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He is the beating heart of Kiwi

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The weather forecast tomorrow:

Now, David Speers and PM Agenda.

Coming up this afternoon, we will

keep you up-to-date with a special

Caucus meeting about to get under

way in Canberra. Being brought

together to discuss primarily where

to now on the asylum seeker policy?

They have had a setback today in

the house with Tony Cook, who sits

on the crossbench, making it clear

he won't back the changes to the

migration act. Having not gone to a

vote yet, we will see what happens

in the Caucus meeting this

afternoon. Also, we will speak to

Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young,

who was asking questions of the

Commonwealth ombudsman in a Senate

hearing that had been drafted by

the Commonwealth ombudsman. We will

hear why and how exactly that happened. Stay with us.

Welcome back. As we go to a, Labor

MPs are fighting into a special

Caucus meeting in Canberra called

before they head home at the end of

the sitting week. Yesterday

Government MPs were on a high, hugs

and kisses all around after the

carbon tax Bill went through the

house. Today it was a different

story, with plans to change the

migration act to revise offshore

processing of asylum seekers -

these plans were always looking

shaky. The legislation is bound to

face defeat in the Senate, but the

Prime Minister repeatedly said she

wanted a vote in the lower house to

force Coalition MPs to go on the

record as opposing offshore

processing. It was always going to

be a high-stakes gamble. Defeating

the house would make it the first

Government in more than 80 years to

lose such a vote. The Prime

Minister is both were pinned on

West Australian National MP Tony

Crook, but he put the final nail in

the coffin this morning, declaring

he will side with the Coalition in

demanding only countries who have

signed the refugees Convention be

used for processing asylum seeker

claims. I will be supporting the

Opposition amendments today. The

United Nations factor was a strong

one for me. Regardless of talking

about a serious humanitarian issue

here, clearly the Opposition and

Government had a strong position on

asylum seekers, and on boat people

smuggling. In the past I think they

have managed it properly. That was

bad news for the Government. The

decision was then either to pull

the bill or to press ahead and face

an embarrassing defeat. Throughout

the day debate on this legislation

has continued, delaying tactics

used by the Government to ensure no

vote was held. In Question Time the

Prime Minister tried to keep the

pressure on Tony Abbott over this.

They are not prepared to vote for

that, something that would give

them legal authority for the thing

they say is their own plane. Not

even prepared to vote for that. Why

is that the case? Why has the

Opposition adopted this decision?

Mr Speaker, we know why - because

they want to see more boats. They

want to put out a welcome mat, they

want to see more boats. The leader

of the Opposition will never be

more delighted than the day on

which he sees a boat arrive. The

Opposition leader, with the numbers

on his side, was more confident. He

said the lack of the support for

the Prime Minister showed she

didn't deserve to stay in office. I

hear the Prime Minister, who has just scurried out of this

Parliament, why is the Prime

Minister scared of putting her

Malaysian people swap to the vote?

Mr Speaker, a Prime Minister who

can't stay in the Parliament to

stay -- to listen to a debate like

this is a Prime Minister who does

not deserve to stay in office. We

will keep you posted on what

happens in this Caucus meeting just

getting underway. We will cross to

Ashleigh Gillon in Canberra in half

an hour. Some of the Labor MPs I

have spoken to in the last half-

hour have no idea what will be put

on the table. Meanwhile, Sarah

Hanson-Young has been caught asking

the Commonwealth ombudsman

questions in a Senate hearing that

were drafted by the Commonwealth

ombudsman. Allan Asher requested a

meeting with the senator and

emailed her proposed questions. They were reasonable questions

about funding for his office to

cope with the added workload of overseeing immigration detention

network, it should a Senate hearing

be made aware of when a witness has

drafted the questions they are

being asked, and is this common

practice? According to Greens

leader Bob Brown, it is. It is a

routine across the parties that

Sens coming with such questions

that come from ministers offices

and other components of the setup

and put by those senators. How

else? How else do we get by the

questions? Nothing unusual here,

says Bob Brown. I spoke to Sarah Hanson-Young about this issue and also the Caucus meeting underway amongst Labor MPs this afternoon.

