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Tonight - guilty as charged. Five jihadists contradicted of plotting terrorist attacks in
Australia.

It's a very strong statement if you come here with a view to committing an act of terrorism, you
are likely to be caught. Good evening. Welcome to Lateline. I'm Leigh Sales. It's a big weekend for
the Coalition and in particular Malcolm Turnbull's leadership. At a meeting on Sunday he'll be
trying to get the Liberal Party room to unite behind him on sugged amendments to the Rudd
Government's Emissions Trading Scheme. But will the rebellious right wing of the back bench follow
the leader? Those gatherings can be very dangerous. You've got a lot of people on a Sunday on a
slow news day going in and out of the doors so I think he's made a bit of a tactical mistake in
rushing to have this crisis leadership meeting.

It is almost time some of the Presidents of the Liberal Party organisation started to say to their
members and their Senators, "Hey, fellas, you are not helping the greater good leer. Maybe if you
want to be a maverick we ought to have a look at your preselection or where you are on the Senate
ticket."

Joining Lateline for our regular Friday night forum are political consultant and former party
insiders Tim Gartrell and Grahame Morris. That's coming up but first our other headlines. More
violence in Pakistan with the fifth attack targeting police in 24 hours. Something fishy going on -
fears that the southern blue fin tuna stock is near collapse.

Jihadists found guilty as charged

Jihadists found guilty as charged

Broadcast: 16/10/2009

Reporter: Philippa McDonald

The nation's longest running terrorism trial is over, with five Sydney men found guilty of planning
a terrorist attack on Australian soil. The jury took almost a month to reach its verdict, which
sees the five jihadists face maximum sentences of life in prison.

Transcript

LEIGH SALES, PRESENTER: The nation's longest-running terrorism trial is over with five Sydney men
found guilty of planning a terrorist attack on Australian soil.

The jury took almost a month to reach its verdict which sees the convicted men face maximum
sentences of life in prison.

Outside the court, family and friends of the men were both angry and distressed at their fate.

For legal reasons, we're unable to reveal the identities of the convicted men.

Philippa McDonald reports.

PHILIPPA MCDONALD, REPORTER: The five Sydney men in their 20s, 30s and 40s were arrested in late
2005. Their identities are still suppressed in Victoria. Today a jury of seven men and five women
found all five guilty of conspiring to commit a terrorist act or acts on Australian soil.

ANDREW SCIPIONE, NSW POLICE COMMISSIONER: It's a very strong statement: if you come here with a
view to committing an act of terrorism, you are likely to be caught.

PHILIPPA MCDONALD: Outside the court, some lost their cool with the waiting media. For family and
friends, the verdict was impossible to comprehend.

NEPHEW: My uncle, the best person. Like, he used to go with me to boxing fights, 'cause I was a
boxer and he used to train me.

RELATIVE: It's unfair because he's done nothing wrong.

PHILIPPA MCDONALD: It was the prosecution that the men had been in pursuit of, "... violent jihad
which involved the application of extreme force and violence, including the killing of those who
did not share their fundamentalist .... extremist beliefs." And their aim was to scare and
intimidate ordinary Australians and the government because of Australia's involvement in the war in
Iraq and Afghanistan.

TONY NEGUS, AFP COMMISSIONER: We're talking about the capability here to effect a significant
atrocity on Australians.

PHILIPPA MCDONALD: It was alleged that a former engineering consultant was the ringleader.

Weapons were found in his south-west Sydney home along with enough ammunition to keep firing for 37
hours.

The Crown said each of the men had been a party to stockpiling chemicals to make explosives and
had, "... step-by-step instructions on how to make bombs capable of causing large scale death and
destruction ...," along with, "... large quantities of literature which supported indiscriminate
killing, mass murder and martyrdom."

The court was told one of the men attended a paramilitary training camp in Pakistan in 2001 run by
the terrorist organisation Lashkar-e-Toiba.

In the time it's taken for this trial, four other men arrested at the same time back in 2005 have
been sentenced for their role in this conspiracy to commit a terrorist attack. They pleaded guilty
and received sentences of between three and a half and 14 years and two of those men have already
been released.

Those convicted today are due to be sentenced on 14th December.

Philippa McDonald, Lateline.

More violence in Pakistan

More violence in Pakistan

Broadcast: 16/10/2009

Reporter: Leigh Sales

A double suicide bombing has ripped through a police building in the north-western Pakistan city of
Peshawar, killing up to 11 people. Pakistan says the attacks are a reaction to military operations
against the Taliban and Al Qaeda-linked militants.

Transcript

LEIGH SALES, PRESENTER: There's been no let-up in the violence in Pakistan.

A double suicide bombing has ripped through a police building in the north-western city of
Peshawar, killing at least 11 people.

Police say a woman blew up her motorcycle outside an army garrison immediately after a suicide
attacker sitting in a car exploded.

Police and detainees being held in custody are among the scores of wounded people.

Yesterday, 38 people were killed in four attacks across Pakistan, including assaults on police
training centres in Lahore.

Pakistan says the attacks are a reaction to military operations against the Taliban and Al
Qaeda-linked militants.

