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Good morning. The top stories from

ABC News. At least 30 people have ABC News. At least 30


been killed in a

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hospital south east of Kabul. A team

of Afghan

rescue dozens of civilians still of Afghan soldiers has been sent to

buried under the rubble. Officials

blame the Taliban, but a Taliban

spokesman has denied carrying out

attack. Qantas and jetstar spokesman has denied carrying out the

cancelled all flights in and out of attack. Qantas and jetstar have

New Zealand today with volcanic ash

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traffic. Jestar domestic flights

within New Zealand

within New Zealand have been

cancelled and forecasters say the

cloud could stick around for at cancelled and forecasters say the ash

another day. Two years after cloud could stick around for at least

Australia's major fast-food chains

promised to stop advertising to children a

children a study has found still regularly exposed to ads for children a study has found kids are

junk food. The study published in

Australian Medical Journal found the junk food. The study published in the

frequency of fast food adds hasn't

changed. The authors called on

Federal Government to take action, changed. The authors called on the

saying self regulation wasn't

working. And in sport Australian

Bernard Tomic has eased through to

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straight sets win over Swede Robin

first Soderling. Tomic eased through the

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Guydasova lost Australian hopes after Aarmila

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wins for Rafael Nadal and Roger

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headlines, stay tuned for Insiders

with Barry Cassidy. This Program is Captioned


Good morning. Welcome to

'Insiders'. Finally the Gillard anniversary week is

over. Perhaps the most overreported milestone in

history, but it all served to remind us that the Government

never really did properly

explain why overnight Julia Gillard replaced Kevin Rudd as

Prime Minister. But the week

of reflection wasn't quite as

bad for the Government as it

might have been because of Tony Abbott's failed push for a

plebiscite on the carbon tax.

Good morning. How do we fix

this one? My plebiscite

proposal is to bring about the

vote on the carbon tax that the

Prime Minister has denied to

people before the election.

This is the vote we have to

have. I don't support at all

the Monday surprise that we're

seeing played out today. How

you could put this forward and

then say that you'd reject the

outcome if it didn't go your

way. The question is a

nonsense. It's just farcical.

Ridiculous stunt. What a

sham. I know a thing or two

about stunts, and this isn't

one. Why should we waste $80

million on a glorified opinion

poll just because Tony has got

a problem? Any questions?

What has happened to Stephen?

I never thought I'd see this -

say this, I agree with Senator

Fielding. Steve Fielding is

not the full bottle. Tony

Abbott's the evil K nyfil of

Australian politics. He's

proved incapable over the last

24 hours of pulling a stunt. I

was indeed surprised to read

that a bill would be introduced

at 10am yesterday for a

plebiscite. They just forgot

one small detail. Parliament

wasn't sitting at 10am.

There's nothing worse than

speaking to a chamber of just a

few people. This was a

particularly dumb stunt. $80

million to be wasted and he

wouldn't even abide by the

result. Isn't she guilty of

being all hypocrisy and no

democracy? She should have the

guts, she should have the

ticker, she should have the

honesty to face the people. A

mouth full of insults and a

mind completely blank when it comes to ideas. Liar, that's

what the Australian people say.

Tell the truth. "No, no, no."

The leader of the House is

completely off the leash. You

are a joke. At least we knew

what the former Prime Minister

stood for. We'll let him play

the silly political games he's

going to play today. Has the

political assassination of a

Prime Minister been worth it?

Will the Foreign Minister

advise the House when he

intends to return to

Bougainville? I think that

things have gone a bit too far.

Remove those hats. They're

doing a lot of very strange

things in this parliament.

Please do me a favour and leave. Harry from time to

time, you know, gives us our

marching orders. Order! And

we generally obey them. Order!

I've got to be in parliament

in 15 minutes. If it was up to

me, I would abolish Question

Time. It is a total waste of

time. In some parts of

Australia, they refer to it as

bovine defecation. This isn't

the way our fore fathers or any

of us should want this building

to work. In other parts of

Australia they call it

bullshit. I don't think that,

in the coolness and light of

day and the following morning

anyone would have thought

they've covered themselves in

glory with their performance.

Our behaviour as the national

parliament should be better. When parliament next

sits eight days from now, there

will be a different Senate, 12 new senators and the Greens will hold the balance of power

in their own right. Our guest

here in the studio this morning

is Greens leader Bob Brown.

Before then we'll look at the

papers around the country.

Yesterday tax cuts on either

side of the country seemed the

main political stories in the

papers this morning, Karen.

That's right, Barrie. Both

sides offering tax cuts into

the future. The message from

Tony Abbott is his tax cuts

won't have a carbon tax, so tax

cuts without worrying about the

compensation from the carbon

tax, which is a simple way of

putting it. The Government is

saying that they expect that

they'll need to compensate

about $500 a year per household

if they go with a $20 a tonne

carbon tax. Julia Gillard is

saying nine out of ten households would be

compensated, $150,000 a year is

around about the cutoff.

