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Tough day at the office for the PM

Tough day at the office for the PM

Reporter: Michael Brissenden

KERRY O'BRIEN: John Howard may well reflect that he's had better days during his long career, than
this one. First, he woke to the news that one newspaper poll showed 75% of voters thought his
Government's response to rising petrol prices was inadequate and then he had to bow to the most
serious backbench revolt of his prime ministership. His response to both, though, was that of a
practised and seasoned pragmatist. His Migration Bill amendments have now been scrapped to avoid an
embarrassing defeat in the Senate, and this afternoon, Mr Howard announced a $1.5 billion energy
package that included a $2,000 grant to help motorists convert to LPG, plus more incentives for
ethanol. Well be talking to the Prime Minister in a moment, but first here's Political Editor
Michael Brissenden.

JOHN HOWARD, PRIME MINISTER: Ah good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen, I've called this news
conference to announce that the Government will not proceed with its migration legislation.

MICHAEL BRISSENDEN: It was a matter of fact announcement, but this is new territory for a Prime
Minister who rewrote the rules on Liberal Party unity in 1996 and until now, has largely had the
authority to enforce them. John Howard has been forced to back down after the biggest internal
revolt he's ever faced. In the end, he had no choice. The writing was on the wall and some were
even urging it from the air. This was an embarrassing but pragmatic cut and run.

JOHN HOWARD: It was made very clear to me this morning that a Government Senator would cross the
floor and vote against the legislation. The intention of that Government Senator was communicated
directly to me in a one-on-one discussion that we had. It was also plain to me that one other
Government Senator, having circulated an amendment that was both unworkable and unacceptable to the
Government, would abstain in the event that that amendment was not supported. In those
circumstances, given the arithmetic of the parties in the Senate, it was clear that the legislation
was going to be defeated.

MICHAEL BRISSENDEN: The Nationals' Barnaby Joyce, of course, was the Senator who offered up the
unacceptable amendment, but the rogue Liberal who threatened to walk was the Victorian Judith
Troeth.

JUDITH TROETH, LIBERAL SENATOR: Yes I have made up my mind, but I'll be making it clear in the
chamber tomorrow.

REPORTER: If Barnaby Joyce and Steve Fielding have declared themselves, will you?

JUDITH TROETH:Well I resent that. Every Senator has the right to reserve their decision.

MICHAEL BRISSENDEN: That's if they get the chance. Judith Troeth had her's, face-to-face out of the
public glare. It was different last week in the House of Reps where her moderate colleagues
forcefully expressed their opposition to a bill that would have seen all asylum seekers that
arrived by boat processed offshore. They did so in a series of emotional and provocative speeches.
This time, there was no public show of defiance, well not for the Liberals anyway.

SENATOR STEVE FIELDING, FAMILY FIRST: This legislation was bad legislation based on a bad
principle.

MICHAEL BRISSENDEN: For much of last week, Senator Fielding teased us all with his deliberations. A
visit to the Indonesian ambassador and another to the West Papuan asylum seekers. Eventually, he
showed his hand. He wouldn't support the bill, he said, because it was designed to appease another
country - a line Labor's immigration spokesman Tony Burke has been prosecuting all along.

TONY BURKE, OPPOSITION IMMIGRATION SPOKESMAN:The only pressure for it had been coming from
Indonesia. You don't protect Australia's borders by surrendering them. That's what this bill did.

MICHAEL BRISSENDEN: The Prime Minister says Indonesia's concerns were a secondary consideration.
But the fact remains these amendments were only considered after the Indonesian uproar over the
granting of asylum to 43 West Papuans in January. Some months after he'd struck a deal with his
internal critics to get the first bill passed. Now, we're told, the amendments are about border
security. So we have to assume the first bill wasn't good enough, and by opposing this one, Labor
and some Liberals of course, are therefore soft on border security.

JOHN HOWARD: Australia has very strong border protection laws. This bill would have made those
strong border protection laws even stronger.

TONY BURKE: This was never, never about border protection. This was about pretending that Australia
had no border at all. The Prime Minister's attempts to appease Indonesia were the opposite of
border protection. They were border surrender.

MICHAEL BRISSENDEN: But the old border protection regime is still in place and still very much part
of our border security arrangements, as was displayed yet again this afternoon. It seems the
nuances of the political debate have had little impact on one group of determined asylum seekers.

