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Transcript of doorstop interview: Parliament House, Canberra: 21 June 2006: Howard Government arrogance; changes in the Senate.



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M E D I A R E L E A S E

Stephen Smith MP Shadow Minister for Industry, Infrastructure and Industrial Relations Member for Perth

E&OE T47/06

TRANSCRIPT OF DOORSTOP INTERVIEW- PARLIAMENT HOUSE, CANBERRA, WEDNESDAY, 21 JUNE 2006

SUBJECT: HOWARD GOVERNMENT ARROGANCE AND CHANGES IN THE SENATE

SMITH: On industrial relations, we heard nothing about the Government’s industrial relations changes before the last election. We only heard about the Government’s industrial relations changes when they realised they had all power under

the sun, when they had control of the Senate. And now they’ve got control of the Senate they are arrogantly seeking to smash the Senate to avoid any scrutiny whatsoever. Why would that surprise? After ten long years, a Government making Australians worse off but just arrogantly now trying to avoid any scrutiny whatsoever. We see the same thing happening in the House with their ramming through and guillotining through important legislation with little or any scrutiny.

JOURNALIST: It’s not really an issue that’s going to alarm the public is it?

SMITH: I think the public is always alarmed by Governments that have been there for a long time who become very arrogant and who are more concerned about themselves rather than the Australian people. We heard nothing about industrial relations before the last election, now all their industrial relations proposals are about is their own ideology.

They’re not concerned about making Australians worse off. The Australian community is picking this up. Australians always react adversely to a long term Government who arrogantly starts to think about itself and not about the community.

JOURNALIST: Did you see a touch of arrogance in the announcement yesterday, the way they dealt with troop redeployment?

SMITH: I thought firstly it was humiliating for Brendan Nelson. I though Robert McClelland sprung Brendan Nelson in the House yesterday and John Howard subsequently humiliated him. And I thought John Howard was pushed into announcing

that and that was good work in the House of Reps. One of the few occasions where there is now an attempt, an effort of scrutiny, that’s during Question Time.

Ends

Contact: Courtney Hoogen on (02) 6277 4108 or 0414 364 651