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7.30 Report -

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(generated from captions) Thanks, John. And before we

go a brief recap of our top

stories - PBL is set to sell a

stake in its media holdings

including the Nine network.

There's speculation the Packer

company would use the cash to

buy a bigger stake in the

gambling industry. As car

bombers and death squads kill

dozens of people in Iraq,

arguments over Australia's

military commitment dominated a

heated question time in Federal

Parliament. Stay with us for

the 7:30 report next. Goodnight. Captions by

Captioning and Subtitling This program is captioned


Welcome to the program and

coming up shortly comedian

film-maker Mick Molloy and

whether he can do for boy bands

what he did for lawn bowls. But

first, Australian troops have

been in Iraq now for more than

three years and while political

debate has always swirled

around their presence there,

it's suddenly becoming much

more strident. Tempers frayed

in the parliament today as the

Opposition accused the

Government of making Australia

a bigger terrorist target while

the Government called Labor

weak, morally bankrupt and

lacking in guts. The renewed

Labor attack follows recent

concessions from some senior

military figures at home and in

the UK that the conflict is fueling global terrorism. While

John Howard's close political

friend and ally President

George W Bush has suffered

serious domestic damage on the

issue in the lead up to next month's congressional

elections. Interestingly the

Prime Minister has acknowledged

to his party room that Labor's

attack should not be taken

lightly. Michael Brissenden reports. The Labor Party is

guilty of pursuing a policy

which would lead to a victory

for terrorists. The Labor Party

is guilty of wanting to keep in

place Saddam Hussein's

regime. The member for Griffith

on a point of order. Yes, will

you ask Saddam's biggest bagman

might have to pinch yourself to return to the question. You

but no, this is not 2004 or

2005, this is today. Yes, 3.5

years on the political argument

over Iraq is still raging and

in fact these days it's raging

harder than ever. For the past

two days the Labor Party has

gone in hard on Iraq. My

question is to the Prime

Minister. PM prvm, why did you

take Australia into a war when

you knew it would make

Australians a bigger terror

target. Yesterday, on a day

consumed for if most part by

drought relief and clie matd

change, Labor devoted most of

its question time attack to

Iraq and the attack continued

today. The Opposition here has

no doubt been embolden ed by

polls from the Lowy Institute

that showed public opinion had

become deeply sceptical of the

war. 84 per cent of respondents

felt the threat of terrorism

has not been reduced and in a

Nielsen poll, 6 out of 10

thought Australian troops

should be withdrawn and then

there's comments like these

from Britain's top military man

who told London's Daily Mail

last week that British troops

should get out some time soon

because their presence

exacerbates the security

problems. I "I don't say that

experience around the world are the difficulties we are

caused by our presence in Iraq

but undoubtedly our presence in

Iraq exacerbates them." And our

own former CDF Peter Cosgrove

sold the Sundays Telegraph on

the weekend the Iraq war has boosted global terrorism. But

it's in the US where the tide St Beginning to shift. The Republic Republics are

expecting a considerable lek

troral backlash in the midterm congressional elections. Public

anxiety is growing, fed by an

ever increasing casualty list

and some devastating critiques

of the Government's handling of

the war particularly that of

Bob Woodward who in his latest

book claims the President and

his senior officials

deliberately misled the US and

the world on Iraq. It's

consumed this administration.

We are fighting a war that is

has only gotten worse. The

strategy was we would stand

down, bring troops home when

the Iraq i military and police

stood up. Well there are

300,000 now and we've been

increasing in the violence goes

up. Look, the alternative title

for this book was Crisis and

the real alternative title was Nightmare. That's what it's become. The Bush Administration

is clearly worried. Senior

Republic Republics are now

urging the President to change

course. Concessions like this

are a new political phenomena.

If the plan is now not working,

the plan in place isn't

working, America needs to

adjust, I completely agree. This morning Prime

Minister Howard conceded that

his Government's position was

vulnerable as well. It's

important how the Government

deals with Labor's attack on

Iraq and Afghanistan, he told

his joint party room today.

