Press Conference - Sydney, NSW

Transcript
10 Dec 2019
Prime Minister
E&OE

PRIME MINISTER: Good morning everyone. Before we go to the subject of today’s media conference for which I am joined by the Attorney-General I just want to say that there is no further information that I have to add to the media conference I held earlier this morning with the Minister for Foreign Affairs at Kirribilli, regarding the terrible tragedy that has occurred in New Zealand. But our love continues to go to all those families who have been affected by this and also our thanks to the many Australians, but of course, the many New Zealanders who are there caring for Australians and their families as they go through what is a very anxious and what is a very difficult time. I particularly want to thank those media outlets who have taken on my request from earlier today and as we continue to work through these details, the Government will only be releasing information that we are able to confirm and I would continue to caution against any speculation on any of the details unless it has been confirmed.

Moving from that rather sombre and very upsetting and sad note, the purpose of asking you here today is to provide you with an update on what we are doing in relation to the Religious Discrimination Act. You will have noted just over a week ago I indicated that we would be issuing a further and final exposure draft to the earlier draft that had been released and had been the subject of consultation. We will be releasing that second and final draft today and to provide the opportunity for further consultation over the course of the summer and the Attorney-General will be able to go into those details in just a moment.

What people believe in this country or don't believe when it comes to the big questions of life, which is really what religion and faith is all about, is such a personal matter. It is hard to imagine something more personal and in our country, these beliefs and non-beliefs for that matter, are an expression of the liberty to which we all hold dear in countries such as Australia, but especially Australia. I gave a commitment that we would ensure that people would not be discriminated against in this country, as a basis of their religious beliefs or non-beliefs. And we have been going through a process, a patient process, a process that I want to be unifying and to be inclusive, to ensure that we enshrine these protections for Australians going forward into the future and that we do that on a platform of tolerance and inclusion that brings people together around these big issues. So I want to thank the thousands of Australians who have engaged in this process to date. I want to particularly thank the Attorney and his team and those who have been working on this to produce both the first exposure draft and now this second exposure draft. This is an intricate process. We are taking it step by step. I want to thank those faith leaders and those more broadly across the community who have been urging us not to rush this but to ensure we take the time to get it right.

There has been a lot of very good faith engagement in this process and I really appreciate it. There were lots of suggestions that this would be a divisive debate and I don't believe it has been and I don't believe it needs to be. I think there are some important principles here that the Attorney has been able to identify in partnership with all of those who have participated in this consultative process and I'm very much looking forward to this next round of consultation so that when we do get to a position where we are able to bring a bill into the Parliament and then seek to pursue that through both chambers that we will do so in a way which I would hope would be in a very unifying expression of our country's firm belief in religious freedom and that, of course, applies to those of no faith or positions or positions of faith. It is a multicultural society, the diverse nature of the beliefs that we hold as Australia is a key part of who we are as a country and this is another initiative, I think, to provide a bulwark to ensure that these important elements of our society are protected into the future. So I thank the Attorney for the work he has done and the processes he leads. I would be encouraging all those who have engaged with us, they will see that we have listened very carefully to that first round of consultation, listened very carefully, and you will see that reflected in the draft released today. But I would be engaging everyone again to look at that and provide further comment and I would be extending the same invitation to those involved in the political process. All parties across the Parliament, across the chambers, engage in this process now. Don't leave it to the Parliament. How about we work together to try to get a bill that we can get into the Parliament and proceed with to ensure that that can be done in a very inclusive way. I advised the Leader of the Opposition as I was briefing him on other matters today, as you would understand in relation to the incidents in New Zealand, that I would be releasing that draft today and that would be a matter for them obviously to consider in their caucus us and their processes.

But with that, Attorney, thank you very much for the work you have done and why don't you take us through the changes and where we go to from here?

THE HON. CHRISTIAN PORTER MP, ATTORNEY-GENERAL AND MINISTER FOR INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS: Thank you, PM. I am going to describe 11 changes to the draft bill and these changes are the result of a lot of stakeholder engagement. We had over 90 two hour sessions with 90 different individual stakeholders. We have read and considered an enormous number of written submissions and distilled those down to these 11 essential changes of the bill.

