Radio Interview with Nathan, Nat & Shaun Nova 93.7 Perth

Transcript
10 Aug 2018
Prime Minister
GST, sharks; Enterprise Tax Plan
E&OE

PRESENTER:

We’re all upstanding right now, because the Prime Minister has entered the building. Mr Prime Minister, welcome.

PRIME MINITSER:

Hey, great to be with you, thank you. But you’re standing up, this is one of these very healthy standing desks?

PRESENTER:

Yes.

PRIME MINISTER:

So you believe that sitting is the new smoking, is that right?

PRESENTER:

Oh, we sit all the time.

[Laughter]

We do, we do actually. It’s just that since you’re standing up, we feel like we need to do what you do.

PRIME MINISTER:

Oh okay, you’ve got high chairs. Right, okay.

PRESENTER:

Yeah we do, like little kids.

PRIME MINISTER:

So you’ve got the option, got the option of sitting or standing. That’s cool, that’s cool.

PRESENTER:

Mr Prime Minister, you’ve come to WA with barrel loads of money, it’s just crazy. So, you’ve giving us back all our GST which we’ve been fighting so hard for?

PRIME MINISTER:

Justice for WA.

PRESENTER:

Thank you!

PRESENTER:

Finally.

PRIME MINISTER:

A fair deal for WA.

PRESENTER:

But will you say that here and then you go back up over there?

PRESENTER:

What do you mean?

PRIME MINISTER:

Every state, every state and territory is better off. We’re delivering a fair deal for WA on GST. So between now and 2026/27 WA will be $4.7 billion better off, but every other state and territory will also be better off.

PRESENTER:

Okay.

PRIME MINISTER:

Because we’ve got a strong economy.

PRESENTER:

Yes.

PRIME MINISTER:

Strong economic growth, strong jobs growth, so we can afford to tip more money into the GST bucket.

PRESENTER:

So my next question is, when is the election?

PRIME MINISTER:

Well, the election will be in the first of next year.

PRESENTER:

Yeah, okay. Right.

[Laughter]

PRIME MINISTER:  

In accordance with the Constitution.

PRESENTER:

We are really burnt over here by it.

HOST:

We are!

PRESENTER:

Because we’ve been so fundamentally – even if you…

PRIME MINISTER:

It’s been so unfair. I agree with you.

PRESENTER:

So unfair! If you got someone from another planet and showed them what this was, even if they didn’t understand economics, they’d go: “That’s not fair”.

PRIME MINISTER:

Well you know, look, I’ve always said, it didn’t pass the pub test in Bunbury or in Burnie or in Bundaberg, anywhere I’ve talked to people about it.

PRESENTER:

Yeah, starting with ‘b’.

PRIME MINISTER:

Starting with a ‘b’, yeah or any other letter of the alphabet. But whenever you said to people; “Okay, ‘horizontal fiscal equalisation’,” you know, “the wealthier states have got to support the states with lower revenue bases,” Yes, we get that. But then you say “But the West Australians are getting 30 cents in the dollar,” they went “Woah, hang on, that can’t be right.”

PRESENTER:

But really, the other states …

PRIME MINISTER:

That’s what was happening.

PRESENTER:

Are you honestly saying the other states like Northern Territory and Tasmania in particular?

PRIME MINISTER:

Everyone recognizes…

[Phone rings]

PRESENTER:

Oh, who is it Prime Minister?

PRESENTER:

Is that Lucy? Hi Lucy!

PRIME MINISTER:

It’s not, well I won’t tell you who it is, but it’s not Lucy.

[Laughter]

PRESENTER:

Hi Barnaby!

[Laughter]

PRIME MINISTER:

You’re getting close. Okay, I’ll tell you who it is, I’ll tell you who it is actually, it’s a farmer in New South Wales who got in touch with me on Facebook and I called him this morning to have a talk about the drought and how he’s managing it. You know, what he thinks we ought to be doing in addition to what we’re doing already. He’s just called me back.

PRESENTER:

I really like this whole movement to help the farmers.

PRIME MINISTER:

I really make a point, the most important thing for me as Prime Minister, is to get around the country.

PRESENTER:

Yep.

PRIME MINISTER:

It’s a big country and obviously, to talk to be people, but also listen to people.

PRESENTER:

Yeah. Can I get your number later on? We’ve got a few drinks on later, just in case.

[Laughter]

Might be able?

PRIME MINISTER:

I’m very accessible. But as my old chief of staff Drew Clarke used to say, “the scarcest resource in the Commonwealth Government is the Prime Minister’s time,” but I try to make it, I spread it as widely as I can.

PRESENTER:

That’s such an interesting thing, because we’d all imagine you’d never be home. When you are at home with your lovely wife, do you, because you’re away all the time, do you get in there roll the sleeves up?

PRIME MINISTER:

I’ll tell you, I spend about a third of the time in Canberra, about a third at home in Sydney and about a third somewhere else travelling. That’s it roughly.

