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Sky News On The Hour 4pm -

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Hello, and welcome to the Contrarians, I'm Peter van

Onselen. Well, it's been a

huge week for the media, we

will be taking a close look

at that on Contrarians today, plus next week the carbon tax gets introduced, what do the

panel think about it, do they

expect the political debate to change with its

introduction or will it just

be more doom and gloom for

the Government as Tony Abbott

continues to attack the tax, andering that this Government

says and does. We will also

look at asylum seekers, that

is obviously in the headlines

today as well. All of that coming up shortly with the

panel, but first, let's take

a look at what's making

news. Thanks Peter. The

home afachs minister says he

is bracing himself for the

death toll to rise following

the asylum seeker boat disaster north of Christmas

Island. Jason Clare has told

Sky News surveillance craft

have spotted more bodies in

the water and they haven't

seen anyone alive tossday.

Liberal back bencher says

both sides of politics need

to come together on the issue

before more lives are lost.

Joining us now from Canberra

is Sky News political

reporter Tom Connell. Jason

Clare provided an update, he

said the number of survivors

has been downgraded from 110

to 109, all of them have been

taken to Christmas Island,

one of them remains in a

critical condition. Now,

they are all adult males

except for one, 13-year-old

boy. There is still a search

for the estimated 90 people

still una-acted for but there

are grave fears held for them now. Let's hear from the

minister, Jason Clare, and

the latest update he provided

to lunchtime agenda. Our surveillance planes that are

over the search and rescue

scene at the moment have seen

more debris this morning,

they have also seen life

jackets in the water, some

floating on their own and

some with people with life

jackets and, unfortunately,

seen more bodies in the water

this morning. No good news.

I can't report any information that they have

seen people that are alive in

the water at this time. Now,

so far today on this issue,

it is obviously a very

politicised issue, but both

leaders are keen just to talk

about the rescue effort and

the tragic situation that is unfolding, they don't want to

the plitcise this at the

moment, let's hear from the

Prime Minister and also the

Opposition Leader on this.

What we do know in relation

to this very tragic matter is

that we do face considerable

loss of life at sea but a

search and rescue operation

is under way right now. It

is still possible for people

to have survived and be in

the water. Australian

personnel are doing their

best to minimise the loss of

life and I just think that we

should support and encourage everyone involved in the

rescue effort. There will be

time enough in the days and

weeks ahead to talk about

what policy lessons might be

drawn from it. Now, both

sides of politics have said

they believe offshore

processing will reduce the

number of boats dramatically,

but they can't agree on what

method and that has drawn

fierce criticism from the

Liberal back bencher. He

says they have to put

politics on side on this, he

says this should be a wake up

call on politicians, he has

described this as the most

dismal Parliament he has ever

been apart of, he would

rather leave politics than

have it continue this way.

He says the buck has to stop

now, politicians should be

ashamed of what is happening

and they need to humanity on

this. So some very strong

words there. He has also said both sides should

consider all options,

including the Malaysian

Solution which of course the

Coalition has so far rejected

. So some very strong words

there on this issue and there

could be more unrest amongst

back benchers if any of that sentiment is shared. Thank

you so much. Talk to you

again soon. Jeremy Laidler, the 41-year-old real estate

agent accused of killing his

wife, Allison, has been

denied bail in the Queensland

Supreme Court this afternoon.

Sky News reporter Joel is

outside the court in

Brisbane, he filed this

report. The judge's decision

to deny bail today is from

the fact that he deemed

Jeremy Laidler to be too

great a flight risk. He said

a murder charge held with it

the real risk of mandatory life imprisonment and this

this powerful incentive made

it a real possibility that Mr

Baden-Clay would flee. Fresh

information was revealeded in

the Supreme Court today about

the alleged murder of Allison Baden-Clay. Prosecutors allege that her husband

searched on line about the

topic of self incrimination.

That forensic testing proved

he had scratches on his face,

despite his claims they were

shaving cuts. And that he

made contact with his wife's life insurance company before

her body was formally

identified. Prosecutors also

said Mr Baden-Clay planned to

leave his wife, Allison, on

the 1st July to be with a

work colleague he had

allegedly been having an

ongoing affair with. The judge noted that it was concerning a person could be

kept in custody for up to

three years awaiting trial

but that despite the fact

that Mr Baden-Clay has three

daughters that he has been

taking care of and business

ties here in Brisbane, he

would need to remain in

custody. Julian Assange has slammed the Australian Government over a lack of

support, saying he hasn't had

a consular visit since 2010.

The WikiLeaks founder remains

in Ecuador's embassy in

London seeking asylum and

hoping to avoid being

extradited to Sweden over

sexual assault allegations.

