12 January 2019
Transcript - #2019005, 2019

Doorstop interview, Lorne, Victoria

Subjects: Labor’s superannuation taxes, Ms Rahaf Mohammed Al-Qunun, Federal Election and the
Pier to Pub swim.

JOURNALIST:

On the issue of Rahaf Al-Qunun, the Greens say Canada showed up Australia, do you think that’s fair?

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

Absolutely not. We have a very generous humanitarian program, one of the most generous in the world and we’ve increased the places for women at risk in particular to find safety in Australia.

We welcome the fact that Ms Al-Qunun is going to be taken into the Canadian humanitarian program, because our first priority has been the safety of Ms Al-Qunun, so this a welcome development.

JOURNALIST:

They say it was a no-brainer and she should have been on a plane to here yesterday, so why wasn’t she?

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

We were in discussions with the United Nations and we made it very clear that we had a positive disposition in this case.

JOURNALIST:

Do you think this is an embarrassment for Australia?

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

As I said, Australia has a very generous humanitarian program and we continue to welcome people from all four corners of the earth.

What we will not do is weaken our borders and repeat the mistakes that we saw under the Labor Party where there were 50,000 unauthorised boat arrivals and now the Labor Party and the Greens seem to want to go back to that approach.

That approach tragically led to the deaths of many people, it led to new detention centres being opened up around the country and it led unfortunately to children being held in detention. Since we came to government we’ve removed all children from detention.

We’ve ensured that detention centres could be closed not opened and we’ve saved billions for the budget so they could be spent on other services. That is the product of a strong border protection policy that the Coalition has put in place, and unfortunately the Labor Party and the Greens are siding together to loosen and weaken our borders as they did when they were last in government.

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

You’d have to direct that question to the Minister for Immigration.

JOURNALIST:

Just on another topic, now that we are heading towards a Federal Election, getting closer, whenever that may be. Are you worried about your Victorian colleagues considering what happened in the State Election here?

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

Federal and State Elections are historically very different. In Victoria, the Liberals lost five of the last six State Elections and in the same period we won four of the last six Federal Elections.

That being said, there is no complacency and all my colleagues are working hard to deliver for their electorates and for the state. We have a major infrastructure roll out that is going on now here in Victoria, record funding for schools and for hospitals. They’re the issues that matter for the people in Victoria and they’re the issues that we’re delivering on.

JOURNALIST:

But are there lessons from the Victorian State Election that you’re then taking to the Federal Election?

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

Well, of course one of the key lessons is to keep reminding the people of what you’ve delivered. We have delivered a very strong economy, a strong economy that Daniel Andrews is riding on the back of with unemployment of 4.5 per cent in Victoria.

But a strong economy where the Coalition, the Liberal and National Governments- parties, as a Government, have created more than 1.2 million new jobs, a strong economy where we have our AAA credit rating from the leading agencies, a strong economy which has seen the budget coming back into surplus for the first time in more than a decade and a strong economy where we have opened up new opportunities for our exports that are creating one in five jobs across the country.

I’m just going to say something on superannuation. Treasury analysis revealed today, shows that there will be significant new taxes on people’s superannuation if the Labor Party gets into Government, $19 billion of new taxes.

Particularly, this is going to hit working mothers who take time out of the workforce to raise a family, who want to put extra money into super. Those catch up contributions will not be allowed under the Labor Party as they have been allowed, and legislated, under the Coalition.

That’s going to make it more difficult for small business people, for tradies, for people who are entrepreneurs starting up their own businesses, to put some money into super at a concessional rate.

The Labor Party are all about taxes. The Labor Party have $200 billion of new taxes. New taxes on your income, new taxes on your business, new taxes on housing, new taxes on your savings, new taxes on your electricity bill. Doesn’t matter what the question is for the Labor Party, the answer is always the same; higher taxes.

This is going to be a real fault line, and a real battle line at the next election, between the Coalition which has delivered 1.2 million new jobs and a strong economy, delivering the essential health, education services that the public need; and a Labor Party, which is promising to tax you in a way that’s been unprecedented in Australia’s history.

JOURNALIST:

Josh, how did you find the swim today?

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

Look, it was a good swim. I was just happy to finish it. It was not about where I finished or what the time was, it was just about competing in this great Victorian sporting event.

JOURNALIST:

You always enjoy coming to Lorne and swimming in the Lorne Pier to Pub?

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

Yeah, this is the sixth time that my wife and I have swum it together, together with more than 5,000 Victorians. It’s just a real thrill.

We love Lorne, it’s a great place in Victoria, and it’s a great place in Australia and we love seeing all the volunteers, seeing the local community come out on a beautiful sunny Victorian day.

JOURNALIST:

There are people of all shapes and sizes out there, we had a lady who was pregnant, people with all sorts of body shapes and sizes, women, and we had a man had an amputation of his leg. How wonderful is that?

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

What great courage. They’re all about participating, and that’s to be encouraged. I’m really in awe of some of the people’s commitment, and I think it’s just fantastic for Lorne that it plays host to such a wonderful event.

The conditions are pretty good out there today, but certainly the beer, the frothy at the pub has been earned now.

JOURNALIST:

Will you be back next year?

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

Sure. Back hopefully with a bit more training and a faster time.