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(generated from captions) CC On Stateline parliament

says yes to therapeutic cloning

for stem cell research. Equine industries continue to suffer

the flu. The non-racing

industry is really the poor

brother in this. And a warning

to Queensland's traditional

owner about the future. How can

we take our children out on to

the country when we've spent

all the money in the TAB?

Welcome to the show, I'm John

Taylor. After one of the most

keenly watched debates in

recent time, the Queensland

Parliament last night fell into

line with the Commonwealth and

voted to allow therapeutic

cloning. It passed the ri

search involving human embryos

and prohi bition of the human

cloning amendment act of 2007.

The amendments lift bans on the

creation of human embryos for

research purposes by means

other than fertilisation. In a

rare conscience vote, some MPs

declared it was time to draw an

ethical line in the sand while

others supported the bill. 48

were in favour, 34 against and

5 were absent. Jessica van Von

ren looks back at Anna Bligh's

first parliamentary sitting as

Premier. Dear Mike, I hereby

tender my resignation as member

of Brisbane Central effective

oband from 14 September 2007

yours sincerely Peter

Beattie. I move this House

acknowledge the significance of

this historic occasion where

the first time since the

commencement of the Queensland

Parliament on 22 May 1860,

there is a female Premier of

Queensland. It was the

beginning of a new era in the

Queensland Parliament as the

Premier enjoyed the view from

her new seat in the chamber, a

case of gone... They don't like

it (Laughs) You don't like

it. But not forgotten. Oh, they

don't like it, do they, Mr

Speaker. They really don't like

it. While Peter Beattie enjoys

his retirement, the Opposition

believes not much has actually

changed. So Jeff Seeney's first

question to Premier Bligh was

about the string of current and

former government MPs who faced

court recently. Premier, what

specifically have you done to

ensure that this shameful

record of ministerial standards

is not continued or are you

still relying on the eyeballing techniques of your

predecessor? I can also assure

the member my eyeballs are as fierce as the former

premiers. Not deterred the

Opposition pressed on with its strategy systematically highlighting problems dogging

the government. The doors of

almost two hospitals per week

are closed to the public. Is

this acceptable and what does it say about your Government's

claim you've turned the corner

on health. What guarantee will

you give Queenslanders that

their electricity prices will

fall when the claim drought

proofing grid is in place. Why

has your Government failed to

fund full time teacher aids for

prep classrooms. All issues

Bligh argued the Coalition

could have campaigned on if the

conservative parties fielded a

candidate in tomorrow's

Brisbane Central

electorate. They had an

opportunity to develop a policy

in this regard, to take that

policy to the electorate. They could have done it this

Saturday, Mr Speaker. They

could have done out there this

Saturday and they could have

put in every letter box in the

federal election campaign is people of Brisbane Central. A

also looming and the

environmental impact statement

for the controversial dam near

Gympie is likely to be dropped

right in the middle of it. But

the Premier's come up with a

plan she hopes will appease

those critics who say the dam

will harm the endangered Mary River turtle and lung

fish. Today I can announce a

$35 million fresh water species

conservation centre is proposed

to be built near Gympie. Its

prime goal is to ensure the

survival and improve the status

of the lung fish, Mary River

cod and Mary River turtle. Mr

speaker, this proposal is about

learning more about these

species and ensuring that they

don't just survive, but that

they thrive. But by far the

most difficult issue MPs have

had to grapple with in a long

time was the legislation to

allow therapeutic cloning, the

creation of embryonic stem

cells for research purposes.

With MPs allowed a rare

conscience vote, it was a

deeply personal and emotional

debate and opinions were

divided. My reasons for

supporting it are very simple.

