Senator the Hon Mathias Cormann
Minister for Finance
JOURNALIST: So what did you think about the Prime Minister's speech?
MATHIAS CORMANN: That was a very strong speech by a very strong Prime Minister about our priorities for 2015, to strengthen the economy, to create more jobs, to help families, to maintain our national security. It was a speech that presents our agenda, building on the progress that we made last year and really focusing on the year ahead.
JOURNALIST: Were you consulted on the decision to dump the Paid Parental Leave scheme?
MATHIAS CORMANN: Yes.
JOURNALIST: Was there a bit of a warning there for the restless backbenchers?
MATHIAS CORMANN: From our point of view it is now a matter of pressing forward. There is a job to be done for the Australian people. There is a job to be done to build a stronger, more prosperous economy, to create more jobs, to ensure Australia is safe and secure. The Prime Minister presented a very strong, forward looking agenda and it is now time for us to just get on with the job.
JOURNALIST: Do you think it is enough though to quash some of the concern there has been within the party amongst some of the backbenchers?
MATHIAS CORMANN: The Prime Minister was very candid. We have gone through a difficult couple of weeks, and indeed a difficult couple of months. But the job at hand remains. The job remains to build a stronger, more prosperous economy, to create more jobs, to ensure Australia is safe and secure. And as the Prime Minister said in his speech today, the way to improve on a difficult situation is not to make things more difficult. We all were elected to do a job for the Australian people. It is very important that we focus on that job in the weeks and months and years ahead.
JOURNALIST: Is the Prime Minister's leadership safe?
MATHIAS CORMANN: The Prime Minister has my very strong and unequivocal support. I believe he has the strong support of the party room and really it is a matter now of moving forward and focusing on the job that we must do for the Australian people, which is to implement our agenda for a stronger, more prosperous economy, to create more jobs, to help families and of course to ensure our nation remains secure.
JOURNALIST: Is it a disappointment that Julie Bishop and Malcolm Turnbull were not able to make it today?
MATHIAS CORMANN: Julie Bishop has got very important work today in the national interest meeting with her United Kingdom counterpart. Malcolm Turnbull is on his way back from the United States as I understand it...interrupted
JOURNALIST: He is back here, in Sydney.
MATHIAS CORMANN: Well you have to ask him about his travel logistics. Today was an important day obviously. The Prime Minister provided a strong speech, outlining our priorities for our Government and for the country and really it is the job of everyone in Government now to get on with the job. Thank you very much.