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 02/05/2005

Doorstop Interview

Commonwealth Parliament Offices
70 Phillip Street, Sydney

Monday, 2 May 2005
3.15 pm

SUBJECTS: Budget, Leadership

JOURNALIST:

What have you resolved in your meeting today with the Prime Minister?

TREASURER:

I think today we have had some very productive discussions, we have obviously discussed some of the issues which will be arising in the Budget and they were very useful.

JOURNALIST:

Did the issue of Leadership come up at all in your discussions Mr Costello?

TREASURER:

Oh yes, we discussed that issue and obviously we discussed the events of the last 48 hours and as I said on Sunday, my view is that it is very, very unproductive for the Government to have that kind of speculation going on.

JOURNALIST:

Have you given Mr Howard any guarantee or has he given you any guarantees about the leadership or challenge?

TREASURER:

Well as I said on Sunday, I don’t think it is in the interests of the Government, I don’t think it is in the interests of the Liberal Party that you see the kind of speculation that you saw in the newspapers on the weekend, I think the Liberal Party expects that at the senior levels there will be an orderly transition in relation to leadership, that this be done in the interests of the Parliamentary Party, and that it be done in the interests of the Liberal Party and its wider organisation and supporters. And I have always taken that view, it is a view I reiterated on Sunday, it is a view that I put to the Prime Minister today, that is my view and I have been very open and very frank about that.

JOURNALIST:

So where do you go then from here? Do you not challenge or do you, what do you do?

TREASURER:

Where I go to from here is Canberra where I will be working between now and next Tuesday on the Budget.

JOURNALIST:

Do you think the Party is united at the moment?

TREASURER:

Well I think the Party ought to be united. I think the Party ought to be able to resolve things in a mature way. I wish that the events of the last 48 hours had never happened. I wish that we hadn’t had this recent flurry but it happened. I wish it hadn’t have happened. As you know I was not expecting it to happen, I was surprised as anybody when it did happen.

JOURNALIST:

Did Mr Howard elaborate on his comments, on Friday’s comments?

TREASURER:

Well he has elaborated today in a round of media interviews and he has put his view out there and yes, he has given me his explanation of the event.

JOURNALIST:

Are you satisfied with that?

TREASURER:

Well what passes between him and me is a matter for him and me, but as I can say to you he has been doing a round of media interviews and he has been seeking to explain the background to the interview that in fact has created all of this flurry of activity and all of this speculation over the last 48 hours.

JOURNALIST:

Is there a chance that you might drop out of the game altogether if you don’t get handed the leadership before the next election? There seems to be some concern that that may happen.

TREASURER:

No.

JOURNALIST:

Have you given it any thought?

TREASURER:

No.