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Hello also to the program. Today that other leadership transition this week, of enormous significance to Australia and the world. China's 18th national Congress of the Communist Party has opened in Beijing, the week long event will pick the next generation of leaders in China. Joining me to discuss that, the former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd is my guest this afternoon on PM Agenda.Also, after President Obama's win yesterday, I will be talking to his friend, the US Ambassador to Australia, bleach and we will be checking -- bleach bliech and -- Jeffrey Bleish and we will also check in with David Speers. The Government's energy white paper will it achieve the political compromise it needs to have any significance I will be talking to the shadow Energy Minister Ian McFarlane. First the news headlines with Susanne Latimore.The energy white paper kicks off the headlines this hour, the Energy Minister, Martin Ferguson used a speech in Melbourne to outline how the Government plans to tackle rising power bills. Developing a truly national approach to our energy markets.Markets underpinned by consistent regulation across the country, that create a level playing field that stimulates competition innovation and consumer choice. It wasn't all plain sailing for the minister though, he was interrupted by demonstrators.I would like to say thank you Mr Ferguson for being an excellent bucket...Don't worry about that.It is good to see our hard earns taxpayer dollars educating the future generation so we can take our economy forward. US President Barack Obama has returned to the White House after being voted back in for four more years after all of the celebrations and the victory party he now has to resume battle with the two houses of Congress, but by two different parties. Restored to the White House a President with a mandate for four more years.Barack Obama flew back from Chicago over a deeply divided country into a capital in political gridlock.But he has now won himself a second chance. I believe we can seize this future together. Because we are not as divided as our politics suggest. It's been a brutal war of attrition. Over now at what cost.This was the moment Barack Obama and his vice president knew they had won.The toll these months have taken etched on their faces. A defeated Mitt Romney was the first to address supporters.'Dream shared with his father bof him is now shattered.-- before him is now shattered. Six years of effort, thousands of air miles day after grinding day of rallies and speeches. $1 billion spent in the end all for nothing.Republicans must now work out what went wrong. Obama mania had returned. But this was difficult to fore years ago. Then it was excitement at the making of history. This time the overwhelming feeling seemed relief. Barack Obama has come back from the brink as dramatic a victory as his first but far narrower.He has another four years to secure a legacy against formidable odds. Americans expect a divided congress and re-elected President to work together now. And to deliver. Qantas is shedding hundreds more staff as the airline continues restructuring its engineering departments.Sky News reporter Loretta Johns has the details.Qantas says axing 500 engineering jobs mostly from bases at Avalon in Victoria and in Sydney. The cuts in Victoria are to engineers who have been recon figger the airlines remaining Boeingle had recon figging the airlines remaining bowing 747 aircraft. -- they were told the work will be finishing at the end of the month. Qantas's previously announced jobs would be lost as it consolidates its heavy maintenance bases from two to one.Unions have blasted the move, the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union says ultimately the decision is an attempt to cut corners, while the Australian licensed aircraft engineers association says staffing at the airline is becoming dangerous. It's very disappointing. We have had a growing list of errors developing on the aircraft due to poor maintenance in recent times and they will address that by sacking more staff.Qantas said aviation is an extraordinarily competitive industry and they have the added pressures of the high Australian dollar.It is understood 500 positions will go from Victoria and Sydney, 120 new job also be created in Qantas in Brisbane. Depiet the bad news for Qantas workers the latest jobs figures show the national unemployment rate remains steady in October. Most economists had expected a slight rise but the jobless rate stayed put at 5.4%. More than 10,000 now jobs were created, that's about double what analysts were forecasts. It's not all good news the participate -- participation rate has come no slightly slower than expected. -- lower than expected.Police revealed a 16-year-old girl was driving a stolen car when it crashed into a brick wall killing three and injuries three others. The teenagers were aged between 12 and 16 when the driver lost control in Coolaroo in Melbourne's north. The driver, a 12-year-old boy and 14-year-old girl all died at the scene.As to why the driver lost control given the age it could be genuine inexperience, travelling at speed. Who knows what was going on in the vehicle at the time.She could have been knocked, people moving around, I don't know. That's all conjecture at this stage.Three other passengers remain in hospital, one in a critical condition. Police in the Northern Territory are pleading with people to take care on the roads after a collision near Darwin killed three people. Police say a taxi collided with a cement truck after attempting a U-turn, on Tiger Brennan Drive at Hidden Valley. The taxi was push add long the road before being crushed by the truck. The driver and two passengers were killed instantly.-- At this stage what appears to be a preventible crash and result three people dead who will not be with their families at Christmas time.The driver of the cement truck has been taken to hospital suffering shock. Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall are in Tasmania today as part of their Australian tour.Sky News national affairs correspond Celina Edmonds has been following the royal couple, and all of the details of the day's events.

