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Opposition wants racial discrimination change -

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The Federal Opposition has said it will rewrite the Racial Discrimination Act if it wins power,
after newspaper columnist Andrew Bolt was found guilty of breaching the act.


ALI MOORE, PRESENTER: The Opposition has signalled it will rewrite the Racial Discrimination Act if
it wins power.

The move is a reaction to yesterday's Federal Court decision that newspaper columnist Andrew Bolt
had breached the act in a series of articles about light-skinned Aborigines.

But the Prime Minister refused to comment on the issue as she celebrated her 50th birthday.

Political correspondent Tom Iggulden has more from Canberra.

TOM IGGULDEN, REPORTER: Sometimes it's the thought that counts.

(Neighbour playing Happy Birthday tune on a trumpet).

TIM MATHIESON, PARTNER: The neighbours. Fantastic stuff. Good stuff.

TOM IGGULDEN: Luckily, that wasn't the Prime Minister's only birthday present.

JULIA GILLARD, PRIME MINISTER: We are getting a cavoodle, a puppy, but the puppy's turning up in a
few weeks' time. But I am sporting some new jewellery that I got for my birthday, so very happy
with that.

TIM MATHIESON: And a nice dinner tonight, so that'll be great.

JULIA GILLARD: And nice dinner.

TIM MATHIESON: Have a good day.


TIM MATHIESON: See you later. Bye-bye.


TOM IGGULDEN: At the local school in the Prime Minister's electorate, the well-wishing continued,
almost ad nauseum.

After another rendition of Happy Birthday, the Prime Minister got a little help with the candles
and reflected on the big 5-0.

JULIA GILLARD: I am living an amazing life. This is an incredible privilege to be Prime Minister,
but of course my focus, whether it's my birthday or any other day, is making sure that we've got
jobs for the future.

TOM IGGULDEN: Tony Abbott couldn't resist a touch of politics either.

TONY ABBOTT, OPPOSITION LEADER: I'm not sure how many more she's going to have in The Lodge, but I
certainly wish her happy birthday for today.

JULIA GILLARD: Tony Abbott, always playing politics and always inclined to say no. I suppose we're
going to see that on display on my birthday, as well as every other day.

TOM IGGULDEN: Despite his comments, the Opposition Leader's trying to avoid the impression he's
taking winning the next election for granted.

AUDIENCE MEMBER: One other question too, Mr incoming prime minister.

TONY ABBOTT: You were told not to use that.

AUDIENCE MEMBER: Oh, I'm sorry. Yes, my apologies.

TONY ABBOTT: This is the Prime Minister's birthday, please. I mean, we don't want any talk like

TOM IGGULDEN: Kevin Rudd's birthday was last week. The Prime Minister failed to get her best wishes
through to him in New York.

KEVIN RUDD, FOREIGN MINISTER: I'm sure the PM had other things on her mind back here, but I wish
her a very happy birthday today.

TOM IGGULDEN: The Government's number one Collingwood supporter was less gracious.

STEPHEN CONROY, COMMUNICATIONS MINISTER: Well she told me yesterday she was barracking for Geelong
in the final, so I took the present back.

TOM IGGULDEN: And backed it up with a birthday song of his own.

STEPHEN CONROY: (Singing Collingwood club song).

KARL STEFANOVIC, TODAY SHOW PRESENTER: It's awful. It's awful. Communications Minister, it's awful.

JULIA GILLARD: So I'm now going to make it a ministerial rule that apart from Peter Garrett, no-one

TOM IGGULDEN: The Opposition's also planning on rewriting some rules. Liberal senator George
Brandis is outraged at yesterday's Federal Court decision that columnist Andrew Bolt broke the
Racial Discrimination Act in a series of inaccurate and offensive articles about light-skinned

GEORGE BRANDIS, OPPOSITION LEGAL AFFAIRS SPOKESMAN: We don't blame the court. The judge was merely
applying the words of the statute to the facts of the case before him. We think it's a terrible

TOM IGGULDEN: And he says the Coalition would edit the act.

GEORGE BRANDIS: We would not like to see the law remain in its current form as currently

TOM IGGULDEN: The Government's not commenting on the issue because it says Mr Bolt's newspaper is
considering appealing the decision. Still, it shows that even with a primeministeral birthday and
two forthcoming grand finals, there's insufficient grounds for a political ceasefire.

Tom Iggulden, Lateline.