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Good afternoon, welcome to PM

Agenda. It looks like a

breakthrough is imminent on the asylum seeker deadlock which has

gripped Parliament in recent months

and it has dogged the Labor Government, both Rudd and Gillard.

An expert Palin -- panel today has

delivered its recommendations,

sending asylum seekers to Papua New

Guinea and Nauru. It says the

Malaysia plan of the Gillard

Government is a good one but needs

more work to enhance the safeguards

and protections for asylum seekers

that would be sent there. The work

may take some time at the view from

the former Chief of the Defence

Force, Angus Houston, who chaired

the panel's work, was that in the

meantime urgent steps need to be taken to establish offshore

processing. The panel recommends that Australia moved immediately to

move -- to establish capacities in

Nauru and Papua New Guinea in

coordination with those respective

governments. Specifically on

Malaysia, the preferred option of

the Government, the panel found

more work is needed. Another member

of the trio that led the committee

is the former head of the

Department of Foreign Affairs,

Michael L'Estrange. This is the

work he said would be needed. The

report identifies a number of

shortcomings in relation to

protections and safeguards, which

in our view need an extranet of

strengthening and accountability.

We have suggested a number of of

ways in which that could be done.

In the end this was always going to

be a political decision, regardless

of what the report recommended. So

far we have heard from the Greens,

Christine Milne saying that while

she recommends the recommendation - - she agrees with the

recommendation for an intake

increase, she does not support

offshore processing. At the heart

of this recommendation, this set of

recommendations today, is going

back to the Howard days, the bad,

old days of John Howard. While the

central recommendations of the Greens weren't happy with the

report, the Coalition was. Shadow

immigration -- Immigration Minister

Scott Morrison said his report

largely endorsed the Coalition's

policy of sending asylum seekers to

Nauru. The report didn't embrace

temporary protection visas or

turning back the boats, but on

Nauru Scott Morrison is happy with

what he reads in the report. What

has happened today is the Houston

panel has greenlighted Nauru and

they have red lighted the Malaysia

people swap in its current form. We

are expecting to hear from the

Prime Minister in the next hour for

the official response from Labor.

Caucus has been meeting this

afternoon and we understand that

Sky News -- a recommendation has

been put to Caucus which they are

debating to endorse the report's

recommendations. This will mean the

Labor Party further shifts in its

decision to allow asylum seekers to

be sent immediately to Nauru and

Papua New Guinea as innocent as can

be re-established their with

further work to be done on Malaysia.

-- as soon as sensors can be

established. This is a breakthrough,

with a possible bipartisan

agreement by the end of this week.

For more I am joined by the chair

of the expert panel, format chief

of the defence force, Angus Houston.

What convinced you that offshore

processing is needed? The central

focus of the terms of definition we

were given was to prevent people

putting themselves on leaky boats

to Australia. On occasion we have

had people drown, so in order to do

that we thought that we needed to

come up with a package of measures.

We have a very strategic, comprehensive package of measures,

which are fully integrated. Part of

that package is offshore processing

at Nauru and Manus Island. What

convinced of that? A number of

refugee advocates say that is not a

deterrent, sending asylum seekers

to a third country. That remains to

be seen. But we think that together

with all of the other features of

the package, for example, the no-

AdVantage principle and also the

positive incentives to use the

regular pathways will encourage

people to come by the more regular

means rather than resorting to

travel in unseaworthy boats. So you

do believe some sort of deterrent

is necessary? In other words, some

sort of punishment to those who

come by boat has a message to those

who might be considering it? No, I

don't see it that way. I think it

is about discouraging people using

unsafe means to get to Australia.

We would much prefer them to use

the regular means. In other words,

we want to shift the balance of

risk and incentive away from the

boats to more orderly processes.

And that's what our whole package

is all about, it is, instead, it is

strategic. -- it is comprehensive,

strategic and fully integrated. Let

me ask you about the no advantage

principle, which is part of the

first recommendation in your report.

You are essentially saying that

people who come by boat should not

have any advantage over those who

apply from a refugee camp elsewhere.

Does that mean they would be denied

entry to Australia for the same

period of time as someone applying

from a refugee camp? That's the

theory, but as you know, the

regional arrangements at the moment

are under-developed. Sometimes it

takes quite a long period to go

through the system as it exists now.

