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Meet The Press -

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(generated from captions) This programme is captioned live.

Hello and welcome to Meet the Press.

It's just six sleeps to the federal

election, and it's shaping as a

nail-biter. Tony Abbott led the

coalition out of the blocks last

Sunday, no big new policies just a

sustained attack on his Labor

opponents. Change for the better is

coming and it will run to a strict

timetable. While Julia Gillard had

to explain her strained reunion

with the man she deposed as prime

minister. Oh look, I'm not going to

pretend it was the easiest, you

know, sort of meeting I've ever had

in my life, obviously. But you know,

got in there, had a good discussion,

positive discussion, I mean, we

share values in common, we've

worked together. Seeing what

happened to Kevin Rudd, I was just

wondering what guarantee you could

give that if you're elected to

remain Prime Minister for the full

term? To be Prime Minister of this

country you've got to have the

confidence of the Australian people

and the confidence of your team, I

do have the confidence of my team.

On Tuesday, the Liberals produced

their cheaper and slower broadband their cheaper and slower broadband

policy. What we won't get from

Labor is an affordable and

deliverable plan. $43 billion at a

time like this is simply not

affordable. In this digital age,

Australia can't afford not to build

the NBN Mr Swan now needs to come

clean about whether it was he who leaked the treasury costings

analysis. This election is being

fought on fiscal responsibility,

it's being fought on surpluses,

it's being fought about who can

have the stewardship of the economy

to bring the Budget back to surplus.

Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer

Wayne Swan is a guest. And later, polling analyst Andrew Catsaras

election. takes the latest pulse of the

But first what the nations papers

are reporting this Sunday, August 15.

The Sunday Telegraph leads with

coalition can win government. A

galaxy poll of 20 marginal seats

shows the coalition on 51.4 to

Labor's 48.6. The poll predicts a

loss of ten Labor seats in

Queensland and seven in New South Wales.

The Sunday Mail in Brisbane has

this vision of poll violence caught

on video, LNP candidate Wyatt Roy

watches on as one of his campaign workers punches Labor supporters.

The LNP says it's regrettable but

their man was provoked. The Sunday

Herald Sun reports Labor candidate

in punch up. Mike Brunker, the

candidate for the Queensland

marginal seat of Dawson, was

involved in a scuffle at a race

track over election posters.

Punches were thrown, but Labor says

himself. witnesses saw Mr Brunker defending

And welcome back to the program

Wayne Swan. Good morning Treasurer.

Good morning Paul. Things are

certainly getting hot in Queensland.

Your local paper today says

baseball bats ready for Labor in

Queensland today. And the

prediction of a loss of up to 10

seats. Is that the way you read it?

I have travelled around Queensland

extensively and I think

Queenslanders are carefully

considering their decision. There

is no doubt of that poll, Tony

Abbott would become Prime Minister

in Queensland. Queenslanders would

have a $6 billion grocery tax

applied to them and see broadband

ripped up. But I think

Queenslanders at carefully

considering their decision. They

are making a choice between Prime

Minister Gillard too has the proven

economic judgement to support jobs

and small business. Mister Abbott

lacks the economic judgement to run

a modern economy. That is important

in Queensland. They are crying out

for Central Infrastructure,

investment in the road networks.

Misty -- Mister Abbott is going to

rip all of that up. It is a clear

choice and I think it will be

desperately close. The question is,

why is a desperately close? Does it

come down to state Labor being on

the nose? It has been desperately

close for some period of time.

Elections in Queensland generally

are. I have been involved in many

federal election campaigns. It does

tend to swing more than other

states. There does tend to be a lot

more volatility in the state but we

are very competitive because we

have a program for the future. And

investment in infrastructure. It is

critically important if we are

going to maximise the opportunities.

Could there be a Kevin Rudd factor

at work? The poll found that Kevin Rudd was preferred Prime Minister.

When I am on the ground, the issues

raised with me for those of

raised with me for those of

infrastructure, expanding capacity,

the quality of life, they are

looking for a Federal Government to

work with them. Tony Abbott's first

act as Prime Minister... Kevin act as Prime Minister... Kevin

Rudd's dumping is not a factor? Rudd's dumping is not a factor?

They are looking very clearly at

the choice between Julia Gillard

and Tony Abbott. As a move down the

community, what people raised with

me are the issues of infrastructure,

Broadbent, and of judgement. The

small business community

understands the measures we talk. understands the measures we talk.

