PM Morrison writing at his desk in his prime ministerial office

Doorstop, Scarborough WA

09 Mar 2019
Scarborough, WA
Prime Minister

VINCE CONNELLY, LIBERAL CANDIDATE FOR STIRLING: Good morning and welcome to Scarborough Beach. It's fantastic to be here with the Prime Minister also with Liberal candidate for Cowan Isaac Stewart. We're here in Scarborough right in the heart of Stirling, we’re at the state Surf Lifesaving Championships. My own children are members of the club here in Scarborough and I look forward to some of the action of today. Over to you, welcome PM.

PRIME MINISTER: Thank you. Thank you very much Vince, it's great to be here with you and with Isaac. And it's great to be having such strong candidates here running here in WA. We'll be selecting another one tomorrow, another great candidate I am sure will come out of that process and Vince, particularly your veterans status and your service. We thank you for that and the opportunity to seek to have another veteran to come into the Parliament here I think you will be tremendous. And Isaac, the work you've done in the community. We're out there the other day at Wanneroo and that was really exciting to see that the great support that you will be able to bring together in the multicultural communities of Western Australia.

Well it's been an exciting few days here in WA, in Perth. I love coming to WA, I always have for decades. It's a place I feel very at home at because of the values and the culture of self-reliance but supporting those around you, giving people a hand up not a handout. This is the culture of Western Australia, that pioneering state and that's why I'm always pleased to be here. And just to reaffirm the values that made this state as strong as it is and we've got the people here in Western Australia who've been representing the Liberal Party and into the future as well to continue to champion all of these values.

So over the course of the week whether it was out at Henderson, we were all observing the work of some $900 million being invested in keeping our frigates up to speed, up to standard, $1.5 billion being invested in the infrastructure and supporting our naval shipbuilding industry there, creating intergenerational jobs. But I've got to tell you, the highlight for the week for me was not just also going out to Campbell and to the SAS regiment there and meeting with the brave men and women whose serve us in uniform as Vince has. I've got to say the Esther Foundation completely, completely captured my heart this week. This is an organisation that is transforming women's lives at the most practical level by ensuring that they understand something that can never be taken away from any woman and that is their unique value. Their unique worth. And the Esther Foundation, which we were pleased to invest $4 million to support that organisation over the next seven years will continue to do tremendous work. And I thank Ken Wyatt for the great job he's done in supporting that organisation.

But also to be out there with Steve Irons and Andrew Hastie announcing congestion-busting projects here in Perth and in the surrounding areas. Up there with Christian Porter the other night at the Hen which was a great night so I can only commend you if you're up that way, pop into the Hen it's a great business which has been established in recent years. All of this tells about the heart and the soul and the drive and entrepreneurial spirit of the Western Australian people. So it's been tremendous to be here. They're the values that the Liberal Party stands for. They are so aligned with the spirit and drive of Western Australia. You couldn't get two things more closely aligned and so we thank the people of Western Australia, I do, for the way that they continue to stand up for those values. And I've got to tell you, they're on display up there today at the WA State Championships for surf lifesaving. I come from a part of Sydney which has got four great surf clubs and the great thing about them is they teach not just the competitive elements of sport and keeping healthy and fit, but there's the element of service. A service culture which is breathed right throughout the surf lifesaving movement and any opportunity I have to acknowledge that I will take it and support it in any way my Government can.

So thanks for the opportunity to be here over course the week. Looking forward to meeting with the State Council later this morning and having a bit more to say to them. And this is the way we make Australia stronger, by honouring the values and spirit of what is alive and well here in Western Australia.

JOURNALIST: Prime Minister, when will you be coming back to WA?

PRIME MINISTER: In the not too distant future, I can assure you. Try, you can't keep me away from the place. You really can't. And that's because I believe in what WA is doing. I always have. That's why I took the stand I did on the GST. Because you know, Western Australians aren't looking to succeed at someone else's expense. Western Australians have always sought to succeed in their own right. And that's why I did what I did on the GST, because Western Australians were getting held back. And Australia can't be stronger if Western Australians are getting held back. No part of Australia can be stronger, Australia can never be stronger if we're going to try and hold some Australians back, hold some down under the pretence that you're trying to help someone else. I want to see and continue to see Australia where we allow all of our industries to go forward, all Australians to go forward.

