15 September 2003

Interview with Alan Jones Radio 2GB

JONES: PM at the weekend they said that you're in Queensland addressing the State Liberal Party up there and virtually talking as if you're in election mode. You said on Friday that the failure by the Opposition to pass changes to unfair dismissal laws had cost Australia up to 80,000 jobs. The only way to get those things is with a double dissolution, are we looking at an early election or a double dissolution election?

PRIME MINISTER: Nothing has changed on that front, nothing at all. I said some time ago that I preferred governments to run their full terms, that obviously if there were an overwhelming issue of public policy that will necessitate an alteration to that then circumstances might be different. But really nothing has changed. This latest outbreak of talk didn't come from me, I think it may have originated from an article written by Michael Costello in The Australian, he was Kim Beazley's former chief of staff, by definition almost he wouldn't know much about the thinking of the Government on the subject. But look Alan every term of Parliament about this time you get this talk. Now nothing has changed and look obviously nobody in my position can absolutely rule things out. But it remains my belief that the public does not appreciate governments for their own political convenience calling early elections, and in the past they have punished governments for doing so and I have no reason to believe things will be different in the future. If there is a good and proper reason then it's a different consideration.

My guess is that the early election is on. The economy is good, but the foreign situation is tanking, and the mutterings about Bob Carr must be worrying.

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