It's important to focus on the

fact that a precipitative

withdrawal from Iraq would

boost terror worldwide. And in

the Parliament, dealing with

Labor's attack became the order

of the day. Guilty of taking

Australia to the wrong war,

guilty of making Australians a

bigger target for terrorist,

guilty of constantly shiflting

the goalposts on our troops and

guilty of turning a blind eye

while Australian money brought

bullets fired on our troops. I

am guilty of standing up for

the people of Iraq, the people

who had the courage to go out

there and vote in those

elections. The people who had

the cur toidge put in place a

democratic government. Yes, Mr

Speaker, I am a guilty man

standing up for those people

and I'm guilty of helping to

get rid of Saddam Hussein's

evil regime. I'm guilty of

that. A man who start add war

with his neighbours and killed

a million people in that war, a

man who slougterred the - The

Opposition has also taken to

broadening its attack on the

Government by widening the

consequences of the AWB

kickback scandal. How far Labor

asked today, did the money

go. Given Australia's

anti-terrorist financing law ,

has the Foreign Minister asked

the governments of Israel and

Jordan to investigate where the

money paid by AWB into Saddam

Hussein's bank account at the

bank in Imam, was used by the

Iraq i dictator to pay the

families of Palestinian suicide

bombers? Well Mr Speak e, I

will tell the House one thing.

I will tell the House one

thing, Mr Speaker, from March

2003 Saddam Hussein wasn't

paying any money into any

account anywhere. Saddam

Hussein was overthrown and

there was no risk after March

2003 of Saddam Hussein funding

terrorists. I do know if the Leader of the Opposition's

policy had remained in place,

Saddam Hussein would still be

funding terrorism and you would

have that on your

conscience. Three years on, the Government's defence of the

Iraq war is much the same but

politically the ground has

shifted considerably. The

political legacies of both

George burk and Tony Blair will

be judged substantially on

Iraq. The war has never had the

same rez napbs nans here or the

same political impact on John

Howard's administration but

Labor is now clearly of the

view that Iraq is becoming a

real political weakness and a

policy position that's becoming

harder and harder to defend.

The Government will obviously

continue to do just that but

our election is still 12 months

away and no-one knows for sure

how Iraq will look by

then. Political editor Michael

Brissenden. We saw on this

program last night up close the

devastation Australia's water

crisis is causing the outback

town of Bourke, a picture

replicated throughout much of

Australia's bush. But as most

city dwellers know only too

well the record drought with

the speketedor of climate

change behind it has struck

home in urban Australia too.

Across the nation governments

are promoting wiser water

practice in the home to cut

back on demand while

environmentalists are urging

greater use of rain water tanks

as an alternative to dams and

many farmers are increasingly

being encur iblinged to call it

quits an sell their water

rights to their city cousins.

