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Lateline Business -

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(generated from captions) countries, about you in

Australia it is still a very controversial topic. A conference in Melbourne this

week has brought together

international experts in the

legal and medical aspects of

euthanasia to discuss

international laws and how

Australia could use them. Australian supporters say euthanasia already happens here, but it's will actually ease the bringing it out into the open

suffering of.. Hamish

Fitzsimmons reports. According

to u that be Asia supporters in Australia, the practice

already entrenched in the form

of mercy killings by doctors or

the terminally ill committing

suicide. This conference in

Melbourne has brought together

tomorrow of the world's most

prominent supporters of

euthanasia who say the laws in

other countries make things

easier for people who want to

die If you bring into the open, you have better

practice, open practice, you

allow doctors and patients to communicate ,

communicate , they can ask

doctors for assistance and they

can get the assistance they want. Belgium and the want. Belgium and

Netherlands have had euthanasia

laws since 2002 with strict

criteria. For instance, people

must be medically assessed as

being terminally ill with unbearable sufferinging. It was

found that up to 4% of all

deaths were attributed to lethal intervention by without the patient's consent. I would presume the

situation has not changed in a situation has not changed in

major way in Australia.

However, in Belgium it has changed dramatically changed dramatically to a

increased but rather similar rather similar incidence, not

incidence

incidence of

physician-assistance dying, incidence of

however, in the majority of

cases upon request. One of the

most controversial facets of the current debate is the so-called where someone who is not

to terminally ill can still decide

to end their laws and there is

a some concern about. It it is

a terrible expression.

Tired-of-life. I'm willing to

help people who have various

problems, may not be terminal

that they suffer from, but just

to be say tired of life and

give them the right to change

the law, that is absolutely stupidity. There was debate

about the issue in the

Netherlands this year but no country terminally ill but feel they people who may not be

cannot go in. People who are

just simply old and frail don't qualify. They have got a lot qualify. They have got a lot of things wrong with things wrong with them, they've often got arthritis and

incouldn't nens and some

cognitive impairment and a

whole lot of things which are making their life miserable.

They may well be totally

dependent in a nursing home. Dr

Michael Irwin is a former

medical director of the United

Nations and a long and sometimes campaigner campaigner for voluntary

campaigner for voluntary

euthanasia, but he support it

is only under strict

guidelines. I think it's very,

very important that a doctor is

involved in evaluating

person and also bringing about

that person's suicide. For

example, I may be on dangerous

grounds when I say this, but I'm totally opposed to what

Phillip Nitschke does in this

country and in other parts of

the world where there is no

control about somebody being evaluated and about the end of life. Very one-sided. Terribly one-sided,

and I think a conference that doesn't represent

mainstream thinking at all,

certainly not been the medical

profession. Really, the killing

of patients, if it becomes

legalised, will corrupt the

practice of good medicine. And

drs James' concerns extend to other areas.

At the heart of this debate,

people ought really, is the proposition that

people ought to be able to have

doctors kill them for any

reason or no reason at all. panel set up by the United

States President to investigate April's devastating Gulf oil

spill strongly criticised the

Obama Administration. The

National Oil Spill Commission has released a report saying

the White House undermight beed

public trust by being over

optimistic about BP's ability

to bring the ruptured well

under control. It says this

posture affected people on the

ground dealing with what has

turned out to be the worst

environmental disaster in US history . The the Obama Administration history . The report also says

blocked government worst-case

scenario spill estimates that

might have prompted quicker action, but the White House has

rejected those criticisms saying it was clear from early

on that the oil spill could be

worse than estimated. The

National Spill Commission will

present its findings in January. A Tasmanian - the

Tasmanian Government could be

sued for failing to protect a

12-year-old girl who was sold

for sex while in its care. A

damning report on the case has

found police, education and

were aware the girl was at risk, and they failed to act.

