Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Disclaimer: The Parliamentary Library does not warrant the accuracy of closed captions. These are derived automatically from the broadcaster's signal.
Business Sunday -

View in ParlView

(generated from captions) Welcome Business Sunday. Hello there, I'm Ross Greenwood. dominated by the Middle East - Well, it's been a week rate outlooks and the markets. it's affected oil prices, interest Later in the program - economic consequences we examine the direct in the war against terror. of the latest escalation health and social issue - But first we look at an important to sack workers should bosses have the right of their out-of-hours behaviour? because they don't approve who is unrepentant We go to the US, where we meet a boss Weyers is the boss, some Howard in our studio. with two occupational health experts in this country We look at the situation for refusing to quit smoking. about sacking long-time employees

would say tyrant, of Weyco. What is

important - this job or the use of

to be ack co? Smoke something a

great smokescreen around the issue

here. It is about privacy. It is

about what you do on your own time

that is legal that does not

conflict with your job performance. we also have a great success story. And business dreams can come true - uni, had an idea, developed it, How two smart Aussie blokes met at

biggest corporations and now some of the world's

are queuing up to get on board.

So we have companies like Microsoft,

who ostensibly compete with us,

have purchased our product. The

entrepreneurs have staff of 50,

offices in Sydney and San Francisco

and turnover of $15 million. The

youthful knowledge to think we

could do something better. Both of

us probably aren't very good at working for anybody else. to feel good this Sunday morning. A great story if you want of on-line sports betting Also today - we look at the hammering executive in the US this week. because of the arrest of an English on this Sunday morning But first, with the latest news to Majella Wiemers. we say good morning evacuated from Lebanon to Cyprus About 500 Australians this morning. have touched down in Sydney Australian Defence Force flight They were on the first out of the country.

of Australians has arrived safely Meanwhile, another ferry load in Cyprus, they left behind. recalling the horror

They are burying children behind

the hospitals. The magnitude of the

catastrophe hasn't been felt yet. is due to arrive shortly. A second boat, carrying 500 people, have crossed into Lebanon Israeli tanks into the south of the country. in a series of attacks Soldiers headed across the border of Maroun al-Ras, to capture the village

of a planned mass land invasion. fuelling fears head towards the Lebanese border, Armoured vehicles are now operating on foreign soil. physical proof that Israeli troops of Maroun al-Ras, Their target is the village about two miles inside the border a Hezbollah stronghold have dug themselves into tunnels. where Israel says the fighters sheltering from Hezbollah rockets, On the other side of the hill,

that had been badly damaged. I found a line of tanks when a missile struck this tank One of the soldiers lost his leg they're eager to fight on. but his friends insist They're shooting at our civilians, shoot mortars on Haifa, you know, can't leave like that when they and all our facilities. Got to stop. and your friends lose your lives? Even if that means you lose their lives. It's war. In war people the rocket attacks. But 11 days of war hasn't stopped fell across the north. Today, another 80 And while the missiles continue, to carry out more pinpoint incursions exhausted soldiers will be ordered to dismantle Hezbollah's power base. Despite this build-up, be no full-scale ground invasion. Israeli commanders insist there will

humanitarian crisis across Lebanon. Aid agencies are now warning of a have been forced from their homes. Over 500,000 people is rapidly becoming a ghost town Hundreds are from Tyre, which as its residents flee the bombs.

Smoke is rising from another

Israeli air strike beyond the city

of Tyre and the air strikes have

been going on all day. There is

apprehension and fear among the residents, though many have already

left. They are leaving in buses and

cars, often with white cloth

attached to them in the hope that

might protect them against the

Israeli war plaens prowling the

skies in the north. I have been

hearing from emergency workers

about the difficulties they face.

Red Cross ambulance crews are

frightened to go out on the

dangerous roads but are still

somehow managing to do it. At the

local hospital the director is

telling me about the casualties

that the operation among civilians.

