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This program is not captioned. This program is live captioned by Ericsson Access Services. Hello there, welcome to The Drum. I'm Julia Baird. Coming up: Labor Senator Sam Dastyari might have stepped down, but the debate over donations rages on.

Tony Abbott and John Howard reject the idea of a treaty with Indigenous Australia. And Donald Trump promised one but it's the Brits who've actually delivered - a wall to keep out migrants and refugees.

Thanks for joining us this evening and joining us on the panel partner at Newgate Communications Greg Baxter is back with us again. Lawyer and lecturer Pallavi Sinha, hello, and in Canberra, economics editor for The West Australian Wright. Welcome. And you can join us our friendly and civil community on Twitter using the hashtag The Drum. Now, Labor Senator Sam Dastyari might have fallen on his sword but the debate around political donations is still raging. Senior Liberals are trying to maintain the focus on Opposition Leader Bill Shorten's failure to sack Senator Dastyari last week, but some have conceded the issue of donations could be looked at more closely. Labor continue to call for a ban on foreign donations today and there has been support for Senator Dastyari to return to the frontbench at some point in the future.He had to take the sword into his own hands and dispatch himself. It's an indictment of Bill Shorten's lack of leadership, lack of courage.I don't think this is the end of Senator Dastyari's career. He's a bright young bloke with a lot of passion, a lot of ideas to offer Australia and I'm sure that in the future he will come back but in the meantime, I and Labor intend to pursue the issue of foreign donations. So the intent of pursuit is there, Shane. How likely are we to see an actual tangible outcome when it comes to reform of donations?I think next week the ALP will be moving fairly quickly to put up its own proposal to have foreign donations banned and we'll also get to the committee that Malcolm Turnbull alluded to, the chair of that committee will be appointed. It's probably going to be Lynn Dell Reynolds from Western Australia. But that committee is going to have all sorts of problems because if people have forgotten that the election that we have just had, had the lowest turnout since the introduction of the voluntary vote - compulsory voting, so that issue will keep playing and there are concerns how it was conducted by the AEC. I think somewhere along the line the donations issue will have to get pushed around, put forward and that is what the ALP will get up to next week.What about -- what about across the board though? You'll see the Greens and Independents themselves will push it along. The Greens and ALP aren't all that far apart. The foreign donations stuff, if that gets pushed through the Senate, for instance, it's a very good chance that it will come back down to the house and it will be difficult for the government to sort of resist that - bringing on that sort of debate.Do you agree with that, Greg?I do, and I think it's a great opportunity, not that everyone in Canberra will share this view, this is a chance to review the whole area. Should companies be allowed to make donations? If so, limits, should union bs allowed to make donations, foreign donations are obviously in the frame. We've had the head of the security services warning about the risks associated with foreign donations. There are a lot of issues here. Real time disclosure I think is important. There are so many things that could be done simply to restore confidence in the system.What's it going to take to actually get something done?Well, it will take that rarest of commodities - consensus. There won't be a consensus on union donations would we?Clearly not. I think the disclosure regime, if you're not going to put other rules in place then you have to have a disclosure regime which is bulletproof and you have to have a regime that allows you to not funnel money through different entities, whether they're foreign or domestic, as we've been seeing and that lease been a big problem in NSW and part of the recent ICAC inquiry. But I think that there is in the Australian sort of political nil -- area at the moment, there's a need for a restoration of confidence in the isn't. This is another example of it. I think the Dastyari thing was really more about Dastyari than it was donations but I think the donations issue is rightly back on the agenda where it belongs. Where would you target the informs? I think it's great impetus for reform of the donation system and it has to be manager that's across the board. Labor are vor focused on looking only at foreign donations but it has to make sure that it extend to corporations, unions, across the board and making sure that it's real time. That the disclosure is now timely, not seven or eight months down the track. Some form of monitoring as well so we actually know what's going on. Are these donations influencing government policy making? That was one of the most significant issues with the Dastyari issue, but also I think the issue with trying to put a complete ban on foreign donations is that there are