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9am with David and Kim -

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(generated from captions) There's such joy in being in

Opposition. You rant and yell and

accuse the Government of a

multitude of since, -- sins, give

them a bollocking and let them now

how easy it is to right all how easy it is to right

wronging. Once you've in Government

do you pine for the Opposition

bench once more. Nicola Roxon joins

us this morning to report on us this morning to report on her

plans for the health of the nation.

You've been busy. It's a big

responsibility but it's pretty

exciting to actually have the

chance after all those years in

Opposition to try to turn things Opposition to try to

around. But, you know, we've hit

the ground running but you can't do

everything at once. A lot of it is everything at once. A lot of it

long-term work. Because you can't

do everything at once, you've

piffed paid maternity leave because

you can't cope with that. No, look,

that's not true. There are areas,

and paid maternity leave is one of

them, where you have to get the

detail right. What we've asked the productivity commission to do is

look at how we make sure that look at how we make sure that any

measure we introduce works for

mothers, works or not economy,

works for employers. If there's an

argument about the way you to it to

make sure the incentives aren't in

the right place. We don't want employers suddenly saying they

won't employ women because it's

costly. The balance is important.

It won't be a long yob that the

productivity commission has to do.

Should the Government be funding

it? All it? We've asked the productivity commissied the

productivity commission to look at

how do we make it work best. How do

we make sure mothers and employers

get the support they need and that

women stay connected to their jobs

and the Government is involved as

it should be. I think if they have

a 12-month time frame. It's not ten

years away and it's important to

get that right. We might see it in

the lifetime of the Rudd

Government? Some form of it? We're

committed to doing this but we want

to get the mechanism right and

there is a very real debate about

what the right mechanism is to

provide appropriate support. It was

interesting in the paper on the

weekend, a list of 30 nations

around the world and only two

nations in that list of 30,

ourselves and the United States,

has no paid maternity leave. I know.

I know. It's appalling, really,

isn't it? We provide other supports

too. We provide supports that some

of those other countries don't

provide. We have to look at the mix

of services that we provide, the

mix of financial incentives that we

provide. We obviously need to take

this next step. We're committed to

doing that but we've asked the

productivity commission to make

sure that when we take the step

we've got the right one and that's

a sensible thing to do. I must say in the things that are

directly in my area in health, we

get a good response from people

when we explain why we're taking

the time to get it right. I think

the point is you are committed to the point is you are committed to it

as opposed to saying you'll look

at it which is entirely different.

