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Australian Agenda -

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Delivering unrivalled live

coverage - this is Sky News, Australia's news channel.

This is PM Agenda.

Good afternoon welcome to

the program. I am David

Speers, a diversion, a

distraction, or smart politics? Tony Abbott has

fired off a new line of

attack, against Julia Gillard

and the Labor government this afternoon, blaming the Prime

Minister in part for the wave

of begun crime on the streets

of Sydney. How has -- begun

crime on the streets of

Sydney, he says the increased

of asylum seeker boats means

customs had had a cost blowout and can't spend as

much as it needs to screening

imports such as containers,

ship ing containers parcels

coming in airfreight and the

like which are carrying illegal weapons. Is this a

fair enough claim to make?

We will explore this this

after noon.. It follows pressure on the Opposition

Leader throughout the day on

company tax cuts and the another matter entirely

Coalition's decision to

oppose the government's tax

cut as part of its mining tax

package. We will be looking

to that and talk to Reserve

Bank Board member and head of

the outgoing Australian

Industry Group Heather Ridout. Hell year, Tony

Abbott has launched an ununusual attack in parliament. Blaming the

government for the recent

spate of gun crime in Sydney.

Mr Abbott told Question Time

the government was partly

responsible for the spate of

gun crime because of its weak

stance on border

protection. They have got

the pink batts disaster, the

school halls disaster, the

live cattle disaster, and now

we have got gun crime in

Sydney aided and abetted by

the incompetence of this

government in maintaining a proper border protection

regime. Not just an inadequate regime against

illegal boats but a totally

inadequate regime against

illegal guns as well. It

comes as NSW police brought

down an alleged gun

importation syndicate,

operating out of a suburban

Sydney post office. Small suburban post office in

southern Sydney is the

alleged headquarters of an

illegal handgun supply ring,

with links spanning as far as

Germany. Following months of investigations, three people

have been charged, with

detectives claiming they have

smashed the operation. It's

an operation that's been

running across the globe, -

with an involvement as far

away as Germany through to

the street of Sydney.

Importantly as and of

yesterday they have been dismantled and will not be bringing firearms into this country again illegally or

otherwise. Police raided 12

properties, seizing boxes of

evidence and computer hard drives, simultaneous raids

were also carried out in Germany. The investigation

began in February, after

police track ed guns found in

Sydney to a batch made in

Austria, the weapons were

traced to the German gun dealership which is alleged

to have imported them to Australia using false

consignment data. We had

information up to 20 Glock

firearm were in Germany and

destined for Australia,

search warrants were

conducted in Germany using

German authoritiys and the

Australian police, during

which 20 firearms were located. Police Commissioner

Andrew Scipione has praised efforts of detectives in shutting down the operation,

saying gun crime is a key

issue for national

security. This has been a wonderful model of what we

can do when we join together.

Not just with our partners

Australian Crime Commission like Customs and the

and Australian Federal

Police, as much with the BKA, the German Federal

Police. NSW Premier Barry

O'Farrell says the arrests

rest a breakthrough in the

find against recent drive-by

shoot information Sydney's west. Yesterday's arrests

come on top of 225 other

rathers, 463 charges laid --

arrests, 463 charges laid. It

is fantastic to see police

getting the credit for the quiet. Sophisticated work they are doing. Detectives

are now working to track down

scores of guns they believe

were sold by the ring.

