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(generated from captions) Australian selectors. He

pleaded guilty to that one charge. We might just break

into Paul Kennedy's sports

report there, because the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, is speaking to reporters after launching - she launching the Olympic and Paralympic challenge with Paralympic challenge with the

Minister for Sport. She's in

Canberra. ... during 2012 to

get out there on the sporting

fields, to take to the courts,

to get on the tracks across the

nation. I'm here to announce

the Prime Minister's Olympic

Challenge and the Prime Minister's Paralympic

Challenge. The way in which

this will work is there this will work is there will be

incentives for kids to get

involved in sport next year.

primary school children will In the Olympic challenge

accumulate points every time

they take part in they take part in sport,

whether that be individually or

in a group, such as being part of their class, part of their class, part of their

school or part of a community

group. And the Paralympic

Challenge is going to build on the existing Paralympic the

children and their teachers

learn more about our great Australian Paralympians and Paralympic movement, sporting Australian Paralympians and the

activities for people disabilities in general. These

two challenges are going to run

them, the Prime Minister's from 28 May 2012, the first of

Olympic Challenge, will Olympic Challenge,

Olympic Games on 12 August conclude at

the Prime Minister's Olympic Games on 12 August and

the Prime Minister's Paralympic

Challenge will conclude on 9 September at the September at the conclusion of the Paralympics. All of these points that kids will be

earning will go towards

something, and that is that something, and that is

they will be earning their own medals through activity, rewarding kids for

getting out there, for taking part in sport, rewarding kids

as they get involved in sports

attention before, but they go that haven't captured their

and have a try. All of this

builds on sport. In the

federal budget we committed

almost $80 million towards sporting initiatives and

programs and this comes with

our active afterschool

communities program. We announced May this year. It's almost $44

million and it's about

involving kids in sport and active participation school. So I'm very pleased to active participation after

be here today to make be here today to make this

announcement and I'm very announcement and I'm

pleased to have been able to

spend some time with some spend some time with some kids

who are really showing us the

way. Thanks, Prime Thank you for all the Thank you for all the support

you've given us. Can I acknowledge, of you've given us. Can I just the Australian Paralympic

Committee, Ian Lang, and James Tomkins from the Tomkins from the Australian

Olympic Committee. Can I thank both organisations for both organisations for the support

many months to organise support they've given us

wonderful initiative. Can I many months to organise this

also thank the Australian sports commission, also the

work that Kitty has done in

organising the event. The Olympics is now eight months

away. It's not only being away. It's not only being at

home but also overseas. This

excitement is fantastic for

participation at every level.

trying to get young kids What the Government

trying to get young kids out

playing sport. We want to get

young kids away from their

PlayStations, we want to get

them away from Facebook, we want

want to get them out on to the want to get them out on

going down to the playing fields playing sport,

going down to the local pool,

getting involved in sport. We

know the benefits of sport to

young Australians. We know the physical benefits, fighting

obesity. We know the mental

health benefits, but also there

are benefits in terms of life

skills, team skills,

communication, work ethic.

Australians get from playing These are the

sport. We've seen today the

joy, the pure joy, that these joy, the pure joy, that these

young students have taken from

playing sport in their playing sport in their hall.

This challenge will run from May

May 28 through to the end of

the Olympics and through to the

end of the Paralympic Games.

It's for children in primary

school aged from 5 to 12. At

the same time as that, this is a partnership with a partnership with the

It's also Australian Olympic Committee.

It's also a

committee and the athlete here

today are our first ambassadors

and the athlete are critical,

because we need strong role models for our kids, role models in sport to encourage

young Australians to get out and

and play sport. The athlete

will be involved with local

schools. There will be many

Paralympic days and mini

Olympic days where athlete will

go out to schools and spend

time with the students encouraging them to encouraging them to get

involved in competition and

there will obviously be Prime Minister said, there will be awards, there will be, part of the Prime Minister's be awards, there will be, as

Challenge, a gold, silver and

bronze award. As children participate in sport, as they

accumulate points, they'll obviously qualify for one of

those awards. Can I thank those awards. Can I

again the APC and the AIC for all the work they've done. I

think it will be a good challenge challenge for Australia's

youth, fighting obesity, sure they get all the life youth, fighting obesity, making

benefits out of sport. Thank

Prime Minister, can I say thank you. Thank you, Minister,

you for your personal support

of this initiative. I it's it's further evidence of the of this initiative. I think