Senator Sarah Hanson-Young, thank

you for your time. Can I ask you

about this Caucus meeting this

afternoon. We don't know exactly

what they will be discussing, but

they will be looking at where to

now on the migration bill. What

would your advice be to Labor of as

they contemplate? My advice is very

strongly, it's time to dump the

obsession with offshore processing.

Let's go with the simple solution,

the most practical one, the one

that is humane, legal, where we

don't have to change the act, and

that is assessing the claims right

here on the Australian mainland. It

means we have to clean things up a

bit in the detention system,

because we know it is not OK, but

that's the best option the

Government now has and it is the

one we know is legal. We don't need

to change the laws. Issue

Is it is it fair to say he

was trying to use the Greens

to get more funds for the

office? I don't think so.

The point being I had already

raised the serious concerns

about the need for proper

independent over sight of

long-term detention. That's

what the ombudsman's role is

meant to do, review people

who have been in detention

six months, 12 months and two

years. His point is there are

so much in there for such a

long period of time he

couldn't keep up. Wouldn't it

have been better for

transparency for you to say

at the time during that

hearing I've been given these

questions I'm now asking? I

totally accept I could have

done that. Except the

ombudsman actually asked me

to remain confidential,

because he was worried about

the already significant heat

that was being put on him

from the Minister. This is

the sorry I believe when you

have an independent statutory

authority, the ombudsman who

is meant to be independent of

the government, independent

of the parliament going

through this unorthodox route

because they have felt that

they've been heavied by the

Minister, to not raise

issues, to not being able to do the job properly. Unorthodox in he

said it wasn't the wisiest

approach of the you would

agree this wasn't a sensible

way to do it? I think what

would be better is for the

ombudsman to have to appear

in front of Senate

committees, to be able to be

asked questions by any

Senator. That would be the

most Appropriate Avenue.

Because that's not the case

he has to be called. You have

to as a Senator request to

speak to him and ask him

questions directly of the One

thing having the question

drafted by him is another?

He suggested the questions. I

asked the questions that I thought were appropriate. I didn't ask all the questions,

I asked the ones that I

wanted answers to. Almost

word for word what he had

suggested? That's not

necessarily correct. They're

issues that I was genuinely

concerned about. I think we

do need answers to why there

is such a sky rocketing level

of mental health concerns, a

sky rocketing suicides and

attempted self-harm in

detention centres. I wanted to know what on earth the

ombudsman was doing to ensure

they were getting through the

cases quicker. Has this

happened often, taken

questions from a witness then

asked them? I haven't done

that before. But what I have

done is I often get questions

from stakeholders who want

questions answers about their

various different community issues. That's something that

senators will do. Have I been

given drafted questions from

somebody that I then would

ask. The ombudsman case is the only one that's happened

in. The former NSW premier

Bob car, the ombudsman Alan

Ash should resign after this.

Should he go? No, it shows

the ombudsman needs more

support to do his job

properly. Rather than hef

Iing the ombudsman's office,

he may be saying things the Government doesn't like. What he should be doing is using

the ability of the warning

signs. The whole reason the

ombudsman has taken on the

role for being an ombudsman

for immigration issues was because months ago you

remember the cases of

Cornelia Row got the

Government of that day into

hot water, there was no

independent over sight.

Unless we research that and

allow that position to be

truly independent be able to

get on with the jobs, we will

see unfort Natalie more cases

like we did 10 years ago like

Cornelia Row, that is going

to cost taxpayers hundreds of

millions in compensation,

aside from the stain on is as

a decent society Senator,

thanks for your time. Thanks Sarah Hanson young

talking to us. To bring you

up to Speed on the Caucus

meeting underway in Canberra,

it has been delayed slightly.

A quorum has been called in

the house by the Liberal

Chris Pine demanding there be

for MPs in the house. There

is a delay, but it should be

getting underway shortly.

After the break, stay with us.


Welcome back in a moment we

will be talking to our panel

John Stanley and Matt

Franklin. We will check in on

the latest news headlines.