He says the only contact he

has had with Australian

authorities has been via text

message. When you hear this

word consular assistance, I

haven't met with anyone from the Australian high commission since December

2010. What are they talking

about? The decision about

face to face contact has been

a matter for Mr Assange to

decide. Consular officials

have dealt with Mr Assange's

legal team, certainly been

available to meet with Mr

Assange face-to-face had he

wished that to occur.

Assange says he is fearful of

extradition to the United

States if he goes to Sweden

to face sex charges. Mining

giant Fortescue is launching

an 11th hour legal challenge

to the Government's mining

tax. Just days before the

controversial charge is due

to come into force. CEO Nev

Power says the miner has a

good case stacked up against

the legislation. The miner

says the minerals resource

rent tax discriminates

between the States, giving preference to some States

over others. Shadow Assistant Treasurer says the

High Court challenge was inevitable. Julia Gillard

and Wayne Swan negotiated

this tax personally through a highly improper process.

They negotiated a massive new

tax on an important industry exclusively and in secret

with the three biggest mining

companies in Australia. They

not only excluded the competitors of those three

companies from that process,

but quite extraordinarily

they also excluded State and

Territory governments and

Commonwealth officials from

that process. Acting Prime Minister Wayne Swan says he is determined to deliver the

Government's mining tax on

July 1, despite the court

challenge. Residents in

Victoria south-east are

counting the cost after heavy

rain left homes flooded.

Forecasters say the wintery

blast isn't over. The

overnight rain left rivers swollen, roads closed and homes inundated with water.

The towns of Koo Wee Rup suffered the worse of it

after receiving 60 mm of rain

in just 24 hours. I've lived in Koo Wee Rup for three

years but I have actually

worked here for 15 years, so

never seen the water come

inasmuch as it has in the

last two or three days. We

got evacuated a year ago but

never come inasmuch as what

it has here, so apparently it

can't hold it all. So unfortunately all of the

houses on the lower areas are

going to suffer. Drainage

issues, a broken levee and

rising Bunyip River forced

floodwaters towards houses. They rallied together to sand

bag homes but for others it

was too late. It's sort of

heart breaking to look at it

and makes you realise what

other people have been

through much worse. The SES

doorknocked 86 homes

overnight, warning of the

imminent threat. Here in

William Street, elderly residents were isolated. They have had to work

together to rescue them while

a number of residents

throughout the town have

managed to evacuate early this morning. While the rain

has eased for now, the Weather Bureau warns more is

on the way next week. In

Egypt, there is growing tension over the disputed

presidential election. Both

candidates have declared

victory but the official

result has been delayed until

Sunday, a week after the

polls closed. Around Cairo,

the Egyptian military is

starting to tighten its grip.

The security forces seen to

be preparing for trouble

adding to the sense of

looming chaos here.

Thousands are back in tar rer

square where the revolution

began. Supporters of the Muslim brotherhood who have

claimed victory in the

presidential election and now

fear the military is trying

to change the result. They

are trying to steal the

Egyptian revolution. They

are trying to kill. People

are waiting, we are under

this burning sun, want

democracy, and we will make

it and we will win our

rights, we will get our

rights. You can understand

the anger here because the

initial result showed the

mussim brotherhood won this

election. But now the

election officials are

considering hundreds of

appeals based on allegations

of voting irregularities, a

process that some here say is

just a cover from rigging the

vote. Back in Tahrir Square,

the calls are for a new

revolution. So much for the

birth of democracy here.

Sports news and in a warning

to the rest of the competition, Collingwood says

they are only going to get

better as their familiar

faces return to the side.

The Pies welcome back key

defenders Ben Reid, Heath

Shaw and Alan Toovey for

tomorrow's top of the table clash against West Coast at

the MCG. Yeah, it is and not

only that, just consistency

in players that are continually playing and all

of that kind of stuff, it

definitely helps with

momentum and keeping that

momentum going forward.

Meanwhile, ahead of the club's Hall of Fame events

Michael Voss has challenged

his players to put in a performance befitting of the occasion. It is really

important for us as a

football club tomorrow that

we go about our business in a

manner that, when we sit in

our chair at the end of the

night and we sit down and

reflect on some of these great players that have

played in our game and the

contribution they have made

to this club, that we play

the type of brand of footy

that they are proud of.

Sydney and Geelong will get

round 13 tonight at the SCG.

Tomorrow's weather forecast

around the country: back now

Peter van Onselen with the Contrarians. Thanks very

much for that. We will take

a commercial break. When we

come back, my rant plus the

panel's views on the week

that was. You're watching the Contrarians.

Hello, and welcome to the

Contrarians, this is the only

show on Sky or anywhere

elsewhere we truly involve

you, the viewers, by reading

out your tweets and emails.

