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 the accuracy of closed captions. These are derived automatically from the broadcaster's signal.
ABC News 24: 6pm News wkend -

View in ParlView

(generated from captions) I'm looking forward to it.

in the I've debated Tony Abbott a lot

in the past. He's a good

debater. Obviously I've been

thinking about it. Certainly

ah, I ah, I know that the worm dislikes Liberals, the worm's always hated Liberals. Welcome

to this special ABC News

election presentation of election presentation of the

2010 leaders debate. We're

in Canberra for the debate in 2010 leaders debate. We're live

half an hour. Before that we'll be looking at the contenders

and the issues on the table.

We're joined in the studio by

the former chief adviser to

John Howard, Arthur synod inos

and former Labor senator

Stephen Loosely. Welcome to

both of you. First, let's go to

Canberra and ABC News 24

political editor and debate panelist

panelist Chris Uhlmann. What

sort of debate are we in for? I

one because of course, this think a pretty buttoned down

one because of course, this is

a very controlled environment

the two parties have agreed on.

They have got rules surrounding

every part of it. A lot of way

it is will be very much like a

joint press conference. There

won't be a lot of interaction

between the two leaders,

hopefully good questions will

be asked. Well wait to see what

kind of answers we get. You say hopefully dpood wegss will be

asked. You'll be one of those

asking questions. I guess you

don't want to telegraph your punches, what can we expect, those subject that is cov those subject that is cov

dominate the the campaign so far? Absolutely. The campaign

has coalesced around a couple of

of keys, population, immigration, climate change. Hopefully there will be a

couple of things the leaders

aren't expecting that might

stretch them a little. I know

they will have war-gamed all

the obvious answers and hopefully there will be so

question that is aren't so

obvious. There are some

demonstrators behinds you. What

upset about climate change, are they upset about?. They're

don't believe either of the they wants something done, they

major parties is doing anything

enough. They've gone through a

list of slogans from hey hey ho

ho, carbon price is... Well, I think - yeah, climate change has got to go, I think was one

of them am and what do we want? Moving forward on climate change. I think you can check

with your panelists, I don't

think the chants of protests

have changed very much in the

last 30 #40rks years. Tony

Abbott geese into this as the

underdog according to the

polls. Does he have the most at

stake? In a lot of ways the

Opposition leader has a lot to

gain from sleerd leadership he

baits which is why the the Liberal Party wanted 3 of these. They get to stand on the

Minister, they get same stage as the Prime

and equal footing. That is a Minister, they get equal time

good thing for an leader. I think the Labor camp good thing for an Opposition

because is perhaps a bit concerned

because the last time Tony Abbott stepped up at this club

to debate he debated Kevin Rudd. It was fairly clear then

to most observers he lost that debate. Julia Gillard's camp is

concerned she doesn't just have

to beat Tony Abbott, she has to do a better job than Kevin Rudd

did with Tony Abbott last time.

We'll join you again shortly.

Thank you for that. Outside the

press club there live where the

debate will take in less than half an hour. An Australian

woman is among 19 people

in Germany. Thousands of crushed to death in a stampede

revellers were attending one of

Europe's biggest techno music

festivals, the Love Parade.

Witnesses say panic erupted when police tried to relieve

overcrowding by turning a large

group of people away into an incoming crod. The Department group of people away into an

of Foreign Affairs of Foreign Affairs has

confirmed a 27-year-old woman

from New South Wales died in

the crush. NATO forces in Afghanistan have found the vehicle of two American

servicemen reportedly captured

by the Taliban. The servicemen

are believed to have been

seized in Logar province south

of the capital Kabul, forensic teams are examining the vehicle

to see if they can learn any

more about what happened.

Qantas is investigating claims

that a member of staff stole

200,000 frequent flyer points

from the boxer Anthony Mundine.

