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Australian Agenda -

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Good afternoon, welcome

to the program. For weeks

Treasurer refresh Wayne Swan

has been complaining about mining magnates having too

much influence in our

national debate. Well, today

the Government couldn't get

enough of naming one of them,

Clive Palmer. The bill heir

Queenslander has been the

subject of ridicule far and

wide today for suggesting a

conspiracy theory, that the

CIA is bankrolling to

undermine Australia's industry. We'll have a look

at the fallout from this and

the actual suggestion itself.

And talking to one of Clive

Palmer's Paul Howes, also checking in on the Queensland election campaign now in its

final days. First for a check

of the top stories this

hour. Hello everyone. Two

police officers have been

injured during a shoot-out

with suspects over a shooting

at a Jewish school in France

which killed four people

including three children. In

Toulouse in southern France

we have some pictures for you

just in there. Elite French

police have launched a

predawn raid on a house, a

suspected gunman is still

holed up in a home at this

location. It's ruffle 5 a.m.

in the morning and police

raided the home around three

hours ago now. Reports of gunfire exchange during that

raid and two officers shot. It's unclear whether there is

one or two suspects involved.

There are reports the suspect

or suspects exchanged words

with police. One man is

believed to have declared

himself to be a member of

Al-Qaeda. Sky News reporter

Steven Carol is in Toulouse

and provided this update.

There have been six or seven

shots fired at this house.

It's in the district of

Toulouse which is about 3 km

from the school which you

mentioned the scene of the

latest three attacks that

took place in and around the

Toulouse area. Of what we

know what's been happening

this morning, a police

operation began about 3

o'clock local time, 2 o'clock

UK time and police have

converge ed on 4 this house

where they believe there are several people they believe

may be involved in these

serious of three attacks. As

I was saying the most recent

one was on a school, a

teacher and three students

were killed there and that

followed an attack in which

two soldiers were kill about

45 km north of Toulouse and

that was the second. The

first had happened the

previous Sunday where another

soldier was killed in uniform

in Toulouse. It's very

difficult to say at this

stage, to talk about

motivation, this is an

ongoing police operation,

shots were heard being fired

in the neighbourhood this

morning. What's interesting

is they were able to trace

the link between these

attacks fairly quickly which

is to do with the kind of

firearms that were used. What

police have been tracing was

this black scooter which was

seen at all three of the

attacks, those are the links

which they had drawn between

the three attacks and

presumably had led them to

this operation this morning

in Toulouse. Wayne Swan has

called Clive Palmer loopy and

Bob Carr says he's threatening foreign

investment in Australia. It follows claims from the

mining magnate that the

Greens are working with the

CIA to destroy Australia's

is now calling to Tony Abbott coal industry. The Government

to distance himself from Mr

Palmer, one of the

Coalition's biggest donors.

Straention things are afoot

in the national capital. For

one cross-party unity. To

all say that we love the

River Murray. It is the life

also love the blood of South Australia. I

Murray-Darling. That's rare.

This raised even more

eyebrows. It's tantamount to treason and something needs

to be done about it. Mining

mag napt Clive Palmer's

claims that the CIA is

bankrolling Greenpeace in an

attempt to bring down the

coal industry is Australia

has drawn ridicule from all

sides. Anyone got any tin

foil hats, we haven't got no

CIA agents here today. Judge

it just goes to show you

don't have to be smart to be

rich. At least he's only

talking about the CIA. I think this is seriously loop

eon. And the Government is

trying to tar the Opposition

with the same brush. When

donors to the Liberal Party you consider that Mr Palmer

and somebody Mr Abbott

listens very closely to, it

does have important Of

course the Green also want to

don't think they needed any stop the coal industry. I

CIA influence though to give

them that position. And the

Foreign Minister believes

there's a more serious point,

foreign investment. Irresponsible comment was

going to have investors and

the American Government

wondering if some part of the

Australian political system

has lost its collective

marbles. And one of the

environmentists at the centre

of his claims is considering

suing for defamation. I

don't take kind ly to that.

