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ABC News 24: The Drum -

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(generated from captions) This Program is Captioned

Live. Hi, I'm Steve Cannane.

Coming up on 'The Drum', why

the number of asylum coming to Australia has the number of asylum seekers

dropped. Will the Government's

decision to keep a Chinese

telco out of the NBN backfire?

Also tonight, ACMA's ruling on

Kyle Sandilands - is the penalty tough penalty tough enough? Jointing

Carleton, Peter Bentley and me on the panel tonight, James

Peter Reith, but first here's

Jason Om with the

Jason Om with the news. . ABC

has learned senior AusAID official 49-year-old official 49-year-old David

Savage from Canberra. He is in

a serious but stable condition. We are working to ensure that he receives the

best of medical care and that

his family in Australia his family in Australia is

supported at this time, so this

is incredibly bad news for the is incredibly bad news for the family. AusAID says Mr family. AusAID says Mr Savage

was injured on his way back

from a community meeting in the

political debate on Chora Valley. Well, despite the

immigration, new figures show

the number of asylum seekers

trying to reach Australia has

dropped. The UN's refugee

agency has found that globally

the number of people seeking asylum has increased by 20%,

but for Australia, the number

fell by 9% last year. It says the result is mainly because fell by 9% last year. It says

the number of people arriving by boat

by boat has decreased. The UN

says the largest number of

claims are in the US, France

and Germany. Shock jock Kyle

Sandilands has been found

broadcasting decency standards, guilty of breaching

but he won't face any penalty

for making disparaging comments

about a female about a female journalist who

had given his new TV show a bad review. Some fat slag on news.com.au has news.com.au has already branded

of thing you are. it a disaster. What a fat bit

of thing you are. The ACMA

found that this was a broadcast that was grossly that was grossly demeaning,

that was deeply derogatory that was deeply derogatory of the journalist. The Communications and Media

Authority has no power to

penalise Sandilands, but it has

imposed new licensing

prevent conditions on 2DayFM to try to

prevent it broadcasting any

more indecent content. Of the

an broadcaster says it will launch broadcaster says it will

battered Labor Party will an appeal. Queensland's

appoint appoint a new

appoint a new leader when the Caucus meets tomorrow. Former transport Min Annastacia Palaszczuk is likely to be

handed the toughest job in

Queensland politics. She is one

of 7 MPs left standing after

the ALP wipe-out. Hundreds farewelled

farewelled AFL great Jim Stynes

at his funeral in Melbourne. He

ceremony died from cancer last week. The

ceremony was attended by politicians, sportsmen and the

public. He was remembered as a

gentle giant with a passion for

life. I'm Jason Om and that's the latest news. Now it's back

to 'The Drum' with Steve

Cannane. This Program is Captioned

Live.

Hello and welcome to 'The Drum'. I'm Steve Cannane.

Coming up - asylum seeker arrival numbers drop. Serial litigant Clive Palmer facing

defamation action, and Kyle

Sandilands griltty of breaching

the commercial radio code. Our

panel tonight - James Carleton

from Radio National Breakfast, Peter Bentley from Peter Bentley from McKell

Institute and in Melbourne, Institute and in

Howard Government minister

Peter Reith. And you can join "thedrum". It has been out in on Twitter using the hashtag

"thedrum". It has been out of

the news lately but a new

report on asylum seekers has the Government and Opposition

at loggerheads again over the

issue A cording to the issue A cording to the UN's High Commission for Refugees

the number of arrivals to

to Australia fell by 9% last year

to 11,500. The rest of the

world had a rise of 20% for the same period. The same period. The agency same period. The agency says

that's largely due to a drop in

the nm of asylum seekers coming to Australia by boat. Immigration Minister Chris Bowen says despite the drop,

the Government remains

committed to the Malaysia

people swap deal. And the Opposition argues it's not

great news because Australia

recorded the highest number of

boat arrivals ever over the

summer. Here's what the Greens

had to say. What this report

does is put the fathers on the

table. It should put a cod wash

on any progress towards the

Malaysia Solution or Malaysia Solution or Nauru

Solution. We've had a decrease

in the number of people seeking

asylum despite an increase the rest of the world. asylum despite an increase in

Australia could be doing much

more in a fairer and compassionate

compassionate way. Peter Reith,

does it suggest the issue of

asylum seeker arrivals as being exaggerated in politics? No, I don't think so. exaggerated in Australian

I think that summer number from

Scott Morrison gives you

frankly it is another story, but quite

number. The fact of the matter frankly it is just another

is for Australia we've had a

big increase in the number of

people arriving by boats. A lot of those I think do come from people arriving by boats. A lot

