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(generated from captions) The dressing rooms smelt funny. small, but apart from that... And the concert grand was very you know. It's not the greatest piano, It's a baby piano. A toy piano. into the business organising, A lot of the energy this time went and preparation and not much forethought I don't think that's true. went into organising that stuff. tour from the point of view, I believe it's been a very successful exceptionally well. artistically, we've all played very full crowds, though. There haven't been it's been well promoted. It doesn't feel like Well, see, I'm not really... of how concerts function in China. ..none of us are particularly aware

at the Guangzhou Conservatory today, Right, because I spoke to someone the concert for starters, and they hadn't really heard about that they can't afford, and they said ticket prices at this price rate. their students can't afford I think it would be fair to say

extremely well. that we've been received Lots and lots and lots of applause. Lots of smiling faces. Lots of encores.

And very happy audiences. on what seems to have been Firstly, congratulations a very successful business exchange, an artistic exchange but perhaps not so strong you would've liked to have seen and I'm wondering if more of a cultural exchange. For example, attracting more to the concerts. of China's music lovers for that question. Thank you very much, Rosalind, It's a good question. first trip to China. This is the WASO's last one that we will make, we hope. It's our first tour of China, not the I can't think of anything But, quite frankly,

about this trip to China. I really would like to change and a really moving It has been a privilege, a joy, for every single one of us. cultural experience HAUNTING FLUTE MUSIC

APPLAUSE Jasmine, When they played Chinese song, I was just basically playing tears. four or five notes of that song, When the audience hears the first

you can feel this gasp go through, and they realise what it is, applause and they're right into it. "Oh, this is our music," and some It's a great feeling to feel that. and hug us at that moment. It's almost like they reach out APPLAUSE he will be very proud If my father lived today,

so well in Australia. because we do more, we're doing and I love the people there. Australia is great country, I love my career there. my friend, China has my history, my family, but Australia has my future. has been a phenomenal success. I actually think that the tour of a commercial deal. We have been a celebration

privilege to have been part of that. It's been a huge compliment and a many orchestras in the world I doubt there are

of private sponsorship. that don't have some form We'll need it forever. Finished all tours now. Finished all the music. We can go home and see our family.

Happy. That was better. Alright, get off me, you big oaf. Closed Captions by CSI on this tour (Sings) # I've had a good time and I fell on the floor # I've eaten too much # Oh, I was so daaaaaaaaaa... # you won't get happy ending. Neil, if you sing like that,

CC Tonight - polls apart as

the latest Newspoll shakes the

Coalition, John Howard and

Kevin Rudd test each other's

credentials on Iraq. Mr Howard

can't say that he's learnt any

lessons from the Iraq debacle.

I think that represents for the future a risk for Australian

national security. Really? I

of himself. think he's getting a bit full

Well good evening and welcome

to Lateline, I'm Tony Jones.

Perhaps sensing an opportunity

to wedge Kevin Rudd on his

refusal to support the despatch

of new military trainers to

Iraq, the Prime Minister's

right-hand man on national

security stepped into the

breach today. It's a typical Ruddism. It's wrong and it's

right. Wrong to send them to

Iraq but somehow you could send

trainers to Jordan and that

would be right. What is he

saying? But Mr Downer, here's

what the American colonel who's

in charge of training said, he

said another advantage is that if it's staffed by foreign

officers, they don't have to

dom into Iraq and become

targets in order to teach. You

can find an American colonel who would say almost anything.

Well in fact that particular

colonel was interviewed by the

US council of foreign

erelations because of his hands

on experience training Iraqi

force bus more on that later.

First our other headline. Controlling Hicks, the Attorney-General admits he's

looking at all the options if a

trial doesn't go ahead. Early

exit, James Hardies' chairman

and two directors resign to

fight civil charges laid by

ASIC. And on 'Lateline

Business', the super boom,

superannuation boosts profits money pouring into

for the wealth managers. A day

of campaigning in Perth has

descended into a personal

slanging match between the

Prime Minister and the

Opposition Leader. It began

early this morning when Kevin Rudd accused John Howard of

being a risk to national security to which the Prime

Minister retorted that his counterpart was full of

himself. Well even Alexander

Downer couldn't stay out of the

fray, labelling Mr Rudd a

nouveau celebrity who is yet to

face the hard degs required of

a leader. With Kevin Rudd on

the ascendency and Labor

outrarvinging the Government in

the poll, the personal barbs

appear to be unlikely to be a

one-off event. They're miles

apart on Iraq but not so very

far away from each other. John

Howard and Kevin Rudd both hit the hustings in Perth today in

an attempt to get an early hold

on the city's marginal seats

but while they were acting

local, they were thinking

global. Mr Howard himself

represents a national securitiy

risk for this country in the

future why? He's refused to say

he's learnt any lessons from

this Iraq debacle. Really? I

think he's getting a bit full

of himself. Rhetoric is fair

enough but you can get a bit

Kevin Rudd wasn't quite so carried away. Aid and later

forth right. I said Mr Howard

is looming as an increasing

risk for Australia's long-term

national security. The

Opposition's refusing to back

John Howard's decision to send

an extra 70 military trainers

to Iraq to help bolster the war

torn country's security forces.

