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Australian Agenda -

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(generated from captions) captioned by Ai-Media This program will be live

Good afternoon, welcome to

the program, I'm David Speers. The Prime Minister

has this afternoon intervened

in a case of an Australian

lawyer being detained in

Libya. 36-year-old Melinda

Taylor was taken into custody

on Thursday by a local

malishia. She is there as

part of an International

Criminal Court legal team

representing the son of slain

dictator, Muammar Gaddafi. Now, Seif al-Islam Gaddafi is

accused of war crimes, he is

due to front the

International Criminal Court,

and this legal team are there

to represent him but they

have been taken into custody

with suggestions that they

have been smuggling in

sensitive documents,

sensitive to Libya's national security. The Australian

Government very concerned

about this as the Prime

Minister herself said this

afternoon and the Australian

Government is demanding

Melinda Taylor be released

immediately. For more on

this, let's go live right now

to our Foreign Minister Bob

Carr. He is on the line with

us. He is actually in Oman

at the moment. Thank you for

your time. Can you just,

firstly, clarify for us

Melinda Taylor, this exactly who is holding

Australian lawyer, and what

sort of detention is she in?

I spoke to deputy Foreign

Minister of Libya yesterday,

I spoke to him twice yesterday, I'm talking about

yesterday Middle East time,

which is during the night

Australian time, and she told

me that she is in

preventative custody. He

said she was being held at

the - under the control of

the Attorney-General and

police answerable to him.

Although plain clothes police

called judicial police. He

gave me the impression, in

fact said explicitly, that

she was not being held by

freedom fighters. I hope

that is still the case. That

the Australian position is we gave me some assurance but

want her released as soon as

possible and if there is any

delay during that delay, we

want her to have contact with

the ambassador. We are

sending to Libya from Rome

and to her own family and I

rang the Libyans for a second

time to say that her husband,

who I have spoken to, Geoff,

lives in the Hague, is very

keen to speak to his wife.

Understandably so. What do you understand preventative

custody means? Is she in the

hotel where she was staying

or is she actually in some

sort of facility? It is

described as house arrest.

It is not a jail. And,

again, that is moderately

reassuring in all the

circumstances. I was

encouraged by the openness of

the deputy Foreign Minister

in these respects.

Especially the assurance that

she is not being held by

malishia because I think that

would have been very

disconcerting to her husband

and to her parents, Janell

and John who live in Brisbane

and to whom I have spoken as

well, but I am concerned that

the Libyans have spoken about

grave threats, threats to

national security, and used

other expressions, talking

about this case. So, again,

our position is and the

Libyans understand it, that

we want Ms Taylor released as

soon as possible. So the suggestion there is some

stand-off between the central

Government and the local malishia there are that that

could be contributing to her

problems? That doesn't seem

to be the case. You are

saying she is under the

control of the federal

Attorney-General and the -

you call them judicial police

answerable to him? Yes. I

can only rely on what I've

been told by the deputy

Foreign Minister of Libya but

certainly that's what he said

to me. Now, it has been

alleged that she had a coded letter for Seif al-Islam Gaddafi, was carrying a

told anything about the case hidden camera, have you been

against her? No, I haven't.

And those sorts of details,

which will probably end up

being contested if the case

is pursued, are really not of

interest here. Our position

is she was working as part of

a defence team under the ICC, the International Criminal

Court, she was there on

official business, the

context should confer on her

and Imunity comparable to

diplomatic immunity, although

that could be shaped by the

precise status of the ICC

treaty in Libyan law. No, we

want her released and, in the meantime, if there is any

delay about her release, we

want her to be able to have

meetings with the ICC team,

who have arrived in Libya,

and with our ambassador who

has got a visa and is getting

there from Rome. So just to

pick up on that, you're

saying you're arguing she is entitled to some sort of diplomatic immunity, being

International Criminal Court there as part of that

team? Yes, and that is the

International Criminal Court position that the

will be presenting to the

Libyan Government. I spoke

last night Middle East time

to the head of the ICC, I

emphasised our concern to jus

Song and I told him, I

thought the status of the ICC

would be important in

representations to the Libyan

Government. That the Libyans certainly know where

Australia stood and I will be

making a third phone call to their Foreign Minister as

soon as I get a chance. We

appreciate that. Thanks for

the update. Good, thank

you. All right, we are going

to cover more of this story

coming up on the program. First, let's go back to the

news desk for some of the

other top stories this

Julia Gillard is hoping to afternoon. Thanks David.

keep the focus on the economy

this week, bringing together

130 Australian business

leaders for a forum in

Brisbane. But many of the

main players won't be in

attendance, including the

Western Australian, NSW and

Queensland premiers.

