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ABC News Breakfast -

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(generated from captions) The search for the truth

Parliament must test Craig - an Independent MP says

Thomson's allegations A gunman

fires at police as a Melbourne

siege enters its second

day. NATO agrees to hand over

to Afghan next year As agreed

to by 2014 when the ISAF combat

mission will end. And Ben Barba

and the Bulldogs savage the

Sharks in the NRL. Good

morning. It's Tuesday, 22nd

May. I'm Michael Rowland And

I'm Karina Carvalho. The top

story on ABC News Breakfast -

Independent MP Rob Oakeshott

says Parliament needs to test

Craig Thomson's statement that

he didn't misuse union funds.

Mr Thomson has denied Fair Work

Australia's finding that he

used union money to pay for

prostitutes. He has accused

former union official Marco

Bolano of setting him up, an

accusation Mr Bolano is

fiercely denying. Mr Rob

Oakeshott says he find's Mr

Thomson's account unlikely and

Parliament has to test

it Either Craig has got it

wrong and is quickly going to

go out the back door based on

misleading Parliament, or we have pretty substantial

allegations going right back to Fair Work Australia, the

learningth of time they took

and for pretty badly landing

rocket some of these findings. A

rocket is go to go one way or

the other, it's not for me to

judge, but over the coming days

and weeks, we need to get an answer on who is right and who

is wrong because evidence is

rung into each other. For more,

Melissa Clarke joins us from

Canberra. Good morning,

Melissa. Craig Thomson made

some rather explosive claims

and allegations in his

he statement. How have the people

he has named responded? Well,

the direct response has been

denials all round from Craig

Thomson's allegations. During

his speech in Parliament which

took an hour to deliver, he

managed to get across a number

of people's names, put forth

and details what his concerns

were when it comes to the

deputy General Secretary of the

HSU East branch, Marco Bolano.

He accused him of being the one

behind a threat to set him up

behind a threat to set him up

with prostitutes. Marco Bolano

has denied that and has raised

concerns about Craig Thomson's

state of mind in amongst his

denials. There were also claims

against Michael Lawler, the

Vice President of Fair Work

Australia as the partner of

Kathy Jackson, a rival in the

union of the HSU. He raised

questions about Michael

Lawler's influence over the

Fair Work Australia's findings

and also raised his own

allegations against Kathy

Jackson's pay and use of union

funds. Kathy Jackson has

defended both herself and her

partner as well and has denied

any of the suggestions that

Craig Thomson made that there

had been a confrontation

between him and Marco Bolano

and that she had been made aware of

and ignored. So she was

vociferous in all her denial of

allegations when she spoke to

'7:30' last night.

Did you witness any kind of

confrontation between those two men? Never Mr Thomson says he

wrote to you about that. Have

you I have never received a

letter. If he has a letter, he

should provide it not only to

me, but to the police or strike

force Carnarvon. Are you aware

of consorting with

prostitutes? No. Are you aware

of a conversation where it was

a common practice of the Victorian branch to do

that? No. That's Kathy Jackson,

the HSU national secretary

speaking to Chris Uhlmann on

'7:30' last night. What about

the political reaction, Mel?

The Independents were waiting for Craig Thomson's statement

before they would decide to

support any action against

him? Well, what we have is the

Government defending and trying

to avoid debate on the speech

itself, even though very few

government members were

actually tht chamber to support

Craig Thomson at the time. From

the Opposition, they are trying

to make moves against him in

the Parliament, using tactics.

We understand they will

continue to try to suspend him,

potentially for 14 days, but

that will require, of course,

getting the support of

crossbenchers. Now,

crossbenchers have been very

eager to hear Craig Thomson

defend himself, but haven't

been so keen on taking formal

action. What we've heard from

Rob Oakeshott, the Independent

Member for Lyon is that he has

concerns about the process. He

is very concerned about the

fact that you clearly have the findings of a statutory authority like Fair Work

Australia and a comprehensive report saying one thing and

Craig Thomson saying directly

to Parliament another thing,

and he is concerned that there

isn't a good mechanism in place

for the Parliament to

necessarily be able to resolve

what is a clear conflict or clearly directly contrasting

stories, and Rob Oakeshott is

calling for debate in

Parliament to try to resolve

some of these issues. That's

what he told 'Lateline' last

night. What now is somewhat

difficult and needs a bit of

thought is just what is the

status of these Fair Work

Australia findings. It should

be the expectation of Parliamentans and of the

community, if we're going to

get advice from an independent statutory

statutory body of the

Commonwealth, particularly if

it takes four years, that it

will be accurate and it will be

of substance. Unfortunately

that's now being brought into

question today and we need to

get some clarity through a

whole range of processes,

committee, parliamentary and

others, as to just what is the

status of these findings,

because until we do, as I said

before, we've got evidence

running into each other. That's

the Independent MP Rob

Oakeshott there. Melissa Clarke

in Canberra, we'll come back to

you a bit later in the morning.

We're also expecting to hear from Opposition Leader Tony

Abbott a bit later on this

Minister Julia Gillard who is morning as well as Prime

still in Chicago for the NATO

summit. We'll bring you their

comments as soon as we can, but

first here is the news with

Michael Police say a shot was fired at an officer at the

scene of a siege in Melbourne's

west last night. Police tried

to arrest a man in Keilor East.