They're talking about couples

on 128,000 with three kids

being able to get tax cuts but

also a rise in family payments. They're attempting to be

generous and convince people

they won't be worse off under a

carbon tax. Tony Abbott is

saying, well, if I withdraw the carbon tax, the Government is

saying now you'll have to withdraw the compensation as

well, I'll do that but replace

it with my own tax cuts. They

announce the compo, it will be

difficult to say I'll take money back off pensioners,

don't worry, I'll give you a

tax cut regardless - a slight

problem, how are you going to

pay for it? We know how the

Government is paying for it,

through the carbon tax. The

tax cuts the Government is

giving you are not just because

they want a tax cut, it's to

help you cope - it's part of

the policy, if you like. Rule

of thumb, it's going to cost

about $6 billion a year in

household compensation, so

Abbott is essentially going to

match that in kind, but he

hasn't got the revenue. He's

got to find at least 6 billion.

Talking 24 billion over the

forward estimates. He's rolled

this line out to head off the

inevitable attacks that will

come in the next few weeks from

the Government. There's a

story we had a couple of weeks

ago where some of his

frontbenchers and senior

frontbenchers are already aware

of the problem. They've been

urging him to junk the paid

parental leave policy, 3.1

billion a year. That would

collect the revenue, but give

it to pensioners. He has to

look for $6 billion. That's a

lot. Start with your own

spending. Well, you pick $6

billion. He has to find money.

I think it's smart politics.

He has to be able to say that

the Labor Party, the Gillard

plan is a big Government tax

and churn system, and he'll axe

that. But of course he'll have

some sort of tax cuts there. I expect they'll be relatively

modest. They'll be less than what Labor is churning through

the system. But it blunts that

attack for him, I think. He'll

have to - not Tony, actually,

Andrew Rob and Joe Hockey will

have to find savings. It will

need to be about $10 billion

for a decent-sized tax cut. $6

billion if all you're doing is

matching what Julia Gillard is

doing in compensation. It

gives him a slogan, tax cuts

without a carbon tax. He needs

another one of those, does he?

The Liberal presidency, Chris,

was decided yesterday, Alan

Stockdale beat Peter Reith

57-56. As narrow as it gets,

one vote, of course. We're

told that Tony Abbott voted for

Stockdale. So in the end he

got his man. We know he did

because he showed Alan

Stockdale his voting paper, he

wouldn't have done that

otherwise. Some people in the

party wonder why he encouraged

Peter Reith to run, given he

backed Stockdale. In the end I

suppose Tony felt, because

there was so much contention

over this, he'd stick with the

incumbent. It's an interesting

little battle on the sidelines,

bringing back some of the old

big names of the Liberal party,

Alexander Downer, Nick Minchin,

Peter Reith. In the end it was

much ado about nothing. They

sail on and try to put this

behind him. An exercise for the

status quo. The reason it came

about was there's concern about

the party's finances and the

way they're managed, their

capacity to raise money. That

remains still an issue for them

and Alan Stockdale now has to

deal with the critics on that

front. It was moderates

backing Peter Reith. You have

to get your head around that.

But that was their complaint,

that the party hasn't been

managed well, that there hasn't

been enough restriction on the

operations of the secretariat

and they really need to rein it

in. He'll have pressure on him

to do that. After the ballot,

the two candidates fronted the microphones. Here they are.

It means a great, great deal

to me and I feel very humble to

have the vote of confidence

that this ballot represents.

It's made all the more

important to me by the fact

that my opponent is an icon of

the party. We're on show and we're telling the Australian

people that we've had a good

discussion, but from now we all work together because we want

that other bloke down there,

Tony Abbott, to get in. When

you're talking one vote, what

made the difference with the

one vote, probably when the

four Vice Presidents, including

Alexander Downer wrote a Alexander Downer wrote a letter

of support for Peter Reith.

The night before Reith was

sitting well, and then Downer

and three other Vice Presidents

rote a pointed letter to

Stockdale and other council

members saying you're no good

and raising problems in administration. That was

perceived as a step too far.

Certain rules - Liberals play

these things cleaner than

Labor. We'll hear how Nick

Minchin responded on an

interview on that on news

radio. All four of them have

acted with treachery and

disloyalty to the incumbent

federal President in a way that

brings disrespect upon the

Liberal party and the office of

federal President. I've never

seen anything like that. It

saddens me at the end of my 32

years of full-time service to

the Liberal party we have individuals behaving in this

fashion. Nick of course is

doing the numbers for

Stockdale. He had a lot of

personal pride in the result.

He's not lost many fights in

his career. Nick has done

treacherous things in his time,

I'm sure he'd admit in a few

years time. The letter

backfired, no doubt about it.

The talk the night before the

vote was a few people regarded

it as dirty probably pushed

Stockdale over the line, got

the wrong result. In the end

three of those Vice Presidents

who signed the letter were

returned, so there is still goodwill within the party towards them. They'll have to

work together. I'd like to be

at the first meeting. Phil, a

fresh at home with the Abbotts

piece, the kind of piece you

usually get during election

campaigns. Fair dinkum tax

cuts and family profiles, doing

this only less than a year ago.

This is indicative of the state

of things at the moment. It's

in this News Limited tabloids,

at home with the Abbotts, Tony

in a freshly pressed shirt

pouring a cup of coffee, how

she wears the pants in the

house. Who pressed the shirt

is a matter of some

consternation. There is quite

a significant news story buried

within, and that is that with

the winter break coming up in

parliament - sorry, in July

this year - that Abbott, as norm, heading to Aboriginal

community up on the Cape, he

does that most years, but he's

taking his wife this time. And

one of his daughters.

