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(generated from captions) So in that sense, he probably

is the right man to at least

play a part - I am not

suggesting that he will be the

peace maker in the Middle East, no one person could ever do

that - but I think he's

certainly get the qualities

mess to be make a very big

contribution there. We now have some pictures of Tony Blair heading to Buckingham Palace to

see the Queen to relinquish his

prime ministership. When he

came to power in 1997, he was

almost a God. He had re

invented his party and returned

it to power after almost two

decades in opposition. You, as

you said, worked at 10 Downing

Street and what do you see as

the major achievements of

Blair's term in office? It is

true when he was elected in he

1997 for quite some time

afterwards he appeared to walk

on water. He had the political

world at his feet. He had the

press strongly supporting him.

We are now in a situation and

maybe it happens to every Prime

Minister when they leave office

although in the old days there

was hardly a bad word said

about him in the press, these

days there is hardly a good

word. People in the media here

in Britain certainly and I

suspect around the world have

been fairly balanced in their

assessment of his legacy

because, to be quit honest,

he's been a remarkably

successful, certainly if wu put

Iraq to one side, on the

domestic front in the UK, a

remarkably successful Prime

Minister. There has been

growth, quarter on quarter,

every single month of every single year he's been Prime

Minister. There's been economic

growth, growing prosperity,

people are certainly better

off, the country is better off

and more at ease with its. He's

also re-established - he's

moved the centre of gravity of

British politics and not many

prime ministers can do that.

Margaret Thatcher did it. Tony

Blair has brought it back to

the centre where he believes it

should be and that will be his

lasting legacy. He's invested

largely in the public services

and health and education. The

money hasn't always been well

spent but a lot of it has been well spent. There are important

reforms there. In my adult lifetime he's the only Prime

Minister that I can remember

who leaves office without

having had a major financial

crisis or without having had

civil unrest or a major

government split over a key

issue of policy. I think when

people stand back and assess

his legacy fairly they will see

that he has been a very, very

successful Prime Minister disb.

You said, though, if we put

aside arook. That would be like

saying "let's look at Jimmy

Carter and put aside the Iran

hostage crisis ", I mean can it

be put aside looking at Tony

Blair's legacy or will it

dominate? It can't and

shouldn't be put aside because

it was probably the biggest

decision that he had to make

during his time as Prime

Minister and many, many people,

for very good reasons, believe

that he made the wrong decision

and that the his tory of the

Middle East and the world could

be different if he made a

different decision. I'm not

suggesting that should be put

to one side. But in deciding

his overall legacy you

shouldn't simply focus on Iraq

and if you do you will distort

the impression that you are

giving of Tony Blair as Prime

Minister. We've now get some

pick Kerrs as well of Gordon

Brown arriving at Buckingham

Palace so shortly he'll be the

new British Prime Minister. Is

grourn's Government going to be

more of the same or should we

expect a departure from the

Blair style? You're joining us

actually in Britain - it very

rarely happens, for the last

we haven't had a Prime Minister few minutes, half an hour or so

and that doesn't happen very

often. Total went to the queen

and said "I'm off" she had to

summon Gordon Brown so I assume

by new probably Gordon Brown

has accepted the invitation to

become Prime Minister and we

have a Prime Minister again so

we can all sleep easily in our

beds tonight. He will be very

different. Tony Blair and

Gordon Brown together forged

what they called new Labour,

the new Labour Party and they

are in many ways political

soulmates. In terms of their

style they are very, very

difficult. Gordon Brown has

none of the glitz and showbiz

appeal that Tony Blair brought

to the job of Prime Minister.

