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Lateline Business -

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(generated from captions) States struggles to find a

solution to the war in solution to the war in Iraq. I

received the resignation of

Ambassador John Bolton. I

accept it and not happy about

it. I think he deserved to be

confirmed and the reason why I

think he deserved to be

confirmside I know he did a

fabulous job for the

country. The departure of John

Bolton and defence secretary

Donald Rumsfeld came as the

White House is looking for new

increasing ways to deal with Iraq's

increasing sectarian violence.

Today President Bush met with

Abdul Aziz Al-Hakim who leads

the largest Shi'ite group in

the Iraqi parliament. He

thanked the powerful Shi'ite

leader for trying to unify the

Iraqi government but said things needed to move more

quickly . I told his eminence

that I was proud of the courage

of the Iraqi people. I told him that we're not satisfied with that we're not satisfied with

the pace of progress in Iraq.

TRANSLATION: We cherish all the

sacrifices that have taken

place for the liberation and

the freedom Iraq and at the top

of that list is sacrifices by

the Americans. Today the UN

Secretary-General didn't mince

his words about whether or not

the war in Iraq could be

described as a civil war. A few described as a civil war. A few

years ago when we had the

strife in Lebanon and other

places, we call that a civil

war. This is much worse. Later this week President Bush will

meet with the British PM Tony

Blair to discuss the future of

the war in Iraq. The so-called

Baker-Hamilton report is also

due to be released this week.

All signs the United States is reevaluating its role in a war

in a foreign country. Back now

to this country and a sporting

story. History is now firmly

against England retaining the

Ashes with Australia's second

win of the searies in Adelaide

today. In 123 years of Ashes

contest, neither country has

come back to win from 2-0 down.

And once again it was the spin

king Shane Warne who came to

Australia's rescue when a win Australia's rescue when a win

for the host nation looked an

unlikely outcome at the opening

of today's play. Peter Wilkins

reports. This enthralling day

of Ashes joy and misfortune was

all about body language where clearly Australia had England's

measure even before a ball was

bowled. This morning their

attitude looked like just to

survive. I think that sort of

got us upbeat and allowed us to

get a bit all over them. Stuart

get a bit all over them. Stuart

Clark threatened, Shane Warne

probed and England froze unable

to score runs and falling foul

initially to the rub of the

green with Andrew Strauss's dismissal. Pietersen flexed in

the wings but after Warne's

underarm penalised English in

decision, he was flummoxed in

the middle by his good mate.

the middle by his good mate.He

swallowed the moment with gust

o. There was more to savour.

Lee gleefully claimed the

groping Flintoff and by lunch

fortunes had well and truly

been reversed. England had lost

4/89 and scored only 30 runs in

the session. Try as may might,

the Ashes holders couldn't

fight their way out of the

corner and Australia gorged on

the wounded opponent with Warne leading the pack.

COMMENTATOR: Yes, what a

cricketer. Giles was set up and

despatched in a 27-over

performance from the maestro of

4/29. Hoggard's batting

couldn't match his bowling.

While Harmison looked unlucky

in falling to Glenn McGrath.

Despite last-wicket defiance and frustration, England's

leaving Australia innings ended on a sorry #129d

leaving Australia 168 to win.

There was no fearful shrinking

of the total, though that

attitude undid Justin Langer

and after a flurry, Matthew

Hayden to a great Paul Collingwood catch. But the

majestic Ricky Ponting and Mike

Hussey honed in on the total.