SENATOR AMANDA VANSTONE, MINISTER FOR IMMIGRATION:There are eight unlawful arrivals on Ashmore
Reef, apparently dumped by people-smugglers. The arrival of these people confirms the need for
strong border protection, and it's worth noting today that had these people arrived on the
mainland, they would if they were found not to be genuine refugees, able to stay here for years on
end contesting that decision.

MICHAEL BRISSENDEN: But it was security of a different kind that was dominating the politics of the
Lower House today. Energy security, the Immigration Bill is a once-off embarrassment that can be
killed off. Petrol on the other hand, is a long-term and potentially explosive political issue.
With a Neilsen poll in the Fairfax newspapers today showing 75% of people were dissatisfied with
the Government's response to rising prices at the bowser, the Prime Minister needed to do
something, and this is it.

JOHN HOWARD: I wish to provide the House with the Government's assessment of some key energy
challenges and to announce a number of measures to assist hard-pressed motorists to better cope
with very high petrol prices.

MICHAEL BRISSENDEN: There was much about our underlying economic strength amidst the backdrop of
geopolitical instability and the market fundamentals of high world oil prices. The Prime Minister's
address to the Parliament was long on rhetoric but short on solutions.

JOHN HOWARD: The simple if unpalatable truth is that the Government's capacity to alleviate the
impact of high petrol prices on consumers is necessarily limited.

MICHAEL BRISSENDEN: Among the solutions that were offered were a $2,000 grant to help with the cost
of converting cars to LPG. Plans for increased oil exploration, grants for petrol stations to
install more ethanol pumps, and a proposal for a dedicated fund for gas to liquids research. Too
little, too late says the Opposition.

KIM BEAZLEY, OPPOSITION LEADER: There is too little Mr Speaker in these measures to uncouple us
from the tyranny of overseas oil. There's no vision for the fuel industry we need, an independent
Australian fuel industry. So we're not forever at the mercy of foreign oil cartels, so overnight
price spikes in Saudi Arabian oil doesn't spark a fault line in the family budget and the national
economy.

MICHAEL BRISSENDEN: And given that motorists will first need to fund the full $3,500 cost for LPG
conversion and then claim their rebate, Labor says those who are hit hardest by the petrol price
rise still won't be able to afford the change. That is if they can get someone to do it for them.
LPG conversion is already a boom industry. Workshops like this in suburban Melbourne are struggling
to keep up with demand already, and waiting lists stretch out till November at the earliest.

LPG CONVERSION OPERATOR: Oh, it's unbelievable, just gone out of proportion at the moment. So yeah,
we'll be moving to bigger and better premises very shortly and hopefully we can keep up with
demand.

MICHAEL BRISSENDEN: Relief could be some way off, even those who want to go to an LPG conversion.
But the Government had to do something. The polls tell the story. A backbench revolt is one thing,
a voter revolt is quite another.

Howard disappointed by Bill scrapping

Howard disappointed by Bill scrapping

Reporter: Kerry O'Brien

KERRY O'BRIEN: I'm joined now by the Prime Minister in our Parliament House studio. Prime Minister
on the Migration Bill first - it's unusual to see you give up the ghost like this and fold your
tent. Particularly after having gone on record as saying how important this legislation was?

JOHN HOWARD, PRIME MINISTER: Well Kerry I couldn't get it through the Senate. We've got 39, the
rest have got 37. The 37 were rock solid against it and one of mine told me that that person
couldn't support it and, therefore, at the very best it would have been 38-38 and that resolves it
in the negative. I can count and that was the reason why. I tried but I was unsuccessful. Now we're
left still with very strong border protection legislation. I'm disappointed. This would have made
it even better, but I'm also a realist and I decided that as it was inevitable the bill was going
to be defeated there was no point in going through a protracted debate for three or four days. I
decided to pull it and that was unanimously accepted by my colleagues.

KERRY O'BRIEN: You haven't had a defeat like this inflicted on you by your own side in 10 years,
have you? Is it humiliating for you, as some are reporting already?

KERRY O'BRIEN: No, I don't feel humiliated, I'm disappointed because I think the country would have
been served by having a stronger border protection bill. But we have been in office for 10 years
and if you look at the track record of previous Coalition governments I think we've had fewer of
these situations than others. But we are a Liberal Party and in the end people do have the right,
uncomfortable though it may be, for the majority who hold a view passionately to express their
views and what I've told my colleagues is that the passionately-held views of the majority have to
be respected as well as those of the minority. These things happen and the way you manage them is
in a sense, how you are marked and measured by the public.

