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Hello, and welcome to the program. Lawyers for David Hicks say his terrorism conviction could be overturned after the US appeals court found that the charge that Mr Hicks was convicted of could not be applied retrospectively. They threw out a conviction on a similar one against the former driver for Osama bin Laden. That was overnight. So today more reaction. I'm speaking to the former US military lawyer for David Hicks, Michael Dan Mori, he is my guest this afternoon. Also the Shadow Attorney-General for the implications for the Government and we will be analysing that throughout the afternoon. Also today we are crossing to the United States, David Speers, will be giving us his assessment of the second presidential debate. And ahead of the election this coming Saturday in the ACT, I'm speaking to the Chief Minister here in the ACT. First, though, let's check in on the latest news headlines with Vanessa Tresize in the Sky News centre. Thank you. Hello everyone. The nine entertainment group has reached a billion dollar deal saving the network from administration. CEO David Gyngell emerged from marathon talks declaring Nine safe an debt free. Cameron Price filed this report from outside the offices where the lengthy negotiations took place. After two days of tense negotiations, the chief officer of channel nine David Gyngell walked out with a child on his face saying a deal had been done to save the network from administration. Channel 9 is going to be a debt free company which makes it most powerful media balance sheet in the country. So I'm incredibly proud. All of those doom dayers out there are going to have to eat their words because we have never had a more powerful balance sheet which means we are ready to rock and roll for the next year. He then walked across the street and gave a hug to a senior camera nine cameramen, a sigh of relief after a trying few weeks. Nine had been trying to work out a deal, a debt for equity swap with Goldman Sachs and two US hedge funds. That deal has been successful and, importantly, means Nine will avoid administration. To the US and President dark has gone on the attack during his crucial second debate -- President Barack Obama has gone on the attack. With the polls pointing to a neck and neck contest, the President couldn't afford another defeat. And he didn't leave anything to chance. The President and Governor Romney clashed over gas prices, China and Libya during a firey encounter. Sky News political editor David Speers is covering the campaign from Washington.After a disappointing first debate, President Obama came out swinging in the second, the stage even gave the encounter a boxing match -- feel and before low, the two were going toe-to-toe. By how much did you cut them by then? We produced more oil...No, how much did you cut? Governor Romney, here's what we did. There were a whole...I Had a question and the question was how much did you cut them by? If you want me to answer them. Repub.kan nominee Mitt Romney landed plenty of blows but some attempts back fired. Have you lifted your pension? I don't look at my pension, it's not as big as yours so it doesn't take as lock. The President looked more relaxed, Michelle Smith looked more frustrated at times. The next question is for you...He actually got the last question and I get the next question. It doesn't work like that. I'm going to give you a chance here, I promise you. There was little on foreign policy, that will dominate the third and final debate next week but the Republicans contender did accuse the President on showing disrespect. On the day following the assassination, for the first time that has happened since 1979, when we had four Americans killed there, when apparently we didn't know what happened, that the President, the day after that happened, flies to Las Vegas for a political fund raiser. And the suggestion that anybody in my team, whether it is the Secretary of State or UN embassador, anybody on my team, would play politics or mislead when we have lost four of our own is offensive. It took the President 14 days before he called the attack in Benghazi an act of terror. Get the transcript. He did in fact sir. Let me call it an act of terrorism. He did call it an act of terror. It did, as well, take - it did as well take two weeks or so for the whole idea of there being a riot out there about this tape to come out. You're correct about that. This debate was much closer than the first which Mitt Romney won decisively. But early snap polls have given Barack Obama a narrow, but important win. He needed to stop the surge in support for his opponent. He needed to fire up. And he needed to show some passion for another term in office. Tonight, he may have well just done all three. Former Guantanamo Bay detainee David Hicks says that he will take legal action against the Australian Government following a land mark decision in a US court overnight. It ruled the same terrorism related charge