Budget, Douglas Wood – Doorstop Interview, Shoal Bay

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Budget, Douglas Wood – Doorstop Interview, Shoal Bay

Doorstop Interview

Shoal Bay Resort and Spa

Shoal Bay

Tuesday, 17 May 2005
2.05 pm


SUBJECTS: Budget, Douglas Wood


Treasurer, that was a (inaudible) Budget too, and the Newspoll in The Australian

reflects that. How can you trust another person in the role as Treasurer?


The public response, I think, has been very strong because this is a Budget

which engages in reform, which funds our future and which also reduces the tax

burden. And if you can bring those things together and if we can follow them

through over a long period of time, then Australia will be a stronger economy.

More people will be in work and our country will be better and that’s

what good economic policy is all about.


Will one of your colleagues do that though?


Well, the important thing at the moment is to make sure this Budget gets enacted.

We shouldn’t assume that now that the Budget has been handed down it’s

all over. Labor is opposing tax cuts. Labor is able to block tax cuts in the

Senate. Those tax cuts should start on 1 July. Mr Beazley should give up this

useless blocking activity and allow Australians the certainty of a tax cut on

1 July. And I’ll be going back to Canberra and I will be campaigning on

behalf of every Australian for the tax cut that they deserve.


How do you (inaudible) Independents about getting it through that way?


Some of the Independents have contacted me and are coming to see me when I

get back to Canberra and some will be supportive, I believe. The easiest way

to get these tax cuts in place is for Mr Beazley to give up his useless, delaying

tactics which are not in the interests of Australians, which will deny them

the tax cuts that they deserve on 1 July. Mr Beazley, get out of the way and

let Australians have the tax relief they deserve.


On another issue, Douglas Wood, does it break your heart to see the heartfelt

pleas from his family?


Oh sure, look, you imagine if it was a brother of yours or you imagine it was

an uncle of yours, it is a shocking situation. And we appeal for Douglas Wood,

like his brothers do and his family does. He is an innocent man that has been

caught up in this and I hope that those that are holding him will be able to

recognise the pleas of his family.


Mr Costello, you’ve come out here in support of Hunter Medical Research.

(inaudible) University you can get any funding in the Budget, despite their

problems financially at the moment.


Well of course the University got funding in the budget. The University gets

a very substantial …


…it make up the problems they’ve had recently with the $28 million



Well, hang on, the University is very substantially funded in the Budget. Now,

when the University is given the Commonwealth grant it is also expected to manage

its own financial problems and it is important that it does. I don’t run

the University. The Commonwealth Government doesn’t run the University.

The Commonwealth Government makes funds available to the University and the

University manages them. And the Commonwealth Government has funded the University

in the Budget.


Do you think it would be worth (inaudible) then put extra money so you can

save $450 worth as Bob Carr’s suggested?


How much has he put in?


None. It’s a federal responsibility.


Can I say, the Federal Government has funded the Newcastle University. We don’t

manage the Newcastle University. That is done by the University Council and

it’s important that taxpayers funds be managed properly. We don’t

undertake the management of these things. The people that are responsible are

in charge of the management.


What about reclassifying it though as a regional facility, not a metro? Reclassifying

it so they can get some more money?


Well as I say, the management of the University is a matter for the Council,

it’s not a matter for the Government. But I can tell you this, the University

was funded in the Budget and the Commonwealth Government has record funds going

to the University sector and the taxpayers are entitled to know and the Council

is entitled to know that the funds have to be managed properly. They’re

not managed out of Canberra.


Were you (inaudible) disappointed that in the Newspoll there was no improvement

in the Government’s position in the…


Well, you know, what’s the object of a Budget? The object of a Budget

is to put in place an economic policy which will improve our economy and improve

the lives of citizens. And I think if you look at the public reaction there

was an overwhelmingly strong support for the Budget, I think in economic terms,

the strongest that you’ve ever seen. On whether or not, it will make for

a better economy, whether it will improve peoples lives, that’s the object

of a Budget and if you actually look at the outcome, people have responded very

warmly. Wherever I go, the response has been warm. It’s certainly been

the warmest response I’ve seen in the time that I’ve been doing

Budgets and I think the research that has been done will back that up.




Well it makes me feel that we probably have put down the right decisions that

Australians were thinking about and looking for and now recognising that we

have touched a cord in the Australian public and congruously Labor has missed

the boat. Labor’s determination to stop Australians getting tax relief

is one of the more bizarre decisions that I’ve seen in recent times. They

cannot stop the tax relief, all they can do is delay it. And I say to Mr Beazley,

give up this useless opposition. Let Australians have the tax cuts they deserve

on 1 July.