PRESENTER:

So do you do any cooking? Do you help out because you’re not home?

PRIME MINISTER:

Lucy would say I’m not a bad cook, but I have a limited repertoire.

PRESENTER:

Okay so what is your go-to dish, if you’re trying to impress somebody?

PRIME MINISTER:

It’s pasta with tomato sauce.

PRESENTER:

Pasta? Can we just stop you right there?

[Laughter]

PRIME MINISTER:

I love roasting tomatoes. So I like to get kilos of tomatoes and have a couple of big trays in the oven, roast them with garlic and some rock salt and some olive oil and just make a massive passata.

PRESENTER:

Yes!

PRIME MINISTER:

Then I give some of it to Daisy, our daughter, so it’s good for her for her spaghetti bolognaise for the kids. That’s what I then use to make spaghetti.

PRESENTER:

I would like to just circle back to pasta.

PRIME MINISTER:

Do you like pasta?

PRESENTER:

Mmm!

PRESENTER:

I do, pasta.

PRIME MINISTER:

You’re a pastor?

[Laughter]

PRESENTER:

Do you do eat ‘yoghurt’ or ‘yoghurt’?

PRIME MINISTER:

Yoghurt.

PRESENTER:

Thank god.

PRESENTER:

Lucky.

[Laughter]

PRIME MINISTER:

Do you say ‘tomato’ or ‘tomato’?

HOST:

[Inaudible]

PRIME MINISTER:

Definitely, gotta be tomato.

PRESENTER:

Do you do ‘vitamins’ or ‘vitamins’?

PRIME MINISTER:

Vitamins.

PRESENTER:

Okay, good.

PRESENTER:

You can stay.

[Laughter]

PRESENTER:

I’ve got another question about your home life, right? So you move into Kirribilli House?

PRIME MINISTER:

No I didn’t, I didn’t.

PRESENTER:

So you’re still at home?

PRIME MINISTER:

We live in our house.

PRESENTER:

I was going to say.

PRESENTER:

So are we Airbnb-ing Kirribilli?

PRIME MINISTER:

No, no we’re not, we use it for functions regularly. It’s a great location.

PRESENTER:

Really? So it’s now a party house?

PRIME MINISTER:

Well, yes, sort of.  A very sedate kind, sedate sort of prime-ministerial functions.

[Laughter]

We use it often for charities. We had a sort of an event for the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation recently. That type of thing. It’s good for that type of reception.

PRESENTER:

So what days is it empty?

[Laughter]

PRIME MINISTER:

Well, seriously if you have a good cause, if you get in touch with my office, a good charitable cause, we certainly do make it available.

PRESENTER:

What about if we’re just, sort of, in town and need somewhere to stay?

PRIME MINISTER: 

Nah, I don’t think so.

PRESENTER:

Doesn’t cut it. Mr Prime Minister a couple of things are on the agenda at the moment. WA has a bit of a write up about the sharks and you said the WA Government should get off their hands? Josh Frydenberg has said the same.

PRIME MINISTER:

I say, people first.

PRESENTER:

People first, absolutely. Do you have a conversation with the Premier about that?

PRIME MINISTER:

Well I haven’t, I haven’t spoken to him. I was hoping to see him today but he’s out of town. But look, Josh knows much more about this technology than I do, but New South Wales has had a smart drumline system for some time. They believe its reduced shark attacks considerably in New South Wales. They’ve offered to trial it, offered the technology. Josh has offered to provide some funding to make it available to trial here in WA.

I think you should give it a go. I mean, it’s a sort of catch-and-release system. It doesn’t involve killing sharks, it involves basically, I guess deterring them. But why not give it a go? “People first”, I say.

PRESENTER:

No harm, no foul. I guess the other thing is that people are talking about the company tax position that your government has taken up. Why is that a good thing for our country and particularly WA?

PRIME MINISTER:

It’s important to have a competitive tax rate. The US has gone to 21 per cent corporate rate. You’ve seen a huge resurgence of investment, very strong economic growth, jobs growth in the US off the back of that. We do operate in a competitive global business environment.

So in the past, both sides of politics have always recognised Australia should have a competitive tax rate. I mean Bill Shorten himself said a few years ago: “Lower company tax means more investment, higher productivity, more jobs and higher wages.” Julia Gillard said the same thing. Keating lowered company taxes. Chris Bowen, who is the Labor shadow treasurer ,actually wrote a book about the importance of it. So, it’s only become politically controversial in recent times.

The good news is however, that we have got company tax cuts, reduced for businesses up to $50 million a year. I was out at one in that sort of category yesterday, Thermo King West. They are overwhelmingly family-owned Australian-owned. These businesses are investing more and they’re employing more, like Steve Da Rui is at Thermo King West. I met a couple of his young apprentices there. So, that’s where you’re seeing the strong jobs growth coming from.

