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This is Sky News, Australia's news channel.

This is P M agenda. Good

afternoon, welcome to the program I'm David Speers.

Canberra tomorrow. It's Parliament resumes here in

going to be a busy couple of

the weeks. The last sitting fortnight before the May

budget. The Government has

quite a bit it wants to get

done top of the list the

mining tax still to go

Greens are playing hard ball. through the Senate where the

with the panel this We might have a look at that

afternoon. In the meantime

in the next couple of weeks

both sides of politics are going to be keeping a close

eye on Queensland with two

weeks before the voters head

to the polls. All the

indications are that Labor is

on track for a heavy defeat.

We will be joined by Anna

Bligh. She spoke at the

launch of Labor's campaign,

it was a rousing speech, if

somewhat negative on the

attacks on krn. We will be

discussing that. Of and

joined later by the nationals

Senate leader Barnaby Joyce.

First a look at the top

stories. An American soldier

has gone on the attack in

Afghanistan shooting women

and children at ran tomorrow

in an Afghan village. 16

civilians were killed, at

least five were wounded.

The spent shell casings a

grim witness to the carnage

in the middle of the night as

many as 16 Afghans among them

nine children and three women

gunned all all while the

village slept. 'Child a child says this grieving

mother. Was this child part

of the Taliban. NATO

officials said a rogue Staff

Sergeant went to a village on

a rampage, house to house

door to Hoare shooting

victims at random and cold

blood. Bodies wrapped in

blankets. When the slaughter

was over the 38 year-old from fort Lewis Washington

returned to the base and turned himself in. The

soldier is married with two

children and served three

tours in Iraq. This was his

first assignment to

Afghanistan. This was an

individual acting alone, not

with authority. We also have

the individual, the suspect

in custody, US custody, and

he's been interrogated by army investigators as we

speak. The response was

immediate and furious, Afghan

president Hamid Karzai

calling this as assassination

that cannot be forgiven and

from general John Allen the

head of the US mission now

promising a rapid and

thorough investigation. The

fear now is this latest incident could set off a

fresh wave of violence Wunsch

worse than in the past. The

US Embassy in Kabul is warning Americans to keep a

low profile and the Taliban

is vowing revenge. The Prime

Minister has offered

condolences to the victim's families, Julia Gillard says

but it won't shake the incident was appalling

Australia's resolve to

complete the mission in

Afghanistan. Our commitment to it remains

firm. Of course an incident

like this is a truly

distressing one. But it's

not going to distract us from

our purpose in Afghanistan.

The former Australian Army

Chief Peter Leahy has told

Sky News it will make

Australia's duties harder to

carry out. It makes the

task harder, the trust and

legitimacy for the allied

forces, also now because of the Karzai government quite

properly they have reacted

with disgust for this. It's

going to make that

relationship at a difficult

time when we're trying to

make a transition, pull out

the security forces, train

and mentor the Afghani forces

then make sure we can development development in

the country it's complicated

the issue really in a major

sense. The Australian combat

troops are due to withdraw

from Afghanistan in 2014.

Bob Katter's half brother has

publicly attacked the party's

new campaign add. The antigay campaign add

questions family values.

Carl Cater told Sky News he

thought it was a joke and has

expressed his disappointment.

