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Rudd urges voters to forgive Labor

Rudd urges voters to forgive Labor

Broadcast: 04/08/2010

Reporter: Dana Robertson

Abbott has announced incentives for employing older people, and Gillard promises to change payment
of the baby bonus.

Transcript

TONY JONES, PRESENTER: The former prime minister Kevin Rudd has tonight given his first formal
interview of the election campaign.

And earlier on the campaign trail, Tony Abbott announced incentives to encourage employers to take
on elderly people, while Julia Gillard promised changes to the payment of the baby bonus.

From Canberra, Dana Robertson reports.

DANA ROBERTSON, REPORTER: For six weeks, Kevin Rudd's held his tongue. But not anymore.

KEVIN RUDD, FMR PRIME MINISTER (on ABC Radio National): The future of KM Rudd is one thing; the
future of the country is actually much bigger because it affects 22 million of us, not just one of
us.

DANA ROBERTSON: Mr Rudd says he won't be sidetracked by what might have been and his main aim is to
ensure the Labor government retained power.

KEVIN RUDD: The bottom line is I can't just stand idly by at the prospect of Mr Abbott sliding into
office by default. It's hard to build things up. It's very easy for people like Mr Abbott to tear
them down and I'm not about to stand idly by to allow Mr Abbott to just cruise into office, as he
would hope, without scrutiny.

DANA ROBERTSON: Mr Rudd denies he's the source of the Cabinet leaks against Julia Gillard and says
he will attend Labor's campaign launch as long as he's not a distraction, and he's urged people not
to vote against the Government as a protest against the way he was treated.

KEVIN RUDD: Whatever their feelings are about recent developments and recent events relating to me,
that that's of second and third and fourth-level importance. What's of first-level importance,
absolute first-level importance, is the future direction of the country.

DANA ROBERTSON: And two and a half weeks into the campaign, it's on for young and old. Tony
Abbott's pulled on the whites to take on a growing voting block at their own game.

The Opposition's promising help to get unemployed people over 50 back into the workforce. Employers
would receive $3,000 if they give someone a job for more than six months.

TONY ABBOTT, OPPOSITION LEADER: We all know that there is in fact serious discrimination against
older people in the workforce.

Mr Abbott says the scheme would cost the Government nothing, because it'd no longer be paying the
dole.

BRONWYN BISHOP, OPPOSITION SENIORS SPOKESWOMAN: You are a vital part of our society and our
economy.

JULIA GILLARD, PRIME MINISTER: On the policy he's announced today, where are the costings?

DANA ROBERTSON: Julia Gillard's targeting a different demographic. After the electoral poison of
the so-called private schools hit list in 2004, Labor's shied away from shaking up school funding.

Even after six years, the Prime Minister's playing it safe.

JULIA GILLARD: I want every parent who votes in this election to know what funding they will get
for their local school from me as Prime Minister.

DANA ROBERTSON: She's guaranteed no changes to school funding until at least 2013.

Teacher unions have accused her of caving in to private schools.

But Ms Gillard's trying to turn the tables, accusing Tony Abbott of ripping money from the public
system.

JULIA GILLARD: Mr Abbott will be standing there with his list of cutbacks.

DANA ROBERTSON: For new parents, the Prime Minister's promising access to a $500 baby bonus lump
sum, and families with older children will be able to get an advance on their family benefits in
times of trouble.

JULIA GILLARD: The washing machine breaks down, the car breaks down, your son or your daughter gets
selected for the tennis team and they need a new racket.

DANA ROBERTSON: At the halfway point of this campaign, Tony Abbott's gaining confidence. He's now
declaring the election is winnable and says Julia Gillard's campaign is in deep trouble.

Whether or not Kevin Rudd's words prove a help or a hindrance for Labor won't be known for another
17 days. But they will undoubtedly be yet another distraction from the Gillard campaign tomorrow.

Dana Robertson, Lateline.

Media self-regulation has failed: Keating

Media self-regulation has failed: Keating

Broadcast: 04/08/2010

Reporter: Hamish Fitzsimmons

Former Labor prime minister Paul Keating is calling for laws enshrining an individual's right to
privacy.

Transcript

TONY JONES, PRESENTER: The former Labor prime minister Paul Keating is calling for the introduction
of laws to enshrine an individual's right to privacy to counter unwarranted media intrusions.

