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(generated from captions) Good morning. You're watching ABC News 24. I'm Jo roo oh brine. Egypt is our top stories this morning but there's plenty happening on the political front in week two of the election campaign. We have the Opposition Leader Tony Abbott in Launceston. He's due to step up for a media conference shortly. We have the PM, he's landed in Darwin this morning. He's due to visit the Robertson barracks. That will be follow bade press conference at the Darwin cenotaph. That is due to happen within the next hour or. So the Greens leader Christine Milne is stepping up for a media conference in the next half hour or so as well. In the meantime, Australia has joined the international condemnation of Egypt's bloody crackdown on protesters in Cairo. A state of emergency has been declare and the country's interim Vice-President Mohamed ElBaradei has resigned in disgust. The protests are now spreading to other cities across Egypt.Here are the key developments so far. Security forces carried out a day-long operation to break up camps of supporters loyal to the ousted President Mohammed Morsi. There are wild ly differing & account of how many people have died. The Muslim Brotherhood says around 2,000 people have been killed in bloody clashes as te the Egyptian Army and police ed in to clear the camps. Other officials put the figure at 235 civilians as well as 43 police officers. Egyptian authorities have declared a month-long state of emergency and a curfew. Foreign Minister - Australia's Foreign Minister Bob Carr says Australians should avoid travelling to Egypt and if they're in the country they should leave. Sean Hassett has this report and of these imaenls warning viewers may of these imaenls disturbing.- images disturbing >>l after week of threats the authorities finally de - decided to act. Security finally de Security forcings moved in just before dawn to clear out protesters at two separate Cairo sit-ins. As helicopters hoverered overhead, bloezers provided support on the ground, crushing tents an remove ing savern bags.- sand bags. Riot police cleared out a smaller scare quickly but it was a different story outside the journalist
radda mosque. A Wa War post journalist says the saition escalated quickly on the streets around the mosque.The police then opened fire on the protesters. and then with a parage of heavy gun fire. Having covered several war zones I heard machine gun fire, it was, have rapid.The Army says it's tried to minimise the blood shed and is providing safe exit route force the protesters. But the Muslim Brotherhood is calling it a massacre. Saying the only thing getting out has been a stream of ambulances.Reports on the death toll vary wildly but hundreds of people are being treated at nearby field hospitals. The interim It's arrested more than 200
protesters, some of whom were armed. It says this footage shows protesters shooting at security forces. The vision cannot be independent ly verified. Covering the situation is proving exceedingly difficult for journalists on the ground.The pack has not been allowed to get inside the sit-in as those who have been trying to approach since the break-up started. I and my team were directly threatened by police officers on multiple occasions, one officer told my colleague that if he saw us again he should shoot him in the foot nor the leg.And it appears the security forces are following through on those threats.We turned on the generator and a cameraman was shot right in front of us.The authorities are trying to prevent brothers from start ing up another sit-in at a new site. They have blocked off roads and closed the train lines into and out of Cairo.The Muslim Brotherhood officials are already trying to use the latest violence as a rallying point for further protests. And insist they will stay on the streets until Mohammed Morsi is rein-Tated. authority
With the Army azest ing its authority so strongly that prospect seems further away than ever.We will go to a live shot now from Cairo. These pictures from Egyptian television at one of the areas cleared by security forces over night where Muslim Brotherhood protesters were camped. A curfew came into force around 4.5 hours ago and the violence on the streets of the capital appears to have subsided for now. Let's cross to Cairo now. We have the editor of the Egypt Independent newspaper Lina join ing me now on the phone. Good morning. Very early morning your time. From what you have heard, are there any protests or skirmishing still on the streets right now there has been a curfew imposed now there has been a started as of imposed by the Government started as of 9. Reports started as getting is that things started as of 9. getting is started as of 9. Reports we're
getting is that calmed down more or calmed down more or less as far as the sit-ins that were just dispersed are concerned. In are minor scuffles outside of Cairo but generally speaking it's much calmer now.What is the latest on the death toll?The latest, according to the ministry, it's over 250, that people from the that incident but incidents of violence across the country and hundreds were basically injured.What is the breakdown of police and protesters in that figure or are the police the number of police killed on top of that 250 number?According to the Minister of the enteryoor, there were 38 police who were killed in the protest of the dispersing the sit-ins today.As an Egyptian, how do you feel at the end of this day when there's been so much bloodshed and so much terror on the streets of Cairo and after you've put the story of it all together in your newspaper?We all hope for things to calm down in next weeks. We hope that people will just decide that so much violence is not worth any cost at this point, but it's hard to say after today. There is a political group that has been em bittered throughout this whole period and was use of more violence against them, they are
