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Fed Budget needs to look long-term: Rudd

Fed Budget needs to look long-term: Rudd

The World Today - Wednesday, 7 May , 2008 12:11:00

Reporter: Lyndal Curtis

ELEANOR HALL: It is not until next Tuesday that the Rudd Government hands down its first Budget.

But in a speech in Perth today, the Prime Minister has decided to give a preview of the Budget

Kevin Rudd said he wants to lay the foundations for the Government's Budget message and says he
wants everyone to know that he's planning for the long-term and is above knee-jerk reactions.

Chief political correspondent, Lyndal Curtis, has our report.

LYNDAL CURTIS: Kevin Rudd is a man on a mission and that is to cast his Government's first Budget
as the first step in a long road - not as he has accused his predecessors of making Budgets - a
goodie bag from which to hand out electoral largesse.

He acknowledges some of what he says are significant spending cuts, won't be popular. One of those
is likely to be the efficiency dividend on the public service which he says will save $1.3-billion
over four years.

But Kevin Rudd seems ready to wear any post-Budget flack.

KEVIN RUDD: For too long Budgets have been an annual political set-piece in which the government of
the day delivers a swathe of hand-outs and quick fixes. It's no longer good enough given the
challenges we face long-term.

If Australia is to compete and succeed in a rapidly changing world, we need a long-term approach to
fiscal policy. We need leadership that looks beyond the three year electoral cycle. That's why I am
determined this Budget won't be another "one year wonder".

LYNDAL CURTIS: And Mr Rudd wants to do things differently.

KEVIN RUDD: If there was one overwhelming message from the recently conducted 2020 summit in
Canberra it was this: you won't achieve long-term success if you don't plan for the long-term.

You can't change this country if you're only interested in the short-term. You can't repair the
physical infrastructure of this nation if there is a one year horizon. You can't build Australia's
human capital and skills needs if you're only planning out to the next election. You can't
transform the federal system if you're only interested in the next opinion poll.

That is why we have made a commitment to do things differently, starting in this Budget.

LYNDAL CURTIS: But changing the way he does things doesn't mean putting himself above the political
fray and Mr Rudd has echoed his Treasurer's attack on the Opposition for playing down the risks
from inflation.

Mr Rudd, as Wayne Swan did yesterday, has described inflation as a cancer eating away at the living
standards of all Australians.

KEVIN RUDD: There may only be three people in Australia who don't believe that inflation is hurting
working families through rising prices and rising mortgages, Dr Nelson, Mr Turnbull and the tooth
fairy and all three are out of touch on this question.

If we do nothing, if we sit on our hands like the alternative government is suggesting,then the
responsibility for reducing inflation will fall to the Reserve Bank's blunt monetary policy
instrument and that means further hikes in interest rates. That is not good for anybody.

LYNDAL CURTIS: The Prime Minister has laid out four principles for the Budget - responsible
economic management, honouring election commitments, defence and security needs and acting on
neglected areas such as health, eduction, and infrastructure.

KEVIN RUDD: The economic consequences of this under-investment in physical capital are significant.
Consequences for economic growth, consequences for productivity growth, consequences for jobs, and
consequences for rising inflation and therefore higher interest rates.

The government is committed to investing in Australia's future and addressing our nation's
long-term infrastructure bottlenecks.

We know it is not possible to turn around overnight the long-term infrastructure neglect that the
nation finds itself with today, but we are certainly going to try and we are certainly going to
make a start.

LYNDAL CURTIS: And while Mr Rudd has been long-term planning for the country, he has also been
looking at staying around to implement those plans.

KEVIN RUDD: We need to act decisively and responsibly on climate change and should we be
re-elected, we face a long-term agenda of work responding to the mega-challenges represented by the
rise of China, the rise of India as well as promoting stability and development in the south-west
Pacific where developments have not been headed in the right direction.

LYNDAL CURTIS: After Tuesday, people will be able to see more clearly the direction the Prime
Minister intends for the country.

ELEANOR HALL: Lyndal Curtis reporting.

Gillard dismissies Treasury's IR leak

Gillard dismissies Treasury's IR leak

The World Today - Wednesday, 7 May , 2008 12:13:00

Reporter: Alexandra Kirk

ELEANOR HALL: The Federal Government has dismissed leaked Treasury advice that Labor's industrial
relations policies were likely to trigger job losses and wage and price spirals.

The Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard says the April 2007 Treasury minute pre-dates Labor's
release of its industrial relations policy and therefore cannot be an analysis of the Government's

Ms Gillard, who is also the Minister for Workplace Relations, spoke to Alexandra Kirk a short time

JULIA GILLARD: This is not an analysis of Labor's workplace relations policies. It simply can't be.
This is a minute from the 18th of April last year. Labor's IR policy was announced on the 28th of
April last year.

ALEXANDRA KIRK: But Kevin Rudd had outlined Labor's industrial vision, if you like, just before

JULIA GILLARD: Kevin Rudd had made a speech on a number of matters but Labor's full industrial
relations policy was only available on the 28th April.

And then of course, our policy implementation plan which dealt with matters like the way in which
we were going to rid of AWA's was launched on the 28th of August, so this doesn't pass even the
most basic common sense test.

ALEXANDRA KIRK: Can you say categorically that your industrial relations policy is not inflationary
or would reduce employment?

JULIA GILLARD: I can say the following categorically: the former government introduced WorkChoices,
it has coincided with acute high inflation - the highest inflation in 16 years - and woeful
productivity numbers.