Potentially. Tony will work

as a builder's labourer, Margy will work with children. You

can't accuse Abbott of making

this stuff up. He's fairly

genuine about Aboriginal issues

and has done this stuff under

the radar for a lot of

years. He says he does it

because this fly in, fly out

thing doesn't work for him. He

says you have to take your time

and get to know it. The 5 cent

coin may be on its way out.

Indeed, it looks like it is on

its way out. The mint has

recommended to the Government

we ditch it because it's too

expensive. I don't know

whether the echidna is too

difficult to print. They think

it's a good idea. The

assistant Treasurer, Bill

shorten, is considering it. It's a question of whether people feel like they're

getting ripped off if prices

get rounded up five cents, or

maybe rounded down, I'm not

sure. Interesting water cooler

debate, I think they call

it. That's the Sunday papers.

Now the leader of the Greens,

Bob Brown, is about to join us.

We'll hear from the leaders of

the two major parties, Julia Gillard confirming she'll

deliver tax cuts and increases

to family payments and pensions

to compensate for a carbon tax

and Tony Abbott promising tax

cuts no matter what. Friends,

we will be making more

decisions in coming weeks,

finalising our plans for tax

cuts and increases in payments

to deliver household assistance

when we have a price on carbon.

We will deliver these tax cuts

and payments to those who need

it the most. We are the only

party with a clear plan for

delivering tax cuts. We will

charge polluters to stop them

polluting and we will deliver

tax cuts to families. At the

next election, the coalition

will deliver tax cuts that are

not just compensation. It will

be a tax cut without a carbon

tax. The coalition will fund

these tax cuts through prudent

economies in government spending and through policy-driven improvements in

the productivity of our

economy. Our tax cut, by

contrast, will be a permanent

reduction in the size of

government to fund a permanent

increase in people's prosperity. Bob Brown, good

morning. Welcome. Good

morning, Barrie. Taxpayers

faced with a choice, a tax cut

with a carbon tax or a tax cut

without one. Which way would

you go? Well, certainly we'll

be directing, if we're

successful in our negotiations,

a tax on to the big polluters,

not on to households.

Whichever way you count it,

Tony Abbott is aiming to put

the burden on to households.

If if those figures your panel

was talking about are true, he

says he's going to cut

government services. Bang goes

40,000 or 50,000 teachers,

nurses, soldiers. You know, he

hasn't got it funded. He's

going to be tested in the next

two years on that. He also

won't collect the tax from the

mine ers, but wants a corporate

tax cut. Put all those

together, you're looking at

minimum $15 billion a year

missing from revenue. That's

going to be a cut to government

services. It's got to be

schools, hospitals, railways,

defence. He's now on two years

defending the indefensible. But

he is good at delivering a very

simple message and when he says

tax cuts without a carbon tax,

I can hear him saying that loud

and often. Well, what he means

there is he's going to keep

featherbedding the big

foreign-owned mineral

corporations at the expense of

householders. It's as simple

as that. He's going to take

money out of the revenue raised

from average taxpayers at the

same time as he's talking about

tax cuts and he's going to

deliver that to the polluters.

It's a very simple equation, Barrie.

Barrie. He wants to have the

polluter s paid by revenue -

that is, ordinary taxpayers.

What the Gillard Government,

the Greens and Independents are

working towards is having the

polluters in an age of dangerous climate change which is already affecting our

economy as well as our

lifestyle and, for example,

threatens death to the Barrier Reef and the productivity of

the Murray-Darling Basin. He

wants that burden put on to

householders. He can't have it both ways. What about what

you're hearing, though, about

the way Julia Gillard plans to

compensate taxpayers and it

looks as if she's looking at a cut-off level of about 150,000.

Are you happy with that? Well,

yes, it's a work still in

progress. Christine Milne will

be talking with the Government

about that again tomorrow. But

it is one that says we're going

to look after low-income earners, people who are

struggling to make ends meet,

and middle-income earners, and

make sure that, at the same

time, we do get a result as far

as climate change is concerned.

I reiterate this: largely

foreign-owned, multi-national

corporations which are digging

up our minerals and which will

export the profit s and

continue to do that out of the

country should be paying their

way when it comes to fixing up

climate change. I think the

Prime Minister is going in the

right direction here. I think

she's aware that middle-income

earners and lower-income

earners will need assistance

guaranteed that they're not

going to be out of pocket over carbon pricing. Tony Abbott

will have them out of pocket

one way or another because he's

simply not going to get the

money where he needs to, and that's from the polluters. It

might be close for the

Government on that score, but

how far away are you from an

agreement? Well, there are

still one or two major hurdles

and we're working to work our

way through those. I have to

say this: the Prime Minister

has been very business-like,

very persistent. She is a very

good negotiator. Like her, and

the Independents, we're all

approaching this with a

positive spirit of making an

agreement. We're not there,

Barrie, yet, but we're working

towards it. Weeks away? I'd

say weeks rather than days. We're working towards it.

There are one or two major

matters to yet be settled. There's a positive feeling in

the air. What happens, though,

if you don't reach a unanimous

position, can it still proceed

to a vote? Well, we'd like to

meet an agreement. That's what

we're working for. You know,

the - none of the options are

as good as reaching an

agreement. We're working

towards that. The problem for

you, of course, is if you don't

reach an agreement, this would be the second scheme that

you've scuttled and politically

that would be a very difficult thing to deal with, wouldn't

it? Yes, it would, but I don't

think that will be the outcome.

