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Good evening and welcome to answering your questions

tonight - Howard Government

workplace relations and defence

minister Peter Reith. Author,

is Jessica Rudd whose latest work

is chronicles a PM on the

slide. The leather jacketed Shadow Communications Minister

Malcolm Turnbull. The for employment and Malcolm Turnbull. The minister

participation and status of

women Kate Ellis and veteran journalist and author Ray

Martin. Please welcome the

panel. APPLAUSE Q&A is live

from 9.35 eastern daylight

saving time. It is radio. Go to the web site to will cast on News 24 and the

send in a question or join in

the Twitter conversation using the hashtag that has appeared

to tonight's on your screen. Before we get

to tonight's questions, you may

have noticed Malcolm Turnbull have noticed Malcolm

is wearing a new leather jacket

tonight. I understand the old leather jacket

leather jacket is on eBay raise money for the Wayside leather jacket is on eBay to

chapel in Kings across. It is

up to $1,000 but it should go

for more because its association with you. Hardly. Why are you


this weight. It is a size 56

and now I am a size 52 or a

size 50. You and Tony Abbott

have lost a lot of weight in

that period. I that period. I don't think he's

lost any weight. He's always been

been as lean as a whip yet.

We will check back later

tonight to see if the audience

can improve on the bidding for

the leather jacket. Let's go to the first question from Jasmine. Why have Australians

become so apathetic to what happening around them? Qantas

is threatening to go offshore,

as well as Holden, but there

are no demonstrations or outcry

from the public that so

jobs will be lost. However,

appearance in Kardashian card makes an

appearance in David Jones and

there are hundreds of people

lining the street. What is our

nation of morons. problem? Are we breeding a

APPLAUSE. That is a good

start. I couldn't agree more

with what you have said. I

don't know about Kim. It beats

me, she came out of knowwhere.

I have no idea why she's

suddenly got the attention. A

nation of morons, no. We're

breeding a mostly unhappy

nation for some reason at the

moment. We read from the

overseas surveys that we're the

richest and the most comfortable and the happiest

and we are amongst the best

politicians that it is an

ordinary place and they're up

each other for the rent most of

the time. I don't think we're

losing our go at losing our go at all but I

think that we're not being led

very well at the moment. Ray what about the two questions

that were asked. Does it worry

you if Qantas goes offshore or

if the Holden Commodore is made

in Korea? Yes it worries me

more that the national carrier

can actually pull on and ground

the aircraft and stop Australia

for a period of time without the PM

worries me a lot. I don't know

how that happened. I can understand the reasons why it

happened. I can see no excuse.

It is a privilege position that

had for 20 or 30 years when it Qantas has in Australia and has

was a government department and

now it has gone private. I

don't how it is possible that

one CEO in Australia can make a

decision without telling the

government what he was going to

do and do it and ground

Australia. Jessica Rudd, to

take the question's finer

point, are we breeding a nation

of morons? breeding a nation of cynics.

We're getting too sarcastic and

cynical for our own good. It is

easy to snip from

and it is easy to sit on

Twitter, I am guilty of this -

and Tweet away about how terrible everyone's going and

how we don't like that

politician's hair or that tie

or this politician's voice. It

would be better if some of us

just went "How can I make a

contribution? How can I get

involved? How can I democracy of ours? " That is advantage of this great

what I would like to see,

particularly from young people. APPLAUSE Why is there so much particularly from young people.

desire to learn about this

Kardashian family? I am buggered if I know . I don't

get it. She Swans into town and

she's had this really fast

divorce and then she escapes

town again, the nation is on

tenterhooks as we figure out

which morning show she is going

to go on and what she is going

to say? What does she do for a

living? I don't

It is kind of pride and

prejudice. The mother with the

five daughters she wants to

marry off to rich men. I should

have called you. You clearly understand. Malcolm? understand. Malcolm? This is

getting off to a very dull

start and I think we have to

move onto Paul Keating pretty quickly. Paul Kardashian. Exactly. Is Paul

politics? Keating the Kim Kardashian of

politics? That is the thing?

Please discuss in 3,000 words

or less. As far as the serious

question is concerned, the

truth is that there's no point

having a demonstration about

Holden producing less of its

cars or less of the process behind its cars in Australia.

The way to stop that happening,

if that's your objective, is to

go and buy a Holden. And the

way to ensure Qantas doesn't

operations lose money on its international

operations is not to buy the

cheaper fare from Emirates or

Etihad or Singapore or Cathay or anybody else but buy it from

Qantas. The one thing you can't

expect Qantas or indeed Holden

to do is run their businesses

at a loss. Everybody loses there. It doesn't inspire a lot of confidence when they ground

their entire fleet. The timing was, let's say, less than I

deal, in the middle of CHOGM

and the Melbourne Cup. But the

fundamental issue here is this

- under the changes to the

industrial relations laws, that

the Rudd Government, Gillard

Government have brought in,

unions have a much greater say

in the way run. What they are doing, and in the Qantas situation,

they're using that to effectively tell Alan Joyce,

how to run his company and what

he's saying is "If you want to he's saying is "If

run the company, that will run

it into the ground". They have

got - this is a gigantic

issue. This guy, whether you

love him or loathe him, he's

out there battling to keep a

business afloat. It is a shocking business the airline

business, I don't know why

anyone invests in it. Except

for the profits. $600 million

is not bad.

