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ABC News 24: Afternoon Live -

View in ParlView

(generated from captions) Joyce with us in the studio but

because we're only a eel come back to you shortly

minutes away now from that because we're only a few

media conference. Joining us is

Barnaby Joyce, can you tell anything? I wish I could but anything? I wish I could but it

becomes more intriguing by the

minute. I devet on a plane at minute. I devet on a plane

Melbourne and there's 3 and I get off and there's 2 and now

we're waiting to see those two

people now determine where people now determine where the nation goes. They have an

immense statement in front of determine who the prime them because this will

minister is and who the

government will be and the

fortunes of that government. Are you aware that

your leader's been told, has Tony Abbott been told? Well, not that I'm

you're aware of. Let's bring in Chris Uhlmann here who's in

Canberra. Barnaby Joyce, I'm just wondering there was a just wondering there was a wave

of optimism which swept through the Coalition's ranks this the

morn, are you feeling quite so

optimistic now? I wasn't as

optimistic as the wave, Chris,

and I think I stated that this

morning. I have a sense that

prevair occasion generally

norm and the norm of these leads to a decision against the

electorates would be to go with a conservative government,

happen. It's an immense that way. We will see what

responsibility and obviously

the statement that comes out

next is their responsibility of

should be patient what happens next. I guess we

going to be because we have a

few more minutes to go before

we know the outcome to this but

what is the announcement of Bob Katter tell you? Doesn't that

seem from the outside that

there's been a split in their ranks? A suggestion of it, yes.

Now, that's to be determined in

a moment. It would seem a

have two little bit strange that you'd

the same message but we'll see

what happens. What role do you think the Nationals have played

in the decision? Well, the

National Party is quite proud

of the fact that we stood in 24

seats and won 12. We have similar goals to many of the Independents and I always that the animosities that may Independents and I always hope

have been there in the past,

because of a tribal war because you're on the same

turf, were put aside for turf, were put aside for the

betterment of the nation, that we

we kaism came to that we could put aside past

differences and work towards a

better goal. If they want to

bring about a better outcome

for regional Australia then we

could have worked together a to bring that

still might be a chance for

that. If they haven't though,

if they haven't gone your way,

if they've gone to Labor, what

does that mean for the

Nationals in the future? Will

it make country voters that much more inclined to vote

much

an Independent? I don't think

the voters will be happy with a

Labor Green voter. It's an. To

stop the live cattle trade, to

bring back death duty, rate, bring back death duty, 50% tax

rate, animal huzry processes,

closing down a lot of the

irrigation, these are not policies that are going to endear you to regional people.

Closing down ro day os closing down fishing. These are policies that scare a lot of

regional Australians. An regional Australians. An ETS ,

the Labor Party believes in a mining tax. Neither of those policies are of any use to

regional Australians and so it decision if the Independents back a Labor Green

government. We're looking government. We're looking at

pictures here of the committee

room of Parliament House where Tony Windsor and Rob are due to hold their media conference pretty much now and

we'll take you there as soon they do we'll take you there as soon as they do enter that room. I'll

bring Chris in here, Chris is also at Parliament House. I'm just wondering too the position

of Tony Crook we did see government over the course of of Tony Crook we did see the

the last couple of weeks use very well, first Adam Bandt and

then Andrew Wilkie to build a

momentum that things were

happening and then discussions with Tony Crook, happening and then the

that couldn't have helped Coalition chances? I don't that couldn't have helped the

believe Tony could side with

the Labor. That was pretty much

an open shut case. I understand

what Tony is doing what a person should, do he's trying

to carve out the best deal he

can for his people and we've

all done that at times in politics but I believe that he

was always pretty certain that

Tony was going to be sitting

with the National Party. After

all he came to our party room

meeting, we went out with on the town, maybe we shouldn't

have gone for as long as we

did. So, you know - Too much of the Nationals is too much, is

it? Too much camaraderie it? Too much camaraderie gets

you into all sorts of difficult

very personal perception, positions. You seem, this is a

guess, but you seem very personal perception, I

for a period of time but I hope

I'm proven wrong. You know, I

hope that in the next moments we find that the

Independents always have as

their raison d pf etre that they represented their electorate, they weren't swayed

by other issues. Now it's

that the belief of without a shadow of a doubt

electorates that the belief of those electorates overwhelmingly is

they want a conservative government. So in the most

politics is to reflect the primary aspect of your job of

aspirations electorates. You'd have to

reflect your vote in a Coalition government. But, reflect your vote in support of

made, we'll wait and you know, the decision has been

see. Indeed we will and in that room where that decision is

about to be announce wid about to be announce wid do

have Melissa Clarke. And we

don't see anyone arriving yet,

but they must be close? They're

very close. I can see the

flashing of the light bulbs

going off in the corridor joust

just outside. In fact we should

have a shot just now of Rob

Oakeshott and Tony Windsor main committee room here at entering

Parliament House. That is indeed

indeed the two Independents.

We've been waiting for them to

announce their decision. They

are right on time pretty much

on time as far as on time as far as political press conferences go. We've got

Rob Oakeshott there. We're

still waiting for Tony Windsor.

