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Sky News On The Hour 4pm -

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Hello and welcome to the

program. I'm filling in today

for David Speers. A dark

storm rolled into Canberra

today immediately after the

carbon tax legislation passed

through the Senate. The Greens leading Bob Brown was

quick to label it the heavens clapping the decision by Parliament to pass the tax

but the narnles suggested it

was more like the sky falling

in. Regardless of your view

on the carbon tax, today ace

passing of the legislation is

a big political win tore

Labor, coming after years of tough negotiations and

claiming a number of

political scalps. The Prime

Minister who hasn't had much

good news to celebrate

recently was clearly thrilled. Today's vote is a win tore Australia's

children, it's a win for

those who will seek my for

tune and make their way by

having jobs in our clean

energy sector. It's a win for those who want our

environment to be a cleaner

environment and to see less

carbon pollution. Today we

have made history. This is

one of the great Labor

reforms on a par with the floating of the exchange

rate, the bringing down of

the tariff wall, or the

introduction of compulsory superannuation. It is one of

those reforms that owes a

great deal to the tenacity

and commitment of the Prime

Minister and the Minister for

climate change. They have

faupt this against the odds.

Tony Abbott has overseas for

today's vote. Labor claimed he was running away but the Opposition Leader did issue a statement saying today the Labor Party has confirmed in

law their betrayal of the Australian people. His colleagues readily took up the fight in Canberra, re affirming the Opposition's pledge to dump the tax if they win Government at Brown says he will be popping champagne corks while Australian pensioners will be preparing for higher electricity prices. Coming up on the program we'll be speaking with the climate change Minister Greg Combet. First let's check today's top headlines with the Sky News centre. The carbon tax will be written into law after the legislation passed through the Senate today. The bill was passed 36 to 32 and was met with cheers from the gally. The Government and the Greens have hailed the move as an historic day for the nation and the viermentd. Today's vote is a win for Australia's children, it's a win for those who will seek their fortune and make their way by having jobs in our clean energy sector. Teles a win for dhos who want our environments to be a cleaner environment and to see less carbon pollution. A historic legislation has passed the

Parliament and will now

become law of this great

country in the service of not

just the people of Australia,

but the people of the

planet. The Opposition

maintains it'll repeal the

legislation if they win the

next election, claim can the

Prime Minister lied to voters. The Prime Minister

broke her election pledge to

the Australian people and the

price of that betrayal will be higher

be higher electricity, higher

gas, and higher grocery

costs. We as a Coalition

will be seeking a mandate

from the Australian people at

the next election, to repeal

the legislation and our call

on the Australian Labor Party

is simply this, will you

respect the verdict of the

Australian people? Dr Conrad Murray has been found

Murray has been found guilty

of the involuntary

manslaughter of Michael

Jackson, fans outside the Los

Angeles courtroom cheered

after nine hours of

deliberation. Conrad Murray

is now in the custody of the

LA county sheriffs

department. He's gone to an LA county jail. There was some speculation he

some speculation he wouldn't

serve any time behind bars

because it was a first time

offence, jut the judge was having absolutely none of

that. He said that Conrad

Murray posed a risk to the

public so he should wait

behind bars in prifenle until

his sentencing date, due on

29 November. We understand

that Conrad Murray's status

in prison is something called

a cheap on way status, designed to

designed to protect high profile prisoners from the

general population. In terms

of hearing from the Jackson

family we didn't see a press conference, after the

verdict, just a few words to

a Sky News colleague from Joe

Jackson. The Jackson family

are a savvy media bunch, they

have relished the support

they have received from the public in particular, they are involved in a number

are involved in a number of

high profile civil law Saouts

relating to Conrad Murray. It's ro probable that we will

hear from some if not all of

them in the next day or so.

Removing protection against

being tried twice for the

same offence. Sky News Melbourne chief Ahron Young

has the details. The 1988 Wall Street

Wall Street murders of two

young police Constables will

test this legislation as

Victoria falls into line with

other States. There ought to

be an opportunity for a fresh

trial to be held. If that

opportunity isn't available

injustice will continue and

people can literally debt get

away with murder. The

reforms will apply to future

as well as past aquiletions.