Hunger strike continues

Hunger strike continues

Broadcast: 16/10/2009

Reporter: Hayden Cooper

Some of their number are fading, but the Sri Lankan asylum seekers moored in Indonesia are vowing
to continue their hunger strike. They are still demanding access to Australia, but the Prime
Minister has again dismissed the Tamils' call for help.

Transcript

LEIGH SALES, PRESENTER: Some of their numbers are fading, but the Sri Lankan asylum seekers moored
in Indonesia are vowing to continue their hunger strike.

They're still demanding access to Australia, but the Prime Minister has again dismissed the call
for help from the 250 Tamils.

From Canberra, Hayden Cooper reports.

HAYDEN COOPER, REPORTER: Movement at the Merak Port as the Indonesian Navy ship makes way for the
asylum seekers' boat to dock. But it doesn't mean they're any closer to leaving the boat and their
campaign behind.

REFUGEE CHILD: Please. All the children have their parents. If our parents die, we don't have life
to live. Please, please, help us. Please help our parents.

HAYDEN COOPER: Almost a week in crowded quarters under beating sun has taken its toll. Some
exhausted Sri Lankans have been taken off for treatment. The adults are refusing food and water and
they won't relent.

Is everyone united in the hunger strike, Alex?

'ALEX', ASYLUM SEEKER: Yes, yes.

HAYDEN COOPER: Their spokesman wants to deal with the Australian Prime Minister, using the names of
people smugglers as leverage.

'ALEX': We are offering that we will hand over all agents who are involved in this if the
Australian Government accepts us.

HAYDEN COOPER: In Australia, political leaders are trying to show glimpses of compassion.

MALCOLM TURNBULL, OPPOSITION LEADER: Unlike Mr Rudd, I did see the pleas of the little girl on the
boat in Indonesia and it was heart-breaking.

HAYDEN COOPER: But the glimpses are fleeting at best. Nothing changes the hard line on both sides
of the political divide.

KEVIN RUDD, PRIME MINISTER: These are tough decisions. No-one likes to see anyone in pain, no-one
likes to see anyone in difficulty, but my job as Prime Minister of Australia is to make tough
decisions which are balanced, tough, fair.

MALCOLM TURNBULL: The hunger strike is a reckless and self-destructive act. It's putting lives at
risk.

HAYDEN COOPER: And the Sri Lankan Government is adding its voice.

SENAKA WALGAMPAYA, SRI LANKAN HIGH COMMISSIONER: All these people have made up all these things.

HAYDEN COOPER: The High Commissioner in Canberra suspects the asylum seekers are not who they claim
to be.

SENAKA WALGAMPAYA: They don't appear to have come from Sri Lanka because they had a very strong
accent which is not typical of Tamils in Sri Lanka. It is quite possible that these are people who
have been in the west or even in Malaysia for a period of time. Probably they have been in Europe
or in Canada or US.

HAYDEN COOPER: The distraught Tamil child pleading for Australian help attracted added suspicion.

SENAKA WALGAMPAYA: They are talking about being in the jungles and she's crying and weeping and
said we were in the jungle for one month. But quite well-nourished and she spoke very good English.
These are not from Sri Lanka.

HAYDEN COOPER: The political debate took an ugly turn too after the leader of the Nationals
expanded the Coalition's attack a little more than Malcolm Turnbull might have liked. In a press
release, Warren Truss linked the Government's softer laws with the deaths of up to 25 asylum
seekers at sea.

It was a blood-on-your-hands suggestion that had Julia Gillard seeing red.

JULIA GILLARD, DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER: Warren Truss has today made a very vile, indeed despicable,
allegation against the Government. I would be calling on Mr Turnbull to have Mr Truss apologise for
and withdraw that allegation immediately.

HAYDEN COOPER: But it's nothing on the invective coming out of the Northern Territory Parliament.

ADAM GILES, NT COUNTRY LIBERAL MP: We're taking potential dongas, we're taking potential
demountables off disabled kids in Alice Springs to house scum, asylum seekers in Christmas Island.

HAYDEN COOPER: Not even John Howard is getting involved in this border protection war.

JOHN HOWARD, FORMER PRIME MINISTER: I don't want to talk about current politics today.

HAYDEN COOPER: From the latest boatload to arrive, 58 more asylum seekers are spending their first
night on Christmas Island. Hayden Cooper, Lateline.

Friday forum with Grahame Morris and Tim Gartrell

Friday forum with Grahame Morris and Tim Gartrell

Broadcast: 16/10/2009

Reporter: Leigh Sales

Political commentator and former adviser to John Howard, Grahame Morris, and the CEO of Auspoll and
former national ALP secretary, Tim Gartrell, join Lateline to discuss the week in politics.

Transcript

LEIGH SALES, PRESENTER: Joining me now to discuss the week in politics are political consultant and
former adviser to John Howard, Grahame Morris, and the CEO of Auspoll and former national ALP
secretary Tim Gartrell.

Welcome to both of you.

TIM GARTRELL, CEO, AUSPOLL: Good evening.

GRAHAME MORRIS, POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Hi, Leigh.