Tony hasn't been seen? OK. I

don't know what one can read

into that. Barny Joyce,

anything, do you think that, we've only got one of the two remain ing Independents? No,

they would have the weight of

the nation on their shoulder an

this is their realising the consequences of the decision. He is going to wait

Windsor before making Windsor before making his decision. He's waving there to the schoolchildren the schoolchildren that Melissa

Clarke points out to us, Clarke points out to us, who

are having quite an extraordinary extraordinary school excursion today because it will be a

historic moment as a decision

is announced. Chris Uhlmann, he can still joke? He can still joke. Interestingly though

there was the sense of chaos the ranks among the

Independents a couple of Independents a couple of hours

ago when they brought forward

their press conference first of all from 3 until 2, obviously

they had wind of what Bob

Katter was going to do and then

they moved it back again to 3

pm because all the arrangements

were in place. I don't think

that organising this part of it has been part of their strong suit. Let's hope that

organising government turns out to be a bit belter. Indeed, Melissa Clarke you're still in

that room, we've got that room, we've got Rob

Oakeshott v we lost Tony

Windsor? This might be one of

the benefits of being part of a party as much as the Independents value their

independence, when you have a

party you've got people who can you arrive at the same you arrive at the same time and

that may well have been what

they need right here at the

moment but there's certainly looking relaxed and calm and

Tony Windsor is just arriving now so it will now so it will be just moment

ace before they start with this press

press conference. Thank,

Melissa, we will take you Melissa, we will take you now to Canberra to this press

conference.

We right to go? We right to go? Ladies and gentlemen, firstly thank you

for being here and I do particularly particularly appreciate some

children from my electorate

that are up the back from a

number of school s, welcome,

kids. This probably will be a fairly guess what you've really been wanting to know is who will form the government. Before

making a statement as to how I

will vote I'd just like to

thank both leaders for the way

in which they've treated us as

individuals through this

process. And I'd also like to

thank the press, if I could,

even though you've been in our

faces a bit you have been very

courteous and you've given degree of freedom that we've

needed in relation to the

decision making process. One of the things that we've looked the things that we've looked to throughout this process is

could a government be formed.

There's obviously three options. One, the Coalition, two, the Labor Party and two, the Labor Party and the third option being another

election. We've also looked at

the issues of stability. If a

government is formed how could it last? And that's a could it last? And that's a key

deliberation in our view deliberation in our view and

Rob might elaborate on that a bit later. How long could a parliament actually - a government actually last with

the numbers the way they are.

Also what sort of a relationship would there be

relationship would there be in relation to the Senate, for

instance. There are a number of

other issues and both sides of

the debate have put regional think that's any secret and they've both done a great job. They really have. There's differences but they differences but they have recognised quite clearly that

regional Australia has missed

out in the past so there's been

some admissions in relation to that

that and some of the programs

that both sides put together

have been about trying to restore some of the restore some of the equity

issues in relation to health

and education and

infrastructure and we both sides for doing that. I intend with my vote for it's worth to support the Labor

Party. Rob will make an

announcement in a moment as to

how he intends to vote. The

issues that I thought were

critical to this, and possibly

the most critical was broadband. There's broadband. There's an enormous opportunity for regional

Australians to engage with the

infrastructure of this century and to pass up that opportunity and miss the opportunity for

millions of country Australians

I thought was too good an

opportunity to miss. My

advisers in relation to the

broadband technology and there

are a number of them, suggest that you do it once, you do it

right and you do it with fibre.

And that has been one of the

major influences that I've had in terms of making a decision. There

There are many other issues and it will be up to others to

release the information. release the information. But

one of the key issues in my

mind that many country

Australian s might take odds

with me on this renewable energy climate change

debate. I think it is time that

given the politics that surrounded the last surrounded the last parliament,

the Rudd/ Turnbull/Abbott

politics it is time we stood

back and revisited some of

those issue, not only in terms

of a market mechanism or

whether a carbon tax is the way

to go but really have a look at

what the globe is doing. have a look at some of these issues and try and revisit some

of those issues. And it is

obvious to me that regional

Australia would be a major

beneficiary of a lot of the

renewable energy sources. So I

see enormous opportunities

where other s fear the whole

climate change debate, there

are enormous opportunities in

that debate in relation to country Australians country Australians and regional Australians and

farm community, etc. The final

thing that I'd say, and then

we'll probably be asked one or

two question, I gather, before handing over to Rob, and I -

you will all go and look at my maiden speech after this,

because - and I hadn't looked

at it for quite some time, but it's not really worth reading.

But I'll go to part of it that

I think was because I I think was because I think it's very pertinent to today's decision. would have thought would have thought the electorate of New England, given its history, the member

would possibly vote with would possibly vote with the Coalition. When I first came into this place and when I was

in the State parliament one of

the fascinating things about

the political process was how country people never country people never took advantage of their vote. Their vote was always sidelined and in a sense the National Party

or originally the Country Party

was seen as the representative of country people. What has happened through the

amalgamation or amalgamation or the coalition

of the Nationals and the

Liberal Party is that the

country vote, and the same

applies to Country Labor and the Labor Party, the country

vote has been subhumaned -

subhumed into the two subhumed into the two major parties and the Leches

parties and the Leches have been fought on the suburbs of

our two major cities. So the

country issues haven't really come to the fore in relation to the policy debate the policy debate because

they've been assumed by one

side and taken for granted by

the other and the fact the other and the fact that

there are country Independents in this building indicates that

country people have had enough

of that. The other issue that relates particularly to today's

debate is the fact that that

30% that's been taken for

granted isn't a mar - majority and never will be but very large minority vote and

what it needs to do, particularly since over the

last 15 years where the last 15 years where the two

major parties who are actually

virtually the same in terms of policy, a few minor changes on

the side and we saw that at the

election where Tony Abbott went

to the polls with the union movements industrial relations legislation and Julia Gillard went to the polls with went to the polls with the

