Rebuilding Australia: Warren Truss Addresses Nationals Federal Council

The Leader of The Nationals, Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss, has addressed the party’s Federal Council meeting in Canberra today.

Abbott-Truss

Truss said The Nationals had made the “strongest contribution to the election of a Coalition Government in some three decades”, with a party room that now numbered 21.

He told the Council: “We did not create the economic mess that besets our country, but we were elected to fix it. And, under Tony Abbott’s leadership, the Coalition has set about the task with determination and commitment.”

Truss said the government had “effectively stopped the boats” and ended the “ridiculous carbon tax”. He outlined a series of roads and other funding measures the government has undertaken in rural and regional areas.

Truss was introduced by Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who said the government was “getting the fundamentals right”. Abbott said Truss was at “the heart of this government”. He described the Rudd-Gillard government as years “for the locusts to eat”.

  • Listen to Abbott’s speech (10m)

    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.

  • Listen to Truss’s speech (31m – 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.

  • Listen to Truss’s media conference (14m)

    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 Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss’s Address to The Nationals Federal Council meeting in Canberra.

To my friend and the Prime Minister of Australia Tony Abbott welcome.

Doug Anthony, Peter Nixon, Nationals President Christine Ferguson, Ministers, parliamentary colleagues, ladies and gentlemen,

Well, it is now almost exactly 15 months since our last Federal Conference – and what an extraordinary year – and a quarter – it has been. [Read more...]


Truss: Search Fails To Find Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370

The Deputy Prime Minister, Warren Truss, has announced that the Australian co-ordinated search for Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 in the southern Indian Ocean has failed to find the plane.

Truss

Speaking in the House of Representatives, Truss said the next phase of the search would begin in August and focus on an area that could be as big as 800 kilometres in length by 70 kilometres wide. The search would take approximately 12 months.

Truss said: “We remain as a nation committed to the search… We’re still very confident that the resting place of the aircraft is in the southern ocean and along the 7th ping line.”

Truss said there will be an extensive review of the search data, which will also be peer reviewed.

The ALP’s Tony Burke offered condolences to the families of those missing.

The plane has been missing since March 8.

  • Listen to Truss (7m)

    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.

Hansard transcript of statement by Deputy PM Warren Truss to the House of Representatives.

Mr TRUSS (Wide Bay—Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development) (16:44): by leave—Honourable members will be aware that Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 with 239 people on board disappeared on 8 March on a flight en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. Australia has led the biggest search operation in history because it is believed that this aircraft has come to grief in Australia’s search and rescue zone, but as yet there has been no evidence of the missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 arising from that search. [Read more...]


Infrastructure For The 21st Century: Warren Truss Addresses The National Press Club

The Deputy Prime Minister, Warren Truss, has addressed the National Press Club on infrastructure.

Truss

Truss, the leader of The Nationals, is also the Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development.

In his speech, Truss reiterated the government’s pre-Budget themes about an ageing population, the level of debt and the need to rein in spending.

However, he also outlined a range of infrastructure projects. Truss said: “…Balancing a Budget is not just about cutting expenditure. It is just as importantly about building the capacity of our economy to grow and expand.”

  • Listen to Truss’s speech (25m)

    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.

  • Listen to Truss respond to questions (32m)

    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 the National Press Club Address by Warren Truss, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure.

Infrastructure and Regional Development for the 21st Century

Thank you, Laurie. [Wilson, President of the National Press Club]

And thank you to the National Press Club for hosting me today.

When I last spoke here we were in the final days of the federal election campaign. I said at the time that federal elections are a contest of ideas. [Read more...]


Abbott Government To Build Second Sydney Airport At Badgerys Creek

The federal government has announced that a second Sydney airport will be built at Badgerys Creek.

Abbott

Planning for the new airport is to start immediately, with construction beginning in 2016. The government says most of the cost will be met by a private sector operator.

The Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, and the Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development, Warren Truss, made the announcement at a press conference in Canberra this afternoon.

They said the initial construction phase is expected to generate around 4,000 jobs. The airport development should provide 35,000 jobs by 2035, increasing to 60,000 jobs over time. An increase of almost $24 billion in Australian gross domestic product (GDP) is predicted by 2060.

Abbott presented the decision as an infrastructure package for western Sydney and stressed that his focus was on “roads first, airport second”.

Abbott said the government was not proposing a curfew similar to the one that applies at Kingsford-Smith. This is likely to be a contentious issue for Liberal and Labor MPs in the new airport’s vicinity.

The decision to build at Badgerys Creek brings to an end a debate which began in the 1960s. The Hawke government acquired the land at Badgerys Creek in the 1980s.

  • Listen to Abbott and Truss (22m – 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.

  • Listen to the ALP’s Anthony Albanese comment (19m)

    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.

  • Listen to NSW ALP Opposition Leader John Robertson comment (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.

Media release from Tony Abbott, Prime Minister, and Warren Truss, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development. [Read more...]


Government Refuses Debt Guarantee For Qantas But Will Repeal Foreign Ownership Restrictions

The federal government has refused to provide a debt guarantee or a line of credit for Qantas but says it will relax ownership restrictions by repealing Part 3 of the Qantas Sale Act.

Abbott

Amongst other provisions, Part 3 restricts foreign ownership of the airline to 49%. It restricts foreign airlines from owning more than 35% of Qantas. It stipulates that maintenance jobs are based in Australia. The full text of Part 3 is available here in a popup window.

The decision was announced by Prime Minister Tony Abbott, Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss and Treasurer Joe Hockey at a press conference in Canberra tonight. Abbott said there was a two hour discussion of Qantas at today’s Cabinet meeting.

The Prime Minister said repeal of Section 3 did not mean Qantas would become foreign owned because it would still be subject to the 49% limit imposed by the Air Navigation Act. He said the existing Qantas Sale Act 1992 places restrictions on Qantas that advantage its competitors.

Abbott said it was time Qantas was freed from the shackles of the Sale Act so that it can compete internationally. He said the government would not play favourites and that the decision was about “giving everyone a fair go”. He said Virgin was an Australian company because it employed Australians.

Treasurer Joe Hockey said repeal of the Sale Act would provide a “level playing field”. Abbott said he had “faith” in Qantas. “If Australians are allowed to have a go there is nothing we can’t do,” he said.

Legislation to repeal Part 3 may be introduced this week.

  • Listen to Abbott, Truss and Hockey (25m)

    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.

Joint press release from Prime Minister Tony Abbott, Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss and Treasurer Joe Hockey.

LEVELLING THE AVIATION PLAYING FIELD

The Government will move to a single regulatory framework for all Australian international airlines.

As soon as possible, legislation will be introduced to remove the foreign ownership restrictions and conditions that apply to Qantas’ business operations contained in Part 3 of the Qantas Sale Act 1992.

Removing these conditions is the best way to ensure Qantas can secure Australian jobs now and into the future.

Australians want a strong and competitive Qantas. The existing Qantas Sale Act 1992 places restrictions on Qantas that advantage its competitors.

Like all other Australian international airlines, Qantas will continue to be subject to the Air Navigation Act 1920 (ANA). The ANA applies to both Virgin Australia and Jetstar.

The ANA effectively limits total foreign ownership of Australian international airlines to 49 per cent, but does not impose the additional restrictions on business operations that apply to Qantas under the Qantas Sale Act 1992.

These changes will provide business flexibility for Qantas consistent with other airlines based in Australia.

Foreign investment will continue to be subject to consideration and approval by the Foreign Investment Review Board.

This is the best policy response to the difficulties currently being faced by Qantas.

Legislation will be finalised and introduced as soon as practicable. Any changes to Qantas’ operations as a result of these changes are a matter for the Qantas board and management.