Australian Prime Minister Television interview – Sunrise

Prime Minister

The Prime Minister has touched down in Port Moresby for meetings with his PNG counterpart, James Marape, before they walk part of the Kokoda Track together. It comes as a cyber battle brews at home between the Australian Government and billionaire Elon Musk. The tech mogul social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, has refused to take down graphic content from last Monday’s church attack. The e-Safety Commissioner has now been granted a temporary legal injunction to make the company hide posts with the vision for all worldwide users. The matter will return to court tomorrow. Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese, joins me now. Good morning to you.


BARR: Look, Elon Musk has accused the Government of censorship and could fight this temporary order. Is the fact that we have pictures of a stabbing attack at a church still circulating a sign that our current laws are too weak on this?

PRIME MINISTER: Well, this guy is showing his arrogance. He’s a billionaire over there in the United States who thinks he’s above Australian law. And he’s fighting for the right to show violent videos on his platform, something that can cause damage to young people, we know, and a great deal of distress. Something that will add to social division. The e-Safety Commissioner has made a ruling. The other social media platforms all complied without complaint. This is a measure that has a bipartisan support in this country. Australians are united. This isn’t about censorship. It’s about common sense and common decency. And Elon Musk should show some.

BARR: Prime Minister, the front page of the Daily Telegraph in Sydney has a horrific story this morning of a young woman allegedly being killed at the hands of her former partner. Daniel Billings is accused of killing mother of one Molly Ticehurst and breaching an AVO. The 29 year old was arrested on April 5 and had been charged with a raft of offences, including three counts of sexual intercourse without consent, four counts of stalking, two counts of property damage, one count of animal cruelty. He was granted bail just 15 days before Ms Ticehurst’s body was discovered. Prime Minister, the man was known to authorities. Can you commit to us this morning that with the Budget just around the corner, the leaders of this country have a plan to stop women being killed by someone they know? We are doing this story, Prime Minister, every single week?

PRIME MINISTER: Well, every one of those stories is one too many, Nat. That’s a horrific story that you just outlined then. And the fact that more than once a week a woman is dying at the hands of a partner or an ex-partner is just horrific. We need to do more as governments. We need to do more as society. We need to talk about this. We need for men and boys to discuss these issues and give support to women who are in this situation. And we need laws to keep up as well. We need to support increased domestic violence funding for things like housing, so that women have somewhere to escape to. They don’t feel like they’re entrapped in a relationship. One of the reasons why we changed a single parenting payment in last year’s Budget was so that women didn’t feel like they had no choice because of finances to escape a violent relationship. That was one of the findings of Anne Summers in her really important report that she did for UTS. So, we need to do more as a society, Nat. It is obviously completely unacceptable that this is occurring and that it’s so prevalent.

BARR: Yes. And can you and Jim Chalmers talk about this? It is an epidemic. Men are getting out on bail and crimes are being committed. We are tearing our hair out. You know, it’s absolutely appalling. And there are families all across Australia at the bottom of this pile. And, you know, it’s heartbreaking, right across the country.

PRIME MINISTER: You’re right, Nat. It is certainly heartbreaking. And Amanda Rishworth, who’s our Minister, is at the forefront of this action. I assure you that this is very much front and centre of her agenda. We’ve appointed Justine Elliot with the specific task as well, of providing support as an Assistant Minister. But we need to do more, quite clearly.

BARR: Look, you’re over there. We can see you’re about to walk a section of the Kokoda Track. How are you feeling about following in the footsteps, obviously, of some incredibly brave Aussies and Papua New Guineans?

PRIME MINISTER: Well, I certainly will be honoured to follow in the footsteps of giants. These brave Australians, as well as PNG citizens, defended this nation, which at the time, of course, was an Australian territory, and they defended our continent. What a great decision by John Curtin to stand up to Winston Churchill and defend Australia as the number one priority during World War Two. But the extraordinary bravery and courage and sacrifice shown by these men. 625 lost their life on the Kokoda Track. That’s just extraordinary. On Thursday, I’ll be with Prime Minister Marape. Having walked from Kokoda to Isurava. In that one battle, 99 young Australians lost their life, made the ultimate sacrifice to defend our nation. So, it will be an opportunity to pay tribute to them, but also to thank and honour those men and women who serve in our Australian Defence Force today. We should give thanks to them each and every day. And I know that all Australians, including your viewers, will do that on Anzac Day, which is a sacred day for Australians. And on Thursday, I’ll be honoured to be at the Isurava memorial.

BARR: Yes, you’re right. It is certainly a special place. It means so much to so many Australians. We thank you very much for your time, Prime Minister.

PRIME MINISTER: Thanks very much, Nat.

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