It can take 10 years, can't it?

Well, it can take a while. That's

why we have come up with the

recommendation to increase the size

of the humanitarian program,

doubling the number of refugees in

the program from 6000 up to 12,000.

We have more places available, and

you can encourage people to use the

regular pathways in the countries

of origin right through the pipeline to the transition

countries, and of course that

provides a positive incentive to

use the regular pathways and avoid

doing your money, taking a chance

on a leaky boat, which could well

result in death. But help will be

no advantage principle work in

practice? If you are kept in Nauru

potentially faulty is, as long as

someone applying from elsewhere? I

think what needs to happen, as the

system settles down, the time

period for someone using a regular

pathways will be much less than it

is now. That is certainly our hope.

There are a lot of people in the

region seeking asylum... What also

needs to happen is that we need to

calibrate a reasonable time, what

is a reasonable time to keep these

people in a place like Nauru. What

is reasonable? That has yet to be

determined. What do you think? Well,

there has to be... I think it has

to be less than five years. That's

what it is all about. Establishing

regular pathways that work smoothly

and seamlessly to allow people to

claim asylum and come to this

country. Are you comfortable with

people spending two or three years

in Nauru? Well, I don't think it

will be that long, but it will be a

period of time that is equivalent

to what somebody coming through the

regular pathways will experience.

Now, at this stage, everybody sort

of dashes away and says, "It takes

this long..." Look at the rest of

the package, which is designed to

bring that down. There is capacity

building, more humanitarian

positions in the humanitarian

program, more refugee programs. The

idea is that it works together as

an integrated package with the

incentives complementing the

disincentives to encourage people

to use a regular way to get to

Australia rather than to resort to

leaky boats. The other criticism of

Nauru in the past, particularly

from Labor, was that most of the

asylum seekers sent their -- sent

to Nauru ended up in Australia

anyway. Where will they be sent

after Nauru or Manus Island? This

is where we need to work closely

with the UNHCR, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

Fundamentally, we need to be able

to resettle these people in a

country that will take them. I

think that if we show the goodwill

that we are showing - more refugee

positions, we are taking a very constructive approach to it, we

will get a better response from

other settlement countries that are

prepared to take these people.

There are very few countries in the

world that take people in these

circumstances. That's the thing.

Other countries see this as

Australia's problem. They think we

should be taking them. Well, there

are other countries that have taken

people in the past, and the hope is

that by showing the sort of

goodwill some of these people will

be resettled in other resettlement

countries in addition to Australia

and New Zealand. Of course, last

time is even took quite a few of

the people who were on Nauru. Let

me ask you this. If you were an

asylum seeker with your family in

Indonesia, would you rather wait in

an unknown situation there or be

sent to Nauru for two or three

years, knowing he will likely end

up in Australia? Well, I would not

want to put my family to great risk

across the ocean waves. We have seen almost 1000 people perished or

be lost at sea trying to make that

leaky boat ride to Australia. I

wouldn't want to put my strap -- my

family there. I don't like to see

all these other families taking

that risk. Today we get up, on this

day of all days, the probability

that another 67 are lost at sea.

That just reinforces why our

competencies, strategic approach, with the right balance between

incentives and disincentives, is

what it is all about. We need to

get people out of those leaky boats

and ending up in a place like Nauru

and get them using the regular

pathways. Let me ask you about

Malaysia. He said that at the

moment it is not workable and more

needs to be done on the protections and safeguards. What particularly

needs to be done? Are the current

safeguards good enough, they just

need to be made legally binding? No,

I think the Malaysia package is

quite a good one. A lot of work has

been done. Already there are many

protections and conditions that

have been put in place, but we

still feel that there is an area

that needs more work, in the area

of providing protections for young

people, unaccompanied minors and other vulnerable people. Once that

has been fixed up, the other thing

that we would see as being the

desirable is perhaps some sort of

agreement between Malaysia and

UNHCR to give more accountability

for the protection... The key is

that they need to be legally

binding. We said in the report that

our preference would be for a

legally binding arrangement of some

kind. We have suggested an MOU but

any thing else that might suffice

if it were legally binding would be

fined. A couple of others - turning

back the boats, the Coalition said

they would do that. You think the conditions aren't currently there

for that to be effective, safe and

lawful. Would you need agreement

from Indonesia for this policy? All

the vessels in recent times other

than the ones from Sri Lanka have

come from Indonesia. If we are

going to turn those boats back,

they will have to go back to the

flag state, which is Indonesia. And

you can't do that without the full

cooperation of Indonesia. You need

an escorting the boat back... You

can't do it safely without the full

cooperation of Indonesia, I just --

because I just don't think it would

be acceptable to turn one of these

leaky boats back to Indonesia.