Several surrounding streets

have been evacuated after the

man fired six shots at

police. The Greens are

planning to introduce a prief

member's bill today to allow

asylum seekers to appeal

against negative security

assessments. There are 51

refugees, including six

children, who are indefinite

attention because ASIO has

found them a security risk. It

raises complex legal questions.

NATO leaders have sealed a landmark agreement to hand over control to Afghan security

forces by the middle of next

year. The NATO summit has formally committed to a

US-backed strategy to gradually

withdraw troops by 2014. A row

A suicide bomber has killed at

least 90 people in the Yemeni

capital, Sanaa. A man dressed

as a soldier detonated a bomb

during a rehearsal for a

military parade. The worst

violence of the country since

the new President took over

back in February. Papua New Guinea's Supreme Court has once

again found Prime Minister

Peter O'Neill's appointment was

illegal. Two of the judges

refused to take part in the

ruling. The court found in

December that Mr O'Neill's

appointment was illegal and Sir

Michael Somare should be

reinstated as Prime Minister.

Let's take a quick look at

finance and there has been some

rare good news for a welcome


Julia Gillard is due to hold

a press conference at the NATO

summit in Chicago which we'll

bring you live on ABC News

Breakfast shortly. Meanwhile,

US President Barack Obama is

also due to speak. Earlier he

opened the second day of the

summit, saying NATO will continue to support Afghanistan

after troop withdrawal in

after troop withdrawal in

2014. ... stand up, they will

not stand long. Today we can

agrie on NATO's long-term relationship with Afghanistan

beyond 2014, including our

support of Afghan security

forces. So, we have a lot of

work to do. Again I want to

thank all of my fellow leaders

and our partners for being

here. Our nations and the world

have a vital interest in the

success of this mission. Barack

Obama. Let's bring you back

home now and a siege in

Melbourne's north has continued

into a second day T began

yesterday morning when police

tried to arrest a man at a

house in the suburb of Keilor

East. Our reporter Peta Carlyon is there and she joins us now.

What is the latest at that

siege? Good morning, Michael.

As you said, this siege is

coming up to the 24-hour mark.

It began about 7:30 yesterday

morning. The latest is that

it's still ongoing. Police are

still surrounding the house

which is behind me and just

around the corner. They are also in the neighbouring street

behind the house. They've been

sounding the sirens every half

an hour or so. It's believed

that's to keep the man inside

awake. A shot was fired

overnight also about 1 o'clock

in the morning. Have police

made any other attempts, other

than sounding that siren as

regular intervals to try to get

in touch with this man, to try

to send negotiators in, for

instance? We have heard hem on

the megaphones as we were

arriving this morning, Michael.

They have been saying as this

siege has been ongoing, to drop

the weapon, to show his hands,

to come outside. Obviously that

hasn't happened yet. Just been

hearing the siren. Obviously

concerning to officers at the

scene that another shot was

fired last night. Several shots

were fired yesterday morning

when police first arrived at

this house. That's right and it underscores the fact that

police firmly believe this man

is dangerous given the fact

that he did fire those shorts

and given the fact that this

siege began at a stand-off at a

nearby restaurant on the

weekend? That's right, Michael.

Police were going along the

road in Midury, a nearby suburb

here in the north of Melbourne,

when they saw a motorcycle that

belonged to the man. They

stopped to check it. He came

outside and saw them, then went

back into a very busy pizza

shop, they followed him. He

drew a gun on opt the police officers in front of the

customer, which sent them

ducking for cover. Then he fled

on foot. About nine hours after

that incident, police arrived

here at the house and were

fired upon. Peta Carlyon, we'll

get back to you over the course

of the morning Let's take a

look at the major newspapers

around the country and not

surprisingly, the Craig Thomson

affair dominates the front

pages. The 'Canberra Times'

leads on warnings by

Independent MPs that Mr Thomson

must be regarded as innocent

until proven guilty by a

court. 'The Age' says

Parliament should not be Mr

Thomson's judge and jury. The

but the 'Herald Sun' has photo

shopped a pin yoke - a

Pinocchio nose onto Mr Thomson

and says 89% of readers it

surveyed don't believe him. The 'Sydney Morning 'Sydney Morning Herald' says

his address achieved its

purpose of staving off pressure

to resign and bring down the

Gillard Government The 'West

Australian' reports the

Opposition is determined to

continue pursuing Mr Thomson. A

security expert in 'The

Australian' says the idea that

Craig Thomson's phone was

cloned by his rivals is highly

unlikely The 'Daily Telegraph'

says Mr Thomson has failed to

disprove any of the most serious allegations against him. And him. And the 'Financial Review'

says there is no hope of a

satisfactory outcome for Mr

Thomson or the Federal Parliament In other stories

around the country, the

'Advertiser' reports on the gap

between rich and poor in

Australia's education

system. The 'Courier-Mail' says

more than 3,000 flood victims

have joined a class action

against the Queensland

Government The 'Mercury' leads

on the sentencing of a man over

the callous murder of Scott

Rock in a Launceston street

attack last year. And the

'Northern Territory News' says

police suspect foul play in the

case of a body found on a

beach. I like that heading

WOW-boy for Jessica

Mauboy. Very creative editors

around today Yes. Not every day

that you see just an editorial

but a visual editorial on the

front pages. The papers

focusing on what is the biggest

story around at the moment,

that is Craig Thomson's speech

and reaction to it. By now you

would have seen the speech in

full, seen the bits we're

playing this morning, the

quotes in the papers, Craig

Thomson claims he is the victim

of identity theft, that he is

has done nothing wrong. We've

heard various of the people he

made allegations against firmly

deny setting Mr Thomson up, so

it's over to you. So the question for you this morn

something very simple: What did

you think of Craig Thomson's

speech? We would love to hear

from you:

And if you've had your phone

clone, please let us know. A

quick look at the weather

around the country:

These are the top stories on

ABC News Breakfast -

Independent MP Rob Oakeshott

says Federal Parliament must

test Craig Thomson's statement.