The Prince of Wales has been here at Leenavale Sheep Stud near Sorelle in Tasmania. He's had a sheep shearing demonstration, got in amongst the sheep in the yards and this is all part of the campaign for wool. Of which he is a patron. That campaign now spreads across 12 countries. Earlier in the day the Prince and Duchess of Cornwall were at Richmond. There they were greeted by hundreds of people, had a performance by one of the local school choirs. Met with wood crafters and met with the proirp of the Richmond Arms.From here the Prince is going into Hobart, he will visit the Australian an tart tick division and then later -- an tar tick division and then they will be the special guests at Diamond Jubilee reception at Princess Wharf. The Greek parliament has approved a new series of austerity measures including tax increases and budget cuts. Earlier violent protests flaired in the capital as tens of thousands of Greeks took to the streets to protest.Parliament has passed the deep new spending cuts necessary to qualify for the next instalment of bail-out aid and the reforms slash public sector pensions scrap holiday bonuses and raise the retirement age by two years to 67. Chz China as President has opened the 18th congress of the xhairt in Beijing marking the beginning -- the Communist Party in Beijing. At the end of the process a new leader will be announced who will be set to rule the country for the next 10 years. This is how China the world's most populist nation picks its leaders. The outgoing President Hu Jintao and his inner circle are being paraded at the start of a highly choreographed power transition which will culminate in a few days time with Sh irk Jin Peng replacing him. The backdrop is the ironically named hall of the people, yet those on stage have had a say in who will run this vast country. The Communist Party decides top jobs amongst itself. In China power is in the hands of the party elite not the people. Chairman Mau declared the birth of nation in 1949. China now stands on the edge of economic super power status but the Communist Party rules the nation of 1.3 billion with an iron grip. Political opposition is forbidden. Hu Jintao leaves the top job as China faces some of its most difficult challenges.Amongst them, trying to keep a lid on the secrets of the party and its personalities. One thing is sure, not much more is known about Hu Jintao now than the day he came to office. The weather forecast for tomorrow:

Now back to Kieran Gilbert in Canberra and PM Agenda. Thank you very much. Joining me after the break to discuss that leadership transition in China, the former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd will be my guest.

This is PM Agenda. Thank you very much for your company. The 18th national Congress of the China's Communist Party has opened in Beijing the week long event will pick the next generation of Chinese leaders. What is this significance to Australia? What should we expect under the new leadership? Joining me to discuss and explore this issue and other issues of the day the former Prime Minister and member for Griffith Kevin Rudd in Brisbane. Thanks for your tomb. The Chinese President -- time. The China ease President Hu Jintao address at the opening Congress, warned the top officials of the country no-one is above the law. How significant is that message do you think particularly off the back of the scandal around the disgraced politician Bo Xi LainI think what President Hu Jintao is pointing to is two things. A general concern about the future legitimacy of the Communist Party which has been eaten away by corruption over time, and secondly quite specific message you have just returned to, and that is a former member of party himself, appears to about to be endieted on a series of charges.So, I think it's got that double message, and it's a shot across the bails to the entire show.That's the Bo Xi Lai scandal some analysts believe the way it's been handled rather than internally the fact it's gone through a more open process through the courts it might signal the Communist Party moving at least in some way towards embracing the rule of law.Do you share that optimism?Well China has to head in that direction for two sets of reasons.One, its own people are increasingly demanding that, and secondly, in terms of China's shall I say non-state economic actors whether it is private companies within China itself or international corporates. For them to continue to have confidence in the system you must have the beginnings of the independence of the legal system. So these are the two big push factors at the moment. China has been talking about the rule by law and not by men for the last 20 or 30 years, and there has been a fair bit of progress compared when I was first sent to the country to work nearly 30 years ago.But if you are on a richter scale of 1 to 10 maybe they have got to 0.4 on this one. Still a ways to go.As the economy continues to grow you eluded in that answer, but social justice and equity is an issue.Do you think the Communist Party is sufficiently cognisant of that?Very much so. If you were standing back from the cut and thrust of day-to-day Chinese politics where does the continued legitimacy of the Chinese Communist Party in a one party state continue to lie? One is continuing to deliver the economic goods, that is rising living standards, lifting people out of poverty, and doing