JOURNALIST: Will the Government be announcing further personal income tax cuts before the election?

PRIME MINISTER: Our government, and both as Treasurer and as Prime Minister, I've always championed personal income tax reductions. Reductions in income tax for businesses, particularly small and family businesses. And I'll tell you why. I want Australians to earn more. And I want Australians to keep more of what they earn. That's the difference between me and Bill Shorten. I want Australians to keep more of what they earn and I want them to be in a stronger economy where they can earn more. And what Bill Shorten said in the last couple of days, basically putting further burdens on the small and family businesses that employ countless number of Australians and effectively making them choose who will stay and who will get to go under the sort of industrial relations policies that the Labor Party is supporting at the behest of the unions. I mean, the problem I have with how Bill Shorten deals with the unions is not his strength, it's his weakness. See, when you're weak as he is in the face of the unions, that's when the unions completely take charge. I respected Bob Hawke as a Labor leader and I respected him as someone who led a union movement because he was in charge of it. And he would take responsibility for it. He deregistered the BLF. He took strong positions on militant unions. Bill Shorten hands out life memberships to militant unions and takes their money in the form of the CFMMEU. I mean, he takes that thug money from militant unions every single election. So Bill Shorten cannot stand up to the unions, just like he cannot stand up to people smugglers and he cannot be able to stand up to those who would form part of his government that allow spending to be rampant, which means taxes on Australians can only increase. Whether on retirees or on smaller family businesses and those investing for their future on investing in their superannuation. I want Australians to keep more of what they earn. Bill Shorten wants to take more from Australians from what they earn.

JOURNALIST: You say you want them to keep more, but does that mean you’re considering further tax cuts to what you’ve already announced?

PRIME MINISTER: My record on income tax is plain for everyone to see. Every opportunity I have to reduce the tax burden on Australians, I take it.

JOURNALIST: Will any many major budget cuts be needed to deliver the surplus?


JOURNALIST: Why is David Coleman reversing his Department's ban on Milo Yiannopoulos coming to Australia?

PRIME MINISTER:  There's a process that has followed in relation to character issues regarding people who wish to come to Australia and the Minister has been following that normal process. There have been decisions taken to date by the Department and it is open to the Minister to play a role in that process where he believes that it is necessary to do so. So we've just been simply following that process. Free speech is important in Australia. But people have to be responsible for what they say. Free speech is actually for Australian citizens by the way. And I think anyone who comes to Australia should show respect for all Australians. And I would certainly hope that anybody who's come here would show that respect from whatever country you come from, if you come to Australia you come as a visitor. I mean this is one of the reasons why my Government - and I started the process as Immigration Minister - if you come here on a visa and if you commit a crime, you'll go to jail. And after you've got out of jail, you'll go home. Now we've done that on over 4,000 occasions of people who have violated the generosity of Australians in allowing them to come and visit our country. Now our tourism industry is one of our greatest employers and we want to see that continue to thrive and grow as it is. But when people come to our country, we expect them to respect Australia and Australians, our values, our multicultural society. And so on that issue, this is just the normal process following through. The Minister has allowed that process to go to this point and he will make a decision on this issue shortly. And I think that will just be the normal working of that process.

JOURNALIST: Do you stand by your comments about women yesterday?

PRIME MINISTER: I want all Australians to support the advancement of women. That's what I was saying yesterday. I want all Australians to support the advancement of women. And that's why I want to see an agenda that supports women like our $328 million investment to combat domestic violence in Australia. That's a cause every Australian, men and women, must get behind. I'm just simply saying that I want to see this agenda pursued with Australians working together to achieve it, with men championing it as much as women championing it. Because that's my experience. As a father of two daughters, I have three wonderful women in my life with Jen and my two girls and I'm a champion for women for them out of direct self-interest, I’ve got to say, but for all women across the country. And so what I was saying yesterday was I don't want to see this agenda pursued by setting women against men, no. Australian against Australian, no. I want to bring all Australians together to focus on this. That's what my meaning was yesterday. And that's what I'm fair dinkum about. I want to see all Australians promote the advancement and wellbeing of women in this country together, not apart. Thanks very much.