TRANSCRIPT: INTERVIEW WITH PETER VAN ONSELEN, SKY NEWS AUSTRALIAN AGENDA
TRANSCRIPTION: PROOF COPY E & OE
DATE: 4 December 2011
TOPICS: Marriage Equality; China; Pakistan; Afghanistan; Future Submarines.
PETER VAN ONSELEN: Defence Minister Stephen Smith, thanks for joining us on the program.
STEPHEN SMITH: Pleasure Peter.
PETER VAN ONSELEN: Who is right, Paul Howes or Paul Kelly?
STEPHEN SMITH: Well, Paul said that the conscience vote was fundamental, and that is right. This is not the first time that the Labor Party has had a conscience vote. We have had it on a number of occasions. Usually you see it effected by the National Executive. This was one of those occasions, like abortion, where it was effected by the National Conference.
PETER VAN ONSELEN: But he also said that it was a big defeat for the Prime Minister in relation to the platform.
STEPHEN SMITH: I don't share that view. To me, I strongly supported the conscience vote. I seconded the motion, and my contribution to the conference was that this is an area where there are strong views, personally held, deep convictions - often based on religion or on cultural background - and that is really the fundamental basis for a conscience vote. So to me, the starting point was always a conscience vote. Once you have a conscience vote, then the majority can determine what goes into the platform. For myself-
PETER VAN ONSELEN: But I am not uncomfortable about the concept of a conscience vote. Quite frankly, I would like to see Tony Abbott personally free up his troops to do the same thing, but it is interesting that you have got a Prime Minister leading the Labor Party, where the Labor platform is the completely opposite of what her views apparently are on gay marriage.
STEPHEN SMITH: This goes to the very nature of a conscience vote. It essentially says, this is, if you like, a majority view of conference, but it is not binding on any party member, from the Prime Minister down to a rank-and-file member of a branch. That is the nature of a conscience vote, but from my personal perspective, I do think this is an area where community attitudes have changed. The attitude that I have taken in this conference is different than the attitude I took at the last conference, where I supported the status quo. But I have done a lot of thinking, as a lot of Members of Parliament and members of the party have, and spoken to lots of people in the community.
I think the community has moved on in this respect, and two points that Paul made: firstly, I do think there will now be some pressure on Tony Abbott to contemplate how the Liberal Party responds. I grew up being lectured by Liberal Party Prime Ministers and leaders that they were the party of individual liberty and that they would never bind their members to do anything - so there is an issue now for the Liberal Party, as to whether they will allow a conscience vote, or allow their Members and Senators to do what they want.
I don't share the view that this - a conscience vote - will see an automatic defeat of any legislation, which I have made clear I would support.
CAMERON STEWART: When you are talking about a conscience vote, how do you respond to John Faulkner's claim that it is unconscionable to have a conscience vote on those basic issues of equality and human rights? That it is just an unconscionable thing to do, to have a conscience vote on that?
STEPHEN SMITH: It is just something that John and I disagree about. I have got the highest regard for John. As people would know, we are close colleagues and very good mates, but on this issue he is wrong. There is a high threshold for a conscience vote through the party, but variously, if you look at the issues where a conscience vote has been accorded in the Parliament or in the party, in the Parliament, there was a conscience vote for the Marriage Act 1961, there was a conscience vote for Gough Whitlam and Lionel Murphy's Family Law Act 1974, there has even been a conscience vote for fluoridation of Canberra's water.
The essential requirement, in my view, for the granting of a conscience vote is, are we dealing with an issue where deep personal convictions - and you can have strong views firmly held, might be based on religion, might be based on social or cultural background - and the best way of progressing it through the party, but more importantly through the community, is to respect everyone's views, however so different they are.
PETER VAN ONSELEN: Minister, you say it might be based on religious or cultural background, but here we have got a Prime Minister who culturally is happy to be in a de facto relationship. We have also got a Prime Minister who isn't religious, she is an open atheist, yet she is out of touch, in your view, with what the community attitude change is, in the same way that Tony Abbott is on this issue.
STEPHEN SMITH: However she decides to live her life, most Australians these days say that is entirely a matter for the people concerned, and that is where I think the community has moved on in this respect. A lot of the feedback I hear is essentially a view which says, 'Look, in the old days, the only way you formed a family was through marriage'. Now we have people in de facto relationships, we have people who determine how they want to enter into a long-term loving relationship and raise a family.
