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It's 4:00pm in Canberra, 1:00pm in Perth. I'm David Speers. Our top stories this afternoon. The Prime Minister and the property industry tear into Labor's policy on negative gearing. So how does the policy stack up and what will it do to the housing market? We'll talk to Labor's Andrew Leigh. Ian Macfarlane set to leave politics at the election after a failed attempt to switch parties. Four people charged after a joint operation seizes more than a billion dollars of the drug, ice.

It was a bold move as Labor acknowledged on the weekend. A couple of days on there has been analysis and criticism about plans to wind negative gearing. The detail is that from July next year negative gearing would be restricted to newly constructed homes. Existing homes would no longer be eligible. On top of that Labor plans to halve the discount on capital gains tax, which is at 50%, halved to 25%. The idea is to raise the $32 billion over a decade. Much less over the immediate term. $560 million is the forward estimate. The aim is to drive investment into the construction of new homes to deal with the supply problem and assist people to get into the housing market. The property industry worries about flow on effects that drive down house prices across the board and lower the amount of construction going on, threatening jobs and investment. The Prime Minister has similar concerns. He was his reaction today.

The policy, as described, has been criticised and I think fairly, as likely to really distort the housing investment market. It's not a well-designed policy, if I can put it that way, and it doesn't provide any budgetary relief any time soon.

Labour says it does provide budgetary relief over the long-term. $32 billion. The government of course is looking at negative gearing. Given those comments and comments from Scott Morrison, they won't go down the same path as Labor but will the government restricted the amount he can negatively gear and the number of properties as well? Options are on the table. Not GST, which has been ruled out by the Treasurer. He has made it very clear. Negative gearing, superannuation, these are on the table. For Labor it is about trying to show interest in helping young Australians into the market and also in Jack and fairness into the tax system as well. -- injecting fairness. There was a hint of class envy in these comments today.

If we're going to talk about occupations, we're happy to have that debate. We know from tax office data that surgeons receive 100 times the benefit from negative gearing than cleaners.

Now I get that Mr Turnbull's a very successful businessman, I understand he already has seven houses, but I understand what's really going on in the streets and suburbs of this country. 30 years ago it took 3.2 times your average annual wage to be able to afford a house. Now, that's blown out to 6.5 times your annual wage. Why is it that Mr Turnbull will fight so hard for a system where it's a battle, an expensive battle to get your first house where Malcolm Turnbull will give you a tax deduction for your fourth house. It is a distortion right now. deduction for your fourth house.
It is a distortion right now. deduction for your fourth house.
It is a distortion right now. Just managing to mention that Malcolm Turnbull has a bunch of investment properties. Nowhere near as many as Barry O'Sullivan, Queensland national MP. He has almost 50 investment properties. Policy from Labor will be a fascinating election debate, whatever the government does negative gearing and we will speak with the Shadow Assistant Treasurer. The Prime Minister was meanwhile in Townsville. At Lavarack Barracks with local MP Ewen Jones. He was wanting to surround himself with military equivalent, that is what my -- prime ministers do. He has made it clear he won't be one for jumping into tanks and shooting weapons. As he made the point, look at what the local member, his colleague, was doing in the background.I am a great believer that you should leave the handling of weapons to the professionals. Some politicians like to fire guns but I think we had, I think it is better to let your trained personnel do it.For the record, the thing he was juggling, he has confirmed, was a laser simulated grenade. That is something used in training. You throw the grenade and it sets off a laser signal to the people it would have hurt. No-one got hurt. It wasn't going to hurt anyone. A little bit embarrassing and worth noting the Prime Minister making the point that some politicians like to shoot weapons. I don't know who he could have possibly been referring to. Tony Abbott, of course, in 2010, when visiting troops in Afghanistan. Another long serving MP won't go around, Ian McFarlane. He has been in parliament 18 years. Nine of those years as senior minister after serving as minister for resources and industry, serving in the Howard and Abbott government. He was dropped by Malcolm Turnbull despite the fact that they are close friends. He was dropped when Malcolm Turnbull became Prime Minister. He has decided to go. No huge surprise. Of course, the debacle of December, when Ian McFarlane tried to shift from the Liberal Party to the National Party didn't help. If he couldn't get back into the ministry changing parties then there was not much left for him to do. He will leave his seat in Queensland, which has a healthy margin of 16.5%, so it will be good for whoever wins at the preselection.