Matt Peacock reports. On any On

any measure this is an extreme drougtd. Climate change has hit

in a much more dramatic maner

that what we

anticipated. Around the country

the picture's the same - dams

which historically provided

nearly 99 per cent of the

country's urban water have

fallen to record low levels an

there's less water coming in,

prompting alarm in cities both

big and small. We have about 16

months supply in our dams if we

didn't get any further run

off. As we go around Australia,

each of the cities has faced an

incredible reduction in the

inflows to their storages. Even

in good times Australian dams

must capture roughly six times

as much water as dams in Europe

need for the same yield because

of erratic rain fall and high

evaporation. But these days the

rain's hardly falling an

virtually every urban centre

has been experiencing a record

water shortage. Even though

we've received some rain during

the last few weeks, we're still

well below the average for

winter. We need to save every

drop. Meteorologists agree that

climate change is already

happening and it's happening

far sooner than they

feared. The CSIRO predicted

what we're actually

experiencing now about - in

about 2050. So this has really

been a dramatic change, it's

been a wake up call for the

whole industry and if we get a

repeat of this into the whole

future it really is a quite

scary scenario. Ross Young is

the executive director of Water

Services Australia representing

the water suppliers to 15

million urban dwellers and he

argues that simply building

more dams is not the

answer. Dams are becoming an

increasingly problematic option for Australia, with the

exception of Perth almost all

of our capital cities rely on

dams for their water. Dams only

fill when you've got run off

and run off is becoming an

increasingly scarce commodity

as our rain fall patterns

change. There's a growing

belief among scientists that

rain fall across the south of

the continent has moved south,

leaving mainland dams dry while

more rain falls on the

association and Tasmania. And there's been a similar rain

fall movement along the eastern

seaboard and the nation's

fastest growing region from

Sydney to south-east

Queensland, rain is falling on

the cities but not within the

dam catchments. It's not

raining as much over the dams

as it did in the past. Some of

the rain fall is falling more

over our urban catchment. We

should be capturing that water

and making good use of it. More

rain water tanks are the

answer, according to the Australian Conservation

Foundation's Kate Noble. In

Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane

less than 5 per cent of

households have rain water

tanks at present. In South

Australia the figures is higher

than 20 per cent. If just 20

per cent of households in our

major cities collected their

rain water from - in rain water

tanks, we could save 200

gigalitres of waut ner this

country. That's half of all the

water in Sydney Harbour. Here

on the NSW Central Coast dam

capacity is a critical 16 per

cent and there's a level 4 ban

on outdoor water use. Yet in

the urban coastal belt today,

as on other days, it's raining.

And it's small wonder that

local rain water tank supplier

Lance Luxford can't keep up

with demand. It makes it very

hard at times trying to get the tanks. We're sometimes waiting

four to five weeks for rain

water tanks. But as in Perth,

the Gold Coast and Sydney, here

too the local council's persuing desalination as an

energy expensive alternative

planning to install 20 portable

emergency units along the

beaches Desalination is a last

resort because the councils

have pursued all other options.

We are not getting enough water

from our streams and rivers. Desalination units are

not the answer for the Central

Coast. The portable units that

are planned to be put in here

are extremely expensive,

they're going to have a big

impact on local communities and

on areas such as

tourism. Nationed with

agriculture is the big water

guz ler accounting for 67 per

cent of consumption with home

use in the cities only

consuming 10 per cent. And of

that, nearly half is used

outdoors before the bathroom,

toilet, laundry and kitchen. Up

to 70 per cent of household

water use could be saved if we

connected a rain water tank to

the garden, the laundry and the

toilet. In Australia, we are

literally flushing almost 20

per cent of our drinking water

down the toilet. Water

suppliers agree that tanks are

good where the rain still falls

but Ross Young says all options

need to be explored. Part of

the response to the predicament

we're in at the moment is to

diversify our water sources

away from dams so that we're

not totally reliant on run off

and those sources of water will

include ground water,

desalination, recycled water

and of course water frading

with the agricultural

sectors. That means cities

buying bush water, a plan

Victorian Premier Steve Bracks

set in motion today for the

hard pressed Ballarat and Bendigo. Where water is

available to be sold, then the

central highlands water

authority and other water

authorities will be able to buy

that and purchase that for use

for population sen ters of

Ballarat and Bendigo. Farmers

now have a property right to

their water and anyway are able

to trade and those property

rights are worth quite a bit of

money . The cities generally

have the money to pay so you

would think it's an ideal

opportunity for a win/win. Not

all farmers agree but

throughout Australia there is a

growing consensus. Today's

crisis will need an effort from

everyone. Every component of

the economy really needs to

look at its water use given the

perilous situation we're

looking at at the moment. Matt

Peacock around still on water,

in recent years the vast dams

of Cubbie Station in southern

Queensland have become a

contentious focal point of the

national water debate.

Frustrated farmers downstream

in NSW have accused the giant

cotton farm of siefenning off

the lion share of the available

water that historically has

flowed from north-west

Queensland into the NSW river

systems. But not even the

nation's biggest irrigator is

immune from what is now widely

seen as the worst drought in

the nation's history. This

report from Paul Lockyer. The

huge dams on Cubbie Station

that have caused so much controversy are now

dry. Ideally Paul, we'd be

standing under 8 metres of

water. That would be the ideal

situation but of course, it's

not because we're in

drought. John Grabbe run ashuge

cotton farm he helped to establish in south-west

Queensland. He has licences to

take more than 400,000

megalitres of water a year. But

this is all that's left on the

place, a dam holding 400

megalitres, enough to plant

about 350 hectares of

cotton. It's hard. I mean we've

- we're six years in now, this

is the sixth year that we've

been drought stricken here.

