Doorstop interview, Sydney

  • Transcript, E&OE
Topics: Export market development grants (EMDG); Labor’s negative gearing policy; the Greens; One Nation; Budget.
29 March 2019

Simon Birmingham: The Government isannouncing a $60 million boost to the export market development grants. This isan investment in helping Australian exporters to succeed on the world stage.This is building upon incredible success we've already had in growing exports fromAustralia. Last year Australia recorded its largest trade surplus ever, ourbest performance for our exporters. We've seen the number of exportingbusinesses grow by 16 per cent since we have been in office and what we've doneto deliver that is open up access for Australian business, by delivering tradedeal after trade deal, and we are backing them in with these grants to helpthem invest in growing their export markets around the world. And this is aboutdriving the economic strength of Australia, more exports, more businessesexporting, more access to markets, more investment in exports, means more jobsfor Australians, greater prosperity for Australians. That's been the livedexperience for the last five to six years, and we're investing to make sure thatunder a Liberal-National Government, investment and growing exports continues,because that's what will grow our national prosperity.

Journalist: Simoncan you tell us more about this economic modelling (indistinct)?

SimonBirmingham: Wellwe've seen economic modelling that's been supported by various industry groups.We absolutely have the economic modelling, we've been referencing in terms ofare estimates to be (indistinct) and we can see the modelling that goes marketby market, in terms of the potential loss of house values in markets such asSydney or Melbourne, or that there's an increase in rental prices in othermarkets such as Perth or Brisbane. And we really want to make sure thatAustralians understand that. I refer you indeed to modelling that the Treasurerhas publicly identified previously, and we'll continue to make sure thatAustralians understand the choices at the next election. Higher taxes underBill Shorten, lower house prices, higher rentals.

Journalist: Butisn't it the case that the government (indistinct) falling house prices and yetits criticising Labor's policies (indistinct) risking a reduction in houseprices?

SimonBirmingham: Wellyou've got to be careful about these things, we have worked closely with theReserve Bank in terms of financial settings to make sure that we do all we canto guarantee lending practices are responsible, and that investment in thehousing market is responsible. But this policy of the Labor Party, coming ontop of those measures that have already been demonstrated to be working and arealready cooling the housing market, will take that from a cooling of thehousing market, to a potential real loss of value in the housing market for mumand dad Australians.

Journalist: Can weexpect any measures (indistinct) housing market in the budget?

SimonBirmingham: Asa government, we've already put in place measures in terms of support forpeople to use superannuation (indistinct) for their home deposit, as well asthe types of measures that have guaranteed more responsible lending practicesand better sustainability in terms of the housing market. But we continue towork closely on all of those things. The most important thing though that wecan do for Australian homeowners or those who seek to purchase a house, is tomaintain a strong economy, and you won't have a strong economy if there are $200billion plus of new taxes being levied on us under a new Labor government.

Journalist: Willthe budget be in surplus?

SimonBirmingham: Thebudget will be in surplus and this is a phenomenal achievement of ourgovernment, to be able to bring the budget back to surplus for the first timesince the Howard years. We have done so by containing spending growth andgrowing the economy simultaneously. This has been about careful economicmanagement, economic management that has created one point three million newjob opportunities for Australians, brought the budget back to surplus,delivered tax cuts for households and small businesses, and all of those thingsare at risk if we have a Labor government levying new taxes, reckless spending,and jeopardising jobs growth in the future.

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