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 03/11/2007

Doorstop Interview
Higgins Campaign Office, Malvern

Saturday, 3 November 2007

11.00 am

SUBJECTS: Wayne Swan's claims, Higgins campaign launch, Tanya Costello, Peter Andren

JOURNALIST:

Treasurer, Wayne Swan has come out this morning and said that he has a tough, conservative plan to run tight Budgets, keep cutting tariffs and stamp out thuggish union behaviour. Your reaction?

TREASURER:

Well, Peter Garrett said it all didn't he? Once Labor gets elected they are going to change it all. And Mr Swan will be telling you he will just be like the Liberal Party now but Wayne Swan didn't join Labor in order to implement the Liberal Party policy. If you want strong Budgets, if you want people that can stand up to the unions you won't be voting for the Labor Party in this election you will be voting for the Liberal Party. And whatever Labor says on any of these issues just remember Peter Garrett said, once they are elected they are going to change it all. And this is just an elaborate pretence to try and get through to election day. And once Labor is elected we know what will happen - 70 per cent of their Ministry will be ex-union officials and it will be the unions that are running things.

JOURNALIST:

Mr Costello you are half way through the campaign and the polls aren't changing. Are you at all concerned?

TREASURER:

I think the important thing is that we continue to talk to Australians about the things that concern them, the opportunity to get jobs, good health facilities, good educational facilities, helping pensioners, this can only be done with a strong economy. And we have got to keep the Australian economy growing in difficult times. We have seen again overnight fallout from the United States. We have seen some of the losses that are being made there. We have seen it's economy turning down. It is going to be difficult to manage the Australian economy in the years that lie ahead. And this is where you need experienced management. The one thing Kevin Rudd can never copy from the Coalition is experience.

JOURNALIST:

And Treasurer your reaction, there is some good news for the latest Newspoll with the key marginal seats it shows that the Coalition is clawing-back, your reaction to that?

TREASURER:

Well it is important to keep talking to Australian people about our plans for the future. We have got a tax plan to make the economy more competitive. We have got a plan to help self-funded retirees and pensioners with a Utilities Allowance of $500, a plan for another 100 technical colleges, a plan to have practical rebates to deal with solar power and give people the opportunity to have solar hot water. And these are the things the Australian public is interested in, these are the things that I want to see implemented in this country.

JOURNALIST:

Mr Costello your brother has said that there should have been a transition earlier. He has also said some very nice things about what kind of Prime Minister you could be. Is that just brotherly loyalty or has he got a point do you think?

TREASURER:

Well we take compliments wherever we get them.

JOURNALIST:

Do you think it should have been handed over?

TREASURER:

Look, I am running in this election to make sure that Australia can be the best that I believe it can be. And I am doing that as part of a team and I want to make sure that we give every Australian the opportunity to work. This can only be done with good economic management.

JOURNALIST:

How come the Prime Minister isn't here today to launch your election campaign?

TREASURER:

Because he is campaigning in Darwin and it's a little hard to get from Darwin to Malvern.

JOURNALIST:

What's the significance of having your wife here Treasurer as part of your campaign?

TREASURER:

Well...

JOURNALIST:

It is the first time she has done the launch.

TREASURER:

Yes.

JOURNALIST:

Is it about personalising you as a future PM?

TREASURER:

Well, I think the reason why my wife was here to launch the campaign is obviously she wanted to, and she wanted to support me and she wanted to say a few things. And many people will think that she's the most accomplished public speaker in the family.

JOURNALIST:

She spoke about the Peter Costello that other people don't know - the compassion that she sees. Is that because you or she feels that that's a side of you that doesn't come across?

TREASURER:

Well that's who I am and she spoke about the way she sees me. She probably knows me better than anybody else and I thank her for her support. She is a very talented person and I think you saw that for yourself today. Okay thanks.

JOURNALIST:

Do you have any words about...

TREASURER:

Last one.

JOURNALIST:

...Peter Andren?

TREASURER:

Peter Andren was somebody who made a very significant contribution to the Parliament. He sat as an independent for the seat of Calare and he represented his constituents well. As you know he wanted to run for the Senate but he's been struck down by cancer in an untimely way. My condolences go to his family. They will be grieving his loss. His constituents will be grieving his loss. And I pay tribute to him as I would to any person for the public service that he engaged in as a Member of the Parliament. Thank you all. Thank you.