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Sky News On The Hour 4pm -

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Hello. Welcome to the

program. I'm Ashley Gillon.

The Olympics are on and Julia

Gillard is on holidays, but

the political debate rolls

on. Today we'll look at the

on. Today we'll look at the

latest twist in the James

ashby/Peter Slipper saga and

those comments by Kim Beasley

about Labor's chances at the

next election. We'll also be

speaking with one of the former Premiers tasked with

trying to reform the Labor

Party, Steve Bracks, plus

hearing a lot of talk about

the need to treat women, and

particularly mothers, better

in the workplace. But what

are we doing to make it

happen and which side of

politics has the best answers? Julie

answers? Julie McKay,

executive director of UN

Women, will join us a little

later. Right now, Vanessa

has the day's top

stories. Hello, everyone.

Federal Police have smashed an international drug ring

after an 11-month operation.

The AFP says it's the largest

seizure in its history, with

an ice and heroin haul worth

more than $500

more than $500 million on the streets. Sky News Sydney

reporter Cameron Price has

more. Hidden in imported

terracotta pots, the largest

narcotic drug seizure in

Australian history. The

seizure included an AFP

record, 306 kilograms of ice

and 252 kilograms of

heroin. All up, more than

half a tonne of drugs, with a

street value of half a

billion dollars. The actual

billion dollars. The actual concealment itself wasn't

particularly sophisticated,

terracotta pots concealed in

bulk on pallets within

cardboard boxes They were

waiting for the two cargo

shipments after a joint

operation between the

Australian Federal Police and international Drug Enforcement Agencies,

including American and Hong

Kong authorities. The drugs

arrived a fortnight ago,

sealed by concrete in

sealed by concrete in 100 of

the more than 3,000 pots. We

had a reasonably good idea of

when the consignment was

coming in. Once we put it

through our container

examination facility, we

detected with a high level of confidence that the

terracotta pots contained

narcotics. They certainly weren't relaxed. They were taking precautions, they were

trying to evade our

attention, and of course that

in the end proved to be

in the end proved to be an

unfounded level of

confidence. They certainly

were not relaxed. Seven

people have been arrested,

including four Hong Kong

nationals. It's believed

they've been under surveillance since the drugs

arrived in the country a

fortnight ago. It's easy to

say Mr Bigs. At the end of

the day there's Mr Mediums

and Mr Littles working with

Mr Bigs. We have a good

combin jags of the people responsible for this

importation. They were charged with

charged with a series of

importation and possession offences. Countless lives

would have been affected had

the seizure made its way to Australian streets. This is

a significant hit to the

criminal economy. The

operation marks what the AFP

has described as its most

successful year in drug seizures, 14 tonnes stopped

at our borders.

at our borders. James

Magnussen gets a chance to

make amends for his disappointing relay swim when

he lines up in his met event

tonight, the 100 metre

freestyle. It will be the

21-year-old's first swim dins his disastrous opening leg in

the men's 4 X 100 final,

where Australia missed out an

a medal. Kim Callanan has all the

all the latest news from London and joins me at the

desk. How is Magnussen going

to be able to shake off the heebie-jeebies of so much

expectation? That's a

technical term you're using,

it is pretty much the gold

medal question, if you like, because we've been waiting to

see how he backs up mentally.

Physically he should be okay,

but that team and our

spearhead at the games, James Magnusen, was obviously rocked after

rocked after that failure in

the relay. He looked simply

stunned, to be fair. It's

worth remembering, of course,

he wasn't just going for

gold, but for a world record

on the opening lap. Yet he

finished about a second

outside that time, leaving

himself and teammates in a

state of disbelief and, as we

know, off the podium. He and

James Roberts are in the

heats of the 100 free, which

are first up in the pool on

day four, looking for

day four, looking for a

semifinals spot, of course,

later in the evening. So

soon some of those questions

should be answered. To be

fair, Australia needs a big

result, given the relative

lack of success in the pool

so far at London. We only

secured one medal from the

pool this morning. That was

silver to Emily Seebohm. But

even that came with a tinge

of disappoint: Seebohm was

hot favourite for the event

and the 20-year-old Seebohm and the 20-year-old Seebohm

led at the turn but couldn't

hold on over the closing

stages. She was touched on

on the wall in fact by

American teenage star Missy Franklin, disappointment

magnified by the fact she

swam faster in the qualifying

races, breaking the Olympic

record in her heat swim. In

some other results away from

the pool, magic from Belinda

Snell wasn't enough to get

the Opals over the line in

their clash with France. The

Australian women's basketball

team went down by four

points. In a nail-biter, it

took a half-court shot on the

buzzer to send the match into

overtime. The Aussies, though, failed to convert

that momentum into victory.