that he's convicted of is invalid. Now, Hicks is calling for a full investigation and wants his name cleared. For seven years, David Hicks was kept behind bars for most of that time in Guantanamo Bay. But the case against him has always had a series of question marks over it. And now a glimmer of hope that the Australian convicted of supporting terrorists may not have to wear that title for much longer. The conviction and the charge upon which his conviction is based has been declared to be an invalid charge. It follows a ruling in the US court over turning the conviction of Osama bin Laden's former driver and body guard. He had been convicted of the same crime as David Hicks providing material support to terrorism but in a land mark decision, the US appeals court has ruled that wasn't actually a crime at the time when he carried out his alleged actions and the law can't be applied retrospectively. Today's decision only validates our concern for the invalidity of the whole system. David Hicks current lawyers will now decide if they will take up his case again but they fails a series of hurdles. We are going to have to wait an see what the Government does, whether it appeals or not, to the US Supreme Court before any next decision can be made on what his lawyers decide to do for him. Another stumbling block could be Hicks' decision to waive the right to challenge his conviction as part of a plea deal. He was treated unfairly. The case of David Hicks has always been closely wound up in political debate, here at home and overseas. Today, more questions about the Howard Government's role at the time. We had an Australian Government that actually stood by and ignored the mounting evidence that David Hicks could not get a fair trial. Mr Hicks was convicted under US law, not under Australian law. The matter is now potentially again before the US legal system and let's see where it goes. David Hicks fiercest supporter, his father Terry Hicks, says today's news has vindicated his son's fight. He would be over the moon, I should say. I think what happened, the weight starts to lift off your shoulders and, you know, probably the process isn't quite over yet, I should say, but look, once it's in black and white, you know, and the whole thing is finished then, we can just sit back and go "Finally". The Opposition Leader has hit back at claims he's a coward for failing to raise his toe back policy directly with the Indonesian President. From international diplomacy to local politics, Tony Abbott was back in his own electorate this morning. He says the controversial policy was discussed in detail in lower level talks. The Indonesians now have a very clear understanding of what our position is and I think they're looking forward to the chance should we become a Government to working cooperatively with us and to try to address issues of mutual interest. Mr Abbott says it's a pity the Prime Minister didn't include a visit to Jakarta in her trip to India and Afghanistan. Julia Gillard has maintained her attack on the Opposition Leader over the matter, despite ample opportunities, he's failed to confirm what was discussed with the President. It seems to me Mr Abbott is now spinning like a top because he is embarrassed by his failure to raise with the President of Indonesia something that he beats his chest about when he is home in Australia. It's been just over four years since the body of back packer Britt Lapthorne was discovered in Croatia and police have come forward today to say they haven't given up hope of finding her killer. The 21-year-old left a nightclub in Dubrovnik in September 2008. Her body was found at sea three weeks later. Police say there have been no new leads on her death, despite the case remaining open. At the time, there were fears that Britt Lapthorne may have been kidnapped with the number of attempted abductions reported by foreign women. Socceroos coach, Holger Osieck, says he is confident that Australia will qualify for the 2014 World Cup after their win over Iraq this morning. Australia did it the hard way, scoring two goals in the final 10 minutes. Iraq hit the front midway through the second half against the run of play before Tim Cahill headed home an equaliser. Archie Thompson scored the winner in the 84th winner. Archie Thompson makes it three goals in three games and Australia have come from behind. Who keeps telling me I'm old? Who keeps tell us these old boys shouldn't be part of the Socceroos? That's what it is, it is team spirit, and fighting spirit. If we think we are going with this group of players to Brazil and perform at any level, then we really are kidding ourselves.Australia's next World Cup qualifier is against Oman in March next year.

Now back to Kieran Gilbert in Canberra as PM Agenda continues. Thank you very much for that. We will take a quick break. When we return, the Shadow Attorney-General and deputy Leader of the Opposition member coming up. Also the former US military lawyer, Dan Mori, for David Hicks.

