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Athletes relieved by planned funding boost -

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That was Tony Abbott's Budget Reply. After a no-frills budget we got a no-frills response. No new
spending announcements and only a few new spending cuts. As promised Tony Abbott declared war on
the resource tax vowing not only to try to block it in Opposition but to esinned it in Government.
He did not pledge to beat the Government to surplus only to get there at least as quickly so how
will he do it? A Coalition Government will restructure the school halls program, abandon the
National Broadband Network and chop Government advertising by 25%. Apart from taking an axe to
Government programs he will take an axe to the public service but in the kindest possible way. Tony
Abbott wants to lose 12,000 jobs through natural attrition. He will impose a two-year freeze on
recruitmentment which he estimates will save $4 billion over 2 years. There is a promise of more to
come. Next year Joe Hockey will announce further spending cuts.

Abbott pledges to freeze recruitment

This Program is Captioned Live.

Welcome. This election year seems to be shaping like no other where each side can tie or tries to
outdo the other in the imagery of budget belt-tightening while at the same time accusing each other
of proflagacy. Today the response was that Tony Abbott had to identify more than $15 billion in
savings over four years just to pay for the promises he has already announced. It demanded he Put
Up or Shut Up by revealing the detail of his saving goes. By that measure he has made only a modest
start tonight but he has gone where the Government refused to go cutting into public service
numbers by proposeing a 2-year recruitment freeze. He says more detail will be announce bad the
Shadow Treasurer next week. I'm joined from Canberra by Chris Uhlmann. What do we learn out of this
speech that gives us some sense of the kind of dot points if you like of Mr Abbott's policies ahead
going towards the election?

Tony Abbott says he should be a Government that does no harm. He is borrowing on medical
practitioner dictum there and points to the fact that this Government has done a lot of harm. He
has run a line back at the Prime Minister that was used so effectively in the 2007 campaign and
that was "this reckless spending must stop". So he has painted the picture of a wanton, careless,
reckless, wasteful Government then has gone to his own cuts and we see he is going to freeze public
service recruitment for 2 years so not vicious cuts but something he says will save $4 billion. He
will not do some of the things the Government said it would do. $26 billion would be saved by not
going ahead with the National Broadband Network. He says he will cut some of the, or restructure
some of the spendsing to the schools program a very difficult thing to do just to cut it because
that program is actually quite successful in communities so he is tying to set-up quite a contrast
but the main thing he says and the interesting points is that he wants the fight on the same ground
the Government wants the fight t resource rent tax. He says this election should turn on it. I
think the Government think that is the case too. It just depends on who gets the sales pitch right.

Apart from anything else there is some scope for the Government to at least change some aspects of
that tax and possibly get the mining industry back onside. We are yet to see that played out but
that could cut some of the ground from under Mr Abbott if he is planning to put so much emphasis on

He will make the argument this entire thing will kill the goose that laid the golden egg and in the
polling that has been done at least by the Liberal Party they know when they are talking about jobs
on this issue that is when it has some bite because the message has got through to the community
that the mining boom did have something to do with the prosperity they used to enjoy and helped get
them through the global financial crisis. The Government has a powerful message which that is the
community does deserve to get something more out of the mineral industry than it does at the moment
that, to extract a fair pies for mineral thanks can only be extracted once.

You have given us some sense of the kind of campaign that we have air head but it is already clear
is it not that both sides are now going to be limited in hat they can promise without taking
something away at the same time. That becomes Tony Abbott's problem more than the Government's?

It is a problem for the Opposition who is trying to gain Government and cannot do it by offering
baubles. And the Government has made a virtue by being boring in the last budget and wants us to
look at the surplus which is in the future. It has controlled that argument well when you think
next year we will have a $40 billion defsit. Everybody is talking about the Government's sure must
at this stage so they have pulled off that message well so now we do look at a fight this year
around who can best chart the future by belt-tightening, by getting the fiscal settings of
Australia right and I think that is a message that clearly both sides thinks works well. For the
Coalition's part they see real advantage in the Government's record that there has been a record
this over time of real waste.

The $15 billion Lindsay Tanner has identified as money already promised to be spent by the
Opposition if they come to Government, how real is that isty mat, how real are those figures?