The loss was their first in

preliminary rounds at the

Olympics in 16 years. Lleyton Hewitt has Lleyton Hewitt has returned

to form to move into the

second round of the men's

singles, contesting his first

game, the Aussie downed his

opponent and now faces

Croatian player. So as we

prepare for day four of the

games, let's hear from Sky

News Olympic reporter James

Bracey to see what lay

ahead. Well, there's 15 gold

medals on offer on day four

of the 2012 Olympic Games

here in London, but all the

tension will be turning to

James Magnussen and James Roberts once again in the

pool after a disappointing

relay, the 4 x 100 freestyle,

and missing out on a medal,

the pair will lead the way for Australia in the

individual 100 freestyle heats and semifinals. When

it comes to the finals

session, though, the women's 200 freestyle is a great

chance for Australia. Bronte

Barrett is the fastest

qualifier, while Kylie Palmer

also will be there for the

Aussies. The women's medley

will feature Alicia Coutts

and Stephanie Rice, both

considered real chances of

medals. There will also be

the men's freestyle relay.

As for Australia's teams, the

Boomers take on the

Spaniards, the Spaniards silver medallists in Beijing

in 2008. Our Hockeyroos take

on the Germans in their second match of second match of the

tournament. Our men's volley

ball teams taking on

Kazakhstan. New Zealand's

football side will take on

Brazil in their minal group game here at the Olympic

Games and we'll also see our

beach volley ball girls also

up against the Dutch. Look

out too for Lleyton Hewitt in

the tennis in the second-round clash. Lots

happening across the board in

other sports, badminton, other sports, badminton,

intoksing, canoe, diving, equestrian, weight lifting,

sailing, shooting, all there,

eight high-definition

channels, you won't miss a

thing. As London awakes on

day four of the games, here's

a look at who's doing well on

the medal table: China has

more gold to sit on top.

France has moved to third,

North Korea holds down forth.

Australia is now back in 10th

overall, with just the one

gold, two silver now and the

one bronze, while New Zealand

remains on the lookout for

their first medal. So a huge

night ahead, Vanessa. We'll

see James Magnussen and

Roberts in the pool around 7

this evening. We'll keep you

up to date how they go.

Interesting about Emily

Seebohm looking at Facebook

the night before and whether or not there's or not there's going to be

discussion as to whether

that's appropriate in the

weeks to come. I think the question was her lack of

sleep. That was probably the

main reason she was tired,

because she was using social

media. At the end of the day, unfortunately the result

stands the same. She was

touched out on the wall and

she goes home with silver,

still a great result. You

want to give her a hug, though. Let's move on to

other news. It's revealed 2,000 people lose their jobs under a major restructure under a major restructure of Queensland's transport

bodies. Under the reforms, translink will be absorbed into the Department of

Transport and main roads. It

will involve a targeted staff

reduction of 18%, saving the

Government $287 million over the next four years. It's

part of broader cuts to Queensland's public service

sector. The Opposition says

allegations made against James Ashby should have James Ashby should have no

bearing on his case against

speaker Peter Slipper.

Queensland Police are looking

into allegations that Mr

Ashby had a sexual

relationship with two

15-year-old boys back in

2003. But the Opposition says, regardless of the

outcome, that should not

affect Mr Ashby's sexual harassment case against Mr

Slipper. Even if these allegations turn out to be true, they have true, they have absolutely no

bearing whatsoever on the

case which Mr Ashby has

brought against Peter

Slipper. There's only one

issue in that case, and that

is whether James Ashby was

sexually harassed by Peter

Slipper. That's the only

issue in that case. I think

that the allegations last

night on the '7.30 Report'

were extremely serious. They

should be investigated by the responsible authorities. responsible authorities. The

mother of WikiLeaks founder

Julian Assange is in Ecuador

trying to help her son's

asylum request to the

country. Mr Assange, who is

attempting to avoid

extradition to Sweden over

rape allegations, has been

staying at the Ecuadoran

embassy in London since

mid-June. She says the

Australian Government has

abandoned her son. Abandoned

by your own Government and it

makes you feel very

vulnerable and very alone.

However, we are very strong

and we have justice on our

side and we know that WikiLeak

WikiLeak s and Julian are

doing something good for the world. Christine Assange

speaking from Ecuador there.

Tomorrow's forecast, showers

in the west and south-east,

mostly sunny elsewhere. It's 11 minutes past 4 eastern

time. Now back to Ashleigh, as PM Agenda

continues. Coming up next the

former Victorian Premier

Steve Bracks. Stay with us.