An insult to the

Queenslanders, they're

looking for maybe a third

party to consider at the next election, what toes this

party present? Nothing

relevant to the state issues,

only things that are relevant

to their own agenda, I

suppose. The issue of gay

marriage is a Federal not

state issue. Queenslanders

will head to the polls on

March 24. Hundreds of farmers

brought their fight against

coal seam gas to the seat of

Ashgrove today. The farmers

went guarantees from Labor

and the LNP that farming land

will be protected from the

fraking process. They were

later joined by broadcaster

Alan Jones in/conference on

food security. We're talking here about the

destruction of prime

agricultural land and the potential exhaustion of our

water supplies. If that

isn't an issue in a

Queensland election we're in

big trouble or talking about

the wrong things. At the

conclusion of the talk the

farmers will March on the

Queensland government's

executive building. A man

and a woman have been winched

to safety after stuck in

rising floodwaters in the

Riverinaful the floods are

mostly easing across NSW but

an evacuation order remains

in place for 1000 residents

of Darlington Point with the

mur binge gee river

approaching its peak. Tony

Abbott has visited Wagga

Wagga where some evacuees

have been allowed to return

to their homes. Mr Abbot said the Government should do

its fair share to help flood

victims. When you've got a

Federal budget of about 350 billion a year it ought to be

possible to find the money to

spend on what's needed to get

the people of Wagga Wagga and the Riverina back on their

feet. Some properties from

Forbes remain flooded but the

all clear has been given for

residents of Neranderra. The

town of Barmah faces the next

threat. A major factory fire

in Melbourne's west has been

brought under control. Fire

crews arrived on the scene

just after midday taking two

hours to stop the blaze

spreading across two

factories on Fitzgerald road. The metropolitan fire brigade

had earlier issued a warning

to the community to stay

indoors. No-one was injured

and the cause of the fire

isn't yet now, the MFB is

investigating. The United

Nations and Arab League

special enjoy to Syria has presented President Assad sad

with a list of proposals.

Kofi Annan met President

Assad to end the violence in

Syria. The talks were blunt

and candid. At least 34

people were killed just today

according to the Syrian Observatory For Human Rights.

I presented a set of

proposals to the president.

Which will have a real impact

on the ground once it is

agreed. It will help launch

the process and it will also

help the crisis on the

ground. In the US Rick

Santorum is inching closer to

front-runner Mitt Romney in

the race to become the

presidential nominee. After

he took out the Kansas

Caucuses, the win gives the

candidate a boost going into

primary votes in Alabama and

Mississippi next week. We

have the grassroots support, slowly clawing our way back

into the race. We're in a

great position as we go

forward with states that are

very favourable to us.

Despite managing a win in

the Wyoming Caucuses Mr

Romney is yet to take out a

key southern state in the

race. In sport troubled AFL

Liam jar a was a no show at Demons training today. Jar

ra was expected to rejoin his

team-mates in a desperate bid

to get on with his live after

being charged with an alleged

Machete attack in the NT.

Family more me family comes

first but at the moment I

just want to make my family proud just playing footy. Collingwood officials are

expected to ask for a please

explain from Paul Cribbin

this afternoon. He wouldn't

talk to the media after being

bashed in a Melbourne bar

early yesterday morning. The

Eels will be without captain Hindmarsh after being

hospitalised at the weekend

with a virus. The Dragons

Arma will be free to play

this week end if he puts in

an early guilty plea.

Ashleigh Harrison can also

escape suspension after being

charged with contact with the

Raiders Josh McCrone. Warm

in the southeast, heavy

storms in the North, cooler

showers in the southwest. 10

minutes past 4, back to David

Speers in Canberra as PM

Agenda continues After the

break we will be talking to

Anna Bligh less than two

weeks to go in the election

campaign in the sunshine

state it is heating up. We

will be joined by nationals

Senate leader Barnaby Joyce. Stay with us.

You're watching PM agenda.

Welcome to the program.

We're talking to Queensland Premier Anna Bligh this

afternoon who is facing the

prospect of a heavy defeat

for Labor when voters go to

the poll in just under two

weeks in the sunshine state.

She came outswing yesterday

at Labor's official campaign

launch with a sprinkling of

policy announcements and on attack for the LNP Campbell

Newman. They may be on track

to win the March 24 election,

Labor wants to deny the

former Lord Mayor a seat in

parliament. She warned the

voters of the return of the

good old boys of the Joe

Peterson administration. Who

will be Premier, if they win the election but Campbell

Newman fails in the seat of

Ashgrove, which the polls are

currently indicating he may

well do. They're treating us

like a Careoke democracy, a lucky dip leadership everyone

gets a turn. It's not about

what he might do with his

family company interests in

the future, it's about what

he has already done. It is

too little, it is too late, and it is just not good

enough. Well, Campbell Newman

says the Slees and smears

have plumed new depths. He

pre-empted this line of

attack from the Premier by

announcing he will divest

himself or a wife as well or

put in a blind trust all family business dealings

should he become Premier.

Campbell Newman found himself

under attack today from the

other end of the political

spectrum from Bob Katter's

Australian party, an attack

on Campbell Newman's previous

position on gay marriage. He

was Lord Mayor of Brisbane

Campbell Newman declared his

support for gay marriage, he

accepted the LNP statewide

opposes it, he says he would

repeal civil unions for same

sex couples. He got bogged

town in questioning today, he

walked away from the press

conference. This is an issue

on which he is wedged between

the Brisbane constituency and

the wider Queensland

electorate. The ads from Bob

Katter's party have been

condemned from gay rights

activists and cot Cater gay

brother Carl Are we living

in the 50's now, they're

obviously a desperate group

of people who know they're

not going to get a really

good turnout or vote at the

election, they're grappling

or striving to kind of capture any kind of right

wing conservative vote.