Her family is now considering

suing and a number of lawyers

have already offered to act pro

bono in the case. It would be

some sort of civil litigation

as to a breach of duty

basically in terms of the care

that the child was given. The

Premier hasn't ruled out come

pen sensation. Any child, as

we've done, by the way, with

some hundreds of claims now, of

children in State care, compensating and apologising for past wrong doings. The

girl's mother and pimp Gary

Devine are in prison serving

10-year sentences 10-year sentences for selling

her. Now to the weather: Rain

periods for Brisbane, partly

cloudy in Sydney and Adelaide.

Shower or two for Melbourne:

That's all from us. If you

would like to look back at any

of tonight's store I haves on

Lateline or our transcripts, you can follow us on Twitter and you can visit our website and

FaceBook. I will see you again

next week. Goodnight. This Program Is Captioned

Live.

Good evening. Welcome to

Lateline Business. I'm Ticky

Fullerton. Tonight - stronger

than expected job numbers sends

the dollar to a 27 -year

high. Exceptionally strong for

the second straight month and

the best part about it was all

the jobs were full time.

Currency wars threaten to

escalate. China and the US dig

in over the manipulation of

their currencies. We believe

it's very important to see more progress by the major emerging

economies to more flexible

market oriented exchange rate

systems. This is particularly

important for those countries

whose currencies are significant ly undervalued. And

with no clear energy policy, prices continue to climb. We really haven't built a coal

fired power station in

Australia, we haven't commissioned one, since 2002. That's getting to be eight

years and the supply is getting

tight. And as a result of that,

the prices are rising especially on the contract market. To the markets, where

those job figures wiped out some early losses to leave the

All Ords just about in positive

territory.

While the rest of the

developed world frets about faltering growth, Australia's

jobs boom continues. Today's figures from the Bureau of

Statistics show almost 50,000

jobs were created last month,

reviving fears of an interest

rate rise and driving the Australian dollar Australian dollar to a record

high. There was only one way to

interpret these

numbers. Exceptionally strong

for the second straight month.

And the best part about it was

all the jobs were full time.

Employment rose by almost

50,000 in September, more than

double expectations. More

people entered the work force

but the jobs growth was strong

enough to absorb them, keeping

the national unemployment rate

steady. The labour market is showing that the economy earlier this year was very strong. We think it's weakened

a little bit since the middle

of the year. But there's still

lots of jobs out

Unemployment fell in all

eastern States an Territories

except New South Wales, and it

was in some of the resource

rich regions like the Northern Territory and Western Australia

where unemployment picked

up. Looks like it's a pretty

broad-based gain. It's the big employers of the economy like retailing and even manufacturing and finance,

that's where the jobs are being

created. It's not just in the

mining sector. the jobs

surprise helped boost the

Australian dollar above 99 US

cents to its highest since floating 27 years

ago. Unemployment is getting

towards levels that some people

think would basically be around

our natural rate. In other

words, if it goes much lower

you will you will start to generate wage

pressures. So markets have raised the odds that the

Reserve Bank will raise rates

next month. I think it's very likely they will hike in

November. But it's never a

certainty. Partly because of

the fragile global economy. The

IMF trimmed its global growth

forecast in its latest world

economic outlook, saying the

developed world faces developed world faces subdued prospects. Economic recovery is proceeding but it is

unbalanced. It's sluggish the

in advanced countries. It's

much stronger in emerging and developed economies. Emerging

economies were forecast to grow

nearly three times faster than

rich nations next year, mainly

because the rich nations need

to repair their battered

finance sectors and rein in

government debt, consumers need

to save, and house prices need

to recover. Bottom line, this is what needs is what needs us to predict low

growth for advanced countries,

whatever numbers are 2.7% for

2010, and 2.2% for 2011. We -

with such low growth we

forecast that the unemployment

rate will remain very high. The numbers here again are 9.6% for

the US in 2011 and 10% for the

euro also in 2011. There was

even a note of caution for the Australian economy. The

says house prices here could be

mildly overvalued. And

vulnerable to a correction.

