Image : AAP Image/Lukas Coch
PRIME MINISTER: G’day everyone, it’s good to be here in Buenos Aires. This is my third visit to Buenos Aires as part of the G20, this year of course in my new capacity for the leaders meetings. I just want to assure Australians thought that in the air on the way here, we’ve been kept up to date on the very significant threats that have been emerging up in Queensland with the bushfires. We know that there are a number of the fire warnings that have been downgraded but we’re in for some pretty heavy weather on the weekend, some very extreme weather on the weekend. I just continue to counsel all Australians in the affected areas to be listening to the warnings and acting on the advice and taking care and looking after each other. I continue to thank all those who have been fighting those fires - around 119 as I understand - and whilst some of those warnings have gone down, we’ll be watching those circumstances very, very carefully. So while I’m here of course the Deputy Prime Minister is in Australia and of course the Treasurer will be there also.
In terms of arriving here at Buenos Aires, I come here as Australians always do to any meeting, we always come optimistically. With the issues to be addressed, they’re obviously trade, very central to that. Australia has always been a successful trading nation and that’s how we’ll continue to ensure the prosperity for our own people. But it’s not just for our people; all of the G20 nations have benefitted so significantly by their exchanges in trade with each other and we all want to see that continue. So I’m optimistic about the way that particularly the major economies here will hopefully be able to make some progress. I believe that both China and the United States are very keen to see a more open trading environment around the world, and more trade all across the world and particularly between their two nations. We all benefit from that. I think this will be a good opportunity over the course of the next two days to re-assert our commitment to these principles of trade and encourage all of the nations here to get on with that job. Because it’s what drags people out of poverty, it’s what gives people choice in life and that will be our focus, as it always is, at these important events.
Thanks very much.