Campbell Newman says he is

too busy to attend. The

Prime Minister is hoping he

changes his mind. Premier

bail Lou for example is

attending and will be

speaking at one of the

sessions. I understand, of

course, premier O'Farrell is

delivering his budget, it is

his budget week, we would

still urge premier Newman to

be attending an important economic forum within his own

State. And we would also be urging Premier Barnett to

consider attending too. We

are talking at that forum, as

we just canvassed, a lot

about the patch work nature

of our economy and Premier Barnett, for example, in Western Australia provides

over a State where you can

see and feel that patch work

nature of the economy very

quickly. Mr Newman's staff

say they tried to send two assistant ministers in his

place but they were told

RSVPs had closed. Two former

premiers are among those

receiving the highest

accolades in this year's

Queen's Birthday honours.

Queensland Peter Beattie and

Joan Kirner have both been

appointed companions in the

Order of Australia. They are

joined by ex-federal

ministers Gareth Evans and

Robert Hill and Professor Ian

Frazer who developed the

cervical cancer vaccine.

Aunty Jack and Rolf Harris

are honoured for their sovses

to the arts. Residents in

WA's south-west are being warned to brace themselves

for more bad weather. The

coastal towns of Mandurah and

rockingham copped some of the

worst of it, winds reached up

to 140 km an hour, ripping

off roofs and uprooting

trees. People don't know how

to deal with those trees,

they are affecting their

lives, of course the biggest

inconvenience to people is

the loss of power. I guess

we can only be too grateful

about the fact that there

haven't been too many serious

injuries. A deep low is

moving across the south-west

corner of the State but

should weaken later. A state of emergency has been

declared in Burma following deadly clashes between

Buddhists and Muslims in the

countries west. At least 7

people have died and hundreds

of homes have been torched in

the violence. Burma's

President says the unrest

could threaten the country's

transition to democracy.


currently happening is about

putting grievances, had Red

and desire for revenge based

on racial and religious

grounds on the forefront and

that is why actions are

becoming more widespread.

Extra troops have already

been flown into the area to

deal with the unrest. With

some towns imposing overnight

curfews. The cream of the

Broadway theatre scene have

gathered in New York today

for the annual Tony Awards. Neil Patrick Harris hosted

the night for the third time

in a row. Australia's very

own Hugh Jackman was

presented with a special Tony

Awards from his wife. As I

hold this in my hand, there

is something I hold in here

which is the real reason why

I am here today, why any of

this is possible, and why -

come here baby - that is

because my incredible wife

and kids support me, I love

you with all of my heart, I

know how much you hate public

speaking, this is probably

the greatest thing you've

ever done for me, and,

really, it means the world to

me. I love you. Thank you

so much. He was honoured for

his contribution to the

Broadway community and for

his charity work. To sport

now and Australian swimmers

Kenrick Monk and Nick D'Arcy

say they accept the AOC's

decision to send them home

early from the London

Olympics. The pair has been

ordered to return to

Australia as soon as their

swimming events conclude

after they posted pictures of

themselves holding

high-powered weapons in a US

gun shop. Back in '07 we

went there as Australian swim

team down to a rifle range

and did a bit of shooting.

It was a bit of fun, that

kind of stuff, and it was a

great team bonding exercise.

Basically over in America we thought it would be a

fantastic idea to do it

again, team building,

fantastic fun, that sort of

stuff and that's how we look

at it, just a bit of fun.

They have both agreed not to

use social media in the

lead-up to and during the

games. And looking to the

Sky News weather forecast for

tomorrow. Now back to David

Speers in Canberra as PM Agenda continues. Thank you

very much. After the break,

we will have more on the case

of this Australian lawyer,

Melinda Taylor, being

detained in Libya. We will

be joined by the Shadow Foreign Minister Julie Bishop

live from Perth. Stay with us.

You're watching PM Agenda

live from Parliament House in

Canberra. Welcome. It is a

frightening scenario as we

have been discussing this

afternoon. An Australian lawyer working as part of a

legal team, appointed by the International Criminal Court, there to represent someone who clearly is very unpopular

in Libya, but now she has

found herself, this

Australian lawyer, in

detention herself. 36-year-old Melinda Taylor

and three of her colleagues

are representing the son of

slain dictator Muammar

Gaddafi. Seif al-Islam

Gaddafi has been accused of

war crimes himself. He was

captured by local malitia in

the city of Zintan in N.

