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Australian Agenda -

View in ParlView

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

Good afternoon, welcome to

PM Agenda, I'm Ashleigh

Gillon. Business groups say

they are not surprised the

Government's fair work review

won't result in major changes

pretty unimpressed. to the law but they are still

pretty unimpressed. Coming

up on the program, we will be

speaking to the work place relations minister, Bill

short en. Also today, how

serious could the US get

about setting up a naval base

on Garden Island. I will

also get some thoughts on

from from the WA Labor leader

who is hoping to topple Colin

Barnett at the State election

early next year. So plenty

coming up on the program.

First though, today's top

stories. Thanks. The long

awaited independent review of the Fair Work Act has found

it is delivering fair work

places. But reform is needed

to improve Australia's productivity growth. Receiving about 250 submissions, the review has

made 53 recommendations for

changes, but found that the

Fair Work Act has not led to

a wages blow-out, nor has it

dealt a fwlode productivity.

dealt a fwlode productivity.

Work place relations minister

Bill Shorten says the review

shows that Fair Work Act is

accomplishing its

objectives. The review does

not recommend sweeping

changes and that the independent advice is that

the substance of the laws

introduced by Labor, back two

and a half years ago, are

operating as intended. I

operating as intended. I

believe that the review is

determined that our Fair Work

Act has struck a good balance

in that it delivers for both

employees and employers. The

Government will now consult

with industry, employees and

their representatives and the

suggestions to improve the States about the panel's

Act. And if you would like

Fair Work Act, look to watch more reaction on the

Fair Work Act, look for our dedicated channel. A

22-year-old man who pleaded

guilty to murdering

Queensland school girl

Trinity Bates has been

sentenced to life imprisonment. Sky News Brisbane reporter Joel Philp

was at the Supreme Court in

Brisbane. He filed this

report. At the 11th hour

before trial, Allyn John

Slater pleaded guilty

yesterday to murdering 8-year-old Bundaberg school girl Trinity Bates. Her

family came down from Brisbane for this verdict. Outside court, police spoke

on behalf of the family, he

didn't want to make any statements, and police said

that this tragedy continues.

Of course, Trinity was taken

from her home in Bundaberg in

February 2010. Her body was

found in a stormwater drain

lying in the water 15000 m

away. Now, fingerprints

actually linked Slater to the

crime, this was an

crime, this was an abducts, fingerprints were found on

her window. But there are

other ties between the two

families. The two families

were in fact friends. And in

Slater's own worth, his

younger brother was best

friends with the Trinity.

Now, when sentencing today,

the judge said that what

happened was every parents'

worse nice mare. Australia's James Magnussen

will have to shake off

will have to shake off bitter

disappointment for the second

time this week at the London

Olympics as he heads back to

the pool later tonight.

Let's get all the news now

from the games with sports

reporter Jim Cullne and not

much rest for the Missile.

No, you probably think the

pool is the last place that

James Magnussen wants to head

to but it is back to work for

the missile at the aquatics

his centre in London. It is not

his favourite events, he really had only been considered an outside chance

in the splash and dash of the

50 m freestyle sprint. But

it is another very busy day

ahead on day 6 in London with

a total of 18 golds up for

grabs. As mentioned,

Magnussen will be in the

thick of that, still chasing

that individual gold medal in

the heats with Eamon

Sullivan, the semis to follow in the evening session.

in the evening session. Also

contesting in the butterfly

and back stroke. The track

cycling gets underway, we get

to see for the first time

these London Games, the clash

between Australia and team GB

will no doubt be a highlight

over the ensuring days there.

There is plenty happening in

rowing again, the Boomers

take on China, and Australia

play Brazil for the beach

volleyball. So James Magnussen missed out on gold

by one-hundredth of a second

in the final of the 100 m

freestyle, pipped at the wall

by American Nathan Adrian.

He warned his points to brace

themselves for this moment.

They were much early to watch

him race, he was the fastest

qualifier and got away as

good as anyone. Magnussen's

good as anyone. Magnussen's

second 50 is better than his

turned in fifth position first and just as well. He

before powering home as he and American Nathan Adrian

fought it out for gold.

Missed it by the narrowest

margin and one-hundredth is

how the sport is measured. A silver medal to the missile

by the narrowest of margins.

For James, it's a matter for

him, I think, maintaining his

self belief. He is a silver

medallist at the Olympics for

God sake, it's a hell of an achievement, he is a young

man, he just turned 21. He

has got to go back and work

again for four years an come

back and have another go.

Melanie Schlanger could bring

home gold in the women's 100.

She won her semi and is the second fastest qualifier for

the final. She was soon back

in the pool for the

in the pool for the women's

four would two teaming up

with Bronte Barratt, Kylie

Palmer and Alicia Coutts.

