Follow by Email

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Julia Gillard Fronts Q and A

The Prime Minister faced a large, live audience on the ABC’s Q and A last night and handled the questions from the audience with ease. And there were some curly ones. Like a surprise question from Julian Assange in a video link from the UK, asking if she had swapped information with foreign powers (meaning America) about Australian members of WikiLeaks and suggesting she should be charged with treason. Another confronting question from a woman in the audience - was she aware of how Australians were sickened with her ‘gushing’ speech to the American Congress and will Australia go nuclear in light of the disaster unfolding in Japan.

She said the Labor Party had not entertained the proposition of nuclear power in Australia "We are a country with abundant solar, wind, geothermal, tidal, you name it, we have got renewable sources of energy, so we don't think nuclear energy is right for this country," she said.

In regard to Julian Assange’s question, she said she respected whistle-blowers but did not support his “anarchic” ways. "My view about his conflict is neither here nor there because we do support him," she said. She also made the point that Australia will never extradite a citizen if there is any chance they may face the death penalty.

Ms Gillard admitted she broke her promise about a carbon tax and said she would have introduced an emissions trading scheme straight away, instead of starting with a carbon tax, if she had won power in her own right. But because the election result was so tight, it meant she had to negotiate with the Greens and take a different route, something we knew and are angry about. "When I said during the election campaign there would be no carbon tax I didn't intend to mislead people - what I believed then is an emissions trading scheme is right for this country, I believe that now and we will get to that emissions trading scheme," she said.

Overall, I thought she was confident throughout and defended herself well.