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Tonight - on the 7.30 Report, the Vietnam veterans who won one of the biggest battles of their

Had to fight bureaucracy, every step of the which.

Finally after five years the Government orders a world first study into the investigates of sons
and daughters.

A lot of the investigates' sons or daughters feel if there is anything wrong to them it is related
to dad's service. Doing a study once and for all we will know.

And a night at the opera with John Clarke and Bryan Dawe.

(Sings) # Looks like Johnny has gone #

Government underlines need for economic experience

Government underlines need for economic experience

Broadcast: 16/08/2007

Reporter: Michael Brissenden

Prime Minister John Howard and Treasurer Peter Costello today endorsed the possibility that the
American subprime home loan crisis could adversely impact on interest rates and also took the
opportunity to underline the need for economic experience. The Prime Minister also intensified the
battle with the Queensland Government by introducing legislation to override state laws which
prevent local ballots on council amalgamations.


KERRY O'BRIEN: Dominating news again today, the unnerving volatility on the stock market. Shortly,
we'll be talking with Aussie home loans boss John Symonds about the wider money market
implications, but the market anxiety has now filtered through to the political front, where the
still beleaguered Howard Government believes there may be a silver lining.

The Prime Minister and the Treasurer today endorsed the possibility that the current pickle
emanating from America's sub-prime home loan crisis, could impact adversely on interest rates here,
but also used it to underline the need for economic experience.

The not so subliminal message was - Kevin Rudd is a risk.

Facing a big swing in Queensland, the Prime Minister also intensified his battle with the Beattie
Government there today, by introducing legislation in Federal Parliament to over-ride state laws
that prevent local ballots on forced council amalgamations. Mr Beattie says he has advice the law
is illegal, but Federal Labor leader Kevin Rudd is supporting it anyway.

Political Editor Michael Brissenden reports.

MICHAEL BRISSENDEN: Black October, 1987, saw the stock market drop 25 per cent in just one day.
That was a crash. The skittish markets at the moment don't seem too dramatic by comparison, 13.5
per cent over three and a half weeks. But the punters big and small are getting worried and the
scene is entirely unpredictable. Is it the start of a real correction? Even the experts are unsure,
but the Government has moved swiftly to turn this to its political advantage and the argument is
the economy, experience is the safe answer.

JOHN HOWARD, AUSTRALIAN PRIME MINISTER: This is just a reminder that economic management is never
predictable. It can never be taken for granted. It always requires experienced vigilance.

PETER COSTELLO, TREASURER: Just imagine if we hadn't put our budget in surplus, paid off debt and
reformed our tax system? Imagine where we would be today?

WAYNE SWAN, SHADOW TREASURER: I think it stinks of political desperation to be using movements in
the stock market to score cheap political points. Both sides of politics have a commitment to
strong budget policy and both sides of politics have a strong commitment to the regulators who
supervise and monitor these developments.

MICHAEL BRISSENDEN: The Prime Minister and the Treasurer used questions in the Parliament to push
the message of experience harder still. Perhaps, it was inexperience that delivered the Government
this political gift. Kevin Rudd noted with some pleasure the presence in the public gallery of the
former long serving Labor Foreign Minister Gareth Evans.

KEVIN RUDD, OPPOSITION LEADER: Thank you, Mr Speaker. It is good to have Gareth back in the
chamber. A Foreign Minister with experience.

(sound of "hear, hear!" from the floor)

JOHN HOWARD: Mr Speaker, I might preface my question by observing it is interesting the leader of
the Opposition places a premium on experience.

(sound of "hear, hear!" from the floor)

MICHAEL BRISSENDEN: Political experience is undoubtedly one of John Howard's strengths, while his
lengthy of service in the nation's top job may yet prove to be an electoral liability, he is a
campaign veteran without peer and it's becoming obvious the he will fight this coming election on
many fronts.

From the ramifications to the global economy to the local concerns about council mergers in
Queensland. Peter Beattie's plan to force council amalgamations has provided John Howard with a
golden opportunity.

JOHN HOWARD: The joint parties of the Government met this morning and they have authorised the
introduction into Parliament as soon as possible of a bill to amend the Commonwealth Electoral Act
which will be entitled Commonwealth Electoral Democratic Plebiscite Amendment Bill 2007.

This will amend the Electoral Act to give our effect to a commitment to assist local councils to
hold plebiscites on amalgamations if they choose to do so.

MICHAEL BRISSENDEN: The Prime Minister has already announced that the Australian Electoral
Commission will over see any plebiscites any individual council wants to run and will fund them.
Today's amendment will override the new Queensland legislation which gives the Government power to
sack any councils that try to hold a local vote on the amalgamations.

It is no coincidence that Kevin Rudd, a Queensland local, is hoping for strong support in his home
State. Labor only holds six of the 29 seats there. The Government will be looking for any chance to
spread the hostility building against Peter Beattie on this issue to the federal Labor Party and by
guaranteeing the AEC will pay for the plebiscites, Australian taxpayers will be helping the
Government do it.

JOHN HOWARD: Let me say to the Leader of the Opposition, we have a simple proposition and that's
let the people of Queensland speak, Mr Speaker.

Don't try and gag them. Let the people speak is a very good injunction.

MICHAEL BRISSENDEN: It's believed the local plebiscites could even be held on the same day as the
federal election if desired. Kevin Rudd is more than aware this is a potentially damaging local
issue with wider ramifications. And, so on this, on a significant list of other government
initiatives, the federal Labor leader says "me too".

KEVIN RUDD: When it comes to the imposition of fines and threat of fines and the making it illegal
for local authorities to test the sentiment of their local voters they so wished, I have disagreed
with those courses of action on the part of Mr Beattie and, therefore, the course of action which
has been outlined by Mr Howard, I'm prepared to support.

MICHAEL BRISSENDEN: It might not look like it, but for his part Peter Beattie is ready for a fight.
He says that he's taking legal advice but he's not aware of any powers under which the Prime
Minister can actually do this and he says if the Federal Government wants a plebiscite on this
issue, it should also seek a vote on a few other local concerns.

PETER BEATTIE, QUEENSLAND PREMIER: If we are going to have some referendums, let's have some
referendums. What I will consider doing with my colleagues is to empower the State Electoral
Commissioner to run referenda at the same time in these council areas to determine whether the
council workforce want to have the industrial relations system that the Prime Minister has brought
on, whether in fact they want WorkChoices or not.

So let's say to the workers in these council areas, let's have a referendum. Do you want to work
under the Government's WorkChoices or don't you? And secondly, the Prime Minister is hell bent on
nuclear power and nuclear reactors, I think a great second question or third question, if you like,
is do these communities want a nuclear power plant in their backyard?

MICHAEL BRISSENDEN: The same demand was put by his federal colleagues in Question Time today.

JOHN HOWARD: There is nothing to stop under the present law a local government body holding a
plebiscite on a fee for service basis using the Australian Electoral Commission, Mr Speaker. Can I
also inform the Member who sits, can I also inform him that unlike the council amalgamate in
Queensland, where a law has gone through proposing specific council amalgamations, no specific
proposals for nuclear power plants exist anywhere in Australia and the Member knows it.

MICHAEL BRISSENDEN: This sitting period, at least for the House of Reps, has now come to an end.
The Senate will spend the next day, at least, debating the Indigenous legislation and the water
bill. They could still be here on Saturday. But the faux campaigning will continue as relentlessly
as it has now for months. There will be a three week break that will include the APEC meeting in
Sydney before the House returns for what will almost be certainly be the last sitting period before
the official election campaign finally gets under way.

KERRY O'BRIEN: Political Editor Michael Brissenden.

Uncertainty on effects of American mortgage crisis

Uncertainty on effects of American mortgage crisis

Broadcast: 16/08/2007

Reporter: Kerry O'Brien

The was much anxiety within the home lending industry today with news that Rams Home Loan Group
failed to refinance more than $6 billion of maturing notes overnight. Aussie Home Loans founder
John Symond talks to The 7.30 Report about the effects of the American subprime crisis on
Australian lenders.


KERRY O'BRIEN: Not only did the stock market swing wildly today, the most volatile day of a
volatile month, but there was more anxiety within the home lending industry today when RAMS home
loan group, which floated at $2.50 only three weeks ago, has had its own ride this week, plunging
again today after news that it had failed to refinance more than $6 billion of maturing notes

By the end of the day it had recovered slightly but is now down to about a third of its float
price, underscoring the uncertainty about just how the US housing mortgage nightmare will affect

Even the big banks are speculating about having to pass on higher interest rates in the money
market to the home mortgage market. But non-bank lenders are more exposed.

I'm joined now by John Symond, the founder of Aussie Home Loans which has a loan portfolio in
excess of $20 billion.

John Symonds, what were your thoughts as you watched the market moving today, jumping down 5 per
cent, but coming back up again in the latter part of the afternoon?

JOHN SYMOND, CHIEF EXECUTIVE, AUSSIE HOME LOANS: Well, it just reconfirmed in my own mind that
these are volatile times and it's not a rain shower. I think the clouds are forming and we've got
to be in for a bit of a tough ride.

KERRY O'BRIEN: I guess one of the good things about being a private company is you don't have to
subject yourself to the market as the RAMS group now does. But you are affected by the money
market, and movement...

JOHN SYMOND: Everyone is.

KERRY O'BRIEN: ... and its response to America's sub-prime mess. How do you read that side of the
equation or is it getting harder to read?

JOHN SYMOND: Well, no. I think it is becoming more clearer, in terms of the depth of the crunch, we
don't know. But clearly, the further you go from the straight and narrow, in terms of the credit
markets, the higher the repricing of money is going to be.

The good thing with Australians is 95 per cent of mortgage holders have normal straight forward
mortgages and whatever the impact is globally, and it will hit here, they will be the least
impacted, but the further you go from a normal standard housing loan and go into the sub-prime area
where lending is to credit impaired people, people with bad credit form or can't qualify for a
normal loan, their interest rates already as much as 50 per cent higher than a normal home loan and
they are going to cop it and the lenders who are trying to get funding from the wholesale people
are fining it trouble to get reset. So that area has spooked. The credit providers to good credit
and repricing of all money is happening. It is like when petrol get reprised, it eventually flowed
through to customers.

KERRY O'BRIEN: But how long do you think it will take for that whole sub-prime saga to play out,
particularly with its impact here?

JOHN SYMOND: It looks like it will go deeper, Kerry, than what was initially thought. There is no
doubt in my mind the cost of money is being reprised globally. Not just in Australia. It's a global
market now. There are no boundaries, so money is going to cost more, but, as I said, I hope for
normal homeowners, there will be a sting there, but it will be at the minimum end and not the
maximum end.

KERRY O'BRIEN: So you are not exposed to any risk?

JOHN SYMOND: We are not exposed to risk because our business model is totally different. The bulk
of our business is out of mortgage broking like a supermarket, we talk to customers and take them
along to different banks and providers, but we don't...

KERRY O'BRIEN: You must be rather pleased you moved more in that direction a few years ago.

JOHN SYMOND: Absolutely. Plus we extended into credit cards and commercial services. But we saw
five years ago that we thought that was a safer model and we changed our model.

KERRY O'BRIEN: Given that housing affordability is now at record lows and Australians' personal
debt levels, personal debt levels, are at record highs. How conservative is Aussie Home Loans in
the loans that you broker, the mortgages that you broker, how careful are you not to be a party to
mortgages that borrowers can't afford?

JOHN SYMOND: Again, acting as a supermarket of home loans, we stock our shelves with Commonwealth
Bank, Westpac, a whole range of loans. We've got over 2,000 loans and it is up to the customer.

Our loans out there, and I've been concerned about really free credit criteria, where my concern
has been for three years, you can take out a loan with next to no deposit. I've always been worried
about that, particularly with first home buyers. But, customers demand a full range of loans and
we'll put all of the Commonwealth Bank's loans out there, Westpac and others and it is up to the
customer to take.

Generally, it's customers don't go sub-prime because they are a very minute, less than 1 per cent
in Australia falls into some sub-prime bracket.

KERRY O'BRIEN: And, yet, at the same time, you seem to be expecting to see a quite wide spread rise
from lenders in home interest rates and the relatively near future, banks and non banks?

JOHN SYMOND: Right across the credit. Whether or not you are BHP borrowing or your mum and dad in
suburbia, there will be a repricing of the cost of money and unfortunately it is going to be up,
but hopefully slightly so. I'm saying to people, my opinion, it is not a time to panic. It's a time
to be concerned and aware what is going on.

KERRY O'BRIEN: John Symond, thanks for talking with us.

JOHN SYMOND: Thanks, Kerry.

Arms controls experts attack India uranium plans

Arms controls experts attack India uranium plans

Broadcast: 16/08/2007

Reporter: Matt Peacock

Australia has agreed in principle to sell uranium to India. The plan is controversial because India
is a nuclear power that still refuses to sign the non-proliferation treaty.


KERRY O'BRIEN: Australia has tonight agreed in principle to sell uranium to India, after a phone
conversation just a short time ago between John Howard and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh,
and Mr Howard will outline that agreement on the program in a moment.

The plan is controversial because India is a nuclear power that still refuses to sign the
non-proliferation treaty.

It follows a similar decision earlier this year by the Bush administration.

Already the move has been attacked by arms control experts as a dangerous erosion of proliferation
controls, and Labor has vowed to oppose it.

But the Government argues that it will at least bring India's civil nuclear program under
international inspection as it embarks on a program of building many more nuclear power stations.

Matt Peacock reports.

MATT PEACOCK: Forty-eight hours after the National Security Committee approved the controversial
uranium deal, the Prime Minister tonight gave details of his conversation with his Indian

JOHN HOWARD, AUSTRALIAN PRIME MINISTER: Australia has decided, in principle, to export uranium to
India, subject to India agreeing to very stringent safeguards and conditions. I spoke to the Indian
Prime Minister a short while ago. He's welcomed the Government's decision. Our officials will now
enter into negotiations regarding the conditions. We want to be satisfied that the uranium will
only be used for peaceful purposes. It will involve the negotiation of a bilateral safe guards
agreement and India agreeing to stringent conditions with the International Atomic Energy Agency
and also a number of other important conditions.

MATT PEACOCK: It is less than 10 years ago that India conducted it last nuclear bomb test. Amidst
angry scenes in the Indian Parliament this week, Prime Minister Singh was at pains to assure his
critics that India can continue nuclear testing, despite any deal to buy US uranium.

MATT PEACOCK: That's now how the US State Department sees it.

NICHOLAS BURNS, US STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESMAN: The American President under the Atomic Energy Act
has the right to ask for the return of nuclear fuel and nuclear technologies if there is a test.

ALEXANDER DOWNER, FOREIGN MINISTER: If they conducted a nuclear test, nuclear cooperation generally
by the international community with India would collapse.

MATT PEACOCK: This week, the Howard Government followed the US lead, although nothing it seems will
be happening soon.

ALEXANDER DOWNER: The US-India agreement has to be ratified by the US and by the Indian
Parliaments, effectively.

Now, I have no idea how long that will take, but that could take a while. Also, and of course this
is the component of that agreement that's important to us, the Indians will have to reach agreement
with the International Atomic Energy Agency for the inspection regime of Indian civil nuclear

MATT PEACOCK: Not surprisingly, the Australian Uranium Association's Michael Angwin welcomes the

MICHAEL ANGWIN, AUSTRALIAN URANIUM ASSOCIATION: We welcome efforts by our Government to open up new
markets for the export of Australian uranium. Countries like China and India are growing very
rapidly. They've got a high demand for fuel and energy.

MATT PEACOCK: But the shift in Australia's uranium policy has drawn condemnation around the world,
including from the US State Department's former senior scientist, Professor Peter Zimmerman.

PETER ZIMMERMAN, WAR STUDIES, KING'S COLLEGE: Australia is one of the great pioneers of
non-proliferation. I simply don't understand why they would sell uranium to a country which is not
a party to the Non-Proliferation Treaty and has built its own nuclear weapons and tested them.

DAVE SWEENY, AUSTRALIAN CONSERVATION FOUNDATION: It is sending a signal to the world you can break
promises, break laws, develop nuclear weapons and instead of getting sanctions, you will get
priority uranium sales.

MATT PEACOCK: India's clandestine nuclear weapons program began 30 years ago illegally using a
Canadian reactor with help from Israel and sparking an arm's race with neighbouring Pakistan, which
soon acquired nuclear bombs of its own.

Now, according to the Australian Conservation Foundation's Dave Sweeney Australia is rewarding its
bad behaviour.

DAVE SWEENY: India is a rogue nuclear state, it hasn't signed the rules, it hasn't abided by the
rules, it's thumbed its nose at the international community and at international concerns.

MICHAEL ANGWIN: I think it is going a bit far to call India a rogue State. I think its
proliferation behaviour has been very, very good over a very long period of time.

MATT PEACOCK: Under the US and Australian deal, India would allow inspectors into its civilian
nuclear plants, but not the military ones.

ALEXANDER DOWNER: I do think this idea of the Americans to cover some of India's nuclear power
stations with UN inspections regime, rather than not have any of them covered, is an improvement.

ROBERT MCCLELLAND, SHADOW FOREIGN MINISTER: The trouble with providing uranium for civilian
purposes is that it will free up uranium and nuclear fuel for the military purpose and that's in
circumstances where India is still claiming the right to conduct nuclear tests.

MATT PEACOCK: The Opposition's Robert McClelland warns if Labor is elected, the deal is off.

ROBERT MCCLELLAND: We won't, as an Australian government, authorise the export of uranium to India
because it is not a signature, a signatory to the NPT.

MATT PEACOCK: You've said, if anything, it will strengthen the non-proliferation regime because it
will put inspectors into 14 of India's reactors. What happens in the other eight?

ALEXANDER DOWNER: What happens in the other eight is their nuclear facilities that are related to
India's military needs.

MATT PEACOCK: The bomb factories? They just keep making bombs?

ALEXANDER DOWNER: Well, that sort of thing.

PETER ZIMMERMAN: A large number of the Indian nuclear facilities are not going to be safeguarded
and what is in fact really pernicious is that India will have the right to reprocess plutonium from
American supplied reactor fuel and do that from out under a safeguards agreement without the
plutonium being safeguarded.

ALEXANDER DOWNER: If India wants a nuclear weapons program and it has one, it can get uranium from
India. There is uranium available in India. So they can build up stockpiles for their nuclear
weapons program. This is about providing uranium for civil nuclear programs, not for nuclear
weapons programs.

MATT PEACOCK: Nuclear conflict in South Asia has long been of concern with war between India and
Pakistan always a constant threat.

ROBERT MCCLELLAND: It is a region of the world where there is unquestionably the greatest
prevalence of terrorism in the world. For a number of reasons the Prime Minister once said when it
comes to issues of security, it is better to be safe than sorry. In this instance, we risk being
very, very sorry, indeed.

JOHN HOWARD: We think the relationship between India and Australia is a vital one. It will grow
very strongly into the future. India's energy needs will increase sharply and as a major supplier
of uranium, it has always seemed to us a logical thing to export uranium to India, provided India
agreed to stringent conditions. That's what we have decided and that's the decision I've
communicated to the Indian Prime Minister.

KERRY O'BRIEN: That was the Prime Minister talking just a short time ago about his conversation
tonight with the Indian Prime Minister. That's on the sale of Australian uranium. Matt Peacock with
that report.

Govt funds study into health of veterans children

Govt funds study into health of veterans children

Broadcast: 16/08/2007

Reporter: Natasha Johnson

Today the Federal Government announced that it will spend $13.5 million on a world first study into
the effects of war service on the children of veterans. Earlier research found higher rates of
birth defects and suicide, but researchers have long been concerned about wider physical and mental
health problems


KERRY O'BRIEN: Eighteen months ago we reported on the battle by Vietnam veterans for a
comprehensive inquiry into the health of their sons and daughters.

Today the Federal Government announced it will spend $13.5 million on a world first study of the
effects of war service on the children of veterans.

Earlier research found higher rates of birth defects and suicide in the children of vets, but
they've long been concerned about wider physical and mental health problems.

Natasha Johnson reports.


NATASHA JOHNSON: Sue Parker and her husband, Geoff, have led a five year battle into the study of
the health of the children of Vietnam veterans.

Today, along with other veteran groups, they were invited to a briefing in Melbourne where they
were stunned and delighted to learn they'd finally won.

SUE PARKER: I feel exhausted. I do feel vindicated to some degree, yes, because when we were told
originally that there were nothing wrong with our families, go away.

BOB ELWORTHY, VIETNAM VETERANS ASSOCIATION: It's been a tremendously difficult fight. For a start
we had to deal with cynical veterans themselves and fight bureaucracy, every step of the way. It's
always been a difficult issue to convince consecutive ministers that there really was an issue that
needed to be looked at.

NATASHA JOHNSON: Eighteen months ago the 7.30 Report told the story of the Parkers and their

Son, David has psychological illness and daughter, Nicole Lee, suffered bowel, reproductive and
liver problems. Granddaughter, Alicia Lee, was born with two holes in the heart, conditions the
family fears could be linked to Geoff Parker's war service and exposure to Agent Orange.

NICOLE LEE (6 January 2006): Every single day I bloat up to the extent to where I look like I am
six or, six months pregnant which is unbearably painful.

SUE PARKER (6 January 2006): A lot of Vietnam veterans' children do feel if they've got anything
wrong with them, it's related to dad's service. Now, by doing a study, once and for all we'll know.
It is or it isn't.

NATASHA JOHNSON: The Parker's formed a group to lobby the Government to investigate veterans'
concerns. Today, Minister Bruce Billson announced $13.5 million for a world first study into the
inter-generational effects of war service involving 200,000 people, including Vietnam veterans,
their wives, children and even grandchildren.

BRUCE BILLSON, VETERANS AFFAIRS MINISTER: What is new and unique and ground breaking about this is
we are reaching beyond the actual experience of the service person into their family unit,
recognising that separation, the demands of service, even some of their clinical impacts and
impairments that might arise from military service can have a bearing and impact on the quality of
life and success of the broader family.

NATASHA JOHNSON: Previous studies have found the children of Vietnam veterans have higher rates of
birth defects and psychological problems, including a suicide rate three times higher than average.
But the veterans have gathered anecdotal evidence of wider problems.

SUE PARKER: One in three children have a psychological problem. Fifty-six per cent of our kids had
physical health problems. We get a lot of sons and daughters of Vietnam veterans with infertility

NATASHA JOHNSON: It is hoped the study involving Army, Navy and Air Force veterans will also
identify the success stories and help shape better support services for the families of veterans of
Vietnam and other conflicts.

The Minister has also announced a similar study into the health of East Timor veterans and their

BRUCE BILLSON: To see in that more recent military service where the improvements that haven be
made since Vietnam have made a difference, what further improvements can be made and insights that
can be applicable not only to veterans but serving men and women today and their families.

NATASHA JOHNSON: The Vietnam study will take eight years, but it is hoped there will be initial
results within two. More than three decades after the end of the war, Vietnam veterans say time is
of the essence.