Even a bleeding heart on

refugees like me is now looking pretty closely at

what's going on and feeling

like I might not agree with the Malaysian Solution, I might not agree with Tony Abbott's alternative to do

something in relation to

Nauru, but at the end of the

day, the parties have to come

together now for the sake of the political debate about this in this country, if

nothing else, to stop the

boats, to let one of those

options go forward, or

perhaps, as I think Chris

Bowen alluded to once in

months gone by, to have them

jointly ticketed so that

something can be done about asylum seekers. Well at

least then find out whether

the flow of boats slows

courtesy of the decisions

that have been made and the

debate can move on to

whatever its next ugly stage

it gets to but where we are

now, and the independents are right about this in their

calls today for the parties

to come together, is this

silly absurd and, frankly, ugly situation where both

sides of politics start off

when a tragedy like the one

we have just recently seen

happen by not playing

politics but they always play

politics and blame each other

for the fact that we have got

here. Well, guess what, we

have got it is both your

faults now. It is a pox on

both your houses as far as

that goes. Let's hear what

the panel have to say about

that. I'm joined by Troy

Bramson, thanks for your

company. Claire Harvey,

appreciate your company as

always. And Dr Greg

O'Mahoney, thanks for your

company as well. Greg, let's

start with you. You have

been similarly pre-disposed

to me to issues attached to

asylum seekers, what is your

view now? You see tragedy

like this happening, where

should the debate go in your

opinion? Well, I think the debate should recognise that

of all the issues that are characterised the last term

and the term before of

Parliament, there is no issue

that has embarrassed both

sides more than this one. I

think the opposition's

fixation with talking about

stopping the boats whatever

is the policy initiative of

the day and the Government's

waxing and waning between the

East Timorry solution, the malshab solution and where we

have ended one this --

Malaysian Solution and where

we have ended up with this

status quo where it is talked

about non-stop with no regard

had to what the senior public servants operating in the

field are saying, is really

lamentable. I hope you're

wrong that by the end of the

week end... Is either side to

blame for this? For example

someone like me, I've always

been of the view that if the

boats come in the relatively

small numbers that they are

in, I'm okay about that, and

frankly I guess you have to accept that unfortunately the

kind of tragedies that we

have seen mean that you are

not okay with that, but you

see that as what people who

are fleeing persecution in

the case of legitimate refugees are prepared to

risk, I suppose, but Troy, in

your view, does the debate

get us anywhere if we get a

deal on Malaysia or on

Nauru? I think that's a

really interesting question

because we don't know whose policies are going to work

the best. We know the

Government's policies are not

working and they have been

all over the shop from Manus

Island to East Timor to not

supporting refugees going to

a country that is not a

signature of the UN refugee

convention, then of course

the Malaysian solution is not

- Malaysia is not a signatory there either. So there's

been a lot of mess either

side but I'm not sure that

either side is going to work.

Because there are some

questions about the Howard Government's policies as

well. I mean, basically Tony Abbott... You would agree

though that question marks or

not, Labor if it had its time

again, would not have

unravelled the system. It

would end back somewhere

similar, good idea if you are

a bleeding heart, but they

didn't do that. I think

that's right. I think

Labor's mistake was not

having an alternative in

place before they closed

Nauru. That doesn't mean to

say there weren't problems

with Nauru, but just very

briefly, Tony Abbott says

turn back the boats, well,

the Navy says that that is

problematic and may not

always work and will put

lives at risk. He says there

should be offshore processing

in Nauru yet the department

says Nauru is not the place

it used to be, and then he

wants temporary protection

visas and there are different views that is they are an effective deterrent given that some people that got

them ended up coming to

Australia in the end. So

there is problems on either

side here and I don't think

there is a clear way forward.

But something has to give and

I think the best way forward,

really, is to allow both

sides to be able to legislate

whatever they want and that

means both of them coming together, the Government

putting through the Malaysian Solution and whatever else

they want... But the Government is the Government

here surely. Claire Harvey,

let me bring you in on this.

Even conservatives at home

watching this that do not

like the Government, surely even they would concede that

as the Government of the day,

Tony Abbott should let them

have their Malaysian Solution

if we are going to see some

sort of impasse to this, he

can then have his Nauru

solution when he wins the

next election, which is

looking more and more inevitable, but surely even

they should concede that the

Government should be allowed,

even if it fails, to pursue

its policy before it does

fail, if it does? I think

the truth that you can't

avoid in this situation is

that if boats are leaving

Indonesia, they will be sinking and the policy should

be to stop the boats. I don't agree with Tony Abbott's idea of turning them

around, I think as the Navy

has said repeatedly, that is ridiculous. I don't think

even he agrees with that any

more. He has to stick to it because he said it but at the end of the day it is not going to happen without a

deal with Indonesia. I think the Indonesians have let

Australia down in failing to

stop the boats. I don't

think they have lived up to

their end of the bargain on

that and I know that the

Australian Government

wouldn't say that, but that's

what I think is the case. I

think you can blame the

Greens in this situation

given that they voted against

any kind of offshore

processing but that's what

the Greens are there for,

they have never been - they

have always been clear that

that would be their

policy. They both want

offshore processing at

present and neither will

bend. It's a case of foolish

ego on both sides preventing

a solution that could be

saving lives. One of our

twitters followers, Greg, made the observation that

Rudd didn't stop Nauru, he

stopped temporary protection

visas as well and that was

one of the big factors here.

