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Lateline -

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Tonight - a day and hope.

Hello? She's in the classroom. Are you in the classroom?

We're receiving text messages from some, we're also receiving knocks, people crying, people
shouting out to us. We know there are still some people alive in these buildings.

While some survivors were found and pulled from the wreckage, rescue workers have abandoned sites
where there are no signs of life.

At a certain point I'm not going to risk my staff for people where I believe there is no chance of
survivability.

This Program is Captioned Live.

Good evening, welcome to Lateline, I'm Tony Jones. If elements in the Federal Opposition were
planning to launch a new debate about multiculturalism in Australia they've they've been
effectively short circuited today by two moderates. Senator George Brandis weighed in with an
opinion piece this morning and tonight, the former Liberal leader has gone even further.

We are the most successful immigrant country in the world. In my own electorate in Wentworth nearly
a third of the people in my electorate were not born in Australia. We have achieved an
extraordinary degree of harmonious integration of people from every possible culture in the world.
It's a of it, we are committed to a multicultural Australia. That is a reality.

Earthquake death toll stays at 75

Earthquake death toll stays at 75

Broadcast: 23/02/2011

Reporter: John Stewart

New Zealand is in a state of national emergency as rescue teams try to find 300 people still
missing in Christchurch.

Transcript

TONY JONES, PRESENTER: The New Zealand Government has declared a state of national emergency as it
contends with its worst natural disaster in 80 years.

Rescue teams are desperately digging into the wreckage of the quake-ravaged city of Christchurch,
although the work is being impeded by fears of further building collapses. There have been some
rescues over the past day, but at least 300 people are still missing.

The quake's official death toll has stayed at 75 today, but it is expected to rise further. In a
moment we'll cross to Christchurch to get the latest on the rescue efforts from the city's deputy
mayor.

First, this report from John Stewart.

JOHN STEWART, REPORTER: Overnight, rescuers used their bare hands, sniffer dogs and heavy machines
in a desperate search for survivors still trapped beneath the rubble.

The Canterbury TV building was the focus of a major rescue operation. This man made contact with
his wife trapped inside an English language classroom.

HUSBAND OF TRAPPED WOMAN: Hello? She's in the classroom. Are you in the classroom? People are doing
everything to save you.

JOHN STEWART: Later, rescue attempts on the Canterbury TV building were abandoned, as emergency
workers made hard choices about which buildings might still contain survivors.

DAVE LAWRY, NZ POLICE: At a certain point, I'm not going to risk my staff for people where I
believe there is no chance of survivability, and that's just the end of it.

JOHN STEWART: A group of Japanese students were inside the building.

STUDENT: I just heard from my friend that my - our school has collapsed, and I saw on the tele, I
heard that my friend, they didn't come out.

JOHN STEWART: This man's mother had just started a new job inside the same building.

MAN: I've got a broken toe and I've walked to the point where I can't walk anymore looking for her.
And we thought this year was going to be a real beauty. I just didn't expect this to happen to my
mother, you know?

JOHN STEWART: And these children have just been told that their mother is dead.

In other buildings, there were signs of hope. Messages from mobile phones helped locate survivors.

RUSSELL GIBSON, NZ POLICE: We're receiving text messages from some, we're also receiving knocks,
people crying, people shouting out to us, so we know that there are still some people alive in
these buildings.

JOHN STEWART: This man's wife is trapped inside the Pine Gould building where there's still hope
that more people will be found alive.

MARK MAYNARD, VICTIM'S HUSBAND: Wee girl woke up this morning and said "Where's mum?" and I said,
"Oh, she's still at work. She's gone back in again." So, yep.

PETER MAYNARD, VICTIM'S BROTHER-IN-LAW: Hard to get through and get answers on anything. It's
horrible.

JOHN STEWART: Among the survivors, an Australian woman from Geelong called Ann Vos was pulled from
the rubble.

Today, aftershocks continued to rock the city and areas surrounding Christchurch.

This security vision from a supermarket captured the moment of yesterday's quake.

Hundreds of people are still missing and the search is taking its toll on rescue workers.

DEAN TAINUI, RESCUER: So we had to go through there and check the cars and unfortunately, there was
some people in there that we had to get out of there which were deceased.

