PM Transcripts

Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Abbott, Tony

Death of Brian Harradine

Photo of Abbott, Tony

Abbott, Tony

Period of Service: 18/09/2013 to 15/09/2015

More information about Abbott, Tony on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 14/04/2014

Release Type: Press Statement

Transcript ID: 31832

Former senator Brian Harradine has died after a long illness.

He served in the Australian Parliament in Canberra as an independent senator for Tasmania between 1975 and 2005. 

He was the longest serving independent senator in Australia’s history.  A long-standing ‘Father of the Senate,’ he made a strong and effective contribution to both the parliamentary chamber in which he served and to the state that elected him on six consecutive occasions.

Ever the staunch advocate for Tasmania, Brian Harradine always sought to get the best possible deal for his state.

His faith and his family played an integral part in his life.

Brian Harradine was proud of his family, proud of his state and proud of the Parliament that he served.

My thoughts are with his wife, Marian, and their children and grandchildren.

14 April 2014

Transcript - 31832

Remarks at 'Friends of Australia' BBQ Lunch, Tokyo

Photo of Abbott, Tony

Abbott, Tony

Period of Service: 18/09/2013 to 15/09/2015

More information about Abbott, Tony on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 06/04/2014

Release Type: Statement

Transcript ID: 31831

E&OE……………………….……………………………………………………………

Your Excellency, Ambassador Miller, my parliamentary colleagues, Minister Andrew Robb and Parliamentary Secretary Josh Frydenberg, it is a real thrill to be here in the season of the cherry blossoms in Tokyo for what I hope will be a very auspicious time in the relationship between Japan and Australia.

There’s still a bit of work to be done and if you see Andrew Robb put his drink down and scurry out, it’s because he needs to do some last-minute final negotiating. But nevertheless, I am very optimistic that we can quite soon conclude a historic free trade agreement, a historic economic partnership between Australia and Japan.

If we are able to get this historic partnership agreement, it will compliment and build on the famous Australia-Japan Treaty of 1957 which was negotiated by my distinguished predecessor Sir Robert Menzies and Sir John McEwen with Prime Minister Kishi who, of course, was the grandfather of Prime Minister Abe. This historic treaty has been responsible for so much strength and prosperity in both our two countries. The great coal and iron ore and gas industries of Australia have arisen because of secure and reliable markets here in Japan and I thank Japan for its contribution to the wellbeing of Australia over the last 50 or 60 years.

I am confident that the policies of the new Government in Canberra – which in some important respects, mirror those of the Abe Government here in Japan – will very much boost the Australian economy and make Australia an even better trading partner for Japan. We are scrapping the carbon tax, scrapping the mining tax, we are introducing a one stop shop for environmental approvals, we are restoring the rule of law on construction sites through the restoration of the Australian Building and Construction Commission and we are cutting red tape generally because we want to be for Japan and for everyone, an absolutely reliable, rock-solid trading partner.

Trade is important, but the friendship between Australia and Japan is built on so much more than trade.

I welcome the values, the democracy and the commitment to the rule of law which has been consistently demonstrated by Japan and its people over many decades now.

Japan has been an absolute model citizen for many decades now and I am determined to work as hard as I can on this trip to deepen and broaden what is already a very deep and broad friendship between our two countries.

Finally, I wish to ask Michael Newman to come forward and stand next to his father, Maurice, over there. My friends, father and son; father was almost vegetarian in his youth and son ate lots of Australian beef! So, this is why we need more Australian beef in Japan!

Thank you very much.

[ends]

Transcript- 31831

Remarks at Jandra Station, Bourke

Photo of Abbott, Tony

Abbott, Tony

Period of Service: 18/09/2013 to 15/09/2015

More information about Abbott, Tony on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 16/02/2014

Release Type:

Transcript ID: 31830

E&OE……………………….……………………………………………………………

 

Barnaby and Mark, Phil and Di, thanks very much indeed for having me here.

 

I have been racking my brain and I know I have been to Berowra a few times, I know I have been to Walgett but I don't believe I have ever been to Bourke.

 

So, it’s good to be here.

 

Yes, it is nice to hear the pitter-patter of rain on the roof. That is a great sound in country Australia, the sound of rain on a tin roof.

 

I am very conscious of the fact that this has been quite a serious drought. It has been going now for the best part of two years and Phil and Di have been bringing me up to speed with what things were like two years ago compared to what they are like now.

 

Barnaby has been in regular contact with me over the last four or five months about the developing drought situation and of course Mark has been in touch in more recent times, saying, "you really have to get out here to talk to people, to see for yourself what things are like" and here I am, a couple of weeks after we had that conversation, Mark.

 

Drought for farmers is, I guess, what flood or fire is for people in other parts of the economy. It is a natural disaster. Yes, if you're a good farmer, you factor a certain amount of drought into your ordinary business plan but occasionally, you get hit by a drought which is not just routine. It is something that happens once every 20 or 50 years, in the same way that sometimes you get a once in 20 or 50 year flood and it really knocks people around.

 

The important thing is that we have an intelligent response to the problem of drought which is fair and which is responsible. That is what the Government intends to put in place pretty swiftly.

 

There will be better income support. There will be better access to the sort of loan support that people need. There will be plenty of emphasis on the kind of social support that people need in difficult circumstances like this.

 

We want country Australia to be strong and a viable part of our economy. We know that country Australia is a very important part of our ethos but we don't want country Australia to be some kind of museum piece, we want it to be a dynamic part of an ongoing economy.

 

I am very conscious of the fact that while resources have carried us the way we were once carried on the back of the sheep in recent years, there are all sorts of opportunities in the markets to our north and they don't just revolve around coal and iron ore and gas.

 

As Asia becomes more middle class, there will be much more of a demand for sophisticated foods and Australia is extremely well placed to supply that need. If we're going to supply the need, we have to have a strong and dynamic agricultural economy and that means an economy which is able to ride out the drought.

 

What we can't do is prop up failing businesses but what we can do is try to ensure that good businesses that are hit by natural disaster get the sort of support that they need and that is what the Government will be making announcements about in coming days.