P This is PM Agenda. Thanks for your company. Lawyers for David Hicks say his terrorism conviction could be overturned after a US appeals court found that the conviction couldn't be charged retrospectively. This is the Prime Minister's reaction to this news. She is in India of course and also we have got for you the Opposition Leader's response. It's important to remember that Mr Hicks was convicted under US law, not under Australian law. And there has been a case to which Mr Hicks wasn't a party but a case in the US overnight which Mr Hicks is clearly considering and considering his future action following that case. What Mr Hicks does in light of that decision is a matter for him. And whether or not that case is further appealed by US authorities is a matter for the US. It seems that the matter is now potentially, again, before the US legal system and, let's see where it goes. I would support allowing the United States legal system to do its work. Tony Abbott speaking a bit earlier and before him the Prime Minister. Joining me on the program, the Shadow Attorney-General. Thanks very much for your time. Given this ruling by the US appeals court, did the Howard Government let David Hicks down? No, not at all. Mr Hicks as both the Prime Minister and Mr Abbott have just pointed out, was convicted under American law. He in fact entered into a plea gar bargain in which he pleaded guilty to an offence under American law. The reports we have had this morning are that in an unrelated case, the same provision of American law under which Mr Hicks pleaded guilty in the plea bargain, has apparently been struck down. Now, I haven't read the American decision yet, I don't know if the claims that have been made, some of the news reports are strictly correct. It is subject, of course, to the American appeal processes themselves. So I think it is a little bit too early to be issuing forth into commentary upon the consequences, if any, for David Hicks. But the court found he should not have been found guilty of a crime. Essentially that didn't exist at the time. That it couldn't be applied retrospectively. What we have heard today is that in a case involving another person in Guantanamo Bay...Charged with the same crime. The offence under which that person and Hicks were apparently both charged, has been found to be an offence which couldn't be prosecuted retrospectively. Now, I'm going to wait to read the reasons of the American court and see what in fact the American court decided as opposed to what some news reports say the American court has decided before I make any commentary on this. Other than to make the one point that this is a matter for the American, not the Australian, legal system. But at the time the British represented there those citizens that were detained in Guantanamo Bay, weren't happy with this military commission, and acted actively to get their release to Britain. Hicks says today "I want a full investigation. The none Government knew for years that it was not fair but it put me up before it anyway". It had nothing to do with the fact that Hicks , who was on the ground in Afghanistan, was taken into custody by American authorities and detained by American authorities at an American facility in Guantanamo Bay and prosecuted by an American military commission. None of that had anything whatsoever to do with the Australian Government. The only point at which the Australian Government, the Howard Government intervened, was when John Howard raised David Hicks' case with the then President George W Bush, complained about the delay and as a result of Mr Howard's direct intervention with President George W Bush, Hicks case was the first of the cases involving detainees in Guantanamo Bay to be determined, in his case, by a plea bargain. Are you comfortable upon the basis upon which he was convicted? The American offences are somewhat similar to the Australian offences of aiding terrorists. Now, Hicks boasts about this in his book, Guantanamo Bay my story. The legal issue on which the American proceedings overnight turned is whether or not there could be a retrospective application of that law. Now, I'm sorry, but I'm not going to get into the business of commenting on a case that the reasons for decision in which I am yet to read. Well, obviously many people question the morality of the actions of which Hicks is widely believed to have done, and he has admitted it himself, but what about the - the morality is one thing, but the legality, you're a lawyer, this gentleman has been convicted of a crime that didn't exist at the time. Well, that has been claimed to be the effect of a decision overnight in America. But I don't know what exactly the decision says. I'm not prepared...Would you expect the US Government to appeal it to the Supreme Court? I wouldn't know whether the US Government would appeal. That would be a matter for the American authorities to decide but I'm not going to take that at face value a news report and assume that in all respects the case in America overnight is directly applicable to David Hicks' situation. It may be but it is too early to say. The prosecutor at the time, he said that Hicks had signed, as part of the plea bargain, a commitment or an agreement that he would not appeal or challenge the decision, the conviction. Would that preclude him from challenging now, do you think? Potentially, but I mean, he could always have an argument that if he claims that there was duress, that that agreement was executed under duress. So it is always open to somebody in those circumstances to make that argument. Whether on the particular facts of this case Hicks would be in a position to do that, does depend on knowledge of more facts than we are aware of at the moment. Let's move on to the Craig Thomson matter. You have said this week that you don't think it will be very long in coming before Mr Thomson has criminal charges