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Q And A -

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This program is not subtitled This Program is Captioned Live.

Good evening, the Opposition says the arrival of another boat near Christmas Island proves that the
proves that the Government's border protection policies don't work. It follows a heated row in
parliament over asylum seekers, which was sparked seekers, which was sparked by Wilson Tuckey's
suggestion that the occasional terrorist might be coming in with them. be coming in with them. The
Prime Minister labelled his comments disgusting and divisive. The company trying to plug an oil
spill in the Timor Sea says it's within centimetres of its target. centimetres of its target. The
West Atlas Rig has been spewing oil and gas into the sea for nine weeks, three previous attempts to
stop it failed. attempts to stop it failed. The Federal Government says up to 2,000 barrels of oil
could be leaking every day. Tributes flow for legendary flow for legendary entertainer Don Lane who
died in Sydney this morning, the American-born TV presenter was credited with reinvigorating the
live TV format in the '70, and passed away at 75. The countdown to the Winter Olympics is on. The
torch has been lit at the ancient Olympic Stadium in Greece. It will arrive in Vancouver on 30
October. The forecast: More news in Lateline at 10:30.

This Program is Captioned Live. APPLAUSE

Good evening and welcome to 'Q&A' and to answer your questions tonight, John Elliott, the former
president of two of Australia's abiding institutions, the Liberal Party and Carlton Football Club.

What about KUB?

We won't mention that. It is an advertisement. The head of the Melbourne University Louise Adler,
the Shadow Member for health and Member for Dickson, Peter Dutton, the 'Sydney Morning Herald'
sketch writer Annabel Crabb and Minister for Small Business Craig Emerson. Please welcome our


Remember, 'Q&A' is live from 9:30 eastern time so all the followers of Crabb Twitzer can join the
conversation. Well, asylum seekers are the emotion-charged issue of the moment and the Liberal
backbencher Wilson Iron Bar Tuckey has turned the heat up by claiming that someone on one of those
boats is a terrorist coming to do Australia harm. Our first question tonight comes from Chris
Andrew on that comment.

As the leader of the nation, isn't the Prime Minister's unfortunate labelling of refugees and
asylum seekers more damning the comments of a renowned troublesome uncle in Opposition

Annabel Crabb, let's start with you

I can't believe this debate that has been going on this week. It seems like we are stuck in this
political debate that is actually about 7 or 8 years old. From what I can tell, and I would love to
be enlighten ed by the two current political representatives on the bench with this, but it seems
to me there is quite a bit of agreement between the two parties about how this situation should be
handled and what we're getting is this confected dispute that is happening across the despatch box
in Parliament. Today we had a huge discussion about Wilson Tuckey and what he had to say.

What did he have to say, by the way? Because he seems to be disputing the evidence.

He wasn't listening.?

There have been some revisions. He gave the Prime Minister something to yammer about and talked
about what a horrific moral failure of Malcolm Turnbull's it was not to immediately sack Wilson
Tuckey. If you instituted dismissal proceedings against Wilson Tuckey every time he said something
unusual you would be extremely administratively busy. There is so much room here for consensus and
by partisan ship, I think that both parties for separate and un attractive political reasons are
playing this debate in a way that's irresponsible.

We will hear from the politicians later. First, I want to hear from John Elliott, just to go back
to the question, did Kevin Rudd's illegal immigrants comment set the stage for Wilson Tuckey's

I'm not interested in Wilson Tuckey's remarks. Is he a bit of a lunatic at times, but I do think
the Howard policy stopped the boats coming. You might think it was too tough. And now because the
Labor Party has softened their policies, the boats are turning up in truck loads, and you've got to
blame the Labor Party for this.

Well, boatloads.

Well, boatloads shall - they're not truck loads, they're boatloads. But - and I'm a great believer,
we've got to take refugees in this country. I think it's very important. I know you can't defy the
exact number, but we ought to have a range, and I do not think the people that are trying to get
here on boats should get a priority - that's what they're getting - over those that are going
through the proper processes to become refugees. Now, the bureaucracy is very bad and I'm blaming
the Labor Party for this. It probably was the same back in the Liberal days. It takes them 18
months to get processed sometimes. They've got to speed up that. They've got to turn the boots back
and I think therefore you've got to leave them in detention.

Louise Adler?

I can't believe that you're saying after 11.5 years of mandatory detention of children behind razor
wire, you say that you care about refugees. You think that people who are refugees should be
welcomed to this country, but you say turn the boats back. I think that's a remarkable statement to
make. I think we have a long history in Australia of demonising people from other countries. We had
11 pi 5 years...

You're therefore happy that these people jump the queue?

I think it is a total of some 2,000 people who have arrived here in the last 14 months. I wouldn't
say the flood gates have opened. It is extremely difficult for asylum seekers to..

Why should they get priority?

Not a question of priority. None of these people are anything but desperate.

I will interrupt you there, because we will have discussion on this. We've got off the question.
The question was Kevin Rudd's remarks about illegal immigration and whether that set the stage for
Wilson Tuckey. Can I bring you to that point?

Well, Wilson Tuckey went back, reverted to the 11.5 years of the Howard Government's demonisation
of politics of fear and xenophobia. He just returned to the comfort zone in which they lived and
bred in us a sense of anxiety and fear. Politics of fear and racism, dog whistle politics the
brought out the basic instincts in Australia when we had 75% of people in Australia saying we
needed mandatory attention.