Totally over the top. It is

a pretty strong campaign

being run. Interesting to

see Cater take on the LNP.

The fact is I've only heard

it briefly on the radio. It

sounds like it's totally over

the top. What do I think,

like the Labor party ads it's

other ad based on negative

nonsense and the campaign

should be about the real

issues for Queensland, the

real issues like dealing with

the cost-of-living, like

getting the state back on

track, like getting our

economy going, giving jobs to

Queenslanders. That's what I

think. Meanwhile on the campaign trail now hundreds

of farmers have staged a

protest outside Campbell

Newman's office after

attending a food security

forum you may have seen earlier Alan Jones the

broadcaster addressing it,

raising concerns about coal

seam gas mining this

Queensland. It is an issue

which has bred an unlikely appliance between Bob

Katter's party and Alan Jones

and the Greens both saying

there should be a moritorium

on coal seam gas mining. For

more on this we're joined by Queensland Premier Anna

Bligh. Welcome to the

program. Can I start by

asking you about this Bob

Katter advertisement attacking Campbell Newman

over his past position on gay

marriage. What do you think

of the ad? You would have

seen it now I've seen it

once David. I described it

today as most offensive and

bizarre, probably no surprise

in either of those things

from Bob Katter. Can I make

the point the reason this is

even an issue in the campaign

is entirely of Mr Newman's

making, simply because he has

refused over and over again

to give a clear answer on

this issue he can now be

accused of hypocrisy on it.

It is a difficult issue, I

accept that, Mr Newman has

tried to walk both sides of the fence and it's caught up

with him. Let's get to your

tone of attack on Campbell

Newman, not so much on this

issue, the family business

dealings, you focused on this

heavily at the campaign launch previously and previously in parliament under parliamentary privilege

you've gone so far as to

suggest he'll end up in gaol.

You've not retracted or

apologised for that comment. What possible grounds have

you got for making this

claim? David, I made that claim in the heat of

parliamentary debate. The

next day I made the point my

rhetoric may have been

passionate. I don't regret

being passionate for what

used to be the case in

Queensland and not wanting to

take us back there. Mr

Newman, as you would expect

says these ads are nothing

more than sneer. What I noticed he has not refuted

one single assertion that is

made in the ads. He hasn't

denied of the facts. These

ads go directly to a number

of companies, his family

between them own 12 separate

companies, a number of them

are property development

companies that saw land

upzoned or rezoned while Mr

Newman was Lord Mayor. These

are very serious and reasonable questions to be

asking of someone who aspires

to hold the highest position

in the state government.

It's one thing to ask

questions, it's another to

make accusations and suggest

that someone should end up in

gaol. Clearly Labor has been

digging around on this for a

while. Is there any evidence

he's done wrong, broken any

law or end up in gaol? Let

me make a point a number of

these revelations we're

starting to see them on a

daily basis stories that have

been broken by some of our

senior political reporters in

the major dailies and in the

national newspaper, it appears by and large these

stories are being brought

forward by neighbourhood

groups by individuals who feel aggrieved because they

were part of objecting to some of these developments

when they were approved, when

the rezonings were done,

these are developments that

in many cases did not comply

with the neighbourhood plan,

and people objected to them

at the time. It's only

recently that they've found

out that the company that

owned the land, that got the

benefit of the rezoning, was a Campbell Newman family company, so you can

understand why neighbours are

angry. Getting back to that

question again is there any

evidence he's broken any law,

yes or no? We can't answer

that until Mr Newman answers some 69 questions. These

revelation s, some of them

have only come out in the

last two weeks, David,

whether or not you can test

them is difficult when it's only been in the last couple

of weeks. Mr Newman won't

answer the questions. In the

absence of those answers

people are asking questions

about him. In fact he gets

very angry that people

suggest that his family's

personal finances are anybody

else's business. In this

country you want to run for

the high office it doesn't

matter who you are your

personal business becomes

public information. Today

you've announced plans to

trial a planning panel in

Brisbane and the Gold Coast

which will consider

development decisions by

councils. Tell me about

this. Is it also aimed at

trying to highlight Campbell

Newman's time as Lord Mayor?

