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brief recap of our top stories officially launched his election campaign promising $6 billion for
tax rebates of up to $800 for to $800 for education costs including school including school fees.
And two ASIO agents may after the collapse of a against a terror suspect. A judge described their
interrogation of interrogation of Izhar ul-Haque has grossly improper. Attorney-General Phillip
Ruddock says needs to be an inquiry before any conclusions any conclusions can be drawn. That's ABC
News. Stay now for the '7:30 Report' coming up next. We'll leave you Sydney's middle harbour. Enjoy
your evening.

Captions by CSI

There's two things, if tapes come out, you've been talking to someone else, they're not yours and
they're not mine.

Tonight on the 7.30 Report - the phone tap scandal rocking the top ranks of Victoria's police

I feel betrayed. I think the corporate community of Victorian police feels betrayed and I think the
Victorian police do, as well.

And, money for nothing - the drought-stricken irrigators who claim they're held to ransom.

I've paid over $168,000 for water that doesn't exist.

That sounds like a lot of money, but it is part of running a very large business.

PM targets families as poll slides

KERRY O'BRIEN: Welcome to the program. First, national politics, and what may turn out to be the
last throw of the dice for the Prime Minister and the Coalition in their official campaign launch
in Brisbane today, with another big-spending attempt to break a year-long cycle of bad polls and
the election edging ominously closer.

Ironically, Mr Howard's latest promises to try to win back working families, costed at more than $9
billion, coincided with a Reserve Bank statement today which directly identified public spending as
a significant contributor to the strong domestic demand in the Australian economy, part of the
recipe that has led to higher inflation and interest rates.

Today's promises included a raft of measures to help first home buyers and even more generous tax
deductions for education expenses than those announced by Labor just a few weeks ago. These
promises push the total cost of the Government's campaign costings beyond the $50 billion mark.

The Prime Minister says it's a plan for the future but the Opposition says, well, the opposite.

From Brisbane, political editor Michael Brissenden reports.

MICHAEL BRISSENDEN: Yes, it's the week of the great campaign oxymoron. The campaign launch. Four
weeks gone and the polls have shown virtually no change since the start. Now the pointy end of the
contest, the launch season, will set the tone and provide what momentum there is for the final

CAMPBELL NEWMAN, BRISBANE LORD MAYOR: For now acknowledge the Howard Government's winning team, I
stress winning team, ladies and gentleman, starting with Alexander Downer, the Foreign Minister.

(Loud applause)

Warren Trust, Minister for Trade and deputy leader of the Nationals.

MICHAEL BRISSENDEN: Whatever happens from here, this will be John Howard's last campaign launch.
Just a few months ago a majority of his Cabinet were actively considering a change. Now the
ambitions of the team are vested in him, and few could feel that more keenly now than this man.

(Video of Peter Costello at campaign launch)

MICHAEL BRISSENDEN: A stirring musical fanfare, strangely reminiscent of the Van Halen hit Jump,
filled the Queensland Performing Arts centre as first, Peter Costello, then the nationals Mark
Vaile, warmed to the ever present campaign theme of experience over risk.

PETER COSTELLO, TREASURER: Let's think about this a moment. Let's suppose you're a person of deep
economic conservative conviction who believed in balance budgets and repaying debt - what would you
do to demonstrate it? Down go the local branch of the Labor Party and sign up? Join the Socialists
Forum? They'd have you believe there were never reds under the beds, just economic conservatives.

MARK VAILE, DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER: Australians don't want a risky education revolution. It sounds
like something you'd hear about in a Communist country, not in Australia. We will make sure that
opportunities exist in both the country and the city for young Australians to get the education
that they want and they need. Students in remote areas don't need a revolution, they just need a
little bit of help. These students...

MICHAEL BRISSENDEN: But the warm-up acts, as important as they are for the future of a Coalition
government, were just that. This is John Howard's pitch for a fifth term, however truncated it may
turn out to be.

JOHN HOWARD, PRIME MINISTER: And I want to tell you I believe the Coalition should be returned. I
want to tell you why I want to be Prime Minister of this country again. I want to share with you my
hopes and my dreams for a better future. And in the process, I hope, crystallise very clearly the
important choice that must be made on the 24 November.

