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Stateline (Tas) -

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(generated from captions) CC Tonight on Stateline -

the great poo pick-up, the

latest attempt to rid Tasmania

of foxes. You can sort of think

of a scat as a fox sitting in

the landscape for several

months at a time just waiting

for us to come and find it. Is Hobart wasting prime real

estate? If you were being

unkind you could argue it's bit

of a dead zone.

Hello. This week the 2007

campaign has been haunted by

the ghosts of 2004. First,

interest rates moved up again,

a difficult reminder of the

Prime Minister's promise to

keep them at record lows. And

now Mark Latham is back as

well, with a stinging critical

assess ment of the current

campaign. The former Labor

leader is critical of both

sides, but the Government has

welcomed him back, nefrms.

Political editor Michael

Brissenden. Where is your

hatd Just 14 sleeps to go and

it's hats on for the final

fortnight of campaigning.

Although as usual some of them

seem to be taking things just a

head too far. Yesterday around

Australia about 100,000 people

wore these. And 23 you have

hair like mine you probably

should cover it up. From

silly hats to shopping serpts.

At a superficial level the

recipe for an election campaign

rarely changes much. Come

again. But whatever you put in

the mix, no two cakes are ever

the same and there's always

some surprise ingredients and the odd bad egg or two along

the way. You mentioned Mr

Latham. I don't normally do

that. I've break yoen the

drought by mentioning him. Yes,

he's back. Hardly un expected.

Mark Latham's intervention had

to come eventually and, as

usual, it's vintage vitriol. In

a piece pends for the Australian 'Financial Review',

Mr Latham declares this the

'Seinfeld' election, a show

about nothing. A contest

between two essentially

conservative forces and a Labor

admission he says would be even

more taumy and conservative

than the present one. Even

though he says the Labor

faithful are reassuring

everyone that once Labor is in

power it will be far more

progressive than it's letting

on. Mate Mark Latham's hatred

for the current leader is well

recluse has been known but the return of the

enthusiastically embraced by

the Government. I thought he

just confirm everything that

Peter Garrett had said. He said

we would change it all when we

get in and Mark Latham says

that we all expect, we all hope

that it will be a lot more - he

uses the word progressive, I

use the word radical - I a lot

more radical if the Labor Party

gets in. I haven't read the - I

have a copy. I haven't read the

article in question. I thought

you would. I've been reading

about SA today and I don't

intend to re visit the past. I

am on about the future. The

Government's jumped all over it

but being attack ed by Mark

Latham probably won't do too

much damage to Kevin Rudd's m c da age to evin udd s

chances been a bit bit of the

the week for 2004. Plenty

argue Mark Latham was his own

biggest liect but the

Government threw everything at

him back then regardless with a

campaign laidsed with claims

about keeping interest rates

lows. This week's interest rate

rise saw the 2 thouz 4 campaign

return to haunt John Howard's

pitch in 2007. I am sorry about

that. And I regret the

additional burden that will be

put upon them as a

result. Said that I was

sorried occurred. I don't think

I used the word apology. Was it

an apology or snt knot? It

hardly seems to matter. The

fact is the Prime Minister's

rhetorical dissembling has

become a story and kept this a

dominant campaign theme for

three full days. This morning

it was the topic of choice in

radio studio ace cross the

country and a big focus of the

Prime Minister's radio interviews. Do>> you take responsibility for the increase

in interest rates? Well, I

certainly take responsibility

for the strong economy. So you

take responsibility for six

increase - interest rate

encrooss? I take responsibility

for the strength of the economy

and the extent to which that

strength has contributed to

movement. I have said. That But

you have taken some pleasure in

low interest rate s so you have

to take some pain in high

interest rates. The people will

make a judgment about the

apportionment of pain and

blame. That is, frankly,

classic John Howard. Taking the

credit when there is good

economic new, avoiding

responsibility when there's bad

economic news. I find that

statement remarkable because if

Mr Howard is out there saying

that he's prepared to take the

credibility for economic growth

numbers, but explicitly reject

all responsibility for what

happens when it comes to

interest rates, that underlines

a Prime Minister who is now

desperate saying anything and

doing anything to secure the

next election. We certainly next election. We certainly n xt el ction. W certainly

