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Lateline -

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Tonight - it.

What I can tell you about the emissions trading scheme in New Zealand is it's worked.

And we can too

New Zealand's in front. We will catch up. We'll show the same determination they have and we will
have officials working together on linking the two schemes.

This Program Is Captioned Live.

Three weeks ago, Lance Corporal Andrew Jones was shot dead by an Afghan soldier. Today the Today
the government announced that soldier has himself been killed. The news United States publicly
acknowledges for the first time that there have been contacts between America and the Taliban,
Taliban, as part of an effort to end the war in Afghanistan. While any political solution is
considered a way off, the move raises the question of what a negotiated end to the war might look
like. To discuss the issues, Defence Minister Stephen Smith will join us live from Canberra
tonight, fresh from a Cabinet meeting ahead of this week's anniversary of knifing of Kevin Rudd.
First our other headlines - protesters vept their anger outside the Greek Parliament as Prime
Minister George Papandreou tries to negotiate another bail-out package. another bail-out package.
As European leaders consider tougher sanctions against sir yark the Syrian President addresses the
nation and blames saboteurs and a foreign conspiracy for the violent protests in his country.

NZ PM lends support to Gillard's carbon push

NZ PM lends support to Gillard's carbon push

Broadcast: 20/06/2011

Reporter: Tom Iggulden

New Zealand prime minister John Key, who is on an official visit to Australia, says pricing carbon
has "worked" for his country.


ALI MOORE, PRESENTER: New Zealand's visiting prime minister summarised his country's year-old
experiment with carbon pricing with a simple judgement today: 'It worked'.

That will be a confidence booster for Julia Gillard, but Tony Abbott's used another political
manoeuvre in order to focus public anxiety about the tax on the Government.

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

TOM IGGULDEN, REPORTER: They might march to different drums politically, but when it comes to
pricing carbon Julia Gillard and New Zealand's conservative prime minister are practically comrades
in arms.

JOHN KEY, NZ PRIME MINISTER: What I can tell you about the emissions trading scheme in New Zealand
is it's worked.

TOM IGGULDEN: With an endorsement like that, little wonder Julia Gillard was keen to revive regular
cross-Tasman leaders' visits.

JULIA GILLARD, PRIME MINISTER: I was concerned we were taking some of our relationship for granted.

TOM IGGULDEN: She also wants to start a cross-Tasman carbon market.

JULIA GILLARD: New Zealand's in front; we will catch up. We'll show the same determination they
have and we will have officials working together on linking the two schemes.

TOM IGGULDEN: As the Prime Minister built cross-Tasman bridges, so did Tony Abbott.

TONY ABBOTT, OPPOSITION LEADER: I believe you've been to the gym already.

JOHN KEY: I have, been for a run, yeah, yeah.

TOM IGGULDEN: John Key watered down New Zealand's ETS, offering a bigger break to carbon emitters.

TONY ABBOTT: In this country your sister party will go further and do better. Should we inherit any
carbon tax, we won't just reduce it, we will rescind it.

TOM IGGULDEN: With both sides keen to court the Kiwi prime minister, the presentation of a
commemorative bottle of wine seemed barely adequate.

JOHN KEY: And my wife said to me, 'Boy, you completely undercooked it. You should have asked for
Western Australia.' So, ...

TOM IGGULDEN: Kevin Rudd designed Labor's first ETS, but he's no longer at the head table, toppled
a year ago on Friday. Now former Queensland premier Peter Beattie says he should exit politics

ANTHONY ALBANESE, MANAGER OF GOVT BUSINES: It's somewhat ironical for a former leader to be talking
about the right of a former leader.

ANDREW WILKIE, INDEPENDENT MP: I'm sure the ALP's well aware that that might result in a
by-election, which might not be the best thing to do right now.

TOM IGGULDEN: Tony Abbott says it makes no difference to him.

TONY ABBOTT: Essentially changing from Kevin Rudd to Julia Gillard was like changing from Burke to
Wills - they're still lost.