I also hear a lot out in the community that if a same-sex couple want to do the same thing, they should essentially be left to their own devices; they are not doing any harm to anyone else. That, I think, is the essential flavour of a modern, tolerant, mature Australian society. It is entirely a matter for anyone, whether they are the Prime Minister, or anyone else, to determine how they want to live their family life.
One of the very good things which is underappreciated, in terms of what the Government has done through the Attorney-General has been to amend over the last three to four years over 80 pieces of legislation which had discriminated against same-sex couples on entitlements, superannuation and the like, and I see this as being a logical extension and conclusion of that work. And if people take a different view, then the most important thing, I think, is to respect their view and to accord their view civility and dignity.
PAUL KELLY: Minister, do you think it is possible that the Parliament might legislate a change in the law this term?
STEPHEN SMITH: I do. I don't share the view that just because there is a conscience vote, it will fail. Indeed, in a contentious issue like that, where you will have strong views in the community, often, I think, the best way of trying to progress change through the Parliament and the community is to allow a conscience vote, and for individual Members and Senators of Parliament to come to their own conclusions. I think Tony Abbott will find it very hard to say to his Parliamentary Party, 'Here is the decision of the Shadow Cabinet; you are now all bound by that'. So I don't discount the possibility that a Private Members Bill will be presented in the course of this Parliament, and I don't start with the view that that is destined or bound to fail.
PAUL KELLY: If the Coalition does get a conscience vote, do you think it will get up?
STEPHEN SMITH: I think it's got a chance. I do think it has a chance.
PETER VAN ONSELEN: But if they don't, of course, that is the end of it. The conscience vote becomes symbolic rather than practical, because party discipline on one side in such a close Parliament ends the whole thing.
STEPHEN SMITH: I think that point is right, but also, when you are dealing with these issues where you do have deep personal convictions, I think the best way of trying to progress it through the Parliament, is where individual Members and Senators can form their own judgement. That's how we dealt - in terms of my experience as a Member of Parliament - that's how we dealt with euthanasia; that's how we dealt with stem-cell research; that's how we dealt with human cloning. So you have a parliamentary view which emerges off the basis of respect for everyone's view, but people coming to individual personal decisions.
PAUL KELLY: In your long knowledge of the Labor Party, can you think of any other situation in which the views of the Prime Minister on a fundamental issue are at odds with the party platform?
STEPHEN SMITH: We are looking here at what we have defined-
PAUL KELLY: No, the party changed its policy, Minister, and the Prime Minister does not agree with that policy.
STEPHEN SMITH: The party changed its policy after the party determined that this would be a conscience vote, and so the party platform or policy is an expression of the majority of the conference at that point in time. It is not a binding decision on any member of the Labor Party, whether you are a branch member in a branch in my electorate in Perth, or whether you are the leader of the party and the Prime Minister. It is an expression of the majority; it doesn't bind anyone. Now, I happen to think that the expression of conference does reflect a majority view in the community, but it is also a deeply sensitive issue, which is why I strongly supported the conscience vote, and seconded the Prime Minister's resolution to that effect.
CAMERON STEWART: Minister, you say you are confident that it reflects the views of the community, but isn't this Labor's great gamble, politically? Because the truth is you really don't know how it is going to play out in the community. You said before you hope it is a reflection of the maturity and tolerance in the community, but are you really that confident that you won't get some sort of electoral backlash?
STEPHEN SMITH: Time will tell. You will have some people in the community who will say, 'I welcome this change and I will change my vote as a consequence'. Or some people will say, 'I strongly disagree with this; I will change my vote as a consequence of Labor making a change'. You will also have people who will say, 'Well, it is one issue; it is not a determining factor in how we vote'. Time will tell whatever electoral impact or effect there is, but it is the focus of this weekend. It is the focus of one day of conference. In nearly two year's time - in September, October, November of 2013, when the election is held - there will be a plethora of issues in respect of which the community will make a judgement about re-electing the Government or supporting the Liberal Party.
PAUL KELLY: If we can just switch to Defence now, we have seen the recent military upgrade between Australia and the United States, and a very strong reaction from China against this, did the Chinese over-react, and have they got any reason for concern as a result of these changes in relation to the alliance?