In if it becomes clear through evidence not available at the first trial

that the person acquitted is

highly likely to be get. The Victoria attorney-general

says police and prosecutors

won't use a law to harass

suspects. It will require

significant evidence to

represent a case to the

court. Any suggestion the

police may be der lect in the

way they represent the case

originally because they can

have another attempt will be

totally misguided. The

family of one of the young

police Constables in 1988

welcome ed the legislation.

Convicted murder er Cameron

man Sele will serve at least

18 years for killing Perth

millionaire Craig Puddy. Man

Sele was handed a life

sentence after yesterday

being found guilty of bashing his former business partner

to death at Mr Puddy Perth

mansion last year. He used a

wheelie bin to dispose of the businessman's body after

killing him. Mr Puddy's

remains have never been

found. Itanial Prime Minister Sylvio Berlusconi is denying reports

reports he could resign after

Italy's crisis. CNN reporter

Matthew chance has the

details. The Italian Prime Minister Sylvio Berlusconi

under renewed pressure today

as this country's economic

crisis continues to send

tremors. Italy of course has

enormous public debts and

markets appear to have loss

faith in Berlusconi's ability

to push through much-needed

austerity measures. The

problem is the debt's so

high, more than Greece,

Spain, Portugal and Ireland

put together that baling out

Italy simply isn't an option.

There are fears it could

bring down the entire

eurozone. At the weekend tens of thousands marched through

the centre of the city

demanding Berlusconi step

down. The public appear to

have lost patience with their

leader who's also been dogged

by sex scandals and

corruption charges. It's all

reaching a head over the next

24 hours or so. There will be

a crunch budget vote on Tuesday afternoon local time

which will be a crucial test

of Mr Berlusconi's position.

If he loses we could be

looking at a new Government

soon. Joe Frazier has died

after a battle with liver

cancer. The 67-year-old was

the first to beat Muhammad

Ali. Defending it four times

before George Foreman took it

from him in 1973. He was

diagnosed with cancer earlier

this year and spent much of

the last few months in

hospital. Frazier passed away

at his home in Philadelphia.

In sporting news Tiger Woods

says Steve Williams has

apologised to him over a

racial slur. Woods told the

media conference that the

pair had shaken hands but

didn't indicate he was yet

ready to forgive the

comment. Stevie certainly is

not a racist, there's no

doubt about that. I think it

was a comment that shouldn't

have been made. And you know,

it was certainly one that he

wished he didn't make. And the former world number

the former world number one

faces a daunting task at the

PGA Lakes course in Sydney

with one of the toughest

field ever assembled for the

event. Wood also met with

Barry O'Farrell. Looking at

the Sky News weather

forecast, warm in the

south-east today with rain

and severe storms. A cooler

change for the south. Back to

Ashley gillon in Canberra as

PM Agenda continues. Thanks

for that. Conning up after

the break we're going to be

chatting with the climate

change Minister Greg Combet. Stay with us.

Welcome back to PM Agenda.

Joining me now in the studio is the climate change Minister Greg Combet. Good

afternoon to you. Thank you

for your time. You've

successfully now passed the

carbon tax through the Senate. How confident are you

by the time the next e

lection comes around you will

be able to convince voters

this is the way to go

considering how deeply unpopular this tax is at the

moment? We're very confident

we've got the policy right

and we've got it through

parliament. Now no doubt the

community debate will continue. I think once people

see it come in from 1 July

next year and in particular people see the advance

payments that will be made to

pensioners and others in May and

and June before the carbon

price comes into operation,

they'll see that the sky is

not going to fall in the way

that Tony Abbott has been

suggesting that, this is a

managing reform. We'll keep

arguing our case. What if

the upcoming talks in Durban

are perceived to be a

failure. Will Australia keep

taking this action if the

world continue toss stall? The climate change negotiations are of course

very important. They're not

the be all and end all

either, excuse me sorry, I've

been talking a lot, I've got

a crook throat. It's what's

going on in particular

countries that's very

important. Of course there

has been a carbon price all

across Europe for six years

across Europe for six years

now, California starting next

year, Korea on 2015, China

starting emissions trading in

six economic zones in 2013.

