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Lateline -

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Tonight - line of fire - North and South Korea and South Korea exchange artillery barrages in one
of their most intense exchanges in 60 years.

This Program is Captioned Live.

Good evening. Welcome to Lateline. I'm Leigh Sales. Australia's Foreign Minister, Kevin Rudd, is
Kevin Rudd, is standing by in our Canberra studio. We'll cross to him in a moment. Also tonight
Parliament set to vote this week on legislation critical to the Government's National Broadband
Network plan. But it is stalled at the final hurdle with the Coalition and key Independents
withholding support.

If the

withholding support.

If the Government was serious about getting the Parliament's support for this legislation it would
be fully transparent. This business belongs to the people of Australia. The Parliament are the
people's representatives. We, and the people of Australia, are entitled to know entitled to know
what the business plan is for this $43 billion investment.

Shadow Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull will also join the program tonight. First, our
other headlines. A other headlines. A nation mourns - Cambodia comes to terms with a festival
stampede that leaves 350 dead. that leaves 350 dead. Fearing the worst - no contact Zealand's
trapped miners as hopes fade.

Korean armies exchange artillery fire

Korean armies exchange artillery fire

Broadcast: 23/11/2010

Reporter: Mark Willacy

South Korea's military is on its highest non-wartime alert after North Korean forces fired more
than 70 shells on Yeonpyeong Island, killing two marines and causing widespread fires.


LEIGH SALES, PRESENTER: South Korea's military is on its highest non-war alert after an artillery
barrage from North Korea killed two marines and injured at least 12 others.

More than 70 shells were fired on Yeonpyeong Island, in a disputed maritime border area, causing
widespread fires and damage to scores of buildings.

Analysts say this is one of the most serious clashes since the Korean War ended without a peace
treaty in 1953.

The ABC's North Asia correspondent Mark Willacy has the latest.

MARK WILLACY, NORTH ASIA CORRESPONDENT: It looked like a war zone - rising smoke from burning
houses hit by the North Korean artillery barrage.

And from a military perspective it was a successful strike. More than a dozen South Koreans
wounded, at least two dead. But civilians were also wounded, with dozens of shells slamming into
South Korea's Yeonpyeong Island, which lies perilously close to the maritime border with the North.

In response, the South fired 80 artillery shells, scrambled F-16 fighter jets and went on its
highest level of alert short of war.

SHIM SOO-HEE, SOUTH KOREAN: I think it's highly likely there will be a war with the North. I'm
living near the North so I feel more threatened.

MARK WILLACY: And Pyongyang is warning of more strikes, with a spokesman saying the artillery
attack was an act of self defence in response to recent naval drills by Seoul.

South Korea's president, Lee Myung-Bak, immediately convened a meeting of his Cabinet and Security
chiefs in an underground war room - a presidential statement warning of stern retaliation if there
are any more provocations.

Pyongyang's chief ally is calling for calm.

HONG LEI, CHINESE FOREIGN MINISTER SPOKESMAN (translated): We have taken note of the relevant
reports and we express concern for the situation. This situation will be verified. We hope that the
relevant parties will contribute their share to peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula.

MARK WILLACY: After the sinking 8 months ago of a South Korean corvette, president Lee had warned
Pyongyang that any more provocations could be met with force.

An international team of investigators blamed a North Korean torpedo fired from a midget submarine
for tearing the warship in two. After that, no one thought the North would be so brazen to launch a
daylight attack like this.

But the North seems determined to play for high stakes and to lay its cards on the table. Just days
ago Pyongyang revealed to the world a new nuclear facility, apparently capable of enriching
uranium, possibly for a nuclear bomb.

So why does an impoverished, starving and secretive state want to pick a fight right now?

Some believe it's because of the man they call the 'Young General'. Kim Jong-un is now officially
in line to take over when his father, the 'Dear Leader', passes on.

Anointed to take charge of arguably the world's most militarised state, Jong-un needs to show his
military credentials and this strike could be one way of proving his mettle.

Mark Willacy, Lateline.

Rudd analyses Korean situation

Rudd analyses Korean situation

Broadcast: 23/11/2010

Reporter: Leigh Sales

Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd tells Lateline that North Korea has been displaying a pattern of
reckless behaviour and represents a threat to the stability of the entire East Asian region.


LEIGH SALES, PRESENTER: And a short time ago the South Koreans admitted that they were involved in
a military drill, including test firing, before North Korea fired its shells.

