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Transcript 18953

Transcript of Interview With Lisa Wilkinson - Today Show

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: 07/12/2012

Release Type: Video Transcript

Transcript ID: 18953


HOST: I'm pleased to say the Prime Minister joins us now from the lawns of the Lodge. It's a very chilly morning there I believe this morning Prime Minister?

PM: It certainly is Lisa. It's not what you would expect from a December morning. It's actually quite cold.

HOST: Well thank you for doing this, let's get started. You have declared your determination to build a truly National Disability Insurance Scheme. You have New South Wales now on board. Which premiers do you think are going to provide most obstacles today?

PM: This is a scheme that is vital for those Australians who have a disability and at the moment fall through the cracks. But it's also vital for you and me and everyone because we never know when a disability is going to strike us, or a member of our family.

I was very pleased to be able to announce that Premier O'Farrell and I have come to an agreement about the scheme in New South Wales; that's a third of the country.

I'll be saying to other premiers and chief ministers today, if New South Wales can do it then you can all do it.

I think it's going to take some more time, and some more work. But having struck a deal with our biggest state - in terms of population - I'm confident we'll be able to work around the rest of the country to get this done for Australians with disability today, and to give reassurance to all Australians about their lives tomorrow.

HOST: Do you think Queensland and WA will be the toughest to get on board?

PM: Well Queensland has certainly got the biggest amount of distance to cover. Unfortunately per head of population, Queensland spends less on people with disabilities than any other state.

So that makes it challenging for Queensland, but it also makes it vital for Queensland people because we don't want Queenslanders to have a second-rate system. So Premier Newman will be continuing discussions with me about a National Disability Insurance Scheme. And we've got to do better for the people of Queensland than what they are getting now.

For Western Australia, they have been investing in their disability services. I will want to keep working with Premier Barnett about a truly national scheme. I don't want this to be a scheme that's different in different parts of the country. Or causes you a big challenge if you have a disability and then you move interstate.

So we're going to keep working with everybody to get this done.

HOST: The scheme itself is still six years away and at the moment this is only going to be a signed agreement. Why not legislate it as the Productivity Commission says is essential to ensure that future governments are committed to it and that those families that are affected by this can actually rest easy?

PM: We're definitely doing that Lisa. In fact I introduced the Bill to legislate the scheme into the Parliament in the last sitting week. I did it personally, which is quite an unusual thing for a Prime Minister to do, to personally introduce a piece of legislation. But I did it because of the importance of this scheme for the nation and its future.

I do want people with disability - and everybody who's rightly worried about what might happen to them or a family member in the future - to have the security of knowing that this scheme is the law of our country.

HOST: Okay, let's move on. Last weekend you announced your plan which could save households $250 a year on those soaring power costs. Estimates out of WA say it will actually cost about $1000 per household to buy, install and monitor each of the smart meters. If households are only going to save $250 is it actually worth it?

PM: No one is going to make a household buy a smart meter, that's not what this is about. What it's about is smart meters particularly for the biggest users of electricity. The biggest users of electricity are our big businesses; that's understandable. They need a lot of power.

But if we can give them more information about how they're using their power - and reward them for getting out of using power at really peak times - then that can take a lot of pressure off the system, including a lot of pressure on infrastructure investment.

At the moment, we've invested $11 billion as a country to satisfy peak demand four days of the year. Yet you pay for that $11 billion on your power bill every day. We can do better than that and in August this year I said to the states and territories I am going to come to this meeting today with a plan to make a difference for families and I want people to sign up to that plan.

And that plan will make a difference of $250 for families.

HOST: Alright moving on. Last week the Opposition Leader had this to say on our show regarding the AWU slush fund scandal.

ABBOTT GRAB: She gave false information to the West Australian authorities. Now for a legal partner, for a senior lawyer to make false claims to an important statutory body like this is a very, very serious matter. It's in breach of the law I would think.

HOST: Prime Minister, Tony Abbott there accusing you of breaching the law. Are you going to sue?

PM: Well doesn't this say it all, Lisa. Here are you and I talking about things that really matter for Australians: what's going to happen if a child's born in their family with a disability, what their power prices are going to look like for the future.

And there's the Leader of the Opposition tossing around stupid claims about matters 17 years ago, claims that he had the opportunity to back up in the Parliament that day and just couldn't do.

HOST: On this issue, you have insisted for 20 years that you did nothing wrong, so why not support a public inquiry which would get to the bottom of this considering it deals with union corruption, which is an issue that is at the heart of Labor's credibility?

PM: This is a distraction from an Opposition that can't really engage in a discussion about the things that matter for Australian families. They don't have anything to say on the substance, so they're trying to distract people with this.

This matter has been canvassed over 20 years publically by inquiries, that's all in the past. The only thing that's bringing it to public attention now is the desperation of the Opposition to find something to talk about because when they haven't got any plans for the future, they've got to fill the space with something.

HOST: But Tony Abbott said he's not going to back off on this next year?

PM: Well won't that tell you everything about the Opposition and its views of itself and the nation.

Tony Abbott's not saying on your show Lisa that he'll be talking to the Australian people about jobs, because they haven't got a plan for the economy. He won't be talking about health, because they haven't got a plan for hospitals.

He won't be talking about education because they haven't got a plan for schools. He'll be talking about sleaze and smear from the best part of two decades ago.

HOST: Alright, now finally Prime Minister you issued this message on Triple J radio.

PM GRAB: My dear remaining fellow Australians. The end of the world is coming. It wasn't Y2K. It wasn't even the carbon price. It turns out that the Mayan calendar was true. Whether the final blow comes from flesh-eating zombies, demonic hellbeasts or from the total triumph of K-Pop, if you know one thing about me it is this: I will always fight for you to the very end. And at least this means I won't have to do Q&A again. Good luck to you all.

HOST: So Prime Minister, I guess this is it then, we should just say our goodbyes?

PM: Lisa I think you and I will survive to talk again next year! I'm very confident of that!

HOST: Who talked you into that?

PM: It's Triple J having some fun, so I went along with it. But don't worry too much Lisa. We're definitely going to be back in 2013.

HOST: Alright, okay Prime Minister. Thank you very much for your time this morning. You need to get inside and put a coat on.

PM: Thank you.

Transcript 18953