The flaw in your argument was that mandatory detention was going on with the Labor administration
before the Howard administration as well, so to try to paint it as some sort of partisan issue is a
nonsense. It is a left-wing argument but not a reflection of the facts. The problem that Kevin Rudd
has got and going to the point that Andrew raises is he is trying to speak out of both sides of his
mouth. He wants to say to his backbench in an audience like this when they meet in a Caucus, it is
more humanitarian based and he wants to play to the pop lows line and at the moment he is crunched
in the middle

What is the populous line? We fear those people. There are hordes coming down at us. We are
terrified. Seas of people coming at us. Is that what we're frightened off.

Our questioner has his hand up so we will go back to him for clarification

The question really is Kevin Rudd made comments about illegal immigrants. As the Prime Minister,
and surely I think we all agree, the Wilson Tuckey has been labelled as the troublesome uncle, who
counts more? Is it the comments by the Prime Minister which are offensive as the comments by a
renowned maverick in Opposition?

Just to clarify, you're saying to describe asylum seekers as illegal immigrants is problematic?

Problematic and #3r0b8 as problematic to say some of those people are bad. Illegal and bad pretty
much match up, don't they.

I agree with you

I actually think if you list tone Kevin Rudd on the 7:30 Report report he was arguing a much more
nuanced - I take a less cynical view. He was talking about compassion and fairness. He was talking
about asylum seekers. I think it is a complex matter. He was talking about an international
solution. I think he is correct about that.

He certainly does a lot of talking!.

Let's hear from our two politicians.

That's the pot calling the kettle black.

Peter Dutton

. I will let Craig defend the Prime Minister. The point I would make out of this, is Kevin Rudd has
one message for the '7:30 Report' and a very different message for A Company current Affair. He has
been caught out with his language on this. He has softed his policy. It is part of the reason why
we've see a flood of boats coming through.

You guys voted with it

Annabel, just..

. Are you a Labor person? Who is this "you", we're all here together

Annabel.. . Loo

k. She makes a good point

I'm hopping to John's defence.

I think everyone sh everybody is being a bit disingenuous on this particular debate. I think it's
true that Labor has softened the policy and you guys supported it.

Let's here from Craig Emerson which was the actual question about the Prime Minister's comments
referring to these asylum seekers as illegal immigrants?

Yeah, sure. We have a tough but human policy. Peter says that's walking both sides of the street.

Just very briefly, do you regard them as illegal immigrants?

Well, if they arrive and they are assessed as not being genuine refugees, then that is right, they
are illegal immigrants. So, but the point about Wilson...

But are they guilty until proven innocent?

As I say, when they arrive, if they are assessed and they are not genuine refugees, they are turned
around, if they are genuine refugees under the convention, the United Nations convention zot..

You know the statistics of the asylum seekers

Under the Howard Government, I know.

How many of them?

95% under the Howard Government of people who got temporary protection visas, that is who were held
in limbo for 3, 4, 5 years, many of them behind the razor wire, including children, behind the
razor wire were ultimately let in. So the Coalition says, "Well, we've got this really tough
policy," but in fact...

Just to clarify, your argument is that 95% of these asylum seekers are genuine referees

They have to be assessed on a case-by-case basis. That is the fact that the Howard Government
didn't want you to know.

There is more to say and we have another question on this subject and it actually comes from Sara

As an Australian Tamil, I feel border protection is taking centre stage when the real cause is the
humanitarian crisis in Sri Lankan military-controlled internment camps. And that is being ignored.
As part of its response to asylum seekers, do you think the Government should take the Sri Lankan
humanitarian crisis as an issue of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting next month and hold
Sri Lanka to account.

Louise Adle

r Well, I certainly would hope our government having a response like that would be interveeping. I
think we've proved ourselves to be global citizens, pat of an international community under Kevin
Rudd's leadership and I think that's important. I think, for example, that the Indonesian solution
is a negotiation recognising that asylum seekers are a global international problem and we have to
find international solutions. It's not Australia's problem alone. I think yes of course it should
come up. I would hope that our government would think it up in that contest.

John Elliott

. Yes, I agree with that. I'm told the Tamils originally came from India. That's not true? Alright,
some Sri Lankan told me that. That's probably why he told me. I think it's important that we take a
number, we share a discussion and take a number of the Tamil refugees into Australia, and we
process them properly. What we don't want them to do is go out on a Rick ety boat and die - that's
no good - and these people make money out of it and we've got to stop the flow of illegal refugees.
That requires discussion, negotiation with all the parties.

John Elliott, we've heard reports today from Tamils living in Australia that the people in these
camps are getting quite desperate. The quotes are a matter of life and death, people who are happy
to sell assets and property to get the money to get away from these camps because the conditions
are so bad - a lack of water, a lack of food, people being taken away for interrogation and not
returning, allegations of rape, et cetera, et cetera. Let's actually hear if our questioner has any
thoughts on what's happening in the camps?