The Americans won in olympic

record time. I think they

did a great job. Alicia

Coutts anchoring the team was sensational. And Brenton

Rickard finished 7th in the

200 m bres stroke final.

Meanwhile, Aussie

Meanwhile, Aussie rowers Kate

Hornsey and Sarah Tait. They

finished strongly to come

from just behind the Great

Britain pair of Helen Glover

who won the host's first gold

medal in the games. The

Aussies no doubt were worthy

runners up. So taking a look

at the medal table. After five completed days,

five completed days, China is

still well out in front with 17 gold.

Of course sports line 10.30

tonight we are live from

London with all the latest

from the games. To other

news now, one person is dead

and another is in a

and another is in a critical

condition after a car

explosion in Melbourne's

north west. The incident

involving a silver sports car

occurred at Keilor East at around 10 o'clock this

morning. Police haven't

confirmed if the incident is

being treated as suspicious.

Nothing is out of - has been

ruled out at this stage. It will be some time before we work that out but we will

look at all options that are

open to us in terms of the

investigation. We heard the bang and heard another

pedestrian, another witness,

yelling for help and I went

over and assisted him and

basically ensured that the

people that needed help was

on its way. One of them aged

in his 30s has been taken to

The Alfred Hospital with

severe burns. Police, arson

and explosive experts are continuing their

investigations. They say it

is not known how the injured

man escaped from the vehicle. A rocky road ahead for

Darrell Lea with the announcement this afternoon

that stores are closing and

hundreds of jobs will go. Sky News Melbourne reporter

is following the story. Just

weeks after getting into administration, Darrell Lea

says they are shutting half

their stores and sacking 200 workers. This store here

behind me in Melbourne's

popular Swans already closed. Staff busy inside,

Staff busy inside, removing

stock from the shelves. The

shock announcement today made

by the administrators, PPB,

who have been trying to find

a buyer for the business for

the past three weeks. Let's

remember that there is still

30 plus stores which are

going concerns, so yes, some shops which have been deemed

to be unprofitable aren't

working but we want to see

the Darrell Lea business restructured and sold as a

going concern. So I don't want to talk down

want to talk down the brand

of Darrell Lea, because we

still think they have got a

positive future, provided the

right buyers come along and

that is up to the administrator and the

Government is helping in that

process. The 85-year-old

company was placed into

administration but set by a

combination of rising costs,

declining sales, and intense

competition. PPB says they're in discussions with

up to 90 buyers but for now,

the fade of the remaining

the fade of the remaining 35

stores and 500 workers still

hangs in the balance.

Checking the weather for you

now. Mostly sunny conditions

after a colded morning in the

east tomorrow. Showers in

the south and west. Back now

to Ashleigh Gillon and PM Agenda. Thank you. Coming

up after the break, I will be

up after the break, I will be

joined by Bill Shorten and

Stephen Smith, stay with us.

Welcome back. The review

into the Fair Work Act was

released today. The long

awaited report recommends

some 53

some 53 changes, the review

has broadly supported the

current work place relations laws saying they strike the

right balance. They also

claim it hasn't damaged productivity and is delivering a fairer work place but the business world disagrees, saying more needs

to be done to achieve a

better relationship with

employees and their bosses.

This fair work report is a

big missed opportunity. It

says that there is a flagging productivity rate in

Australia. But it does not

actually take the hard

decisions that are necessary

in the national interest to

do something about it and

that is regrettable but we must ensure that Australian Governments, whether it is

the current Government or the future Government, have it

made clear to them by the

business community that they

have a responsibility to

ensure that the work place

system does not sit back and

wait and see whether it can

cure itself. Pressure is also mounting on the

opposition to release its

plans for industrial relations reform. Tony

Abbott says that will be

released in due course. But

today, he was focussing on

the credibility of the Fair

Work Act review and how it

was conducted. If the

Government was fair dinkum

about boosting productivity,

this review would have been

conducted by the productivity

commission. Instead, it was

conducted essentially by the department and naturally the Government reviewing the

Government has decided that

the Government doesn't have a

problem. We do need to

address these issues and that

may very well involve a change to

change to the Fair Work Act.

But the point I've made all

along is that they will be

careful, cautious, prudent, responsible changes within

the framework of the existing

Act. For more, I spoke to

the Workplace Relations Minister, Bill Shorten, a

little earlier. I started by asking him about the

criticism we have been

hearing today from business groups.

groups. I think that's not

reading the report for what

it is. Everyone is entitled

to their opinion. But I

think that the independent

experts, after hearing 250

submissions, have drawn the

conclusion that the Act is

meeting its objectives, or in plain English, the law which

is Labor put in place when

they were elected to remedy

the wrongs of the work

choices era, are delivering

better wages for people, we are

are seeing an up tick in

productivity, and we are

seeing collaborative work

places being formed. So I

think the evidence is in.

