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Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 17415

Transcript of doorstop interview, Adelaide

Photo of Gillard, Julia

Gillard, Julia

Period of Service: 24/06/2010 to 27/06/2013

More information about Gillard, Julia on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 12/07/2010

Release Type: Arts, Culture & Sport

Transcript ID: 17415

PM: Can I say how pleased I am to be in my hometown of Adelaide, the place I grew up, and where my family still lives. I've taken the opportunity of being in Adelaide today to outline the things that made me and brought me to this moment in time, and obviously, so many of those experiences were in Adelaide. This is the place of my childhood. This is the place where I grew up. This is the place where I took my first steps into adulthood, into university, and into work.

And from my family background and those first steps in Adelaide, I am taking forward into the job of Prime Minister values that I've believed in all of my life, values formed through my family and my upbringing, values that have guided me as an adult. Particularly, I believe in hard work, and I believe in the benefits and dignity of work. I believe work is life's purpose, and without that purpose there can be a corrosive aimlessness.

I believe in the transformative power of education. It made me - having the opportunity to go to quality schools and then a university here in Adelaide, and obviously finishing in Melbourne.

As I said in the speech today, the opportunity given to me by my family and the great schools of South Australia to get a high-quality education has been transformative for me. I believe in the transformative power of education for this country overall. I particularly believe that this country has an obligation to make sure that every child, no matter what the circumstances of their birth, gets the opportunity for a great education.

And then, coming from this place in my journey in adulthood, I have become both an activist and an optimist. I believe that the best days of this country lie in front of it, not behind it. I believe we can face the future with confidence. I believe we can shape the future together. I fundamentally believe that the choice for Australians is a choice about going forward, not back, and I believe Australians instinctively are a people who want to go forward, not back.

So, it's tremendous to be here in my original hometown, to have the opportunity to outlay- to lay out to the Australian people the circumstances that have shaped me and the values that I bring with me into the position of Prime Minister.

I'm very happy to take any questions.

JOURNALIST: Prime Minister, you took a hit in the polls today, in two polls, but you're still in front. Will you call the election this week?

PM: The numbers that worry me and that have my focus are the numbers of Australians that are in work; the numbers of Australians that have that all-important job; the number of kids that get to finish school with the skills they need for life and work; the numbers of doctors and nurses we're training to work in our hospitals and our health system. They're the numbers I'm focused on.

JOURNALIST: (inaudible) will you call the election this week?

PM: I've got some governing to do, governing step by step, driven by the values I've outlined today to make a difference to the Australian people.

JOURNALIST: Have you decided when the election date will be (inaudible)

PM: Well, thank you for the phrasing of that question. What I'm saying to the Australian people very clearly is we've got some governing to do. We've got some governing to do, shaped by my values and shaped by the things that I believe in.

Obviously, I've said to the Australian people that there are some issues we needed to address as a Government, some things where I thought we had got off track and that we needed to get back on track. I've been working on those.

JOURNALIST: (inaudible) issue of asylum seekers, Prime Minister, yesterday (inaudible)

PM: Well, thank you for raising that question, and last Tuesday I took the opportunity to outline my policy and my priorities when it comes to protecting our borders. I wanted to outline an approach that was bad news for people smugglers, and the approach that I outlined was one of a regional framework with a regional processing centre.

I said that I had already had a conversation with East Timor about the regional processing centre, and we are in dialogue with East Timor now. I obviously want to get this done as quickly as possible. I am determined that we will see a regional processing centre and a regional approach to irregular people movement.

But I also want to be realistic with the Australian people. This will take some time. There is no quick fix here, but we are in dialogue with East Timor, and we are also briefing our regional neighbours about this regional approach.

JOURNALIST: Prime Minister, Tony Abbott-

PM: Yeah, I'll come back here and then here. Yes?

JOURNALIST: Would you like to see it happen in the next term?