MICHAEL BRISSENDEN: Having kicked it off with the big $34 billion tax package, it was inevitable
the launch would address the big financial concern of the group that Kevin Rudd has come to call
working families. Childcare, education and housing affordability.

JOHN HOWARD: Today I want to talk about a number of initiatives that are part of the next chapter
of our plans to put more power into the hands of individuals and families rather than governments
and bureaucracy.

MICHAEL BRISSENDEN: A total spend of just over $9 billion that includes a plan of tax rebates for
education expenses of $400 a year for primary school children and $800 for secondary students. In
policy terms, to use a phrase favoured by the Government, this is me too plus. Labor's tax
deductible education expenses announced a few weeks ago were $375 and $750 respectively available
only to those receiving Family Tax Benefit A. The Government's plan will be available to all and
will include school fees and elective subjects such as music and drama.

JOHN HOWARD: Unlike Mr Rudd, I do recognise that the costs of education extend well beyond laptops
and broadband connections.

MICHAEL BRISSENDEN: The Government has also pledged to start paying the current 30 per cent
childcare rebate in advance directly to childcare providers from April next year. This will lower
the cost at the childcare door. Labor has pledged to increase the rebate to 50 per cent and make
payments quarterly. The other big ticket item is housing affordability. House prices have climbed
dramatically over the past few years, and as the Prime Minister has been reminded many times by his
own backbenchers, this is one of the big issues in the electorate. The great Australian dream of
home ownership may be slipping out of reach for young Australians, but it is still an iconic idea.

JOHN HOWARD: The home being an almost sacred part of the Australian liberal creed, stretching back
to Menzies' memorable evocation of homes material, home human, and homes spiritual in the forgotten
people's speech of 1942.

MICHAEL BRISSENDEN: Labor has already made a number of housing related announcements and no doubt
there's more to come on Wednesday at the Labor launch. But the Government today set out its big
ideas for the hearts and minds of the nation's first home buyers with a plan for tax-free home
savings accounts with the first $1000 tax deductible.

Parents and grandparents will be able to contribute to the costs of the first home free of capital
gains tax, and the Commonwealth would consider plunging money into those accounts from budget
surpluses if economic conditions prevail.

JOHN HOWARD: This is a comprehensive plan to make home ownership more affordable for young
Australians by boosting their capacity to save for a home.

KEVIN RUDD, OPPOSITION LEADER: Mr Costello just told us quite recently that there was no housing
affordability crisis and I think not long after we indicated our own approach to that, Mr Howard
himself said, "isn't it better to say that here is additional tax relief, particularly for low
income people that then decide how to spend it rather than the Government fiddling with the housing
affordability policy question?" That's Mr Howard out of his own mouth on the 15th of October. So I
would contrast that with Mr Howard who is always, of course, consistent in what he says. It seems
that he had a different message than to what he has today.

MICHAEL BRISSENDEN: The Labor leader has also pounced on those areas he says have been left out of
the Government's big picture.

KEVIN RUDD: The cold truth is, having listened to Mr Howard's policy speech, I cannot see any new
ideas for the future on hospitals, I cannot see any new ideas for the future on climate change, I
cannot see any new ideas on critical infrastructure challenges like broadband.

MICHAEL BRISSENDEN: that's a pretty signal about what's to come in the Labor launch at least, along
with more for education. Revolutions, after all, are expensive. But the themes for the next
fortnight are now set. The Prime Minister and his team will continue to warn of the risk posed by
Labor in times of increasing global economic uncertainty. John Howard's biggest asset is also his
biggest weakness. He's been there 11.5 years and now, despite telling the voters why he still wants
to be Prime Minister, they know and Labor will not tire of telling them that he won't be there for
the full three years.

KERRY O'BRIEN: Political editor Michael Brissenden.

Corruption inquiry claims second scalp

KERRY O'BRIEN: An official inquiry into police corruption and high level leaks of sensitive
information continues to send shock waves through the highest ranks of the Victorian Police Force.