TOM IGGULDEN: And he wants to send them further into the political wilderness, with a move to have
a plebiscite on the carbon tax.

TONY ABBOTT: Everyone who believes in democracy should support my plebiscite. What could be fairer
than giving the people a say?

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Tony Abbott has never gotten over his election loss last August. And what we've
seen is the longest dummy spit in Australian political history.

TOM IGGULDEN: He'll need support from independents in both houses to make the plebiscite plan
happen. There's lukewarm support in the Senate.

NICK XENOPHON, INDEPENDENT SENATOR: I'm attracted to the Opposition's proposal, but there's more
work to be done on it.

TOM IGGULDEN: But the plan seems destined to lose in the House.

ROB OAKESHOTT, INDEPENDENT MP: I don't support at all the Monday surprise that we're seeing being
played out today.

TOM IGGULDEN: For all the political fun and games, there's been an unsettling reminder of how
seriously the debate's being taken outside Parliament House. A climate change campaigner says she's
been emailed a death threat and Australia National University's upgrade its security for senior
researchers after a wave of threats there.

Tom Iggulden, Lateline.

Formal talks continue on live export ban

Formal talks continue on live export ban

Broadcast: 20/06/2011


Federal Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig has attended a meeting in Jakarta in an attempt to reach an
agreement over cattle welfare.


ALI MOORE, PRESENTER: The Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig is in Jakarta meeting his Indonesian
counterpart in an attempt to reach an agreement on resuming live cattle exports.

The minister wants Indonesia to meet international standards on animal welfare which encourage but
don't insist on the use of stun guns.

Joe Ludwig says both countries are still working on how to put animal welfare standards into

JOE LUDWIG, AGRICULTURE MINISTER: When they are agreed, we can then look at how they can work in
the field with the Indonesian authorities as a partnership.

ALI MOORE: But the West Australian Agriculture Minister, who's also in Jakarta for separate
meetings, says the relationship between the two countries has been strained by the export ban and
needs some repairing.

TERRY REDMOND, WA AGRICULTURE MINISTER: Certainly there's a measure of angst from the Indonesian
Government about the speed of that decision to ban the trade.

ALI MOORE: Mr Redmond says both Indonesian and Australian businesses are suffering because of the

Ash cloud returns to cripple Adelaide flights

Ash cloud returns to cripple Adelaide flights

Broadcast: 20/06/2011


The ash cloud from a Chilean volcano has returned to airspace over Adelaide, forcing airlines to
cancel flights to and from the city.


ALI MOORE, PRESENTER: Airlines have begun cancelling domestic flights in and out of Adelaide
because of the return of an ash cloud from a volcano in Chile.

The Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre in Darwin says the cloud is on its second circuit of the Earth and
will reach South Australia early tomorrow morning.

Qantas has grounded flights in and out of Adelaide until at least 2pm and JetStar has also
cancelled some early morning flights to Adelaide.

Virgin Australia is suspending flights to and from Adelaide and Tiger Airways has cancelled morning
flights in and out of Adelaide and between Sydney and Melbourne.

Airlines will reassess the situation tomorrow morning.

Aviation authorities say the ash cloud will head east and may affect flights in Sydney and Canberra
later this week.

Greek government in crisis over debt

Greek government in crisis over debt

Broadcast: 20/06/2011

Reporter: Philip Williams

The Greek government is battling protests over its austerity cuts to reign in debt but still does
not know if it will get an EU bailout.


ALI MOORE, PRESENTER: European Union finance ministers are debating the approval of the next 12
billion euro slice of a financial rescue package for Greece.

The EU wants Greece to adopt strict austerity measures in return for the money, something the Greek
government is having trouble convincing its people is necessary.

Europe correspondent Philip Williams reports.

PHILIP WILLIAMS, REPORTER: To you pay or not to pay - that was the question facing troubled euro
finance ministers in Luxembourg as they pondered whether to give Greece the latest instalment of 12
billion euro. The answer: not yet; despite Greek assurances they would honour their part of the
bargain by slashing public spending by 28 billion euro.