Australian Government's

commitment to sport in

Australia, both at the high-performance level and at the participation. The Prime Minister and Minister both spoke about

both spoke about our

ambassadors. It's my pleasure

to introduce a couple to you

today to speak. The first

person I'm going to introduce

requires no introduction, Geoff Huegill,

Huegill, one of our great

swimmers. He's on the comeback

trail, what a comeback it's

been at the Beijing World

Championships this year

also at the Delhi Commonwealth Games last year, fantastic

ambassador not just for

swimming but for sport and

young people generally. We're

delighted to have him here. Thank you very much. Thank

you, Prime Minister, Julia Gillard and thank you to the

Minister for sport, Mark Minister for sport, Mark Arbib,

for the invitation to be here

with all of you this morning at this international

announcement. I'd like announcement. I'd like to extend my thanks primary school for hosting the exciting announcement. great to see the great to see the children playing sport and most importantly having fun. It

brings back great memories of

when I went to school and fun and enjoyment I had playing sport.

sport. As a swimmer currently

doing all I can to qualify for the London application I'm

incredibly grateful to be

involved in this great

initiative. Through the Prime Minister's Olympic and Paralympic challenges, our

school kids can share and enjoy

the same passion and excitement

I feel as these wonderful

sporting events approach. Through their own

will not only be able to feel

the hype and excitement but

also experience the values,

fair play, sportsmanship that

make the Olympics

Paralympics unique. As a young

boy I remember being five and

growing up and watching my very first Olympics and watching

John win 200 butterfly in LA,

thinking that's what I wanted

to do, I wanted to to do, I wanted to represent Australia at an Olympic Games and hopefully come home with a medal.

medal. Who knows, by participating in the Prime Minister's Paralympic challenges, this

could be the start of your

Olympic or Paralympic story too.

too. One of the best things about

about the Prime Minister's

Paralympic and Olympic

challenges is rather than children

computer or sitting inside,

they can go jo ut side and play a vartzy of sports whilst enjoying the sunshine and hopefully we'll get warm

weather while they're out there

too. Plus, in reward for too. Plus, in reward for all

of their sporting activities

the, can also win prizes the, can also win prizes for

participation and, in addition, there

there will also be visits there will also be visits by Olympic and Paralympic

challenge ambassadors and athlete as well. So Australian primary primary school children I encourage you to participate in the the challenges, be part of the Australian team by enjoying the

fun of playing sport and also trying sports that you've never

played before. So register your

your interest today and I look

forward to hearing all about

your Olympic and Paralympic

challenge journeys. Thank you.

Thank you, Geoff. That was

fantastic. The second

Anna Bell Williams, again one

of our great athlete. She's Paralympian and in Beijing Paralympian and in Beijing she won a bronze medal in swimming. I'm I'm informed also that she was a fantastic track and field

athlete before she had shin

splints and had to change sports. That tells you how

talented she is, she's swapped

sports from the track to sports from the track to the

pool. Can I welcome you,

Annabel, to say a few words.

Good morning, everyone. Thank

you Prime Minister Julia Gillard for be here with you all this

morning at this very important

national announcement, which is

something very close to my

heart. As a Paralympic

my sporting journey began at a

very young age. I have always

loved sport. I grew up playing

netball, tennis, athletics,

cross-country, skiing, horse

riding - you name it, I

probably tried it. Sport has been

been great fun for me and had amazing opportunities

through sport. But I couldn't

continue to participate in of those sports, so of those sports, so eventually

I had to choose the one I loved most of the time, swimming. I

learnt to swim at an early age

and then when I was about 8 I

went to live with my family

Indonesia for my dad's work.

At the international school there there was a swimming there there was a swimming was a big part of the after school

activity program. I joined the club there at the British

international school, where I

first became involved in

swimming. Then in Sydney some of my friends are were swimming

and I went along with

that point in time my friends

were keener than I was. When I

moved to high school I moved to high school I really

started to enjoy athletics. That's what I really wanted to

do. I loved being at the athletics track. I especially

loved the way you could talk in

between sprints and sometimes even

even while you were running.