We have designed a fair and balanced system which is all about bargaining in one's workplace. That
is a system that doesn't feed into inflation because pay increases are productivity-based and
enterprise-based and of course, our system is all about driving productivity, growth.

ALEXANDRA KIRK: Do you have any advice to that effect from within the bureaucracy?

JULIA GILLARD: No, I do not and Labor's system is all about getting better productivity growth and
bargaining at an enterprise level and can I say in relation to the government's extreme WorkChoices
laws, in the lead-up to the last election, the government fed false assumptions into modelling.

It spent every day distorting and misrepresenting Labor's policies and the Australian people saw
right through this on election day. This is just more of the same.

ALEXANDRA KIRK: So can we take it then that you have not sought any advice and you haven't been
given any advice from within the bureaucracy about the economic effects of your industrial
relations policy?

JULIA GILLARD: We understand the economic effects of our industrial relations policy. We understood
them on the day we released it last year. On the day we released "Forward with Fairness" on the
28th April and the policy implementation plan on the 28th August. We understand that our policy is
designed to be good for productivity.

ALEXANDRA KIRK: In the run up to the last election, Labor argued that the Coalition's WorkChoices
policy was designed to cut labour costs so doesn't it stand to reason that your policy, which
undoes what you deemed to be the worst aspects of WorkChoices would then see wages rise,
comparatively speaking, and therefore fuel inflation?

JULIA GILLARD: The extreme WorkChoices laws of the Howard government, had in them Australian
Workplace Agreements which were designed to rip the safety net away from the workers most at risk
in our community - young workers, people who are low-skilled and low paid.

We have made sure there is nothing in the system that allows people to be exploited and I've never
heard anyone, not any business person or economist in this country, say that their vision for this
country's economy is to have an industrial relations system which allows workers most at risk to be
exploited. We've ended that, that was what WorkChoices was about.

ELEANOR HALL: The deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Workplace Relations Julia Gillard speaking
to Alexandra Kirk.

Allegations Burma Govt downplayed cyclone warnings

Allegations Burma Govt downplayed cyclone warnings

The World Today - Wednesday, 7 May , 2008 12:15:00

Reporter: Alison Caldwell

ELEANOR HALL: Now to Burma where the official death toll from Cyclone Nargis has now climbed to
22,000 with another 41,000 people still missing.

And as aid begins to reach the survivors, there are new allegations that Burma's military
government may have deliberately withheld information about the impending disaster from its

Yesterday the United States First Lady, Laura Bush, accused Burma's state-run media of knowing
about the cyclone but of failing to issue a timely warning. Now there are allegations that Burma's
weather bureau knew about the storm 48 hours before it hit but downplayed its severity.

Alison Caldwell has our report.

(Sound of crowd murmur)

ALISON CALDWELL: Survivors are slowly picking up the pieces in the wake of Cyclone Nargis.

BURMESE MAN: Electricity shot as well as water supply cut off. We are feeling sorry without water
and electricity.

BURMESE WOMAN (translated): We need water, we need food. As long as we have rice, that will be
enough. Mosquito nets are not so important but we need clothes, blankets. Their clothes are rain
soaked and the huts they lived in were built on bamboo stilts and now these are all destroyed.

ALISON CALDWELL: Some of the villagers in the worst hit areas have started rebuilding their homes
while food and medicine have begun to arrive.

Dr Kyi Minn is World Vision's regional health advisor based in Rangoon.

KYI MINN: Most of the areas are inaccessible by roads right now because of the flood and all the
trees blocking the roads. Also, in some areas we might need the support from the nearby villagers
to help out with the essential things like portable water and the basic food needs.

ALISON CALDWELL: According to the UN, those left homeless, number into several hundred thousands.

With a population of close to 210,000 people, Labutta is in the south western area of the Irrawaddy

Aye Kyu is a local doctor. He says half of the coastal city has vanished along with dozens of
surrounding villages. Through an interpreter, he explains what the survivors had to endure:

AYE KYU (translated): All the victims were brought to the town and I asked them, "How many of you
survived?" and they said about 200, 300. Then I asked them "How many people in your area? They said
about 5,000.

The waves were 12, 13, 20 feet high and when the houses were covered in water, they stayed on the
roof but the houses were destroyed by strong winds. Those who survived were those who clung to the
trees but they were badly bruised and scratched from the trees and the pounding of the waves.

ALISON CALDWELL: It's been alleged the Burmese military knew about the storm some 48 hours before
it hit.

Than Lwin Htun is a Burmese journalist with the Voice of America program based in Washington. He
has been speaking with local journalists about the warnings which were issued in the lead up to the
cyclone. He says people were kept in the dark about the true extent of the storm.

THAN LWIN HTUN: They announced in the Burmese radio, state-run radios and the state-run newspaper
carried the news, but the problem is that they played down the extent of the incoming storm.

ALISON CALDWELL: When it hit, Cyclone Nargis winds were recorded at up to 190 kilometres per hour.

Than Lwin Htun says the director of Burma's weather bureau briefed journalists ahead of the
cyclone. He has listened to the briefing.

THAN LWIN HTUN: He very much played down the situation and said referring Burma as a lucky country
to compare with the neighbouring countries. So, he said that once the storm entered the land it
would be weakened, for example like that. So the Burmese meteorological department said that the
wind will be about 40 to 45 miles per hour and then there would be heavy rains. That is all they

ALISON CALDWELL: As far as aid goes, Australia is sending $3-million to Burma. Comparatively
speaking, that's generous.