That's right. There's so much That's right. There's so much to

talk to you about. I want to talk

about alcohol. The Rudd Government

is going hard on binge drinking for

young people. And there's lots of

discussion at the moment about

lifting the legal drinking age to

21. Is that likely? Is it something

on the agenda? It's not one of the

ones that's on the agenda for us

now but because we've made clear

that we don't believe we have all

the answers, this is a complex

problem, we've itemised some of

the things that at Commonwealth

level we can do, we're putting on

the table at COAG this week with

the State and Territory colleagues

some things we have to do jointly

and we want to involve the

community and parents in what might

assist us to all tackle this

problem. So it's others that have

put raising the legal age on

put raising the legal age on the

table. It's not something we're

prioritising but we don't want to

rule anything out when this is a discussion that as a whole discussion that as a

community we need to have and have

probably neglected for too long. In

this morning' paper you say two

things - there are inconsistent

State laws on drinking. You've got

parents in your rights. Parents

want to be involved. They want

guidance. Think talkback, I'm sure,

when your listeners email and ring

in, they say, "What is the right

thing to do? Do we introduce our

children at home to a moderate

amount of drinking so they're used

to doing it responsibly or can that

cause some damage for the future?" and there's evidence to show that

maybe if you do that too much you

are causing damage to young brains

so we need evidence out there. We

need the community involved in

finding solutions and parents have

to be central to that because it's

a difficult decision for them to

make. I'm wondering if part of this

is being driven by the fact that

Kevin Rudd admit to being drunk in

his life once or maybe twice, it

was? I don't think so. Kevin and I

and others don't hold ourselves up

as models of virtue. How many times

have you been drunk, Nicola? These

days half a glass of wine and I'm

asleep. As a mother, you don't want

wake one a hangover and deal with a

little person. In the last week,

some of the major manufacturers some of the major manufacturers of

alcoholic drinks have decided not alcoholic drinks have decided

to manufacture - ruled it out

altogether - some forms of

superstrength drinks. The pre-mixed

high-sugar drinks that a lot of

young adults and kids are attracted

to. I think that's good. I congratulate the industry for doing

that. It's a sign that we can

engage them. We may need to take it

further. We may need them to be

involved in how we look at

sensible labelling. We need the

pubs and clubs involved in what's -

what allows people to have a good

time but puts limits in place to

make sure people aren't going too

far and particularly that kids

aren't harming themselves long term

which we now is now possible from

this bink drinking. And that's a --

binge drinking. This is a trend

that's different to 10 or 20 years

ago. You must be heartened that alcoholic industry has made this

decision. It's a big decision for

them because clearly they're

making money out of these products?

Yeah, look, it is a big decision.

They make a lot of money for sales

alcohol consumption to be but it's in their interest for

sustainable and safe. It's not in

their interests to have young

people causing all sorts of social and health damage to and health damage to themselves.

That's not sustainable and pushes

people to take even further

regulatory action. We need them to

be partners. I'm sure there's some

things they won't agree with us on

because governments and the

community might push them further

than they would like to go voluntarily but good on them for

taking this step and hopefully

they're part of the solution and

not seeing us as them on one side

and us on the other. Shifting to

obesity, what about food

manufacturers taking a leaf out of

their books? We've discussed this a

lot on our program - It's so

popular with our audience. And --

And the inappropriate marketing

foods to children. 21% of the

population is now considered obese.

Some food manufacturers are doing

this but if they are part of the

solution, then we can make it

sustainable. Treats are wonderful.

We're at Easter. Of course kids

like treats but if they're eating

treats all the time, whether it's

because of the marketing or other

things, that won't be good for

their health. Industry can be part

of those solutions and we are

trying to take an approach where we

push things further than the previous government did but where

we look to the community and

industry and others to be partners

with us in finding those solutions.

Just getting elected to government

doesn't mean we instantly have the

answer to every social problem and

we need to engage the community and

industry in finding the most

workable, long-term, sustainable

solutions. Clearly it's a big

money-spinner for junk food

companies but "pester power" is a

big issue, especially at the point

of sale where there'ss Shrek lolly

pop for example or the cereal.

That's a real issue for parents and

there's lots of talk that those

sorts of combined advertising

gimmicks should be banned as well.

Yeah. Look, I think we've talked

about this previously. You know

that something as a mother of a

young child that I certainly

understand the pressures. But we've

just got to get the balance right

in making sure we provide the information that governments need

to provide, that the research to provide, that the research is

out there, that we regulate if we

know that it's going to be

effective, that we engage industry

in these sorts of initiatives. We

really - I don't think either the

problems of excessive consumption

of alcohol, whether it's binge

drinking or too much regular

drinking time after time or obesity

can be fixed with one - there's not

a single bullet if you like that

will fix it. It means we need a

comprehensive careful, step-by-step

approach. People are in a hurry, particularly when it comes to

health. We don't have the time to

mess around for another X number of

years. I'm thinking particularly in

terms of dentistry in this country.

There's 650,000 people in dentistry.

They need an answer quickly, don't

they? Into that's right. We're

trying to do both - You're throwing

hundreds of millions of dollars at it. We've put down payments and

money on the table for things we

can do straightaway, elective

surgery waiting lists or dental

initiatives which start on July 1

this year. And our strategies on

obesity. We've talked previously

about the Stephanie Alexander

kitchen garden program. They can

all start but we need to do the long-term work about turning things

round that might be bigger social

issues. You can't just make a

decree from Parliament House and

say, "This will now be fixed." It

needs a lot of work. It needs

partners in finding solutions. We

think we're doing both. It's been a

busy few months but the next three

years will be just as busy. How do

you keep your head around it all?

Look, we have a lot of good Look, we have a lot of good people

on our team. Of course you worry

that you'll miss one part but

that's natural. Everybody has busy

lives and we just have more balls

to keep in the air sometimes and

hope that they can all can. We did

have quite a detailed election

policy in health. We know what

we're running out. We know what

needs to be introduced and needs to be introduced and we've

got our infrastructure for reform

in place now too which we'll keep

rolling out over the two and three

years to come. I think things are going OK. I'm guessing the three-year-old birthday party three-year-old birthday party on

Rebecca on the weekend will

probably cause more stress.

Absolutely. We haven't even touched

on indigenous health. State and

Federal health. Perhaps we can get