KERRY O'BRIEN: But you're saying now that Australia already has very strong border protection laws
anyway, which leads to the obvious question, why was it necessary to go so much further if not to
appease Indonesia?

JOHN HOWARD: I have never denied that Indonesia was a factor, I've not said that -

KERRY O'BRIEN: Surely the primary factor?

JOHN HOWARD: You've got to bear in mind that at the present time if you arrive as we've seen today
on Ashmore Reef, if you arrive on an excised island you go to Nauru. If you arrive on the mainland
you can't go to Nauru, you go to Christmas Island.

KERRY O'BRIEN: But it would seem the only ones most likely to to reach the mainland these days were
the West Papuans?

JOHN HOWARD: Certainly there's a greater physical proximity, that is certainly the case .

KERRY O'BRIEN: And if they actually did have genuine cases of political persecution, where else can
they go but to Australia as the nearest neighbour?

JOHN HOWARD: We never ruled out, Kerry, we never ruled out that if we couldn't find places for them
elsewhere, we never ruled out them coming to Australia. I made that clear the day I announced this.
That's been made clear all along. The other thing people should bear in mind about Indonesia is
that Indonesia has assisted in stopping the flow of boat people. I'm talking here about people
who've come to Indonesia from other countries. So we shouldn't look at Indonesia's role in relation
to border protection in a hostile fashion, but rather see co-operation with Indonesia as being an
important element of stopping the flow of people.

KERRY O'BRIEN: But the suggestions about appeasement weren't around the issue of co-operation, it
was about 43 West Papuans arriving here, Indonesia protesting, Australia responding?

JOHN HOWARD: I do understand that, but I'm making the point that co-operating with Indonesia in
relation to the general conduct of border protection policy is quite important.

KERRY O'BRIEN: So you won't be taking advice from Indonesia's Trade Minister who last week
suggested Australia might want to revisit its criteria for processing political asylum claims,
presumably for West Papuans?

JOHN HOWARD: Well,we certainly won't be taking that advice, no.

KERRY O'BRIEN: On your petrol measures, Mr Howard, the bottom line is that for the forseeable
future, these measures will have no real impact on petrol prices, that is the case, isn't it?

JOHN HOWARD: Petrol prices will be governed by the world price of oil. Michael mentioned in his
package the 75% in that poll who wanted us to do more. I could mention that 54% of people in that
same poll acknowledged that the principal driver of high petrol prices is the high price of crude
oil. This won't have an impact on petrol prices, but if it encourages people to use LPG more, they
will after a fairly short period of time be better off and the calculation is at about $27 a week.

KERRY O'BRIEN: So if a person wants to convert from petrol to LPG and has I think about $3,500 cash
to do it, how soon would you reimburse them with the $2,000?

JOHN HOWARD: As soon as humanly possible. We've got to work out some of the administrative details.
They're being worked on at the moment. But it would happen very quickly.

KERRY O'BRIEN: Do you have any idea at all how many people might take up the LPG option, or is it
something of a stab in the dark?

JOHN HOWARD: There's an element of arbitrariness in all of these things, but we're looking at
several hundred thousand.

KERRY O'BRIEN: What would you say to those who will see this as not much more than a government
trying to create an illusion of action related to petrol prices, when in fact your hands are
largely tied.

JOHN HOWARD: That would be credible if I hadn't said all along that it is governed by the world
price. We're trying to help in a practical way at the margin. I'm being very open with the
Australian public about this. It is governed by the world price and no rhetoric from anybody to the
contrary can alter that fact. It's also worth noting that cutting excise is not an alternative, not
even the Opposition is arguing for that.

KERRY O'BRIEN: Finally Mr Howard, the four injured Australian soldiers in Baghdad we're told
fortunately that their injuries are not serious, although one's been kept in hospital for the
moment. Is there any evidence with that as a backdrop, is there any evidence you can cite to
demonstrate that the Iraqi capital is any less riven with violence than it has been at any time in
the last three years since the war ended, any sign that the Iraqi government is remotely close to
capable of controlling its own capital?

JOHN HOWARD: Kerry, the situation in Baghdad remains very difficult. I wish I could say otherwise.
I have to say, however, that it will be even more difficult, and the whole situation would be made
even more fraught if the coalition were to cut and run. Nothing alters my view if the insurgency,
the terrorists win in Iraq, that will be a huge blow to all of our interests. Whatever views people
had about the original decision and I don't resile from it in a moment, but you have to deal with
the now and the now is a very difficult situation. A coalition withdrawal would probably create a
worse situation. I do think we have a better government in Iraq and there's a greater determination
by the new Prime Minister and a greater authority and a greater capacity.

KERRY O'BRIEN: When you say that Australia won't leave Iraq in the lurch, it's been more than three
years already, do you concede that the prospect that the conflict on the streets of Baghdad and
other parts of Iraq is open-ended now, that civil war is a very real possibility. What then for
Australian troops?

JOHN HOWARD: Well, I wouldn't concede that much in relation to a civil war. I acknowledge that the
situation and particularly the sectarian strife is very difficult. I do acknowledge that. However,
there has been progress made with the training of the Iraqi security forces. A greater burden is
now being carried by the Iraqis and a lesser burden being carried by the coalition. So amidst all
the difficulty, solid progress is being made on that front and that's a reason why we should stay
to finish that job.

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

JOHN HOWARD: Thank you.

World holds breath on Lebanon cease-fire

World holds breath on Lebanon cease-fire

Reporter: Kerry O'Brien

KERRY O'BRIEN: After a month-long conflict that's killed some 1,300 people, displaced many more and
left much of Lebanon in ruins, and some parts of Israel, a fragile cease-fire between Israel and
Hezbollah appears to be holding tonight. But intense fighting continued to rage during the lead-up
to the United Nations-brokered cease-fire, which came into effect this afternoon Australian time.
While Israel has begun withdrawing troops from Lebanese territory, its sea and air blockade will
remain in place. With Hezbollah refusing to give up its weapons, the big question now is, can the
guns remain silent until an international peacekeeping force is deployed, or is this just a
temporary lull? Several hours after the cease-fire came into effect, I spoke with Israeli Foreign
Ministry spokesman Mark Regev late today, via satellite from Jerusalem. Mark Regev, was it really
necessary for Israel to still be launching deadly air strikes on Lebanon virtually right up to the
cease-fire deadline?

MARK REGEV, ISRAELI FOREIGN MINISTRY SPOKESMAN: I think the cease-fire was agreed to, and the
timing of that was fixed by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. I think combat operations went on
until the hour that the cease-fire kicked in. I think Hezbollah rockets were landing in Israel also
until the very last moment.

KERRY O'BRIEN: Now that the fighting has stopped for the moment, how confident are you that this
cease-fire can be sustained? And I would suggest that given that the fighting continued right up to
the last moment, doesn't give you great cause for hope?

MARK REGEV: Well, I can assure you that my country, Israel, we will do everything that we are
obliged to do under that UN Resolution 1701, which is the basis for the cessation of hostilities.
We have an interest in that resolution succeeding, that resolution creates a better strategic
reality for Israel, for Lebanon, for the region and so we will do our part. We will do - every one
of our obligations in that resolution we will meet. And if the Lebanese side does the same, we
really can move forward to a better future.

KERRY O'BRIEN: But Hezbollah has said that for as long as Israeli forces are in Lebanon, they'll
keep fighting?

MARK REGEV: Well, let's be clear, the UN resolution - it's not Israel speaking here - the UN
resolution says that the pullback should not be haphazard. That the idea is not to create a vacuum
that Hezbollah could just exploit. The resolution says specifically that Israeli forces will pull
out incrementally and the international forces and the Lebanese Government will move in to make
sure there isn't a vacuum. Now if in that interim period Hezbollah attacks us, that's a clear
violation of the Security Council resolution. That's a clear violation of the cease-fire and we
will be entitled to respond. I hope that doesn't happen, though.

KERRY O'BRIEN: How proactive do you expect the international force to be as part of the process of
disarming Hezbollah?

MARK REGEV: I think everyone understands that this is not a sort of force that you're sending token
soldiers, that any country participating in this force, it doesn't mean their forces are coming
here for ceremonial duty. I think everyone understands that the force, to quote Kofi Annan, it must
be a robust force, it must be a fighting force, and the idea is that they have to implement what is
in that Security Council resolution.

KERRY O'BRIEN: Not only is it going to be difficult for anybody to disarm Hezbollah without their
full cooperation, but it is going to be difficult, isn't it, to know that they have genuinely and
completely been disarmed. What evidence will Israel be requiring or demanding of that fact?