Afghanistan, which I think is Afghanistan, which I think

also said in this report, and from my understanding of situation in Afghanistan and from my understanding of the

situation in Afghanistan and my

assessment is ta it's more

likely to get worse than

better. The Hazara people are

the ones coming out to

persecuted by other groups, Australia. They're by and large

ethnic groups within Afghanistan. And by the

Taliban? Well, yeah, and

insurgents and the Taliban and

whoever else. The whoever else. The bottom line

there is there are 5-8 million

of them in Afghanistan and our borders are basically

completely wide open and I completely wide open and

the Australian public if think you would be misleading

anybody suggested that anybody suggested that the

numbers are going to fall. I

don't think they are going to.

In fact, I think the thing has

been so badly managed by the

Gillard Government, we're

likely to see an increase in

numbers. But do you admit the

numbers are modest compared numbers are modest compared to the

the rest of the world? That's

the argument that Richard Toll

has been making from UNHCR, the

numbers coming to Australia are modest and certainly manageable when compared to other industrialised countries. Well, it's all very well for it's all very well for the

UNHCR to say Australia doesn't have a problem. I think there

is a big problem N the national

interests of Australia, we need

to do something about stopping

the boats. We need to because we need to be we need to be able to control

our borders and also, as we

well know, the fact of the

matter is that people coming to

Australia by boat are coming on

a dangerous journey and a lot of people have died as a

result. So we still need to do something about it. Labor has

no policy on this now. They've

basically given up the basically given up the whole

thing, and I think really only

after a change in government

will we see Australia resume control over its borders. James, when you look

at the numbers here is this a

case where the rhetoric doesn't match the figures? Most

certainly not. The UNHCR

Commissioner himself said the

number of asylum seekers around the entire industrialised world

is less than the number of refugees in a single camp refugees in a single camp in

north-east Kenya. Peter, I

thought your comments thought your comments were interesting insofar as interesting insofar as you identified

identified the Hazaras were

genuine refugees, further

concerned for their welfare in

that you wanted to discourage

them from taking a risky journey by boat, and journey by boat, and then punishing the Government for

enabling a policy to see them

get here because you wanted

them back home presumably

because you want to see them killed by the Taliban. Quite frankly, I just don't follow

your logic. The fact of the your logic. The fact of the

matter is that... The logic is

this: Why are you worried about

them taking an un worthy boat journey by sea when you're

happy for them to be in the

hands of the Taliban? Well,

I'm not happy for them to be in

the hands of the Taliban any

more than anybody else is and

the fact is that 5-8 million

Hazaras do face a Hazaras do face a difficult

situation in Afghanistan, that's well recognised by both that's well recognised by both

sides of politics, but the

reality is that Australia is

prepared to do its Share Life

to give assistance to people

who are subject to persecution,

but there has to be some

control over the numbers, and

the fact is that the system we

now have is that you can

basically get op a boat and if

you get to Australia, then you

go straight into the system.

Now, in my view, that is simply

not a practical solution to Australia's border Australia's border control. I

want to get Peter Bentley's

opinion on this. Peter, what's

your take on this because these figures they've reduced by figures they've reduced by 9%

over the period of a year, but

that also includes a period

that also includes a period of time when the Malaysia swap

deal looked like it would be

policy and that seemed like it

deterred people, so perhaps

they may go up again next

year?. Absolutely, Steve. We

need to take the politics out

of it and this is why we've

seen problems over the years.

Firstly we need to acknowledge

that this is a good thing and I

agree with Peter, the less

people out there that are

taking perilous journeys in

leaky boats, the better, and so we should be very grateful

we're seeing a drop in that.

Secondly, there might be Secondly, there might be a

residual factor in this drop

from the Malaysia Solution, but the broader thing we need to

look at and all sides of

politics to look at is politics to look at is a regional solution. Now, whether

that's Malaysia that's Malaysia or somewhere

else, we need to take the

politics out of this. We need

to look at a regional solution.

I disagree with the Greens senator's comments that this

just shows we can kind of step

back and do nothing. We don't.

