1. What are your plans to grow the economy?
The Liberal Party understands that successful businesses generate prosperity
for the entire community by creating jobs, investing in growth and earning
important export income.
We will lower costs for Australian businesses by removing Labor's carbon
tax. We will take the shackles off Australian businesses by cutting $1
billion in red tape every year. And we will boost productivity by
encouraging more people into the workforce with better child care and a paid
parental leave scheme and we will build 21st century infrastructure.
The economy will be strengthened by a new lowered company tax rate of 28.5%
from 1 July 2015. This builds on the Coalition's track record of delivering
real tax reform focussed on cutting and simplifying taxation in Australia.
Our fully funded tax cut will restore confidence in the management of
Australia's economy and boost job creation and investment.
The Coalition will also build a more diverse, world-class economy - a 5
pillar economy - to unleash Australia's real economic potential. In
particular, we will build on our strengths in manufacturing innovation,
agriculture exports, advanced services, world class education and research
as well as boosting mining exports.
2. The cost of living has gone up in the recent
years, how will the Liberals help families cope with the rising costs?
We will start reducing cost of living pressures for families by immediately
scrapping Labor's carbon tax, taking the pressure off rapidly rising
electricity and gas prices.
The average family will be $500 better off next year alone and seniors will
still keep their fortnightly pension and benefit increases- all without a
carbon tax. We will not proceed with Labor's FBT changes on cars. And we
will restore the Private Health Insurance Rebate as soon as we responsibly
3. We have a lot of small businesses in our
community, how will Liberals help them?
The Liberal Party understands the small businesses are the real job creators
in the economy, employing almost half of the workforce in Australia. We will
reduce costs for every business by abolishing the carbon tax, directly
reducing electricity, gas and transport costs. By removing $1 billion of red
tape each year, small businesses will be able to put more time, effort and
resources in their 'real' work, rather than complying with complex and
unnecessary government requirements.
Coalition's paid parental leave scheme will mean small businesses would no
longer be disadvantaged in the 'war for talent', attracting and keeping
We will also ease expense pressures on small businesses by delaying the
increase of compulsory superannuation contributions to 12 per cent by a
further two years.
4. Australia is a very multicultural country, do
the Liberals really care about cultural diversity?
Australia is a country of migrants. We always have been; we always will be.
That's why the Liberal Party has always been pro-immigration and
It is my belief that migrants make absolutely outstanding Australians,
because they come to this country with a dream to build a better future for
them and their children.
I am disappointed by the Rudd Government's attempts to whip up a fear
campaign about 457 visas and skilled migration.
My colleagues and I know that skilled migration has been good for Australia.
It was good for Australia when the Howard government started it and it has
been good for Australia when the current government continued it. It should
not be tampered with. Labor is simply trying to divert attention from its
border protection failures with 50,000 people arriving on more than 800
What we are seeing is a government that cannot stop people coming to this
country illegally and unsafely by boat, so they are going to get tough on
people coming to this country legally and safely, and working and paying
taxes from day one.
5. How do the Liberals plan to fight crime in our
local communities and improve local community safety?
The Coalition will stand up for communities so that people feel
safe in their streets. We will establish a new national Safer Streets
programme and expand the use of CCTV cameras in crime prevention and
Our policy to Tackle Crime provides $100 million in increased funding for
customs, increased minimum penalties for those who bring illegal guns into
the country and $50 million for local community crime prevention projects.
6. What are your plans for the carbon tax and how
do they differ from Labor's?
The Liberal Party will abolish Labor's carbon tax. The carbon tax
indisputably adds to the cost of living, it makes households and families
pay more for electricity and gas, it costs businesses more to operate, and
it makes everything in our economy more expensive.
Average families will be $550 better off next year alone under the
Coalition's plan than under Kevin Rudd's carbon tax.
The carbon tax is a clear difference between the Liberal Party and Labor: we
will scrap the carbon tax, but Labor supports the carbon tax. Under Labor
the carbon tax will go up and up.