Today the media director Stephen Linnell handed in his resignation, but it came as no surprise.

Like former assistant police commissioner Noel Ashby who quit on Friday, Linnell's career had
already been destroyed by a series of telephone conversations secretly recorded by the State's
Office of Police Integrity or OPI.

Both men were targeted by the OPI as it tried to identify the source of leaked information about a
highly sensitive investigation into police links to a murder.

Beyond that, the phone taps revealed senior Victorian Police officers immersed in a culture of
intrigue, envy and ambition that would be worthy of Shakespeare.

Mary Gearin reports, and we should warn viewers that the following story contains some coarse

(Excerpt of tapes used as evidence in OPI inquiry)

MAN: There's two things, if tapes come out you've been talking to someone else, they're not yours
and they're not mine.

SECOND MAN: I have 1000 conversations a day, so...

MAN: Yeah, yeah.

SECOND MAN: And the answer is, "Look, I might have, I don't know, I can't remember".

MARY GEARIN: When the guardians of justice become the prey, there are sure to be shock waves. The
devastating power of the phone tap has been turned on some of the most senior members of the
Victorian Police Force.

HUGH SELBY, FMR HEAD, POLICE COMPLAINTS AUTHORITY: I think it's a really refreshing change. It
clearly indicates to everybody inside the police force that nobody who engages in corrupt activity
should think they're safe anymore.

MARY GEARIN: Today the head of media and corporate communications, Stephen Linnell, tendered his

On Friday, it was assistant commissioner Noel Ashby who fell on his sword.

COMMISSIONER CHRISTINE NIXON, VICTORIA POLICE: You work with people closely, you trust them and you
believe that they're doing the best for the organisation. I think I feel betrayed, I think the
corporate community of Victoria Police feels betrayed and I think the Victorian Police do as well.

MARY GEARIN: Both men were undone by embarrassing indiscreet conversations. n this one, Mr Linnell
appears to be warning Mr Ashby about being recorded, talking to the powerful police association
secretary Paul Mullett.

(Transcript of recorded conversation appears on screen)

STEPHEN LINNELL, FORMER MEDIA DIRECTOR: Did you talk to Mullett on the phone yesterday?

NOEL ASHBY, FORMER ASSIST. COMMISSIONER: Yes. I speak to him probably quite regularly, why?

STEPHEN LINNELL: You've just got to be careful, that's all.

NOEL ASHBY: Why, is he being recorded.

STEPHEN LINNELL: Just be careful.

NOEL ASHBY: Is he being recorded?

STEPHEN LINNELL: Um... I can't say.

NOEL ASHBY: He might be?

STEPHEN LINNELL: I can't... I'm not... I can't say. I'll talk to you later.

NOEL ASHBY: Fuck, can you come and see me? I did talk to him yesterday, right?

STEPHEN LINNELL: Mmm. I'll come and...

NOEL ASHBY: I'll ring you on a hard line.


MARY GEARIN: The hearings have exposed a web of lies, petty jealousies and office politics
expressed in the most explicit terms.

Noel Ashby, the seasoned veteran who joined at 16 and rose through the ranks, has been shown to
resent deputy commissioner Simon Overland who was drafted from the Australian Federal Police and
widely tipped to replace Christine Nixon as chief commissioner.

(Transcript of recorded conversation appears on screen)

STEPHEN LINNELL: I just had overland on the phone.

NOEL ASHBY: Yeah, what did that prick want?

STEPHEN LINNELL: Oh, (inaudible), just wanted to get your thoughts on how it all went.


MARY GEARIN: But beyond the merely embarrassing and sensational, these hearings have revealed what
appear to be illegal leaks about a covert internal investigation called Operation Briars. It's
looking into alleged police links with the murder of prostitute and self described vampire Shane

The former media liaison has admitted he leaked information to Mr Ashby about the investigation,
despite earlier denials in closed hearings. And they appeared to discuss how to handle future OPI

(Transcript of recorded conversation appears on screen)

STEPHEN LINNELL: You've got to be on your game the whole time and be thinking about what they ask
and what they've previously asked. And I'm OK with that.