But it says it was firing west and not towards North Korea.

Joining me from Canberra is the Foreign Minister, Kevin Rudd.

Mr Rudd, North Korea is saying that it was responding to the South Korean actions. What do you
think is behind North Korea's behaviour here?

KEVIN RUDD, FOREIGN MINISTER: Well, North Korea has a history - not just over the last 50 years or
so but in the last several months - of being exceptionally provocative towards the South.

Let's just line them up. Number one, the sinking of the Cheonan, which was just referred to in your
report. That led to the death of some 46 Republic of Korea sailors.

This is a submarine attack of the type which you would think was normal in World War II, but not in
the 21st century.

The second of course has been the reports within the last week of the North Korean uranium
enrichment program. This is of significant relevance in terms of North Korea's nuclear weapons

And now today this extraordinary development in terms of the artillery barrage by the North
Koreans, which has resulted in the death of two ROK soldiers and the displacement of civilians.

This is a pattern of reckless behaviour.

LEIGH SALES: When you look at those factors over recent months that you outlined, have analysts
thought that a reaction on this scale was imminent, though?

KEVIN RUDD: I think all analysts have consistently failed to anticipate the erratic nature of North
Korean behaviour.

And there is a great degree of opacity about internal North Korean politics. I mean I've been to
Pyongyang a couple of times myself over the years. This place is not called a hermit kingdom for

There are real problems with understanding the dynamics of the regime which cause this behaviour.

I notice your report said it was linked with leadership transition politics. That could be the
case. But what we are concerned about as a government, and as a friend and long standing supporter
of the ROK - the Republic of Korea - is what these provocative acts do in terms of immediate
stability on the Peninsula.

LEIGH SALES: Well, talk around that for us. Is there the potential for this to escalate to a
broader regional conflict?

KEVIN RUDD: Well, I was in Seoul not long ago and spent an hour or so talking to the president, Lee
Myung-Bak, about these sorts of questions. And the president and the government of the Republic of
Korea are legitimately scratching their heads about why the North would do what they did just a
short time ago with the sinking of the Cheonan.

Now, put yourself in the position of the South Korean president, Lee Myung-Bak, and the enormous
weight of domestic public opinion within a democracy the Republic of Korea. And then you've got
this fresh attack by the North Koreans to add on to his, if you like, domestic political burden and

Lee Myung-Bak is a very experienced statesman. I believe he'll exercise restraint but the North
Koreans are really pushing the South to the limit.

LEIGH SALES: Have you had any discussions with your regional counterparts since this started?

KEVIN RUDD: Yes, I had a long discussion this afternoon with the Japanese foreign minister, Seiji
Maehara, who, as you know, was in Canberra today. He came from Tokyo down to Canberra and is back
to Tokyo again this evening. We've had a good day's discussions about regional developments and
then late in the day this unfolded.

So, yes, we and the Japanese are closely collaborating in terms of our response to this provocation
by the North Koreans. And we, together with themselves and the Americans, will be looking towards
two courses of action: what is possible in the UN Security Council; and, secondly, what is also
possible in terms of our respective dialogues with Beijing, given China's particular relationship
with North Korea.

LEIGH SALES: You mentioned the Americans. Have there been any discussions with the State Department

KEVIN RUDD: At an officials level, yes. And we are closely coordinating our responses but this is
going to require a calm hand, a cool hand. I believe the Korean president, Lee Myung-Bak, the
president of the South, will handle this appropriately. He's a very experienced man.

But we as friends and partners of the South back to the days of the Korean War, 1950-53, are also
watching this intently. It is a further reminder of how fragile stability in fact is in the wider
East Asian region where we have so many unresolved territorial disputes.

LEIGH SALES: Given North Korea's long range missile capability and its reputation for erratic
behaviour, does it pose a threat to Australian national security?

KEVIN RUDD: I've long been of the view that the DPRK, North Korea, represents not just a threat to
stability on the Korean Peninsula but more widely across East Asia, and that includes Australia.

You've made reference to their missile capabilities. There are mixed reports in terms of the
effectiveness of range.

But let's put a number of these factors together. You have a number of test firings of North
Korea's missile capability on the one hand. That's the delivery vehicle.

And now you have potentially two sources of fissile material - one being what we've known in the
past to be North Korean access to plutonium at their Yongbyon reactor. And now the recent reports
that in fact they have heavily enriched uranium as well.