It's alleged an employee based

in Melbourne took the points

out of Mundine's account and

used them to book flights for

herself. Mundine is yet to

lodge a formal complaint. China, more than 100,000 lodge a formal complaint. In

China, more than 100,000 people

have been told to leave their

homes as torrential rain

continues to swamp large areas

of the country. The deluge is hitting regions along hitting regions along the

swollen Yangtze River. So far

at least 270 people have been

killed in 3 weeks of flood ing. There are concerns water

levels in the Three Gorges dam

are approaching maximum

capacity. One of the word's mos

unusual boats is about to sail into Sydney Harbour. Police

ticki is made of 12,500 plastic

bottles filled with carbon

dioxide. It set sail with the

aim of highlighting observation

pollution, the crew of six says

the boat is light, fragile and

difficult to navigate. They say

they'll be sailing into Sydney

Harbour tomorrow. The weather,

a high is keeping skying clear

driving showers on to over the south-east. Also

Queensland and New South Wales

coasts. A low over south-western WA is causing buildup of cloud, shaurgs will south-western WA is causing a

seize in - - showers will ease

in Perth and Sydney tomorrow.

Mostly sunny in Canberra and Mostly sunny in Canberra and

Darwin. Now to our panel. Former Howard chief

adsvisor Arthur snod inos and

Stephen Loosely. We heard from Chris Uhlmann. He Chris Uhlmann. He was

describing this event,

potentially as one going to be potentially as one going to be a buttoned down debate. Both

leaders are art ic cat and -

articulate and quick witted.

How entertain ing do you think

it's going to be? I think Chris

is right, it's going to be butt beed down - buttoned down.

They're god debaters, their

natural person eatsd are interesting. Are we going to

see the natural personality

s? I doubt it but I'd like s? I doubt it but I'd like to

think we did. I think people

out there would like to see it.

That's something that's missing

from the campaign. A bits of

that natural ness would be important to both of them.

Stephen Loosely do you

agree? To date I think Arthur

is right, both sides have been cautious. It wouldn't surprise

me to see a flash of humour

occasion ally off a quaegs or

exchange. - off a question or exchange. Both are very quick

witted, both have well

developed senses of humour and

they're used to each other not only in terms of the

Parliament, in terms of the wiek weekly television exchange

they used to have. I think the

public likes to see political

leaders with a little bit of

the capacity to engage in

banter. The rules have changed

since those days an compeshl

television when you did see

that sort of flash of humour,

that fun, that flirting. How

relaxed is Julia Gillard going

to be about letting down her

guard jut a litting, of showing

herself. There was a headline during the week of the Prime Minister in the bubble. I think

this is a little bit like a

sporting contest. The nerves

are there until the openic

exchange. Then people tend to

relax, they'll stay focused. It wouldn't surprise me to see a

little bit of humour creep in.

Tony Abbott as I've said

earlier goes in as the underdog

in the polls. Do you think he

has the most to gain out this

debate? Potentially I think he

does. He is the underdog in the

polls, I think you're right. I

think he think he needs to demonstrate tonight why he wants the job

because he spent most of this

week fending off issues like

WorkChoices and the rest WorkChoices and the rest and going on the front foot on

immigration and population.

That's all fine, but that This

raising some issue abouts

what's the Abbott program what's the Abbott program that

underpins this, why does he

ultimately want the job. I

think that's something that

tonight - if he turns the

questions to his advantage - is

an op funtr tunt for him to answer. Have you given him answer. Have you given him some advice? I haven't spoken to him

about the debate partly because

I knew I was coming on this

program. I didn't want to

pollute the two. What would

your advice be? It would to be let Abbott be Abbott. He can

put his foot in it from time to

time but Australians like

leaders who are naturalment

take a leaf out of Bob Hawke's book. They forgave Bob book. They forgave Bob a lot because he was prepared because he was prepared to admit not only his strengths but also his but also his weaknesses. There's something of that in