haven't heard the last of interest rates in 24 came pain but the

but the Government is still

working hard to turn the rise

to its advantage. The argument

is this focuses the voter's

minds on the economy and the

risk a Labor Government would

pose. Today there were reports

in the 'Australian' newspaper

that the car industry had

written to the Government

calling for a freeze on tariff

cut and expressing their

concern about the impact of

more mill trnt unions under a

Labor Government. The Treasurer pounced S It should strike a

chill into all Australians

because business is now

stoorting to worry about nun

militancy under a Rudd Labor

Government. It's something that

is creating a lot of uncertainty in the car industry. But the car industry

says the story is wrong. There

was no such letter and nor have

there been any industry disquutions with the Government

on - discussions with the

Government on industrial

relations matter as today's

paper reported. Still, it's the

Prime Minister said this week

in campaigns voters shouldn't

look at every utterance, only

at the aggregate impression of

the whole campaign. 2004 is

playing out heavily in the 2007

campaign, and in just two weeks

time we will know what the

aggregate impression of this

one really is. And for a look

at the latest on Tasmanian

voting intention intentions, I

spoke to formal politicial

adviser now political scientist

at the University of Tasmania,

Peter Tucker. Thanks for

joining us. With only two weeks

left to go in the campaign, the

latest poll has Labor well in

front in Tasmania on a

two-party preferred basis. Do

you think Labor can claw back

Bass and Braddon and get a

clean sweep in the lower

house? I think at the moment

that a clean sweep is pretty

well favourite in Tasmania. I

think Bass and Braddon are both

- Labor's at the moment. They

were certain ly the Liberals

should have to do a lot of work

to win them. The most recent

poll showed 59-41 statewide for

Labor and that's a landslide

really. In Braddon, the sitting

member Mark Baker is holding on

by 1.1%. There's been a lot put

on the Coalition's intervention

on the Mersey. You don't think

that will be enough to save

him? The problem with those

types of interventions, that

type of pork barreling to stave

seat, is you can annoy as many

people as you please. For every

vote you win you can lose one.

I know from talking to people

on the north-west coast and a

lot of Burnie people are not

very happy about the money

being spent in Devonport. This

is parochial Tasmanian politics

but it exists. We know that the

Liberal senator Steve Parry was

overheard recently saying that

the Mersey Hospital #140u6 been

closed down in a lift in

Canberra. Now that was a bit of

a foe par a few weeks ago. The

answer is I am not sure that

the Mersey intervention has

propped up Mark Baker much at

all. This seat has been for

Labor and polls indicate that

Labor will get that one back.

Al Although it was a small samp

lt around the electorates,

there was a significant

increase in Green support,

particularly in Bass at the

expense of Labor. Is that

likely to translate at all in

the polls? Well, it will make a

difference. I mean, Labor want

as high a primary vote as they

can. But experience tells us

that Green votes generally with

the preferences will go back to Labor

Labor at about 3 to 1. In Lyons

the defection of Ben Quin to

run as an independent and now

Geoff Page as the Liberal

candidate, does it look like

that's split the conservative

vote as opposed to take ing

anything away from Dick

Adams? To an extent lit have to

split the conservative vote.

Geoff Page and Ben Quin have

run in this seat before.

They're both well known in the

electorate for the Liberal

Party so there has to be some

support that will be split.

Dick Adam also be happy about

that. I think big Dick is

pretty safe in the seat. The

Senate could be interest. You

have Carol Brown and the

Liberal's David Bushby. They

both replaced retiring

senators. There's some argument

that it could be a real contest

in the Senate for that sixth

seat. The sixth seat will be a

50/50 contest. Definitely two

Labor, definitely two Liberal

and almost certainly one Green

in Bob Brown and the Greens,

Labor and Liberal will fight

out the fixth seat. If I was

backing an outsider or having a

punt on an outsider, it would

be Liberals to win that sixth seat. In terms of Tasmania, seat. In terms of Tasmania,

though, in this Federal

election, we haven't seen John

Howard came down here a lot

before the election Kaz called.