Telling them has problems. --

Towing them has problems. There is

safety of life at Sea bands that

need to be considered, and legal

issues. On top of that you have to

have the full percent of the

country where he were taking these

people back to. -- the full assent.

I had just received word that the

Labor Party has moved a motion to

support your quote. We have also

heard the Opposition - you would

largely back their policy, and they

like what they read. Like you happy

from the -- happy with the reaction

from the two main parties?

Government we have had a very

positive response from both of them,

and we look forward to seeing what

the week brings. We hope that

someone somewhere or other, someone

can craft a solution. The Labor

Caucus have agreed to a motion to

back the report's recommendations,

so the Government has now

officially, and the Prime Minister

will announce this shortly,

announced that they are supporting

what the Houston review has

recommended. More work is to be

done on Malaysia. More details shortly.

Q. The first and the games have

come to an end. The IOC president

described it as a happy and

glorious event. Much was expected

of London's closing ceremony and

the great city did not disappoint.

The Olympic athletes are the stars

of the show that they had plenty of

competition. Organisers rolled out

a who's who of English showbiz

talent. Queen, George Michael and

the who. Singing imagine was

considered the highlight. Today's

boy band belt out their hips and a

Nineties supergroup arriving in a

taxi. The English watched on,

80,000 in the stadium. Jacques

Rogge called them a happy and

glorious games. I declare the

Olympics closed and call on the

youth of the world to assemble four

years from now in Rio de Janeiro to

celebrate the games. As for the

closing ceremony, it was a gold- medal performance from England.

Some of Australia's Paralympic team

have been officially farewelled in

Sydney as they prepare to compete

in London. Cameron Price was there

for the ceremony and filed this

report. 150 Paralympic and is worth

farewelled, among them a shell. I

am pretty excited, I haven't even

packed but want to get on the plane

I will be relieved.. The team took

a fall of 79 medals including three

golds. One of our brightest hopes

is the Australian men's basketball

team and Grant says that the team

is ready for London. It feels as

good as any of the three

Paralympics that I have been

involved in. The preparation has

been second to none. The preparation started 22 months ago

and we are just looking forward to

getting on and doing it. The team

will fly to Wales for a training

camp. He major Black Saturday class

action against Victoria's wholesale

power company has stalled because

there is nothing big enough to precipitate the case.

Maurice Blackburn Lawyers so far

has 1500 people who have joined the

class action. It is believed they

have been accused of being

responsible for the Kilmore East

fire on Black Saturday, one of the

largest on the day. Justice Jack

Forrest today said they may have to

have a stay against the court case,

this trial, because there is not a

courtroom large enough in Victoria

to contain a case like this.

Justice Forrest says the large

number of practitioners attending

the trial, extensive involvement of

expert witnesses, around 34 in

different fields from around the

world. He says he has looked at the

Federal Court, the County Court,

even the former Royal Commission

offices, which were used to hold

the Royal Commission several years

ago. But they are unavailable. He

says, "If no commitment is made by

Government, his Honour will have to

stay the proceedings indefinitely

until a suitable courtroom becomes

available." He says at this point

it would be pointless to continue

at this stage. We have had a

response from the Victorian

Government, the Attorney General's

office, who says:

They are talking about leasing out

office space in La Trobe Street in

the city that over the next three

or four months could be turned into

a courtroom large enough to be hold

this facility to facilitate his

court hearing in the next couple of

years. One of the largest class

actions in Victoria's history. For now it's on hold.

Lawrence springboard is refusing to

say how many jobs will be cut. They

could cut up to 4000 jobs as part

of cost-cutting measures. Lawrence

insisted that the cuts were

necessary but would not elaborate.

