Interview on FiveAA

 

DAVID PENBERTHY:

The Prime Minister joins us on the line now. Prime Minister good morning.

PRIME MINISTER:

David great to be with you.

WILL GOODINGS:

Mr Turnbull thanks so much for joining us again on FiveAA Breakfast. Yesterday obviously was your campaign launch where you really hammered the themes of stability and the need to have a steady hand on the wheel in uncertain times. Now there is a poll out today showing that about a third of the electorate still hasn’t made up its mind how it’s going to vote on Saturday. What is your message to those people?

PRIME MINISTER:

To stick with our plan. We need a stable majority Government, a stable Coalition majority Government with a national economic plan that supports investment and we have that. So I say to all Australians as they consider their vote, to make sure they vote for a Liberal, or if they’re in a state where Nationals are running, a National candidate. Because only a vote for a Coalition candidate will support a Coalition majority Government. The risk of voting for an independent candidate, or for the Labor or the Greens, voting for Nick Xenophon for example, is that you may end up after the election with all of the chaos and the instability and the uncertainty of a Greens-Labor-Independent alliance. We’ve seen that film before and it’s not a pretty one. These are times when we need clear, strong, economic leadership. I’m providing that, my team are providing that and that’s what we’re asking the Australian people to support on July 2nd.

DAVID PENBERTHY:

Prime Minister there has been plenty of analysis over the course of the weekend about what Brexit will mean for the global economy, for the UK economy, perhaps what it might well mean for Australia. Do you see opportunity in that vote for Australia by way of free trade agreements, by way of perhaps a freer movement of people between Australia and the United Kingdom as some proponents of the leave Campaign have championed?

PRIME MINISTER:

There are always opportunities in big changes like this. This is a global environment of very rapid economic and political change both in terms of its speed and the scale of it. We’ve seen that in our own region of course with the rise of China most notably. So yes there will be opportunities but there will be considerable uncertainty for some time and you’re seeing that every night on television at the moment. It is critical that we maintain strong stable leadership and that we have an economic plan that is supporting investment. Now by contrast, if you look at the Labor Party, leaving aside the prospect of an alliance with the Green and Independents - and who knows what their price for supporting a Labor Government would be, it’ll be a very, very heavy one, with higher taxes as you can imagine – but already you see from the Labor Party, they’re admitting that over the next term of government they will run much higher deficits, run up more debt and have in addition to that, high taxes, taxes in particular on investment.

Now you know this is not PHD economics stuff. It’s pretty obvious if you tax investment more you will get less investment. What we are doing is reducing taxes on businesses and companies because we know we want them to invest more and if they invest more they will employ more.

Now what Labor is doing is the exact reverse of what we need. You know we don’t need more deficits, we certainly don’t need more debt and we don’t need to put the handbrake on the investment and the employment that all Australia need and particularly South Australia needs.

WILL GOODINGS:

Mr Turnbull despite the water under the bridge between yourself and Tony Abbott, there were nice images last night on the news and again on the front page of today’s papers of you and Mr Abbott together shaking hands at yesterday’s campaign launch. Do you envisage a role for Tony Abbott in the Ministry if you’re re-elected on Saturday?

PRIME MINISTER:

David I can only answer that in this way; the Ministry I take to the election which I’m taking to the election, will be the same one after the election. We had a pretty large reshuffle as you know after Warren Truss the Leader of the Nationals retired not so long ago. It’s a very strong Ministry it’s got a lot of younger people in it, it’s got a lot of women in it compared to the past. It’s a very strong Ministry so I don’t anticipate any changes to the Ministry after the election.

DAVID PENBERTHY:

What do you think though of the argument that Mr Abbott particularly is being such a strong advocate on an issue such as border protection still has a more senior role to play down the track in a Liberal Government?

PRIME MINISTER:

Well he is a formidable advocate and I saluted him and thanked him as I did John Howard at the rally yesterday but I do want to emphasise that I have a very strong Ministry and I’m not planning to make any changes to it. Of course invariably Ministries change over time but it’s important to have renewal. There is a lot of younger talent in the Liberal and National Parties and it’s important to keep bringing that forward.

DAVID PENBERTHY:

Prime Minister does a victory on Saturday give you a mandate and a strong enough position to bring back some of the old Malcolm Turnbull that is a passionate advocate for some of these social policies and change in areas like same sex marriage, you know climate change, dare I say the Republic?

