Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Disclaimer: The Parliamentary Library does not warrant the accuracy of closed captions. These are derived automatically from the broadcaster's signal.
National Press Club -

View in ParlView

(generated from captions) This program is captioned live.

(Bell gongs) Ladies and gentlemen,

good afternoon and welcome to the

National Australia Bank Address. National Press Club and today's

is a pleasure today to actually be National Australia Bank Address. It

speakers. able to welcome back both our

speakers. The last time Malcolm able to welcome back both our

Turnbull was here, it was at the

peak of the campaign on the

referendum for the Republic when he

was described as a merchant banker

and potential politician. He has

now achieved the potential on

politics and is very much a

politician. Brett Kelly was here

because he had just done a

because he had just done a rather politician. Brett Kelly was here

audacious thing at the age of, I

think, 22, of rounding up a whole

bunch of very prominent Australians

and asking them what they stood for

and how they got where they were,

and he was launching a book based

those interviews. Since then, he and he was launching a book based on

received a letter from somebody - a

young Australian who read that book,

"Yeah, borrowed it from a library and said,

"Yeah, it's very interesting. What borrowed it from a library and said,

are you doing now? What are you

doing about it?" He thought, well,

I'm not doing much. I better do

something about it." He prod zused

second book. He was asked by that something about it." He prod zused a

young reader, "What have you done

since then and what impact has the

process that you went through to

bring the book to fruition has bring the book to fruition has had process that you went through to

on your life and career?" Well, he

has built on that. He has looked

the life and career of quite a has built on that. He has looked at

number of people and he has

another book. The first book was number of people and he has produced

called 'Collective Wisdom'. The

second book is called 'Universal

Wisdom'. That one today is going

be launched shortly by Malcolm Wisdom'. That one today is going to

Turnbull who will after that

introduce Brett to you to have his introduce Brett to you to have his Turnbull who will after that

say about the things that the

holds and the needs for leadership say about the things that the future

in Australia. For a start, please

welcome Malcolm Turnbull. APPLAUSE Thank you

Thank you Thank you very much, Ken.

Endeavouring to draw moral lessons

and wisdoms from the lives of great

leaders is a long tradition. I'm

latest book, not sure whether Brett Kelly's

latest book, 'Universal Wisdom' not sure whether Brett Kelly's

be as widely read as Plutark's latest book, 'Universal Wisdom' will

and it is not as saw Taiious, but be as widely read as Plutark's lives

certainly Brett is continuing in a

very fine tradition and he has

asemed a collection of some of the

most influential men and women of

our times and south

our times and south to draw some most influential men and women of

common threads of wisdom from their

often very tumultuous lives. I was

saying to Brett earlier, just as we

were having lunch, that the life in

this collection, which he will talk

about himself in a moment, that

gives me the greatest cause for

man reflex is that of Nelson Mandela, a

man against whoom so many wrongs reflex is that of Nelson Mandela, a

were committed and then we he

emerged from so many years of

imprisonment, for gave all is hen

mys - a remarkable example of

forgiveness and of love of his

fellow men and women, and of his

country overcoming the natural

instincts for revenge. Now, as a country overcoming the natural human

very new one, member of Parliament and a very,

very new one, I don't think I, member of Parliament and a very,

however, should be talking very

about wisdom, universal or however, should be talking very much

otherwise. Instead, I propose to

discuss folly, a line of work in

which most people regard

as particularly adepth. But before which most people regard politicians

leaving wisdom, I will just

illustrate an important distinction

between knowledge and wisdom which

are not, of course, the same things.

The great English barrister, he are not, of course, the same things.

have if I Smith was notoriously

sharp of tongue and less gifted of

those than himself. Such was a

example of folly, not wisdom, those than himself. Such was a good

especially in an advocate. He was

explaining a point of law to a

particularly dim judge who in his

wiser now impatience said, "Mr Smith, I am no

wiser now than when you began to impatience said, "Mr Smith, I am no

address me." Smith replied, "No

wiser my Lord, but much better

informed." Folly is always easier

find than wisdom, and there is informed." Folly is always easier to

plenty of it about. One of the

greatest follies is to resist

until there is no alternative. greatest follies is to resist change

Plateau said, talking about Plateau said, talking about the until there is no alternative.

creation of the state that

was the mother of invention, and creation of the state that necessity

observation as become an afherism was the mother of invention, and his

and a particularly revealing one at

that because it is often too late,

whether it be business, politics or

our own lives, all of us slip too

quickly in a status quo, quickly in a status quo, a our own lives, all of us slip too

complacent snooze only a rude shock

can wake us. There is no more

dangerous example of come play Ken

Sency today than in the management

of some of our larger cities. It

my duty to note that they are all of some of our larger cities. It is

presided over by Labor governments.

The former New South Wales

Auditor-General Tony Harris

described this Auditor-General Tony Harris astutely described this Labor complacency Auditor-General Tony Harris astutely

when he said that Bob Carr's

political style had become so

successful it had become a mod tell

state for all other state and

Territory leaders. Gone was the

idea, Mr Harris wrote. It had been

replaced by Carr's model. A

government should act more like a

Kons Serge, offering modest resistance. Kons Serge, offering modest

But what a contrast with the

Government. With a strong economy But what a contrast with the Federal

offering every temptation to

complacency and resting on laurels

well won and well deserved from

reforms, John Howard's Government well won and well deserved from past

approaches its first decade with an

was on the enthusiasm for reform as keen as it

was on the day it was elected. Of enthusiasm for reform as keen as it

course, today is the day that Kevin

Andrews introduced the work choices

legislation into the house. House

of Representatives. The single

important reform to workplace of Representatives. The single most

relations in any of our lifetimes,

remarkable demonstration of that relations in any of our lifetimes, a

described for that John Howard so well remarkable demonstration of that met

described of check reform being for that John Howard so well

described of check reform being like the horizon, the finishing line

the horizon, the finishing line that you can never reach, that you have

to keep on racing towards.