sometimes people who have dual citizenship and there are also companies who have complex structures so -- it's not as simple as saying to put a complete ban on foreign donation but it's something the political parties need to listen to. They lost a lot of votes at the last election, public is disenfranchised. They need to get integrity into Parliament.Greg, you've worked around politics for a long time, partner of a communications firm. The capacity surrounding this - we don't know enough - what can blunt buy you in politics?Well, it usually buys you access. It will sometimes buy you influence. Influence of course is a by-product of access in many respects. I have always been of the view - there was a view in corporate Australia going back 20 years that it was much smarter to be bipartisan in the way you donated money.But isn't everyone still bipartisan primarily?Well, not really, and I think some companies are unashamedly supporting one side tore other. They have to explain to their shareholders what the basis of that decision is and arguably it's shareholders' money in any event. But I think it's time to change this. I think if the business - if the corporate and business community in Australia wants to influence policy debate in shoeses -- Australia, sure, spend the money but do something else with it. And I think if there are concerns about union donations toss -- donations to the Labor Party, replace that with taxpayer funding. There's going to be inevitably be a trade-off. If we take away 90% of the funding for the two major parties that funding has to come from somewhere else. That will be the taxpayer. But we're not flush with funds are we, Shane? When we look another what's happened to Senator Dastyari we still don't have the answers to exactly why this happened. What do you make of the discussion already about some kind of imminent return? I think that just a tad premature. I think a few people - bit of scuttle butt. It will take a bit of time for him to redeem himself. While you're on the donations issue, you've still got the High Court at play here. Whether you go down this path of restricting speech. There are people out there who may not want to hear what trade uniones have to say or may not want to hear what corporations have to say, but I think the High Court might think they have an en -- an entitlement to have some sort of say in the political system if you start going down the path of blocking offer donations direct to political parties you're going to sees a troe turfing organisations or some of the lobby groups we have in play already, and the 2010 election is a very good example of that of how much money flowed into the minerals council for instance and it was able to use its position to influence that election, particularly in WA. So, you've got that issue at play. As soon as you start tinkering in that area you've got to look very closely at what the unexpected consequences may be. Indeed. Alright. On to another matter now. Two former Liberal Prime Ministeres have rejected the idea of a treaty with Indigenous Australians. Following a speech to the National Press Club yesterday, John Howard said talk of a treaty was appalling, divisive and boom -- doomed to fail. Tony Abbott meanwhile is on his annual visit to remote Indigenous communities and from Western Australia said he'd never been in favour of the idea.A treaty is something that two nations make with each other, and obviously Aboriginal people are the first Australians, but in the end we are all Australians together. So, I don't support a treaty.I know that some people as soon as they hear the word treaty run screaming for the hills. I just say to them, you know, calm down, have a Becks and a sit down, it'll be alright. Our first Australianes have put up with a lot from the rest of us for the last 225 years plus. For more on this we're joined from Melbourne by Muriel Bamblett who is part of the Victorian government's treaty working group. The Victorian premier is aiming to introduce a treaty there within two years. Muriel Bamblett, welcome.Hi, Julia. Now, first to the most immediate news what's your response to the remarks to the former prime ministers John Howard and Tony Abbott regarding their opposition to a treaty?I find them quite disturbing because if you look at, while they're in politics, and particularly John Howard, we had the apology and we saw Australia's reaction to the apology, and the acceptance that what happened to Aboriginal people in the past was wrong. We also know many years ago was the Redfern speech, and how much that sort of I think - we as a nation accepted what happened to Aboriginal people was wrong, and I think this is about putting in place things that actually are about bringing people together, and I think that it would be concern fg there's fearmongering about what a treaty actually means for Aboriginal people.Do you see it as fearmongering or do you see it as a position? What impact do those kind of remarks have on the public debate, do they open things up or clamp them down?I think it's not helpful when we're talking about constitutional recognition and when we're talking about treaty here in Victoria. We have a premier that's