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(generated from captions) is fighting the election, The Labour Party but where the hell is Tony Blair? on the party political broadcasts, He ain't on the leaflets, he ain't his rotted name! they don't even mention with no steering wheel The party is like a car and Blunkett's driving.

by Blair and are keeping him away. Listen, man, they are embarrassed It's not going to work. of Colonel Sanders off the packet When they took the picture taste any better. it didn't make the chicken and fight like a man. Blair should stand up and, I'll tell you something, Otherwise he'll have a sell-by date ain't going to do the trick. cutting off the mouldy bits they're gonna have to... It was an eruption. I'm telling you, Welcome back to Soundbite News. Professor Nadia Tomshead MA BSE BNQ And in the Hot Seat tonight is a theory of sound harmony. who has developed Hello. Good evening. of sound harmony theory. Actually, it's the harmonic theory Alright. everything in the universe Yes, you see, which you can't hear, has a particular subsonic note my inner ear to respond to. but I have trained sound like? So what does a noise you can't hear Like that. OK. explain and explicate your theory, So, could you, please, if indeed it is explicable. even food has a harmonic structure. Oh, yes, of course. Well, you know, fish and chips. Let's take a classic example, and chips are E. Now, fried cod is middle C, of course, G, Salt and vinegar are both, and what have you got? so put them together in C major. Hey, presto, a harmonising meal Oh, really? what we're talking about. You have no idea and I have to go to the bathroom. I am so bored, to relationships, Now, you have applied your theory my assumption to be correct or not? would I not be right in assuming Oh, yes, of course. whether people are compatible Well, I can tell their subsonic harmonies. by analysing Roberts would divorce Lyle Lovett. Yes, you predicted that Julia Oh, yes, yes, yes, and Lyle is a minor sixth. because Julia is a major seventh Their subsonic relationship trapped inside a piano. sounded like an agoraphobic duck And I guess J-Lo dumped P. Diddy right? because their harmonies didn't match, because he's an arsehole. No, she did that Do we have sympathetic harmonies? So, what about Sam and I? quite interesting, actually. (Hums note) Oh, that's Your sounds are quite abstract. I hear a soft English rose With you, Sam, with a baseball bat. being smashed repeatedly I can hear the sound of, um... And with you, Roly, Naked butt skin on car upholstery? explored his spiritual side. I'm sorry, Roly has never really Knock it off, Sam. thought she was pregnant When that girl in Accounts I prayed for three days straight. who would say, would they not, Look, Professor, there are those like a load of rubbish. that this all does sound a bunch of baloney. Or, to put it more politely, a load of bollocks. I think it sounds more like sounds quite like a bunch of baloney Which, in turn,

they're both in the key of D major. because, of course, (Laughs) Thank you, Professor. Oh! Shh! I'm like all parents, over her education. I put pressure on my daughter

at secondary school I say, "If you don't work hard

sixth form college. "you won't get into sixth form college "If you don't get into "you won't get into university. "And if you don't get into university with a crippling ?35,000 debt. "you won't start your adult life "Do you wanna miss out on all that?! "Do you?!" LAUGHTER Any students? Yeah. Any students here? if you're a student, isn't it? It's hard to stay out of debt and borrow money - big mistake. See, some students go to a loan shark Big mistake! years later they get the degree, They get into deep trouble and three but they can't pick it up

Mickey the Fish took their fingers. because some bloke called

I'm a BA!

working-class education The thing about kicks in when you get sent to jail. is that traditionally it only really You get all these hard-case geezers Wandsworth with a 2-2, you know? going, "Yeah, I come out of going down the scrubs to do my MA. "I been thinking about "It's a 1-year course, that would be about right." "so if I do a bit of shoplifting (All laugh) a guy for my professorship, "On the other hand, I could just stab "what do you think?" (All laugh) Welcome to Top of the Pops 2. MAN: Hi. This is Steve. 'Rivers of Babylon'. And this is Boney M, carried us away in captivity (All sing) # When the wicked # Requiring of us a song the Lord's song # Now, how shall we sing # In a strange land? # (All hum) # Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah # Let the words of our mouth # And the meditations of our hearts # Be acceptable in Thy sight # Here tonight # Let the words of our mouth # And the meditations of our hearts # Be acceptable in Thy sight # Here tonight. # (All cheer) to Gina, to Jocelyn. Thank you to Meera, to Tamsin, Enjoy Euro 2004. Thank you for watching. Have a great weekend. Goodnight! International Pty Ltd Captioning and Subtitling Closed Captions provided by