PM: Well, I will be doing this as quickly as possible. I'm determined to get it done. I announced it last Tuesday and I have been determined each day since to get it done. We are now in dialogue with East Timor. We are briefing regional neighbours in our region. Obviously, Stephen Smith, our officials and others are working on this, but we need to be realistic. This will take some time. We will be focused on it. I'm focused on it now. And there is a dialogue with East Timor now.

JOURNALIST: Tony Abbott made much today of the fact that you weren't directly elected as Prime Minister by the people. Is that going to be the Opposition's strongest point against you in the election campaign?

PM: Well, clearly, I said on my first day as Prime Minister that I have not been elected by the Australian people and that during the course of this year Australians will have the opportunity to exercise their birthright, and that is to exercise their vote and to choose their Prime Minister, and the choice will be between me and Mr Abbott. And I would say, on that choice, that I've outlined today the things that I believe in, and the things that I will passionately pursue.

I would also say that I have outlined my comprehensive approach to dealing with border protection. Mr Abbott has a slogan, and I note that today the former Immigration Minister in the Howard Government, Mr Ruddock, has basically unveiled that all Mr Abbott has is a slogan. Mr Ruddock has said in an interview on radio today that he acknowledges many of the things that I have been saying are right - that Mr Abbott has a slogan. He doesn't have a policy that will work.

JOURNALIST: You talk about hard work and your values (inaudible)

PM: I'd also note today that there's some newspaper reports about Mr Abbott's statement about green jobs. I've seen this two or three times before. I think it may be the second or third time that Mr Abbott has outlined his view about green jobs.

But what I would say about my approach is I believe in climate change. I believe climate change is caused by human activity. I also understand that doing the things that we will need to do to change our economy, to change the way we live to deal with climate change, are complicated.

They will require dialogue with the community. They will require the community's deep and lasting consensus about these changes and I will be working to lead that debate with the Australian community, and in the period of time to come I will be outlining some further policies and plans on climate change.

Once again, Mr Abbott is a man with a slogan. He is not a man with a comprehensive policy, and he has changed his mind so many times on whether or not he believes in climate change, believes in the science, believes in pricing carbon, believes in a market-based mechanism. I will methodically be working on our climate change policy.

JOURNALIST: Wasn't the timetable for an emissions trading scheme by 2012? Will that involve legislating in the next term? (inaudible)

PM: What I've said about the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme is I have reaffirmed the decision we took as a Government, and that decision is in 2012, as we move to the next Kyoto commitment period, we will assess the degree of international action, we will assess the degree of community consensus on a Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme, and depending on that assessment, we will move to introduce the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme. Of course, introducing any market-based mechanism to put a price on carbon requires legislation.

JOURNALIST: So the start date would be 2013?

PM: Well, I've indicated we've reaffirmed the decision of the Government and the timeframe is as I've just outlined it for you.

JOURNALIST: (inaudible)

PM: Well, I will have something to say in the coming period on climate change policy, but the view I've outlined about the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme is reaffirming the decision that the Government has taken, and the timeframe that I've just explained to you. I believe that there are things that we can do together to address the challenge of climate change. As I outlined in my speech today, I'm an optimist about the future. I'm an optimist about our ability to shape the future together. I believe on climate change and so many other issues Australians want to go forward, not back, and I will be outlining the way forward in the period of time to come.

JOURNALIST: Are you able to be more specific about when we might see a climate change policy from the Government?

PM: We will take the time to work through the policy. I obviously want to work through this step by step. I also want to have the discussions with my colleagues that are required to work the policy through. So, people will see our climate change policy in the period of time to come.

JOURNALIST: Can I just ask, did you get up and watch the soccer this morning?

PM: I actually got up this morning to do a bit of work, I'm afraid, so that was my focus this morning.

JOURNALIST: Happy with the result?

PM: Look, I'd have to say my focus was on work. I'm going to leave the sports commentary on soccer to others. Thank you.

Transcript 17415