JOHN STEWART: Today, the New Zealand prime minister declared a national state of emergency.

JOHN KEY, NZ PRIME MINISTER: Today, I want Christchurch to hear this message: you will get through
this. This proud country's right behind you and we are backing you with all our might.

JOHN STEWART: The city of Christchurch was officially shut down.

BOB PARKER, CHRISTCHURCH MAYOR: The next three days through to the weekend effectively the city is
closed, business is closed, schools are closed and we'd like people to stay home.

JOHN STEWART: One Australian man is among the dead and there are fears for three other Australians
missing in the city.

JULIA GILLARD, AUSTRALIAN PRIME MINISTER: But it appears that this person was a family man and our
condolences go to his family, who would be struggling with this news.

JOHN STEWART: A team of Australian rescuers spent the day helping the search for survivors. 300
more Australian police and emergency workers will arrive in New Zealand later this week. And
there's plenty to do. Hospitals are full to overflowing and tankers are being used to bring in
fresh water.

NGAIRE BUTTON, CHRISTCHURCH DEPUTY MAYOR: Please don't flush your toilets, use a bucket or dig a
hole. If you've been camping, you'll know what to do.

JOHN STEWART: Many areas throughout the city are still without power.

RESCUE WORKER: Some of the substations have dropped metres into the ground, they've just sort of
disappeared into the ground.

JOHN STEWART: Hundreds of people spent the night in evacuation centres. The airport is crowded with
people leaving the city, and tonight, some Australians arrived home.

AUSTRALIAN MAN: Got around to the carpark where our car was; luckily it was undercover. When we got
there, we didn't get in the car yet 'cause we were expecting another kind of aftershock. It came,
it was fierce and the car rocked all over the place. It was scary.

JOHN STEWART: Tonight, there are fears that one of the city's tallest buildings, the 26 floor Grand
Chancellor Hotel, may collapse.

The search for survivors is expected to continue for days and no-one doubts that the death toll
will continue to rise.

John Stewart, Lateline.

Christchurch's deputy mayor speaks to Lateline

Christchurch's deputy mayor speaks to Lateline

Broadcast: 23/02/2011

Reporter: Tony Jones

Christchurch deputy mayor Ngaire Button says they are hopeful most of the 300 people still missing
will be found alive.

Transcript

TONY JONES, PRESENTER: To find out how that rescue effort is progressing I spoke to the deputy
mayor of Christchurch, Ngaire Button, just a short time ago.

Ngaire Button, thanks for joining us.

NGAIRE BUTTON, DEPUTY MAYOR, CHRISTCHURCH: Thank you.

TONY JONES: It's reported that the rescue efforts are now concentrating on seven key sites where
people are still believed to be trapped. What's the latest you have on what's going on in those
buildings?

NGAIRE BUTTON: There's not much going on in those buildings overnight. Rescue efforts have reduced
over the night. We've had quite a bit of rain here, but we're still hopeful that there are some
survivors in those buildings.

TONY JONES: Some people earlier in the day have been texting from inside collapsed buildings. Are
any of those people still trapped, or have they all been taken out?

NGAIRE BUTTON: Tony, there's all sorts of stories and rumours out there about what's been happening
and people are in pockets and alive and we've heard all sorts of stories.

The reality is that we've only had one survivor rescued from one of the buildings today and there
hasn't been a lot of evidence in the other buildings where the search and rescue is operating
currently. So, I don't know about the people texting. I don't know whether that was something that
was a hope or was actually happening.

TONY JONES: Sorry to interrupt you. Are the rescuers working now in those seven sites operating
primarily out of hope with no evidence of anyone who's alive?

NGAIRE BUTTON: No, my understanding currently is that the rescue operation will begin again in the
morning.

There's a curfew on the central city overnight, so we've got a big building, the Grand Chancellor
building, that is on a major lean and leaning against another building, and we've had quite a few
aftershocks today and the fear is if those two buildings go or if one of them falls down it will
just be a mighty crash that will spread far and wide in the central city.

So, no, there's a curfew in the central city. Nobody's allowed out. We've got media here within the
four avenues, but once they leave they won't be allowed back in until after 6:30 in the morning.

TONY JONES: It has been reported that the Canterbury TV building where earlier it was said there
was a 100 per cent certainty there was no-one left alive is now the subject of renewed searching.
That's been reported in New Zealand. Is that true?

