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KERRY OBRIEN: As luck would have it many of the summit's big ideas seem to fold very neatly into
the Government's existing agenda. Although the weekend in Canberra was mostly sweetness and light
among the chosen 1,000 the critics are coming out of the woodwork today. Former Foreign Minister
Alexander Downer described the summit as a Keatingesque return to political correctness. Although
his leader, Brendan Nelson was a little more circumspect. As Phillip Williams reports from Canberra
there are potential dangers as well as dividends for Kevin Rudd.

PHILLIP WILLIAMS: Whatever you think of the results there can be no doubting genuine intent, 1,000
passionate summiteers brought to the nation's capital. For the cynics this was about getting a lot
of smart Australians to publicly back the Prime Minister's existing agenda, the republic, tax
reform, a new federalism. For others it was a serious attempt at exploring new ways forward.

KEVIN RUDD, PRIME MINISTER: And what I'd invite each and everyone of you to do is simply not to you
to say "That's the end of that, game over," regard it as an invitation to continue, with each
other, within the groups, across the groups, but more important with the wider community and back
with news Government itself.

PHILLIP WILLIAMS: For two days Kevin Rudd projected his version of relaxed and comfortable.
Dropping in to each of the ten sessions with occasional contributions like this one at the health
forum.

KEVIN RUDD: Something like 1.7 per cent of our national health budget is spent on preventative
health care. Frankly given where you see the chronic diseases driving future health budgets that's
crazy. When you've got three times the rate of deaths of children under five in Indigenous
communities as opposed to non Indigenous communities, I think that's off.

PHILLIP WILLIAMS: Intentional or not this view of the Prime Minister as involved and engaged with
the community reinforces his warning that given the challenges ahead political business as usual is
not sustainable.

KEVIN RUDD: Because the old way of governing has long been creaking and gowning. Often a triumph of
the short term over the long term, often a triumph of the trivial over the substantial, often a
triumph of the partisan over the positive. And the truth is all sides of politics, Brendan's and
mine, we're both guilty of this. It's time we started to try and turn a page.

PHILLIP WILLIAMS: In other words, there's the new way, i.e. Kevin Rudd's, other the old. All of
which leaves Brendan Nelson in an awkward spot, not wanting to appear old world by Kevin Rudd's
definition, but with a less than enthusiastic endorsement of the summit.

BRENDAN NELSON, OPPOSITION LEADER: I have to say that whilst I have a high regard for all those who
came to the conference there seemed to it seemed to be not fully representative of Australian
society.

SENATOR BILL HEFFERNAN, LIBERAL BACKBENCHER: The infrastructure that assists agriculture must also
assist pristine tourism, down stream value adding

PHILLIP WILLIAMS: But New South Wales Liberal senator Bill Heffernan doesn't share his leader's
caution. He put his views to the rural group on developing northern Australia.

BILL HEFFERNAN: I think it was a good, therapeutic exercise for I would call the family of
Australia. And the people that participated, grateful were to be there, the people probably didn't
participate may have felt a bit excluded but generally it had a very good therapeutic value and I
think that's about the best way I can measure the outcome because a lot of the ideas I've heard
before.

PHILLIP WILLIAMS: What do you mean by therapy? Therapy for what?

BILL HEFFERNAN: For the nation to feel included and think about as a family where we're gonna be in
the future.

PHILLIP WILLIAMS: World Vision CEO Tim Costello co chaired the families and communities group. He
sees this as an exciting new beginning rather than a cynical political exercise.

REVEREND TIM COSTELLO, WORLD VISION AUSTRALIA: Rather than certain powerful groups setting the
agenda and direction it's actually throwing it over to us. That atmospheric I think is based on two
things. One, hope, that someone's listening, and the second thing, is a serious belief that they
really are gonna take you seriously and do something about your idea. You look at some of the
concrete ideas he's promised to respond to, in our area a volumetric tax on alcohol. The industry
are on the phones at the moment lobbying, the Prime Minister's got to respond to that. Half of all
house sales to go to beat homelessness by the year 2020. He has to respond to those things. He has
said he will. So there's at least 40 ideas there that he has to respond to, some are in the zone he
wants, some are probably unimagined that he now is saying "I'll have to deal with".

PHILLIP WILLIAMS: Kerry Underwood is an author, photographer and grazier and lives on a remote
cattle stations in Australia. It's 600km west of Katherine on the Northern Territory West
Australian border, for her just getting to Canberra was a major trek. Something akin to an outback
cattle muster.

TERRY UNDERWOOD, GRAZIER: I had a 24 hour journey, like five weeks in the saddle to get here, ten
hours drive from yesterday morning to Darwin, Darwin, 10 hours later, then I got the red eye flight
into Canberra this morning.

PHILLIP WILLIAMS: After two frantic days Terry was heading home satisfied her rural group had made
a difference. Ideas to standardise Australia's confusing and costly transport licensing systems,
ways to use water more effectively and modernise run down rural infrastructure.

TERRY UNDERWOOD: I'm not a cynic. I'm too old to be a cynic and I've' lived in the bush too long.
I'm about reality and outcomes. Of course there was talk and interaction and interconnection,
there'll be outcomes. There will be.

ALEXANDER DOWNER, LIBERAL BACKBENCHER: A great pleasure for me to have been invited to come along
today.

PHILLIP WILLIAMS: Former Foreign Minister Alexander Downer is very worried about certain outcomes
from the summit, celebrating the Queen's birthday he told members of Australians for a
Constitutional Monarchy the republic debate is back on and it will be nasty.

ALEXANDER DOWNER: This is just a sort of Keating style gab fest of um, Keating loving elites with a
sprinkling of conservatives to make it look a bit more respectable. It's completely dominated by
Keating loving elites and all Mr Rudd is doing is reheating the Keating agenda, doing it in a
different way, he is reheating the Keating agenda. That part of is it which isn't the Keating
agenda he's stolen from the British Government. He doesn't like the links with Britain but he's
quite happy to steal from the British Government policy ideas.

PHILLIP WILLIAMS: With some exceptions most of the delegates appear to share an enthusiasm about
the possibilities, but there are dangers ahead for Kevin Rudd, and not just on the republic.

REVEREND TIM COSTELLO: The trick in life is managing expectations and here is a Government that has
raised expectations. All of us know the message on the London under ground, mind the gap. If the
gap is great when there isn't a delivery and a really good response to these proposals then our
expectations will be disappointed. That's a whiplash for government. But I'm pretty confident that
he's serious.

PHILLIP WILLIAMS: Few doubt he is serious. It's a matter of debate over what the main focus of that
intent is. Exploring new ways of running the country or new methods of marginalising the
opposition. Or maybe by happy coincidence for him a little bit of both.

KERRY OBRIEN: Philip Williams with that report.