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Opposition running 'scare campaign' on emissions trading

Opposition running 'scare campaign' on emissions trading

The World Today - Wednesday, 25 June , 2008 12:10:00

Reporter: Alexandra Kirk

TANYA NOLAN: The job of trying to head off dangerous climate change is getting tougher by the day
for the Federal Government.

The Federal Opposition is playing on what it says will be added stress on the family budget if fuel
is included in the carbon emission trading scheme earmarked to start in 2010.

It's warned motorists could pay up to 30 cents a litre more for petrol and including petrol in the
scheme could costs jobs and spark energy price rises as well.

But the Government says it's just a fear campaign.

From Canberra, Alexandra Kirk reports.

ALEXANDRA KIRK: Professor Ross Garnaut hands down his emissions trading report to the Government
next week. The Government's promised to outline the design of its plan by the end of the year -
ready to start in 2010. But some in the Opposition want that deadline extended.

DENNIS JENSEN: In my view yes. I don't believe that you can do a comprehensive analysis of all of
the impacts of an emissions trading scheme in that time frame.

PETER DUTTON: I suspect that the Government will have some sort of a delaying tactic themselves.

ALEXANDRA KIRK: The Coalitions pre-election promise of a 2011 introduction now appears to be up in
the air. Environment spokesman Greg Hunt won't specify a start-up date.

GREG HUNT: We have a very clear and unified view. We believe in emissions trading. We believe in
the importance, the fundamental importance of climate change, but we do say, we will look at the
timing following Garnaut.

ALEXANDRA KIRK: The Opposition is also warning motorists the price of petrol will go up
significantly if fuel is included in an emissions trading scheme. Greg Hunt says everything
possible should be done to keep petrol prices as low as possible.

GREG HUNT: Is government policy for petrol prices to go up or down? Our position is very clear. We
want petrol prices to go down. We think that is the right thing by the economy. That is the right
thing to do by Australian families, by pensioners, by low income earners and that we can also, and
that we can also ...

Keiran, one sec, I will come to you Keiran ... and that we can also make real inroads into the
efficiency of vehicles. We can do the right thing by an emissions trading scheme.

ALEXANDRA KIRK: Treasury spokesman, Malcolm Turnbull has raised the prospect of a policy change,
cutting the excise on petrol to offset the effect of a carbon tax. The Coalition's positions on
these two matters have angered the Government.

Treasurer Wayne Swan says the lack of bipartisan support for the central plank of the Government
strategy to cut greenhouse gases is another case of an Opposition scare campaign and cheap

WAYNE SWAN: Reducing carbon emissions over time is a significant economic challenge for the nation
and for the globe. We are determined to address this challenge. I think what we are seeing from the
Liberals is that they are completely incapable of dealing with economic challenges and dealing with
the environmental challenge of climate change.

ALEXANDRA KIRK: Do you need their support though for your plan to go ahead?

WAYNE SWAN: Well, certainly as we go through our green paper process and take decisions, we will
need their support because this is a very significant economic reform which goes to the heart of
our future economic prosperity and having one side of politics involved in such a negative scare
campaign, is damaging to the long-term economic interests of this country.

ALEXANDRA KIRK: The Treasurer's dismissed the Opposition's stance on petrol as outrageous.

WAYNE SWAN: We are going to publish our green paper which will discuss the design of the scheme. It
will be comprehensive and when that is in the public domain, we can have an informed discussion
about all of the issues in the emissions trading system.

But for Mr Hunt to engage in such outrageous lies about the potential impact of a scheme, the
design of which he hasn't seen just shows how desperate the Liberal Party has become.

ALEXANDRA KIRK: Can you say categorically that including petrol in an emissions trading scheme
wouldn't cost an extra 30 cents a litre?

WAYNE SWAN: Alex, as I said to you before - all of these issues will be canvassed in the design of
the emissions trading scheme, the subject of which there will be a green paper at the end of next

ALEXANDRA KIRK: On climate change and everything else the Government will have to negotiate to get
its legislation through the Senate.

After Parliament rises tomorrow, the Coalition loses its Senate majority. The Government's alcopops
tax hike is a case in point.

The Opposition is against it. The Greens and others have big concerns. Labor will have to get the
support of the Greens, and two other senators, Nick Xenophon and Steve Fielding. Senator Bob Brown,
the Greens leaders has some simple advice for Labor.

BOB BROWN: The Government is going to have to bargain and so are we and so is everybody else in the

ALEXANDRA KIRK: The Australian Democrats will have their last day in Federal Parliament tomorrow.
Senator Natasha Stott Despoja has some parting advice too.

NATASHA STOTT DESPOJA: Well, welcome to the Senate post-July 1. Of course the Government is going
to have to bargain and negotiate and compromise and do deals with the cross-bench Senators. Steve
Fielding has indicated what he, unsure about what he wants to do and certainly after July 1 any one
senator can kill a bill or kill a government policy.

The Government won't have the Democrats and all that consistent corporate history to work with, so
welcome to a very unstable place.

TANYA NOLAN: That is outgoing Democrat Senator Natasha Stott Despoja ending Alexandra Kirk's

Australia, Japan agree to IWC reform plan

Australia, Japan agree to IWC reform plan

The World Today - Wednesday, 25 June , 2008 12:15:00

Reporter: Sarah Clarke

TANYA NOLAN: It's being described as a breakthrough - an agreement to set up a new working group to
decide the future of the International Whaling Commission.