He hasn't been down here since

the election was called. Kevin

Rudd has been down to Tasmania

once. Is Tasmania just not

really Reg stoerng the radar

this Federal election? I think

it's Reg strering on the radar

but not for the lead e,.

They've had their goond and there's only there's only two seats in play

- Bass and brand. They made

their shots early with the

Mersey hospital. The major

Australian capital cities are

where there's a lot of seats up

for grabs. Two Tasmanian seats

they will do their best, they

will send down Tony Abbott or

Anthony Albanese or Andrew Rob

to fire off the small guns but

at the moment the leaders will

concentrate on Sydney and

Brisbane. What rumours are you hearing? You have contacts

across a spectrum? Is it just

leave Tassie to it. I think the

internal polling I believe

we've been told from both party

s the internal polling for

Labor and Liberal shows that

Labor pretty well have the Bass

and Braddon, they are not sewn up comfortably

up comfortably ahead. I think

the Liberal also be wanting to

concentrate their scarce

resources elsewhere. Are we

likely to see a last bid in the

last two weeks? I think this

campaign has been fair ly dull.

At least last time Mark Latham

sparked things up and he was a

bit out of control at times, a

lot of people thought, and he

was interesting to watch. But

this m me too election as it's this m me too election as it's been dubbed with both Kevin Rudd and John Howard pretty

well shadowing each other, a

lot of people think they look

the same, act the same, I like

a lot of Australians are

starting to switch off. Having

said that, the lils are behind,

they're behind around the whole

continuery so they will have to

find something and I think we

can expect to see one-off big

spends in all the marginal

seats or as many as they can

win arounded the country, maybe more roads in more roads in Launceston and

Burnie or Devonport, swimming pools, Burnie or Devonport, swimming pools

who knows. Only two more weeks

of campaigning to go. I can

hardly wait.

Finding foxes in Tasmania has

been as tricky as tracking down

the Scarlet Pimpernel. Despite

some doubting that foxes are in some doubting that foxes are in

Tasmania both State and Federal Governments believe their presence is real and have