They have refused to hand him

over to the authorities. Now

as Bob Carr, the Foreign

Minister was just telling us,

Melinda Taylor and these

other lawyers have been

captured and are being held

under house arrest, under the

control, he said, of the Attorney-General and judicial

police. They're alleged to

have tried to smuggle

sensitive documents to this

client in a statement Melinda

Taylor's family, as you can

see there, said their

thoughts are very much with

their daughter, they have

requested privacy, the International Criminal Court

has demanded the immediate

release of this legal team.

So too has the Australian Prime Minister this

afternoon. Is safe and well

and we have been in contact

with her family. But we are

calling on the Libyan

Government to expedite the

end of Ms Taylor's detention

to get to the end of this

matter. Our ambassador will

be travelling to Libya as

soon as possible. Well, for

more on this I'm joined live

from Perth by the Shadow

Minister Julie Bishop. What

do you make of the Australian Government's handling of this

case so far? Has it been

appropriate? I am pleased that the Australian

Government has dispatched

David Richie, our ambassador

designate, to Libya to locate

Melinda Taylor, to ensure

that she is safe and well,

and to secure her immediate

release. David reachy is

recollection -- David Richie

is one of our most experienced ambassadors and

to have him on the ground to

provide whatever support

Melinda Taylor may need is

very important. It is also

very important that the

Libyan authorities be mindful

of the significance of the work of the International

Criminal Court and I

understand that this

delegation, the delegation of

which Melinda Taylor is a

part, was there with the

approval and authorisation of

the Libyan authorities. So

we join with the Government

in calling on the Libyan

authorities to release her as

soon as possible. If she

there is with the approval of

the Libyan authorities, what

then do you make of what Bob

Carr was just telling us,

that she is now being held

under the control of the Attorney-General, and

judicial police? Their

Libyan authorities as well.

The picture is somewhat

confusing. The first reports

indicated that she was being

held by some sort of malitia and one could perhaps

understand that the malitia didn't appreciate the need

for even Colonel Gaddafi's

son to have legal representation. They were

the early reports. But it

now seems that the national

authorities have become

involved. I understand from

Senator car that Melinda

Taylor is being held by the Attorney-General or his

judicial police. I don't

know what status they have but at least it sounds a

little more positive that there is some official involvement. That is why it

is important for ambassador

Richie to get to Libya to

make contact with Melinda

Taylor and to secure her

immediate release. It is

hardly an advertisement for a

young Australian lawyer to

take up work for the organisation of the International Criminal Court

if they find themselves in

this sort of situation. The

President of the court has

made it clear that the

delegation should attract

diplomatic or legal immunity

and it is very important, not

only for Melinda Taylor, not

only for the integrity of the prosecutions in Libya, but

also for the standing of the International Criminal Court

that countries abide by their

international obligations.

Melinda Taylor was there as a

part of a delegation that had

been authorised by Libya to

be in Libya, that they

understood that Colonel

Gaddafi's son was entitled to

a defence team in the light

of the prosecutions against

him, and that lawyers would

be able to have a privileged

contact with him. It seems

that somewhere along the

line, messages have got

mixed. There are some allegations concerning the

behaviour of the delegation.

My view is that those matters

can be raised directly with the International Criminal

Court but in the meantime, Melinda Taylor and the

delegation must be free to go home. Can I turn Julie

Bishop to the situation in

Syria. After the military

intervention in Libya, a lot

of people are wondering why

can't we do the same thing with Syria? Given

international condemnation

and actions to date have,

well, they appear to have

fallen on deaf ears, is it a

problem that Syria is practically different, they

have a stronger military

defence and of course the

ties with Iran, is military

action off the table or

should it be considered?

There is understandable international outrage about the violence in Syria but

while ever Russia and China

refuse to support any United Nations Security Council

resolution regarding military

intervention, it will not

occur. There are significant differences with the

situation in Libya but there

is no alternative Government

in Syria. Indeed, the

dictators in the Syrian

regime have made sure that

there is no alternative.

There have been decades of

oppression to ensure that no

other alternative can

survive. And so we are not

dealing with the same

situation in Libya. Likewise

Syria is more central to

Middle East affairs both geographically and

politically and it is an

extremely complex

situation,ing involving many

players, many actors, not the

least being Russia, China and

Iran. The cease fire plan

has not been a success to

date but there are efforts to

revive it and Russia has

suggested an international

conference. The United States and other members of

the international community

are not against the idea but

it is being bogged down in

details as to who should attend this conference.