Prime Minister Julia

Gillard has attacked the

Opposition for blocking

business tax cuts associated

with the mining tax legislation. Shadow Treasurer

Joe Hockey says the Coalition

won't support the tax on the

mining industry so it won't

back the cuts. Tony Abbott

has promised he will take his own modest tax cuts into the

next election. Tony Abbott

visited a solar heating

company in Canberra but the

government believes it's the Opposition leader that's in

hot water. I never thought I

would see the day that the Liberal Party would joining

against a tax cut for with the Greens to vote

business. The Greens will

support the passage of the

mining tax, and tax cuts for

small business. But will vote

against a reduction for

larger companies. The Shadow

Treasurer is taking the moral

high ground he says if the

Coalition is not supporting the mining tax it won't be

supporting the cuts. The

Labor Party is the one that

says it will oppose the

revenue source, as they did

on the GST and then support

the tax cuts. We don't do

things like that. But the

Liberalleader says the

opposition will op -- Liberal leader says the Opposition

will oppose the tax cuts and deliver a tax cut of its

own. It is the Coalition's

first commitment, our strong

company tax cut at the next policy to deliver a modest

election. And where is the

money coming from? The

government maintains it wants

to deliver tax cuts for both

small and big businesses but

there is no doubt if the tax

defeated it provides the cut for larger companies is

government with some much-needed breathing space

in its budget forecasts. Iex

not looking at that Kieren. You are the Finance

Minister. We have factored in

these tax cuts into our

position to support them. budget so we are in a

There has been a southern

show down in the US today, with Republicans in

Mississippi and Alabama

deciding who they want to

take on Barack Obama for the

White House. Rick Santorum

has won both states, with

Newt Gingrich a close second,

and Mitt Romney third. I

want to thank everybody, I

get this question all the

time what do people say to

you when you get around and meet all the people we have

been meeting as we crisscross

this country. And the most

common thing I hear from

people and I know I'm not

alone, is people come up and

say I'm praying for you. And

(APPLAUSE). I just want to

thank you for that, I want to

thank God for giving us the

strength every day to go out

there and to be clear in our message and our vision for

this country. One of the things tonight proved is that

the elite media's effort to

convince the nation that Mitt

Romney is inevitable just

collapsed. The fact is...

(APPLAUSE). The fact is in

both states the conservative candidates got nearly 70% of

the vote, and if you're the

front-runner and you keep coming in third you're not

much of a front-runner. Next primary will be held next

Tuesday. On a day of

lengthy train delays in

Brisbane, Queensland LNP

leader Campbell Newman has

dangle aid $100 million

carrot in front of commuters.

But the LNP leader is facing

more questions over donations

made to his mayor re-election

fund with the CMC now set to investigate. Sky News

Brisbane reporter Tom Connell

is on the campaign trail and he filed this report. Campbell Newman rode a bus

this morning and then made an announcement for all

transport users. The Bligh

government plans on 15%

increases for transport, over

the next two years, Campbell Newman says he will halve

that number at a cost of $101

million. The savings he says for commuters could be

significant including those in his potential

electorate. That means a

commuter from Mitchellton or

the gap will save over $1,500

over the next three years. He

faced a flurry of questions

over the CMC's decision to

investigate donations made by developer to Campbell

Newman's re-election fund. He

says though despite the

involve of involvement of the

independent watchdog this

remains in his mind a Labor

smear campaign. There has

been no illogicality, no

impropriety at any time

during my period as Lord

Mayor of Brisbane. Meanwhile

Premier Anna Bligh is in the

central west today, she's

announced $16.5 million in a boost for regional tourism.

And one of the big events

of the Queensland election campaign happens tomorrow

when both leaders front a people's forum in Brisbane.

It will be hosted by Sky News

political editor David

Speers, and televised live on

Sky News, from 8 o'clock

eastern daylight time, 7 p.m.

in Queensland. Anna Bligh and

Campbell Newman will be extensively questioned by

members of the audience. The

people's forum tomorrow live

on Sky News national.

Qantas management has met

with the Victorian government

to try and secure taxpayer

funs to save the maintenance

base at Avalon airport. Sky News Melbourne bureau chief

Ahron Young is there. Qantas announced plans last

month to close one of its three maintenance bases in Australia, at the moment they

are located here at Avalon

airport also at Tullamarine airport in Melbourne as well

as north in Brisbane. We

understand Qantas wants the

Victorian government to chip

in taxpayer funds to try and

keep 100 job jobs here they want more money to upgrade the facilities here behind

me. We understand the Baillieu government has met

with Qantas management trying

to keep the jobs here but

also at Tullamarine airport if that base is closed and

400 jobs will be lost there

some will come here to Avalon

as they try to shift the

maintenance of the Qantas

737, the workhorse of the

skies, from Tullamarine to

hear at Avalon, otherwise it

could also go north to Queensland. At the moment the

747 upgrade is happening here

at Avalon but after that

there is an uncertain future,

Sky News understands that the

engineers union has been

meeting with Qantas

management in any over the

past economy of weeks trying

to secure the A380 contract

for that to happen here at

this facility and if that

happens that would also

secure the future for this maintenance hub.