Abbott as well. I think people

need to see that. What about

those that thank you say Abbott

is more comfortable as attack

dog and howing is that dog and howing is that stha going to play up against a

woman? It's natural. He's been the Opposition leader, it's

been his natural style, it's served him we very well. I

think he does need to change

the tone. He is up against, as

you say a woman. Cha thank

changes the game? It dusmts

she's a woman who can play it

both hard and soft if I can put

it like that. He has to tone

down some of that aggressive bs but focus on the people out

there. One of the things Andrew there. One of the things Andrew

Peacock did in the initial

debate is focused on the people

out there and stuck to one or

two strong messages to them

rather than get too obsessed

about his opponent. I think

Abbott has to do the Focus on who the audience is

and give them a glimpse of he wants the and give them a glimpse of why he wants the job. There is a

bit of a feeling that he is

being controlled to within an

inch of his life. We're with

looking at live pictures from

inside the Press Club. Stephen

Loosely, how do you think the

fact that this is a female

prime minister who Tony Abbott

is debating, change things? It

does change the equation. the

electorate doesn't like the sight and sound Of a male

politician attacking a female

politician, full stop. The best

way to address that

circumstance is the way senator

Joe biden addressed the debate

with Governor Sarah Palin in

the last American presidential

election n that the preparation for the debait, Biden was

advised by the Democratic party handlers not to chase the Governor down every burrow that

she manufactured, simply stay on the overall themes of the campaign. Biden attacked

senator John McCain, the

Republican Party, he attacked

the record of the Bush

administration but with the Governor he was simply

gentlemanly and courteous, and

every time Sarah pail inendevorred to set a - Sarah

Palin endevorred to set Palin endevorred to set a trap he didn't bite. Tony

Abbott would've learn with the experience with Nicola Roxon in

the health debate in the last election campaign, people may

recall Tony arrived lated, he

had been interstate, he ambled

up to the roster without a note

and took it far too casually.

Nicola beat him hands down.

Then in the aftermath of course

he then proceeded to berate her

and - which the mierveg phones

picked up - microphones picked

up. That's not on. You're

watching live pictures from the

Press club in Canberra, the

last minute preparations. We've

got with us another of the ABC

studios, the ABC's political correspondent Annabel Crabb.

What are you expecting from

tonight? I'm expecting an exercise in caution. I think

that these two have played a pretty cautious campaign so

far, and we'll see from both

sides, I think, an attempt it

avoid mistakes, certainly Tony Abbott will be I suspect adjusting his position both

from that debate against Nicola

Roxon at the same venue not so long ago, and his debate

against Kevin Rudd on health

policy also at the same venue

in which he came across reasonably reasonably aggressively. I think that is nol so much a

gender issue as a vibe sort of

issue. I think he will be

avoiding any appearance of outright aggression I think tonight. I think it's a weak

spot for him. He'll try to

avoid it, I suspect. Ar thur

Annabel is right that doesn't

make for a very fascinating

debate. If you're naturally

trying to suppress your trying to suppress your own

urges things are going to

become very buttoned up. That's

true, at some stage maybe the

top will come off the top will come off the pressure cooker. Dawes that worry you? It worries handler thags

maybe - handler that is maybe - handler that is maybe

their handler will bust out because they can't control themselves in some way. Look, they're running for

they're running for the prime ministerial spot, they ministerial spot, they have to

be disciplined. It will be

safety first, I think. That's

true. I think the one of them

that shows just a teeny weany capacity to take a risk capacity to take a risk people

might give them a mark for and

say they're prepared to take a risk. That's something. It's

the same with Julia Gillard, giving a bit of

herself. Absolutely right. But it's a circumstance though

where it's not only what is

said, not oblg the words. said, not oblg the words. But

the demean yor and the body language

language t sends a clear message the to the electorate.

The classic example is the Mark

Latham handshake with John Howard which simply sent a

message of far too much

aggression to the electorate.

You really need to be careful.