He's a much more serious and

sombre character. He also

recognises that people here

after 10 years of Tony Blair

want something different. They

are ready for change and what

Gordon Brown has to do and it

is not an easy task, is coming

from the same party from the

Labour Party following on from

Tony Blair to change in

continuity at the same time if

you like. He's got to show that

things will be done differently. Less spin and less

of the kind of work I did when

I worked for Tony Blair. A much

more straight forward approach

to politics and the public and

less of a top down approach to

politics because as Chancellor

of the Exchequer he's been a

bit of a control freak and he's

believed many making big

decisions behind the walls of the Treasury and handing it

down, the man from whoul,

handing it down to the rest of

the public and that kind of

politics has had it day

certainly in Britain and

probably elsewhere in the world

and people want a much more

people-focused publics, if you

like. He's started to talk that

talk and we are yet to see if

he can walk the walk. Briefly,

will Gordon Brown be as close

to President Bush as Tony Blair

has been? I think it would be

hard for anyone to be as close

to President Bush as Tony Blair

has been, but actually ground

is a great atlanticist. He

believes in the Atlantic I

laince and he is closer

emotionally and intellectualy

to the United States than Tony

Blair curiously and it seems

strange to say. Tony Blair was

the great European, he looked

towards Europe but Gordon Brown

looks towards America. Gordon

Brown recognises ta he has to

draw a line to the best of his

ability under Iraq and what

happened there and that people

will be hoping to see a more

grown up relationship, if you

like with the United States or

willingness to criticise the

United States when he thinks

that things are wrong and he's

got tow give the impression -

people un fairly drib Tony

Blair as George W. Bush's

Poodle and George W. Bush gave

an interview to the Murdoch-owned best selling

newspaper this morning in the

Sun saying that Tony Blair was

never his Poodle and he was

frank in priefrt, but I think

the public image of having been

too close to George W. Bush has

done Tony Blair a lot of damage

in the past few years. Lance

Price, thanks very much for joining Lateline.

Tom Cruise is about to star

in a film about one of

Germany's great war-time heroes, Colonel Claus Von

Stauffenberg. But the film

called 'Valkyrie' has hit

problems. Tom Cruise is a proud

Scientologist, a religion the

German government views as a

money-making cult, and it will

ft allow the film-makers to

shoot at German military sites.

John Stewart reports.

He's had a blockbuster career

from the heady days of shaking

cocktails with brunt Brown. To

starring in big international

hits like 'Mission Impossible'.

Well, this is not mission

difficult but mission

impossible. But it looks like

one of Hollywood's highest paid

actors has found his own

impossible mission. Tom Cruise

has been cast to play one of

Germany's few heroes from the

World War II - Colonel Claus

Von Stauffenberg. In 1944 the

colonel tried to kill Adolf

Hitler with a bomb hidden in a

brief case. The plot failed and

Von Stauffenberg was killed by

the Nazis. It's a great story,

but it might not be destined

for Hollywood. The German

Defence Ministry has banned Tom

Cruise from filming at German

military sites. The problem is

Tom Cruise's religion -

Scientology, which the German

Government views with deep

suspicion. Scientology has been

in almost like a death in

Europe. It's been going on for

many years and they have been

fighting the German government

since the early '70s. Looking

for recognition on the same

terms as other religions have

in Germany and the German

government particularly the bah variant State Government has

been very hostile - Bavarian

State Government has been very

hostile. It is said that

government officials are out of

step with the German people.

PHONE: We found out that it is

still instill gaited by a few

politicians who are trying to

make the career on the back of minorities but really people

are interested in Scientologist

that's why we are expanding in

Germany so much. The German Government regards

Scientologist as a dangerous

cult and has refused to

recognise it as a legitimate

religion. German officials say

Scientologist pushes ideas

about a totalitarian state and

the Superman myth, ideas which

do not it is well with Germany's Nazi past. Scientologist is officially recognised as a

church many many other

countries, including theity and

Australia. Where it enjoys

tax-free status. There have

been a lot of countries that

have been really wary about recognising Scientology.

Australia actually is quit

unique. Australia was the first

country in the world that

recognised them as a religion

on the same terms that it

recognises the Uniting Church

or the Anglican Church. In

recent times movie heavyweights lick Kirsty Allie, John

Travolta and Tom Cruise have

made Hollywood a power base for Scientology. Scientologists

know how to get under the skin

of their critics. Even one of

the BBC's toll investigative

reporters snapped after they

turned the cameras on him and challenged his line of

questioning. # No, listen to

me. But the Germans show no

sign of crack ing and parts of

Tom Cruise's latest film may

have to be made outside of

Germany.

Now to the weather -

Thank you, Leigh. The

co chair into child abuse in

Aboriginal communities are

disappeared that the government

has not taken up his

recommendations and call on

them to spend more money on

education. The alcohol taxes

received by the Federal

Government amount to something

like $6 billion a year. They

spend a miserly portion of that

in education and alcohol reform

programs. Why not get that $#6

billion to this problem we are

now addressing. Dangerous debt

- one of the world's largest

finance companies warns that

Australia's household debt has

climbed to a disturbing level.