Eternally, reform is an ongoing

process, a living process. That is

so well demonstrated today. What a

contrast to the Labor governments

and particularly in the cities.

Now, I'm speaking with cities because six weeks ago,

Now, I'm speaking with cities because six weeks ago, the House of

Representatives standing commit

Representatives standing commit stee on the environment produced a

on the environment produced a report called Sustainable Cities. Mal

Washer was our chairman, but it had

commenced in the priest Parliament

with Bill Wilson. The report

describes our great cities'

unsustainability and makes

unsustainability and makes important recommendations about how the Commonwealth

recommendations about how the Commonwealth can provide further

Commonwealth can provide further nal leadership to ensure our cities are

developed sustainably and

responsibly. First a little

background. We are an urban nation.

Nearly two-thirds of our

Nearly two-thirds of our population live in our capital cities and more

than 80% live in cities with

populations of more than 50,000.

40% of our population live in just

two cities, Sydney and Melbourne.

Now, these cities not only house

Now, these cities not only house the bulk of our population, Now, these cities not only house the bulk of our population, but they

bulk of our population, but they are the main drivers of our economy and

becoming more so as services occupy

a larger part of our GT P. It has

been obvious to many years that our

cities face enormous challenges -

congestion, pollution, water and

power shortages, to name just a few.

We live in the driest continent, yet

We live in the driest continent, yet Australia uses 1,540 kill

yet Australia uses 1,540 kill litres per annum. North America is just

behind us. In a world challenged

behind us. In a world challenged by global warling, our greenhouse gas

emissions are also the world's

highest. Another UN report puts us

second in carbon dioxide emissions

behind the USA. With petrol prices

rising in

behind the USA. With petrol prices rising in response to China and

India, our dependency has increased

on the automobile. Vehicle

on the automobile. Vehicles

kilometres travelled has increased

by almost 60% in cities like Sydney

between 1980 and tz. Now, are

between 1980 and tz. Now, are these the inevitable consequences of ur

been growth? Is this just a by

product of pros Perth, a modern

example of where there is muck,

there is brass? Not at all. They example of where there is muck, there is brass? Not at all. They

are the inevitable consequences of

years of complacency, of years of

folly. We have known for decades

that oil was a finite resource. We

have known for decades that water

was a scarce commodity, not a free

good, yet with few exception

good, yet with few exceptions state

governments have existed in and ex-

governments have existed in and exacerbated unsustainable practices

to the point where the viability of

our cities is at

to the point where the viability of our cities is at risk. A necessary

requirement of urban life has been

requirement of urban life has been a reliable supply of safe drinking

water. The remnants of the Roman

aqua ducks which still march across

the European countryside remind us

that water science is a challenge.

Great cities have died literally

when the water ran out. Assuming

there are no increases in water

supply, all of our there are no increases in water supply, all of our larger cities

will face a significant deficit, a

gap between yield and demand.

Sydney and Brisbane will be the

worse off with a gap of 38% and 33%

within 20 years. To put that in

absolute numbers, if you assume

Sydney's sustainable yield is 600

billion litres, itself an

billion litres, itself an optimistic assumption - and that is less than

Sydney is currently using today -

the total demand in 2025 will Sydney is currently using today - the total demand in 2025 will be

the total demand in 2025 will be 826 billion litres. The New South

billion litres. The New South Wales Government's own metropolitan water

plan stated last year Sydney is

using more water than is

sustainable. Water could be a key

limiting factor on its future greth

and prosperity. Those limits could

be considerably more severe than we

think. We've seen very significant

reductions in rainfall across

Australia. The average stream flow

from 1911 to 2003 in Perth was 285

billion litres. From 1975 to 2003,

the average had reduced to 1 64

billion litres. If you consider

billion litres. If you consider the last seven years, it's even worse -

it's 120 billion litres. Turning

it's 120 billion litres. Turning to Sydney, there is a grave concern

that the estimates of sustainable

yield - 600 million

that the estimates of sustainable yield - 600 million litres - based

on 95-year averages, are no longer

valid. If, as it would appear,

there has been a real shift

downwards in rainfall - and of

course an increase in temperature

which increases evaporation, then

the long-term averages are quite

irrelevant. Sydney's 600 billion

litres may be a serious

overestimate. For example, the

long-term inflow into the whole

long-term inflow into the whole Hawkesbury system is over the

century, 1,1 42 billion litres.

century, 1,1 42 billion litres. The average over the period, 1991 to

2002, is 697 billion litres. It

gives you an idea of the scale of

climate change that we're looking

at. Now, more than a decade ago,

Sydney water knew that it needed

substantially to augment the water

supply for Sydney. This was driven

in their minds by growth and demand.

That knee, of course, is much

greater now with this decline in

stream flows. There were basically

only two viable options - a new dam

or large-scale recycling.