Things are happening in individual countries anyway.

When I get to the international negotiations in

South Africa in a few weeks

time we'll be keen to take

forward progress at a number

of different levels, not just at some big global agreement

at some big global agreement

sort of thing which is

clearly going to take some

time yet but to make progress

in how countries deliver on

their pledges and the

development of carbon markets. A little later in

the show I'm going to be

speaking with allow gore's

staff. A lot of our viewers

sitting at home are probably

saying if the US isn't

pricing carbon why should

Australia? If Australia is

pricing carbon ahead of the

world then what is the point?

What is Australia's action

going to make a difference in

terms of the global

claimant? Of course that's

one person's view from

Capitol Hill by the sound of

it in Washington. Allow

gor's chief of staff, he's a

political staff who's been

pushing it... All strengths

to his arm. They've got a

very difficult debate in our

democracy as we are having in

ours. Tony Abbott has

borrowed from the Tea Party

movement, we know first hand

some of that argument is

like. What about the facts? There's been emissions

trading in the United States

in different States. It's

been operating in 10 states

in previous times. As I said

before California will start

emissions trading next year.

That's the 8th largest

economy in the world, larger

than our own. But US as a

whole is unlikely to price

carbon in the next decade. President Obama has put

changes that will take a huge

amount of greenhouse gas

emissions out of their

inventory. Things are going

on in the United States,

notwithstanding the fact that

bringing in an emissions trading scheme has proved

very difficult. Even in

Canada things are going on at

provincial levels. Emissions

trading going in New Zealand.

This whole argument that

somehow we're out on our own

is a complete joke. It is

rubbish, not true. We are

part of an effort internationally to try and

tackle climate change. We've

designed this in a way that's

responsive to our own

economy. This is will be good

for your economy, drive

investment in clean energy

sources, transform our energy

sector over time. It will be environmental effective.

We've got to play our part in gutting greenhouse gas

emissions. This will make

sure we are. On top of that

this Labor reform and it

means that we're using well

over half the revenue from

the carbon price to pay for

tax cuts for low and middle

income earners, particularly

emphasis on low income

earners, increase the

pension, family tax benefits,

socially fair environmental effective economically

responsible. It's a good reform. Of course the

Opposition argues it's going

to damage the economy,

Australia won't be able to

compare with other country s

that don't have the carbon

tax. The key argument they

keep coming back to is Julia

Gillard lied. Now that this

is through the Senate with

the benefit of hindsight do you acknowledge that Labor

could have handled this whole

ebate a whole lot better

by(a) not promising that the

citizens assembly and of

course that pledge not to

introduce the carbon tax.

Forgive me if I'm not going

to engage gauge in navial

gazing. We've arguing this

for the better part of 10

years now, even back to the Howard Government period. Of

course he took a policy very

similar to what we've just

legislated to the 2007

election. There's been a lot

of ups and downs. Labor has

been consistent in that we've

got to tackle claimant

chaining, we've done it. John

Howard aspired to do it but

didn't get the opportunity to

do it. Every living Liberal Party Leader has supported carbon pricing. Even Tony

Abbott has. The threat that

this will be repealed

according to a blood oath, is

nonsense. Do you accept that

they will if Tony Abbott has

a mandate. There's a big

assumption there, The polls

say... He's put not just the next election but the one

after that in his pocket. Of

course Labor Ministers never

look at the polls. If you did

you'd be thinking Tony Abbott

is going to be the next Prime

Minister. I'll put that

again, if he is the next

Prime Minister do you accept

he will have a mandate to

repeal the carbon tax.

There's a long way to go to

the next election, the better

part of two years. Will Tony

Abbott have a mandate.

You're not going to get a

yes, or no . Why not? It's a

very clear simple question.

He is already backtracking.

He's not backtracking at all.

