SUBJECTS: G20 Leaders' meeting in Pittsburgh; CPRS Legislation; Newspoll
Well, I'm leaving this morning to join the Prime Minister at the G20 Leaders' Meeting in Pittsburgh - a very important meeting. But on the way I'm meeting in Washington senior representatives of the US Treasury, the Federal Reserve and the IMF to also get an update on their views about what is going on domestically in the United States, but also in the global economy - and from there to the Leaders' Meeting in Pittsburgh.
I attended the emergency G20 Finance Ministers' Meeting in Washington last October which led to the process of Leaders' Meetings that have taken place through the end of last year, through March this year. And those meetings have been very important. Basically the intervention of the G20 through its decisions taken last November and again in March in London prevented a global economic catastrophe. And it was the putting in place of economic stimulus in countries around the G20 and various financial interventions in other countries when it came to their financial systems that have averted a very, very substantial economic event in the world economy.
Nevertheless there are still very big challenges ahead. We saw the OECD come out last week to indicate that there is still a very bleak outlook for employment and rising unemployment in OECD countries. That's why it's important through this meeting in Pittsburgh that global leaders maintain their support for economic stimulus and also have a very important discussion about the nature of global growth as we move forward to recovery. With those few words over to you.
Can I ask you Treasurer, if the ETS fails to get through what are your options?
We think the ETS should be passed as soon as possible. Business certainty demands it. It is very important that business which is looking to invest, which can get the incentives from both the CPRS and the RET, has that framework in place so that we can put in place the incentives to drive investment in renewable energy and drive investment across the board. So business requires certainty and that's why the CPRS should be passed as soon as possible.
But you see the Liberal Party, Mr Turnbull and others want to give us another decade of John Howard style obstructions when it comes to climate change. The truth is that when it comes to climate change they're all dinosaurs. They don't understand the future and don't understand how important it is for the future of this country economically as well as environmentally that we get this CPRS in place. So the Government will be pursuing it with vigour in the Senate. It's vital - vital for our national economy that this is passed as soon as we possibly can.
What if it isn't passed?
Well I will cross that bridge when we come to it. But the Government is very determined to get this measure passed. We have worked very hard on this over an eighteen month period. We've had a green paper, we've had a white paper, we've had legislation. We're yet to see from the Liberal Party a single amendment.
(Inaudible) 72 per cent to 67 per cent Newspoll today. Are you scared that you might lose public support if you don't get it through quickly?
Can I tell you the only numbers I am interested in are the numbers of people in employment in this country, and what we have to do to continue to support employment and to battle rising unemployment. They're the numbers I focus on. I tell you what, I don't focus on numbers in the Newspoll. What I focus on is doing the right thing by the people of Australia, supporting employment through economic stimulus, getting investment certainty in place through the CPRS. They're the sort of numbers I focus on.