committed to billing a treaty and making things right. And if you look at all the statistics in Victoria, things aren't good for Aboriginal people. So this is about righting wrongs but we're certainly not keen to have a treaty that's just based on disadvantage. We want to have a treaty that's based on, you know, justice and equity and ensuring that Aboriginal people have, you know, enjoy really good rights and recognition within our own country. How did you get to be at the point where you are seriously discussing a treaty?I think the premier was in his policy speech made a commitment to take the words of a treaty to the COAG. And I think from that he spoke to the Victorian people and we had a forum, a number of forums in Victoria, that talked about constitutional recognition, our engagement, how we wanted to have a relationship with the Victorian government and from that Aboriginal people said that they wanted to enter into a treaty and we believed that a treaty was a beginning point. We know that normally a treaty is between, you know, obviously the Commonwealth government and a nation of people, but in Victoria we believe it's an opportunity to look at rights and to look at how do we look at culture, social and economic for Aboriginal people and improve, you know, all of those things for Aboriginal people. Right, and I think, Greg, that was your question about whether difference between the camps. Can you explain for us, Muriel, about the difference between - how can you reach consensus on this when there's so much division about which way to go? Why was it at your meeting in February you said there was just one mindset amongst the Indigenous xhount to say we should go for a treaty.I think -- think a lot of Aboriginal people in Victoria are concerned about if we go with constitutional recognition and at the moment we don't know exactly what's in the constitution and whether we'll be - you know, there'll be a preamble that acknowledges that what happened to Aboriginal people was wrong. But the other thing is that there was a concern voiced at the forum that it would be - we have ticked the box, we have done what we have had to and we don't need to enter into a treaty. And a treaty in Victoria wouldn't protect a lot of what we're doing at the moment. There's a lot of work and a lot of commitment from the Victorian government to pursue self-determination. And I work in child welfare, and never in my - you know, 17 years of working in child welfare have I seen so much commitment to self-determination and making that work for Aboriginal people.Yes, and I know its Child Protection Week which is keeping you very busy, and it's probably a good time to acknowledge all the people who work in child protection, the intense and difficult work a lot of carers do. Can you tell us what is it that you hope the treaty could achieve and what would it actually look like.Well, I think it's about it setting, you know, that it's unfinished business. It's like - we know that we are the first peoples but it's about, you know, addressing inequities, injustice. It's about setting a new agenda and having acceptance that we're first people. It's not that Australia has anything to lose by having a treaty with first peoples. We already have agreements around native title so those agreements lock in rights and agreements for Aboriginal people around land and culture. Shane, if I could bring you in here at this point. How significant do you think these words to have former prime ministers are, what kind of impact do you think they would have on the Coalition at this point?Very little because they're not surprising. Both Tony Abbott and John Howard have been very consistent in this space, and interestingly both had been supportive of going down the recognition at a constitutional level of Indigenous Australians. And we have seen - we haven't made a lot of progress in terms of where that referendum is supposed to be. We've got caught up, as important as this issue is, the plebiscite around same-sex marriage. That's feeding into the delay that's coming around the recognition of Indigenous Australians and then you're going to be into an electoral cycle. Sadly, it -- it's going to be tied one a lot of pre-consistenting views which aren't going to change all that much plus these other political cultural issues, not more than cultural issues, real issues that will affect people that are going to sort of overwhelm what else is going on. Assuming this isn't a real issue that would affect people dochlt you think that we can afford to --. Do you think that we can afford to delay this issue given it's significance?It's extremely important to take some active steps towards reconciliation with the Aboriginal people. They're the first peoples and there are 700,000 approximately Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Australia. And any step, whichever it is, whether it's constitutional recognition or smlg in a treaty that can then be negotiated with the Aboriginal people, is a part of empowering those people. It's not supposed to be us against them, that the Aboriginal people are someone over there and we're someone over here. We're all Australians so whether it's through