Doorstop interview, Canberra
Topics: Backpacker tax; Future schools funding arrangements; Minister Payne’s comments about Adelaide
Question: Does there need to be a compromise reached on the backpacker tax today?
Simon Birmingham: There are many issues and important issues that we'll keep working through, and that's exactly what we're focused on. Things that can help grow jobs and the Australian economy and delivering our election promises.
Question: Do you agree that the original tax rate proposed was too high and could affect some [indistinct]?
Simon Birmingham: All these matters are matters that are important to us to make sure we get things in place that can fix the Budget, repair the deficit that Labor left us and grow jobs in Australia in the future.
Question: Have you had any reactions of private schools to your comments on Q&A last night that they could lose funding under your model?
Simon Birmingham: I'm working very hard making sure there are fair and equitable arrangements for schools funding for the future, and that's exactly what I'm focused on. I hope the states and territories and non-government sector will work with us in that regard.
Question: Do you think they’ll be unhappy they’ll lose some of their funding?
Simon Birmingham: I think Australians expect us to use every dollar as wisely and as effectively, fairly and efficiently as possible. That's what I'm focused on.
Question: Do you think Western Sydney’s infinitely more interesting than Adelaide?
Simon Birmingham: [Laughs] I think every single Member of Parliament always champions their home community as being the best in the country, and I think South Australia is.