And it says that the

fundamentals are being

accomplished and accomplished well for Australian business

and for Australian

employees. The opposition

argues that that evidence has

no credibility. It says it

should have been something

that was looked at by the

productivity commission, that

the way it happened was essentially your department

essentially your department giving you the advice you

want to hear. Well, it is disappointing that the

opposition want to shoot the

messenger when they don't

like the message. The point

for me is that Labor went to

two elections with our

policies. We have now had a post implementation review of

the policies we put in place.

We have got truck loads of

science and evidence on the

Labor side. The opposition,

getting a lecture from them

about lack of evidence for

about lack of evidence for

Labor's laws, is a bit like

them trying to burn books for literacy. It doesn't make sense. Where is their

evidence? They think the

politics is a children's game

of hide and seek. They hide

their industrial relations

policies and they will only release them after the election. So if they want to

have a debate about evidence,

bring it on. The opposition of course says that it is

going to be releasing its

full IR policy before the

next election. Hearing ministers like

ministers like yourself

constantly bringing up work

choices when everybody

acknowledges that would be

politically poisonous for the

Coalition to go back down

that path. We have seen the

opposition and many of your critics in the business

sector as well arguing that

that is just Labor being a

bit desperate as you struggle

in the polls to keep bringing up this work choices line.

Isn't that just a fear

campaign? It's a very long

question. There is a simple answer.

answer. If people think that

we are exaggerating, then

just ask the Liberals to

reveal their policies.

That's all . What is there

for businesses to be pleased,

in terms of the changes that

you may be looking at, as a

result of this review? The

Greenfields agreement is

something, of course, we have

heard needs to change. Are you committing to the businesses today that will

you take up the advice and

you take up the advice and

make those sort of changes?

I've released the report

today. I'm committing and

not ruling in, I'm not committing to anything today.

I'm not ruling in, ruling out

anything. On one hand, if as

you say businesses think -

and the Liberal thinks the

report is no good, then on

the other hand they want to

look at particular

recommendations, I think you

have to pick your poison and

stick to it. I think the

report is a good report. I don't

don't expect everyone to

agree with it. I'm sure there will be aspects of the

report unions don't agree

with. There will be aspects

of the report that the

academics don't agree with.

There will be aspects of the

report that businesses don't

like. There may well be

aspects of the report that the Government doesn't agree

with in terms of specific

solutions or suggestions. We

have seen a spate of job

losses in recent months, okay the manufacturing sector struggling. We all have heard a lot about that

heard a lot about that

recently. What is the Government's response today?

What can you do to help these

Darrell Lea workers who are

now going to be without a

job? Well, it is

disappointing that these

Darrell Lea workers, some of

the shops are going to keep

going, so even as we talk

about how we support the

displaced workforce, which we

will and we have put out a press statement to that

effect, or if we haven't, we

are about to. Let's remember

that there is still 30 plus

stores which are going concerns, so yes, some shops

which have been deemed to be

unprofitable aren't working

but we want to see the

Darrell Lea business

restructured and sold as a

going concern. So I don't

want to talk down the brand of Darrell Lea because we

still think they have got a positive future. Provided the right buyers come along

and that is up to the administrator and the

Government is helping in that

process. The broader

question about jobs, in

Australia, since the global

financial crisis hit, we have

seen the economy increased

10%. We have seen jobs

created in a range of areas

and we have seen some headline redundancies

announced. As a Government, we work with the companies

who announce the

redundancies, we work with

the unions, those workers, to

try to help them get greater

support in seeking new jobs,

we want peoples period in

unemployment to be as short

as possible. But we are doing more than

doing more than that. We

have at least, unlike most of the western world, continued

to grow. We have seen new jobs created in Australia.

NBN, infrastructure, skills, productive relationships in

the work place, that is the

Labor agenda, we want to make

sure that it is the jobs change and the economy changes will take people with

us. We are a far better bed

about the future than our

points who won't reveal their

work place policies.

Yesterday, the AWU released

its plan for the aluminium

sector and in it it included

an idea, a concept, for a

national gas reserve to help

that sector. What is the

Government's response to that

idea? Does it have merit? I

haven't seen what Paul and

the AWU have suggested

yesterday about a national

gas reserve. Mart inferringson is the minister most appropriate to comment about that in the

about that in the short-term.

In terms of supporting the

aluminium sector, and I've

had meetings with the

Australian workers union and

I know a lot of people who work in that sector, the

Government stepped in to hell

Alcoa which has been a good

thing and is great for the Port Henry workers in Geelong. I know that behind

the scenes we have had a bit

to do with helping Pacific

skep helping at Bell Bay. So

the Government - we are a Government that will roll up

our sleeves and try to help

where we can appropriately to

create sustainable jobs in

the in particular sectors.