constitutional recognition or through a treaty - and Australia is actually the only country in the Commonwealth that doesn't have a treaty with its Aboriginal people. Whichever way it's done it has got to be done sooner than later. I was in the IQ 2 debate, the racism debate with Stan Grant and the anger I could feel sitting on the same table with him. The longer this goes on, it's like a wound that festers and you put a Band-Aid over it. It's got to be healed properly.What do you think, Greg, when John Howard is saying that, the one thing he always had a knock of -- knack of was reading the mood of the electorate. What is he talking about when he says it's appalling and it will divide people. Well, I think the comments, while they might not have been surprising in a Canberra context, I think they were incredibly disappointing. I mean, what we need here is ultimately a consensus essentially - and I think it's very disappointing that this will now not happen next May or in 2017. And those comments really - all they did was signal there's more conflict on the way. So - and I think we need to take the lead from the Referendum Council and the views of the Indigenous people as to what they think the model could look like, whether there's a preferred model or there's options we need to be educated about so the community can think about the pros and cons and we have to have a sensible, sedate conversation about it. I mean, just that language yesterday from both of them was - I thought pretty disappointing and quite inflammatory in Howard's case. To your point about reading the mood, Howard did a lot behind the scenes in his premiership to move towards reconciliation on many levels. But just refused to go that final step. And we saw how incredibly powerful that was when it finally happened. It was extraordinary - one of the great days I think in in country. So the comments are really disappointing and I just hope that the people that are working diligently on this can get - can bring something forward that we can all agree on.Muriel is working diligently on it. Please let us now -- us know what happens in Victoria. We'll be keeping a eyes on it. Thanks so much.Thanks, Julia. For your time this evening. Back to Donald Trump. He promised to build one but it's the British who are actually doing -- doing it - erected a wall designed to keep slooix and migrants out. Unlike the presidential nominee's proposal for a superstructure along the US and Mexican border the UK's 4m high wall will stretch just 1km through Calais and it's intended to stop peopling jumping on trucks into an attempt to end the channel tunnel and get to Britain. Calais has become a splash point in Europe's migrant crisis with thousands of refugees setting up a makeshift camp on the outskirts of the port. Shane, what do you make of this? Is this - it's not the only country in Europe to be erecting higher, taller, stronger, bar kids, we have seen it in Germany, seen it in Austria and so on. Is this the new way and is it inevitable given the violence around these points? Well, sadly it's just not Trump-like. Trump's wall is 2,000 miles, 35 to 50 feet high. The 1km one at Calais is just not even in the ball park in what - in terms of the scale of it. But you could - certainly can make the argument that this is about safety for those who are looking to get across into Britain because it's that or it's a 21 mile swim. But in this case you can see, yeah, the Brits are thinking, "We have to find some way to stop" - there are so many cases of people dying because of their heavy trucks. But you're right n terms of the broader issue, refugees being pushed out because of Syria, the problems we have seen in Turkey and across eastern Europe, the amount of effort that's going into controlling borders tell you that very hish of sovereignty and control of borders is very much in play.The importance of national sovereignty, it definitely has to be balanced with being humane and considerate as well. There are now 50 million children who are refugees, that's half the hament of the refugees, and it's growing. It's actually doubled according to the United Nations High Commissioner of refugees between 2005 and 2015. We have seen Hoff I have been pictures of children on TV screens. We want to make sure that anything we do, yes, it must protect our national sovereignty but it must also be humane and compassionate. 2.7 million euros is going into building the wall. The money could be used in another way to protect the national sovereignty.What about truck drivers who say they're not say, with people trying to hijack their trucks.There could be money spent between helping them rather than building divisions more. That's what I would argue.I think this is a huge issue as we know. We saw what happened in the election in Germany on the weekend. Clearly there is a mood across Europe which is not I'd say attractive but understandable in some respects and we saw it with the Brexit vote and other things. But, I think they've got to start - build walls if it's a safety measure but build house for these people. They are not going anywhere soon. Right.Of course solving the Syrian issue, I think that's the underlying