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Order In The House -

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(generated from captions) I thought you'd given up on me. Simon. Many things about you intrigue me, things I don't understand. There are still many were talking about your plan, You knew that people you'd been warned off. But you went ahead. Who told you you'll be protected?

Was it the intelligence service? service? A hydra has many heads. I thought YOU were the intelligence to live in South Africa one day. And I want to keep mine if I go back So let's bring you back. in Constantia, enjoying the breeze. You can be sitting on the terrace Quick bail.

Assistance Act. Big fine. It's only the Foreign Military is doing a deal somewhere? Don't you think Mark Thatcher If I had said I was guilty... that I am, but if I had and I am not saying South Africa, I'd be sued. and I went back to live in

I'd lose everything I've got... my house, money, everything. It all comes back to greed. Greed makes people stupid. Africa and ignore the black pieces. A clever man wouldn't play chess in Goodbye, Simon. I wish you luck. to be trying to head to the US REPORTER: 'Mark Thatcher is thought Foreign Military Assistance Act. contravening the South African 'after pleading guilty to a four year suspended sentence. 'He was fined ?250,000 and given mercenary activities.' helicopter might be intended for 'He admitted he suspected the

of the agreement Everybody is asking about the terms too high for me to pay that there is no price and the only thing I can say is who are husbands and, um, fathers, And I'm sure all of you to be reunited with my family. would agree with that. involved? Sir Mark? Sir Mark? Sir Mark? Who... The coup, who was author of the whole transaction. Simon Mann, you were the

the firearms out of the country. You were caught trying to take who harbour similar intentions. to send a clear message to others The penalty must reflect this of seven years' imprisonment. I sentence you to a term

Merz is dead. Lucky bastard. got the food I left him? Please help me. Why hasn't he But he's starving in there. before our Maker. The time will come when we'll stand judge those who have betrayed us. And he will


David... Please don't go.

# Breakin' rocks in the hot sun

I fought the law and the law won # I fought the law and the law won # I needed money cos I had none # I fought the law and the law won Guess my race is run # I left my baby and it feels so bad # She's the best girl that I ever had

I fought the law and the... # I fought the law and the law won

# Robbin' people with a six-gun and the law won... # # I fought the law Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd, 2006


THEME MUSIC 'Welcome to Order In The House - in Federal Parliament.' a review of the week an absolute, real gold, Mr Speaker, this is

pudding from Central Casting. unreconstructed Liberal Party magic It's determined to go ahead, friendless emissions trading scheme, implement its own flawed and regardless of the costs, regardless of the consequences. How extraordinarily weak! How extraordinarily lazy! How extraordinarily arrogant! to even question the issue Anyone who dares so much is shouted down and discredited. of human-induced climate change, 'On the eve of senate debate emissions trading scheme, over the Government's released an alternative.' Malcolm Turnbull Are there any questions? Questions without notice. The Leader of the Opposition. Thank you, Mr Speaker. to the Prime Minister. My question is addressed

to the Frontier Economics Report And I refer the Prime Minister released yesterday. that under the Government's Frontier's analysis shows proposed emissions trading scheme... Order! INTERJECTIONS has the call. The Leader of the Opposition

I'll commence again. Thank you, Mr Speaker. to the Frontier Economics report I refer the Prime Minister released yesterday. that under the Government's Frontier's analysis shows proposed emissions trading scheme, will cost up to $240 more per year typical household electricity prices proposed arrangements. than under Frontier's why do Australian households Prime Minister, have to pay higher electricity costs unwillingness to consider because of the Government's and smarter alternatives greener, cheaper emissions trading scheme? to its flawed whether, in fact, When asked yesterday represented Coalition policy, the release of this document said, "No, it did not." the Leader of the Opposition in this critical week Therefore, we are left Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme, when the Senate is due to vote on the the challenge of climate change, Australia's response to as of Tuesday this week - that the Opposition, the vote is due in the Senate - two days before

then goes out with the next breath has produced a document, which it and says is not Coalition policy. those opposite stood in this place Mr Speaker, for 12 years, when it came to emissions trading. and did nothing INTERJECTIONS Secondly...secondly... from those opposite Well, there is an interjection on my part, that that is an incorrect claim perhaps someone could direct me the emissions trading scheme is. as to where

INTERJECTIONS Perhaps we have lost it somewhere. in someone's top drawer. Perhaps it is simply no-one has yet to discover it. Perhaps it's out there, Order! Mr Speaker... from those opposite on climate change For 12 years, no action of an emissions trading scheme. through the introduction prior to the last election The second point is, put their hand on their heart the Opposition an emissions trading scheme. and said they would introduce it would be a cap and trade scheme. That was their promise and they said Suddenly, we have produced yesterday,

a cap and trade scheme. something which is not remarkable of itself So that is, I find, a 12-year inaction record that not only as far as the introduction of an ETS is concerned, secondly, they promised to introduce a cap and trade scheme and yet, yesterday, they put out a document, a policy document,