I think it is fair to say that

there will be people who will lose their positions in Queensland

Health. I am not going into figures

and a ticket is probably wrong to draw any conclusions about that

particular figure. Having a look at

tomorrow's weather:

We now go back to David Speers in

Canberra. We are standing by and

about 10 minutes to hear from the

Prime Minister. You can see where

that press conference is about to

take place. Journalists are

gathering that. The Labor caucus

have agreed to back the

recommendations of the expert panel

on asylum seekers. That means that

Labor is agreeing to sell -- send

asylum seekers to Nauru and Manus

Island. That is regarded as a big

breakthrough to seeing a solution

to the asylum seeker deadlock that

has been gripping parliament. We

will take a break and be back soon.

You are watching PM Agenda. We are

standing by for unused conference

with the Prime Minister were she

will be announcing what the Labor

Court -- Labor caucus have agreed,

to back the report on asylum seekers's recommendations. The

government will act immediately to

establish work on Nauru and Manus

Island and there will be more work

on Malaysia. The Labor Caucus has

agreed to give ground in order to

reach a solution with the Coalition

on this. As we wait for the Prime

Minister, let's bring in our Monday

afternoon political experts. Bruce

hooker is in -- Bruce Hawker is in

Darwin. The Labor caucus have

agreed to these recommendations.

This is a further shift for labour,

is it sensible? I think so. It is

something that they can negotiate

with the Papua New Guinea

government. Clearly, Malaysia is an

option but there is more work to be

done. I think it puts the ball very

much on the Opposition's Court. The

government can live with this

report. It has got some very

sensible recommendations about

increasing the intake in the longer term and discouraging people from

taking the dangerous boat trip. I

think it is up to the Opposition to

come to the party. If they do that,

this can be resolved in this

session of Parliament. It does mean

that Labor have to eat some humble

pie. It is the central solution of

the Pacific solution with Nauru and

Manus Island thank you. I guess

there is some of that but it is

also focused on Malaysia as well. I

think given what we know about the

dangers and the deaf toll from this

trip, I think we need to find a

solution, whether we have to eat

some humble pie or not. I think

that is something that the

Opposition should do as well.

Should the Opposition embraced this

report? It seems to me that the

government need to eat a humble

feast! If you go back to Parliament

in the last 10 days, the degree of

difficulty is huge. Those writing

the report deserves a gold medal.

This was not easy. It looks as if

the last five years of this

government, five years, have been a mixture of naivety and stupidity

and we are back where we started

which is essentially to implement

Tony Abbott's policy. It is not

everything that Tony Abbott wants,

it is not implementing temporary

detection visas. Hold on, they are

saying that you can apply for them

and we can turn back the votes but

we just need to know where to turn

them back to! Before it is

Indonesia, isn't it thank you we

cannot turn them back to that. They

can go back to where they came

from! You will not turn back to any

part of the world, if they come

from Indonesia than that is it. I

think so. But you need Indonesia's

agreement? Yes, but the Navy can do

it. And it does seem to me that 99%

of it is the Tony Abbott policy.

There will be some discussion wants

review of the Prime Minister has to

say and once the Coalition's

leadership and party room has a

look at this but it is looking

awfully close to Tony Abbott's

policy and I think that a loss of

whether or not there is agreement

is about the time that the Prime

Minister uses. If she gets all

belligerent and says it is an

endorsement of Labor Party policy,

apart from the fact that everybody

will laugh, if she says that I can

see that what Tony Abbott has been

saying was right, she will probably get it.

Labor has described Nauru as

expensive, inhumane, all these

kinds of things. Now it will go for

it because a six-week panel has

given it a tick? I think the

reality is that we have had and

opposition that has dug its heels

in about establishing a facility in

Malaysia. If they had been prepared

to do that, then we wouldn't have

had to go down the Nauru route. But

because the Opposition has taken

the archly political position, in

my view... It is hardly archly

political if the panel agrees it is

not workable at the moment. The

safeguards aren't viable. This is

the panel agreeing that it needs

more work done. Well, I don't think

the Opposition was ever serious

about trying to work out an agreement with Malaysia, sitting

down and trying to work out how

they could make things work. After

all, the UN commission on refugees

said they should try to establish

the centres in Malaysia. I don't

want to go too much over that. What

I do want to say is that now is an

opportunity for both parties to

come together and resolve a problem

which I think all Australians are

seen as being a great moment for

all sorts of reasons, not least of

which is the death toll that occurs

as a result of people taking this

trip. So I think everyone is agreed, they need offshore processing.