I'm full of optimism about

this. I've got my feet on the

ground, so has my colleague

Christine Milne. But we've

been working with Greg Combet,

the Treasurer, the Prime

Minister, Tony Windsor, Rob

Oakeshott, Adam Bandt has been

in there. And some very good advisers,

advisers, like Ross Garnaut.

So we recognise this is a

nation builder. This is about

the rest of this century in an

age where the United Nations

has just figured that if we

don't act on climate change,

it's going to cost the global

economy $1 trillion per annum.

We take that seriously and

we're aiming to ensure that

Australia plays its role from a

scheme which gives us

flexibility in the future to

meet in with other carbon

trading schemes or pricing

schemes around the world, but

this is a platform from which

Australia can go forward. It's

a platform that would be sunk

if Tony Abbott were to have his

say. In 2009, you voted it down

partly because they gave too much compensation to the coal

industry, as you saw it. So I

presume that you would take the

same approach again, that you

would want less compensation to the coal industry than being

offered in 2009? Well, we're

not in favour of compensation

to the coal industry, which I

repeat is largely owned outside

this country. Companies like

Xstrata. But they employ people

in Australia. Well, they

employ people in Australia, but

they line the pockets of

millionaires elsewhere in the world. That's what Tony Abbott

wants to do, that's not what

we're in this to do. But,

Barrie, we're in the process of

negotiating here. It's not

going to be a Greens outcome.

It is going to be a composite

of the input from the

Independents, the Greens and

the Government. Frankly, I

like the people we're working

with to get that resolved Do

you scprom ice to such an

extent to say this time around

you would accept the same level

of compensation you opposed in

2009? We prefer that not to be

the case. The big problem with

2009 was it locked us in for

ten years at least with no

flexibility to move into the

future as the world moves on.

Our big aim is to give

flexibility in this scheme. I

think we'll have a degree of flexibility that wasn't there

with the CPRS. Our aim is to

get a better outcome and I'm

confident we will. With coal,

though, it is a trade-exposed

industry. About 80% of the

coal is exported. They can't

pass on the prices in the same

way that other industries can.

Oh, look, Barrie, all the

estimate s of the impact of a pricing scheme like this on

coal are down there in 1, 2, 3%

on their profit line. This is

an industry - There shouldn't

be a lot of job losses, is that

what you're saying? That's

right. This is an industry

that's turning over hundreds of

billion s over the coming

decade. Let me go back to it. It's exporting its money out of

this country. Let me talk

about jobs. It threatens death

of the Great Barrier Reef with

67,000 jobs, $6 billion economy, that's coming back

into the Australian economy.

Ross Garnaut's earlier estimate

was 90% of loss of productivity

in the Murray-Darling Basin

with 128,000 Australians. A

lot of them are small farmers

and business people in the

bush, threatened directly by

these big coal operatives.

Now, sure, the industry's not

going to have its profit line

anything more than affected in

a few percentage points, but it

has to be - what Tony Abbott

would do is take money from

those very people I've just

been talking about and give it

to these big coal combines.

Come on, really, that's highly

irresponsible. You say

negligible impact. Do you also

say, then, that no coalmines

will close? I would expect

that in the future we are going

to see some of the most

polluting enterprises in the

country have a struggle.

That's the nature. How quickly

after the introduction of the

tax? Well, we're still

negotiating a scheme. Could it close some of these mines

overnight? I would not figure

that in, because they are so

highly profitable. But that

has to be the outcome. The

coal industry has to be

replaced by renewables. One of

the things we are looking for,

the Greens recently got $100

million package from the

Government for baseload solar

in this country. That will be

in regional Australia, the

sunny country. We're way

behind Germany and China. We

need to catch up, because the

Howard Government and

governments since then have

been pouring money into this

mega rich coal industry. Tony

Abbott's scheme is going to

cost householders $720, an average household in Australia

by the end of this decade. To

featherbed the coalminers.

Really he's got two years of

explaining this. Tax cuts

which he has uncosted thrown

in. I'm going to be at the

forefront of putting the

blowtorch to him. He hasn't

got the answers. The balance of

power, of course, shifts when Parliament next sits. How does

that rate in terms of your

career so far? Oh, it's

lovely. I've been in politics

now for 25 years. The pinnacle?

In a way, yes, because we've

got four new senators coming

in. We've got Adam Bandt doing

a great job for Melbourne in

the House of Representatives.

I've got my existing now very

experienced colleagues in the

Senate. We're just ten out of

240, but I tell you what, we're

giving vigour and vision to

this period of parliament.

We're announcing portfolios for

the 10 of us today. I'm very

happy about it. Looking at

those portfolios, 69 separate

portfolios. Yes, we're

covering - You cover a lot of

ground. And the Government and

Opposition. More than that,

East Timor, West Papua, Tibet,

Burma, all have separate

portfolios. It looks as if you've picked out pet projects.

