"These days politics is more about gaining and holding office than using office to improve things."
"The prudential regulation that I have put in place has been absolutely critical. The fiscal policy which we have put in place has been absolutely critical and if people looked at Australia now turn its back on economic reform, which of course industrial relations rollback or throwback would be, let me tell you, that would really start affecting confidence. "
"This is not the kind of country where you would feel comfortable if you were opposed to democracy, parliamentary law, independent courts and so I would say to people who don't feel comfortable with those values there might be other countries where they'd feel more comfortable with their own values or beliefs. "
"I think Australians are rightly suspicious of people who will try and use religion for another end. I don't think that's right and I don't think it should be done, but I think it should inform values, and it does."
"Our system of government is one of checks and balances. It requires compromise - compromise between the Executive and the Parliament, compromise between one House and another, compromise between the States and the Commonwealth and compromise between groups of persons with legitimate interests and other groups with other legitimate interests. There is room for compromise? indeed demand for it.. in a system of checks and balances. "
"You know in politics you are dealing in the realm of choices. You don't always have clear-cut decision between a thoroughly principled position and a thoroughly unprincipled one. You're making snap decisions with paucity of information, generally trying to do the best that you can, but you will make errors, and sometimes it's a decision between a bad and a worse alternative. It has to be done, because we need to order our society, and of politics it can literally be said: Bad job, but someone's got to do it."
"You find actually over the years that you get attributed with a lot of things you didn't do and you don't get reported on a lot of things you did do and I must say, when I read some of these things I wonder where the journalists get them from. They generally speak to somebody who's spoken to somebody who was down the back of a pub who heard the barman say, and gradually finds its way into magazines or articles but no, that's not the case. "