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Transcript of doorstop interview: Waterfront Place, Brisbane:10 June 2009: consumer sentiment; nation building for recovery.



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DOORSTOP INTERVIEW

WATERFRONT PLACE, BRISBANE

10 JUNE 2009

SUBJECTS: Consumer Sentiment; Nation Building for Recovery

TREASURER:

Well, the consumer sentiment figures are out today - up 12.7 per cent in June - one of the biggest increases in many years. We shouldn't get too carried away with month-to-month figures but these figures do provide some evidence of the benefit of economic stimulus and its impact on consumer confidence. And of course, consumer confidence is very important as we work together as a nation to buttress our economy and our people from the worst effects of the global recession. But we can't be complacent. The global recession is having a dramatic impact on our economy, but it's good to see that people recognise the importance of economic stimulus and how it is building confidence and getting Australians to pull together.

JOURNALIST:

Does this mean the worst is over?

TREASURER:

Most certainly it doesn't. We can't be complacent. There is a rocky road ahead. We can see that from the figures that are out last week and again this week. Certainly economic stimulus has been very important and it's been supporting jobs and employment. But there are big challenges ahead.

JOURNALIST:

Do you believe that it is inevitable that a recession will happen?

TREASURER:

What I do believe is the global recession will continue to put pressure on Australia, and most particularly it will put pressure on employment. That's why economic stimulus has been so important - to support employment, to support Australian families at a time when the world is throwing up such very significant challenges for our economy.

JOURNALIST:

Do you think Australia will go into recession?

Transcript of 10/06/2009

Page 1 of 2 Transcript - Consumer Sentiment; Nation Building for Recovery - Doorstop Interview...

TREASURER:

Well, what we've seen with the National Accounts figures is the beneficial impact of economic stimulus. And what we have to do is to meet the challenges that are out there - challenges that are coming in terms of business investment, challenges that are coming in terms of a decline in the terms of trade. That's why economic stimulus is so important - stage one, stage two and stage three.

JOURNALIST:

Is the rate of mortgage take-up artificially inflated because people thought that their First Home Buyers grant would be running out?

TREASURER:

I think what you can see at the moment is the beneficial impact again of economic stimulus in that housing data today, and you can see it particularly in the percentage of the finance going to first homebuyers. It has played a very important role in supporting employment in the Australian housing and construction industry.

JOURNALIST:

(inaudible) in the retail sector because the stimulus packages won't be staying there, it's going to infrastructure instead, that that will mean higher unemployment in those levels. What do you say to that?

TREASURER:

Well, what I say to that is there are three stages of economic stimulus. Stage one was the cash payments to families, pensioners, carers and veterans. Stage two are the shovel-ready projects - 35,000 of them right around Australia where there is direct investment which is supporting demand. And stage three are the nation building projects for recovery that were outlined in the Budget. Those three stages of stimulus are going to support this economy against the worst the world carn throw at us over the next 18 months.

Thanks very much.

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