Liberal Party's boat people

policy. So we've seen this

merging of philosophies, in a sense,ened in that there's an enormous opportunity for

country people through their

representatives to deal with

either side of the parliament

and actually take political advantage of that moment and

that's exactly what we're doing

here, exactly what we're doing

here is actually taking

advantage of that moment and

sending a signal to sending a signal to country

people that if you want to be

taken for granted in the

future, go back to the old ways

because that's exactly because that's exactly what

will happen to you. The

admission by both parties

through that they've put together, the admission is that they have

neglected country Australians

and they are attempting through

this process, because of the way the numbers have way the numbers have been

crunched, to try to rectify that particular situation. So I

make this plea to country

people, some of whom people, some of whom would

think - who don't agree with

the Labor Party. This isn't about philosophy. Philosophy in terms of both these parties dieded probably longer. This is about

using the political system to

advantage the people we

represent and those people in

regional Australia. So I just

repeat again and I do conclude,

my vote will be going to my vote will be going to the Gillard government. It Gillard government. It will

only support - well I won't support no confidence motions,

a trivial no confidence motion, I Mr Support I will reserve the right to

represent my constituency represent my constituency on

any vote in the parliament and also reserve the right to move

a no confidence motion in the Government Government as I see fit. Thank

you very much. Thanks, Tony.

One of my favourite movies when

I was a kid was the Highlander

movie and the famous line "And

then there was one" I know then there was one" I know what

he meant. Thank you to everyone

for giving us the grace of,

what are we up to, 17 days

trying to work out a wicked

dilemma for Australia and dilemma for Australia and like

Tony, I would also like to very much thank the good faith much thank the good faith and

good nature of the negotiations

that have taken place between

Julia Gillard, Tony Abbott Julia Gillard, Tony Abbott and

Tony Windsor, myself and Bob

Katter. They would both be good

prime ministers. There is no

question about that. And if anything,

decision all the more difficult

for me and I think on for me and I think on behalf of

both of us and for Bob as well,

a more difficult decision. They both, in this parliament both, in this parliament where it will be a different parliament, will contribute fantastic things for fantastic things for this

country and I hope whichever

way this ends up going that they renew their friendship,

they talk and they do work together as much as possible in

the National Party the National Party interest.

Also can I say some thanks to other people who have other people who have been

involved. Bob Brown, Nick Xenephon and various senators

have been involved, new colleagues in the Lower House,

Andrew Wilkie, Adam Bandt and

Tony Crook, they have

contributed in various ways and even some long-term members and

senators, I'd even thank Bill

Heffernan today. He is a good man fundamentally and - I'm not

supporting that. And again

that's what makes the journey

of the last 17

the decision we've had to make

difficult. I wanted to start by

saying what this decision is

not. I want to be very clear

and upfront that this is not a

mandate for any government. We should have

should have a great big swear jar in this building for jar in this building for the

next few years and if anyone uses that should have to chip in money.

This parliament is going to be

different. No one party has

dominance over the executive dominance over the executive or the parliament. That is a

reality of the way we're going

to do business for the next

years and that is a good

reality. So it is not a reality. So it is not a mandate for anyone, nor is it an endorsement

endorsement of anyone, of any

philosophy, of any brand, of my

- any campaign. In the discussions we've had over the

last couple of weeks I last couple of weeks I think I

can speak on behalf of the

that we have generally come to a pretty similar conclusion

that I suspect plenty of people

who went into the ballot box August who went into the ballot box on August 21 had and August 21 had and that was being thoroughly unimpressed

with the state of play of major party politics in party politics in Australia today. We are no different in

that and again that has made

this a difficult decision this a difficult decision to

make. I also emphasise that we

are all proud and strong why there's all this interest

in us. We do value our vote in

the parliament and our

communities recognise that and

we will commit to as much as possible full voting

rights on all issues before the

parliament. That is important

to us and the way we represent community and represent our

country through the parliament.

One of the exciting things from

the reform package that went through yesterday emphasised the new voting rights on private members bills. private members bills. We're

going to have a wow of a time.

We're going to see absolutely

anything on everything come

before this parliament and that

is exactly the way

and I would hope over the next

3 years regardless of this

juicy and sexy juicy and sexy decision everyone's waiting on, that there is this recommitment to the 150 members of parliament,

the role that they play, the role that they play, the

importance the foundation block

of our demorkcy and all if at times they need to break

ranks from their political

parties to achieve what they believe is in their community's or their country's or their country's best interests. That's the wrestle

that's going on at the moment.

These divided loyalties between political party, between local electorate responsibilities and

responsibilities to the nation.