Ultimately there should be a regional solution that involves

Malaysia and Indonesia and other

countries but until such time that

they can do that, it looks like we

will be looking at Manus Island. In

Chris Bowen should be going to Port

Moresby as soon as possible. I

don't know if they have formed a

new Government, I think they should

be over there talking through the

issues with them. But I don't think

this is the final answer. Let me

ask you about the politics. Bruce,

what does this now mean for Julia

Gillard? Here she comes now, in

fact. Hold that thought. We will

hear what the Prime Minister has to

say. Stay with us.

Good afternoon. I joined today by

Minister Bowen, the Minister for

Immigration and Citizenship. At 7

AM this morning the Government

received this report of the expert

panel on asylum seekers. This is

the report compiled since

Parliament last that I Angus

Houston, a very eminent Australian,

a former chief of the defence force,

Michael L'Estrange, a foreign

policy expert, and Paris Aristotle,

a refugee who is an expert in

refugee and asylum seeker policy. I

want to thank each of these men for

their work over the past six weeks.

I asked them to do a very difficult

thing, to provide a way forward to

a parliament that at the end of the

last session had become gridlocked

on legislative change necessary to

deal with asylum seeker and refugee

policy. I thank them for their

efforts and for their work. In

response to this report today,

there have been plenty of

politicians who have been out and

about claiming wins from this

report. I'm not going to do that,

because the truth of this report is,

it has endorsed some parts of the

Government's policy but not all of

it, and the same can be said of

every other political party. And

this report includes some new

elements of policy not thought

about before. So this isn't a day

for commenting or for a political

scoreboard. This is a day for action and getting things done.

Consequently the Government today

has determined to endorse in

principle all of the recommendations of Angus Houston's

report. That means that in the

coming weeks and months we will be

working through those

recommendations and implementation

of them. Dealing piece by piece

with those recommendations. We will

urgently move on a set of these

recommendations. First and foremost,

we will in Parliament tomorrow

introduce amendments to the

Government's Bill before the

Parliament, to its piece of

legislation on asylum seekers and

refugees. Those amendments will be

to enable us to commence processing

arrangements on Nauru and on PNG.

They will be amendments in the form

recommended by Angus Houston. That

is, amendments that enable the

Parliament to make a determination

about each country that becomes

part of an offshore processing

arrangement. We will also move to

immediately implement the

recommendations on family reunion

and Minister Bowen will outline

further details of that. We have

endorsed in principle increasing

our refugee intake to 20,000. That

is a key part of this report and we

have endorsed that part in

principle today with proper

consideration to be made of

managing the costs of an increase

in the refugee intake. And we will

do what the report recommends,

which is to seek to enter some

further discussions with Malaysia

on protections in the Malaysia

agreement and on oversight of the

Malaysia agreement. I am keenly

aware that what this report is

calling on parliamentarians to do

is to compromise. To compromise and

to act. This report is telling us

to not stay in our fixed positions

but to act to get things done. I am

prepared to further compromise from

the Government's position in order

to get things done. When our nation

looks at what is happening at sea

as people attempt dangerous

journeys to Australia, lives are

lost. And I'm not going to play

political games went to many lives

are lost. This report charts the

way forward and I am keen to enact the recommendations of this report. I believe all parliamentarians

