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This Program is Captioned Live.

arriving Good evening, passengers

arriving at Australia's eight

international airports have had

their temperatures taken by

sophisticated cameras to detect

possible swine flu cases, the

latest response to an

increasing threat of a

pandemic. The level has

pandemic. The level has been

raised to five today, one step

below a pandemic. In Mexico 176 have died. The Prime

have died. The Prime Minister

says a plan hatched at the COAG

meeting will help the young

avoid unemployment. Teeningers avoid unemployment.

through to those in their early

20s will have to work or study

to be eligible for Government

benefits. Ski resorts forecast

a bumper season after snowfalls

in Victoria and NSW overnight.

Early morning runners in

Melbourne were rugging up after one of the iciest

one of the iciest April

mornings on record. Skiers and snowboarders aren't

complaining, Mt Bulla is

planning to open five weeks

ahead of the official season. Queensland's Green Sea Turtle

are under threat from climate

change, new research suggesting

rising sea levels will wipe out

breeding ground and higher

temperatures will result in

fewer males being hatched. News

in Lateline at 10:30.

This program is not subtitled

We apologise for this break

in caption transmission.

Remember that Q & A is live

on the Web from 9:30 Eastern

Time and you can join the live

Twitter conversation by

following the hash tag on your

screen now, and you can send us

your questions live to our

website or by sending an SMS to

the number on your screen.

the number on your screen. The

first question of the night

comes from in the audience is

from Hanna Marton. According to Immunisation Research and the National Centre for

Surveillance between 2,000 and

3,000 Australians will die from

the flu each year - that's the

normal kind of flu. So if at

the last report, seven people

are have died from swine flu, why

are we so panicked? Let's start with Barnaby Joyce. I suppose

the first thing is those seven

people is by the World Health Organisation. That means they've actually been verified by the World Health

Organisation and that's a hard

thing to do, because they've

got to cover Mexico. So we

really don't know what's going

on. We know that pandemics

have the capacity to kill tens

There was 50 million killed of millions if they kick off.

There was 50 million killed by

the Spanish influenza. What

we've got to do as a nation -

we won't be able to stop it

coming to our nation, it will.

We've got to delay it and

control it in such a fashion

that we can get a vaccine out.

That is the number one

responsibility for our nation

right now. If we take it as a

joke it will bite us on the

backside. Peter Garrett, a

pandemic seems likely,

pandemic seems likely, almost unavoibl. Tony, it is serious.

We shouldn't panic, but we

should be aware of how serious

this issue is and how serious

it can become. The important

thing to say, and to answer

your question, is Australia is

probably as well prepared if

not better prepared than most

countries for it. We have

large supplies of anti-virals.

We have put in place a number

We have put in place a number

of measures through the Health

Minister Nicola Roxon to make

sure we have up-to-date

information about the potential

transmission of the virus.

Nicola said today they're

monitoring in the airports with

thermal detection. We'll make

sure people coming into the

country are writing in the health declaration cards and

taking advice from the Chief

Medical Officer on a very

regular basis, and I noticed

tonight actually on the '7.30

Report' there was an expert,

American health export talking

about this, as well, and made

the point that there will be

potentially large amounts of

flu that might take place in the Southern Hemisphere, 'cause

we're coming into our flu

season and there will be

potential, as Barnaby's

identified, but what level that

will be and how the take-up

will be here we don't know. We

shouldn't panic, we should just

make absolutely sure we're

situation. totally on top of the

situation. And I believe that

the Government and the health

authorities are and we continue

to be absolutely vigilant. And

I understand there hasn't been

a national training exercise

since the Howard Government's

day, so we're behind on

training exercises and if the delivery of health services

depends on governments like

NSW, which can't get a train to

run on time, I wonder how in practice we are going to deal

with it. Let me

with it. Let me come back to

that. That's not the case,

Pru. The authorities have

looked closely at what

necessary measures we would

need to have in terms of the

Council of Australian pandemic. Today when the

Governments met they again

committed to making sure we

have in place a clear

understanding of the necessary

measures we need to go through

to deal with potential pan

Demmics. They've had table

tops but haven't done another

hands-on training exercise since the Howard

since the Howard Government. I

think one of the things, the

retrovirals we've got on stock,

we can thank Tony Abbott for

that. He built up the levels

of that. That is true. When the

bird flu possibility of a

pandemic was out there, it was

Tony Abbott, whether you like

him or hate him, who was smart

enough to say, we're going to

buy a bucketload of retrovirals

and they're the ones we're

relying on now. Peter Garrett,

that is true obviously and all

power to former health

ministers for having done that.

