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Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 41128

Remarks at the Opening of Visy Tumut Upgrade

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: 23/08/2017

Release Type: Transcript

Transcript ID: 41128

Location: Tumut, NSW

PRIME MINISTER:

Well thank you very much Anthony, it is a great day, a beautiful day in every respect. It is wonderful to be here with your mum Jeanne, with your sister Fiona, your wife Claudine.

This is a great family business. Most family businesses are small businesses, but all of them have the potential to be great global businesses with the leadership and the passion that the Pratt family have developed and delivered here and right around the nation, and indeed as we know in the United States.

Here in Tumut, where my father was born I might say, in 1926, so as I was saying earlier to the press there’s been a lot of discussion about people having citizenship by descent so on that basis I’m a citizen of Tumut by descent – I hope you won’t disown me. It is great to be here.

Look, this shows what investment does. You know everything my government does is designed to encourage Australian businesses to invest.

Why is that? Because it delivers jobs.

As Anthony said: ‘The best social program is a job’.

John Howard used to say: ‘The best form of welfare is a job’.

Everything we’re doing is trying to encourage more investment and more jobs. And while we would like to see even more, and we’d like to see wages higher – of course we would - nonetheless over the last year we’ve seen 240,00 new jobs created in Australia.

Now given the global circumstances, that is a good effort but it demonstrates what we can do with confidence. Businesses needs confidence and they need the incentives and the opportunities to invest.

So right across the board everything we’re doing is focused on encouraging investment of the kind Anthony is making.

This business here, as Jean-Yves was saying on your excellent tour - Jean-Yves of course, he is a citizen by marriage, he fell in love with the girl from Maroo was it? There she is, good, very good.  That was a great acquisition from France. Well done. A Franco-Australian alliance. Let’s give them a round of applause. 

[Applause]

But you see, what you’ve got here is a demonstration of what you can do with the right technology, the right leadership, the right vision, the right investment. And we’re providing the incentives.

This is a business that exports 70 per cent of its production, as Jean-Yves was saying. Visy is the largest exporter of shipping containers in Australia. So this is an export business. And as Anthony foreshadowed earlier, at a time when a lot of people say manufacturing in Australia is not competitive – well what the Pratt family are demonstrating is with the right technology, you can be globally competitive right here in Australia, and they are. 

Now you need markets, so since the Coalition came into power in 2013, we have opened up one big new export market after another.

China of course the biggest. We have the highest quality free trade deal with China of any developed country. Japan. Korea.

And of course we’ve enhanced our free trade agreement with Singapore. We’re working, you would’ve seen at the G20, I was with President Widodo of Indonesia. 

Indonesia is expected to be within 15, 20 years the fourth, maybe fifth, maybe fourth biggest economy in the world. We’ve both committed to delivering a free trade – a new free trade agreement, economic partnership agreement by the end of the year. That’s very, very, really a very strong commitment from the Indonesian President.

And that’s just the beginning. Right around the Pacific, right around the world - including our efforts to our free trade agreement with the Europeans, we’ve got commitments to that when we were in Hamburg and of course we’ll have a free trade agreement with the UK when they’re free to enter into one. We want to open as many doors for Australian exporters, whether it is of white top paper or services or whatever that we can because we believe Australians can do anything, and they will do anything given the opportunities.

So then right here in terms of tax, we are bringing company tax down.

Why are we doing that? Our opponents say that is a giveaway. They say we are giving things away – to handout.

Well, I don’t actually think it’s a handout to a business to reduce their tax. The reality is if people who believe that presumably believe all of the businesses profits belong to the government and whatever is left for them after tax is a handout. That’s not the approach we take.

We know – as Paul Keating knew, and frankly as Bill Shorten knew when he was in his previous incarnation that he subsequently seems to have forgotten - we know that if you reduce the tax on business, you get more investment. You get more investment, you get more jobs.

So we’ve already succeeded in getting through the Senate reductions in company tax for businesses up to $50 million turnover - there’s more to go, there’s further to go - but that benefits every Australian.

Half of Australians work for businesses with turnovers of $50 million or less and so all of those companies, all of those employees are working for businesses that can now invest more, grow more, employ more, be able to pay higher wages, more and better jobs.

So that’s out commitment.

Anthony we are so proud, all of us here, of what your family has achieved. It is a remarkable Australian success story.

In an industry which many people are pessimistic about - manufacturing - you’ve demonstrated that Australians can do anything and be world leaders and you are.

So congratulations, I know I speak for everybody here that we are so proud of what you’ve achieved. We congratulate you, we salute you for the commitment you’ve made here and that you’re making to Australian manufacturing and Australian jobs.

What a pledge - $2 billion over ten years, 5,000 jobs. I tell you that’s a big commitment. That really moves the needle. That will change lives, thousands of them for the better.

Thank you Anthony and Jeanne and all of your family here - you are great Australians, making a great commitment to our great nation.

Thank you.

[ENDS]

Transcript 41128