laid against him. Is that an appropriate comment for someone who could potentially be the first law officer in the land beyond the next election? This of course is entirely a matter for the New South Wales Police and the NSW director...Should you be saying this? Let me finish answering a question. It is entirely a matter for the New South Wales Police and NSW Director of Public Prosecutions. The observation that I made yesterday was that given the decision that Fair Work Australia have made on essentially the same material, on the same facts, I wouldn't be at all surprised if there were charges soon to be laid by the New South Wales Police. Now, that's a prediction. I don't have any inside knowledge about what they may do. But...Is it appropriate for you to make those comments? As I said, you could be the Attorney-General beyond the next election? I think anybody is entitled to have a view about the likelihood about the way the criminal justice system might move. The fact is that the facts before the New South Wales Police are largely essentially the same facts as the facts before Fair Work Australia. Now, Fair Work Australia, on the basis of a particularly long inquiry, looked at all of these matters and they decided that they ought to institute a civil action for a civil penalty. We do know that Detective superintendent Colin Dyson who is in charge of the strike force said two weeks ago when Michael Williamson was arrested, that Mr Thomson continued to be a person of interest in that investigation and that a decision about charges would be made in the next several weeks. On to another matter and much has been made of the 17 lawyers that had some involvement in defending the Commonwealth in the Slipper matter but I was watching the Senate estimates last night, as were you quizzing the Australian Government solicitor, and there's been a lot more made of this than what actually existed, hasn't there? There were three solicitors involved, three lawyers, primarily involved and the others had peripheral engagement in the matter. So 17 had some involvement but barely any as far as what that evidence suggested last night. The evidence from Mr Govey, was that there were 17 of his legal staff, 17 Australian Government solicitors involved to one extent or another in the Commonwealth's defence of the Ashby case and, on top of that, two barristers and a junior were also engaged, so there were 19 lawyers. No doubt that there were some who were primarily involved and for whom it was everything they did all day and there were others who had a more peripheral involvement. But truly Kieran, I mean, any very large piece of litigation would not involve that many lawyers, even lawyers involved on the periphery. This is not a large piece of litigation. This is a serious sexual harassment case but it is within a relatively small factual compass. It's not a complicated case, either factually complicated or legally complicated. And I think the significance of the 17 lawyers, allowing for the fact that most of them were peripherally involved, but I think what that flags is that the Attorney-General is speaking out of both sides of the mouth. On the one hand she's got 17 lawyers involved at one level of involvement or in the in defending the case, but at the same time, she is saying Mr Ashby doesn't have a case. If Mr Ashby didn't have a case, it wouldn't take 17 lawyers and two barristers to defend it. All right, and just finally, Tony Abbott and Julia Gillard, I want to get your thoughts on this. They have both responded to this issue of whether or not he should have raised the turn back the boats policy with the President. We have got the comments for you. I want to play it for the viewers for you. Tony Abbott and Julia Gillard for you today. The last thing I'm going to do is go into detail of discussions that I've had with the President and other officials in Indonesia. But it's simply wrong to say that we haven't discussed Coalition policies with the Indonesians and particularly the meeting between justly Bishop and Scott Morrison and Foreign Minister went into considerable detail -- Julie Bishop. I think the Indonesians now have a very clear understanding of what our position is and I think they're looking forward to the chance, should we become a Government, to working cooperatively with us to try to address issues of mutual interest. Mr Abbott has done two press conferences where he's had the opportunity to say the simple words he raised toe backs with the President of Indonesia, despite being questioned he's declined to do so. It seems to me Mr Abbott is now spinning like a top because he's embarrassed by his failure to raise with the President of Indonesia something that he beats his chest about when he's home in Australia. He has talked up a big game on this front. Told the Prime Minister she should have been in Jakarta meeting, he had the opportunity and he didn't raise it. It was raised. Not face-to-face. It was raised by the relevant Shadow Ministers with the Indonesian Foreign Minister. Meanwhile, Mr Abbott is talking to the President trying to reboot the Australian relationship with Indonesia to which so much damage has been done by this Government with fiascos like, for example, the ban on the live meat export trade which had a devastating consequence for Indonesia's food supply. Now, the reason I make that point Kieran is that it would be wrong to think that the only reason Mr Abbott was in Indonesia was to discuss people smuggling. It was an absolutely top order item on the agenda, that's for sure, but it wasn't the only issue that was raised between the two countries. Because it's not the only respect in which the Australian Indonesian relationship has been severely damaged by the diplomatic incompetence of the Gillard Government. Thanks for your time this afternoon. Appreciate it. Thanks. A quick break and we will be right back. Stay with us.

