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Lateline Business -

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(generated from captions) promising to help families and

invest in the economy's future

growth. In an election year

most expect a Budget as strong

on political survival as economic management. From Canberra, Greg Jennett reports.

Like all things, practice makes

perfect. When it comes to

selling a Budget and Peter

Costello's had more than he

ever reckoned on. It's a Budget

which is designed to set

Australia up for future

opportunities. His Budget eve media conference has developed

a familiar ring to it over the

years. Responsible measures

today, opportunities for

tomorrow - that's what this

Budget is being focussed on.

Form night we're going to bring

down a statement which will be

future. If the aimed squarely at the

future. If the polls are

anything to go by the future

has never been more uncertain

for the Treasurer in this, his

12th Budget year and the stakes

never higher. It will be good

for families and it will help

families that are struggling

with rearing children and

juggling work. As well as

speeding up payment of the

child care rebate the Budget's

also expected to inject more

cash into the system to

encourage mothers to rejoin the

workforce. We've got a full

court press going heemplt now

we have unemployment at 30-year

lose we have to try and

encourage the workforce to

expand. In a sign of the times,

climate change will get a

mention in this year's Budget

and dollars to go with it for

families investing in water

conservation and solar energy.

There'll be big increases for

defence equipment and

personnel, Aboriginal health

and housing, dental services

for low income earners and

infrastructure investment,

including further examination

of the Melbourne to Brisbane

inland rail link. We've

invested heavily in roads and

in improving the freight rail

corridors. With estimates he

may be esiting on a surplus of

around $15 billion, tax cuts

are again the strong tip for

Budget night. They've become almost standard fare from the

Treasurer and have the

advantage of being virtually

Uncle Frank assailable in an

election year. As long as Mr

Costello has done his numbers

right working families then do

deserve a fair go when it comes

to tax cuts. Budget leaks

suggest any tax cuts are likely

to be slanted towards the lower

end, containing inflationary

pressure and giving comfort to

working families - clearly

targeted as a priority to the

Government in its spectacular

industrial relations backdown

last week. The Government

doesn't expect the Budget alone

to catapult it into an

election-winning position but

at the very end it wants it to

be a platform for recovery as

it goes on to build new and no

doubt expensive policy

promises. Designed to head off

a Rudd victory march. The

Justice Minister Senator David

Johnston has said tonight any

elderly Australians willing to

break the law to produce or

traffic the banned drug

investigated and brought before Nembutal will be fully

the courts. Tonight's 'Four

Corners' program revealed a

backyard laboratory in the

Southern Highlands south of

Sydney that had successfully

produced and distributed its first batch of the illegal

drug. The program said at

least four other illegal

laboratories were also ready to

begin operating in Sydney, Wollongong, Melbourne and Perth

w up to 800 people waiting for

the drug. It's not illegal to

end your life. Why is it

illegal to have the drug that

will do it? Members of will do it? Members of the

euthanasia advocacy group Exit Australia are alleged to be

behind production of Nembutal,

usually used by vets to euthanase animals. Carl

Williams has been jailed for

life and told he'll be an old

man when released. The

36-year-old admitted to

organising or funding gangland

murders, sentencing in front of his friends scpen his friends scpen mis today

Justice Betty King told him he

was aye cowardly killer who

employed others to pull the

trigger for him. If Carl

Williams was nervous about

finding out his fate today he

wasn't showing it. He sat in

the dock smiling for the camera

as his parents, new girlfriend

and ex-wife arrived to support

him and the camera crews

amassed outside. More than 100

people backed and courtroom to

witness William's three life sentences for three gangland

murders and a 25-year sentence

for plotting to kill rival gang

leader Mario Condello. His

recent guilty pleas earnt him a

minimum term of 35 years. We're very pleased that justice has

been done today and it

recognises the hard work of the

Pa ranna Task force in reaching