Ronald Regan was a master at how to handle the presidential

debates. With Jimmy Carter for

example he stepped down from

the podium at the end debate,

walked across in the most courteous fashion possible, shook the President's hand,

which sent a message not only

of gentlemanly approach, but

also of confidence that here

Wes a fella confident in whead

he is said and done, meeting

his apoint. The match was over,

so - his oi points - opponent,

the match was over so do the the match was over so do the

right thing. Demeanor will be

just as important. The other

point I'd make - Kevin Rudd did well against Tony Abbott

because he appealed to a part

sane and non-partisan position. I

I think whoever takes that tack

tonight will earn some marks

with the electorate. Is it with the electorate. Is it more

about style than substance? No

t isn't always. I think this

campaign is unusual in that

both sides of politics have

spent the first week in effect,

distancing themselves from or freeing themselves of

cumbersome policy. I think that

the way that both sides have

apreach ed - approach ed specific policy areas ofrt past week have shown week have shown they're trying to rid themselves of difficult problems of the past more than present us with solutions for

the future. Today we've seen

Tony Abbott come out with a

plan for immigration, so I

accept that, but earlier in the

week we saw him trying to

disentangle himself from

WorkChoices. We've seen Julia

Gillard trying to patch up what over the last 2.5 years has

been a rather difficult situation for the government on

climate change. So it shouldn't

be about style. It should be

about substance, but once you

account for the evasion that is both sides of politics have been

been engaging in over the last

week in terms of substance I

think style is sort of all

you're left with.. Also, don't

forget that Julia Gillard is

using tonight to present herself to the Australian

people to get us used to the

idea of her as prime minister in her own right. She's in her own right. She's been rehearsing that bit for the

last 2.5 years because over the course of Kevin Rudd's absences

from Australia, she's been practising being the prime

minister. She's had a few - at

least 100 days clocked up as

acting prime minister over the

last couple of years, we've

seen her for the last couple seen her for the last couple of weeks being weeks being the actual prime minister. What she's trying to

do ont - tonight is do ont - tonight is convince people she's worth electing in her own right. Arthur, how

should Tony Abbott sell him

self as the future prime

minister of Australia? How he deal minister of Australia? How does he deal with that on a policy

front in this environment? I think he's

think he's got to convey a Rae relentless optimism about

Australia aints future, encase

the various policies in some

sort of growth framework. How

does the population policy he

announced today fit into

that? That's an issue, that? That's an issue, I think

that's one of the things he has

to explain. How where does

productivity come in? What are

the drivers of productivity

growth? I think there has to be

a broader narrative or whatever

expression you want to use. I

think that's part of Tony's

challenge is to put his

policies in that broader framework so that people get a

feel that over and above specific policies there's a certain

certain direction things are going to be going in. At the

moment it's been a debate

between the two leaders on the

trail about specific policies

rather than rather than overall directions. Where's the

vision? You hesitate to

vision? You hesitate to call it the vision thing because that

can sometimes make it sound can sometimes make it sound far

too high fal uten for Australian voters. The

narrative then. Whatever you

call it about the general

dreeks they will take the

country, the general direction.

Julia Gillard has the advantage

Kevin Rudd did leavee her with

a certain narrative about what

they were trying to do around

certain policies including ght

mining tax. It's clear at this stage there doesn't seem to be

a second term agenda you might

say is Julia Gillard's second

term agenda. It's not clear term agenda. It's not clear what difference she's going to

make to that and what is her challenge. Is that her agenda to... In part. Debates are a

matter of expectations on the part of the electorate I suspect most Australians will think think the prime minister will

perform well tonight and be watching the Leader of the

Opposition to see if the kind of discipline Arthur talks

about is maintained. Since

she's come to Office, what has

she focused on, where has she

made some policy shifts, the direction she'd like to direction she'd like to take

the country. I suspect the

second term agenda will come

when the Labor manifesto is

released at the policy launch. This is an evolve ing

process. The PM tonight will

start the favour ed debater,

I'm sure of that. So in a

sense, she needs to be careful

not to miss the point on any of

the major issues. Not to leave

too much room for the Leader of

the Opposition. Both sides have

been mafr aftering this - manoeuvring this week, manoeuvring this week, there's

no question about that. As the

election campaign moves on, and circumstances tighten, then you'll see both sides more

focus on policy. We'll come back to you in a minute. We'll

have a look at the contenders have a look at the contenders in tonight's debate. The woman

