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Hello. Welcome to Capital

Hill. I'm Judy Doyle. The

tragic spging of an asylum

seeker boat off the coast of

Java is dominating today's domestic politics. The

Australian Government has sent

assistance to Indonesia in the search and rescue assistance to Indonesia to help in

operation. But it now appears

more than 200 people may have

lost their lives. Joining me lost their lives. Joining

today to discuss this and other

issues we have Liberal MP Dan Teiren in Melbourne and Teiren in Melbourne and Liberal Senator Matt Thistlethwaite in

Sydney. But let's hear firstly

Jason Clare. I said yesterday from the Home Affairs Minister

wasn't the day for politics.

Today isn't either. We still

have a search and rescue

mission going on. People have

died. We don't know how many

yet. We know there are still

people out at sea and people out at

Australians are out there trying to find them. What I

will say is this: the processing. The opposition government

supports offshore processing.

We need to work together to get

this done. In the best way to

stop the boats as Tony Abbott

would put it, the best of way of

of smashing the people

smuggling business model as

Julia Gillard puts it, would be

to take away the need for people fleeing for their lives. service. These are desperate

Rather than trying to pretend

we can negotiate with them and we can negotiate with them

say no you're not fleeing for your life, let's actually

accept that and do what we can

to offer them safety. Matt, we've heard Sarah Hanson-Young talking there about the talking there about the idea of

a regional approach to give people a safer options people a safer options in Indonesia, to deter them Indonesia, to deter them from

think that idea has merit?0 Can getting on to boats. Do you

I firstly say as a surf life

saver it sickens me to drowning at sea in this day and saver it sickens me to see

age, particularly young

truly sick and tired of children. I think the

political bickering over truly sick and tired of the

political bickering over this issue. They want a bipartisan

solution, as the minister

recommended. And I recommended. And I think that

what we've put on the table is

a reasonable proposal to processing. There is precedent re-establish offshore

for a bipartisan for a bipartisan approach. Kim Beazley offered support Beazley offered support for

John Howard when the Tampa

arrived in 2001. I think it's

high time that the Liberal

Party showed such leadership

and sat down and we worked on a workable regional solution for

offshore processing. Dan, do

you think that the Liberal

Party should offer a compromise

here and should work together

with the government? We've

offered the government a solution. It's a very clear-cut solution. It's one that would

work because it worked in the

past. And even the government's Immigration Minister Chris Bowen took a proposal to the Cabinet of the Gillard Government. Now, what I can't understand is why Julia Gillard won't listen to her Immigration

Minister and adopt the

That would hopefully stop the opposition's position here.

type of tragedies that type of tragedies that we've

seen over the last couple of

see what has happened. The days, and none of us want to

government maintains that it

Immigration Department has briefings and advice from

officials that Nauru is not an

effective deterrent, though? What we've seen in the mast that it clearly has been.

That's the position we took to

the last election. We laid out very clearly our policy very clearly our policy and

it's about offshore processing.

The government admits that we need offshore processing. The Immigration Minister we know

took a policy approach that we

should have Nauru as part of should have Nauru as part

that solution. So the question really is for the Prime Minister, why won't she Minister, why won't she accept her by her the advice that was given to

her by her own Immigration Minister ? Matt, is the

government being stubborn here?

Should you make a move now and try to get some compromise

sorted out? Well, no-one's an

expert on these issues in the Parliament. And the

government's taken the approach

that we will accept the advice

of the experts. Principally, the head of the department

Andrew Metcalfe who Amanda Vanstone has described as first-class public servant. first-class public servant. He

has adds vized that Nauru will

not work. It is too costly,

infrastructure is not there.

And 95% of people who ended And 95% of people who ended up

in Nauru who were found to be refugees ended up in Australia.

We need a workable regional

solution, in the notion of the

Bali negotiations. One that

involves Malaysia, one that

involves Indonesia. What we involves Indonesia. What we are

seeking to do is re-establish the notion of offshore processing. The great irony is

Nauru to become a workable that that will allow, even

solution should a coalition be

elected. All we are saying is we want to re-establish the

principle of offshore

processing and we think that is

reasonable, and we ask the

coalition to bring a bipartisan

approach to this to end the bickering. Looking at what you machinesed there as far as a

regional approach and doing more with Indonesia more with Indonesia and

more support to the UNHCR to Malaysia, the idea of giving

process claims in Indonesia, to process claims

increase the humanitarian intake from that country, do

you think those measures would

deter people from taking these very dangerous journeys by

boat? Well, in concert with other policies such as offshore

processing in Malaysia they

will work. It should be noted

that our policy is aimed at giving priority to the UNHCR

intake, the people that are

waiting in camps in Malaysia in

the Horn of Africa, we want to

would've noted that the recent

ALP conference, we've moved to

up the intake of humanitarian

refugees to 20,000 per year.

have an effective deterrent, we Apparently recognising if we

can give priority to those

people who are waiting in

Cairns and have been

for 10 to 12 years in some of these places through Asia. What

will it take to get the

government and the opposition

to work together on this given

that you are both committed to

offshore processing but we onshore processing onshore processing now? The minister Chris Bowen has minister Chris Bowen has said he is available at any time he is available at any time and

he has been trying to work with the opposition spokesperson Scott Morrison on this

Scott Morrison on this issue. Unfortunately, the coalition Unfortunately, the coalition is

simply stone walling and as I

said earlier, the Australian

public are sick and tired of the political bickering. the political bickering. They want a bipartisan solution, not

lily livered

policy issue. Dan, will it

take you then, would the

coalition need to make the

first step here? We've taken

the first step. We've put

forward a very sensible forward a very sensible policy approach here. We've also said

to the government you get the

human rights issues sorted out with Malaysia, and then we would come would come and look at Malaysia

as a solution. But our problem

is they're not sorted out so if

we were to form the next

government we'd be left with myriad issues, e special

regarding the protection of

human rights the protection of

children's rights with children's rights with Malaysia and we won't countenance that.