This program is not subtitled Tonight -

Barnaby's balancing act. thin red line over the IR Bill. The Queensland senator walks the has the right I don't think the Senate out to throw holtus boltus legislation what the problems are without actually identifying and seeing if you can fix them. is maintaining the pressure. But the Opposition He should vote to kill this Bill. won't help it All the tinkering in the world

of Queensland of Australia. and won't help the workers This program is captioned live.

Good evening. Welcome to Lateline. I'm Maxine McKew. In our Friday Forum, Labor's Peter Garrett and the Liberals' Malcolm Turnbull pick over the week and reflect on the power and the passion

of their first year in politics. To be honest, it's still a bit of a blur. It's very busy and very intense. The thing I take from it is - I think what people probably understand and that is you've got competing demands on your time in Opposition. It's a fearsome job because you don't have the resources that the government has, I think, to do the job as perhaps you'd like. I did go to boarding school, unfortunately, but the difference is that at boarding school the bells ring at regular intervals,

in Parliament they ring at all sorts of odd times.

The new boys - that's coming up. But first, our other headlines. Kim Beazley calls on the Federal Government to repatriate an Australian resident deported to Serbia. New allegations that Singapore's banks are helping process profits from the Burmese heroin trade. And, secure shopping - ASIO updates commercial property owners on the threat from terrorism. Nationals Senator Barnaby Joyce is calling on the Federal Government to delay the vote on its new workplace legislation. Senator Joyce wants more time for the Bill to be amended. The Federal Government is offering to compromise on some details after a revolt by Queensland State Nationals. Barnaby Joyce isn't ruling out crossing the floor, but he hopes the legislation can be changed. Sally Sara reports from Canberra.

Barnaby Joyce won't say whether he'll cross the floor, but for the moment it's unlikely. What he wants is more time. Senator Joyce is confident the laws can go through, but not in the next seven days.

They still can be passed before Christmas, but they don't have to be passed next week. Senator Joyce arrived at Queensland National Party headquarters this morning for a meeting with the State management committee. Yesterday,

the Queensland Nationals crossed the floor of State Parliament

to highlight their opposition to the workplace laws. State leader Lawrence Springborg had a strong message for his federal colleagues. This is the Queensland Nationals standing up for what we know is right. We stand for a proper family/workplace balance. Barnaby Joyce has a balancing act of his own. He has serious concerns, but he doesn't want the bill scrapped altogether. I don't think the Senate has a right to throw, holtus boltus, legislation out without actually identifying what the problems are and seeing if you can fix them. That means it's all about amendments. Acting PM Mark Vaile is confident all Coalition senators will support the legislation. He's signaling the Government is prepared to compromise on some details to make sure that happens. There's been some issues raised that might need some small or minor amendment or change.

We've said all along we are prepared to have a look at that. There are two things at the top of the list - one is unfair dismissal laws for small businesses, the other is the protection of public holidays. The Federal Coalition is playing down the revolt by the Queensland Nationals. But, with the PM out of the country, the real negotiations won't start until next week. Until then, the Federal Opposition is putting pressure on Barnaby Joyce to cross the floor. He should vote to kill this bill. All the tinkering in the world won't help it and won't save it. All the tinkering in the world won't help the workers of Queensland and won't help the workers of Australia. The churches are worried it won't help the poor or vulnerable either. Catholic bishops have released a statement, calling for the legislation to be changed. The Anglicans also believe it will only provide benefits if it's amended.

The question is will the legislation, as it stands, deliver those things? And we believe we've had insufficient time really to mull over it sufficiently to know. Industrial relations is expected to be at the top of the agenda when both houses of Parliament resume on Monday. Sally Sara, Lateline. There's increasing pressure for the repatriation of a deported Australian resident now living on the streets of Belgrade.