which is not their policy, which says they no longer aim to have a cap and trade scheme. Having got through the last election, Mr Speaker, we have identified seven sets of different reasons those opposite have put forward for not having a policy on an emissions trading scheme, and it goes on and on and on. Yet, we get to today and on the week that the parliament is required to vote on the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme, despite 12 years of inaction, despite seven sets of excuses as to why they needed one document or another to be publicly produced to have the basis for putting out their own policy on emissions trading scheme, we have nothing. Mr Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition poses a question about his, I won't say alternative proposal because it is a non-proposal, it's a non-policy, but he has nonetheless made reference to it. What's its core proposition? Its core proposition is along these lines - that you can increase your emissions target while requiring the electricity and emissions-intensive sectors of the economy to do less. These together represent some 56% of total emissions of the Australian economy. He says, on the one hand, you can increase Australia's emissions targets while requiring these two critical sectors of the Australian economy, representing 56% of total emissions, to do less. That's the first proposition. The second proposition is on the "cost" of the regime. That is, they will produce a scheme based on this model - perhaps, depending on what the policy ultimately is -

which will actually cost less than

and they say it will cost less than the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme despite the fact they're going to provide

more by way of financial assistance to the emissions-intensive trade-exposed sector and more by way of financial assistance to the coal industry as well.

So it will cost less while paying more. Mr Speaker, this does not represent a policy on climate change, this is the Liberal Party's magic pudding, that is that you can actually claim to increase your targets while requiring the key sectors generating emissions to do less and saying at the same time that you can produce a system which will cost less while providing more direct financial assistance to two of the directly affected and most important sectors of the economy. Mr Speaker, this is an absolute roll goal, unreconstructed Liberal Party magic pudding from Central Casting. My question is to the Prime Minister, and I refer the Prime Minister to his previous answers where he has referred to the United States emissions trading legislation, the Waxman Markey Bill, which as passed the United States House Of Representatives but has not yet passed the US Senate. Will the Prime Minister advise this house of the differences between his emissions trading scheme, his CPRS,

and Waxman Markey's approach to agriculture, and why he considers his own CPRS's approach to agriculture to be superior than that pursued in the United States. The Prime Minister.

Mr Speaker, the Honourable Member will be familiar with the arrangements which are outlined in the Government's white paper and the statements made since the introduction of the Government's legislation... INTERJECTIONS Order! In the the Government's legislation concerning agriculture, the one question goes to specifically our treatment of agriculture, which is after a period of review we'll consider the introduction of agriculture into the scheme in a few years' time, I think 2015 is the option that we have laid on the table. Secondly, the Honourable Member also asks about the contrast between a scheme, that is the Waxman Markey Bill,

and its treatment of agriculture and other matters concerning the contrast there and what we have done here.

They have constantly said, across the board, that the US scheme offers greater benefits for industry. Can I simply draw the Honourable Member's attention to this, that the Waxman Bill caps free permits at 15% of total permits and the share of free permits will decline over time. Secondly, that under the CPRS, we will give around 25% of total permits free to emissions-intensive trade-exposed and that share will rise as the sector grows. That's the first point. The second is that those opposite constantly talk about the relative generosity of the Waxman Markey Scheme. The thresholds of assistance are substantially higher under that scheme than they are for the CPRS. 2500 tons per US$ million of revenue,

meaning assistance on the Waxman Bill is concentrated to a narrow range of industries and is actually contemplated under the Australian legislation.

Mr Speaker, he should really know what he's talking about when he poses these questions. Now virtually anybody with any interest in this topic, keeping up to date with the coverage and the press in Australia would know that under the Rudd scheme, emissions from agriculture will be included in the future

but not in the near term, but there is little or no availability for agricultural offset, little or no availability for green carbon. Whereas in the United States, agricultural emissions are excluded but there is enormous availability for agricultural offsets and indeed, a very long list are written into the legislation. That's a very significant difference. The Prime Minister did not have a clue.

He had no idea what we were asking him about. He was completely clueless. He we are, a great agricultural nation, and it's a vital part of our economy are we are about, if we go along with the Prime Minister, to vote for a scheme that will put Australia's farmers,

just looking at the farm sector for one minute, Mr Deputy Speaker, in deference to you too, sir, looking at the farm sector alone, we will put those Australian farmers at a massive disadvantage to their competitors in the United States, or Europe, because their competitors will have access to revenue from agricultural offsets, from improving soil carbon, from all manner of differing tillage practices that will result in generating carbon credits in the United States and in Europe but not here. Now that's a fundamental question, a vital issue of design, and just one of many. And we have a Prime Minister who demands indignantly that we must vote for his scheme, and he had no idea, no idea of what we were talking about. Waxman-Markey, he had no idea what that was, who it was, he was clueless. Yes, now, Mr Deputy Speaker, at 11 o'clock yesterday, the Coalition, together with the independent Senator Xenophon, released a Frontier Economics modelling study that demonstrated why Labor's emission trading scheme which they have named in true Orwellian style

a Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme, overlooking the fact that we're all made of carbon and that carbon is, in fact, the source of life.