He had accused the Coalition of

hiding its costings. -- You've

accused the coalition of hiding

their costings, this is Andrew

Robb's counter attack. We are not

going to be used as political

patsies by a Treasurer who is

complicit in the leak of a very

serious Treasury document. Aiding

and abetting what looks like a

criminal act.

De Julie to the Treasury document?

There are massive cost blow-outs in

expenditure and the routine doesn't

work. The Treasury Department are

qualified and should be examining

all of the spending commitments on

both sides of politics. We have

submitted hours, they are refusing

to submit there's. Simply because

they don't add up. That is not

enough, is it? When it comes to

this allegation about the fact that

there is a hole in accosting of

broadband, that is publicly

available information. There has available information. There has

been a debate about a broad band

policy. That is publicly available

information. What they're trying to

do is avoid detailed scrutiny. Now

they have a farce of an unnamed

accounting firm which is supposedly

going to look at or there detail.

One accounting firm won't

necessarily have the qualifications

to determine the extent to which

they have blown the budget surplus.

Oppositions are suspicious of what

governments do what Treasury

estimates. Label was suspicious

last time. Were submitted our

proposals. They're refusing to

submit their us. If they can't work

with the federal departments of

finance and treasury, how could

they possibly run the national they possibly run the national

economy. Les there has an

announcement today on credit cards,

what is it? There are about 150,000

new credit cards issued each month.

What we want to do is to empower

the holders to give them better

information and make sure that when

they take decisions about

repayments, they don't get ripped

off. There are a couple of off. There are a couple of

important measures we will put in

place. That cardholders must agree

if they are going to be charged

fees for going over the limit. They fees for going over the limit. They

must be a standardisation of how must be a standardisation of how

interest is applied. If they're

making repayments, the car owners,

or the card companies, must pay off

the highest interest debt they have

on the card. A series of measures

to give better value for consumers

and better consumer protection.

Coming up after the break when

we're joined by the panel, just how

economically stimulating is the

government? And there's no doubt

politicians would kill for a cut politicians would kill for a cut

through line, here are some of the finer efforts.

Big on sizzle but no sausage. This

is a policy that is like giving a

Berocca for a broken leg. It's like

a ghost following me around the car.

It's like being slapped with a

feather duster. And the winner is,

the Prime Minister. How big a tool

is Mark Latham? There are some

things that can't be measured. and text through the details. customers on the move.

This programme is captioned live.

You're on Meet the Press with

Treasurer Wayne Swan. And welcome

to the panel, Jennifer Hewett from

the Australian and Peter Hartcher

from the Sydney Morning Herald.

Good morning Jennifer and Peter.

The Australian newspaper made Kevin

Rudd Australian of the year in 2009

for his government steering the

nation through the global financial

crisis, but that legacy has been challenged.

The Australian national audit

office has now clanged the bell on

Labor's bloated rhetoric about job

creation as a result of the stimulus package.

Labour says that stimulus spending

save us from recession. Most of the

money wasn't spent until the

official risk of recession was over,

there is billions more to come in

Stiller spending, what exactly are

a saving us from at the moment?

That is just not true. The IMF, the

World Bank, our reserve bankable

stated clearly that the seamless

was responsible for avoiding the

Australian recession. The only

economy to grow in 2009. The

strongest advanced economy. I don't

accept the characterisation from

the opposition about the report. We

put stimulus in place, it peaked in

the middle of last year and is

being gradually withdrawn. But it

is still a very important support

for employment in the Australian

economy, particularly in areas of

non- residential construction. As

you move around the country, that

sector is appreciative of the fact

that we continue to support him

plummet in the critical area. If

the Liberals had their way,

Australia would have been in

recession and that is indisputable.

There is also a lot of waste in the

spending. Hundreds of millions of

dollars, if not billions. Do you

think that is inevitable? But us

talk about waste. That Australia

would have gone into recession, we

would have had a massive increase

in unemployment. A massive increase

in business closures. That is what

waste in the economy can do to

destroy the cohesion of an economy.

It leaves you with a legacy of past

four years and years. The stimulus

was important, keeping the doors of

small business open, keeping

business employed. It is important

to get value for money and spending.

