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Costello finally agrees to debate.

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Costello Finally Agrees To Debate

Media Statement - 23rd October 2007

Wayne Swan

After Peter Costello refused to debate me on the 7.30 Report last night, I welcome his decision to finally agree to a debate at the Press Club next week.

For some months I’ve been calling for a debate with Mr Costello and yesterday again confirmed that I have already agreed to the Press Club debate, but have been awaiting Mr Costello’s response for some months.

SWAN: Look I’ve said yes to a proposal from the Press Club, but I don’t know whether the Treasurer has.

SWAN: There’s no date as I understand it, but there is traditionally a debate at the Press Club between the Treasurer and the Shadow Treasurer. I’m happy to be there to have that debate. I hope the Treasurer turns up. I’m looking forward to it, but no date has been set and I’ve not had it verified by the Press Club that the Treasurer has agreed, so we’ll have to wait and see Steve. (October 22 - Doorstop )

And on the 7.30 Report last night Kerry O’Brien confirmed that:

O'BRIEN: I invited Mr Costello onto the program tonight, either to debate his opposite number on tax and the economy, or to be interviewed. He declined both opportunities, but is considering an interview on tomorrow's program. I spoke instead on the tax wrangle late today with shadow treasurer Wayne Swan in Sydney.

Given I’ve been calling for this debate for months, it is a little curious that Mr Costello chose this morning to “challenge” me to a debate - the very morning his desperate scare tax campaign imploded on the front page of the Australian Financial Review.

Nonetheless, I look forward to a robust exchange of views about the economic opportunities and challenges we face now and in the future.