On the policy front the

Greens are still playing hard

ball over tax cuts associated

with the mining tax. They've

agreed to relief for small

business but not larger corporations. If the gt

insists on it, it's all or

nothing, well it will be

nothing. The Greens have

said they will support the

tax cut for small business. So you guarantee you will

deliver the small business

cut. Of course we will

deliver that. The Government

says some relief's already

been delivered through tax

breaks passed this week. To

the Queensland election

campaign now and both leaders

are continuing to fight right

up to the very end. Campbell

Newman was in Bundaberg today

and has confirm ed he will

release his election costings tomorrow, two days before

Queenslanders head to the

polls. Tom colonel has been

following Mr Newman.

Campbell Newman is on a

whistle stop tour of

Queensland today. He started

off in a solar powered CCTV

plant where he spoke about

one of his favourite recurring threms of the

election, cost of living.

High costs of housing, high

rents, high cost of buying a

house, high cost of living

and the policies of the LNP

are designed to address those problems. Campbell Newman

has also been willing to

speak about two federal

issues he says he'll fight the carbon tax although

hasn't detailed now. He has

previously said he'll fight

the mining tax. He says he

won't be joining Twiggy

Forrest in his action on one

proviso. We want to see the money coming back to Queensland. If that's not

going to be the case then I

would support him. The LNP

leader has been under

constant pressure to reveal

his costings. He says that

day will be tomorrow, but he

says that's plenty of time in

which to scrutinise the

costings. All the dollars

we're promising, matched by

identification is a, reviewed

and signed off, and again the

point I make is that our

costings total around the $4

billion and that is less than

2% of projected expenditures

over that four year period.

The Labor Party is revealing

its costings today. The

Premier is in the south-east

today, she started the day in

the Gold Coast, she's

continuing what she calls the

Bligh blitz, a tactic she

used in the lass election.

Now to the Anna Bligh

campaign and the Premier has

returned to Brisbane this

afternoon. Sky News political

reporter Laura Jayes has been

following Ms Bligh today. She

joins me now live. Good

afternoon Vanessa, yes, Labor

beat the LNP to it today by

releasing its costings for

all the premises it's made

over the last five weeks.

Anna Bligh has made just

under $2 billion worth of

promise, more than half will

be paid for by additional GST

revenue, the other half by a

redirection of funding and

also savings made in the

budget. She says this has

been independently verified

and will bring the budget

back in surplus by 2014,

2015. Labor has committed to $1.79 billion of new

initiatives, just over $1

billion of that is from new

funding identified as new

forecasts on GST during that

time. The remaining comes from reallocations of

existing funds. This means

that Labor will with these

election commitments still

see the budget return to

surplus in 2014. And the

blitz continued for Anna

Bligh in the last three or

four days. She's covered

around 25 electorates. You

get the feeling this is a

last dich effort to hold on

to some of those Labor seats

and stem the flow of seats

going to the LNP. There's

been no new announcements in

the last few days. This is

just the run-up to Saturday

now and expected Anna Bligh

to be in a lot more electorates. She's trying to

get to 50 before

Queenslanders go to the polls

on Saturday. I guess we'll

know soon enough if it's paid

off. Australian mountain climber Lincoln Hall has

died. The world renowned mountaineer who was a member

of the 1984 first Australian

effort expedition died

peacefully in a Sydney

hospital. Hall was well-known

for his feat of survival on

Everest in 2006 when he

collapsed just be low and was

thought to have died. He was

found alive the next morning

by climbers on their way up

the mountain. He was 56. The Republican presidential

hopeful Mitt Romney has

scored a decisive victory in

the Illinois primary. He won

about double the number of

votes given to his closest

rival Rick Santorum. It takes

Romney ever nearer to his

goal of challenging Barack

Obama in November's

election. Each day we move

closer not just to victory

but America. Join us, join

us, together we're going to

ensure that America's

greatest days are still

ahead. Thank you guys. Thank

you so much. A quick look at

sport now and Manly's Tony

Williams has accepted a 7

week suspension. The Sea

eagle sought legal advice to

get the utilities grade 4

dangerous charge downgraded

but the nrm has decided to

accept the charge meaning

Williams will miss the Anzac

test against New Zealand.