They're due to leave within the

next few months but Kevin

for Baghdad. When it comes to

additional forms of provided in Amman and Jordan. I

am amazed Mr Rudd is against

the trainers ch he says all the

time he wants the Iraqis to

stand on their own two feet. We're doing something to help

them stand on those two feet

and he's against that. This is

Mr Rudd walking both sides of the street,

Kevin. The time will come when

Mr Rudd instead of flounsing

around like a celebrity l have to become on his side. In the latest

poll, 45% of In Iraq.

Only 30% Iraq policy is not popular, I

understand that. But it's Minister. Has him a full 10% and Mr

Rudd's personal rating has hit

a high up 8 points to 68%. But

he's not packing for the lodge

just yet. I've been around long

enough to know that you can't

place any store in early polls,

I know that the mood of the

people is that they want to

kick the ties a bit, look under

the bonnet and make sure what

they want to have as an next

Government of Australia. But

privately senior Labor mveps

say it's a sign Mr Howard's

attempt of trying to label

Kevin Rudd as Downer says he's seen it all before I was the Leader of the

Opposition, I was enormously

popular. I only hope that Mr

Rudd suffers the same fate that

I did. It's a wish that looks first time the Government has

revealed that it's considering

ways of bringing David Hicks

home without him going through

the US military commission

process. The Attorney-General

says he's looking at all

possible options which could include bringing Hicks back

under a control order from an

Australian court. The case was

raised this morning when the US

President phoned the Prime

Minister and said he'd do what

he could to bring the matter to

an end. From Canberra, Craig

McMurtrie reports. The call

came at sunrise, just before

the Prime Minister's morning

walk. George Bush wanted to

talk about North Korea, John

Howard raised David Hicks. I

said that there was intense

feeling in Australia, that it

had taken far too long. He acknowledged that. He understood that. He was

sensitive to that. He says he

told the US leader that the

long delay in the Australian

getting his day in court was

worrying and that new US trial

deadlines had to be met. He

says the President told him

David Hicks was first in line

and offered his assurance. It

was a very direct assurance

that he would again reinforce

to the authorities in the

United States the need for the

matter to be dealt with with

all possible expedition. But

with a trial date still to be

set and uncertainty over

further legal challenges, the Attorney-General has told SBS

he is considering other options

which could include bringing

the 31-year-old home anyway. I

am looking at all of the

potential options that I might

have to address in various circumstances, that's the only

point I make and that's what you would expect me to

do. David Hicks' parents say they're prepared to have their

son monitored under a control

order if the Government gets

him back. Of course I would be

happy with a control order,

anything at this stage to get

David out of that

situation. If David's done

something wrong, we all have to

accept that. Philip Ruddock

says that's up to the police

and courts, not him. There are

difficulties and these are

matters that I have to look at

if these matters are going to be pursued. The

Attorney-General also says a

cut off point for abandoning

the trial process hasn't been

reached yet and lawyers on both

sides are leaving open the

option of a plea bargain. With

no prospect for peace in Iraq,

there are also signs of trouble

brewing on the original front

of the war on terrorism,

Afghanistan. There's little

doubt the Taliban has enjoy add

resurgence from its new base in

northern Pakistan and there are

now ind kaigings that I'd

carbon dioxide is also

resurgent. That it's set up a

new training terrorist camp.

The aftermath of a suicide

bombing but this isn't Baghdad.

This is a girls' school in the

northern Pakistani province of

Waziristan earlier this month.