Do you agree with that? I

think the problem with Rudd

and Gillard is that they

spent 10 years in opposition

crying out for a more humane

approach to refugees and the key decision that Rudd made

about midway through his term

was randomly one afternoon to

decide that all applications from Afghanistan and Sri

Lanka were not going to be

proceedingsed, which was an

extraordinary thing to

identify... We were on air

the day after that. I think we were on air an hour after that happening. And if you

look at Gillard, having been

a voice in Parliament for the

best years of her life, she

then advocated a policy as

Prime Minister that saw

unaccompanied children go to

Malaysia and I think we will

look back on this Government

and this will be a real low

point of its... Let me jump in and ask Troy a question

off the back of that. If

were you Prime Minister, what

would you do in this space

now, like with everything

that has already happened,

you can't undo it from the

Government's perspective, the

mess that it has created and

that is all it, it is an

absolute mess, what would you

do now to try to quarterise the wound? I think there has

to be offshore processing. Probably my views are probably evolving on this

issue, I think like a lot of

other peoples as they see the

boats keep coming, people now

dying at sea on a fairly

regular basts, lives at risk,

something has got to give, and offshore processing

probably seems like the way

to go. But then we used to

talk on this panel a year or

two ago about the importance

of having an international agreement that Chris bopeen

was trying to lock down then,

that hasn't happened although

that is still ideal policy scenario having a global or at least a regional agreement

to this issue. That doesn't

look like happening but there

has to be some kind of offshore processing and if

Nauru is open to that and so

so Malaysia, then those

options should be taken up

and they should be tested.

We are getting accused of

attacking Tony Abbott here.

This is a pox on all sides,

this is no direct attack at

the Government, or the

opposition, it is all sides

that are failing to act in a bipartisan. I don't blame Abbott for this any more than the Government, the

Government created the mess,

so you can understand why

Abbott takes the view ipso facto as a result of that

they should turn around and

adopt what we had before they

made the mess, I understand

that... But at some point as

the opposition don't you have to accept the Government, as

you said is the Government,

and no matter how much you

might disagree, if there are

children's lives at stake and

the lives of people who are... He doesn't believe

that what they are proposing

is going to actually do

anything about that. He still thinks the boats will

keep coming under the

Malaysian Solution, that is

his reason for saying no, we

will not support your

position on this. I don't

know about that. I think if

he thought they would stop

under the Malaysian Solution, there might be a very

different reality. I think

there is more ex-paedence

going on here... You are that

cynical about it. You think he thinks the boats might

stop and therefore he is

politically not prepared to

back it because it would kill

the issue for the

opposition? It is an effective tool that is

stopping boats. I think the prize is getting to Australia. That is clearly what's being told by the

people smugglers to the

vulnerable people in those

Indonesian port towns. I

think the Malaysian solution,

as Greg said, is deeply

flawed but I think it was

better than nothing. I also

think the Government never

should have demolished the

Nauru solution. But isn't it

also the case that with the

Malaysian solution, even if

that was in place right now,

it would be full up and then

where would the Government be

going next? There was only

800 people... Presumably they

could increase the number of

people that are there. What

are the numbers again? 800 I

think. Not much but they can

up that. Bowen has are

always indicated they might

up it. You can say that but

that's not what was initially

proposed and so even if that

did go through... Be fair though, it is reasonable to

assume, isn't it, that if

Malaysia have agreed to a

figure of 800, they are

likely to agree to an

increase in that? The

Government would have had to

have thought that through.

But just imagine if the

Malaysian solution was in

place, it reached 800 and the

boats kept coming and there

were thousands of thousands

people, more than a thousand

people this month, would

Malaysia just be saying,

well, you can have an

uncapped amount? You can say

that about any form - isn't

the whole point about that it

does stop the boats, we know

that. We don't know whether

it would stop this one. Even

if we had the Malaysian

solution in place and it

wasn't full up or it

increased its quota, we don't know the position that these

people are in and what they

were fleeing and how

desperate they were too.