We need to look at both sides

of politics working together

and hopefully the Opposition

supporting the Government,

whether that's the Malaysia Solution or another Solution. Moving on now Solution or another regional Solution. Moving on now and

there are calls for drastic

reform to the ALP in reform to the ALP in the wake

of the devastating election

defeat. While some heavyweights

privatisation, others are pinning the blame on

privatisation, others are

saying a complete overhaul and

fresh blood is the key to saving the party. Annastacia

Palaszczuk is promising to make

the party relevant again in

Queensland to its traditional supporters. We will fight every

inch of the way to restore the

faith of Queenslanders. I represent a large working-class

electorate and I know that

electorate and I know that we

need to connect back to people

and we need to make sure that

the Labor Party is relevant. the Labor Party is relevant. On

Saturday, what we saw was

absolutely horrific, and a lot of communities have lost some of communities have lost some

very, very good people, and I'm

under no illusion of the task

ahead through the rebuild we

need to do and the fact that we

in the Queensland Labor need to restore people's faith need to restore

Party. The Labour Party Party. The Labour Party in

Britain is also tackling the

issue of reform. Peter Hain

been leading the National Party

forum commissioned by UK leader

Ed Miliband. Is he in Australia

at the moment and he says the at the moment and he says

current party model is broken

and some of the lessons British

Labor. Labour has learnt

applies here All parties have

to change. Essentially our

structure which is generations

old, arguably in Britain's case 100 years old and we have to

change that or reform it or we won't get in touch with the

voters. Peter Bentley, Labor

has plenty review of the structures but very little

action. Why no action? Can I

say - Steve, sorry, I agree with Peter's comments, but firstly let's establish one

thing. News of the Labor

Party's demise and death have

been greatly exaggerated. We

were having similar

conversations in 2007 and I'm sure Peter Reith would remember them. After the Howard Government Government loss, Campbell

Newman was the most sooner Liberal at the time and a lot of

of people were saying the Liberal Party needed to change,

they needed to reform, they

needed to completely review in

order to become electable

again. They made some changes

but over time I think one of

the main points was they got

back into policy and they

started winning elections on that. So, in terms that. So, in terms of Labor

Party reform, I think there

does need to be some reform and

positive green shoots I think we've seen some really

positive green shoots in New

South Wales, for example, where

they're looking at trialing primaries. That's something I

support and I think is a great

move, and I think that's move, and I

something both nationally something both nationally and

at a Queensland level after at a Queensland level after the

really tough result over the really tough result over

weekend that Queensland will

also be looking at. But also be looking at. But isn't

committees, with party elders, it the case they have these

like John Faulkner, Steve

Bracks and others and they ignore their

recommendations? Well, at this

particular point in time, that

isn't the case, Steve. As I say, in New South Wales, I

believe the New South Wales

branch of the ALP are actually

trialing. They've publicly

announced they're trialing a

city of Sydney for the local council elections and they've

expressed a desire to have a whole range of primary preselections and that's about getting different getting different people involved, about getting party

members, union members and most importantly members of the members, union members and most

public, so I think we are

seeing green shoots and it is a

positive thing that those

discussions continue to be had.

Of James, any green shoots

there in Labor Party reform?

If there are green shoots, the

national conference put

weed-kill all over them and these are the sentiments

expressed not just by expressed not just by me, but

by party elders themselves. We

had on Radio National brek fast

this morning, Geoff Gallop,

Morris Iemma and they made Morris Iemma and they made the

point much better than I could.

Let me make this point, if it

is just a cyclical thing, how come it is you can drive from

Melbourne to Papua New Guinea

without passing a single Labor electorate? There are times in

the past when the Labor Party have done badly and times in the past the past where the Liberal

Party have done badly. No-one

has done this party No, but

when things were bad, Labor when things were

Party had the ability Party had the ability to

it had a base. That revive. We it had a foundation,

it had a base. That doesn't exist anymore even in terms of ideology and certainly in terms

of branch members. The of branch members. The only

thing that keeps branches alive

salaried today is the support by

salaried MPs to keep the

electorates alive. They lost

bar 7 in Queensland which means

they don't have the money to

fund the funeral of the branch.

This is not like anything

before in history. Peter Reith you wrote a piece today talking

about the federal implications

of this debacle for Labor, but

I want to put to you the idea

that voters really differentiate between differentiate between State

issues and Federal issues. In

2001 Peter Beattie had a 10%

swing to Labor in that year, but in the same year John

Howard increased his majority in the election. They're all sort of in the federal

fair comments, but even Peter

Beattie is saying, you know,

that the Feds would be crazy to

just ignore the reality that

the State election has

implications for the federal

party, and in the same way,

quite frankly, that the problems of the party

organisation in Queensland are reflected all around the

country, as seen in the

discussions leading up to the national conference last year.