The Opposition Leader, Kim Beazley, says Robert Jovicic is Australia's responsibility. And there's a development in another deportation case

reported by Lateline last night. Fatih Tuncok, a man who's lived in Australia since the age of six and now faces being sent back to Turkey because of his criminal record, has been released from custody at Villawood Detention Centre. Michael Edwards has this report. Robert Jovicic's forlorn shuffle around the freezing streets of Belgrade is now a familiar sight. He's stuck in Serbia, with no means of support and limited language skills. His family wants him back. Now the Opposition Leader's joined that call. He's been in the country since the age of two. For God's sake, all his criminal activities and everything else have been things that are product of our system and his decisions within it. You don't just go and dump him on the Serbs. More examples of long-term residents being deported from Australia on character grounds are now emerging. Last night, Lateline reported the case of Fatih Tuncok, now 39. He's lived in Australia since the age of six. He has a criminal record and could be deported to Turkey. However, the Immigration Minister, Amanda Vanstone, says

she'll review Mr Tuncok's situation personally after being approached by the Turkish ambassador. He's also been released from custody at Villawood this afternoon, where he was held since December 2002.

But the Government isn't backing away from the broader principle of deporting criminals. Is the country better off without these people, Mr Ruddock? Look, I simply make the point it is a long standing practice that non-citizens who commit criminal acts be considered for deportation. Is the country better off? Immigration lawyer David Mann says he's noticed a recent rise in deportations of long-term residents on character grounds.

There's an alarming trend with

characters - it's imposing a lot on

Australia. It's sending a chilling

message to multicultural Australia

that permanent residency is not

prerment but precarious. Meanwhile, Robert Jovicic's sister in Australia, Susanna, is set to meet Immigration Department officials about her brother's predicament. Michael Edwards, Lateline. The head of ASIO has told business leaders to make sure they work constructively with government and intelligence agencies as the threat of terrorism shows no sign of abating. Paul O'Sullivan was addressing chief executives of some of Australia's largest shopping centres which have long been seen as vulnerable to a terrorist attack. Hamish Fitzsimmons reports. As usual in the lead-up to Christmas, millions are expected to visit malls and shopping centres around Australia in the next few weeks. Those who manage those centres met in Sydney today to discuss how to better coordinate private security with government agencies. The main focus is risk analysis, intelligence sharing and preparation for a terrorist attack. It's one of the areas in which we've wanted to ensure that there is an appropriate trusted information sharing network in Burma, also . are believed to have originated in Burma, also known .

in place to ensure that those who are in charge of very large gathering places, those who are involved with iconic buildings and infrastructure - and shopping centres are part of those arrangements - are included in our effective dialogue and cooperative arrangements. The Federal Government emphasises prevention as the best way of combating terrorism. In the key note address,

ASIO Director-General Paul O'Sullivan told the meeting it is important for the community not to lose sight of the intention of the anti-terrorism Bill introduced this year, which he says is to identify terrorists before they have the chance to act. There's no indication that the problem of terrorism is abating, so the challenge for all of us - for governments, for the agencies, for businesses, for the community, is to ensure that our perception, our characterisation of the threat remains realistic and appropriate and that we shape our response to the threat in ways that are measured, determined and appropriate. Mr O'Sullivan also addressed key elements of the anti-terrorism legislation introduced this year directed at investigating terrorist finances.

He says there are now new and greater requirements of financial institutions and related businesses to collect identifying details of individuals using their services. The ASIO Director-General says these provisions are an important to identifying those who may be seeking to do harm. For its part, business acknowledges the importance of working with governments on the matter of national security.

I think there's a high level of awareness. There's a high level of communication, a high level of interchange of ideas with a focus to continually improve the path that we're on, so I wouldn't like to focus on any one particular area that needs attention because I think that attention is already being given.

The Property Council of Australia is now seeking closer ties with Government in the private security sector. One option being considered is one similar to London's project Griffin, which trains security staff to work more closely with the police. This program was praised by police after the London bombings this year for restoring public order and providing intelligence. Hamish Fitzsimons, Lateline. The Federal Government has ruled out an appeal to the International Court of Justice over the Van Nguyen case after seeking advice from an international law expert. Van Nguyen's mother and brother paid another visit to Changi Prison today, still hopeful of a late breakthrough. But those hopes proved to be in vain.