 

I want to again thank Barnaby, who has been an indefatigable advocate for country Australia since coming into the parliament.

 

I want to thank Mark, your hard working local member.

 

I want to thank all of my parliamentary colleagues in country Australia, Liberal and National, for the work that they have done.

 

Most of all, Phil and Di thanks for being such marvellous hosts. It is terrific to be here in a real working farm where you have got several generations of passion and commitment represented in you and your kids. The kids are off enjoying themselves I believe in typical country style today.

 

Thank you so much for having us and ladies and gentlemen, I look forward to talking to most of you in the next little while.

 

[ends] 

Transcript - 31830

Remarks to Graziers, Longreach

Photo of Abbott, Tony

Abbott, Tony

Period of Service: 18/09/2013 to 15/09/2015

More information about Abbott, Tony on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 16/02/2014

Release Type: Transcript

Transcript ID: 31829

E&OE……………………….……………………………………………………………

 

It’s great to be here. It’s even better, I guess, to be here when there is real hope of serious rain for the first time in many, many, many months.

 

It looked like the wet was basically failing in this part of Queensland but it seems that there might be a bit of a late burst. Let’s do everything we humanly can and let’s ask the good Lord for any good things that might come this way.

 

So, look, I am here because I thought it was important, Barnaby and Bruce thought it was important, that I should come and see and hear first-hand some if the drought experience of people in western Queensland and western New South Wales as we move to finalise our drought package. There are short term issues, there are long term issues. We can’t solve all problems for all time here and now but there are immediate pressing issues that need to be addressed quite quickly by Government and which I hope to be in a position with Barnaby to make some announcements on in days rather than weeks.

 

There are social issues, there are economic issues and again without pretending that we are going to fix all of them to everyone’s complete satisfaction, I think we will have significant things to say in both of those areas sooner rather than later. Even if the rain does come in the next day or so, even if it is a very substantial rain - drought doesn’t end just because the rains come. The impact of drought lasts for months, sometimes years. In the same way that the impact of fire and flood last for months, sometimes years, after the shock of these terrible events.

 

As far as I am concerned, while dry periods and dry times are a part of life in Australia – and certainly there are things that everyone on the land has had to grapple with since 1788 and the farmers pushing out across the Blue Mountains and opening up the golden west of our country. While we have always had to deal with droughts and flooding rains, there are some droughts that are of such severity that they are more akin to a natural disaster. While it is not the Government’s job to help people to run their businesses, it is Government’s job to help people to adjust to natural disaster. I think there is a clear distinction between the sorts of things that happened and can be expected in the course of successfully and intelligently running a business and coping with an extreme event. If there is no rain, or virtually no rain, for 18 months to two years that is certainly a very extreme event.

 

So, look, it is very good to be here. I am always buoyed and uplifted by the spirit of country Australians. Whenever you talk to country Australians you get the sense that these are people who are eager to do the right thing by their families, by their communities and by their country.

 

I am certain that in a hundred, two hundred, three hundred years’ time country Australia will be just as much at the forefront of our economy as it has been in times past.

 

We talk a lot of the opportunities of Asia. Well, eventually Asia won’t need iron ore or coal in the sorts of quantities that it has in recent times but it will certainly need food. The middle class people of Asia, and hopefully there will be billions of them more as time goes by, are certainly going to need a much better diet than they have had in times past.

 

We are very, very well placed here in Australia to supply that.

 

So, country people are at the heart of our economy as well as the heart of our culture and ethos as Australians. A sensible, intelligent Government wants to make sure that the rural economy is strong and buoyant and appropriate forms of drought relief a very much a part of that.

 

I want to congratulate Barnaby again. I am here today and I will be around tomorrow in western New South Wales again. Barnaby of course until recently lived in St George and he has been doing a lot of work on this issue not just over the last few weeks but over the last few months. I want to thank him for the work he has done.

 

I also want to thank your indefatigable local member for the work that he does, not just at keeping unruly members of Parliament in line, but in being a very strong voice of the people of this part of Queensland.

 

[ends] 

Transcript - 31829

Interview with Patrick Condren, Radio 4BC, Brisbane

Photo of Abbott, Tony

Abbott, Tony

Period of Service: 18/09/2013 to 15/09/2015

More information about Abbott, Tony on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 06/02/2014

Release Type:

Transcript ID: 31828

Subject(s): Bill Glasson; Griffith by-election; Sharman Stone; Paul Howes; Fair Work Commission; judicial inquiry into union slush funds; Schapelle Corby; Peter Greste; visit to Enoggera Barracks.

E&OE……………………….…………………………………………………………………

 

PATRICK CONDREN:

 

Prime Minister, good morning. Thank you for your time this morning.

 

PRIME MINISTER:

Patrick, thank you for having me and thank you for mentioning Bill Glasson who is a terrific human being and would be an absolutely outstanding member should he be elected on Saturday.

 

PATRICK CONDREN:

 

Leave the money on the fridge! What message will you take from a loss in Griffith, do you think?

 

PRIME MINISTER:

Well, I am not contemplating losing because if the people of Griffith want an outstanding human being of very high accomplishments and proven commitment to our community as a doctor, as an aid worker, as someone who goes out and spends a lot of time every year with the indigenous communities in western Queensland helping them with their vision problems. If you want someone like that who will be a very good listener and a fierce and committed, passionate advocate for the local area you ought to be voting for Bill Glasson.

 

PATRICK CONDREN:

 

Does Sharman Stone fulfil all those requirements as well? She has accused you a couple of days ago of telling lies about the SPC issue.

 

PRIME MINISTER:

Well, the point I made, Patrick, yesterday when asked about this was that local members should fight for their areas and when they are disappointed they will inevitably speak out strongly, but the other point I made was that – and this was a very general point, but it certainly has particular application – is that if you have got a business in trouble it is up to the business to run the restructure and in the case of SPC they have got a highly profitable parent company, Coca Cola, it is a $9 billion company. In the last six months they made a $215 million after-tax profit and why should the taxpayer go out and borrow $25 million to give it to a company which has made $215 million in just the last six months?

