24 February 2016
Transcript - #2016019, 2016

In the role of: Minister for Small Business and Assistant Treasurer [21 September 2015 - 18 July 2016]

Interview with Samantha Armytage, Sunrise

SUBJECTS: Baby formula; tax reform; Ovarian Cancer Awareness

SAM ARMYTAGE:

Assistant Treasurer Kelly O'Dwyer joins us now from Parliament House in Canberra. Good morning to you Kelly.

MINISTER O'DWYER:

Good morning Sam.

ARMYTAGE:

We know you're a young mum and also as Assistant Treasurer, can you assure others with babies they won't be paying more for formula as a result of the Government approving the sale of this dairy to China?

MINISTER O'DWYER:

Well there won't be a shortage, Sam. It's very false for people to claim that because of a commercial agreement for the sale of this particular dairy farm, which was already in foreign hands, that this will somehow lead to an increase in prices of baby formula. As you say, I am a young mum. I feed my baby formula. She is nine months old. It's really important that we have good quality products available here in Australia and also overseas. So the Government only has a say over whether or not a sale which has already been entered into is contrary to the national interest and the Treasurer made a decision on that. There weren't grounds to refuse it on that basis.

ARMYTAGE:

Ok, the Prime Minister has been under attack over the Government's tax policy. Malcolm Turnbull has put an increase in the capital gains tax back on the agenda. There have been some confusion. Are you prepared for Labor to keep up the pressure until we see the Government's full tax policy? Are you preparing a full tax policy?

MINISTER O'DWYER:

Well, there has only been confusion because some people have been very misleading. The Prime Minister has made it very clear the Government is not going to be changing the capital gains tax arrangements with respect to negative gearing. We have been very clear on that. The Prime Minister said it ad infinitum. The Labor Party has a very irresponsible campaign that they're running at the moment, they have got a policy that is going to increase the cost of housing for all Australians, for those people who own a home and for those people who would like to get into the housing market through their negative gearing policy. We think it's reckless and irresponsible, we think that you need to have a very considered and adult conversation with the Australian people to let them know what the implications will be.

ARMYTAGE:

Are you sitting down as a Government and around the table and saying "This is what we need to do. We have had confusion on capital gains, negative gearing has been flip flopping around, the GST has been talked about for such a long time, now it has been ruled out." Are you coming up with a constant message that you can give the Australian people?

MINISTER O'DWYER:

Sam, there hasn't been confusion. The Government has been sitting down and working.

ARMYTAGE:

There has been confusion.

MINISTER O'DWYER:

There has been confusion because I suspect because there has been a lot of speculation. But we've been working through it methodically, the Prime Minister and the Treasurer have made statements regarding the GST – we said what we want to go do as a Government is make sure our economy can be as competitive as it needs to be so that we can encourage investment and we can grow jobs. That is the criteria against which we judge economic reform and taxation reform. So, it wasn't going to meet the mark on the GST. The Prime Minister said that, the Treasurer said that, the Government has said that. So the scare campaign that has been run unfortunately, the Labor Party can't run that any more, they are going to have to talk about real policy.

ARMYTAGE:

OK. Before we let you go you are in front of Parliament House, there are 1,480 pin wheels behind you. Can you tell us the significance of those and the teal ribbons?

MINISTER O'DWYER:

This is the reason I got up bright and early to speak with you Sam today. I am an ovarian cancer ambassador. Behind me there are 1,480 pin wheels, they represent the number of women who will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer this year. Unfortunately, we know from history that around about 1,000 of these women will succumb to the disease which is why I want to get the message out about the symptoms that women need to look for and that men in their lives need to encourage women to look for. Abdominal pain and pelvic pain is one of them, making sure that when you eat and if you feel full very quickly, that's another one. If you need to urinate urgently or often, again that's a third symptom. If you've got bloating in your abdominal area, that's another symptom again. If you have those symptoms or even one of those persistently for a four week period, you need to go and see your doctor and talk to them. We know that one of the reasons why so many women succumb to the disease, they don't get diagnosed early. There is no cure but we are working on getting the research done so that there can in fact be a cure found and that more women can survive this terrible disease.

ARMYTAGE:

Absolutely, something for all women and their men to think about today. Thank you Kelly for your time today.