Australian Agenda


Electronic Media Monitoring Service 


24-02-2011 04:10 PM


SKY News

Parl No.


Channel Name

SKY News


24-02-2011 04:10 PM


David Speers speaks with Hon. G. Combet MP and Sen. C. Milne regarding the government's carbon pricing.


24-02-2011 05:00 PM

Cover date

2011-02-24 16:10:48

Citation Id






MILNE, Sen Christine



Open Item 

Parent Program URL


Text online


Media Deleted


System Id


Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document

Australian Agenda -

View in ParlView

(generated from captions) I am a mum and a grandma as

well as a coroner and we will

take care of those bodies.

Those two Papaku we are

looking after them and there

is someone with them all the

time. As our process of identification continues we

will be releasing bodies as

we identify them. As I said,

that may take quite some

time. As superintendant Cliff

said if people think that

somebody in their family is

missing the best thing they

can do is get information

about them to Red Cross such

as scars and tattoos, items

of property that they may be

wearing such as distinctive

watches, rings, that type of

thing and also if they can

get dental records or let Red

Cross know where they can

obtain dental records because

what we want to do is match that information with

information that we are

gathering from looking at the

actual bodies. And that will

help us to identify them as

quickly as we can. And as

soon as they are identified

we will release them back to

their loved ones. We don't

have the names of the victims

because - of the four I can

confirm they are most posted

on police website. So are available. REPORTER: What's


website? Www.police.govt.nz.

You mentioned that process

may sake some time you be any

more specific? I can't be any

more specific. We are

released four today. I am

hopeful I can release at

least two more tomorrow

morning and it will then be

gradually as we get the

identification information

in. So there isn't really

anything I can say in terms

of the time frame for that.

We will need to do it

thoroughly but we realise

that people want their loved

ones back. As soon as they

are identified they will be

released. REPORTER: Can

overseas callers ring the

0800 number or is there a

separate number? It's the

same number and if people can refer to the population

website that will explain

what -- the police website

that will explain what people

need to do if they are

ringing from aboverseas jurisdiction. In the same

international process that's process it is an

used. So it will be the same

method for all of them. But

what we really need to assist

us is information of what the

dental records, and any

zinging marks of those people

-- distinguishing marks of

people that are believed to be missing because that helps

us match it up so we are basically matching up

information from when someone

was alive with examination of

them after they have died.

(INAUDIBLE) I am sorry, I

missed that. (INAUDIBLE) I personally haven't but that

probably is in the system. If

it's in the system it will be

in our computer system. And

we are able to match up quite

quickly the information we

receive with the information

we have got. But at the

moment I can't tell you what

information we have received.

That's not information I have

got. (INAUDIBLE) I don't

think it is, I think it is something that everybody that's involved is well

trained for. We have dealt

with disasters in on this

scale before, for example the

Victorian bushfires, and the

tsunami deaths. The people

that are involved in this

have been involved in those

and so it's a matter of

people who are trained and experienced doing what they are trained and experienced

to do. So it's sad that it is

happening in our city but it

is a process that we will

come through and people will

be back with their loved

ones. Have you had to expand

your staff or is it just the

- No, we have got enough

staff. We have got a national

coronial services unit and we

have got staff there that are

working on this. And the

chief coroner is basically

the person who has custody of

all the deceased and there

are people supporting us all.

So we have plenty of staff

and we have got really good

people we are working with

and we will - we will get

these bodies back to

families. Given the team that's passed since the quake

and the last time that

someone was found alive are

we still in rescue mode or

going into the future what is

happening? Absolutely we are

still working with that

positive attitude in mind.

