PRIME MINISTER:

Good day. Before we move on to other matters I want to refer to the bombing in Istanbul. Our information at the moment is that 50 people have been killed and 150 injured. The attack was a

suicide attack. Daesh or ISIL have claimed credit for it.

Our consular officials and embassy officials are endeavouring to ascertain whether any Australians were affected. At this stage I don't have any further information on that point.

Can I say that we convey our very deepest sympathies and condolences to the people of Turkey who have been hit with a series of suicide bombings of this kind in recent times. We also convey our sympathies and condolences to the families of those who've been killed and who have been injured.

This is a reminder that Islamist terrorists seek to destroy, divide and kill Muslims as well as Christians and other people of non-Muslim faiths. They are a murderous, criminal movement seeking to create division and destruction and make us turn on each other.

And it is very important that at times like this, Australians stay united and recognise that our successful multicultural society is built on a strong foundation of mutual respect. We will continue to work relentlessly with ours the best security and intelligence services in the world, certainly there are none better, to keep Australians safe from terrorism at home and so far as we can, abroad.

We will continue to work with our allies in the Middle Eastern theatre to destroy ISIL or Daesh in the theatre. In the field. That is a critical military objective. And as you know Australia has one of the largest contributions to that multinational effort. We will continue to do that.

President Erdoğan of Turkey when I last met him said that these terrorists of ISIL or Daesh are not Muslims - he says they blaspheme the religion of Islam. They are not Muslims. He said they are blasphemers and they are an abomination.

And we will work - continue to work closely with the Government of Turkey and the people of Turkey to fight these terrorists.

Many Australians are very familiar with the airport at Istanbul. Of course so many Australians, thousands of Australians have visited Turkey and particularly have visited Gallipoli. So Australia and Turkey have a common bond.

Both our countries' foundation stories were told at Gallipoli - ours, Turkey’s and New Zealand's. Out of that shocking conflict came a kinship and a solidarity.

So this is a very sad day for the people of Turkey. It's a very sad day for the people who love freedom as we do and the Turkish people do. But again I convey our deepest sympathies and condolences to the people of Turkey, the families of those who've been killed and injured, and wish those that have been injured a speedy recovery from the injuries wrought by these criminals.

Now just turning to our visit today which is a happier occasion. It's been wonderful to be here with my colleagues Nick Varvaris and David Coleman. These two are the Liberal Members that I am urging Australians to support on the 2nd of July because the only way to ensure that we continue to have strong majority Coalition Government, delivering on a national economic plan that is setting us up in this world of opportunity but also of risk, the only way to be sure that your vote does that is to vote for your local Liberal or National candidate.

And here in Barton and Banks with Nick Varvaris and David Coleman we have two outstanding Members of the House of Representatives representing this very diverse multicultural community.

And it's been wonderful to be here this morning with so many constituents of Nick and David's, particularly so many Chinese Australians and it's been great to see their enterprise and their enthusiasm.

This area here around Hurstville is filled with small to medium businesses every single one of which, up to a turnover of $10 million will get a tax cut on July 1 if we are returned to Government but will not if Labor were to be able to form some sort of chaotic alliance with the Greens and the independents.

So it's a big choice and a clear choice.

The clear message is that the only way to deliver Australia the stability and the majority Government it needs, the economic leadership it needs and the vision and the prospects of security and prosperity in the years ahead is to vote for your Liberal or National candidate here and right around Australia.

JOURNALIST:

Prime Minister you met a man at a train station today who said ‘I don't believe anything you say.’ Has your Party learnt from breaking promises after the 2013 election?

PRIME MINISTER:

We're absolutely committed to all of the promises, the commitments that we've made in this election. As you know we have spent much less in this campaign - much, much less than the Labor Party. And our economic plan is laid out in the greatest detail in the Budget. And checked off and ticked off in the Pre-election Fiscal Outlook independently by the objective judgement of the Departments of Finance and Treasury.

JOURNALIST:

So you will deliver on all of your election promises absolutely guaranteed?

PRIME MINISTER:

We will deliver on the promises that we've made. We will deliver on the promises that we've made and commitments that we've made and the commitment to our national economic plan is set out in the Budget.

JOURNALIST:
No GST increase Prime Minister under you?

PRIME MINISTER:

Absolutely not. Absolutely not. And can I just say to you that on that score, we examined that tax change, a change to the GST. We examined it carefully. We took plenty of advice from it. There were plenty of Labor politicians, particularly state politicians urging us to increase the GST and we rejected the proposal to increase the GST and explained why. We did not kick it into the long grass politically. We explained why, because it would not be equitable and explained the distributional analysis as to why we would not make any changes to the GST. So you have an absolute commitment to that.

