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Crean warns leak could hurt Govt -

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ELEANOR HALL: Trade Minster Simon Crean has a long history in Federal Labor Cabinets and he is
warning today that the leak could be damaging to the operation of the Rudd ministry.

The Minister spoke about the leak during a press conference this morning.

The ABC's Chief Political correspondent Lyndal Curtis asked him whether he was worried about a
cabinet leak so early in the government's term.

SIMON CREAN: I'm not too sure that the Cabinet is leaking but these are issues that obviously you
would prefer they didn't happen. I don't think it is any surprise that Cabinets and particularly
ours, Labor Cabinets and I have been in a number of them over a number of years, that there are
differences of opinion.

It is the robustness of the Cabinet process that resolves those differences. Importantly, it is not
just the principle of Cabinet solidarity but the ensuring the documents don't leak is a very
important part of that.

LYNDAL CURTIS: Should there be an enquiry with this one?

SIMON CREAN: Well, that is a matter for the Prime Minister in his consideration but it is not in a
government's interest and I don't believe it is in the national interest for documents of Cabinet
to be leaked.

Cabinets are very, are the most important decision making processes in a country. They have to
involve commitment. They have to involve an honesty and they have to involve a rigor and people
can't... people need to be confident that in expressing their views, and then ultimately accepting
the discipline, that their views and the circumstances in which they are argued, are not
misrepresented and they can be through selective leaking.

LYNDAL CURTIS: FuelWatch is the one scheme the government has in short-term to try to help bring
down fuel prices. Doesn't the leaking of this document blunt your political attack? Does it make

SIMON CREAN: No, I don't think it blunts the political attack at all. I think that FuelWatch after
robust debate is still and accepted by a significant number of not just the Cabinet and the
Parliamentary party but on the advice we had and Martin I see today has indicated he now accepts
this position, this is a mechanism that brings importantly scrutiny to petrol prices.

Better information and based on the WA experience, has brought petrol prices down and I would have
thought that is in the interests of advancing, of trying to give people information, make that
information available and put pressure on the market to adjust accordingly.

I think it is a good thing.

ELEANOR HALL: That is the Trade Minister, Simon Crean, speaking to our Chief Political
correspondent Lyndal Curtis.