No-one was killed. The No-one was killed. The Taliban who attacked the school, gave

fair warning first. Waziristan

a tribal region sharing a long

board wer Afghanistan, has been

the Taliban's base since late

2001. It now holds sway over if

province doing as it likes,

murdering with impunity those

who disagree with its hardline

policies just as it diz in

Afghanistan. It's reportedly

destroyed more than 180 girls

schools over the last 12 months

and killed 18 teachers. Taliban

leaders claim to have 10,000

fighters hiding in the

mountains of Waziristan,

trained and ready for when the

snow melts to launch a spring

offensive against coalition forces in Afghanistan. The

movement's Afghan veterans have

now been joined by young,

hardline Pakistan irks from

Waziristan. And it is

developing into some sort of a

nationalist movement a

resistance movement, a sort of

a war of, you know, liberation

war against coalition

forces. The region offers

perfect protection for the

Taliban. Coalition forces in

Afghanistan aren't allowed into

Pakistan for fear of

destabilising the government of

Pervez Musharraf who's allied

with the West. That leaves the

Pakistani army to deal with the

problem. Waziristan's military

governor is feeling the

sacrifices that we have frustration. For all the

rendered in the war on

terrorism, there's hardly any

acknowledgment. I'd like to

know how far have they

succeeded. Even after five

years of operations, what has

been achieved? Osama bin Laden

is still there. Al-Qaeda is

still there. In fact it is

spreading. Indeed, Al-Qaeda's

influence is reportedly

growing. A new training camp

staffed some suggest, by

veterans of the Iraq insurgency

is reportedly open for business

in southern Waziristan to

replace the camps destroyed in

the 2001 invasion of

Afghanistan. Last year there

were 127 confirmed suicide

bombings in Afghanistan, a

dramatic increase over previous

years and yesterday a US

helicopter went down near the

Waziristan border. Preventing

Taliban and Al-Qaeda fighters from crossing into Afghanistan

is also the responsibility of

the Pakistani military. For

now, a recent peace deal

between local military

commander, some of whom support

the Taliban's aims, is helping. After the peace

agreement, I have been able to

focus more towards the border

because there is no fighting

going on inside the agency. So

more troops have been brought

forward in the border post. But

even knowing where the border

is can be a challenge. These numbers supposedly mark one

remote stretch. The army

maintains 1,000 border posts in

Waziristan, about one for every

kilometre of the border with

Afghanistan. But Manning them

is a challenge and stopping

10,000 trained fanatics from

getting through in comes

months, well nigh impossible.

Back now to our interview and

the US Vice-President Dick

Cheney will shortly arrive in

Australia to confront national

debates on withdrawing troops

from Iraq on training Iraqi

troops in Iraq and on what

should be done to end David

Hicks' five-year ordeal in the

Guantanamo prison. With the

government coming terms with

today's Newspoll and the match

up, we asked Mr Rudd's

long-term sparring partner

Alexander Downer to join us

tonight. The Foreign Minister

was in our Adelaide studio.

Alexander Downer, thanks for

joining us. It's a

pleasure. Now, you would have

seen the comments by Iraq's deputy Foreign Minister last

night, Mr Abawi said if Australia withdrew its troops

in agreement, in consultation I don't think it would create

much of a problem, do you

agree? I think first of all -

we're not going to withdraw our

troops but if we were to

withdraw our troops it would

depend on the circumstances and

how we did it. My view about

withdrawing troops is first of

all that I don't think the international community

particularly the Americans, can

withdraw troops until the Iraqi

security forces are in a

position to maintain

appropriate levels of security

within Iraq and secondly, as

far as Australia is concerned,

quite apart from anything else,

I don't think it would be right

for us as an ally and a friend

of Americas and of Britain's,

for us just to say to them

well, you can do the dirty

work, you can do the tough job,

we're not going to bother, but

we'd like you to help us in

South-East Asia with the

difficult things we're doing.