Absolutely. That's what I've heard from eyewitness accounts, people who have managed to get out of
the camps. It is abysmal. Thousands of people are disappearing. The food is atrocious and they have
no human rights. It is also bad outside, but inside the camp it's worse. It's over 150 days and
they have been held in captivity and they haven't done anything wrong. They are citizens that have

Let's hear from Craig Emerson on this as a representative of the Government. Shouldn't the
Australian Government be doing something to find out what's happening in these camps if this is the
root cause of why these people are get noog the boats in the first place?

The short answer is yes. Stephen Smith and other ministers have made representations at the highest
level and strongest level that they possibly can about the situation and the fact is that those
people who make the risky journey, who do go to Malaysia and then across the Indonesian archipelago
and into Australian waters are desperate people. And they are very often taking incredible risks
and this is a very sad debate, I have to say, a very sad debate and to pick up the point of what
Annabel made earlier, it is a re-run of what happened in 2001. I think it is legitimate to debate
these issues but let's keep the hysteria out of it. Let's keep the hysteria that there is a two to
one or 3 two one chance of these people being terrorists. That's what Wilson Tuckey said today and
that invokes the hysteria.

I will ask you for an answer to the question that was asked there. There was a reference to the
CHOGM meeting: Will the government investigate what's happening in these camps that appear to be
driving the flood of the people?

I'm not the Foreign Minister and I'm not going to dodge the question. It seems to me to be a
reasonable request. We have been making these representations very strongly for the plight of the
people in Sri Lanka.

What's the solution? No good going to meetings and just having meetings about this and that and all
feeling good. These people are suffering.

They are, of course.

What are we going to do to fix it? I think Australia ought to be.

The compassionate John Elliott. I'm just feeling so warm tonight. I didn't know this about him.

Darling, you barrack for Carlton, you told me

I do, indeed. As you do.

Well, we've got to be able to get some of them out of the camps quickly in a legitimate manner.
We've got to get them out.

I will interrupt you because I want to hear from Peter Dutton. Let me raise this idea with you,
American Congress men have a tradition of going out and finding out what is going on in places like
this for themselves. Why don't Australian MPs, pack up their bags and get off their bottoms to find
out what is going on in these camps so we can get an answer


The answer, Tony is that people do. People do attend some camps particularly in Africa, parts of

We are talking about these ones specifically now

Absolutely. As tragic as the circumstances are and the lady identified before, there are millions
of refugees around the country, many of whom are dying in refugee camps that don't have any assets
to dispose of, particularly in parts of Africa, so there are some terrible stories. I think we've
had a proud tradition that has been continued under this government of taking about 13,500 refugees
a year. All I'm say something that people already do that, so your call is legitimate and people
have an understanding of some of the travesty that takes place. Others of us have been around to
sop of the island nations around our country as well, up to Papua New Guinea - people in parts of
our own region who are living in...

Specifically about these camps in Sri Lanka, our questioner has another comment and then we will
have to wrap it up

Looking after refugees in Australia on board is just treating the symptoms and not fixing the
cause. So if Australia can take a leadership in the region and get along with other countries and
put some diplomatic pressure on Sri Lanka to bring about a situation where people don't have to
sell all of their assets and get on leaky boats and come here. Then we will solve the issue.

I will call a halt to that discussion for the time being because we've got to move onto other
things. You're watching 'Q&A', the unpredictable program where you get to ask the questions. You
can send your questions to the address on your screen like this question: The question is to John
Elliott - how did do the Liberal Party's current problems compare to the leadership battles during
your time as the party President between 19 87 and 19 90?

I don't think there are too many problems now that Costello has gone.


And I think.

Well, he was the problem?

Well, he was to me. He divided the party a bit in Victoria. I think turm has put the acid on the
Government now by saying to you, "Righteo, we've got this - the problem with all this greenhouse
gases," and he said the modifications the Liberal Party have agreed to put to the Government - I
think if the Government don't agree to them, then Turnbull is going to be on the up because what he
has put will create more jobs in Australia, there is no doubt about that, and that is what he is
saying, and I think - you know, I'm not sure whether the Government want to go to an early election
because they don't want to face their Budget which is going to be a disaster for debt. I don't know
what the deficit will be - it's going to be up considerably, and so therefore I think the table is
going to turn a bit because Australians don't want to be paying 30% more for their electricity,
particularly until they know what the rest of the world are doing. So I think the Liberals are just
about to start turning and they will start to come back in the polls.

Annabel Crabb

? Well, I think...

Let's recall, by the way, that period when John was Liberal Party President did include at least
one leadership challenge. John Howard lost the leadership in...

I sacked him.

You sacked him, did you

? I was part of the three-man team who sacked Howard and I think he has been the best Prime
Minister we've ever had. We are now good friends.

What does that say about your judgment?

He learnt. He came back in '96 and he was outstanding.

You taught him everything he knows.

Just a bit of history here, your reason for sacking him - what's your reason for sacking him?
Comments he made about Asian immigration

No, it was nothing like that.

No, they didn't like that.

It was his ability...

John wrote the words.

No, the reason was in those days he had been a suburban lawyer who hadn't had much management and
we put a whole lot of proposals to manage with the Shadow Cabinet and he didn't Handel them. He
wasn't a good manager. He learned and by '96 when he came back, he was outstanding.

Let's move to the contemporary space, Annabel?