some for those who are actually not the direct beneficiaries of the reform and modernisation process and the second pillar of ledge it massy since the death of ideology, the death of maxism is Chinese nationalist. We see those things at play. On the equity front, part of the economic pillar of legitimacy they know it is not just about creating an increasingly affluent Chinese middle class of some hundreds of millions of people it's about those who are yet to be lifted out of poverty at all, particularly in the western part of the country. In terms of that nationalism point you referred to we are seeing this, once in a decade transition in China, would you expect any major foreign policy shift under Xe Jinping and the premier Le Ku Chung from the Hu Jintao era. Should we anticipate a more assertive China for example?If we look at the personalities likely to make up the standing committee, the pollit bureau, this could be a 7 member body, it is the closest China comes to the equivalent of our cabinet system of government. The composition of this stand ing committee I think is likely to be solidly reformist. In the sense challenge is the further reform of the economy, the current Chinese growth model is running out of juice, they know that, they recognise that, it's in their most recent five year plan but they have to implement a new growth model which will be painful and it involves a larger role for the Chinese private sector and for domestic consumption. That's where the big emphasis will be to start with.Given that is the emphasis for the next five years they will want to maintain strategic stability in east Asia.And this is where you have obviously some tensions.Because maintaining China's claim in terms of its territorial claims in the South China Sea and east China sea on the one hand against other countries in the region on the other and maintaining broad strategic stability is going to be a real challenge but that I believe is the core agenda where we ourselves as Australia in the region, together with the US and other friends and partners, need to work with the Chinese and developing a rules-based order for security in east Asia. To prevent conflict by miscalculation in particular.President Obama on to another but related issue secured a second term, obviously in the US you would welcome that and does the stability in the White House in your view make you more optimistic about relations with China but not just China, other international problems that remain unresolved? Personally I'm delighted to see Barack Obama return to the White House. He's a good guy.And he's - he knows Australia, he likes Australia, and Australians like him.But on the core questions of policy, in terms of our own interests, remember he's presided over the rebalance of US force posture to ensure a globally shrinking US military force still maintains its current deployment strength in Asia in the Pacific and secondly this is very important, the US is joined regional diplomatic ins stuctions, namely the -- institutions namely the east Asian summit with support from us to get them around the table with the Chinese to kash out a rules base the security order for Asia to prevent conflict and warily accident. With his re-election he knows China, there won't be a learning curve with Xe Jinping coming in who spent a fair bit of time in the US and with the Americans over the last five years there is a good opportunity to embark upon what I describe elsewhere as a new strategic road map for US-China relations for the next five years.And across the world I think that should be to our advantage as well. Beyond the avoiding the fiscal cliff as it's described, what do you see looming as the major challenges for President Obama second term in office? Well, if you take the long view of the global financial crisis, and where it's takens all over the last five years we have come from a time when as you know we in Australia had to desisively intervene through fiscal stimulus to prevent this economy from rolling across our own cliff way back then and we have done so successfully and we are one of the few countries in the world, developed countries not to be plunged into recession or mass unemployment. Now, of course the consequence of this global recession across the rest of the world has been the countries like the US, found themselves in all sorts of difficult difficulty and the US given the nature of their Congress finds itself in now an impasse about tax cuts, about tax increases and about what to do on the expenditure side as well.If they don't fix this at a political level you will see a massive knock-on effect as you know to US GDP, perhaps in the order of 5%, plunging their economy into recession with huge implications for the rest of us which is why I believe commonsense will prevail. And finally, you have boosted your profile recently, in the media. Far be it for me to be critical of that, we encourage people politicians and senior politicians like yourself appearing on television shows and radio and so on so good on you for that there should be more of it but should we read into the fact you are lifting your profile recently?Other than you guys being a little bit underemployed no nothing at all., Kieran how many times has this program asked me on in the last month do you reckon? Seven, eight, nine, 10?Times and this is the only win I have eptEd and I accept -- accepted and I