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Tonight - making the first move. A Government report suggests Australia shouldn't wait for a global
carbon trading scheme.

We have no intention of introducing an emissions trading scheme which damages Australia's
international competitiveness.

All he's done is produce a kindergarten-level paper on emissions trading.

Big business says Australia shouldn't go it alone.

To do this unilaterally without the prospect of a global system is not in our interests.

CC

Good evening. Welcome to Lateline. I'm Tony Jones. Shortly we'll be joined by the Australian of the
Year, Professor Tim Flannery. He says that global warming is now hammering Australia, worse than
any other developed country and that radical steps are necessary. Here is how radical. Flanaganen
in wants the Government to close down all coal-fired power stations and move to electricity
rationing, while a new power infrastructure is built, centred around a new city in the South
Australian desert which will be the centre of a grid tapping into geo-thermal power in the Cooper
Basin which he says could run the entire Australian economy for 100 years. So are there any
politicians out there who'd like to sign up to that one? We'll asken in Flanagan later. First, our
other headlines - the trial of Willie Brigitte, the man accused of planning terrorist attacks in
Australia appears in court in Paris. President Hu's African odyssey. China strengthens its bonds
with Africa as its leader continues his tour of the continent. On 'Lateline Business' - sealing the
deal.

Govt task force designs carbon trading platform

Govt task force designs carbon trading platform

Broadcast: 07/02/2007

Reporter: Greg Jennett

Faced with the prospect that international agreement on a single global carbon trading scheme is
many years away, a government task force has begun work on designing one for Australia and its
regional neighbours.

Transcript

TONY JONES: After years of resistance, the Federal Government is slowing clearing a path towards a
national greenhouse gas trading system. Faced with the prospect that international agreement on a
single global carbon trading scheme is many years away, a government task force has begun work on
designing one for Australia and its regional neighbours. John Howard says their approach is
sensible, but is still ruling out adopting any system that hurts Australia's coal industry. From
Canberra, Greg Jennett reports.

GREG JENNETT: 24 hours later, John Howard still is trying to make amends for his global warming
gaffe.

JOHN HOWARD, PRIME MINISTER: And I don't mind saying I'm wrong when I'm wrong.

GREG JENNETT: Today, the Prime Minister was back on message about climate change and what he won't
do about it.

JOHN HOWARD: We have no intention of introducing an emissions trading scheme which damages
Australia's international competitiveness.

GREG JENNETT: What the Government will do to wind back carbon dioxide emissions remains unclear,
but the first paper by a prime ministerial task force nudges it towards adopting a market based
scheme. It says the warning signs cannot be ignored. Until now, the Government's approach has been
to think locally, but act globally, awaiting a comprehensive international emissions trading scheme
while resisting any domestic system, but the task force says it's unlikely an international
agreement will emerge in the near future, so the ground is gradually shifting.

IAN MACFARLANE, INDUSTRY MINISTER: As the paper outlines, there is unlikely to be a global trading
scheme in the near future. If we are to use a carbon trading scheme to progress research and
development, the development and deployment of technology, then we need to look at other options.

GREG JENNETT: That means developing an Australian or regional market in carbon, although how and
when it might operate is completely up in the air.

SENATOR CHRISTINE MILNE, AUSTRALIAN GREENS: I think Australian industry and the community will be
just seeing this for what it is. It is a recipe for delaying in action.

GREG JENNETT: The task force poses 40 questions to be answered in its next report and, even when it
does, the Government is by no means committed to going ahead.

SENATOR NICK MINCHIN, FINANCE MINISTER: While there are a whole range of things that we are and
should be doing about global warming and greenhouse gas emissions, the introduction unilaterally of
a domestic emissions trading scheme is not one of them.

GREG JENNETT: Kevin Rudd is unrelenting in his attempts to portray the Prime Minister as a
greenhouse gas sceptic, today reaching back to 1999, with four reports on climate change he says
went unheeded.

KEVIN RUDD, OPPOSITION LEADER: Given the Prime Minister has ignored all the climate change warning
bells in the past, why should Australians believe you on climate change for the future?

