Transcript of Interview with David Koch, Sunrise
THU 31 JANUARY 2013
Subject(s): Election date 2013; Queensland floods
HOST: Good morning to you. The date is almost eight months away. Virtually the entire population of Australia is groaning saying, "Having you mob in our faces for eight months.” Why call it now and not a couple of months?
PM: Kochie, this is not day one of the election campaign, so please relax. This is not day one of the election campaign.
What I made clear is day one of the election campaign will when the writs are issued on 12 August and then people will go and vote on 14 September. And I did that for two reasons.
Number one, I think the election date speculation drives people absolutely nuts. The months and months and months of them feeling like they are being toyed with as there is all this speculation about when it is going to be.
So we can forget all of that now, everybody knows when the election is going to be. Everybody can plan their year with certainty.
And number two, because I have set the date, it is now perfectly clear for everyone who is going to contest the election what is the time to get out their fully costed policies and plans.
There is no excuse for anybody running around in the last week of the campaign saying "I haven't got my costings done yet." People have got time to prepare.
I was also really clear yesterday Kochie, there are days of governing and days of campaigning.
These are the days of governing so I'm off to Bundaberg today to talk to people about the emergency response there.
HOST: So in other words, basically this is to flush the Opposition out, to put pressure on them to say, "Stop throwing stones from the sidelines. If you say you are going to get the budget back into surplus, tell us how you’re going to do it. Cost it for us, give it to the public."
PM: Kochie, it’s for certainty, I wanted people to be able to plan their year.
It is for transparency, I don't think I should have the date in my head and not share it with people and let people plan their year.
Number three, it is about good governance. You will see us in the days of governing getting on with the job.
But I think when people vote on 14 September, they are entitled to everybody’s fully detailed, fully costed plans.
And there are no excuses for producing them when people have got this kind of lead up.
HOST: This was another captain's pick, if you like, many of your colleagues didn't know about it. Bill Shorten says he didn't know you were going to call the election.
Reports are though that the Independents and the Greens knew; you gave them a heads-up. Do you think it damages your reputation as people say “Who is running the country?”
PM: Well, I am. And this is a Prime Minister's decision. It has always been the Prime Minister’s call when the election date is.
Whether I announced it in the traditional manner and went to the Governor-General’s one day and came out and announced the election with people chasing the car as I did it, or whether I did it in the way I chose to yesterday, the date is my decision and I made it.
A couple of courtesy calls were made to let people know before I announced it.
HOST: As a fellow bifocaled Australian, is this the new look? Everyone is talking about it.
PM: Well Kochie, there comes the time in a woman's life when she has just got to reach for a pair of bifocals and that’s what I’ve done.
HOST: And a bloke.
PM: And a bloke, at least I’m in good company.
HOST: Okay Prime Minister, thank you for that. I you well on your trip to Bundaberg too. Thanks for joining us.
PM: Thanks very much.