6 April 2019
Transcript - #2019065, 2019

Doorstop Interview, Ocean Grove, Victoria

Subjects: 2019-20 Budget; Corangamite; and Bill Shorten’s Budget reply speech.

SARAH HENDERSON:

Well, good morning. It's wonderful to have the Treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, here in magnificent Ocean Grove, in the wonderful electorate of Corangamite, celebrating the very important measures that we have introduced in this year's Budget, a surplus Budget. This is a Budget back in the black. And of course as a member of Government and as the member for Corangamite, I'm incredibly proud of what this is doing for small businesses. Lower taxes, more money in the pockets of people to buy coffee, like here at Uncle Jack’s where we are visiting, Josh, and absolutely thrilled. So, thank you so much for being here. This is a real game changer. And may I just add, thank you for the $2.7 billion for rail infrastructure, $50 million has of course been announced in the Budget for the Geelong Hospital, for a new women’s and children’s facility, big money for of course for local roads and of course there is more for our City Deal. That’s a very significant investment for our region, driving tourism, driving jobs and of course helping families get home in time, is part of our fast rail commitment, so thank you and welcome.

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

Thanks Sarah. Well, what an outstanding Member of Parliament Sarah Henderson is. And what a great advocate she is for the people of Corangamite. She's from the community, she lives in the community, her dad was a mayor. Her mum was the local state member and she has delivered for the people of Corangamite. And I'm talking particularly about the $2 billion in the Budget for fast rail between Melbourne and Geelong that will bust the congestion in the cities and unlock the potential of our regions. And the work that Sarah has done, to get a wellbeing centre here in Ocean Grove, $4 million dollars, including a new Headspace centre, which is part of what we're doing to improve the lives of our young people and that's just absolutely fantastic. And whether it's the Lawn Bowls Club or the Anglesea Surf Lifesaving Club or many of the other community groups that you've supported here, you have been a champion…

SARAH HENERSON:

And the Ocean Grove Surf Life Saving Club as well, don’t forget the Ocean Grove Surf Life Saving Club...

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

Well, Sarah, it is a very, very long list. But as you said we're here to talk about the Budget measures and we've had a great street walk, talking to small businesses, about the instant asset write-off and its extension for $30,000 in the Budget. And what that means is if you're a cafe and you want to buy a new grill, or a fridge or an oven or you're working in a nursery or own a nursery you want to buy a new van or you're a plumber who wants to buy new tools. You can write that off immediately, something that you couldn't do before the Government's initiatives in this space. We are a Government of lower taxes. We look to return the people's money at every opportunity. We want the Australian people to earn more and we want them to keep more of what they earn. But not only have we delivered a surplus Budget and record spending on hospitals and schools and roads and important programs like on mental health, but we've also done all of that without increasing taxes. The same can't be said about Bill Shorten. The same can't be said about the Labor Party, because if you rent your own home you'll end up paying more under Labor. $90 a week more if you live in Brisbane, $65 a week more if you live in Victoria, $60 a week more if you live in Adelaide or Perth, and $50 dollars a week more if you live in Sydney. The value of your home will be worth less and if you're a small business person who mortgages against that home. You will have less ability to do so and that will be a real problem. And then of course the retirees tax. What the Labor Party is doing is reaching into the pockets of hard working retirees. These are people who've done nothing wrong except get on the wrong side of the Labor Party. Bill Shorten insulted more than one million retirees in his Budget reply by saying that they received a gift. A gift, well this is a bipartisan commitment that has been there as part of the tax system for decades until Bill Shorten ran out of money. So, it doesn't matter if it's your home, it doesn't matter if it’s your retirees savings, it doesn't matter if it's your business, it doesn't matter if it's your income, you will pay more under Bill Shorten. So, the contest will be very clear at the next election. Will you vote for the Coalition who believes in lower taxes and more spending on hospitals and schools, or will Bill Shorten give the keys to the lodge to the unions and increase your taxes by around $300 billion. Including in his Budget reply, he rejected more tax cuts and an average income earner earning around up to let's say around $90,000, they will be more than a $1000 a year worse off under Bill Shorten's tax plan than they would be for under us. That means if you're a tradie or a teacher you will be more than a $1000 worse off under Bill Shorten. The Labor Party can't manage money and so they're coming after yours.

SARAH HENDERSON:

Josh, can I also just say. That if we can hold the seat of Corangamite, which of course…

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

We will.

SARAH HENDERSON:

…is a very marginal, then we can stop these terrible taxes that Labor wants to impose. So, whether it's the retirees, the 9000 retiree here in Corangamite, there is an incredible amount of power of the people in Corangamite to stop this economy wrecking agenda of Bill Shorten. Whether it’s your house, whether it’s your savings, whether it’s young people trying to save as well, Bill Shorten is coming after your money. But the people of Corangamite have a great deal of power. By voting Liberal on Election Day they can stop Bill Shorten's agenda and also help us drive this record breaking investment in transport infrastructure, in roads, in rail, that the Labor Party has completely turned its back on, as of course as well as schools and hospitals. And it is absolutely shameful that the likes of Richard Marles and Labor here in Corangamite and now campaigning against fast rail, better rail between Geelong and Melbourne. That is the sort of Labor Party that we have here in Corangamite. And that's why I say to all people here, in the wonderful state of Corangamite, please vote Liberal on Election Day. And let's grow this economy, grow this nation and stop this dreadful agenda from Bill Shorten.

QUESTION:

Treasurer, obviously here campaigning at the moment. Do you think voters should be put out of their misery and have an election called?