There hasn't been a day where

we have had the kind of great

breakthrough stories we would

like to have been able to

bring to our community. But

we continue to look. We

continue to focus on as much

positive as we can and it is

not beyond the realms of

possibility that we will find

people who are still alive to

this point, although clear ly

there are some well

identified sites where it's I

would say impossible really

to have that sort of optimism. But we haven't

completed the work of

searching through the city

yet, there is more work to be

done, there are more teams to

arrive on the ground and we

will continue to increase the

efforts that those

extraordinary urban search

and rescue teams have been

doing 24 hours a day since we

started work just a matter of

hours after that initial earthquake shock. But I

really just want to say to

the people of our city

tonight that you know this is

the first of some very, very

hard announcements that will

be needed to be made by the

authorities over the days

ahead. You have already heard

that the official death toll

has risen significantly and

we need to steel ourselves

not just for the names

because we have heard of four

names today that will deeply

impact the lives of many more

people, but there will be

many names that will be well-known to people right

across our community and in

cases further afield in this

country, and it is just a very, very difficult time.

And I want our community to

understand that there is a lot more difficulty to come

in the days ahead. We are

still in the early stages of

rescue and specially recovery, there are many,

many more days of intense

work to be done in the

central part of the city when

it comes to the rescue

operations and as each hour

goes by it gets that much

harder to sustain a real

sense of optimism about this.

But for the people who are

waiting, those people who are waiting confirmation and for

the people who are still

working we are all propelled

by a desire to find our

people, we would like to find

them alive but we need to be

realistic about this. We need

to be realistic about the

scale of what has happened

here. And we need to

understand that we are going

to have to stand very close

to a lot of people in our

community. So as we have been

saying from the beginning,

the strength of this recovery

is not what we are doing in

the building behind here,

that's vital, but it is what's happening at the grass

roots of our communities. It

is what people are doing to

help each other. And you will

hear many names in the days

to come and what we do as a

community to stand by our

families and to stand by

those who will have a lot of

pain to go through is going

to be the measure of us. We

have got to do it well and we

have got to do it with love

and we have got to do it with

support and we have got to do

it with great dignity and

this is the process that the

coroner has outlined to us today. And as much as we

would like it to be a much

faster process, dignity,

respect, for others and the

absolute need to be

completely certain around any

identification is paramount.

So you will need to be

patient. Is it still the

situation there has been no

signs of life at all under

the rubble today? Dave have

you heard any reports? The

situation today is it's - I can confirm we have found no

people alive today. And when

I was briefed immediately

before we have no information

around anyone being alive at

present. However, we are

still looking in earnest. We

are looking as hard as we can

and as the mayor said this is

a rescue operation, we are

doing everything that we can, the search and rescue teams

are out there looking. But we don't have hard information

to say that the people are

alive. At this point I will

just cover some other issues

that were raised earlier. It

is with great sadness we have

recovered 23 bodies today

from the Canturbury TV

building. That brings the

total from the building to

47. And we are still looking

at that site. We believe

there will be additional

bodies found at that

location. They haven't been

identified as yet as we have

talked about, but they are in

the morgue at present. There

are some other messages and

issues to talk about and I

will do that after we have

had an opportunity to finish. I think in the circumstances I would

actually like you to carry on

with what you are telling us.

I think it goes right to the

- cuts right to the chase

and I know there is important

information in there so carry

on if you can. Just with respect to the PGG building

we have recovered two bodies

from that site thus far but

we are continuing to work at

that site. Just in terms of

other matters, I'm concerned

that people may be reluctant

to phone police believing

that they are being a nuisance and reluctant to

report incidents or crime. We

encourage you if there are

crimes, if there are

incidents things you are

concerned about we do ask you

still phone us. We have still

got a lot of patrols out

there, and they want to make

sure we are providing that

reassure ing presence in the

community. So if you have got

a concern please do phone the

police. The city is being policed with a large number of additional officers from

around the country, and we

are xord particularly pleased

that 300 Australian staff

will be flying into

Christchurch tomorrow from

Victoria, NSW, and also

Queensland which and SA as

well I should add and we are really appreciative of our Australian brothers and

sisters around that. It is

fantastic. So tonight what we

suburbs with additional are doing is saturating those

patrols that will be police officers, accompanied by

defence force personnel, and

any available and un deployed fire service trucks will be out there as well and they