The Foreign Minister is in Tokyo, where she will meet with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during her flying visit of Asia. Later in the week the Foreign Minister will head to China, discussing the issue of reclaimed islands in the South China Sea with President Xi Jinping. Sky News political reporter Tom Connell joins us live from Tokyo. Sky News political reporter Tom
Connell joins us live from Julie Bishop has begun her north Asian Tour era in Tokyo and has met with several ambassadors from countries, mostly in Africa -- here in Tokyo. This is a chance for a rare catch up. She has said she will pitch to them that Australia should have a spot on the Human Rights Council in the 2018 -2020 bid but the main agenda for this trip will be all about strategic defence issues within the region, in particular the South China Sea and what's going on. There is the issue of artificial islands being built by China and Julie Bishop has made clear that she will be strong in that area in saying that those islands should be ceased and not militarised.We are strong partners in the region. We are engaged in joint exercises. We work together very closely. There are more opportunities where Australia and other countries in the region can engage more deeply to ensure that the region is stable and secure, and they are the precursors to prosperity.There is also the issue of submarines which will no doubt come up with those meetings this afternoon. The contract the Japanese would like to have, and even the US has suggested perhaps Australia should give it to Japan for not just military and naval reasons but also strategic reasons, with Julie Bishop making clear she will look after Australian interests first. Coming up shortly, we talk to the incoming trade minister Steve Chiodo, to be happened on Thursday. Having been named Trade Cattina minister, we talk to him about his priorities for the -- Ciobo. Let's get some of the other top stories now. Good afternoon. We start with the Royal Commission into the nuclear fuel cycle, which has handed down tentative findings, finding large scale way storage in SA is the most viable option. Adelaide reporter Patrick Murrell joins us now. Pat, this waste dump wouldn't be operational for at least a decade but could generate billions for SA's economy?That is right, Helen. The commission found that if everything is fast tracked, there could be a waste dump operating as early as 2030, maybe even before that. It could bring in $257 billion to the state over the course of its lifetime. Trenier Jay Weatherill responded to the findings today, and he has said he wants to wait until the community has been consulted and have analysed the results before he comes to his conclusion -- Premier. He has expected political rifts within major political parties and across state and federal lines. He addressed the media earlier today and here is what he had to say.I need to make clear that Cabinet has not formed any position for or against concerning any findings in the report. As Premier of SA I want to encourage South Australians to read this report and form their own considerations about the important questions that are raised in it. I anticipate for many South Australians this will understandably be an emotion charged debate, however it's important that everybody be afforded an opportunity to their say.It will bring $5 billion into the state economy if it goes ahead, one third of the intake of the Treasury at the moment. SA has been suggested for geographical stability and it is also politically stable. The commission has urged the state and community to act quickly lest another state come in and take SA's Place and here is what he has said.There is always an opportunity if we dawdle that someone will take the advantage away from us. I don't mean that we should rush but I do mean that if we decide to go and do this, if the community decides it wants to do this, we need to get on and do it.Not only has the Premier stressed the importance of consultation, so has the commission, and he has said no project should go ahead unless the local area where any project will take place approves of anything, and he will host a meeting in the Town Hall tonight to this effect, and after that he will tour the region to gauge reaction, take questions and concerns. He has stressed that it won't go ahead if the community doesn't want it to go ahead.The findings will indicate the sorts of characteristics that need to be considered. How to go about getting community consent, depending on what comes back during this feedback period. I expect a final report will give us a timeframe and a process to actually do that.In that final report is due out in May. Back to you, Helen. Thank you. More than $1 billion of ice has been seized from a shipment of art supplies in what authorities have called the largest seizure of liquid methamphetamine in Australian history. Four people are behind bars accused of importing the drugs hidden also in gel push-up bras. This is the moment heavily armed police arrest a group of alleged drug smugglers who thought they were about to become very, very rich. A bust three months in the making. The key was a Customs officer from Sydney airport who noticed something strange about a man arriving from Hong Kong in November. The 33-year-old was allowed into the country but he was deemed suspicious and he was followed.The key to success in this particular operation was the skill of the Border Force officer at Sydney