Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Disclaimer: The Parliamentary Library does not warrant the accuracy of closed captions. These are derived automatically from the broadcaster's signal.
Australian Agenda -

View in ParlView

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

. We are reaching into the fabric

of the universe. Isn't it a great

day to be a Queenslander? This is

Australia's news channel. Sky News.

Good afternoon and welcome to the program.

program. After more than a decade

of war, Australian forces and other

coalition allies will be gradually

drawing down their troop numbers in

Afghanistan over the coming 18

months. But what will happen post-

2014 in Afghanistan? No one knows

with too much uncertainty. The

country after more than three

decades of war, will need some

support. An international donors

conference was held in Tokyo where

$16 billion was pledged over the

coming four years. Australia is

kicking in $1 billion over the next

four years to help Afghanistan

which does not have much of an

economy at all at the moment. How

would this money be spent and how

do we know it will be spent wisely

in a country that has been plagued

by corruption? We will be talking

to Foreign Minister Bob Carr at the

moment. He has been at that

conference in Tokyo. We will also

take a look at the row between

Labor and the Greens over the last

few days. How much of this has been

confected outrage? There is no

doubt that many in Labor are

concerned about the Greens that is

it about policy or is it about encroaching on Labor's turf and

making them look weak? Will be

discussing this and what will

result. Will we see changes in how

preferences flow? Will Labor say no

when faced with a hung parliament

to the Greens? We will discuss that

so on. First the headlines. The

government says that Queensland is

wasting taxpayer money by

challenging the carbon tax on the

High Court. The Opposition is

keeping focus on the carbon tax,

accusing the Prime Minister of

hiding from the debate. The Prime

Minister is touring the Sunshine

State but it must have been a frosty meeting with Premier

Campbell Newman just hours after

Queensland announced it was joining

a High Court challenge against the

mining tax. We cannot sit back and

let the Federal government tax the

people of Queensland. We know that

these were dodgy deals done with

the Greens. The government has not

had a good run with the High Court, first the immolation solution and

then the chaplains in schools issue.

The government is hoping to spread

the revenue from this tax to the

people. The Opposition doubts it

will get up. It is really up to

individual states based on the

legal advice they have got. The

mining tax in the carbon tax had

been running for one week but it

will be some time until their

impact trickles through to

households. In a poll out today,

most people have not noticed an

increase so far. Tony Abbott will

not let up in his campaign,

accusing the Prime Minister of

running for cover. She should have

told us about it before the

election and she should not now be

hiding from the business people of

Australia. The government says that

Kiwis just continuing his scare

campaign and used the case of a

funeral parlour who improperly

blamed a carbon tax for their costs.

We have heard of ambulance chasers,

he was out there chasing hearses!

Human rights advocates have joined

world leaders in a chorus of

condemnation after a video emerged

of an Afghan woman being executed.

She was accused of having an affair

with a Taleban commander and was

apparently executed to protect his

reputation. Disturbing video has

emerged of a woman being executed

by the Taleban in the middle of a

village. The woman was accused of

adultery and after she was executed,

male villagers cheered. Some

chanted long live the merger did --

Taleban. It is a scene of growing

Taleban influence. The woman was

involved with two different Taleban

commanders. A member of --

Afghanistan's parliament says it is

a problem. This is a huge step

Afghanistan. backwards in women's rights in

Afghanistan. backwards in women's rights in

A Sydney court has been told that

Matthew Newton is under care in the

United States. The charges against

him for punching at taxi driver

should be dealt with according to

mental health laws. He is also due

to stand trial over an issue in

Miami last April. Thousands of

Australians could be knocked off-

line from this afternoon onwards

due to a malicious virus that

targets internet access. Users are being asked to check their

computers. The virus originated

from a group of European hackers who, from 2007 onwards, redirected people's computers to steal their