So, I don't think there is any

question there are implications. Can you debate

the extent to which - and

no-one can quantify these

things. Let's just face it, it's all just a matter it's all just a matter of assessment and judgment, but

certainly the Newspoll today certainly the Newspoll today I

think again just reinforced the

fact that Labor's primary vote is basically around the 30%, is basically around the 30%, I

think it was 27 or 28 today. It

has been like that new for

what, six months or nine months

and it showed up in the New

South Wales election, it showed

up in the Queensland election,

so clearly there is a problem,

and until they basically face

that and stop pretending that there

there aren't issues on their primary vote, then I think they're

they're basically heading

towards a towards a loss.

And I predict they won't face it until the truth dawns upon

them like a poker machine

addict who thinks their luck is

coming in the next spin, not

after a federal election

wipe-out or indeed wipe-outs in South Australia, Western

Australia. There will need to

be a wipe-out in a jurisdiction twice, probably in New South Wales, about you it will have

to happen twice. Sure, they

will think they've done bad

this time, but once

this time, but once two

wipe-outs on the trot, then

they will think, "Maybe it as

us." Moving on and questions

are being asked about the

decisions to block a Chinese

telco from helping to build the

NBN. The Government 3406ed away

from Huawei based on advice from from ASIO. The Prime Minister

was defending that decision

today from Seoul. The noon is a piece piece of critical infrastructure. It is infrastructure. It is the

future of our nation's telecommunications and telecommunications and you would expect that as a

government we would make the

appropriate decisions to protect protect that critical infrastructure and we have. Former Howard Government

Foreign Minister Alexander

Downer is on the board of Downer is on the board of the company in Australia. He told

'7:30' the Government's move is complete

complete nonsense. For complete nonsense. For Huawei,

it derives over 60% of all it derives over 60% of all of

its revenue from outside of

China, so if it was seen to be

a vehicle for cyber warfare,

well, then of course it would

lose all of that business and

would lose it overnight and it

would destroy the company, so

the company can't afford to be

involved in those sorts of

activities. Peter Reith, do you

Alexander Downer agree with your old colleague

Alexander Downer on this

one? No, not really. In fact,

my basic view is that in this

particular issue, the only

people who have any real person, the only group of

information is the Australian Government, and the press

reports are that there has been

a meeting of the National

Security Committee, that

they've had some sourt of

advice from ASIO and they've

made a decision based oen that advice. Now, for those advice. Now, for those who defending Huawei, they don't advice. Now, for those who are

have any information, from what

they've dad. Alexander is a

good friend of mine. His

comments were, well, wow make a presumption, et cetera. A

presumption, in my view, is not

good enough. The fact is ASIO

is the only reliable source of

information on this. I don't

know what they've said, I've

previous experience as Defence got no idea, but I have from my

minister, I dealt with some of

these agencies and if I was in

government today and I had the government today and I had

same information as I understand that the Government

has had, then I would take

the Federal Labor Government exactly the same decision as

and I think the Opposition

ought to be supportive of the

decision that has been made.

It's very difficult for them

information, they're not going because they don't have

to get it, but I think

Australia does have a very

strong national interest making a very strong strong national interest in

making a very strong stand on cyber attacks, and I cyber attacks, and I believe

that's what they're doing. I

think they should continue to

do so. Peter beptly, is this in

the national interest, because

in the UK they've already used

national Huawei to help build their

network. This is national broadband network. This is an interesting

day for me because I would like

to support Peter's comments and

I would like to support Barnaby

Joyce's comments who made

similar comments on Lateline

line last night. This is

billions of $s we're talking

about here, significant

infrastructure, and I think we

need to trust ASIO to do their

jobs. It is a fair call to

assume that ASIO and through them them the National Security Committee and the Federal

Government have our best

interests at hearts, and if

they've made these decisions it's something we it's something we should accept

and not be playing politics with. James, what do you

think? I think it's very hard

to make a defence on behalf of

the company which you don't

know the charge against them,

which is essentially the point

that the two Peters were making

. So vu to take them at face

value, I guess, just the same

way when ASIO recommends a asylum

asylum seeker does not get a

visa, because they are a security risk. They can't find

out either The Government won't comment on security matters and ASIO certainly

won't. Apparently the US has been lobbying Australia on this

one. It is a potentially bad

decision to side with the US

rather than China given that so much of our much of our future prosperity is tied up with China? A really

good point and there has been a

lot of commentary today about this might have

this might have a negative

impact on our relationship with China and I don't think that's

the case at all. We have a very strong trade relationship with

China. I really can't see China. I really can't see that

this will have any adverse or negative impact whatsoever on

the relationship. Peter Reith,

before we move on from federal

politics I've been reading George's book George's book The George's book The Australian