That is a great point. What

are they fleeing? If they

are legitimate refugees that

are fleeing persecution, then obviously drowning at sea is

a risk that they are prepared

to take and who, on earth,

knows what they are fleeing

from in terms of what makes them prepared to take that

risk? I've got to say, it

looks like the earlier

reports are that this boat

was heading towards Australia

and was in trouble and the

Australians authorities

suggested it go back to

Indonesian shores and it kept

going towards Australia. I

mean, you only have to think

that it was a pretty - who knows how that decision was

taken - but it shouldn't be

assumed that these people

were anything other than in a pretty desperate set of circumstances that saw them

take such a risk. But I don't think there is any

solution that they were

fleeing persecution in

Indonesia. Sure, in a sense therefore they have become, and this is one of the key

elements of the debate, they

become economic refugees,

once they flee - I mean, the

right argue they they become economic refugees once they

flee persecution and get to

Indonesia but choose to continue moving on to

somewhere like Australia,

that makes them economic

refugees even if they started

out as genuine refugees. The

left say no, because they are

going to a place that is not

a signatory to the relevant

UN Convention, so under

international law they have a

right to continue fleeing

persecution and get to a signatory country like Australia for example but

this is where the Government,

in between this left right

argument of which there is no

easy answer, have got itself

in a world of pain here

because it has gone and done

a deal with Malaysia, who

guess what, isn't a signatory

to the event UN conventions,

what a debacle. We have got

to take a commercial break.

When we come back, we will

talk about Mary Jo Fisher,

she has had problems in the

past, she has become very

open about her condition, her illness, depression that is,

and now it looks like it has

forced her out of Parliament.

We will talk about that when

we come back. You're watching the Contrarians.

Welcome back, you're watching the Contrarians, we will continue with the panel in a moment and the various discussions of the week and

we will get to the media

issues as well, they are obviously very significant.

All of that coming up

shortly, but first, let's

check in with what's making

news. Search planes have

spotted more bodies in the

water after an asylum seeker

boat capsized north of Christmas Island yesterday.

Authorities were holding out

hope of finding more survivors but none of those

spotted from the air today

were alive. So far 109 people and a 13-year-old boy

have been rescued and three

bodies have been recovered.

About 200 people were

believed to be on board. Home Affairs Minister Jason

Clare says he is bracing for

the death toll to rise.

Meanwhile liberal back

bencher says both sides of politics need to come

together on the issue before

more lives are lost. Gerard Baden-Clay, the Brisbane man

accused of killing his wife,

Allison, has been denied bail in the Queensland Supreme

Court. His defence argue the

much of the evidence in the

case against him is

circumstantial. And that he

needed bail to care for his

children. But the judge agreed with prosecutors who

argued Baden-Clay could be a

flight risk. He will remain

in custody until his trial begins. Mining giant

Fortescue is launching an

11th hour legal challenge to

the Government's mining tax,

just days before the

controversial charge is due

to come into force. CEO Nev

Power says the miner has a

good case stacked up against

the legislation. The miner

says the minerals resource

rent tax discriminates

between the States, giving

preference to some States

over others. Mathias Cormann

says the High Court challenge

was inevitable. Acting Prime

Minister Wayne Swan says he

is determined to deliver the

Government's mining tax on

July 1 despite the court

challenge. Several homes in

Koo Wee Rup in Victoria's

south east are counting the

cost of heavy flooding which is unindated low lying areas.

Another 40 homes are under

threat. Authorities

evacuated residents from more

than 40 homes in the early hours of this morning,

following days of heavy rain and high tides. Taliban gun

men have attacked a popular

lake side hotel on the

outskirts of Kabul. Several people were taken hostage but

police say they have managed

to free 18 civilians and

killed two insurgents but the

hotel siege is still

continuing. Other hostages

may still be being held. It

is not known how many gun men

attacked the hotel which is

in a popular lake side

recreation area of Kabul.

The Afghan Taliban have

claimed responsibility for

the attack saying wealthy

Afghans and foreigners use the hotel to have wild

parties in the lead-up to the

Friday religious day holiday. In sport, Collingwood has

sounded a warning saying they

will only get better as their

stars return. The Pies

welcome back defenders Ben Reid, Heath Shaw and Alan Toovey for tomorrow's clash with West Coast. The winner

will take top spot on the AFL

ladder. Shecing Saturday's

weather: -- checking Saturday's weather.

Welcome back. You're watching the Contrarians

where I'm joined by Troy Bramson, Claire Harvey and Greg O'Mahoney. I'll tell

you what, there is nothing like the asylum seeker issue

to stir up debate, Twitter

and emails coming in by and

large people are taking the

view, panel, that they think

how can you possibly blame

Tony Abbott for this, he is

in opposition, this is the

Government's mess, it is

their fault, they closed

Nauru in the first place. Some spotted comments here and there from people saying the Government should be

allowed to govern, how can you possibly blame them

because they are unable to

put their Malaysian solution

in place because of Government opposition, and

then we have got one fellow,

Richard has come in and said

from WA, take the lead Peter,

get the panel and yourself to

have a consensus, lead the

journeyo pack and call for

offshore processing. Well,

didn't you do that Troy, I'm

pretty sure that you did that

just before the break? Yeah,

well, I've generally had a

view that there should be onshore processing but I've

just been concerned there is

so many boats and losing their lives and putting their

lives at risk. So I think

there has got to be a new way. We have got Troy

Bramson leading the pack. We

are going to move to our

special segment now where we

take a look at the Gillard

Government, I'm hoping the

three of you can come up with

something than you have in

the last couple of weeks.

