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Doorstop - Perth

Monday, 22 April 2013

Errors and Omissions Excepted

E&OE…………………………………………………………………………………

JOE HOCKEY:

[[Recording starts]] This is a Government without constraint, it is a Government that doesn’t know how to live within its means. Therefore Australia's tax payers are going to pick up the price because ultimately all money comes from taxpayers.

JOURNALIST:

So what happens to the levels of spending on health and welfare?  Are they sustainable?

JOE HOCKEY:

We have got to try and ensure that Australia lives within its means.  The last time the Coalition was in Government we lived within our means.  Nothing Labor says or does is about living within its means, they do not know how to live within a budget.  You cannot believe anything Wayne Swan says.   He and Julia Gillard have promised on more than 366 occasions that they will deliver a surplus this year.  We were expecting a surplus, but unfortunately, like every other occasion they got the numbers dead wrong.

JOURNALIST:

Kate Lundy said today that the budget is in good shape.

JOE HOCKEY:

I can’t believe Wayne Swan is saying how bad the budget is on the one hand and he’s got a Minister out there saying the budget is in good shape on the other.  It just shows you that Labor does not get it.  They just don’t get it.  They don’t understand that they have to live within their means. It also shows that the government is incompetent.  The left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing.

JOURNALIST:

If you win government do you think that you have inherited a ticking time bomb of an economy?

JOE HOCKEY:

I fully expect that if there is a change of government we will find Labor's reckless governance in all parts of the Budget.  I fully expect that the Budget will be in far worse shape than anything that Wayne Swan publishes in May.

JOURNALIST:

What cuts will you make then?

JOE HOCKEY:

Well we’ve already said that you can’t have all the payments associated with the mining tax that doesn’t raise any money. You can’t have all the payments associated with the Carbon tax that is going to be at least a $7 billion hole over the four years of the Budget.  So we have said that you can’t have all that expenditure. The problem is Labor doesn’t know how to live within its means.  Australians are going to pay a really heavy price for this incompetent Government, and it is going to be a price that will be paid over a generation.

JOURNALIST:

What areas would you cut back on?

JOE HOCKEY:

We’ve already said that you can’t afford to deliver a Schoolkids Bonus to every household when it’s funded by a non-existent mining tax.  We had Bill Shorten say today that the Government is going to find money for superannuation from other sources because the mining tax has collapsed.  Those other sources are taxpayers.  If Labor is re-elected they are going to come after your super. They are going to come after every aspect of your life because ultimately all the revenue that Labor spends comes from every day Australians.

JOURNALIST:

What is your paid parental leave going to cost?

JOE HOCKEY:

You will see the final numbers because the years have moved.  You will see the final numbers published by us prior to the election.  But what we have already said is that big business will pay for the paid parental leave scheme and that’s a great win for small business, and it’s a great win, particularly for parents who want to go back into the work force.

JOURNALIST:

Will you be counselling Colin Barnett when you meet him on his debt levels?

JOE HOCKEY:

I wouldn’t counsel Colin Barnett under any circumstances.  I think he is a terrific Premier; he has been great for Western Australia.  When you look around you, Western Australia is….

JOURNALIST:

But your warnings on debt at a Federal level – well those debt levels are being achieved here.

JOE HOCKEY:

Well I don’t accept that. The fact that Colin Barnett has set up a Future Fund illustrates the fact that Western Australia and the Liberals understand that you’ve got to plan for the future.  You can’t just live for the now you have to plan for the future. I am sure that when I meet the Premier I’ll be listening more than I will be speaking and that is a good sign.  He is a very strong advocate.

JOURNALIST:

So he will be doing all the talking?

JOE HOCKEY:

I have a great deal of respect for Colin Barnett - I do for all the Premiers.  But he’s the man in the power position and we are just aspiring to get into that.

JOURNALIST:

Have you ruled out funding for rail?

JOE HOCKEY:

One of the reasons why we don’t go down the path of funding rail is because I don’t want to set up a whole new bureaucracy to second guess the State Government on where rail should go and how public transport should be operated.  From our perspective, we fund roads where we can. If there are more roads that we can fund in Western Australia to help Western Australia with some of the challenges of a thousand people coming every week we will look at that, we sure will.  But we are not going to set up a whole new bureaucracy to second guess Western Australia on public transport or any other State for that matter.

JOURNALIST:

Tony Abbott has flagged not going ahead with the Government’s school funding changes.  Can you say whether you plan to scrap it and on what condition you would keep it?

JOE HOCKEY:

What changes though?  This is the thing.  Even David Gonski doesn’t agree with what Julia Gillard describes as the Gonski reforms.  This is everything about the Gillard Government, they are trying to control the agenda.  I would say to Julia Gillard when you go to your public forum this afternoon make sure you take questions on every part of the Australian economy. You’re a Prime Minister for every area of Australia and not just education. Even if it is education then you are getting a big F for fail.  The fact is Labor is now trying to negotiate individual deals with individual States and then individual systems in the States.  If Labor can turn a straight road into a bowl of spaghetti they will do it and they are doing it in relation to Gonski.

JOURNALIST

On the Curtin Detention Centre it may soon be housing children again.  Your Government shut it down in 2002.  Is it fit for children and would the Coalition send children there?

JOE HOCKEY:

I am not an Occupational Health and Safety Analyst and I can’t give an opinion on Curtin.  I just say this, the Labor failure on border protection is like their failure in every other area of public policy.  So we shouldn’t be surprised that Labor's incompetence will continue.

JOURNALIST:

And one last question who would you appoint as Governor-General?  Would a politician like John Howard be too divisive?

JOE HOCKEY:

The appointment of the Governor-General is for the Prime Minister of the day, and if Julia Gillard is going to make appointments before she is re-elected - if she is re-elected -  it just says everything about the fact this is a Government that is desperate to have a hand coming out of the grave to shape the future of Australia. Sadly someone has to stomp on it and I think the Australian people will. Thank you.

[ENDS]