Speaking in Melbourne tonight, Mr Keating said self-regulation by the media has failed and it's
time for the law to step in.

Hamish Fitzsimmons reports.

HAMISH FITZSIMMONS, REPORTER: For Paul Keating, privacy is under attack.

PAUL KEATING, FMR PRIME MINISTER: On a range of fronts - electronic surveillance, terrorism laws,
growing police powers, these peek-and-seek provisions, police coming to your home, cleaning your
computer, putting bugs in your telephone, business practices associated with information mining and
marketing and new technologies.

HAMISH FITZSIMMONS: The demand for information, however trivial or personal, has exploded with the
growth of new platforms like the internet and social media and it doesn't rule out basic rights,
according to Mr Keating. He cites as example the stories involving sometimes sordid detail
regarding athlete Candice Falzon, model Lara Bingle and NSW politician David Campbell.

PAUL KEATING: Whole industries now revolve around so-called celebrity, fame, rumour and gossip,
often more correctly straight fiction, which is published these days often by media organisations.
These organisations proclaim the importance of free speech in the dissemination of news, but
clearly are more at home in the entertainment business.

HAMISH FITZSIMMONS: In 2008 the Australian Law Reform Commission recommended the introduction of
laws to protect privacy. The big ticket item was that people could sue for an unwarranted breach of
their privacy, which Paul Keating wants to see made law.

PAUL KEATING: What the Law Reform Commission has put on offer is a proposal to remove uncertain and
possibly haphazard and fragmented development of the law in favour of a unitary approach flowing
from national legislation.

HAMISH FITZSIMMONS: Mr Keating has long taken issue with media intrusions into his private life,
including his business affairs, his marriage and more recently an alleged driving infringement. Mr
Keating wants laws to protect his and others' privacy because he says self-regulation by media
organisations has failed.

PAUL KEATING: It is naive in the extreme to believe that a clutch of large companies, in this case
media companies, will or can conduct their affairs on some sorta trustee basis, having permanent
regard for the public interest, leaving these companies to actually determine what that public
interest is.

HAMISH FITZSIMMONS: The solution? Mr Keating wants better training for journalists about what
constitutes the public interest and an enforceable, uniform code of ethics.

Media commentators like former editor of Melbourne's Age newspaper Michael Gawenda doubt that's
workable and think having lawyers and judges determine what the public interest is could be
dangerous.

MICHAEL GAWENDA, CENTRE FOR ADVANCED JOURNALISM: Judges and lawyers and politicians don't
necessarily have the same interests in terms of the public's right to know things that we
journalists have traditionally thought was a right, and that's my major concern: that we're gonna
hand this - we're gonna have to hand things over because of our failures, basically, to judges and
lawyers to decide what's in the public interest.

HAMISH FITZSIMMONS: The Federal Government has indicated it will change privacy laws following the
Law Reform Commission's report.

Hamish Fitzsimmons, Lateline.

Labor links Abbott to tobacco industry fight

Labor links Abbott to tobacco industry fight

Broadcast: 04/08/2010

Reporter: Peter Lloyd

Lateline has uncovered more details on who is behind efforts to derail a looming ban on cigarette
packet branding.

Transcript

TONY JONES, PRESENTER: Federal Labor is attempting to link Tony Abbott and the Liberal Party to the
tobacco industry's fight against a looming ban on logos and branding on cigarette packets.

From 2012, cigarettes will be sold in plain, standardised packs carrying large, graphic warnings
against smoking.

Anti-smoking groups and health advocates have hailed the changes as groundbreaking when the
Government announced them in April.

Well last night, Lateline revealed the tobacco industry has plans to halt that reform and tonight
we have more on precisely who's behind efforts to derail the plan.

Peter Lloyd reports.

PETER LLOYD, REPORTER: He may be enthusiastic about his own health, but Tony Abbott leads a party
that takes hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations from big tobacco. When asked if he would
commit a Coalition government to Labor's plan for plain packaging for cigarettes due to come into
effect from January 2012, he said only this:

TONY ABBOTT, OPPOSITION LEADER: We'll certainly consider that in government.

PETER LLOYD: Last night, Lateline revealed that three global tobacco manufacturers - Imperial,
British American Tobacco and Philip Morris - are funding a media campaign by shopkeepers who want
the policy overturned.