What's happening with the Liberal Party at the moment is very typical of what happens to parties
when they are in Opposition particularly when they've been booted out after a long period in
Government. I think in Opposition, parties tend to go through these kind of appalling kind of
wrenching kind of modern pentathlons of hatred with each other, you know, and this reminds me - the
whole climate change thing in the Liberal Party reminds me of asylum seekers among you lot in the
early 2000s - the same thing. This debate about what to hold onto and what to let go of, what
principles to stand by, what principles are our principles. That's all happening. By the way, I
think John's faith that these Liberal amendments will get past the Government and everything will
be fine is kind of a bit off-beam. I think Malcolm Turnbull's big problem is not whether the
Government accept the amendments, but whether his colleagues accept them.

On this topic, another question from David Haveat?

My question is that in 2001 there was a lot of talk in the Labor Party that the next Prime Minister
wasn't currently in the Parliament. That turned out not to be true, but given that everyone apart
from John Elliott and Malcolm Turnbull don't think he has much chance of winning the next election,
is the next Liberal prime minister currently in the Parliament or somebody who will come from
somewhere else?

Annabel Crabb

? Well, if you read the papers, Peter Dutton is the next. I went on holidays and when I left, Peter
was an able-bodied frontbencher and when I came back he was JFK. The great thing for Peter in the
last week or two, he has managed to survive a political assassination and hear the eulogies read
over his own grave. This is the guy, according to the hub.

We will actually come to that in a minister because somebody did send us something from that.
Louise Adler, where will the next Liberal prime minister come from, from within the current ranks
or an outsider.

I'm not sure, but let me go back to John's barracking.

You two have got something going on over there

This is so bad for my reputation. Annabel, can I swap.

No, she is pregnant, you're not.

Quit while you're ahead, John.

It has nothing to do with you, pal!


Can we get a grip on things. You are obviously barracking for Turnbull. His Grech-gate


? Godwin Grech

He had a mental breakdown.

And Turnbull hasn't been able to make a confident political decision from that point. Whether he
leads from the front, from behind, whether to the left or right of the Liberal Party. He seems to
be completely confused. So I'm really interested in your passionate add va kacy of him?

I think he is one of the most intelligent people in the Liberal Party for a long time.

Don't state the obvious

You don't get many people who are highly successful in fields outside. In the Labor Party, they all
come through the union movement and ours are either farmers or lawyers and the lawyers are the most
useless people on God's Earth.

Isn't that how Malcolm Turnbull started, as a lawyer?

Well, he did, but he finished up an investment banker.

And he has got a farm.

I think he is inexperienced.

Talk about the kiss of death

There is no doubt Howard, because he was there so long, had wonderful experience and how to deal
with matters and Turnbull lacked a bit of experience. The example, that Grech thing, I remember
Phillip lynch telling me years ago when we unseated Whitlam, when they found out about all those
loans and everything, I said, ". " Phillip, why don't you get onto them, do them over?" He said,
"No, no." In the end, Phillip Lynch was outstanding at it, when it all came out, the Whitlam
Government was gone. Turnbull showed his ignorance, no doubt, in not doing enough work and that's
just lack of experience. We could all fall into that because we haven't been in the Parliament long

Maybe you could sack him.

Bring you back to the question, Craig Emerson, where will the next Liberal prime minister come
from, a current one within the ranks ore an outsider.

Not born, would be good.

Joe Hockey has just had a kid

The problem for a party that has been in government for some time and now in opposition is this
Messiah complex. I'm not making a party political point here. If you've been into Government for a
long time and go into Opposition, they said, "All we need is a Messiah to lead us through the

You've got Kevin.

There is no substitute for good and consistent policy and that's the problem with the Coalition at
the moment - a lack of consistency on Malcolm's part. He keeps chopping and changing. The divisions
between the Liberal Party and the National Party and of course we laugh a little bit about mad
Uncle Wilson, not my term, Joe Hockey's term, but it does highlight the differences between the
Liberals and Nationals - they have to find a set of values for the 21st Century and they won't be
able to do that unless and until they do that and then looking for Peter, if he make it is through
the next election, or someone else is not going to solve that problem.

The interesting thing...

Sorry, John, I've got to let people have a go here, particularly as you've been named. You were
talked about a future Prime Minister, a future Liberal Leader at the very least, until recently.

You do want to talk about dickson and that topic

We have a web question on. From Adrian Miller in Adelaide. Peter Dutton you recently made a
decision to abandon your seat. Aren't you

Thanks to the Liberal Party member in the audience tonight. He has interjected.

A bit of a glass jaw.

Nice people Labor people, don't criticise them.

I haven't embraced any.

12 alright if one Labor person.

This question comes from Adelaide, from Adrian Miller

In Queensland we have phenomenal growth. There was a redistribution which turned Dixon into a
notionally Labor seat by about 2%. We had a redistribution in the last Parliament as well. I lost
areas in my north to Mal Brough which contributed to his loss in the 2007 election. I lost my near
neighbour Teresa Gambaro because of the redistribution to the south-east. In the west I lost
Cameron Thompson and I had taken some of his grid area and I won by 217 votes at the last election.
I was Assistant Treasurer in the last Government and I worked as hard as any local member could.
Craig knows the demands, but nonetheless you put a lot of time and effort into your electorate. My
judgment and the judgment of others was that with the redistribution, despite all the hard work
that you do, your commitment to a local area, the redistribution had made the electorate
unwinnable, and I was approached by Margaret May who had been a very good Member for McPherson on
the Gold Coast for about 11 years. She said, "I'm going to retire. I think we need generational
renewal. I think you should stay in the Parliament. Would you be be interested in running in my
seat?" I know Margaret copped some criticism over, that but she was quite admirable in her
approach. People can have their own decisions about their political judgment of it. Some would say
it was sound and others not. Some would say that the execution of the pros is and obviously the
outcome, but that's not the case. That doesn't highlight that I don't have a commitment to my
electorate or I don't have an affinity of being there 8 years, spent a lifetime of involvement with
the place, it just reflects the reality of what the redistribution did and now...