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

Well, the election will be soon upon us. And what is very clear from Bill Shorten's Budget Reply Speech, is there is nothing in his plans for small business. There is nothing except higher taxes on dividends for retirees. There is no serious tax reform agenda. And the Labor Party only believes in higher taxes, higher taxes on your superannuation, higher taxes on your income, higher taxes on your business, higher taxes on your property, higher taxes if you're a retiree and higher taxes on your electricity bill. This is something that will hurt every household and every business. The Labor Party in their DNA has higher taxes. It’s in the Labor Party's DNA. That's their record. That's what they're promising the Australian people.

QUESTION:

But what's stopping the Prime Minister from going to Yarralumla this weekend?

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

Well, as you know the timing of the election is the Prime Minister's decision and decision alone and it will be made in due course. An election will soon be upon us. But the contest will be very clear.

QUESTION:

Corangamite is obviously getting a lot of attention from the Government. How worried are you about this seat, given it’s…

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

Well, I'm very confident that Sarah Henderson will be returned as a Member for Corangamite, because of her track record here in the seat. No one has worked harder for their Local community than Sarah has for the people of Corangamite. And the work and the resources that she has delivered to this electorate, whether it's infrastructure, whether it’s support for small business, whether it's in the health care services, whether it's the sporting grants and the local community organizations, she has backed they know, the people of Corangamite know that in Canberra they have a strong voice with Sarah Henderson.

QUESTION:

Got to be a bit worried given its super, super marginal at the moment?

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

Well, obviously every seat is going to be a fight at the next election. We're not complacent in any sense. And we don't take any seat for granted. We work hard to earn the trust of the local communities that our people represent.

SARAH HENDERSON:

And can I just add this is obviously a very, very tough fight. This is the most marginal Coalition held seat in the country. Every single vote will count. But apart from what we have delivered, which is many millions of dollars in investment for the likes of surf clubs, for the likes of the City Deal, for major roads, major rail infrastructure, I've also been a very strong local voice for my electorate. So, whether it's standing up for the people of Inverleigh when the council wants to impose a streetscape plan, which is not supported by the community, whether it's the victims of the terrible bushfire that hit Wye River and Separation Creek, back in 2015, whether it's the Winchelsea tearooms that the local council, including my Labor opponent, wants to close down and really vital community asset, whether it's supporting the people of the Bellarina, or the surf coast, wanting swimming pool infrastructure. I pride myself on being a huge fighter for my community. I will go in and fight for our communities big and small across this vast regional electorate and that's incredibly important. We haven't seen that fight from the Labor Party. And when the City Deal was announced last year by state Labor, the Corangamite electorate was excluded and I went in and we delivered a many tens of millions of dollars for vital investments in places like Lorne, and Apollo Bay and Skene Street, in Kennent River and of course right throughout the Geelong community. So, you've got to be a fighter in politics and I am a fighter and that is one more reason why I am asking for the support for the people of Corangamite on Election Day.

QUESTION:

Treasurer, do you think that delaying an election risks, you risk angering the voters say in super marginal seats like this one?

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

Well, everybody knows the election will soon be upon us. But again that decision is one for the Prime Minister.

QUESTION:

The Prime Minister flagged yesterday that the Government could do more to help cancer patients. Will the Government match Labor’s $433 million commitment to fund free specialist appointments for cancer patients?

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

Well, let’s put some facts on the table. In the Budget, we have extended the PBS to more drugs involving treatment for cancer. In fact over the last year we've added $1.4 billion worth of drugs that treat cancer patients and that's really important and that's a product and a dividend of a strong economy. And we shouldn't forget that the Labor Party did not list certain drugs because their economic circumstances did not allow it. We have got the economy into a stronger position from the one we inherited and that's why we've been able to lift some 2000 drugs on the PBS including to help cancer patients. We've also put in this Budget money for a new, and the first, children's cancer hospital in Sydney that is very, very significant. And there is also money for six million new free cancer scans under Medicare. These are the sort of projects and programs and initiatives that we have funded for cancer sufferers in the Budget. We will continue to do everything we can to alleviate some of the challenges faced by cancer sufferers.

SARAH HENDERSON:

I know that one of the great local achievements that we have delivered is a new MRI medical license for Epworth Hospital, along with money for a new paediatric emergency department, as well as $50 million for a new children’s and women’s facility. But that of course can't discount the $235 million that our Government is contributing to Barwon Health in the Geelong Hospital, by way of recurrent funding. And that's gone up by 104 per cent in six years compared to an increase from the State Government of only 50 per cent. So, we are now providing to this community by way of recurrent health funding $235 million dollars a year in activity based funding, which is actually more than the State Government. So, we're going to hear plenty of Labor lies in the next six weeks or so. Lies about cuts to health and education and we've seen those lies from Richard Marles…

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

Mediscare.

SARAH HENDERSON:

… on our rail, the Mediscare. Please disregard those lies, it's in Labor’s DNA, a part from driving up taxes, driving up spending, what Labor does best is tells lies, we are not going to cop it. So, the facts are in this region, our Government is providing more to Barwon Health, by way of recurrent health funding than the State Government. They are the facts and we are very proud of what we are doing to invest in the health of all Australians including here in Corangamite.

QUESTION:

Labor today announced, $55 million for more specialist cancer nurses [inaudible].

JOSH FRYDENBERG:

Well, like I said we're increasing our support for those who are suffering cancer with free scans under Medicare with a new cancer hospital for children. We have a record number of drugs that we listed on the PBS. A cost of some $10.5 billion of drugs that weren’t listed by the Labor Party when they were last in Government because they didn't have the financial circumstances to do so. And of course record spending on hospitals that we have undertaken.

Thank you.