Russia is suggesting that

Iran should be there. Now,

before Iran can be

contemplated as being part of

this international conference

t would have to demonstrate a

commitment to peace in Syria

and there are reports that

there are Iranian troops on

the ground in Syria. Well, I

mean, they are all good

reasons and particularly you

mentioned there that the

complex nature of the regional politics, the

relationship with Iran, the

lack of an alternative

Government, if you like, in

Syria, but all of that is

cold comfort to the people of

Syria, isn't it, when they

are suffering, they are dying

at the hands of whoever is

responsible and arguably the

Syrian Government is. What

can be done about this

situation? Well, you're

absolutely right David.

There have been 15 months of

uprisings in Syria and

President Assad could bring

an end to the violence immediately if he directed

his troops not to fire on

civilians. The supposed

cease fire has now been

ignored by both sides. The

Syrian army have broken the

cease fire and of course the

opposition have responded.

Each blaming the other for

breaching the cease fires.

But what the international

community needs to do is to

continue the pressure on

President Assad through the

former economic sanctions

which can have an impact but

also through opportunities to

support the cease fire plan.

The option of military

intervention should always be

a last option. But as I

said, while Russia and China

have refused to support such an UN Security Council

resolution, military

intervention is unlikely to be implemented any time soon

as it was in Libya because it

was backed by UN Security

Council resolution. Can I

bring you back home to the

border protection debate

here. We have had two more

boats arrive today carrying

asylum seekers, between them

almost 150 asylum seekers.

These two have arrived on - just off Christmas Island.

Tony Abbott over the weekend

announced some tougher policy

measures, including a

presumption against granting

asylum to those who don't

have documents. Can you explain to us just what

happens then? So if someone

doesn't have the right

documents, and they are

denied a refugee visa because

of that, where are they sent?

Back to Indonesia? What Tony

Abbott did over the weekend was announce a series of

tougher measures in relation

to refugee assessments. We

are sending a very strong

message to people smugglers

that we know what their

operations are, we know what

their methods are, and we

will not be a soft touch as

the current Government is.

And that we will, as we have

done in the past, break up

these kl syndicates, we will shut down the people

smuggling trade and you just

have to look at the

statistics to see how far the

Government has failed in

maintaining integrity in our

border protection system. 11

boats in 11 days. The

Government's working on an

average of 450 people per

month. Already, there have

been something like 12,000

has been Prime Minister. arrive since Julia Gillard

7,000 in the last 12 months

which is an all time high.

So we have announced that

should we be honoured to be

the next Government of this

country, we would put in

place some tough measures in

the refugee assessment field.

Particularly where people are

found to have destroyed their

documents and tried to

circumvent our regular processes, then the

presumption will go against them. So what happens then

if they are not given a

refugee visa because of that,

where are they sent? If they

don't have documents, how do

you know where to send them

or are they sent back to Indonesia? The minister

would be entitled to make an unfavourable inference about their identity. Obviously

steps would have to be taken

to identify where they come

from and then they would be

sent back to where they came

from. But it would have to

be done on a case by case

Each case would require analysis David, obviously.

assessment. But the point is

we are not going to be a soft

touch on these refugee

assessment claims and I think

the captain Emad this past

week would indicate just how

far the system has broken down. But what I'm getting

at is if you are going to

send someone back to where

they came from, simply because they don't have

documents, are we in breach

of any of our international

obligations by doing that?

The minister would be

entitled to make an inference

against the applicant under

the existing laws, as I

understand it. So as it is

now, even if somebody is

deliberately destroyed their

documents, to surk cumvent

our processes, then the

authorities in Australia have

tended to give it a tick and

a flick. The point that we

are making is that the onus

should be reversed against

the person who has

documents. Rather than deliberately destroyed their

having the onus in favour of

them even if they have destroyed documents. All

right, shadow Foreign Minister Julie Bishop thank

you for joining us. It's

been my pleasure. After the

break, we will turn to our

panel for a look at the economics forum the Prime Minister is hosting in

Brisbane this week, a

political stunt or is it

going to deliver the sort of

blue print for dealing with

the structural changes in our

economy at the moment? Stay with us.

You're watching PM Agenda.

In a moment, our panel.

First, a check of the news

headlines, here's Gemma.

Foreign Minister Bob Carr and

Prime Minister Julia Gillard

have called for the release of the Australian lawyer

being detained in Libya.

Melinda Taylor is among a four member International Criminal Court delegation

that was detained after

visiting Colonel Gaddafi's son, Seif al-Islam Gaddafi.