France has offered $326,000, the US, just $263,000, the EU $3.2-million, Thailand $310,000 while
China is sending just over $1-million.

US President George W. Bush says his country would like to do a lot more for Burma.

GEORGE W. BUSH: We are prepared to move US navy assets to help find those who have lost their
lives, to help find the missing and to help stabilise the situation but in order to do so, the
military junta must allow our disaster assessment teams into the country.

ALISON CALDWELL: Aid agencies are still waiting for travel visas to enter the reclusive nation.
While his people die, Burma's Social Welfare Minister has told relief agencies to negotiate with
the Foreign Ministry.

A lack of specialised equipment is also slowing the distribution of aid. Only four helicopters have
been sent to the worst hit areas. Thailand flew in nine tonnes of food and medicine, but a
cameraman on the plane said supplies were unloaded by hand as no forklift trucks were available.

ELEANOR HALL: Alison Caldwell reporting.

Aid workers describe chaos of recent disasters

Aid workers describe chaos of recent disasters

The World Today - Wednesday, 7 May , 2008 12:18:00

Reporter: David Mark

ELEANOR HALL: The first aid workers to arrive in Burma will have been confronted with horror, chaos
and trauma.

But some of those who have helped in recent disasters have been telling our reporter David Mark
that while the sheer scale of the task often appears overwhelming, the resilience of the survivors
keeps the aid workers going.

DAVID MARK: Anthea Spinks knows what it's like to arrive in chaos.

ANTHEA SPINKS: It is actually quite an amazing scene I guess to be confronted with some of the
devastation, destruction, a lot of these disaster zones and situations and initially it can be
quite overwhelming.

DAVID MARK: She's a policy advisor for World Vision Australia, who has worked in areas devastated
by cyclones in Mozambique and other disaster zones in southern Africa.

ANTHEA SPINKS: There is a lot of, I guess, visual images that are quite overwhelming. There is a
lot of sound and noise attached to these scenes as the sort of different activities are going on.

So it is quite, I guess, in terms of all the senses being quite overloaded from both the visual,
sort of smell and a sense of sound.

DAVID MARK: The job of aid workers is to make sense of that overwhelming situation and then deliver
help to the people who has lives have been turned upside down.

Inga Mepham, is the program development manager for Oxfam Australia. She arrived in Banda Aceh,
just days after the 2004 tsunami that laid waste to that region.

INGA MEPHAM: What you come across is a lot of displaced communities. Even by that stage people had
found some degree of shelter in the unaffected areas and you just find, basically people trickling
in, even at that stage from some of the outer rural areas that were affected along the coastline,
were walking in to, sort of the major capital.

At that stage there were a still a lot of bodies in the area and people were in that process of
recovering and burying the dead and having ceremonies around that.

DAVID MARK: It is literally, of course, a disaster zone. As you said, there are bodies everywhere,
buildings are smashed, there is disease, there's no fresh food or water. How do you begin to make
sense in that sort of chaos? How do you provide the aid?

INGA MEPHAM: I think probably one of the most important things to remember is that the actual event
has actually happened. So in that sense, in this case the tsunami, from then, every day after that
is some point of recovery for people.

So I think in the point that you can be reassuring of people that there is assistance coming in. So
I think just building some certainty into people's lives in the sense that there is people
addressing some of their basic needs and then they can relax and they start to find out where they
can go to trace their families or where they can go to access medical help or to have shelter that
would be reasonable for children under five or things like that.

DAVID MARK: Then it's a question of liaising with other organisations and local authorities to
determine where food, water, shelter and healthcare is most urgently needed. But the sheer lack of
infrastructure can make the work immensely frustrating.

INGA MEPHAM: Even on the particular situation at Myanmar at the moment it's very obvious that
communication is a big issue. So actually getting information out from communities, accessing those
communities in the first place when you've got huge infrastructure damage, huge problems with road
access, actually even getting sufficiently in to communities that have been affected.

So you have telephone lines down, you have internet connections down. So there is a lot of things
that need to be done in those first stages and really it is just making sure that you have
sufficient capacity to be able to address those needs and that comes with working both the
communities and other agencies.

DAVID MARK: Both women say the task can be overwhelming, but Inga Mepham says she finds hope in the
survivors' resilience.

INGA MEPHAM: You know amongst such loss there is life and people want to find their family so I
think their general need is to be reunited or to start to be able to recover is really a driving
force in how you go forward and I think in the sense for me for Aceh that was the case too, you
know. Within the days that I arrived, people were, Acehenese were pouring into our office with, you
know, offers of assistance.

People coming in wanting to be part of any kind of relief and recovery so I think, you know when
the people who are the most affected are the key drivers in wanting to assist and respond, you
can't help but be taken along with that as well.

ELEANOR HALL: That's Inga Mepham, the program development manager for Oxfam Australia, speaking to
David Mark.

Obama increases winning margin in North Carolina

Obama increases winning margin in North Carolina

The World Today - Wednesday, 7 May , 2008 12:21:00

Reporter: Michael Rowland

ELEANOR HALL: In the United States, Democrat Senator Barack Obama has strengthened his claim to be
his party's presidential nominee with an emphatic victory in the North Carolina primary.

Senator Obama has racked up a double digit winning margin in North Carolina, an achievement that
will extend his lead over Hillary Clinton in the race for delegates.