Everything else was either not big

enough, or in the case of

desalination, too expensive. The

Labor Government vetoed both a new

dam and raising the dam wall at war

ran GAM ba and then did nothing for a

ran GAM ba and then did nothing for a decade. They hoped it would rain.

The rains have not come, or at

least in not sufficient abundance.

Our dams are only 38% full. If the

current weather conditions continue

for another two years, the city

for another two years, the city will literally run out of water. And

what has been the price of this

folly? In a desperate effort to

folly? In a desperate effort to find a quick fix, Morris Iemma's

Government has resolved to build a quick fix, Morris Iemma's Government has resolved to build a

desalination plant. This plant,

likely to cost around $2 billion,

likely to cost around $2 billion, is estimated by the Government's own

consultants to deliver fresh water

at a cost of $1.53 per thousand

litres, per kilo hereto. The form

litres, per kilo hereto. The former Premier, Mr Carr, described

desalination as bottled Leck * tis

before he changed his mind about it, thand that was

before he changed his mind about it, thand that was no exaggeration.

thand that was no exaggeration. The energy requirement for desal

energy requirement for desal naiting sea water is between four and five

times as high as it is for waste

water recollect cla maition. This

is not only the most expensive

is not only the most expensive water available, it will also generate

greenhouse gas emissions. There

greenhouse gas emissions. There has been the argument that people don't

want to drink recycled water, but been the argument that people don't want to drink recycled water, but

the reality is there is no need, as

many countries have shown - the

Israelis being the best example -

there is no need to put recycled

water back into the drinking water

system, even though it can be

purified to a level of purity that

is much higher in fact than the

water that is currently coming out

of the dams. As Professor Greg

Lesley from the University of New

South Wales has pointed out

recently, the drugs South Wales has pointed out recently, the drugs and pathogens

which need to be excluded from

which need to be excluded from waste water when it is being processed

have a larger molecular size than

the salt which is removed by ee

verse os mow sis when it's

processing satisfy sea water. So

processing satisfy sea water. So it can certainly purify. But the big

issue which the State Government, issue which the State Government, Mr Scully, in particular, issue which the State Government, Mr Scully, in particular, has only

Scully, in particular, has only just started to acknowledge today in

started to acknowledge today in this morning's papers - the big issue is

that this plant will be an

extraordinary white elephant. A

plant of this kind has to be built

on a take or pay basis. The normal

arrangement for big desalination

plants of this kind is that the

plants of this kind is that the take or pay alternative is 60% of the

contract price. So if the plant is to provide,

contract price. So if the plant is to provide, say, 180 billion litres,

which was the scale talked about,

which was the scale talked about, at $1.50 a litre, that's $270 million

$1.50 a litre, that's $270 million a year. If rains come, the dams are

full, the State would be up for 60%

of that, over $150 million for

of that, over $150 million for water it never received. But it's

it never received. But it's clearly better to pay 90 cents for water

better to pay 90 cents for water you don't receive than $1.50

better to pay 90 cents for water you don't receive than $1.50 for water

you don't need. On the other hand,

recycling achieves an important

environmental objective. It cleans

up the oceans regardless. So even

if you have plenty of water, even

if you have plenty of water, even if the dams are full, you at least are

not polluting the ocean. Now, the

Federal Government has shown real

leadership in terms of water. The national

National Water Initiative, which National Water Initiative, which was initiated by

National Water Initiative, which was initiated by the Howard Government

and which the states have supported

through COAG has $2 billion of

Commonwealth money in the fund to

spent over five year

Commonwealth money in the fund to be spent over five years. A key

objective of the national wau objective of the National Water

Initiative is to encourage the

re-use and recycling of waste water

where cost effective, but in Sydney,

seems to be going in a complete

seems to be going in a completely

perverse direction with respect to

perverse direction with respect to its management of water. But it's

not just water. Consider transport.

The major problem in our cities

today is car dependency because of

pollution and because of congestion.

Professor Peter new man, the

commissioner, told the committee

that cities with strong rail

that cities with strong rail systems are 45% wealthier than weak

that cities with strong rail systems are 45% wealthier than weak rail

cities because residents, that's

cities because residents, that's the economy does not have to spend as

much on people getting to and from

their work, to and from schools and

so forth. Car transport is

expensive. If the passengers who

currently use rail to travel each

day into the Sydney CBD were to

shift their cars, an additional 65

lanes of freeway and 782 hectares

lanes of freeway and 782 hectares of car parks would be needed. This

lanes of freeway and 782 hectares of car parks would be needed. This

would require a multistorey car

would require a multistorey car park 1,042 floors high. I mention that

with some trepidation because

with some trepidation because having regard to the propensity of the

State Government, they are quite

likely to build one of these things

in a public-private partnership and

then provide barriers and traps to

force people to use it because

that's exactly what they've done

with the Cross City Tunnel.

that's exactly what they've done with the Cross City Tunnel. The

extraordinary perversety of the

management of Sydney - and this I

think is the worst managed State in

Australia and certainly the worst

managed city - is that at a time

when we should be promotes mass

transit and providing real, safe,

reliable speedy alternatives for

automobiles for a whole range of

reasons which are too obvious to repeat to you

reasons which are too obvious to repeat to you , what we have done

repeat to you , what we have done is we have made the cars faster and we

have slowed down the public

transport. We've actually created

incentives to make people not use

public transport. Take the Cross

City Tunnel. In return for a large

upfront fee and potential revenue

for shares in the future, the

Government has created congestion

Government has created congestion in Australia's biggest city through

street closures and other changes street closures and other changes to compel use of

street closures and other changes to compel use of the tunnel, and then

imposed a real substantial

imposed a real substantial financial liability on itself and through it

the taxpayers of New South Wales if

it dares to open those streets

it dares to open those streets which it appears to have sold to the

owners of the tunnel for all

practical purposes or heaven forbid,

dares to improve the quality of

public transport so as to diminish the appeal of

public transport so as to diminish the appeal of the Cross City Tunnel.

