The political changes in the Australian Parliament have had no impact with Tony Abbott MP. The former Prime Minister of Australia has maintained the same wavelength when engaging with the mainstream community or the media. So, it was not a big surprise to see Tony Abbott show the same enthusiasm and urge to deeply connect with the multicultural community at a recent meet with sub-continental media representatives in Sydney.
The meeting with Tony Abbott was a freewheeling session on current issues like same-sex marriage referendum, climate change policy, trade, small business and tax reforms.
“I have a strong admiration for the subcontinental community for three things – your commitment to family values, education and establishing small businesses. You have set an example for the rest of the community in Australia,” said Tony Abbott speaking to the media group. “As we are nearing the end of the referendum on same-sex marriage, I hope the results will reinforce the traditional definition of marriage and family”.
Upholding cultural values
The Indian Telegraph posed him a few queries. When asked about the spending of $122 million of tax payer’s money for conducting the same-sex marriage referendum by the government, Tony Abbott responded “I wish the debate is not there in the first place. There will never be a consensus on the issue. It is good to conduct such a referendum with 24 million people rather than deciding in the Parliament on this important community issue. Such a referendum will be expensive. We will await the outcomes”.
To another of our query on the growing opposition to Adani Mines in Queensland and the potential impact on the Australia India trade and investments, Mr Abbott stated that he was incredibly disappointed that the bilateral trade agreement did not progress further. The Greens have been campaigning against Adani for more than 5 years. He stated that Adani mine will not only be beneficial for Australia but also for India adding “The Adani mine is very close to start.” Mr Abbott outlined the support by the Australian government despite the political changes to small businesses through consideration of tax rates.
Respect for ethnic communities
Mr Abbott reiterated that when he was the Prime Minister, he made all efforts to be close to ethnic communities through the multicultural media when asked about the poor engagement with ethnic communities by the Liberal party as compared to the Labor party, which is better connected.
Speaking on climate change policy and Paris accord, Mr Abbott said, “Any further changes to the climate policy cannot be at the cost of economy. By implementing smarter management of power in homes, manufacturing and agriculture, we can achieve the same targets” adding “however they are not mandatory targets”. He also cautioned against too much dependence on renewable energy.
Towards the end, Tony Abbott reiterated his love for India and said that he would continue to have close interaction with the community, “I have strong respect for the world’s largest democracy. India will emerge as a global superpower soon”.