 

PATRICK CONDREN:

 

But should a fierce and committed backbencher, all the attributes you have given to Bill Glasson, should someone like Sharman Stone call the Prime Minister of the country a liar?

 

PRIME MINISTER:

 

Well, as I said, backbenchers are entitled to be upset when decisions don’t go their way. They are entitled to fight hard for their electorate; they are expected to fight hard for their electorate and I respect any backbencher who is out fighting for his or her electorate.

PATRICK CONDREN:

 

Will she be disciplined?

 

PRIME MINISTER:

 

Well, look you know we are a broad church. We are not a Stalinist political party. I don’t expect our people to just spout pollie waffle. That is the trouble with so many Labor candidates these days they are all identikit union lawyers or former union officials and you ask them a question and they just spout the party line. Well, I think it is about time to have some real human beings in the Parliament and Bill Glasson certainly qualifies on that count.

PATRICK CONDREN:

 

So, Sharman Stone won’t be disciplined in any way, shape or form?

 

PRIME MINISTER:

Well, as I said – and we are going to go round and round the mulberry bush on this, Patrick – as I said, you have got to extend a certain licence to a disappointed local member who is fighting in his or her best way for the electorate.

 

PATRICK CONDREN:

 

Ok, fair enough, we’ll leave the mulberry bush behind. Paul Howes yesterday indicated that he wants a grand compact between unions, government and business. Is that a good idea?

 

PRIME MINISTER:

Well, I certainly think that he has pulled the rug out from underneath Bill Shorten’s scare campaign. That was a very powerful assault on everything Bill Shorten has been doing for the last few months but my emphasis would be on workers and managers having a partnership in the workplace. I think that is very, very, very important. I think that the management and the workforce need to be fully engaged with each other because neither can succeed without the other. You can’t have a strong business without a committed and engaged workforce. The workers can’t have well-paid jobs without a profitable, innovative and competitive business. So, yes, I certainly think workers and managers need to be partners in the enterprise. Whether we need to have some kind of grand compact with big government, big business and big unions, I am not so sure about that. That was very 1980s, all of that.

 

PATRICK CONDREN:

 

So, there wouldn’t be any plans to discuss a new wages accord, then?

 

PRIME MINISTER:

Well, I think that wages should be as high as the business can afford and if the business is profitable and competitive and innovative obviously it can afford much higher wages. If it is not profitable and innovative and competitive, well, it is probably going to have trouble paying the wages it is paying. So, this is why we have always got to have the management and the workforce working together to work out better and smarter ways of doing things and that is what I will always be encouraging.

 

PATRICK CONDREN:

 

Steve Sargent, the chief executive of GE Australia and New Zealand, at a G20 business advisory meeting, says that, “disentangling complex labour laws that get in the way of hiring workers is important to creating jobs.” Is that something you agree with?

 

PRIME MINISTER:

Well, we took some proposals to the election and they are very important proposals to restore the Australian Building and Construction Commission so there is a strong cop on the beat in a very troubled industry – we’ve seen some very interesting allegations and serious allegations about corruption and organised crime and protection rackets and so on in that industry. So, that was a very strong proposal we took to the election.

We also want to see the Fair Work Commission looking more at productivity. This is very important, but in the end, it is important that the independent umpire be allowed to do its job and that’s what we’re proposing – that it do its job and do its job well.

 

PATRICK CONDREN:

 

Will you be announcing a royal commission into union corruption next week?

 

PRIME MINISTER:

 

What we said pre-election, Patrick, was that there would be a judicial inquiry into union slush funds. Now, we’ve had further revelations about more widespread corruption and we’re looking at all of that, but…

 

PATRICK CONDREN:

 

So is next week too soon to announce that?

 

PRIME MINISTER:

 

…the basic point I make is that this is a government which keeps its commitments and we committed to a judicial inquiry into union slush funds and that’s what you’ll see: you’ll see a judicial inquiry into union slush funds. Whether it should have a broader remit, well, that’s something that obviously we’re looking at and it’s interesting to see that even some senior union officials are saying – Paul Howes said yesterday that corrupt union officials were traitors. Well, on that score, Paul Howes and I are absolutely on a unity ticket.

 

PATRICK CONDREN:

 

That probably undermines his call for a grand compact. But anyway, listen can I ask you a couple of other quick questions? I know you’re very, very busy. Schapelle Corby possibly being released in Bali – should she benefit financially from her time in jail there?

 

PRIME MINISTER:

 

Well, that’s a good question and I guess the old principle is ‘crime should not pay’, but, look, I really don’t want to say anything at all, Patrick, on this because I wouldn’t want to prejudice the outcomes of any discussions which are going on about her tenure. Generally speaking, consular cases – and Schapelle Corby is a very high profile consular case – but generally speaking, the less public comment by politicians, the better.

 

PATRICK CONDREN:

 

And just in terms of another Australian who’s in jail overseas, Peter Greste in Egypt. Is that an issue that you can assist with?

 

PRIME MINISTER:

 

We can certainly lend our voice and the Foreign Minister has been making appropriate representations on his behalf. I strongly believe in a free press – that doesn’t mean I won’t from time to time have my own views about what the free press says – but if you believe in free speech, the media have a right to say their bit and others have got their right to say their bit. But, I strongly believe in free speech and a free media’s an important part of that and I think a free media is going to be an important part of bringing about positive changes in all parts of the world, including the Middle East.

 

PATRICK CONDREN:

 

And just finally, I know you’re a keen triathlete. Do you still find time to get in some training?

 

PRIME MINISTER:

 

Well, it’s funny you should ask that because Campbell Newman and I have just been off to the Enoggera Barracks where we did a bit of PT this morning with the 2nd/14th Light Horse, one of Australia’s oldest military units. So, if the Premier and I are looking a bit exhausted this morning it’s because we’ve been training with Australia’s finest!

 

PATRICK CONDREN:

 

At the frontline for Griffith no doubt! There’s a good segue for you.

 

PRIME MINISTER:

 

Thank you – that’s where I’ll be shortly!

