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ABC News Breakfast -

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(generated from captions) More on today's weather in

half an hour. You're watching ABC News Breakfast. The

Government has launched an

unprecedented attack on the

Coalition, calling it the Coalition, calling it the most

obstructionist Opposition in 30

years. Prominent Government

Ministers fronted the media

yesterday to demand

cooperation, saying important

bills are being sabotaged by

the Opposition. The Coalition

and some independent Senators

will today oppose legislation

that paves the way for the

break up of Telstra and this morning communications Minister Stephen Conroy told ABC News

Breakfast the Liberals are behind the move to vote the bill down.

bill down. It is important to

note a number of National Party

Senators have publicly

expressed support for the

separation of Telstra and the

principle of the structure

we're putting forward. Senator

feowny Nash, Senator Barnaby

Joyce and Senator John Williams

have gone on the public record

saying the industry needs to be restructured and yet in the

last few days it's become clear

they've been lent on, that Tony

Abbott and the Liberals are

again dictating the line to the

Liberal Party. For more on

this, Liberal Senator Mathias

Cormann joins us from Canberra.

Do you expect this Telstra bill

to be voted down in the Senate

care of the Coalition and

cross-benchers? We are opposed

to the Telstra bill. It will

destroy Telstra and it is part

of the political strategy of

the Rudd Government to cover up the Rudd Government to cover up

their failure on the

pre-election promise to deliver

on a national broadband

network. The Rudd Labor

Government doesn't like it when

we scrutinise legislation but

the principle is simple. If the

Government puts forward good

legislation we'll support it

and if the Government puts

forward bad legislation not in

the national interest we'll

oppose it. On occasions the

Government has agreed to make

improvements to legislation as

a result of pressure put on

them by the Coalition and other

Senators but some legislation

just can't be improved and the

Telstra bill falls into that

Government have a mandate on category. Doesn't the

some of the key issues that

have been frustrated in the

Senate? The Government does

not have a mandate for example

to reduce or scrap private

health insurance rebate for

millions of Australians. The

Government gave the most

emphatic pre-election

commitment to retain the

existing private health

insurance rebates. This

government has become arrogant

very quickly. I don't accept

the legitimate - they don't

accept the legitimate role of

the Senate to scrutinise

legislation and hold them to

account. There is example after

example of where the Senate has

stood up for the people of

Australia in the face of the Australia in the face of the

Government blatantly seeking to

pre-election commitments. Do breach most emphatic

you see this as the government

positioning itself to get the

option of calling a double

dissolution election?

Everything the Government does

has to be seen in the prism of their attempts to get

themselves re-elected. They're

not governing in the national

interests at the moment, they're governing in the

interests of their own

re-election and own political

interests. We've wasted weeks

and weeks in the Senate

debating legislation which the

Government has known all along

does snrot the support of the

Senate. If I can just make the

point, the Coalition, while we

can have a view we cannot block

legislation on our own. We have

to have at least two Senators

sharing our judgment on a

particular piece of

legislation. That is something

of course that the Government

conveniently likes to

forget. Something else that

could cause a flash point between the Coalition and the

Government is the issue of

parental leave and Tony Abbott

is not ruling out the option of

the Coalition moving to block

or seriously amend Labor's

parental leave scheme. Is that

what the Coalition is planning

to do in the Senate? The

Government should come on board

with Tony Abbott's plan for

paid parental leave. The

Government has put forward what

we would describe as we would describe as a Mickey

Mouse scheme which doesn't

address the financial needs of

parents. Tony Abbott has put forward a scheme which would be

good for women, families and

children and good for the economy. Tony Abbott's scheme

will help lift our productivity

participation rates and really and increase employment

what we've said to the

Government, we've put forward a

very constructive, very

positive proposal to come on

board with our schemyism guess this debate will continue to

play out over the weeks ahead.

Senator Mathias Cormann, thank

you for your time. Thank

you. Now we love to know what

you're thinking about the issue

of the day, the role of the

Senate a key talking pound and

also I imagine there would be

lots of comments you might want

to make about the survival of a baby elephant at the Taronga

mentioned, Zoo. As Marie Scoutas

mentioned, that's been a really

controversial breeding program

and all the elephant breeding

programs in Australia - I think there are two of them - have

been the subject of some

controversy. People might be

happy to see a live calf born

but not happy to see it in

captivity. No, and it's a

spectacular error of judgment