a significant result on behalf

of the Victorian community. William's mother was

less than impressed, removed

from the court after yelling

insults at the judge. I don't

think this is a fair sentence

what he got, I think he should

have got maybe 25 years, he's

saved them thousands of

dollars, millions she said. Justice Betty King told

the court that during

Melbourne's underworld war

Williams was essentially a

puppet master controlling who

lived and died. She

lived and died. She said he

became directly involved when

he was shot at close range in

the stomach by Jason Moran in

1999 and vowed revenge. He

eventually got it by recruiting

two other people to murder

Moran at a children's football

clinic in June 2003. The

following year Jason Moran's

father Lewis was shot at a bar

in Brunswick and the third

murder was that of drug dealer

Mark Mallia whose charred

remains were found in a

burntout wheelie bin in August

2003. In sentencing Justice Betty King told Williams:

For Judy Moran, whose husband

and sons were among the

gangland head count, no prison

sentence can be severe

enough. Hung or a lethal

injection, that's what you do

with evil people. Carl Williams

will be eligible for parole at

the age of 71. The secretive

communist State of North Korea is notorious for sending mixed

signals to the West. However

there's been another sign of a

possible softening of its hardline approach. China

correspondent Stephen McDonnell

has been given a rare

opportunity to report from

inside North Korea. North and

South Korea are still

technically at wash, despite

the end of hostilities in 1953.

Yet generals from the two

Koreas will meet for top-level

military talks - the first such

communication in a year. At

stake is whether trains will be allowed to cross the

heavily-fortified border. If

both sides agree a test train

will run in the next two weeks.

The ABC was allowed into North

Korea because of this month's

festival which celebrates the

creation of the democratic

People's Democratic Republic of

Korea. This is the face of

North Korea the Government

would like to show the world -

tens of thousands of performers

working together to create working together to create a

remarkable visual effect. The

performance tells a story of North Korea's growing strength

and prosperity and has

significantly less military

imagery than in years gone by.

This could be a sign that the

country is seeking a more

peaceful image. Yet some

analysts question whether North

Korea is genuinely preparing to

give up nuclear weapons. I

think one of the challenges

that the North Korean

Government has is to change

course mid-race. To convince

the public as well as allies

who were in favour of such a

nuclear weapons development

program that giving them up now

makes a lot more sense than

developing them. But the North

Korean Government says it's

ready to close the reactor with

a moment's notice. The shutdown

can be done immediately and

won't take long. The reclusive

State missed last month's

deadline to shut its reactor

because of a delay in returning

frozen Internet bank funds. The

key point is the unfreezing of

the funds. The United States

Government says the first

stages of a nuclear shutdown

could still be completed this

year. Time for a look at the


That's all from us. If you'd

like to look back at tonight's

interview with Mary Robinson or

review zoirs or -- stories or

transcript you can visit our

website. Tomorrow night's

program starts at 7:30 with the

Treasurer's Budget speech. In

the west Peter Costello's

speech will be heard at 5:30.

More analysis on Lateline

Business at 10:30. Now here's

Ali Moore. Dead or alive - Airline Partners Australia

looks to revive its $11 billion

bid for Qantas. What occurred

over the weekend is completely

unprecedented. It is the most

extraordinary situation that I

have ever seen in relation to a

takeover. What now for the

board? Margaret Jackson gets

some high-profile support? This

is a massive failing. We had

some of the biggest players in

the country trying to put this

deal together and they didn't succeed and they have to accept

responsibility for failure.

It's not a failing of the

board. And power play -

Macquarie Bank tries again with

a second bid for Alinta. To

the markets now and gains among resource stocks helped

Australian shares close at a

record high for the fourth

consecutive session. The All

Ordinaries added 0.5%. The

benchmark ASX200 gained 31

points. Hong Kong's Hang Seng

settled at a new high. In

Japan the Nikkei climbed over

1.5% and in London the FTSE is

closed for a national holiday.

