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Delivering unrivalled live coverage, this is Sky News, Australia's news channel.
This is PM Agenda with David Speers.
I'm David Speers, welcome to PM Agenda live from Geelong this afternoon. The top stories we're looking at this hour of course the very sad news more tragedy from the United States after a massive explosion at a fertiliser plant in Texas, a furious President Barack Obama after gun laws and modest gun laws failed to pass the US Senate. The stage set in Geelong for tonight's people's forum with Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott.We are here at Geelong RSL ahead of tonight's people's forum, we are going to have more on that, the big issues for this very marginal seat we're in in a short while. In about 15 minutes we will be joined by a panel of politicians to look at those local issues of the we begin this hour with the sad news coming out of Texas in the USA. A fertiliser plant in a small town called West not far from Waco has seen a big fire and an absolutely huge explosion. Three people are confirmed dead. That number is expected to be higher. The estimates are 60 to 70 dead A Round 100 or more have been injured in this. Local buildings around the fertiliser plant were either flattened or set on fire. They include a nursing home, an apartment block, also a school. Authorities are concerned that some people may still be trapped in surrounding buildings. They have not yet been able to get into the the plant itself. A makeshift triage station has been set up on a local sporting field. Hazardous materials teams are at the scene, due to fierce of the smoke. The cause of this explosion isn't yet clear. Local fire authorities say it was anhydrous ammonia an explosion. People reported feeling the the blaze in Dallas, 100 kilometres away, saying it felt like an earthquake. It had a magnitude of 2.1. The very latest from Sky News report. Initially it was a serious fire.That explosion was felt 50 miles away.It has destroyed part of this small Texan town. I tell you I was there, I walked through the blast area, I searched houses earlier, massive, just like Iraq, just like the Murray building in Oklahoma City. Anhydrous exploded. You can imagine the damage. In the area around the fertiliser plant firefighters tried to get into buildings that have been flattened. Fire spread to a nursing home and nearby school. Hundreds are injured, and are being treated at emergency triage centres, witnesses have said medics are dealing with injuries that you would normally find on the battlefield. Scores are feared dead. It was such a huge explosion that affected several blocks. I wouldn't say it was incredibly dense residential area. It has certainly gotten many homes. Firefighters were on the scenes fighting a fire, an explosion happened after that. The sequence of events how it happened is still being figured out. The explosion happened shortly after 8pm local time. The massive operation to help people went right through the night. We have another tank that is possibly about to explode. We are having to evacuate this area here, get everybody out of there. There is damage all over this town. America was already on high alert after events this week. Initially this seems like an industrial accident. For the people of West helping each other is their first priority.Just incredible videos to watch on the television. What about those who witnessed this in person. Let's look at what some of them had to say. Well, we heard the explosion, so we went ahead, hurried up and got into town. As we rolled in it was a situation where we pulled up at the retirement home we knew they would need help. All the windows were blown out, doors were gone. As we went into the building the keeling was down, it was a situation to where we had -- ceiling the doors were out. All the glass was blown out. There was sheet rock on top of the patients. As quick as I could I could get that. The halls were in devastation, all the lights were down. How many people did you pull out? 16 people out of there. You carried two smI carried two at a time to get them out. I knew how bad it was, from there we went to the next wing and made sure it was clear. You were the first one who told us, tell us what you heard about firemen? As I was coming back across, one of the Lady the wives of the the fire men said there had been several firemen had per riched from the fire. Any numbers? Five is what she said. I don't know for a fact that's how many that perished. From the looks that area is bad. You car reeled one person out that you thought might be deceased. She could have been. Where were you at the time, what did you see? I was about 200 feet from the explosion, we were playing basketball, they told us to move out. We were sitting there watching the fire and a big old explosion happened. We hit the deck and ran out as fast as we could. Did you feel anything, did you feel a shock? It was a giant force of pressure pushing me back and shrapnel flying everywhere. You have to be affected by this. Are you still in shock? Still shaken up. I haven't stopped shaking since the whole thing happened. That's the worst thing I have ever seen in my life. Getting in the car, the house windows, I had no jump out of to get to the nursing home. There wasn't a soul. Nobody getting them out, it was blown. Apartments across the the street was blown. What's the address of that nursing home? West rest haven. Tell me what happened? I don't know exactly what happened. I just know once Joyce and I got down there to go and check on her kids past the nursing home, which their house