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This Program Is Captioned

Live. Today at the National Press

Club - the United States

Ambassador, Robert McCallum. Mr

McCallum was the Bush administration's appointment to

Canberra, and with change

imminent in Washington, his

term is about to come to an

end. The Ambassador reflects on

US/Australia relations and his

time here in today's National

Press Club address.

Ladies and gentlemen,

welcome to the National Press

Club and today's National

Australia Bank address. It's a pleasure today to welcome back

the Ambassador of the United

States Robert McCallum. He was

last year in February last

year. A lot has happened since

then in both countries and the

world at large. Ambassador

McCallum and his wife is also

here today. They've taken a

keen interest in Australian

life in their time here. Now

they're about to go home and

for his reflections on this

period in Australia, I invite

you to join me in welcoming

Ambassador McCallum. (APPLAUSE)

Thank you, Ken. Thanks also

to members of the Press Club

board, members of the print

media and the broadcast media

who are joining us today.

Fellow members of the

Diplomatic Corps, distinguished

guests and Australian viewers

around the Commonwealth. This

as Ken mentioned is my second

opportunity to address the

Press Club, and I am very glad

to be back for a number of

reasons. First, although I've

always held the media and the

press in high regard, I've even

greater appreciation and

respect for the role of a free

press in a democracy after

experiencing the 2007 elections

here in Australia, and the 2008

elections in my own country.

The print and the broadcast

media - and I would say now

also the bloggosphere, they

raise issues and they

illuminate the election process

in ways that provoke public

debate and thereby increase the

probability of informed

decisions being made by the

electorate. I can also say that

the media's focus on election

process itself has highlighted

and educated people about the

differences in the two election

systems between Australia and

the United States. Preselection

primaries for party nominations, versus

primaries and caucuses,

mandatory voting versus get out

the vote efforts, preferential

and proportionate voting versus

a winner take all result no

matter how close the result, a

leadership determined by

control of parliamentary seats

versus an Electoral College determination in which

different states have different

numbers of votes. All of it has

caused me and I believe many

Australians to realise that

there is no uniform or cookie

cutter shape or form for an

accountable and responsive

democratic government.

Democracy cannot be imposed

upon a people, but it must be

chosen by them through

compromise and acceptance in accordance with their history,

their culture, and their

political diversity. What seems

to be the most appropriate,

understandable and reasonable

system to the governed provides

the legitimacy for governmental

power, and I suggest that the

media's attention to these

issues has forced us all to

recognise that as emerging

democracies determine their own

unique government structure and

process such as those in Iraq

and Afghanistan, it may be

different in form or sub fans from that of Australia or from

that of the United States, but

it is no less valid and appropriate. We should all be

grateful to the media for that

lesson. Second, as Ken

mentioned, last time I was here

was in February of 07. And your

hospital ity at this time

provides me to deliver a

holiday message to Australians

across the entire continent.

The last time I was here was

Valentine's Day and I reminded

everyone, including the media,

to remember and be kind to that

special someone in his or her

life. This time, I'm a week

before Christmas, so there must

be something in the stars about

me, the Press Club and

significant holidays. In my

family tradition at this time

of year, we express to others

our hope for peace on earth and

goodwill to all men. So my wife

Mimi and I take this

opportunity to do just that.

Merry Christmas, happy

holidays, and happy new year to

everyone in Australia. Third,

as Ken mentioned, I will be

leaving my position as

Ambassador and returning to the

United States on January 20th

with the inauguration of

President-elect Obama. Being

here today allows me to say a

broad goodbye and thank you to

all Australians, especially

those who have been willing to

engage with me in discussions

of the great issues of the day,

whether they supported or

criticised positions and

policies of the United States

of America. Australians have

taught me a lot. And for that,

I will always be grateful. I

can only hope that I have

provoked Australians to

consider a thoughtful analysis

of the important issues of the

day as often as Australians

have done that for me. So what

I would like to do today is,

with your indulgence, as I head

out the door, is to reflect on

the current state of the

relationship between our two

countries and on the challenges

facing both of us in the near future. With respect to the

current relationship, most of

you know that I announced my

intention to resign before the

US election regardless of which

candidate won, and I did so

because I feel very strongly

that Australia is one of those

countries with such a special

relationship to the United

States that the Ambassador

should and must be a real

member of the President's team.

It is an historically strong

relationship that's getting

stronger and more to both our

countries year by year as we

move forward into the it (2)

1st century. The basis for that

special relationship was first

described by Prime Minister

Alfred Deakin in 1908 in a

letter to then President

Theodore Roosevelt, in which he

accurately stated "No other

federation in the world

possesses so many features of

likeness to that of the United

States as does the Commonwealth

of Australia. And I doubt

whether any two people can be

found who are nearer in touch

with each other and likely to

benefit more by anything that

tends to knit their

relationships more closely."