There's no point, of course, in pursuing a course of action which is going to be completely unproductive. All we would do is embarrass ourselves by doing that. The Opposition Leader, Kim Beazley, said the decision lacked courage. Van Nguyen's friends were deeply disappointed by today's news and his lawyer, Lex Lasry, insists it's still possible to ask Singapore to accept the jurisdiction

of the International Court. Nguyen's legal team is also upset

that they have been denied permission to attend the execution. It's difficult to understand that our attempt to comfort our client by being present would be rejected out of hand by the government,

but it has been. Van Nguyen is due to be executed next Friday. As with the vast majority of the heroin smuggled in our region, the drugs Van Nguyen was caught with are believed to have originated in Burma, also known as Myanmar. That's refocused attention on the links between Burma and Singapore. Some accuse the island of being tough on couriers while protecting those who manufactured the drugs he was carrying. Tom Iggulden reports.

Allegations that Singapore protects Burma's drug barons have been circulating for a decade or more. It was the Australian SBS Television itself that actually did a documentary showing the link between Singapore Government's investments in Burma that are tied in together with Asia World, a company that's owned and run by the notorious Lo Hsing Han.

And tonight there are new claims - that Singaporean banks are helping Burmese drug lords process profits from the heroin trade. Singapore's banks, in conjunction with some other overseas banks, help the Burmese Government evade US sanctions. Economics professor Sean Turnell gained deep knowledge of the Burmese economic system as an analyst for the Reserve Bank of Australia. Now at Macquarie University's economics and finance department, he's a world authority on Burma's secretive economy. Where the Singapore banks are rumoured to come in is to allow the Burmese regime and the drugs traffickers in Burma to earn other than US dollars - to convert US dollar earning into other currencies - and in so, doing avert some of the sanctions imposed by the US. Such currency deals, he says, would undermine the determined efforts by the US to throttle South-East Asia's biggest narcotics producer. The extent to which Singapore's financial sector could do that without the knowledge of the Singapore Government I think is very remote. And money flows from Singapore to Burma in other ways too. After being the first country to invest in Burma's economy in the mid-'90s, Singapore remains Burma's biggest foreign investor despite recent inflows from neighbours such as China and India. Now there's no direct evidence linking Singapore investments to the narcotics trade, but there is substantial Singaporean investment in real estate, in hotels, in tourism - in other areas of Burma's economy, which don't seem to make sense on economic grounds. Today, the Singaporean High Commission in Canberra issued a statement responding to the persistent claims of a close relationship between the Asian economic powerhouse and Burma.

And the Australian Government agrees. A spokesman for Foreign Minister Alexander Downer told Lateline:

But that's not good enough for the Greens. I think there's an element of hypocrisy in the way in which the Singaporean Government is saying we want to be tough on drugs by killing a first-time drug offender, but we're not prepared to take the steps that others in our region need to take with us to ensure that we reduce the opium trade in the region. Rather they're investing in a country

that's one of the significant opium-producing countries in the word. The Singapore Government has reiterated today all its investments in Burma are above board. Tom Iggulden, Lateline. Well, now to our Friday Forum in a week where there has been no parliament but plenty of politics.

The IR legislation has been the trigger for much of it. Bad polls for the Howard Government, a minor revolt by the Queensland Nationals, and another bout of leadership speculation. On a more sombre note, the Australian man on death row in Singapore, Van Nguyen, now seems to have little hope of a reprieve. So to tonight's guests to discuss some of these matters - Labor's Peter Garrett, the member for Kingsford Smith, he's in our Melbourne studio, and here with me in Sydney is Malcolm Turnbull, the member for Wentworth. Good evening to you both.

Good evening. Gentlemen, if I can start on the case of Van Nguyen in Singapore, it does seem that all the signs are that this execution will proceed next week. Malcolm Turnbull, has Australian Government done all it can do to plead for clemency, or has the approach been somewhat defeatist from the start? No, it hasn't been defeatist at all. It's been a respectful and relatively low-key approach, which is the approach that's best calculated to achieve a reprieve. You know, grandstanding and attacking Singapore is not going to help Mr Nguyen. The Australian Government, and Alexander Downer in particular, have been quite successful in getting clemency for convicted Australian drug traffickers, Australian drug traffickers... Not in Singapore. Not in Singapore, no. In Vietnam. But there are two Australians who were sentenced to death for drug offences, both of whom, following representations from Mr Downer and the Prime Minister, have had their death sentences commuted to life imprisonment. So, I think the approach was the right one. Sadly, very sadly, it hasn't been successful. Peter Garrett, how do you see this, particularly as we're hearing Singapore's attitude to all of this,

of course? It believes it has this no tolerance policy towards drug dealers and they believe, from their point of view, they're absolutely correct to have that. How do we fight that if we can? Well, it's very difficult, Maxine. They're, in a sense, setting the bar of their own national sovereignty and their complete policy framework on whether or not you'd reprieve a young Australian from the death penalty.