And up in smoke - pubs and

clubs worry that the smoking

bans will destroy their

profits. CC

First we go to the markets

and Australian shares suffered

their biggest one-day sell-off

in 3 months. The All Ords

plunged to nearly 2% with

weaker commodity prisons

pushing down the big miners.

For a fifth straight day, the

bench mark ASX 200 finished in

the red dropping 124 points.

Japanese investors wiped more

than 1% from the Nikkei. The

Hang Seng is down half a per

cent and London is weaker

dragged down by the banking

sector. The Reserve Bank says

it is a concern and now one of

the world's biggest finance

companies has issued a warning

about Australia's household

debt. It comes as the latest

Census shows a sharp increase

in consumer credit levels.

Phillip Lasker reports.

In a room full of lenders at

this credit card conference,

Mike Cutter was a lone

voice. The issue of

overindebtedness on a global

level and certainly in Australian and New Zealand

market places does concern us.

GE Money is the name behind one

Australian lender and funds

many of the deals offered by

retail ers. Its business has

been blessed byiers of falling

unemployment, low interest

rates and rising house

prices. Those leavers will not

necessarily be maintained for

over the long period of time.

So it is really incumbent on

all lenders and in fact the way

the stakeholders to get us in a

good position and a good state. Mike Cutter is confident

the wider stakeholders, like

the Reserve Bank, will. The

local GE chief was commenting

on this woke's worrying

assessment from the Swiss-based

bank for international

settlements, the Central

Bankers Bank. The BIS is

concerned about the growth of

new fangled lending products,

rising levels of household debt

and the relaxed attitude to

risk of investors. The BIS

comes out with a report and

everyone turns to the banks and

says they should stop lending.

Here is an easy solution to get

debt down in Australia you

don't get induction payments on

interest payments on housing

and margin lending. Figures

released today reflected the

rising debt levels N 2001 the

average home loan repayment was

almost $870 a month. That jut

lay has risen by nearly 50%. In

2001, home loan repayments were

nearly 2 #% of income. Now they

are more than 31%. With rising

debt financiers are calling for

a centralised body to provide

more detailed credit

information on borrowers like

they do in the US and the

UK. It is very, very difficult

for lenders to fully appreciate

the value of a borrower and to lend much to the right people

and, therefore, mistake also be

made. But consumer advocates

say the proposal is about

lending more, not lending more responsibly. Overseas, where

credit recording agencies can

keep more information, there

are higher levels of consumer

debt. There is no argument that

more information here would

lead to higher debt levels and

we need to be sure that that is

responsible credit and we are

just not convinced that it

would be. With or without the

changes, debt will keep growing

if the forecasters at this

conference are correct. The

flurry of takever activity on

the local market continued

today with Transfield Services

launched a $530 million bid for

GRD. Analysts say the

acquisition would make a good

fit with GRD specialising in

building mining facilities and

Transfield in managing them.