100 years later, in her visit

to Perth to see the Foreign

Minister, secretary rice

confirmed Deakin's view, simply

stating "There is no better

friend of the United States

than Australia." Although our

national interests are similar,

most often, it's really our

similar pioneer history and

experience and our shared

values that are the true

foundation of this unique

relationship. Both nations are

committed to individual

liberty, to democratic

principles of government, to

egalitarian celebrations of

diversity, to tolerance of the

views of others, to the rule of

law, and to equal opportunity

for all. Last year there was a

complaining in government in

Australia and there will soon

be one in the United States.

Neither of these developments

has nor will diminish the

breadth and depth of the unique

relationship between our two

countries. Since 1951, there've

been 11 Prime Ministers and 11

Presidents, Labor and Liberal,

Republican and Democratic, and

the relationship has always

remained strong, positive and

constructive. It transcends

politics and in my brief time

here, it has been enhanced in

multiple ways and in multiple

areas. Let me suggest to you

just a few of the areas of the

relationship, each of which has

been strengthened over the last

few years. Consider, for

example, our military

relationship with our Defence

Forces working together in

various areas of the world

including Iraq and Afghanistan.

Consider increased

interoperability through joint

training and expanded personnel

exchange programs, through

joint human relief operations

in the Asia Pacific region.

Through the recent amendment to

the Shapo agreement and to a

ground-breaking defence trade

cooperation treaty to

streamline licensing of

sensitive military equipment

and technology. Consider the

increased sharing of

intelligence information and

analyses that not only actively

supports our troops on the

ground but also our counter

terrorism and transnational

crime efforts. Consider our increased commercial and economic integration through

effective implementation of the Australia/US free trade

agreement. According to the US

department of commerce

statistics, overall trade

between the United States and

Australia was 68% higher in the

first half of 2008 than it was

in the first half of 2004, the

last year before the FTA took effect. Overall, Australian

exports in the first half of

2008 were over US $3 billion

higher than in the first half

of 2004, an increase of 57%. Interestingly, Australian

service exports to the United

States grew by 1.4 billion

dollars US, an increase of 75%

in this period. US exports to

Australia in the first half of

2008 are 73% higher than in the

first half of 2004. And the US

remains the largest investor in

Australia and the favourite

destination for Australian

investment abroad. Consider the

open-skies aviation agreement

this year, which will lead to

greater capacity, increased

competition and hopefully lower

fares for travel between our

two countries. All of which

will benefit both tourism and

commerce . Consider academic,

scientific, medical technical

and sports exchanges and

interactions. As one example,

this year marks the 60th

anniversary of the Australian

American Fulbright Scholarship

program which we are

celebrating with multiple newly

undo youed state scholarships

from Australia. Similarly, six

of the eight general surgeon

Monash awards scholars this

here will be studying at

American universitieses. The

new United States study centre

at the University of Sydney is

another important example of an

extensive program to promote

objective analysis, increased

academic interaction and a

greater understanding of the

United States by Australians

and of Australia by Americans.

Such a program provides

critical links between our

academic institutions and both

renowned and to be renowned in

the future scholars and

researchers in put Pell diverse

disciplines. And did I mention

the deep space communication

complex at Tidbinso billa runs

by CSIRO which receives signals

from the recent US Phoenix Mars

lander confirming the presence

of water on Mars? And don't

forget the general cultural ex

changes in the vish shum and

performing arts like Andy

Warhol exhibition in Brisbane,

the Guggenheim and Pixar

exhibitions in Melbourne, the

RussianBerg exhibition here in

Canberra, performances by the

Cunningham dance company at the

Adelaide arts festival and

multiple participants from

America in the Sydney Bienalle

to name one thing. I have to

confess I got a great deal of

pleasure in watching Australian

Grant Balfour pitching in the

World Series of baseball, the

American national pastime! I

ask you: given the wonderful

Australian sense of humour and

an Australian love of a play on

words, how perfect is it to

have an Australian pitcher

named Ball-four!? Something no

pitcher wants to ever hear an

umpire say! You can't help but

smile at it, it's

wonderful! (LAUGHTER) To make

all these interactions easier,

both our countries are working

to make visa requirements

simpler and more transparent

for our citizens and for

Australians. Last year,

Americans made just over

400,000 visits to Australia and

Australians made nearly 600,000

entries into the United States.

The United States created an E3

visa category specifically for

Australian professionals

seeking work in the United

States. And last year, we

initiated a new pilot program

for a gap-year student work and

travel visa. Under this test

program, Australian university

students and recent graduates

can go to the United States for

up to 12 months with very few

restrictions on travel, study,

work or otherwise getting to

know the United States in

whatever manner seems the best

to them. It's my hope this

pilot program will expand over

the next few years so that

America will become the country

of choice for work travel walkabouts for young

Australians. In addition to all

these bilateral aspects of our

relationship, I also ask you to

consider the increased

engagement of our two countries

together in multilateral fora.

extensively on matters We cooperate and consult

involving the United Nations,

APEC, the ASEAN regional forum,

the trilateral strategic

dialogue with Japan, the G20,

the World Trade Organisation,

the major economies' meetings

on climate change, the Asia

Pacific partnership on clean

development and climate and the

trans-Pacific partnership, the

TPP, to name just a few.

