The Crest of the Commonwealth of Australia Treasury Portfolio Ministers
Picture of Peter Costello

Peter Costello

Treasurer

11 March 1996 - 3 December 2007

Transcript of 14/07/01

Transcript No. 2001/095

 

TRANSCRIPT
of
HON PETER COSTELLO
Treasurer

Doorstop Interview
Rowville
Aston Electorate
Saturday, 14 July 2001
10.00 pm

 

SUBJECTS: Aston by-election


JOURNALIST:

Mr Costello what chance have the Liberals got of getting across the line?

TREASURER:

Look, you cant call the outcome of this election tonight. There are about 10,000 votes still to be counted. Theyre the postal votes and the pre-poll votes. It looks like the margin at the moment is, well its bouncing around a bit, but around about 70 votes on the final figures. With 10,000 postals, you would say on normal postal vote allocation that Chris Pearce could be the next Member for Aston. And you wouldnt want to actually pronounce the outcome but I think he can be quietly confident.

JOURNALIST:

It doesnt bode well for the end of the year though.

TREASURER:

If this is a swing of around 3-4 per cent, that is significantly less than the normal by-election swing. And what I think youve seen in Aston is youve seen that people have used it undoubtedly as a chance to air some grumbles with the Government. But the Labor vote has fallen. The Labor vote is down by 4 per cent. And for an Opposition to go backwards in a by-election is a very big lesson for the Labor Party. I think, I think the lesson for the Labor Party in this is going to be that whilst there are grumbles with the Government, and the Government has put in place a lot of policies, the Labor Partys strategy of having no policy has failed. And two weeks after the one announcement that Mr Beazley has made in five and a half years, Knowledge Nation, he had a swing against him in a by-election. So I think there are big lessons there for the Government undoubtedly, and bigger lessons there for the Labor Party too.

JOURNALIST:

Does this vindicate the spending spree the Government has gone on to win back support?

TREASURER:

I think the big issues here were firstly the Scoresby Freeway and the Governments announcement in relation to funding the Scoresby Freeway I think was significant because we actually put dollars on the Freeway and I think people recognised that. The other issues that were big out here were home mortgage interest rates, this is an area where a lot of people have mortgages and if you actually look at the swings, I think you can see that people were very concerned to keep voting Liberal where there mortgages were most affected, in those areas where they were most affected. But overall the swing is less than the average by-election swing. At this stage of an electoral cycle well, youd have to take on board the messages, youd have to say youve done better than the normal by-election swing. And the most important thing is the outcome. Im not going to call the outcome now but if the margin is now 70 votes and there are 10,000 votes to count, theres every reason to believe that Chris Pearce can become the next Member for Aston.

JOURNALIST:

(inaudible) and thats what youre saying isnt it?

TREASURER:

No, I dont think anybody knows tonight who won Aston. But the margin appears to be 70 votes with 10,000 to count but on postals and pre-polls theres every reason to think that Chris Pearce could be the next Member for Aston and I hope he is. Thanks.