MARK REGEV: Well, let's go step-by-step, 'cause you can't do everything in one day. The resolution
says we should create, the international community is committed to creating a Hezbollah-free zone
from the Litani River down to the international frontier - what's called the "blue line". Now
obviously our forces are there in south Lebanon today dealing with Hezbollah there and so part of
that job has already been done. But the idea is that in that part of south Lebanon you will no
longer have a Hezbollah military presence. You will no longer have that state within a state.
That's an important part of the UN resolution and I think that's an important challenge for the
Lebanese army and the international forces. Another challenge that I think is very important is the
UN resolution talks about an arms embargo, that weaponry will not come into Lebanon for Hezbollah.
Specifically, that's designed against Iran and Syria to prevent missile supplies coming in, new
rockets coming into Hezbollah. I mean, during this conflict we managed to hit the long-range
strategic capability of Hezbollah and no-one wanted to see a cease-fire where that could just be
replenished. So on those two counts I think those two issues, which are very tangible - the area of
south Lebanon and the area of the embargo - we'll be looking to see the Lebanese army and the
international forces will expect activity there, first.

KERRY O'BRIEN: I'm not sure whether you're aware of it but Seymour Hersh, the investigative
journalist in the 'New Yorker', has just written a story saying that the Bush Administration was
closely involved in the planning of Israel's retaliatory attacks, that President Bush and Vice
President Cheney were convinced - according to sources, to Seymour Hersh - that a successful
Israeli airforce bombing campaign against Hezbollah in Lebanon could ease Israel's security
concerns, but also serve as a prelude to a potential American pre-emptive attack to destroy Iran's
nuclear installations? Now, are you in a position to say that America was not privy to Israel's
retaliatory plans and a part of the process?

MARK REGEV: Seymour Hersh is a friend of mine, so I don't want to say anything disparaging, but I
can say the following. It's very clear that anyone who looks at what happened in Lebanon and in
Israel when this crisis started - that we weren't ready. And it took us a while to have a forceful
response, the sort of response that we needed. I'd also remind you that we were very much, at the
beginning of June, very focused on what was going on in Gaza and there was intelligence information
that Hezbollah, in fact, was planning some sort of activity. We sent messages, both directly and
indirectly, through some European countries saying we don't have an interest in this crisis. So the
whole idea that Israel initiated this conflict for some sort of grand strategic design is just
simply not true.

KERRY O'BRIEN: And yet, Israel's response was very prompt and ongoing. The rest of the world has
seen maybe 10 times as many Lebanese civilians killed as Israeli civilians. The hundreds of
thousands of refugees who've been seen fleeing have been mostly Lebanese. The destruction has
overwhelmingly been Lebanon's. Can you understand why Israel may have lost sympathy in parts of the
world as a result of those images?

MARK REGEV: I'm not sure about the refugee figure, because our numbers here are also quite high. On
the issue of casualties, I think in many ways we had a bit of luck. Because we took more than 3,000
incoming missiles. Had one of those missiles hit a petrol chemical factory in Haifa we could have
had amazing tragedy, and then I could tell you more Israelis died, but I wouldn't be more happy to
say that, obviously. I think we were very lucky that we didn't take more significant civilian
casualties on our side of the border and thank God we didn't.

KERRY O'BRIEN: Mark Regev, thanks for making the time to talk to us on this cease-fire day. Thank
you.

MARK REGEV: My pleasure. Let's hope it works.

WA watching cane toad advance

WA watching cane toad advance

Reporter: Hamish Fitzsimmons

KERRY O'BRIEN: The cane toad is an unpalatable fact of life in Queensland, the Northern Territory
and even NSW, and now, even Western Australia is watching its presence near the Territory border
with no little dread. The advance of the toads towards WA has prompted the State Government to
launch a public awareness campaign, combined with detection programs to keep cane toads out. In a
novel approach, one Perth woman is training pure-bred dingoes to act as sniffer dogs. Hamish
Fitzsimmons reports.

HAMISH FITZSIMMONS: The untamed beauty of the Kimberley is one of Western Australia's major
attractions, but its unspoilt waterways and fragile fauna are facing an unwelcome visitor - the
cane toad. Toads have been found less than 70km away in the Northern Territory and moving west. A
campaign to stop the toad's advance is in full swing, and those involved say it could disrupt the
ecological balance in WA's north.

