Peter Costello

Media Transcripts

Environment, Victorian election

TRANSCRIPT
of
THE HON PETER COSTELLO MP
Treasurer

Doorstop Interview
Tuesday, 5 November 2002
9.40 am
Brisbane

SUBJECTS: Environment, Victorian election

JOURNALIST:

[inaudible]

TREASURER:

Well look, the Government has already put in place, as you know, the Natural Heritage Trust and the National Action Plan on Salinity. And they are both very major environmental programmes. The first, of course, funded from part privatisation of Telstra. And they are programmes which are making a major contribution to the environment, and they are programmes, I believe, which have the capacity to deal with salinity.

JOURNALIST:

Will any further funding be tied to the sale of the rest of Telstra?

TREASURER:

We have always said in relation to Telstra that the proceeds of Telstra should be used to repay Labor debt, and that gives Australians savings year after year. Not just for now, but for the years to come, to free them from Labor debt. Now, out of the proceeds of the first part of Telstra, we set up the National Heritage Trust, I think with a billion dollars, but everything else went to the repayment of debt, and the proceeds from any further sale should be directed also at repaying Labor debt.

JOURNALIST:

Is it a realistic aim to have a drought-free Australia, though?

TREASURER:

Well look, I think it is important for the sake of Australia's farmers that we do what we can to assist in times of terrible drought. We have introduced a number of programmes and we always stand ready to review their effect.

JOURNALIST:

How do you rate Rob Doyle's chances in Victoria?

TREASURER:

Steve Bracks goes into the Victorian election as the favourite. There is no doubt about that. He is in front in the polls, he is an incumbent government and he is pretty confident that he will win. That is why he has called an early election. But do not under-estimate Robert Doyle. He is a fighter, he is somebody who has a very clear view of where he wants to take Victoria, and he will be contesting this election day in, day out, bringing home to Victorians the importance of good economic management, and he is somebody who is very committed to Victoria and its future.

JOURNALIST:

Will you be campaigning?

TREASURER:

Absolutely.

ENDS

5 Nov 2002

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