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SUBJECT/S: Hockey foot in mouth, vacant Assistant Treasurer
ministry, Tony Abbotts unfair Bu!et, C"ive #a"mer, Austra"ia$
China re"ationshi%, Bu!et savin!s, asy"um seekers, ta&in! bank
CHRIS BOWEN, SHADOW TREASURER: Well thanks for coming
The Treasurer emerged from hiding this morning only to put his foot right
back in his mouth.
The Treasurer in Geelong this morning claimed that his words, his insulting
words about petrol tax had been twisted. Apparently his words are
someone elses fault yet again.
The Treasurer has proven yet again, if any more proof was needed that he
ust doesnt get the impact of his own policies on Australian families. And
he ust doesnt understand how fundamentally unfair his own budget is.
Treasurer, your words have not been twisted. !our policies are twisted.
The Treasurer continues to be in denial about the impact of his budget.
"ast week he made insulting and inaccurate comments about the impact
of his petrol tax changes. #e went into denial for days, was slapped down
by the $rime %inister and then issued a humble apology. &ow today hes
denying that he even said those words and that they were twisted and
'ts not the fault of the media for reporting what the Treasurer said on
camera and on radio. 'ts the fault of the Treasurer for misunderstanding
the impact of his own policies and his own words. &o amount of spin and
denial from (oe #ockey can hide or change the fact that his unfair budget
remains on the table and remains the policy of the Government of
(oe #ockeys budget has been a fundamental failure of substance, of
fairness and of salesmanship. 'ts time for the $rime %inister to take
control of the )udget, to take over the process of dealing with this budget
and its time for the $rime %inister to go back to the drawing board and
start again on this budget.
*an ' also say its time for the $rime %inister to appoint an Assistant
Treasurer. Australia hasnt had an Assistant Treasurer for months. The
saga of the '*A* hearings rolls on and we still dont have an Assistant
Treasurer. The $rime %inister needs to appoint a new Assistant Treasurer
to help the Treasurer because we all know he needs it.
#appy to take some +uestions.
JOURNALIST: %r )owen, how damaging are the $almer ,nited $artys
comments about *hina on -.A last night/
BOWEN: Well %r $almer has received some criticism for those comments
and rightly so. The *hinese0Australian relationship is a vitally important
one and ' think all Australians understand it. 'ts vitally important
economically and strategically. And its important that while we all engage
in proper free speech and debate that we treat *hinese companies and
individuals and government with respect. All of us in public o1ce as well
as those in the business community have to have a view towards a strong
and robust relationship with *hina. ' think %r $almers comments were
helpful in that regard. While its matter for him, they arent comments that
could be in any way endorsed or agreed with.
JOURNALIST: 2enator (ac+ui "ambie came out today defending his
comments. Would you call on them to apologise/
BOWEN: Well 've said what 've said about those comments. ' think they
are unfortunate. They are a matter for him and theres an intersection
here between his business dealings and his role as a member of
parliament, but they arent comments that can be endorsed, supported or
regarded in any way, ' think, as appropriate.
JOURNALIST: Are you going to suggest any )udget savings as the
Treasurer has asked/
BOWEN: Well the Treasurer seems to want us to write his )udget for him,
or re0write the )udget for him. )ut thats not how the $arliament works. A
$arliament votes and the parties within the $arliament vote on the )udget
placed before it at a particular time. The Treasurer has placed the )udget
before the $arliament and we are voting on measures in that )udget. And
theres a whole lot of them that we dont like one little bit and we will
oppose. &ow the "abor $arty will be providing detailed policies including
savings options in due course, but parliaments 3 ust as they did when %r
Abbott and %r #ockey were in 4pposition did 3 vote on particular
measures as presented to the $arliament as we speak, and thats what we
are doing.
JOURNALIST: Are you pleased that children are being released from
BOWEN: Well of course, this was the policy of the previous "abor
Government. There was no reason for this Government not to ust
continue with that. 't5s been on hold 0 '5ve seen those comments from
2cott %orrison this morning saying there was some need for months of
planning and work. This was happening under the previous "abor
Government. This is something of a *layton5s announcement from %r
%orrison. #e commented on it at the time when the previous Government
had done it. #e couldn5t make up his mind whether he was against it. #e
made some criticisms of the policy of releasing children and at other times
claimed credit for it and said it was (ohn #oward5s policy. #e didn5t know
what his position was in 4pposition but in Government he could have
simply kept it going. 'nstead he5s kept children in detention for months
and now he5s claiming some sort of credit for a program which is ust a
continuation of what the "abor Government did.
JOURNALIST: Would you consider a tax on bank pro6ts/
BOWEN: &o, banks pay corporate tax and thats what appropriate for
banks to pay.
4kay/ Thanks very much.

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