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Stateline (NSW) -

View in ParlView

(generated from captions) Recapping before we go - health authorities are

investigating if an outbreak of

gastroenteritis is linked to 10

deaths oat a blue mountens

nursing home. That's ABC News

for now. There will be an

update in about an hour. Have a

great weekend. Closed Captions by CSI

CC This week on Stateline,

the war within the Labor

Party. The Premier's played Party. The Premier's played no

role other than inflammatory

comment. Also Barry O'Farrell

a few surprises. I'm impress

ed by Penny Wong and Julia

Gillard, which won't earn me

friends. And the grey nomads,

collateral victims of the

petrol price rise. Welcome to

Stateline NSW. I'm Quentin

Dempster. The war within Dempster. The war within State

Labor Party has destabilised

the Iemma Government. Since

Newspoll reported Labor's

primary vote had nose dived by

7% this year with Premier

Morris Iemma's dissatisfaction

rating at 63% and for the first

time in years the Coalition

leading the Government 52 to

482-party preferred, Labor's

usually rigid party discipline

has cracked. There have been

ugly spats between the Premier,

his Treasurer Michael Costa and

MPs Angela D'Amore and Geoff

Corrigan. Mr Costello withdrew

from an ALP fundraiser this

week, claiming theperty was

trying to undermine the Premier

and fueled by MPs backgrounding

journalists there's been more

speculation about a leadership change later this to year change later this to year

perhaps to Nathan Rees, Tebbutt

teb or maybe a reportedly

reluct ant Deputy Premier John

Watkins. The instability comes

as the split between the

parliamentary and can

organisational wings of the

Labor Party remains

unresolved. I give you this

commitment as the general

secretary of NSW Labor and I

hope every union secretary, I

hope every Minister and I hope

every MP gives the same

commitment, that we sit down

over the next few weeks and try

to find a solution because the

cost of going to war is too

high and I stress the cost of

going to war is too high. Since

general secretary Karl Betar

made that statement, Labor has

been at war within. Labor

loyalist MPs have threatened to

cross the floor to vote against

Premier Iemma and Treasurer

Costello's plan to breach party

policy and privatise the

electricity industry. The cost

of going to war has been high.

The Government's popular

support is plummeting, as is

the Premier's credibility and

standing. This week the war intensifies with more

speculation about leadertium

changes and public clashes

between the party and the

Premier and Treasurer.

Ursueding the public the

Government was pressing ahead

with its core task, Premier

invited the media to a news

conference but it quickly

focused on the instability of

the Government over electricity

privatisation. You're going to

see the admin committee of your

party in early August, is there

any possible compromise that

could be negotiated at this

late stage, given that Auditor-General is now eghaving

on the terms of reference? I

have never closed the door on

discussion and on compromise.

Never. And going to the admin,

if it's possible to have the

meeting earlier, then I'm more

than happy for that to happen.

This week the Premier and Karl

had a telephone discussion in

an effort to reopen

negotiation. Casey Dellecqua,

at the

The Government is hoping Mr

Achterstraad will be able to

report by September. Even

critics in the Labor movement

and party accept there is a

supply issue. You can do two

things, you can ignore it or

tackle it. I chose to tackle it

because that's the mandate I

got give thant election. Now,

in tackling it, we've settled

on a package that has caused

concern within the movement. I

knew that when we started this

process but I could have chosen

to do something else and that

was not tackle it but I

wouldn't be doing the right

thing for the State and so,

yes, Quentin, it remains

unresolved in this sense, that

there are people that still

don't accept the package. Not

that they don't accept that it

has to be tackled. Now, it can

be resolved in Queensland 12

months out from an election, it

can be resolved in NSW nearly

three years out from an

election. It can be resolved in election. It can be resolved in

Queensland in a mature way, it

can be resolved in NSW in a

mature way but almost three

years from an election. Mr

Iemma has indicated he's still

working on dissenting MPs

within his parliamentary party

to get them back on his side.