NOEL ASHBY: Yeah, but the goo thing is, there's two things. If tapes come out, you've been talking
to someone else, they're not yours, and they're not mine, and... if... if...

STEPHEN LINNELL: But I have a thousand conversations a day, so...

NOEL ASHBY: Yeah, exactly,

STEPHEN LINNELL: And the answer is, "Look, I might've, I don't know. I can't remember."

NOEL ASHBY: Hey, you may have.


MARY GEARIN: What is yet to emerge from this inquiry is what was promised in the opening address.
Evidence that confidential information about Operation Briars was leaked to one of its targets,
named as detective sergeant, Peter Lawlor, a direct descendant of the Eureka Stockade leader of the
same name.

The information is said to have travelled through a sequiturs route, involving the figure lurking
behind almost every conversation played so far: Police Union powerbroker Paul Mullett. He's due to
appear on Wednesday and it's expected he won't submit meekly to the OPI authority.

PROF COLLEEN LEWIS, CRIMINAL JUSTICE DEPT, MONASH UNI: Mr Mullett is an extremely powerful union
man, he is - his particular style is someone confrontational.

MARY GEARIN: The hearing has established a relationship between Mr Mullet and Mr Ashby, who says he
had to feed the union man information and lies to get a better deal in enterprise bargaining
arrangements, as he complained to Mr Linnell.

(Transcript of recorded conversation appears on screen)

NOEL ASHBY: I'm sick of dealing... he's like... Mate, I'm sick about it, I thought, dealing with
this cunt is like dealing with a criminal informer, it's like, difficult. Smelly.



MARY GEARIN: The former assistant commissioner is alleged to have been the one to pass on the
operational secrets to Mr Mullett.

(Transcript of recorded conversation appears on screen)


NOEL ASHBY: I haven't heard. Nothing else has come out, so...

PAUL MULLETT: OK, that's good.

NOEL ASHBY: Yeah, nothing at all. No other suggestion, no other names of anybody you'd spoken to or


NOEL ASHBY: So that's all I wonder why, then, if your phone, if it was your phone, why wouldn't
that be out already?


MARY GEARIN: For some, this inquiry is exposing the corrosive forces operating within the police.
For others, it underlines a lack of leadership and the need for an independent corruption force.

Former Victorian deputy commissioner and former Queensland chief commissioner, Noel Newnham, says
it reflects badly on the chief commissioner.

NOEL NEWNHAM, FMR QLD CHIEF COMMISSIONER: Well, I think this has shown her to be not a strong
leader, not a team builder.

PROF COLLEEN LEWIS: I think that the powers that the OPI have are adequate for a police integrity
type body, but we need something much more wide in this State. We don't have anything like the
Crime and Misconduct Commission, for example, that they have in Queensland.

MARY GEARIN: But former head of the Victorian Police Complaints Authority, Hugh Selby, says an
independent body, or royal commission would be futile.

HUGH SELBY: A royal commission always comes with an open time frame and is completely uncosted.
Secondly, a royal commission is never an effective way of leading to structural change inside an
organisation. Third, a royal commission always has unfortunate, to use the American term,
collateral damage.

JOHN BRUMBY, VICTORIAN PREMIER: You've seen just over the last week the plan that we've put in
place is working.

MARY GEARIN: Today the Premier defended the OPI process, as well as senior public servants who've
been mentioned in the talk on tape.

JOHN BRUMBY: I'm not going to stand here every day and give you a running commentary on every claim
or background bit of gossip or chatter that's made by people on the phone.

MARY GEARIN: However, if the last few days are any guide, simple chatter can be a very dangerous

KERRY O'BRIEN: Phone taps, who knows where they lead. Mary Gearin with that report.

Water bought, but not delivered: irrigators

KERRY O'BRIEN: They're often painted as voracious water users, but many drought hit irrigators
across the Murray-Darling Basin are now paying for water that's not even being delivered.

At the top end of the Basin, cotton farmers around St George in south west Queensland complain
they've been charged tens of thousands of dollars for water they say doesn't exist.

