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(generated from captions) surplusses as well. We know what it is like to run a strong Budget. We know what it is like to run a strong economy. We set aside out of our surplusses $2.4 billion to deal with this issue, that money has simply been squandered by the current Government. That is why we need a program like this. Malcolm.Over six years the Labor Party has spent nothing on mobile phone black spots. Every year under the Howard Government the situation improved due to support from a Coalition Government. For six years, Labor has done nothing about the single biggest communications problem in regional Australia. As far as the NBN is concerned and universal pricing, there will be a cap set on the wholesale price by the ACCC that will apply across the whole country.REPORTER:Mr Rudd today said no to the News Limited pay TV debates. He wants to do one on each of the television networks over next three weekends. Will you turn up? My view is that the journos had a good go on Sunday. The journos have a good go every day. I spend times a day during the election campaign answering questions from journalists. The journos already have their vehicles for asking questions of me and of Mr Rudd. I think the people should have a go. I am happy to see the formats as open to use by all of the media as possible forums are a good but I think these forums are a good format and I forums are a will certainly be turning up to forums are a good format and will certainly be turning up them. Will any indigenous communities get them. Will communities get a phone tower? communities get a phone It is going to be a It is going to be a tender process. The this is process. The whole point of this is to try and make it more economic to put mobile phone services in areas which are currently without mobile phone services and I would be confident that there would be all sorts of remote communities, including indigenous communities, where a mobile phone service is much more economic under or proposals.How can voters trust promises like the $100 million today when one of your own MPs says after the election you may come under pressure to commitments?
scrap some of your pre-election commitments? It will be pressure that I will resist, I will defy because I want to be known as a politician, as a PM, should I get elected, should I be elected on 7 September I want to be known as a PM who keeps commitments. I appreciate that the trust that the public have in PMs and other significant members of parliament has been trashed because this Government, this PM and his predecessor have been just at making promises and not keeping them - whether it be the no carbon tax promise, whether it be the no carbon tax whether it be the surplus promise, these people have been hopeless at maintaining promise, these people have hopeless at maintaining the
public's trust. I want to restore it.So all your promises that you're announcing during this election campaign, they will be implemented in full, that is a rock solid commitment? I will do what I say we will do. I want to be known as someone who underpromises and overdelivers.The condition of the Budget will not be an excuse for breaking promises? Exactly right. We will make - we will keep the commitments that we make. All of the commitments that we - all of the commitments that we will be commitments that are carefully costed and the savings to fund them will all be well-known well before people go to the polls on Saturday, September 7. Will you release your paid parental leave policy this week along with the full costing details for it? I don't want to tell you exactly what it is going to be released but it will be released soon and it will become operational in the first term of an incoming Coalition Government and I believe this will be and should be a signature policy for the Coalition. I want to be known as a PM who made a historic change. Who for the first time in our history delivered justice to the parents and families of our country.If revenues continue to fall, you're happy to find yourself in the same position as Labor, spending money that you don't have? Unlike the Labor Party, which has no plan for growth, we have a plan to build a stronger economy and it starts with abolishing the carbon It continues with abolishing
the mining with abolishing the carbon tax.
It continues the mining tax. the with the mining tax. It continues
with a in red tape savings for with a billion dollars a year business, in red tape savings business, particularly small business. It goes further with business. It goes further returning the work place pendulum to the sensible centre, west storing the Australian building and construction commission, ensuring that there are proper governance standards for industrial organisations, I am confident, although because we're careful and conservative, I won't factor this into our ongoing numbers, but I am confident that if we make these changes, our economy will perform more strongly and that means more revenue and more prosperity.When it comes to your commitment today to go through with all your pledges, does that mean, similar to your pledge on superannuation, there will be no unexpected adverse changes when it comes to spending, like a commission of audit and major cuts there? I was asked about this the other day and I said that the public expect us to run an efficient and effective Government. The public expect us to get value from the taxpayer's dollar. They want us to be as careful with their dollars as they would be themselves. You at home, you don't waste your money and you don't want Government to waste your money. If the commission of audit identifies ways of getting better value for the taxpayers' dollars, of course we will be won't do anything that is happy to consider that contrary to our money date.Given that we contrary to our date.Given that we have now had two economic statements in had two relatively short time with roughly the same figures, is there any need, if roughly the same there any need, if you win, for a future Coalition Government to ask a future Coalition to ask treasury to look again as was reported today, that you might want them to change their assumptions on some factors? We want to get the best possible