I would hope from what you've

seen from us from the last seen from us from the last 17 days we're committed to electorate and committed to

country. We do culturally need

to bring a few others with us,

that includes a few

outlets with us, so that we do be

be very strong in establishing

the principles of electorate

and country as the drivers of

the way we do business in

regards public policy. So what

this is a hard decision, there

is no question about that, and

at my end it has been an

absolute line ball points

decision, judgment call, 6 to

one, half dozen the other, this

could not get any closer. In

fact I think what yooef seen this dropped one of the three amigo

s is exemplifies just how tight

this election has been and this election has been and how tight this decision is for tight this decision is for the country. I've got splits in my community, I've even got community, I've even got splits

in my own family, my 4-year-old

and 6-year-old have split on

this decision. I've got - I

don't know if everyone knows

I've got a family member who ran as the Liberal candidate for Eden-Monaro. I've for Eden-Monaro. I've got another family member who

is going to be broigt - brought

up at many Christmases to come

in my household and will be

difficult. And look, that's not indulgence, I mention that for a reason. Communities are split

on this and when the gong is

given at the end of these words

there's a job to do and a first job to do for a new prime

minister and to some degree an

Opposition Leader and that Opposition Leader and that is to bring Australia together. It has has been 17 days where there's

been lots of interest in this

creeping number creeping number count, it has engaged the Australian community. I have heard

discussions from people in

shops that I never thought

would show any interest

would show any interest in politics whatsoever. politics whatsoever. Australia is engaged but Australia is

also divided and so I would

plea that the first job is to

not have a unity government but

if we could have a country that

as much as possible unifies the back of this decision then

that is a good first job done.

The framing of this The framing of this decision

then is an important point that I want

I want to make as to how I drew

my conclusions. My job

description is to represent my

electorate and represent my

country through the parliament.

It is in those two best

interests that I work. This to drill down on my comments in

regards to what I mean by regards to what I mean by this

best interest test and that best interest test and that has

required a lot of thought. It is not shaped

political party prison. That I

continue to see some - politic party prism that I see some

media outlets continue to

report, it's deeper than that

and it's back to those words of

stability and outcomes. That stability and outcomes. That is

the best interest test of this decision. decision. In regards to stability we can drill down in my view, 4 key areas. in my view, 4 key areas. The

raw numbers on the floor of the

House that has crept and it looks like regardless which way we go, it will be negated so don't even we go, it will be negated so I

don't even need to raise that

point because it's either going

to be 75, 75 or 76-74 but to be 75, 75 or 76-74 but that

was part of the decision making

process. The Senate is also -

and we've been quite public about this, the roling of the Senate, the relationship Senate, the relationship with the Senate has been an

important consideration in regards to stability. The point

publicly has been, I think, a

fair point and one to consider. In regards to stability which

party has more to gain in working with us working with us and working

with the cross benchers as

compared to which party will

try and knife us and go to try and knife us and go to the

early polls and that is the

fourth point which I think is

the important point and Tony

did make mention of it. Which

of the parties will try and

keep this parliament running

for as long as possible? If

that has been a key

consideration at my end as to

how we can do our bit for the

Australian people and keep this

parliament alive for as close

to three years as possible. So that's the that's the stability thinking,

then we get on to the outcomes

thinking. I did not try and

just make it all about today

and my wants an needs. This was

a decision through what I call

the eyes of my children test,

you know, the eyes of kids from

Nundall and Nundall and Dungowan and other school. This is the 20-year decision. Through the

negotiations I think we've got

a good local package for a good local package for a local member to go home and talk to talk to his electorate about,

that's good. We've also got, I think, a regional Australia

package that has never been

seen before and will turbo charge regional Australia. charge regional Australia. It

has been good work by Tony, by

Bob and by others in pulling

together a really important

package for this country and as

Tony said, we're not asking for over and above, no-one in over and above, no-one in any city needs to be scared, we are

asking for equity. Equity has not been delivered to regional

Australia for too long Australia for too long and that

is now about to change. And I

might have to flag in that there is a side there is a side consideration

in all of this in regards to that regional Australia

package, there has been an

offer come in to drive that at a different level decisions have been made about

that, and I have wanted to keep that that separate from any

decisions today, I do decisions today, I do want to

go home tonight to my wife and kids and actually talk it

through over the next couple of

days, but that is there for

open scrutiny for all. So that will

will be considered over the

next few days. As well

nationally, we've grabbed this opportunity as far

are achieve, a

cracking outcomes. We've now got a tax summit

needs. By June 2011 we've got a

commit toment have the Henry tax review thrown into the

public do main with full recommend yailingss from

government and a fair dinkum

open debate about tax in this

country. That is a good and big outcome from this processened

one that hopefully demonstrates

this is not going to be a weak

parliament, this is going to be

a strong parliament, this will drive outcomes for this nation

over the next 3 years that are better than ever done before. As well, that we've managed to get

that we've managed to get a

process over the next 3 years that at the very latest will

see a referendum question put at the next election at the next election on indigenous recognition in the