Julia Gillard has committed the

Labor Party to applying a price to

carbon. It is not a question of if

but when. Can you tell us when

Labor will a private -- apply a

price to carbon? What we rejected

is this hysterical allegation that

we are moving towards Victor --

carbon tax. We reject that. We have

said that we will go back and seat

to reconstruct community consensus

about how we deal with climate

change. We will review where we are

with that in 2000 well. We have

said that we will have a

comprehensive free evaluation of

all other approaches -- 2012. The

Liberals are responsible for

defeating the carbon reduction

scheme. They voted it down three

times. We will look at where we are

going in 2012. So the 1.5 million

voters who intend to vote Green,

you can't send them a clear message

about when you will implement the

commitment to apply a carbon Bryce?

There is no doubt that we need to

put a cap on carbon pollution. But

the reduction scheme was voted down

by the Liberal Party and the Greens

in the Senate. We have seen a

fracturing of consensus but

nationally and internationally. We

have to go back to basics to

reconstruct the consensus. Julia

Gillard said the Rudd Government

lost its way, part of that was the

mining tax. You were the champion

of the tax and refused to concede

major changes until Kevin Rudd was

ousted. Do you think that is now a

great error of judgement? No, I

don't, if that the money we will

receive from the mining companies

which will be invested in lower

company tax overall, the tax break

for small business, Critical

Infrastructure, and a boost to

superannuation, is a huge reform.

Tony Abbott's first act will be to

rip up fat cheque for $10.5 billion

and turn up in Queensland and say

sorry, I can't invest in

infrastructure. The fact is, it is

a very big game for Australia, for

Australians to receive a fair share

of the mineral resources they own

100% and it can only be dug up once.

Unlike real and BHP, at an

Australian mining company has to

borrow, and he won't be able to do

so. You make it a higher tax rate

but a smaller company. Is that

smart policy. He has made all sorts

of statements. He has put forward a

list of changes that he wanted.

Most of them were accepted in the

revised proposition. It reflects

the fact that many in the mining

community, began small, had

requested changes. They were

incorporated in the tax. We are

moving forward with the committee.

Are very important way to work

through all of the factors. I

believe we will do that. At the end believe we will do that. At the end

of the day, Australia will receive

a fair return on its resources and

we can invest that in reforming the

economy and supporting mining

communities. Last week, the US

Federal Reserve committed was

standing by to apply more support

to the US economy. Markets

worldwide a worried about a double

dip recession. What are the odds of

a credit shock for economic shock

imaging from overseas in the months

ahead? I certainly don't speculate

about those matters. There is no

doubt there is risk in the national

economy. There is no doubt that the

US has a different outlook to maybe

people would have talked about a

few months ago. What that says is

that the Government's stewardship

of the economy, the way we have

handled the stimulus, the way we

are putting plans in place is

absolutely critical. What I do know

is that now is not the time for

Tony Abbott to rip up broadband or

put in place savage cuts to health

and education. Now has the time for

a government with a proven track

record to put in place the

essential reforms I have been

talking about throughout the

interview today and not to take a

risk with Tony Abbott who go the

biggest economic call for the last

some defy the is comprehensively

wrong. So if there is a downturn

and it is worse than expected,

would you be prepared to have

another round of Stiller spending?

I am not going to speculate about

those matters. This government has

a proven track record of handling

international economic uncertainty.

When conditions changed

dramatically in 2008, we responded

appropriately. I do not expect to

see a set of circumstances like

that again, but it we were

confronted with a set of

circumstances, his use of best

judgement and respond appropriately

as we did in 2008. What that meant

is that we were the strongest

advanced economy in 2009. One of

the few economies to avoid

recession. If the Liberals had

their way, Australia would have

been in recession and we would have

suffered all the waste which flows

from that. It would seem you have

said to us, if you need to, you

would go into bigger debt? No, I

said that if there was a dramatic

change in the international

environment, we would take

appropriate steps. I don't expect

to see a repeat of events which

occurred in 2008 and 2009 but weary occurred in 2008 and 2009 but weary

government with a proven track

record of responding to conditions.

We have a very strong economy, one

of the strongest in the advanced

world, and it is that strength of

that in the give Australian's

confidence to handle anything

thrown at us by the end of the were

-- by the rest of the world.

Thanks for being with us, Treasurer

Wayne Swan. And coming up, polling analyst Andrew Catsaras.

An election campaign is a goldmine

for cartoonists - the Latham-

Gillard confrontation, a rare

nugget. Oh, hello Mark how are you?

...made a complaint about me

working for Channel 9?

John Broelman took this out of it.

Relax - the last time Latham shook

someone's hand like that, they won

the election in a landslide. said, "He is innumerate."

This programme is captioned live.