Through these multilateral

fora, both our countries are

attempting to address constructively and effectively

global issues on which no one

country can provide the

ultimate solution, and from

which no one country can

insulate itself unilaterally.

The global financial crisis,

international terrorism,

climate change, energy security, nuclear non-proliferation, navigational

security and piracy, disaster

relief, food production and

safety, pandemic and health

preparedness and research,

transnational crime,

trafficking in persons, foreign

aid and infrastructure

assistance to fragile states -

all of these are matters in

which our national interests

align and on which Australia

and the United States are

working closely together with

other nations. Now, having just

provided, if you will, a

laundry list of global issues

in the context of this remarkable relationship between

our two countries, let me now

turn my attention to some of

the issues which pose

challenges not just for our

countries but for the entire

world in the 21st century. When

I last addressed the National Press Club, I discussed what I

considered to be the most two

most pressing issues facing our

two nations at that time, the

interdependence of all

participatants in the new

global economy with the risks

and opportunitys that that

presented and then secondly,

the threat posed by

international terrorism. Given the current global financial

crisis and the attacks in

Mumbai, knows two issues

remain, in my mind, as the

critical top priorities for

both our nations in the

international arena. But there

are other equally complex and

difficult matters to address.

Climate change, non-proliferation, energy

security, deforestation, water

management, food production,

one can go on and

one can go on and on. The

November G20 meeting in

Washington highlighted a common

commitment among multiple

nations to coordinate efforts

internationally to address the

global financial crisis. The

participants had broad

agreement on the implementation

of pro-growth initiatives to

stimulate their respective

national economies. On the need

for increased cooperation and

communications among national

regulators. And improvements in

national regulatory regimes. On

the affirmation of free market

principles, the need for reform

of international financial

institutions. And the rejection

of protectionism and barriers

to international trade at this

critical time. Since that

November meeting, we have seen

concerted and consistent

actions by various nations,

including Australia and the

United States, to do just that.

With respect to international

terrorism, the horrific attack

on innocent people in Mumbai is

a stark reminder to us all that

microa symmetrical actors can

have macro effects far beyond

the borders of the attack

State. In addition to the

tragic loss of life, we have to recognise that these attacks

are intended to undermine

stable civil society across the

globe, strain and inflame the

relationships between

neighbouring states and damage

the economic, social and political structures and

stability of many others. As

secretary Condoleezza Rice

stressed in her visits to both

India and Pakistan after the

attacks , it is in the national

interests of all to have greater international

cooperation and greater

international action to disrupt

and prevent terrorists attacks.

In Australia and the United

States, we recognise the

necessity of applying both hard

and soft power to address this

continuing threat. On climate

change issues, a great deal of

the preliminary work on an

international basis has been

done over the past two years

through the G8 statement, the

APEC 2007 resolution, the major economies' meetings and the

various meetings of the United

Nations framework convention on

climate change. Now it's up to

both developing and developed

nations to define how each will

contribute to the reduction of

greenhouse gas emissions

according to the unique

circumstances of each. Prime

Minister Rudd has just

announced Australia's reduction

goals and an emissions trading

scheme, a national program

which will be analysed closely

by nations around the world.

And President-elect Obama has

announced his new energy team

and his commitment to

investment in clean energy

infrastructure and the research

and development of alternative

energy sources. Other nations

and other economies are doing

similar analyses and planning.