He has gone through in great detail all the bits and pieces that Tony Abbott has said so far so you
can say there is some meat in that. They will argue over the detail of this and everything. One of
the things the Coalition is trying to do this evening is to say it would not spend the money on the
National Broadband Network. Now both sides talk about it indifferent terms. The Government says it
is an investment and you cannot claim that as a saving and the Opposition will argue that is the
case. They will argue over the details as they do.

Joe Hockey the Shadow Treasurer will outline more detail next Wednesday in his speech to the
National Press Club but presumably - excuse me - the more detail the Opposition puts on the table
the more potentially they expose themselves as a target for the Government?

The larger the target becomes the more you say but this is the process the Opposition would say is
moving them from being an Opposition to an alternative Government. They do at some stage have to
start putting meat on the bones. They do at some stage have to start giving a vision of what an
Australia would look like under Tony Abbott and it cannot be "please return the Government you lost
because it did such a great job". He has admitted some mistakes but has not gone far enough on
WorkChoices. He talked individual contracts which will be used by the

Athletes relieved by planned funding boost

Government as its fear campaign this will see a return of WorkChoices.

There were some very anxious athletes and Olympics sports administrators awaiting the outcome of
this week's Federal budget. Their concern was triggered by the recommendations of the Crawford
inquiry that funding at the elite level should be cut and redirected to broader participation
sports like football and cricket but after months of intense lobbying the Australian Olympic
Committee won the day. The Federal Government announced an extra $195 million in funding over the
next 4 years and most will to go the elite level. The Olympic Movement which warned of dire
consequences if funding was cut now has to produce the goods and meet its own expectations of a
top-five medal count at the London Games in two years time. 24-year-old Murray Stuart has high
hopes of competing at the London Olympics and the path for this promising Sydney kayaker has now
become a little easier, continuing success at the international level will bring him more
Government financial support and reduce the reliance on his family.

Most of the year round it is a burden on parents.

Murray Stuart juggles his sporting career with university studies. Many other would-be Olympians
scramble to train around work commitments. There were dire warnings that if fund ing for canoeing
and other Olympics sports had been cut in the budget many potential champions would be lost.

A lot of the guys out there struggle. And some drop out because they can not afford to go away.

We will put petrol in the tank, provide food on the table for those families and not make it such a
strain. These are not salaries the Government is giving, these are amounts to enable sufficient
amounts to enable athletes to train properly and very few of our Olympians make a living out of
their sports.

John Coates is the President of the Australian Olympic Committee was a driving force behind the
widely acclaimed Sydney Games. The nation revelled in the event as Australia's athletes plundered
the greatest medal haul in the country's history. A Dec Aird later when a Government-commissioned
inquiry recommended cuts Olympic sports funding John Coates did not hold back.

There is a nonsense. This funding is vilety important to the entire nation. It is not just for the
bone fit of the sportsmen and sports women.

Your words "I'm pissed off ".

John Coates stormed Canberra a relentless campaign weighed right up to the budget. A tough battle?

Yes it was a tough battle and we had our moments.

But he was far from alone in the fight. Many others in the Olympic Movement joined the fray
including former marathon runner Steve Monday a getty.

I think our first - worst fears was there was a sense that elite sport was not as valued and the
results were not reflective in society and I think they have been unfound. It is great to see.

In its argument against the funding cuts did Olympics move hment history on its side. It did not
take much to remind the politicians about the public uproar that followed Australia's dismal
showing at the 1976 Olympics which swiftly led to the creation of the Australian Institute of

I do not think at the end of the day that any Government would like to see, to see us going back to
where we were in Montreal where we got a silver and three bronze medals in 197. They would not want
that on their watch.

While maintaining funding for the Olympics sports there was also money in the Federal budget for
all tiers of sport from the grassroots up. The Olympic Movement argues one of the greatest
motivations for participation comes from the inspiring performances of athletes on the world stage.
Jacky Lawrence won a sleigh level silver medal in Beijing.

I had people coming up to me saying they had started canoeing because of seeing me win a medal. The
flow-on effects are amazing.

Everyone can remember Cathy Freeman winning that 400. It is things like that get you in to the
sport and to be competitive.