PRIME MINISTER:

The important thing is that we have a mandate to deliver our economic plan. I mean the social – my position on those issues is very well known and has not changed one iota. I am consistent, very consistent over time, but the critical thing is that we continue to set Australia up for success in the future. We have a very clear choice; we have a pro-business, pro-investment, pro-jobs agenda, that’s our national economic plan. Stable majority Coalition Government on the one hand.

On the other hand, you have Labor with the most anti- business agenda we’ve seen in generations. Historically as we all remember when Kevin Rudd ran for example in 2007 he said he was pro-business and a fiscal conservative. Bob Hawke and Paul Keating made big economic, very valuable economic reforms that the Coalition supported in fact but now you’ve got a Labor Party that is vehemently anti-business and is saying it wants to and will increase the taxes on business and investment. That will have only one effect that will reduce investment and reduce employment. You know - if you want more of something, lower the tax on it. If you want less than something, increase the tax on it.

Now right at this point in time, we need more confidence, more investment, more trade, more employment, more jobs. That’s what I’m here in Adelaide talking about - opening the new Raytheon Naval and Integration Headquarters here. They are employing nearly 400 South Australians here – they are going to employ more. This is all part of continued investment in advanced manufacturing technology here in South Australia. This is a key part of the our transition – now that’s our commitment. You know where we stand.

What did Labor do for six years? They did nothing. They did not commission one naval ship from one Australian yard in six years, just neglect, indecision, you look at the way they opposed the China Australia Free Trade Agreement. Imagine that in six years Labor did not open up one export market for South Australian exporters. We’ve opened up China, Japan, Korea, the Trans Pacific Partnership which includes most of the Pacific rim countries and we’ve expanded our trading relationship and strategic relationship with Singapore. We will be pressing on to do the same with India and Indonesia if we are re-elected. All of that opens opportunities for jobs across Australia but especially here in South Australia. The growth in wine exports alone has been massive as you’ve heard from the leaders of the industry.

DAVID PENBERTHY:

Prime Minister you’ve spent the last two months travelling around the country often visiting two or even three states in individual 24 hour periods. You’ve been to SA on a number of occasions. You’ve spoken to us frequently throughout the campaign. Do you agree with our assessment that SA is the hardest state to read when you’ve got traditionally safe Liberal seats such as Sturt and particularly Mayo in play and at the other end of the spectrum you’ve got supposedly safe or ‘safe-ish’ Labor seats such as Adelaide, Kingston and Port Adelaide up for grabs as well?

PRIME MINISTER:

Well I think that the campaign made by Nick Xenophon is one that South Australians in particular need to think about very very, carefully. A vote for Nick Xenophon is a vote for instability. Nobody knows what his approach would be in a future House of Representatives. If you believe that we need stable government and clearly we do, stable majority government, then the only option at this election is to vote for the Liberal candidate. That should be a vote in the House and in the Senate. I mean this is not a time to have a Parliament in disarray – a chaotic parliament as we had in the last term of the Gillard Government.

DAVID PENBERTHY:

Do you think that the vacuum that was created over the future of the subs, you guys might be responsible in a way for the creation of a political monster because we did have an 18 month period here where when Mr Abbott was PM, we had the to-ing and fro-ing about whether the 12 subs promise was a promise or not and during that time he capitalised so much on the uncertainty?

PRIME MINISTER:

Well I’ll leave the commentary to you but from the moment I became Prime Minister with the Defence Minister Marise Payne we pressed ahead we completed the evaluation process – had access to all of the local Defence Department and international advice. And as you know we are committing to the partnership with France to build the 12 submarines here in South Australia. This is a 50 year partnership. This is going to set up, together with the other naval shipbuilding projects here which are substantial as well – this sets South Australia up as at the very heart of the most advanced manufacturing in the world. These submarines are the most advanced defence platforms in the world and they will be being built here. Remember this, the jobs of the future are not somewhere else, they are right here in South Australia. The jobs of the future are not somewhere else, they are here in South Australia and that’s because of the decisions and the investments that my Government has made.

DAVID PENBERTHY:

Malcolm Turnbull thanks very much for your time and we’ll see how it all pans out in the final week of the campaign heading to the poll on Saturday.

PRIME MINISTER:

Thank you so much.