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Transcript 16070

Joint Press Conference with WA Premier, Alan Carpenter, Perth

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: 13/08/2008

Release Type: Interview

Transcript ID: 16070

CARPENTER: If we are re-elected we will extend the Northern train line to Butler, that will be a $147.5 million project. It will be the beginning of further extensions as we go out to Brighton and Yanchep. We expanded our vision, we outlined our vision at the State conference for the expansion of the urban rail network and public transport generally in Western Australia and the metropolitan area.

The first part of the work that we will undertake is the extension of the northern rail line from here to Butler. Remember we expanded the rail line from Joondalup up to Clarkson and look at the incredible development that you have seen around this node here as a result of this transport link and I pay tribute to a Alana for the work she has done in that regard.

We'll also be expanding the parking capacity at the trains stations along the line by a thousand bays to accommodate the increased traffic that we are seeing. We anticipate that the expansion of the line from here to Butler will see an extra 2000 people per day using the train service. That's the equivalent of taking 1800 cars off the road. And for those people who are familiar with the northern freeway traffic in the morning you would understand how important that is to get more traffic off the road.

We are very, very keen to deal with these issues, urban congestion, proper planning for public transport, for the growth of our city, responding to the issues of climate change, of increasing fuel costs, it all comes together. It comes together in policy development like this. And this is why we are so committed to this sort of work here in the metropolitan area. And I am grateful that we have got support from the Federal Government in the direction in which we are travelling in this policy initiative.

Are there any questions?

JOURNALIST: Premier is there Federal infrastructure money in this project?

CARPENTER: No this is State money, this project but I'm bringing Kevin here for a reason and I want to show the Prime Minister what we are doing in public transport provision dealing with the issues of urban congestion, of urban growth and trying to make our city's places where people can live and transport themselves about quickly.

What we are doing here is providing an option which is faster, its cleaner, it's safer. Why wouldn't you, why wouldn't you use this sort of public transport option if it is made available.

I've listened, I've spoken to the Prime Minister about dealing with public transport in our major cities, about dealing with urban congestion. We've got a proven track record, not only the Northern line but of course what we did with the Mandurah line, the extension of the line to Thornlie and I'm trying to demonstrate to the Prime Minister that our expansion of public transport to deal with urban congestion is worthy of Federal support.

JOURNALIST: (Inaudible)

CARPENTER: We are in discussion, put it that way Nardia and I thought it was an opportune time to bring Kevin up to this area and show him what we are doing in public transport and obviously in particular to rail. We are also expanding the feeder bus service and extending the peak time capacity as well.

We want to move people around quickly, cleanly, cheaply, safely and it fits exactly I think with the sort of policy direction that Kevin Rudd has outlined from his Governments point of view.

PM: Why don't I add to what the Premier has just said on that. For the future when you come to growth States like WA you just see the development bursting at the seams. It's a great thing to see because this has been a State which has seen such strong economic growth in recent years. And all that comes with a price, it means that people have to have places to live, suburbs in which to build their homes, raise their families and that leads to one big need - infrastructure. And it's good to see the State Government here under Alan's leadership with a forward, visionary plan on how to deal with urban congestion and public transport.

That's one of the basic needs which people have and therefore this practical plan which has been put forward here to expand this particular rail to link to Perth's north out to Butler is one positive step in the right direction.

To go to your question, how does it mesh with where we come from as the Federal Government. For the first time the Federal Government believes that it should partner with State Governments in infrastructure development and that's why we have for the first time established an infrastructure fund, a building Australia fund of $20 billion. And part of our plan there is to partner with State Governments into the future on their particular needs with infrastructure, including their needs in relation to urban congestion and that includes of course within it public transport.

Infrastructure Australia and its advisory committee will be examining all proposals from State Governments in the months ahead, but we have put our money where our mouth is, a $20 billion national fund. The first time such a fund has been created in this country's history.

And part of the reason we did that is when I came over as Leader of the Opposition and since being elected (inaudible) you look at States like WA, you look at their long term infrastructure needs, they are great.

So either as the Federal Government you can say not my problem it's their problem, or you can chose to be partners. We're choosing to be partners and that's why we will look very closely at the proposals put to us by the WA Government for their future infrastructure needs.