Ms Taylor has been accused of spying and passing suspicious

documents to the former

dictator's son. The

President of the ICC has joined growing international

calls for the release of the

delegation. Top honours in this year's Queen's Birthday

honours have gone to former premiers, Peter Beattie and Victoria's Joan Kirner. They

are joined by ex-federal

ministers Gareth Evans and

Robert Hill and Professor Ian

Frazer who discovered the

serkcal cancer vaccine.

Graham Bond famous for his

character aunty Jam was

honoured for his character.

South-west WA is cleaning up

after it was battered by wild

weather. The coastal towns

of Mandurah and Rockingham

were among the worse affected

areas. The winds reached up

to 140 km an hour, ripping

off roofs and uprooting

trees. The President of

Burma says his country's

transition to democracy is

under threat as violence

looks set to spread across

the country. It comes after

a state of emergency was

declared in the west of the

country following deadly

clashes between Buddhists and

Muslims. At least 7 people

were killed and hundreds of

homes were set alight in the

violence. The stars of

Broadway have walked the red

carpet in New York for the annual Tony Awards. Neil Patrick Harris hosted the

night for the third time in a

row and Australia's very own

Hugh Jackman was presented

with a special Tony from his

wife. He was honoured for

his contribution to the

Broadway community and for

his charity work. Australian

swimmers Kenrick Monk and

Nick D'Arcy say they accept

the AOC's decision to send

them home early from the

London Olympics. The pair

will return to Australia as

soon as their swimming events

conclude after being punished after posting pictures of themselves holding high-powered weapons. They have also agreed not to use

social media in the lead-up

to the games. And

to the games. And tomes weather forecast.

Thank you. Let's bring in

our panel, joining us as they

do each Monday, Grahame

Morris and Bruce Hawker. I

want to talk about the

economic summit that the Prime Minister is host

anything Brisbane this week,

but firstly, just on this

case of the Australian

lawyer, Melinda Taylor, how

worried should we be about

her fate? Well, she is

certainly in trouble. You

know, here is a lady who is

simply doing the right thing

as a lawyer and trying to defend somebody who is

entitled to a defence and has

got herself into awful hot

water. Look, if it is any

comfort to the family, if

this gets back to them, if I

was to pick anyone in

Australia to go on her behalf

into a country, I think it

would be David Richie. The other one is probably Kevin

Rudd but the Government is

never going to do that. But

David Richie was our man in

Indonesia doing all the

assume assumes an all the

bombings and what not. He is

a very decent fellow, very experienced foreign affairs

man and if I got into a

pickle, I would want to know

that a David Richie was out

there on my behalf, woe do a

good job for her. Let's get

on to this economic summit.

Kicks off tomorrow night and

then Wednesday will be a full

day. 130 business leaders,

union leaders, industry,

community bodies being

represented there as well. Bruce Hawker, you can understand why the Government

wants to keep the focus on

the economy, they had a good

week of economic data last

week, economic summit this

week will keep some focus

there and then the PM is off

to the G20 in Mexico next

week where they will talk

about the global economy. Is

this much more than a political stunt, will much

come out of it? I certainly

hope a lot comes out of it

David. As you said, there is

a broad cross section of

business and industry and the

unions represented at this summit as the Prime Minister

has pointed out, we do have

this patchy sort of economy,

this two tiered economy, three tiered economy some

weem would say, and I think

that is the main focus of the

meeting, to try to address

that issue because

notwithstanding the fact that

we have great figures as far

as employment goes, debts

low, inflation's low, we get

ticks in all of these fronts,

people still feel the pressure and I think the

Government really wants to do

something about that and seem

to be doing something about

that. I don't think there is

anything wrong with that.

But we saw a tax summit

earlier in the year, now this

economic summit and there are

question marks over who is

really going to attend.

Australian Premier is not Colin Barnett, the Western

going, Barry O'Farrell,

understandably has his budget

on tomorrow, so he is not

going to be going, even

Campbell Newman in his own

State may not be going.

There doesn't seem to be a

lot of cross party lines

involvement in this when it

comes to the State premiers

at least. I think that's a question best addressed to

the State premiers, those

conservative premiers, if

they are boycotting it, then

I think that is a sad

reflection on them. Glen

Stevens isn't boycotting it,

Gale Kelly, the head of Westpac isn't boycotting it

either, we have some very

senior and business industry

figures that will be

attending the meeting and I

say more power to the summit,

if it can, start to address

some of these very real

issues because, as I said, we

have got a great economy, it is charging along well but

everybody has got to be able

to share in it and that is

the focus of the Government

right now and we will continue seeing the

opposition naying it, but I

think it is a genuine effort

to get everybody benefitting

from the good economic

situation that the country is

in right now compared to the

northern hemisphere. Graham,

you can understand Barry

O'Farrell not going, it is

his budget week, Campbell

Newman, this is happening in his home town Brisbane,

Queensland is suffering from

the effects of this patch

work economy that we hear

about. Yes, it is a mining

State but there are pockets

of Queensland that are doing

it pretty tough as well. A

chance to sit down and have

the ear of the likes of Glen

Stevens and all of these

business leaders like Gale

Kelly, why wouldn't he be

going to this? Well, you're

right about that Barry

O'Farrell. I'm actually hosting a big business lunch

for tomorrow and I think half

of the community is at that.