620 injured and referring to this

exodus going north. He said, "We at

the hospital will be the only ones left." To sport - after day three of the British Open. and Tiger Woods still leads the pack of 71 to put him 13 under, The world number one carded a round Ernie Els and Chris DiMarco. just a shot ahead of Sergio Garcia, allowed for some spectacular golf Good early conditions got the biggest cheer, and Australia's John Senden at the par-three 13th. shooting this hole in one COMMENTATOR: And it is. trouble with his putting all week, Spain's Sergio Garcia had been having at the second hole, but it wasn't needed moving him to 7-under par. this eagle four

between Tiger Woods and Ernie Els But it was the clash that was whetting people's appetite. a birdie chance at the first. Woods was on his knees after missing And Els dropped back to 10-under par. all his own way - Tiger Woods wasn't having it for the lead at the 9th. Sergio Garcia tied with a birdie at the 5th But Woods retook the lead this tee shot on the very next hole. and then moved into another gear with under pressure with a birdie Garcia continued to par to join Tiger Woods on 12 under Chris DiMarco and Ernie Els and then they were joined by American gave Tiger a 1-shot lead. before a birdie at the last To rugby - on top of the Tri-Nations table and the All Blacks are 35-17 after beating the Springboks in their match in Wellington. the second-placed Wallabies New Zealand now play next Saturday in Brisbane. of the premiership title In AFL - the Sydney Swans' defence is back on track. at the SCG, In front of a parochial crowd their position in the top eight. the Swans consolidated Debutant Heath Grundy, a late inclusion for the defending premiers, was superb in his first senior outing, booting three goals. COMMENTATOR: Oh, Grundy! It must be his birthday surely. There were few positives for the Tigers, who are now struggling to stay in finals contention. To rugby league now - Knights skipper Andrew Johns in fine form. It looked like Newcastle would have an easy win.

COMMENTATOR: "He gets a left boot on it. It's not too bad actually. And Andrew Johns is claiming a try. The Knights were leading 24-0 at half-time, but a Rabbitohs' fight-back gave the home side some nervous moments, scoring three tries in the second half. But it wasn't enough to take victory from Newcastle. Meantime, North Queensland came back from the crippling loss of star play-maker Johnathan Thurston in the opening stages to record an upset over Brisbane. Taking a look at the weather around the country. I'll be back at 8:30 with an update. but now it's back to Ross. Back in a moment with Who's the boss? How far can employers go to regulate the behaviour of their employees?

Maybe big brother should be

watching because we have to

eliminate that problem. I don't

snoop into their private life. When

they leave here, I doesn't follow them. Just how far can a boss go if they don't approve of the way you are conducting your life, even in private? With a focus on new workplace laws, smoking banned in offices and factories and the consequences of excessive drinking more apparent than ever, what rights do employers have to impose their views on employees to discipline or even dismiss them? We start our coverage with the US experience, and in particular, one boss who doesn't regret firing workers that refuse to quit smoking. This story from America's CBS network. Anita Epolito and Cara Stiffler were considered model employees at Weyco, an insurance consulting firm outside Lansing, Michigan. Anita - 14 years on the job, Cara - 5. They sat side by side sharing workloads

and, after work, the occasional cigarette. But at a company benefits meeting two years ago, the company president announced: As of 1 January 2005, anyone that has nicotine in their body will be fired.

And we sat there like, in awe, and I spoke out at that time - "You can't do that to us." And then he said, "Yes, I can." I said, "It's not legal." And he came back with, "Yes, it is." And it was. In the state of Michigan, there's no law that prevents a boss from firing people virtually at will. At Weyco, that meant no smoking at work, no smoking at home - no smoking period. Good afternoon. Weyco. Weyco gave employees 15 months to quit. Then they were subject to random nicotine testing. You fail, you're out. Did either of you say, "OK, this is awful but, you know, "this is the chance to break the habit?" I did. I tried to quit smoking. I took advantage of their program, the smoking cessation program. But I was unsuccessful. I'm trying every way to cut down, quit. Gum. I'm trying, yes, on my own. But I don't need an employer to do that. I pay the bills around here so I'm going to set the expectations. Howard Weyers is the boss - some would say tyrant - of Weyco. What's important - this job or the use of tobacco? Make your decision. I came right out and said, "Doesn't 14 years of my dedication or loyalty to you" - and I'm Italian, so loyalty means something - "but does it mean nothing to you?" And he said, "Sorry, Epolito, no." You didn't feel any sympathy at all for them? No, because I gave them plenty of time to make a decision. In the end, 20 employees quit smoking. Four wouldn't and were fired when they refused to take a breathalyser test. A year later, Anita and Cara are still unemployed, still smoking and fuming. I think that smoking is a great smokescreen around the true issue here. This is about privacy. This is about what you do on your own time that does - that is legal, that does not conflict with your job performance. What it's really about is money. Big business is increasingly nosing into your business, trying to cut the costs of their business, and the easiest targets are smokers. Really obese people, whose health care is among the costliest, are protected by federal law. But thousands of companies and countless municipal governments and police departments refuse to hire smokers. And some require affidavits and even use lie detector tests to enforce the policy. Bosses like Howard Weyers will not pay for what they see as other people's bad habits. The biggest frustration in the work place is the cost of health care. Medical plans weren't established to pay for unhealthy lifestyles. How much does it cost you? How much of the smokers that you once employed here cost you? I never really measured them. So it may not have cost you a dime? Well, may not. But I don't know what's going to happen five years from now with that person that's smoking. That's what I don't want to wait for. This former college football coach works out five times a week and wants his employees to share his values. At Weyco, Howard rules.