The profits, look at the

capital it has invested. This

company hasn't paid a dividend for years. The share price is

tanked. The return on capital

is ridiculously low. It is a

shocking industry. Right around

the world airlines go broke.

Most of the airlines in the

United States have been United States have been to

chapter 11 at least once, some

of them twice. This is a tough

business. You want him to run

it on the cost base of years ago, fine. But there will

be no Qantas at all. You may as

well have the old emu up there,

the flightless bird on the tail

because it will be because it will be grounded

forever. Kate Ellis? I think

that is clearly ridiculous.

What I will stand by is -

Arguably ridiculous, possibly ridiculous, clearly ridiculous?

I am going with clearly. I

will also say that I absolutely

stand by the fact that we have made changes so that workers can have a say for their job security and I

stand by that. I would say, if

you have a problem with that,

tell us what the alternative is because we're not hearing

anything from your side of politics. I will argue against it. You put forward

and I will absolutely argue

that our first priority, in drill relations as to drill relations as to be respecting and protecting the

jobs of Australians. To go and

lock out your work force when

it is not the last resort is

disgraceful and, back to the

question, I think Australians

have been appalled by that. I don't

don't accept that people apathetic. I just think people

don't know how to express that

and make a difference and

people know that protests may

not be the flavour of the month

like they once were. We don't

have people marching in the

streets. I don't think it is

true to say that people don't

care. People have been touched

by the plight of innocent

Qantas workers who, without any

notice, have been locked out of

their jobs. They have been

appalled by it and so am I. We

have a gentleman with his hand

up, but before I go to you, we

have a question specifically to

comes from Michael. Peter

Reith, do you see that the

actions of the Qantas CEO, Alan actions of the Qantas CEO, Alan

Joyce, was in any way similar

to those of Mr Corrigan in the

wharfies dispute in 1998? And

should the Government show should the Government show some

leadership and stop being a

slave to old fashioned union

thuggery? I am with you so

far. Is it not a simple

concept that to benefit from

economic growth and therefore

employment security, Australia

does need to participate in a

therefore we need to allow

flexibility at a global scale? We certainly have to be

competitive and the facts are on the table and that is that

Qantas is basically 20, 25%

less competitive than a lot of

the firms with whom it is competing. The Australian

public all around the world,

people want cheaper airfares

and they're prepared to move

from their preferred airline to

one which is cheaper. There is

a lot of pressure on the companies and Alan basically, was confronted with

a situation where the union had

made it - or the three unions had

had basically made it very

clear that they intended to take industrial action and some

of them went so far as to saying that people shouldn't

fly with Qantas. He certainly

had his back to the wall and

Ray says "How could this

possibly happen? " It happens under Fair Work Australia legislation introduced by Julia Gillard.

Gillard. That is the legal

position and I would have to

say I think he was entirely justified

justified and, in fact, from a technical point of view,

a pretty good win because he

got the outcome he wanted,

which was he wants to finish

the industrial action being

taken against Qantas. Even

today - Can I interrupt you

there - you're saying the

system is working, from your

point of view? I am just

saying, in terms of what Alan

Joyce faced, given the

legislation that he was presented with and which set the framework for this

industrial action, he was entirely justified and, furthermore, his action brought

the action to an end. Is it a

Corrigan-like action to go back

back to that. You have got all

night. That is good. The point

is that the unions today are

trying to overturn that, which

would bring back industrial

action, even now, even after it

has just been settled. How is

six hours lost in seven months

thuggery? When you, as a

union, have a tactic of saying

"There will be a dispute on

next week, discourage people

from flying" and on the morning

announce "We're going back to work". That is a lack of

notice. I am sure we would have liked some notice from Alan

Joyce if he was going to ground the airline.

He is not required by law,

that is her law. Let me - that

is the legal position. Let me

make the broader point. How did

we get to a situation where a

company was basically being

slow-baked, which is what one

of the union guys said. This is

critical, from your point of

view, and the Coalition's point

of view, the question was

raised earlier, what does the Coalition

Coalition need to do or intend

to do with its industrial

relations reforms? What say that Tony Abbott should do to toughen his industrial

relations policy? In respect

of taking bargaining industrial

action, or industrial action in

pursuit of a bargain, in my

view, there are view, there are some aspects of

running a business which are

the business of the company and

not of the unions. That was the

change that Julia Gillard made

in 2007 and, Kate, we all agree

that it is great if we can have businesses that provide job

security. But, in the end,

whether or not you can keep

your job depends on whether or

not that company can be the pieces of paper you like,

but in the end that is what

really counts. While you're on

the subject, are you advocating

the Coalition returns to choices? This actually wasn't

a work choices thing. It was

introduced in 1996. I wasn't

there for work choices. You

didn't see that coming? He has

been advocating it so I am

asking it. Work choices, look,

the law that was used by Julia Gillard the other day was actually brought into its

current form in work choices

which she says she's opposed but she's but she's just used it.

