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7.30 Report -

View in ParlViewView other Segments

(generated from captions) Before we go, a brief recap of

our top story tonight. John

Howard has admitted he's in for

a tough fight as he faces a

high profile challenge for his

Sydney seat. The former ABC

journalist Maxine McKew will

stand as the Labor candidate

for fwen Ben. That's ABC News.

Stay with us now for Kerry

O'Brien and the '7:30 Report'

coming up next. Enjoy your night. Goodnight. Closed

Captions by CSI

Tonight on the 7.30 Report -

on Hollywood's biggest night,

one of its own Rupert Everett

opens up on the dark side of

Tinseltown. The world of

showbiz I think is kind of

tragic. We're being so

entertained out of our minds

that we are incapable of

looking at actually what is

happening to us. I'm the kind

of person that if I start

something I have to kind of

stick to it. We're just a

femine team. And the ladies of

the long paddock. There's no

TV, there's no nice luxury

showers.

Welcome to the program. She

used to report from this side

of the desk. Now she's

announced she wants to be a

player in the political

process. Maxine McKew, the

former ABC journalist is

running for Parliament for the

Labor Party at the next federal

election. And the high-profile

candidate has chosen the

highest professional seat of

all to launch her new career -

John Howard's seat of Bennelong

is now marginal. The Prime

Minister holds it by just over

4%. That margin coupled with

the growing threat to the

Government posed by Labor

leader Kevin Rudd presents Mr

Howard with a double threat.

And even though he's one of

Australia's most successful

ever politicians, pundits are contemplating the possibility

that he could be the first

Prime Minister to lose his seat

since Stanley Bruce in 1929.

Political Editor Michael

Brissenden reports.

It just seems to me that they

are losing a valuable cog in

the ABC machine. Now this is

your last program. What are

you going to do? Don't ask us

questions. What are you going

to do? I'm going to take a long

break, I'm not going to discuss

leadership for perhaps the things like the Labor

entire summer. Can you imagine

that? I'm going to find other

things to talk about. Well,

summer's almost over and while

there may have been a few quiet

days by the pool, as we now

know Maxine McKew's summer has

been anything but free of

politics. Just a few weeks ago

she announced she was joining

the new Labor leader's advisory

team. Now she's taking on the

Prime Minister in his own seat

of Bennelong. The transition

is now complete, from the first-name familiarity of the

television interview she's now simply known as " the

candidate" . I've always had a

fight in Bennelong and the

redistribution has made it

harder. But when I get news

like this it only steels my

resolve to work even harder for

the people I've had the privilege of representing for

the last 30 years. That's all

I have to say about the Labor

candidate. To say the least

this is probably the toughest

thing I've ever undertaken.

It's a serious endeavour. I'm

doing this, I'm keen to put my

name before local preselectors

after the State election to be considered as the next Labor

candidate to run here in the

seat of Bennelong. John Howard

has held Bennelong for more

than 30 years. For most of

that time Maxine McKew was an

ABC journalist. Their paths

have crossed many times, but

never like this. Today, the

candidate was out and about in

the seat. As a journalist she

would have watched politicians

of all stripes turn this strike

for years. Now she's joined

the list of journalists who've

crossed the line. Very few of

whom seem to have much of a

good word to say about it.

REPORTER: As a former

journalist how do you think

Maxine McKew will go in this

step to politics? We media

people don't have a great

success rate in entering

politics, do we? She's

obviously a talented person and

clearly, she is a celebrity.

But celebrities don't always

make good candidates and

journalists don't always make

good politicians. Tony's a

former journo and he's a

former'Bulletin' journo so

that's a bit... there's quite a

few journos in the House.

Peter Andren who is someone who

I would have thought has made a

very respectable transition

from journalism to politics.