SHERYLE MOON, ALLIANCE OF AUSTRALIAN RETAILERS: I do want to make it very clear that the Alliance
is in this for the long term.

PETER LLOYD: How deep are the pockets?

SHERYLE MOON: Again, it depends on how long the campaign runs. However we do want to see the policy
overturned.

PETER LLOYD: Sheryle Moon's newly-registered Alliance of Australian Retailers is the group
reportedly receiving $5 million from big tobacco. A newspaper and TV campaign rolls out from
tomorrow.

The group receives media advice from a recently-established public relations and lobbying firm
called the Civic Group. Civic directors include Andres Puig, a former Victoria ALP state secretary,
and Jason Aldworth, an aspiring Liberal candidate and former director of Crosby Textor, the market
research and polling company which advises the Liberal Party.

Today, Crosby Textor issued a statement denying any involvement in the campaign against proposed
laws on plain packaging for tobacco.

CROSBY TEXTOR STATEMENT (male voiceover): "Crosby Textor is not involved in any capacity with the
Alliance of Australian Retailers and any suggestion to the contrary is completely false."

PETER LLOYD: On the hustings, Tony Abbott too was forced to deny connections to the campaign.

JOURNALIST: Are you personally or anyone in the Liberal Party behind the latest advertising from
tobacco against the Government?

TONY ABBOTT: The Coalition has absolutely nothing to do with it.

JOURNALIST: And you're ...

TONY ABBOTT: Absolutely nothing to do with it.

PETER LLOYD: Campaigning in Queensland, Julia Gillard challenged the Liberals to a ban of a
different kind.

JULIA GILLARD, PRIME MINISTER: The Labor Party doesn't take donations from tobacco companies. I
think that's wrong. I think Mr Abbott needs to come clean about what participation the Liberal
Party has in the tobacco campaign about contemporary donations by tobacco companies. I think
Australians are pretty worried that Mr Abbott's health policy is hostage to the influence of the
tobacco giants.

PETER LLOYD: Labor no longer accepts political donations from tobacco companies. The most
up-to-date figures show the Liberal Party in just one year receiving $158,000 from Philip Morris
and $140,000 from British American Tobacco.

Later in the day, the Labor leader returned to the question of Tony Abbott's apparent equivocation
on plain packaging laws.

JULIA GILLARD: On 30th of April we had a debate about plain paper packaging where I was advocating
it. To which I said, during the debate, me speaking, "'The plain paper packaging: yes or no? Are
you going to keep taking tobacco donations?' Mr Abbott: 'Fine, fine, fine. If it shuts you up for a
second, yes, Julia.'"

PETER LLOYD: The man who chaired the taskforce that recommended plain packaging says Tony Abbott
must declare his hand.

ROB MOODIE, CHAIR, NATIONAL PREVENTATIVE HEALTH TASKFORCE: Tomorrow they should say they're gonna
support this legislation for plain packaging.

PETER LLOYD: Peter Lloyd, Lateline.

Rudd dominates Labor headlines

Rudd dominates Labor headlines

Broadcast: 04/08/2010

Reporter: Tony Jones

Infrastructure Minister Anthony Albanese faces off against Liberal Senator George Brandis for
tonight's election debate.

Transcript

TONY JONES, PRESENTER: Here is our regular campaign debate.

And we're joined in the studio by Anthony Albanese, Minister for Infrastructure, and in Brisbane by
Liberal senator George Brandis, who's also the Shadow Attorney-General.

Thanks to both of you for being here.

But, now tonight, Kevin Rudd has given a 16-minute interview to Radio National's Late Night Live.

He's denied being the leaker of negative stories about Julia Gillard, he said he's committed to a
Labor victory and that he's seeking to work in government but is relaxed about which position he
could hold.

Supportive words, but regardless, Labor is facing another day of Kevin Rudd dominating the
headlines.

Anthony Albanese, should he have remained silent?

ANTHONY ALBANESE, INFRASTRUCTURE MINISTER: No. He's made it clear that he's going to campaign for
the re-election of the Labor Government and Julia Gillard as the Prime Minister. He of course is
our candidate for Griffith in the election and Julia has indicated that he would play a key role in
a future government, post-August 21.

TONY JONES: Was this a campaign-authorised interview, or is this something that's come as a
surprise to you all?