In the event the movement won't

come with you on it, as seems

clear from all the shenanigans

acknowledge you won't at the moment, do you

acknowledge you won't get the

enabling legislation through, given Auditor-General tick

without the support of the

Liberal or National Party s? I

don't acknowledge that. I see

the reports and I've even hard

some MPs express their

position. Some of those I've

spoken to and their position is

not as fixed as their previous

statements or as reported. Now,

this is part of the this is part of the process

that happens when -

particularly when something as

emotional as this comes before

the parliament, so, no, but the

other point to your question is

that if you can't get to an

agreed position, you do get to

a point where you've got to get

on with it. With the arrival of

His Holiness the Pope in Sydney

on Sunday for World Youth Day,

Premier Iemma and his

Government are now hoping this

big media distraction will give

the State Government some

respite from the war within.

The big question - where does

Pope Benedict stand on

electricity privatisation? The

Premier Barry O'Farrell - let

me say that again, the Premier

Barry O'Farrell - does that

sound plausible? For for the

first time in years in NSW

politics, the Coalition

Opposition is looking good and

politically competitive. The

next State election's not until

March 2011 but the Coalition is

benefitting from the Labor

Government's instubble,

Wollongong corruption and the

so-called Iguanagate scandal.

For the first time, Barry

O'Farrell, who took over

last year, leadership from Peter Debnam

last year, is ahead of Premier

Iemma as preferred Premier.

O'Farrell scores 39, Iemma 22.

An O'Farrell premiership is a

real possible. Deborah Rice

prepared this profile. This is

the man the polls say should be

the next Premier. By his own

admission, that's not because of his personal of his personal popularity.

I'm honest enough to say I

think the polls reflect more Mr

Iemma and his party's problems

than me, although I do think

the people are seeing more of

me and I think what they're

seeing is someone prepared to

take the fight up to Labor. So

where did it all begin for this Labor fighter? I was Labor fighter? I was an army

brat. My dad was in the army and we travelled Australia. I

was born in Melbourne. I think

I spent less than three years

there and I finished my

schooling in Darwin. Barry

O'Farrell was born on 24 May

1959. I was the child that my older brother and sister loved

because I was the one that had

to ask mum and dad all the hard

questions and hopefully get the

concessions out of them and of

course younger children always

do well with their

parents. When he finished school, there was still no

university in Darwin so the

17-year-old headed south to the

ANU in Canberra, enrolling in

Australian history, Aboriginal

studies and politics. Anyone who started university after

the dismissal in '75, who tried

to argue what I would say was

the constitutional basis upon

which that action was occurred

and found themselves marked

down by their lecturers and

tutors started to firm up their

own convictions. I suppose it

wouldn't be surprising someone

who came out of a background

where their father was in the

army started with

Conservative/Liberal tendencies

and they were confirmed at

university. I never joined a

political party until I was

21. NSW politics was still an

unknown to Barry O'Farrell. He started behind the scenes in

the Federal arena, not arriving

in NSW until the 1980s and he

had a lot to learn. When Barry

O'Farrell was born, the Premier

was Joe Carl. Labor had been in

power in the State for 18 years

and that run continued for

several more. Then there was an

11-year Liberal reign under

Robert Askin, Tom Lewis and Sir

Eric Willis, but by the time

Barry O'Farrell left school,

Labor was back under Neville

Wran. That lasted for 12 years

until Nick Greiner's Liberals

beat Barry Unsworth. Seven

years later Labor took power

again and it's been in control

since, while the Liberals are

up to their sixth leader in 13 years. Since the Opposition

Leader was born there's been 31

years of Labor rule, 18 of

Liberal. It's almost been a

flip compared to the Federal

where Federally the Liberal

Party's been in office far more

than the Labor Party. In NSW

it's been the other way round.

I don't believe that's an

obstacle to Liberal Governments

being elected. If that was the

case we wouldn't have had a win

in '65 or '88 and I don't

believe it's an obstacle in

2011. Barry O'Farrell concedes

he was want always determined.

I didn't have at an early age a

passion to be in politicians. After entering

parliament in 1995 he held

several shadow ministries and

was deputy. As leaders came and

went, he seemed reluctant to go

for the top job until taking

over when Peter Debnam led the

party to another loss in March

last year. Barry O'Farrell

takes on one of the most

difficult jobs in politics, he

withdrew from the contest when

John Brogden resigned, saying

he couldn't unite the party but

this time he says he can.