What is wrong here? We have in our

largest city where the need for

sustainable water and transport

policies is manifest, a government

which has rejected recycling of

water and opted instead for a

gas-guzzling and

gas-guzzling and pollution-producing desalination plant, created

congestion around those words to --

desalination plant, created congestion around those words to --

roads to compel drivers to use them

and at the same time they have sped

up the motor cars, slowed down the

trains and buses. It is though the

Carr Government, the Iemma

Government has decided to do

Government has decided to do exactly the reverse of what a sustainable

city needs. So what's the answer?

The report that I mentioned, the

sustainable cities remember, notes

that the national competition

sustainable cities remember, notes that the national competition

that the national competition policy addressed a great priority of

addressed a great priority of making Australia competitive, and it

provided incentive payments to

states and penalties, carrots and

sticks, and we've all seen the

benefits of that. Much of the

benefits of that. Much of the great economic growth of the Howard years

has been due to the improvements,

the competitive improvements

the competitive improvements brought on by the national competition

policy. The report recommends we

take that model and

policy. The report recommends we take that model and establish a

sustainability commission which

would agree on sustainability

benchmarks against which government

policies at all levels would be

judged. The allocation of

Commonwealth funds, especially to

transport, water and other

infrastructure, would depend on

meeting those benchmarks which of

course would also apply to the

Commonwealth. Incentive payments

should also be considered to reward governments which meet

should also be considered to reward governments which meet the

benchmarks. This would reinforce

the leadership shown already by the

Federal Government with respect to

sustainability. I've mentioned the

National Water Initiative.

National Water Initiative. Consider AusLink which has included $1.8

billion in funding for rail

billion in funding for rail projects that should double the freight

capacity of the north-south rail

network within five years. The Australian Government water

network within five years. The Australian Government water fund

Australian Government water fund has the capacity of doing the same

the capacity of doing the same thing with water, but there is a lot of

Commonwealth funds, there are a lot

of Commonwealth funds both in terms

of direct funds and in terms of tax

concessions which are being used

concessions which are being used by state governments and local

governments directly and indirectly

without any regard to ensuring that

our cities, that our communities

our cities, that our communities are sustainable. We

our cities, that our communities are sustainable. We mustn't allow

necessity to be the mother of

innovation here. We mustn't leave

this innovation until it is so

compelling that we have no choice.

We should continue the re

We should continue the reform that

has been shown by this government

over the last decade and move onto

sustainability, recognising that it

over the last decade and move onto sustainability, recognising that it

has important environmental, social

and economic objectives, and enable

the Federal Government to provide

the leadership that only it can

provide across the nation to ensure

that as we plan and develop our

cities and our communities, large

and small, sustainability is a key

priority. Now, Brett Kelly,

and small, sustainability is a key priority. Now, Brett Kelly, our

author, who kindly asked me to

launch his book, invited me to

launch his book, invited me to speak on a subject that I was passionate

about, and I've done that. He is a

most passionate man, a very, very

committed, enthusiastic man in the

best sense of the word. He sought

to divine a - 'Universal

best sense of the word. He sought to divine a - 'Universal Wisdom' he

calls it, but it is really common

moral values and principles from

moral values and principles from the lives, as I said of great men and

women, or great leaders of our

times. Brett has moved ontd from

times. Brett has moved ontd from -- on from the local scene in his

first book to the players on the

world stage in this book, and I

world stage in this book, and I look forward to the universal wisdom

forward to the universal wisdom that he has drawn from those lives and he has drawn from those lives and he is

he has drawn from those lives and he is sharing it with us now. Thank

you very much. APPLAUSE

Thank you, Mr Turnbull, for those

kind words. It's once again an

incredible honour and privilege to address this club.

incredible honour and privilege to address this club. Distinguished

guests, ladies and gentlemen, thank you for come

you for coming to hear Mr Turnbull

to speak today and for giving me

to speak today and for giving me the opportunity to speak about my book.

So what is it that makes a life

great? That was the question that

came after the publication of this

book, 'Collective Wisdom'. I went

around the country, as a young guy,

23, trying to find out what it was

that made people better than that made people better than average at what they did,

that made people better than average at what they did, no matter what it

was. So in this first book, there

were politicians, business people,

sporting people, HG Nelson - I

sporting people, HG Nelson - I don't know what you call him, a comedian.

