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Transcript of interview: Triple J: 20 August 2010: Election campaign; climate change policy; same sex marriage.

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Transcript: Julia Gillard, Interview, Triple J Julia Gillard posted Friday, 20 August 2010


Subjects: Election campaign; climate change policy; same sex marriage

HOST: One of the people running to be the Prime Minister of Australia is Ms Julia Eileen Gillard and we have her on Triple J this morning. Hey Julia.

PM: Good morning.

HOST: Good morning. How are you?

PM: I’m well thank you.

HOST: Congratulations, we’ve heard you won a meat raffle?

PM: I did win a meat raffle but I donated the tray back so it got drawn again.

HOST: That’s a pretty good omen.

HOST: So you drew it out? You drew out your own number to win this meat? I mean, I’m worried about electoral fraud, Prime Minister.

PM: Well it’s a little more complicated. You didn’t draw a ticket out, you pressed a number on a machine and it, sort of, spun around and it generated the numbers of the winning ticket.

HOST: Wow.

PM: I’m only telling you that so I’m explaining to you it would have been much harder to rig than getting the little paper ticket out of the hat.

HOST: All I’m hearing is excuses. Now it’s been a very long campaign, six mammoth weeks, there’s been ups and downs. You’re neck and neck in the polls at the moment. Is there any moment over this campaign that you’ve just thought to yourself, I just can’t be bothered with this? I just want to chuck in the towel.

PM: No, there’s never been a moment that I thought that because it’s too important what happens tomorrow. Of course the newspapers today are filled with polls, you’d expect that the day before election day and what those polls are telling you is that there is a very, very real risk that Mr Abbott will be elected tomorrow and if Mr Abbott is elected then, of course, we’re going to see WorkChoices back and we’re going to see services cut.

HOST: I don’t look at polls Julia, Ms Gillard.

PM: You don’t?

HOST: I look at policies and I’ve got to say we’re meant to remain unbiased here but one of

your policies, it stinks and that is the policy to gang up on Collingwood supporters, to hate them as a nation. As a Collingwood supporter myself, I am shocked. I think there must be a costing issue or some sort of leak that’s gone wrong here. What is it?

PM: Well look I spoke to Eddy McGuire yesterday and I think he’s forgiven me on the basis that he thinks because Collingwood is going so well this season that it’s understandable other clubs are jealous of them.

HOST: That must be it.

HOST: While you are attacking Collingwood, I think it’s your policy to talk to other breakfast radio stations. I’m not happy with that at all Prime Minister.

PM: Well, you know, sorry about that.

HOST: Today we are counting down the Hottest 10 Prime Ministers of all time on this radio station. We’ve just done number nine, Sir Robert Gordon Menzies. Who do you think will be number one in this countdown?

PM: I’d say there’s a fair chance it’s going to be Bob Hawke.

HOST: Mmmmm. Ok, where do you think Kevin Rudd will come in?

PM: Look, I’m not sure. Obviously I think he’s going to be up there with the leaders. Yeah, I just think, you know, if you’re counting down - Bob Hawke because he served a long period of time, he’s much loved and fantastic head of hair. It all adds up to popularity.

HOST: Right, now on Triple J’s Hack program, Prime Minister, we conducted a straw poll of what our listeners thought would be the most important issues in this election. So we’re going to ask you a few questions about those if that’s all right?

PM: Sure.

HOST: As far as resolutions to problems go, why is your action policy on climate change far less of a drastic move than your policy on filtering the internet?

PM: Look, I think we’ve got some very drastic, if we want to use those terms, some very drastic moves on climate change. We’re going to be making sure there are no new dirty coal-fired power stations. That’s good. We’re going to be building a billion-

HOST: That’s prevention though, that’s not drastic changes.

PM: Oh well, we’re going to be building a billion dollars of new transmission lines, partnering with the private sector, a billion of our money and private sector money to bring the renewable energy that we can generate now from sun and wind and tide, hot rocks, into the national electricity grid and, of course, we’re going to be making sure we work from greener buildings and we’re driving greener cars-

HOST: But at the moment, if someone wants to say fill their ute up with rubbish and take it to the tip they’ve got to pay to dump it there. Why is it so far refused to make people who dump carbon dioxide in the atmosphere pay the same sort of a bit of a tax?

PM: Look, I want to have a Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme and the reason we don’t have one today is because Tony Abbott made sure we didn’t have one and if Mr Abbott is elected we will never have one. If I am elected then I will work to deliver a Carbon Pollution

Reduction Scheme. So there’s two choices here. I understand people’s frustrations that we don’t already have a Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme. I share those frustrations. I was amazed when Mr Abbott crashed the political consensus in Parliament House and made sure

we didn’t have a Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme.

HOST: But the Greens didn’t as well and why didn’t you liaise with them?