furtherem bitter and we can against them, they only expect them furtherem bitter only expect them to want to retaliate in different only expect them to want am expecting more violence in Cairo and outside of Cairo to unfold and of course in the Cairo and outside of Cairo coming days and that poses a huge responsibility on the government to find political government ways an not just security tactics with this development tactics with basically.Is it clear there were protesters firing on police as well as police firing police as on protesters?Yeah, there has been use of violence, there has been reported use of arms and heavy armed of by some protesters. You cannot talk about the use of violence. Protesters were in a position where they would attack the policemen up until a certain time when they would just run out of ammunition and this is not something that would happen on the policend..So there was violence on the part of the protesters but it is not close to the, you know, what the police could do basically with them.We have just seeing some not shots now of people firing. Was it police and military personnel involved in the crackdown on the protesters?It was maybely handled by the police and by Special Forces from the police and the Army was more involved in guarding the area, the areas of the sit-ins and basically moving the protesters. So the use of violence and what was conducted by the ministry of the interior and the policemen and Special Forces.We have seen the reports of Mohamed ElBaradei resigning from his post whafrmts is the general mood about the amount of force used by mainly police as you say over the last 24 hours in Cairo?A lot of people have been holding grudges to the Muslim Brotherhood and what happened after the protest of June 30 and the decision to oust Mohammed Morsi. There has sanctioning, the
been a general sense of sanctioning, the use of violence, societal sanctions of using violence to disperse the sittins. There have been a lot of discuss about the sit-in and no matter how you decide to minimise the use of violence in the process, essentially the act will be extremely violent and in the context of divisions that we could understand why ElBaradei decide ed to resign at the end of the day.If Hosni Mubarak was charged over the deaths of protesters while he was the leading the country, do you think there's any prospect that anyone will be charged over these deaths?I am not sure right now about this because this whole operation was orchestrated by the military and right now we are realising more and more how much the military the strongest institution in this country and how it is signature beyond any form of accountability and we didn't have to wait until this to happen. The military has used force before and there was no instance where they were held accountable where charges were held against any of the were held against any generals back then, it's hard were held against any of the generals to expect that generals back then, it's to expect that anything of that sort would happen.We have to expect that anything of heard in the last couple sort would happen.We months there were a lot heard in the last months there were a lot of
people in heard in the last couple of
months there were people in Egypt who did not trust the police force trust the police force but there was a certain amount of faith in the military after what's happening over the last 24 hours an the last couple of weeks, has that faith in the military been shaken?I am not I got your question clearly but you talking about divisions within the military?The faith of the people in the military. It seems seemed to be the case there was a lot of mistrust between the citizens of Egypt and the police but they had a lot more faith in the military. Has that faith in the military now been shaken?It's hard to say. As I said before, people have been holding a lot of grudges against the Muslim Brotherhood and the fact that this ends in the protests an the different actions taken by the Brotherhood have been severely disruptive todalely life. A lot of people were sanctions the use of violence. Today in our reporting we saw people in the balconies clearing for the Army and cheering for the police for - cheering for the police and the Army for dispersing the sit-in. I do not think there is any shaking of the faith of the people in the military at this point.Thanks for talking us to and let's hope your predictions of continuing violence over the next few days won't event vant wet.Thank you very much.Let's cross live to Launceston. The Opposition Leader has just begun a media conference.... the Australian people and who can you choose who will protect your standard of living. Cost re-deuce your cost of live and boost your job security. That is what this election is about.Now this whole issue of jobs an standard of living is really critical in Tasmania because Tasmania has long had higher unemployment than the national average and over the last few years in particular it really has become pretty dire down here, thanks to the influence of Labor Green governments in Hobart compounded by over the past few years a Labor Green government in Canberra. We have got unemployment that is 2.5 percentage points above the national average. We have the lowest GDP per head, we have the lowest average wages, we've got the lowest life expectancy, Tasmania shouldn't be this.Tasmania has the potential to be so much better than this. And that's why we have a plan, a growth plan that has been tailor made for Tasmania, so I just want to briefly go through some of the particular points in our growth plan before asking Joe and Will to add to these remarks.Yes, there will be significant infrastructure spending. You also know about the 400 million dollar Midland Highway commitment. Today there's a $24 million commitment to a serious Antarctic research sent iner Hobart. There's a 38 million dollar commitment to upgrading Hobart airport so that Hobart airport is far more capable of handling major aircraft, freight aircraft, passengers aircraft, this is a significant boost to transport in and out of Tasmania. But we've got to have a new attitude, a new state of mind here in Tasmania which is less about wealth redistribution and more about wealth creation. That is why there will be a major projects approval agency to be based here in Launceston. It won't just be a single door people to go to, there will be someone standing take the hand of someone standing outside to take the hand of the project opponent, leave them through opponent, the approvals process to try to make the approvals make sure that all of this is done make sure that all of this