Like a scene from a B-grade

horror movie it's the corporate

takeover that apparently

refuses to die. After

declaring the bid dead, Airline

Partners Australia has now told

the takeovers panel it may, in

fact, have secured half of

Qantas by Friday's deadline.

We'll hear from a member of the

takeover panel shortly. But first Neal Woolrich looks at

the legal wrangling that may

led the bidding consortium live

to fly another day. Just when

it seemed the Qantas deal had failed now Airline Partners

Australia is claiming an

unexpected lifeline. The

consortium is arguing:

The takeovers panel is now

calling on APA to clarify

whether, in fact, it's the

case. But the latest

development has left investors

confused with no clear answer

on whether the bid remains

alive. There should be a

definite answer to that

question but there doesn't

appear to be. There is a lot

of uncertainty in the market

about whether APA can bid about whether APA can bid again, whether they can up

their bid, how long they have

to wait. The truth of the

matter is everybody is

concerned about that issue and

we need clarity and the best

thing to happen is what has happened is Qantas doesn't

trade until all that is cleared

up. The key for APA is a clause

in its bidder's statement which

says by accepting the bid:

APA argues that some

investors who tried to sell

part of their shares into the

bid should have their entire

holdings countered in full. The

argument is you can only claim

part of a tender if it's all

held in the one specific

account with the one custodian.

You can't broaden that out to

shares held with different

stockbrokers or different fund

managers. It's a very technical argument and it's

going to take many, many weeks

to resolve. That's raised

questions about how accurately

the consortium has been

counting shares and it's widely

believed that Qantas's foreign

ownership limit could have been

broken. There needs to be a

full inquiry into that because

clearly more than 50% of Qantas shares have been foreign owned

over the last couple of months

but no-one - the Government,

the Qantas board, the bidding the Qantas board, the bidding

group - has been big enough to actually investigate this

question. The failure of the

bid to clearly get over the

line has increased pressure on

members of the Qantas board to

step down and the loudest calls

are for the chairman Margaret

Jackson to go. They are deeply

conflicted at the moment. They

clearly thought the company was

a sell at $5.45 and they've

been told by over half their shareholders that the shareholders disagree shareholders disagree and they

are no longer really in a

position to be an arm's length

independent negotiator of a sale of the company if another

bid does occur. Qantas shares

are expected to resume trading

on Tuesday but analysts say

that should only happen once

the legal uncertainities around

the takeover are resolved. The

takeover's panel which has been

at the centre of the latest development in the Qantas fiasco

fiasco is made up of some 47

members. Not all members sit

at once with groups of three

only making decisions on any

one case. Among the panel

members is Professor Ian

Ramsay. Professor Ramsay who

is also Professor of corporate

law at Melbourne University did

not judge the Qantas case so he

was able to join me early this

evening to discuss the ins and

outs of the latest developments. Professor

Ramsay, thanks for talking to

Lateline Business. Thank you,

Ali. We've just heard about the

clause in the Qantas bidder's

statement that shareholders who

have accepted the offer are

deemed to have accepted for all

their shares. Is such a clause legally enforceable? It can be

said that this is a clause that

has been used in other bidder's

statements. It's not the first

time it's been used but it has

never to my knowledge been

tested in a court in the

context of a takeover. So it

really may well be a question

for the courts as to whether or

not this clause is legally

enforceable in the case of the

Qantas bid. Is it a question

for the takeovers panel?