JOURNALIST: (Inaudible)

PM: Well the Premier on this particular project has he has just indicated, this will come from State Government finance. This is an expansion of a rail network out to a new station, out here in this great growth corridor on Perth's north.

On the future, which is the future vision for the wider public transport needs and urban rail needs of Perth and Perth metro and beyond, that's exactly what Infrastructure Australia will be looking at. The Premier has already put forward a proposal concerning public transport to Infrastructure Australia, that will be evaluated on its merits. What I am saying loud and clear is that these sorts of projects are the sort of projects which the Federal Government wants to partner with State Governments on and that means the State Government of WA.

JOURNALIST: Mr Rudd when will money start to flow?

PM: Well you know something, the last 12 years that the Liberal's have been in power in Canberra there wasn't any money to flow. First budget we've established a fund $20 billion. Secondly the Infrastructure Australia advisory council is going to develop and approve its infrastructure priority list for the nation come next February.

So within about 12 months of us assuming office after 12 years of inertia, you'll have a clear demonstration from us on the direction we are going. What I am signalling to you loud and clear today is that the urban congestion needs, the public transport needs of our major cities including Perth are up there as priority number one.

JOURNALIST: Mr Rudd with wall to wall Labor Governments across this country, are you worried that Western Australia could be the first State to fall to the Liberals?

PM: What I can say is that in Alan Carpenters Government and in Alan Carpenters leadership, that you have a practical bloke whose got a long term vision for the States future and prepared to take hard decisions for the future.

If I look at stuff like this which is rolling out a rail network in a metro area, guess what this costs money and you have a WA Government that's prepared to roll out a vision and to put its money where its mouth is in terms of the network so far. What we want to do is partner with a Government like this into the future as they unfold further elements of their plan for transport in a city like this.

The other thing I'd say is on that question is the key thing for us is to make sure that the State leaders we are dealing with are practical people like Alan Carpenter prepared to make hard decisions for the future. And when I look at this bloke taking hard decisions in the past, take domestic gas. This is a huge barney with the major oil and gas companies in this state. You know, I believe, as Alan does in getting on with our large energy corporates- that's all part of economic development .

But you have also got to have a political leader who is prepared to stand up and from time to time take these big companies on. He did that on domestic gas, 15 per cent domestic gas, that I think is a symbol of this leader's strength in securing this state's long term future and being prepared to take hard decisions on the way through.

JOURNALIST: He has had to deal with Brian Burke as well, you have obviously been following that.

PM: Oh we all have our problems on the way through.

JOURNALIST: Fuel Watch (inaudible)

PM: Well what I would say to the Liberals federally is why should the motorists of Australia not have access to the same pricing information that the good motorists of Western Australia have had for many years. The Liberals are the ones who control this in the Senate and what the Liberals have done federally is decided to side with big oil companies against consumers.

It is the Liberals who decide what happens in the Senate and they have decided that they will back big oil companies rather than giving more information to consumers like motorists have had in this state for many years.

JOURNALIST: (inaudible)

PM: Well the ball lines are very much in the Liberals court. The Liberals decide ultimately the passage of these matters through the Senate and the Liberals have decided to back big oil companies against the consumer power which motorists deserve, and have had in this state for some time.

JOURNALIST: So is it dead in the water or is there room to compromise on your part?

PM: We have a clear cut plan on FuelWatch. A plan which has been based on the experience here in WA. And we say to the Liberals, get real, back motorists and stop being in the pocket of the big oil companies.

JOURNALIST: (inaudible)

PM: The ACCC has produced a report which demonstrates that over time, this is seven years worth of data, there is something like a two per cent per litre differential as a result of having FuelWatch in.

But we have said all the way through, this isn't some magic solution to the global problems which come out of global oil prices out of what is happening in the Middle East and elsewhere.

That is a huge global force at work but within that, Fuel Watch in this state, WA has given motorists more consumer power. And I say to the Liberals, why don't the people of Australia deserve to have that same consumer information as well.

JOURNALIST: Did the Premier consult with you before going so early in the election? There has been some criticism, under the cover of the Olympic Games?

PM: The Premier and I talk all the time, primarily about the development needs of this state. The question of election timing is of course, something which the Premier has made independently.