accept maybe 10% of the media invitation s I receive to speak out, and the reason I choose to speak out on days like this because I'm passionate about our future relationship with China, and China's future relationship with the US.This is one of the four or five big challenges for us for the next 10 years.And I think there is a loyal for us in the middle of this and -- a role for us in the middle of this and I will continue to advocate for that and other areas where I have passionate views about the country's future or about my own community's future here in the southern suburbs of Brisbane.You will be undertaking a regular spot with Neil Mitchell on 3 AW he checkly compared it to the fireside chats of one of your predecessors who familly returned for a successful stint at the -- famously returned for a stint at the top job. Is that how it should be seen?I don't think I have Bob Menzies ideology or eyebrows. That's how I answer that question.As you said, whenever the invitations come up I will evaporate them and if I think I have -- evaluate them, if I have something I believe is useful to say, on China, climate change as well as the global financial crisis or I have done a bit over the years and still have I think a contribution to make in the policy debate, but on national questions like reconciliation and closing the gap with indigenous people, and the local stuff where frankly here in Queensland my community suffers hugely from the impact of the Liberal National Party's Government decide to slash and burn basic public services. These things you will hear my voice up there, as often as I judge it to be useful. And so don't read into it mate, and I'm not about to grow bushy eyebrows.Thanks very much and thanks for accepting this one of as you say dozens of requests. Appreciate it.Thanks very much.A quick break and I will be back and my guest after the break, the US Ambassador Jeffrey Bleish.

This is PM Agenda. Thanks for your company. In a moment David Speers with his wrap of the US election. I will be chatting to the US Ambassador as well Jeffrey Bleich at the re-election of his friend President Barack Obama help first the latest news headlines with Susanne Latimore in the Sky News centre.

Energy Minister Martin Ferguson has used a speech in Melbourne today to unveil the Government's plans to tackle rising power bills.The federal government will encourage the states to embark on bold electricity reforms including deregulating their energy markets.The white paper will include charging more for using power at peak times and new technologies to help struggling households manage the bills. Opposition Leader Tony Abbott said the white paper has come three years too late. The Prime Minister has announced that Australia will boost aid to promote regionat peace and democracy in in Indonesia. Julia Gillard is co-chairing the democracy forum in Bali at the invitation of the Indonesian President. Speaking on the first day of the forum the PM said funding for the institute for peace and democracy, will be increased to $1.75 million over the next two years. From $800,000 already provided since 2008. The re-elected US President Barack Obama has arrived back in Washington where he faces a looming financial crisis. The President must deal with a bitterly divided congress in a political stalemate over the increasing budget deficit. Sh President Obama used his victory speech to call for unity within the country. With the economy still weak and almost 23 million people without work he's facing many of the same challenges as before the election.Qantas has announced hundreds of job cuts across Sydney and Victoria.The airline says some job losses are due to overstaffing as maintenance work is finished.On cabin interiors at Sydney Airport. The restructure will see a reduction of about 150 full-time staff and 250 contractors despite the bad news the latest national jobs figures show the unemployment rate held at 5.4% in October. But the number of people in employment rising by 10700. Three teenager are dead and a fourth is fighting for life in hospital after a high speed crash in Melbourne's north. Police have revealed a 16-year-old girl was driving the stolen Toyota Camry. When it crashed into a wall at Coolaroo near Broadmeadows. In the meantime a collision near Darwin has killed three people. In sports news Ricky Ponting will play in the first test between Ausand South Africa, the veteran batsman put his hamstring to the test this morning at the Gabba before being all clear to play in the series opener.Tomorrow's weather:

As Suzanne mentioned the US President Barack Obama and his family are back in Washington at the White House after he successfully secured a second term in office. To look at the result and its implication s I spoke to Sky News political editor David Speers earlier in the day. David first of all let's start with the result and Barack Obama did it fairly easily in the end.Well, yes he did.Overall voter turnout was down on four years ago, and Barack Obama's proportion of the vote was also down, I don't think any of that is surprising given the excitement and energy around his first election win four years ago and the weakness of the economy since then. Nonetheless he won the national popular vote over Mitt Romney and more importantly he won handsomely in the battleground states.A lot of the states we have been talking about so much for the last few