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Transcript of interview with David Koch: Sunrise, Cairns 18 September 2014

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Hon. J.B. HOCKEY Treasurer



E&OE……………………. DAVID KOCH: Treasurer Joe Hockey joins us now from Cairns where this weekend he'll be hosting the G20 Finance Ministers meeting. Joe, good morning to you. Is the Government being kept updated on these raids right throughout Sydney and apparently Brisbane this morning? TREASURER: Well, yes, Kochie. Of course we are updated. I mean, I haven't got any particular updates on the raids but there is always a coordinated action in regard to these matters. DAVID KOCH: Yeah, with - you've got, G20 Finance Ministers in Cairns over the next couple of days. You've got the full-blown G20 in Brisbane coming up shortly. Are you concerned about home-grown terrorist threats leading up to the big meetings? TREASURER: Well, of course everyone needs to make sure that with an increased threat level associated with potential terrorist attacks in Australia, we have all the necessary precautions taken for both the G20 here in Cairns and also in Brisbane, but I am very confident that all bases are covered. We have put a lot of effort into this for a long period of time, and even with 80 per cent of the world's economic leaders here, it is going to be a very successful meeting I think. DAVID KOCH: Well, let's focus on that. Why is it important to have the G20 Finance Ministers meeting in Australia? What does it mean to an ordinary Aussie? TREASURER: Well, it means a lot because, ultimately, we are chairing the most powerful economic forum in the world and under our leadership we've set new growth targets for the world economy. And I said it down in Sydney earlier this year with all the Finance Ministers that we want to increase economic growth by two per cent by 2018. That increases the size of the global economy by about $2 trillion, and it means millions of new jobs. We also want to crackdown on tax rorting by multinationals, and I know that's an issue near and dear to your heart as well. DAVID KOCH: Yep, too right. How is that progressing? This is stopping the - you know, I don't want to name the big companies, the big American particularly tech companies that make buckets of

money here in Australia and they ship it off to Ireland rather than pay their taxes on their profits here. How is that progressing, some sort of agreement between countries to stop it? TREASURER: Well, at the Sydney meeting, Kochie, I put it out to all the Finance Ministers how do I explain to a book seller in my electorate that they have to pay rent and pay tax and employ Australians, and yet someone can buy a book over the internet and that company doesn't pay tax in Australia? I think that's unfair, and a lot of Finance Ministers came to realise that multinationals that do not pay their fair share of tax where they earn the income are simply ripping off their populations. So this weekend we are going to hopefully lay down the new measures to deal with some of the base erosion in tax but also, importantly, we are going to set up new reporting requirements when people open bank accounts, right around the world. The same information is collected at the point of opening that bank account, then our tax authorities are able to get that information from other countries in a consistent form so we know where people are hiding money. DAVID KOCH: Okay, that'll help the Budget. Now, your old mate, former Federal Treasurer Peter Costello, has warned that Australia's economic luck is running out. He's fearful that China's appetite for our resources is tapering off; we're going to be worse off. There's a bit of glass half empty here? TREASURER: Yeah, I think so. I'm an optimist about our future, mate. I think Australia is on the threshold of its greatest ever era, but we have got to earn it. We've got to earn prosperity and we've got to undertake some reforms, some change in the way we do things every day. But if we undertake that change, if we embrace new technology, but also, importantly, if we look to the skies in the opportunities that are available, particularly in Asia, for agriculture, for education, for health services, for a range of different services - if we look at those blue sky opportunities, we'll do well, we'll get there. DAVID KOCH: Yeah, it's not just about being a quarry. Alright, before you go, have you got any tips for the finals on the weekend? You've got such a great track record? I'm still waiting for my bottle of red. TREASURER: [Laughs] Oh, was it just a bottle of red we bet, was it? Thank god, I thought it was something more substantial. I mean, you - no, I'm not having any more bets with you, Kochie. I mean, my poor old Tigers... DAVID KOCH: Yeah, I know. TREASURER: …I think I'm really hurting about that. I don't want to talk about it, really. DAVID KOCH: Alright, you can change colours if you like. Treasurer, I hope the G20 goes well. TREASURER: Thank you, Kochie. Good to speak to you.