Prime Minister - Transcript - Spirit Radio Breakfast with Pablo, Karratha

 

E&OE…

PABLO:

Joining us in the studio today is a very special guest. The Prime Minister of Australia Malcolm Turnbull. Prime Minister, good morning.

PRIME MINISTER:

Great to be with you Pablo.

PABLO:

Now, very excited for everyone here in Karratha. You’re here today only and the last time I believe you were up here was as the Environment Minister.

PRIME MINISTER:

That’s right. In 2007 I approved, gave the final environmental approval, for the Gorgon Project. So we’re going out to Barrow Island today for a commemoration of the inauguration of that project. A gigantic investment, as you know, over $54 billion US dollars - the largest private infrastructure investment in Australia’s history. Of course I was also, came here also as part of the listing of Burrup Peninsula on the National Heritage register. The rock art, that visit to see the rock art there, those extraordinarily ancient carvings, was really one of the most memorable experiences I’ve had in travelling around Australia.

PABLO:

It is great to see that they’re locked up as well as far as being protected into the future, which is fantastic. Now you’re here for a special breakfast today, but also on the agenda is the sod-turning of the Arts Centre. Everyone’s very excited.

PRIME MINISTER:

That’s right, it’s fantastic. Melissa Price who is the Federal Member has been a great advocate for this. We’re committing $10 million of federal money into that which will ensure that together with the support from the local community, it will happen. It is very important because it brings life to a town. Melissa and I were talking about it this morning. She was saying that it means that now there will be a place for little girls to do a ballet performance, parents can come and see them do that, and it will add life and community to already a very strong town.

PABLO:

Now I guess people in the Pilbara particularly want to know - confidence is a little bit down at the moment with the mining boom has sort of decreased a little bit. What are your thoughts on the future and what the future looks like for the Pilbara?

PRIME MINISTER:

Well the future is very strong. The big boom in construction was always going to peak and then taper off as the projects were built. So that was the construction boom, but the demand for our natural resources, particularly from the Pilbara, is as strong as ever. Prices are not as high as they used to be but the demand is strong, the volumes are higher than they used to be. Australia will overtake Qatar in the Arabian gulf as the world’s largest exporter of LNG within a few years, and it is in large a measure on the back of these projects here in Western Australia.

PABLO:

The Pilbara boasts some amazing lifestyle, terrific weather, great job opportunities and the city is continuing to grow, but, to encourage people to choose the rural lifestyle, how do you think that is something that the government can encourage?

PRIME MINISTER:

We are investing in infrastructure. We have, as you know, we’ve got some massive investments over seven million dollars in highways in this region and right up the coast, right up through the north west of this state. We are also rolling out the National Broadband Network, that will be completed by 2020, it is already nearly 23,000 premises here in this electorate of Durack that are able to connect to the NBN, the satellite, the new satellite service will become commercially available in May and the project as I said will be completed by 2020. It is a huge one. By June 30 this year, there will, a quarter of all premises, households and business premises in Australia will be able to connect to it if they wish. And by two years after that it will be three quarters. Big roll out of fixed wireless, and of course we are putting a huge amount of money in to mobile blackspots. The electorate with the largest number of mobile blackspot investments and new towers subsidised by our Government is of course this electorate. So again, Melissa Price has really been a champion advocate for the people that she represents.

PABLO:

Now we do have some quick fire questions for you, we like to put celebrities and the like through the bucket of truth. So I thought I would ask you some of these Prime Minister.

The first concert you ever went to?

PRIME MINISTER:

So this is not just the bucket of truth but this is through the of memory. I do recall being taken as a youngster to the Beatles when they came to Australia, but the first concert that I went to as a young man and that I remember was going to see the Rolling Stones live at the Soldier Field in Chicago on a really sunny day. That was in the mid-70s. That was fantastic.

PABLO:

Now besides your famous leather jacket do you have a favourite piece of clothing?

PRIME MINISTER:

I would think actually just a pair of shorts and my, and a t-shirt which I go kayaking in. That’s what I, that’s when I’m having most fun.

PABLO:

Favourite movie?

PRIME MINISTER:

That’s a good one. You know, that’s a very good one. I think it is very hard to beat Casablanca.

PABLO:

Casablanca? An oldie but a classic.

PRIME MINISTER:

Yeah. An oldie but a goodie.

PABLO:

Now I’m sure you don’t have many times to watch TV, but there is a favourite show that you like to watch?

PRIME MINISTER:

Yeah. The television series that I have watched, it’s a British one but the ones that were done based on the John McCarron spy novels Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy with John Gielgud were fantastic.

PABLO:

First job?

PRIME MINISTER:

First job? Well, my first job was working as, my first proper job, other than very casual jobs, my first proper job was working as a labourer for a banana merchant in the Sydney City Markets in the days when they were right in the centre of the city. That was quite, that was good. I was very keen on being fit so I got a lot of upper body exercise lifting cases of bananas on and off trucks.

PABLO:

Other than Twitter do you have a favourite app?

PRIME MINISTER:

I use, we use social media absolutely, you know Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. The app I actually find most useful is called TripView which is one that gives you the on time, exactly the on time running schedules of public transport in Sydney. So I get around on public transport wherever I can. You know I don’t like getting stuck in traffic and I like meeting people and TripView is fantastic. All the other big cities have got similar applications but that’s the one I use in Sydney.

PABLO:

And favourite band?

PRIME MINISTER:

Favourite band. Ah well…

PABLO:

You were singing along before to Five.

PRIME MINISTER:

Yeah, yeah. Well there are so many aren’t there? Well I am very sentimental about The Mentals sentimental as anything perhaps. As opposed to fundamental as anything. You know just going back to the early days when CDs first came out, The Police very keen on them, but yeah, so oldies but goodies.

PABLO:

Now you do have a bit of a radio background as well. So I guess a bit of a time warp coming into an old studio like this one.

PRIME MINISTER:

Yeah it’s fantastic. I love radio. I think it’s a very, I used to work for a radio station as a political reporter in the 70s; it’s a very intimate medium I think. It does, because you’re sort you’re whispering sometimes, a bit louder whispering, but you’re basically talking quietly in to somebody’s ear and I think it is a more, it is a much more intimate medium than television. So it is very different. It doesn’t the visual but I think it some respects it has greater impact and greater influence.

PABLO:

Now you did arrive last night so just lastly your impressions on the Pilbara and Karratha?

PRIME MINISTER:

Well I’m, this is the most exciting part of our whole resource story. I mean this is, you know you look here in Karratha you’ve got iron, you’ve got salt, you’ve got fertiliser, you’ve got gas. You know and I do believe there is a big tourist opportunity that will, I hope, in due course be further developed. The rock art alone, and there’s lots of other things in the Pilbara of course but just right here in ‘bara the rock art alone is – these are some of the most ancient works of human creation and some of the most mysterious works of human creation. Images of giant animals that were extinct thousands, tens of thousands of years ago. You know there is one of a thylacine a Tasmanian tiger that was extinct on the mainland that many thousands of years ago but wasn’t when the Aboriginal carvers, artists, drew them. That one of the climbing men. I’ve never really been able to get that image entirely out of my mind because it is a, it is almost a metaphor for live. Where are they, what are they climbing to? Climbing to heaven? Climbing a tree? What is the, you know, it is like a metaphor for life. So it is very, very interesting.

PABLO:

Well thank you so much for stopping here into the studio we really do appreciate and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull enjoy the Pilbara and enjoy Karratha today.

PRIME MINISTER:

Pablo I will, thanks a lot.