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

View in ParlView

(generated from captions) This program will be live

captioned by Ai-Media

Good afternoon. Welcome to the program, I'm David

Speers. Six weeks ago MPs

left Parliament after an

intense and emotional debate

over asylum seekers. Few

thought then agreement could

and would be reached on

breaking this problem, on

solving it. But after an

expert panel's report, and a

significant Labor back down,

well, a break-through finally

achieved today. The House of

afternoon passed legislation Representatives this

to return offshore processing

to Nauru and Papua New

Guinea's Manus Island. These

are amendments which reflect

the recommendations of the

panel, that instruments allow for offshore processing

places, be laid before the

House. I understand these

amendments will meet with the

agreement of the House. The

amendments which have been

moved by the Government have

been brought together as I

minister and I working referred to yesterday by the

together on this and I thank

him for that and I thank him

are amendments e Guinea's Manus Island. These pro Guinea's Manus Island. These for the acceptance of the

are are amendments which reflect

the recommendationo of the recommendations

the recommendations of the

panel, that instruments al for off hore processing for offshore panel, that instruments allow

place , be places, for offshore processing

places, be laid before the

House. I under tand House. I understand these House. I understatd these

amendments will meet with the amendments will meet wi h

agreement of the House. The amendment which have been amendments which have

moved by the Government ha e amendments which have been

moved by the Government have

been brought together as I

been brought together as

referred to esterday by the referred to yesterday by the

minister and I working

together on this and I than together on this and I thank

him for that and I thank him

for the acceptance of for the acceptanre for thet

for the acceptance of the for the acceptance o the

proposals whic were put proposals which were put

forward by the What issperhaps forward by the Coalition forward by he Coalition.

What is perhaps the greate t What is perhaps the greatest

tragedy out of the recent

debate is that we co ld debate is that we could have

pursued a different path. The question is that the

amendments be agreed to, is the member for Dennison seeking the cal,? seeking the call? All of seek ng the call? All seeking the call?

those i favour those in

those in favour of the

opinion, say I. To the contrary o.

contrary no. I think the Is have it. gnd that have it. And

have it. And that was that.

The Senate is likely to pass the legislation tomorrow, the legisl tion tomorrow,

clearing tho way for defence clearing the way for defence

teams to arrive in both Nauru

and Manus Isla and Manus Island by the end

of the weuk, to start of the week, to

of the weel, to start setting of the week, oo start setting

up temporary facilities, to botht process asylu seekers in process asylum seekers in

both countries. Asylum seekers who eave bo

seekers who ha e already seekers who have already

arrived on three boats this

week are being told, quite

plainly by the Prime

Minister, they are now at risk of being sent to these risk of being i Minister, they are now t

offshore processing offshore proces ing centres.

To asylum seekers who are To asylum seeke s offshore processing centres.

contemplating risking a

voyage at sea, and that

message very clearly is don' message very cleally

message very clearly is don't

risk it, don't give your risk it, don't give your

money to a people smuggler, because you will not be

better off as a result of better off as a resultwof

having taken that s ep. having taken that step.

having taken that step. It is important th t this is important that having taken that step. t

Parliament has worked Parliament has wsrked is important that this

togethea and that today is together and that today is

the day that this House has

said enough is enough, today

is the day that this House has risen above the politics is the day that thrs House

has risen above t e politics

of this issue and taken clear

action to save lives. The

b g question in all of this big question in all of

big question in all of this

is will it work? Will it actually stop or significantl slow down significantly slow actually stop r

significantly slow down boat

detailed questions too, how arrivals? There ar many arrivals? There are many

long will asylum seekers have lo g will asylum seekers long will asylum

to spend in Nauru and Man s

Island? What nappens to them Island? What ha pens to Island? What happens to spend in Nauru and Manus

otce they once Island? What happens to them

once they have been found to on once they have been found

be refugees and waited out

their period t

their period of time there? What happen if they are What happens i they What happens if

f und to be found to What happens if they are not What happens if they a e not

found to be refugee ?

found to be refugees? We

will be discussing all of Minister Chris Bowen coming this with Immigration will be discussing a l of

up on the program, we will

also be talking to the also be talking to the UN refugees regional high commissioner for

representative, the UNHCR s representative, the UNH R is going tos going to be c nsulted going to be consulted carefully about caresully about all carefully about all of th s, carefully about all of this,

they do however have a number they do howe of concerns and have ol concerns and have not of concerns and have not yet been contacted by the

minister or tge Prime minister or the Prime

Minister to discuss them. inister to discuss them. We Minister to discuss them. We

will hear from Richard Towl

later as well.e later as well. First, later as ell. First, a later as well. First, a check of the other top storiesnthis stories this hour. hank stories this hour. T ank

you. Hello emp. you. Hell emp. There's you. Hello emp. Th re's

been a break-through in been a break-hhrough in the been a break-through in the

Federal Government's pu h Federal Government's push for world firsth

world first laws forcing

cigarettes to be sold in removed their logo At Sydney International Airport.

