Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Transcript of interview with Andrew Bolt: The Bolt Report, Ten Network: 10 June 2012: economy; border protection; Her Majesty the Queen's Diamond Jubilee



Download PDFDownload PDF

1

LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION THE HON. TONY ABBOTT MHR FEDERAL MEMBER FOR WARRINGAH

10 June 2012

TRANSCRIPT OF THE HON. TONY ABBOTT MHR INTERVIEW WITH ANDREW BOLT, THE BOLT REPORT, TEN NETWORK

Subjects: economy; border protection; Her Majesty the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

E&OE……………………….…………………………………………………………………

ANDREW BOLT:

Joining me is Opposition Leader Tony Abbott. Mr Abbott, is Glenn Stevens right, have we been too gloomy about an economy that’s growing steadily, with low unemployment and relatively low inflation?

TONY ABBOTT:

Well the point I make Andrew is that Australia’s relative economic strength owes far more to the reforms of previous governments than it does to the spending spree of the current one. The other point I make, Andrew, is that obviously the Reserve Bank is not all that optimistic. If it were, it wouldn’t be cutting rates.

ANDREW BOLT:

But the point is, from Glenn Stevens’ point of view, too gloomy. Do you think you’ve been too gloomy?

TONY ABBOTT:

No I don’t. I think I’ve been absolutely realistic. Now, hitting our economy with a carbon tax, hitting our economy with a mining tax, taking workplace relations changes too far with the abolition of the Australian Building and Construction Commission, these are all very bad moves that will seriously damage our economy in the short term and in the long term.

ANDREW BOLT:

Well Glenn Stevens was virtually saying this is about as good as it gets. He said he’d be surprised if we started to borrow a lot more and save a lot less, to spend a lot more. That would be unhealthy. Is this about as good as it gets, ‘not too bad’?

TONY ABBOTT:

Well I believe, passionately, Andrew, that with a different and better government, things can be very substantially better, very substantially better. Let’s not forget that under this government, real GDP growth per head has been minimal, productivity has actually been declining, they say they’re going to get a surplus

2

but frankly, we’ll believe that when we see it, given that this government has been much better at talking about a surplus than delivering it. What we’ve actually had from this Treasurer, are the four biggest deficits in Australian history.

ANDREW BOLT:

But does this feed into the problem, that, with Glenn Stevens’ comments, that people are making the attack, Labor’s making the attack, you’re too negative. He’ll say, ‘Look, it’s not too bad,’ and then you’ll say, ‘But look at all these challenges’.

TONY ABBOTT:

Well wouldn’t it be better if we didn’t have a mining tax and all the sovereign risk issues associated with that? Wouldn’t it be better if we weren’t hitting our economy with the world’s biggest carbon tax at the worst possible time? And i think the self evident answer to those questions is , yes it would be a lot better, Andrew.

ANDREW BOLT:

This weekend you’ve mentioned that you’re going to have changes to how the visas work for boat people, asylum seekers that destroy their documents will have the presumption against their refugee status, the immigration minister will exercise the right to appeal against decisions to let people in and an integrity commissioner will report on processing success rates. You’re suggesting of course that bodies like the Refugee Review Tribunal are too soft. That’s the crux of it, isn’t it?

TONY ABBOTT:

Well the bottom line, Andrew, is that 90 per cent of people who arrive illegally by boat ultimately get permanent residency. Now, the people smugglers are delivering on their promises because once they get here in Australia, the system effectively waives them through and it’s just getting worse because the Government has effectively adopted the Greens’ policy here. They’ve adopted the Greens’ policy on carbon tax, they’ve adopted the Greens’ policy on border protection. Is it any wonder that the boats keep coming, when the boat people keep getting permanent residency?

ANDREW BOLT:

That’s true but the problem here seems to be within bodies like the Refugee Review Tribunal. You’re looking at checking their processing success rates to see if they’re out of whack. Is that what your suspicion is, that the bureaucracy has got too many people with a predisposition to let people in?

TONY ABBOTT:

Look, the risk, Andrew, is that with so many boats arriving, with a $4.7 billion blow out in border protection costs, with these detention centres under enormous pressure, there will just be a tick-and-flick system put in place, where the most rudimentary checks are made and then people are led into the community. Now, we saw this with ‘Captain Emad’ during the week. I mean, what an absolute fiasco. How can anyone take this country seriously with that kind of Keystone Cops - and I don’t blame the cops, I blame the Government - but what sort of a farcical routine that was. This country is a soft touch, that’s the problem.

ANDREW BOLT:

Does it worry you, then, that the Refugee Review Tribunal, they had sitting members, they had to go before a panel to assess the reappointment, that on the four man panel looking at this, what they were doing with a

3

justified reappointment, was the President of the Refugee Council of Australia. Does that sort of thing send the wrong signal?

TONY ABBOTT:

Look, of course it does, Andrew, and in the end, we have a responsibility to be a humane country, but we have a greater responsibility to be a self-respecting country that protects its own borders.

ANDREW BOLT:

Earlier this week we celebrated, well, it seemed to be an astonishing success, the Diamond Jubilee of the Queen, at least when you saw in Britain the scenes there. I noticed from the footage of the lighting of the beacon, the Diamond Jubilee beacon in Canberra, that you sang God Save the Queen and Julia Gillard didn’t. What does that tell you?

TONY ABBOTT:

Well look, I’ll let the public draw their own conclusions from that but I certainly think it’s been a marvellous demonstration, an international demonstration of respect for a sovereign who has been an exemplar of duty and service for 60 years.

ANDREW BOLT:

But should Julia Gillard have sung God Save the Queen? You did.

TONY ABBOTT:

Look, maybe she doesn’t know the words, maybe she doesn’t know the tune. Maybe they were singing the Internationale or something when she was younger! But look, Andrew, I think that the great strength of the monarchy is that it provides continuity and stability in a world which is so often full of flux and change. I mean, in 10 years time our leaders will be different, our laws, no doubt, will have been changed but I suspect Her Majesty the Queen will still be there and that’s something very, very important, something priceless which our existing system gives us.

ANDREW BOLT:

Well yes indeed, God Save the Queen then. Tony Abbott, thank you so much for joining us.

TONY ABBOTT:

Thanks so much Andrew.

[ends]