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G'day, I'm David Lipson. It's been another week of grand announcements from the government ahead of the Budget on Tuesday week. First, an attempt to reframe one of the Coalition's biggest complaints in Opposition - national debt. debt
Now, according to the Treasurer, debt isn't always a bad

There's good and bad debt.

And for a party that rails against big government and red tape, there was a dramatic intervention into the gas market in a bid to force multibillion-dollar export companies to divert gas for domestic use. Agile government indeed. Now plans to develop Australia's biggest coal mine have hit turbulence. Just a few weeks ago, the Prime Minister met with the Adani Group chairman in New Delhi trying to entice him to Australia. banks,
Today, the last of the four big banks, Westpac, effectively ruled out financing the project.

As part of its new climate policy for lending to coal projects.

The Resources Minister has lashed out at Westpac for its decision, and for more I was joined earlier by Deputy Prime

Welcome to Lateline.Thanks. private
Does this decision from Westpac mean private financing of the Adani mine isn't going to happen?No, it means Westpac has got it wrong. This is surely
ridiculous. What they've decided - surely there's an economist in Westpac who understands you can't go to one of Australia's major exports and decides to Ky -- stop it on the premise of what. If making value judgements about coal, why not make value judgements about fast food shops where they believe the food is too fatty or you believe people who are in the skin too much might get skin cancer. This is ridiculous. finance
This means the coal they refused to finance will be dug up in India, it's 60% less efficient and we have the
made a statement we don't believe in the commercial principles of somebody making a profit and them
repaying the bank but we believe in in India
them digging up less efficient coal in India so they can keep the lights on. I do believe people in India having power to their house. decision, it's
It's not just Westpac who made the decision, it's all four big banks in Australia, 19 banks globally have committed to not financing Adani. Doesn't it show this isn't a viability project without government funds?It is viable because they're producing electricity. Food stock for efficient electricity. They use castle
Newcastle bench stock. It's the best castle in the world - judge every and
rock by diamonds. There are diamonds here is
and other rocks. What we have to see here is the same people within request
Westpac coming out and saying, this
request -- saying, "We're a bank, this is a legal product, producing a moral good, which is power for poor people and we are going to back it in because it gets us a return." This isn't just a moral issue. Banks are in the business of making money. This is clearly a signal that they don't see a future in this brand of coal.No, they've made this decision on
apparently so we hear because it's policy, climate
on their decision on sort of social policy, climate policy. It's not on not the
the commercial principles, that's not the reason they made it. That is not the inverdictive out there at the moment. I always believe there are economists, prudent people within Westpac, a big and responsible bank who says they're in the job of -- job of making sure they're part and parcel of the development of this nation. The development of the Galilee Basin will see 16,000 jobs, wealth to Australia. We want to keep the economy going. Look at yourself - the things you're wearing, the television you're on, watch on your wrist, phone in your pocket, the stove you cook your food on tonight - it all came I'd say from overseas. And the television you're watching right now, somebody somewhere has to put something on a boat and sending them in the other direction. Coal is one of the big ones. When you start making a decision from a major bank which should have economic prudence that you don't want to put items on the boat you're saying you want our nation to be poorer. That's ridiculous for Westpac to be in. The Resources Minister said they should consider banking elsewhere. Do you agree with him?They're Queenslanders.
making a decision against central Queenslanders. We've had a show on the news... Should they bankelsewhere? What we see in the American mountains, poor white people otherwise known as hillbillies getting paid more because the coal is getting them a we
better return. These are the people We
we represent in the National Party. We want to make sure the miners have a job, they're getting paid more, we're trying to do that. It's time time
for the CFMEU to say something, it's time for the AWu to stand up and say something. It's...You don't think the Resources Minister went too far, you agree Queenslanders should bank elsewhere.The time for the Labor Party who used to represent labourers to say something, to go in to pat for these people's jobs.I want an answer to that question.I'm answering that question. If people against
believe that the Westpac has worked against their interests in central Queensland, if it's worked against their interests in developing our nation, they're welcome to make a judgement like Westpac has made a judgement about their lives. Fair enough. Will the government chip in additional money or consider finance this
chipping in additional money to finance this project?We're trying to get the rail link... Beyond that.That's the question you should have the Resources Minister on for. I support him there trying to get the rail link going because of the moral good it does getting pore to poor people in India and giving Australian workers, men and women, a job and bring wealth into our nation so we can have the budget you
surplus, paying for all the things you want - health, education, pensions, all the other things. We have to make a buck, turn a dollar. This is how we do it. There was a breach of metadata laws Federal Police.
revealed today by the Australian Federal Police. Whereby a journalist had Hizmet data examined by the Australian Federal Police unlawfully it seems thchlt was Nick Xenophon speaking to us on Lateline earlier. This is beyond outrageous. This should send a chill down the spine and anyone
of every journalist in this country and anyone who is concerned about a spree press in this country. We have a situation where the AFP has admitted breaking their own rules, breaking the law, when it comes to yet they
journalist's information warrants yet they won't give an undertaking they won't use this information down the track that could potentially prosecute both the journalist and an AFP whistleblower. We were told that this was all about been
national security, it seems to have been used in this occasion to try to find the source of a leak. Why should we continue to have faith in this system?Well, the commissioner they're going
himself has put himself in and said they're going to investigate it. When the AFP puts themselves in and breach, we
says, "We acknowledge this was a breach, we acknowledge this is a be
problem, we acknowledge it's got to be resolved" then I think that shows there's honesty in the system and start
there's the checks and balances start at the very source. I fully support it. You have to get the approval of the court and the rights of the fourth estate to not be absolutely respected
imposed on unduly should be you
absolutely respected and, you know, a
you give me a hard time, I give you to
a hard time but I respect your right to do it.Should the journalist at least be told that this has happened depends what
to him or her?I don't know, it all depends what the case is about. If extenuating
it's a case for which there are extenuating circumstances and needs to be kept quiet then I suppose inquiry
that's fair enough.What about an Australian
inquiry beyond the scope of the Australian Federal Police, should that be looked at?Well, once more it all depends what the circumstances of the case are about. If air ating those issues meant an issue that was of great importance then, no.
to our nation was to be compromised