Mr Thomson has accused a former

union official of setting him

up and has denied Fair Work Australia's finding that he

used union money to pay for

prostitutes. A gun A gunman has

fired a shot at police as a

siege drags on in Melbourne's

west. The drama began yesterday

morning when the man fired six

shots at police when they tried

to arrest him at a house in

Keilor East. NATO leaders have

agreed to a deal to hand over

control to Afghan security

forces by the middle of next

year. The deal paves the way

for troops to withdraw from the country by 2014.

country by 2014. And we're

waiting for that media conference by the Prime

Minister Julia Gillard and the

Defence Minister Stephen Smith

from the NATO conference in Chicago. They are preparing to

speak to journalists there

very, very shortly indeed, in

fact, the next 15 minutes they

will be at the podiums there to

give their version of how this

very important NATO summit

wrapped up in Chicago. No doubt

they will be asked questions as

well about Craig Thomson.

Yesterday Julia Gillard was

very keen not to answer those

questions, not to be drawn on any speculation of what might be included in Craig Thomson's

statement. She said she is not going to speculate on events

half a world away. No doubt

those questions will also be asked. In terms of the NATO

summit in Chicago, there was a

bit of controversy late

yesterday as to whether the US President Barack Obama would in

fact meet with the Pakistani Prime Minister, Asif Ali

Zardari. That meeting has taken

place. We'll see what comes out

of that as well We will indeed.

We will hear from both Julia

Gillard and Stephen Smith in

just a few minutes' time. We'll

a bring that live you to here

on ABC News Breakfast. Don't

touch your TV. A court hearing

in Malaysia has confirmed that

an Australian man on drug

trafficking charges will face

the death penalty if

convicted. Dom Mick Bird was

charged in March and drugs

allegedly seized from him

exceeded the threshold that

attracts the Miliband dri taegt

penalty. Zoe Danielle reports

they do have a plan Dominic

Bird was kept clear of the

cameras. The former Perth

resident has been in jail since

he was charged in March for

allegedly attempting to sell methamphetamine to undercover

Malaysian police. Today those

charges were confirmed. Drug

trafficking under section 39 B

of the dangerous drugs Act.

Lawyers say the original amount

of the drug he is alleged to

have been carrying has been reduced slightly, but not

enough to avoid the mandatory death sentence if

convicted. Not only a

reduction, but it is still within the figure of

trafficking, so in terms of

implication, there is not much.

It is still a death p penalty

we're looking at. That's to be

very direct with you. How do

you even prepare to defend that

when you're facing that? Well, the factual circumstances do

not change, it's just the

amount have changed. We've got

our own preparation in relation

to the factual circumstances and we're pretty confident debt

that we have got a case that is

defensible. Dom Mick Bird

appeared to be in relatively

good spirits when he entered

the court, waving to his

lawyers, members of his family

and representatives from the Australian High Commission. His

father, though, who happened to

be sitting next to me, fought

back tears when he saw his son

brought into the court shackled

to 10 other prisoners. The

court was told that tests on

the drugs that were allegedly

seized from Mr Bird recorded a

weight of 168.7 grams. Now, the

threshold for a mandatory death

penalty in Malaysia for drug

traffic something 50 grams, so clearly that weight well

exceeds that. Mr Bird's lawyer,

believe they do have a good chance of defending him.

They're questioning the credibility of the police who

conducted the undercover sting

and they say there are doubts

about that can be raised about

who actually had possession of the drugs. Early concerns about

access to the accused and his

treatment in prison appear to

have been resolved. He is fine.

Like I said, he just - he has

accepted the fact that he is

going to be in there until

probably November and he knows

we're doing everything to help

him to move the case as fast as

possible, so that's keeping him content, and also the visitation

visitation by me and the

embassy every week is good as

well. The case has been

referred to the High Court and

Mr Bird's lawyers are seeking a

date for trial as soon as

possible. Almost 3,500 miners

are preparing to walk off the

job at BHP Billiton's mines in

Queensland's Bowen basin.

Workers at six mines in the

area have overwhelmingly voted

against an enterprise agreement

offered by BHP

Billiton-Mitsubishi alliance. More talks

alliance. More talks are

schedule this week, but there

is talk that they are certain

to break down. Amy Bainbridge

reports. 18 months of

negotiations have amounted to

nothing. BMA and three unions

can't agree on an enterprise

agreement covering six mines in

the Bowen basin. Now unions are

upping the ante, striking for 7

days from this Thursday When it

is the only option that we've

got available to us other than

accepting an unacceptable

agreement, then there is no

other way. We've offered BMA to

participate in third-party

mediation to attempt to resolve the dispute. They've rejected

it. The Bowen basin holds the

nation's biggest coal reserves.