That undervalues the bone fits. It is not just at financial benefit with the funding it is knowing
the hard work and training the athletes are putting in now is valued.

The expanded Federal Government funding has provided some security but comes nowhere near the
support where British athletes have enjoyed by now funded by a national lottery. At the last
Olympics the British demonstrated especially on the cycling track how far their funding had taken
them. The London Games in 2 years time now becomes the major focus for the Australian Olympic
Committee. John Coates is now hopeful that Australia can hold off the British surge.

The target for this team is to finish in the top 5 and that will be very, very hard and we have
slipped a bit out of that but we should not step back from that as Australians, we should continue
to aspire to be top 5 in London. That is what our

Obama faces Wall Street resistance

Obama faces Wall Street resistance

Broadcast: 13/05/2010

Reporter: Kerry O'Brien

Financial journalist Roger Lowenstein discusses his book on the economic crisis in the US titled
The End of Wall Street.


KERRY O'BRIEN, PRESENTER: Kevin Rudd might have a battle royal on his hands with Australia's
powerful mining companies but the mining lobby here is child's play compared to what US President
Barack Obama is confronting from Wall Street in his attempt to introduce much tougher regulation of
the major banks after the financial market collapse a year and a half ago.

But despite the Wall Street influence the Democrats in Congress have managed to foil a Republican
attempt to water down some of the new rules governing the trading of derivatives a complex
financial practice at the heart of the market collapse.

Even as the US economy climbs out of the recession, with 15 million still unemployed, the experts
continue to rake over the coals, still dazed at the blindness of those at the heart of the madness
that simply did not see it or, did not want to.

Roger Lowenstein, the highly respected financial journalist who's penned four previous books, has
interviewed 180 participants in the maelstrom, to write a definitive account called 'The End of
Wall Street.

I spoke with him from his Boston home for this interview.

You have concluded what failed was the post industrial model of capitalism. What was at the heart
of the model and what was the essence of the failure?

ROGER LOWENSTEIN, JOURNALIST: The essence of that model is we did not need Government or any speed
limits on the financial highways or any regulation. Alan Greenspan told us derivative contracts
negotiated by bankers are self regulated, everything is supposed to be self regulated.

So that model was supposed to deliver prosperity and smooth sailing not to lead to virtually every
bank failing.

KERRY O'BRIEN: What was the essence of the failure?

ROGER LOWENSTEIN: Banks borrowed too much and made a mess of who they lent to. In our property
markets lending money to people without checking to see if they had an income or assets. Lending
them the full balance of their homes. The things that any fourth grade students of finance would
know you cannot do. They lost their heads.

KERRY O'BRIEN: One of the most incredible elements in the book is to the extent of that the boards
of all those iconic Wall Street institutions seemed to oblivious of what was going on in their own

As the straw was built they were licking up the gravy but this was the Emperor's New Clothes wasn't

ROGER LOWENSTEIN: Even the top managers and directors presumed that the trades were made that they
would be good. The models interceptor gave them the history of what happened in the past, the
mortgage failures and so on, and they should have been on top of this.

The head of Meryl Lynch did not bother to ask in mortgage securities how much the firm owned. He
turned to his fellows and said 'How much of this are we into?' And comes the reply $50 billion.

At that points the firm is dead, it is too late.

KERRY O'BRIEN: Everyone from Alan Greenspan down telling themselves this was the market at its most

ROGER LOWENSTEIN: The further along one of these things gets you should be more cautious because
prices are getting higher, reports are getting more dodgy the further you go, but just the opposite
happens. People say nothing has gone wrong, I guess we can go a step further; nothing has gone
wrong, we can go a step further.

Like the cartoon where a character goes an inch over the cliff, another inch and it is not until he
is eight feet beyond the cliff he realises there is nothing but air beneath him.

KERRY O'BRIEN: This could be tempting to put it down as to an old pea and thimble trick, but it was
worse than just rogues.

ROGER LOWENSTEIN: Everybody was counting on the next fellow to hold the hot potato when the music

People got mortgage loans they could not possibly refinance but they thought they would get a new
loan to pay it off. The guy in the mortgage bank that issued the loan they were thinking it was no
problem to them because they would sell the loan to Wall Street and the Wall Street banks thought
'they don't care if the loans are good because they will sell them to investors'.

