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ABC News Breakfast -

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(generated from captions) millions are struck down at

the same time. The

Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbull as

many tasks ahead of them.

Probably the most important

is their mentoring role for

the Afghan National Army. And

the Australian troops are

working closely with the

soldiers in the Afghan

National Army, tremendous

equiping them, mentoring

them, training them the

ensure that the Army itself

will be able to take over the

security in Afghanistan. They

are also doing a lot of work on reconstruction and

building bridges, schools,

hospitals, using local people

so there are jobs for local

people and then from there

are the special forces

operations that are going on

and we met with special

forces troops who are

carrying tout very dangerous

work. What did you make of

been talking about this the operation that we have

morning, the US troops and

their latest push? The

Helmand Province is where

most of the action is taking

place. The insurgency is very

strong in that province and

that is where the US is

concentrating its forces. In

Oruzgan where the Australians

are there are probably fewer

insurgents but still just as

dangerous and our troops are

out there hunting down the

leadership in particular and

they have found if you are

able the disrupt the

leadership and the structure

then the insurgency

dissipates. Of course it

regroups and comes back. What

is not widely understood that

is the Taliban are not

necessarily made up of Afghanis, they are people

from all overcoming through

the Pakistan border an taking

on the Americans. There are

people coming to fight

American soldiers so it is a very complex situation with

the tribes t provinces t

insurgents from outside the

country and our Australian

troops are doing an amazing

task in very difficult

circumstances. So how

optimistic or how many

misgivings do you have in

relation to the forthcoming

elections in Afghanistan?

There is a lot of province where our troops

are. That will be robust.

There are 40 presidential

candidates so it is a real

test not only for the

security forces but for the

Afghan people and there is

clearly an effort under way

on the part of the insurgents

the seek to disrupt it. We

take cow the another complex

issue now. The gap appears to

be widened in recent times

for indigenous Australians.

Is it too early to have

expected more from the scheme

that the Howard Government

put in place that, the Rudd

Government has taken over? I

was very disappointed by

Kevin Rudd's response. He

said these results are

devastating tedtivity

commission report is

devastating, that is right.

He said we need to take

decisive action. That is what

he said before the last

election and it seems nothing

has been achieved. You to admit that, that this Government, your Government

and the previous Government

has not done what it could.

We have to accept this gap is

going to be open for a very

long time before the effort,

the money t politicless

generational problem you are actually close it. It is a

absolutely right. Things like

bringing in indigenous health

workers and teachers will

take time. That is part of

the solution. That is going

to take decades. But it does

not mean that we give up, it

does not mean we say it is

too hard, it means we double

our efforts to ensure we can

provide indigenous people

with the best opportunities. That is what Kevin Rudd was saying

yesterday even though you

describe it as

disappointing. In that he

used the cle say "We need

decisive action". He says that in response to

everything. We need to set

out the priorities and how we

can best tackle the disadvantage. My view is

education is the key. If we

could improve the standards

of education in indigenous

communities then people would

have greater opportunities in

life so would like to see

much gator effort there. I

was Education Minister for a

number of years under the

Howard Government. I know how

difficult it is, I know that

it is going to take a long

time but we must not take our

eye off the ball. We must

continue to ensure that every

effort is put into trying to

increase life expectancy,

educational opportunities, employment opportunities to

give also economic

communities. It will be independence to some of these

tough, it really is. We should mention that in

Western Australia there has

been something done on a more

regional basis. I think they

have banned alcohol or had

restrictions in Hall's Creek

not far from when the Prime

Minister will be today. That

is right. There are local solutions for particular

problems and that is part of

the answer that you have to let the local listen to some of their

solutions and ideas on what

they can do. It has been a

rough couple of weeks for the

Opposition and the ols show.

That it would seem from right

across the board that

Australians do not like what

they are getting from you

right now, they want

something else. Do you know

what that is and do you know

how to deliver it to them? It

is always tough being in

opposition. You to hold the

necessarily means you Government into account which

criticising the Government

and exposing the Government's

failures. People do not like

negativity that, is just at

natural human reaction but

the fact is we have been able

to expose incompetence,

waste, mismanagement And a

little incompetence on your

side with the fail and faked email. Malcolm Turnbull

believe the evidence that a

senior bureaucrat gave to the

inquiry. But one checks

before one jumps in. But

others accepted his evidence.

The media. They believed he

was truthful. I believe what

he said. This man gave sworn

evidence to a Senate inquiry,

a senior bureaucrat highly

trusted by the Rudd Government. There is a police investigation. It does not

mean we cannot talk about it

but we do not have the

sequence of event correct yet

but returning to my point -

they do not like what they

are getting from you. What is

it that they want, how will

you give it to them the

Australian people? Let me

comment - you look at the

polls about mall,'s standing personally. The Government

threw everything at him from

his past in business and they

threw it him publically in

Question Time. I have never

seen such a personal smear

campaign gains at individual

that I witnessed the

Government throwing at Malcolm Turnbull last week

and from that has an impact

on the public's view of a

leader so that is a real they could think of they

threw at him including did

kitchen sink but which has an

impact on the poll but

Malcolm Turnbull is a highly

intelligent person with the

support of Coalition and we

behind him. He is doing a

good job. When you ask about

the poor polls, well we

obviously have a challenge

before us the win over the

Australian public the our

policies, our point of view,

to our credentials in terms

of economic management and we

still must expose the

Government's failings, the

waste t mismanagement in the

schools funding program. The

massive debt that the

Government has now imposed on

generations of Australians.

That is the Opposition's

task, it is not easy but we

must hold the Government the

account and that is what we

are doing. Malcolm Turnbull's

leadership appears solid now,

you have stayed. That is that

unless something else emerge

from this 'utegate' affair or

do you think that is behind

him now? I believe Malcolm

has always had the support of Malcolm is finding it no

different. Has his leadership

relied on no further stumbles

like 'utegate'? No, Malcolm Turnbull has the support of

the Coalition, we are behind

him, we appreciate what he is

doing, we think he is the

right leader and he is doing

a good job holding the

Government to account,

exposing its incompetence and

failings and he is looking

forward to policies leading

to the election. Peter

Costello has clearly