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ABC News Breakfast -

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(generated from captions) that was traversed very

extensively in the election. We

have had extensive discussion

and consultation. Penny Wong

speaking on ABC News Breakfast

a short time ago. Senator Nick

Minchin is the Leader of the

Opposition in the Senate and he

joins us now from Canberra.

Senator, good morning. Thank

you for joining us. Good

morning. It seems nobody really

likes this bill but Labor so

why delay the inevitable unless

of course your chief concern is

not handing the Government the

first stage of a double

dissolution trigger? The

Coalition has been united and

upfront for some time in saying

that the parliament should not

actually be dealing with this

bill at this time. It is

ridiculous and can an utter

folly for the Government to be

trying to ram through the last

week of June one of the most

significant and extensive

interventions by the Government

in the Australian economy ever

contemplated, well in advance

of Copenhagen, well in advance

of the United States

determining its approach to

climate change and with a bill

that doesn't start 'til after

the next election in July 2011,

so this is really - and the

Government knows it doesn't

have the numbers for this bill.

Remarkably, the Government is

setting this bill up for

defeat. We're not interested in

playing their game. We don't

think this bill should be

debated this week. Debate has

in fact started on the bill but

the Senate voted yesterday to

suspend debate to allow the

Senate to consider those Budget

and other bills that the

Government itself says are

urgent so we're helping the

Government manage its program

because it doesn't seem to be

able to manage itself. Malcolm

Turnbull reportedly fears an

early election would be

devastating for the Opposition.

Do you fear that as well?

Well, clear lyr from our

perspective the Labor Party is

in a panic mode to rush to an

early election. I think that's

probably pretty clear. I think

the Government would like to

set up the circumstances in

which you could rush to the

polls- Which would be

devastating for the Opposition

given the position you're in

right now, wouldn't it? Even

if this bill was defeated this

week , you would have to wait

another three months for a

second defeat so no election

could occur in any event before

about December, even if the

Government had everything go

its way, but we're certainly

not going to cooperate with the

Government in its rash pursuit

of taking Australia back to the

polls. The Government should

serve its full term and will

have an election at the end of

next year and we hope we'll

win. Let's move on to what

been preoccupying not only the parliament this week but the

entire nation and that's over

the Oz Car matter. What is the nature of the

relationship with Godwin nature of the Coalition's

Grech? You're talking to the

wrong person. I honestly don't

know. I was Finance Minister

for six years, not responsible

for Treasury. I don't recall

ever meeting Mr Grech. You have

to ask somebody else about that

particular relationship but

certainly, as Malcolm has said,

many of us have been in

Government for a long time and

indeed even in Opposition we

deal with public servants, we

get briefings on bills, we deal

with them certainly in the Senate in Senate Estimates so

it is not at all unusual for

Oppositions to be dealing with

public servants and it is a

furfy and a nonsense to go down

a blind alley of suggesting

there's something wrong with

members of the Opposition having relationships with the public service. After all, they

are the public service, they're

not the political service, they

service the whole parliament,

not just the party in

Government of the day. So

you're not aware of this

relationship even extending

back to the time of the Howard

Government? I'm not personally

aware of it, no. Just may I

make the general point that -

putting to one side Mr Grech -

Oppositions down through the

ages have been the recipients

of unsolicited information from

within the public service for

time im memorial. Both the

Labor Party in Opposition, we

in Opposition do receive

unsolicited information from

the public service because

often you find public servants

horrified by what their

Government is doing and I think

in this case what's going on is

that there are probably many

people inside Mr Swan's

Treasury who are appalled at

the spending what he is doing as Treasurer,

the spending binge he is on,

setting up things like Oz Car,

pressuring officials to look

after Labor mates. I'm not

surprised there are leaks

coming out of Mr Swan's

department in these circumstances. Except that at

the beginning of this whole

affair and the beginning of

Malcolm Turnbull's prosecution

of this matter he was presenting the testimony of

Godwin Grech as that of an

independent, sober public

servant and instead it turns independent, sober public

out, as Chris Uhlmann reported

last night on ABC TV news, that

he is well known to be,

"Sympathetic to us," in the

words of a Liberal. Mr

Turnbull and the Opposition

were acting properly and

appropriately in accepting the

testimony given at Senate

Estimates by Mr Grech as a

Treasury official and the

Treasury official and the

official entrusted by Mr Swan

and Treasury to run this Oz Car operation. The Opposition and

Mr Turnbull were perfectly

entitled to accept that

evidence at face value and

pursue the Government on the

basis of that evidence. Now we

accept, as it has transpired

based on the word of the

Federal Police, that the

particular email in question

was not genuine. We accept that

but we were perfectly entitled

to act on the basis of the