Welcome back to PM Agenda. Coming up in a moment, the former US military lawyer for David Hicks, Michael Dan Mori, will join me to talk about the implications of the US appeals court ruling overnight. We will cross to Washington as well to speak to David Speers for his assessment on the sec President deshl debate. First, let's get the latest news headlines from Vanessa Tresize in the Sky News centre. Nine entertainment has avoided administration with its lenders taking control of the company after reaching a deal with its $3.3 billion debt. A relieved looking CEO David Gyngell emerged from a meeting with creditors in Sydney to aunderstand no the Nine Network is now debt free. He told reporters they have a fully capitalised business. Nine owed $2.3 billion to US hedge funds and a further $1 billion to investment bank Goldman Sachs. US President Barack Obama has gone on the attack in his make or break second debate against pep pep challenger Mitt Romney. The President -- repup kan challenger mid. They had a number of pointed exchanges during the 90 minute debate as they challenged each other on energy policy, immigration and taxes. With just three weeks to go before election day, the polls suggests the candidates are neck and neck. Many Americans are already casting ballots in States with early voting. Former Guantanamo Bay detainee, David Hicks, may try to overturn his US conviction for supporting terrorism. And seek compensation from the Australian Government following a landmark court decision in the United States. The former driver for Osama bin Laden has had his conviction thrown out after the US appeals court ruled the charge was unlawfully applied retrospectively. Hicks said he always believed the conviction was doubtful and should be thrown out. Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has hit back at claims he is a coward for failing to raise histoback policy directly with the Indonesian President. Meantime, Prime Minister Julia Gillard is preparing to wrap up her three day trip to India with her final day to be expected to be dominated by talks on uranium. Ms Gillard will also meet with India's leaders and is expected to outline the country's importance to Australia. Thieves have pulled off a major art hifet in the Netherlands stealing seven master pieces, priceless works by Picasso, Matisse and Monet are among those pieces taken by the Rotterdam mu ooem in the middle of the night. The art had just gone on display to celebrate the museum's 20th anniversary. And in sport, Socceroos coach Holger Osieck says he is confident that Australia will qualify for the 2014 World Cup after beating Iraq this morning. The I remarkies scored first before goals to Tim Cahill and Archie Thompson helped Australia to a 2-1 win.

This is PM Agenda. Lawyers for David Hicks are exploring his legal options after the US appeals court found the charge he was convicted of could not be applied retrospectively. This was in a separate case but the same charge involving Osama bin Laden's former driver. For his reaction, I spoke to Hicks' former US lawyer Dan Mori from Melbourne earlier in the day. Well, I think at this point, clearly the conviction and the charge upon which his conviction is based has been declared by a US Federal Court to be an invalid charge. We are going to have to wait and see what the Government does, whether it appeals or not to the US Supreme Court before any next decision can be made on what his lawyers decide to do for him. Didn't he agree, as part of his plea deal, not to challenge or lodge any appeals? Doesn't that preclude him from seeking a similar ruling? Well, you know, part of this is he didn't have to seek this, it was done by someone else. There is only three people that were actually convicted under the military commission Act of 2006. Salim Ahmed Hamdan, who in this case was found in this case to be invalid and the third person who is convicted of some other offences, but clearly, the precedent of this Federal Court decision is that the conviction for which he was held responsible at Guantanamo Bay is not a valid charge. But when you say he might not have to appeal, what are you envisaging as a possible scenario that could see his conviction quashed? Well, you know, unfortunately, this has never been done before, these military commissions haven't been used in 60 years. So the fact that the US appeals court has found it invalid should automatically invalidate the two convictions also dealing with other people for this offence. The ruling shouldn't necessarily be anything practical that needs to be done. Really, the question is is why he was left there to be tried in a system that there were so many warnings and so many people complaining about was not a proper charge. But just to clarify: you would disagree with the US military prosecutor, Morris