Three years ago on the same

after scoring ground, Australia lost to India

after scoring more than 550 in

the first innings but their

path to an equally memorable

England weren't quite done with victory had some obstacles.

and the wickets of Ponting and

Martyn gave themselves a small

scent.But the home team

squigged in for a morale-boosting try yul

morale-boosting try yul f.-

triumph. What we've done

today and probably for the last

three days of this game has

been pretty remarkable and a

few of the boys are throwing a

few different games around in

the change rooms then but they

all go out the window. That's

the best Test win I've been a

part of. I think the '92 Test

but I think match in Sri Lanka was my best

but I think this pips it. 500

plays 500. Last day we need to

take 10 wickets and chase it

down. I was a sensational

effort from a great

team. Australia home by six

wickets as the magnitude and

the impact of the defeat sinks

in by England. We turned up

today and we knew we had to

play well and to get anything

out of the game we were confident of doits doing confident of doits doing it

walking off tonight having been

beaten there's a bit of shock.

Most of the lads are bitterly

disappointed because they gave

everything and it just shows

you in Test cricket you have

one bad hour and it can cost

you the game. And you almost

feel sorry for them. Almost.

The Federal Government has

stripped AWB Limited of the

power to decide if other grain companies can export wheat. The loss of

loss of the exporter's veto

powers a decision to give the

Government time to decide on

the future of wheat shipments

an could open the door for

farmers to sell their crop to

someone else. Helen Brown

reports.Is this the beginning

of the end for the Australian

Wheat Board's hold on one of

the nation's biggest agricultural exports? According

to the to the leader of the National

Party there's only one group

who will make that

decision. We're all driven by

what is in the best interests

of growers and I think that

should be the sheet anchor here

in terms of where our thinking

is. For the next three months

the Government will consult

with growers, grain traders and

anyone else with a stake in the

industry about overhauling the

single desk export scheme for

wheat shipments. What to do

with it is

with it is a vexing issue for

government and one that's torn

at the Coalition. This has been

for the Government a challenging issue because there

is a range of views. No, I

don't think it's the beginning

of the end of the single desk.

This is giving an opportunity,

an opportunity for the growers

to consult and discuss and put

their views forward. The

Australian grain exporters

association has been agitating

for change for 26 years. for change for 26 years. It

says it can now see some chance

of its members competing

against the AWB next year. And

I think there's a large number

of growers who are keen to be

able to deal with people that -

to have the choice of who they

deal with and how they sell

their wheat. Handing the veto

power to the agricultural

Minister is also designed to

defuse another issue. West defuse another issue. West

Australian farmers are angry

because AWB has used the veto

power to stop the State-based

grain handling and storage

body, CBH, from obtaining an

export licence. It says farmers

are stockpiling their wheat and

it will now make another

application. Hopefully the

Minister will consider all

avenues and the fact that it

is, in our view, a logical

is, in our view, a logical application. AWB wants to keep

the single desk export rights

and says it's cleaning up its

act after the damning Cole

commission. It's released a

statement saying:

It's also put a halt on trade

in its shares, which had dipped

10 cents by that point. And

while wheat marketing is under

scrutiny, in South Australia it looks likely looks likely that similar

arrangements for barley is

coming to an end. An

independent review has

recommended scrapping the

single desk and having a

deregulated market in three

years time. Meanwhile the

latest official forecast is for

the winter harvest to be the

lowest in 10 years.And on

'Lateline Business' Ali Moore

will be speaking to Trevor will be speaking to Trevor Landgrafft President of the West Australian Farmers

Federation who has concerns

about the dumping of AWB's monopoly.

that's all from us this

evening F you want to look at

tonight's sknr view or view any of

of the stories or transcripts

you can visit our website.Now

it's over to 'Lateline

Business' with Ali Moore. Thank

you, Tony. Tonight the

Australian manufacturer with an

answer to plastic biodegradable packaging and wefltern Australian farmers do voice

their concern as Tony said,

about the Federal Government's

decision to take the wheat

export monopoly off AWB. In Western Australia, there's not

going to be any clarity out of

today's announcement. In fact,

there's going to be a whole lot more uncertainty.

