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Australian Agenda -

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(generated from captions) It's 10 years since the Afghanistan

war began. We will speak with

Stephen Smith live from Brussels

where he has been met with NATO

counterparts. We will look at what

progress they believe has been made,

how confident they are that the

withdrawal plan will be kept. We

are standing by for the closure of

the jobs forum in Canberra. We will

hear the closing statements from

the Prime Minister and Treasurer.

We will also speak with the

industry Minister, Kim Carr, about

what really can be done to help the

manufacturing sector in the two-

speed economy. And Sarah Palin, not

running for president - we will

talk to Tom Switzer about what that

means for the field of Republican

contenders. Stay with us. First, we

will check in with the latest news.

America's top business leaders and politicians are paying their

respects to Steve Jobs, who has

died at the age of 56. The Apple

founder, who invented the iPod,

iPad and iPhone, changed everyday

life and was known for his near

development process. obsessive control of the product

As the father of Apple, Steve Jobs

was never one to miss a launch,

even returning from sick leave to

introduce the iPad 2. We have been

working on this project for a while

and I didn't want to miss today.

Even his competitors couldn't doubt

his enthusiasm, and ability to

guess which gadgets we would need

next. Everybody's got a tablet...

Its 2011, will it be the year of

the copycats? Announcing his death

at the age of 56, Apple said:

Steve Jobs was an orphan raised by

adoptive parents in the heart of

California's silicon valley. It was

with a college friends that he

founded Apple in 1976 at the age of

21. By 1984 they produce the

world's first commission --

commercial be successful computer,

the Macintosh, but a row with the

board saw him quit. We are going to

take things to a whole new level.

In the mid-1980s he was back with a

bright new era. The launch of the

iPad -- iPod and iPhone followed.

When he was unveiling a new product,

the -- the excitement was

absolutely incredible and unlike

anything else in the world of

technology. The way that he

controlled the marketing agenda was

a crucial part in getting Apple to

where it is now. In 2004 he

revealed he had pancreatic cancer

but the secrecy surrounding his

service accidentally published an health continued. When news wire

obituary in 2008, he did his best

to laugh it off. I just wanted to

mention this. $$BLUE (LAUGHTER) in

upset. Despite having a liver

transplant in 2000 night -- 2009,

he was forced to take sick leave

and eventually resigned. On Tuesday

it was the new CEO, Tim Cook, who

launched Apple's new offering. It

is on devices that he invented that

many will find out about the death

of Steve Jobs, said Obama. The

great and extraordinary gifts he

leaves behind.

John Kerrison is that the flagship

Apple Store in Sydney's CBD, where

people have been paying their

respects.

The passing of Apple's former CEO,

Steve Jobs, at the store in

Australia was marked by two small

boxes of flowers. On one of them

was a card from a woman called

Diane. On a deep red, "You have

changed the world for the better,

you have changed the world for good.

Thank you for your creativity,

Steve." Around the world, tributes

flowed. The head of Disney made

some comments saying, Steve Jobs

had a creative mind that defined an

era. At one point Twitter was close to collapse, struggling under the

weight of some 10,000 tweets per

second, many of them following

#RIPstevejobs. Stephen still deep -

- Stephen Spielberg said Steve Jobs

the world at our fingertips. Obama

said, it seems no greater tribute

to his success and that the world

learned of his passing on a device

he invented. Many people in Sydney

using the device, the iPhone, to

photograph those flowers and share

them with a potential audience of

many, many millions. But a few here

in Sydney's -- today said jobs

would be remembered for his

creativity. It is a shame because

he did so much for the evolution of

the Macintosh, the iPod. $$BLUE He

was a revolutionary. He made these

products that revolutionised the

phone, computer, MP3 player. It is

forgotten that before the android

phones and a lot of that originates

from the iPhone, so he was driven -

- truly revolutionary. Apple

products are simpler to use and

they are pretty much amazing. When

I first used the Macintosh, I was

blown away. Argue a little sad? I

have to say I am. $$BLUE It is very

sad, too young. What did he bring

to the world? $$BLUE People bought

Apple. They communicated more, they

did in the lots more than they

thought they could do. Cyan mark he

was a visionary.