He's very dis appointed.

Started the year really well.

A lot of stuff coming up for

him in regards to representative season and

pushing forward. To a

position in one of the teams.

And he's shattered. Williams

won't be back but will be

available for State of

Origin. Tomorrow's forecast,

heavy rain for south-eastern

Queensland, cool in the

south, sunny in the west.

It's 12 minutes past 4

eastern daylight time. Now

back to David Speers in

Canberra as PM Agenda

continues. After the break

we'll be talking to yaob

leader Paul Howes. He's a

chief critic of Clive Palmer

who's certainly come under

fire pour his conspiracy

teary about the -- theory about the CIA. Stay with us.

Welcome to the program.

Clive Palmer's CIA conspiracy

theory yesterday was amusing

to most who heard it. But it

was also an absolute

political gift for the

Government today. For the

last few weeks Treasurer

Wayne Swan has been raging

against the mining magnates,

Clive Palmer, twiggy forest,

Gina Rinehart, accusing them

have having too much

influence in particular over

the Coalition. Generous

donations to the conservative

side of politics in this

country. Clive Palmer who has

been a chief critic of both

the mining magnates has a big

dent in his credibility as a result of this suggestion

that the CIA is bankrolling

efforts to undermine

Australia's coal and coal

seam gas sectors. Here was

some of the reaction both inside and outside parliament

today. This is a bizarre

always and I do have to wonder whether perhaps Mr

Palmer has been watching too

much "Get smart". He

certainly is working very

closely with chaos over

there. The total

contribution to the Coalition

today from Mr Palmer is over

$4 million. Order, order.

To attend a meeting... Is

aware that Clive Palmer is

not relevant to the answer.

Mr Palmer is saying he will

take to the High Court. He

will substance the question

and not mention Mr Palmer

again. Liberal's asked... The Leader of the Opposition

will resume his seat. I

think this is seriously loopy

stuff from Mr Palmer. It's a

recklessly irresponsible...

Ministers and the American

Government wondering if some

part of the Australian system

has lost its collective

marbles. It just goes to

show you don't have to be

smart to be rich. Never

before have members of

parliament quoted him as much

as today. Late today Clive

Palmer made a statement which

says he has no... he is maintaining his accusation

that Drew Hutton the chief

critic - is funded by foreign

interests, notably the rock feller foundation and not

backing away from his claims

about CIA involvement that he

made yesterday.. I've had

meetings with lawyers and

they've told me that I have a

very good case, in fact, this

guy has actually accused me

of treason and betraying my

country. From our supporters

who are Australians and who

donate to our expenses.

Well, someone who's been a

chief critic of Clive Palmer

particularly over the mining

tax and the carbon tax is

Paul Howes the head of the

Australian Workers Union. He

joins me now. Thanks for your

time. Thanks David. You

rarely see eye to eye with Clive Palmer but do you at

least share his concerns,

which is what this is all

about really, the Greenpeace

campaign against coal

developments and coal seam

gas developments. Absolutely

and I don't support those campaigns, I think they are damaging to our national

interests and our resources

sector. I don't at any point

presume that the rock feller

foundation, the Rand

corporation, any secret

societies in the US or indeed

the US Government is in any

way directing this. This is nutss. This is nuts coming

from a guy that is - is a

Liberal National Party's

largest donor, is going to be

the man pulling the strings

behind Campbell Newman's

Government come Monday and to

borrow a line from the great Anthony Albanese in your

guts, you know he's nuts, and

this is just mental. Why Tony

Abbott hasn't come out today

and directed the LNP to kick

this guy out of their party,

to distance themselves from

these crazy kind of tin foil

hat wearing, were you guys

sitting in their underwear

typing on their blogs in the

middle of the night

statements is beyond emoo. They should distance

themselves as quickly as

possible. If it's a crime to

have someone donating to your

party who espouses this

yearies like this, shouldn't

Labor look in ilets own backyard as well about

various claims that have been

made about donors to the

Labor Party. It's not a

crime to donate. Find me a

life member who is making

similar statements. Clive

Palmer was a warded the

highest honest, that is life

membership. In the Labor

Party we've got people like

Paul Keating. Mark Latham.