constitution. Something that is

part of the social fabric of

this country that has been left

behind for too long and again

is an important national

outcome. Then as well the party

positions and we had to work

through the policy positions both sides and as you heard

from Tony I think the big

sticking points for us in regional areas were the

broadband issue and broadband issue and the climate

change issue and one that I also throw in and you only need

to go to my last speech in the

parliament, not Tony's first,

about what I consider to be a

crisis in regional education in

Australia today. We now have national indicators in

education around poorness, around indigenous and regional. Sit a disgrace that

regional education has been left behind left behind in this country

when sit the meal ticket for

all those 3 combined and so

this has been a

for me and a concern in regards

to potential savings and cuts

in skills and training and one particular party's policy

cutting things as simple as

computers in schools and not

working as well as other working as well as other sides on pathways and collaboration

through this interesting period

over the next 3 years around the transition from secondary to vocational education,

through to tertiary. That is good substantive work ironically started, I acknowledged acknowledged by Julia Gillard

when she had the education

portfolio, I hope that will

continue into the future. So

the best interest test equals

stability and outcomes, equals

minimising the chance for an

election and maximising the

chances for local, regional national outcomes. That's the

framing of my thinking and in that regard we've worked through this process over the

last 17 days and I just do want

to run through to run through it. So everyone

can criticise us, well I just

want to tick it off because I

want to be very clear with

everyone that you mightn't like

the decision but you can't

knock us for going through a

very substantial and methodical

process to draw some

conclusions. The first thing we

did was ask for a 7-point

request for information. We got

that from both sides. We then secretaries of departments and

spent a day of our life talking

to some eminent and to some eminent and beautiful

people in the public service in Australia in this

quite often get maligned in

this joint more than they deserve. We met deserve. We met with ministers

and shadow ministers on the

full range of issues, we met

with Treasury and Finance, we broke the caretaker convention

rules an we actually got the costings that should have been

out there prior to an election.

That was good work done, I

think, by the cross benchers

drawing some conclusions. We

have had many, many meetings,

phone calls, text messages with both Julia both Julia Gillard and Tony

Abbott. We've had many meetings on the side in on the side in regards

parliamentary reform and we got

a successful completion of that important process yesterday.

We've met with stakeholders, I

think the second day we were

down here we met with over down here we met with over 50 people from the National Rural

Health Alliance on how they believe they're

up to $500 million a year on up to $500 million a year on n

this country. We've met with them, we've had lunch with Andrew Forrest,

Andrew Forrest, we've had phone calls from calls from Noel Pearson, we've

been engaged in trying to get a resolution. Hopefully as well

you can see we've made ourselves as openly available

as possible to the as possible to the media through this period, we do

believe in the sunshine test in

what we have done, there are what we have done, there are no

sneaky cigar, whiskey back room

deals in any of this. This has been an have - no, there hasn't

been. This has been an open process by us and even if you

don't like the decision please accept that we've given it our

best endeavours to make a best judgment call. So through that

process on an absolute judgment call, and I emphasise it's a points decision, I'm confirming

for the Governor-General of

Australia that today I'll do

what I have always done

ironically and give confidence and supply to government and in

effect that means confidence

and supply in Julia and supply in Julia Gillard unless, and I emphasise

unless, and I emphasise unless, exceptional circumstances

determine otherwise.

Will you become Ministers in

the Gillard Government in I'll

speak for myself - no and no.

That is why I made mention of

an offer has been made. Come to Port Macquarie. We

don't have a political party don't have a political party in play at play at that town. There is none at local government level,

federal level or state level. It is disappointing to see interpretation of electorates by people who have no by people who have no idea what's going on on the ground

much it was an independent

seat, there is a mix of party

political views, but the

culture al shift we have culture al shift we have to

make is no political party has

nom instance. We have to learn

to work with each other, even

if they are traditional foes.

That's a cultural shift that's

have had to go through an unnatural decision to draw conclusions about lining up

with a party that fundamentally we don't agree with, but in the greater good we have

think we will be able to have a

good conversation with the

electorate. Yes, we are all

expecting police terse over the

next couple of days from various political

interpretations of events, with

you that is exactly why I wanted to spend some wanted to spend some time

running through the process, so

no one can be critical of us

drawing a decision on a Can you outline the scope of the regional package that you

have got as part of the deal? I think that might be for I think that might be for the Prime Minister to outline.

Bearing in mind we haven't

signed anything yet. Did it

come down to dollars and cents,

the amount of money on offer?

No, it didn't. Both packages

were very strong, very strong.

We didn't sit there and add up the numbers to see who was going

going to win. They were both juggling

well intentioned packages. The

juggling act for us, quite

frankly, has been the balancing

act that every members goes through, of how you balance

local needs and national needs.

Through this negotiation, that

has been a tricky walk. We

think we have the balance right. We think framing right. We think framing things predominantly as a regional

Australia package works Australia package works for many communities outside many communities outside my area and outside Tony's area.

It quite justifiably works in those communities' interests. I

can go back to the point,

of it is just tweaking existing funding formulas to make sure

equity is delivered. We are one of the of the most urbanised countries

in the world, woo he have in the world, woo he have an huge opportunity to have an

ex-urban generation, and I hope

this parliament is an

opportunity to grab that and be

bold in policy. This is the parliament to do it. parliament to do it. You

mentioned that Noel Pearson

called you. Bob Katter kept

talking about indigenous awe affairs when his very crowded office about one of

one of the reasons he one of the reasons he had decided not to go with Julia Gillard. Why were you not swayed on the arguments Noel Pearson made

and indigenous employment? He

put a good case, and he's good work. But there are more than one view in Australia and indigenous

affairs. You have seen it on

the public record from the public record from me on

many occasions, that one of my great parliament in regard to

conversations about education and employment in regional indigenous indigenous issues is there's almost an automatic drift to the Northern Territory or Cape York. Please, everyone, go to

page 12 of the last closing the

gap report, and it shows gap report, and it shows where indigenous Australians live.

