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ABC News Breakfast -

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(generated from captions) grip on the Libyan capital.

Parliament is back in Canberra

this week but the Opposition

has been focused on people not

policy. Tony Abbott

interrupted yesterday's

Question Time to demand the

Prime Minister explain what she

knew about the events

surrounding embattled Labor MP

Craig Thomson. News 24's loyal

editor lin-Curtis has just interviewed the Leader of the

Opposition. Welcome to news

breck fs. You said yesterday

the Craig Thomson matter is

distracting the Government and

saying outside the parliament

the people are interested in

their jobs but in the last two

days the Opposition's asked two

questions about the steel

industry, three about Craig

Thomson and moved two

substantive motions about Craig

Thomson and none about

manufacturing. Isn't it you who

are distracting the

Government? I don't think

that's fair if and the Prime

Minister had been prepared to

proceed with Question Time

yesterday she would have faced

a barrage of questions on jobs,

jobs in the steel industry, the

impact of the carbon tax on the

steel industry. But you could

have raised those questions

first up. Craig Thomson was

your first question yesterday.

The fact of the matter is it is

the Government's job to resolve

this matter so that we can all

move on. As things stand, we've

got a Prime Minister in hiding,

a member in protection and a

Government in paralysis. We

also have two inquiries going

on, Fair Work Australia is

conducting an inquiry, the NSW

police are looking at it,

couldn't you leave those bodies

their inquiries and deal with to resolve the matters, finish

the pressing problems you say

after those inquiries have are facing Australia and then

reported raise it again? The

Fair Work inquiry is going on

and on and on and on. It would

be nice to see that one come to

a conclusion. The NSW police

inquiry has only just begun

and, yes, it must take its course but there are other

matters that are not being

inquired into, for instance

no-one is inquiring into the

Labor Party reimbursement of

legal fees to Craig Thomson,

the gift or the loan or

whatever it is. This is a very,

very important issue and the Prime Minister should offer

some explanations. But you say

there are nor important issues

facing Australia and yet you

haven't concentrated on them

over the last two days. But

this, the Government must

resolve this matter and then

move on. Doesn't the

Government also have to wait

for the outcome of the

inquiries. It can't decide the

matter before the NSW police

have had a look at it, can it?

But as Kathy Jackson said on

Lateline last night, Lyndal,

the low-paid members of her

union deserve and answers- And

she's referred it to the NSW

police and the union were the

only ones who gave it to Fair

Work Australia to look at. It

to They deserve some answers

and many of the answers can

only come from the Prime

Minister because none of these

inquiries are looking at things

like the Labor Party's loan to

Craig Thomson or gift to Craig

Thomson - whatever it's

been. That's just one part of

much wider allegations which

Fair Work Australia and the NSW

police are having a look at.

There's nodoubt this Government

has an integrity problem. Wherever you look this Government has integrity

Prime Minister's promises on problems, whether it be the

the carbon tax, promises on

border protection, her promises

on the surplus, this Government

has an integrity problem that

hovers over everything this

Government does. Its failure to

be trustworthy, its failure to

deliver, so they do have an

integrity problem and the

Thomson matter is participate

of that. Doesn't it look like

- given that you haven't made

much of the problems facing

manufacturing - that you're

pursuing this for political

ends. You want to get Craig Thomson out of parliament so

you can take over Government?

We want the Government to

resolve this matter so that

everyone, particularly the

Government, can move on and

tackle the real problems of our

country. You could raise

questions about that- I think

we're going around in circles

here. The Government needs to

resolve this mat sore that

everyone move on. You raise the

question of political

integrity, I'd like to ask you

about a different issue that

some may see as integrity. Should politicians honour the

written agreements they enter?

Politicians should not say one

thing before an election and do

the opposite afterwards.

Should they honour the written

agreements they enter? This is

leading us somewhere, Lyndal.

Ask the question. Yesterday

you refused to pair Simon Crean to allow him to attend Margaret

Olley's funeral despite a

written agreement, you stopped

Malcolm Turnbull, a friend of

Ms Olley's going to the

funeral, all for the motion on

a vote you were never winning.

agreement s? The Government Why did you rip up those

had noticed the evening before

that we wanteded to have a vote

at 9:00 yesterday morning so

they had good notice of

this. But Simon Crean had a

written agreement to be paired,

didn't he? We'd agreed to pair

Simon Crean but circumstances

changed. An issue of importance

came up and, Lyndal, the first

duty of every member of

parliament when parliament is

sitting is to attend the

parliament. Now, we sent

Senator George Brandis to the

memorial service- Because he's

from the Senate. The

Government could have sent

Senator Evans or Senator Conroy

so that's the situation. There

was a pairing. It was rescinded

in good time. The Government

could have sent someone else.

So you are prepared to tear up

a written agreement when it's

convenient for you? I don't

think I would characterise

pairing arrangement in quite

those solemn terms. You also

agreed to pair Prime Minister,

although you rescinded that as

well, but your office said

you'd agreed to pair her from

9:30 when she was mite meting a

foreign leader but there was a

vote taken after 9:30 and she

wasn't paired. The fact is we said to the Prime Minister the

previous evening that we wanted

to pursue the Thomson matter in

the parliament at 9:00. If

Anthony Albanese hadn't pulled

a stunt at 9:00, knowingly

pulled a stunt, the whole

Thomson mattered can have been

dealt with before 9:30. So you

didn't feel any obligation

after 9:30 to leave the chamber

so she was paired? Again ,

Lyndal, the first duty of every

member of parliament, including

the Prime Minister, including

the Opposition Leader when

parliament is sitting, is to

the parliament. I accept that

from time to time for very

pressing reasons people have

got to leave but the

Governmented could have

accommodated us and then we

could have accommodated the

Prime Minister. They willfully

failed to accommodate us in

full knowledge that it could

have been easily done to mutual

convenience and they've got to

suffer the consequences. If we

could go to one of the pressing

issues you say is facing the

nation. Manufacturing, the

industry and unions say their

biggest problem is the high

dollar. How would you deal with

that? The first thing is not

to make a bad situation worse

and that's clearly what the

carbon tax is going to do. The

industry is having problems

with the high dollar now. The

second thing is you get

Government spending down. Cut

the wasteful Government

spending because if you can get

Government spending down you

take the pressure off interest

rate and that should take the pressure

pressure off the

dollar. Opposition Leader Tony