He says I will seek a mandate

from the Australian people to

repeal this tax. Will you

accept that mandate? I don't

accept at a the things you're

suggesting. Look at what he's

doing, he says we'll get rid

it. We'll keep the revenue,

he's saying the same thing

now about the minerals

resource rent tax. We're

going to get rid of it. But

actually keep all the

measures. I'm going to give

you one final Schanles. It

is not credible and it will

not be repealed. I don't believe Tony Abbott and nor

should you. Obviously I'm

not going to get a straight

answer on that. Thank you for

joining us today. Coming up after the break we're going to look at the change can

nature of the fight on the

action on chaining. I'll be

speaking with Al Gore's chief of staff. That's next.

The Government and the

Greens have hailed the move

an historic day for the

nation and the environment.

The legislation will come

into effect in July next year. More than two years

after the death of Michael

Jackson his personal doctor,

Conrad Murray has been found

guilty of involuntary

manslaughter. A Los Angeles

jury took less than nine

hours to make their unanimous

decision after a gruelling

six week trial. Murray faces

up to four years in prison.

Italy's Prime Minister Sylvio

Berlusconi insists that he's

staying put despite growing

criticism about his economic

performance at home and

abroad. Berlusconi has

dispelled rumours on Facebook

saying "Rumours of my

resignation are baseless".

Italy could become the next

victim of the debt crisis

with the country's borrowing costs hitting records costs hitting records highs.

Former heavyweight boxing

champion smoking Joe Frazier

has die ed after a battle

with liver cancer. He was the

first to beat Muhammad Ali.

He won the heavy weight title

in 1970 defending it four times before George Foreman

took it from him in 1973. He

was diagnosed with cancer

earlier this year. Spent much of

of the last few months in

hospital. Frazier passed away

at his home in Philadelphia.

Shane Warne has announced

he'll make his comeback to

cricket in the between

between league. He says he's

-- twenty between they league. Tomorrow's weather

warm in the south-east with

rain and severe storms. A rain and severe storms. A cooler change for the south.

Coming up soon we are

going to be chatting with

Mark Neeld about climate

change politics in the United

States. And now this debate

has been changing in recent

years. First we're going to

go to our panel of

journalists. Lenore Taylor

and Matt Franklin with 'The and Matt Franklin with 'The Australian' newspaper. Hello

to both of you. It is a milestone for this Labor

Government. We saw earlier

today the former climate

change Minister penny Wong

getting quite emotional as

she reflected on the journey

over the last few years. I

feel enormously moved today

because it's one of those

days where you do realise

that leaders and Parliament

Aryans, despite all the bad Aryans, despite all the bad

press we sometimes get can actually do the right thing

for the country even when

it's not easy. It takes

quite a lot to shake up penny

Wong. It is of course a big

win for Labor, no matter what

you think of the actual

carbon tax itself. After so

many years of debate it's

claim ed a number of scalps.

How much of a victory do see

this for Julia

this for Julia Gillard. It's defeated many people before

her, two Opposition leaders

and played a role in Kevin

Rudd's demise. It really has

divided the community. It's

brought more people than any

issue I can remember out in demonstrations, out on to the

streets. So I think the

Government has held its nerve

in the face of really bad

opinion polls driven in large

part by this issue and how tarnt

tarnt has used it. So I think

the Government can feel

relieved and they think now

that people will have the

lived experience of the tax

rather than the scare

campaigns or the forecasts

and they are confident that

when the tax comes in the

impact on household budgets

won't be as bad as people

think of the compensation

will actually make up for it

in most low and middle income

householdses and that it will all be not

all be not as bad as

predicted. Whether that's

true or not is another question. But I think they

feel relieved. They feel like

today is a bit of a turning

point. Matt Franklin we now

they keep telling the caucus

need to play a long-term strategy. It's the plit Cam

position that they've had to

take. If I was Penny Wong I'd be

be emotional too because this nearly destroyed their

Government. Lenore is quite right, Julia Gillard has

always known from the start

of this year as she pursued

this thing for six to eight

months Tony Abbott had a free reign to whack the

Government. Didn't he do it

saying this factory will

close down, this guy will

lose his job. It's an

enormous sense of enormous sense of relief for

Julia Gillard because she can

now say, that's behind us, this argument, this is now a

piece of legislation, people

when they hear Tony Abbott

complain now will say "Maybe

you were right Mr Abbott, but

we'll find out soon enough.