Moment and in it he refers to a

crucial moment where Bob

Hawke's involved you in Hawke's involved you in the 1982 1982 Flinders by-election That's right. He talks about you defying talks about you defying the

odds and winning that

by-election even though at the

time it looked like the Fraser

Government was on the nose, and

apparently according to

George's account in his book,

your victory in that by-election led to John Button,

a friend of Bill Hayden, a friend of Bill Hayden,

advising Hayden to step aside

in the new year and leading to Hawke taking over the

leadership. What I wanted to

know was are you considered a

Labor hero in some circles for

helping see the rise of Bob Hawke and that subsequent

government of him that ended up

everlasting 13 year fs you

count the Keating years? Look,

I've never claimed the credit

for getting Bob into The Lodge,

but it is a fact that the Flinders by-election Flinders by-election put a huge

bomb under Bill Hayden and did

lead directly to the challenge

by Hawke and in fact the day I

went to Parliament as a new

member to have a look at my member to have a look at my new

office was the day that Malcolm Fraser went to the

Governor-General to seek an

election, Bob Hawke was elected

as the leader of the Labor Party, and I was on TV Party, and I was on TV that

night as the curio of the night as the curio of the new member going to see his member going to see his office

knowing he might never get

there, which is what happened,

until 1984. Did Bob Hawke ever

buy you a beer and thank you

for his rise to the leadership

of the Labor Party? No, he

department, but let's face it,

he put up a pretty he put up a pretty good

campaign and the fact is that

the Fraser Government was on

the nose and I told them the nose and I told them that

if they went to the election in February/March because I won in

December, I said I thought we

could well lose, and that's

exactly what happened. There

you go. Steve, I will tell you

the program's connection to the Hawke

Hawke ascension to the

leadership goes beyond Peter

Reith and the Flinders by-election because that lunch

you referred to which took

place where Button told Hayden

he no longer had the support

took place in took place in my mother's restaurant in Canberra. How

about that. Palmer is being

sued for treason by Drew Hutton

- he said he dropped the idea of defamation action of defamation action but something Mr Palmer said yesterday changed his mind. I

said publicly last week that I

was happy to accept an apology

from him and leave it at that because litigation is certainly

not one of my hobbies, but he

has come out again yesterday

and said that he was being

mischievous about the whole

thing because he was actually trying to distract attention

away from meg tiff publicity

for the LNP in the last couple of days of the of days of the election, that's

why he said it. I'm quite ak

gri about that. I - you know,

feel strongly about the need for

for me maintain my credibility

and integ get in the public

arena and I don't take kindly

to people attacking me like that. Drew Hutton made the

decision after discussions with

legal team put together by the

activist group GetUp!, and

these are the comments by Clive Palmer that grabbed their attention in the first place Without you, without Julia Gillard, the Treasurer,

or the Greens raising thee

things in the Senate, who knows

where the attention might have

been in the last weeks coming

um to the election, so it's wonderful that all wonderful that all of you could

play a small role in having

Campbell Newman becoming the Premier of Queensland. Well

done. The great amount of

courage I got and the great

debate that took place. What

Dow make of it Chive Palmer is

boasting at the fact that he

took the media and the

electorate for a ride in making what he now seems to be

admitted a fabricated claims. You can't play that ace too

many times. Once bitten, twice

shy. The next time he makes shy. The next time he makes a

CIA or related accusation. Or

any accusation. Indeed, Le be considered mischievous,

dishonest, unhinged or dishonest, unhinged or some combination of the three. Peter

Bentley? What can we believe

from Clive Palmer now. We look

at this bizarre incident at this bizarre incident and

last week he accuses Greenpeace of being

of being in cahoots in the CIA

and slanders this chap Drew

Hutton. He then celebrated with

Campbell Newman over the

weekend and yesterday gets up

and says it was all an

elaborate rouse to distract the

media's attention. Where was

Australia when they were

handing out Billy handing out Billy net. The US

gets bill Gates and we get Clive

Clive Palmer. This is

outrageous. Peter Reith, outrageous. Peter Reith, what

did you make of the comments by

Clive Palmer? Look, not a lot.

Australia is an egalitarian

place, one ever of the great

things about Australia. People

couldn't give two hoots whether

he has got a billion dollars or

not, they will judge him on

what he says. He has had a fair bit bit of judgment this bit of judgment this week, I would have to say. As for would have to say. As for Mr

Hutton, that's a decision for

him. It is a private matter. If

he wants to take action, Le

take it. Personally I've never

taken action, even though I

must Saif' been defamed,

slandered and everything else

over the years, you know why?