GRD's directors are considering

the proposal, but even if it

does get board approval, one of

the company's most high-profile shareholders could still

scuttle the deal. James Woolsey

reports - Neal Woolrich reports. Transfield services is

one of the many firms cashing

in on Australia's booming

resources on construction

industries. The company

provides operations, assets and

project management to a range

of businesses. Now it's looking

to expand those interests with

a $530 million bid for the

Perth-based engineering

services firm GRD. GRD adds a

new dimension and they have the

upfront smarts, engineering,

chemical engineer ing type of

smarts that they can offer

those services to the mining

companies whereas a Transfield

is further downstream if terms

of the alcohol building and

maintenance of those facilities

once GRD is ffectively constructed them for

them. Today's news sent GRD

jumping by 18.5% to $2.81, 6

cents above Transfield's

valuation range. But the

Predator shares tumbled by 4.5%

to close on $10.75. GRD's

directors will consider the

proposal even though they have

described it as conditional ,

incomplete and subject to due diligence. The potential for

GRD is in the expansion of

their engineering business and

they have some very strong

contracts and they've got $5

billion worth of work on their

books, so that profit from that

work will come through not this

year but in

subsequentiers. Even if GRD's

bird does endorse the bid,

another West Australian Kerry

stokes is emerging as a

potential deal breaker. Last

month a subsidiary of the Seven

Network bought more than 10% of

the shares in GRD. Kerry stokes knows the business very well

and he has a feeling for the

environmental business, the

global renewable business and

the potential for that. While

Transfield's bid for GRD is by

no means the biggest takeover

attempt this year analysts

expect the mergers and

acquisitions on the local

market will continue. Whilst

the economy is in such good

safe and the corporate profits

are being generated there is only two places for those funds

to go and that is either back

to shareholders by way of

buybacks and dividends or what

have you or to keep driving the

businesses and that is why with

so much liquidity around at the

moment they are looking to various corporates and private

equity buyers are looking to

place those funds. Which has

investors betting on

Transfield, Kerry stokes or

another party coming back with

a higher bid for GRD. For all

the other action on the

Australian stock market I spoke

earlier to Martin Lakos from

Macquarie Private Wealth.

Martin Lakos, welcome to the

program. The stock market in a

rut for a third consecutive

day. It was across the board,

Emma. T it was down 124 points

on the ASX 200. It was dom

pitted by trader seeing and had

been longstanding short

positions and those traders probably accelerated it down as

well. Heading towards the end

of the financial year, too.

There has been tax-loss selling

but to be honest there aren't

many tax losses out there in the market police considering

the market is up 24%-odd for this current financial

year. We're in the final week

of the financial year.

Traditionally by new we've seen

a rash of profit warnings.

Instead companies have remained

fairly quiet. Does that suggest

that this time around at least

we should be expecting

companies to be reporting

fairly healthy earnings? I

think you've hate the nail on

the head there, Emma. The

so-called confession season has

been besign. We've had a couple

of earnings guide answer come

through. Coats Hire notably but

Coca-Cola came out giving

guidance very close to its

reporting period from moving

its earnings growth numbers

from high 9s per cent towards

12%. JV HI-FI came one a strong

earnings growth and upward

guidance. We are expecting a solid season with across the

bird pretty much 15.5% earnings

growth for the market for this

year and forecasts 13% for next

year. It is worth noting that

those companies that come in

below expectation also be

heavily penalised and stock

price also be sold down if companies are not performing.

On the whole it looks like a

fairly solid reporting season.

That kicks off late July and

the largest part of those reports will be out from

mid-August until the end of

August. Martin Lakos, thanks

for speaking to Lateline

Business. Thanks, Emma. And now

for a quick look at the other

major movers on the local

market today. Fortescue Metals

drop ed another 8.5%, adding to

yesterday's 3% fall. A bad day

for health care stocks. CSL

tumbled 4.5% and Virgin Blue

investors lost 4.5% from the

value of their shares. On

currency markets - the

Australian dollar has fallen

back from its 18-year high

against the greenback and

against the yen it is down 1%.

On commodities, Brent crowd oil

is trading at US $069.77.

Copper and lead prices continue

to fall. There are concerns

that pubs and clubs across the

country will be forced to sell

up once new smoking laws come

into place next week. From

Monday, smoking will be ban ed

inside all pubs and clubs in

NSW and Victoria. While the

hotels and clubs support the

anti-smoking laws, it already

has cost them up to a billion dollars. Brigid Glanville has

our story.

From next week, this will be a

thing of the past. Smoking bans

will be introduced in all pubs

and clubs in NSW and Victoria

from Monday. Basically had to

move 318 machines from the back

of the club to the front of the

club to connect with our fusion

jut door lounge. North Sydney

Leagues Club in Sydney has

spent nearly a million dollars

building an outdoor smoking

area to comply with the laws.