financial details. The FBI put a

stop to the scam in November last

year but not before they netted

more than $12 million. With over 4

million people infected with the virus, authorities decided to keep

the service online temporarily. But

eight months later, the FBI has

decided to turn off the servers at

2 PM Eastern Standard Time.

Security estimates suggest that

300,000 people are infected wealth

-- worldwide, with six 6000 also

still infected in Australia. You

can check out this

: Police divers hold little hope of

finding a 42-year-old woman alive

after she disappeared during a

scuba-dive off the coast of

Victoria. She became separated 8 m

from the surface after exploring a

shipwreck off Port Lonsdale. The

charter company says they do not

know what went wrong. Everyone was

in disbelief. They could not

understand why she could not make

it back to the surface. The search

is now in its third day. Kofi Annan

has arrived in the Syrian capital

Damascus. He has admitted that his

April peace plan has so far failed

to end the 16 months of bloodshed

in the country. The UN mission is

currently suspended and the

International committee is imposing

stricter sanctions to try to force

into stand down. Today has been

declared a National Day of mourning

in Russia for the 150 people killed

in flash floods in the south of the

country. An investigation started

as to whether enough was done. It

is hard to compound the damage done

by these floods. The water has

destroyed houses and businesses,

leaving houses caked in mud. Cars

and lorries were swept away and are

now dumped on the side of the road

beyond repair. Some have lost

relatives, others say they are

lucky to be alive. The authorities

deny that they could have predicted

this but local people still want

answers. People knew beforehand

that we would be flooded, but

nobody warned us. The local

televisions did not work, there

were no cards with a track cars

with loudspeakers. When we called

the government, they told us to

sleep well. The water speed was

very high and the wave was very

speedy. We did not have any help

from anywhere. The people were

sitting on roofs. Neighbours were

sitting here and there on the other

side. President Putin has ordered a

full response. Some claim that

water was released from a melting

reservoir, sparking the deadly

flash floods after deadly

rainstorms had hit the area. For

many, these makeshift shelters are

their only form of respite. The

president has said that money will

be put aside to rebuild their homes.

For now, it is difficult to get

food and water and there are

growing fears about infection.

There is no drinking water. The

wells are flooded, at the water is

dirty and we can only use it to

wash or clean. The number of dead

is now put to 150. There will be a

National Day of mourning as they

come to terms with what they have

lost. In sport news, Australian

back rower Luke Lewis has announced

that he will quit the Panthers. He

was granted a release from the

remaining two years of his contract

but will play out the final two

years with Penrith. I think that I

do need to move on and start a new

challenge and I'm looking forward

to that as well. I cannot wait to

play the next eight games with them,

finish on the best note that I can

possibly finish on and I think

everyone who has supported me in my

last game at Penrith Park --

Penrith Park. He was stripped of

the captaincy last month. We now go

back to David Speers in Canberra.

After the break we going to look at the International donors conference

in Tokyo where $16 billion has been

pledged to try to kickstart the

Afghan economy and make sure it

will not collapse once foreign

forces leave. We will talk to Bob

Carr who has been in Japan taking

part in fact conference. We will

also look at the row between Labor

and the Greens, what is it all

about and what it will result in.

You are watching PM Agenda. Welcome

to the program. The future of

Afghanistan is looking more secure

today. At least financially. After an International Donors Conference

in Tokyo saw $16 billion in aid

pledged over the next four years.

Afghanistan doesn't have much of an

economy after spending more than

the past three decades at war of

some sort. But international forces

prepared to hand over to local

security control by the end of 2014,

and there is a sense of urgency to

ensure there are some efforts made

to ensure there is some sort of

economy in Afghanistan. If there is

no functioning economy, the Taliban

is in a much stronger position to

exert power and control. So of the

$16 billion pledged today, $1

billion from Australia over the

next four years. Afghan President

Hamid Karzai speaking after the

conference to reporters thanked

contributors and talked about the

peace talks that have been on-again

and off-again. He said there were

talks between Taliban

representatives and members of the

Afghan peace Council that were

encouraging. Have a look. The first

time that the Taliban senior

representative announced that they

were willing to talk to the Afghan

government, that's a positive step

taken, which we hope will move

further. These peace talks, these

efforts to try and have some sort

of settlement in Afghanistan is

something Australia supports. As I

mentioned, Australia also

contributed $1 billion to the $16

billion total pledged to

Afghanistan in aid. Foreign

Minister Bob Carr has been at the

conference. He joins me now.

Minister, thank you for your time.

$1 billion is lots of money, what

are the conditions attached in a

country we know is plagued by

corruption? A lot of conditions,

mainly governance and

anticorruption. How aid is sent

through the World Bank and they

have their own accountability

mechanisms. We are confident that

we have got fraud down to well

under 1% with aid effectiveness

review is and we are convinced that

we are investing in schools, roads

and health care and we are doing

all that, they are priority areas,

that it reaches desperately poor

people, this being the most poor

country in the world, who need it

most. Part of the funding Australia

is contributing is going towards

tackling violence against women.