But nonetheless, that report demonstrated that Labor's scheme is not just flawed, but friendless. The Frontier research showed that an emissions trading scheme can be made to be greener, cheaper and smarter. What was the reaction of the Government to this scheme? Now, this was not a Liberal Party publication, or a Senator Xenophon publication. We had gone, speaking on behalf of the Coalition, we had gone earlier in the year to another leading economic consultancy, the Centre for International Economics, and sought advice on the Government's proposals. And David Pearce, the principal there, had come back and said that the Government had failed to model alternatives to its scheme. It's failed to do that, and we begged the Government to do that. No. No way, they said. As always with the Rudd Government, there's no way but their way, no way but their way. They are absolutists. And so, we asked Frontier Economics, who are a leading firm, probably the leading consultancy in this area, the firm that designed one of the world's first carbon trading schemes,

the New South Wales Greenhouse Gas Abatement Scheme, we asked them to do that work. So we did the work that the Government, or commissioned the work

that the Government was not prepared to do. And this very eminent firm, whose professionals are just as competent, just as skilled,

as anybody working at the Treasury or anybody working in the Department of Climate Change, they came up with a report that showed that with changes to the design of the scheme, we could achieve a cheaper scheme, a greener scheme and a smarter scheme. Cheaper, greener and smarter. What was the Rudd Government's response? Well, at 9am, a full two hours before the Frontier study was released, that is, a full two hours before he could have had any idea

of the details of the report, the Assistant Minister for Climate Change, here on the other side of the table here, went out and did a doorstop and said it won't work. He didn't have to read it. INTERJECTION: He's a psychic. He is a psychic. And hours before, hours before he could even know, he just rejected it perfunctorily and completely. Now, later in the day, later in the day, the Climate Change Minister, the honourable member behind me said he's a psychic, but what he actually is is the Climate Change Minister's sidekick,

not the psychic, but anyway. Anyway, so the sidekick's senior minister, Senator Wong, addressed the National Press Club, that was a little bit later. And by now the Frontier report was public.

Of course, there's no time to have done anything more than quickly scan it, and she may have scanned it, we don't know. She certainly couldn't have absorbed it.

But what was her report? Now this, just think about this. This is the most important piece of economic reform, them most momentous this Parliament has considered for many years, possibly in our lifetime. It's a huge change to our economy. We all know it has enormous risks.

The issue of the design is a crucial one

that had been debated in many forums. Every single country has got a somewhat different scheme. There are great debates about design. It is a critical, crucial issue to the survival of many Australian industries and to the jobs of thousands of Australians.

And so, presented with a report from this expert group that has done many, many reports and studies and work

for other governments, including other Labor governments,

what does this enlightened, open-minded, thoughtful Climate Change Minister say? She just says it's a mongrel. She says it's a mongrel. All I can say, Mr Deputy Speaker, is she may well say it's a mongrel, but by dismissing it so recklessly,

she just underlines what a dog of a scheme

she's got in the Senate this week. The Government's emissions scheme was debated in the Senate all week, but was lost when the Greens and independent Senators

joined the Opposition to vote against it. Essentially, this legislation is designed to make Kevin Rudd feel a bit better about himself,

while at the same time trying to cynically wedge the Opposition no matter at what cost to our country. So it's not about the environment. It is, it's all about politics. It's not about the warming, it's about the wedge. It's not about saving the planet, it's about damning the Opposition. And last but not least, this bill is a sacrificial altar at which Kevin Rudd will quite gladly, quite gladly sacrifice

Australian jobs, our competitive advantage and our standard of living so that he can amply demonstrate to those very enlightened international elites his green credentials, and he can show that he really and deeply cares, so that he can out-Gore Al Gore, so that he can outdo Princess Mary and conquer Copenhagen

before it even starts. And maybe he can even pump up his resume, his CV, on his inevitable long march towards the Secretary-Generalship of the United Nations. The economy, jobs, standard of living, who cares? Just call it all collateral damage to Kevin Rudd's moral vanity. But the Government makes two points.

It makes the Copenhagen argument, which is, of course, that the Government has to have the legislation passed prior to the Copenhagen meeting towards the end of the year. This is arrant nonsense, and we know it's arrant nonsense because Mr Yvo de Boer, the Executive Secretary on the UN Framework of Convention of Climate, has said it's arrant nonsense. He hasn't used those words, he's too polite to do so, of course, but he's made the point in response to questions about whether the United States legislation needs to be passed, he's made the point that it does not need to be passed. He's said US domestic legislation does not necessarily have to be in place. Now, the Americans have a considerably larger percentage of global emissions than we do. If their legislation is not needed, there can hardly be any kind of case for Australia to pass its legislation. What we need, before Copenhagen, is a clear negotiating position. And that is precisely what we have. There isn't time, Madam Acting Deputy President, for mulling it over. World temperatures are rising. That means higher sea levels, less agricultural production,

more diseases. The Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change has found, through the assessment of the latest scientific, technical and socio-economic literature that our water resources, coastal communities, natural ecosystems, energy security, health, agriculture and tourism are all highly vulnerable if temperatures rise by just three degrees Celsius or more.

Madam Acting Deputy President, I'm here representing my state of South Australia and it is worth reiterating the likely effects of climate change and global warming in my state. South Australia is gradually becoming warmer.

Southern coastal areas, where most South Australians live, are becoming drier. But rainfall is steadily increasing in the state's north.

While global surface temperatures have increased by 0.7 degrees Celsius over the last century, Australia's change is more noticeable, 0.89 degrees Celsius nationally. Staggeringly though, South Australia's surface temperature has risen 0.96 degrees Celsius over that period of time. And those temperature rises have become more rapid since 1950,

and on current projections, are set to continue. Now, seriously, is there any real, meaningful prospect of reduction from these other countries? Is the United States going to substantially reduce its emissions? Well, we've heard a lot about the bill that has passed through The House Of Representatives but all the informed commentators will tell you it will get nowhere before Copenhagen and in the end result, the United States will look after themselves.