You get excited about the

comment at the time, but crikey

do you really want to have all

the legal fuss that goes with

it that goes on forever? it that goes on forever? He

might have a really good claim,

I've got no idea. James, should

Mr Hutton cop it on the chin.

He is a public figure. He has

public platforms where he could

serve it back up to Clive

Palmer. It depends on whether people actually believe Clive

Palmer? Thaers true. You need

to establish that the general

public has changed their

opinion of you, which maybe they've changed their opinion they've changed their opinion

of Clive. He could sue himself.

But the point being, though, I

do object to when extremely

wealthy people use the courts

as a tool to punish as a tool to punish and intimidate people through defamation

defamation law or otherwise. I

hardly think that's the

situation here. Any penalty the court may or may not court may or may not impose,

even if it's with costs won't

even be the change that Clive Palmer drops on the floor. Peter? A agree floor. Peter? A agree with James, but James, but the flipside is

Clive Palmer has gotten up and made these stamss and as a

billionaire he has a big

microphone in front of him.

People out on the street and

any of us could make any of us could make similar statements and they wouldn't

get that same sort of coverage

and the worrying thing - this

goes to the commentary that the

Treasurer was making about

vested interests, is that Clive

Palmer has a microphone in front of him when ever he

watts, ke slander people, as he apparently has, and apparently has, and then has

the resources to defend

himself. This is a man who lists his hobbies as

litigation. That's the kind of challenge and concern for Australian democracy, no

less. The broadcasting watchdog

has ruled against

has ruled against Kyle Sandilands over comments Sandilands over comments he

made about a female journalist

who gave him a bad review.

After a two-month investigation, Communications and Media

Authority or ACMA found the Sydney

Sydney FM shock jock breached

the code of practice. The the code of practice. The ACMA

found that this was a broadcast that was gross ly demeaning,

that was deeply derogatory of

the journalist. The ACMA found

this to be a clear breach of that

that provision. As punishment,

ACMA imposed a ACMA imposed a new licence

condition on 2DayFM condition on 2DayFM owner Austereo, stopping it

broadcasting comments that

demeans women or girls. But it

will fight the decision. It

argues the watchdog was giving

too much weight to people who

weren't listens of the program.

Is this is a condition on their licence, that they don't broadcast material broadcast material that demeans

women S that much of a pun mish

nent? Not at all. This is the

same ACMA that a year ago found

that channel Seven was legitimate, entitled to out a

New South Wales minister when

he attended a gay club on his

own time, at his own expense.

That was considered to be in

the public interest, can you

believe. Now they say that Kyle

Sandilands or his station doesn't have to pay doesn't have to pay any money

or go off air. That might be

the right outcome, but I think

ACMA has to say there is no breach and no punishment, or

there is a breach and

punishment. If they're sitting around waiting for siel

Sandilands to say - it won't

happen. Peter Bentley, let's

talk about some of the comments

he made. He called this News journalist a fat journalist a fat slag,

commented on her breasts and

threatened to hunt her down. Of should ACMA have should ACMA have gone

further? Can I say that Kyle Sandilands - I don't think he

is a shock jock, but a shock

jerk. This sort of behaviour is outrageous. When we talk about

shock jocks, Alan Jones shock jocks, Alan Jones and

people like that, at least

they're talking about policies. They might They might be advocating those

in a pretty harsh and fiery manner, but they are talking

about issues of substance. This

was just personal was just personal denigration and abuse. But the interesting

thing out of this whole saga

was late last year we actually

saw a huge number saw a huge number of companies

that actually sponsor the show

and advertise with the show

pulling out their advertising,

and that actually in part and that actually in part came about by an online petition about by an online petition from consumers. And Twitter

campaign as well Exactly. campaign as well Exactly. So

often we talk about business

and not lifting their game in

terms of social responsibility,

but I think this is a great

example where we should give

business a pat on the back to

say they did the right thing,

and I think 2DayFM probably

felt more pain from that sponsorship being removed than any

any ACMA decision. Peter Reith,

what's your decision on this one I believe in freedom of

speech and I think the

possibility of this guy being

dealt with in the court of

public opinion is a lot public opinion is a lot more

effective than some regulatory

body. I think more regulation

of the media is not a of the media is not a good idea. Giving bureaucrats the

chance to impose all sorts of

punishments on media I think punishments on media I think is

just taking Australia down the wrong direction. This guy obviously - he lives on publicity.

publicity. Quite frankly, why

are we even talking about it?

