4 December 2018
Subjects: Party Room Changes, Election
JOURNALIST: Mr Ciobo, we’ve rolled two Prime Ministers in three years. Are these rules just because you’re worried that it could happen again?
STEVEN CIOBO: Not at all. These are rules that demonstrate we’re listening to the Australian people. This is reform that builds off reform that we saw in Labor after what took place in the Australian Labor Party and, now, in the Liberal Party. They’re important reforms. They’re significant reforms, but they demonstrate that we’re listening.
JOURNALIST: Why the urgency? Why now?
STEVEN CIOBO: Well, I think what this demonstrates is the government’s heard what the Australian people have said. We’ve taken decisive action. We’ve made the change. Now, the focus for this week is upon what we can do to continue on the pathway to restoring our nation’s finances, to creating 1.2 million jobs, to getting taxes down, and to investing in industries like the defence industry and small businesses across Australia. That’s what the focus is.
JOURNALIST: I thought this was a Canberra bubble issue that no one outside of Canberra was talking about leadership?
STEVEN CIOBO: That’s why I just said what I said to you.
JOURNALIST: Is this an acknowledgement that the coup was a mistake?
STEVEN CIOBO: Well, what this is an acknowledgement is that we’re listening to Australians. We’ve heard what they’ve said. They don’t like what Labor’s done. They don’t like what we’ve done, and we’ve reacted and made changes. But, our focus, make no mistake this week, is upon making sure we continue down the pathway to surplus, making the tough decisions that need to be made to restore our nation’s finances, because unless we have a strong economy, we can’t invest in essential services like health, education, small business involvement in the defence supply chain, all those types of issues.
JOURNALIST: Do you agree with Malcolm Turnbull that you’re basically emulating Labor Party rules?
STEVEN CIOBO: Well, these are changes that the Liberal Party’s put in place because we’ve listened to what Australians had to say. But, our focus, make no mistake, is upon securing employment for young Aussies, getting the budget back into surplus, restoring the nation’s finances, and reducing taxes. This will be the last question.
JOURNALIST: Is Scott Morrison losing the election? Do you think this is going to be enough to make Australian voters forgive the government for the coup?
STEVEN CIOBO: Look ultimately, I think Australians in the next election will have a choice, and it won’t be about looking in the rear vision mirror. It will be about looking forward. It will be a choice between the Australian Labor Party who has an assault on ambition, who are going to impose $200 billion of more taxes, or the Coalition, who has got a strong track record of paying down debt, restoring the nation’s finances, creating employment, and reducing taxes. All right. Thanks, guys.
JOURNALIST: Thank you.