EVANGELOS VENENIZELOS, GREEK FINANCE MINISTER: We can achieve our target thanks to the efforts of
our people.

PHILIP WILLIAMS: But that's an assurance that comes with a limited guarantee because convincing EU
ministers will be the easy part. Changing these protestors' opposition to further public spending
cuts is near impossible as the nation grapples with the consequences of a huge debt binge.

The prime minister is facing a no-confidence motion tomorrow. He says the nation is on the brink of
ruin if it fails to accept the reforms demanded by its debtors.

GEORGE PAPANDREOU, GREEK PRIME MINISTER (male voiceover translation): 'The consequences of a
violent bankruptcy or exit from the euro, the prime minister said, 'would be immediately
catastrophic for households, the banks and the country's credibility.'

PHILIP WILLIAMS: That's a message repeated by fellow EU finance ministers who are worried that the
Greek default could trigger a much wider Eurozone crisis.

DIDIER REYNDERS, BELGIAN FINANCE MINISTER: The first responsibility's in Greece. It's only possible
to give more money and more time if we have the clarity about the sustainability of the Greek debt.
And that's a problem, so we will see if it's possible to receive the support not only from the
government and the majority, but maybe it'll soften the opposition in Greece like in Portugal. It's
a national necessity.

OLLI REHN, EU COMMISSIONER FOR MONETARY AFFAIRS: Default is so much worse for Greece and therefore
it is in the interests of Greece to now work in favour of the packets and thus avoid default.

PHILIP WILLIAMS: But there's only so much the Greek people are willing or able to bear. Beyond the
street protests is deep concern that another 28 billion in tax increases and a 20 per cent cut in
public servants will make the country unliveable.

ROULA SARRIGIANOPOULOUS, ATHENS RESIDENT: I'm just devastated, devastated. I don't see a future, I
don't see a future for myself. And especially for my children.

PHILIP WILLIAMS: This family and millions like it have lost control of their country's finances.
They rest with the self-interested fellow Euro travellers. Everyone's sick of the endless drain,
and all of this before a second 100 billion euro Greek bailout is even negotiated.

While any Greek default would of course affect all European nations, one has said 'No more.' The
British are not interested in providing any finances for a second bailout. And mayor Boris Johnson
in London has gone even further and said, 'Cut the Greeks loose. Stop throwing good money after

Philip Williams, Lateline.

Afghan soldier who killed digger shot dead

Afghan soldier who killed digger shot dead

Broadcast: 20/06/2011

Reporter: Peter Lloyd

A rogue Afghan soldier who shot and killed Australian soldier Andrew Jones last month has been shot


ALI MOORE, PRESENTER: The Afghan soldier who shot and killed Australian infantryman lance corporal
Andrew Jones in Afghanistan last month has himself been shot dead during a security operation.

The development was announced by the Defence Minister Stephen Smith on the same day that the United
States was forced to confirm that it's involved in talks with the Taliban after a decade of
fighting that has killed thousands of foreign servicemen, including 28 Australians.

In a moment I'll be speaking to the Defence Minister Stephen Smith, but first this report from
Peter Lloyd.

PETER LLOYD, REPORTER: Army cook Andrew Jones didn't die fighting the Taliban, he was shot dead by
a supposed ally, an Afghan soldier on guard duty at a jointly-run patrol base in the Chora Valley.
The manhunt for his killer ended overnight.

STEPHEN SMITH, DEFENCE MINISTER: Shafied Ullah was killed by a coalition special forces operation.
Primarily the United States partnered with Afghan National Army. There was a limited Australian
involvement, but I'm not proposing to detail that or detail the circumstances of the operation, as
I don't in the normal course of events comment on operational detail.

