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Transcript 41086

Radio Interview with Peter Rowe, 1116 6MM Perth

Photo of Turnbull, Malcolm

Turnbull, Malcolm

Period of Service: 15/09/2015 to 24/08/2018

More information about Turnbull, Malcolm on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 31/07/2017

Release Type: Transcript

Transcript ID: 41086

Subject(s): Schools; Transport; Andrew Hastie; GST; Four year terms; Small business; Terrorism

PRIME MINISTER:

Peter - I’m in great shape and looking forward to getting down to Mandurah and catching up with Andrew Hastie. We’ve got a community meeting, an afternoon tea with principals and students from local schools in the electorate of Canning, so that is going to be a very good opportunity to meet and listen to the young people who we are working so hard to deliver better opportunities for in the future and more security and enabling them to realise their dreams. That is what it is all about.

PETER ROWE:

You visited a Perth School this morning Prime Minister and made a substantial announcement there.

PRIME MINISTER:

That’s right. We were out at Swan View Senior High School with Ken Hasluck, sorry Ken Wyatt, and we were out there and it was a good opportunity for me and Simon Birmingham and Ken to talk about the additional, the really substantial additional funding that Western Australia is going to get from our schools reforms because frankly under the Labor Government Western Australia had gotten a very poor deal. So you’ll see a school like Swan View Senior High would be getting its per student funding from the Federal Government, will be doubling over the next ten years and of course we’ve also noted the substantial increase in additional funding for Indigenous students which there are a number of course at Swan View and you can imagine what a phenomenal role model Ken Wyatt is. He’s the first Aboriginal person to be elected to the House of Representatives. He’s now been joined by Linda Burney, the first Aboriginal woman on the Labor side. Ken is the first Aboriginal Australian to be appointed a Minister in a Federal Government, so he’s a phenomenal role model for the whole community but you can imagine what an inspiration he is to those young Indigenous kids we met today.

PETER ROWE:

Prime Minister I was wondering if Andrew Hastie put you up to catching the train down so you can have a look at where he would like to have a station at Lakelands.

(Laughter)

PRIME MINISTER:

Yes well the train doesn’t go that far yet but I know he is very keen on it. I’m a very enthusiastic catcher of trains. I’ve caught the train down to Mandurah a number of times. It’s a great service I might say. I know he’s keen to go for two more stations, isn’t he, to Lakelands and then onto Byford –  I know he’s been making a strong case for that. You know, there is an opportunity for us to partner with the state government in more rail infrastructure. We’ve got a $10 billion rail fund that we’ve committed to which will be obviously allocated competitively so I’m looking forward to taking Andrew’s great ideas and advocacy and discussing them with Mark McGowan as to how we can work together to do more with rail. We’ve already got about $800 million of federal money going into MetroNet-

PETER ROWE:

Yes

PRIME MINISTER:

Into the existing system at the moment.

PETER ROWE:

Prime Minister no doubt you’ll be chewing the fat with Premier Mark McGowan over the GST and figures today of course on the back of the Census that we did recently suggesting that our population for the future is going to drop off and the possibility of losing another $2 billion in GST.

PRIME MINISTER:

Yeah, look, Peter I saw that report. I haven’t had the opportunity to go through it obviously with the state government let alone with my own Treasurer, Scott Morrison.

So I recognise and I’m frankly the first Prime Minister to publicly acknowledge that Western Australia gets a very raw deal out of the GST. I am setting out to address that. It’s obviously a very challenging political issue because of course other states don’t want to lose any money themselves.

So we’ve got the Productivity Commission working on it, examining the way in which the formula works and I’ve also canvassed the plan I set out, the proposal that when the share of GST for WA readjusts back up to 70 per cent or more which it is forecast to do in 2019, that would be a good opportunity to set a floor because, below which shares would not drop, because at that point nobody would actually lose any money.

But look it is a challenging one and one of the points I’m going to make to Mark again as I’ve made to him before is that he’s got to put, bring some influence to bear on the Labor Party. You know, we’ve had, I’ve had nothing but criticism from the Labor Party when I’ve made the case for Western Australia and Mark really needs to deliver, as the most recent Labor Party success electorally, he’s really got to deliver and some of his support from within his own party because it is a challenge, as you can imagine, it’s a challenging political one dealing with all the different competing interests.

PETER ROWE:

Well certainly from your perspective you’re fully aware as a Prime Minister for the Liberal Government- a Liberal Coalition coming into a government that has had a fairly substantial financial debt and that is the card that he is playing of course, at the moment, is that he has done the same thing. How much credence do you put on that being true?

PRIME MINISTER:

Which being true, Peter?

PETER ROWE:

Well the fact that McGowan is blaming the Barnett Government for being in such debt, and he wasn’t aware of how much debt there was when he took over.

PRIME MINISTER:

Well, look, I don’t know. I haven’t been through the books. I mean every incoming government makes criticisms of that kind. You know Colin Barnett was a great Premier of Western Australia, obviously he was Premier for a long time and you know particularly nowadays after a period it gets harder and harder for governments to get re-elected. But you know Western Australians have every reason to be very proud of the achievements of their state under Colin’s leadership. You know he led the state through some very tough times, and managed both the height of the commodity boom and through the global financial crisis transitioned very well. But you know the election result is what it is, the people are never wrong and I’m now going to work hard with Mark McGowan to ensure that rather than playing a blame game we can cooperate to deliver the best for Western Australians.

PETER ROWE:

A lot of people in the Canning area are concerned of course, about the latest Galaxy poll, and none more than I guess the member for Canning, Andrew Hastie who – look he has done a lot of work down here Prime Minister as you are aware.

