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Transcript 16021

Joint Doorstop with the Minister for Climate Change and Water, Penny Wong, Bulimba State School, Brisbane

Photo of Rudd, Kevin

Rudd, Kevin

Period of Service: 03/12/2007 to 24/06/2010

More information about Rudd, Kevin on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 18/07/2008

Release Type: Interview

Transcript ID: 16021

PM: Well its good to be here with Penny Wong, back in Brisbane in my case, visiting Brisbane in Penny's case at the Bulimba State School. And I thank the school community here at Bulimba for showing me the work that they are doing in terms of building a sustainable planet, a sustainable community.

Over the work that's gone on in this school community, which I've seen over the years myself as the local member and it was all aimed at causing our young people to know where their own responsibilities lie in building a sustainable community and helping contribute to a sustainable planet.

Whether it's the use of solar panels on the school roof, whether it's the skills which are inculcated in the kids in terms of sustainable uses of our land. This is all very good and I congratulate the Environment Club and those associated with it here at Bulimba State School and their doing a great job. I thank them for their hospitality in showing us around the school this morning.

The clear message we have for Australia is this, we need to act responsibly on climate change to help deal with the challenges to our economy as well doing the right thing by our kids and by our grandkids.

It's about acting now on the economy in an effective, measured, responsible way to adjust to a lower carbon economy and also making sure we're acting for our kids and grandkids as well. And that's very much what has guided the Government in its approach to the release of our Green Paper on the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme.

We have to get it right for the long term and this is a responsible course of action, also for the short to medium term. If you stand back from this challenge what we've sought to do is to act responsibly with the economy in terms of the budget strategy we've adopted, responsibly in support of working households across Australia in dealing with cost of living pressures, and acting responsibly for our long term environmental future and economic future by taking action on climate change.

And I conclude where I began. We must as a nation act in a responsible balanced way for our economy now as well as a responsible way to look after our kids and grandkids for the longer term as well.

Did you want to add anything? Happy to take your questions

JOURNALIST: Prime Minister should Premier Anna Bligh have declared the holiday (inaudible)

PM: Look I know none of the details of that other than to say that I've known Anna Bligh for the last 20 years. She's a person of great integrity and I'm confident that all these matters will be handled appropriately by the Premier.

JOURNALIST: (Inaudible)

PM: I'm confident that Anna Bligh is a person of absolute and great integrity. I've known her for about 20 years and I'm sure she will deal with these matters and questions that you raise in the appropriate way.

JOURNALIST: (Inaudible)

PM: I have said before and I'll say again that I have known Anna for a long time, she's a person and a Premier of great, in my experience, absolute integrity and I'm sure these questions will be dealt in an appropriate way.

JOURNALIST: (Inaudible) being the Prime Minister is easy as I've heard you say, what about....

PM: I beg your pardon

JOURNALIST: (Inaudible)

PM: Can you tell me where that was said -

JOURNALIST: (Inaudible)

PM: (Inaudible) to which I then said that if you compared yourself with Lincoln in the middle of the American civil war. That being Prime Minister of Australia represents a lesser challenge. Is that called verballing by you, would you like to rephrase your question? Thank you would you like to re-put the question?

JOURNALIST: How tough is it (inaudible)

PM: It's very tough, a really tough job for the Government. But our job is to act responsibly for Australia, for the economy now and for our kids now and grandkids in the longer term.

You can either take that as a responsible course of action even though it's tough and it will involve cost and pain for Australia, I accept that. But I am not going to say to Australians this is going to be a cost free, pain free transition. That's just wrong.

What I am saying is here is a strategy to take us forward and here is adjustment support for both households and for industry on the way through. That's the responsible course of action.

The irresponsible course of action, irresponsible short term politics if you change your position every day on the question of carbon pollution reductions.

And here is my challenge today to the Liberal Party. The Liberal Party has the power to decide whether this Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme passes the Senate.

