PM Transcripts

Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 41709

Address to the Tasmanian Minerals and Energy Council

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: 26/07/2018

Release Type: Speech

Transcript ID: 41709

Location: Burnie, Tasmania

Well thank you very much Dwayne, it’s great to be here with you all. Great to be here with Brett Whiteley, the only candidate who can deliver for Braddon.

It’s good to be here with Richard Colbeck and Guy Barnett and so many leaders with a real sense of confidence and drive, optimism and enthusiasm here in the North West.

As you know, my Government is building a stronger economy with more jobs and more investment. And we can only do that thanks to your hard work and your spirit of enterprise.

This is a crucial time here in the North West and a big choice on Saturday - a vote for Brett Whiteley is a vote for a stronger economy and more jobs. It’s a vote for lower taxes, it’s a vote for more opportunity.

A vote for any other candidate is a vote for higher taxes, fewer jobs and a weaker economy and only a strong economy can deliver the revenues to government to enable us to bring the budget back into balance a year earlier and only a stronger economy can deliver the revenues to enable us to spend more on essential services like hospitals, healthcare, education and infrastructure.

Now Brett will be a member of the Government if he’s elected – he’ll be able to get things done from the very word go. He’ll be able to deliver for Braddon and for Tasmania in a way that no other candidate can.

You know you’ve got strong jobs growth here at the moment, it’s terrific. I’ve been coming to Tasmania for well over 30 years and I have never seen as much optimism as there is at the moment. It’s something, it’s a momentum that is being delivered by strong Liberal leadership at the state level by Will Hodgman and his team including Guy of course, it’s being supported by us in Canberra and what that means if you’ve got business responding by doing what it does best, investing and employing.

There were 2,100 new jobs were created in Tasmania in the month of June, and we want that to continue. It was actually the strongest in percentage terms in the whole nation last month.

Now two years ago, you were facing low commodity prices and uncertain times. But the resilience of miners should never be underestimated. You have to be very optimistic to be in the mining business as I know.

Tasmania is the quiet achiever of mining exports. You have one of the most highly and diversely mineralised areas in the world, with significant mineral deposits in tin, tungsten, zinc, copper, gold, silver, silica, lead and iron.

Mining and metals processing is the State’s largest goods export industry worth $1.8 billion. Your exports over the past year grew 26 per cent and exports of non-iron metals grew almost 50 per cent last year with the two biggest exports being processed zinc and aluminium.

And vitally for the people of Tasmania, particularly here in the north-west, there are over 4,000 direct and 10,000 indirect jobs associated with mining.

I had the pleasure of seeing that resilience up in Zeehan earlier this month where the Avebury nickel mine was restarted, that will deliver 200 more jobs including new apprentices and Brett and I met with Will a number of those new apprentices there.

So to borrow the theme of your conference: that is what good looks like.

Now miners are renowned for your independent streak. Miners are famous for that, famous for the optimism and resilience because as we all know and I’ve been involved in the mining business myself in the past, you’re never entirely sure what an ore body looks like or what it’s going to turn out like until you’ve actually mined it.

So, you have to be prepared to take on challenging circumstances and unexpected environments. But above all you get on with the job.

My job as Prime Minister is to provide policies that let you get on with doing what you do best. That’s why we are providing tax relief for business and for individual taxpayers.

We’ve already delivered the biggest personal income tax reforms in a generation in the last sittings of the Parliament and we’ve already delivered corporate tax relief for businesses with turnovers up to $50 million and we want to make all of our businesses in Australia competitive with the lower tax rates that are applying around the world.

Let’s look at what we’ve done already.

8,723 small and medium businesses in Braddon are paying less tax thanks to our policies – 48,000 across Tasmania. They’re family businesses overwhelmingly. Labor wants them to pay more tax. Every single one of them.

There are 39,300 individual taxpayers in Braddon who will receive our personal income tax relief this year, this current financial year - with around 14,600 receiving the full $530. And as you know, over the whole stretch of our personal income tax reform when it’s fully rolled out by 2024, there will be a situation where 94 per cent of Australians do not have to pay more than 32.5 cents in any extra dollar they earn.

Now that is a massive reform, that is providing a real incentive that’s ensuring, as I said 94 per cent of Australians will not pay more than 32.5 cents in any extra dollar they earn. That’s a massive reform, that’s the type of reform that people have called for for years and we’re able to deliver it and at the same time bring the budget back into balance a year earlier because of a strong economy.

That’s the big difference between the government I lead and the Labor party under Bill Shorten who is waging a war on business. He’s waging a war on enterprise, which is why his recipe is one of higher taxes, less investment, fewer jobs and lower wages.

Now as I noted at the Avebury mine, overall trade has increased across the whole nation by just under 15 per cent as in exports. Now that's strong growth. Now why is that?

Most of that trade growth is going to the countries with which our Government has signed free trade agreements: in the last few years, China, Korea, Japan, obviously the United States in years past under John Howard’s leadership.

And we’ve committed to delivering more free trade deals. That's why we got the Trans-Pacific Partnership done.

Now you may remember the Trans-Pacific Partnership was a huge, 12 nation free trade deal that had been led in large part by the US under President Obama. And when President Trump was elected he said he decided to pull out.  Well a lot of people thought the deal was dead. A lot did. I would say the overwhelming majority. Now John Key then the Prime Minister of New Zealand and I are not quitters. We were not going to give up on a deal that would create jobs in Australia or in his case in New Zealand.

Some people said we were flogging a dead horse. Well we thought, well if the horse is dead it won’t mind the flogging so we might as well get on with it.