Welcome back. The uphill

battle for the Labor Party is

clear, but for a man dubbed

as one of the party's most

successful State Premiers,

today was all about celebration. Former

Victorian Premier Steve

Bracks has penned an auto buy Bracks has penned an auto buy

og any detailing his election

journey through three

election wins. His memoire

was launched in Melbourne today by former Prime

Minister Bob Hawke, full of

praise for the former

leader. In these rather dark

days for my party, for the

party of so many of you here,

it's a book which provides it's a book which provides a

welcome light. This is the

story is of how a remarkable

young man, dedicated in principle, went about pursuing that goal and

achieving it with a

remarkable success. It's an

interesting book. It's a

fascinating book for all who

are interested in politics,

and, may I say, it's and, may I say, it's a

must-read for all leaders and

aspiring leaders. The former Victorian Premier, Steve

Bracks, joins me now from

Melbourne. Steve, thanks for

your time. When Bob Hawke

launched your book today, he

called you one of Australia's most successful political leaders at the State or

Federal level. You wrote in

your book that governing

defines you. What did you

mean by that and what does

leadership mean to you, what

makes a good leader? Well,

makes a good leader? Well, thanks, Ashleigh. Of course

I was very pleased that

former Prime Minister Bob

Hawke was able to undertake

the launch today. He is one

of the great Prime Ministers

of any party in this country.

He ran a very good government

and I think I share with him

the view that to govern well,

you have to bring people with

you. I tried to describe,

Ashleigh, in the book how

it's not just making

decisions, it's bringing the public with you in public with you in that

journey, explaining your

policies, describing what you

want to do, talking about

what's going to happen in the

future and trying to garner

that support as you go

forward. That's one of the

distinguishing features that

I had and I tried to describe

as well. You were tagged the

accidental Premier, but when

you read through the book,

it's clear that you're a big

planner, not much seemed to

happen too accidentally under

your leadership. How big a your leadership. How big a

factor do you think luck and

circumstance is when it comes

to a leader's failure or

success? I think you make

your own success. Of course

the circumstances need to

suit you, but if you can't

capitalise on that, you're

not going to succeed. Yes, I

tried to describe in this

book that it was no accident,

that I had deliberately set

out in Opposition to create a

set of policies which I

thought were attractive to

the next century in Victoria.

It was 1999, the election.

We had to have a set of

policies which would grow the

State, but give back that

growth and development in

better and more fair services

around the State it self.

Secondly, of course, to make

sure that we had the best

people possible on our team,

the best policies and the

best plan. It was no

accident, it was deliberate effort to try to effort to try to position

ourselves for that win in the

1999 election. The fact that

we got in might have been a

surprise to a lot of people,

but to the team that I work with, we knew what we were

doing, what we wanted to

achieve, and we knew it was

achievable as well. You make

your own luck in this game as

well. You spoke a lot in your

book about Labor values, one

of them environmental

sustainability for you. Are you sad the way you sad the way the carbon

tax debate has played out.

If Labor loses the next

election, as all polls point

to, do you think that will be

seen as the key reason, in hindsight, was the tax the

wrong policy for federal

Labor to pursue? Well, I

actually sub scribe to the

view that economic responsibility and environmental sustainability

are not mutually exclusive,

it's not one or the other. In fact,

In fact, you can get great

benefits, for example, by

looking at a low-carbon future and the new jobs that

will be generated from that,

as the shift moves from one

industry sector to another.

There is a great benefit and

there's a great benefit of being the first responder in

that area as well. If we

thought that economic

responsibility and environmental sustainability

were mutually exclusive, we

would not ever have protected

Kakadu or the Kakadu or the Franklin River or in my terms in Victoria,

we wouldn't have protected

the Otway Ranges and the

national park or moved to a

five-star energy rating for

our buildings. They are not

mutually exclusive, we can do

both. I think what we're

doing currently is the right

policy. The right policy to

look at a low-carbon future

for a sustainable environment

in the future, but also to

assist people in that

transition. That is a wlaib value, to assist people as

they move to that low-carbon

future by looking at transfer

payments and benefits which

can help along the journey.

We do that. The Green party

is no answer for that. We

have Labor values which said

those who most need it get

the most assistance in the journey. That's what I think

is trying to be described

here. You said, though,

earlier that bringing the

public with you is a sign of a good leader. a good leader. Of course,

Julia Gillard again, when you

look back at the opinion

polls, hasn't been able to do

that with the carbon tax.

Does it get to the a point,

do you think, for a leader to

cut your losses if you feel

you've failed in that key

aspect of leadership,

bringing the public with

you? Yes, I actually think

there's time. I can see the

qualities of Julia Gillard's

leadership. She's strong,

she's robust, she is a policy

person who has implemented

policies in a hung parliament

probably better than anyone I

know could do. If you look

at the carbon tax, the mining

tax, the National Disability

Insurance Scheme, the pension

benefits which have increased or the superannuation guarantee which has increased, these are long-lasting reforms. So