JOURNALIST:

Prime Minister your two most senior Ministers, Scott Morrison and Julie Bishop have been using weasel words in the last 24 hours on whether they would actually vote for marriage equality if the plebiscite passes. Do you accept that the plebiscite which was supposed to give certainty in this area, has done the opposite and it is a backdoor for Liberals in your party to vote against or abstain in the Parliament if the plebiscite succeeds?

PRIME MINISTER:

Well thank you for your address. Can I just say to you that there are few things in politics that are certain but one thing that I would say is an absolute certainty is that if the plebiscite is passed or carried by the Australian people same sex marriage will be legislated for by the Australian Parliament.

JOURNALIST:

Automatic legislation? You will build that into the plebiscite in the next Parliament?

PRIME MINISTER:

What I have said to you is that if the plebiscite is passed there is nothing more certain than that the legislation will pass through the Parliament. It will sail through the Parliament. Believe me.

JOURNALIST:
How can you be so sure when it will sail through when you have Ministers saying they might abstain and other MP’s all playing ducks and drakes on this issue? How can you be sure?

PRIME MINISTER:

Because I have a very good understanding of parliaments, parliamentarians and the realities of politics.

JOURNALIST:
Prime Minister, shouldn't it just be more than just ‘it will sail through’ as a matter of political practicality? Shouldn't you as a leader demand of your party that they accept the will of the Australian people at that plebiscite, whether it goes down or is voted up, that they accept the will of the people, and implement it as a matter of principle?

PRIME MINISTER:

Well Tim it is a - in our party, it will be a free vote. So the, how Members respond to the plebiscite is a matter for them but you've already heard from senior politicians who will vote no against same sex marriage in the plebiscite who have said that they will vote for it in the Parliament if it is carried. There may be others who will choose to abstain but I can assure you that speaking from our side of Parliament, there is no question, absolutely no question, and look, you all know this - all of us who live in the real world of real practical politics know that if the Australian people speak in favour of same-sex marriage in the plebiscite, it will be legislated. There is no question about that.

JOURNALIST:

Prime Minister how quickly are you going to move after the election to fix up this? Is it going to be one of your first order of priorities to actually get the mechanics of this worked out so we can make a decision?

PRIME MINISTER:

It will be dealt with as quickly as possible. And I am reasonably optimistic that a plebiscite could be held before the end of the year, given that - I would expect Parliament to resume - whoever wins the election, I would expect Parliament to resume in the first week of August or thereabouts. And so there is time - there should be time to legislate for the plebiscite mechanism and have the plebiscite held before the end of the year. From my point of view I would like the matter to be dealt with as soon as possible.

JOURNALIST:

Prime Minister both your party - the Liberal Party, and the Labor Party have sent emails to all your constituents asking for more money for late ad blitzes. Surely after 7.5 weeks the message is out there. Why the need for more cash?

PRIME MINISTER:

Well as you've probably noticed and Charles your employers at Channel 9 would certainly be very well aware of this, the Labor Party has spent far more on this campaign than we have. The resources of the union movement that have been deployed are immense, absolutely immense. They have outspent us massively. And so we are at a very real disadvantage and so we seek, as indeed other political parties do and there's nothing unusual or extraordinary about it, we seek support for our campaign.

JOURNALIST:
Ten years ago David Cameron said ‘I don't support same-sex marriage despite being conservative, I support it because I'm Conservative.’ Why does your party have such trouble with this issue?

PRIME MINISTER:

Well David Cameron said that and I have said exactly the same thing and have very often quoted him, actually. So I have precisely the same view. Whether it's David's party, the Conservative Party in the UK, or my party, the Liberal Party of Australia, there is a range of views, as indeed there is on the Labor side, as I'm sure you know. So people have a range of views on this issue. My view is that we should legislate to enable people of the same sex to be married, so legislate for gay marriage, if you like, and I've held that view for a while. I've explained why I hold that view. I've given quite a long lecture I gave on it some years back. So my position is very well known it's fully explained. And when the plebiscite is held, both Lucy and I will be voting yes.

JOURNALIST:
Can you clarify will it be compulsory voting for Australians in the plebiscite? And do you intend to make - how much money do you intend to make available for the yes and no cases?