But any realistic hope of a

meaningful reduction on a

global basis depends on

international cooperation and

the sharing of the burdens and

the costs of remedial action. I

could go on and on about other

critical issues, nuclear non-proliferation, energy

security, etc. But the facet

of all of these global problems

which jumps out at me is not

just that all members of the

international community are

interdependent into in our need

to address these issues

collectively; it is also that

all of these issues are

interrelated. Each one to all

the others. No matter what

happens to be one's particular

focus or area of interest, one

can pick any particular issue,

and then spin out in one's mind

possible impacts on all the

others. For instance, one can

argue that the global financial

crisis and remedial measures to

address it will inevitably have

an impact on climate change

programs which can impact

energy security concerns of

nations, which can affect

infrastructure and

capacity-building aid to

fragile states. Which can

create an environment

supportive of terrorist

activities. Which can cause

economic and political

disruptions. Which can affect

nuclear non-proliferation

concerns. I suggest to you that

as we address one of these

global problems, there will be

anticipated and unanticipated

consequences on the other. And

the broad-based activity that

will be necessary to find

effective solutions to these

complex challenges can only be

done on a collective

multilateral basis. For that

reason, when I'm asked to

forecast and predict the

future, whether the United

States will become more

isolationist and less engaged

in global affairs, particularly

in the Asia Pacific region n I

look into my crystal ball and I

find it most unlikely that

anything like that can or will occur. President-elect Obama

has nominated Senator Hillary

Clinton for Secretary of State

and suz Susan rice to be the

UN Ambassador with a Cabinet

level rank. Both are very aware

of the importance of

international engagement and in

the Asia Pacific region

particularly so. For that

reason alone I'm willing to bet

or as you Aussies say, place my

punt, on continued active

engagement of the new

administration with Australia,

with the region and with

multilateral fora that address

all of these global issues. So

let me conclude by thanking the

people of Australia again for

allowing me and Mimi to get to

know and interact with you. It's been a great journey for

us to visit on multiple

occasions every single state

and every territory of this

remarkable nation, and to enjoy

the wonderful regional pride

exhibited in every location -

something that's very familiar

to Americans with our strong

regional and sexual - and

sectional loyalties. (LAUGHTER) I'm from the

south! (LAUGHTER) Whenever

I've been asked, what is my

favourite area of Australia?, I

always state without hesitation

that it is wherever I happen to

be when I'm asked. But I tell

the people "Don't tell anybody

else." My one disappointment I

have to confess to you has been

that most of my friends and

family from the States who've

threatened to visit me while I

was here in Australia have

failed to appear. The tyranny

of distance got them. And I

worry that my Australian

friends will do the same when

we're back in the States.

Promise to call us and visit

now, but never do it. When I

told one of my Australian

friends that I was afraid that

most would never show up, he in

a peculiarly Australian gentle

way reassured me, "Don't be

bloody stupid, mate!", is what

he said. "Haven't you learned

anything while you've been here

in Australia? We're

Australians. And we're always

interested in a free beer and a

good party, no matter where it

is." (LAUGHTER) I hope that

he's right! So thank you for

letting me be with you. And I

will be happy to take any

questions that you might have. (APPLAUSE)

Let's move to our questions.

The first one today is from

Andrew O'Malley. I'm from AAP.

Obviously the recent

shoe-throwing incident in Iraq

was a fairly extreme example of

some of the anger and

frustration that's developed

towards the US over the eight

years of the Bush

administration. You've

travelled around the country a

lot, as you've said. You have

noticed any of that same kind

of antipathy towards the US

during your travels? And the

whole globe seems to be placing

a huge burden on Barack Obama

to solve all the problems

around the globe. Do you think

one man can rehabilitate

America's reputation? Let me

start, Sandra, with the

make to your assumption about exception that I would like to

the United States' reputation

around the globe. I think that

the shoe-throwing incident was

certainly reflective of freedom

of speech by journalists. I

hope no-one takes the

opportunity to fling one at me

today. However, it is not, I

think, reflective of the

attitude of most Iraqis, and of

many people in that particular

area of the globe. Think back

to the choice that people had

in Iraq before there was the

opportunity for a democratic

government there. What do you

think would've happened to that

individual under Saddam

Hussein? I'll leave that to

you. The next issue is: think

back to the elections that were

held, in which individuals in

Iraq risked their lives under

threat of attack both during

the election process and

afterwards if they voted, and

do you remember the television

pictures of the very pleased

millions of Iraqis holding up

their thumb or finger with

paint on it indicating that

they had addressed that fear

and had voted to come out and

participate in a democratic

process? I think that those two

things are telling. I do think

that one can speculate about what activities the

President-elect will have and

I've commented on those to the

extent I can during my speech,

because one can only reflect on

the people that President-elect

Obama has indicated he's going

to nominate. And certainly,

Senator Clinton and Susan Rice

are exceptionally capable

people. I happened to have the

good fortune to go to law

school with Bill and Hillary

Clinton. Hillary Rodham at that

time. And I know them from that

experience and know her to be

an incredibly intelligent, very

energetic, very determined

individual who will do a fine

job as Secretary of State. And

you will remember that Susan

Rice, who will also have

Cabinet-level rank, is going to

be the United Nations

Ambassador, and she has been to

Australia on a number of

different occasions,

participating in the Australian/American leadership

dialogue and is very familiar

with Australia and the Asia

pacific region. So like most

Americans I am placing my

confidence in two knows two

individuals. What exactly they

will do in the future is pure

speculation and I'm not in a

position to guesstimate all of

that. I'm from the 'West

Australian'. President Bush

took American and Australia to

war in Iraq on faulty

intelligence. Took very limited

action on climate change. And

now it seems has presided over

the greatest economic crash the

world has seen since the Great

Depression. How do you think

history will judge the

presidency of George W. Bush?

Well, Nick, I'm very confident

that history will judge

President George W. Bush much

more favourably than the press

does at this time. I think

after there is some opportunity

for reflection. Look at Iraq,

in which you focus on false

intelligence. But look at the

status that Iraq is in today,

with the opportunity for it to

progress further into a

self-sustaining, self-governing

democracy in that particular

area of the world. You indicate

that the United States did not

do anything on climate change.