PRIME MINISTER:

He is a fantastic local member and a great Australian.

PETER ROWE:

Yeah look we have him on the show regularly and he certainly has implemented a lot of change and been responsible for a lot of other change as well, but he could be sitting on a knife edge according to this latest galaxy poll.

PRIME MINISTER:

Well you know all of us have to remember that we’ve got a three year contract with our electorates and it's up for renewal and we’ve got to re-win the confidence of our voters and Andrew doesn’t take the support of the people for Canning for granted at all. You know he like me is determined to deliver for the people of his electorate and the people of Australia and Western Australia, so that we can earn their trust once again at the next election which is to be fair about two years away so, you know I’m not saying that people should ignore polls but the next election will be in the middle of 2019.

PETER ROWE:

Just quickly what do you think about the suggestion by Bill Shorten to extend it to a four year period for the government?

PRIME MINISTER:

Well it’s an idea that’s been around for a long time, it has been rejected before - you know that. It is a long way from being a priority. The arguments in favour of it are fairly obvious but also the arguments against. I mean we had a terrible Labor Government in the last term of the Labor Government of New South Wales. I can tell you those four years felt like forty years. So I think in these times it’s obviously a discussion to be had, but I think frankly it’s a distraction from the major issues that we are facing today, particularly here in Western Australia.

Are Western Australians interested in giving politicians another year in parliament or are they more focused on the infrastructure, the investment, the opportunities for employment - the jobs?

You know the real extraordinary thing about Bill Shorten is that he seems to be declaring war on small business. He wants to raise their company tax, he’s now after trusts. He’s got not one policy which would provide any incentive to any business - large or small for that matter - to invest a dollar or employ anybody. Now everything we’re doing, and he criticizes us all the time, the handouts for business, he hates business but where are the jobs going to come from Peter? Who is actually going to provide the opportunities for the young men and women I was seeing today at Swan View and the ones I’ll be meeting with Andrew Hastie, who is going to provide the opportunities for them other than enterprise and businesses? And that’s who we’re supporting. They’re the ones Bill Shorten wants to keep on slugging.

PETER ROWE:

How much of your trip down to Mandurah is about shoring up the liberal voters who have perhaps lost a little faith?

PRIME MINISTER:

Well the visit is all about doing what I do all the time, which is meeting Australians and looking forward to meeting many of Andrew’s constituents. I have had the pleasure of doing that on several occasions in the past, not so long ago I met with health professionals talking about some of the challenges that are being faced there. I mean I am very focused on ensuring that we connect and listen because while politicians talk a lot we learn most from when we listen. I’ve just been having a good chat to people on the train actually,  which has been very interesting too.

PETER ROWE:

Let’s finish up with what is probably - almost done it in reverse order - but we are talking from a local perspective you coming down to Mandurah, it is a big thing from a national perspective. Prime Minister, terrorism continues to be your biggest headache, I can well imagine, what’s the latest intelligence we’ve learnt about the – well that tragedy which had been one of the worst of its kind being foiled involving the bringing down of a domestic flight?

PRIME MINISTER:

Yeah well I can’t add anymore to the operational detail that’s been discussed before. As you can imagine the police are completing their investigation with the view obviously to laying charges. So I can’t provide any more information that we haven’t already. But the fact is as you know, a joint counterterrorism team – ASIO, the Australian Federal Police and in this case New South Wales Police - were successful in disrupting a major terrorist plot to bring down an aeroplane. There are four men that have been arrested and obviously investigations are continuing. But it is a reminder that we can never set and forget, never be complacent, we have to be relentless in ensuring that our fine intelligence and security services are working together, cooperating with agents in other countries as well, and of course with the Australian Defence Force – of which Andrew is such a distinguished member – and it’s one of the reasons I’m establishing a department of Home Affairs so that we will have ASIO, the Australian Federal Police and Border Force all in the one department. Because the one thing Peter that every, that we're reminded all the time, we’re living in a completely connected world, nowhere is far away from anywhere else. Events are happening rapidly, communications are happening instantly, and so you have to be connected and working together, you can’t afford to have anything fall through the cracks.

Now we’ve got a great intelligence, security, police, defence forces and everyday I am working hard to enable them to do their job even better. So as I say there is no room for set and forget or complacency, so we’ve disrupted 13 terrorist plots since 2014, I want to make sure that we keep doing that.

PETER ROWE:

Yeah we do put a lot of trust and faith in them and they’re a good team of people and doing a wonderful job of making us feel just that little bit safer. And just finishing up with what I’d like to say that this recent foil sounds terrifying Prime Minister, but a lot better than the alternative if it had’ve gone ahead.

PRIME MINISTER:

Well that’s absolutely right, and you know there is no, you’ve got to learn from every incident, from every foiled plot. You’ve got to learn whether it's here or overseas. Our enemies, the terrorists are very very innovative, they use technology very skillfully, and we have to be as fast and responsive and concerted in response – and we are, we are. But I am determined to make sure everyday that everything I do is keeping Australians safe.

PETER ROWE:

Prime Minister thank you so much for your time this afternoon.

PRIME MINISTER:

Thanks a lot Peter.

PETER ROWE:

You will enjoy your time, I’m sure with the youth leaders, they are quite an amazing bunch of young people down here and they are our leaders of tomorrow – so thank you again and enjoy the rest of your trip.

PRIME MINISTER:

I will indeed, thanks Peter.

[ENDS]

Transcript 41086