Over that 6-year period we've

averaged about 12 per cent

production per year on average

over six years, so yeah, it's

hard. John Grabbe expects

little sympathy but he hopes

his dry dams will help make a

point to a sceptical public

about his enterprise. I don't

think there's any real benefits

from drought, obviously, Paul,

but I guess if there's one

thing for us is your viewers

may see that we're not the

water horder of the

Murray-Darling basin. We have 1

per cent of capacity on farm,

we have been six years into

drought. So yeah, it may be

nice for your viewers to

actually see that. Cubbie aims

to correct accusations from the

past, claims that it funneled

the Culgoa River into his

storages after a flood 2.5

years ag, denying the waut tore

graziers down stream. Cubbie's

got a diversion channel that's

three times the width of the

river and the water was roaring

in through there and what

doesn't go into the diversion

channel gets backed up by their

weir so they got the bulk of

it. Then, as now, John Grabbe

denshs Cubbie had such a big

impact on its neighbours across

the board ner NSW. Look, Paul,

there's obviously an impact.

You can't take a tea spoon of

water out of a cup without

having an impact. What I would

say about it is because when we

take our larger chunks of water

it's in major flood years. What

will come to pass, I believe,

as this true data and true fact

wall information hits the table

is our impact will be far, far

less than what is generally

promoted by some. In St George,

a town that relies heavily on

the cotton industry, locals

react sharply to the criticism

leveled at Cubbie. The mayor is

used to leading the

defence. Don't look at Cubbie,

look at warn Guam ba dam, look

at the dams in Toowoomba and

Goulburn, none of whom have

water access by Cubbie and

they're pretty low as well. It

might tell anyone who's capable

of rubbing a couple of neurones

together that it hasn't

rained. Our river where we

stand here, contributes 15 per

cent of the darling flow, so I

don't know how anyone could

intelligently suggest that this

area here in Cubbie stops the

darling flow. It's not an intelligent proposition, I

would suggest. Cubbie is also

accused of diverting water from

the surrounding country side,

preventing vital supplies from

replenishing the ancient flood

plain below. The fact is they

will probably only fill their

massive storages they've got

six or seven times every

century when we get our big

floods and when we get them the

people who are around them and

down them will be wishing that

cubby could actually store more

water because they will be

inundated with it and the water

can be up to 100 km wide down

around the border . It's been a

long time since a flood of that magnitude happened in

south-west Queensland. At St

George, as with everywhere else

in the Murray-Darling basin,

there are concerns about water

supplies for a long, hot

summer. And the economic impacts of the drought are

already being felt hard by the

town's businesses. With the

lack of money coming in it

makes it a pretty fairly tight

operation. Ju anyway, we will

keep plugging on. We hope it

breaks soon because on top of,

you know, the lack of income,

it just gets fairly monotonous.

We're just looking forward to a

bit of a change in the weather

pattern so we can move

on. Business leaders wonder how

many people will be lost to their area by the drought. The

lay offs in the rural sector

are happening already. Cubbie

is one of the bigger employers

has brought most work to a

halt, retaining its core staff.

Its dams wait for the waut tore

flow again. I accept Cubbie's

large but Cubbie is only 25 per

cent of what happens in St On

the river system. It brings

people into the area just like

any other business around here

does and we don't like to see

any part of our town suffering

or any part of our, I guess,

our community being picked

on. Rightly or wrongly, Cubbie

Station has become a lightning

rod in the national water

debate. It's yet to phase John

Grabbe. I've got an incredibly

loyal group of people that make

this place work, I'm extremely

proud of what they do. It does

hurt some of them at times

because they know they're doing

good, they know they're doing

right things an to hear some of

the rubbish that does come over

is a bit hurtful for some of

them and I feel for them in

that regard. Personally no

problem. Thick skinned. Thick

skinned. That report from Paul

Lockyer. For better or for

worse the 80s saw the birth of

the boy bands and while they

might stir a sniff of nostalgia for some you probably wouldn't

see them as the stuff of movies

unless it was comedy and that's

what one of Australia's more

accomplished comedians now

film-maker Mick Molloy has

done. He made his name with the

D Den jation and the Late Show

comedians. And like them, he's

added a number of strings to

his bow, excludeing one

disastrous foray into commercial television seven

years ag. His first film

Cracker jack is Australia's

biggest home grown box office

success of the past five years

and you think if he can do that

with a film about lawn bowls

why not an 80s boy band

revival. Boytown written and

co-produced by Mol lo, oy is

released into the Australian

cinemas next week. I went to

Melbourne for this chat with

Mick Molloy. You chalked up a

big success with Cracker asks

jack have you refined your

commercial instingtds enough by

now to know how Boytown is

going to go or don't you have

the faintest idea? I don't str

a strong idea. I don't think

anyone does with film. If that

was the case I don't know if

there would ever be a bad film

now made. We know that's not

true. When the audiences get in

the cinema and we know what

they're thinking that's when

lit be decided. Ierm proud of

it and the previews have gone

well. There's a moment in the

film where the band members are

writing songs for the new

album. It's about a boy, a boy

that breaks his girlfriend's

heart. Yeah shs that's

nice. And she's so upset she

fears her heart may be broken

for - Forever. Yeah, yeah. Not

forever, for eternity. That's

good, I'm writing that

down. Not a process of immense

depth and creativity,

right.? No, there's not. It's

funny, it was actually mirrored

by our writing exercise. That's

what I was going to ask you.

How did the process in the film

compare to you and your brother

Richard actually sitting down

and writing all the songs as

you did? Pretty much the same.

There's a moment when we were

writing lyrics for the songs

which, let's face it, is

probably the juvenile end of

the writing process, and I had

this moment where I went, you

know, for a guy who puts writer

on his passport, spending all

afternoon sitting around trying

to think of euphemisms for a

woman's period is probably not

the high water mark in any

writing career.

(Sings) # I know her to behave

# When you surf the krimson wave

# I'm here to let you know

# I'm getting round on tippy toe

# I know you're feeling down

# The red baron's in town

# But my caring is renowned for

your special time of the month

# Special time of the month

# You've said after Crackerjack

that your acting ability only

stretches 10 per cent either

way of Mick Molloy, is that

still the case? I think it is.

You'll notice the open scene

for me in this film is lying on

the couch watching sport with a

remote on my chest and that's

art imitating life, I'm afraid.

I think it S I did a role

recently on McBeth which

surprised a few people which is

quite nasty and out of school,

but the roles I do are ones

that I've written for myself or

that have been written for me,

like Tony Martin wrote one for

me in Bad Eggs or when people

specifically come to see mep

because they've got me in mind

for something like Geoffrey

wrooigt did in McBeth. Ki never

put my hand up and audition,

I've never had an agent. If

people show interest me many

I'm automatically interested in

the part but yes, it's a fairly

narrow band. John Wayne more

than mar low brand o. Yes, very

limited. Even with the success

of Crackerjack how hard was it

to get a film off the deck? It

helps you get a cross through

the door gu not across the

line. I remember with Crackerjack, it's white lies to

get across the line. I remember

with Crackerjack if I was going

to see Mushroom pictures it's

like an Adam Sandler film but

it's set on a bowling green. Fi

was going fo see the SA film

corporation it's like Picnic at

Hanging Rock but it's set on a

bowling green. It's a tough process. Tell me what it was

like selling a film about lawn bowls internationally

particularly to Hollywood, particularly with no big

name? It was - OK, the worst

screening we ever had for

Crackerjack anywhere in the

world was in Santa Monica

trying to sell it to America

and it was a cold screening where audiences didn't know

what they were going to see and

there was an exodus in the

middle of the screening of

people because Americans -

basically the problem with the

movie was no-one got shot,

nothing exploded, there was no

car chase, and they didn't

understand it and they found

the language very difficult.