Honestly, this is a silly, bogey, most people have no idea

what is in the legislation, in

the technical response to you,

that was introduced in '96, it has nothing to do with work

choices and the same with

individual agreement, nothing

to do with work choices. That

was introduced in '96. We have

1.4 million individual contracts, there are hundreds of thousands of Australians

that have individual contracts

that work perfectly well. Why

run a scare campaign on

something you will see in most

modern economies. Why does Tony Abbott say we don't

It beats me. We once did, we

don't now? I don't agree with

him. I think it is a mistake. I

think it is a mistake because

in the modern world, as a

society, we're better off than

we used to be and because we

have more resources available

to us, we have more choices

about what sort of life we want

to lead and how we manage what

we do at work and outside of work. Malcolm Turnbull, let me

bring you in on that, is that a

mistake? What? ? What I just

quoted Tony Abbott as saying we

contracts? Peter Reith says it

is a mistake. What do you say?

I don't think that is quite

right. You don't think that's

what he said? I don't think

so. That wasn't quite what he

said. Can I quote what he said

- I could give it to you, I

keep it up here. We used to support individual contracts

but we don't now. If that's not

what he said, what did he say?

If that's what he said, that's

what he said. Funny about

that. I am in the free - You're a good man Malcolm. With that endorsement,

I am completely doomed. That is

the kiss of death. Can I just

come back - No, you can't. Tell

us what you think about statutory individual

contracts. I think that there

should be the maximum freedom

and flexibility in the workplace.

workplace. I agree with Peter.

I don't think we should be

frightened by the work choices

bogey. I think we were sent a

message in 2007 and Tony's

right when he said work choices

is dead. But the problem with fair, a fair work legislation

that Labor brought in it is

didn't repeal work choices, it went back and repeeped all the

industrial reforms during the

Howard era and quite a few of

the Hawke Keating era. I am

going to press ou this subject.

Do you support statutory individual contracts? Should that be written back into

Coalition policy? It is

something that we will no doubt

address closer to the there should be a party room

vote on this. Tony has made the

statement, so all the front

benchers are bound to it, we

all know that. You can ask the question a thousand times, it doesn't matter. In fairness

thanks is the position. Is that

the position, you're bound to not say what you think? The obligation

obligation - APPLAUSE - The

obligation of a front bencher,

in the Westminster system, when

addressed with a question like

the one you just asked me, is

to squirm uncomfortably for few minutes. Having done that,

I really want to get onto the

issue of government subsidies.

Can I just say this - I think

we have actually heard we have actually heard quite a

bit from you. I want to hear

from the others. Kate Ellis . I

just want to address a couple

of things first. In your question when you talk about

union thuggery, let's be clear

about what the union was

actually doing in this dispute.

There are 11 unions which

Qantas negotiates with. There

were three of them who they

were having issues in their

negotiations with. The engineers, three weeks called off industrial action.

The TWU, as recently as the

Friday before the announcement

of the lock-out, were in negotiations and negotiations and had said "We

intend to sit down and

negotiate this through". The

pilots, however, were wearing

red ties. When you talk about

the unions white anting, that

and when you talk about the is not what was going on at all

fact that we want Qantas to be

productive, so do we. We want

to to be productive because we

want the workers to have jobs,

that means that the union and actually negotiate this the bosses need to sit down and

through. That is the outcome

that the Fair Work Act has been

able to deliver here. We're

glad that the planes are in the

skies. We're glad they're

sitting down to negotiations,

but let's not pretend that we

didn't have disputation before

the Fair Work Act because we

have actually seen it has been

in decline, not just recently

but over the past 10 years. It has been steadily has

declining. The questioners want

to get back in. I want to hear

from them. With all due respect, Government bought in the legislative framework that

effectively allowed Qantas to

go ahead and bring to a head,

if you like, the ducks and

drakes situation that was going

on. They're using your legislation and now you're complaining that they're using

it. They have brought it to

ahead and they have said

they're going to abide by the

independent umpire's decision.

What more do you want? I would

ever liked if Qantas had used

our legislation and had used

the same clause that the

Government did, clause 424, to Work Australia as the

Government did and say "We want

to call off industrial action.

We want to sit down and

negotiate". That is what we

managed to do. They could have managed to do. They

done that. People with assume that would have been a reasonable first step before doing something as drastic as

locking out your work force and

grounding every one of your

planes in 24 country without

any flts to the 100,000 any flts to the 100,000 people you're inconveniencing. That is

not too hard. The thuggery you're talking

you're talking about. I

you're talking about. I don't

know any other CEO in Australia

who would actually have that position of Qantas over the

last 30 years, to make that

decision - clearly it was meant

to shock - to make a decision that stops Australia without contacting the Government the day, that is thuggery.