I made the point yesterday

Mr Newman is now trying to

wriggle his way out of these

questions by saying that he will sell all of the

interests that he and his

family have in some 12

companies, and I think he

misses the point. The

question isn't about what

those companies and what he

might do with them in the

future, it's about what's

already been done. Some of

this has happened over the

years he's been Lord Mayor of

the city. If he thinks it's

inappropriate to own shares

and be directors of these

companies now then it wasn't

appropriate to do it when he

had all the opportunities to

rezone and approval

development applications when

Lord Mayor. What these

panels are designed to do,

they're not unique in Australia, I don't pre-tend

to be the policy initiator of

these, in WA, under Premier

Colin Barnett they have

become a very regular feature of council planning

decisions, I understand there

are a number of them in SA

under the South Australian

Labor government. It's about

putting in a panel of independent experts that provide advice to councils

before elected members make

decisions on major developments, because in a

very big growing city like

Brisbane and cities like the

Gold Coast there's a lot of concern in neighbourhoods

about the changing face of

our suburbs, people make

objections, they want to be

able to appeal, Mr Newman has

already said he will abolish

third party appeal rights

against development decisions

so these are very live issues

in this campaign. I want to

turn to the issue of coal

seam gas mining a live issue

in the campaign. You've

announced a mines for mines

policy, which would see half

the revenue from coal seam

gas mining royalties put into

an education trust to help fund scoreship for high

school students to study

overseas. That is great.

What are you doing about the

concerns that farmers and environmentalists that many

Queenslanders have the impact

of coal seam gas mining on

agricultural land? We're

doing a number of things,

David, firstly our government

has put in place world first

laws that will protect our best agricultural land from mining and development that

would make the use of that

land by agriculture

impossible, so the best of

our best has been protected this legislation an

Australian first. We can't

see anything else like it around the worltd. These

companies are subject to

these most rigorous

environmental conditions of

any resource company anywhere

in Australia. I should say

coal seam gas is not new in

Queensland. We have been

using it to produce our own

domestic gas and electricity

for some 15 years and it now

produces about 18% of all

Queensland's lek trismt so we

have actually got a very long

history of this without environmental incident.

However we're about to see a

very big expansion of it as it becomes an export

industry, so I can understand that people have got questions Basically there's

no change in the current

regulatory environment? We

did announce last year we

would be putting some financial levies on the industry which haven't gone

through the parliament yet

because we're in caretaker, that will require those

companies to pay for a whole

lot of work on monitoring

ground water, which is one of

the concerns that people

have. As I say, we have

quite a lot of experience

now, this is not a new

industry in Queensland, not

only a lot of experience, but

a lot of years of proving

that this can be done, can be

done with whereby without

environmental effect, produce

electricity that is 70%

cleaner than electricity

produced from cool. I don't

dismiss the questions people

have, this is a big expansion, I can understand

why people would have questions, it's a quite thing

they're talking about this,

we have got more and more

work to be done to make sure

people understand this new

industry. It does give us a

much much cleaner form of electricity, but of course we

have got to get it right. We

have a long history of doing

just yet A final question,

you have calm pained strongly

on Labor's economic record

built in part of 14 billion

worth of asset sales. Will

there be more asset sales if

you're re-elected. David we

went to the last election

campaign in the middle of the Global Financial Crisis. It

was a time of extreme

economic uncertainty, and we

had to make some very tough

decisions to keep people in

jobs, that's what we did. At that time we went through

every single one of our

assets and made a very

strategic decision. We have

made that decision, already indicated we don't have any

intention of revisiting it,

and nor do I believe there is

a need to, given the economic

sunshine that is coming our

way. Premier Anna Bligh thank

you for joining us. Thank

you. Of course on Thursday night this week, we will be

bringing you the people's

forum, the Queensland

election people's forum, both Anna Bligh and Campbell

Newman will be facing a crowd

of voters in Brisbane to take

their questions and going

through some of the issues of

most interest to them. Do join us here on Sky News for

that. After the break our

panel looking at well. The

Queensland campaign, also the

two weeks ahead, two week

sitting period ahead in

Canberra, our panel Graham

Morris and Bruce Hawker, stay

with us.

