Transcript: The Project, Channel 10

18 February 2016

The Hon Alan Tudge MP

Minister for Human Services
Topics: 
Human Services portfolio, Parenthood
E&OE

Interview with panel

WALEED ALY:

Alan, congratulations. Has there ever been a more exciting time to be Alan Tudge?

ALAN TUDGE:

G’day, how is it going? Yeah it is pretty exciting for me. I got sworn in today as the new Human Services Minister, and as you might know I’m racing home now because my wife is going to be giving birth tomorrow morning.

It’s a busy time in the Tudge household but it is exciting.

CARRIE BICKMORE:

How does she feel about the fact you’re swanning around Canberra while she’s ready to have legs akimbo?

ALAN TUDGE:

It’s a caesarean section actually tomorrow Carrie but yeah the timing wasn’t great in terms of being sworn in. It is what it is. I’m going to be home. I’ve got important duties tonight which is to install a car seat into the car and then I’ll be taking my wife to the hospital in the morning.

RYAN FITZPATRICK:

C’mon Tudgey, this is one of the biggest moments in your career and it’s your third child mate, you’ve already seen two! Do you really have to be there?

ALAN TUDGE:

Yeah well I think it’d be a relationship-limiting move if I wasn’t there! It’s going to be my first boy tomorrow actually. I’ve got two older girls; I’m having a boy in the morning. I’m pretty excited about that.

CARRIE BICKMORE:

It is a full, full week for you, a big week for you Alan. I found it interesting that you’re going to be Minister for Paid Parental Leave. So I wonder how it’s going to shape your decision making there, given what you’re about to go through again.

ALAN TUDGE:

Listen, I don’t think we’re going to be eligible for any of those. They’re some of the things which are in my domain in terms of all of the welfare payments. As you know we’re trying to make those more targeted, we want those to be more sustainable, but as well of course being there for those people that really need it.

LIZ ELLIS:

So Alan, the big question is, now that you’re the boss, will you redesign the Human Services website so you don’t need a PhD to use it?

ALAN TUDGE:

We get a lot of that feedback and that’s going to be one of the things that we look at is trying to simplify the overall systems, so that it’s easier for people to be able to know what they’re entitled to, to be able to access those payments if they are, and to avoid having to call the call centres or wait in the queue in the Centrelink office.

RYAN FITZPATRICK:

Alan before you go are we still on to wet the head this weekend in Canberra? I’ve got a couple of coffee tables that we can dance on.

ALAN TUDGE:

(Laughs) I’ll take that one as a comment!

LIZ ELLIS:

You’re doing well early on!

WALEED ALY:

Alan thank you very much — sorry, Minister, thank you very much for speaking to us tonight. All the best with the very important events coming up.

ALAN TUDGE:

Thanks very much.

[ENDS]