Look, like Malcolm and many others, I'm opposed to the death penalty, but I do think there are some difficulties there. It seems to me that one of the things that happened early in this case is the Government gave the impression that it understood that there were difficulties, in a sense, trying to impose your will on another sovereign nation, but they may not have really expressed strongly and firmly enough in that early stage the revulsion that many people feel to Mr Nguyen. about what was going to happen Notwithstanding that, I think it is very difficult, and there's essentially a bipartisan approach on this issue. I do know that Kim Beazley has written to Mr Howard proposing that both Mr Rudd and Mr Downer do a last-minute visit. While there's life, there is hope, but it doesn't seem too good at this point in time. Just still with you, Peter Garrett, do you think there is a bigger clash of values perhaps looming on this. In a more interconnected world, with, you know, the democratisation of travel, is it inevitable that, in fact, more of our nationals are going to be striking problems. How do we deal with these issues as they inevitably come up in the future? They're very challenging and I think the question is spot on. It's about the nature of globalisation, the fact many more young people are travelling and probably to places they wouldn't have gone 10 or 15 years ago and perhaps they're not well enough prepared with the necessary information. I know you do get stuff when you come through Customs that, you know, informs you of the rules and regulations

of other countries, but we probably do need, in some ways, to concentrate our efforts on educating people as to what the risks are in these places. But I think there's another, in a sense, broader issue, and that is that we are starting to see a harmonium of the global mind as to what is acceptable and not acceptable behaviour from countries. And I think we have seen that with this issue and I think we will see it with other issues in the future, and managing that for nation states is going to be challenging because, of course, there's another sector that's at work now in the world and it's the non-Government sector - it's civil society. And it's civil society - the lawyers in this case - who are, I think, very much driving the politicians, and it sets up an interesting and a challenging dynamic and I think we're going to see more of it. That's a reasonable point. Malcolm Turnbull, can you ever see, say, Chinese society

accepting that there is a world harmonium on some of these issues, as Peter Garrett says? Well, I'm not sure. Look, I wish there was a world harmonium on this issue, but I don't think there is. There are 80 countries in the world which still maintain the death penalty, including the biggest country in the world, China, and including a number of the, you know, most important states in the United States of America. So I don't think there is yet a global consensus, but we should all work towards that. There is an Australian on death row in China. Again, due to representation... And that's on drugs issues? Drugs issues again. And his sentence has been suspended for two years and his position is being reviewed and the hope is that it will be commuted. But, again, that's been due to very effective work by Mr Downer and his officials. So, you know,

the Australian Government has got a long history of representing - making representations - on behalf of Australians who are in strife overseas. The best approach is obviously always a low-key one. Let's turn now to, I suppose, one of the biggest domestic issues of the year and one that is still going to dominate 2006, and that, of course, is industrial relations. Still with you, Malcolm Turnbull, can John Howard win community support on industrial relations? He can certainly win the numerical argument in the Parliament, but can he win community support, because the polls this week indicate that he's certainly not doing it thus far? Look, I believe he will.

I believe Australia will, as the Prime Minister has said, after these changes have been made law, will wake up and see that the sky hasn't fallen in, that families are still enjoying weekend barbecues, enjoying holidays, enjoying Christmas together. And, really, the proof of this pudding will be in the eating, it will be in the experience of Australians after the law is passed. And every time Industrial Relations Law has been reformed by Coalition governments at the Federal level, or, indeed, back in Nick Greiner's day, here in NSW, the Labor Party has said, "The world is going to come to the end. "This is the ruination of the economy."

