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This Program Is Captioned Live. You're watching ABC News 24. Hello, I'm Kim Landers. The Federal Government has scrapped the climate commission which is headed by scientist Tim Flannery. The Gillard Government set up the commission to provide independent advice about the science of climate change. The Government has also announced it's preparing legislation to scrap the clean-energy finance corporation. Professor Flannery says the Environment Minister, Greg Hunt, rang him this morning to announce the abolition of the commission. He has defended the organisation's work. We've stayed out of the politics and stuck to the facts. As a result, we've developed a reputation as a reliable, apolitical source of facts on all aspects of climate change. I believe Australians have right to know, a right to authoritative, independent and accurate information on climate change.In an Australian first, legislation has been introduced into the ACT assembly to legalise same-sex marriage. There was a standing ovation from the public gallery when the marriage equality bill was introduced. It's expected to pass during next month's the Greens. It's sittings with the support of the Greens. It's not yet known the if the Federal Government will mount a legal challenge to the bill if mount bill if it passes but Prime bill Minister Tony Abbott says he is bill if it passes seeking legal advice Minister Tony Abbott says he seeking legal advice on the matter. Syrian Bashar al-Assad, says matter. Bashar al-Assad, says he is committed to a plan to destroy his country's chemical weapons but warns it could take more than a year. Speaking to Fox News, Mr Assad News, Mr Assad has again denied claims that his forces were responsible for adied dlaed chemical attack near Damascus last month. The jeerian disarmament plan was unveiled by the US and Russia last weekend. The Westments the deal enshrined in a UN resolution backed by the threat of military force but Russia objects. One of Sydney's Skaf gang rapists has been grantsed parole again, a fortnight after it was withdrawn. Mohamed Sanoussi was given parole this month but it was provoked when it emerged his brothers have been charge would a bashing. The 29-year-old has been ordered to released from jail in a fortnight under the condition he does not contact his brothers. Sanoussi has been in jail since 2000 for the gang rapes of girls in Sydney when he was 16. And finally, in surfing, Australia's Taj Burrow has recorded his 12th career victory after winning the ASP event in California, beating compatriot Julian Wilson in the final. It is the first victory on this year's tour for the Australian. Burrow moves up a spot to fourth in world rankings while fellow Australian Mick over from 11-time Australian Mick fannic takes over from 11-time world
champion Kelly Slater at the top of the rankings with just three events left this season. Now Lyndal Curtis joins us with Capital Hill, live from Canberra. Thanks, Kim. Tonight, the new Finance Minister joins us to talk about the task ahead and the Budget and two new MPs look forward to life in parliament.

Welcome to Capital Hill. I'm Lyndal Curtis. Operation Sovereign Borders is into its first full day with now 3-star general, Angus Campbell, officially in his new role. Lieutenant general Campbell's promotion to take command of the Government's task force has prompted a reshuffle in the ranks of the army with Major General Gus gill taking over as deltopy Chief of Army. First of all, Lieutenant-General, congratulations. Thanks Minister. On your promotion today. That's an incredibly significant thing to be promoted 3-star ranked and I can think of no-one more deserving and can only say my thank you to the CDF for recommending such a fine commander for what will be a very tough operation and very gruelling months ahead. I look forward to working with all of our
you gentlemen and delivering on our core commitment to the Australian people to stop the boats and we won't let them down. Thank you.We're going to roll up our sleeves to get to work. Thank you. The Government has also abolished the climate commission and with the NSW Government, given the go-ahead to the first of the major road projects promised fund being the Coalition, West Connex in Sydney. The Prime Minister asked his Attorney-General to seek legal advice on move by the ACT to legislate for same-sex marriage and behind the scenes the briefings for new Ministers are continuing. One of those is the Finance Minister, Matthias Cormann. I spoke to him a short time ago. Matthias Cormann, welcome to Capital Hill. Good to be back. Congratulations. Have you been buried in briefings now as the new Finance Minister? Well, obviously we are now the Government, we were sworn in yesterday. This is my first full day in the job and, yes, I have had a series of meetings with senior officials from the finance department going through the incoming Government brief and we've focused on our agenda, calmly implementing our agenda for stronger, more prosperous economy, to create more jobs, scrapping the carbon tax, scrapping the mining tax, bringing the Budget back under control and of course building the roads of the 21st century. You would have seen today the Prime Minister was in Sydney announcing our commitment to have thit ground running the West Connex project have thit ground running but,