In a first at the meetings, Japan and Australia have agreed on one thing and that is that change is
needed if the IWC is to survive.

Both countries will be part of the panel and have 12 months to report back on a deal.

But conservation groups say it's yet another delaying tactic that will result in more whales being
killed by Japan this summer.

Environment reporter Sarah Clarke is in Santiago where she filed this report.

SARAH CLARKE: After two days of meetings, and attempts to get consensus, the international whaling
commission remains deeply divided.

With that in mind, the IWC today agreed to set up a working group which has 12 months to deliver a
package that will break the stalemate.

Australia and Japan have both been appointed to the 20 member group.

The Environment Minister Peter Garrett says it's a positive step.

PETER GARRETT: Look today we have seen something of a breakthrough in the International Whaling
Commission with an agreement by member states that there will be a working group process. It will
be based on consensus. This is an attempt to break the logjams and the gridlocks that have
characterised the debate in the commission in the past.

It is something that Australia does support. We recognise that there are a number of really
important issues that must be resolved and they must be resolved in a way which is constructive,
and because we have brought a number of really strong and concrete proposals to the table, we want
to see them discussed in this spirit of co-operation as well.

We are not pretending that it is going to be easy and it really is the beginning of a process, not
the end of one. Notwithstanding that, this is a breaking of the gridlock; an opportunity for some
forward, future and constructive discussion and we'll be a part of those discussions from today.

SARAH CLARKE: Japan described it as an historic move, and one that's crucial if it's to stay on as
a member.

In recent years, it's threatened to walk away from the IWC unless there's change.

Joji Morishita is a member of the Japanese delegation - he acknowledges delivering an agreement
will be a challenging but necessary step.

JOJI MORISHITA: We are seeing a very good atmosphere up here in IWC and hopefully that situation
will continue to the working group. We have to push for that actually, so that we can save this

SARAH CLARKE: There is concern though that it is simply delaying anything or any action for another
12 months so Japan can go ahead with scientific whaling again this summer. Do you see it as a
delaying tactic?

JOJI MORISHITA: No, I don't think so. Most of the general participants of this meeting have a real
concern about this organisation and we all know that unless we do it quickly, this organisation
might be looking at the collapse.

SARAH CLARKE: Is 12 months really going to deliver any action though or any changes? Isn't it just
getting two parties again together to disagree?

JOJI MORISHITA: This is a big challenge but the one with the merit. We have all number of all
countries concerned and with commitment and incentive to try to do something. Oftentimes it is much
better than bilateral talk because we have to do something and that is an agreement of all member

SARAH CLARKE: This meeting has set a new path for the whaling commission meeting.

A lot of discussions here are being conducted behind closed doors, there are no votes and debate
has been discouraged.

Rob Nicoll from Greenpeace says it's a bad sign for whale conservation.

And with 12 months to report back on the future of the international whaling body, another 1,000
whales will be killed over summer.

ROB NICOLL: That seems quite clear from the process that has been laid out is that it will be a
closed process for the working group and intercessional. NGOs won't get any input into that.

Now in other international treaties, for example CITES the Convention on International Trade in
Endangered Species and the Antarctic Treaty System, NGOs are integral to the process of the running
of those institutions.

And so it should work well here with the IWC as well. As this process continues we are going to see
whales still dieing unless something is done before the end of this meeting.

TANYA NOLAN: That is Rob Nicoll from Greenpeace with Sarah Clarke in Santiago.

Analysts compare US housing slump to the Great Depression

Analysts compare US housing slump to the Great Depression

The World Today - Wednesday, 25 June , 2008 12:20:00

Reporter: Peter Ryan

TANYA NOLAN: In the United States there's been a dramatic escalation in the housing slump which is
now being described as the worst since the Great Depression.

Across America, home prices have fallen by an average 15 per cent - and economists say the plunge
will only deepen.

The housing turmoil, which was brought on by the subprime mortgage crisis, has also crippled
consumer confidence amid higher unemployment and rises in food and petrol prices.

Here's our business editor Peter Ryan.

PETER RYAN: In the words of one economist, the American housing market has gone over a cliff.

According to a closely watched survey, prices in 20 major cities plunged by an average 15.3 per
cent in the year to April destroying all the gains of the past four years.

ROGER BOOTLE: Oh, I think this is looking like the most serious housing slump in the States since
the Great Depression. This just looks frankly, horrific.

PETER RYAN: Economist Roger Bootle thinks this is just the beginning as foreclosures caused by the
subprime mortgage crisis threaten to crush what was a thriving real estate market.

He points to the sprawling casino city of Las Vegas and Florida's retirement and sea change hub of
Miami, where values have dived as much as 27 per cent.

ROGER BOOTLE: I think prices in the States, on average, have got quite a lot further to fall and
no-one knows the answer to this of course but having looked at the various metrics of value and
affordability in the States and having looked at how far house prices have risen in a decade or so,
I've come to the conclusion that I think probably American house prices at the peak were between 30
and 40 per cent over-valued.

