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9am with David and Kim -

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(generated from captions) she was anointed, doctor. Quick, Kim, help. with the Rural Water Corporation, She's been a manager and grandmother of seven. she's a mother of three for Workplace Participation Currently she's the Minister all those other jobs and she's somehow made time amongst to talk with us this morning to the Parenting Payments. about the forthcoming changes Good morning. Good morning. We a Minister for Workplace Good morning. Good morning. We have

Participation and a Minister for Workplace Relations? We do. Is it that complicate under Joe Hawksy handling the industrial relations side of things. Hockey is handling the industrial relations side of things. I'm looking after people moving into work who are dependent on welfare? You don't want people to be on welfare anymore? I don't think anybody wants to be on welfare. People 16, or 15 to 64. We've got about 2.5 million Australians of working age on welfare. What we know is that if you're stuck on welfare, say disability support pension or a parenting payment or you're unemployed, you are not having much of a good time with life. We know, in fact, you're more likely to become depressed, anxious. If you're a parent on parenting payments, as a single parent, we know your kids are three times likely to be homeless, four times know your kids are three times more

more likely to be teenage parents and five times more likely to be welfare dependent themselves. It's not benign state to be welfare dependent. In any country, Australia is probably a more caring and easier place to surriver than most. We want to -- survive than most. We want to move people into jobs because we think that's the best part of life, being able to support yourself, taking the holiday, meeting friends at work. Are the jobs there? How do you them to get them? The jobs have Are the jobs there? How do you help

never been so in your face, wantinging to to be had at the moment. We have the ageing population. The baby boomers, I'm a bit younger than that. But the baby boomers are all beginning to retire, they're getting to 64 and 65s. That was a huge population bubble that came out of the Second World War. We haven't had those fertility rates since. So we have a situation where in about 20 years time, we'll have double the number of over 65s as we have now. We, at the time, have a booming economy. So we as we have now. We, at the same

have shortages in everything hospitality and tourism to retail. have shortages in everything from

Would you believe getting someone to serve in your shop is a difficulty these days. We have lots of jobs going in the transport and construction sector. In the services sector like aged care and child care, huge numbers of jobs. And these aren't the sorts of jobs you have to do a doctorate. You can often be trained once you have those employability skills and been put on to the work force. As those employability skills and have

of July 1, how will the parenting payments change? It sounds complicated but it isn't. I'm struggling. Up to July 1, if you're a parent on a pension, because you're a single mum or a very low income family, with a couple but very low income, you could stay on that pension until your youngest turns 16. After July 1, we're saying when your youngest turns 6, we will help you back into a at least a part-time job up to 15 hours a week. We believe that's the best thing to help you re-engage with the economy, and give your kids a chance. You're going people do that or make people do kids a chance. You're going to help

that? Well, you don't have options if you have opacity, and you're not disabled yourself. If you're a parent, who is a registered foster carer or you have very disabled children, or if you have more than four kids, if you're home your children, home schooling your four kids, if you're home tutoring

kids, if you're in a very remote location, that's fine. Otherwise... Probably the most question in that is, do those wages, Probably the most important

do the extra 15 hours of work, does that supplement the parenting payment or replace it? You still would be eligible for part of your pension if you weren't making enough. It depends how much you're paid. If you just work 15 hours of work a week on am minimum wage Australia, -- the minimum wage in work a week on am minimum wage in

Australia, which is reasonable these days, you'll still be about $4,000 or $5,000 off better a year off than just the parent pension. We've seen that unless you can $50 net over the pension per We've seen that unless you can earn

fortnight, you don't have to take that job. Unless you have accessible and affordable child care you don't have to take the job. And it has to be within 60 minutes of your home base or where dropping your kids off. Not of your home base or where you're

unreasonable. You don't have to take a job that's miles away or you'll be worse off? The whole business is to be able to help you to be far better off than you are if you stay on the pension your youngest is 16. By then a lot if you stay on the pension until

your children are in the welfare trap. It is a trap. We don't think any Australian should be caught that intergenerational cycle of not any Australian should be caught in

working, not working, not working because quite simply you can't enjoy the good things of life? I wouldn't mind changing tack for a moment, you're the Federal Member for Murray in Victoria which is the Murray Darling Basin? That's for Murray in Victoria which is in

right. Mr Bracks has decided to go it alone? What's your thought that? I'm terribly disappointed. it alone? What's your thought on