7. Do you believe your shadow ministry has the
experience to provide strong, stable and accountable government?
Sixteen members of the Shadow Cabinet were experienced ministers in the
successful Howard Coalition Government. As such, they played key roles in a
government which turned Australia's economy around, delivered real tax cuts
and more benefits for families, repaid Labor debt, secured Australia's
borders and helped create more than two million new jobs.
We are also a strong and united team: after years of Labor chaos and
dysfunction, the Australian people want a return to strong, stable and
8. Do you have a view about same-sex marriage?
There are very strong feelings on both sides of this particular issue right
now. I take a conservative position on it myself. I think that we should not
lightly change something which has been this way since time immemorial. But
I don't believe that I can necessarily impose my view on society for all
time, all I can do is candidly and honestly tell people what my view is. I
support the traditional definition of marriage as between a man and a woman.
Now I know that others dispute this, because I have lots of arguments inside
my own family on this subject now. But my position, it's always been clear,
it's always been consistent, and as long as I'm in the Parliament if the
issue comes up that's the way I will vote. Whether it remains for all time
the Liberal Party, and the Coalition's position, well that will be a matter
for our party, for our Coalition if it were to come up in a future
9. What are your plans for Sydney's West?
The Liberal Party has policies to meet the specific needs of
Sydney's West, with particular focus on reducing the cost of living by
abolishing the carbon tax, providing services needed by young families such
as affordable accessible and flexible child care and a paid parental leave
scheme, supporting the small and medium business sector and funding better
During this campaign, we have announced that we will invest $1.5 billion
into the Westconnex project and will work with the New South Wales
Government to ensure the Westconnex project is commenced within 12 months of
an election. This project will see an upgrade and extension of the M4 that
will better link Western Sydney with the inner-west and the city, meaning
considerably less time in traffic.
10. What is your stance on the student visas and
what improvements can we expect in the immigration policies?
We will carefully manage the issues of population, citizenship
and settlement to foster stronger economic growth and enhance Australia's
social fabric. Migrants make a wonderful contribution to Australian society
by providing a rich and diverse tapestry of cultures, traditions and
language and bringing skills and enthusiasm into the workplace.
Under a Liberal government, the migration programme would be skewed towards
skilled workers to enable the growth of a more productive and prosperous
economy - particularly for those areas where skilled workers are not
available and where our industries need to grow. The programme will be
focused on people who can make a contribution from day one.
The Liberal Party will ensure our non-discriminatory immigration programme
helps those in need. A minimum of 1,000 places will be available for women
at risk and their dependants and appropriate settlement services are
available upon their arrival in Australia.
Regarding student visas, we will ensure that the focus in the education
export industry is to provide an excellent education outcome for students,
rather than being primarily a pathway for migration.
11. Everyone is talking about the Asian Century,
what does this mean for the Liberals? What are your plans?
An important element of our economic plan for Australia is to strengthen our
trading relationships with Asia, welcome investment from the region, boost
our exports and deepen Australia's knowledge of and engagement with
countries in Asia. We recognise the rapid emergence of both China and India
and the opportunities this will afford Australia in the future.
Specifically, we will take real action to increase economic activity by
fast-tracking Free Trade Agreements with China and India amongst others.
We will strengthen our diplomatic relationship and trade ties with India and
boost mining exports by exporting uranium to that country.
We will help Australians gain study and work experience, strengthen the ties
with the region, learn to adapt behaviour to Asian contexts and work more
effectively with Asian governments.
The Coalition's new Colombo Plan would encourage and support Australian
undergraduates to study for part of their degrees in a university in the
Asia-Pacific region, so promoting Australia's deeper engagement with the
region to the benefit of both
12. Do the Liberals have plans to encourage young
people to learn an Asian language?
We will aim to have 40 percent of high school students studying a foreign
language, preferably an Asian language, in year 12, to ensure the youth of
Australia become more 'Asian-capable' and are better equipped in the future
to engage with our trading partners in our region and in the global economy.