PM Transcripts

Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 10791

5 August 1998 TRANSCRIPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER THE HON JOHN HOWARD MP DOORSTOP INTERVIEW - CAIRNS

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: 05/08/1998

Release Type: Interview

Transcript ID: 10791

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

JOURNALIST:

Prime Minister, do you think Bob Katter is trying to get himself

expelled from the National Party?

PRIME MINISTER:

I'll leave all of that to the National Party.

JOURNALIST:

[Inaudible]

PRIME MINISTER:

I shall leave it all to the National Party.

JOURNALIST:

Have you succumbed to One Nation given the decision on wool overnight

or yesterday?

PRIME MINISTER:

No.

JOURNALIST:

They say you have.

PRIME MINISTER:

They would say that wouldn't they.

JOURNALIST:

Are you concerned about the Chevron gas pipeline going ahead if

Comalco doesn't sign a deal with Chevron soon?

PRIME MINISTER:

Well we are working very closely with the Queensland Government

and we are working very closely with the company. I spoke to the

Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea about the pipeline when he was

here on Monday and we will certainly do everything we can and we're

quietly optimistic that the project is going to come to fruition.

But in the end, like all of these things, it is a commercial decision

and it depends very much on the assessment made by the company of

the commercial risks and the commercial return.

JOURNALIST:

Has there been any comment on the EIS yet, the Chevron's environmental

impact statement?

PRIME MINISTER:

Well I am sure there's been comment on it. Well, look, we

are being very cooperative and if this project doesn't go ahead

it won't be through any lack of interest or support from the

Federal Government. But, look, I am confident but it's not

really helpful with these things for Prime Ministers to be giving

running daily commentaries. I don't think that really helps

the process at all.

JOURNALIST:

So Prime Minister, is One Nation wrong to claim credit for your

decision on wool?

PRIME MINISTER:

Yes.

JOURNALIST:

Will you be looking at the upgrading of the Cape York development

road while you are up there?

PRIME MINISTER:

We will certainly be hearing quite a bit about it. Warren Entsch

has already told me a lot about it, he tells me a lot about it whenever

we visit here. They know that Mark Vaile, the Federal Transport

Minister, is coming to the area next week or the week after so no

doubt he will have very detailed discussions and hear a lot of views.

JOURNALIST:

Mr Prime Minister, the National Union of Students is very concerned

with the Liberal Government's proposal to introduce up-front

fees for undergraduate students. I wonder if you might comment on

that.

PRIME MINISTER:

Well the National Union of Students is completely wrong to claim

that the Government is going to introduce up-front fees. Completely,

utterly and comprehensively wrong.

JOURNALIST:

Will the Liberal Government introduce a GST on HECS fees?

PRIME MINISTER:

Well the Coalition Government will be announcing its plan for the

Australian Taxation System probably at the end of next week so I

invite you, along with all other Australians, to wait until then.

JOURNALIST:

Bill Skate has asked for an advance on.....

PRIME MINISTER:

Yes, yes he has, we are considering that.

JOURNALIST:

Okay, just one more question. Just regarding Employment National,

are you concerned about the regional employers, they are not terribly

impressed with [inaudible]?

PRIME MINISTER:

Well I think some of the reports have been quite unrepresentative

of the real situation. I spoke to the Minister about Job Network

a few days ago and the preliminary indications are that it is doing

quite well. Obviously with any new scheme there is a settling in

period but I think many of the press reports have been wildly inaccurate

and quite baseless.

Thank you.

[ENDS]

Transcript 10791