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Transcript of doorstop: 11 June 2009: Labour Force figures; government-funded sports training.



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Thu, 11th June 2009 TURNBULL DOORSTOP - LABOUR FORCE FIGURES, GOVERNMENT-FUNDED SPORTS TRAINING

The Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP Leader of the Opposition

E&OE

QUESTION:

So what’s your reaction to the unemployment figures?

MALCOLM TURNBULL:

Well I’m very sad to see that more Australians are out of work and that more Australians are having less work than they want; more Australians are unable to work the hours they want. This is a growing concern. It just demonstrates that every sinew of Government policy, every effort must be made to pursue those three key priorities - jobs, jobs, jobs.

QUESTION:

We’ve only seen a slight increase to where we were two months ago. Do you think it’s just the tip of the iceberg?

MALCOLM TURNBULL:

Look, I’m an optimist. I’m a great believer in the resilience of the Australian economy. But we cannot be complacent. We went into this crisis in a stronger position than other countries but we have to maintain our vigilance and our commitment to jobs and that involves supporting, in particular, small business. Every element of our economic policies, our alternatives to the Government’s, have been focused on supporting small business because that is the engine room of the economy, that is where jobs can most quickly be created and preserved.

QUESTION:

Last month’s figure of 5.4 was questioned. Do you think that was just a statistical oddity?

MALCOLM TURNBULL:

Well I think you’ll find last month’s figure has already been revised but anyway we’re focusing on the figure today. We wish it was lower. There has been an increase of nearly 200,000 Australians out of work since August last year so that’s, each and every single one of those people who cannot get work is a tragedy. That’s why government and all of us have got to be focused on jobs. Jobs, jobs, jobs - that is our priority. That’s why we have proposed measure after measure that will support small business.

QUESTION:

One quick one. Should sports stars have to pay something like HECS when they get through training?

MALCOLM TURNBULL:

This is the government-sponsored training?

QUESTION:

Yep.

MALCOLM TURNBULL:

Well I can see the argument for that but that’s a complicated issue and I think what you’d need to do if you were going to undertake that, you’d have to start that off from scratch so that sportsmen and women knew the basis upon which they were undertaking their training. It wouldn’t be fair to in effect backdate it from today.

Okay. Thank you.