Press Conference, Sydney
Posted on Sunday, 22 August 2010
Subjects: Election 2010
Ok, well look, thanks for being here. I’m just going to make a brief statement and take two or three questions. It’s been a long campaign and I know everyone is feeling the stresses and strains of it all.
Look, when the Government lost its majority, it also lost its legitimacy. The one unambiguous fact to emerge from yesterday’s election is that there are about half a million more votes for the Coalition than for the Labor Party.
The important thing is that Australia now has competent and stable government for the next three years. It’s almost inconceivable that any Labor government emerging from this election could deliver competent and stable government. It’s certain that any Labor government emerging from yesterday will be chronically divided and dysfunctional. Just to give one illustration, just eight weeks ago, the Government politically executed Kevin Rudd. Now it seems Kevin Rudd is to be a very senior minister in any Labor government. This is no way to run a government and its no way to treat the country.
Have you spoken to the independents and what are your plans, will you go to Canberra to meet them in person?
I have spoken briefly to each of the three incumbent independents and I’ve had a brief conversation with Senator Brown of the Greens. I’ve left messages for others and look, I’ve made it very clear that I’m looking forward to those discussions but they’re really just discussions to begin discussions.
Those independents have mentioned broadband as being a very important issue. Are you willing to change your policy on broadband to appeal to those independents that are representing those seats where the issue is quite important?
Well, obviously, I accept that broadband is important because I put forward a very good broadband policy. I don’t want to pre-empt the discussions that I expect will be had over the next few days, just to say that I intend to be very pragmatic, but within the broad policy parameters which we discussed during the election.
Julia Gillard says that she actually has the mandate to run the country because she won the two party preferred race, even though she might have less seats. Should she be able to run the country if she has a greater proportion of the number of people voting for her?
Look, I just make the simple point that there was a savage swing against this Government. It is historically unprecedented for a first term government to receive the kind of rebuff the Rudd-Gillard Government received yesterday and I think that the public expect a change of government as a result of yesterday result.