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Parliament prepares for Stolen Generations ap -

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TONY JONES: It's almost three months since Kevin Rudd swept John Howard aside. But tomorrow Labor's
ascension to power will be complete. For the first time in nearly 12 years the ALP will command the
Treasury benches when the House and the Senate reconvene for the nation's 42nd Parliament. The day
will be dedicated to age old Westminster customs. But there will be one exception. MPs and Senators
will be welcomed to Canberra by the region's traditional owners. But that's just a precursor to the
day many have been waiting for, when Kevin Rudd delivers the Government's apology to the Stolen
Generations on Wednesday. Dana Robertson reports from Canberra.

DANA ROBERTSON: For a decade it's been the hardest word and while Kevin Rudd's official apology to
the Stolen Generations is still two days off, expectations are high.

FRED CHANEY, RECONCILIATION AUSTRALIA: This is a turning point, a point at which we can all move
forward together.

RAYMATTJA MARIKA, RECONCILIATION AUSTRALIA: Saying sorry is an act of forgiveness and forgiveness
is an act of love.

DANA ROBERTSON: There's little love lost, though, between the two sides of politics before they
come together to say sorry. Brendan Nelson admits there's still ambivalence within the Coalition
ranks towards the apology. Not to mention fury that MPs are yet to see the final wording.

BRENDAN NELSON, OPPOSITION LEADER: If Mr Rudd wants it to unify Australia, to bring our nation
together the most important person he should be negotiating with is me.

KEVIN RUDD, PRIME MINISTER: Remember who our audience is here, which is Indigenous people, to have
an apology registered with them through the Parliament.

DANA ROBERTSON: The words will be made public late tomorrow, but regardless of what's said, there
are still demands for more.

MICHAEL MANSELL, ABORIGINAL ACTIVIST: If something's worthwhile doing you may as well do it
properly and if the intention of the Prime Minister is to settle the Stolen Generations issue once
and for all, then you can't either have an apology or compensation, you've got to do both.

BOB BROWN, GREENS LEADER: There has to be reparations, there has to be compensation that comes with
that. The fact Mr Rudd has said no to it doesn't mean that will be the outcome.

DANA ROBERTSON: The apologies cast a long shadow over the opening of the 42nd Parliament. Veterans
and greenhorns alike are pouring into Canberra ahead of tomorrow's ceremonies.

CHRISTOPHER PYNE, COALITION FRONTBENCHER: I must say this is my 15th year in politics and I'm as
excited about today as I was the first day I walked into Parliament House.

AMANDA RISHWORTH, LABOR MP: My suits, I'm not sure where they are, they've assured me they'll get
it to us this afternoon.

NICK CHAMPION, LABOR MP: I think you'd be a fool if you weren't a little excited and a little
daunted by the prospect of sitting in the national Parliament.

DANA ROBERTSON: But all eyes are fixed firmly ahead to Wednesday. After outlining the impact of the
change of government with the apology, Kevin Rudd will face his first Question Time as Prime
Minister. From there, there'll be no let up in the frantic pace, with the introduction of
legislation to abolish WorkChoices. The Opposition has already abandoned the election loosing
workplace agenda, but will fight to retain workplace agreements.

NICK MINCHIN, COALITION FRONTBENCHER: We'll I think move to have that bill referred to a Senate
committee for examination inquiry.

JOE HOCKEY, COALITION FRONTBENCHER: We're very mindful of the fact that the Government has an
almighty IOU to the Union Movement as a result of the last election.

JULIA GILLARD, DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER: They're probably not very happy with the result of the last
election, but they should respect the result and they should respect what the Australian people
voted for.

DANA ROBERTSON: It'll be the new Speaker's job to keep it all under control.

HARRY JENKINS, INCOMING SPEAKER: If I'm able to achieve that without being noticed, that's what I'd
like to do. But from time to time there may be a need for some form of intervention to try to get
the type of behaviour that I think that the electorate expect.

DANA ROBERTSON: Already there's disquiet about Parliament sitting regularly on Fridays.

NICK MINCHIN: There'll be no Question Time, no votes, no quorums, no divisions. I think it is
really a bit of propaganda spin by the Rudd Government.

NICK SCULLION, COALITION SENATOR: There's no opportunity to scrutinise Government, that can't be
considered a parliamentary day.

DANA ROBERTSON: Absent ministers they claim, will render the private member's day a parliamentary
mirage. Dana Robertson, Lateline.