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 02/03/07

Doorstop Interview
Liberal Party Federal Secretariat
Canberra

Friday, 2 March 2007

9.30 am

SUBJECTS: Brian Burke and Kevin Rudd

JOURNALIST:

(inaudible) celebrations have you got planned?

TREASURER:

Well it is another working day, doing what is important to keep our economy strong and to keep the people of Australia secure in jobs and homes and work. 

JOURNALIST:

Are Kevin Rudd’s troubles the greatest gift you could have asked for (inaudible)?

TREASURER:

Kevin Rudd is digging himself deeper and deeper with his evasions.  We have heard from Graham Edwards this morning, Graham Edwards was pushing him in Western Australia, when he was after the leadership, and introducing him to people in Western Australia who could help him.  And who did they think would help him more that anybody else?  The convicted criminal, the corrupt influenced peddler, Brian Burke.  That is why Mr Rudd was there.  He was there to get to know and to push his credentials with people in Western Australia who included a convicted criminal and corrupt influence peddler Brian Burke – and you have had that admitted this morning by Graham Edwards. 

JOURNALIST:

Kevin Rudd said there were no leadership discussions (inaudible).

TREASURER:

Kevin Rudd says he walked into this restaurant and he was surprised to find Brian Burke there.  What a coincidence.  Breakfast, lunch and dinner.  Brian just happened to be there.  And you know, Kevin Rudd was so surprised, do you know what he did?  He got up and he gave a speech on China. Let me tell you, when you go across to Perugino’s to give a speech on China at a meeting which has been convened by Brian Burke, you know, don’t mock feign surprise.  This is the point.  His evasive denials are digging him deeper and deeper.

JOURNALIST:

What would you like to see Mr Rudd explain more?  You obviously think he hasn’t explained enough about his meetings with Mr Burke.

TREASURER:

Mr Rudd should explain this.  Why was he meeting with a convicted criminal, who was banned by the West Australian Government, who has now had four ministers sacked because they dealt with him – why was Mr Rudd prepared to deal with such a man?  And I think the answer is pretty obvious.  He wanted influence. 

JOURNALIST:

Are you getting a bit frustrated over the treatment of David Hicks and especially now the US appears to have dropped the main trump cards and seem to be…?

TREASURER:

Well we will see how that goes.  Thank you.