And every time... Those polls are telling you that people don't want a bar of this banquet, they don't want to get anywhere near eating this! I think what those polls tell us is that people are very apprehensive about the conflict that appears to have been created between the union movement and the Government and the, you know, amount of public agitation. There is a lot of confusion out there. You've only got to look at the speeches

in the House of Representatives from the Labour Party, and I read a large number of them before I gave my own speech. Alright. You spent millions of dollars trying to avoid that confusion. But, Peter Garrett, coming to you,

the problem for Labor, of course, is maintaining the rage on this issue because, as you know, John Howard has really two years until the next election

to neutralise this as an issue. Well, Maxine, the Prime Minister is very skillful in positioning the heavy hits and then giving himself some time and, in this case, a surplus budget - which we'll probably talk about in a minute - to cushion the blow. But these IR laws are significant changes to the way in which we've mediated between the rights of employers and employees. They are opposed by the majority of Australians. They're bad policy and, I mean, let's face it, the Government has just spent more money, I think, than any other single entity has within a short period of time trying to convince Australians of the merits of these laws and they haven't succeeded in doing that at all. Now, you're right to say that over time people's concerns will certainly focus on other areas, but I don't think in any way that they will disappear on this issue. There are many reasons for that, but one of the ones is simply this - these regulations provide - the laws provide - that many people on state awards will come across in a transition period to Federal awards, and when that happens, they'll find that their conditions are lessened. Young people coming into the work force for the first time, where they have to negotiate individually with an employer -

these things will be happening all the time and, of course, we will find, regrettably sometimes, individual employers that will take advantage of the opportunities they have to negotiate conditions away for people. So, I think there will be plenty of evidence in the market place, but I think, underneath all of that,

it's bad policy and Australians know it and they will wait until 2007 and they'll make a decision on it. I notice you've also, Peter Garrett, been campaigning with the James Hardie asbestos claimants in last week or so. Why is that? And what's that telling you about bargaining power? Well, look, James Hardie have taken far too long to come up with a compensation package that was agreed Well, look, James Hardie have taken far too long to come up with a compensation package that was agreed for the people who have suffered terribly with their health by being exposed to the products that they manufacture, that Hardie's manufactured. And I think Meredith Helicar, the chair, said 15 months ago that they'd move speedily to a resolution. We've had a heads of agreement in place for 12 months. They've moved themselves, in part, off-shore, and yet we still have a failure on their part to reach an agreement which would see all those Aussies that were, and will be, affected by this disease actually compensated. Now, I am not saying that Hardie's are an example of corporate responsibility in this area, but they're certainly a very poor example of what ought to be good citizen and corporate responsibility. And the only way we seem to be able to get them to move is to the campaign on them. Alright. Let me move to tax now - and another big issue this year

and, again, bound to be a big issue next year, Malcolm Turnbull? And every year. Yeah, and every year! (Laughs) Well, how do you think your proposals have weathered the year

and how do you see them also in relation to what we heard the Treasurer say yesterday - he is now suddenly flagging simplification? Well, that's good. The Treasurer's identified several thousand pages of the Tax Act which are redundant. Why has it taken him so long, one could ask? Well, you can address those questions to him. I'm asking you! C'mon, Malcolm, have a go! (Laughs) I can't speak for the Treasurer, but he's identified them and they going to be removed and that's good. But getting back to substantive tax reform in terms of, you know, the way tax is levied and rates and thresholds and so forth, I think the debate has moved along very well. There are a lot of people participating in it, as there always will be. You've seen the Business Council of Australia's work, you've seen the Chamber of Commerce and Industry's work. They're renewing their engagement in that debate, as, of course, are all the professional organisations and as, of course, are members of Parliament on both sides. Ok, but what are we going to see in 2006? You want me to predict what's in the budget? Yes, I do. Right! (Laughs) We've got this thumping surplus. Yet again, Treasury can't predict the surplus. What are we going to see in 2006? Well, who knows? That is most definitely a question you have to ask the Treasurer. That's really enlightening! Peter Garrett, let me come back to you. Looking back over this year, was Labor's biggest miscalculation to oppose the Budget tax cuts, because certainly Kim Beazley's rating started going down from that point on. I don't think so, Maxine. I mean, I think that was a principled move. And, I mean, if you talk about tax cuts - and, look, Malcolm has made a valuable contribution to this debate - we'd certainly like to see tax relief, particularly for middle- to low-income earners. And remember that the tax cuts that were on offer for those middle- and low-income earners in the last Budget were very meagre. So I think Kim did the right thing. Yeah, but let me just pick you up on that though. I mean, Kim Beazley opposed the tax cuts but not very long after that we got different messages from people like Lindsay Tanner and Wayne Swan who have been talking around the same set of issues - and, indeed, Craig Emerson as well - about the need to bring the top rates down. Well, I think those two issues can coexist with one another and you can certainly take the positions up, Maxine, that that is something which we ought to do. $14 billion is sitting there for Treasurer Costello. He is being influenced by Malcolm - we think that's a very good thing - I'm not being mischievous... No, not at all. (Laughs) ..but we do want to see genuine tax reform and that means not only looking at marginal tax rates and how those tax rates cut in, but also delivering genuine tax relief to medium- and low-income earners and also looking at the welfare to work issues. It's going to be absolutely fascinating, Maxine, because there's another dimension which you haven't raised yet, and, of course, it's the succession issue for the Liberal Party and from the Prime Minister. "Does he stay or does he go?" to paraphrase an old Clash song. And if he stays,

