PM Transcripts

Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 19357

Transcript of Joint Doorstop Interview

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: 16/05/2013

Release Type: Video Transcript

Transcript ID: 19357

Canberra

PM: I'm absolutely delighted to be here at Red Hill Primary School and thank you very much to all of the kids for showing us what they're learning and all of the sports that they're playing, thank you kids.

And can I thank David, the acting principal, for having us at his school and can I thank Simon from the Australian Sports Commission for joining us today too. I'm joined by Minister Lundy, the Minister for Sport.

In the Budget, we funded for 2014 the Active After-School Communities Program.

What that means is right around the country we are funding up to 190,000 children to participate in over 70 different sports doing the kinds of things we've seen the kids doing today, building fitness, building skills, and hopefully then going on to select a sport that they really like and really want to participate in.

The Budget is investing in our kids and in our future. At the centre of the Budget is a plan for jobs and growth, but the Budget also makes the wise investments we need for our nation's future.

There's nothing more important for the kind of country we are going to be in the future than what happens for the education of our children.

The Budget, as one of its centrepieces, is funding school improvement and school funding changes.

We need to make sure that every Australian school has the right resources available to it so that it can teach every child, every child can reach their full potential and so we can be a strong economy with high wage and high skilled jobs for the future.

We were very determined in this Budget to make the responsible savings that not only enabled us to fund DisabilityCare, but also enabled us to better fund our schools and all of that funding is clearly shown for the next ten years.

On top of that, we're funding these programs for after-school, to help our kids make sure they're physically fit and they're engaged in sport.

I'll hand over to the Minister for Sport for some comments.

MINISTER LUNDY: The Active After-School Community Program has been going since 2005.

As you've heard, 190,000 Australian schoolchildren get to participate each year and this is over 5200 sites around the country.

In this way we're able to invest, through the Australian Sports Commission, in this particular program, in boosting participation in sport and we're very pleased and proud as a Government to continue this investment for the 2014 calendar year.

Just a few comments about the value of sport and physical activity in children's lives.

There is growing research every year which shows that the benefits of sport extend way beyond the obvious physical benefits.

There is social inclusion; sport is a platform for social inclusion, is incredibly strong, as are the mental health and wellbeing outcomes for keeping physically active.

So through this program we're able to provide opportunities for kids who perhaps otherwise wouldn't be able to play sport or have that opportunity and inspire them to take up playing sport as part of their life not just when they're children but hopefully into adulthood as well.

PM: Thanks, Kate. Thank you very much. We're happy to take questions.

JOURNALIST: Prime Minister, it sounds like Tony Abbott is going to say, "me too," tonight on a lot of these Budget measures, the cuts and the increase to the Medicare levy. What do you expect from him?

PM: I've seen the morning newspapers and it seems that the Leader of the Opposition will endorse the responsible savings that the Government's put forward in this Budget.

But the test for the Leader of the Opposition tonight is to outline what cutbacks he's going to deliver, if he is Prime Minister, to fill in their $70 billion black hole.

The Shadow Treasurer admitted on morning television that they are $70 billion behind.

Mr Abbott tonight needs to outline where that $70 billion is going to be cut from.

Schools, hospitals, where in the Budget is going to be cut?

The Australian people are entitled to those details and that's what the Leader of the Opposition should do tonight in his Budget Reply speech.

JOURNALIST: Prime Ministers of course always demand that and Opposition Leaders never deliver it. Sometimes the Shadow Treasurer does a week later so is that a realistic expectation?

PM: I think that's a very realistic expectation.

This is the last Budget reply the Leader of the Opposition will give before the forthcoming election.

At the forthcoming election, the Leader of the Opposition will ask the Australian people to endorse his plans. Well, the Australian people are entitled to know what those plans are.

Those plans, I believe, are to cut to the bone. He needs to do that to make up a $70 billion shortfall but Australians are entitled to know is it my child's school, is it my local hospital, is it my mum's aged care pension?

What is in Mr Abbott's sights for cutbacks? He should detail that tonight.

JOURNALIST: Prime Minister, what did you think of the Coalition refusing to give Michelle Rowland a pairing?