Everybody looked one step down the road and when the music stops somebody will hold the risk of it.

Everybody cannot be free of it.

KERRY O'BRIEN: Alan Greenspan at least did confess to the failure, to the false foundation he built
his faith on, but he had gone by then but his replacement had proclaimed, in late 2007 as the house
of cards was crumbling, that 'the banking system is healthy'.

So Bernanke did not see it at the time quite near he was to the thick of it. He is now the
Secretary of Treasury. Many Wall Street bankers whose hands were dirty were there, how can these
people be trusted to craft a solution when they were all part of the problem?

ROGER LOWENSTEIN: That is a good question. You did not mention Larry Summers in the late '90s who
was influential in crushing a proposal to derivatives. He is now the top economic advisor to Barack

Bernanke was late in seeing what happened and fully supported Greenspan.

The one bright light is a man named Bill Dudley. He has broken from Bernanke in a very interesting
way. Greenspan and Bernanke maintained it is not the Fed's job to prick bubbles, whose job it would
be I don't know, but Bill Dudley says of course it is the Fed's job.

There is some sign that Bernanke is beginning to evaluate that position. Having lived through this
trauma at least we can say he won't want to live through it again.

KERRY O'BRIEN: Have you met a single senior banker since this unfolded who stopped to think about
how badly this has impacted on American lives and the lives of others let alone the full national
economy and the future of the nation?

ROGER LOWENSTEIN: They seem a bit blind to that. They are talking about why there is so much of a
push for more regulation, why are people blaming bankers, are they being scapegoated?

Many have not heard them say 15 million American are out of work, we did this to them, we deserve
more rules. There is really very little empathy or understanding on the part of the bankers.

KERRY O'BRIEN: What are your observations as you watch the latest chapter with Goldman Sachs

ROGER LOWENSTEIN: It raises, it's tremendous wake up call. Even though what they are alleged to
have done does not speak directly to everything that has gone on during the bubble, it has spoken
to the American public very clearly and so it has spoken to Congress and they have got the message
that things have to change.

Whether bankers want limits or not we have to put limits on them, so what happened to Goldman Sachs
is fortuitous.

KERRY O'BRIEN: You highlighted a number of areas needing change. Is Barack Obama on the mark with
what he is trying to get through the Congress with regulation on that front?

ROGER LOWENSTEIN: We have trouble in the US dealing with big complicated issues, you saw that with
health care. There is a lot in the bill I do not particularly like. Some things are not in it but
the Barack Obama bill, which is really a Democrat bill in Congress, is doing one good thing, it is
taking derivatives, the credit default swaps that have grown up outside the architecture of
deregulation, and if the bill passes it will put them under the tent of regulation so we do not
have half the financial system regulated we have the whole thing again.

If it does that it would be a good step for Barack Obama and the Congress.

KERRY O'BRIEN: What is the risk of today of derivatives imploding further?

ROGER LOWENSTEIN: Tremendous. Look at Greece. When we talk about drive it is the, we are talking
about casinos where people can make tremendous side bets. They are not lending money to mortgages,
they are not lending money to Greece or other governments they are just making these huge wagers
where somebody will lose a pot load of money and destabilise the system and they are going on as
they always were.

The focus has shifted to mortgages to southern bonds and so on but they are out there and if you
look back on every one of these crises in the last ten years, derivatives are always in the thick
of it.

KERRY O'BRIEN: As a financial journalist you have been part of the process and the system so what
faith do you have left in the market?

ROGER LOWENSTEIN: We are always going to have these problems. When we saw what happened last week
with these computerised trading glitches, I would have a lot more faith in the market if it were
run by human beings not just computers.

When you talk about the end of Wall Street I wonder why do we allow computers to Marshall more than
half the trades without any human directing them to? When that happens the purpose of Wall Street
begins to get away from us because it is not about people making judgments about investments but
these electronic impulses to trade back and forth with no rhyme or region.

KERRY O'BRIEN: Yet that is the future?