Blue up, then I jumped out, we were on the corner of the nursing home. I jumped out and went to that store, and people were - I don't know, but we started pulling them, people were in there to help, and they ran down that hall which was total ly blown up. This accident or whatever it turns out to have been, everyone is hoping it's an accident comes 4 eight hours after that bombing at the Boston Marathon the US still on a knife edge after that just two days ago. Medical responders in above the Jason had to deal with with blast injuries and now in Waco Texas we have seen emergency responders having to deal with these issues on a mass scale as well. Here was Glen Robinson from the local hospital in Waco. At this time I can certainly give you the the numbers that we're aware of in our particular system. We are part of the health care in central Texas, one of 12 hospitals in the system. At Hillcrest at our trauma centre we have received this evening a total of 66. We still have emergency vehicles and we have at least two more chopt chopters that we know are inbound bringing us additional patients injured. I would say that -- chopters. In talking to the trauma surgeons they are telling us that many of of the injuries we are seeing are not extremely critical. We probably would be treating tonight maybe about 12 patients that would be classified in a serious condition. We already have two patients in the operating room. We have two more patients that are being completely assessed at this time and probably will be heading on to the on rating room shortly. We also have transported this evening two paediatric patients to the McLean children's hospital to receive a higher level of sub speciality care that we thought was appropriate for them. I am being told that burn patients are being directed to parkland Hospital in the Dallas Fort Worth metro Plex about an hour and a half North. Nine burn patients have been transported from the scene. So it is hard to say for sure how many we will see before the night is over. But the good news we are hearing from officials on the scene is that we should be begin to see things easing here within the next hour to two.More on this coming up over the course of the hour. If we get any further developments on this we will bring them to you. Let's bring in Leigh Hatcher on the news desk, the other big news coming out of the United States, a setback for President Barack Obama on gun law reform. It's failed to get through the Senate. A major blow in this plan to kerb gun violence following the new thoun school massacre. It rejected the plan to do firearm checks on those who bye guns online. The minority in the Senate decided it wasn't worth it. They blocked commonsense gun reforms even while these families looked on from the Senate gallery. . The broadened checks were the centrepiece of President Obama's gun-control proposals. FBI agents investigating the Boston bombings say they have identify a suspect after trawling through hours of video. The officials denied earlier reports that an arrest had been made. This report filed from Boston. Here's what we know about the investigation, the FBI know what bombs were with used pressure cookers, 1.6 gallon domestic pressure cookers, packed with shrapnel, ball bearings and nails. They were carried to the scene in black nylon bags. They are said to have footage of a suspect carrying at least one of those bags outside the Forum Restaurant, dropping it in that location where the second blast happened. What we don't know is how much that information, the CCTV foot able and all the evidence they are assisting through, what they found in their searches from offices in whielt coats at that location, where that's leading them in terms of an arrest or identifying a suspect -- white coats. Getting closer to who carried out the attack. It's been a confusing day where there have been reports of an arrest being imminent, an arrest happening, then a suspect being taken to the Federal Courthouse, a building at the centre of a bomb scare. Those reports were denied categorically by the FBI who chieded the media for inaccurate reporting saying that could lead to unintended consequences. Clearly there is progress being made. Exactly what that means in terms of working out who carried out the attack, in terms of whether an arrest is imminent in the coming hours or days is still not at all clear. SA has become the second state to sign up to the full National Disability Insurance Scheme. A trial version of the NDIS will begin in July this year and ran into 2016. It will focus heavily on the needs of disabled children. SA will transition to the full scheme by the end of 2018/19. Thousand of Australian gay couples are expected to cross the Tasman to take advantage of New Zealand's same-sex marriage reforms even though it would not be recognised under Australian law. The New Zealand Parliament passed the marriage amendment bill. The vote was treated with cheers and applause from packed public galleries and kicked off celebrations around the country. In sport, Brisbane is treating this weekend's AFL match with North Melbourne as a must-win. The limons knocked their first Victory against the Gold Coast, but the tough eight week stretch ahead of them. The forecast tomorrow, cool, windy with showers increasing in the the east, mostly dry in the south, showers in the southwest. Back with with another update soon. Thanks for that. We are live from Geelong RSL. Tony Abbott will be facing the first people's forum of the election year. After the break we will preview what some are the big issues are in this part of the country, stay with us.
