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 15/07/2007

Doorstop Interview
Petrie Square, Kew

Sunday, 15 July 2007

3.00 pm

 

SUBJECTS: Greg Rudd, Labor Party policy

JOURNALIST:

Treasurer, Greg Rudd (inaudible) giving money to the ALP and National Party.  Is that a bad look for Labor?

TREASURER:

Well it is no crime to make donations to the Liberal Party and the National Party but what you have got here is you have got the union movement engaging in retribution.  The union movement apparently has dobbed in Mr Rudd, they have got him expelled from the Labor Party.  They are calling the shots. The trade union movement has had the Leader of the Opposition’s brother expelled!  And this shows how ruthless the trade unions will be and it also shows how powerless Mr Rudd is to defend even his own brother as against the unions who have the real sway in the Labor Party.

JOURNALIST:

Do you feel sorry at all for Mr Rudd given that (inaudible) member of his family?

TREASURER:

Well I feel sorry for Mr Greg Rudd because he hasn’t done anything wrong.  It is no crime to make a donation to the Liberal Party but his problem is that the unions run Labor, the unions have decided to get rid of him; the unions have got rid of him.  Kevin Rudd can do nothing about it because the unions run the Labor Party and if the unions run the Labor Party and they want the brother of the Leader of the Opposition out the unions hold the sway.  And Kevin Rudd is powerless.

JOURNALIST:

What is a member of the Labor Party doing giving money to the Liberal Party anyway?  (inaudible) ALP?

TREASURER:

Well Greg Rudd has decided to give money to the Liberal Party presumably because he wants to see good government in this country.  And that is not a crime.  It is quite legal to give a donation to the Liberal Party.  But if the unions want to get you they can and the unions got Greg Rudd and they have had him expelled.  They had the brother of the Leader of the Opposition expelled from the Labor Party for no crime – for exercising his individual freedom.

JOURNALIST:

How would you feel if your brother gave money to the Labor Party?

TREASURER:

Perfectly legal, perfectly entitled to do it.  We don’t actually expel people for giving legal donations.  In the Liberal Party you are quite entitled to donate to who you want.  We believe in individual liberty and freedom of conscience.  That is not the Labor way and that is not the union way.  That is why the unions had Greg Rudd expelled.

JOURNALIST:

Wayne Swan this morning refused to guarantee any falls in house, grocery and petrol prices if Labor wins government.  What do you make of that?

TREASURER:

Here is the Labor stunt machine at work. They say to themselves they want to look as if they’re doing something about grocery prices and if you ask them will it mean grocery prices fall they will say no.  They want to make it look as if they’ve got some plan on housing – you ask them does it mean house prices will fall – they say no.  They want to pretend they are doing something on petrol – you ask them does it mean petrol prices will fall, no.  What are they doing?  Obviously nothing that’s going to have any effect other than to get a cheap headline and I thought it was a humiliating performance for Wayne Swan today to basically admit none of his policies mean anything and none of them will have any effect.

JOURNALIST:

He did also leave the door open for reconsidering tariff reductions in the motor industry – is that significant?

TREASURER:

Well I don’t know if it is significant or not because what actually will come of it no one can say.  But now here we are – Labor says oh we are going to do something about petrol but it won’t make petrol prices fall, we are going to do something about groceries which won’t make grocery prices fall, we are going to do something about housing which won’t make housing prices fall – so what are they actually doing?

JOURNALIST:

What did you make of his gaffe on the Franklin candidate?

TREASURER:

Let’s just say it was another humiliating performance by Mr Swan.