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(generated from captions) become the former federal minister. has caused one federal minister to Will there be more? the back of Burke, One man glad to see Shadow Treasurer Wayne Swan says the politics of personal destruction the Prime Minister is engaging in challenge he's seen in 11 years. because Kevin Rudd is the biggest And Wayne Swan joins us this morning. Good morning, Wayne. Great to be here. I enjoyed being here time. It was a terrific discussion. here. I enjoyed being here last

We love to hear that. Big smiles on everyone around today. The polls are incurening. People haven't made up their mind but they're heading in the right direction. Has Brian Burke made any impact on Kevin Rudd? I don't believe so. I think there's a mood for change out there. Change is in the air, full moon and the rest of it. People are looking for a fresh start. I really think people are seeing straight through what the PM and the Treasurer have been doing over the last week. I mean, there has been a lot of mud-throwing and mud-slinging. think people want a fresh start and mud-throwing and mud-slinging. I

want to talk about the policies and want to talk about what we do about climate change and education and the war in Iraq. I think they want people to have a contest of ideas. They just don't want these insults flying around all the time. there some thought, though, that flying around all the time. Is

Kevin Rudd hasn't told us as much as he should about those meetings? Last night another telephone conversation was revealed? I don't think so. He's given a full account, as has Graham Edwards. When was the last time we heard John Howard say he made a mistake? Kevin said it wasn't a great idea to meet with Brian Burke. Heeds given an account of that, so has Graham Edwards. The Government is trying to blow up. It wasn't just a meeting, Government is trying to blow this

though, was it, Wayne? There was a coffee, a lunch, a dinner and now a telephone conversation? Kim Beazley said this morning shadow ministers were travelling the country at that time. I was doing the same. I didn't see Brian Burke but I've been to dinners and breakfasts with all manner of people, as shadow ministers do. That's what Kevin was doing in Perth was promoting the party. Wouldn't you expect the ALP to be kicking Government heads over this if the shoe was on the other foot? I think people want a contest over ideas. Nothing Government is saying goes to the core of the great challenges that we have before us in this country. What we going to do about before us in this country. What are

climate change? Are we prepared? we going to do about dangerous

Why haven't we been training enough skilled workers and funding our education systems? If there is corruption or gross impropriety? But Kevin has given everything up. In life, experience is important. The experience of make agmistake informs you better in the future. It's just great to admit you've made a mistake. Kevin has done that. We haven't had that from Howard? We did a couple of weeks ago in Parliament where he accepted he had made a mistake, misheard the question. He won't accept climate change is the fundamental problem that must be dealt with now. He's trying to move over now the political wind has changed on climate changed. What hasn't changed are his policies. Is what occurred to Ian Campbell, just a political stunt? Absolutely political stunt. He didn't deserve political stunt? Absolutely a

to get flicked? Of course he didn't. Ian Campbell himself said publicly he had done nothing wrong and the PM said the only reason he was moved was because he was getting in their way of their personal attack on Kevin Rudd S. that a way to govern the country? You mentioned the important. Let's talk about nuclear power plants and how frightened should Australians be? Well, I don't think it's in our national interests to go down the road of nuclear power and if you're going to have nuclear power, you have to have nuclear power plants. They're mass frbgly uneconomic and there's a big question mark about their safety. Nobody wants a nuclear power plant in neighbourhood. It doesn't make nuclear power plant in their

sense for Australia. We have tremendous supplies of coal and gas. If we can get clean coal technology working. We can cope with our energy needs into the future without having to contemplate nuclear power into the future. don't think nuclear powser in our nuclear power into the future. I

national or environmental interests. It doesn't suit this country. the current Government was to It doesn't suit this country. If

up at the next election, do you the current Government was to get

believe it's a foregone conclusion? No, I don't believe it is at all because it's not economic. Even Peter Costello has said it's not economic in the past. It's not economic. I think the Government has been left so flat footed on the whole issue of climate change, they're trying to taub about nuclear power as if they've got a solution for the future. But nuclear power frbs it was a reality, would be a long way off. We need do something concrete in the next would be a long way off. We need to

15 years. The Government is talking about 25 reactors. We really have to now massively invest in coal technology. Look at renewables. to now massively invest in clean

