18 November 2015
Transcript - #2015050, 2015

Doorstop interview, Adelaide

Subjects: Hutt Street Centre Business lunch; social services portfolio; South Australian economy.

TREASURER:

It’s great to be here in Adelaide with Danielle and the Hutt Street Centre. It is great to have a great crowd that has come to support the tremendous work they do getting Australians off the streets into accommodation and into work. That is what it is all about. The best form of welfare you can give anyone in this country is the opportunity to be in a job and just having the opportunity to chat to some of the guys today as part of what will be a great night with ACDC performing in Adelaide. They have been around the country already and for these guys to be part of that, putting the work together to get the stage all set up and getting experience and the contacts. The guys here are getting licenses back to drive forklifts, getting their truck licences back. They are making a big effort to change their lives and Hutt Street has been a big part of that, both in encouraging them but helping them to bridge the gap that they need to bridge to get where they want to go – so, well done.

DANIELLE BAYARD (HUTT STREET CENTRE):

Thank you, it is very exciting for us to have our clients, people who have experienced homelessness, who are working here today setting up for ACDC. So, the economy is really important for them. They are interested in it, it affects the way they live, whether they can get a job, whether they have safe and secure housing. So, for you to able to come today and for our guys to be able to be part of that has been really brilliant.

TREASURER:

A strong economy is the best insurance for jobs and that is where the jobs come from and whether it is here in South Australia where it has been tough, we all understand that, it is an economy going through a significant transition and the growth in new service areas; particularly in the entertainment industry, in the hospitality industry, in the wine sector which continues to grow and the export opportunities, education and so on. This is where there are a lot of new opportunities in South Australia and we are keen to see those realised. Any questions?

QUESTION:

Is that going to be your message to the people upstairs today?

TREASURER:

Well, my message is always about growth and jobs in the economy because I know that growth and jobs in the economy is what actually gives Australians the confidence that they need to get out and about and do the things that they want to do for their family and their communities. That requires a strong economy and that is why the Turnbull Government is 100 per cent focussed on that task.

QUESTION:

What are the things that are attractive about it – helping out the less privileged people like today?

TREASURER:

Well, a strong economy gives people the opportunity to make that transition out of homelessness into accommodation and ideally into work. It is not an easy path for people to make. I was previously Social Services Minister and I know that groups like Hutt Street do an incredible job in helping people rebuild their confidence and to see a different future for themselves. People who find themselves in these terrible situations can become trapped in them and what Hutt Street does is help them break out of that and see a very different future for themselves and they go about and realised it. So, it must be a real exciting thing to do when you are involved with it day to day and we are only too pleased to support it here in Adelaide today.

QUESTION:

Scott, is the SA economy the weakest link in Australia at the moment? Does it give you the biggest headache?

TREASURER:

Well, the SA economy has some distance to travel – there is no doubt about that but it is making that journey. I think people in South Australia are very resilient, they know what they need to do to generate and realise the opportunities that we have; whether it is through the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement or the growth in our services sector that we are seeing. We can’t get anywhere just by staying where we are – that is as true in South Australia as it is in Queensland or Sydney or Melbourne or anywhere else. So, I think it is important that you identify your opportunities and you go out and seize them and that is as true for here as any other part of the country.

QUESTION:

How have you found the relationship with our Government since you have [inaudible] the Treasury?

TREASURER:

Well, I have worked very closely with Tom, the Treasurer here in South Australia but also with Jay Weatherill. I think it is a government that understands that there are real significant economic challenges and we are only too pleased to be working with a government that wants to work with us to grow the economy, whether it is in South Australia or anywhere else. That is where we have shared interests. We might be on different sides of the political fence but the challenge here is jobs and we are committed to that and we are committed to working with the South Australian Government to that end.

Great thank you.