We're not going to know the circumstances of the case, are we? Yeah, but I might and if I believe that was the case I would say, "No, private, we
that's not good enough to stay private, we should make it public." Barnaby Joyce ix thanks for your time on Lateline.Good on you.

So how did the Australian Federal Police describe the metadata breach? AFP Commissioner Andrew Colvin says

If anything the public should have confidence we have found the breach. breach.
I'm being open and honest about the breach. It's not about the propriety of whether that informs was relevant to the serious investigation, it was that a step wasn't taken that should have been.

For more on this and other matters of the week, I was joined earlier Innovation
by Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, Arthur Sinodinos, and Shadow Minister for Infrastructure,

Anthony Albanese, for our late

Thanks for grour -- thanks for your time. Let's start with the metadata the system
breach. Can we still have faith in the system now we know that an AFP metadata to
officer has accessed a journalist's - this
metadata to find out who was leaking - this was meant to be about national security.I think what's good about this is the commissioner very
has come out pretty quickly to be very transparent about what has happened and about the action that's been taken. I am not across all the but I
details of the case that's involved but I think with e can take some commissioner
comfort from the fact that the commissioner is prepared to come out there, make a clean breast of what's feeds
happened and to the extent that this feeds into issues around how that sort of data is protected and all that's
the rest of it, then obviously that's something that can be looked at in due course. But let's get the full facts on the table first. Anthony Albanese is this where it investigated?
should end or should it be investigated?Journalists concerned and
about this legislation at the time, to
and it was this very - what appears concern that
to have happened here was very need to
concern that they had. So there does Should
need to be a proper investigation. Should that be independent of the AFP?I think that would be appropriate for at least some level of oversight and for there to be a sober analysis of what went wrong to
here and if any response is required then
to make sure this isn't repeated, then the government and the Opposition should both be prepared to n a bipartisan way, make sure that happens.So that might come, say, from rewriting legislation if needed?We'll wait and see. E don't very
want to get ahead of it. But what's very clear is that this is precisely the concern that many people have about the retention of metadata. And that metadata should be retained protections that
only on the basis of the strict protections that were put in place. It appears there's been a breach of that. So there clearly needs to be a response. independent
Would the government consider an independent investigation?Let's get this Attorney-General
the facts on the table first, and this Attorney-General will obviously have to consider what's happened and the circumstances surrounding it. But again I'd make the point that the commissioner has come out very quickly on this and I have no doubt there'll be lessons to be learnt from this.A lot of politic toss get Treasurer
through from the week thchlt was the talking about
Treasurer Scott Morrison yesterday talking about good debt and bad debt thchlt was his definition. Australianses understand that taking is
out a mortgage to pay for their home is a wise investment. For their future. But they also know that putting your every day expenses on the credit card is not a good idea. It never ends well. And that is basically the difference between good debt and bad debt. The same is true for governments. Minister, this concept of good debt and bad debt is nothing new, big long time,
business has used this model for a too. It
long time, some states have done it, too. It was really only the bad
Coalition that framed all debt as bad through the Abbott and hockey years saying the debt and deficit disaster, the budget emergency. Is this wasn't
this reframing a concession that this wasn't the right approach?I to
think history first. Deficits lead to debt so it was really the issue of deficits runnings wild that was the issue that led to the whole debate around what are appropriate context
levels of debt. It was in that context that there was the talk about what was an appropriate level of debt to have as opposed - and drawn
that's when the implication was drawn that, well, there are some levels of debt that get too lie. That's a bad level of debt to have. That was the context in which the debate started. We have increased net debt by $100 billion since you came to power.The Coalition has never argued you infrastructure.
shouldn't borrow for productive infrastructure. What Scott Morrison has done yesterday and today is set out a framework for the budget putting that forward. I notice Bill where Scott
Shorten has tended to criticism where Scott Morrison is going shown
whereas Antony and Chris Bowen have shown I think a greater willingness to consider the option. I think in terms of budget presentation it will help to clarify what ee wer spending generates a
on infrastructure, is productive, generates a return and the other spending where we have to incur debt and ideally where you'd want a situation where on your ordinary annual services of government you're paying for that through your revenue and not incurring debts that in the It seems