she's strong and robust. She

has a good agenda. What is on her side is time on her side is time to

explain that. So I'm on the

optimistic side of saying the

next year will be the time of

bedding down reforms and

explaining the agenda. I

think if that's done, my prediction is you'll see a steady increase in the

support for the Government to

make it competitive at the next election and I believe

she has a quality to take us

through for that. You did

write in the book that polls

are pretty useless, you said,

if they're just looked at if they're just looked at on

their own, it's how you interpret them really that's

important. We heard reports today that Kim Beasley has

said that Labor could be left

with just 30 seats after the

next election. You're

talking about Labor coming

back strongly and robustly,

but do you think that there

is going to be a significant

period of soul-searching in

between? Well, look, I don't

know what was said or not said in said in the Australian-American

leadership dialogue. I've

been to those dialogues

before, they're usually in camera. I don't know what

was said. The reading of the polls today says it would be

very unlikely Labor would

win, but we're not having an

election today. That's what

we should remember: the election isn't until next

year, and probably the latter

part of next year. The

policies are bedded down,

some of those reforms are

pretty strong and robust, as good as good as any reforms we had

for those periods under Bob Hawke's leadership in the

1980s. So I'm hopeful that

that can be explained better

and bring the public with you

over time. It will be up to the Australian public to

decide that. I don't write

it off at all. I think the Government, under Julia Gillard's leadership, has a

strong chance, but I would

urge her colleagues to get

behind her because that's our best chance

best chance of success. How

disappointing is it to be

sitting and watching from the

outside from your position

looking at the sort of

destabilisation going on for

Julia Gillard's leadership?

Do you think that Kevin Rudd

supporters need to pull their

heads in at this point? Yes,

look, I was trying to be

pretty honest about this

matter today. I think it's

much more a media issue than

a public issue. That is, I

don't discern that much has

changed since the line was

drawn in the sand earlier

this year and Julia Gillard

won an overwhelming support

for from her colleagues,

probably the biggest victory

of a Labor leader who faced a

contest in any time in the

Labor Party's history, and

not much has changed really.

Look, I can remember this when I was Premier or

Opposition Leader, that the

media never want to miss a

story, so they're almost

anticipating it, "Oh, gee,

what if we miss it?" The reality is I don't think much

is happening. The line has

been drawn in the sand. It

was an emphatic victory. The

task ahead is really to get

the job done and explain what

the job is. That's what

they'll focus on. I urge

them to focus on that in the

future. Last year, along with

John Faulkner and Bob Carr,

you came up with the plan of

reforming the Labor Party.

It was widely seen to be

largely ignored by the ALP

executive. What's one recommendation from that

process that you would

implement right now, if you

could, to make a difference? Well, there's a

couple, but one which I

believe we should pursue is

to look at a different way of

engaging people who want to

be members of the Labor Party

or on the progressive side of

politics. You know, when I

joined - gee, I think it was

about 37 years ago - the way

you joined was to be involved

in a branch where you had a

meeting once a month, you

heard reports of what was happening and you made

comments about it or you got

organised around that. But

of course with the immediacy

of the media now and issues which are dealt with on an

hourly basis, not just on a

monthly basis, that organ has

changed. Getting better

online support in the Labor

Party, getting different

engagements on issues, not

simply around community

branches, and getting

involvement in having a real

say in what's happening in

policy or in the leadership

of the Labor Party at an

organisational level - these

are the ones I'd like to see implemented. They haven't

been rejected, which I think

is a good thing. It's a

matter of when the party has the capacity and the

resources to implement it.

I'd urge them to look at it

very soon, because we need to

employ the social media and the new opportunities are

there to engage people.

We're probably not doing that

as well as we should. There's

no real sign, is there, right

now this is something still

on the table, it's not

something that will happen before the next

election? Well, it may or may

not. The important thing is

that there is a blueprint

there as part of the reforms

which were examined by Bob

Carr, John Faulkner and

myself. Some of those are being implemented now; others

are waiting for resources to

be developed so they can be

implemented. I'm hopeful,

you know. I'm an eternal

optimist, Ashleigh, and I

believe that over time these

policies, these suggestions,

will be implemented. Something you

need to be after so many

years in politics. Just

#2350i7bally, one of the more

controversial revelations in

your book was when you were

talking about the decision to dump the Governor because of

his connections to a Liberal

lunch group. We've seen that

Jeff Kennett, your old

sparring partner, has used

this to describe you as a

small man. How quickly do

you develop a thick skin as a

politician? Do you think the

culture of personal attacks

on #34rishans is getting

worse -- politicians is

getting worse as the years go

on? It's been there a long

time. If you look back to

the 1950s and the period the

Labor Party split, it was

robust and strong then, I

remember my father talking

about that. When I first

joined the Labor Party it was

pretty robust and strong at

that time, too. It's water

off a duck's back from my

point of view. We were

opposed to each other in '99.