Given that Alan Joyce used

the old test ament tactics of

an eye for an eye and a tooth

for a tooth, he's stooped to

the same tactic of holding the entire country

entire country to rand some. Maybe it is time that Qantas

becomes a publicly owned asset

again given it is such an

important brand in this country

and get it back into the

Government's hands. It is the

only way it can maintain its competitiveness internationally. Because

Singapore and all the other

major players who are very

successful are all

government-owned airlines and

been so aggressive. Briefly, that is the reason they have

wow say that the way that

Qantas goes forward is they

look after the fact that they are incredibly special country

to many thousands of

Australians. Qantas have

operated with 65% of the domestic market.

domestic market. If you want to be productive going forward,

perhaps you don't lock out your

customers without a minute's

notice. You look after your

brand and the loyalty which the Australian people have placed

in you. Peter Reith briefly?

The brand has been trashed by

on and off gorilla tactics by

the union. But can I take you

to this point Kate. You say "Why couldn't they sit down have a sensible negotiation? ".

Seriously, when the union says,

as the engineers did, that one

of their requirements is, in

effect, one effect, one of the things

they're bargaining for, is that Qantas build a new hanger because they want to do the

maintenance in Australia.

Qantas can't agree to that because it will further disadvantage Qantas's

competitive position. There is

no sort of halfway house when

building a hanger. You are

either going to do it, you

either think it is a decision for Qantas or you think that

the union's entitled to bargain

for it. In my view, they're not

entitled to bargain for the

capital expenditure of Qantas

and I really can't understand how you think you can have a

sensible discussion when in the

end you're either going to

build it or not. I don't think

you can have a sensible

discussion if you're not

sitting down at the table and

you're walking away. What we

were going to do through this

process is have 21 days for

hopefully sensible discussions

and negotiations to resolve it

or else go to arbitration,

something which hopefully we don't need to go that far but

we have that in place if we do

and it is another thing that you disagree with. You're

watching Q&A. The next question tonight tonight comes from Stephanie. My question is

directed to Ray Martin. In

light of the 'News of the

World' hacking scandal, our own

print media has been put under

the spotlight with a Federal MP

accusing News Limited of being

a threat to democracy. The

mainstream news programs

showcase a circus of

celebrities and spend big

dollars for rights to stories like the Bali boy. Is there

really any hope for the news

media to reform itself and

regain our trust and respect?

Yes. Short answer is yes. The

Bali boy story is just not

true. I checked that out today

figuring I was going to get a

question about it. It just

ain't true. Which part is not

true? They were negotiating

with the agent? The $200 or

the $300,000 being paid to the family.

figure and triple it in terms

of what it might be. I am told

there is no such deal. You'd be

a fairly ordinary journalist to

think you might interfere in a case where this boy is going to

a court in Bali on Friday, in

advance of that, apart from

paying money for it. You have

done paid interviews in the

past, check book journalism is

not unknown at Channel Nine. It

was obvious that the agent was

running around to Channel Nine

and seven, offering up this boy

for an interview. Would you

have done the interview if

someone asked you to? I

wouldn't have but that is the

way of the world at

'News of the World' and in

England you pay for politicians

to appear on camera, you pay for journalists or policemen.

As we now know, that is the way of the world. I am sure Channel

Nine and Channel Seven would

love not to pay anything for

cheque book journalism but it

say competitive field. Can I

interrupt you there. Could you

explain how it works, this

competitive field? When you have this Vandenberg character,

the agent running between the networks. What goes

on inside the networks when

they're deciding not to pay

hundreds of thousands of

dollars for an interview such

as that? Someone has regarded

this as a major story at the

moment and this boy has been on

the front page of the papers

for several weeks since he was

caught. Someone decides beyond

Kim, that this is a big news

story and someone starts with a

figure and the other network decides to take them on and

outbid them. There are two major Nine that have been bidding for it and they up the anti.

Whether it is for a Lindy Chamberlain or for this particular particular family. Both CEOs in the different organisations

would have gone up to them for

a decision, is that how it

works? Absolutely, with that

sort of money involved. I am not a spokesman for Channel

Nine, I left them formally a

few years ago. My understanding

is it is obviously a good

story. Whether it is worth money, that is debatable. Would

it be worth money if the boy wasn't allowed to take off because it might compromise

his entire future if he's

revealed on camera talking

about a crime he's committed?

Isn't that where the

mysterious blurring comes

in. There is a reason why we

don't have children on camera

especially with a charge like

this. I think it is debatable,

to answer your question earlier

Tony, I think it is debatable

that anyone pays money for this

but a decision has been made to

get in the game. Kate Ellis. I

think we have - The general

question was about trust by the

way. I think we have good media and some

in terms of accuracy, in terms of blurring

of blurring news and entertainment, news and

opinion. I also think at the

risk of being unpopular that

there's another side to this. There is a reason why people

are running around trying to

pay $300,000 for a story and

that is because we're tuning in

and we're rewarding them when

they do that. I think sometimes

we have to consider that, we

have a say, we have a say in

what newspapers we buy or what

current affairs programs we

tune into and we have a

what we think are acceptable

and unacceptable standards of

journalism. It comes back to

the first question, why

people tune in? I don't want

to talk about Kim Kardashian. There is a

interest in what happens, for

example in a family at a moment

like this and what is happening

behind the scenes and the

Kardashian family and we all

sort of, we'd like to think we

don't watch it but a lot of us

do. It is sad because, as Kate

says, we are driving this market journalism. Because we're

watching it and it rates well.