That's a lot harder in

swimming, talking underwater,

although I know my coach thinks

I give it a pretty good go. I

was was lucky in high school to

have a fantastic PE teacher who

really encouraged me, not

actually to run but to swim.

But I didn't really care and I

didn't really listen. I just

ran around having a great time

until I ended up in a bad with until I ended up in a bad way

with a severe case of shin splints.

thrilled. She convinced me to

give swimming one more go, and

so I did, hoping my legs would

see me better and I'd be back

on the track. After a while I

remember how much I enjoyed swimming swimming and never headed back

to running again. I encourage

all Australian children to try

new sports while participating

in the Prime Minister's Olympic

and Paralympic Challenges. trying a variety of sports, you

can, like me, find a sport you

really enjoy and continue your own sporting journey by own sporting journey by joining a sporting club. The a sporting club. The London 2012 Paralympic s is something

I am extremely passionate

about, not just personally but

because it provides an

opportunity for the whole of Australia to support

Australia to support the athlete representing our athlete at the biggest and at the biggest and most

exciting sporting event. The

whole world is there and only happens once every four years. The Prime Minister's

Olympic and Olympic and Paralympic Challenges link children's participation in sport to these

great sporting events. challenges are also a great way

for our children - for

to learn about Olympic and Paralympic athlete, learn about

Australia's sporting events and

also get to know a multitude of

athlete across different

sports. What is great - what

is great to see is that the

Paralympic challenge provides athlete to experience what it's

like to play Paralympic sports and

and gain an understanding of athlete athlete with a disability, so

parents, teachers, coordinators

and sporting organisations, I

urge you to get on board with the Prime Minister's

Challenges, encourage the kids

of Australia to get active of Australia to get active and play sport, because we play sport, because we know

that there are loads of

benefits, not just from a

health and well being point of

view, but also from a social

and community perspective. I

can attest, sport breaks down barriers and

opportunities. It's a pretty

simple message - be inspired and get involved. Thank and get involved. Thank you,

Annabel. If we're not inspired by by Geoff and Annabel's words,

I'm not sure what would inspire

young kids to get into sport.

Also two other ambassadors here

today Kerry Bainbridge today Kerry Bainbridge and Evan

O'Hanlon, one of our Paralympians, three-times gold

medallist in Beijing and hoping

for more gold next year as

well. That concludes

presentation. Our ambassadors

are available to discuss are available to discuss the

challenge after this, as well

as representatives from the Australian Olympic Committee challenge Australian Olympic Committee and Australian Paralympic

committee and myself as well.

Thank you for coming along today. That was live from

Canberra, the function there

encouraging kids to get involved Minister, Julia Gillard, and

the sports Minister Mark Arbib speaking speaking there too. speaking there too. We're expecting the Prime Minister

will probably be holding a

doorstop interview after that

function and function and we'll endeavour to

bring that to you live here on ABC News 24. Our top stories this

this morning - international

donors have pledged to donors have pledged to continue supporting Afghanistan supporting Afghanistan after foreign forces leave. More

than 1,000 delegates gathered

in the German city of Bonn in the German city of Bonn to discuss the future of the troubled nation, Taliban and Pakistani

Government boycotted the

hearing. Laurent Gbagbo has become

become the first former head of state to face the International

Criminal Court in the Hague.

He faces four charges of crimes

against humanity in the wake of

Ivory Coast's disputed

presidential elections a year ago. Some 3,000 people ago. Some 3,000 people were killed in post-election

violence. A record national winter grain crop has been

forecast on the back of

favourable winter and spring

conditions. The Bureau of

agricultural and resource

economics says a big recovery in production in WA is the primary driver. Nationally winter

winter crop production is forecast to be about 43 million tonnes, up 2% from tonnes, up 2% from last

season's record. The season's Communications Minister says Sky News has a case for compensation following the

