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ABC News Breakfast -

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(generated from captions) being sacked.

A new report has found

Australians living in the major

cities are increasingly leaving

their car in the garage and opting for public transport

instead. They're also using

less electricity and producing

much less household waste. For

more, the Federal Transport

Minister Anthony Albanese joins

us on the phone. You must be

heartened by this shift

according to the study to

public transport and away from

cars some. I am indeed.

There's many positive things in

today's report. This is the

second state of Australian

cities report. The first one

was downloaded by some 575,000

Australians in full. I found

that remarkable and it

certainly exceeded expectation.

I think what that shows is that

we are the most urbanised

country on the planet. Cities

do generate 80% of our wealth

and citizens themselves are eshowing a great deal of

interest in the way that our

cities function knun of the

things they're doing is taking

action themselves. Why are

people increasingly decidinging

to leave the car in the garage

and hop on a tram, train or

bus? There's interest ing

things in the report. One of

the things it shows is that

people are tending to live

closer to where they work.

That's a really positive

development, so people are

catching public transport.

People are also more likely to

walk to work and we're more

likely to buy a new bicycle

than buy a new car so all of

that is positive in terms of

the carbon footprint that

people leave in terms of

transport iningsus but also

positive in terms of

lifestyles. I think people feel

more relaxed to sit on a train

than to sit in traffic driving

to work. The study also shows

there's been a fall in net

overseas migration to Australia

of more than 25%. Is that a

worry to you at a time when

many industries are crying out

that they need people with

skills and need people from overseas care of skilled

migration? I think it reflects

changes that have occurred in

migration patterns. We're seeing in

seeing in part a change in the

number of Australians who are

travelling overseas or living

overseas. We see that changing.

We've also seen the sort of

industries which are driving

the Australian economy change.

Mining has increased for the

first time, has taken over

manufacturing as our second-largest industry after

the finance sector. If I can

keep you on matters transport,

if we move from on the road to

in the skies, you would have

seen the comments reported in

the papers this morning from

Alan Joyce, the Qantas boss,

where he's now going to the

point of threatening to sack

Qantas staff if that concerted

industrial action continues.

Those, Anthony Albanese, are

the sort of comments not

designed to tamp down passions

in this dispute, are they? I

think both sides in this

dispute need to take a bit of a

deep breath and remember that

we do have common interests

here. There's a common interest

of the workforce in having a

successful company to work for

and I think that both sides in

the dispute need to apply a bit

of common sense, need to be

flexible and need to get this

agreement done. They're not

exactly taking a deep breath.

Surely it's time, Minister, to

consider the Federal Government

here steppinging in and banging

heads together and trying to

get some resolution to this

dispute. We have an online

travel company, Web Jet, this morning almost pleading with

the Government to do that,

worrying about the loss of

business leading up to the very

busy Christmas period. I

assure you - and you'd be

surprised if this wasn't the

case - that I've had more

discussions with the company

and with the unions in the last

weeks than I had in the

previous year. The Government

is certainly encouraging and

discussing with both sides. It

a matter of there are

provisions of course in the

Fair Work Australia Act for the

Government to intervene if this

dispute gets to the point

whereby it's a threat to the

national economic interest.

Just before we go, Minister, it

looks as though the Queensland

ombudsman, Allan Asher, will

today resign after the

controversy where he colluded

with a Greens Senator. Is this

the right decision? I think

the ombudsman has a position

whereby he or she is supposed

to look at probity and I think

that his action failed that

test, that he himself is

supposed to preside over. Thank