Let's roll it and have a look.

Well, we will start with

you Greg O'Mahoney, say something nice about the Gillard Government.

Obviously not a refugee

policy. I think we will just

develop further the point I

made last week about the national... No, I want

something new, something new.

There must be something that

they have done in the last

week that impresses you.

Their staying power, we talk

about the fact that in so many ways this Government couldn't one a bath, but I

think it is hard for anyone to imagine the sort of personal pressure she has

been under from the day she

took office and her ability

to just keep fronting the

camera, telling the story,

wearing a brave face when I

think we all know that behind

the scenes she is probably

going through any amount of

personal turmoil is pretty extraordinary. I think even

her greatest enemies, and I'm

sure Tony Abbott in private

moments, would pay tribute to

the fact that she hangs in

there and keeps fronting up

to the press conferences and

fronting up to the cameras

and does her appearances... I

Agree with you, how does she

do it. Can we say something

else a little bit more positive than that? Over to you Claire Harvey, you should

be able to do that? Survive

for two years, that is the second anniversary of Julia Gillard's assent to the leadership on Sunday. And

the... Any exclusives? The

'Sunday Telegraph'? Of

course. We have got an

exclusive interview with the

Prime Minister for our Sunday

magazine where she talks about things from

exercise... This isn't an

infotainment program. I

thought I might share it

around a bit. I will give it

over to Troy. You're good at

self promotion, what is that

title of your book again? Looking for the light on the

hill Peter, in all good book

stores. Actually, you know,

it is funny you say that,

because I have never seen it

on the shelf of all good book

stores. It is probably

because you don't frequent book stores. Say something

nice about the Gillard

Government? I think the

Prime Minister this week,

overseas, had an opportunity

to elevate herself and

position herself with world

leaders and I know we're not

supposed to say anything

negative, but she didn't get

it all right, but I think she

was able to position herself

with some dignity while Tony

Abbott was doing front flips

and backflips into a pit of

rubber foam in a gym nasum.

So for points for dignity in

politics, who would have

thought, but the Prime

Minister outrated the

Opposition Leader this week.

Can I just say on that, what

did you think about the

speech about the lecturing

global leaders about the

Australian way? I thought it

was insane. I mean, this

idea that we are some sort of

light on the hill, to use

Troy's words, for world

leaders overseas, I mean,

Europe has its problems, we don't, and it is not because

we have got the Gillard

Government running the show,

it is not even frankly

because we had Howard and

Costello doing it or hawk and

Keating before that, it is because we have got so much stuff in the ground that we

can dig out and sell at record prices and we are so

close to China in terms of

being able to do that, that

we are beautifully positioned. Julia Gillard can't explain to Europe how

they can get better

ex-moration to save

themselves like we have, so

what is she telling them? I

couldn't agree more. It

would be like Michael Clarke

turning up to a uni class and

telling them they should all

play cricket for Australia.

The Australian way, firstly,

it is all about having a

whole lot of resources at a

time when China wants them,

but secondly, how is there

some sort of cogent

Australian way if you look

add what we did GFC mark 1,

it was about stimulating hard

and randomly, and look at

what they are saying now, whatever happens in the next

12 months, there is not going

to be any more stimulus, it

is all going back to surplus,

so I think it is bizarre that

we have concocted some sort

of economic blue print.

Isn't it about making the

most you have got at the

time? Our cards are that we

have got a whole lot of stuff

that the Chinese want and we

are selling it to them at

suitable prices. But the

Government don't get credit

for that, do they? I think

they do for facilitating

mining investment and no... How do you say that? That is not happening because

of them, that is happening because people what what we

have got. At the end of the

day, their mining tax has

done the best to stuff up

that investment... That is

rubbish. You name one investment... Hang on. It

happens to have not done it,

I'm saying, but nonetheless,

you know, at the end of the

day, they have got this

strange view in the two speed

economy when you've got the

golden goose that is the

mining sector, their view is

that you want to drag it back

to the rest of the pack. You

don't want to do that. You

want it to go gang busters.

I'll tell you what is worse

is having a one speed economy

when that one speed is crap

and that is Europe and that would be Australia without the mining boom. The

Government can't take credit

for that. That is true but

it is a two speed economy and

we can't under play the

importance of the mining

boom, there is no doubt about that, but this doesn't mean

that the other sectors of the

economy are still not doing

reasonably well and the

latest economic figures show

that, that NSW and Victoria,

old style manufacturing

States or large services

sectors are still doing quite

well an you look across the

economy, the Government has

low unemployment, low inflation, low interest

rates, growth running above trend, and good employment growth. So the Government

does have a good set of

economic figures. It's not

completely due to their

brilliant economic management, or the Australian

way... It is not even near

being completely due. You

sound like Mark Latham again.

