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Transcript of interview with Wendy Kingston: Nine Network News: 17 October 2011: Polls, Cabinet leaks

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The Hon Dr Craig Emerson MP Australian Minister for Trade and Competitiveness Nine Network News Subjects: polls, Cabinet leaks

Transcript, E&OE

17 October 2011

WENDY KINGSTON: Today's Galaxy poll puts Labor on a dismal 29 per cent, while the Nielsen poll recorded a jump

of 4 percentage points, to 30. And the PM's popularity rose 4 points as well. Regardless, the Coalition would still thrash

the Government if an election were held today. For the Government's perspective, we're joined now by Trade Minister

Craig Emerson. Dr Emerson, thank you for your time.

CRAIG EMERSON: It's a pleasure, Wendy.

KINGSTON: First of all, what do you make of these polls out today?

EMERSON: Obviously, from a very low base we are improving. There are positive signs for Labor, and that is an

increase in support for the Labor Government. But they are low levels. Mr Abbott, I think, is in this situation: the

Australian people are seeing through him, and he's actually suffered the worst rating since becoming Opposition

Leader, because they know that he just plays political games and isn't interested in real policy.

KINGSTON: Speaking of policy, we've learned a lot over the weekend. Your standing in the polls won't actually be

helped by the damaging Cabinet leaks. Do you know who was leaking this information?

EMERSON: No, I don't, and Cabinet leaks don't help anyone other than Oppositions. This is not a new phenomenon:

there were leaks in the Fraser Cabinets, the Hawke Cabinets, the Keating Cabinets and the Howard Cabinets. But they

don't really benefit anyone, including those who do the leaking. They only benefit the Opposition of the day, and

therefore it needs to stop.

KINGSTON: Is it a case of kicking the Government while it's down? As you said, the polls are low. And it is a base to

build on, but it's quite dismal.

EMERSON: Well I think people in the broader community don't sit around talking about Cabinet leaks. They sit around

talking about governments working for them, working for working people in Australia. And that's what we're doing: we're

backing working people in terms of creating with them higher-paying jobs, better jobs and more jobs. We've got a

relatively low unemployment rate in this country. So that's what, as a Labor Government, we will continue to do, and

that is to back working families and the working people of this country.

KINGSTON: Now, job number one obviously for Julia Gillard today will be telling Cabinet …probably delivering some

strong words. Any idea what she will tell you?

EMERSON: Well, that would be a pre-emptive Cabinet leak and …

KINGSTON: But it would be an exclusive, so if you wanted to tell me something …

EMERSON: … and I can't discuss Cabinet leaks before or after the fact. Yes, it would be an exclusive on Nine, but I

just repeat that they don't help anyone other than Opposition leaders.

KINGSTON: Alright. Maybe we'll get you on at 4.30 and see what's actually happened. Thanks very much for talking to


EMERSON: I wouldn't hold out that hope.

KINGSTON: Okay. Many thanks. Speak to you later.

EMERSON: Thanks a lot.

Media enquiries

Minister Emerson's Office: (02) 6277 7420 ■

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