It's just doing him a fave. The

guy seems to be a creep. guy seems to be a creep. I don't know him personally, don't know much about him,

don't listen to him and suggest

to people not to listen to him

as well. I just don't want to

overstate or give this guy far

too much coverage. I think that's the wrong way to that's the wrong way to go. I

think the commercial processes

and public opinion will deal

with him. Otherwise we get on with him. Otherwise we get on a slippery slope where you've got bureaucrats deciding bureaucrats deciding what's offensive and what isn't. offensive and what isn't. You

talked about denigration and

abuse, god, I put up with it

for years and so have a lot of other people in the public

arena. I just think we need to

get things in proportion. Do we

really want to have very tight restrictions on what you restrictions on what you can

say on air? No, we

don't. James, in some ways the

people are voting. His ratings

are gone down this year, even

though he is still No. 1 FM breakfast program in Sydney?

Well, we have a bigger audience on Radio National Breck taft because we go around the

country. Peter Reith, you

dished out quite a bit in our

days. You make that claim. Give

me an example.

I don't mean anything

untoward. You are highly

articulate advocate on behalf

of your cause and people who got in your way - I remember Laurie Brereton got it tough in

the House Well, he deserved

it. I'm not saying he didn't

deserve it, I'm just saying he

is a an vod catnd. Don't let the sunshine disinfect the

oath. ACMA is taking the middle

ground saying we will be a bureaucrat-run regulator and

impose standards yet don't do

anything about it in terms of punishment. Either take a

libertarian approach or take

regulatory approach, don't take

the middle ground. The Supreme Court has begun hearing

arguments in a landmark case

that could overturn the that could overturn the US health care system. Barack

Obama's controversial scheme

for health cover for all

Americans passed Congress two

years ago. It has been denounced by Republican

hopefuls, even Mitt Romney who introduced similar policy when

he was the Governor he was the Governor of

Massachusetts. Now 26 states have joined the legal challenge

to rule that the Affordable

Care Act is unconstitutional

and supporters are lining up

for a seat in the courtroom. We

fundamentally as a country have

to provide health insurance to every single person. every single person. The bill

is not perfect, but it moves is not perfect, but it moves us

along the line for doing that.

I know thatly have health

care. I will be able to afford

my prescription medications and

my son will have health care as

well. This bill is unconstitutional. It's illegal.

It was done on bribes and kickbacks to Obama's campaign supporters. We're completely

against it. We want real reform.

If we do not get it

overturned in the courts and if

we do not get it repealed an

the mandate stands,ly drop my health insurance andly not purchase health insurance if

I'm forced to do so by the

Government and I will not pay

the fine and they can put me in

jail if they want and there are

millions of people like me. Interesting to watch that

debate in the US. When you look at Australia public health care

is almost universally supported

but there it is a big but there it is a big debate So ingrated in our culture. The Supreme Court will be looking

at this as a turning point. They've had them They've had them many times before. Civil rights in the '60s, where that was involved

in the centralisation of power,

the new deal under FDR. This is the next chapter and it will be

fascinating to see where it goes. Critical for goes. Critical for Obama. Peter

Bentley, critical for Obama Bentley, critical for Obama in an election year Absolutely.

Call me old-fashioned but I

think legislators should make

laws. People who are elected by

the people for the people should be responsible for

legislation and I think this is

a very worrying kind of turn of

events over in the States where

by you have Barack Obama who

went to the election last

election with a massive health

reform package, has lebling

slated for it slated for it and that's now

been threatened by the courts.

This is one of the reasons personally I've always been

opposed to a bill of

opposed to a bill of rights here in Australia, for here in Australia, for example.

I think our politicians should make our

make our laws, our judiciary

should stay out of it, and this

is why we have the great

democracy that we have. People

can change governments if they don't like legislation. Peter

Reith is that more of a problem

in the US, or it seems their Supreme

Supreme Court is more partisan

than our High Court is I'm not

sure if it's more partisan, but there is no doubt constitutional arrangements in

the US have led to a the US have led to a society

turning to the lawyers to answer all problems is a big

thing in the US fr. A political

point of view, this will play

into the Romney campaign basically and that's where its impact will trobl be the

strongs. I don't know the constitution Alt issues at all,

but I do know this - there but I do know this - there is a slice of the slice of the Republican movement which is absolutely,

completely over the top on this whole Obama health thing and the person who gave us the person who gave us an

example of that was Russia limb

bore, a shock jock on the

Republican side and he was Republican side and he was just completely out of completely out of order recently when he attacked a

young lady who was giving

evidence to the Congress on

what should be part of the

insurance factage for ordinary families. It is quite different

to Australia, I think that's true, but in the end, as I say,

it will be a political issue

and my guess is Romney is not a

bad candidate, but I personally

think that Obama will make it

bakso whatever happens at the

con stutional level, Le con stutional level, Le still

be in a position to ensure the continuation of his health

arrangements. Coming up next on

'The Drum', why we need to change

change the design of where change the design of where we

live. We will talk to Jane

Frances Kelly from the Grattan Institute about its new report.