NGAIRE BUTTON: My understanding is there's no searching going on at the moment.

TONY JONES: Is it likely that the searching will begin again in the Canterbury TV building
tomorrow?

NGAIRE BUTTON: Yes, absolutely. Yes. Well, the Canterbury TV building's very close to that other
building that I said was at risk of falling, so I guess that will depend a little bit on engineers
and on the aftershocks and risk to rescuers and actually being on that site. There's a lot of
things to consider in the rescue effort.

TONY JONES: Is it clear now, or is becoming clearer, how many people have been killed in this
earthquake?

NGAIRE BUTTON: We know that there are 68 confirmed deaths. There are another 300 missing. We are
expecting that the death rate will rise, but the 300 missing won't necessarily - it won't rise by
300.

Some of the people are just not contactable by cell phone or there's other reasons why they haven't
been able to be contacted, but they're just ones that are missing, but not necessarily deceased.

TONY JONES: Now there are some serious questions to be answered obviously about why so many
relatively modern buildings constructed in an earthquake zone have collapsed. Can you explain why
those buildings weren't built to withstand a major earthquake?

NGAIRE BUTTON: Ah, well, I'm not an engineer, but I understand that -and it's surprising to us too.
It's not the older buildings that have caused the most loss of life. It is the buildings that were
built in the '50s and '60s - the two in particular: the PPG building and the CTV building were
built in the '50s and '60s and they have major damage.

And the other thing is those buildings have survived two earthquakes - two major earthquakes, been
inspected by our engineers and declared safe. So obviously something has gone wrong within that
building structure and it's not just a little bit of damage, they've just totally collapsed.

So, I guess questions will be asked about the building code. I know if they were being built under
current conditions that they would be built to a much higher standard. But still, they have been
inspected recently and declared safe, which makes us as a city all feel very vulnerable.

TONY JONES: Well, obviously, and the question is whether those inspections were appropriate,
because there were plenty of warnings. There were other recent earthquakes and aftershocks, so I
guess the question is: why did the inspectors not realise that these buildings were vulnerable to a
major earthquake?

NGAIRE BUTTON: Well, I don't know the answer to that and I guess those questions will be asked in
the fullness of time.

The question hanging over our heads here in Canterbury is: are there others? Are there other
buildings like that? Are any of the buildings safe? Where can we go where we feel safe? Where can
we locate our businesses and our homes? Where can we walk down the street where we're safe? And in
Christchurch we were just starting to move on.

Most of our - many of our houses had been inspected and assessed by the Earthquake Commission. We
were starting to make plans for the future. We hadn't had too many aftershocks in the last few
weeks and I think we were all starting to feel a little bit more confident about the future. But
now we're back to a position which is worse than we were on the day after the September 4th
earthquake.

TONY JONES: So, would you expect after this disaster there'll be complete revision of building
construction plans and every single building that houses people in the central business district in
particular will have to be re-looked at to see whether they can remain standing?

NGAIRE BUTTON: Absolutely. I think that will be the case. Very hard to tell though, and I guess the
engineers will tell us in time. But I guess it's very hard to tell what all of the building and any
- if a building's going to fail, how it's going to fail.

And it depends on where the earthquake comes from. This earthquake came from a completely different
direction than September 4th earthquake, which is why we've had a lot more losses.

TONY JONES: Sure. But finally, does this look to you like there's been a major failure of planning?

NGAIRE BUTTON: Oh, no, I don't think so. I think it's a disaster, it's a natural disaster. We have
to obviously look to the future. We have to think about our heritage.

Christchurch is a beautiful city, full of heritage buildings and beautiful gardens and old
character homes, and I think we have to rethink whether we can have those things, we can have the
luxury of those buildings in the future.

Our cathedral, which is our landmark building right in the centre of Christchurch in Cathedral
Square, has been severely damaged. And I think there will be a will amongst the Christchurch people
to rebuild the cathedral, but I'm not sure about the many, many other heritage buildings which have
been damaged.

I think we need to have a real re-think about our future and about how we rebuild.

TONY JONES: Ngaire Button, we have to leave you there. We thank you very much for taking the time
to talk to us tonight.

NGAIRE BUTTON: Thanks very much.