For more, including a special

report from America, just press

your remote and look for our dedicated channel.

The prime minister has been knocked

behind closed doors meeting with

business and union leaders at

camera's jobs forum. She stressed

the need for all stakeholders to

work together to overcome the challenges brought about by the patchwork economy. Another day, another forum. Julia

Gillard started her day talking to

apprentice is in the basement of

Parliament house. Hello. Upstairs

it was the other end of the

spectrum, older workers the real

story of a struggling manufacturing

sector. There is just nothing out

there. I went for another job, 10

positions were going for this job.

There were 10 of us in the room, me

and another gentleman. I was 52, he

was 51. They wanted an enquiry into

the manufacturing industry but they

got a jobs forum, but they are

herewith a list of demands, calling

on the Government to name and shame

mining companies that don't use

local content. If you are talking

jobs, you have to be talking

manufacturing. Over 1 million

Australians are employed in the

manufacturing sector. If we don't

have the action by the Government

now, we will continue to seek jobs

being lost. We need to maximise the

benefits of the mining boom. It is

not acceptable that we have as

little as 10% local content coming

into resource projects. There are

smart things we can do to ensure

that manufacturing gets to see its

fair share. The Government is

sympathetic to some demands and

agrees more can be done. Around 100

representatives are working to nut

out a plan. An announcement is

expected shortly. We are in the business of maximising opportunities. We want to ensure,

however, that where we have the

capabilities in this country, it is

used. Doctor Andrew Liberec, the

man who advises Barack Obama on how

to boost manufacturing in the US,

challenged the Government to think

beyond the resources boom. We need

to build an economy that is less

consumption of others. dependent on the prosperity and

Senior Government ministers are

hosing down speculation that

members of the Labor Party are

pushing for a return to Kevin Rudd

athlete. It comes as former Labor

powerbroker Graham Richardson named

two of the MPs he says are leading

the push to oust Julia Gillard. He

named Mark Bishop and Alan Griffin

as two of the small group he says

are urging the party to dump Julia

Gillard. If there was a simple

Caucus ballot available, I think

Julia Gillard would be in trouble.

In fact, I think she would be gone.

Recent polls have shown stronger

support for Kevin Rudd than Julia

Gillard, but the Prime Minister

says she is not worried. I will let

the people who do the commentary on

the 24-hour TV worry themselves about that.

Former Bulldogs player Ryan Tandy...

Has been fined $4000 and placed on

a 12 month good behaviour bond for

his role in the NRL match fixing

scam. Tandy had previously denied

any involvement in the unusual

betting plunge that took place

during a regular match last season.

Do you think you have been hard

done by? How are you feeling? Do

you still maintain you haven't been involved?

Australian Federal Police have

arrested two people in Victoria

over an alleged people smuggling

ring. The AFP says the arrests are

the culmination of a 10 month investigation.

Police say a 36-year-old Thornbury

man and a 34-year-old Templestowe

man has been charged with people

smuggling offences. One man has

also been charged with drug

offences and both men will appear

at any Magistrates Court today. It

is alleged the men were key players

in a syndicate responsible for the facilitating the unlawful arrival

for people in Australia. The

persons claimed to be asylum

seekers, and also, in relation to

the charges before the court, it

will be claimed that the passengers

for which one of the males was charged were coming from

Afghanistan. REPORTER: How old were

they? Again, it was varying. In

terms of the charges, the people

from Afghanistan basically

comprised of a family of six. Again,

in terms of the operation, that

family really didn't exist. It was

really through the use of

undercover operatives that we

engaged this people smuggling

syndicate. REPORTER: How many

people have been smuggled in? At

this stage the investigation is

ongoing and I can't really confirm

exactly how many the group are

responsible for. There has been one

count of providing material support

to another person engaged in people

smuggling activities. The 34-year-

old has also been charged with one

count of people smuggling contrary

to the migration act.