The Bush administration was the

first administration that put

money on the table for climate

change. And participated with others in building an

international momentum that we

now see is heading toward a

2012 likely agreement between

nations internationally or we

hope it will get there. For

climate change activity. Think

of the 20 in 10 program in the

United States which had to do

with the increase in fuel

efficiency on United States

vehicles to put greenhouse gas

emissions, carbon emissions.

Think of the alternative fuels

that were fund ed in terms of

that program. Think of the

future gen project which had to do with the clean coal

technology development. Look at

the number of energy sources

particularly wind that's been

funded and encouraged through

the Bush administration. There

are multiple aspects of the

Bush administration that relate

specifically to climate change

that no-one ever writes or

talks about. And the current

global financial crisis, most

people I think acknowledge that

it began with the subprime

lending situation in the United

States. Where did that come

from? It came from the prior

administration. In terms of

making credit more available to

lower income and minority

borrowers, so that they could

achieve the American dream. A

very laudable goal. But to say

that the global financial

crisis is the responsibility of

the Bush administration, I

think, simplifies the matter

far beyond the actual facts

because there were issues

raised within the

administration, in the first

term, and there were objections

in the United States Congress

for activity to rein in or

restrict. So I'm not saying

that the Bush administration is

blameless by any stretch of the

imagination. But I am saying

that there is plenty of blame

to go around. The other thing

is that in my view, there is

very little credit given to the

Bush administration relative to

the current - its current

activities and the status of

international affairs. The

prior question had to do with

the standing of the United

States in the world. Our

relationship with has never

been better. Our relationships

with China have never Ben

better. Our relationships with

India have never been better.

We are engaged, if you will, in

Iraq in a way that now appears

possible and even likely that a

functioning democracy will

exist there. We are engaged on

a multilateral basis in the

six-party talks to denuclearise

the Korean Peninsula. We are

engaged in multilateral fora

like the United Nations and

others to address the potential

that Iran may obtain nuclear

weapons. We are involved with

Africa with $30 billion over

five years to address AIDS/HIV

treatment. No-one ever writes

about that. The President did

that . There is $1.3 billion

going into malaria initiatives.

Malaria kills more people than

HIV/AIDS, and it is a

preventable disease, and it is

only the President who has

created that program, which

will save hundreds of thousands

of lives as a result of it.

No-one ever writes about that.

And no-one ever gives him

credit for those sorts of

activities which display the

man's vision, his courage, and

his compassion. So I believe

over time, history will view

this President much differently

than the media does at this

particular time. I am

unabashedly proud of him. Thank

you for the question. Cynthia

Banham from the 'Sydney Morning

Herald'. Ambassador, Australia

and its relationship with the

United States is always

concerned about keeping it

engaged in our immediate region

and keeping it focused on our

area. How much of a challenge

do you think this will be under

the new administration for

Australia to keep the US

focused over here? And how much

of a challenge do you think

that particularly will be with

the new Secretary of State?

Well, as I mentioned, I have

great confidence in the

abilities of the new Secretary

of State, and in the abilities

of the new designated US

Ambassador. I think both of

them are fully appreciative of the significance of the

relationship with the

Australia, the significance of

the Southern Hemisphere of the

Pacific, if you will, in which

Australia, among other nations,

plays a very vital role. And so

it's impossible for anyone to

project and predict exactly

what activities, what policies

the new administration will

follow, as I indicated

previously, but it's a

situation in which we certainly

feel that the - across the

partisan lines, Republicans and

Democrats, Greens,

Independents, libertarians, you

name it, look at the people

that President-elect Obama is

nominating for those positions,

and know them to be dedicated

public servants of great, great

ability. Sarah Smiles. Thank

you for coming to talk to us

today. I just wanted to ask a

question picking up on what

Cynthia was talking about . You

mentioned how the Australia/US

relationship has transcended

politics, but obviously it was

very strong under the former

government with John Howard's

close ties with George W. Bush.

The question I have is whether

or not the change in the

administrations will impact the

level of cooperation between

the two countries, given that

Australia won't be as involved

in Iraq. Will there be any

shift at all in the operational

nature of the relationship?

Will Australia remain as big an

interest to America as it has

previously? Well, it's

impossible to know with any

degree of certainty, but the

point that I was really trying

to make in my remarks is that

to make in my remarks is that

the relationship is so broad in

so many different areas, and

that includes the personal

relationships, that I think one

can be extremely confident that

there will be continued active

engagement by the United States

in Australia in the next

administration. As I was asking

folks to consider different

elements in different areas. It

was for the purpose of showing

how extensive it is. And when

you talk about military

relationships, it's not just

the Prime Minister and the

President. The Defence Minister

and the Secretary of Defense.

The Foreign Minister and the

Secretary of State. It's all

sorts of additional people that

are on their staffs, all sorts

of different personnel exchange

program officers who are

together one with the other.

