Government claims Abbott now has no credibili


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18-05-2010 08:03 AM


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ABC Canberra 666


18-05-2010 08:03 AM



18-05-2010 08:44 AM

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2010-05-18 08:03:54

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LANE, Sabra



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Government claims Abbott now has no credibility

Sabra Lane reported this story on Tuesday, May 18, 2010 08:04:00

BRENDAN TREMBATH: The Federal Government has seized on the comments saying that anything Mr Abbott
promises can't be believed.

Anthony Albanese, the Infrastructure Minister and Government's Leader of the House, is speaking
here with AM's Sabra Lane.

SABRA LANE: Anthony Albanese, have you ever fudged, exaggerated or stretched the truth?

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Certainly not. When it comes to policy issues, you have actually got to be fair
dinkum with the Australian people. What we saw from Tony Abbott last night, out of his own mouth
was to say you can't believe anything that he says.

SABRA LANE: So you are telling voters that you have never stretched the truth, even in the heat of
the moment?

ANTHONY ALBANESE: I have never consciously said something that was wrong and every time I speak I
try to tell the absolute truth and to put forward the position that the Labor Party holds. It is an
extraordinary admission from Tony Abbott last night that the only time that you can trust him is if
it is scripted and well prepared in advance otherwise it is just a thought bubble that can't be
taken seriously.

SABRA LANE: On talkback radio this morning callers seem to have given Mr Abbott marks for admitting
something that they have known of all politicians for some time.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Well, I think that people over a period of time will listen to Tony Abbott and
they will wonder whether it is phoney Tony or whether he is actually telling the truth.

So whether it is on WorkChoices or on hospitals or on tax or any other policy issue, when you hear
the words out of his mouth, you will know out of his own mouth from last night, that he doesn't
necessarily believe what he is saying and he doesn't think that it is of any consequence.

SABRA LANE: What is the difference then between what Mr Abbott said and over-promising and not
delivering on programs like the Emissions Trading Scheme, FuelWatch, GroceryWatch, the housing
insulation program and the promise to build 260 childcare centres?

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Look, the Government has been absolutely up front when we haven't been able to
meet our commitments. What Tony Abbott has said is at the time he makes those commitments, he
doesn't necessarily believe them.

It is an extraordinary admission that goes even further than Mr Howard's doctoring of core and
non-core promises. He has gone to now we have gospel truths and just heat of the moment falsehoods
that are of no consequence and that people shouldn't regard as serious statements.

SABRA LANE: On the Government's proposed super-profits tax on mining companies, Eric Ripper the
West Australian Labor Leader and the Queensland Mines Minister, Stephen Robertson are calling on
the Federal Government to revise the level at which this tax kicks in. Is the Government prepared
to do that?

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Look, the Government has a key position that we have put forward. What we have
said is that on the implementation of that tax, we are prepared to sit down with the industry and
work through those implementation details and indeed we are in dialogue with over 80 companies
doing that right now.

BRENDAN TREMBATH: The Infrastructure Minister Anthony Albanese, speaking there with Sabra Lane.