Our points though have got no

plan for the aluminium industry, no plan for the

steel industry, no plan for

the car industry. They are

all talk and no action. Just

finally, Bill Shorten, is

momentum building to depose

Julia Gillard as leader of

the Labor Party and Prime

Minister? No. If the polls

don't improve, will the job

be under pressure? I think

the Prime Minister is doing a

great job. I actually think,

over time as we get closer to

an election in the next 12

months, the polls tighten up

and narrow. Our points have

tried to say that the price

on carbon pollution was the

end of the world as we know

it. That hasn't happened. They have been trying to say

that there is a plague of

industrial action. That is

not true. What we are doing

is getting on with the NBN

roll out, so small businesses

can compete with the rest of

the world. We have been

spending more money on skills

and training than ever any

Government has in the history

of the Commonwealth before.

We have got unemployment at

5.2%. Whilst that is still a

number under pressure, it

come pairs very favourably to

North America and to Europe.

The cash rate, or the bottom

number which contributes to

the cost of mortgages has

been falling. Inflation

1.2%. We have got some good numbers. I understand why

you talk about the polls.

But for me, in terms of the kitchen tables of real

Australia, not having a job

is a bigger issue. Inflation

is a bigger issue. Mortgage

payments are a big issue and

on all of those figures, plus the education of your kids,

we are doing all right. We

appreciate your time. Thank

you for that. Thanks. We

will look at this issue a

little closer later on in the

program with our panel of

journalists. Moving on now

though, and the presence have

US forces in Australia could

be expanded dramatically

under recommendations to go

before Congress in the US.

The report, which was

commissioned by the US defence department and

written by an independent

think tank, recommends

expanding the Stirling base

on WA's Garden Ireland. I'm joined my Stephen Smith.

Thank you for your time. How much weight does this report

actually carry? How likely

is the - is it that the US

Government would take out

those recommendations? Well,

it is a report by the

independent think tank, the

centre for strategic and

international studies. It

was requested by Congress.

It has gone today, our time,

before a Senate committee,

the arm to services committee

and the Congress itself

wanted to be better informed

about the United States

rebalance. But as secretary

of defence has made clear,

proposals in it aren't

proposals of the United States Government and US officials have made clear

today, as I have, that this

is not a US Government

proposal and there are no

proposals for a United States military base in Australia

whether it's a naval base or

any other sort of base. So

the starting point suggestion, namely a naval

base or the home porting of

naval assets at HMAS stirling

south of Perth, is not

Australian Government policy,

it is not United States administration policy, and it

is not going to happen. What is on the table for consideration, which I have

made clear, is greater US

naval access in due course to

HMAS Stirling. Nt if one

comes down the track, what is

Australia's position? Would

Australia comply with the

request from the US to do

so? Well, Australia's

position is the same as the

position of the United

States, which is there are no United States military bases

in Australia and there is no

proposal or suggestion from

either the United States or

Australia for such a base.

The discussions we have been

having, pursuant to our longstanding alliance with

the United States in recent

times, have been to enhance the practical cooperation

that we engage in and that is

a very sensible thing to do

as the United States

rebalances to the

Asia-Pacific as it draws down

from Afghanistan in the

Middle East. And that is

seen in the first instance an

agreement for 250 marines to

rotate on a six monthly basis

out of Darwin, that will grow

to 2,500 over a five year period, and the second

priority for us is enhanced

aerial access or aviation

access to our northern RAF

bases. We haven't started

the detail of that

conversation but that will

occur in due course and I've

made it clear for some time

that down the track, as India

rises in significance, as

Indian ocean rises in

significance, then HMAS

Stirling is well placed to

receive a greater number of

US naval visits. Now, visits, we have seen in the

past but we are expecting

that would become more

significant. Can I just

clarify: is that a concrete

policy then that you're

opposed to having actually

bases in Australia, even down

the track, if that is

something that the US comes

to you and proposes as a

result of the review going on

there at the moment? That is

a concrete policy, Australia

will not have US bases in

Australia? This has been

longstanding Labor Government... You don't see

that changing at all? It's

been longstanding Labor

Government policy position

and approach. That's been

shared by governments of Coalition political

persuasion. We have a joint

facility, Pine Gap and other

than our joint facility, we

have United States personnel having access to our

facilities. It is not

proposed that that would

change. There is no need for

that to change. And the longstanding position of Australia has been that we

don't have military bases of

the United States or any

other country in Australia.

What about the Cocus Islands,

have the Americans expressed

their interest to you to use

those for their purposes?