ROGER LOWENSTEIN: It is certainly the future. It is certainly present.

Voice of courage and defiance

Voice of courage and defiance

Broadcast: 13/05/2010

Reporter: John Taylor

Mohammad Reza Shajarian, a superstar of Persian traditional music is currently touring Australia.
He is considered a living legend within his home country of Iran and has played to packed halls
here. While some artists have been punished for speaking out, Mohammad Shajarian believes it's time
for art, and religion, to be separated from politics.


KERRY O'BRIEN, PRESENTER: Iran's diplomatic isolation is said to increase with the US pushing for
more punitive sanctions over concern about the country's nuclear ambition.

While pressure is mounting the unrest after the disputed presidential election last year shows many
Iranians are pressing for change. Among them is Mohammad Reza Shajarian, superstar of Persian
traditional music who is currently touring Australia.

He is considered a living legend in his country and has played to packed halls here. While some
artists have been punished for speaking out, Mohammad Reza Shajarian believes it is time for art
and religion to be separated from politics.

John Taylor reports from Brisbane.

JOHN TAYLOR, REPORTER: It is a rare concert that begins with a standing ovation.

For his fans in Australia Mohammad Reza Shajarian is a touchstone to a distant homeland.

FAN 1: If you go to any Iranian Persian house you will find his tape as one of the collection of
the music. To me his voice is heavenly.

FAN 2: It is a unique opportunity to be here because, for people in Iran, finding a ticket for his
concert is no mean feat.

JOHN TAYLOR: Mohammad Reza Shajarian is a living legend of Iranian classical music. His mastery of
a complex weave of rigid structure, ancient poetry and and improvisation has brought him
considerable fame back home.

MOHAMMAD REZA SHAJARIAN, MUSICIAN: We keep the art for people and this is for the people that we
are living among. And that is very satisfying for me. I'm living among the people, we have the same
thoughts: I love them, and they love me.

For decades the 69 year old has been at the forefront of Iranian traditional music. Music is his
life and every performance is intense.

MOHAMMAD REZA SHAJARIAN: If I don't have anything to say I couldn't even sing. I always have to
have something. I mean an artist is like a pregnant woman.that's giving birth. On the stage I have
a similar feeling. When I come on the stage, whatever is bottled up inside me I throw it out.
Whatever is in me, it's releated to my environment and the society that I'm living in.

That proved especially so last year after Iran's disputed presidential election.

As people marched and died Mohammad Reza Shajarian demanded state radio and television stop
broadcasting his music.

MOHAMMAD REZA SHAJARIAN: Because the President came and insulted people and called them dirt and
dust, "these people who are coming here and complaining they are a bunch of dirt and dust". Then I
said ok, I'm from the same dirt and dust too. 19:02 My voice was has been for the dirt and dust and
I do not give permission to broadcast my voice on your radio and television.

Broadcasters did so but others called him a traitor. Some broadcasters have been detained but the
singer says he is not afraid.

MOHAMMAD REZA SHAJARIAN: Now after 30 years since religion came and entered politics and started
handling the government, because this has had a very, very bad result, everyone has come to this
belief we must separate religion from politics.

In Australia he is still pushing the boundaries, allowing his daughter to sing solo in front of
mixed audiences.

JOHN TAYLOR: By calling for your music not to be played after the disputed election and by your
actions with your daughter singing in front of mixed audiences in concerts, are you ever so gently
trying to push the authorities in Iran?

MOHAMMAD REZA SHAJARIAN: No. No. Because they ... they're taking their path and as they say these
are divine laws and you can't change them. And whatever we say they do whatever they want to. They
do whatever they want to do and we do whatever we want to do.

Clarke and Dawe on Kevin Rudd

Clarke and Dawe put PM to the test

Broadcast: 13/05/2010

Reporter: John Clarke and Brian Dawe

John Clarke and Bryan Dawe put the Prime Minister to the test.


KERRY O'BRIEN, PRESENTER: Time for John Clarke and Bryan Dawe with the Prime Minister.

BRYAN DAWE: Your name is Percy?


BRYAN DAWE: You are a self funded retiree?

JOHN CLARKE: I would like to be. I mean I would have the sell my house.

