Treasurer Joe Hockey says he hopes he is not in the same job for as long as his Liberal predecessor Peter Costello.
Joe Hockey has no intention of emulating his Liberal predecessor Peter Costello’s 11 years as treasurer.
Mr Costello, the perennial bridesmaid, waited more than a decade for prime minister John Howard to relinquish the top job. It never happened.
Mr Hockey, who marks his first year as treasurer later this month, paid tribute to the long suffering Mr Costello during a speech in Melbourne on Friday.
His recently released biography, Not Your Average Joe, fuelled speculation about his leadership ambitions.
The book quoted Tony Abbott’s chief-of-staff Peta Credlin as saying Mr Hockey was “absolutely a contender … but I think we are a long way off from saying he’s an heir apparent”.
Mr Hockey told the Melbourne business forum he did not want to repeat Mr Costello’s 11 years in the one job.
“I pay tribute to my good mate Peter Costello, whose very large shoes I hope to fill as treasurer – perhaps not over an 11-year period, but maybe a bit shorter.”
Mr Hockey was delivering a report card on planning for the Group of 20 leaders summit to be hosted by Brisbane in November.
The treasurer will chair a lead-up event of G20 finance ministers and central bank governors in Cairns later in September.
Later Mr Costello asked Mr Hockey how government-initiated inquiries into the financial system and competition, would promote growth.
“You should have been a full-time journalist, Peter,” the treasurer responded to laughs from the business audience.
Mr Hockey said the financial system inquiry needed to plan around the development of future financial technologies, including PayPal and bitcoin.
“We don’t know what the world is going to look like in five or ten years’ time,” he said.
That meant there would be need for a robust set of rules that recognised the changing nature of financial services.
Mr Hockey said the competition inquiry was looking at how to redefine policy given the internet had made Australia part of a global market.