Central to the dispute are

union concerns over safety,

rostering and accommodation

subsidies for workers who want

to live locally in towns like

Moranbah and Dysart rather than

fly in and out for their

shifts. 82% of employees voted

to reject the latest version of

the enterprise agreement. BHP

Billiton-Mitsubishi alliance


We think we are in a strong

position. If we thought we were

flogging a dead horse, as the

saying goes, then I'm sure our membership would tell us that

we are, and we would have to

cop a deal which we're not

happy with. BMA employees have

said they have to keep voting

until they get it right and

that's a pretty lousy to treat

employees. From the union's

point of view this is a very,

very struggle because the union

density in the coal industry

has gone from about 85% 12

years ago to about 44% today,

so falling at a very rapid

rate. It only has a few

strongholds yet, in the Hunter

Valley and the old established

pits in Central Queensland, so

it's really important for the

union to hang onto that workforce. This dispute has

already caused the closure of

the Norwich Park mine.

Professor Bowden isn't worried

about loss of production

because of strike With the

falling coal price, they really

don't lose much by having some production taken out of the

market at this point. It keeps

prices firm and it takes some of their low-cost production

out, so they're really not

losing anything. Certainly the

unions and the unionised

workforce has got a fair bit to

lose. After a year and a half,

it appears unlikely this

dispute will be resolved any

time soon. To finance and

FaceBook shares have fallen

below their float price in

early trading on Wall Street.

Shares in the company plunged

12% to the opening bell

overnight and they were still

down at the close. Trading

began on Friday at $38 a share. They're

They're now trading just below $34. Let's take

$34. Let's take a look at the


Just a reminder we're

awaiting that media conference in Chicago by the Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Defence Minister Stephen Smith.

They will be speaking at those

podiums we're told within

minutes, wrapping up that NATO summit on the future of

Afghanistan and the future Afghanistan and the future way

forward for both funding and

troops on the ground in that

war torn country. We will go

straight to the media

conference as soon as the PM

starts to speak, but first to

the sports headlines with Paul

Kennedy Good morning to

you. The Bulldogs is a great

name, for the NRL and in the

AFL? Yes, the Ma'a roons are

shaping up for this week's

State of Origin match. The

Bulldogs beat the Sharks quite

easily in the end. Let's take a

look. COMMENTATOR: Barba

looming up. A draw and pass -

classic Bulldogs play. One more

play in this set. the Dogs go

back-to-back. Dug gal was

there, so was Wright and it was

Wright who came down with it.

Barba chasing through. No. 4

for the Bulldogs. Morris back

on the right-hand side. Smith

will get there and plant it

down. Second victory in the

last six weeks, have improved

to a 6 win 5 loss record We

talked about it. We were one

and five and I think we are a

better side than that and it's

good to get this win tonight

and we'll try to make a roll on

from here. 26-6 was the final

score there. Let's go to the

tennis now and take a look at

what happened in Rome. Rafael

Nadal enjoyed the perfect filip

ahead of the French Open by

downing Novak Djokovic 7-5,

6-3. This was a delayed final,

of course, due to rain and it

was played overnight and Rafael

Nadal who was beaten on the

blue clay in the previous

tournament came out and was

right at home in Rome. So he is

ready to take on the rest of

the field at Roland Garros, and

let's just stay overseas and

take a look at quite a peculiar

story and one that will no

doubt get some air time as euro

2012 comes up because you've

heard of the octopus that was

the official predictor of the

winners in the World Cup in

South Africa. Well, euro 2012

is her and this poor old

elephant, he has had a ball

tossed over. He thinks it's

some food so he goes to eating

it. And they are all laughing

at it. That will be the

official elephant. He has got

it in the mouth. He won't want

to swallow it though, will

he? I want to go to - speaking

of predictions, a preview of

the State of Origin, and I just

want to preview this by saying

that Michael Rowland is very,

that, is very impressed with Mr

Hugh Dell00ty who is an AFL

man, played for Essendon in the

'70s. Mal Meninga is trying to

fire up his team by saying that

New South Wales is ready for a

win. Something wasn't right

about this picture. In what was

meant to be a chance for both

captains to prematurely get

their hands on the oorjs

shield, Queensland was down a

skipper Just being precautionary. At the end of

the day we want the guys fully

fit and healthy for Wednesday

night. Just put him in a bit of

isolation, make sure he gets

over his illness as soon as he

can and make sure he plays on

Wednesday. The attention had

been on Blues captain Paul

Gallen but after finally

hitting the training pitch, his

message was good Good to go and

I will get out there Wednesday

night. The only thing that

seemed to be in doubt was the Victorian Sports Minister grasp

of the concept Fantastic to

welcome you here to this very

special game, the first game of

the Queensland versus New

Zealand - New Zealand - that's a good start. Queensland versus

New South Wales in the State of

the Origin match. No wonder Mal

was feeling a bit nostalgic for

the game's traditional

format I'm a traditionalist,

see two games in Queensland and

one in New South Wales, but

that's me. The leaders of that

team. We'll talk more about the

State of Origin later. More

important stuff to talk about

now We do. In fact, we can take

you straight to the media

conference involving Julia

Gillard and Stephen Smith in

Chicago. Let's take a look. ...

the challenges that lie ahead,

but a goal of an Afghanistan

that is never again a safe

haven for terrorism is within

reach. We agreed that by reach. We agreed that by mid

2013 we will reach an important

milestone in the transition

process and that milestone is

that all parts of Afghanistan

will have begun transition and

Afghan forces will be in the

lead for security nationwide.

In Oruzgan Province in which we

work, transition begins in

coming months, and as you know,

we expect this process to take

12-18 months, and at its

conclusion, the majority of

Australian troops will be able

to return home. Second, at

today's meeting we looked

beyond 2014 to the support that

Afghanistan will need to

safeguard and build on the

progress that's been made. Our mission after transition will

change and it will evolve.