You're saying you weren't an

incredibly driven person. We

have heard you resisted the

leadership several times over

different years, now you're

there by default because

there's no-one better? No, my

decision in past in relation to

the leadership was always to

not believe that I was ready

that that time and indeed the

last decision when it came up,

it was about ensuring the party

remained united in the approach

to a difficult election, but I

had no hesitation in putting my

hands up after the last election because firstly I

believe it's at the start of a

term that you should be

prepared to consider your

leadership position. I had no hesitation saying to my

colleagues, "I want this job,

this is what I want to do with

this job and I believe together

we can win." Of course there had been the signal for the

rest of us, the losing weight,

the shaving the beard. You'd

joked about that in the past.

Only thing big about this is

me. I joked about it because

as soon as we went into

Opposition there was leadership speculation in the Liberal

Party. It went on from 1995.

The media will always set

someone up to be the

alternative leader and try and

de stabilise the team so

whenever the question was put

to me I joked about it. What I

regret about the joke is it

demonstrated to me the reason

we now have politicians who

seem to be so bland, who seem

to be Identikit replicas of

each other is when you make

jokes like that they can come

back and bite you. I thought it

was safe to tell jokes about

yourself. I realised you can't

even joke about yourself

anymore. I think it says a lot

about politics and explains why

so many politicians these days

are boring and bland. So why

the change from being the big

guy? If I could tell you why I

decided to go to the gym on

what was Saint Valentine's day

a few years ago, I'd be out

selling books around the world.

All I know is I went the first

day, I thought if I can go back

the next day it will be fine,

and ultimately I lost a fair

degree of weight. I now look at

photographs of myself before I

lost the weight and I can't

believe I went into public

looking like I did. I appalled

at the photos I thought were

acceptable for news letters and

the photos published. I think

in common with many obese

people, you don't actually have

any idea at the time of how you

present and project yourself.

With that personal battle under

his belt, the Opposition Leader

has had to turn his attention

to cleaning up his party's

image, damaged by

factionalism. There's the organisational and

parliamentary party issues. I

accept in the lead-up to last

year's election campaign, in particular organisational

issues gave the impression of

disunity within the Liberal

Party. What I I have sought to

do since becoming leader on 4

April last year is not just

demonstrate to the public the

parliamentary party is a

united, focused and disciplined

team capable of raising issues

in parliament, I have move

under to organisational reform

designed to end the spectacle

we've seen in the past of

disunity, division,

factionalism and unacceptable

behaviour that's put my party

and parliamentary colleagues in

a difficult position as trying

to represent our selve as a credible alternative

Government. He's not afraid of

his party's religious right.

If the so-called right were in

control of our party in the way

it's been presented, I don't

believe people like Rob stokes,

Mike Baird, Pru Goward and

others who have come into the

party, added to the

intellectual and political

capital of my party, would ever

have been preselected and yet

they were because the factions

are never as they're portrayed

by the media. We're determined

the media can't continue to

portray them that way. Despite

his own Catholicism, he supported the stem cell bill

and believes in the abortion

status quo. There are a broad

range of views in the Catholic

church as in other religions

but normally we hold door a

central 10 scpt I certainly do

but there are shades of grey in

my belief which is why I have

never described myself as a

good Catholic. Barry O'Farrell

learned to be pragmatic about

the dictates of his faith years

ago. You had a first marriage

and subsequently divorced.

Yes. It's not something you

generally like to discuss. Who ever likes to discuss their

failures? Yes y had a marriage

which didn't last long. The

marriage lasted for a shorter

period than the relationship

had lasted but I don't think

many people look back on their

failures with pride. What I do

have pride in is my current

relationship, my marriage, my

family and it is one of the

things I hold dear. These days,

it's not easy balancing his

home life with trying to topple

Labor. It is difficult but I

don't think it's any more

difficult for me than many

other families across this

State. There are lots of

occupations that take parents

away from their children. We

have a transport system that

delivers people home later and

later each evening because it's

over-crowded and dysfunctional.