I've got a lot of time for the

way Peter Andren conducts

himself in the House. Presumably she doesn't

hold the same high regard of Mr Abbott's conduct. She should

for the Prime Minister's

campaigning skills. Bennelong

is marginal, of course, but has

been for some time now and John

Howard has had to fight for it

in the past. In the last

election it was the "not happy,

John" run by former Liberal

candidate. I think Maxine has

every chance of winning. If

the election was held today or

tomorrow, I'd be sure she'd

win. She's a formidable

candidate. When I woke up this

morning I thought I could hear

somebody banging nails into

John Howard's coffin but I

thought no, I must only be

dreaming. John Valder's team

threw its weight and energy

through the former spuk and

Iraq critic Andrew walkie.

Next time he said they will

support Maxine McKew. The

margin is just over 4%. Let's

not forget the main reason that

Bennelong is currently a

marginal seat is because the

Greens ran a remarkable

campaign in 2004 when we got

16% of the primary vote. The

ALP only got 28% of the primary

vote. Now unless that sort of

development can be reproduced

in 2007 it's going to be very

hard for Maxine to get from 28

she'll need. She's unlikely to up to around 50, which is what

win it. Much of the anti-John

Howard vote in Bennelong has

been factored into the current

margin. Perhaps what she's

really doing is setting herself

up for the post-2007

by-election. The Government

may not be returned and even if

it is Mr Howard may move on.

Then again maybe it's not

really about Bennelong at all

and more to do what Mr Rudd calls " playing with the Prime

Minister's mind" . This is a

really tough seat, a really

tough seat and Mr Howard is the

most clever politician I think

this country has produced.

This is a really tough

challenge. Got it? There'll be

a lot of that coming. In the

next few months we'll be

hearing just how clever the

Prime Minister is over and over

again. Labor's focus groups

must be telling them something.

The Government will be working

hard on its own polling to find

the cracks in the Rudd persona

as well. No doubt they'll find

their mark soon enough. But

for the moment at least there's

not much running their way.

Even the Prime Minister's

friends don't seem to be able

to help. Having spent a

fortnight hammering the Labor

plan to withdraw troops from

Iraq Dick Cheney reassured the

electorate on the weekend that

such a pullout would not

destroy the alliance with the

US and a few days before that,

Brendan Nelson dented and

Government's attack by

comparing Iraq with the Kokoda

campaign. No-one needed

convincing Australia's

interests were at risk. But

today we face something which

is no less a risk to our

culture, our values, our

freedoms and way of life than

was presented to us in

1942. Clearly the feedback on

this hasn't been good and today

the Defence Minister's view of

military history underwent

pragmatic revision. There is

not and nor should ever be any

comparison in a military sense

between our operations in Iraq

and what happened in Kokoda.

To do so would offend not only

the veterans of Kokoda and

those who lost their lives, it

would also offend the men and

women fighting on Australia's behalf in Iraq. As Brendan

Nelson has discovered - politic

social security a tough

business even for so-called

celebrity candidates. In the

Parliament at least the

Government held its fire on the

least Labor recruit today but

the gloves will come off for

sure and the goodbyes when they

come, surely won't be quite as

polite as in the past. Prime

Minister for your time tonight,

thank you. Thank you. In Western Australia, the State

Labour Government is in

mounting crisis, with a second

minister forced to resign after

the State's corruption watchdog

accused him of acting

improperly. Environment

Minister Tony McRae is the

third minister in nine months

to go as a result of a scandal

and the second linked to

Corruption and Crime Commission

inquiries. Today, two more

State ministers fronted the

commission. One was cleared of

any wrongdoing and the other is

still being questioned. At the

start of the CCC's inquiries is

the disgraced former Premier

turned lobbyist Brian Burke who

it's been revealed continues to

wield an incredible network of political influence. Hamish

Fitzsimmons reports from Perth.

I'm very confident that I

have done absolutely nothing

wrong. Today I asked Tony McRae

to resign from State Cabinet

and he has agreed to my request.

