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Transcript 10683

TRANSCRIPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER THE HON JOHN HOWARD MP DOORSTOP INTERVIEW - MAITLAND, NSW

Photo of Howard, John

Howard, John

Period of Service: 11/03/1996 to 03/12/2007

More information about Howard, John on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 17/04/1998

Release Type: Interview

Transcript ID: 10683

E&OE...............................................

JOURNALIST:

How far advanced is your tax package

PRIME MINISTER:

Well we've done a lot of work on it and it will be a fair go

for all Australians. It will remove the unfairness and the inequity

of the present system and there will be, of course, significant personal

tax cuts. And it will be a pro-business tax policy that will boost

the export performance of Australian business.

JOURNALIST:

How far before the election will you release the details?

PRIME MINISTER:

Adequately.

JOURNALIST:

Do you think an election campaign is the right time to be discussing

a serious and complicated subject like taxation?

PRIME MINISTER:

We will release it adequately before the next election.

JOURNALIST:

With exports and jobs threatened, is it time for the Government to

step in and settle this issue?

PRIME MINISTER:

The threat to exports and jobs is coming from the behaviour of the

MUA now as it has come from the behaviour from the MUA in the past.

This issue is all about boosting jobs and exports by removing uncompetitive

practices from the waterfront. If the MUA had cooperated to do that,

this whole thing would not have arisen.

JOURNALIST:

Do you have any plans for tackling the loss of jobs in the Upper Hunter

mining and power generating industries?

PRIME MINISTER:

Well it would help if the New South Wales Government got off its tail

and helped in relation to Redbank, I've made Commonwealth money

available. One thousand jobs can be created and I call on Mr Carr

to do something in relation to the electricity authority to ensure

that Redbank can go ahead.

JOURNALIST:

With (inaudible) backing Malaysia's vote of Australia, is it

time to reassess our relationship with Indonesia?

PRIME MINISTER:

No, it's not a time to reassess the relationship but I make no

bones about the fact that it's a relationship that's (inaudible)

on mutual respect and if Indonesia does something that I don't

approve of, well, I make it known. I ought to make it clear though

that membership of ASEM is not the most important pebble on the foreign

policy beach. It'd be nice to be part of it but we are not going

to lose any sleep if we don't (inaudible), but we had a view

to put and now that that view has become public, I certainly don't

walk away from it.

JOURNALIST:

Jeff Kennett says hundreds and thousands of jobs might go if the waterfront

dispute continues? Do you think that's a possibility?

PRIME MINISTER:

Who said that?

JOURNALIST:

Jeff Kennett.

PRIME MINISTER:

Well certainly the MUA by continuing to deny the release of produce

that has been landed in Australia is overriding the situation. I mean

those people of Toyota, if they're stood down, that will be the

direct result of behaviour in the MUA.

JOURNALIST:

On tax, Prime Minister, will you be accepting (inaudible) as a fait

accompli?

PRIME MINISTER:

We will be releasing a tax policy in accordance with the principles

I laid down in August of last year.

JOURNALIST:

Does it concern you that MUA protestors seem to be following you around?

PRIME MINISTER:

No.

JOURNALIST:

What can you offer the people of the Hunter leading into the next

election?

PRIME MINISTER:

Well I can remind them, I can offer them a continuation of the low

interest rates that my Government has delivered. And we've delivered

the lowest interest rates in 30 years and I can tell them the truth

and that is that if Kim Beazley becomes Prime Minister, interest rates

will go up again because Kim Beazley is a big spender.

JOURNALIST:

Can you tell us what your plans are for a GST?

PRIME MINISTER:

We'll be releasing our tax policy in accordance with the principles

I laid down in August of last year.

JOURNALIST:

With cargo stranded on the wharves, is it time to get the troops (inaudible)

in this dispute?

PRIME MINISTER:

The only two governments in Australia's history that have used

troops in an industrial dispute have been Labor governments. It is

not a precedent I desire to follow.

Transcript 10683