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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.

Well by this time next week, we

should know who's running the

country. Or will we? The mating

dance continues. The three rural

independents who hold the key,

issued a seven-point call for

information. But the demand, that

both sides submit their policies

for Treasury costing, was initially

rejected by the Coalition. Those

officials are not in a position to

give advice on Opposition policies.

That immediately raised hackles. We

need to establish what the budget

bottom line is. Obviously every

person in Australia at the present

moment believes that he's got

something to hide. By Friday, it

was the Prime Minister who revealed

the Opposition's change of heart.

Mr Abbott has generally agreed that

the Independents should be able to

get the material that they seek. As

the count continues, the three independents remain the kingmakers.

They will have briefings with

ministers and shadow ministers over They will have briefings with

the coming week. The key government

negotiator, Deputy Prime Minister

Wayne Swan is our guest. And later,

Independent Tony Windsor joins us

Independent Tony Windsor joins us

from Tamworth. But first, what the

nation's papers are reporting this

Sunday, August 29.

The Sunday-Telegraph says Tony

Abbott has rung Tony Windsor to

apologise, after he complained of

receiving threatening phone calls receiving threatening phone calls

from a Liberal MP. Veteran

backbencher Alby Schultz says he

the Independents. did make calls to offer advice to

Perth's Sunday Times reports Ken

Wyatt, who's set to become

Australia's first Aboriginal man to

sit in the House of Reps, has

copped a barrage of racist hate mail since election night.

Teenage pregnancies are on the rise,

according to the Sunday Age, up

more than 15% in New South Wales,

in to the latest official figures.

And the Sun-Herald has a Neilsen

poll showing support for Australia

becoming a Republic is now at its

lowest level since 1994.

And welcome back to the program

Treasurer and Deputy Prime Minister

Wayne Swan. Good morning Treasurer.

You would still be a Republican,

wouldn't you? Yes I am, but as the

Prime Minister has made clear it

that is not the priority at the

moment. I think the priority is to moment. I think the priority is to

get a government to run the country.

You are in talks with the three

independents. Why should they go

with Labour? I think Labour is best

placed to form a stable and

effective government. We have a

very clear programme. We have a very clear programme. We have a

proven track record when it comes proven track record when it comes

to economic management. Saving this

country from recession. We have a

plan to broaden and strengthening

the economy. What is important are

the national interest issues. But

also treating with respect the

decision of the Australian people

in the recent election. That is why

we are engaged with constructive

discussions with the Independent's

and the other parties in the

parliament. We think that is very

important. Our bottom line is the

national interest. The Labour Party

has just returned its lowest

primary vote in a 100 years. 38%

was the level of people who

selected Labour as their first-

choice. How can you talk about the

national interest when you have

more than 60% of the voting public

not picking you as their first

choice? The majority of the

Australian people voted for the

Labour Party. We won the majority

of the two-party preferred but. If

you actually have a look at this

wing in the election, there is a

swing of just over 2% against the

Government. It is clear, it has

been a close election and a close

contest but I believe we are best

placed to form a strong and

effective government. We have a

proven track record of economic

management. But I also believe that

we need to treat with respect the

situation that we are in at the

moment. I know some in the Liberal

Party don't like the result but we

have an obligation to work with the

independence and other parties in

the parliament to get the best

result for Australia. What they are

willing to give them? Bob Katter

wants to re elect tariff walls. We

are engaged in constructive and

productive discussions with the

independence... Of that on the

question, as constructive talks

won't include reflective tariff

walls? I am not going to pre-empt

the outcome of those discussions.

It is early days. We have had good

discussions with the independence

the other day, the Prime Minister

has continued to have discussions...

Of but in fairness... What I am

hearing you are saying is not

ruling out the re- election --

redirection of tariff walls. I am

not ruling them in either. What I

have said is that we will have

constructive discussions. We are

not going to play the role in or

rule out game. How long can a

hiatus last? We have more boat

arrivals, but you're in the

coalition have policies that he

took to the election to try to

reduce the number of Botha rivals,

but while we don't have a

government, nobody can put the

policies into place. People

smugglers must be saying, all

boards, getting before there is a

change? The change could be some

time away. Is cannot be a

satisfactory arrangement for the

country. The government is in

caretaker moat but we are still

governing. We should be clear about

that. We are still doing all of

those things we would normally do

when we were not in a caretaker

period. The only difference is, if

there is a substantial change of

policy, it requires a discussion

with the opposition parties. But

our strong approach to border

protection continues to be applied.