I do at times have more than my

fair share of Catholic guilt

about the amount of time I'm

taking away from my kids. My

wife is very forgiving but the

children perhaps find it a bit

harder to so when opportunities

arise I try and do what I

can. So there's not a lot of

time for relaxation but if Barry O'Farrell did get the

chance to host a dinner party,

who'd be his ideal guest? I

think in the current climate I

wouldn't mind having Barack

Obama, who apparently at

primary school was known as

Barry. Barack Obama would be

fascinating. I think I'd

happily have any Australian

author there. I'm fascinated by Australian authors so whether

it was Peter Kerry or Roger

McDonald I wouldn't mind and

the Dalai Lama I think would

bring a degree of peace and

serenity that would be nice at serenity that would be nice at

a dinnerer party. No women?

My wife would be there. There

are many women who I admire. I

have to say surprisingly that I

watch Federal politics and I'm impressed by Penny Wong and

Julia Gillard, which won't earn

me any friends anywhere. I

don't agree with much of what

they say but as politicians I

think they're representatives

that the public could and

should shed be proud of. They

might be worth having at a

dinner party. I don't know

whether they'd get past the

front door. It's a big enough

issue in the city but in the

bush it has swamped even the

drought and interest rates as

the number one talking point.

It's fuel prices and every

increase has a huge knock-on

effect on the country

economies. Now the dwindling

number of grey nomadses is

testing the grey matter of bush politicians and communities

alike. Geoff Sims reports.

It's hardly an undercover

operation. Joanna Gash never

said she was a grey nomads spy.

She's on a voyage of discovery

and she wants to be and she wants to be seen doing it.

# I sang all the way to the border

# And guess who started every

rhyme... I need to know and

experience first-hand what a

lot of our Australians are

saving to do and that is

traffic domestically through

the country towns pulling a

caravan and spending as little

money as they can. Hang on a

minute. She doesn't have to do

any saving. She's not paying

the fuel bills. The taxpayer

is. She's not living on a

pension and someone's given her

the caravan but the Federal

member for Gilmore is not one

to oversee her shadow road

tourism portfolio from the

comfort of her south coast

seat. When other politicians

have fled to warmer northern

climes on their winter study

tours, Ms Gash has taken to

roughing it, a little. Hi. How

you going? Good thank you.

It's cold here in Hay. I'm

Joanna Gash and I'm a Federal

member and also shadow

spokesperson for road tourism

and we're doing 14 days on the

road to find out what the

facilities are like for our grey power people or grey

nomads as they're called , for

tour ism and finding out the

effects of petrol. With the

fuel it's definitely a problem,

like people aren't going as far

and they're looking for cheaper

accommodation and not visiting

museum as much. They're not visiting anything as much. More

than a few of them are heading

home. We were going to go

right through to Melbourne and

down to Sydney and back up to

Toowoomba and nowe're cutting

straight through via Dubbo and

up through there because we're

a bit short of dollars, I

think, is the main reason. Because of the fuel

prices. It's more than an

inconvenience for the

travellers. In already fragile

microeconomies where not only

the formers are doing it tough

in the -- farmers are doing it

tough in the drought, the grey

nomads have become a

significant income stream in

many parts of the country. I

didn't realise how much of an

impact some of the place we

stopped at today - well,

yesterday was Griffith and

today was Hay and one of the

local coffee shops we went in t

was actually a bakery and pie

shop, woo egot to talking to

the girl and she said the pub

that used to do 70 meals a day

is now doing 30. Moving west

to Balranald and with a bit of

help Joanna Gash sets up her

mobile home among the gum

trees. It's the glamour side of

politics few pollies practice.

Moteliers had come to count on

the possibly softer

travellers. I have been here

in this motel for 18 months.

Prior to that I had another

motel for 14 years and they had

used to come through at this

time, particularly, going north

for the winter and in huge

numbers and I just don't see

that now. And you put it down

purely and simply to the fuel

crisis? I do. I can't think

what else would create that

lack of trade. The shop

keepers are not happy campers

either. Usually there's a

continuous stream but lately

there's just the odd one going

through. Some stop, some don't.