That was resolved in the

election. I don't really

have an issue with that. In

relation to Sir James Gobbo,

his time expired, the former

Premier had not renewed his

contract. I chose, which was

my right to recommend to the

Queen a new Governor, John

Landy. I thought that was an

appropriate thing to do and the prerogative of any

Premier to do it. In

retrospect, I'd do the same

thing. Steve Bracks, we appreciate your time. Thank

you for that. Thanks, Ashleigh, I appreciate

it. Coming up, we'll look at the foreign investment debate

and also the latest on the

James Ashby/Peter Slipper

saga. Phil Coorey and Shane

Wright will join me next.

Stay with us.

Welcome back. Our panel of journalists is coming up

next. Right now, though,

Vanessa has the rest of the

day's top stories. James Magnussen gets a chance to

make amends for his

disappointing relay swim when

he lines up in his pet event

tonight, 100 freestyle. It

will be the 21-year-old's

first swim since his disastrous opening leg in the

men's final, where Australia

missed out on a medal.

Australian swimmer Emily

Seebohm claimed a silver

medal in the 100 metres backstroke in the pool

overnight. She was the gold

medal favourite, but pipped

by Missy Franklin in the

final to leave Australia with

the one gold medal in the

pool so far. A record

half-tonne haul of heroin and

ice valued at half a billion

dollars has been found

stashed in terracotta pots

shipped to Australia. Four

Hong Kong nationals and three

Sydney residents will face court today, following a year-long operation sparked

by a tip-off from the US Drug Enforcement Administration.

A joint operation between the

federal Police and Australian

cust am yoms and border protection services culminated with the arrest of

the men after raids in

Sydney's CBD and western

suburbs. 2000 people will

lose their jobs under a major

restructure of Queensland's transport bodies. The State's Transport Minister,

Scott Emerson, says Translink

will cease to operate as a

body, but will still oversee some services. The cut is

set to save the Government

$287 million over the next

four years. The Opposition

says allegations made against

James Ashby should have no

bearing on his case against

Speaker Peter Slipper. Queensland Police are looking

into allegations that Mr

Ashby had a sexual

relationship with two

15-year-old boys back in

2003. Government forces have

attacked rebel-held districts

in Aleppo with helicopter

gunships on the third day of

the battle for Syria's

commercial capital. The UN

says the fighting has sent

some 200,000 civilians

fleeing the northern city.

It's warned of a looming humanitarian catastrophe,

while France says it will

call an urgent UN Security

Council meeting on Syria.

The weather - showers in the

west and the south-east,

mostly sunny elsewhere. Time

now for our panel of

journalists, joining me Phil

Coorey from the SMH and Shane

Wright from the West Australian. Good afternoon

to both of you. Starting on the comments reported today

by Kim Beasley, of course the

former Labor leader, now over

in Washington, Phil, it

doesn't help having someone

like Kim talking down Labor's chances at the next election,

although, in fairness to him,

apparently it was meant to be

an off-the-record chat? Yes,

I'm not sure, Ash, without

wishing to disthe article,

I've spoken to someone who

was in the room and they

don't recall byzly saying

that at all, or anything of

the kind. Having said that,

it's hardly rocket science

that anyone looking at the public polling could come to

any other conclusion than the

Government is in trouble. I

guess if byzly said it at

that lunch, he may not have

but he may have said it at

some other forum at the

dialogue, it doesn't matter,

he's not the first one to say

it. Anyone here will tell

you the same thing, including anyone in the Government at

the moment. They'd get

walloped if they went to election at the moment.

Beazley is no fan of Kevin

Rudd, far from it, so nothing

he would do would be aimed at

helping Rudd in some sort of

leadership thing and I note

in the reported comments that

he said Rudd wouldn't win it

for Labor either. I think

it's pretty much just a

statement of the obvious, if

it was stated at all. Shane,

Phil is right, isn't he? A

lot of Labor MPs probably

will be saying the same thing

right now in private? I don't

think the Obama Administration would be

waiting on insights from the

CIA or the embassy here for

what's going on in the Australian political

situation. It is so obvious.

I notice that Sportsbet has

already opened a market based

on the back of Kim Beasley's

comments and they're saying

the suggested 30 seats is a 6

to 1 outlier, compared to

something closer to 41 to 50

seats. I think Phil is

right, the comment in regards

to if you changed horses, you

wouldn't get a different

result is more aimed at

undermining any chance for

Kevin Rudd to come back,

because I think any poll

shows that Kevin Rudd is far,

far more popular than J

Gillard or T Abbott, so you

would suggest that he has a better chance of saving some

of the furniture. That's why

we're having this whole

debate as to who might save

at least the band members

from the Titanic might get away, rather than going down

with the ship. Mean time,

James Ashby/Peter Slipper

saga is still ongoing,

getting stranger by the

minute, James Ashby facing

his own allegations involving

sex with minors. Didn't see

those twists coming. The

whole thing gets messier by

the minute. It is murky.

The Government and the

Opposition today declined to

comment on those allegations

about the sex with minors,

saying it's before the

police, best let the police

handle it. I notice the Government said that's not a

luxury that the Opposition

afforded Peter Slipper when Ashby aexcused him on day one

and the Opposition rushed out

with a press release.

