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Flying The Flag -

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nature We appreciate your time this

morning. Thank you.

The flag issue was raised in Parliament yet again and you know I'm passionate about this. Labor MP Graham Edwards was barred by the Federal Government from opening from opening a school flag-raising ceremony in his own electorate. Even though the Vietnam veteran fought under the flag, the Government insists a Coalition member does the honours. After Kochie's comments yesterday, Education Minister Brendan Nelson Education Minister Brendan Nelson wanted to have his say. Good morning, Dr Nelson. Do you stand by your policy?

Are you still standing by your

policy this morning? Yes, we do

stand by the policy in the sense

that the commissioning of the

flagpole and we funded nearly 1700

across Australia a government

representative should officially

commission the flagpole but Graham

Edwards says it was an education

official that he wasn't allowed to

attend such a thing. If that is the

case, I join him and you David in

being outraged. The school can

invite anybody it chooses and

invite those people to speak and

raise the flag up the pole and then officially a government

representative will explain what

the program is about, why we are

spending your hard-earned taxes on

it and in the sense of denying

anybody, any Australian from

attending then I join you and

Graham lt Graham did say he was

told he could not officiate. That

was the whole issue. We agree with

you right up to that line, the most

important line of all, and that is

the officiating of the flag

ceremony and why do you have to

have that line? Why can't the

school determine whoever they like

to officiate? It might be a local

digger who has a relationship with

the school? It might be an

important member of the community.

Why does it have to be from your

government? They are able to do

that. There seems to be some

misunderstanding about this. The

school is entitled to Only a

government person can officiate

They invite the federal president

of the RSL, you and Mel and give

the key note address and put a

plaque that it was commissioned as

an issue of the Federal Government,

that the Federal Government person

that represented the government

that day was Joe Bloggs and it was

officiated by David Koch. If you

want to look at how it works why

doesn't Sunrise come to the

commissioning, choose any school

you like and see how it operates.

If Graham Edwards was given advice

from anybody, I am as angry as he

is Can I get clarification, the

order "Officiate" is the word that

is causing the sticking point. You

are saying a government

representative has to officiate but

the actual officiating, the formal

here it is in its open has to be

done by a government member? We are

talk bing a flagpole? But why? You

go through the sequence of the

events of the ceremony and then at

the penultamte stage Joe blow from

the government and here is what it

is all about. Why? Why are you

insisting on this? Because in the

end, David, when I announced this

program I got cat calls and

ridicule from all kind of of people.

I think it is a terrific program We

are spending your hard-earned money

on these flagpole. Whenever they do a capital government program

whether it is a flagpole we require

a government representative to be

there to explain why we are

spending your tax dollars. I don't

think it is unreasonably. As I say,

the school can have anybody there

to speak and su might have Kim

Beazley to a flagpole and speak for

15 minutes and I get up for one

minute and I commission it for the

government. You are insisting that

the government is there to spin the

propaganda and - I can't help - I

don't think this bloke think you

are trying to rub people's noses in

it. That you got a lot of criticism,

not by us because I reckon it is a

great program, just to have that

little political sting doesn't sit

well with me, as well as Geof

gallop, because it has a twist of

plit sizing the flag There is

nothing more annoying than putting

your money into something and not

having a representative of the

government that is taking flack for doing something taking the

commission of it. Whether it is a

building or a flagpole. At least we

are having a debate about this.

When we had Paul Keating he

wouldn't even...Does a government representative officiate at every

capital works? The guidelines and

agreements that we have with the

non-government school we are more

than half of the money from the

frojebgt then an Australian

government person officiates. This

is other words consistent with all

our capital works program. As a

say,come to along to a commissioning and judge for

yourself. In the end if people

don't think it is right obviously

they will make their adverse

judgments about it. Agree to

disagree. Thank you for your time

in putting forth your point of view.

We will go to one of those flag

officiating ceremonies The WA

government is petitioning to do it

themselves. That is just for of

politics again when Geoff Gallop

trying to be naiky towards a

Federal Government. Flagpoles and

flags should be above all that.

Geoff Gallop is just as much to

blame because he is politcising. We

should be above that A lot of thing

should be. How would you react if you were face-to-face with an attacker? We'll take a closer look at personal safety after 8 o'clock. But next news, sport and weather.

This is Sunrise across Australia.