That's next.

This Program is Captioned Live. The design of

our future cities needs to

change to tackle the problem of

loneliness. loneliness. That's according to

a new report by the Grattan

Institute called Social Cities.

It argues that the way we build

and organise where we live is

crucial to our psychological

and physical health. We will

talk to Jane-Frances Kelly who

is the author of the report.

But Peter Bentley, this is

something the McKell Institute is looking at.? Yes, absolutely. The McKell

Institute is launching a report

next week about how we can

reduce housing costs both in

the private sector and also

social housing and one of the

key component s and I would be

very interested to get the views from the Grattan

Institute is really connecting

different areas and we need to start creating start creating places, not just units and not units and not just

developments, and one of the

big things, particularly big things, particularly here in Sydney but in all of our

capital cities is we're seeing

more and more people spending

half an hour, an hour, hour and

a half travelling to work from

home each day and this is

putting massive pressure on work and life balance, but also decreasing our productivity. Let's talk productivity. Let's talk to Jane-Frances Kelly. Yep. Jane-Frances, can

you hear us? Yes, I can. Let's start with your diagnosis. What

do you think is wrong with our

cities? Well, what this report points out is that points out is that although Australia relative to lots of

other countries has quite good levels of social connection,

the amount of friends we have,

the number of people we feel

that we can call on if we that we can call on if we need

help, it is declining over time

and the groups and society that

are most prone to loneliness

and isolation are growing, and,

for example, they're for example, they're older

people and people who live by themselves, and although will

is a lot of things that affect people's levels of social connection, whether they're

lonely or not, cities do play a

role. They can either be built

and designed so that they bring people together or keep them

apart. So what can be improved

to reduce that kind of

loneliness and bring people

together in city areas? Some of

it is about big infrastructure

issues b the structure of the city overall. If cities are

really badly organised or if

there is really poor transport

infrastructure, then it becomes

harder to get around to see

family and friends and so that

makes it harder for people to

connect, and stuff really

matters, too, is if you've got

a really long commute either

way, sort of to get to work,

then that's precious time that

is taken away usually from

family and friends, family and friends, but

sometimes it can be really kind

of small things that are at a

much more local level. In a

park , for example, some parks

are just badly designed and it

need not take much money need not take much money to

make it better. Sometimes it's

just about moving a bench to

where people actually will want to sit on it. You've raised

this issue of the transport and

the time it takes for people to

get to and from work and how it

isolates people from their

families, but don't we have a

problem where you can't problem where you can't get enough people living close to

work. You can't get development

and you can't get that massive

housing near work and housing near work and near transport hubs? Yes, transport hubs? Yes, no doubt that's part of it and work that

we did last year on the housing

market showed that the kinds of housing choices that

Australians a they want are

simply not being built, in our major

major cities, and that's the

way to do with the market is

being structured. As you say,

planning systems don't suit

anybody at the moment. So,

that's definitely part of it,

but as I say, there is a whole

series of things that can be

done, and it's not all big,

expensive, difficult things. So

what are the small inexpensive

things that can be done to

improve our cities? No, it's

not, for example, just about

planning decisions or what

governments can do. Even

individuals and community organisations can organisations can make a

difference: So, an example is

that there is quite a high association between knowing

your neighbours and wellbeing.

We think that that's because if

you feel like that you feel like that your

neighbours know who you are,

you can call on them for help,

we're definitely not saying

that people have to make friends with their neighbours

and go and have dinner and go and have dinner with

them, although of course if

they want to do they want to do that, they're

free to do so, but maybe on

streets where people don't know that

that many people in the street, the neighbours could get

together and have a sort of a

lunch, there was a big lunch held in Australia held in Australia recently. It

was Neighbour Day on Sunday

which is kind of aimed at bringing people together in

that kind of a way. Jane-Frances Kelly, we

have to leave it there, but thanks for coming on 'The Drum' tonight You're welcome. That's

all for the 'The Drum'. all for the 'The Drum'. Thanks

very much to our panel, James

Carleton, Peter Bentley and

Peter Reith, you can join Peter Reith, you can join us the same time tomorrow the same time tomorrow night and we'll catch you then. Closed Captions by CSI.