All the normal functions of

government are recurring as we

speak. While we're still in this

mode, we have a situation where the

US economy is potentially wobbling.

If there was to be a situation such

as we saw a couple of years ago, as we saw a couple of years ago,

how would you deal with a global

economic crisis if it were to fall

right now in this current hiatus?

We dealt very effectively with the

global financial crisis and the

global recession over the past two

years. We are very well placed to

make judgments should those events

occur. But those events are not in

train as we speak. We know there is train as we speak. We know there is

unexpected weakness in the US

economy, but we will deal with

those conditions should they arise,

and the same way in which we have and the same way in which we have

dealt with them over the previous

two matches. Very strongly, very

effectively. While there is a

chance you may come out as the

Government, a helps to keep the lid

on the recriminations from the

election results, do you believe

that when this is over, Labour will

have to have, regardless of who

ultimately forms government, is ultimately forms government, is

going to have to have a deep,

searching postmortem into the

election result? There will be the election result? There will be the

normal reviews which occur of the

campaign that when it comes to

government policy, the government

has put in place, particularly

economic policy, a very strong

economic framework. I think it is

one which is the envy of the world.

But this is about the Labour Party.

This is a question about the Labour

Party. You know better than anyone

the Queensland Labour Party, what

went wrong in Queensland? That is

the campaign postmortem. That will

occur in the normal way. That

postmortem is going on inside the

Liberal Party as well. That doesn't

go to the core of what the

Government must do in the national

interest as we go through the years

ahead. That is entirely separate.

We will review of policy settings

in the normal way a government does

that. But when it comes to our

claimant framework, it is there for

all to say. Time for a break. When

we return with the panel, whoever

said politics is boring has never

met Bob Katter. He's had a big week.

There is a picture of a very

handsome film star here in Anna Cooper had.

Please excuse me for reacting with

extreme anger.

I will work with people that I

personally despise to be quite

frank with you.

This programme is captioned live.

You're on Meet the Press with

Treasurer Wayne Swan. And welcome

to the panel, Glenn Milne and

Michelle Grattan. Good morning

Glenn and Michelle. Now, whatever

happens out of the current

political stalemate, Tony Abbott,

for one, believes we can expect a

little more love in the air. I

think that the spirit of Parliament

has been needlessly confrontational.

I think we can have a kinder,

gentler politics. They government

will present -- present some amends

for parliamentary reform. Which you

approve of and estimates Committee

system for the House of

Representatives as operates in the

Senate? I am not going to go into

the detail of what we will discuss

with the independence but can I

just say that this is an exciting

opportunity for parliamentary

reform. For a new government to put

in place a different approach. Over

the years, a number of us in the

parliament, including many of the

independence, have discussed this.

Now is the opportunity to put in

place some fundamental changes in

terms of parliamentary reform.

Which I believe the Australian

public will welcome. I am looking

forward to this discussion, and I

am looking forward to putting in

place some fundamental reforms,

whether it is estimates committees

or time limits on questions without

notice, whether it is private

members' business, whatever it is,

I think there is room for

substantial parliamentary reform,

which will be welcomed by the

Australian public. It does beg the

question that everybody is becoming

enthusiastic about parliamentary

reform, and yet, both sides have

had a lot of opportunity to do it

in the past and haven't got around

to it. Aren't just doing it because

the pressure of the moment? Not at

all, at the beginning of the last

Parliament, we put forward a

substantial proposal for private

members' business. Look what

happened to that. If exactly, and I

hope on this occasion, we can break

the gridlock. I have been a manager

for opposition business in the

house as well. I personally think

if the government are re-elected,

we are looking forward to when you

environment in the parliament and some substantial parliamentary

reforms. Does that include a

parliamentary budget Office would

would be close to your portfolio

and an independence Baker? As I

said, I am not going into the

detail? Why not? We are having

discussions with the Independent

parties, they have asked for

submissions and contributions from

both sides of politics, we are

going through that process, I

welcome those discussions and we

will see what comes from them. But

cannot go into outline an outcome before we have had discussions.