JOURNALIST: Mr Rudd the way the people perceive the performance of the Federal Government, do you believe that that will be a factor in the state election?

PM: Look I know whether, state elections, however they turn out, these are always in my experience fought essentially on state factors, on state grounds. But I say this, the practical decision for the future is very much for us, do we have a State Government which has a strong plan for the future and can we partner with that plan in a very practical way, like on urban transport, urban rail networks and urban congestion.

This state government has such a plan. We the Federal Government have said for a long time, we are now for the first time in the country's history going to partner with State Governments on their infrastructure needs.

That is what I say for the future, whether you can actually work with a state government, and with this Premier, I can work.

JOURNALIST: (inaudible)

PM: I haven't even begun to think about it so I just got in from Singapore at about sort of, midnight last night, and then I was in Seoul, and then I was in Beijing, and then I was in Brissie, so there you go.

JOURNALIST: Mr Rudd what do you think about the decision to go so early though, given that the Liberals changed leader the day before the Premier called the election?

PM: Oh look, these are local decisions for the Premier himself and I haven't been privy to that.

JOURNALIST: ABC learning (inaudible)

PM: I have only just arrived back in the country and I haven't seen those reports. I would prefer to comment on them once I have studied them in detail.

JOURNALIST: Will you try and ease the concerns of Senators Xenophon and Fielding (inaudible)

PM: Our plan on Fuel Watch is absolutely clear cut and we put that out there and frankly the decision making power lies with the Liberals. They are the ones with the power in the Senate. Either back consumers and motorists choice, or back big oil companies and they decided to back big oil companies.

JOURNALIST: (inaudible)

PM: I say that each state government will operate within its constitutional requirements as this state government has done. And what I have said is what our policy is, and I don't think our position on fixed four year terms has been backed by the Federal Liberals.

I stand to be corrected on that but I don't think they have.

JOURNALIST: Prime Minister will you be doing any fundraising for Labor while you in Perth?

PM: I haven't even thought about it. I don't think I have been asked but I stand to be corrected.

JOURNALIST: (inaudible)

PM: Actually I have been discussing this with Foreign Affairs officials this morning, given the negotiations which have occurred overnight between the Government of France and the Government of the Russian Federation and the efforts made by President Sarkozy of France.

Let us hope that this proposed cease fire actually occurs. Let us hope we have now a way forward. I notice that one of the pre conditions that France has imposed, given it's presidency of the European Union, is to ensure humanitarian access.

If that is the case and if we have humanitarian access, Australia as always will be in there through the appropriate international agencies, including the International Council of the Red Cross, to provide practical humanitarian help.

Australians expect our government always to be out there with a helping hand when people are in need, and there is something like 100,000 displaced persons, I am advised in this particular war zone in Georgia.

JOURNALIST: What did you think of the criticism the Chinese are getting in relation to the Olympics? Faking things, replacing little girls with other little girls because they are not pretty enough?

PM: I saw that report this morning. And I don't think I am going to buy into that.

JOURNALIST: Why not?

PM: Because I don't know all the details, that's why.

JOURNALIST: (inaudible) Commonwealth Bank profit

PM: What I would say to the commercial bank is this: If you are registering in these economic circumstances a 7 per cent increase in profits - and I am all for our companies being profitable, that is part and parcel of a market economy - but if you are a bank generating significant profits, and the commercial banks have been generating significant profits in recent years, I would say that those banks owe it to working families, working Australians who are under financial pressure at the moment, that when official interest rates move that those moves should be passed on to consumers.

I think that is the right and reasonable thing to do.

And I might just conclude on this, because the whole question of interest rates brings us back to the state of the global economy. And I will just say this in relation to events in WA as well.

We are going through some very rough global economic times at present. I have just had meetings in Beijing with various global leaders, the Chinese leadership, I had a brief conversation with the President Bush. I also have been in the Republic of Korea and yesterday in the Republic of Singapore.

Every global leader is faced now with huge challenges in the global economy coming out of US sub - prime, the impact on global financial markets and in turn what is happening with global oil prices.

In these tough global economic times, you need responsible economic management and leadership, strong economic management and leadership.

Tough global economic times requires strong economic leadership of the type we have received here front his state leadership of Alan Carpenter's Government.

Thanks very much.

Transcript 16070