will be in those suburbs. So

we will be out there, we will

be seen. We have noticed an

increase around family violence, it is absolutely understandable that people

are under stress but we do

ask, it is not - it can't be

tolerated. We don't want

people to become violent and

if there is an issue please

report it to us. This is

similar to what happened

after the last earthquake, the family violence spiked up

and we need to be looking

after each other. There are

been reports of looting of damaged businesses well

outside the cordon city

areas. We are going to give

people an absolute assurance, those patrols are actively looking for anyone who wants

to take advantage of what's

happened criminally. It was

reported today that

generators that were vital

were stolen from Telstra

clear, we have located those

generators and the offenders

and have been arrested and

will be opposing bail. We

will not tolerate crime being

occurring in the environment

that we are in. If people are

aware of people committing

crime please contact us. Do not tolerate criminal activity in the current

environment. Just one last

thing. We have discussed this

afternoon with the civil

aviation authority extending

the scope of the no fly zone around the central city.

That's been extended and is

now through to 6 o'clock on

Sunday morning. The reason is

that the USAR teams are

operating really sensitive

listening devices, sonic

equipment. We are looking for

any signs of life and the

vibrations from passing

aircraft is impacting on

that. Really important that

we stay out of that no fly

zone. But thank you very much

for your and if you have got any questions please feel

free to ask. How many

arrested now for looting

now? I can't tell you the

grand total. The last ones

related to the generators but we are probably approaching

around a dozen. (INAUDIBLE). All together and still working at the site.


building is the only building at this stage where (INAUDIBLE). That's right,

the search and rescue teams

are satisfied sadly that all

their work, they are

confident it is not possible

to survive at that site but rescue attempts are still being attempted at other

locations. You have been

watching the news conference

there live from Christchurch

of. With New Zealand police,

the coroner and the mayor Bob

Parker. The names of four

victims now have been officially released to the

media. Just to reconfirm

those they are 40-year-old

Joseph Hio from Christchurch, 22-year-old Jamie Robert

McDowell Gilbert from Christ

and tragically two babies,

Jayden Harris, a 9-month-old

baby and 5-month-old baby

Baxter Gowland. These are the

first four names that have

been officially released by

police in Christchurch. This

evening. We will of course

bring you more details as

they come to hand here on Sky

News. The police superintendent Cliff there

giving a very serious warning

to people in the city as well that violence will not be

tolerated. Any crime is to be

reported to police

immediately. And that's viewers on Prime TV New Zealand will leave us now for

the time being. Our

multi-channel coverage of the Christchurch earthquake

though continues live on Sky

News multi-view just press

red on your remote and after

the break David Spears will

be here with a look at the

day's other top story, the

carbon tax debate in

Canberra. Well we are going to leave

Christchurch earthquake for a our coverage of the

moment to look at the major

story in politics back in

Australia today. A carbon

price has moved a big step closer after the government

and Greens as well as key

Independents agreed on the

basic mechanism for tackling

climate change. Under the

blueprint that's been revealed today an Emissions

Trading Scheme will begin in

July next year with a fixed

price on carbon between 3 and

five years. There will then

be a smooth transition to a

proper trading scheme. Where

the price of carbon will

fluctuate in line with the

international market. This is

an important step but the difficult decisions remain

and there are many of them.

Which Labor and the Greens do

not necessarily agree. For example will petrol be

included in the scheme? How much compensation will

industry be offered? Will

electricity generators be

compensated? These issues

still have to be worked out

and reasonably quickly. The

government wants legislation

drafted introduced, debated

and passed this year. For now

the Prime Minister is working

on the sales pitch. This is

where Labor fell down last

time. Kevin Rudd's argument

for action on climate change

focused on warnings of doom

and gloom for the Barrier

Reef and low lying Pacific islands, Julia Gillard by

contrast is appealing to the

can't afford to be left hip pocket. Warning Australia

behind. I do not believe that

Australia needs to lead the

world on climate change but I also don't believe that we

can afford to be left behind.