And the ones who do stop

usually come in and just have a

little look and buy something

small in the shop as a souvenir, whereas before they

were more in clined to send a

bit of money and say, "We've

bought something we'll really

remember Balranald from." I've

got a butcher shop and I'm down

probably 30% and I know the

supermarkets are much the same,

hurting pretty bad. You can

hear it from the grey nomads themselves. themselves. We were told

before we left the parks would

be full, we'd have to phone

ahead and book and we haven't

had to book anywhere. Fuel's obviously affecting lot of

people. It is important that

as a credible Opposition we

have a policy that will address

this, whether it's the 5 cents

or whatever it may be -ural

leave that to the financial

gurus - I know it's affecting

the average Australian and

that's important to me. In the

end it will probably be less a

matter of policy than

adjustment for everybody

because a few cents off the

price of fuel won't make much

difference anyway. The grey

nomads will travel less

frequently and shorter

distances but stay longer and those competing for their

services and their dollars will

have to try that little bit

harder. Some have already

started. I offer senior

discounts in the hope that that

would attract some further

interest and try and encourage

them to travel and they get a

discount with their

accommodation, that might

help. Is that working? Not at

the moment, no, because the

fuel prices are only just

impacting now, I think. You

mink think it might settle down

after a while? No, I think as

the fuel prices go up things

are going to get worse. The

member for the biggest State

electorate, Murray-Darling,

just happened to be driving

through and the same issue was

driving him. I'm going to meet

with a motel proprietor who's

written to me about the

problems associate would the

fuel price. The fact he's

seeing a major decline in

accommodation at his accommodation at his

facility. What is the fumper

for the motel industry then --

what is the future for the

motel industry then? A bit

iffy? It is, definitely. I

relate quite closely with the

other moteliers in the town and

we're all feeling the same. I

was in Swan Hill the other day,

they said the same thing and

I've heard Mildura is suffering

too. I think it's a definite

down turn in the economy of the

small businesses. I think it's

coming to an end and without

tourism in a lot of parts of

Australia, what's gonna keep

the little towns going? Geoff

Sims reporting. Still in

regional NSW, here's some short

stories of the week. Regenerative energy for rural

communities, that's what

they'll be talking about at

Bingara next week. The 2-day

conference has been organised

by the Bingara and district 20

20 group and the guy guy. An

investigation -- and the

Gwydir. An investigation has

started about the loss of a

wheel on an aircraft flying

between Sydney and Orange. The

aircraft landed safelily. The

airline describe it as an

isolated freak event. On the

north coast they've run short

of Catholic clergy. Ballina's

church lost two in a car crash

and another last week. They're

hoping World Youth Day might

encourage recruitment. The small Hunter Valley community of East of East Gresford has raised

$8,000 to help the

drought-struck town of

Tullamore in the central west.

The public meeting was held in

Tullamore this week to discuss

how to spend the money. The

people of Tullamore describe

East Gresford's generosity as

amazing. And finally, there's a

row between ballengen shire

council and a local newspaper.

The council's withdrawn most of

its advertising from the

ballengen shire 'Courier-Sun'

apparently because of allegedly

inaccurate journalism and the

paper published a advertisement

comparing council officers to

the Nazis. That's Stateline for

another week. Don't forget the

'7:30 Report's back on Monday

evening. Bye-bye. Closed Captions by CSI

The Government will not be

black-mail under to giving them

what they want. Praise the

Lord! Praise the Lord indeed.

Sydney has never seen such a

youthful influx. For $156

million, commuters will get two

extra lanes and a better flow

of traffic on Victoria Road. I

suspect if my parents were

honest I might have been a

mistake which occurred in those

days, apparently it

Welcome to Collectors On Tour, here at the National Maritime Museum in Sydney. Now last week we had a special maritime mystery object, we profiled some great collectors and I set up a special market challenge. But this week, we've really stepped it up a gear. THEME MUSIC Tonight, we'll show you the meanest boat on the water. I was screaming at the top of my lungs, going "Yes! Yes! Yes!" Gordon boards a floating collection. What a terrifying thing she must've been at sea! Everything's better in orange. I do whatever I can to surround myself with the colour. And it's age versus experience in our Sydney Market Challenge. We've got out stuff together. Come on, Gordon, we can waste time talking to these losers.