Overnight, a video was made public

of a 22-year-old woman being shot

at the hands of the Taliban, it

seems, in a village just north of

Kabul and she was executed for

adultery, even though she wasn't

given a trial. This is the

outrageous behaviour that is often

cited as a reason we are at war

there, clearly there is more work

that needs to be done. That is a

reminder of the mediaeval barbarity

that the telephone represents. --

Taliban represents. This is why we

are morally obliged to help this

country to build a society that

works under a constitution, a constitution that among other

things protects the rights of women

and girls and a society where there

are multiparty elections and, to be

realistic, where there is some sort

of realistic ethnic balance that

allows national authority to

determine its own future. This is

the biggest coalition in world

history gathered in Tokyo and

before that in Chicago looking at

security issues, but in Tokyo

looking at aid, economic

development, and you have to

understand that China, Iran and

Pakistan were part of this

conference in Tokyo. It is

important to them that Afghanistan

be made to work. In the words of

Ban Ki-moon, the Secretary-General

of the United Nations, a sovereign nation with a functioning

government. And that shopping

barbaric act that you saw is a

reminder of the forces arrayed

against it. It is also a reminder, though, the Taliban still have

strength in their ability to carry

out a public execution like this in

a village north of Kabul, it is a frightening prospect. Of course it

is. While the Afghan government

controls 75% of the territory in Afghanistan, they have assured us,

Iraq incursion is real and ever

present by the Taliban. There is

evidence that the Taliban is

growing war weary and fighters are

coming across in greater numbers.

They say never surrender, but they

are leaving the insurgency and that

is why America is talking about the reintegration of the country and

reconciliation with an offer that

insurgent forces, including the

Taliban, prepared to accept the

Constitution and respect the rule

of law and give up violence could

have a part in a post-war

Afghanistan. The Americans are very insistent on reintegration and reconciliation as the major theme, that is part of counterinsurgency

doctrine. But in the meantime, to

assist the country as we transition

out, remove our military forces, no

one wants to be there any longer

than we have to, we are committed

to give more infrastructure and

education and more health and we

are building on the success of the

past 10 years. I know there is temptation to despair about Afghanistan, but understand that

while there were less than 1

million girls at school 10 years

ago, we now have 3 million girls

going to school and that's a very

important indicator of progress. That is an impressive statistic,

nonetheless, these peace talks with

the Taliban are clearly going to be

crucial to prevent them regaining

the sort of power that would see that behaviour re-emerge, continue

in Afghanistan. The peace talks

that have been underway between the

Afghan government and the Taliban

has shown signs of progress, but

between the US and the Taliban,

these talks have also been underway.

They have been on-again off-again.

One of the sticking points has been

whether the US will release Taliban inmates from Guantanamo Bay.

President Hamid Karzai was asked

about it today. He gave a clear

view about what you think should

happen... We want the release of

those Taliban fighters and we want

them to have the freedom to settle

where they want. If they wish to

come to Afghanistan, they are

welcome. We want them rejoined with

their families. President Karzai wants them released from Guantanamo

Bay. Bob Carr, what do you think?

Should they transported to another

prison in Afghanistan? America

needs to make that decision. They

will do it if it meets their key

tests. America is as keen to

withdraw in lines with the

transition arrangements as anyone

could be. Especially in an election

year. America is intent on leading

the timetable for shifting the

responsibility of the fighting to

the Afghan police and the Afghan

military. And America is deadly

serious about shearing off part of the insurgency and that includes

the Taliban, if sections of it are

repaired -- prepared to move across

and except the Constitution. I

think we leave this to the

Americans and the Afghan government

to negotiate. Minister, can I ask

you about a couple of domestic

issues? There has been a row

between Labor and the Greens back

home while you have been abroad.

But you have often been critical of

the Greens, you were so a week or

two ago on the asylum seeker issue.