Touching down on a Qantas 747

complete with Boxing Kangaroo

gloves, Australia's olympic

team, welcomed back to home

soil with some home comforts.

As family, friends and

dignitaries saluted our

heros. Each of you is able

to say something none of the

rest of us will ever be able

to say. You will be able to

say "I was there. I wore the

green and gold". Never mind

the jet lag after a chartered

red eye flight from London,

the team beamed and shone

gold, silver and bronze.

Prior to this, I considered

the idea of swimming on and

certainly in the last two

weeks, it's cemented my love

and passion for the sport.

So I am just keen to get

training and to see what

physically I can do in the

next four years. Calls for

inquiries after what some say

was an underwhelming medal

haul forgotten, ignored for a

day. Today, was all about

the celebration. Has it sunk

in yet you have knocked off

Queen Victoria? Yes, it has.

You know, the emotion that I

showed afterwards was not so

much in disbelief that I had

done t it was more, yeah, the

culmination of all of the

pressures and everything that

compiled on top and competing

against her and I believed

from the get go that I could

win that event. Of

dedication, hard work, and

becoming the world's best.

The highs and lows of the

sport are pretty amazing.

China going in as favourite

and sort of unbeatable

leading up to it, and then

yeah, it was pretty bad

ending to that one and the

lowest of lows and now I'm

feeling the highest of highs,

so it's been a roller-coaster

but I've loved it. For some,

this is the final chapter in

their olympic career. For

others, it is just the beginning. Pretty amazing

when we were coming down an

seeing all the people out the

window but it is just so

great knowing we have all of

this support back home. The

first of the New Zealand olympic medallists have

arrived at Auckland airport

to a crowd of around 200

friends, family and fans.

The athletes proudly showed

off their medals which

included 6 golds, 2 silvers

and 5 bronze. They ended up

15th in the games and an

official homecoming game for

the team will be held next

week in Christchurch. Police

in Victoria are searching for

a knife wielding attacker who

sexually assaulted a teenager

at a beach in Melbourne's

south-east. An 18-year-old

girl was lured to a toilet

block at Edithvale beach at

around 5.30 last night when

she heard calls for help.

Her attacker then produced a

knife and sexually assaulted

her. Police are fearful he

could strike again. It is

the first occasion that we

are aware of but I would like

to think it is not going to

happen again and we can solve

this fairly quickly. She suffered multiple knife

wounds and was taken to

hospital. A man is being

treated in hospital after he

was shot in the leg in

Sydney's south-west last

night. He had been at a cafe

in a Bankstown street. Detectives say soon after

another man arrived at

Bankstown hospital with gun

shot wound to the hand.

Locals there are angry. You

can't just pull a gun out

and, you know, we are in a

multi cultural country here

and there is law. Officers

are investigating if the

attacks are linked to two

near-by shootings on Monday

night. They were reportedly

strigerred by an argument

over Syrian and Lebanese politics. To South Australia

now and police are

investigating new leads in

one of the country's most

notorious unsolved crimes.

Sky News Adelaide reporter

Ashley Steel has more. It's

a case that has plagued

authorities here in Adelaide

for 39 years. Now, police

may have fresh leads into the

disappearance of 11-year-old Joanne Ratcliffe and

4-year-old Kirste Gordon.

The girls were abducted from

a football match at Adelaide

Oval back in 1973. A new

Facebook page dedicated to

the case set up by Joanne's sister, has reported by

prompted a woman to come forward with new information.

Ms Ratcliffe has forwarded

the information on to police

but they won't reveal, at

this stage, what the tip-off

is. It is the first time Ms

Ratcliffe, who was born a

year after Joanne's

disappearance, has been

directly contacted with

information about the case.

It comes as the team of private investigators say

they have gathered an array

of items over the past three

years which they believe are

linked to the crime. But

they say police have so far

dismissed their evidence.

As rebel fighters in Syria

continue to battle Assad and

his troops, the highest

ranking defector so far, the

Prime Minister has spoken out

for the first time since

switching sides against the

Assad regime. A furious

volley of fire power in the

streets today. As Assad's forces appear to move street

to street, leaving dead and

wounded in their path. But

beneath the shelled force,

the cracks only grow.