The thing people forget when

they compare this coming pandemic to what happened in

1918 is you do have retro

virals and now you also have a

whole range of antibiotics they

didn't have in those days,

because most people appear to

die from pneumonia. That's

right, Tony.

right, Tony. I'm not here to

make political point scoring

about what is a significant serious issue. State

governments of both political persuasions are taking this very seriously. The health

authorities are taking this

very seriously. The point I

simply make is that we are in a

better situation than most

countries to deal with the

potential of a pandemic. I

think we can be thankful for

past actions of former ministers by all means and we

are absolutely committed under the current minister to

continue the job of making sure

we're ready to do. We'll get

continual briefing from the

Chief Medical Officer and

clearly when State Premiers and the Prime Minister met today it was something which they

focussed on very closely, as

they must do, and I think we're in for what will be a

challenging period, but we're

well prepared for it. Let's

hear from Sarah Hanson-Young.

Can I interpose here. There was mention from that

was mention from that

questioner about panic, and

there is evidence of panic in

some parts of the world. The Egyptians have slaughtered

300,000 pigs for no reason tau.

In Lebanon they're considering

a ban on public kissing.

Dozens of schools are being

closed in the United States,

even in places where there are

no signs of infection. There

is evidence of strange behaviour going on in different

countries. How do you avoid

that happening here - and I'll

throw that to Sarah first. We

need to be doing everything we

possibly can and that includes the Government being able to

distribute and ensure that the

facilitation of information is

first and foremost out there

that people don't necessarily have to be asking questions to get the information. The thing

that strikes me that has been

left out of this discussion so

far - and keeping in mind it's

been less than a week - but the

impact of this pandemic on our

regional areas and I think

we've just heard... and a lot

of questions and comments about

the fact that our stockpiles of

anti-virals are quite

significant in Australia. What

impact and what support can we

be giving our regional

neighbours who don't, aren't as

lucky as us, didn't have a Tony

Abbott or a Howard Government?

We actually need to be

ensuring... we need to play our

role in helping our neighbours,

role in helping our neighbours,

as well, because this is a

global issue, it's a global

problem and it's not just about

us protecting our borders and

building a fortress. That's

not going to work, we're past

that. How do we play a role in

the region. Australia is one

of the richest countries in the

region and has a significant

leadership. A quick response

from the minister on that issue, because Indonesia

obviously is at risk even though its Health Minister

seems to think Asians

seems to think Asians will not

get this flu. I think we can

anticipate we'll have close communication with our

neighbours on this issue, I

don't think there's no doubt

about that. Let's think about

what happened earlier in the

year when we had the terrible

bushfires in Victoria. What we

saw was the capacity of our

authorities to work cooperatively and effectively

together. We saw, I think, a

bipartisan agreement in the

house of Parliament of the

level of support that was needed. We saw

needed. We saw State Premiers

and prime ministers working

effectively and we saw agencies

working effectively together as

well. Particularly when you

have a situation which is a national emergency with

international components. I

expect the same thing will

happen with this particular

issue. We're all in it

together. The Government's

very, very focussed on the

measures that are necessary to

make sure that we minimise the

risks, and my anticipation

would be that we would have

close communications with our

regional neighbours, as

well. Let's hear from Wesley.

In Mexico, every public meeting

place including theatres,

sports stadiums et cetera are

being closed down right now. To

go back to the question, too,

the whole idea of why a panic?

I think the panic is useful.

It does make us talk about

stuff and draws attention to

things. It motivates

things. It motivates

discussion and that's the kind

of psychological state that we

as human beings are in. "This

is something we have to deal

with it. How will we deal with

it?" In a week, there's international discussion.

People might be dealing with it

in different ways and we might

be able to laugh at

slaughtering 30,000 pigs, but

there is a point where you say

- I take Pru's point - it

starts action and I think

that's a useful thing. Not the

panic necessarily that creates

violence or antagonism or

whatever, but a kind of panic

which says "We have to focus on

this". Pru, I'll give you the

final word. As the SARS crisis

demonstrated, governments who

lie do badly when it comes to

health issues like this. I

agree with Sarah, if we are not

going to have regional panic and Australians doing weird

things, we have to be honest

things, we have to be honest

with them and that means quick

and very factional information

and broadly disseminated, and

no lies. We've ogot a couple of

people with hands up in the audience. No kissing

either! Gentleman down the

front. The point you made Mr

Garrett about the fact we are

well prepared for a pandemic

entering the quun. OK, we have

the thermal detection systems

in place at all of the airports. When you've

airports. When you've got the

issues like the central West

health service in debt, Royal

North Shore Hospital in

shambles and the Dubbo-based

hospital with doctors and

nurses using their own money to

pay for equipment. I actually

really worry about that sort of

thing, about how prepared we

are internally for that. I'm

going to take that as a

comment. We've got a another

comment. We've got a another question. I was just

wondering, I heard a few people

talk about retro virals, given

it's a new strain of the flu,

will they still be

effective? They can't be assured that it is, that's the

whole point. But it is a

progress down that path. It is

a long way ahead. The

Tamiflus, a long way ahead of

where we were if we had none.

There is a strong and well-held

belief that it mitigates the

effect. Everything said so far

is correct. We have to really

look at this as a serious form

of national emergency and it is

better to overreact and to be

thinking "Well, we overreacted

because we didn't need it"

than to underreact, because

death really focuses people's

death really focuses people's

attention. Indeed it does. I'm

going to wrap that up here, but

just a point on that last

question, international health

authorities are, in fact,

saying that retrovirals are

working well on infected people

now. We can hope that that is

the case in the future. Swine

flu is obviously going to be an

issue for some weeks. Let's

move onto another subject and a

question from Paul Johanson.

