Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Disclaimer: The Parliamentary Library does not warrant or accept liability for the accuracy or usefulness of the transcripts.These are copied directly from the broadcaster's website.
7.30 Report -

View in ParlViewView other Segments

IR continues to plague Coalition and Labor both

IR continues to plague Coalition and Labor both

Broadcast: 17/05/2007

Reporter: Michael Brissenden

Polls show the Government's WorkChoices laws continues to worry voters, with the word WorkChoices
itself now banned in some sections of the public service. But Labor has workplace relations issues
of its own.

Transcript

KERRY O'BRIEN: It's hard to remember an election year when politics has been so unremittingly
intense for so long before the actual campaign. But the major parties have essentially been in
campaign mode since Kevin Rudd became Labor leader six months ago.

And the most consistently intense issue has been industrial relations.

Polls show the Government's WorkChoices laws continues to worry voters, and now the word
"WorkChoices" itself is worrying senior ministers so much that its use is being discouraged within
the Government, even banned in some sections of the public service.

But Labor has workplace relations problems of its own. The mining industry continues to be worried
about Labor's plans to scrap AWAs and says it's confused by some of the mixed messages it's been
getting about where Labor will fine tune its policy.

Other industry sectors and employers are also less than happy.

And as Political Editor Michael Brissenden reports, the workplace relations debate is now seeping
into popular culture as well.

(music in background)

MICHAEL BRISSENDEN: Anyone would think there's an election campaign under way. No wonder the voters
have stopped listening, there could be another six months of this to go.

Today both Kevin Rudd and John Howard were in Queensland. They're spending a fair bit of time here
aren't they? Anyone would think the sunshine state might be important? It is, of course. As Kevin
Rudd keeps telling us, he's from Queensland and don't you forget it.

But as the polls suggest he's still the one that's out in front, despite a few stumbles, a tax
cutting budget and a concerted Government attack on Labor's apparent confusion over industrial
relations.

JOE HOCKEY, WORKPLACE RELATIONS MINISTER: Seems as though Julia Gillard consulted the fairies down
the end of the garden, came back and in her usual way made a new policy during a media interview. I
note that the Labor Party still hasn't made a decision about AWAs.

MICHAEL BRISSENDEN: Well actually the Labor Party has made a decision and it did so some months
ago. That decision was to scrap AWAs but to honour all those that already existed in a transition
arrangement.

But then it doesn't take much to stir this debate up these days. One new headline and it's off
again.

JOHN HOWARD, AUSTRALIAN PRIME MINISTER: At the very best, what he's saying is that we will slowly
poison people who've got AWAs rather than chopping off their heads the day we get into office. It's
still a bad policy, I mean the country needs AWAs and the mining industry needs AWAs.

MICHAEL BRISSENDEN: The polling on IR suggests strongly that it's still the Government by far that
has the biggest problem in this area with the voters. They don't like it and they're worried about
how it might impact on their families. It's a message the unions have put a lot of effort and money
into selling.

But Labor does have a problem with the mining sector, one of the biggest employment sectors for
AWAs, and fine tuning is something that's still being discussed.

KEVIN RUDD, OPPOSITION LEADER: When it comes to the future of industrial relations legislation, as
I've always said, flexibility and getting the balance right between flexibility and fairness for
all of our industries, IS important and mining is important within that, But we've still got a lot
of consultation with them to go.

STEVE KNOTT, AUSTRALIAN MINES AND METALS ASSOCIATION: We've said that we need a statutory
instrument. This line that the common law contracts can replace AWAs is a nonsense. Julia Gillard
is a lawyer. She knows that's nonsense. They're subservient to union awards and union agreements.
So we need a statutory instrument to retain the flexibilities for the resources sector.

We've put the global no disadvantages test proposal to them, they've said that they are considering
that. We've heard Kevin Rudd say he's considering statutory individual contracts and then the next
day he says he's not. Julia Gillard, likewise, has said she's considering our proposal for a no
disadvantage test type scenario and then the next day they're saying they're not having statutory
individual contracts.

We're just hoping that through the debate, common sense prevails and they'll leave a statutory
individual contract stream in place.

MICHAEL BRISSENDEN: And that really is the nub of Labor's problem at the moment. The fine tuning is
taking a little longer than some might like. Industry wants certainty and individual non-union
agreements.

