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Local politics threaten to overwhelm CHOGM -

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Tony Abbott has gate-crashed the CHOGM meeting in Perth with his own bilateral meetings and West
Australian Premier Colin Barnett is warning international visitors about the carbon tax.


TONY JONES, PRESENTER: CHOGM's official opening is just a few hours away, but already local
politics is threatening to overwhelm the Prime Minister's turn on the international stage.

Tony Abbott's gatecrashed the meeting in Perth, lining up his own bilateral meetings, while Western
Australian Premier Colin Barnett warned international visitors about the Federal Government's
mining tax.

Political correspondent Tom Iggulden reports from Perth.

TOM IGGULDEN, REPORTER: The stage is set and the political volume's being turned up on CHOGM eve.

Julia Gillard met with the Malaysian prime minister, the co-architect of her failed people swap

NAJIB RAZAK, MALAYSIAN PRIME MINISTER: It is not a Malaysian solution, it is an Australia-Malaysia

TOM IGGULDEN: And he took a veiled swipe at Tony Abbott's criticism of his country's treatment of
asylum seekers.

NAJIB RAZAK: Refugees and asylum seekers are treated well in Malaysia. That is a fact and we
recognised by the UN as well.

JOURNALIST: Would you be happy if Mr Abbott changed his - would you be urging him to change his
mind and pass the legislation?

NAJIB RAZAK: I would be happy for all Australia to support the arrangement.

TONY ABBOTT, OPPOSITION LEADER: We in Australia have different standards and our standards are the
ones which we are required to observe in our dealings with people.

TOM IGGULDEN: Tony Abbott's gatecrashed the Prime Minister's international leadership party by
coming to the host city himself.

TONY ABBOTT: Look, it's good to be here in Perth in the week of CHOGM. Today I've got a number of
bilateral meetings.

TOM IGGULDEN: One was with the Indian delegation.

TONY ABBOTT: If the Government was serious about reducing global emissions, they would lift the ban
on selling uranium to India.

TOM IGGULDEN: The Foreign Minister says that's a matter for the Labor Party and not CHOGM.

JOURNALIST II: Personal view on uranium exports?

KEVIN RUDD, FOREIGN MINISTER: I'm looking forward very much to the Australian Labor Party national


MARTIN FERGUSON, RESOURCES MINISTER: I'm looking forward to debate too.

TOM IGGULDEN: Mr Abbott's also using the pokies issue to steal attention from the Prime Minister's
tilt at international diplomacy. Opposition's growing against the Government's plans for mandatory
pre-commitment. Casino boss James Packer says the move'll hurt recreational gamblers as well as

Tony Abbott says Kevin Rudd's got his doubts too.

TONY ABBOTT: He pointedly declined to support the Prime Minister's policy. Obviously he's using
this issue as a wedge in his campaign to retake the Labor leadership.

TOM IGGULDEN: Mr Rudd says he's been busy concentrating on talks about protecting global democracy.

KEVIN RUDD: And here we have Mr Abbott, the alternative prime minister of Australia, engaging in
this sort of discussion this week. I mean, give us a break. I'm not going to buy into it because
we've got other priorities this week.

JULIA GILLARD, PRIME MINISTER: As leaders, we will be discussing and debating issues in order to
project a united voice on some of the most pressing global challenges, like food security, climate
change, the global economy and sustainable development.

TOM IGGULDEN: But Tony Abbott's not the only Liberal trying to hijack the Prime Minister's moment
in the global sun. Last night West Australian Premier Colin Barnet told a CHOGM business forum that
the mining tax posed increased sovereign risk for foreign investors.

COLIN BARNETT, WA PREMIER: It's a stupid, stupid, ill-conceived, inept proposal. Everyone knows
that. Everyone in the room last night knew that. I was telling them - only stating what everyone

TOM IGGULDEN: Was that an appropriate use of this forum?

JULIA GILLARD: I think that's bordering perilously close to a domestic question. As is well known,
Premier Barnett and I have a different view about the appropriate taxation arrangements for

TOM IGGULDEN: But Premier Barnett is unapologetic.

COLIN BARNETT: We don't want a namby-pamby conference. We want actually a conference that's got a
bit of oomph to it, and that's what people came for.

TONY ABBOTT: I thought Colin Barnett was very, very restrained. I thought he was very, very
statesmanlike. There were a lot of other policies that he could have criticised had he chosen to.

COLIN BARNETT: We don't have to surely sit around and agree on what everyone's going to say. What a
boring conference that'd be.

TOM IGGULDEN: With a chance to rain on Julia Gillard's political parade, the Coalition'll aim to
keep it as interesting as possible.

Tom Iggulden, Lateline.