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Welcome to Australia Votes, I'm Lyndal Curtis. Tonight, the costings debate comes at a cost for Labor but the major parties are uniielted in their support for greater mental health funding. Also tonight, News Exchange Votes with Matt Cargill. Ahead of NX Votes, we speak to JJJ Hack's Julia Holman and as the row over costings dominates the election campaign, today we're asking which party's policy claims do you think are more credible?

It's back to Capital Hill in a moment, first here's Richard Davies with a check of the news headlines. Matt, a unit of elite Australian Special Forces troops is under investigation for reportedly mutilating the body of at least one Afghan insurgent. The ABC understands the investigation involves the removal of hands from a corpse. National defence correspondent Michael Brissenden has this exclusive report. Back in May this year, the Australian Defence Force announced an investigation into potential misconduct involving Australian troops. Obviously, a charge too serious not to acknowledge but also too sensitive to release any real detail. Back then, the CDF general David Hurley said an incident of potential misconduct during an operation had been raised through the chain. The ABC understands the internal national command detail of the misconduct chain. The ABC detail of the misconduct the
Chief of detail of the misconduct Chief of Defence force eluded to involvathise removal of hands from the corpse of to involvathise removal least one hands from the least one Afghan insurgent. The incident under least one Afghan insurgent. occurred during incident under investigation
occurred during a operation between Afghan
national occurred during a combined
operation national security forces and national security forces Australia's special operations
task group in Zabul province on 28 April that resulted in the killing of four insurgents. Australian troops are required to collect fingerprints and eye scans of every insurgent they kill if possible to do so. The ABC has learned that during a briefing at the Australian base in southern Afghanistan, an investigator from the Australian Defence Force investigative service told the troops that it didn't matter how the fingerprints were taken and that chopping off the hands of the dead and bringing them back to base for fingerprinting would be acceptable. We understand at least one pair of hands was presented back at the Australian base in Tarin Kowt. The mutilation or mistreatment of the bodies of the dead is a violation of the laws of war so this matter is being taken very seriously and this investigation is not just conducted by the ADF but also by ISAF, the inter national security assistance force with overall command of all forces in Afghanistan. Last year, footage of American soldiers urinating on dead Afghan bodies sparked outrage across the country. In a statement this afternoon, the Defence department says:

No timeline has been set for the completion of the investigation. British MPs have voted against possible military intervention in Syria over the use of chemical weapons. Prime Minister David Cameron argued in favour of the proposal which was defeated by 13 votes. He says the Government will act accordingly. It effectively rules out Britain's involvement in any US-led strikes against Damascus. in any US-led strikes Damascus. Veteran Australian entertainer Rolf Harris will face court in London next month on 13 child sex offences. Harris has been charged with 9 counts of indecent assault involving two teen-aged girls in the 1980s. Four other charges relate to making indecent images of a child last year. There's been no response from Harris or his representatives. The NSW corruption watchdog has handed down another damning assessment of the former State Labor Government. Former Mines Minister, Ian Macdonald, and ex-union boss, John Maitland, have been found to have acted corruptly in the issuing of a coal licence. The ICAC is recommending criminal charges be laid. The Labor Opposition Leader, John Robertson, says he believes Mr Macdonald and thorths implicated in today's findings should go to prison. A 14-year-old Brisbane school student has been refused bail on charges of attempting to murder a class mate. A 15-year-old boy was seriously wounded in a stabbing at a school auditorium at a private Catholic school in Mitchelton yesterday. He remains in the Royal Brisbane Hospital but his injuries aren't life threatening. The 14-year-old has been remanded in custody because a magistrate found he posed a risk to the community. Members of the Australian Defence Force have been searching a rubbish dump in Darwin for a piece of equipment that may have accidentally been thrown out. The Defence Force won't reveal what the equipment is but says it doesn't pose a risk to the public. The Australian Defence Force has been here at Shoal Bay tip in Darwin searching for a piece of their equipment they say may have been accidentally brought to the facility. Army officials arrived at the tip early this morning. They had two large military trucks with heavy earth-moving gear to search through the rubbish for the missing piece of equipment. The Australian Defence Force says the piece of equipment does not pose a risk to the public. They've now finished their search but won't say whether or not they found what they were looking for. The Defence Force is investigating the matter. Those are the news headlines. Now back to Lyndal Curtis in Canberra with Capital Hill.