Because the panel has now asked

the consortium to clarify

whether under that clause they

did meet the 50% threshold. Is

it now up to the panel? Well,

I'm not sure it is up to the

panel. You are, of course,

quite correctly referring to

the release from the panel that

did indicate that it was up to

the bid team if you like to

clarify this particular clause

in the bidder's statement. At

the same time the panel

indicated that it didn't

believe that it was a matter

for the panel to determine the

legal validity of this

particular provision of the bidder's

bidder's statement. That's why

I suggest that it may well be

the case that this will end up

in court. I don't believe

we've heard from the bid team

formally or indeed publicly yet

as to what their intentions

are. We haven't. But let's say

the consortium can prove that

it was over 50%. Who'd

challenge them in a court? Well, one could

court? Well, one could say that

there may be some parties if

you like or those with an

interest in the takeover that

will oppose this particular

application by the bid team

that the clause is legally

enforceable. One could easily

imagine this. If it is the

case that some hedge funds have

intended to accept for only

part of their shares and yet

the bid team believes that they

really have tendered for really have tendered for all of

their shares, we can certainly

Manly those who have in a sense

sold those shares may well

argue in court against the

position that the clause is

legally enforceable. If the

consortium does decide to bid

again wearing your corporate

law hat, how long do they have

to wait? Well, Ali I think the

answer to this turns on what

are the terms of the new bid if

you like. Unlike in you like. Unlike in some countries such as England there

are no hard and fast or black

and white rules on how long a

bidder has to wait after a

failed bid. Today we saw

information that the bid team

is considering a second bid at

actually the same price $5.45.

There is a strong argument that

should the bid team want to

increase the bid price that

they may well have to wait some

reasonable period of time to reasonable period of time to

allow the market to settle.

But, if a second bid does come

in at exactly the same price as

the first bid I would suggest

there is then a very

interesting and important issue

for the directors of Qantas as

to whether they can endorse

that second bid at the same

price. If a second bid does

come in at the same price would

there be anything stopping them

upping that bid a few weeks

down the track? In this particular context it depends

upon the interprets of the bid.

We know now that one of the

things that really hindered

progress on the first bid was

that right from day one they

declared their bid a final bid,

that in other words they

indicated to the market that

they would not increase the bid

price. With the benefit of price. With the benefit of

hindsight that appears to have

been a mistake and, therefore, meant that they couldn't

negotiate with the institutions

who may well have sold for some

additional amount of money. On

a second bid we may not see the

bid team lock itself in in the

same way. They may then retain

the freedom to increase the bid

price. We don't know what the price. We don't know what the

consortium's going to do next

but is the role of the

takeovers panel now

finished? It would appear as of

today as though the takeovers

panel has now concluded its

deliberations. After all it

has now looked twice at this

issue of whether or not the

so-called late acceptance would

be permitted and has now twice

rejected the argument of the

bid team that the late

acceptance should be accepted.

Where we go from here though I

think there is real uncertainty. Professor Ramsay,

you've been around a long time

you've watched deals come and

go. Have you ever seen such a

Shah mozle? What has occurred

over the weekend is completely

unprecedented. It is the most unprecedented. It is the most

extraordinary situation that I

have ever seen in relation to a

takeover of such a major

corporation where there is such

strong community interest, such

strong political interest. I

think it is extraordinary that

as of this interview we really

do not yet know the state of

play and the Qantas shares remain suspended. Professor Ramsay, many thanks Ramsay, many thanks for joining

us. Thank you, Ali. Certainly

the market is anticipating

Qantas shares will fall from

Friday's closing price of $5.38

when the stock resumes trading.

But it's considered unlikely to

slump to pre-bid levels despite

the warnings of APA and the

Qantas board. For a look at

where Qantas shares might be

heading I spoke with Hubb Financial's Julia Lee. Financial's Julia Lee. Thanks

for joining us. Qantas, of

course, was suspended today.

When do you think it will trade

again and what do you think

will happen? It does look like

at this point that Qantas will

start trading tomorrow morning

at 11am and we saw the other

members involved in this Qantas

bid, their share prices fall

today. We had Macquarie Bank

fall 0.9% and Allco finance drop more than

drop more than 4% in value. We

might see Qantas's share price

drop tomorrow if there's not

any other news released to the

market. If we look at Qantas's

share price from the beginning

of the year to look at how much Qantas might fall it's often

useful to look at some of the

gaps that are in the market.