In the meantime the whole IR debate has become a bit of a soap opera. It's confusing enough for
most people closely involved but the lines have been further blurred for the ordinary voter. Fact,
fiction, historical drama and present reality - it's all now playing in the workplace and in the
lounge room.

(excerpt from TV series Bastard Boys)

BASTARD BOYS CHARACTER: What's happening down at the docks is a series of spontaneous peaceful
assemblies. Now we can't stop Corrigan unloading the cargo with scab labour, but we can get a few
hundred God-fearing citizens down at the gates.

(end excerpt)

JOHN HOWARD: The most lopsided piece of political propaganda I've seen on the national broadcaster
in years. It completely ignored the fact that the Australian waterfront was notoriously inefficient
and all of the collaborative attempts that have been made over the years to change that have
failed.

MICHAEL BRISSENDEN: But if you thought Bastard Boys was an historical soap opera, here's how the
present day reality is playing out on commercial TV. This is a PR war the Government and the
employers are losing and this clip from Channel Nine's McLeod's Daughters hasn't gone by just once,
it's now all the rage on the internet as well.

(excerpt from TV series McLeod's Daughters)

PHIL: Patrick, great, I've been meaning to talk to you. I'm restructuring the business. You're
fired.

PATRICK: What?

PHIL: But I'm pleased to be able to offer you a new job under this workplace agreement. You get a
new title, assistant manager, more flexibility, more responsibility.

PATRICK: Less money.

PHIL: Hey, you're not taking into account the bonuses. You work hard, you make more.

PATRICK: I'll stick with what I've got thanks.

PHIL: Well it's not actually your choice. You either sign this contract or I have to employ someone
else. It's up to you.

FEMALE FRIEND: Hey Phil, you can't do this.

PHIL: Well I'll believe you'll find I can. It's either my way or ...

PATRICK: I'll take the highway. I quit.

(end of excerpt)

MICHAEL BRISSENDEN: Employers say that's an unfair and unreal depiction of the current workplace
reality.

BILL HEALEY, AUSTRALIAN HOTELS ASSOCIATION: You can't be coerced if you're an existing employee to
move off your award or an enterprise agreement onto an AWA. If you're a new employee, obviously an
employer will make a choice as to whether to offer you employment under an AWA or under another
agreement.

But the facts that people don't realise is that we've got a looming labour shortage in this
country, we've already got unemployment at four per cent, it's going to get far harder to find
quality people over the next 10 years with an ageing population and at no time in the history of
this country have workers been in a better position to negotiate terms and conditions that suit
their individual needs.

MICHAEL BRISSENDEN: In fact AWAs are not as big a deal in the service sector as you might think. In
hotels and pubs only five per cent of workers are on them. But Bill Healey from the Australian
Hotels Association says his concern is that the focus on AWAs is taking too much attention away
from what he believes are the other problems with Labor's policy.

BILL HEALEY: We're concerned that the current debate on AWAs is ignoring broader flaws in the Labor
policy, such as the return of unfair dismissals and increased union access in the workplaces and
the dismantling of the 100-year-old IR system.

MICHAEL BRISSENDEN: But the trouble for the employers and for the Government is the voters don't
like what they see, and Labor will ride this one for all it's worth. At least for the moment, out
there in the electorates that matter, WorkChoices is a dirty word. Even the Government concedes
that.

Some reports today suggest Government ministers have been warned off using the term WorkChoices,
and the old WorkChoices information hotline is now called simply the workplace relations hotline,
and staff have been instructed to change all references to WorkChoices to workplace relations.

REPORTER: So do you admit that the WorkChoices brand has soured and you don't want to have anything
to do with it any more?

JOE HOCKEY: Well, the Labor Party has run a $100 million scare campaign against the WorkChoices
brand and of course that's going to have some impact.

And Australians want to know where they stand with the current system and we will let them know
where they stand.

MICHAEL BRISSENDEN: You bet they will. The Government has a lot of territory to make up in this PR
war and time is fast running out.

They may not be able to influence the script writers but they can write their own.

The Government's ad blitz hasn't yet begun but when it does we can be sure that no lounge room will
be left untouched.

KERRY O'BRIEN: Political Editor, Michael Brissenden.