GREG JENNETT: Progress may be slow on smothering greenhouse gases, but John Howard appears on the
brink of getting the support he needs for his $10 billion Murray Darling water plan when premiers
and chief ministers come to Canberra tomorrow.

JOHN HOWARD: And if the states come on board, and I'm very encouraged by the cooperative attitude
they've adopted - if they do, I think that will be fantastic for the country.

GREG JENNETT: And the best end he could hope for from Parliament's first week back. Greg Jennett,
Lateline.

Green groups, miners consider carbon trading scheme

Green groups, miners consider carbon trading scheme

Broadcast: 07/02/2007

Reporter: John Stewart

The European Union and California are already putting a price on carbon but industry and green
groups in Australia are still considering its possibility.

Transcript

TONY JONES: The European Union and California have already put a price on carbon and are making
polluters pay for their emissions. Talk of doing the same in Australia has been welcomed by most
green groups and the business sector, but we're still unclear about how a national carbon trading
scheme could work. John Stewart reports.

JOHN STEWART: In Europe, carbon trading is already a multi-billion dollar industry. Like people who
buy and sell shares, investors and business can buy and sell the right to pollute. It's also
happened in California. Last year, the world's fifth-largest economy placed a cap on carbon
emissions. Today, conservation groups welcomed talk of an Australian carbon trading scheme, but
they say it won't work unless a California style cap is placed on polluters.

TONY MOHR, CONSERVATION FOUNDATION: Look, we already know it works. The EU has an emissions trading
scheme. As far back as 1999 the Federal Government had detailed advice on how to design a trading
scheme. We really can't afford to delay any longer.

JOHN STEWART: Under a national carbon trading scheme, the big polluters could be forced to
compensate for their emissions by investing in clean energy sources like wind, wave or solar. The
Minerals Council has given initial support to the idea, but says it must be part of a global carbon
scheme.

MITCH HOOKE, MINERALS COUNCIL: There's not a lot of prizes for unilateral moves in this respect. We
need to ensure that, if we are a first mover in that sense - that it is a transitional means to a
global solution.

JOHN STEWART: The coal miners' union supports the carbon trading scheme and rejects the argument
that cutting pollution will cost local jobs.

TONY MAHER, CFMEU: John Howard is playing politics with a very serious issue. The workers in coal
mining and power generation have voted overwhelmingly to support carbon trading. They are not
concerned about jobs. They know it's an expanding market and they know that the industry has to
clean up its act. It's the Government that's lagging behind.

JOHN STEWART: The coal miners' union wants profits from mining redirected into carbon sequestration
or pumping carbon gases underground, but there's a question mark over whether it's a realistic
solution.

FIONA WAIN, ENVIRONMENTAL BUSINESS AUSTRALIA: It's a long way off. If it works, it will be a
tremendous solution, but we don't know yet whether it is going to work.

JOHN STEWART: The sustainable energy sector says Australia doesn't have to rely on coal, and other
cleaner technologies will soon be available.

FIONA WAIN: We've got other technologies that may be on a smaller scale but have dual roles, and
I'm thinking of wave technology that can also well, produces electricity but also produces
desalinated seawater. There are some beautiful technologies around the place but we need to really
get them up to scale, commercialise and deploy them, not just in Australia, but in Asia as well -
very specifically India and China.

JOHN STEWART: If a carbon trading scheme does go ahead, the cost of electricity will rise as the
costs of pollution are passed on to the consumer. John Stewart, Lateline.

Brigitte on trial for Aust terrorist plot

Brigitte on trial for Aust terrorist plot

Broadcast: 07/02/2007

Reporter: Rafael Epstein

Terrorist suspect Willie Brigitte who has been accused of plotting a terrorist act on Australian
soil has been put on trial in Paris.

Transcript

TONY JONES: The trial of a French Muslim convert accused of plotting terrorist attacks in Australia
has begun in Paris. Willie Brigitte was deported from Australia in 2003. Now he's being prosecuted
by French authorities for his alleged activities, both here and in France. From Paris, Europe
correspondent Rafael Epstein.