What else have you got?". The

wood is on him, rather than

complaining about carbon

tax. About how he does this

repeal and does he repeal the

compensation, he says he'll

have some form of tax cuts

but it's difficult to see how

he can afford tax cuts. How

does he direct action policy

work, his alternative climate

change policy. I think

legitimately he's run an attack. There's level

pegging. Yeah, it's back to

level pegging. You might

have heard Greg Combet

earlier, he refuses to say if

Tony Abbott has a mandate

he'll repeal the tax at the

next election. Can you see

Labor sticking by this if

they lose or will they need

to help the Coalition to get

this one? That's a really good question. I don't think

they're in the same category.

WorkChoices as something that

the union movement was able

to demonise and point to

cases where that person was

ripped off, this person got

less. And I think that was

damaging, the WorkChoices

bogey is still speaking Tony

Abbott who you can't get to

talk about it. I think this

is an economic reform which

is different. It's one over

time which has the potential

to be accepted by more and

more people if it is proven

that the lived experience is

not what Tony Abbott has told

people for the last six

months. Also here in

Canberra today of course we

saw today that the Greens and

also Labor were quick to jump

on this. They were accusing

Mr Abbott of running away. Mr

Abbott is over in the UK,

holding talks with the British Prime Minister David

Cameron and other political

leaders over there. We've had the Leader of the

Opposition take off with his

tail between his legs today

after all of the tough guy

talk. What a spineless

retreat. There's a big black

hole in the Coalition's

budget and a big black hole is Tony Abbott's credibility

which is why I'm not

surprised that he cut and ran

to the UK when he didn't need to. He could have been here

facing this defeat but I

think the wind just

completely went out of his

sails. Lenore tail --

Taylor, were you surprised?

A little bit. He ran based on

this issue. I am a little

surprised he is not leer on

the day it was passed. He

had every right to take an

overseas trip on the day it

was passed. Last time I

checked criss tin Milne

doesn't draw up Mr Abbott's

itinerary. I think he's

entitled to take his trip.

Anyway I think the reality of

tomorrow's and tonight's media coverage you can't take

this away from Julia Gillard,

this is a big reform. That is

going to be the focus, she's

got this through, what it means to means to people and their

pockets in the next six

months. For a man already

being accused of negativity,

just standing around saying

I'm telling you, it's bad,

nothing to be gained. We did

hear some dramatic rhetoric

at times today. I want to

play you a little of Ron Boswell, the National

Senator. This is a greater

sellout since judassis car

yacht took 30 pieces of

silver. The greatest

sell-out since judas. Heaps

of biblical references all

day. Now the Coalition said

Labor would wear it like a

crown of thorns which is

obviously a reference to

Jesus. I'm not sure where

it's going. I can think of a

few bigger, Kevin Rudd gets

dump $, Malcolm Turnbull gets

dumped. That comment was also directed at Tony

Windsor, the Independent MP

who of course sided with

Labor on this one. We can

talk more about the

Independents for that. We are

out of time. Appreciate your analysis this afternoon.

Thank you for that. We'll see

you next time. We are now

going to look at the momentum

for political action on

climate change and how it's

changed in recent years, it

certainly has stalled since

Al Gore released his invent

truth back in 2006. Earlier I

spoke with Mark Neeld. As a

former communications

director and chief of staff

to Al Gore, Mr Ne, l is

someone who knows a lot about communicating difficult

policies. I spoke with him

about the poll tickss of this

debate and also where the United States is at acting on

climate change. Thank you

for your time. As you know

here in Australia today the

Labor Government has had its

carbon tax passed through the

Parliament. Critics of the

tax claim it puts Australia

out on a limb, that we'll be

in front of the rest of the

world when it comes to tackling climate change. They

argue it could damage

Australia's economy because

we might not be competitive

any more with nations that

don't impose this sort of

tax. Is that a fair argument

in your view? The critics

are right about one thing, it will put Australia in front

of the world. It's a major

development and an extremely

positive one. The US failed

miserably a year ago in passing climate change legislation. Now Australia

has come back, despite the

heavy political avalanche

against it by the mining

industries and the other

carbon industries, and

actually gotten this passed.