Afghanistan will have

responsibility for its own

security. ISAF will have made a

shift from its combat mission,

but there will still be a

continuing need for support.

Importantly, this summit has

agreed to work towards a new

post-2014 NATO-led mission to

train, advise and assist the

after began national security

forces. As I've said in the

past, Australia will contribute

trainers to this mission with a

focus on the Afghan artillery

school and the officer training

academy. The new NATO-led

mission will focus on training

after 2014. Over and above

this, however, there may be

some ongoing need for a Special

Forces contribution for

counter-terrorism, and I advise

today's summit of Australia's

willingness to consider such a

contribution under the right

mandate. I was also able to

advise the meeting of

Australia's new long-term

partnership with Afghanistan

and our increased development

assistance. I announced that assistance yesterday and

counter-signed the partnership agreement with President

Karzai. Third, we agreed on the

importance of funding the

Afghan national security forces

beyond 2014. We called on the

international community to

commit to this long-term

sustainment. In recent days,

the number of international

funding commitments has grown

and more are expected shortly.

There is confidence that the

target of $1.3 billion will be

reached and of course Australia

has announced that its

contribution will be $100

million per year starting in

2015. Finally, we agreed that a political

political process involving

reconciliation and re-integration is an important

component of our path towards a

stable Afghanistan. We agreed

that these processes must be

Afghan-led and must be

underpinned by the

renounceation of violence, the

breaking of ties to

international terrorism, and acceptance of the Afghan

Constitution. As I said when I

spoke about Afghanistan back in

Australia, we did not enter

this conflict lightly and we do

not persist in it without great

care, but today's summit demonstrates that we can

proceed with the transition we

agreed to in Lisbon,

understanding it is a difficult

mission, but it is on track. I

was also pleased to attend the

meeting of NATO and its core

partners. It's very much in

Australia's interests for NATO to contribute to global

security, and for it to have

strong partnerships. For our

part, Australia wants a

long-term partnership with

NATO. We share a common vision

for global security, and a

common belief in the value of

international cooperation to

achieve security. Our

relationship with NATO has

strengthened in recent years,

including through the

appointment of our first

ambassador to NATO, and I'm

looking forward in coming weeks to welcoming the

Secretary-General of NATO to

Australia. I will turn now to

Minister Smith for some

comments, then we will be happy

to take questions. Thank you,

Prime Minister. The Prime

Minister has given a comprehensive summary of the

last couple of days in Chicago

so I don't need to add to that

other than to say the Prime

Minister and I attended the

Lisbon summit in November of

2010. The first job of this

summit was to review the

transition pros is. We've done

that and there is no doubt that

transition is on track.

Secondly, we have started the

process of the detailed work

required for the post-2014

transition presence in

Afghanistan and also the

post-2014 resourcing of the Afghan National Security

Forces. In the court of my time

here, in addition to attending

the bilaterals that the Prime

Minister has had, I've also had

the opportunity of catching one

a range of my defence

ministerial colleagues,

including secretary Panetta, Peter McKay, New Zealand colleagues, both the Foreign

Minister and Defence Minister

who are here and also my UK counterpart

counterpart Phillip Hammond,

and as well Defence Minister

Wardak of Afghanistan. The

general view of defence ministers is as reflected by the Prime Minister's assessment

of today's events. We are on

track to transition. We are starting the planning at the

correct point in the cycle for

the post-2014 presence. The

Prime Minister in the course of

her remarks used the phrase "difficult" and to steal a phrase the Prime Minister has

used in the past, whilst this

conference has been successful,

while transition is on track,

there will be difficult days

ahead and we should not pretend otherwise. Thank you, Prime Minister. OK, we're happy to

take questions. We are peering

out into darkness, so we'll do

our best to recognise people.

REPORTER: Prime Minister, you mentioned (inaudible) Security

threats are increasingly global

and so it makes sense to have

global partnerships as we look

to combat those security

threats. In the modern age, of

course, we're talking about

terrorism, about cyber

security, about piracy. These

are all international security

threats, and one in which us,

having partnerships with

organisations like NATO, can strengthen us and strengthen

them. REPORTER: Could you

explain a bit more about the

2013 midway transition

(inaudible) going from a combat

to a supporting role. What

will. (Inaudible) The mid-2013

milestone is the point at which

all of began will be in

transition and will have moved

to Afghan security leadership.

With tranche 3Ging into

transition where Oruzgan

Province is, around 75% of the

country will go to Afghan

security leadership in in

mid-2013, 100% will go to

Afghan security leadership. At

the end of 2014, what you see

is the end of the current

mission, the current combat

mission and a move to a

different set of circumstances

where the Afghan people are

providing for their own

security, but that doesn't mean

that there will be no role for

outside help and assistance.

We'll still be there providing

training assistance. There will

be a NATO-led mission to train

and advise and assist, and I've

indicated consistently, we are

leaving open the prospect that

there may be some continuing

role for Special Forces.

