Doorstop at Brindabella Business Park

Transcript
28 Feb 2018
Canberra
Prime Minister
Wage Subsidy Scheme; Jobs; National Party; Roman Quaedvlieg; Airbags; Geoff Cousins
E&OE

SENATOR THE HON. ZED SESELJA, ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR SCIENCE, JOBS AND INNOVATION:

Welcome here to Brindabella Business Park here at Canberra Airport.

It’s great to be here with Shannon, it’s great to be here with the Prime Minister and Michaelia Cash to talk about jobs.

You know we’ve seen significant jobs growth here in Canberra and right around the nation and today marks a really significant milestone, so I’ll hand over to the Prime Minister to talk about it.

PRIME MINISTER:

Thanks Zed and Michaelia, it’s great to be here with you and with Shannon.

Shannon, come stand here. Shannon Fairbanks is the 100,000th person that has been employed with the support of our wage subsidy scheme.

And Shannon, you were unemployed for a while – how long?

SHANNON FAIRBANKS:

Oh, close to three years I was unemployed for.

PRIME MINISTER:

Right, and you’re down on the South Coast?

SHANNON FAIRBANKS:

Yeah, Batemans Bay.

PRIME MINISTER:

Right and Total Insulation has given Shannon a start here and they’ve received an incentive from the Government to do so and he’s the 100,000th person to do so.

So Shannon is one of 403,000 Australians who started jobs, got new jobs last year and that’s because all of our policies and programmes like this, the PaTH program for young people, or the business tax cuts that are encouraging businesses to invest and grow and employ, all of those policies are supporting jobs and Shannon is one of them.

So Shannon, congratulations. We were having a good talk about it, you’ve done well mate. Fantastic.

SENATOR THE HON. MICHAELIA CASH, MINISTER FOR JOBS AND INNOVATION:

Here here.

PRIME MINISTER:

You’re the ‘100,000th Man’. Where’s the boss of Total Insulation? Here you are, come on now you tell us about how your business is going and what you’re doing to create new opportunities?

MR MARK STEWART - CEO, TOTAL INSULATION:

It’s being going really well in Canberra at the moment. We’re trying to pick up more and more contracts so we can employ more and more people and get everyone out there working and not on the dole.

PRIME MINISTER:

That's the job. You know, we have fewer people as a percentage of the working age population, on welfare now, than there have been for 20 years.

So more Australians are working, than they have for 20 years. That's a big achievement.

And Shannon, you're a part of it and so are you, you're a part of it and Michaelia, what a great job you're doing as Minister for Jobs and Innovation. So, tell us a bit more about it.

SENATOR THE HON. MICHAELIA CASH, MINISTER FOR JOBS AND INNOVATION:

Thank you so much Prime Minister.

Look it really is just absolutely fantastic to be here today, with my very good friend, Zed Seselja. But more than that, with Total Insulation, who put their hand up and said: “We want to give a person who has been unemployed for a long time, a go.” But in particular, to congratulate Shannon, the 100,000th Australian who has been employed as a result of the Turnbull Government's wage subsidy programme.

This really is an historic achievement.

When we say that the best form of welfare is a job, this is a Government that puts in place the right policies. We understand governments don't create jobs, employers do, employers like Total Insulation.

What our role is, is to put in place the right policies that enable businesses like Total Insulation to prosper and grow. And that is exactly what we are seeing under the Turnbull Government; the policy fundamentals are right.

And this is, of course, borne out in the jobs statistics. We had last month sixteen months of continuous calendar month jobs growth. That is a first in Australia's history.

We have a record number of Australians in employment.

In the last 12 months, the economy created - because of the policies Prime Minister Turnbull has put in place - in excess of 400,000 jobs. In excess of 300,000 of those jobs were full time jobs.

This Government and the economy created in excess of 300,000 full time jobs in the last 12 months.

Compare that to the last 12 months of the former Labor Government, where the economy actually went backwards by almost 18,000 in terms of full time jobs.

So when it comes to a Government that gets the policy fundamentals right to enable businesses like Total Insulation to prosper and grow and to give people like Shannon – who were unemployed, but want a go, want to get a job -  the opportunity to do that, that is exactly what this Government is doing.

PRIME MINISTER:

Right thank you, thanks Michaelia. So, do we have some questions?

JOURNALIST:

Prime Minister, the Nationals Party Room will meet this morning to thrash out their side of the bargain for the Coalition Agreement. Given the events of last week –

PRIME MINISTER:

The Coalition agreement has been signed.

JOURNALIST:

It has been signed?

PRIME MINISTER:

It was signed on Monday-

JOURNALIST:

No worries.

PRIME MINISTER:

In exactly the same terms as it was signed between me and Barnaby Joyce.

And which, I might say, is the same terms it's been in, more or less, for a very long time.