So if they are down roughly 15 per cent now maybe, maybe, we are approaching about half-way

PETER RYAN: Hundreds of thousands of homes are now in what's known as negative equity - where
outstanding mortgages are worth more than the property's value.

So with an over-supply of cheap properties, real estate agents have been running foreclosure bus
tours and advertising the on radio and TV.

(Extract from television advertisement)

ANNOUNCER: Buyer opportunities have never been better.

(End of extract)

PETER RYAN: Gretchen Faber is one realtor trying to convince wary buyers to jump back into a shaky

GRETCHEN FABER: Buyers are feeling like prices have come down or have flattened enough that they
are willing to get off the fence.

PETER RYAN: But expectations of a deeper housing slump have many potential buyers thinking twice
about buying a mac mansion in the suburbs, particularly with higher fuel prices adding up to a more
expensive commute.

And then there's consumer confidence, with rising unemployment, falling house prices and tighter
credit conditions putting an unofficial survey at its fifth weakest level since 1967.

RICK PENDERGRAFT: Consumers don't have a whole lot to be optimistic about right now.

PETER RYAN: Rick Pendergraft of Investors Daily Edge says many Americans are in shock as hard times
start to hit.

RICK PENDERGRAFT: Many of the people my age are seeing these really for the first time. They got
used to the boom years of the late nineties and so they got used to that environment and now they
don't really know how to react to a bear market.

PETER RYAN: Economist Roger Bootle says despite hints of optimism and signs the crisis might be
over, a recession appears inevitable.

ROGER BOOTLE: Given all that, in some ways I suppose it is surprising that the official numbers on
the US economy, so far, haven't quite revealed that things are grim and indeed over recent months,
people have started to say, oh well, it is not so bad. You know, there is not going to be a

I don't buy that. I think what is happening is that these economic processes take quite some while
to work their way through and what is happening in the housing market is so dire that I still think
the outlook for the American economy is pretty poor.

PETER RYAN: The deepening housing slump comes as the FBI continues to delve into the cause of the
subprime mortgage mess, after last week's arrests of more than 400 people including two hedge fund
managers from the investment bank Bear Stearns.

PETER RYAN: Sharon Ormsby has been leading the FBI's investigations.

SHARON ORMSBY: We understand that if we don't take action against these types of frauds, that it
could create further problems for our economic future.

PETER RYAN: While Wall Street hover under the FBI's spotlight, they'll also be watching the next
move from the US Federal Reserve.

While the board is expected to keep interest rates on hold tomorrow morning at two per cent, there
are concerns that with inflation back as a major threat, rates might have to rise by the end of the

And that would be bad news for the housing market and investors who believe rates need to fall even
more to breathe life back into an ailing economy.

TANYA NOLAN: Business editor Peter Ryan.

World mulls over solution to Zimbabwe election crisis

World mulls over solution to Zimbabwe election crisis

The World Today - Wednesday, 25 June , 2008 12:25:00

Reporter: Ashley Hall

TANYA NOLAN: Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe has given the first indication that he's willing to
negotiate an end to the political crisis engulfing his country - but with conditions.

Mr Mugabe is persisting with Friday's run-off election and will be the only candidate in the poll
since the Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai withdrew from the race.

Mr Tsvangirai argues Zanu-PF's campaign of violence and intimidation has made it impossible to
stage a free and fair vote and today he's calling for international military intervention in

Neighbouring African leaders are holding an emergency summit in Swaziland, with some signalling
they'll take a tougher line on Zimbabwe.

But Australia's Foreign Minister says that's unlikely to include any discussion of military

Ashley Hall reports.

ASHLEY HALL: Since Morgan Tsvangirai's withdrawal from Friday's presidential run-off election,
international pressure has been mounting on Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe.

The latest criticism comes from South Africa's ruling ANC party, which condemned what it called Mr
Mugabe's brutal disregard for democracy.

Jesse Duarte is an ANC spokesman.

JESSE DUARTE: We are saying very firmly that the current situation in Zimbabwe is untenable, that
we believe that the actions of Zanu-PF have been, for us, quite traumatic, quite difficult to

ASHLEY HALL: It's a divergence from the tactics of the South African President Thabo Mbeki, who's
maintained his commitment to so-called quiet diplomacy with Robert Mugabe for more than a year.

The ANC's change in tune followed a statement issues by the United Nations Security Council, which
said it would be impossible to stage a free and fair vote there this Friday.

There's also a change in approach emerging within the SADC - the Southern African Development
Community - a grouping of Zimbabwe's neighbours who've so far been reluctant to intervene in the
political stand-off.

The groups' leaders will meet today to discuss the problems.

The Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade is proposing a compromise which leaves Robert Mugabe as

ABDOULAYE WADE (translated): We will try to install a transitional government; a government where
responsibilities will be shared, with Tsvangirai as the Prime Minister.

I was told, and I'm sure, Tsvangirai has given his accord to Louis Michel of the European
Commission and this is the solution we want to put forward.

ASHLEY HALL: But the idea's unlikely to find favour with the political rivals.

Robert Mugabe spent the day campaigning yesterday, defiant of international concerns.

ROBERT MUGABE: We will proceed with our election. The verdict is our verdict. Other people can say
what they want, but the elections are ours. We are a sovereign state, and that is it.