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Oh, look, I have no idea, but it's not surprising that Kevin Rudd is doing what
he said he would do. He said once he'd overcome his health issues, and obviously they're still
there. You don't overcome such a serious operation in a matter of days. But clearly, he's now able
to conduct a radio interview and he's done that.

TONY JONES: Have you spoken to him about this.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: I certainly have spoken to him in recent days, and, you know, it's a tough
operation that he's had, but he's determined, as are all of us, to ensure that the federal Labor
Government is re-elected because he and I know what a threat Tony Abbott represents to the future
of this country.

TONY JONES: I've gotta stick with you just for a minute, before I go to George Brandis. Did you ask
him whether this was a good idea, doing an interview like this?

ANTHONY ALBANESE: I didn't ask him about whether, prior to - or him doing the interview, that's his
decision.

TONY JONES: But you're supportive of his decision to do this interview because it will dominate the
headlines tomorrow when Julia Gillard's trying to dominate the headlines.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: He's going to campaign, and he's made that very clear, as are all the Labor team.

TONY JONES: George Brandis. Are you surprised that Kevin Rudd's broken his silence, first of all?
And what impact do you think it'll have if he's actually very supportive, as it sounds, of the
Government?

GEORGE BRANDIS, SHADOW ATTORNEY-GENERAL: Well, um, look, it's not really for me to comment. I
haven't seen or heard the interview yet, Tony. Um, I don't really want to get in the way of the
Labor Party's ongoing blood feud; that's really a matter for them.

But, I note that you - apparently Mr Rudd has emphatically denied being the leaker. If that's true,
and the Liberal Party have never, by the way, accused Mr Rudd of being the leaker. That accusation
has come from Labor Party figures like Mr Latham. But if that's true, we wonder which current
Cabinet minister ...

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Mark Latham left the Labor Party a while ago, George.

GEORGE BRANDIS: We wonder which - well, I think most people, Anthony, regard Mark Latham as a Labor
Party figure. After all, it's only two elections ago that you people wanted to make him prime
minister.

TONY JONES: I think we might jump beyond Mark Latham for the purposes of this discussion.

GEORGE BRANDIS: Indeed. But my point is: if it be the case that Mr Rudd isn't the leaker, then that
begs a very important question: which current Cabinet minister or Cabinet ministers was the leaker?

And we know that there must be at least one current Cabinet minister or Cabinet ministers who was
the leaker because Monday's Financial Review contained a blow-by-blow description of the Cabinet
discussion post the political assassination of Mr Rudd, when we know he wasn't at the Cabinet
meeting when climate change policy was discussed.

TONY JONES: Anthony Albanese, it is a good point. If it's not him, it has to be someone very senior
currently in the Government.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Oh, look, this sorta speculation is, I think, of little consequence in terms of
the issues that are facing the Australian people. They're concerned about ...

TONY JONES: But here we are - but, seriously, here we are again talking about Kevin Rudd because
he's done an interview tonight and he's now back in the spotlight. I mean, he's taken it away from
you, your policies, from Julia Gillard. I mean, should he remain silent?

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Not right. Not right. He's done an interview about the importance of re-electing
Julia Gillard as Prime Minister, about why it's important that we not have a prime minister who
thinks that climate change is crap, about why it's important we don't have a prime minister who
wants to bring back WorkChoices, about why it's important we don't have a prime minister that wants
to make savage cuts to trades training centres, to GP super clinics, to national infrastructure.

George raised the Financial Review. I mean, I note that today there's talk about a mini-Budget from
Joe Hockey. The last time the Opposition - the Coalition came to government, they immediately cut
$2 billion from our roads budget.

And as Infrastructure Minister I'm very concerned that the Coalition have learnt nothing and they
would continue to do what they've always done, which is not pay due regard to infrastructure and
skills and building the national economy.

TONY JONES: Alright. I'm gonna press this Kevin Rudd issue for one more question, because he said,
evidently, "I can't stand idly by with Tony Abbott sliding into office by default." I mean, he
appears to be indicating that that's what's happening under the now new Julia Gillard, or "real
Julia Gillard"-led campaign.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: No, he's indicating his opposition to Tony Abbott and his commitment to the
election of Julia Gillard on August 21. Because that's important for all those who are passionate
about the nation moving forward.