Again, as I have made clear

in the past, there have been

suggestions from officials to

journalists that Cocus Island

could be used for enhanced

operations so far as either

Australia or the United

States is concerned. So why

are they saying that to

journalists instead of to the

Australian Government? If

you read the review, you will

see that Cocus Island is

mentioned. Australian defence force assets use Cocus Island. There's a

runway there. That runway is

in need, and it's currently occurring of some

maintenance, but to enhance

activity in Cocus Island

would require a substantial investment which we are

currently not proposing to

make. In the past, Cocus

Island has also had some

access to the United States

air force but we are not

proposing, nor is it proposed

to discuss in the near future, decisional or

enhanced use of Cocus Island.

My point about official

speaking to journalists, is

occasionally as you have seen

today, an independent report

which is not a Government

report, being interpreted as

if it somehow reflects the

attitude of Government and in

the past we have seen

officials speaking to journalists and journalists and officials

views being interpreted as

the views of either the

Australian Government or the

United States administration.

Thietsds of those two things

are the case in respect of

the independent think tank or in respect to suggestions

about Cocus Island. Thank

you for clearing that up for

us today. Appreciate your

time on PM Agenda as always.

Thanks for that. Thanks very

much. And after the break,

we are going to be speaking

with the WA Opposition Leader, that is next.

Welcome back. WA's

Opposition Leader coming up

next. Right now though, we

will get the top

will get the top stories.

The long awaited independent

review of the Fair Work Act

has found it is delivering

fair work places and has not

damaged productivity,

receiving about 250

submissions, the review made 53 recommendations for

change, but found that the

Fair Work Act has not led to

a wages blow-out, nor has it

dealt a blow to productivity.

Workplace Relations Minister

Bill Shorten says the review

shows that the Act was

accomplishing its objectives.

The Government will now

consult with industry,

employees and their representatives and the

States about the panel's

suggestions to improve it.

The man who murdered young

Bundaberg girl Trinity Bates

has been jailed for life. The 22-year-old Allyn John

Slater was due to stand trial

in Bundaberg next week over

the death of the 8-year-old.

But Slater opted to plead

guilty yesterday, midway

through a pre-trial hearing in Brisbane's Supreme Court.

Trinity was killed after

being snatched from her bed in February 2010.

Australians olympic swimming

coach says James Magnussen

will learn from experience

after disappointment in the

mens 100 m freestyle at the

London Olympics. The man

known as the Missile missed

out on the gold medal by

one-hundredth of a second

beaten by American Nathan

Adrian. Alicia Coutts got

her fourth games medal and

Bronte Barratt her second.

Kate Hornsey and Sarah Tait

have claimed a silver in the

women's pairs. Almost 200

Darrell Lea staff are set to

lose their jobs today as the

confectioner shuts down 32

stores. Darrell Lea's

closing most of its under

performing shops as it

prepares to make the company

more attractive for potential

buyers. 34 stores will

remain open. The iconic

Australian chocolate retailer

went into voluntary

administration last month.

It is now in the hands of

receivers, PPS Advisory. The

competition watch dog has

cleared the way for Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation to

buy Consolidated Media

Holdings. The Australian

competition and consumer

commission says it won't

oppose the $2 billion deal,

the deal will allow Mr

Murdoch to take ConsMedia

stake in Foxtel and Fox

Sports. He says the acquisition isn't likely to

lead to a decrease in competition in any relevant

market. In sports news, a

blow for the Hawkes with star forward Lance Franklin unable

to return for the block

buster clash against Geelong

in the AFL. Mostly sunny

after a cold morning in the

east. Showers in the south

and west. Thank you. We

spent a lot of time

speculating about the result

of next year's Federal Election, even though it is

more than a year away. Here

in WA, the States go into the

polls early next year, they

do have Colin Barnett's

Government way ahead. Thank

you for your time. I'm keen to whip around and get your

take on a few federal and State issues. Firstly, one

that I was just talk being

with the Defence Minister

Stephen Smith, as former

naval officer, what is your

take on this? Would you

welcome an increased presence

by the US here in the WA?

I'm a supporter of the US alliance, as is Labor. I

represent the electorate in

which the Australian naval

base is located, HMAS

Stirling. I can't see it

happening. The United States

is kernel not going to do

this. They are pulling back

forces rather than sending

them out. And if they

actually ever got to the

point of saying they wanted

to do it, I don't think

Australians would

particularly want that

located in Rockingham, so I

wouldn't support it. So if

you were premier and the US

came to the Australian

Government with this

proposal, you would say not

in my home State as premier?

I would say it wouldn't be

preferred to have a carrier

base with everything else

associated with that in the middle of Perth. And

honestly, it is a one in a

million possibility anyway.