To the markets and local

shares ended marginally higher

today. The All Ords was 1.5

points stronger, the ASX 200

closed up a similar amount. The

Nikkei fell 38 points Nikkei fell 38 points with

losses in energy stocks. Hong

Kong's Hang Seng rose almost 250 points tracking Wall

Street's gains. And the Dow

opened shortly after ending the

last trading session up 90

points. London is open for

business and for the latest

we're joined by Robert Orr from the 'Financial Times'. Thanks

for joining us. The UK market

is high this morning, England investors investors clearly shrugging off

your loss in the cricket. Yes,

that's right. There's no answer

for the cricket really, it seems England really bottled

that one but the markets are

shrugging it off. You mentioned

the S and P 5-year high

overnight and we're following

on from that. We're up about 30

points at the moment. We looked

at the retail sectors last

night and the whole issue of uncertain uncertain times ahead and now

there seems to be some

confirmation with a very severe

profit warning from Woolworths

but a rather different story

from Tesco? Yes, that's right,

you mentioned Woolworths of

course it's not related to the

Woolworths you have over there.

Our Woolworths sells, toys,

DVDs, gifts an the like.

They've come out with a profit warning today three weeks before Christmas. Now it's very

unusual to do that. Normally

was in you'd wait to see how trading

was in the run up to Christmas

come out with a profit warning but trading is so bad they've

today and the shares are down

10%. You mentioned Tesco, which

is our equif lent to your

Woolworths which is the biggest

food retailer. They've really

consolidated their position as

the number one food retailer

and they're also very large in

non-food and they're expanding

are abroad as well. So yes, Tesco

are still the largest retailer

here in the UK. Now you're

running a story in your

newspaper today about the

potential restructure of

Qantas. According to that

story, how might it work? Well,

I mean it's very interesting

actually. The various parts of

the consortium that are looking

to buy Qantas are trying to get

around Australia's very tight

ownership rules for foreign companies

companies and they're basically

splitting it up by taking a share each. Of course it's very

different from the way it would

work in Britain where foreign

companies are similarly quite

welcome to buy British assets

and in Australia you've seen a

number of companies buy ing

you've got Rinker around Coles

Myer. So I gath tler is some unease about that over

there. Lots of plans but little there. Lots of plans but little

action really. What's the

outlook for Wall Street? Well,

yes, as you mentioned S and P

6-year high overnight and it looks like Wall Street is going

to open higher. Thank you very

much for bringing us up to

date. Thanks.

It's one of the big est environmental issues of our

time, the mountains of landfill time, the mountains of landfill

created every year by discarded

packaging materials. But one

company, plantic has a possible

solution, a biodegradable

plastic substitute made from

corn starch. The company has

won a large slice of the confectionary market but it

wants local consumers to put

more pressure on retailers to

lift their green credentials.

Neil wool rich reports. These may may look like ordinary

chocolate trays rolling off the

production line but according

to the company making them, the

packaging material is unlike

any other. Plantic Technologies

in Melbourne manufactures

biodegradable resin gran yuls an plastic sheeting out of the

corn starch. The sheet material

itself is about 90% corn

starch. It's got a couple of

per cent of colour in it and a

The rest of little bit of processing aid.

The rest of it is actually just water. Plantic's Grant Dow says

the material can compostin two

weeks an leave no residue

because unlike regular plastics

there are no Petro chemical

ingreedents. Enchts when you

pour some water on this thing

it starts to immediately

disperse much the same as if

you took some water and some

corn starch and you tried to

make gravy out of make gravy out of it. Plantic

processes 4 tonnes per day of

its materials and supplies

trays for 80% of locally made

chocolates. The company argues

that its packaging adds a

negligible impostto the cost of

an overall product. If you were

to buy a small box of

chocolates you might pay $4 to

$5. The tray in that box might

cost you 3 to 4 cents, cost you 3 to 4 cents, that's

what that would represent and

to have a tray made by our

material might cost an

additional half cent. But Grant

Dow says Australian consume

verse a long way to go to catch

up on European consumers. I

think in the United Kingdom

there's especially a women's

lobby who are discouraging some

of the supermarkets against

over packaging some of the

products and when they find

products like we can now make

available, they will actually

go out of their way to buy them

and that's good for our

business. Government, I think,

has a very important role to

play and unfortunately we're

seeing a variety of policy

options that haven't really

tackled environmental markets.

