PM Transcripts

Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 21161

Doorstop Interview, Sydney

Photo of Howard, John

Howard, John

Period of Service: 11/03/1996 to 03/12/2007

More information about Howard, John on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 15/03/2004

Release Type: Interview

Transcript ID: 21161

PRIME MINISTER:

Well I'm just about to go to Adelaide but before I do I want to reject completely a claim of the New South Wales Premier that under the new Grants Commission arrangements the Federal Government has taken money from New South Wales. We haven't, all states get more money, the quarrel Mr Carr has is with the other states. If he wants more money then he should speak to the other State Premiers and get them to agree that New South Wales should get a larger share. The Commonwealth Government provides the cake and the Grants Commission decides how that cake can be divided according to principles that are meant to be fair to Australians no matter where they live. And I'm not going to wear this false claim by the New South Wales Government that the Federal Government has taken money from New South Wales. It has done no such thing, the independent Grants Commission has decided on different allocations between the States and if Bob Carr has a beef let him take it up with Peter Beattie and Geoff Gallop, not falsely blame the Commonwealth. It's wrong and it's dishonest.

JOURNALIST:

So the ads are misleading...

PRIME MINISTER:

Those ads are misleading and I believe that he's presenting a completely false picture. We have not taken any money from New South Wales, in fact New South Wales gets more money because the GST provides more revenue to all of the states. The argument is as to how the cake is divided and that's an argument Mr Carr has with the other states, not with the Commonwealth. Let him ring Peter Beattie and ask for different allocation. Let him ring Geoff Gallop and ask for a different allocation.

JOURNALIST:

What are you hoping the national phone hook-up will achieve?

PRIME MINISTER:

I think what it will do is to see whether there are any lessons to be learned from what has tragically occurred in Madrid. There is no direct link between what has occurred in Spain and Australia, no direct link at all but whenever a huge tragedy like this occurs it is essential that we look at our procedures to see whether there are lessons that can be learned.

JOURNALIST:

Will we have to intensify our responses ...

PRIME MINISTER:

Well it's always desirable to do that but I'd stress that there's no direct link, it doesn't automatically follow that because something tragic like this has happened in Europe it is going to happen in Australia, but I stress again that I cannot guarantee that there will be no terrorist attack in Australia. Every free western country and indeed many other societies are vulnerable to terrorist attacks and are potential targets.

JOURNALIST:

(inaudible).

PRIME MINISTER:

Well it doesn't automatically mean that we are more at risk but what it means is that governments within their capacity, and bear in mind trying to give an absolute guarantee of safety of a transport system is quite impossible and anybody who pretends that you can absolutely guarantee that, that is impossible. We have to go about our daily lives and the idea that you can guard every movement of every person on every railway station in every part of Australia is unrealistic, what you have to try and do is to provide a reasonable level of protection and to intelligence anticipation so that within your reasonable capacity you can do what you can to safeguard our people.

Thank you.

[ends]

Transcript 21161