22 September 2014
Transcript - #2014032, 2014

Doorstop interview, Parliament House

CIOBO:

Over the weekend we saw a great G20 event and meeting of Finance Ministers and Central Bankers in Cairns, this, in the year of our G20 Presidency, saw an opportunity for Finance Ministers to come together. We see a continuation of the theme that was laid out by the Treasurer in Sydney in February, and that is a commitment, an ambition, to raise global growth by two percent. It was an ambitious target to put in place, but we've seen now more than seven hundred new initiatives that have been lodged by countries around the world to boost growth and the consequence is that we are already seeing modelling indicating that that should add to global growth by about one point eight percent.

We're ninety percent of the way there with obviously more work to be done, but importantly this will add potentially trillions of dollars to the global economy and generate millions of jobs. It's entirely consistent with the government’s economic action strategy to roll out a plan across Australia, to start to repair the debt and deficit legacy that the Australian Labor Party left behind, where we were borrowing a billion dollars a month.

We want to make sure we boost Australia's national income as well through investment in productive infrastructure, $125 billion over the next eight or so years. The government remains committed to boosting job prospects for all Australians and to making sure that we have got a better tomorrow than we have today.

I can take questions.

REPORTER:

Does that target still need to be ratified at the leaders’ summit in November?

CIOBO:

The target, well, the ambition for an additional two percent growth will feed into the leaders’ summit that will take place in November. A lot of the ground work has been done over the past six or seven months and of course the weekend was another important step towards making sure that we have a very firm set of commitments from countries around the world. You see it effectively, a roll out of Australia's policy focus domestically in relation to productive infrastructure now being replicated across a number of countries with the global infrastructure initiative also on the table now off the back of the Cairns’ weekend meeting.

REPORTER:

When it comes to this, trying to get cooperation on tax, getting multinationals to pay their so called fair share, we've already had Rupert Murdoch effectively say good luck, he doesn't want to do it, is that a taste of things to come?

CIOBO:

Well we know that the global economy is changing. With the digitization of the global economy there is of course more opportunities for companies to minimize their tax. What the countries that were represented at the G20 are hoping to achieve is through a commitment to common reporting, through a commitment to taxing, cracking down on tax cheats, we really want to make sure that everybody, including, of course, multinationals pay their fair share of tax. If they don't pay their fair share of tax they are effectively stealing off other tax payers.

REPORTER:

Just on the terror laws, we note George Brandis yesterday, the Attorney General, say that he expects to get Labor support on this. They still haven't seen the detail though. If this is truly going to be bipartisan or is it a better idea to say he might hope or enter conversation first before sort of trying to push Labor into position?

CIOBO:

Well, in relation to Australia's national security laws, of course it would be ideal to have bipartisan support. The fact is that we want to make sure that the number one function of government which is to provide a safe and secure community, should always be the primary focus and the way in which we are endeavouring to do that is by putting in laws that are going to be complimentary to making sure that all Australian's can enjoy the freedoms and liberties that we have, but by the same token deliver a safe and secure nation.

I would of course expect that the Australian Labor Party would see the common sense of that, I'd expect that the cross bench senators would see the common sense in that and as a consequence the government will put in place laws that protect and safeguard Australian's, but also respect that Australia is a free country.

REPORTER:

Why did Australia back down on a plan to un-invite Vladimir Putin to the G20?

CIOBO:

I disagree with the assertion in your question. The fact is the G20 of course has got participants from all around the world. It represents eighty five percent of the global economy and sixty five percent of the world’s population. It was never up to any one particular country to determine who will or who won't participate in the G20.

REPORTER:

Joe Hockey was speaking a lot about jobs over the weekend, in your view, is a necessary way to boost jobs industrial relations reform and how soon would you like to see the Productivity Commission look into that?

CIOBO:

The government made a clear set of commitments in relation to industrial relations policy at the last election. We indicated that we were going to adopt a sensible, middle of the road approach to industrial relations. Nothing’s changed, we're not implementing anything more or anything less than we took to the last election and that remains the case.

REPORTER:

Are you worried about safety levels here given the increased security and the threats that we heard of last week?

CIOBO:

Look, the risk profile of Australia faces, of course, has been elevated in the recent week or so, moving from the level it was at to a high level. Likewise we expect to see around a number of different buildings, including of course Parliament House, an increase in the level of security in the building, but from my perspective I remain very relaxed that we maintain excellent security standards. I think all Australians can go about their lives safe in the knowledge that we have very good intelligence services, very good police services. We've got to be vigilant but I don't think anybody should be concerned.

REPORTER:

Should this extra security been brought on a few years ago? We’ve had growing concerns that may have become a bit too relaxed given some of the changes we saw a couple of months ago?

CIOBO:

Look, these are decisions that are effectively operations matters. I think they are decisions that are best taken by the experts in these areas and not necessarily by politicians.

Alright, thanks all.