You've just said and repeated it in fact that Dixon is unwinnable. You will now contest Dixon, and.
Dickson, and unwinnable seat. What happens if you do, will you give the game away?

It has brought the margin back to notionally 1% to Labor. I believe I can win the seat and it will
take a lot of effort. A lot of debate to go on. Some people have contacted me with support, others
haven't. I've got a lot of work between now and the election. That's the reality of it. I said at a
doorstop yesterday there are 400 people who have contacted me from my electorate, people from all
over the country, but from my electorate, 6 negative comments.

Peter, going back to the question, if you lose, will you give the game away?

I won't lose, Tony. I will work hard and win the seat.

The unwinnable seat?


. (Sings) # Win the unwinnable seat... #

Don't you become a singer.

In the term of the previous government, you just don't cut and run. How many time ds you hear John
Howard saying, "Don't cut and run."

Did he say that to Kim Beazley

Peter cut and ran and criticised a Labor member for moving seats in the State election and said you
would never do, never do that and Peter did it. The reason he is back in Dickson is he has run out
of options. He lost down in McPherson, in Fairfax they can't persuade...

Why are you being so party political? We've been nice to you tonight.

You can respond that that

We don't want to hear about this - we're sick of it.

Let's move o

n. We will move on. We have a question in the audience and it's from Sara Morrowets.

My question is for Annabel. One of your articles once mentioned that Kevin Rudd kept Peter
Garrett's soul in a box and directed softly at meetings. I wonder if you and the panel would
speculate who is holding Malcolm Turnbull's soul and are they stroking it or silently trying to
strangle it.

Annabel Crabb

? Is that a deliberate cat reference? Look, I should say that that comment actually came from one
of my Twitterer friends, Bizo who mounted during Question Time when we were having a back and forth
on Twitter that Peter Garrett's soul was being kept in a box by the Prime Minister and taken out
and stroked periodically. I department blink and eye


s It's strapgly poetic.

I don't want to freak you out or everything, but Kevin Rudd has everybody's soul in that box, which
I think - look, at this stage it could include Malcolm Turnbull's. Look, on the general soul
freedom issue with Malcolm Turnbull, I think Turnbull has been sounding better lately and more
confident and I think the fact that he has laid out the fight with his own partyroom, he has
chalked out a bit of space and occupied it, I think he kind of looks and sounds more confident

I knew you would agree with me. Right on the money.

On this matter and everything, of course, I'm absolutely at one with my new friend, Mr Elliott. I
think in politics and this is part of the problem with Opposition is you flail around like, "Why
did they throw us out? Why didn't we try this. Why didn't we have a new genius to lead us?" And all
this sort of thing. In the end, you have to find some territory and stand it. If you fail, you fail
and if you win, you win. What really kills you is shifting around. You have to find your soul, get
it out of

the box and stroke it yourself. LAUGHTER

John Elliott...

We were told we would go blind if we did that!

LAUGHTER He is wearing glasses, too, I might add.

John, we were on a much higher plain a moment ago

Yes, I know

. Let me put it to you in a general sense, do you have to give up part of your soul or all of your
soul if you become a political leader?

No, I don't think you do. You have to have passion, you've got to believe what you're doing and why
you're doing it and if you're not doing it for the good of the nation, you shouldn't be there
because in fact - I had a chance once, I almost went into Parliament, but you only do it if you
really think you can make a contribution to the community. Those people who go in and want to do it
just for themselves have got no hope and they never make it. I think, as I look back at all the
prime ministers in my lifetime, they've all worked hard for the nation. Some had it better than
others, but they've all been terrific Australians.

We've actually got a web question come in, I'm told, for you, John Elliott. It is from shail Akhil

Sounds like one of the refugees.

When will John Elliott step up and save us from the current gaggle of ma'am by Pam by politicians
that only the likes of John E could manage. Obviously a friend of yours

I don't understand the name. I think he comes from Sri Lanka. Never. Why should I stand up? I'm too
old now - I'm 50!



You coul

d You could lead the Nationals.

We could have been a contender candidate. How about you? Who is holding Malcolm Turnbull's soul and
are they stroking it silently or trying to strangle it?

One of the great frustrations - I know we are a cynical lot of people, but one of the great
frustrations is that when you see these people in private, you get a sense of their decency and it
becomes frustrating when people are so cynical about it. John is right - when you think about it
from my perspective - Craig obviously has a different perspective. Someone like Malcolm Turnbull I
found him to be very different on a personal basis than the perception I had a couple of years ago.
He is a personable fellow who is incredibly intelligent. He also at the moment feels a great sense
of frustration because it's difficult to cut through, particularly in the first term of opposition

You me in the Li. Partyroom? Because that's where most of his problems are coming from?