That's why the time is right

and the time is now. If we do

risk being left behind it

will cost us jobs. Now there

are some people that will say

we can't afford to move to a

clean energy future, I

disagree with that. We can't

afford not to move to a clean

energy future. And that's why

we have got to get on with

pricing carbon. Julia Gillard

is also being frank about

price rises in a way Kevin

Rudd wasn't. He tried to

avoid suggestions any prices

would rise, she says they

certainly will. I also want

to be very clear with

Australians about what

pricing carbon does. It has

price impacts. It's meant to.

That's the whole point.

Consequently things that

generate a whole lot of

carbon pollution will be more

expensive than things that

generate less carbon pollution. That's the whole

point to have those price

affects, to send a price

signal so people innovate,

people adapt, people go to low pollution clean energy

alternatives. Well opposition leader Tony Abbott

won his job by forcefully

opposing a price on carbon,

his crusade last year helped

bring down Kevin Rudd and

galvanised the opposition. He

has left no doubt today what

his approach will be this

time around. We will fight

this every second of every

minute of every hour of every

day of every week of every

month. I don't believe it is

going to happen because I

think there will be a

people's revolt. So the

battle is shaping up over a

price on carbon. Which way is

this going to go? To tell us

more about the blueprint the

government has agreed on

today with the multi-party

committee, the climate change

minister Greg Combet joins us

now from our Canberra study.

As we heard Tony Abbott point

out repeatedly in parliament

this afternoon the government

made it very clear, promised

at the election there would

not be a carbon tax. If it

was re-elected what's the

difference between a fixed

price on carbon and a carbon

tax? Well the first thing is that as a government any government has the

responsibility to tackle

climate change and the most

effective way of doing that

at the least cost to our

economy is through a market

mek nism and so we have set

out today by agreement with

others and government multi-party climate change

committee is a market

Emissions Trading Scheme as mechanism based upon an

you said in your introduction

with a fixed price period at

the start. Effectively that

fixed price period does

operate like a tax, but it is

important that we get

started, that we start the

process in our economy of

cutting pollution and driving investment in clean energy

and providing the business

sector with the confidence to

invest, specially in areas

like energy generation. Okay

but .... That's what the

government set out to do. If

it is effective a carbon tax

it is effectively a broken

promise isn't it? No, I don't

accept that. This government

has got a very strong record

of tackling climate change.

We endeveed on three

occasions to get a carbon price through the Federal

parliament in the last term

of government. We have always

been up front about that in

fact John Howard took an Emissions Trading Scheme to

the 2007 election for the

Coalition. So ... Many walked away with it and you went to

the last election saying you

would not have a carbon tax. You can't gloss over

that This issue has been

around for a while. The point

now is that we have got to

tackle it. We need to get on

with it, we have got to take action to tackle climate

change, we have got to cut

pollution in our economy, we

have to provide the certainty

for business to invest in clean energy technologies,

and this is what the

government is setting out to

doing with the announcement

today. So it is an important

are of course very detailed step in this process but they

design issue s that are yet

to be undertaken. But doits I

want to get to those. There

is one thing very important

to assure people and that is

that every dollar that is

raised through this carbon

price will be dedicated

towards assisting household s

adjust to the impacts of a

carbon price and will be

dedicated towards investment

in clean technology, to

supporting the change we

need, and also to ensuring the competitiveness of

Australian industry. That's

an important commitment as

well. In simple terms what is

the advantage of starting

with a fixed price rather

than a floating price? It

allows business the opportunity to understand

their carbon liabilities,

start to make the adjustment

and smoothly transition to an

Emissions Trading Scheme. And

ultimately I think everyone

involved in the announcement

today from the other members

of parliament who are

involved, we all understand

that ultimately we need to transition to an Emissions Trading Scheme, but we need a smooth way of getting there

and starting with a fixed price structure is an

important way of doing that.