injectd millions into an

eradication effort. Over the

next three year, thousands of

scas are to be collect and

tested to target the predators

and to prevent what experts

warn would be an ecological


There's some nice futures

around here. We can work around

the holes here. Alison Foster

has swapped the study of

lizards in the Simpson Desert

to help eradicate foxes from

Tasmania. It's been nine years

since a fox was spotted at

Burnie, a suspected stow away

on a container ship. Today, fox

track s made early this morning

found on a beach not fo for

from the Burnie portd. Evaded

capture. Since then there have

been rumours of fox cubs being

sent in and fox hounds being

sent in to help in the but not

a lot of evidence. The fox

taskforce Nick Mooney warns

against complacency. We have a

whole bunch of stuff, a weight

of evidence. We've got six

scats we're really sure are

from foxes. We have a couple of

road kill, blood, we have 13

peets oh hard evidence. It's weight of evidence that is

insane to ignore. And hope it

will go away. Mr Mooney admits

that today to date the quest to

rid Tasmania of foxes has been limited. We've always known

that our effort has been very oriented to where people have

found things and we follow up

that trying to get

corroborative evidence. We've

had very little opportunity to

escape from that loop and

actually go and do productive

167ing. The State Government

has committed $15 million for a

10-year pra. On top of that we

have a commitment from the

Commonwealth Government. At

this stage that commitment is

for this current financial

year. But we're currently in

negotiations with Commonwealth

in relation to on going

funding. Until now, testing has

not been as definitive. We had

a number of scats collected

that the analyst and Victoria

said they thought they were fox

scats. They didn't have a DNA

tests or fox hair in them, not

all fox scats str have hair in

them but now we have a much

better ability to do better

forensics on those scats using

the DNA tests through

Canberra. The invasive animals

cooperative research centre in

Canberra is funding Alison

Foster to develop a scientific

monitoring program to help

determinary dwroos target. She

says finding scats is the best

approach. Say so you can sort

of think of a scat as a fox it

zitting in the landscape for

several months at a time

waiting for us to come and find

it, which makes a lot more

sense than looking for the animal itself

squl.s Researchers have began

tz's great poo pick-up across

tracts of both public and

private land. Carnivores don't

like to be caught out in the

open and they don't like to be

in dense vegetation. They often

tend to use the edges of these

features. So we're looking at

shelter belts through

agriculture land, water holes,

dirt roads, walking track,

animal trails. Foxes have

similar behaviour patterns to

other Khan voers. We know that

devil also use the landscape in

a similar way and we've done

some broad sweeps in the past

and found that we have just as

good success by following

features. Feral cats an dogs

are also car nif rouse pests in

Tasmania. They compete with two

species of quoll and the

Tasmanian devil. DNA testing

enables fox scats to be

positively identified. As scat

s pass down the intestinal

tract it picks up theel theel -

epithelial cells and when it's

passed those are retained on

the outside. Over the next

three years it's expected up to

15,000 scat also be collect and

sent to kbr. I think there will

be a lot of Tasmanians who

think it's quite good sending

poo to Canberra but I think the

main issue for us is the

coverage because at the moment

we don't know where foxes are

or where they're not. The only

way you can solve that is systematically surveying as broad as area as possible and

that's our objective as much of

the State can be reasonably

reached at this stage,

excludeing the south-west. We

don't know of any other don't know of any other

assessment and eradication s on

this sort of scale in the

world. Although we're focusing

on the goxs, we've - foxes

we've also developed an

approach that will defect

whether the scats come from

cats, dogs, quolls or devils

and so at the same time that we

ire picking up this information

we're hoping to identify a

large portion of the scats,

probably around about 80%, down

to their species and in that

way generate a distributional

map of the major large

carnivore s in Tasmania. The

scats can be tested up until

they're about three months old

but the freshter better. Have

one over here. It looks like a

good one. Nice and fresh: We

fry to keep it intact as possible because the cells for

the DNA analysis are on the

outside of the scat. So once we

know that it's a carnivore

scat, we GPS is the location so

we have an exact location. We

photograph it with a scale and

a unique ID number. We fill out

information on who the

collectors were and the habitat

- what features they're found

on. Also what species we suspect ktion

suspect ktion if we can do

that. And it goes into a paper

bag. It's got to be paper

because otherwise if it's in

plastic the scat can get sweaty

and bacteria builds up and

causes breakdown of the

scat. About 30 staff will initially be involved in the

collection, but it's hoped volunteers will come on

board. We really won't be

properly up and running with

the big survey until February

next year. So we're really just

testing our methods at the

moment and just trying to get the bugs out of the

system. With 19,000 1080 baits

laid this year, doubters want

hard evidence: The bait willing

probably never produce a fox

carcass simply because 1080

doesn't have onset of symptoms

for a couple of hours and the animals wander

animals wander offer. Very few

poisoned foxes are made found

on the mainland and tens of

thousands are poisoned there.

By the time we find the

carcasses it will be too late.

As pressure As pressure

continues to mound on the State

Government to act on Tasmania's

housing crisis, authorities are

being encrourjed to make better

use of inner city areas. It's

argued that car yards and car

parks in hoebl's CBD are eating

up potential residential space

and dis couraging people from

moving in and reinvigorating

the city. The awe new

University of Tasmania report

indicate s that half the car

spaces should be converted to

much needed housing.