Hi, panel. I think

Hi, panel. I think it's

inevitable that Australia will

become a Republic eventually.

Noting this issue was presented

to the Prime Minister as the

number one priority by the

governance stream at the end of

the 2020 summit, why is the

Government ignoring this

important issue. It's going to

be an important issue, why

can't the Government get on

with it? Let's start with

with it? Let's start with the

Greens. It's interesting, you'd

think the stars were all

aligned at the moment. You've

got a leader of the Government

who's a Republican, the Leader

of the Opposition who's a

Republican, you've got Bob

Brown the leader of the Greens

who wants a Republic and yet

for some reason, the

Government's excuse, as it

seems to be over everything at

the moment is we're facing a global financial crisis. I

don't know what that has to do

with whether Australia becomes a Republic or

a Republic or not. The

Australian community want this,

and rightly so. The 2020

summit said it was the number

one top thing. At a time when

we are facing crisis and we're

in crisis management on so many

things, wouldn't it be a good

opportunity to give the people

of Australia something to look

forward to, something to plan

for the future, and actually be

focusing on some type of vision

for Australia. That's what I think and I think it should

think and I think it should be

a question on the ballot paper

next election. Peter Garrett,

you've been put on the spot

there. As someone who

describes himself as a "

Republican by birth" , are you

disappointed this thing's

slipped from the top of the

agenda at the summit to really

on no agenda at all? Look, no

I'm not Tony and a Republic

will come and it'll come in its own good time.

own good time. It's the

Government's view that right

now isn't that good time. Why

is that? Hang on just a sec.

That indicates no lack of

enthusiasm from me or other

Government members for a

Republic generally. I reckon

you're being a little bit

flippant about the global

financial crisis. I've got to

say that if we think that the

best way in which Australians

can respond and engage in us

managing what is a really

difficult economic period, is to be heading

to be heading off into a debate

about something which there are

strongly-held views and rightly

so and that's a reason to head

down that road, well I have to say I don't agree and I'm

pretty much in favour of a

Republic. I think as elected

representatives, we have to

obviously deal with the crises

that face us. Not everything

has to stop.

has to stop. Poll after

poll... hello, we have to

believe in figures. They did

vote. I can't sign that, I

can't do that. Pru, I think

the opinion polls at the end

had 80% of people, or more than

80% of people in favour of a

Republic, even though people voted

voted against the model that

was put forward - that's the

point. What the Greens are

calling for and what Bob

Brown's proposal is is that we

have a yes-no question that

actually starts the discussion

and starts the debate. So do

Australians want a Republic or not? Let's start that

discussion and then we can go

away and think about the model

that we want and actually facility,

facility, engage... Barnaby

Joyce. You can't do that.

That's like saying, "? do you

want to get married? Yes-no"

And then "This is who you're

marrying - this person". You've

got to be up-front with people

and I do think at this point in

time people have their minds on

a possible

a possible pandemic, on the

financial crisis and what a Republican debate would be at

this point in time is a huge

distraction. When you do do

it... The election is going to

be 12 months away at least. If

we've got over this financial

crisis by then I will do cart

wheels down the street in front of your

of your house. I don't know if

I want to see that! What's

being proposed to you is not

actually a referendum on what

kind of Republic, as Sarah just

mentioned. But it does

automatically allude to

that. It's actually a question

to be posed at the next

election. It's quite a long

way away,

way away, you could be out of

the financial crisis by then if you believe what the

Treasurer's telling us. I

wouldn't want to be guide ing

the question on the basis of us

with the set of economic challenges right in front of

us, I really wouldn't. I do

consider myself a Republican by

birth, there's no question

about that. Quite frankly I

think in the Parliament even

think in the Parliament even though there were different

views held by these people on

the right and left of me, we

basically are getting on with

the business of Australia

forging its own future and

determining the way it wants to

go. To say that we can

suddenly somehow leapfrog a

debate about the Republic in

the middle of what are some of

the most significantly

distinctive and challenging

periods of history that we have

ever faced and certainly, in

our generation will ever face,

I just don't think it's the

right way to deal with it.

right way to deal with it.

Especially with the debt we've

got. Let's hear from Wesley

Enoch. You're either saying

that Parliament can't actually

think about everything, or

you're saying the Australian

people can't deal with it, and

my point is I think the Australian people can deal with

lots of different things at the

same time and this is an issue

I think we've already had lots

of discussion on. A plebiscite

is one issue where you just go

yes or no and let's get on with

yes or no and let's get on with

the business after that. I

absolutely couldn't disagree

with you. I think the Australian public are much

smarter, are much bigger than some politicians give them

credit for. Absolutely. You

think everybody's made up their

mind because you have made up

your minds. There are lots of

other people who haven't made

up their minds for whom this would be a serious debate,

would be a serious debate, and

it would be a distraction and I can't disagree with the

minister. We are facing very

serious economic issues, global

warming even, a debate, and all

these other issues. That is a debate, that's a big

debate. It's a debate we may

have in a little while. It's

not going to change our outcomes on global warming,

it's not going to change our outcomes on the financial

outcomes on the financial crisis and, therefore, you have

to accept that... What you're

saying I think is at this point

in time we can't think about

the future, and I think of

course we can think about the

future. Now is the time to

doit, now is the time to look

at our economic structures.