He refers specifically in tonight's interview, for example about the National Broadband Network,
something of which all of us are very proud. Moving Australia into the digital economy, what we
need to do for the 21st Century.

And we simply can't afford to go backwards with Tony Abbott, with his extreme right-wing agenda
that he holds on not just economic policy, but of course on social policy as well.

TONY JONES: Alright. George Brandis, if Kevin Rudd does come out and start campaigning openly for
Julia Gillard, being supportive of the Government, that is damaging, is it not, for Tony Abbott's
campaign?

GEORGE BRANDIS: Well, look, Tony Abbott's campaign is positively focused. It doesn't rely upon the
fear and the kind of boilerplate rhetoric that we've just heard from Anthony Albanese, which is
essentially all the Labor Party's got left as its own campaign has descended from confusion into
low farce.

Now what Mr Rudd chooses to do, what the Labor Party chooses to do with these two rival politicians
- Ms Gillard and Mr Rudd - is really a matter for it. We're not gonna be distracted or deflected in
what we have to say to the Australian people, our message that only a change of government will
stop the boats, will stop the new tax, ...

ANTHONY ALBANESE: This is a positive message. I'm waiting for the positive message, George.

GEORGE BRANDIS: ... will stop the waste and reduce government spending and reduce the debt. Now,
that's what Tony Abbott has been saying. Those are the four core promises that a Coalition
government makes to the Australian people.

And if the Labor Party sort of engages in this dance of death between Julia Gillard and Kevin Rudd,
you know, it's a distraction, perhaps, but we're not gonna be distracted by it ourselves.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: But Tony, ...

TONY JONES: I just want to interpose a question here, because, I mean, you've got, as I understand
it, a big infrastructure announcement to make tomorrow. Kevin Rudd's interview's going to take it
off the front pages, isn't it?

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Well, tomorrow we will be - I'll be speaking to the Infrastructure Partnerships
Australia conference in Melbourne and we'll be announcing a high-level feasibility study - $20
million for high-speed rail between Newcastle and Sydney is the first stage for what would an East
Coast high-speed rail link that is a necessary component of our future infrastructure.

And this is an important announcement. I think it's consistent with what we've done, which is
increased funding for rail by more than 10 times, we've doubled the expenditure on roads, we've got
a range of regulatory and policy reform to improve the use of existing infrastructure, we're about
using smart infrastructure to get the most out of it.

TONY JONES: Alright, before you go too broad on this, let's just hear exactly what it is you're
proposing: a high-speed rail network - or a proposal to look at one, is more precise - between
Brisbane and Melbourne, is that right? Right down the East Coast?

ANTHONY ALBANESE: That's right. Right down the East Coast, but specifically, in the first instance,
to look at, in a concentrated way that hasn't been done before between Newcastle and Sydney,
including looking at the corridors, looking at the costs and the financing of it, looking at the
geo-technical work that would need to be done, having a full and proper examination of it.

It would commence later this year and be completed within 18 months.

TONY JONES: A high-speed rail network would, obviously, between those three cities, really, it'd be
Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne with links along the way would cost tens and tens of billions of
dollars and would take, presumably, an awful long time to build. Do you have any kind of idea of
costs and of timing?

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Well in terms of Newcastle-Sydney, that's why we're examining that.

Quite clearly, with the population concentration that is there, the work that we've done already
indicates that that would be the most viable. We would look at private sector financing for such an
arrangement.

We know that that's working in other places internationally, and that is one of the reasons why
we're making this commitment to move forward in this way.

TONY JONES: Let's hear from George Brandis. I mean, is that something that you might conceivably
get bipartisan support for: a high-speed rail network linking the major cities on the East Coast of
Australia? Is that the sort of infrastructure project you might actually support?

GEORGE BRANDIS: Well, I'm not here to announce transport policy on behalf of the Coalition and we
haven't seen what Anthony Albanese has indicated that he'll be announcing tomorrow. As with each of
the announcements that is made by the Government, we will look carefully at them, and as I dare
say, that the Labor Party will look carefully at what Mr Abbott has to say.

There are occasions when there is agreement, but there are much sharper differences in this
election and I think they're very well-defined.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: And one very sharp difference is that this commitment, like all our commitments,
is fully-funded. The Coalition have now made $21 billion ...

GEORGE BRANDIS: Just like the National Broadband Network, Anthony, with no business plan.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: ... $21 billion of commitments without saying where the money is coming from.