So there are a couple of

considerations there. Would you

concede though that judging

from what Mr Abawi is saying,

that it would be a relatively

straight forward process if a

future Labor government wanted

to withdraw combat troops from Iraq? If Labor wins the

election, Labor is going to

withdraw troops from Iraq,

that's what Mr Rudd sometimes

says. He doesn't always say

that. Obviously any government

could withdraw troops from Iraq

at any time. Our point isn't so

much whether you physically

could, I mean of course you

could. Our point is whether it

is appropriate. You see, we

feel very passionately about the consequences of overall

defeat in Iraq and by defeat in

Iraq, what I mean by that is

that the terrorists, that's

predominantly Al-Qaeda, and

other insurgents are able to

destroy the Iraqi security

forces and seize control of the

country. Now, my view is that

that would have implications for the struggle against

terrorism not just in the

Middle East but also in

South-East Asia. So, we have a very strong national security

interest in making sure that

the democratic government of

Iraq is able to be sustained

ultimately by the Iraqi

security forces themselves. We

have a national interest in

that and - Sorry to interrupt,

Mr Downer, but this is what Mr

Abawi said. "If this is done

through a timetable, an agreed

timetable, as they withdraw we

can replace them with Iraqi

forces, well trained Iraqi

forces." Now that suggests

there could be a timetable to replace Australian troops

now. Well, once the Iraqi

security forces are well enough

trained, you can replace more

than the Australian troops, you

will be able to ultimately

replace the British and the

American troops. There's no

question of that. I mean,

people need to understand what

the task is here. The task is

to train up the Iraqi security

forces so that they can do the

job. Of course so they can

replace foreign troops that are

in Iraq. Nobody wants to

colonise Iraq. And what is

extraordinary is that everybody

tells me they all agree with

that objective in which case

how is it that Mr Rudd and the

Australian Labor Party are

actually opposed to Australia

making an even bigger effort in

training Iraqi security forces

so we can hasten the time when

the Iraqis themselves are able

to take over security. I'll

come to the training question

in a moment, it is important.

But for the time being, is

keeping Australian boots on the

ground now more to do with what

the Americans want than what

the Iraqis want? No, no, it's a combination of - well not just

the Americans, by the way, when

you're talking of coalition

allies in Iraq, the British as

well. You might recall that the

combat units in the south in

Dhi Qar pro that particular

element went to Iraq at the

invitation of of course the Iraqis but also the British and

the Japanese, not tt Americans.

And they work in with the

British in the southern part of

Iraq. They have Iraq. They have overwatch

responsibility in both Talim

and almu tan a provinces. That

is if the Iraqi security forces

get into difficulties they're

able to go in and back them up.

A time will be reached, of

course, we hope, and I'm

confident this will ultimately happen, when the reark i

security forces don't need the

backing of anybody, including

us. And we are working to

achieve that and that's why we

need more trainers in there so

we can achieve that more

effectively than we could with

fewer trainers. Alright, but

two weeks ago the Prime

Minister spelled out this as

the priority list. "I've got to

look now at the current

situation and the impact on the

alliance." He said, "You either

go or you stay, you either rat

on the ally or you stay with

the ally it's as simple as

that." Doesn't that suggest

this is more about pleasing the Americans? It's not about

keeping the Americans and the

British, remember what I just

said about the British, don't

forget that and the Japanese,

of course, they've left -

predominantly left now but the

British and the Americans, not

just the Americans. It's about

saying well, if it's good

enough for us just to quit Iraq

and just to say oh well, we

don't really like it there and

it's not polling very well so

we're going to get out, it must be definition be good enough

for our allies to do the same

thing. Now our argument is that

it's not good enough for the international community to

abandon Iraq and in that

context it's not good enough

for Australia to say to the

Americans and the British and

others you do the job, we're

not going to do it because it's

not polling very well and we've

got an election coming up at

tend of this year. I mean that

is basically the Rudd

proposition and I'll be frank

with you, that is a proposition

that I would never support. I

don't think when you have

alliances, when you have mates,

when you have relationships,

you want to do the dirty on

people. I don't think that

works. Would it damage the US

alliance if a Labor government

inconsultation with the Iraqi,

pulled Australian combat troops

out of Iraq? Well, I don't think at the end of the day I

should speak for the Americans,

they can speak for themselves,

but obviously looking at the

other way around, I think it's

- the fact that we've made a

contribution in Iraq, in

Afghanistan, we've made such a

big contribution to the

struggle against terrorism in

our region and globally, I

think that is enormously - it's

not just appreciated by

America, but it's respected. I

think Australia is seen to be a

country that does a bit more

than ramble on the usual

rhetoric, you know, a fus laid

of plat tuds at a diplomatic

conference. We've actually done something practical to

contribute. Now I mean we are,

of course, unequivocal in

wanting to ensure that

terrorist organisations and

insurgents in Iraq and

elsewhere are defeated. We are

unequivocal. And in being

unequivocal we are prepared to

make a contribution in support

of that, not just say, and I

don't think the world should do this, oh, America can do it,

and while we're doing it we'll

kick a bit of sands in their eyes as well because that suits

our politics. That has never

been the way of this government

and I don't think Australia should behave like that. Let's

move on to training. Now why do

military trainers have to do

their work inside Iraq when

other nations are effectively

training Iraqis in third

countries like Jordan? Well,

one or two countries are doing

some training outside of Iraq

for domestic political reasons,

but obviously if you are

training the Iraqi security

forces, it makes more sense,

and you know, this is a

statement of the blindingly

obvious, it makes more sense to

train them in Iraq. Because in

some - because in some - Can I

just ask why that is blindingly

obvious? I've been looking

recently at an interview with

US colonel Peter man sell who

was a senior figure in the US

training program and when he

was asked about training Iraqis

in a country like Jordan he had

this to say "The great

advantage is the security is

much better. You don't have to

guard the installations to the

degree you have to do in Iraq.