I set the policy. I'm not going to bend from the policy. But it strikes me as a kind of intolerant attitude to the habits, the foibles, eccentricities of other people. Right. I would say I'm intolerable. Intolerable and intolerant. I am, but I just can't be flexible on the policy. But Lewis Maltby,

head of the Workrights Institute in Princeton, New Jersey, calls Weyco's smoking ban a form of lifestyle discrimination. But he says it's perfectly legal in 20 states. And in most of America, a worker has virtually no rights at all. Under the law, in all but five states in America, your boss can fire you for any reason under the sun, including who you associate with after work, whether you're smoking or drinking in your own home or a bumper sticker on your car, and you have no legal recourse. The boss at Weyco says he fired those folks because smoking at home inevitably will cost him more for health care. The problem is lots of things increase your health care costs - smoking, drinking, eating junk food, not getting enough sleep, dangerous hobbies such as skiing, scuba diving. If you allow employers to regulate private behaviour because it's going to affect the company's health care costs, we can all kiss our private lives goodbye. Maltby says Weyco is an extreme case. But examples of companies nosing into their employees' lives abound. At the Borgata Casino, bar tenders and waitress - they call them Borgata Babes - can be fired if they gain more than 7% of their body weight. Or penalising workers by imposing higher health insurance premiums for activities the boss deems undesirable. And sometimes it's not even health related. There was a gentleman last fall in West Virginia who was fired And then there's Ross Hopkins. He worked for an Anheuser-Busch, the Budweiser distributor in Colorado. I went out on a date with my girlfriend

and we went to a country bar. And the waitress had delivered a Coors by mistake

and, you know, I just told her, "Well, you know, I'll take it." But then he ran into the boss's son-in-law, who offered to buy him a Bud. He says he declined and the next day at work... At the end of the day, they pulled me in and told me that they were letting me go for drinking that Coors, you know, and they told me to leave.

What was your reaction? I was very surprised, very surprised. He sued the Budweiser distributor for wrongful termination.

Both parties refuse to discuss the final resolution. Just between us, Ross, what do you prefer - Coors or Bud? I used to really like Anheuser-Busch. But, you know, this just tastes better and better and better. Countless companies like Quaker Oats, Johnson & Johnson, Honeywell, Motorola and IBM claim to have saved millions after instituting wellness programs. But all that good health might not necessarily make for the best work force. The city of North Miami, Florida, used to require that all its new police officers be non-smokers. But two years ago, the city quietly dropped the smoking ban. Gwendolyn Boyd is the city's chief of police. We realised that at best we may save 5% on our insurance premium. But now we're having a problem

with trying to recruit and hire highly qualified candidates. And we're competing against agencies that do not have that policy. Did dropping the policy dramatically change that? Were you able to find qualified people? I would have to say unequivocally yes. Officer Juan Mayato believes that the city ultimately learnt that those smokers, more often than not, made pretty good cops. I mean, what does smoking have to do with the way you perform your job

out here? There's a lot of people that smoke that are well qualified for this job