This Program Is Captioned Live. It was with great fanfare yesterday that Labor revealed it had found a $10 billion hole in the Coalition's $31 billion of savings and the Government produced figures from the bureaucracy and the Parliamentary Budget Office to back its case but it began to unravel only hours later when the secretaries of Treasury and finance and the head of the Parliamentary Budget Office put out separate statements making clear they had not costed Coalition policies, simply Government assumptions about those policies. The Opposition cried foul cried foul after the Government press conference but before the cried foul after the departmental and press conference but departmental and PBO
statements, press conference but before the
departmental and statements, the Opposition sent to Treasury the costings statements, the Opposition to Treasury the costings it had done by the PBO of the policies in dispute. The Prime Minister hasn't backed away from his accusation the Opposition Leader is committing fraud by hiding policy costings. Tony Abbott said today the Coalition is likely to release its full costings towards the end of next week, just before the election. Mr Rudd has hit out at the Coalition's refusal to make its costings public sooner. Mr Abbott's fraud on the Australian people is not to release the full costings and assumptions of his own policies for a political reason which is not to front the Australian people and where his $70 billion of cuts will be. As for statements by bureaucrats, these things are from time to time made but the bottom line remains that the fraud being committed here is a failure to come upfront and direct with the Australian people about where these costings and cuts ultimately lie.There is no indication from the Opposition that the full Parliamentary Budget Office costings it says it's had done will see light before the election. For more y was joined a short time ago by the Opposition's finance spokesman, Andrew Robb. Welcome to Capital Hill. In the debate about costings, the Labor Party has more than 40 costed policies on the website, the Greens more than 50 costed policies on the Parliamentary Budget Office website. Your don't have any costed policies out there. Why are want you using the charpter of Budget honesty process to put out your costings as you go? We are using the charter of Budget honesty. You must changed it
recall that the Government changed it to include either the Parliamentary Budget Office or the Treasury and Finance to do calculations of costings. We happen to use the Parliamentary Budget Office because we've been working with them for months and are familiar with a lot of the policies we had in mind and we've done exhaustive examination, literally hundreds of policies which now make up a raft of policies well in excess of Labor's, I think some 25 policy positions on our web site which have been fully costed, fully costed by the Parliamentary Budget Office yet consistent with the charter of Budget honesty. But you put your policies into the Parliamentary Budget Office before the election was called which means you determine if and when you release that information and at this stage, as I understand it, you are not going to release the Parliamentary Budget Office costings at all, are you? We have already. Every policy that you - if you go and access our website, we've got some 600 pages of policy, the Labour Party's got 90 and five of those are press releases for goodness sake.But none of the parliamentary costings that came from the Parliamentary Budget Office are public yet on your side? They are. All of those policies, except those that don't have a cost, all of those policies have been fully costed by the Parliamentary Budget Office and have been ratified by our 3-person eminent group of public finance officials. This is far above and beyond anything the Government has done. They've got 90 pages, several of them just press releases and they've got no costings out and no fundings out for their program.They've got more than 40 policy costings on the Treasury website. If may not be all of them but they've got more than 40 of the costings done up there, don't they?I'm saying they've got 90 pages of policy detail, only, on the website. We've got in excess of 600 pages, we've got full policy positions for areas of policy and I think it is something in the order of 46 now which makes up many, many policies and 600 pages of detail, all of which have been fully costed according charter of Budget honesty fully costed according to the charter consistent with the practice charter of Budget over a long period of time and there over a long period of there is nothing unusual, in fact we there is nothing unusual, fact we have complied to the fact letter - it is fact we have complied to letter - it is the Government
who letter - it is who have obfuscated and not put their material who have their material out in the way