Welcome back to the program. We are live from Geelong RSL. Ahead of tonight's first Sky News people's forum of the election 2013 year. We are doing it in conjunction with 'The Herald Sun' and the Geelong advertiser. That will kick off later. We are throwing a spotlight on this region this afternoon. I've been wandering around town talking to the locals about the issues of concern to them. We will show you some responses. Let's put it bluntly the bad news nor Labor and Julia Gillard in terms of those responses later. First of all we will bring in the panel, we're joined by one of the local MPs Richard Marhs, the the closest Liberal MP, Josh Friedenberg. You don't have any Liberals in this part of the world. Hopefully that will change on September 14th. The seat with we are no is Corangamite, this is the most marginal electorate, the margin is 0.3% after a redistribution. The people I spoke to today, the one issue that came through loudest was jobs. Concerns about unemployment, concerns about what is happening in the car industry, the Ford plant is a strong employer, also the Shell Refinery which Shell is trying to sell, and the Alcoa Smelter as well. The strong manufacturing heartland. People are worried about the jobs that have been lost and could be lost in the the future. Richard, what can Labor do to address the concerns? You've been in government six years and people are still nervous. This is an area where there is a clear differentiation between us and the Opposition, it is an area of concern, not surprisingly we are in the front line of the effect of the Australian dollar. We are feeling the effects of the global economic crisis here in Geelong. You mentioned the three major multinationals who are here in Shell, Ford and Alcoa have had significant challenges. We have been supported each employers, Alcoa to the tune of 40 million to keep them going through to the review next year. We have been supporting Ford, and that's what we are doing in terms of the specific now. Across the manufacturing industry we announced a billion dollar plan for jobs in manufacturing where we were setting up industry precincts, we are hopeful here we might be able to get one of those. We also have a plan for high tech manufacturing, we put $37 million into a research furnace carbon fibre research furnace at Deakin University, carbon fibre wheels nor cars, some hopes we might have a couple of hundred people working there within a year. That's high tech manufacturing, we're investing in the future. Can I make the point Tony Abbott comes to a car town with the proposition of cutting half a billion dollars out of the car industry. That's what he says he will do. In all truth he will cut a couple of billion dollars. He is saying he will review the industry assistance. Review tl down. He's made it very clear that money is going to be leaving, he's not putting any money in. Let's address this. Josh what is the Coalition going to do? The people of Corangamite and Coriah has lost confidence in the Government, Richard Marls has lost confidence as well. He recently resigned. People are feeling insecure. Eight months ago the Prime Minister came to the Ford plant and promised 34 million to create jobs, none of those jobs eventuated. We have learnt that 300 jobs have been lost from Ford. We are going to contribute a billion to the car industry, more than that we are going to work with the car industry to get an effective export plan. That's what Tony Abbott has said. He said we need to create new markets for the car industry. We have to actually help sell these cars not only domestically but internationally. How do you create new markets? Is that within the Australian Government's power to create a new market? Absolutely. How is it? To work with the company, to work with Austrade, to work with other areas in order to say, "Hang on, we have a great product here. With where did we export to?" Let's take this practically, you go to Ford, you are making a good car, a Territory, we will help you sell it to the drk what's a market? Middle East. Middle East, how do you do that? We have a footprint in the Middle East, we will work with them. From tal down we will get senior ministers involved in creating jobs in Australia for the export market. The other thing we will do we will get the productivity Commission which is effective in this area to Don duct a review of the handouts. Richard points to a sac of money that's been given to the car industry as being the answer. That hasn't been the answer. I just want to get beyond the usual party lines on this and talk practically of the if you want to sell a Ford Territory you have to convince the Ford company based in the United States to make left-hand drive vehicles here? That's right, we sell the cars into Asia and the Middle East and elsewhere. We can do that from Australia. The point is...You will convince Ford to do this? U I think we can work with Ford to develop new export markets. This is the whole point you have to get into the the detail of this, David, you have to get your head around it to make a difference. You're not creating jobs. Let's export Fords into the Middle East like that is a new I'd yachl the simple fact for that to occur we have to reconfigure the plant so it can manufacture left-hand drive vehicles. This is a