You're watching PM Agenda.

A quick check of the news

headlines. Here is Jacinta.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard

says the shooting deaths of

at least 16 civilians by US

soldier in Afghanistan won't

distract Australia from its

mission there. Ms Gillard

says the deaths which include women and children are appalling, but Australia's

mission in Afghanistan is

clear and our commitment to

it remains firm. US

president Barack Obama has

also expressed his shock and

has offered his condolences

to Afghan president Hamid

Karzai. Bob Katter's half

brother has publicly attacked

the party's controversial new

election campaign ad. It

questioned Campbell Newman

position on gay marriage. He

told Sky News he initially

thought it was a joke

expressing his

disappointment. Mr Newman

has refused to put his

personal views into policy.

It is a Federal issue. The

ad is running wide state for

-- statewide for a week. Two

people have needed to be

rescued via helicopter after

getting trapped in

floodwaters in Leeton in the

Riverina. Residents in the

town of Darlington Point are

unable to return home, the

river still rising. Across

the rest of the state the

flooding crisis is easing,

clean-up operations are

getting under way. In Victoria army troops from

moved from Nathalia to the

border town of Barmah to

defend properties. Darwin

residents are being urged to

prepare their cyclone kits

with the developing tropical

low inches tense fieg in the

warm waters off the Timor

Sea. Vast stretches of the

top end coast including the

capital have been placed on

cyclone watch with the system

tipped to be named by

Wednesday day morning. Kofi

Annan has left Syria without

securing a ceasefire deal.

He had high level talks with

Bashar Al Assad and religious

leaders. The Syrian regime's bloody crack down on Rebels

and civilians is continuing.

In sport there's been some

relieve for St George

Illawarra, Li some Amara

won't be suspended if he

enters a guilty plea. The

weather warm in the

southeast, heavy storms in

the North, cooler showers in

the southwest. Thank you,

welcome back to the program.

Well many to our panel,

joining us from Brisbane,

election and political

strategic gift Bruce walker

working on the Queensland

Labor campaign in Queensland,

and as we know helped Kevin

Rudd with his attempt to

return to the leadership, and

Graham Morris, political

strategic gift who was John Howard political strategic

gift. Graham Morris, you

heard Anna Bligh there, it is

a negative approach and focused approach on Campbell

Newman. The whole Labor

campaign is centred on

Campbell Newman. As they say negative campaigning might

irk a lot of us but it works.

What is it about all these

blinking Blighs who can't run

a ship. They want to repel

borders, they get sneaky and

ruthless. This has opened up

a new can of worms this one,

that is you attack the

dealings of your opponent's

family. You know, what is

this? Has Premier Bligh's

husband who is a public

servant, has he had a pay

rise while the minister is in office? What about Prime

Minister Gillard's partner

should one have a look at his

business dealings, should we

look at Kevin Rudd's wife

tear Reece rain's business

dealings. A new campaign. The target isn't Campbell

Newman's wife but his

decisions as Lord Mayor. All

the adds talk about Campbell

Newman's family an brothers

in law, this is grubby. It

shows you, that the Labor

party, they can't run on

leadership, there is none,

they can't run on the record,

it is dreadful, they're

attacking their a opponent

and hope that works. It

opens a new style of

campaigning which a lot of

people won't like. Bruce, it

seemed pretty clear, there is

no evidence he has broken any

law, presumably the Premier

would have answered that.

The point is keep running the

questions to build that seed

of doubt in people's minds about Campbell Newman?