He's not a life member. He's

been a leader. I would vote

against that resolution any

day of the week. You made

him leader. Not me, but this

is a guy who is without a

doubt on any objective

analysis incredibly

influential in the Queensland

LNP. Should the LNP stop

taking money from Clive Palmer? More importantly

they should kick him out of

their party. They should take their life membership on off it. There's some other

elements about Clive Palmer's

business that needs to be looked into here. Yesterday that press conference, what

was he standing in front of,

a big podium that says China

first, his new business

enterprise. In Clive's mind

it's okay to be cosy in bed

with the Chinese Communist

Party and the secret police

running that state but to

have any allegiance or money

or any association with the

United States - closest ally

is somehow treasonus. We saw

this when... US marines based

in Darwin. Franksly what I

lament for is our country.

Our luck seems to run out

when it comes - the US gets

Warren bufferet, George

seweries, Bill Gates. We get

Twiggy Forrest, Gina Rinehart

and bloody Clive Palmer who's

nuts, on any type of test.

Frankly our country deserves

better. You've said that the LNP shouldn't accept money

from Clive Palmer. Labor has

also accepted $150,000 in

recent years. I don't think they should accept these

payments in the future. That

amount that's gone to WA

Labor appeals into

insignificance when you

consider the huge amounts of

money - money is money and a

couple of million dollars

doesn't suck up equally with

150,000. The use of minimum

rolling's plains. Some money

from Clive Palmer is

okay. No, I didn't say that.

I think we shouldn't accept

money into the future . The important thing here to

recognise, this is not some

fringe lune tick on the edges

of society making these crazy claims. This is a guy that

has a direct line to the

people in power within the

LNP in Queensland that is a

worry. Let's move on from

Clive Palmer. I want to ask you specifically about the

mining tax. It's now gone

through the Senate this week.

There is uncertainty about

the company tax cut it's

meant to pay for. Do you

agree with the Government the

company tax cut should go to

all companies or should it

only go to small and medium

size businesses? I agree

with the Government.

Ultimately this was a package

that was negotiated and they

have been promoting for a

long period of time. I was a

bigger fan of the RSTP

proposal but unfortunately

because of of the plan funded

by people like Clive Palmer

that was lost in the public

space. I think it was

unfortunate but the MRRT is a

great first step and for once

the Australian people are

actually get a fair share

from the enormous wealth

that's being generated by

some individuals from an

asset that actually belongs

to all. As Bob Brown says, a

dental scheme... It doesn't

just fund a tax cut. But

about $2 billion is going to

big business tax cut. Do you

support that. You're a

company like BlueScope Steel,

OneSteel, Alcoa, Qantas who is struggling under the

pressure of the high Australian dollars at the

moment getting a tax cut in

this form actually will be of

great assistance. Clive

Palmer's companies, the big

banks. As Twiggy says,

they're not paying tax

anyway. I'd like to have a

proper look into what these

big miners are doing. I have

said in the past I do think there is justification for

further tax cuts for those dollar exposed companies but I don't believe necessarily

the resource companies or the big financial institutions

want it. Speaking about

these dollar exposed big

manufactures, now the carbon

tax, there's been growing

pressure on the Government to

rethink the $23 a tonne starting price and alsost

fact when we do go to a

fleeting price there's going

to be a floor of $15, it

won't go below that. Yet the

international price is a lot

more than that at the moment.

Are you worried about these

as well? The funny thing

about the reports I've read,

I speak to CEO's of major

manufacturings on a daily

basis. Not one of them has

raised with me directly any

concerns about the package

that was negotiated. Now you

know our union had some

concerns about the package

when it was first put up but

way sat down and negotiated

in good faith with the

Government and with industry

to get a package which

delivers certainty for where

or economy is going, the

right thing to do by the

environment but most

importantly protects existing

jobs in those sectors. The

Australian dollar going

through the roof, the lack of

action by the RBA in

addressing the Australian

dollars is the major issue.