TONY JONES: Alright. Let's - I want to - I've got to move onto something. No, you get a chance to
respond to that and I will move on after that.

GEORGE BRANDIS: Well, I think I ought to be given a chance to reply. I mean, honestly and truly,
Tony, hearing the Labor Party worry about public debt is a bit like listening to Satan denouncing
sin.

I mean, this was the party that ran at the 2007 election with Mr Rudd, who promised to be a fiscal
conservative, and then in the course of less than two years drove Australia into more public debt
than we've ever suffered in peacetime.

Now, you know, these crocodile tears about fiscal responsibility coming from the most spendthrift
and wasteful government in Australia's federal history, that's simply not to be believed. But of
course Anthony has to say that because it's ...

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Of course that's not true, George.

GEORGE BRANDIS: Of course Anthony has to say that because it's written down for him in the script
provided by Hawker Britton, just as everything else in this extremely synthetic and phony election
campaign from the Labor Party comes from the spin doctor's playbook.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Well, George, it didn't need Hawker Britton to tell anybody about the global
financial crisis. Indeed, indeed, everyone seems to have known about it except for the Coalition.

We responded, and you yourself said, George, you yourself said on 5th February that we should be
judged by our response to the global financial crisis. Well, success, George - success. Of all the
advanced economies in the world, the only one, the only one that did not go into recession. And our
debt levels, our debt levels will peak at six per cent of GDP compared with the rest of advanced
economies across the board, peaking at 94 per cent of GDP.

TONY JONES: Alright. With the time we have left, George Brandis - well, George Brandis, with the
time we have left, let's talk about one of your key policies. You've now delayed the implementation
of the parental leave scheme. Is that because you're worried about the impact of a 1.5 per cent tax
on business that's meant to fund it?

GEORGE BRANDIS: Well, it's a levy, it's a temporary levy which is, according to retailers as
prominent as Gerry Harvey and Coles have said in the last day or so that this levy will have no
impact on retail prices at all.

It's an important point to be made. But, you know, Tony announced a little bit of fine-tuning of
the policy yesterday. It's a visionary policy. It is a much more generous policy for parents of
newborn children than the Labor Party's policy is, and I think it has proven to be one of the great
winners of this election campaign.

And as for Anthony trying to trot out this old caricature of Tony as some kind of right-wing
dogmatist, ...

ANTHONY ALBANESE: You know that's true.

GEORGE BRANDIS: ... I mean, I think the paid parental leave - the paid parental leave scheme gives
the lie to it. It is a very progressive social policy.

TONY JONES: OK. Can I just ask you about the $1.5 billion tax or levy - whatever you want to call
it - on business. It's supposed to come off when the Government brings - when the budget comes back
into surplus. Is that correct? So ...

GEORGE BRANDIS: As I understand it, yes, and that that's projected for 2012-'13.

TONY JONES: If the budget comes back into surplus in 2012-'13 and it's under the $4.3 billion cost
of the first year of your scheme, will you still go ahead with it at that time - losing the levy, I
mean?

GEORGE BRANDIS: We are committed to the paid parental leave scheme, which will be implemented in
accordance with the guidelines that Tony Abbott announced yesterday.

TONY JONES: But that's the point: the guidelines have become very confusing because he didn't
appear to know when the - you were planning to have the budget back into surplus.

GEORGE BRANDIS: Well, if you read the transcript of Mr Abbott's press conference today, he made
very clear, as indeed did Andrew Robb, the Shadow Finance Minister that we expect the budget will
be back in surplus in 2012-'13.

TONY JONES: Except - well, to be - with respect, he was asked that precise question the day before
but he didn't know the answer.

GEORGE BRANDIS: Well, I don't know about that, but I'm merely, having reviewed Tony Abbott's
transcripts of today, he couldn't have been clearer about that, so I don't think there's an issue
here, Tony.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Well it's not. ...

GEORGE BRANDIS: The fact is, if I may finish, Anthony, the Coalition has put forward a much more
impressive piece of social policy with the paid parental leave scheme than the Labor government has
been able to come up with.

TONY JONES: Yeah, I'm going to give you the final word on this, but I should say this: the Morgan
poll released by Channel 7 today says for the first time, there are more women who have a high
approval for Tony Abbott than Julia Gillard. So, he's ahead on approval ratings with women in the
Morgan poll. Has that got something to do with this very generous policy?