This bill and the research it

will facilitate has the potential to cure serious looir

life debilitating depz

diseases. I I have a

brother-in-law who's about 4 km

away from here at Toowong who

has motor neurone disease and

he's about 54 years old and it

has destroyed his family. I

will be opposing this legislation, opposing it

because I believe there are better sciences without the

ethical issues. Will the

treatment and cures be

available to all? Will the

inevitable commercialisation of

this research mean that the

results of this research will

they be available only to the

rich and the privileged? I will

be supporting this bill. I do

so knowing that many members of

this House from all sides of

the chamber will not support

the bill. Does the end justify

the means? I would argue no,

particularly when there are

stronger, ethical alternatives

to potentially reach good outcomes. If you're going to

step across the ethical abyss,

you need to be very, very sure

that you've got something more

supporting you than faith and

hope. After much deliberation I

will be supporting this bill

for the promise it offers the

future, the hope it may bring

and the prospect of a better

life for many. Well Opposition

Leader Jeff Seeney was one of

the keenest proponents of the

bill. I spoke to him earlier

today. Jeff Seeney,

welcome. Thank you. You've said

in your speech that ethical

arguments mounted against

technologies like IVF when they

are emerging, now seems so

irrelevant today. Why do you

believe that that's the same

case with embryonic stem cell

research? I think the ethical

arguments are always difficult

at the time but I think as time

goes on the issues become a lot

clearer and I think the

arguments that were mounted

against IVF years ago are now

not seen as being relevant and

I think so it will be with stem

cell research. I think when

people understand the process

that's involved in producing

stem cells, they will come to

understand that we're not

dealing with human beings,

we're dealing with cells and

cells that are manipulated to

produce stem cells to save

human live. This has been a

very passionate debate, how do you think parliament behaved

this week? I think in the main,

parliamentarians addressed the

issue very well. They took the opportunity to explain their

position without trying to

convince other people. It would

have been easy to play the

politics. It would have been

easy for me to take a political

stance but I think it was much

more responsible to do the

right thing and vote according

to our conscience. Do you think

you've taken an unorthodox

National Party line here in the sense that most people would

have expected you to be against embryonic stem cell

research. And there are a lot

of people, senior people in the

National Party who are opposed

to this issue and they find it

difficult to understand the

position that I took but it is a conscience vote, at the end

of the day it is a conscience

vote and we all have to

approach the conscience vote

against the background of our

own lives and our own beliefs

and I believe that this

legislation is worthy of

support. I think there are some

Melbourne Storm and ethical

issue bus there are also some moral an ethical questions to

be answered if we can help

people and choose not to help

people or if we can save

people's lives and choose not

to do that then that raises a

lot of moral and ethical

questions as well. In your own

speech you raise the hope that

this research might help

friends and relatives of yours

but you also raise the case of

your own mother. Could you talk

to that? Yeah, well, I'm a

great supporter of medical

research and pushing the

boundaries of medical research

all the time despite the

controversy because back in the

1950s that was the case with

our family, that my mother was

involved in a medical research

program that made it possible

for me to be here and she was

actually in a program where

babies were - had to be born just before the research could

be conducted to try and save

their lives and I had two of

our family died within a couple

of days of birth. So it's not

hard to understand that for me,

when you're talking about

research on groups of cells,

it's not quite the same as the

courage that it took for women

such as my mother to be

involved in those research

programs then. But the issues

that they were trying to solve

then are almost unheard of

today because medical science

moves on. Why was it important

that this was dealt with with a

conscience vote ? I think it is

a matter of conscience. I goes

to the very essential question

of how all of us decide where

human life begins and everybody

has got a different view about

that. Some people are guided by

religious principles, some

people take a very scientific

approach to it. But everybody

has to make that decision

themselves. It's pretty rare in

Queensland. Do you think there should be more votes like

this? This is a conscience

issue, it's not a political

issue and - Conscience has got

nothing to do with politics? Well, I'm pleased

that in this case in the main,

most people didn't separate -

did separate the two. They

didn't try and make a political

issue out of what is a

conscience issue. Your party

did at one stage, though, try

to make a political issue out

of this with with your own

president emailing members of

your party about the party line

which was opposed to it, how

could that happen? I think that

that was inappropriate and I've

very, very clearly put my view

about that. I think members

should have been given the

right to consider the issue

themselves without that sort of

interference. I certainly

didn't try and influence any of

my members and I don't believe

that anyone else should have either. Has it weakened your

leadership though, that the

president and yourself

seemingly weren't communicating

about such an important

topic. There are people, senior

people in the National Party

who find it difficult to

understand the position that I

arrived at but it is a

conscience vote. It would have

been easy for me to take the

easy political way but in the

end I believed I had a

responsibility to do what was

right, to do what I believed

was right and I think

generations of Queenslanders to

come will thank us for that.