STEPHEN SMITH: Firstly, they have got no reason for concern, but, secondly, I have regarded their response - their formal and official response - as being, firstly, expected, but, secondly, appropriate. The first response came from their spokesperson from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which was essentially a long-standing Chinese response, which is, 'We don't support military alliances' - no surprise there. Then in the last couple of days we have seen exactly the same point made by their Defence spokesperson.
My own view is that people have made too much of the chatter or the commentary that we find surrounding it. My Chinese counterparts, whether it has been as Foreign Minister or Defence Minister, always make the point to me they don't like military alliances. My response has been, both in public and in private, our military alliance, or our alliance with the United States, has been there for 60 years. We are going to continue to have an alliance with the United States, which is essentially the bedrock of our strategic and security arrangements, and also have a comprehensive relationship with China, which is what we now have. It is not just economic.
I have made the point previously that we now have a military-to-military, a defence-to-defence relationship with China, including, as we have seen over the last few days, the second of a number of exercises that we have been doing with them - some humanitarian assistance and disaster relief exercises in Sichuan Province, and last year we did a live-firing naval exercise with them.
CAMERON STEWART: Minister, some of that chatter, you say, which is critical of the situation in Australia with the US was actually coming from China's state-owned media, which suggests the Government really was a little more unhappy than what their official spokesperson actually said. And we had Paul Keating last week accusing Canberra of being verballed by Barack Obama in trying to promote what he called a 'ruthless containment strategy towards China'. What do you think of his comments?
STEPHEN SMITH: A number of things. I saw Paul's interview, and his criticisms seemed to be almost exclusively aimed at the speech that President Obama had given. He didn't have any difficulty -as you said - with the rotational arrangement that we've effected with some 250 to 2500 Marines through the Northern Territory.
PETER VAN ONSELEN: That is still a big criticism though, when the US President is addressing the Parliament.
STEPHEN SMITH: Firstly, when you invite a leader of another nation to address the Parliament, you don't write his or her speech for them. It is an invitation, so it not a matter for us to write the speech. That is the first point. Secondly, the Australian Government does not have a policy to contain China. That is not our policy; you can't contain China. Our policy is that we are optimistic and confident that China will emerge in the course of this century as what Bob Zoellick would say, the former Assistant Secretary of State for the United States, as a responsible stakeholder, or, as the Chinese would say, into an harmonious environment. And we work towards that, we want that to be the case.
So you can't contain China, it is not possible, but how do you, how do we as a nation, how do we as a region, how does the international community, cope with the fact and manage the fact that, in the course of the first half of this century, we will see the emergence of China as a great power. We will see the emergence of India as a great power. We will see the continued rise of the ASEAN economies combined - the ongoing strength of Japan, South Korea, Indonesia, and, importantly, the ongoing influence, importance and presence of the United States. My take from President Obama's speech was the United States will not only continue its engagement in the Asia Pacific, it will enhance it. And that's, in my view and our view, a very good thing.
PAUL KELLY: If we just switch to Afghanistan and Pakistan. As Defence Minister, do you accept that Pakistan is providing assistance to the Taliban in Afghanistan, providing assistance to our enemies? If you do accept this, what's the attitude of the Australian Government towards it?
STEPHEN SMITH: Firstly, Pakistan, we know, is a complex and complicated society, and you have to be very careful about ascribing what you might regard as actions of parts of Pakistan agencies or apparatus, and indicating or asserting that that is a reflection of the Pakistan state. The Pakistan Civilian Government consistently denies publicly and privately that it is giving any assistance to terrorist organisations.
PAUL KELLY: Do you accept that denial at face value?
STEPHEN SMITH: What we say is two things. Firstly, Pakistan has done a lot to seek to stare down extremism and terrorism, but we believe it can do more. First point - second point, it is very important that Pakistan builds confidence, not just in the region, but in the international community, that it is taking steps to ensure that any links that any of its agencies or members or former members have with terrorist organisations cease. But when we came to office, we understood immediately that our relationship with Pakistan was a very important relationship and this should not be underappreciated.
Pakistan will become the largest Muslim populated country in the middle of this century, overtaking Indonesia. They have nuclear weapons - strategically very important in South Asia, and we have enhanced our engagement with Pakistan, doubled the number of military officers who we bring to Australia for counter-terrorism training; we have doubled our humanitarian assistance; we have taken a big role in disaster relief, especially in the floods at the end of last year, because we came to this conclusion: we either engage or we disengage, and, as the United States has found to its cost in the past, not engaging with Pakistan is not a sensible strategy.