RAFAEL EPSTEIN, EUROPE CORRESPONDENT, PARIS: In courtroom number 16 at the Palais de Justice we may
learn what Willie Brigitte was doing in Australia. French investigators claim he was planning a
large-scale terrorist action with this man, Faheem Khalid Lodhi, the Pakistani-born architect who
last year became the first man to be convicted under new laws for plotting an attack on Australian
soil. Intelligence analysts say Lodhi was one of many recruited into a terrorist cell by Willie
Brigitte.

JEAN CHARLES BRISSARD, INTELLIGENCE ANALYST: He was ready to put in place a cell in Australia and
that - he already had some ideas of targets inside Australia.

RAFAEL EPSTEIN: Willie Brigitte is also accused of attending a militant Islamic training camp in
Pakistan, where it is claimed he came under the influence of the man who also supervised Faheem
Khalid Lodhi. And the trial may focus on Afghan Northern Alliance leader, Ahmed Shah Masood. Two
days before the September 11 attacks, he was killed by suicide bombers posing as reporters. They
carried false passports, allegedly supplied by Willie Brigitte.

Through his lawyer, Willie Brigitte says he is innocent of all charges. He's been in custody for
more than three years and he is facing the far reaching charge of criminal conspiracy in relation
with a terrorist enterprise.

In Willie Brigitte's old neighbourhood, there's doubt that he's guilty of anything, scepticism that
is fuelled by former intelligence officers here who say there is little evidence against him.

Before he came to Australia, Willie Brigitte prayed at this small mosque in the north east of
Paris. French authorities believe he was part of an al Qaeda sleeper cell, waiting to be activated
by his supposed handlers. Australian authorities believe he played a similar role in Sydney,
helping to plan a large scale attack.

TONY JONES: Rafael Epstein has been covering the court case and joins us now in Paris.

Rafael, presumably Brigitte has been in court.

RAFAEL EPSTEIN: He has, and it's pretty interesting to actually get face to face with someone who's
caused so much press coverage and obviously, concern with the authorities here in France and
Australia. He came in a black tracksuit, hooded top, very much looking like that photo people will
have seen in the newspapers and on television - a beard, short dreadlocks and glasses. He was very
quiet and sombre. He came in with handcuffs on. They took them off. He had two armed guards behind
him. They had their pistols holstered and there were other armed guards in the court. It's a big
sort of wood-pannelled courtroom, quite an old grand building, and quite a sombre court hearing.
Basically, the court just read out three hours' worth of evidence gathered, a lot of it the
interrogation that Willie Brigitte had cooperated in earlier on when he was in prison in France.

TONY JONES: What's the thrust of the case against him and are they already talking about the
allegations of what he supposedly did in Australia?

RAFAEL EPSTEIN: They are talking about the evidence of what he did in Australia. There isn't too
much new there. What they are painting him as is a sort of the go-to man for Lashkar-e-Toiba in
France. Lashkar-e-Toiba is the militant group in Pakistan that he trained with, they are closely
affiliated with al Qaeda and they are saying that he did everything from run military-style
training camps in France through to making fake passports for people, fake identity cards, helping
people who might be going through France and while he wasn't given any violent mission in France
itself, he was told to go to Australia and do what he'd been doing in France, which was to awake
agents who'd been sent there and told to wait for the word that he'd been sent to Australia for a
specific purpose and that his contact in Australia was Faheem Lodhi, the architect who was
sentenced by an Australian court last year.

TONY JONES: Very briefly Rafael, he's accused by the French of playing a role in the assassination
of the Northern Alliance leader, Ahmad Shah Masood, just before September 11.

RAFAEL EPSTEIN: Yeah. What is interesting is in the past he'd only been linked to giving the
assassins passports but today in court it was alleged he gave them explosives, a television camera
they used as a bomb and the passport. So he's obviously been painted as a senior figure in that
plot and obviously, Ahmed Shah Masood later went on to side with the Coalition against the Taliban.
One other interesting detail; it is hard to get any full explanation of this but the court said
that the Australian authorities told France, told French authorities, when Brigitte initially
arrived in Australia in May 2003. Now, that doesn't fit with the controversy that arose after
Brigitte's deportation, when there was some concern that perhaps the Australian authorities hadn't
acted quickly enough on the French authorities. So just is a little detail in court, that perhaps
the Australians told the French as soon as Brigitte came to Australia that he had arrived.