A lot of people would

disagree with that. It's a

low threshold for good

coverance that they haven't

blown the country up. But I think the Australian way, if

there is such a thing, was to

have very low levels of debt

prethe GFC which meant you

had more bullets to fire in

the face of the economic

collapse that was the GFC, and also we are just so fortunate to have all of

these resources at time when

this economic juggernaut to

our north is growing at 8-11%

a year. It is just a pretty patronising message and I'm

sure there were a few rumblings when she delivered

it. Let's move on to this

Mary Jo Fisher situation.

Let me start with you Troy.

She is leaving Parliament.

We have seen the news today.

She has had another shoplifting moment which, by

the looks of it, is fuelled by the depression that she

has been open about

suffering. What is your view

on this? Was that inevitable, was this in her

best interest to get out of

public life and deal with

what she is going through or

is it likely - and this is a

serious question - likely to

make it worse if she loses

something that she is

passionate about and cares

about because of the very

thing that she is now trying

to overcome? I think that is

a good point. It is worth

exploring. I think that she,

what I understand, is that as

soon as she was found out to

have stolen $60.40 worth of

goods at the weekend at a

store, and a journalist had

contacted her, she decided to

resign within an hour and a

half. I think that needed

more reflection, I think they

are small scale offences and

they are obvious linked to

her mental condition and her

depression. I think there is

an opportunity here in public life for us to give people

some lenience and some leeway, doesn't mean they

should escape the law, but

it's a pretty minor offence.

And she has taken pretty

drastic action. So I think

there was a case for some reflection there... Claire

and Greg, do you agree with

that? No, for a start I

think it is pretty moshish to be commenting on someone's

mental health anyway, she has acknowledged she has got a

problem, she wants to leave,

so I think that should be

left. Although do know that

they are getting into a factional fight as to who

will replace her. She has

been the subject of quite a

bit of discussion in relation

to Craig Thomson and her name

has been banded around Parliament quite a bit the

last three or four months in terms of an allegation of

double standards on the part

of the Coalition. And I'm

sure in the context of what

she has been going through,

that hasn't helped. Yeah,

well, we are going to take a

commercial break, but for my

part of it, I actually

worked, I was very junior,

but in the short time that I

worked for ab when he was

industrial relations minister, Mary Jo Fisher

along with Peter Anderson who

is now the head of commerce,

this they were the two senior

advisors that Tony Abbott inherited from Peter reetsds

an they were the two

architects of the wave of

industrial relations reform,

the first half of the Howard

Government embarrassed on and

she was an industrial

relations lawyer before she

went into Parliament and

before she became a political

staffer as well and she was

very good at what she did,

lovely person, it is

genuinely sad and too often

we do forget about that human

side of politics. So all the

best to her. But my worry is

that needing to leave public

life could make it more

challenging to overcome what

she has to. Enough said,

Claire, you're probably right

on that. When we come back,

the media inquiry and the

aftermath of the media

inquiry which this week has

been media implogess all

around the place, we will

look at the good, the bad,

the ugly attached to all of that.

Welcome back, you're

watching the Contrarians

where I'm joined out of the

Sky News studio by Troy

Bramson, Claire Harvey, and

Dr Greg O'Mahoney. Now,

Greg, do you remember from

last week we had that fellow

Peter who emailed us, he was

outraged about the

seriousness of the say

something nice about the

Gillard Government segment

and that we were actually,

you know, clearly biassed towards the Labor Party

because of having that

segment. Do you remember

that? I do, and I remember

thinking the poor guy

couldn't spell the word

irony. I think it's gotten

even worse. The same guy,

believe it or not, this guy

is not joking but he is a

joke, he has responded and he

said last week you abused me

for not recognising you were

taking the Mickey when using

your say something about the Gillard Government. The

response of your panel today

proves that the segment is

not a joke, but rather, a

wait for it guys, a plug for

the ALP. You and your panel

are dead serious.

Hypocritical at best Peter.

He has got us, you have got

us, you really have. I mean,

we are just going to have to

cop to it guys. If they are

relying on us for their plugs

in what Troy Bramson has

taken part in two of those

segments that he has taken

part, God help them. If this

is as good as the Labor Party talking points get, they

really need some help. It

has got to be said, when Troy

was asked to say something positive about the

Government, he said there was

a time when Julia Gillard was

an effective public speaker.