Ian Thorpe has denied he

has been posting slow times

on purpose ahead of the

Olympic trials in Adelaide

starting tomorrow. The 29-year-old has said even

those closest to him were

suspicious of his

performances so far. There

may have been a period when I

first started back in the

swimming and I was hoping

that I might be able to do

it. But I've unfortunately I

haven't had that luxury. So

frankly no. Thorpe was also

forced to defend his $150,000

handout from swimming Australia. I think it has

been clarified by a number of

people that that, what's

probably been reported just

isn't factual. There's been a

number of athletes who are

either Olympic champions or world record holds who have

been supported by Swimming Australia, the funding that's

come from that is not

dissimilar to what's been

funded for other people in

this sport. You know I think

it's fantastic that I have

been able to return to the

sport and I have received the

kind of support from Swimming

Australia that I have. I

don't think it has been

excessive or anything like

that. And you know as a

courtesy to the other

swimmers here I am happy to

be able to talk about this

honestly so they know that

there hasn't been any

preferential treatment as

such been given. Thorpe also admitted he isn't sure

how fast he will go in the

100 and 20m free tile events.

-- 2000 metre free style events. The weather:

Now back to David Speers in Canberra as 'PM Agenda'

continues. Thank you, after

the break we will look at

Tony Abbott accusing Julia

Gillard of being partly

responsible for gun crime in

Sydney because not enough

focus or resources have been

put into screening imported

packages which can contain

weapons being illegal legal imported we will take a look

at that and the row over the company tax cut, the

government is promising and

wants to pass through parliament. The Opposition

says it won't support it

because it doesn't support

the mining tax package. We

will be joined by the

outgoing chief executive of the Australian Industry Group, now a Reserve Bank

Board member, Heather Ridout.

Stay with us.

Welcome to the program.

Well Tony Abbott has blamed

Julia Gillard for many things

over the past 18 months, from

job losses to soaring debt

levels to great big new

taxes, all fair in love, war

and politics but this

afternoon the Opposition

Leader has raised stakes

taking his attack to a whole

new level. He accused the

Prime Minister of at least

being partly responsible for

the wave of gun crime on the

streets of Sydney. Here he

was in full flight this

afternoon interrupting

Question Time to move a

motion to suspend Standing

Order s. There is a rein of

terror on the streets of

Sydney and as those shots

ring out the people of

Sydney, they think of the

crime gangs, they think of

the police, trying to protect

them from those crime gangs,

and Mr Speaker, now they should also think of this

Prime Minister. How does Tony Abbott make this link?

Well he points to the cost blowout at Customs as a

result of it having to deal

with a record influx of

asylum seeker both arrivals.

And what Tony Abbott is

saying and what the figures

do show is that the screening

of air car grow and sea cargo

has had to be cut. And for

this reason Tony Abbott says

more illegal weapons are

being imported. Now,

yesterday the water water

post office in Sydney was -- Sylvania Waters post office in Sydney was raided by

police and the franchisee of

the post office along with three others was arrested.

Police believe they have

cracked a syndicate,

responsible for importing up

to 220 weapons over the past

year. Earlier today the NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell was

laying the blame on this

pourus borders the feat of the federal government, Tony Abbott of course did it far

more effectively as we saw in parliament this afternoon,

and even the head of Customs

has conceded in the wake of

this case, this series of

arrests in Sydney, procedures

at Customs do need to be

changed. But has the

Opposition Leader gone too

far here he does he have a point. We will explore that

with our panel. It followed

another issue entirely tax

cuts after the Opposition

confirmed it will be opposing the company tax cut the

government is offering as

part of its mining tax

package. Joe Hockey the Shadow Treasurer made the argument again today if the

Opposition's opposing the mining tax it's fair enough

to oppose the company tax cut

as well. The Labor Party is

the one that says it will

oppose the revenue source as

they did on the GST and then

support the tax cuts. We

don't do things like that.

What we say is if there is no

mining tax then there's - if

we're not going to support

the mining tax we will not support the company tax

cuts. This isn't however

sitting comfortably with all

in the Coalition, as one

front bencher pointed out to

me today. They are, they are

not opposing all of the mining tax package they are

going to keep the increase in

the superannuation

contribution which is also

part of this overall package.