We had a police academy in

Baghdad that was being

constantly attacked." Most

Iraqis are in Iraq. Most of the

security problems are in and

around Baghdad and we have, I

think, been able to do an

excellent job training people

in Iraq and I think we can do a

better job. Most training is

taking place in Iraq. The

proposition that a few troops

could be taken out of - Iraqis

could be taken out of Iraq and

trained is one thing, but large

numbers it simply is a

statement of obvious that with

large numbers you would train

them in Iraq. The French, Mr Downer, for example, are

training 1,500 military police

in catarrh. The reason that the

French are training people

outside of Iraq is, you know, I

don't say this to den grade the French, I appreciate what

they're doing, but the reason

they're doing it is for

political reasons. This has

been a major political issue in

France, I'm not going to

rehearse the history of it. The

reason they chose not to do nit

Iraq wasn't because the French

feared they would be attacked,

it was because the domestic

politics of France was such the

french government decided they

wouldn't have any French train

ners Iraq. That's fair enough,

I make no judgment about that.

In our case, here you have Mr

Rudd suggesting that it's wrong

to send trainers, it's wrong

and the Prime Minister, the

Government is wrong to be

sending trainers, but it's a

typical Ruddism. It's wrong and

it's right. Wrong to send them

to Iraq but somehow you could send trainers to Jordan and

that would be right. I mean

what is he saying? Mr Downer,

here's what the American

colonel who's in charge of

training said he said, "Another

advantage is that if it's staffed by foreign officers

they don't have to come into

Iraq and become targets in

order to teach." Yeah, but most

training - look, to be frank

with you, you can find an

American colonel, not a very

senior office in America, you

can find an American colonel

who would say almost anything.

But to be honest with you there

are thousands of American

colonels. The truth is, the

truth is that it obviously

makes sense to train in Iraq.

In some cases, some countries

don't do training in Iraq for

political reasons. Mr Rudd

thinks it is wrong to train

people in Iraq but he says

maybe we could do some training

in Jordan. It's typical and my point isn't an American

colonel, my point is Mr Rudd.

It is typical of Mr Rudd to

have a bet each way. He's

against training, he's in

favour of training, he's

against troops involved in

helping in Iraq, the Iraq war

is wrong but we should be

helping out. You never know

what he thinks. He thinks

everything. He has a position

that pleases everybody, at

looetion, you know, for as long

as he can sustain that he'll

try to sustain it, which won't

be for very long. I've got to

move on to other subjects and I notice you carefully and

politely answered a series of

questions on the David Hicks

case on the Sunday program.

After viewing a story enentitle

ed Caged Animal - David Hicks a

Nation's Shame. Does your new

softly, softly approach

indicate that you think is

national mood has changed on

Hicks? The national mood ebb s

and flows on a number of

positions. My position on David

Hicks is the same as it's

always been. That is -

particularly after he'd been

held for some period - in

Guantanamo by for some period

of time and there wasn't any

sign of charges being brought,

him and Habib, my position was

that those two Australians held

in Guantanamo Bay should either

be charged or released. The

Americans said they'd charge

Hicks and they did and they

said they wouldn't charge Habib

because they didn't want to use

the evidence they'd collected

through intelligence and so we

said well in those

circumstances we'd prefer it

that you releaseds hip. So they

released Habib. That's how

Habib came to be released. Now

there have been all sorts of

manoeuvres and problems and

difficulties with the trial

taking place and my position is

given the gravity of the

charges and the allegations

against David Hicks, let's

bring this - let's have these

tested, have them tested as

quickly as possible. If this

all works according to the

timetable, and obviously the

lawyers can make - lodge

appeals, I mean that's part of

the fairness of the process.

They can do all of that. It's inevitably going to happen,

isn't it? It's up to them, that's not my decision. You

can't say on the one hand there

should be a fair legal process,

but on the other you're going

to deny lawyers and defendants

the opportunity to lodge

appeals, they can do that. In

terms of the timeline, it's

possible that if this goes

ahead in a straight forward way

the trial will be complete and

David Hicks will be out of

Guantanamo Bay before the end

of the year and I think, you

know, maybe he would then have

to serve time in an Australian

prison, maybe he will be

acquitted by the military

commission, who knows, but in

those - it seems to me that

that would be a constructive

outcome to this. What do you

think about bringing him back

home and putting him on a control order as the

Attorney-General appears to be considering? Well, the

Government can't put somebody

under a control order, only a

judge or a judicial officer can

do that. So it's not something

that we can negotiate. I've

always said that the best way

to treat Hicks, as is the case

with other Australians who in

the past have faced charges or

I'm not sure if there's anybody

actually faces charges at the

moment, there probably is, but

there are many who have faced

charges over the years, they

should - those charges should

be heard, tribunals or courts

or whatever system they have within the jurisdiction should

hear that case, make a decision

and then the Australian should

serve the appropriate sentence

aubt acquitted. That is the

normal process. Mr Downer, how

long is the Government prepared

to wait on this case? You talk

about a timetable, possibly

having him back home after a

trial by the end of the year.