My challenge today to the Liberal Party is come clean. Where do you stand? Is it yesterday's position, today's position, last week's position, last month's position? Frankly they've had more positions than you can count.

Last year the Liberal Party said through Treasurer Costello that they would introduce the most comprehensive emissions trading scheme in the world and that they could introduce it by 2010. That's what they said in the lead up to the election.

My challenge to them, my challenge the Liberal Party today is do they uphold what Treasurer Costello said on behalf of the Liberal Party last year. Because that directly affects whether this will pass the Senate.

JOURNALIST: Could it trigger an election?

PM: This is a serious matter for Australia. It's a very serious matter for Australia because we have to act nationally and internationally on climate change. That's why we have issued this Green Paper where we've outlined a plan for the future to act responsibly on the economy and to make sure that we are also looking after our kids and grandkids.

Therefore, my challenge to the Liberal Party is get serious about this because will you honour your pre-election position on an emissions trading scheme or will you not?

We have a plan out there. It has been out there now for some days, the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme. They committed themselves to similar such scheme less than 12 months ago. The challenge for them is to get real.

This is a serious matter, a very serious matter. The country takes it seriously, the Government takes it seriously. It's about time the Liberal Party took it seriously because they will directly affect whether this passes the Senate.

JOURNALIST: (Inaudible)

PM: Well I think the challenge for the Liberal Party, which committed themselves to being sensible before the election is to be fair dinkum with the Australian people or just play short term politics. I think that's the challenge they face and the numbers in Senate speak for themselves.

JOURNALIST: Apparently Mr Turnbull today on radio called you a political fraud.

PM: I think the challenge for Australia is to deal with this challenge which faces our nation, our economy and our future and our kids, responsibly without name-calling. Responsibly. The challenge to the Liberal Party is to get fair dinkum about what they stand for on climate change. We have a plan out there. We are out there now consulting households, the community, and industry. And what we have instead from the Liberal Party is short term, irresponsible politics.

JOURNALIST: Is the Carbon Reduction Scheme going to prevent LNG projects going ahead as has been claimed?

PM: What we have said right from the beginning is that we will now be in consultation with industry over the next six month period, getting all branches of industry about the state of their emissions, the state of their emissions intensity and therefore, what adjustment support they could expect from the Government under that.

I note that (inaudible) considered all branches of industry. And there is going to be, a lot of argy bargy on the way through, as there inevitably is. But that's part of a negotiation. I go back to what I said before; this is not a cost free, pain free solution for the future. It involves some hard decisions.

We are either going to be part of solution to this, or we can dig a hole and bury our head in the sand. Which is the current position of the Liberal Party.

JOURNALIST: (inaudible)

PM: I haven't seen precise reporting from our post in Jakarta on those matters. I would say by way of general principle the following, that together with the Liberal Party, our policy has been one of stated universal opposition to the death penalty, but in the case of foreign terrorists, we are not in the business of intervening on any of their behalf's.

JOURNALIST: (inaudible)

PM: This is a complex and international legal discussion between the Government of the United States and the Government of Australia. I am advised that the Attorney General's Department is in close and continuing contact with American counterparts, aimed at the successful prosecution of this matter.

JOURNALIST: Prime Minister you have just met the Pope, do you remember how long it has been since your last confession?

PM: Given that you are from Triple M, I don't suppose I could put the question back in your direction. Is it decades or several decades?

We had a really good conversation yesterday. I enjoyed very much the conversation with the Holy Father. It ranged over a whole range of topics, including in part on climate change and as well as other matters, including a global interfaith dialogue.

As I said in Sydney yesterday at the official welcoming to Australia, he is a welcome guest in Australia, not just from the Catholic community, but from the wider Christian community and beyond that, from the entire Australia community.

We are honoured to have him with us and he still has several days with us still. We hope that his time with us is both memorable for himself and the Catholic community, I think it will be memorable and historic event for the Australian nation.

And I have got to go.

Transcript 16021