Government decision to appoint

ABC to continue with its

contract for the Australian television network. The tender process for the multimillion

dollar contract was scrapped last month last month because the Government said leaks to the media had compromised the Afghanistan's

community has assured Afghanistan's President it will

continue to help his continue to help his country

even after troops withdraw in

2014. At a conference in

Germany, Hamid Karzai has promised promised key reforms, but also

asked for more funds, but his

plea wasn't heard directly

the key regional player

Pakistan, which did not

attend. 10 years after he first

came to Bonn to be installed as

Afghan leader, Hamid Karzai was

back, his message to NATO and

the international community

clear, you may be pulling most

of your troops out in

after that date, he urged them,

do not abandon us. The do not abandon us. The Afghan

people do not wish to remain a

burden on the generosity of the international community international community for a

single day longer than absolutely necessary, but to

make our success certain and our progress irverse bling, we

will need your steadfast

support for at least another decade. This gathering was

different from

the talk has been of AFPAC, a recognition that Afghanistan's

future is intertwined with that

of its most important neighbour, Pakistan. neighbour, Pakistan. There

were delegations here from over the world, but not from Pakistan. It Pakistan. It boycotted the

summit following the deaths of

24 of its soldiers in a NATO

attack on a border checkpoint.

The entire region has a stake

in Afghanistan's future and

much to lose if the country again

again become s a source of

terrorism and instability, and

course, have benefited from Pakistan's contribution to this

conference. To that end, nobody

nobody in this hall is more concerned than

States is about getting an

accurate picture of what

occurred in the recent border

occurred in the recent border incident. There are more than

90 foreign delegations attending this conference and the foreign Ministers have been

queueing up one after the other

to express their commitment to

the future of Afghanistan. The

real test of that, though, will

come at a future Tokyo next year where they'll

be asked - the size of the

Afghan army and police force is

growing, soon the total number

will be 350,000, costing will be 350,000, costing $7

billion to $8 billion a year. The Afghan Finance Minister

told me getting nations to contribute is going to be

tough. This is not going to be

easy, but what we would presenting to them is the journey, the enormous investments in they have

they have done and post 2011 it's a fraction of the

investment that they would be

doing what they've already

done. For now, though, the most pressing issue for the leaders here is relations with Pakistan. Among their Pakistan. Among their biggest

headaches, the closure of key

NATO supply routes and the fact

that the next military campaign was supposed

was supposed to focus on the

east, where the Taliban

strongholds are in the board

are areas. That report from Al

Jazeera. Communications

Minister says it's fair for Sky compensation following the

failed tender process for the

Australia Network television

contract. The Government last

night decided to award the

contract permanently to the ABC. ABC. The tender process for

the multimillion dollar

contract was scrapped last

month because the Government

said leaks to the media had

compromised the process. The

ABC was competing against Sky

News for the contract. Mr Con

Voy says abandoning the Voy says abandoning the tender

was a decision very carefully considered by the Government.

Well, the Government that it was best in the national interest national interest after reconsidering all of the processes

processes that we've gone through over the last 12 months

to make the decision to put the policy decision that we give it to the

to the ABC. After to the ABC. After much consideration, to end all of

the uncertainty, we decided to

make the decision yesterday and obviously last night. The decision was made while Kevin Rudd was overseas. Was that significant? Look, I wasn't

even aware that Kevin was going

overseas. We'd all just been in Sydney at the ALP national conference. This is a conference. This is a cabinet

process. It went through the

full cabinet process, which means all documentation was

circulated to all ministers.

The conspiracy theorists will

abound, but it was a completely

coincident al, and all of coincident al, and all of the

normal and proper processes of cabinet

cabinet were fold. Why didn't you wait until were finished? Well, were finished? Well, we

considered this issue. The

investigation is to what

happened in the past, happened in the past, whereas we've made a policy we've made a policy decision

about the future. about the future. So the investigations do not impinge

on the policy decision that was made

made yesterday. Can you explain what you actually considered about the investigations when you made this decision? Well,

the AFP conduct investigations

independent of the Government.

I have no knowledge of where the investigation is up -- to, what's being considered

by the police. We've referred

it to the police and it it to the police and it is

proper. We are leaving it to

them. We took very careful advice on this. The investigation is into what happened

happened in the past. It has

no bearing on what policy decision the Government decision the Government has

made going into the future.