Now is the time when we're

dealing with collapses of

markets to think about what

world we want to make. Every

time they talk about the

Republic if someone said you're

Republic if someone said you're

going to come out of the model,

if there's any reference to the

Queen it's struck out, and

that's it - no-one's ever happy

with that. I've got to do

this, I've got to do that.

Something else... and that "

something else" is what people

say "I've got a concern". Are

you saying the politicians

don't have time to make this

debate a big public

debate a big public debate? Is

that your point? What we're

hearing from Wesley Enoch and

Sarah here is that plenty of

people think they have time to

think about this issue. Look

Tony, I'm not and I think

that's not a representation

that's accurate to the point

that I'm making. I think this

is a very serious issue and it

needs serious deliberation, but

I don't believe, and the

Government doesn't believe that

now is the time for us to throw

now is the time for us to throw it into the melting pot and the

reason for that is we are

facing a set of challenges on a

scale much greater than those

faced by the previous

government, for example, when

this debate did run its writ

and earlier governments, as

well. And at this point in

time I've got to say even

though I respect the views that

have been put by Sarah and

Wesley and I share their

passion for the Republic, I

haven't got constituents

ringing me day and night,

ringing me day and night, sending me letters about the

Republic, I don't have emails

hitting me. Because they voted

you - Don't worry, the

electorate let you know what

they want. People who didn't

vote for me, still contact

me! Let's hear from a couple of

people in the audience. This gentleman with his hand up

right here. Thank you Tony. As

somebody who's been out of work

somebody who's been out of work

for some time, to hear people

indulling in the win bagery of

the Republic I take um bridge

at that. There's a gentleman

who wants to make a comment or

ask a question. You, sir. I'm

asking Peter Garrett, isn't it

Labor Party policy to actually

have a plebiscite on the

Republic and can you then

Republic and can you then tell

me when is the time, when are we going to be able to have

this discussion if it's not

now? As I said before, the

Government isn't of a view that

right now is the time to do it

and the Government will make a

decision at a time that it

thinks is appropriate. Maybe

after we pay off our debt.

Let's not insult the

Republican issue by squeezing it

it in. You're watching Q & A

the live and interactive forum.

In two weeks' time it will be

Budget time and Q & A will come

from Canberra with a panel

including Lindsay Tanner and

the Shadow Treasurer Joe

Hockey. If you'd like to join

the studio audience, go to the

website and register. Our next

question comes from Emily

Bek. My question is in

particular to Wesley Enoch and

then to the panel.

then to the panel. Do you

agree with the view that in 20

years' time we'll have an

Indigenous Prime Minister

apologising for the

intervention and could b) a

better way than intervention to

protect victims of abuse

without indulging in McCarthyism? As soon as you start talking about children's

lives it's going to be heated. My big thing about the

intervention and this is not a

very widely held view, is that

it is absolutely necessary to

go in and look after children

and children's lives. Now the

question I have is who do you

send in? Do you send in the

army or the bevy of doctors and

counsellors and people to help

choice, I think. I think as

Indigenous Australians what we have to do more

have to do more and more is

choose what parts of our

cultural heritage, be they

positive and negative, we want

to leave behind and this is heresy to actually say there

are parts of our cultural

heritage we have to distance

ourselves from and leave behind

so we can go into contemporary

society. I think most

Indigenous people as the

growing middle class, the

growing educated - I mean, 70%

of Aboriginal people live in

of Aboriginal people live in

urban centres and almost half

of the Aboriginal population

have graduated from high school

which is no mean feat. There's

this growing class that means

we are going to be able to

exercise more choice. We have

to be allowed that choice. For

me, the intervention... look, I

don't think there'll be an

apology in 20 years for the intervention. There might be an apology that we didn't send

the right people in. Let's hear from Peter Garrett and Barnaby

Joyce we'll come to you in a

Joyce we'll come to you in a moment. The thing about the

intervention which for me is

the most significant for all is

the stories and tales that I've had from Aboriginal mothers

when I've travelled in remote Australia in the Northern Territory where the

intervention has taken place.