Without it, it believes it

would lose patrons. Patrons who

spend mill yns of dollars a

year playing the poke ies. Even

with the new outdoctor area,

the club says it will still

lose money. We believe having

looked at the figures, we

believe that we'll probably

drop in the vicinity of about

10% of our revenue and that

will mean about $4 million to

our group. 80% of revenue in

pubs and clubs comes from

gaming machines. The industry

in NSW expects to lose up to

$400 million in revenue from

the changes. That is a lot of

money, not to mention that

clubs have spent about $450

million in proposing for this

what is a pretty significant

cultural change for clubs. The

blanket ban brings NSW and

Victoria in line with other

states. Smoking bans in all

areas of pubs and clubs came

into place in Queensland 12

months ago. Since then, that

State has seen a drop in

revenue of about 10% from poker

machines. But it has been even

greater for the pubs and clubs

which can not build an outdoor

smoking area. Revenue there has

fallen by 40%. Clubs NSW says

there are many pubs that don't

have the move to extend. I

think we will see more than

sales, but we will see some

closures. You can't take a 40%

hit especially for clubs that

have gaming arrests. There will

be victims there is no doubt

about that. It is not just

clubs and pubs whiz are

forecasting a drop in earnings.

Listed gaping companies are also betting on income to

fall. Tabcorp is the most

affected because of Star City.

There are a number - a national

leisure and gaping, which is a

small listed pub consolidation

play will be affected as well,

but from a aristocrat perspective we consider it

miner and on the wagering side

we would consider it minor as

well. On the upside some

patrons return to pubs and

clubs once smoking is banned.

In Queensland after 12 months,

there has been a 10% increase

in revenue from food. From

Monday, the Northern Territory

will be the only place in

Australia where people can

continue to smoke inside pubs

and clubs. The Federal

Government today started moving

police and other Commonwealth

officers into Aboriginal communities in the Northern

Territory. The Prime Minister's

response to a report 'Little Children Are Sacred', which was

handed to the Territory

government in April.

WILD CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

wile was co-chair of that

report. He and his colleague

Pat Anderson spent close to 12

months examining the issues. WILD CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

wieltd was the director of

public oppositions before

taking up the board on the

Board of Inquiry. He said that

all of the work he did to

identify the issues and come up

with solutions, he's disappointed that John Howard

has ignored all of his

recommendations and instead has

focused on areas like the

mining industry which represent

as tiny portion of the problem.

Rex Wild spoke to me from his

home in Darwin earlier today.

Welcome to Lateline Business.

The Prime Minister is urging

mining companies to do more to

address child abuse in remote

Aboriginal communities. Did you

identify a role for those

companies in your study of the

crisis in We didn't

specifically identify mining

companies or any companies.

What we did identify was the

need for everybody to work

together. Well n your mind,

what can those companies do to

help, given the Prime Minister

has put them front and centre

of this debate? Yes. I am not

quit sure why that has happened

that way, but mining companies,

for example, are employers of

labour and can therefore assist

in providing employment, providing employment, encouraging employment in

communities and helping the

communities develop leadership

in that area. You didn't

specifically mention a role for

mining companies in your

recommendations. So, why do you

suspect John Howard has singled

them out? I think it relates to

a particular issue that arose

in one area where mining

company employees were involved

in some activity with young local people which were regarded as inappropriate and

we were told that they were

concerned that their young

children, and these are kids

between the age of 12 and 15

qur visiting minors'

accommodation and were doing

things which they shouldn't be

doing, acting immoral y. Has

there been a dispop portion

Nate focus on the mining

industry, considering the head

of the PM's Department will

next week meet with the head of

the Minerals Council. No. Well

the answer to that is this: Mining companies are very

wealthy organisations. There

are a number of them that

operate in the Northern

Territory. They are powerful.

They are wealthy. They are in a

position to do some good, as

good corporate citizens in the

way that I described earlier.

That is, they can provide some

imput into employment and to

leadership in the

communities. You don't actually

name the mining company in your

report, but you do mention that

you sphoek to them about the

issue. Were they already aware

that their staff were involved

in child abuse? Yes, they were aware of the problem and they

were dealing with it as they

saw best. It certainly involved

any minors who were caught

acting inappropriately being

removed immediately from the company. They were sent back home. Army, Federal Police and

Commonwealth officers today

began arriving in five

communities in Alice Springs.