LEIGH SALES: Let's begin with the news of this week which has been the boatload of asylum seekers
now sitting in Indonesia. In a piece in the Daily Telegraph today, Tony Abbott's written that it's
impossible to have an asylum seekers policy that's both hardline and humane. If it's hardline, then
refugee advocates consider it inhumane, but if it's humane then others consider it not enough of a
deterrent. What do you think, Grahame Morris?

GRAHAME MORRIS: I can't see why you'd change it. You know, it just seems to me that if you've got a
then Opposition, the Rudd Opposition, running around saying that the Howard approach was too
strong, then you're gonna send a message when you're in government that you've got a soft approach,
and that means we shouldn't be surprised when we get all the human flotsam and jetsam from other
countries in a sort of a conga line of boats coming to our country. If you change the story, you
change the impression, we're going to get more people coming. And it just seems to me at the moment
that - I sort of love the smell of hypocrisy in the evening. You know, it's not all that long ago
everyone was saying putting all the refugees on an island was disgraceful. The Pacific Solutions in
Nauru. Now we're putting 'em all on Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean and everyone says, "Oh,
goodo."

LEIGH SALES: Tim Gartrell?

TIM GARTRELL: Well there's a big assumption there that all this is what they call pull factors,
that is in this message go out. I don't think that's correct. The policy that is in place is
reasonably tough. We still have excision of parts of Australia, we still have mandatory detention.
All those things are still there. So I don't think there's been a massive softening of the policy.
And we get these waves of immigration happening when there's major events overseas. And a lot of
waves that have happened from Malcolm Fraser through have had nothing to do with the domestic
policy, but have had everything to do with large numbers of people at particular points of time
dispersing throughout the world. And we are getting some of that here. And when I say some of it, a
small amount compared to what's going on in places like Europe.

LEIGH SALES: What do you make, though, Grahame Morris' comment that it's a change of story and that
the impression that's been given is that the Rudd Government has softened up the policy compared to
the Howard government?

TIM GARTRELL: Well, that's the impression that Liberal Party people are saying, but as I've said,
it's still a tough policy. It's still got most of the elements of the previous government's stuff
in there. It does have things like processing people more quickly, getting kids and women out of
detention. Some of those elements that were really poor about the past policy where we had kids in
behind razor wire for five years; they were really harsh elements of that policy. That's what was
actually criticised by us when we were in Opposition. That's gone, but we always said there would
be an element of toughness about the policy. And Julia Gillard when she was shadow minister copped
an enormous amount of flack for keeping the policy pretty tough.

LEIGH SALES: We saw a poll by the Lowy Institute this week showing that three in four Australians
are either somewhat concerned or very concerned about illegal immigration. Given that, is it
dangerous for any government to adopt more humane policies on asylum seekers, Grahame Morris?

GRAHAME MORRIS: No. No, it's not. But I can tell you something that wasn't in that poll and that is
the strongest people who are opposed to people queue jumping and just arriving on our doorsteps in
boats are sort of the Greeks, the Italians, the Vietnamese, a few of the Eastern European people -
those people who waited their turn and came.

TIM GARTRELL: Based on what study?

GRAHAME MORRIS: Research from the last three years. But if you - it just seems to me common sense
that some of these people are queue jumping. And what is wrong instead of putting your children at
risk in a leaky boat, what is wrong with just walking down the road to Colombo in Sri Lanka's
place, talking to our High Commissioner there and getting in the queue? You know, why endanger your
life, your family's life, your friend's life and essentially try and jump the queue, and it's
illegal? Of course Australians get really - many Australians get really toey when people are
queuing up for two years, three years, four years, doing the right thing, and then all of a sudden
people say, "No, I don't wanna wait. I'll come through the back door."

LEIGH SALES: Tim Gartrell, every time this issue flares up, it is always accompanied by a
discussion about whether Australians are racist, uncaring and so on. Do you think that Australians
are more sensitive to the issue of illegal immigration than other nations or less so comparable to
other nations? What's your view?

TIM GARTRELL: No, I don't think so. I think every nation has a large amount of its population
that's concerned about these things. I don't think it's right to just say if someone's got concerns
about immigration that they are racist. I think that's an over-simplification of this. But I think
what's important for governments to do is take the lead, and incumbent governments who have a lot
of political capital, to take the lead and explain what's going on. Put a bit of context around
this.

LEIGH SALES: And do you think Kevin Rudd's been doing that?

TIM GARTRELL: Now, we have a different type of government here. We have government in the past that
jumped on this stuff and used it for political advantage. What Kevin Rudd's gotta do is take
Australians through this. He has good will with a lot of Australians, and a lot of Labor voters, a
lot of blue collar voters who are concerned about this like Kevin Rudd, voted for him. He can use a
lot of his political purchase to explain the context of what is happening.

LEIGH SALES: But has he been doing that? I mean, we've language from him this week that he makes no
apology for having a hardline policy. It sounds pretty much like what John Howard used to say.

TIM GARTRELL: He's done a - he's done a bit of that with Malcolm Turnbull. They had a bit of a
"Who's the toughest?" contest, but he's also been trying to put this in context about what is going
on in Afghanistan, where, by the way, we've got troops and we're trying to help there and there's
people fleeing there. We all know there's difficult situations there - to explain what's going on
in Sri Lanka. That's what a responsible government does with a situation like this. Put this, wrap
this in context.