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Well the fact is that it's not surprising Tony Abbott is confused. He's had nine
versions of this policy. This is meant to be the centrepiece, and it's changed three times during
the election campaign. The fact is that we have delivered a paid parental leave scheme. It begins
on 1st January next year, it's fully funded, ...

GEORGE BRANDIS: And it's an inferior policy to the Coalition's, Anthony.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: ... fully costed and it doesn't, it doesn't introduce as part of it a tax on
Woolies and Coles and every time someone goes to the supermarket. The fact is, the fact is, our
scheme, our scheme will be in place; theirs, who knows how many times it would change between now
and when it was implemented in 2012.

TONY JONES: We're just about out of time, but George Brandis, a quick response to that. You've got
20 seconds.

GEORGE BRANDIS: The boilerplate rhetoric really won't get you there, Anthony. You've had the
leading retailers in Australia, including Coles and Harvey Norman, put on the record and say that
it won't have that effect. It will have no effect on consumer prices whatsoever. Now, you know,
when you've run out of arguments, you people, you always revert to the scare, and it won't wash.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: That's why you won't say it's a tax; you call it a levy.

TONY JONES: OK, we're out of time. We've given you hopefully, both of you, equal chance to respond
to those questions. We thank you very much for being here, George Brandis, Anthony Albanese.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Thanks, Tony. Thanks, George.

GEORGE BRANDIS: Thank you, Anthony. Thanks, Tony.

AVN asked to defend charity status

AVN asked to defend charity status

Broadcast: 04/08/2010

Reporter: John Stewart

The Australian Vaccination Network is being investigated for potential breaches of charity
fundraising laws.

Transcript

TONY JONES, PRESENTER: A prominent anti-vaccination group has been given 28 days to explain why it
should be allowed to continue raising funds as a charity.

The Australian Vaccination Network is being investigated by the NSW Office of Liquor, Gaming and
Racing for potential breaches of charity fundraising laws.

John Stewart reports.

JOHN STEWART, REPORTER: The Australian Vaccination Network is run by Meryl Dorey from a home office
on the north coast of New South Wales. The AVN provides anti-vaccination information through their
website, their magazine and seminars.

Last month the healthcare complaints commission accused the AVN of providing inaccurate and
misleading information about vaccines to parents, but the criticism was dismissed by the group.

MERYL DOREY, AUSTRALIAN VACCINATION NETWORK (July): This was not an independent investigation. This
was an investigation by an organisation that set out to support Government policy, which is
pro-vaccination.

JOHN STEWART: Now the AVN is under fire again, this time from the NSW Office of Liquor, Gaming and
Racing which wants the anti-vaccination group to show why it should be able to continue raising
funds as a charity.

The man who started the complaint against the AVN, Ken McLeod, was interviewed by Lateline earlier
this year.

KEN MCLEOD, COMPLAINANT TO HCCC: We thought that it was a travesty that the AVN should hold a
charity licence. They are not performing charitable activities - quite the opposite.

JOHN STEWART: In his complaint, Ken McLeod accused the anti-vaccination group of misusing funds. He
claimed that the AVN had been raising funds to place anti-vaccination pamphlets in bounty bags
which are given to mothers of newborns. But he said the company which made the bounty bags had
nothing to do with the AVN.

KEN MCLEOD: It's very clear that, for example, money raised for the bounty bags could never be
spent on the bounty bags. The bounty bags company didn't want to have a bar of the AVN. But the
money was raised; where did it go? Well it was obviously spent on running the AVN.

JOHN STEWART: Today the NSW Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing said their audit of the AVN had
detected a number of breaches of charity fundraising laws, including:

- fundraising without an authority;

- unauthorised expenditure; and,

- failure to keep proper records of income and expenditure.

Meryl Dorey could not be contacted tonight, but last month she made the following statement.

MERYL DOREY (July): The Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing has been investigating the AVN's
fundraising. We will wait until they've made their final judgement before we make any comment on
this.

JOHN STEWART: The Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing said it had also identified possible breaches
of the Charitable Trust Act which will be referred to the Department of Justice and the Attorney
General.

The AVN has been given 28 days to respond to the investigation.

John Stewart, Lateline.

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