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Transcript 19403

Transcript of interview with Geoff Hutchison, ABC Perth

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: 13/06/2013

Release Type: Interview

Transcript ID: 19403

Perth

E & O E - PROOF ONLY

HOST: Prime Minister, welcome to the program.

PM: Good morning Geoff.

HOST: I understand that you have just met with Arnold Schwarzenegger, what did you discuss this morning?

Was it climate change policy or how to destroy one's enemies against seemingly insurmountable odds?

PM: It was climate change policy let me assure you.

Though of course I am a devotee of Arnie Schwarzenegger movies so I quite cheerfully could have talked about the movies, but we didn't do that today.

What we talked about was climate change.

Governor Schwarzenegger is here, he of course led California to put in a price on carbon to reduce carbon pollution.

He is from the conservative side of politics, a Republican.

If he was here in Australia he would be on the Liberal National party side of politics.

But he saw his way to putting a price on carbon as the best way of tackling climate change.

So we talked about his experiences in California and how we have put a price on carbon here.

HOST: Prime Minister, internal polling suggests Labor could lose its three remaining seats in WA, a result that would be without precedence.

If you were told that those seats could only be saved if you stepped down, would you consider it?

PM: I've seen that story today on the front of the newspaper and as I said earlier this week there will be plenty of rumour and plenty of speculation, plenty of speculative stories in the newspapers.

Everybody engaging in all of that rumour and speculation is just wasting their breath and I'm not going to waste mine on it.

HOST: It was reported today that Bill Shorten has been doing a ring around to canvass what support there is for Kevin Rudd.

Are you aware of that or might you have asked him to do that on your behalf?

PM: Geoff I'm aware of the media reports or speculation

HOST: But you can tell us what is true and what is just media speculation?

PM: I can tell you what is true, absolutely.

Nothing has changed since I dealt with this at my press conference at the start of the week.

The important thing, the reason I am here in Western Australia amongst other commitments is to put a spotlight on Western Australian schools and their future.

So Geoff there is nothing new to learn from my press conference early this week and I am not going to waste my time on all of this sort of rumour churning.

HOST: I assure you we will be talking about education matters in just a moment.

But Prime Minister regarding the menu at the Mal Brough function fundraiser, the owner of the restaurant has said he produced it with his son, it never appeared on tables and that Mal Brough and Joe Hockey would have been unaware of it.

Do you accept that?

PM: Well that's not what Mr Brough said yesterday, Mr Brough yesterday said he was aware of it.

So I don't understand how those two stories add up.

I believe Mr Brough will be making a statement to the media during the course of this morning, if he does that then of course he should take every question on this matter.

Because I think the media will have a lot of questions given the version seems to have changed between yesterday and today.

HOST: On the basis of what you know, do you still say that this is representative of a pattern of behaviour in the Coalition?

PM: Mr Brough yesterday did say that he was aware of this menu and yes I stand by everything I said yesterday.

We have seen a pattern of behaviour here, the Leader of the Opposition standing next to sexist signs, now we see this sexist menu.

Mr Brough has got a lot of explaining to do and I hope he does take and answer all questions today.

HOST: Prime Minister, to education matters - the Premier Colin Barnett was on this program yesterday and this is what he had to say when I asked him if he would sign up to your Gonski reforms:

PREMIER BARNETT: No.

HOST: Not at all?

PREMIER BARNETT: Not to Gonski, no. The real issue about Gonski is that it's an attempt at a federal level to take control of everything in education, which constitutionally is the responsibility of the state.

The degree of administration, red tape reporting is ludicrous.

Absolutely ludicrous and you have only had one state in New South Wales sign up and they will probably regret it now

HOST: Barry O'Farrell hasn't said that.

PREMIER BARNETT: No I'm saying that they are probably regretting it, that's my observation.

No other state has signed, including some Labor states because this has not been properly thought through. That is the reality.

HOST: Prime Minister, you then upped the offer, what was the response by Mr Barnett?

PM: Mr Barnett, yesterday I did have a good meeting with the Premier.

He is obviously considering his position and we will make sure that through his officials he gets full details of the new offer.

But let me be very clear here, this is not about a federal takeover of schools.

That is nonsense.

The state government would continue to run and manage state schools, Catholic schools will continue to be managed by Catholic education, independent schools will be left the way they are now by school principals and school communities.