Put the ingredients together, it's not just a global challenge to non-proliferation, it's in fact
an immediate challenge to stability within our region as well. That's why we are deeply seized of
these matters.

LEIGH SALES: How important is China's reaction to this?

KEVIN RUDD: I believe it's very important. In Beijing recently I was talking to various Chinese
leaders about the sinking of the Cheonan and the absolute importance which the rest of our region
places on China pressuring the DPRK, North Korea, to adopt a more sensible course of action in the

Now with this most recent development I believe that responsibility will again confront China in
terms of the posture it adopts towards Pyongyang.

I noticed the statement that you just broadcast a minute ago from the Chinese Foreign Ministry
which said that they are seeking to confirm reports.

Well to be fair to the Chinese, it will take a little bit of time to put together all the bits and
pieces here. But at the same time, China has a very close strategic relationship with the North -
goes back to the events of the 1950s. And I think the international community will be looking
towards China to apply more and more pressure to Pyongyang because the current course of action is
one of consistent provocation and I am always concerned about conflict arising through
miscalculation under these circumstances.

LEIGH SALES: Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd, thank you very much for making time to speak to us

KEVIN RUDD: Thanks for having me on your program.

Cambodia hit by tragedy during festival

Cambodia hit by tragedy during festival

Broadcast: 23/11/2010

Reporter: Zoe Daniel

Cambodia has declared a national day of mourning after at least 378 people were killed in a
stampede during a festival in the capital, Phnom Penh.


LEIGH SALES, PRESENTER: Cambodia has declared a national day of mourning after at least 378 people
were killed in a stampede in the capital, Phnom Penh.

Hundreds more were injured when people were crushed on a small island on the final day of the Water

The country's prime minister, Hun Sen, described the stampede as the biggest tragedy to hit
Cambodia since the mass killings carried out by the Khmer Rouge regime in the 1970s.

South-East Asia correspondent Zoe Daniel reports.

ZOE DANIEL, SOUTH EAST ASIA CORRESPONDENT: In a panicked group they crushed each other to death.

The reason for the stampede is unclear but the deadly results won't be reversed with answers. In
the heat, as they were pressed together on a bridge designed for far fewer, they removed their
shoes and clothes, left as a grim reminder of their owners.

MAN (translated): I was stuck in the crowd for a long time and it was so hot and I became

ZOE DANIEL: Phnom Penh's famous annual Water Festival attracts millions, but this year a big crowd
in a confined space along the river became a deadly combination.

On the festival's last night, hundreds crossing the river for shopping and concerts suffocated,
were crushed underfoot or jumped over the sides and drowned.

Many more will still be pulled from the river.

It's a scene of death that Cambodia knows all too well in a different context and it's shocked this
newly optimistic nation.

HUN SEN, CAMBODIAN PRESIDENT (translated): This is the biggest tragedy we've experienced in the
last 31 years, since the collapse of the Pol Pot regime.

ZOE DANIEL: At hospitals around the city today there was confusion and ultimately devastation as
people searched for the missing and the dead.

Up to 400 died, most young women out having fun. An investigation is underway.

TOUCH NAROTH, PHNOM PENH POLICE CHIEF (translated): For the moment we cannot release the report
because we're waiting to speak to the survivors.

ZOE DANIEL: Australian fireman Paul Hurford runs an NGO in Cambodia to help coordinate major
incidents. He and his team were impressed with the organisation of the recovery effort but even for
these seasoned specialists the scene was shocking.

PAUL HURFORD, FIREMAN: Personally I found it quite challenging. It was a very large incident and as
we see now we've got over 345 casualties - sorry, fatalities - from the event and another 300 plus
people seriously injured.

So in any scale, whether we're here in Cambodia or in a developed country in a big city, it's still
a major incident and still quite challenging for anyone to deal with.

ZOE DANIEL: In hospitals across the city, those whose loved ones were injured maintain a bedside

Chia may have brain damage and doctors fear he won't recover to care for his wife and two children

OUK CHOEURN, DOCTOR: Cambodia has never seen such a big death toll from such an unnecessary

ZOE DANIEL: Fifteen-year-old Molum saw people dying around him. He couldn't help them.

MOLUM (translated): It was so hot and I couldn't even think about what was happening around me.

ZOE DANIEL: There'll be a national day of mourning on Thursday for a country that's once again
grieving for its people.