He certainly was very funny. I

He certainly was very funny. I sent letters out and asked these people

to speak to me and kindly they did

and Mr Turn bell was one of those

people. Have you ever looked at Nelson Mandela and

people. Have you ever looked at Nelson Mandela and thought, "Where

did he come from? How did he become

that?" What about begandy, mother

that?" What about begandy, mother at the race 15, Helen Keller. How

the race 15, Helen Keller. How does a guy like Warren rejected by

Harvard turn 50 bucks into $50

billion? So that's what I was doing,

sitting around, released my first

book, it went well and living my

life. I got a letter from a young

Australian and he said, "What did

you get out of that book? What are

you doing now?" I thought in these

days where you get SMS messages,

text messages at best, to get an

actual handwritten letter, "What

actual handwritten letter, "What did you get out of this book, the ideas

and experiences?

you get out of this book, the ideas and experiences?" I looked at this

letter and I thought I probably

should write back to him, but I

didn't have anything to write. I

sat down and started writing this

letter and I sketched out some

letter and I sketched out some ideas and thosees became the framework

and thosees became the framework for this new book, which looks like

this. Off the back of 'Collective

Wisdom', I spoke to over 100,000

people across the country, young

people, old people, people in

between. All sorts of forums -

between. All sorts of forums - youth groups, basically anyone who

was ask me to speak. Retirees. I

would tell them the story of my

book. I was 22, I lost my job. I

wrote letters to Australians

basically to teach me what they had

learned. I said to each of those

people, whatever you teach me, I

will put in a book and get out to

other young people. I told that

story over 200 times. At the

other young people. I told that story over 200 times. At the end

story over 200 times. At the end of every one of those sessions I took

questions. I would have people

stand up and ask me, "So who was

stand up and ask me, "So who was the most interesting person? How did

most interesting person? How did you get the people to talk to you? What

have you learned?" It got to the

point where I could tell you what

the next question was going to be.

I would get clangers, ones that

I would get clangers, ones that make you take a step back and think, "Well,

you take a step back and think, "Well, gee." I had a man come up to

me and he said, "Brett, my son

killed himself." There are a lot of

young men killing themselves in

young men killing themselves in this country. Why do you think that is

in" I read Martin Luther kipg and

in" I read Martin Luther kipg and he said, "What are you doing for

others?" I was asked time and again,

what was the biggest lesson that

what was the biggest lesson that you learned from 'Collective Wisdom'. learned from 'Collective Wisdom'. I got this letter and

learned from 'Collective Wisdom'. I got this letter and I'm writing

these thoughts down, I've got this

jum bell of thoughts and I started

to pull it together. I said what I

had learned from these questions

had learned from these questions and the questions that life had thrown

at me - I lost my job when I was 22.

Mire father died of cancer - a

four-year brother. My other 8th brother died in a

four-year brother. My other 8th brother died in a car accident in

February. When stuff like that

happens, you have some serious

soul-searching and that's what I

did. What I know about that letter,

it's not a one-off letter, a

it's not a one-off letter, a one-off question, it's questions that

question, it's questions that people were asking many, many times. I

started looking at what life was

about. What is the end of a good

life for a person - a family, a

company, a corporation. Today I'm

life for a person - a family, a company, a corporation. Today I'm

not asking anyone to suddenly

celebrate and instantly adopt my

basic thesis that there is

basic thesis that there is universal wisdom. What I am asking is for

people to think about the

fundamental questions that these

people have asked me and life has

asked me and give that some

consideration. What I would also

say is that I do note there is a

recent republication of all of the

recent republication of all of the Penguin classic series. There are

Latin and ancient history classes

and every time you turn around

and every time you turn around there is a new-age this or a new-age that

about what life is all about. So I

do know from my travels and my

observation of life generally that

there are people asking questions.

So the inspiration for the book was

the letter. But where do you start?

Well, the magnificent seven was where I start, I

Well, the magnificent seven was where I start, I call them. They

were people I tripped along, as I

read about one person, I would find

another. I read about Warren

buffet. I read about Martin Luther

King, Nelson Mandela, begandy, Pope

John Paul II, Helen Keller and

Mother Theresa.

John Paul II, Helen Keller and Mother Theresa: Mahatma Gandhi,

Mother Theresa: Mahatma Gandhi, this was a guy studying to be a

barrister. The first time he

barrister. The first time he turned up to court, he was dumb struck,

literally could not speak, so he

literally could not speak, so he was out of the barrister business, and

started doing the sort of community

work that he became famous for. He

was 45 when he got back to India,

certainly didn't look like a

was 45 when he got back to India, certainly didn't look like a person

who would have the British Empire

retreating from India. Nelson

Mandela spent 27 years in jail and

four years later became President.

What I noted with many of these

people - Mother at the race 15 had

around about 42. She called it a

calling within a calling and

calling within a calling and decided to help those people who no-one

calling within a calling and decided to help those people who no-one

to help those people who no-one else would help, those who are utterly

rejected by their family and

society. What's so interesting is

that many of these people were just

people rolling along. This process

of discovery that led me to

of discovery that led me to befriend what I call the manufactures seven

was not anything other than short

was not anything other than short of shocking. I could not believe what

I was raefding. I did not know the

background of these people. I only

knew them as

background of these people. I only knew them as icons. Fancy this:

Warren buffer, I consider three

basic ideas of investing. I think

those ideas 100 years from now will

still be as relevant as they are

today and will be the cornerstone

today and will be the cornerstone of sound investing. He goes on to

sound investing. He goes on to name those ideas. The key thing he said:

If principles can become dated,

they're not principles. He

interestingly enough got

they're not principles. He interestingly enough got bagged

through the Internet boom and

everyone said you're not making any

money, there is a new world. He

money, there is a new world. He sat back and stuck to what he was doing

and again was vindicated. Martin

Luther King came out and said today

people are relative. Confused that

concept to the idea of the ethical realm.

concept to the idea of the ethical realm. Nelson Mandela quite

interestingly came out and said,

"One of the striking features of

modern times is that so many men

modern times is that so many men and women all over the globe all over

the continents fight oppression of

human rights. Many people have

human rights. Many people have been able to solve their problems

able to solve their problems because of the efforts of those men and

women who have vision, who have

courage to stand for the truth and

are prepared to suffer for it. are prepared to suffer for it." Begandy

Begandy actually called his auto

are prepared to suffer for it." Begandy actually called his

autobiography, "My experiments with truth.

truth: Don't worry that need not

disturb me. The law will work just

as the law of gravitation works.

as the law of gravitation works." Now I'm a young guy reading this.

