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9am with David and Kim -

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(generated from captions) spent in Canberra will do to you. It's amazing just what 12 months bench as all that name calling Having to sit there on the front freeze goes on about you. and cat scratching and political

has been dreaming of the beach? Is it any wonder Peter Garrett Is it any wonder he's now determined

for sending him to Canberra to get those responsible to run 100km along it? live from Canberra The minister joins us this morning on Day 3 of Coastcare Week our precious coastal environment. to urge all Australians to protect

Good morning, guys. When was the

last time you had a surf? I was last time you had a surf? I

just thinking about that. Probably

last summer for about 20 minutes. It last summer for about 20 minutes.

is massive, it is a massive,

massive commitment to become, not

only a politician but to become a

Minister in the Government. Yeah,

look, it's a lot of work and we've

had 12 months where we've really

gone hell for leather to put the commitments that we went to the

election in place. And I think, you

don't put your hand up for the job

unless you're prepared to do it.

I'm certainly looking forward to

getting my toe in the water later

on, but we still have a lot of work

to do. Given that our coastline is

literaly surrounding us, we're an

Island continent. But it is only on

the last decade that we've focused

so intently on protecting the

coastline? Look, pt incredible

thing is that we're a coastal

nation. 85% of Australians live in

or near the coast and it is

incredibly important because of the

environment, tourism and fishing.

And we love the coast. We love this

time of the year when we go down

there, and in fact, today, the

government is announcing 22.5

million for Coastcare grants for

400 community groups around

Australia who will do all sorts of

great volunteer activities, looking

after the coast and repairing vegetation, natural vegetation in

sand dunes and making sure that

the dugongs are well lookled after

and checking out the turtles. We

have some fantastic activities

going on around the coast, because

we're at that point in our national environment life where we don't

want to love the coast to death. We

need to understand more about it

and protect it more and as a

community, get more involved in

looking after it. It's wonderful to

see so many community groups. Would

you like to see more community

group involvement and is this why

you've offered this extra money?

Well, under the Government's

Caring For Our Country program,

we're focusing on the things that

we can actually do to make the

environment more healthy and better

protected. And a lot of groups put

in bids for these Coastcare grants,

and I thought the standard of

applications this year was

incredibly high. What it told me is

that we've got people right around

Australia who are living on the

who are lib coast. Sometimes they're retirees

We have the Life on the Edge We have the Life on the

campaign and we're saying to people,

we have 36,000km of coastline. Take

100km and get a group of people.

You don't have to run. You could

scuba , non-motorised we hope. And

help the Coastcare communities and

by doing that, you put yourself in

the bid for good holidays and

things like Guy Leech who is

another ambassador there. How do we

get involved with that? Is there a

website? There is, You'll see

the range of activities that are

open up for people to do. You can

have your own Facebook site that have your own Facebook site

you set up. And I reckon this is a

fantastic thing for us to do. We're

in a time of economic uncertainty,

sure. But we'll still be going to

the beach. It is often a low cost

holiday if we're camping and maybe staying with friends. At the same

time, our coast is critically

important to us, environments there. And to get involved with others

and say, hey, I'm going to take the

Life On the Edge challenge. The

Government has put its money where

the mouth is with the commitment

today and the announcements will go

out today to over 400 groups. Some

really exciting ones. About 170

hectares on South Stratte which

will be re-vegetated and that's a

beautiful part of Australia. But

any state that you look in, we have

this extraordinary and buet.

Coastline and we want to do more to

protect it. You've also allocated

$200 million for the Great Barrier

Reef. How dire is the situation at Reef. How dire is the situation

the reef? Well, look, the Great

Barrier Reef is our most important

natural national asset. This is the

peels of beautiful coral

environment that you can soo see

from space. It generates billions

of dollars in tourism revenue and

fishing revenue every year, and yet

it is on the frontline,

particularly for climate change.

And you're right, mate. We put in a

really significant commitment

called Reef Rescue cue and we want

to work closely with the farmers on

land in Queensland, looking to make

sure that we don't get as many

pesticides and so forthcoming into

the inshore reef waters where we

want to keep the water healthy. And

at the same time, work really hard

with the scientists to make sure

that becan actually put the best

measures in place to protect the

reef, and of course, ultimately

have a carbon pollution reduction

scheme in place which starts to

deal with dangerous climate change.