weeks Ohio, Iowa, New Hampshire, Colorado he won them all. He lost two to Indiana and north Carolina. The battleground states are areas where the Republicans should be winning and are not. They have been returned now twice for Democrats so yes it was in the comfortable win in the electoral college count.The biggest challenge to start his second term was breaking that deadlock off the deficit and there are some encourage ing signs early on.This is absolutely his number one challenge. If there is no break in the deadlock then the so called fiscal cliff will hit at the start of next year.What that is, is a mechanism that Congress has agreed to, that if they can't reach agreement on tackle ing the budget deficit the fiscal cliff will hit, it will mean enforced deep spending cuts and tax increases to rein in this budget deficit. To severe will they be that economist as agree they are likely to tip this country back into recession. So no-one wants to see that and the President certainly doesn't want that at the start of his second term. He signalled in his victory speech last night he wants an end to the partisan divide, he's willing to talk to the Republicans reach across the aisle, he got off stage from that victory speech in Chicago and made some calls to Republican congressional leaders they were asleep in the early hours of of the morning but he did manage to talk to them today. We heard from John Bayner the Republican Speaker of the House, saying that yes he too is willing to compromise now, he too wants to do the right thing by the American people and the American economy, and specifically he said that they are willing, the Republicans are willing to see revenues increase through tax reform.Now, the Republicans have been saying all year they will not support a tax increase on the rich, that Obama has been demanding, now saying they are willing to see revenues rise through tax reform. That may not mean a tax increase, he might be talking about closing tax loopholes, but it does sound more positive. Now the stock market clearly not terribly optimistic about the chances here of a breakthrough given we have seen the same Congress and same President returned in the election. The market went down more than 300 points today, the biggest fall all year. Now, what about the Republicans, the soul searching is already under way isn't it?Yes, it is under way.How do they manage to lose an election when unemployment is hovering around 8%, has been all year, when the growth rate's so flat. The economy, is front and centre and this campaign, and most campaigns, why didn't Mitt Romney win?Well, I think you have got to look at the social policy areas.And a few in particular.Immigration, we have seen the Republicans take a very hard line approach there, clearly this has cost them votes amongst the Hispanic community.Now, the Hispanic vote is growing vote. A growing demographic here in the US. And yet the Republicans share of it has gone down and down and down.It was 44% under George Bush, then went down to 31% under John McCain came in at 27% for Mitt Romney last night so this is an area they have to do something about.Also the female vote went strongly to Obama again.I think that might have something to do the hard line abortion position of some Republican candidates and members of Congress.Turning off women and hurting Mitt Romney in that det graphic. I think young voters too have gone strongly for Obama again, perhaps the Republicans position on climate change, gay marriage these sort of social policy areas, may also be costing them. So yes, there is a lot of soul searches under way already, a lot of speculation about whether the Tea Party has too much influence, how to reduce that, how to get the party back into the centre, back into the mainstream. To to become a party of government once again.Finally, David as you wrap up in Washington, you have been there for over a month now, what are your lasting impressions of this campaign?Well, it's always fascinating to cover a US political campaign. Presidential campaign. It's been a privilege to do so. The scale of these political contests are so huge, you capital help but be in awe of aspects of it but I have to say, there are also some very disappointing aspects of it too from an Australian perspectiveFor starter the the sheer amount of money blown on the campaign, more than $2 billion in total through the course of this year, it's a staggering sum and so much of it on these negative TV ads have just been running wall to wall, fortunately they are all now over but it does again show that negative politicians and negative advertising works, sadly, that's why both sides of politicians here in the US have relied on it so heavily during the course of this election year.I think one of the other takeouts has been the impact of the debates. There has been a lot of commentary here and I know back in Australia as well about how great these debates were, and yes they were turning points. No doubt about it in this campaign, but it is a very different political system. The two leaders here don't face each other in a parliamentary contest.And they don't do the sort of regular hard-hitting television and radio interviews that our political leaders do in Australia. So these debates were a rare opportunity to see them going head-to-head and see them getting some tough questions. That's why I think they stood out so much in this