Speaking for the first time

since his deeffection, the former Prime Minister of

Syria said Assad's control is

crumbling. TRANSLATION: The

regime is spiritually,

financially and mill tearily

cracked and it only controls

30% of Syrian lands. It is

not clear those claims are

true but what is clear today

is that the US is not

interested in establishing a

no-fly zone over the skies of

Syria like the one used so

effectively to topple Muammar

Gaddafi in Libya. That is

not a front burner issue for

us. And it is no wonder. It

would be a dangerous mission.

Syria has 20 times the number

of surfaced air missiles as

Libya did. Its combat

aircraft far exceed Libya's

and its pilots are far more

capable and add to that,

Syria's population is three

times that of Libya. This is

a country that we, the United

States, that is war wary, we

have fiscal challenges of our

own and to get into the

middle of a civil war, I just

don't see it happening.

There are reports from

Afghanistan that at least 46

people have died in a serious

of suicide bombings in the

deadliest day for civilians

this year. Mourn.70 others were injured when three

suicide Bombers attacked a

market. The provenial

governor says attackers targeted civilians while

people were preparing for the

Muslim holiday that ends the

month of Ramadan.

Now back to David in

Canberra as PM Agenda continues. Thanks very much.

After the break, we are going

to be talking to the UN HCR's

regional representative, and

also the Immigration Minister

Chris Bowen for some

practical details on how this new offshore processing

regime is going to work now

that laws have gone through

the lower house, they will go

through the Senate probably

tomorrow, how is this all

going to work in practise. Stay with us.

You're watching PM Agenda.

It's taken a long time but

finally an agreement was reached between two major

parties today in Parliament

on offshore processing of

asylum seekers. It's taken

an expert panel's

recommendations and a significant back down from

Labor, but the lower house, the House of Representatives,

today did pass changes to the

Migration Act to allow asylum

seekers now to be sent to

Nauru and Manus Island in Papua New Guinea. It is going to happen fairly

quickly, the Government wants

them there and being

processed in temporary

facilities at least within a

month. Defence force chief

David Hurley has tweeted just

a short while ago that they

will have teams ready to go

there by the end of the week. Possibly by Friday. Of course the politics of this

have seen a fair bit of

humble pie being eaten by

Labor. Coming up on the

program, we will discuss the

politics of this and where it

leads the Government, whether this has been a good thing for Julia Gillard. Interestingly in Question Time, the opposition didn't ask one question on asylum seekers, they went back to

their favoured topic of the

carbon tax. Does this mean

they are going to drop off

the issue of boat people?

Probably not. But we will

talk about that coming up. First though, what about the

details of this, how is it

going to work? Is it going

to work? We will be jineed

by Chris Bowen shortly but I

spoke to the UNHCR earlier

this afternoon. They are

going to be consulted by the

Government to make sure this

all works smoothly. The

UNHCR supports some of what

the Houston committee recommended but perhaps not

all of it. For more, here is

what I spoke to with Richard earlier. Thank you for your

time. You have welcomed some

aspects of the Houston committee's recommendations,

but not all. Can I ask but not all. Can I ask you specifically on sending

asylum seekers to Nauru and

Manus Island, is this a good

idea? Well, we support the

broad thrust of the committee's recommendations,

the panel's relations and

that is a long-term sustained

investment in south-east Asia

to provide better options for

refugees in the region. The

assumption is that if people

feel beater secured, with more solutions in the places

that they are, they don't

have to make these difficult

and dangerous journeys. So

the core emphasis must be on improving protection

guarantees in south-east

Asia. The discussions around

Nauru and Manus Island are obviously shorter term

objectives for the Government

to look at and we haven't had a chance to discuss the details of that with the

Government so far. What is

your view on these two

short-term objectives, Nauru and Manus Island? In our

view, looking at the

experience from the past, if Australia transfers

physically people to either

of these destinations,

Australia still retains the legal responsibility under

the refugee convention. That

is not lost. So we would

look at the performance of the Australian processing

system as a convention state.

That is what we would look at, to see whether the

arrangements, not only in the

letter, are complied with

refugee protection standards

but whether the elements in

operation in implementation

actually worked as well.

Specifically what role will

the UNCHR play in the

processing of claims there?

We haven't had any discussion

with Government as to what

role we might play at the

moment. We would ordinarily

under the refugee convention

have a supervisory monitoring

role for any Government or State that sign the convention, so there is

nothing unusual about that.

So you are prepared to do

that, supervise the

processing? That wob a

standard arms-length

monitoring supervisory role we would have with 148 countries around the world

but whether we would take a more operational role in

this, we would have to look

at the details of it and make a decision at the time. You

are prepared to do that? To

actually do the processing?