Gaddafi will fight 'to the last bullet'

Gaddafi will fight 'to the last bullet'

Broadcast: 23/02/2011

Reporter: Anne Barker

Moamar Gaddafi has vowed a bloody backlash against protesters even as eastern Libya declares itself
a free zone.

Transcript

TONY JONES, PRESENTER: The Libyan leader, Colonel Gaddafi, has vowed to carry out a bloody backlash
against protesters.

Speaking in a televised address to the nation, Gaddafi insisted he would not step aside and
promised he would fight to the last bullet.

However, the east of the country now appears to be completely under the control of anti-government
protesters.

Middle East correspondent Anne Barker reports.

ANNE BARKER, REPORTER: After a brief television appearance on Monday, Libyan president Colonel
Moammar Gaddafi has given a longer address.

He thundered for an hour, making clear he won't be standing down and promising to fight till the
last drop of blood.

MOAMMAR GADDAFI, LIBYAN PRESIDENT (voiceover translation): I am paying the price of staying here.
My grandfather was the first martyr in Al Khums in the first battle of 1911. I cannot bring shame
to this great ancestry. I cannot leave my grandfather's grave in Magab. I shall die as a martyr
beside him in the end.

ANNE BARKER: And he rallied his supporters to his cause.

MOAMMAR GADDAFI (voiceover translation): You men, women, girls and children who love Gaddafi, from
tomorrow, get out of your homes, you who support Gaddafi the revolution, Gaddafi the glory, pride
for Libya, the Libyan people at the top!

ANNE BARKER: After the speech, he was greeted by a small group of supporters, although many more
joined them in Green Square following Gaddafi's call to arms.

The night before, the same square had belonged to anti-Government protesters who again braved
bullets and beatings to repeat their call for Gaddafi to go.

The Libyan Government acknowledges 300 have already died in the unrest and Gaddafi's pledge to
purge opponents house by house has prompted new concern from the international community.

HILLARY CLINTON, US SECRETARY OF STATE: We join the international community in strongly condemning
the violence, as we've received reports of hundreds killed and many more injured. This bloodshed is
completely unacceptable. It is the responsibility of the Government of Libya to respect the
universal rights of their own people, including their right to free expression and assembly.

AMR MOUSSA, GENERAL SECRETARY OF THE ARAB LEAGUE (voiceover translation): We will stop the Libyan
delegation from participating in the Arab League meetings and all the organisations that are
followed by the Arab League until the Libyan authorities will guarantee the stability and security
of the Libyan citizens.

ANNE BARKER: But with every passing day, the number of former Gaddafi allies who are switching
their allegiance, grows. In the last 24 hours, Libyan ambassadors in Washington and Indonesia have
condemned their government's bloody crackdown.

In Libya itself, the eastern part of the country along the Egyptian border now appears to be
completely in control of the opposition. Local militias now run the area, which they refer to as
"Free Libya". The Army and police are nowhere to be seen. The local anger against Gaddafi is all
too evident.

PROTESTOR: He's not a human, he's killer. Murder.

PROTESTOR II: Gaddafi destroy Libya, now help us! Help us! Please, please help us!

ANNE BARKER: It's hard to see Colonel Gaddafi regaining control here, but there's still great
concern about the damage he may do on his way out.

Anne Barker, Lateline.

Coalition not serious about policy: Oakeshott

Coalition not serious about policy: Oakeshott

Broadcast: 23/02/2011

Reporter: Tom Iggulden

Federal independent MP Rob Oakeshott has accused the Opposition of engaging in personal attacks,
not sharing and discussing policy.

Transcript

TONY JONES, PRESENTER: After the last election, Tony Abbott couldn't convince the independents to
side with him and form government; now he's alienated one of them even further.

Rob Oakeshott's called off weekly meetings with the Opposition Leader, accusing his party of
engaging in personal attacks instead of sharing policy ideas.

From Canberra, here's our political correspondent Tom Iggulden.

TOM IGGULDEN, REPORTER: Rob Oakeshott's grown more than a beard over the summer parliamentary
break, he's also grown tired of doing business with the Opposition.

ROB OAKESHOTT, INDEPENDENT: When you look someone in the eye and you want to do business with them,
you don't go around the back and start stabbing away.

