JOURNALIST:

Prime Minister can we get your reaction to the leak of the transcript between you and President Trump and the dialogue suggests that the US did not have to take any of the people in Manus Island and they could reject them all through their vetting process if they wanted to?

PRIME MINISTER:

Well let me make a couple of points. Firstly I want to thank President Trump for honouring the deal, the arrangement that we entered into with the Obama Administration. I want to thank him for that. As you know, I always stand up for Australia’s interests in every environment, that’s my commitment as Prime Minister and Australians expect that and that’s what I do.

JOURNALISTS:

But the Government consistently said it wasn’t a quid pro quo arrangement with the US to take refugees or people from the US, but that doesn’t seem to be the case given the transcript that’s been released? Have you been –

PRIME MINISTER:

I’m not going to comment on the leak of this supposed transcript, let me just say that the nature of our relationship with the United States in this area is one of mutual assistance. So we help the Americans, they help us, it’s in the context of a very big relationship of mutual support.

JOURNALIST:

Does it disturb you that you can’t have a private conversation with the President of the United States?

PRIME MINISTER:

It’s always better when these conversations remain confidential, but I haven’t got any further comments to make on it. It was, as I said, a courteous, frank conversation. As President Trump said, we’re both adults and we’ve had a, I stand up for Australia’s interests, he stands up for America’s interests. We have a warm relationship, you’ve seen that with our meeting in New York. You’ve seen that with our meetings in Hamburg at the G20. So we have a good relationship between the President and myself. But above all, the relationship between Australia and the United States is very deep, very enduring and one of mutual support in every field, and has been and I believe always will be.

JOURNALIST:

In New York you agreed with the President when he said it was fake news by the lying media, that the conversation was difficult. Do you regret agreeing with him now?

PRIME MINISTER:

I’m not going to do any more commentary. The discussion was a frank one, as the President said, between adults. We’ve both had plenty of experience in frank discussions and I want to thank the President for committing to continuing to honour the deal on refugee resettlement that we entered into with the Obama Administration. I might just add – just further to a question Sarah asked – is that it has always been subject to American vetting procedures, that’s always been part of the arrangement. Those procedures from their Department of Homeland Security are ongoing.

JOURNALIST:

What will happen to the people that the US don’t take?

PRIME MINISTER:

Look, again we are focussed on resettling refugees. We’ve got an arrangement with the United States and we’re looking forward to that vetting process being completed.

JOURNALIST:

Will you be less frank in future knowing that these conversations could be leaked?

PRIME MINISTER:

I think it’s very important for leaders to be frank when they’re speaking to each other, but I think Australians can see that I stand up for them, for Australia’s interest to defend our national interest.

JOURNALIST:

Can you tell us what type of people we are accepting from the US under this deal? You’ve suggested in the conversation that the US might be giving us some unattractive type of person who they don’t want in America. So who are we taking?

PRIME MINISTER:

Again Sarah, the arrangements – in fact they were I think announced quite some time ago when I was at the UN – where we’ve agreed to work with the US in resettling some South American refugees. Look, the fundamental point is this; we are a generous, compassionate nation. We have a big humanitarian programme. Per capita we are one of the largest receivers of refugees through the humanitarian programmes. That is a fact.

However, we have to send the clearest possible message to the people smugglers; if you try to come here with a people smuggler by boat, you won’t get in.

That is why we’ve been able to stop the boats.

That is a fundamental foundation of our success as an immigration nation, as a multicultural society for Australians to know that their government and their government alone, determines who comes into our country.

JOURNALIST:

Does our refugee program favour Christians in the Middle East?

PRIME MINISTER:

The program, the 12,000 additional refugees that we took in from the conflict zone was focussed on – and avowedly so – quite openly focussed on persecuted minorities and the bulk of those are in fact Christians. But there is also of course Yazidis as well, there are also Muslims, but the majority are in fact Christians.

JOURNALIST:

Just finally can I ask you about the CBA AUSTRAC allegations? Are you concerned about what has been reported today and could these officials potentially be disqualified under new laws that you’ve flagged for misconduct?

PRIME MINISTER:

Court proceedings are underway and I just want to say that everyone has to obey the law including big banks, the biggest companies. AUSTRAC is on the job. They’re holding the bank to account. They’re taking legal proceedings and I shouldn’t make anymore comment beyond what has been announced. But you can see that the regulator is very focused on ensuring that the laws against money laundering and so forth are enforced.

JOURNALIST:

Sorry, local question?

PRIME MINISTER:

Oh good, a local question.

JOURNALIST:

Australia granting money to the World Bank for Indonesia to create new Bali’s. What is your commitment to tourism in the Kimberley?

PRIME MINISTER:

We have a very strong commitment to tourism in the Kimberley. In fact, we were talking about it yesterday and Melissa can add to this but the very substantial investment, around $50 million into the new road.

MELISSA PRICE MP:

Which is the Cape Leveque Road.

PRIME MINISTER:

Cape Leveque Road, yeah. It’s about 60 kilometres – is that right?

MELISSA PRICE MP:

That’s right.

JOURNALIST:

Some people see it as just encouraging more tourists to fly over Broome on their way to Indonesia.

PRIME MINISTER:

We are focused on tourism in Australia and we’re making substantial investments into tourism infrastructure like the Cape Leveque Road here in the Kimberley. In fact, we’ve just come from a meeting with the deputy president of the shire and the chief executive talking about other opportunities for infrastructure that support tourism and of course other parts of industry – pastoral, resources and so forth, here in the Kimberley.

JOURNALIST:

Kimberley people want cheaper air flights and they see the federal government could relax some of the regulations that would allow other players, international players to compete in the domestic market to get away from the duopoly. Would you be able to do that to help the Kimberley?

PRIME MINISTER:

Well look I’ve listened to that, I’ve heard that and Melissa and I will be talking about that when we are back in Canberra next week.

But I can assure you this has been a very valuable visit for me because I’ve done lots of talking to you of course, but I’ve done also lots of listening and that is very important.

JOURNALIST:

Will the rest of the Kimberley see you – that’s one question we’re getting – other places in the Kimberley?

PRIME MINISTER:

Will I be back again? I’ll be back in Western Australia, yes I’ll be back in Western Australia several times before the years end, absolutely.

JOURNALIST:

For the Liberal State Conference?

PRIME MINISTER:

I will be back, don’t worry. It’s been a great visit and I want to thank everyone for the very warm welcome I’ve had here in Broome and right across this great state. Thank you Melissa.

MELISSA PRICE MP:

Thank you, my pleasure.

PRIME MINISTER: