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(generated from captions) The couple has found one another. for the first time. The mother sees her chick And at last, the family is together. They waddle. They don't really march, do they? But they're so sweet, David. (Laughs)

But they're so sweet, David. (Laughs) Oh, they sure are, yes. opens nationally next week. 'March of the Penguins' Well, it's time for us to go. Until next week, goodnight from us. Yes, we must go now. Goodnight.

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This program is captioned live. Tonight -

Aid and anger... in damn this town? What the hell are we supposed to do putting your feet under the table, You'll be going home having a warm cup of coffee tonight. These people won't!

Larry's aftershocks... ..as politicians feel any more than you did We didn't want this bloody cyclone but we're trying to help you. Hello there. Will you give us lots of money? to ease the pain. ..and promise a $100 million This program is captioned live.

Good evening. Welcome to Lateline. Good evening. I'm Tony Jones. Also tonight - who's warning that Rio Tinto, The mining industry representative

among others, changes could hurt their industry. are worried the Government's IR And wind back the clock 30 years - for comment tonight, The minister's not available Industrial Relations Spokesman, but we'll speak to the Opposition's Stephen Smith. but, first, our other headline. That's coming up, A clash about civilisation - Tony Blair defends the Iraq invasion a hostile press gallery. as President Bush faces A Christian martyr in Kabul? Australia's protest to Afghanistan

for rejecting Islam. over the convert who faces death execution full stop. We don't want someone to face face execution just on the basis - But, secondly, we don't want them to for changing their religion. or be punished And a challenge to Petro. proxy war Skirmishes in the Liberal Party's over the Kooyong pre-selection. and the Queensland Premier The Prime Minister

North Queensland today, toured cyclone-ravaged to be greeted with open arms but if they were expecting they were in for a shock. their hands on basic necessities, With locals still struggling to get of $100 million in aid even the promise their spirits or calm their anger. could do little to lift Tom Iggulden reports. the brunt of the storm - They've survived to do something. now they want the Government "We're doing this." Don't big-note yourselves and say,

Get out and do it! into Innisfail, 300mm of rain have cut off roads

blocking urgently needed supplies. When the airport was opened, to be carrying cash - the first plane in was reported end of their food supply. not much use to locals nearing the It also brought in Queensland Premier Peter Beattie, the Prime Minister and of the storm of his own. who found himself the at the centre putting your feet under the table, You'll be going home, having a warm cup of coffee tonight. These people won't.

These people won't. Effing do something now! That is my message for them. and do something. Get off their fat arses Hello there. How you going, John? I'm well, mate. Good to see you, mate! Will you give us lots of money? The answer to that question to help rebuild, was the promise of $100 million low-interest loans and cash grants. mostly in the form of toward immediate relief efforts. A much smaller amount will be put

Each of the two governments towards the relief fund. will be contributing $1 million the most vocal criticism, While John Howard sidestepped in the thick of it, Premier Peter Beattie found himself is coming too slowly. fending off criticism that help any more than you did, We didn't want this bloody cyclone but we're trying to help you. are the hardest to get to. Outlying towns like Tully you know, in town We've got a little old lady, that's sleeping in a car.

things aren't much easier. In Innisfail, at Innisfail's TAFE college. Samantha Harris has a new home we've got a place to stay. We're real grateful that distribution centres Today, government buildings became for food and water for the hundreds are without homes or power. who, like her, the mood soured. As they gathered, supposed to do in this damn town? What the hell are we but we'll get there. It's all a bit much now,

so that's the main thing. Everyone come through OK yeah, We've got a little bit of food, but not enough to keep us goin' and everything comes on. until the power Army and other emergency services But there's plenty of praise for the

to clear the debris. who are doing their best was reconnected. Today, Innisfail's water supply in Innisfail - Larry wiped out the local pub no doubt like completed one rebuilding project locals would as soon as possible.

to rebuild, basically. Were just going to have The walls can stay, the veranda, the whole lot, but all the wood floors, is just gonna have to be rebuilt.

North Queensland The Prime Minister left late this afternoon. Tom Iggulden, Lateline. until at least 2008, US troops look set to stay in Iraq from President George Bush. according to comments today when soldiers would return, When asked in a press conference

be a matter for future presidents. the American leader said that would At the same time, his British counterpart, Tony Blair, flagging public support was trying to shore-up in the UK for the Iraq war. The British PM described Iraq against terrorism as part of the struggle and, in his words, for freedom". a "life or death battle Stephen McDonell reports.

The day after rebels attacked

The day after rebels attacked an

Iraqi police station, killing 20

police and freeing 30 insurgents

held prisoner, George W. Bush gave

held prisoner, George W. Bush gave a rare press conference and he took a

question for the first time in

question for the first time in three years from respected jourmist Helen

Thomas. He'd soon regret it. Your

decision to invade Iraq has caused

the deaths of thousands of

the deaths of thousands of Americans and Iraqis. Every reason given publicly at

and Iraqis. Every reason given publicly at least, it turned out

publicly at least, it turned out not to be true. My question is why did

you really want to go to war?

I think your premise, in all due

respect to your question and to you

as a life-long journalist, I didn't

want war. To assume I wanted war is

just flat wrong, Helen, in all due

respect. Hold on for a second,

please. Excuse me. Excuse me.

respect. Hold on for a second, please. Excuse me. Excuse me. No

president wants war. The White

president wants war. The White House press caused most senior

press caused most senior journalists then questioned the President's

assertion of a link between Saddam

Hussein and September 11. But we

realised on September 11th, 2001

that killers could destroy innocent

life. I'm never going to forget it.

I'm never going to forget the vow I

made to the American people that we will

made to the American people that we will do everything no our power to

protect our people. Part of that

meant to make sure we didn't allow

people to provide safe haivern to

people to provide safe haivern to an enemy and that's why I went into

Iraq. Excuse me for a second,

please. Excuse me for a second.

please. Excuse me for a second. They did. Until now, George W. Bush had

never given a clear indication of

how long US troops could be in Iraq,

but today he said the decision to withdraw them

but today he said the decision to withdraw them will be for a future

president. Meaning they'll be there

for at least another three years.

Across the Atlantic, George W.

Bush's British ally was also trying

to build up support for the Iraq

war. What happened in Iraq or

Afghanistan today is not just

crucial for the people in those

countries or even in those regions,

but for our security here and

but for our security here and around the world. Tony Blair

but for our security here and around the world. Tony Blair said the West

faced a clash about civilisations.

Between those who embraced the

modern war and those who reject its existence. Well, Tony Blair is also facing increasing pressure over allegations that peerages were used as inducements to gain millions of dollars in loans for Britain's Labour Party. Scotland Yard has now been called in

to investigate how more than $30 million were raised in the 'Loans-for-Lordships' scandal. From London, Europe correspondent Jane Hutcheon reports. At the instigation of Tony Blair's political enemies, the police are now sniffing around 10 Downing Street to see whether honours were sold for cash. This will not be a skewed investigation by way of some tin pot inquiry, perhaps chaired by somebody who's friendly to those accused,

but this will be by Sir Ian Blair and the Metropolitan Police. More than 80 years ago, prime minister Lloyd George sold honours for the equivalent of $36,000 each. That lead to the practice being outlawed. But of the 12 millionaire lenders named by the Labour Party this week,

this one insists he wasn't offered a peerage.

There were no categorically no strings attached.

At no time did I have an implicit or explicit conversation about rewards, nor would I have wanted them. Earlier, Prime Minister Tony Blair appeared

before his party's National Executive Committee to explain why the loans were kept secret. After the meeting, he made no comment, but the party Executive did. Well, fundraising will no doubt continue. The point is it will be increasingly supervised from within the National Executive

and there will be no further gaps in communication. More seriously, the Labour Party now appears to face a $24 million hole in its finances as its benefactors demand repayment. According to analysts, this affair has done the Prime Minister a lot of harm. Nine years ago, he came to power on a platform of honesty. Now growing numbers of Britons simply don't believe him.

And as Tony Blair's successor, Gordon Brown, prepares to hand down the budget, trust within the party is at a low ebb. I think it is more serious now for Tony Blair, because there's been this constant criticism of him and the Labour Party.

For now, 'Teflon Tony' holds firm,

with no indication of an exit date. Jane Hutcheon, Lateline.

Australia will lobby the Afghan Government in an effort to prevent the possible execution of an Afghan man who is facing the death penalty for converting to Christianity.

The 41-year-old has been charged under Sharia law after his relatives informed authorities that he rejected Islam to become a Christian 16 years ago. Geoff Thompson reports. Religious tolerance, Taliban style -

the ancient Buddhas of Bamiyan being blown apart in 2001. More than four years after they were driven away, this is the Afghan capital, Taliban-free.

Two successful democratic elections prompted the US President to praise Afghanistan's freedom-inspiring form when he visited Kabul earlier this month. That inspiration will cause others to demand their freedom and, as the world becomes more free, the world will become more peaceful.

But an extraordinary new legal case suggests this is still a country capable of brutal intolerance. Abdul Rahman faces the prospect of execution

for deserting Islam and converting to Christianity in a refugee camp in Pakistan 16 years ago. "They want to sentence me to death and I accept it," he says, "but I am not a deserter and I am not an infidel.

"I am a Christian, which means I believe in the trinity." Afghanistan's new constitution says that no law can be contrary to the sacred religion of Islam. Kabul prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for Abdul Rahman because they say sharia law condemns Muslims to death if they reject Islam and refuse to reconvert.

TRANSLATION: According to Article 130 of the constitution of the country, we ask the court to sentence the defendant to severe punishment, meaning the death penalty. Alexander Downer says Australia will be lobbying the Afghan Government. Yes, absolutely lobbying them. I think it is a matter of some concern. The Foreign Minister and others agree

that Australians will wonder why Australian troops are now fighting for a country

which supports executing people because of their beliefs. Whatever the circumstances of this case, we don't want somebody to face execution full stop, but secondly we don't want someone to face execution or be punished just for their religion. Look, I think it's very chilling.

I think every Australian will be deeply shocked that our troops and American troops went in to overthrow the Taliban, to remove, I guess, a regime like this. The US and European nations have also appealed

to the Afghan Government to pressure its conservative judiciary to support religious freedom. Abdul Rahman's individual case is shaping up to be a major test

of Afghanistan's democratic credentials. Geoff Thompson, Lateline. Some of the country's biggest mining companies are concerned that the new workplace relations system could set back some of the gains they've made over the past 30 years. The Mines and Metals Association is worried that companies will lose flexibility if their enterprise awards are scrapped in favour of the planned single industry award.

The association says that could allow the Mining Union to gain a toehold in operations

it's previously been locked out of.

The industry concern comes as the ACTU starts planning for a new media campaign against the workplace changes. Dana Robertson reports. The unions are deeply worried about the new industrial world but they're determined to find a silver lining. And one of them is that last year's advertising blitz against the new laws

is paying dividends. The ACTU has had tens of thousands of people contact us finding out how to become involved and support our campaign. The union movement says it wants to be open and accessible to make the most of the public's new-found enthusiasm and it's finding new ways to do just that. The ACTU is on the verge of establishing a new call centre to sign up potential union members from a central point.

We will simply help people join the unions in an easier way and ensure that they find the right union in a fast and efficient process. It's been a long-time aim of Greg Combet to have a central registration point for new union membership. He acknowledges some unions were wary of the idea for fear their would-be members might end up in another union,

but he says demarcation tensions are as old as the ACTU itself. So we've got well-established procedures for dealing with those things, and, at the end of the day, what is most important is the interests of the working people involved and the unions understand that. But it's not just the unions that are worried about the impact of the new laws when they come into place on Monday. The Australian Mines and Metals Association,

which represents some of the country's biggest mining companies, is concerned that the new workplace laws could backfire and set some companies back 30 years. The industry says

it could lead to a resurgence of the powerful mining union the CFMEU, which it has fought for years to keep out of certain areas of the industry. Under Workchoices and the existing transitional arrangements the state CFMEU will be able to apply for transitional registration

in the federal system and there is no barrier to them in doing so.

Our concern is that that transitional registration

will reignite a turf war, that won't do anything to improve the productivity or efficiency of Australia's mining industry. The resources sector is also concerned that consolidating thousands of awards into one industry-wide system will wipe out the enterprise awards that form the basis of its employee contracts.

Our concern is that the enterprise-based arrangements that apply in companies such as Rio Tinto and they will be placed back into an industry award which is where they escaped 30 years ago and that they've moved beyond industry awards and have got productive arrangements with their individual employers.

Don't want to see in that respect the clock being wound back 30 years. The mining industry plans to meet Kevin Andrews to discuss its concerns, but today he wasn't showing any signs of worry. I don't expect there's going to be much of a ripple on Monday.

People are employed under agreements and awards and various arrangements will continue to be employed. Their agreements will continue to run. The unions are set to begin a renewed advertising push on Sunday night,

but the Government says it won't be staging a media counterattack, instead opting for a series of seminars to give people more detail about just how the new system will work. Dana Robertson, Lateline. Well, joining us now is the Opposition's Industrial Relations Spokesman, Stephen Smith.

He's in our Perth studio.

Thanks for being there. Pleasure, Tony.

Thanks for being there. Pleasure, Tony. Until now it has appeared

Tony. Until now it has appeared that the Industry Groups were by and

large delighted with the

Government's industrial relations

reforms, but looks like ree know

reforms, but looks like ree know tin tow of all things, appears to be

breaking ranks. They are saying the

new award arrangements could see

new award arrangements could see the clock wound back 30 years. Do you

agree? Will, certainly there have

been some industry association

been some industry association cheer squad leaders out there on behalf

squad leaders out there on behalf of the Government. But in the main,

squad leaders out there on behalf of the Government. But in the main,

business and industry has been

pretty quiet and I don't think too

many of them want to be at the

pointy end of the Government's

spear. And today seeing the

spear. And today seeing the comments from the mining industry, from Rio

Tinto, BHP, of their concerns,

doesn't surprise me at all. That's

what happens, Tony, when you are

driven by political ideology and

driven by political ideology and not by a desire to have good public policy and good

by a desire to have good public policy and good public

administration. That's why we are

now seeing on montd a complete

now seeing on montd a complete dog's breakfast, gaps in jurisdiction,

complexity, 1800 pages of various

legislation, regulations and

explanatory material, which Kevin

Andrews thinks a few seminars will

guide people through. But this is

guide people through. But this is -- They are driven by - sorry, you go

ahead. Isn't this somewhat ironic

when you consider that

ahead. Isn't this somewhat ironic when you consider that former Rio

Tinto executives and lawyers have

been instrumental in advising the

Government on how to put these

reforms together in the first

police? Well, there might be some

irony about it, but it doesn't

surprise me. When we look at

analysis of productivity

improvements in workplace changes,

they've been driven by enterprise bargaining and we've seen bargaining and we've seen that

bargaining and we've seen that occur in the mining industry, in the

bargaining and we've seen that occur in the mining industry, in the two

great outlying states, the minerals

and petroleum states of Western

Australia and Queensland. John

Howard has got an obsession about

individual contracts. What the

mining industry wants, and what we

want in terms of an economy, is a

harmonious productive economy that

keeps us internationally

keeps us internationally competitive and at the moment the resources

industry, minerals and petroleum

resources, is effectively the main stay of

resources, is effectively the main stay of our economy. You've just

stay of our economy. You've just got today an alarm bell from the mining

industry essentially saying, the

great risk for this is it leads to

inefficiency, rather than

productivity, and it leads to good

old-fashioned disharmy and turf

wars, rather than ongoing accepted

relationships between employers and

employees and between employers and

unions. I'll come to the turf war question in a minute.

unions. I'll come to the turf war question in a minute. Their first

concern, however, is that they

concern, however, is that they could be forced to dismantle enterprise

agreements they've had in place for

decades in which the companies and

the unions appear happy with.

Well, just as we've got the

Government rushing to implement its

legislation and its regular laces,

we've got the Government affecting

we've got the Government affecting a review of awards and it has put the

review of awards and it has put the award review taskforce on to an

impossible timetable and that's

bound to see errors occur. It's

quite possible in public policy

terms you could have a

terms you could have a dispassionate review of awards and look at

simplification of awards. That's

not what is driving the Government

here. What is driving the

here. What is driving the government here is its view of a review of

awards is essentially stripping

entitlements, stripping conditions.

That's what it is on about. The great

That's what it is on about. The great danger is in that exercise,

pursuing that ideological exercise,

that you lose some of the new

that you lose some of the new Yances of the minerals industry. There are

quality tative differences in the

various sections of that industry.

What oil and gas might be doing and

what their individual arrangements

might be to make sure they remain

internationallykm pettive is

internationallykm pettive is quality tatetively different from base metals in Queensland or,

tatetively different from base metals in Queensland or, indeed,

iron ore. So, when you are driven

iron ore. So, when you are driven by arrogance, when you're driven by

ideology, when you're driven by

extremism and independent driven by

good public policy, that's what

happens. The other major concern,

apparently of the mining

corporations, is as you've just

said, it could create new turf wars.

Now, is that your understanding of

what could happen? Well, certainly

the same concern has

what could happen? Well, certainly the same concern has been expressed

to me by the union movement that

to me by the union movement that one of the general things that will -

things we will see out of these

changes is disharmony and

changes is disharmony and disruption in the workplace. That always

in the workplace. That always occurs when your starting point is one of

unfairness. The last thing that --

Can I interrupt you there. Are you

saying here that the AWU, which

Can I interrupt you there. Are you saying here that the AWU, which is

the union control in the open-cut

mines in Western Australia, has

expressed these concerns to you?

Well, the particular concern that's

been expressed to me is the AWU in

Queensland which is in effect the

major mining industry union. But

major mining industry union. But the general point has also been made

that one of the dangers of the

breakfast of transition breakfast of transition that one of the dangers of the dog's breakfast of transitional

arrangements is opening up

demarcation disputes, which is the

last thing that Australian industry

wants and it's the last thing that

wants and it's the last thing that a modern Trade Union Movement wants.

That's the danger. That's the risk

that you run. What does that mean,

though, Stephen Smith? Does that

mean in fact what the AWU is

mean in fact what the AWU is worried that another union the CMFU will

that another union the CMFU will get into workplaces which it now colgs?

Well, people are always worried

about their own patches, whether

it's a particular company or a

particular union. What you know is

if you have disruptional disharmony,

particularly if it's a demarcation

dispute, what follows from that -

improvement in our international

competitiveness doesn't follow.

Improvement in our productivity

doesn't follow. So, you'll recall,

Tony, that when this legislation

went through the Parliament John

Howard stood up and said as a

Howard stood up and said as a matter of the necessary passage of this

legislation a number of things will

occur automatically. Employment

occur automatically. Employment will increase, unemployment will

decrease, our international

competitiveliness will improve and

productivity will improvement all

productivity will improvement all of those assertions are fallacious and

today we've got the mining industry,

Rio Tinto, BHP and the mines and

metals association making the the

point that they can't see any

productivity improvements in what

productivity improvements in what is being foisted upon them. OK. Let's

move on. The ACTU's new campaign -

do you think comcom

do you think Greg Combay's will be

able to avoid redundancy? I think

able to avoid redundancy? I think it say as few things. Firstly, the

Trade Union Movement, an individual

trade unions do have to provide as

part of their existence and

activity, a sensible and good and

effective service to their members

and having a one-stop shop for

membership is obviously these days

membership is obviously these days a sensible thing to do. I think it

sensible thing to do. I think it say as couple of other things as well.

Obviously there's also a reaction

Obviously there's also a reaction to the very extreme way in which the

Government is seeking to crack down

on the capacity for individual

employees to choose to be

represented in the workplace and in

the regulations that we saw

published over the weekend. Time

after time we see pernicious and

deliberate attempts by the

government to wine back the

government to wine back the sensible union movement activity we've seen

occur throughout workplaces for a

long period of time. What is that

going to mean now? Sorry, we're

nearly out of time. Does it mean

nearly out of time. Does it mean the concept of the old workshop meeting

is going to take place in

is going to take place in cyberspace now? Well, I think these days, Tony, modern communication is much

different from what it used to be.

Whether that's done in the family

home via the Internet or through

modern means of communication like

digital TV that the ABC is putting

to air. I think the third and

important point is what's also

showing is a reflection in

Australian society that there

Australian society that there remain as view in Australian society that

the existence of the Trade Union

Movement is an important thin to

have for the social and economic

affairs for Australian society.

Everywhere I go people say, "I'm

Everywhere I go people say, "I'm not a member of the union. My dad was

but I'm not." When there is trouble

afoot as there is with John Howard

it is important for people,

particularly at the lower end of

particularly at the lower end of the market place, there's a strong

market place, there's a strong union movement to protect them. That's

what Greg's initiative today is

what Greg's initiative today is also reflecting. Stephen Smith, we'll

have to leave it there. Thank you

for taking the time to come and

for taking the time to come and talk to us. Thank you very much, Tony. The Cole Inquiry is yet to decide if it will call government ministers to face scrutiny over the oil-for-food scandal. Barristers for AWB have urged the inquiry to "cut to the chase" and question ministers who ultimately approved Australia's Iraq contracts.

But counsel assisting the inquiry John Agius said he'll make up his mind about calling ministers once he's thoroughly examined statements tendered by DFAT officials. Meanwhile, the Prime Minister said today he had no recollection of reading a cable in June 2003 which stated that all exports to Iraq had kickbacks. I mean that particular cable would've been amongst hundreds that I receive every week and I don't have any recall of it having been brought to my attention and that would not be surprising. The Opposition says it's one of 26 separate warnings the Government should have acted on. In news just in tonight, the Basque separatist group ETA has announced a permanent cease-fire from this Friday. The group is blamed for the deaths of 850 people over a 37-year period as it struggled to form an independent Basque homeland

in the north of Spain and south-west of France. The Labor Party's bitter preselection battles in Victoria are over. Now it's the turn of the Liberals. Two challenges are afoot, most significantly, one against prominent backbencher Petro Georgiou, who has rankled some within the party for his dissent on issues, like mandatory detention.

A former Howard Government advisor, Joshua Frydenberg, is taking on Mr Georgiou in the blue-ribbon seat of Kooyong in Melbourne's inner east. Rachel Carbonell with this report. The electorate of Kooyong is prized by the Liberal Party. It was held by Party founder Robert Menzies and later by another Liberal Leader, Andrew Peacock. Supporters and opponents of Petro Georgiou readily admit he breaks the mould. As one party source put it today, he's a migrant, a smoker, and not afraid to tell it as he sees it,

but his views on issues like mandatory detention

could now be a threat to his political career. He's accredited with having persuaded the government to take a gentler line on this controversial issue and I think that's probably the thing he's most famous for amongst the electorate. Petro Georgiou is being challenged by Joshua Frydenberg, who was an advisor to the Prime Minister, and also worked for Foreign Affairs Minister Alexander Downer.

Mr Downer is distancing himself from reports he is backing Mr Frydenberg.

You know, he's got to make his own decisions about his own life. I'm not making decisions for him or urging him. It's just a matter for him and it's not appropriate for me to get involved in the preselections in Victoria. But Petro Georgiou has plenty of support -

and from some unusual alliances. The Federal Treasurer, Peter Costello, has stated his support, as has former Victorian premier, Jeff Kennett. He has an extraordinary intellect. He has great compassion. Most of his contributions, if not all, that he's made in the parliament have been carefully thought through and researched

and are very meaningful contributions. The five State Liberal members who reside in the seat of Kooyong also support Mr Georgiou, and so does former prime minister Malcolm Fraser.

But Mr Georgiou's detractors say

he has achieved little during his 12 years as Member for Kooyong. They say he's not on his way to becoming a minister and has done little real policy or branch development. The date for the preselection vote hasn't been set yet, but it'll be in the next four to six weeks. Local branch members have 60% of the vote. The other 40% is shared between State council delegates and party officials. There seems to be an element within the branch that is never satisfied with the incumbent. Perhaps they wish that Sir Robert would come back

and use the seat as the base for the leadership of the party, whatever,

and they're constantly having a go at the sitting member. The other Liberal preselection contest in Victoria is in the regional seat of Corangamite, where 68-year-old Stewart McArthur is being challenged by local businessman Rod Nockles. Rachel Carbonell, Lateline. To the Commonwealth Games now. And Australia's stocks on the athletics track have been boosted tonight by a gold medal performance in the men's 400 metres. To take a look at that performance and the other highlights on Day 7 Peter Wilkins joins us from Melbourne.

Welcome back, Peter. Tony. We've

Welcome back, Peter. Tony. We've got our first gold medal on the track

and it's the first since 1990 in

and it's the first since 1990 in the men's 400 metres event, but

men's 400 metres event, but actually in 16 years we've gone backwards.

(Laughs). Can you elaborate?? Well,

we are slower now than when Darren

Clarke won it 16 years ago. So in

spite of all the Hoopla, we're

actually going slower now. You're a

hard marker, aren't you, Tony?

I'm tough. Here's a young man on

the way up. He set two personal

the way up. He set two personal best times and he's looking for a time

somewhere in the vicinity of 43

seconds, a world record 43.18 and

you're looking back, you're marking

very tough. (Laughs). Darren Clarke

would have beaten him, evidently.

Darren Clarke's time 44.60. John

Steffensen's time 44.37. But

Steffensen's time 44.37. But there's a bit of a Antony Mundine in John

Steffensen. He talks up a big game

but he knows how to deliver as well.

He was chatting to himself at the

start. He was away to a good start

but the thing about his character

during the race is he didn't panic

and he pushed the button on the

and he pushed the button on the turn after being headed by Christopher

Brown from the Bahamas. Control and

plenty in reserve and he's

targetting 2 3 seconds in the

future. So good luck to him. A

terrific victory. He knows how to

celebrate as well. He let his hair

down, so to speak. He danced for

down, so to speak. He danced for the cameras, proved very elusive there.

A little bit of the Pat Cash in him,

too. He climbed up on the fence,

exhorted the stand but if you get

back to his running on the track, a

fluid style. He was the member of

the Athens 4 x 4 team. Hopefully

Australia can realise anybody can

Australia can realise anybody can do it. We're as proud of the track and

field and if you believe in

field and if you believe in yourself everything else will pan out for

you. One of the terrific events of

the night was the steeplechase. A

new event and the Australian

challenging the world leader. She

skipped a little bit and missed it

and the Ugandan won there, their

first track medal of the

Commonwealth Games and the

Australians filled the second and

third placings as we're about to

see. There they are. So a terrific

performance there for Australia

performance there for Australia with Melissa Rowlison and Donna

MacFarlane the silver and bronze

medal in the steeplechase. We have

other success. Tell us about. That

we are still doing well on the

we are still doing well on the track in other areas. We are, indeed. A

second place something the

heptathlon tonight and also another

second place

second placing - Patrick Johnson,

he's the fastest qualifier or the

fourth fastest qualifier in the

semifinals of the 200, along with

Daniel Batman. Nick Bromley

Daniel Batman. Nick Bromley finished second in his 800 and he's into the

finals. So terrific performances

there. Kylie Wheeler winning the

second, the silver medal in the

heptathlon after a brilliant #00.

The track is going OK and Jana

Pittman made it through her heat

today. The much-anticipated heat of

the 400 hurdles. And finally, she

had a big smile on her face as well.

We're also still doing well in the

pool, appear parently? Yes.

Australians are pretty good off the

blocks, off the boards or off the

platform and today a gold medal as

we're about to have a look at a

couple of - a young combination,

really. We had several off the

boards and the platform today, but

this was the young combination of

Charlene Straten and Bree Coal who

survived the the pressure to

survived the the pressure to deliver a gold medal. The Queenslanders did

well. A terrific performance and

tonight Stephen Barnett duplicated

his Manchester effort by winning

his Manchester effort by winning the 1 metre springboard behind

1 metre springboard behind Alexander Departi from Canada. Also tonight

Chantelle Newbury and Loudy turky

have won the gold medal in the

synchronised platform and they beat

the youngster Melissa Woo, the

13-year-old, 28 kgs. She managed to

win a silver medal so another gold

and silver to the Australians this

evening. What about netball. We're

supposed to be the dominant nation

in netball but it looks like our

dominance may be waning? One of the

most extraordinary results of the

game so far, really. New Zealand

game so far, really. New Zealand the world champions at the moment.

Australia feeding to beat Jamaica

comfortably and led by nine goals

comfortably and led by nine goals in this match. They need to finish at

the top of their pool, but this is

the last seconds of the match here

and Jamaica, they square it up.

and Jamaica, they square it up. They trail by nine and square it up at

54-54 right on full-time and that's

jeopardised Australia's chances of

making the final. They're going to

have to win their next pool match

convincingly and hope Jamaica don't

record a huge victory, otherwise

they could play New Zealand in a

semifinal and not the final. So

semifinal and not the final. So , our much-vaunted netballers might

not make the final, but there's a

little bit to play out there.

We have other missing athletes than netballers

We have other missing athletes other than netballers who might not make

finals. A few Siera

finals. A few Siera Leonens missing

and others as well. This is a

problem for the organisation the

problem for the organisation the the people around the world. The 21

athletes absconded from Manchester

four years ago and now another

four years ago and now another seven are missing tonight. Six members of

the athletics team and a

weightlifter. Police don't hold any

fears for their safety and ta's

added on to the Bangladeshi

added on to the Bangladeshi sprinter and Tanzanian boxer who are missing.

Nine missing athletes all up and

hopefully there will be a

hopefully there will be a resolution in that department over the next

in that department over the next few days. A potential signs up to the

institution of sport, do you think? institution of sport, do you

institution of sport, do yo (Laughs)

institution of sport, do yo (Laughs). We'll say nothing. No, we

won't go down that path. We'll get

in trouble with the Immigration Department. To the markets now - The All Ords has gained and the ASX 200 has settled above the 5,000-point mark. BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto lost ground after a sell-off in metals.

The NAB rose.

Media stocks performed well.

And the energy sector was stronger after a rise in oil prices overnight. In the region - Both the Hang Seng and the Nikkei have fallen. London's FTSE is also down. Now, to the weather - Monsoonal showers for Darwin. A few showers also in Brisbane, Sydney and Perth. But tomorrow should be fine in the other capital cities. And that's all for this evening. Tonight's interview and stories are on our website. abc.net.au/lateline I'll be back tomorrow night so please join me then. Goodnight. Closed Captions produced by Captioning and Subtitling International Pty Ltd

This program is not subtitled

This program is not subtitled

It's more destructive than any other drug Australia has ever seen.

It's cheap and it's highly addictive. It's not heroin, but 'ice' or crystal methamphetamine. The most potent amphetamine ever to hit our streets. Its powerful high can last for days or weeks.

In Australia, there are now more ice addicts than heroin addicts. It's been a hidden epidemic. Little is known about the long-term effects of the drug or even how to treat its addiction. Health services and governments are not prepared for the chaos ice has just started to unleash.

SIRENS WAIL Some may find this program deeply disturbing as hardcore ice addicts take us into their world. Tonight on Four Corners, a journey into the dark heart of the 'ice age' that has hit Australia. It's Thursday, pension day. Matty and many ice addicts have been waiting anxiously for today. It means they have money to score and get high. MAN: Oi! Turn around here! Are you interested in drugs? Hey, come on, mate. No, I'm just saying. 'Cause most people around here are. Fortunately, you're not. Don't look at me pin number, mate! What the fuck?! Are you trippin' or what? Matty has just taken out most of his payment. So, how much did you get, Matty? $300. So, what will that buy? Three days. So everyone will go today and they'll, like, burn it up in three days, their dole money... (Sings) # Burn it up for yer love... # For the next several weeks, Matty will take me inside his community. The hardcore ice addicts that roam the inner city of Sydney. An itinerant group who don't use their real names and never show us how they source their drugs. They call themselves 'skaters'. They're either figure skaters or fucking speed skaters, mate. They either go through rubbish and pick at cracks... ..or just wander around in a fucking...daze, wondering why they went to places they're going. So, speed skater - what's a speed skater? Someone who goes in a straight line. It doesn't vary. Figure skater, they go round and round in circles. And the ice is crackin' below 'em, mate. According to the only study done on methamphetamine use, there are 73,000 dependant users in Australia. Many of them were heroin addicts that jumped to ice several years ago because it was cheaper and more powerful. I like it 'cause it's the only drug that gets me off. All the rest are shit. Crap. The coppers have fucked it. They keep cutting it too much. So that's the only drug that's pure? Well, it is a pure form of goey. Purest form of goey. Ice.

'Cause it's the best bit. But really, who knows what's gonna happen in 10 years time, mate. MAN: No doubt you'll be awake. Nah, we could all be spastics in a fucking mental health wing, mate, or something, you know. 'Cause the ice might fucking... ..'cause who knows the long-term effects of ice? No-one, mate, 'cause it's only been around for fucking eight, nine years. Does that worry you at all or not? Ah, if it worried me, do you think I'd keep doing it? No, really, you know what it is? I like stickin' needles in me vein. Right? And I'll put drugs in there that'll get me off.

So, the only drug that gets me off is ice. Heroin...I'm allergic to it or something, I don't know. I used to love it. And now I hate it. Mate, if you don't like it, right, I don't give a fuck. I like you, man. Matty believes he's an authority in the ice world. (All laugh) In his group, people come and go.

They live in a drug cycle of about two weeks. For the first week, they take ice and barely sleep or eat. The following week, they crash and sleep until the next welfare cheque. Then the cycle starts again. Matty... (Laughs) Classic. Here, bro. Oh, yeah...I really love it. Mate, no woman could ever love me as much as I love my fucking self.