I'm not prepared to, at the

moment, say what we will or

won't do because we simply

haven't had a conversation

with the Government on what

they have go the in mind.

Hang o the Prime Minister or

the Immigration Minister

haven't picked up the phone

to you and talked about

this? As of today, we

haven't had a discussion with

the Government about what

they have in mind but we hope

to have that soon. That is pretty alarming. The

Government has been very busy

trying to look at the

domestic implications of

legislation and we are more than happy to discuss the elements of what they have got in mind once the way is clear. I guess the key

question here is is it going

to work? Given your

experience, is this going to

deter asylum seekers trying

to get to Australia by boat?

Well, the question of whether

it works or not is something

that we need to look at

carefully. We are concerned

about the protection of

refugees. We are not in the

business of tough, brutal deterrence policies. We want

to make sure, as the refugee agency globally, that people

that need protection find it.

If they can't find it here in

Australia, we will look very

carefully at other arrangements to make sure

they can find it in other

places. You are not

convinced that this will stop

people attempting the journey? People in ourn

experience will look at other

options when there are viable

options. If people who are

desperate can see that by

stay anything south-east

Asia, that they can get

protection that is

meaningful, that they don't

have to langish for years in

difficult and dangerous

circumstances, that will be

persuasive not to put their

money and their lives in the

hands of people smugglers.

So we think the key is not deterrence on its own, but

really investing in human

rights and protection in

other places. One of the key

parts of making this a

deterrent is this so-called

no advantage principle, that

those that are sent to Manus

Ireland and Nauru, are

delayed as long as those that

are applied through a refugee

camp elsewhere. Is that

workable? Again, we haven't had a discussion with the Government to see what they

have got in mind. The no

advantage principle, at an intellectual level, makes

sense that if you claim asylum, you should get equal

treatment wherever that be

and solutions should be on

the basis of need. We do not

think that resettlement is

the pan seeia for all

problems of refugees

displaced either in this

region or in south-east Asia.

It's a very limited tool that

we have, globally, to help

those people who are most

acutely at risk. We cannot

use it as an assembly line or

a formula to resolve the

situation of all refugees in

south-east Asia. But in

practise, could this mean

that asylum seekers are

processed, found to be

genuine refugees, and then

wait an extraordinary long

time in either Nauru or Manus

Island? The responsibility

rests on the shoulders of

Australia as the transferring

country and on those two

countries to make sure that

people are treated hue

Mainly, that they get fair

and adequate rebust

processing of their claims

and that genuine refugees get

their entitlements under the

refugee convention. That's

what the bench marks will be when we look at whether or not compliance is being

made. Would it be reasonable to leave someone in that

situation for as long as five

years? There are legal

responsibilities on a convention State that has

committed processing. There

are rights that flow from

refugee status. Australia has signed up to those

rights... So Australia would

have a legal responsibility

to do what? To take them in

after they were found to be

refugees? Australia would

have a responsibility to make

sure that the rights under

the convention are fully met.

Now, if they are not going to be brought to Australia, then other options would need to

be explored but that is

something that is

problematic, it is going to

be difficult an we haven't

had the benefit of a discussion with the Government to see what they

have got in mind. What is an appropriate time frame for

that to happen? This is a really challenging question.

We have seen the legacy

issues of prolonged

displacement, uncertain displacement on Pacific

Island states in the past.

That has led, in our experience and the experience

of social workers, very, very

quickly to severe psycho

damage in the long-term. So people who are genrin

refugees, if they are having

to wait for solutions, not so

long to cause damage. What

time period causes damage?

I'm not a social expert in

this, but you need to

understand that convention

States have to find solutions for refugees. We can do what

we can to help but the limits

on resettlement places

globally are very severe. We

have got huge challenges to

make sure that refugees are being looked after. So

whatever is taking place in

south-east Asia fully

recognises the difficulties

of global solutions. Just

finally, one of the

unaddressed questions here is

what happens to those who

aren't found to be refugees

who were given a negative

assessment on either Nauru or

Manus Island, where do they

go? The processing on remote

island States is always difficult because at the end

of the day there is the question about what happens

to people. There are people

who may be held up for

security clearance purposes.

They may not be able to move because there are questions around their security that

could take years to resolve.

There are many people who

suffer psycho social damage,

trauma from torture or from

previous experiences. How do

you look after them. Unaccompanied children are

the vulnerable groups. How

do you manage the mechanisms

for their removal from places that may not take them back

and there is the question of resettling for refugees who

have been given protection

status. So these things are

made much more difficult in

remote island places and as

we of seen in the past, what

we want to make sure and this is what we will discuss with

Government, is to make sure that the lessons an

experiences from the past are

not repeated. It sound like

quite a lot to still be

resolved. There's a lot to

discuss and we look forward

to that discussion but our

strongest advice and

aspiration is to continue a long-term development process

in south-east Asia, to

security better protection to

people in the region. Thank you. Thank you very much.

