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Meet The Press -

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MEET THE PRESS PRESENTER DEBORAH KNIGHT: Good morning. Welcome to Meet the Press. China is on the
march, but there's little doubt that Japan remains our most important regional partner - and today
Kevin Rudd finally gets to visit. The Prime Minister will need all his diplomatic skills, though,
amid reports that Tokyo was none too happy it was left off the itinerary of his first grand world
tour. Reassuring the Japanese and trying to win them over to his vision of an Asia Pacific
community is definitely on the agenda.

PM KEVIN RUDD (Wednesday): Let us, as Australia, in partnership with our friends and allies across
the region, work towards an ambition of bringing about an Asia Pacific century.

SHADOW FOREIGN MINISTER ANDREW ROBB (Wednesday): We've had 50 years of the most extraordinary
relationship with this country, Japan, and in the stroke of six months of, in my view, ignorance,
the Prime Minister of this country has severely undermined that relationship.

DEBORAH KNIGHT: And before he jets out of the national capital this morning, the Prime Minister,
Kevin Rudd, is our guest on Meet the Press. But first, a look at what the nation's press is
reporting this Sunday, June 8. carries breaking news this morning, with the headline,
"Hillary Clinton throws support behind Obama". Finally the New York senator has formally ended her
historic bid to put a woman in the White House, urging her supporters to work hard to se that
Barack Obama becomes President. US

SENATOR HILLARY CLINTON: Today, as I suspend my campaign, I congratulate him no the victory he has
won and the extraordinary race he has won. I endorse him and throw my full support behind him. And
I ask all of you to join me in working as hard for Barack Obama as you have for me. The 'Age' in
Melbourne reports, "Clouds loom as oil price soars and petrol hits $1.70". Motorists could be
facing prices of up to $1.80 by next month because of fresh tensions in the Middle East. The Sunday
'Herald Sun' has "Fight to clone a human" - Australia's first licence to clone human embryos for
stem cell research could be granted as early as this week. And in Sydney, the 'Sunday Telegraph'
trumpets "Della's wild night". State Education Minister John Della Bosca and his wife, Federal
Labor MP Belinda Neal, have been accused of threatening staff at a Gosford nightclub. The Rudd
Government seems to have gotten off to a shaky start with Japan, our long-time best customer and
partner in regional affairs. Background briefings to Australian journalists in Tokyo and Canberra
have left little doubt Japan didn't appreciate being second fiddle to China or the way we handled
our protest against the killing of whales earlier in the year. Kevin Rudd will board his flight to
Japan from Canberra shortly but, before he does, he's our guest this morning, speaking with
political editor, Paul Bongiorno.

TEN POLITICAL EDITOR PAUL BONGIORNO: Good morning, Prime Minister, and welcome back to the program.

KEVIN RUDD: Good morning, Paul, good to be here.

PAUL BONGIORNO: Let's start with Hillary Clinton. You met her in Washington a month and a half ago
ago. Are you sad to see her defeat?

KEVIN RUDD: Well, she's an extraordinary human being. She shows in America what modern women in
politics can do. This is a very tough game, politics in the United States, and for her to have run
so close and run so well and so strongly for so long, I think she's right when she says it proves
now what women in American politics can do. Having said that, Senator Obama is a first-class human
being and a first-class presidential candidate. So let's see what happens in the great American

PAUL BONGIORNO: Do you think the pressure is on him now to have as a running mate a woman, whether
it's Hillary or another? I mean, you have a Deputy Prime Minister who does a good job.

KEVIN RUDD: The last thing I'm about to do at the distance of some 10,000 miles across the Pacific
is provide gratuitous political advice to the Democratic Party about who should be number one and
who should be number two. Their own electoral process has determined who is number one. I tell you
what, though, Paul - it was only last year that Mr Howard as prime minister said that, "If any
Democratic candidate wins the US presidential election, including Barack Obama, that would-be a
victory for Al-Qaeda." Mr Nelson was Defence Minister at the time. He didn't disagree with Mr
Howard's statement then. I'll challenge Mr Nelson today to publicly distance himself from Mr
Howard's remarks now that he is leader and alternative prime minister.

PAUL BONGIORNO: We do want to talk about your Japan trip but you have an announcement to make on
humanitarian aid?