Now, one of the things you

have to work out is what that

price will be and that's

clearly something the

committee still has to thrash

out. What sort of price do

you believe is necessary to

reach that minimum target

that the government has set

of reducing emissions by 5%

of 2000 levels by

Twenty20? Well -- by 2020. Of

course I am not going to speculate what the starting

price may be because the fact

of the matter is as we made

clear today w I have agreed on this broad architecture

for a carbon price, we have

not yet discussed a number of

detailed issues, those are

the next issues on the

agenda, one of them ftion is what starting price -- of

course is what starting price the scheme would commence

with. Other is the nature of

assistance for households and

for industry for

competitiveness. That's a

lots of detailed work that is

to come in coming months but

this ask an important step

and a clear stig nal of the

set early nation -- signal of the determination of the government to act on climate

change, to cut our pollution

levels and to drive investment in clean energy. Petrol wasn't included in the original

CPRS, is it under

consideration to include

petrol in the scheme this

time around? Well, what the

proposition we have published

today looks at is broad

coverage of the economy, but

also makes clear that one of

the detailed issues to

consider is the extend to

which each sector of the

economy might be incorporated

and at what time. And so it

is too early for us to be

speculating about that

issue. Labor doesn't have a

fixed position on this, Labor

doesn't go into these talks

saying we still want petrol

excluded? You are willing to

look at putting it on? In

good faith we go into the

discussions and put our

position there first and

that's what we shall do but

the document obviously

contemplate s brood coverage

of the economy but it also leaves open the discussion we

need to have about how that

may be dealt with whether or

not we phase the scheme into different sectors of the economy but the important

thing is again is the Prime Minister acknowledged there

are price impacts in the

economy from a carbon price,

and also indicated as you

would expect from a Labor

government that we will assist those people who need

the assistance the most, in particular obviously

pensioners and low income

households will be firmly in

our mind and we will ensure

that every dollar raised from

the carbon price mechanism is

committed to help households

and to help industry make the

transition to lower emissions

in the future. Effectively

what we have got to achieve

David is decouple pollution growth from our economic

growth. As our economy has

grown traditionally so does

pollution. We want to grow an

economy, increase in living

standards and prosperity but

pollution to be reduced and

to achieve that we need a

carbon price. Well, as you

have indicate one of the

other things you still need

to work out too is industry assistance and that's where

the Greens and you differ of

course on how much assistance

particularly for electricity

generators and I won't bother

asking you what your position

is on that because you are

not going to give it away but

can you tell us if you can't

reach ... I'm not. If you can't reach a decision with

the Greens will you still introduction the legislation

anyway but will you work and

work and work until you have

finally reached an agreement

and then put the legislation.

How is this going to work? I

am going to work as hard as I

can and so will the Prime Minister and other members of

the government to try to

achieve the support we need

in the House of Representatives and the

Senate to legislate a carbon

price. It is a reform that is

needed in our economy. We are

not only have to play a

responsible role

internationally to fight

climate change, and its

effects, but we also need to

bring about change in our own

economy. To reduce our

pollution levels. Currently

it is free to pollute in our

economy, we need a price on

carbon to generate an

incentive to cut pollution

levels and to drive investment in clean energy,

things like wind and solar

power. So that's what we are

setting out to do. We are approaching the discussions

we are having in good faith

and in an open and honest way

we will continue that

approach and try and get the agreement we need to

legislate it. Climate Change

Minister Greg Combet thank you very much for that.

Thank you. In parliament

this afternoon Tony Abbott

also tried to censure the

Prime Minister for what he

says is a broken promise on

this commitment she made not

to introduce a carbon tax.

The motion was defeated in

the House, nonetheless the

Opposition Leader managed to

make some fairly strong

claims against the Prime

Minister that this represents

one of the biggest breaches of faith in political

history. We have heard a lot

about real Julia and fake

Julia, was it rule Julia or

was it fake Julia that said

"We gave our word to the

Australian people". Or was it

real Julia or fake Julia who

said "They there will be no

carbon tax under the government I lead". I tell

you what Mr Speaker, nothing

is more fake than making a

promise to the Australian

people before the election

and breaking it after the

election. Here, here! Mr

Speaker, I am sure that this

Prime Minister, that this

Prime Minister in her heart

of hearts, in those quiet

moments of reflection, in the

still small hours of the

night when she considers what

she has said and done, like

some latter day lady McBeth will consider this statement,

there will be no carbon tax

under the government I lead

and this latter day lady

McBeth will say "Out, out

foul spot. Out, out foul

spot". But he said it and she

will be judged by it. There

has been no greater betrayal

in recent Australian history.

