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Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 41739

Doorstop at the Australian Cyber Security Centre

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: 16/08/2018

Release Type: Transcript

Transcript ID: 41739

Subject(s): Australian Cyber Security Centre; delivering lower energy prices for families and businesses; wages growth; business tax cuts

Location: Australian Cyber Security Centre, Canberra ACT

PRIME MINISTER:

The Australian Cyber Security Centre is going to keep Australians safe as part of our Cyber Security Strategy. And it's enabling collaboration with other governments, but in particular with industry because we need to ensure that all Australians - and particularly all Australian businesses - are very, very cyber-aware and able to work together, learn from each other, and keep their information, their systems safe, and in doing so keeping Australia safe.

JOURNALIST:

Tony Abbott has again publicly ridiculed your National Energy Guarantee. Clearly, your idiocy and ideology remarks aren't getting through. Are you going to publicly stand up and rebuke Tony Abbott’s comments?

PRIME MINISTER:

Well let me just say, the remarks I've made about ideology and idiocy were directed at the Labor Party, and in particular in South Australia where they succeeded in having so much wind power that it would generate more than 100 per cent of the state's demands when the wind was blowing and zero per cent when it wasn't.

JOURNALIST:

So when are you going to stand up and say something to Tony Abbott?

PRIME MINISTER:

So, you need to have energy policy founded in engineering and economics.

Now, the test today and every day is for Bill Shorten. Does he want to stand up for lower electricity prices and back the National Energy Guarantee?

You can see today his old union, the AWU, is urging him to do so. Joining every leading industry group in the country. The Queensland Government appears to be moving to support it, to join other states.

It's about time Bill Shorten put his hand up and said he was going to back the National Energy Guarantee and back lower energy prices for all Australians. That's what it's all about.

JOURNALIST:

When is your economic plan going to deliver wage rises for Australians?

PRIME MINISTER:

Yes, thank you. Wages rose in the last quarter by more than they had since 2014. Wage growth is lower than what we would like it to be, that is for sure, but we're starting to see signs of growth because of strong jobs growth. The Reserve Bank Governor made this point just about a week ago. We're starting to see skills shortages in some areas, and, of course, that results in higher wages.

Now, what we've got to do is maintain the strong economic growth that our policies have delivered. We had record jobs growth last year; highest jobs growth in our country's history. As you get more demand for labour as jobs growth continues then you will see wage rises follow, and that, as we've already seen as I said, some indications of that in the last quarter's numbers and indeed as the Governor has agreed.

JOURNALIST:

Is the Government considering extending the instant asset write-off or introducing some sort of business investment allowance if the company tax cut is voted down in the Senate?

PRIME MINISTER:

Yeah. Thank you. We're focused on the negotiations in the Senate.

Just one more.

JOURNALIST:

Keith Pitt has indicated that he will resign from the frontbench if there isn’t agreement over the NEG?

PRIME MINISTER:

I’m sorry?

JOURNALIST:

Has Keith Pitt has indicated to you that he will resign from the frontbench over disagreements over the NEG?

PRIME MINISTER:

I'm not going to comment on any discussions with other colleagues. But I can say no member of my Ministry has indicated to me that they are planning to or would want to resign.

JOURNALIST:

[Inaudible]

PRIME MINISTER:

I just want to stress that the key issue here is cheaper electricity.

Now, we have started to turn the corner on electricity prices. Our policies - the strong action we took on gas, the strong action we've taken on retailers, the strong action we're taking in providing certainty for investment by leading on the National Energy Guarantee - all of this has had the result of seeing retail prices starting to come down – as you saw in the last ABS figures, and as we've seen in the latest numbers for retail electricity bills in Queensland and in New South Wales and South Australia.

So, we're starting to see real progress in bringing electricity prices down.

But as every leading industry group, every large energy user, the experts on the Energy Security Board, all of them are of the same mind; that we need to get the National Energy Guarantee established to bring down electricity prices by $550 per average family household over the period from 2020.

So there’s a lot at play here, and the time has come for Bill Shorten to say that he stands for lower electricity prices.

Because if he is not prepared to back the National Energy Guarantee he is going to be saying that he and Labor don’t just stand for higher taxes, higher taxes, they also stand for higher energy prices.

Transcript 41739