who would be Australia's first elected female prime minister

was born in Wales 48 years ago,

she worked as a solicitor

before winning the seat of lay lore in Melbourne's outer

south-west in 1998. Tony Abbott has been Leader of the Opposition since defeat ing ing Malcolm Turnbull in a spill

motion atth end of last year,

he was also born in overseas in England before his move into

politics in 1994. He worked at

a journalist. We'll go to Matt

wordsworth in Penrith at the

RSL there. I know there are

people gathering to watch tonight's debate. You're in the seat of Lindsay, which is

something of a bellwether. What

have they been telling

you? Welcome to Penrith RSL

again. We've been having a good

chat to a lot of people here at

Penrith. They're very concerned

about what's going to happen on

August 21st. They were Howard's

battlers from 06 to 07 Rudd's

working families from 07 to

now. A decision now they have

to face is whether to go with Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott.

Four people here to help me

find out. Here we've got Frank,

a retiree, Liz, a mum of five,

Mick a sales rep and Karen a HR

manager.? Liz, we haven't heard

from you yet. What are you

hoping to hear from the leaders tonight? I'm hoping to hear

what they're gonna do for the

hospital system, let alone hospital system, let alone also

the deficit that's going on, how they're going to fix that. What in particular about the

hospital system? The fact that

the Labor Government have said

in the last speech or the last debate that they were going to

fix this, so we're taking it on

fix this, so we're taking it on

board. And it was gonna become a Federal Government issue. It's already been a State Government issue for the last

14 years, that was under Labor Government rule. I want to see

how they're gonna fix that, it

takes 8 years for somebody to become... Mick, you have a

different focus? You're looking at education? That's right. at education? That's right. I'd

like to see more towards

education. For the future. Our

kids are already out of school,

but they're gonna have kids

before long and the education

system has to still keep running. I don't think running. I don't think that's

been mentioned any where in

this at all. I know there has

been all this stimulus been all this stimulus towards

the buildings, et cetera, but we

we know that hasn't gone real well for the Labor Government

of the Karen, you're a HR

manager, one of the big issues

is going to be and has been IR.

What are your concerns

there? My concerns are further

changes. We've had so many changes over

changes over the last couple of years with years with industrial relations, you just get through

one lot and change of

government or change. So I want

to know what everybody's plans

are moving forward and if the Coalition gets in, what are

their thoughts. Is there gonna

be more changes? What are the other big issue has been Tony

Abbott and his popularity among

women. What is your view on why

he is not polling well with

women? Mmm. To be honest with

you I don't get that one because I believe in the best person for the job. Male,

female, I'm not really sure. He doesn't affect me either way,

but either does Julia. You don't mind who it is? No.

Frank, another big icu - issue

is population and immigration,

that's a big one for you, isn't

it. Yes, it certainly S The people jumping on boats and

coming over here, then take coming over here, then take

them to the mainland and give them the best of everything and

the main thing, I mean, you've

got people that are in refugees

camps that are doing the right

thing and you have these people

jumping in in front of them and

taking their spots. I think

that's entirely wrong.. that's entirely wrong.. they should get in the queue with

everybody else. That's one of

my big things, I'm also

concerned with all the money

that we're borrowing from

China. That's a real big no China. That's a real big no no

for me. OK. Does it bother any

of you at the manner in which Julia Gillard assumed the leadership,

leadership, deposing Kevin

Rudd? Yes. Yes, very much so. Certainly does with

me. Frank, why is that? It

happens all the time, doesn't it Only a week before she was

saying, I love him, he's a good

plorks I'm never - good bloke, I'm never gonna stand against him.

him. Next thing you know, knife in the back as far as I'm concerned. Sthast thanks, guys,

we'll be come back to you after

the debate to get your verdict

on who wins in this very

important area in Western

Sydney. I look forward to

hearing what you say. Penrith

RSL is going to be watching this result closely tonight.

We'll give you their results

later on.

The debate is now only a matter of minutes away. People

in Penrith looking to hear some specific views from their leaders. They are and I suspect

that's the same every where in

the country. For a lot of

voters this is the best way of

connecting with the leaders.

