PRIME MINISTER:

What we are doing here is investing $20 million into important economic infrastructure that drives growth and jobs right here in Victoria. Six million visitors to the Dandenongs and the Yarra Valley every year, 10,500 people in this district work in the tourism sector. We are putting money into restoring some old rolling stock, a new discovery centre, upgrading the Mount Dandenong tourist road in addition to developing some walking trails.

What all of this does is add to the strength of what is our largest services export – tourism, equal with educational services indeed, the two of them - both of which Richard is responsible for - those important export services sectors.

These are key elements in our national economic plan. As you know it's founded on innovation. It's founded on business tax cuts. Do you know there are 14,000 businesses in Victoria alone which employee nearly 280,000 Victorians which will get a tax cut on 1 July if we are returned to Government, that will not get a tax cut if Mr Shorten becomes the Prime Minister? All of those businesses will see more investment and more growth and more jobs.

Tourism is absolutely critical. We are seeing really strong growth; 9 per cent growth last year. Very strong growth out of China. We saw last year a million Chinese tourists. Of course 2017 following my visit to China recently with Australia Week in China we had the announcement from the Chinese Government, from the President, that 2017 will be the year of China-Australia tourism. We will see even stronger growth.

Puffing Billy alone has seen phenomenal growth. It should be over 415,000 passengers this year. That's going to continue to grow. All of this drives jobs. This is vitally important, particularly in regional Australia outside of the big cities. 44 per cent of the tourism dollar is spent in regional Australia. It is critically important and part of our national economic plan steaming ahead for more growth and more jobs.

It is great to be here, Jason, great to be here with Richard supporting growth and jobs here in the Dandenongs.

JOURNALIST:

Prime Minister your Liberal candidate for Whitlam Carolyn Currie is no longer running. She says she received little or no support from the party and that the Liberals said to her they didn't even want a candidate for that electorate. Is that true? Will you be looking to replace her?

PRIME MINISTER:

I'm sure we will have a great candidate flying the Liberal flag. She's made her decision as she is entitled to do so but I'm totally focused on jobs and growth and our national economic plan across the country including in the Illawarra.

JOURNALIST:

How can the country trust anything your economic team says now? Any attack on Labor's costings after Scott Morrison's at least $20 billion mathematical error yesterday?

PRIME MINISTER:

I don't accept the premise of your question I'm sorry.

JOURNALIST:

Hang on. This is important. He started off the day saying $67 billion out. Then walked back to $30 billion. Isn't that an error adding up?

PRIME MINISTER:

The onus is really on the Labor Party. We have set out a budget which includes all of our revenue and expenditure of course over the next four years. We have demonstrated that. Everything is paid for. $20 million we are talking about here today is all paid for. We have shown where we are going to spend money and where we are going to raise it from.

What the Labor Party is doing is every day - Bill Shorten is turning the spend-o-meter as he calls it, every day. He thinks it's very funny. I don't think taxpayers think it's very funny. He is spending more money every day.

What he hasn't done is told us where it will come from. What Scott has done is set out a schedule showing the budget items of ours that Labor has blocked, the promises they have made and the various measures of ours they have said they oppose.

As I said to you yesterday at Anglesea, if the Labor Party believes some of those items are not correct or they've changed their mind or they appear to have done about international aid then they should say so.

What they must do is treat the Australian people with respect. After all, it is our taxes. It's Australians' taxes. What Labor should do is between whirling the spend-o-meter round and round – he should set out where he is going to raise the money from because whichever way you look at it there is a black hole. He can solve the mystery. It is entirely in his hands. He should spell it out.

JOURNALIST:

You said Labor changed its mind on foreign aid. They made an announcement last weekend before you pulled out the piece of paper yesterday that they were not going to go ahead with the full restoration. That was still in the figures yesterday.

PRIME MINISTER:

Can I just say to you - if what Tanya Plibersek is saying is that Labor is now backing at least 90 per cent of our reductions in foreign aid, then she should say that. I think you'll find that Labor has been saying some contradictory things there. It is very easy for them to solve the mystery. All they need to do is to set it out. Our budget is there. Our budget came down. It's been validated and checked by the Department of Finance and the Department of the Treasury. We all know what the financial facts are.

What Labor should do - I did this myself when I was Opposition Leader years ago - you've got to sit down as the Opposition and say: ‘Righto, that's what the Government's raising and that's what it's spending, this is where we differ from them and this is the result.’

They can solve all of that and demonstrate how big their black hole is and if they say there's no black hole they can demonstrate with how many new taxes or new borrowings they are going to fill it with.

JOURNALIST:

Mr Turnbull you probably saw the Newspoll this morning. It says that voters find you arrogant but likeable. Is that the real Malcolm?

PRIME MINISTER:

[LAUGHS] Thank you Mark. Thanks very much.

JOURNALIST:

Is a re-elected Turnbull Government going to fund Melbourne Metro?