Do something about demand management. All of these things need to be done urgently because as Nick Stern has pointed out f we don't do something about the accumulation of gases in the near future, then we've got a really big problem down the track. It does seem to me, that the report, the group that he put together to look into the feasibility of nuclear reactors suggested we need 25 nuclear reactors, presumably close to the population base. right. Will offer us one third of to the population base. That's

Australia's energy by 2050? That's a long way off. No solution in next 10-15 years. The only way it a long way off. No solution in the

could work, when it came online, would be with massive public subsidies. We have massive supplies of coal and if we get clean coal technology working and massive supplies of gas, we can use that energy to produce our energy needs for the future. We don't need down that road which is not for the future. We don't need to go

economic and not environmentally certain for the country. I want to talk to you certain for the future of the

about Maxine McKew. We've got her on the show tomorrow. Great. How does it feel as a politician to then have a journalist jump in to your turf? Look, I think it's fantastic we've got someone like her coming on board. She's very intelligent. it's going to be a tremendous intelligent. She's experienced and

political challenge to watch down there in Bennelong. It's a bit like beauty and the beast. 4%. Is it achievable in the PM's seat? Look, it's very difficult in the PM's seat. It has been safely held. She'll have to get the crow bar out and dig him out. If we get that mood for a change really working, then it's possible. And to have an intelligent, articulate woman like Maxine McKew running against the PM really provides a focus in really provides a focus in the election and a clear choice between the future on the one hand and the past on the other. Is someone with a high public profile - a high public profile - do people in the party look for that? Does that really help? It's part of that really help? It's part of the equation. It doesn't always work. Peter Garret, it has been a tremendous success, I think Maxine will be as well. Is it Maxine's credibility as a news journalist or her public profile? I think it's all of the above. You can't take one in isolation from the other. She lives in Sydney, she lives nearby. She's in the almost adjoining suburbs. She's an established personality. I've been involved with Maxine over the years in the American, US leadership dialogue. She's been involved in the big public policy debates. She's familiar with all of those things. To have a candidate like her up against the PM puts a focus into the next election because there's no PM has lost his seat in this country since 1929. That just tells you how difficult it can be for anyone to dislodge a PM. It's going to be a PM. It's going to be a really interesting contest. Is there a sense, bearing in mind it will be difficult to do, is there a sense that you're wasting Maxine on a seat that perhaps isn't winnable? No we need to win 16 seats to win the election. We need candidates like Maxine McKew to run in seats. Maxine McKew to run in seats. Up in Herbert, we have a candidate. George runs all the McDonald's restaurants in the town's jaur. He's a very successful businessman in Townsville. Very involved in in Townsville. Very involved in the sporting community. George is a perfect candidate for that community. We need people like George and Maxine running in these seats so we can make sure we win 16. Winning 16 seats is a really big task in one election. It's not going to be easy and the more candidates we have like George and Maxine, the better. Just before you go, it's dangerous - Kevin Rudd's popularity is certainly evident at the moment but how dangerous is it to have a leader where the success of the party is so tied up with his personal image? It's a combination of both. Kevin is popular and not just because he's a good guy, but he's got the right set of policies for the future. That change, the mood for change that's out there at the moment is being propelled by our response to climate change, the war in Iraq, the education revolution,. That's what's pushing it as well. I want to ask you before we go, I know you're a fan of Australian rock'n'roll, Billy Thorpe's passing, how did it affect you? I'm a great fan of Australian pub rock, Billy Thorpe was my wife's band. She was there at Sunbury but Cold Chisel and bands I've always followed. It's a hugely significant. I think a lot of sad rock'n'rollers out there with the passing of Billy. Have you read his books? Terrific. They are some books? Terrific. They are some of the most entertaining reads you'll ever get. You'd swear they were fiction. An incredible life. A realisation for a lot of people realisation for a lot of people in the industry of their own mortality. You had that wake-up call when you had prostate cancer. Are you well? I'm certainly well and I'm fit and fighting fit. Good to see you, Wayne. Thank you When we come back - James Freud and how he survived the excesses of rock'n'roll. Stay with us.