For instance, I had the

wonderful experience of being

out at Stirling naval base out

in Western Australia. Who I did

find out there? I found four

sonar technicians from the

United States navy that were so

excited about being sonar

technicians on Collins class

Australian Navy. And they were submarines with the Royal

members of the crew. And they

were heading out participating

with their Australian naval

colleagues. And that's the sort

of thing that goes from the top

to the bottom, these multiple,

wonderful relationships. And

people come in and out of those

positions. But the

relationship-building that goes

on is so extensive that it is

inconceivable to me that the

United States and Australia

will not continue a cooperation

that is really unique for the

United States. John Kerryn from

the 'Financial Review'. I just

wanted to ask you, you were

talking about engagement or

more engagement with Asia. Do

you think the time is right for

a new body and Kevin Rudd's put

forward the Asia Pacific

community. Are you supportive

of it? Do you think it's a good

idea to have one body bringing

all the main players together? The United States doesn't quite

yet know what the Asia Pacific partnership proposal is going

to be about in terms of

details. Generally, we are in

fave of active engagement in

Asia and the more effective the

forum, the better. I know well

Richard Walcott and he has made

trips to multiple nations all

over the Asia Pacific region.

He is going to the United

States in the new year to

interact with individuals at

the State Department, and

members of the new Obama administration, to talk about

precisely the issue of the

architectural structure, if you

will, of engagement in the Asia

Pacific region. So the United

States is certainly open and

interested in discussing it,

but until there are specifics

to t I don't think that the

United States or any other

nation in the Asia pacific

region is going to say, you

know, that's the horse that we

want to ride. APEC has and

continues to be the premier

international body through my

the United States interacts but

it is only really focused if

you will on economic issues. So

there has been discussion and

continues to be discussion mong

academics, among diplomats,

among others, about other

possible architecture that might be more effective than

that. So the United States is

interested in discussing it and

finding out the details of the

Prime Minister's plan, and I

believe even the Prime Minister

has said this is a 10-year-out

sort of beginning discussion,

not necessarily something

that's going to exist within

the next six months. I'm from

the Canberra Times. You've

spoken very glowingly of the bilateral relationship and

you've defended the legacy of

the Bush administration. And

also referred to the media's negativity. Sorry, I couldn't

hear that. You've also referred

to the media's negativity. In

what sense and more

particularly why do you think

the Bush administration in a

sense has failed so

conspicuously if you like in

the battle for international opinion? Why all the

negativity? Is that a question

of style or substance? I don't

mean to be critical of the news

media. I think that is the news

media's role. I mean,

media's role. I mean, as a

diplomat, some of the things I

have most enjoyed were the most

confrontational and

antagonistic if you will in

terms. Discussions that I had

with individuals in Australia

about policies. One of the

things that one has to

recognise is that we are

talking about war. And loss of

life. And it is a matter

understandably ought to and

does create very, very strong

opinions. And I think any time

one gets into that particular

sort of area, there is going to

be a significant debate and there should

there should be. I don't need

to be critical of the news

media in particular. I think

it's just a matter of fact

that, most often, what is news

is what's controversial and

what's problematic. As opposed

to everybody would agree on and

what's good. I mean, you know,

you're not gonna go out and

write about $30 billion being

spent on HIV/AIDS. I mean

everybody's gonna say "That's a

good idea. Why isn't it more?"

It's a problem out there that

needs to be addressed and thank

goodness the United States is

doing that much. But let's do

more. That's the good news.

People don't write about good

news. And I suppose in a

democratic society, that makes

perfect sense. Jonathan

Perilman from the Sydney

morning herald. You've talked

about how how close relationships are between

Australia and the US. As an

Ambassador out here managing

those relations, is it an easy

job? Are there any difficulties

you've had in managing relationships and is there

anything that poses any threat

to the relations between

Australia and the US? Well, I

go back to Phillip's question.

And you know, and Sandra's as

well. And you know, the Lowy

Institute put out various polls

that are reflective of

attitudes in Australia. I am

not a statistician and not in a

position to dispute those

polls, but when I arrived here,

there were a significant

portion of Australians that did

not feel that the United States

was a force for good in the

world. That disturbed me. That

disturbs me a lot. Since that

time, they've come out with

another poll and the United

States has gone from last to

first in the question about

whether Australians feel that

the United States will act or

whether that particular nation

will act responsibly in the

international community. And I

find it difficult to reconcile

those two. And I'd like to take

credit for the fact that I've

been out here and opinions have

changed because of my eloquence

and my engagement. Ain't so. As

we say down south. It's a

situation in which the United

States has continued its

engagement and that over a

period of time, people, I hope,

even if they disagree with the

positions of the United States,

can understand a rational and

thoughtful basis on which the

United States is taking its

positions and making its policies. So your question

really relates to what are the difficulties? One of the things

that I was concerned about is

trying to be out and about and

addressing those issues with

Australians across the entire

continent. And as I say, it may

be my trial lawyer background.