done as expeditiously and eatly as possible. This agency will be as it were an advocate for appropriate development, not simply a body that is looking to tick boxes. So it's a very important and innovative approach to try to ensure that we are saying, yes, to suitable projettings not just putting hurdles in way of suitable projects. There will s will be a Tasmanian economic council, a Commonwealth and Tasmanian joint economic council because it is so important that focus is less on wealth redistribution and more on wealth creation.And then of course there's the jobs plan that I announced with Will last week, which is a 6.5348 dollar scheme to ensure that 2,000 long-term un employed people who are rezs of Tasmania do get into work. Given that we've got well over 20,000 un employed people in Tasmania, a very small economy right now, given that there's actually been a decrease in full-time jobs in decrease in Tasmania over the last five years, Tasmania over the years, this is also a significant element in our plan for growth here in Tasmania.I want to stress that as far as I'm concerned, the national government that has govern for everyone. The national government has to govern for everyone. While the national government is based in Canberra, its focus is on the whole of the Australian nation, the whole of the Australian people. Wherever there is a problem, the national government needs to be saying, 'What can we usefully do to help?' Because the economic situation of Tasmania is now so dire, it is important that there be a special focus on Tasmania, hence this package that is tailor made for Tasmania. So, joe, over to you and then to Will and then we will take some questions.Thank you very must have, owe this package is very much focussed on investment and productive infrastructure that helps to grow the Tasmanian economy. It's very much focussed on cutting red tape and green tape and facilitiating faster approval process for major investment. And the focus is on Tasmania. It is in all of Australia's interest to lift economic growth in Tasmania. No part of Australia can be left behind. It is unacceptable to leave behind Tasmania. We must put Tasmania first in order to give it the opportunity amongst many other opportunities to get ahead from an economic perspective. That means greater job security and greater job opportunity. Importantly, it means giving people in Tasmania hope that tomorrow will be better than today. And it can be. It is unacceptable to have an unemployment rate with an 8 in front of it here in Tasmania. The Fat that it has increased dramatically under Labor where it was - it had started with a 5 in front of it when Kevin Rudd was first eleblinged now unemployment has an 8 in front of it and it may well go much higher as the national unemployment rate continues to rise. So the bottom line is we have to put Tasmania at the forefront of the mind of everyone that is governing for the whole of Australia and this is a plan with real detail and real investment and it's not just a one-off plan, it's an ongoing plan. The fact that the economic council involving the PM, the Treasurer and business leaders from Tasmania is going to meet, it's not happening in any other State, it's happening here for Tasmania in the national interests.Thank you very much, Joe and Tony and Andrew for once again showing your very strong commitment to Tasmania. This is a special, very special package for Tasmania. Finally we have national interest in how we can turn Tasmania's economic around. I've consistently said that Tasmania should not be a place that's constantly looking to Canberra for handouts. We we're deserving of our share share but we need to do everything we can to make Tasmania a more competitive place to do business, a more attractive investment destination and we're entitled to our fair share of support from the Federal investment
Government.This is the sort of investment in our infrastructure, in our business sector, in creating jobs for Tasmanians that we have desperately need. I've been prif privilege desperately need. I've prif privilege and delighted to
work desperately need. I've been
prif work so closely with my work so closely with colleagues to develop this plan colleagues and it's been developed through extensive consultation with the business community as well.But it's what Tasmania needs, a plan to reboot our economy, to invest in job security, to give Tasmanians a sense of hope and importantly to build our infrastructure. So thank you very much for your very strong commitment and your special interest in Tasmania.I also want to briefly just mention the issue regarding the preferencing of vote an the Greens and where they sit in this issue and indeed where the Labor Party are when it comes to this matter.I know better than anyone else that you cannot trust Labor when it comes to their commitments to not do deals with any other party. I've lived through it. When Labor say before an election they will not do deals with the Greens, Tasmanians and I think Australians can know confidently they will change their position after the election just to get back into government. I've lived through it, I've seen it. Tasmanians know well and truly that the last thing we need not only in Tasmania but at a national level is not hung parliament, a minority government propped up by the Greens does it is so bad for ve. And business confidence and job security in Tasmania.It's a in contrast with the very strong plan I am delighted to be part of the announcement today.Thank you so much, Will. Naomi.On the funding for the airportisite already been upgraded. Does this expand what's already happening or does it simply contribute to those funds?Work has been done on the airport, no doubt about that. But this is an additional $38 million from the Commonwealth to extend the air strip by an additional 500m:And that it mean s it will be able to it mean take the very largest jets both freight sets, passengers jets, so that is why it's such an important boost to the overall transport economy of Tasmania.