We've heard what China is doing. Whilst they will have words to say,

they are increasing their emissions and the same for India, as South Africa, Indonesia, Columbia, Argentina.

Those countries which are big competitors of ours

in coal exports and beef exports are not even contemplating an emissions trading scheme and yet, Minister Wong and Mr Rudd want to penalise Australian industries

and, therefore, Australian workers' jobs in this horrible political ego trip they are embarked upon at the present time. Yesterday, we had here in the Senate the Sherpa who has three times had the world record for climbing Mount Everest and he has said that what has happened in Nepal, the reason they're climbing Everest faster is because they are losing ice and snow from Everest because climate change is not uniform, it is twice to four times the rest

of what the temperature rises elsewhere in the planet and the upshot of this is there are glacial lakes forming and when they burst their banks, they cause massive mudslides and wiping out of villages downstream and people are dying because of the current big melt in the Himalayas. But he went on to say, more particularly, that because they rely, a billion people in Asia rely on the melt from the Himalayas during the dry season, what we are now going to find is those river basins in the Yellow River, the Yangtze and so on are not going to have water in the dry season, there will not be the melt and you'll have a billion people without fresh water. This is on top of the Pacific Islands Forum coming here recently with specific island countries saying they are already drowning in their own backyards and here we've got the minister trying to suggest that Australia's targets will actually, in some way avert that and the government knows that's not true because the minister here yesterday acknowledged that Australia bullied those Pacific island countries to stop them putting a higher target in the Pacific Island Forum Communicae. Now, if they thought their targets were so great,

what was their problem with increasing them with what the Pacific islands wanted it and it's because they know full well that their targets won't achieve it.

Quite simply, scientists for climate change have been declaring that it is carbon dioxide emissions which are driving up global temperatures. According to this logic, global temperatures should be increasing not, in fact, decreasing. However, since 1995, temperatures have remained relatively steady by carbon dioxide emissions have been going up rapidly each year. The minister and a team of scientists were unable to answer this question. They insisted on rephrasing my question and gave me an answer that left me no more convinced than before I had started. Their response was that I shouldn't pay attention to the trend in global air temperatures which has not been going up in the last 14 years, as they predicted,

but should be looking at the heat content of the climate system. Mmm. In particular, I should focus on the temperature of the ocean. All of a sudden, the temperature outside wasn't important anymore, it was the ocean temperature that I needed to be looking at. Those same scientists that only several slides earlier in their presentation

have been harping on about the rise in air temperatures were now telling me this was no longer important. Those same scientists that had even provided me with graphs of the changes in air temperatures were telling me that their own material was not an appropriate indication of the signs. That's odd. Most amazingly, those same scientists were telling me that the answer to my question lay in the rising temperatures of the ocean had clearly not read their own IPCC reports. If they had, they would seen that in one of the working reports accepted by the IPCC, it stated, quote, "limitations in ocean sampling imply that decadal variability in global heat content,

salinity and sea level changes can only be evaluated with moderate confidence." (CHUCKLES)

It further states there is low confidence in observation of trends in the Meridional Overturning Circulation. What this means, in layperson's terms, that the measuring and modelling of ocean temperatures is unreliable.

I was able to be at a carbon sequestration leadership forum

in recent times - very interesting. It was great to see India there but do you know who was missing? Brazil, Russia, China, South Africa, the list goes on! And if they are not committed, can I say China today, what is it? Within nine months, will increase its Co2 emissions, within nine months, what we produce in Australia in a year.

That will just be their increase. So if we mug our economy with this scheme, and make no mistake, it will be a huge mugging of our Australian economy, I would at least want to see an environmental dividend delivered to the world environment. And the answer is even if we mug our economy, we won't be delivering a dividend for the world environment,

we will, in fact, be making it worse. That is why we as an opposition have said this legislation should be delayed until we have the option of seeing

what is actually delivered at Copenhagen.

Now, just three days ago, on the eve of this vote, the Opposition released a new proposal produced by a consulting firm, an approach that would replicate the failed Canadian experiment to the severe detriment of the Australian economy. Mr Turnbull described it as cheaper, greener and smarter. It's not cheaper to increase uncertainty across the economy. It's not cheaper to undermine investment and jobs by pretending that uncertainty doesn't matter.

It's not cheaper to throw away opportunities to reduce carbon pollution in Australia. It's not cheaper to exempt emissions- intensive trade-exposed industries from playing their part in reducing carbon pollution. There's nothing cost effective about giving electricity generators so much assistance they make windfall gains. There's nothing cost effective about making low and middle income households worse off

by scrapping their compensation. There is nothing cost effective about increasing budget risks if the poorly designed alternative can't deliver the targets we sign up for at Copenhagen, and I'd remind those opposite about the comments

from the Business Council Of Australia, and I quote, "We are very concerned. There is the potential for increased electricity demand to breach the national cap and for the government to then have to intervene and buy international permits.

This could put real pressure on future budgets." So much for physical responsibility. So much for economic responsibility. And, Madam Acting Deputy President, it is not greener. It is not greener to toy with a scheme that gives away the opportunities to deliver lower cost abatement in Australia than is provided under the government's scheme.

