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Sunday Agenda -

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Sunday Agenda

Greens Deputy Leader, Senator Christine Milne

11th October, 2009

Interview with Greens Deputy Leader, Senator Christine Milne

Sunday Agenda program, 11th October, 2009

Helen Dalley: Progress towards a national Emissions Trading policy is grinding slowly through the
party rooms of both Labor and the Coalition. The Australian Greens could be big players in all this
and their views matter to both sides in the debate. They are also now weighing into the crossfire
over the Government Stimulus Package.

My guest this morning is Deputy Leader of the Australian Greens, Senator Christine Milne, and she
joins us from Southern Cross Studios in Hobart. Senator Milne, thanks for your time.

Christine Milne: Good morning.

Helen Dalley: Now, do you think the government and Coalition will come to an agreement over the
Opposition's amendments to an ETS, as Malcolm Turnbull very much wants to do, perhaps more than
anything to salvage his leadership?

Christine Milne: Well that's an interesting question because certainly the government's preference
has always been to brown down the scheme further by negotiating a deal with the Coalition. But it
seems that the Coalition's amendments require a lot more compensation to the big polluters. And one
of the big problems with the government scheme as it is, is that it gives $16 billion to the
polluters, it's not self-funding, it's difficult to see how Malcolm Turnbull can say he wants to
take action on climate change if he wants to compensate the polluters even further, exclude
everybody. My question to him is, who is going to reduce emissions under his proposals?

Helen Dalley: Alright, well let's stick with the possibility that they might get an agreement. If
the government gets agreement with the Coalition, then you the Greens and Independent, Nick
Xenophon, will be cut out of this major decision for Australia, and you won't have a say, will you?

Christine Milne: Well, we always have a say in the senate because we are on the cross bench and we
hold balance of power. The issue here is...

Helen Dalley: Sorry, senator, if they get agreement with the Coalition, you won't really have a say
in this.

Christine Milne: We'll have a say in terms of the scientific imperative on climate change, and the
need to transform the Australian economy. Now it's clear to me that the Coalition is playing games,
that's clear to the government as well. If the government is serious about getting an outcome
before Copenhagen, if they want to not lock in failure, but actually get a scheme that addresses
climate change, the Greens are ready and willing to do that. We have amendments to their Carbon
Pollution Reduction Scheme which would make it effective, both in an environmental way and an
economic way. And we will be presenting those to the government tomorrow. So really the government
holds all the cards here. If it wants a scheme, and one that's environmentally effective and
economically responsible, the Greens stand ready to make that happen. If however the government
chooses to brown it down even further, yes, they will cut out the Greens and the scientists and the
community, and they'll negotiate with the Coalition.

Helen Dalley: Alright, so you see that if the climate change sceptics inside the Coalition do win
out, that you have an opportunity to do a deal with the government, don't you?

Christine Milne: Absolutely, and that's clear to the government now. What the government has done
for a long time is expect the Coalition to come to the table. I don't think even the government
expected the Coalition to disintegrate in the way that it has. The Nationals have split off, there
are quite a lot of sceptics in the Liberal Party. We've heard that Wilson Tuckey's been out today
saying that the Coalition's amendments are designed to neuter the scheme completely. So if the
government browns it down to such an extent that the Coalition wants, then it will not only lock in
failure, it'll drive up taxes as well because of the huge amount of money that will be paid out to
the polluters.

Helen Dalley: So do you sometimes wonder why the Liberal Party is allowing Wilson Tuckey so much
say?

Christine Milne: Well it's an extraordinary thing, isn't it, because he's pretty well irrelevant in
the scheme of things. And yet he seems to be doing almost a Pauline Hanson on climate change.

Helen Dalley: Do you think that in fact they want him to do that, to be the one who says it out
loud and allows the climate change sceptics to have a say?

Christine Milne: Well that may be part of the thinking inside the Liberal Party and it certainly
goes to the heart of the split in terms of the Liberal leadership. So it's all part of that
internal politics. But the main thing is that the people of Australia want action on climate
change, and they want that action to address the science. And that's where the Greens come in. We
have made it clear from the start that we want to see the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
recommendations brought to the fore, and we want a scheme that actually transforms the economy,
that invests in renewable energy, in energy efficiency, and stops all this money going to the big
polluters, and instead investment in research, and development and commercialisation of those new
technologies. Now I think that's what the community wants, that's certainly what they're saying
they want us to do. It's what they want the government to do. And this is where Kevin Rudd and
Penny Wong have got a lot to answer for. Because on the global stage, they're saying they want
action on climate change, they're saying look at the Pacific Island countries. And then they're
coming home and they're prepared to give all this money, all this compensation to polluters, and
not do what the science demands.