Do you think Labor should be

putting the Greens last in terms of

preferences, or should be still be

preference swaps? I look at it this

way, I headed a State Labor

government and I look at the

governments of Mike ran, Peter

Beattie, Anna Bleijie, Steve Bracks

and so on, Tasmania is a special

case, but of all those state Labor

governments, we delivered big on

the environmental agenda and on

that agenda, we had a cooperative

working relationship generally with

the Green party. National security,

on the state level of Lauren order

and on economic management -- state

level of law and order, you

couldn't do that because their

policies were not in the national

or state interest. We look at state

level at -- State Labor government

in the past, the recent past, they

got the balance right. You can

cooperate on some aspects of social

reform and very much on the

environmental agenda, but you have

to reserve your own judgement and

take issue with them on matters of

security and on matters of economic

management. And that is a rough

guide that I think would make sense

for the Labor Party in dealing with

the Green party. It is a rule of

thumb, that's the way you do it.

What should happen with preferences,

though? When I led New South Wales

Labor and the same applies to the

rest of, when we were winning back,

even when the Green party didn't

direct preferences, I elected two

thirds of them. Two thirds of them

came because they liked the look

and the record of an intelligent,

socially progressive and very Green

government. And I think that will

be the case in the next Federal

election. People who might vote

Green are going to look at Tony

Abbott and swing to Labor was the

number to vote behind Julia Gillard decisively and emphatically.

Finally, Minister, can I ask you

about a slightly related issue,

this has stemmed from the

difference between Labor and the

Greens over asylum seekers. Labor

is also at odds with Tony Abbott on

the same. In particular with his

plan to turn back the votes. He is

not going into what he exactly said

or didn't say to President Susilo

Bambang Yudhoyono last week, what

is your understanding of what was

said? Tony Abbott is playing with

fire. It is recklessness to talk

about turning back the boats in his

first days of Prime Minister, it

would endanger relations with our

most important neighbour. It is as

simple as that. It is sheer policy recklessness. John Howard would

never have done it. The Prime

Minister has signed a cheque for $1

billion and tsunami relief, it is

not in Australia's interests and it

is playing with fire. He needs to move decisively away from the

policy. As an afterthought, the

reason we have a continuing issue

with asylum seekers on the high

seas and the death involved, it's

because Tony Abbott has made it

clear he will not approve the

Malaysia arrangement. Without that

arrangement, you have got an informal, cobbled together,

improvised Indonesian arrangement,

which the Indonesians don't want.

Asylum seekers and people smugglers

jostling in their ports, going on

to the high seas, risking their

lives, and the Australians who are

involved in rescue operations. You

have got to have offshore

processing, Malaysia is the most

effective device for that and

without it, you put unfair pressure

on Indonesia. Tony Abbott approach

of sending the boats back, it is a

humanitarian catastrophe on a vast

scale and a crisis in our relations

with Jakarta. What about the point

that John Howard did do this, he

did turn back some boats and it had

an impact. You have got to have

offshore processing. To reduce the

flow of boats, you have to have the

disincentive that Malaysia

represents. Otherwise, these people

will only end up in camps with

systematic processing. In Malaysia,

it is an end to the people

smuggling business model. Foreign

Minister Bob Carr, we have to leave

it there, but thanks for joining us.

After the break, we are going to

discuss this further with our panel,

Bruce Hawker and Graham Morris.

Stay with us.

You are watching PM Agenda. Time to

check out the news headlines. The

Treasurer has dismissed the

Queensland government's decision to

join a High Court challenge to the

mining tax. One -- Wayne Swan says

that the challenge is futile and he

is confident that it will prevail.

Queensland said that the government

could not sit back and do nothing

in the threat to jobs and industry.

A woman has been publicly executed

by the Taliban. She was accused of having an illegitimate relationship

with the Taliban commander. The

video emerged as the number of

countries pledge $16 billion in aid

to Afghanistan at a conference in

Tokyo. It court has been told that

Matthew Newton is under 24-hour

care. He is facing assault charges

for allegedly punching a taxi

driver late last year. His lawyer

says that the actor was being

driven mad and the case was

contributing to his poor health in

the media. Thousands of Australians

are at risk of losing internet

access from this afternoon onwards

due to a virus. It changes the

user's domain name settings and

allows criminals to direct users to

illegal sites. Luke Lewis has

announced that he will quit the

Panthers at the end of the NRL

season. He has been granted a

release from the remaining two

years of his contract but will play

out the remainder of the season

with Penrith. There will be rain

and storms on the east of the

country but mostly dry elsewhere.