The floats from this year's water festival are now being pulled down but unfortunately the memories
of this year's event will take a long time to fade, for all the wrong reasons.

Zoe Daniel, Lateline.

Video of NZ mine blast released

Video of NZ mine blast released

Broadcast: 23/11/2010

Reporter: Dominique Schwartz

Relatives of New Zealand's missing miners have been shown video footage of the blast which trapped
29 men underground and left rescuers worrying about secondary explosions.


LEIGH SALES, PRESENTER: Relatives of New Zealand's missing miners have been shown video footage of
the powerful blast which rocked the Pike River Coal Mine last week, leaving 29 men unaccounted for.

The company says the CCTV pictures show why rescuers can't risk going into the mine as there is
still the possibility of a secondary explosion caused by dangerous gases.

New Zealand correspondent Dominique Schwartz reports.

PETER WHITTALL, CEO, PIKE RIVER MINE (pointing to a video screen): That's the tunnel coming in from
the right hand side...

DOMINIQUE SCHWARTZ: It was the visual proof of the power of the blast - 2.5 kilometres from the
explosion's possible source, pulverised stone and debris is jettisoned out of the mine's entrance.

PETER WHITTALL: I think it's becoming obvious that there may not be 29 guys all sitting together
waiting to be rescued.

HOWARD BROAD, NZ POLICE COMMISSIONER: The situation for those who are below ground is bleak and
gets bleaker by the hour, by the day.

DOMINIQUE SCHWARTZ: For the distressed relatives of the missing miners it was a sobering end to a
day of disappointments.

This robot, which was to have been a trailblazer for the rescuers, broke down just 500m into its
journey along the mine's main tunnel.

LAWRENCE DREW, FATHER: Five days on we know no more than we did the night it happened. Unacceptable
in the technology age.

DOMINIQUE SCHWARTZ: Help is on its way from Australia. The WA Water Corporation is sending its
robot. It has a range of 6 kilometres and can take pictures, gas samples and carry equipment into
the mine.

There were also delays in the drilling of a second bore hole when the operation hit particularly
hard rock.

The shaft will be used for taking air samples, critical for determining when it is safe for the
rescuers to go in.

Listening devices, however, have been deployed.

GARY KNOWLES, POLICE COMMANDER: We're listening for any movement, any tapping, and any sound of
noise underground.

DOMINIQUE SCHWARTZ: So far there has been no sign of life.

TREVOR WATTS, NZ MINE RESCUE CHIEF: I can't express the frustration that our guys feel at not being
able to deploy underground. It is heart wrenching.

DOMINIQUE SCHWARTZ: And there is a nagging fear among some that the best chance for a rescue may
have been lost.

TONY KOKSHOORN, MAYOR OF GREY REGION: When you've had an explosion the window of opportunity is
right there and then because all the combustible gases have actually burnt up. Then they start
building up again.

DOMINIQUE SCHWARTZ: The residents of Greymouth go into their fifth night since the mine disaster
with no clearer picture about when the rescuers might go in, but perhaps with a grimmer picture
about what the outcome may be.

Dominique Schwartz, Lateline.

Gillard meets cross-benchers over crucial NBN legislation

Gillard meets cross-benchers over crucial NBN legislation

Broadcast: 23/11/2010

Reporter: Susan McDonald

Prime Minister Julia Gillard has met with independent Senator Nick Xenophon and Family First
Senator Steve Fielding today to try to convince them to vote in favour of legislation to split up


LEIGH SALES, PRESENTER: The Federal Government's brought in its heaviest hitter to try to garner
support for a bill that is crucial to the National Broadband Network.

The Prime Minister met both independent Senator Nick Xenophon and Family First's Steve Fielding
today to try to convince them to vote for legislation to split up Telstra's retail and wholesale

Neither crossbencher is yet convinced and time is running out, with the Government wanting the bill
passed by Thursday.

From Canberra, Susan McDonald reports.

SUSAN MCDONALD, REPORTER: Julia Gillard's becoming well versed at international diplomacy.

JULIA GILLARD, AUSTRALIAN PRIME MINISTER (to Japanese Foreign Minister): Very pleased to have you

SUSAN MCDONALD: But it's relations with key players at home that need attention.

NICK XENOPHON, INDEPENDENT SENATOR: I'm not a wrecker but I'm also not a sucker.

