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PM pours praise on deputy -

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PETER CAVE: The Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard was singled out this morning by the Prime
Minister for mention in his speech as a woman of strength, energy and conviction.

The Employment Minister, which she also has carriage of, has been given the job of creating those
green jobs that the Prime Minister spoke about.

Julia Gillard joined us at our conference studio. She spoke to our chief political correspondent
Lyndal Curtis about the outbreak of unity on display.

JULIA GILLARD: Well this is a working conference. This is a conference during the life of a Labor
Government. We are obviously taking the opportunity to mark what the Government has done to date,
like getting rid of WorkChoices and starting the education revolution.

But we're down to business, to renew and talk about the policy agenda for the rest of the
Government and how we can create a stronger and fairer country.

LYNDAL CURTIS: Does it though mean the death of public debate in the Labor Party?

JULIA GILLARD: Well you'll see passion and you will see people putting forward their views during
the course of national conference. This is a party in which people come to participate in national
conference, take out a membership ticket, because they are desperate, passionate to make this a
better nation and you'll see that on display.

Obviously this is a mature political party that accepts the discipline necessary for government,
the focus that government requires and the hard work that government requires and you'll see that
on display too.

LYNDAL CURTIS: If we can go to some of the issues that the conference will debate, I understand
that there is an agreed resolution which will have something to say against anybody having, any
organisation having coercive powers over one group of employees.

You've kept the coercive powers in the Australian Building and Construction Commission. Will you be
voting for this resolution?

JULIA GILLARD: Look there will be a resolution that comes forward which indicates that coercive
powers shouldn't be a continuing feature of Australia's workplace relations system.

The Government's legislation is legislation about cultural change in the building industry. It's
legislation with a five-year sunset period.

So I will be obviously looking at the resolution but as I understand the terms of the resolution
it's consistent with Government policy.

LYNDAL CURTIS: So could that be termed a weasel word, a get-out clause for you to continue to keep
the coercive powers of the ABCC?

JULIA GILLARD: The Government's policy here is clear. It's announced. It's been through Labor
caucus. We have legislation that is under discussion now and indeed in a Senate inquiry now. That
is the Government's position. Obviously conference is the opportunity for people to have a say in
that.

LYNDAL CURTIS: There's also as I understand it a resolution against removing the protection against
imported books. How does that stand with your Government's commitment to having no protectionist
measures?

JULIA GILLARD: Well on those resolutions I haven't seen the resolution. I understand that there
will be one dealt with at some point during the course of conference.

There is a balance that needs to be worked through about our culture heritage, our literary
heritage, as well as making sure that consumers can get good access to books at cheap prices. The
resolution obviously will be looking at those concerns.

LYNDAL CURTIS: But is the Government committed to the removal or to avoiding the reintroduction of
protectionist measures in any area?

JULIA GILLARD: Well this is a Government that says and focuses on free trade because we're a great
trading nation. Trade is good for our economy. Trade is very important to the jobs of Australians.

If we look across the spectrum of what people do in this country - in agriculture, in mining, in
services - we are a great trading economy. That's why we focus on free trade. That's why Simon
Crean as Trade Minister focuses on making sure we've got fair access to international markets.

Of course even within the free trade rules that bind this country and other countries, there is the
ability to deal with your own cultural content. We see that through having great institutions like
the ABC.

Now on the question of the books resolution I haven't specifically seen that but clearly people are
weighing up those sorts of factors.

LYNDAL CURTIS: Finally the Prime Minister spoke this morning about building a long term reformist
government for the long term future.

You're only 18 months into your first term. Are you already starting to look at the pitfalls that
have beset long term governments in the past - the need to avoid policy reform fatigue and also the
need for renewal?

JULIA GILLARD: This is a Government that's always been focused on the long term - focused on the
long term for the country.

That's why we went to the 2007 election talking about the things that we need to change now that
will make a difference for this nation's long term future: the education revolution, tackling
climate change, the national broadband network, nation building and investing in infrastructure. We
are continuing those themes at this conference.

PETER CAVE: The Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard speaking there to our chief political
correspondent Lyndal Curtis.

TWT Extra - Extended interview with Julia Gillard