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TRANSCRIPT OF PRESS CONFERENCE

CANBERRA

23 JUNE 2010

Subjects: Australian Labor Party

PM: Earlier this evening Julia Gillard came to see me and has requested a ballot for the leadership
of the Labor Party. As a result of that request I will be writing to the Secretary of the Caucus to
convene a special meeting of the Caucus at nine o'clock in the morning. It's important I believe,
in the interests of the Party and the Government, for these matters to be resolved as a matter of
urgency.

I was elected by the people of Australia as Prime Minister of Australia. I was elected to do a job.
I intend to continue doing that job. I intend to continue doing it to the absolute best of my
ability. Part of that job has been to steer this country through the worst economic crisis the
world has ever seen in 75 years. I believe the Government has acquitted itself well to that task.
Part of the reason the Government was elected was to deliver fundamental reforms in the health and
hospital system. I believe the Government has acquitted itself well to that task as well. Part of
what the Government was elected to do was also to deliver fair outcomes for pensioners in
Australia, and I believe we've done that well by increasing the pension to the extent that we have.

These are important reforms; infrastructure, education, health, hospitals, closing the gap with
Indigenous Australians, also the apology to the first Australians. As Prime Minister of the country
I'm proud of each and every one of these achievements. There is much more to be done and we intend
to get on with the job of doing it.

It's become apparent to me in the course of the last period of time, the last several weeks, that a
number of factional leaders within the Labor Party no longer support my leadership. That is why it
is imperative that this matter be resolved.

I therefore will be contesting the leadership of the Party, and therefore the Government, tomorrow
at that ballot. I think it's important for stability for the Government and the Party that this
occur. As I said before it's far better these things are done quickly rather than being strung out
over a period of time.

I'd say one or two other things as well.

If I am returned as the leader of the Party and the Government, and as Prime Minister, then I will
be very clear about one thing, this Party and Government will not be lurching to the right on the
question of asylum seekers, as some have counselled us to do.

Also on the question of climate change, we will be moving to a timetable on emissions trading which
is of the Government's decision, contrary to the views of some in terms of when that best occurs.
These are important reforms for the future, there's much work still to be done.

Right now obviously we're in the midst of a debate on the future of the taxation system. This is a
hard debate, a hard debate which has been waged in previous times as well. Tax reform is never
easy, a lot of paint has been taken off the Government on the way through. It's also been difficult
for previous Governments engaged in the business of hard reform. We don't resile from that
challenge. However, this obviously has created some challenges and tensions within our Party, and I
mentioned before, having lost the support of certain factional leaders.

Therefore, it's time to get on with the business of resolving this as quickly as possible as the
national interest is at stake. I conclude with where I began.

I was elected by the people of Australia to do a job.

I was not elected by the factional leaders of the Australian Labor Party to do a job, though they
may be seeking to do a job on me, that's a separate matter.

The challenge therefore is to honour the mandate given to me by the Australian people. We've made
mistakes on the way through, I've been very upfront about that. But, in navigating this economy
through the worst crisis the world has seen; in keeping hundreds of thousands of Australians in
jobs who would otherwise be on the unemployment queues; of that I am fundamentally proud and we
intend to continue that reform. Before you ask your questions, I'll take two or three questions and
then as you may appreciate I have some other work to do.

JOURNALIST: Do you think you can win tomorrow?

PM: I believe I am quite capable of winning this ballot tomorrow based on the soundings that we've
taken most recently, then I believe there is a strong body of support for the continuation of my
leadership.

JOURNALIST: Has Julia Gillard told you she's standing against you?

PM: I indicated before that Julia has asked me to have a ballot of the leadership of the Labor
party, I've responded to that request. I'm sorry if I didn't make that clear before.

JOURNALIST: How do you feel personally, do you feel betrayed?

PM: Look politics is a tough business, but the business of politics is about doing what's right for
the country.

I can say in full and honest conscience that I have taken every decision that I have taken so far
as Prime Minister in the nation's interest. A lot of those decisions were hard and rough on the way
through but I've appreciated the strong support of my colleagues on the way through as well. They
have been a fantastic team. But we've gone into some heavy weather of late, a few people have
become shall I say a little squeamish at that. I'm not for getting squeamish about those things, I
am about continuing the business of reform and providing good, strong, proper government for the
people of Australia, the people of Australia who elected me as Prime Minister.

JOURNALIST: You mentioned asylum seekers and the ETS, are you talking about a change of policy in
both those areas?

PM: I am being very plain about what I said before. And you've heard me say things about asylum
seekers policy, and recently. I believe it is absolutely wrong for this country and absolutely
wrong in terms of the values which we hold dear, to get engaged in some sort of race to the right
in this country on the question of asylum seekers, I don't think that's the right thing to do.
That's the direction the Liberal party would like to take us, under my leadership we will not be
going in that direction.

Furthermore, can I say this, on the question of emissions trading which you have raised and
obviously is a matter of great controversy in the community. Let me be very clear. Action on
climate change cannot be achieved in the absence of an emissions trading scheme. We need a price on
carbon. And that price on carbon needs to be put on it within a reasonable timeframe. That would be
the decision of the government, assuming I am re-elected as Prime Minister.

Last one for you, Malcolm.

JOURNALIST: Prime Minister would you expect Ms Gillard to stand down as Deputy Prime Minister if
you get up and win tomorrow?

PM: I am simply calling for a ballot for the leadership of the Labor Party, I believe that's the
right and responsible course of action to undertake for the simple reason that that was the request
which has been made of me.

My fundamental interests are to preserve the good name and standing of this Australian Labor Party,
and to act in the national interest on behalf of the Australian government. We have large
challenges ahead, not least of which is an upcoming G20 summit in Toronto, at which I am currently
scheduled to lead an Australian delegation. This G20 summit will deal with a whole range of
fundamental reforms to the financial system, which goes to the interests of the Australian banks
and the cost of credit in this country.

These are important national interests to pursue, it is one reason why I've decided, apart from
others, that it's important to resolve this matter of the leadership as a matter of urgency. There
are national interests at stake here, which go beyond the personal interests of me as an
individual, which go beyond the personal interests of me as a politician, which go beyond the
personal interests of me as a Prime Minister. Those national interests should be equally in our
thinking at a time like this. My party's interest is important as well, these two matters should be
resolved as a matter of urgency and I have a few urgent things now to attend to.