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Transcript 17515

Transcript of interview on 4BC

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: 30/06/2010

Release Type: Government

Transcript ID: 17515

HOST: Well, Julia Gillard welcome to the show.

PM: Thank you very much. Now, I am old enough to remember the Mary Tyler Moore Show, where you got that song from. Love is all around, no need to fake it, all of that kind of stuff, but thank you for the re-write, that's very generous of you.

HOST: No problem at all.

HOST: We thought it fit you perfectly.

PM: Look, I'm going to have to make sure I've got a coffee and I'm playing it in the office. I'll be doing the paper work to it.

HOST: She used to throw a hat in the air at the end of it. It was lovely.

PM: She did, the beret off the head and swept up and into the air. I loved that show.

HOST: Now, congratulations on making history, the first female Prime Minister.

PM: Thank you very much.

HOST: But what a way to achieve it though. I wanted to be light and bright and have a chat to you today. This last couple of weeks, seeing Kevin Rudd do his final farewell, did you feel guilty at all with that?

PM: Look, it was incredible tough and obviously my heart did go out to Kevin at that point. I mean, nothing's been easy about this for Kevin Rudd and his family. I'm glad they're going to get some time together and be able to, you know, rest and recuperate and be with each other but, you know, I'm not in denial about the human dimensions of all of this. I mean, people see their politicians and they see them on TV and they see them shouting at each other in Parliament. Maybe it's easy to forget that there's flesh-and-blood people behind all of that and Kevin Rudd showed the human cost to the nation last week.

HOST: It was so quick and so, well, I do have a question, was it so quick? When did you, surely you must have known beforehand that there were movements about that they were going to depose him?

PM: Look, it did move very, very quickly and I think it's moved quickly in a circumstance where we can say that this has been a good Government and Kevin Rudd did some amazing things in this country, but in recent times we've had some problems. We've lost our way and we do need to focus now on, you know, making sure we're dealing with those problems - we're renewing our focus on strengthening the economy and getting people the great schools and great hospitals that they need. So, you know, yes it moved quickly and I've stepped up to do that job.

HOST: Well, I appreciate you making yourself available to us this morning, but when you say it moved quickly, I mean, you were in the meetings that, say, the mining tax was decided and went out and sold it. When did you realise that you were in trouble with that?

PM: I'm not going to canvass the sorts of things we say to each other around the Cabinet table-

HOST: Come on, Julia, come one, what happened in that room?

PM: No scoops, or indeed the, you know, private conversations I had with Kevin Rudd. I think from some of things I said publically, including when I travelled to Western Australia, people would have seen that I had a concern about the way the debate was going.

I thought we needed a more respectful debate. We needed people to show some goodwill towards each other and I'm really pleased that already, as Prime Minister, we've achieved that. We've taken our ads off TV screens, the miners have done the same, and we're having a good discussion, a good negotiation right now.

HOST: You know, I knew that Kevin was in trouble when I saw you hugging the, you know, the mining bosses at that dinner. I thought to myself, I was sitting at home went 'mm-hmm'.

PM: I can't help you with what you might think when you're watching the TV screen but I think I have hugged a few people in public life. I mean, I disturbingly had to hug Abbott one day on the TV so, you know, these things happen.

HOST: I know - I saw him wrap his ears around your forehead.

PM: Oh dear.

HOST: Prime Minister, I guess one of the big things we were scared of is spin. We don't like spin. How now can we be assured that what you say is your word and how now do we have the confidence to take you at what you say at face value?

PM: I think people would see in me a plain-speaking person. I think I've got that reputation from being Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Education and all the other portfolios that I've been serving in.

I don't think we should be naive about this. I mean, there are going to be some days you watch what I do and you say 'really, really good. Happy with that.' There will be some other days when you say, 'hmm, don't get why she did that', or 'I don't think that's the right thing', or 'I'm not happy with what she's said today.' That's the nature of politics and it's the nature of a big and complex job - you know, leading the nation, making sure that we're doing the right thing by hard-working Australians right around the country.