yes, have thit yes, we've made a start but of course there's lots more work yes, we've made a start to do.And course there's lots more to do.And will your role the one to do.And will your the one traditionally given to
a Finance the one a Finance Minister? Do you know exactly what duties you'll be performing? know exactly what duties be performing? Obviously I'm part of the economic be performing? Obviously part of the economic team. Joe
Hockey as part of Hockey as the Treasurer leads that team and, yes, I would have to say my responsibilities are usual Finance Minister has had in years gone by. In preparation for saying no to your colleagues when it comes to Budget razor gang meetings? Obviously right now we're going through those briefings to make sure we have a clear understanding of the lay of the land. There has been - it is a matter of public record that in the period from the Budget to the pre-election economic and fiscal outlook that there had been a significant deterioration under Labor in the Budget bottom line to the tune of about $3 billion a week. There has been some further deterioration in Budget position over the forward estimates since that time and we are working our way through that. Has that deterioration been of the same magnitude , about 3 billion a week? The short answer is no, it has not been of the same magitude but we're working through all of the ins and outs of all of this and in good time, as we've gone through proper process, we will be makinging the relevant announcements. You would be aware that as a matter of course, by the end of September, the final Budget outcome for 2012/13 is due to come out so we're on track in relation to that.The Prime Minister said this morning the briefings he had showed the deterioration in the Budget is not markedly different from the situation revealed in the pre-election economic and fiscal outlook. Is it fair to assume that you have not discovered, as John Howard and Peter Costello did when they came in, a great big Budget black hole, just a position that is tracking as it had been since Budget time? Obviously, over the years that Labor has continued
been in Government the Budget continued to deteriorate from Budget to Budget update and massively in the 11-week period from May to August. It is true that as a result of the Charter of Budget Honesty which John Howard and Peter Costello put in place that the quality of the information that was released by the secretaries of Treasury and finance was obviously significantly higher than what might have been in place in 1996 but that is not to say that there hasn't been any change for some reasons, there has been some reasons that reasons, there has been reasons that are eminently explainable, there have been some further shifts and of course we've got to explainable, there have been
some course we've got to work
through that in a proper, calm, careful and meth oddical way and that's what we're doing. Having had some briefings, is it fair to say the economic update produced by Treasury and finance under the charter of Budget honesty was pretty much the situation it is now and there may have not been, as the Coalition said before the election, any reason to cast any doubt over those figure s? We've always said throughout the campaign we accepted the pre-election economic and outlook
fiscal outlook was the best outlook of the departments of Treasury and finance and we stand by this but as I mentioned there has been some further deterioration for some reasonable reasons since that time and of course we're working our way through all of these things in a proper methodical way and we're ready to make some announcements we'll do that. You had declared - Tony Abbott had declared a Budget emergency before the election. We had conversations about that during the election. It is it fair to say that the situation and the way you're responding to it is not exactly an emergency response, it's a slower response that in the end, on your election figures, you would leave the Budget $6 billion over 4 years better off? Let's be very clear, Labor in 2007 inherited a very strong Budget position and made a mess of things. They kept promising surplus Budgets and kept delivering deficit Budgets. They did have the global financial crisis early in their term. In the leadup to the last election which was well after the global financial crisis, they made all sorts of promises in relation to surplus Budgets in 2012/13 and onwards and in the 2012/13 Budget you might remember former Treasurer Wayne Swan proclaimed, well after the global financial crisis, that the deficit years are over and the surplus years are here and of course only to break that promise very shortly after that. So what we've had under Labor is $250 million of accumulated deficits, a massive deterioration of what was promised in the leadup to the 2010 election to the situation in the leadup to the most recent election. Even from the May 2011 Budget to what happened in the leadup to the last election there, was a deterioration in the Budget bottom line in excess of $107 billion. What we've put forward in election as part in the leadup to the last election as part aerocostings exercise is a careful and very well considered plan to start turning that situation around. We have of course released costings which show an improvement in the Budget bottom line over the forward billion,