It is not greener to claim that to deliver an unconditional 10% reduction by 2020 is greener

when the government's plan delivers cuts of as much as 25% by 2020. And it's not smarter. It's not smarter to avoid a decision today, to allow Australia's carbon emissions to continue to rise. It's not smart to pretend this won't leave us isolated from the rest of the world and it is not smarter... It is not smarter to undermine... Order! ..our transition to a low pollution economy. I want to remember senators, this proposal still does not represent Coalition policy and I hazard a guess to say it's highly likely it never will. It never will. I have said time and time again and I will say it again in this place, the government will consider any serious, credible amendment to these bills that is put forward in the national interest and that is put forward with the support of the Opposition Party room. I have made that offer time and time again not a single amendment. Not a single amendment on this enormous challenge, on this very substantial economic/environmental reform. Madam Acting Deputy President, this senate is supposed to represent the Australian people.

Order! Senator Fifield, order. Senator Fifield, order. Minister. Madam Acting Deputy President, the senate is supposed to represent the Australian people and the question for every senator in this place who votes today for Australia's carbon pollution to keep rising will be this. Are you really doing what the Australian people want?

SEVERAL: Yes! Australians... Australians expect this government to deliver on climate change and Australians will expect the senate to do the same and it should. It is important to remember this, for all of us, the chance for us to avoid any climate change at all

is gone, it is lost to us. What we do have is a window to lessen its impact. We have a window to reduce the risk and that is a window of opportunity which is closing. That is why we will bring this bill back. We will give this senate the opportunity to do better. We will give this senate the opportunity to do the right thing. We will give this senate the opportunity to do what Australians expect it to do. And Madam Acting Deputy President, that is what this senate should do because anything less, anything less shows an arrant disregard for the demands of Australians today and the inheritance of Australians tomorrow.

I commend these bills to the senate. ALL: Hear, hear! Order, order. Order.

The question is that the amendment moved by Senator Milne as a second reading amendment will now be put to the senate. Those in favour say, "Aye", against say, "No",

I think the "Nos" have it. The "Ayes" have it. Division required. Ring the bells.

Order. There being six "Ayes" and 66 "Nos", The matter is resolved in the negative. Today the Liberal Party of Australia is beholden to the climate change sceptics. Today they are absolutely demonstrating themselves as being prisoners of the past.

Prisoners of their own internal party disunity. The Liberal Party, prisoners of the past on climate change,

prisoners of their own party disunity on climate change. Mr Speaker, they are therefore placing the nation's future at risk. Rather than marking this day

as one where the nation actually grafts its future... Order. ..those are the sort of chosen... ..instead to consign Australia... Order! the past. Mr Speaker, I would appeal to all those opposite as women and men of conscience... Order!

..who lie within their ranks to actually overcome the ranks of their disunity, the rancid nature of their disunity and to act for the first time in the national interest on climate change. ALL: Hear, hear! 'The OzCar affair lingers. The senate voted to let its Privileges Committee investigate the behaviour of Malcolm Turnbull, Eric Abetz and Godwin Grech. Earlier, Senator Abetz offered another apology.'

I have already publicly apologised but I wanted to take this very first opportunity in the senate

to repeat that apology and in addition, apologise for any perceived reflection on the senate. I also want to briefly deal with the three assertions made against me, that I pressured a witness, that I misled a senate hearing and that I scripted a witness evidence.

All three assertions are wrong. First, there's the joint statement I made with the leader of the opposition on 4 August makes clear the witness volunteered his information. When the witness approached us, we listened because he was a person with direct knowledge of the matters in question. The second assertion is that I misled the senate on 19 June by suggesting that a journalist had told me about the now known to be fake email and its contents. The simple fact is the journalist did tell me this. He said he had been contacted by the witness who had shared his information including the contents of the email. The journalist then shared that information with me. As the joint statement made clear, the witness had previously shown me the email.

Both statements are true.

They are not mutually exclusive. Having received information from two separate sources, it is quite appropriate to rely solely or partially on just one of those sources without exposing the other. The third claim is that I scripted the evidence, coached the witness and somehow interfered with the provision of evidence to the committee.

This allegation is also wrong. Again, as spelt out in the joint statement, as no stage did I script the evidence, coach the witness or suggest what his answers might be. I would point out to the senate that talking to witnesses before they give their evidence is common practice. So is asking questions

provided by a third party. Every senator knows this is true. Indeed, ministers know beforehand many of the questions they will be asked in Question Time. I can even recall being given notice of questions that crossbenchers proposed to ask me. It is how the parliament works. However, improper influence of a witness

is what the standing orders provide against, as they should. There was no improper influence. I repeat, I did not pressure a witness, I did not script a witness evidence nor did I mislead the senate. Having said that, Mr President, I would like to take this opportunity

to repeat my apology to the Australian people and the Prime Minister over this matter, and again apologise for any perceived reflection on the senate. I thank the senate. Mr President, I don't intend to go through the details of the OzCar affair, it's been canvassed a great breadth and length in the media, and in political debate in this country. Uh, I...I think it's fair to say though

by any assessment it has been an extraordinary affair. I think in the history of the Australian parliament

it will be seen as one of the most extraordinary events that have occurred inside the parliament. It's not a question now, Mr President, of political claim and counter claim, it's not a question of political point scoring, we have now a finding from the Australian Federal Police,

a finding of fact, that an email that was presented in evidence or used in evidence at that committee was false. There's no question about that, the AFP have found that email to be false. Senator Abetz and Mr Turnbull from the House Of Representatives have confirmed meeting and discussing questions and evidence with Mr Grech, the senior public servant. We know that some of that evidence relating to the email was false. We know that the evidence was led in order to incriminate the Prime Minister of this country, bring about his resignation as Prime Minister. Mr Deputy President, nothing could be more serious. Nothing could be more serious than the use of false evidence

in a Senate committee hearing to try and bring down the Prime Minister of the country. This is not an everyday occurrence, this is very serious. And I think it's of very serious concern to all reasonable parliamentarians and all reasonable members of the Australian public. What could be more serious as an issue more serious as an issue of abuse of Senate privilege than this?