advice. I absolutely respect the professionalism of the treasury. I totally respect the professionalism of the treasury. It is unfortunate though that under this Government the figures, the forecasts, the costings have been consistently unreliable. We want everyone to lift their game and I am determined that as far as I am concerned, at every level, Government will lift its game and I am going to lift the Prime Ministerial game by not making promises that I can't keep and keeping the promises that I make.On the question - can we clear up for all Australians the question of the GST because there is some confusion. We know that you are taking the tax as part of a tax review but you said in the debate that there won't be an increase in the GST. Christopher Pyne said categorically last night there would be no increase in the GST under an Abbott Government. That seems to imply more than one term. Which is it? Is it a Julia Gillard no GST under Government I lead, we may consider it, we may not, what can we expect? Let me be as cat gork as I can, the GST won't change, full stop, end of story. Let me repeat it - the GST won't change full stop, end of story. Again, this is just a pathetic scare from a Labor Party which has no record to defend and nothing to say about -Aren't you giving the business community then false hope by keeping the GST in your review of taxation? As I said, the GST isn't going to change. End of story. It can't change without all the States and Territories agreeing.Why bother keeping it in the review? I don't know what people are going to raise in the review. I just don't. All sorts of things will be put forward by all sorts of people. I am telling you the GST won't change. I am telling you the change. It is not going to change, full stop end of change. It is not going story.To clear up the change, full stop end confusion. Would you like story.To clear up take the opportunity to take confusion. Would you out from take the opportunity to take it in, why not take it out? Let's not play these sorts of games. We all know that this is a desperate Labor Party that is running around trying to scare the people. (Audio problem)Mr Rudd... It is not going to stop, full stop, end of story. It can't change unless the States and Territories all agree, including the Labor States. Are there other taxes that could change as a result of your review, like negative gearing for instance, and have you disciplined more Rando all for his contribution snodI have been trying to call Mr Rann dal but there is no mobile phone reception up here. Until we win Government and put our mobile phone black spot program in place, it will be difficult to call people from places like this. He knows what he said was wrong. I will keep my commitments. We will do exactly what we say we will do. I am not going to be a PM like Mr Rudd, like Ms Gillard who makes a whole lot of promises before an election to win votes and abandons them afterwards.You have said you have tried to call him but will he be disciplined? He knows he has done wrong.He is not exactly a first time offender.He is one of the colourful cast of characters that Coalition. We are not an Identikit political party. We Identikit political aren't full of superannuation union hacks and has been union officials. We have a party room which is full of people who represent the length and breadth and diversity of our country and occasionally some of them say things that are wrong.Can I ask about asylum seekers. Your colleagues have expressed concerns about the movement of asylum seekers from PNG through the Torres Strait, given that you have said you will salvage what you can of Labor's PNG solution, how will you ensure that this doesn't continue to occur? What the movement of asylum seekers, or illegal boat people through the Torres Strait shows, is that on its own, the PNG deal is not going to be effective. All it does is open a new front for the people smugglers. That is all it does on its own. We will certainly salvage what we can from it. We think it is very important to make the best possible use of Manus Island. Let's face it, it was the Howard Government that invented Manus Island as a boat people processing centre. I am all in No-one
favour of offshore processing. No-one is more in favour of it than I am and I have consistently supported offshore processing, unlike Mr Rudd who has been Mr flip flop on this as he has been on everything else. We will make the most of all of the opportunities that our friends and neighbours provide us but know this - to stop the boats, you have to put place.
a series of strong measures in place. Yes there has to be vigorous offshore processing at places like Nauru and Manus. Yes, there have to be temporary (audio issue) yes, we have to corporate strongly - and Sri Lanka but in the end, we have got to demonstrate the will that shows that our borders are secure. That means the willingness to turn boats (audio gone again) he claims he just implemented a mandate. He's forgotten what he said before the 07 election which was we will turn back the boats.Mr Rudd hasn't been man enough to do, the Coalition is tough enough to do. That was live from Sydney. Apologies for the quality of that link. Over the past couple of weeks, we have obviously had situations where both been the subject of links that have been a bit dodgy. I have had people come up to me and say, from both sides of politics, you're sabotaging our leader and cutting his press conferences out on purpose. I can assure you that it is only because links from are unreliable and we will continue to bring are unreliable and continue to bring you those continue to media conferences as comprehensively as media conferences the next couple of weeks. That comprehensively as we can over the next was Tony Abbott making the next couple of weeks. was Tony Abbott making an