proposition put to Ford, they're not up for it. Here's the other point if you were going to get them up for it you would need money to do it, your proposition is to take half a billion out of the industry? Where with is your 1 billion going to do? We have been supporting Ford in the development of the eco boost engine. They are here through to 2016 because of the support we are providing and the partnership...Let me ask you this, we hear consider companies say we are here for the long haul then hundreds of jobs are gone. Is it time to bite the bullet and question whether the Government money pumped into car makers is worthwhile? That is a question which is a live question in the Liberal Party shadow cabinet. Shouldn't it be for all of us? If we are going to make things in the country we have to be making the highest if he can manufacturing products. The highest tech manufacturing we do in this country is making cars, stopping to make car is not just about jobs, it is removing industry capability. We should always make cars, why? If we don't make cars in this country we are dumbing down the manufacturing, that is the wrong way to go. If this mob gets gets elected they will cut billions, if the car industry goes the manufacturing industry is down for the count. The highest tech manufacturing we do in this country will no longer exist. David, can I make the point the carbon tax is increasing the cost of everything by 500 dollars, it's a fact, 400 dollars is the increase in cost. If you lift the carve making a car it's going to make it more difficult to sell it. This figurings the Australian dollar and the global economy. I'm talking about things you can control. The amount it contributes is debatable, it is a cost factor, the the carbon tax, how much higher than the European prices or China in the next few years, it's an incredibly high priceIf we are going to have the carbon price conversation...Let's have itOpposition...Let me ask you about the Government do you support as a disgruntled member of the Government. I'm not running with that idea. You were disgruntled a while ago, do you support the carbon price claiming in 2015? . I support the carbon price becoming a floating mechanism. I support providing a sense of security and predictability to countries in -- companies in the short-term so they know how much it is going to cost. What I absolutely support we plug ourselves into the European emissions trading system so we with do have a floating price going into the future. Look, this is a policy about decades-worth of change. It's about politics. Decades worth of change. The exact price in this year as we move from a fixed price to a floating price is not the main game. The main game we are establishing a price on carbon, we are building ourselves into a global trading system. That's what we need to do. The idea that anything we are talking about now in terms of jobs in Geelong is a function of that, completely ridiculous and not a company that says that it is. David, this has been highly embarrassing for the Government. 30% fall in the carbon price out of Europe. Now Australians are going to be paying more than 550% more per tonne of carbon than their European counter parts and increasing to $37 a tonne by 2020 and more and more over time. It will be a floating price. That's the treasury modelling. We haven't got to the national broadband network and the School Kids Bonus we are out of time. I appreciate you both coming in. We have great of candidates in Sarah Henderson and Peter Reith. Good to talk to you, we will be back after the break with more from Geelong, stay with us.
Welcome back to PM Agenda live from Geelong this afternoon. More from this part of the world in just a minute. Let's check the very latest news headlines with Leigh Hatcher, Leigh. David, there are fierce between 60 and 70 people have been killed, hundreds have been injured at a huge explosion at a fertiliser plant outside Waco in Texas. It's reported some of the dead are firefighters and police officers. A nearby nursing home, apartment complex and West middle school have also caught fire. The cause isn't immediately known, but maybe an, anhydrous ammonia explosion. There are reports people have being treated for inhauling the fumes. US President Barack Obama says Washington should be ashamed after the Senate voted down efforts to crack down on gun violence. He vowed to continue his fight with gun-control as the Senate rejected extended background check for buyers, it is to kerb violence after the massacre of children and staff at an elementary school in Connecticut. It is a huge rejection of family pleas for the massacre. The US have isolated a person on the video carrying a black bag at the Boston marathon. No arrests have been made over the attacks who killed people and injured 170. Barack Obama will visit the city in a show of national solidarity.Prime Minister Julia Gillard has secured the support of I a second state with the National Disability Insurance Scheme with SA signing up. A trial version of the NDIS will be held in July of this year, will run into 2016. It will focus heavily on the needs of disabled children. SA will now transition to the full scheme by the end of 2018-19. Under the deal the States annual funding for disabilities services will almost double, by 