30 March 2017

Doorstop interview, Royal Australian Mint, Canberra


Joint doorstop interview with
The Hon Greg Hunt MP
Minister for Sport
The Hon Steven Ciobo MP
Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment


With the Commonwealth Games, that is children right around Australia that is the adults who would like to see their children not just participate in the Commonwealth Games but indeed attend the Commonwealth Games so every road, every airport is going to lead to the Gold Coast just twelve months from now and I know Steve Ciobo, who I will ask to make a few remarks in a minute, is very excited not just as the Minister for Trade and Tourism but also as the local member at the Gold Coast.

So it's a very exciting day we are very pleased to press the button to punch out the first commemorative coin, a blue coin, a blue koala, what better way to commemorative the commonwealth games, what better way to make it uniquely Australian and at the Royal Australian Mint where they circulate all the coins.

It is where they make all the coins it is also an indication of just how special this place is, the craftsmanship, the multicultural workforce and the unique design and the team and the way they put things together here and the way they make these coins is just truly tremendous it is just truly Australian and I know these coins are going to be something all people all Australians will get to love, get to know and Borobi is going to be a very special mascot, Steve would you like to make some remarks.


Thanks Michael, can I just say the anticipation for the 2018 Commonwealth Games is building now with just a little over 12 months to go this is an opportunity for Australians indeed for everyone around the world to be able to purchase their little own piece of silver, it may not be a silver medal but it is an important collector's edition silver coin that they will be able to add to their collection, a silver coin that represents a unique and first time event when it comes to coins that is to put a blue koala on it, Borobi is of course the mascot for the Commonwealth Games he epitomises the values the Commonwealth Games are embracing in 2018 and, I can say as Tourism Minister but also as the local member for the Gold Coast, the Gold Coast City is getting right behind these Games, they are genuinely so excited at the prospect of welcoming hundreds of thousands of guests from all around the world to the Gold Coast, I'd say to everyone who is thinking about coming to the Commonwealth Games get in early, the sooner you book your tickets, the sooner you start making your accommodation arrangements and your travel plans the better you will be in terms of not only getting good value but knowing ahead of time that you are already all sorted when it comes to the 2018 Commonwealth Games.


Alright it's 370 days to the 4th of April 2018, it's 370 days until the Commonwealth Games beginning and we've got 6,600 athletes, 70 countries and 24 million Australians who are transfixed by the possibilities and the dreams and the aspirations of athletes from around the world.

We'll have Australians participating but we will have every Australian watching and we will have every young Australian been given the inspiration to dream and to imagine and to improve their own sports participation so the games are a celebration of our best athletes but above all else they are a celebration of the Australian ethos of getting in, having a go and doing your best.


Thanks Greg. Any questions?


Minister McCormack do you concede the Government will have to split the business tax legislation to ensure at least some it passes Parliament?


Well look, there is going to be a lot of talk today about the business tax, I just want to see the Small Business tax cuts get through the Parliament, I want to see that get through the Parliament because it's going to ease the pressure off small business, it's going to provide a reduction in the tax rate from 28.5 cents to 27.5 cents that's so important for small business.

And as I go around the nation on my small business roadshow, that's what the small businesses are telling me. 2.1million small business employ 5 million Australians want to have that burden lifted, they want to have that tax cut and I think it's absolutely imperative that it passes the Parliament and that's why I call on the crossbenchers, particularly Labor – they are standing in the way of small business, they are standing in the way of these tax cuts and they are standing in the way of these tax cuts easing the pressure off the small businesses – I can't understand why they are doing it, they should get on board.


Minister, with that in mind surely you'd be happy to split the bill then so the pressure is taken off small business which you are responsible for and you can worry about big business later?


Well we will wait and see what happens today, we will wait and see what happens, but it's important the small business community gets that tax cut. It is important that those 2.1 million small businesses are given that pressure lift because they need it to employ more Australians, they need it to be able to run their businesses better for jobs and growth. It's so important and I wait to see what happens today.


Now there is reports Nick Xenophon has had to head back to South Australia for personal reasons, what will that mean for you today?


We will wait and see, I wasn't aware Nick Xenophon had to return to South Australia. I hope all is well with him, he is a good man and no one likes to see anybody have to deal with personal matters.