What is the timetable you're

looking at if there is no

trial? Oh, you say - do you

mean by if there is no trial?

If the Americans decided to

disband - If it's delayed by

the legal process? Well, it

would depend how - why it was

delayed. If it's delayed

because the defence decide that

they, you know, have some

concerns ant want to lodge

appeals into the American civil

court system, that's part of a

legal process. People can do

that in Australia as well.

Tries are often delayed and of

course a trial may be

completed, a decision made but

then there are appeals. This

happens in our legal system the

whole time. But is there a time

limit that you're not prepared

to go beyond, that you will be

telling the vice-president Dick

Cheney when he's in the issue. And making sure that

the system is in place for him

to be tried for the serious

charges that have been brought

against him. That is my

position. The trial need not conduct the defence of an

suggesting that. I'm simply

asking whether you'll be giving

the US Government, when

Vice-President Cheney is here,

some kind of deadline by which

a trial must take place? There

is already a timetable in

place. My point to - well to

Robert Gates, the Defence

Secretary the other day was

that we wanted that timetable

to be adhered to and for the trial. Alright, a final quick question, on their hearts? Well, I'm not

surprised because I think in

the very short term to the Prime Minister, the leader of the Liberal Party as

from the lead ters Labor

Party had before and so there's

a lot of interest in that. The

test for Mr Rudd is going to be

in the end a quite he's in

favour of every single proposition

forward. Now I think that is

beginning to come through. the end Mr Rudd will have to

you can't be in favour

in favour of one

security policy and opposed to

another and opposed to the

other and in fair of the other

and continuing changing your position. In I think at the

There's been another

development in the James Hardie

legal saga with the chairman

and two directors quitting

their posts early. Meredith

Hellicar, Michael Brown and Michael Gillfillan have brought

forward their plans to resign at Australian securities and - welcomed the decision. I don't think those

thing. I think it will allow

James Hardie to now focus on

its business operations issue only and not a bigger it's

about an education campaign so

that people aren't still

exposed to asbestos. The

resignation letters all cite

the potential for a perceived

conflict of interest. The James

Hardie company is one of the

co-defendants in the ASIC

action and corporate law expert

Professor Ramsay says that give

asclue as to why now was the time to non-executive

directors might be arguing that

it twaz very management of the company, the most senior executive officers of the

company that failed in their the

non-executives may argue that

they're not responsible. Ms

Hellicar, Mr Brown and Mr Gillfillan have vowed to fight

the ASIC charges when the case begins Federal

Government's plan to ban

convention al light bulbs

within three years has sparked

more debate on climate change.

From 2009 the power hungry

incandescent globes we're used

to will no longer be sold.

They'll be replaced by more

efficient lighting. The

Opposition has welcomed the

initiative but says the focus

should be on big business and

government, not the energy

consumption of individuals.

Sarah Clark reports. Malcolm

Turnbull ub veiled his bright

idea in the classroom. We want

to phase these light bulbs out,

they're out of date. Surrounded

by the next generation, on on

he says doing away the standard

light bulb will help every

household do its bit for the

planet. You will cut your leck

tris tribill by nearly two

thirds. It's a substantial

saving but the most important

part of the achievement really

is that it reduces greenhouse

gas emissions. The fluorescent

light bulb with cut Australians

emissions by 800,000 tonne

asyear. They use 20% of

electricity to produce the same

and by 2009 consumers will have no

choice. We need to do anything

to save greenhouse gases. A

long-term investment, you know, I think lit long-term investment, you know,

But the cost could be a little

hefty up front with a price tag

of around $5 but these ones

last six times longer than

their predecessor s. The

industry wants some

exemptions. For example, refrigerators, exemptions. For example,

ovens, none of them can really

accommodate a compact

fluorescent lamp so inevitably

there must be some

exemptions. The Opposition and

the Greens are on board. I

think it's a good idea and when

good ideas are put forward I'm

prepared to give them a tick.

This is the right way to go. I

think any effort on energy

efficiency is a good idea but

it's really tiddley winks

around the edges of a hugely

snint problem. With 12% of

Australia's household emissions

produced by electricity, it's a

A quick look at the ether.