TOM IGGULDEN: The protest stems from a recent speech shadow treasurer Joe Hockey made in Mr
Oakeshott's electorate, undermining the independent among his own constituency.

ROB OAKESHOTT: The three most disappointing things about the federal election were the
independents, the most disappointing was Rob Oakeshott - it's like, come on, is this going to be a
mature working relationship?

TOM IGGULDEN: Not that that's deterring Coalition MPs from more name-calling.

DARREN CHESTER, NATIONALS MP: Rob faces a very real risk of being just seen as a Labor stooge.

ANDREW LAMING, LIBERAL MP: We're all big boys and girls down here and sometimes you've got to make
a point very clear, and if someone takes that as personal attack, that's regrettable.

TOM IGGULDEN: Mr Oakeshott's leaving the door open for the meeting to resume if the Opposition
agrees to stop undermining him.

ROB OAKESHOTT: It's a working relationship when it's working. He makes a great cup of tea and he's
good conversation.

TOM IGGULDEN: But Liberals say it's up to him to come back to the table.

GEORGE BRANDIS, SHADOW ATTORNEY-GENERAL: An independent who only will deal with one side of
Parliament, not the other side of Parliament is no longer an independent.

PENNY WONG, FINANCE MINISTER: It's a little unfair of the Coalition to have a go at him for saying,
"Look, if you're not going to treat me at least with some respect and appropriately, I'm not going
to keep engaging with you."

TOM IGGULDEN: Senator Wong was in a supportive mood, happy also to send some to her Liberal
opponent over a heartfelt newspaper article he wrote about cultural diversity.

PENNY WONG: I want to congratulate George for speaking out. I think this is precisely the sort of
bipartisanship multiculturalism should have.

GEORGE BRANDIS: I think it's very important that the Liberal Party restate emphatically, as Tony
Abbott and others have done in recent days, its very strong commitment to a multicultural
Australia.

TOM IGGULDEN: Senator Brandis' public stance follows division in the Liberal Party over how to deal
with various aspects of the immigration issue.

PENNY WONG: We've seen reports out of Shadow Cabinet that Mr Morrison's suggesting that the Liberal
Party should exploit concerns about Muslims and we've also seen Senator Cory Bernardi actually come
out and say Islam is the problem. Now these are not comments consistent with what George said
today.

TOM IGGULDEN: And while the Opposition grapples with the issue of immigration, a new survey
released today reveals Australians too are divided on the issue. A University of Western Sydney
survey of over a decade reveals that 49 per cent of Australians consider themselves to be
anti-Muslim and 12 per cent identify as outright racists.

Tom Iggulden, Lateline.

Wireless will be very competitive: Turnbull

Wireless will be very competitive: Turnbull

Broadcast: 23/02/2011

Reporter: Tony Jones

Opposition Communications spokesman Malcolm Turnbull says a one-size-fits-all approach to broadband
is reckless and extravagant.

Transcript

TONY JONES, PRESENTER: To discuss the Liberal Party's policy on multiculturalism as well as the
National Broadband Network I was joined just a short time ago in our Parliament House studio by the
Opposition's Communications spokesman, Malcolm Turnbull.

Malcolm Turnbull, thanks for joining us.

MALCOLM TURNBULL, OPPOSITION COMMUNICATIONS SPOKESMAN: Great to be with you.

TONY JONES: Why do Telstra's high-speed wireless broadband plans threaten the NBN?

MALCOLM TURNBULL: Well the NBN's business case, which is a very optimistic one and even on that
optimistic basis offers a very niggardly return to the taxpayer for the investment, assumes that
wireless-only households will increase only fractionally from where they are today.

Now the experience internationally of course is that more and more households are moving to be
wireless only, and in the United States it's in the 20, 25 per cent range, which is a lot higher
than it is here at the moment.

4G wireless is very high-speed wireless. It offers the speed of - faster speed than you can get on
fixed-line broadband today, so very fast broadband, and because of the convenience of mobility,
it'll be a very compelling competitor.

So, it's not wireless or fibre optics to the home, Tony, it's not either/or, but it will occupy,
it'll be a significant competitor to the NBN.

And, look, it's not just me saying this. I mean, every brokers analyst that's written about this
says the same thing: it will be significantly more competitive with the NBN than the NBN's
management thinks, and that's really the point.