 

PATRICK CONDREN:

 

Righto. Prime Minister Tony Abbott, thank you very much for your time this morning.

 

PRIME MINISTER:

 

Thanks so much, Patrick.

 

[ends]

Transcript - 31828

Interview with Steve Austin, 612 ABC Radio, Brisbane

Photo of Abbott, Tony

Abbott, Tony

Period of Service: 18/09/2013 to 15/09/2015

More information about Abbott, Tony on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 06/02/2014

Release Type: Interview

Transcript ID: 31827

Subject(s): Bill Glasson; Griffith by-election; drought assistance; Paul Howes; the Government's commitment to repeal the carbon tax

 

E&OE……………………….…………………………………………………………………

 

STEVE AUSTIN:

 

Good morning to you, Prime Minister.

 

PRIME MINISTER:

 

`Morning, Steve.

 

STEVE AUSTIN:

 

Your man Bill Glasson has been getting support of a number of high level Cabinet figures. People don’t usually like to align themselves with a loser. Does this indicate that your polling looks good for Saturday for Mr Glasson?

 

PRIME MINISTER:

What it indicates, Steve, is that Bill Glasson is an absolutely outstanding candidate. He’s a terrific human being, he’s lived in the area most of his life, he’s a community doctor, he’s done a lot of work with indigenous people out in western Queensland as well as a lot of work with AusAID in places like East Timor. I got to know him very well when I was the health minister and he was the president of the Australian Medical Association and we worked very well together – along with state health ministers, including Labor state health ministers – to solve the medical indemnity crisis which back in late 2003 was paralysing public hospitals right around Australia. [inaudible] and a great Australian and if you’re looking for an outstanding person to represent you in the Parliament you can’t go past Bill Glasson.

 

STEVE AUSTIN:

 

At a forum last night the independent candidate, Travis Windsor, said that when Mr Glasson was heading the AMA he damaged the health system and that you and he did not like each other. Let me just play this briefly.

 

TRAVIS WINDSOR:

 

Almost singlehandedly destroyed the health system when he controlled the all-powerful doctors’ union. Tony Abbott and him hated each other at the time, by the way.

 

STEVE AUSTIN:

 

Is it true? Did you have a tense relationship with Bill Glasson?

 

And I’d say that’s a major line dropout. We’ll see if we can get the Prime Minister back on the line.

 

[Break in audio]

 

Mobile phone problems as always.

 

PRIME MINISTER:

 

Well, Steve, I think the problem was what that particular individual was saying which was just loopy.

 

STEVE AUSTIN:

 

Did you have a tense relationship with Bill Glasson when he had the AMA and you were health minister?

 

PRIME MINISTER:

 

Absolutely not and the gentleman in question has no basis for saying it. It’s a completely wacky statement and it’s utterly untrue.

 

STEVE AUSTIN:

 

Bill Glasson is on record as saying he’ll argue in caucus should he be elected for the Liberal Party to stop taking political donations from tobacco companies. I think Australian Electoral Commission shows that you still are. Why are you taking money still from tobacco companies when you know that they’re a damage to your health?

 

PRIME MINISTER:

 

No, we’re not.

 

STEVE AUSTIN:

 

You’re definitely not?

 

PRIME MINISTER:

 

We’re not taking any donations. Yes, there were some donations in the last reporting period, but I declared some months ago, prior to the election, that we wouldn’t be taking any further donations from tobacco companies.

 

STEVE AUSTIN:

 

Thanks for clarifying that for me. At the forum last night in the inner city suburb of West End, Terri Butler – the ALP’s candidate for Griffith – said that you were planning to bring in the GP, or lift, I’m sorry, the Medicare co-payment or the GP co-payment after the by-election through the Commission of Audit process. Let me just play you briefly what she said:

 

TERRI BUTLER:

 

When Tony Abbott tries to give the impression that the GP tax is not under active consideration by pushing back the Commission of Audit so that you don’t know what other cuts are expecting until after the by-election to hide the fact that the Commission of Audit – a real, non-hypothetical Commission of Audit – is actively considering the GP tax idea.

 

STEVE AUSTIN:

 

Can I get you to answer that, Prime Minister? Are you actively considering it?

 

PRIME MINISTER:

 

No, we’re not – nothing has been proposed and nothing is being considered. Now, this is just part of Labor’s scare campaign. They have nothing positive to say. It’s all a big scare. It is, frankly, embarrassing that the only thing Labor can say for itself in this by-election campaign is to peddle a whole lot of complete furphies about the Coalition and the Government and even Labor people are getting sick of this as was revealed by Paul Howes’ speech at the National Press Club yesterday.

 

STEVE AUSTIN:

 

My guest is Prime Minister Tony Abbott. Prime Minister, can you give any comfort to Queensland farmers this morning? We heard from Barnaby Joyce on Monday that he was apparently going to go to Cabinet and seek a lot of money to assist farmers. Joe Hockey pretty well scotched that idea, I think. Is there anything you can do for farmers who in some places like Cloncurry here in Queensland that have not had any decent rains for two years and many don’t think they can hold out till the first of July when drought relief funding and debt restructuring packages change.

 

PRIME MINISTER:

 

Steve, this is a very serious issue and Barnaby is right to be very concerned about it and it is good that he’s been touring some of the drought affected areas to talk to local farmers. Yes, there is a new package of drought assistance coming and what we’re looking at is bringing that forward because the problem is now and it does need to be dealt with now. So, we are not just sitting on our hands waiting till the first of July. We know there’s an issue and we are looking at bringing that new system of relief forward.

 

STEVE AUSTIN:

 

Forward to what date? Can you tell me?

 

PRIME MINISTER:

 

Well, as soon as possible because the problem is now.

 

STEVE AUSTIN:

 

Yes, so you mean in the next week, in the next couple of weeks, next month?

 

PRIME MINISTER:

 

Well, that’s what I’m getting advice on because the new system will essentially involve giving drought-stricken farmers much greater access to income support and that’s what we’re looking at. Now, we’re looking at the logistics, the legal framework surrounding it. The new system was agreed by the Commonwealth and all of the states early last year, as I recollect. It was supposed to start on 1st of July. Well, let’s bring it forward.