Andrew Bogart has signed with the

Sydney Kings but is unlikely to tip

off in the NBL season opener.

Insurance issues stalled talks

between management and the Kings,

but they today the former Milwaukee

player said he was committed to the

NBL. The Kings are not banking on

their star against the Tigers.

There might be a possibility but I

would have to say it would be

exceptionally slim. That is how we

are preparing. We said that

yesterday, we have all guys on

these guys tomorrow night and we

have 10 guys that are committing to

go into battle for our colours.

Anytime you are able to get Australia's best basketball player

on your team, you would be crazy not to do it.

The matches in Melbourne tomorrow night.

Just to repeat... Treasurer Wayne

Swan speaking now, live at the jobs forum in Canberra.

The Prime Minister. (APPLAUSE)

Thank you free much to blame those

words of introduction and thank you

-- thank you to Wayne that

introduction. I would also like to

thank Peter Shergold are doing the moderating this morning and

everybody engage in presenting

today. To all of the staff who has

Does organised during this event.

Thank you very much. First, I will

start with a stay at -- with a sad

reflection. The news has broken

that Steve jobs, the creative

genius hired Apple, the iPad,

iPhone, iPod, has died today. As we

sat here at, talking about

innovation, the world has lost one

of its leading innovators. Words of

condolence are being spoken all

around the world for Steve. I join

in those words of condolence.

Flowers are being left outside

Apple stores. Already somebody has

launched on the internets, and

Apple logo with his face

silhouetted against the black

background of the Apple logo. All

of this is going to be big news for

reflection over the next few days.

As to remember his life, which is

reinforced in us to believe that

innovation can change the world. He

changed our world. As I have moved

between sessions today, I thought

to myself, knowing this news, how

many people were sitting with the

iPad taking notes and doing emails

and downtimes. He has changed our

world. Innovation can change the

world and lead to prosperity and

opportunity. One of the things we

have reflected on today. Friends, I

have taken a number of important

insight and reflections from today.

Before getting into the meat and

potatoes of this concluding address,

I want to point out that Andrew

Liveris said to us this morning

that passive at the -- passivity

isn't a growth strategy. If you

want to grow a business or an

economy, he said, you have to say

we want to do this and we will do

this. I want to assure you that it

is not in this goverments nature to

be passive. We are very determined

during this phase of economic

transformation, to spread

opportunity, the opportunity to

work through a nation, are in a

state of change. To seize the huge

opportunities that will come from

the growth of Asia, the resources

boom, a clean energy future, and

the National Broadband Network. We

are very determined to nourish the

diversity of our economy during the

state of change. To emerge from the

resources boom with an economy more

diverse than when we entered into

the gloom. We also want to make

sure that during these days of

economic transformation we do not

leave people behind. When I spoke

to you this morning, I said that my

aims were today included deepening

our understanding of today and

tomorrow's opportunities, and I

believe we have done that. I was particularly struck by Andrew

Liveris telling us in a most compelling fashion across the video

link which came back for us

fortunately, he told us about how

countries around the globe are

preparing for an era of even more

intense globalisation. He urged us

to think about how we can fit into

this age of globalisation through

innovation, through falling in love

again with science, through building genuine partnerships

between government and industry. I

think we have shared and deepened

our understanding of today's trends,

and tomorrow's opportunities. We

will continue to work with you on

that as we develop the Asian

century white paper that is in

essence what it is for. I also

wanted us to emerge with more of an

understanding of the future vision

for industry sectors under pressure

during the state of economic change.