On IR today, we have been

talking here on Sky News a lot about the Fair Work Act

and the review that's come

out today. Here in WA, I

don't need to tell you, that

a lot of the big business groups lobbying for

industrial changes. They are

really pushing for the

Coalition to release their

policy firstly but they would

like to see this Fair Work

Act not just have tinkering

around the edges but some

serious changes. Do you

agree with that? Do you

think they need more of a shake up than this revup

panel is recommending today?

It is obviously a federal

industry, industrial

relations now because of John

Howard it is a federal

industry. It is... It is

rarely based because when the

Prime Minister was here, they

raised it as one of the top

priorities. It is something

that the Federal Government can do something about if

they want to, it is not

something that is a State

issue and it is if ever

raised with me. I think that

report that has come out

today seems like it has addressed some of the issues

and that is a good thing and

I probably wouldn't support, in fact I obviously wouldn't

support a return to the

situation that existed under

Mr Howard. But it is a

federal issue. I think that

the report today has put a

lot of it to bed. One issue

that no doubt is raised with

you all the time is the

mining tax. You support its

introduction but would you

rule out lifting State

royalties if you were the

Premier? No, what I've said

is the Federal Government

needs to ensure that the

infrastructure fund, which is

part of the proceeds of the

mining tax, needs to be spent

on States according to their contribution. That's the

condition that we put on for

support for the tax. So we

want the infrastructure fund

spent according to what each

State puts in. If that's

what happens, 60% of the fund

would be spent on Western

Australia on much needed

roads, electricity and the

like, and that is the

condition on us supporting

the mining tax. Right, but

if that all happened and the

mining tax continues on,

would you rule out as premier lifting State royalties

alongside that? There is a

review currently underway.

Mr Barnett has put the review

in. He has factored in some

inkreez in royalties in other

minerals into the future. And obviously that would form

part of our costings. So no,

we would not rule out that

increase although it might note, and the mining industry

should note, that the State

Liberal Government is putting up royalties on the mining

industry. So a lot of the

talk around the mining tax and lifting of costs on

mining and so forth, a lot of

that has been driven by State

Liberal governments. Wayne

Swan will be disappointed to

hear you say that, that you

wouldn't rule out increasing

State royalties. There's a

lot more royalties imposed

than just on iron ore and

coal. But no, I wouldn't

rule it out, it's a State

prerogative and we don't do things just because the

Federal Government wants us

to do things in a certain way. What about asylum seekers, more boats coming in

every day, they are coming and arriving off the

north-west of WA. As a

former naval officer, do you

think that turning around the

boats could act as a

deterrent? I've actually

boarded foreign vessels, for

enfishing vessels. It is a ridiculous, perprosous proposal put forward by

someone that has never done

it. So it captain work.

Even though it has worked

before? It won't work and it

is dangerous for the naval

personnel involved. However,

there needs to be a

compromise at a federal level

on all of these things,

temporary protection visas,

whether it is Nauru and or

Malaysia or another location,

offshore processing, those

things need to be put in place, both sides need to

agree and I think to be fair

on my federal colleagues they

have indicated they are

willing to compromise. I

think it is more the pig

headedness of Mr Abbott that

is meaning there is no compromise on those things

but the idea of turning around the boats is plain

silly. Just to clarify: you

are saying you support it? I

sporet it, yeah. Why is

that? I put it publically.

I just want to see something

that works. I don't want to

see people drowning in the

ocean any more and I think

the time for political debate

and principle is past when

you have people dying. Is it... It is time for solutions that work. And

Malaysia, you don't think

that's a solution? No, I

have said. That is obviously

part of the solution. Along

with temporary protection.

Turning around the boats is

perprosous, but all of those

things need to be put in

place because we need

something that works. Let's

look at some State issues.

One of the big issues here in

WA that we talk about a lot

is the spate of shark attacks

we have seen recently. What

is your policy on trying to

combat those shark attacks?

Do you support putting shark

nets along Perth's coastline,

what about culling, what is

your policy? We don't

support culling and we don't

support nets. Both of those

measures, I think for various reasons, aren't appropriate.

We have released a policy

document which is to create

some ocean pools, like they

have in NSW, maybe Victoria,

where there is pools along

sired the ocean that can swim

in safety. Isn't it divers

an surfers that are really

getting taken? How would

ocean pools make any

difference to that? A lot of

people, you know, they are

not all divers and they are not all surfers that have

been people, a lot of them

are people swimming in the

ocean and on top of that, a

lot of people drown in the

ochen, so providing an

alternative measure to have

an enjoyable swim in the

beach where it is relatively

safe is what we are about.