Yes, certainly. The Dalai

Lama was in Canberra a week ago

and I was very pleased to be

one of those hosting him into

that parliament. But

Australians are concerned about

Tibet. He had 15, 16,000

people turn out for his last

event at the Burrswood in WA, a

little bit of extra effort put

in to trying to get freedom for

the people of Tibet is something that Australians

back. Another thing I noticed

is that Lee Rhiannon gets

Forest, but you keep Tasmanian

forests, you trust her with

forests but not your

forests No, it means we'll work

together. Let me tell you,

Barry, Lee is a friend of mine.

We're experienced enough to

know that we can have some

differences in approaches, but

we work well together, we

always have. That's for a

long, long time. We are both

keen on bringing an end to the

destruction of wild forests and

rare and endangered species.

It's just a nonsense at the

moment. We're hopefully moving

towards some sort of outcome in

Tasmania at the moment, but I'm

looking forward to working with

Lee on forests and other

issues, like local

government. Okay. The chances

are - you said you're going to

try to apply the blowtorch to Tony Abbott, but the Tony Abbott, but the chances

are you'll be dealing with an Abbott-led Government in

perhaps a year or two, and yet

in a feature article - Do you

reckon? You might be, in two

years time. I wouldn't say the

chances are. I would say he

has his time cut out. I saw

the promo to this program. He's

miles in front in the polls.

Wherever he might be - this is

mid-government and he's been

having a fair stout of the fact

that we haven't yet got climate

agreement. When we get that,

you know, I've got increasing

confidence he's going to find

himself on the back foot. I

don't have a party that's riven

like his is. But what you did

say in the feature article in

the 'Age', if there is an

Abbott-led Government I'd love

to be in that position. True. What do you mean like

that? I'd like to take him

on. But you hold the balance of

power, you don't take him on.

The idea is to work

cooperatively with the

Government of the day, isn't

it? I've offered that to Tony

Abbott all the way down the

line. He hasn't picked up the

phone. He's missing so many

chances. When it comes to

strategy in the parliament, he

doesn't quite get it. You

know, Christine Milne has held a Liberal Government in the

balance of power in Tasmania in

the 90s. We can work with both

sides. But it takes two to

tango. I don't see Tony Abbott

is a team player in that sense.

I think he's in there for

winner takes all. Modern

Australian and world politics

is about more consensus making.

If there's one thing that Tony

doesn't understand, it's consensus. Thanks for coming in

this morning. Appreciate that.

Thanks, Barrie. Now that my

hour has come to give my final

speech in parliament - I don't

want to talk about myself or my

achievements in this place, it

would be a very short speech.

I've always taken my role and

responsibility as a Senator

very seriously. Which is why

I'm retiring now while the

going is good. Even though at

times I've used some novel ways

to promote good policy.

Exposing all by stripping

naked to the waist was not a

pretty sight. I regret my

incapacity to create the circumstances in which John

Howard might have seen the

wisdom in retiring on the

occasion of the 10th

anniversary of his prime

ministership. NSW Labor, now

led by an undeserving John

Robertson, is in opposition

after four of the most shameful

years in its history. When I

first learned of the existence

of the Australian greenhouse

office, I assumed it was

responsible for providing

tomatoes to the Parliament

House kitchen. I do acknowledge the remarkable

power of CO2. It may well

result in the demise of our

current Prime Minister, so that

really is some gas. This

inquiry came to be known as an

inquiry into forgotten

Australians. Never let the

suffering of these children be

forgotten. All those kids with

a learning difficulty never

give up. Don't listen to those

people who say you are a dummy.

Someone who's chosen to

retire, I express my commiserations to those who

have had retirement from the

Senate imposed upon them. Even

though I leave this place with

some sadness, I'm still looking

forward to a new chapter in my

story. Thus, upon leaving the

parliament, I'm contemplating

the foundation of an organisation called the friends

of carbon dioxide. I hope I

played it well. So now I leave

the stage and the curtain must

fall. Nick Minchin will be a

big loss, Phil. Is there

nothing Nick Minchin in the

wings? I don't think so, no.

Nick has been a giant behind the scenes for the Liberals

over the last - he came in '93,

for a long time. There's no

sign of it yet, but should

things turn pair shaped for

Abbott, he will miss Minchin

because Minchin rallies the right, when Nick says

something, people fall into

line. It's still Nick Minchin,

though. He left the Senate on

Thursday and won the vote

really yesterday. Exactly.

Nick rallied against Turnbull

for all the other claims that

people made in their role in

bringing down Malcolm, it was

what Minchin did and he

organised the conservatives in

the Senate. It was Nick - why

Tony Abbott is now Opposition

Leader. Was it news to all of

us he opposed the Gulf War, for

example? He brought this up

during the Afghanistan debate,

and it was interesting because

he said, "Oh, I didn't like the

Iraq war." A lot of people

raised their eyebrows and said

I don't remember him saying

that in cabinet, in parliament

or anywhere. Effectively this

time in the valedictories he

confirmed that he hadn't, he

said I wished I followed my

conservative conscience and

opposed the Gulf War. He

clearly didn't make a fuss

about it. I had a lot of

conversations with Nick Minchin

in those years I was working

with Alexander Downer as

Foreign Minister. Nick

expressed reservations about

John Howard staying on, et

cetera, I remember those

conversations. I don't

remember him expressing doubt

about the Iraq war. The Bob

Brown interview, it struck me

when he was talking about

prospects for the next

election, it was almost a "we",

meaning the Greens and Labor,

we've got Tony Abbott covered

and we'll beat him. I thought that was an astonishing

interview, Barrie. I've

thought for a long while, many

months, that Julia Gillard is

finished, she cannot survive as

Prime Minister, that she can't

win the next election whenever

it is. That interview to me

confirms why that's the case.

