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14-04-06 Doorstop Interview Tokyo

14-04-06 Doorstop Interview Tokyo

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Published by Political Alert
TRANSCRIPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER
THE HON. TONY ABBOTT MP
DOORSTOP INTERVIEW,
TOKYO
Subjects: Visit to North Asia; Free Trade Agreement; WA Senate by-election; Malaysian Airlines flight; Japanese National Security Council; whaling; aged pension; the Government’s commitment to a paid parental leave scheme.
TRANSCRIPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER
THE HON. TONY ABBOTT MP
DOORSTOP INTERVIEW,
TOKYO
Subjects: Visit to North Asia; Free Trade Agreement; WA Senate by-election; Malaysian Airlines flight; Japanese National Security Council; whaling; aged pension; the Government’s commitment to a paid parental leave scheme.

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Published by: Political Alert on Apr 06, 2014
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06/10/2014

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1 www.pm.gov.au
PRIME MINISTER
6 April 2014
TRANSCRIPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER 
 
THE HON. TONY ABBOTT MP
 
DOORSTOP INTERVIEW, TOKYO
 
Subjects: Visit to North Asia; Free Trade Agreement; WA Senate by-election; Malaysian Airlines flight;
 Japanese National Security Council; whaling; aged pension; the Government’s commitment to a paid
 parental leave scheme.
E&OE……………………….……………………………………………………………
 
PRIME MINISTER:
It’s terrific to be here in Japan. It is great to be here at
Toll in Tokyo. Can I say at the outset of this trip how thrilled I am at the warmth of the welcome. This is a very good friendship. Australia and Japan have been very good friends for a very long time and while the focus of this visit is trade, certainly I want to broaden and deepen the friendship more generally. It is good to see a business like Toll flourishing here in Japan. There are some 3,000 Toll Japan staff, about 100 depots right around the country and under the free trade agreement, about which we are optimistic, we are hopeful not just of getting more Australian produce sold in Japan, more Japanese products sold in Australia but we want to have more investment
 – 
 more two way investment
 – 
 and more opportunities for Australian companies to flourish here in Japan. As I said, I am optimistic about the free trade negotiations but they have been difficult negotiations. As you know they started back in 2007 under the Howard Government when Prime Minister Abe was in his first term. They have meandered around and around in circles under the former Labor government but this Government is determined to bring them to a swift and satisfactory conclusion.
QUESTION:
Prime Minister, you say you are optimistic about those negotiation, are you talking about within the time frame of your visit? Does that still remain the hope?
PRIME MINISTER:
I am hopeful but not certain. There are still some final matters to be resolved and while we do want a swift conclusion, we want a satisfactory conclusion as well.
 
2 www.pm.gov.au
QUESTION:
Prime Minister, can I ask you about the WA Senate election? Major Parties have taken a bit of a battering and a belting
 – 
 10.3 per cent swing against Labor and Liberals combined, 5.5 per cent swing against the Libs. What do you take out of this?
PRIME MINISTER:
I think it is a typical by-election result. You get a pretty broad range of candidates and a pretty broad range of voting in by-elections but what we can be very certain of is that candidates who are against the carbon tax and against the mining tax have  performed very strongly. There is an overwhelming rejection of the carbon tax and the mining tax on these results.
QUESTION:
Do you think that Clive Palmer bought himself a seat? He got a swing of 7.5 per cent. The millions seemed to be worthwhile.
PRIME MINISTER:
Well, let’s wait and see what the final analysis shows but as far as I am concerned the very strong take out of
this result is that the Australian people yet again have voted to get rid of the carbon tax and get rid of the mining tax and I expect these taxes to be swiftly scrapped when the new Senate takes office on the first of July.
QUESTION:
Mr Abbott, the result also had a swing against the Liberal Party. It is a federal by-election. That can be seen as a verdict on the Government. Does it give you any pause for thought about the response that voters have to your Government after six months? Does it lead you to think that you should change what you are doing in any way?
PRIME MINISTER:
The Liberal vote has gone down a little, the Labor vote has gone down a little but this is the kind of result you would expect in a by-election. The essential point is that for the third time running we have got a very strong vote against the carbon tax and against the mining tax. In September there was an overwhelming rejection of the carbon tax and the mining tax. At the Griffith by-election, again, we saw a strong vote for candidates who want to get rid of the carbon tax and the mining tax, and again yesterday in Western Australia.
QUESTION:
Mr Abbott, as the Leader of the Liberal Party, do you feel somewhat shafted given that you won fair and square three years in September in the WA Senate and now you may not win that back? Is there some sense of personal anger there?
 
3 www.pm.gov.au
PRIME MINISTER:
Phil, look, politics is an uncertain business and if you are looking for perfect justice you don’t normally run
for Parliament because that is just the nature of this business, but the public are entitled to vote the way they wish and if they wish to vote slightly differently six months afterwards well that is there privilege.
QUESTION:
Prime Minister, have you been briefed overnight on these reports from China about the signal picked up in the Indian Ocean?
PRIME MINISTER:
My understan
ding is that they’re unconfirmed and, look, the point I make is that we are hopeful but by no
means certain. This is the most difficult search in human history. We are searching for an aircraft which is at the bottom of a very deep ocean and it is a very, very wide search area. So, it is a very, very difficult search and while we certainly are throwing everything we have at it, and while the best brains and the best technology in the world will be deployed, we need to be very careful about coming to hard and fast conclusions to the search.
QUESTION:
Prime Minister, back on WA’s election, given the change of result from September to now, will this give
you pause for thought should you have to make good on your threat to hold a double-d on the carbon tax or
are you convinced you don’t want it to come to that?
 
PRIME MINISTER:
This Government is absolutely committed to eliminating the carbon tax and the mining tax. If there was one thing that we took to the Australian people above all else it was scrapping the carbon tax.  Now, sure we said we would stop the boats, we said we would get the Budget back under control, we said we would build the roads of the 21
st
 century but front and centre was the elimination of the carbon tax. I certainly expect the Senate on
the first of July to respect the Government’s mandate. There was absolutely
nothing in this vote yesterday to suggest that voters have suddenly decided that they love the carbon tax or love the mining tax.
QUESTION:
Mr Abbott, what advice have you been given about the aged care at home votes
 – 
 the 75 which seems to
have been…upset certain processes, have you been given legal advice?
PRIME MINISTER:
 No, Andrew, I mean I am aware of the problem but I haven’t been given legal advice on this.
 
QUESTION:
Prime Minister, you are going to take part in the Japanese newly founded National Security Council as the first Prime Minister. What would you like to discuss in that opportunity to strengthen the relationship in security issues?

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