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PM to discuss asylum seekers with Malaysian l -

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PM to discuss asylum seekers with Malaysian leaders

Broadcast: 06/07/2009

Reporter: Hayden Cooper

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd is meeting Malaysian leaders in Kuala Lumpur tonight to discuss controls
on the flow asylum seekers. Mr Rudd is on his way to a week-long series of meeting in Europe to
discuss the economy and climate change.


TONY JONES, PRESENTER: The Federal Government says Malaysia has agreed to improve border controls
to stop the flow of asylum seekers.

The Prime Minister has met the country's leaders in Kuala Lumpur tonight en route to a week-long
series of meetings in Europe. The trip culminates in talks on the economy and climate change in

But consensus there may prove elusive. Australia's former foreign affairs minister has told
Lateline tonight that a bold new target on cutting pollution will be difficult to achieve.

From Canberra, Hayden Cooper reports.

HAYDEN COOPER, REPORTER: Whether western Sydney or the world - if there's a summit to be had, he
will be there.

KEVIN RUDD, PRIME MINISTER: We have to use this week's meeting to build momentum towards the next
G20 Summit in Pittsburgh in September and for the Copenhagen conference on climate change in

HAYDEN COOPER: Tonight, the Prime Minister's on his way to Europe, but first, he's wedged in a stop
in Malaysia to meet his new counterpart and talk about people smuggling.

KEVIN RUDD: We have to work hand in glove with our partners.

HAYDEN COOPER: In the past, Indonesia has been the chief launching point for asylum seekers heading
to Australia, but now it's believed thousands are waiting in Malaysia too.

STEPHEN SMITH, FOREIGN AFFAIRS MINISTER: There's certainly an acknowledgement that there needs to
be greater vigilance, greater oversight, greater supervision and one of the areas where we've
agreed that we can do more together is in the passport and border control and border regulation

MALCOLM TURNBULL, OPPOSITION LEADER: The results so far demonstrate that Labor's policies are
failing. They're not protecting our borders.

HAYDEN COOPER: In five days, Kevin Rudd will stop in Germany, Switzerland and Italy, where the
leaders of the world's biggest nations will meet. The G8 and the larger major economies forum will
focus on familiar topics.

KEVIN RUDD: Global economic recovery.

HAYDEN COOPER: But it's also about an environmental recovery. Early reports ahead of the G8 meeting
suggest it may set a target of an 80 per cent greenhouse gas reduction by 2050.

ALEXANDER DOWNER, FORMER FOREIGN AFFAIRS MINISTER: Well, Russia and China wouldn't go along with
that. I mean, you have to be realistic about what China is ever going to agree to and major
developing countries like India as well.

HAYDEN COOPER: Australia's former foreign affairs minister is back in the country on a break from
his role with the United Nations. He believes agreement will be difficult to find among the
competing interests of the developed and developing worlds.

ALEXANDER DOWNER: These aren't countries that are going to sacrifice the opportunity to escape
poverty on the altar of the current international fashion... These meetings are necessary to try to
forge some agreement. They're important in terms of forging an agreement. But I doubt that this
particular agreement will - this particular meeting will achieve that agreement.

HAYDEN COOPER: And he says Australia's position is irrelevant.

ALEXANDER DOWNER: I'm sorry. In China, in Washington DC, in London, in Brussels, in Moscow, they
wouldn't have a clue what Australia's emissions trading scheme was or how far Australia is down the
track towards an emissions trading scheme. It's not the issue.

HAYDEN COOPER: While the Prime Minister seeks solutions to global problems, the economy at home
will receive another hint of what lies ahead. The new unemployment numbers are due out later this
week, and all the signs point to another increase.

Today's ANZ survey of the number of job advertisements in June revealed a fall of 6 per cent -
that's a 51 per cent decline over the year.

MALCOLM TURNBULL: This underlines the need for the Government to be resolutely focused on jobs,
jobs, jobs.

HAYDEN COOPER: He needs no reminder. Hayden Cooper, Lateline.