PM Transcripts

Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 11472

Doorstop at the Mosman Townhall, Sydney

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: 14/06/2000

Release Type: Interview

Transcript ID: 11472

Subjects: National Accounts figures; business confidence; Amnesty International Report; Kosovar Refugees; Greg Wilton

E&OE....

JOURNALIST:

Good news about the economy today?

PRIME MINISTER:

The news about the economy is terrific. Growth powers ahead and it rather gives the lie to those negative people in the community like Mr Beazley who are always trying to talk the economy down. We have achieved this strong economic growth because as a Government we've been willing to undertake reforms. And those who criticise the new tax system should bear that in mind. There are always rewards for a government and a people who are prepared to make the changes to improve the economy and to improve society. And to me the best thing out of these figures is that it means we're going to have more jobs growth because when you have strong economic growth you have more jobs. And of all the figures that have come out over the last few years none is more important to me than the seven hundred and eleven thousand new jobs for Australians and the big reduction in youth unemployment that my Government has achieved.

JOURNALIST:

What do you say to the reports of business confidence being a bit edgy at the moment?

PRIME MINISTER:

Four point three percent doesn't sound like low business confidence to me.

JOURNALIST:

Amnesty International's Annual Report to be released says that Australia's good work in East Timor has been tarnished by our treatment of the Kosovars and Aboriginal people??

PRIME MINISTER:

I've seen the report and I think we did precisely the right thing in relation to the Kosovars. On a per head basis we took more people from Kosovo than most European countries that were much closer and had a more direct responsibility.

JOURNALIST:

You don't think Australia has selective compassion?

PRIME MINISTER:

No I don't think Australia has selective compassion at all. I think Australia has bountiful compassion and I'll contrast our record on humanitarian refugee settlement with that of any country in the world.

JOURNALIST:

....reports of the sad news has reached you about Greg Wilton Prime Minister?

PRIME MINISTER:

Well I've heard the reports and I'm very sorry. It's a very sad thing and you feel for any of your colleagues whatever the circumstances when something like this happens. I don't know all of the details. I can't really say any more except to say how terribly sorry I am to hear these reports and I know that all of my colleagues on both sides of the federal parliament will feel exactly the same thing.

Thank you.

[Ends]

Transcript 11472