It's a tribute to a lot of

folks here in Australia. But

it's quite an extraordinary

achievement. It will go a

long way toward starting a

rev lucks of clean energy jobs, technologist, putting

Australia on the track to becoming some day carbon

neutral. You've described US

claimant policy as dead in

the water. Different states in the US of course have their own policies to tackle

climate change. How long do

you think it will be before

we see significant change and

reforms implemented by a US

Government. How far is the US

off from pricing carbon? I

fear that we're quite far

off. We're hopeful that

President Obama will be

re-elected and have more

Democrats elected and revisit

this issue in the coming

years. I fear it could be as

many as 10, 12 years before

the US takes medium rale

action. However as you mentioned a number of states

are taking action and not

waiting on the megt and that

could ultimately have a real

impact. We've got to have

more courage, more

leadership, more

statesmanship in the US

especially among republicans

who are saying no, no, no.

They look strange ly like

your Tony Abbott and some of

the Opposition. Why didn't

President Obama use his

political capital to push the

case for the need to action on climate change and

actually get something done

then? The President right

after he was elected, he made

a climate change policy, a

major priority but

unfortunately for climate

advocates the President of

the White House decided to

take up health care first,

used up a lot of political

capital in that ert. By the

time they got round to

climate change, a number of

Democrats had lost their

seats in thehouse, that all

but killed his chances to

pass any kind of carbon

legislation in his second

congress. Hopefully that

will be reversed in his

second admrletion. Can you

see why Australians sitting

at home might be wocialding

why should Australia Act when a huge nation like the United

States is stalled when it

comes to actually

implementing reforms? No, I

don't think so. I think what

has happened here in

Australia is going to be

really important throughout

the world. Obviously every

country as a result of its sovereign status is going to

have to take its own action.

I think virtually every

country is aware, or its

leaders are aware that sooner

or later they must act to

begin reducing their CO2

emissions. Australia is now

going to lead the way.

Australia is one of the

highest emitters of carbon

dioxide in the world per cap

at a. Largely because you

have so much dirty coal you

burn especially here in

Victoria But Australia is

just one country so a lot of critics of this carbon tax

argue there's not much point

for Australia to be acting

alone. The critics are wrong

about this. It's absolutely

critical for Australia to act

and for every country to act

and follow its own course.

Ultimately there will be an

international treat eye and a country like Australia will

be ahead of the game as a

result. Just as the UK and

Germany and others have.

Even if Barack Obama is still

President after the next

election the congress could

mean he's tide when it comes

to pushing. We know a push on

the international stage is

vital for any sort of global

deal. I think the President,

if re-elected will try to promote an international

agreement and then take it to

the US Senate. We can always

be hopeful, Vice President

Gore said in his documentary

the only thing stopping positive action on claimant

is political will and that

political will itself is a

renewable resource. We're

hoping that will happen in

the US. We have to keep

working toward that. It's

happened today in Australia

and it's quite an

extraordinary achievement.

Here in Australia the opinion

polls consistently show that

support for action on climate

change is waning. A few years

ago this topic rated as one

of the top issues concerning

voters. Now it's way down the

list. Is that a trend you're

seeing worldwide and what do

you put it down to? It was

predictable that general predictable that general

public support for action on

claimant would drop in the

face of monumental spending.

And really some falsehoods

and distorss by the carbon

industries. It happened in

the US, those corporations,

those wealthy executivings.

They poured half a billion

dollars into climate denial into promoting the idea into promoting the idea that

no action needed to be taken.