 

STEVE AUSTIN:

 

My guest is Prime Minister, Tony Abbott. I think farmers will be glad to hear that. Let me ask you about the ALP. You mentioned Paul Howes, the AWU leader who appeared at the National Press Club luncheon yesterday. He, to sort of encapsulate his words, he seems to want an end to the sort of that fight or the bloodshed over workplace entitlements. Do you have an olive branch that you can, you know, reach out to him and say “look, we will talk to you about perhaps a new wages accord”, something that the Hawke/ Keating government was quite famous for? Does Tony Abbott see himself as someone who would like to do something similar as Prime Minister?

 

PRIME MINISTER:

 

Well, I’m certainly on a unity ticket with Paul Howes and against Bill Shorten when it comes to stamping out corruption in the workplace and we’ve seen very credible allegations from former union officials about organised crime, about protection rackets and so on in the construction industry. We’ve seen very serious and credible claims about slush funds in a whole host of unions; the Health Services Union and going back a bit, Paul Howes’ own union. So, I’m on an absolute unity ticket with Paul Howes on this and…

 

STEVE AUSTIN:

 

But I asked you about workplace entitlements, which is what he wants to end the fighting and the battle over workplace entitlements. Can you give him anything?

 

PRIME MINISTER:

 

And the point I’ve consistently made, Steve, is that I want our workers to be the best paid in the world, but if we’re going to be the best paid in the world we’ve got to be amongst the most productive in the world and again, this was another point that Paul Howes was making: we’ve got to boost productivity. Now, again, Paul Howes and Bill Shorten are absolutely at daggers drawn here, because as someone said over the weekend, Bill Shorten is running a protection racket for a protection racket.

 

STEVE AUSTIN:

 

I’ll move on. My guest is Australia’s Prime Minister. Before I let you go to your next event, Queensland’s largest power generator here, Stanwell, has mothballed its biggest gas-fired power station and will return to a coal facility built in the ‘80s. It’s warning the electricity market is too expensive because of policies like the carbon tax and solar rooftop subsidies. Does the closure of a huge operation like that prompt you to rethink Australia’s renewable energy targets? Do you think that those targets are distorting the market and pricing out some companies?

 

PRIME MINISTER:

 

Well, what we’ve got to do is get rid of the carbon tax pronto and again, if my opponent was more interested in helping people and less interested in playing politics, the Labor Party would get out of the way and let the carbon tax be repealed.

 

STEVE AUSTIN:

 

Would you rethink the renewable energy targets, though?

 

PRIME MINISTER:

 

Well, we’ve got a renewable energy target review coming up soon and what it will be looking at, amongst other things, is the impact of the RET on peoples’ power prices. Now, plainly there is an impact and we want to moderate and reduce that impact and that’s what the review will be looking at, but Australia, Steve, has an abundance of coal, we have an abundance of gas. We should be the affordable energy capital of the world, but instead, as this particular company has pointed out, we are becoming amongst the most expensive energy countries in the world and that’s wrong and it’s going to do everyone – our companies, our workers, our consumers, every household – is going to be worse off if we don’t get power prices down and that means get rid of the carbon tax and get rid of it now.

 

STEVE AUSTIN:

 

I’d have to say to that at the Griffith Candidates Forum last night in West End, there was significant concern about the continued use of coal and some said if we invest to much in it we’ll find ourselves way behind the rest of the world, lumped with an energy source that no one wants to buy and we’ll be stuck with it.

 

PRIME MINISTER:

 

Well, I’m not sure that you can say that no one wants to buy coal because Australia’s coal exports have absolutely soared. The world consumption of coal has gone through the roof over the last couple of decades and in large measure that’s because of the enormous increase in prosperity in places like China and India, which is fuelled by coal and coal-produced electricity. So, there’s got to be a place for coal, but we want it to be as efficiently burned as possible and we want it to not have its price inflated by things like the carbon tax.

 

STEVE AUSTIN:

 

Prime Minister, I’ll let you get back to your day in Brisbane. Thanks very much.

 

PRIME MINISTER:

 

Thank you so much, Steve.

 

[ends]

Transcript - 31827

Press Statement - Prime Minister's Courtyard, Parliament House

Photo of Abbott, Tony

Abbott, Tony

Period of Service: 18/09/2013 to 15/09/2015

More information about Abbott, Tony on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 15/09/2015

Release Type: Press Statement

Transcript ID: 31826

Location: Canberra

E&OE……………………….…………………………………………………………….

Thank you for being here.

This is not an easy day for many people in this building.

Leadership changes are never easy for our country.

My pledge today is to make this change as easy as I can.

There will be no wrecking, no undermining, and no sniping.

I have never leaked or backgrounded against anyone and I certainly won’t start now.

Our country deserves better than that.

I want our Government and our country to succeed. I always have and I always will.

I have consistently said – in Opposition and in Government – that being the Prime Minister is not an end in itself: it is about the people you serve.

The great privilege that I have had is to see the wonder of this country like few others and I want to thank the Australian people for giving me the honour to serve.

Yes, this is a tough day, but when you join the game you accept the rules.

I have held true to what I believed and I am proud of what we have achieved over the past two years.

300,000 more people are in jobs.

Labor’s bad taxes are gone.

We have signed Free Trade Agreements with our largest trading partners – with Japan, with Korea, and with China.

The biggest infrastructure programme in our country’s history is under way.

A spotlight is being shone into the dark and corrupt corners of the union movement and Labor’s party/union business model.

We have responded to the threats of terror and we have deployed to the other side of the world to bring our loved ones home.

The boats have stopped – and with the boats stopped, we’ve been better able to display our compassion to refugees.

And despite hysterical and unprincipled opposition, we've made $50 billion of repairs to the budget.

Of course, there's much that I had still wanted to do: constitutional recognition of Indigenous people – getting the kids to school, the adults to work and communities safe.

I was the first Prime Minister to spend a week a year in remote Indigenous Australia, and I hope I'm not the last.