Equine influenza has now

spread to Tasmania more than a

month after it was first

discovered in Australia. Although the flu has

been contained in Queensland at

the so-called red zone, horse

industries are suffering.

Governments have pledged

millions of dollars in support

but not everyone believes

they're getting a fair share.

The non-racing industries say

they've been left to fend for themselves.

The non-racing industry is

really the poor brother in

this. We're still there too and

it's un-Australian if we don't

all get a fair go. These horses

are Peter Toft's life. For two

generations his family has

earnt a living breeding a

raibian endurs horses in

Brisbane. Endurance riding is

riding a horse over long

distances and usualy in

distances from 80 km to 160 km

inside one day. Most of the hors here their final

destination is the markets of

Middle East where they compete

at high level being rid bin

some of the most af flun shl

people in that part of the

world. Like so many others in

the horse industry, equine

influenza has delivered a

crushing blow to Mr Toft's

business. 230 of his 300 horses

have EI, one mare has already

died. Considering his stock is

worth around $50,000 a head,

it's a costly loss. The markets

are closed to our current

income is zero. That's pretty

clear definition of how it

affects our business. And

things are likely to get worse

with talk the markets could

stay shut for up to a year. But

Peter Toft says what's even

more disappointing is the

Government's lack of support

for the non-racing industry. At

this stage none of the

government assistance is

supporting the majority of the

people in the non-racing industry. We have viable

industries here and we're good

for the economy and added up

we're quite a large industry.

So we need support just like

the racing guys do. Can you

just form a circle around me,

girls. About 80 different

organisations make up

Queensland's non-racing

industry, including endurance

races, hobby farms an pony

clubs. Just a gentle walk and

then lift it to a trot. Peter

Weiss from the Mount gra vat

pony club says the industry is

largely being ignore. He says

they don't get equal access to

the Government's offer of

financial and social support

and no access to vaccines. The

only claims that we might be

able to make is for actual expenses that we've got but not for losses that we're

suffering. The running of

musters on a bimonthly basis

that's our sole source of

income so we've got huge losses

that we're going to be stufring. What does that loss

of income mean for you? Is it

going to be hard for you to

bounce back. We've got some

reserve. We don't know how

long. If it's a year there's a

chance we won't get through it.

A couple of nice circles at a

nice gentle trot. How are you

going? Looking good. So do you

any it's fair in that case that

you're not given the same

amount of assistance as the

racing industry? Whenever

assistance is not measured out

in a uniform basis you always

feel that you're unfairly

treated. I don't think people

or the Government understand

how many people in the

non-racing industry are

affected. These concerns aren't

news to the Government. Just

three days ago it appointed a

representative to address them. Natasha Nicols is

working with the Department of

Primary industries and

Fisheries which admits the

non-racing industry is doing it

tough. So this weekend the DPI

and F will elect five

representatives from the sect tor help the Government

spon. Because we've never been a united group and because

there hasn't been a lot of

economic studies done about the

extent of the size and the

scope of the industry, it's

been very difficult for

government to really pinpoint

with any accuracy what the

level of impact is. But the

cost isn't purely financial.

For these young Olympic

hopefuls, horse flu will rob

them of a whole year's worth of

training. A lot of that growth and development of children is

being lost. How do you put a

cost on that? I think the

Government are looking at it

from an economic crisis

exclusively. They're looking at

the downturn in the TAB and

things like that when the personal tragedy and the heart

ache that some of these people

are going to suffer is

immeshable rabble. Peter Toft

is determined not to give up.

