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Transcript of doorstop interview: Sydney Airport: 2 December 2005: resignation of Robert Gerard.



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Wayne Swan MP Federal Labor Shadow Treasurer

TRANSCRIPT OF DOORSTOP INTERVIEW, SYDNEY AIRPORT

E & OE - PROOF ONLY

SUBJECTS: Resignation of Robert Gerard

SWAN: Mr Gerard’s resignation is proof positive of Peter Costello’s appalling judgement. Now that Mr Gerard has done the honourable thing Peter Costello ought to do the honourable thing as well and give a full, frank and truthful explanation of his role in this scandal.

Journalist: What do you make of his very sudden departure though, was he pushed?

SWAN: Mr Gerard has become the fall guy for Peter Costello’s inappropriate appointment. Peter Costello is in the gun here, it’s his appalling judgement that led to Mr Gerard’s appointment. He should not have been appointed in the first place. What we’ve seen is Peter Costello favour a Liberal mate, a very big donor to the Liberal Party, and junk the highest standards of integrity and independence of the Reserve Bank board.

Journalist: Do you think the Government simply bailed out on supporting him?

SWAN: Well the Government’s been caught covering it up. That’s why we need a full and frank and truthful explanation from Peter Costello about his role in this affair.

Journalist: What do you think this means for Peter Costello personally, and I guess his leadership ambitions?

SWAN: I think it’s Exhibit A in the case against Peter Costello leading the Liberal Party or the country.

Journalist: Obviously not a good example?

SWAN: It’s certainly not a good example. It’s an appalling example. Peter Costello is responsible for the integrity of the tax system, and he appointed someone to the Reserve Bank board against whom there were serious allegations of tax evasion and participation in tax havens.

Journalist: Just finally, do you think the image of the Reserve Bank has been tarnished by this?

SWAN: Well certainly I think the image of the Reserve Bank has been tarnished, which is why I welcome Mr Gerard’s resignation from the board. We need the highest standards of integrity and independence on the Reserve Bank board. They’ve been compromised, not by Mr Gerard, but by Mr Costello.

ENDS.

Friday 2 December 2005 Contact Jim Chalmers 0417 141 676