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(generated from captions) Senator George Brandis Joining me now is Arts Minister for Human Services Tanya Plibersek. and Shadow Minister Good morning to you both.

Tanya, to what extent do you

believe the David Hicks guilty plea vindicated the Government's

handling of the case? I think the

Government's handling of the case

was appalling from the start.

Labor's concern was we had an

Australian citizen overseas in a

situation where he plainly wasn't

getting fair treatment and the

chances of a fair trial were also

very remote. We don't know whether

David Hics is guilty or innocent.

We don't know if he's a mastermind

terrorist or a little lost boy.

What we were concerned about from

day one is that this Australian

citizen should get a fair trial and the Australian Government seemed

not to care.

not to care.

George Brandis do you believe the

case will affect the next election?

I don't think so. I'm astonished

that Tanya could describe David

Hicks as a little, lost boy. Little

lost boys don't pose with AK-47s,

they don't train with terrorists as

David Hicks no doubt did. Little

lost boys don't praise al-Qa'ida

and the events of September 11 that

killed 3,000 people. That's a silly

thing to say, Tanya. I think you

ought to withdraw it. You know,

George. Even you and Alexander

Downer in the last few days have

managed to the critical of the

legal processes that David Hicks

has faced. I'm glad he's pleaded

guilty. I hope this shortens the

time that this legal process

continues on for. The point is that

the Australian Government left him

unrepresented for five years in a

situation where Americans wouldn't

have left their citizens. He should

have received a fair trial from day

one before a properly stud court.

The Government's finally admitted

that was a problem but it's taken

them five years and it's taken a

great deal of public pressure on

the Government before they finally

made any moves at all to have him

brought to trial. I'm sorry, Tanya.

What you said is full of

inaccuracies. First of all, David

Hicks was the first person who was

tried under the process after the

process was reestablished after it

had been challenged in the US

Supreme Court by David Hicks and

other defendants. It's not the

Australian Government's fault that

this was slow when the very defendants challenged the

constitutionality of the process.

Secondly, it's not right to say the

Australian Government left him

unrepresented. He was unrepresented

by his own lawyer, Major Mori, who

has done an admirable job and is a

Australian representatives dedicated lawyer. He had

monitoring the trial and received

regular consular visits under the

auspices of the Australian Embassy

in Washington. If we can move to

the next issue for this week in politics, the environment and

global warming. Yet again we've

seen it back on the political

agenda. Kevin Rudd is convening a

climate change summit tomorrow.

Realistically what can that

achieve? The important thing is

getting some of the best minds in

the country together to talk about

what the next steps should be for

Australia. Labor welcomed the

announcement that the Government

made this week that they were going

to spend $200 million on protecting

forests in Indonesia but we believe

we need to take steps at home and

soon as well. So Labor's already

committed to clean coal technology,

to a clean car for Australia and

also to expanding the solar rebates

for domestic homes. We want to know

what further practical measures

that we can take in Australia to

reduce our impact on global warming.

Senator Brandis, if I can put the

final question to you this morning.

It's the anniversary of the

WorkChoices legislation this week.

Do you think that will also be a

bit of a problem for the Government

in the lead-up to the federal

election? Will it cost the

Government votes? I wouldn't expect

so, Natarsha. Weaver very proud of

WorkChoices. You need to remember -

when it came in, the Labor Party including Tanya said that

unemployment will go up and wages

will go down and in the first year,

since WorkChoices was introduced,

the opposite has happened.

Unemployment has gone down and

wages have gone up. Unemployment

today is 4.6%, 0.5% less than when

work choices was introduced and

about a third of what it was when

the Labor Party was last in power.

You know, George - As we promised,

it's created new jobs, 263,000 new

jobs in the last year and real

wages have risen now by 19.8% in

real terms over the life of this

Government, including an increase

of 3% in real terms above inflation

in the year since WorkChoices was introduced. The most vulnerable

workers are the worst off. We're

hearing about the Darrell Lea

workers, who won't have much Easter

because their benefits are stripped

from them. You can quote instances.

Women's wages - Unemployment has

gone down. That's the Australian

Bureau of Statistics telling you

that. Women's wages are lower on AWAs rather than collective agreements. The most vulnerable

workers are suffering. I know that

under the life of this Government,

real wages have gone up by nearly

20% and under the period of the

last Labor government - I'm going

to have to interject. I'm so sorry.

We've run out of time. We'll have

you. to kal allocate more time. Thank

the world 200m butterfly crown. Ahead - Jess Schipper claims a TV stunt over their drug dramas. And the West Coast Eagles caught in