that they who have obfuscated and not put that they should. We'll see it that again - I bet you we'll see it again on Friday afternoon this time next week. While you have policy documents out there, you have none of the costings you have had done by the Parliamentary Budget Office or any of the work done by your 3-person independent committee. That will not be released publicly, will it? Sorry, Lyndal, the hundreds of pages of Treasury documentation and assumptions and works and in many cases private data sets and all of these things, when have you ever seen that? When ever have you seen that from a Government or Opposition? Never. All of our costings are there for everyone to see and everyone can know and we will confirm it next week, everyone can know that every one of those costings that have been established have gone through this most rigorous process. It is an unprecedented process that we have gone through as an Opposition. It's been three years in the making, not 3 minutes as the other side of politics. They're making things up on the run. Their campaign's unravelling. Everything is a thought bubble. I wouldn't be surprised if Kevin Rudd announced next week that he's going to put an Australian on the moon by 2035 and preferably a Queenslander. Talking about the figuring that go Budget aren't released but costings during an election campaign have been released and are being released by the Parliamentary Budget are being Parliamentary Budget Office for the Greens and you are not going to, are you, release those costing those costing documents?I'm sorry, Lyndal, you go back over time and look at the documents that have been put out campaign after campaign by both sides of politics. I'd be very grateful to see the workings of the Treasury and Finance that sit behind all of the Government's policy proposals.You can see some of them, can't you, because some are up on the Treasury website. No, sorry, you show me the private data sets and all of the assumptions and all of the rest that make up their costings. You show me the modelling and the assumptions sitting behind all the models. You can't even get this at any stage from this Government over the last 6 years, much less during a campaign. We have complied to the letter with the charter of Budget honesty. We have put out there now the vast majority of our savings, the vast majority of our policies, every policy has got a costing attached to it. We have complied, people should have great comfort in the fact we've gone to a rigorous, sensible, measured high-level process, all of which has been verified by people who were appointed by this Government. The Parliamentary Budget Office, the head of that was appointed by the Government, a former senior finance official. All of the 40 staff appointed by this Government, the organisation created by this Government to provide objective, independent costing of policies by either individual members of parliament or parties. We have done that to the letter. You say you have done that but you will not put any of them out, will you? Sorry, we have put them all out. All the costings from the Parliamentary Budget Office? We have put out the cost of every item, as verified, as analysed, as scrutinised by the Parliamentary Budget Office and by our 3-member eminent committee. You've committed to reducing the public service by 12 ,000 through natural attrition. Does that include job cuts as a result of deregulation, not needing so many public servants because they haven't got so much to administer or stream-lining areas where states and the Federal Government worked together? In many cases that will be managed by the individual departments. We will, by natural attrition, we will not replace 12,000 people over the next two years. Many departments, I would assume, would then rejig the responsibilities to be consistent with the associated deregulation. The reason we
will remove deregulation. The reason will remove 12,000 is because
we will remove 12,000 we won't need them to manage a we won't need lot of the regulation that we aim to remove or to modify or to hand to the states, so therefore it will be a responsibility of the individual departments to meet those needs and to rejig their workforce to comply with all of the requirements of the Government. Are you comfortable with Mr Abbott's suggestion at the last people's forum that any return to surplus would be delayed in order to ensure promises are met, that the priorities on meeting the promises? We have said that we will get the books back in the black as quick as we can responsibly do so. Part of that responsibility is to meet the commitments that we have made. We want to restore some certainty and stability into people's lives. People have not been spending for 18 months, no wonder retail's on its knees. There is no appetite for risk and reward and investment.While the continue, the debt grows, investment.While the deficits doesn't it? It will but we've said we're going to get on top of the debt. That means we will get the books back in the black as quick as we responsibly can do so. That will certainly be well ahead of anything the Labor would do. They will never get back to a surplus. You look at the spending they have foreshadowed, not only for the next four years but for the next 24 years and it's out of control. Kevin Rudd is a spend er. He's a spender, a borrower, a taxer. That's all he knows. That's all they'll have if they get back to office. Are you expecting to be Finance Minister if the Coalition wins? I will take whatever job guaranteed
I'm given. Nothing is guaranteed in this world. I'd be very pleased to be Finance Minister in an Abbott Government.Andrew Robb, thank you very much for your time. Thanks very much, Lyndal.