Senator Clinton though is poised to score a much less decisive win in the Indiana primary, but a
result that will keep alive her slim White House hopes.

Joining me now with the latest is our North America correspondent, Michael Rowland.

Michael, firstly looking at North Carolina, just how impressive a victory was it for Barack Obama?

MICHAEL ROWLAND: Well, with about two-thirds of the vote counted there, Eleanor, Barack Obama has
56 per cent of the vote to Hillary Clinton's 42 per cent. That's a lead of 14 per cent. A much
bigger margin than even the Obama camp would have privately conceding in the days leading up to
this critical primary.

As expected, the man hoping to be America's first black president has fared very well with North
Carolina's large black population, but he has also, according to CNN exit polls, picked up a third
of the state's white voters.

Now the key result out of this victory in North Carolina, not only on top of the momentum, the
undoubted momentum that'll give Barack Obama going forward, is that he will now get a swag of those
key nominating delegates. So much so that according to his calculations, he is now within 200 votes
of securing the Democratic Party nomination.

A short time ago he addressed a raucous crowd of supporters in Raleigh, North Carolina and he used
the opportunity to thank the voters of North Carolina.

BARACK OBAMA: I want to thank them for giving us a victory in a big state.

(Sound of cheering)

In a swing state, in a state where we will compete to win if I am the Democratic nominee for
President of the United States.

ELEANOR HALL: Well, that was Democrat Senator Barack Obama, one of the White House hopefuls.

Michael, what is the latest in Indiana? Has Hillary Clinton definitely won there?

MICHAEL ROWLAND: No, she certainly poised for what looks like a very narrow victory with about 80
per cent of the vote counted there. She leads Barack Obama by just four percentage points, 52 to

Now a win will certainly allow her to stay in the White House race and keep her slim, very slim,
Presidential hopes alive but it's certainly not the decisive victory the eight or nine point
victory that the Clinton camp had been arguing that she'd get in the days leading up to this
contest, serious questions remain, Eleanor, about her long term viability in this protracted
Democratic battle.

ELEANOR HALL: So the pressure will be on her to leave, but what about the superdelegates? Where
does this Democrat nomination battle go from here?

MICHAEL ROWLAND: Well, we now have six remaining contests and the key figures are that out of these
six contests, only 217 elected delegates are up for grabs whereas there are 270 so-called
"superdelegates" votes up for grabs.

So effectively, these were the last significant primaries and the battle for the Democratic
nomination now does go to those superdelegates, now does go behind closed doors in Washington and
on phone lines between the Obama and Clinton camps and superdelegates.

They'll decide who gets the nomination but you would have to say, given when looks like a very
good, a very solid night for Barack Obama, the scales have to be slipping in his way.

ELEANOR HALL: Well Obama's chief strategist is certainly predicting that the nomination will be
wrapped up before the Democrat convention but would you be calling that at this stage?

MICHAEL ROWLAND: I wouldn't be that heroic but listen, if this win does take the wind out of
Hillary Clinton's sails, there could be some movement in the next couple of days.

She is going to firstly, have trouble raising money to go forward but you might also see some of
those superdelegates reading what looks like fairly prominent writing on the wall now and voting
for or supporting Barack Obama.

And if that happens in large numbers, then we could see an early withdrawal from Hillary Clinton,
but knowing how combative and how keen she is to get the nomination, I wouldn't be surprised if she
does battle through those six remaining primaries until the end of the primary season in early

ELEANOR HALL: Michael Rowland in Washington, thank you.

Adventurer re-enacts Mawson's harrowing Antartic trek

Adventurer re-enacts Mawson's harrowing Antartic trek

The World Today - Wednesday, 7 May , 2008 12:25:00

Reporter: Eleanor Hall

ELEANOR HALL: It remains one of the most extraordinary stories of human endurance.

In 1912, Sir Douglas Mawson led the Australian Antarctic Expedition to the South Pole, a project
which helped establish Australia's claims to large parts of the frozen continent.

But halfway through the several hundred kilometre icy trek taken by Mawson and two of his
companions, disaster struck.

One member of the team fell to his death down a deep crevasse, taking with him a sled full of food
and supplies.

A documentary on the expedition to be shown next week re-enacts the accident.

(Excerpt from documentary)

(Sound of a man calling)

ACTOR: All we could hear was the moaning of two dogs that were trapped on a ledge 150 feet below.
There was no sign of the sledge or Ninnis.

NARRATOR: Mawson's scientific expedition was over. From now on they were on a desperate mission of
survival. In his journal he recorded "May God help us".

(End excerpt)

ELEANOR HALL: Some time later, after they'd eaten their dogs and gone into a terrible physical
decline, Mawson's other companion, Xavier Mertz, died.

While Mawson did eventually make it back to base camp, there has long been speculation about just
how he managed to survive on such meagre rations and in such awful conditions.

Now, nearly 100 years later, explorer and adventurer, Tim Jarvis, set out to repeat the journey -
in part to see if it was possible for Mawson to have survived without resorting to cannibalism.

He and his companion, John Stoukalo, picked up the expedition at the point of the accident. Tim
Jarvis's book about the journey will be released next week along with the film and he joined me
earlier today to talk about it.

(To Tim Jarvis) Tim Jarvis, thanks for joining us. Now you decided to repeat a journey which took
Douglas Mawson almost beyond the edge of endurance and which killed both his companions. Why did
you want to do it?