what position does Mr Costello take in the short term,

just before that Budget comes down? Well, Malcolm, you can answer that. Does he stay or does he go? Well, I, um...that's another question that you've addressed to the wrong person. But let me just...just on tax.

C'mon! It's nearly end of year, you know, end of term.

Be bold! We can't have end of term madness getting too extreme. I want to take up what Peter said about the Budget tax cuts, because the Budget tax cuts did deliver cuts, tax savings, to people right across the board. Now, obviously, the tax savings in dollar terms were higher for people on higher incomes.

But that's only because they pay more tax. You've got to remember that the vast bulk of tax is paid by the top 40% of taxpayers. So, inevitably, any reduction in tax is going - in dollar terms -

will benefit people on higher incomes, because they're paying most of the tax. Now, the changes in the Budget that Peter Costello delivered earlier this year reduced the 17% bracket to 15%, and that was a direct benefit to low-income earners,

particularly to them, and in some income brackets reduced their tax in percentage terms very considerably. And what he also did was reduce the taper rates at which most benefits are withdrawn. And, again, that eased the transition from welfare to work. So, that Budget delivered for Australians on low incomes. And you are absolutely right, Labor's opposition to those Budget changes was absurd and it's completely in conflict with what Labor's economic spokesmen are saying today. Alright. Gentlemen, in the brief couple of minutes we have before we end, I want to finish on your joint observations of what has been the freshman year for both of you, and perhaps with you, Peter Garrett, first. I mean, what stands out from this year for you and how have you found the whole business of adjusting to, if you like, party discipline? Ah, look, I've had no problems with the adjustments to party discipline and I've enjoyed being in the Parliament. It is a privilege for us - it's not a cliche. I think when you come from some other part of public life or professional life you recognise the significance of it. Look, to be honest, it's still a bit of a blur. It's very busy and very intense. The thing I take from it is I think what people probably understand, and that is that you've got competing demands on your time. In Opposition, it's a fearsome job because you don't have the resources that Government has, I think, to do the job as well as perhaps you would like. The committee process, I think, is actually pretty good and I've enjoyed some of the committee work and some of the work that committees have done. I think it's been a terribly pity that Government has, frankly, abused its position

now that it has control of the Senate, curtailed debate on some of the important issues and, you know, allowed the Senate to consider important legislation for a day or a week, or these sorts of things. It really is important now that the Howard Government has control of the Senate for them to permit proper and appropriate examination of bills and competent and thorough debate, because this's what we're there for and that's what we get paid to do. Otherwise, lots of travel and, yeah, fascinating, absolutely fascinating. OK, but, Peter Garrett, I've just got to quote to you Mark Latham's book - and you'd probably be surprised if I didn't. He says the problem for Opposition MPs, particularly coming into the Parliament, is this - he says, "They have so little constructive work to do "that they spend their time gossiping with their colleagues "and big-noting themselves with journalists". Now, this is completely foreign to you?

(Laughs) Well, I can't speak for Mark's view on things, Maxine, because that's been very well rehearsed by many other people. What I know is, with the two standing committees that I'm on, with the caucus committees, and my responsibilities to Kingsford Smith, with the work I like to do on other issues, I'd like to propose some tax reform in the new year, which is about green taxes. Now, I'll certainly do that in consultation with colleagues, but I imagine it will take time to work that up. So, there's plenty for us to do if we want to do it. OK, and you've got a date on Lateline early in the new year to talk about that. Malcolm Turnbull, just to finish on you. I mean, how have you found it? You were a high-profile advocate beyond the Parliament before you ran for Wentworth.