After your nearly year-long

examination of the issues, in

your mine, is that a welcome

and necessary move to tackle

the child abuse and neglect

crisis in the Territory? Well,

there certainly are not

recommendations that we made,

Emma. I'm not sure whether the

Prime Minister has had brought

to his attention each of the 97

recommendations, but the very

first recommendation provides

that the matter of child sexual

abuse be declared as a national

emergency effectively, we have

said. That's happened. So that

is good. The second part of

that first recommendation was

that there be a clab brattive undertaking between the

Northern Territory government

and the Australian Government

in consultation with Aboriginal

people and that has not

happened. So to that extent

recommendation one has not been

given effect to . And how do

you feel about that? Well, we

are disappointed with

that. With so what is the

answer? The answer is to it is

down with the people, work out

what they need with them,

provide them with assistance

and support, which is both

financial and in personnel, on

the ground, people they can

work with, people who spend

time with them, people that

come and stay with them,

visitors that are regular and

they know by now and not people

who blow in for 5 minutes or 10

minutes here and there

descending from the sky like a

swarm of locusts and then disappearing again. That's not

what is required. We need

long-term strategic work with

people, building up trusts. We

were able to do that in a very

short time by, we think,

sitting down with people under

the trees in the gymnasiums or

equivalents and talking with

them. That doesn't seem to

happen when the bureaucrats

arrive. What's to say the Government's plan that tarted

to be implemented today won't

achieve the desire ed outcomes? Well, the first

problem is that people's backs

are immediately up. We didn't

have that problem when we

arrived. I'm not saying that we

were God's messengers, but when

we did our work, we were well

received because we spent some

time preparing the people for

what was coming. The troops

didn't arrive. We didn't arrive

with a bat mship. We arrived

gently. We were there to talk

and we were senior people,

obviously. You can see by

looking at me I'm a consider -

senior person and Pat, a well respected Aboriginal person, and we were able the it is down

with people and they said, "Oh,

well, the government has sent

somebody older and not as wise

as us, but at least you are

showing some urnsing of our

problems, we will talk with

you", and they did. Now we are not having that approach at

all. We are just having the

gunship sent in. How many of

your 97 recommendations has the

Prime Minister actually

adopted? I I don't know if he s

he adopted any. He's certainly

targeted alcoholism, alcohol

availability in communities

which you will know was one of the central planks of what we

had to say. The second central

plank was education for

Aboriginal people and our hope

is that that will also proceed.

Other things like under 16

compulsory medical checks and

the like form no part of our

recommendations at all. So

medical checks, not the

priority. Rather as far as your

recommendations go, education

should have been given the most

urgent attention? Yeah.

Education is an urgent thing.

We've recommended that all kids

of pre-school age, three years

of age, as of 1st February,

2008 be at school, which

requires an enormous commitment

by governments to get the

schools open and available to

accept those young kids. The

sooner they get into school,

the sooner we can protect them,

educate them, advise them, do

everything that we would expect

to be done for our kids in

Toorak and Kirribilli and in

mainstream society. And that

isn't being addressed? Well, I

haven't read of it being

addressed. The Northern

Territory Government is doing

its best, as I understand it,

to improve the education

system, but as I said a little

while ago, we need the two

governments to work together.

