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Transcript 17993

Transcript of interview with Sabra Lane, ABC AM

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: 12/07/2011

Release Type: Interview

Transcript ID: 17993

HOST: Prime Minister, good morning. Is the problem for you that voters aren't listening to the details of your compensation in this package; they're still stuck on your broken promise?

PM: I'll keep explaining the details and what this is all about. It's about cutting carbon pollution. Most Australians believe that climate change is real, it's caused by human activity, it's caused by carbon pollution and we can cut the amount of carbon pollution we generate.What I want to do is reduce carbon pollution by 160 million tonnes in 2020. That's the equivalent of getting 45 million cars off the road. And I want us to have an emissions trading scheme, and we will get there, that puts a cap on the amount of carbon pollution our economy generates. So it's-HOST:-But you could explain all these points-PM: -about the future and I'll keep explaining it.HOST: You could explain these points until you're blue in the face but people just don't seem to listen or want to listen to what you've got to say; don't you have a political problem here?PM: Well Sabra, long after today's opinion polls are forgotten we will be a nation that is cutting carbon pollution and tackling climate change. Climate change threatens our country. We live in a hot, dry place, the scientists tell us that climate change is going to mean more days of extreme heat, more extreme weather events - bushfires and droughts. It's going to threaten great icons like the Great Barrier Reef and agricultural production in the Murray Darling Basin.We've got to do the right thing by the future of our country and cut carbon pollution which is driving climate change. That's what I'm determined to do.HOST: You mentioned the polls, Newspoll figures today show that you and Labor are deeply unpopular - your primary vote is at 27 per cent. Your colleagues say if there's no lift in that in the next couple of weeks it will show that voters are not listening, and if that continues for months that your Government's as good as gone.PM: Well, this is about the future of the country and making the right choices for that future. Reform isn't easy Sabra, it can be tough, tough to deliver, tough to explain. But if you are going to do the right thing for the country's future you've got to stump up to the big choices and I've made a big choice for this country's future.I don't want to see us endlessly increasing carbon pollution in our atmosphere. Just saying that climate change is in the too hard basket and we're prepared to see global temperatures run out of control. I've made the choice that we can act and should act, and we will act by putting a price on carbon that big polluters pay from the 1 July next year.HOST: In your compensation package for families, most of it seems to be skewed towards those with a mortgage, with kids out in the suburbs who have the means to change their behaviour. What about renters, they can't go and change light-bulbs, they can't go and install solar panels?PM: Well we will be working with low income communities through a low carbon communities initiative, which is part of the package. It will be a way of bringing to people who may be renting in lower income households the tools that they need to reduce the amount of carbon pollution they generate in their lives.HOST: But not all renters are low income workers either.PM: Well, Sabra let's be very clear about this package though, the price is going to be paid by around 500 big polluters. They will innovate and change and cut their carbon pollution, we will drive investment in renewable, clean energy like solar and wind.Yes, there will be some flow-through price impacts for households. They will be modest, at less than one per cent of the cost of living of the Consumer Price Index, and we are providing nine out of ten households with some form of assistance and almost six million households will come off at least square and over four million will come out better off. That is-HOST: -Some families will say though that $500 isn't a modest impact at all. You paid a visit to a family in Western Sydney yesterday who were quite supportive of your package, why not visit a family who isn't and convince them of your argument?PM: I went to Western Sydney yesterday, I met with a family in their own home, very generous to me to give me a cup of tea and have a chat. And then I went from there to the local shopping centre and walked through and talked to literally hundreds of people with different views about different issues, including different views about pricing carbon - part of explaining to the Australian people what we're seeking to achieve here.And on the question of the costs of this, of course the price impact is less than one per cent and households, nine out of ten of them, will receive assistance. But the focus of all of this is on the future of our country. What are we leaving to this generation of Australia's children and the generation that lies beyond them? I want to leave them a nation generating less pollution than we will if we don't do anything.HOST: What about coal mines? Will you be visiting them as well as Tony Abbott? Some of the loudest criticism of your package has come from the coal industry; it still maintains that 5,000 jobs will be lost. Do you believe them?PM: I'll be talking to people in different occupations in different places around the country. But I'm really glad that you've raised the future of coal because today's newspapers record, the front page of the Australian particularly, that we are seeing the biggest takeover bid in Australia's history for a coal company. Now you couldn't get a better indication that business people see a good future in coal mining in this country. I see a good future in coal mining in this country...HOST: So do you think they've been crying wolf?PM: We will be working with the coal mining industry. We've got $1.3 billion in the package to work with gassy mines and we will continue to see employment in coal mining grow.HOST: So, Prime Minister do you think that they've been crying wolf? Do you think that they've been truthful in their arguments?PM: I think it does pay, when you're looking at businesses, to track where the money's going. And where's the money going today? Well it's going into buying an Australian mining business. People would only do that if they thought it had a great future.HOST: Regarding uncertainty, I spoke with a small business woman last night, she lives in Wollongong and was hoping to expand her business to employ five to six more people, but she won't now because of the uncertainty and questions over costs to her business. As they rely on aluminium products, isn't this kind of thing happening right across the country?PM: There's more certainty now than there was before Sunday. The package is there for everyone to see. People can look at it, think about what they will do as we price carbon from 1July next year. So, if you like, for our big polluters the starter's gun has already gone off. They know from 1 July next year they'll be paying $23 per tonne of carbon pollution they generate. That means they will be thinking and acting now on how they can reduce that carbon pollution.For someone in a small business who of course isn't caught up in the pricing of carbon, someone in a small business is not paying the price per tonne, but they will see some impacts, for example on the electricity they use. They can start figuring now what that means for their business, perhaps how they can move to dealing with electricity differently so that they're cutting the amount of electricity they use.HOST: Last year you said you'd only put a price in place if there was a deep and lasting consensus on climate action. 30 per cent support is not a deep and lasting consensus is it?PM: Well change is difficult. Reform is difficult. I talked to the Australian people about walking the reform road and I do that because this nation is a better place today because hard reforms were faced up to yesterday.We've got the same obligation for our nation's future, we've got to face up to the hard decisions today, like putting a price on carbon pollution and tackling climate change, driving investment in renewables.So Sabra, I'll continue to be out there explaining it, but we've debated pricing carbon for more than a decade now. The time has come to get this done and we will get it done from 1 July next year.HOST: Prime Minister, returning to the polls, the numbers are dire for the party and you personally. Would there come a time when you'd countenance for your party's sake, stepping aside for someone else?PM: Sabra, I will be leading this country to a clean energy future. That's what I'm determined to do.HOST: Would there ever come a time that you would that? Last year, when you took on the Prime Ministership you said you were putting your party first; would you do that again and step aside?PM: I'm putting my nation first and that's why I'm leading us to the clean energy future that this country needs.HOST: Prime Minister thanks for your time.

PM: Thank you.

Transcript 17993