I think we recognise that the

intervention was a drastic

action, but the fact of the

matter is that on balance, and

certainly a majority of mothers

and women that have spoken to

me have been in favour

me have been in favour of it

and they've been in favour of

it because it has restored a

semblance of order to their community, that there is money

around to buy food for their

kids, it's meant we're starting

to see kids go back into school

and has taken away one of the

risk factors that was so

evident in terms of the threats

to Aboriginal kids in those

communities. Now, the

Government's committed to reviewing the intervention, to

making sure that in our closing

the gap strategy and the

spending and the infrastructure

and putting the money into

schools and working with

communities to really start to

bring on the capacity of those

communities so that they can

start to flower and enable

their kids to get into school,

where you don't have measures

like that in place. That

review will tapes but at the

moment when you talk to people

in the bush, particularly

women, they say that they

favour what the intervention

has brought. Let's go

has brought. Let's go back to

our questioner briefly. What

are you suggesting when you

talk about McCarthy-style

hysteria? The blanket

demonisation of an entire race

of people as abusers on the

basis of evidence of abuse in a

few cases. And, extending that

I guess idea of abuse to the

whole race on the basis of obviously shaky

obviously shaky evidence. Let's

hear from Barnaby Joyce. I

don't think that's... I've

lived next door to, I live next

door to Maori people and not

for one moment is there a

belief that a race of people

are somehow criminals, but if

you go to an area where there

is a high likelihood that you

will be sexually assaulted by a

certain age, where there's a

high likelihood that you will

be afflicted by alcohol and things such as

things such as petrol sniffing,

where there's a high likelihood

of assault, where there's a

high likelihood that you're

never actually going to be part

of the society and be educated

in a form that's part of the

society where there are no

police or medical facilities, I

don't care whether you're

black, white or brindle,

something's got to happen in that area, and that's what

we've got to do. APPLAUSE

I must say that it should not just

just be about Indigenous

children. There are thousands

of non-Indigenous children who

suffer equally distressing

circumstances, particularly of

neglect, and I think it's

terrible that we don't provide

those children with some

guaranteed food. Let's stop

calling this a race issue. We

should start calling this a children's rights issue, what

children's rights issue, what

is what it really is. You raise

a very good point. Peter

Garrett let's hear from you on

why this is confined to remote

Indigenous communities in the

Northern Territory, if the

principle is right, why isn't

it across the board to white

communities and all

communities? I think the key

reason is that it was in the

Northern Territory and in those

remote communities that this issue was

issue was first addressed.

There was a report we know

about the report - There was

several reports and it took

years and years for any type of

action. Sorry, I know I'm

cutting in. Yeah, well. I'd

like to hear the rest. The

point is that there were reports and

reports and we did clearly know

and the Government recognised

when the former government

acted it acted on the basis of

there being issues that needed

to be addressed and they

addressed them in the Northern

Territory. What I've

experienced in Indigenous

communities - and I'll come to

the other part of the question

in a second - is not only

they're in a position to

address pretty difficult long-term problems, but they're

honest and open enough

themselves to realise that this

measure was one which, even if

people didn't like it, was

actually proving effective to a

point. At the same time as

those communities and other

Aboriginal people growing great

capacity whether it's in

theatre like the bloke sitting

with us here, in sport, in

business, in education. So I

appreciate the passion with

which you're putting your view,

but it's a little bit of

but it's a little bit of a

stereo typical view. On the

question of whether there ought

to be a bigger public policy

issue to be determined in other

communities where kids are risk

as well, that's a legitimate

debate to have. About time we

had it then . Sarah

Hanson-Young and then we'll

move on. I think there's a lot

of issues that the intervention

hasn't dealt with adequately

and I think the whole idea of

sending troops and boots into

sending troops and boots into save children and protect

children is not necessarily the

way I would have gone about it.

The issues of education, health

and housing are the huge issues

in the Northern Territory and

they're the ones that we're

still struggling to deal with

even though the intervention

has been in place for, what,

two years now? 18 months, 2 years? That's where we should

be putting public resources.

We really are putting our

public resources in that area, quite significantly. It's been

one of the priorities of this Government and quite frankly

you ought to know about,

because we're spending the

money there. It's not a case of

whether it's perfect, it's a

case of whether it's better.

It's obviously better, the

reports coming back are saying

it's better. We hear time and

time again of overcrowding in

communities in the houses that

exist. We hear time and time again from reports

again from reports from housing

isn't adequate, kids aren't

going to school, where the

basic health care isn't there.

I know you're working on it. I

know we've got a long way to go

and that's what we need to be

focusing on. We have a Web

question that touches on Indigenous issues and comes from Duane Preston in the

Northern Territory.why do you think Gurrumul Yunupingu's

music has had such an impact in

Australia? Before we go to the

panel, let's look at Gurrumul

Yunupingu performing a song.

Wesley Enoch, I mean,

obviously this man's a national living treasure. What do you

think about the impact he's

having? What is he tapping into

that's having such a big

effect? Number one he has a

story to tell which is a

beautiful story of his own and

comes from a lineage of

musicians... Peter was part of

all of that stuff back in the

'80s about this fantastic

legacy of song. I think what

we find in this music, too, is

where cultural capital is being

expressed and I remember - I'll

go back to when I was a kid,

well back in the '90s... LAUGHTER

There was a sense that where

you heard 'Treaty', I remember

being on a dance floor in a

club when 'Treaty' was number

one and hearing language spoken

and stuff and you felt like anything was possible and it

kind of lifted you up and I

think that's what we hear again

now, a new generation tapping

into a celebration of what it

means to be in this country.