The roar of the Corruption and

Crime Commission is echoing

through the West Australian

Parliament, and no-one is

hearing it louder than the

Premier Alan Carpenter. The

CCC has cut a swathe through

the ranks of the Labor Party

and exposed the web of

influence wielded by the former

Labor Premier now lobbyist

Brian Burke and his business

partner and former Burke

Government minister, David Jull. Influence that appeared

to extend all the way to the

CCC itself. efficient

The WA Labour Government is

in crisis. The Premier Alan

Carpenter has lost three

Cabinet ministers to scandals

within a year. The latest to

go is Environment Minister,

Tony McRae. He has made a

mistake which has cost him his position in the ministry and I

think that's a very heavy price

to pay. That significant error

surfaced after the CCC heard

allegations that Mr McRae used

his ministerial position to

discuss fundraising matters

with lobbyist David Jull. At

the same time as Mr McRae was

considering a deal brought

forward by Mr Grill's clients.

In a secretly-recorded

telephone conversation between

Mr Grill and developer David

Lombardo, the commission heard

David Jull considered Tony

McRae was good for a

favour. And Tony...

Tony McRae has repeatedly

professed his innocence, but

not his ignorance. In

hindsight, and hindsight is a

lovely thing, we all learn

lessons from it, I thought that

Grill was a different fish to

Burke. If that's WA Inc Mark

II it's miny Inc like Mini Me

in whatever that movie was.

His decision to telephone

David Jull who had a commercial

interest in the project that

Tony had before him and then

start a discussion or initiate

another part of the discussion

about fundraising was totally wrong. Only three months ago

the Premier was forced to sack

his small business minister

Norm Marlborough after he was

exposed doing Brian Burke's

bidding in Parliament. Six

months earlier, Police Minister

John D'Orazio was dumped for

not paying speeding finance.

He was later forced from the

CCC when surveillance videos

showed him meeting with a

person under

investigation. You've got to

ask the question, what major

business is going to do, is

going to come to Western

Australia and do business? The

West Australian Opposition

Leader Paul Omodei says if the

CCC fallout continues this week

the Premier should think about

whether his position is indeed

untenable. But even the

Opposition hasn't emerged

untarnished. Last week it was

highly embarrassed over

revelations former Liberal

powerbroker Noel Pearson was on

Brian Burke's -- Noel Crichton-Browne was Brian

Burke's payroll. We're seeing

the tip of the iceberg. There's no doubt that Brian

Burke and David Jull have had a

massive influence, not only

with ministers but within the public service itself. The

Opposition and the Greens have

threatened to block supply in

the Legislative Council if the

blood-letting continues, an

unprecedented move in WA's 117-year parliamentary

history. I suppose the real

impact of the CCC on the

Carpenter Government is it's

draining its blood, but with

each ministerial resignation

there's an amount of damage inflicted on the

Government. Political analyst

Greg Craven says while it

remains to be seen whether the

rot in WA will harm Kevin

Rudd's chances in the federal

election campaign, for the

moment it's Premier Alan

Carpenter who's taking all the

political hits. In West

Australian politics we seem to

be in perpetual grownhog day.

Even day is about Brian Burke.

I think the reality is that the

best thing the Government's got

going for it at the moment is

Alan Carpenter and his

determination not to

compromise. Brian Burke has

also been caught on tape

boasting that there are two

other Carpenter ministers

who've been leaking

confidential matters to him.

The Premier must face the

unnerving reality that in its final three days of hearings

the CCC might deliver him yet

another head on a plate. If

issues emerge that require me

to act in the way that I've

acted today or in the way that

I acted with Norm Marlborough,

or in the way that I acted with

John D'Orazio, then I will

act. That report from Hamish

Fitzsimmons. Throughout the

driest parts of farming

Australia hopeful eyes are

being cast to the heavens after

the first signs that the

drought could be breaking. The

Weather Bureau has declared an

end to the El Nino weather

event held responsible for

intinsifying the dry conditions in eastern Australia at least.