They're two entirely separate issues. Wasn't the point of the

investigation - wasn't the

point to refer the investigations because

investigations because it

compromised the process? Are compromise the process? No,

the process - the advice that we received from our lawyers

over the tender process that over the tender process that we terminated was terminated was that process had

been compromised. We've called

in the Federal Police to

investigate how that process

was compromised, but as to the

decision last night, it's a

decision going forward. So it

is not caught or involved with the

the police investigation. The

Government was very careful in its consideration on this matter. Communications Minister

Senator Stephen Conroy there. Earlier

Earlier this hour I spoke Earlier this hour I spoke to

the ABC's managing director Mark

Mark Scott, who says it's been a long and complex a long and complex process.

We've been waiting for a long

time for it to be resolved, it's been a long wait for our

staff, but we're happy with staff, but we're happy with the

outcome. Others will judge outcome. Others will judge and critique the process. Our

challenge now is to think

through what it means to offer

this service in the time ahead.

We argued that it didn't need to to be put out to tender, the

ABC had done a good job, and around broadcasters deliver this service.

service. We don't outsource

our embassies, we don't

outsource our Defence Forces,

we shouldn't outsource our

public diplomacy. public diplomacy. We'd made

that argument, and we made that argument under the argument under the previous Government as well. Government as well. A decision

was made to put it to tender.

As we've seen, that's been a long and difficult process, but now it's been resolved. Your conduct during this pro sesz

was brought into question by

Minister Martin Ferguson, who

said it was inappropriate that

you had contacted him in relation to this. relation to this. In future -

you obviously do all you can

for the ABC, it's part of for the ABC, it's part of your

job within reason. Would you

go to a Minister outside

specific area in relation to specific area in relation to a

process again? I'd simply process again? I'd simply say,

Joe, on this that I took with cabinet Ministers and people in Canberra on

Canberra on both sides of the house all the time about the

ABC, the ABC's performance and

our plans and ambitions for it.

I think there was nothing our behaviour around questions about and we're process that we have any

relaxed with how we went about

putting our case. Looking to

the future, how is the service going to change in coming

years? Well, under the

previous arrangement we've had

to keep quite separate and quite discrete our international television

radio service, Radio Australia. service, our international

We've been offering Radio

Australia for 70 years. What

this assists us to do is to bring these together, to basically create a seamless international

broadcasting arm for Australia,

in

in much the same way that the BBC does it for the UK. What does that mean in layman's

terms? It means you can listen

to a service, watch a service,

you can experience it online or experience it through mobile,

that there will be one seamless

brand and no matter where you

are, you can experience the

content you want on a device

you want at the time that you want. The Prime Minister, Julia conference in Canberra. ...

earn those points and earn those points and earn

those rewards, including gold,

silver and bronze medals, and

Australians to inspire you in Australians to inspire you you have plenty of amazing

that task. We're very happy take any questions. Prime that task. We're very happy to

Minister, do you like Kevin

Rudd? Look, Kevin Rudd and I are working together in the interests of the nation. Kevin has been attending the

conference in Bonn on further strategy in conference in Bonn on our

nation's interests in a number further strategy in Afghanistan

of places overseas. At the

weekend the Labor Party changed

its platform to endorse gay marriage, a position that is

the opposite of your personal

position. Do you believe that

your party's position is line with mainstream community your party's position is in

views on this matter? I think that there's a range of that there's a range of views

in our community, and a major

reflects that difference in debate in the Labor Party

community views. What that people at the conference

and in the Parliament get the opportunity with their

conscience, for some people

this is about their most deeply

held aspirations, for some

people it's about convictions they've always been people it's about religious

motivated by. People will have

a variety of views. I think

it's appropriate that at our conference in the parliament,

in the community, people in the community, people speak from their hearts on this

matter. ... support of the government, I'm asking you political

position whether you believe the

position is in line with the

views of the people that you

need to vote for you for you to

be re-elected? I'm not be re-elected? I'm not making

judgment s on this, I'm sure others,

others, including commentators,

will want to do so. My judgment was about the of parliamentary judgment was about the ability

representatives to speak from

their heart and to vote in accordance with their conscience. Do you think Sky News