But the Queensland Premier argues the charges are vital for the maintenance and management of water
infrastructure. Anna Bligh insists irrigators are merely paying the proper price for a resource she
describes as "liquid gold". Mark Willacy reports from St George.

For the past two-and-a-half years, these fields have given up nothing but dust and despair. The
unrelenting grip of drought has squeezed the south-west Queensland district of St George harder
than just about any other part of the country. And for cotton growers like Scott Armstrong, it's
left once productive fields to bake under cloudless skies.

SCOTT ARMSTRONG, ST GEORGE COTTON GROWER: Right now, normally, would be about peak production time.
There'd be crops growing in every field around us that you see. There'd be pumps running, there'd
be water flowing through the channels. It's just an absolute hive of activity and a hive of
production, and yeah, what we see now is basically just dust.

MARK WILLACY: But if the drought isn't hurting enough, Scott Armstrong and his fellow irrigators
complain they've been hit with massive bills for water they say they haven't received.

SCOTT ARMSTRONG: And on our little farm in the last 18 months, I've paid over $168,000 for water
that doesn't exist.

ANNA BLIGH, QLD PREMIER: These are large businesses and they have very large commercial costs. So I
think to a lot of people that sounds like a lot of money, but it is part of running a very large

MARK WILLACY: But Scott Armstrong says his business hasn't run for two years because of the
drought. For a start, he's only receiving 5 per cent of his water allocation. The problem is, he's
still being hit with 95 per cent of his normal water bill.

The bills are being levied by Sun Water, a Queensland Government owned corporation. They're split
into two parts, part A is for the management and maintenance of water infrastructure. Part B is
charged on the actual volume of water used. It's the part A component which has one prominent St
George local hopping mad.

SENATOR BARNABY JOYCE, QLD NATIONALS: This is theft. I mean, what else is it? Is there another term
when someone who's in a position of power over you, extracts a payment out of you knowing full well
they can't deliver? People, they notice the fact. They say, "Look, these fellas were willing to
send us to jail for querying the council amalgamation decision. They've got form in being absolute

ANNA BLIGH: I think people can ask themselves this question: Barnaby Joyce is a member of the
Government that introduced this policy. This policy of charging the real cost of water was
introduced by the Howard Government of which Mr Joyce is a member. It seems to me just a little
coincidental that he's suddenly got upset about this policy in the middle of a federal election
campaign. Where was Barnaby Joyce when his Government introduced this policy?

MARK WILLACY: The Queensland Premier says the charges paid by irrigators are needed to maintain and
manage infrastructure such as pipelines, channels and dams. But in St George there's anger at what
many are calling a drought tax.

SENATOR BARNABY JOYCE: $170, $180,000 a month coming out of this town us jobs. And $170,000,
$18,000 a month coming out of any block in Brisbane would create an absolute riot. It can't go on.
Ultimately what happens is houses start to close and be sold off.

MARK WILLACY: Rohan McDougall runs a tyre and automotive parts business in St George. He says the
Government's water charges are trickling down from the irrigators to his business.

ROHAN MCDOUGALL, ST GEORGE BUSINESSMAN: I say we're seeing a lot of people being laid off around
the place and, you know, that's not only are we not seeing the turnover from these farms because
they're not moving, we're seeing hundreds of vehicles driving out of town and, you know, we sell
tyres and parts. For every 100 vehicles that's 400 tyres and 1000 parts we're not going to sell.

MARK WILLACY: Anna Bligh says St George irrigators signed up to the water pricing arrangements that
are meeting with Government only last year, and she maintains they rejected a compromise deal.

ANNA BLIGH: There was a proposal put on the table in those negotiations that there should be
reduced charges in times of drought and higher charges in times of plenty. The irrigators resolved
not to go down that path.

MARK WILLACY: Fed up with paying for water they say they're not getting, irrigators around St
George are banding together to fight the State Government.

JAMES THOMAS, COTTON GROWER: I've had bills here for $35,000 and I've used, in one account I've
used 100 megs and I got charged $14,000 out of that one account bill.

GLENN ROGAN, COTTON GROWER: Most of us are scratching towards the limit of our credit. I believe
that we're the only people that have got to maintain the infrastructure.