Which could hurt confidence and household spending. household spending. The Chinese

Premier has hit back at

attempts to force China to revalue lieu the yen saying it

would be a disaster for the

world. China is digging in

against concerted efforts from

Europe and the US to remove the peg that keeps its currency

down and keeps Chinese exports

cheap. As one leading food

exporter lamented to the ABC, we're being smashed by the high Australian dollar. The bad news

is the dollar is likely to stay

high for some time to come. The

last time the Australian dollar

was this high against the US, interest interest rate differentials

were a bit less and commodity

prices were a bit higher so

what's also driving this is the

fact that the US dollar is so

weak. A weakness that's being

deliberately exacerbated by a

US Government hoping to spark

an export led re y through the

Federal Reserve undertaking

what's been called quantitative

easing, in other words,

printing more money. While the

US is happy own currency is continues to

rail against China doing the

same thing with the renmimby. We believe it's very

important to see very important

by the major emerging economies to more flexible to more flexible market oriented exchange rate systems.

This is particularly important

for those countries whose currencies are significantly

undervalued. It's a theme

which has been echo on the other side of the Atlantic

Ocean where the EU like the Obama administration wants

China to allow its currency to appreciate. The exchange appreciate. The exchange rate remains undervalued and is

there is contribute ing to

global exchange rate

problems. The adjustment could

be damaging for the euro

recovery. I'm sure a stronger

European economy is in China's interests. European political

leaders were speaking at a

summit in Brussels which was

attended by Chinese Premier Wen

Jiabao. While the premier

reaffirmed China will allow a

small rise in the renmimby he

warned of dire consequences if

the Chinese currency jumps too

far too quickly. Without this

stability there'd be no stability for our people F

China has social and economic problems, it would be a

disaster for the world. In other words, China will not bow

to the demands of the west, but

will do what it thinks is in

its best interests. Many other

countries are also forcing down

the value of their currencies

in a bid to stay competitive

which has prompted Brazil's

Finance Minister to not good for the global

economy, though, which is why

currency will be near the top

of the agenda when the IMF meets in Washington this weekend. The issue

weekend. The issue of exchange

rated a justs is becoming more

and more important. We're

starting to see the forces

which force these adjustments

and the reactions of countries. Until countries. Until countries decide not to react, Australian

exporters will have to live

with a dollar that's higher that's higher than it probably

should be. In a generally

day, Perilla was up nearly 4.5%

after making a share cash offer

for Globe Star.

It's not often you get two sides of a sides of a takeover stoush on

camera but tonight we managed

to lure both countries in the

current tilt by NIB with GMHBA

W many analysts in the private

health sector agreeing that consolidation is inevitable,

NIB's offer of $140 million for

GMHBA might seem interesting

but there is a catch. The

target is a a board vf no intention of coming

to the party. I spoke first to NIB's Managing NIB's Managing Director Mark Fitzgibbon. It's your third go

at this merger. You have gone

public this time. I gather you're hoping that the cash

will attract individual

members? Well, yes, first and

foremost, we think it's a very

attractive proposition. We

think it's an attractive proposition for their policyholders inasmuch

policyholders inasmuch as

they'll get that cash payment

but they'll also get a stronger

business a more durable

business for the future. It's

attractive to our policyholders inasmuch as again

we'll have a larger stronger

business. And of course it's

attractive to our investors. The proposition is we have

designed it would help us

deliver on some of the targets

we've set in the business. You

say it's our own stimulus

package for Geelong? Well,

that's right. I guess we're appealing not only to the

policyholders, who we strongly

suspect will be attracted to the general community, because

that 140 million flows into

local economies and stimulates

spending in those economies typically. Let's look typically. Let's look at the other side for a moment. GMHBA's board has delivered a