More than 50% live on the east coast, between Sydney and

roughly Rockhampton. That is a conversation that needs to

begin. By work with Noel work with Noel Pearson, regardless of this decision

today, and I made that very

clear to him on the phone. But

I'm not going to play party

politics with anyone, even

politics with anyone, even an

indigenous elder. We can work

together and we can achieve

good outcomes and I hope he's still at the

still at the table to do

that. If I could make a

comment, one of the

breakthroughs we had, and the

Prime Minister will probably

announce this, is in relation

to the broadband network. There

will be equity will be equity in terms of wholesale pricing across country areas. That's country areas. That's a

significant additional significant additional or value-add to the arrangements

for broadband. And roll-in,

not roll-out, priority for

regional areas first. It's a

broadband roll-in now, bingo.

Your campaign to claim your seats as quasi-Coalition seats, did

did that put you off at all?

At the end of the day we have

to vote where we think we can do the most good for our people. Some of the background noise in terms of the Coalition - and I don't - and I don't identify Tony Abbott in this, I think Abbott in this, I think he's

been excellent right through this this process - but there's-background noise, and there's-background noise, and a little bit louder than

background noise, that if there

was a hung parliament with the Coalition in government, Coalition in government, they

would rush off to the polls as

soon as they could. One of the

things that we really want to

do is try

longevity into this parliament,

work with the government of the

day, and potentially keep the

parliament going for the period of the three of the three years and create

some very good things for

country people and the nation.

I'll answer as well. The answer

is no at my end as well. is no at my end as well. We

mentioned this earlier, one of

the great advantages of this moment, where three people with

68 years of public life were

involved in this difficult

decision is between the decision is between the three

of us we have seen most tricks day before it's going to happen. Those political

manoeuvrings did not manoeuvrings did not influence

anyone's decision at all. Why

do you think that an Abbott Government Prime Minister would be more likely to go to the polls?

Because I think they would be more likely to win, if they did

go back to the polls.

(Question, inaudible) We (Question, inaudible) We took

a strategic decision to tell the people of Australia I'm sure they are watching now. Did you get a written guarantee from the Prime Minister that the parliament

will run three years? How can you back the government that is lease likely to win, as a large

coal conclusion. They are more likely to be here longer, likely to be here longer, if they can't go to the they can't go to the polls and win in a hurry, because they

have more on to lose. Then how is that in is that in Australia's

interest? The point plans

that you looked at in terms of the

the broadband roll-out for the broadband roll-out for the regions, are you to the schedule that the Labor

Party has proposed? That's

not our choice. We have struck

an agreement today on

confidence and supply, all the

other issues, and really even policy issues, are for determination on the floor of

the parliament and in public

debate. If they start dragging

their feet, don't worry, we

will be up their ribs. What is

the job you are considering? Michelle, can you Michelle, can you ask Julia Gillard? Is it That's under consideration.

There are a couple of options

under consideration. I have to go home and think about it. I want to be frank, it is separate to the decision we

made. I just need some time at

home with people important to

me to make some me to make some conclusions.

I'm sure the others will, but I don't think it's my business to

verbal others. What about the

sunlight principle you were

talking about before? I have

given you your lead, go and

make a phone call, with all respect. Can you confirm that

Tony Abbott's offer was more generous than Julia Gillard?

Secondly, can you tell me about

your thinking when it came to Tony Crook? He released a two-sentence statement yesterday. Was that yesterday. Was that sufficient

for you to think that the

Coalition numbers were 73? I

think they were. I think if it

had come down to the wire, Tony Crook would have been a certainty with the Coalition.

Whether he had all the correct missives in front of Tony

Abbott, I think is almost irrelevantment he would have

supported him. ... the relative

generosity of the packages? I haven't totalled one against

the other. They were both excellent packages, there no doubt about that. I presume both may well have both may well have been released. If they see that they were excellent packages. There were judgment

calls gal other in the

believability of each compared

to costings, and we had to use

our best endeavours to make

some conclusions. With the tax

summit... on the issue costings, how much did that influence your decision? It

was a factor. I feel like been saying was a factor. I feel like I've

been saying that for 17 days.

It was a factor, but not a deal

breaker or maker. Can we ask

you to clarify - you talked about Ted

talk about who might try to

steal seats or work hard to

bring you down. How much did

that play a role? Did you that play a role? Did you try to seek agreement from the

Nationals that they would leave

your seats alone, or seek an assurance they wouldn't cause trouble in your electorates?

As far as offers are made - and

I hope I'm not being too cute

on this - if you can talk to

Tony Abbott about what he wants

to reveal or not as far as offers will be a comment made by

someone somewhere that embeds the mythology that there is a

war between the National Party and some and some independents. There's not. I could have very easily

worked with many good people from the Coalition, including members of the National Party.

In the end, you In the end, you mention edited mack, I mention edited mack as

part of my decision-making. The

consideration is more along the

lines of who has more to lose by you supporting them, and

therefore working harder to make the parliament work, to

make the nation work and to make all 150 electorates work.

