Tony Abbott’s Remarks At G20 Leaders’ Retreat

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has welcomed world leaders to the G20 meeting in Brisbane.

AbbottSpeaking in the former Legislative Council chamber of the Queensland Parliament, Abbott said: “This room symbolises the limitations on our power.”

Abbott emphasised the importance of economic reform. He told the gathering his government had repealed the carbon tax, stopped the “illegal boats”, started building roads and getting the Budget under control.

Abbott said the deregulation of universities was an issue he wished to lay before his “colleague leaders”. He said his government had found it difficult “to inject more price signals into our health system” via a $7 co-payment.

  • Listen to Abbott (8m)

    Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

  • Watch Abbott (8m)

Transcript of remarks by Prime Minister Tony Abbott to the G20 Leaders’ Retreat at Parliament House, Brisbane.

Remarks at G20 Leaders’ Retreat, Brisbane

Thank you, everyone. It’s a real honour to have so many of you here in the beautiful city of Brisbane for this first ever G20 leaders’ retreat. [Read more…]


Abbott, Pragmatic Nationalist, Proposes Modest Reform Of Federation

Describing himself as a “pragmatic nationalist”, Prime Minister Tony Abbott says he believes it is worth another try to “harmonise” the revenue and spending responsibilities of the States and the Commonwealth.

ParkesAbbott spoke at the Sir Henry Parkes Commemorative Dinner in Tenterfield, NSW. On October 24 1889, Parkes, a five-time premier of NSW, delivered his famous Tenterfield Oration, a call for the colonies to federate.

Abbott said: “Now I remain a pragmatic nationalist – but the states exist, they have wide powers under the constitution and they can’t be abolished; so – rather than pursue giving the Commonwealth more authority over the states, as I proposed in my 2009 book, Battlelines – better harmonising revenue and spending responsibilities is well worth another try.”

Abbott said he used to think that “the states should become subordinate legislatures to the Commonwealth”, but he now doubted that “any such constitutional change could succeed”. He said: “…in any event, it’s a good principle to propose the smallest change that will actually tackle the problem – that’s why resolving the mismatch between what the states are supposed to deliver and what they can actually afford to pay for is worth another go.” [Read more…]


Widodo Inauguration: Abbott Stresses Jakarta Focus In Foreign Policy

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has flown to Indonesia to attend the inauguration of its new President, Joko Widodo.

In his weekly video message, Abbott repeated his earlier remarks that “our foreign policy needs a ‘Jakarta’ focus rather than a ‘Geneva’ one”.

He said one million Australians visit Indonesia each year. “It has the world’s largest Muslim population, it is the world’s third largest democracy and, along with India, it’s the emerging democratic superpower of Asia.”

  • Watch Abbott’s video message (3m)
  • Listen to Abbott (3m)

    Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Transcript of Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s weekly video message.

Today I am going to Indonesia for the Inauguration of its new President – Joko Widodo.

The transition to a new administration highlights Indonesia’s successful move to a popularly elected democracy. [Read more…]


Government Announces Industry Innovation And Competitiveness Agenda

The Federal Government today announced an Industry Innovation and Competitiveness Agenda.

Abbott

Speaking at a press conference in Canberra, the Prime Minister, Tony Abbott and the Minister for Industry, Ian Macfarlane, announced a series of measures to life apprenticeship rates and encourage employee share ownership. The plan also aims to promote science and technology skills in school, reform the 457 visas programme, and establish Industry Growth Centres.

  • Listen to the joint press conference with Tony Abbott and Ian Macfarlane (37m – transcript below)

    Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

  • Watch Abbott and Macfarlane (37m)

Downloads (PDF)

Statement from Ian Macfarlane, Minister for Industry.

Strengthening Australia’s competitiveness is the key to our future prosperity. [Read more…]


We Shirtfront The Tsar; Abbott Says He Will Confront Putin Over MH17 At G20

Prime Minister Tony Abbott says he will “shirtfront” Russian President Vladimir Putin over the shooting of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17.

Abbott

Abbott made his comments at a media conference at Caval Ridge Mine in the Queensland electorate of Capricornia, held by Michelle Landry. He defended and praised the coal mining industry.