I'm used to being in

adversarial confrontational

types of encounters. Therefore

when I would go to a university

and when I would be challenged

by the students and the faculty

members, that was a wonderful

experience for me, because I

got the opportunity to talk

with them, to understand what

their concerns were, to

understand what their analyses

were, and then to try to

address them. I don't think I

changed any minds. I don't

think any people came out and

said "I've been wrong and I see

the light." But I think they

may have come away with an appreciation that one wants to

get from A to B and most people

agree on that and the issue is

how you get there and what is

most likely to get you there.

And if people understand that

it is well intended, well

analysed, but a different

approach, then I think people

are much more willing to accept the bona fides. That doesn't

mean in a democracy that we

don't then object, and oppose

in our democratic processes the

policy, but at least it is

better understood and the

electorate is better informed

about it. Robert

I'm a freelance journalist.

The fact that Australia has

thus far weathered the global

financial crisis apparently

somewhat better than the United

States is sometimes attributed

to our regulatory regime. I'm

wondering if you have any

specific comments about whether

the United States has anything

to learn from Australia in

relation to such regulation?

Well, I won't focus

specifically on the United States learning from Australia

relative to regulatory schemes,

but there are multiple areas in

which the United States will

certainly examine and take

reference to the way Australia

is approaching its particular

issues relative to the global

financial crisis. And I think

that what we have seen coming

out of the G20, which is

regulatory reform that all

nations should be considering,

and greater cooperation and

communication between national regulators, is consistent with

your particular question.

Whether or not the Obama

administration as it goes

forward with its rig latory

reforms of the Securities and

Exchange Commission, the

Federal Reserve bank, the

controller of the currency which oversees our commercial

banks, I can't predict. But

what I can predict is that

there is a global consensus

that an examination will be

administration will be made and I'm confident the

overlooking those reforms. The

purpose of them is to make

transactions more transparent

to so that individuals and

institutions can assess the

risk and return and make more

rational decisions. One of the

problems with the subprime

mortgage securitisation

instruments was that they

weren't trance apparent and nobody really knew how to value

them. That was one of the

precipitating factors in the

initiation of the subprime

mortgage crisis. David Speers

from Sky News. Thanks for your

speech today. A couple of

questions if I may. Much was

made of the infamous leaked

phone call between Kevin Rudd

and George W. Bush and how

warmly the Prime Minister was

or wasn't greeted in

Washington. Do you know if the

two have spoken at all in the

month since the G20 summit in

Washington? And secondly, does

the US support Australia's push

for a seat on the Security Council? Oh answer to the

second question first, that is,

it is my understanding that the

United States is working very

closely with Australia relative

to its interest in a UN

Security Council seat. No. 2,

on the second question, really

the first question, is whether

or not I'm aware. I'm not

aware. They were at APEC

together and at the G20

together. I'm not aware of

particular telephone calls that

were held at any other times between the Prime Minister and

the President but I found it

quite amuse ing, again the

Australian sense of humour that infects me sometimes, and

that is that the Prime

Minister's office said the

article was not correct, the

White House said the article

was not correct, the issue was

closed on both sides. There was

then some body language expert

that was going to say, you

know, did he slap him on the

back or was the hand stiff or

still?, trying to make

something out of nothing. As a

trial lawyer I was never able

to get body language introduced

as evidence into court to prove

one's attitude to one thing or

another. (LAUGHTER) You talked

about the strength of the

relationship, saying it's never

been better between the two

countries. Of course, we can

look at the FTA for instance as

an example of where that

relationship at a bilateral

level has strengthened, but

what can you point to - what

would you point to in terms of

where Australia has actually

influenced American, the US

administration policy in a

multilateral sense and props a

second question. My colleague

here was wondering what advice

you'd give your successor in

terms of sampling a delicacy

such as Australia's meat pie,

for instance. But I'm

interested in the answer to

that, but more generally, what

advice would you give your

successor when they move into

Yarralumla? It's - because

United States policy is

involved with the determination

of it is involved with multiple

nations, I am loath to get into

saying Australia's position on

X was the determining factor

versus, you know, some other

nation that communicated with

the United States. That's just

not something that I'm able or

willing to do relative to the

multilateral question you

asked. On the other hand, I do

think that it is important to

note that one of my primary

jobs was to make sure that the

United States State Department and White House were fully

informed of all of the

positions that Australia

believed were important and all

of the factors that were significant in the

determination of United States

policy. And that will continue

in terms of the next Ambassador

having that as one of his or

her major responsibilities. The

advice that I would give the

next Ambassador is to travel

this great country as much as

he or she can. To interact with

Australians all over the

continent. Because it truly is

so familiar and yet distinctly

delightfully different than the

United States in interacting

with Australians. 93% of you

live in the urban areas, but

the other 7%, I think, continue

to personify the wonderful

national character of

Australia, and it's a great

thing to be able to interact

with those people as well as

the folks that are in the urban

areas. And I do like the meat

pies in Sydney right down there

at wool moll loo. --

Woolloomooloo. I can never get

all the multiple vowels! Let me

ask you the last question of

the day and regrettably on a

rather serious note. You also

used the phrase relations have

never been better when you

referred to China. But there

does seem at least from this

distance to be a deep

ambivalence in the United

States about relationships with

China. Whether it's a potential

ally and friend in the world or

a serious and potentially

dangerous competitor

particularly in industrial

terms, commercial terms. How do

you see that developing? Could

you imagine that there could be

a trilateral arrangement like

the one you mentioned between

Australia, the United States

and Japan, with China? Well,

saying that our relationships

with China are better than

they've ever been is, to my

mind, an indisputable fact.