Bob Brown is effectively her

coalition partner and here she

has Bob Brown, from the Greens,

making her economic arguments

on matters like taxation and

public spending. This is a

party that backs death duties,

for instance. She's taken the

party into the hold of that

sort of loopy left of

Australian politics. It's very

bad news for her. There wasn't

a loopy left argument he was

putting. He wants to close

down the coal industry. That's

a fairly hardline position.

She's not going to do that.

In the talks they're having at

the moment, obviously that's a

sticking point, coal. But the

Government wants to give coal

what they gave coal last time.

The trouble for the Greens in

this is there's a threat

they'll walk away with

something less than they

knocked back last time.

Especially on coal. I think

he's almost resigned to that on

coal. They have to give him

something else, like a massive

renewable energy fund or

something. This is Julia

Gillard's partner. He wants to

shut down the coal industry.

If she does it, the point

becomes more valid. If she

stairs him down and gets a

deal, I think that point

doesn't resonate as much. You

have a minority Government,

themes the breaks. It is

interesting he's talking

consensus now much more than

last time around. I think they

are chastened about what ended

up. They benefited in the end

because this whole debacle on

climate change has led to the

Greens being in much greater

numbers in the Senate, but they

didn't get what they ultimately

wanted. They might get less

this time. He is talking

compromise and consensus. I

take your point about the sense of a formal coalition, that's a

different feel for the

electorate, I think, and a very

different thing for them to

embrace. He was saying it's going

going to be a whole new ball

game once the details of this

are out there and known. So

whatever you might think now

about the prospects of the next election, that could change

down the track. I think he's

dreaming. I think it's very,

very ambitious. I think the

point here is that the Labor

Party traditionally was the

great party of Australian

workers and it was modernised

in the Hawke/Keating years and

became the party of

aspirational Australians. And

a mainstream party. That

interview showed how Bob Brown

and the Greens are really

pulling Julia Gillard away from

the mainstream and they're

going to have an enormous

amount of difficulty - Or

they're joining mainstream. There's an interesting tension

in the Greens with Lee Rhiannon

joining. They're taking that

head-on. His responses to that

were interesting. She's been

on the front foot, been in Canberra, introducing herself

to those in the press gallery,

saying I'm a team player, we're

all together, we have varying views, that's a strong position, not a weak position.

They are anticipating the

attention they'll get. Will

she be the shadow Minister for

Tibet, East Timor or Burma? Is

this serious? All right.

Let's move on to the NBN. That

was a big story this week. It

came a little late. Even

though it was before the first

anniversary of the downfall of

Kevin Rudd, it came a little

late for the media, that tends

to jump the gun on these things these days. Significant

breakthrough? It is a big

breakthrough. They've been

looking for this for a long

time. It was welcome timing

for Julia Gillard having

something positive to say, "We've achieved this

agreement", having the weird

dualing press conferences with

Telstra and Optus to underline

the issue of competition, I

suppose. A good thing for her.

It puts the Opposition in a

slightly more difficult

position making its arguments.

I'm told they are still talking

about doing it a different way.

They're not necessarily saying,

as she suggested, we'll rip the

cables out of the ground, but

they are saying they would have

to renegotiate with Telstra,

they would be looking for a

cheaper option and they think

it's some kind of a hybrid of

fibre, fibre to the node rather

than fibre to the home, and

maybe using some of the old

copper network. That depends

on how far down the track this

goes before they were to win

government. Politically, it

was symbolic. All the focus of the anniversary was on the

things that hadn't been done,

the three policy priorities

that were still in various

forms of progress or otherwise.

So I thought it was a smart way

to mark the anniversary, to mark the anniversary, here's this great big bloody thing

we've been doing and it's on

track and everyone has

forgotten about that. They're

entitled to do that. It's one

of the few things they can

point to that is popular. Everyone wants fast broadband

and so the NBN I think is still

something that's popular for

the Government to talk about.

But it's a long burn, this

issue, and I think it's going

to come under increased

scrutiny. A lot of taxpayers

would have found it more than

passing strange that what happened last week was after

this country had gone through

all the turmoil of privatising

Telstra and had gone off

taxpayers' books effectively,

we've now spent $11 billion of

taxpayers' money buying back

some of Telstra to shut it

down. Economically, it seems

like madness. Only to sell it

again in about another ten

years. Politically they can

argue there are some issues

slow boil, to use a slightly

different analogy, maybe

there's something to equate

with the carbon tax

negotiations you put in effort,

you negotiate and eventually

you can achieve an outcome that

will take you forward. That's

the sort of thing they're

trying to say is going on. Also

the feeling of inevitability

starts to creep in the more

they make announcements like

this. If you listen to Malcolm

Turnbull on 'AM', again it

seems to have an impact in that

sense. Listen to Malcolm

Turnbull. What we want to do

is get the broadband objective

delivered at a lower cost.

That would involve, at least in

part, redesigning the network.

Now, I think these contracts

will make that more difficult,

but I don't believe they'll

make it impossible. There's no There's no question of

anything being destroyed,

ripped up or terminated or

anything like that. The problem

with that Tony Abbott said he

was setting out to destroy the

thing, there the spokesman is

saying no question of us

destroying it. Abbott said

destroy Labor over the NBN.

