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Transcript of press conference: Melbourne: 22 August 2009: $4.5 million for Visy Park redevelopment; violence in Melbourne; oil spill off WA coast; the Nationals on climate change; compact with Young Australians; Extradition; Mission in Afghanistan.

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The Hon Julia Gillard MP

Minister for Education. Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations Minister for Social Inclusion Deputy Prime Minister

22 August, 2009


Transcript - Press Conference 11:00AM Saturday Melbourne


ISSUES: $4.5 million for Visy Park redevelopment; violence in Melbourne; oil spill off WA coast; The Nationals on climate change; Compact with Young Australians; Extradition; Mission in Afghanistan

JULIA GILLARD: I am very pleased to be here on a great Melbourne Saturday at the Carl…I can’t even say, you see Bulldogs supporter, getting Carlton out. The Carlton football ground to make a very important announcement. I am here with my Federal colleague, Lindsay Tanner who today is here in his capacity as the local member covering Carlton. Obviously he is an Essendon supporter but a big supporter of local community ventures including the work of the Carlton Football Club. And I am here with someone who needs no introduction, Steve Kernahan, ‘Sticks’ behind me, who will represent the Club.

We are here to announce a $4.5 million Federal Government investment into the redevelopment of this ground. And I am very pleased to be able to announce that that investment will be made in honour of Don Chipp, a lifetime passionate Carlton supporter and someone very well known to the Australian community for his belief in environmental values and his belief in the power of education and training and for his belief in the power of community building and social cohesion. And the work that will happen at this football ground won’t just be about training elite athletes, it will be about community outreach; about outreach to school children who will come here to learn about environmental projects and environmental design. It will be about community participation and social cohesion. It will be about bringing people in for education and training. All of the things that Don Chipp dedicated his life to whilst barracking for the Carlton Football Club. So this is a great announcement. I’ll turn now to Lindsay Tanner as local member to make a few comments.

LINDSAY TANNER: Thanks Julia. I would just like to welcome the Chipp family here today. It’s very important that we honour people like Don Chipp; he is a bit of an unusual person because virtually everyone else who has had the level of impact on Australian politics over our hundred odd years of Federation has either been from one of the major parties and he of course founded and led the Australian Democrats, and therefore doesn’t have the

prospect of a future government from his political party honouring him. The important thing here is Don Chipp used to ride his bike as a kid to this ground; just talking to the family and of course he later went on to be a leading Carlton supporter and I am told used to attend dinners after grand finals and give the players a bake for not trying hard enough, things like that. So clearly was an integral part of the Club and also of course a great leader on environmental issues in Australian politics. It’s great that he is going to be recognised in this way and in a typically Melbourne way, his two great passions, the environment and the Carlton Football Club being brought together and acknowledged in this way I think is great and it’s a great credit to the Carlton Football Club and to the Chipp family to come together in this way to acknowledge his contribution to the Australian political scene and also his contribution to Australian Football.

STEPHEN KERNAHAN: Thank you Lindsay and thank you to the Deputy Prime Minister for you support and the funding that allowed this facility to go ahead. On behalf of the Carlton Football Club we thank you for your help throughout this process. It’s going to be a wonderful facility for the Carlton footy club and for the players and also for the community as said, with all of the training and education programs to be at the lecture theatre, the Don Chipp Lecture Theatre which is going to be outstanding. It’s great to have the Chipp family here again. They are great Carlton supporters; we were just talking about Fev and Juddy, Murph and Gibbsy. They are pretty happy with the way they are going. And it’s great to honour Don Chipp in this way. He spoke at the ’86 Grand Final and you’re right, we lost and we got a baking and it was fair enough. We are so privileged to have you here with us today at the football club and some fantastic facilities for the community. Thank you very much.

JULIA GILLARD: Thank you. Ok, got any questions? Football questions over here. Money questions over here. I’ll do anything that’s left over.


JOURNALIST: Stephen, Carlton seems to be a bit of a pioneer in this respect; environment, community, education…

STEPHEN KERNAHAN: Especially with the great Dick Pratt that was obviously what he worked his life for, raising awareness of sustainability in the community. Visy Park is a great thing with all of the environmentally friendly aspects of this facility. So it’s a great thing and we would like to think we are the ‘Green Club’ and this is further evidence of that.

JOURNALIST: Is it still a plan to, is it still on the drawing board to make this the third ground for Melbourne? Is this something that you’d envisage or would like?

STEPHEN KERNAHAN: We would love to think that; it’s a beautiful playing surface and you can see there are a couple of brand new grand stands out there ready to go but it’s an AFL situation at the moment and they’ll be talking to government about if that can happen. But certainly we would love to have the games here if they feel there is a need.

JOURNALIST: Do facilities like this and the redevelopment as a whole help?