TONY JONES: The Minister, Stephen Conroy, says wireless is actually a complementary technology.
Only fibre connections can deliver the new services, like he says, in-home specialist healthcare
and rehab services?

MALCOLM TURNBULL: Well, that's nonsense. Absolute tripe. The reality is that broadband services,
applications, if you like, are delivered over a variety of platforms.

Stephen Conroy's got this fixation about fibre-to-the-home. I'm completely baffled why he has it.
The Government's policy should be completely technology agnostic.

You know, we all - ask yourself the same question: we all get access to broadband whether it's
video or whether it's web pages or whether it's games or whatever you're doing, you do it over a
variety of platforms - wireless, ADSL over copper, you might be connected to the Foxtel cable over
HFC cable, if you've got fibre optics to your home - some homes do have it - or to your office more
likely, you use that.

So there's a variety of platforms. And this one-size-fits-all approach that the Government's taking
is really so reckless and so unnecessarily extravagant.

TONY JONES: Well, the NBN proponents say that wireless technology, even the super-speed variety, is
still limited by bandwidth, that it's in fact basic physics you're talking about here - the more
wireless users there are, the slower the network speeds, and that is the reason, the primary reason
why fibre is better?

MALCOLM TURNBULL: Well, it's a reason, but it seems to be lost on the global population. The
internet is becoming a wireless internet. I mean, this year, 2011, will be the year in which there
are more wireless internet-connected devices sold - that's to say smartphones and tablets and
iPhones and so forth - than desktops and laptops.

If you take Apple, which is probably the leading technology company in this area in the world,
their revenues are three times as high from the sale of wireless-connected devices as they are from
the desktop variety.

So, again, it's not either/or, and Conroy's right to the extent that they are complementary. Yes,
they do overlap and many people will have used both fixed-line and wireless, but a lot of people
use wireless only.

And the only point - and this is really the only point we're making - is that the Government's
foolishness is to not live up to their own principles and policy.

They came into office, Tony, and they said, "We will not undertake any major infrastructure project
without doing a cost/benefit analysis," which in this context means no more than this: saying what
is the most cost-effective way to ensure all Australians have access to fast broadband?

Now if they did that analysis they would be able - they would get an answer which wouldn't involve
fibre to every home to Australia. It would involve a mix of technologies, it would save tens of
billions of taxpayers' dollars and it would get those people who don't have good broadband now,
good broadband, fast broadband a lot sooner than they'll get it under the NBN.

TONY JONES: Did it bother your conscience at all when some of your senior Coalition colleagues
started making a political issue out of the cost of the funerals of drowned asylum seekers?

MALCOLM TURNBULL: Well, Tony, I think that's all been dealt with. I think the - you know, Scott
recognised that his remarks had been ill-timed and he apologised for that and I think we've just
got to remember that the Coalition ...

TONY JONES: Ill-timed or ill-thought-out?

MALCOLM TURNBULL: No, well, this is what he said, but I'm not going to run a commentary on Scott.
He's a very good colleague and very good friend and he's doing a good job.

TONY JONES: OK.

MALCOLM TURNBULL: Just say this to you: the Coalition is absolutely committed to a multicultural
Australia, to a non-discriminatory immigration program.

We believe that one of Australia's greatest strengths is its cultural diversity. We are the most
successful immigrant country in the world. In my own electorate, in Wentworth, nearly a third of
the people in my electorate were not born in Australia.

We have achieved an extraordinary degree of harmonious integration of people from every possible
culture in the world. It's a great achievement. We're proud of it. We are committed to a
multicultural Australia - that is a reality. That's part of our life.

TONY JONES: So Liberal policy on multiculturalism will not change?

MALCOLM TURNBULL: Absolutely not; it's the same now as it always has been, or has been for many
years, yeah.

TONY JONES: Your colleague, Senator George Brandis, felt compelled to spring to the defence of
multiculturalism in the newspaper today, as you have tonight.

MALCOLM TURNBULL: Yeah, and George was very eloquent too. He has a beautiful pen.

TONY JONES: He said that attacks on Muslims reminded him of the sort of bullying that happened in
the schoolyard against other migrant groups when he was a kid. Does it remind you of the same
thing?