KEVIN RUDD: One of the things that we've been working on with the United Nations with is the
ongoing humanitarian crisis in Darfur. When I was in New York only a few months ago, I met with not
just the UN Secretary-General, but basically all of his senior team. They are greatly concerned
about that rolling crisis. We've had about 2 million refugees created, possibly up to 200,000
deaths in this silent rolling tragedy. So they've asked us for help and what I've said was we'll
provide what we can through the Australian Defence Force. It's a modest contribution. We're sending
a team of 10 military logisticians to form part of the United Nations command in the United Nations
mission in Darfur. The Sudanese Government has reservations about any significantly large
contributions from Western countries. In other words, we've operated within the constraints of the
host government, but we've got to act and help in a practical way and I believe, given that
Australians always want to lend a helping hand when you have such continuing humanitarian
atrocities as we've got in Darfur, a place I visited myself not long ago, I think it's the right
way to go.

PAUL BONGIORNO: So that's, that's, nine ADF personnel and also $5 million in humanitarian aid?

KEVIN RUDD: There's humanitarian assistance as well to assist with the ongoing challenges of the
humanitarian agencies. But there's a massive effort being put together by the African Union and the
United Nations. When finally formed, this, I am advised, will be one of the largest UN peacekeeping
operations ever - some 20,000 altogether - but the frontline forces will be very much from
developing countries acceptable to the Sudanese Government. But for any frontline force to work,
it's got to have a command structure. It's got to have logisticians - and that's the specific ask
of Australia from the United Nations and, as a country which always prided itself in putting its
hand up to help and to be a force for good in the world, my response has been 'yes'. It's a modest
contribution but at least it's in the right direction.

PAUL BONGIORNO: Well, going to Japan - you're leaving shortly for Japan - is this a trip you should
have made three months ago?

KEVIN RUDD: Look, the relationship with Japan is in first-class working order. Japan is a
relationship which Australia has which is based on strategic security and an economic partnership
and based on enduring friendship. I've been to Japan quite a number of times before.

PAUL BONGIORNO: But are you giving the impression that China is more important to you and to
Australia than Japan?

KEVIN RUDD: Japan is a partnership which is anchored in our comprehensive engagement on strategic
matters, security matters and economic matters. It goes back a long time. The Asia Pacific region
involves many important states. Japan is critical. Also, we've got other partners within the region
as well. China and Japan between them are our largest trading partners. They are huge, and so it's
important to attend to all of these relationships. But I've got to say, with Japan the key
challenge is making sure that we take this existing strategic security and economic partnership to
the next stage, which is why, when I visit the Japanese, I'll be talking with Prime Minister Fukuda
about how we increase our security cooperation as well.

PAUL BONGIORNO: Will they be all that receptive to you? After all, the Japanese were particularly
incensed with the very hard line we took on whaling, especially of the release of the pictures of
the whale and its calf. We seem to have backed off. We haven't named our whaling envoy and we seem
to be sending signals we're not going to take them to the World Court?

KEVIN RUDD: Well, what we're doing now, Paul, is what we always indicated which is that we'll seek
to resolve this matter diplomatically, and I'll be having discussions with my Japanese counterpart
on that. But we have clear principles when it comes to the proper protection of whales in the
Southern Ocean. Japan has a different view. We'll seek to resolve that diplomatically and let's see
how the diplomacy runs. But this is a disagreement among friends. It's an important disagreement
among friends, but I would draw everyone's attention to the fact that our position on the question
of protection of whales hasn't changed one bit.

PAUL BONGIORNO: Will we be naming an envoy soon?

KEVIN RUDD: I understand those processes are well in hand with the Environment Minister.

PAUL BONGIORNO: What about the legal challenge?

KEVIN RUDD: Well, the key thing is diplomacy first. Let's see how we go. That's why I'm looking
forward to the discussions with the Prime Minister. But our position on the importance of
protecting whales has not changed but let's give diplomacy a go for the period ahead. There are
several opportunities for that to be advanced, including through the upcoming meeting as well.

PAUL BONGIORNO: Prime Minister, we'll take a short break.