airport who identified this high-risk passenger.Customs following his trail to a shipping container entering the country fall of push-up bras. This container originated from China.The goods declared were gel bra inserts. As a result of examination 195 litres was detected.Authorities, in a controlled sting, allow the container to be delivered, where in a series of storage units around Sydney, more drugs were uncovered, hidden in children's acrylic paint sets. In all, 720 litres of the liquid form of methamphetamine. This has resulted in 3.6 million individual hits of ice being taken off our Street, with a street value of of $1.26 billion -- streets. There is little doubt that this will dent of the local methamphetamine market but authorities admit the price of ice on the streets is falling, which means more and more is slipping through the net. For those arrested, three men and one women, Hong Kong nationals, remain behind bars and will face court again next month. Police have released CCTV footage showing two men on the run after a failed armed robbery in Sydney's inner west. We've covered faces and weapons in hand they ran into a KFC restaurant in Sinclair on Saturday night before demanding cash. The footage shows that men hitting a female staff member in the head with a hammer before running from the fast food restaurant empty-handed --St Claire. A Sydney man who was serving a 30 year prison sentence has this afternoon walked free from jail after his conviction was overturned. Mustafa Hadib was jailed after being accused of trying to murder a witness in Punchbowl in 2000. A 3-judge panel quashed the conviction and ordered the 34-year-old's police after finding evidence in the case was unreliable. Unsettling aftershocks have rocked Christchurch overnight, coming almost every hour after yesterday's fight .7 magnitude earthquake. The most powerful, which hit last night, was 3.9, which struck after 830 last night -- yesterday's 5.7 magnitude. They continued through the early hours this morning, centred to the east of the city, where the major quake happened. The city is preparing to mark the fifth anniversary of the devastating earthquake which killed 185 people and has still left its impact on residents. And, tomorrow's weather. It will be cool with showers for the south-east. Highlanders know in Tasmania. Hot with elevated fire danger still in the west. I will be back with more news shortly. Back to you. Thank you. A quick break and then we speak with the incoming Trade Minister Steve Ciobo. Stay with us.

On Saturday the Prime Minister unveiled his new look front bench. It was a substantial shuffle forced on him by resignations and another minister in scandal, including Stuart Robert. They will be sworn in at Government House on Thursday. One of the big winners, Steve Ciobo, goes into Cabinet as the Trade Minister, replacing Andrew Robb. He won't be sworn in till Thursday but he has prepared for the job and joins me now. Congratulations on your promotion. Thank you.It is an exciting task I am looking forward to. Exciting times being Trade Minister.It is unusual. I don't think it has happened before, a new minister having the old minister... Will it be awkward at all, the handover? Not at all. I think it is a really good idea. Irrespective of which side of politics, Labor, Green, whatever, it makes sense to do this regularly. I've been in politics for than 15 years. Andrew Robb has served as Trade Minister, he has international connections, he understands not just the people but the personalities behind the people. Having the opportunity to have a mentor in that role, as well as dealing with unfinished business from his position, it is welcome. Will you follow the course he has set. We know he wants to pursue a trade deal with India as a priority. Or are we going to see a different direction from Steve Ciobo?They say that the son of a successful father needs to do twice as much to be considered just as good. Andrew Robb is considered the best or if not one of the best trade ministers we've had. That present some challenges. But that is a good problem to have. It is a good problem to have. My focus is on doing what I can in pursuit of the national interest. It is fair to say that multilateral agreements are always the best agreements to pursue. We've continued to see in the failure of the DOHA round, in the absence of securing those agreements, bilateral are the way forward.The world trade talks, the DOHA round, has been under way since 2001, 15 years, which was the year that you entered parliament. Is it dead in your mind or is there hope... How much weight and prospect to you give this deal?I think there might be a faint pulse but it is looking quite sick. Australia is not ashamed of the pursuing bilateral FTAs, which have been good for the economy. Andrew Robb secured the TPP, a massive chunk of global GDP. This will be a big positive for Australia. There is work to be done in terms of the ratification in Australia and all eyes turn to the US to see what they do. We hope ratification in Japan takes place. I am optimistic about it. There is a lot of posturing going on at the moment with the presidential election, people carving out positions, but fundamentally American knows that their international interest is well served by the TPP, the same that we know and all participating countries recognise.There is scepticism about these deals and you would have seen it. Whether it is the TPP or the free-trade deal with China. Do deliver