should take the same approach. I

will turn out to Minister Bowen for

comments, then we will be taking

questions. And he very much, Prime

Minister, and I would like to join

the Prime Minister in banking history eminent Australians for

their ever at -- efforts in the

last six weeks. Saving lives should

be above Parliament Pickering, and these three eminent Australians

have given the Parliament the

opportunity to do that. The

underlying line of this report is

that people who arrive in vote

should not be advantaged over those

many other thousands seeking to be

resettled in Australia through

other means. That flows the group -

- closed through the report. This

has also been the Government's

objective as we have moved to implement arrangements under the

regional framework we negotiated in

the Bali ministerial process. The

report has given us suggestions

which we have accepted in principle

as to how to implement the important principle of the

Government, that people who travel

to Australia by boat should not

receive advantage in terms of their

processing and chants of

resettlement in Australia. As the

Prime Minister indicated, we will

be debating our legislation in the

house tomorrow and I will be moving

amendments on behalf of the

Government to reflect the

recommendation of this panel, that

if a country is nominated for

regional processing that should be

done by way of an instrument which

is this allowable. There is no

excuse, frankly, for any member of

legislation, because it would the Opposition to vote against the

enable the Parliament to then pass

judgement on each and every

proposal going forward. But I will

say this - in the last week and

month we have seen a surge of

people risking their lives to try

and get ahead of the Parliament

taking action. We have seen what

Parliament takes action. The impact it can have is the

this opportunity tomorrow. The Parliament cannot, must not miss

panel has provided the Parliament

with one last opportunity to

embrace what is a common sense

solution that the Australian people

are demanding. In addition, as the

Prime Minister indicated, there are

a range of recommendations which do

not require legislative amendment

which we are moving to implement.

Some of them require some details

were, for example, we are accepting

the recommendation for an increase

in the refugee program to 20,000.

There is a considerable amount of

work that needs to be done on

settlement capacity and how that

would be implemented, and of course

we will provide further updates.

One of the key recommendations of

the panel is that this increase

takes into account the discussion

paper released last May on possible community sponsorship options.

There are details to be worked

through, and I will keep you and

the Parliament updated with that.

In addition, as the Prime Minister

indicated, the panel makes some

important accommodations as to

family reunion. Again we accept

those recommendations in prison.

The key principle here would be that somebody who arrives in

family reunion applications Australia by boat would have a

processed on the same basis as

every other Australian who is

seeking to sponsor somebody into this country. That passes the

fairness test and of course some

detailed implementation which has

been left to the Government and me

as a minister to be worked through

will be done. The bottom line is

this - there has been plenty of

time for talk, consultation. The

panel has consulted very widely.

The panel has reflected on all the

evidence the Government had at its

disposal and the community views.

The recommendation is very clear.

We need to have a hardhead and soft

heart as we try to deal with all

the issues of resettling people

into Australia and dealing with the

people seeking to come to Australia,

but it needs to be done in a way

that does not provide advantage to

those who seek to come by boat.

REPORTER:... We will take questions,

and we won't reward those who are

yelling the loudest. Are you hoping

to get the legislation through both

houses in one sitting night or

sooner? Minister Bowen, what

realistic timeframe to you think

you can link the recommendations...

Two Let's be clear, if the

Opposition cooperates, I want these

amendments through the Parliament

by the end of this week. If the

will then make the relevant Opposition cooperates, the minister

examinations for processing on

Nauru and PNG immediately and those determinations will come to the Parliament as this allowable instruments. If the Opposition

cooperates, those instruments will

not be disallowed. As a result we

would be in a position in a number

of days to commence all of the

arrangements necessary to have the

kind of processing on PNG and Nauru

that Angus Houston and his fellow

panel members talk about. The

report makes a recommendation in

relation to predictions in Malaysia.

It makes the point, there are a

number of ways that can be achieved.

For example, pre-transfer

arrangements, which there was a

considerable amount of work done

before the High Court made its

determination. That work will be

reinvigorated. There will be

considerable work done with

Malaysia on the treatment of

unaccompanied minors. I'm not going

to put a time frame on it because

obviously there is a lot to do and

Australia will talk to Malaysia,

UNHCR and we will review our

processes for the pre-transfer

arrangement. I welcome the fact

that the panel recommended arrangement with Malaysia as an

important one that should proceed.