No, Turnbull is right, it will

make it harder to unravel the

whole thing, whether you like

it or not, if they win the

election they'll inherit it and

you can styk it he edges.

Labor's plan is to have the

whole thing so advanced that

that will render Abbott's

mission - Would Tony Abbott

have been happy with that

presentation, or would he like

something tougher? I think he

would have been. Phil is

right, you talk about destroying in a political

sense. It is interesting and

paradox call at the moment paradox call at the moment that

the Government's plan is

dismantling technology.

They're going to be digging up

copper wire and pulling it out

and rendering it useless. That

is happening even under the NBN

plan. I think what Malcolm

Turnbull is speaking about is

actually reflected in what's

happening in the United States

and even places like sing pour.

That is, you have to invest in

a range of technologies, don't

put all your money on the one

horse and most expensive horse. There's wireless that we should

look at and fibre to the note.

I think the impossible scenario

we had a Labor Government in

four years time, they would be

looking to broaden it out into

other technologies anyway. The

fibre to the home model is just

too expensive. Let's briefly

look back over the week, not so

much the anniversary, which has

been well and truly canvassed,

but the coverage of it and the

impact that you think that

might have had in terms of the

saturation coverage. We'll hear first from Tony Abbott in

the parliament. It's no wonder

that members opposite look so

downcast, so deflated, so lost,

so flat and so defeated today,

because they know that they

conspired in the political

assassination of an elected

Prime Minister - for what? For

what? For what. I think they

were flat and defeated because

they read the newspapers on the

way in to parliament. They

took a hammering. One thing

missed throughout the whole

week, and myself included, is

that had they not changed to

Gillard, we probably wouldn't

have been celebrating an

anniversary. There was a

strong school of thought - it

will never be answered - that

Rudd would not have won the election. The people who

dumped Rudd dumped him not

because they were low on the

polls, but because they didn't

think he could get them out of it, an important

distinction. The answer for

what, for what - It's not just

Labor people too. It's a risk

of turning into Nick Minchin

hour, I know, I had a long chat

to Nick during the election campaign, at the ecua in

Brisbane, he has a good

political mind, he said we

would have smashed them with

Rudd, he was convinced.

Gillard was the difference. I

rang him the other week and

checked whether he was still of

that view, he said yes. There

are serious people on both

sides of the divide who thought

they'd win against easily

against Rudd, the Liberals.

Every stay they spend in the

shambolic Government is at

least another day better than

being in the opposition. Julia

Gillard, on the other hand, I

guess the one straw in the wind

for her was to grab hold of the

plebiscite idea and to run

against that. Here she is.

This would cost taxpayers $80

million and the leader of the

Opposition is on the record as

saying he wouldn't abide by the

result in any event. This is a

political stunt pure and simple

and shrill catcalling in favour

of it doesn't change the

character of it. It is a shrill political stunt, nothing

more, nothing less. There's a

bit of a theory around that

Abbott won the politics anyway

because talkback took it up and

so did the tabloid newspapers.

To my way of thinking, if you

have a reputation for stunts

anyway and one goes badly

wrong, the media might tend to

take a different look at these

things. I think he didn't

really care whether it got up

or didn't get up. He wanted it

into the debate, he wanted to be the guy on the side of the

people. That's what he got. Everything Julia Gillard said

there was right, it was a stunt

and it was going to be a

massively expensive opinion

polling that wasn't binding on anyone, including Tony Abbott,

he admitted. They got what

they wanted, they got it in

discussion. Oh, well, it

didn't get up, never mind. Every time Tony Abbott

goes out to a factory in Queanbeyan or somewhere handy

to the parliament, the cameras

go out. Will he continue to do

that and continue to run the

same line day in and day out?

I think the cameras will go,

they'll always go where a

leader is. I think it changed

this week. I think by the time

we got to the fruit shop on

Thursday or Friday or wherever

we were, it didn't have the

same impetus as it had before.

I really do think he's losing a

bit of automatic of on that, up

and up and up argument, people

are sick of it now. I think

we're seeing a point they have

to start coming up with

something more substantial. Why

didn't he bind himself to the

thing? I don't think he could. The Labor Party hated the

stunt. The gallery didn't like

the stunt. But I think it

worked well for Tony. In terms

of the way it went to the public, because it focused

attention all week again on

Julia Gillard's broken carbon

tax promise. That is poison

for the Labor Party and Tony

Abbott and his team know that

as long as they keep the debate

on that issue - here we are

talking about it again - Sure,

why couldn't he bind himself to

the result, he knew it wouldn't

happen anyway, it was just

hypothetical. Sure. His brand

is no carbon tax, so he's not

going to be moving from that.

He can't do anything about it until there's an election. So

he's saying he'll be bound by

the election and the whole

point of this was that Julia

Gillard said one thing before

the election and did something

else afterwards. So I think it

worked for him. It's not

surprising the Labor Party

talked it down as a stunt.

He's all stunts and whatever.

What else were they going to

do? They were nervous for a

couple of hours on Monday, because Crook and one other in

the lower House, I can't

remember - Wilkie - were

non-committal. They needed

Fielding in the red room and

those two down below and it

would have got through. It was

a nervous couple of hours.