the benefits that politicians say that they do? What will you do to address the scepticism, which seems to be growing?They're desperately needs to be strong advocacy at about these benefits. That is a key goal and area I will focus on. I am passionate about free trade and the increase prosperity that it brings. The reality is, if anyone wants to question why we pursue free trade, why we pursue these liberalised trade deals, well, you know what, the last 100 years of history shows why that we do that. It shows three increased trade we build global prosperity --it shows that increase trade. I make no apologies. (CROSSTALK).No protectionist sentiment that might come... Commentators and even some of your colleagues. I am a strong advocate for the benefits accrued to Australia as a consequence of trade liberalisation. The India free trade agreement, do you acknowledge that will be harder than China, Japan, South Korea, as India is decentralising terms of decision-making, have massive bureaucracies, it won't be easy.No doubt about that. India is a country that has a huge amount of potential and a huge amount of opportunity. But there is a fairly strong amount of bureaucracy and you mention some of that in your question. Realistically, there is a commitment from Prime Minister Modi and from Prime Minister Abbott and now Prime Minister Turnbull to secure the deal. Roads Minister Robb and myself will focus on what we can to deliver what we can because we know it will be good for Australia -- the minister Robb. Sometimes you roll up the sleeves and apply the older grief.What is the timing, I mean, Wendy hope to get some progress on that -- when do you hope -- elbow grease.Once I have briefings from the department on where the negotiations are up to. Needless to say, we are ambitious and we have set up an ambitious timetable. That is because, if we can land that deal it is good for Alli country and it will drive jobs and growth.-- our country. The benefit for Australia, you say you will take a lead role in the benefits of this trade, there are trade-offs and you have to decide which industries need protecting in Australia and which industries need more access to open markets overseas. This goes to wear the Australian economy is going in coming years. What sectors do you see as benefiting from free trade the most?-- where. There is no list of the winners and losers. There is a principle, which says that what underscores the Australian economy and Western democracies generally, is the idea that through the open market place and competition you get efficient outcomes, the efficient allocation of people. People know how to spend their money as a consumer or investor in a business, or someone who wants to manufacture something, whatever it is, that is achieved through condition. People who say the way we should interact with the world is to roll down the shutters and close the door and fence ourselves off behind a Castle Wall... History has proven that is a failed approach. It strives down wages and prosperity. It drives down employment opportunities --it drives down. We have to be as productive and efficient as we can. We have got to be competitive. We are great at being competitive. We are a small population of 23 million up against major players and we beat them and we beat them because we are innovative and good at niche marketing.A final one, away from your portfolio area, which will be a hot topic, negative gearing. I know it is close to your heart. In your neck of the woods, the Gold Coast, plenty of investment has gone on. The government is thinking about what it will do. Would you rather it go completely untouched?I would rather that Labor's proposal never saw the light of day. It is ridiculous. Bill Shorten has put forward a proposal to raise $600 million, which is less than one month's interest bill on the debt we have.Over a decade it is $32 billion.Let's take it over 100 years if you want to... Labor will raise $600 million, less than one month's interest and the side-effect of that proposal is they will completely decimate, for anyone who is a home owner or apartment owner, they will decimate the second-hand market, the sales of those properties as a consequence of driving everyone towards new stock which will be highly contested.You think Labor's land will decimate prices are still at I think the proposal will mean that if you own a home or an apartment and you go to put it on the market and people are saying, they will get a tax break if I buy something new, why would they buy that plays? Should the government leave it alone?We will put forward different proposals to Labor's proposals but it comes down to this - they've made an announcement...Should the government leave it alone?Labor is putting forward the proposal which they take to the Australian people. We put forward a proposal which we take to the Australian people. The difference is this - Labor's proposal is to raise tax...Should the government leave negative gearing alone?Any changes we make to the tax mix need to appropriately reflect the aspirations of the people.Should the government leave it alone?I am not the Treasurer. I am just asking you. There is scope to make reform to gearing. You wanted me to rule things in or out.We will look at proposals.I am not close minded or blinkered. I will try to achieve this government moving towards surplus. We've got to get it under control. I am open-minded to the way we do it. I will look at the proposals.Incoming Trade Minister