News should be compensated for taking part in

taking part in the ultimately

doomed tender for the Australia any applications for Network? We haven't received

compensation. If we do, of

krds. course they'll be properly

krds. Why Rudd in your speech at the

conference? Will you be encouraging the release of the

full election review and also was the release of snippets

it payback for his behaviour at

the weekend? I'll take that three-part question. First, I

spoke to the conference about Labor ideals and Labor's

a look at vision. I asked people to have

it for themselves. What I did

in that speech was talk about the things that this government

has done. This Government, of course 2007 with Kevin Rudd leading

this Government for a period of

time and now a very valued

member of this government, so I member of this government, so

talked about what we have been

doing. But most important ly I

also talked about our future

and focusing on the needs of working and time of great economic

Row mine me of question 2. Was transformation in our nation.

the leaking of parts of the leaking of parts of it payback for Mr Rudd's behaviour? The Faulkner car review was something I behaviour? The Faulkner - Brax

ordered as Prime Minister.

It's been dealt with by our

national ex ecative, now by our

national conference. My eyes

aren't on what happened in aren't on what happened in the

2010 election. My eyes are

always on what we need to do

today to ensure that building opportunities for today to ensure that we're

Australians in the future. On the question of the opened my 'Sydney Morning I knew about it was when I

Herald' yesterday. Why was a

tender established for tender established for the Australia Network in the first

place if you weren't prepared

to see it through to the end. How can the business How can the business community have confidence you won't

cancel other tenders? I think

we have to be very focused on

the circumstances here. The Government did believe it was appropriate to have a appropriate to have a tender round

round and we wanted to have a

tender round that came acquitted

completion in good faith and acquitted all of the usual

tender rules. What happened

here was that there were several leaks that compromised the the process. Having seen that happen, it was appropriate to

bring the process to an end. Then the Then the Government determined

that in order to give certainty

and to deal with this matter, having seen that problem with

the tender round, the

appropriate thing to do was to

have these services provided by

the ABC. This is an important

arm of soft diplomacy for

Australia. Many other nations

around the world have them associated associated with their public

broadcaster. Does it now look

like the ABC is the second-best

option, given there were those

leaks (inaudible) Well, what it

looks like is what it is, which is

is that the Government authorised

authorised a tender round. We would have liked that tender

round to come to conclusion.

is not possible, it is being

compromised by several leaks

during the process. As a

result, we needed to make a

decision for the decision for the future which

would give certainty. We've made that decision, that this

function should be with the

ABC. Did you wait for Minister

Rudd before you made the

decision? This was a cabinet submission cabinet submission was

circulated which Minister Rudd, like all cabinet Ministers

received. Can I just make the simple point about cabinet

processes, many Ministers need

to be away from a cabinet meeting for a variety of reasons.

reasons. The usual process is

they ensure that their views are represented within the cabinet room by the Minister

acting on their behalf and that

happened in this case. The

absolute usual protocols that an acting Minister conveys the

view of the Minister necessarily absent happened in

this case. Why did you decide to to make the decision, though, to

to award the corn tract to the

ABC before the AFP concluded its investigation its investigation or the Auditor-General concluded its

investigation? I believe that

it was appropriate, given long-running it was appropriate, given how long-running this matter had been,

been, and that we needed to

bring the tender round to bring the tender round to an end because it had been

compromised, to make a decision compromised, to make a decision

that would be clear and and that would be clear and certain and we made it. Prime

Minister, leaving aside the

outcome, do you concede

outcome, do you concede the process has process has been messy and,

secondly, would you like to see an

an interest rate cut this afternoon from the Reserve

Bank? The process was compromised by several so of course I would have preferred that that hadn't

happened, but it has happened

and being in Government is

about taking the facts as you

find them, not how you would

wish them to be, and then deal

with those facts and making the

best decision and faced with

these facts that this tender has been profoundly these has been profoundly compromised

as a result of these leaks needed to be brought to an end, a decision that has been public

for some time now, we took for some time now, we took the

best decision we could to give

certainty. On the question certainty. On the question of interest rates, the Reserve Bank acts independently of government, so its decision

will be announced later today.