TIM JARVIS: Hi Eleanor. Yeah, look I went to the South Pole in '99 on what was then the longest
unsupported Antarctic journey and I pushed myself to the absolute limit and by co-incidence, the
number of days it took me to get to the South Pole, 47 days, coincided pretty much exactly with the
number of days that Mawson had survived on only a quarter of the food that I had.

And really every day of that South Pole journey, I just wondered how the hell I'd do this on
quarter of the reasons.

And I guess, to answer your question, it has just always fascinated me as a journey. I think that
Mawson's survival journey is probably the greatest untold story of polar exploration certainly
outside these shores.

ELEANOR HALL: Now you not only decided to repeat this ill-fated trek but to do it under 1912
conditions so you had similar clothing, food, provisions. Let's just hear what you had to say about
that in your film when you were just a few days into the expedition:

(Excerpt from documentary)

TIM JARVIS: Oh, the lack of food is becoming much more obvious now. I get through all of my food
pretty much before I get to camp which leaves me with nothing when I get here apart from maybe a
boiled sweet and a cup of tea.

(End of excerpt)

ELEANOR HALL: So Tim Jarvis, what was the worst of having 1912 style provisions? The food, the
clothing, the sleeping bags?

TIM JARVIS: I guess of all the old equipment, some things perform very well. Things like the
reindeer skin sleeping bags and the beaver pelt mitts and things like that performed very well.

The rest of the clothing, not so good, got very wet. Didn't keep the wind out particularly well,
chafed pretty badly. Just like Mawson, we used a tent, without a floor so life in the inverted
commas "tent" was pretty miserable but I think the low point of all of it really had to be the

Really, the only way you manage to keep your mood up is by eating and you know, you're trying to
fuel a big workload of just keeping your bodily functions working in such cold conditions and that
leaves you in a permanent state of debilitation, I guess.

ELEANOR HALL: And you lost a lot of weight, didn't you?

TIM JARVIS: Lost a lot of weight. Lost the best part of 25 kilos, which is, you know, a lot of
weight to lose. I think my starting weight is around 100 so it is about a quarter of my body weight
and it's a lot to lose when you are not fat to start off with.

ELEANOR HALL: Now the one thing that you did draw the line at was eating the dogs and of course, it
may have been eating the dog liver was what killed Mertz, but even without deliberately poisoning
yourselves, to what extent were you scared about your health deteriorating?

TIM JARVIS: To go on a trip where you are deliberately and consciously disadvantaging yourself by
not eating anywhere near enough, it's obviously of major concern to you. I mean I am a big guy, I
am 100 kilos.

To be surviving on the equivalent of a couple of Mars Bars, three Mars Bars worth of food a day
when you're pulling a heavy sled for six or seven hours in minus 20 degrees is not a nice thought
and it worried us a lot as to what was going to happen to us.

ELEANOR HALL: You seemed to be quite surprised at different points in the journey that you weren't
able to match Mawson's pace much of the time. Now the dogs probably gave him an edge sometimes
there but how much respect did this journey give you for Mawson's sheer strength and determination?

TIM JARVIS: At the end of this journey, quite honestly, having achieved what we did, I think it has
just left me with a really heightened level of respect for Mawson and what a man he must have been
to have done what he did.

You know, for him to have genuinely lost both of his colleagues, both died and be forced to have
eaten the genitals and the ears and the offal of his sled dogs just to survive, you know he
undoubtably went through far worse than we did.

We just tried to replicate all we ethically could of the conditions that he faced.

ELEANOR HALL: Do you think that he did at least consider eating Mertz once Mertz had died?

TIM JARVIS: I think Mawson was the kind of man. He was a scientifically minded individual and if he
hadn't made it on the journal, I think he would have felt more than anything else that it was a
terrible waste that the other two had died in vain, not to bring the information back with them
about what they had discovered and I think in order to make it, I think he would have done just
about anything to make it at that stage and lying there next to the body of his fallen colleague,
Mertz, and he lay there for almost 48 hours and it just must have crossed his mind.

ELEANOR HALL: Now you, of course, travelled part of the journey with John and then you had to
complete the last part of the journey on your own. How tough would that lone journey have been for
Mawson after the death of the last of his companions?

TIM JARVIS: The lone journey for Mawson would have been incredibly tough because the Polar Plateau
is an amazingly lonely place and a very harsh environment.

For him to have lost both people in such traumatic circumstances would have left him just feeling
like the last man on earth.

ELEANOR HALL: Now right near the end of the voyage, Mawson had that terrible fall down the
crevasse. He did eventually manage to get out but in his diary he says that he did feel the
temptation to just slip out of his harness at that point. Could you understand that temptation when
you did it?

TIM JARVIS: I think there were times when things become so tough that there is certainly a
temptation just to stop. In my case it just becomes too hard, and for Mawson that same temptation
undoubtably would have been there.

ELEANOR HALL: But you both did finally make it. Let's hear you in the final moments of the journey.

(Excerpt from documentary)

TIM JARVIS: Oh my God. What an effort, what an effort. Today was the hardest day of the whole trip.
If it all been night today, I wouldn't have made it.

(End of excerpt)

ELEANOR HALL: Now Mawson of course, knew he had to continue to have a chance at survival. What kept
you going?

TIM JARVIS: For me, there were a couple of things that keep me going. I mean, I think the thing
that really scares you on these trips is the fear of failure. It does for me anyway.