Now I'm a young guy reading this. I had not heard this at school. I

had not heard this at school. I had a masters degree, I had done stom

study. I hadn't

a masters degree, I had done stom study. I hadn't heard anything

study. I hadn't heard anything like this. The all the big questions

were closed. It was just a

were closed. It was just a question of working out how to do things.

What I say that these seven people

have shown me is that there are

principles that are universally

principles that are universally true in all of these various endeavours

and it was these people's secrets

that they took their gifts and

abilities, united it with one of

these principles, but let's face it,

abilities, united it with one of these principles, but let's face it,

we know about Martin Luther King

today, but didn't know about

today, but didn't know about Malcolm X. One seems to have been

vindicated. This young man's

vindicated. This young man's letter I propose to be emblem attic of a

much wider question that is taking

place amongst young people. Like

that sensible daughter of the wild

mother in Sclaul Fabulous, there is

a degree of

mother in Sclaul Fabulous, there is a degree of thoughtfulness in young

people who are asking questions

about what life is all about, what

workses and what doesn't.

Interestingly, when I spoke about

'Collective Wisdom', what was most

interesting in that book was these

weren't parents, teachers, other

people in authority who were saying

one thing and doing another, these

were people who were saying what

they believed and they had the runs

oon the board, they were actually

doing it in their day-to-day life.

oon the board, they were actually doing it in their day-to-day life.

Young people today like myself are

making choices not out of some

idealistic zeal that was perhaps

apparent in the '60 br or the

experimentation in the '70, but

because we are highly informed, we

are sceptical and interested in

authentic ideas. A friend of mine

said the other day, "Brett, a

said the other day, "Brett, a survey of a -- 500 Australian school

children sited the No. 1 fear

amongst children. It wasn't

terrorism, it wasn't global warming.

It was that their parents would be

divorced." If you look at

Australia's youth suicide rate -

when I was out there, I came

face-to-face with people asking

face-to-face with people asking that question. You can't actually question. You can't actually employ people

question. You can't actually employ people day-to-day who actually

haven't been born. Of it all

haven't been born. Of it all points to this questioning and what I put

across the front of this book is

that the quest was to find answers

to ultimate questions. I'm 31

to ultimate questions. I'm 31 years of age and I consider myself to

of age and I consider myself to just be a mere seeker of wisdom. I

be a mere seeker of wisdom. I don't have a constituency. I'm simply a

sole trader self-publishing my second

sole trader self-publishing my second book and I'm hoping to

continue the conversation with

continue the conversation with those people who read the first book.

people who read the first book. The letter that I received, I tried to

answer it. It was a bit of a

failure as I scribbled out my first

letter. I rang Andrew up who had

actually sent me this letter and I

said, - this was about 8 weeks ago,

nine weeks ago now. I said,

"Andrew, I got your letter last

"Andrew, I got your letter last October and I really wanted to

October and I really wanted to write an answer to you and I haven't been

able to at this point, but I'm

ringing to tell you that I have

responded to your letter and my

response is a book. What I'll do

response is a book. What I'll do is I'll mail it to you. Is this still

the right mailing address?" Now,

the right mailing address?" Now, the guy lives in Queensland. He is

actually part of the armed frss in

Townsville. I recently visited him.

actually part of the armed frss in Townsville. I recently visited him.

I could hear at the end of the

phone that he wasn't saying much.

phone that he wasn't saying much. I said, "Andrew?" Yeah, Brett, I'm

there, mate. That sounds really

great. Hard to believe, really. I

said, "Don't worry, is that the

right address. I will send it up.

right address. I will send it up." When I met with him, you said to me,

what is the impact of putting this

book together had beyond our life and what are

book together had beyond our life and what are the insights you've

gained. I said to him, "Andrew,

that's my answer. It's not overly

original. That's the point or part

of the point. It just says look,

these seven guys and girls are

pretty interesting. They're worth

having a read about and the deeper

I've read about the people and

looked at those questions, the more

I found answers to what I've

regarded as ultimate questions.

regarded as ultimate questions. The I believe those questions

regarded as ultimate questions. The I believe those questions are

applicable to my individual life

applicable to my individual life and any interaction I have with

community, corporation or certainly

at a national level for people who

have the opportunity to influence

that. It has been a privilege to

that. It has been a privilege to be here again today. I want to thank

Rebecca, who is my wife, a great

wife at that. Thank you to my

parents, my family, Jeff, Dan,

Graham, Ella, the

parents, my family, Jeff, Dan, Graham, Ella, the two Margarets,

they all know who they are. The

people at Garry Ellen. This time

around - the first time I was 23

when the book came out. I had been

told everyone can publish a book,

but not everyone can sell a book.

