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 23/04/2006

Doorstop Interview
Trinity Grammar School, Kew

Sunday, 23 April 2006
1.10 pm

 

SUBJECTS: Kooyong Pre-selection; Budget; Petrol; Immigration Policy

JOURNALIST:

Mr Costello what do you make of the result?

TREASURER:

The Kooyong pre-selectors have pre-selected Petro Georgiou to be the Liberal Candidate for the seat of Kooyong at the next Federal election.

I congratulate Petro on his win. He has a very big trust which has been placed in him by the pre-selectors and I know that he will be giving every effort to maintain the strong Liberal vote here in Kooyong.

Can I also congratulate the challengers - Joshua Frydenberg and Alistair Armstrong. I think both of them conducted themselves very honourably and very well. And I would say to each of them that they certainly ought to think about nominating for other seats. The Liberal Party is very keen indeed to have good candidates, particularly in the seat of Chisholm which is next door to this and I would recommend that they think about nominating for those vacancies as well.

JOURNALIST:

So you are urging Josh Frydenberg to nominate for Chisholm?

TREASURER:

I am saying that shortly pre-selection will open in Chisholm and we had two very good candidates here today who weren't successful Joshua and Alistair and I would ask each of them to consider nominating for Chisholm.

JOURNALIST:

Do you that is important for young candidates to blood themselves' if you like by running in a Labor held seat? Is that important for some of these young challengers?

TREASURER:

Oh look, it is important I think to get the best opportunity that you can. And if there is a vacancy that is available to go to Chisholm I think it would be a wonderful thing for the Party and would really help.

JOURNALIST:

Do you see this vote as an endorsement from the rank and file of the role that Mr Georgiou has played in challenging the Government from time to time on social issues?

TREASURER:

Look, I think when it all boils down the Party membership looks for the best candidate. And they voted emphatically today, whatever their reasons. The important thing now is to get on with the Chisholm pre-selection.

JOURNALIST:

Do you think this is an endorsement of the dissident role that Petro Georgiou has played in relation to the asylum seeker issue and is expected to play in relation to the West Papuans? Has Kooyong voted in favour of his position?

TREASURER:

No. I wouldn't see it as a policy vote at all. I would see it as a vote whereby the pre-selectors were looking for the best candidate, somebody who they thought could best represent this area; somebody who would make the best contribution in Canberra. And I think they have made a very emphatic decision.

JOURNALIST:

But his policies on that are well known. You don't think that they have endorsed his role in time to free women and children from detention?

TREASURER:

Look, when you are voting for a candidate you are taking into account views on economic matters, asylum matters, foreign policy matters, defence matters I wouldn't see this in terms of one particular policy. But the most important thing is who can represent the electorate the best in Canberra as the member for Kooyong and I think that is the overall decision that has been made here.

JOURNALIST:

Mr Costello could you explain the tax credits you are considering in the Budget?

TREASURER:

No I can't actually.

JOURNALIST:

There is a story in the Sunday Herald Sun today suggesting that you are considering a $500 to $1,000 tax credit. Is that something that is under active consideration?

TREASURER:

Well, I think you had better ask the Sunday Herald Sun. They seem to know more about it than me.

JOURNALIST:

But you have talked about a 'female friendly Budget'. Is there going to be more child care places in the Budget?

TREASURER:

Well, we want a 'female friendly Australia'. We want an Australia where women are respected, where they can pursue their opportunities to the full whether educational, work, family opportunities and we are going to work at all of those areas.

JOURNALIST:

And does that respect extend to offering them a few more child care places to make their life a bit easier?

TREASURER:

That respect extends to helping them in the workforce, at home, in educational opportunity and just a society which values their contribution and gives them great opportunity.

JOURNALIST:

Have you got any good news for people, petrol buyers?

TREASURER:

Well look the petrol price moves in accordance with world oil prices. World oil prices are now at all time records. That is bad news at the bowser. Bad news at the bowser. And what we are looking for is an increase in world production which can bring those prices back. That is the only thing that can help people at the bowser.

JOURNALIST:

And do you have any message for Petro Georgiou as he considers to look at the new legislation to force all boat people offshore?

TREASURER:

I am sure he will very carefully consider the legislation like all of our members do and can I say that it is important that Australia runs a strong immigration programme, one that properly secures our borders and one that doesn't lead to a situation where we have arrivals that we can neither handle nor properly absorb.

Thank you.