The Federal Opposition has announced it will review mental health services. Tony Abbott says the national mental health commission will conduct the review but he insists it's not about saving money. He's also announced $34 million to boost the number of Head Space centres and 18 million for a new centre for excellence in youth mental health. To discuss the Coalition's announcement and Labor's plans for mental health y was joined a short time ago by the Minister for mental health, Jacinta Collins. Welcome to ABC News 24. Both sides of politics are committed to increasing the number of Head Space centres by 10 but 90 were promised a couple of years ago and they haven't all been delivered. Are these taking too long to roll out? Lyndal, they're rolling out on time. The good thing today is that Mr Abbott has matched our commitment indicated by the Prime Minister yesterday to grow the number of sites a further 10. We have in place plans for the full 90 to be rolled out by 2015 and the announcement is to provide a further 10 that will also be in place by the end of 2015. So rolled out in the same timeframe as the others? Yes, rolled out in timeframe but it's important to note we have 55 Head Space locations currently operating today and doing a great job.Mental health advocates I've spoken to say that mental health is a much bigger problem than disability but it's not getting the same level of funding and they are concerned too about people pulling back on community care and focussing on hospital-based care. Do you think those issues that need to be addressed still? They certainly are issues that need to be addressed and that's what our $2.2 billion package seeks to do.

to do. Through other services operating through Medicare Locals, to enhance the accessibility of help for people when it's needed. There are differences of opinions in the mental health community about how to best tackle mental health problems. There are some worried about youth mental health and other worried about the focus on people say that's actually the point at which you start to people say that's actually deal with the problems if you can get them early, can get them early, then you can deal with them. Tony Abbott announced some money for research into Patrick McGory's Origin centre. Is the Government also putting more money into research? Yes, part of our $2.2 billion package is to put money into research. There's a Sydney centre that we have operating that and there's also two fellowships that Minister Plibersek announced last week. Research in mental health is very important but there are other priorities. The announcement by Mr Abbott today, apart from adopting our further expansion of Head Spaces, doesn't focus on the other critical areas that reach beyond the youth mental health services that I think I'll disagree with you on the point that there is an agreement that youth mental health services are a priority and in fact in some ways Australia's now being regarded as a world leader but it's not the only priority. We acknowledge that with programs like Partners in Recovery and ATAPS that are operating Locals
through many of the Medicare Locals and that's why in this election campaign we say, the services in communities being delivered by Medicare Locals are critical and need to be supported and shouldn't be the subject of some vague review that Mr Abbott talks about.Is Australia yet at the stage where mental health is being treated, being regarded the same as physical illnesses like diabetes or cardiovascular illnesses or does Australia still have some way to go in generally and not making the distinction between mental and physical distinction physical health? I think there is some way to go. With respect to Government priorities though, we accepted that mental health was a component of DisabilityCare. There's funding in the overall DisabilityCare package to accept chronic persistent serious mental health as one of the areas of disability but by the same token we also understand that you need to tackle disability early and in an early intervention and preventative framework as well which is what the Head Space services are all about. Our announcement today about initiatives in workplaces is important too. Not only regarding reducing stigma but also continuing a connection between people who confront mental illness with society and with a workplace more generally. What we do here - what we do hear consistent messages from stakeholders about is the importance of maintaining and building connection s from people with mental illness into the community, whether it's their workplace or other community activities. 