We had record jobs growth in Australia last year.

We have the lowest percentage of people of working age on welfare in 25 years.

That’s why we’ve got higher revenues in government.

That’s why we can bring the Budget back into balance a year earlier.

Its why we can ensure that you get a fair deal in WA on the GST.

It’s why we can put, for example, $800 million into the billion dollars that’s being spent on the Northlink road project that I’m going out later today to, to open a piece of. The interchange at Reid Highway.

PRESENTER:

I suppose the thing just for normal everyday Australians is, our pays aren’t going up and everything is getting more expensive.

PRESENTER:

Yeah especially things like electricity, you know, your basic bills that everybody has that are unavoidable.

PRIME MINISTER:

Yeah. Well, we’re doing – WA is not in the so-called national electricity market, which is not national because it doesn’t include WA and the NT. But we are working relentlessly to bring down energy prices. In fact on the east coast, in the NEM, energy prices, retail prices have started to come down again.

PRESENTER:

Alright.

PRESENTER:

I’ve got a question for you. When you’re in Question Time, it seems like, so say you just rolled out the spiel particularly about company tax rates.

PRIME MINISTER:

Yeah?

PRESENTER:

So if the Opposition believe in what you’re doing and you believe… if you’re not in government – if you kinda believe; “Oh yeah, that’s a good idea”, but the idea of being the Opposition is that you’ve got to say you disagree…

PRESENTER:

To oppose.

PRESENTER:

Wholeheartedly. So how does that sit with you?

PRIME MINISTER:

Well, I think when you’re in Opposition – and I’ve been Opposition Leader, of course – I think you’ve got to pick your arguments. You know if you look at, say, the days when the Labor Party believe in economic reform – Bill Shorten doesn’t anymore, he has the most anti-jobs, anti-investment, anti-business programme.

PRESENTER:

He’s come in here four times and this is the first time you’ve come in here.

PRIME MINISTER:

Yeah well I’ll tell you what, he brings no joy, because he does not have one plan to invest a dollar, to encourage business to invest or grow their businesses. You know, he hasn’t even come out and supported the GST deal? Everyone is pleased that we’ve got a fair deal for WA on GST … Where’s the Labor Party?

PRESENTER:

Yeah.

PRIME MINISTER:

Where’s Bill Shorten? He should just say: “Right, yes, we’re backing that.” Then people would be reassured. But at this stage you could not trust Bill Shorten to stick to that GST deal if he became Prime Minister.

PRESENTER:

Could you, like, play his own game? Shaun did bring up something, Opposition usually opposes your ideas. So, why don’t you just go into Parliament and say: “Bill Shorten for Prime Minister”?

[Laughter]

PRESENTER:

No! Never, in this country! Never will I see the day.

[Laughter]

PRIME MINISTER:

No. Can I tell you, a lot of jobs would be at risk if Bill Shorten became Prime Minister.

PRESENTER:

Did you want to sign Nathan on as an adviser, a strategist?

PRESENTER:

I’d be a very good adviser.

PRIME MINISTER:

Yeah, stick to the old day job I’d say.

[Laughter]

PRESENTER:

I can barely do that.

PRESENTER:

We’re going to have to let you go.

PRIME MINISTER:

Okay, well it was great to be with you.

PRESENTER:

But just before we let you go, sorry, a lot of people probably listen to this GST thing and probably think that we’re going to get promised something and then it’s going to get pulled back somehow.

PRIME MINISTER:

No. We’re putting in a floor.

PRESENTER:

We’re having it?

PRIME MINISTER:

We are putting in a floor so that really, from next year, it’ll be a 70 cent floor effectively. We’ll actually provide some top ups to ensure that. By 2023/24 I think it is, there will be a 75 cent in the dollar floor.

PRESENTER:

That’s the least we could get?

PRIME MINISTER:

That’s the least that anyone can get. The important, my sense is that Australians understand that states with stronger revenue bases should provide help to the states with the weaker revenue bases so they can have comparable services. But as my late father would have said, there’s a difference between scratching your ear and ripping it off.

PRESENTER:

Yeah.

PRIME MINISTER:

Getting 30 cents in the dollar does not pass the pub test anywhere you are beginning with ‘b’ or any other letter.

[Laughter]

PRESENTER:

Because we were about to start building a Trump-style wall. We were, separating us from the rest of the country. Hands off our GST.

[Laughter]

PRESENTER:

Yep. We’d had enough.

PRIME MINISTER:

And you were going to demand the South Australians pay for it.

[Laughter]

PRESENTER:

Of course we were!

PRESENTER:

Actually, that’s a really good idea.

PRESENTER:

That’s a great idea actually.

PRESENTER:

Prime Minister thank you so much for coming in this morning, it’s been a pleasure.

PRIME MINISTER:

Alright, thank you very much. Thanks a lot.