In the case of the Mawson trip, even though our two journeys started off as separate journeys, I
got to the stage really where I realised, without overstating things, that I was effectively
defending Mawson's honour.

If I had failed, people would have said, you know, Mawson must have cannibalised the other guy to
make it and that was a real motivation for me to keep going. I won't say exactly what happened on
the trip, but certainly it was the thing that kept me motivated to keep going - the idea that I
didn't want anybody to pin that on Mawson, not on my account.

ELEANOR HALL: Tim Jarvis, it was an extraordinary journey, thanks very much for joining us.

TIM JARVIS: Thank you.

ELEANOR HALL: That's adventurer Tim Jarvis and his book about the expedition called Mawson: Life
and Death in Antarctica, will be in stores on Monday. A documentary film by the same name will air
on ABC1 at 7:30 this Sunday night.

Hackett hits back at fat jibes

Hackett hits back at fat jibes

The World Today - Wednesday, 7 May , 2008 12:29:00

Reporter: Karen Barlow

ELEANOR HALL: The captain of the Australian swimming team, Grant Hackett, has hit back at claims
that he is carrying too much weight in the lead up to the Beijing Olympics.

The champion freestyler has just arrived back in Melbourne disappointed to have been disqualified
during a 10-kilometre event in Seville.

But the Olympic champion has also has to contend with the reaction to an unflattering post-race
photograph which appeared to show Hackett with a somewhat less than taut midriff.

Karen Barlow has our report.

KAREN BARLOW: Looking fit in a green and gold short sleeve shirt, Grant Hackett, emerged from
Melbourne Airport's gate ready to set the record straight.

GRANT HACKETT: Do I look like I am really that overweight? I don't really think I am.

KAREN BARLOW: The 27-year-old hadn't looked his best as he emerged from the Seville water. One
particular photo of the man seeking a third Olympic gold medal in the 1,500 metres freestyle showed
a solid gut.

It led to accusations his Beijing preparations weren't on track, but Hackett is not having any of
that, saying 10-kilometre swims are very different from his usual pool events.

GRANT HACKETT: You sort of carbo load. You have 3.5-litres of fluid before you start the race. I
can push my stomach out at any time and those togs and all that sort of stuff.

I think the whole sort of circumstances and just an absolutely unflattering shot and yeah, I just
tried to do that so I could have a go for the Biggest Loser. (laughs)

So I'm not worried about that. To be honest it is funny because five weeks at Olympic trials, where
my skins falls in weight, it's actually the best they've ever been. And just the irony of that
situation and to get out, and to have those sorts of things questioned, it's amusing. It's quite

KAREN BARLOW: Grant Hackett may see the funny side to questions about weight but he is very serious
about his disqualification in the 10 kilometre race for obstructing an opponent.

He had finished 15th in the race which served as a qualifier for the event which will be run in
Beijing for the first time. Hackett says others were using rough-house tactics.

GRANT HACKETT: To think that I pride myself on being a gentleman and in any situation in that race
and particularly when I was so targeted and had, you know, kicks and pulls and pushes under the

And, you know, the guy next to me at the end when I went to even touch the finishing line actually
grabbed me by the shoulders and pulled me under the water and he actually got disqualified for that
which was a little bit of justice.

But, you know, I've got a little bit of black eye still on the inside here and then all that sort
of stuff so I'm, you know, that's probably the more disappointing thing than the performance.

KAREN BARLOW: Swimming in a pack is a very different experience for a champion used to lane ropes.

GRANT HACKETT: I learnt so many things. Just to get through that pack at the end. I could outswim a
lot of those guys if you put me in lane ropes at the end of that race but to actually get through
them and negotiate my way through them.

And that's why I think I got disqualified because I went over a guys legs and they saw that me as
giving out but I just couldn't get through them to get to that finish quick enough.

KAREN BARLOW: Hackett says he is very happy that Queenslander Ky Hurst qualified for the Beijing
Games by finishing fifth.

He says he'll be keeping his own 10 kilometre swim ambitions on the backburner for now and will
concentrate on his 1,500 metre and 400 metre races.

ELEANOR HALL: Karen Barlow reporting. And apparently to prove his fitness, Hackett went straight
from the airport to the pool where he paraded before the media.

Senior Labor figures resolve party infighting

Senior Labor figures resolve party infighting

The World Today - Wednesday, 7 May , 2008 12:31:00

Reporter: Emma Alberici

ELEANOR HALL: Senior members of the New South Wales Labor Party have this morning emerged from a
meeting to rally behind the Premier who only days ago they'd been threatening to oust from the

Since the weekend's explosive Labor Party conference, the issue of electricity privatisation has
threatened to tear apart the relationship between the union movement and the Government.

But now the dispute appears to have been resolved, as Emma Alberici reports.

EMMA ALBERICI: The morning's meeting of 11 members of New South Wales Labor brought together the
most powerful within the Party from the Left and the Right. Among them Bernie Reardon, the state
president who also happens to be the General Secretary of the Electrical Trades' Union.

The union movement led the fierce attack on the Government's electricity privatisation agenda at
last weekend's state conference.

This morning, the party's heavyweights met for exactly one hour. But astonishingly, the Premier
released a statement saying that the details of the Government's energy reform plan were not

Instead, the focus was on repairing the damage from a week of bad publicity about the fractures
developing within the New South Wales Labor Party, somewhat of a road map to peace, and it seems to
have worked.

The state ALP's general secretary, Karl Bitar, emerged from the meeting as the only person allowed
to speak to the media and he was clearly on message.

