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Transcript of doorstop interview: 18 July 2009: Jakarta bombings; visit to Tasmania.

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Sat, 18th July 2009


The Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP

Leader of the Opposition



We join with the Prime Minister in condemning the cowardly acts of terrorism in Jakarta. It reminds us that we

must be relentlessly vigilant in our battle against terrorism, whether it’s here, in our near north or in the rocky hills

of Afghanistan where our troops are on the very front line in the battle against terrorism. These were cowardly

and vicious acts of murder and we join with the Prime Minister and support the Government in offering Indonesia

whatever assistance is required in responding to this outrage and in apprehending and punishing the


Do you have any questions?


It appears that there could be Australian deaths. That’s obviously concerning?


Yes. The reports of the death toll no doubt will tragically continue to change. There are grave fears for three

Australians. Our prayers go to the victims, to the families of the victims and, of course, to those that have been

injured. This is a tragic event and it’s a reminder of the need for relentless vigilance in our battle against



What do you believe should be the immediate response as far as Australia’s concerned?


We must provide the Indonesians with whatever assistance they require. They are in charge of the situation,

naturally - it’s happened in Jakarta. So the resources of the Federal Police have been made available to

Indonesia before in the other tragic events in Bali, and so we should stand ready to assist the Indonesians once

more. But that’s really a matter for the Indonesian Government and the Australian authorities.


What should the Government be doing in terms of Australian citizens that remain in Indonesia or those that are

planning to go there in the near future?


There’s already been a travel warning, as I understand, and Australians have been encouraged, as I understand

it, to postpone travel to Indonesia in the light of this event and also to take much greater care. This is a very

troubling development and of course the tragedy - it is a shocking tragedy - but additionally so because it comes

after a very successful exercise in democracy where the Indonesians have demonstrated the value of freedom

and democratic elections, where they’ve had a president re-elected really on a platform of fierce opposition to

terrorism, so this is really an example of the terrorists refusing to accept the verdict of the people at the ballot



Just onto today’s conference, what message would a Liberal win here in Tasmania mean going on to a federal



Well, Premier Will Hodgman will send a very powerful message to all Australians, and in particular to Labor and

Mr Rudd, that Tasmanians have stood up in the face of Labor’s cycle of debt, deficit and spin and incompetence,

and have elected a government and a premier, a leader that is prepared to restore financial good sense,

prudence, sound economic management to the state’s finances. This state has been mismanaged for a very long

time by the Labor Party and just as Tasmania has been unable to afford the recklessness of Labor’s

mismanagement here, so too federally we cannot afford to give Kevin Rudd another three more years.


You’ve had a bit of a peak in the polls, an increase but do you believe that you can still, even with a Tasmanian

win, go on to win a victory next year in the federal election?


We will win the next election but there is a lot of hard work to do between now and then, we recognise that.


In terms of the federal campaign, in Tasmania you’ve lost one star candidate in the north of the state, Brigadier

Andrew Nikolic pulling out of the preselection race. Is that a devastating blow for the Bass campaign for the



Look we have a lot of talent in the Liberal Party in Tasmania and the preselections are a matter for the local Party

so I won’t comment on that other than I’m sure that we will have outstanding candidates for our House of

Representatives seats here in Tasmania at the election.


The Federal Director mentioned opportunism and the possibility of an early poll. Are you preparing for that?


Well we have to prepare for every contingency. Mr Rudd would dearly like to run to an early poll. I’m sure he

would love to get to the polls before having to bring down another Budget.


Is Tasmania a bellwether for your chances next year?


Look, state elections are always held on state issues. We know that. But nonetheless what is interesting about

the Rudd Government as the shine starts to come off it, people are starting to see that the Rudd Government’s

reckless management and it’s extraordinary policy of spin and media manipulation is the same formula that has

been employed by state Labor governments. And so when Australians go to the ballot box at the next federal

election, they will know that if Labor is re-elected they will get more of the same. In other words, more of the

same sort of mismanagement we’ve had in so many state governments around Australia, in particular here in


Okay. Thanks very much. Thank you.