Julia Gillard talks to the ABC about industrial relations

Julia Gillard talks to the ABC about industrial relations

Broadcast: 17/05/2007

Reporter: Kerry O'Brien

Deputy Labor leader Julia Gillard has spent the vast bulk of her waking hours over the past three
weeks fending off criticism and endeavouring to dampen down business hostility to Labor's
industrial relations policy. She talks to the ABC.

Transcript

KERRY O'BRIEN: Labor's Deputy Leader and Industrial Relations Spokesperson, Julia Gillard, has now
spent the vast bulk of her waking hours over the past three weeks fending off criticism and
endeavouring to dampen down business hostility to Labor's policies. I spoke with her in Sydney
earlier tonight.

Julia Gillard, are you trying to sort out a special deal with the mining industry on individual
contracts, or not?

JULIA GILLARD, ALP, WORKPLACE RELATIONS SPOKESPERSON: No Kerry, we're not trying to sort out a
special deal. We are trying to sort out AWA transitional arrangements. We've always said that we
wanted to take the time, do the consultation necessary to get this important area right. Indeed, on
the day we announced our Forward with Fairness policy, we said we would still be consulting on AWA
transitional arrangements. We're doing that now, we'll continue to do it and make an announcement
in several weeks time when we finish that process.

KERRY O'BRIEN: Why couldn't you sort that out before you got to your national conference, before
that rash of bad headlines, before the sight of you and Kevin Rudd rushing in and out of meetings
with hostile business leaders, rushing off to the Pilbara? Why couldn't you have sorted this out
weeks ago?

JULIA GILLARD: Kerry, we thought the important thing at our national conference was to announce the
shape of Labor's new system and that's what the Forward with Fairness document does. It talks about
a system that won't have Australian workplace agreements in it or statutory individual contracts.
It talks about a system with a broad safety net, 10 legislated minimum conditions, 10 further
conditions in awards. It talks about how to collectively bargain in Labor's system.

That's where we want to end up. Yes there's a journey to go through to get there from Mr Howard's
unfair laws to Labor's new system. We're talking to business about how to make that journey in a
way that provides them with certainty.

KERRY O'BRIEN: But going all the way back to when Kim Beazley first promised to rip up AWAs, you've
had all that time to at least get your rhetoric right, your message right, and still there is
confusion broadly out there, even amongst senior journalists, about this thing that you're
promising to rip up AWAs, but at the same time you're saying "if anyone's on an AWA you can stay on
it, even if it is for another five years".

JULIA GILLARD: Well Kerry, the last thing I'd want to do is confuse any senior journalists in the
country...

KERRY O'BRIEN: Well, you are. Clearly.

JULIA GILLARD: (laughs) We've been very clear all along. Mr Beazley was clear and Kevin Rudd and I
have been clear that in those circumstances where a worker is on an Australian workplace agreement
and they think it is fair to them and they are happy with it they will be able to serve out the
balance of its term. We've always said that and that is what I restated yesterday, as did Kevin.

But there are a set of other circumstances - we know of course, Australian workplace agreements
generally have been very unfair to Australian working families. From leaked statistics we know 44
per cent of them ripped away all of the protected award conditions people rely on. We've got to
come up with a system that's fair but also gives business certainty for those AWAs.

KERRY O'BRIEN: You're also very conscious that there are a lot of workers on a lot of mine sites
who are very happy with their individual contracts and you've heard the mining spokesman say,
"Listen, we've got workers out there who haven't seen a union rep. for years, decades, haven't
wanted to." They just want that kind of certainty.

Now, are you sure you and Kevin Rudd haven't been engaging in a bit of a wink and a nod with the
mining company saying, "Go ahead, sign up as many people to new five year agreements before we come
to power and then you've got certainty until at least 2013"?

JULIA GILLARD: No, I'm absolutely certain that's not what we've been doing because I've
consistently said the same thing and indeed, in February I was on the show saying exactly the same
thing. That if people are happy on their Australian workplace agreements they can serve out its
term. That's not new. And we will be in a position before the election to give every Australian
worker certainty.

We're not doing what Mr Howard did before the last election and keeping our industrial relations
policies in the dark back of a cupboard. We're actually publishing them and people will know where
they stand well before the next election.