strong rebuff. They don't want

to engage with you either. Ken

Jarvis says the proposal

undervalues the business and

there is no evidence that the

insurance policies would be

better off for members under a merger? That's an interesting

position for Ken to articulate,

isn't it, because what we actually put in

board of GMHBA is a proposition

whereby we'd come into the

business, do due diligence and

talk with them as to what

potential there is to add value on behalf of both sets of

policyholders. We haven't any financial information on the business

business other than what we

know from 2009, that 2010

accounts have yet to be published. We're rather

surpriseed that the chairman

would be talking about value

when in fact we've been denied

the opportunity to

to talk about how we could

maximise value through such a

transaction. You say both

sides would be better off. If

you are going to keep GMHBA's product

product range, keep jobs and all their retail outlets, how

is this also going to reduce

pressure for premium rises for members of both funds? Certainly, typically in

these cases there's a lot of

cost taken out of the acquired

business. We've recognised that

this is a different business,

that it would be necessary to

guarantee employment within the business, it'd be necessary to

guarantee its current branch

structure but our modelling

still shows that you can create

a lot of value in the combined

businesses. What we've

discovered in our own discovered in our own business

through our own strong organ ic

growth is that you can leverage

the operating cost base through

going the businesses without necessarily taking

necessarily taking the costs out. You're spreading unit cost

of operating the business.,

that plays out in the form of less pressure on premium

increases. Ken Jarvis clearly doesn't believe you in doesn't believe you in terms of employment numbers. employment numbers. He is quite scathing of your "we are

Geelong" campaign. He says your nearest employee is 1,000

kilometres away and he doesn't

believe you won't cut GMHBA employees. That's not true about our nearest have an office in Melbourne for

starters. But I think that's a

real furphy. The commitment we've made to employment is

what it is. We're happy to talk

to the unions. Happy to talk to

the staff. And make good that

obligation. As a business,

ourselves, we've been through

significant transformation in

the last eight years, including

our lists. We've never had a

forced retrenchment in our business. We know we can cope with that requirement and it

really is a furphy. This really

is a case where the board, they

can form their own view but in

the end they're custodian s of

the business. They represent

their members' interests. At

the very least they need to

give their members an opportunity to have a voice in

this matter. They say that

they are not going to be

handing on this offer to their members. What moves are there for you now? That's

disappointing. But we expected

that. And we didn't make this offer to the board of GMHBA

thinking that they would simply

take it up. We have in place a

campaign which will roll out over the weeks over the weeks ahead. It's

uncertain in its likelihood of

success, we accept. But certainly we will be elevating

the issue within the Geelong

community and appealing to the

policyholders to appeal to

their own board to have a more

serious look at this offer and the advantages which can flow from that offer. I gather

you're going off to Geelong no

doubt to woo various this afternoon. What can the

members do if they want to put

pressure on the board? This is

the oddity of it. The members, even though they're called members, they're not company

members constitutionally. So

they have no real power to force the board to do anything.

We're relying purely upon the

weight of public opinion and the opinion of community

leaders to have some influence

on the board. But as I've already concealeded in the end

if the board take a view that

they're not prepared to

entertain the though it may be in the

community and the

policyholders' best tr, well,

that's a matter for them. We

hope you will come back and

talk to us as this all plays

out. Mark Fitzgibbon, thank you

very much for

Lateline Business. Thank you.

And now for a response from

GMHBA's Chairman, Ken Jarvis. Welcome to Lateline

Business. Thank you very much.

You NIB has talk to you several years over the

different tactics this time,

making it public and offering

up to $6,500 a member That's a

slight exaggeration. I think the average amount they're talking about is talking about is $1,500. There

would be very few members who'd

get 6,500 if this offer which we consider unacceptable were

to go ahead. You say NIB's

offer was not compelling in any

way. They've offered I think a dental centre, various

guarantees about jobs. What would make it compelling for you? Well, we're not in talking about what would

make it compelling. This was an unsolicited offer. It was

undetailed and in total uncompelling. There's reasons why it might've been

compelling. One is the money,

the money is not compelling.