Well, where will there -- well, where there is disunity, there won't be success. I remember looking
into the eyes of people like Craig Emerson in 2001 and 2004 Parliament and seeing complete despair.
I suspect when they look back at us now, they see exactly the same thing. It wasn't until Kevin
Rudd got the discipline into his frontbench and backbench, they remained on message, looked
coherent and like an alternative government that they were able to be electioned. Frankly, until we
get to that point, we will remain in exactly the position we are right now.

Experience tells you that Oppositions get to that point after they are just so sick of losing that
they can't stand it anymore.

I won't make a party political point, I will agree with Peter. The frustration of Opposition is
enormous, particularly for the people who were ministers in the Howard Government. They look
forward and they say, "Well, I get to show up." But when they goat to Government, some young man or
woman come as long and knocks me over, so it is quite dis-Hart enning. I agree with Peter that by
and alarge, across the chamber, while it can be very willing and sometimes quite emotional, the
level of decency in that Parliament is very high.

I agree.

There is a handful of people with whom I would have quibbles about their nature and so on, not
uniquely on one side of politics or the other. People don't see that. You don't see the de-Sency
and respect and civilty that is displayed most of the time.-the-theatre - almost like nk the
cauldron, World Championship wrestling is Question Time. You go in there and say, "Hello, how are
you mate," and then the bell rings and you're in there with the chairs and tables.

Who are you Brute Bernard.

Danger, danger.

It was so inevitable you were going to do that.

Three times this wee

k And finally on television. Well done.

The Lost in Space reference has to hold.

Maybe if all the politicians actually got I had rid of their PR people and actually spoke as
plain-English speaker; we as the Australian people would understand your points of view.


c! There is is a lot of truth in that, but the dilemma is this.

No, just a short answer, yes or no, no PR spin

OK, yes . But when people are themselves and they say something which is a bit of a slip, it will
run and run and run so people say be yourself and then you be yourself and then they said, "What an

Don't rely on your PR people. I'm sick of hearing spin after spin after spin. A bit like a
wherebying machine

Politicians get crucified.

I would rather you be real.

You are seeing a few real politicians up here on stage at the moment. The next question comes from
Penny Santkuti.

Hi, Annabel, Kevin Rudd is apparently going to be the cover story on Rollingstone and as he likes
to be a bit of a chameleon, I wonder what hit lingo we might see him produce and how we see a
youthy spin on his policies.

Well, I have confirmed that, yes, he has been interviewed and photographed and barring the unlikely
event of anything more interesting in rock music happening between now and December, he will be
gracing the cover of that magazine. Now...

You said that because I'm going to interrupt you. Here is one impression of how K Rudd might appear
in the Rolling Stone. It's from the punch online magazine

There is one ever the billions of looks he won't be adopting.

What do you expect he will look like?

I think he will will look like Kevin. He will be the first man to wear chinos on the front of
Rolling Stone.

You haven't seen the spiked hair yet.

I don't need to hear your intimate details. I have enough with my own imagination. I'm told that
the photo shoot was quite restricted and Kevin wore his relaxed and comfortable sort of clothes.
What they will do with that, I don't know. Mack in a tattoo of some kind, I don't know. I think the
best chance for this magazine will sell is that people mistake it for a John Denver memorial
edition. Laugh


(Sings) # Thank God I'm a country boy... #

Can we deal with some sensible issues. This is absolutely nonsense. Never heard of the magazine.

Lady is talking. Lady is talking. We will talk about your magazine spreads in a minute

I don't have any magazine spreads.

Give it time.

I've got the winner for the Cox Plate T will be more useful to most of the viewers.

The important part of this Prime Minister's MO is, it's to try to sort of reach out to audiences
that aren't ordinarily interested in politics.

That's actually a good time to bring in Peter Dutton, although our questioner want to make a point.

What do you think he will focus on what you think the youth will want to know about? What do you
think he will speak to them.

Powderfinger will get a mention.

Doesn't he give them credit to talk about the issue's issues ?

He was on a video link ichat thing, he has about 900,000 followers on Twitterer. He does use these

Annabel, wile wheer' cynical about it. Obama connected hugely with the younger audience in America.
It was important. He re-invigorated in America. Why isn't a good idea.

Well, on Rolling Stone - I'm cynical because I don't think he reads it.

The point is connecting with young people. I think it's fantastic. Kevin Rudd has been really
switched on. In his election campaign, he was really switched on with connects with the new
generation, if we want to take parliamentary politics seriously, we do need to connect with young

Yes, but Louise, there is an important point here. Obama is probably the greatest orator we've ever
seen and our Prime Minister is one of the best spin merchants I've ever seen, but in the end, both
of them have to do something and we haven't seen anything from Obama yet and he got the Nobel Peace
Prize which I think was just a disgrace, an absolute disgrace and we've got to get things done.
Now, all our Prime Minister has done is spent a whole lot of money!

I'm not here to defend Kevin Rudd, but I think in term s for example, his or tri-, his speech
apologising to Indigenous Australians was immensely moving and immensely powerful and very

I would like to hear from Peter Dutton because the serious point in this is how can he compete
easily against someone who has this kind of reach from the '7:30 Report' tonight to the Rolling
Stone in a couple of peeks? With the revel level of popularity he has, how demoralising is that
looking at those politicians week in, week out?