LEIGH SALES: Do you think, Grahame Morris, that Kevin Rudd's been putting it in context?

GRAHAME MORRIS: I think he has tried to, but I still - I don't know anyone's really sure whether
the PM wants to open the doors, close the doors or have them half open or half shut. Um, I don't
know. I think the PM himself is probably more on the political side of things, in other words be a
bit tougher, but some of his ministers are as soft as cotton wool.

LEIGH SALES: Is it, as Tim Gartrell said, a "Who's the toughest?" contest between Kevin Rudd and
Malcolm Turnbull?

GRAHAME MORRIS: Um, I think the Prime Minister would like to reduce that gap so that this issue
didn't get out of control, but I think a lot of the people behind him are nowhere near that view.
Look, I think if this blew up it would be quite - not only destabilising in the community, but
could be quite destabilising behind the Prime Minister.

TIM GARTRELL: Can I just raise this question of controlling our borders because this is one thing
that Malcolm Turnbull said, "Oh, the borders are open." There's been no real change to the policy
on the actual protection of the borders. We still have those excisions, there's been about $600
million gone into extra funding for border patrols for the Navy. These boats aren't coming through
our borders; they are being intercepted. So this is a bit of a rhetorical game that the Liberal
Party are playing.

GRAHAME MORRIS: No, it's not, Tim. No, it's not. Look, two years ago there were no refugees; this
year, there's a thousand.

TIM GARTRELL: Well, and after the Howard government introduced temporary protection visas there was
a surge in refugees. Why? Because it's not about what we're doing here, it's about what is going on
in the rest of the world. You have lulls and you have peaks. You have peaks when things like the
war in Afghanistan's happening and you have lulls when things - after the Iraq situation had been
resolved. That's what drives it.

LEIGH SALES: Grahame Morris, do you think that in order to not be outflanked by Kevin Rudd one this
issue the Coalition is going to have to re-embrace policies such as the Pacific Solution and the
temporary visas, which after all did play pretty well for John Howard?

GRAHAME MORRIS: I genuinely couldn't see anything wrong with that. We don't need Nauru anymore, but
the Government is got the Indian Ocean Solution. You know, they're building more stuff on Christmas
Island. What's the difference?

LEIGH SALES: Do you think the Coalition would suffer any sort of blowback if they did return to the
Pacific Solution policy?

GRAHAME MORRIS: Oh, yeah, look, there would be some people who would jump up and down, there'd be a
couple of people in the Coalition who wouldn't like it, but in the end you have to be able to say
who comes to this country. Yeah, otherwise why have all these people around the world doing the
right thing and queuing up for years who want to join their families, join their uncles, join their
sisters, join their mother and come to this country, doing the right thing? They're gonna get
really, really grumpy if all you've gotta do is get in the boat and come here.

LEIGH SALES: Malcolm Turnbull has a reputation for being to the left of the Liberal Party on social
policy. Do you thing that the hardline position he's spruiking on asylum seekers is a comfortable
one for him?

GRAHAME MORRIS: Look, you'd have to ask him. I agree, Malcolm is not to the right of the Liberal
Party; never will be. But, you know, leadership is sometimes all about expressing what you want,
but also listening to the views of others. And, you know, every now and again a leader bends a
little bit and I suspect on this case Malcolm'd be bending a little bit, but I think the party and
the country are pretty strong on this issue.

TIM GARTRELL: Can I just say that I think Malcolm Turnbull would like to be probably a little bit
softer than the last government, but he's in a fair bit of strife and he's got this meeting coming
on Sunday, and this has been an opportunity for him and he's jumped on it and the Liberal Party
have jumped on it, and he's got a - his only chance here is to run a hard line. He didn't look
particularly comfortable to me during the week when he was talking about - when the tougher debate
was going on.

LEIGH SALES: You took my segue into the next topic ...

TIM GARTRELL: Sorry.

LEIGH SALES: ... which is Malcolm's weekend and what lies ahead. In terms of this meeting over the
weekend, Grahame Morris, how do you see it playing out over the next few days? How do you think
it's going to end up?

GRAHAME MORRIS: All over the front pages.

LEIGH SALES: That's never usually good.

TIM GARTRELL: Been taking the truth syrum.

GRAHAME MORRIS: It is one of the problems at the moment with the emissions trading thing is that
there are some people with some strong views. And somehow or other, the Opposition has got
'emselves into a pickle where they are the issue. You know, here they are meeting on Sunday to talk
about amendments to give to the Government. Nobody has asked the Government yet if they're gonna
accept any amendments. And I bet if somebody said to the Prime Minister or Senator Wong, "Will you
stand in the Parliament next week and give a guarantee that after Kyoto the Emissions Trading
Scheme will not change in the life of my government or I'll resign," I'll bet they won't.

LEIGH SALES: After Copenhagen.

GRAHAME MORRIS: If they aren't going to change it after Kyoto, why go to Kyoto? Let's send 'em an
email and save, you know, millions of dollars of taxpayer's money and give it to the Canberra
Hospital?