SUSAN MCDONALD: The Government has brought in its team captain to secure the final two votes it
needs to get its bill to carve up Telstra across the line.

NICK XENOPHON: I will keep talking to the Government. I'll talk to the Prime Minister in good faith
and see where we go from there.

SUSAN MCDONALD: The Prime Minister had a meeting with the South Australian independent.

JULIA GILLARD: I've been chatting to Nick Xenophon. It's always good to talk.

SUSAN MCDONALD: She also held talks with Family First's Steve Fielding.

For Senator Xenophon the same sticking points remain including his demand for a business plan into
the National Broadband Network to be made public now instead of next month.

NICK XENOPHON: I'm in favour of a structural separation of Telstra but we need to know much more
before we can pass such a significant piece of legislation.

SUSAN MCDONALD: The Government is seeking more information too. It has hired external advisers to
test the key findings in the NBN business plan.

MALCOLM TURNBULL, OPPOSITION BROADBAND SPOKESMAN: The secret review of the NBN business case, the
very commissioning of which suggests the Government lacks confidence in the economics of its $43
billion project.

SUSAN MCDONALD: But the Prime Minister insists that's not the case.

JULIA GILLARD: He has been carrying on in this Parliament day after day suggesting that the
Government was not doing enough due diligence on the NBN and now he's in here today criticising me
for doing too much due diligence on the NBN.

SUSAN MCDONALD: In Question Time the Opposition stepped up its campaign to turn a government asset
into a liability by linking the NBN with troubled programs of past.

GREG HUNT, OPPOSITION ENVIRONMENT SPOKESMAN: How can the Prime Minister now be trusted to get other
policies right such as the $43 billion NBN when she couldn't even safely give away free pink batts?

CHRISTOPHER PYNE, MANAGER OF OPPOSITION BUSINESS: Why should she be trusted to get other policies
right, such as the $43 billion National Broadband Network when she couldn't even manage a school
hall program?

JULIA GILLARD: Long on complaint, short on solution. Know everything they're opposed to, no ideas
for change - not one policy that they can come into this place and put forward as their own.

SUSAN MCDONALD: After the most unstable 12 months in recent political memory, both parties are
preparing for the well-earned summer break.

At the final meeting for the year for Coalition MPs, Tony Abbott congratulated his team on their
performance but he added they will also have to develop a positive message to sell in addition to
the already constant lines of attack.

Susan McDonald, Lateline.

Government must release business plan: Turnbull

Government must release business plan: Turnbull

Broadcast: 23/11/2010

Reporter: Leigh Sales

Opposition communications spokesman Malcolm Turnbull tells Lateline the Government has no excuse
for not releasing the business plan to the NBN and has an obligation to do so.


LEIGH SALES, PRESENTER: And a short time ago the shadow communications minister, Malcolm Turnbull,
joined me from Canberra.

Malcolm Turnbull, thank you for joining us.


LEIGH SALES: The Government says it cannot release the business plan on the NBN until December as
it is yet to go to Cabinet, it contains market-sensitive information and the competition watchdog
is still assessing it. How is that not reasonable?

MALCOLM TURNBULL: Well, they are all pathetic excuses. If the Government was serious about getting
the Parliament's support for this legislation it would be fully transparent.

This business belongs to the people of Australia. The Parliament are the people's representatives.
We, and the people of Australia, are entitled to know what the business plan is for this $43
billion investment.

LEIGH SALES: How is it a pathetic excuse to suggest we have to wait a couple of weeks, as I said,
until we get the competition watchdog's full assessment on it and also to deal with information in
it that is market sensitive?

Why are those pathetic excuses?

MALCOLM TURNBULL: Because Leigh, the Government is saying that the Parliament must pass the NBN
legislation this week but they're not prepared to provide the business plan, or the business case.

Now if the Government wanted an extra few weeks to read the business case, well it could postpone
the finalisation of the legislation until after the business case had been published and everyone
had been able to absorb it.

So the Government is the one that has created- made this excuse pathetic because it is saying 'It
is absolutely urgent that you, the members of Parliament, pass this legislation but we're not going
to show you the business case'.

And by the way, the Prime Minister and the deputy Prime Minister and the Infrastructure Minister in
the House have all indicated today and yesterday that they haven't even read the business case

So you really have to ask yourself this Government seems to have lost control of any sense of
responsible direction. I mean how on earth can the Prime Minister be recommending this project when
she hasn't read the business case? How can she be conscientiously asking the Parliament to approve
it when she won't make that business case available?