If we don't like it, we should

boycott it. Kate Ellis, just briefly. Proceeds of crime legislation would suggest that

if you have committed a crime

and then benefit from television organisations, from

a public lisher, like David

Hicks, the Government would

move against you, would they

move against a media

organisation trying to pay for

this story? This boy's story

is still before the courts, so

in terms of the level of that has been committed and the

outcome of that. If he were to acknowledge or commit he had

committed a crime, would the

Government stop a

organisation for using his

story? This is all

hypothetical at this point. I

don't want to reflect on the

innocence or guilt of this boy

but I would imagine but I would imagine that the

proceeds of crime provisions

would be put in place. Malcolm

Turnbull? I don't know whether the proceeds of crime

legislation has legislation has an extra territorial effect. It applied

to David Hicks. That was a

special case. It was a rather

special case. Anyway, the same. The

principle may well be the same. The broader question was

about trust in the media. I

should bring to you that?

You're dead right. There's a

couple of things at work here.

A lot of the media is now

narrow casting. We have seen a

proliferation of media through

pay TV, through a multiply occasion of through the Internet and

increasing media outlets and

broadcasters are not seeking to

present a balanced view across

the board, they're expressing the board, they're expressing a particularly strong opinion for

one kind or another. Alan joins

in Sydney does not pretend to

give an objective account of

the affairs of the day. He is

giving - and he makes this

clear - he's giving a

particularly strong opinion and

that appeals to people - it

appeals to most people that

listen to him agree with him.

Some people listen to him no doubt pressure going in the morning,

it is cheaper than a cup of coffee. This is the challenge.

Where is there, in the middle of all of all of these opinions, of

what has ceased to be a news

cycle and becomes an opinion

cycle, where is there the facts, the objective account, the rational account and that

is what a lot of people, is what a lot of people, I think yourself included, are feeling frustrated about missing

missing in the media today. It

is a very big question and it

is something that the wonders

of the Internet - it is a

problem that the wonders Internet are exacerbating

rather than helping. You're

watching the final Q&A for

2011. The next question comes

from Thomas. As rumours from Thomas. As rumours of Mr Rudd's leadership challenge

escalate and new rumours of a

cabinet reshuffle have ignited

from Bill Shorten's Qantas

intervention. It seems like

deja vu and we have returned to

a similar situation as last

year with another divided

Government. Do you believe that

a Government with so much instability, obviously

ingrained into the political

fibre, thanks to the power of factions and the reliance on Independents can survive

another election? Peter

Reith? The game is never over

until it is over. We don't

know what is going on happen, even though I agree with you in

one sense. It was bizarre what

happened last time around in

the Labor Party with the change

over. Will it happen again?

Will Kevin Rudd make a

comeback? Nobody knows. There

say lot of people in the upper

echelons of the trade union

movement got rid of Kevin and

won't want him back but how

would I know. Julia's future is as much in her hands as anybody

else's. Seriously, if you have

a strong ur occy behind you,

and we have a pretty good

bureaucracy in Australia, they

can make anybody look

reasonably good

what they otherwise would be.

If she went on the front foot

with better policies than what

she's had, Alla the narrative

that Paul Keating says she

hasn't got but needs, she could

give the Opposition more of a

run than what she has last

year. It has been horrible for

her in the last 12 months. I don't think quite frankly. That is a

personal assessment. We'll hear

from Ray Martin. I am not

surprised with that comment. I

first went to Canberra with the

ABC in the days of Menzies and

the Harold Halt, this is the strangest government

parliamentary operation I have

every seen. We haven't had this

sort of minority government before. It means that Julia

Gillard has her hands tied behind

behind her back. I don't think people are

I don't think that people like

Tony Abbott. It goes back to

the first question about being

being apathetic. I have a

couple of kids in their couple of kids in their 20s and

nobody inspires them, with

respect to this table, nobody

inspires them in politics.

There is no dreamers, there is

no-one out there pushing to go

and do better, even though we

clearly accept this is the best

country in the world to live

in. We have a strange political

situation. I think if Tony

Abbott was in power he'd have the same problem with this their shoulder every time about

the Independents or the Greens

and they're worried about the

2% out in the Alan Jones

country. Let's go to the floor.