PETER LLOYD: The betrayal of Corporal Jones and the deaths of so many Australian soldiers has been
slowly eating away at public support for staying in Afghanistan, with opinion polls running more
and more in favour of pulling out. After nearly a decade of fighting the Taliban, there is no
longer talk of a military victory, and now the Americans have revealed that they are talking to the

ROBERT GATES, DEFENSE SECRETARY: I think there's been outreach on the part of a number of
countries, including the United States. I would say that these contacts are very preliminary at
this point.

STEPHEN SMITH: The only time or the only way in which the Taliban will come to the table is when
they come to the conclusion that they cannot win militarily.

PETER LLOYD: Today, the Defence Minister was careful not to raise expectations.

STEPHEN SMITH: I think we're a long way from seeing a political settlement, a very long way.

PETER LLOYD: Talking to the enemy may seem like a paradox, one that runs the risk of undermining
the diggers' sense of mission and purpose. But not so according to one of the Defence Force's
former top officers. Retired general Jim Molan says it all makes sense to the soldiers.

JIM MOLAN, RETIRED MAJOR GENERAL: I think they can see that the whole aim of our strategy for at
least the last 18 months has been to force the Taliban to the negotiating table. There's an old
saying that I think our soldiers understand, and that is that you can't kill your way to success in
a counter-insurgency, but you can kill your way to forcing people to negotiate with you.

PETER LLOYD: It's not clear who the Americans are talking to, but Jim Molan is sure about what they
need to be talking about.

JIM MOLAN: The West must insist on a ceasefire, that the West must insist that the Taliban accept
the constitution, that they join the political process, that they step away from Al Qaeda and that
they make Al Qaeda information known to the Karzai Government. Now, if you can go into negotiations
on that basis, then the Taliban are no longer Taliban, they're just Afghans who have come to the

PETER LLOYD: That the Americans are the ones who initiated the talks is perhaps a bad sign. The
Taliban has always had time on its side, while the Americans don't. It's been a long and costly war
and a president with his eye on re-election is set to decide how many US troops will start leaving
for good next month. That will put pressure on Australia's government to reveal the pace and manner
of its exit strategy.

Peter Lloyd, Lateline.

US brokering peace deal with Taliban

US brokering peace deal with Taliban

Broadcast: 20/06/2011

Reporter: Ali Moore

Defence Minister Stephen Smith says it is important to keep the military pressure on the Taliban
while engaged in peace talks with them.


ALI MOORE, PRESENTER: Joining us from our Parliament House studio is the Defence Minister Stephen

Stephen Smith, thanks for taking the time to talk to Lateline tonight.


ALI MOORE: In the three weeks since the death of Lance Corporal Andrew Jones and with the
investigation so far, how much do you know about the motivation for this killing, why Shafied Ullah
did what he did?

STEPHEN SMITH: Well we - from that perspective obviously have preferred to have captured him to
enable us to question him about his motivation. And so, in very many respects, whilst this will
bring some solace or some closure to the family that the person responsible for the death of Lance
Corporal Jones has met his own demise, it does substantially make more difficult bringing to a
conclusion the investigation that has been commenced. So, we may well never know. In the same
operation, Ullah's brother was also captured. He is being questioned. He may be able to throw some
light on it, but our best witness in that respect is now gone. My instinct has always been a rogue
ANA soldier rather than a Taliban plant, but as I've said before: instinct is not a good basis;
conclusive evidence is, and we still have that investigation ongoing.

ALI MOORE: But has nothing come up in the past three weeks in terms of the investigation about this
man's background, about how he had operated previously in the field?

STEPHEN SMITH: Well, he had been undergoing training with us for about a month, he'd been in the
ANA and training in the ANA for three or four months. Suffice to say that we don't have anything
which would indicate infiltration by the Taliban. We had all of the usual checking and vetting, the
biometrics and the like, which is why he's been able to be identified in the course of yesterday
and today.

The Taliban, a few days after his terrible killing of Lance Corporal Jones, claimed it, but I put
that very much in the category of: they would do that, wouldn't they? For propaganda purposes. So,
it may well be the rogue actions of an individual disgruntled soldier, but we continue to, in a
sense, pursue the inquiry that the chief of the Defence Force formally started at the end of May on
his tragic death.