The first of the changes relates to clause 11 of the bill, which is a very important clause of the bill. That is the clause of the bill that provides that what we define as ‘religious bodies’ do not discriminate by decisions made on the basis of faith to establish an exclusivity to those religious organisations. So because this is a bill which changes the starting position to make discrimination on the basis of faith unlawful, there has to be an exception to that starting position to allow churches and religious organisations to discriminate on the basis of faith because that's what makes them churches and religious organisations. So the changes with respect to section 11 are that previously we had not allowed preference based on faith for religious charities, whose dominant purpose was commercial. It was pointed out to us that that was probably unfair on a range of organisations who arguably have a large commercial purpose but are clearly religious, like St Vincent de Paul and others. So we've included a definition of a public benevolent institution, which is an entity that's known in the charitable space, so that will ensure that organisations like St Vincent de Paul can make decisions in areas such as staff based on the faith of that organisation. We've also made it very clear for the purposes of section 11 that where we say that it is not discriminatory for religious organisations to make decisions based on faith, we want to make it clear that that means a religious organisation as we've defined it can preference a person of their own faith in a number of circumstances, but most notably for employment. So something that is a religious organisation, a church or a religious educational institution or St Vincent de Paul, they can make a decision based on faith, which might mean preferring someone of their own faith in an employment position. We've also included in section 11 an additional definition of the types of things that religious organisations can do, which would not give rise to a discrimination claim, and we've extended that out to things that they might be able to do, actions that they might need to take to avoid injury to the religious susceptibilities of adherence of their faith. That is a phrase that is used elsewhere, particularly in the Fair Work Act and has operated very well for a number of years. So they're changes to section 11, which is a very important operative clause of the bill.

The second change is that religious hospitals, aged care facilities and accommodation providers will be able to take faith into account in their staffing decisions and again it will be quite clear that when we say they can take faith into account with respect to their staffing decisions, that will mean that they can, in many given circumstances, prefer to employ someone of their own faith, if that's what they consider is in the best interests of their organisation.

The third change is that religious camps and conference centres will be able to take faith into account when deciding whether to provide accommodation. They'll also need, though, in making those sort of determinations to ensure that they have a publicly available policy which sets out the circumstances in which they'll hire their facilities out or in which they will decline to hire them out, but we're making it clear that religious camps and conference centres will be able to take faith into account in determining whether or not to hire out their facilities. The employer conduct rules you'll recall, these are the rules that apply to the situation where someone may say something which we’ve defined as a statement of religious belief, effectively outside work hours, and if they do that and there's an employer conduct rule that seeks to prevent them or punish them for doing that, then the organisation, if it's a large business, will have to show that they've endured financial hardship to show that that is a reasonable thing for them to do.

There's a technical change to that provision, which just defines when it is that this is an active clause and the definition is that when the thing said, the statement of religious belief is said other than in the course of the employee's employment. So it's meant to capture the fact that this is something said in the person's spare time but it's also a definition that we've tweaked to ensure that we're not causing any problems for organisations, large organisations or indeed small organisations in terms of their occupational health and safety requirements at things like office Christmas parties, which some people may take the view are either in or outside work hours. So we've adopted the definition used elsewhere in industrial law which is ‘other than in the course of the employee's employment’. So that's the fourth change.

The fifth change is to extend the operation of our employee conduct rule, so again this is the rule that places a burden of proof on a large organisation to show that if they want to stop someone from saying something, which is a statement of belief in their spare time, that they have to show there's undue financial hardship. We've extended that clause and an operation of a very similar clause to qualifying bodies. So these are the types of bodies that allow for a doctor to qualify to practise as a doctor or a lawyer to qualify to practise as a lawyer and those bodies will not be able to impose a rule, like a social media code of conduct, that restricts people from making statements of belief in their personal capacity unless that rule is an absolutely essential requirement of practising for that qualification or profession. So it will not be the case that a Legal Practice Board would be able to threaten the removal of a legal practice certificate or discipline a legal practitioner because in their spare time on social media or elsewhere, they say things which are statements of religious belief.

The sixth change is with respect to the provisions in the bill that are meant to support and protect what are already existing conscientious objection processes. Now, we've listened to a range of people who've put the view that those could be more tightly drafted and having listened to those views, we are making sure that it is quite clear in the bill that someone has a right to conscientiously object and an employer rule which seeks to diminish that right to conscientious objection is not going to be reasonable in most circumstances, but we're also making it absolutely clear that the conscientious objection of a medical professional has to be to a procedure, not to an individual person. So that makes it absolutely clear that this is not meant to, in any way, enshrine any form of discrimination. What it is meant to do is protect people who establish and communicate a conscientious objection based on religious grounds to undertaking a certain procedure.

