Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
[National Party Leader-elect welcomes changes made to Coalition Ministry]



Download WordDownload Word

image

 

5/07/99

MR ANDERSON WELCOMES THE CHANGES THAT HAS BEEN MADE TO COALITION MINISTRY. HE BELIEVES MARK VAILE WILL MAKE AN EXCELLENT TRADE MINISTER. HE IS ASKED ABOUT HOW WARREN TRUSS WILL DO AS THE NEW AGRICULTURE, FISHERIES AND FORESTRY MINISTER, LARRY AN THONY AS THE NEW COMMUNITY SERVICES MINISTER AND RON BOSWELL AS THE NEW PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY FOR TRANSPORT AND REGIONAL SERVICES

 

DOORSTOP INTERVIEW

 

MR ANDERSON:

We’ve just announced I think a very strong lineup, a good team, people well positioned in relation to the portfolios and their particular skills. It strengthens the team all round I believe, in the circumstances where we no longer have the very widely acclaimed Tim Fischer. I think Mark Vaile will do an excellent job in Trade. I believe that with his very extensive background in agriculture Warren Truss will be a very good spokesman for agriculture and farming, forestry, fishing.

I think that Larry Anthony represents one of the more recent entries to the Parliament, who has been performing very strongly, and Ron Boswell who has been described as the conscience of the National Party, will do a superb job as ears eyes and coordinator and puller-together of the party in the future.

QUESTION:

A bit of history for the Anthony family.

ANDERSON:

Well, third generation of Anthonys, and there’s no doubt that Larry has displayed a fair chunk of that Anthony magic, and I think he’ll do very well.

QUESTION:

There have been questions raised as to whether Mr Vaile’s heart will really be in the job, given his reluctance to take it on.

ANDERSON:

Talk to Mr Vaile, I think he’s got a real enthusiasm for it. He indicated the other day not a reluctance to take on Trade, but a keenness in relation to Agriculture. I think he’s, over the last couple of days, translated very well his enthusiasm for agriculture into realising the possibilities to promote agriculture as the Minister for Trade, and to promote other things as the Minister for Trade.

We worked through it in a very constructive way. We really did, and Mark is going to do a tremendous job. I actually remember some of you people saying a little while ago when John Sharp left the ministry, you know, that oh dear, where would they find good replacements, and look how Warren Truss and Mark Vaile have performed now. So, he’ll do a great job in that portfolio.

QUESTION:

Do you think there will be different emphases, in the way he approaches it, compared to Fischer?

ANDERSON:

Look, I’d like to let Mark speak for himself, about how he intends to approach it, but I know that he will bring intellectual rigour, I know that he’ll bring great drive and determination to it, and a real enthusiasm. I’ve no doubt about that at all. Mark is one of those people who won’t fail to show the same enthusiasm as he has in the portfolios he’s been in.

QUESTION:

(inaudible) (?first choice)

ANDERSON:

Mr Vaile, as we worked through it, became the right man for the job.

QUESTION:

Was he the first choice?

ANDERSON:

There was never another choice, in the sense that he was the one that as we talked, thought about it, as I talked with him, and as I talked with the Prime Minister, emerged as the logical choice.

QUESTION:

Was Mr Truss an option?

ANDERSON:

Look, I’m not going to discuss that except to say that we carefully considered how best to match peoples’ abilities to the very real challenges of each portfolio. And Warren’s particular strengths in agriculture, in his own quiet way in this place, he’s always been a very strong advocate for agriculture. He has quite an extensive background in it.

QUESTION:

.....(inaudible) concerned that he has done it in a quiet way and that he doesn’t have a high profile. Will you be looking to build his profile up?

ANDERSON:

Warren Truss?

QUESTION:

Yes.

ANDERSON:

Look, I’m sure it will become quite high quite quickly. And he, Warren is not a fellow who goes out and parades his light free of the bushel, so to speak, but it’s there. And it’s very strong, and he’s a quietly determined sort of a bloke, who has made a real mark here. He’s done very very well in a difficult portfolio in recent times, tackled some real issues that have been concerned in the regional areas, such as in relation to Centrelink. He does know agriculture very well, he’ll do, I believe, a very very good job.

QUESTION:

You have had a bit of a turnover in the agriculture portfolio, surely that has to damage the National Party somewhat in the bush?

ANDERSON:

No, I don’t think so. Look at the bright side, you know have all three cabinet ministers from the National Party who are directly familiar with agriculture and have a very solid understanding of what the issues are. I actually think that helps us, collectively, put the case for agriculture.

QUESTION:

You describe Ron Boswell as the conscience of the National Party,  (inaudible)

ANDERSON:

Well, I believe that he does a superb job of isolating the issues of importance, boiling them down to their fundamentals, and then suggesting ways forward, and when he has suggested a way forward, pursuing it vigorously.

QUESTION:

Mr Anderson, is there any hope for Peter McGauran to get a promotion, now that he has been overlooked again?

ANDERSON:

Look, I don’t believe Peter’s been overlooked at all. Peter came back into the Ministry nine months ago, he has been doing a superb job, I happen to think he is ideally suited to the role that he is doing at the moment, and he’s a very valuable member of the team and will continue to be so.

QUESTION:

Does he have an image problem in the bush?

ANDERSON:

Oh no, I don’t believe so.

QUESTION:

He’s not in the sinbin still?

ANDERSON:

No. No,no, no, no. But look, he came into that portfolio nine months ago, he has been doing very well, and I think that, as I say, my feeling that he is very well matched, particularly well matched to what he is doing, and it’s an important are, and I want to see it expanded in rural areas, it’s part of the cultural fabric that I think we can expand more, and in which we can pursue better objectives for rural areas and rural communities.

QUESTION:

The DPP has dropped its charges against Mal Colston, do you think that was inevitable?

ANDERSON:

Look, I just want to stay on our people today. I’m sorry, I don’t normally do that, but that’s what I’m on about today.

QUESTION:

As Deputy Prime Minister, don’t you rate a heated  conference room, instead of standing out here in the cold?

ANDERSON:

(laughs) Well, I though perhaps that would look like the bush behind us. But it doesn’t, I should have gone out into the trees.

QUESTION:

Now that you and Mark Vaile have fixed all the problems in agriculture, what’s left for Warren Truss to do? What are going to be his challenges?

ANDERSON:

Look, there are always challenges in agriculture, and it is true that to a great extent industry has greater control over industry leadership, in the various segments, that’s a work that’s largely completed, but they are everything from the trade issues that have to be worked through, whilst many of the issues that are sleighted home to the Minister for Primary Industry or Agriculture as it is now, are really trade issues, they undoubtedly do have a portfolio focus as well, there will be issues of dairy coming up.

There’s the issues of markets being pursued, or wider options for insurance against natural disasters, in conjunction with the arrangements the Government has in place. There really are, if you look at it, quite a few things that he has got to pursue.

*          *          End          *          *