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Transcript of doorstop interview: Hobart: 5 September 2015: Syria; Daesh death cult; refugees



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www.pm.gov.au

PRIME MINISTER

5 September 2015

TRANSCRIPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER THE HON. TONY ABBOTT MP DOORSTOP INTERVIEW, HOBART

Subjects: Syria; Daesh death cult; refugees.

E&OE……………………….……………………………………………………………

PRIME MINISTER:

Obviously, this week the Government is considering whether to extend our airstrikes into Syria. We are taking requests from the United States very seriously indeed. We are very determined to play our part in the international campaign against the death cult, which isn’t just horribly persecuting people in the Middle East but which is reaching out to this country and which has already inspired two terrorist incidents and several luckily prevented attacks here in Australia. So, we are taking this request very seriously. It does need to be carefully considered and we will be making a decision later on this week.

QUESTION:

You have a Cabinet Minister and a backbencher saying you should protect Syrians from the death cult by taking more refugees. Is that something you would consider?

PRIME MINISTER:

We made a decision last year that we would take about 4,400 people from Northern Iraq and Eastern Syria, areas where the death cult is active and areas from which hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people have been displaced. We are a country which takes our international obligations seriously. On a per capita basis we actually take more refugee and humanitarian entrants than any other country. So, we do take our responsibilities seriously. We continue to take them seriously and one of the good things about stopping the boats is that we are now in a much better position to increase our refugee and humanitarian intake.

QUESTION:

Would you consider reopening, say the Pontville Detention Centre and other detention centres in a similar way we did with the Kosovar refugees in the late 90s?

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www.pm.gov.au

PRIME MINISTER:

Well, we don’t want to have a detention centre-led economy. We want to have a business-led economy. We want to have a confidence-led economy and the great thing about what the Government has been doing for small businesses right around Australia in the wake of the Budget it that confidence is high. Since the election we have had 335,000 more jobs created in our economy. We have got, right now, car sales at new record levels, housing approvals at new record levels, we have got company registrations at record levels, we have got bankruptcies at record lows. So, a lot of good things are happening in our economy and my determination is to ensure that more good things happen in our economy as we get taxes lower, simpler and fairer. I am not interested in building more detention centres - that was what happened under Labor.

[ends]