That's all from us. 'Lateline

Business' coming up in just a

moment. If you would like to

look back at tonight's

interview with Alexander Downer

or any of our stories or transcript, you can visit our

website. But now here's

'Lateline Business' with Ali

Thanks Tony. How low

can they go? Virgin Blue eyes

off a new low-cost carrier but

warns the arrival of rival

Tiger Airways won't mean rock

bottom fares. It will provide a stimulus, it will stimulate

those markets that the

discounts go into but it

doesn't necessarily mean that

$10 or $40 fares are

sustainable. Any half wit in

the industry knows you've got

the fill your aeroplanes with

some yield that actually makes

some money. You can't give it

all away for a dollar. The

super boom, the cash pouring

into superannuation is boosting

returns for the money managers.

And a nice drop, the boss of

Fosters says his company is an

attractive takeover target. We

are the number one player.

We've got almost 50% of all

alcohol consumed in this

country has a Fosters label on

it. That's got to be attractive. To the markets

and in a subdued session with

Wall Street closed, local

stocks finished flat. The All

Ords managed to break even for

the day. Earlier in the session

the ASX 200 nudged an intraday

record before losing ground. In

Japan the nick Kay edged hitss

way to a 15-year high. The Hang

Seng was closed for Chinese new

year. As you heard in

'Lateline', today has been

another momentous one in the

long-running saga of James Hardie industries with the

resignation of three directors.

But were they right to quit and

what would it have meant if

they'd stayed? Andrew Robertson For

James Hardie Industries, the

process of severing links with

the past was already well under

way. Today's resignations mean

the last ove those involved in

the events to ASIC lays charges

have left the board. It's a

clean break and it's one that

enables both the company and

Meredith Hellicar and the other

two directors to deal with

their own defence in a

constructive manner through the

Fill Spathis

provides advietion to

superannuation funds who invest

in big companies such as James

Hardie. He believes the

financial wellbeing of James

Hardie would become an issue if

Meredith Hellicar, Michael

Brown and Michael Gillfillan

remained as directors but were

distracted by the proceedings

against them. It really goes to

an issue of capacity to be able

to manage responsibilities at

the same time that these

processes are under way. Adding

to the situation is the James

Hardie itself was also charged

by ASIC meaning that some

directors would be in the

situation of having to defend

the company and defend

themselves. Michael Adams is

the dean of law at the

University of Western Sydney

and says that's a huge conflict

of interest. Where the

directors are held to be

potentially liable with the

company who is covered by

insurance, so it is more appropriate that they step

aside, they can get independent

legal advice and mount their

own defence. Ian Ramsay is

another leading academic in the

area of kor rat law as well as

the conflicts of interest, he

believes there's a more

pragmatic reason why Meredith

Hellicar, Michael Gillfillan

and Michael Brown had to go. It

might mooent mean when we get

to court each of the defendants

for are actually blaming each other

and of

course that means that they

could be in strong disagreement. And then there's

the issue of other board seats.

Meredith Hellicar, for example,

is also a director of AMP. As a

matter of practicality I could

foresee, especially in the

light of the One-Tel

litigation, the HIH litigation,

these are massive complex

matters. I think I would be

resigning so I could really

focus on this matter. Opinion

on whether today's three

resignations from the James

Hardie board were necessary is

not unanimous. The Australian securities and investments

Commission has told the ABC it

wasn't pushing for them saying

it was a matter for company.