Instead, he's looking to the

future with the next generation

of prized horses already on the

way. And we hope that her new

born foal has some immunity and

at this stage the foal is very,

very healthy. It's about 36

hours old. Certainly not as

valuable as Mackayby deceive's

foal but it's certainly very

important to us. With

Government support or not, he

says his business will bounce

back. It's not going to be a

honeymoon and it's not going to

be a lot of fun but we'll make

it work and we'll be there at

the end of it. But he admits

there's a long road ahead.

After more than a decade of

refusing to apologise for the

mistreatment of indigenous

Australians, the Prime Minister

has embraced what he's call add

new reconciliation. John Howard

has promised that a re-elected

Coalition government would hold

a ref rep dumb on whether a

statement of reconciliation

should be part of the preamble

to the constitution. The vote

has bipartisan support but as

Melinda James reports many are

cynical about John Howard's

new-found enthusiasm. In 2000,

about 250,000 people marched

across the Sydney Harbour

Bridge in support of reconciliation between

indigenous and non- indigenous

Australians. The Prime Minister

didn't march that day, even

though he'd promised to heal

the rift between black and

white Australia by the

centenary of federation in

2001. John Howard's refusal to

apologise for past injustices

and his opposition to a treaty

effectively killed his plan.

But last night John Howard told

Australians he believes the

time is right to revisit a new

kind of reconciliation. A

balance of rights and

responsibilities, a balance of

practical and symbolic progress. John Howard has

promised to hold a referendum

within 18 months of the

election on whether a statement

of reconciliation should be

included in the preamble of the

constitution. While some

indigenous leaders are

sceptical about the Prime

Minister's sincerity, his

biographer says this new

reconciliation push is not a

surprise. I don't think it's as

much of a change of heart as

people think. John Howard

wanted to have a preamble that

was similar when the Republican

referendum was there in 20 o-1

and he also pledged himself

very seriously, at least

rhetorically, towards

reconciliation at his 1998

election speech, the I havery

speech. So it's not as new as

you think. With an election

looming, some have questioned

the timing of the Prime

Minister's speech. He was the

prime minister who effectively

derailed reconciliation for the

greater prt of his period in

office and yet when it seems to

be in the dying days of perhaps

his term, I don't know, but

just sooems to be at the end of

his term and in the face of

election that now he wants to

put this on the agenda.

Olga Havnen represented the

central land council at the

1997 reconciliation convention

where John Howard's refusal to

say sorry to Aboriginal

Australians drew the ire of the delegates. I absolutely

repudiated. Many turned their

back on the Prime Minister. I

think that was a pretty kind of

emotional day for a lot of us.

One, I think, because of the Prime Minister's response to

people in the delivery of his speech and the fact that he

became so angry and so agitated

and thumping the podium. And

that in itself, I think, generate add sense of reaction

from people in the audience

where they then in turn became

more vocal and were highly

angry about what had gone on

that day. Soit was a very emotionally charged

event. There have been low

points when dialogue between me

as prime minister and many

indigenous leaders dwindled

almost to the point of

non-existence. I fully accept

my share of the blame for

that. But there's still no

apology. I still believe that a

collective national apology for

past injustice fails to provide

the necessary basis to move

forward just as the

responsibility agenda is

gaining ground, it would, I

believe, only reinforce a

culture of victim hood and take

us backwards. G'day, Prime

Minister, how are you? I'm very

well, nice to see you. The Northern Territory is

Northern Territory is in the

midst of a bold policy

experiment to bring indigenous

people into mainstream

Australia. The Federal

Government's intervention was

sparked by evidence of

widespread child sexual abuse

in Aboriginal communities. John

Howard's been accused of

pursuing an ideological agenda

under the cover of a national

emergency but he says his

actions have the support of the

wider community. Let's face it,

you would never have got away

with the Northern Territory

intervention five years ago,

let alone 10 years ago. People

have come along and said to me

why didn't you do it 11 years

ago? The whole attitude of the

Australian community, the whole

attitude of many people in my

own party on this issue was

completely different and I just

think we - I sense that we've

reach add moment where we may

be able to bring the different

strands of political thinking

and the country together. Maybe

I'm wrong but I think it's

worth a go. The Prime Minister

no doubt in Liberal Party focus

groups has been seen as being a

little bit out of touch after

being in the job for so long

and what he would be looking to

do here by do here b embracing symbolism do here by embracing symbolism

as opposed to just his practical reconciliation is

he'll be trying to make it

clear to voter, particularly

young voters that he's still in

touch with issues that they

care about and this is one of

those issues.