There's a gentleman who wants to jump in. In in my 25 years

of voting, gone from the young

Libs through to the ALP. Most recently in the State

Government I went to the Greens

and then when I saw you

Malcolm, I thought you're the

man for the Liberal Party man for the Liberal Party and

I'd like to vote for you. Is

there any chance you could come

back because, quite frankly, I have

any desire to vote for Tony

Abbott yet I have got a desire

to vote for the Liberal Party

and I see you as the man who

can take our country

You're a statesman, you ever

the ability to lead our country - And the jacket. Furthermore,

you ever a great advertising

campaign in the Sydney star

observer on a weekly basis, so

thank you. Let's hear the modest Malcolm Turnbull decline

your offer. APPLAUSE I will

take that as a compliment or a

come on if not a comment. Is

that the sort of jacket you'd

wear as a PM though? wear as a PM though? It is all

right, it fits. Better than the

other one. No, you're very kind and I will take that as a compliment. You're being a bit

tough on Tony and the Liberal

Party as a whole, but - The

good news is you have never

been tough on him. The good

news is if you think I'm doing

a good job, I'm part of the

team. That can help you vote for the Liberals. We have question on this subject. It is

from Anthony. My question is

to Jessica Rudd. Your father is far more popular than Julia,

Malcolm's far more popular than

Tony, do you think it is a good

idea to reinstate the two former leaders? You're all

going to grown but dad is

genuinely happy being foreign

minister. No, he is. Can I

just interrupt there. I know that novelists

with words and ideas, but your

novel as a Kevin Rudd-like PM

who finds himself under a

challenge from an ambitious woman, who happens woman, who happens to be his

Education Minister. It is a bit

close to the bone, isn't it?

No, it is not. Come on. I

picked a couple - this is a

likely scenario in politics, there is always back room

dealing and they're all

competing ambitions. You didn't

learn anything at all? I learned

learned a lot, actually. From

what happened to your father, I mean? I was turned off by

politics last year. I saw what

happened to dad and I was

cynical and jaded and I

thought, maybe I could bottle that up and chuck it into a

book, so I did. What I have

tried to do is explore some of

what people are feeling about politics

politics at the moment. I think

that a lot of us are turned off

by it. I think a lot of us are

feeling like we want to be

inspired and there isn't that

much inspiration out there and

people want their politicians

to get real with them. I think

that that also has a lot to do

with us. You mean like the real Julia Gillard? Your words, not mine. Her words actually. I

think people want real, real

and I think what people want to

see is see is politicians coming out and just being themselves. Of

course that is much harder to

do because we expect them to

put on a happy face on a bad

day, don't we? When they have

a cruddy poll and they wake up

in the morning and see in the morning and see a horrible photograph of

themselves in the newspaper and

they're looking pudgey and the headline is or something like that, they're

not allowed to retreat and do

what the rest of us would do on

a horrible day like that which

is get into bed, open a

of red and watch a chick

flick. Or if you're Tony Abbott

he could run a marathon. But

ultimately he has to put on a

happy face, doesn't he? Not necessarily. Peter Reith, were

you real? I tried to

be. There in lies the problem

that you have to try to be real. I am past politics now

so I can be myself. Can I say

on the popularity polls, seen

them come and go, I have lean

leaders up and down, Keating

up, Malcolm Fraser down, John

it Howard down and back up again,

it is much better to try and

assess people on what you see

of them and what they say and

what they do. I think Tony gets

a bit of a negative wrap and

unfairly. It is not bad coming

from me because I have had my

disagreements with him on

policy but I have worked with

has spent time with him, as I Tony and any person

have, would find him a very

decent Australian and he's a very genuine person. very genuine person. He's

committed. He works his guts out and just being objective politically, he's done a bloody

good job. He's knocked off a

PM. He's given the government a

hell of a beating on the carbon

tax. He had a bit help. Thanks Jessica. tax. He had a bit of

Opposition leaders, they do

have a very important role in

our democratic society and that

is to hold governments to

account. Tony has done a

fantastic job bringing the

don't like conflict. They don't like confrontation but

seriously, what do you want,

all the politicians to agree

amongst each other? That would

be the last thing you want. I wonder whether we could have

them agreeing once. It appears

to me that we expect Opposition

to oppose but we expect some

ideas to come out of it ideas to come out of it as

well. We expect some bright

ideas. APPLAUSE What about

the question that was posed

there about whether or not Malcolm Turnbull should be

brought back or Kevin Rudd

should be brought

that change politics? It would certainly change

politics. Change the nature of

politics. Going back to the

lady's question up the top and

picking up on what Peter said,

I think that there was a saying that the best way to cover Washington

Washington was from Denver Colorado. I wonder whether the

best way to cover Canberra is

from Sydney or Melbourne rather

than Canberra. I don't know any

politicians, he was banging the

drum and... If you read the

Canberra press and listen to

the Canberra journos, it is all

them talking to the lobbyists

who talk to the politicians who

talk to the journos. It is so

incestuous. You believe they're

all a bunch of bastards. That

is a stupid thing to have and

that is the way we are because

the Canberra journos get

troubled about getting too friendly

and they feel they have to put

in and twist the knife a little

bit without saying these blokes actually ever a

you're a bit unfair on

Tony. One example - We have a

few other questions to get to

and I want to hear from the

Government side. Kate. I wanted

to say something in response to

the young man's question. It

was about one, wear discussing leadership again and, two, we're discussing potential

reshuffles, it links with the earlier

having these discussions?