JAMES THOMAS: That's owned by government.

GLENN ROGAN: For the State, that's owned by the Government.

SCOTT ARMSTRONG: As a group we've decided, you know, enough's enough. We're going to make a stand
and say, "Look, we just cannot continue".

MARK WILLACY: And that stand is to refuse to pay their water bills.

SCOTT ARMSTRONG: We've got no alternative. We have to, as a group, withhold payment of this
account. Because it is extortion. It is Government sponsored extortion of the farmers in the worst
drought ever recorded.

MARK WILLACY: But the Queensland premier is urging irrigators to talk rather than act.

ANNA BLIGH: If all of the irrigators came together and wanted to reconsider that issue, then, of
course, we'd look at it. We're not unreasonable people. But of course it would have to be through
an agreement with all of the irrigators and an agreement facilitated again by the Queensland
Farmers Federation.

MARK WILLACY: As he checks pumps that have been idle for two years, Scott Armstrong may have no
choice but to default on his latest water bill.

SCOTT ARMSTRONG: I've got another account, right now, for $32,000. I have no idea how to pay that.

MARK WILLACY: It's been several years since the harvesters have hauled up a decent crop around St
George. With the window for planting closing fast, few irrigators have the stomach to risk another
failed crop, especially given the state of the nearby Beardmore dam.

This dam is fed from a catchment the size of Victoria and for the past 40 years it's sustained the
cotton industry around St George. But for the last couple of years it's been at less than four per
cent full, meaning no cotton crops around here at all.

SCOTT ARMSTRONG: You know, I understood we lived in a community where governments used to help you
when you're down, They'd pick you up when you're doing it tough, and they'd give you a hand until
you can get back on your feet, until the river fills again, until these channels and these fields
start producing again. I understood we lived in a community where you got help from the Government
through the tough times. We are not seeing it from the State Government, and if anything, we're
seeing the worst, we're getting a kick in the guts. And it's a kick in the guts when we're down,
and that's what makes us mad.

KERRY O'BRIEN: Certainly not mincing words. That report from Mark Willacy.

Contractors accused of violating sacred site

KERRY O'BRIEN: In spite of the Government's momentous deal in September with land rights champion,
Galarrwuy Yunupingu, its intervention in Aboriginal communities in Arnhem Land has for many weeks
encountered widespread resistance.

Still, the head of the intervention, Major General Dave Chalmers, was upbeat about progress
throughout the Territory at a press conference in Darwin this morning.

But the general's report was overshadowed somewhat by news that a contractor had dug a pit toilet
on a sacred site, which is an important ceremonial ground for Aboriginal people throughout
south-east Arnhem Land.

Murray McLaughlin reports.

MARK WILLACY: It's not hard to see the sign which points to a sacred site and warns off strangers
at the edge of the township of Numbulwar.

BOBBY NUMGGUMAJBARR, SENIOR TRADITIONAL OWNER: This ground is very, very important to us. It's a
significant site for us. And that we practice our ceremony in this area now. You know, we keep this
one well away from people.

MURRAY MCLAUGHLIN: Numbulwar may be a former Anglican mission, but traditional culture is still
vibrant here. The town, population around 1000, sits on the western coast of the Gulf of

It's had only limited exposure to the Federal Government's intervention. This building is an early
symbol of the intervention. The complex of shipping containers will be the headquarters of the
intervention when it does hit town. Getting the containers here was too much for the Defence Force.
An army barge carried them by sea more than 1000 kilometres from Darwin but had to turn back
because the channel into Numbulwar was too shallow.

MAJOR GENERAL DAVE CHALMERAS, INTERVENTION COMMANDER: And I don't know the details. A landing craft
may well have had problems getting into Numbulwar. As it happens we trucked the demountables into
the community, so...

MURRAY MCLAUGHLIN: This isn't a foreign land. I mean, this is a chartered channel. That sounds like
it, to be blunt about it, a cock up?

MAJOR GENERAL DAVE CHALMER: Well, I don't know that's the case at all, Murray. I don't know if
that's the case at all.