PRIME MINISTER:

Well the administrative details have not been finalised but I expect the plebiscite to be very similar to the mechanism used for a referendum. Unlike the UK, for example, for which the Brexit plebiscite or referendum - I think they called it a referendum there - was something of a novelty, in Australia, we are used to having national votes on big constitutional issues and through the provisions to amend the constitution. So it will be very close to that and of course, that would mean that if there were any funding made available for the publication or distribution of a yes or no case, the funding would be made on a strictly equal basis. There are a number of details to work out, but it will be as close as possible to the mechanism for a referendum, because again, that's appropriate, it's fair, it's well accepted, it's standard sort of procedure. So maybe just one more.

JOURNALIST:

Do you agree perhaps this issue has the potential to tear your party apart? You're telling the Australian public that you're offering stability but how can we believe that when already we're seeing sort of out-breaks within your party over this issue?

PRIME MINISTER:

Look I honestly think that you are - you are - you run the risk of exaggerating this. This is one issue, one social conscience issue, where you have people with different views within the same political parties. We've had similar - you may not remember, but there was a similar issue about RU486. There've been debates about other issues of, you know social issues, matter of conscience in the past. The way political parties handle them is that members vote in accordance with their conscience and then the matter is resolved. It's resolved one way or the other. I mean the Liberal Party - just to give you a relatively recent comparison - the Liberal Party had, in effect, a free vote on the matter of a republic which is a much more political issue than this. That involved changing the constitution about an important political institution and you had John Howard being against the republic and Peter Costello being for it, and the matter was resolved, regrettably the Australian people voted to keep the status quo as I recall, all too well. But nonetheless that was resolved and the Liberal Party continued in Government for many, many years afterwards.

I know there's - I know our opponents are trying to stir this up as a distraction. I mean, look the real issue here in this election let's be clear, is a choice between a Government, a stable majority Government, which has a clear economic plan. Now, we have that plan. There is no question about that. You mightn't all agree with every element of it, but it is there it's fully funded - it's set out in the Budget. I've been talking about it for months. No doubt you're wearying of that sometimes. But nonetheless I've been very consistent in setting out how every element of our plan will drive jobs and growth and jobs and growth here in Hurstville by supporting small businesses here. We've seen a massive increase in the number of small businesses in Australia that are exporting for the first time. An enormous increase. And why is that? Because of another element of our economic plan because of the way we've opened up those big export markets.

So we've got that plan; we're supporting investment, promoting investment, relieving businesses of giving them some tax breaks, some tax cuts as you know. On the other hand you have the Labor Party that doesn't want to talk about what they're proposing because they've got higher taxes, higher debt, higher deficits. Absolutely the worst thing you could be doing. I mean let's see the world as it is. It is full of opportunities. There is no doubt about that. This is the most exciting time to be an Australian. But there are plenty of uncertainties and risks as well. And you've just - we've just seen some of those, we've just seen some of those risks manifest in the decision in the UK. Now what Labor has, is a set of policies that are anti-business, anti-investment, anti-employment. And so naturally they don't want to talk about it and they'd rather distract with issues like this or with some of the other lies that they've been defining their campaign with. Now thank you all very much.

JOURNALIST:
Have you given up on the dream of the republic?

PRIME MINISTER:

Eliza, let me just say this to you. You raise the matter of the republic. I remain a very strong and committed republican and I always will be.

JOURNALIST:

You're still hopeful?

PRIME MINISTER:

I think given the history of changing the Australian Constitution, republicans always have to be hopeful but I think it's very important that we recognise that significant though the issue is, it is not the front and centre political issue of today. Let's be, let's just be clear about this. The real issue today is one of economic leadership. And I appreciate that you've become wearied by that but let me say to you, particularly those who don't have secure jobs with a Government agency, those Australians are focused on how we are going to protect their jobs, how we are going to ensure that there is the confidence and the demand to support their business, how their kids and their grandchildren and our granddaughter Isla was here today with her parents which was fantastic. How those little kids will get jobs in the future. How are they going to get jobs in the future. All of the kids you’re seeing here today here in this great Yum Cha restaurant here in Hurstville. How are they going to get jobs? That's what they want to know and I have the answer. I have the clear economic plan that sets us up; innovative, competitive, productive, opening up to the world, big trade export deals, investment in advanced manufacturing, supporting enterprise and business. Living within our means, bringing the Budget deficit down, paying off debt and being able to do that so we don't burden those young children with our debts. So that we give them the chance to succeed. So that's what this election is about. It's a very clear choice. A strong Coalition majority Government with a clear economic plan, versus the high deficit, high debt, high taxes and all of the disarray of a Labor - Greens- independent alliance. So the only choice to secure our future on Saturday is to vote for a Liberal or National candidate in the House and in the Senate. Thank you.