Time to welcome the panel. They

will join as each Monday. We have

got Graeme Morris and Bruce hooker. will join as each Monday. We have got Graeme Morris and Bruce hooker. -- Bruce got Graeme Morris and Bruce hooker.

-- Bruce Hawker. Key figures of the

New South Wales Right faction of

the Labor Party have been very

critical of the Greens, comparing

them to one nation and being

critical of whether labour should

bear themselves with the Greens. I

have no doubt that many labour are

concerned about the Greens but do

you think that this is not so much

about policy but about politics? It

is about the Labor Party being

concerned about the encroachment of

the Greens on their turf? It is a

little bit of both. Part of the

reason why the spoil has been

lapsed, -- they are pure but they

are impotent. When they have the

chance to side with the lever on

things like offshore processing of

refugees they side with the

Opposition. The Greens to support

the carbon tax and the most tax

where Tony Abbott does not. There

is a big disagreement on asylum

seekers but there is also a big

disagreement between Labor and the

Liberals on that issue as well.

When it comes to it, clearly the

Greens and Labor are closer on

policy than Labor and the Coalition.

I think that is correct however the

Greens know that people who

generally vote for the Green party

are going to preference the Labor

Party regardless of what the Greens

tell them to do. Evidence from

pollsters and others suggest that

something like 80% of Green

preferences come to the Labor Party

whether or not the Greens issue a

how to vote. But the Greens are not

preference in Tony Abbott? I never

thought it was necessary to enter

an agreement with the Greens for

that reason. After the 2000

election, all we had to say to the

Greens was do you want another

election in the seat of Melbourne

and see what happens to Adam and

others? So the so-called wedding

pictures of Julia Gillard and Bob

Brown signing the document together

to form government, are you think

that was a mistake? I think that

being seen to be too close to the

Greens is a mistake and it plays

out badly with part of the Labor

consist -- constituency. People who

have traditional Labor values, who are concerned about workplace

safety, creating jobs, growth all

of the things that the Greens

cannot deliver and will not deliver.

That is stuff that Labor is

committed to. What do you think? I

think it makes it very awkward for

the Prime Minister. The underlings

in her party are saying that the

Greens are dangerous, fringe

lunatics and their leader signed a

deal with her. I find this

absolutely bizarre that this is not

the prime ministers saying this and

driving this, it is not the state

president of the State leader or

the State executive, they send out

the hired help! Sam! Well, why? Is

let his job to make these sorts of

calls? No, his job is to advise

people at the conference to get up

and argue something. Why would you

send up hired help on something

this important? Who makes the

decision? The executive and the

Council of the Labor Party. It is

the same with the Liberal Party.

There is a lot of meetings as to

what you do with preferences. And

this just seems bizarre to me as a

way of a very big historical

decision. But Julia Gillard has

been quite hard on the Greens. She

gave a speech about where the

Greens are wrong. Isn't this just

about putting some distance between

the parties as the next election

draws closer? So the prime

ministers is something wants early

in the year? What about the rest of

the year? They have been in each

other's pockets. I think that Bruce

is correct. There been a whole lot of people, particularly on the

right wing of the Labor Party, who

are very uncomfortable with this

alliance. I think one of the bigger

questions is what will the Liberals

do in terms of preference in the

Greens? We saw in the Victorian

election campaign they decided to

put them last. That was seen as a

masterstroke. What would that mean

for Adam in Melbourne? What would

it mean for Anthony Albanese in

Sydney? There would be some serious

discussions as to what the Liberals

would do with their preferences.

But what will the Greens do with

their preferences? Could date, now

that the Labor Party is pretending

to disown them? Could they put them

behind the Liberals? Perhaps in the

Senate? What you think the Liberals

would do? Preference than last? I

would. I would not be putting them

last. I think parties like one

nation always deserve that right

and I do not think I would be

changing the rules for that. But do

think we have to recognise that

they are a serious threat to the

Labor Party in certain parts of the

country, particularly the inner

city. Bob Brown said he was not

there to keep the bustards honest,

he was there to replace them. The

Labor Party -- the Greens try to be

pure that they do not mind sticking

it to the Labor Party when they

need to. I think that if Labor

wants to take it to the Greens,

that is fair enough. We will wait

and see how it plays out. I think

it was entirely appropriate for Sam

to raise these issues, his parliamentary secretary in New

South Wales and he is making

representations to the conferences

and I think it is a good debate to

have. Labor is not the Green party,

it is something very different. It

has a commitment to growth and jobs

that the Greens to not have. We need to keep reminding ourselves

about that all the time. Being in

the middle can be good and bad. It

is good because we can present

ourselves as a true alternative to

the Liberals and the Greens but it

is also a highly contested area.