BOB ELWORTHY: I know veterans who've lost children over the years and some just recently and they
must feel quite bittersweet about today and I just hope that this report will be done before we
lose too many more.

KERRY O'BRIEN: That report from Natasha Johnson.

Clarke and Dawe: political opera

Clarke and Dawe: political opera

Broadcast: 16/08/2007

Reporter: John Clarke and Bryan Dawe

John Clarke and Bryan Dawe on the high notes of the week in politics.


KERRY O'BRIEN: Finally John Clarke and Bryan Dawe on the high notes of the week in politics.

BRYAN DAWE: Mr Howard, thanks for your time.

JOHN CLARKE: It is time, did you say, Bryan?

BRYAN DAWE: No, I said thanks for your time.

JOHN CLARKE: Oh, sorry, I must have misheard you. Bryan, just before we start, can I ask you
something? These polls, Bryan, I mean, do you think we can turn them around?

BRYAN DAWE: Well, I don't know, Mr Howard.

JOHN CLARKE: You work in this business, Bryan. What would it take to turn these polls around?

BRYAN DAWE: I wouldn't know.

JOHN CLARKE: You're a member of the public, Bryan.

BRYAN DAWE: I know that.

JOHN CLARKE: That's a poll is. You're a member of the public. I'm asking you.

BRYAN DAWE: Why are you asking me?

JOHN CLARKE: What have we got to do, Bryan? We are going backwards, Bryan. We can't take a trick.
These polls are a disaster. I don't know what you think you are doing?

BRYAN DAWE: I'm not doing anything, Mr Howard.

JOHN CLARKE: Bryan, look, for 10 years we were going OK in the country. I was in the paper every

BRYAN DAWE: Well, you are still in the paper every day.

JOHN CLARKE: I used to be looking cool, in the paper, Bryan. Now I'm falling down the stairs. I
look at a stack of spuds and I can't even bare to look at the paper. They are all against me.
They've all turned, Bryan, they've all turned, they're all opposed to me now. You know the walk I
go on in the morning?

BRYAN DAWE: Sure, yeah.

JOHN CLARKE: I used to go out there and I was mobbed by schoolgirls.

BRYAN DAWE: You were a pop star.

JOHN CLARKE: I was a pop star, Bryan. Not any more, I tell ya. I went out yesterday.


JOHN CLARKE: Blokes refusing to shake my hands and a lot of schoolboys around there and quite a lot
of finger work going on in the secondary school demographic, let me tell you, especially around the
Harbour. One school came over and wanted to borrow $300,000. I'm out on a walk and he wants

BRYAN DAWE: What for?

JOHN CLARKE: Wants to go to university. Is that my problem, I said to him, get out of my sight. I'm
going for a walk. Don't intrude, young man, I said to him. Another woman came over and offered to
lend me a

Zimmer frame.

BRYAN DAWE: It might have been an isolated incident.

JOHN CLARKE: It's not an isolated incident, Bryan. It happens all the time. Last night, I thought I
would take a night off. Forget about this altogether. I went out.

BRYAN DAWE: Oh really, where to?

JOHN CLARKE: The opera. Doesn't stop at the opera, Bryan. Look at this.

(sings with an opera background)

Oh, Johnny has gone,

Looks like Johnny has gone,

He appears to be completely stuffed.

BRYAN DAWE: Great opera. What was it?

JOHN CLARKE: It is called Johnny's Gone, I think.

BRYAN DAWE: Who wrote it?

JOHN CLARKE: I don't know who wrote it. Did you write it, Bryan?


JOHN CLARKE: I'll find out who wrote it. I'll tell you what.

(looks away) Who wrote Johnny's gone? There is an opera in town called Johnny's Gone. Stand up the
boy who wrote it.

(looks to Bryan) Biased opera, Bryan, I won't have it in my kingdom. They have all turned and
opposed to me, Bryan. What is going on?

That's the program for tonight. Don't forget 'Stateline' at this time tomorrow. We'll be back with
the 7.30 Report on Monday, but for now, goodnight.