LEIGH SALES: Is there ever a situation in which it would be valid for a Government not to release a
business case for a particular policy?

MALCOLM TURNBULL: Well... I can't speculate but this is a - This is a - This is not national

This is a straightforward telecommunications project, like there are many other telecommunications
projects around the world, and indeed that have been built in Australia.

This is not going to be competitive with anyone. The Government is setting it up as a monopoly so
there aren't competitive concerns.

Really, they should put all the cards on the table.

Look, I can say to you as someone who has been involved in public companies for many years, a
public company, a listed company that was undertaking a major project of this kind would have to
put all of the financial information out into the public domain. It would have to persuade its
shareholders that the investment was going to be good for them in terms of dividends and share
price and it would have to take on scrutiny and questioning from analysts.

Now why is a lower standard being applied to the Government of Australia when it's dealing with
taxpayers' money and the biggest infrastructure project in our history?

LEIGH SALES: I seem to recall, though, the Coalition not releasing the costings for its election
policies during the campaign and seeing that as completely valid.

MALCOLM TURNBULL: Well, it's a completely different situation.

What we are talking about here is a Government that is proposing to spend and is committing to
spend $43 billion of taxpayers' money.

Can I just, Leigh, just bring this back though to what the fundamental issue is here.

Everybody is agreed that Australians should have universal and affordable access to broadband. The
question is, what is the most cost effective and efficient way of delivering that which will impose
the lowest cost on taxpayers?

That is the task - the question the Government has never asked. That is what we want the
Productivity Commission to do because the one thing that is clear is that even if you accept that
the NBN will deliver universal and affordable access to broadband - and that's very questionable.
Even if you accept that, this is certainly by far the most expensive way of doing it.

Now we believe there are much cheaper, more cost-effective ways of achieving this. So let's get the
Productivity Commission to examine that and then we can be sure that we're not going to waste tens
of billions of dollars on infrastructure that is not needed to achieve the objective of universal
and affordable broadband.

LEIGH SALES: Okay, but of that $43 billion the cost to the taxpayer is going to be about $26
billion over eight years. That's about $3.25 billion a year. That's about a quarter of the yearly
amount we spend on both welfare and health and roughly equal to the Defence budget.

Don't you think that Australians in remote areas, if they do end up with high speed reliable
broadband, will consider that to be money pretty well spent?

MALCOLM TURNBULL: Okay. Well let me disagree with you on a couple of points.

Every cent that is spent on this NBN will be at the expense of the taxpayer. If the NBN borrows
money, it will borrow that money on the credit of the Commonwealth of Australia. So the notion that
the cost is going to be anything less than $43 billion is just not valid. Any borrowings will be
effectively Government borrowings.

LEIGH SALES: But people will be paying for that service. There will be revenue from it.

MALCOLM TURNBULL: Ye- But let me go on.

Secondly, as far as remote areas are concerned we had a policy back in 2007 to provide broadband to
the bush - the OPEL Project. If that had been implemented broadband would be available there now.

Nobody argues with the proposition that there has to be Government subsidy to provide broadband
services across rural and remote Australia, but the cost of that is a very small part of the $43

This is not - You've got to remember, what the Government is proposing to do here is to overbuild
and render redundant our entire fixed line telecommunications network. And in doing so it is going
to preclude or prohibit Telstra and Optus from competing with the NBN with their cable networks.

So it is going to be creating a massive Government-owned telecoms monopoly and then use the power
of the Parliament and of government to prevent anybody competing with it.

That can only have the result of increasing Internet access prices for Australians.

So, yes, it will provide a universal service but I believe it will be less affordable than what we
have today.

LEIGH SALES: The Coalition's broadband policy that it took to the election was heavily criticised
and Christopher Pyne said afterwards that you would be tweaking it.

When will we know exactly what you actually advocate rather than what you oppose?

MALCOLM TURNBULL: No I've set out - I can tell you exactly what I advocate.

I believe the customer access network of Telstra should be separated from the retail business. That
should be constituted as an independent utility that has pricing scrutiny from a regulator, the
ACCC - like a gas utility or an electricity or water utility.

It should have a mandate to ensure all of those areas in Australia that do not have access to at
least 12 megabits per second broadband achieve that and insofar as those areas require a Government
subsidy, because it is not economic to do it, that subsidy would be provided.

