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

8 November 2011

Doorstop Interview

Canberra

8 November 2011

SUBJECTS: Carbon price, Australia Network tender, Newspoll, Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook

TREASURER:

Well today is an historic day for economic reform. No longer will the big polluters be able to pump carbon pollution into the atmosphere for free. This legislation will cut carbon pollution and it will drive investment in cleaner energy, in natural gas, in renewable energy, in solar, in wind. And of course there will be assistance for households, and assistance for industry, and assistance for cleaner energy initiatives. There will be tax cuts, there will be increased pensions and, of course, there will be increased family payments, a very big tax reform, a trebling of the tax free threshold - a very important tax reform in its own right.

So this will be a victory for the optimists and it will be a defeat for the deniers. Mr Abbott is going to scurry off today after all of the tough boy talk that we've heard in recent months and run away from the debate. For our part, we'll get on with the important reforms that strengthen our economic prosperity and that create jobs. What's important about today is the Government has done the hard yards putting in place the important long-term reforms, which will ensure our future prosperity. Nothing could be more important to our nation.

JOURNALIST:

How badly has the Government bungled the Aus Net tender?

TREASURER:

Well we've had some advice from the Australian Government Solicitor that because of the leaks that we had to take the course of action that was announced by the Communications Minister last night. There will be - or is - a federal police investigation into these matters and it's not appropriate that I provide any further comment over and above that investigation.

JOURNALIST:

Who does the Government think is doing the leaking?

TREASURER:

Well, as I said there is a federal police investigation and I don't intend to pre-empt that federal police investigation.

JOURNALIST:

You must have your suspicions if you've called in the federal police.

TREASURER:

No, we call in the federal police to actually get the information; we don't do it in reverse.

JOURNALIST:

Does the Auditor-General need to have a look at it as well as the federal police?

TREASURER:

Well the most important thing is we'll have a look at the federal police investigation and then we'll decide a course of action from there, thanks very much.

JOURNALIST:

(inaudible) automatically be given to the ABC now, why wait six months?

TREASURER:

Well because there has to be arrangements in place in the interim, we have to see the results of the federal police investigation - that's the way you do things.

JOURNALIST:

Treasurer, I know you don't like commenting on polls, but judging by today's Newspoll, are we seeing a shift in momentum here?

TREASURER:

Well what the Government is doing is the right thing by the country in the long term. That involves tough decisions, sometimes that brings impacts which we see in opinion polls. We don't get fazed by opinion polls one way or the other. They don't govern what we do.

What we have had from the Prime Minister is leadership on a very important question to do with our long-term national prosperity. We're going to continue to take the right decisions for the country, irrespective of what opinion polls say on any particular week, or in any particular month or in any particular year.

JOURNALIST:

[inaudible] Tony Abbott's departure to the UK. Is that a sign he's given up the fight on carbon tax?

TREASURER:

Well he's scurrying off with his tail between his legs, isn't he. We had all this tough talk from him over the past few weeks. And the vote's coming up and he's scurrying off with his tail between his legs.

JOURNALIST:

Is there a need for a Cabinet reshuffle?

TREASURER:

These are matters entirely for the Prime Minister.

JOURNALIST:

[inaudible]

TREASURER:

I'm not commenting about events that are speculated on in the newspapers, it's just speculation.

JOURNALIST:

[inaudible]

TREASURER:

I'm not buying into that sort of speculation, it's completely futile.

JOURNALIST:

Treasurer following the release of the Access Economics yesterday, will you be releasing the mid-year economic review sometime soon?

TREASURER:

Well I'm putting the mid-year review out mid-year, which is before the end of the year, that's what I'll be doing. Okay, thanks.