campaign.The other thing, you have got to take out of this, is as Barack Obama said in his victory speech, the extraordinary skill of his campaign team on the ground, I think there are lessons for both sides of politics back in Australia about the need for grass roots operations that can really do so much more than the mainstream media messaging can do, this vast army that Obama has had in place now for two elections in a row really does deserve a huge amount of credit and I think political tacticians will be taking many lessons from what they have done here.David Speers a fine job as always over there in Washington. Thanks very much. And we will see you soon. Appreciate it. Now for more on the US election I spoke to the US Ambassador Jeffrey Bleich, from his residence here in Canberra. Thanks for your time. First of all can I say, congratulations you are a good friend of President Obama's it must have been a fair bit of relief yesterday?Thanks very much. You know it's always good to have a election over with. It's a long, or deal for American voters and a lot of work by the politicians. And a lot of work by the candidates and it's just good to see that no matter how hard fought these things are we always seem to come together at the end so now we move forward together, there are no tankses in the extremes today and it is just one of the great symbols and moments in a democracy. The President in his acceptance speech was very much talking about the need to go together, unify the US, and to move on I suppose from the partisanship, the bitter campaigning we have seen in the last few months.The first big test is the fiscal cliff, trying to avoid that, are you encouraged by the signs that we have seen from the House majority leader at this stage?No, you know I think the President was very clear that he intends to work on a bipartisan basis, to work across the aisle to solve our problems together. The fiscal cliff, is actually something that both sides of Congress created together and that they have set up for themselves as a way of forcing them to make some hard choices. Drats and Republicans alike. And I -- Democrats and Republicans alike and I think now is the time for both sides to step back and seriously ponder how to accomplish the common growls.I don't see any sigh -- goals.I don't see any signs on any side that give me pause, if anything I want to have a sober quiet thoughtful internal process as both sides work together to address both the establishing a budget and establishing one that begins to lower our deficit.That's obviously the first priority on the President's agenda for the second term. As we look ahead, what do you see as some of his other key priorities of the second Obama administration performI think the once you get through the fiscal cliff, then there is a tremendous opportunity for the American economy to take off.We are very primed for a stronger and better recovery.There are a number of factors that you look at. One is we have more cash in the bank than we have ever had since the 1950s, we have got about $2.7 trillion in capital being held by private companies. Just waiting for a signal that the coast is clear to glin invest again and I think once -- again and I think once you see that agreement on Capitol Hill that is the signal everyone is waiting for. You have the cheapest national gas prices in the world, only about $2 a unit in the US and that's radiating across our economy because it is tremendous opportunities. Competitiveness. We are adding new manufacturing jobs.We have the most productive work force we have had in decades and in fact when you look at competitiveness indexes, the US is number two in the world right now.So, for all these reasons I think the economy will be a second and critical priority after you get through the budget deficit and then the President has a big, bold and broad agenda as he indicated, in last night's acceptance speech. In terms of the Republicans, their soul searching has already begun, what are the implications do you think for that party, and for the Tea Party component of the conserve sif side of politicses in the US?It was a very close and hard fought election and I think there were a number of close states, close votes and there will be some analysing of what happened in the #1rid states and where things -- individual states and where things went right or wrong.More importantly I think there will be a overall looking at what the broader public, what the long term future of the US is looking for.It doesn't do you any good to win the last election, after it's over, what you need do is What does America's demographics look 4 years, 8 year, 20 years from now and what are the issues that will be of concern to Americans and how can we be on the right side of those and I expect both parties, even the Democrats, despite the fact that they won a few more seats and re-elect ed a President, will be trying to make the same judgments.As we look back at the election campaign there was one very pivotal moment which almost, many pundits thought it will cost the President the election, it certainly cost him a fair bit of momentum. That first debate. You must have been a bit worried at that time too as a good friend of the President?You know the first debate I think like many debates is not so much about what was actually said during the debate, but what people's expectations were. And I think people had