The party is united and everyone respects each other's position. Electricity privatisation will go
ahead but no-one is about to talk about that in public again.

KARL BITAR: I think we had a very positive, constructive debate over the weekend where both sides
put their point of view. Now we are trying to move forward and that is why today is the start of
the process of consultation and discussion between the Government, the Labor Party and the union
movement to move forward.

EMMA ALBERICI: Mr Bitar, how seriously is Morris Iemma taking the union position?

KARL BITAR: I think today's meeting was a meeting where both sides showed immense respect to each
other and both sides put their point of view today, the Premier heard them with respect. I think we
will be moving forward in a positive nature in the coming weeks to find a solution to these issues.

EMMA ALBERICI: Give us a timetable please?

KARL BITAR: Look, I'd like to think that we will be able to find a solution in the next few weeks
where we sit down and we really talk about a solution based on mutual respect.

ELEANOR HALL: That's Karl Bitar, the general secretary of the New South Wales Labor Party, ending
that report by Emma Alberici.

Defence Materials Organisation to be reviewed

Defence Materials Organisation to be reviewed

The World Today - Wednesday, 7 May , 2008 12:34:00

Reporter: Samantha Hawley

ELEANOR HALL: The Defence Material Organisation is meant to oversee $100-billion worth of defence
projects over the next decade.

But today the Federal Government has thrown doubt over whether the DMO is up to the job. The
Government has ordered a second review into the organisation and says it will consider removing the
DMO from the wider Defence Department to make it more commercially orientated.

In Canberra, Samantha Hawley reports.

SAMANTHA HAWLEY: The Defence Material Organisation or DMO will oversee the replacement of 80 per
cent of Australian Defence Force equipment over the next decade.

Right now it's in control of 220 projects worth tens of millions of dollars.

GREG COMBET: There have been a number of projects that have been problematic and they have
certainly received a lot of media attention. The Seasprite project for example has cost the
taxpayers over $1-billion, but hasn't delivered any outcome and there are clearly grounds for
further improvements in defence procurements.

SAMANTHA HAWLEY: The Parliamentary Secretary for Defence Greg Combet has announced the sweeping
review of DMO, which will be headed by David Mortimer, the chairman of Australia Post and Leighton

GREG COMBET: What we're now looking at is trying to learn a bit more from the mistakes of the past.

SAMANTHA HAWLEY: The head of the Australian Defence Association, Neil James, says its no secret
that the mistakes of the past are far-reaching.

NEIL JAMES: Seasprite is the best example but other ones are Gingerlea (phonetic) and the Collins
class submarine and you name it.

Some of the more recent projects like Wedgetail Airborne Early Warning Aircraft, do have some

SAMANTHA HAWLEY: A similar review was conducted by the previous Howard government in 2003, and Greg
Combet concedes many of the problems have been addressed since then. But Mr Combet says another
review is warranted:

GREG COMBET: The review that the Government has commissioned for defence procurement is about the
future. It's about taking the reform program further. It's about continuing the process of getting
the DMO to conduct itself in a more business-like fashion, to be a bit more commercially

SAMANTHA HAWLEY: He says the review will consider severing all of the organisation's ties with
Defence Department.

GREG COMBET: Whether there are grounds for greater autonomy and accountability of the DMO, I don't
wish to pre-empt, of course, I cannot, his investigation and findings in that regard, but it is one
of the things that will be looked at.

SAMANTHA HAWLEY: Neil James says he doesn't think that would be a good move.

NEIL JAMES: The last time they attempted to split procurement from defence and created the
Department of Defence Support with its own minister, it was an absolute disaster. We'd be better
off giving DMO some more independence and upgrading Parliamentary Secretary Combet into another
junior minister in the defence portfolio.

SAMANTHA HAWLEY: The Opposition's defence spokesman, Nick Minchin, says the Coalition did most of
the heavy lifting required to rectify DMO's problems after the 2003 review.

NICK MINCHIN: I think the Government has just been playing a political game by trying to tarnish
our former Government over the question of defence procurement, ignoring that we made these major
and significant changes several years ago which they've accepted, which ended the old system of
procurement we inherited from the Keating Government.

So the Labor Party has just been playing politics with this. The fundamentals of defence
procurement that we set in place, the Labor Party has adopted. So, I think this is just a
fine-tuning exercise and to that extent, we don't object to it.

SAMANTHA HAWLEY: The review will last for just 14 weeks.

ELEANOR HALL: Samantha Hawley reporting.

Birds navigate by Earth's magnetic fields: research

Birds navigate by Earth's magnetic fields: research

The World Today - Wednesday, 7 May , 2008 12:37:00

Reporter: David Mark

ELEANOR HALL: It's one of the great questions of nature - how do migrating birds navigate as they
make journeys that are sometimes thousands of kilometres long?

It's known they use magnetic fields, but not how. Now some US scientists say they've discovered the
answer and they have published their research in the journal, Nature.

Professor Devens Gust, from Arizona State University is one of the paper's authors and he has been
speaking to David Mark.

DEVENS GUST: What our work does is show for the first time that magnetic fields like those at the
earth can actually influence the course of chemical reactions.

DAVID MARK: So essentially, the bird may have a molecule in its brain that is interpreting the
earth's magnetic field?

