Doorstop interview, Canberra
Topics: Newspoll, Wentworth; Religious freedoms; Snowy-Hydro




Journalist:                    Are you concerned about polls out today that Labor is still way ahead?


Simon Birmingham:     There is always more work to be done. Scott Morrison is doing a fabulous job connecting with Australian voters, we need to make sure they understand our Government will keep delivering for them, tax relief for small businesses, tax relief for working Australians, balancing the budget, all the things they expect a Liberal-National Government to do.


Journalist:                    Should the PM be worried about Wentworth?


Simon Birmingham:     We’re going to work hard to make sure we get a great candidate in Dave Sharma over the line in Wentworth. And those Wentworth voters who are entrepreneurial voters, who have small businesses up and down that electorate to understand ours is a Government that backs them and their interests and their opportunities to get ahead.


Journalist:                    What was the point of the leadership spill, if you guys are in a worse position now than when Malcolm Turnbull was Prime Minister?


Simon Birmingham:     We’re looking to the future and not the past, and it’s important to make sure that between now and whenever the next election is we continue to encourage Australians to think about the issues that matter, the fact that our Government has balanced the books, has brought the budget back to a point of balance, has delivered tax relief, has delivered record jobs growth, has stopped the boats, all the sorts of things we promise to do.


Journalist:                    This legislation to stop schools from expelling gay children, is that necessary, do you think?


Simon Birmingham:     These have been largely dormant provisions if you like in legislation, but Scott Morrison has shown clear leadership in saying there is no place for discrimination against school children and to bring forward legislation to make sure it could not happen in the future, within the next few weeks.


Journalist:                    On Snowy-Hydro 2.0 what would happen if we scrapped that?


Simon Birmingham:     Well Snowy-Hydro 2.0 will be assessed on the business case and on its merits. It will stand or fall according to that business case as it rightly should. If it’s going to deliver reliable, despatchable power and something that pushes down power prices into the future, then it will of course be a great thing for the nation.