cause, that's going to take longer as well. These people need to be resettled properly, and given an opportunity to assimilate into the - their new homes. And they'll be less, I think, motor -- motivated to want to move from one place to another within Europe if the facilities and infrastructure is available to them where they are now. I mean, this idea of building walls, as I think you said earlier, they'll end up with walls everywhere. Wouldn't we be talking about walls if we shared common borders?I think it's getting the balance right between sovereignty and deciding who comes and doesn't come into your country.Precisely.But Europe is a different beast I think than Australia in many respects. Tell me in which sense, in their attitude.Well, I think - first of all we're an island so you can't get away from that concept of an island continent. But that hasn't meant we peer devoid of anxiety about immigration and refugees.That's true but I think what we have seen in in country is a lack of strong political leadership on the immigration issue over a long period of time. It's become expedient politically for both sides of politics to play the populist card on immigration which has been appalling. I think that issue needs to be dealt with as well.If I could add also, Australia has done very well in terms of resettlement. Touching on that point earlier, if funds are devoting to -- devoted to how the refugees are resettled or the place they are at the moment that would be a better use of funds than spending 2.7 million euros on wall. Finally don't back to our great land is the Northern Territory is a -- a nanny state? Luxury car Pacificer -- maker Porsche said it is after the new Labor government plead good on its promise to bling back speed limits to stretches of the stusht highway. Drivers can go any speed they want on sections of the road between Alice Springs and Tennant Creek after the previous Chief Minister Giles argued unrestricted speed zones saved lives. Doctors agreed -- disagreed with this and released this weeks ago.Our roads are not autobahns, they're not freeways. They're often bumpy, the shoulders are often narrow and so to go any faster than 130 is just inviting disaster with the slightest mistake.The rate for Australia as a whole is about five deaths per 100,000 in Australia per year. That's comparable to France, Germany, New Zealand. The Northern Territory rate of deaths in motor vehicle crashes is about 15 deaths per 100,000 people per year which is comparable to Indonesia, Pakistan or Bhutan. Northern Territory Chief Minister Gunner said the unrestricted speed zones will be gone by the end of the year but Porsche has warned that decision will drive car companies away and hurt the local economy. Where do you stand on this dispute Shane?What a load of codswallop from Porsche. Porsche's sales in this sale -- country rose 45% last year, and those car sales were not in the Northern Territory. How many of them went to the Northern Territory?About half a dozen of them because they were in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth. Right.Where - yeah, your top speed is 40km/h if you don't hit one of those traffic calming islands in the middle of the suburban street. Yeah, look, this whole argument I think their argument was speed doesn't kill, it's bad driving. And the whole nanny state argument. Nanny state doesn't go to the point - you ignore the point if it's someone loses control of their car doing 150, 160 clicks and you're on the other side of that car, you're the one who's going Get wiped out and that's the ignorance in the Porsche argument. Let them drive on their beautiful autobahn rather than try hoon up and down the Stuart Highway. Do we need a beautiful autobahn in this country, Greg?No. This is a nonsense. The Chief Minister said this was to fulfil an election promise. Nobody in the Northern Territory elected him because he was going to lower the speed limit surely. I mean,... There's been quite a speed camera. We have kangaroos to slow people down. It's nonsense. You take all the fun out of everything and now you want to take the fun out of driving.So this is a nanny situation?Absolute.Why stop there, why have we got this anomaly in the Northern Territory?I agree, I think we should raise the speed limit in every state and territory.Wow, heard it hear. What do you think?I disgreet with the respect, safety is paramount and there's a correlation between speed and the degree of injury. As was mentioned earlier, it may not be they're driving badly but the recipient. Because of the speeds there'll be greater injuriesI'm not convinced by is surgeons. The fatality rate in the Northern Territory I imagine is caused by many things including speed but the argument in every state is always about speed and it's not correct. Have you got a few speeding tickets in your time?Yes, I do.We can go to the M1 or Formula 1 or something if we want to drive at high speed. We'll have to end it there for The Drum. Thanks to the panel tonight: Greg Baxter, Pallavi Sinha and Shane Wright. I'll be back with you same time tomorrow night. We'll look forward to seeing you then.

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