What about the idea that Julia

Gillard didn't roll-out at the end

of this week, of a Green

representative in Cabinet. What do

you think about that? That is not

on the table at all. But we're

entering into discussions with the

Greens, as we are with the

independents, and members of other

political parties as well. We are

going through discussions with all

of those but that is not on the

table at all. Among the creative

ideas for sorting out who'll form

government, one of the Independents

is suggesting it would be helpful

if a few big party MPs ratted on

their mates and changed sides. One

member of parliament from either

the Labor party or the Liberal

Party who moves can make a huge

difference in this negotiation and

that should be thought about by all

of them and that should be thought

about by all Australians. I presume

that you would rule out such a

system operating, or do you think system operating, or do you think

there is any merit at all in the there is any merit at all in the

suggestion? I am not contemplating

any of those sorts about comes.

They cannot be inside the head

space of other Members of

Parliament but I believe that

Members of Parliament have been

elected on a platform and that is

the platform they should be

sticking to. So you can survive on

a very fine majority? What would

happen if there was by election and

lost that? Michel, various state parliaments have been through

periods of minority government were

there have been effective

agreements with independence, I

think it is proven here that

governments can operate very

effectively in these situations,

particularly if there is goodwill

and respect. Can we turn from

politics to policy for a moment. politics to policy for a moment.

You are sitting on a big report on

the Moray darling basin at the

moment. Julia Gillard said that she would embrace the recommendations

which will include compulsory which will include compulsory

acquisition of water rights. Won't

that effect of the farmers who live

in tiny Windsor's electorate and

Bob Katter's electric adversely? I

am not going to canvass on - report,

it is on an independent commission,

the Prime Minister was asked about

this and the water minister has

been asked about it, she said that

she will do what we can to

facilitate its publication. It

should be dealt within the normal

way. Can have put it to you that

the normal way is up the window at

the moment. Would you consider

showing the independence that

report, particularly the ones most

affected by it? Once again, it is a

matter for the independent

commission. I am not sure if that

is a decision the Government can

take. And certainly not when it is

in caretaker moat. The leaders of

both parties have agreed to the

Independent demands that a new

parliament would run the full three

years. This is very constraining

and constrictive, isn't it? It

would rule out having a double

dissolution if the houses were

deadlocked. Isn't this really

agreeing to too much? I don't

believe so and I believe it is

putting the cart before the horse.

We are having discussions with the

independence and minor parties

about the need for agreement for effective and stable government.

Yes, there will be some conditions Yes, there will be some conditions

to occur from time to time. By-

elections and so on, which will

have to be taken into account, but

it is really important as we move

forward to have an understanding

that we do want a parliament to

serve its three-year term. But that

is bringing in a fixed term without

any discussion. That is putting

great restraint on government.

Surely you can't say that is

putting the cart before the horse,

they have already agreed to it. But

you are asking me to anticipate

unexpected events into the future.

Surely that is exactly the point.

The point is you cannot anticipate

unexpected events and they will

affect the state of the parliament?

Yes they will, that is why as we go

through a discussion about the

effective agreement, I am sure we

will have to have some part of that

agreement and understanding of what

would occur if there were

unexpected events. Of course these

things can happen. Of course they

impact on a commitment to serve a

three-year term. But we are genuine

in our commitment to say we do wish

to serve a three-year term.

Stability demands that. But it is

common sense to observe their -- common sense to observe their --

that they could be some events

occurring out of the blue, and

there will need to be understanding

of how we handle the situation as

well. Thanks for being with us

Deputy Prime Minister Wayne Swan.

And coming up, Tony Windsor. In our

cartoon of the week, Alan Moir in

the Sydney Morning Herald reflects the Sydney Morning Herald reflects

on democracy at work. The people

have spoken. What did they say? Yeah, have spoken. What did they say? Yeah, whatever. are not

This programme is captioned live.

You're on Meet the Press. The three

key independents say they will decide the next government, irrespective of the natural political leanings of their

constituents. Amongst Bob Katter,

Tony Windsor and I, constituents. Amongst Bob Katter, Tony Windsor and I, there is 68

years of public life. We are now at

a point in our public life where,

if we have to make a decision and

lose, we are willing to do that.