There has been some discussion

about environmental levies and

there has been some discussion related to

related to broad ecoefficiency agreements and product

stewardship agreements.

Unfortunately a lot of these

are voluntary in nature and

they're not a strong incentive

for industry to move forward. Peter Johnson says

there's potential for billions

environmentally preferable of dollars to flow into

products. At the moment I'm

seeing Australians willing to

purchase organic jumpers to low

volatile organic paint to environmentally preferable carpets an work carpets an work stations. I

would class that market growing

to some $60 billion. So Peter

Johnson want asstrict product

labelling code developed by non-government organisations to

ensure the consumers are fully

inforped about any claims

businesses make about their

green credentials. Plantic says

it's planning to publicly list

in the next 12 months and hopes

to raise up to $100 million. It

says the money will be used to develop a bigger range develop a bigger range of products including pack inling

for meat, cheese and

drinks. Still on the

environment and a powerful alliance says nuclear power is

not the best way to guarantee Australia's future energy

needs. Scientists, the big

polluters and conservation

groups believe renewable energy

is the best way ahead and

they've been joined now by

church groups which want

politicians to make global

warming their top priority.

Environment reporter Sarah

Clarke. It's a rare sight and a

rare unity. 16 religious denominations joining hands

campaigning for action on

climate change. It is a global

issue, it truly does affect

every person on the planet,

every faith, every

religion. All agree, global

warming is a moral issue and

they want their congregations they want their congregations

to declare their hand at the

governments haven't done their polls. If they think

bit. We have to protect our

future environment for

future. In Canberra there was

another unlikely alliance. A

2-year study by 16

organisations including coal,

renewable, green groups and

scientists agreed the benefits

of action on global warming

outweigh the costs. If

everybody globally works

towards carbon constrained

future , that is going to make

it the lowest cost. The report

found Australia's

energy-intensive industries

like aluminium and iron will

still be affected if deep cuts

in greenhouse emissions are

made. But the household cost of

electricity will go down. These

numbers are much less than

people have been suggesting would otherwise be the case. And they case. And they agreed,

renewable energy will end up

powering 40% of Australia's

electricity by 2050. And

despite the recent talk of a

nuclear future, it comes off

second best. And the study

gives government the task of

making a transition to a

low-emission economy and with

polls indicating Australians

are more concerned about global warming than terrorism,

politicians may have no

politicians may have no choice.

The ANZ bank has extended the

contract of chief executive

John McFarlane to at least the

end of next year. Mr MacFarlane

had been due to step aside next

September at the end of his

current 3-year contract. The

bank now says the extension

would allow more time to find a

suitable successor. The

announcement ends uncertainty

about Mr MacFarlane's tenure

and the bank's succession plans

following reports some

institutional investors were

lobbying chairman Charles Goode

to keep Mr MacFarlane in the

CEO's chair. As you heard

earlier in 'Lateline', the

future of the AWB's wheat

export monopoly is firmly in

the spotlight after today's

announcement its right to veto

rival wheat export deals is

being handed to the federal being handed to the federal

agriculture Minister for The

next six months and not

everybody's happy about the

decision. The West Australian

Farmers Federation, which

claims to represent about half

WA grain grower, says that

while it continues to support

the single desk structure, it

agrees the monopoly needs to be

reviewed but the federation's

President Trevor Dee Landgrafft

says the decision is open to

question. Mr Dee Landgrafft

joined me earlier this evening.