PM: Well we did discuss with the Greens and I would have preferred it if they’d voted for the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme. So people will judge the Greens on that but that’s history. For the future this is the choice - me with my determination to have a Carbon

Pollution Reduction Scheme-

HOST: So will that be in the next three years it will happen?

PM: Well what we’ll do is we will work to get a community consensus. Obviously we’re coming to the next Kyoto commitment period of the end of the 2012 and we’ll assess conditions then but I want to lead a national debate to get us there. I am committed to this. Mr Abbott has said he will never do it.

HOST: Ok, Prime Minister-

PM: Your choice is really clear here. I know people are really passionate about it. I’m fired up about it too but the choice is really clear. A vote for the Government, we will be on a path to a Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme-

HOST: On Triple J this morning-

PM: You vote for Mr Abbott, you will never get there.

HOST: As you’ve probably guessed, we have the Prime Minister on the line. Prime Minister the second most important issue for young people who voted in our straw poll was same-sex marriage. Now whenever I’ve seen you asked about this issue, you’ve listed the steps your Government has taken to equalise treatment for gay people in lots of other areas, apart from marriage, but you’ve said the Marriage Act is appropriate as it is in its current form. What I want to know is why? Why do you think a marriage can only be between a man and a woman?

PM: Look I think in our society, with our culture and our heritage, that the Marriage Act has a special status and my policy, the Labor Party’s policy replicates that. Of course, this bipartisan between the Labor Party and the Liberal Party - both sides of the election in that sense - both I and Mr Abbott have the same view.

HOST: Wasn’t there a poll in 2009 that said around about, you know, a Galaxy poll so quite a reputable poll, saying that about 60 per cent of the Australian public were in favour of same-sex marriage. Doesn’t that make you and also Mr Abbott out of step with popular opinion?

PM: Well I suppose we make our best judges about what community views are and where our society is up to and how people view these things. I’ve made my judgement. I understand my judgement might disappoint some people but I stand by it.

HOST: When do you think it will change? Do you think eventually that it will become a same-sex marriage, as will be held with the same sanctity of marriage thing and if so, will you, will your own opinion change? Or will you just go with the change with your own views in step?

PM: Well I guess I’ve got a sense of urgency here. We’re making a huge choice for the nation on Saturday. It’s a huge choice about whether WorkChoices is back, whether we cut schools and hospitals or will people go with my better economic plan and improve services. Now I understand people want to debate same-sex marriage and I think the debate will continue in the community but the urgent choice here is the choice for Saturday and the Saturday choice clearly matters for some of the biggest picture questions in this country.

HOST: Prime Minister-

PM: If I’m re-elected on Saturday, and that is a big if, there is a real, real risk that Mr Abbott will be elected on Saturday and WorkChoices will be back, cuts to schools, cuts to hospitals, if I’m re-elected on Saturday I’ll be more than happy to come on the program and talk about

same-sex marriage but the issues on Saturday in contest are WorkChoices - do you want it? Yes/no. If you want it, vote for Mr Abbott.

HOST: Well when we last took you up on that-

PM: You know, cuts in health and education or my better economic plan.

HOST: On Wednesday night at the town hall in Brisbane you said that there’d been a fair bit of negativity in this campaign. Of course it does finish today. The, I mean, I’ve seen the Labor Party’s attack ads with Tony Abbott singing Lets do the Time Warp, you’ve got slogans like you can’t trust Tony Abbott, he’s not worth the risk. You’re obviously, you know, mentioning that today. They’re all pretty negative advertisements. I mean, do you accept responsibility for that negativity that you talked about on Wednesday?

PM: I think it’s fair to draw the contrast. Each and every day of this campaign I’ve been out there talking about positive plans for our nation’s future. Mr Abbott’s been out with four negative slogans.

HOST: Today a lot of it’s been negative towards Tony Abbott though when you’ve been talking to us.

PM: Well I think it’s fair to draw the contrast - two choices tomorrow. It’s fair to draw the contrast - do people want my positive plan for jobs, my investments in schools, continuing to improve schools, my investments in apprenticeships, my building of the National Broadband Network, my new plans for health including using the National Broadband Network. Or do they want to choice Mr Abbott - return to WorkChoices, to cuts in health and education and of course there will never be the National Broadband Network under Mr Abbott. This is the

choice on Saturday.

HOST: Well Prime Minister Gillard, thank you so much for having a chat to us this morning. We really appreciate you coming on Triple J. You’ve saved the best till last, we’re saying.

HOST: I feel like a real journalist, like Mark Latham. We’re going to play you a tune, we know you’re a big fan of Crowded House. You recently listed the five albums you can’t live without. One of them was Crowded House’s record Woodface. We’re going to play Weather with You, which I don’t know if that reflects your climate change policy or not. It’s contentious but thank you so much and all the best for tomorrow.

PM: At least I believe in it - climate change. I’m the only person in this election running for Prime Minister who does. Thank you very much.

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