You're not going to please everybody all of the time, so I'll be as plain-speaking and frank as I can. Yep, there'll be some days you're a bit unhappy with me. I hope that there are more days that you're happy with me.

HOST: Yeah, well you were frank yesterday when you said that you didn't believe in God. What sort of things do you believe in? What do you want for Australia?

PM: Look, I think I've taken a value system with me from, you know, being in a strong and warm family and I've still got my mum and dad alive and we're a very close family and from that, and we were church goers. I certainly had the benefit of a Christian education.

From my earliest days I think I've taken into my adult life a few things. You know, I believe in hard work. I believe in having a red-hot go. I believe it's important for people to have the benefits of work. You know, my dad worked unbelievably hard and that's what built our family and our family life and my mum worked hard, too, so it really distresses me if Australians can't get jobs.

And I also believe the real difference between my life and my parents' life is education made me. I had a great education. I had all of the opportunities - you know, great schools, got to go to university, and one of the things I'd really like us to do as a nation is to make sure every child, wherever they're born, whatever their parents do, whatever the circumstances of their birth, that every child gets the same opportunity as I had for a great education.

HOST: Your parents are, they are a case, I saw them, I loved them when it was announced and the media pack went for them, I, you know, were you worried that they were going to say something that you'd regret?

PM: Well, I really, because of the nature of the morning and we were heading to the Labor Caucus meeting and the pressures that were on, obviously I sort of had it in my mind that there would be interest in mum and dad but I didn't quite think how intense the interest was going to be.

HOST: Well, your mum invited them in for a cup of tea.

PM: This was, by the time I spoke to my niece and then spoke to mum and dad they had apparently eight TV crews there. They'd let them all in. They were all in the little house that mum and dad live in in the retirement village, dad's making them tea and coffee and sandwiches, someone from one of the media outlets is answering the phone for him and so on so forth, but they coped really well and managed even to do, you know, live crosses and stuff like that. I think they were-

HOST: They learn quickly, don't they?

PM: They were a little bit confused sometimes about having the TV on and it being in delay and all of that kind of stuff, but they're very pleased and proud and I think that came across and I'm very proud of them.

HOST: Is this what you always wanted? Is this your end game? Is this what you strived for?

PM: I didn't set out to do this. You know, I think there are some kids who if you ask them in Grade 4 or 5, 'what do you want to do when you grow up?', they go 'Oh, I want to be Prime Minister.' I wasn't one of those kids and I came into politics wanting to make a contribution to a Labor Government, particularly in the areas of education because I've always been passionate about it, and workplace relations, making sure people get a fair go at work. I used to be a workplace relations lawyer and that's what drove me to get rid of Work Choices and introducing our Fair Work system. I didn't have my cap set on this, but circumstances have meant here I am and I'm really enthusiastic about doing the job and making a big difference.

HOST: Can I ask you, like, with Kevin, the ex-Prime Minister going, is he that bad that he doesn't deserve a ministerial position? I don't understand that you can lead the country and make policy and drive things forward and then all of a sudden not be worth it in the Labor frontbench.

PM: Oh, look if we're re-elected, and obviously I'm not taking anything for granted, I think we're going to have a tough, close-fought election, but if we're re-elected I will be absolutely delighted to have Kevin serve as a senior Cabinet minister in the Labor team. For the period between now and the election, I thought it best that, you know, Kevin have the opportunity to have a break and obviously, we move through dealing with some of the issues that I think Australians have been a bit anxious about.

HOST: Alright, well look, thank you very much for your time this morning. Just one more question: could you give us the date of the next election, please?

PM: Oh, look, not right now, but we've got some governing to do. We've got some governing to do and some things to get right and I'll be setting about that.

HOST: Well, Prime Minister, thank you very much for your time this morning.

PM: And thank you for the song.

HOST: Oh, that's alright. We'll talk to you again, Julia. Thank you.

PM: Thank you.

Transcript 17515