On Putin, Abbott said: “Look, I’m going to shirtfront Mr Putin – you bet I am. I’m going to be saying to Mr Putin – Australians were murdered and they were murdered by Russian-backed rebels using Russian supplied equipment. We are very unhappy about this. We accept that you didn’t want this to happen, but we now demand that you fully cooperate with the criminal investigation, and if the criminal investigation identifies suspects that you have some influence over, they’ve got to be produced and justice has got to be done.” [Read more…]


Abbott On The Liberal Party’s 70th Anniversary

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has used his weekly video message to remember the 70th anniversary of the Liberal Party.

The Liberal Party was founded in 1944, following conferences in Canberra and Albury that were convened by Robert Menzies. Menzies was a former leader of the United Australia Party (UAP). He had been effectively deposed from the party’s leadership in 1941. The UAP collapsed in the aftermath of its landslide defeat in the 1943 election.

Menzies brought together a range of community groups and political organisations that were opposed to the ALP and the government of John Curtin. The party was defeated in the 1946 federal election but was victorious in 1949. Menzies went on to serve a record term of 16 years as prime minister, retiring undefeated in January 1966.

  • Listen to Abbott (3m)

    Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

  • Watch Abbott (3m)

Transcript of Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s video message.

This week marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Liberal Party. [Read more…]


COAG Discussions Focus On Terrorism, Federation And Taxation

The Council of Australian Governments met in Canberra and discussed a range of issues, including terrorism, reform of the Federation and the taxation system.

COAG

The Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, held a joint press conference following the meeting. He was accompanied by Premiers Baird, Napthine, Newman, Barnett, Weatherill and Hodgman, as well as the Territory Chief Ministers Gallagher and Giles. Felicity-Ann Lewis represented Local Government.

The State have agreed to introduce legislation to support federal laws covering the arrest, monitoring, investigation and prosecution of domestic extremists and returning foreign fighters.

COAG also agreed that the Federation and Tax Reform White Papers need to progress together. [Read more…]


Abbott Government Commits Defence Aircraft To Coalition Airstrikes Against ISIL In Iraq

The Abbott government will commit up to eight Australian F/A-18F Super Hornet aircraft to participate in airstrikes against ISIL in Iraq.

Abbott

Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced the decision at a joint press conference with the Defence Minister, Senator David Johnston, and the Chief of the Defence Force, Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin, following a Cabinet meeting.

“This is not a decision the Government has taken lightly,” Abbott said. “Ultimately it is Iraq that must defeat ISIL, but it cannot do it alone.” [Read more…]


Tony Abbott’s Address To The United Nations General Assembly

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has addressed the General Assembly of the United Nations in New York.

AbbottAbbott’s speech was a general statement of principles in which he talked of the United Nations as a body that works for the “common good”. He itemised Australia’s contribution to global issues since the organisation’s founding in 1947.

Abbott said: “Since 1947, Australia has provided more than 65,000 personnel to more than 50 multilateral peace and security operations. We are not a country accustomed to turning back once we’ve put our hand to the plough; we’ve had blue beret personnel in the Middle East since 1956 and in Cyprus since 1964. When leadership is needed, we step up, as we did in Bougainville, in Timor-Leste and in Solomon Islands. In Korea, Cambodia, Kuwait and Afghanistan; in Somalia and Sierra Leone and in other troubled places, Australians have lent a hand under the UN’s banner.”

Abbott appropriated the words of Labor Prime Minister Ben Chifley in describing the work of the UN: “One of our prime ministers once talked about a great objective, our ‘light on the hill‘ as he put it, to work for the betterment of mankind, not just at home but wherever we can lend a helping hand.” [Read more…]


Tony Abbott Statement On National Security: “Balance Between Freedom And Security Will Have To Shift”

The Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, says “the delicate balance between freedom and security will have to shift” for “some time to come”.

Delivering a statement on national security to the House of Representatives, Abbott said: “Regrettably, for some time to come, Australians will have to endure more security than we’re used to, and more inconvenience than we’d like.”

He said: “There may be more restrictions on some so that there can be more protections for others. After all, Madam Speaker, the most basic freedom of all is the freedom to walk the streets unharmed and to sleep safe in our beds at night.”

  • Listen to Abbott’s statement (17m – transcript below)

    Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

  • Watch Abbott (17m)

Transcript of Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s Statement on National Security to the House of Representatives.

Statement to Parliament on National Security

Madam Speaker, because protecting our people is the first duty of government, it’s right that I should update the House on developing challenges to our national security.

I acknowledge the commitment of all MPs to keeping our people safe and I especially acknowledge the support that the Leader of the Opposition has given to the Government on this subject. [Read more…]