Here's Susanne. Our top

stories, local authorities

are reporting 50 people have

been injured, three

critically over a mag tit

nude 6.3 earthquake in Bali

of the tourists were sent

running into the streets of

den pass sar following the tremor. A NSW boy head-on

Bali on drugs charges was

evacuated from his holding

cell but later returned. Emergency government Caucus

meeting is under way in Canberra following

confirmation that its

amendments to the Migration

Act face certain defeat in parliament. The Government's

last hope for reviefg it's

Malaysia solution through

legislation was ex continuing

girbd when national MP Tony

cook said he would not

support the proposed changes.

The reason a stranded off the

coast of New Zealand has

began washing ashore, one of

the containers contains toxic

materials, but they're unable

to identify which container

that is. Qantas has announced

it will ground five of its

aircraft, cut up to 100

domestic flights a weeks.

Four bowing 737 and one 767

will remain dwrounded for a

month and will impact on

services to Adelaide, Sydney,

Brisbane and Melbourne. In

sport the All Blacks expect

captain Richie McCaw will

play in the semiagainst

Australia. He's being wrapped

in cotton foot as he is

managing a foot problem and

the expectations of a nation.

Storms in the North and east

cooler with Souths in the

south, mostly sunny in the west. Welcome to our panel

joipg us, here with me is

John Stanley from radio 2 UE,

in Canberra Matthew Franklin

from the Australian. Matt,

all eyes on the Caucus

meeting, called this

afternoon, it's underway now probably. It follows the

certain defeat on the

migration bill. The options

are to wholly embrace on

shore processing, or to try

and adopt I guess a

Coalition's policy of sending

asylum seekers to countries

who have signed the refugees

convention like Nauru. Is

that how you see it? The

options that are there?

Possibly, unless there is a

plan B, but probably plan C

or D we don't know about.

David, we can only assume

there is the reason they're

holding a Caucus meeting is to get the Caucus approval

for whatever outcome was

desided at a cabinet meeting

today. The Government has

tried to delay using tax

particulars. We can presume

things are moving quickly, a

lot of confusion around, they will come back at some stage soon sand either pull the

bill which I think would be

an embarrassing defeat for

Julia Gillard who has been

going on for weeks about how important it is this be

considered or tell us plan B

and sweep us away with a new piece of information we don't

know about. Another country

that may be she spoke to PNG yesterday when the many Prime Minister was here. None of

them are easy options, if

they revert to on shore

processing they'll be open to

accusations on being soft on

border protection, or they

adopt the Nauru policy of

Tony Abbott and look like

they can't lead this debate they're simply having to follow. One of the things I

am confused about from all of

the government's rhetoric

from the past couple of weeks at least the Prime Minister

wanted to bring this vote on,

knowing she would get en in

the Senate, she would nail -

get the names of every person

voting against it. The reason

she is doing that, it was

assumed, she was planning to

revert to on shore

processing, if there was a

resulting Armada of boats a

arriving she can say Tony

Abbott is to blame while she

sorted out something else.

But the big question now is

Caucus is meeting whether there is something else we

don't know about. It's not a

good look for the Government.

The Prime Minister has, as I

said a moment ago saying it's very important we deal with

this quickly. At the moment

they've been delaying and I

just think the viewers out

there who aren't inside this are wandering what is going

on. A lot of us are

wondering. John Stanley, on

the vote on the legislation,

as Matt points out the Prime

Minister is saying we're

going to have a vote

Coalition MPs rejecting off

shore processing, a taunt to

them. Should she be pushing

ahead with the voting? If

she is going to do it, he

would assume they had the numbers in the parliament. If they had been taken by

surprise by him saying he's

going to vote against it,

they're fearless of being the

first government in 80 years

to lose the vote, if that was

a prospect, look, we're a minor government, these are

unchartered waters, there was always the prospect of something not getting

through, so they could have

laid the groundwork saying

they're going to put it to

the parliament let people see where they lie. She's a loser

now, which ever way it goes.

The war games, you work out what the political strategy

is, you can't understand what

the strategy is here, every

way she goes she

loses Scheduling it the way

after the big day on the

carbon Astonishing. Who is

devising the strategy? It

doesn't make any political

sense at all? What did you

think of the timing of this,

the day after the carbon

vote? I wouldn't agree

more, not just us wondering

about it, there are Labor

party back benches struggling

with the tax particulars. Why

are we having this debate, we

can't get it through the

Senate. There is a lot of

frustration in the Back

Bench. It seems bizarre and a

triumph of for tactics, the day after the Prime Minister

gets her biggest Victory, the

biggest Victory so far in the

Prime Ministership she is

today looking like a loser. I

can't see there's any other

way out of that today, she

will end up looking like a

loser. I want to talk about

the carbon tax in a moment.

