Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Transcript of interview: Big Guns of Politics, Channel Seven: 2 November 2012



Download PDFDownload PDF

 

TRANSCRIPT

THE HON JOE HOCKEY MP

SHADOW TREASURER

SUNRISE - BIG GUNS OF POLITICS CHANNEL SEVEN 2 NOVEMBER 2012

E&OE…………………………………………………………………………………

PRESENTER:

We're joined by our Big Guns of Politics this morning, Environment Minister Tony Burke and Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey. Good morning gents. Tony, is the Government going to bail them (Autodom) out?

TONY BURKE:

At the moment, they haven't determined how they want to restructure. So there are still talks they are having with some of their own investors as well. The Government is monitoring it closely; if we end up in a situation where we are faced with redundancies, there is some immediate help that goes in then. But, at the moment, we still don’t know exactly where the company is at. They have flagged these concerns but they haven't yet decided that shut down is [inaudible].

PRESENTER:

So you are prepared to help if they come with a viable plan? And put money in?

TONY BURKE:

There are levels of help - we have programs they may be eligible for. I am not going to, right now, say, locked in, there is assistance there. We have got to wait and see where they are at as well.

PRESENTER:

Joe, these companies are faced with enormous difficulties, aren’t they? Competing with the high Aussie dollar, cheap imports - the whole lot. What can be done? It is a critical industry.

 

JOE HOCKEY:

You don't keep taxing them, that is a starting point. Things like the carbon tax which adds $400 to the cost of a motor vehicle manufactured in Australia. Industrial relations - Max Yasuda - the head of Toyota - courageously came out and said industrial relations is having a

huge impact on Toyota in Australia with restrictive workplace practices. Other things like the high Australian dollar are hurting. The best thing you can do for a high Australian dollar is help get interest rates down. If you run a surplus, that takes some of the upward pressure off interest rates.

TONY BURKE:

Interest rates are lower than they were under the Howard Government. You can't be claiming you don't have low interest rates.

JOE HOCKEY:

Understand this - there is a difference between the cash rate of the Reserve Bank and what people are actually paying. The gap between what people are actually paying and the cash rate of the Reserve Bank is bigger now.

PRESENTER:

Joe, you are saying regulate the banks?

JOE HOCKEY:

No. No. No.

PRESENTER:

Force them to cut their interest rates even further?

JOE HOCKEY:

No.

PRESENTER:

That's what you are saying.

JOE HOCKEY:

The cost of funds to the banks - now you have opened me up Kochie - the cost of funds to the banks is now higher than it was previously.

PRESENTER:

Bull!

 

JOE HOCKEY:

And why? Because they are competing with the 800 pound gorilla in the market, which is the Federal Government, that now has $250 billion of debt. If the government is out there borrowing in competition with the banks the cost of funds to the banks is higher.

PRESENTER:

They are getting their money from overseas -

JOE HOCKEY:

20% of it.

PRESENTER:

The costs of money has come down and now they are blaming higher interest rates on savings.

JOE HOCKEY:

Kochie, have a look at how much of the Federal Government’s borrowings are coming from overseas; 86% is now held offshore, which is putting upward pressure on the Australian dollar.

PRESENTER:

Okay.

JOE HOCKEY:

Silence, silence in Kochie’s camp! That is 15-love to Joe Hockey.

PRESENTER:

We do have two other topics to get through. We've got one you might like.

TONY BURKE:

That was sufficiently out of left field.

PRESENTER:

Let’s work on Tony Abbott. Independent MP Andrew Wilkie reckons it is ‘make or break’ time for the Opposition Leader. But his family’s public defence of him continues. In today’s Herald Sun Mr Abbott’s daughters have spoken about how they felt when he was called a misogynist. Tony, what do you think about the family coming out?

 

TONY BURKE:

From what I can tell - I heard Sam’s comments earlier - it looks like they were at another event and a journalist asked them a question about their dad and they answered it.

PRESENTER:

Is it fair game that they are weighing into the debate?

TONY BURKE:

Family members can say whatever they want. I don’t think it is fair go for us to be arguing back at family members. That’s where I just think we draw a line.

PRESENTER:

Joe, what is your response?

JOE HOCKEY:

Good on you, Tony. It is right, they were asked a question - it is their dad that everyone is saying these things about. It is their father. Good on them for defending their father. I hope my daughter does one day.

PRESENTER:

Kevin Rudd has been told to move on and forget about becoming PM again. In an open letter, his official biographer, Robert Macklin, says for the sake of the nation, the government and himself, Mr Rudd should abandon the delusion that he is the rightful Prime Minister. Joe,

what do you reckon? Has Kevin been living in the past?

JOE HOCKEY:

I feel a bit sorry for Kevin. After what the Labor Party did to him, now his own biographer is having a shot. He's done it before. You let someone into your life, they write about it and then they go and dump on you like this. It is pathetic behaviour.

PRESENTER:

If John Howard had taken that advice when he was dumped as Opposition Leader years before, we wouldn't have had Australia's (second) longest serving Prime Minister.

JOE HOCKEY:

That’s probably right. I am absolutely confident that Kevin won't get the chance to beat John Howard's record. But having said that I just think people have got to lay a bit off Kevin. He's copped it; a full-blown blow torch from the Labor Party.

 

PRESENTER:

He gets stuck into him. It is pretty serious. What do you think?

TONY BURKE:

People are saying ‘does Kevin now need to come out and make some comment?’ or ‘do we need to hear extra messages before we move on?’ People have moved on, people have now moved on. That’s my view.

PRESENTER:

So you agree with the biographer? Your advice to Kevin is the same as the biographer?

TONY BURKE:

Some people are saying Kevin now needs to make different comments in support of Julia and different things. Everyone has moved on from where that was at.

PRESENTER:

Do you think Kevin has moved on, though?

TONY BURKE:

I hope so. The best signal was when we won the Security Council bid and the first thing the Prime Minister said was to congratulate Kevin Rudd on the role he played. That’s how it ought to be, and for a long time it wasn't like that. That is how it is now.

JOE HOCKEY:

Just to add some balance, Tony Burke is the patron of the Kevin Rudd fan club, so I think we have got to take that into account. But the bottom line is people have been really rough on Kevin, and I think Tony and I both agree - people have been too tough on Kevin. They have got to lay off him, just let him get on with the job of what he is doing.

PRESENTER:

You agree with that?

TONY BURKE:

You just gave me three invitations to have a go at him and I didn't.

PRESENTER:

Thank you, gents. Have a good weekend. You're stirring the pot, as usual. Let's go to Sam, help!

[ENDS]