It would take several years of

above average rain to ease the

water crisis, but any falls

would offer immediate relief

for drought-stricken stock. In

the search for feed and water,

many sheep and cattle with

their droefrs have taken to the

long paddock, the network of

stock routes running alongside

the roads and tracks of rural

Australia. Paul Lockyer

reports on one team that has

brought a decided feminine

touch to the droving game.

Many of these cattle were skin

and bones when they were taken

on the road from drought

affected properties nine months

ago. During their long journey

they've grown strong and

healthy under the care of

drover Susan Cutler. And you

see these cattle when we

started off and you see them

now - huge difference. And you

feel very groud of it, yeah.

The pride is shared by

18-year-old Trudy Picton and

25-year-old Tammy Hughes. They

make up a girls only droving

unit that's creating plenty of

interest in the outback. We're

just a feminine team. We have

a lot of people wave to us.

The mail man throws the paper

out to us. We're getting

well-known. There's Suse and

her girls! I'm the kind of a

person that if I start

something, I have to kind of

stick with it. Trudy Picton,

the daughter of a grazier, has

just graduated from high school

and will spend this year in the

Long paddock before studying animal husbandry at

university. The only job where

you can have dogs, cattle and

the open road all in the one,

so it's pretty good. Susan

rang and said, "I need ya, I

need ya" and I said, "Righto,

I'll be there. " I've been

here since. Tammy Hughes has

seen a lot of the Long paddock.

She began travelling the stock

routes as a toddler. I did it

when I was little, I dit my correspondence and schooling on

the road, so yeah, pretty much

bred in me. It takes careful

planning and good stock

management to care for a mob of

almost 1,000 cattle, especially

when the drought is burning off

feed and drying up water holes.

And here in south-western

Queensland, drovers must move

their stock 10 kilometres a day

to share the slim

pickings. They're good rules

because you don't flog the run

out then and it's better for

the person behind you, but yes,

you just keep Zwering on.

We'll find somewhere to go.

Susan Cutler's first memories

are of cattle mustering with

her three sisters. She took to

the droving life, raising two

children along the way. Well,

my father had all girls so we

just, meant nothing to us to go

and do it. I went out there

and we used to crutch the

sheep, I kept the kids at

school by crutching sheep.

Wherever there was a job to be

done, we went to it. Susan

Cutler is now a grandmother,

but feels the pull of the Long

paddock as strong as ever and

she believes she's put together

the best possible team for the

job. They're just more softer

with stock like, you know, and

care for stock. Instead of

beating up on them, we look

after them and they do us the

favour in the long

run. Patience and perseverance

displayed by the girls is

applauded by the boss. They

last longer, stick to it

better. It is tough, like

there's no TV, there's no nice

luxury showers or any of those

things. I guess living in

luxury is not everything. We

make the most of living in a

truck. All my friends are out

going to parties and enjoying

themselves and but, I'm not

really worried about that, so

it doesn't really matter, I

guess. There is the occasional

night out. See, my destination

was going to go from here, St

George, Surat and Roma. This is

the Nindigully pub in

south-west Queensland where

many a bush man has hung his

hat. Former drove Leon Schwarg

believes Susan Cutler has

earned her place amongst the

characters of the Long

paddock. Out they go. She

always says her piece pretty

well, so that's where she sort

of fits in, what she sort of

thinks she says, so. In the

truck they call home, there's

nothing but loyalty. We're

rather spoilt, really. You get

food and our dogs fed and our

horses fed - all that comes

into the wage I guess. She's a

very good boss, a bit tough

sometimes. I try to give them

a drink about 11 o'clock and

the river down this end. Hey!

Come on . Before that, checking

numbers to make sure that no

cattle had been left behind the

pre- -- previous day. With all

accounted for the meander

resumes through the scrub with

the girls riding herd. It

challenges the stereotype of

the rugged Australian stockman.