Because last week the drav

decided to put a story on their

front page which said an

unnamed source was giving

advice on whether Kevin and

when Kevin should or

challenge for the leadership.

We're discussing a reshuffle

because someone put in the 'The

Daily Telegraph' that someone

said there was a reshuffle on

the cards even though the only

person in the country that

could call a reshuffle, the PM,

has said that is not the

case. Bill Shorten is going to

be very disappointed to hear

that. I am not here to

disappoint Bill Shorten. I am person who calls a reshuffle.

She said that is not on the cards.

cards. Seriously, how many of

these, no sources, no names,

stories that are put on the

front page as fact that get

into the news cycle when there

is very little or absolutely no

basis for them? Surely enough

is enough. We're running out of

time. Let's go to policy.

You're watching Q&A. It is live

and interactive. The next

question is from Rhys. Last

weekend the US department of

energy reported that the global

output of carbon dioxide and last year's levels of green

house gases are higher than the

worst case scenario highlighted

in 2007. With carbon emissions

rising, how can we breakthrough the policy debate and move

forward in a constructive way?

The only way you can do that

is by leadership and it needs

leadership in every country.

The reality is this... This is

the medical on-Collie truth.

You cannot reach the emissions

reduction targets by

the scientists tell us we need

to reach unless you have substantially decarbonised

energy generation right around

the world. That is achievable,

it is doable but it has a cost.

It requires immense political

will. A cost being a carbon price. It means an economic

cost. You can cut emissions by

a variety of mechanisms and we

have been through this many

times before. The fact is it is

not free and my own view is

that America has abdicated global leadership on

climate change courtesy of

what's happened to the

Republican party where you

cannot be a credible candidate for Republican nomination as

President if you do President if you do not say climate change is nonsense, right? In the last presidential election which was only

only a few years ago, John McCain's policy on climate

change was only slightly

different from Obama's. They

have gone from bipartisanship to extraordinary part shanship.

What we have to look forward

to, and it isn't a very

promising prospect, but the

only country that is capable of

showing real leadership now and

whether they do so remains to

be seen, is China. There, and

Jess and I were talking about

this with the others earlier because she lives in Beijing, there, the consequences of environmental pollution and

damage, and emissions of all

kinds are so profound that it

is becoming a real immediate

political issue, and that is

why China, in its new five-year

plan is starting to take real action seriously. What

come of it, you can be a cynic

but it is a tough thing to say

but the Chinese are the best

hope of the side in terms of global leadership now that America has basically America has basically abandoned

them. Tony Abbott, do you

genuinely believe he's turned

the corner on this and

recognises that global warming

and climate change are a serious threat to the planet?

Look, I can only take him at

his word. I can't examine

- Which word? I can take Utter

crap I think it was. I can take him policy, which, as you know,

wasn't the policy - You want to

take him at some words - These

are all cheap shots,

The bottom line is the Liberal Party's policy is the same as

the Government's in this

respect, the target to cut

emissions by 5% by 2020, the

Liberal Party has a direct

action policy to the emissions trading scheme that the

Government is legislating at

the moment. That is - why do we

have that policy? We have policy because I was removed as

leader and replaced by Tony

Abbott and the policy of the

Liberal Party was changed. That

is the history. Wear all

familiar with it but parties are entitled to change are entitled to change their policy. Peter Reith? Ray's

been saying where is Tony's

policy? He has a policy on

this. You may not like it. He

has a policy on indigenous

health, something which we're

interested in, mental health

and paid parental leave. He has

a lot credit for it. As to that policy, he's pushed that position strongly. He's built

up a lot of public support for

that policy position and I

don't think it is reasonable

say which word. His policy is

as clear as any policy as you

can get. I was asking whether

he believed in climate change

because he's said at various

times he doesn't? I am not

here to answer every question

for Tony. He has a clear

position on it and I think the

carbon tax, without anything

happening internationally is going to cost Australia dearly. There was a Deloittes thing out

this morning, an economic

assessment and they're saying

"You have to take the opinions

of the experts", there is an

independent expert and this carbon tax will cost jobs at

time of global insecurity on

economics, putting Australia as a competitive disadvantage is

plain crazy. Jessica Rudd? The

Government is going to

Government is going to do something about climate change

and that is fantastic. We need

action on this and I'm really

happy to be voting for a party

that is putting - actually

believing in what is going on, not

elections, believing in what is

happening and acting on it and

I am very proud to be a member

of a party that is doing something. Ray Martin. There

are 90 countries or so at the

moment that are taking positive action in terms of climate

control. I read the same

article you're talking about

from the US energy department

as well. It seems that again we come back to the question about

leadership. I am sure if you

ask, maybe this audience is

specially educated but I find

amongst Australians, they

about at the moment. I don't

think the Government has sold it well but people don't

understand the carbon tax at

the moment. Where is leadership

in that sort of thing? It is a case where the Government's

failed to sell it properly and what Tony Abbott's done is

muddy the water. Kate Ellis. I

actually agree with what Ray

was saying but I agree with

Malcolm. You agree you haven't

sold the carbon tax properly?