We will get an update later

on in the show on the

meeting. Matt, you wrote the

story about Sarah Hanson

young asking the questions of

the ombudsman of the questions in the Senate

hearing he had drafted for

her. She did concede it might

have been better to delayer in that Senate hearing that the questions had been

drafted by the ombudsman. He,

in your story has said it

perhaps wasn't the wisest

course of action. What do you

think? Was this a big

mistake? It's a strang one,

isn't it. Despite all of the

positioning being made by

Senator Hanson young and by

Mr Asher to us yesterday and

a statement today their

argument is if he hadn't

orchestrated this appearance

at the Senate committee with the Greens then this information would never have

come out. I don't make any

judgment on the man's ethics,

honesty, whatever, not my

problem, what about putting

out a press release? You

don't have to... Can an

ombudsman put out a press

release? Of course he can, he's independent and do what

he likes He can put out a

press release saying I need

more money X, Y, Z. He did

strangly enough after the

Senate hearing, he had set up

the Greens Senator to say how

poorly funded she was, she

did. The Senator put out a

statement saying the ombudsman was under funded

and he put out a statement on

the same day referring to

Senator Hanson young's

statement. This is how it

works in Senate hearings, no

doubt governments of the day

whether it's Labor or

Coalition ask Dorothy diction

questions in Senate hearings?

Sure. It's the same in

journalism, people phone us

all the time and tell us what

questions we should be

asking. The thing about the

ombudsman, the Greens and

personally I agree is what is

it about the situation of the

accountability measures that

this guy isn't called before

the ombudsman, isn't called

before some sort of parliamentary committee,

routinely, so he can raise

such issues? Why isn't that

that within the system? Why

was he feeling as though he

was force today go around

behind the scenes and

collaborate with a political

party. This is an independent

officer collaborate with a

political party because he

believed it was the only way

he could get his message out.

There's a hole in the

system. John Stanley there's

a big difference between

media interviews and Senate hearings. Matt, you

interviewed a lot of people,

do you get fed questions

much? Quite often people

will feed you questions. I've

even even press secretaries

at the back whispering queue

lines to people. The last

thing this happened was when

Godwin Gretch was asking

questions. A letter could be

written complaining about the

situation, the letter could

be made public, appear in the

newspapers. Engineering it,

she looked very embarrassed

in the interview. He's

embarrassed as well. Matt's fund mental point is right

this issue of the ombudsman not getting enough resources there's a history of this,

ombudsman, DPPs, the ICAC in

other states, the other

governments try to striefl

independent over sight is to

starve them of resources they

can't do their job properly.

This is typical of that, down

in a hand fisted way. The

carbon tax, the bill did go

through. They will go through

the Senate barring any

political development. We saw

the kisses and hugs in the chambers. How significant is

this for Julia Gillard? I

thought it was very

significant for her, because

in my view it first of all

takes away one of the policy

positions that a potential

successor to her could have.

If you changeed leaders it

could unravel what is in

legislation, it's already

there. Can't Tony Abbott undo

this? If he was to get into

power, a change of government

before the election, would he

be able to do it then? If he

wins the next election?

He's pledged in blood. From

what I can understand I've

been hearing commentary

today, he wouldn't be able

to, for instance, put the leg sligs that the - to the new

parliament till the mid the

of 2014, if the election is

in late 2013. You then have

to go twice, you're looking

at 2015, by that stage the Emissions Trading Scheme

would be operating, you'd

have a hell of a lot to

unpick. Unless Labor has a

change of heart after a

devastating election. We

can't rule out the

possibility a couple of Labor

senators may Kafe in as well.

All well down the track. The

fact we're talking about

whether Tony Abbott can undo this, how long it might take.