The debate assume as certain

significance. People can significance. People can say

it's short and shallow but for a lot of people it's the way of

seeing how the respective leaders perform and what

they're looking for achieve and

do and where they want to take Australia. It assume as significant. Indeed, Arthur, it

is the most watched event of a

campaign. I think it would be

there has been this debate

about 'Masterchef'. I about 'Masterchef'. I think there will be a lot of people

tuning in tonight. It is an opportunity to see them head-to-head which you don't

often get. We don't often get. We don't have the tradition any more of people going to town halls. That's all

very old hat. This is a town hall meeting for the whole

country. We're look agent live pictures of

pictures of the town hall

meeting, as final preparations

are under way. Can I put you two on

two on the spot, Stephen

Loosely what, do you think will

be the over-arching theme? At be the over-arching theme? At

the moment you'd say the issue that's in the centreground is

climate change. The border protection issues there, the

population issues there. I

suspect overall when we come

down to the final days of the

election campaign it's going to

be economy, and economic

management. Do you think that

will dominate this debate? I

think there will be more than passing references to economy

tonight and I think as the

campaign progress that's going

to be the core issue on which

the general election the general election is

decided. I think the two

participants would be nuts if

they sdmt try and focus what

they were doing around the economy. I think the

over-arching issue in this campaign for the vors who -

voters most likesly to still be

influentialed are the so-called influentialed are the so-called

working families out there. I think they're looking for more

of an indication from the

politicianings they're look ing to - listening to - listening to their concerns at the moment. There

is a bit of pressure out is a bit of pressure out there.

A lot of people, families

feeling under pressure,

interest rates and other things

coming to the fore. Both

leaders have alluded to the

issue, danced around it, but I

think people are looking for

more engagement on that, then

what you can do as a leader is

put a lot of other policies in

that sort of context and how each of those policies

contributes to making people or

families better off. That said

the whole Tony Abbott and the

Liberal Party Liberal Party and the interest

rates will be lower under a Coalition Government. That's

just not washing, is it? I

think specific predictions about where interest rates gor

going to go won't wash. The

general idea of associating the

coalition with being tougher on

deficits and debt if you like I

think that does resonate with the public. I think that's why

the Government has been doing

some of the things it's been

doing on surplus budgeting and

the fact Wayne Swan didn't

mention the deficit once last

year. The worm doesn't like

loiks. What do you reckon? Doesn't like Liberals. I think the worm

looks for positive language. My

cleeg here was alluding to it

before - it looks for more pos

tift around what you're saying, they

they don't like too much confrontation. I think Tony

would be well adsvised to focus on

on his language. I think Kevin

Rudd did a bit of that homework

before his debate with Tony on health. Do you health. Do you think on the

worm Tony can win? I think

Julia will win on the worm. I

think they'll be looking for

every word that gets the worm

up. Stephen, do you think jewel wa will win on the wa will win on the worm? I'm

very confident Julia will do

very well. I think the worm

will reflect that, I also think tomorrow morning's newspapers

will reflect that too. I'm

making that observation on the

basis of experience in terms of

television and the Parliament and

and the like. She's a very

capable person on her feet.

Joining me in the studie,

former ALP Senator Stephen Loosely and Arthur Sinodinos

former adviser to John Howard. You're watching a special presentation and live pictures

of the Leaders Debate due to

start in a matter of seconds. This Program is Captioned

Live. THEME MUSIC Good evening, I'm Ali Moore and welcome to the ABC's live

coverage of the 2010 election

Leaders Debate on ABC1 and ABC News 24 across News 24 across Australia. You're watching live You're watching live pictures from inside the National Press

Club in Canberra, the neutral

territory for the only territory for the only planned head-to-head discussion between

Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott.

David Speers from Sky News is tonight's moderator and the leaders will be questioned by a

panel of three journalists including ABC News 24's

Political Editor Chris Uhlmann.

He'll be joined by the 'Australian Financial 'Australian Financial Review''s

editor Laura Tingle and the

'Daily Telgraph's Political

Editor Malcolm Farr. The

discussion begins with opening