SONG: # Vote yes for aborigines

they want to be Australians too # The first time Australians

were asked to vote in a referendum on Aboriginal issue

was in 1967. The Hart fought

bat toll includable people in

the census was sown as a

victory at the time but 40

years later many campaigners

feel it delivered few practical

benefits and critics of the

Howard Government's indigenous

intervonction in the Territory

feel this constitutional change

will be no different. Tinkering

around with the preamble is

really only a symbolic gesture.

If they're serious about

constitutional reform we've got

to be seriously talking about

things like the bill of right,

a prohi bition on thing like

discrimination. I think that

would make a significant

progress f you like n tirms of

the kind of equal ty we've been

talking about. Hundred of

traditional land owners,

indigenous stakeholders and government representatives have

spebt the last few days in the

small north Queensland down of

Cardwell at the national

indigenous land and sea

conference. The main aim - to

create a better understanding

between government and

indigenous people about how

land is managed.

All our kids starting to grow

up to recognise this is our

home here right up to the

north. The organisers of this

conference are proud

traditional owners, proud of

their land and their connection

to it. I sort of find it

important for us to hand it

down so the next generation can also have something here

that's, you know, keep the

natural beauty of the place. We

can still able to go and walk

in the creeks an rivers and

still drink the water straight

out of the stream. But

indigenous people say protecting that natural beauty

and being involved in the way

local, state and federal

governments choose to use it,

can be a constant struggle. A

lot of effort put in to getting

people to come to these thing,

politicianings and so forth and

bureaucrats an decision makers.

But if it doesn't go anywhere

from there that can be a very frustrating thing as

well. Those who attended the conference are confident that

the meetings that have taken

place this week will lessen

that frustration and lead to

more positive outcomes. There

can be a balance there that's

beneficial for both parties. I

think, you know, from an

indigenous perspect ive I think

we have a primary interest as custodians of the land but we

understand the broader

responsibilities to the rest of

the community and if the rest

of the community and the

governments could embrace that

knowledge and that ability,

then you know, it goes a long

way towards securing the future

of the national state in my

view. One example of that is

the traditional use of marine resources agreements that have

been signed between traditional

owners around Queensland and

the Great Barrier Reef marine

park authority. We have one

with Wappaburra and we have -

we're very close to one with

the Marmo people in the

Innesvale area and also up on

the cape, the Wutidju people so

it is growing as people come to

understand the benefits for

traditional owner, for the

environment and for the

Government as well. This means

real money, real boats an a

real presence on the water. The

irrepressible Noel Pearson

presented the first address at the land and sea

conference. It's very important

for indigenous people not to

lose sight of the fact that

land and natural resource

management and caring for

country is a part of land

rights. Hailed as both a

visionary and a traitor over

his welfare reform plans,

Pearson says there's no way

Aboriginal and Torres Strait

Islander people can protect

their land if they don't

protect themselves and the next

generation. How can we take our

children out on to the country

when we've spent all the money

in the TAB? Let me be blunt

about this. A socioeconomically

dysfunctional people will not

long hold on to their cultures

and traditions. A harsh

statement that drew cheers and

jeers. But the majority of the

hundreds of men and women who

sat around corporate tables and

camp fires over the last four

days, say they can feel a

change coming. A change for the

better for their people and the

land and sea they hold in such

high regard. I've got to be an

optimist, I have to be,

otherwise, you know, what's the

purpose. But I - I understand

these things don't happen

overnight. It's a question of

incremental change. But there's

a sense of determination and

resilience in the Aboriginal

community that I think can't be

ignored. And that's the show

for this week. Until next time,

goodbye. Closed Captions by CSI