You're on Meet the Press. As we saw

the Galaxy poll has picked up big

swings against Labor in Queensland swings against Labor in Queensland and New south Wales

swings against Labor in Queensland and New south Wales marginals. But

the Neilsen poll yesterday had

better news for Labor showing a

pick up for the government after campaign set backs 53-47.

Poll analyst Andrew Catsaras has

been crunching the numbers on this

election's polls. What you make of

the polls, para 2 elections going

on here? Not really, there is no

relief to elections going on, the

marginal seats apart of the

national polls. The polls released

this morning arid bit misleading.

Talking about a large swing in

Queensland. But the four seats they

polled Arras seats the Labor Party

is not expected to pick up. You

expect swings in those seats. So to

extrapolate that across the state

is a bit misleading. It would have

been better to poll in marginal been better to poll in marginal

seat. What about NSW? Does the same

apply? To a duel lesser degree, you

are going to get distorted swings

in those samples and to extrapolate them is not particularly useful.

The staff released yesterday is far

more instructive. It showed a swing

against Labor in Queensland which

says they should lose between three

and four seats of the seats they

hold in parliament. It sounds more

realistic than what was reported

this morning. Ed looks like an

unusually volatile election. We see

six percentage points collapsing in

the Labor primary vote and a 4%

rise in the 4th week. How would you

capture what has been happening so

far? Basically, there has been

three phases in polling. When you

try to analyse what is going on,

you used to make components.

Quality to research and

quantitative research. What was

said at the beginning of the

campaign, there is no mood for

change and the electorate. We had

the first two rounds of polls which

showed that the Labor Party were

leading 53-47. The Coalition vote

was 41 on the primary. That was

consistent for the for -- for the

first two weeks. Than we had the

leaks which damaged Julia Gillard

very badly. There was an increase

in the Coalition primary vote which

shifted the two parties to fifty-

fifty. Possibly in favour of the

Coalition. Since then, Julia

Gillard has been rebuilding her

boat and the most recent polls show

the Labor primary vote is back at

40 which puts the Labor Party into

52-53. So they have been three

phases. They started where they

should have, elite damage to her,

they're getting back on track. What

is the bottom line? Is Labor likely

to win the election? They are most

likely to win the election. The

next most likely result is a hung

parliament because if they lose a

few more seats, they won't have

enough to form a majority but not

double the Coalition. The next

result will be that the Coalition

will form a majority of 76 plus.

Your scenario still shows the role

of independence and the parliament

becoming crucial. 76 is a majority.

All the polls seem to agree that

Julia Gillard is the

All the polls seem to agree that Julia Gillard is the preferred prime minister. Nielsen yesterday

had her leading with a wide margin 52-38.

In a tight ball, does the preferred

Prime Minister really count? It

can't really compare state and

federal elections, they are

different. I'm not sure why that is, different. I'm not sure why that is,

maybe people don't care as much at

the state level. But the leader at

the federal level is very important the federal level is very important

because it will determine who will

be the Prime Minister for the next

three years. It doesn't seem to

matter at the state level as much. matter at the state level as much.

Often, the incumbent premier can be

ahead but doesn't win the election.

It doesn't really translate across It doesn't really translate across

state and federal. So Julia Gillard

holding up and preferred Prime

Minister, does it suggest that may

be laid that didn't make a mistake

in dumping Kevin Rudd? Probably not,

but it may be that the result they but it may be that the result they

are going to get is a result they

would have gotten any way. We don't

no, it is academic. But putting

Julia Gillard in got a boost in a Julia Gillard in got a boost in a primary focus and they were

languishing. But all of the vote

they last went to the Greens, none

of it has gone to the Coalition. Is

there any chance this close to the

election that things could turn

around? Is there any precedent

before -- for a reversal in the

last week? The President would be last week? The President would be

1993 where Paul Keating came back

strongly in the last 10 days. But

that is misleading as well because

prior to December 1992, he was

prior to December 1992, he was

actually leading in the polls. When

we came back from summer break, it

went back to where it was. He

clawed it all back. People were

hesitant about John Hewson out from

the election. Briefly, Tony Abbott

seems to be the best thing Labor

has going for them? He is the best

thing the Liberals have going for

them but also probably the worst

thing they have going for them. The

leaders are playing a role. He is

helping Labor win but I don't think

he could have done anything more

than he is doing. He is doing as

good a job as it was a big court.

-- as he possibly could. Thank you

Andrew. Thanks also to our panel

Jennifer Hewett and Peter Hartcher.

A transcript and a replay of this

programme will be on our website. Goodbye.