Then there’s the challenge of ice and domestic violence, yet to be addressed.

Australia has a role to play in the struggles of the wider world: the cauldron of the Middle East, and security in the South China Sea and elsewhere.

I fear that none of this will be helped if the leadership instability that's plagued other countries continues to taint us.

But yes, I am proud of what the Abbott Government has achieved.

We stayed focused despite the white-anting.

Of course, the Government wasn't perfect.

We have been a Government of men and women, not a government of gods walking upon the earth.

Few of us, after all, entirely measure up to expectations.

The nature of politics has changed in the past decade.

We have more polls and more commentary than ever before – mostly sour, bitter, character assassination.

Poll-driven panic has produced a revolving door prime ministership which can’t be good for our country and a febrile media culture has developed that rewards treachery.

And if there’s one piece of advice I can give to the media, it’s this: refuse to print self-serving claims that the person making them won't put his or her name to; refuse to connive at dishonour by acting as the assassin's knife.

There are many to thank for the privilege of being Prime Minister.

First and foremost, I thank my family for allowing me to be the absentee spouse and parent that politics entails.

I thank Margie for her grace and dignity throughout my public life.

I thank my party for the privilege of leading it.

I thank the armed forces who are serving our country and defending our values, even as we speak.

I thank my staff who have been absolutely unceasing in their devotion to our party and our country, especially my Chief of Staff who has been unfairly maligned by people who should have known better.

Finally, I thank my country for the privilege of service.

It is humbling to lose, but that does not compare to the honour of being asked to lead.

In my Maiden Speech here in this Parliament, I quoted from the first Christian service ever preached here in Australia.

The Reverend Richard Johnson took as his text, “What shall I render unto the Lord for all his blessings to me?”

At this, my final statement as Prime Minister, I say: I have rendered all and I am proud of my service.

My love for this country is as strong as ever and may God bless this great Commonwealth.

Thank you.

[ends]

15 September 2015

Transcript 31826

Election night victory speech

Photo of Abbott, Tony

Abbott, Tony

Period of Service: 18/09/2013 to 15/09/2015

More information about Abbott, Tony on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 07/09/2013

Release Type: Speech

Transcript ID: 22978

Location: Sydney

My friends, thank you. Thank you so much.

I can inform you that the government of Australia has changed for just the seventh time.

You obviously enjoyed hearing it, so let me say it again, the government of Australia has changed. For just the seventh time in 60 years the government of Australia has changed.

The Coalition has won 13 seats clearly, with 10 seats still in play and I can inform you that the Australian Labor Party’s vote is at the lowest level in more than one hundred years.

So, tonight, for the last time in this campaign it is my honour to address you, the people of Australia.

Mr Rudd has conceded defeat.

He has been the prime minister of this country, not once, but twice, so I acknowledge his service to the people of our nation.

I now look forward to forming a government that is competent, that is trustworthy and which purposefully and steadfastly and methodically sets about delivering on our commitments to you, the Australian people.

Something very significant has happened today. Today, the people of Australia have declared that the right to govern this country does not belong to Mr Rudd, or to me, or to his party, or to ours, but it belongs to you, the people of Australia.

It is the people of Australia who determine the government and the prime ministership of this country and you will punish anyone who takes you for granted.

That is how it should be in a great democracy such as ours.

So, my friends, in a week or so the Governor-General will swear in a new government.

A government that says what it means, and means what it says.

A government of no surprises and no excuses.

A government that understands the limits of power as well as its potential.

And a government that accepts that it will be judged more by its deeds than by its mere words.

In three years’ time the carbon tax will be gone, the boats will be stopped, the budget will be on track for a believable surplus and the roads of the 21st century will finally be well underway.

From today I declare that Australia is under new management and that Australia is once more open for business.

Today, hundreds of thousands of people would have voted for the Liberal and National Parties for the first time in their lives.

I give you all this assurance – we will not let you down.

A good government is one that governs for all Australians, including those who haven’t voted for it.

A good government is one with a duty to help everyone to maximise his or her potential, indigenous people, people with disabilities, and our forgotten families, as well as those who Menzies described as ‘lifters, not leaners.’

We will not leave anyone behind.

I want to thank my strong and united Liberal and National Party Coalition team.

I thank Julie Bishop, Warren Truss, Joe Hockey.

I thank the Members of the Shadow Cabinet.

I thank my parliamentary team.

I thank all our candidates, those who have succeeded and those who haven’t, for the faith that you have placed in me.

I thank the Coalition Premiers, all of them, who have stood shoulder to shoulder with their federal colleagues throughout this campaign.

I thank the Liberal Party organisation, President Alan Stockdale and Federal Director Brian Loughnane – and, yes, it is right that you should show such enthusiasm for Brian Loughnane because he has run our most professional campaign ever.

I thank my personal staff led by Peta Credlin, who is the smartest and the fiercest political warrior I have ever worked with.

I thank my family who have given me so much and supported me throughout public life.

I thank the people of Warringah for returning me as their member of parliament for the eighth successive time.

Most of all, I thank you, the people of Australia, who have just given me the greatest honour and the heaviest responsibility that any member of parliament can have.

I am both proud and humbled as I shoulder the duties of government.

The time for campaigning has passed.

The time for governing has arrived.

I pledge myself to the service of our country.

I have many friends in this audience. I say thank you to each one.

We have been on a journey together – a long, long journey. May it continue and may it help to bring better times to this great country of which we are all so very, very proud.

Thank you so much.

[ends]

Transcript - 22978

Interview with Paul Murray, Radio 2UE

Photo of Abbott, Tony

Abbott, Tony

Period of Service: 18/09/2013 to 15/09/2015

More information about Abbott, Tony on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 09/09/2013

Release Type: Transcript

Transcript ID: 22979

Location: Sydney

PAUL MURRAY:

Here he is Tony Abbott, moments ago on 2UE.

TONY ABBOTT:

Thank you Paul, it is a tremendous honour to be elected by the Australian people and I will do my damndest to repay the faith they have shown in me.