(Sound of applause)

ASHLEY HALL: Mr Mugabe also lashed out at his opponent, Morgan Tsvangirai, who sought refuge in the
Danish embassy in Harare since the weekend.

ROBERT MUGABE: The MDC leader saw this wave, great wave, political hurricane coming his way. He's
frightened, frightened of the people. There is nobody that wants to do him any harm.

ASHLEY HALL: Mr Tsvangirai explained his flight in an interview with Danish radio.

MORGAN TSVANGIRAI: What people have to understand that after announcing and of pulling of this
run-off, I was advised that the state may respond in a manner which will underline my security. So
the advice was to look for a friendly embassy and to seek temporary refuge in that embassy.

ASHLEY HALL: Mr Tsvangirai is now calling on international leaders to back-up what he calls their
moral rectitude with military force.

In a letter to Britain's Guardian newspaper, he called for a force of peace-keepers to cast a
protective shield around the democratic process for which Zimbabwe yearns.

STEPHEN SMITH: I don't think it helps in any way for Australia to be talking in terms of military
intervention. The international community is not talking in terms of military intervention. You may
have seen the Minister for State from the United Kingdom dismiss that the other day.

I don't think that that is a helpful contribution. I don't think there will be international
community support for that.

ASHLEY HALL: Australia's Foreign Minister Stephen Smith is hoping the dispute can still be talked

Mr Smith says he's already spoken with a number of his counterparts in Africa, urging them to put
further pressure on Mr Mugabe.

STEPHEN SMITH: Mr Mugabe can not continue to ignore the views of the international community and in
particular, he can't ignore the views of his neighbours. I agree very strongly with the point made
by the Secretary-General of the United Nations that this is not just now an issue for Zimbabwe.
This is an issue which has very severe and potentially adverse consequences for Southern Africa as
a region and for Africa generally.

ASHLEY HALL: Mr Smith is also calling for a full debate about Zimbabwe before the UN Security
Council and has asked the Secretary-General to consider appointing a special envoy to help solve
the crisis.

In the meantime, he's looking at extending sanctions to limit the travel plans of members of
Zimbabwe's ruling party the Zanu-PF.

MALCOLM FRASER: I doubt if anyone or anything is safe in Zimbabwe.

ASHLEY HALL: The former Australian prime minister Malcolm Fraser helped Robert Mugabe to power when
he encouraged the then British prime minister Margaret Thatcher to grant Zimbabwe with

Mr Fraser has been touted as a possible envoy to help convince Mr Mugabe to leave office.

But he's told ABC local radio the resolution of the problem needs to be found in Africa.

MALCOLM FRASER: I think the western world and the Commonwealth have made a mistake before by
believing that white faces can resolve this issue. I think it is something that African states are
going to need to resolve for themselves.

ASHLEY HALL: Mr Mugabe now says he's open to negotiations about the political future of Zimbabwe
but not until after Friday's election.

State media quotes him saying he'd welcome hearing the Opposition's concerns but in the end he has
his own principles.

TANYA NOLAN: Ashley Hall reporting.

Jihadi terrorism still poses a threat to the region: report

Jihadi terrorism still poses a threat to the region: report

The World Today - Wednesday, 25 June , 2008 12:30:00

Reporter: Eleanor Hall

TANYA NOLAN: It hasn't launched a major terrorist attack since 2005, but Jemaah Islamiyah remains a
serious threat to Australia and the region.

That's the finding of a report released today by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute which
argues JI is still the main terrorist organisation in South-East Asia, despite significant splits
in its ranks.

JI was behind the Bali bombings in 2002 and 2005 which killed and injured more than 500 people and
some of its key players including Amrozi, Imam Samudra, and Ali Gufron are on death row for their
roles in the attacks.

But a key JI leader, Mohammad Noordin Top, remains at large and the Institute estimates he can
still count on the fanatical support of a hardcore membership of around 900 militants.

Earlier, I spoke to one of the report's authors, Dr Carl Ungerer, who said despite a lull in
terrorist attacks, it is premature to flag the end of Jihadi terrorism in South-East Asia.

CARL UNGERER: It is true that JI is not the organisation that it was a number of years ago and in
fact our research shows that it has splintered into two principle blocks. One is a pro-bombing
faction led by Noordin Top and includes others such as al-Kharnen(phonetic) who is allegedly the
al-Qaeda point man in South-East Asia.

And a larger group of individuals sometimes known as the bureaucrats who are more interested in
consolidating their base rather than in conducting terrorist operations at the moment.

So the threat remains. There are still some 900 individuals who, militants who are associated with
JI in Indonesia. And indeed in other parts of the region, in southern Thailand we have seen an
escalation of the Malay insurgency there since 2004.

In the southern Philippines even though the Moro Islamic Liberation Group has, is in the process of
political negotiations with the government in Manilla, should they negotiations break down and they
are fragile at best, then I think we could see a return to political violence in the south of the
Philippines as well.

So for all those reasons, we think that the terrorist threat has changed. It has evolved but it
still remains real and one that we should watch.

TANYA NOLAN: Does it still need to remain high on Australia's national security priority list?