Davis, who you went up against in the Guantanamo Bay commission who says that David Hicks now faces a catch-22, given he wavered his right to challenge the conviction? Absolutely. Everything that dealt with that plea agreement was just a matter, the goal was getting David out, he had no real decisions down there at Guantanamo Bay, he was told if you sign this, you can go home to Australia in 60 days. That was it. There was no decision for him. He needed to get out of there. He had been held for almost five years in an unfair system being tried before a system that violated and was based on made-up charges in today's decision, only validates our concern for the invalidity of the whole system. The same person who was praising this charge and saying it was a valid defence seven years ago has now switched courses now that he is on the losing side. Many in Australia would still have problems with the activities that David Hicks engaged in. Are we seeing him cleared or potentially cleared in legal terms but not so in moral terms? You know, he has written a book about what he did, you know, people need to read it, judge for themselves on the moral side. I don't think anyone's ever stood up and said he has made the best life choices in doing what he did. For me as a lawyer and looking at how US stood up for its citizens and the British Government stood up for British citizens and found this system unappropriate for their citizens, I didn't think it was appropriate for an Australian citizen to go through a made up charge, and this has confirmed my concern of mine. You alluded to this a bit earlier in the interview, but can we expect the US Government to lodge an appeal in the Supreme Court? I think they are going to have to make a decision. There is only a few cases that deal with the military commission Act of 2006. So whether or not they will tactically do that, I don't know. There is a similar offence under the military commission Act of 2009 that came into power after Obama was elected President and made changes to it. There is a similar type of offence. So I think we are going to be going back and studying both of the Acts and determine whether they need to appeal or whether they need to move on and operate under the 2009 Act. Because there could be implecases here for trials against some of the -- implecases here for against some of the bigger detainees. Absolutely. That is the real concern is you've got some people now, who is actually accused of doing some serious harm to the United States and Australians and being responsible for September 11, is serious allegations that need to be held accountable in a fair and just system. And right now, this raises the question of the validity of some of the charges, especially when you are looking at applying the military commission Act conduct that occurred before that was created and you deal with that whole retrospective issue. You have been critical of the former Government not standing up for David Hicks like the British Government did with its citizens. Tony Abbott, the Opposition Leader, was asked about it and he said this is a matter for the US legal system to manage. What do you make of that? Well, you know look, I didn't go back to the five years when this was going on, it didn't bother me that the Australian Government didn't listen to the defence lawyers, I expect them to dismiss them, but when you have the Law Council of Australia, you have experts throughout Australia that are saying this charge is retrospective and is not valid and you've got the former judge advocate for the defence forces telling them this and they ignore it, that seems to be a systemic problem and now it's just been confirmed again by the US Government, or the US appellate court system, I don't think you can wash your hands of responsibility to your citizens. US doesn't do it and neither does the UK. Finally, what do you think David Hicks's response will be to this? Has he simply moved on or will this provide some vindication for him? Look, you know as a lawyer, sometimes you're a little bit detached because you're not the person that is the subject of what's going on. I think for himself, his family, that have, you know been subjected to this unfair process, you need some recognition that he was treated unfairly and I think this is a step in that right direction. What actions he can take and what other things he needs to really put closure to this is going to be up to him and the people supporting him. I appreciate your time today. Thanks very much. Thank you. Let's change focus now and look at the second presidential election in the United States. Sky News political editor David Speers is in Washington DV. I -- DC. I spoke to him a bit earlier for the assessment of today's debate. David Speers, thanks for your time. It looked like from