Because, if we do get warming

temperatures continuing, when they

may have more coral bleaching

events and we're watching out for

coral bleaching. It is such a miraculous and important part of

our natural environment, we really

want to commit and make sure that

we have aks in place to look after

it better. I love hearing you talk

about the coastline, it is clearly

a great passion of yours and we

know that you're a great lover of

the water. Is it hard though in

your position as a minister to your position as a minister

manage your personal passions with

the expectations of voters who

expect you to be the King of all

trees and the King of all animals

and plants? Look, that's a really

good question, Kim. I think there's

only a limited amount of stuff that

tends to come through on a daily

basis that shows the work that

you're doing. And I think, if you

really want to share what you're

really on about with people, it is partly by having the partly by having the opportunity

to talk in media, but also by

producing stuff on your website

and ultimately, really saying -

we're so commit today looking after

the environment. I want to be the the environment. I want to be

best environment minister I can be.

And even though the political

dialogue is often about criticism,

I think at the end of the day, by I think at the end of the day,

putting things like Reef Rescue into

place. By making the commitments

on Coastcare, maybe I'm not going

to get in the water as much as I

used to and as much as I would

like to, I think that goes with the

turf. But, we're here to do the

hard work. You try to manage the

work life balance, probably work is

winning a little bit. But I

understand Christmas is coming.

What about the pulp mill. I know

that's caused a lot of people a

lot of grief and I know that it has

caused you a lot of concern. The

Guns Mill was an approveAl from Mr

Turnbull when he was Environment Minister before we came into

Government. And my role on these

issues is quite a technical role

and I know I have to explain it in

a legal and technical way, but

that's because the legislation that

I'm required to observe is very

specific about the decision making

processes I have to go through. And

what I said about the Guns Mill is

that I'll look at each of the

modules that come through to me. I

have to see if they'll have an

impact on matters of national

environment significance, and I

also have to make sure that the

conditions that Mr Turnbull set are

fulfilled by the modules in my

decision making T is quite

technical. Of course, we want to

make sure that we protect the

environment properly, and that's

always the bottom line. But it always the bottom line. But it is

within that Act of Parliament and

the conditions that Mr Turnbull set.

We inherited his decision making

and we'll just make absolutely sure

when we look at all approval

processes when we come through that

they come it diligently. It must be

tempting to put a big skribt and

say "no" on it! Do we need it? Your

question is interesting, and the

thing about that is that my role is

so tightly defined on the

approval issues that I don't even

have a view about that. Because

what I've got to take a view about

is literaly what the proposal says.

What the scientists in my

department advises me on and

whether or not it has an impact of national environment national environment significance,

which is something that I have to

take into account in my decision

making, so it is a pretty tight and strong legal requirement that I

have, and I just have to exercise

it well. It did seem that

environmental issues were really gaining some traction in the

headlines, and then along came this

GFC, this damn global financial

crisis. How is that now affecting

the government's stand on

environmental issues? We are still

as committed as ever to bring

forward good environment policying

to make the kind of announcements

that we've made today on that we've made today on Coastcare.

And on Reef Rescue. To continue to

give Australians right around the

country the opportunity to look

after their environments, natural

resource management, arrangements

with private land owners to look

after bits of habitat with native

plants and animals. The global

financial crisis is absolutely

critical and it requires the

government to have that focus and

that focus is absolute. But, we that focus is absolute. But, we do

at the same time want to continue

to advance our agenda, and I think

that that is one of the challenges

in politics, that you've got things

that we never expected when we came

into government that there would

suddenly be a global financial

crisis. You just don't know that

that's going to happen. But you

meet that measure and at the same

time, you certainly get on with the

other things that people want you

to see you do and that you

promised you would do. It seems to

me that there are win/win

situations now on that front.

Given solar rebates are now means

tested. If we drop the means test

on solar rebates t would encourage

spending in the area which the

government is keen to do. It has to

be a win/win for both, doesn't it?

I certainly do think that we can

work towards having measures which

both address the need to have

sustainable employment and make

sure that we have investment coming

into the economy, with good measures about sustainability and

climate change. But I should pick

up on the solar panel rebates. You

know that we will put more solar

panels on more rooves in Australia

this year than at any other year in

Australia. Should we not encourage

everybody to put a solar panel on

their roof? The means test is there

to make sure that those who can

least afford to get the solar

panels can get it on their rooves.

Applications are at an all-time

high. The solar industry is going

gang busting, and I think it was

the right decision for us to the right decision for us to take

at the time. I know that people

would like access to more

additional support for it, additional support for it, but

remember, you also do get support

from sometimes State governments,

sometimes you get support from

local governments, and there's also

a built-in renewable energy

certificate component in it. So for

people accessing the rebate, it is

very affordable for them to get the

solar panels up. We'll also have a

low interest green home loan scheme

coming into play next year, and

this is one of the thing we went to

the election on. It's a really good

idea. You have an audit in your

house of the kind of things that

you can put into place to help you deal with climate change and be

good for the environment, whether

it is solar panels, solar hot water

or insulation if you're ceiling,

and you'll be given the

opportunity to haven an audit

which identifies the things in your

home. And then the opportunity for

a low interest, almost zero

interest loan to get some of the

measures in place. Is it means

tested? No, it won't be means

tested. Well, it is means tested tested. Well, it is means tested at

the top end, I think it is $200,000

from memory is the top end of it.