PAUL MURRAY:

Now, what was the moment when it dawned on you that this has happened, that the government has changed, that you are the Prime Minister? Obviously there is that magical little number that goes over, but what is the moment for you?

TONY ABBOTT:

I suppose Paul, the critical moment is the time when the former prime minister or now the caretaker prime minister calls up and says I have looked at the results and I am conceding defeat. To his credit, Kevin Rudd was very gracious. He rang me and he spoke with warmth and that’s as it should be because whatever political differences I have had with Mr Rudd over the years, he has occupied the highest elected office in our land and it is important to respect the holder of the office and I think it is important to acknowledge that only substantial people become leaders of substantial nations.

PAUL MURRAY:

You spoke on Kitchen Cabinet last week about the funk that you went into post government. There must be that moment too where despite the joy that you are feeling, despite how combative the past couple of years have been, the other bloke has just lost his job, do you get that sense out of his voice?

TONY ABBOTT:

Look, you know people who get to be prime minister of our country tend to be pretty tough and resilient people and I thought that Mr Rudd was very dignified and very gracious as I said when he called me up and that is what you would expect. So, I think both of us were conscious of the fact that a baton was being exchanged and that is a weighty moment.

PAUL MURRAY:

Is there an image, a moment, obviously that major phone call, but is there an image of Saturday night that you can immediately recall that will be the one that sticks in your head for a while?

TONY ABBOTT:

I guess seeing my Mum and Dad and seeing how proud they were was obviously a terrific moment. I guess what I am most conscious of now Paul is the need to purposefully and methodically set about the business of the nation and set about implementing the particular commitments that we gave to the Australian people and that is to stop the boats, to get the Budget back under control, to repeal the carbon tax and to get cracking on the major infrastructure that our country needs.

PAUL MURRAY:

Now, of course there was, as you would have known because it was lead story straight away, was that another boat had turned up. It has got about 80 people on board. The expectations are, alright, stop the boats begins with the changing of the government. Does Operation Sovereign Borders kick in regarding that boat or the next boat or when does it begin?

TONY ABBOTT:

Well, it begins the day the new government is sworn in and that probably won’t be until early next week because there are some formalities that need to be completed, like a Coalition agreement being formalised, Party Rooms to assemble once it is pretty clear who has been elected and leadership teams to be confirmed and once that happens then the new ministry can be finalised and sworn in and that is when the appropriate instructions can be given to the right people. I think the people smugglers now know that things are going to be very, very different in this country and in the seas to our north and it wouldn’t surprise me if they attempt to test the new government’s resolve, but they will certainly find a determination more than equal to theirs.

PAUL MURRAY:

Is there a concern though that basically by saying ok it is not until there is an Immigration Minister, there is a sworn in Prime Minister that basically there is now a little window and they are going to try to test that resolve but they know they have got a week to do it in?

TONY ABBOTT:

I think they should be under no illusions as to exactly how determined the new government is and how professional our Navy is and it is going to be a very different situation that they confront and it won’t simply be on the seas to our north but it will be in terms of cooperation with Indonesia and other countries. There will be a very different situation here in Australia and I guess one of the things that will happen very swiftly is that people who come here illegally by boat, even those who might ultimately be found to be refugees, will not get permanent residency of our country and that’s the great prize which the people smugglers have been selling.

PAUL MURRAY:

Do you look forward to at least for the giggle factor, do you look forward to Clive Palmer with parliamentary privilege?

TONY ABBOTT:

Paul look, everyone who gets elected to represent 100,000 of his or her fellow Australians should be treated with a modicum of respect. I think once you’re in the Parliament it’s important then to earn the respect of your colleagues and let’s see how every Member of the Parliament does that. I probably shouldn’t speculate on individual Members until the vote’s been finalised and the poll has been declared.

PAUL MURRAY:

Ok, so what about this scenario where there is virtual inevitability of at least one Palmer United Senator. You’ve got this scenario as well where the count right now, and of course these numbers change, you’ve got Nick Xenophon, you’ve got a Motoring Enthusiast Party, over in WA, it’s going to be a Sports Party. Sooner rather than later, do you sit down and meet these people to work out what happens?

TONY ABBOTT:

Paul, my job is to be respectful and courteous towards every Member of Parliament and that includes independent and minor party MPs, but in the end I think they all need to respect the government of our nation has a mandate and the Parliament should work with the government of the day to implement its mandate. Now, I know it’s a two-way street and respect has got to be earned rather than merely demanded, but nevertheless, the people voted for change and change they will get and I’m determined to ensure that the Parliament delivers them the change they want.

PAUL MURRAY:

So, you’ve always promised that the first thing that you would do with the Parliament is to repeal the carbon tax. When will Parliament be back?

TONY ABBOTT:

It will be back towards the end of October early November. It’s important that the various pieces of legislation are ready to go before we get the Parliament back. My emphasis Paul will be on being purposeful, methodical, calm and conscientious and the last thing I want to do is to rush the Parliament back for a photo opportunity before the substance of the work is there for it to do. As soon as the substance of the work is there for it to do, it will come back and with calm expedition, we will get through the work, but I’m not going to rush the Parliament back until the legislation is absolutely ready.

PAUL MURRAY:

Now given what you just said about respect for the system and the people who’ll get elected – I understand these comments may be tempered – but you know that in New South Wales there was a ridiculously high result for a party, that to be honest, most people weren’t aware of in the Liberal Democrats because of their position on the ballot paper. Some people are quite annoyed about all of this. You also have a scenario where very, very minor votes end up in parliamentary representation because of preference deals. Will you consider any sort of reform to the way that we elect our Senate?

TONY ABBOTT:

What normally happens after every election Paul is that the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters reports on how the election has gone and what lessons we can learn and how things can be improved. It would be wise to wait to see what that committee comes up with, but obviously there were a lot of people who confronted with that very, very long Senate ballot paper – I think it was almost a metre long– would have looked along the top row, seen Liberal, thought they were voting for the Liberal National Coalition, put one in that box and then only worked out later maybe that in fact they had been voting for the Liberal Democrats who are a totally different party. So, I think this is an issue and I think it will have to be addressed, but it should be addressed once we’ve had that Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters report.