announcement was Tony Abbott making announcement on improving mobile phone coverage and commenting on the Pre-election Economic and Fiscal Outlook out in the last hour or so. That confirmed the economic statement of a couple of weeks statement of a couple of ago, there has been a significant deterioration in the figures since May. Tony Abbott is saying the Opposition will release its costings during the campaign over the coming weeks. The latest economic figures are out, they show no change since the economic update was issued just over a couple of weeks ago. They indicate the current deficit is... For more let's cross to our political editor Lyndal Curtis.A significant moment in the campaign but just confirming what we said a couple of weeks ago basically? Yes, the figures remain almost unchanged. The only change is to add a couple of hundred million dollars to that forecast for the surplus in 2016/17 but in terms of surplus or Budget bottom line forecasting, $200 million is really nothing at all although if somebody gave me that money that would be nice. They are unchanged. What is interesting in the Pre-election Economic and Fiscal Outlook is the statements of risks, the things that treasury and finance see also
as risks to the economy. They also publish what are called confidence intervals around their forecasts. They have a 70% confidence that a will be in this range and a slightly wider range for a 90% confidence interval and they see the risks overseas, that the Euro crisis is unresolved and there are question marks over Japan's recovery an concerns about China. Risks to the terms of trade. Risks that the fall in resources investment could be sharper. The transition to growth in new sectors of the economy couldn't go as smoothly as thought. They are the known unknowns. is also an unknown, unknown, the risk of things that they don't expect could happen. They also mentioned there is risk to that if legislation to cover off things like the increase in tobacco tax, the changes to FBT aren't passed, then the Fiscal
Pre-election Economic and Fiscal Outlook says that if they're not passed it risks potentially significant for the Budget bottom line. We risks are potential significant already know the Coalition is opposed to the already know the opposed to the FBT opposed to the FBT changes. That may add a bit more money to - take away a bit more money from the Budget bottom line forecast if the Coalition doesn't find a way to fill the hole. The headline numbers, the numbers for the deficit and the proposed surplus, the forecast surplus are unchanged.This gives us a starting point that the parties can work from in terms of planning how they will spend the money over the next four years and that will frame the political debate today in the election campaign and Kevin Rudd was on the front foot about that even before PEFO the
came out? Yes, Mr Rudd was on the front foot as the Government has been for a while, putting the pressure on the Coalition about their costings. This is what the PM had to say today.It is D-day for Mr Abbott when it comes to announcing his own Budget bottom line. Mr Abbott has been preparing for this election for three years. He has known precisely that we would get to this point where Pre-election Economic and Fiscal Outlook document is made public. It has been made public today. I think it is fundamental for the Australian people to know where Mr Abbott's $70 billion worth of cuts to health, education and jobs are going to fall.That was the PM speaking earlier today in Townsville ahead of the 10 o'clock eastern time release of the PEFO document. We just heard from Tony Abbott in Sydney then and he had a little bit more to say about the timing of the release of his costings? Yes, he says he won't be doing as he says the Labor Party did at the last election, which is putting out costings at 5 o'clock on the Friday before the election day on the Saturday. The Coalition has been saying for some time the costings will be out in good time. People will have time to look at it but attempting to pin down exactly what that time frame in good time means has been a little difficult. Julie Bishop, the deputy Opposition Leader in an interview we did yesterday, seemed to indicate it might be days rather than hours before election day but we will know when we know. I don't think they will put it out now. They may be able to, given that PEFO is out, start to come out with some more detailed policy and you don't need the PEFO document to estimate how much your policies will cost and the savings put in place to cover savings that you are going to put in place to cover them.
That put in place to cover That doesn't need a bottom line That doesn't need a bottom figure to indicate what PEFO does do is figure to does do is give them, if they figure to indicate what choose to do does do is give them, if choose to do so, a choose to bottom line bottom
choose to do so, a Budget against once all their costings are against once all costings are out.I want to bring up something else costings are out.I bring up something else that
has come up in both the Opposition Leader and PM's media con frnsz that we haven't discussed this morning and that is comments by one of the candidates suggesting that promises might not be able to be kept after the election because of financial pressures. Can you put that in context for us? Yes, Don Randall, a West Australian MP, who has his colourful moments, as Tony Abbott indicated, suggested that if there are changes and the Budget is worse, there may be some commitments that the Coalition wouldn't keep. In an election context, the other side will jump on anything MPs say. They have in this case. Having to break promises after an election because of the Budget situation is not something entirely unknown to Australian politics. We probably remember the core and noncore promises that John Howard had after he won the 1996 election. Kevin Rudd's rhetoric during 2007 wasn't able to be matched by the reality on some things, They're