The other is if they were to

provide better health insurance

to our members and we believe

that on every measure we do

better than NIB. So we see no

reason to take the matter

further. One of the reasons

that Mark Fitzgibbon says

there's not more detail is

because you haven't opened the

kimono, they haven't been able

to do due diligence and talk

about maximising benefits together? Why would any

business opens its doors to one of its strong competitors, of its

without an an unconditional offer? This offer is

conditional. They can come in,

look at everything we've got,

and then walk away. I mean,

what a stupid statement for him

to make. The board would be

competitor to do that. Mark very negligent if it allowed a

Fitzgibbon says on their

modelling at the moment, they

can leverage the operating cost

base through

business without taking cost

out. In other words, spread the

unit cost base. Do you think

they can do that? Well, that's

insurance in very interesting. Health

Regardless of whether you're very interesting business.

the very biggest or the very

smallest, your MER, your

management expense ratio, the

amount of money it takes to run

the health fund, is within a

few poofteenths of one another

in health insurance in there is no economies of scale

Australia. Us at 1.7% of the last few years, have had a market, on average

lower MER than NIB. I'm not

sure how by taking us on board

at a lower average MER NIB

expect to make any

savings. They again say you're

the custodians of the business

and that the ball's in your

court but they're relying also

on the weight of public opinion

and community leaders which I and community leaders which

know they will be lobbying

strongly over the next few

weeks. Do you think any of your

board members will be swayed by

that? No, we're a very mature, sensible with NIB have been going on

since 2007 when they first made

an offer about the same as

this. We've had plenty of opportunity to look at it.

We've taken external industry

expert advice about the

valuation and I can tell you

that on any measure of

valuation, as you know in these

things there's a range of ways

you might value. On any measure

of valuation, their offer is

below, well below anything that

might be acceptable. We as

directors have a fiduciary duty

compelling and if the product to act in the interests of our

they'd offer to our members is

not compelling why would we

take it forward? I can tell you

if they think they can sway the

community leadership in

Geelong, it's going to be very

interesting, because the

feedback I'm getting since this

offer went public yesterday has

been very supportive of our

position. An unswayed Ken

Jarvis, thank you very much for joining us tonight on Lateline Business. Thank you very much. The Federal Government has

begun a fresh round with mining companies over the controversial resources tax.

The government's policy

transition group faced its

critics in Perth today. It has to make recommendations on how

the tax should work before the

end of the year. The mood was

clinical. The meeting

straightforward. A marked

difference from the heated

protests of earlier in the

year. Missing from the talks,

come of the most vocal critics. Fortescue Metals Group's Andrew

Forrest and atlas iron's David

Flanagan. The red ral resource and Energy Minister says the

miners now accept the tax will change in atmosphere is

go

go ahead. And perhaps now

they'll really focus on serious

issues raised in the discussion

paper that we released last week. Junior miners are keen

to make the most of the

clearly favours the big meetings but sate proposed tax

players. Want to open the door

to say there is an opportunity

for to you put a case to say

why these aspects could be changed. So we're certainly

going to take advantage of critical of the planned $50 that. Junior miners

million tax threshold, the lack

of exploration insen tists and

lack of tax deductibility of

infrastructure costs. The

industry has three weeks to

report make its argument. A final

report will be delivered to government by the end of the

year. We don't understand why

this is being rushed through.

We think let's take the time,

let's get it right and feed it

into a more comprehensive discussion about a national tax

system. The policy group will

also hold talks with oil and

gas companies to hear their

concerns about the tax. It will then travel to Queensland,

Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia to meet industries in those States. The

Reserve Bank is under pressure

after Federal Police and

overseas agencies raided its

subsidiary the bank note maker

Securency. Employees and agents

of the company of being

investigated over corruption allegations. Investigators raided offices and homes in

Melbourne, the UK and Spain

last night. They're looking for

evidence that Securency paid

bribes to win currency printing

contracts. Two men were

arrested in the UK. New

research shows over the past

five years, electricity prices

have increased at nearly four some Parliaments of Australia.

The cost of power has jumped

more than 60% in Sydney, and

almost as much in

markets around the country,

tough choices are being made.