They're going back to the

presumption of innocence. I

think, if it is true, what it

does, if anything, is it goes

further to the judgment of

Mal Brough, who had contact

with ashby in the run-up to ashby making claims against

Slipper. If this stuff

against Ashby turns out to be

true, it will be used to try

to discredit him, probably,

and, you know, used to malign

of Brough's judgment. That's

probably where the politics

of this is headed, but we

really should let the police

do what they're going to do.

As I understand it, the blo

ec who made the complaint or

raised the issue, one of the

people who had this supposed

relationship with Ashby,

didn't want to take it to the

police, he told Slipper about

it and then Slipper took it

to the police. If this

fellow is not going to

complain to the police, it may not even come to

anything. Shane, of course it

is an area you need to tread

care. Y with, in legal terms.

The PR war, something of

course which James Ashby has

been engaging with in recent

weeks and months, it doesn't

help his case there? I think

James Ashby started off the

PR war within hours of his original claim. This goes

into the whole thing of how

much mud can be thrown and

who comes away the least

dirty. Look, it's reflecting

poorly on everyone. So it

just feeds into that muddying

the complete waters around

any legal action that may or

may not carry on. So, look,

all these polls suggesting

there's so little confidence

in Government, in parliament,

this feeds perfectly into

that. Phil, you mentioned Mal

Brough before, he won

preselection for the seat of

Fisher on the weekend. What

are you hearing from Liberal

MPs about their views on Mr

Brough's ambitions, if and

when he does get re-elected

to Parliament? The realists

are saying he'll have to go

straight back on to the front

bench. It's fairly silly

that a Minister, cabinet

Minister, he left parliament

as a cabinet minister in 07,

would have to go to the

backbench. There's obviously

a lot of professional envy, a

big bottleneck of Coalition

people already trying to get

on to the front bench, with

the prospect of victory

fairly high, more willing

than usual. Naturally it's

human instikt, a lot of

people are saying he's been out of the game for five

years, he has to go to the

back of the queue. Abbott was afusive about him

yesterday. He was a

competent Minister under

Howard. He was okay, he

wasn't a bad Minister.

They'll need experience when

they get back in. Abbott

says he has 16 people in his team with ministerial experience, but not many are

in cabinet and not many were

very good. It would make

sense, just from that point

of view, to put him in. They

have room to work with in the

Senate. One Liberal pointed

out that they have a disproportionate number of

senators who are Ministers or

frontbenchers in the Coalition. At the same time,

he has to put forward Arthur

Sinedenis, find a spot for

him. I wouldn't be surprised

if bruf goes back on to the

front bench. Abbott's

authority will never be as

great as it would be the day

after if he wins the

election. He can do as he

likes and everyone be will

have to chew on it. Big

shuffle before the election, but afterwards would you

think it would be pretty wide-ranging? The problem is

he has to reduce his front

bench by a couple just to fit

into the new funding envelope

- this was the big increase

in ministerial payments that

came through from the

tribunal. He has to cut a

couple. So not only does he

have to reduce, he has to fit

in a few more. Look, Phil is

exactly right, Tony Abbott's

power within the party will

be no greater than that day

that he's making the phone

calls around saying "You're

in or you're out". His power

diminishes immediately after

that because he's upset a

fair few people because he

thought they're God's gift to

politics and should be on the front bench doing something.

You have two regional development ministers in the

front bench and no-one has

been able to explain what -

Barnaby Joyce is on some sort

of frolic and Bob bald win

also is in the same space.

You've got that overlap, and

you have so much clouded or

protected 69 non- -- of the

non-performance of some of

these front bench spokes

people over the last two years just because Tony

Abbott is so far in front in

the polls. Someone has to

have a hard look to weed out

the non-performers. It's

going to leave a fair few

people pretty angry come

election day post two days or

three. Phil, speaking of

Barnaby Joyce, how tricky a position is Tony Abbott in

when it comes to dealing with

foreign investment, balancing

the Nationals' view? Well, I think it's more smoke than

fire there, Ashleigh, I

really do. I think there's more commonality in their

position than they say. For

the Nationals it's a handy

little exercise in product differentiation, don't let

the Chinese buy our farms,

don't let the Chinese buy our

mines, state-owned companies.

If you look at the existing

regime, the Foreign

Investment Review Board rr

looks at every single dollar

if the acquisition is made by

a state-owned corporation.

Abbott will put out in the

next few days, we understand,

his foreign investment

policy. He'll probably -

this is me guessing - try to

tighten the criteria with

which they'll assess in the

national interest, pay no more than lip-service to it,

if you like, and stop the

practice of cumulative

acquisitions where you buy

separate things at a valuable over threshold for

non-State-owned purchases.