I think that use the word "Too

important to discard." We welcome

that and we take on board their

import as to how this should be

progressed. We will go Andrew,

Phil... Have you or any of your

ministers or officials spoken to

the Nauru President or any Nauru

official? The same question regards

to PNG, today or recently. Secondly,

when it comes to the Nauru detention centre and re-

establishing it, what do we know,

Mr Bowen, with regards to cost and

how long it will take? I instructed

our diplomatic posts to advise the

Government of PNG and Nauru and

Malaysia that this report was

coming. Then today to advise them

of its contents so that diplomatic

work has been done. Clearly to

negotiate agreements now with Nauru

and PNG and to further build on the

Malaysian arrangement, as Minister

Bowen's outlined, will require

intensive dialogue with those

governments, and we will do it. In

relation to Nauru, last year when

we offered the Opposition at that

point to open eight detention

centre on Nauru, I asked my partner

to go to Nauru and assess the

suitability of the site and the

amount of work that would need to

be done. The report was that the

amount of work was substantial and

the site was not ready to be

utilised as a facility that would

require a substantial rebuilding at considerable cost, which I raced at

the time. -- which are released. I

would point out that our costings

have been done by relevant experts,

not by firms which have no

expertise in actually building a

detention facility. Those remain

the costings we are working on. In

relation to the amount of time it

would take, first things first, we

need to pass legislation, have

discussion with the Nauru

Government, and it would be

detailed in limitation to be worked

through. The range of capabilities

available to the Government to

possible. ensure that happens as quickly as

When you thought you had the

Malaysians deal under your belt, he released press conferences that

said they would be held in Malaysia.

Is that what we can expect from now

on? That is an important point.

From now on, anyone who comes to

Australia by boat runs the risk of

being transferred to an offshore

processing plant. I need to be very

clear about the possibility of not

being processed and settled in

Australia. On that point, with a

large number of boats over the

weekend, are you worried that there

will now be a surge of people

trying to meet the deadline? Is

there anything that you are working

on with Indonesia to try to stop

that? I answered Andrew's question

very deliberately because I do not

want people thinking that they can

eat the deadline in the coming days

and weeks. The government needs to

be very clear to people about their

expectations. If you think that you

can somehow beat the deadline of

getting this finalised, you are

very wrong. The panel seems to

think that Nauru can be a first

step to processing. You oppose that

before, were you wrong? Are you

also hoping to get this through the

Parliament on the roof first and

then move on to Malaysia? I am

happy to take that. This is a new

approach from the panel. It is

different to what has happened in

Nauru and Papa New Guinea in the

past. The difference is that they

say not only would you process

asylum seekers on Nauru and put the

New Guinea, but you would not give

them a protection visa which would

enable them to come to Australia

until the passage of the same

amount of time has passed for every

settlement pace. So the whole

panel's ethos, their outlook and

insight is that you need to

equalise treatment for asylum

seekers so you cannot -- do not get

a better deal if you get on the

boat. As part of that, now saying

that the arrangements with puppy

New Guinea and Nauru should have

those timeframes built into them so

you do not get a better deal if you

get on a boat. Having said that, I

am well aware of the kind of

political points that will be made

about this and I am not interested

in any of them. I am not going to

play a policy argument here or a

lawyer's argument about the wording,

if people want to say that this is

a compromise from the government

they are dead right in order to

keep saving lives. About Malaysia,

subsequent to the work that Huston

and his panel have pointed out, it is possible that the Opposition

would allow that instrument --

disallow that instrument. If they

were to do so, that is something that the Australian people would

judge the Opposition on. We are not

making the amendments of this

policy this week contingent on

whether they say yes to Malaysia.

The Opposition can judge Malaysia

at a later point. I would counsel

the Opposition that Angus Houston

have made it very clear that this

is an integrated package and at

your peril will you try to pick one

bit out or say no to a bit that you don't like. The government has

taken the approach of endorsing the

recommendations in principle as a

whole because of the force of that.

In those last days, we didn't have

a meeting with Tony Abbott, have

you sort out a meeting with him?

Let's be clear, these are the

recommendations, let's go. The

recommendations have been considered previously by the

government, there was a figure of

20,000, it is quite a specific

recommendation, do you think there

was a missed opportunity in not

adopting those recommendations

earlier? I will turn to Minister

Bowen on the details. Our political

ambition has been to increase the

number of asylum seekers that we

accept from overseas. We have an

Osprey Shin of 20,000. -- and

aspiration of 20,000. That figure

comes with companion measures. They

are trying to recalibrate asylum

seekers with risks and rewards. In

order to do that, they are saying

there will be more places for people who go into offshore

processing overseas. You get less,

in fact you get no more if you move.