The essential poll this week, I

should point out that there are a

couple of things that I wanted

point out. The Labor Party are

still on track to lose. In the

carbon tax, the question is have

you noticed any increase in the

costs of good and services?

Ice and -- I certainly have not

noticed any increase in prices.

What do you read into that? On the

Green preferences, it seems to me

that the Labor Party has panicked

and they are looking to share the

blame. What you think of this

survey? One in three are feeling a

difference and are prepared to say

so. I think that is high and

surprising and it shows the

political power of this. If people

are looking for the increases and

found them and are feeling it and

saying yes, it affects me, one in

three is pretty powerful. Have you

noticed a difference? Not yet, no.

54% to say no. I think that one in

two is a low number. I think that

is pretty good for the government

and it does tend to point to that

argument that Gillard and others

have been making that when this

thing is introduced and this guide

is not falling, everything will

return to normal. I think a lot of attitudes have been covered for

various reasons since it was first

mooted after the 2010 election. I

would not be placing great hopes on

a big turnaround there but it is a

positive sign in an otherwise

pretty grim scene for the

government right now. If that is a

positive sign, the other one I

wanted to show you is not so

positive. Which party do you think

is most concerned about finding a

fair and reasonable solution to

handling asylum seekers?

This is pretty extraordinary. If

you think back six years ago at the

height of concern of the Pacific

solution, Kevin Rudd win in on this

issue, now twice as many people

think that the Liberals are better

able to handle this then Labor.

That surprises me somewhat. I think

it goes back to a fear of boat

people into our waters. I think

that is what that is talking about

more than anything else. Labor has

put forward a proposal of sorts,

compromises from the Opposition and

none have been forthcoming. It is a

very hard one for the government to

win on, I have to say. Especially

whilst we are still getting a movement of people across our borders to Christmas Island and

elsewhere. I think that we will not

see any inclination to Tony -- by

Tony Abbott to change. He will keep

pushing and pushing, he does not

want to solve this issue. On these

figures, did you have an think that

the Coalition would be seen as the

most compassionate?

They are in my household. When you

think about it, we have gone from

the Coalition knowing how to stop

the boats, and then we have the

argument that the Prime Minister is essentially saying to send children

back to Malaysia to be worked or

whatever it is. And the Coalition

are saying no. The interesting

thing there is the Greens come out

at the bottom of the list. And

talkback radio, the Greens got an

absolute hiding from their own

people. We are going to take a

quick rate, but I want to continue

this discussion and whether Tony

Abbott's turn back the boats plan

in particular is becoming a

liability for him. Stay with us.

Welcome back, we are talking this

afternoon to Graham Morris and

Bruce Hawker. I want to continue on

asylum seekers. Tony Abbott has

been copping flak for part of his

policy to turn back the boats, were

safe to do so, to Indonesia. We

have seen over time now criticism

from Indonesia, Indonesian police,

a retired defence chief, Admiral

Chris Barrie and from the

government that this won't work, it

would endanger lives and also the

navy personnel. Tony Abbott insists

it worked before and will do so

again. He points to Kevin Rudd and

Julia Gillard years ago offering

some support for turning back the

boats. What do you think, Graham?

Is it something he should drop? We

heard Bob Carr earlier say it is

causing Australia... It is not within Australia's interests to pursue a plan that Indonesia

doesn't like. Let's start from the

obvious. What we have now is not

working. Tony Abbott is saying,

look, let's try the Nauru solution,

let's try protection visas and have

a go at turning back some of the

boats. As a package, that is quite

a big disincentive which would get

back to all the people smugglers in

many of these holding pens around

the world. But this element of it,

how do you do it? This is something

Tony Abbott has not explained

properly. How do you do it? It is

an operational thing. I heard the

Prime Minister the other day saying

that our navy people don't want to

go to sea and do this stuff, I

don't know what has happened to the

navy now. But under this Prime

Minister, have our navy turned into

sooks? I don't know if there is any

suggestion of that, but it's about

unnecessary risks. Their job is to

obey the policy of their land and

they have been fantastic about it.