The question was the $23

starting price and $15 floor price are you happy with

that? David this is not the

issue we're dealing with at

the moment. I'm asking whether you're comfortable with it representing

manufacturing workers? It's important that learned

members of press start to ask the right questions here.

Whether you think it's the

right question or not, you're

not answering it., the right

question is assist the price

where it's starting agreed to

by most major industries, is

that there is a cap on how

how it can be agreed to,

absolutely, yes I do. Do you

agree. Yes I do, Thank

you. But I think that this

is a furphy, the most

important issue for trade exposed industries at the

moment is the dollar and for

an industry like aluminium

the carbon tax will equate to

an equivalent of about a 1 cent appreciation in the Australian dollars and over

the last five years we've

seen a po #3rs increase in

the Australian dollars. The

carbon tax is irrelevant.

The Government today

announced a third stage of

antidumping legislation,

essentially giving the

Minister more power to

declare when something is

dumping. You've been pushing

for this. I guess another win

for you on this front. Can

you give me an example of how

this would work, where this

extra power would be used. Minister Clair introduced it

today, it's a great package.

It's important to recognise

that Australia's antidumping

system has been broken for

many, many years over

successful Governments. This

unshackles the Minister to be

able to get more personally

involved in ensuring that when illegal foreign dumping

is taking place in this

country we actually get an appropriate and pro active

response from Government. The

previous legislation restricted the Minister's

ability in that regard and

with the new system we'll be

able to have some good action

taken. Thank you. Thanks

David. After the break we're

standing by Bob Carr's speech

to Parliament. Also our

panel, Mark Kenny and Andrew proefen, stay with us.

You're watching PM Agenda.

A quick check of the news

head lines. Here's Vanessa.

Two police officers have been

injured during a shoot-out

with a suspect or suspects

over a shooting at a Jewish

school in France which killed

four children including three

children. Elite French police

carried out a predawn raid

incomes with the murders in

the southern town of

Toulouse. There are also

reports of a suspect with

possible links to Al-Qaeda.

It's understood he is

currently holed up inside a

house holding police at bay. The Government is calling on

the Opposition to distance

itself from mining billion air Clive Palmer after his

comments linking the Green

movement to a CIA conspiracy

to damage Australia's mining interests. Treasurer Wayne

Swan has called Mr Palmer's

remarks "loopy" and said the

Coalition should reconsider

its relationship with the

mining boss, also one of its

biggest donors. Mr Abbott

laughed off the suggestion

describing Palmer as a

colourful character. Members

of the Greens have called him

a crackpot. US presidential

hopeful Mitt Romney has won

the Illinois Republican

primary. He won about double

the number of votes given to

his closest rival Rick

Santorum. It takes Romney

even near ore to his goal of

challenging Barack Obama in

November's election.

Australian mountain climber

Lincoln Hall has died from me

theme yoma. He was a member

of the 1984 first Australian

Everest expedition. In 2006

he survived a night alone on

the summit after he collapsed

just below the peak. He died peacefully in a Sydney

hospital aged 56. And Manly

has taken the early guilty

plea and won't fight Tony

Williams dangerous throw

charge at the NRL Judishie.

It means the forward will be

rubbed out for 7 weeks.

Tomorrow's forecast, heavy

rain for south-eastern Queensland, cool in the

south, sunny in the west.

Thank you, welcome back to

the program. We're standing

by to bring you Bob Carr's

maiden speech to the Senate.

That's due to happen fairly

soon. In the meantime our

panel, Andrew Probyn from the

Western Australian and Mark

Kenny from 'The Advertiser'

thank you both for joining

me. I want to start on Clive Palmer which was great fodder

for the Government today. I

think every opportunity they

got was having fun at Clive Palmer's expense much the

pressure they're trying to apply is on Tony Abbott here

to embarrass him. Can Tony

Abbott really be held

accountable for something

Clive Palmer says. I guess

not literally. That's not

what politics is about, not

about litral accountant but

associating him with some

pretty crackpot points of

view. Clive Palmer is as

someone said a colourful

character, so associating him with the Liberal Party is

sort of tainted by association. I think they were talking about what was

it, $4 million. Over some

years. That's enormous for

one person. John Howard he

did say the Liberal Party

were broad church but I think

they will have to build a new

annex. I think it's one of

the golden rules of politics,

Clive Palmer is prosecuting

an argument against his

opponents there, Greenpeace,

but with the CIA involvement

and treason as he did yesterday, how much is this

going to hurt him, do you

think and his credibility on

the many issues that he

enters the debate on? I

think he's quite ady vicive

character anyway. It probably

won't shape, only harden perceptions of him. I think

that's the way he is. He

changes his targets almost

daily. It was the football

association a few weeks back.