PM: Of course I've heard all of this and can I say very clearly what has happened with this matter makes an absolute mockery of everything the Leader of the Opposition has ever said about working women.

It just shows so clearly that he doesn't get it.

JOURNALIST: On the subject of stay-at-home mums, there are complaints around that both sides of parliament are punishing stay-at-home mums compared to those who are in the workforce. What's your comment on that?

PM: We made a decision about the baby bonus and replacing it with some family payments.

I stand by that decision. Why did we do it? To make money available for schools.

I'm standing in a school now. This is where our future is being made. This is where we are decide whether or not for the long-term we want to be a country with a strong economy, with high-skill, high-wage jobs.

This is where we're deciding whether every child gets to reach their full potential. I believe that is a higher priority and so I stand by that responsible saving to make sure we can put more money into schools.

JOURNALIST: Are you disappointed Craig Thomson is quitting the Labor Party and running as an Independent?

PM: Mr Thomson was suspended from the Labor Party quite some time back.

JOURNALIST: Will it make it harder to win the seat?

PM: Mr Thomson was suspended quite some time back.

JOURNALIST: But you're standing a candidate presumably?

PM: Certainly, of course. We will field a Labor candidate in Dobell and it will be someone who can advocate for our plan for the nation's future which is all about jobs and growth, all about making sure we're a fairer society through DisabilityCare and all about building the future by investments like the ones we want to make in Australian schools.

JOURNALIST: But having a former Labor member standing in that seat against whoever Labor puts out, does that make it harder to win the seat?

PM: The people of Dobell will express their views on 14 September. Mr Thomson was suspended from the Labor Party quite some time back.

JOURNALIST: I know you will say it's a matter for the party organisation but will there be a preference deal with Mr Thomson?

PM: All these matters are for the party itself.

JOURNALIST: Are you concerned about reports NSW Labor offered Craig Thomson money not to run for that seat?

PM: I have seen a media report and I believe the Secretary of the NSW branch has dealt with that matter.

JOURNALIST: Peter Reith said, I think, that the Opposition's paid parental leave scheme is unaffordable and wrong in principle, I doubt that you'd agree with that.

Taking it back to the stay-at-home mums issue, do you see in the Opposition's plan a disconnect between money that might be made available to working parents compared with decisions that might be made about mums who might stay at home?

PM: I've seen Mr Reith's comments.

Can I say this, and it comes back to the question I was asked earlier and why it is so important that tonight Mr Abbott is very clear with the Australian people about his plans.

Today we see in newspapers leading Liberals advocating big industrial relations changes, back to WorkChoices, Mr Reith is doing that.

Mr Howard advocating a GST on food; extending the good and services tax onto food.

These are leading Liberals with sway over the Liberal Party room. Mr Abbott has to be clear with the Australian people about his plans because leading Liberals are saying, "Let's go back to WorkChoices. Let's put a GST on food."

Mr Abbott has to answer whether or not he agrees with all of that. What are the plans for a GST on food? What all the plans for a return to WorkChoices?

On Mr Abbott's paid parental leave scheme, clearly this is a scheme that would cost every Australian.

They are the ones who would be paying the bill because the companies subject to Mr Abbott's tax would flow that through to the things that people buy, the things they buy in the shops.

This is a scheme that is skewed towards higher income Australians.

I think when we look at the Australian way, it's either that we all have the same entitlement or we give a helping hand to those who need it the most.

The scheme Mr Abbott is advocating does not stand in accord with Australian values.

JOURNALIST: Given how far some of the estimates have been in terms of the surplus and revenue, how far out they've been so far, is it not fair enough for the Opposition to say let's wait until the pre-election fiscal update?

PM: That's a game the Opposition is playing to try and alleviate its obligation to be clear with the Australian people about its plans.

JOURNALIST: But in terms of what's happened, aren't they right in saying that the estimates so far have been a long way out, they're not reliable?

PM: If Mr Abbott was sitting in my chair today he would have for the same set of figures in front of him. So given they are the figures, Mr Abbott has an obligation to outline his plans to the Australian people.

Thank you very much.

[ENDS]

Transcript 19357