After the break, we are going

to be talking to Immigration

Minister Chris Bowen for some

answers to some of those

issues and concerns raised

there and more detail on how

this is now going to work.

Stay with us. Clest

In a moment we are going to

be talking to Immigration Minister Chris Bowen about

the legislation passed

through the lower house

today, the Senate will start

debating at 9.30 tomorrow

morning. It does mean

offshore processing is going

to happen in Nauru and Manus

Island. We will get more

details from the minister

about that. First a quick

check of the news headlines.

Parliament has broken the deadlock on the asylum seeker policy and given the

Government the green light to reinstate offshore processing

on Nauru and Manus Island.

Only two MPs, independent

Andrew Wilkie and Adam band from the Australian Greens

voted against the bill. The decision follows the arrival

of three boats in the past 24

hours carrying 200 people.

They're likely to be the

first people processed

offshore. And the Government

is also secured a historic

win over big tobacco with the

High Court ruling Labor's

world first plain packaging

laws are constitutionally

valid. The legal victory

means all cigarettes and

tobacco products will have to

be sold in olive brown packs

from December. Large graphic health warnings will dominate

the packs and the

manufacturers brand names

will be written in a small

generic font. Police in

Victoria are searching for a

man who sexually abused a

teenager at knife point on a Melbourne beach. The

18-year-old girl was lured to a toilet block at Edithvale

beach at around 5.30 last

night when she herd calls for

help. Her attacker then

produced a knife and sexually

assaulted her. She suffered

multiple knife wounds and was

taken to hospital. Our olympic athletes have arrived

back in Australia to a heros

welcome at Sydney Airport.

The team was led out by

olympic flag bearers Malcolm

Page and Lauren Jackson.

They were greeted by the

Prime Minister, Opposition

Leader and around 500 family

members and friends . The

athletes flew home on a

special Qantas Boeing 747

Boxing Kangaroo. In sport,

Port Adelaide's gamble at the

AFL tribunal didn't pay off with Hamish Hartlett banned

for two weeks for an oh the

ball incident against Hawke

Cyril Rioli. The Hawthorn

star suffered a shoulder

injury and will now miss two

to three weeks.

Thank you. It has been

the big story of the week are

the return to Parliament,

seeing a break-through on

asylum seekers and an

agreement between Labor and

the Coalition on offshore

processing. It's required a

pretty significant back down

from Labor, they have not

only come full circle on the

issue or done an about face

on the issue of offshore

processing but now indeed on

Nauru and Manus Island as

well. The legislation wept

through the House earlier

this afternoon t will be

debated in the Senate from

tomorrow morning, so how is

this now going to work and

will it work? Will it

actually stop or significantly slow down boat

arrivals? I spoke earlier

this afternoon to Immigration

Minister Chris Bowen. Thank

you for your time. The legislation has now passed.

The big question, is this new

solution going to work?

Everything takes time.

Obviously we need to make

every step possible to reduce

and eliminate this trade.

What I do know is that people smugglers don't give up easily. They will be out

there, telling lies, lulling

people into a false sense of

security, they will be encouraging still to risk

their lives and we will be

taking all the necessary

steps, we will be running a communications campaign in

the region, making sure that asylum seekers know about the

changed arrangements, that is

obviously has its challenges

in circumstances throughout

the region. What, with

posters and radio advertisements? Internet,

all sorts of activities that

both my department and other

agencies will be undertaking

but, of course, as I say,

this will take time. You're

the minister, how much time

do you give it to make a

judgment? Well,s it not a

matter of giving it time to

make a judgment. It's about

implementing all the recommendations,

step-by-step. Six months

down the track, if boats are

still coming, can you then

say this hasn't worked? I'm

just focussed on getting it

done. I'm - not just Nauru

and PNG, but all of the recommendations, it is a package. You are confident

it will work? I'm confident

it's going to make a

difference. As I say, I'm

not going to say, for

example, that people

smugglers is going to pack up

and go home tomorrow. We

have seen in the past when we

have announceed to Malaysia,

it clearly had an impact,

people said they are not

going to may their money if

they are just going to be

taken back to Malaysia. But

other people still try it on

and people smugglers certainly will tell people

anything to encourage them to

get on that boat. So it will

slow the boats, you're just

not sure if it will stop them entirely? Let's give it a go

and let's give it a chance.