In terms of putting nets out

and so forth, I doubt they

would preserve divers or

surfers anyway because most

of the time diverers and

surfers are beyond any nets

and as anyone who has lived in the eastern States will

know, they are walls of

death, doll fins, turtles,

various forms of marine life

will die. And lastly,

Western Australian coastline

is different, we don't have

the big head lands like in

NSW. So we don't support it

and we are not supporting

culls. Ahead of the State

election you have said before

you don't expect Julia

Gillard to join you on the

campaign trail. It is pretty

traditional for federal leaders, special Prime

Minister, to give their State

colleagues a helping hand.

Do you think that Julia Gillard's presence would be more have a hindrance than a

help? It is a State campaign

and we are saying it needs to

be a State campaign around

State issues. If Mr Barnett

wants to have Mr Abbott

helping him. I can stand on

my own two feet, my colleagues can, we don't need

anyone else involved, we will

run our own campaign. But

her presence here wouldn't

help your cause? It would

detract from State issues, so

in Western Australia, there

has been a huge increase in

the cost... Detract in a bad

way though? We don't want

the destracs from State

issues, not federal issues.

You will see Mr Barnett

always trying to bring in

federal issues because he knows his record isn't particularly good and he

knows that Labor at a State

level has a great deal of

positive initiative. So a

federal involvement would be

a detraction from that. Back

here in Perth, a lot of your

colleagues are almost

crossing their fingers and

hoping there is an early Federal Election, that Julia

Gillard is deposed so that by the time your election comes around in March next year, that is all out of the way

and you can have a fresh take

from voters. Do you think

that the federal caucus should stick with Julia

Gillard? Look, it is their

decision as to who their

leader is. And whoever their

leader is is up to them. They have made their decision

and that is a matter for them. We appreciate your

time with us on PM Agenda.

Thank you for that. Thank

you. After the break, we

will go to our panel of press

gallery journalists. Stay with us.

Welcome back. Joining me

now on our panel of press

gallery journalists,

Katherine Murphy and Tim

Lesser. Let's look at this

Fair Work Act review that we

saw revealed today. Business disappointed. But I think

they always expected they

would be. Yes. I don't

think we expected that any

business leaders would be

dancing in the streets after

today. And sure enough they

are not. The review is very

much in the weeds, very much

in the detail, very much in

the fine print. It is not

processing any sort of

revolution in work place

legislation and business

leaders would prefer far more

substantial change than the

changes that are being flaged

in today's review. And Tim

we have seen a lot of criticism, not just from the business groups today, but

also from Tony Abbott saying

this is something that really

the productivity commission

should have been doing. Is

that a fair argument do you

think from the Coalition?

Well, I think it is a

predictable argument from the

Coalition. Fair may be. But

the Coalition's walking a bit

of a tight rope on this because they have got Tony

Abbott feels the need, and

has a need, to attack fair

work and the way it is

operating. There is no doubt

about that. But he doesn't want to go too far because

the one thing he doesn't want

to do is talk up any or get

forced into a position where

he has to talk about any

detail of his own policy.

The Government would need a

lot of detail to mount a

reasonable scare campaign, so

he has got to play that very tight and listening to him

earlier today, did a pretty

good job of that. There

wasn't a lot of date in there

for the Government to have a

go at. How much pressure do you think the Coalition

really is under to get this

IR policy out sooner rather

than later? Well, I think

certainly as we saw today the

Government tried to make the

release of the review a discussion about Tony

Abbott's secret industrial

relations policy. Obviously

as the election cycle

tightens, then Mr Abbott will

be under more pressure to

provide some detail. And it

is an obvious attack line

that Labor runs against Mr

Abbott. You know, I think

the Coalition's conscious

that they have got to provide

some detail, obviously, there

has been - we can't get close

to an election with a vacuum

because obviously that works

in Labor's interests, not in

the Coalition's interests.

But as Tim said a minute ago,

Tony Abbott's disposition

thus far has been certainly

not to fall into any trap of

Labor's making. And to stick

to broad themes rather than

specifics. We have been

spending a lot of time in the

last couple of days, all of

us political journalists,

talking about Bruce

Springsteen after Wayne Swan

delivered that speech last night. He had another whack

at the mining billionaires as

linked leaked to the papers

yesterday morning. There has

been some analysis of that

speech, that Wayne Swan, as acting Prime Minister this

week while Julia Gillard is

on holiday, that he is really

trying to build his profile

as an alternative leader. Do

you think there is anything

in that Tim? I don't know.

And I probably am using the

sort of conspiracy theory or

not approach, say that it is

unlikely. I think the more likely explanation is that

Labor is worried, they are

looking for - they are

clutching a bit at straws,

they are looking at any way

that they can reasonably

connect to voters that have

left them. Bruce Springsteen

looks as good a hook as any

one right now and they have

got a pretty good run for their money frankly over the

last two days on the issue.