Money is tight for Amanda Tamelar. She still hasn't

recovered from her last power bill. Got a shock! I got a

shock. I want to return back to

my old electricity company but

I think what's point? The

Institute of Public Affairs, a

free-market think-tank, has released data showing

significantly in electricity prices have risen

cities. Over five years, the

price of power has shot up 61%

in Sydney and almost 57% in Melbourne. The think-tank says

Federal blame rests with State and

Federal Governments, and renewable energy renewable energy initiatives

are hurting families. We really

haven't built a coal fired

power station in Australia. We

haven't commissioned one since 2002. That's getting to be

eight years and the supply is

getting tight. And as a result

of that, the prices are rising

somewhat, especially on the

bills have prompted some contract

low-income families to give up

basics like medicine, doctors'

visits and fresh food. Doing

without meat, those sorts of

things. And we certainly do

hear of people who - they'll

say I will go a day a week without eating. The energy

Retailers Association says

families need to look at how

reliant they are on power hungry appliances Shopping

around for the best deal. Being

conscious of your consumption is something that really should

be applied to electricity. It's

an industry that is in particularly run on a

commercial basis. He says the

bad news is power prices will

keep going up. A look at

tomorrow's business diary.

Reserve Bank Deputy Governor

Ric Battellino

property sector lunch in

Brisbane.

says that Apple is preparing a

new version of the iPhone to be

rolled out across other US

networks. The company's losing market share to other smart phones because it's tied to an

exclusivity deal with one

network. The 'Financial Times'

says Prada is looking to a Hong

Kong listing to tap investor

enthusiasm for luxury goods

companies in Asia. That's for

all tonight. You can watch Lateline Business Monday to

Thursday at 8.30 each night on

ABC News 24, as well as after

'Lateline' on ABC1. 'Lateline' on ABC1. I'm Ticky

Fullerton. Thanks for watching.

Goodnight. Closed Captions by CSI SLOW BROODING MUSIC ? As the cold comes to claim up ? I take the air and know Your pink aroma ? And I should haunt your very vestibules ? And hover like the smoke over Tecoma ? If I could dive my hands ? To the roots of your tallest trees ? And it was all I ever do ? This is all I ever do ? Never feed from the hand never beg never stand on two feet ? I see your memory is starved ? And smell your history it doesn't raise an appetite ? I haze the rill up with my steam ? The fishes scream ? The lilies dream my eyes to black ? If I could sink my teeth into the dreams of ordinary people

? And this is all I ever do ? We never feed from the hand never beg never stand on two feet ? Now the fire's come to reap ? I've got to raise you from your sleep ? And speak the iron in my teeth and will ? I have a memory of soul ? Of trusted hand of twining blood ? I have my secret on the step of the hill ? If I could hitch my hind ? To the wagon of sighs you get around with ? And this is all I ever do ? Oh, and this was all I ever do ? Never feed from the hand ? Never beg never stand on two feet

? This is all I ever do ? Never feed from the hand ? Never beg never stand on two feet ? APPLAUSE Thank you. OK, this is a song we have out at the moment we're spruiking heavily. We haven't stopped spruiking. It's called Farmer's Son. It's probably on every radio station you flick on right now, including sports, including...news radio. This is called Farmer's Son. UP-TEMPO BEAT ? I didn't know you ? I never knew you ? Now I'm never gonna see you again ? An acquaintance all my childhood years ? I could never call you a friend. ? I was afraid that I might become you ? I was afraid you might appear ? As a weight upon my chest at night ? And whisper in my ear ? Oh, the watershed I built ? And wept enough that I could fill it ? So the ground beneath my feet would yield ? Enough that I could heal it ? I'm gonna get it back ? Gonna get better ? Gonna get it fixed ? Gonna burn that letter ? I don't know what's coming but I'll take it ? Whatever now ? For I was born to another vocation ? I was born in another era ? I wasn't born that I should live my life ? Beneath your failure and fear ? Every night ? The storm grew closer ? Every day the fire drew near ? When they'd meet upon this acre ? And I prayed it'd up and disappear ? The watershed I built ? And wept enough that I could fill it ? So the ground beneath my feet would yield ? Enough that I could heal it ? I'm gonna get it back ? Gonna get better