Campbell Newman has a lot of

answers to give, David,

that's the bottom line here,

he was Lord Mayor of Brisbane

for seven years, in that time

there have been some a

pruchls to developments given

and they have been members of

his family, his wife's family

who have benefited from

those, there have been no

declarations, a classic one

is this one at Woolloongabba

where a fellow had some land

he wanted to develop, have it

upzoned. It was upzoned and

Campbell Newman, even though

this fella had a corporate

interest with both Newman's wife and her brother did nothing to declare that

interest. This is the sort

of thing that's been happening on numerous

occasions unfortunately. It

is fair game for the Government to be saying,

well, this is the fella who

could be Lord Mayor in a very

few weeks' time. You should

have a good hard look at him

because in his period as Lord

Mayor these are the sorts of things that happened soon he

could well be Premier. Look,

Bruce, everyone knows the

only crooks in politics are

those who used to be in the Queensland government with

Anna Bligh, some of whom are

in trouble and in various

gaols and various courts

around the country and the

NSW government. That's a

long stretch even by your

standards. No, no, it's

not. This is an appropriate

thing to be doing, this man was Lord Mayor of Brisbane

for several years, for seven

years. This isn't just the only project that we're

talking about here. There

was an application for some

$30 million in flood related

funding for a project days

after the floods in Brisbane,

once again made by... What

was improper? , what was

improper? What they were

trying to do was clean up

while Brisbane was cleaning

up. Cleaning up Brisbane Brisbane was being

cleaned up by other people,

they weren't cleaning up

Brisbane, they wanted to

clean up. These are the

sorts of things that people

can look up and make

judgments about. Another to

say there is hard evidence he

has broken a law and will be

in gaol one day as the

Premier put it. I have won't

just look at the issue of gay

marriage which Bob Katter has targeted. There is no

argument is there this is an issue on which Campbell

Newman is wenld, he did say

as Lord Mayor he supports gay

marriage and now he doesn't

He has realised it is

nobody's business, Lord

Mayor's business, federal

government business, I tell

you what, when people give

money to political parties he they must think about where

that money is going. One

wonders, last week James

Packer, Mr Packer gave the

Cater organisation a quarter

of a million dollars, and you

think all of a sudden there's

this big advertising campaign

about the gay community. Is

this what Mr Packer wanted

his money to be used on. You

would think what would James

think about this. You would

expect he would be mortified.

He has had a lot of

publicity on it, more than

250 grand's worth. That ad

was offensive. I don't think

any fair-minded person would

be defending it, but Campbell

Newman has got himself into a

pickle over this issue. He

won't come out and say what his attitude towards gay

marriage is. In that ad he

says he supports it, in other public pronouncements he's

very evasive about it. If he

were to come out and make a

kwif and unequivocal statement about it he

wouldn't with be this the

strife he is in now. He's

trying to be all things to

all people on the issue. That is the important thing

to bear in mind. He won't

give a straight answer. The

problem he had giving a

straight answer on today is

how would he get rid of civil

unions already in law. We

will get rid of them, what

happens to people who already

have them. This is too

difficult to explain. You

can't unravel them, from the

time legislation would pass

into parliament then you

couldn't do it, but really we

all know it's Canberra's job

not Queensland's job. That's

the issue of gay marriage not

civil unions. Let's move on

to Federal issues. Stephen Smith's relationship with

defence. We have seen a lot

of focus on this after the

various inquiries released

over the ADFA Skype issue

then a damning account from

retired major general John

Cantwell that Stephen Smith

does not respect the men and

women in uniform. Bruce

Hawker do you think there's a

problem here with Stephen Smith's relationship with the military, does it matter that

the minister apparently

doesn't have a great

relationship with the Defence

Force? There are probably

some people on the Defence

Force who don't agree with

him. He's not Robinson

Caruso here. These are the

standards we see in civil

society being enforced by the

minister. I think some resist tense within the military to some of the

things that he said,

particularly with respect to

the cadet officer Kate.

Somebody who had been treated

treated a Dom nabably then disciplinary charges for unrelated matters right at

the time this was being

investigated by the military.

Which the inquiry found

he'd shown no error of

judgment. What I'm getting

to here is what seems on the

face of it to be a problem in

the relationship. How

worried would you be about

that? Not overly. I think

it's pretty clear that he's

got a difference of opinion with certain people in the military on this particular

issue. I suspect that he's probably got some thoughts

about the way that ADFA and

other institutions have

operated in the military for

many years and wants to see

them modernised. That doesn't represent a

fundamental breach of his

relationshipup with the

military. I haven't seen any evidence to suggest that.

Graham? I quite like

Stephen Smith. He's had a

dreadful 10 days. His

relationship with defence is shot. His relationship with

the Prime Minister is shot.

She sort of didn't give him

the job he was entitled to

have. He actually went out

and shot Kevin Rudd. You

know, maybe he's just a good

shot. That's why he's

defence minister. Look, no,

no, no, I actually thought

Stephen Smith's first

reaction to this where it

looked as if the young girl

in the middle of this pickle

had been hardly done by and

defence had sort of have an inquiry into something that

looked as if she was being

victimised. I thought that

was poor found. I don't care

what an inquiry does the on

particulars of that was

dreadful. However some very

very good people I respect

and whose judgment I respect

say that hanging Cafer out to

dry, the fellow who ran and

was in charge of everything

in defence was a very poor

move. He's a well respected

officer, a competent man.

