Transcript of Doorstop, Doors, Parliament House

Interview

BPC066/2014

04 September 2014

E&OE

JAMIE BRIGGS: Morning all. Well, today the Government is releasing the review of the Motor Vehicle Standards Act, which has been 14 years since the last review of the Act, and lots changed in vehicle manufacturing in Australia obviously in that time. With standards across the globe, cars are a lot safer today than what they were 14 years ago and our safety outcomes are improving. Certainly, the safety outcomes improve when your car fleet gets younger, and the Government, through this review, is looking to reduce the age of vehicles on our roads if we can, increase the amount of choice available for consumers, and hopefully reduce cost for consumers, and reduce red tape. A major push of the Abbott Government in the first 12 months of course has been to reduce red tape, and this is another step in our red tape reduction measures.

So, today I'm really pleased to launch this review, and we will now be interested in the next month for the discussion paper which I've got here for people to provide their input, particularly around providing input on options in relation to whether individuals can purchase, post vehicle manufacturing in Australia, individuals can purchase from overseas vehicles. This will increase the amount of choice for consumers, appropriate to Australian standards, which we hope to harmonise with global standards through this discussion paper.

Question:  So, you pretty much ruled out allowing car wholesalers to input second-hand cars to Australia before this all sort of discussion begins?

Jamie Briggs: Well, the evidence from New Zealand was that the average age of the fleet got older, and that means the safety outcomes are worse. And we don't think that the evidence we've seen from New Zealand we want to have in Australia. We don't want to become the world's dumping ground for their lemons.

Question:  You said in the Aus today that you were thinking of removing some of the Australian standards from the Act that were no longer relevant. What are those kinds of standards? Are talking sort of safety or emissions?

Jamie Briggs: Well, no, what we want to do is harmonise with the globe. The reality is that a vast bulk of cars are now made at the moment, and of course after 2017 all light vehicles will be made elsewhere, so where there is unique Australian standards which are no longer required, we think they shouldn't be there, and we should be adopting global standards to be part of the global market. And that will reduce red tape, but it will increase safety outcomes as well.

Question:  So, there's no compromise to safety by reducing those kinds of standards?

Jamie Briggs: No, absolutely not. In fact, this is about increasing safety.

Question:  Just on another issue, the Opposition today are saying that it is a year ago today since Tony Abbott promised to create a million jobs; there's still high unemployment rates, I think in South Australia the youth unemployment rate is at 15 per cent, so how does the Government go about creating new jobs?

Jamie Briggs: Well, I think the Government is in the business of creating jobs. I think the record on job creation so far has been strong, but what we are seeing is some economic challenges, and that's why our infrastructure investment programme is so important. And that's why the Asset Recycling Bill should pass the Senate. That will create the opportunity for more assets to be recycled, more investment to be put into infrastructure, and that will create more jobs. Our infrastructure investment programme will create thousands of jobs over the coming few years, and that is why we are so focused on getting it right.

Question:  Do you think penalty rates are one barrier to employing younger people particularly?

Jamie Briggs: Well, penalty rates are set by the Fair Work Commission, and we've said, as far as the framework of the industrial relations system is concerned, we will ask the Productivity Commission to do a review of that during the first term.

Question:  But you previously advocated for reducing some penalty rates, particularly on weekends, so that more people can potentially be employed, allowing a business to open.

Jamie Briggs: Well, no, I've made the point in the past that the Fair Work Commission sets the penalty rates, but obviously the industrial relations system will have a review done by the Productivity Commission. I look forward to that review.

Thanks guys.