CARL UNGERER: Absolutely and complacency is the real key to all of this. If there was any
diminution of the counter-terrorism effort by Australia or the South-East Asia governments then
that would provide sufficient space and opportunity for some of these groups to reassert

TANYA NOLAN: What signals are you getting the JI still poses the risk it once did? You are saying
there are major internal divisions; the Indonesian authorities have cracked down on this
organisation; it is not the organisation it once was; the organisation we knew from the Bali
bombings. So what risk, what sufficient risk does it pose?

CARL UNGERER: The risk has changed. That is true but individuals like Noordin Top have bomb making
capabilities that are sufficient to conduct another Bali-type series of bombings or indeed bombing
against the Australian embassy.

There is a debate going on within JI at the moment. It is sort of reflected in the splintering of
the organisation between attacking the far enemy, that is the United States and its allies such as
Australia, or attacking the near enemy of the Indonesian Government. And despite all those fissures
and frictions, you know JI retains the capability to conduct Bali-style bombings and so for that
reason I think, for prudential reasons, vigilance is the key.

TANYA NOLAN: Does that internal debate going on within JI range across the spectrum that al-Qaeda
is reportedly having within itself, qestioning the overall meaning of jihad and whether violence is
at the centre of jihad?

CARL UNGERER: I think, that is an interesting question because I think that is right. It is
reflected in a broader question about what is the correct path towards what the Islamists are
seeking to achieve.

The ultimate goal of course, of Abdullah Sungkar and Abu Bakar Bashir who established JI in the
1990s was a pan-regional Islamic caliphate across the region. Bashir continues to argue for such an
organisation, but no-one seriously believes that that is going to come to fruition any time soon.

But it is part of a broader debate, you are right, in the Islamic community. Particularly is the
Islamist element of the Islamic community about where to go next.

TANYA NOLAN: And so as a potential counter-point or counter-force if you like, you urge the
Australian Government to capitalise on recent bilateral gains in anti-terrorism efforts.

So for example the Prime Minister's idea of an Asia-Pacific Union that would put terrorism among
the key areas for bilateral co-operation, would that be the sort of forum that you think that this
attack on JI and other terrorist groups could happen and could happen effectively?

CARL UNGERER: Possibly, the APEC meeting in Sydney last year, terrorism was a subject of concern
and high level political dialogue can be effective in a number of ways. It can maintain momentum on
a particular issue and indeed in national jurisdictions can drive much of the policy agenda.

That high level political direction I think is critical. We are now coming up to 12 months since
the last major ministerial meeting of South-East Asian ministers on terrorism occurred and I think
one of our recommendations was that although the bilateral counter-terrorism efforts have made
substantial gains in recent years, bringing that political cohesion and direction back to the
debate about regional terrorism is necessary.

TANYA NOLAN: And that's Dr Carl Ungerer, the director of the National Security Project for the
Australian Strategic Policy Institute.

Missiles 'necessary' at Olympic Games

Missiles 'necessary' at Olympic Games

The World Today - Wednesday, 25 June , 2008 12:35:00

Reporter: Karen Barlow

TANYA NOLAN: Surface to air missile launchers are not the friendliest Olympic welcome, but a
Beijing Games security adviser says they are very necessary.

A camouflaged military compound - with a battery of missile launchers - has been set up close to
the main Olympic venues, including the birds nest stadium.

Similar security measures were used at Sydney and Athens and games organisers are expecting that
anti-Chinese demonstrators will try and disrupt events.

Olympics reporter Karen Barlow.

KAREN BARLOW: Just south of the Olympic venue for soccer and modern pentathlon is no go area.

A two metre high barbed wire fence keeps onlookers out of a military compound - inside dozens of
Chinese soldiers are exercising next to large vehicles and hardware.

Everything is camouflaged but on the ground it is easy to spot the Hongqi-7 missile launchers -
they are in place to knock threatening aircraft out of the sky.

NEIL FERGUS: Look unfortunately and it goes back to '96 in Atlanta, there has to be an aviation or
airspace protection plan.

KAREN BARLOW: Neil Fergus is an Australian security consultant to the Beijing Games.

He was also a consultant at the Sydney, Salt Lake City and Athens Games and has been working on the
London Games.

NEIL FERGUS: It is exactly the same precepts for what we did for the APEC leaders meeting in Sydney
where there was restricted airspace over the Opera House.

We go back to Atlanta and that was the first time that F16s actually circling in the sky over the
Opening Ceremony. Sydney we did something similar but it really reached a particular I suppose a
crescendo after 9/11 and of course the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics occurred just three months
after that horrific event.

So it is fairly complicated process but it does involve ultimately the possibility of extreme
action being taken against any aviation interloper that is coming into the airspace.

KAREN BARLOW: There could be mistakes though as well?

NEIL FERGUS: Well having worked on these systems now for three events, there are all sorts of
checks and fail-safe systems that are built in. Look 100 per cent guarantee; I don't think anyone
could ever give that.

KAREN BARLOW: Neil Fergus says al-Qaeda is a credible threat to the games through the China based
group called the East Turkistan Islamic Movement or ETIM.

Six weeks out form the Games, he says security preparations are going very well, particularly the
domestic stages of the Olympic torch relay, but he says there may be problems as the torch nears
the Opening Ceremony.