2018. The Federal Government will contribute 760 million, taking total fund nothing SA to 1.4 billion. In sport Kangaroos captain says confidence is high in the Australian camp ahead of tomorrow night's clash against New Zealand in Canberra. Despite the limb theed preparation he believes his side is on track to claim yet another Victory against the Kiwis. New Zealand has won just three of the past 21 clashes against Australia. Tomorrow's forecast, cool, windy with showers increasing in the east, mostly dry in the south, showers in the southwest, the latest news, sport and weather David I'll be back to you in Geelong -- limited preparation. We are here at Geelong RSL where tonight Leader of the Opposition Tony Abbott will be facing voters for the first people's forum of the year. We are throwing a spotlight on the region ahead of tonight's forum. We are in the most marginal seat in the region, Corangamite. I spoke to a number of locals this afternoon, not a lot of good news for Labor. They are concerned about jobs and not much support for reelecting the Gillard Government. Let's bring in the panel, the political editor of the Sydney morning herald peter Hartcher and Dennis Shanahan joining us for some national issues of the I want to get your thoughts on this area. It's a manufacturing heartland, Ford, Shell, Alcoa big employers here, there are concerns about employment. Dennis Shanahan how do you think the two parties are travelling, in Victoria, I suppose more generally it is going to be a crucial state this times? There's no doubt that Labor is at its strongest in Victoria. It is Julia Gillard's home State. Its where she is regarded most highly, but the Newspoll demographic breakdowns and state by state breakdowns showing Labor is going off the bail in Victoria and Tony Abbott is getting closer to Julia Gillard as preferred Prime Minister. There are a number of those seats you have mentioned already that are very much on the red line. The Liberals would hope to get at least three, possibly four seats in Victoria just to ensure that the losses in Queensland and Victoria -- going off the boil. That Labor is expecting is backed up, this is what happened to Tony Abbott last time. He did quite well, then failed in NSW. If he'd done better in NSW he could have won, so they're not taking any chances. They are really concentrating and jobs is a big issue, particularly in the area you're N we have seen jobs lost to auto workers. Of course this week we have also had the very bad news on the carbon price for the Government. The carbon price, carbon tax continues to be unpopular, although it hasn't had the impact that the Liberal Party would have hoped. So overall Victoria is Labor's best State, but there are signs it is beginning to Freya round the edges. This Government has pumped a fair bit of money into the consider industry and the steel industry as well. But Tony Abbott only has to mention the carbon tax it seems to rattle the nerves.You mentioned the region, David, as the Heart land of Australian manufacturing. Well, it's a heartland that's sort of got a pace maker, a very expensive Federal pace maker inserted at the moment with a whole bunch - you mentioned three of the major plants there, Ford, Shell, Alcoa, with the Ford and Alcoa being kept alive with Government handouts. Kept alive with a combination of habits and handouts. Of course all of them are Chiefly suffering from the Australian dollar. It's a disease affecting the entire economy with the exception, of course of the the mining sector which has not been affected by it. But the political debate has guaranteed the dollar, the political de-- quarantined the dollar, it is limited to marginal issues when it comes to the viability and the economics of those industries, carbon tax...Just on that, I saw Ross Garner trying to get debate going, neither side of politics are wanting to go there? No, they're not, they don't want to be seen, rightly don't want to be seen to be interfering with the independence of the Central Bank. The currency question is a very big one, that neither party has shown any interest in tinkering with with, so Garner's ideas are potent and politically dangerous to dabble with, neither side wants to touch them. On the carbon tax specifically, Dennis, where do you think the events in Europe this week have left the Gillard Government's carbon pricing plans? I think they have left them in complete disarray. Greg come barks took a bet, a short-term bet when he linked Australia to the EU system. He was -- Combet. He was handing over the price in carbon in Australia to the EU. He was banking on the fact that the EU would meet early this year, that they would then withdraw the credits, limit this mass of credits which are basically valueless in Europe, then force up the price on the European market so that by July 2015 Australia's price of $29 would not be so far removed from the European price. As it looks at the moment there could well be a euro price of the carbon of one euro a tonne while the Australian dollar is at $29. A huge disparity there, and no sign really that Europe is going to solve that problem. So while Greg Combet is talking about the impact of the Global Financial Crisis the fundamental problem for the European market always has been this mass of dodgy carbon credits