Steve Ciobo, thank you for joining us this afternoon. The Prime Minister indicated he won't be rushed on his tax reform agenda, despite the opposition revealing its proposal to change negative gearing. While touring Townsville, Malcolm Turnbull said the Opposition's plans to limit negative gearing to new properties only is badly designed and risks distorting the market. The announcement comes as the latest Fairfax Ipsos opinion poll shows a drop in support for the Coalition government. Former Cabinet minister Ian Macfarlane announced he will not reckon test his seat at the next Federal election bringing to an end his 18-year career in Parliament. The announcement follows the former trade, industry and resource's minister's failed attempt to defect from the Liberal Party to the junior coalition partner, the Nationals, in December last year. Mr Macfarlane says he will turn to new challenges to use his knowledge and experience in the resources industry and science sectors. A joint operation in Sydney has busted a massive ice importation syndicate, in what officials say is the largest drug seizure of the liquid kind in the nation's history. 3 Hong Kong nationals and a Chinese nationals have been charged after 720 litres of liquid methamphetamine with an estimated street value of 1$.26 billion -- $1.26 billion was was conmiss cased. If conVictoriaed they will face life imprisonment. Justice Minister Michael Keenan said the raids prevented 3. 6 million individual hits of ice from reaching the nation's streets. South Australia's Nuclear Royal Commission found the state should take the world's nuclear waste, or part of it, in exchange for billions of dollars in revenue and thousands of new jobs. But it also found it wouldn't be viable for South Australia to host a nuclear power plant, or to expand into fuel processing in the foreseeable future. State Premier Jay Weatherill insists no formal decision has yet been made, and he's called on the community to have an open discussion about the proposal. A Sydney man, who was serving a 30-year prison sentence, has this afternoon walked free from jail after his conviction was overturned. Mustapha Dib was jailed after he was found guilty of attempting to publicly execute a crown witness and murdering the police informant's wife in Punchbowl in 2000. A three-judge panel quashed the conviction and ordered the 34-year-old's immediate release after concluding the key evidence in the case was unreliable. Tomorrow's whether around the nationthth cool with a few showers across the south-east. Highland snow in Tasmania, but hot with elevated fire dangers still in the west. David, I will be back after the top of the hour. Back to you. See you then, Helen. Thank you very much. Steve Ciobo was telling us that Labor's negative gearing policy announced over the weekend will decimate house prices. Well, Labor certainly disdegrees and to talk -- disagreed and to talk more about it Andrew Leigh joins me. Thank you very much for your time. Pleasure.We will get to the impact on house prices in a moment. There are two elements to what you have announced. Negative gearing -- gearing and capital gains tax. You want to halve the discount.That's right.What is the breakdown? Put together, these policies are going to raise, you say, $565 million over the forward estimates. How much comes from negative gearing changes and how much comes from capital gains tax?The capital gains tax is roughly a quarter of the total revenue raised, David, but this is not just a measure which focuses on making sure we close the gap between what the Federal Government is spending and what it is raising, it is a way of making sure that young Australian ks afford a home -- can afford an emhow. We have seen a share of young Australians buy a home drop by so percentage points since 2001 and I am surprised when I hear people like Steve speaking, they are so focused on what it will do to investors.And home owners, I suppose, as well. Your own home is an important asset for a lot of Australians.Absolutely. That is why we have ensured through this that existing investors aren't affected by the policy. If you buy a home, bought a home before 1 July next year you won't be affected.If property investors have no longer interested in your home, my home, existing homes, their values could well go down?Well, there will be new home owners who will want to enter the market. It isn't just an investor market. It is also a market where where need to make space for kids and grandkids to get in the market. You are a dad, as I am, and I am sure you have worried a about the ability of our kids to buy into the market. The great Australian dream that says if you earn a modest income you should be able to buy a house is slipping out of the grasp of so many you can Australian families.Will this push down or up house prices?Look, I expect that house price also continue to increase. They went up 11% last year in an environment in which wage growth was just 2%. So, we will continue to see increases in house prices...But not of that order.Not at the same pace. The thing is I talk to young couples in my electorate, a couple the other day, a builder and a teacher, where they were trying to work out how they could scrape together a deposit, when the cost of houses was going up so much faster than the money they earned. That's just wrong. It shouldn't be the way, the fact we give...Great for those who haven't been able to get a foot in the door. But do you accept that the