There may be Wayne Swan advertising Wayne Swan but I

think it is more likely that it is it is just Labor looking at

almost anything they can to

try to reconnect with that

10% of voters. They need to

win over if they torstand a chance. It wasn't just the

speech, there was the YouTube

video that went along with

it. Wayne Swan, you know,

show casing his family, shots of him shitting at home and

his desk and all of that.

Did you see that as a message

to caucus that Rudd isn't the to caucus that Rudd isn't the

only option? It was kind of

Wayne Swan ace digital

communicator, wasn't it. You

know, producing the YouTube and getting around the

snarky, you know, cynical

types in the press gallery

and having a direct

conversation with voters. I

think Wayne Swan alluded to

that actually on the 7.30

Report last night, not in

those direct terms, but that

in the general sense that

these days if you want to

source a crowd, have a

conversation, whatever else,

well then you've got the

means of hitting social

media, hitting YouTube and

going for it. In terms of

whether it is a big - you know, advertisement for Wayne

Swan as leader, well, I think

'The Herald Sun' columnist

tipped last week that we were

going to see Wayne Swan for

leader. Not so sure about

that. I would say, though,

that however Labor chooses to

resolve its current

leadership dilemma, that

Wayne Swan is a critical

player. Both in factional

terms and because he is a close alley of Julia Gillard.

So whether or not we are

about to see Wayne Swan vault

into The Lodge, well

personally, I doubt it personally, I doubt it but I

wouldn't under rate or under

play his role in what, if

anything, is going to occur

over the next few months.

Tim, what is your sense of

how the party's going about resolving the leadership issues? Do you think that is

something that we are seeing

momentum building for as we

look forward to the return of

Parliament in a couple of

weeks? I actually see it in

opposite terms, and I think a

lot of my colleagues do too,

and that is that in a way, at

one level it is almost ir

resistible given the problem, that essentially Labor has

been bogged now for a year in

the polls or more, so it is

almost irresistible at that level but Labor really hasn't

found a way to do it and they

still can't. It is more a

still can't. It is more a leadership stalemate and I

don't think there is a way

yet to break through. I

think the fact that Julia

Gillard's numbers are

terminal, look terminal at least make it difficult for her and the fact that Kevin

Rudd is so disliked by such a

powerful segment of cabinet,

let alone Labor caucus, I

think makes it very difficult

to return to him. And Labor

doesn't know where to go I

think is the simple answer.

So because of those sorts of

arguments, do you think that

this is something that we shouldn't really expect will

come to a head in the next

few weeks or before

Christmas? Well, the

situation is very difficult

to predict. I think is the

truth of it. It is very

difficult to predict. I

think a lot of readers and

viewers are sick of political

journalists like us sitting

down and talking about an

issue that doesn't seem to

crystallise. I certainly get

that feedback a lot.

Notwithstanding that dynamic

though, obviously Labor is in

a constant discussion with

itself about how best to face

the voters at the election

whenever it comes. So it is

very difficult to predict. I agree with Tim, agree with Tim, that is a

stalemate at this point.

That there is no obvious way

forward. And maybe it will

remain deadlocked and maybe

Julia Gillard will lead Labor

to the next election. But we

also know, watching the

dynamic in the party over the recent history, that things

can come out of - things can suddenly crack, things can

come out of nowhere and all

of a sudden the issue blows

up in a spectacular up in a spectacular way. So take your bets and buckle in.

It is going to be

interesting. It sure will

be. Just finally, and on

real issues, we saw Stephen

Smith has come out pretty

quickly and strongly today

saying that this proposal to

have an actual base for the

US here in Australia here in

WA actually, really doesn't

seem to think it is something

that is going to be

happening. No, he is put something distance between

the Government and the

proposal and that is pretty

understandable. In fact,

even one of the authors of

the report I think from the

national times now reporting

that the authors of the

report, the think tank in

Washington, are put something distance between the proposal, saying it was if

you like an expression of the limits of discussion to try

to get people thinking about to get people thinking about how big they could go rather than necessarily suggesting

that was the way to go. So I

think it is looking like -

albeit an important fought

piece, for a thought piece.

One of the reporters working

on the story made a point

earlier today that it does

give us a sense of the extent

to which the US is focussed

on our region and on getting

it right and being active and

being strong in our region.

So I think it is not a wasted

point. But the Perth basing

is a stretch too far by the

looks of it. I was coming to

you for your view on that but

we are out of time so we are

going to have to get back to

you and get going and get

back to the news. We

appreciate your time with us

this afternoon on PM Agenda. Thank you for that.

Thank you for that. And we

will be back with you on PM

Agenda next week. I will see you again tomorrow though on

News Day. See you then.

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