including promises on health. They're not unknown. Tony Abbott has set a high bar over the last three years for keeping of promises given he attacked Julia Gillard a lot for breaking promises, he saw it on the carbon tax. He says the Coalition Government will keep its commitments, they won't promise things they don't believe could be delivered after an election and while he hasn't been able to speak to don Randall directly, he is confident that Mr Randall knows he has done wrong.For more on this morning's PEFO release, this Pre-election Economic and Fiscal Outlook, I am joined by Nicky, chief economist. The statement basically confirmed what the economic statement came out with a couple of weeks ago, so no surprises? No, none at all. There is a bit that gives you n sites into some of the longer term trends will look at and one of them is throughout the text there is uncertain or different mentions of the word uncertain or uncertainty and that is telling as to how much down side risks treasury perceives there to be.What are some of the key uncertainties? First, the global economic environment is key. What is happening in Asia, particularly China and Japan? We know Europe still has a long way to unwind. Where will the US go on quantitative easing and how that plays out, we don't know. There on the domestic front, we all know and the Reserve Bank has been saying this, the mining investment too many is unwinding and we are moving towards a production phase and we don't know how smoothly that transition will go and how quickly we will have pick-up in non-mining sector activity.That deficit in four years might be worse than we're predicting now? If there is no other policy change it is quite possible. The main thing is it is moving in the right direction and it needs to take account of the fact that if economic conditions do deteriorate significantly because of either global or local factors -We have to pull back on the spending? No, we actually need to not pull back, we need to support the economy. Having a target for a deficit turning to surplus in a particular year on a particular date is not sensible economic management. It is saying regardless of anything in the situation, we are going to have this Budget surplus at this date. That means you're actually putting more pressure on other sectors of the economy or on interest rates to help stimulate activity because Government will be pulling funds out of the economy.Now we have this economic statement showing where things are at, this independent statement. What would you like to see from both of the parties that we have got this starting point? I would like to see greater recognition of the fact that we have a significant deterioration in the revenue profile for Australia. It is not just about the fact that economy is not doing as well now and corporate profits aren't up as much and prices are only just starting to recover. We have a long term demographic problem. treasury refers to the fact that the long term trend rate of growth for Australia over the next decade will fall. That doesn't seem like a huge amount but if you look at it for the bottom line on the Budget, it is a significant amount. Talking about cutting taxes all the time is just flying in the face of - to an economist, what is obvious is the need to look at the revenue base and putting GST off the agenda is not a sensible thing to rule out at this stage. I suspect that is why it will stay in a review. If the experts say actually we should be looking at this, that gives either government a chance to perhaps change their tune.Do you think both political parties haven't woken facing the
up to the monumental challenges facing the Australian economy over the coming decade? I am pretty sure they have woken up to them but they don't want to discuss them because politically, Australians don't want to know over time we are going to have to pay more tax or else we will have to have fewer services. That is the only way we can have an over the cycle balanced Budget. It is one and one equals two.The major parties shouldn't be ruling out the GST, a possible increase to the GST as far as you're concerned? No, the GST has been shown is a very good and progressive tax. It is a good way of helping the economy to get on a more stable footing.Can't see that happening? Not politically palatable unfortunately.Are there any other avenues to go down apart from the GST that you can see? Obviously the main ones are corporate tax, which the Coalition has said it will cut and then we have personal income tax. We had a lot of tax cuts throughout the Howard years in personal income tax and we probably haven't got the balance right between if we had that much of a cut in our direct tax, we should pay more in indirect which is the goods and services tax. People don't want to see their taxes go up, but if GST then income tax is but if you're not touching GST then income tax is the next
way to GST then income tax way to go.I can't see way wish list being met at way to go.I can't during this election wish list being met during this What during this election campaign. doesn't adopt some of the What is the danger doesn't adopt some of far
things you're proposing? It is far too early. With a peak deficit of ratio to GDP of 2%, Australia is nowhere in danger of being of being anywhere near Greece or even the US. We don't have that problem but if you keep running deficits year in, year out, you will end up in trouble. Australia wants to maintain its position as a really strong AAA-rated economy for as long as we can. We don't want to go down a path that we can avoid with sensible policy.And we're not in an awful lot of trouble just yet? Not just yet and that is why the politicians can make these promises at the moment but sooner or later the Piper will have to be paid.Holden workers will vote today on a new wage deal that will help decide the car maker's future in Australia. The deal includes a three-year wage freeze and cuts to working conditions. The vote could go either way. Holden's future will also depend on a new Government funding package to be negotiated after the Federal election. John Camillo, SA AMWU Secretary says the workers are prepared to be flexible.Workers have indicated they're prepared to give away the 3% wage increase in November this year that is in their current collective agreement, they are prepared to be more flexible in regards to working reasonable overtime and with regards to flexible working hours, be more flexible at Elizabeth if it is going to guarantee a 10-year plan. If the workers vote for the variation, one of the clauses specifies that nothing happens until we get approval for the Cruze and Commodore.We are expecting that vote to come through from Adelaide, I think it is around 4 o'clock time this afternoon. We will be right across that today.We also have this developing story in the footy. The AFL is expected to announce its response to the Sports Anti-Doping Authority's report into Essendon's supplements program sometime today. Several senior members at the club, including coach James Hird, could be charged. The Bombers could also be stripped of and forfeit their spot in the finals. The stripped of premiership points