DENNIS BEROS, STOP THE TOAD FOUNDATION: People have made up their mind that they don't want this
invasive species. Perhaps we don't need to have this invasive species, and doing everything that we
can to keep it out now is a far better thing than counting the cost at some later time.

HAMISH FITZSIMMONS: This is one of the hopeful new recruits in the West's attempt to keep the toads
at bay. Kimber, a month-old dingo pup, is about to begin its training as a sniffer dog to detect
toads.

SARAH FYFFE, DOG TRAINER: The purebred species is under threat. There's not a lot of hope for them
if people don't step in, and I just want to change people's opinions, so that when they hear the
word 'dingo' they don't think Azaria, they don't think vicious attacks, they think it's a wonderful
animal and a treasure to our country. Good girl, well done. I'm actually now teaching her to step
back from the toad when she finds it, rather than sit right next to it, just for her safety as
well.

HAMISH FITZSIMMONS: Sarah Fyffe is a professional dog trainer who sees the potential to use
purebred dingoes to sniff out cane toads and, in the process, rehabilitate the image of an animal
once regarded as a pest.

SARAH FYFFE: Good baby! You're a good girl!

HAMISH FITZSIMMONS: So far three dingoes, including this 3-month-old, have been taught to sniff out
cane toads which Sarah Fyffe imports frozen from Queensland. She says purebred dingoes have an edge
over domestic breeds traditionally used in Customs work.

SARAH FYFFE: As humans, we haven't altered them, so all of their senses are still really alert and
really, really powerful. With, say, the beagle, over the years we've refined them so their sense of
smell is heightened. So, in effect, their hearing and their sight has lowered. With a dingo, all of
those senses are completely awake and finetuned.

HAMISH FITZSIMMONS: Training the dingoes hasn't come without its problems. Aside from raising two
small children, Sarah Fyffe has also worn the cost of importing the toads into WA and then there's
dealing with the dingo's unique personality.

SARAH FYFFE: They're very, very soft. A lot of people think they're a hard dog, but they're not.
They are very, very soft-hearted and their spirits are broken very easily.

HAMISH FITZSIMMONS: The dingo project hasn't received backing from the State Government, which is
spending millions to try to stop the march of the toad. But once the dingoes are trialled in the
Kimberley and in the NT in the coming months, the results will be scrutinised.

DR WINSTON KAY, WA DEPT OF ENVIRONMENT AND CONSERVATION: At this stage, it's quite a new idea, I
guess, to train a wild species like a dingo for this sort of role, so we'll just wait to see how
successful, I guess, that training program is and we're not even sure at this stage whether or not
a detection dog can be trained effectively to detect a single species like a cane toad.

HAMISH FITZSIMMONS: But it will take more than dingoes or sniffer dogs to keep the toads at bay. Dr
Winston Kay is in charge of the State's cane toad initiative.

DR WINSTON KAY: We do recognise that it is a long shot. Cane toads are a very successful invasive
species that have been in Australia for a long time. We're just doing the best we can to try and
slow or prevent their entry into Western Australia.

HAMISH FITZSIMMONS: The westward movement of toads in the last wet season alarmed those preparing
WA's response.

DR WINSTON KAY: There was limited surveillance done prior to the onset of this most recent wet
season, but based on known populations, we estimate they've moved at least 90km further west over
the course of the wet season, which is a quite a rapid movement for an animal of that size.

ADVERTISEMENT: WA is facing an alien invasion. This quiet creature, alien to Australia - the cane
toad.

HAMISH FITZSIMMONS: The State Government has pushed a public awareness campaign to alert people to
the threat. It has also created the Stop the Toad Foundation which says preventing the toad's entry
into WA is of national importance.

DENNIS BEROS: Really, the Kimberley is the only part of northern Australia now not infested with
cane toads, so there's both an enormous threat there and a great opportunity, too. It would be
great to keep it that way if we can and that's what we're all about - having a go to try and keep
them away.

HAMISH FITZSIMMONS: For her part, Sarah Fyffe is keen to put her dingoes to work as soon as
possible to try and stop the march of the cane toad into the Kimberley.

SARAH FYFFE: In my situation, I'm no scientist, I can't come up with a biological control, but I
can train these guys to help hold back that front line and if they're worth five or six people out
in the fields where the toads are, to find them and put a stop to them, then that's helping out in
my way.