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Transcript of press conference: Sydney: 29 July 2013: Big Waste and Chaos Book; Paid Parental Leave Scheme; Car industry; Kevin Rudd; Second Sydney Airport; FBT.



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TRANSCRIPT

THE HON JOE HOCKEY MP

JAMIE BRIGGS MP

JOINT DOORSTOP

SYDNEY

MONDAY, 29 JULY 2013

E&OE…………………………………………………………………………………

JOE HOCKEY:

It is fantastic to be here at the launch of Michael Feneley’s campaign for Kingsford Smith. He is an outstanding candidate - being a leading cardiologist working at the Victor Chang Centre - but also he is of the people here in Kingsford Smith. After the experience with Peter Garrett you would think that the people of Kingsford Smith would want a change. I have no doubt they will go for change.

The Labor Party has chosen as their candidate someone who is up to his armpits in Eddie Obeid. The fact is that when you look carefully at your Labor candidates, look carefully for their deep association with Eddie Obeid and people that are part of the rotten family of Labor because Mr Thistlethwaite is, in fact, one of those people, having spent an enormous amount of time working with Eddie Obeid here in NSW. They are all fingers on the same hand. Labor pretends that with a new campaign comes a new Labor. But it is the same old Labor and it’s the same old people that Eddie Obeid controlled. In fact many of them helped to control Eddie Obeid. This [Feneley] is a candidate for real change. Labor has been running on a campaign of a change in Government before the election is actually held. People will see through that they will see that Labor is still old Labor. You can put lipstick on a crocodile but it’s still the same old Labor.

Speaking of lipstick on a crocodile, when it comes to waste it is the same old Labor, and I’m glad to be here with my colleague Jamie Briggs who is the member for Mayo. We are launching another publication - not funded by taxpayers - which focuses on the waste of Kevin Rudd. It is quite a legendary list of waste. It is not a children’s book because it is a horror story. But it is unquestionably part of the record Kevin Rudd wants to distance himself from - so it is hugely important we do that today. I’ll ask Jamie to say a few words.

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JAMIE BRIGGS:

Thanks Joe. We are launching today the Big Waste and Chaos Book which is a companion that goes with the Little Book of Big Labor Waste we launched just before the Budget. This focuses on the record of Kevin Rudd and the fact that he authored many of the wasteful programs which saw so much waste, so much deficit and so much debt the Australian tax payer has been lumbered with by this Labor Party. It is intergenerational theft when Governments waste taxpayers’ money. It is right to be prudent, it is right not to waste taxpayers. It is right not to run full page ads in national newspapers daily focused on vote people not boat people. Kevin Rudd’s record is appalling and a leopard doesn’t change his spots. If Kevin Rudd is re-elected and Labor get another go they will waste more money. They will have more deficits and they will have more debt. People in Kingsford Smith know

their former local Member, Peter Garrett, was responsible for many of the examples in here along with Kevin Rudd and they know if they get Matt Thistlethwaite, they will have Eddie Obeid’s man in Canberra. There’s a very clear choice between the Coalition with the Real Solutions plan for a stronger future. We won’t waste money; we will treat taxpayers’ money with respect. Kevin Rudd and Labor will bring more waste, more deficit and more debt. Thank you.

JOE HOCKEY:

Do you want to say something Michael?

MICHAEL FENELEY

I’m very pleased to be representing the people of Kingsford Smith. People tell me on the street when I am out there every day, that they are sick of the waste, deficit and debt of this Government. They are very impatient to be able to vote. They would love to be able to

express their opinion and they ask me all the time when can we have an election. I’m very pleased to be here. I have been in this area all my adult life, I’ve worked in the public hospital sector all that time and I am very concerned by some of the things that Labor has done in this area. We have had terrible problems with the cuts to university funding. The University of New South Wales is our biggest employer, and we’ve had terrible cuts to the state health budget. $100 million since Tanya Plibersek took over the health ministry. Money was given back in Victoria directly to the hospitals. That has not happened here and if anyone is really worried - if my opponent is really worried about our local hospitals - they should ask Tanya Plibersek to give the money back. $100 million from the state health Budget with no accountability. Thanks very much.

JOE HOCKEY:

We’ll go to questions.

JOURNALIST:

Mr Hockey, Tony Abbott has indicated that he would introduce the Paid Parental Scheme. Is that an iron-clad commitment or is that an aspiration?

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JOE HOCKEY:

We will be bringing in a fair dinkum Paid Parental Leave Scheme because it is a key productivity measure. It is one thing to talk about productivity, it is another thing to initiate policies that improve productivity. If we can improve the workforce participation levels of women then we will improve productivity, there is no doubt about that. Our Paid Parental Leave Scheme has many motivations. One of them is that it is actually about equality of opportunity for small business because while big business can pay paid parental entitlements, small business can’t match them on the same level, they just can’t. Therefore we are going to give small business the biggest leg up they have ever had in being able to compete for labour with big business.

JOURNALIST:

Is the Coalition going to introduce it though?

JOE HOCKEY:

Yes

JOURNALIST:

In regards to the car industry, we’re waiting for a car industry announcement in terms of more funding. Will the Coalition support more spending?