and finals. The AFL has had the report into the drugs scandal for more report into the drugs for more than a week.Reporter for more than a James Bennett joins me now from AFL headquarters Melbourne.We were hearing earlier today this was going to happen at 9 o'clock. What is the latest? We are still all waiting with breathless anticipation. Unfortunately there has been no word yet.Is there a fair media pack there? There is a number of journalists that are gathered as you can expect. This bears back now to what the AFL, or what the Australian Crime Commission first learnt about organised crime and drugs in sport well before the start of the AFL season. It then hung over the start of the season and we're now approaching the finals and it has gone from a situation where it was Essendon saying they had self reported their suspicions around their supplements program and begging for mercy from the AFL to recently a far more belligerent tone from the club and throwing it back on the AFL saying "If you're going to charge us, if you're going to say we have brought the game into disrepute or been guilty of code breaches under the AFL rules, prove it". An James Hird himself has engaged Julian BurnsideQC and certainly an indication to the AFL that if there is going to be any allegations against the club, they better be fairly well proven. Here is James Hird this morning talking about his likely expectations around those charges.We all find it hard to believe that charges can be laid on individuals or the club when none of the players have been shown that they have been taking performance enhancing drugs or that they have been harmed by anything and we're dealing with an interim report and it is not finalised. We are sitting back staggered and shocked that any on those
charges could possibly be laid on those points.Earlier today you mentioned the Ziggy Switkowski report and I think you said that is what this - if there is any move against the Essendon hierarchy then it would be based on what Ziggy Switkowski found in his report. That was a report commissioned by the AFL was it? Indeed. The AFL has had that report from Ziggy Switkowski since May. They have now had ASADA's interim report, as James Hird quite rightly points out, for more than a week now. Both those things today, the AFL's general counsel has been pouring over to establish whether or not Essendon the club or any senior officials, James Hird the coach, Bruce Reid the Dr and Danny Corcoran Manager, possibly
the Football Operations Manager, possibly Mark Thompson, assistant coach, if they have broken any of the AFL's rules. All of that evidence together will be given to the AFL commission and it will be the commission who would set a hearing date for any potential charges. They are not due to meet until almost the end of this month. Certainly in terms of the likely outcome, whether or not the AFL will be able to bring its question of Essendon and those officials have brought the game into disrepute will run AFLly close, indeed most likely into the finals season. Entirely separate to that is then the players
question of whether or not the players have been guilty of doping infractions. That is what ASADA's final report, still a long way off into the distance, is likely to deal with.There has speculation about the AFL
making some with.There has been
speculation about making some sort of on this. You making some sort on this. You might have to set up a tent on this. You might have to up a tent there tonight with the way we are going today.We hope not but obviously - it is an interesting situation. has been quite an interesting shift in that pressure dynamic throwing
from Essendon essentially throwing itself at the mercy of the AFL from the beginning of the season to the point obviously where Paul Little took over assess es chairman and then came the more club
belligerent approach from the club and the pressure on the AFL to bring this situation to a head. They would be very careful, you would knowing the level of legal representation that Essendon and James Hird has to defend themselves that perhaps that might explain some of the delays on behalf of the AFL.Give us a yell if you hear anything.For the rest of the sport, here is Adam Stephen.A crushing loss for Australia overnight? It was. We were looking good when we bowled England out for 330. Another batting collapse cost us victory in the fourth Ashes Test in Durham. Australia needed 299 to win and they started well on a difficult pitch. David Warner made 71 runs and led Australia to 2/168 before that batting collapse saw the visitors all out for 224. English paceman Broad took 6/50 and he ended up with Test best match haul figures of 11/121. Broad was named man of the match. Earlier the Aussies bowled England out for 330 with Ryan Harris taking 7 wickets.I think it was still a good batting wicket once you got through the new ball. It took good bowling to find a way was always going to be a tough chase but if we played the way we played in Chester-le-Street, we would have had a real shot at winning.The crowd kept us going. We had to fight hard after tea. Australia played fantastically well in that middle session and made it hard for us and we had to reset our goals. Change our plans slightly and once we got the ball moving sideways, we executed our plans well and to pick up nine wickets in that final session was credit to the bowlers. We built pressure. Once the batsman got in on the wicket, you could score on it but it was hard to start on.The final Test starts at The Oval in London late next week. Things are looking better for the women, the girls have the upper hand in their Test match. They declared at 6/331 before lunch and had England 6/172 at stumps. Erin Osborne took 3/31 while Holly Firlg has figures of 2/40.Canterbury's quest for a top four NRL finish has all but ended after a 10-point loss to the Gold Coast Titans in Sydney. The Titans needed to win the match to move into the NRL top eight and two spectacular tries from Kevin Gordon helped them to a half-time lead.