I have received good feedback

during the course of the day about

the great work that is being

undertaken by the future

manufacturing industry innovation

Council under Kim's leadership. We

need to build on that work. In

relation to another sector under

pressure, tourism, I can commit to

you but an updated tourism strategy

will be released before the end of

the year. We will take to immediate

steps to tourism. We will extend

business support through business

of... Second, I will ask Nick

Sherry to work further on ensuring

that tourism is ready to capitalise

on it the advantages that the NBN

will bring, given that today,

looking for a tourist opportunity,

working out where you want to go,

is being driven by the information

you can get by going on the

internets and that will be

turbocharged by the NBN. I can also

commit to you in relation to an other industry under pressure, international education, that

following the well received review

of education, Chris Evans will

shortly point they international

education advisory Council to

continue to find and realised the

best vision without important

sector of the economy. I also spoke

due about the aims of today,

including having a sophisticated

discussion about productivity. We

have done that. The next iteration of the important work about management and improving

productivity that is being done by

Steve Amos will emerge from the

workshop in December. I will ensure

that that important work is shared

as quickly and widely as possible.

Finally, this morning I talked to

you about leveraging the resources

boom so that it benefits the rest

of the economy. That is critical to

spreading opportunity rate throughout our nation during the

state of change. We have heard

during the course of the day from

right around the hot Asian it is to

support manufacturing during the

state of change. To compete in the

new global landscape and with a

high terms of trade. To enable the

sector to move up the value change

and more actively link with high

quality research and development

taking place in our universities

and TAFEs to build a skilled the

sector needs and so it can access

the capital needs to re-equip. I

believe that this task is urgent

and it requires a whole of

government approach. I will

establish a Prime Minister's task

force drawn from manufacturing

industry leaders and unions to

quarter net -- coordinate the work occurring across government. We

need to be in a position to rapidly

respond to the structural

adjustment. I will personally chair

this task force and Minister car

will be the deputy chair. This is a

whole of government task, so other

ministers will be members of the

task force. I genuinely believe

that we can be a country that

continues to invent things and make

things. I want our economy to be

one that includes a high quality, good paying jobs for Australian

workers in manufacturing. It is a

vital part of our economy and it

has to be a long-lasting part of

our economy. In addition, I talked

to you this morning about some of

the work we are already doing to

the buying Australia at home and

abroad work and the supplier

advocates that we have working to

get manufacturing a share in the

work generated by mining and Peter

Beattie has been here as

participants throughout the day.

Today, to build on those efforts, I

announced that the government will

move to extend the requirement of Australian industry participation

plans for federal government grants

of $20 million or more and for

grants of $20 million or more to

the states and territories where

they do not apply their own

industry participation plans. We

already require these plans for our

own major documents. The

Commonwealth major procurement. We

will now work with states and

territories to ensure that

Australian suppliers have

opportunity to compete for project

and work. The Commonwealth provides

billions of dollars in grants each

year. Some of these go directly to

industry, some go to infrastructure projects, some are delivered

through states and territories. Requiring industry participation

plans as part of those grants, I

believe is an important new

initiative. This measure will be

consistent with our international

trade obligations. We are not

taking a step back from our friend

-- firm belief in open market. We

will ensure to work so that local

suppliers have an opportunity could

to compete on local -- equal terms.

To get this done, we will appoint

an implementation working group and

they will work very quickly indeed.

I am hoping nobody wanted Melbourne

Cup day off, because the working

group will report and finalise

which they want to do by the end of

this year. It will include representatives from integer,

unions, Commonwealth agencies as

well as the states and territories. In addition, the government will also extend opportunities for

Australian industry participation

in the enhancement project by law

scheme. This is a tariff concession

scheme which provides eligible

project with relief from 5% general

tariff which applies to imported

goods. To be eligible to this

concession, major project have to provide Australian industry with an opportunity to compete for work.

But, there had been criticisms of

the operation of the scheme, and we

intend to tighten it so that it

works better to provide Australian

Manufacturing with opportunity. We

will require more comprehensive

evidence of opportunities being

provided to Australian industry. We

will be requiring project

proponents to this opportunity for Australian industry and participate

in major projects on a public

website. We will be requiring

project proponent to regularly

report on how the industry

partisanship -- participation plans

are working. There will be a moment

of guidelines to ensure that the

goods are approved a large project.