There's a big gap just over

here and we've got smaller gaps

towards this way as well.

These gaps are going to act These gaps are going to act as

support for Qantas's share

price, so I think we'll see

some minor support levels

firstly at $5.25 tomorrow and

perhaps longer term down the

track if we break past $5.25

then we might see further weakness in Qantas's share

price right down to about $4.80 which is the support support

line there. At the same time, a

lot of funds have sold out,

haven't they?

haven't they? If Qantas stays a

public company and part of the

index those funds are going to

have to start rebuilding

holdings, aren't they? If we

look at the fundamentals of

Qantas things are looking

strong . There's strong

traffic numbers, strong reports

out from Qantas in regards to

its forward forecasts. The

fundamentals of Qantas are

looking strong and that could

support Qantas. You have to remember that the hedge fund players held

players held about 40% of the

share registry of Qantas and

that's quite a large amount.

With the takeover premium or

the takeover incentive gone

they no longer have a real

reason to hold onto Qantas

stock. When you look at what

happened to Macquarie and Allco

and other players part of that

bid today does that imply that

people are not expecting a

second bid in the short-term? A

lot of people are expecting lot of people are expecting an offer but we're not likely to

see one in the short-term.

Another offer is likely to take

at least three months if not

six months. That's a long time

for hedge funds to wait on

their trading investments.

They're looking at holding

short-term positions. Because

of the length of time it takes

to get a bid together we might

see weakness in Qantas's share

price in the coming months. Julia Lee months. Julia Lee of Hubb

Financial. Whether it's three

or six months or a little

sooner before we get another

bid or whether it is all over

we should learn more in the

morning. Late tonight Qantas

issued a statement saying the

trading halt will remain in

place until APA clarifies the

issue of acceptances and the

Qantas board says it does expect Airline Partners to make

an announcement before the

start of trade tomorrow. It's out

out of left field but in the

face of calls for her

resignation, Qantas chairman

Margaret Jackson has found some

high-profile support tonight. Former Victorian Premier Jeff

Kennett hired Margaret Jackson

to run his State's Transport

Accident Commission long before

she became head of the board of

Qantas. He has what he calls a

small inherit ed small inherit ed holding in the

airline. Today Jeff Kennett

went into bat publicly for the

embattled chairman. Jeff Kennett, welcome to the

program. Thank you, Ali. This

is a very public defence.

Why? To avoid any potential

argument of conflict of

interest, just indicate firstly

I've never bought a Qantas

share although I own a small

package as a result of

inheritance. Secondly inheritance. Secondly I

appointed market as chairperson

during my term of government

where she served exceedingly

well. They're the only two

areas where anyone can raise

any point of conjecture. Why

am I prepared to speak? Simply because I think what's

happening at the moment is a

hatchet job by some. I say

that both as a small

shareholder and also

shareholder and also a consumer

of public comment. Hatchet job

by some but these calls for a

resignation are coming from

shareholders and analysts.

They would seem quite

widespread? I don't know where

the shareholders are coming from. The Australian

Shareholders' Association? That's an association, you said

'shareholders', I'm not aware

of many shareholders calling

for her resignation. I'd remind all of remind all of the community

including those who have

botched this deal and that is

not the board of Qantas, I'm

often reminded I have a very

senior individual in this

country who is a very large

investor who told me many years

ago he would never invest in

airline shares because they are

so totally unreliable.