NEIL FERGUS: Yeah, crowd crush is going to be an issue. I mean, I think from memory four days of
the torch running around municipal Beijing and the crowds are going to be huge.

It is going to be quite spectacular with some very famous runners predominantly Chinese sports
stars and Olympians but also a few others, including at least one Australian will be running the
torch in Beijing and I think people who are arrived in time to see part of that should enjoy the
moment, but should be careful about the crowds and whether they get caught up in it all.

KAREN BARLOW: How do you balance out the security with what the fans and the athletes want?

NEIL FERGUS: Well it is tightrope to walk. I think at the moment it still remains to be seen
whether the balance is got right. There are efforts being made. General Ma who is running the
public security or policing operation for it, is acutely conscious of that and a great deal of
effort has gone into training over 50,000 Beijing public security bureau officers in how to deal
with foreigners, learn some basic English.

But you know, I think that it would be somewhat idealistic to think it will go seamlessly and
without a problem. But at the same time I think that an event of this magnitude it is reasonable to
expect there are a few glitches along the way.

TANYA NOLAN: That is Beijing Games security consultant Neil Fergus with Karen Barlow.

Victoria unveils laws to stop financial abuse

Victoria unveils laws to stop financial abuse

The World Today - Wednesday, 25 June , 2008 12:40:00

Reporter: Samantha Donovan

TANYA NOLAN: Refusing your partner the right to be financially independent could soon attract the
attention of police in Victoria.

The state government says it's called financial abuse and calls it an insidious form of domestic
violence that often goes unchecked.

Unveiling new laws, the Government says financial abuse could be grounds for an intervention order.

The change is being welcomed by a former chief justice of the Family Court and anti-domestic
violence campaigners.

Samantha Donovan reports.

SAMANTHA DONOVAN: Intervention orders are usually granted where a woman or man fears violence from
a partner. But on the advice of the Victorian Law Reform Commission, the State Government has
decided the grounds for an intervention order need to be expanded.

A person who is having their living expenses withheld by a partner or being denied the opportunity
to go out and earn their own money will now be able to apply for the protection in Victoria.

The CEO of Domestic Violence Victoria, Fiona McCormack is pleased with the change.

FIONA MCCORMACK: I think that broadening the definition of family violence within the bill provides
a more accurate description of the sorts of behaviours that women can experience when in a violent

SAMANTHA DONOVAN: What is a typical situation where you think an intervention order may be useful
on financial grounds?

FIONA MCCORMACK: We heard of a woman recently where, who was in late stages of pregnancy and quite
ill at home and her partner would go and buy food for himself and cook for himself and would not
provide any food for her and she had no finances of her own to go and buy food for herself.

SAMANTHA DONOVAN: The former chief justice of the Family Court, Alastair Nicholson says the change
is overdue.

And he'd like to see all Australian states reform their laws to tackle a problem he says is too

ALASTAIR NICHOLSON: It is very much part of the sort of an atmosphere of control that some people
try and set up in a family situation. So it has manifest itself often in trying to deny the other
partner friends and trying to deny them freedom of movement and one of the ways you can do that is
economically making it difficult for them to do anything such as shopping or those sort of things.
Take away their credit cards.

It is that sort of pattern of conduct that's particularly, it is a particularly offence pattern of
conduct and you do see it often enough to make this sort of legislation I think worthwhile.

SAMANTHA DONOVAN: It seems to be a little understood situation by those who haven't been in that
sort of environment?

ALASTAIR NICHOLSON: I think that is right. I think that is true. I think the Government, even if it
is not widely used as a matter of application, I think the fact of its presence has some merit. But
for example it could be used by a, it is usually a woman in this situation, who for example may
eventually find themselves in a shelter and wanting to make an application to get the other party
removed from the house or something like that.

And it provides, you don't have to necessarily prove that you've been bashed. You can prove that
you have been treated in other ways that have the same effect.

SAMANTHA DONOVAN: Do you think it is going to be difficult for courts to assess though whether an
order is warranted on this ground?

ALASTAIR NICHOLSON: I don't think so. I mean it depends; it is a question of what they accept. If
they accept the evidence, well they can make an order. It is the same as any other ground really.
It is question of what they are told and what they regard and what they regard as believable.

SAMANTHA DONOVAN: Tasmania is the only other state to have made economic abuse a ground for an
intervention order. Its law has been on the books since 2005, but criminal lawyer Kim Baumeler says
to her knowledge no-one has applied for an intervention order on that ground as yet.

And she the doesn't a think a lack of awareness explains why the new law hasn't been used.

KIM BAUMELER: In Tasmania the main applicants or the people who are actually filling out the forms,
the police officers who are well aware of what the sections are available to them, so I think it is
the scenarios that are being given to the officers who are filling out the applications that just
don't warrant economic abuse being raised.

TANYA NOLAN: Tasmanian lawyer Kim Baumeler with Samantha Donovan.

Qld hit hard by Qantas stoush

Qld hit hard by Qantas stoush

The World Today - Wednesday, 25 June , 2008 12:45:00

Reporter: Annie Guest

TANYA NOLAN: The stoush between Qantas and its engineers is creating unwelcome trouble for the
beleaguered tourism industry.

More than 30 flights have been cancelled around the country as the airline and its workers remain
locked in a stand-off over a pay dispute.