DEVENS GUST: Well, yes except the molecule is probably in the bird's eye since it is light
sensitive molecule and the whole process is actually initiated by light, so the thought is, the
most likely theory is that the molecules are in the eye of the bird and they generate a signal that
is then transmitted to the bird's brain.

DAVID MARK: Do you have any sense of what the bird may be perceiving? How do they see this magnetic

DEVENS GUST: That is something that nobody knows and people can speculate about that but it's
really unknown. Whether they see some special kind of lines or some kind of a spot or something
like that, or maybe it's not even sight at all as we know it but some sort of a feeling of the bird
that it's doing the right thing or not doing the right thing.

Nobody really knows how the signal gets transduced into something the bird perceives.

DAVID MARK: Do you understand the extent to which the birds may be operating using latitude or
longitude, in other words, how they can pinpoint their place on the globe?

DEVENS GUST: Well yeah, there are two aspects to this idea of navigation. One of course is knowing
where you are and the other approach, other aspect is knowing which direction north or south might
be in.

As far as knowing which way north, and knowing where they are, both it can be perhaps addressed by
the angle that the magnetic field lines make with the earth.

It turns out that around the equator, the magnetic field lines are more or less parallel to the
surface of the earth but as you move north or south, then the field lines dip down toward the

And at the poles they are actually perpendicular to the surface of the earth, so by measuring that
inclination or sensing it, the bird might know its latitude.

DAVID MARK: This is an extraordinary discovery isn't it? Because it answers a question that so many
people have been asking for decades. It's been known that birds can navigate but not how. Do you
feel that you have made a major breakthrough?

DEVENS GUST: Well, yes, it has been known for about 40 years that they can navigate using their
fields and it has been known or suggested about 30 years ago that this particular mechanism we've
been working on, might actually be the way that they do it but there has been no proof over that
whole time period and finally what we have is proof that this mechanism can work.

Again, we haven't shown that it does work in birds but we've shown that it can work in a

ELEANOR HALL: That is Professor Devens Gust from Arizona State University, speaking to David Mark
about that research he has published in the journal, Nature.

Renowned violinist plays concert for cabbie

Renowned violinist plays concert for cabbie

The World Today - Wednesday, 7 May , 2008 12:40:00

Reporter: Lindy Kerin

ELEANOR HALL: A rare event has taken place at an airport in New York. An internationally renowned
violinist has performed a free lunchtime concert.

Philippe Quint's recital was to thank a taxi driver for an equally unusual event - the return of a
worth $4-million violin. The New York cabbie says he was overwhelmed by today's performance and was
simply doing his civic duty, as Lindy Kerin reports.

(Sound of violin music)

LINDY KERIN: Two weeks ago, after a late night flight into Newark Airport, Grammy award-nominated
violinist Phillipe Quint caught a taxi to his home in downtown New York

He took his bags out of the back seat, but as the cab drove away, he realised he'd left the most
valuable piece of his luggage behind - an irreplaceable Antonio Stradivari violin worth an
estimated $4-million.

PHILIPPE QUINT: I certainly wasn't planning on leaving it in the cab. And basically what happened
was I was retrieving my bags from the trunk and I put them off the road. And when I turned back I
already saw the cab very much in the distance. So that's pretty much what happened, I just didn't
get to it in time. I knew that the violin was still in the car right away.

LINDY KERIN: After reporting it to the police and the taxi commission and reviewing photos of taxi
drivers, Phillipe Quint went back to the cab rank hoping the driver would reappear. Then came a
call from the Port Authority.

He was told the driver Mohammed Khalil had returned with the precious instrument. The two soon met
up and the violin that's more than 280-years old was given back to its owner.

It was only six or seven hours from when he lost the violin to when he got it back, but Phillipe
Quint says it felt like six years.

At the time, he gave the Mr Khalil $100, but promised to thank him in another way.

(Sound of violin music)

PHILIPPE QUINT: When I was at the taxi stack and at the airport I wasn't actually prepared to give
Mohammed any way of thanks or gratitude, so I just basically pulled out everything I had in my
wallet and just gave it to him. I don't even know how much it was. Afterwards, of course when I
brought the violin home, you know, I started thinking what would be the best ways or one of the
ways to reward him for what he has done? And I thought, you know, the best way is to give a part of
me, which is my music.

(Sound of violin music)

LINDY KERIN: So today, as a way of saying thankyou he gave a performance at Newark Liberty's
International Airport. It was an intimate concert.

Philippe Quint played for 30 minutes and treated the lunchtime crowd of 200 drivers to a range of
musical styles.

PHILIPPE QUINT: This movie was actually about a violin that travelled around the world by itself.
All in a way like for seven hours and I am sure that you will enjoy this one, thank you.


LINDY KERIN: Mohammed Khalil has been driving cabs for more than 20 years. He was overwhelmed to be
honoured in such a way. He told reporters how the violinist fell to his knees and wept when he was
given back the valuable instrument

MOHAMMED KHALIL: He told me, "You know Mohammed, I was thinking about if I didn't find it I have to
commit suicide because this is ... nobody would believe that I lost it. They're going to believe that
I stole it." Because he knows that it is very valuable, he knows that it means a lot, lots of

LINDY KERIN: The Mayor of Newark has also awarded Mr Khalil for his honesty with a special city

As well as the airport performance, Mr Khalil and his family have been given tickets to Mr Quint's
next New York performance in September.

(Sound of violin music)


ELEANOR HALL: Appreciation there for that special performance by violinist Phillipe Quint at New
York Airport. Lindy Kerin reporting.