and it doesn't affect them. And, you know, they couldn't hire them. That was the problem CNN faced, that after 13 years of a ban on hiring smokers, it rescinded the policy. Even so, Lewis Maltby says it's going to be near impossible to marshal support for smokers. Smoking has become more than a health issue. Smoking has become a moral issue. Somehow people look at smokers and say, "You're a bad person because you smoke." I don't know quite how that happened, but it has. But Howard Weyers would even like to extend his smoking ban to the spouses of his employees. And for other bad habits, a heavy hint - a scale next to the company's vending machine. It's a little like, you know, the old communist eastern Europe. Big Brother is watching you all the time. Well, maybe Big Brother should be watching because we have to eliminate that problem. Even if it means snooping into their private lives? I don't snoop into their private life. When they leave here, I don't follow them. Well, you do, after a fashion. Well, a policy does. And you are the policy? Yeah, that's right. I'm the policymaker. Yes, sir. After the break - the situation here. We look at workplace rights in Australia with two occupational health experts, Dr Arthur Chesterfield-Evans and ACTU Assistant Secretary Richard Marles. Hi. Is Mr McPherson there? MR McPHERSON: Hello. Um, page 15, OK? We'll escape these fools forever.

And I shall gather my horses and we shall ride into... With Telstra's HomeLine Ultimate... Oh, hi, Dad. It's me again. ..you can make unlimited local and STD calls from your home phone for: So you can talk about anything you like as often as you like.

So, what do you think? I think you're great, sweetheart. Break a leg. Thanks, Dad. And ask about Telstra's HomeLine Ultimate. In the studio with me this morning is Dr Arthur Chesterfield-Evans, a medical doctor, leader of the Democrats in the NSW Parliament

and a fierce anti-smoking campaigner

who has also studied occupational health. Also with us is Richard Marles, the Assistant Secretary of the ACTU, a lawyer, and an expert in occupational health and medicine. So what's the situation in Australia?

You would be delighted to see that

American employer suddenly taking

people out of his workplace because

they smoke. You have been one of

the most fervent anti smoking

campaigners in Australia. Should it

happen here? It is a bit rough when

you go for the victim. I have

always said the smokers are the

victims of the tobacco companies.

The Government has to give a lead

and for the smoker's mel let. The

fact that all these forces for

smoking and against smoking are

up there. At the end of the day you

are asking the employer to sack the

smoker is a tough way of doing it.

Anything that can be done to try to

take smoking out of our community

from your view must be good. If it

is the employer's role to get those

people to change their behaviour,

if the Government can't do it,

under those circumstances why not

go to the employer? The Government

can do it ab doesn't do T that is

what I am beefing about. It is 55

years since smokinging was shown

to produce cancer. We are saying

can you smoke in pubs. The

Government keeps smoking

normalised and doesn't take a

strong line. If you take any other

drug, it is illegal and you go to

jail. If you smoke, that is fine.

Yet 97% of the drug related deaths

or caused deaths in Australia are

tobacco and alcohol. So it is kind

of an arbitrary definition. About

25 years ago we had employee

assistance programs for people who

had a problem with alcohol on the

job. They would look at their

performance and not the alcohol. It

was all about performance. I think

the same should be done with

smoking. I think we need actual

wellness programs and performance

based programs to keep people in

shape for their job. We now have

abolished zis crim nation on age so

you can't retire people of a

certain age. You need to keep them

fit their whole life. That is what

the employer is doing. Why does the

Government have to do it? The

employer was doing it in the US.

Surely under the new workplace

relations act you could implement

these as part of the agreement. You

could wipe out smoking relatively quickly? The employer presumably

got good returns for his wellness

program that he ran. He said he got

dwood returns. There were a handful

of employees who should have kept

smoking. He should have looked at

their performance, not behaviour.

The ACTU would be looking at this

and saying we have the health of

the workers versus quite clearly

the ability for them to continue to

work and stay employed. We have

seen alcohol banned from some

workplaces. We have seen drugs

banned and testing done in

workplaces. Why not other things,

such as nicotine and other things

taken out of the workplace as well?