KERRY O'BRIEN: But you can't give any certainty. Even if you won government, you can't give any
certainty about any of this stuff, because you don't know what the make-up of the Senate is going
to be and even if the Coalition loses control of the Senate and control ends up with minorities,
you don't know whether they're going to support you on this or not?

JULIA GILLARD: Of course we don't know what the make up of the Senate is going to be after the next
election. That's a matter for the Australian people and the way they cast their votes in that
election.

What we can say is we will have published the full details of our industrial relations policy well
before the election and people who vote Labor will be voting for that policy and if, after the next
election, we get to form the government then I think the Senate would have to say we had a clear
mandate for the policy we'd published.

Industrial relations isn't a marginal issue in this campaign. It's right, front and centre and if
the Australian community endorsed Labor's way forward then I think individual senators should pay
regard to that.

KERRY O'BRIEN: How will you set up the circumstances for workers on existing AWAs, who feel they've
been disadvantaged, don't want to stay on those AWAs, to be able to walk away from them? Are you
going to try and legislate retrospectively to outlaw AWAs that people no longer want to be part of?

JULIA GILLARD: These are precisely the matters we're consulting on now and there are complexities
there. We need an arrangement that provides certainty. We need an arrangement that provides
fairness. We need, of course, to look at the legal position. So I can't be drawn or won't be drawn
on where we might get to through that process.

KERRY O'BRIEN: But you've committed to a policy without knowing how you're going to deliver it?

JULIA GILLARD: We've committed to an end result, to what Labor wants to be a fair, balanced
flexible industrial relations system for this country. We know currently we've got Mr Howard's
deeply unfair laws. We've got to chart the journey in between. We're doing that task now and it
will be out there, Kerry, well before the next election. There won't be an Australian voter who
walks into a polling place unable to know what Labor's industrial relations policy would mean for
them.

KERRY O'BRIEN: What I don't understand is why it's necessary to ultimately do away with all AWAs
when, as an alternative, you could legislate for greater protection in future individual contracts,
including a no disadvantage clause. In other words, no worker could be forced to surrender basic
conditions, like penalty rates and so on, unless they were properly compensated for them.

Why are you so fixated on ripping up AWAs when you could provide protections under a different form
of them?

JULIA GILLARD: Because we think we can provide flexibility in the system without Australian
Workplace Agreements. Of course if we look at the workforce now, around five per cent of workers
are on AWAs, probably, we don't know the full numbers. Some 30 per cent are on common law
contracts. They're individual agreements but they're individual agreements that incorporate the
award safety net. They would be a feature of Labor's system going forward providing, with a
simplified modern award system, plenty of flexibility. We think that's the better way forward.

KERRY O'BRIEN: But you could, you could provide that same safety net under AWAs, couldn't you?

JULIA GILLARD: The essence of Australian Workplace Agreements and what they've been used for is to
suppress the award safety net, to contract away from the award safety net.

KERRY O'BRIEN: But you could legislate a safety net of basic conditions with a no disadvantage test
with AWAs?

JULIA GILLARD: If you got the safety net right, the awards right, simple and modern and the 10
legislated minimum conditions right, the common law contracts can do that flexible work for you but
with the safety net as the foundation stone.

KERRY O'BRIEN: Well, let me put this proposition to you, that what really is behind this is, is
unions' fear for their own survival that, union membership is dwindling, unions fear their very
survival. They see AWAs as threatening their relevance if more and more workers come to embrace
AWAs over time.

So that they've put pressure on the political wing of the labour movement, that is the Labor Party
to get rid of AWAs. Not because they're intrinsically bad or could be intrinsically bad under a
Labor government, but because you couldn't, not because you couldn't build in adequate protection
for workers, but because they reduce the relevance of unions?

JULIA GILLARD: I'd have to disagree with your analysis Kerry. We didn't pick up the Australian
Council of Trade Union policy, the congress policy document and put a Labor cover on it. We didn't
pick up a policy from an employer organisation either. We came up with our own policy and it's not
a policy about trade union rights, it's a policy about the rights of working families to a fair,
flexible and balanced system.

To give you just one example of that, it's not trade union policy to have mandatory secret ballots
before strikes. It's not trade union policy to have ...