afar that Barack Obama from the first answer was a different person tonight. He had a big spring in his step, no doubt about that and he did come out swinging as he flagged he would right from the get-go. The initial exchange over whether a young man would have a job in 2014 after graduating, he was on the attack against Mitt Romney's plans articulating his own plans far more clearly. Mitt Romney was no slouch, he didn't lose by a big margin on this or the rest of the exchanges. But he was facing a very different competitor in President Obama. A different format which explains a lot of it. The President didn't have his head buried in a lecturn, there were none, he was free to roam the stage answering the questions of undecided voters and he looked a whole lot more comfortable. The second exchange came over energy and gas prices as we know petrol price is always a big political issue in Australia, no different here, but have a look at this exchange, this is when the first fireworks went off between Barack Obama provoking Mitt Romney who then fired back. That's not what you've done in the last four years. That's the problem. In the last four years, you cut permits and licences on federal land and federal waters in half. Not true Governor Romney. So how much did you cut them by then? We have actually produced more oil...No, no, how much did you cut? Governor Romney, here's what we did. There were a whole bunch of...I Had a question and the question was how much did you cut them by? You want me to answer them, I'm happy to answer the question. And it is? Here's what happened. You had a whole bunch of oil companies who had leases on public lands that they weren't using. So what we said was you can't just sit on this for 10, 20, 30 years, decide when you want to drill, when you want to produce, when it's most profitable for you. These are public lands. So if you want to drill on public lands, you use it, or you lose it and so what we did was take away those leases an we are now reletting them so that we can actually make a profit. And production on Government land? And production is up. Production on Government land is down 14% and production on gas is down 9%. It's just not true. It's absolutely true. And David t did look like both of the leaders at various times, both contenders, got quite aggressive and muscled up, so to speak. That was one example of it. Another was over, well, Mitt Romney's investment record. He said a couple of times, as he has been saying ad nauseam throughout this campaign, that he will crack down on China, he will get tough on China, he is talking about what he has called China's cheating when it comes to trade and currency manipulation. Well, Barack Obama highlighted the fact that Mitt Romney has invested in China over the years, quite heavily and Governor Romney fired back with this. Any investments I have over the last eight years have been managed by a blind trust and I understand they do include investments outside the United States, including in Chinese companies. Mr President, have you looked at your pension? I've got to say...Have you looked at your pension? You know, I don't look at my pension. It's not as big as yours, so it doesn't take as long. Let me give you some advice. And David, Mitt Romney really did generate a lot of momentum off that first debate. You have given this debate to Barack Obama, although more narrowly than the first result and we all now need to wait and see what the polls say, whether or not that momentum will be slowed. Yeah, well look, the polls are hard to predict but I think this clearly will give Barack Obama a helping hand. He can't go any worse than he did after that first debate which was a clear Romney victory. This one wasn't quite as clear. I don't think the margin was quite as wide but I have to give this to Barack Obama personally and I've seen tonight too a poll, CBS poll, on some 500 undecided voters watching the debate. They have given this to Barack Obama as well. Look, he needed to halt the momentum that's been going Mitt Romney's way. He needed to convince the democrat base that he's got what it takes, he has got the fire in the belly, that he wants this second term. I think showing tonight that he wanted to be there, wanted to engage with the questions and wanted to take on Mitt Romney has given a lot of heart to dem krats out there. But look, Republicans want be too disappointed with Mitt Romney's performance. On the lack of an agenda for the second term, he didn't do too badly but it is just that Barack Obama did a whole lot better than he did two weeks ago. David Speers in Washington, I know it is getting late there, I appreciate you staying up for me. Thanks mate. From the US presidential race to the ACT election that is this coming Saturday, after the break, the Chief Minister is my guest.