The work being carried out by

Susan Cutler and her team has

altered very little in the Long

paddock over decades, carrying

out a crucial role in the

drought years, just as busy in

the good times. When the

pastures flourish along the

stock routes, the beef

investors move in. As soon as

we've finished this job and it

rains we've been offered a job

for 52 weeks of the year. He

wants us to do it so we can

fatten Bullocks and take them

to market. An afternoon storm

activity has provided falls.

The falls have been fickle but

brought welcome relief to

pockets of the Long paddock.

It's with a sense of

satisfaction that Susan Cutler

now pens up the cattle for the

night. Well, this might seem

funny but when you hop up in

the morning and there's nice

big paddies in the yard that's

the best feeling you can get

because you know they're very

full. Another half hour

they'll be asleep and chewing

their cud and that's the best

thing you can do. Paul Lockyer

in a small pocket of the Long

paddock. British actor Rupert

Everett was hailed as an

emerging star in the early '90s

when he began his career with a

West End hit 'Another Country'

playing a troubled gay

schoolboy. The film adaptation

confirmed that status. But

Rupert Everett's career never

quite measured up to that

promise, although few doubted

his able. By his own account,

now detailed in a frank

autobiography, Everett was

easily bored and very busy

having a good time. He lived a

promiscuous gay life with

relationships with Susan sar

adon and Paula Yates. Studios

have gone to extraordinary

lengths to disguise the

sexuality of their stars. He

is probably most easily

identified as the gay friend of

Julia Roberts in 'My Best

Friend's Wedding'. He's made

another mark writing 'Red

Carpets and other Banana

Skins', which has variously

been described as if best

theatrical autobiography since

Noel Cow wards. I recorded

this interview with Rupert

Everett in Sydney. Rupert

Everett, reading what you've

written about yourself and what

others have observed about you,

there's a sense that your's

could have been a glittering

career rather than a career of

ups and downs with a number of

outstanding glittering moments.

Would it be accurate to say to

some degree you've sabotaged

your own success? I don't think

so, really. Everybody's career

is up and down. I don't think

there's many careers in showbiz

that continually stay up. The

trouble with a business like

the cinema is the tragicery has

to be up. You can't plateau

anymore. You can't be someone

who retains a career doing the

same thing for year after year.

Like in the old days. In the

old days actors like Albert

Finney, for example, took two

years off right at the peak of

his success and came back and

he was the same person. If you

took two weeks off now, no-one

would remember who you were

because we have such a

fast-moving business and

there's so much competition,

there's so much product

around. When you appeared in

'Another Country' in the West

End in the early '80s and then

the film, you were set for absolute stardom. You say

yourself really that you ended

up with something less than

that? I was almost in the wrong

time, really. I'd have been

better off in the '70s in

Hollywood. There'd have been

more work for a maverick

character in the '70s, the '80s

became a clean period for

American movies. Your own

school years had some marked

simiiarities with Guy in

'Another Country'. I love him,

I'm not going to pretend

anymore. I'm sick of

pretending. You think it's a

joke, but it's not. I'm never

going to love women. Don't be

ridiculous. Martin only knew

that himself when he was 10, he

told me. How closely did you

identify with that role? Not

very closely did I identify

with it at the time although

funnily enough they had - when

my book came out in England

there was a screening of it at

the national film theatre and I

thought it was uncanny in a way

because it kind of mapped out

the whole of my life in one

sense, that story. That was

the funny thing watching the

film a couple of years ago.