KERRY O'BRIEN: Yeah. But I'm talking specifically about AWAs, the unions hate them.

JULIA GILLARD: Yes, they understand that these have been an instrument that have hurt working
people and that's demonstrably true on what we know about Australian workplace agreements.

KERRY O'BRIEN: Qantas has come out with a statement today saying, don't just deal with the mining
industry, these are very important to us too. The use of AWAs, they say, is integral to our growth
strategy and no way diminishes our track record as a responsible employer. We've created 10,000 new
jobs in the past decade. Qantas say they need AWAs to be competitive on a fierce international
market.

JULIA GILLARD: What I would say Qantas needs is it needs the ability to have flexible working
arrangements. I understand they're in a competitive world and we are very happy to talk to Qantas
about that, to talk to them about the flexibilities in our system, to talk to them about how those
flexibilities can meet their needs.

But we have announced that we won't have Australian workplace agreements. It wouldn't be possible
to spend more time on Qantas than me Kerry. I spent a lot of time on Qantas and I'm obviously
always happy to talk to Qantas management about the working condition there.

KERRY O'BRIEN: Julia Gillard, thank you for talking to us.

JULIA GILLARD: Thank you very much.

'Rudely Interrupted': a band with 'different abilities'

'Rudely Interrupted': a band with 'different abilities'

Broadcast: 17/05/2007

Reporter: Ben Knight

A band called Rudely Interrupted launched its debut single in front of packed house in a Melbourne
pub last night. For the band, just being there was a triumph. Five of its six members have
intellectual disabilities, some of them severe, but they play every bar of music themselves.

Transcript

KERRY O'BRIEN: Melbourne's vibrant live music scene has seen just about every kind of rock band
there is. But last night, punters at an inner city pub were treated to something truly unique.

A band called "Rudely Interrupted" launched its debut single in front of a packed house.

For the band, just being there was a triumph. Five of its six members have intellectual
disabilities. Some of them severe.

They didn't come to be patronised, and nor were they.

The sound this band makes is genuine rock. And everyone's instrument is plugged in, and turned up
loud.

Ben Knight joined them as they prepared for their big gig.

BEN KNIGHT: It's Wednesday afternoon and that's rehearsal time for the band, "Rudely Interrupted".
It's the highlight of the week for these musicians. But today, there's an extra edge to band
practise, because in a week's time they'll be launching their debut single at a pub gig in the
heart of Melbourne's live music district. And they dearly want to get that right. Because while it
might not look like it, these guys can play.

(live music by "Rudely Interrupted")

RUDELY INTERRUPTED (SINGING): Can you really die from a broken heart? Can you really die from a
broken heart? Is it true?

BEN KNIGHT: This band started as a music therapy session for a group of people with disabilities at
the Churinga Centre on Melbourne's outskirts. Back then Josh Hogan had never played a real drum
kit. No one knew that Rory Burnside could sing or that Sam Beacon and Connie Kirkpatrick could put
on such a show.

(live music by "Rudely Interrupted")

RUDELY INTERRUPTED (SINGING): Don't break my heart. Don't break my heart.

ROHAN BROOKS, MUSICAL DIRECTOR: It's been amazing, it's been truly amazing. I can't believe that
this is all happening.

BEN KNIGHT: Rohan Brooks is the band's teacher, mentor and musical director. In his other life he's
toured the world as a drummer with his band 'The Anyone's'.

ROHAN BROOKS: The experiences I've had in my life I find just amazing and uplifting and makes me
feel like someone. I just want to give these guys the same experience.

BEN KNIGHT: The band's singer is Rory Burnside. He was born with no eyes and also has Asperger's
Syndrome. He named the band and wrote the song "Don't Break My Heart" with Rohan Brooks after the
death of his favourite teacher from cancer.

RORY BURNSIDE, LEAD SINGER: Her passing caused me a few malfunctions. It rudely interrupted my
life, thus the band name and it caused me a new behavioural malfunctions, stressing easily,
overreacting to trivial things.

ROHAN BROOKS: (in a band rehearsal) Do you want to try that again? The band does need the practise,
mate.