We don't have rose-coloured glasses about the complexity or the difficulties of Pakistan, but we strongly believe that Australia and the rest of the world needs to engage with Pakistan. Pakistan won't solve, for example, its security and extremist problems without also solving its social and economic problems.
PAUL KELLY: I appreciate the argument you've made but you haven't answered the question. As Defence Minister are you aware that Pakistan is supporting our enemies in Afghanistan?
STEPHEN SMITH: Well we don't believe that Pakistan as a nation state is as an act of foreign policy or an act of public policy supporting-
PAUL KELLY: But parts of the state apparatus are, aren't they?
STEPHEN SMITH: And, and this is the point that I've made, you've got to be very careful about ascribing what might be unauthorised actions-
PAUL KELLY: But parts of the state apparatus are, aren't they?
STEPHEN SMITH: Well, you've got to very careful about ascribing what might be unauthorised actions of current or past members of Pakistan agencies, and ascribing that view to the Civilian Government of Pakistan. We don't have rose-coloured glasses about Pakistan. We have expressed out concerns to Pakistan on a range of things in an ongoing basis. But the essential point, and this is the same choice that the United States has, it's the same choice that Afghanistan has, it's the same choice that India have. You either engage with Pakistan, with all its complexities and all its difficulties, or you disengage. Disengaging doesn't help at all.
PETER VAN ONSELEN: But Minister, you say you've got to be careful in how you ascribe some of what Paul's talking about, but Mike Mullen, the now retired - not at the time he addressed the Senate committee, but the now retired Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff for the United States, he wasn't so careful. Now he told that Senate inquiry that the Haqqani network acts as a veritable arm of Pakistan's inter-services intelligence agency.
STEPHEN SMITH: [indistinct]
PETER VAN ONSELEN: That's a big call.
STEPHEN SMITH: It was a big call, and that's why you've seen, both publicly and privately, Secretary of State Clinton and Secretary of Defense Panetta very carefully walk back from that view.
PETER VAN ONSELEN: They're being careful, but is Mike Mullen wrong-
STEPHEN SMITH: Well that was a view that Mike-
PETER VAN ONSELEN: -or just too honest?
STEPHEN SMITH: That was a view that Mike Mullen expressed at the end of his period of office, and it wasn't a view that he expressed in the course of all of the dealings that he had effected as Chief of-
PETER VAN ONSELEN: But was he right or wrong?
PAUL KELLY: He told the truth at the end.
STEPHEN SMITH: Well it's a matter for him to make whatever comments he might want to make. It's not a view he expressed in all his years of working very closely, for example, with General Kayani. Look, we can find plenty of quotes from plenty of officials. To me, the very important substantive issue so far as Pakistan is this: you either engage with Pakistan or you don't. On a regular basis, as you would expect, the Australian Government, not just the current Government but previous Governments, will do what we call a review of a bilateral relationship with an important power. That's done on a regular basis. We've recently done one with Pakistan, gone through all of these issues and we've come to the same conclusion that we started with three or four years ago.
In the end the choice with Pakistan is you either engage, or you disengage. If you disengage you have no chance to influence, no chance to argue. We have a good relationship with Pakistan in terms of our defence-to-defence and military-to-military discussions. The Chief of the Defence Force has recently come back from Pakistan where we've had what we call a one point five, a one and a half track dialogue. Our own judgement is, for all its difficulties, for all of the complexities, it doesn't make sense to retreat from a relationship with Pakistan. You need to engage to try and make progress.
CAMERON STEWART: Minister, speaking of retreating, Julia Gillard said the other day that the training of Afghan in Uruzgan province was going so well that it could be finished before 2014. Now that could be viewed by some as paving the way for an early draw down of Australian troops there. Would you be willing to- would you be confident that there will be no draw down before 2014 or do you think we could actually be seeing something even as late as late next year?
