister.

"It's not a one-on-one, Andrew, there are many other journalists here," Mr Morrison said.

The incident cuts a similar scene to one ABC political editor Andrew Probyn experienced in March when Probyn unintentionally became a TikTok sensation from his run-in with the PM.

Mr Probyn had asked a number of questions but after attempting to follow up with the chief medical officer about social distancing, Mr Morrison cut him off.

"Andrew, I'm sorry, you've had several questions," the Prime Minister said.

"Andrew, I'm sorry, Andrew. I know, but you don't run the press conference, OK? So I'm going to go to other questions of members of the group. Katharine hasn't had a question. I'm happy to come back to you but let's be civil," he said.


The latest quip came as the Federal Government revealed more than $1 billion in funding for transport projects in NSW in a bid to ease congestion, enhance safety and create thousands of jobs.

The money will come from both federal and state governments and include $240 million to fix 11 congestion hot spots in Sydney, $382 million for local councils to upgrade roads and $398 million for safety projects in country areas.

Almost 5500 jobs are expected to be created thanks to the combined road projects with some construction kicking off as early as next month.

Mr Morrison said the projects would help "deal with congestion pinch points" in a bustling city like Sydney.

"You can hear it now. It's the noise of a city that needs important transport infrastructure," the Prime Minister said, offering a nod to the sound of traffic in the background.

Speaking alongside Mr Morrison, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the state was chipping in $569 million.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian joined Prime Minister Scott Morrison today to make the billion-dollar announcement. The funding will come from both federal and state governments. Picture: AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian joined Prime Minister Scott Morrison today to make the billion-dollar announcement. The funding will come from both federal and state governments. Picture: AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts

"We know that the jobs boost is so vital given the precarious position we are in," she said.

"Whether you're a citizen or care about national interest, this is about federal and state governments working together. Additional funding from the Federal Government means we can move things along more quickly."

As part of the plan, Oxford St at Bondi Junction will likely get an upgrade, while a new bike lane will be built from Centennial Park to Kingsford along Doncaster Ave.

The Government is also looking at improving access for buses along busy routes in Macquarie Park.

In regional areas, $23 million will be spent on introducing more "rumble strips" - which makes noise when you veer over them.

Some council areas will also receive funding to repair hazards like potholes and to resurface roads.

erin.lyons@news.com.au

Originally published as 'Don't put words in my mouth': ScoMo


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