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Hello. Welcome to Capital

Hill. I'm Lyndal Curtis. Might

Julia be two weeks till Christmas but

Julia Gillard's been handing out some elevating three ministers into elevating three ministers out some early presents,

Cabinet. She's promoted one of

her key backers, Bill Shorten,

into Cabinet and given greater responsibilities to another,

Mark Arbib. It's a reshuffle

some months. Tony Abbott's not she's been thinking about for

thinking about having one at

current all. He plans to take his

current frontbench to the next

election. Joining me to discuss

Steve Georganis and Liberal MP the day's events are Labor

Alan Tudge. Welcome to you

both. Hi. Hi. First to the

reshuffle. Greg Combet's been reshuffle. Greg Combet's

given a much bigger portfolio elevated Bill Shorten, Tania and the Prime Minister's

Plibersek and Mark Butler into

Cabinet. Kim Carr is the

biggest loser, demoteed to the McClelland loses his outer ministry and Robert

Attorney-General's spot and

gets much smaller

responsibilities. The Prime

Minister's put jobs, the new

economy and health centre stage and put more firepower into government's - communicating and put more firepower into the

the government's message. She

has increased the number of women in Cabinet and also

Nicola Roxon Australia's first women in Cabinet and also made

female Attorney-General. I am

woman to determined, being the first

woman to serve in this position, as the nation's Prime

Minister, to see women take their full and equal place in our nation's Des making. our

this set of changes the nation

will see its first ever female

Attorney-General, and we will Attorney-General, and

add another woman to our

Cabinet and another woman to

our ministry. These women,

Nicola, Tania and Julie, understand from personal

experience many of the challenges Australian women face as they seek to build a career whilst having a family. The Prime Minister had to buy the loyalty of the

faceless men, but she faceless men, but she couldn't

afford to sack anyone, so now

the worst government in Australia's history has the

biggest Cabinet in Australia's history. Tony Abbott is the

relations and he has faceless man of industrial

policies but we all know that relations and he has faceless

they exist, we all know that

he'd like to turn back the

clock, we all know that the

only division within the Liberal Party is about when

they announce they want to go

back to WorkChoices. I'm very

pleased to be promoted to Cabinet. I'm very pleased to see a better the most important thing is men in the Cabinet but I think

that in any

that in any group of people you have a broad diversity of life experience. At last week's ALP national conference the Prime Minister set out an agenda for

her next year based on the themes of growth, jobs and fairness. I'm delighted to have been Minister's Cabinet particularly

fairness. I am proud to be to focus on the theme of

the first woman

that it will be yet another Attorney-General. And I hope

that there sign to the girls of Australia

that there is any job that is

passionate and committed and open to them, if they are open to them, if they

Australia is a country determined to do t they can.

Australia is a country which

allows women to fulfil their

potential. Steve, this was a

more extensive reshuffle than

might've been expected. Is this

an acknowledgement that

team that was there before just an acknowledgement that the

wasn't doing the job government needed? Certainly wasn't doing the job the

not. The people today that have

not. The people today that have

Cabinet or have taken up been elevated or have gone into

different roles are all very

capable people. As were all

ministers that were serving in

the Gillard Government. We're

talking about very capable people that will go ahead to

implement the Australian Labor Party's government's big picture items and we have many

coming up over the next few

disability insurance scheme, years. We have the national

there's implementing our disability insurance scheme,

education policies, and

ensuring that we continue to

create jobs. We know that

750,000 jobs have been created

since Labor came to government,

and we're on track to create

another 300,000 by 213. So the people that have been hand picked by the Prime picked by the Prime Minister

for these jobs are very capable

and I have absolute confidence

Minister has made today. But in the decision that the Prime

the Prime Minister created a reshuffle that appears to

more winners than losers. Is it

a function of still some ongoing leadership instability that she didn't feel could demote for people out of

Cabinet, had to increase

Cabinet to do it? Look, I

certainly haven't heard of any

leadership issues. This is

something we hear from the media. The Prime Minister the support of everyone that I media. The Prime Minister has know

know of. And certainly is continuing to concentrate on things that matter to the

Australian people. And that is

to implement those big

policies, the things that will

make a difference to the Australian people. And certainly the people that are

in Cabinet and also in ministries are all very ministries are all very capable people and they're all people

that will be able to implement the vision that we have the vision that we have for Australia over the next 18

reason for this reshuffle was months. Alan, part of the

to put

to put a bit more into communicating the to put a bit more firepower

government's message. Will that

make the job of the coalition

harder if you have people who are better salespeople up against happened here, we've had a against you? Lyndal, what's

shuffling of the deck chairs. But unless the policies change, the performance of

government will not improve. If the performance of the

this reshuffle leads to

stronger border stronger border protection, if it leads to it leads to government expenditure being brought under

control and if control and if it leads to the

dumping of the carbon tax, then

I think this reshuffle will be

worth while but I can tell I worth while but I can tell I I

won't be holding my breath

while waiting for those things

to occur. It does look like the government will last the full term, another

term, another two years. Should

Tony Abbott look at reshuffling

his frontbench some time during

that two years, to put a bit more energy in? Our team has

done exceptionally well. If you

look at the performance our

team has done over the last 15

months since the election then

you'd have to give it pretty

good marks. Today's poll that we're leading the Labor

Party 57-43. To me that doesn't

indicate we need indicate we need a radical change to the way we're approaches things. As Tony

Abbott has already foreshadowed next year we'll see the

coalition start to outline its policy agenda as it moves into

an election year in 2013. Do

you think that the government

has got the policy priorities

right for what is the middle

year of a three-year term? I think she certainly has. We

will be waiting with bated

breath to see any policies come

out of Tony Abbott. What we've seen from the seen from the opposition is opposition for the sake of

opposing without actually

putting forward a vision for

our nation. What we've seen from the government is tackling those hard policy areas ensuring that

implement, to ensure that we hand over a better Australia to

the next generation of

Australians and for the future.