The main thing is I think all

Australians are looking to

see policies implemented

which make a big difference

yet and that is what we are

doing. Only three weeks ago

you described Nauru as just another Christmas Island,

that would cost $2 billion to

set up and would not deter

asylum seekers. What gives

you the confidence that it

might work now? Let me say a

couple of things. Firstly,

this is about getting things

done and it is a compromise,

yes, we have changed our position in order to getting

some done. Yes, we make no

bones about that. But why

bother doing that unless you

have had in your own mind a

change of view? Secondly,

may I make the point, that

the expert panel, by

partisan, non-political

panel, made the point thaw

have to have the no advantage

test quite different to the

way some of things that have

worked in past where you are

regarded as a refugee and

brought to Australia... That

is the key. That's a big

difference as to how say Nauru and Papua New Guinea

have worked in the past an,

thirdly, these are just part

of a suite of regional

arrangements. People can see

another way of getting to

Australia. So if this is a

big part of the package, there is no advantage test,

tell me how it is going to

work? Could asylum seeker be

processed, found to be

refugees and then kept on

Nauru or Manus Island

indefinitely? We will assess

- and there is no exact

science - but we will assess

as to how long that person

would likely have waited, if

they were waiting in, say,

Jakarta, to be transferred to

Australia under the

normal... That can be five or

10 years. It be can a long

time. It varies. We do have

less times than that as well

and also increasing our

refugee program will make a difference here as well, so

people will be waiting less

time off shore in other

places before being resettled

to Australia. And there is a

range of circumstances. Take

the 100,000 asylum seekers in Malaysia for example, people

say you could wait there for

years. Many of them aren't

seeking resettlement. These

people - a lot of these

people will want to come to

Australia. Of course. Nauru

wants more specifics around

this time issue. So what are

you going to say to them?

I'm not going to provide a running commentary on

negotiations. You can't walk in and say no number at all.

You have got to have some

time frame, haven't you,

whether it is five years, 10

years or less? As I say, we

are in discussions with Nauru, I'm not going to do

that, with all due respect,

through your program. Will

you give them a time line?

We will talk with them about

the arrangements. They want

some certainty about this.

Will you tell them? I'm talk

to talk to them with respect and we are going to run

through all the key

parameters with them and I

will make public statements

after that, not during that.

The UNCHR also want some

details on this as well. Why

have you not yet spoken to them? My department has been

in contact with them. I'm in

regular contact with the Australian representative,

also with representatives

in... Have you spoken to him

this week? Not personally.

They were briefed by the panel and the department has

been in contact. You are

asking the UNHCR to get

involved with this whole

thing. Actually David, they

will make its own decision,

we will implement this

policy. We work with them very closely around the

world. We are the third

largest and hopefully about

to become the second largest

resettlement country in the

world, we are one... What

will they do in Nauru? I'm

not envisaging them being

involved in the

processing... They won't

supervise the process? No,

they haven't in the past and

I don't envisage that

changing. They will want to

provide us with feed back on

it, of course, but this will

be an operation which is -

doesn't require U 2346789 CHR involvement. We would talk

to them about how it is

working. Of course, they

will be involved in the

processing of the increase in

the intake, the 20,000, as we

work with them very closely

around the word on a

day-to-day basis today. How

long a time frame will those refugees be accepted into

Australia eventually? The

principle is very important.

No advantage, so yes, if you

are a refugee, you would be

taken to Australia at the

time you would've been if you

didn't make that boat... They

will have to wait it out? We are saying there is no

advantage here. What is the

alternative? To say yes,

sure, you should be

advantaged if you can afford

a people smuggler, advantage

other people in Africa and the Middle East. I understand some people will

have a problem with this.

But you really have to look

at the fairness test and the

commonsense test and the

fairness test is there is a

lot of people, out of sight,

out of mind, waiting for

resettlement in Australia who wouldn't dream of having the

member to be a people

smuggler. If you're not

found to be a refugee, what

would happen then? We would

talk about your options

including return, just as we

do to people in Australia.

They could be sent forcibly

back to... If you're not a

refugee, we talk about

voluntary return. They are

not going to want to return.

We do have some voluntary

returns, we do have some

people returning

voluntarily. Not many. We do have reasonable numbers returning... Most still want

to stay. Of course. What do

you do? Do you force them

back? We have a range of

options available to us which

we would talk to both Nauru

and PNG about, and the international organisation

for migration about. Including forceable returns.

It is always one of the

things that we do. We do

them from Australia when

necessary. We obviously

prefer voluntary return but

we do have forceable returns, not only for boat arrivals of

course, we have them for

visa, and plane arrivals, it

is a fairly part of the

system, that the Government

has to be able to implement

returns. The cost of this?