What this is about is making sure that every school in the nation has the right resources in it so that can properly teach the kids within that school.

This is the end product of five years of work, it is the end product of knowing and proving through national partnership schools that if you bring the right level of resources and new ways of working then the kids do better in their education.

This is the product of a panel of eminent Australians who have said every school should have school resource standard which means that the right resources to teach the kids in that school, with all of the advantages and disadvantages that kids can bring to school.

It comes with a school improvement plan and people would have to be accountable for school improvement.

But shouldn't schools be accountable to the community for what is happening with the education of our children? How can anybody object to that?

HOST: So Prime Minister when Colin Barnett seeks to reduce what is complex and expensive, when he seeks to reduce it to an issue of this being a federal takeover - what prospect is there that your reforms will get the approval of the Western Australian Government?

It doesn't sound promising.

PM: Well there is only one question here for Premier Barnett that is will he put the children of Western Australia first?

Premier O'Farrell has been able to do that, so this isn't a party political question in the sense that somehow conservative leaders can't sign on.

Premier O'Farrell has already shown that you can be constructive on education as a Liberal Premier.

I am asking Premier Barnett to do no more or no less than his colleague in New South Wales, who is running the biggest school system in the country, has been prepared to do.

I do want to see $2.8 billion dollars of additional resources in Western Australian schools in the next six years.

I don't want to see the kids of Western Australia left behind as other states move to improve their schools with the benefit of these new resources.

HOST: Prime Minister you are casting the Leader of the Opposition and his party as being determined to, and I use your words from the other day, banishing women's' voices from our political life.

Why do you think voters will care about your focussing on the politics of gender?

PM: I suggest you have a look at the full speech.

In the full speech I was outlining what this Government has achieved for women and what is at risk on the 14th of September.

This is a Government that is very much focussed on bringing issues like paid parental leave on to the national agenda and then getting it done.

Increasing support for childcare, making sure that part-time working women pay less tax.

The tripling of the tax-free threshold meaning that you don't pay tax now until you have earnt $18,200 dollars has been a benefit to many low incomes earners.

But particularly women who tend to work part-time when they are doubling up family life and work.

The work that we have done with women on equal pay to make sure that the workers in the social and community services sector get paid properly.

What we have done in workplace relations, because it was women who bore the brunt of WorkChoices; to name just a few of the things that we have done as a Labor government because we have wanted women to be treated fairly, decently, with respect, to have the support they need to get about their life.

I am of course going to talk about what the Government has achieved here and what we want to continue to do.

HOST: But the implication is that you do not believe under a Tony Abbott government women would be treated fairly and decently and with respect.

How can you say that? What is the evidence to support that?

PM: Well I've been very clear about the Leader of the Opposition's past statements.

Politicians get judged on what they say, I do and I accept that.

The Leader of the Opposition should get judged on his past statements too about women's roles and women's lives.

Then when you turn to their very practical policy suite, take something like childcare - what they've said is that they would be funding nannies but that would come out of the current bucket of money that funds childcare.

So that must mean that if you are relying on childcare payments now from the federal government, they will be less under a government led by Tony Abbott.

The Leader of the Opposition has been very clear, he is going to cut the superannuation bonus that we have for low-income Australians, they are predominantly women.

They are women who are there, probably working part-time or in low-income jobs, we are giving them a superannuation benefit because I want to boost their retirement income.

Mr Abbott wants to take that away.

Indeed, he would prejudice every Australian on superannuation because he would prevent our planned increase from 9 to 12 per cent.

On industrial relations, you have to say that the intentions of Tony Abbott as Prime Minister, were he Prime Minister are very, very murky indeed.

But if we judge from the past, WorkChoices hit working women hard.

So the list goes on and I will keep making clear our policies versus the Leader of the Opposition's policies.

I think people are entitled to that information when they go and vote.

HOST: Prime Minister, Arnold Schwarzenegger's catchphrase is ‘I'll be back', what prospect is there that you will be after September 14th?

PM: I'm very confident that when people vote on the 14th of September and they are facing such a clear choice between a government led by me with our very, very clear plan for the future.

The investments that we want to make for the nation's future including particularly this week the investments that we want to make for our children and their future and consequently the future of our economy.

I'm sure when people make a choice between those plans to invest in the future and the plans for cutbacks on the other side of politics that they will choose Labor.

Transcript 19403