I cannot think of one. And there is nothing that has been brought to my attention in the history of the question of privilege in the Senate that rates anywhere near the scale of this incident. Now, I acknowledge, Mr President, Senator Abetz's apology, as I did yesterday. And I think it was appropriate that he made that. But it doesn't test his claims,

nor does it address the key issues about whether there was a breach of privilege. So while I think it was important that he do it, it doesn't actually take us further in respect of the issue of privilege. Mr President, the Labor Party has had, I think, strong bona fides in this matter. Back in the last session of parliament, Senator Ludwig sought to move a motion

to have this matter referred to the Privileges Committee.

That motion was defeated on the votes of the coalition and Senator Fielding. So an attempt to deal with this properly some months ago was defeated. The government thinks it important that we try again, and that's why this motion is before you today. I point out, Mr Deputy President,

that on that occasion, around the same time, Senator Heffernan sought to refer a matter of privilege to the committee. That was a motion by Senator Heffernan that went to whether any action had been taken against Mr Grech as a result of his testimony. His concern was that Mr Grech being discriminated against because of his testimony. Labor supported that reference. Labor took the view, that while we did not necessarily agree with the claims made by Senator Heffernan, it was an important question of privilege and on that principle it ought to be referred. So we voted for it. But the opposition and Senator Fielding chose to vote against the reference that we made of the broader issues in the OzCar affair. I think, therefore, our bona fides on this matter are very strong.

In terms of the Liberal-National Party, the coalition, their bona fides, I think are at question here. Last week Senator Minchin said on behalf of the opposition, that provided the terms of reference weren't highly charged politically and it wasn't a witch-hunt, the opposition was likely to support the reference. He has stated publicly now that the Liberal Party won't. I don't know why they have changed their position, because quite clearly the terms of reference proposed today are appropriate. They are not partisan. They were drafted by the Clerk to give a proper reference of the matters at stake without any political innuendo or claims against anybody. I think it's important that the Liberal Party change its position and support the motion today.

I think, otherwise their bona fides will be in question because they effectively have to argue that this is not a serious matter, that what occurred in the Senate committee hearing

is not serious, it is not a serious matter of privilege. And I don't think you can argue that case with any credibility at all. In our view, there is absolutely nothing in anything

that Mr Turnbull or Senator Abetz has said to warrant so serious a move as to refer this matter to the Privileges Committee. And indeed the partisan nature of this is revealed in the letter by Senator Evans to the President where he talks about, he asserts, "an agreement between Mr Turnbull, a senator and a witness to create an inquiry".

We know what this is all about. This is specifically designed by the Labor Party to have a go at the current Leader of the Opposition and the Deputy Leader of the Opposition in this chamber. The moralising from the ALP, frankly, on this matter is nauseating. As someone who was a minister for ten years, and therefore must have attended some 30 hearings of estimates in my time as a minister, it was obvious to me, on almost all those occasions, that the Labor senators were in receipt of material leaked from the Public Service to enable them to conduct inquiries and ask questions at Senate estimates. And I defy the Labor Party to deny that occurred. Of course it occurred. Of course we were conscious that that occurred. I never ceased to be amazed by the sorts of information

which Labor senators seemed to have to hand and, as a minister, was conscious that that can only have come from leaks from the Public Service. So we on this side will not subject ourselves to the moralising from the Labor Party on this matter. Fourthly, I want to note

that the suggestion inherent in these motions, that somehow senators should not talk to witnesses

or discuss their evidence prior to committee hearings, is idiotic. The Clerk has given a variety of opinions on this matter, not all of which we would necessarily agree with, they are just his personal opinions But he does state quite clearly in his letter to me on the 5th of August, on this matter, quote: "There is nothing to prevent a senator or any other person discussing a witness's evidence

with the witness before a hearing." We say that is absolutely correct and any other interpretation would make the Senate and the Senate committee system completely and utterly unworkable. This place could not function if there was not the opportunity for citizens of this country to come to senators to discuss matters they thought were serious enough to warrant inquiry at Senate committees, to discuss with senators those matters,

and discuss lines of questioning and to discuss their knowledge of the matters before them to enable questions to be asked at Senate committee hearings. Senator Abetz has quite honestly said that he was, in a sense, a victim of something that could happen to any one of us, where a very credible witness comes to a senator

and says, "I have evidence which is of a very serious nature

going to public administration in this country and I think it is a matter that should be pursued at a committee hearing." As Senator Abetz has honestly said, to the extent that anyone should suggest there was any coaching, then indeed the witness in this case, Mr Grech, was coaching Senator Abetz. There is no evidence to the contrary whatsoever and none has been introduced or suggested in this case. Mr Grech came to Senator Abetz, said he had received contact, he showed him a document which was an email, which was evidence of this contact. A line of questioning was discussed and put to Senator Abetz and that was pursued. In this case Senator Abetz... ..and I hope everybody in this chamber would accept the integrity of Senator Abetz... ..acted in good faith and with great integrity in relation to that matter and had no reasonable reason to doubt the evidence that was being put before him. I do agree with Senator Evans that the Privileges Committee has to this point operated in a genuine and apolitical manner.