This is the greatest breach

of faith with the Australian

public since the LAW law,

fake tax conducts. Well let's

bring in our panel for their

thoughts on this. Malcolm

Farr political editor of

News.com and Jennifer Hewitt from 'The Australian' as

well. Malcolm the biggest

breach of faith since the LAW

law tax cuts is this a pretty

major broken promise? You

could say there never ever

GST promise too. I look, I don't think that's relevant.

The issue is do we need a

large economic change to meet the impact of climate change?

Do we accept there is climate

change happening at all.

Human induce ed climate

change. They are the big

issued. Obviously if you

accept they are happening,

having a debate about

promises or non-promises look

s a bit silly but today was

all about politics so the promise or the non-promise

was to the fore. Just as

Julia Gillard amped up the

politics with her

announcement there really was

one key announcement, and

that was the starting date.

The rest of the broad

structure of her response was

pretty well-known but I think

the Prime Minister wanted to

get out there, amp up the

politics, make it clear that

the train was moving and this

time she wasn't going to be

jumped off it, and that the train would run through Tony

Abbott if he stood in the

way. Jennifer let's bring you

in here. What do you think of

the significance of today's

announcement? In some ways

this is the easy part to

agree on, the tough stuff,

the difficult stuff is yet to

come when it comes to Labor's

negotiation with the Greens. Yeah that's right. I think

today in a sense is the easy

part of this equation. And

even that's not that easy as

you have seen from the attack

by Tony Abbott today. He will

certainly go on about this.

Look I think in some ways a

lot of the Australian public

are clearly waiting to be or

willing to be persuaded about

the virtues of a price on

carbon. Think the real risk for Julia Gillard and the government really is that everybody likes to think that

they can be clean and green

but when it coming to rapidly increasing electricity prices

and let's not forget they are

already rapidly increasing,

this is going to be very,

very difficult. I think to

sell amongst a lot of that

population that those swings voters that Julia Gillard

needs to hang on to. This is

the key, isn't it Jennifer,

the middle ground, the main stream call them what you

will, I think still very much

to be won either way now or

putting a price on carbon.

There have been setbacks in

the international debate when

it comes to Copenhagen and

what the United States is

doing or not doing, in

putting a price on carbon, but clearly there are many people who still want to do something about climate

change. Do you think this is

opened to be argued either way? Look, think it is open

to be argued either way but I

still think it is going to be

a lot more difficult than the government was suggesting

today. I mean clearly it is

an extra tax. You have got some business groups already

coming out and say ing like the Australian Chamber of

Commerce and Industry this is

going to be very difficult

and this is an extra impost

on small business and I think

people once all these details

start being worked out and once many companies start saying this is going to cost

us a lot more, and we are already struggling,

particularly in that consumer

and how old market and the

retail area for example, I

think that is going to be

quite difficult despite the fact that obviously people

have all sorts of good

intentions about climate

change. Julia Gillard is

interesting, you know not a

sign of the Barrier Reef

anywhere, these days it is

all about Australia not being able to afford to be left

behind as you said and I

think that's her most point

ent argument plus the fact

that at the moment people are

just not investing in the electricity industry because

there is no certainty. The

trouble is this doesn't give

them much certainty either. I

thought it was a very

interest ing shift that we didn't hear anything about

rising sea levels today. We

didn't hear anything about

low lying coastal towns in

Pacific nations and what the

Barrier Reef is going to

face. The argument seems to

be a lot better from Julia

Gillard than we heard from

Kevin Rudd and the policy

formulation process here is

probably sensible, to reach

agreement now on the things

you can and then work on the

more difficult things, but being unclear about what's

going to happen to petrol,

being un clear about what's

going to happen to electricity prices does open

the door to this scare Pam

cane again. -- campaign

again. Of course it is not

going to be easy, nobody

thing thinks it is going to

be easy and every sectoral

interest is going to be

lining up outside Jennifer's

office to complain to her of

intolerable cost burdens that

are going to fall upon them.