These are important aspects that

are tied together and that is why

we have endorsed the lot. How

confident is the government that

they will be able to successfully

negotiate with Malaysia the

qualifications proposed in the

Houston report. If that happens,

are the government as committed as

ever to proceed with the Malaysia

arrangements? We are committed to

the immolation arrangements and we

draw strength from the Houston

report on that. He uses the

terminology at one point of vital

about Malaysia. But he has pointed

to some work that is to be done and

we will obviously have a redhot go

at that. I will turn to Minister

Bowen. I will continue to engage

with Malaysia. They have made it

clear to us that they are committed.

Both governance have recognised the

importance. There are some issues

that we need to work through. Some

of those can be handled. Some can

be worked through by us with the

UNHCR and some other issues that we

can discuss with Malaysia. I will

also make this point. The panel

says that there are some things

that we should do before proceeding

and some things that we should

build as we go in relation to

Malaysia. They see it as a building

block. There are some things that

we need to do is a matter of some

urgency and other things that over

time we can work with Malaysia to

build on. The other point that the

Prime Minister made as that this is

a fundamental challenge. I'm not

sure that I agree with every

premise of Dennis's question. If

you recall, I moved that we adopt

20,000 as an aspiration. Mr

Morrison came out and condemned us

quite roundly and then said it was

irresponsible to do so. Then for a

fleeting policy -- a fleeting

period that was opposition policy

to stop members crossing the floor

and as I understand it, it is no

longer policy. We are for it. I

also point out 350 of page 48 which

makes it clear that Nauru and puppy

New Guinea work if there is a fundamental principle of no

advantage, that people are only

transferred to Australia when they

would have been transferred with

best assessment under normal,

regional processing arrangements.

Again, previous experience that

people are processed as a refugee and then brought to Australia.

Again I reckon -- I remind you that

Mr Morrison suggested that people

be moved very quickly, within 12

months. The panel makes it very

clear that there should be no

advantage, which is something that

the government is happy to accept.

We will keep going through. If I

could go to another matter, the AWG

is being asked to weigh legal

privilege on files about the

misappropriation of money. Do you

think that that would be valuable

to the public domain and do you

have objections? That is a matter

for Slater and Gordon and the

relevant clients. I wanted to ask

the minister what is the time limit

for processing? Let's just be a bit clear about what is recommended.

What Angus Houston and his team are

saying is that it is not how long

you take to do the processing, it

is when you give someone a

resettlement opportunity. That is

when they need a protection Visa. We can make the determinations

about how long that will take.

Angus Houston are saying that we should make some assessment about

waiting times in the region and

generally to find out what is fair,

to put people in the same situation

as if they had not moved. At the

same time, we are making a

difference to waiting times for

people who have not moved because

we would be increasing the number

of humanitarian places. We cannot

give you what that time is today.

We received this report at 7 AM and

I think you can understand that.

But we certainly endorse the

concept because the concept means

that there is no benefit from

putting your life at risk and

getting on a boat. There is no

benefit from paying a people

smuggler. That is a fundamental,

underlying principle of this report

and it is a good one. In 2007, many

people who voted for Labor voted to

get rid of Nauru, Manus Island and

the Pacific solution. What do you

say to those Labor voters who were

unhappy about this system that was

causing people great anxiety and

psychological problems? I would say

to those people who were motivated

by humanitarian concerns, now, very

squarely in front of us, we have

got another humanitarian concern

and that concern is that more

people are trying to reach

Australia by boat and more people

are drowning as they do it. That is

the humanitarian concern. I do not

precisely know whether Paris

Aristotle said this in his press

conference. He said this to me

about a family member who lost six

members of his family when a boat

went down. That is the humanitarian

concern that is squarely in front

of us today. It requires us to do

things that are really hard. We

have into our Labor party room

today and we had endorsement for

this position from the Labor Party

and it is the policy of the Labor

government. For many of our caucus

members it is not an easy thing.

For many members of the community

it is not an easy thing. But I tell

you what is a hard thing, it is

watching people drown and we will

not do that. One of the issues that

Labor took up particularly with

John Howard was the psychological

damage for many people that were on

Nauru for years and years and years.

Obviously if there is no, that

situation could arise again. People

will be incarcerated for a long

time. How concerned are you about

that and what sort of mechanisms

would you put in place to try to

deal with those problems with that