future would have to be paid back. It seems to be a coincidence for the government that the areas of bad debt are Labor's strengths of health, education, welfare in particular. Is the government taking into account the positive impact of investing in human capital in those areas?Let me make it clear. Spending in health, education, is not bad spending or bad debt. That's not what the Coalition is saying. your
Bad debt is a situation where on your recurrent spending you're have to
borrowing and in the future you may have to cut the spending back or becomes
raise taxes to pay for it, it becomes unsustainable. Human very good
capital, the point you raise is a very good one. We have known for a long time investing in human capital is important. The issue with that is the way
you can't quite get a return back in infrastructure, in
the way you can investing in infrastructure, in terms of the That's
direct impact on the budget balance. about.
That's what he's taking -- talking about. You get a direct return to government.
the product from investing in that Anthony Albanese, good debt, bad it conceptually?
debt. Does Labor have a problem with Sinodinos points
it conceptually?I'll give Arthur Sinodinos points for boldness. Here they are, they've had a massive increase in the deficit, increased the debt by $100 billion and now they say it's still all about Labor. is when
The proout is their real definition is when Labor is in government, debt debt
is bad. When they're in government distinction
debt is good. That's the real distinction they're looking at. Labor...I have been arcing for a infrastructure
long period of time about productive infrastructure being an investment, not a cost. That's why when we were in government, one of the reasons why, debt increased was we doubled the roads budget, increased the rail budget but more than 10 times, but we increased the productive capacity of the economy. What's your definition of productive is
infrastructure?Well, my definition One
is let's have some objectivity here. One of my concerns here is that at the same time as they're speaking about good debt, like the Reserve Bank governor indicated, some of all
those same issues, economists have all said that at a time where you have record low interest rates, have a problem with demand in the infrastructure
economy, ininvestment in infrastructure can be good even if for the
it means borrowing but it has to be for the right projects. At the same time they've sidelined infrastructure Australia. Infrastructure Australia gets its budget cut on July 1, and in every year thereafter under this government's watch they've established an infrastructure financing unit in the department of Prime Minister and cabinet. So - reporting directly to Malcolm Turnbull rather than independent, at arm's length, doing the objective cost benefit analysis. Albanese
This is important point Anthony Albanese is making because not all infrastructure is productive, not all infrastructure spending delivers can you
that return that you need. So, how can you be sure that it's going to oversight?
if you don't have that independent oversight?Well, because infrastructure Australia is still there. It's still providing a 15-year pipeline.It's not relative. To the private sector, it's prioritising projects and that's been doing.
transparent from the work they heave been doing. The project unit, financing unit Antony is talking about in PM and c. That's got a different role, seeshging to Commonwealth
leverage the balance sheet of the Commonwealth and find innovative ways to finance more infrastructure. Which is part of infrastructure Australia's charter, about how financing occurred. That was part of its charter. I wrote the legislation. And it's still there. --
It's not just having a list that's -- it's about the financing of projects.If you let me finish. When Minister, in
Malcolm Turnbull came Prime Minister, in the context of city deals we're talking about the view was we should look at a series of options about how we more financing techniques. For example, do we do where
more what's called value capture, where we have an infrastructure development that leads to an How
increase in land centrals -- values. How does the Commonwealth or state get some of that value back and forward.
finance the infrastructure going It looks like the Prime Minister is budget. From
going for a big infrastructure budget. From reading the tea leaves. Can we expect that in the areas of transport.
particularly energy security and transport.I'm not across everything that's going to be in the budget but infrastructure
it's clear from the Treasurer said, infrastructure is a priority, housing affordability is an issue, energy security will be canvassed but measures that go to regional sure
Australia and what we do to make sure regional Australia have appropriate accesses to goods and services, particularly government services will be important in this budget as well. I think there'll be a number of priorities but one of the threads running through it is as you building for the future and making sure that we have a productive base for the economy and we also lock in that non-mining investment that we need to secure that transition from the resources boom.There is a huge gap between it's
the government's rhetoric and what it's actually doing. Arthur raised again this issue of value capture. That's not new, that's how the projects
London Underground was built. And projects like Brisbane's cross river rail and Melbourne's metro has as part of the infrastructure Australia was