What I like about this story

is that it does, it's a bit

like urban myths, we all like

talking about urban myths

because they're fascinate

can. This is fascinating, we

put this story on p.1. We've

had some amazing letters

back. Are people buying the

conspiracy theory? This is

one of the things, of course

there's been a long interest

in the CIA in domestic

politics. It's more about the

important strategic influence

of Australia in the region.

You can see the problem Clive

Palmer has, he basically has

a very strong vested interest

here and he's up against

people who don't appear to

have a vested interest, that

is Greenpeace or the

environment movement, people

who are opposed to an

increased number of ships

going through the barrier

reef and opposed to carbon

emitting coal and so forth.

In a sense he's trying to say

it's not only me who has a

vested interest, these people

are manipulated by a foreign

power, funded by a foreign

power. There's a hidden

interest here. He was trying

to match up the other side

and taint them. I don't think

anyone who's very serious

about this is going to take

it all that seriously. Let's look at the more serious

debate about the mining tax.

It has gone through but there

is still debate about the company tax cut that it's

meant to pay for. The Greens

are holding pretty firm on

this. They'll only support a

company tax cut for small and

medium size businesses. The

Government though wants it to

go to all businesses. Wayne

Swan the Treasurerer this morning here on Sky News

spoke about this with ciern Gilbert. We've already established that we were

going to. In the longer

term. The Prime Minister

said it yesterday in the

longer term we don't accept a

two tiered system. The reason

it's in play is Mr Abbott is

opposing this vital cut.

What's your message to small business though, people out

there struggling with their

small businesses. Our

message is we're delivering.

Will you deliver regardless

whether the Greens are going

to manage the larger cuts.

The green s have said they

will support the tax cut.

You guarantee you will deliver the small business cut. Of course we will

deliver that. We will deliver

as we have delivered in the

parliament in the last couple

of days this tax break for

2.7 million small

businesses. So asked there

can you guarantee you'll

deliver the small tax cut. He says of course. Does that

give you any insight where

this is all going to end up?

There's two ways you can do this, you can split is it and

do the first franch of

company cuts first. That will

obviously go through. If

they're going to play a game

of blink with the Greens,

Wayne Swan is suggesting they

won't hold it down. It's going to be interesting. I

think one of the criticisms

that's been made of Bob Brown

over this whole issue is that

he signalled from the start

he would support it even if

he didn't get his way. He's

copped a bit of critic for

that along the way insofar as

how can we take his criticism

seriously if he doesn't take

a stand. Maybe he's trying to

take a stand here. Hard

balling on not giving a

business tax cut. Wayne Swan

says we don't want to end up

with the two tier tax system.

What wonders to the extents

you could call it a two

tiered tax system. The number

of small businesses that are

actually incorporated and

would be eligible for the tax

cut is small. It's the 2.7

small businesses that the Government... No, it's said

to be 30% of that and of that

not all of them pay company

tax as I understand it.

Nonetheless the Government is

using the Coalition's refusal

to back this tax cut at every

opportunity as well. In

parliament today questions to

the Treasurer about this, and

on the other side the

Opposition focussing very

much on the carbon tax with

very specific examples about

businesses that will be

affected. They want to focus

on the carbon tax, the

Government want to focus on

the tax cut. It's like ping

pong. The ovp signify is

targeting the carbon tax,

producing some pretty

compelling xaxtss of small

businesses that are going to

be hit by significant

increases in energy costs and

what that actually amounts

to. The Government's response

is to say you're the people

who are denying these small

businesses company tax cuts.

