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

18 May 2011

Doorstop Interview

Adelaide Convention Centre

18 May 2011

SUBJECTS: Joe Hockey at National Press Club; Coalition's NBN rollback; Greg Hunt reveals Coalition's $15 per tonne carbon tax

TREASURER:

Today the Shadow Treasurer, Mr Hockey, has delivered a speech at the National Press Club. Last year at the Press Club Mr Hockey had a shocker and by all reports this year was even worse. Sadly I think what he's proven is that he's incapable of doing the job and there were a number of things that he said today which indicate he doesn't understand what he's doing.

He described the global recession as a 'hiccup'. The global recession sent most of our major trading partners into recession and was a very, very big challenge for our economy and for our people. The fact that Mr Hockey doesn't understand that shows how unqualified he is to do the job.

There is no alternative economic framework from the Opposition. The Government has done the hard work of getting the fundamentals right in this Budget and the fact that Mr Hockey could not present any alternative at all shows that there's not any degree of economic credibility left in the Opposition.

Mr Abbott is disinterested in economics; Mr Hockey is incapable of understanding it. They are the most unqualified team when it comes to economic policies to serve in opposition in this country.

JOURNALIST:

Mr Hockey said - I understand that he can't say how he would dismantle any NBN sites, if that was to happen. If there was a rollback, how much would it cost, are we talking how many millions of dollars?

TREASURER:

Well, Mr Hockey doesn't know what he's talking about. It's up to Mr Hockey to come forward with some figures. Mr Hockey has not presented any detail of what he stands for, but one of the interesting things today was that Mr Hunt belled the cat on the carbon price. Today he said the Coalition would have a carbon price of $15. Well there's one big difference between the Coalition and the Government on this - we would have household compensation and they would not. They would have a carbon price without household compensation; we have said that every cent raised from the carbon price goes to assist households or industry.

So it's very clear - a stark contrast. $15 carbon price from the Coalition, no assistance to households. With the Government a carbon price, assistance to households. There's a world of difference between the two positions and once again this demonstrates how irresponsible the Coalition is.

JOURNALIST:

Simon Crean has reportedly said that petrol won't be included in the carbon tax, is that the case?

TREASURER:

I haven't heard any of those reports. What I believe is that we will work with industry on the design of the carbon price and emissions trading scheme. When we've completed that we will announce that.

JOURNALIST:

Treasurer, in your speech you identified a lot of the opportunities in the South Australian economy. Working as you do on the eastern seaboard, do you think that those opportunities are well understood by the business community, particularly in New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria?

TREASURER:

I believe that they're understood across the board by the business community. The business community understands that there's been a changing of the guard in the global economy, that a greater proportion of global growth will occur in our region. That's good for jobs and growth here and I think that is understood by the business community.

Thanks very much.