And along the way by opposing

the company tax cut they will

be putting business offside,

and helping the government by

the way get back into surplus

if this company tax cut isn't

delivered to big business

that will help the government

's budget bottom line by

around $2 billion. Late this

morning though Tony Abbott

repeated his commitment to

deliver the company tungt not

the 1.5% tax cut he promised

at the last election but as he put it today a modest tax

cut. It is the Coalition's

firm commitment, our strong

policy, to deliver a modest

company tax cut at the next

election. And all our policies will be fully

funded. The quantity of the Coalition's company tax cut

hasn't yet been decided nor

exactly where the money will

come from, despite the fact

Joe Hockey just yesterday

said policies were

finaliselised and costed should an election be called

right now. For the government

this has allowed them to go

on the attack, all day today

over the Coalition's refusal

to back this particular

company tax cut. I never

thought I would see the day

that the Liberal Party would

join with the Greens to vote

against a tax cut for

business, that's what Mr

Abbott has announced today. Well business of course watching along all of this,

and hoping they will get some

sort of tax cut, not just the

small business end, the

Greens say they will back the

government in delivering but

all businesses. The whole

idea of the mining tax and a subsequent cut in the company

tax rate was originally

recommended by the Henry tax

review, Heather Ridout the head of the Australian

Industry Group was part of

that Henry Review tax panel

and she's about to finish up as the head of the Australian Industry Group and has

already taken up her position as a Reserve Bank Board

member, I spoke to her a little earlier this

afternoon. Thanks for your

time. You put out a statement

today calling on the Greens

to back the entire company

tungt, the government is

proposing. -- tax cut the

government is proposing what

about the Coalition they are also saying they will oppose

this because they oppose the

mining tax? . Look it's a

very important reform.

Australia's corporate tax

rate is right at the top end

of countries of our size and

our entire tax burn along

with Norway is at the top of

the OECD. The Australian

economy has a lop-sided

economy, 18% growing by 1%

and 20% growing by 15 so we

really need a tax cut to the

corporate community across

the board to help red resthe competitive pressures of

mining boom. That is the

Henry proposal and that's the

one we think should be supported by the Greens and

Opposition and government. It

doesn't go as far as your

proposal you suggested

cutting the company tax rate eventually by 5% but nonetheless are you saying

the government package, the

mining tax paying for things like the company tax cut is better than nothing, the

right way to go? I think

irrespective of the mining tax we need a cut in the

company tax rate as a reform

to make the Australian

economy more competitive for

investment and job creation

in the economy we are now

looking at for the next five,

10 years with the dollar at post parity and a whole lot

of changes occurring as a

result of that. The mining

tax is helpful in paying for

it because it's expensive, I

am very concerned with any

idea that it should only be

available to small business.

There is something like 85 to 100,000 companies well above

that threshold and they all

need that cut in the

corporate tax rate. Well the

threshold is the key. The Greens are saying it should

apply to those up to a turn

over of $5 million a year, you are obviously saying it

should apply to everyone.

What would it mean if it only applied to small business? Well it would mean

the tens of thousands of

companies, many of whom are big employers and medium

sized employers would miss

out and they need this reform to their tax system if they will attract investment and

invest in jobs and in the

whole sort of new suite of

technology and plants

required to make them competitive the Australian

dollar is putting huge

pressure on large sections of the Australian economy,

including most of the big

employing sections of the

Australian economy, and that

80 to 100,000 companies that

will miss out on the tukts because of what the Greens

are suggesting are it tungt

because of what the Greens

are suggesting are right at the forefront of that. Tony

Abbott says the Coalition still will have its own modest company tax cut if it

wins the next election, he

won't specify how much. Or where the money will come from. Is that good

enough? Look it's not. The

Australian - the Henry report suggested the

corporate tax cut be reduced

to 25%, five full percentage

points, the government have

got 1% on the table, and we

would only regard that as a

good start. Now we, our group

from the get go is supported

trying to get it down to 25%

over the next five, eight,

nine years and that still has

to be the aspiration of the mainstream parties of

Australian politics. So a

modest tax cut is good as a

start, but we certainly need

to see something more than 1%

by the government and

something that's modest by the Opposition because we

need to be able to attract

investment in in Australia,

to invest in the industries

in the jobs of the future and

at 30% or 29% that's not

going to happen. On the

carbon tax, you have been

calling for a while now for

that $23 a tonne starting

price to be reduced given the

European prices is so much

lower, you have suggested

that $10 a price would be

more appropriate. The

government is sticking with

this $23 price and the $15

floor price once it

transitions in a few years to an emissions trading scheme.