RORY BURNSIDE: He's really good at explaining certain situations to me so I have a better idea of
what's actually happening. Like, if I have a situation explained to me then that helps. For
example, if he has to take a phone call when we're rehearsing, which I find most discourteous, and
he tells me it's a work call, then that's fine. And from now on I've said to him, I'm going to go
on the assumption it's a work call, even if it's not. So I don't get P-O'ed at him.

BEN KNIGHT: The way Rohan Brooks has managed to create a sound using each band member is ingenious.

ROHAN BROOKS: A few tuning tricks I've learnt along the way. I'm getting real quick at tuning
guitars and different chord shapes.

(in a band rehearsal) I just have to tune the guitars. That's the one.

It's about them expressing themselves. Like I say, it's not me hitting those strings, it's them,
it's coming from within them. I've said to Sam sometimes, sometimes Sam can sit down and play and
just wander off. He still plays and just wanders off. We can stop and I say, "Sam, it sounds like
you're not really with us," and then he jumps up and starts whacking it and his foot is on the
bloody kick drum. "Yeah, now it sounds like you're with us."

BEN KNIGHT: But the real revolution has been Josh Hogan. Who picked up his first drum sticks just
18 months ago.

JOSH HOGAN, DRUMMER: I just listened to the radio and I used to hear the drums playing in the
background and I used to copy the drums on the radio.

BEN KNIGHT: And when you first sat down at a proper drum kit you just did it?

JOSH HOGAN: I just did it. I just did it just like that.

ROHAN BROOKS: He's got a bit of a right arm problem and it stiffens up sometimes, so then he just
plays with his left arm and he belts it out and he feels the music and I can get on the guitar and
play around with the melody and then he can pick up on the melody and just join in with the drums.
(drumming noises) And grabs it with his left arm, which it took me ages to learn how to do that.
He's just got it, he really has got it. He's unreal. He's my favourite drummer in the world.

BEN KNIGHT: The keyboard player Marcus Stone, who also has Asperger's Syndrome, this is the band
he's always wanted to be in.

MARCUS STONE, KEYBOARD PLAYER: I wanted to join other bands but I kept getting knocked, like,
turned back or stuff like that. But then I tried to form my own group but it didn't go anywhere.

BEN KNIGHT: But this one is, isn't it?

MARCUS STONE: Yeah, yeah, I'm really excited.

BEN KNIGHT: And there's a lot to be excited about. The single has been recorded and mixed, and
they've even shot a video.

(live music by "Rudely Interrupted")

RUDELY INTERRUPTED (SINGING): Don't break my heart. Don't break my heart.

BEN KNIGHT: Now it's off to the pub.

PRESENTER: (to a live audience) Are we ready to rock, ladies and gentlemen? (audience cheering and
whistling) It's not acceptable considering who's about to come on, so are we ready to rock, ladies
and gentlemen. (more cheering)

PRESENTER: 'Rudely Interrupted'!

RORY BURNSIDE: One, two, three, four!

ROHAN BROOKS: When we started rehearsing, because we've really only been rehearsing the song this
year, I just thought OK, we can really do this. These guys are rocking, people need to see this. So
I just went, use the experience that I've had in the business to go, "OK, let's make this
something, something special".

('Rudely Interrupted" performing)

And let's keep it going, too. This is going to be the launch and as far as I'm concerned we're just
starting. We really want to tour. I want to tour, these guys want to tour. We want to get into a
bus like any other rock band and do a national tour. Why can't we? Why can't they?

KERRY O'BRIEN: Ben Knight with that report.

Clarke and Dawe: poll woes explained

Clarke and Dawe: poll woes explained

Broadcast: 17/05/2007

Reporter: John Clarke and Bryan Dawe

John Clarke and Bryan Dawe give their take on why the polls might not be working for the Government
at the moment.

Transcript

KERRY O'BRIEN: Finally, John Clarke and Bryan Dawe and their take on why the polls might not be
working for the Government at the moment.

BRYAN DAWE: Mr Howard, thanks for your time tonight.

JOHN CLARKE: Good evening Bryan, very good to be with you and ah, great to be back at the ABC. It's
a wonderful institution. I do enjoy coming here, Bryan.

BRYAN DAWE: Mmmm. I bet you do. How are things going at the moment for you?

JOHN CLARKE: Well, we didn't get a Budget bounce Bryan. We're in strife. There's no question about
that. I wouldn't write us off. It's not going to be easy though. It's not going to be easy.