It's not fun if you're not up in the polls, of course, but my view is this is a house of cards and
it's going to come tumbling down and his numbers will faum dramatically when people scratch below
the surface. Annabel mentioned before he has 250,000 people following him on Twitter. This is a
branding exercise of getting kids 12, 13, 14, 15 into the brand, coming online. It is a smart,
smart technique.

You don't have to sign up. Of

But it is a communication tool that is being used to his advantage. Now, I actually believe.

God, heave vein Fred!

Today he twittered a picture of his boots surrounded by Bogong moths. Is there a message there?

Hands jumps up all over the place. Going to this young lady first. We will hear a range of views
from the audience

I wonder in light of all this discussion about Kevin Rudd and whether or not he is good with
interacting with young people, whether you think he is a poor man's Obama and whether - a poor
man's Obama in America, trying to do the same thing but less successfully

That is a good point - we will take that as a comment is what I mean to say. The lady with the

I'm not sure as baby boomers we are making a mistake. I understand that Twitter is virtually never
used from people and I would have thought Rolling Stone's average reader was about 50.

We will take that as a comment.

I reckon you're exaggerating the number!

I totally agree with what Louise said earlier on about there is nothing wrong with Kevin Rudd being
on Rolling Stone and I'm sick of mainstream journalists always being cynical about politicians all
the time. As I said, there is nothing wrong with Kevin Rudd being on Rolling Stone and also it's
the only way to get young people engaged with politics. Don't forget the American Rolling Stone had
Thompson writing for years and years writing about politics

He wasn't cynical at all!

It is necessary for politicians to desperately strive to be cool with young kids. To me, I consider
it a waste of time

I agree

. Shouldn't they be more focused on doing things?

Yeah, good on you.

We have a range of views there. Queer' watching 'Q&A' live. If you would like to join the audience,
register on our website. The address is on your screen. Our next question tonight comes from Scott

The question is to Mr Emerson.

G'day, Sco

tt You are talking about divesting, Telstra, talking about recognising how bad that is for
consumers. Why won't you do the same for the monster duopoly of Coles, Woolworths. It has petrol,
groceries, hardware. Why won't you do the same for the consumer.

We are encouraging more people to enter the market, tearing down the barriers to entry and as you
know, Scott, you're quite critical.

Perhaps you can explain why you know each other because we are puzzled by it.

And then why you're dressed the same.

I will see you after the show.

The executive director of the retailers Association so we have thousands of retailers in Australia
and where Craig is going with this is probably the second part of the question. So if I can say
breaking down the barriers for foreign investors is not the way to go. We have family-owned
businesses right around the regions in this country. Your predecessor's push to drop those foreign
investment barriers is not the answer.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is how lobbying actually works. You're inside the office right now.

Very quickly. There is a lot of little guys around and we want to make sure that they get a decent
go. The zoning laws in Australia stop them from doing it because big deals are done between big
shopping centres and big retailers to keep the little guys out F they can't get into local
community neighbourhoods where they can get more pressure on the big two.

What does that mean? Practically what does that mean?

Zoning laws are about where you can only do certain things in certain areas, John. Now, in
retailing, all the states have different zoning laws and say you can put a retail outlet there, but
not there, there, or there. They end up going to the big two, Coles and Woolies and what we're
doing is tearing them down so the little guys get a go.

Let's hear from Peter Dutton?

What about a website

. Snie don't think the audience will get it

Grocery Watch

. If you want to break down the barriers, four major banks and minor banks, all of whom are
guaranteed by the Government, yet the smaller banks, like the bank of Queensland, and all these
little banks, to get your guarantee from your government, they're paying 1.5% more than the big
banks and therefore you're reducing competition

What a terrible thing, John. Those guarantees stop this country going into a very deep recession, a
very deep recession.

I agree with you. I'm not against the guarantee, but why would the small banks, when you want to
increase competition, have to pay more for their guarantee than the big banks? That's what you're


e We've largely answered that question. We're nearly out of time.

We didn't answer it at all. Because you largely changed the top pick. I got him, though. The last
question comes from Kit Peters.

This question is addressed to no-one in particular.

John will take it.

He can have i

t Does acceptable practice for having a drink or two before entering a public debate or possibly
even a good idea and if they do, what do they suggest the tipple should be and how much?

I think John is going to answer that one.

John's question.

No, I won't go to him. Craig Emerson first. Is it a good idea to have a drink?

It is a bloody disaster, you should never do it

Before you enter a public debate

No and I never will. You need to be reasonably alert, I have to say, notwithstanding the discussion
we had earlier. Yes, responsible tan Nate is important but not trippingover yourself. I would never
do tnchts you are just worried that Nicola will get cross with you. Don't ever do that again

I will admit, I think there might have been a bit of sherry in my try fell. I don't really have a
problem with it.


? Just like some sort of confessional. No, not that I can remember. I think it is a bad idea for us
because it is a moment that is captured forever and footage that gets played for the next 20 years,
so my advice is steer clear.


? I don't drink, so I'm not able to answer the question. John does drink for both of us, so...

John drinks for Australia.

I'm not answering the question

Come on, answer the question.