Not interested. There was the D

Generation, the Late Show, your

two significant radio program,

films, various TV cameo you get

the sense there's been a lot of fun along the way but there

must have been your tough

moments? Absolutely. The well

documented one was the Mick

Molloy show which lasted eight

weeks. I was disappointed in

that. Perversely I wasn't

devastated by it. I actually

found it like a weird

opportunity. First I was upset

because I'd employed a lot of

people and I'd taken them from

other jobs and we'd set up an

office and eight weeks later

they were all out of work and I

was really upset about that. In

a strange way, you know, I

think you learn more from your

failures than you do from your

successes and I found that a

very sobering, intro spektive time. You revealed once that

you sought counseling for a

drinking problem. Yes In the 't

0s, brought on, you said by

self-esteem. Now that would

surprise some that you had a

self-esteem problem. What was

your self-esteem problem? I

don't know what it was at the

time or maybe I wasn't happy .

Was it your counsel lor who

told you that? He told me it

was so I went with it. It's one

of those things and it still

looms from time to time and I

still love a drink. I think

I've got my life in a little

more balance than it was then.

I don't know, most of the guys

I know - a lot of the guys I

know in my industry are sailing

fairly close to the wind from

time to time. But that was a

wake up call for me. You mean

simply in the kind of ethos or

the culture of enjoying a

drink? Yes, basically too much,

yeah, it's a fine line. So I

went through a period where it

kind of was dictating

everything else in my life and

I realised fortunately I

realised it in time and now it

just is a very robust part of

my life. I'd be a liar if I

said it wasn't still a factor

but it seems to be working more

in harmony with everything else. You talk yourself about

the sort of couch potato image

that you to some degree at

least have fostered. Yes But

that's not the real story of

your whole life, is it? You

clearly must have a very strong

work ethic? Yeah, it's a good

- Front It's a good front and

it makes it feel like you can

peel it off effortlessly or at

will and it helps us. So that's

true. But I do love work. I've

got to a stage now where I

really look forward to it. It's

actually the driving influence

in my life and it's great just

to, as I said, commit your

labour to something you love.

There's no greater feeling, and draw people around you who are

like minded. I love working in

groups, with groups of people.

As I said, I'd dig a ditch for

a living if I was surrounded by

the right people and it

wouldn't matter but I just love

working at the moment. Have you

got anything left to prove to

yourself, do you think? I don't

know. Did you ever? Yeah, I

did, I - writing's the key for

me. I'd give everything away

tomorrow if I could continue

writing and maybe a book or a

novel or something at some

stage would be fun. What have

you got in the works? We've got about three other ideas for

Australian films so if we get

this one off we'll have another

crack. Otherwise, there's a TV

series. I'd still like to bowl

over TV. We're a private little production company and we've

got, you know, top flight radio

show and we've had a good film

reputation, it would be nice to

go back to TV at some stage and

prove a point. So you do have

something to prove? Maybe I

do. Thanks for talking to

us. Thank you, Kerry. Mick

Molloy, an unlikery movie mog

yul in waiting. That's program

for tonight. We'll be back at

the same time tomorrow but for

Subtitling International. provided by Captioning and now. Goodnight. Captions

of our journey JOHN DOYLE: We're on the last leg aboard the mighty 'Bismarck'. down the Murray-Darling Rivers

With Captain Flannery at the helm,

for a city bloke like me. it's been an epic voyage of discovery

of misadventures... We've had our share Shit. Sorry, mate. Stuff a duck! some curious discoveries. Ahead of us would be have thought of that, but they did. Memorial gates. I would never And sobering sights... there's a million people Right at this end, just to survive. who depend on this water God almighty, Tim. the mouth of the Murray. And finally, we make for

Well done, Skip! You got us here. of the 'Bismarck'. So continues the final log