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Transcript of interview with Sarah Abo: SBS News: 5 September 2013: Election campaign; Labor's plan for the future; pre-polling; asylum seeker policy

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Campaign Transcript


E & O E - PROOF ONLY _____________________________________________________________

Election campaign; Labor’s plan for the future; Pre-polling; Asylum seeker policy. _____________________________________________________________

PM: Well Mr Abbott has been leader for four years of the Liberal Party, he’s had five weeks in an election campaign and now, 36 hours before polling day, we still have no comprehensive list of his major cuts to jobs, health and education. So if you have doubts about that don’t vote for him

JOURNALIST: Moving on to the polls obviously you were reinstated as Prime Minister and your Party with the faith that you would re-invigorate the Party into this election. Your popularity now is not too dissimilar to Julia Gillard’s was, why do you think that is?

PM: Election campaigns are tough and you can analyse the polls any day of the week that you so choose, my purpose on your program is to explain our policies and they’re out there for all to see. Building Australia’s economic future, building the jobs of the future, the schools of the future and building also the hospitals of the future, the broadband of the future - it’s all out there. There properly costed. And the alternative is clear in each one of those categories; cutting jobs, cutting schools, cutting hospitals, cutting broadband and that’s the alternative plan. So when we get to the election on Saturday that’s for everyone to make up their mind in a proper and democratic fashion. In the meantime all the commentary I’ll leave to you guys, you’re much better at it than the rest of us.

JOURNALIST: But why aren’t the policies translating?

PM: That’s a question for you to answer yourself

JOURNALIST: How do you feel about it - how do you feel about the policies?

PM: I feel that I’ve got a responsibility as Prime Minister to explain what we’re offering to your listeners. What we’re offering to them about their jobs, their schools, their hospitals, their broadband, their clean energy future - all those sort of things, where we have not just a slogan. We have a detailed operation plan, fully funded, fully costed, rolling it out.

JOURNALIST: But so many people have voted already and it’s not looking great for Labor at the moment

PM: How do you know that? Do you have access to the ballot boxes do you? Would you take her name and address and we’ll just sort that out.

JOURNALIST: I’ve got the secrets tucked away don’t worry.

PM: That’s the bottom line, its - well I’ve been right around the country and I get all sorts of interesting and positive remarks from people who’ve been staffing our pre-polling booths. In terms of the response to the Government and to the Labor

Party in pre-polling and I think you folk might be interested - maybe getting ready for a bit of a surprise on Saturday night, in terms of the resilience of our members and the resilience of our party despite everything that gets thrown against us.

JOURNALIST: You have lurched to the right though with your asylum seeker policy.

PM: Well you might assert that. Can I say we just increased the number of refugees coming to this country from 12,000 to 20,000. The other side of politics has reducing that now to 12,000. We hold open the prospect of increasing that further to 27,000 depending on the success of our implementation of the regional resettlement arrangement. So we’re also around the world including in places like Syria providing on top of that massive funding to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to deal with the problem way beyond on shores as well. So on the question of supporting the cause of refugees around the world, we are proud of what we’re doing, there are difficult choices we have had to make here domestically but we believe we have got the balance right in terms of ensuring border security on the one hand, putting the people smugglers out of business over time on the other. And providing good support for refugees on the way through.


Communications Unit: T 03 8625 5111

Authorised by G. Wright, Australian Labor Party, 5/9 Sydney Avenue, Barton, ACT, 2600