And it comes just weeks after Qantas, Jetstar and Virgin announced cuts to their flights.

Queensland is suffering the deepest cuts, and its tourism industry is appealing to Qantas and
engineers to resolve their differences before they inflict more pain.

Annie Guest reports from Brisbane.

ANNIE GUEST: Eight cancelled plane flights doesn't sound like a lot but those Brisbane flights have
tourism operators sweating.

Daniel Gschwind is the Chief Executive of the Queensland Tourism Industry Council.

DANIEL GSCHWIND: We are very concerned, of course because the flights in and out of our
destinations are the pipeline for visitors, for business travellers to reach destinations and any
disruption to that discourages people to travel. It inconveniences people - creates a bad
experience and a bad impression.

ANNIE GUEST: All up, Qantas has cancelled more than 30 flights nationwide, blaming stop work
meetings by aircraft engineers.

No time is a good time to cancel flights but these cuts come as tourism operators in Queensland are
feeling particularly vulnerable.

They believe the Sunshine State is already set to lose millions of tourism dollars because of
permanent reductions in flights brought on by rising fuel costs. They were announced in recent

Daniel Gschwind again.

DANIEL GSCHWIND: It also shakes further the confidence of travellers who may be thinking of booking
a trip, booking a holiday. They will certainly delay this and possibly postpone them all together
and that is not something that we want to see in a situation where the industry is already
struggling to maintain its momentum.

ANNIE GUEST: Well, in terms of those problems, Queensland's leading tourist destinations have
recently learnt about cuts in flights by the three major airlines servicing places like Cairns and
the Whitsundays. Just how much harder will this latest problem make it for the industry?

DANIEL GSCHWIND: Well, it certainly doesn't help. It makes it worse for certain and we want to make
sure that as I said, we control at least those things that we can have an influence over. We manage
them well and obviously industrial relations are one of the areas.

ANNIE GUEST: Qantas says that it is facing an enormous rise in fuel prices and can't pay those
engineers what they want to be paid. Should Qantas be giving ground?

DANIEL GSCHWIND: I don't want to take sides in the argument.

ANNIE GUEST: The aircraft engineers have been in dispute with Qantas for the past 18 months over
their demand for a five per cent wage increase.

And despite this week's disruption to flights, Qantas management says it won't give in to the
union's demands.

The dispute has drawn criticism from the Queensland Premier, Anna Bligh.

ANNA BLIGH: Our tourism industry here in Queensland and frankly in other parts of Australia are
going through really tough times. The jobs of people who work in organisations like Qantas are
dependent on us having high visitation rates. Now is not the time to be putting that at risk.

ANNIE GUEST: But the Australian Licensed Aircraft Engineers Association is essentially unmoved.

Its spokesman is Paul Cousins.

PAUL COUSINS: Any industry that runs off the airline industry as such, we certainly do have
sympathies for the situations that have occurred.

ANNIE GUEST: Are you prepared to accept any of the responsibility that the tourism industry seems
to be sheeting to you and Qantas for creating what it calls further uncertainty for tourism

PAUL COUSINS: We feel that Qantas has decided that three per cent is the only thing it is willing
to accept and so we really have to do what we are allowed to do under the law and that is carry out
protected industrial action to further our EBA push for five per cent.

ANNIE GUEST: It has ruled that out. How much longer are your members prepared to continue their
action before compromising on the five per cent demand?

PAUL COUSINS: The members are very strong. They support our action. We believe that the Australian
public understands.

ANNIE GUEST: No-one from Qantas was available for an interview this morning.

TANYA NOLAN: Annie Guest in Brisbane.

Senate debate tax break for trees

Senate debate tax break for trees

The World Today - Wednesday, 25 June , 2008 12:50:00

Reporter: Jennifer Macey

TANYA NOLAN: There's a row brewing in the Senate and this one doesn't involve alcopops or changes
to the Medicare levy.

The Coalition joined forces with the Greens overnight to oppose a tax deduction for carbon sink

Nationals Senator Barnaby Joyce and Liberals Senator Bill Heffernan say the bill will force farmers
off the land by encouraging investment in plantation forests.

And they say there's nothing to prevent the trees from being cut down, erasing any value they may
have in helping combat climate change.

Jennifer Macey reports.

JENNIFER MACEY: The tax incentive for carbon sink forests was introduced by the previous Coalition
government and passed just last week.

But now National Senator Barnaby Joyce and Liberals Senator Bill Heffernan have changed their

Senator Heffernan says he's worried farming communities will be pushed off their land to make way
for plantation forests.

BILL HEFFERNAN: A lot of these plantings will take place in good farming land where the signs are
telling us that in the future we are going to have to be very careful how we produce food and
protect the land we produce the food from and that is part of the energy versus food debate for
land use.

For that to happen there has to be a covenant so that land is locked up for 80 years so it is a
genuine sink for purpose of the legislation.

JENNIFER MACEY: The Greens also have a problem with the legislation saying forests are taking
valuable farming land out of food production.

They highlight Tasmania's dairy country, Queensland's cane areas and any food bowl region where
there's good rainfall.