BRYAN DAWE: How are you going to do it?

JOHN CLARKE: Policies, Bryan. That's how you win elections, policies.

BRYAN DAWE: But, haven't we seen all your policies?

JOHN CLARKE: No.

BRYAN DAWE: Well, why not? You've been in for 10 years?

JOHN CLARKE: Well, Bryan, because we've had recently a couple of good, fresh new ideas.

BRYAN DAWE: Oooh, you should get onto the Government with those, yeah, yeah.

JOHN CLARKE: Bryan, we are the Government.

BRYAN DAWE: Hmm. (laughs) That's right.

JOHN CLARKE: We are the Government.

BRYAN DAWE: That's right.

JOHN CLARKE: But we think that in a couple of areas things could be run even better than they have
for the last, for the last few years. Do you want to hear about perhaps some of the fresh, new
ideas that we've got?

BRYAN DAWE: Yeah quickly, yeah, sure.

JOHN CLARKE: Well, one of them, for example, just picking one at random is in the education area,
Bryan. Something to do with giving heads of schools the authority to make decisions about the
running of the school or something.

BRYAN DAWE: How's that sort of thing been done before, in the past?

JOHN CLARKE: I imagine the person with the authority in the school made those decisions.

BRYAN DAWE: Oh right, yeah, the head of school.

JOHN CLARKE: I'd have to check with Julie Bishop if ever I see her again. I'm not...

BRYAN DAWE: Yeah, you should do that, actually

JOHN CLARKE: ...quite sure.

BRYAN DAWE: Could you check if the taxi's there?

JOHN CLARKE: Another education policy, Bryan, in the university area. We are going to pour a lot of
money into universities.

BRYAN DAWE: Yes. No. I read about that. I read about that.

JOHN CLARKE: A hell of a lot of money. I mean, billions. We're going to put billions in there,
because they are in serious trouble. They have been going very well but...

BRYAN DAWE: They need a lot of money.

JOHN CLARKE: They do need a lot of money. Yes. We've heard the public on that and we take...

BRYAN DAWE: Just let me know when it's arrived, will you? Yeah. Thanks.

JOHN CLARKE: Do you want to know what we're going to do incidentally, Bryan, about climate change?
Very important.

BRYAN DAWE: No.

JOHN CLARKE: No, that's good 'cause I think I've left it in my other jacket.

BRYAN DAWE: Have you got another jacket?

JOHN CLARKE: (clears throat) No, I haven't, Bryan, that's part of the problem.

BRYAN DAWE: Oh we've got a few spare jackets here.

JOHN CLARKE: Oh I don't want another jacket, no. Thanks Bryan. It might have a climate change
policy...

BRYAN DAWE: It's arrived, oh that's good.

JOHN CLARKE: I'll tell you something... you're a voter, aren't you Bryan?

BRYAN DAWE: Yeah, yeah.

JOHN CLARKE: I'll tell you something you should know...

BRYAN DAWE: Right.

JOHN CLARKE: ... before November. You know that Kevin Rudd?

BRYAN DAWE: Yeah.

JOHN CLARKE: Alexander Downer reckons he's quite a vain bloke.

BRYAN DAWE: Does he?

JOHN CLARKE: Yep.

BRYAN DAWE: Alexander does?

JOHN CLARKE: Yep.

BRYAN DAWE: Thinks Kevin Rudd's vain?

JOHN CLARKE: Yes.

BRYAN DAWE: Goodness.

JOHN CLARKE: Have you decided Bryan, you know, which way you're going to vote as a matter of
interest?

BRYAN DAWE: Just gotta go now, sorry.

JOHN CLARKE: Sorry, have you decided which way you're going to vote?

BRYAN DAWE: No, I've got to go. No, I haven't.

JOHN CLARKE: Thanks for your time Bryan.

BRYAN DAWE: No, I say that.

JOHN CLARKE: Well will you please say it Bryan, I haven't taken a trick since before Christmas.
Let's get out of here.

BRYAN DAWE: Thanks for your time.

KERRY O'BRIEN: That's the program for the tonight and the week. Don't forget Stateline at this time
tomorrow. We'll be back at the same time on Monday, but for now, goodnight.