We're joined now from Tamworth by

Independent, Tony Windsor. You have

Independent, Tony Windsor. You have

been back in your own constituency.

Doubt this there is a fair welter

of advice, information from your

own constituents. What you hearing

them take you to do? And range of

things. The main message I am

getting is, we will back your

judgement. I appreciate that. I

know there are people out there,

there is a bit of an orchestrated

campaign from by sides of the campaign from by sides of the political spectrum to try to turn

the heat up. That sort of stuff is

counter-productive. I say to counter-productive. I say to

country people generally,

irrespective of where they leave,

there is an opportunity he over a

three-year period to actually do

some good things for country

Australians. If people return to

partisanship, in terms of one dog

or the other, we are in a different

environment. People have to

recognise there is a third option

in this. That we cannot find

something, in my view, that is

stable and will go forward, and

create good governance for the

nation, the third option is let the

people decide. Before we get to

that option, you talk about turning

the heat up, will he got a call

from a Liberal backbencher during

the week and the advice included a

few threats? I have the name Dalby

but somebody else has. He is a maze

of mind, and it gets a bit excited

about life. We all recognise that.

I don't appreciate some of the

calls that have been coming through

to my staff and occasionally to

make from various political

persuasions. I think this is a time

for cool heads. A lot of people

might not like the situation we are

in. I didn't put myself and his

position by saying the Australian

people have, we have to make

reasonable decisions based on

information before us. And

hopefully come to some conclusion.

My vote may not make any difference

to the outcome at all. It may, and

a think it is appropriate that

while we are in this period of the

vacuum, while the boats are being

counted, that we to access

information so that if we're called

upon to make a decision, we're

basing it on some sort of process.

There was a perception last week

the Tony Abbott alienated the

independence by refusing to submit

his costings. Is that right? I

don't think it was a good first

step but it has been corrected.

First costings will be available. I

am pleased about that. Both leaders,

in our discussions with them, and

don't know that the papers are

creating their own devotions, but

both leaders have been very good so

far, think they recognise that this

is a situation that we need to stay

calm about and try to reconcile. I

think there are some incredibly

exciting things that could happen

in this parliament. Crisis asked if

you have put a timetable on

ourselves to make a decision? And

secondly, you mention to the Polish

-- possibility of another election.

How high do you think that chance

is? Do you think There are some

advantages in going down that

route? I would say there is

probably a 10% chance. I don't

think it is likely because they

think the risk genuine intent on

behalf of both of the leaders to

try to make something work. Defies

sense that intent isn't there or

there is undermining going on for

people just want a temporary

parliament to go back to the polls

in six months, my vote may well opt

for the people to make a decision.

But about the timetable on nacelles

making a decision? We're entering

into a range of meetings this week.

I would hope by the end of the week

we should be able to make a

decision. But that is just me

saying that. There is no team here.

Could to go in different

directions? The three of you? Very

much so. All we have agreed to do

is to access, a document to ask for

information. We could make

different interpretations of what

the information actually means and

forward. whether there is stability going

forward. All of the sort of things

could come into play. On the

stability questioned, sorry to

interrupt, we heard wines won

earlier -- Wayne Swan earlier that

the fixed term was subject to

unexpected circumstance. By you

prepared to offer flexibility about

the fixed term? I think the process

itself offers flexibility. You

can't get away from it, there are

circumstances that you couldn't

control. What are those? I can't get

get into all those now, I'm not a

constitutional expert. But that is

a political question. What happens

if there is a deadlock in the

Senate over absolutely clear to

station. Say there is a double-dip

recession with a new stimulus

package? I can't get into all those

things? But you are imposing the

terms. I think what we want is

genuine intent for a parliament

term to be served. Obviously, there

would be circumstances where it may

not have to happen, but the genuine

thing we're trying to find out is,

how these people serious about

wanting to be in government Barack

they just serious about a temporary

government fine matter of months.

Thank you, Tony Windsor. Thanks

also to our panel Glenn Milne and

Michelle Grattan. A transcript and

a replay of this programme will be

on our website. See you next week.