Now one of the people who wanted me to give up was Bill Shorten. Can you believe that? Supposed to be the worker’s friend and the worker’s defender. He accused me of engaging in a vanity project. He said I was delusional and he that I should give it away. Why would you ever give up on Australian jobs? I will never give up on Australian jobs. I will never give up on the chance to expand the export opportunities for Australian business and the employment opportunities, the business opportunities for Australians. So, we didn’t give up and we’ve got the TPP-11 signed.

And at some point in the future we hope the US re-enters as indeed many businesspeople around the US agree.

So we’re relentless in pursuing those trade opportunities, providing incentives to exporters alongside the benefits that come from our business tax cuts.

We know that business needs to be able to reinvest its earnings. Because that is how businesses – small, medium or large – grow and create the jobs.

So our investments in lower energy prices and energy security are equally important. Harnessing this state’s enormous potential in wind and hydro power.

Tasmania truly can become the battery for the nation. There is so much opportunity for further investment in hydro electricity. I am an enthusiast in this area as you all know. Not only can Tasmania become a battery to keep the lights on in mainland Australia and keep electricity prices down. But the opportunity to create more jobs and more industry and more affordable power in Tasmanians is enormous.

Will and I have had many, many discussions about this and we are on a real unity ticket.

With a Liberal Government in Tasmania and a Liberal National Coalition Government in Canberra, working together, we’ll make this a reality.

Growing hydro power will ensure reliable and affordable energy, create new job opportunities for Tasmanians and a stronger economy for the state. And it will bring power bills down.

Through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency and with Hydro Tasmania, we have identified 14 sites across eight lakes with 'high potential' and a potential combined capacity of 4,800 megawatts. Early modelling shows, if developed, the construction of the pumped hydro sites would create up to $5 billion of investment and around 3,000 jobs in regional Tasmania over 10 to 15 years. Community consultation has already begun around those sites as planning work continues.

In addition a $5 million full feasibility study to assess the viability to expand Tarraleah from 104 megawatts to 220 megawatts is underway.

And TasNetworks and ARENA are developing the feasibility study into a business case for a second interconnector that builds on the work by Hydro Tasmania.

Our National Energy Guarantee, designed by the independent and expert Energy Security Board, is forecast to reduce wholesale prices over the decade 2020-2030 by more than 20 per cent and contribute $150 to more than $550 reduction of average household power bills in that period.

Now the Guarantee is geared to ensure emissions reduce by at least 26 per cent in accordance with our Paris commitments. Critics in the Labor and the Greens have said that it should have a higher emissions reduction target - in other words force the introduction of more renewables. But in the same breath they say renewables are cheaper - and there is plenty of evidence to support that contention.

But if renewables are cheaper than coal or gas, a technology-agnostic, level-playing field, which is focussed on delivering cheaper energy, will see more renewables - and you know what - the cheaper the renewables are, the more of them there will be.

So the renewables fans should have the courage of their convictions, we do not need, any longer, to subsidise one technology generation over another, let’s focus laser like on the customer, whether it is a business customer or a family and deliver cheaper electricity. That’s what our goal is, cheaper electricity.

We’ve already seen big reductions in wholesale generation costs as a consequence of our policies. We’re starting to see retail prices coming down but there’s a lot further to go and as you can see from the work of the Energy Security Board or indeed the work from the ACCC released a couple of weeks ago, there is real potential with the right policy settings to bring energy prices down.

That is my goal, cheaper electricity.

And for those who say my Government is anti-renewables - well I have spoken about hydro in Tasmanian, but in addition Snowy Hydro 2.0 in New South Wales which is our project, our plan, our investment is the single largest renewable project in the country and will itself make reliable thousands of megawatts of intermittent wind and solar.

So, we are not pro or anti any technology. We’re not. We are pro customer, we are pro Australian families and Australian businesses. We are pro lower prices, that’s what all this is about, cheaper electricity and all of the analysis shows that’s what our policies are delivering now and into the future.

Now you know better than most how important it is for government to invest in infrastructure.

That’s why in our most recent budget, we made available $400 million for a Tasmanian Roads Package through our Roads of Strategic Importance.

$60 million of that funding will be spent on the Bass Highway between Wynyard and Marrawah which as you know is a very important section of that highway. In conjunction with the $40 million contribution from Will Hodgman’s Liberal Government, that means a total of $100 million will be invested on that section of the road.

And just to be clear, this is not a promise, it is not an election pledge – it is real money, it’s committed.

We are also going to upgrade the Murchison Highway, with a $10 million dollar investment.

As you know how important the Murchison Highway is particular in this room, key freight and passenger route connecting the West and North-West regions of Tasmania and is critical for the movement of mining product to Burnie Port for export, as well as other locations within Tasmania.

You have seen the leadership that Will has provided here in Tasmania, working with our Government in Canberra. That is why, we’re working so hard to get Brett Whiteley back to Canberra to keep delivering for this region.

Our opponents have no plan for Tasmania - no plan for jobs or a strong economy. In fact - they are running around making spending promises they simply can’t deliver because they are in opposition.

The gap between us and the Labor party has never been greater.

Labor has become a party of grievance. Anti-business party of grievance. We are the party of aspiration. We are the party that supports more jobs, higher wages, more investment, more export opportunities and a stronger economy that flows from all that which of course means you have the revenues to spend more money on health, schools, roads and national security.

Everything is made possible by a stronger economy.

So we want everyone, we encourage everyone here in Braddon to support Brett Whiteley so we can keep fighting to make Tasmania even stronger an even better place to live.

Brett is the only candidate that can deliver for Braddon.

We’re a great team, our government and Will Hodgman’s government.

Coupled with your enterprise, your optimism your commitment we can keep building a stronger economy here in Tasmania a stronger economy right around the nation. Thank you for your hard work and your optimism I wish you all the best for this conference and for all your endeavours.

Transcript 41709