REPORTER: Prime Minister, did

you have time to catch up with

US President Barack Obama

today? If so, what did you talk

about. Did you discuss

(inaudible) I did have a brief discussion with President

Obama. I would have to say it

was more a catch-up between

mates than anything else. We

did have a very brief

discussion about circumstances

in the global

economy. REPORTER: (Inaudible)

President Zardari and we also

hear President Obama

(inaudible) are you confident

that supply line also be re-opened? President Zardari

said to me yesterday and indeed

said at today's meeting so

effectively said it publicly

that he had directed officials

to work on this issue, what's

referred to as the G-lock issue

which is the blocking of supply

lines out of Afghanistan into

Pakistan, so given he has

indicated that publicly, one

would hope that there will be progress made. REPORTER: Prime

Minister, we hear ongoing

reports of (inaudible) are you confident that it can (inaudible )provide

security? This is not without

severe difficulties and

challenges, you're absolutely

right, but all of the reports

to me from our people working

in Oruzgan Province is that the

Afghan National Army is increasing in numbers and

increasing in capability.

General Allen reported to the

NATO ISAF summit today for all

of Afghanistan what his

perspectives are as the

ultimate command he, and his

perspective is that the

security forces are growing in

number and capability.

(Commander) He spointed, for example, to their response when

there were security challenges

in Kabul in relatively recent

tiles. So, in those

circumstances, are there

difficulties? Yes, there are,

but the professionals who are

there on the ground day to day

are telling us that the forces

are growing both in number and capability. Sorry, Prime Minister, perhaps I could just add to that answer Sure The

Afghan National Army is

currently of a size of just

under 340,000. It will grow to

a surge force of just over

350,000 and General Allen's

advice, and this is consistent

with the advice I get from the

Chief of the Defence Force in

and the officers in the field

so far as Oruzgan is concerned

that that growth is not just a

numerical growth, but a steady

growth in capability. In our

growth in Oruzgan, that's

reflected by the fact that all

of the provinces are

transitioned in the third

tranche. Over a period of time

after 2014, that surge of

Afghan National Army numbers or

numerical strength will decline

T will be a gradual drawdown,

ending up at this stage with

aye an Afghan National Army

force in the order of 220,

230,000. So our analysis, our

advice and the view from

General Allen and others is

that there is an ongoing growth

in capability and the numerical

strength getting to the surge

force of just over 350,000 is

occurring more quickly than was

previously anticipated. We

expect to arrive at that point

in about October this year

which was a few months earlier

than otherwise expected. Yes,

Mark? REPORTER: Has the threat

to your government abated now that Craig Thomson has

(inaudible) Look, I've seen a

summary of Mr Thomson's remarks

to the Parliament. I haven't

had the opportunity, as you

would imagine, to do more than

that. I've been focused on the

NATO ISAF summit. As I said

many times in Australia before

I left, it's not for the

Parliament to be judge and jury here. REPORTER: From what you've seen, though (inaudible) Look, exactly the

same as what I would have said

to you last week in Australia,

it's not for the Parliament to

be judge and jury. REPORTER:

Prime Minister, you say it's

not for the Parliament to be

judge and jury (inaudible) now

that Craig Thomson has mounted

his defence in Parliament, what

will it take for you to have

him back? I made a decision

which I explained at the time I

made it about respect for the

Parliament and there was a

accumulation of issues here

involving Mr Thomson and Mr

Slipper and so I made a

decision about Mr Thomson's

further participation in the

Labor Party and Labor Caucus,

so I continue to believe that

that's the right decision. As

for the specifics involving Mr

Thomson, I've said consistently

these will be dealt with by an

appropriate court at the proper

time. Mr Thomson denies these

allegations. He is entitled to

his day in court and ultimately

he will have it. REPORTER: So

no certainty he will be

returned to the Labor Caucus (inaudible) Well, no

possibility of me changing my mind, so the question doesn't

arise But there is no certainty

of him actually (inaudible) the

judgment would be made by you

as to whether he would have

(inaudible) Look, it's my

understanding and I'm happy to

be corrected by you, but it's

my understanding of the Fair

Work inquiry report that it was

Fair Work's intention for a

number of matters related to

the Fair Work Act to be the

subject of Federal Court proceedings. As to any other

form of proceedings, of course

I'm not aware. Those matters

are still in investigation, as

I understand it, but the likely court proceedings I refer to

are the ones coming from the Fair Work inquiry. REPORTER:

You honestly (inaudible)

bringing him back

(inaudible) Look, I made a call

and I'm not intending to

revisit it, but I also put the

view to you today exactly as I

would have if we were in

Australia last week or the week

before, it's not appropriate

for Parliament to set itself up

as judge and jury. REPORTER: Do

you have confidence in Fair

Work Australia, or do you share

Mr Thomson's view as stated in

Parliament yesterday that the

Fair Work Australia report

(inaudible) selective and

biased? Look, I'm not going to

engage in commentary about Mr

Thomson's statement. Fair Work

Australia is an independent

agency doing its job. REPORTER:

Did Mr Thomson wait too long to

make his statement That's a

matter for Mr Thomson REPORTER:

Do you have confidence in Fair

Work Australia? Look, it is an

independent agency doing its

job REPORTER: (Inaudible

question) Look, it is an

independent agency doing its

job. Clearly Mr Thomson is

intending when these matters

come to court and I think from

the Fair Work report they are

likely to, to contest matters

relating to the investigation.