That was just a powerful

endorsement. Very powerful

endorsement. By the way,

that was a long time ago but

she has survived for two

years in this Parliament, so

as leader, as Prime Minister,

I should say, so it has been

a long time since she has

been able to string two words

together. I'm still talking

to Peter out there who is

watching us, we used to have

a segment on this show where

you the viewer could come in and participate and have your dummy spit moment. Well,

Peter, I want to invite you

from the bottom of my heart

to please email me again so

we can get you into a Sky News studio wherever you are

in Australia, we will come to

you if we have to, I reckon

you have got to spit the

dummy on this, come on live

television and tell us all

what an absolute disgrace we

are for our biassed pro-Labor

rubbish with that say

something nice about the

Gillard Government that you

have taken seriously. So

please email me your details,

I will get in touch permly

and we will make sure we get

you on the program next

Friday if we can. With the

time we have got left, I want

to talk about the media this

week. Claire Harvey, let's

start with you. What is your

take on it? Two concerning

announcements might be the

way to put it at least from

both Fairfax and News Ltd but

what are the differences, if

any, between the two or is it

all bad news? No, I for one

am someone that sent my life

working in the print media,

I'm glad that they have

plans. I think you can have

arguments about the merits of

those plans but I think it is

better than just watching

news print die. Fairfax is

planning to cut 1900 jobs,

News Ltd is planning the restructure of several

divisions, there will be some

job losses I think but it is

not clear yet how many and

what those jobs will be. But

I think generally the News

Ltd CEO was more positive about the future of print,

that as he pointed out, we do

still sell 11 million papers

every week an he is confident

that papers will survive. I

think it is frightening to contemplate the end of

newspapers. But I think it

is less frightening if you

realise that journalism will

go on and in fact there's a

greater desire for

journalism, a hunger now among the general public than

there has ever been. It's

available to more people,

it's free and that's one of the problems that I think we

are about to try and solve.

We have been giving it away

for too long. I thought what

was interesting about the

announcement by Kim willcomes

in relation to what was

happening -- Kim Williams in

relation to what was happening, was this idea that

they are looking to still

invest in print but they no

longer see it as a growth part of the business, they

now see television as the growth side of the business.

I wonder where that extends,

I suppose, and where it

leaves print in the long run,

certainly it seems to give it

more of a short to medium

term life and perhaps more so

than Fairfax with the greater concerning news coming out of

that side of the print media,

but what is your view? I

think firstly of course I

work for News Ltd and for

'The Australian', so I must

declare that. Move on. I

need to state that before I

make a comment. I wouldn't

say you work for News Ltd, I

would say you're employed by

them. Right, okay. Well

anyway, I think look, that

you saw from Kim Williams a

commitment to newspapers, a

commitment to broad sheet

newspapers, but from Fairfax

we saw comments that look to

me to be very reactive and

saying that 'The Age' and the

Sydney mortgaging herald will

go to Sydney sized format and

they say that they think they

are worthless, that is a

direct quote, and they

probably couldn't even sell

them, or offload them and

certainly made the head of

Fairfax and certainly made it

clear that if this new

strategy doesn't work of down

sizing them and cutting staff

and moving things on line, if

that doesn't work, they may

get rid of those two broad

sheet newspapers all

together. So I think the two media companies are very different and obviously News

Ltd is looking at how to

boost its online presence and

integrate that with

television and interactivity

on tablets and I phones and

all sorts of things while

still maintaining a strong

commitment to print. What do

you mean when you say the Fairfax announcement was

reactive? It looked

defencive. From what? News

Ltd announced new

acquisitions, an expansion in

some areas. They were

pulling things back. And they are possibly might be getting rid of their newspapers all together. Don't you think one have the

problems with Fairfax,

surely, is that they haven't integrated enough between their print business and

their broad casting business

which is in their case is

radio? I think the big

problem is that they had an

extremely reliable source of

revenue for a very long time,

which was classified

advertising. The News Ltd papers, apart from in some cities where the News Ltd paper is the only paper,

haven't had that source of

revenue to rely on, which has

made the transition a little

bit gentler for News Ltd, but

I don't want to see those

Fairfax papers die, I think

'The Age' and the 'Sydney

Morning Herald' are incredibly important

newspapers, I think they are

full of fantastic journalists

and I hope that they live

long and prosper. The issue

will be that they look like

they revenue neutral seems to

be the evidence. You have

got to feel for the journalists because I think some shocking financial decisions have been made at

Fairfax to constantly raise

the capital base, to constantly raise cap when

revenue was decreasing, it

meant that an announcement is

like we have seen this week

was inevitable and if they

had done that three or four

years ago, it might have been

a different story. We are

out of time. We will no

doubt keep discussing this in

the weeks ahead because it

was big news this week. But

thanks all of you for joining me on the panel. Troy

Bramson, Claire Harvey and Dr

Greg O'Mahoney, appreciate

your company on this episode

of Contrarians. And thank

you for your company as well.

Be sure to tune in on Sunday

where kill Williams, the CEO

of News Ltd, will be our

special guest and our panel

will be looking specifically

at this media circumstance,

some call it a crisis, that

we are witnessing in

Australia at the moment. I'm

Peter van Onselen, thanks for

your company. Live Captioning by Ai-Media