The seventh change is that there is a provision now in the Bill which, again, was based on a range of submissions that considered it necessary to protect associates of people of religion. Now, this is actually quite important, and it borrows from language in other discrimination bills, but it extends the protection to not be discriminated against to a person, say, for instance, who is married to a person of faith. So we want to make sure that the starting position in Australia is that a person of faith won't be denied entry to a club or prejudiced against in employment or in any other setting set out in the legislation, but equally, we don't want the partner, wife or husband or spouse of a person of faith to also ever receive that sort of discrimination. So that's the associate's clause.

We have - based on some legal and technical advice - fine-tuned the definition of vilify. That is relevant to section 8 and 42 of the bill, which protects statements of religious belief, but doesn't protect statements that vilify and we have clarified that vilification in that context means a statement that would incite hatred or violence.

We've also placed in as the ninth change an objects clause which just expressly makes clear that all human rights have equal status under international law.

The tenth change is a change of technical drafting, but an important one. In section 11, which I've described previously, there is a measure, an action by a religious organisation is not going to be discrimination that might otherwise exist under the terms of this act, but the measure is, is the action of the religious organisation and we have definitions of that, is the action done in good faith and is it reasonably in accordance with the doctrines and tenets and beliefs of the religion? For clarification in this version of the bill, we have made it clear that the test of reasonableness here is a test from the perspective of the average person of the same religion. So, if you like, the denomination, the sect or stream or tradition of the religion in question - that is the basis upon which the conduct will be assessed as reasonable or unreasonable in terms of its linkage back to the doctrines of that particular sect or stream or tradition of a religion.

And the final change, number 11, is that the protections in this to religious activity and belief are only protections to lawful religious activity and belief which means that if a Commonwealth law or a state law has the effect of discriminating in some way against a particular religion, that is nevertheless a good law. In the first draft of the bill, that principle extended down to the level of council bylaws and a view was taken based on the many submissions we had that that was just unnecessary in all the circumstances.

So there are 11 changes. They represent listening from all sides of this debate. So there are changes that have been suggested by human rights and LGBTI groups. There are changes that have been suggested by faith groups. They are represented in the final draft that is now available. And there is an extra period of consultation, which will be conducted much in the same way as the first period of consultation. But these changes don't change the operation, the objectives or the overarching structure of the Bill. They improve a range of very important clauses and they are certainly, at least, substantive enough to warrant this extra period of consultation. So the people who have suggested changes can see whether, to their best assessment, the drafting that we have now adopted meets their needs and represents their concerns.

PRIME MINISTER: Thank you. Questions?

JOURNALIST: Prime Minister, you said the delay was about getting it right. What were you getting wrong?

PRIME MINISTER: It's about getting it right and I'm so pleased that we've had so much engagement, some 6,000 individual submissions coming through for us to consider. I think that process showed we were getting it right and we could get it even more right by continuing that process and improving the Bill and the way that the Attorney has just outlined I think demonstrates that. I'm very pleased with the way that this process is unfolding. I'm pleased with it because people are engaged with it. I'm pleased with it because it's actually, I believe, trying to bring us together to a point that we'll be able to progress this bill in the Parliament and that's why I would want to provide further opportunity for that engagement before it goes into the parliamentary phase of what we're doing. This Bill reaches out across all Australians and we're providing more opportunity for them to continue to engage to get it into a more refined position. It's the case with any change you're making, the first 80 per cent is fairly straightforward in many cases and just working through the last 20 per cent means you've got to continue to work that bit harder to make sure you get it absolutely right and in the best possible position.

JOURNALIST: Mr Porter, can you just clarify - a statement made at a Christmas party, how would this Bill affect a controversial statement made at a Christmas party?

THE HON. CHRISTIAN PORTER MP, ATTORNEY-GENERAL AND MINISTER FOR INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS: Well, it would depend on whether or not a Christmas party is in the context of work and that would depend on how it's organised and when it was held and who organised it. But that particular change you're talking about is simply meant to ensure that we're not cutting across any of the occupational health and safety requirements of an employee. So the terms we've used are that the statement of religious belief, which activates this protection, is something that is said other than in the course of the employee's employment. In most instances, something said at an office Christmas party would likely be in the context of someone's employment. But, of course, something said at home or posted on Facebook on Saturday afternoon is going to be clearly outside the course of an employee's employment. But not every Christmas party, depending on the circumstances, is going to be in the course of employment.