P Welcome back to PM Agenda. The ACT election is this coming Saturday. Earlier in the day, I spoke to the ACT Chief Minister, I will be speaking to the Opposition Leader tomorrow and I began with Katie today, asking about a poll released by 'The Canberra Times' today that shows she is the preferred Chief Minister, 54-26, and whether she is encouraged by that a couple of days out from the vote. Yeah, encouraging. I mean, I have worked pretty hard so it's nice to see there's a level of support there but I guess the real test will come on Saturday, that's when the votes will be in, that's when they will be counted and that's where we will see whether people support my leadership. When they break down the issues in 'The Canberra Times' poll today, it looks like education and health particularly are going to be the issues that people are voting on. Has the ALP campaign misfired in that sense in targeting the Liberals over potential public servants cuts when you should have had your attention elsewhere? We have campaigned on education, health and jobs, they have been our areas of focus. So in that sense, I think the Labor Party has really target the our message because we know it is what makes the difference to people on the ground, where the kids go to school, when you are sick, you go to hospital but I think we have been running a campaign around jobs but also how we grow and create jobs and I would say and argue that we have focussed our message on the things that matter. In terms of the advertising though and the recent focus in the last few weeks, it seems to have been dominated fwha fear campaign over public service cuts. We have certainly responded to some negative campaigning from the Liberals, I think campaigns have to do that, you have to be flexible and respond to issues as they arise during the campaign but our focus very much has been on a positive campaign but we are seeing job cuts right around the country when Liberal Governments get elect and we know this is a public service town that supports private sector employment, so it's a massive issue here if we have got people wanting to campaign on job cuts, to actually have some defence to that. It shows that 9% of people will be thinking about the rates issue. That's a big one because with your change to stamp duty, phasing out stamp duty, you have increased rates and will continue to increase rates over coming years, is that an issue of trust as well, because you didn't seek a mandate before introducing that. We went through about two years of consultations of tax reform, we have introduced the first five years of that and outlined very detailed plans but it is a much longer change, this tax reform, it is over a 20 year period, so there is much more to do, so I guess we have been trying to get the message out, we are collecting any more money or revenue, we are changing the way we collect it and hopefully trying to make it a fairer system so that people on lower incomes or lower valued blocks are paying a fairer share of their contributions to ACT kofers and I think that is very in line with Labor Party policy. But you still still didn't get a mandate for it. Every year, Governments make changes to their revenue base. That's happened in every budget I can think where you look at whether you lower things or raise certain taxes. This year we have changed the way we sort of take the same amount of money and so there is changes but I've been involved in budget decisions where we have done that, Federal Government, State and Territory Governments do that all the time where they change how they collect money. I don't think you necessarily need to go to an election over that but we are certainly going to be judged on that this week end. It looks like 6 or so per cent of people, according to this poll, suggests that Labor voters are saying they will be thinking about that, in a close election, it could be damaging. We are focussing on what the right thing to do is, reform is tough, when you do embark on these reform journeys, but we have also got our view much longer the next four years, we want to make sure that when kids are wanting to buy houses in 15-20 years time, that they are not having to borrow for stamp duty, not having those large lumpy tax that make housing unaffordable so this is a long-term reform agenda, we have outlined the first five years and we are going to remain committed to seeing that tax reform through. What do you say to people who have just spent money on stamp duty, they are going to have to still cop the increased rates? That's why you do it over 20 years. It's very hard to change the way you collect taxes without affecting some. But that's why we have taken the view that we shouldn't do it immediately, we shouldn't just stop stamp duty in one year or two years time, that you do it over 20 years so that you are much smoother in how you affect individual house holds and yes, it is going to take a long time to do it, but it's a fair way to do it to stop those unfair impacts on certain house holds. And if you are successful at the week end, do you think that there are any federal issues at play in this election? Look, I think the major federal issue is around public sector employment really because I think that's the one that has come up, it is the one that people worry about and it's the one people have lived through before when you have got Federal Governments of either colour talking about federal job cuts, that is the one that matters here. But in terms of a federal implecases outside of that, I wouldn't see any. Thank you very much for your time ahead of Saturday's election. Appreciate it. Thank you very much. And coming up, I will be - or tomorrow, I will be speaking to the Opposition Leader here in the ACT and in the news in just a few moments, we will be crossing live to New Delhi, the Prime Minister meeting with the Indian Prime Minister a bit later but it hasn't gone completely smoothly for Prime Minister Julia Gillard today. She was holding a news conference there with the gathered media and the heels got caught in a fairly muddy piece of ground there in the Indian capital and the Prime Minister fell over. We will have those pictures for you. I thought we had them for you now. We don't. We will take a quick break and have them for you in just a moment. We will take a quick break and the news is next. Live Captioning by Ai-Media