The same independents who

called it a stunt were sitting

in the chamber a few hours

later or a day later in their

big cowboy hats. The thing is

also, if Tony Abbott were in

Government, would he

countenance the Opposition

putting up a plebiscite? You

don't have plebiscites on

issues like this. He knows

that. So this wasn't a

responsible thing. This was

about saying whatever you can

to get your point across. He

is starting to look like a man

who will say anything to make

his argument. I think he has

to have more substance behind

him now. When Nicky Savva wrote

in the 'Australian' I think on

Tuesday Kevin Rudd was taken to

describing the lodge as

Bougainville, something that

Kevin Rudd's office denies, but

nevertheless Julie bishop then

took up the question and asked

Kevin Rudd when he planned to

revisit Bougainville, what did

you make of that? Do you think

it was in poor taste or all is

fair? I give her points for

that one, it just worked. It

just worked in a political

sense so well. It ran on all

the news bulletins, we're

talking about it today, and so

forth. It was clever. It highlighted probably sharper than anything else during the

week the divisions that still

exist between Gillard and Rudd

and the personal rift which

will be forever there. I think

it was a very clever question

by Bishop. Not just that,

Kevin Rudd and Julie Bishop get

on well. They have had reason

to be travelling together at

various places. At the

mid-winter ball they were both

guests of one of the fair faction newspapers. They

wouldn't have conspired No, I'm

saying they sat together at

dinner, they have private

conversations. I've never

heard him say it, but Julie

Bishop is being mischievous in

the sense we know she has chats

to Kevin and you wonder whether

she's dangling a few things she

might have heard herself. I

have no idea. It's interesting

that it's Julie Bishop doing

it. We'll show pictures now of

the alleged Bougainville, of

course the Lodge in Yarralumla,

a couple of kilometres away,

the fictitious town

Connecticut, still the wife

walk s out, old-fashioned

thing, we should see more of

it. I think a wife is allowed

to kiss her husband

goodbye. Quite common - The

cameras were out the front.

What an amazing coincidence. The New Zealand

Prime Minister, John Key, was

in town during the week. We'll

go back to the carbon tax on

this one, because they have an

ETS in New Zealand, they had a

bigger one until John Key came

along. We'll listen to what he

and Tony Abbott had to say

about that during the visit.

Can I also congratulate you,

Prime Minister, for

dramatically watering down the

emissions trading scheme that

you inherited. In this

country, your sister party will

go further and do better.

Should we inherit any carbon

tax, we won't just reduce it,

we will rescind it. What I can

tell you about the emissions

trading scheme in New Zealand

is it's worked. The feedback we're getting from businesses

and the NGO sector is that they

are more positive now that the

scheme is actually in

place. That was quite a

political intervention for Tony

Abbott, but it's probably not

the first time we'll see that

with a visiting leader, won't

be the last. You'd be forgiven

if you were John Key for

thinking you were a prop in

someone else's pant mine. Both sides of Australian politics took advantage of the fact they

have an emissions trading

scheme, whether the watered

down version or having one in

place. He managed it well.

What tends to happen if you're

a visiting leader is you're

charitable to the host

government, so even if your

politics are akin to the opposition's, you'll be polite

to the Government, that's what

he did. Still, I think that

was in a substantial way one of

the more important things that

happened in the week, you had a

conservative leader from across

the pond came over, we have

one, it's not the end of the

earth. Not only that, I won't

tell you how to do it, but it

would be good if you had something similar, we could

link them up and start doing something serious in this end of the world. You strip away

the politics and yelling and screaming and you have

bipartisanship across the

Tasman, if you like. There

always has been. Despite

different governments from

different political persuasions

being in place, across the Tasman they always work closely

together. Key acknowledged

that they had the same blew

domestically in New Zealand

over this, forecast end of the

world stuff. Their price is

lower, 10, 11 Australian

dollars. Still, you can do it,

it won't kill you and won't

wreck the place. They have a

different economy. They have

agriculture. Or the Labor

Party wants to, that would be a

big fight over there, akin to

our coal fight. It will be a

sad day, if Australia's climate

change policy were dictated by

New Zealand. I think the

reason that Tony Abbott did

what he did in his speech was

to inject himself into the

middle of that debate on that

day to make the point, yes,

there's lots of consensus and

discussion about how it works.

I want to point out Tony Abbott

- saying I want to point out it

started higher and when they

went in they deliberately

reduced it, because they didn't

think it was a good idea. Can I say something flattering about Julia Gillard here. I

was astonished to hear this was

the first time a New Zealand

Prime Minister had addressed

the joint sitting. That at

least was a good thing for the

Prime Minister to do that. Ask

piggy Muldoon for entertainment

value, I don't know. Scott

Morrison is now in Malaysia

talking up the Malaysian

agreement, not getting great

access until this point, I

might say. He's put out a

visual press release. Look at

part of that. Here we are in

Semenyih at what we believe may

well be the detention centre

that people will be in if

they're sent here from

Australia under this proposed

arrangement. We can see pretty

clearly from here the big

barbed-wire fence behind me,

the new razor wire that's gone

in. That's nothing you'll see

in Nauru. That wire behind me

and brand-new wire as well

being put in is a pretty

menacing look. They have

friendly razor wire in

Australia. That's what you do

when you haven't p