11 March 1996 - 3 December 2007
Spring Road Gardens, Malvern
Sunday, 14 October 2007
How are you feeling? Are you feeling confident?
This is an important election for Australia’s future. It will determine whether we go forward with prosperity and more jobs, whether our businesses are strong and whether we have the economy which we require to build the healthcare system and the education system that we want for the future. And I am focussed on opportunities for Australians and I want to see Australia be stronger than it is now. And that is going to take a lot of work but I am very focussed on that challenge.
What is the issue, do you think, that will pull back the lead?
Well I think as people begin to think about what we need to keep our economy strong and the experienced economic management that it is going to take and the risk of having a union-dominated, inexperienced government. If you have got no experience and 70 per cent of your front bench are union officials, then you are going to be very subject to union influence and union domination. I think as people begin to think about that they will begin to realise that Labor is a very big risk for them, their families and their jobs.
If people vote for Prime Minister John Howard are they also voting for Prime Minister Peter Costello?
Well they are voting for a team. I have been very much part of the team and I will be very much part of the team in the future.
Can you outline what you will be doing, how you will be campaigning during the next six weeks and when your first engagement is with the Prime Minister?
Well obviously I have been on the phone with the Prime Minister several times today already, as I was several times yesterday, and I will be going to Canberra tonight and we will be having more consultations tomorrow. So it will be a full-on campaign, I hope that – as well as campaigning very hard in my own seat which is where we are today – I can help colleagues in seats around Australia. I hope to go to all of the States and campaign. I have just come back from campaigning in Western Australia and I have got a very active programme to go through the next six weeks.
What is the Coalition’s strategy to try and claw back some of Labor’s lead in the opinion polls?
It is to focus people on the issues. The issues of whether or not they can rely on an untried, untested union-dominated group of people to keep the Australian economy strong; or whether they want continuing jobs growth, security for their families and a strong economy which can fund the social services that we all want and need.
Has Mr Rudd’s support plateaued?
TREASURER:Well I think that he regards himself as a front-runner. He, I think, is now beginning to take people for granted and I think as the weeks roll on, people will have the choice to make their own decisions. Okay, thanks very much.