That's where minister Smith

ran into trouble as he sort

of hung the bloke too early.

I also want to touch on the mining tax which is going to

be the next policy argument

over the next couple of weeks

in parliament. The

Government has to get this

through the Senate. The

Greens will back this eventually. They're

demanding to see the company

tax cuts legislated part of

the compensation, or part of

the dividend from this mining

tax as well. Bruce,

important for the Government to get this through before

the budget. It's due to come

into force the mining tax

from the middle of the year.

Do you think it should also

be legislating things that

the Greens want, like that

company tax cut, for example?

If that is what is required

that is what they should do.

The Government is committing

from cutting the cut from 39

to 20%. This is part of the

pledge they made at the last

election campaign, something which Tony Abbott is not

committing to do, he's going to increase company taxes.

If this is what is required

if that's what the Green political party requires of the government to get this

thing sorted out I think they

probably should. Having said

that I think if they stood on

their digs and said we will

get to it when we get to it

the Greens wouldn't stop it

happening, they would face a

big lash. These are the

people who stopped the ETS

this time around, we wouldn't

have any problem with the

carbon tax if they did the right thing. They would

probably wear a lot of

criticism trying to get into

the way of this one, this is

good politics and good public

policy. The The company tax

will apply earliest to small business, small business are

saying come on, let's get

this thing done, we support

this. Small business

traditional coalition

constituency. They're

backing the mining tax does

it make it hard to oppose

it? I put it both together, anything that Bob Brown and

the Greens can do to get rid

of these stupid things the

better. I suspect Bob will

roll over will have his tummy

tickled and will love it. On

that point we will see you

Graham Morris and Bruce

Hawker. After the break we

will be talking to Nationals Senate leader, Barnaby Joyce.

Stay with us.

Welcome back to the

program. Let's return to

Queensland now and as we saw

earlier hundreds of farmers

attended a forum today in

Brisbane, a food security

forum that was addressed by

the broadcaster Alan Jones.

A lot of concern there with

Cole seam gas mining, the

impact on prime agricultural

land. Amongst the crowd the nationals leader Barnaby

Joyce. He joins me now from

Brisbane. Senator thanks for

your time. Tell us about

your view of this issue Cole

seam gas mining, in

particular the fact you've

got the two major parties,

the LNP and Labor want to go

go full steam ahead I don't

know if they want to do that.

We will give you a quick

biography on the issue. At

the start of this year I made

sure we had a Senate inquiry

on Cole seam gas. They gave

up a chair as a trade off,

Fiona Nash handed back her

chair to Bill Heffernan.

That would happen on the pro

advice oe we had a inquiry.

Chaired by Heffernan. We had

meetings in Dalby, Roma,

Narrabri, had the capacity to

bring in witnesses, give

people protection to tell the

truth. That is moving the

agenda. An agenda spearsy

from a state level. I

believe that Cole seam gas

should not be an prime

agricultural land, should not

destroy Aqifers. Should not

destroy the quiet enjoy

amount of residential areas,

a proper return to the land

holder not a poxy return, a

slap that could be

potentially earning millions

of dollars a day. Have the

LNP picked up on that policy

Wells and pipelines could be

built as long as they don't

compromise farming activity.

There doesn't seem to be a

lot of specifics around how

to protect the great ah

Tesian basin water. It is

vital we protect that water,

my town St George drinks that

water, no Artesian basin, no

water. It has to be

protected. We won't have a

stock industry if we don't

have the basin. People are

mindful of this, we have to

find where the truth lies.

Are the damages over spoken,

or are they reel imminent and

need to be dealt with. I

think that's why both sides of politics have signed off

on further investigations, $one hundred and fifty

million being put aside to

make sure we get further

science of exactly where this

is, we already have Cole seam

gas in the area, Speersy.

What do we do about that?