All of that can be done. It would provide all the competition benefits, the structural separation
benefits. All of that can be done at a cost to the taxpayer that is a very small fraction of the
$43 billion.

LEIGH SALES: If you support the structural separation of Telstra, why is the Coalition voting
against this bill that is currently before the Parliament and holding it hostage to your concerns
about the NBN?

MALCOLM TURNBULL: Well this bill is all about the NBN, Leigh. Yes, it is about structural
separation but it is also all about the NBN. It is an NBN bill.

Our big concern is - structural separation is a big issue, a good issue, but the elephant in the
room - the $43 billion elephant in the room - is this massive infrastructure expenditure that the
Government is undertaking - undertaking without any cost-benefit analysis, notwithstanding their
many statements that such analyses are necessary - and without publishing or apparently reading the
business case that supports it.

LEIGH SALES: On the cost-benefit analysis issue - your policy that you outlined for me, have you
had that submitted for cost-benefit analysis by anybody?

MALCOLM TURNBULL: (Laughs) Well we're in Opposition, Leigh but I can assure you that it would cost
a - I can guarantee it will cost a tiny fraction of the $43 billion.

But look you don't have to take my word...

LEIGH SALES: But I'll have to take your word on it, won't I? (Laughs)

MALCOLM TURNBULL: No, you don't have to take my word for it. That's why I want the Productivity
Commission to do its cost-benefits analyses.

Because what the Productivity Commission would do, they would say okay 'The objective is universal
and affordable broadband. What are the possible ways of achieving that?'

And they would look at those and rank them in terms of cost, in terms of effectiveness, speed to
market and all of those criteria and that would be the way a rational and responsible Government
would approach this.

You see, the NBN is not an end in itself. It is a means to an end - the end being universal and
affordable broadband. The Government has confused the means with the end and what they should be
focussed on is the end, or the goal, universal and affordable broadband. We've all signed up to

So let's now get acknowledged experts of this kind of work, the Productivity Commission, to examine
which is the most cost-effective way of achieving that.

LEIGH SALES: I want to ask you about gay marriage. You gave a speech in Parliament during the
recent debate and said that you support the traditional view of marriage as being between a man and
a woman.

We know that you are passionately committed to equal rights, so I don't need you to repeat yourself
on that but why do you view marriage traditionally?

MALCOLM TURNBULL: Well I think marriage has been viewed - is - is. You know, has been - The
definition of marriage has been for thousands of years a union between a man and a woman.

There is no doubt that views of marriage have changed over the years and the law relating to men
and women in marriage has changed dramatically over the years. So I think this issue of same-sex
unions, same-sex marriages is one that is very live and it's one that I'm looking at with a very
open mind.

As I've said several times publicly, over the years I've argued - and I believe effectively - to
ensure that equal rights are given to same sex couples so that nowadays at the Federal level at
least, the same sex couple has the same rights under law as a heterosexual couple that are married
under the provisions of the Federal law.

But the same sex couple cannot describe themselves as being married. That is essentially the

Now that is the issue that is before us. I've not supported gay marriage in the past but I
recognise that views have changed on a lot of these issues and I'm approaching it with a very open

LEIGH SALES: Does that...

MALCOLM TURNBULL: So I'm talking to my constituents and also, you know, investigating the issue
very carefully.

But I've - I have to say, if gay marriage had been an element in the reform agenda for same-sex
couples in years past, that reform agenda would not likely have been achieved. So, you know, there
have been practical reasons for people to focus on substantive equality, rather than focussing on
marriage per se.

LEIGH SALES: You say you have an open mind and you are talking to constituents. Does that mean if
you're persuaded that a majority of constituents in your seat think there should be gay marriage
that you'd be willing to move to that position yourself?

MALCOLM TURNBULL: Well I'm... Look, I've always been happy to change my mind if I believe that the
view I had is no longer appropriate. And I think, was it Keynes that said "I change my opinion when
the facts change". And community attitude is a big part of this.

And it's not - You know, you go back 40 odd years and my father in law, Lucy's dad, Tom Hughes,
when he was Attorney General, gave what was regarded as a controversial speech - quite a
controversial speech - saying that homosexual acts should not be criminal. We've come an enormous
way in 40 years.

LEIGH SALES: What would be the impact on Australian society if gay marriage were allowed?