expected the President to demonstrate wonderful oratorical skills in a style they have become accustomed too and as he said he was a little flat last night. The expectations had been set relatively low for Mitt Romney in part because many people hadn't seen him, who a very talented politician so seeing him as smooth and fluid and gaffe free as he was caused people to take a second look and re-evaluate and that's a good thing.What you want to see in priz deshl campaigns is that people have -- presidential campaigns is people have all the information. They are basing it on everything. People's best days and the worst days and making a judgment about who they want to lead the country and that's ultimately I think what the American electorate does and what it did last night. I guess it's been too early for you to have a chat to the President personally, but, as for your future, what should we expect now? Are you going to stay around for a few more years? What's the plan for ambassador bliesh and family?I have been in touch with the White House and I will be talking to the President soon.In terms of what I'm going to do, I have already said to him a long time ago I will do, I will serve my country and - in whatever way you think will best serve our nation's interests but I love Australia and it will be hard to ever leave this place.So I think my goal is to focus on his future, making sure that he can accomplish the goals he has and if he let's me stay I will be honoured to continue to serve in this role. I love it, if he would like me to serve some other place and thinks I can do sod good for our nation there, I will be very sad to leave but Australia's always going to be part of my thinking and the world.And so I will never really leave.I appreciate your time. Thanks so much for that and we will see you soon.Thanks Kieran and thank you for letting me come on. After the break we will take a look at the Government's energy white paper. I'm speaking to Ian McFa, rlane for his reaction.We will get across to Bali live and speak to Tom Connell for the latest of the Prime Minister's attendance at the democracy forum. A quick break and we will be right back. Eye

Thanks for being with us on PM Agenda. We will now look at the Government's energy white paper. It calls for greater deregulation of the industry. More use of smart metres and demand pricing.For reactions to it I spoke to the Opposition's shadow minister for energy and resources Ian McFarlane from his electorate in Toowoomba. I support the major content of the paper but it's three years too late. This paper should have been delivered three years ago and it's been titled a 2011 paper but it has been delivered in the shadow of 2013. The reality is there is no strategic path forward for the energy industry in Australia despite this white paper, simply because the white paper doesn't acknowledge the enormous impact of the carbon tax, the mining tax impacts on thirmal coal and the continued -- thermal coal and the continued politicalization of reform. The content is fine, the problem is when it gets passed the Government the government is complete ly incomp tent in terms of acting the things in it and we have seen no energy refoshl in the five years of this -- re the five years of this government and it's become an issue now because of electricity prices are spiral out of control in part because of the carbon tax.Can we look at the privatisation of electricity assets and deregulation, will you be getting in the ear of Campbell Newman and Barry O'Farrell for that matter and encouraging your LNP counterparts to go down this course?Well, this is just a back to the future paper. The reality is Coalition government under John Howard started this process and we encouraged privatisation and it's been a long hard road. But when we left Government in 2007 the Rudd then Gillard Governments simply dropped the ball on this issue, the Coalition has supported privatisation, since I was the Energy Minister and we will continue to do so. And I have had those discussions with Barry O'Farrell and I have had them with Campbell Newman, and I will continue to have them with other Energy Ministers around Australia.But in the end the thing that will bring about reform in this industry is cooperation between the Commonwealth and the state governments. We haven't seen that from this government yet, and they need to have the courage to make sure that they are working with the states but pushing them along where necessary. You are referring to the federal government, but what about the Newman Government it says it is yet to be convinced of the argument around privatisation, but Liberal Party philosophy as you say going back to the Howard Government, even beyond that, in general terms, is that the market is the most efficient way to deal with challenges like the energy markets. So what would you say to Campbell Newman on this issue?Well I'd would say to Campbell Newman as you have already said to him, that we need to move down the path to privatisation and he is not adverse to considering that. But he does have to give the voters of Queensland the opportunity to have their say on it. That was his commitment. I support the fact that he takes it back. That's a democratic process. But in the end the best thing for electricity consumers in Queensland is to get government out of the electricity market and out of electricity generation.The