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ABC News Breakfast -

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(generated from captions) to: The Prime The Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, has flagged a return

Solution. The Federal to John Howard's Pacific

Government is in negotiations

with Papua New Guinea to set up

an asylum seeker detention

centre on Manus Island, in fact

to reopen the old one. Greens leader Bob Brown joins from us

Hobart. Good to talk to you.

Good morning. Good morning, Virginia. Until today were you

Government was considering aware that the Federal

reopening Manus Island? No, I wasn't, but it is very clear

it's always been in the mix. The Howard solution was Manus

Island, their Pacific Solution,

Manus Island and Nauru. They

put effectively a prison on

both places. It is history international condemnation, but that that brought Australia

now we have got the Gillard

Government taking the western

half of that solution by looking at re-establishing that

effective prison for asylum seekers on Manus Island. The Federal Government when it was

not the Federal Government said

it would never reopen Manus and

now it is. What do you make of

that? It is part of the Labor Party drifting across to the

Tony Abbott or John Howard

solution. I

last few days, 300 kilometres

south of Manus Island, and I spoke to quite a few officials

and there was no hint of this

project going ahead, but now it

is going ahead, it is going to

create a great deal of

contention and it will create

huge hardship and punishment for innocent people who are

fleeing from persecution or

world. There's no doubt about great danger elsewhere in the

that. That's why they're

The last round classified as asylum seekers.

Government on Manus Island left

one man there for many, many

months on his own, driven to

camps lead to mental illness, distraction. We know that such distraction. We know that

extreme hardship and very poor Australia raeptation is ramifications as far as

concerned. The Greens alone believe we should be dealing

with asylum seekers as do other

similar countries around the

world, by processing these

illegal people onshore. If they're

illegal they should be sent home f they're not, and most of

them are not, integrated into

Australian society as asylum

seekers in this country have always before the Howard

era. Julia Gillard's party

forms government in the Lower

House at least in part because of support that's offered by

the Greens. On the basis of

this policy switch, will you consider withdrawing that

support? And you get Tony

Abbott who wants to send them

to Nauru as well. It is the

same situation, isn't it. That's the saying that Julia Gillard has

gone over to the Tony Abbott

right, so isn't that what

you've got now? Well, what

we've got is two big parties

breaching their obligations, I think internationally, but also breaching their obligations, I

recreating the Howard solution,

effectively, because already

the Abbott opposition has been

claiming this is their idea,

effectively, being taken up

again by the Gillard Government

and this is why the Greens

growing in Australia because

there is a decent alternative to this and people are voting

for that alternative and will

continue to do so. That's not

going to yet help the asylum

seekers who should be treated

with decency, humanity and the

compassion they deserve in this

very lucky and wealthy country

of ours. I do want to get to

the heart of that philosophical

problem for you today as leader

of the Greens, that the party

that you're supporting is doing

something that is antithetical

stand for. I just wonder where

you go to from here? Can you keep supporting them? Well,

yes, we can, because we don't

agree with the Labor Party and

the Abbott coalition is worse.

That's the situation. If

you've got some solution to

that, Virginia, I would be very

pleased to hear it. No, you say

you're between the devil and

this side of the deep blue sea the deep blue sea. No, we're

and this devil of an option put

forward by the big parties and

we reject this as a devil of a

solution. We've got a much

more humane legal and

solution which is to process

asylum seekers in this country.

The numbers here are modest,

despite all the hype and the

hand wringing by the Abbott

opposition. Compared to other

countries like Greece or Italy

or Britain, the numbers of

very modest indeed. All asylum seekers our country are

this morning that we should try it and get to in the limited

time we have available to us. The Federal independent MP

Andrew Wilkie is going to today outline how

changes to poker machines could pave pave the way for mandatory

betting limits. Do you have

any inside information for us

on what you believe is going to

be the yen outline of that? He's threatened to withdraw

support from the government if his changes don't go

ahead. Yes. Well, that's up to Andrew. We're a much more

consistent and responsible

government in Australia, party in our attitude to

Virginia, as you've just seen. We believe this Government

should be there for the full term

have term as previous governments

have been, despite all the

problems. You just can't get

your own way by bringing down

governments and be held in high

regard in this country. That

said, Andrew has taken up a

long held green position of

wanting to curb the damage

that's done by poker machines in this country and I hope that

he's able to, along with Nick Xenophon, who of course has

been campaigning on this for

years as well, we are able to

do something to reduce the

with interest at Andrew's social damage. I'll be looking

proposals. The Greens have

very clear policies on this and

we will be very essentially

part of the mix if there is to

the be an improvement in reducing

particularly by problem

gamblers who lose billions of

dollars each year in Australia on poker machines. What do you

see as the crucial issues that

you think need to come out of

the Senate committee report into banking, competition in the banking sector today? One

obvious thing is to follow

Britain and get rid of this $2 penalty that has to be paid at penalty that

ATMs. If you go to a bank

other than your own and want to

can go and withdraw $3500 and

pay $2 tax, it is a private

bank tax, but the pensioner

down the road who goes and withdraw

withdraw her $20 pays a $2.

She's paying a far bigger percentage cost on her

withdrawal. It is totally

unfair. We're looking at the National Australia Bank, along

with the others, now recording multi-billion dollar

unprecedented profits and I

fear this

going to endorse the banks's

ability to penalise customers

in that way. That should be

stopped. We've always said

there should be some cap there should be some cap on the

huge take home pay of bank CEOs

and we're also opposed to and we're also opposed to the

Government's proposal for a 1% reduction in corporate tax to

the big banks which is coming

up in the Budget. That's going

to be a huge extra windfall

profit for them at the expense

of every other taxpayer and the Greens alone against that. Good to talk to