Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Washington, DC: transcript of doorstop interview, 1 May 2001: Shane Stone.



Download PDFDownload PDF

Transcript No. 2001/050

TRANSCRIPT of

THE HON PETER COSTELLO MP Treasurer

Doorstop Interview Tuesday, 1 May 2001 10.15am Washington DC, USA

E&OE

SUBJECTS: Shane Stone

JOURNALIST:

[Inaudible] memo?

TREASURER:

Well, of course I do not know anything about the memo. It was not written by me and it was not received by me. So I know nothing about it. The first I have heard about it was when it was published in the press.

JOURNALIST:

It was certainly pointed at you. How have you reacted to what you've heard about what was in the memo?

TREASURER:

Well, as I say, I had never heard about this memo until it was published in the press. As I understand it, it was a confidential note from Mr Stone to Mr Howard. Certainly, nobody circulated it in the Government. It has appeared in the press. I think Mr Stone will have to explain the circumstances of it to you. I cannot add anything.

JOURNALIST:

What about the charges, though? They're quite serious charges - that you're captive to the Department, the Government's been mean and tricky over the introduction of GST, that you're out of touch.

TREASURER:

Well, I have not heard of this memo until the press published it. I cannot confirm whether it is bona fide. Nobody has sent me a copy of it. And I think you will have to direct all questions on it to the person that wrote it, if it be an authentic document. I assume it is. But I certainly cannot authenticate it.

JOURNALIST:

Isn't the most serious charge of all, though, that it comes from within the Party?

TREASURER:

Well, if it is an authentic document, it looks as if it is a document from Shane Stone to Mr Howard. And if you have any questions about, you will have to ask Mr Shane Stone why he writes the things that he does.

JOURNALIST:

What about the source of the leak, why it's come out now? How it may have come to light?

TREASURER:

Oh look, I think all people that are associated with the Liberal Party, will be aghast that the Party can be damaged by these sorts of things. But you will have to ask the person who wrote it for an explanation. I did not write it. I did not receive it. I do not even know if it is authentic. It is in the press. That is all I know. You people probably know more about it than I do.

JOURNALIST:

They might be aghast, but would the people in the Party be surprised by the quite pointed criticism that is in it?

TREASURER:

Look, you will have to ask the person who wrote it for an explanation of the how and the why. He is the only person that can answer these questions. I am sorry I cannot help you any more.

JOURNALIST:

Are you angry that he has written it?

TREASURER:

Well look, you will have to ask him what was the intention behind it. You will have to ask him whether it was authentic. You will have to ask him all of these questions. I am sorry I just cannot help you.

JOURNALIST:

Will you be asking him these questions?

TREASURER:

Well, obviously I will expect his explanation to deal with all of these matters, and I expect that I will get it when I get back to Australia.