3 the things we're focussing on. Research is important and it's a component of our package but we must enhance service delivery. Labor's statement on mental health seeks to do that further and by the same token the mental health sector has been arguing that there should be a longer-term focus on further reform and we have committed to the call for a productivy commission report by the end of 2014 so that our reforms that run five years won't end at that point, that we will continue to improve and that by the time the five years of our current mental health package conclude we have a plan for the You've seen finance and Treasury and the PBO wanting to make sure that everyone knows they are independent and of course they are but what we've done here is taken what the Opposition have put on the public record and costed it and when you do that, you find it simply does not add up with what the Opposition say is the savings you can associate with those particular changes.When you do that, don't you risk running - don'tia run the risk of potentially making a mistake because the assumptions you use, such as the assumptions used for the costing of public service cuts, might be different? They might be but here is exactly the point - we are in a position right now where you have one side of politics, being the Government, who have made completely transparent all their economic costings, the road to a surplus, everything up until the economic statement that was made immediately prior to care-taker period has been completely costed, is there for everyone to see, including all the difficult decisions such as the FBT, means testing on the Medicare rebate every announcement we've since then we've submitted to
Treasury and if every announcement we've made
since Treasury and if you go to Treasury election costings.com.au you'll find election costings.com.au find there will be 17-odd
policies from the Labor Party. There are none, absolutely There are from the Liberal Party There are none, that's the fundamental from the Liberal difference here and here we are difference here eight days out from the difference here and here we election, many people have already voted, and the Opposition are not telling you how they're going to balance the books. The reason is they know if they do tell you you're not going to vote for them. That is the issue generating the heat and light here.The Economist magazine has backed Labor, saying you have a decent that
record R. You happy to take that endorsement? We do have a decent record. We can start from the proposition that we are a Government which has a AAA credit rating from all the three major credit rating agencies internationally, something not achieved by the Howard Government. We've put more than a million jobs into our economy since immediately prior to the global financial crisis. If you look at the United States, they have less jobs today than they had mtedly prior to crisis - immediately prior to the global financial crisis. The magazine also says in its endorsement, it calls Mr Rudd mercurial with a defective personalitiurg says he treated colleagues with contempt, he meddled, was with indecisive and my live up to the promise to be vile to his - less vile to his colleagues. Not a whole-hearted endorsement, is it? I don't know who wrote it but I have experience with the Prime Minister when he was Prime Minister, Foreign Minister and now again as Prime Minister and none of what you read out rings true in terms of my working with Kevin Rudd and I've worked as closely with Kevin Rudd as anybody. There's a lot that is said about Kevin Rudd, there's lot of mythology that has grown up around him. The reality is in a difficult decision he is the to have $making the decisions and he made them at our darkest moment, at the end of 2008 and the beginning of 2009 during the global economic crisis and the reason why we have such a good economy the reason why good economy today is in large measure because of the decisions he made at that moment in time and decisions he moment in time and I've seen him up close first-hand, operating as both Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, and he is a man who gets the judgments right and that's exactly had kind of person you want as the Prime Minister offence Australia. Your predecessor, Craig Emerson, used to take on the claims of the Coalition, particularly the Nationals, about foreign investment in agricultural land, saying the debate needed to be had on the basis of facts not fear, that ownership was around 6% and hadn't really changed over the last 30 years. Given that, given that you last year committed to a register of foreign-owned land, what is there for the Prime Minister to be anxious about? What the Prime Minister's reflecting is that there is anxiety out there. There is no doubt about that, which is why we had set up a land register so that we can be completely clear, as Craig Emerson said, about what the facts are and make sure we are making policy based on facts.He said he was anxious himself. He wasn't just acknowledging there is some community anxiety. I think he was reflecting the community anxiety that exists around this and I think that's appropriate for our Prime Minister to do and I think it is appropriate for our Prime Minister to listen to those concerns. The question chen is what do you do about it? What his Government has done is put in place a register so that we can be clear about what the facts are. Let's talk about the facts on the policy here when we're talking about foreign investment. The policy difference here is that the Coalition are going out there