The Dogs fought back but the Titans held on to win 26-16. Meanwhile South Sydney forward Sam Burgess is facing two weeks on the sidelines after he was charged with contrary conduct. Burgess allegedly grabbed the private parts of Melbourne's Will chambers during Friday night's clash.James O'Connor is putting all contract talks on hold to focus on securing his place in the Wallabies starting 15 for the rugby championship. O'Connor attracted plenty of criticism while playing at fly-half against the British and Irish Lions. New coach Ewen McKenzie has already said O'Connor won't be wearing the No.10 in the first Bledisloe Test in Sydney this weekend. O'Connor says he is just happy to change positions and after being cut by the Melbourne Rebels, he is not worrying about his super rugby future just yet.I said don't bother me for the next two weeks, I want to focus on the All Blacks, if I'm not focused on that, it will be the same result that we have had before. It wouldn't be showing respect to the team if I wasn't on at all times and.To athletics and New Zealand's Valerie Adams has won her fourth world shot put title at the world championships in Moscow. Adams threw 20.88 to take the gold. Britain's Christine produced a scintillating finish to snatch gold in the 400. American Jason Richardson won the men's 110m hurdles gold. Jamaica continued its world sprinting domination with Shelley Anne Fraser Price winning the women's 100m final. Australian's winning the women's 100m Australian's Julian Ruck booked a place in the final of the Australian's Julian Ruck men's dissus a place in the final of men's Adams men's dissus tonight.Valerie
Adams that Kiwi the one who was Adams that Kiwi shot putter the one who was cheated of a gold the one who gold medal at the Olympics last year in London by gold medal at the Olympics year in London by the year in Belarussian and she had gold medal presented Belarussian and she Auckland some time gold medal Auckland some time after. It is good to see her getting up again.She good to see her getting again.She was very happy the win last again.She was very the win last night.Time for the latest weather, here is van the latest weather, here Vanessa O'Hanlon. A trough is shifting away from NSW and we have we have a broad area of low pressure and an associated cold front affecting Tasmania. More rapid fronts are due to hit the south-east on Wednesday and later on Friday. The top stories today - the treasury and finance departments have released the latest economic figures showing no change since the economic update was issued just over a week ago. They indicate the current deficit is... The Opposition Leader Tony Abbott was asked when the Coalition would be prepared to release its costings now that Fiscal
the Pre-election Economic and down.What
Fiscal Outlook had been handed down.What we will be doing is telling you exactly how much our policies cost, exactly how we are going to pay for them, and everyone will be able to see how the overall budgetary position is better off under the Coalition.When? Again, I remind you, Mark, that the current Government released its costings document at 5 o'clock on the Friday before the 2010 election. We will do a lot, lot better than that. We will be starting to announce some of our significant savings after we have had a thorough consideration of the PEFO document.I will do what I say we will do and I want to be known as someone who underpromises and overdelivers.It is unfortunate though that under this Government, the figures, the forecasts, the costings have been consistently unreliable. We want everyone to lift their game and I am determined that as far as I am concerned, at every level Government will lift its game and I am going to lift the Prime Ministerial game by not making promises that I can't keep and absolutely keeping the promises that I make.Opposition Leader Tony Abbott speaking in Sydney just in the last hour.The PM Kevin Rudd has announced a $30 million plan to improve skills and training in the early childhood and social services sector. Mr Rudd made the announcement while campaigning at a centre in Townsville this morning. He says it is designed to meet the can tis paid growth of demand for workers in those sectors.You have to try and look beyond the horizon and see what is coming next, therefore, what are the challenges and what are the opportunities we have to face and capitalise on. Secondly, if you have done that, how do you plan for the future? In other words, how you best maximise your chances against future? In other words, how do
you against the things you best maximise your chances against the the tracks towards you? Thirdly, the third part of the leadership is building for the future. If you don't do future. If you don't do that, frankly it is all just nonsense. It is castles in the air. Building for the future is what makes a difference. The reason why this is so important is there are so many jobs been created in the services sector. I see a number of the teachers around here this morning and they are doing such a terrific job. These are early childhood educators. Not just workers, they're educators, dealing with the literacy and numeracy skills of the next generation of Australians and getting in behind them to make sure that they have the right skills for the future and I congratulate the union on their big steps program which they all got behind to make sure we were coming in behind and supporting the new career structure for early childhood educators.That was the PM Kevin Rudd speaking in Townsville a little earlier today. I will just mention another media conference we have coming up shortly. There is no fixed time for this but the Greens are responding to the Pre-election Economic and Fiscal Outlook in the next short while. We will cross live to Hobart as soon as Christine Milne steps up.The future of car manufacturing in SA hangs in the balance as Holden workers prepare to vote on a crucial deal today. 