This thing will be thrown

around in preselections, three-corner contests with

Nationals running against

Liberals. After that it will

fizzle. You're an economics

editor, Shane, do you think

we need to have tinkering

when it comes to foreign

investment rules? Oh, God no,

let it go. This really

upsets me, given that this

country was built on the

British buying in and setting

up the whole place. Let's

not forget Lord Vesty and the

Yanks coming in as well or

the Kiwis. This gets

forgotten. The National

Party loves to play around

with this, but ultimately,

under the laws of the land,

the Treasurer of the day will

have the final say. We only

saw it once with Peter

Costello when he intervened

in the Shell/Woodside issue,

where there was the

discussion of national

interest. Even the argument

that there's a lot of people

in the bush who are opposed

to Chinese, say, investment

or sovereign wealth fund out

of the Middle East, that

doesn't go to the farmers who

might want to sell up and

that gets forgotten so

quickly, these are willing

sellers who might want to

make a buck and all of their

rights are being ignored in

this. Yes, a little bit of product differentiation, but

at the end of the day,

foreign investment is what's

driving this country, it's

driving the mining sector

right at the moment. If

you'd like to get rid of

that, feel free and you can

turn the lights off on the

country as you walk out. We

will watch that space,

looking forward to that

document being released,

perhaps in the next few days.

Shane Wright and Phil Coorey,

we appreciate your insights

with us as always on PM

Agenda. Thanks for that.

Coming up next, we'll be

looking at whether or not

women really can have it all

here in Australia. We'll be

speaking with the UN's Women

Australia executive director

Julie McKay, that's next.

Welcome back. The Governor-General, kwintin

Bryce, likes to say women can

have it all, just not at the

same time. For all the talk

about the need to boost Australia's productivity, getting more women back into

the work force, is a policy

area that appears to need

more work. Women make less

money overall and have a

lower work force participation rate. We're

also poorly represented in

the nation's boardrooms. The paid parental leave scheme is

one step, but it alone isn't

enough to get better gender equality in Australia.

Joining me now is UN Women

Australia executive director

Julie McKay. Thank you for

your time, Julie. As you

know doubt have read, a

former Clinton adviser

recently sparked a pretty furious debate about

equality, not only in the US

but around the world when she

wrote a piece for the

Atlantic magazine entitled

"Why women still can't have

it all". Do you agree with

her article, do you think

women can have it all in modern societies like Australia? Look, I think the real challenge with this

debate is we're still having

a debate about can women have

everything? I think the

reality is neither women nor

men have everything. We need

to change the debate to being

about how we empower and

support women to be able to

have anything to enable them

to have equal access to

choices around employment, around work force participation at different

points in their career,

around how they want to care

for children if they choose

to have children. It's a similar conversation to the

one we need to have about

male participation. For me it's very much about can

women have access to anything, not

everything. When it comes to

the women on boards issue, the Government's position is

that we shouldn't mandate to

force companies to have a

certain proportion of the

board made up of female s.

Without that sort of mandate,

do you see that situation changing drastically any time

soon? Look, I think there is

some progress being made when

companies have set targets,

which are non-legal ambitious targets towards promoting

women's leadership. We have

seen some movement in the

number of women on boards and

in senior leadership roles.

What we continue to see,

though, is where companies

haven't set targets, progress

is either really slow or not

being achieved at all. So in

a report that came out today,

I know that KPMG wrote still

only 36% of the top 200

companies have set targets

towards equality in the

gender space. So for me that

really shows we need to say

to our employers targets is

the first step, but if you

fail to set targets or fail

to meet the targets, there

needs to be a Government-legislated

intervention. Otherwise we

won't achieve progress.

We've had targets for a

really long time and they're

simply not making the changes

we need them to make. Because

we have been talking about

this for so long, do you

think there needs to be a

time frame in place, if these

targets don't work by, I

don't know, 2015 or 2020, do

you think the Government

needs to really grab this by

the reins by a certain

date? Yes, look, you're more

generous than I am. I think

2014 is the critical date.