(Inaudible)I don't accept it would cost $2 billion but of course in the four years since we first made a commitment to the Midland Highway costs have gone up. So the $400 million is there. It starts in the current forward estimates period and it will be available over a number of years to upgrade the highway. Now it's probably not enough to fully duplicate it, it certainly will make a big difference.Mark Latham said you had your beer goings on when you described Fiona Scott as having sex appeal. What do you think about his comments?I am just going to leave that hyper ventlating to others.It's interesting, isn't it, Mr Rudd said at the beginning that he wanted a positive campaign, yet what we have seen from people associated with the Labor Party is non-stop negativity. I think this is an indicator that Labor has no record to defend and nothing to sayant our future.- say about our future:In May last year you said it was the unify ed Coalition of the premieres - Premiers that the GST should be distributed close to a per capita arrangement. I understand your plan por-Tasmania is growth but if Tasmania had per capita it would lost $680 million to the budget about $3 can't 500 to the household. What is your position on that nowMy position on that today is the same as my position has constantly been - that we will protect Tasmania's GST, the GST is not going to change full stop end of story and again Labor
what we have seen from the Labor Party is constant hyper ventlate ing, lie after lie after lie. I just make the obvious points that the GST can't change unless all of the States and Territories agree.That is not going to happen.Can I ask about wages growth? The RBA and other recent economic firs have highlighted the wage froet is falling. Holden workers have effectively agreed to a wages pause. Given the pressures that some families complain about in relation to cost of living, should Australians can concerned about falling wages growth or should it be embraced across the economy, given the state of the economy.Australians should want a stwronger economy. With a strong economy you can have strong wage growth. That is what we had in the era of the last Coalition Government. If we go back to te ra of the last Coalition Government including the time when I was the employment and Workplace Relations Minister, we had 2 million more jobs, we had a doubling of real net wealth per head and we had a 20%-plus increase in real wages.Now if you want higher wages, you've got to have a stronger economy and that is what our plan is designed to doi.'S designed to create a stronger economy so that wages with grow, so that employment can grow, so that prosperity is grow and that that's what you won't get from a government which is scone stantly clobbering our economy with extra taxes and if you look at the economic statement which the Government put out just before the election was called, what do we see? We see unemployment ing towards 800,000. We see spiralling 800,000. We see debts
spiralling towards $400 million and we see the carbon tax going and up and up and up and we see the carbon tax up and up and up to $38 a
tonne, up and up and tonne, that is no way to boost tonne, that is no way to people's pay..Do you intend to take advice from Katie Perrie about gay marriage?I had a lovely chat to Katie Perrie and it was a real thrill to talk to someone who as far as my daughters are concerned is a really, really special person. Bridgy is thrilled that I now apparently have a luncheon date with Katie Perrie and she wants to crash it. So, look, obviously on that particular respectfully
subject good people can respectfully disagree and obviously I respectfully disagree with a number of people, including my own sister on this subject.No doubt we will all continue to say our piece an let's see where this particularly one goes.Bob Katter and Clive Palmerer not on the economic fringe and are you still pursuing preference deals with themArrangements with Independents and minor parties are a matter for the party organisation. But I just want to be absolutely crystal clear on two points - first, I will not seek to form a minority government, under no circumstances will I seek to form a minority government because Australians are sick of the hung parliament and of a weak and untrust worthy minority government. That is the first point. The second point I have made a captain's call, the Greens will go last and I call on Mr Rudd to do likewise. Let's look at what the Greens want to. Do they want to close down the forestry industry. They want to close down the fish ing industry. They want to close down the coal industry, no real Labor leader would seek to do a deal with people like that.Yesterday I asked you about the tobacco excise $4 billion or $5.6 billion and whether you said you would be up-front with the Australian people. Today the newspapers are widely briefed you will keep it. Would you like to be briefed you will you like to be up fron and confirm that? Secondly on taxation there's another analysis piece by taxation analysis piece by the aforementioned Mark Latham that says that if you're going to reduce company tax which 1.5% with one hand and then increase it by 1.5 with another hand for your paid parental leave scheme, there's a cost in that of churning money. Is that your scheme? Is that what you are going to do?If I could deal with the second part of the question first.We've been very clear ever since I first announced my fair dinkum paid think
parental leave scheme back in I think March 2010 that it was going to have to be funded and that the fairest way to fund it was a modest levy on larger businesses. So that was the fairest way to go. But I am determine not to increase the overall tax burden, I am absolutely determined not to increase the overall tax burden on anyone. Now, we will have more to say about the exactly how it it is going to

a reduction in the company tax rate from 30% to 25% - 28.5% is un ambiguously good news. Sure, there will be some 3,000 businesses that won't get the full benefit but there will be some 750,000 businesses that will.And I think that is good news for the Australian economy. As for the cigarette excise, we will make our position chutely crystal clear. I am not going to say today what our final position will be, but I will be up-front ow you, Mark. We rightly declared a Budget emergenciy and the government poo-pooed ussy saying this is ridiculous. 10 weeks later they advice that the budgetary position is haemorrhaging to the tune of $3 billion a week. Given there is

be fund ing in coming days but