TONY JONES: Right. Much more on that tomorrow. Rafael Epstein, thanks very much.

RAFAEL EPSTEIN: Pleasure.

Turnbull raises carbon emmissions issue in Parliament

Turnbull raises carbon emmissions issue in Parliament

Broadcast: 07/02/2007

Reporter: Tony Jones

The newly-minted Environment Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, set the scale of the global warming
problem facing the Government in Question Time.

Transcript

TONY JONES: Let's look back at a moment in today's Question Time when the newly-minted Environment
Minister Malcolm Turnbull set out the scale of the problem facing the Government which have to
reign in carbon emissions to deal with global warming.

MALCOLM TURNBULL, ENVIRONMENT MINISTER: China, Mr Speaker, is the world's second-largest emitter of
greenhouse gases. Only a few years ago it was forecast to overtake the United States by 2020.
China's growth has been so rapid that it is expected to overtake the United States by 2010 or even
2009. So it is growing extraordinarily quickly, in terms of its greenhouse gas emissions.

China is commissioning the equivalent of a 1,000 megawatt coal-fired power station every five days
and its additional growth in emissions equals Australia's annual total every eight months. So that
gives an idea of the scale of the problem.

TONY JONES: Well, Malcolm Turnbull's solution is to export Australian made clean coal technology to
these giant polluters, along with our shipments of coal. At the same time the Government is edging
towards some form of carbon trading system.

Tony Jones speaks with Tim Flannery

Tony Jones speaks with Tim Flannery

Broadcast: 07/02/2007

Reporter: Tony Jones

Tony Jones speaks with Australian of the Year Professor Tim Flannery, on the issue of climate
change.

Transcript

TONY JONES: Joining us now is Professor Tim Flannery, arguably Australia's best known popular
scientist. He's also the author of The Weather Makers and he was recently named Australian of the
Year.

Thanks for being here.

PROFESSOR TIM FLANNERY, SCIENTIST & AUTHOR: It's a pleasure. Thank you.

TONY JONES: We've just heard Malcolm Turnbull set out, as he said, the scale of the problem, but
that's just China. There is India as well and between them, they have some 600 coal-fired power
stations on the drawing-board. What happens to the atmosphere if they are all commissioned and they
are not clean?

PROFESSOR TIM FLANNERY: I think the battle for climate stability will be lost and we'll have very
serious consequences within the next two, three or four decades.

TONY JONES: We'll be lost if India and China specifically aren't reigned in?

PROFESSOR TIM FLANNERY: If we have an increase on that scale - and just to put that in perspective,
over the last 10 years, when we've been arguing whether we should have carbon trading or not, the
volume of greenhouse gas in the atmosphere - human-caused greenhouse gas - has increased by 20 per
cent in a decade. Over the next five years, it is likely to increase by another 10 or 15 per cent
and so on. So the problem is growing so large that we'll reach a point where it simply won't be
feasible to turn the situation around.

TONY JONES: That's what we call a tipping point. Is there a way of assessing how close we are to a
tipping point where you can't reverse or fix the situation?

PROFESSOR TIM FLANNERY: Look, it is not possible to say when that point is going to come, but a
useful analogy is the development of cancer in the human body. In a sense, the IPCC report we had
last week was the experts saying, "We've got a very serious problem. The Earth has got a serious
disease. We don't know yet whether it's got to that point where it's metastasised and run away but
we need to start treating it soon and effectively".

The sooner you start treating it and the more effectively you start treating it, the better chance
you will stop it before it gets to that tipping point.

TONY JONES: It's interesting you should quote the IPCC report, because you are very critical of it,
aren't you? You think it's rather a conservative outlook and doesn't reflect what in fact is
happening or the speed with which it is happening.

PROFESSOR TIM FLANNERY: Look, I'm not critical of it in a sense. It's a consensus document and it
is conservative particularly from the perspective that it cuts off the science in early 2005 and a
lot has happened since then. Of course, being a consensus document, a lot of the material that I
think is reasonably well-supported also gets weeded out through that process. If the IPCC says it
you better believe it and then leave room to think it is actually a lot worse than they have said.

