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 23/10/2007

Doorstop Interview
Launceston City Park

Tuesday, 23 October 2007
11 am

 

SUBJECTS: Closed circuit TV for Launceston, polls, election, debate

TREASURER:

It is great to be here in Launceston and with my good friend, Michael Ferguson the Member for Bass. And to come here to the Teddy Picnic which has been a great event and it really is great to see some happy mums and kids and to meet them and to talk to them about some of the issues that are important to them.

Today I want to also announce the Commonwealth Government is making $450,000 available to help with street crime in areas such as George Town, the Launceston CBD and also in the northern suburbs. People are worried about street crime, they are worried about hoons racing fast cars, they are worried about vandalism, they are worried about the graffiti. And we think one of the successful ways of campaigning against it is with closed circuit television. This allows the police to pick up those that are responsible and bring them to justice and it also deters people from engaging in anti-social behaviour in the first place. This is part of a national programme which the Australian Government is funding, Michael Ferguson has been actively lobbying for increased resources for this programme and as a result of his efforts, I am here to announce that $450,000 will be made available to help control street crime, petty vandalism, hooning with cars which disturbs the peace and amenity of the neighbourhood.

We want neighbourhoods which are secure and safe and this is part of the Federal Government's response to street crime, hooning and vandalism. And I want to pay tribute to you Michael, for the work that you have done in lobbying for these further grants.

JOURNALIST:

Is it going to be run by police or the council?

TREASURER:

This is going to be made available to the council. We would be asking the council to cooperate and of course the feed will be made available to the police so that they can identify those that are responsible and bring them to justice.

JOURNALIST:

Why these two areas in particular?

TREASURER:

Well these are the areas that have been nominated as the areas where the problems are more significant and that is why the money will be available for closed circuit TV in those areas.

JOURNALIST:

Do you think the polls that are out today reflect the fact that perhaps it is time for the Howard Government, time is up for the Howard Government?

TREASURER:

There is going to be a poll every day for the next five weeks and they are extremely volatile. And anyone who thinks that they can read these polls is doing a better job than me because I am concentrating on the issues that I think are important to Australians, their economic future. The importance of managing a strong economy, for jobs, for interest rates, for businesses. I am focussed on the fact that we need to build better opportunities in Australia and that is what I am concentrating on and I will leave the polls to speak for themselves.

JOURNALIST:

So you are confident the Coalition can win?

TREASURER:

Pardon?

JOURNALIST:

You remain confident the Coalition can win?

TREASURER:

Well look, to win an election you need to win the trust of the Australian public and in my view, particularly, win their trust on economic issues. Because, if the economy turns down, if people lose jobs, they lose their businesses their houses and the security of their families. So I am focussed, absolutely focussed on managing this economy for jobs and for families. And we have a plan, we announced at the beginning of this campaign to build our economy stronger and that is the plan that I will be explaining to the Australian people between now and election day and asking them not to experiment with inexperienced leadership which has already made mistakes in relation to its tax policy, but to trust their future to people who can be trusted with our economy.

JOURNALIST:

You say you want to build trust, so then as the alternative Prime Minister, would you debate Kevin Rudd?

TREASURER:

Oh I am happy to debate anybody. And I hope over the next couple of weeks to be debating my opposite number and if I get the opportunity to expose Kevin Rudd's economic inexperience, I will be taking it.

JOURNALIST:

Your opposite number being Wayne Swan? What about Kevin Rudd though?

TREASURER:

Well I am very happy to expose Kevin Rudd's economic inexperience. I have been trying to debate him on his tax policy he is running away from. It is clear that he made a major error on his tax policy and I would say to Mr Rudd, come out and admit it, don't keep a policy which would make 45 per cent of Australian taxpayers worse off.

JOURNALIST:

So you are disappointed with the polls after your tax cuts last week?

TREASURER:

Well as I said, the important thing I think, is to focus on the future for all Australians and to explain to the Australian people the importance of economic management. And that is what I will be doing between now and election day.

JOURNALIST:

Were you disappointed the Prime Minister has taken you out of his election material in Bennelong?

TREASURER:

No, these letters are tailored for individual circumstances and individual seats. No one letter is the same all the way through Australia and just as we tailor different things because there are different circumstance as you would expect, that is what has happened in this case.

JOURNALIST:

Are there other perhaps more dangerous areas across Australia where CCTV vision could be rolled out?

TREASURER:

Oh sure. Look, I wouldn't say by any means that Launceston was one of the most dangerous places in Australia. This is a national programme so we are rolling it out across Australia. But there is a need in some parts of this area for it and I think residents will welcome it. They will welcome it because they don't like hoons, they don't like hoons racing up and down streets where they shouldn't be making a noise, they don't like graffiti, they don't like vandalism. Short of having a policeman on the street corner 24 hours a day, it is hard to stop. But if you have a camera on a street corner 24 hours a day, the hoons and the vandals know they might be identified. Identified and prosecuted and punished. And it is a great deterrent for hoons and vandals who frankly, are pretty anti-social.

JOURNALIST:

It is $450 grand is not likely to get Mr Ferguson over the line compared with say $45 million in Braddon.

TREASURER:

Well, let me make this point. There will be a lot of policies released in the election campaign and a lot that Michael Ferguson will be announcing between here and election day. But this is just one instalment in the fight to stop crime, petty street crime. And I think it is an important one. I think people will acknowledge that.

JOURNALIST:

Do you think there is...

TREASURER:

We will make this the last question.

JOURNALIST:

Do you think you might be interested in taking over the LGH?

TREASURER:

The...

JOURNALIST:

Launceston General Hospital?

TREASURER:

...well look, I know that the Australian Nurses Federation has got stoppages and strikes going against the State Labor Government in relation to the Launceston Hospital. It is a pretty tough industrial dispute between the various union and State Government instrumentalities and I think I will leave that to them. Thanks very much.