Is it going to make the

budget bottom line better or

worse off? You're right. In

terms of very large arrival numbers, that is a very

significant impact on the

budget and when you have proper offshore processing

and proper arrangements and

less arrivals, it can have a

positive impact over and

above what you would call the

business as usual model that

we have had. Yes, a

processing on Manus Island

and Nauru is expensive. Of

course it is. But you still have very significant costs

if you don't do that and you

have much higher arrival

rates. So it will be a break

even? It will provide all of

my updates and I will provide

costing information as and

when it becomes available.

Thank you. Thank you David.

More on this after the break

with our panel. Stay with us.

Welcome back to

the program and welcome to

our panel. Mark Kenny and

the chief political

correspondent of 'The

Australian' newspaper, Matt

Franklin. Let's pick up

where we are at with this

asylum seeker debate, the

Bill finally went through the

lower house today, it will go through the Senate possibly

tomorrow. What do you think?

Is this a win for the

Government, humiliate for the

Government or both? I think

it is probably both. It's no

doubt it's a win for everyone

in the sense that we have

finally got some movement in

an area that has been the

subject of total grid lock,

total policy grid lock and a largely unproductive argument

for a long time. So we have seen some significant

movement. We have got the

centre of politics, in a

sense, coming together and

forging some sort of way

forward. There are plenty of

problems with it. We don't know whether it is going to

work and a whole range of

other things. But from that

point of view, it is a

positive development. It

does involve the mother of all back downs from the Government, from the position

it took. To that extent,

there was a big cost to the

Government. But I think some

voters will also reward the

Government for swallowing its

pride and getting something

done. Exactly. Politicians perhaps are often reluctant

to compromise, back down,

call it what you will, and

voters did want something to

happen here. Yeah, I think

the public had moved beyond

the politics, they wanted it

fixed and having a deal been

sealed, I think that the

industry doesn't care who won

or lost. They just wanted to

move on from this issue and

they are not listening to

people blaming each other

about it any more. You

mentioned about politicians

not being able to or being

rewarded for saying "I was

wrong", think back to Peter

Beaty in Queensland, he used to apologise every six months an he gained supported by

doing it and I think the

problem with Julia Gillard is

she is - she has made the mother of all back

downs... But she is not

expressing regret, this is a

different policy, because of

that... To that extent... It

is, and Chris Bowen emphasised in that interview the big difference is this no

advantage test, they could be

stuck there indefinitely for

who knows how long. Which is

amazing when you think about

it, because for so long the

effort by Governments was to

minimise the amount of time

people spent in detention, to

speed up processing, that was

the subject of a lot of

political argument and when

this Government came to power

originally, one of its key

objectives was to reduce the

amount of time it took for

people to be processed, to

get out of out of detention

and now we are talking about

a deliberate policy to prolong detention. Do you

think it is going to work

this way in practise or is

this just an effort to grab

the megaphone to say to

people smugglers, this is a

big stick, don't bother trying? If it doesn't work

in practise, it won't work.

The thing here is that you

have to - over a number of

years, the whole Australian community has come to

understand that the way to

stop people smugglers is to take away their business

model and if you only take it

away partly, by making these

guys stay there for a short

period of time and then

saying okay, people smugglers

will be back on the phone

organising the next boat.

And what we have seen from

the last - you know, this

surge that we have been

experiencing is that it is a

fairly condition sensitive marketplace. They can get,

it seems, a lot of ready and willing customers and they

can get vessels in the water

and off headed to Australia

because they don't need to do

premises because they don't

care. They just get people

on the water and heading

towards Australia and they

seem to be able to do that at

relatively short notice. If

there is some point at which Australia's resolve weakens

on this, you would imagine

that would show up pretty

quickly... Is it going to be

a disincentive going to Nauru

if the conditions are better

than they were last time

around? I think it will be.

If they can't - if the people smugglers can't demonstrate that going to Nauru means

that you are headed for

Australia firstly, and thaw

are headed there in a quick

period of time, then I think

ultimately the demand will

dry up. They are getting

housed and not locked away,

you are allowed to wander

around the island, that is

surely going to be better than the situation in

Malaysia or India. I think

some people are going to say

it's a hell of a lot better than being on Christmas

Island where you are now. If

it ends up being Christmas

Island without the razor wire... It is tricky though.

