Aston by-election, Building industry

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July 14, 2001
Economy, Aston, Telstra, taxes
July 19, 2001

Aston by-election, Building industry

Transcript No. 2001/096






Doorstop Interview

Monday, 16 July 2001


SUBJECTS: Aston by-election, Building industry


Well the counting is continuing today as you know with Chris Pearce a whisker

in front. And I think he has every reason to think that he will improve, as

he did yesterday, in relation to the postals. It is too early to call the election

but I think there is good reason to think that Chris Pearce will be the next

member for Aston, and I hope he is.




Look, Chris Pearce, I think, will give great representation for the people

of Aston. I think everybody who is out there knew he was the local candidate

who really had the local issues at heart. And if he wins he will be a good

Member for Aston replacing Peter Nugent. As far as the wider implications are

concerned, obviously, we would be happy to see the Government retain that seat,

and it is pretty clear that the people werent all that impressed by the Beazley

Noodle Nation announced (inaudible) a few weeks ago.




I think the implications at the end of the year are that this is going to be

a tight election. That obviously the Government has been in office for a while

and people recognise that there has been good economic management. Income taxes

have come down, the mortgages are lower and 800,000 more people are in work,

but they are always looking at alternatives and when they look at the Beazley

alternative they want to know some policies. I think the big implication at

the end of the year is that Mr Beazley thought that by having no policies he

could surf his way into office. He hasnt heard the message of Aston, which

is, that you have got to have a policy. You have got to have a policy if you

want to be Prime Minister. You have to have a policy. Mr Beazley has had no

policy, this announcement on the Noodle Nation which he did 2 weeks ago,

nobody can understand.




Not even Mr Beazley can understand it. I mean I looked at those noodles, I

have got to tell you, I looked at those noodles to try and work out what the

policy was and I was as confused as Mr Beazley is.


(inaudible)…a concern over the primary swing against the Liberals?


Look, the Government has been in office and people have all sorts of grumbles

that we have got to take on board. I recognise that, but I also recognise that

they werent going to the Labor Party. And so there is a message for the Government,

it has to take into account peoples grumbles which we are addressing. But

there is a big message to the Labor Party which is it hasnt taken a decision

in 5 years and it still went backwards. You cant, you can explain why Beazley

grumbles with the Government, the harder issue is why are there grumbles with

the Labor Party which hasnt yet made a decision. And I think the big message

for Beazley is you cant skate into office without a policy. You have got to

actually stand for something if you want the public to understand why you are



What would be the (inaudible)…


Oh yes, we will be discussing today the problems in the building industry,

the allegations that have been made in relation to corruption, and what can

be done to clean up the misuse of union power. And a lot of people in the building

industry in Australia know how union power is being abused, and that is not

good for the building industry, its not good for decent and honest employees



(inaudible)…what will be the mood of Cabinet today?


Well, I will be reporting to the Cabinet on the Aston by-election and obviously

we will be looking at that. We will be looking at the difficulties in the building

industry and what can be done to get corruption and the abuse of union power

out of the building industry, and we will also be looking at a whole host of

other things which are important to governing. We want to get on with governing

Australia, that is the most important thing, and doing a job, good job, to

ensure a stronger economy and more jobs.