We got the publishing part sorted

and then we sold a lot of books,

which was great. I want to thank

many of those people who got behind

me on that first

many of those people who got behind me on that first project and some

me on that first project and some of whom I I apologised last time. Of

Malcolm, I appreciate your support

in making my presence possible here

today. I met Malcolm when I was

trying to harass and ha rang some

promment Australians to speaking

with me. I really appreciate him

getting me here today to share the

books with you. Thank you.

books with you. Thank you. APPLAUSE Well thank you, both, and

questions are open to both of them,

although we have a rather limited

time today. It is a sitting day

time today. It is a sitting day and Malcolm Turnbull has to get back to

Parliament. Let's start off and

Parliament. Let's start off and see how we go. The first question is

from Scott Murdoch. Congratulations

on the book. Mr Kelly, --

from Scott Murdoch. Congratulations on the book. Mr Kelly, -- Mr

Turnbull, there has been a lot of

tax debate particularly this

welcome. There has been some data

coming out. The Australian Chamber

of Commerce and Industry has this

morning said in its budget

submission that tax reform is what

it believes should be the

Government's No. 1 goal. Do you

agree with that firstly, is that

true, and with the current

Treasurer, do you believe we will

see more tax reform, more tax

Treasurer, do you believe we will see more tax reform, more tax cuts

in the next budget. Well, dealing

with the third question, I can't

predict what the Treasurer will do.

He is always available to answer

questions, so you can ask him about

his intentions. Dealing with the

first question,

first question second, I read the

summary of the ECON tech research

and it looked

summary of the ECON tech research and it looked very positive and

encouraging because I share the

encouraging because I share the view that major tax reform is affordable

in the context of the budget at

present, and I think that, as I've

said several times, if we can't

afford tax reform today, then when

will we be able to afford it? We

don't want to be in the situation

which a lot of countries have been

in and New Zealand with Roger Douglas

in and New Zealand with Roger Douglas was a very good example,

where tax reform was undertaken in

order to deal with an economic

crisis. The grittest motivation

crisis. The grittest motivation for economic reform is when the economy

is in trouble, but the greatest

capacity to reform the economy with

the least hardship to anybody, and

with the fewest losers is when the

economy is strong. That, of course,

is what John

economy is strong. That, of course, is what John Howard ableably

supported by Peter Costello and

their colleagues has done for

their colleagues has done for nearly 10 years. They've used a strong

economy to promote and execute on

continued economic reform. Deal

continued economic reform. Dealing

with the second question about the

Australian Chamber of Commerce and

Industry, they together with most

business groups, the BCA,

Industry, they together with most business groups, the BCA, Business

Council of Australia, business

coalition for tax reforms, the

accountants, CPA Australia have all

advocated tax reform. The paper I

produced in August with jirm my

Temple that achieved a bit of

notoriety wasn't a revolutionary

insight. The case for tax reform

insight. The case for tax reform in Australia, for having a simpler, Australia, for having a simpler, for efficient and

Australia, for having a simpler, for efficient and more equitable tax

system is one that has been made by

almost every relevant interest

almost every relevant interest group in terms of the business community, tax

taxpayer organisations,

taxpayer organisations, accountants and so forth. The next question is

from Glenn Milne. Glenn Milne from

'The Australian' and News Limited

Sunday publications. Malcolm - and

I must explain, if

Sunday publications. Malcolm - and I must explain, if you excuse the

familiarity, but Malcolm have known

for each other at law school,

for each other at law school, except I worked out that there was more

money to be made in journalism.

Money is my theme. A number of

figures featured in Mr Kelly's book

are what I would call spiritual

figures. You, as we've just heard,

is a vigorous advocate of

figures. You, as we've just heard, is a vigorous advocate of policies

such as tax cuts, but I wonder in

that context you might reflect on

what's known as the con seft of

afluenza, that we are a more

prosperous but less happy country?

Well, I was actually - this

Well, I was actually - this question was put to me the other day by a

was put to me the other day by a Nepalese ja who heads the United

Nations environmental program in

Asia, and he told me that in his

Asia, and he told me that in his own country, I believe, they have a

happiness index. In addition to

happiness index. In addition to GDP and other economic indicators, they

have a happiness index. It is an

interesting one because we were

talking about sustainability in

cities, and it occurred to me that

one of the

cities, and it occurred to me that one of the benefits of less use of

motor cars, of private motor cars,

and the greater use of public

transport is that you get to meet a

lot of people you otherwise

lot of people you otherwise wouldn't meet. I will tell the story - I

will just tell it very quickly

because it is quite funny - I was

sitting on a train the other day

sitting on a train the other day and a young man was sitting opposite

sitting on a train the other day and a young man was sitting opposite me

very uncomfortably in a new suit.

He was struggling with his tie.

He was struggling with his tie. All of us have been in that position at

one point in our lives. I could

one point in our lives. I could see what he was up against. He said to

me, "Could you help me with my tie?

me, "Could you help me with my tie?" I said, "Of course I will." There

were half a dozen of people in the

carriage all of whom knew who I was.