1700 workers will cast their ballots on several measures designed to cut costs and save their jobs. I spoke to our reporter Alina Eacott a little earlier from outside Holden's Elizabeth plant.A small number of night shift workers have already cast their vote. They did that this morning. The rest of the 1700-strong work force will meet at about 1 o'clock Adelaide time where they will cast their vote, they will hear from Holden boss Mike Devereaux and the unions. That will a while for that large number of employees to cast their votes. The union tells us they expect it will be complete at about tally that vote and hopefully tally that vote and we will know the result later we will know this afternoon.I guess it is thoord know but are there any thoord know but early indications or suggestions as to which way the vote might go? People are remaining fairly tight-lipped. The union has not directed workers to vote either way. Left it up to the individuals to decide. When this deal was first canvassed there was huge opposition to it. 90% of people were saying they would vote no. In recent weeks they have spent a lot of time going through all the details and hashing out exactly what Holden is asking of them and it is now looking like support is growing. People are realising that if they don't vote for this agreement, as much as they might not particularly like some of the conditions, Holden has made it clear that a no vote would likely mean production here at Elizabeth would end in 2016. If they want production to continue here further into the future, the best thing they can do at the moment is vote for this new agreement.Have numbers already been significantly cut at that plant over the last several years? Yes, it has been an ongoing process of whittling down the work force here. Just recently, 400 workers finished up. They took voluntary redundancies. Speaking to people at the time, a lot of them felt as much as they didn't want to leave, it was probably best for them to take that option and get out while they could with a decent package in their pocket. Uncertain times for workers here at Holden. We were expecting to have to wait until the end of the week before finding out the exact result of this as there are about another 1,000 workers in Victoria who do have the right to vote on this collective agreement, even though it doesn't actually apply to them. Speaking to the manufacturing workers union today, they have indicated that those workers have decided they are most likely going to abstain from voting gin it doesn't apply to them, they have decided they would prefer people
to leave the vote here to the people at Elizabeth who will be the most affected by the result. We are expecting that decision to come through around 3.45 Adelaide time. About 4.15 eastern time. We will be across that through the afternoon.Two firefighters have booeb been taken to hospital with minor injuries after a fire in Brisbane. I spoke to Brad Ryan, our reporter earlier from the scene.It started at 11.30, some police on patrol actually noticed spoke coming from the building and that is when they raised the alarm. A couple of those firefighters did end up in hospital. They were injured dragging hose and tripping over obstacles that they couldn't see in the smoke and in the dark. They have been released this morning. We are told they are OK. The building was completely gutted by the fire. We are told it will probably need to be demolished now and police and firefighters have been out here for most of what caused the morning trying to what caused the blaze. They
don't know at what caused don't know at the moment.Were don't know there several businesses in the one building there several businesses in one building or what business
is in there several businesses in the
one is in the building that was destroyed? is in the building destroyed? It is a destroyed? It wrecking business that was the building. That wrecking business that the building. That is the only
business that the
wrecking business that was in the building. business that was inside the building that has business building that has been damaged. A building A couple of the neighbouring businesses remain businesses remain evacuated today because there are concerns that there may have been some damage to the buildings or their integrity. There is a big brick wall on an adjoining building that has actually fallen and is now leaning on the car wrecking business. Everything -We will break out of that because Christine Milne has just stepped up for the media conference.It is now time that both the Government and the Coalition looked to raising money where it is possible to get it. It is no use Labor and the Coalition having a going nowhere debate on the GST when there is money to be had from fixing the mining tax right now. Most Australians are really fed up with the fact that there is almost an agreement between Liberal, Labor and the big end of town, the mining industry, to not talk about fixing the mining tax. Let's not get the money from the people who can afford to pay with more than 80% of overseas shareholders, instead let's have a going nowhere debate about raising the GST which is a regressive tax which will impact on every consumer in Australia. Let's just set that to one side. Why is it that Kevin Rudd and Tony Abbott will not talk about raising the mining tax and fixing the flaws in the mining tax? I will tell you why. It is in the mining tax? I will you why. It is because the you why. It mining industry ran a you why. It is because mining industry ran a major mining industry ran a major TV campaign against Kevin Rudd and it terrified the political parties, the Coalition and Labor, and they made a determination there and then that they would accept the fact that the big miners would not have to pay a fair share. They have written down the income to be expected from the mining tax from $3.5 billion to $700 million over this year. Yet Rio Tinto made a $9 billion profit last year. How is it that companies that are making a $9 billion profit are not going to be paying the mining tax? And yet single parents have lost their support payments, there is apparently not enough money according to Kevin Rudd and Tony Abbott to help people out of poverty on Newstart, to help students with youth allowance, to help single parents, they are prepared to go after university students by converting scholarships to debt. They are prepared to threaten jobs in the the
universities and courses around the country by attacking university funding and yet they won't go after the big miners. Today, rather than hear both Tony Abbott and Kevin Rudd again ever this argument about the GST, let's actually ask them why won't you fix the mining tax? I had a Senate inquiry into the mining tax, it is quite clear that it is flawed beyond belief and it is not about commodity prices falling. It is about the fact that they set up the mining tax to rebate the royalties to the States. They gave generous depreciation to the mining companies so that they had an ability to effectively get out of the tax. Let's fix it for the Australian community because Governments have a duty of care to people. That duty of care to people should go to the most vulnerable. What about the unemployed? What about homeless?