We made that very clear. We've

got Nauru. We've put that forward as a forward as a very sensible solution. It's worked before.

There are Australian facilities

on Nauru. The cost of it will

be less than what it is going

through the process of looking at

at all these other options that the Gillard Government has the Gillard Government has put forward. So I can't see

especially when Chris Bowen is been to Cabinet and said we look at Nauru, why the Gillard

Government won't do it. So Government won't do it. So in

the end from what you're saying

there from both of you the

stalemate will continue. So

let's move on now and look at

another issue. That's Qantas and the engineers.

and the engineers. They've reached an agreement today

where the engineer also' sieve

a 3% pay rise but they won't get that get that A-380 hangar built in Australia that Australia that they were asking for. The Workplace Relations

Minister Bill Shorten has well

welcomed the agreement. The

parties or the people involved have reached an outcome that

they can both live with. Let me

be very clear. Airline

engineers are amongst the best

in the world but these are

brand new planes brand new planes and

maintenance is done elsewhere

in the world to begin with. I

can understand that too. It's

not the job of the government

to try to resolve and mike yo

manage every productivity

improvement in the Australian workplace. What this negotiation is that it is possible to achieve win/win outcomes which don't see the flying public

inconvenienced and I think at

Christmas time when people are preparing their trips to see

their loved ones or for work

I'm just pleased that we've got harmony. On this one, do you

think commonsense has prevailed

here? The test of any good workplace relations system workplace relations system is foster ing agreements. That's

the way that we see the best outcomes can occur in work in

places where you reduce industrial disputation but

you're also promoting

productivity. It is a good outcome because the parties have reached this agreement

under their own steam. Admittedly with the guidance Admittedly with the guidance of

Fair Work Australia during the

conciliation phase, but I think

the important thing to note

here is that the fair workt Act

has worked. It's fostered workable outcome that both

parties are happy with and they providing better services to the flying public of Australia

and boosting productivity in

that industry. From your perspective does it look like

the process has worked here

that we've got to an that we've got to an acceptable outcome now? It hasn't. The

length of time to settle this

dispute has been too long. There are two other disputes which are yet to be settled

which will have to go to arbitration. The Fair Work Act needs reviewing and it needs a

serious review and I think the

government, if it's government, if it's fair

dinkum, should get the

Productivity Commission to do

that review. The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry have come out and said that's the body that should do

this review. I think that would

be an excellent idea. It's

taken too long for this to be resolved. There are two resolved. There are two more disputes yet to be resolved. If you go back and look what

happened, for instance, with the retail award and the

changes to the three-hour

minimum there, I have students in

in my electorate who lost their

work and have been waiting for over 18 agreement to be reach and Fair

Work Australia to sort that out and they still haven't done it. It needs reviewing and it needs

to be fixed after that review. At least in this instance,

though, they have been able to negotiate an outcome? They have

been able to negotiate an

outcome in this one instance,

but the trouble is there are two other instances in aviation sector which still haven't been sorted out and

then if you take the example then if you take the example in

the retail sector where we have

one union saying that even if they lose in the Federal Court

they'll go to the High Court,

so that these young students

who were doing paper rounds,

who were working in a hardware

shop before and after school

and can't go back and do that

work, they are work, they are still waiting

for that to be resolved. That's

after 18 months and the Prime Minister Julia Gillard saying that she would fix the problem.

I mean, I think Bill Shorten

has a lot of work to do and if

he thinks that just solving

this one isolated dispute be-all and end-all to all the

problems, he's got it problems, he's got it very,

very wrong. There's still two other unions to work with

Qantas on this one. Would you

urge them to go down to a similar path here? They're still in the phase still in the phase of conciliation after the auspices of Fair Work Australia. They should be should be given opportunity as

the architecture of the Act

outlines to reach an agreement for their members. And this

particular company. Now, if

that doesn't work, then there is architecture within the Act

to ensure there's not to ensure there's not ongoing

disputation and that

arbitration can be invoked. But

I find it highly amusing the

Liberal Party's position, they

are all over the shop on this issue. One minute they're supporting compulsory conciliation

conciliation and arbitration, and having the government intervene in the dispute, yet

in the past, under the Howard

Government, under WorkChoices,

there was no there was no compulsory conciliation and So perhaps Dan could inform us all here this all here this afternoon what

the Liberal Party's policy is,

do they support the Howard

approach of no conciliation and arbitration, or do they support the interventionist approach of government getting involved? Dan, very briefly, your response? We're happy to response? We're happy to look at the Act, work within the Act

but we need it reviewed and we need a serious and thorough

review done by an independent

body or an independent person

who will come up with some

serious proposals so that it

works a hell of a works a hell of a lot better than it is at the moment. We're

almost out of time. Thank you both for joining me today. Thanks. Thanks, Julie.

And thank you for watching Capital Hill. We will be back again at the again at the same time tomorrow. Closed Captions by CSI