It says business needs certainty on this. Is that

fair enough? Look I don't

think it's fair enough at all

I think it's much more of a

political judgment rather

than a real one and the

European prices muddling

around the $11 point, it is ridiculous, we would start

off with a $23 tax on

industries that are at the

really sharp end David of

this mining boom. Getting all

the bad aspects of it none of

the good aspects. And we will

put a tax on them in these sort of circumstances which

is so far out of kilter with

the world price as for

certainty I think we would

trade off that sort of

certainty for a $10 price

anyday. Nonetheless, how do

the options compare, the government's carbon tax

package, and the Coalition's

direct action plan? Look, I think we are looking at the

government's package, we have

had problems with the design

of it, the price has been one

issue, the compensation for

companies, for many companies

isn't sufficient, we have

something like 400 plus pieces of regulation on business that still haven't

been removed. No plan to

remove them. There is a lot

of issues there, on the

Opposition side there is a

lot of questions, we don't

still quite know the answer

to. So but at the moment the reality is the government's plan and the government's

plan will put a $23 tax on

our members from 1 July without sufficient compensation and that is

worrying us an awful lot. A

final question, I just wanted

to get your thoughts on the

Treasurer's recent criticism

of people like Gina Rinehart, Twiggy Forest and Clive

Palmer he says these mining

magnates have been poisoning

our democracy in pursuit of

their own vested interests do

you agree with any of that, do you know these people

well, what do you think of their contribution to

Australian society? Look, I

like entrepreneurs, I like

people that have a go and I

think it's a really terrific

thing and Gina Rinehart, we

were at university together

we go back a long way. I have

admiration for a woman

succeeding in that very tough

industry as has have others.

I think one of things the Treasurer did say that I think is very interesting

before he went into all that

was the real death of the

middle class in America and

the fact that incomes haven't

risen in real terms for 20

years and if we don't nurture an entrepreneurial middle

class through a proper

functioning economy and incomes distribution we will be in a although lot of

trouble so I think that's probably the more interesting

part of his speech and

probably the part I would

support. Good to talk to you, thanks for joining us. Thanks

David. Stay with us after

the break our panel this

afternoon, Nicky Sava Sam


Welcome back. In a moment

our panel first let's check on the news headlines here is Vannessa.

Opposition Leader Tony

Abbott has told Question Time the government was partly

responsible for the spate of

gun crime in Sydney because

of its weak stance on border

protection. It comes as NSW

police have smashed an

alleged gun importation

syndicate, operating out of a

suburban Sydney post office.

The operation was uncovered

after a gun was seized during

a spate of drive-by shootings in Sydney's south-west

earlier this year. 12 Sydney

properties were raided as

part of the operation. The

federal government has

released draft laws to allow

a 1% reduction in the company

tax rate, but the Opposition

is arguing the plan is a con.

Labor's tax cut will be

fundeded through the minerals

resource rent tax. Mr Abbott

also reiterate ed the

Coalition won't be supporting the government's

MRRT or the associated corporate tax cuts. The

Greens say a tax cut should

only be available for small

businesses. There has been

a southern showdown in the US

today with Republicans in

Mississippi and Alabama

deciding who they want to

take on Barack Obama for the

White House. Rick Santorum

has won both states with Newt Gingrich a close second and

Mitt Romney third. The next primary will be held next

Tuesday. Queensland Opposition Leader Campbell

Newman insists there's been

no illegality or improprietary despite

enquiries by the crime and

misconduct commission. The CMC is investigating

donations by a developer to

the Brisbane council when

Newman was mayor. Mr Newman

said he would be cleared by

the CMC which says the matter

is being dealt with as a

priority. Premier Anna

Bligh has made another

tourism pledge while in

Central Queensland. Qantas is

understood to be pursuing

government assistance before

revealing more on planning to

close one much its maintenance branches. It's

been reported that Qantas wants the Victorian

government to chip in

taxpayer funds to try and

keep 100 0 jobs at its Avalon

side. The Victorian

government has met with

Qantas management about the

future of maintenance at AV a

Avalon and Tullamarine

airport where 400 people work

in maintenance. And in sport,

Ian Thorpe has denied he's

been posting slow times on

purpose ahead of the Olympic

trials in Adelaide starting

tomorrow. The 29-year-old has

said even those closest to

him were suspicious of his

performances so far. Thorpe

was also forced to defend his $150,000 handout from Swimming Australia. Tomorrow's forecast:

Thank you Vannessa,

welcome to our panel this

afternoon, Sam Maiden from the Sunday 'telegraph and

Niki Savva columnest with 'The Australian' newspaper. Tony Abbott on the attack

over gun crime, saying Julia

Gillard is partly to claim for the waive of gun attacks

that we have seen in Sydney.