TONY JONES: What do you believe that goes beyond what they think and what's the evidence for that?

PROFESSOR TIM FLANNERY: Look, what we've seen in the Arctic over the last two years has been such
breathtaking change that you have to worry about stability for sea levels and for the entire
Northern Hemisphere climate system. The rate of ice melt in 2005 increased by about five times over
what it was previously and it's been very, very large again in 2006. Now if you take those two
years as the new trajectory for ice melt in the Arctic - we've only two years of data there - but
if we do that, there will be no Arctic to melt in five to 15 years and that is an astonishingly
short period of time for an ice cap that's existed for three million years.

And when you think that - the climate system of the Northern Hemisphere is structured by the
temperature gradings between the Pole and the equator, you know, so it's as you start changing the
temperature of the Pole you start reorganising the climate system of the Northern Hemisphere. So
I'm very fearful that not in 50 or a hundred years time but within 10 or 20 years time we'll start
seeing very large scale changes in the bio sphere and people will realise, perhaps belatedly, the
nature of this emergency.

TONY JONES: One of the things that you point out - and I think it is interesting to note because
people don't realise - for example, that the atmosphere is not as big as many assume it is, for
example, it is much smaller than the ocean.

PROFESSOR TIM FLANNERY: Yeah, it's about one 500th the size of the ocean, and that explains why
we've had three atmospheric emergencies, if you want, through my lifetime, you know. We had acid
rain, then we had the hole in the ozone layer and now we've got greenhouse gases and climate
change. We haven't yet precipitated a global oceanic pollution crisis. It is not that we don't
throw rubbish into the oceans, it's just that the oceans are so much bigger. Incidentally, the day
we do that - the day we pollute the oceans globally - is the day we can say goodbye to any sort of
planetary stability, because the oceans are the great drivers of the system.

TONY JONES: What we know for sure is that Australia contributes, although it does contribute to
greenhouse gas only a tiny proportion. We talked about China, we talked about India as Malcolm
Turnbull did. Now the Government are banking very heavily on Australian made clean coal technology
being used to clean up all of those coal-fired power stations in China and India that you say could
tip us over the edge. How likely is it that that technology could be ready in time and effective
enough to actually do that?

PROFESSOR TIM FLANNERY: I don't think it will be ready in time. I think we need to take a much more
holistic approach than this. Look, from a scientific perspective, looking at the data, I feel as if
it is 1939 and there's an enormous threat on the horizon and we need to act in a way that isn't the
way that we act normally. Under normal circumstances, our economic wellbeing and whatever is what
we put first and foremost. When you are faced with a dire crisis, that's not the first thing that
we address. For example, just going back to that analogy of going to the doctor and finding you've
got a serious disease, you don't ask, "How much is it going to cost me to get cured?" You ask,
"What are my chances of a cure and what do I do to make sure the cure happens?" That's the
situation I feel we're in. We've got to address this issue, even if it means a sacrifice at this
time for a better future.

TONY JONES: Let's talk in specifics though, about the Australian technology that the Government is
banking on. Why do you think it won't be ready?

PROFESSOR TIM FLANNERY: First of all, it's dependent on the nature of the ground under those power
stations. Some parts of the Earth's crust are suitable for sequestrian carbon, other parts aren't.
We haven't yet done a survey to see how widely applicable this technology will be. We know from the
Australian situation though, that the Hunter Valley is not a good place to put the CO2, whereas
perhaps West Gippsland and the Yachtway Basin is a little bit better. How widely applicable it will
be no one knows.

Secondly, the costing is not yet clear. We know the electricity generated by this technology is
going to be more expensive than standard coal-fired power plants but how much more expensive is as
yet unclear. In the Australian situation, the best figures I can see suggest that it may be 6 to 10
cents a kilowatt hour, as opposed to the three or so that we pay now.