Thank you for joining 'Lateline

Business'. Good to be here,

Ali. Let's start with your

reaction to today's decision

giving the power of veto to the

agriculture Minister, is that

good for your members? Well, we

can certainly see what the

Government's doing. They're

demonstrating that they will act legislative to do act legislative to do something

in respect to AWB. But really,

in Western Australia there's

not going to be any clarity out

of today's announcement. In

fact there's going to be a

whole lot more uncertainty

until we have Mr McGauran

actually let us know what lease

going to do because they needed

to have made an announcement as

well at the same time saying

actually what was going to

happen with the current season.

Here we just don't know. Indeed, know. Indeed, with all the growers who have been stockpiling grain whorks have

not been delivering it to the

AWB, what do they do now? Does

this help them make a

decision? No, it won't and you

know, the AWB has received some

grain up to this point in time

and the rest has been

stockpiled. Not a lot has gone

to any alternative market,

clearly people wish to deliver

to the national pool but now it does appear

does appear that the licences

that were applied for before

and vetoed by the AWB now are

going oto have to be relooked

at. I think that that's a whole

lot of uncertainty we just did

not need. The legislative arrangements that were in place

before were beginning to take

effect, people were starting to

understand that the legislation

in place before was going to

remain for the season. Here we

are nearly all the way through the selling season and we're the selling season and we're

going to have the Government

now making the call on licences which apparently they're going

to actually allow to be called

again. So your argument is that

any change or indeed handing

over this veto power to the

Minister should have waited

until the end of the current

selling season? Yeah, quite

obviously it should have. I

mean, the announcement about

giving the veto to McGauran is giving the veto to McGauran is

a reasonable one going into the

next selling season and that

would demonstrate that the

Government was doing something.

But the arrangements that are

in place at the moment really

have been settled in and people

have made decisions based on

them and I think it's quite

unreasonable that now we have

this un certain surface again

and we'll certainly be seeking

urgent talks with Peter

McGauran to see how he's going

to deal with with this. Indeed given

given the comebts by the Prime

Minister today that this

decision was to try and solve

the current deadlock in Western

Australia and I guess act as a

circuit breaker f you like

dorks you think it's odds on

the Minister will issue other

export permits? Look, I think

that he'll have to look at it very seriously because if he

does, people who have based

decisions on the previous

legislation, and they're going

to act legislatively later this

week to change it, the people

who have made decisions on the

previous legislation are going

to be looking to government to

see how they're going to help

them. You know, they'll be

making losses because if

another licence was issued that

took a major chunk of the

critical mass out of the amount

of wheat that is available for

this year's pool, then of

course those people who have

committed to that pool would be

at a significant disvainge at a significant disvainge

because they understand that

most of the wheat for export

would end up there. So now we

have a situation where I think

- I think Peter will have

little choice but to allow the

current situation to continue

and that new licences probably

should not be allowed to

proceed. He'll need to look at that situation going to next

selling season, not this

one. You've long and your one. You've long and your members you argue have been

long supporters of the single

desk. Do you truly believe now

d single desk can survive post

the Cole inquiry? It certainly

can because nothing has changed

internationally as to why we

ought to do away with the collective bargaining system that we've established over the

last 60 years. We still have

the US heavily subsidising

their grain

their grain grower, we still

have heavy subsidisation in the

EU. They're keen competitors of

Australia and this and in the

Prime Minister's own words does

give us at least - levels up

the playing field, it's

something that we need to have

whilst we are working in

essentially a corrupt market

place internationally. So

what's the - Those things

haven't changed. So what's the haven't changed. So what's the argument for the West Australian Farmers Federation,

is it keep the single desk but

keep it off the AWB? Keep the

single desk first of all and

bring some contest yeablt into

the services that need to be

provided by marketers. But who

holds the single desk? Does the AWB still have the

credibility? I think the single

desk should go back to where it

originally was with the

farmers. A farmer owned entity

should hold single desk and should hold single desk and

those services for the sales

and the other tasks of pooling,

etc, can be taken out by other marketers. Probably AWB would

be in a very good position to

do that. It's certainly a good

position to be able to tender

fer them but the actual

legislation and the actual

mechanism of single desk is as

valid today as it ever was but

yes, you're right quite. AWB have, in the way in which have, in the way in which they