ALI MOORE: Well more broadly, US Defense Secretary Robert Gates has now confirmed there have been
contacts between the US and the Taliban in recent weeks with an eye to a political solution. How
much does Australia know about the details of these contacts, however preliminary they are?

STEPHEN SMITH: Well, we weren't consulted or advised in advance and I wouldn't expect to. But you
may recall that a few weeks ago, a couple of weeks ago, I was in Brussels, not just with Secretary
Gates, but with other NATO and International Security Assistance Force Defence ministers and I said
an a number of occasions in Brussels, including in my formal intervention, but also when I
returned, that one of the things that we were hopeful might emerge as a result of pressure,
military pressure, enforcement pressure on the Taliban, was that we might see the early signs of
reintegration and reconciliation. And it's only been as a result of the gains that we've made
militarily in the last 18 months or so that these very first early signs, what Secretary Gates has
described as very preliminary outreach, have occurred. I very much agree with the analysis that
unless there is military and combat and enforcement pressure on the Taliban, they won't come to the

ALI MOORE: But does it not seem at this point all the indications are that in fact it's not them
coming to the table, it's the allied forces or the US reaching out?

STEPHEN SMITH: Well, you can't have a one-way dialogue. And so there has been confirmed by
Secretary Gates some very preliminary outreach, a number of conversations. The United States is not
the only country or nation involved, but I'm not proposing to nominate those. They can
self-nominate if they want to.

ALI MOORE: Are we one of them?

STEPHEN SMITH: No. We have been associated or observing some very localised reintegration efforts
in Oruzgan Province, but we regard the reconciliation process or the political settlement process
as very much a matter essentially to by Afghan Government-led, and of course you would expect that
the main NATO power, the United States, Afghanistan's main partner, the United States, would be
intricately involved in that process. But I've been saying for a number of years: we won't achieve
our mission in Afghanistan of transitioning to Afghan-led security responsibility by military means
alone. It will require at some stage a political settlement, but I think we are a long way from
that, but the early signs to me reflect the fact that we have made, in our view, some substantial
military progress over the last 18 months or so.

ALI MOORE: Of course though, the Taliban doesn't speak with one voice. This must be an extremely
difficult process to even I guess know who you're talking to.

STEPHEN SMITH: And Secretary Gates has made this very point himself that one needs to be very
careful about who one is talking to and whom they are representing. And so he's been at pains - and
I make no bones about the fact that I share his analysis. He's been at pains to make that point,
but also at pains to make the point that it's very early days, but the only way that one might get
the appropriate people to the table or keep the appropriate people at the table is by keeping the
enforcement pressure on, by continuing to show the Taliban that as a result of the surge both of US
and NATO and Afghan National Security Force numbers, and as a result of the success of the special
forces operations, that they can't win militarily, and as a consequence it's best to sue for peace.

ALI MOORE: Does that mean though that it makes it even more important that the American drawdown
that president Obama is due to announce in the next couple of weeks - how many troops will come out
- that it's very important that's a minimal number to keep the pressure on?

STEPHEN SMITH: Well I've made a number of points about that in the past. Firstly, we should wait
and see that drawdown, firstly. Secondly, I've never seen any inconsistency with the transition to
Afghan-led security responsibility by the end of 2014 with a drawdown of some of the United States'
forces after we've seen a surge of some 30 to 40 US and NATO troops. But also over that same
period, we've also seen - this is very much underappreciated - a surge of some 70,000 to 80,000
Afghan-trained Army and police officers.

But what is essential is to continue to keep the pressure on the Taliban. I've made the point in
the past that Australia is the largest non-NATO contributor, the 10th largest contributor overall,
but most importantly in the current context, we're also the third largest special forces
contributor, and it's been a combination of the surge and the success of the special forces
operations which has started to degrade and denude the Taliban effectiveness in Afghanistan.