The Australian Government has

enormous financial resources. The Northern Territory

government has modest financial

resources. So the two knead to

work together to explore what

can best be done to help people

and, as I said many times, to

liaise, have dialogue,

communicate, collaborate with

local Aboriginal people on the

ground who know their problems

and want to own and take

responsibility for them. Well,

if they are not your

recommendations, the Government

is acting on in those remote

Indigenous communities, then

who is it that is advising the

Prime Minister in devising his

strategies? (Laughs). You are

asking me a question I couldn't

possibly answer except I will

say this, nobody has phone ed

me from Canberra. I should say

this, however, that the

recommendations that we have

made come from, as you have

said, a period of time at least

10 months in which we visited

45 communities in which we took

260 meetings with different

people, organisations,

government departments, including some Commonwealth

people that we met and we

received 60-odd written

submissions. We considered all

of that material and then

sought the opinions of

Aboriginal people in regional

forums that we conducted to see

what would come from all of

that and as a result the 97

recommendations are the sin

thesis of all of the imput we

have had from people all around

the Northern Territory. So we

think there are pretty good

ideas there that deserve some

consideration and not to be put

on the top shelf. You indicated

earlier that businesses have a

role to play in creating job

opportunities in these

communities. Are businesses

coming up with other ways to

help? The Geelong Rotary Club

may not be Geelong, it may be

South Geelong or whatever,

Geelong in Victoria have

sponsored a school in Arnhem

Land and that's made a grand

contribution in that area to

education for kids who are

taken on a weekly basis,

week-to-week, they spend at the

school from their communities

and are able to get give back

the their communities. One

other thing, we are talking about companies and the

contribution they can make. I

know of one benefactor in

Melbourne a wealthy business

man whose company makes

enormous contributions to

Aboriginal health and other

matters. He is a very generous

benefactor and that is

wonderful. When I haertd of his

last gift I thought why is it

necessary for private companies

or people to make these

contributions. This is a government responsibility. Let

the governments get out there

and do the job that has to be

done and pay for it. The

alcohol taxes that are received by The Federal Government

amount to something like $6

billion a year. Now, they spend

a miserly portion of that in

education and alcohol reform

programs. Why not give that $#

billion to this problem we are now addressing. I don't think

I've seen in what the Prime

Minister has said the precise figures that will be made

available in the budget or

today or tomorrow to be spent

on Aboriginal housing which is

a major problem, which I

haven't heard addressed and unemployment and all of the

other issues which we raise in

our report. Rex Wild thank you

for joining us tonight. You're

welcome, Emma.

With the end of the financial

year just days away, business

es all over the country are

planning their tax strategies

for next year. There is a raft

of changes to the tax rules in

2006/2007 which will affect

small business as Andrew

Robertson reports.

Small business is the backbone

of the Australian economy and while on one hand the

Government is trying to ease

the tax burden, on the other

hand the Tax Office is ready to

pounce. Gary Addison is the tax

council for CPA Australia and

says that the ATO will be

paying particular attention

this year to proper record

keeping. Particularly cafes and

other small businesses,

restaurants and retail organisations and checking to

see to make sure they've

included all of that receipts

in their income and that they

are not overclaiming their

deductions. Among the tax

chains for small business which

start on 1st July are an

increase in the GST

registration threshold to

$75,000. Small business tax

concessions will apply to

turnever reaches $2 million.

The asset test threshold for

xapt begin tax has been lifted

and for sole traders chains to

personal tax rates should best

income. According to the Taxation Institute of Australia

whatever the size of a

business, tax time is a good

time to take stock of where you

are at. Review bad debts and

look at the capital gains

issues. Focus on deductions

whether they need - if there is

a need for them to be

recognisable earlier, similarly

what income should be brought

into account in a particular

year. Of course any discussion

about tax wouldn't be complete

without superanation which

depends on lenient taxation for

its attractiveness. It's been

well documented that major chains to the tax arrangements

for super begin on Sunday and

while individuals have been the

focus, there will also be a big

impact for some sections of the

business community. From the

business sense, there is also a

need to ensure that tax file numbers and things are

collected and sent along to

funds. There are issues around

how legible termination payment

also be treated with the

disappearance of RBLs. So there

is a whole range of internal

systems that businesses need to

adjust to when they deal with

super. Other changes to super

include:

As part of the transitional

arrangements, the government

has allowed those who can

afford it, to put a million

dollars into their super and

while it is now probably too

late to do that before the

weekend, CPA Australia's Gary

Addison says owners of family

businesses are well placed to prosper under the new

rules. They are able to

contribute $150,000 per year un

deducted contributions and that

is per person. If you have a

couple that is $300,000 a

year. If the government

achieves its aims with the

super changes, businesses will

have to get used to having a

higher prop portion of older

workers. And a look now at

tomorrow 's business diary -

the one to watch, the Federal

Court will finally rule on the

corporate regulator's

high-profile inside er trading

case against Citigroup. Australian Pharmaceutical

Industries releases its annual

results and overseases the US

Federal Reserve releases its

decision on interest rates.

Before we go, a look at what

is making headline miss the

business sections of tomorrow's

newspapers.'The Australian'

says that fears about global

hedge funds spark today's

market sell-off. The 'Australian Financial Review'

leds with the ATO targeting

Australia's wealthiest

individuals and the 'Sydney

Morning Herald' has an update

on Rupert Murdoch's play on the

'Wall Street Journal'. That's

all for tonight. As I believe

you London's FT 100 is trading

down 4 # points and the Dow

futures are down 6 points. If

you want to review tonight's

stories or stories from earlier

programs you can log on to our

website at abc.net.au/latelinebusiness.

You can email us your feedback

at

latelinebusiness@your.abc.net.au.

I'm Emma Alberici. Goodnight.

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