Therefore when I saw this offer

made for Qantas although I'd

like to see like to see Qantas as an Australian icon I understand

the board's responsibility are

to their shareholders. When

they got an offer at a share

price 60% above any other price

the share had ever achieved, I

thought that was a pretty good

return and I accepted for my

small holding. So, therefore,

I don't think the board had any

other option barring a better

bid coming in in representing bid coming in in representing their shareholder interests

that they should recommend

Samantha Johnston bid be

accepted. Now the fact that

the bid has not succeeded is

not the board's fault and

certainly not the chairman's

fault. It is all of those who

made the pitch who clearly

messed it up. They may come

back again, who knows? But

certainly that is not a sign of

weakness by the board and particularly through its

chairman. I'd like to look at

the role of chairman in a

minute, but hatchet job by some

- who do you think the 'some' are? I think you know as well

as I do who's spreading these

sorts of rumours. I think

they're unnecessary. I think

they're trying to shift and apportion blame into other

quarters . This is a massive

failing. We had some of the

biggest players in the biggest players in the country

trying to put this bid together

and they didn't succeed. They

have to accept responsibility

for failure. It's not a

failing of the board. Had a

better price come in the board

might have obviously made

another recommendation. But

there was no other bid. No-one

else offered a higher price

than this consortium. This consortium failed to consortium failed to

deliver. Should an independent

chairman publicly lobby for a

deal. Margaret Jackson said

she'd be devastate fundamental

the bid failed. Recommending

is one thing, lob -- lobbying

is another? I don't know what

was in Margaret's mind when she

made those comments. If I was

chairman of a board and someone

made an offer 60% higher than

the current value I would have thought

thought that I in recommending

the bid had done a fairly good

job for my shareholders and

maybe I was a little too enthusiastic in expressing

that. But that in itself isn't

a crime. If, in fact, that was

wrong then maybe another bid

would have come forward at a

higher price that would have said Samantha Johnston

exuberance was wrong. But

there has been no other

bid. What about telling

shareholders that if they shareholders that if they

didn't understand Qantas shares

would go if the bid failed,

they had a mental

problem? Wearing my hat as

chairman of Beyondblue I wasn't

over ly supportive of that

comment and I think I let

Margaret know at the time. But Margaret on the other hand has

been supportive of our work at

yopbd blu. Regardless of that I

didn't think it was

appropriate, but I put it down to

to enthusiasm. Do you think

that the pressure is such that

her position is likely to

become untenable, is that why

you've chosen to speak

publicly? It's -- there's a lot

of people who can't speak,

particularly those associated

with the board. I expect those

associated with the bid are

feeding rumours. To lay the blame at the blame at the feet of the board

or Margaret is totally

inappropriate. I think you'll

find in part this is an abject

beat-up. I hope Margaret

doesn't acquiesce to the

bayings of the media or the

bayings of those trying to

redirect attention from their

own failures. This is not a

natural subject for you to

speak on? I don't know, when I

get asked I often speak on a range of issues. range of issues. I feel

strongly about this.? I've

seen people hung out and

quartered by various sections

of the media that it becomes

sort of folklore. I have had experiences with Margaret

Jackson when she ran the TRC

very well indeed. I know her

to be a person of high principle

principle and now to find these

unions, these fail #d

entrepreneurs in their failure

trying to seek and apportion

blame to me is

unacceptable. Jeff Kennett,

thanks for talking to us. Have

a good night. Macquarie Bank

fights to keep its bid for

Qantas alive the investment

bank has opened up a new front

in another takeover battle.

Macquarie has made a second bid

for Alinta aimed at beating the

$7.4 million offer from Babcock

& Brown which was recommended

by Alinta's board in March.

Few details have been revealed

but the new bid will have to be

simpler and address earlier

concerns over a default

mechanism which may have left

many shareholders with stock in

a newly-formed company. Brigid

Glanville reports. Macquarie Bank

Bank is keeping many of the

details of its new takeover bid

a closely guarded secret. It's

not a large amount above the

Babcock & Brown offer. It's

just comes down to the

simplicity of the

offer. Macquarie Bank and

Babcock & Brown both plan to

break up Alinta, separating the

group's network of power lines

from its power generation

assets. Alinta's board has supported Babcock & Brown's

bid, but will now reconsider

its options after Macquarie's

new offer. It's a much simpler

to accept bid with a lot of

Fletchibility. There were

complaints before that they had

difficulty structuring it so

you could get capital gains tax

relief on the one hand or cash

on the other and now they've

apparently overcome this. After

rumours circulated the market

earlier in the day Macquarie Bank

Bank has confirmed the new deal

includes three options. The

first is a cash offer. The

second a full share buyout and

the third is a combined option

of cash and shares. It's going

to be close because they're

both, Macquarie Bank 's

rumoured to be paying 15.45.

