The Crest of the Commonwealth of Australia Treasury Portfolio Ministers
Picture of Wayne Swan

Wayne Swan

Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer

3 December 2007 - 27 June 2013

2 April 2011

Joint Interview with
Anna Bligh
Premier of Queensland

Doorstop Interview

Brisbane

2 April 2011

SUBJECTS: Qld election speculation; Campbell Newman use of mayoral resources; carbon price impact scare campaign

JOURNALIST:

Well, Premier you're out today with your Federal counterpart. Campbell Newman is on the Gold Coast doing the exact same thing. Are we in campaign mode?

PREMIER:

What we're doing here is making sure that we're investing in the long-term future for Queensland. Yesterday you saw me in Rockhampton opening a new hospital emergency department for the people of that region and we've been working for some time with the Federal Government to do what we could to secure this part of our history – Ella's Pink Lady. And I'm just delighted that I could be here today with Wayne Swan for a joint investment in an iconic Australian piece of living history.

JOURNALIST:

Are you officially campaigning though?

PREMIER:

Absolutely not.

JOURNALIST:

Premier are you going to call an election tomorrow?

PREMIER:

Absolutely not. What we've got ahead of us in Queensland is a very, very significant rebuilding task and we're going to do that with as much energy and as much dedication as is needed. What we're going to do as a State Government is go the distance with Queenslanders. We've just been through our worst ever disaster and we're not about to walk away from the task ahead of us and nor are we going to walk away from the daily business of government – providing new services, ensuring that people are being looked after.

TREASURER:

Can I just say it's great to be here with the Premier this morning because we are working very closely together. There's a very, very substantial Commonwealth investment in the rebuilding of Queensland in partnership with the State Government and we are absolutely focussed on making that investment, in getting our public infrastructure back up and running and providing all the assistance we possibly can to so many Queenslanders who've done it tough. So it's very important there's a close working relationship on these issues, and there is.

JOURNALIST:

We've heard this morning that Campbell Newman is sending emails out to people in his, in the council email distribution lists, basically asking whether they would re-sign up to get any newsletters in his new role. What do you think about him using that train to get his message through?

PREMIER:

Well, I think others will make a judgement about Campbell Newman's use of the Mayoral Office. Really now for more than a fortnight, in my view that he wanted to run for State Parliament, he should have resigned the day that he made that decision and made that announcement. But he's clung onto the office and now obviously we get evidence that he may have been using that office for state campaigning. Others will make a judgement about him for that. In the meantime I've been getting on with rebuilding Queensland, working on reconstruction, working with the Federal Government to deliver good things for Queenslanders.

JOURNALIST:

Treasurer, in regard to the carbon tax and the ramifications, the Courier Mail says today it'll add an extra $860 dollars a year to an average household bill. Is that affordable?

TREASURER:

Well, we don't have a carbon price, we don't have the final design of the scheme, so the statements that have come from the Federal Opposition are nothing more than a dishonest scare campaign. We're going to work our way through all of the issues associated with pricing carbon to do something about dangerous climate change. What we've said is the very largest polluters will have to purchase permits. The revenue from those permits, every single cent of that will be returned to households and to industry who are affected. So we're getting on with the job of dealing with dangerous climate change, reducing carbon pollution, but we are working through that in a methodical way and we don't have a carbon price, so anybody who is running around drawing conclusions about the price impacts of any scheme can't do it until we get the final design of the scheme.

JOURNALIST:

So when can we expect a carbon price and the details?

TREASURER:

We've said that we would move as quickly as we possibly could to the final design over the next few months. That's what we'll do. That's the only responsible way to deal with the very substantial issues that we need to deal with. Reducing carbon pollution, making the biggest polluters pay, is very important to the future of our economy and to the future of our environment. We have to deal with that responsibly. It can't be dealt with with these deliberately misleading scare campaigns that are being waged by the Liberal and National Parties at the moment. Australia deserves to have a responsible Opposition. They are being completely irresponsible and reckless in the type of statements they're making at the moment.

JOURNALIST:

So the carbon price details – will that come on Budget day or...

TREASURER:

No it will be coming after the Budget. We've made that very clear from day one. What we have said is that we will consult widely. We are consulting with the business community. The business community needs certainty to invest. We need investment in future power generation. We need investment to drive renewable energy. We've just been over there looking at the solar panels on the boat. We need to, as a country, ensure there is investment in renewable energy so we can deal with dangerous climate change. That's what an emissions trading scheme is all about. It's a responsible move to reduce pollution in our atmosphere so we can secure the future of our environment and our economy.

JOURNALIST:

So are you saying that these figures are unfair?

TREASURER:

What I'm saying is that we don't have a price on carbon. That has not been decided yet. We don't have a design of the scheme. So it is misleading to claim any particular price impact in the way in which the Opposition is using the figures.