So a lot of people watching this program will be eligible for the

loan. But the good thing is that

you'll save money in the long-term

because of your energy bills coming because of your energy bills coming

down, particularly for something

like insulation, but also adding

value to your home over the longer

term as well. Absolutely, what can

we look forward to in the year

ahead? What is your dream hit-list

for the next 12 months? Well, we

really want to see the low interest

green home loans scheme out and running. Additional energy

efficiency measures and we're doing

a lot of work on things like

household applyances and labelling

so that people have information in

a store if they're thinking of

buying a television or a TV and see

how energy efficient it is and

how energy efficient it is and how

kind it is to the environment T

sounds like a small thing, but it

is actually a really big thing. The

new televisions use nearly as much

power as fridges, so there's lots

of good work there. We'll continue

to roll out caring for our country.

I think some of the thing we're

doing in northern Australia with

indigenous people and with farmers

there and that absolutely beautiful

part of our country is critical

work in saying, work together in

communities. Maybe you've got

indigenous people, local councils,

local businesses and put together

plans that you've got to look after

local bushland or river areas or

areas that we identified as matters

of national identity and we'll

provide you with the resources to

get good programs on the ground. We

want to continue to map our

coastline. We've a bioregional mapping program right around the

coastline. We started in the

south-east and we're now going

around the bottom of the country

and the south-west. It coming over

the top, the Kimberley which is an

incredibly important part of

Australia and our environment, and

we know that even from looking at

some of the shorts in Australia of

how beautiful the Kimberley is, and

look at better ways to manage the

coastal environments too. Can I

speak to you very quickly as

Minister for the Arts. Will you

reinstate the funding to the

Australian National Academy of

Music. Inunderstand that there Music. Inunderstand that there was

a protest yesterday. What is behind

the decision to remove that funding

and where will the students go?

Look, we're actually committing that

funding and more to an Academy of

Music co-located with Melbourne

University. And we're doing that

for two reasons. And I had a chance

to meet with the students yesterday

and met with some of the people. It

was a good co-operative meeting

and I pointed out to them why the

government has made this decision.

We believe that the opportunities

for students, particularly to be

co-located next to a school of music of a major institution like

Melbourne Uni, to have more flexibility and opportunity in

terms of the courses that are

provided and a wider range of

courses than was previously the

case, including things like case, including things like

concert master, vocal training and

the like. At the moment, it is

quite limited just to instruments

like the violin and viola and cello

and the like. And at the same time, they have the proximity to be close

to the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra,

and the support service that is go

with being with a university. The independence of the institution

will be maintained. Will they?

Absolutely and we said that in our

memorandum of understanding with

Melbourne Uni. Will it have the

same staff? The same level of

excellence? There's absolutely no

intention to have anything other

than the best possible opportunity

for these kids to continue to do

the kind of training that they're doing, but also have the

opportunity to do things like a

masters of music and various other

degree or diploma courses. And

staff will be invited to join in

that process. And my expectation is

that we will have at least some of

the staff, if not all of the the staff, if not all of the staff

coming through. And the opportunity

for students to continue doing, not only the individual tuitions

they've been doing, but also to they've been doing, but also to

have programs with more national

reach, programs with the capacity to have international people coming

in as well. I should say that if I

look at something like the National

Institute of Dramatic Art, that's

NIDA in NSW, or the National

Institute of Circus Art. They take

somewhere between 40% and 45% of

the revenue comes from the

government. They raise their other

revenue in other ways. ANAM in the original categorisati. ANAM in the

original categorisation was at 95%.

That's making sure that we're

providing a broader fun raising

capacity and dealing with how we

govern and properly drive a program

which sees kids getting good

education and having them

orchestra ready for orchestras

around Australia. So the funding

continues. The programs and the

education and the kind of learning

that the kids have, that's going to

be continuing in a form that is agreed between Melbourne

university and the Government and

the board. Thank you so much, Peter.

Merry Christmas to you. Thank you.

And we should point out too if you

would like to gift Coastcare as an

unusual initiative, you can jump

online to and you

can check out some Christmas gift

ideas. We're back in the kitchen

with Ann Maree Biggar and Arianne Spratt.