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 20/07/01

Transcript No. 2001/098

 

 

TRANSCRIPT
of
HON PETER COSTELLO MP
Treasurer

Doorstop Interview
The Rocks, Sydney
Friday, 20 July 2001
12.00 noon

 

SUBJECTS: Liberal Party, Bank Fees


JOURNALIST:

 Mr Costello, what about this suggestion of you leader, Mr Baird, deputy.

TREASURER:

 Well, I have seen comments in the paper.  As far as I am concerned they are not right.  I don't know where they come from.  I am happily performing the duty of Treasurer and Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party, and that is the way I would like to keep it.

 JOURNALIST:

Will you not be making a speech today to effectively anoint him as your eventual deputy?

TREASURER:

 No.

 JOURNALIST:

 That's not true? 

 TREASURER:

 No.

 JOURNALIST:

 Just by you being here does that not show your faith in him as a (inaudible)?

 TREASURER:

I am doing a function today with Bruce because I am supporting his campaign.  And tonight I am doing one with Peter King in Wentworth because I am supporting his campaign, and tomorrow morning I am doing one with Joe Hockey because I am supporting his campaign, and then later in the week I am doing one with Bronwyn Bishop because I am supporting her campaign.  And I support the campaigns of all of my colleagues.  They are all good people.  I am doing the utmost I can to try and help them get re-elected, and today I am supporting Bruce in his efforts to get re-elected.

 JOURNALIST:

 Do you think he would be a better Deputy leader than Tony Abbott?

 TREASURER:

 Pardon?

 JOURNALIST:

 Do you think he would be a better Deputy leader than Tony Abbott?

 TREASURER:

 Well I think the best Deputy leader would be me, actually, because I have held that position for the last 7 years and there is no vacancy.  So, since there is no vacancy in the role I don't see how anyone else can run for it.

 JOURNALIST:

 (inaudible)

 TREASURER:

 Pardon?

 JOURNALIST:

 (inaudible) so what (inaudible) total (inaudible)...

TREASURER:

 Well, I am here to support his campaign and, I am here to support his campaign just as I support the campaign of Peter King in Wentworth tonight, Joe Hockey tomorrow morning and later on in the week Bronwyn Bishop, so...

 JOURNALIST:

 (inaudible)...are you hedging your bets?

 TREASURER:

 ...so it is just another days work, and another days round of engagements.  Bruce is a good fellow, Peter King is a good fellow, Joe Hockey is a good fellow and Bronwyn Bishop is good too, so...

 JOURNALIST:

 (inaudible)...but, Mr Costello, would he make a good deputy? 

 TREASURER:

 There is no vacancy in the position of Deputy leader of the Liberal Party.  I want to make this clear because I hold the job, I have held it for the last 7 years, and I intend to continue to hold it.

 JOURNALIST:

 Have you discussed it with Mr Baird?

 TREASURER:

 No.  No I haven't.

 JOURNALIST:

 Mr Costello, on bank fees?  (inaudible) legislating to have low fee accounts?

 TREASURER:

 Just in relation to bank fees can I say this.  Look, obviously the public is concerned about the level of bank fees.  And we think that the most important thing is to exercise consumer power against banks that are over-charging.  There are now a number of bank accounts which are available that charge no fees, and I would recommend to people to take them up.  If they are worried about their own bank over-charging them, move your account.  What the Government is going to do is we are going to encourage new institutions which can undercut the banks on fees, such as credit unions, and other deposit taking institutions, and encourage people to bank with them.  The other thing that the Federal Government is going to do is it is going to abolish some of the banking fees that apply, such as Financial Institutions Duty, which was abolished on 1 July.  And we are continuing to work on tax reform which will abolish in the future Bank Account Deposits taxes.  So the Government is going to play its part.  The Government is going to promote competition, and I say to consumers don't take all of the banks fees for granted, move your business, take up some of those accounts which offer lower fees and make the banks work, work for their customers.

JOURNALIST:

 How will you encourage these alternative institutions?

 TREASURER:

 Well, we are issuing new banking licenses to new banks that want to come into the market.  We are encouraging community banks, like the Bendigo Bank, to open up branches, and we are encouraging credit unions to offer deposit type institutions.  We have allowed them to issue cheques under our Government, and given them access to the payments system.  So if you want lower fees find a better institution.  Make the banks work for your business, don't just take the banks first offer for granted.

 Thanks.