process, part of the funding that and yet
was in the 2013 budget value capture project like
and yet it was cut in 2014, a project like cross river rail in Brisbane. If it does not receive funding in this budget then it can the
-- it completely under-Palestines the government's position. OK. I the want to turn to gas, another big issue this week. Fairly dramatic intervention by the government to ensure that there is enough supply in Australia. This was the Prime Minister explaining it. Australian jobs, Australian families, have to come first. It is ridiculous for us to be on the edge of becoming the largest LNG exporter in the world and not to have enough house
gas for our businesses, for our great
house hoeshlgsdz for industries, great industries like this, here in Australia. Anthony Albanese, it's no small thing to ban a company from exporting their product. The the
government's measure is temporary, the Labor Party is pushing for a be sure
more permanent measure. How can you be sure that is a better way to go and won't impact too much on sovereign risk in particular which the companies have raised?We argued this at the last election campaign for a permanent national interest test. Is the national interest only there some of the time or is it a permanent future of what governments should do do? You need to do that. The second element that you need to do, and Arthur knows this, is an emissions intensity scheme. You do need that signal being there, the energy sector all say that. government
Economists all say that. The government knows that's the case. It by
was raised at the end of last year by the Energy Minister, Josh Frydenberg, and shot down in a space because
-- in the space of a couple of days because of the government's internals with the ongoing fight between the Abbott forces and the Turnbull forces. But it is common sense and it needs to have both those elements.Arthur Sinodinos, minister's
this temporary measure is up to the minister's discretion.Yes. Beyond that, though, it's pretty unclear as to what we'll sort of -- will sort of meet the benchmark of a shortage. So, what will be a shortage? The other
minister for resources in consulting other ministers would look prospectively and the period to be determined still, whether it's 12 months, for example, at the supply -- and demand balance in the economy when it comes to gas, how much is potentially going overseas, how much is potentially available domestically.It's a judgement call in the end.No it's based on facts, based on information provided but the companies... But it it is...No, the ACCC. The numbers will tell the story. Either those big gas producers are threat contributors to the domestic gas supply, in which case they're putting more into the system than they're taking out. The point is the minister for resources will make a judgement as to whether a particular company, particular shipments could strong thing
go forward. You're right, this is a strong thing to the wu ee -- we've the
had two rounds of discussions with there.
the gas producers. I have been there. It's become clear to me increasingly with the stories I get out of all sorts of small, medium, larger enterprises being asked to pay double their gas bill from last year, 80% increases, 100% increases. there
Will the price of gas play into therePrice is being an outcome of a process where we make sure that the contribution
gas producers are making a net contribution to domestic gas supply so that there's downward pressure on of gas
prices.So it's about the quantity of gas rather than the price of gas. ultimately
Exactly, and the price will ultimately reflect na balance.The Prime Minister did say wholesale prices shouldn't be materially different to export prices.When you net back the costs of preparing gas for export, there should be a broad equivalent si. So the point he was making was on that basis prices prices
should be lower than some of the prices being quoted. It doesn't sound that clear. they?
Businesses need certainty don't they? This seems a little opaque. What do you want us to do? Do you the gas
want us to go out tomorrow and make it like
the gas price $6 or $4. You kpt do it like that. You either look at the quantity or price, not both. We're looking at quantity to put downward pressure on prices. I tell you what business wants - they want the national interests isn't temporary, it's considered as part of policy. Well, Malcolm Turnbull made an announcement the other day about changed
whole sale prices should be half and He
changed it by the afternoon. He didn't change it. Labor has been saying that...It's Shorten who has been misrepresented.No, no. I'll give you the quote, he said, "People are being offered prices of $20 a giga jewel. It should be that
around that half or less." He said that from the start.That's right. The offers and peoples... Now they're saying and when Arthur's signal should
asked whether the price should be a signal should be whether there sthoub an intervention they won't say whether it is.Can I say the national interest test that Labor thing
talk about that's a prospective it
thing to do with new developments, it does nothing for the situation now. That's what we're dealing with, a short term intervention until longer term measures to improve the market, greater transparency of gas prices, increased competition, get more exploration in Victorias and New South Wales, where there's -- there have been limits on moratorium yochlt u have to walk and chew gum. Arthur Sinodinos and Anthony Albanese, thanks for joining us on Lateline.Good to be with you. Thanks.