MALCOLM TURNBULL: Well, I think that's really what the issue is. There are arguments. You know,
there are many people that would say it will make no difference at all. It is essentially a
symbolic issue.

I thought there was a very persuasive contribution made by a young Muslim woman on Q and A recently
when she said that as a Muslim she believed that marriage was between a man and woman. So she
didn't believe that - from her own religious point of view she didn't believe it was between -
could be between two people of the same sex.

But she said, 'Look, the state is not a religious organisation. The state is essentially licensing
a union between two people'. And she didn't feel that religious considerations should impact on
what the state does.

I thought that was a very eloquent case put for the argument in favour of gay marriage. But, you
know, there are equally compelling arguments made on the other side.

So the important thing is, people expect me to take my responsibilities seriously and think about
these things deeply and consult widely and that's what I'm doing.

And I'm sure all members of Parliament and all Senators are doing the same.

LEIGH SALES: Malcolm Turnbull, thank you very much for joining us tonight.


Victoria Police swoop on international drug ring

Victoria Police swoop on international drug ring

Broadcast: 23/11/2010

Reporter: Hamish Fitzsimmons

Six hundred police in Victoria have arrested more than 40 people and seized millions of dollars in
drugs and assets in the state's biggest drug raid.


LEIGH SALES, PRESENTER: Police in Victoria have arrested more than 40 people and seized millions of
dollars in drugs and assets in the State's biggest drug raid.

This morning, 600 police swooped on dozens of premises in Melbourne and regional Victoria while
raids were also conducted in New Zealand.

Hamish Fitzsimmons reports.

HAMISH FITZSIMMONS: As police raided 67 homes across Victoria, locals near one of the targets on
Melbourne's outskirts didn't pick the undercover operation.

LOCAL RESIDENT: They said they were farmers but we didn't expect like that kind of farmer. (laughs)

HAMISH FITZSIMMONS: 630 officers were involved in Operation Entity, the biggest anti-drug raids in
Victoria's history. Police targeted the cannabis growing and dealing business, arresting 42 people
and seizing $22 million in assets.

DET SUPT GERRY RYAN, VICTORIA POLICE: We'll continue to not only seize the drugs but assets, we'll
continue to seize that throughout the day and later on in the week. We will apply to the courts for
seizure of quite a number of assets across the whole state.

HAMISH FITZSIMMONS: The gang is believed to have strong connections to Vietnam and police say today
was the culmination of a painstaking two-year plan.

Deputy Commissioner Sir Ken Jones says getting to the facilitators behind the cartel was a key

SIR KEN JONES, VICTORIAN POLICE DEPUTY COMMISSIONER: Any fool can go out and bust drug syndicates
at the street level. To get into this level of detail, to get behind the syndicates, to get into
the countries that are actually preying on Australians, that's the critical thing.

HAMISH FITZSIMMONS: Police say they delayed the raids because of the security demands associated
with the visit of the United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton two weeks ago. They've also
rubbished claims that the election played a role in the timing.

SIR KEN JONES: We will trigger our operations when we get the best benefit for the community. Can I
just assure people of that? Either side of the election makes no difference to us.

HAMISH FITZSIMMONS: But the Premier was beaming. A big drug bust just four days out from the poll
doesn't hurt.

JOHN BRUMBY, VICTORIAN PREMIER: The timing is a matter for police. I was not aware of this and it's
a matter for them. It would appear that they've been very, very successful. And I think it shows
that the police resourcing and the laws are proving effective.

HAMISH FITZSIMMONS: The operation involved the Federal Police, the Australian Crime Commission, the
tax, immigration and customs departments and police in New Zealand.

Also targeted was money laundering, which police believed generated funds to buy Asian heroin for
the Australian market.

GERRY RYAN: I'd say the majority of money has gone off our shores into other countries, not to be
returned. So it's gone out of our economy. Some of it may have come back and come back in the
heroin trade.

HAMISH FITZSIMMONS: More than 10 people have been charged so far this evening and more arrests are
expected in the coming days.

Hamish Fitzsimmons, Lateline.

Now to the weather. Showers and storms possible in Darwin and Melbourne with thundery rain for
Hobart. Showers in Brisbane and Adelaide. Dry elsewhere. That's all from us. If you would like to
look back at the interviews with Malcolm Turnbull or Kevin Rudd, visit our website and follow us on
Twitter and Facebook. Tony Jones will be here tomorrow. See you again on Friday. See you again on
Friday. Goodnight.