While the Institute of Company Directors believes they should

have stayed t a least until the

matter went to court. Just

because somebody is brought to

court for an accusation of some

kind of other, doesn't

necessarily mean that they

should leave. They're serving

their company and they can

await the outcome of the

court. Sitting in the middle is the Australian share holders

Association which represents

retail investors. It believes

the issue of quitting or

staying is full of grey

areas. Director acting in good

faith and having taken the best

accredited professional advice

acts to support a board

proposal, it would be very hard

to imagine then that having

done that he has then misled

the market or misled shareholders. The sting in the

tail for all 10 former James

Hardie directors now facing

legal action is that if the

court finds them guilty, they

could be personally liable for

any penalty. Insurance may

cover the defence costs in

putting up the defence, but if it is unsuccessful and the

court orders a payment to be

made, then the insurance is not allowed to cover those civil

penalties. As the James Hardie

board regroups, American John

Barr has become acting chairman

while Telstra chairman Donald

McGauchie, the only Australian

non-executive director of

hardies will add to his

considerable workload by

becoming Deputy chairman. Investors marked down

Fosters shared 5% today after

the beverage giant reported

searnings below market

forecasts. First half profit

rose a less than expected 11%

to $363 million after one-off

items including asset

a move to combine

the sales teams into a single

network proved disastrous for with

Australian wine volumes down

11%. Fosters also had to deal

with problems with the

restructure of the group

following the acquisition of

Southcorp in 2005 and we'll be speaking with chief executive

Trevor O'Hoy later in the

program. Australia's baby

boomers and their large

contributions to super funds

helped two leading financial services companies record

strong results today. Suncorp

Metway and axe arksz reported a

jump in profits based ton

strong domestic stock market

and the increase in the amount

of money going into super

funds. Suncorp Metway may be

one of Australia's largest car

and home insurers, but its

growing superannuation division

helped it reach a healthy half-year profit. The company

record add profit of $527

million, up 16% way a-above It's wealth management business

contributed to this, jumping

28%. Suncorp-Metway wasn't the

only financial services company

doing well today. AXA Asia

Pacific also post add big

result. Overall profit after

tax is up 25%, 677.8 million

and our underlying operating

earnings are up 24% to 454.5

million and that's a key

measure of the underlying performance of the business so we're pretty happy about

that. AXA is Australia's fifth

largest funds manager. Its

initiative to divide up excess

capital have been welcomed by

both analysts and shareholders.

Investors will receive a final

dividend of 18 cents per share,

up 45 % to last year. AXA is

also embarking on a $250

million share buyback

scheme. We've had a big year in

terms of acquisitions so in the

last 12 months, subject to the

approval of the winter the

transaction at the AGM we will

have done a billion dollars

worth of acquisitions over the

last 12 months and

notwithstanding that we end the

year with a very strong balance

sheet which has enabled us to

do three significant capital

management superannuation and managed initiative. Australia's

funds are now worth $1 trillion

which is only expected to

increase even further this

year. While the market

predicted a strong result for AXA, analysts say wealth still

haven't seen a noticeable rise

industry's been expecting in super inflows. The

leading up to the Federal

Government changes to

superannuation tax laws on 1

Hasn't started yet. They

are adamant it will come

towards the end of zwroin which

is when the window closes but

so far it's a normal year for

super in a strong bull market.

There is the question of what

will happen to super inflows if the share market corrects

before the end of June. It

might discourage some retail

investors from topping up their

super as much as they're

planning to now. Baby boomers

still have five months to

invest their money and

companies such as AXA are

certain they will. The exact

amount of monies pouring into

funds will be calculated and

released by the industry in

April. Full-year earnings at

pokies maker aristocrat slipped

more than 2% to $239 million

after new laws in Japan

limiting payouts hurt sales

last year. But ex-Japan, the

world's second biggest maker of

poker machine, delivered a 27%

jump in profit gaining share in

key marks including North

America. Aristocrat has seven

new games approved and eight

more in the pipeline which the

company says will help it

regain a slice of the Japanese

market. Given that the

opportunity for the industry is

in the vicinity of 1.5 million

units we would like to think we

can carve out a reasonable

share of that market. Shares

fell 3% despite the company

forecasting strong earnings

growth this year. Virgin Blue

says it's considering starting

a new low-cost carrier as well as launching an international airline. Plans for

international expansion with

flights to the US from next

year, are well under way with

Virgin on the brink of signing

an order for seven new

long-haul aircraft. News of the

aircraft deal came as the

company reported a massive 81% jump in first half profit

buoyed by a move into the

business mark and the airline

says it expects full-year

earnings to be 60% higher. With

the proposed industry of a Singapore-backed Tiger Airways

into the domestic market and

Virgin's move away tr the

traditional low-cost model,

it's now weighing up starting a

new carrier. I spoke to CEO

today. Bred Godfrey welcome to

the program. Thank,

Ali. Impressive profit growth

with more to come but as you

say yourself no airline is

bullet proof, is there anything to dampen

not

necessarily in the short-term.

I mean in terms of things that

we can actually influence. I

think from the competitor point

of view the market seems to be

in sync. Fares are relatively

low but still better than they

were for us two or three years

anything can happen and

you know SARS brought two of

the biggest airlines to their

knees. It would be pretty

arrogant to think that it's a

lay down me zair, it certainly

isn't. In this half you earned

12% more revenue on every

flight. Is that pretty much as

good as it gets? I think so. I

think it surprised us a little.

It's very hard to predict these

days because we've actually

tried to move the model into a

new space and so, you know,

we're sort of - we're

estimating as we go along to we've seen, you

know, 2% and 3% increases by

other airlines in not just

Australia but the rest of the

world. The market in general

has improved but for us 12% was

- we're pretty happy with that

When we look at your

fleet upgrade as well as the

777s for the US market, you've

got 20 other aircraft on order,