behave, certainly lost a lot of

confidence not just with

government but with growers as

well. Then why do you believe

that they would be well placed

to continue holding the single desk, as you said yourself,

farmers are concerned about

being paid. The AWB does face

not just legal action of former

executives but potential

prosecution in the US? Yes,

they're well placed because of

their experience in these

matters, the way in which they pool

pool the market s they have

established but it doesn't mean

to say that they would

necessarily get the job. Quite

clearly we need

contestability. So what do you

think's going to happen in a

year's time, will it all go

back to AWB? I mean I really

couldn't say that and we just

don't know how - we're going to

have a pretty major debate over

the next three months. People

will be able to put their views forward but forward but certainly what

we're hearing from our members,

what we hear from reports that

we hear is that growers do

support the mechanism but I really couldn't make the call

about AWB. Many thanks for

joining us. Thank you, Ali.

Well, for all today's

economic news including the

latest current account numbers

and for a look at how local markets traded,

markets traded, I spoke earlier

to Cherelle Murphy at the ANZ.

Thanks for joining us. Let's

start with the current account

deficit which narrowed in the

third quarter. Yes, Ali it did.

It narrowed by $1.2 billion in

the quaut cher is pretty

substantial. That took it to

about 4.8% of GDP which is the

smallest both in as a share of

the economy and in dollar terms

since about 2002. since about 2002. Now it wasn't

really because we saw a big

improvement in our exports it

was really because we saw a

fall in import volumes. They

were down 1.1% and export

volumes up 0.7% and despite all

the hype that we've heard about

resource exports, they were

actually down in the quarter,

down almost a per cent. So in

actual fact even though it's an

improvement on the face of it,

not very strong indicators not very strong indicators

underlying? No, certainly not

good news in terms of exports.

Probably there is some hope in

sight, however. It does take a

long time for the investment in

the mining sector to actually

feed through to export volumes.

The previous cycle, as the

Treasury told us, showed us

that took about six to seven

years and therefore we can

expect an improvement in export

volumes. They haven't sort of disappeared off the face of the disappeared off the face of the

planet. It's just that we

probably won't see it again

until next year. We saw Government spending numbers today for the third quarter? Yeah, these were reasonably strong actually, up

0.5% which takes them to just

under 5% growth over the year.

These are, as the net exports

numbers will be a positive,

which contributing to GDP

numbers tomorrow. Indeed, has

this changed the outlook for the GDP

the GDP numbers? Yes, it has,

actually, a little bit. Those

net export numbers were even

though an improvement, they

were a bit softer than we had

expect sod what we've done is

actually taken our forecast for

the quarter from around 0.2 to

0.3 to actually 0. So we don't

think there was any change in

GDP over the September quarter.

We saw consumption relatively strong in strong in the quarter but other

factors in particularly

business investment was very

weak and therefore it's

unlikely we'll see any growth. With the Reserve Bank

having met today, all of this

of course adds up to no rate

change policy? Most definitely,

interest rate markets have

actually moved back to price

and virtually no chance of a

rate hike even in the early

months of next year. However it doesn't necessarily mean an end doesn't necessarily mean an end

to the tightening cycle but

certainly they've got room and

a lot of breathing space now

we've seen some softness in the

economic indicators. Finally to

the stock market and really

ours didn't go anywhere

today? No, second day in a row

we've seen virtually no change

in the level. The ASX 200 today

was just two points higher

finishing at 5,427. There was some mixed

some mixed stories today. The

resource sector did reasonably

well out of quite a large jump

in corporate prices in London

last night. BHP Billiton was up

31 cents today and Rio was up

$1.76 so quite a strong

movement there. We also saw,

however, some doubt surrounding

the possible takeover of Rinker

by the Mexican cement company

and that caused its share price to fall today it

to fall today it was down 1.3%

to $18.45. Thanks for bringing

us up to date. Pleasure. To

other major movers today.

