Doorstop Interview - Parliament House, Canberra

06 Sep 2022
Prime Minister
World Suicide Prevention Day; Interest rates; Cost of living relief; Election of Liz Truss as Conservative Party Leader and Prime Minister-elect of the UK

ANTHONY ALBANESE, PRIME MINISTER: What we're talking about today is just an absolute tragedy, the fact that nine people will end their life today is something that is a scourge on our society. We need to do much better and today, this morning is an opportunity to pay tribute to those frontline workers who are doing such extraordinary work under enormous pressure themselves, to help their fellow Australians. The prevalence of suicide means that this year, some 65,000 Australians will attempt to end their own life. Quite clearly, we need to do better.

JOURNALIST: Prime Minister, the cash rate is expected to go up again today. This report has some damning statistics, do you recognise that Australians might be expecting your government to do more in the immediate term to help them get through this cost of living crisis, to bring down that severe stress?

PRIME MINISTER: And that's why we'll be introducing legislation this fortnight on cost of living measures, including for cheaper medicines and cheaper childcare. That's why we put forward a submission to the Fair Work Commission to increase the wages of people who are on the minimum wage and successfully argued for the result, which was a 5.2% increase. That's why we ensured that the pension increases and increases for those in social security have occurred this month. We understand the pressures that people are under, and we wanted to undertake measures that alleviate cost of living pressures. Can I just say with regard to Liz Truss, that I congratulate Liz Truss on her election as Leader of the Conservative Party. Soon, she will be sworn in as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. The UK and Australia are of course great friends and allies. And I look forward to working with Prime Minister Truss. I met her and indeed shared a platform with her in Madrid at the NATO Summit. One of the benefits of going to something like the NATO Summit is that you engage with leaders from across the industrialised world. And at that forum, we were able to engage publicly, but also able to have a private meeting with the then-Foreign Secretary of the UK. I spoke with the High Commissioner of the UK last night. I have publicly congratulated Prime Minister Truss and we will be having a call in the next 24 hours about that. Thank you.