TONY JONES: Let's take it to a broad level, because we are talking about the global problem and as
we said earlier, we are talking about China and India being these two emerging giants with hundreds
and hundreds of coal-fired power stations on the drawing board. It's Malcolm Turnbull's expressed
hope that in years to come the greatest contribution Australia could make to the reduction of
greenhouse gases globally is to export this technology to those countries.

PROFESSOR TIM FLANNERY: That will be part of the solution, but there's going to be other aspects to
that solution too and part of that is going to be nuclear power because some parts of the world
simply don't have the wealth of options that we have here in Australia. But there are many other
alternatives as well. Geothermal energy, for example, is something that is barely spoken about, yet
whose potential is every bit as great.

TONY JONES: I'll come to that in some detail in a moment because I mentioned it at the beginning of
the program and your quite sort of radical solution to our power needs. We will come to that but
here is a question I put to the Prime Minister on Monday night. Now given that Australia sends to
China and India huge volumes of the coal that they are burning, could there come a time, without
drastic change to the way it is burnt, where it's no longer in our national interests to export
coal?

PROFESSOR TIM FLANNERY: That time has already come. The social licence of coal to operate is
rapidly being withdrawn globally, and no government can protect an industry from that sort of thing
occurring. We've seen it with asbestos. We'll see it with coal. The reason is that, when you look
at the proportion of the damage being done by coal now, it is significant, but that grows greatly
in future. We have to deal with that issue if we want a stable climate.

TONY JONES: But it is clearly not going to happen is it? I mean, both sides of politics - because
of the incredible employment opportunities offered by the mining industry and the prosperity this
country gets from selling coal to China and India - are not going to touch that.

PROFESSOR TIM FLANNERY: We'll have to make a choice. Do we want our minerals processing sector to
prosper into the future or do we want coal to prosper? That will be the sort of choice we'll have
to make. If we want minerals processing and minerals extraction to be a big part of our future, we
need to start investing now in technologies that are going to deliver low cost electricity that
don't create the pollution, and that's where things like geothermal, I think become very, very
important.

TONY JONES: What are you going to say - I mean, you are Australian of the Year and you get a chance
to talk to these politicians. What are you going to say to them about the fact that we're exporting
the coal that is being burnt that creates the CO2 that you believe could destroy the world?

PROFESSOR TIM FLANNERY: The first thing to say is we should have ratified Kyoto because Kyoto is an
international mechanism that deals with the unwanted consequences of the coal trade and other
fossil fuel trades. If we had done that 10 years ago, we may have lessened the damage that was
being done and we may have been on a trajectory towards healing the planet. We didn't do that, so
now the medicine we have to take has to be more radical, because the problem has grown by 20 per
cent in the meantime. We are now getting close, many people believe, to that tipping point where
matters will be taken out of our hands.

TONY JONES: By whom?

PROFESSOR TIM FLANNERY: By the planet, by the nature of the climate system, these positive feedback
loops in the climate system. Once you heat the planet up enough, you get to the point where, no
matter what humanity does, it is then too late to act.

TONY JONES: Mr Howard was quit emphatic on this issue when I interviewed him. He defines
Australia's national interest obviously, as being our economic interests and there are huge
economic interests at stake and of course, the Government is saying, "We have the technology, it's
coming down the track, we'll send it to India and China. They'll be able to fix the problem".

PROFESSOR TIM FLANNERY: The technology is going to be too small and come too late to fix the
problem. We actually - 10 years ago - it is possible had we had those technologies then and had we
had carbon trading then that we may have been able to use them as tools to fix the problem. The
problem has grown too big now to be fixed. We need real investment by government, real sacrifice.
At the moment for a better future.

TONY JONES: You know what the Prime Minister said, he said that if we stop sending Australian coal
the Chinese will burn Chinese coal, which is in fact dirtier and it will be even worse.

PROFESSOR TIM FLANNERY: I think that's a false - what do you call it - a false equation. The
Europeans are already talking about tariffs, carbon-based tariffs. As the situation unfolds and the
matters get more critical, the world is not going to allow people to pollute our common atmosphere
as occurs at the moment. The social licence to operate those old polluting technologies will be
withdrawn.