And that is understandable.

Look, this is all about -

what should a meeting like

this, or a big committee

meeting or a summit, whatever

you want to call it, what

should it be about? It

should be about confidence.

Confidence, confidence,

confidence. I have been

talked to about 200 board

rooms, big business people

representing about 200

companies in the last month

or so and it is all about

confidence. Sydney and

Melbourne and the bush is

dreadful. Queensland is

actually not too bad. The

business community in

Queensland does have a bit

more confidence, Sydney and

Melbourne just awful. And

you think, well, what will

they talk about? What would

give them confidence? Well,

you could walk out and the

Prime Minister could explain

how a carbon tax is actually going to help that

confidence. It has got me

stuffed how it will. I suspect they will all sit

there, they will be very,

very honoured to be there.

They will do the right thing.

The business people won't

talk to the trade union

people and they will all be

grumpy. The only thing that

would change confidence is

halfway through if somebody

walked in and said the Prime

Minister has resigned. Then

there would be huge cheering and the business community

would walk out and say "Here

we go". Putting politics to

one side, do these summits

work, do they achieve much,

are they just talk fests or

merit in bringing together do you think there is some

business and Government? I

always like bringing people

together. As to whether or

not you do it en masse or you

simply invite a few people

all the time... Apparently

the PM has been doing more of

this lately. The Prime

Minister has a very good

business advisor that she has

brought in. If she listened

to him, she would sort of be

on the right track but look,

some of these policies, I've listened to the Treasurer

lately and he is saying that

good policy, if you get good

policy, the politics will

look after themselves itself.

Well, blimey. If you have a

look at the political

situation of the Government,

the policies must be dreadful

because, you know, just

everything has gone wrong.

And the business community at

the moment, I don't care what

the official figures say,

Sydney and Melbourne business

community is not looking to

invest, it is not looking to

employ people, in fact, it is

going the other way. You can't ignore the official

figures. They are official

and they are figures. Well,

maybe. But you know when you get the business community

saying "Look, we are training

young people, they are all

going to Brisbane and what's

left of sort of people who

don't want to work in our

place". They are very, very

toey at the moment about how

to - whether or not they

should invest, what happens

next and that is not a good climate for the next couple

of years. I guess the danger is when you do have strong figures like that and the

Government talking them up,

crowing perhaps about the strength of the economy,

there are plenty of people

out there who would seriously disagree with that characterisation of the economy. There may be but

the facts do have to be

reasserted David. 39,000

jobs created in May.

Unemployment at 5%. Debt has

a percentage of GDP at 10%.

Incredibly low. Some of

these northern hemisphere

countries have got debt which

is 120% of GDP. That is the

sort of comparisons we are

talking about here. So if people in the business

community are a bit concerned

about the economy, why

wouldn't they be given what's

happening in the northern

hemisphere. Spain has just

been bailed out with 125

billion euro bailout. So

that is the sort of money we

are talk being in the north.

You have to compare what's

happening here and say, you

know, just put your grasses

on for a second and examine

-- glasses on for a second

and examine this dispassionately and you will

have to come to a conclusion

that the Australian economy,

compared pretty much to any

where else in the first

world, is going gang busters and that is something which

everybody in the conservative

side just wants to knock all

the time. You know, you see

Tony Abbott constantly

knocking it. He is the bob

of negativity. He goes again

and again and again. I think

people in the community need

to step back and ask

themselves, well, what

prescriptions would he have? None. What are we going to

get out of this week? Obviously the Government wants an endorsement of what

it is doing on things like

the mining tax and the rest

of it but should there be

something more concrete that

we need to come out of this

summit? Well, I would like

to see a real coming together

between the unions and the

business community, an

acceptance generally that

things are in pretty good

shape that, we do need to

talk up our economy, and

shouldn't talk it down and

that the banks aren't in

trouble here like they are

elsewhere. And some real

investment, of time and

energy into working out how

to better speed up those

parts of the economy which

are lagging behind the other,

particularly the mining

sector, I think that is where

they could all be coming

together and doing some real

hard work. Not just over a

couple of days. But over the coming months as well.