Should there be any interest

rate cut, then certainly I

would want to see that passed

on in full by the Australian banks.

banks. There is no reason for

it not to be passed on in full. Prime Minister, you it not to be passed on

that it's been profoundly

compromised by leaks. What do

you mean leaks compromised this

process? Well, we received

advice that given the leaks

that had did need to be brought to an

end. All of this is publicly

known. That wasn't the decision from cabinet last

night. The bringing of the

taken tender round to an end was

taken a while back and taken a

while back on the basis of very

clear advice that that was what the Government should do, tendering information had not

remained confidence to the

process but had got into the

public domain. Why didn't you

take the decision then to go to

the ABC, rather than

out of the blue now in the

middle of these inquiries, and

also could I just take you back

to the previous question, would

you favour the Faulkner review

being released? Well, with

being respect, Michelle, it's not out

of the blue to us. We got

advice that the tender round

should be brought to an end, so should be brought to an end,

it was brought to an then had a proper cabinet process, including the

submission, which generation of a cabinet

circulated for coordination submission, which was

comments and all of the things

that happened with a

system of cabinet government. We then went through a proper cabinet process to determine

what should happen next. That

submission came to cabinet last

night. On the question of night. On the question of the

review, the review has now been

dealt with. It's been dealt with. It's been dealt

with by the national executive

and by the national conference. As I'm indicating to you, Michelle, it's being dealt

with. My focus isn't back to

the 2010 election campaign, my

focus is on what we need to do today and tomorrow to make sure

that we're providing that we're

opportunities for opportunities for working

Australians during a period of

profound economic change. Do

allow you think Tony Abbott should

allow members of the Opposition

to have a conference vote on

same-sex marriage.

first question (Inaudible) The answer to the

members of parliament, think it's appropriate that all

irrespective of their political

party, should be able to vote

in accordance with in accordance with their conscience on any bill that conscience on any bill that is moved by a private member to

change the Marriage Act. I do note, for example, in note, for example, in Labor's

tradition, that bills in the

past dealing with marriage have past dealing with marriage

been the subject of a conscience vote - for example, the changes to the Family Law Act

Act in the 1970s were the

So I do think a conscience vote

should be extended. I think it

would be very tough to should

Liberal Party member who had a

very strong view to not be to express that view in the

parliament and to vote in accordance with it. On the question you've asked me about the Australian in the

Philippines, can I say this - we are certainly aware that an Australian in the Philippines may have been are media reports to that

effect as well. In these

circumstances, a task force has

been formed to deal with this issue. Our embassy in the Philippines is working with

local authorities to try to

establish the full facts here.

We don't have the full facts

now and we want to make sure

that we establish the full

facts, and we are providing consular support and assistance

to family members of the man who may be involved in these kidnap circumstances. Prime

Minister, you received Minister, you received bad

marks over the weekend for your series of speeches at the

national conference, including

the line "because we are us".

Are you going to sack your

speech writer, secondly have

you sent Kevin Rudd a Christmas

card this year? I'm sending Christmas cards to all my parliamentary colleagues, parliamentary colleagues, I'm

sending them to some members of

the press gallery as well, the press gallery as well, and will ascertain who after this

press conference. No, that's not right. We'll ensure that

they're widely distributed. On

my speech to conference, I

spoke about the things I wanted to speak about. Prime to speak about. Prime Minister, given the weekend's events, are you still able to have a functioning relationship with Kevin Rudd and are you bracing

for a challenge from him? for a challenge from him? The

answer is yes, of course answer is yes, of course we work together closely in the

interests of the Government and

the nation. Kevin is a very

valued part of my team. He's doing a great job as Minister for foreign

incredibly active Minister for

Foreign Affairs pursuing our great Australian tradition of

middle-power diplomacy, what we like to like to style as punching above our weight. Kevin Rudd is

doing that for our nation, so we'll keep working together

with Kevin pursuing his work as

Minister for Foreign Affairs.

Thank you very much. That was the Prime Minister, Julia

Gillard, live from Canberra. The issue of the awarding of

the Australia Network contract

to the ABC was the focus of much

much of that media conference. The Australia

The Australia Network is a

TV service broadcast in the

Asia Pacific. On the issue of Sky

Sky News being compensated for that aborted tender process,

the PM said the Government

hadn't received any application

for compensation, but if it does, it would be considered properly. The PM wasn't

conceding the process had been messy,

messy, but said it had to messy, but said it had to be aborted after the leaks aborted after the leaks in relation to what an independent