PAUL MURRAY:

Alright, I know you’re busy, the clock’s about to run out so one last question. The family for obvious reasons have got connections to Sydney. The home of Government is Canberra, where will you be living?

TONY ABBOTT:

Again Paul, I’m not going to rush out of Forestville to be honest because Forestville is where we’ve lived very happily for the last 20 years, but I accept that in the end you do have to, for security reasons as much as anywhere else, live in one of the official residences. My understanding is that The Lodge is under renovation and I’ll be taking the advice of the officials before I make a final decision. It could well be some time before The Lodge is ready for occupation. So, as I said, I’ll talk to the officials, get their advice and then we’ll make a decision – but I’m in no rush to move out of Forestville and I don’t think the family is either.

PAUL MURRAY:

You’re not going to be the first Prime Minister with a nail gun in The Lodge?

TONY ABBOTT:

They might want to take the tools off me. [Inaudible] busy with the paper.

PAUL MURRAY:

Yeah exactly. Look all the best to you, again thank you for being so available to us during the campaign and again, we look forward to that in government as well. Congratulations Tony.

TONY ABBOTT:

Thank you so much Paul

[ends]

Transcript - 22979

Interview with Eddie McGuire, Mick Molloy and Luke Darcy, Triple M

Photo of Abbott, Tony

Abbott, Tony

Period of Service: 18/09/2013 to 15/09/2015

More information about Abbott, Tony on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 09/09/2013

Release Type: Transcript

Transcript ID: 22980

Location: Melbourne

EDDIE MCGUIRE:

The man who is in charge of Australia, open for business, is the Prime Minister of Australia and we welcome to Triple M’s Hot Breakfast Prime Minister-elect Tony Abbott. Welcome, Tony.

TONY ABBOTT:

Eddie, it is lovely to be with you and thank you for talking to me in times past and I hope you will continue to talk to me in times future.

EDDIE MCGUIRE:

We will indeed. Now Tony, congratulations. Can you give us just a little personal insight? There was a wonderful moment where you hugged your mother and your father and the publicity of obviously seeing your daughters and wife on stage, but to look down and see your dear old dad there, he gave you just the look of a proud father, wasn’t carrying on or anything there, it must have just been a wonderful moment for you and your family.

TONY ABBOTT:

Well, Eddie, look, in the end these things aren’t about me or my family, they’re about the country, but you are absolutely right, we are all human beings and there is no prouder moment in the life of a parent than the success of a child and my parents have been terrific to me for 55 years now and it’s nice to be able to make them feel good about what they have done and I hope that was one of those moments.

EDDIE MCGUIRE:

Good on you Tony, it was, it was a wonderful humanising moment in the cut and thrust of politics to see a proud dad looking at his son. I actually just, I was quite moved by it when it actually happened.

TONY ABBOTT:

And Eddie look, you know, the greatest thing we ever do is have kids, if we are lucky enough to have kids, they hopefully outlive us, they carry on our memory, they carry on our works and our values and look, it’s good to celebrate every parent and I certainly honour mine.

LUKE DARCY:

Tony, congratulations to you, you campaigned incredibly hard and have got an amazing result. It looks as though you are going to have to deal with some interesting characters in the Senate. Have you picked up the phone and rung Clive Palmer or any of the other candidates that look like they are going to be elected as independents?

TONY ABBOTT:

Yeah, it is a bit premature for that. Let’s wait and see exactly who gets in and who doesn’t and obviously, as a prime minister you have got to treat every member of parliament with courtesy and respect and that is how I intend to operate, but I do also expect the Parliament to respect the mandate that the government has got and at the heart of the mandate is repealing the carbon tax, stopping the boats, getting the roads of the 21st century well and truly underway and getting the Budget back under control and I do expect the Parliament to respect that mandate and to work with the government towards achieving it.

EDDIE MCGUIRE:

And Tony, for all the hoo-ha about Queensland and New South Wales, don’t forget it was Victoria that came to the aid of the government and I see Dr Denis Napthine, the Victorian Premier, has said, hey, not only are we going to get the East West tunnel but there’s a chance they might push you to stump up $9 billion for the rail tunnel as well. So, don’t forget Victoria, Tony!

TONY ABBOTT:

Well Eddie, I certainly won’t forget Victoria and I’m very conscious of the fact that Victoria was very good to me and my candidates on the weekend but the priority is the East West Link. That’s the priority and the point I make about urban rail, about commuter rail, is that the rail systems are owned and operated by the state governments and given all of that I think it would be unusual, very unusual, of the federal government to get too involved, particularly with the fiscal situation that we’ve got. So, obviously I’ll give Denis Napthine a very respectful hearing and we will deal like grown up adults with each other but I do think he understands that this Commonwealth Government’s absolute priority is getting the major roads that our country needs underway and completed as quickly as possible.

MICK MOLLOY:

Who was that idiot on stage with you? Who crashed the stage? It was like a political Helen D’Amico. What happened? How long did you know he was there?

TONY ABBOTT:

In the words of my kids, ‘some random, Dad’.

MICK MOLLOY:

Some random!

EDDIE MCGUIRE:

He was random alright!

MICK MOLLOY:

Probably holds a seat in the Senate.

TONY ABBOTT:

Initially I thought to myself ‘is this guy the MC?’  I didn’t think there was one! But then of course he was swiftly bundled off but he was obviously, I suspect, he was just enjoying himself too much.

MICK MOLLOY:

Fair enough.

EDDIE MCGUIRE:

Well Tony, thank you very much for joining us, right throughout the campaign. We really appreciate it and thank you for the offer to join us on the show going forward and we look forward to you running the country, Tony. You’ve been, as you said, you’ve got a very strong mandate from the electors, some 30 seats which was the tip that we had here on Triple M’s Hot Breakfast for a while there so we got that one right and we wish you all the best in being the Prime Minister of Australia.

MICK MOLLOY:

Congratulations.

TONY ABBOTT:

Thanks so much. Thanks team.

[ends]

Transcript - 22980

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