All the Premiers have signed up. The State that most needs billions of dollars of extra for water, infrastructure, this is a supply system itself, to help farmers improve the way they manage their water,ther State most in need is Victoria. I can't believe Mr Bracks is saying, "Want to think about it." He's after a better deal for Victoria. Is he not getting better deal? The PM has said that Victoria. Is he not getting a

there will be no extra dollars for a State that hangs out because that wouldn't be fair to the other States that immediately embraced the need for nationally Murray Darling Basin management. the need for nationally consistent

The PM said it can't be about more money. Is there a penalty then? The penalty is for Victorians who are in the worst drought on record. In my electorate, we have a total dependency on irrigated agriculture. You can shift your cows around and take them to the western district where it's rained or bring fodder in to them but think about our billions of dollars of fruit trees and permfant planting. If you don't have water -- permanent planting. If you don't have water, they're dead. If we don't get the autumn break - let's keep the fingers crossed - but there is no plan B. There is no water. We're in a desperate way and we want Mr Bracks to tune in and say, "I'm with the rest of the country on this." rest of the country on this." Given the Murray Darling Basin only receives 6% of the average receives 6% of the average annual rainfall s our food bowl in the wrong spot? Let's take it north, go amongst the enormous monsoonal rainfalls in the Northern Territory, Western Australia. Some have tried that. There was a scheme built to tap into the enormous rainfall but it's a long way from domestic markets, that area. There's enormous pest and disease issuewise a high humidity. What about west of Brissie? There's a lot of great soil. Fabulous soil. I think in Australia we've got to become more mobile on some fronts. Senator Bill Heffernan is being charged at looking very seriously at what could be a whole new way of finding out national food security up north. You can spend $10 billion on a water delivery system but if there is no water, what's the point? Obviously we've got to have the water supply if you're talking about an extra dam. Some people say build an extra dam. If your dam is extra, the one beside it will be empty as well. What we know is we can pipe parts of our system and line channels and hugely improve our current 100-year-old water supply system in Victoria. We know we can. Cost dollars is the problem.

We reckon in Victoria we can double our productivity on half the water. We believe we can. That's why I want Mr Bracks to sign up, join the club and let's get our hands on the billions of dollars that billions of dollars that the Commonwealth has put on the table. How much water are we wasting through cracked piping? We could improve our efficiency by a third. Just in terms of cracked piping? Not so much cracked piping. In the Goulburn system, it's 100 years old. The engineers did an amazing job. In 1886 they followed the In 1886 they followed the old rivers and streams, the swamps and turned them into the ir -- irrigation supply system. We fill up swamps like Winten and turn it into others and so on. That was clever when you were looking clever when you were looking for the lowest spot in the landscape to get gravity to supply your system. It's not so smart when you don't want the system to leak and the evaporation takes much of the water. We would have pipes and be on grids and have a totally different system. Our ancestors were brilliant but they didn't have that technology. We can fix it, though, Dave and we want to be able to do that because Victoria has sunshine, good soils, a Mediterranean climate, we grow superb fruit, beef, cereals. superb fruit, beef, cereals. We could feed the nation just from Victoria and we don't want to kiss it goodbye because of a political stand at the moment with Mr Bracks holding out. It's clearly a passion of yours. Just before we go, had any dinners with the disgraced former West Australian Premier recently? Coffees? I'm afraid, no. Not even an SMS. Probably just Not even an SMS. Probably just as well. I think so. It's a big concern in both parties at the moment? Well, if you're the aspiring new PM, has Mr Rudd is. He says by the end of the year he wants to be PM. I'm afraid you're saying to the public, "Scrutinise me. Have I got integrity, do a lie, do I do sensible thing always?" This particular episode says this. If I was the Labor Party I'd be a bit nervous because there's bit nervous because there's the Burke affair and you have to be a bit nervous. Let's sit down and have a long conversation about where you have been and what you're up to, Kevin. It's going to be a fun year in politics. Great to talk to you. Arianne Spratt next.

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