Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Transcript of interview with Justin Smith and Nick McCallum: Radio 3AW, Melbourne: 20 June 2011: plebiscite on Julia Gillard's carbon tax



Download PDFDownload PDF

1

aa

LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION THE HON. TONY ABBOTT MHR FEDERAL MEMBER FOR WARRINGAH

20 June 2011

TRANSCRIPT OF THE HON. TONY ABBOTT MHR INTERVIEW WITH JUSTIN SMITH AND NICK MCCALLUM, RADIO 3AW, MELBOURNE

Subjects: Plebiscite on Julia Gillard’s carbon tax.

E&OE……………………….…………………………………………………………………

NICK MCCALLUM:

Mr Abbot thanks for your time. Surely governments are elected to govern?

TONY ABBOTT:

Yes, but they shouldn‟t be elected on a lie and that‟s the problem here. This is a Prime Minister who said six days before the election, “there will be no carbon tax under the government I lead” and there could be no more categoric statement. We should‟ve had the last election as a referendum on the carbon tax, the Prime Minister prevented that from happening and I‟m saying to the Australian public I want you to have a vote on this before it becomes law and that‟s why I brought this plebiscite bill before the parliament.

JUSTIN SMITH:

Mr Abbott, are you confident on this bill, do you have the support, even from your own people?

TONY ABBOTT:

Look, there is absolutely no doubt that my team wants to see this matter voted on by the people. We can‟t have a parliament that was elected opposing a carbon tax try to sneak a carbon tax through…

NICK MCCALLUM:

But you won‟t be able to convince the independents though, surely?

TONY ABBOTT:

Well, what could be more democratic than having a vote of the people? Now, the thing about independents is that they normally want to be ultra democratic. Now, let‟s give the people the vote on the carbon tax that the Prime Minister denied them at the last election.

NICK MCCALLUM:

2

We don‟t have a lot of time, so just, couple of quick logistical questions. What is the question and when would you like the vote to be held?

TONY ABBOTT:

„Are you in favour of a law to impose a carbon tax?‟ That is the question and if my plebiscite bill gets through the parliament, within 90 days of that, there will have to be a vote.

NICK MCCALLUM:

And if we go to an election in the middle of 2013, the Government has already implemented the carbon tax, you will go to that poll, won‟t you, with a policy to repeal that tax?

TONY ABBOTT:

Well, if my plebiscite gets up and the people vote against a carbon tax, I think it‟s utterly inconceivable that this Government could introduce one.

NICK MCCALLUM:

No, but presuming it doesn‟t your policy is still to repeal that tax...

TONY ABBOTT:

Oh yes, absolutely. I mean, my position on a carbon tax is that I am against it in opposition and I will rescind it in government.

JUSTIN SMITH:

Mr Abbott, do you think people have enough of an understanding of what you‟re trying to achieve, what your policy would be if you win?

TONY ABBOTT:

I think people understand that the Government‟s carbon tax will increase their cost of living and threaten their jobs and I want them to have a vote on that. Now, this is not argument over climate change it‟s about how to deal with it. I think there are better ways than a big new tax to deal with climate change and, in a nutshell, we plant more trees, we get more carbon into soil and we use smart technology to take the carbon dioxide emissions from power stations and turn those emissions into something useful by, for argument‟s sake, growing algae for bio-diesel and stock feed.

NICK MCCALLUM:

And just very quickly, have you spoken to the independents and have they given you any indication?

TONY ABBOTT:

Look, I‟m not in the business of disclosing what has and hasn‟t been discussed with people. But I think that the independents if they are fair dinkum about being independent and if they are fair dinkum about democracy ought to look pretty sympathetically at what I‟ve proposed.

JUSTIN SMITH:

Mr Abbott, thanks for talking to us.

3

TONY ABBOT:

Thanks so much.

[ends]