Greens Senator Christine Milne says the bill also allows polluters to avoid cutting their own

CHRISTINE MILNE: There is no requirement that the trees stay in the ground any length of time.
There is no biodiversity in what is being proposed. There is no hydrological assessment of the
impact or the impacts on agricultural land.

So we are going to see the big end of town once again on the back of the carbon market, destroying
the environment in rural Australia and putting farmers out of business and having no material
impact on greenhouse gas emissions.

JENNIFER MACEY: But the forestry industry disagrees. Todd Loydell is a senior policy officer with
the National Association of Forest Industries.

TODD LOYDELL: The legislation clearly points out that you must be in the business of creating a
carbon credit under any legitimate market in Australia and those trees must be there for 70 years
or 100 years respectively.

So if you create a credit and then knock the trees down, either through bushfire or through
harvesting, you will then have to make good on that credit in some other way.

JENNIFER MACEY: But Christine Milne argues if the forest dies or is cut down - the carbon credit
has to be paid back but not the tax exemption.

CHRISTINE MILNE: So you can get an up-front tax deduction for investing in the establishment of
trees and then cut them down within five years if you want to without having to pay back the tax

JENNIFER MACEY: There is already a thriving voluntary carbon market - whereby companies and
individuals can offset their own greenhouse gas emissions or flights by investing in forests.

Andrew Grant is the CEO of CO2 Australia - a company that sells carbon credits by planting long
term eucalypt forests.

He says the senators' concerns are unfounded and that this bill will actually encourage long-term

ANDREW GRANT: The Tax Act in its previous form rewarded people for cutting trees down, so this
doesn't in any way reward you for cutting a tree down.

Under greenhouse gas schemes and if you create a carbon credit from planting a tree, if you cut
down that tree, you lose the carbon credit. You lose the very economic interest you have in that

JENNIFER MACEY: But you lose the tax credit?

ANDREW GRANT: Well the tax is a minor component of the economic driver of the subtuned (phonetic)

JENNIFER MACEY: But just yesterday the Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists warned of an
increasing risk of forests diverting water from critical catchments in the Murray-Darling Basin.

Professor Mike Young from Adelaide University says it is irresponsible to hand out tax incentives
without first doing proper water assessments.

MIKE YOUNG: We have to be very, very careful here because in the Murray-Darling Basin, significant
increases in forestry could virtually wipe out the irrigation industry as we know it.

JENNIFER MACEY: To address these concerns the Greens and the two Coalition Senators are lobbying
their Coalition colleagues to reform the legislation to provide greater environmental protection.

TANYA NOLAN: Jennifer Macey with that report.

Experts unsurprised by record Monet sales price

Experts unsurprised by record Monet sales price

The World Today - Wednesday, 25 June , 2008 12:55:00

Reporter: Bronwyn Herbert

TANYA NOLAN: A rare Monet painting of waterlilies has sold overnight for $85-million setting a new
record for works by the French impressionist.

The Claude Monet canvas "Le Bassin Aux Nympheas" was sold at auction in London to a telephone

Art experts agree on the value of the work but there were predictions it wouldn't fetch such a high
price in a time of global economic turmoil.

Bronwyn Herbert spoke with art market analyst Michael Reid.

MICHAEL REID: Well, it's actually starting to become comparable with other great late 19th and
early 20th century painters.

Remember Picasso really has set the benchmark when about two years ago his rose period, Boy with
Pipe sold for $AUS184-million.

So it is probably long overdue that a major Monet has started to reach those kind of financial
levels. Probably it has been a bit slow because major Monet's are just so hard to come onto the
market these days.

It has been decades and decades now where they are largely held in art museums or in private
collections that don't sell. So it was a question of just the right painting coming on the market
at the right time.

BRONWYN HERBERT: Do you think $85-million is actually a conservative amount?

MICHAEL REID: Well, they had estimated at I think something like $35-million mark but look, you
have got to, it doesn't surprise me. It is not as if it was a price that I kind of dropped out of
my chair.

You have just now got to realise that there are just so many super wealthy in this world and that
the kind of $50-$100 million price range for a major piece of western art is now well within, it is
now a relatively common occurrence.

BRONWYN HERBERT: Michael would you be able to describe this artwork for us?

MICHAEL REID: Well, it is you know, Monet is of course famous as an impressionist. One of his great
periods of course was 'water lilies'. Now the subject itself, whether it was 'haystacks' which he
did on water, what Monet was actually looking at was the same scene, his garden, his waterlily pond
but at various times of the day. So it is an impression, a mood of the waterlilies as time travels.

BRONWYN HERBERT: And this type of money that we are talking about for this art, what you are just
saying is boosted just by the global market. There is just so much money out there that people are
willing to pay whatever.

MICHAEL REID: There is just so much money. In this week alone in London and New York there is a
billion dollars of art being sold - in a week. In ten days actually I should say.

So this week has been an important week for a tester on the market but you can say that Monet has
really led it.

You've got to understand that in the 80s, late 80s and the early 90s the kind of pillars of the
international art world were Europe, Japan and North America.

Now when I was speaking to the general manager of Christie's last year, she was saying to me that
the pillars of the international art market are specifically Europe but also Russia, India, China,
Japan, North America.

TANYA NOLAN: That is Michael Reid speaking with reporter Bronwyn Herbert.