In getting this concession, it is

important that people respond I

being clear and transparent in

their conduct. This is something

that a number of stakeholders have

agitated for. There is no point

having rules, and most people can

each and every day clearly and

transparent sleazy that they are

being -- transparently see that

they are being followed. These will

be published on the website so that

anyone can check it against the

plans. This is all about giving

Australian business the fair go

that it deserves. If you want

Australian taxpayer dollars, he

will have to give Australian

business is a fair chance to

compete for work.

In addition to that, the focus on

skills has stood out. We are

engaged in a major reform process

through COAG on skills development

and we have reform work also

occurring through the national workforce development and

productivity agency. Chris Evans

has recently announced some steps

to broaden and bring forward the

work of this agency and you will be

-- I will be working with Chris to

see what we can do to accelerate

that work and ensure that any

skills reform process we are

responding to the industry sections

that we have spoken about today. We

particularly need to be ready to

nurture the resources boom with the

skills that it needs. We need to be

ready to focus on the new skills we

will need for a clean energy future.

We need to have a focus on the

skills development required to take

manufacturing up the value chain,

and then we need to be providing

the skills necessary for other

industries, including tourism and

the huge growth that we are

expecting in sectors like health

and community services and also in

the professional and technical

sections. So, friends, with those

words I want to thank you once

again for participating in this

work. This is not a one-off day. We

didn't start with a clean page, we

came here having worked with many

of you through different arms of

Government, supporting jobs,

thinking about skills development,

working on productivity, working on responses to the patchwork economy. I believe, through the efforts

today, we have catalysed that works,

we have driven it further. It is

certainly my intention to stay in

close contact with this group and

beyond as we continue to drive that

work forward. The transformation in

our economy brings challenges, but

let's leave this room reminding

ourselves of the opportunities.

We've got an amazing opportunity to

spread wealth from the boom in

resources. During the days of the

boom to use that wealth and those

opportunities to drive deepening

and diversity in our economy, even

as we face some constraints from

the high Australian dollar. We've

got a great opportunity through the

resources boom and beyond to

strengthen our economy for the

future so that we emerge with a

diversify economy, high skill, high

wage, clean energy, high

productivity. That's the journey we

have been on today and I thank you

for your contribution. (APPLAUSE)

And the Prime Minister wrapping up

the one-day Future Jobs Forum in

Canberra. The Prime Minister Datuk

the minister announcing some minor

measures to dealing with the

industry is under pressure - retail,

tourism, manufacturing first and

foremost. We will have more on this after the break. Welcome back to the program.

Welcome to our panel, Dennis Atkins

from the two -- 'Courier Mail', Sam

Hayden from the Sunday -- 'The

Daily Telegraph'. We heard the

Prime Minister winding up the

Future Jobs Forum. She has

announced some steps to help the

struggling industries. She seemed

to be suggesting that it would be a made in Australia style procurement

policy, but not a lot of detail on

how that would work, some sort of

task force making sure that we buy

Australia, which has echoes in a

little way off what the US

President, Barack Obama, has been

talking about recently in America,

but she didn't seem to suggest they

would be locked into buying Australia, but she seemed to

suggest they would take a look at

it. As you say, it's not a

protectionist policy per se, but

some might say it is heading down

that path, that the Government is

trying to appease some of the union

concerns we have heard in recent

months, particularly in the

manufacturing sector. That's the

balancing act, because made in

Australia, by Australia, it tugs

the heartstrings. People want to

see Australian politicians

supporting Australian jobs, but you

would hope they don't want to see a

return to the protectionist

policies of the past, like previous

Government in the Bob Hawke years

were instrumental in dismantling.