It does dget really answer

it. That's the main

difference between this and

say the GST arguments we had

10 years ago because for months, I don't know if you

guys remember it, we had

Question Times dominated by

Labor asking, packets of

chips, all sorts of things

going up. It became a really interesting argument because

you had a Government trying

to talk to the punter and

assure the punter. That's

what's happening here.

There's been a more recent

example with the very

successful case against WorkChoices because that was

a case of bringing in on a

daily basis examples of

16-year-old Sam who worked at

a service station who was

being exploited, whatever.

That's sort of taken politics

to the retail and it can be effective. The Government's

been handed a gift here

really by the Opposition's

quite ideological opposition

to their company tax cuts. If the Opposition believes in

lower taxes for business then

it ought not worry about how

that is funded. What it ought

to be saying is we are going

to be delivering tax cuts to

business, therefore we will

support these tark cuts for

business, but we will fund

them different ly. Where's the money going to come

from. I agree it does open

them up to another criticism

but they're all sort of

fiscally consistent. And are

being fiscally consistent. No, because

you're actually proposing a

tax cut anyway. They're

saying it's a modest cut.

They're going to come up with

at least the same size cut.

How are they going to fund

it? The Murray-Darling, your paper 'The Advertiser' this

morning organise ed an "I

love the Murray" campaign

which drew all leaders to

voice their support. I want

to play you a sample of what

they had to say. To all say

that we love the River

Murray. It is the life blood

of South Australia. I also

love the Murray-Darling. If

you've just been watching

that on tele vision this

morning you'd be forgiven

tore thinking what was the

argument about. I thought it

was an episode of black

adder, the last comment. We

were criticising Bob Brown

for being Swho humourless

about the Clive Palmer stuff.

His timing there was good. It

is very much a South

Australian focussed issue and

it's easy in the eastern

states for it to be reduced

to that or for it to be gee grarfegly marginalised. The

point is they're not all on

the same page. No, Tony Burke

got up and talked about 122

days of this consultation

period, clearly divisions on

the Opposition side between

the Nationals and the

Liberals and Tony Burke made

some political mileage out of

that. It will be a very difficult issue for both

sides of pool ticks to handle

when it comes down to it because in South Australia I

can tell you the optight is

only for a proper solution,

not for something that's a

political fix. And that

pressure is honourable gentlemen from South

Australian Labor. It is,

we've had the State Premier

there talking about the

possibility of a legal

challenge. Legal challenges

are the favour of the month.

Mark Kenny, Andrew Probyn,

good to talk to you both.

After the break we'll still

standing by for Bob Carr's

speech in the Senate. Also

checking in on the Queensland

election Sxan, now in its final days.

Welcome back to the

program. We're going to turn now to the Queensland

election campaign. Just a few

days to go in what has surely

been one of the longest

election campaigns anyone can

remember. Today the focus has

been on costings. We're yet

to see the LNP's numbers but

Labor has produced theirs. In

a moment we'll be talking to

Dennis Atkins from 'The

Courier Mail'. Labor has

beat the LNP to it and

released the costings of its

election promises three days

out from polling day. Over

the last five weeks Anna

Bligh has made just under $2

billion worth of pledges and

she says more than half of it

will be paid by additional

GST revenue and also by

redirecting funds and making

savings in the budget. Labor

says this is a plan that has been independently verified

and will bring the state

budget back into surplus by

2014, 2015. This means that

Labor will still see the

budget return to surplus in

2014. Costings have been a

constant pressure point for Campbell Newman during this

campaign and he says all will be revealed tomorrow and

there will be plenty of time

for scrutiny. Absolutely,

fully costed, all the dollars

we're promising. Savings,

reviewed and signed off. But

Campbell Newman has another

headache on his hands as he

tries to distance himself

from the comments made by

mining magnate Clive Palmer.