DEBORAH KNIGHT: Coming up - whatever happened to Labor's commitment to the work/life balance? Are
WorkChoice type conditions all the go in the Canberra of Kevin 24/7? And dear, oh, dear, making a
speech in Parliament after the dinner break saw one Liberal backbencher become embarrassingly

LIBERAL MP JASON WOOD (Monday): The commercial impl-implimications for Australian primary
industries and the benefits and risks associated with genetically modified orgasms - orgasms.

DEBORAH KNIGHT: Welcome back, you're on Meet the Press with our guest this morning - Prime
Minister, Kevin Rudd. The Opposition is busy painting the PM as the sort of boss he and the unions
campaigned against in the lead-up to the election. The Prime Minister added fuel to the fire when
he warned public servants, who felt they were working too hard, that they'd better get used to the
pace. In Senate estimates during the week, Liberal senators put Treasury officials on the spot over
their rush to prepare FuelWatch legislation. One officer admitting she didn't go home for 35 hours.

LIBERAL SENATOR (Monday): What time did you leave the office that evening of the 28th of May?

TREASURY OFFICIAL: I didn't leave that evening.


OFFICIAL: I didn't leave the office that evening, senator.

DEBORAH KNIGHT: That approach seemingly at odds with the pre-election promise.

KEVIN RUDD (18 JULY 2007): If elected Prime Minister, I want to take a central role in helping
Australians get that balance right between time at work and time at home with the kids.

PAUL BONGIORNO: Well, Prime Minister, is the work/life balance you talked about in the run-up to
the election - does that apply to the 60,000 Federal public servants?

KEVIN RUDD: Of course it does. What I find remarkable about the Liberal Party on this is that these
this is the party of WorkChoices, of AWAs, of stripping away penalty rates, overtime and all those
basic conditions which working families and working Australians have fought so hard to get for
decades. Now we have crocodile tears from the Liberal party. Come on, give us a break. We were
elected with a strong mandate to given, a strong mandate of responsible economic management helping
families under pressure...

PAUL BONGIORNO: But some are having to work...

KEVIN RUDD: ..and planning for the future - and that involves a solid, solid work ethic from the
Cabinet and of course from the public service.

PAUL BONGIORNO: But surely that doesn't include people working 36 hours straight?

KEVIN RUDD: I would draw your attention, Paul, to what the Secretary of the Treasury, Ken Henry,
who has worked for the other mob for 12 hours and for us before that, and guess what - in and
around Budget time and the wash-up from it, it's not unusual for some of your most senior public
servants to work very intensive bursts. This is not something which has never happened before in
the public service. I mean for goodness sake - I used to be a public servant myself. I've worked
through the night before, because part of the public service, when I was a public servant, is
making sure you get the job done for the timeline which has been set, particularly if it involves
legislation. So it's not common, but it's not unique.

PAUL BONGIORNO: Your original comments came after the leak of Cabinet documents which gives the
impression that you're at war with your own public service or they're at war with you.

KEVIN RUDD: The Australian public service are a first-class operation. Their work ethic is great.
Their professionalism is of high standards and this Government, the one that I lead, is committed
to the restoration of Westminster, whereby we engage with the public service on their ideas, we
will not always agree with their ideas, but we don't mind an argument, a discussion, a debate.
That's the way it should be. It's a spirit I sought to reflect also in the 2020 summit. We're
actually open to ideas and it means that if a piece of paper is served up by a public servant's
department providing their advice, that's important, that will be part of the debate, but it won't
necessarily be the conclusion that the Government through Cabinet reaches. That's a sign of health
in a democracy rather than the John Howard approach which says there is one answer, one answer
alone, it's the John Howard answer alone and no-one put on paper anything different or we'll blow
your head off.

PAUL BONGIORNO: The other issue worrying families, work or not, is the rising price of petrol,
$1.70 with forecasts of $2 a litre by the end of the year. It's making the impression that you gave
in the run-up to the election looking very tatty now, isn't it - that would you keep downward
pressure on petrol prices?