The language, in particular,

but also the sense of a spirit

and a connection and the

audiences want that. Peter

Garrett? Gurrumul Yunupingu is

really touching a chord with

people because he's such a

wonderful musician. He's a

wonderful singer, he's got one

of the most exquisite voices

and his composition skills are

well developed. Even though

the songs are written in

language and, you can read

them on the CD cover and get

the stories and they're

well-connected stories.

Listening to it now, it's got

an essence which is rare and

special. Sometimes music comes

along at a different time and

place and just works, and I

think given all the chaos sometimes that seems to be a

part of our modern lives

there's a timelessness in the

music he's making and it's

simply recorded, but

beautifully recorded and it

touches a chord with

people. You just like it

because it sounds good. You

said it quicker than I

did. Let's stick with this

point about music coming along

at a certain time and touching

a chord, what chord are you

talking about? A reflective

chord, when we're faced with

challenges when we think the

world is belting along, it's a

comfort to know we have a

connection to the people we

love. I shouted at people a

bit in my music, so this might

sound silly now. It does,

actually! I've been around that

long. 'I don't want to be the

One' and now I'm sitting next

to him. For us, our music at

the time was what we wanted to

make and hopefully it struck a

chord with people, but I think

Gurrumul Yunupingu's does now.

I get a little bit of

peace. You were tapping in when

you did your music. What

happened to that person? Where

did that Peter

go? Unfortunately, right in

your ear! Are you the same

person? Oh Tony, here we go

again. Are you picking up on

again. Are you picking up on

Barnaby's cues. Most

definitely. That's the role of

artists in some respects. You

ride that wave, you tell a

story, you try to create a

vocabulary for the future in

some respects. You start to

imagine what the future is and

through theatre or dance or

music you start to imagine it.

And I think if anything, to go

back to one of the earlier

questions, the idea that a lot

of Indigenous story telling is

backward-looking, it's about

trying to understand the past

and what, I think, artists can

do is imagine what the future

is and create that future and

that's what we should take on

as a role. Sarah? That's an

important point. Beyond this

particular musician, I think

it's about the role that arts

can play in our community,

particularly at a time during the global financial crisis

when we have a wonderful

opportunity to engage artists

and engage people to be a bit

more creative and innovative in

their thinking. Barak Obama in

his stimulus package put $50

million into an arts program.

Now the recession's over. He

wanted people to think outside

the square and to drive

innovation, as well as tell

those stories. We have such a

wonderful opportunity - we keep

building all these hard infrastructure, what about

social and cultural infrastructure? Aboriginal

communities have always been

like that. We've had to go through great deals of unemployment and health issues

and housing, but the arts and

culture have always been

important and to try to imagine

the future as important. Pru,

what does music mean to you. I

know you mentioned a pianola?

I'm sure you've moved past

that. Look, I think music

always speaks for its time and,

you know, the Dylan period, the

Simon and Garfunkel, there's

always been a protest moeft in

music and there is one today,

but I think art's more than

that. -- movement. Art

arouses us, it connects our

intellect with our senses and

the way it does that is always

surprising, always surprises

you the experiencer of it. I'm

always amazed by how I react to

music or art and so are all of

us. That's a perfect

opportunity to move on. You'll

see why in a moment. Q & A is

live on ABC1 in the eastern

States and live on the Web for

everyone else. To send our

questions: Or send a video

question like Marcel Leneham

has done. It's a very unusual

question, one you'll have to

watch carefully.

Thank you, indeed.


How do we balance theatrical

production s that aim to make

money with ensuring performing

arts are relative and

accessible to people with

disabilities? Age-old question.

It's all about access, not just

disability but people from

lower socioeconomic groups and

a range of things. It's as much

as possible about

participation. The more people

participate in the making of

art, the more those questions

are raised. In this case, people with disability should

be creating theatre or creating

music or whatever so that they

are shaping through their own

cultural view the output. And

I think what ends up happening,

especially when there's a lot

of financial pressure to, for

companies and things, is that

we start to go for the lowest

common denominator. It's about

trying to say, how do we get to

a mass market of as many people

as possible so we can make the

money we need to make? It's an

artistic challenge to keep a

culture alive. Recently the

Theatre of the Deaf was

defunded by the Australia

Council and there was a big

issue about here is a culture,

a culture of deafness for also

scientific kind of, and medical

researchers alleviating a lot

of deafness, will we see the

end of a culture, because

there'll be less and less

deafness? Let's hear from the

Minister for the Arts? Three

things quickly. Just picking

up on what was said earlier on,

we're seeing more people go to

our galleries and exhibitions

and things like that at this

particular time when the global financial challenges are on than previously and seeing

record numbers of people come

through. I think it is the

case that art whenever it's

produced... You can think of

other things beyond the global

financial crisis, is that the

point? They take great solace

from the work people produce,

there's no doubt. Access is

important, with the State Arts

Ministers we're working through

a national strategy for access

for disabled and others in the

arts. It's something we actually take very seriously

and I expect to see more access

for people with disabilities

becoming made possible over

time as a consequence of

that. Sarah? I think more

people went to the museum last

year than went to the football

was the statistic I heard. I

think we need to be finding all

different ways for people to

access art, but participate in

it as well. Whether that's

through various different educational institutions or

community centres. It's about

how we fund and support art

through our various State,

Federal, local governments.