The line that Arthur has described

is right. It is about people's

performance in the job. Policies

which are directed to that are

appropriate. When you have a policy

which really is giving expression

to an employer's own personal

prejudices, that is where we cross

the line. I suppose our concern

about the example we saw in that

segment is that it really is an

incursion into people's private

lives. This represents the employer

acting as big brother. At that

point it is inappropriate. Does

under the new workplace relations

act give an employer greater

ability to dismiss a worker based

on the employer's prejudice rather

than necessarily the performance of

the person at work? No question. No

question of that at all. Under the

work choices legislation it is much

easier for an employer to walk

down this path if they want to. If

you employ less than 100 people in

your workplace, you can dismiss

people at L you don't have to give

a reason. Can you discriminate in

whatever fashion you like provide

you don't overtly give that reason

when you dismiss somebody. There is

no question that the law is now

make it easier. You can saying you

can do what that American employer

did as long as you don't tell the

person why they are doing it?

Exactly. You wouldn't be able to go

on TV and say what he said. You can

absolutely implement a policy of

that kind as long as you are not

explease Italy saying it to people

and sack people at will. The bottom

line is if you say to somebody you

are sacked and you go no further,

can you do it if you have less than

100floi ease. We have anti-discrimination laws in this

country. We can't discriminate

according to race and religion. We

saw weight here. That is a good

question. When you get to the point

of giving the reason - if you

employ more than 100 people you

need to do that - we stkpwet into a

murky area with this. Can you not

discriminate on the basis of a

physical disability. It is

arguable that a nicotine addiction

or obesity might be described as a

physical disability, although it is

only an argument. None of it is

tested. The aebs to your question

is would be unclear. The other

thing also quite clearly there are

some good examples where health, if

you like, and weight would be

certainly determining the ability

for that person to do a job. Have

you got any examples of that? There

are some examples of that. Recently

there was some media surrounding

Australia Post's policy of

requiring their postal workers to

weigh less than 90kg, which on the

face of it doesn't seem like much.

Clearly I will not be a postal

worker. But the answer is that they

drive on small scooters. There is a

health and safety weight limit on health and safety weight limit on

that, which is something in the

order of 110kg. When you combine

the weight of the mail bag and the

weight of the person, that is where

you get to the limit. There may be

a reason which is fair enough from

an occupational safety point of

view. What is interesting is how

fine the line is stween what is a

fair enough reason in terms of the

performance of work and what seems

to be a ridiculous reason. Dr

Arthur Chesterfield-Evans, it seems

as though employers are encroaching

further into our personal lives,

that they want to know more about

us and they are prepared to

discriminate. Certainly that would

appear so in the American example,

yes. The difference of course... Is yes. The difference of course... Is

that happening here? The Americans

pay for health insurance. Here

smokers cost a lot more money in

health costs, but the Government

picks up the tab basically or the

individual picks up the tab. In

America, where you are paying for

the health insurance, they have a

much stronger spur on the employer

than you have here. Here the

employer does pay for absence and employer does pay for absence and

absence in smokers statistically

is about 50% higher overall. That

would depend on each individual and

workplace. Dr Arthur

Chesterfield-Evans and Richard

Marles, many thanks for joining us on Business Sunday. And next on Business Sunday - Terry McCrann and his take on how oil will affect interest rates

and markets. And we cross live to Annette Young in Israel to get the latest on the war and its effect on the economies of Israel and Lebanon. Love movies? Get FOXTEL's nine great movie channels free and take the My Complete Movies package.

Here with a News update is Majella Wiemers. Israeli tanks have crossed into Lebanon in a series of incursions into the south of the country.

And soldiers headed across the border to capture the village of Maroun al-Ras, fuelling fears of a planned mass land invasion. As the bombardment of southern Lebanon continues, so, too, does the scale of the humanitarian crisis. Hundreds of thousands of people are being forced to flee their homes. And more Australians have arrived home from the war-torn country. The latest group were the first to be flown out of Cyprus on an Australian Defence Force flight before arriving in Sydney this morning.

More news in the 'Sunday' program at nine. Ross. Thanks, Majella. And now we cross live to Annette Young in Haifa to get the latest on the Middle East crisis, and how it's affecting the economies of Israel and Lebanon. Good morning, Annette. And I know it's early morning where you are so thanks for joining us. Can you tell us what's happening where you are?

In southern Lebanon, where Israel

claims to have captured a village,

what is happening? Well, Ross, late

yesterday afternoon a Nine network

crew and myself were down on the

Israeli side of the border watching

the tanks roll in and the troops

head towards the town of Maroun

al-Ras which they say they have

taken over and have found to be a

stronghold of Hezbollah. They found

a cashe of muen ition and other

bits and pieces stored in a mosque.