MALCOLM TURNBULL: Look, I agree with George and I do remember - George and I are about the same age
and we remember the same phenomenon. Look, can I just say this to you: the - denigrating any
religion or any culture or any race is absolutely anathema and it's un-Australian, it is unhelpful
- whatever problems there might be in terms of relations between people of different backgrounds,
that sort of denigratory talk, denigrating people from one faith undermines that harmonious
relationship. And so George was very strong about that and I am too.

TONY JONES: So was Senator Cory Bernardi, another of your colleagues, un-Australian and unhelpful
when he said, "I for one don't want to eat meat butchered in the name of an ideology that is mired
in sixth century brutality and is anathema to my own values," by which he means Islam?

MALCOLM TURNBULL: Well, again, he's apologised for his remarks. He's free to eat whatever he likes,
I suppose. But the denigrating ...

TONY JONES: But is he free to say whatever he likes within the context that you were just talking
about? I mean, you said that that sort of commentary was un-Australian and unhelpful?

MALCOLM TURNBULL: No, I've not made any comment about Senator Bernardi. But what I'm saying is
people who - whether it is people denigrating Christianity or Judaism or Islam or whether they're
denigrating Greeks or Italians or Chinese, take your pick, denigrating people, religion,
denigrating people's culture, denigrating their race is not the Australian way. It is not.

Because if it were, we could not be the extraordinarily successful and diverse culture that we are.

Can I just say to you: the most successful cities and societies over history have been societies
that promoted multiculturalism. They didn't have the word. But whether it is ancient Alexandria or
Constantinople or Smirna or even, or Rome or the United States itself, diversity, recognising the
strength that you draw from other cultures and when they meet together and are bound together,
Tony, by a commitment to a shared set of political values.

You see, that is the great thing about Australia: you do not define your Australian-ness by having
a particular complexion or a particular religion or a particular ethnic background. We are defined
as Australians because of our commitment to the shared political values of this country, and that's
why our society is so inclusive.

TONY JONES: It's interesting to hear this and it makes one wonder if there's a sort of battle going
on right now for the heart and the soul of the Coalition between conservatives on the one hand and
moderates like yourself, George Brandis on the other hand.

Because a lot of statements coming out of some of your senior colleagues seem to have come straight
from the One Nation playbook in recent days?

MALCOLM TURNBULL: Well, look, I reject that. I think the views that I've expressed are held by the
vast majority if not all of my colleagues. I mean, I can't speak for everyone, but I know the mood
of the members of the House and the members of the Senate on our side and there is a real
commitment and a recognition of the strength of the diversity of Australia.

But you see it's a subtle thing. You know there used to be a time ...

TONY JONES: Is it a thing that's in danger in some way?

MALCOLM TURNBULL: No, I don't think it is, but just let me finish. There's a subtle thing. There
was a time, you know, a couple of generations ago when Australians saw themselves as being British,
and so the - if you came to Australia from another country, you were meant to sort of go into the
melting pot and come out of it British.

But we recognise now that our Australian-ness is part of that diversity. I mean, you're a Jones,
I'm a Turnbull, but we share in a part of and in effect co-own all of the cultures that make up our
country. We share in the Chinese New Year, the lunar New Year festival. We share in the Greek and
Italian festivals. It is part of our way of life.

It is the richness, the diversity of this nation that makes us so strong and we must cherish it,
because it is precious and it is almost - not quite - but almost unique in the world.

TONY JONES: I've got to just ask one final question and that is shouldn't Tony Abbott be making
these kind of statements in defence of multiculturalism rather than the former leader of the
Liberal Party?

MALCOLM TURNBULL: Well, I'm sure Tony shares my views or the views that I've expressed entirely. I
don't think he'd dissent from any of it. But it's up to him to - you know, he writes his own
material and he delivers it very eloquently when he does.

TONY JONES: Malcolm Turnbull, we'll have to leave you there. We thank you very much for coming on
the program tonight. Look forward to seeing you again.

MALCOLM TURNBULL: Great to be with you.

Partly cloudy in Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra. That is all from us. If you'd like to look back at
tonight's interviews with Ngaire Button and Malcolm Turnbull or review Lateline's stories or
transcripts you can visit our website and follow us on Twitter and Facebook. See you again
tomorrow. Goodnight.