There's a huge role to play for

those different levels. That's

how you tap into those

different groups and ensure we

can move beyond the mass

marketing sweltz being able to

target individual groups. Can I

add one thing. We have specifically identified

community art as important and

we're putting funding

through. What about the Theatre

for the Deaf? I don't know the

details of why they weren't

funded, the Australia Council

sits at arm's length from the

Government. We see tremendous

opportunities to provide people

with the opportunities to

create work. Most important

thing of all, we want to see arts become part of the national curriculum and

recently we were able to

persuade and convince the

Education Ministers of this

country to consider looking at

arts as being a candidate for

the national curriculum in their next round of

consideration. I can almost

hear that gentleman signing

angrily that you aren't

listening? If he wants an

answer, we can do it in a

number of ways. We're specifically addressing the

issue. We'll be making absolutely clear for all

performance entities that

access for the disabled is an

important thing to do. That's

part of our policy. We're

working on it for the first

time - I'm not scoring

political points, but no-one

else has ever done that - we do

want to create the appetite.

We want to have a larger group

of people actually producing

and consuming, whether they're

disabled or not. That's making

the pie bigger and that comes

with education. We're jamming

up the issues to deal with. If

you'd like to be part of the

studio audience, you can log on

and register. Our next

question is from the audience,

from Terry Pullinger. Peter

Garrett, how do you reconcile

your conclusion that sea levels

will rise 6 metres with the

scientific evidence in East

Antarctica, four times the size

of West Antarctica where there

has been a significant

temperature cooling in recent

decades and no evidence of

changes in the mass of ice

shelves or ice melting, the

caps? Hang on a second. Do you

want to clear this up once and

for all? It's an opportunity to

clear up what I think has been

a misrepresentation. That wasn't my conclusion. It was

reported as such, but it

wasn't. But what I will say unequivocally is that global

warming which we certainly

believe, and the major

consensus of scientists believe

is taking place and that climate change is something

we've got to address, is taking

place and it will result in sea

level rise. What I would also

say is that it's astonishing

we're about to have a debate,

and I can feel Barnaby - we're

going to have a debate of the

sceptics versus the rest of the

world. If he speaks for

another ten minutes, we

won't. I was very interested in

the comments of the Secretary

of State Clinton in the United

States earlier this week who

said "We are committing

ourselves to working on this

issue of climate change.

Mechanism wants to play a

productive and constructive

role in that debate. We

recognise there's a consensus

in the scientific community that climate change is taking

place and it will impact upon

us and we're going to get on

with the job of reducing our

emissions". A quick diversion.

Just to finish that gentleman's

point, there's been a fair bit

of reporting about this. You

said that you hadn't seen the

report on an interview where I

quoted to you from a report

which included that worst-case

scenario of a 6 metre sea level

rise due to melting - hang on Barnaby. I'll jump on the

bandwagon. You said you don't

think there's any doubt that

those scenario s - that's what

you've been caught up for. Do

you want to correct that? No,

Tony. The fact of the matter

is the kind of projections

we've seen from the IPCC, CSIRO

and others is consistent with the basic principle that

climate change will produce a

form of global warming. That

form of global warming will see

sea level temperatures rise and

we will see sea levels rise, as

well. To that extent, what I

said was absolutely on the

money. Here's the debate here.

We have a part of the community

- and some of our political

colleagues - who seem to think

that climate change isn't

happening at all. They seem to

believe that this consensus

from the IPCC isn't happening

at all. They seem to think

that the kind of business community, the scientific

community, people who are

concerned about security

issues, those people who are

living on low-lying Pacific

Islands are talking about

something which is aifyingment

of our imagination, a

scientific fraud. It's not.

The fact is it's unequivocal

that the majority consensus of scientific opinion of scientists who've looked at

this closely, properly and

thoroughly will say that we

have climate change - Barnaby

is looking at his watch. He's

timing. He's getting lessons

from Kevin Rudd, this sort of

wall of sound. First of all,

you're right, you're wrong in

that in the Antarctic, ice has

actually been increasing. It's

been increasing by 100,000

square kilometres per decade

since 1970. That's one issue.

