JOURNALIST: Should the Defence Minister be sacked for his comments?
JULIE BISHOP: Absolutely not. David Johnston has given a statement to the Senate and I’m going to leave the matter there. He’s made his statement to the Senate and it speaks for itself.
JOURNALIST: Isn’t it unacceptable for the DM to deride the organisation that maintains the current fleet of submarines?
JULIE BISHOP: I take it you heard the Minister’s statement to the Senate…
JOURNALIST: [interrupts] He said he expressed regret if there was offence caused, should he apologise?
JULIE BISHOP: I accept his statement and I’m not adding further to his discussion.
JOURNALIST: It’s unfortunate, depriving oxygen from the Government’s bid to try and balance the Budget and to focus on rebuilding Australia’s submarine capacity?
JULIE BISHOP: Indeed, I look forward to a focus being on the mess that we inherited from Labor, the challenges we have got in balancing a budget. We inherited the very worst set of financial accounts of any incoming government in Australia’s history and sitting on the Opposition frontbench are the architects of that mess including Bill Shorten, Tanya Plibersek, Chris Bowen – all Cabinet ministers in one of the worst Governments in Australia’s history if you judge it on its inability, incompetence in terms of managing Australian taxpayers’ funds.
This Opposition must be held to account for the mess we have inherited and support the measures that we are putting in place so that Australians are not burdened with Labor’s debt for generations to come. I believe that Bill Shorten has a responsibility to take account of the mess that they left behind and support the Government in our attempts to restore credibility to Australia’s Budget.
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