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Transcript of doorstop interview: Geelong: September 03, 2012: Julia Gillard's carbon tax; education; border protection



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Doorstop Interview, Geelong September 03, 2012

Subjects: Julia Gillard’s carbon tax; education; border protection.

EO&E..............................................................................................................................................................

TONY ABBOTT:

Look, it’s terrific to be here at Geelong. This is a great city with great people and I want to ensure that the people of Geelong have the hope, reward and opportunity that they deserve. It's great to be here with Sarah Henderson. Sarah is an outstanding

candidate. I think she is going to be a great local member and I think she will be a frontbencher in a future Coalition government. She has got a lot of potential to stand up for this area, both as a local member and as a national leader.

The thing about Geelong is that it is one of the most carbon-intensive economies in our country and not only will I reduce the

pressure on people’s cost of living, on families’ cost of living by removing the carbon tax, I will also help to make the jobs of the workers of Geelong more secure. We have got an aluminium smelter, we have got a cement plant, we have got a big motor

industry here. These are all very carbon intensive and the best thing you can do to help workers in Geelong is to make their job secure by not having a carbon tax that will make Australian industries less competitive than their overseas rivals.

A couple of other issues, if I may. The Prime Minister is at the National Press Club today promising billions of dollars for schools

by 2020. Well, there are three things wrong with this. First of all, you can't trust anything this Prime Minister says. Second, she can't say where the money is coming from and, third, Labor has form when it comes to school hit lists. This is a Government

which is all promise and no delivery and that's why people can't trust this Government when it promises the sun, the moon and the stars for the public schools of Australia.

Finally, I just want to say that it is more important than ever that we control our borders. It is more important than ever that we stop

the boats. Foreign Minister Bob Carr said today that if we weren't careful we would have the people smugglers running our entire immigration programme. This was quite an extraordinary admission from the Foreign Minister in a Government which has signally

failed to stop the boats. The next Coalition government will stop the boats by putting in place the policies that have been proven to work. There will be rigorous offshore processing at Nauru. There will be temporary protection visas to deny the people smugglers

a product to sell and there will be the willingness to turn boats around where it is safe to do so. It is now 21 days since Julia Gillard said she would open Nauru. It took John Howard just 19 days and under this Prime Minister we are still weeks away from sending

any boat people to Nauru. If you want to get the right results, you have got to have the right resolve and that's what we haven't got from this Prime Minister because, frankly, Labor's heart is just not in it when it comes to stopping the boats.

QUESTION:

Back to issue number two if I could ask you what you make of the Government's goal to be a top five nation in reading, science

and maths?

TONY ABBOTT:

I think all of us want the best possible performance. I think our goal should be to be number one. We should never be satisfied with what we have got. We should always be striving to improve. But what we need, we need better teachers, we need the best

possible pedagogy, we need to have the right commitment to education and education commitment is not just a question of dollars - it's a question of having good values and the right standards and that's what the Coalition wants to see.

QUESTION:

So that will be a bipartisan target then?

TONY ABBOTT:

Tony Abbott Federal Member for Warringah | Leader of the Opposition

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Well I think the important thing is to have good schools and good schools are not just a question of dollars - dollars are important but there are a lot of things that we can do to improve our schools without yet another cash splash. Last time this Government

tried to spend a lot of money on schools, we ended up with overpriced school halls and of the $16 billion they spent on over-priced school halls, probably about 50 per cent of it was not good value for money. I reiterate my fundamental points. First of all

you can't trust this Prime Minister. Second, she hasn't got the money and, third, this Government has form when it comes to school hit lists.

QUESTION:

Your Deputy has said that Sri Lankan asylum seekers should be turned home before their claims are assessed. Isn’t that in

breach of the UN Refugee Convention?

TONY ABBOTT:

The important thing is that we deny the people smugglers a product to sell and turning boats around where it’s safe to do so is a very important element in that policy.

QUESTION:

Why don’t Sri Lankans deserve to have their asylum claims considered?

TONY ABBOTT:

Sri Lanka had a civil war. The civil war is long over. The civil war is long over and that’s why it’s important to have a robust policy

in place to stop the boats.

QUESTION:

What’s your response to comments made overnight by Afghan President Hamid Karzai in relation to Australian troops killing two locals?

TONY ABBOTT:

The advice I have is that Australian forces were operating in accordance with the ordinary operational guidelines.

Are there any further questions? Well look, just on the carbon tax - as I said, Geelong is one of the most carbon-intensive

economies in our country, but the interesting development today is the announcement from the Government that they are going to make additional carbon permits available for sale, not as an environmental measure, but as a revenue measure and this confirms

what the Coalition has said all along that as far as this Government is concerned this is more about tax than it is about the environment. It is more about revenue than it is about a cleaner future, and the thing about the carbon tax is that it’s emblematic of

this Government’s style. We’ve got a great big new tax, great big new bureaucracy, great big new slush fund and great big new handouts and the Government today has confirmed that what it is really interested in with the carbon tax is raising revenue, not

cleaning up the environment.

Thank you.

[ends]

© Tony Abbott MHR 2010 | Authorised by Tony Abbott MHR, Level 2, 17 Sydney Rd, Manly NSW 2095

www.tonyabbott.com.au

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