flip side of this - and politically all those who do like to see their own homes going up in value - might be worried and might be - balk at voting for something that is going to slow down house price growth?David, what this is doing is encouraging invest tors move into new housing. At the moment it 3% of negative -- 93% of negative gearing happens on existing stock, a policy with a 93% failure rate if what you are trying to do is boost the housing sector. It is going to encourage that much investment in new housing stock if the re-sale value of any new housing stock by definition can't be negatively geared?Well, the new housings stock will be where you will get negative gearing. If you want to deduct wage earnings... Deduct interest losses against wage earnings then you can do that off new stock. Investors will be encouraged to do that. If you want to deduct within a category, you can still deduct investment losses against investment gains. But you can't cross the streams in the way in which you are able to now.I want to ask you about this. Let's get back to the capital gains tax. You are saying you will half the capital gains tax discount on all assets, shares as well as housing. That's right. Not many people negativelily gear with shares, simply because the interest rates are pretty unattractive.That's right.Banks don't regard shares as the same collateral as houses.You have given an exemption to small business and to superannuation funds, so they would still get a 50% capital gains tax discount. Well, you essentially don't see negative gearing within superannuation.What about self-managed super funds? You do see - you do see a property oh -- a lot of property investment through those?That's right. When we talk about negative gearing, we are talking about the deduction of interest losses against wage income.Right.Rather than deductions within a category. That is what makes the Australian system different and what's been part driven, this huge explosion of house prices...I am not talking about the negative gearing element, but the capital gains tax break. That would still be 50 % for self-managed super funds to invest in property?That's right. What you are seeing in the Australian environment is the combination of the capital gains tax policy and the negative gearing policy, working together to explode the housing market in a way... To help young Australians... It is useful, I understand, your desire to submit off the policies, but we have to see how these things have interacted in a way that... Absolutely. I am wondering if this will drive more people into self-managed super funds to get that extra tax break.Look, self-managed super is not being driven off negative gearing.Off capital gains tax.On the capital gains tax side, I don't expect we will see significant changes there. OK.Don't forget, all gear existing assets are grandfathered. We are keen not to hurt people who have made existing decisions, and that was would be of the odd things -- one of the-odd there -- odd things too about listening to Steve. He is delivered our policy delivers more of its gains in the latter years. The only way of delivering more there the first four years is to change existing investments. If Steve wants a policy that's going to affect existing investments, then that will be a policy that is going to be a whole lot more politically controversial in the community. I look forward to debating it.Gets back to the negative gearing part of this, and who is going to be affected by it, the government points to Tax Office statistics showing more police negatively gear than tax accountants, more train and tram drivers than solicitors, and so on. There are more police and that tack accountants.As a proportion of the industry that they work in.If you look at the average deductions of teachers and nursers, they are about 300 bucks. If you look at the average deductions of surgeons and anaesthetists, they are about $4,000. This is a policy where half the negatively geared benefits go to the top 10heath. Two-thirds of the capital gains go to the top 10th. These are tax breaks which are skewed heavily towards the top. We want to reengineer those in a way that boosts housing supply for all of us. Tax loopholes have to be working, not just for the beneficiaries, but for the whole community.Thank you very much for joining us this afternoon.Thank you.We will no doubt be talking a lot more about negative gearing about the weeks and months ahead. Live to the Football Federation of Australia. This is the latest on - well, the latest incident that we have seen over the weekend. Not approach this in a knee jerk quick reaction, to what is essentially a very complex issue, with very differing views in our community. Of course, some time as past since that time. We have done an extensive consultation process of all the major stakeholder groups being the active fan groups, the clubs, the stadia managers, the police in various states, and also the member federations. We have gone to great pains to make sure it was an exhaustive consultation -- constable theytive process. In fact, there were some 28 interviews that took place in the process. And you would now have seen the published review which we were intent on being transparent on that review so you could see the issues that have come through in this complex process. We were determined to create a more comprehensive process and comprehensive procedures than there were in the past, but at no time were we ever prepared to