Sam fair enough do you

think? Well I think what he's

trying to do is fairly

transparent. They have lined

up a bit of a package deal

with Barry O'Farrell and NSW,

he's been making the same

points in NSW parliament. You

would have to say that as

much as it is certainly an

issue an AFP issue in terms

of the importation of illegal

firearms that it's very much

a state based policing issue

as well. And obviously the

Liberals have decided here

that Barry can shift some of

the blame on to the Feds of

what is a very hot issue,

understandably in Sydney. You

can technically draw that

link though between the

pressures on Customs not enough screening going on, guns getting through,

shootings happening in Sydney

by gangs in Sydney. But Nicky

is it going too far to say as

Tony Abbott did, this rein of

terror people need to blame

X, Y, And the Prime

Minister? He was probably a

bill extreme in the language

but the NSW Police

Commissioner was out there

today saying this is not just

a border security issue this

is a national security issue.

Now that means the federal

government, that means the

Prime Minister. So... And the

head of Customs we should

point out as I said earlier

has also said in the wake of

this arrest at Sylvania

Waters post office, their

procedures also perhaps need

to change. I don't know if it's fair to say the

government is not live to

these issues, I know we did a

story in the Sunday 'telegraph' with the home

affairs minister, Jason Clare

who asked the Australian

Crime Commission to take a

national look at all of the

information gathered from these drive-by shootings they were taking a national look

where these guns were coming

from. They were looking at

just this issue and they left the door open to further

changes of the law if

necessary. I mean last time they went through this process, I think that they

found that there had been

some loopholes left behind

from the gun reforms of the Howard era, there had been

some guns that were already

in the system. And so that

they are doing thing the but

it's hard not to be cynical

that what Tony Abbott's also

trying to do is knock off

from the new cycle the

company tax story. We will

get to that in a minute. I

want to play a bit more of

Tony Abbott in parliament

talking about this issue.

Have a look. Got the pink

batts disaster, the school

halls disaster, the live

cattle disaster, and now we

have got gun crime in Sydney,

aided and abetted by the

incompetence of this

government in maintaining a

proper border protection

regime. Not just an

inadequate regime against

illegal boats but totally

incad kwat regime against

illegal -- inadequate regime

against illegal guns as

well Niki the reaction on

Twitter at least was that

he's gone way too far. But

what do you think in - on a political level, in Sydney,

in particular these parts

where these attacks are

taking place how will this go

down? Well, I think you know

this story will play very

strongly in Sydney tonight

there's no doubt about that,

it's a huge story. Now while

Abbott might have gone a

little bit too far with his

rhetoric there is no doubt I

think that people have wanted

very tough action taken against this. Now whether

it's the state government,

whether it's the cops or

whether it's the federal

government, they just want it

fixed. And if the NSW Police Commissioner is saying the

Feds have got to do something

about this, then I guess most

people would agree with

that. It's one thing to say the federal government needs

to do a better job screening

imports, it's another to say

that Julia Gillard is partly

to blame for these problems. She's the Prime Minister. Sooner or later

everything gets managed up to

the Prime Minister. Whether

it's gun control, whether

it's boat control, whether

it's you know, what's

happening in your local

community. Sooner or later it

all gets to her desk and she

has to deal with it. And if

she hasn't been seen to be

dealing with it, I mean if

there have been distractions,

as there have been over the

past few months and people

think that she hasn't had her

eye on the ball maybe there

haven't been enough resources devoted to this, or enough

attention paid to it because

everybody was thinking, well

it's a state issue, just let

them deal with it, then I

think you know, she will

probably pay a bit of a price

there. The difficulty I have

with the argument is there is

no doubt that there is an

issue in terms of keeping

your eye on the inportation of weapons that shouldn't be

in Australia but at the end

of the day a gun is a gun, there are plenty of guns

around to be used.... People

kill people. And you know

what you have here is an

issue of a breakdown of law

and order you have gangs

acting in lawless ways, you

know, what's the reason for

that? It may well be that

different crime gangs are

moving in on different crime gangs. They are going too

find a gun to do that if the

issue is behavioural management. Sure but it's

whether it's made easier or

more difficult by... And how

much access there is to these

weapons. How do they get

ethem. How do they get into

the country and how are they

distributed. The issue certainly overshadowed is

this tax cut issue which is

problematic I think for the

Coalition today. Joe Hockey

announced yesterday repeated

again today they will oppose

the company tax cut that the

government is putting in as part of its overall mining

tax package, although they are separate pieces of

legislation. It allowed the

government to go on the

attack here was a little of the Prime Minister and

Treasurer in Question Time.