They want the feelgood of buying

Australia, but they don't want a

situation where they are not buying

the best products at the best price

and they are giving taxpayers'

money. This seems to be about giving Australia Manufacturers a

fair crack at the big projects that

are to be had in the mining sector

in particular. Does that represent

protectionism in your view? Or is

this fair game, what we should be

doing? There is a case for the

Government encouraging some of

these big mining companies and

other resource companies to invest

more in Australian materials and so

on. There is this massive

investment pipeline coming into

Australia, billions and billions of

dollars on LNG, iron ore, coal and

other resources. I think it's fair

enough to try to get these

companies to source as much of their material as possible from

Australia. They do, as Sam said,

have to have a balancing act so

they don't turn it into a case

where the Government is pushing

people to do that, and that might

be seen as protectionist. But I

think there is a strong case for

the Government to encourage this

sort of thing and do whatever they

can. Looking back at the last few

days, the forums, have they been

worthwhile? Yes, it's probably been

very good for the Government. It

looks like a Government at work, it looks like the Government was

governing. There wasn't the usual

political clamour and rank of that

we see most days on our TV screens

and hear on the radio full stop it

was people having a pretty sensible

and polite discussion about some

serious policy issues. I think

that's good for the Government,

providing people are actually

listening. I think it did look like

a Government governing, and we

don't see that very often, given

that shouting match that passes for

political debate most of the rest

of the time. Sam, that tensions

were low, deliberately played down

the Government. -- expectations

were low. It is a bit much to

expect that of the -- off the back

of a few days discussion you will

have grand plans. I think it is

interesting that we have this new development of the Treasurer sort

of announcing not a promise of a

tax cut but the goal of a tax cut,

having another stage of speculation.

He obviously set that goal but he

would like to have a tax-free

threshold as high as $21,000 and

increase it a lot in terms of the

compensation for the carbon tax

already and that legislation will

obviously be looked at when

Parliament resumes next week. Look,

the downside for policy purist is

that they trotted out a lot of the

same, tired, old arguments. I think

Ken Henry referred to that, when he

said rather droll ly that he could

have set out these arguments before

he rolled up, and a bunch of other

people fell asleep. Ken Henry did

later say that it was a very

worthwhile process. I think even

the best of us would have struggled

to stay awake during some elements

of the forum. But Dennis's point

that this has been an opportunity

for a spotlight shone on the

Government to see how it works, for

everyone to see it is pulled in

different directions, that it is

listening to all these arguments

and getting on with it. That hasn't

been a bad thing for Julia Gillard

and Wayne Swan. No, I think that's

right. Can I turn to the old issue

of leadership. Graham Richardson

last night jobs in a couple of

backbenchers that he says are

pushing the Kevin Rudd Arrow. Have

a look. There is a guy, Alan

Griffin, the member for Bruce in

Victoria, a seat around Dandenong,

those kind of places in outer

Melbourne. He has been leading the

push. He is doing a lot of the

telephoning, ringing around. He is

a very clever operator, know full

at all. Remember, whenever you are

looking to see who will be doing

the undermining, always look for

the disgruntled. That's why there

are some in the right involved.

There is Senator Mark Bishop from

Western Australia, a very inched

incorrect. He is on the right of

the right, if you like, associated

with the SD a. There is no evidence

of that, it is a Mark Bishop push.

Dennis, journalist talk to various

people in the Caucus and they know

themselves who isn't and is pushing

Kevin Rudd. Journalist normally

protect their sources on these

things. Richo is in a different

situation, by naming these two

backbenchers. Is this Kevin Rudd or

Julia Gillard, doing them favours?