Henderson group revealed it's

pretax profits are ahead of market expectations.

Australia's largest transport

group toll hold ition put on group toll hold ition put on 55

cents boost fwid drop in oil

prices.

It's not a glamour It's not a glamour stock, a

market leader or one of those

shares that commentators like

to talk about every day, but

the United Group counts as one

of Australia's more substantial

companies and it's a company

that's managed to reinvent

itself over time since it

started up in the construction

business nearly 40 years ago.

Andrew Robertson with this

profile.It may not be a

familiar name but because of the the range of industries in which it operates few

Australians escape using the

services and products of United

Group. We are very involved in

things, part of people's water

supply projects, their power

supply projects sh their

transport engineering. We run

the Sydney Opera House, the Sydney Airport so we touch people's lives but they just

don't see us or know we're

there. United Group consists of

four divisions. It builds and maintains maintains passenger and freight

trains in Australia and Asia,

it provides technology and

engineering services for the

mining industry, it builds

infrastructure for industries

such as water and electricity

and it maintains an manages

about half a billion properties in Australia and around the

world. We manage a third of the

city of Singapore, schools and

universities in Singapore, we

manage large industrial and commercial commercial sites in the United States, we manage the

Australian embassies Arnold the

world. And investors seem

happy. Lateline Business spoke

to two of United Group's three biggest share horlsd an neither

had a bad word to saismt one of

them is managed funds group

Colonial First State which

likes yuted's increasing ri

lienction on sches

income. Diversification of

income streams is a good idea.

It spreads the risk It spreads the risk and allows

for growth in individual

sectors. As United has built

its business, revenue in the

last five years has tripled

from $723 million to $2.2

billion. Operating earnings

have increased nearly five fold

in the same period from $22

million to $106 million.

United's share price has had a United's share price has had a

similarly steler rise from

around 2 to 13 hnth 45 today,

but on a price earnings ratio

of 21, United Group's recent

success has raised expectations

among investors. Some people

say to me we're one of the most

expensive stocks around if our

growth doesn't skont. The

future, according to Richard

the Leupen is to continue building

the infrastructure and services

businesses which will insulate the company from any downturn

in the resources sector. Today

about 20 to 25% of our income

is derived from the resources

sector and I think if there was

a downturn, a reversal of what

we've just seen, we think it

might have about a 10% affect

on us but there's no sign of

that for at least three to nour

years that we can see. The

United Group now derives 80% United Group now derives 80% of

its revenue from service like

asmet maintenance which helps

it on blows like missing on the

contract to build 700 carriages

for the NSW rail network busmt

the expansion plan hz come with

chachblings. We've added $2

billion of turnover and 8,000

people to the company in six

years. To manage that is not to

be underestimated and I think

sit a primary threat we sit a primary threat we

face. If United can manage that

threat it will continue to

prove that operating an

unfashion aable industries can

be very rewarding. On the

foreign exchange market:

Now for a brief look at

tomorrow's business diary.

Before we go, a look at

what's making news in the business

business sections of our major

newspapers. 'The Age' says

Macquarie Bank could earn $400

million in fees if the private

equity bid for Qantas succeeds. The 'Australian' reports

Queensland gas appears to have

seen off an unwelcome takeover

from Santos after AGL took a

blocking stake. And the

'Australian Financial Review'

says the Macquarie says the Macquarie Bank backed

Sydney Airport corps rietion is

going to the High Court to make

it harder for airlines to

challenge its fees. And that's

all for tonight. As I leave you

the FTSE is up 7 and the Dow

futures are up 6. If you'd like

to review any part of tonight's

stories or earlier programs you

can visit our website.Bu we'd

also love to hear from you at

our email address on your screen. I'm Ali screen. I'm Ali Moore. Goodnight. Closed Captions by

CSI