From France's presidential race to the changing face of extremism in about some
Australia, what did you have to say covered
about some of the big issues we covered this week? Here's

The sound of revolution in France. -- for the first time in decades, two minor party candidates will face off in the presidential race, and on Lateline, there was this warning about the far-right National Front leader Marine Le Pen.Marine Le Pen -- under Marine Le Pen, France would have a very hard and -- time. Under Emmanuel Macron, everything is possible, of course, but the best is possible also. the
On Twitter some of you agreed with the French philosopher:

A French report has found a deadly ther
chemical attack in Syria Earl yes ther month bears the signature of regime President Bashar al-Assad but earlier in the week the ver yin deputy Foreign Minister maintained with it.
the government had nothing to do with it. The person told Lateline US sanctions imposed in the wake of the attack would only harm regular Syrian people.These sanctions are imposed on Syria for a long time. And, in fact, the sanctions are harming regular people, people who need milk, who need heating, who need other facilities. That interview exposed deep divisions among our audience. On Facebook Ian said:

Others like Andrew Kamran said: -- Cameron said:


Strange bed fellows. Documentary making and author John joined Lateline to talk about his new book on extremism and the changing face of Australia's far-right movement. The surprising thing for a lot of people is how multicultural I guess is the word the far-right has become in Australia. So the far-right in 2017 is different to 20 years ago, when, you know, it was the first incarnation of Pauline Hanson. That interview sparked an interesting on Facebook over extremism in Australia.

Thanks to all of you who cribbed to the discussion this week. Remember, to
if you have an idea you want to us News
to follow, let us know on the ABC

That's all for Lateline. You can interviews on
find all of tonight's stories and interviews on our website. Goodnight.

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