TONY JONES: You've mentioned Kyoto a moment ago. Of course, the reason - the stated reason - the
Government won't sign them or won't ratify, I should say, the Kyoto Protocol is precisely because
India and China and the United States, for that matter, are not part of it.

PROFESSOR TIM FLANNERY: You know what China said two days ago? They're not going to rein in their
emissions because the big polluters like the USA and Australia haven't ratified Kyoto, and why
should they take up the challenge when we haven't addressed it. It's a great blame game by us all
and that sort of thinking gets us nowhere. We actually need to move forward.

TONY JONES: Do you think carbon trading alone, even on a global scale, will be enough to rein in
the problem you see coming down the track?

PROFESSOR TIM FLANNERY: It's a critically important tool. We must get into Australia but it alone
will not do the job now. The problem has grown too great.

TONY JONES: So you think more radical mandated solutions might be necessary?

PROFESSOR TIM FLANNERY: We need real government leadership. We need to set a target within the next
10 or 20 years which will allow us to start exploiting some of these renewable and non polluting
sources of energy and use them as the backbone of our minerals processing economy. These seem like
radical ideas now but the sort of things five years ago what we are talking about today seemed
unbelievably radical.

Just to come back to coal, the Australia I grew up in rode on the sheep's back. Where is the sheep
today? The economy has changed and it will change again in future. I'm convinced if we plot the
right trajectory Australia's prosperity will agree as we move away from coal.

TONY JONES: Let's go to the radical solution. You've actually advocated for Australia closing down
all coal-fired power stations and going to power rationing, creating a joint national scheme, like
the Snowy Mountain scheme, to exploit geothermal power from the South Australia Cooper Basin. How
would it work?

PROFESSOR TIM FLANNERY: I haven't talked about power rationing. I think that we do need to
ultimately close down those coal-fired power plants but first we need to build the bridge to the
new energy future. There are hot rocks in South Australia that potentially have enough embedded
energy in them to run Australia's economy for the best part of a century. They are not being fully
exploited yet but the technology to extract that energy and turn it into electricity is relatively
straightforward.

TONY JONES: Is it there? I mean, is it there at the time? I know there are pilot plants in the
Cooper Basin. How much of an effort, a national effort, would it take to take that further as you
pointed out, and make a grid starting from there, spreading out to the rest of the country?

PROFESSOR TIM FLANNERY: If we started off on a raw footing, so this is the big investment in our
future, the big Snowy Mountain scheme, to secure our future as the world's mineral processor and
mineral extraction area, I think we could probably do a very large amount of that within a decade.
We've got the north-south railway now. We simply need to build on that, we need to reorient our
grid, but first and foremost, we need to prove up these technologies. So we need a large investment
in both solar-thermal and geothermal technologies, because both have huge potential in this area to
produce abundant cheap electricity and they don't have the sort of problem we have with nuclear.
Part of the issue with nuclear is it is so politically contentious and perhaps that's why it's on
the agenda, but it also makes it more difficult to use in Australia to move forward, and frankly, I
think there are better options.

TONY JONES: I've got to ask the obvious question: in your position, you're going to get the chance
to put the chance to put these sorts of arguments to those directly in power and those who want to
be in power. I presume you've done that to some degree already. Is anyone in the political scene
thinking carefully about this proposal?

PROFESSOR TIM FLANNERY: I suspect that some people are. The big challenge for those people will be
bringing their party with them.

TONY JONES: Do you think - I mean, I've got to ask this question. Are you talking about in
Government or in Opposition?

PROFESSOR TIM FLANNERY: I think for both.

TONY JONES: There are people on both sides who listening to these ideas?

PROFESSOR TIM FLANNERY: Yes.

TONY JONES: Why haven't they entered the national debate? You are basically saying, "Here is
something that would solve our power problems a hundred years into the future".

PROFESSOR TIM FLANNERY: People are thinking about late 20th century solutions that might have been
appropriate 10 years ago, and people - we haven't caught on to the extent to which the problem has
grown and the urgent need now for much more widespread solutions. It is not just securing our
energy future, it's getting the gas out of the air and Australia can play a leading role there too.