If you look at the State's

position in terms of housing

afford yaict and those

problemses we know that 12% of

Tasmanians are in housing

stress. We are arguing that if

you look at Hobart's CBD what

we could be look at is a

significant opportunity in

terms of development. The

University of Tasmania's

housing and community research

unit has found the City of

Hobart badly needs a shake-up

if it's to draw more people and

money into the area. A new

report titled 'Missed

Opportunities' highlights the

amount of inner city space

taken up by car retailer, work

shops an open air car

parks. It's sign that the area

is a fairly low rent space

because what you would find in

biggest cities traditional sli

the carryards would be much

more suburbanised because the

areas are cheaper or they would

be in areas which are general

ly cheaper maybe in the inner

suburbs but not the 23 n the

city core. So that is an

unusual pattern: The report

identified 50,000 square metres

of car-related space which is

being undervalued. The author

at at at argues that over time

half of the space could be

what we converted to housing I think

what we need is a more balanced

usage of that space, a draet

greatest diversity of function

and social groups occupying

that space in ways that would

make it much more interesting

and exciting area s. With close

to 3,000 Tasmanians on the

waiting list for public

housing, Dr At at argues that

any boost to supply would ease

the problem. Even if we only

saw quite expensive apartment

gossing into that area, it

would still take the heat out

of the broader market. Which is

an really important message to

take from this. It would also

breathe life into the

industrial side of the city. During the day it's

fairly busy area but at night

there's really not much going

on at all. There's no

entertainment functions, and

there's no residential space. The

space. The report's ideas are

right up the alley of Hobart

based building rede signers

Aaron Roberts and Bailey

wail. You could make a long er

space or you can make that

whole side slide off. They have

a vision to provide well design

and less expensive mass market

housing. But the poeths are to

take that multi storey and wrap

it up and circle it around

itself in terms of courtyards

and functions. One of their

designs is a modular housing

system using pre fabricated

teerms that can be moved around

- materials that can be moved

around to suit any space. The

system is cost, time and space

efficient - traits they argue

will become all the more

important as the housing

shortage worsience. We

certainly see that by using

modular system, not cutting

sheets, that you are going to

save a significant amount of

money. In terms of the large

McMansions that are happening

around the place, we feel that

it's a little bit - it's of

course un sustainable and we

think we can provide the same

quality of living within a much

smaller container. The pair are

the epitome of the young

skilled professionals who the

Government and industries are

desperately trying to keep in

Tasmania. They agree the city

could do with a revamp. There

is no, like, 24-hour city as

such and that's what attracts young people and young centres

to large er city - if they they're vibrant and there's a

lot of action in them. The

University report cites census

figure z the inner city

population has declined by

almost a quarter since 2001. If

you look at most of those city

core areas across, the

population has been growing

pretty significantly but in

Hobart it's been declining. Dr

At at says while parts of

central Melbourne and Sydney

have developed into dividing neighbour neighbourhoods, Hobart has been left behind. We're talking about,

you know, little Hobart which

has in Greater Hobart roughly

200,000 people, compared to

Greater Melbourne and Greater

Sydney where there are millions

of people. The Lord Mayor of

Hobart Rob Valentine points out

that city res denshall

developments have been popping

up in a recent year and the

council is ininvestigating the

possibly of concerting a city

car park into affordable

housing. A five-year strategic

plan is about to go out for

comment. Alder man says that

will b) a review of the

scheme. It will be interesting

to see groups like this that

have put this report together

to come forward and give us

some feedback. That's what we

want. We want to make sure

Hobart is vie rant into the

future. Tasmania's planning

system s are among the poor

nest the nation. According to

the late est report card by the

Planning Institute of

Australia. While there's been a

slight improvement on last

year, the States at the bottom

of the ladder in terms of urban

design. Designer Thomas Bailey

would like to see a concept

like the international design

competition for the Hobart

waterfront applied to the

CBD. If you have a particular

area like the CBT of hoenlt you

can have a group of experts who don't have a vested inst

interest and they can review

the proposals. At at at

realises there's more to

solving Tasmania's housing

shortage but he is hoping the

new report will at least spark

some debate. This can encourage

new and vital uses of a space,

which is really underused.

Not at all pedestrian family.

So if we had shops and

interesting functions we could

encourage sox the tourist

dollars - some of the tourist dollars that just can't going

on at the moment. That's

Stateline for this week. We

will leave you with paintings

of Nevin Hurst. He is a renown

ed art dealer but he also likes

to dabble. Goodnight.

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