But if we go back to the

original ETS the one the government abandoned or

delayed, there was a

comprehensive plan to

compensate households, and to

protect a number of

industries as well as fund

alternative energy programs.

The Rudd Government didn't

really explain or expand on

with the electorate. To all

intent and purposes for

reasons that are always

stumped me they essentially

dropped it and allowed the

perception that whatever

happened will be passed on to those least able to pay for

it. Now the electricity

industry is in a shocking

state as it is, with or without a carbon tax and

there is an argument that a carbon tax might even hurry

them up and get them to fix

up their backyard more

quickly. But the two should

not be taken together. Those

prices are going to go up in

power supply whether there is

a carbon tax or not, but

there could be some protection for the industry if a carbon tax is applied.

Also today there in Canberra

Malcolm the government did

get its flood levy package through the hour louse,

through the House of Reps, it

has still got to go through

senate and get the final Senator they need Nick

Xenophon over the line. What

does the passage of this

through the House tell us

about Julia Gillard's

negotiating ability taking

stock at this point in how

she is handling this minority government situation, and looking at what she has got

to do with the carbon price

as well getting that through parliament. How do you think she is going as a

negotiator? Well, I think she

is doing very well. I think

she had to do very well. You

have to when you are in

minority government. Her

critics say that she

approaches things like a

lawyer, with a brief and as

long as she can fulfill that

brief she doesn't have any particular interest either

way in the outcome. Others

would say, her fans, would

say that she is extremely

good at getting people in a

room and talking through the

issues at length and that she

knows what she is talking to.

She did it when she was a

minister and back when she

was industrial relations

minister she got those law changes through by just

sitting in a room and talking

and talking and talking. This

one is going to be

interesting with Nick

Xenophon in the Senate

because he has got a rather

big demand, that is for the

states to start covering the

cost of their own natural

disaster costs through

insurance, we will have to

see how she negotiates that

little one, What do you think

Jennifer? Do you give her a

tick or do you think she's

backing down on too many

commitments as she goes

through this - tries to

negotiate the maze of min or

ity government? Well, I think

no-one is saying it is easy to negotiate minority

government but I am not as

enthusiastic as Malcolm is

about her negotiating skills,

it costs her a lot of money

to do it every time she deals with these Independents and

that is before we get to the

whole argument with the

Greens over things, issues,

very significant issues like

compensation for industry.

Out of this whole carbon

package. So I think it is far

too early to say she is a

good negotiator. I think it's

going to be very, very

difficult. However fction she

does have much greater personal skills than Kevin

Rudd. She is a better negotiator than Tony Abbott. Well there is an argument

both ways on that I think.

But I do think this is going

to be a very testing for her.

I think it is also clear

however that she did need to

have something to fight for.

Because you know I think very

- you know within for the

first six months of her

government it was people were

left rather confused to

exactly what she stood for anyway. At least she is

ticking off a few items on

the to-do list at the moment

and the big one will be that

carbon price. We will leave

it there. Good to talk to

you, thanks for joining us.

Thanks. Thank you. Talking

of the Greens and whether

they can eventually reach a

final agreement with the

government on this, we are

now joined by the Greens

deputy leader and climate change spokes American

Senator Christine Milne.

Thank you for your time. We

are just going to shuffle

chairs there. A apologies for

that and get her in the spot.