I think it has probably done

neither of them any favours. As you

say, they are not powerbrokers or

people of enormous influence within

Caucus, but they are people who

have been around Caucus for a long

time, and they have both been

involved in some leadership stoush

is over the years. If you go back

to the stoush is from 10 years ago,

you would find those names cropping

up in some of those as well. It

sort of reminds me of February-

March February-March 2010, when

there were a few people who were

starting to grumble and mumble

about Kevin Rudd's leadership, when

he was still prime minister, and

they were mostly lesser lights,

many of them senators, and they

were dismissed iconic. But within

three or four months he grumbles

had turned into a brawl. That is a

fair point. We are far from seeing

the Julia Gillard steamroll from

heavy hitters in Caucus. Yes, but

here is the thing. There is an

argument in the ALP that the

construct of the faceless men, the

idea of the holder of the office

was changed by 45 people, Bill

Shorten or a bunch of blokes

hanging out at the restaurant in

Canberra. There is an argument that

that is a media construct, and that

is certainly the argument that Julia Gillard has, that the

faceless men didn't decide who the

leader of the Labor Party was, she

made the call, the party made the

call. This time, particularly

because there is this idea that

they are being passed around by

factional powerbrokers, and because

their jobs are on the line, there

is 35-40 MPs who will lose their seats under current polling, including a good proportion of

Cabinet, it will be a Riewoldt from

the backbench and the people you

don't know. It's not going to be

something that people are told to

do. If Julia Gillard is dumped

before the next election, it will

be either because she falls on her

sword or because there is a genuine

backbench movement. We will be

looking for senior people to tell

us that it is on Julia Gillard -

you are looking in the wrong

cupboard. It will be a question of

how organised the disparate MPs are

on the margins, when they are

worried about losing their seats.

If you look below the line, if you start calling all of those

backbenchers, people you have never

heard of, I think that the level of

support for Kevin Rudd is possibly

the Garrick and people forecast.

Good to talk to you both. Thanks

for joining us. After the break we

will turn to a couple of foreign shores - Afghanistan, the defence

Minister, just from a meeting with his NATO counterparts in Brussels.

It is the 10th anniversary tomorrow

since that war began. And the

United States - Sarah Palin says

she is not running for the

presidency.

Welcome back. We will turn to US

politics now. A key development in

the race to the White House next

year. Still a long way off at the

jostling is underway. The

Republican nomination in particular.

Who will go up against Barack

Habana. Sarah Palin is ruled out of

the running. She painted those who

supported her. --

Tom Switzer, the editor of

Spectator magazine on do think

there is any great surprise you? I

suspected sometime ago that she

would not run. October before an

election year at three late Tuesday. An incredible time frame now.

Absolutely. There was a widespread

sense even among Republicans that

she liked the experience and

judgement to be a good president

can -- candidate. That she could

bring lots of money etc. Yes, but

the great concern to the

Republicans, Habana is very

beatable -- Barack Obama Will

struggle next year. His best chance

is if he and the Democrats... Do

all of those people, you may know

how many roughly there might be,

that want Sarah Palin to run, was a

shift behind? There is no question

that Mitt Romney is seen as the

moderate candidate. He is the

front-runner. There are three main

tea party backed conservatives. You

mentioned the Shell Buckman, Rick

Perry and the businessmen Herman

came, who has never had an elected

office. He brandishes that as a

virtue. It is all in a state of

flux at the moment. It will come

down to Mitt Romney is one of those

two. If it is Mitt Romney and one

of those more conservative

contenders, what mood is the

Republican Party in at the moment

and who can beat Barack Habana? --

Obama. Middle America is well to

the right of Australia or Western

Europe, I want you to remember that

something like 40 to 50% of

Americans identify as conservative.

Only 20% identified themselves as

liberal. There is a big chunk of

independence, are usually shape

elections, particularly in the

swing states like Ohio,

Pennsylvania and those areas

outside of Pennsylvania and Toledo,

Ohio. They are the swing electorate.

They are physically conservative,

but socially moderate. If there is

a Republican candidate who betrays

himself as to write on those issues,

that could alienate people. Thank

you to joining us this afternoon. A

big issue for the United States who

ever will be president of the next

term, and a bit cheaper Australia,

is the ongoing war in Afghanistan.

10 years tomorrow since the war

began. Stephen Smit, the Defence

Minister, has had had talks with

NATO counterparts. I spoke to him a

short time ago. Stephen Smit, you

have just had a meeting with your

NATO counterparts in Brussels. What

upset can you give us about the

general feeling in Afghanistan? Is

remarketed anniversary of this war.