LEIGH SALES: Well, is that, Tim Gartrell, correct? That after Copenhagen, it's entirely reasonable
that we would expect the Government to perhaps tweak things when they see what everyone else is
doing?

TIM GARTRELL: Yes, and they can and I'd imagine they can put legislation in ...

LEIGH SALES: So why should Malcolm Turnbull give amendments now?

TIM GARTRELL: Well, one of the problems he's got is he's got this divided party and he's fallen
into this thing that Opposition Leaders do which is, "I'm going to act. I'm going to call everyone
to Canberra." Now, I was involved with the 2002 special national rules conference of the Labor
Party which is not that much bigger than what Malcolm's doing, but that again was an attempt to,
"Right, let's get everyone together. Let's show our leadership." Those gatherings can be very
dangerous. You've got a lot of people on a Sunday on a slow news day going in and out of the doors.
So I think he's made a bit of a tactical mistake in rushing to have this crisis leadership meeting.

LEIGH SALES: Do you agree, Grahame Morris?

GRAHAME MORRIS: I don't think he had any choice. I think before the Parliament resume - look, the
Government is going to bring in this legislation. The Opposition has to have a view. So you bring
everyone in and say, "Look, have a look at these amendments, fellas, do you think we could - we can
wear these amendments or not." And it'd be quite interesting if you put them up: is the Government
gonna junk its own emissions trading thing and have the Turnbull view or not?

LEIGH SALES: But do you think Malcolm Turnbull's going to be able to herd all these cats on his
backbench?

GRAHAME MORRIS: He'll be able to hurl ...

LEIGH SALES: He probably wants to hurl them.

GRAHAME MORRIS: He'll be able to corral enough, I think. Look, there will still be some grumpy
ones, but I think there's a real difference between the grumpy ones who are grumpy in the party
room and it stays there and those who go out in the media and go and bucket their own team. And I
think it is almost time some of the presidents of the Liberal Party organisation started to say to
their members and their senators, "Hey, fellas, you are not helping the greater good here. Maybe if
you wanna be a maverick, we oughta have a look at your pre-selection or where you are on the Senate
ticket, and maybe if you drop from number one or number two to number four on the Senate ticket,
maybe you'll play the game a bit better."

LEIGH SALES: Well, Tim Gartrell, you used to be in a position where you would have had some
authority like that. Do you find it that a useful tactic for reeling people back into line?

TIM GARTRELL: I would have liked to have had authority like that. Yeah, I think Grahame's right.
You do have to - you pull people into line. Again, they become the story. You know, you make your
Opposition party become the story. And yet you need that discipline. It's incredibly debilitating
for a leader to go into a really important meeting like Sunday and know that people are going to
actually be rushing out the door. These days people text from the meeting to journos what's going
on. That's incredibly debilitating to a proper good debate. Parties should be able to have those
closed-door fair dinkum ding-dongs and get things sorted things out. So Grahame's absolutely right
on that.

LEIGH SALES: If the Liberals switch to Joe Hockey, who's mooted as the most favoured leadership
option, given that he's pretty close to Malcolm Turnbull on most issues, it's gonna be a bit of
Turnbull-lite, isn't it? I don't imagine, Grahame Morris, that Joe Hockey would really be that much
more palatable to the right-leaning members of the backbench than Malcolm Turnbull.

GRAHAME MORRIS: You know something I don't, Leigh. Joe's not running. He's not a started.

LEIGH SALES: No, but if - no, but if he becomes leader, don't you think that he's very similar to
Malcolm Turnbull on lot of policy issues? How's it gonna solve their problems?

GRAHAME MORRIS: Yeah, I agree. The only difference, you know, maybe Joe is a slightly better person
or man manager. Are you allowed to say man manager anymore?

TIM GARTRELL: You just did.

GRAHAME MORRIS: Maybe he's a slightly better man manager and, you know, he's a more gregarious sort
of fellow. But, you know, he's not a starter. He's not silly. He's not putting up his hand. He's
not running. The story of Joe for leader ran for about 24 hours and then Joe trod on it. It's not
going to happen. Turnbull will lead for as long as he wants to unless he takes a walk, and I can't
see Malcolm - Malcolm's not that sort of bloke.

LEIGH SALES: Well, on that point, Grahame Morris, John Howard had three goes at the Liberal
leadership and had to bide his time in the background between them. Do you think that Malcolm
Turnbull has the patience and the long-term vision to stick around like a John Howard if he has to?

GRAHAME MORRIS: Look, I have no idea. I suspect he's not quite as patient as John Howard and
everyone has to learn what it's like to be an Opposition Leader. It is really tough. You've gotta
have patience, you've gotta be a good man manager, you've got to have some ideas, you've got to
have some drive, you've got to be able to do your media work, you gotta do policy work, you've
gotta get a smack in the mouth in the morning and be prepared to get up and act as if it didn't
happen and you need a bit of luck. I don't Malcolm's had much luck at all.

LEIGH SALES: Before we go, Tim Gartrell, there's a front-page story in the Sydney Morning Herald
today that Labor may sever financial ties to the union movement as part of a push for substantial
reform of campaign finances. That would be pretty monumental. Do you believe it's likely?

