6 January 2019
Transcript - #2019002, 2019

Doorstop interview, Lorne, Victoria

Subjects: Anti-immigration protests in Melbourne; and teacher standards.

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

The Government would like to thank the Victorian Police for their professionalism in dealing with the ugly protests we saw in Melbourne yesterday. Australia has had great success in attracting immigrants from the four corners of the earth.

And immigration and it's diversity that it's brought to the Australian community has made us a stronger nation and a better nation.

But extremism has no place in Australia. Intolerance has no place in Australia and the anti-migrant views we saw yesterday has no place in Australia.

What was particularly repugnant and abhorrent was the use of the Nazi salute. Australians died fighting fascism and Nazism and those views should be confined to the dustbin of history. They have no place in Australia today.

JOURNALIST:

Minister, what do you make of Senator Fraser Anning's appearance there?

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

Fraser Anning's appearance was unacceptable and he should not have participated in such a divisive act.

JOURNALIST:

[Inaudible]… need his support in the Senate?

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

Fraser Anning is an elected member of the Australian Parliament and no doubt, the Australian voters will make their judgement at the next opportunity. But when the Coalition puts forward legislation to the Parliament, it does so in the belief that it delivers a stronger Australia, a better Australia.

JOURNALIST:

Sorry Treasurer, it's Jonathan Lee here from Channel Ten, is it right that Fraser Anning charged taxpayers for his flights down and back?

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

Well, as you know we have an independent parliamentary entitlements authority and that will be a matter for them.

JOURNALIST:

Treasurer, Dan Conifer from the ABC, do you fear that [inaudible] at the last election, nobody knows who he is and he's going to do more stuff like this to try and get headlines and attention. Do you worry about that, going forward, over the next few months?

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

Well, these are matters for Fraser Anning's conscience. He should not have participated in such a divisive protest, but those extremist views, those views of intolerance, and those anti-migrant views have no place in Australia today and the use of the Nazi salute was particularly repugnant and abhorrent.

It was an insult to all Australians. Australians died fighting Nazism and fascism and those views should be confined to the dustbin of history.

JOURNALIST:

He claims that the use of travel expenses was because he was on official parliamentary duties. Would you call that official parliamentary duties?

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

Well, any of those related issues are matters for the independent authority that deals with parliamentary entitlements.

JOURNALIST:

Can I just ask you quickly about university admissions for teachers. Is it right that we should strengthen our standards for teachers? Should we expect more and have we lowered the bar too far?

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

Well, it's a bit rich of the Labor Party to be putting this forward after it was the Labor Party and their mates in the union movement who have fought the Coalition every step of the way as we have sought to lift the standard for teachers and we have put in place processes so that teachers now are in the top 30 per cent of the adult population when it comes to literacy and numeracy.

We have more rigorous assessment for the accreditation of teachers, including demonstrated participation in the classrooms and of these skills in a practical sense. And it's been the Labor Party and unions who have fought the Coalition every step of the way as we have put a focus on excellence and higher teaching standards.

JOURNALIST:

Just so we are clear Treasurer, you're not saying you oppose the measures as such, you just think it's a bit rich coming from Labor?

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

Well, it's the Coalition who have actually put in place the requirements that teachers are in the top 30 per cent when it comes to literacy and numeracy, of the adult population.

JOURNALIST:

Thanks for your time.

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

Thanks.