TONY JONES: Tim Flannery, you'll have a unique opportunity as Australian of the Year to put these
arguments. I'm glad you've had the chance to do it on this program tonight. We'll see how you go.
It was obviously a provocative choice by the committee, putting you in this job. It's an
interesting time for you to be there. Thank you for joining us.

PROFESSOR TIM FLANNERY: Thank you. I don't know if I'll thank them in a year's time, but thank you.

Chinese President criticised over Zimbabwe, Sudan regime support

Chinese President criticised over Zimbabwe, Sudan regime support

Broadcast: 07/02/2007

Reporter: Andrew Geoghegan

As Chinese President Hu Jintao nears the end of his tour of Africa, he faces criticism over his
support for the regimes in Zimbabwe and Sudan.

Transcript

TONY JONES: The Chinese president, Hu Jintao, is nearing the end of a whirlwind tour of Africa.
He's been securing long-term concessions in oil and mining and in return, handing out generous aid
packages and interest-free loans. Some are worried about China's support for the regimes in
Zimbabwe and Sudan, while African workers claim they are losing their jobs to cheap Chinese
imports. African correspondent Andrew Geoghegan reports.

ANDREW GEOGHEGAN: The Chinese President, Hu Jintao, is an African odyssey, visiting eight countries
from war-torn Sudan to the continent's economic powerhouse, South Africa. He's been honoured by
local dignitaries at every stop and South Africa has been no exception. It is Beijing's biggest
trade partner on the continent and the economic relationship is growing cosier.

THABO MBEKI, SOUTH AFRICAN PRESIDENT: China has developed into among the top 10 countries in the
world, in terms of our international economic relations. It's a signal of the importance of the
relationship.

ANDREW GEOGHEGAN: The leaders of South Africa and China have signed a raft of trade agreements and
have vowed to strengthen what they call a strategic partnership.

THABO MBEKI: We have this partnership with China because it enables us ready and immediate access
to the Chinese leadership and the Chinese Government.

HU JINTAO, CHINESE PRESIDENT: Cooperation between China and South Africa is based on equality,
mutual trust, mutual benefits and win win outcomes.

ANDREW GEOGHEGAN: The Chinese president has been sealing partnerships with every country he's
visited, pledging aid and loans. Driving China's investment in Africa is its appetite for growth.
It wants to guarantee it has abundant natural resources to feed its economy, and China's largesse
has secured concessions in oil and mining rights. However, its no-strings-attached handouts to
countries like Sudan and Zimbabwe has prompted accusations from the west that China is ignoring
corruption and human rights abuses, but President Hu has defended his country's stance, while
making a veiled reference to western interventionist policies.

HU JINTAO: China does not interfere in other countries' internal affairs and China does not impose
its own ideology, political system or mode of development on to any other country.

ANDREW GEOGHEGAN: While China is continuing significant amounts of goodwill in Africa, it is also
generating resentment. There are signs that China's growing economic clout on the continent is
undermining local industry.

PATRICK CRAVEN, CONGRESS OF SOUTH AFRICAN TRADE UNIONS: Yes. That's not just a fear, it's a fact
that, particularly in clothing and textiles, Chinese imports have already led to the loss of, we
estimate, 65,000 jobs.

ANDREW GEOGHEGAN: Trade unions also complain that China is exploiting local workers, as well as
importing its own labour in regions that have chronic unemployment.

PATRICK CRAVEN: One of our fears is that Chinese companies, when they invest here, will not be good
employers, just as we believe they are not in China itself, where workers are paid very, very low
wages.

ANDREW GEOGHEGAN: While China is creating new economic opportunities in Africa, there's also a
growing wariness that its stake on the continent could represent a new wave of colonialism. Andrew
Geoghegan, Lateline.

Time for a quick look at the weatherment late gusty thunder storms for Darwin. A few showers and
the chance of storms for Sydney. Possible afternoon storms also in Canberra, become ing fine in
Melbourne. Mainly fine in Hobart and fine in the other capital cities tomorrow. That's all from us.
'Lateline Business' coming up in just a moment but if you'd like to look back at today's interview
or review any Lateline stories or transcripts vit our website at www.abc.net.au/lateline. Now here
is 'Lateline Business' with Ali Moore.