Australian treasurer declares that he is "a lot of fun"

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Australian Treasurer Peter Costello said today that he was "a lot of fun" while he was outlining his plans for Australia as a possible future Prime Minister.

During an interview with ABC Radio, Mr Costello was asked to say something about himself that the public didn't know. Mr Costello's replied "That I'm a lot of fun - a lot of fun and good company."

Costello, who is considered current Australian Prime Minister John Howard's likely successor when he retires, said he was not expecting an easy rise to the Prime Ministership, admitting that the forthcoming federal election would be difficult.

The treasurer said "If you read polls, then (Kevin) Rudd is in front and he's already carrying on as if he's got the election in the bag,"

"I would say an election is not over until all of the votes have been counted on the polling day, and I think it will be a hard-fought election."

Mr Costello also outlined his vision for Australia should he become Prime Minister in the future centering his platform upon education and water.

"I think we need first, a first-class technical school system in this country, training people for trades," Mr Costello said.

"I think we need improved standards of literacy in our primary and secondary schools and I think we need better facilities at the tertiary level."

The treasurer admitted that education was one of his key priorities as he had been a university tutor and had a father who was a teacher. Speaking of his father, Costello said "I watched him influence generations of students,"

"I know the difference that a good school teacher makes in a person's life and I believe in the importance of education."

Mr Costello also said that Australia would need to carefully manage its water resources for the future.

"We have to manage our water better, we have to invest in water better, we have to harness water better, we have to price water better," he said.

"I think we really do have a water crisis in this country and it's something that we're going to have to deal with in order to keep our country growing and our lifestyle up in the decades which lie ahead." Mr Costello criticised state governments for failing to invest in water infrastructure and predicted desalination plants would have a major role to play in securing the nation's water supply.

"There has not been enough investment in dams, there has not been enough investment in pipes, in irrigation canals and I think we're going to have to look very, very carefully at desalination plants for our major capital cities," said the Australian Treasurer.