Also pushing this idea that

you have to make a choice

between the economy and the

environment. Tees a false

choice. We've seen it time

and again in places like

Spain, the UK and Germany, so

on, now we aelet see it here

in Australia. It's a false

choice that's been promoted

by those industries who see their short-term financial interested as interested as benefitting by

doing nothing. They'll spend

any amount of money to try to bend public opinion. You have

a lot of people who aren't

really following this debate

closely. When you see that

kind of advertising, Tony

Abbott on television saying

this is a bad deal for

Australia, he's getting a dis

proportionate amount of time

to promote an idea not

supported by any of the

science. The science is

clearly in favour of taking

action now. It's not a

surprise when someone spends

that much money to capture

that many eyeballs to distort

the facts that you're going

to see some movement of public opinion. Julia Gillard

has said the rights things

and taken the right steps in

saying we're not going to

govern by the polls. You have

politicians here putting

their careers on the line to

make that happen. We need

more of that in the United States. Appreciate your insights, thank you. Thank

you. Coming up next we're

going to move away from the

climate change debate and

instead look at the US President's up coming visit to Australia.

Welcome back. The US

ambassador to Australia,

Jeffrey Blight is an old

friend of Barack Obama. In

fact, he once offered him a

job when he had just left

university. Professor Blight

along with people in this

building are keenly

anticipating Mr Barack's

visit to Australia as visit to Australia as

President next week. This is

the 60th anniversary of

ANZUS, I think in a lot of

ways we're going to be

celebrating what we

accomplished in the last 60

years and then plotting how we'll work together for the

next 60 years. We'll be focussed on the great opportunities in this opportunities in this region,

the fact that we have the

best relationship among

nations in the world right now. And I think there will

be a lot to celebrate but

also a lot of talking about

what comes next. Defence

secretary Panetta said I

wants to make it clear that

the United States is going to

remain a presence in the

Pacific for a long, if anything

anything we're going to

strengthen our presence. Will

we see expanded military

presence in Australia? I think we're certainly saying

we're staying in the Pacific

for the long term. If you

look at the growth economically and dem

grarfegly it's urking right

here in the Asia Pacific. The

only region we wouldn't be staying in this region staying in this region is if

we lost our minds. Of course

we'll be here. That means having the right assets as

well. When you add 2 billion people in the surface of the

planet, most of them in this

region, that means there's

going to be much greater

demand in food, energy,

water, that means we need to

have humanitarian assistance

and disaster relief asset.

I'm sure we're going to talk

about how to get the chess

pieces in the right place on

the board. Those pieces can

be used obviously not just in

humanitarian, for

humanitarian purposes but for military purposes I guess

with the various assets that

- we're pre-empting the

speech here, the increased

presence at Australian bases,

it's nots just for

humanitarian or disaster

relief, is it? Whatever

resources we put here are

going to be designed to do a

number of things, disaster

relief, another is to

discourage conflict, just

knowing there is a big

presence here often makes

people behave a bit better.

It's also available in the

unfortunate event there is a

need for military

need for military force. The

biggest geo political issue facing the understand in this

region is the rise of China,

China has been assertive in

its foreign policy,

particularly in the South

China Sea. How does United

States Australia and the

United States, will it be the

source of some tensions, does

that need to be managed over

the next little while? We

don't see tensions. We see

management as a solution,

which is that this does not

have to be a conflict and Australia doesn't have to

choose. We have a strong relationship with China.

We're working very close with

them. Our markets on gend ebt

on one another and our few

times are linked with one

another. We want China too to

be successful and help raise

its people out of poverty and become economically strong

enough to help other nations

out of poverty along with us.

That's been a big part of what the United States and

Australia have been doing. We're looking for another

strong partner in the region.

At the same time I think we

need to be thoughtful about

how we work with one another

and make sure there aren't misunderstandings, there is

nts a potential for conflict.

That's why we manage That's why we manage the

situation very closely with

China and we also work with Australia. We know Australia

is working with China also.

Because there are enormous risks, particularly in the

South China Sea, the increased military spending

seems to be translating into increasing hard power in

China, particularly in that

region. I think people are a

little out over the skis on

this. If you

this. If you look at the

trend in the South China Sea.

There has been disagreement

about competing claims there.

There was some effort I think

by different countries to

assert their claim simply by

putting their ships into the

region and seeing who

complained. Now we're

starting to see a movement

towards a real process where

you have the claims submitted, you have an

independent help resolve them

and you've got rule of law

being apply ed in the region.