How have you found the difference now being an elected representative, in terms of what you feel you can say as opposed to your previous incarnation?

Well, I've enjoyed it enormously. I think it's a great privilege, as Peter said, a very big responsibility. I enjoy representing the people of Wentworth. I think if you are curious,

if you're a curious and convivial person, I think Parliament is a great place because there are so many interesting people to meet and get to know, and we in the Liberal Party have a very diverse party room - that's, I think, it's greatest strength - and the issues you have to get across are very diverse. So, I've enjoyed working and talking on economic matters,

tax, and finance, which have been pretty familiar to me, but also getting stuck into issues like sustainability. Peter mentioned committees. I'm on a few committees too, and the Environment Committee's report on sustainable cities, which is really a vision for the sustainability of Australia, not just our cities is a...that report is a very, very worthwhile piece of work and was a great privilege to work with colleagues from the Coalition and, indeed, from the Labour Party in producing that work. Let's see it come into law! (Laughs)! (Laughs) OK. Let's see it in law! I mean, John Button is right, isn't he? It does feel like boarding school, right? How are you adjusting to that?

Well, I did go to boarding school, unfortunately, but the difference is that at boarding school

the bells ring at regular intervals and at Parliament they just ring at all sorts of odd times and sometimes very close together. And people tell you what to do! Gentlemen, for our final political forum for the year, I thank both of you. Have a good final break next week and we'll see you in the New Year. Thanks, Maxine. Thanks, Maxine. To the markets now -

Led by the media minded described

and followed by her father,

and followed by her father, Michelle Leslie was an hour and 10 minutes

late for the news conference she

late for the news conference she had called. Thanks for coming ttoday,

I'm sorry I'm late. People expect

add tellall story they would have

been disappointed. Many people made

office to the story. 3 and a bit

months since she was arrested in

possession of two ecstasy pills in

Bali, Mrs Leslie denied she used

Bali, Mrs Leslie denied she used the drug but she was stopped by

answering any other questions and

why? I know there are other

prisoners in South-East Asia and my

heart goes out to them. This is the

heart of the problem. What has

really shocked me is the amount of

anger leveled at me, especially

anger leveled at me, especially from the PM. Many Australians, including

me, do not believe that she should

profit from telling her story.

Mrs Leslie deny shed was a Muslim

Mrs Leslie deny shed was a Muslim of convenience and offered only a

personal character reference.

I know I'm not a bad person. I know

in my heart that I haven't murdered

anybody. After 22 minutes, one

question remained unasked -

Michelle, can we stop mincing words

an get to the nub of it. Won't you

accept you were busted, fair and

square? I don't think I should have

to accept it f. And that was that,

news conference over.

To the markets now - the All Ordinaries finished marginally lower despite strength in major resource stocks. BHP Billiton pushed ahead 16 cents, revealing a record profit of $6.5 billion. The major banks posted mixed results, and retailer Woolworths retreated more than 1%. In the region, the Hang Seng has fallen while the Nikkei is ahead. London's FTSE is also firmer. Now to the weather. And that's all for this evening. If you'd like to look back at tonight's forum or review any of Lateline's stories or transcripts, you can visit our website at

Tony Jones will be back on Monday night, so please join him then. Goodnight. Closed Captions produced by Captioning and Subtitling International Pty Ltd

This program is not subtitled

This program is not subtitled

ANNOUNCER: Ahead in the Glass House - We ask the Prime Minister if the phrase "trust me" means the same to him as other people. Certainly not. Certainly not. LAUGHTER THEME MUSIC LOUD APPLAUSE AND CHEERING

It's the day 'Doctor Who' was first broadcast - (Dalek voice) Celebrate, celebrate! Welcome to the Glass House, the program that asks the question - if we'd known we were gonna do 176 episodes, would we have still thought it was a good idea to start every show by asking a bloody question?! More news than a drink at the end of the tunnel this week, but the big story is 2005. It was the year John Howard made a secret visit to Iraq...