Helen Dalley: Alright, we'll talk about your amendments in just a minute, but you say you want an
ETS, so why can't you agree to the government's proposed legislation? You're a Greens Party, then
at least you'll have a trading system. Because if you vote against it, you'll be blamed by that
very public that you were just talking about who want one, for not allowing it to go through.

Christine Milne: Well that's interesting, because the public who've really engaged on climate
change recognise that the government's Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme actually locks in failure
on climate change; because its targets are so low, it will be impossible to reduce emissions in the
timeframe that's needed. And the price signal will be so weak, that it will not drive
transformation. And we've had Sir David King, Sir Nicholas Stern, coming out in the last week
saying that actually locking in weak schemes is worse than not having an agreement in the short
term, because it's very difficult to unravel weak schemes once you've got them in place.

Helen Dalley: Alright.

Christine Milne: So the main thing is the target.

Helen Dalley: Okay, but if we don't get a trading scheme, can you face the people who voted for you
if you vote against a trading system?

Christine Milne: Absolutely, because we're out there saying to the community that we want to put in
place a target for climate change that will avoid catastrophic climate change, remembering Helen
that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has said that global emissions must peak and
come down by 2015. Now we don't have very much time left. The IPCC has said that developed
countries should have a target of between 25 and 40 percent. So what we're saying to the government
is mainstream science, mainstream responses, and that's what the community wants to do. So it's the
government who's going to have to face the people, saying they said they wanted to do something on
climate change, but when push came to shove they preferred to compensate the coal generators,
compensate the big polluters, and not do what's necessary to transform the economy to a low carbon
and zero carbon economy.

Helen Dalley: Alright, but equally, are you afraid I guess that you might get an even softer
trading scheme from your point of view because the government will do a deal with the Coalition?

Christine Milne: Yes, that is a very real risk, not only to the national economy in terms of the
costs that the taxpayers will have to bear into the future, but the huge risk is to the global
climate, because if Australia locks in a really weak target and a weak scheme, it means getting an
agreement in Copenhagen is almost impossible. Because the developing world is looking to countries
like Australia to do the right thing, and they're expecting developed countries to agree to an
average of a 40 percent reduction by 2020, so locking in something between 5 and 25 will guarantee,
as China has said, what Australia is proposing is obnoxious.

Helen Dalley: Do you believe actually that the Coalition or many of them do not actually want any
sort of emissions reduction scheme at all, and are therefore just delaying till after Copenhagen?
And then even after Copenhagen they may delay and delay again.

Christine Milne: I think that's absolutely correct. I've not heard a single Coalition senator stand
up and say they want serious emissions reductions. I've not heard them talk about a serious target.
They have never come up with a scheme, a proposal, that reduces emissions. They've voted against
the Greens proposal for a gross national feed in tariff many times, they refuse to contemplate a
higher renewable energy target. They want everything excluded, but they never say how they would
reduce emissions. It's always some vague idea about what they might do. So the challenge to Malcolm
Turnbull and to the Coalition is either come out and say that you are climate sceptics and you
don't intend to do anything, or say how you are going to reduce emissions. Not just continue to
drain the taxpayers purse in what will be the greatest wealth transfer Australia's witnessed in
recent memory. And that will be this massive transfer of wealth out of the pockets of the
community, out of the pockets of the renewable energies, a huge opportunity cost in those news
jobs, back into the old fossil fuel economy.

Helen Dalley: Alright, so you're taking your amendments to the government tomorrow. Can you tell us
about them and would they mainly be increasing the reduction targets and lessening compensation to
heavy polluters?

Christine Milne: That's right, Helen. Basically we've said, we want to see the Bali negotiating
range, the Greens policy has always been a 40 percent reduction by 2020 on 1990 levels. But we've
said that in Bali the prime minister stood up and got global accolades, a Green standing up there
saying that developed countries should aim for the Bali roadmap, 25 to 40 percent by 2020, and
that's what we think Australia should commit to, the Bali roadmap, agreed globally. And secondly,
we do not believe there is any justification, as indeed Profession Garnaut said, no justification
to that compensation for coal fired generators.