Another is we're about to

launch into an emissions

trading scheme that will reduce

apparently carbon emissions by

5% by a nation that produces

1.5%, from which is about 4 or

a 5% of human-induced carbon...

therefore, Australia is going

to send regional towns and

mining and industry out of

business for nought, nought,

nought, nought, 6.16 of 1

percent. I've never seen you

look quite so much like

Rainman. Or sound so much like

Rainman. The whole point is

this has turned into some sort

of quasi religion where you

dare not question the tenets of

global warming. I think it

should be questioned. There

should be a debate. You just

said the sea levels are going

to rise. You agreed to the proposition they were going to

rise by 6 metres. I'm going to

sit on Coolum Beach and wait

and I'll be waiting for a while. Let's hear from the other side of the panel. Pru

Goward? I would say two things.

First of all, there is broad

agreement that the climate is

changing. Of course, it

changes all the time. Thank

you. I think the second thing

is that this is the first

problem, scientific issue of

this order which is based on

modelling. If you think about

the connection between cancer

and smoking, if you think about

the connection between alcohol

and liver damage, you've got

evidence, you've got evidence

based on what you look at under

the microscope. This is the

first issue of this order which

is based on projections and

that is why the scientific

community, with respect, is

more divided on it than acknowledged and why the

community is acknowledged,

because modelling is a very new

science. Economic modelling

- Just to clarify, are you

supporting Barnaby Joyce's

position or not? I am saying I

think we have to be respectful

of the fact we are dealing with

a new way of looking at a

problem and calling people

sceptics or religious fanatics

is unhelpful and doesn't

acknowledge the real issue,

which is we are basing on this

on a very new way of looking at a problem and we are then

asking governments around the

world to change behaviours and

spend an enormous amount of

money based on a new way of

solving the problem. A few

people in the audience with the

their hands up. Is it not the

case that all this stuff about

the new carbon taxes for the

world is just a big brother

version of the millennium scam

which cost trillons of

dollars? In the first year,

they're going to make about $11.5 billion of the Australian

people's money and then they're

going to have a moral decision

about who they hand it back to.

Let's look at that $11.5

billion. We have traders salivating, waiting to start

trading these permits. $11.5

billion - I'm going to sound

like Rainman again - even if

they did 1.5%, that's $165

million if my maths are

correct, in commission on a

1.5% commission, 3-times

churned, making up to half a

billion a year. It's a gravy

train and there's got to be a better way

better way Peter. We have

another question. As you know,

the major source of energy in

Australia is coal emits 80%

more carbon than gas. So my

question is to Peter Garrett,

what action are you taking to

reduce Australia's reliance on

coal? Before we go to Peter

Garrett, I want to hear from

Sarah Hanson-Young. I think

that we have a wonderful

opportunity in Australia to be

investing in clean renewable

energy. When I mean clean I

don't mean clean coal, I mean

solar, wind, geothermal, wave

power. There are so many

opportunities for Australia and

if we were to invest now, and

the technology already exists. The technology is, in fact,

being imported overseas because

we're not having the massive

investment that we need to

ensure that those industries can sustain themselves and

flourish here in Australia.

It's not about even necessarily

developing the technology, it's

about investing in setting up

those energy industries. We

could be ahead on this and at

the moment we're way behind.

We have an amazing opportunity

to be putting Australia at the

top of the world in terms of

dealing with renewable energy

and dealing with climate

change. But with a Government

who has set a 5% carbon

reduction limit we're not going

to get there. I want to hear

from Wesley Enoch. When we talk about climate change and

stuff, it rings true to us as

Australians. I think we understand drought, we understand what's happening and

I live in Melbourne and there's

this whole not watering gardens

as they die everywhere.

There's a sense that it rings

true and it's... for me,

climate change is a touchstone.

It actually says "We know we're consuming more than we should,

we know we're affecting the

world more than we should. We

know our footprint is bigger

than it should be. We should

do something about it". And

climate change and emissions

trading is at least a step to

that. We're using climate change as much as the beginning

point for discussion for a

whole range of changes we need

to make. Can I bring us back to the question that was asked,

and I would like to get Peter

Garrett to address it. Because

the British Government's just

done a huge amount in terms of

how they're dealing with their

coal-fired power station. No

new coal-fired power station

will be built in Britain from

now on unless they capture and

bury 25% of greenhouse gas

emmission immediately. That's

going to rise to 100% by 2025.

Now are you inspired by what

your British Labour colleagues

are doing. They have nuclear power in England by the way.

There's inspiration working

both ways. We've been very,

very clear and actually leading

on the question of carbon

capture and storage. But

they've made solid commitments

and I'm just wondering are you

moving in that direction? Let

me answer the question and come

back to the question that was

put here too. We certainly do

see that carbon capture and

storage is critical, having the

invest investment and having

technologies in place. Is that

where taxpayers' dollars should

be going though? Shouldn't we

be spending taxpayers' dollars

into technology s that already

exist so we can catch up. That

is cloud Cuckoo land stuff. We

can't replace our major export,

what is coal. If we do, what

exactly is this country going

to run on. Tony, I'm in

trouble. I've got The Greens

on one side and the Nationals

on the other and I'm trying to

make a view. A renewable

energy target, 20% by 2020,

significant increase in renewables, which is absolutely

critical and that will see

significant investment in

renewables that Sarah's been

talking about. Additional one

of the most significant home

insulation plans we've got