News WA election? No, Malcolm Turnbull prefers a beer at a Sydney pub

WA election? No, Malcolm Turnbull prefers a beer at a Sydney pub

Betoota Advocate Turnbull
While the WA Liberals braced for defeat, the PM was in Sydney talking with a satirical news website. Photo: Betoota Advocate
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As Opposition Leader Bill Shorten joined Western Australia’s Labor leader Mark McGowan on election day in the west, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull sat on a couch wedged between satirical newspaper Betoota Advocate‘s staff for beers and “a bit of chinwag” at a pub in Sydney’s Woolloomooloo.

Mr Turnbull told the newspaper’s two staff he was not concerned about Russians influencing the WA election “because we’ve got very good protection against cyber-hacking and it is very much a paper-based system”.

When asked about fake news in the interview broadcast on Facebook Live, Mr Turnbull praised editor-at-large Errol Parker and editor Clancy Overell, saying: “You don’t pretend to be anything other than an amazing satirical paper.”

But Mr Turnbull — who had one point began reciting Banjo Patterson’s poem Bush Christening — had to dodge a question about predecessor Tony Abbott.

“Would you say Tony Abbott is equivalent to Robbie Farah, in that he’s a great clubman, he’s been there for years, hasn’t done much else, but he can’t get on with whoever’s in charge?” the newspaper asked him.

Mr Turnbull responded: “No, you can’t tempt me into that area.”

While he was discussing Australia’s internet and telecommunications, the internet connection was breaking up, viewers watching the livestream noted in the comments section.


A Betoota Advocate post in October 2015, in which the paper said Mr Turnbull had promised an interview.

During the interview, the newspaper staff skolled their Betoota Bitter beers, but Mr Turnbull — still on his first — had four lined up.

“I’m a bit behind you in terms of the drinking,” Mr Turnbull noted.

At one point, one of the newspaper’s staff pulled out a copy of The Communist Manifesto from in his chair, prompting Mr Turnbull to ask: “Are you saying something about inner-city lefties?”

The other began rolling a cigarette during the interview, before inviting Mr Turnbull to join him on the balcony for a “dart”.

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