KEVIN RUDD: As you know, Paul, having covered the election carefully, each time Mr Swan or myself
was asked directly could we guarantee that petrol prices or grocery prices would go down, we said
no. And secondly we were attacked by Mr Costello, the Treasurer, for refusing to provide that
guarantee prior to the election. Why? Because it would have been irresponsible, absolutely
irresponsible, as was Mr Howard's promise to keep interest rates at so-called record lows. Then
they went up another 10 times. The bottom line is this - we've got a huge problem worldwide when it
comes to oil prices and petrol prices. When I go to the Japan I'm speaking to Prime Minister
Fukuda, next month he'll be hosting the G8 summit. One of the matters I'll be raising to him and
writing to other G8 heads of government on is the global challenge of oil supply right now, because
what is happening in Australia is happening worldwide. Every head of government across the world is
dealing with this challenge now and it goes to global oil supply in large part, the role of OPEC.
OPEC need to open the production lines to a greater extent, increase global oil supply. They've
done it a bit in response to representations from President Bush. The G8 provides an opportunity to
apply the blowtorch to the OPEC organisation - and it's time that happened.

PAUL BONGIORNO: Well, you, of course, have been battling the Opposition with FuelWatch. As the
legislation came into the Parliament earlier in the week, this is what the Shadow Finance Minister
had to say.

SHADOW FINANCE MINISTER PETER DUTTON (Tuesday): The Australian public would be horrified to know
that a key element of FuelWatch is that petrol stations throughout that 24-hour period - or some
say throughout a 48-hour period - will not be able to drop the price of petrol. How can that be
competitive? How can that be to the advantage of consumers?

PAUL BONGIORNO: Isn't it interfering with the market?

KEVIN RUDD: Well, the key thing here is competition policy. What we said prior to the election was
- one - we couldn't guarantee lower oil prices or petrol prices - or for groceries. Secondly, what
we would do would be to act to increase the competition power available to consumers, motorists and
people going to shop. We have done that by creating a petrol price commissioner, giving that
commissioner for the first time powers to conduct formal monitoring of what's going on in the
petroleum industry - and beyond that other powers as it relates to diesel and LPG. FuelWatch
provides motorists with information in a given day. For example, in the last few days, if there's
been a variation, as I understand there has been in Sydney, of 10 or 12 cents a litre from one
petrol station to another in the metro area, we stand for allowing consumers to know that
information. Dr Nelson stands for only allowing that information to in the hands of the big oil
companies. That's the difference.

PAUL BONGIORNO: Prime Minister, isn't the elephant in the room here climate change? The fact of the
matter is that these fossil fuels are dangerous to our planet and they're going to have to be more
expensive, especially once carbon trading comes in?

KEVIN RUDD: Well, the challenge that we've got in dealing with climate change is to act
responsibly, nationally and internationally, so that we don't extinguish the planet for future
generations. That's basically the challenge. And secondly to do it in an economically responsible
way. Remember the economic cost of inaction is far greater over time than the economic cost of
action. Our challenge is this. Mr Turnbull, the shadow treasurer, has already said that the Liberal
Party in government was committed to including petrol in the Emissions Trading Scheme. Our position
is we will wait for Garnaut to come down. We'll examine the scope of the scheme. But what we've
also said is that when it comes to those families who are under financial pressure, that we'll also
be providing other forms of support to cope with any impact that flows to their overall cost of
living as a consequence of any such change. Dr Nelson is involved right now in the mother of all
fear campaigns about this, but last year they said they, the Liberal Party, were committed to
emissions trading. Last year they said they'd include petrol. Last year Mr Howard said that, if you
act in this way, it will increase the cost of oil and the cost of energy. That was last year. Dr
Nelson, being a politician of great principle, seems to have forgotten what the Liberal Party stood
for last year.

DEBORAH KNIGHT: Coming up on Meet the Press - presidential hopeful Barack Obama has already made
history in the United States, but what does it mean for Australia? And Bill Leak in the
'Australian' newspaper picks up on the work/life balance theme. 'Working families to death on the
slave ship of state - women, children overboard'.

DEBORAH KNIGHT: You're on Meet the Press with our guest this morning, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.
It's certainly been a momentous week in the US presidential race. For the first time in American
history, a black person, Barack Obama, has become the presidential nominee of a major political
party. To get there he had to fend off a persistent Hillary Clinton, who, as we've seen, has now
confirmed her departure from the contest, creating a 2-man race to the White House - Obama versus

DEMOCRATIC NOMINEE BARACK OBAMA (Wednesday): America, this is our moment!


OBAMA: This is our time! Our time to turn the page on the policies of the past, our time to bring
new energy and new ideas to the challenges we face, our time to offer a new direction for this
country that we love!