It will have been three to

five years since we really

reinvigorated the debate

around targets in the

workplace, it will have been 30 years since the debate

really kicked off and probably 50 years since some

companies started talking

about it. For me, 2014 is

the date we need to review

and start to look at

legislative requirements. I think what's really interesting is that there's a

report coming out at the end

of this year from the equal

opportunity for women in the workplace agency. Without

wanting to pre-empt what will

be in that report, what I

think will be shown is that

in the top 200 ASX companies

that have had additional

requirements set on them by

the ASX, progress, albeit

small, has been made. If you

then extend the research out

to the top 500, very little

progress has been made. So

we're seeing some changes and

some models of best practice

that can be replicated, but

it's just too slow for what

I'd like to see. When you

look at paid parental leave

schemes, we all know the

Coalition's plan of paying a

woman her full wage for six

months as a maternity

payment. Do you agree with

that and is there actually

any evidence showing that the

more generous the paid

parental leave scheme, the

better the productivity

outcome? Global best practice

in this space is 18 weeks on

full pay, and that's

something that UN Women

Australia is definitely

supportive of and has offered

our staff. So I think that

an extension of the current

system is needed if we are

going to be able to support

women and men to take on a

different role in caring responsibilities, but also to

be able to maintain work

force participation and

re-engagement. I think what

we know from research here in

Australia, based on companies

that are giving staff more

than the minimum, is that

staff are more engaged,

they're more likery to return, they're better

supported when they do return

when the policies are whole

of company, when they are

more extensive and when

they're more well understood

by all levels of management

and leadership. One of the ideas we've seen around in

the papers over the last

couple of days being floated

by the Government is around-the-clock child care centres, night-time child

care. Is that tinkering

around the edge s only? Do

we need to look at better

ways for women to have home care, this idea again one coming from the Coalition

that nannies should be

subsidised. Is that

something that also would get

your tick of approval? I

think UN Women Australia has

done a major of gender

equality in the work force

summits over the last few

years with the Australian

human resources institutes.

One of the consistent

messages coming out of those

summits is the need for full

tax deductibility y for child

care and a range of different

child care options to include

things like nannies having

some level of tax deductibility y afforded to

them. The big issue, though,

is we need work force and

workplace redesign. We're

still talking about how we

manage part-time jobs for

mums. We need to be talking

about how we manage the work

force in an era where the

internet has allowed us to

communicate without being

present in an office. The vast majority of companies

that I work with still manage

their staff based on hours

and input, rather than

outcome s and output. I think that's a real challenge

for us as a community,

because we don't know a

different metric or different

way of supporting or empowering our staff. I

find, as an employer, it's

very easy to measure how many

hours people are in the

office; it's far harder to

measure the actual outcomes.

So we need systems and

policies in place that

support managers and at one

level force managers to start to manage towards the end

goal, rather than the

process, I think. A really

big deal was made recently

about the new YahooCEO being

not only a woman, shock

horror, but also a pregnant woman, pregnant when she was

hired. She's in a pretty

different boat, though, to a lot of ordinary Australian

women, right, who can't

really assume they won't be

discriminated against if they

are pregnant and going for

jobs? Yes, look, I'd love to

see a day where this sort of

story doesn't make the media

because it's the norm and the

way we should and do engage.

I think it's surprising that

this story has still had such

a massive global following,

because it is so unusual. I

think that's really

disappointing. I do think

for a lot of women their

choices around what sorts

really assume they won't be really a sume they won't be

discriminated against if they

are pregnant and going for are pregnart and going for jobs? Yes, look, I'd love to jobs? Yes, look, I'd love do

see a day where this sort of

story doesn't make the media

because it's the norm and

becaus it's the norm and the because it's the norm and he

way we should and do way we should and o engage. way we ssould and do engage. I think it's surpris ng I think it's I think it's surprising that this story this stor has

this story has still had such a massive global following, because bec use it because it is so unusual. because it is so anusual. I because it is so unusual. I

think that's really disappointing. disappointing. I disappointing disappointing. I do think for a lot of women their

choices around w at sorts choices asound what sorts of choices arouud what sorts of

jobs they can jobs they cao undertake, jobs they can undertake, hat jobs they can undertake, w at sorts of participation sorts of part cipation they sorts of participation they

can have, are can have, re really can have, are really limi ed. can have, arenreally limited. So we So w need

So we need not to get fixated So we need nottto get fixated on one or two exalples on one or two examples of

women who have absolutely

broken through and broken through atd we broken through and we really broken hrough and we really need to needito focus need to focus onw need to focus on the

challenges that challe ges that remain challenges th t remain for

challenger that remain for women who dvery women who every day in this

country, in our neighbours coun ry, in our neighbours

and across the world are strug ling

struggling to get basic things like pay equity, like things like pay equity, ike

working in a work force that doesn'tw

doesn't have sexual doesn t have sexual

harassment part of the harassment part If the day-to-day culture of the

organisation. Some organisation. aome of organisation. Some of those

really basic fu damental really basic funnamental

things that in a country like things that in a country lik Australia Australi we Australia we really should have got

genuine commitment to to

provide support to them is a

symbol of their commitment.

I think there are real

challenges ahead of the ADF,

but I also hope over the next

few months and years we can

find ways of showcasing the

good work that is being done

and also the progress that is

being made and really start

to support the women and men

of the ADF who every day go

to work with a lot of pride

in the work they do and the

reason that they do it. Julie

McKay from UN Women

Australia, we appreciate your

insights. Thank you for

that. Best of luck with it.

Thanks very much. That's all

we have for this edition of

PM Agenda. Of course Kiiran

Gilbert will be with you

tomorrow with AM agenda. See

you then. Until then, thanks

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