As a result the Israelies say they

are in possession of the town and

will stay there for some time. We

are being told that this is not a

full mass invasion. They are doing

what we call probing, they are

going in and out, very short-term

incursion was very specific goals.

We've heard, of course, that they

have called up reservists. Is

there any feeling in ta part of the

world that there could be a

full-scale invasion? Well,

basically what we are hearing now,

despite the fact that there are

despite the fact that there are

thousands of troops and tanks

massed on that border, is that they

really not interested in this stage

on embarking on a full-scale ground

invasion. Keep in mind it is only

six years ago that Israeli troops

withdrew from southern Lebanon, the

memories of which are very fresh in memories of which are very fresh in

the minds of the Israeli public. It

was not at all a popular war by any

stretch of the imagination. Not to

mention looking at the tiepgraphy

in that area, you can see why a

full-scale ground invasion would be

extremely difficult. It is very

hilly, there are lots of valleys

and the Hezbollah fighters have

bunkered down literally so it would

be a long and dirty operation if

they went down that path. So they

are looking at a short-term

incursions. The situation in

southern Lebanon is serious for

people who have been there trying

to get out. Is there any suggestion

of the humanitarian effort required

in order to provide relief and get

people out? Well, UN delegation was

saying late yesterday that it will

cost somewhere in the order of

US$100 million in terms of

ensuring that a full-scale

humanitarian effort is launched in

Lebanon. In terms of those half a

million, even more - we are talking

up to 600,000 people being

dispraise placed in the south of

the country, not to mention the

whole infrastructure south of

Beiruitite down to the Israeli

border having been substantially

damaged as a result of that

bombardment - it will take a lot of

effort. That is to get things back

on track. You also talk about

Lebanon recovering from a civil war.

We have seen images of the Beiruit

airport being literally destroyed

by the bombing. Is it a situation

where it will be costly and clearly

costly for the economy as well?

Well, absolutely, Ross. They were

predicting this year that their

economy in Lebanon would have grown

by about 5%. I imagine as a result

of what has happened in the last 12

days that will not happen certainly.

In addition they've estimated

several billion dollars of damage

to infrastructure, not to mention

tourism, which is one of their

fastest growing sectors. They were

going to have a record number of

tourists. They were expeblinging

around 1.6 million people to visit

them, a record high since the end

of the civil war in 1990. Of course,

that has all gone by the wayside as

a result of what has happened. What

about northern Israel where are you,

in Haifa and that area. It must

impact on the economy around that

area as well? It has indeed. We

have the mayor of Haifa, who the

other day was calling on the Israeli government to declare a

state of war so that private sector

and various other business people

can claim compensation. At the

moment, particularly the tourism

sector also here in this part of the world, has been massively

affected by what is going on. It is

a very popular area around where I

am here in Haifa. Again, the

Israeli government was estimating

somewhere in the order of up to

three million visitors this year.

Again, it is the highest since the

beginning of the intifada. As a

result of the what is happening,

those numbers will be downscaled

consider blifplt we have a number

of hotel that is are full of

journalists and camera crews and

military officials, certainly no

tourists in sight. I know that

Haifa seems quite early in the

morning. Any evidence of

Hezbollah's activities in northern

Israel at this stage? Not currently,

but certainly throughout the day we

have had a series of rocket attacks

not so much in Haifa food but in

other border community but in other

communities 20km or 30km inland

from where I am. Those rocket

attacks will continue. There have

been 150 today apparently. There

have been more than 2,000 rockets

that rained down on those northern

border communities, Ross. Many

thanks for joining us so early in

the morning in Haifa.

And here's Terry McCrann with his take on what's happening in the Middle East. Despite what Annette just told us, he thinks it may be business as usual.

The events on the ground in and

around Israel remain murky and just

dreadful. The investment and global

economic dynamics and consequences,

though, are starting to look a lot

clearer. Simply, if a little brute

yally, the absent a major Iranian

intervention and or something

happening to actual oil flows out

of the Gulf as opposed to prices

in New York, bottom line, broadly -

it's back to business as usual.