JOE HOCKEY:

You should not have to spend more money because we would not do the damage to the car industry that Labor is doing. This FBT change announced by Kevin Rudd is like a baseball bat to the back of the head of the car industry - now they are offering the car industry a Panadol to get over the pain. It’s not a solution. The fact is, the people most affected by Kevin Rudd’s changes on FBT are Holden, Toyota, Ford and a large chunk of those are Australian made vehicles like the Commodore. I’d say to you, it is an enormous irony that on the one hand the Government is taking $1.8 billion out of the car industry and on the other hand they are claiming they are doing a good thing by giving them an extra $200 million back. The sums just don’t add up from Labor.

JOURNALIST:

So would you just sort of let it fend for itself?

JOE HOCKEY:

No. We are totally opposed to the changes to FBT. We see it as stupid policy, made on the run. The numbers are dead wrong. The [number of] people affected that the Government has identified are dead wrong. The fact is, the people most affected earn less than $100,000 a year and most of them are driving around in Holdens, Fords and Toyotas.

JOURNALIST:

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Are you expecting a further delay in the election date now that Federal Labor is looking for more budget savings?

JOE HOCKEY:

Kevin Rudd is running scared. Everything in Kevin Rudd’s life is benchmarked against what he has done in his past. The fact of the matter is, if Kevin Rudd is doing so well - if celebrity Kevin is in fact as popular as he thinks he is - he would be going to the polls. I suspect there is a lot more to this than meets the eye.

JOURNALIST:

So will the Coalition go ahead with its plan to cut $500 million from the car industry?

JOE HOCKEY:

What we have said is that we are not going to add further money to the car industry because we would not be doing the pain to the car industry that Labor is doing. It is only under Labor that car manufacturers are closing in Australia - it is only under Labor. It is not under us. They had record years under us in Government. Under Labor they are closing -under Labor they are threatening to close, so same old Labor.

JOURNALIST:

But if you are going to be cutting money to the industry surely it will be worse off?

JOE HOCKEY:

No. Because you know what, no industry can rely on Government forever for handouts to survive. You need to have a strong economy and the only way to have a strong economy is to vote for the Coalition because we are focused on lifting the tides so all boats rise, rather than going down the path of Labor where you are trying to pick winners and compensate losers. The fact is, the Government is taking a baseball bat to the car industry. I need to say it again? Just walk through the car yards, speak to people over the weekend, and ask them what the impact of the FBT decision by Kevin Rudd is.

JOURNALIST:

In relation to a second Sydney airport, Anthony Albanese said that construction would start in the first term of Government. Would the Coalition match that?

JOE HOCKEY:

Anthony Albanese hasn’t committed to anything yet. He has not committed any money, he has not identified where it is going to be built. My views on a second Sydney airport are very well known. I’ve held them consistently for 17 years, if not longer. It is the Government that has all the information before it. I want a second airport and I want it now but it’s only the Government that can make that decision because it’s only the Government that has that information. That’s certainly not available to the Opposition or anyone else.

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JOURNALIST:

Joe, there is a story just emerging on Pixifoto, one of the iconic Australian brands going under in the last 24 hours. They are talking dozens of job losses in Sydney and around. Are you aware of this or know anything more or have you been aware of a decline in that industry?

JOE HOCKEY:

No. Wherever there are job losses it hurts but why is it consistently occurring under Labor and no one is seeing the connection? Famous iconic Australian brands from Darrell Lea to the job losses at Pacific Brands to outright closures, particularly in manufacturing. This is happening under Labor and you have got to understand that when you keep adding costs onto businesses - whether it be changes without warning on FBT or be it increasing the carbon price, or be it all the regulation that is like a ball and chain around the leg of business - all of it costs jobs. Why is it a surprise that people are losing jobs now because the fundamentals put in place by the Labor Government make job creation very hard, it’s so obvious!

JOURNALIST:

Can I ask you about the FBT because you keep going on about this? But what’s wrong with asking people to keep their receipts for their deductions? Everybody else has to.

JOE HOCKEY:

It was Labor that introduced the statutory 20% limit in response to the recommendations of the Henry Review. They said that they wanted to do that in order to save costs, which they did but more importantly because the red tape burden associated with FBT comes at a huge price. By the way, if an employee gets the FBT numbers wrong, it is the employer that ends up picking up the bill. What we have seen is a number of employers now are closing down their car fleets. They are saying “Okay, well no more motor vehicles for their employees”.

What that means is that the Australian vehicle fleet will age, meaning it is more dangerous obviously, with having an older car fleet in Australia. But it also means that there are fewer sales and the motor vehicle industry is smaller. Frankly this is not an integrity measure. Bill Shorten says it is not an integrity measure, it is a sustainability measure, he said. But then Kevin Rudd and Chris Bowen say it’s an integrity measure. They can’t even get their narrative right.

JOURNALIST:

But they can still claim those deductions, so what’s changed?

JOE HOCKEY:

What’s changed? The massive amount of red tape has changed. Also the fact that the statutory limit was imposed to give people the opportunity who were engaged in a hell of a lot of travel associated with work like nurses, charity workers and the like. They had the opportunity to use their cars and take them home as part of the employment package. Now

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you are going to see charities come to the Government asking for a significant increase in funding because the Government has changed the salary packaging rules. You are going to see nurses; you are going to see defence force personnel and a vast range of public servants come asking for pay rises as compensation for losing their cars. You are going to see wage

claims around the place. Then unsurprisingly, the Government wouldn’t raise its $1.8 billion which it claims its going to raise, but it ends end up with an older car fleet and it ends up with Holden, Toyota and Ford selling fewer Australian made cars here in Australia.

Thanks everyone.

[ENDS]