That does not necessarily mean

that there are not differences

of opinion, and differences of

national positions and national

perspectives with China, and I

think that the United States

and Australia and other nations

in the Asia Pacific region are

going to be working that out

over a long period of time.

Where it will come out, I

think, is going to be a matter

of great speculation and it

will keep editorial writers and

commentators fully engaged over

a lengthy period of time. But

there's no way for me or anyone

else to predict with any

certainty as to whether or not

frictions will arise, that are

significant and insurmountable,

or whether there will continue

to be a growing significant

economic and diplomatic

relationship between the United States, Australia and China. Thank you very much. (APPLAUSE)

Ambassador, thank you very

much for today and for your

stint here. We'd like to give you as well as our standard

sort of souvenir of the

occasion, a membership card,

you might just come back to

meet some of those mates you've

met over the past couple of

years. I was going to suggest

earlier that when somebody

asked you about possible rough

spots in the relationship that

might develop, if we started to

play baseball seriously , it

could be a problem. (LAUGHTER)

But thank you very much again

for a festive departure from

the country. There's something

to go with the other. Thank

you, Ken. It's been my

pleasure.

Closed Captions by CSI

I'm a really big fan of jewellery. Um, computer gaming. Well, I like my mobile phone. These kids accumulate so much stuff at the rate of knots. Every time they go shopping they seem to come back with another pair of earrings, another necklace... Hey, I barely go shopping! And I can't throw anything away, like, never really, unless it involves school. I've got too many kids. (Laughs) THEME MUSIC Let's talk about the stuff that goes with being a family. The kids have arrived, they come with a people mover full of stuff, they never move out and worst of all, they don't care about your stuff at all. Isn't it interesting the way families have a different view of stuff? Like my stuff is precious, my husbands stuff is valuable and the kid's stuff it's just junk. This junk belongs to the White family. Mum's called in a de-clutterer. The Kanes are doing feng shui. The clutter-busters are determined to get us organised, but I reckon that secretly we love mess and disorder. What is the definition of clutter?

Of course, one person's clutter is somebody else's treasure.

So, if you don't love it, use it, or refer to it at least once a year, some things once a year like Christmas things, or ski things, then it is clutter.

When we choose a house in which to live, we do so because we have a certain feeling about that house and then when we move in we bring all our stuff with us. Some times it's conditioning, the way we've been taught by our families, we haven't been taught good habits in the way we've been brought up, or it's a rebellion from parents who have been through the Depression and have kept every last bit of string and we absorb these habits

and yet we don't question it's relevance on our life. So our house becomes an extension of ourselves, our personality. It makes it easier to understand, if you divide your spaces into alive and dead. Alive means it's something you're using all the time and alive things are things that are in constant use. Dead things that are useless, they should be out of the house. In fact, we don't actually choose our house, our house chooses us. And Jodi's got some bad news for Alana and the kids. Well, some houses are luckier than others and unfortunately this one is a bit of an unlucky house. An unlucky house?! Yeah. It's not a life sentence. They don't have to move do they? Well, not necessarily, there's a lot of things that we can do to fix the unlucky house. Good. What is special about all of these baby clothes? Well, I used to think the girls would like to have them when they grow up. You know, show their children, or look at how little they used to be. I don't know if they'd want to do that. When we have a lot of stuff low down, it makes us feel more lower. It makes our spirit lower.

So, even if you can start to raise some of the stuff of the ground that will make your spirit feel more lifted too. It's the wardrobe, we need something built right up there, right up to the ceiling. That can be a very good door for entering the house

to bring more lucky energies into the house instead of the front door. What do you think, Vivian, does that sound like a good idea? No. OK, here we go. I don't think so. Ta-da! Wow! That's a difference.

And look at all the floor space you've got. We can have our Friday night fish and chip picnics on the floor. So, you walk around the house from room to room with the smudge stick and make sure that the room gets lots of smoke and the smoke helps to purify the space. Oh well, there you go. So, I'll leave that with you, Wendy, and I'll give you that. Take your smudge stick and de-clutter, my girl. Good luck. OK, thank you. Thanks, guys.

See you later, all the best. 'Bye! So, either of you want to join me one day to help de-junk? Um, we'll call you. Supper time. Quick, let's get out of here. Let's bugger off. Quick. Every generation must have a different view

of the value of stuff. Oh, I thin