We have an important role to play in Parliament and I know there are also a number of Members that had to go back to Queensland today and our thoughts and prayers are with the Queenslanders as they try to recover from this awful cyclone.


The Government clearly doesn't have the support for the legislation as it stands so why keep trying, why not split it now and least get some through before the budget rather than wait.


Well we have to keep trying on behalf of the small businesses, we are the Government for small businesses.


But you could get that through if you split it.


Well we are the Government for small business and we want to make sure that they get every bit of help that they can. It employs five million Australians, we want it see it employ even more Australians and we want to see the ease lifted from small business. We want to see the business community do the job that they do so well for Australians and I can't understand why Labor doesn't want to get on board, we've got Bill Shorten who when he was in Government was talking about small business, was talking about tax cuts, was talking about hiring more people and when he turns Opposition Leader he just opposes everything he is the stumbling block.

He is the road block to the small business community getting the tax cut they need, they deserve and we as the Government want to be able to pass the bill so we can enable, we can enable the small business to get on with the job doing what they do best that's employing more Australians and that's investing in the businesses we've got right around the nation.


Is the code of conduct for the sugar industry is just a ploy to get One Nation votes in the Senate?


Well George Christensen and The Nationals, we've been talking about the code of conduct we've been talking about and making sure that the millers, the growers had the best deal possible and given the fact that the Queensland Parliament wasn't able to broker an arrangement broker a deal, then the Federal Government has been called upon to do so and we've done that.

That's what the Coalition does when things need to be fixed, we fix them and so this a good arrangement for the millers a good arrangement most importantly for the cane growers it's absolutely critical they do what they do best and obviously at a very critical time with harvest. That's been an arrangement that we've been negotiating for weeks and I'm glad that's it come about.


One Nation votes will be handy though, won't they?


Well, I'd like to see One Nation get on board with the Government and with a whole lot of other things. You know we are the Government for small businesses, we are the government for agriculture, we are the government for the jobs growth, investment for trade and its incumbent upon all the crossbenchers to get on board with our program, our program which is mapping forward a very good program for trade for investment for tourism, for small business and I'd like to think that we don't always have to play politics. We should be putting cane growers, we should be putting farmers, we should be putting small business ahead of our own political interests and it incumbent upon the crossbenchers, I'd like to see Labor just occasionally stop being be so obstructionist and back our good policies


Minister Ciobo, just quickly what can you tell us about the latest regarding cyclone Debbie and importance of the Australians staying at home for the holidays this year instead of going overseas?


Of course our thoughts and prayers continue to be with those in North Queensland who have been affected by Cyclone Debbie. Cyclone Debbie will have a big impact on the Whitsundays especially Arlie Beach and those areas all around there.

It's important for to recognise that now the cyclone is finished that's not the end of it. The economic impact will be felt for months. One of the best ways these communities can recover is by having a strong resurgence in tourism numbers. So if those Australians who have booked holidays to North Queensland who might be thinking that going to the Whitsundays or other parts of the Queensland Coast, I encourage them with their booking to follow through, make a call to the operator of the accommodation office or want not to make sure everything is okay but to follow through with their holidays and I'd say to those other Australians who have yet to make plans to go round the Easter holidays consider booking the Whitsundays consider booking North Queensland and showing your support by taking your holidays in a place like this a real impact a real beneficial impact and will help inject those communities with some much-needed funds for the livelihoods of those who have adversely affected.

Australians have a great track record for rallying behind their fellow Aussies in times of crisis.


Just quickly, Minister Hunt, you mentioned the infrastructure at the Gold Coast for the Commonwealth Games, could that be use for something else in the future perhaps attract the Olympic Games?


Well I think we are contributing all up about $156 million in Federal money. Let's get through the Commonwealth Games, but I have to say I suspect that most Australians would love Australia to host another Olympic games down the track and we have fabulous facilities in Brisbane and the Gold Coast in Sydney and in Melbourne between those three cities they will have hosted two Commonwealth Games and one Olympic Games in the last couple of decades.

So I did speak about this with Sebastian Coe when he was out in Australia and he was very enthusiastic about the Gold Coast and Brisbane he has also equally complimentary about Melbourne. I didn't ask him about Sydney, but that is a wonderful thing to consider the timing. Here is the Gold Coast and the Commonwealth Games and then Steve and I will sit down and we will arm wrestle and try and work out a cunning plan!

Thank you very much.