and the fact that a large number, as we have seen this week, a majority of European legislators want to protect European industry from further carbon imposts, so that's the price problem there, means, of course, that Greg Combet only months after saying the Treasury forecasts on carbon revenue were good now has to say they'll be reviewed and the possibility in the out years of the Government actually facing a $9 billion shortfall in carbon revenue. The other problem...It's a huge number, sorry, go on. The other problem, the political problem, that's the budgetary problem, the political problem is Australia now appears completely isolated. The EU market has collapsed, they are talking about the EU carbon price as being junk bonds. Now, we don't want to be associated with that. We are now isolated and completely different in a completely different zone to the the rhetoric of Australia being part of the successful global carbon emissions market. Peter, if the Government were to slash the Australian price to something like $3 or $4000, it might answer political problems. It's a budget mess if they do it now or in a couple of years when it happens. If they do it now it would be a -- $3 or $4. It would be a complete budgetary disaster all of the unravelling of the assumptions behind the scheme, the political potency it arms Tony Abbott, it gives Tony Abbott fresh ammunition, and an even stronger political case and fiscal case for dismantling the carbon tax when he takes power. When the carbon tax finishes and the transition to an ETS begins is when the Australian carbon market Links explicitly to the international market and companies with finance their liabilities with up to half with internationally-bought permits. That's when the two would be forced to move more closely together. In the short-term, between now and the election, this is simply going to be another argument in Tony Abbott's corner for the dismantling of the scheme. Now, I finally just want to look at tomorrow's COAG meeting that State and Territory leaders arriving in Canberra around about now, they have dinner with the Prime Minister at the Lodge as is tradition and the formal talks tomorrow, the main item on the agenda is the school funding reform, there mightn't be too much agreement, but the States will use the time available for the deadline to sign up or not at the end of June. Dennis, how do you think the Prime Minister has approached this negotiation, during the course of this week? Has she done much to get the Premiers over the line? The Prime Minister has tended to concentrate on a media come pain, the announcement of the details on Saturday and Sunday were a very soon after the States were given the details, so it has been a media campaign from the Prime Minister. There hasn't been a long-term work to try and get the States to work with the Commonwealth. The States have been complaining bitterly about a lack of detail and the Prime Minister has not been working with them to that degree. The Prime Minister would certainly want to see the Gonski reforms signed up to by all the States preferably. I think you are right, it's unlikely that anyone or those except in the best circumstances would sign up tomorrow. You don't sign up until the deadline. The danger is if NSW were to sign up tomorrow Victoria may then end up with a better deal and NSW would see its self-short changed. We probably won't see a great deal agreed tomorrow. It is unlikely WA will ever agree. Some of of the others will hold out because they will think perhaps we can do a better deal with Tony Abbott. Peter, what is like ray to happen tomorrow, more broadly on the school reforms? There are ascending orders of difficulty. There is also the Parliamentary problem of getting not just any Gonski legislation through. Actually, I don't know it is right to call it Gonski now that Gonski has distanced himself from the entire exercise bio posing part of the package which is the cuts to university funding through which the Government is proposing to fund what used to be known as the Gonski legislation. It has to get through the Parliament. There are questions about the Senate, whether this will be a legislation or just an election pamphlet. Quite apart from the question of the States, the main problem for the States, this fits with Dennis's point which is as Colin Barnett the Western Australian Premier has said why would you do a deal with a caretaker Government. That's the problem when you leave a major reformulate in the election, late in the sieblg there is little political temptation to get involved. It presents an opportunity that NSW must be sorely divided over. NSW, I think would welcome the opportunity to reboot the a built to start the policy fresh. It has the political disincentive of working with the short-term Gillard Government looking certain to lose, plus the fact it is having great difficulty coming up with the 1.7 billion its own contribution. Even a State of NSW which is tempted and would like I suspect spect to come on board is having -- I suspect to come on board is having reservations. Thanks for joining us, good to talk to you this afternoon. Stay with us after the break we will have more from Geelong. We will show you some of the views of the locals. I've been speaking to here today. Stay with us.