JOURNALIST: Prime Minister, it appears that faith-based groups have got their way with a lot of these changes. Have you done anything to ease the concerns of minority groups such as the LGBTQI groups?

PRIME MINISTER: I'll allow the Attorney to talk about that but the point here has just been to listen and we've been listening to everybody. And the practical issues that have been brought up through the consultation process, I think, have been very productive in making sure that this is a very practical bill that deals with the everyday experience of how religious organisations and people of faith in this country go about expressing and conducting their faith. And we've sought to do that in a way which doesn't cut across the broader rights and liberties that exist for all Australians. Because this is a Bill for all Australians. This is a law for all Australians. I mean what I have noticed, and been really encouraged by - whether people are of a religious faith or not of a religious faith, there is a very strong view that religious faiths should be respected in this country, regardless of whether you hold one yourself. And so I would say that this process that we're engaged in is very much respecting that broader view and the sort of changes and the sorts of things we're seeking to achieve will gain that support because it is based on this principle that Australia is a country of respect and of tolerance and the liberties that we have also come with responsibilities and I think when you look specifically at how there have been definitions provided for things like vilification and things of that nature, then we're providing the context and the clear instruction around what those responsibilities are. Christian?

THE HON. CHRISTIAN PORTER MP, ATTORNEY-GENERAL AND MINISTER FOR INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS: I mean, the consultation process and the results of it haven't been all one-way traffic, if you like. Maybe the best example is the conscientious objection clause. Many medical professionals across Australia conscientiously object with regularity, sometimes they do that pursuant to a state law, sometimes they do that pursuant to an obligation of their own, sometimes they do it because their ability to do it is set out in AMA documents and medical practitioner documents. So the conscientious objection procedures are meant to say that where people conscientiously object, an employer shouldn't be able to prevent that conscientious objection unless it's absolutely necessary. And what LGBTI groups and a range of other groups said was that perhaps the list of medical professionals to whom that extra protection was applied was too broad. We’d drawn that list from a standard definition of Commonwealth law. We put that suggestion from LGBTI groups to faith groups and would you believe there was a degree of coalescence and agreement between those groups that probably that clause was applied too broadly. Equally, LGBTI groups said it wasn't, they considered, clear enough from the drafting that that conscientious objection had to relate to a procedure rather than an individual person.

PRIME MINISTER: And appropriately.

THE HON. CHRISTIAN PORTER MP, ATTORNEY-GENERAL AND MINISTER FOR INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS: We took that back to faith groups and they said well we never want the ability to conscientiously object with respect to individuals, but only with respect to medical procedures. They're two examples. And as the Prime Minister said, these represent largely improvements of principles in clauses and drafting in the Bill. Some things we deliberately said we would have to wait until consultation to finalise.  For instance, we didn't have a perfect understanding of the operation of religious aged care facilities and you'll see in this Bill we've protected the ability of religious aged care facilities to hire in accordance with faith. The reason we went to that extent, but not provide an exception to have patients brought in according to faith is because religious aged facilities said they don't do that. And of course, when they gave us their best evidence of what they actually do, we took that to other LGBTI groups, so this has been a truly balanced and iterative process.

JOURNALIST: What would you say is the most significant of the 11 changes that you’ve made?

THE HON. CHRISTIAN PORTER MP, ATTORNEY-GENERAL AND MINISTER FOR INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS: I think section 11 is a very, very important part of the bill and there are four changes to section 11. But when you, for the first time, at Commonwealth law, establish a new starting position - which is that a person shouldn't be discriminated against based on their faith in a range of circumstances in their employment, in joining a club, in qualifying for a profession - like all other pieces of discrimination legislation, you need one big exemption to that to allow religious groups to function. So it's not dissimilar to the fact that in the sex discrimination act if you were to have men's and women's only clubs you need an exemption, but that problem is a much broader problem to solve for religious organisations. So I think extending the definition of religious organisations out to public benevolent institutions, extending the definition of the actions that can be undertaken, which are not discriminatory to those which might be necessary to prevent offending against the susceptibilities of religion - I think these were important additions to the drafting. They support a general principle that was in the drafting, but they have been the result of faith-based organisations communicating to us in a real-world day-to-day basis what their organisations do and how they operate. And I think that they're the most important changes.

PRIME MINISTER: The changes, I think, have brought to light, I think, the broader positive contribution that religious organisations play in our society. The faith and activities of these religious organisations is not just going to church on a Sunday and singing a few hymns. There is an involvement in the community, in the provision of very important services, whether they are aged care services, whether they're health services, whether they're childcare services. And these organisations are very much intertwined with the life of their communities and a big part of why they do that - in fact, the overwhelming reason for why they do that is an expression of their religious faith. And they wish to maintain the ethos of what they would understand to be the success of their commitment in that area, by being able to pursue those activities consistent with their faith and their religion.

JOURNALIST: Is it just a reality that you won't please everyone on this? There is going to be people who object to whatever you put up?

PRIME MINISTER: Oh look that is the case with almost every issue you deal with in public life. This is why I'm so positive about this because the way people have engaged with this - and this is not a binary proposition - this is, I think, a unifying proposition and it's unifying around the principle point, which is that people's belief - be they to have or not have a religion - is not something upon which any Australian should be discriminated against or be prejudiced against. This is an important part of our society. I think that is broadly accepted in Australia. I undertook that we would bring this in and that's exactly what we're doing and we're going to do it in a way which I think brings people together, not the opposite.

JOURNALIST: Prime Minister on the bushfire crisis today, will you be coordinating a national response as was suggested by Malcolm Turnbull last night?

PRIME MINISTER: We already do. I think one of the great encouragements that I've seen through this process is we've had a nationally coordinated operation through all of our state and territory fire chiefs and services now for some time. We have a national capability that has developed, particularly in the aerial firefighting assets. I said this morning there's 111 of them and the Commonwealth puts $15 million a year into that and we put an additional $11 million this year in, in response to what we knew was going to be a very difficult fire season. There is already a nationally coordinated effort. That was one of the things that came out of the Black Saturday fires many years ago. And that nationally coordinated effort, which is from the Commonwealth's point of view, pursued through emergency management Australia, and the control centre there is also bringing in the involvement of the Australian Defence Force and the many other agencies of government. It brings in the Department of Social Services and Services Australia to ensure that payments are made on the ground and those things are connected up. And this is as important in bushfires and in floods or in other areas of national disaster response. The highly coordinated nature of how our state and territory jurisdictions work together during these bushfires has been an inspiration. The Chiefs work closely together. They have a direct line to me. They have a direct line to the Premiers. And the Premiers and I discuss these things regularly. It was only just a couple of weeks ago that our Minister, David Littleproud, was convening the meeting of all of his colleagues in the states and territories to pursue this nationally coordinated arrangement and this is one of the reasons we've been able, I think, to respond to what has been one of the most serious fire seasons we have seen so far.

JOURNALIST: On calls for that national coordination that is occurring now to be led at a higher level within the Federal Government...

PRIME MINISTER: It's led by a Cabinet Minister who reports directly to me and I deal with it directly with the premiers of the states and chief ministers of the territories. I don't think it can go any higher than that.

JOURNALIST: But these calls were still being made as late as yesterday. Do you think that national coordination is happening adequately? There are a lot of concerns about how long volunteer firefighters are supposed to continue volunteering without pay. They're crowd-sourcing funds for water and food and resources on the ground. Do you think there is more that the Federal Government can do?

PRIME MINISTER: The State Government gets everything they request from the Commonwealth and there is a national coordinated process for requests to be made up to the Commonwealth for that assistance, whether that is of a logistics and support arrangement, whether that is of the ADF's assistance. I mean the ADF have been directly providing and assisting, whether in providing accommodation, logistics support and other, you know, personal needs that have been needed across the firefighting operation. So no, I don't share that view because I know what the practice is and I know what the experience is and I know what's happening on the ground and I know that whether it's the ADF or any other agency of the Commonwealth, all of those agencies, our efforts have been channelled and coordinated into the direct planning and response of the state and territory agencies that are fighting those fires on the ground. That is what is set up. That is what was set up. That’s what was intended to be set up and that is what is operating and I'm pleased with the way those arrangements are being worked out and if there is any other matter that would need to be addressed, it would be raised with the Commonwealth, because there is a direct line to make sure that happens.

JOURNALIST: Do you think volunteer firefighters - should we be looking at starting to pay them?

