Turnbull stumbles through blowtorch interview with Sales
LEIGH Sales has applied the blowtorch to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and his achievements in government in a heated and combative interview on the ABC.
Mr Turnbull appeared on ABC TV's flagship current affairs program 7.30 to be grilled by Ms Sales on everything from what he has done in his two years as PM, to the dual citizenship saga, to the energy crisis.
And things didn't begin well when the host suggested the Liberal Party had lacked a "signature achievement" in Mr Turnbull's time as the nation's leader.
"How is it possible that in all of that time you've not yet managed to have a signature achievement?" she asked, kicking off the interview with a bang.
Mr Turnbull took umbrage at that and began to list his work on the Gonski education reforms, restoring the Building and Construction Commission, childcare reforms, the Snowy Hydro scheme and federal intervention in the gas market.
"My signature achievement is ensuring that Australians have got the opportunities to realise their dreams," Mr Turnbull said.
That's when Ms Sales turned up the heat even more.
"When you first became prime minister two years ago ... you said it (the foundation of the Turnbull Government) would be a free market government. How does massive government intervention in the energy sector square with that?" she asked.
Mr Turnbull then stumbled his way through an answer that infuriated Ms Sales.
"Look, I've intervened massively in the gas market, for example, in a way that I - that gave me no pleasure to do so. But the reality is that the Labor Party, a government that Bill Shorten was a minister in, allowed export facilities to be built on the east coast ...".
Ms Sales then stepped in.
"But we're talking about your government, you said you were going to be a free market government," she said.
"Well Leigh, please don't interrupt me so much that I can't finish I sentence," a flustered PM responded.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull did not like being interrupted. Picture: ABC
"I wont interrupt if you answer the question," Ms Sales replied.
"Well I am answering the question," Mr Turnbull said before again pointing the finger at Labor for Australia's energy problems.
Mr Turnbull also took the opportunity to have a crack at Ms Sales' employer, the ABC.
"You've got to have the storage and that storage is what Snowy Hydro represents on the largest scale ever undertaken in the country's history and it may not be of interest, Leigh, on the ABC, but let me tell you - in the families, in the households around Australia, they want to know what is happening to assure them that energy is affordable and reliable and we're taking steps in the here and now and in the long-term."
Prime Minister Turnbull continued to talk about his Snowy Hydro scheme before Ms Sales interrupted him again.
"Let me finish," the Prime Minister said.
Mr Turnbull then played a straight bat at a number of questions levelled at him by Ms Sales.
That included why there was no conscience vote on same-sex marriage.
"That is our policy," the Prime Minister said.
Mr Turnbull said he and wife Lucy will vote yes in the postal plebiscite and that he was confident the legislation would pass through parliament.
Mr Turnbull said he was confident Deputy PM Barnaby Joyce would be cleared by the High Court in the dual citizenship saga and keep his seat.
He said he also expected the member for New England would retain his seat in a by-election and it wouldn't mean the end of the Turnbull government.
Ms Sales then queried Mr Turnbull about his poor poll results - 30 lost Newspolls in a row.
Mr Turnbull said he would win the next election regardless.