We have interviewed people in African refugee camps, they

have been sitting there for

10 years and if the new

system means that these guys

who come on boats will have

to wait as long as everybody

else, as they would have had

to otherwise, then they could

be waiting there a long time

and it might be nicer than

Christmas Island but it's a

long time. That is if the

Government of the day has the

will to actually deliver on

it because what happens when,

Assange happened before,

people start sewing their

lips together. Whagt the

politics of this, I found it

surprising in Question Time

this afternoon, there was not one question by the opposition, they moved on to

the carbon tax and a couple

of other issues. It's not

going to disappear from the

political agenda though, is

it? I think the opposition

realised they have probably

overplayed their hand. Do

you think? In the last 24

hours? Everybody knows they have won. Everybody knows

that he, Tony Abbott, has

said 126 times pick up the phone. Everyone can see that

and I think there was a lot

of pressure from the back bench yesterday to poundlish,

to grind their bones into the

dust but I think today they

realised, hey, we have won

and over here is carbon tax.

Let's go. We had a bit of an

vags of that -- indication

have that when Tony Abbott

told his party room that the

Government was happy to talk

about this boats problem

because the carbon tax was so

toxic. Which... Julia

Gillard took on Dorothy Dixon on the back bench about

that. Coming at that time,

on Monday morning when this

was at fever pitch and you

couldn't say it wasn't a

winner for the Government to

be going through this process

of backing all the way down,

not just really to the

pacific solution, but really

back passed it in some ways,

you know, it seemed like a pretty perverse statement and

today, as we find, they are

back talking about the carbon

tax. The opposition made it

clear that they still want

more, they want temporary

protection visas, they want

boat toe backs and any boat

that does arrive, they will be reminding the Government of that. They actually

believe that that is the best policy and they believe that

that has been demonstrated,

but secondly, they can keep

in the back pocket the fact

that while Julia Gillard has

embraced one of their three measures, there is still two more outstanding. So there

is more political capital to

be gained in the future as

and if more boats arrive.

Two more legs to the

policy. That's correct. Now

also today the High Court

ruled gen the challenge from

the tobacco companies, ruled

in favour of the Government's

plain packaging laws. We

have got the Attorney-General, Nicola

Roxon, she has been central

to fighting to getting this

up. Here she was welcoming

the High Court's ruling

today. We are so proud that

we are able to stand up today

and say that we have taken on

big to back owe and we have

won. And this is good news

for every Australian parent

who worries about their child

picking up an addictive and

deadly habit. It is a win

for Nicola Roxon, particularly and for the

Government. Will it be a

popular moech, do you think,

when these plain packets start appearing from

November. I don't even know

what they look like any more.

I think it will be a popular move among parents as the

Attorney-General said on your

clip, but I think punters who still smoke and want to

demand their right to smoke,

probably feel... Will they be

aggrieved, will they feel

angry about this? At the

moment, the packet doesn't

look too great, it has got

cancerous feet and all sorts

of things. Let's face it.

What is the political down

side of taking on big

tobacco, there isn't any

really. He they are going to

keep fighting in the World

Trade Organisation over this,

they say that it's going to

lead to a black market trade

in tobacco, chop chop, what

do you think? I don't know

about those sort of claims.

I have seen them talking

about a vibrant trade in chop

chop, in Ireland of 30% of

the market or something along

those lines. I don't know

whether that has got much

substance to it and I'm not

sure how it will go with WTO

litigation as well. Pretty

humiliating defeat for them

today. You started by saying

is it a big win for the

Government and I suppose the question would be how would

it look for the Government to lose another High Court

case. They haven't had much

luck in the High Court.

Malaysia got knocked out, the

Chaplin's program got knocked

out. Finally they win. It

is an important one. It is a

victory for commonsense

really. This is the only

product you can legally buy

and if used as instructed,

kills you. I see other countries, New Zealand and

the UK, have today said we

are inspired by this, we are

going to look at doing it ourselves. That is of course

the worse nightmare of this industry. This is the first

time it has happened. I see our colleague, Peter van

Onselen, if the Government is serious, they should ban

cigarette smoking, make it an

illegal trade. They are not

going to go that far though.

I thought he was a Liberal.

They are not about to do that

but they will take this High

Court win, that's for sure,

and certainly be making the

most of it today. Now,

finally before we go, this is

your final week in the press

gallery. It is. You are leaving 'The Australian'.

Bear with me just one moment.

We wept to the trouble of

getting you a cake. I'm sure

this is more than your office

has done. It says "Thanks

Matt for all of your

contributions here on agenda

on Sky News, but a great loss

to the press gallery as well.

What are you doing? Where

are you going? After 25

years I've decided that I

have an opportunity to take a

rest, to take stock, to pay

off my house and spend a bit

of time with my children.

Maybe we will see you back in

the journalist guys before

too long hopefully but good luck with it all and thanks

very much and enjoy the

cake. Thanks very much.

Thanks for your company. We