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Transcript of doorstop: Sydney: 7 November 2012



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THE HON JOE HOCKEY MP

SHADOW TREASURER

DOORSTOP SYDNEY 7 NOVEMBER 2012

E&OE…………………………………………………………………………………

JOURNALIST:

You mentioned in your speech that you have never sought to use the public service as a political weapon. What does that say about Wayne Swan and his office?

JOE HOCKEY:

Julia Gillard’s hypocrisy this morning has reached new levels. I spoke with Peter Costello last night and he could not recall a single occasion when he was Treasurer when a Treasury Minute was deliberately released to the media in order to score political points against the Labor Party. If the Government continues to use the public service as both a shield and a sword on the political battlefield all it does is prove that this Government will go to any low in order to try and protect its political hide.

JOURNALIST:

What has this done to Treasury’s reputation?

JOE HOCKEY:

Well of course it has an impact on Treasury’s reputation. We now have the former, very respected, Secretary of the Treasury, Ted Evans, confirm that when he was Secretary of the Treasury he could not recall an instance like this. He was Secretary of the Treasury when I was there. I well recall advice that came that could be used as a political weapon against the Labor Party that was not used because it would compromise - not only the need for Treasury to give full, frank and honest advice into the future - but it would also, quite obviously, end in Treasury writing advice that was more about the media than it was about good public policy.

JOURNALIST:

Do you have confidence in the ability of Treasury and the Treasury Secretary, Martin Parkinson?

JOE HOCKEY:

I want the Treasury to speak up. This is not the first occasion. They did it during the last Federal Election - the Government did that, we presume, during the last federal election - we have had Treasury documents, as I said previously, that have been prepared by the Treasury used as political weapons by the Government and now we have the latest case. Julia Gillard says it is normal. It is only normal whilst Julia Gillard is Prime Minister. It is only normal behaviour to use the Treasury as a political weapon whilst Julia Gillard has no principles about the way she runs a country. The Government has such a poor economic reputation that it has to rely on Treasury as a shield - justifying everything it does as being the advice of Treasury, rather than making its own decisions in the national interest.

JOURNALIST:

Will you be using the Parliamentary Budget Office to now cost your policies and will you be using that through the election?

JOE HOCKEY:

We have always said we will use the Parliamentary Budget Office. The Parliamentary Budget Office hasn’t been ready to accept any of our submissions yet. It hasn’t been ready because it cannot guarantee that the information will not be passed on to other departments or it won’t end up being obtained by the Government. That legislation is sitting in the Senate and we supported it in the House of Reps and we’ll support it in the Senate, but the Parliamentary Budget Office isn’t ready to operate because, like everything else this Government does, it is big on promise and very low on delivery.

JOURNALIST:

You mentioned in your speech that the Coalition will get rid of the carbon tax very soon, if it were elected. How can you assume that? Are you assuming the Coalition will have power in the Senate and lower house?

JOE HOCKEY:

We will get it through. It will go through the Parliament - the reality of the failed days of the Gillard Government will dawn on the Labor opposition and I am very confident they will rubber stamp it through.

JOURNALIST:

So you are confident you will have the numbers in the Senate and the House of Reps?

JOE HOCKEY:

Yes, it will happen. I am not saying there will be Liberals or Nats on the floor, but reality will dawn for a Labor Party that the electorate has turned against - I have no doubt about that. On a day like today when we have had five boats arrive in the last 24 hours, Julia Gillard is saying it is normal behaviour to use the public service as a political weapon. Fair dinkum! This is the most incompetent Government Australia has ever had and it gets worse by the day. To have five more boats arrive in the last 24 hours illustrates that the Labor Party is rotten to the core. They are spending more time playing politics and no time dealing with the big policy issues that actually do have an impact on the national interest.

JOURNALIST:

On boat arrivals, Senator Carr says the Malaysia people swap deal is still a go, even if Malaysia doesn’t sign up to the UN (convention). What do you say to that?

JOE HOCKEY:

We have said there is a three point plan in relation to dealing with boats - where it is safe, turn the boats back, secondly, temporary protection visas and third, offshore processing. Labor has only picked up one of our three proposals. If they picked up the other two, the boats would stop. But Labor is too proud; Labor is too hubristic to be able to deal with the reality of the situation. That is, you have got to have a multi-faceted approach. Labor created this problem; Labor now doesn’t know how to solve it. Frankly, if they listened to us they would get the right solution in relation to boats.

JOURNALIST:

I have another issue. As a former Johnsman are you happy these priests have resigned at the college?

JOE HOCKEY:

I am glad the matters are being dealt with. I think for a college that has had a very positive influence on my life - and on a number of others - to see it go through this process and have this sort of behaviour is extremely disappointing. I’m glad that everyone is dealing with it, as it should be dealt with.

JOURNALIST:

Did that culture exist when you were there?

JOE HOCKEY:

I don’t know what to believe in the media reports. There was loutish behaviour years ago. There has always been some form of undergraduate behaviour at the college, but some of the information that has come to light is frankly offensive. I would have thought that a lot of behaviour would have tempered with girls moving into the college, but obviously it hasn’t.

JOURNALIST:

What about the initiation ceremonies? What do you know about those?

JOE HOCKEY:

I am not going to give a running commentary about college life at university. For me…

JOURNALIST:

Were you initiated?

JOE HOCKEY:

It was 30 years ago. I have been initiated in the school of life.

JOURNALIST:

Would you support the law being changed for Sydney Uni to have more power over the college?

JOE HOCKEY:

Let it play out. It will play out, it’s appropriate.

[ENDS]