The choice is to share the

mining boom and benefit

business, or to betray

businesses and benefit

billionaires. We know where

the Leader of the Opposition stands for the billionaires

and for the betrayal of

businesses and working people

around our nation. What does

the Leader of the Opposition

have to say about all of

this? He says no. No, I

can't support that. No way, I

could support that sort of

sensible legislation Mr

Speaker. And why does he say

no? Why does he constantly

say no? Well because he believes that Gina Rinehart

and Clive Palmer should get a tax cut not struggling Australians small

businesses. Now, the

Opposition Leader isn't

saying no entirely, he is

saying they will have a

modest cut in the company tax

rate, won't specify exactly

how much. Sam what do you

think, is he playing catch-up

now on this? Well, I think

it's a strange situation that

we've arrived at where

essentially there is a

situation engineered where

the ALP doesn't have to give

a company tax cut that they

have promised, that actually

helps their budget bottom

line they have a difficult path to surplus, they are

getting the mining tax but

thanks to the Coalition and

Greens they don't have to

give the company tax and the

other thing is I think it

makes it even more difficult

for the Coalition to manage

this issue with paid parental

leave. Now they are putting a

1.5% levy on big business,

3,200 businesses to pay for parental leave. The argument

has been you are getting a

tax cut overall, plus you get

this levy so it's kind of a

zero sum gain for paid

parental leave but this would

seem to suggest we don't know

what their modest tax cut is,

that it's not going to be a

zero sum gain, that some

businesses are going to be

paying more tax. I think

that's a tricky way for the Coalition to sort of play it. And after Joe Hockey

yesterday said, policies were

finalised and costings were finalised apparently this

company tax cut hasn't been.

They haven't worked out how

much it's going to be. Well

I'm told that they have

worked it out. I was told this afternoon they haven't.

There you go. I wonder who

your source was. We can compare notes later. But no, that's what I was told that

it has been factored in and

they are repeating this modest thing now it depends

on your definition of modest

doesn't it. 1% is modest but

1.5% is modest too. And... If

you listen to Heather Ridout

anything short of 57% is modest. -- 5% is

modest. That's right. Do they

need to say OK we will give

you 1% if they have worked it

out? No, I don't think they

do and certainly not this far

out from an election and certainly not two more Wayne

Swan budget as way from an

election. You have got to

have the government continuing what they did

today, until they announce it

surely. Yeah, you will have

that and it is difficult for

the Opposition and it's eminently exploitable against

them. They are in a very difficult position of having

to argue against the tax.

Mind you it would have been

worse if they had voted

against the mining tax and

then tried to support the

company tax cut. So they have

just got to try and hold firm

and... Or talk about guns.

How unkind of you Samantha. But at the same

time they are supporting part

of a mining tax package, the

superannuation increase. If

the superannuation increases

are passed they will keep

them. Yeah but not these

other elements. Yeah. It's

all very clear David. Very

clear. Mine while Bob Carr,

took to the stage in the

Senate today. His first

Question Time as Foreign

Minister. He copped quite a few questions and it was

interesting everyone shut up

and listened when he did get

to his feet, the first one

was a question from Bob Brown

when we will get the troops

out of Afghanistan. Have a look. Neither we or ore

partners want to repeat the

errors of the past when a

premature withdrawal of

forces simply resulted in the

emergens of a terrorist safe

haven and worse than that, a

colossal deradiation of the

conditions and freedoms of

the struggling... Time has expired. The contest wasn't anything new he talked about

Syria as well but the tone

and delivery was. He could be reading out the phone book

and it would still be sounding really interesting

and romantic. Will we get sick of it at some point or

do you think the sparkle of

Bob xar is going to fascinate

for a while? No, I think he

will hold interest. Mind you

I thought yesterday was a bit

tortured and a bit laboured but once he starts

refining... The attack on Tony Abbott yesterday. Yes,

and getting more comfortable

in the role. I mean he is definitely worth listening to

and you can listen to him all

day and whether he's saying

anything worthwhile or not, it still sounds really good.

Put spoken word versions

people can buy tapes. Kevin

Rudd even as Foreign Minister

did used to get him to

answers in question time that

would list off that many

points and you would get lost

in the answer Bob Carr knows

how to cut through and

deliver. He had a few wobbles in the Senate he kept going over time so he's going

to have to... He's got to get

used to the two minute

clock. He will have to rein

that in but I think it's

interesting and the problem

for the Labor Party, without naming anyone to be too cruel

is they have a lot of people

on their front bench that

when they start talking

people just turn off. Or they

just go to sleep. Be cruel

Samantha. So there are people

making good political points

sometimes that have no

impact. And now they have got

a brand new person in the

form of Bob Carr. We will

see how they government we

will have to leave it there,

Sax Maiden and Niki Savva, we

will talk about the CSIRO's climb report out today after

the Blake. -- climate report

today of the break.