ALI MOORE: So in your view, what would be the benchmark for a political solution? What would be the
minimum? Because it would appear that any final peace negotiation, for example, would have to
involve the Taliban leader Mullah Omar, but is that not difficult? He's currently on the most
wanted list of terrorists.

STEPHEN SMITH: Well, Mullah Omar is difficult per se, but what are some of the essential
pre-conditions, and Australia has made these points clear over the last couple of years. We
strongly support the London conference on Afghanistan where the centrepiece of that conference a
couple of years ago was to give and bring support to the notion that we had to have a political
strategy not just a military strategy, that in the end it would not be won by military means alone.
But some of the preconditions are fundamental - that an individual has to renounce violence, that
an individual has to agree to abide by the Afghan constitution. And hardcore international
ideologues and terrorists won't give that undertaking and won't proceed down that path, because
their view is that decisions can only be made through the force of a barrel of a gun. But there
will be people who want to take part in Afghan society, either at the low level - and we're seeing
as I say some early signs of reintegration where people who have ran with the Taliban - run with
the Taliban are now seeing that there is a better alternative for them, a better economic and
social life for them and they are disavowing the Taliban. But equally, at the higher level, at the
senior levels, there has to be an appreciation that there may well be a role for them to play in
Afghan society, but they have to abide by the Afghan constitution, disavow terrorism as an act of
public policy and lay down their arms.

ALI MOORE: Just a question on the timing of this, because of course America has consistently
refused to confirm or deny any contact with the Taliban. And the reason that Gates had to make the
admission was because president Karzai in fact confirmed the talks. Why do you think he did that
now and is there a risk that it undermines the attempts to build trust?

STEPHEN SMITH: Well there've been a number of speculative pieces in a range of international
newspapers, not just in the United States, but also in Europe.

ALI MOORE: But was it up to Karzai to confirm them?

STEPHEN SMITH: Well firstly, I don't think that, if you like, the story came as a surprise. Indeed,
if you have a look at my general remarks in Brussels a couple of weeks ago, I made this point on a
number of occasions that the change in what Australia regards as the change in circumstances so far
as Taliban effectiveness was concerned might well have the end result of reconciliation,
reintegration and political rapprochement talks begin to emerge. So I don't think it's come as a
surprise. Whether - and I haven't obviously had the conversation with secretary Gates. Whether he
was responding to president Karzai or whether he was just putting it out there as one of his final
acts of secretary of state for defence, you'd have to ask them.

In the end, I frankly don't think it much matters. I think there are some significant fundamental
points to be made about the fact that the story has emerged. One fundamental point is we can't
achieve our objectives in Afghanistan by military means alone, so we have to get into a political
conversation at some stage; and secondly, the only basis on which the Taliban, any of their
representatives, would come to the table is if they are starting to believe they're under military
or combat pressure.

ALI MOORE: Minister, if we can turn to events closer to home. This week of course marks the
anniversary of the knifing of Kevin Rudd. You've just come from a Cabinet meeting tonight. What was
the mood inside that meeting?

STEPHEN SMITH: Well I never talk about Cabinet meetings. In fact technically I'm not even supposed
to confirm I've been at one, but yes, I have been at one. We were getting on with the business of
government. We're getting on with the hard slog of governing.

ALI MOORE: And the hard slog. How do you explain why the Government is so on the nose right now?

STEPHEN SMITH: Well, we are dealing with a range of difficult and complex issues that we are trying
to - and in the face of those difficult and complex issues we're trying to effect reform that we
very strongly believe is in our national interest. We very strongly believe that there is too much
carbon in our economy and in our atmosphere, and as a consequence of that we have to effect a large

ALI MOORE: Do you think that as a government you've handled that process the right way - announcing
a carbon tax, but then no detail, allowing the Opposition to come in and fill in the blanks?