In the meantime here is what

Bob Brown had to say about

some of the difficult issues

with ewere discussing. The industry compensation, the

issues of electricity generators, whether they get the compensation they were

offered the first time

around. Here is what he had

to say at the News conference

earlier today. These are important matters which are going to engage our attention

in the coming months and we

are here today because we are

on the move with this process

and the Prime Minister is

overseeing a committee which

is doing good work. And we

have come to agreement on

this architecture is an

indication of that. You all

know the schedule, it has got

a good way to go get yut we

are working hard on it and we

have this nation's well-being, whether we come from different starting

points and we do, there is no

doubt that all members on this committee have this

nation's future well-being at

the forefront in trying to

come to decide on those very

hard, particular issues which

are undecided. Well the

Greens deputy leader and

climate change spokes person

Christine Milne is with us.

Senator I would like to see what is negotiatash and

what's not for the Greens at

this point. You have for some years argued that Australia

should cut its emissions by

at least 25% of 2000 levels

by 2020. Is that still your

position and will you support

anything that delivers a cut

in emissions less than that?

Well, we certainly think it

is incredibly important that

we deliver a better lifestyle

for Australians, that we are

healthier, we are happier, we

actually move to the low

carbon economy and of course

our target is actually 40%

below by 2020 in a global

agreement context. And if we

did not have a global

agreement 25% at least, and

that's why because we

couldn't reach agreement with

the government on a target we

came up with this compromised

proposal in January last

year, put it on the table and

I'm delighted that through

the election outcome, through

the multi-party climate

process that we effectively

set up and drove that we have

now got to a position where

we are on track to deliver a

carbon price in Australia and real action on climate change. Do we know that this

price is necessarily going to

give us that 25% cut in emissions? Well, I don't

think you can say that a single intervention is going

to give you a particular

outcome. The carbon price is

going to be important but the complimentary measures are

important as well. So we need

a mix of regulatory measures

like mandatory vehicle fuel

efficiency standards, like

better performance standards for whitegoods, through to

the carbon price, through to the renewable energy target.

A gross national feedin

tariff. There is a range of

things we can do even to the

xernt of reform of the national electricity market.

So collectively we need to

reduce emissions and we need

to improve our landscape at

the same time and we can do

all that by way of addressing

climate change. Do you want

to see petrol included in any

Emissions Trading

Scheme? Look, it is important

I think that transport is in

and you will have seen the coverage includes the

transport sector and that's particularly important in the

like of peak oil. We have had

the international energy

agency say in 2006 that oil

has peaked. We are seeing oil going through very high

prices now because of the

Middle East so it is krit click important that Australia gets off its dependence on fossil fuels and that includes in the

transport sector. So we need

to move to those low emission

fuels and to get to electricification of the

fleet, very fast trains, they

are the sorts of future

innovations we need and you

are not going to get that if you don't include transport

in a carbon pricing mechanism. But where the

rubber hits the road the raw politics on this will be as

you know the opposition

running their campaign that

this is going to send up the

price of petrol by at least 6

cents a litre. Is that figure about right? Would you be

happy with that sort of figure? Look, Tony Abbott is

going to go out with his

great big new tax and his

price on everything. It is

because of a failure to

address climate change and

not provide certainty that we

have got rising electricity

prices right now. If you want

to shoot home responsibility

for that it is a failure of

John Howard to actually go

out there and put the price

signal in and give certainty

in terms of electricity

investment. In terms of fuels the Greens have always had a

position that we should

actually price the carbon in

fuels in terms of excise and

change the whole excise

system. That's something we

can talk about through the carbon, through the tax

summit and no doubt we will.

We are going to have to

leave it there but I'm sure

we will have plenty to talk

about in the months ahead as these negotiations continue.

Thanks for joining us. Thank

you. That's all for now. Do

join us tonight though on the

nation here on Sky News, 8 o'clock eastern daylight

time. We will be talking of course about the New Zealand

earthquake and in fact we

will be joined by both Prime Ministers, Prime Minister

Julia Gillard and Prime

Minister John Key for their

take on how things stand

tonight. We will be looking

at the carbon price debate.

All that's been happening in

politics this week. For now I

am David Spears thanks for your company.

Close close Live Captioning by Ai-Media