HILLARY CLINTON: I want to start tonight by congratulating Senator Obama and his supporters on the
extraordinary race that they have run. Senator Obama has inspired so many Americans to care about
politics and empowered so many more to get involved. And our party and our democracy is stronger
and more vibrant as a result.

REPUBLICAN NOMINEE JOHN MCCAIN (Thursday): I think there's a lot of Senator Clinton's supporters
who will support me because of their belief that Senator Obama does not have the experience or the
knowledge or the judgment. I have a few years on my opponent.


JOHN MCCAIN: So I'm surprised that a young man has bought in to so many failed ideas.

PAUL BONGIORNO: Well, Prime Minister, you've been a frequent visitor to the United States over the
years. Do you think America's ready to elect a black president?

KEVIN RUDD: Once again, fools rush in where angels fear to tread. It's a matter for the American
people. What I know about both of these candidates, Senator McCain and Senator Obama, with whom I
had discussions when I was last in the United States, is that these are both first-class human
beings. They both have a great instinct for the world. They have a great instinct for our region.
And I think whoever wins this, Republican or Democrat, the Australia-United States relationship
will be in first -class working order.

PAUL BONGIORNO: It seems at this point in time, the greatest divide between the two candidates is
Iraq. Senator Obama is for a fairly speedy withdrawal. Senator McCain is not. It's one thing, I
guess, for Australia to withdraw its troops. It's another thing for the United States. If Obama did
win and withdrew troops quickly, would that weaken the battle against terrorism worldwide?

KEVIN RUDD: Look, first of all, who wins the United States election, we don't know. Secondly, what
would then flow in terms of declared policies on Iraq and implementation in the field remains to be
seen. What we know from both sides of American politics is that, over time, they wish to bring down
the US troop presence. I think that's clear-cut. What we did prior to the last election is say, "If
you vote for an Australian Labor Government, by mid-year we'll withdraw our combat force." We've
honoured that commitment and Mr Howard said, if they'd won the election, they would have sustain
that combat commitment, that's a clear distinction between us and the Liberal Party at home. But
I've got to say from my discussions with the US Administration, I believe they'll handle these
things soberly, sensibly and also, bearing in mind our continuing common engagement, our large
scale in Afghanistan, and that's going to go for a long, long time.

PAUL BONGIORNO: There is one issue here at home that seems to be dividing all the political
parties, as it does, and that is the question for aid for abortion advice. Now, we do know there
was a ban introduced 10 years ago by the Howard government on this. Foreign Minister Smith is
looking at it again. What role will you play or will the caucus play in this?

KEVIN RUDD: I'll sure there'll be a caucus discussion. Put all this into context - there was an
all-party report last year chaired by the Liberal Party under Dr Mal Washer, as I understand it,
which recommended that these guidelines agreed in the past by the Liberal government be changed.
That, of course, has triggered further discussion both within the Liberal Party and in our own
party. The caucus I'm sure will debate this...

PAUL BONGIORNO: Do you have a strong view?

KEVIN RUDD: I've got to be presented with all the facts yet but I would imagine it will be
something we'll have a full and frank caucus discussion on. The exact nature of the quantum of our
funding commitment to these programs to assist population control mechanisms in developing
countries and how they are administered, I'd like to get my head around all of the detail of that
before getting into the substance of the debate.

PAUL BONGIORNO: Many of the churches are already arcing up. Will this play a role?

KEVIN RUDD: Look, it's a democracy. Everyone's got a pretty fair chance to have their say in this
country. Good on them. And I say good on anyone who's got a different point of view. I go back to
what I said earlier on. We actually don't push a debate to one side. Let's have a debate. Let's
have a discussion and as soon as I'm across all the detail I'll be in it as well. It's one of the
things on how you govern the country - being open to challenge rather than saying any challenge to
us represents some sort of threat to our political authority. Not our approach.

PAUL BONGIORNO: Prime Minister, thank you very much for being with us and safe trip.

KEVIN RUDD: Thanks very much, Paul.

DEBORAH KNIGHT: Our Political Editor Paul Bongiorno there in Canberra with Prime Minister Kevin
Rudd, who will now head out to the tarmac to board his plane bound for Japan. I'm Deborah Knight.
Thanks for your company. Have a great day.