I think that will be put seriously at risk if either of these references is agreed to today and put to that committee. I think the future functioning of the Privileges Committee

could be put seriously at risk and I reject the accusation that there has been some change of position.

Senator Minchin, Acting Deputy President, has just said that Senator Abetz was a victim. If any senator is a victim...

..that is, by being misled on the way to serious questionings on serious matters in a Senate committee... ..surely the Privileges Committee should look at that. How can Senator Minchin say that one of his senior colleagues has been a victim of a process which led to him being misled and that that is not a matter that should be looked at by the Privileges Committee? You have to remember, as Senator Evans has told the chamber just a while ago, this led to the Leader of the Opposition

calling for the resignation of the Prime Minister and the Treasurer of this nation. Of course these matters are serious. They strike right at the heart of the integrity,

that is, the truth and honesty, which guides deliberations by this Senate, this parliament and its committee system. So there can be, and there is no reasoned argument from the opposition that I've heard, that would countermand this reference to the Privilege Committee

on the facts as put by the opposition and its leaders themselves. I think, finally, that the Privileges Committee, notwithstanding it's not properly representative of the Senate, the modern Senate and the make-up of the modern Senate, has in my 13 years experience in this place acted with great honour.

Time and again the findings of the Privileges Committee have not been partisan. They have not been witch-hunts, they have never strayed close. SENATOR MINCHIN: That's because it has never been abused like this. Well, I think that interjection is contrary to your own words, Senator Minchin.

If I may, through you, Acting Deputy President. However, the findings have been imbued with a degree of honour, directness, propriety and balance that I do not think is found anywhere else in the proceedings of the Senate. And that's saying something. I believe this chamber should put its defence...

..the matters being debated before the Privileges Committee

and let it make up its mind. It is not our job, as Senator Minchin would have it, for us to take away from the Privileges Committee its rightful responsibility to look at this matter. If it determines there is no case, it will come in here and say so. So what are we to achieve at the end of this?

I truly believe, and I honestly believe, that there's nothing Eric has done that is nefarious, foolish, possibly nefarious, no. If there was I would know. I would have to be so proximate to it that I'd have to have some semblance of what was going on. And I don't, and if that's not correct, kick me out of the joint. And so, at the end of this inquiry, if you go forward, is the Senate going to be a better place? Is there anything about this that is going to bring about a better outcome, a better process, a way that reinstills some of the authenticity and virtue back into the committee process so people are more confident in it? No, there's not. Away from a political motive, there's no real outcome in it whatsoever. Has there been an absolute public ventilation of just about everything on this issue? Yes, I seriously believe there is not one issue that will come to light that we don't already know about. And if you believe there is, what powers are you going to use to try and bring them about? And there are really no, you have the witnesses before you, but, once more, it relies on Godwin Grech who won't be there, and so there will be no capacity to bring about a veracity to a point or an assertion, will be unable to be obtained because a crucial link is not present. In the wake of a terror attack in Jakarta, and the arrests of suspected extremists in Melbourne, the Government faced questions about security. Questions without notice, Senator Johnston. Thank you, Mr President. My question is to the Minister for Defence, Senator Faulkner. In light of the foiled alleged attempt by radical extremists to assault and kill members of our special forces at Tag East, why wasn't the Defence Safe Base threat level upgraded when intelligence reports received by the Government made it known that a possible attack on the base was imminent? The Minister for Defence, Senator Faulkner. Thank you, Mr President. And I thank Senator Johnston for his question. Mr President, the arrests of the 4th of August, 2009 do indicate that the threat of terrorism in Australia is real and current. And while it would not be appropriate for me in the chamber today to address the specifics of the 4th of August police activity, as those matters are still undergoing investigation before the courts, I certainly can say in relation to the national threat alert level that it has not been raised and it, of course, applies to Defence establishments as it does to other arms of the Government

and also, Mr President, to the broader community. The security of Defence bases is constantly under review, protective security responses to threats are carefully calibrated to provide necessary protection. Specifics of protective security arrangements, I can say, are not made public because,

and it's a very important point to make, their effectiveness would be diminished when they were widely known. In relation... relation specifically to the situation at Holsworthy, after the threat became apparent, in relation to that...