saying that they will reduce the third threshold from what is now about a quarter of a billion dollars down to 15 million. If you do that and if you make foreign investment less flexible by virtue of that, not only do you clog up the work of the foreign investment review board but you kill a China FTA stone dead and in that there are hundreds of thousands of Australian jobs at stake. That is what the Opposition's standing for right now. You are not planning any more changes to foreign investment rules apart from having the register? Firstly, there is the register - no, we're not planning to have any changes to the foreign investment rules but the other point I was going to make is that the Prime Minister in his answer to that question which has been raked over a fair bit now, talked a lot about the desirability of doing joint ventures, of co-investment. Again, his Government at the end of last year released the feeding the future report which was jointly done between the Australian and Chinese Governments which looked exactly work together in exactly at that, how we work together in research and
development and work together in development and co-invest in pilot development pilot projects. we have to leave it. Richard Marles, thank pilot projects. That's where
we have Marles, thank you for your
time. we have to leave it. Richard Marles, thank time. That's Capital Hill for now. Here's Matt Cargill with NX

Captions by CSI Australia

Coming up, Which party's claims do you think are more credible. Kevin Rudd on Reddit. The Prime Minister fields questions on the forum site. First the headlines.A unit of elite Australian Special Forces troops is under investigation for mutilating the body of at least one Afghan insurgent. The ABC understands the investigation involves the removal of hands from a corpse. The Australian Defence Force has told the ABC it is taking the allegations seriously. British MPs have voted against possible military intervention in Syria over the use of chemical weapons. Prime Minister David Cameron argued in favour of the proposal which was defeated by 13 votes. He says the Government will act accord ingly. It effectively rules out Britain's involvement in US-led strikes in Damascus. Rolf Harris will face court next month on 13 child sex offences. charged with nine counts of indecent assault involving offences. Harris has been charged with teenage
indecent assault involving two teenage girls charged with nine counts of
indecent teenage girls in the 1980s. Four other charges relate to making indecent images of a child last year. There has been no response from Harris or his representatives. The NSW corruption watchdog has handed down another damning assessment of the State Government. Former Mines Minister Ian Macdonald and ex union boss John Maitland have been found to have acted corruptly in the issuing of a mining licence. The ICAC is recommending criminal charges be laid. Back to NX Votes with Matt Cargill. The battle over costings continues to dominate the election campaign. Labor has hit out at the Coalition's decision to release its full election costings at the end of next week, while the Opposition has accused the Government of running a scare campaign. The Liberals posted this Tweet -

Free Federal agencies have released statements distancing themselves from claims of a $10 billion black hole in the Opposition's costings.It was a slap in the face for the Government. Mr Rudd's claims that there was some problem with our costings, some problems with our figures, have exploded in his face. The point I make is when it comes to costings, when it comes to Mr Rudd's statements about Budgetary matters, as long as his lips are moving, he is not telling the truth.Kevin Rudd has hit back. He has lashed out at the media over the way the issue has been reported saying there hasn't been enough scrutiny of the Coalition's economic position. The Prime Minister posted this shot on his Facebook page. The T-shirt text reads 'Keep Calm and Vote Labor'. In Perth, Mr Rudd seized on the Coalition's decision to hold off on releasing its full policy costings.The bottom line is this - the fraud being perpetrated on the Australian people is by Mr Abbott refusing as of today to release to the Australian people full costings, full cuts to the Australian people until it is too late on the eve of the election. That is not democratic. It is not open. It perpetrates a continuing fraud on the Australian people.The Finance Minister Penny Wong has been responding on Twitter - We are asking for your thoughts on the matter of costings . Which party's claims do you think are more credible? The NSW corruption watchdog has recommended criminal charges be laid against former State Labor Minister Ian Macdonald over a mine licence. This comes as the Liberal Party launches a new ad called 'Labor when NSW Premier Carr Connections'.ADVERTISEMENT:Fact, when NSW Premier Carr defended
Eddie Obeid in Parliament. Fact, deputy PM Albanese support ed Macdonald's preselection.Ian Macdonald has described the corruption findings against him as false and based on guesswork.The Coalition has unveiled its