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Transcript of interview with Hammo: Radio 4MK: 10 June 2010: Kevin Rudd's great big new tax on mining; George Christensen; State of Origin.

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Tony Abbott interview with Hammo (Radio 4MK) - Kevin Rudd’s great big new tax on mining; George Christensen; State of Origin 10/06/10

Subjects: Kevin Rudd’s great big new tax on mining; George Christensen; State of Origin.

HAMMO:Morning, Tony.

TONY ABBOTT:G’day, Hammo.

HAMMO:Flying in this morning I suppose one of the big things on the agenda will be talking about the big mining tax, the super profits mining tax which of course really affects this region.

TONY ABBOTT:Well, that’s right, Hammo, and I’m going to a company called G&S Engineering with George Christensen, our local candidate, and this is a mining supplies business. I mean, not every place has got mines but I tell you just about everywhere in Australia has a mining industry because if you don’t have a mine you’ve normally got mining support businesses and then, of course, there’s all the people who depend on mining. It’s not just a half a million workers, it’s the millions of retirees who live on mining dividends, at least in part, and then there’s everyone

who is a consumer of mining products and it’s not just people who use power which depends upon the coal industry, it’s all the home buyers who depend upon the steel, the quarry products and so on and all of this is going to be impacted by Mr Rudd’s great big new tax. So, look, this is a dagger aimed at the heart of our prosperity and a government which has been so reckless and so negligent with our future I think has really disqualified itself from office.

HAMMO:Mate, just going back on the super profit tax, the mining tax, people that are just general people who look at everything and there’s stuff that’s being thrown out by the Labor Party, of course, the LNP on your side of things. To the typical layman like myself we get a little bit confused about what’s going on. All we really

want is somebody to tell us exactly what is going to happen if this tax goes in to place and we seem to be bamboozled by a lot of political talk on how it’s actually going to work and it’s gets confusing for us.

TONY ABBOTT:Yeah, it does and it’s a very good motto if you don’t understand it don’t vote for it and this is part of Mr Rudd’s problem. He can’t explain it and I think the reason why he can’t explain it is because it is very complicated. The Government has not worked out all the details yet and so there’s a sense in which they’re asking us to sign a blank cheque. The legislation won’t be introduced until next year some time.

All we know is that if the Rudd Government is re-elected we’ll get this great big new tax. If the Rudd Government goes, well, we’ll be saved from it and I just think that this is Mr Rudd’s problem. He’s addicted to spending and that means he’s addicted to taxing to feed his spending habit.

HAMMO:Yeah, well, you must be happy with the latest polls that have come out because you seem to be gaining momentum every single day as things go on. Polls can be a fickle thing. They can change daily, of course, but at the moment it’s looking pretty good for the LNP.

TONY ABBOTT:Well, look, Hammo, the polls are encouraging but, as they say, there’s only one that counts and I’m very conscious of the fact that it’s almost 80 years since the last one term federal government and I think we’ll be underdogs going into this election regardless of what the polls do. The Government will throw money at every seat; they are the princes of pork barrelling and it’ll be a filthy campaign. We’ve already seen Mr Rudd basically say things like ‘well, sure I’ve done a hopeless job but look at the other side, they’d be worse,’ well, it’s not a very inspiring message.

HAMMO:No. I suppose you’re right there. Well you’re only as good as the person that represents you in the region. Of course we’ve got George Christensen for this region. Now he’s fairly new to federal politics mate. How do you think he’ll stand up?

TONY ABBOTT:Well look I’ve only met George a couple of times. I’m looking forward to seeing more of him today. My understanding is that he’s got a good record on council and, look, local government is a pretty good preparation for promotion to

higher office. A lot of people have come off local government and been very, very effective state and federal MPs and, as I said, I’m confident a) that George Christensen will be a good local member and b) that a Coalition Government will be

much better for Australia and for Queensland than the current mob.

HAMMO:Alright well you’re in town talking all about that today, it’ll be interesting. I know that the mayors of the region want to talk to you about a ring road and try and get some commitment there because the traffic congestion in this area is just unbelievable especially early in the mornings and late in the afternoons but that’s something that the mayors will talk to you about. Mate, how’s your exercise regime going? Are you still getting into it with all the extra work you’re doing at the moment?

TONY ABBOTT:Hammo, I’m feeling very guilty because I only got into Hervey Bay at about midnight last night and I haven’t been for a run this morning. I’m feeling a bit exercise deprived today because I try to build some kind of thing into my daily

routine. Sometimes it’s a bike ride, sometimes it’s a run. If I’m really lucky it might be a surf, but it’s just always been part of my day - an hour of exercise at the start - and I think it’s important for me at least, because that old saying, you know, ‘healthy mind and healthy body’ - I think you’re mentally sharp if you’re physically fitter…

HAMMO:Well, I used to be a noted cyclist, not so much any more. We might have to pen it in our diaries, next time you come into town, we might go out for a cycle together.

TONY ABBOTT:Well, Hammo, look, you might have to lend me a bike but…

HAMMO:That’s fine.

TONY ABBOTT:…if you’re prepared to lend me a bike, we’ll definitely do a ride.

HAMMO:Well we’ll sort that out without a doubt. Hey, just while we’re on sport, State of Origin next week, just getting a little bit personal here - Queensland or New South Wales?

TONY ABBOTT:I got some very good advice from John Howard and that was don’t take sides in the State of Origin.

HAMMO:That’s a fair bet there.


HAMMO:I’d be curious to know where your heart is, though, I suppose…

TONY ABBOTT:Well, look, it’s good to see Jason King, one of my Manly players, turning out for New South Wales and they are always incredibly tough games and, look, I suppose it’d be nice to see New South Wales even up the score a bit perhaps because it’s good to have a contest, but in the end, as they say, Rugby League is always the winner.

HAMMO:Yeah, well, that’s always true. How are you going in the tipping competition? I’ve heard that you’re in the parliamentary NRL tipping comp.

TONY ABBOTT:Look, one of the nice things about being in these comps as a Leader of Opposition is that you get a bit of help from your staff and I have to say that I tend to rely on advice. I’ve got a guy who fanatically follows the Aussie Rules and I’ve got

a guy who is very keen on the union and the league and I tend to be guided by these fellas. But I did very well in the Super 14 contest. I think I was the leading politician in the rugby Super 14 competition but I’m about middle of the field, that’s all I am in the rugby league, alas.

HAMMO:Well, fair enough. The silvertails are doing ok, I suppose, if you’re a Manly supporter but you’re in the heart of…

TONY ABBOTT:Yeah, look, we’ve been very inconsistent. I mean, we’re doing ok, we had a great result against St George but, you know, then we’ve been falling over against less fancied sides. So we’ve been up and down this year.

HAMMO:Yeah, well, you’re in the heart of Cowboy country here, so be careful what you say about the Silvertails while you’re in town.

TONY ABBOTT:I’ll try to be careful.

HAMMO:Alright, Tony, thanks for your time. Listen, we’ll hold you to that promise of the bike ride on your next visit to Mackay and we’ll go out and belt a few kilometres on the road.

TONY ABBOTT:I’m looking forward to it, Hammo.

HAMMO:Cheers, Tony.

TONY ABBOTT:Good on you.