estimates to the tune of $6 billion, a reduction in Government debt by $16 billion. We are now under way of course, working with Treasury and Finance in preventing that plan. You are, as Labor plan. You are, as Labor was doing, you're cautious not to hit the economy too hard with swingeing spending cuts because of signs of some weakness in the came - in the economy? Our plan is to strengthen the economy, our plan is for a stronger more prosperous economy and more jobs and we plan to achieve that by scrapping the carbon tax to reduce the cost of living and reduce the cost of doing business and make us more competitive internationally. We'll focus on improving productivity by cutting red tape for business by about a billion dollars a year, we're focussing on a range of economy,
initiatives to strengthen the economy, including and in particular boosting infrastructure spend ping on productive infrastructure, on building the roads of the 21st century which is good in terms of easing congestion, traffic congestion across Australia, but which is also good in boosting productivity and as such boosting economic growth moving forward. Coalition figures have been saying since the election that Australia is open again for business. Figures, charts put out by the Reserve Bank, show that investment, business investment in Australia is at about 18% of GDP. That's quite a high figure. In what way has Australia not been open for business? Over the last six
years we've wee business? Over the years we've wee had an anti-business years we've anti-business Government. We had a Treasurer in Wayne Swan who attacked anyone who aspired to be successful, quasi- as if they were somehow a bad person.Businesses have still been investing and mining investment in particular is in the tens of billions of dollars? Under the former Government we had lot of earn certainty, we had lot of chopping and changing, a lot of bad process a lot of additional taxes, lots of additional red tape, mow than 21,000 new face pistes of regulation. All oo that was bod bad for the investment environment. We've said we will be a Government that wants business to be successful. We are going to be a Government that wants to create the conditions again for business to grow more strongly by cutting red tape, by scrapping taxes like the carbon tax and mining tax, by pursuing our agenda to cut company tax by 1.5% from 1 July 2015 and so on. We are very much - and we of course want to send a very clear message to business in Australia and to investors internationally that under the Coalition we'll have stable and good Government, we'll have an investment climate that is conducive to people actually investing more strongly again and of course pursuing those growth opportunities. One final small question - has any decision been made about when you are likely to release the mid year economic update? We're working our way through this within the normal course of events in Government. What we do know is as a matter of course the final Budget outcome for 2012/13 is due in the next couple of weeks and that will of course happen in the normal course of events. Matthias Cormann, thank you very much for your time. Also good to be here. Now to today's politics panel. Joining me are two men who have just won seats in the federal election but are yet to be officially sworn in as MPs. Angus Taylor, Liberal member for the seat of Hume in NSW who's here in Canberra, and Labor's Tim Watts, the new member for gel ebrand in Melbourne. Congratulations and welcome to you both. Thank you. Good to be here.I'll ask you both, first you, Tim, why did you decide on a life in politic s? I've always believed strongly in Labor's mission, in expanding the quality of opportunity, both economic and social, and from a young age I've believed the best way to make a contribution to that mission is through the political process so I put my hand up because I think I can make a contribution. Angus? It was a big call for me. I'd had a full and rewarding career in agriculture and business but I wanted to make a difference in a different way. I was always surrounded by politics around our kitchen table as I was growing up. My father was Farmers and
President of the NSW and Farmers and this at a time when agriculture was really leading the ajebleeda so I've always been interested. The years ago and
opportunity came opcouple of years ago and I jumped at it, believing that more people need to come into politics mid career when they've done a significant amount of time doing other things. Now Tim, what's been your politics up to What's been your involvement in the majority of my career before politics up to now? I've spent before now in the private sector. I started my before now in the sector. I started my career as
a corporate sector. I started my a corporate lawyer specialising in a in the telecommunications sector, spent a brief in the sector, spent a brief period
working with sector, spent a brief working with Senator Conroy in both working both Opposition and Government
on working with Senator Conroy in on the NBN but for the last 4 years I've been on the NBN but for the last years I've as years I've been work at Telstra
as a regulatory affairs manager so my background is pre-Dom nantedly private sector. As Angus nantedly private sector. Angus said, do you think coming in after having experience both