Because as you said before,

it is not often that you get

the opportunity to have the

likes of Glen Stevens, Gale

Kelly, Rio Tinto, all sitting

down at the one table talking

through these issues, it is a big opportunity and shouldn't

be waste and I think it is a

shape that we constantly hear

this talking down of the economy by Tony Abbott and

the opposition. I think it

is a very poor thing. Well,

certainly an area that Tony

Abbott is focus odd is border

protection. As I said

earlier to Julie Bishop, we

have seen two more boats

today, 11 in 11 days. And

the Captain Emad issue last

week which was embarrassing

for the Government. Will the sort of things Tony Abbott is

talking about, though, make a

practical difference when it

comes to, well, particularly

this issue of people slipping

through the net who perhaps

shouldn't? Well, it has to.

You know, just what we have

been doing, just isn't

working. 11 boats in 11 days

is a disgrace and you look - many of these people are

coming in, they get to

Indonesia, they fly to

Indonesia. Or they come in,

you know, on passenger boats

and what not. They hand over their passport at the border

of Indonesia and say "Hey,

I'm here", stamp, thank you

very much. When they get to Australia, no documents.

Why? Because it is cooked.

These are - either they have

been conned by these smugglers or there is

something shonky in their

application. And look, in

this sort of climate, I would

be closing the borders

completely. We have so many

people from all parts of the

world because of economic

circumstances and everything

who would love to come to

contribute to this country this country, who would

from day one, you know, that

they would be - that they can

speak English, they can contribute, they have some money, and they can fill a

lot of the gaps that

Australia... Are you saying

we shouldn't take in any

refugees, you are saying

close the borders entirely?

I would announce for a while

that we just close the

border, increase immigration

but close the borders because

some of these people are

getting cleverer and cleverer

and they seem to be beating

our system at the moment

enormously. It is just not

working. How would that go

down internationally, world's

richest country... You would

have all the do gooders

screaming. Not just do gooders, plenty of other

countries as well. Look,

fair dinkum refugees, I don't

mind. But if you turn up and you've deliberately destroyed

your own papers because, you

know, they are going to show

something, they are not fair

dinkum. St This country was

built on refugees and the

great post World War II

migration and refugee intake

is testament to that, as was

the great post Vietnam War

intake into this country, it

was done in a sensible and

bipartisan way. This whole

talk about the papers and

whether they have been

destroyed or not begs the question as to why we

actually have to have these people coming until boats.

They could be processed off

shore if there was agreement between the Government and

the opposition over that one

issue. The Government's put

forward the Malaysia option,

it has been rejected by tsh,

everyone knows why he has

rejected it. It is because

he wants to keep this ball in

the ruck, he wants to keep

pushing the refugee issue at every opportunity he can

because he knows that he is

going to get that sort of knee-jerk reaction out of

people that he has come to

expect. If he wants to

as an alternative Prime really improve his standing

Minister, I think now is an

opportunity for him to say,

actually, there are ways that

we could deal with this

problem, we could be by

partan about it, we could do

what we did after the Vietnam

War and have offshore

programming in places like

Malaysia, do it properly and

make it work and not the

political football that it is

right now. I mean, fodeu

Graham to be talking about

closing off all refugee

intakes, just takes the

argument to a new historical

high. There has never been

any question, I think, on

either side of politics that

there is a legitimate

obligation on the part of

Australia to take its share

of ref combooes. Even tbs

sub skribes to that -- share

of revgies. Even Tony Abbott

subscribes to that. Back in

the time of the new

Government was being

created. Sure, but there is

an orderly process of taking

refugees from offshore and

then this issue about

documents being destroyed by

documents somewhere along the many who clearly have

line, suddenly destroying

them when they come to make

their application here in

Australia. There surely is

sympathy for doing something

more about that? As I said,

it would be much easier if we

didn't have to go through the

process of having people get

to Australia on riketty boats

and a lot of them drown on

the way. That is the big

humanitarian issue here and I

think we could solve this problem overnight if Tony

Abbott were to sit down with the Prime Minister and say "Actually, I think you're

right, I think we should have

proper and orderly offshore

determine these questions processing", then we can

about the papers that people

have, rather than using it as a political football which is clearly what he is doing