The he was the only person who didn't know I was a

The he was the only person who didn't know I was a member of

Parliament. I did his tie up for

them. He showed it to the other

people in the carriage and they

said, "It's a bit short." So I did

it again. Anyway - and we all -

it again. Anyway - and we all - you can imagine we all had a great

can imagine we all had a great laugh and we all asked him to let us know

how he got on with the job. I

how he got on with the job. I guess if you were talking about

sustainability of the economy or

something, that would be something you

something, that would be something you would put in the happiness

index. Turning just back to tax,

Glenn, tax cuts are not about tax

cutting for the rich or about

money for millionaire nature

cutting for the rich or about saving money for millionaire. The reality

is the tax system is a vital part

is the tax system is a vital part of our economy. If it is efficient

our economy. If it is efficient and if it is equitable and if it

promotes incentive and

if it is equitable and if it promotes incentive and promoting

enterprise and rewards effort, then

everybody benefits. The history of

the countries around the world that

have created more efficient tax

systems is that that has promoted

economic growth and promoted GDP

growth and resulted in higher tax

revenues. I mean, company tax

revenues are at their highest ever,

yet this government, the Howard Government reduced company

yet this government, the Howard Government reduced company tax. Is

there something paradoxical about

that? Of course not. If

that? Of course not. If governments want to increase the revenue that

they receive in taxes, they

shouldn't put taxes up. Whap they

should do is promote economic

growth. That is why the

Commonwealth Government's revenues

are strong. They are a consequence

of the economic reform that John

Howard and his colleagues have

tirelessly promoted over nearly

Howard and his colleagues have tirelessly promoted over nearly a

decade. So, everybody can benefit

from tax reform, but only if it's

genuine reform. I have never

advocated just cutting the top rate.

People have suggested I have. I

have never advocated that. I

appreciate some of my writings on

tax are a lit bit long and

impenetrable, but I would urge

tax are a lit bit long and impenetrable, but I would urge you

to struggle through them and see

that what I'm talking about is tax

reform that will deliver for

everybody and not just for people

who pay tax, because nobody has a

greater vested in a tax system are

people who are receiving benefits

from government because they need -

they will be better off with

from government because they need - they will be better off with a

stronger economy which an efficient

tax system can promote, and the

benefits that a stronger economy

benefits that a stronger economy can share with those that need the

support of the community. Question

from Fleur Anderson From the

'Financial Review'. This is a

question for both plp Turnbull and

for Mr Kelly. Come on Brett. You for Mr Kelly. Come on Brett. You go first.

for Mr Kelly. Come on Brett. You go first. Today you've talked about

folly and wisdom. I'm wondering

what role courage has in leadership.

In particular, we've seen today

In particular, we've seen today the Prime Minister warning of a

Prime Minister warning of a specific terrorist threat to Australia and

the need to put more legislation in

through the Parliament to attack

through the Parliament to attack the sort of urgent

through the Parliament to attack the sort of urgent worry. I just

sort of urgent worry. I just wanted to know both of your views. Is

courage the way to deal with this

sort of threat, or is it more

legislation? How do we deal with

this sort of thing when there is a

real feeling of fear that is being

created around the world? Do you

want me to do that? You can do

that. Thank you. I will go first and Brett can

that. Thank you. I will go first and Brett can correct my errors.

There is no doubt that we live in

very dangerous times, and the Prime

Minister has explained some very

recent, urgent situations that have

arisen that require an amendment

today and tomorrow of the - through

both House

both Houses - of the terrorist

legislation. It is a very

both Houses - of the terrorist legislation. It is a very small

amendment, but an important one but

is to be distinguished from the

larger legislation that has been

subject to a lot of discussion, as

you know. We are dealing now with

legislation that involves two of

legislation that involves two of the most important and vital interests

of our community. Firstly, we're

dealing with the security of

Australia, with the safety of Australia.

Australia, with the safety of Australia. The great Roman saying:

The safety of the people is supreme

law. It is a very important thing.

There is no more important duty of

There is no more important duty of a state, of any society than to do

state, of any society than to do its upmost to protect the protected

upmost to protect the protected silt Sens, protect the safety of its

citizens. That can't always be

achieved, but the state must do

everything it can to do that. At

achieved, but the state must do everything it can to do that. At

the same time, we are a free

the same time, we are a free society and our freedoms have been built up

over hundreds of years. Our great

British/Australian tradition, our

great common law tradition and our

liberties, when we move to give

greater powers to our security

agencies, to the police and so

forth, we have to be very, very

careful all the time to ensure that

if we impinge at all upon

careful all the time to ensure that if we impinge at all upon the

liberties of Australians, we do so

to the least extent possible, and

to the least extent possible, and we build as many protections and

safeguards into that legislation.

That, of course, has been the focus

of a great deal of discussion both

within the Parliament, within the

back bench committee of which I'm a

member, which many of you would

know, and of course with all the

premiers. So everybody is focused

premiers. So everybody is focused on achieving those two objectives.

Greater security but without

limiting liberty, or at least not

limiting it to any extent beyond

what is absolutely necessary. As

far as courage is concerned,

far as courage is concerned, courage is, to me, drk courage equals

character. Strong character, good

character, truthful character must

character. Strong character, good character, truthful character must

be courageous. A person that does

not stand for anything will never

not stand for anything will never be able to stand up for any other

cause. You have to be courageous

and stand up for what you believe

and stand up for what you believe in and even if that is something that

others disagree with, they should

respect you, because if you have

respect you, because if you have the courage to stand up for what you

believe in, they know that you will

courage to stand up for what you believe in, they know that you will

have the courage to stand up for

have the courage to stand up for the beliefs and the values that we all

share in common , and t