Looking back at my own career

and how complicated it is to be

gay in a trophy business like

the movie business, that film,

you know, was very resonant to me. It wasn't long after

'Another Country' that AIDS as

you say arrived like a

hurricane from overseas to

Britain. How did that impact

on your life? Enormously. Your

own life and the lives of

people around you? Enormously,

it impacted on my life because

I had tonnes of sex up until then, so, you know, it was

rather like being a cartoon

character who'd run over the

edge of a cliff, before

falling. I happened to be

incredibly and miraculously

lucky more or less not to have

contracted AIDS in that

build-up peer in the '70s and

early '80s and the Strangest

things about AIDS and I've

really followed AIDS now around

the world in all its

manifestations because I worked

a lot with the United Nations

now and I go to Africa and Asia

and places like that. But one

of the things it unleashes as

soon as it comes is our own

intense self-hatred, the

self-hatred of the human being

for his brother and I think the most shocking thing about AIDS

when it first happened in

America and it first happened

in England is how rejected

people were who other people

figured might have the disease

and I think that was quite

shocking. There was more than a

decade between 'Another

Country' and 'My Best Friend's

Wedding'. Under way. Got

it. Hey, I'm jewels's fiance

George, just in time for a

pre-Congressual visit. You're

going to humiliate me, aren't

you? If I can. -- precon jerks

ugal visit. You were playing

the " acceptable face of being

gay" with Julia Roberts, but

Hollywood can be hypocritical

about being gay, can't it? I

don't think hypocrital is the

right word. Hollywood doesn't take a stance about anything

unless there's cash involved.

If you're gay and you're making

money being gay, then Hollywood

will embrace it, you know,

100%. If you're gay and it's

not successful, then all the

old bigotry will probably come

out, I think. Mmm, so do you

think you paid a price in

Hollywood for being openly and

at times outrageously gay? Six

of one, half a dozen of the

other , isn't it? I made a good

career out of it for a while.

When it didn't work and

certainly when we moved into

Bush America, my career in Hollywood just came to a

standstill. Are you the kind of

person who works out at age 47

what you want to do with the

rest of your life, or will you

take things as they come? I think less would be more for me

in terms of doing things. I

don't feel very in tune

particularly with the world as

it is at the moment. Doing

things like movies and books

and things is great, but I

don't know... the world of

showbiz I think is kind of

tragic to be honest now database and it doesn't

interest me that much. What are

the key features of the

tragedy? It's just one big

asset strip, really. If you're

in a successful movie now, you

have to come out with a line of

panties. If you want to keep

the tragicery of your career

going up and then after the

line of panties you have to

come out with something else

and success is the driving

force of everything. It sets

some people up as having things

and the people that have not

are meant to look at it and

admire it and want to have it

and I don't think it's getting

us anywhere and I think

actually in terms of the world,

we're being so entertained out

of our minds that we are

incapable of looking at

actually what is happening to

us. So we were talking just

before about what Americans are

thinking about the war.

They're not thinking about the

war they're thinking about

Jennifer Lopez's butt or

Britney's haircut. They can't

think of anything else.

They've been blobbed by all

these giant distractions which

I think are macabre. You

described a quiet reflective

moment making a film in

Columbia when you felt, "Losing

myself" . Explain that? I

think the self really, ourself

is an exhausting anxious

conflicted aggressive, angry,

frightened thing. And we drag

along all this baggage from the

past everywhere and we're

always anxious about what's

going to happen next, how are

we going to keep going? Pay

this bill, keep our children in

school - whatever it is. I

found very early on, particularly travelling a lot

in movies, some of the most

peaceful times were when you

were just lost somewhere away

from everything and everyone

and no-one really knows who you

are and where you are and

no-one in your life knows where

you are and there's a feeling

of intense peace. I look forward to 'Red Carpets and

other Banana Skins' part II.

Rupert Everett, thanks for

talking was. Thanks a

lot. That's the program for the

night. We'll be back at the

now, goodnight. same time tomorrow, but for

Closed Captions by CSI.

CC

Tonight's program is about a

family whose story has truly galvanised the community in my

part of the world and well

beyond. They tear Morcombes and

their 13-year-old son Daniel

dis appeared from the bus stop

near his home on the Sunshine

Coast three Christmases ago.

Tonight the Morcombes and the

police lay bear the un expected

consequences of a case that has