It's been a long process. I

don't think we've seen the

end of some of the dustups but I think we're at least

moving in a more positive

direction over the last three

or four months. Do you see

economic engame between not

just the United States and

China but this region in

China, engaging with country

as a way to prevent any

hostilities like we saw in

the Cold War? The Cold War,

part of the reason for the

conflict, you had two

separate economies bumping up against each other, effectively in competition

but not ever in

collaboration. Now what you

have is a warled d world

economy in which we're all

working together. I think

that makes a tremendous

difference in terms of

reducing misunderstandings, increasing common

opportunities and making it

more problematic for any one

country to try and go its own

way. We're seeing the carbon

tax become law today, it's

been a long road, a lot of

political skin lost in this

country. Are there comparable

measures taking place in the

United States? This is often

the subject of debate? We

don't tell countries how they

should do things. On the

other hand we also don't want them to misunderstand what

we're doing. We're not doing

it on a federal level but

doing it all over the

country. New York and four

other states have a regional

tax in place. California just

passed a cap in trade system

which applies to every

industry and that is even

more comprehensive than the

one that's being presented

here. Frankly the California

cap and trade system, it's

the 7th largest economy in

the world, if you took

California and separated it

from the rest of the United

States. It's a big cap taken

trade system that's going on

there. Just to move back to

what we're anticipating next

week with President Obama's

visit, you've spoken about

the rapport between him and Prime Minister Julia

Gillard. Yeah. Does it

really matter. Surely it's

bigger than this a?

Chemistry matters. I think

there's a natural chemistry

between our countries. Even

people from different parties

manage to find soul mates in one

one another. It's not that

this is new to find chemistry, I think Americans

and Australians, we kind of

like one another. There is a

warmth and genuine respect

between the two of them. It was palpable from the first

time they talked. I've seen

them together a number of

times. They have a nice

banter, a nice way together.

Darwin is a great place. I

think the top end is a think the top end is a great

place to visit but why the President heading there? Is

it because of what we were

discussing before, the

expanded military presence,

the port of Darwin talked

about as a possible leaks for

that. This is the 70th

anniversary of the Doming of

Darwin coming up. This is an important thing to commemorate. Australians

perished in the harbour that

day. The original bombing.

The second thing is getting

the President to places that

Presidents haven't visited

before and appreciating all

of Australia, so going out to the Northern Territory and

out to Darwin seemed like a

very good opportunity to do

that. I think it also

highlights the fact that

Australia is uniquely poised

where the greatest rise in

commerce is occurring in the

Pacific and Indian oceans and

that Australia's uniquely

poised between those two

great oceans. Darwin is up

there in the teemore Sea. Again that's a reflection of

this new reality and the news

centrality of the region. Then finally the President

will be going from here to

the East Asia summit, so

that's a good place to visit

before he moves on to

Indonesia for that set of

multi lateral meetings. This

is the third time lucky. Is

he looking forward to it, the

President? The President has really been looking forward

to this. In fact, he had set

this up, it would have been

by far the earliest visit by

any President in his term of

offers. Even know though it

seems like we've been waiting

a while. This will be the

first or second earliest a President has come to

Australia in the term of

offers. He's been champing at

the bit to get out here.

Just one last question on his

re-election prospects, the

New York times magazine

released an analysis that

said Obama is toast. What's

the mood like in the administration about his

prospects? I just remind

everyone when they're trying

to make predictions about the flexion election, at this

time last year the republan

nominees the front runner was

Rudi Juliani and Fred

Thompson and neither one of

them made it. I think the

Democrats again, President

Obama was not picked to be

the party's nominee, this is very early. So

very early. So anyone who's

making predictions is

probably either much smarter

than I will ever be or a

little bit foolhardy.

Ambassador, thanks for your

time. Thank you Kieran.

Kieran Gilbert there with the

US ambassador. Of course Sky

News will be complete

coverage of the US

President's visit next week.

I'll see you again on

I'll see you again on

lunchtime agenda tomorrow.

Until them I'm Ashleigh Gillon, thanks for your

company today. Live Captioning by Ai-Media. www.ai-media.tv.