That's alright, because in fact we have run out of time. So much to talk about. Please thank our
panel, John Elliott, Louise Adler, Annabel Crabb and Craig Emerson and Peter Dutton.


Next week he we have Bill Shorten, Tony Abbott, actor and sat tierist John than big against,
Catherine Debbanemy and BettinaArndt.. Here is an animation from Michael Watt around Geoff McLeod.

I don't like the fact that we haven't done anything about the environment. Our policy is too weak.
We need to make it stronger.

What do you mean, Peter?

Yes, Peter, what do you mean?

I mean we're not doing anything about emissions or renewable energy.

Now, no, Peter, be patient. Clean coal will be almost as reasonable as solar power

The Earth is dying. You expect me to stand here and sing the party song.

Peter, we need to pull together for a real outcome.

Yes, Peter, a real outcome.

SONG: # The time has come to take a step # For our land... #


Tonight - borderline.

If you wanted to get into Australia, and you have bad intentions - what do you do? You insert
yourself in a crowd of 100.

These are divisive, disgusting remarks, and they do not belong in any mainstream Australian
political party.

The more he bellows and shrieks with his outrage, the more he confirms his own failure to protect
our bored . - borders.

This Program is Captioned Live.

Good evening, welcome to Lateline, I'm Ticky Lateline, I'm Ticky Fullerton. Last week the ABC's
Managing Director spoke bluntly about the rise of online media, and the simultaneous fall of print
empires around the globe, likening them to the fall of Rome. While newspaper proprietors and their
boards struggle to find ways of survival, online outfits survival, online outfits like Drudge
Report, The Huffington Post, The Daily Beast, and in Australia Crikey find new audiences. The
demand for instant news, will it meet the curve of profitability, who will survive, who will will
survive, who will fail. How long can many of these news services remain free, what will it mean for
quality journalism. Our guest is Sir Harold Evans, perhaps our most distinguished print medium of
all times. And a champion of investigative journalism. First to the Head lines - Australia to be
carried along by China. It White House outfoxes Rupert Murdoch's channel. Future Funds outlines its
case for higher executive wages to attract better executive staff. Comments came from a
backbencher, but from a backbencher, but it's Malcolm Turnbull in the firing line over claims that
terrorists could slip into Australia amid the hundreds Australia amid the hundreds of asylum
seekers arriving by boat. The Government reacted with fury to the suggestion, calling it
disgusting, without principle. Kevin Rudd pulled out all the stops to out all the stops to attack
Malcolm Turnbull, the Government is under pressure as the number of boats entering Australian
waters grows. From Canberra Dana Robertson reports.

Yet we have on the part of the Leader of the Opposition, a complete abandonment of principle.

The more he bellows and shrieks and outrage, the more he confirms his own failure.

He has chosen a course of action showing a want of courage, and moral leadership.

What the Prime Minister said is not Minister said is not true.

The Member for Dickson will leave the chamber under 94 A.

Another empty seat.

From drama on the high seas, to drama in the parliament. A week of brawling over asylum policy took
a new turn on the week's final sitting day.

Oh, order

. The interception of two boats carrying asylum seekers in the past 24 hours has prompted one
outspoken Liberal to publicly ponder the motives of some on board.

If you wanted to get into Australia, you know, and you have bad intentions, what do you do? You
insert yourself in a crowd of 100. For in a crowd of 100. For which there is great sympathy for the
other 99.

And he thinks there's every likelihood that terrorists are doing just that.

Well, I would probably put a quite - a a very narrow shade, in other words, the favourite races at
about 2 or 3:1.

These are divisive, disgusting remarks, and they do not belong in any mainstream Australian
political party.

They are, though, perfect fodder for an attack on the leader of one.


the leader of one.

If the Leader of the Opposition has one shred of credibility, one shred of decency on the question
of asylum seekers, he would stand to his feet, repudiate the Member for O'Connor, and withdraw his
support for the endorsement of the Member for O'Connor to contest the next election contest the
next election on behalf of the Liberal Party of Australia. Wilson Tuckey is not the Prime Minister
of Australia. Mr Rudd should approach this issue calmly and objectively. This has been a
catastrophic failure in Government policy, and Mr Rudd has to address it. What he sought to do
today is to distract attention from his failure by this contrived, bogus outburst of hysteria and

Distraction or


Distraction or not Malcolm Turnbull ordered his errant backbencher to clarify his statement.

I did not state that asylum seekers were terrorists.

The former Government's longest Government's longest serving Immigration Minister Immigration
Minister admits Wilson Tuckey has a point.

It's always been a concertain certain, that's why we have kark - concern, that's why we have
character and security checks.

It's not just the Opposition grappling with the debate. But there are allegations that a group of
Sri Lankans rescued at sea by the Australian Navy may have sabotaged his open boat.

Will the Minister inform the House when he was made aware of the allegation that the vessel in
distress off the Indonesian coast carrying 78 asylum seekers was deliberately sabotaged.

I haven't received such advice, I have not received such advise.

Some of the Government's advisors confirm they believe holes were drilled in the boat's drilled in
the boat's hull.

As I understand it there was serious issues with the rudder, and so they weren't able to steer it,
and as I understand it, and again I understand it to be correct on all to be correct on all this,
there was no crew on board.

Murky waters for both sides to chart. Australia's mining boom was one of the key reasons for the