The assessment of Australia and our

colleagues show we have made

considerable progress in the last

12 to 18 months. We have degraded

the Taliban and they haven't made

up any ground in Afghanistan

generally in the course of the

fighting season. That is why they

have resorted to the high-profile suicide bomb assassination attacks.

We believe we have made progress on

the security front and on the

transition. Training and mentoring

Afghan National Army and the

national and local police, they can

take responsibility in these

matters in 2014. The other point of

conversation we have had is that it

is not all going to end at 2014.

There does need to be a post-2014

presence. We started a conversation.

Wattle are presence be -- white

will our presence be after 2014? I

have made it clear to our

colleagues, and our other

international security systems colleagues that Australia strongly

believes that there does need to be continuing assistance to

Afghanistan after transition in

2014. That is reflected by the fact

that NATO is about to sign up a

long time strategic partnership

with Afghanistan. The United States

is doing the same. There will need

to be ongoing assistance. We have

said we are very happy to

contemplate the notion of ongoing

training that would be high level,

specialise, technical, artillery or

officer training. We've also seen

the potential for Army or military

advisers and potentially a special

forces role. We are just starting

that discussion. We do need to

bring it to the fore. We don't want

the Taliban or Afghanistan's

neighbours to think that just

because there will be a transition

by the end of 2014, the

international community will then

ignore Afghanistan. On the contrary,

you will need to be ongoing

assistance. Substantial civilian

assistance. Beyond matter has

warned that the US will not be able

to sustain operations in Libya and

Afghanistan due to the budgetary

pressures it is under. That to

continue as a US ally? Well, ER all

under financial pressure. We have

to have value for money and be

careful about what we spend. The

United States is under financial

pressure so far as military and

defence budget is concerned. As our

are United Kingdom colleagues. What

the United States is drawing down

in the state away from Afghanistan,

we need to do that in a sensible

they are and other it drawdown. We

are growing the Afghan National

Army. We cannot be in Afghanistan forever. We have to transfer

responsibility to Afghanistan. The

point is that the Secretary has

made is that the United States is

under financial pressure and it

cannot bear the burden by itself.

That is why Australia has been

saying that in Afghanistan post-

2014, there needs to be an ongoing

contribution a commitment

internationally. Significantly less

than what we see at the moment. We

had 350 troops in Afghanistan at

the moment. The vast TO trainer and

-- the vast majority goes to

training and mentoring. There will

then be a substantial drawdown as

far as Australia is concerned. We

have to make sure that Afghanistan

doesn't again become a breeding

ground international terrorism.

That will need ongoing

international community assistance.

On support from Afghanistan's neighbours, in particular Pakistan.

Final question, the Australian

Chinook helicopters have been

grounded. If the grounding to do with the crash?

I will make two points separately,

because this is important. We are having an investigation into the

death of markers -- Markus Cape.

That is ongoing. The Chief of the

Defence Force discussed this with

me yesterday. As part of the

evidence that has come up as a

result of the investigation, it has

drawn attention to the difficulty

we have made public with the

Chinook fleet. While we have come

to know conclusions on that case,

we need to continue the

investigation. Some of the

information already picked up in

that case has added to the cause or

to the reasons why we have, for

safety measures, currently grounded

our Chinook fleet, just to make

sure we don't have an ongoing

difficulty in that respect. Whilst

in one respect the two are separate,

the decision has been based on

information we have picked up in

the Markus Case case. While we have

access to United States helicopters

in Afghanistan, it won't have any

adverse impact on our operation in

Afghanistan, and that's very

important. Defence Minister Stephen

Smith, joining us from Brussels,

thanks very much for your time. Thanks, David.

That is it for this afternoon's

program. Join us tonight for 'The

Nation'. We will have an interview

with Peter Costello about the tax

forum that has been held this

weekend. What does he think about

the possible increase of the GST?

Does this Government have the

stomach for serious tax reform?

Also his thoughts on industrial

relations and the current state of

the political play. After the break,