STEPHEN KERNAHAN: It can’t hurt, I don’t think. It’s going to be a magnificent facility and as I say it’s got a great surface, this ground.

JOURNALIST: Ms Gillard can I ask you about another issue? Violence in Melbourne, particularly the CBD generally is becoming an issue. What are your personal thoughts on how bad this situation is and what possibly could be done?

JULIA GILLARD: I am a very proud Melbournian and we want Melbourne to be known around the country, indeed we want Melbourne to be known around the world as a great sporting city and that’s what we are celebrating today, as a great cultural capital and as a great education centre. And the violence that we have seen on our city streets sends the reverse message. There’s no place in the culture of this fabulous city for that kind of loutish behaviour and violence. No one wants to see it; no one wants to see people hurt just because they’ve gone out for a Saturday night. So as a city we have got to find a way of sending a message to everyone who lives here; this is a great place to live, it’s a great place to go and watch footy, to go to cultural attractions, to go shopping, to live and work. Let’s pull together as Melbournians and do those things and cut out this loutish behaviour that we are seeing in our city streets.

JOURNALIST: So do you think its more about education rather than more police on the streets?

JULIA GILLARD: I think it’s about a combination of things. Certainly education and community spirit has to play its part. The Victoria Police obviously need to be there patrolling our streets and cracking down on violent behaviour and I am sure each and every police officer is motivated to do that. They want to see the people of Melbourne safe when they’re in our city streets. They want to see people on Saturday nights following the footy, having a good time, not subject to an attack in our streets. And that’s the message we want to send right across the community, round the nation, round the world. We want this to be a safe place, a vibrant city, celebrating all of the great attractions of which of course, AFL is such a big part.

JOURNALIST: Do you fear it is affecting our reputation, Melbourne’s reputation?

JULIA GILLARD: What I fear is that it becomes a focal point of community attention, then becomes something that is associated in people’s minds with Melbourne. I think we have to recognise that every big city around the world has had problems with urban violence from time to time; we are not the only city to suffer that. New York, London; the fabulous cities around the world have suffered with these problems of violence. The important thing is to pull together as a community and to say to each and every member of this community, we want people to enjoy this fabulous city which we love and part of that is making sure that we are responsible, looking after each other and everybody stays safe.

JOURNALIST: Ms Gillard, on another issue. There’s been an oil spill off the coast of Western Australia. What is the Government doing about that?

JULIA GILLARD: I’m advised that the authorities that respond to oil spills are already engaged. As soon as we see an oil spill obviously our concern runs straight to the environment and doing what we can to make sure that oil isn’t threatening our marine environment. So the appropriate Federal authorities are now engaged in dealing with this oil spill in Western Australia.

JOURNALIST: The Nationals at their conference have decided to vote against the ETS. What do you make of that decision?

JULIA GILLARD: Well this is part of climate change scepticism which has taken over the Coalition. The problem for the Liberal Party and the National Party is the Australian community wants to see action on climate change. Our Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme is a vital part of that action. The Liberal Party are too interested in fighting with each other and fighting with the National Party rather than taking a decision in the national interest. That decision is clear, it’s to support the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme, to get on with the challenge of climate change, taking the very important steps this nation needs to, to tackle that challenge.

JOURNALIST: What do you make of figures showing that young people are bearing the brunt of the economic downturn?

JULIA GILLARD: We knew as the global economy slid into recession that it was going to hit our economy, we weren’t going to be immune and we knew from past economic downturns that it’s young people who do bear the brunt. We have seen in past economic downturns that if you’re not careful, you can create a lost generation, a generation that comes of age during the economic downturn but doesn’t find a foothold in the labour market, misses out on that all important first job and consequently can be disadvantaged for a very long time into the future. We knew that. So as a government, working with the Finance Minister and my other colleagues, we have responded with our Compact for Young Australians to ensure we’re investing in education and training and support for young Australians. So during these difficult days of the global recession they are not sitting at home sliding into unemployment, they are there learning or earning. And our economic stimulus package of course has been about supporting jobs including the jobs of young Australians and apprentices that work on our construction sites.

JOURNALIST: Minister Gillard, with your trip to India, will you be raising the issue of this Indian fugitive?

JULIA GILLARD: What I can say about the extradition issue, we as a government don’t comment on individual extradition matters but I can say is this: we want people to be brought to justice. As a government we take crime seriously and we want people to be brought to justice and of course I would be prepared to say that to anyone.

JOURNALIST: Ms Gillard just lastly, the top military chief in Afghanistan, the US Chief, has called on the government to possibly lift restrictions on where troops fight. Is that something that will be considered?

JULIA GILLARD: This is a matter for our Defence Minister in the first instance. I have seen those newspaper reports but as a country, our Defence Minister John Faulkner and the Prime Minister have made our mission in Afghanistan clear. Thank you.


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