TIM GARTRELL: I think there's all sorts of options on the table in discussing campaign financing
and I think this is a sort of sign of good faith from the Labor side because, quite rightly, the
Liberal Party have said, "If you're gonna ban donations, it's gotta be banning donations from
everyone. You can't just ban it from one source."

LEIGH SALES: But would they really ban union donations?

TIM GARTRELL: Well, it's tricky for them internally because there is that historic connection and
those affiliations; even if they're just administrative payments, with them comes representation at
conference level. So, I was interested when I saw that. I don't know really what's going on in the
backroom there. I suspect that's a bit of a sign of some of the negotiations playing out a little
bit into the public.

LEIGH SALES: Tim Gartrell, Grahame ...

GRAHAME MORRIS: Not, not, not, not, not going to happen unless there's flying pigs outside the ABC
studio and instead of money they'll just give 20 staff in each marginal seat.

LEIGH SALES: I'll go and poke my head outside the door in a minute. I think I'll be disappointed.
Tim Gartrell, Grahame Morris, thanks very much for coming in.

TIM GARTRELL: Thanks.

GRAHAME MORRIS: Good, Leigh.

Prized tuna stocks close to collapse

Prized tuna stocks close to collapse

Broadcast: 16/10/2009

Reporter: Suzanne Smith

The Commission for the Conservation of the Southern Bluefin Tuna holds its annual meeting next
week, and Lateline understands that a confidential scientific report will reveal the stock of the
highly prized fish is heading towards a total collapse.

Transcript

LEIGH SALES, PRESENTER: The Commission for the Conservation of the Southern Bluefin Tuna holds its
annual meeting next week and Lateline understands that a confidential scientific report will reveal
the stock of the highly-prized fish is heading towards a total collapse. But Australia's tuna
fishermen claim fish stocks are recovering and that there's no need for a moratorium on the fishing
and export of southern blue fin tuna. As Lateline's Suzanne Smith reports, Australia's relationship
with Japan is very much at the centre of the row.

SUZANNE SMITH, REPORTER: The Southern Bluefin Tuna traverses four oceans.

CAMPBELL DAVIS, CSIRO MARINE PROGRAM LEADER: Southern Bluefin Tuna's a rather amazing animal.
There's one known spawning area in the north-east Indian Ocean. The adults mature at about 10 to 12
years old, so they're quite late maturing. They migrate to that area and spawn several times during
the spawning season.

SUZANNE SMITH: But the level of the spawning stock is causing great concern. It's been ravaged by a
combination of over-fishing and illegal fishing.

CAMPBELL DAVIS: As far as we understand at the moment, the biggest threat to Southern Bluefin Tuna
is fishing.

SUZANNE SMITH: A few years ago, the Japanese Government admitted to illegally taking thousands of
tons of tuna over its allowable quota over a 20-year period. It's believed the figure could be as
high as 200,000 tonnes.

Greenpeace is campaigning against illegal fishing in the unregulated high seas - the areas outside
the exclusive economic zones in the Pacific. The environmental group says this Japanese vessel was
caught illegally fishing in the exclusive zone of the Cook Islands just this week and last year
there were other ships from countries like Taiwan.

The rate of fishing is also an issue. This BBC production, Fragile Pacific, shows just how
effective the large persane (phonetic spelling) nets can be in scooping up everything in their
path.

Campbell Davies is on the scientific committee of the Commission for the Conservation of the
Southern Bluefin Tuna.

Next week, South Korea hosts a crucial meeting of the Commission, as confidential scientific data
will be presented to all the member countries. It will decide whether to cut the total allowable
catch of Southern Bluefin Tuna and what each country can take from the sea.

This year, the total allowable catch known as the TAC is expected to come under intense scientific
scrutiny.

CAMPBELL DAVIS: There's concern over the low status of the spawning stock and the Commission will
be receiving new advice from the scientific committee on that status.

SUZANNE SMITH: Lateline understands the scientific data is likely to show a dramatic fall in the
stock, but the Australian Tuna Association questions the science.

BRIAN JEFFRIES, AUSTRALIAN TUNA ASSOCIATION: The stock is recovering. There's no question about
that. And I think what everyone agrees is the stock is not at risk. Where people disagree with is
how quickly the stock needs to recover. While it's fished sustainably in Australian waters under
very strict Australian laws, it's not necessarily fished that way on the high seas.

CAMPBELL DAVIS: With the latest assessment from the 2008 meeting of the scientific committee,
there's no evidence of substantial recovery or rebuilding of the stock.

SUZANNE SMITH: The fishermen and the environmentalists do agree on one thing: the Australian
Government has allowed its relationship with Japan to override tougher action against Japan's
over-fishing, and in particular say they the Australian Government has put coal exports before the
fishing industry.

BRIAN JEFFRIES: The issue is whether they should pay back the 180,000 or 200,000 tonnes they
over-caught. That's going to be obviously a political issue which the Government needs to come to
terms with.

SUZANNE SMITH: The tuna fishermen believe they are paying for Japan's illegal activity and they
warn against the Australian Government agreeing to a cut to fishing quotas at next week's meeting.