Welcome back to the

program. Well another alarming report on climate

change has been released. The CSIRO Bureau of Meteorology

state of climate snapshot

paints another worrying

picture it says that

Australia is just had its

warmest decade on record,

ocean surface temperatures

the hottest on record in 2010

and 2011. The long range temperature rise is set to

get worse rye of rising

between 1 -- worse, rising

between 1 degrees and 5

dignitaries the greenhouse

gases are at the highest

level in history. Thank you

for joining us, how surprised

were you by the findings in

this latest snapshot? David the findings have been consistent with long term

trends in two years ago we

had the snapshot, and we saw

that decadal trend, each

decade showing warmer temperatures than we have

seen in the decade before.

That trend of course re-enforced in this snapshot,

and we have seen that decade

after decade for the last 70

years. We have also seen our

ocean surface temperatures

showing that steady increase

over 100 years. But how then,

what do you say to people who

say the summer we have just

had wasn't exactly all that

hot. It was pretty wet as

well. Low does that fit with

this picture -- how does that

fit with the picture painted

in the report today? First of

all that's absolutely right.

2010 saw the most rain that

we have ever seen in a two

year period on record. So the

two La Nina years we had of

2010 and 2011 saw a volume of

rain that we haven't seen

before. We also saw during

those two years the hottest

sea temperatures around

Australia that we have seen before. And whilst we know

that sea temperatures are

often warmer with a La Nina

these results were a little

surprising in the sea surface

temperatures so first of all

that's right. We do know that

in our record Australia's

dominated by the droughts and

flooding rains cycle. Very

strong signal in our climate

record. But what we are

seeing superimposed on that

strong variation, is this

very steady warming trend.

We have seen an increase, as

you point to there, in

greenhouse gas particles. The concentration increasing, when are we going to and what

is going to be the tipping

point at which it can't

really be fixed? That it's

going to be unavoidable this continued escalation in

temperature growth? Well, I

am not really here to comment

on what could be or what

might be, really what we have

done here with the snapshot

is focused on what has happened but the feedback we

get from the Australian

people is that they are

really looking to understand the observations they are

looking to understand what

has already happened. And of

course we have already seen

0.96 a dere increase you

mentioned CO2 levels, at 390

parts per million that's the

highest we have seen in the

last 800,000 years and

certainly outside the natural

variations of around 170 to

300 that we have seen in that

period. It's not just the CO2

we are also seeing at the

same time the methane, and

Nitrus Oxide increasing along CO2 during post industrialisation. You said

in the report that there has

been an increase in sea

levels, by how much? Well,

the sea levels just to put it

in context, David, since 1880 through to 2010 sea levels

have risen around the world

about 21cm so about the span

of my hand. And we are seeing

on a yearly basis in northern

Australia that seven to 10, 7

to 11 mm and around Melbourne

and the southern areas we are

seeing around 3 to 5mm of sea

level rise a year. And this

is mostly been driven by the

warming of the oceans so as

the seawater warms, it expands, and that's what's

contributing to the sea level

rise. But it's not the same

around the areas of

Australia. And it's not

exactly the same all over the

world. I know you can't

forecast what is going to

happen but are you able to

say what's likely to happen

with the sea levels? Is that

- because the increases you

mentioned there of the size

of your hand over 100 years doesn't sound like a lot but

are you saying that is going

to escalate, the rate of

increase will rise? We have

certainly seen a very steady

increase in sea level and we

have since about 1993 seen an

increase in that rate of

change. Just a slight

increase which we reported in

this snapshot. So therefore

would you say that that is

likely to increase that rate

is likely to increase in in

the decade as head? Well we will be measuring the rates

and reporting on that but as

we see the oceans storing

more and more heat and they

are a major store of heat for

the earth, as we see them

store that heat as we see the oceans surface temperatures

rise, and the heat in the

oceans rise, we will see

alongside that sea level

rising. Dr Megan Clark head

of the CSIRO thanks so much for joining us this

afternoon. Thank you David.

And that's all we have for

this afternoon's program. We

will be back same time

tomorrow. Don't forget the

Queensland people's forum

tomorrow night live from Brisbane. Anna Bligh and

Campbell Newman facing an

audience of voters, taking

their questions on the issues important to them in this

election campaign. Live

tomorrow night right here on