You've got Bob Katter and

Alan Jones no doubt at the forum saying there should be

a moritorium. Should there

be a moritorium? There

should be a more tore rum on

prime agricultural land, it

shouldn't allowed where it

destroigs Aqifers. That's

not the LNP policy They're saying strategic cropping land, people giving different

names to the same idea. You

support the LNP's policy on

Cole seam gas mining? I support what I've been doing

all the way through as leader

of the National Party in the

Senate to make sure people

get a hearing, a day in

court, I support the process

of the agenda, better

protections for the farmers,

the landholders, better returns and comparable

returns, I continue to

advocate that case, I don't

sign off on/bottom line, I

continue to do my job as a

politician and represent the

people, they're the Powerful, the Powerless need to be

represented against the

Powerful. Will I bring

Nirvana, a perfect outcome?

No, I want to get them a

better outcome. I will

continue to do that, that is

what the job of an advocate

is, I continue to do that.

Let me ask you about the

Federal mining tax coming up

in the Senate. When you talk

about giving farmers, an

adequate return, a proper

return of what is going on,

this mining tax is about

giving All Australians a fair

return on mining activity,

Cole and iron ore, are you

really that opposed to

sharing the wealth, as Labor says from the resources boom?

No, it's just laziness on

behalf of Labor. Speersy, as

you know, you and I know and

the listers know they're 18

billion away from bouncing

the cheques, as we hit the

$250 billion, trillion dollar

ceiling, thinking desperately

of ways to get their hands on

money. We have a mining tax Speersy, it's called

royalties. Any time the

states want to put up the mining tax which is

royalties, they can. What

Wayne Swan is saying, instead

of state royalties send all

the money to Canberra,

Canberra can send it to those who are deemed most

righteous. We have seen with

the carbon tax, Bob Brown is righteous with 10 million to

the green fund. They take

the money, put it to the pet

projects, it's a farcical

approach. We believe in connecting people more closely to the wealth of

mining. You do that through infrastructure, making the

economy work, you do that so

the wealth spreads around.

We will connect people to

mining via an economy that

works and infrastructure that

delivers that wealth through

the - - throughout the

nation. The Labor's party

approach is to take the uny off people and hand it to other people to collect the

vote. One of the strongest

opponents of the mining tax

is Gina Rynhardt the court

documents include a letter

that you wrote to Gina Rinehart's daughter hope

urging her to drop her case

against her mother. Why did

you feel the need to

intervene in the family

dispute? It's not a case of

dropping the case, people can

do what it - they like, people stay out of the media.

Speersy, you make money out

of getting salacious stuff,

good luck to you, I don't

think if you're a public

figure you should be

embroiled in something where

they traipse all your personal details in the

papers. In the end you don't

care Speersy about what

happened to any family, you

dare about your ratings, as

you should, you care you keep

a job, as you should. My job

is to give some instances on

a personal issue, this is a

personal letter, I don't want

to go into it in depth on a

personal level no-one in the

media is going to look after

you, you're going to look after the paper, their job,

the smartest thing to do is

to try and stay out of it.

At the risk of defending the

journalistic frat terny, we

care more about ratings and

our own jobs. This letter

could be interpreted you

wanted to protect Gina

Rinehart from embarrassment,

you were giving media advice?

It would be fair to say you

do care about your job,

Speersy, you want to make

sure the story is front page,

it sells papers, I understand

that. In the long-term you

only hurt yourself and the family, because no matter

what side of the debate you

are on, going into the

divorce, putting it in the

#35i7, there's no winner.

How would you describe your

relationship with Gina

Rynhardt, she flu you to

India father a wedding last

year Yep I'm good mates with

her, I get along well with

her, I get along well with a

whole range of people.

Speaking to people at the

Cole seam gas inquiry, I it

doesn't mean I agree with

everything people say, I can

have heated disputes of

disagreements. I like the

idea strange as this may seem, Australia has rich

people, I prefer Australian

rich people to have that

wealth appropriated overseas,

I like the idea you make

money you keep it in

Australia as opposed to Wayne

Swan who thinks that getting

rich is an evil thing, if you

can make Australia rich and

yourself rich good luck to

you, Wayne Swan tries it as a

football to beat people over

the head and think we're only

fools and playing envy

politics. Bob Katter his attack on Campbell Newman on

the gay marriage issue what

do you think of that? Bob's

Bob, he has a big wide hat.

Sometimes I think it covers

up interesting ideas,

sometimes very peculiar ideas All right, Barnaby Joyce, thanks for joining us

this afternoon. Good on

you. We're out of time for

today's show. Back at the

same time tomorrow. Hope you

can join us then.

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