BRYAN DAWE: What would you do if you sold your house?

JOHN CLARKE: Become a self funded retiree.

BRYAN DAWE: Why don't you do that?

JOHN CLARKE: I can't afford to hire accommodation. I would have the sell my house in order to do
it. I do not want to have to sell my house or I would have nowhere to live.

BRYAN DAWE: Good luck

JOHN CLARKE: Thank you.

BRYAN DAWE: Your subject is the Rudd Government. Your time starts now. When did the Rudd Government
come to power?


BRYAN DAWE: No, 2007.

JOHN CLARKE: Quite recently.

BRYAN DAWE: Had was the under Government going to govern for?

JOHN CLARKE: For Australians working families.

BRYAN DAWE: Correct. What are Australian working families?

JOHN CLARKE: Australian working families.

BRYAN DAWE: Yes. Who are they?

JOHN CLARKE: All Australian working families.

BRYAN DAWE: Yes, but what are you talking about?

JOHN CLARKE: This answer will benefit all Australian working families.

BRYAN DAWE: Correct. Who has used the term "working Australian families" more than Kevin Rudd?

JOHN CLARKE: Julia Gillard.

BRYAN DAWE: Correct.

JOHN CLARKE: What is my score

JOHN CLARKE: Nambour High.

BRYAN DAWE: Correct.

BRYAN DAWE: Who is the Environment Minister?



JOHN CLARKE: Who is the Indigenous Affairs Minister.


JOHN CLARKE: Knowledge correct.

BRYAN DAWE: Who is the broadcasting minister

JOHN CLARKE: Kerry Stokes.

BRYAN DAWE: No Stephen Convoy.

JOHN CLARKE: I hope Kerry Stokes has been made aware of that.

BRYAN DAWE: Yes, he okayed it. What is an internet filter?

JOHN CLARKE: Something that fails the filter the internet.

BRYAN DAWE: Correct. What does the Rudd government do when something is in the too hard basket?.
Commission as report.

BRYAN DAWE: Can you be more specific?

JOHN CLARKE: Commission as series of reports and gives them to John Faulkner.

BRYAN DAWE: Correct. What was the purpose of the first home buyers scheme?

JOHN CLARKE: No, put house prices up.

BRYAN DAWE: No listen the question Percy. What was the purpose of the first home buyers scheme?

JOHN CLARKE: The opposite. To encourage young people to get into housing market.

BRYAN DAWE: Other than the language we normally hear from Kevin Rudd what other language does Kevin
Rudd speak?


BRYAN DAWE: Correct. What is the greatest moral challenge of our time?


BRYAN DAWE: Correct. What is the Rudd's government refugee policy?

JOHN CLARKE: Keep them out and let them in.

BRYAN DAWE: You have a surplus of whoops!

JOHN CLARKE: Really. I still have my house.

BRYAN DAWE: Just check that will you quickly?

I still have my house. Just check that will you quickly?

That is the program for tonight and the week. Don't forget 'Stateline' at 7.30 tomorrow. I will
join you again on Monday but for now goodnight. Closed Captions by CSI

(On radio) MAN: 'T minus 40 seconds. Everything looks good for launch.'

'Have you ever dreamt of going somewhere special? Somewhere far from the crowds? Off the beaten
track? How about off world? Is it time to catch a rocket to the red planet?'

Mars is filled with mysteries. Volcanoes 75,000 feet tall. Huge canyons 3,000 miles across and 6
miles deep. All kinds of interesting features.

'Awaiting you is some of the greatest scenery in the solar system. On a world where water once
ruled and then vanished into thin air, where lost microbe empires may still survive underground.
We've seen the postcards, and we do wish we were there.'

Just the thought of being in this new world and seeing a landscape that no other person had seen
before. I think a lot of astronauts would sign up to that.

(On radio) MAN: 'Go ahead.'

'But don't be fooled. Almost nothing about going to Mars will be easy. Danger awaits you amongst
the desolate beauty. And perhaps Martians do too.'

MAN: If we find on Mars evidence of a second independent origin of life, that's hugely profound
because it tells us right away that life is common in the universe.

'Mars - invaded by robot, perhaps soon by an Earthling like you.'