Radio interview with Matt Newell, 101.7 7HOFM Hobart

Transcript
16 Jan 2018
Prime Minister
Hobart City Deal; Same-sex marriage; UTAS STEM centre
E&OE

MATT NEWELL:

The Prime Minister Malcom Turnbull is on the line with me right now, he’s just flown into Hobart. Good morning, Prime Minister.

PRIME MINISTER:

Good morning Matt. Yeah it’s great to be here, just arrived in Hobart.

MATT NEWELL:

Brilliant, it’s really nice to speak to you. How was your Christmas? How was all your New Year and all of that kind of stuff?

PRIME MINISTER:

Oh it was great, we had all the grandchildren in town. So we’ve got our son and his wife and their little daughter who live in Singapore, so they were down in Sydney. So we had both our kids and their partners and the three grandchildren so it was terrific. Lots of time with the grandkids and lots of swimming and kayaking. We stayed at home in Sydney but it was great.

MATT NEWELL:

Good, did you spoil the grandkids rotten?

PRIME MINISTER:

Of course, naturally. I am putty in their hands, let me tell you.

[Laughter]

MATT NEWELL:

Fantastic. And of course, Malcolm look, I was very, very happy last week. First same-sex marriages in Australia! I tell you what–

PRIME MINISTER:

Yeah, that’s right! That’s exactly right and that was a great way to end the year wasn’t it? What a great outcome, that every Australian had their say and it was such an emphatic ‘yes’ vote.

MATT NEWELL:

Yes.

PRIME MINISTER:

It ended well but the process was very good too.

MATT NEWELL:

Yeah, look, in the greater Hobart region, we were upwards of 70 per cent ‘yes’, which was absolutely fantastic. So couldn’t be happier with that.

PRIME MINISTER:

Yeah and over 60 per cent in the state as I recall overall.

MATT NEWELL:

So proud of Tassie. Now tell us why you’re here today Prime Minister. 

PRIME MINISTER:

Well I’m here in Hobart and I’m going to sign the Heads of Agreement for the Hobart City Deal with Will Hodgman. This is all about governments doing what everyone wants them to do which is to work together and cooperate. So this is the federal government, state government and local government working together to advance Hobart, both in terms of planning and in infrastructure. We’ve got some big priorities, obviously Macquarie Point. We’re looking to create an Antarctic hub there. Looking at the possibly of moving, for example, the CSIRO and the Antarctic Division to Macquarie Point. We’re looking at options for transport, light rail is obviously one, or ferries.

MATT NEWELL:

And obviously using Macquarie Point as well, for tourism as well?

PRIME MINISTER:

Yeah exactly. Yeah, Macquarie Point is a really big area – as you know – a big old industrial area and railhead in times past and it is ripe for redevelopment. And I think that can be done in a way that will promote all of the great assets that Hobart has in particular with a focus on science, technology, Antarctica. So that is a really big opportunity.

MATT NEWELL:

Fantastic! And speaking of science – I read that Tassie has a lot of scientists here. We’re very science focused. So there is also a University of Tasmania STEM centre being built in the city, in development – is that right?

PRIME MINISTER:

Well, that is certainly one of the priorities that we are looking at and UTAS is proposing to move its STEM centre, you know, Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics into the centre of Hobart. I think that is a great idea. What they’ve got to do is, what we’ll be working with them is to develop the business case, how it is going to be funded and supported. As you know, we’re providing a lot of support for the relocation of the University of Tasmania campus into the centre of Launceston and I’ll be up there later on today.

MATT NEWELL:

Great.

PRIME MINISTER:

Universities are great drivers of innovation, of employment and the more they can engage with other businesses and with the community and government the better. You know, there is a trend globally to move universities back into the centre of cities as opposed to be sitting on campuses out of town, as you know, as used to be the case.

MATT NEWELL:

It’s great! Even since the accommodation opened in the CBD, well only in the past year, it has added so much to the city so to bring in something like this would be great. You know, 3,000 more students, it would add such a vibrancy to the city.

PRIME MINISTER:

Yeah, I agree. And I think Tasmania has got a real advantage in terms of education, research, science. It is such a beautiful state. Wonderful environment! And of course housing is much more affordable so if you’re on an academic salary it goes a lot further in terms of housing in Hobart than it does in Sydney or Melbourne for example. So that is a big advantage in terms of recruitment.

MATT NEWELL:

It is tough to get anything at the moment, Prime Minister. Everyone wants a piece of Tassie! We’re lucky down here in terms of what we have but it is hard to buy anything at the moment.

PRIME MINISTER:

What? You’re enjoying the love but you think you’re getting too much of it?

[Laughter]

MATT NEWELL:

Yes.

PRIME MINISTER:

It is a good problem to have. It is a good problem to have, yeah.

MATT NEWELL:

It is! Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull thank you so much for joining me. I won’t hold you up any longer but we’ll find out more details across the day I guess.

PRIME MINISTER:

We will indeed. Look forward to seeing you soon. Thanks Matt – bye.

MATT NEWELL:

Thank you so much.

[ENDS]