students? What about the homeless? Why wouldn't we be raising money to help them? Meanwhile, what the forecast shows is the Government intends to spend its $8 billion on cruelty to refugees, plus an additional $17 million for a prison on Nauru. This just shows you how the Government has abandoned not only a duty of care to people but any decency when it comes to treating people most in need. The Greens are saying we are taking into this election fully costed policies. We have the parliamentary Budget office cost what it would mean to fix the mining tax and the
parliamentary the mining tax says parliamentary budget office
says we can over the forward estimates says we can raise $20 we fix the mining tax. We will resubmit that now subsequent to the PEFO figures. That is the latest and the best information we have. I challenge Tony Abbott, you have run out of time. Please stop saying to the Australian people that you will tell them before the election where the money is going to come from because there is only a few weeks left. People want to know now how the Coalition intends to fund its policies. It has already said it will slash the public service. We know that. By how many will it slash the public service? It is a complete deceit on the population to say that after the election you will have an audit process and then announce what you're going to do. We're in an election, there is an obligation to tell people where you are going to slash and burn. We know it is universities. We know the poor are going to continue to suffer. We know the cruelty to refugees will go on but where else is Tony Abbott going to hurt the Australian community and abandon the duty of care that we all need to be showing to the broad community and of course to the environment? REPORTER: It is a ballsy election strategy to keep talking about raising tax. Do you think it will be popular? The Australian people know there is a big problem with revenue and the Greens identified this last year. We came out and said it is time to abandon this ridiculous surplus timetable. That is actually hurting jobs in manufacturing and across the community. Secondly, let's actually talk about raising money. We need to raise money. The community understands that. What they don't understand is why are Labor and Liberal so keen to talk about raising the GST and spreading the GST to other things or not but refuse to
talk about what we things or not but talk about what we can do to talk about what raise money and that is go after the raise after the big mining companies which are making mega profits and can afford to pay but are effective ly compromising democracy in Australia by standing over the parliament and saying you dare touch us and we will run a big advertising campaign that does you in. It is time to stand up to them.We have heard from Andrew Wilkie this morning. He is slamming a Labor election campaign that is linking him to Tony Abbott. He said that is grubby politics and the community deserves better. Do you agree with that? The Greens have been campaigning for a very long time for truth in advertising. The Greens have been subject to all kinds of completely untrue and misrepresentation of evidence throughout election campaigns forever and we have said it is time to fix it and we have brought legislation before the Federal Parliament often to get truth in advertising and neither of the old parties are prepared to back it. The community is going to be subject to a whole lot of negative advertising in the next few weeks and they won't have any idea whether it is true or not. I think it is fascinating that Kevin Rudd and Tony Abbott opened the election campaign with a promise for positive messages. We had positive, positive, positive, all through their speeches. Future, future, future, all through their speeches and yet we are having a back to the future strategy in terms of massive expansion of coal seam gas, massive expansion of coal mines dumping on the Great Barrier Reef and at the same time after they have talked up positive, positive, they are about to put hundreds of thousands of dollars into negative advertising. I think the community really deserves better and that is why we need to have truth advertising.Andrew Wilkie says he won't do a deal with any political party after the election to help them form Government. Can he be trusted? Andrew Wilkie is actually not explaining what happens in the political process. If there is a majority Government, it doesn't matter what an Independent thinks. If there is not a majority and one party has to negotiate to get confidence and supply, then there will be a vote to determine who has confidence and supply and everyone in the parliament, including Andrew Wilkie, will have to vote confidence or no confidence. They will have to take a side. You can't not take a side - well you could abstain but what sort of responsibility would that offer to the electorate? You say he is the one that might actually be telling fibs? You have to understanding of the political
process and You have to have an process and that is if a majority process and that is if majority Government is form ed itis of no consequence. If no itis one party wins a itis of no consequence. If one party wins a majority, it one party wins will be tested on the floor of the House of Representatives and everyone will have to vote, including Mr Will can I, confidence for one party or no confidence in a motion. That is where confidence in a motion. That where it will begin or end and that is I think what the - I think Tasmanians get that, maybe the rest of the community hasn't had as much experience of minority Government as we have.Andrew Wilkie has written to the mm about the issue. Should the billboard be taken down? The Labor Party can make its own decisions about what it does on its advertising campaign and explain why it has put that billboard up there. In many ways Andrew Wilkie has left himself open to it because when we withdrew support from PM Gillard he said he was going rg lar meetings with Mr Abbott and he also said if he was to retain Denison Mr take a positive view of Denison. That is out there on the public record and people can judge that for what it is worth. The key thing is the Greens would like to see truth function
in advertising legislated and a function of the Electoral Commission so that the community can have some confidence in the claims that are being made and that is why I am also calling on Mr Abbott to submit his figures. This whole charter of budget honesty was set up by Peter Costello and it was after an election can't come into Government and say "We had no idea into Government and no idea there was a big black into Government and say "We had hole and now we have to cut this or do that". That was what the whole thing was about. All political parties have abided by that charter of Budget honesty. It says a lot about Tony Abbott that he is not prepared to do that. I think what it says is that you can't really trust what he is saying about what he will do because he is hiding behind a post election audit and not saying what he would do and if you remember, John Howard went into an election and never spoke about work choices but once he got absolute power, he delivered it. I think that is why you need the Greens holding balance of power in the Senate because you can trust the Greens to stand up and oppose university cuts and to campaign for a better caring society when it comes to people living in poverty, when it comes to refugees and really investing in universities and research and development.Is a vote for Mr Wilkie a vote for Mr Abbott? That is up to the community to make those decisions about who they vote for in Denison. I think Anna Reynolds is a fantastic candidate for the Greens and I would love to see Anna Reynolds become the member for Denison.Which of your policy costings need to be revised as a result of the PEFO report today? All of the Greens policies will be put through the parliamentary budget office now as is required under the charter of budget honesty, the PEFO figures are out and we will put our policies through that. We have already had costings. We had them costed after the financial statement that the Government made so I wouldn't expect very much to change because the figures haven't changed in PEFO from what Mr Bowen announce aid couple of weeks ago.When will you release those revised costings? Certainly as the election campaign unfolds but we have put out our costings as we go and I would expect not much will change but they will all be out there well and truly in the context of the election campaign. The Greens have gone into this election with a fully costed platform and that is out
something we are proud to put out there to the community.That was live from Hobart, the Greens leader Christine Milne calling on the