The idea of just parading around in

white suits and saluting the Prime

Minister is plain silly. Their job

is to get on the boats and

implement the country's policy.

Part of that policy under Tony

Abbott is to have a show of

strength and force and to censor

messages back to these mongrel

people smugglers that if you come

here, you will be turned around and

let's see what happens. How does

that fit, this tough talk about

turning them around and sending

them back, how does that fit with

opposition to sending them to

Malaysia? It is a completely

different thing. Some of the

cartoonist on the weekend got it

right. Where they had people on the boats radioing the Australian Navy

and saying... The navy were saying,

are you OK? And the people of the -

- on the boats were saying, we

haven't left it, give us a couple

of minutes. These people are

radioing for help almost in

international waters. What I am

saying is how does the strong

stance on sending them back fit

with saying that we can't send them

to Malaysia because we are worried

about the treatment there? It fits

with stopping the boats. It has

been done. We know it works. There

has to be some strong messages sent.

Isn't that what Malaysia is about?

The Malaysia one is about fairness.

That people can be sent back

anywhere providing they sign up and

they treat people humanely. That's

all. But they are not doing that

with Indonesia... We are sending

them back where they came from

within -- Indonesian thing and it's

a strong symbolic gesture. People

will get the message. They did last

time. It's the same argument that

Labor runs on Malaysia. Sending

them back where they come from...

There are 140 odd countries we can

send them to instead of Malaysia.

Bruce, it is true that John Howard

turned boats back a number of times.

It is true that Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard have offered support

for this in the past. Is it

something that can be outright

opposed? I think the Prime Minister

has made it clear that when she was

given the full read on what this

meant and the dangers inherent in

this, she changed if you about it.

And I think that is a right and

sensible thing to do. The fact is

that Tony Abbott has created this

image that he is going to be the

commander-in-chief sitting back at

his desk somewhere in Canberra

deciding whether a boat is safe

enough to be turned around or not.

That is an absurd position. It is

up to the command on the scene. And

they are going to be subject to the

direction of the government of the

day. I think it is a silly idea. It

doesn't fit with his rhetoric about

Malaysia. Indonesia is not a

signatory to the UN Convention on

the refugees. So it is alright to

send them back to Indonesia, but

not to Malaysia, why? The answer is

because under no circumstances is

Tony Abbott ever going to agree to

sending, to allowing them to be processed in Malaysia because that

would overcome the problem and he

doesn't want to overcome. He wants

to keep the issue there all the

time. He is never going to approve

it at all. I reckon come Christmas

it will be the policy of this

country. When Kevin Rudd gets in,

it will be the first thing he does.

He will drop Malaysia and get the

policy through an Tony Abbott will

support it. To that end, Bruce,

what about the interview that to

raise rain, Kevin Rudd's wife,

Therese Rein, she was asked about

Kevin Rudd returning and said she

was prepared to support him if it

was in the national good. Was this provocative? Should be read

anything into it? I wouldn't read

too much into it. I think she was

saying that it wouldn't just be

about coming back to take over the

reins of government for the sake of

doing it. There would have to be a very compelling argument and that

would be the national interest.

That is what drove him when he was

Prime Minister before. That

continues to be his focus. I

wouldn't read too much into it. I

think her words were carefully

chosen and she was probably, I

think, making it pretty clear that

he would not contest another

election and that is consistent

with everything he has said until

now as well. But strategically, it

hasn't been exactly in line with

other road backers -- Kevin Rudd

backers, who have been laying low

and not wanting to give any suggestion or hint that something

is going on. I think this is Kevin

Rudd's wife speaking, she has her own perspective on these things.

She was pointing out how Skara

flying the whole experience was for

him -- scarifying and the

challenges and demands on him as a

Prime Minister. She was speaking

from a personal view. I don't think

it was tactical or strategic. I

think she was just talking about

the perspective of a wife who has

seen him go through some tough

times. We have delivered there, we

are out of time. Good to talk you

both. Thanks for your company as

well. After the break, news is next. Live Captioning by Ai-Media