STEPHEN SMITH: Well what I am confident about is that we are on track to effect our transition in Uruzgan by 2014. The Prime Minister made that comment advisedly in her most recent parliamentary contribution. I said the same thing. I've said it publicly in recent times. We are on track to make the transition in terms of our mentoring and training by 2014. We might get there earlier but we'll make that judgement as we go. What we've made clear is that as our mentoring and training is successful and finishes in Uruzgan, then we will have the capacity to draw down from the 1550 troops that we have in Uruzgan. The majority of those are doing the mentoring and training. But we've also made it clear that there will need to be a post transition or a post 2014 presence by the international community, including Australia. And that's one of the things we're working through with NATO and ISAF countries and our US partner at the moment. Now that might be Special Forces, it might be back of house, it might be advisors, it'll certainly be developers.
CAMERON STEWART: Well what you are saying is it's possible we could see a draw down of Australian troop before 2014.
STEPHEN SMITH: It's possible, we are dealing with our mentoring and training, and approaching that on a, what, to use the jargon, a conditions based outcome. We are making progress with training the Fourth Brigade, the six Kandaks of the Fourth Brigade. We think we're on track, we might get there earlier, but these are judgements we'll make as we go.
CAMERON STEWART: They're very subjective judgements though aren't they? I mean they're very difficult judgements to make, and are you confident that politics wouldn't influence such judgements?
STEPHEN SMITH: Well what we don't want to do is to set a date and work back from that. It's not the case that the judgement is subjective. There's a whole raft of matrices that the International Security Assistance Force will go through in terms of the level of training and mentoring. There is of course an element of subjectivity or a qualitative feel because out commanders on the ground, our people on the ground, you'll ask them the question are they ready. And the answer will be not yet or yes. So in some respects that is subjective, or the voice of experience, but there is a complicated matrix in place to try and make the subjective - objective judgements. We've seen in the last week or so President Karzai announce the second tranche of transition. So we saw seven provinces transition to Afghan led security responsibility six months ago. We've seen the announcement of the so called second tranche. When that's effected, that'll see half of the Afghan population under the security responsibility of Afghan National Security Forces, and we want to see that transition effected completely.
PAUL KELLY: From what you've just said, I think you're leaving open the option for some sort of policy adjustment before the next election.
STEPHEN SMITH: Well it's not a policy adjustment. We have said repeatedly and consistently, in April of 2009 we-
PAUL KELLY: An adjustment in the timing of the withdrawal.
STEPHEN SMITH: Yes. Well the Prime Minister's been quite open about that, with her parliamentary contribution last week or the week before, as have I. We're saying we're on track for 2014, we might get there earlier. But we're not going to draw down our training and mentoring composition until we have effected that transition. But our analysis of Afghanistan is, we've seen over the last 12 months the International Security Assistance Force, the 48 countries under a UN mandate, make a lot of progress in terms of security on the ground.
PAUL KELLY: Well the message seems to be the position could be more flexible or is more flexible.
STEPHEN SMITH: No I don't see it in that way. We're on track for transition by 2014, we might get there earlier. Time will tell. But we've made up in the last 12 to 18 months a lot of security presence on the ground. We have denuded and degraded the Taliban's capacity. They have essentially retreated from combat on the ground in Uruzgan and elsewhere. They've resorted to the high profile, propaganda motivated assassination attempts and suicide bombings and the IEDs, so it remains very difficult and dangerous. But they haven't been able to, in the course of this so called northern summer, fighting season, make up any of the ground, and the Coalition, the International Security Assistance Force forces continue to do two things: to hold and take ground, but also to transition the holding of that ground to the Afghan National Army and to the Afghan National and Local Police.
PETER VAN ONSELEN: Minister, staying in Afghanistan is expensive, the 2009 Defence White Paper that Labor called for looked at the need to have real funding increases in relation to things like a larger Army, and submarines and so forth. Yet we see a situation where the last budget saw Defence cuts, and we've got about $4 billion of Defence cuts over the forward estimates. Those two things don't go together at all, do they?
STEPHEN SMITH: That is not right. Firstly, in terms of efficiency dividends, or our strategic reform program, we don't allow that to get into the way of how we fund our overseas operations. The focus is obviously on Afghanistan, but we have also got overseas operations in the Solomon Islands and in East Timor - two stabilisation forces - so we don't allow what we are doing on the budget side to get in the way of making sure that overseas we are properly and fully resourced, and that will continue.