We made a judgment call. That

was one of the four factors was one of the four factors in

my thinking. Let's see how it

goes. Can I ask you to

clarify: You have told us that

you have supported the you have supported the party that you think is less likely to enjoy the majority support

of the Australian public, and

Mr Oakeshott, is that your factors. We wanted to ensure

that there was stability

potential, and the potential, and the relationship

with the Senate became an important thing there. The

numbers were always going to be

tight anyway. But longevity is

the key to this. I don't think

any of us in this room could

honestly say what Australia

would do at the ballot box tomorrow. This is more tomorrow. This is more an

exercise of how do we ensure a

parliament is going as long as possible in this environment? It's a environment? It's a judgment call, but we think there would

be less interest in a Labor minority government going back

to the polls quickly than there

would be for a would be for a Coalition

minority government going back

to the polls quickly. It's a

judgment call. Let's see how judgment call. Let's see how it unfolds. Aren't you defying

the will of the Australian

people? If Tony Abbott is more likely to win an election? That is not what we said.

going back to the polls quickly. That's a difference

from who is going to win from who is going to win it.

You have said Tony Abbott is

more likely to win. That's

call than also the call of many on the backbench of the Coalition. If it had been 75

all, they think they would have

had a reasonable chance of

written winning a re-election. written winning a re-election.

We thought about the 75 all

option, back to the polls, but both both sides of politics and the people didn't want that to

happen. We asked them that question, do you want to go

back to the polls, and

everybody said no. You will

see the first dose independence in the new parliament. I disagree with

that view. I think it's more

focused on the, just keeping a

majority government alive for

three years, regardless in what

form. I don't think it matters

who would win as a consequence

of going to the ballot. I think

they are two different things in my thinking. In your

are more interested in keeping

the parliament alive for three years

years than giving the Coalition

a chance to win at an early election? It was one of the factors, Fran, in relation to

it. One of the things we were looking at, right from the

start - and you may remember me

talking about this - if neither side really want to be there,

one of the options was to call the thing off now and let the thing off now and let the

people decide. We got the

feeling that both leaders wanted to be there, and sure of that. But we sure of that. But we also picked up the background noise

that, from some members of the Coalition, that this might be a

good one not to good one not to be too involved in, some in relation to the role of independents in it and also in relation to the the obvious problems that any government will face in a

minority situation. This will

be a cracking be a cracking parliament. It

will be ugly but it will be

beautiful in its ugliness. I think we should all With the assurance of a tax

summit you got from the

government, will one of your

requirements be that the mining

tax be reworked through the process or are you happy process or are you happy to make amendments to that separate from the tax summit?

I haven't put in any I haven't put in any personal bids in regard to the mining

tax. What I said is all of us

got locked up for half a day got locked up for half a day of

our life, and what really

out of it, apart from a fight

with the mining industry? I

would hope that is a step back

and get good response to the recommendations from the

good work done by Ken Henry and

others, get that into the

public domain, have a meaty debate about tax, call it a tax

summit or whatever we want to

call it, but the dialogue is important so we can make good substantial decisions on what

is one of the core issues for

the country, and that's how we... I thought you wanted to ask the question. It's a

team. RSPT, MRRT, do you want them to

them to go back to scratch? I doubt they will, but if you're

asking me, I would suggest, as part of part of an open public discussion with the

and about a genuine tax and about a genuine tax reform

measures for the country, I

would. But there's more would. But there's more than one stakeholders in this

debate. We might wrap it up

after one more. In your

meeting with Tony Abbott today,

did you try to convince him with stability to go with through the process we are

indeed members of parliament,

we shared information and had

different issues we raised. I

have the greatest regard for

Bob Katter. There is no one in this building that feels for

his electorate like Bob Katter.

I think we are all aware of

that, and his 20 point plan was

an expression of that an expression of that feeling.

I support him. Did you think

from the outset that you would get $1 get $1 billion out of Julia

Gillard to form government? Is

have done some maths. There have done some maths. There is a range of regional projects

that are there, particularly in relation to education and

health, that will rectify some

of the inequity issues time. $1.8 billion extra in

the deal just for regional

hospitals, you don't think

there are hospitals in metro

areas that would like a slice

of that extra $1.8 billion as

well? I don't want to get into

the detail of this, because it's not our role. When you see how it will work. This

isn't about taking from someone

and giving to and giving to someone else. There is a lot of money for

education and health that is purely for regional areas,

people in the city won't be

able to have a slice of that money. There are prioritised round, I think it's called. On

the back of a history of inequity. Is this parliament is

now starting to

where do we want to go where do we want to go in

Australia, do we want to

continue to urbanise or do we want to be engage regional cities and

towns? I think this is a

casting of a government that is

going to commit to population movement and engaging movement and engaging regional

Australia in a way we have

never done before. I think it's

exciting and it's not at the

expense of anyone in the

cities. I think it is in people's best interests that

equity as a principle is upheld

in decisions made about

policy. Julia Gillard is going

to spend $10 billion, so she needs to find $10 billion, have

you state awe insurances on how she will make she will make the cuts to pay

for the $10 billion for

regional Australia? That's a

question for her. Thank you very much. We appreciate it.