Order. Senator Faulkner, your time has expired. Senator Johnston. Thank you, Mr President. Why is it, Minister, through you, Mr President, why is it that the bureaucrats and Defence Chiefs at Defence Headquarters at Russell are fully guarded both inside and on the perimeter of the buildings by armed officers of the Australian Federal Police, yet our special forces and other highly trained soldiers, sailors and airmen at Defence bases are not? The minister. Thank you, Mr President. The situation is in relation... ..I was about to say in relation to the Holsworthy base, which you asked me about specifically, Senator. In fact, the threat level after these matters became known

was raised from Safe Base Bravo to Safe Base Charlie. So just in response to your first question, if I can just complete that answer because it is important, Mr President, that the public record be full in relation to that matter. In relation to the other issue that Senator Johnson raises, Mr President, it is important to realise in relation to what occurred at Holsworthy that that intrusion did not represent a real or credible threat to defence security. The response was proportionate. And of course... Member Faulkner, your time has expired. Thank you, Mr President. My question is also to Senator Wong, but it's in her capacity as the minister representing the Attorney-General. Does the minister agree that the deaths of three Australian citizens in the recent bombings in Jakarta and last week's arrest in Melbourne are painful and alarming reminders

that terrorism remains a central threat to Australia's national interests. Does the minister also agree that completion of the Government's long-promised

counter-terrorism white paper is urgent and a critical component of our national security architecture? The minister representing the Attorney-General, Minister Wong. Thank you, Mr President. The good senator references a range of issues, including the counterterrorism arrests in Melbourne and also the tragic events

that all Australians are too painfully aware of of in Indonesia in recent times. In relation to the white paper issue, I'm advised that... the senator would be aware, the Prime Minister announced that a counterterrorism white paper would be developed in 2009. My recollection was that indication was as part of the national security statement that the Prime Minister delivered.

I am advised that the Prime Minister will release this white paper this year and all relevant agencies across government are working together and with the states and territories to complete this white paper

in a detailed, thorough and methodical manner. Obviously ? and I am sure all in this chamber would agree ? that counterterrorism remains a critical government priority, the security of Australia and Australians remains a critical priority and, as recent events in Jakarta as well as in Victoria have reminded all Australians,

terrorism continues to pose a serious threat, unfortunately and regrettably, to Australians at home and abroad. The government is keenly aware of this, and the white paper will consider and respond to this threat and articulate the governments ongoing commitment

to counter those who unfortunately, continue to seek to engage in terrorism. Senator Trood. Thank you, Mr President. In light of those remarks, Minister,

I wonder whether you could tell the Senate - are you aware of an article that appeared in the Australian Financial Review on 7 August last

that cited intelligence sources to the effect that the "writing of the counterterrorism paper" had "barely begun"? Is this an accurate reflection of the situation and does it reflect the fact that Australian authorities believed the threat posed by Jemaah Islamiah was in retreat before the last Jakarta attacks? The minister. As the senator knows, certainly in relation to any questions which may go to intelligence matters, those are not matters which any minister would be putting in a response to a question in this chamber. I have provided an answer to the senator in relation to the white paper. to the senator in relation to the preparation of the white paper.

I don't recall seeing the article to which he referred. If there is anything further to add in relation to my answer I will seek advice on that issue, but, if there is any implication, as there appears to be, that counterterrorism is not an issue that the government takes seriously, I would invite the senator to reconsider the proposition being put. Senator Trood. Thank you, Mr President. Well, I press the matter, Minister, and I ask - will you now admit that little, if any, progress has now been made on the white paper? And will the minister also admit that this long and dangerous delay is another reflection of the Rudd Governments hopelessly confused foreign policy priorities and a reflection of its abject contempt for protecting Australias national interests? The minister. That is really quite an offensive set of imputations,

Senator Trood, and, if I may say, generally beneath the standard of the way in which you would usually approach these matters. There is no-one in this chamber, on any side,

who diminishes or minimises in any way the importance of ensuring the security of Australians, of doing everything we can in government or in parliament to ensure the security of Australians. Frankly, the implications the implications to the contrary, are really quite... ..are not only unfair, but inappropriate in these circumstances. I have responded on the white paper issue, obviously. The minister answered my question by highlighting that safe base threat levels went from Bravo to Charlie with respect to the matters arising in Melbourne giving rise to the arrest and charging of several men related to alleged terrorist activities. Now, what does moving from Bravo to Charlie actually mean? It simply means that op... ...the personnel at the gate of bases, particularly TAG/East, which is Holsworthy, began to conduct random vehicle checks and some random identity checks. Now, I have to say that that causes me some considerable concern and I believe it causes all Australians some considerable concern. Now, it follows that we are more than concerned, we are very, very alarmed

when two journalists, following the publication of this material, simply wandered into Holsworthy and began, I think, to take photographs. Now, that causes me some considerable alarm, that, notwithstanding the media publication of what was going on, we still did not respond to tighten up security. But the most important thing, Mr Acting Deputy President, is when myself and other members of parliament in the Opposition receive emails and correspondence from soldiers saying that security at bases is substandard and that they are concerned. That is very, very important. Can I say, everybody now knows, everybody now knows that security at Australian Defence Force bases is of concern. It is substandard. It is not adequate. Everybody knows that, except the Minister for Defence. SENATOR JACINTA COLLINS: That is absolute rubbish! Now, can I say that, can I say that, can I say that... You are such a hypocrite. DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Order! Senator Collins! It is outrageous. Order! You will get your chance later.

Can I say, Mr Acting Deputy President, Holsworthy is not just any base.

It is the home of TAG/East, the SAS equivalent on the east coast of our counterterrorist assault troops. Now, if we cannot provide adequate security for that base, where are we? We are at a level of great concern with respect to what is happening here. 'That's all for Order in the House this week.

Parliament will resume later today.'

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