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ALP considers trust fund to pay Carmen Lawrence's legal costs

ELLEN FANNING: This morning: the Lawrence levy. The cash-strapped Labor Party is thinking of setting up a Friends of Carmen Fund to raise the quarter of a million dollars the Federal Health Minister needs to cover her outstanding legal bills. Michael Carey has been out in Sydney gauging the interest.

MIKE CAREY: The ALP's looking at setting up a trust fund for Carmen Lawrence to pay her legal fees. Would you consider donating to ....

UNIDENTIFIED: No.

MIKE CAREY: Why not?

UNIDENTIFIED: I just don't think it's fair. She got into trouble; she should pay for it.

MIKE CAREY: So you wouldn't be putting her on your Christmas list?

UNIDENTIFIED: No, definitely not.

UNIDENTIFIED: No, I wouldn't.

MIKE CAREY: Why is that?

UNIDENTIFIED: Well, the general public has to pay for their own legal costs. I don't see why she should get any special treatment.

MIKE CAREY: So you think she's had a fair deal?

UNIDENTIFIED: I guess so. She's had as good a deal as anybody else would get.

UNIDENTIFIED: She should pay for it herself. She was the one that wanted to do that.

UNIDENTIFIED: She got herself into trouble. She can get herself out of it.

MIKE CAREY: So you don't have a quarter of a million dollars to spare?

UNIDENTIFIED: No, I don't, and if I did have, I wouldn't give it to her.

UNIDENTIFIED: I just don't think she deserves it.

MIKE CAREY: Really? Not a dollar?

UNIDENTIFIED: No, not a dollar.

UNIDENTIFIED: Certainly not.

MIKE CAREY: Why not?

UNIDENTIFIED: Because I don't believe she should have it.

MIKE CAREY: You think she should pay it all herself?

UNIDENTIFIED: I certainly do. She chose to go ahead with that action. She should pay for it.

MIKE CAREY: So you won't be putting her on your Christmas list for ....

UNIDENTIFIED: No, not at all.

UNIDENTIFIED: Not a cent.

MIKE CAREY: Why not?

UNIDENTIFIED: No. I still don't consider that it's appropriate for me to be paying for somebody else's mistake, really - in particular, a politician.

UNIDENTIFIED: Oh, I just don't like her and I don't trust her really.

MIKE CAREY: Okay. So she won't be on the charity list?

UNIDENTIFIED: Not on mine, anyway, no. I've better things to put money towards.

MIKE CAREY: What about Graeme Campbell? Have you got anything to spare for him?

UNIDENTIFIED: No, not really, to be honest, no.

ELLEN FANNING: Michael Carey with people on the streets of Sydney, this morning.