And today's shuffle and And today's shuffle and today's hand-picked people that have been put into the ministry is another indication of another indication of that,

ensuring we get the big policy decisions right that we implement the big picture implement the big picture items

we've been talking about for a

long time, ensuring that we

better Australians' lives

whether it be through

education, creating 130 new

training places, new aged care

beds or just ensuring that we

create more jobs. 750 jobs

since we've been in government and on track for another

300,000 jobs. Do you see the

job as the coalition in the

next year next year as having a balance between doing what you've been

doing, keeping the focus on the government

government but also putting out

those positive poll sneeze I

think that's inevitable that

that will occur. And

traditionally in a three-year

term of Parliament, the first year from an opposition's perspective is maintaining the focus on the government focus on the government and holding it to the account and

in the second you transition

and in the third year you lay out

out all of our policies and plans leading plans leading into the

election. So we're just

entering into the second year,

and we've already laid out some

policies and you will see some

further policies outlined next year

year and then the full suite of

policies of course in 2013 if indeed the Parliament does go

that far. Can I make one point about the Cabinet reshuffle.

We've talked about the people

who have been promoted into the

Cabinet. It's now an but there's a number of people who are still remaining in the quak net that you must

seriously question why they are

still there. Peter Garrett for

example who has overseen pink

batts and school halls and now

a Kinder crisis is still in the

Cabinet. Wayne Swan who has

blown the budget by $15 billion

in six months alone is still in

the Cabinet. Chris Bowen is still there still there despite overseeing the unravelling of the border

protection regime. All of those

people are still maintaining

their positions. What does it

take to lose your position in

the Gillard Cabinet? On the

other side of politics the shadow Cabinet met shadow Cabinet met today in Canberra and reaffirmed one

policy that won't change and

that's the opposition to same

sex marriage. I've had a lot of discussion with a lot of people

over the half the week or so

and a lot of issues have been canvassed, canvassed, but

Cabinet met this morning. We

had a very good discussion had a very good discussion over lots of issues, including the

question of gay marriage and question resolved to affirm the

existing position. What do you

think is wrong with having a

conscience vote in the coalition or in the Liberal

Party on this issue? Both the

Liberal Party and indeed the

Labor Party went to the last

election promising to the

Australian people to maintain

the current definition of

marriage. Julia Gillard

marriage. Julia Gillard said

eight times during the last

election campaign that the

Labor Party would maintain the current definition of current definition of marriage. Tony Abbott said it five times

during the last election campaign. Now, we think it's important that we maintain our integrity with the Australian people. And deliver according

to what we said we would do.

Now, I think one of

just the lack of trust with the Australian

Australian people, because Australian people, because she said one thing said one thing before in election on so many issues and does exactly the opposite after the election and I think her position in the Labor Party's

position on gay marriage is precisely in that direction. But Julia Gillard's not promising to change

government won't be putting a

Bill into Parliament, and even with a conscience vote probably

on both sides of the

Parliament, the issue wouldn't get supported? But with due

respect, the Prime Minister during the last election

campaign, eight times she campaign, eight times she said that the definition of marriage

would not change. Now, when she said that, she wasn't just

committing herself, but she was committing every single Labor member. She was committing Steve, she was committing every single other single other Labor member just

as Tony Abbott was committing

every Liberal member to his commitments on behalf of the coalition. So I don't think

that Julia Gillard can get away

by saying it's not by saying it's not a government

Bill, it's just the - it's just

someone else's Bill, when probably two-thirds or three

quarters of Labor members will support it. Steve, what will

your position be when the

private member's Bill likely come from Stephen Jones comes

before the Parliament? Before that - you quite rightly pointed out this is pointed out this is not a

government Bill. This is a Bill

that any member of Parliament

can put up. We've seen a couple of members propose of members propose that they will be putting up private member's Bills when we return

to Parliament. You're quite

right in saying that the

government's position has

remained the same. The

government is not putting um the Bill. When those Bills are

put up, through the party

conference last week, it was indicated that there would be indicated that there would be a conscience vote. And Mr Abbott to allow his members of Parliament a conscience vote

as well. I mean he has got

members on his side like Mr

Entsch and a whole range of

other people that have already

indicated that they are in support of same-sex

marriage. We went to marriage. We went to the Steve, promising to maintain the definition of marriage. Surely he does allow

them a conscience vote. This is

a very difficult issue for many

members of Parliament on both

sides of the debate. And I will

certainly be listen fog what

people have been saying,

listening to all the arguments but also I want to point but also I want to point out it's also a human rights issue

and if ... We just have a few seconds left. If you were talking about aged care, there'd

there'd be absolute outrage out

there. We'll have to leave it there. Thank you very much for

your time. Thanks very much. . Thank you for joining Capital Hill today. Closed Captions by CSI