Energy prices, sex positions in colourful Coast PM visit
HE SNUCK in the back door but Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull quickly took centre stage at Caloundra RSL in an historic visit to the heart of the southern Sunshine Coast tonight.
Hundreds of people packed the venue to hear from the PM, as he addressed the masses before fielding questions from attendees.
Media were invited in but weren't allowed to put questions to Mr Turnbull.
Energy prices were a strong focus of the questions from the crowd, along with same sex marriage, after local MPs Ted O'Brien (Fairfax) and Andrew Wallace (Fisher) welcomed their leader.
Mr Turnbull said his government was investing within its means, vowing to return the budget to surplus by 2020/21.
Mr Wallace and Mr O'Brien spoke of the significant money being spent in the region at present, with Mr O'Brien vowing they were "just warming up".
Fresh from a private function after his arrival, Mr Turnbull was welcomed with warm applause by a crowd dotted with familiar faces from both state and local government.
He spoke of the measures being taken to facilitate business via the reduction of company tax rates, as well as measures being taken to recoup funding, including the introduction of the big bank levy.
"We didn't take any joy in doing that," Mr Turnbull said.
"We're getting a lot done. We're making the 45th Parliament work."
He said respectful negotiation had been the key to passing legislation within the Senate.
Referring to his opponent, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten as Blackout Bill on numerous occasions, Mr Turnbull tackled the issue of energy prices.
He spoke of the mistake of previous Labor governments and of the need for backup and storage for the electricity grid, spruiking the Snowy Hydro 2.0 project.
Mr Turnbull said the gas shortage on the east coast was another significant problem, one he'd had to tackle with restrictions on gas exports, an unusual approach he admitted for a Liberal Prime Minister.
"Those chickens have come home to roost now," he said. saying he'd had to restrict exports to protect local jobs and businesses.
"It's a complex issue, electricity."
He repeatedly affirmed his position in favour of same sex marriage in the face of multiple questions on the topic, including one colourful exchange with a man from Michigan who referenced the US state's legislation of sex positions.