Radio Interview with Leigh Kenworthy, Radio 7BU 558AM

Transcript
16 May 2018
Prime Minister
Cradle Mountain; Tasmanian infrastructure funding; Citizenship
E&OE

LEIGH KENWORTHY:

Sorry about that issue there with the phone system between here and there, the reason being, is because you’re currently travelling through to Cradle Mountain as we speak.

PRIME MINISTER:

That's right, we’ve just got up onto the high country and we can see Mount Roland and suddenly all the bars on the phone lit up. So we’ve got some good connectivity for a while.

LEIGH KENWORTHY:

We’re very fortunate to have a beautiful place like our Cradle Mountain. So many great sites around this great state of ours isn't there?

PRIME MINISTER:

There sure are, there sure are.

You know when I was a kid, when I was actually - just after I left school – in my final year at school - I went for a very long hike, for about three weeks up in the Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair, did that hike and also hiked around the walls of Jerusalem. It's one of my most cherished young memories, spending time up there. It's a beautiful part of the world.

LEIGH KENWORTHY:

It sounds like you’re no stranger to our part of Australia.

And you’ve come here because you've got some money as we speak, and that’s good we always like it when Prime Ministers visit our neck of the woods with some cash. You’re armed with $30 million of federal funding for this Cradle Mountain Cable Project. And we're talking about you know our beautiful sites because tourism is so important to Tasmania and also a boost to jobs and this is going to go a long way.

PRIME MINISTER:

Well it will. It’s going to support the $60 million cable-way up to Dove Lake; which is of course, the top tourist attraction there at Cradle Mountain, the one that everyone wants to see and walk around and so forth. And that’s a $60 million project so we’ll be funding half of it and I’ll be up there with Brett Whitley our candidate and former member for Braddon, Senator Steve Martin, the Independent Senator who’s been a strong advocate for this and I thank him for his support. And of course, Will Hodgman the Tasmanian Premier who’s doing a phenomenal job here.

LEIGH KENWORTHY:

Now we did say $30 million of federal funding because Will Hodgman and the State Government have chipped in the other half haven't they?

PRIME MINISTER:

That's right, they have indeed yeah.

And we put some money in - $1 million - for the business plan. Because it’s a bigger project than just the cable-way, there’s a visitor centre, a hotel, that is part of the master plan and obviously the state will be looking for private sector partners. So the idea is to have it as a public private partnership overall.

But I think the cable-way is going to be very important, because it's designed to be low impact from an environmental point of view. And obviously will relieve a lot of the traffic pressure so that people will be taking the cable-way up to Dove Lake and they'll be able to take - the cars will be able to accommodate hiking equipment and so forth, so that there won't be the need to have so many vehicles going into the park there.

LEIGH KENWORTHY:

So many things you've got to have them ticked off beforehand. So $160 million all up and I take it you've seen that master plan draft, the draft itself?

PRIME MINISTER:

Yes I have, I've read it. Yes I have indeed and it's still being, it's still being finalised. But it looks, it’s got a lot of promise. It is an incredibly beautiful part of the world and one of the great scenic spots of Tasmania.

LEIGH KENWORTHY:

I think that it is expected to create somewhere in the vicinity of about 150 jobs during construction and 50 ongoing jobs as well?

PRIME MINISTER:

That’s right.

LEIGH KENWORTHY:

And that's very important isn’t it the ongoing jobs to our construction workers? And also you know with our situation with the roads as well.

PRIME MINISTER:

Yeah well it is indeed. We're putting a lot of money into roads. $400 million for the Strategic Roads of Importance, that's in addition, right across the state, that's in addition to the funding on the Midland Highway of course, the work there and of course down further south on the Bridgewater Bridge. So we're putting over $900 million into infrastructure in Tasmania at the moment.

It's vital to have those good roads. We want people to get home, to get to their destination whether it is a tourist destination or school or work sooner and safer and that’s vitally important right around the country.

LEIGH KENWORTHY:

And in the seat of Braddon of course we will have a by-election coming up. No date is set yet, Mr Turnbull on that one, I think that's a matter for the Speaker is that right?

PRIME MINISTER:

It is yes the Speaker will set that. He’ll consult with the electoral commission and have regard for all the usual factors, school holidays and things like that.

LEIGH KENWORTHY:

You must go to bed at night and put your head on the pillow and think “oh this citizenship fiasco will it ever end.” Because it’s been the talk, hasn’t it over the last 12 months or so?

PRIME MINISTER:

Well it has been but I mean the reason for Justine Keay, it should have ended last October. I mean the High Court made it very clear in October in the first of the big citizenship cases that if you are a dual citizen at the time you nominated you weren’t eligible. In other words they’ve said you have to get your act together and your citizenship sorted out before you nominate. Well she hasn’t done that, she's stayed in Parliament [inaudible], Parliamentary expenses [inaudible] until the High Court repeated itself last week. I think it’s disappointing that Bill Shorten [inaudible].

LEIGH KENWORTHY:

Well it appears like we are having a few issues.

PRIME MINISTER:

[Inaudible] Barnaby took the matter to the court, referred himself to the court [inaudible].

LEIGH KENWORTHY:

Mr Turnbull it appears that we are having some phone trouble again with here to there so we might have to leave that discussion. I thank you very much for your time this morning on 7BU Breakfast. We might have to push on.

The Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull there speaking at Cradle Mountain with that announcement there of $30 million from the federal government for that Cradle car project which is happening there and the other half of course from the state government.

Really wanted to have a little bit of a chat to him about the heightened security, tough new measures around our airports but unfortunately we won't be able to because of phone line trouble between here and Cradle Mountain.

[ENDS]