That's a matter for Mr

Thomson. REPORTER: Do you share

(inaudible) Look, I've seen a

summary of his statement to the

Parliament and I'm not going to

engage in a critique of

individual bits of it. Mr

Thomson put his statement to the

the Parliament, he chose to do

that, it was a decision for him. At the end of the day it's

not for the Parliament to set

itself up as the court here or

as jury here. There are proper

processes and those proper

processes should be gone

through (REPORTER: (Inaudible

question) Look, Mr Thomson has

had his say and now the proper

processes have to be worked through. REPORTER: (Inaudible

question) Look, I haven't seen

the statement being given, I've

seen a summary of it, and, you

know my comments are as I've

just given

them-to-you. REPORTER: Prime

Minister, just back on Afghanistan We'll make this the

last question (Inaudible) has

Australia played a role in

(inaudible) have you been speaking to anybody (inaudible)

is that what leads to

confidence (inaudible) We

certainly made our decision and

publicly announced it because

we thought the very fact that,

you know, our nation was making

so clear what we were prepared

to do, that that in and of

itself would have a demonstration effect, if you

like, for other nations that

were considering making a

contribution, and I have,

during the course of my various

discussions with leaders at

this summit indicated that

Australia has made its decision, made its

contribution, announced it

publicly and it is important

for all to make appropriate

contributions to sustain the

Afghan National Security

Forces. As I said in my

intervention during the summit,

we haven't invested this much

and lost as much as we've lost

to not now do the appropriate

thing to sustain Afghan

National Security Forces beyond

2014. Thank you very much.

Julia Gillard and Stephen

Smith wrapping up that media

conference in Chicago,

addressing two quay themes.

Toward the end of that media

conference, of course, she was

asked about Craig Thomson's

statement in Parliament. She reiterated her view that

Parliament should not be the

judge or jury of Craig Thomson, but importantly she also said

that Mr Thomson is entitled to

his day in court and in her

words ultimately will have it.

Also on the NATO conference on

the future of Afghanistan, we

heard Stephen Smith, the Defence Minister saying it was

a huge success. The transition

to Afghan security force in

that country is well and truly

on track, but adding the very

important rider that he fears

there may be difficult day as

head for all coalition troops

in Afghanistan before that

handover takes place. Also in

the massive centre, the US

President Barack Obama was also

holding a media conference.

We'll bring you his remarks

very shortly here on ABC News Breakfast. First here is the

rest of the news. Independent

MP Rob Oakeshott says Parliament needs to test Craig

Thomson's statement that he

didn't misuse union funds. Mr

Thomson has denied Fair Work

Australia's finding that he

used union money to pay for

prostitutes. He is accused

former union official Marco

Bolano of setting him

up. Police say a shot was fired

at an officer at the scene of a

siege in Melbourne's north-west overnight. The siege began yesterday morning when the man

fired six shots at police as

they tried to arrest him at a

house in Keilor East. Several

surrounding streets have been

evacuated and other residents

have been told to remain

inside. The Greens are planning

to introduce a private member's

bill today to allow asylum

seekers the right to appeal

against negative security assessments. There are 51 refugees, including six

children, who are in indefinite

detention because ASIO has

found they are a security risk.

NATO leaders have sealed a

landmark agreement to hand over

control to Afghanistan's

security forces by the middle

of next year. Prime Minister

Julia Gillard says Australian

troops in Oruzgan Province will

begin the transition in coming

months and it will take between

12 and 18 months to complete. A

suicide bomber has killed at

least 90 people in the Yemeni

capital, Sanaa. A man dressed

as a soldier detonated the bomb

during a rehearsal for a

military parade. Hundreds of

people were also wounded in the

attack. Now, the founder of the

the environmental activist

group Sea Shepherd has been

freed from a German jail. Paul

Watson had been in custody for

more than a week. A court has

granted Watson bail pending a

final decision on whether to

extradite him to Costa Ricoh.

Thank you. It is a relief to be

out after a week. This was

certainly unexpected. I didn't

expect something that happened

from 10 years ago to sneak up

on me in Germany, but this

isn't really about me, it's

about the fact that we're

killing off all our sharks and

our whales in our oceans, and I

had to take action with my crew

a decade ago to protect

hundreds of sharks and of

course those shark poachers

have very powerful allies. Paul

Watson there now. For a look at

the national papers this

morning we're joined by Paul

Sheahan, the President of the

Melbourne Cricket Club. Good

morning Good morning,

Karina. Hard to get away from

the story that's on the front

pages of the newspapers around

the country. You could go to

Mars and get away from it Look,

it's bound to dominate all the

newspapers, isn't it? There are beautiful contrasts in four beautiful contrasts in four of

the papers, in the 'Herald

Sun', the Australia 'The Australian', 'The

Australian', 'The Age' and

'Financial Review' that range

from the terrible construction

of Pinocchio to the 'Financial

Review' which gives a measured

report on Fair Work conspiracy,

sort of analysing what Craig

Thomson said. It depends on

where your allegiances are and

I suppose it depends on who is

funding the newspapers as to

what sort of headline you might

get, but the whole thing is so

difficult to fathom, isn't it.

There are some pretty dynamic

comments made by Craig Thomson

yesterday and challenging

directly Fair Work Australia

which is a big call, if Fair

Work Australia have been

involved in a conspiracy, this

is very, very serious business.

It's been such a long, drawnout

saga, I think we're happy to

have at least a comment in the

public domain, but wow have to

ask yourself why it's taken so

long for Craig Thomson to

respond to what were clearly

some very direct and profound

charges against him. For me,

though, the story is not so

much about Craig Thomson and

what his issues are, but the

fact that it diverts Parliament's attention, to my

way of thinking, from some

very, very serious issues.