STEPHEN SMITH: Well, it's a long-haul race, it's a long-haul race. And whether it's emissions
trading and too much carbon or pollution in our atmosphere, whether it's a mineral resources tax,
in the end, once these reforms are effected by the Parliament and once they start to become part of
Australian life and Australian society, then the Australian community will make its own judgment
about whether the scare campaigns that Tony Abbott is running are real or illusory.

We have more than two years to go in this current term of Parliament. The next election will be the
third quarter of 2013 - September, October, November. There's a lot of water to go under the bridge
between now and then, and we will just do the tough job of working through these issues in a calm
way, and in the end the community will make its own judgment about the performance of the

ALI MOORE: Two things to put to you from two senior members of the party. Do you agree with Peter
Beattie, who wrote this morning that, '... what is killing the Government electorally is continuing
division over the leadership change.' He says, 'Kevin Rudd should spend some time on the backbench
before making a dignified exit.'

STEPHEN SMITH: Well, I think Kevin Rudd's a very hardworking Foreign Minister and he's doing that
job very well. And Kevin himself over the last two or three days has made the point very strongly
that we're all fully supportive of the Prime Minister. There's no vacancy for the position and
we're all proposing just to get on with it. So there's plenty of what I'd describe as - what I
would describe as idle speculation. My attitude, the Prime Minister's attitude, the Government's
attitude is that we're getting on with the hard and tough work of reform and we're very happy in a
couple of years' time for the community to make their judgment about that.

ALI MOORE: Interesting; you call it idle speculation, but I guess the point about what Kevin Rudd
was saying in various weekend media appearances was that he has learnt from his mistakes. Many were
seeing that as putting his hand up because why else would you need to say that you've learnt from
your mistakes as Prime Minister?

STEPHEN SMITH: Well, you only put your hand up when there's a vacancy and there's no vacancy,
firstly. Secondly, ...

ALI MOORE: That's not what happened last time round; there was no vacancy.

STEPHEN SMITH: In any walk of life, after a period of reflection, you're entitled to put on the
public record if you want to the mistakes that you've made. Kevin has indicated that in the course
of his time as Prime Minister, he made a range or a series or a number of mistakes. It's entirely a
matter for him how he reflects upon that. But prime ministers in the past have done that in their
own way. In my view, he's entitled to do that. In recent times he said that as prime minister, he
made what he regarded were a range of mistakes, from minor to serious. That's a matter for his own

ALI MOORE: What about Senator Faulkner, who says that the party's become too reliant on focus
groups and it's lost a generation of activists and risks losing a generation of voters as well if
it doesn't become more inclusive and brook dissent?

STEPHEN SMITH: Well, a range of issues there. Firstly, if we were focus research exclusively-driven
then I would be on your show tonight saying that we weren't on proposing to stick the course in
Afghanistan. And in a different context, we wouldn't be out there saying that we were making
representations to Indonesia about capital punishment. We would be saying that we weren't proposing
to continue our longstanding objection to capital punishment. So I make no apology for a political
party using modern campaigning tools to try and win elections. And Tony Abbott did that very well
last time and nearly won. There's a fundamental difference between having a clear-sighted view of
public policy and the course that you need to chart for a nation's future and trying to win a poll.
Tony Abbott is out there ...

ALI MOORE: Is Senator Faulkner out of line?

STEPHEN SMITH: Absolutely not. I've said in the past: I very strongly believe that the great
challenge for the party in the modern era is: how do we turn a party that continues essentially to
be based on an industrialised society as we knew it in the last couple of centuries, how do we
change that party into a party which is relevant to the modern world, to modern communications? In
the old days, people who supported Labor or voted Labor or who looked to the Labor Party as their
institution in society would go to a town hall meeting, a branch meeting or a trade union meeting
to get their information and in some respects to get their advice. Now if it's a choice between
watching ABC24 or going online at 7.30 on a Monday night or going to a branch meeting, then I know
what people do. They vote with modern communications and modern means of information. So my view is
that to try and tap into the vast numbers of people in Australian society who continue to look to
Labor as their political party, we need to engage them. I would move to a system of registered
party supporters so that we could have an online communication with them ...

