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Transcript of doorstop interview: Rydges Wentworth Hotel, Sydney: 23 July 2004:\nLatham; Liverpool Council; Flood Report; Family Tax Benefits Payments.



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TRANSCRIPT

THE HON PETER COSTELLO MP Treasurer

Doorstop Interview

Rydges Wentworth Hotel Sydney

Friday, 23 July 2004 2.15 pm

SUBJECTS: Latham; Liverpool Council; Flood Report; Family Tax Benefits Payments

JOURNALIST:

(inaudible) Liverpool Council?

TREASURER:

Oh well, I think it is now known that the Council was in deficit. As the audited accounts have shown that he engaged in a lot of capital expenditure and said that savings would materialise to pay for it and the savings didn’t materialise. And if you read the evidence that has been given to the Inquiry it is quite clear that he set in train a series of events which put it in a very bad financial position.

JOURNALIST:

He says he has nothing to fear from the Report coming down from this Inquiry. Do you think that is correct?

TREASURER:

Well you can read the evidence that has already been given and he was given an opportunity on Lateline on Monday night to answer these things and he was incapable of doing so. And as Lateline interviewer Tony Jones put to him, how could he maintain that the Council was still in surplus when the audit accounts show a deficit. And I think he

has got a lot of explaining to do.

JOURNALIST:

This afternoon the Opposition has been asking for a copy of the classified version of the Flood Report. What is your take on that?

TREASURER:

On their request…

JOURNALIST:

On their request.

TREASURER:

…or on the report? Oh well their request will no doubt be forwarded to the relevant Minister, it will be the Prime Minister or the Foreign Minister and they will decide it.

JOURNALIST:

Do you think they should have access to it?

TREASURER:

It is a matter for the Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister.

JOURNALIST:

The Government agreed to double the finance for the ONA. When is that likely to be put in place?

TREASURER:

Well, in relation to expenditures matters there would have to be either an appropriation or there would have to be an advance from the Minister for Finance if there is capacity to do that. But I imagine it would be put in place as soon as possible.

JOURNALIST:

Treasurer (inaudible)?

TREASURER:

…as soon as possible.

JOURNALIST:

(inaudible) $600 for families (inaudible) will that have a Budget impact or was it already costed?

TREASURER:

No the, look we costed our proposals on the basis that every eligible family would receive $600 per child per annum. Where there are some people that may have fallen through the cracks we now have a system which can pick them up but the costings have been done on the basis that everybody would receive it. So that is already there.

JOURNALIST:

(inaudible) carers payment (inaudible)?

TREASURER:

No.

© Commonwealth of Australia 2000