A agree there is confusion in

the community. I accept that

and we need to be out there communicating communicating and addressing

the community that I am lucky

enough to represent, that this

is an issue that because it has

been such a toxic debate,

because it has been so heated,

people have been reluctant to

actually stick their

and ask the questions or put

forward their view and I think

that Malcolm's right, we need

leadership and whether it is

the sort of partisanship that

we have seen in the US, that is

what we ever seen here as well.

When Peter says that lots of people support Tony Abbott's plan on direct action, they're

the people that don't the people that don't believe

in climate change and don't

want to do anything.

the scientists, people are

agreed we need leadership. I am

proud that our Government is

pushing this through the Senate

and I will be proud that I can say we stood say we stood up and took action when it needed to be taken. We

have time for one final question. It comes from

Joel. The world recently

witnessed the death of Steve

Jobs and today we have learnt

that Australian artist and film

maker Sarah Watt has died from

cancer. In light of these

public lives being cut short,

can the panel comment on what

death? How can a successful

life be truly measured?

Jessica Rudd. First I Jessica Rudd. First I would

like to send my condolences like to send my condolences to

William McInnes and his family

on their loss. I have been

thinking about them a lot this

week and I can't imagine what

that would be like to go

through. A life well lived,

well my folks always taught me to find something you love

doing and do it well. I hope I

have found that with writing. I feel like

and that I can bring joy to

people and I think that if you

have a passion and if you can

throw everything at it, then

you can lie on your death bed

and know that was worth

doing. Ray Martin. I thought

Steve Jobs, the comment he made

when he gave that speech, I

went back and had a look at

that. Here's a bloke with $8

billion in his back pocket and

was clearly a genius and

changed our lives positively

and he said the most satisfying father. That is basic. You

don't need $8 billion for that.

You don't need to be terribly

successful apart from being a

father. Here was a time when he

was dying and he had a moment

of truth, he could say what he

likes and that is reassuring

for all of us that it is those

core values that life's

about. Peter Reith? I suppose

to live life to the full, to

make a contribution. When you

ask that question, I think of -

I have been lucky to political life. You meet

literally thousands of

thousands of fantastic Australians. We started off

with some fairly negative notes

but I think it is good to finish on a positive one. is a hell of a lot going for

Australia. It is good to be a

bit cynical, not too much so.

Australia is not a bunch of

morons. They have a lot going

for them and if people have

that positive optimistic view

about the future of the country, the sky's the

limit. Kate Ellis, a life well

lived, a good death? I think that that measure is probably

different, depending on different

different individuals and different different personalities. I

don't think we need to say you need

need to touch billions of lives

in order to be considered in order to be considered a

success. I know wonderful

people who have touched a few lives,

lives, maybe they have been a

great dad. Maybe they have been

a great family member or they

have made people laugh. I think

we all have our own individual

measures of that but it is

about living a life with integrity. Malcolm Turnbull?

Well, I have been lucky to

have loved and been loved by wonderful woman, Lucy, and our

two beautiful children is and I

have to say that everything

else over and above that, else over and above that, every triumph, every attempted

triumph, whatever, is

irrelevant compared to that. At

the end of the day, when you

boil it down, it is about lover

and it is about your family. and it is about your family. I

agree with Ray. It is a nice

place to leave our final program. APPLAUSE Please

thank the panellists, Peter Reith, Jessica Rudd, Malcolm Turnbull, Kate Ellis and Ray

Martin. Now you can applaud


That is all for

year. Our special thanks to the

thousands of you who have been

part of the audience, joined

the Twitter conversation, most

importantly asked the

questions. Thanks to your

support, Q&A will be back support, Q&A will be back next

year bigger and better with

even more episodes. We'll

finish tonight with Eddie Perfect's musical

interpretation of our year, a

sort of anthem to Q&A. Until

2012, good night.

(Sings) # How will we fill

the gaping hole in our meaningless lives

# When Monday evening rolls around

# And Tony's nowhere to be found

# How will we survive

# And how will we cope without asking questions of panellists

# Who then this

# Which means they're never

going to answer

# How will we live when the

illusion of discourse is taken away

# Without Q&A

# No more politicians bleating

# No more endless forensicing Tweeting

# No more Chris Pyne on the

guest list

# Fine, we get it

# No more right wing Christian lobbyists

# Who thinks

# No more faceless backbench bastards

# No more token singing


# How will we fill the

deafening silence when the

noise just goes away

# We'll be like a million aimless moths

# Once the porch light gets turned off

# Oh what a waste of a hipflask of mace

# With no Q&A

# Oh don't worry because next

week the ABC will screen a

special documentary featuring a

fish getting slowly beaten to

death by some middle class guys

with a stick

# In its own way

# It's pretty much the same

# As Q&A

# But ever no fear

# Because the circus will be

rolling back to town next year

# Closed Captions by CSI.