compromise on public safety of all of the fans that attend our games. And so, I think, in summary we are very pleased that there was such an extensive consultation. We are very pleased that most of those who were asked to chose to be part of the process, because there are so many complex issues around this issue. Of course, it was led by one of our directors, who has, I think, done an outstanding job, together with the senior management of FFA, to come - to land on a new fan procedure, that we feel are much more comprehensive, as I have said, and they have addressed the issues that came up in late November and through the December meeting that David and his team had with the active fan groups. I might leave it at that and then open it up to any questions that you may have.... Something that Europe bound to do.Football Federation Australia there. Gallop ghop and Ryan Stoke -- Gallop ghop and Ryan stoebs outlining the process that will be followed here after the latest incident of rowdy behaviour by fans at the Melbourne derby match over the weekend. The latest later. They will be monitoring that and will bring us the latest shortly. Let's get to our panel. Grahame Morris and Bruce Hawker with us to talk politics of the day and the week. Thank you very much for joining us. I want to pick up on this negative gearing arrestment. Bruce Hawker, to you first T it's been such a hot potato or a no-go area for both sides of politics, even when Labor was in government for some six years and the budget was diving into the red. They still wouldn't reach for the lever of negative gearing. Labor is now and the government is looking at it. What do you think about the politics around this? How is this one going to play out?Labor has to make it very clear to investors that existing schemes are going to be grandfathered for a start. It is going to be prospective rather than retrospective. That's a very important piece of information that really has to be stressed to stop people panicking about what this may mean for existing investments. Then I think that it is a case of arguing and explaining that it's important to apply the negative gearing arrangements to new properties to encourage building and development, rather than just working on existing properties, as happens as we now know in...Is this still a risky prospect politically for Labor?Look, I think it demonstrates that Labor has got some serious attacks - initiatives, which it is prepared to take. What's the government come up with? You know, a cut - increase in the GST which they abandoned as soon as there was any sort of whiff of gunfire or smoke even from their own ranks. Labor is coming out with policies here. For a long time they were accused of not having policied. They should be commended for doing it and for starting a serious debate.Grahame, we have seen the government... Well, by varying degrees ramp up the criticism of what Labor's announced here. Steve Ciobo a short time ago reckons this will decimate house prices across the market. I guess it is very hard to know what investors will do with this sort of change that Labor is talking about. The government, meanwhile, is looking at what to do as well with negative gearing. Where do ut do you think the government -- where do you think the government should go with this? How hard should it go or negative gearing rules?Well, look, it just seemed to many somebody if the Labor Party forgot to ask the question - do we really hate renters? Because that is what they have done. You say we don't know what's going to happen. We do. We saw it roughly this with Paul Keating, and it just kneecaped the metropolitan markets on the eastern states. Sydney just got crippled. If you haven't got mum and dad investors, trying to earn a buck with investing in a house over, say, 20 or 30 years, letting somebody else rent it, then the poor old taxpayer or somebody has got to come in and provide all this housing. Who else is going to do it? And as for, say, investing just in new homes, well, that's fine. If every young couple in Australia wants to go to the outskirts of every city and drive for 2.5 hours to their work. It's... It just defies logic what they are doing. I just... We talk about having jobs and growth. This is a great way... Getting back to...It is a great way...Let me ask you this. We know the budget is in deep trouble and needs all these sort of things to be looked at and, yes, there are concerns, being pressed about what Labor's done here. What do you think? Should negative gearing be addressed at all or be left untouched?Look, it may well be now that the GST seems to be off the table that everyone is going to tweak all sorts of things. Now, I don't think that's terribly wise. I would have kept a GST there and have a whole big bang package that you can go out and sell. I think this is one of the problems. I have been in Brisbane all day and I am tomorrow, just talking to the business community, for example. Everyone's just slightly concerned about what is the story, what is the message. There is no doubt the last couple of weeks have been untidy, but if you look forward, if the big message is not, hey, let's update our tax system, let's modern noise our -- mod noise or tax -- modern noise the tax system, then you are back on tweak it. I think at the moment the last thing any - the confidence needs in this country and in the business community is a politician mucking around with capital gains tax and negative gearing and, particularly, as