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 17/08/2003

TRANSCRIPT
THE HON PETER COSTELLO MP

Doorstop
Visitor Centre
The Shrine of Remembrance
Melbourne

Sunday, 17 August 2003
12.30 pm




SUBJECTS: Shrine of Remembrance, health funding, housing

JOURNALIST:

Treasurer, your own memories of watching this on television but also of your own father and grandfather?

TREASURER:

Well the Shrine has been central to the people of Melbourne and Victoria and I have seen members of my own family, march down Swanston Street to the Shrine. Its one of my earliest memories, but it commands the skyline as you look down Swanston Street. Its ingrained into the consciousness I think of every young of Victorian and up until now you have never been able to get inside it, but now you can. And you can see something of the story of Anzac and the Second World War and Vietnam and Borneo and all of the conflicts that Australians have served in, its a very moving thing.

JOURNALIST:

Is this something that we can link into community service as an example for our younger people to look to the previous generation?

TREASURER:

Oh, absolutely, this is something I think which will be an inspiration, and young people who want to know the story of Anzac and who would go to Anzac Cove, want to be part of the sense of sacrifice and commitment that they have seen in previous generations. They want to do it again today and here at the Shrine they can come down and they can see the story and they can know the exploits of those that have gone before them and I hope it will inspire them to make similar commitments and this I think will be a very major commemoration, a very major place for young Australians in the future.

JOURNALIST:

Can I just change the subject to health funding? Mr Carr and Mr Bracks are this morning calling on the Federal Government to put health funding back on the table. They want to talk again, they say, that there will be a big shortfall in the years to come unless the Federal Government gives more money.

TREASURER:

The Federal Government is increasing funding for health by $10 billion dollars, a 17% increased in real terms, now this. Now this a major increase. The five year Health agreement is worth $42 billion, and what we need now, is we need the States, one, to agree with the Commonwealth, accept the money and to lift their own spending and to match the Commonwealth in relation to the Commonwealth increases. Now they shouldnt be engaging in arguing about this, what they should be doing is they should be matching the Commonwealths increases, the $10 billion increase, 17% real, and getting on with Health Care Agreements.

JOURNALIST:

In terms of how Federal-State financing also with housing with the affordibility for first home buyers, now you have put the stamp duty argument and the Premiers and States have also talked about release of more land too. Whats the solution here? You both coming at it

TREASURER:

I think one of the reasons we are having an inquiry is to look at land release policies and it may well be that more land could be released and that would be available for first home buyers. Now the States are in charge of land release policies. We need to have an inquiry to get a fix on why land isnt being released, what can be done to bring more onto the market, what can be done to make it available at affordable prices and thats why we have got an inquiry going in relation to that. I think it will be a very positive thing if we can get some of the facts out, work out what is causing the difficulty at the moment, see if we can overcome those barriers.

JOURNALIST:

Does this mean wider regional development policy and de-centralisation?

TREASURER:

Well, lets have a look at it generally and in particular in relation to Melbourne.

JOURNALIST:

Treasurer, back to the Shrine. One of the Trustees said that the development was about teaching a new generation to remember. If you were that teacher what would you want to be taught?

TREASURER:

I think that the lesson of the Shrine for future generations will be that, in the First World War 18, 19, 20 year olds served their country with bravery and distinction in a selfless way. In the Second World War young Australians again rose to the call. And in the future young Australians can rise to the call again to serve their country, to make it proud, to serve their fellow citizens, maybe not in theatres of war, although Australia is engaged in theatres of war as we speak. Brave men and women from the Australian Defence Force are serving in the Solomon Islands, we are engaged in East Timor, we have peacekeeping operations around the globe. But not just in theatres of war, they can serve their fellow citizens in all sorts of areas, and can make our country proud and I think that is the message that is going to come out of this.

Thanks.