PRIME MINISTER:

We have already committed funds to if you like a new business plan or new business case for Melbourne Metro. I think Melbourne Metro has got enormous potential but the work on it is underdone and in particular the opportunity for collaboration with both local government and indeed the private sector to ensure more of the value that is created by the uplift in property values is captured. There's work to be done yet on Melbourne Metro but I think it's a very promising project. It's certainly consistent with our concept of providing greater, supporting greater mass transit in cities. As you know we are supporting the Sydney metro. We've supported a rail extension in Adelaide and indeed on the Gold Coast and indeed in Perth. I'm a train enthusiast and not just for steam trains.

JOURNALIST:

Is the Turnbull Government properly resourcing security on our borders?

PRIME MINISTER:

Yes we have an extensive commitment right across the board as you know. The border protection is one of the highest priorities of our Government. We have successfully prevented the people smugglers from operating. As you know it is more than 660 days since a successful people smuggling expedition. We have very substantial resources committed to that to ensure that we keep our borders secure.

JOURNALIST:

On border security Barnaby Joyce says he's the Johnny Depp’s ‘Hannibal Lecter’. Is that a healthy fight to have at the moment when there’s so much including Mr Joyce own seat up for grabs?

PRIME MINISTER:

Well I’ll leave that one to Barnaby. Can I say to you that my focus is on the jobs of Australians. My focus is on ensuring that we have the strong economic growth that delivers the revenues that enable us to pay for health and education, to enable us to pay for transport infrastructure, and to pay for roads, to pay for border protection.

Everything we have depends upon a strong economy. The big choice on 2 July is between my Government which has a clear national economic plan every element of which is supporting jobs and growth. You can see it right here. Right here in the Dandenongs there are thousands of jobs in this community which depend on tourism, which depend on the export trade deals we established, which depend on our national economic plan.

280,000 Victorians work for businesses earning, generating between $2 million and $10 million in revenue. Those businesses will get a tax cut if we're returned to Government. What that will mean is their owners will invest more, they’ll have more to invest so they’ll invest more, the businesses will grow and there will be more employment.

So everything we are doing is driving jobs and growth. On the other hand, Mr Shorten and his spend-o-meter is off spending money every day. What he's not doing is identifying one single policy that will support economic growth. In fact as you know his policies regrettably will actually slow economic growth. He wants to increase the tax on investments. He wants to stop negative gearing for all but new dwellings. All of those things will slow economic growth.

JOURNALIST:

Prime Minister how much is the budget black hole worth? Is it $67 billion or $32 billion?

PRIME MINISTER:

Can I say that is a question you should be addressing to the Labor Party. The Labor Party have to make a choice. Elections are about choices right? There is a big choice on the 2nd of July for all Australians between my Government and Mr Shorten's Opposition. That’s one choice. But there is also a choice that political leaders have to make, responsible political leaders have to make. They have to make choices between competing priorities and they have to decide how much they are going to spend, how much they are going to tax, how much they are going to borrow. What Mr Shorten has is a mass of promises for which he has no funding. Only he and Mr Bowen can set out what it is it’s actually going to cost.

JOURNALIST:

You said 67. Do you stand by that?

PRIME MINISTER:

Well $67 billion is the list of the measures that they have either blocked or proposed or said they want us to roll back. Now if they are changing their position or they have new promises and want to abandon old promises they are entitled to do that. But they should spell it out. They have no excuse. There is a debate between Mr Bowen and Scott Morrison on Friday. I think Mr Bowen owes it to everybody to spell out exactly what his alternative budget looks like. That's what he should do as the-

JOURNALIST:

Will you spell out how much will a company tax cut is going to raise?

PRIME MINISTER:

As you know, that has been set out -

JOURNALIST:

But will you say it?

PRIME MINISTER:

Well of course I have. It's $48 billion over ten years. But of course that doesn't take into account the enormous growth that you get in terms of GDP. You’ve seen the Treasury – look a business tax cut, a company tax cut drives growth and jobs. That is clear. That is a very uncontroversial statement. It’s

supported by the Treasury. Its supported by independent work by the Treasury and it is supported by the Shadow Treasurer Mr Bowen. He went to the trouble of writing a book in which he said one of the best things a Federal Government could do is cut company tax cut in order to drive investment and jobs. Now he's often wrong Mr Bowen but he wasn't wrong then. What he said was, if I may say so, a penetrating glimpse of the obvious. If you want to have more investment, you need to lower the tax on investment and you will get more investment. If you want to have less investment, you increase the tax on investment. Labor is increasing the tax on investment. That will result in less investment and fewer jobs.

You see what Mr Shorten has is a long list of complaints and a long list of promises. But what he doesn't have is a plan that will support growth and jobs. We do and we have set that out. Every single element in our plan; export trade deals, our support for innovation, our support for advanced manufacturing where we were yesterday. Right across the board everything we are doing is supporting investment, its supporting jobs, it’s supporting economic growth. The people of this community will benefit as they will around the country. Labor's alternative? Stopping investment, slowing job growth, holding back the economy. They have a list of complaints. They have a spend-o-meter. They do not have a plan for Australia's future. We do.

Thank you very much.