Apr 11, 2022 | Federal News

Subjects: Our plan for a stronger future, a clear choice at this election, GST Forever Deal


JOURNALIST: Western Australia will be crucial to the nation’s balance of power with the state shaping up to be a key battleground and joining us from Perth with more is Attorney-General Michaelia Cash. Good morning to you Michaelia. We just heard from the PM. Key seats in the West could decide which party forms government here. How important is WA to your government?

MICHAELIA CASH: Every seat across Australia is always important. And as you heard from the Prime Minister, the election, we are off and running and it is a clear choice. A clear choice for Western Australians between a Prime Minister who offers a strong economy and an even stronger future or Anthony Albanese and Labor who offer a weaker economy under weak leadership. The choice is very clear for Western Australians.

JOURNALIST: Ding ding we are off and running aren’t we. Labor holds five of WA’s 15 seats, the Coalition, 10. Your party, fighting to retain its dominance here. Labor’s still the preferred party I know the PM is now the preferred PM in the latest poll. But are you confident?

CASH: Absolutely because I look at the record of delivery, the record of delivery by the WA Federal Liberal Team and the Prime Minister when it comes to Western Australia. I mean Scott Morrison working with the WA Federal Liberal Team. We have delivered the GST Forever Deal for Western Australians. You know, Scott Morrison recognised WA was not getting its fair share of GST. He brought the rest of the country with him and we now have our fair share of GST. That is thanks to Scott Morrison. Contrast that with Labor and Anthony Albanese. Anthony Albanese, remember when they were last in government, they imposed a mining tax on Western Australia’s most profitable industry. That is not a friend of Western Australia. So I say to Western Australians, look at our track record of delivery for Western Australians and the choice is clear, Scott Morrison, a strong economy and a stronger future versus Anthony Albanese, a weaker economy and weak leadership.

JOURNALIST: We will have him on the show shortly, Michaelia but you mentioned the State Liberal Party. Let’s talk about why liberal voters have switched to Labor in the state elections. How worried are you that this might happen federally? You can’t be confident.

CASH: I think voters are discerning, in particular, in Western Australia. They understand the difference between state politics and federal politics. You know, Premier McGowan, he will be the premier the day after the election. The contest is between Scott Morrison’s strong economy and a stronger future and Anthony Albanese, you know, failed leader, quite frankly, in particular when it comes to delivering for Western Australia. So I think voters clearly understand the difference between state and federal issues. As I said, Premier McGowan, he’s still the premier the day after the election. The choice is between Scott Morrison, and Anthony Albanese.

JOURNALIST: So the Liberal election, the state election in Western Australia was an absolute disaster for the Liberal Party, you’re confident that will not carry over federally?

CASH: Again, the issues were fundamentally different. You know, when it comes to the federal election, you need to look at what the federal issues are. And in particular, it’s the economy and national security. I look at our track record of delivery as a government, you know, COVID-19 at the outset of COVID-19, what did our Prime Minister say? He was going to make the decisions to protect the lives and livelihoods of Australians. Our decisions have saved around 40,000 lives. That’s 40,000 Australians who didn’t lose their life as a result of COVID-19. And then I look at the economy. You know, the economy, a strong economy is the basic foundation of everything we do as a government. We are one of the few countries in the world post COVID that still retain a AAA credit rating. And remember the test, the test that Jim Chalmers of Labor set for Scott Morrison and the Liberal Party and the test was this, the level of unemployment as we go to the election. Well, we inherited 5.7 per cent and rising when we came into office from Labor. Today, it’s four per cent and it’s going further down, September quarter predicted 3.75 per cent, the lowest unemployment in 50 years, post a pandemic as well. We now have more Australians in employment than ever before. So when it comes to delivering for the people of Western Australia and Australia, on both the health front and the economic front, the choice is clear.

JOURNALIST: Okay. On the weekend you took a swipe at Anthony Albanese, you said, quote “he is no friend of Western Australia.” How do we know Scott Morrison is?

CASH: Again, Scott Morrison, look at our record of delivery on the ground and in particular, what we have committed to in the most recent budget, shipbuilding in Western Australia, $4.3 billion to create a world class shipbuilding precinct down at Henderson. You know, the $375 million that we have committed so Western Australians, for the first time ever have access to a Comprehensive Cancer Center. Working with Premier McGowan with a cooperative relationship, the Perth city deal. Let’s make our great city, I would argue the best city in Australia, but let’s make it even better. And that’s what we’re doing working with the state government. And then of course, when it comes to investment in the mining and resources industry, which Western Australians get so well, we are investing in critical minerals. Western Australians understand the capacity that we had in WA to be a leader. So look at our track record of delivery. Mr Albanese, what does he say? I was the infrastructure Minister. Well, let’s look at his record of delivery for Western Australia when he was infrastructure Minister, three projects in WA were on the infrastructure priority list. Under Scott Morrison and the WA Federal Liberal Team, 23 projects. Again, compare the two.

JOURNALIST: Michaelia, I have to jump in. I know I understand. And I’m sorry to interrupt, but we could be here for hours. And it’s only day one but Labor has accused the PM of quote” failing to stand up for West Australians”, to Scott Morrison’s early support of Clive Palmer’s border challenge. What’s your response to that Michaelia?

CASH: The Prime Minister, he addressed this last time he was in Western Australia and as he said, at the beginning of the pandemic certain constitutional issues were raised and it was appropriate for the Commonwealth government to intervene in the case. That’s what a commonwealth government does, provides evidence in relation to constitutional issues. But as COVID-19 unfolded, as he spoke to premier McGowan, the situation clearly changed. He took on board the feedback and we withdrew from the case. That’s it, we withdrew. But again, I would say to Western Australians, look at the track record of delivery, the WA Federal Liberal Team, working with Scott Morrison delivering in the best interest of Western Australia versus Anthony Albanese. He just didn’t deliver when he was in government, and he certainly is not going to deliver if he leads this country.

JOURNALIST: Yeah, you’ve given us all the lines Michaelia. Lines we are going to hear for the next 40 days and 40 nights for what’s going to be an amazing election. A close one, I dare say. Attorney-General, thank you so much for your time this morning. Have a wonderful day. Over to you, Ali.

CASH: Great to be with you. Thank you.



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