BRIAN JEFFRIES: The season's just about to start. We have boats and pontoons in the water already
to catch the fish and farm them and things like that. It's not realistic and that's not going to
happen. The real debate will be in 2011. There's no question about that. And that'll be a big
debate, but it'll be informed by a lot of the data which'll become available in 2010-'11. That's
the best way to run fisheries management, not short-term panic-driven decisions.

SUZANNE SMITH: But Glenn Sant from the Worldwide Fund for Nature, also a delegate to the
Commission, disagrees.

GLENN SANT, TRAFFIC INTERNATIONAL: The Southern Bluefin Tuna is at an all time low. It's below 10
per cent of its original population size. And what that means for the stock is that at any one
time, it could collapse. Last week, the Australian Government released its most recent status
report, and I can tell you there's a lot of red ink in there which represents continued
over-fishing and an over-fished stock.

SUZANNE SMITH: The report from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows the stock is at precarious
levels. The figures may even be worse than the state of its Northern Hemisphere cousin, the
northern blue fin tuna. The EU is currently considering whether to ban the trade in the stock to
save the species.

SERGI TUDELA, WWF EUROPE: The only solution is to suspend immediately the fishery in the east
Atlantic (inaudible) and west Atlantic as well, and banning the international trade which is the
main driver pushing this species to the brink of extinction.

BRIAN JEFFRIES: Australia is the only country which totally relies on this particular resource.
Other countries can go off and fish other types of fish. Port Lincoln - and there are 5,000 working
families, as they call it, depending on this particular industry.

GLENN SANT: What we'd like to see in Korea is for the commissioners at this meeting to
substantially reduce the overall catch of Southern Bluefin Tuna and consider a temporary zero catch
for the next couple of years. I mean, we really need to make sure that we get SBT back on a firm
footing if we're gonna see recovery of not only the stock, but the industry.

SUZANNE SMITH: An announcement on the Southern Bluefin Tuna is expected at the conclusion of the
Commission meeting next Friday. Suzanne Smith, Lateline.

Economics analysis with Michael Rowland

Economics analysis with Michael Rowland

Broadcast: 16/10/2009

Reporter: Leigh Sales

National correspondent Michael Rowland joins Lateline to discuss this week's economic debate on how
best to sustain Australia's recovery.

Transcript

LEIGH SALES, PRESENTER: The national economic debate switched very firmly this week to how best to
sustain the recovery. Our regular economics correspondent Stephen Long is on leave this week, so in
his place I was joined a short time ago by national correspondent Michael Rowland.

Michael, the Reserve Bank Governor Glenn Stevens has made it clear that the RBA will be pulling the
lever on interest rates fairly quickly in the coming months. Just how keen is he to tighten
monetary policy?

MICHAEL ROWLAND, REPORTER: Well, Leigh, to steal a phrase popular with economists, he's very keen
to get that punch bowl away before the party gets out of hand. He's made no compunction that he
wants to raise rates sooner rather than later, just as he had no compunction about lowering rates
to emergency levels of 3 per cent. Now the big challenge for Glenn Stevens is to calibrate that so
that he sustains this economic recovery and also meets his other obligation of keeping inflation
under control, while also not snuffing out a recovery that is still very much in its early stages.
So, expect to see some careful deliberation by the Reserve Bank board when it meets next on
Melbourne Cup Day, but there's feverish speculation in the markets that the Reserve Bank is so keen
to put its stamp on this recovery, so keen to wield the powerful lever of monetary policy, that the
next rate could be a biggee in the form of half a per cent, which will certainly underscore Glenn
Stevens' determination to get the recovery on track, but will certainly dampen celebrations on
Melbourne Cup Day.

LEIGH SALES: Indeed. The expectation of higher rates is certainly putting a rocket under the
Australian dollar. What's the likelihood of it reaching parity with the Greenback?

MICHAEL ROWLAND: Very likely. In fact a lot of currency strategists say that it could exceed parity
and get to, say, $1.10 - $1.05, $1.10 over the next six months. Investors have been piling into the
Australian market, Leigh, over the last, certainly in the last few weeks, fuelled in large part by
all the suggestions from Reserve Bank figures that rates were on the way up. Now, the Aussie
dollar's climb is also a by-product of what is still a very sick Greenback. Investors are deserting
the American currency. Of course interest rates in America are at those historic levels of close to
zero and they're not going anywhere anytime soon. So, expect to see the dollar increase its climb,
certainly over the next few months. It's risen about six cents in the last two weeks alone, which
in foreign currency terms is lightning quick speed. So, the dollar's climb is obviously gonna be
great news for those wanting to go out and buy plasma TVs from China for Christmas, but it's going
to be diabolical of course for exporters who are seeing their margins and their profits deteriorate
as the dollar increases.

LEIGH SALES: And finally, we're about to hear a bit more from Rupert Murdoch about his
controversial plan to charge people for online content.