In terms of the White Paper, the White Paper established the so-called budget rules, where we have a strategic reform program define $20 billion worth of savings, and to reinvest that into capability. There are also some budget rules which essentially say, over a very long period of time, there will be an average increase in the Defence budget of between 2 and 3 per cent, depending on which decade you are in, and we continue to be within all of those parameters.
In the last budget, the strategic reform program had got to a place where we were better placed than we thought initially. I also introduced some other changes - some shared services, which are also more efficient and instead of returning that to the Defence budget, I made the judgement, and the Expenditure Review Committee agreed, that that should be returned to the Government's bottom line as a contribution to the 2012-13 surplus, and I have made it very clear that in the run-up to the next budget, Defence and I need to expect that we will be called on to make another contribution. But we won't allow that to get into the way of our operations overseas, nor our long-term capability commitments, including our Future Submarine program.
CAMERON STEWART: But Minister, Defence Secretary Duncan Lewis was reported to have said recently that the White Paper was behind schedule, I mean, do you accept that it is behind schedule at this point in time, and really, do you think that, even with those funding promises, and the fact that Defence will struggle to push those through in the next five years or so, do you actually think that the promises of the 2009 White Paper can realistically be delivered at this point in time?
STEPHEN SMITH: A number of things. Firstly, we have built into the White Paper, essentially, an annual review, which we call the Defence Planning Guidance, and that occurs effectively on an annual basis. The current White Paper was April-May of 2009. We didn't do the Defence Planning Guidance review in the course of last year, because you were essentially 12 months out of the White Paper. We are now going through, for the first occasion with this White Paper, the Defence Planning Guidance.
I have made it clear we need to better align our capability plan - the Defence Capability Plan - with the Defence Planning Guidance, and that will emerge in the course of the first half of next year. So, that's the planning process that we have underway. Secondly, you will always have, in any Defence capability plan, movements in capability of projects. Some projects come on more quickly; other projects take a longer time.
CAMERON STEWART: Big picture, though, are we behind schedule?
STEPHEN SMITH: Big picture, there is nothing which has occurred, since the White Paper, which would cause us to have any concerns about the delivery of any of our large projects. Yes, in some of the projects, like the Air Warfare Destroyers, we have had some problems. But on that we are on track to deliver those Air Warfare Destroyers by the middle of the decade. We will end up, we think, about 12 months behind.
Now, I see a lot of commentary, or suggestions, that we are 'behind' on the Future Submarine program. We have got a very difficult, long-standing maintenance and sustainment issue with our Collins-Class Submarine, and we have got a proposal for 12 Future Submarines decades down the track - 2030, 2040, 2050. And I am making sure that we assiduously do the very early planning for that Future Submarine project in a methodical, assiduous and careful way. In my experience and observation, and it is now backed up by our analysis, 80 per cent of the problems we have in Defence procurement and capability, are caused in the first 20 per cent of the life of a project.
With the Collins-Class Submarine, for example, one of the big mistakes we made with the Collins-Class Submarine was not taking into account what the big burden of sustainment and maintenance would be over a 20 or 30-year period. I've asked John Coles, a UK expert, to give me a review on that. I am expecting that in the not-too-distant future, and I am confident that that report will enable me to do, in the sustainment of Submarines, what the Rizzo review enabled me to do with our Amphibious Ships.
CAMERON STEWART: You can guarantee that there won't be a gap in the Submarine capability?
STEPHEN SMITH: The only thing I am going to guarantee is this, which is, we are committed to 12 Future Submarines. We will assemble those in Adelaide, and this is not a project that I will see through. This is a project that will come to fruition in 2035, 2040, 2050, but my obligation is to make sure that all of the necessary planning is done in a way which minimises a capability gap, but which also minimises risk to the ultimate outcome of the project; and there are two parts of that: one is making sure we learn everything we possibly can from our Collins experience, and then, secondly, making sure that we get our strategic view of the requirements for our submarines right, but also the implementation of that.
So, other than excluding the nuclear option, and saying that we are going to have 12 and they will be assembled in Adelaide, every other option is on the table. As it should be.
PETER VAN ONSELEN: Defence Minister Stephen Smith, having created the headline that you won't still be Minister in 2035, we'll let you dash back to Labor's National Conference. We appreciate you joining us on Australian Agenda.
STEPHEN SMITH: Thanks Peter, thanks Paul, thanks Cameron.