Not a huge premium to the

market price at the moment but

it comes down to the simplicity

of the offer. 15.45 cash would make a

make a lot of people happy in

that they can just accept the

cash or choose all scrib and

get capital gains tax rollover relief. The offer from the

consortium of Babcock & Brown

and Singapore Power includes

$8.50 in cash and the rest in

shares in a number of Babcock &

Brown funds. I think Macquarie

have to be serious or they wouldn't

wouldn't have gone to all this

trouble. If they're serious I

would hope they would not put

an immediate ceiling on the

price and they will in the

meanwhile have to do a lot of

persuading to the Alinta board

to get their recommendation

without which I doubt it would

really stand up. Bhb has told

Lateline Business that it won't

reveal further details until it

hears back from Alinta hears back from Alinta later

this week. Still on takeovers,

Cem ex's bid to win control of Rinker said it will accept

Cem ex's improved offer and

tell its 10.5% stake. The

offer has been extended for three

three weeks and Cem ex has

lowered and minimum acceptance

level from 90 to 50%. Rinker's

shares gained nearly 2% to

close at $#19d.23. In breaking

news, Allcoa has made a hostile

$33 million bid for Alcan. If

successful the deal would

create the world's biggest

aluminium producer. It's

likely to face scrutiny from likely to face scrutiny from competition regulators in

several countries. Not

surprisingly the takeover

action and rumours of more to

come fuelled the local market

today, especially a report by

one broker suggesting BHP

Billiton could make a bid for

Rio Tinto.

Six months after taking a strategic stake strategic stake in Fairfax News

Corp has sold it 7.5% holding.

The shares were snapped up by institutional investors for

$380 million. The move comes

less than a week after Rupert

Murdoch launched a bid for Dow

Jones publisher of the 'Wall

Street Journal'. A shareholder

with a

with a 6% voting stake joining

the Bancroft family in rejecting the bid.

A look at what's making news

in the business sections of

tomorrow's newspapers and

extraordinary deal as it is

there is no there is no mistaking what the

main story is. The 'Age' says

confusion now reigns over most

areas of the $11 billion bid

for Qantas.the AFR looks at the airline's unprecedented day of

legal wrangling and the 'Sydney

Morning Herald' leads on the

determination of the Qantas

board to ride out the storm. board to ride out the storm. A

shemozzle. The Dow Jones is up

29 points in the first few

minutes of trade. The FTSE is

closed for a holiday. Join us

tomorrow night for our Budget

edition of Lateline Business at

the earlier time of 10:30 when

we'll have full analysis of the

business and economic impact of

the Treasurer's 12th Budget.

I'm Ali Moore. Goodnight.

"They're off! All the girls slowly away." "Serious Hurry breaks very fast from Henari Video in the early stages..." # Don't know why There's no sun up in the sky

"..Comic Whirlpool further back... # Stormy weather. "..TM helping force the pace..." # Since my man and I ain't together It's raining all the time.

"..tracking them, Last Straw..." "..Serious Hurry just grabs the lead from TM at two..." # Life is fair Gloom and misery everywhere. "Last Straw bursts through..." Yes! # Stormy weather. "Serious Hurry has it." # I can't get my poor self together I'm weary all the time. "..and Last Straw is challenging..."

Come on, baby! "Serious Hurry wins it," "Comic Whirlpool second, Last Straw third..." # I'm weary all the time. #

Come on. We're late.

OK, everyone, Dr Fitzgerald is now ready to give us his lecture. Spinoza.