right now. All right, we are

going to have to wrap it up

there, good to talk to you

both, thanks for that. We will catch up with you next

week. After the break, we

will be right back, stay with


Birthday honours list now Well, to the Queen's

and, yes, a lot of former politicians have been awarded

in today's list. We thought

we would talk to one of those

who didn't always follow the

party line. Judith Trough

was a Liberal Senator for

Victoria and and outspoken

moderate. She caused John

Howard headaches on asylum

seekers and crossed the floor

for Kevin Rudd's carbon

reduction scheme. I spoke to

her earlier. Well, I must

admit David, initially I was

dumbfounded that I would

receive an award but I hope

it is seen in the light of looking after communities

that don't always leap to the

national attention, like

women, like refugees, and

like the agricultural

community. It was mainly in

those areas that my work was

done. And I'm very gratified

that those groups have been recognised. You were, of

course, an out spoken

moderate in the Liberal party

on some of those issues you

mentioned. How difficult was

that for you personally

during the Howard Government years? Fortunately you

develop a very thick skin,

but I must say, that some of

the remarks that were made

during the later part of that

activity were annoying, but

when you get to some years

seniority in the party, quite

frankly, you just brush them

off. As one of my colleagues

said, you respect the criticism according to where

it's come from. You did

fight hard for things like releasing children from

detention. I'm wondering

what you make now of the current debate over asylum

seekers, this Nauru versus Malaysia argument that we

seem bog down in? I'm

astounded that the offshore

debate is still going on when

we fought so hard for people

to have a limited time in

detention only and for women

and children not to be in

detention at all. And we

seem to have reverted right

back to square one and I must

say, I'm very disappointed. And what about on climate

change? You of course were

one of two Liberal senators,

only two, who crossed the

floor to vote for Kevin

Rudd's emissions trading

scheme. Now, the Liberal

Party are vehemently opposed

to any sort of carbon tax or

emissions trading scheme it

seems at the moment. What do you think about this current

stance? Well, I think the

Liberal Party at the moment

is quite entitled to be against the carbon tax which

is going to impact on every

man, woman and child in this country in terms of their

contribution to it. The ETS,

the emissions trading scheme

that senator sue Boyce and I

voted for, was something that

was all together different.

It was worked out by Malcolm

Turnbull and the party

together with the Government

and I thought we had reached

an agreeable solution which

meant that industry paid its

way as well and that the

community was not so

penalise's. Now, they have

moved - the present

Government have moved right

away from that. And I must

say I'm very disappointed in

that as well. Well, crossing

the floor is certainly a rare step in the Liberal Party,

and indeed speaking out on

policy is something we don't

see much of at the moment. The moderates in the Liberal

Party do seem to be a lot

quieter than when you and

Bruce Baird and others were around. Why do you think

that is? Are they happy campers, are they happy with

where the policies are set at

the moment or are they too

scared to talk up? Part of

the reason would be that some

of the leading moderates,

such as Petro, gorgio, and

Bruce Baird have left the

Parliament and I understand

that Judy Molon are also

leading the Parliament at the

next election. There are

particular reasons for that.

But at the moment, I think

the entire Liberal Party is

holding its breath waiting

for the end of this

disastrous Labor Government

when, presumably, they will

reach the Government benches

and determine their own

course. But I wouldn't want

to see the party go too far

to the right. So do you

think it is easier in

Government, to speak up when

you do have concerns with

your own side than it is in

opposition? Well, in

Government you actually get

to do something. Because we

were in Government, I was

able to say to John Howard

that I would not support the

Nauru solution and because of

the particular circumstances

at that time, with the

Coalition having a majority

of one in the Senate, that

meant if I voted against it,

or as I had proposed to, that

there would be a negative

result because a 36 all

result in the Senate or an

even number result in the

Senate means that it is

resolved in the negative.

Now, that was only possible

in the Senate and only possible because our majority

of one. But I saw my

opportunity and I took it.

Can I ask you finally about

the current nature of

politics in Australia. A lot

has been said about this

being perhaps some of the

nastiest exchanges in Parliament that we have seen

for a long time and the

general community attitudes towards politics having

fallen off a cliff. Do you

think that is right? Well,

I'm not surprised that the community holds the views

that it does when it sees

such scenes in question time.

But I wouldn't like to say

that things have got worse

since I left, David, but the

present level is fairly low,

I think. What I would like

to see is much more

concentration on the issues

of the day, such as health,

such as education, such as

climate change, without

personal attitudes and

personal views getting in the

way so much. Well,

congratulations once again

and thanks for joining us.

That's a pleasure David,

thank you. That's all we have time for today's

program. We willing back

same time tomorrow. Stay

with us after the break, the

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