Welcome back to the program. We are coming to you live from Geelong this afternoon. There are two Labor health seats one is Corio, held on a comfortable margin of 10%, the other is Corangamite. It is most marginal electorate in the country,.3%. One expected to fall to the Coalition in the September election. I had a wander around the streets to test the mood of the electorate, to see what voters think. Some of them not political engaged at all, they were happy to admit of the they all vote in this election, and it's clear to see there's not a lot of support for Julia Gillard.We have an election coming up in five months from now, what are the big issues in this area for you? I think the the way the jobs are going. I'm a retiree I still think a lot of people require jobs for mortgages and things like that. With all of the threats like a possibility of Ford, possibility of Alcoa those places going down, I think they should be looked at first. Which side of politics is doing a better job on this? Well, it's hard to say at the moment. I would hope, given a chance the Liberal Party get in, they might change things around. What makes you say that, something about Tony Abbott or Julia Gillard? Something about the parties, the Labor Party has lost its way, ware not doing anything for the working man. We don't seem to be getting anywhere, what we deserve out of a government. Do you think that Julia Gillard has been a good Prime Minister? Not really, I think she came in trying to be the the first female Prime Minister in Australia, I don't think she has done any good at it. You're not worried about Tony Abbott? . I think he might rule a bit stronger. We are the most marginal electorate, I have kids in primary school, health and hochts, for my employ -- and hospitals. For my employer there are legislative changes that might affect my employer. I've never been more disillusioned with the politics and the prospect of fixing the countryWhy is that? You don't like Julia Gillard or Tony Abbott? No, I look like at the time of John Howard, he had strength and leadership and devotion to what he did. It was almost like a by gone era of politics. Dune which side of politics? I will always vote the way my dad has voted, no-one has managed to sway me. Definitely the TAFE system. There was a protest the other day. I think it is ridiculous the way they are treating TAFE students. There needs to be more a tejs. Not enough money into TAFE? There's been a lot of jobs cut. That's themain industry -- needs to be more attention. I would go Greens, I don't support any of them. They are both too into their own areas. Greens are going to address some of the important issues. I think youth unemployment is a important issue. They should be targeting that area my vote is still up for grabs. Anything but Gillard? Why is that? She isn't doing well enough for the country. In any area? General. Are you happy to see Tony Abbott become Prime Minister? I don't think he could do worse than Gillard. That was not selective editing, we couldn't find anyone on that street corner seeing they wanted to vote for Julia Gillard or Labor. Let's bring in Terry McCrann. We have been discussing a big issue in this region, the manufacturing jobs, the concerns people have about unemployment. They are kept alive, Ford and Alcoa to an extent by government assistance of the how viable is this in the long-term? David, as you know no-one has a magic wand, we can't wave it and recreate the car industry, the whole manufacturing sector was in Dell Klein before we got whacked by the strong dollar. That's the final issue that makes it hard. Is there anything that can be done with the dollar? People are talking about trying to force the dollar down. You see around the world countries are embarking on that, Japan has joined the party. In that world in which the big guys are trying to force down the currencies it would be a dangerous exercise. That means paying for areas such as this? It does, the key point, manufacturing, particularly the car industry was uneconomic before the dollar hit, so that even if we got the dollar down to 90 cents that doesn't suddenly recreate the world people go out and bye the Holden, Commodore or Falcon they are buying small Japanese cars. They are delaying the nef of tabl, we saw Jack Nasser, somebody who spent his life in the car industry saying it was close to the end of the industry. He was speaking from the respect of a resources company boss. The reality is the money could h going into the car industry is delaying the inevitable. For a seat like this to peel away what voters think of Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott, given Labor has a stronger commitment on car industry support pumping 40 million into Alcoa is Labor a better bet? None of that has worked in the narrow political context. We have seen the redundancies proposed by Ford. You might Dell lay the inevitable for Alcoa, there is the shell oil refining plant in Geelong, the cement industry. All of these industries are threatened by the strong dollar and the difficulty of manufacturing in Australia, so you really of can't keep all of those fingers in all of those Dams. I can safely bet that Tony Abbott will talk about the carbon tax here tonight. What do you think is in a big factor? The carbon tax is not the killer, it is obviously a heavy straw that might break that camel's back. You don't impose the carbon tax another burden on manufacturing when it is already struggling in the way it is with the dollar and with the reality of the cost of manufacturing in Australia. So, no, you don't the carbon tax way, it won't save the manufacturing industry, you don't accelerate the pain by doing something like that. Terry, great to talk to you, we will catch you with, thanks so much for that. Stay with us, we will be back after the break, more from Geelong, also of course we will bring you the latest on this terrible news out of Texas, the fertiliser plant that's exploded with its feared scores killed. Stay with us.
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