JOURNALIST:

And as they look to reshuffle their portfolios, would you like to see Senator Canavan stay in the Cabinet team?

PRIME MINISTER:

Look I’m not going to comment on ministerial arrangements. That’s - any changes on the Nationals side are obviously ones that I'll discuss with the new leader of the National Party. But that’ll be a discussion to be had in due course.

JOURNALIST:

On the Roman Quaedvlieg investigation, how concerned were you to see the contents of two confidential reports splashed across the front page of a newspaper today?

PRIME MINISTER:

Well I was very disappointed to see that material in the newspaper today, and I understand that the AFP are already investigating that.

And I should also say I'm disappointed the matter has taken so long to resolve, but as you can understand it’s a matter that has to be dealt with by public service processes. The report on Mr Quaedvlieg's circumstances is with the Attorney-General and I expect him to make a decision on it shortly.

JOURNALIST:

Do you think that this – is there a time line on that Prime Minister?

PRIME MINISTER:

Within weeks, shortly - very shortly.

JOURNALIST:

Do you think that this coverage may dampen his chances of receiving natural justice?

PRIME MINISTER:

I don't want to comment any further than what I've said.

I'm disappointed about the time delay. I've got no doubt that there were reasons for that. Obviously we'd prefer these things to be dealt with more swiftly, but it is a public service process and you can understand the importance of that and due process has to be accorded, natural justice has to be accorded, all of those procedural elements.

But it is now with -  the report from Dr Parkinson is with the Attorney-General and he will be making a decision on it very shortly.

JOURNALIST:

You mentioned the AFP is looking into this coverage. Who made that referral and when?

PRIME MINISTER:

I understand it was made last night.

But, it's important - you know, we take confidentiality in these matters very seriously and we will see what the AFP is able to turn up.

JOURNALIST:

Why shouldn't he be sacked?

PRIME MINISTER:

Again, I'm not going to get into the merits of the matter. There has been a inquiry, an investigation. There are reports being made – it’s with the Attorney-General.

JOURNALIST:

I know that you're loath to offer the Nationals advice on their internals-

PRIME MINISTER:

But nonetheless you’re pressing on with this question-

JOURNALIST:

Of course.

PRIME MINISTER:

It shows, see, this is a man of great aspiration.

[Laughter]

This is the sort of relentless optimism that is driving 403,000 jobs in Australia this year!

PRIME MINISTER:

You should be in business - you should get out of this journalism business. You take that optimism and get in there and invest, create some new jobs.

You know, and I must say, I want to hold you up in contrast to Bill Shorten whose negativity, negativity and lack of faith in business is shown by the fact that he wants to impose $164 billion of taxes. That would dampen even your optimism if you were in business.

And it certainly would discourage people from investing and hiring people like Shannon and giving them a start.

So thank you, thank you for your enthusiasm, but I can't oblige you with any further advice to the Nationals.

JOURNALIST:

How important is it though, ahead of this reshuffle-

PRIME MINISTER:

He’s relentless, he is relentless - this is it. This is the bulldog spirit. You are a champion, you really are!

[Laughter]

JOURNALIST:

I'll take that as a no comment.

[Laughter]

There are reports in the newspapers today of defective airbags affecting 2.3 million cars. What can you and your government do to minimise the confusion and inconvenience to Australian families. Can you tell us which models are swept up in this nightmare?

PRIME MINISTER:

Michael Sukkar, the Assistant Minister to the Treasurer will be making an announcement about that later today.

Let me just say that we put the safety of Australians first and foremost at all times. But all of those details relating to the airbags and the models of vehicles will be released later today.

JOURNALIST:

And what do you make of Bill Shorten's comments to Geoff Cousins about the Adani mine?

PRIME MINISTER:

Well, doesn't that just show what a duplicitous leader of the opposition we have in Bill Shorten.

This is a guy who goes out to work sites, goes out to see the CFMEU miners at Oaky and he tells them he's backing them, he's right behind them. He says he believes in their industry, he wants to support them and their jobs. And then, and he said publicly he supports the Adani project -  it's going to create thousands of jobs in North Queensland. Big, very big mine.

And then he goes to see Geoff Cousins who’s a big greeny, a big environmentalist, and he says to Cousins privately - when no coalminers are listening, when no voters in North Queensland are listening, he says ‘don't you worry, Geoff, when I'm Prime Minister, I'll cancel its licence’. That's what Bill Shorten says. This is a guy who says one thing to the greenies and another thing to the miners. He isn't straight. He isn't fair dinkum and he's being shown up for precisely what he is - someone who will sell out workers and miners and his own union members in order to pick up some Green votes in inner city electorates like Batman.

And on that note, thank you all very much. Congratulations Shannon, well done, good on you mate and thank you well done and see you all soon.

[ENDS]