PRIME MINISTER: Well, we have a volunteer firefighting force across the country which numbers in the, you know, the tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands. And that also includes those who come in from other jurisdictions. It is a standing volunteer force. And these are matters that are considered from time to time but this is why I am so appreciative of the commitment made by employers to support that volunteer effort. The volunteer effort is a big part of our natural disaster response and it is a big part of how Australia has always dealt with these issues. We are constantly looking at ways to better facilitate the volunteer effort, but to professionalise that at that scale is not a matter that has previously been accepted and it's not a matter that is currently under consideration by the Government. But as is the case with all fire events, or as is the case with all flood events and other natural disasters, this actual nationally coordinated effort is designed to constantly look at those issues, post these events. And the recommendations come forward from the chiefs, those directly responsible for fighting these fires and coordinating resources. And you're right, these fires have been going on for some months now and when I was speaking with the commissioner on the weekend out at Wilberforce where we have the mega fire in the north-west at the moment, we were talking through the crew rotations. And the fact is these crews, yes, they're tired, but they also want to be out there defending their communities. And so we do all we can to rotate their shifts to give them those breaks but equally they, and in many cases, you've got to hold them back to make sure they get that rest. And I thank them all for what they're doing, particularly all those who support them.

JOURNALIST: Prime Minister, at the climate conference in Madrid overnight, climate advocate James Bhagwan a clergyman as well, he referenced the photo of you holding up the lump of coal in Parliament and said that every lump of coal is a nail in this country’s coffin. He’s also referenced the Good Samaritan bible story saying some nations were claiming to be part of the Pacific family but were leaving their neighbours out in the road dying, do you have any response to that?

PRIME MINISTER: I don't share that view. But I respect all the views that come through from our Pacific family and I discuss these issues with our Pacific leaders on a regular basis. No government has done more to engage the Pacific than our Government. No government has done more. And we have the hard conversations with our friends and we also have the hard conversations about how we can support them in what they're doing. Australia's economy and its success has ensured that we've been able to provide unparalleled support to the Pacific of any country in the world and we are their partners. Why are we their partners? Because we are family. And one of the things that happened more recently is that I had the opportunity to take Pacific leaders through what Australia is actually achieving and I was able to address the many misconceptions that some had had about Australia's achievements in reducing emissions. Now, more recent information since that only confirms Australia's position. Emissions have fallen for the last two years. Emissions today are lower than at any other time during the time of the previous Labor government. Emissions reductions for the Kyoto targets mean Australia will now beat our target, not by 367 million tonnes, but by 411 million tonnes. Now, there aren't too many countries in the world that can claim that. See, there's a lot talked about this issue, and there's a lot of agendas around that issue, but the practical achievement of Australia in this area is very clear. We meet and we beat our targets when it comes to emissions reduction. We consider them carefully. We don't make them lightly and when we make them, we are committed to meeting them and whether it's Paris or whether it's Kyoto, Australia will meet its commitments and that is what I've been able to assure Pacific leaders of and I've been able to demonstrate that through the evidence of what our programs are delivering on the ground. John?

JOURNALIST: Just a question just on this subject. Malcolm Turnbull also said last night that the Coalition is incapable of dealing with climate change because its right-wing treats it as an issue of religion or belief and that is nuts. What's your response to that?

PRIME MINISTER: Our policy is sensible when it comes to addressing and taking action on climate change. Our actions on climate change are getting the results they're intended to get. That is reducing emissions and meeting our targets. And the policies that we're pursuing, I believe, capture, I think, that sensible centre and that sensible centre that understands that we need to balance both meeting the needs of sustainability in our environment and ensuring that we meet the economic needs of our nation. This is why we rejected Labor's 45 per cent emissions reduction target, because it was an economy-wrecking set of targets. We believe - and are proving - that you can be responsible on emissions reduction, and you can be responsible on managing your economy and the livelihoods that depends on that economy. Now, this is not a new view for me. This is a longstanding view of ensuring that we get the right balance on these issues. People know where I stand on these issues, they know clearly where I stand. I don't go changing my mind on these things because I know how important both of them are and the policies that are pursued by our Government achieve both of those and I think Australians take some comfort in the certainty and consistency of our views particularly now where I note that I don't know what the Labor Party believes anymore because they change their view and they have so much different views on these issues. They were apparently all terribly committed on this issue and now they are prepared to change that view. I don't know what the Labor Party thinks anymore, whether it's on climate change or anything else. They seem to be just saying things that people want to hear. They look up their location services enabler and if it says they are in North Queensland, they say one thing and if they are in Melbourne they say something else. Australians know they always get the same message from me on this wherever I am in the country, and I think that gives them some certainty. Thank you very much.