MICHAEL ROWLAND: Yes, in a few hours Rupert Murdoch will front the news corporation annual general
meeting in downtown Manhattan. Now, having covered these events for the last four years, they can
be pretty entertaining affairs. Rupert'll be asked about everything from News Corporation's paltry
dividend payments to the level of sex and nudity on Fox TV. But of course the big issue is going to
be just what he has to say about his bold plan to make people pay to look at News Corporation
websites, be they The Australian or the Daily Telegraph here in Australia, The Times in London, The
New York Post in New York. A lot of media watchers are sceptical that he's going to encourage
people to pay for something that many have enjoyed for free for so long.

We could also see a response from Mr Murdoch to the rather free character assessment he got from
Mark Scott, the ABC's head, this week. Mr Scott of course likened Mr Murdoch to an emperor
frantically trying to reserve his empire in this fast-changing digital world. Mr Murdoch might use
the opportunity to hit back there, so we are awaiting his comments, as we always do, with
tremendous interest.

LEIGH SALES: I'll be looking forward to learning all about that when I wake up in the morning.
Michael Rowland, thank you very much.

MICHAEL ROWLAND: A pleasure.

The quest for love

The quest for love

Broadcast: 16/10/2009

Reporter: Mark Willacy

Japan's population is declining faster than any other nation on Earth, due in part to the failure
of the country's young people to go forth and multiply. Trying to reverse this trend are thousands
of match-making agencies and programs. One organisation has nearly 1 million young members, all
eager to find their perfect matches.

Transcript

LEIGH SALES, PRESENTER: Japan's population is declining faster than any other nation on Earth, due
in part to the failure of the country's young people to go forth and multiply. Trying to reverse
this trend are thousands of match-making agencies and programs. From Tokyo, North Asia
correspondent Mark Willacy reports on the quest for love.

MARK WILLACY, REPORTER: Forget the candle-lit dinners at expensive restaurants; this is how the
lonely and the lovelorn in Tokyo now hope to find their perfect match, while filleting chicken and
dicing onions.

This is Konkatsu, the latest Japanese match-making craze, and this version combines cooking with
courting.

SHINOBU AHIKO, MATCHMAKER (voiceover translation): We can tell people's personalities by the way
they cook together. People can see whether their companions are caring people, if they help out in
the kitchen and wash dishes.

MARK WILLACY: Japanese men are not renowned for spending much time in the kitchen. But nursing
school teacher Akikazu Hatakeyama is willing to brave unfamiliar territory to find his true love.

AKIKAZU HATAKEYAMA, SINGLE (voiceover translation): I'm too shy to approach women so I hope this
type of gathering will help me show my true personality to women.

MARK WILLACY: It's been said that the path to a man's heart is through his stomach. Having tried
almost every other match-making tactic, 34-year-old Midori Shirozai has come tonight to continue
her quest to find a husband.

MIDORI SHIROZAI, SINGLE (voiceover translation): I'm in a hurry to marry and so I've attended many
drinking parties looking for a partner, but because my standards are too high, I haven't found
anyone. Then a work colleague told me about this cooking and match-making event.

MARK WILLACY: Demand for match-makers in Japan is surging. There are now 4,000 agencies devoted to
playing Cupid and more than a million young people have signed up seeking love.

SHINOBU AHIKO (voiceover translation): Because of a diversity of lifestyles, working hours have
become irregular and people often work late. So young people have trouble meeting people outside
their work.

MARK WILLACY: In a country where time is of the essence, what better way to meet a potential
partner than by speed dating? At these so-called coupling parties held across Japan, participants
get three minutes to make their pitch. When time's up, it's on to the next seat and the pitch
begins again.

Once upon a time in Japan, parents would arrange unions between young people, a custom which has
largely died out. But tonight, 200 mums and dads have gathered in Tokyo to try to arrange the
ultimate backroom merger.

Tazuko Yoshida is desperate. She's come to this parents' night out to find a wife for her
38-year-old son.

TAZUKO YOSHIDA, MOTHER (voiceover translation): I think my son has a problem. I think he's not
active enough. I'm looking for a woman for him who can cook and is kind.

MARK WILLACY: To do that, Mrs Yoshida has filled out the obligatory form which lists her son's age,
education, height, blood type and whether or not he's open to marrying a divorcee. She then haggles
with the parents of every prospective mate. Mrs Yoshida has located the mother of a good prospect
for her son. The woman pours over Mrs Yoshida's son's CV like someone studying the racing form
guide. Her verdict: not good enough for her daughter.

Down, but not out, Mrs Yoshida maintains her son is still a good catch.

TAZUKO YOSHIDA (voiceover translation): My son is very gentle. He is tender-hearted. Is that not
enough?

MARK WILLACY: Back at the cooking and match-making evening, there's no sign of a meddling mother or
a fretting father. Instead, the food is ready to eat and everyone is beginning to warm up and have
fun.

So what of our two young hopefuls seeking love?

AKIKAZU HATAKEYAMA (voiceover translation): I think this is a good way to meet people, but I won't
know if I've met the right person until the evening is over.

MIDORI SHIROZAI (voiceover translation): Well, I do have someone in mind who I feel good about, but
I don't know how he feels about me.

MARK WILLACY: For the match-makers, that's a start. The rest is up to them. Mark Willacy, Lateline.