There is this shocking crisis

in Europe at the moment where

the Greeks have fallen down the

precipice or over the

precipice. The Spaniards look

as they they might do the same

thing in a very short period of

time. China looks like it will

cause us difficulties. Qantas

job cuts slamming governments

both federal and State Fair in

the face, the condition of

things generally in the country

and also to my way of thinking, what's happened to the Gonski

Review. It seems to have

disappeared into the eitherer.

Again I suppose, as a former

school master, it presents the

question to me as what sort of

image is this projecting to our younger people, the next

generation? I think it's not

unjustifiable that they're very

cynical about the whole

parliamentary process, and you

sort of get the idea, not that

I'm saying Craig Thomson is

lying, but in a general sense,

you sort of get the idea that

if you hold to your story long

enough, you will be able to maintain your position in

whatever circumstance you find

yourself. Let's get onto that

education issue. The

'Advertiser' has an education

theme on its front page and

there is a bit of pushback in

some of the papers as well from

the private school lobby against the gopbs ski report

today? Well, I did take

exception to the wording used

in the Adelaide 'Advertiser'

headline. " Close our class

divide." For far too long

we've been obsessed with this

notion that somehow or other

non-government schools set

themselves up deliberately to shoot down government schools

of the truth is that both sectors of schooling actually

want education to be

successful. We want our

children to experience the best

they possibly can in our

schools, but it appears that the Federal Government doesn't

see this as a particularly sexy

issue, and yet in many respects

I think the future of the

nation lies in how well we

educate our young people, and

renounced international tests.

That PISA testing, program of international assessment, and the third international study

in maths and science is telling

us that we're falling off the pace. What we ought to do, in

my view s not fire bullet as

cross the divide, but we ought

to be saying, "Where are our

exemplar schools?" And there

will be exemplar schools in both non-government and

government sector, let's push

all schools up to that exemplar

standard. Gopbs ski says the

nation has to find $5 billion.

And that sounds like a lot to

you and me, but in the overall

scheme, it's not that much and

it would shall money

extraordinarily spent. But the

Government has to fulfil its

promise of a Budget

surplus Yes, there will be a

handful who will say why are we

so obsessed with a surplus. I

think it is important to try to

find that money, even though I

know it was a recurrent expense

and we have to find it every

year, not just once. What do

you make of Qantas dropping the

news of the 500 job cuts just

as Craig Thomson took to his

feet in Parliament to make his

statement? Yes, are you

suggesting there might have

been a bit of conspiracy there,

Karina, leaking it out when it

will be flooded with other

news? Purely coincidental Look,

we feel that we've ridden out

the tum multiof the global

financial crisis crisis

particularly well. I'm not so

sure that's true. In fact, I

think we've got some pretty

bleak times ahead. I'm not

being particularly pessimistic

in that regard, I just think

it's realistic to understand

that manufacturing in this

country is facing a real

crisis. Qantas has decked a

thousand jobs since February.

Its Avalon facility is about to

close, Tullamarine doesn't face

a much better future,. So

governments, both federal and

state need to help business

devise ways of maintaining at

least a semblance of our

manufacturing basis, and then

you enter that sort of age-old

debate about the dole versus

support, which is better? It's

going to cost the Government

whichever way. It would be more

creative and better for the

general public if we had people

in work rather than lining up

at Centre link. Paul Sheahan,

thank you very much Great

pleasure. Thank you. Vanessa

O'Hanlon joins us with the

weather now. Good morning, Vanessa Today, very little

cloud over the nation, but we

can see it starting to build up, especially through the

Bight and southern parts of South Australia, Victoria and

also across Tasmania, also over

parts of Queensland's north and

east. Although weak, the highs

are still the reason for the

mostly clear skies. The high

that's in the Tasman is feeding

north south-easterly winds into

a trough over Queensland and

this will increase showers also

over the Top End. A weak front

associated with the cloud over in the south-east. For

Queensland today:

This program is not subtitled

Thanks very much, Vanessa.

Still ahead on ABC News

Breakfast, we'll be speaking to

Dr Adam Lockyer from the US

Studies Centre at Sydney University for some analysis on

the NATO summit on Afghanistan

that's been taking place in

Chicago. We'll also cross to

our North America correspondent

Craig McMurtrie who is there to

wrap things up as that

conference comes to a close And

also bring you comments that

Barack Obama was maying as he

wrapped up his role in the NATO

summit and perhaps what Prime

Minister Gillard described as a

catch-up between mates on the

sidelines of that conference of the back after this very short break.

Julia Gillard says Craig

Thomson is entitled to his day

in court. Mr Thomson denies

these allegations. He is entitled to his day in court

and ultimately he will have it. This Program is Captioned

Live. A gunman fires at police

as a Melbourne siege enters its

second day. NATO leaders agree

to hand over control to Afghan security forces next year. This will be another step

toward Afghans taking full lead

for their security, as agreed

to, by 2014 when the ISAF

combat mission will end. And

Ben Barba and the Bulldogs

savage the Sharks in the NRL.

Good morning you're watching ABC News Breakfast on Tuesday,

22nd May. I'm Karina Carvalho.

Coming up on the program,

shortly we'll speak to our

North America correspondent

Craig McMurtrie or an update on

the NATO summit that is Gussing

Afghanistan, and Australian

gardeners dig deep in London At

the Chelsea Flower Show - in

Australia we think about the

Melbourne flower Show. You just

can't compare them.

It is the Melbourne Cup, the

NRL, AFL, Logies all wrapped

into one times 10. Two

Australians hoping their

entries will bloom at the Chelsea Flower Show. Stay with

us for that. It will prove to

be rather entertaining. First