MURRAY MCLAUGHLIN: A gang of five workers arrived late last month to put the container complex
together. They were told by council staff to use toilet and shower facilities at a nearby training
centre. But the workers dug a long drop toilet slap bang in the middle of the most important
ceremonial ground in this region. It was not discovered until after they had left town. A group of
senior men who are custodians of the site and who have ownership of the ceremonies practised here,
told of their disgust.

BILLY GUMANA, COUNCIL CHAIRMAN & CUSTODIA: They think that our culture is a toilet culture. You
know, that they think it's not real. But to us, it's real, because we belong to this ground.

GALILIWA NUNGGARRGALU, CUSTODIAN (subtitles): I been hurting myself inside because I saw this

JOHN NUNGGARRGALU, CUSTODIAN: There's a sign there. They don't care. But we Aborigine people care.

MURRAY MCLAUGHLIN: In our culture digging a toilet, say in a Church or Church grounds, is that an
analogy which you would accept.

MAJOR GENERAL DAVE CHALMERS: Sure. I mean, if the allegation is correct, I think it's thoughtless
behaviour and it's appalling.

MURRAY MCLAUGHLIN: What does that say about the way that that part of the intervention is

MAJOR GENERAL DAVE CHALMERS: Well, it says that some individuals behaved very thoughtlessly if the
allegations turn out to be correct.

MURRAY MCLAUGHLIN: There already was apprehension in Numbulwar about the Federal Government's
intervention. The discovery of the toilet on a sacred site has further eroded support.

BOBBY NUMGGUMAJBARR: They've got no trust for them now because they've done this now, they're
thinking they might do it again in the long term. So really, they haven't got no confidence with
the intervention group now.

MURRAY MCLAUGHLIN: The implications for the intervention in east Arnhem Land ripple far beyond
Numbulwar. People come from far and wide, from Groote Eylandt and Burralulu (phonetic) in the Gulf,
from inland communities like Nukuram (phonetic) and Maneiri (phonetic) to practice ceremony here.

BOBBY NUMGGUMAJBARR: They won't know about it until they get the information from this day onward,
and they will start talking to us and asking a lot of questions about how it happened.

MURRAY MCLAUGHLIN: Do you see this as a setback to the roll out of the intervention through East
Arnhem Land?

MAJOR GENERAL DAVE CHALMERS: Not at all. This is the act of, if it proves to be, if the allegations
prove to be correct, of some thoughtless individuals.

MURRAY MCLAUGHLIN: Who are working on the intervention?

MAJOR GENERAL DAVE CHALMERS: But - but the intervention is moving very positively and has made
already significant difference to the lives of people in these community.

MURRAY MCLAUGHLIN: The company responsible for the contract at Numbulwar, NT Link, calls itself a
transportable building specialist. Its website boasts a respect for Aboriginal people and their
concern for sacred sites. The company would not respond to our attempts to seek comment. The
Northern Land Council which represents traditional owners at Numbulwar says the site desecration
could have been avoided if the Commonwealth had accepted an offer in late June for the NLC to
broker consultations with communities to obtain their consent and cooperation for the intervention.

JOHN DALY, CHAIRMAN, NORTHERN LAND COUNCIL: We've actually been shunned and pushed to the side and
we haven't been part of the process at all, and I think this is where we run into trouble with our
sacred site being desecrated by contractors that are part of the intervention team.

MURRAY MCLAUGHLIN: The NLC sent a photographer and a lawyer to Numbulwar late last week to record
the scene and interview traditional owners.

The Northern Territory's Aboriginal Areas Protection Authority, which administers the Sacred Sites
Act, sent an anthropologist. Their reports will determine whether any prosecutions will ensue.

KERRY O'BRIEN: Murray McLaughlin reporting.

anthropologist. Their reports will determine whether prosecutions will ensue. Murray McLaughlan
reporting. That's the program for the night. Tomorrow night there'll be a change in the program
schedule. As a public broadcasting service, the ABC will broadcast a version of the Prime
Minister's complain launch prepared by the Liberal Party in the normal 7:30 time slot. The same
service will be provided with Kevin Rudd on Wednesday. Join us then, but for now, goodnight.