Radio interview - Triple M Darling Downs

Transcript
01 Feb 2018
Prime Minister
E&OE

LEE FAULKNER:

Thank you for joining us on Triple M Prime Minister and thank you for your time this morning.

PRIME MINISTER:

Lee, it’s great to be with you.

LEE FAULKNER:

Now 12 months ago you were here in our garden city, your first visit - officially - to the garden city. You were here for the opening of the Vanguard Laundry which is a wonderful, wonderful service.

PRIME MINISTER:

What a great success it’s been too.

LEE FAULKNER:

Incredible. Over that last 12 months and indeed over the last five years, the growth here in Toowoomba has been absolutely phenomenal. Big part there being the Second Range Crossing, which is a lot of business confidence and a big thanks to the Federal Government for that.

But how important is it for regional areas to the national growth, to be growing the way that Toowoomba is at the moment?

PRIME MINISTER:

Absolutely critical. You know, most of Australia’s exports come from regional Australia and what we need to do is ensure is that we get the same growth in jobs that we’re seeing across the country - 403,000 last year – in regional areas, regional parts of Australia as well.

Toowoomba of course is doing so well. I’m here with Dr John McVeigh, the Minister for Regional Development and Member for Groom. John knows very well; this is a big country and you’ve got to make sure that every part of it benefits from the strong, strengthening economy and the strong jobs growth we’re seeing.

LEE FAULKNER:

Absolutely. Your address today near the Empire Theatre, the beautiful Armitage Centre, is going to be very much about that, about growing jobs and about tax reform? Because as you know, many people who listen to me, the truck drivers, the mums and dads, the workers out there, are struggling at the moment because of the lack of growth in wages.

PRIME MINISTER:

Yes that’s right and we’ll be talking about the importance of ensuring that we maintain and preserve our Australian values and above all, ensure that Australia remains the best place to realise your dreams.

You know Michelle Simmons - that inspiring woman who is the Professor at the University of New South Wales, building the world’s first quantum computer - she came from the UK. She stood up when she became Australian of the Year and she said: “I came to Australia because I believed it was the best country in the world to realise my dreams.” And she’s got a big dream that she’s hard at work at.

We’ve got to maintain that and that opportunity depends on there being that strong economic growth that enables people to get a job, get a better job, get a better paid job, start a business, have the confidence to invest.

You see what we’ve done – John and I and our whole team – we’ve succeeded in reducing business tax. Not for all companies yet, we’d like to do it for all companies, but for businesses up to $50 million turnover. Now, $50 million turnover business is not a giant multinational.

LEE FAULKNER:

No.

PRIME MINISTER:

Businesses under that figure are overwhelmingly Australian-owned family businesses and Toowoomba is full of them. But they collectively employ more than half of the private sector workforce.

They are investing more and they are employing more.

That’s where you’re seeing the strong jobs growth from. The jobs growth that we’re seeing is coming out of small and medium businesses, overwhelmingly Australian family-owned businesses.

That’s what we’re backing. That’s what we want to see; more of that enterprise, innovation and investment, because that creates the opportunities, the best place to realise your dreams.

LEE FAULKNER:

I guess it’s whether it’s difficult to get that message across. Because again, I talk about the mums and dads, the workers, the truckies that listen to me every morning, that phone in to me, that are struggling with the mortgage and those sorts of things. They hear about maybe tax cuts for businesses and so forth. What they’ve got to understand is that that correlates directly to them having more opportunity to employ more Australians.

PRIME MINISTER:

Absolutely. You’ll see this here, everywhere, all the family businesses here. I mean John McVeigh is sitting next to me, John, Toowoomba is a hive of activity, of enterprise and investment, overwhelmingly family owned businesses, isn’t it?

HON. DR JOHN MCVEIGH MP – MINISTER FOR REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT, TERRITORIES AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT:

That’s right Prime Minister. Small business is the backbone of our community, whether it’s originally agribusiness, agriculture, now right across the whole sectors of the economy. We’re really punching above our weight, I think we’re an example for the rest of Australia. But we’ve got more opportunity in front of us and that’s why I’m so keen to continue pursuing the policies that we’ve got for our region.

LEE FAULKNER:

And congratulations to you John on moving forward in your political career and it’s great to see. You must be heartened by the response to inviting the Prime Minister to an address here today, that would normally be given in the Canberra Press Club, that we wouldn’t have the chance to see live.

MINISTER FOR REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT, TERRITORIES AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT:

That’s a real thrill, a great honour for Toowoomba, for me, for all residents of our region to have the Prime Minister here delivering this national address today.

I guess that just emphasizes his and the Government’s fairdinkum approach to development in Australia, particularly regional Australia. As he said, it’s about jobs and growth and that’s what resonates with the mums and dads that you talk about. That’s what they talk to me about as well.

LEE FAULKNER:

I know you were here last night and I know you talked about the pub test -

PRIME MINISTER:

At the Spotted Cow, yeah.

LEE FAULKNER:

The wonderful Spotted Cow, with the Cooreys there, fantastic, they do a bit of trivia too. I believe you nailed a particular question about the middle name of a previous Prime Minister John Howard?

PRIME MINISTER:

That’s true, yes -

LEE FAULKNER:

Is it Winston?

PRIME MINISTER:

John Winston Howard, that’s right, yeah.

LEE FAULKNER:

It is! I didn’t even -

PRIME MINISTER:

Named after Winston Churchill naturally.

LEE FAULKNER:

He absolutely was. Well I’m so glad that you’re able to visit our wonderful city again.

PRIME MINISTER:

It was great to go back to the Botanic Gardens again, so beautiful.

LEE FAULKNER:

Yes! Of course I ran into you last year.

PRIME MINISTER:

Yeah.

LEE FAULKNER:

At the Mothers’ Memorial, while you were wondering through that wonderful piece of our area here. So we’re very blessed here with a lot of things, the only thing we need now is some good public transport and we know you’re working on that. So whatever we can get there, that’d be fantastic, but thank you so much.

PRIME MINISTER:

Thanks Lee.

LEE FAULKNER:

Thank you for your time this morning and thank you for coming to the garden city, we look forward to your address later today.

[ENDS]