Helen Dalley: But if the carbon price got up to somewhere around $40 a tonne by 2020 say, that
would be a real inducement to the heavy emitters to cut their emissions.

Christine Milne: Well the way the government has structured the scheme, the people who are really
going to be paying are the taxpayers, people in the community, because if you have a look at it,
the government has said it will compensate low income earners, and we certainly support that and
would like to see that in terms of energy efficiency. But they want to neutralise the price signal
for transport, for petrol, they want to give massive compensation, more than $16 billion to the big
polluters and the coal fired generators. So if you got a decent price signal into the market and
took away that overly generous compensation, what you would get is bringing on all of your
renewable energy, your energy efficiency, all these exciting new jobs in the creative economy.
Because if we stay with a low price signal, what you're going to see is those new technologies go
overseas as we're seeing already, and Australia will have to import them back. It would be much
better to get a decent price signal in the market so that you drive the innovation and
transformation, and create those hundreds of thousands of new jobs, new technologies, new
manufacturing industry in Australia.

Helen Dalley: Alright, but just very briefly, do you see any sign that either the government or
Minister Penny Wong is going to negotiate?

Christine Milne: Well I had a letter from Minister Wong just last week, referring to some of the
proposals the Greens have put forward before, particularly in relation to the target, compensation.

Helen Dalley: Is she going to negotiate or not?

Christine Milne: And she has said that she's happy to keep talking with us, and so we will keep
talking to the government.

Helen Dalley: Alright. On stimulus spending, you heard Treasury Secretary Ken Henry say to the
Economics Committee that fiscal policy is making a bigger contribution to our growth and monetary
policy, and that without the spending, 100,000 jobs could be at risk, because unemployment hasn't
peaked. Do you accept that?

Christine Milne: Yes I do, and I think it was important when he said that if we didn't have the
stimulus package, then Australia would have been in recession. And so given that the Coalition
voted against the stimulus package, it's been the Greens working with the government that has
avoided recession in Australia, and he also said that we've already got about 150-160,000 more
people unemployed now than we had this time last year, and it would've been a lot worse if we
hadn't had the stimulus package. But having said that, we want to make sure that we maximise the
benefits of the stimulus package. We negotiated some energy efficiency improvements in those new
social housing, also in schools, and I want to go back and make sure that all that energy
efficiency spending is being delivered. Because that creates thousands of new jobs in areas such as
insulation, solar hot water, in all of those energy efficiency technologies.

Helen Dalley: Senator Christine Milne, we'll leave it there. Thanks so much for joining us.

Christine Milne: Thank you.

Sky News

Sunday Agenda

World Vision CEO, Rev. Tim Costello

11th October, 2009

Interview with World Vision CEO, Rev. Tim Costello

Sunday Agenda program, 11th October, 2009

Helen Dalley: Our region has had a terrible battering from natural disasters these last two weeks;
earthquakes, tsunamis and typhoons. But as they fade from the headlines, the real work begins for
Australia's aid organisations, as the heavy rebuilding process gets into gear. And joining us now
is World Vision's Tim Costello, who has spent the past week in Padang at the centre of Indonesia's
earthquake zone. Tim Costello, thanks for joining us.

Tim Costello: A pleasure.

Helen Dalley: So firsthand out of Padang, what did you see over the last week?

Tim Costello: We see damaged houses. It doesn't have any rhyme or reason, sometimes houses side by
side are standing and it's almost a zigzag effect. You see huge numbers of people now under
tarpaulins in temporary shelter, with pouring rain. And I was distributing our seven truck loads of
family kits in rain, knowing that it might trigger further landslides at various villages. So you
live with that as well as aftershocks.

Helen Dalley: There is so much going on and so many villages we understand around Padang were
buried under landslides and mudslides, is there no further rescue going on?

Tim Costello: It's very difficult to get out there. You know, what should be a 20 minute drive
takes you two hours because of rain, because of traffic, because of chaos. And reaching those
outlying villages has been the real challenge. Now we are in them, as other organisations are,
distributing tarpaulins to keep out the rain, and blankets and food and clean water. But the
conditions are really difficult, which slows everything down.

Helen Dalley: How adequate was the emergency response, from what you could see as soon as your
teams and you yourself got there?

