Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Transcript - ABC2 News Breakfast - TV Interview.



Download PDFDownload PDF

The Hon Julia Gillard MP

Minister for Education. Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations Minister for Social Inclusion Deputy Prime Minister

14 May, 2009

Transcript

Transcript - ABC2 News Breakfast - TV Interview

E&OE TRANSCRIPT TELEVISION INTERVIEW ABC2 NEWS BREAKFAST 730AM THURSDAY 14 MAY 2009

ISSUES: Budget

JOE O’BRIEN: The Coalition has already accused the Rudd Government of reckless spending and creating too much debt, while the Prime Minister last night said he wouldn’t rule out an early election if the Budget is blocked in the Senate. For more, the Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard joins us now from Canberra. Deputy Prime Minister, good morning.

JULIA GILLARD: Good morning.

JOE O’BRIEN: Now it’s pretty dangerous for any government to get between a mother and its baby, but it appears that’s what you’re doing with these Medicare changes.

JULIA GILLARD: Well we believe the Medicare changes are appropriate. We believe that they’re appropriate to deal with some exorbitant charging practices, and so my colleague Nicola Roxon is implementing these changes and they will be delivered through the Budget. Of course what this means is that for those few practitioners who are engaged in charging patients well above standard, they will need to look to their fees.

JOE O’BRIEN: But effectively you’re telling these women to haggle with their doctors like they’d haggle over a vase at a market.

JULIA GILLARD: No, we’re telling the profession that whilst we understand that there is a standard charge here, a sort of band of standard charging that most professionals engage in, we also understand that there are a few practitioners who are charging well above that. We see no reason for them to be charging well above that when their colleagues are charging around the standard fee. So we are asking those practitioners that are charging exorbitant fees to do what their colleagues are doing.

JOE O’BRIEN: But you’re not asking them; you’re telling the women to haggle with them. It’s not really a position of power that these women are coming from.

JULIA GILLARD: Well of course people can choose their own practitioner and one of the things that will bear upon that choice is what the practitioner is charging. We’ve got to be responsible here from all points of view. We want to make sure that Australians can get access to services. That’s what Medicare and the Medicare safety net is all about and what our huge investments in health and hospitals are all about. We’ve also got to make sure that every taxpayer’s dollar is spent wisely and it’s going to support services, not to super-charging and super-incomes for a limited number of practitioners.Well that’s a matter for her, but the position with the Budget is absolutely clear. This is a Budget that is all about jobs - jobs today and the infrastructure we need for tomorrow. It’s about jobs today, because our huge economic stimulus and building of infrastructure, $22 billion of this Budget, building on our past infrastructure packages including our school modernisation program, is all about supporting jobs.

JOE O’BRIEN: But even the Government concedes that the number of jobless is going to grow significantly over the next couple of years. The unemployed didn’t deserve more as far as you’re concerned from this Budget?

JOE O’BRIEN: Now, Labor backbencher Julia Irwin spoke out yesterday over her disappointment that the unemployment benefits weren’t increased. Was it wrong of her to speak out?

JULIA GILLARD: Well that’s a matter for her, but the position with the Budget is absolutely clear. This is a Budget that is all about jobs - jobs today and the infrastructure we need for tomorrow. It’s about jobs today, because our huge economic stimulus and building of infrastructure, $22 billion of this Budget, building on our past infrastructure packages including our school modernisation program, is all about supporting jobs.

JOE O’BRIEN: But even the Government concedes that the number of jobless is going to grow significantly over the next couple of years. The unemployed didn’t deserve more as far as you’re concerned from this Budget?

JULIA GILLARD: Well there is more support for the unemployed in this Budget. We are supporting jobs, and for people that find themselves unemployed, we are making sure that they get the services and access to training that they need.

When people find themselves unemployed, what they want of course is the best possible chance of getting the next job. That means that they need employment services, which is why for retrenched Australians we are giving immediate access to intensive personalised employment services, and why we are making huge investments in skills and training, so people can get the skills that they need to get into those parts of the economy that are still crying out for skilled labour, and get the skills they need to be ready to go when the economy recovers.

We have of course a big suite of measures here, $1.5 billion in our Jobs and Training Compact, around $5 billion in apprenticeships and other related programs, and more $2 billion in our Productivity Places - interlinked programs to provide support to unemployed Australians.

JOE O’BRIEN: Now the independent senators have raised concerns over several Budget initiatives. Is there any room to move on what you’ve proposed?

JULIA GILLARD: We are presenting the Budget to the Parliament as a package of measures. This is a Budget that delivers economic stimulus and infrastructure to support jobs today. It builds the infrastructure of tomorrow and puts the Budget in sustainable shape for the long term. What we can’t say to the Senate is that they have the luxury of passing the expenditure measures and not passing the savings measures. This is a Budget that is a coherent whole; we have savings measures; we have expenditure measures. Both of them need to be dealt with by the Parliament, and they need to be dealt with together.

JOE O’BRIEN: So you would rather go to an election than change anything in the Budget?

JULIA GILLARD: We are going to keep on governing. We are going to keep on governing in the national interest in these difficult economic days following the global recession. We are saying to each and every member of the Senate that they need to understand that this is a Budget that has been delivered for these times, a Budget to support the nation now, in the most difficult economic circumstances we’ve seen for 75 years and it’s in the national interest for senators to step back from politicking and to deal with the Budget as a whole.

JOE O’BRIEN: The senators have been warned. Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard, thanks very much for talking to us this morning.

JULIA GILLARD: Thank you very much, Joe.

ENDS.

Media Contact:

media@deewr.gov.au

Non-media queries: 1300 363 079