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Gillard turns to onshore processing -

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Prime Minister Julia Gillard and the Federal Opposition have shown no signs of finding common
ground to allow the offshore processing of asylum seekers.


ALI MOORE, PRESENTER: The Prime Minister and Opposition Leader have engaged in a round of blame
game over who's responsible for the Government's failure to secure legislative approval for the
offshore processing of asylum seekers. The political defeat of the Malaysia Solution means a return
to onshore processing, an outcome both sides say they don't want.

Political correspondent Tom Iggulden reports from Canberra.

TOM IGGULDEN, REPORTER: The minority Government roller coasters off on another jaunt. The
Government's been left promoting an onshore processing policy it doesn't want.

JULIA GILLARD, PRIME MINISTER: What has always driven me is my belief in strong border protection.

TOM IGGULDEN: The Opposition's opposing a policy it's long supported.

TONY ABBOTT, OPPOSITION LEADER: It's not the Opposition's job to support bad policy.

TOM IGGULDEN: And the Greens are celebrating a result they did little to bring about.

BOB BROWN, GREENS LEADER: We have always held this was the right way for Australia to go.

TOM IGGULDEN: The Opposition and the Government both want offshore processing. Each says the other
could have it by supporting their legislation.

JULIA GILLARD: Which would enable him, if he was ever Prime Minister, to do what he has said he
believes is the best thing to do. I mean, how crassly political and destructive can you get?

TONY ABBOTT: She stubbornly and arrogantly insisted that it had to be her way or no way. It was
never going to be her way and she had no plan B.

TOM IGGULDEN: It was suggested to Julia Gillard today that Bob Brown is the real Prime Minister.

JULIA GILLARD: It's just a stupid description, John. Let's no, well, it's just wrong.

TOM IGGULDEN: A more realistic threat is Kevin Rudd. She was also asked today about the kiss that
sealed her victory on the carbon tax.

JULIA GILLARD: Oh, Deborah, I mean, what a load of old silliness that people are going on with. You
would expect Labor members to mark the moment and that's the only thing that happened.

TOM IGGULDEN: The carbon tax might be unpopular, but it's about the best hope Julia Gillard's got
for reviving her fortunes. The asylum seeker issue's a damaging diversion from the Government's
campaign to sell the tax.

JULIA GILLARD: There are a lot of businesses out there that want information about how this is
going to work. I know there's anxiety out there and we will keep providing information as

TOM IGGULDEN: Tony Abbott's got some advice of his own.

TONY ABBOTT: Ladies and gentlemen, an incoming Coalition Government's first instruction to the
public service would be to prepare legislation to rescind the tax, and we give businesses fair
warning not to buy forward permits under a tax regime that will be closed down.

TOM IGGULDEN: But Kevin Rudd says Mr Abbott hasn't explained how he'd repeal the tax.

KEVIN RUDD, FOREIGN MINISTER: The sheer cost to business of dismantling a scheme which, at the end
of the day, is directly imposed on 500 of our largest companies against the opportunity cost of
going to what he proposes, which is a vastly more expensive scheme for the Australian taxpayer, I
think would bear heavily on his mind.

TOM IGGULDEN: The Government's running out of opportunities to reset its relationship with voters.
They weren't impressed when the carbon tax was unveiled on carbon Sunday and now that the
legislation's been passed, the border protection issue's undermined whatever bounce could have been
hoped for.

Tom Iggulden, Lateline.