Does this signal a shift in

the debate? Going back to

your earlier point, this a

massive and major Victory for

Julia Gillard, it will be

short lived. I rate it up there with Kevin Rudd's

policy to the stolen

generation. People will never

be able to take away from her

she was the person who at her

own political expense got this policy through of the as

to whether Tony Abbott can

dismantle it I'm not sure of

the technicalities of it. The

point is if he decides that's

going to how does he survive

politically by saying to

pension issers, I'm going to

cut your pension, take back

the money the Labor party

gave you. It will take a

lot of work to political

finesse that through the

system. You'd have to arrange

to let them keep the money

for some other reason, for example. I think it's rash

for him to say it's a promise

written in blood. If and when

he gets to become Prime

Minister he might find out

it's a bigger task than he

thought. Look - at the polls

and the demeanour of the Coalition they think they're

going to win. Why be so def h

definitive, create a problem

for your that could cause you

political pain in the

future. He can't afford a

back ward step on this, can

he, Tony Abbott, he's invested everything in

fighting the tax, and

pledging to repeal it. That

means using words like, "It's

written in blood". I'm a

sinnic, "Iron clad promise,

written in blood, no

government I leave will put

in a carbon tax" no-one

believes what they say.

They would be well advised to

stop making promises. That's at the Heart of Julia Gillard's problems, in the

business I work in talk back

radio is white hot today. You

turn on a cull of radio

stations, "We need an

election today" if there's no election until the end of

2013 can that continue day

after day we need an election

today, two years? That's

the big political question, I

understand the intensity of

the issue. It goes through

the house, no doubt when it

goes knew the Senate and

comes into effect in July

2013... What Tony Abbott has

got on his side is is is what

we were talking about

earlier. In question time

they were hammering, the

compensation, at assistance

to pensioners, the steel industry assistance, all the

things that the Coalition

would have to withdraw

presumably if they actioned

the carbon tax but they got

themselves into this mess

over the asylum seekers, the political strategy of the government and the track

record doesn't suggest with a

bit of a platform they've got

they're not going to be able

to do anything much. Best

advice to the Government,

sell it, the tax cuts, the

pension rises, or put it to one side and move 0 on to other issues? I think at

the moment they should be out

there selling the benefits of

the I think Paul Keating for

instance would relish the

idea of going out and arguing the issue of climate change.

Despite what some people will

tell you in resent times

there is the evidence we have

got a problem it has become

more and more compelling of

the we have don't hear much

of that from government

Ministers, they ought to be

going out this is why we're

doing this, this is the impact it's going to be, enormous on you, these are Sol of the benefits of the can you have much faith in

the capacity of them to do

that effectively? Where's the Paul Keating, that would

be able to go out and sell

that. Is that a fair point,

Matt? I think it's

absolutely fair. In one

respect I think, maybe this

is journalist fatigue, people

are probably sick of hearing

about carbon pricing and climate change, we have been

hearing about it for four

years. Part of me says the

Government should put it in

the eyes box until it comes

into effect, start talking about Labor issues, the

things that the Greens are

pressing upon them so they

can establish themselves as a

Labor government. Part of me

says that. On the other hand

I agree with John, I'm not

sure any politics on the

political stage at the

Government has the Gratise,

the wherewithal, the courage

to argue a case for something. If Julia Gillard

does that, I don't think it

will be about climate change, if it's about economic

reform, education or about

some other element of her

platform she needs to get out

there and start sounding like

a laik Prime Minister. A

couple of clips I want to

play, on the carbon tax in

parliament we saw the Government trying to throw

some pressure at they will.

Coalition ranks might like

the way of pricing carbon,

Bill Shorten copped it when he went this far. If you can

lie to the people and say to

them you cannot change, you cannot change, only the conservatives would have you

believe they cannot change.