Tim Costello: Look, I would give it six out of ten. Here you have a city that's quite
self-resilient. Padang's had more earthquakes than any other part of Indonesia. The mayor and the
governor acted quickly. You remember Banda Aceh took more than a week for them to open up and let
help in with the tsunami. So compared to that, actually very good. But again you have just this
loss of electricity in the first stages, compromised water systems. You turn on a tap in the little
bungalow I was staying in and sewerage comes out. So you are up against really terrifying
conditions. And I think the collaboration under the UN has been good, but we still have lessons to
learn.

Helen Dalley: So what are those lessons, and what do they actually need now? There are so many
thousands of people homeless, rebuilding of villages, of infrastructure, getting water right and to
not let sewerage mix in with the normal water, how are all those things going?

Tim Costello: Well this really comes back to governance and public policies. Jakarta's building
earthquake buildings. There's no reason why these houses should not be rebuilt with some earthquake
resistant measures. It's not that extra cost, it's the regulation and the policy to make sure it
happens. We know we're going to be back in Padang, it's an earthquake zone, it's in the ring of
fire. And therefore the real challenge is to say how are we proactively addressing this? Because
the reactive stuff sees terrible suffering. And I think the Australian government with the
Indonesian government has a role to play there.

Helen Dalley: Do you think there are enough teams, expertise and also equipment that they need to
help them from outside, from places like Australia? Do they have enough?

Tim Costello: They do. What's extraordinary about the response is you had 12 international teams
doing the rescue and that was the race against the clock. You now have enough teams doing the
assessment and NGOs like World Vision and other NGOs in there for the long haul, saying we will
actually help you implement the lessons learnt from the tsunami. Padang by the way actually has
tsunami practices, a million people in the city, and they practice for a tsunami. So they have
uppermost in their mind that this is really a dangerous zone. It's now really giving them the
resources to implement some of those things, that is preventative, not just reactive.

Helen Dalley: Does it ever get any easier for you to fly into these zones? You obviously in your
job have been to very many disaster zones, you've seen often very poor people hit even worse. Does
it ever get any easier?

Tim Costello: No, it doesn't. Human suffering is terribly, terribly traumatic. And you actually
feel guilty when you get on a plane and come back, knowing they're still living there, and in
villages flattened. I remember a Mrs. Dali with six kids taking me to her totally flattened house,
in tears, saying I've got no money, I can't rebuild, there's no insurance, no social security. And
you live with that guilt and come back here and you know the most difficult thing is when you come
back and hear Australians whinging about Australia. You really want to shake them and say, have you
got any idea how blessed we are? So it remains very demanding, personally.

Helen Dalley: The other parts of this story really that were so kind of shocking I guess to
Australians, it was hard to keep up with where all these disasters were happening. And certainly
hundreds of people have died and thousands have been made homeless by the typhoons and storms in
Vietnam and the Philippines, and of course as well the tsunami in Samoa. Now your people were
there, what are the latest on those places?

Tim Costello: Well in Samoa we've done some practical things, like distribute 500 radios so they
can get early warnings. We're working in terms of reconstruction with partners there. We have
nutritionists and logicians, people who do logistics, the setting the priorities, working there.
Look, it's like being in the ring with Mike Tyson. Every time you looked away, you got belted. And
I think the Australian public felt almost numb. I did too, seeing too many, too confused, don't
know how to give. I'd actually call on Australians to say, I know those feelings, but don't turn
away. Please be generous, because these are our neighbours. And this suffering is real.

Helen Dalley: So it hasn't gone away just because it's gone off the headlines? Obviously you still
need the funds?

Tim Costello: Absolutely. Look the media stayed with the story, but then moved off. And now it's
another story. And people are still there, needing our support, our generosity, our rebuilding. And
what's news for us is actually life and daily reality for them, which is why it's so important to
go, if this was us and we saw how long it took in my town, Melbourne, to rebuild houses after a
bushfire. And the trauma that goes on and on. And the fear for kids who can't trust nature any
more, an earthquake, a tsunami, seeing the fear in their parents' eyes and saying can we have
confidence in life? This sort of trauma goes on.

Helen Dalley: Just briefly, do you think you'll get your brother, Peter, to join you in some of
these areas now that he's retiring from parliament?

Tim Costello: All things are possible! He's certainly working on a World Bank committee and has an
interest in some international affairs. So now that he's a free man, let's see what happens.

Helen Dalley: Tim Costello, thanks for giving us that firsthand account.

Tim Costello: A pleasure.