Muslim clerics, Sydney house prices, Telstra – Interview with Mike Carlton, 2UE

2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001 | 2000 | 1999 | 1998
Victorian Land Tax, anti-Americanism, Telstra – Interview with Neil Mitchell, 3AW
August 22, 2005
Australian values, Muslim clerics, anti-Americanism, Telstra – Interview with Tony Jones, Lateline
August 24, 2005
Victorian Land Tax, anti-Americanism, Telstra – Interview with Neil Mitchell, 3AW
August 22, 2005
Australian values, Muslim clerics, anti-Americanism, Telstra – Interview with Tony Jones, Lateline
August 24, 2005

Muslim clerics, Sydney house prices, Telstra – Interview with Mike Carlton, 2UE

Interview with Mike Carlton, 2UE

Tuesday, 23 August 2005
8.10 am

SUBJECTS: Muslim clerics, Sydney house prices, Telstra


Peter Costello has told the Australian that radical Muslim clerics should leave

Australia if they do not share this nation’s values. It is a good point

and one I would imagine that most Australians would agree with. The Treasurer

is on the line. Good morning.


Good morning Mike.


It is fairly tough stuff. You think of it as sort of love it or leave it?


Well the point I make is that if you are thinking of emigrating to Australia,

you should know that Australia is a democratic country, we have Parliamentary

law, it is enforced by our courts. We have equality for women, if you do not

like those values then you are unlikely to be happy in Australia. If you do

not like those values and you would prefer a society where a sharia law is practised

where it is a theocracy, well there are other societies around the world that

are like that but Australia is not one of them and you might be happier in one

of those other countries.


It puzzles me that people do come here and then expect to change our values

to their values and to live under sharia law. I find that kind of strange. Why

would you bother, why come to this sinful pit of iniquity?


Yes, well, absolutely right. If that is your view when you get here to Australia

you are going to be profoundly disappointed. You are going to see it as a very

bad society, you might be tempted to rail against it, idealogically some might

even be tempted to train against it. And my point is you are not going to be

happy here, it might be better to think about going to another country in the

first place. There was an interview recently, you probably would have seen it

on the 7.30 Report, from Abu Bakr, one of the Melbourne clerics, he said that

there are two laws in Australia. There is Australian law and there is Islamic

law. Well, the point is there is only one law in Australia. That is the law

that is passed by Parliament and enforced by the courts and if you cannot really

accept that principle I do not think you are going to blend into Australian

society that well.


Yeah, I cannot argue with that. One of your problems though is young Muslims

who have grown up here, they are Australians and they are in every way, shape

and form born here, raised here as Australians, when they adopt these beliefs

what do you do then?


Well, that is more difficult because they have grown up here and I was talking

about people who choose to come here. It may be that some of them have dual

citizenship, I do not know, if you have dual citizenship you can always exercise

a choice, can’t you? Your Australian citizenship or your other citizenship.

If you do not have dual citizenship it is much more difficult. You are an Australian

citizen and I would urge you to live within the foundation of Australia. Now,

you know, we do have a constitution, this constitution says that our Government

has to be secular, it recognises democratic elections, it institutes independent

courts, it gives Parliament the right to make laws and that is not going to

change. That is Australia. You can have political differences when inside that

framework, but that is not going to change. That is our constitution. That is

the society of who we are and if you cannot live with that you have just got

to accept it, I am afraid.


What would you like to see come out of this summit today?


I would like to see the moderate leaders making it very clear that whilst they

are free to exercise their religion they accept all of those values which are

laid down in our constitution, which are a foundation of our society and urge

their Imams, who are more radical or extremist, to do the same. That is what

I would like to see come out of it.


Yeah, let us hope it does. Right, can I toss you a couple of other questions

more to do with your job as Treasurer and so on? Is the Sydney property boom



It is slowing. Yes, all the evidence, and there are different surveys so it

gets quite confusing here, but all the evidence shows that it is not going fast,

it probably has not grown, and it has probably plateaued in the last year or



You think it has plateaued? Because there are some figures out this morning

which suggest that prices have fallen and that the median house price is now

below $500,000.


It could be possible that overall it has come off a bit. You have got to remember

Mike that it has come off incredible increases starting around 2000, growing

about 20 per cent per anum. So, you just cannot have a market that grows at

20 per cent per anum for a long sustained period. What happens is the higher

it goes, the bigger the bust and so it is much better to let some steam out

of the market before it over cooks.


Do you think that is what is happening or will there be a bust at the end of

this one as there traditionally is?


I think steam is coming out, I think it has been coming out for a year or two

and I think that is a good thing because if the steam had not been let out of

the market then you would have been setting yourself up for a big bust.


Yeah, but you do not think there will be one?


No I think it is behaving in a very orderly way. It is slowing, the rate of

growth slowed and then it plateaued. It is possible that it may even have come

off a little bit but no, there has been no bust.


Yeah, so that is probably a good result all around?


It is good news. Over the medium to long term it is good news. Some people

say I would have liked to have seen my house appreciate in value by another

10 or 20 per cent, all I can say to them is, if that goes on for too long you

will see your house value crash by 100 per cent. It is much better to have gentle

increases than the cycle of the boom and the bust.


Yeah, so you reckon we will be in this sort of shape for a while?


Yeah, I think this has been happening over the last 12 months, maybe 18, 20

months and I think it has got a little bit to play out. Yes.


Okay. Next one. What are you going to do if you cannot sell Telstra, if mum’s

and dad’s do not want a bar of it?


Well, we will face these issues one by one. The first thing is, do we pass

the legislation? We cannot sell any shares unless you pass the legislation.

So, let us assume, although you know nothing substantive, let us assume that

is goes through.


Do you reckon Barnaby will come in alone and rescue it?


I do not take anything for granted.


Not with Queensland Nationals, no.


Let us assume that it goes through, well then that is the authorisation. What

you then do, and we did it with Telstra before, is you have a look at the prospects

of the company, you have a look at what else is going on around the world, you

see what the demand is and you pitch an offer accordingly. Now…


But my point is last time you pitched the offer it was $7.40 and the shares

immediately sank below $5.00. A lot people had their fingers burnt and are not

happy, are they going to line up again for another go?


Well, you see the first one, the first offer of Telstra I think was at $3.40,

but T2 was up towards $8.00, I cannot remember the exact price, and actually

it did go up after that for a while, and then after the technology turned down

it came off again. But you do have to remember that all the way through people

have been taking dividends, it is not just the price and they have been franked

dividends. Now, what happens when you price these things is you try and get

a reasonable price, it has to be a reasonable price for the investor, and it

has to be reasonable price for the tax payer. Both have got an interest here,

and then you pitch it at a particular price and no-one is forced to buy Mike,

you do not have to buy if you think it is (inaudible)…


You might find that they are not going to. And there seems to be some confusion

at the weekend between you and Nick Minchin the Finance Minister, about whether

or not you park them in the Future Fund.


Yeah, well Nick was asked this question as to what would happen if we did not

sell and my point was it is our policy to sell, I am not going to speculate

on what would happen because if you just start speculating you might confuse

people. The policy is to sell.


Yeah, but if you do not? Will you put the shares in the Future Fund?


Well, I do not want to speculate on that because as you say all that can do

is lead to confusion.


Alright. Good to talk to you.


Good to be with you mate. Thank you very much.


Thank you. Peter Costello, the Federal Treasurer.