That means waiting for the Fed on

interest rates combined with what

is actually happening to the US

economy. We saw that very clearly

when big Ben Bernanke's hinted that

interest rates might stop going up

sent Wall Street roaring up over

200 points on the Dow. Some words

of warning - first, Bernanke is not

repeat not, promising to stop

hiking rates, just that he thinks

he might stop. He can always think

again. Looking down the track, we

could wake up literally to a shock

share market thumping as a

consequence of Wall Street waking

up. But in its case figuratively -

to such higher rates. Second, be

careful what you wish for. The

world in which Bernanke stopped

hiking might be a world poor for

profits and so for share prices. At

least oil prices look like coming

back to the low 70s and that should

keep petrol on the right side of

$1.50 or less than $1 before taxes. And in the 'Sunday' program today - a special report on the 1985 bombing of the Greenpeace flagship 'Rainbow Warrior'.

Why did the French do something so stupid?

My dad has been murdered. I don't

see it as manslaughter. I don't see

it as accidental killing. 20 years

ago, Marelle Pereira lost her

father Fernando, killed by a bomb

on the Rainbow Warrior. She was

just eight years old. And it was an

act of state sponsored terrorism.

It was an act of war. When we come back - America gets tough on on-line gambling.

This is a scourge on our society.

The epidemic of unregulated

gambling that is destroying lives

that puts a full online casino in every single home in America.

A battle that's been simmering for years came to a head this week with the arrest of Britain's BETonSPORTS chief executive David Carruthers during a stopover in the US on his way to his Costa Rican headquarters. American authorities have tried for years to prohibit on-line gambling and the arrest of Carruthers is seen as a way of attempting to halt the rise in US Internet wagers. He's now in custody in St Louis, awaiting a detention hearing. His indictment on conspiracy, fraud and racketeering charges has affected betting companies with US exposure. Australia's Betcorp this week fell 36%, along with its decision to move its stock market listing to the London market. It was a calculated risk for British on-line gambling magnate David Carruthers, arrested while changing planes in Texas under an ambiguous US law banning electronic wages. Unlike the UK, which chose to regulate Internet betting, moralists in the US Congress favour prohibition. This is a scourge on our society. It causes innumerable problems. The on-line gaming industry is based in small states like Costa Rica and Gibraltar, yet the USA is home to half the world's on-line gambling market, politicians here citing gambling addiction as the reason to crackdown. What this bill goes after is the epidemic of unregulated gambling that is destroying lives that puts a full on-line casino in every single home in America. But these same politicians are happy to make exceptions - for example, horse racing and the lottery. For some, this is old-fashioned American protectionism, the WTO already criticising the US for restricting trade in on-line services. You have a number of vested interests in the States that have large gambling interests that don't want them disrupted as a result of the cheaper and easily available supplies that can be made from offshore. But the effect is the industry stays offshore, the US missing out on billions in potential tax revenues, on-line gambling growing at nearly 25% a year, with 12.5 million punters regularly logging on. The millions of Americans who currently wager on-line will continue to use offshore web sites out of the reach of US law enforcement and they will remain unprotected by state regulators who ensure the integrity of brick and mortar gaming establishments in this country.

David Carruthers, a fierce critic of prohibition, is known for lobbying hard that regulation not only manages gambling's social ills but also pumps money into government coffers. Which shows there's more than one way to lose on a punt. After the break - an inspiring story of two Aussie blokes taking on the world - and winning.

The product did exactly what I

wanted it to do. We use it

extensively for many things. It is

a fantastic product T really,

really has changed the way we do things around herement The '2006 Books Alive Great Read Guide' features 50 books that are so good, everyone will want to read them. Get your free copy in this month's

'Australian Women's Weekly' or at participating booksellers. LIGHT-HEARTED MUSIC It's the stuff business dreams are made of - two young, knockabout blokes meet at uni, come up with a good idea, put a lot of time and effort into developing it, form a company, and suddenly there are huge corporations knocking at their cyber-door, handing over millions. And they're big-time institutions, like Microsoft, NASA and the US Government, as you'll see. Helen McCombie reports on Atlassian software and its 20-something partners. Scott Farquhar and Mike Cannon-Brookes are typical Aussie blokes. They like a beer and a bit of pool after work. And they don't mind a game of fast poker at lunchtime. But the relaxed office atmosphere hides a fierce desire to succeed and they want to do it on the world stage. Mike and Scott have developed a global business and they are taking on the big guns.

