Terrorism, campaign, environment – Doorstop interview, Malvern, Victoria

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Terrorism, campaign, environment – Doorstop interview, Malvern, Victoria




Doorstop Interview

Higgins Electorate Campaign Launch

1244 Malvern Road, Malvern

Saturday, 4 September 2004

10.30 am


SUBJECTS: Terrorism, campaign, environment


Mr Costello, you have been with a lot of children here at the opening of

your campaign today, do you have some comments on the events overnight in



Well I think every parent will feel their heart go out to the parents who

have lost children. I think every Australian’s heart will go out to those

children themselves who have been horribly killed in this siege. It is a

reminder to all of us that terrorism is a problem throughout the world,

no country is immune from terrorism, not even Russia. The terrorist mind

is sick, the terrorist mind targets innocent children and believes that

they can accomplish their political goals through killing. And I think today

we should just all send our thoughts and our support to those that have

suffered loss and renew our own determination not to give into terrorism.

Terrorists have got to know that these sorts of things will not bring political

results, they have got to know that violence is not a way for achieving

political ends.


Do you think there is a connection between the Chechen movement and Al



Well, it does look as if there are people who have fought in Chechnya who

also have been trained in Afghanistan and have fought in Afghanistan. It

is quite obvious that there were people that were either trained in Afghanistan

and sent to Chechnya, or recruited through Chechnya and sent to Afghanistan

for training, it is quite obvious. When the allies were engaged in Afghanistan

they found people who had been part of the Chechen terrorist groups, so

there does appear to be some connections, yes.


Are there any implications for Australia in this do you believe Mr Costello?


Well, the only thing that I would say is this; that you know, there are

some people that say if you don’t antagonise terrorists, they will leave

you alone. Russia was not a part of the ‘Coalition of the Willing’ in Iraq,

but Russia is suffering from terrorism. The French were not part of the

‘Coalition of the Willing’ in Iraq, but there are French journalists that

have been picked up by terrorists in Iraq. The thing about terrorists is

that terrorists are not logical nice people, they are not the kind of people

that say if you do ‘a’, we will do ‘b’. Terrorists are killers, terrorists

believe in accomplishing political goals through killing and the only thing

you can do to terrorism is to stand up against it, to make it clear that

it will not be successful because the moment the terrorist mind believes

that they can be successful with these tactics, is the moment that they

will re-double their efforts.


First week of the campaign, how is it going?


Look, I think it has been a wonderful campaign start in the sense that

we are out, we are talking to people, it is great to get out of Canberra,

it is great to talk to people in marginal seats to hear what they are concerned

about. I love the campaign trail, I love being here in my own electorate,

opening my own campaign, it is going to be a long run, it is a six week

campaign and we are one week down so we have got five weeks to go, but I

can promise you this, we will be arguing our case and out policy and our

experience and our track record every day until polling day and we will

be seeking to win the trust of the Australian people.


The environment is shaping up to be a bit if a hot issue this week, Mr

Latham is in Tasmania today and the Prime Minister has spoken about it yesterday,

do you support an end to old growth logging in Tasmania’s forests?


Well, our Government has good credentials on the environment, we put together

the Natural Heritage Trust, Australia’s largest ever trust to re-build the

environment, we have also announced a national action plan against salinity

which is Australia’s greatest environmental disaster. And I think that our

credentials and our record on the environment are very strong.


Some would say that Tasmania’s, that the logging of Tasmania’s old growth

forests is probably even an even greater disaster waiting to happen, one

that can be avoided, would you like to see it stopped?


Look, we have had a policy in relation to Tasmania and its forests which

protects high conservation, high value old growth forests. It also balances

the rights of others in relation to the forests and I think over the years

it has been pretty successful in doing that…


Do you support the RFA?


…but let me just say this, we believe that the greatest environmental

issue in Australia is water and salinity and land. That is Australia’s greatest

environmental challenge and that is what we are determined to act on and

that is why we have massive programs, financial programs to reinstate water

flows and land. OK, thanks.