Nothing to do with him, he

says, but for Anna Bligh it

was a chance to score some

easy political points. These

kind of stupid comments don't

help but if people think that

Mr Palmer is bizarre and a

bit whablingy they'd better

get used to it because if LNP

wins Government both will be

back in Jarge Street. And in

that greater Brisbane area,

Anna Bligh will continue her

blitz on electorates in and

around this city, but you get

the idea that this is just a

last-ditch effort to stem the

flow of seats going to the

LNP. Let's go live now to

Dennis Atkins at the courier

'Mail'. Labor's costings

today show they're planning

to get an extra $1 billion in

GST revenue. Is that wishful

thinking or a safe bet for

Labor? Well, they... it's

money that will come to

Queensland because of the

extra costs that have been

imposed on the state after

the floods and the cyclones

that we've had over the last

12 months. I think there's a

credible case there for it.

It does give Labor a bit of

something up its sleeve in

terms of funding but also it

gives the LNP something up its sleeve in terms of

funding. The LNP can grab

that billion dollars and

pocket it and say that will

help fund all our pronles as

well. The LNP's Campbell

leaving it to the last

moment. He's got a former

auditor-general to do the

numbers on this to give it

some authority. He's got to

find though a fair bit of

money to pay for all the

things he's promised. How big

a deal will this be

tomorrow? We'll wait and see

exactly what they come up

with. It will be a bit of a

big deal. Oppositions have a

pretty rocky track record,

whether they're at a federal

or state level in terms of

giving credible costings out.

The LNP have got anywhere

between $4 billion and $8 billion worth of promises and

they're going to have to come up with some credible numbers. I don't think it

will be easy for them. There

will be a lot of fudging in

there where they say there

are savings in terms of waste

and this, that and the other.

But they really do need to

come up with some credible

costings. Labor has also

been, Anna Bligh has been

launching this last minute push to warn voters against

giving the LNP un fettered

power. Clearly she can read

the polls as well as anyone

and knows that Labor is on

track to be left with not

much more than a cricket team

full of members in parliament. Is that going to

wash with voters, this warning about giving Campbell

Newman too much power? Well,

two things, David. I'm not

sure that many Queenslanders

really know what the meaning

of un fettered power is. So

that might be a bit of a

hitch for Labor. But the

other thing is I don't know

how many times when you and I

have discussed politics,

Queensland politics or national politics over the

last few years, when I've

said I've never seen anything

like this. Well I have never

seen anything like this. I've

never seen a political party

taking out television ads,

newspaper ads which basically

say we have lost this

election, we are gone for all

money, please don't give the

other side all of the seats.

And that's essentially what

they're saying. It is quite

remarkable. And Campbell

Newman's not just facing

pressure from Labor, facing

pressure from Katter's

Australia party as well. The

Katter party has today accused the LNP of dodgy

tricks in a preference deal

or a proposed preference deal

in one key seat. Yes, this is

the seat of Nicklin on the

Sunshine Coast. It's been

held by an independent, Peter Wellington since the late

90s, he has been a real

Independent and he's gone

this way or that depending on

what the issues are. But the

LNP are very keen to push him

aside and stop him from

winning yet again. The claim

from... is that the LNP

offered to pay for their how

to vote cards if the Katter

Australia party gave the LNP

preferences There's one

small detail which doesn't

really pass the sniff test and that is this conversation

about all this happened a day

a after the parties had to

lodge their how to vote cards

with the electoral commission. So I think it's a

bit have a stunt. Just finally how's the Katter

party going to do? What sort

of seat numbers are you expecting? Well I've actually been pretty

consistent in my view on the

Katter party all along. I

think they'll get a credible

get bit of the vote and in

some electorates outside of

the south-east corner they

may get up into the high

teens, perhaps as much as

20%. It won't be enough to

win them many, if any seats.

I think they've got an

exceptionally good chance of

winning the seat of Mount

Isa, where bobcat er's son is

running, I think the LNP primary vote which at the

moment I believe is sitting

somewhere between 49 and 53%,

I think that is too much of a

hurdle for them to get ore.

Thanks for that, not long to

find out whether all those

predictions are going to come

right. We'll talk to Dennis

in the next couple of days as

we count down to that

Queensland election, day and

night with coverage right

here on Sky News. And the

count on Saturday we'll have

all the experts with us. As

we bring you this exhaustive

campaign. We're out of time

for today's program. Stay

with us. After the break the very latest Sky News.