We are clear, change is

inevitable, we want to help

the people move on with

it. The opposition accused

them is always bound to get

that response if the other

side. Finally, Julia Gillard

announced today we know that

Barack Obama the US President

is visiting, he will address parliament especially

reconvened from an address

from the US President on 17 November. Here she was

outlining what the visit will

cover. As members will be

aware, President Obama will

visit Australia on 16 and 17

November of the last month I

wrote to President Obama to

invite him to address the parliament during ace visit

as well of the I'm pleased to advise the house that President Obama has accepted

this invitation. Here, here Matt, I don't think we

will see any MPs or senators

standing up and protesting

against that particular

presidential address to the

Australian parliament. I

think Ian Bob Brown will be

quiet when George Bush did it

a few years back of the I

hope for Julia Gillard's sake

she is still Prime Minister

when the president visits,

you might recall last time he

planned to visit he had to

cancel it, Kevin Rudd was rolled and Julia Gillard took

his place. As for your

earlier clip about Bill

Shorten, he's a really snart

guy, a lot of people say he's a potential Labor leader of

the I think the quote that

you played before exposes one

thing about him, he hasn't

actually been in the

parliament that long he's not perfected the talent required

to get up at the dispatch box

and argue without falling and

taking mistakes he did today.

That was a mistake for a

starter, it was a mistake for

a young player. He needs to

learn from it. John Stanley,

on the visit from President Obama. Is this going to do

Julia Gillard much good,

going to give her a lift?

There's not much that can of

the it depends how it plays

out. Given he is the United

States president, given he will say good things about

her. He can't actually say

well done getting a carbon

tax, I couldn't, maybe he will. If he says something

like that, it may help her.

I'm wondering what Matt said

about Bob Brown upgraded

George W Bush. Would there be

some on the extreme right,

some of those who don't like

Barak Obama, coreery Bernardy

might fight him in the

parliament. You're not sure

what is going to p

happen Great to talk to you

both. Thanks for joining us

of the after the break we

will check in on what has

been happening in the Caucus

meeting. Where to now on Australia's asylum seeker policy?

Well, welcome back, as we

have been talking about this

last hour, a special Caucus

meeting of Labor MPs was due

to get underway about 40, 45

minutes ago. It's just got

underway. A political

reporter Ashleigh Gillan has

been keeping an eye on things

in Canberra. Ash, why the

delay? David, we have seen

a bit of mischief from the

Coalition this afternoon. Of

course the Coalition very

aware that this unscheduled

Caucus meeting was due to get

under way at 415 eastern.

Shortly after that we saw the

manager of opposition

business Chris Pine demand a

quorum in the House of

Representatives. Once we had

seen the Government MPs going

into the meeting a minute or

two later they all had to

file out and go back into the

house of representatives to make that happen. Right now

as we speak I can see a

quorum is being required in the Senate as well. We're

waiting to see if the

Government senators are now

going to need to go back into

the Senate, again

interrupting this Caucus

meeting. Before the meeting

got underway there was a lot of confusion about why it was

being called. A lot of the

Government MPs and senators

we spoke to assumed it was to

do with the Government's

border protection policy.

They weren't sure. There was

a meeting earlier today in

cabinet. We know that after

this morning when Tony crook

the nation als MPs said he

wouldn't be supporting the Government's proposed changes

to the Migration Act. That

has left the Government with

not many options at all. It does nt have enough numbers

in the parliament to get those proposed changes

through the lower house. We always knew the Government

wouldn't have the numbers in the Senate where the

Coalition and the Greens were

always going to join together

to vote down the proposed

changes. Of course that means

the Government can't get

around that High Court

decision via legislation, so

really back to basics for the

Government of the all along

it said if these changes were

voted down then really the

option it was going to be

faced with is on shore

processing. We have heard a

lot of warnings coming from the immigration department

about what they would mean,

the suggestion we would see

an influx of boats arriving in Australia if that was the

case, then there would be no

deterrent, so the Caucus no doubt mulling over some of

the options available to it

this afternoon. It's really a

tactical decision to put this

bill to a vote or lose or to

pull the bill all together,

then the policy decision,

whether they now go ahead

with on shore processing,

perhaps try and blame the

Coalition for every boat to

arrivals if they can, or to

find some other off shore

option or indeed embrace the

Coalition's Nauru policy.

We will see what happens.

Ashleigh, thanks for that. We

will keep you up-to-date once

we get an outcome from that

meeting, or any news through

from our sources there. We're

out of time. Join us for the

nation 8 o'clock eastern

daylight time. We will be

looking at the my grigs bill,

the carbon tax going through

parliament. We're joined by

mark dray fuss, Peter Dutton,

frank Sartor and Chris Kenny,

on the nation after Sky News.

After the break news is next.

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