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Transcript 16350

Acting Prime Minister Julia Gillard Interview on ABC AM Radio

Photo of Rudd, Kevin

Rudd, Kevin

Period of Service: 03/12/2007 to 24/06/2010

More information about Rudd, Kevin on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 16/01/2009

Release Type: Interview

Transcript ID: 16350

HAYDEN COOPER: Well, Julia Gillard, this week alone, hundreds of jobs have been cut across the mining sector. Are these the unmistakeable symptoms of a recession?

JULIA GILLARD: This is the global financial crisis hitting our economy. We obviously said last year when the global financial crisis first emerged and shook the world; that our economy wasn't going to be immune, that it would be touched and we would see rising unemployment as a result.

Obviously every job lost is a real difficulty, a dreadful time for the Australian involved and that's why we've been investing in protecting jobs, in bolstering jobs, and in keeping our economy moving. That's what out $10.4 billion Economy Security Statement was all about as well as our new investments in infrastructure, in local government so that there can be expenditure on local jobs and of course, our car industry plan. In the last three months that totals $36 billion of expenditure which is targeted and focussed on jobs and protecting jobs.

HAYDEN COOPER: Has it really worked though, given that 44,000 full time jobs were lost in December?

JULIA GILLARD: We've always said the global financial crisis was going to touch our economy, we're not immune. But what we can do is we can act decisively to keep our economy moving. The Government has done that and of course, we stand ready to continue to act should international conditions deteriorate further.

But if we look around our globe, our unemployment rate has gone to 4.5 per cent. In the US they have an employment rate of 7.2; in the UK, six per cent. These are all the signs of the global financial crisis impacting on the real economies of the world and on jobs, and of course, our economy is not immune from that.

HAYDEN COOPER: Do you believe it's reasonable at the moment for businesses to be shifting to part-time workers and to be cutting back their hours?

JULIA GILLARD: Businesses are going to make decisions based on their individual circumstances. But one thing I think is at work in the labour market today as businesses think about what they are going to do in these difficult times, is many businesses have fought hard to get the skilled staff that they need. And I think that is going to be a big factor on the minds of business people as they make decisions in these difficult days after the global financial crisis as we feel its effects.

HAYDEN COOPER: Can you guarantee that your emissions trading scheme and that the new workplace laws won't put more people out of jobs?

JULIA GILLARD: What I can certainly say, is in designing the Fair Work Bill, in designing the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme, what was in the forefront of our minds was getting balanced schemes that were going to work for Australia and making sure that those schemes met our economic needs including our need to keep creating jobs.

If I can specifically say about the Fair Work Bill, we believe we've got the balance right and that the Bill is good for employees, good for employers and good for the economy and future productivity and prosperity.

HAYDEN COOPER: The unions though, are pushing for a return to pattern bargaining and business in fact says the Fair Work Bill makes that possible. Was that your intention all along?

JULIA GILLARD: The Fair Work Bill clearly outlaws pattern bargaining. Clearly, directly, section by can pick it up and read it. Pattern bargaining is outlawed and that's how the Fair Work Bill will stay.


Transcript 16350