same in NSW, we have seen where privatisation in Victoria has delivered the lowest trand of transmission and distribution cost -- transmission and electricity costs in fact almost half of Queensland. So we need to keep this issue moving forward. It does require leadership from the Commonwealth government, that hasn't been there under the last five years, it was there under Howard Government and it will be under the Abbott Government.What about the issue of demand pricing and as a matter of fact meters.Do you support a greater use of those in order to empower consumers?Again the Howard Government were the ones who initiated this process and whilst the previous Labor Government in Victoria bungled the rollout of smart meters, Ted Baillieu and Michael O'Brien are now putting those pieces back together and rolling out smart meters.Used properly implemented properly, making sure of course there is a safety net for low income and welfare houses, that households that can stay on existing flat tariffs but used properly smart meters will deliver lower electricity bills, to households and small businesses in Australia.So we just need to keep rolling this forward. We need to keep the leadership out there. We need to explain how if you manage your energy consumption within a household away from peak times your electricity bill will actually go down, not up.It reduces the overall capacity demands on the network, I suppose and brings down the challenge of the gold plaiting of infrastructure that we have seen.And also less well off people subsidising the wealthy. Do you see it in that respect as well?Very much so. What we have at the moment is someone decides they will put a huge airconditioner in their house, spends $2,500 doing it. Everyone in the network will pay the $7,000, or 8,000 in terms of upgrade to the distribution to support that consumption. If those people want or have the ability to use a lot of electricity in their homes, for whatever reason, they might want 3 TVs, two fridges, an air conditions system, etc, etc. A beer fridge in the den, whatever, that's fine but they shouldn't expect other people in the network to pay that if the high consumers are using that power at peak times. If they are using it at low demand times then that's fine. And that's the whole idea. If people want to pay then they can, if they want to manage their electricity consumption they can. And they can save everyone, including those people not using a lot of electricity, the expense of having to put in new poles and wires.All of that means cheaper electricity overall for households. That's the shadow energy and resources minister, Ian McFarlane speaking to us from his electorate office in Toowoomba in wield. Let's cross live now to Bali and Sky News political reporter Tom Connell stands by. Give us the latest. The Prime Minister is at the democracy forum what's been on the agenda today? She co-chairs this forum and gave a speech at the start talking about how Australia is helping spread democracy in particular in this region. Continued on a theme there talking about how women need to be more involved in democracy. But her strong focus is on bi-lateral meetings as well. She's met with the PNGan premiership who says she thanked Peter O'Neil in his role in helping spot people smuggling through agreeing to host an offshore detention centre. Of course there has been plenty of unrest in Nauru she wasn't asked about the PNG Prime Minister whether he's concerned about similar unrest. She will be meeting with the Indonesian President of course about the fact so far this processing hasn't slowed down the rate of boats. One person she won't be meeting is the Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. He is here for the first time.Julia Gillard says the Indonesian President was entitled to invite his Iranian counterpart but for her it's not a good reason enough to meet him owing to the nuclear proliferation. Take a list tonne her speaking about that earlier -- listen to her speaking about that earlier today We are engaged with Iran. We engage diplomate with Iran, we have an embassy in Iran and the world is engaged with Iran through the P5 plus one process. IWhat I am obviously concerned about is that despite that engagement Iran and the President of Iran does not appear to be listening to the concerns of the world about Iran's nuclear program. The Foreign Minister Bob Carr is also here with Julia Gillard. He also praised Indonesia for holding this democracy forum, also for their spreading of democracy and he said there are concrete examples out there. He cited the spreading of democracy in Myanmar and the Indonesian President's role in that. Take a look.For practical example of its effect on the region, think of Myanmar.President Yudhoyono took a lead role in the opening of Myanmar. He went there and said the role of the military is in the barracks.And this is very, very supportive of President Tin Sein's Government. Just quickly, Julia Gillard will hold a bi-lateral meeting with the Indonesian President tomorrow, expecting plenty of talk about border protection. It has been postponed from today until tomorrow but it's a very busy schedule. That's not unexpected. Thanks very much we will chat to you again soon over there in Bali Tom.That's all for PM Agenda. Thank you for your. We will see you soon. The news is next opinion -- next. Live Captioning by Ai-Media ai-media.tv