ALI MOORE: A system of primaries in essence?

STEPHEN SMITH: Yep, absolutely. And I'd give them a role in pre-selection. I think you've got to
roll the dice in a lateral and a creative way. Because John's central point is right: if the party
does not adapt and adopt to modern circumstances, then we will fall by the wayside.

ALI MOORE: Well, thank you very much, Stephen Smith, for your time. All issues will be discussed at
the national conference no doubt later in the year. Many thanks for joining us.

STEPHEN SMITH: Absolutely. Wouldn't miss it for the world.

ALI MOORE: Thanks for joining us.

STEPHEN SMITH: Thanks very much.

Syrian leader calls for dialogue with protesters

Syrian leader calls for dialogue with protesters

Broadcast: 20/06/2011


Syrian president Bashar al-Assad has called for the formation of a dialogue authority to bring
anti-government protests to an end.


ALI MOORE, PRESENTER: Syrian president Bashar al-Assad has called for dialogue to bring an end to
three months of unrest and anti-government protests.

Addressing the nation for the first time in two months, president Assad said he would establish a
national dialogue authority which would be made up of a hundred people of different backgrounds.

He blamed the protests on a conspiracy from abroad and said that Syria must solve its own problems.

To that end, president Assad promised some constitutional and political reform, but not until
stability had been restored, warning that saboteurs were hijacking legitimate calls for change.

While president Assad was talking, the European Union was preparing to expand sanctions against
Syria increasing the number of people and companies to have their assets frozen and be banned from

NATO admits air strike killed civilians

NATO admits air strike killed civilians

Broadcast: 20/06/2011

Reporter: Jeremy Bowen

NATO has blamed a fault in a weapons system for a botched air raid overnight that killed civilians
in Libya.


ALI MOORE, PRESENTER: NATO is on the defensive over a botched raid that's killed civilians. The
Libyan Government says two babies were among nine people who died when a residential area of
Tripoli was hit during an overnight air strike. NATO has expressed regret over the deaths, blaming
a weapons system failure.

The BBC's Jeremy Bowen reports.

JEREMY BOWEN, REPORTER: It looked like an air strike from the moment it happened at 10 past one in
the morning. NATO says it was attacking a missile site, but one weapon hit these buildings. They're
about a mile from a military airfield but the area, Souk Al-Juma, is solidly residential.

The body of a woman was pulled out of the rubble at what had been her family's home.

MIKE BRACKEN, NATO SPOKESMAN: NATO regrets the loss of innocent civilian lives and takes great care
in conducting strikes against a regime determined to use violence against its own citizens.

JEREMY BOWEN: The Libyan Government says the houses were deliberately targeted to break the will of
the people.

VOX POP: NATO is not good. You see NATO, what you do. You see the problem, NATO.

JEREMY BOWEN: NATO's mandate is to protect civilians.

Killing civilians in Tripoli will strengthen those NATO members who never wanted to try military
force to end the Gaddafi regime. They might press harder for a diplomatic solution. The regime sees
negotiations as its best chance.

MOUSSA IBRAHIM, LIBYAN GOVERNMENT SPOKESMAN: They need to stop this madness, Jeremy, and you need
to convey this truth. You need - the world needs to test us, test our promises when we say we want

JEREMY BOWEN: At the bomb site, there was still a sense of shock this afternoon and no-one was
there to collect fragments of the lives that were lost.

VOX POP II: It's the mistake of NATO, the mistake of NATO. It's a mistake of United States of
America, it's the mistake of British, it's the mistake of France.

JEREMY BOWEN: The death of civilians are going to reinforce all the big questions about the NATO
mission, about its methods, about what it's achieving and most of all, about how it ends.

Now to the weather. Very windy with a possible shower for Sydney. I f you want to look back I f you
want to look back at tonight's interview or review any of our stories or transcript s, you can
visit our web site and also follow us on Facebook and Twitter. I will see you again tomorrow.