What's your next meeting? Where

are you off to? You have been

listening to Rob Oakeshott and Tony Windsor, the two

independents who have made

their decision. They have both

supporting Labor, to stay in

government. They have made it very clear goes as far as supply and

issues of confidence. It doesn't go as far as doesn't go as far as any

particular policy issues. It's

very clear, Rob Oakeshott said,

that this can't be read as mandate for any government nor an endorsement of an endorsement of any

philosophy. They maintain full

voting rights on all voting rights on all the

various policy areas. One

interesting point that both

Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott

made was that, for them,

stability was key, in the stability was key, in the words of Rob Oakeshott, which party

will work with us, try and keep

this parliament running for as long as possible? I'm joined long as possible? I'm joined by Chris Uhlmann Chris Uhlmann in our Parliament House as you sit here todayo.

We have a government. We

it will be a Labor Government,

the continuation of the Gillard Government, but there were interesting points in the press conference and a lot of clarification needed. clarification needed. We

finally got a price tag on what the independents have got from the Labor Government. It

appears it comes to $10

billion. That maybe someone's back of the envelope

calculating, but no doubt it

will come up in the press conference with Julia They said broadband and climate

change were important for change were important for both men. Another interesting point

that might come back to haunt

Tony Windsor, his statement he

was looking for stability was looking for stability and didn't want to go back to polls and the Coalition might be

be more inclined to go back to

the polls, because he said Tony

Abbott was more likely to win

if they went back to the polls.

Some might argue that going back to the people and allowing

them to settle this, if he

thought it was more likely that

the Coalition was going to up, perhaps he should have dipped hi lid Rob Oakeshott may take a

possibility of driving the ministry, he talked about the

interests of regional Australia from a higher level, and apparently he's been offered

the possibility of a ministry

his wife about whether that's and is going home to talk to

an offer he should accept.

Senator Barnaby Join us always is Nationals

Senator Barnaby Joyce. Your reaction? I'm fascinated that

the two gentlemen there decided

to support the party that was less popular with the

Australian people, by their own admission, to the party that is less popular

in their own electorate by the fact of the numbers. They have

had an exercise, an immense

responsibility and now they

must accept the responsibility, that they have put into place a Labor-Greens government, and

that is the reality. It would

be wonderful to think the whole

world could be independents,

but of course you would never

have a Cabinet or Minister and it wouldn't work. have a Cabinet or a Prime

I think the press conference

raises more questions than it

answers. Tony Windsor said

there had been a little bit

parliament that if it had been a hung

parliament and a Coalition,

they would run off to the polls

as soon as they could, and when

asked why, he said, because it is more likely they would win.

Was Tony Windsor right that

there was back ground noise and

keenness to go back to the

polls earlier? No, there

wasn't. There is a slight sense of paranoia about this

background noise. I don't see

it that way. I was privy to

many discussions. Yes, we did have

Party may implode, but that was

never eye intention of any

person to run back pot polls. I

can tell you why: We don't have

the money to go back to the election and run have people who are basically election and run a campaign. We

at wit's end for where we We wanted the capacity to at wit's end for where we are.

attain government, we believed

it would be better than a Labor-Green government, we

don't believe the philosophies don't believe the philosophies

espoused by them, and the diametric differences between Bob much the last thing we

was to have the turmoil going on, but the reality on, but the reality is the

numbers are so tight, if one

person reties, that is not our

fault, if one person gets sick

or dies, that is not our fault,

or if one of the independents

changes changes their mind, that's not

our fault. Toyed made a pip for more independence and said,

if you wanted more of the same,

it was time for regional Australia said the combination of said the combination of the

National Party and the Libs had robbed regional Australia of

its voice. That's a strong

pitch for for independents to

run in rural seats, could be a direct threat to you. It was a strong pitch you. It was a strong pitch but

it's the wrong pitch. I'll go

through some of the things we

put on the table. The reason we

don't have an ETS, and this is

the difference between where we

are and Tony and Rob are. It's a tax that will poorer and it is not wanted. We

stood on a single desk, even though the Greens deserted us, and the National put that on the table. The

National Party has the ability to deliver $20 billion of

infrastructure to build inland rail, build the ports and

roads, that is National Party policy and was driven into the

Coalition. We in the National

Party clearly understand that if you don't have a capacity to

bind, to coalesce as a alternative as government. If you believe that you believe that anywhere

havena is a whole range of

independents, who do we select

independents, who do we select

as the Prime Minister, the Treasury or the Minister of

defence, or do we draw their

names out of a hat? You have to

have order and regiment,

otherwise you end up with total

chaos. Tony Windsor made the

point this was an admission by

both parties that this they had

neglected country Australia in

terms of what they put Where does that leave the

nats. I dispute that. We have

put $1 billion for education,

put $1 billion for education, $600 million for bridge, $20

billion infrastructure, access

to infrastructure. But not the

extra $10 billion that they extra $10 billion that they got today?ments they know the

details of that, I don't. I'll have to look over that. I think

we have to look in the long term. Remember, what we have

now and what chef supported and what they must accept responsibility for is a Labor-Green government. The

Greens believe in stopping live

cattle trade, closing down coalmines, 100% renewables, death duties, death duties, heroin injecting rooms. The Labor Party