half the people behind Bill Shorten have already made their money out of capital gains tax.And negative gearing. A lot of politicians on both sides. To pick up on something you said, Grahame, the untidiness, the confusion you have picked up. Are you saying the government really needs to get off the pot and actually announce some detail around what it is going to do on tax?No. But not yet. No. But as we get closer to, say,... Well, the bug you would have to. And -- budget you would have to. Somebody like me, who's run a heap of campaigns, thinks forward and thinks, "OK, what is the message everyone's crafting to talk about in the last few days of an election campaign?" I'm pretty sure neither side has got that yet. Not even close. So, we are sort of - both sides are sort of grappling with what is the story, what is the message, and they are both - Labor has hurt itself with this one and I think the government hurt itself by just ruling out the GST, because that flexibility for modernisation and change has gone.Let me just turn to the opinion polls, Bruce. I will get your thoughts on this, the Fairfax poll out today in the papers. You have seen the government lose ground in both the two-party preferred result and a bit for Malcolm Turnbull in terms of preferred Prime Minister as well. In fact, after preferences, it's now 52-48 lead for the coalition over Labor. Do you think that's about right? Do you detect that is where things are at nationally?I think so, because it has been a pretty bad month for the government. And that has not gone unnoticed by the electorate. Ministers have been falling by the wayside, and they have failed to make real calls on things like taxes, as we were just discussing, and I think now people are starting to ask a question about Malcolm Turnbull, is he what he claims to ask a question about Malcolm
Turnbull, is he what he claims to be, because he seems to stand for certain things but then when it comes to actually putting deeds where the words are, nothing happens. So, we haven't seen anything on climate change, and he was a great champion of that, Republican movement, he was the leader of that, and there is going to be no change to the monarchy. These are the sorts of things that people are saying is he as authentic as we thought he was, and that will have an impact on their voting intentions. Whether Labor can maintain the good boost that they have received over the Christmas period is another question. Normally it's a bit - a time when people normally go to sleep and don't worry too much about politics. But they are starting to focus and they are starting to ask tough questions about the government and what it's really doing. Some of the gloss will continue to come off them. But, Bruce, is the flip side that even though the government has had a couple of messy week, another minister yaling scandal, had to reshuffle, bit confused on the tax front, even with all of that, Labor is still behind front, even with all of that, Labor
is still behind and is still behind and Bill Shorten personally is far behind Malcolm Turnbull. It may not get any better than this for Labor.We may not but we hope lit continue to improve. I think they have demonstrated that they actually can make inroads and I think there was real question marks about the place before as to whether they could make any inroads into a politician who was really taking that centre ground in politics very aggressively, as Malcolm Turnbull has. But, you know, it's not just a question of talking, it's a question of doing, and if Labor can keep drumming home that message that Turnbull talks a good story, but he doesn't actually go out and do too much, then I think the electorate will start to become more and more suspicious about what the bone any days of the government are -- bone bid days are. Let's remember this - it is a first term government and it is very hard to toss a first term government.True. History shows that. Grahame, do you think... Perhaps, marginal seat holders in the Coalition may be nervous about what the polls are showing?No, not yet. We are coming back towards somewhere near normal. The honeymoon is almost over, but it's not quite. The sort of blankets have come off and the electorate has one foot out of the bed. By geez, it is a long way from inviting Bill Shorten into the bedroom! (LAUGHTER) Well! There is an image we can contemplate! Alright. We will have to wrap it up. Thank you very much for that. We will see you again next week. Appreciate your time.Thank you.In the next hour, we will going to be talking to Tim Wilson. He's quit as human rights Commissioner to formally seek preselection for the Liberal Party in the seat of Gold seen. We will talk -- Goldstein. We will talk to him about that. And also some areas where he has been critical of the government, the coalition government, whether it is their approach on same-sex marriage, their approach on anti-terrorism laws, like mandatory retention of metadata, whether it is on the tax debate as well, and some of the views he's expresseded over the years, particularly in his previous role at the institute of -- institute of public affairs. Nikki will be here and we will get her take on the negative gearing and the risk Labor has taken, is it one to be rewarded or one that could be too much of a risk to go down the path they have. That is coming up. Do stay with us on PM Agenda right after there. -- right after this Captions by
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