So we have companies like Microsoft, who ostensibly compete with us, who have purchased our product. Both 26, they met at university. When they finished, they set up their own software company. The youthful naivete, I suppose,

to think that we could do something better.

Both of us probably aren't very good at working for anyone else.

Our original grand plan was to earn enough money

that we would be the same as a graduate position that our friends had taken. Four years later, they have done much more than that. The software entrepreneurs have staff of 50, offices in Sydney and San Francisco and turnover of $15 million. So both of us are in charge. We're co-founders, you would say co-CEOs. We travel around the world so much. We're both sort of spending about one-third of our time in San Francisco at the moment. So having two people with fairly equal management responsibility is very, very useful from the business point of view. If I can't convince him that something is a good idea, then it usually isn't and vice versa. So we sort of are governed by a unanimous consent. The company name, Atlassian, is indicative of what they are trying to achieve with their business. Atlassian came from my mother

putting me through so many years of classics, I suppose.

Atlas was a Greek titan whose job was to hold up the sky, so we thought this was one of the original legendary service efforts, if you like. So it is sort of the bastardised adjectival form of Atlas -

an Atlassian effort, if you like. So what is it that their software products provide? They broadly help small teams of people operate more efficiently in very large companies, so it helps them to manage projects, to exchange documents and discussion and collaborate over whatever project they happen to be working on as well as managing the tasks and work flows and things like that that go on in a day-to-day business project in any sort of organisation. It is a fantastic product. It really, really has changed things the way we do things around here. Victor Rodriguez is design and development software manager at Cochlear, the Australian company that makes the bionic ear. He is a big fan. The product did exactly what I wanted it to do. It actually introduced certain things that I started doing that just made a lot of sense and adapted and changed the way that I was managing the projects at the time. Then over time just the entire company decided that it was a great product to use.

We actually use it extensively for many things. We use it for managing issues. We use it for project management. We use it for eliciting requirements from users. We use it for comments. Atlassian has done remarkably well given its products mainly sell via word of mouth. It took a year to get 100 customers, two years to get 1,000 and, having just celebrated its fourth birthday, now boasts 4,000 customers. They include the major investment banks, Telstra, the Reserve Bank, NASA and global giant Microsoft. Initially we thought that they were downloading it just to copy it and that they were really just going to investigate what it did and how they could do it themselves. But what we've found is that one department, a rogue department inside Microsoft, has decided to use our product. It's quite satisfying. At the moment, the major problem for the business is one that is common to many Australian industries. There is a shortage of skilled labour. In Australia, there's a bit more of an IT shortage now because there is not as many people graduating from university. So it is very hard to find qualified, talented graduates. I can't say we've had too many huge hurdles during the business. It is a very straightforward business. It is geared towards having a lot of customers so we don't have problems where if one customer leaves us, that's half our revenue. It's sort of much more of a portfolio business that way. While the pair appear to have a fairly relaxed approach to life, they are very focused on continuing to build their sales, and the standard annual business plan doesn't work for them. We don't really have a plan per se. We have a number of ideas of things that we'd like to do in the next year, and we hope to get to those. We sit down once a quarter with the management team to work out exactly what we're going to do in the next quarter, but it's a very short-term approach, if you like, from that perspective. It's a very fast-moving industry so any plans we set for three years time will probably be out of date in a quarter. As their business has grown, so have their goals. Scott Farquhar and Mike Cannon-Brookes have a very big number in their sights. One of our large goals is to get to 50,000 customers. We think we can do that with some of our current products and by introducing new products. But essentially to keep to the same business plan

that we have at the moment, which is producing great software that people love to use and selling it in a manner that people love to buy it.

Well, if that doesn't give you the incentive to get up and go to work next week, nothing will. That's Business Sunday for today. 'Sunday' is next with the latest on the Australian evacuations. I'm Ross Greenwood. See you next week. Supertext Captions by the Australian Caption Centre. www.auscap.com.au

DOG BARKS (Grunts with exertion) Aah! The Special K Shoe Wallet, to keep your keys. the perfect place to eep yout keys. Now inside 1 in 3 specially marked packs.